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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving! Top 15 Favorite Video Games EVER!!!

Alright this is my weirdest post ever. Why? Because it's a Thanksgiving special, that's 18 days too early. But I'm tired of waiting for Thanksgiving to come around legitimately so we're doing this thing now.

In this particular list I'll be counting down my Top 15 Favorite video games EVER. These games are, in my opinion, the best video games ever made. They may have problems, but there's no such thing as a flawless video game (heck, even my number one pick has flaws). And unlike a lot of Top 10 lists I do on this blog, this WILL be in a specific order of least to greatest in my eyes. That's not to same some of the earlier entries are bad games, not in the slightest. Every game on this list is, in my opinion, some of the best games ever made. So I recommend playing at least one of the games that appears on my list if you haven't already. Yes. Even the really old games that have been out for years. Oh, and given the fact this is my little way of celebrating Thanksgiving, I'm going to TRY and keep the word "thankful" to a minimum.Without further adieu, let's get started, shall we?

No. 15!

Image result for xenoblade chronicles x

Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U). Since this game is the spiritual sequel to the greatest Nintendo game ever made (according to pretty much anyone with a Wii), it had a lot of expectations to live up to. Did it surpass he original Xenoblade? Well, no. But as a standalone RPG with mechas it's definitely a good game.

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Although I believe that the number 7 pick has the best graphics period, Xenoblade Chronicles X has the best world design. Every area is loaded with details that make the world really FEEL alive. My only problem with this game and I appear to be the only person that views this as a bad thing since literally every review PRAISES the game for doing this, but my biggest gripe is the inconsistent strength of the enemies. You can see level 5 wolf things standing right next to a level 90 dinosaur. While everyone else seems convinced that it "makes the world feel more natural" the truth is it DOESN'T. It makes beginning areas needlessly brutal, and late game areas painfully easy. If they kept the strength of the enemies consistent, like the beginning area enemies are all levels 1-10, and so on it would be a problem and I DESPISE the fact the game does this to this day. Another issue is the pacing of the game. It's REALLY slow, and only picks up after chapter 6. Despite these issues, it's still an enjoyable game since, like I said, I am the only life-form in the universe that views the inconsistent levels as a problem. It also has a fun combat system.

No. 14!

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I'll just put every Ratchet & Clank game ever here. You know, they actually released a Ratchet & Clank movie...

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I still haven't seen it... And I need to see it... Anyway, I actually have not one but FOUR of the games in the franchise (the original, Ratchet & Clank 2-3 and Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction). All the games are fun little half platformer half shooter hybrid thing. And funny as well.

No. 13!

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Transformers: Fall of Cybertron (PS3, XBox 360). Honestly, I'm thankful (cringe) that this game was a thing. Why? Because Transformers was one of my favorite childhood things ever. I've seen the Micheal Bay movies and the original cartoon and while I agree that the Micheal Bay movies get really cheesy, they weren't THAT bad. This game however is like the original, beloved cartoon that forever changed the childhood of many a 80's-90's kid ON STEROIDS. In this game, you play as various Autobots and Deceptions as they wage war during the last six days before going to another planet. Because, you know, Megatron killed the planet. That Megatron. Always a character. Anyway, this game is a TPS (third person shooter) and they gave each character a unique play-style. Like Optimus is a all-around jack of all trades and can called down air-strikes because rule of cool, Cliffjumper is a fragile speedster that can turn invisible because rule of cool, and Jazz (my favorite) is an agile sniper with a grappling hook made of lasers because rule of cool. And Grimlock can brawl his to victory and transform into a T. Rex with fire-breath because (you guessed it) rule of cool.

No. 12!

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I can almost hear the thought process of Square Enix when they made Kingdom Hearts (PS2, PS3). "Hey let's throw Disney Characters and Final Fantasy Characters into one game and have the story revolve around the philosophical roles of light and dark throughout the universe! Okay, but let's give the main character a sword shaped like a skeleton key. Deal!". If you can get past the somewhat wacky premise and actually play the games the Kingdom Hearts series are actually pretty good. Also, my opinion of Riku managed to change from one to the next in an instant. At first, I didn't really like Riku since he almost sacrificed Sora's best-friend/love-interest Kairi and tried to kill Sora to stop him from saving the day. Then in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories he goes on a SOUL-search journey to redeem himself and actually became a cool and interesting character. Oh, and he has the power of DARKNESS!!!

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Oh, and they announced that there's going to be a Kingdom Hearts III (even though technically speaking it's the NINTH game in the series). But if Kingdom Hearts III has Star Wars, Avengers, and Zootopia (since Disney owns all of those now) in it then I will be very happy. I can imagine there being a Lightsaber Key-Blade lol.

