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Which games this gen have really resonated with you? WITH YOUR SOUL? [roundtable]
Feel free to also discuss games that have made a big impact on you throughout your game-playing history (the original topic of this thread). You know, the games that defined you and really stayed with you. Has this gen produced any titles that totally blew you away? That you will always fondly remember your experiences with?

I feel like, for all the piles and piles of solid, capable games that we've been getting, there have been far fewer that really, really connect with me. It's why I prefer the GBA library to the DSeseses. And why this generation has kind of underwhelmed me. The main exception that I can think of is Monster Hunter Tri. Even that might be kind of cheating, since the series began last gen, but, nevertheless, that is one of the only games that kept calling me back, impelling me to keep playing, similar to Animal Crossing and Wario Ware last gen, Metroid and Mario and Bionic Commando (and so many more) in the NES era, Super Mario Kart in the SNES era, Perfect Dark and Mario Kart 64 on the N64, WipeOut on the PS1, Alpha Centauri and DOOM on PC, various C64 games that no one else will remember, tons of Arcade games, etc.

I guess I can also include Yoshi's Touch and Go on DS. Super-brilliant and innovative, super-addictive. Good things come in small, perfectly polished packages. I might even toss in Mr. Driller, since I got totally addicted to the DS game, but that core design has existed in pretty much unedited form for quite a while, and I already had the Gamecube game. But maybe I'll throw in Crackdown for the 360. Vertiginously platforming from skyscraper to skyscraper felt like something new. And something awesome. Flawed, but great. It was a key in my choice of the 360 over the PS3. That's it for this gen, though, barring any other missing memory cells. (EDIT: Holy shit, WII SPORTS! I can't believe I forgot that one. Wii Sports was a revelation to me. The first time I swung my arm and heard and felt the thwack of a tennis ball against a racquet, I was sold on motion control. Later games failed to fully capitalize on that promise, which perhaps makes Wii Sports an even more amazing accomplishment. The other incredible thing about the title is the way it facilitated fun multiplayer experiences among hugely disparate groups. Inclusion, rather than exclusion. That was a sea change.)

I won't dismiss the possibility that I'm just getting more and more jaded, playing increasing amounts of games on more systems, but appreciating each less, but I feel like the peaks in gaming just aren't as high anymore, and most developers are headed full-steam in a direction that I'm not particularly interested in. If Red Dead Redemption is supposed to be the future of gaming, count me the fuck out.

(I know, I know, downloadable games. I like them a lot, often better than retail games, but they still aren't completely doing it for me.)

EDIT: You know, after all of my edits and additions, this gen doesn't seem so bad. But it did have a pretty long, protracted stretch of meh for me, from Wii launch-ish to Monster Hunter Tri. And I have been quite disappointed in HD retail games, for the most part. Perhaps that's why I had such a poor impression of it.

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08/30/10, 19:47    Edited: 08/30/10, 20:29
Why not sign up for a (free) account?
Metroid:Other M is on my list already.
09/01/10, 11:21   
Ah, the wonders of virtual friendship. Even more tenuous and situational than 'real' friendship. But not subject to the same necessity of geographical proximity.
09/01/10, 16:52   
Edited: 09/01/10, 16:53
anandxxx said:
I won't dismiss the possibility that I'm just getting more and more jaded, playing increasing amounts of games on more systems, but appreciating each less, but I feel like the peaks in gaming just aren't as high anymore, and most developers are headed full-steam in a direction that I'm not particularly interested in. If Red Dead Redemption is supposed to be the future of gaming, count me the fuck out.

I haven't read the entire thread, but I wanted to comment on this, as RDR was a weird kind of case study for me.

I love The Man With No Name Westerns, which were obviously a huge inspiration for RDR. I thought the setting and atmosphere were great and the characters and dialog, while not fantastic, were certainly better than standard Rockstar fare (though that's not always a high hurdle to jump).

The gameplay was just so weird. EVERYTHING in that game was easy. Hunting, easy. Missions, easy. Sidequests, easy. Everything. And all the missions were, minus a couple modern palette swap equivalents, all identical.

I don't know. It was a game that constantly flirted with awesomeness but never really sealed the deal. For me, at any rate.

As far as this gen goes, I don't know. Flower was pretty compelling in a neat way, and I really liked some of the moments Valkyria Chronicles brought to the table.
09/01/10, 17:38   
Yeah, my reaction to Red Dead vs. everyone else's was a real epiphany for me. It seems like immersion is a lot higher on the list than constantly enjoyable, inventive, balanced gameplay for most people.

I could squeeze some enjoyment from GTA by going apeshit and seeing how the world reacted to it, but even that isn't very fun in Red Dead.

