Poll Archives - Page 1
February 4, 2008
This week's question is so simple I'm surprised I haven't asked it before.
My question this week is, "What is your favorite video game of all time?"
It's surprising just how often I get asked this question (all the freaking time), but yet I never seem to have an answer. I like so many games for so many reasons that I find it difficult to narrow down my answer to any one game.
Back in college I loved, and still love, playing Tetris, but yet I wouldn't call it my favorite game of all time (but it's still "the perfect game"). And when arcades ruled the world I must have poured thousands of quarters into Dragon's Lair, but yet again I wouldn't call it my favorite game of all time (although close). And when I was a kid I used to love playing a crazy Atari 2600 game called DragonStomper, but once again I wouldn't call it my favorite game of all time (although this guy from Forbes did).
But when push comes to shove I would have to say my "favorite game of all time" would be No One Lives Forever: The Operative. This first-person-shooter was a bizarre game that mixed so many genres and play-styles that it's no surprise that this game had a hard time finding an audience (much like the fantastic Psychonauts).
Mixing first-person-shooting, first-person-sneaking, colorful graphics, British '60s spy humor, clever A.I., psychedelic music, innovative weapons, fantastic level design, original mission structure, amazing voiceovers, and the best dialog writing ... ever, NOLF is a constant surprise from beginning to end.
Perhaps that's why it's my favorite game of all time, not only does NOLF contain dozens of gameplay elements that you rarely/never see but it somehow manages to combine them into a nearly perfect package. Oh yes, and it's perhaps the funniest game of all time without even trying. Again, best dialog writing ever!
If you haven't given this game a try I would strongly recommend you do. Sure the graphics aren't quite as good as Crysis (to say the least), but the gameplay is so strong you won't care. Just play up to the mission "Unexpected Turbulence" ... trust me, that mission alone is better than most games.
What about you? What is your favorite game of all time?
January 28, 2008
A few days ago CNet blogger Don Reisinger caused a small stir when he stated that the Super Nintendo was the greatest video game system of all time. Although I don't personally agree with his choice, the question itself is quite interesting as I would say that every console, both good and bad, has contributed to video game industry as a whole.
Take, for example, the world's first video game system the Magnavox Odyssey. The graphics for this system were so basic that my analog watch has better graphics, but the Odyssey introduced concepts such as game cartridges, the ability to play video games on your TV, custom game controllers, and so many other innovations.
In fact, aside from technology improvements over the past 36 years, the basic functionality of the Odyssey is nearly identical with the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii – which is pretty amazing if you think about it. You could almost say that the entire console industry owes its existence to the Odyssey – so who's to say that the Odyssey isn't the "greatest" of all time?
So my question this week is, "What was the greatest video game console of all time?"
Personally I would have to go with the Atari 2600 as my pick. Sure I have a soft spot in my heart for every system (even the Sega Saturn), but as a kid growing up in the 1980s Atari was the system of the day. All the cool games were on the Atari 2600 (Pitfall! Adventure! Yar's Revenge! River Raid! ET! ... okay, maybe not ET), nobody else could come close to the Atari in sales and popularity, and the culture of Atari is the stuff of legends. If you played video games in the 80s you played Atari, period.
Sure times have changed and Infogrames Entertainment (AKA the "new" Atari) have done their best to destroy the once proud name. And the 2600 had it's problems, like the joystick which was built as if to give you carpal tunnel syndrome by design, but for me the Atari 2600 was still the greatest system of all time.
What about you? What system was the greatest in your opinion?
January 21, 2008
With the release of Uwe Boll's latest masterpiece it had me thinking of what games I would like to see turned into a movie (a good movie – let's just assume it would be good).
So my question this week is, “What game would you like to be turned into a (good) movie?”
It is rare that a movie will improve or surpass their source material, but it is possible as seen in the Lord of the Rings movies. (Yes I know that the books are still better, but seeing Tolkien’s world come to live on the Sliver Screen was something to behold … and Gollum was incredible.)
This question is pretty tricky because I have to honestly say that most games I think are probably better than any movie they could make. The recently released Mass Effect and Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune I could argue are interactive movies. However, one game I would love to see turned into a movie would be Bioshock. Not only do I think this could be a great movie with a rich story, interesting characters, and the fantastic Rapture, but it’s actually “normal” enough that I can see a mainstream Hollywood director taking it on. In fact, if Spielberg released a movie which took place in the Bioshock universe – and the game never existed – I don’t think anyone would find it any stranger than his past films.
Of course, what I would really love is to see someone take on Guitar Hero (how would they do that?) or Tetris (ditto) or even Super Mario Galaxy. Hum, on second thought, maybe I wouldn’t want to see that. I still have nightmares about the last Super Mario Bros. movie.
What about you? What game would you like to be seen turned into a good movie?
