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Robio's Top 100 of All Time
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Tue, 09 Oct 2018 16:59:26

Love the stories that go with these.

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Wed, 10 Oct 2018 15:27:57

Isn't it crazy to think that there was a time when you needed a beefy PC to play a point and click adventure? LOL

My uncle was always into building PC's back then, when it wasn't so simple. I bet he had this game. I used to love going over his house to see the latest stuff, but was more than happy to go home and enjoy the simplicities of my Snes and Mega Drive. It really is something how much easier it is today to build a beast PC. And how much more user friendly it is getting pretty much any game to run perfectly. The platform has come a long long way.

Of course, the PC and consoles today also have much less individual personality because everything is so standardized.

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Sun, 14 Oct 2018 15:00:24

#48. Mario Kart DS

When I started this list I knew that a Mario Kart game was going to end up somewhere on it, but I wasn't entirely sure which one. The series is always great, but it doesn't make a lot of dramatic changes. We all know the mechanics of it. You drive around a track, try to knock your opponents around with a weapon or use one to defend yourself, and pray to whatever dieties you believe in that you won't get your run ruined by a blue shell. The graphics have gotten better, the tracks have gotten more plentiful, and more racers are included, but there's not many dramatic changes from installment to installment. So ultimately I decided to go with Mario Kart DS for a couple big reasons. It was the first with an online mode, which was probably the biggest one-time addtion and that added an entirely new level of competition to it (even if those fuckers who figured out snaking would always beat me). More importantly, it the first one that I actually enjoyed for more than a couple days.

My wife got me the Mario Kart DS bundle for Christmas in 2005. She was pregnant with our son and since I was determined to save every dime I had for his arrival I'd pretty much stopped buying games. So she figured she'd get me this and it would keep me occupied. I had my doubts because at that time I wasn't real impressed with the DS (lord knows I was wrong about that since it would go on to be arguably my favorite gaming system ever), and I didn't care too much about Mario Kart. But I gave it a chance, and it was a game changer for me. I was quickly addicted and always wondered if I missed out by not giving the earlier games a more series try. It was also the reason I finally figured out what the hell Wifi was. In order to race online I quickly familiarized myself with it and for a while I'd either go to McDonalds which was offering it or if I sat outside on my porch I could leach a signal from a neighbor. Not long afterwards I realized I actually had a wifi modem that an earlier internet provider gave me and I never took the time to figure out. So yeah, once that was set up this game was pure bliss.

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Sun, 14 Oct 2018 15:20:30

#47. Punch Out (Wii)

I started making this list back in July, and once I settled on everything I really didn't make too many changes to it. Writing it all out has taken longer than I first anticipated (plus Dragon Quest 11 has filled up a lot of time I thought I'd use to write), and as a result sometimes I forget what games are on it. Case in a point, two weeks ago my wife had a friend over and they were having some girly feely emotional conversation, so I excused myself to my office where my Wii U and decided to boot up Punch Out since it's a great game to kill a short amount of time with. By the time I had gone against Great Tiger I was REALLY getting into it again and I started to wonder how I could have left it off of my list. So I double checked, and of course it was there. Why wouldn't it? This is one of the great pure video game experiences of all time.

Punch Out is about one thing - recognizing patterns. The controls are simple enough with just a few punches, dodges, and blocks, but it's all about how you use them and knowing when to break out the right move. Of course if that was the only thing Punch Out had it would get a little old, but the cast of fighters you go against is the perfect presentation for the controls. Each fighter has a distinct style and personality. Some you even feel a little bad that you have to give them a black eye. And Punch Out's greatest gift to us was of course Title Defense mode. Just when you thought you had the game beat, now you have to prove you can keep the championship and each fighter comes back with new moves and jacked up (possibly on steriods in Soda Popinski's case). It added a new level of fun and difficulty to an already great game.

Edited: Sun, 14 Oct 2018 15:23:35
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Sun, 14 Oct 2018 15:40:04

#46. L.A. Noire

Ahhhh L.A. Noire, my imperfect masterpiece. Sure the interogations and questioning were flawed and became counter-intutive when the played already figured out where things were headed before Cole did. Yes, the final scavenger hunt homicide case was futile as hell. And it's tough to argue that the game's story didn't kind of collapse on itself at the end showing that things got very rushed at the end of development. All of that stuff is easy to overlook when you see all the other things that this game does so very right.