And the attempt at immersion seemed was kind of an uncanny valley thing for me. I was frustrated that the only interactions I had with most people were bumping into them/not bumping into them and shooting them/not shooting them.

The main character... I just found him kind of hard to root for. He seemed so weak and stupid.

I think the counterpoints to Rockstar's open-world games are things like Red Faction Guerilla, Crackdown, and Prototype. These games had similarly flimsy structures and progression mechanics and an equal amount of repetition, but I still enjoyed them, because the core gameplay mechanics were really fun. Red Dead, not so much.

Tap 'A' to run.
09/02/10, 03:11   
Edited: 09/02/10, 03:36
Hmmmmm... I don't know. Galaxy 2 is up there for sure. Bioshock is as well. I loved Fallout 3 and Mass Effect as well though I wouldn't say they "resonated with my soul".


Speaking of counterpoints to Rockstar's GTA formula, have you played Just Cause 2? Holy shit what a fun game. The core gameplay in that is probably my favorite of any of the open world games. It's like you are Spiderman with a parachute who can blow up anything and commandeer any vehicle. Secondly the hookshot mechanic is straight brilliant. You can hook the thing to any two targets, meaning you can be on the top of a car, shoot another car and attach that car to an airplane or windmill. With the physics engine it creates some awesome possibilities.

09/02/10, 03:33   
Yeah, didn't we talk about it here when the game came out? I loved the demo. Grappling hook + parachute = victory. I'll pick it up when I see a good deal.
09/02/10, 03:35   
anandxxx said:
Yeah, didn't we talk about it here when the game came out? I loved the demo. Grappling hook + parachute = victory. I'll pick it up when I see a good deal.

Steam had it for half off a couple weeks ago which is when I bought it. I just started getting into the regular game but man it's fun. Definitely get it if you see a good deal on it, my favorite gameplay driven sandbox game from this generation.
09/02/10, 03:40   
I've played a lot of good to great games this generation across all consoles and handhelds, however the original Bioshock still resonates with me for a reason. I really liked that game. And this is coming from a FPS hater.
12/11/10, 02:16   
Edited: 12/11/10, 02:16
That's quite a bump there!

Let's see, what did I answer?.... nothing!?

Well to be completely honest, the two games that resonated with me the most by far, the two games this gen that made me say "wow", that were pure fun and that I still thought about after I stopped playing them, the two games I'm sure I'll remember still long after this gen is gone, are...

Retro Game Challenge
Dragon Quest V
12/11/10, 07:54   
I'll add Deadly Premonition to my list.
12/11/10, 08:18   
There are many, but Im going to say:

Final Fantasy 7

I had never played a RPG game prior to this one. Really had no idea what to expect. From the moment I started playing to the moment I finished I thought about nothing else, except FF7. While I was at work, driving, eating, ect. It took me a little while to understand the materia and how it worked with the different weapons, bangles, ect. This is one of the few games I bought the guide for so I could better understand the materia system. I didnt buy the guide to cheat at the game, just to learn more about the system. People at work helped me out as well, but I needed something I could read and have by my side.

Its one of the few games I can seriously say had an epic feel to it. I really felt for all the characters in the game, loved the fmv, esp.since I had not really experienced anything like this in all the games I had played prior to FF7. All in all a very awesome experience, esp. being my first RPG ever.

I've played other RPGs since then, but none, at least in my opinion touched me more than FF7.

A true masterpiece.
12/12/10, 07:04   
I'll just keep this short and sweet - Super Mario Galaxy and Galaxy 2. Never was much of a Mario fan back in the day. Loved Zelda, Donkey Kong, DKC, Star Fox, even Mario Kart - great fun. And I'd mess around with a Mario for a few minutes to an hour or so, but I was never compelled to dive into them like I did Nintendo's other games.

Then Galaxy came out, and I played the HELL out of it. And Galaxy 2 is even better.
12/12/10, 07:17   
My experience with the current generation is mostly limited to the Wii, and as much as I love many titles that I have played so far (Metroid Prime 3/Trilogy, Mario Galaxy, Brawl, etc.), I would hardly say any of them have resonated with me. Okami (which benefited from Wii controls in my opinion) is the only game that gripped me more than the others, but it still didn't "speak to me" like titles in the past. I wonder if it's my atrophying ability to suspend disbelief as I age that almost has me jaded with new games. Whether minor or major gripes with controls or gameplay to stylistic choices to story or dialogue to uncanny valley to difficulty to lack of logic, my emotions are seldom tapped (or evoked) anymore.
12/12/10, 07:31   
Edited: 12/12/10, 07:35
I forgot to mention Elite Beat Agents. It was the first game (and so far, only game) that made me cry. And it was sympathetic tears, not tears of anguish or frustration. The game got to a deeper part of me, and it surprised the hell out of me.