No. 11!

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Minecraft: Story Mode (PS3, PS4, XBox 360, XBox One,  PC, Wii U). And episode point-and-click adventure game based off of the indie titan Minecraft. While Episode 7 came with a glitch that sometimes makes the game literally impossible to play, the other 6 episodes were surprisingly good. Also, that moment in Episode 5!

 Image result for minecraft story mode memes
everyone agrees that the only way
to avenge Lukas is to slice Aiden's throat

I actually thoroughly enjoy Minecraft Story Mode... And assuming that glitch has been patched (it's been 10 months since I checked) I'll get episode 8... As soon as PSN is actually working since at the time of this post PSN is not working. Actually, as soon as I finish this post I'll go ahead and see if the glitch got patched.

No. 10!

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Shadow of the Colossus (PS2, PS3). Oh boy, this game. The hidden gem of the PS2 glory days, Shadow of the Colossus was a game with a simple, but dark premise. In it, you play as a swordsman/archer named Wander who goes on a quest to bring the woman he (presumably) loves back from the dead. In order to do so, he makes a deal with a demigod called Dormin. If Wander can defeat the titular stone giants, Dormin will bring the girl back to life.

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Shadow of the Colossus is a game with a very minimalistic style. There's a massive open world, but the only activities you can do besides battling the Colossi are collecting optional fruit and lizard tails scattered around the world. But what I love about this game is it's boss battles. While there are some very irritating things about the combat system (Wander being knocked around by almost every move the Colossi make gets very annoying very quickly) Shadow of the Colossus had some of the most challenging, innovative, and downright epic boss battles in history. So I love this game for giving me some of my favorite boss battles. Here's hoping *Last Guardian can surpass this game. But if it can't, then no biggie.

No. 9!

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Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth (PS4, PS Vita). The newest game I got is also on this list. Despite the fact I haven't reviewed it yet. Because I haven't beat it yet. But that's not the point. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth is a fantastic game. Maybe I'm being biased since I like Digimon a whole lot more than Pokemon. Anyway, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth is a JRPG that takes place in modern-day Tokyo, Japan. In this game you play the role of the titular rookie detective who, with the help of Digimon, solves various cyber crimes across the Virtual Reality Network known as EDEN. This game, funnily enough, doesn't have English voice acting at ALL (there ARE English captions/subtitles, however). It's all Japanese voice acting. So if you want to learn Japanese, then play this game.

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Now I know what you're thinking. "SPENCER!!! Is this game really THAT good if you put on this list before giving it a full review!?" The answer... Is yes. Yes it is. I won't go too in depth on this game because what would be the point of reviewing it in the near future? Anyway, I love this game because A: Japanese Voice Acting. B: Digimon. And C: It's combat system and the method of getting new Digimon are delightfully addictive. It's good ol' turn based combat. You have a team of 3 active Digimon and about 9 reserves that you can switch out at any point (except during the opponent's turn, obviously). Each Digimon has a set of stats that directly effect their performance in battle (the higher the stats the stronger the Digimon) as well as a set of attacks called Skills. There is also a kind of "rock-paper-scissors" gimmick where one type of Digimon does extra damage to another type (Virus type beats Data type, for example). This combat system is actually very easy to use once you actually get into the swing of things. Another thing I like is how this game (just like the TV Show it's based off of) isn't afraid of dealing with mature themes. One major villain(?) has a very obvious God complex, A Lilymon tries to win over a guy who's actually not interested in girls (in fact he's only into other guys), and a manga artist goes insane from having so many people call her manga terrible. And that's only the tip of the ice berg. Oh, and I have (not-so)fond memories of one side-quest that was somehow scarier than Silent Hill, Amnesia, Five Nights at Freddy's, and Slender: The Arrival all at the same time. But I'm thankful (double cringe) for this game because it let me relive my love of Digimon.

No. 8!

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If you play Valiant Hearts: The Great War (PS3, PS4), get a hanky ready since this game has one of the saddest endings ever. Anyway, Valiant Hearts was, for a very long time, my favorite video game ever. But then another entry on this very list took that place in my SOUL-shaped heart. Valiant Hearts is a very emotional game taking place during World War I. In this game, you play as one of four characters from different parts of the globe as they try to survive the horrors of The Great War.