January 14, 2008
Over the last few weeks there has been some videos featuring video games so mind-bogglingly hard that I wouldn't even classify them as "games" but rather vehicles to drive you insane. And this made me remember when Halo 3 came out last year and shocking amount of review said, "sure the game is fun but if you don't play it on the Legendary difficulty then don't bother playing it all!" It made me think that these reviewers weren't really reviewing the game but simply boasting at their "video game prowess" or some such thing.
Of course this is not a new topic – difficulty level of games and who is and isn't a "real gamer" – but that is not the nature of my question this week. My question deals with those rare games that you feel that you completely and utterly mastered. Those games which you could play at the very highest difficulty level and not even break a sweat.
My question this week is, "What games do you feel you have completely mastered?"
Everyone has a few games that they feel they are simply "the best" at ... those games which for some reason "spoke to you" and that you were compelled to completely own at every level possible. Games which weren't difficult even at their hardest levels, games in which you felt you needed to augment the difficulty level with your own set of rules and challenges.
Personally my list is not huge but I am proud of the ones that have conquered and broken into tiny little pieces of screaming mercy. Dragon's Lair was probably my first and favorite game to break. Not only could I finish the game without dying once but when Dragon's Lair back in the days of "arcade culture" there was nearly always a large crowd watching when I played. So the pressure was always on play the game perfectly.
It was also the only game in which other people used to pay me to play so they could watch the entire game uninterrupted – which was a big deal when the game cost 50 cents to play!
Other games I felt that I totally mastered was Space Ace (I could finish the game while turning into Ace at all junctions, including the "hidden" area in the refinery), The Legend of Zelda (finished the complete game the first week it came out without any help or "walkthroughs" ... as they didn't really exist back then), Soulcalibur (competed in daily tournaments for years where you had to fight with eight randomly assigned characters), and No One Lives Forever: The Operative (finished nearly the entire game with a single crossbow bolt that I continuously reused throughout the game).
I have a few others but those mentioned above are probably my favorites. Of course as I get older and have less free time my priority has gone from mastering a single game to just playing as many games as possible, but I have to admit there is a certain sense of pride in knowing that you completely mastered a game that you loved.
What about you? I'm sure you all have no shortage of games that you would like to brag about!
January 7, 2008
In the latest Gaming Steve Podcast during "show mail" I was asked which game I would love to see come out for the Nintendo Virtual Console / Xbox Live Arcade / PlayStation Network. It was a tricky question as there are so many games I would love to play again from my childhood, but right at the very top of my list was one of my favorite games of all time, StarTropics.
StarTropics was a near clone of the The Legend of Zelda but with a linear storyline and a a "modern" setting – instead of a boomerang you wield a yo-yo, instead of a sword you swing a baseball bat, and so forth... Sure it was a complete rip-off of Zelda (I prefer the term homage) but if you are going to rip-off from anyone it might as well be the best!
So imagine my shock when I heard that Nintendo was releasing StarTropics for the Virtual Console ... today!
That is one freaky coincidence.
Which brings me to this week's question, "What game from your childhood would like to see re-released?"
However this release now has me questioning if I should download this game or not? Would playing this game nearly 18 years latter holds up to what I remember?
Should I try to hold on to my fond childhood memories and leave them untarnished? Or should I download the game and try to recapture those memories? A quandary.
Bonus after the jump ... video of some dudes re-enacting the game StarTropics in "real life". Quite humorous.
December 31, 2007
With 2007 about to end in just a few hours I started to go through my New Year's Resolutions. Oh sure, I got the "regulars" in there – lose weight, get in shape, blah, blah, blah – but the ones that I really spend some time thinking about and actually try to keep are my "gaming resolutions." You know what I'm talking about, which games do you "absolutely resolve to finally finish next year?"
Which brings me to this week's question, "What game do you resolve to finally finish in 2008?"
We gamers are a strange bunch. We complain all the time that there aren't enough new games to play and we're always on the lookout for the "next best thing". But yet I don't know a single gamer who doesn't have a stack of games waist high that they still haven't finished.
Oh yes, one day they'll finish every single game on that stack!
For myself my stack has gotten so large that I just start gaming off which are around 10 years old (I'm looking at you Ogre Battle 64!). But I've been so good this year when it comes to finishing games (personally I love that most games are now 5-10 hours long!) that I plan on actually finishing a few off my stack.
Right after I get through a few of the holiday games I still have lying around I plan on finally finishing up Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (I freaking loved the first one, I need to finish this one), Folklore (I need to slough through this one over a long weekend), and Rogue Galaxy (I just love this game, but it's so damn long!).
Of course I still need to finish up a few "ancients", such as Dungeons & Dragons: Dragonshard (go ahead and laugh but it's actually a fun game, and I love D&D), Clive Barker's Undying (I hate it when I wait so long to finish up a FPS that their "cutting edge graphics" turn into "cell phone game graphics"), Star Trek: Elite Force II (yes, I'm aware that Star Trek is off the air, but it was still on when I first got this game ... I just need to finish this before the movie comes out!), and way too many more to mention.