The mood and the setting of post-war LA is completely nailed to a tee. You can see the signs of properity all around while grime and crime fill in the cracks. The characters are interesting running the gamut from cops that just don't care to others that are genuinally corrupt. And even as flawed as some of them are, you always kind of regret getting moved on to other desk where you don't get to work with them again. The cases and investigations though. When they're good, and most of them genuinally are, they're amazing experiences. They feel like classic detective movies and tv shows from the 50's and 60's (hell they even borrow their names in some instances), but with a little more seediness added to them for modern audiences.

And the last thing to note is how sad I am that Team Bondi was run by a group of douchenozzles. I'd love nothing more than to play their follow-up title, Whore of the Orient, and see what they could have done with lessons learned from this title. Sadly, due to a myriad of poor management decisions that doesn't look like we'll see it. Then again, who knows? Maybe Rockstar will find someone else to make it. A man can dream.

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Sun, 14 Oct 2018 16:08:39

Punch Out was really fun. One of my favorites on the Wii. L.A. Noire was cool too. I'd actually like to replay it one day.

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Sun, 14 Oct 2018 16:14:09

I still have Punch-Out for the Wii sitting on the shelf yet to be played. I really should get to it one of these days. I loved the SNES game.

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Sun, 14 Oct 2018 16:34:34

Punch out games are all great.

Archangel3371 said:

I still have Punch-Out for the Wii sitting on the shelf yet to be played. I really should get to it one of these days. I loved the SNES game.

That might be the best one.

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Wed, 17 Oct 2018 17:48:51

Punch out yes!

I even played MK DS with you guys.

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Fri, 19 Oct 2018 04:01:36

#45. Kingdom Hearts

Disney and Final Fantasy... when the original Kingdom Hearts was announced everyone thought it was one of the worst ideas of all time, and everyone was wrong. The combination turned out one of the most amazing games we'd ever seen. It was so much better than it had any right to be. What could have been just a blow-off game that would have sold fine just due to the names involved turned out to be an absolute classic that spawned one of the most byzantine storylines of all time (that's another story entirely though). Now before I go completely overboard let me first say Kingdom Hearts 2 is by far a better game. The story did start to go off the rails, but the controls and camera which could get kind of nightmarish in the original were much better this time around. The original will still be my favorite for three big reasons.

  1. The sheer novelty of seeing my Disney and Final Fantasy characters in one game for the first time was just wonderfully incomprehensible and that could never be repeated again.
  2. It had the best line-up of classic Disney characters of any of the KH games.
  3. It played it during a very rough spot in my life and it was a godsend.

That third point is pretty important here. When KH first came out I was going through one of the worst financial stresses of my life. From the second half of 2003 to the end of 2004 I was struggling to just keep the lights on and food on the table. There wasn't a lot of gaming going on for me at that time, and I sold off most of my games just to get by. But as that mess was coming to an end I was able to get my hands on an extra $20 which was enough for a used copy of Kingdom Hearts, and I played that fucker like nothing else. I'm rarely go the completionist route, but this game was rich in content so I completely dove in. I found every dalmation, fought every optional mini-boss, and build the most elaborate gummi ships the world has ever seen. Not only was it all but, but as an extra bonus I got that super kick-butt secret ending too. It definitely kept me occupied and pretty happy during a rough patch and for that the original Kingdom Hearts will always be a god-tier game to me.

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Fri, 19 Oct 2018 19:27:35

Just recently played KH again, and shit, it may be a bit rough here and there, but that double dose of Square and Disney magic more than makes up for it. I still need to play KH2 before the sequel comes out.

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Sun, 21 Oct 2018 03:50:11

#44. Final Fantasy V

Final Fantasy V was for a while my biggest video game obsession. Maybe the biggest I've ever had. The first time I got on the internet was the end of 1995 and being a Squaresoft fanboy at the time the first thing I did an Infoseek search for was Final Fantasy. After clicking a few links it didn't take long before I discovered that I had been lied to for the past 5 years. There were in fact 6 Final Fantasy games, and not 3.  The one that caught my eye though was Final Fantasy V. After seeing that there were like 18 different character classes to choose from, I was sold. I needed it. The chances of it coming to America were slim though. Over the next two years a rumor about it being released in the US as "Final Fantasy Extreme" came and went. And I tried playing a very poor early fan translation on an early version of SNES9x, the choice SNES emulator of the time. That barely ran on my PC though. So in 1997 I finally broke down and found an import game store that would send me the game for $90.00.  And it was worth every penny.