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This game is, interestingly enough, a puzzle platformer, and not a shooter (the reason I make a big deal out of this is because most games taking place during a real life war are often FPS games). This game had a beautiful story, and an amazing soundtrack using mostly piano (the greatest instrument ever created!) to convey a sense of emotion. And if you DON'T cry at the end of Valiant Hearts, then you are a heartless monster. After all, "War drives men Mad"-Emile, 1918. With the lone exception of two puzzles, every puzzle in this game was really fun and intuitive. The two puzzles I had trouble with I resorted to Googling the answer since I legitimately couldn't figure it out. But aside from those two puzzles, Valiant Hearts is still, one of my favorite games of all time.

No. 7!

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Ah, Journey (PS3). This game has, in my opinion, the most beautiful graphics and music in anything. PERIOD. Journey is an interesting game, since it tells a story without a single word of dialogue. Or even text. A wordless story, told by visions your character, a small, robed figure with mysterious abilities, have at the end of each area. The ultimate goal of Journey is to reach the top of a imposing mountain so tall you can see it clear as day no matter where you are (with the exception of one area, an underground temple, but that's because it's, well, underground).

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This game is a very relaxing game... Until you get to the later parts of the game. The Underground Temple has strange snake like machines that patrol the halls of the temple, searching for unwary victims to attack. And then there's the final area, where the game makes a complete 180 with it's terrain. While the game starts in a desert, the game ends on the snowy mountain. But the Journey (bom-bom-bom-bom!) isn't over once you reach the mountain itself. You have to reach the peak of the mountain in order to complete the Journey. And the closer you get, the colder it gets. And the robed figure can't handle being cold (just like moi). This game is a very emotional game, just like Valiant Hearts. And this is just my opinion but there will never be a game more beautiful than Journey.

No. 5!

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Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Wii U, 3DS). What is this!? A action RPG with no EXP whatsoever!? Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is a very special game. For one, the Monster Hunter games started a subgenre of action RPG games known as the Hunting Action games. This subgenre focuses on intense boss battles where you have to track down (hunt) the boss and use the loot you get to make stronger weapons. Hunting Action games, unlike regular Action-RPG games, don't have a levelling system so in order to do well in these kind of games you have to practice and be skillful at the game mechanics.

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Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is the best entry I've played in the whole series. Granted, I haven't played Monster Hunter 4 or Monster Hunter Generations due to not having a handheld gaming system. But I will always love this franchise for having some pretty dang cool bosses and being so successful that it spawned an entire subgenre of gaming. Plus, it's really fun to play.

No. 4!

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I'm putting the entire Spyro the Dragon franchise here. This series has been on *deep breath* PS1, PS2, PS3, Nintendo Gamecube, Nintendo Wii, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, and Xbox 360. Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning was actually the very first game I played and beaten. In fact, the whole reason I love video games as much as I do is EXACTLY BECAUSE of this series. So everyone, be thankful (triple cringe) to Spyro. Had he not have existed, I wouldn't be a gamer and this blog would most likely not exist. And then Activision ruined my childhood with Skylanders. So yeah, I'm a little salty about that. At least they gave him some love in the Skylanders cartoon that's on Netflix. Also, I have a confession to make...

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When Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon came out, I actually played as Cynder more than Spyro. In my defense, Cynder has some really cool and useful abilities in that game. And again, Cynder was ruined by Skylanders. Okay, so she keeps her Shadow Dash ability, but someone please explain to me why Skylander!Cynder can shoot lightning bolts out of her mouth? She never did anything that even slightly implied she had lightning powers since her main thing is shadows, poison, and wind (among other things). And before anyone asks, I STILL like the Legend of Spyro trilogy more than Skylanders which I despise with a passion because A: It ruined my two favorite dragons in history. And B: Those games are stupidly expensive.

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No. 3! 

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You know how I said some of the games on this list have been around for decades? This is one of them. Earthbound Beginnings (NES, Wii U) is the best hidden gem of Nintendo's library. Most people don't even know this game even exists. Despite the fact that Super Smash Bros. has not one but two characters from Earthbound, Ness and Lucas. Anyway, Earthbound is a quirky RPG game where you play as a group of kids who are tasked with saving the world from perhaps the most terrifying villain in the history of interactive entertainment...

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"I'm...h....a....p...p...y...."- Giygas, 1989

Enter Giygas. Or Giygue as he's known in the United States. But I'll refer to him as Giygas since that's the name that most people know him by. This guy holds the world record for most terrifying villain ever. If him saying things like "It...'s...s...o...g...o...o...d..." or "Don't leave..." throughout his boss fight isn't enough there's the fact that Giygas doesn't even have a form. He's just a greatly distorted face that stretches, contracts, multiplies, and disappears with no rhyme or reason. At least his normal form isn't as disgustingly creepy as THIS THING.