It might be my Game of the Generation for that fact alone.
12/12/10, 09:23   
Pokemon HeartGold is another game I feel like adding. I've enjoyed my playtime with the game a lot, and I think it's probably the best Pokemon game yet, all things considered. I hadn't played Silver since I was a kid, so I had forgotten a lot of things about the game itself. Playing HeartGold was like reliving old memories, while at the same time providing some of the best gameplay in the series to date. Black & White have some mighty big shoes to fill when they get released worldwide.
12/12/10, 10:10   
"Current" Generation

Portal - Fabulous. I loved the humor and I loved the puzzles. The game surprised me midway as I wasn't quite expecting the swerve ball, but I'll just say I loved the part where I thought I was going to die :)

Wii Sports - This game was like a breath of fresh air. It was different and it was tight, plus it was fun as hell to play with other people. I wish I had more people to play the game (or Resort) with now, but sadly I don't really have anyone.

World of Goo - Ok so I played this game in bits and pieces. In the past I could only play like one or two levels in one sitting, and then I would wait a while before continuing. But then I got to Chapter 4 and was blown away, and finished the game in one setting. My goodness this game has so much charm and personality.

Crayon Physics Deluxe - I love how this lets your imagination run wild. Now I think gameplay could have been handled slightly differently to allow for even more freedom, but this game is a blast and getting the second star per level is pretty challenging and requires you think efficiently.

Super Mario Galaxy - I loved the level design, especially the ones where you can jump from planet to planet. Also the challenge stars were freaking awesome and was some of the best platforming I've experienced.

Twilight Princess - So maybe the whole game doesn't resonate with me as past Zeldas, but I do extremely love two aspects of it. IR controls are just brilliant and make the game much more fluid. And the level design was top notch, with Snowpeak probably being my favorite Zelda dungeon ever.

Team Fortress 2 - The game is a blast and I love how Valve keeps adding new things. The updates have really added different gameplay mechanics to the game. Now my only wish is that they fix the stability of it. Since the last major class update the game likes to crash.

Left 4 Dead - Probably my fondest memory is actually before the game even released. Valve let people play the first level for free pre-release, and quite frankly when I played it I had never played anything like it. Plus... Zombies. And then the real game came out, and the additional modes like Versus and Survival were really fun. I like how it requires skill, tactics, and teamwork to be successful.

Batman Arkham Asylum - Playing as Batman, with all of his gadgets, is awesome. I'm a fan of stealth games and this was a wonderful mix of stealth and action. I really loved the combat and combo system. I hope the next one cranks it up a notch with more gadgets and more combos!

Past Generations
I don't think I need to explain most of these.

Super Mario Kart
A Link to the Past
Ocarina of Time
Majora's Mask
Super Mario Bros. 3
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Splinter Cell
Star Wars Rogue Squadron
Counter Strike
Metal Gear Solid Twin Snakes
Perfect Dark
Resident Evil 4
Metroid Prime
Super Metroid

I just started playing Just Cause 2. So far it seems like this game is going to somewhat repetitive, and have you do the same thing over and over again. However I think I'm just beginning to see the tip of the iceberg as to what you can do in the game. I do agree with you that the zipline is fantastic. When I use it I keep thinking, "Damn I feel like Spider-man". Although then I think this gadget reminds me of Batman. It's like Batman meets Spider-man. With guns.

But the mission structure and game progression feel very much like Far Cry 2. Working for different factions and then going to designated locations is very Far Cry 2 like, and from what I've seen in JC2 there is a handful of weapons like Far Cry 2. The difference is that there seems to be more to do (well, more things to blow up).
12/12/10, 10:40   
Batman has a zipline.
12/12/10, 19:16   
gencid said:
I've played a lot of good to great games this generation across all consoles and handhelds, however the original Bioshock still resonates with me for a reason. I really liked that game. And this is coming from a FPS hater.
Agreed on all counts.
12/12/10, 19:18   
anandxxx said:
Batman has a zipline.
Yeah, obviously, of course? In Arkham Asylum it's limited. In Just Cause 2 you have complete 3D freedom over the device. It does the same thing as the Batclaw does in the cartoons, and much more than what the Batclaw does in AA. You can latch on to any surface and pull yourself to it, use it on bad guys to stun them, and even latch onto moving vehicles. But just using and clinging to surfaces while engage in combat feels Spider-man-like. The character even strikes a Spider-man-like pose while zipping around.

I'm not sure why you made that remark, and why you whispered it. It doesn't counter or tip toe on anything I said.
12/13/10, 02:55   
Edited: 12/13/10, 02:56
I was just messing around. It seemed more similar to the BTAS zipline (Clawshot) to me than Spider-Man's web (Double Clawshot). But I guess the cling thing is a good point.
12/14/10, 18:36   
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