Playing the game was an adventure. It was in Japanese so I had to track down and print a translation of the script. I also had the game shipped right before spring break so I could play it during my week off from college. Funny story about that too. My girlfriend and I had rented a cabin to spend the week in, and you'd think two college age kids would more or less spend it having sex, but unfortunately she was a virgin and was set on holding onto it like.... a virgin holding onto her virginity??  Fuck it, it's late and I'm stuck for a metaphor. Point is I didn't have sex that week so with an english script in hand I tackled FFV, and just about beat it before the week was over. It was a fun but difficult experience. Years later, I got the GBA version that had a good translation and conquored that, all the while having sex with my wife...who wasn't a virgin. Anyway it all worked out, and the game is probably still my favorite Final Fantasy game to this day.

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Sun, 21 Oct 2018 12:03:44

I wanted to like Kingdom Hearts, but it really only seemed to have fan service going for it. At some point I gave up. Maybe I'll try it again someday.

Edited: Sun, 21 Oct 2018 12:04:31
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere  
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst  
Are full of passionate intensity.
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Sun, 21 Oct 2018 14:12:03
Foolz said:

I wanted to like Kingdom Hearts, but it really only seemed to have fan service going for it. At some point I gave up. Maybe I'll try it again someday.


I think that's a completely legitimate opinion if you only play the first one, and particularly only part of it. The first half of Kingdom Hearts is a very uneven experience. Very much like the developers were still trying to figure out what to do with the game. Particularly in Wonderland, Tarzan's Jungle and parts of Agrabah, it really feels like you're just wandering around trying to trigger events to make the plot move forward. The second half of the game is a much smoother experience.

if you ever wanted to give it a second try though, I would probably suggest just skip the first and go straight into Kingdom Hearts 2.5. As I said before it is the better game for a number of reasons. It just didn't have the same impact as the original.

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Sun, 21 Oct 2018 14:51:20

#43. Ms. Pac-Man

Ms. Pac-Man wasn't the first game I ever played, but it was the first game I played a lot of. When I was four years old, Christopher, my new best friend moved into the neighborhood. I wouldn't figure it all out until years later but Christopher's family was a little different than everyone else in the neighborhood because his dad (or step-dad rather) worked for the local mob. He seemed fairly high up too. As a fringe benefit of being in the mob, they always had a lot of cool stuff in their house including a pool table, Space Invader's pinball, and a couple stand-up arcade game including Ms. Pac-Man. Pac-Man fever was still running high so this was always the go-to game for us. We'd have to stand up on chairs to see the screen, but that didn't stop us. Neither of us was particularly good. Once in a blue moon we'd make it to the 3rd level (the banana and pear level) and then speculate what color the future levels would be and what kind of fruit Ms. Pac-Man would get to eat.

It's also been an omnipresent game. I don't think there's ever been a time where I went more than a year without seeing it show up somewhere. And for good reason. It was an excellent game, even better than the original. Any time I come across it I'll still toss in a quarter and play it. Even played just over a week ago at a local comic book shop as a matter of fact. It's just as good as ever, even if I'm not quite as good as I was back in the day.

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Sun, 21 Oct 2018 19:43:25

Yeah the first few hours of Kingdom Hearts are brutal. Back in the early 00's I didn't mind though. Starts slow as hell.

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Sun, 21 Oct 2018 21:46:43
The second one is arguably even worse in that regard though. The intro segment in Twilight Town is so freaking slow. Granted it doesn't last too long, and the game immediately picks up after it's over, but got it was slow.  kind of makes you wonder if we're going to get something like that again in Kingdom Hearts 3.
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Sun, 21 Oct 2018 22:42:11
robio said:
The second one is arguably even worse in that regard though. The intro segment in Twilight Town is so freaking slow. Granted it doesn't last too long, and the game immediately picks up after it's over, but got it was slow.  kind of makes you wonder if we're going to get something like that again in Kingdom Hearts 3.

It's funny you mention that, because that was the only part of KH2.5 I played before switching to Persona 5. But I think I got past it so when I go back to the game, hopefully that's where the real shit starts.

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Sun, 21 Oct 2018 23:43:29

God, Wonderland and Tarzan’s Jungle were awful.  I think I probably quit the game about five times during those stages.  Thank goodness the rest is better.

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Mon, 22 Oct 2018 01:36:35

Man if these games in the 40s mean that much to you I wonder what we will get in the next bunch.

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