But the main reason why I love this game is despite the fact it came out in 1989, it has aged phenomenally. You just got to get used to the fact that there are no health bars and just numbers by themselves. And besides, if this game was never created, my number one pick would either be much different or it wouldn't exist period.

No. 2!
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How fitting that Portal 2 (PS3, Xbox 360, PC) is my second favorite game of all time. Portal 2 is the sequel to Portal, a game where a maniacal super-computer has you run some "tests". Theses tests are puzzles involving a device known as the Portal Gun. The puzzles often consist of momentum psychics and has gained a reputation for being really disorienting. But the game itself is fun and surprisingly funny, from the casually snarky ball of sass (and cake) that is GLaDOS to the mentally unstable CEO of Aperture Science, Cave Johnson. Oh, and space.

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This game has some of the toughest puzzles in any game ever. Which makes me feel like a complete boss since I only used Google a grand total of one time during my first playthrough.


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You hear that? That's the sound of all my friends and family groaning because they totally saw this coming a mile away. But what can I say? This game is simply magical. Undertale (PC) is also known as the "Friendly RPG where nobody has to Die!". And this is my biggest pet peeve about people who don't realize that Undertale is a game that hates it when you kill things is the game makes it obvious that you're not supposed to kill things. It LITERALLY STATES SEVERAL TIMES THAT YOU CAN BEAT THE GAME WITHOUT KILLING ANYTHING!!! Oh, and bonus points for having the most brutally challenging boss battle ever in the form of Sans.

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This game is also really (in)famous for having one of the most out-of-control fanbases ever. But there's one fanbase that's even more out-of-control than Undertale, and that's Five Nights at Freddy's. You remember when people would argue over whether Star Wars or Star Trek was better than the other? Nowadays people argue over Undertale and Five Nights at Freddy's. Which is an unfair comparison. After all, their from two completely different genres. If they were BOTH RPG's or horror games, then it would be alright to compare them, but those games are completely opposite sides of the spectrum. Back to why I love Undertale so dang much. It's FIGHT or MERCY system puts a real spin on combat and it's surprisingly innovative. I know there are games out there that reward pacifism but those are both very few and far between and rarely are actually good. Undertale pulls off it's "Thou shalt not kill things" ideology in a way that feels good.

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The game's soundtrack is a masterpiece of music. Starting off with simple, 8-bit tunes conveying a nostalgic, Earthbound style feel, to more elaborate themes utilizing guitar and piano. The game's soundtrack literally improves steadily and rapidly as you progress.

Image result for undertale dr. alphys
this is the single most relatable
dragon you will ever see...

And the thing I love most about Undertale is it's story and characters. Seriously, this game has some really lovable characters, each with unique and colorful personalities. From the pun-tastic lazy skeleton Sans to the adorably nerdy dragon lady Dr. Alphys (whom I thought was male for over three months until my friend, who also loves Undertale, told me she was a girl), this game has, in my opinion, the best cast of characters ever. I honestly can't think of a character I DON'T like that's from Undertale. Not even the villain of the game, who tries to murder you not once, not twice, but three different times throughout the story. Even he's likable. And almost as terrifying as Giygas.

Image result for undertale toriel
BEHOLD! The most loving
and responsible parent in the 
history of pop culture! Toriel!
AKA Goat Mom!

But is Undertale perfect? There is only one thing holding it back from being flawless. And that's the battle sprites. The battle sprites (aka how characters look during a battle or during certain cutscenes) aren't that bad by themselves. They capture the characters they represent quite nicely. Only problem is, as you can see in Dr. Alphys's battle sprite pictured above, the battle sprites are colorless. But here's the weird thing. The game that inspired Undertale, Earthbound, had COLORED battle sprites. But Undertale doesn't... The game would be 110% better if the battle sprites were colored in. At the least the overworld is colored... Oh, and there's a certain **God of Hyperdeath who loves colors a lot. So much so all of his attacks are rainbow colored. So there's that.

I realize this was kind of a long list but these are my favorite games ever and I am thankful (quadruple cringe) they were created. This blog would be very different had even one of these 15 games not exist. The games I put on this list are, of course, some of (IMO) the best games ever made. All of them may be flawed and have their problems, but I still love these games for one reason or another.

*Last Guardian is the spiritual sequel to Shadow of the Colossus. Unlike the previous game, in Last Guardian you have to befriend a griffin and cooperate with it to solve puzzles while avoiding enemies.

**To avoid spoiling the identity of the Final Boss of Undertale's Pacifist ending, I always make sure to refer to the boss as the God of Hyperdeath since that's what he calls himself during the first half of the battle against him.

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