Oh why Great Gaming God In The Sky do you temp me with so many games! I vow never to buy a new game again until I finish the ones that I already have! I really do!!!
Yeah, that should last until the 3rd week of January when Advance Wars: Days of Ruin comes out for the DS.
Oh crap, there's another game I never finished...
So what about you, game(s) do you resolve to finally finish in 2008?
December 24, 2007
Since I’m sure you haven’t finished your holiday shopping yet let’s cut right to the chase this week and ask the question, " What Game was the Biggest Disappointment of 2007?"
I can think of a lot of big disappointments this year – Lair’s terrible controls, Two Worlds trying to be the next Oblivion (and failing miserably), Supreme Commander supremely boring gameplay – but my biggest disappointment this year was by far Hellgate: London.
After nearly four years of endless cover stories, previews, interviews, more previews the game was finally released on Halloween this year – and promptly disappeared off the face of the earth. Throw in the fact that this game was created by high level ex-Blizzard employees, and not just any employees but the employees who made the original Diablo, Hellgate: London was supposed to be Diablo III.
And boy did Bill Roper not let us forget it! In every single endless mention of the game Bill Roper did everything in their power to make you believe that Hellgate was everything that Diablo III was going to be and so much more.
Three dimensional worlds! Multiplayer co-op play! Tons of cool classes! Bill's face was everywhere from the smallest game publication to the New York Times, the PR campaign for this game was relentless and felt endless.
And then, finally, the game was released just a few months ago! So was Hellgate "Diablo III, only better?"
In a word, no. Instead we got an uninspired mess of a game that has a weird monthly fee structure, bland levels, boring gameplay, and countless technical problems right after launch. Diablo III? I think not. I would rather play a game of Rogue than this.
So what about you, what was your biggest disappointment of 2007?
December 17, 2007
The end of the year is a strange time. You got the holidays, the insane shopping, all of the "year's best/worst/indifferent" lists, tons and tons of new games (and not nearly enough time to play them), and the strange sensation of looking towards next year. Even as I look at my intimating stack of games to finish this year I can't but help look forward to next year and dream of playing yet more games.
So this week's question is, "What games are you looking forward to in 2008?"
Of course this is a pretty easy answer for me ... Face Training for the DS! Who else wouldn't want to practice making faces in front of their DS? (Actually it does look like a pretty cool game.)
On a more serious note I would have to say Spore (of course). And from what I have been hearing through the grapevine all signs are pointing that this game will be released this year ... most likely in the Spring of 2008.
So after years of speculation, reporting, and dreaming I wonder if this game will be everything we think it will be. From what I know and the extensive amount of work the development team has been putting into polishing this game have a feeling that it will meet all expectations and more. What about you?
December 10, 2007
I was starting to put together my list of "best games of 2007" when I thought to myself, "wow, this is pretty damn easy. In fact, the hardest part is trying to decide the order of the list and which games to keep on my list of best games of 2007."
What is much more interesting is what were the worst games of 2007? What games did you immedately regret buying and playing this year?
So this week's question is, "What was the worst game that you played in 2007?"
For me I would have to say it was Brave Story: New Traveler for the PSP. Not that this game was totally horrible and beyond redemption, but it was just so damn boring. You know you're in trouble when you start to fall asleep during the combat segments ... and the movement ... and the inventory system ... and the save screen ... that was one boring game!
So what was the worst game that you played this year? Leave your answer in the comments and next week I'll select one at random and give that person some sweet gaming swag. Hit the jump to see who won last week's Question of the Week.
Last week's winner was "xenomorph" who said that "bionicle" was the worst game he ever finished. Please send me your contact information xenomorph and I'll send you some cool gaming swag!
December 3, 2007
Recently I was moving some of video games and I was shocked at just how many of them I started and never finished -- and I don't plan on finishing 95% of them (who am I kidding, I don't plan on finishing 99.9% of them). So I started to look over the games that I have finished and I was shocked to discover how many of them were only “average” in quality at best. So instead of spending my valuable time finishing a quality game like Final Fantasy XII I instead finished Dark Reign (I was young and foolish!).
Which got me thinking about this week’s question, “What was the ‘worst’ video game that you completely finished?”
For me it would probably be … Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. This might sound a little harsh as in retrospect the game wasn’t really that bad. But after playing the original Legend of Zelda the day it came out (August 22, 1987 … yeah I’m old) and spending a week of wonderful sleepless nights plowing through that monumental game Zelda became, and still is, a true highlight of my gaming life. So after patiently waiting over two years for the sequel to the best game of all time up to that point in my life, Zelda II was supremely disappointing.
In theory mixing the side-scrolling gameplay of Super Mario Brothers with the RPG of the original Zelda would make for a fantastic game, but it didn’t. The two never gelled and to me Zelda II was disappointing in every aspect. The gameplay, the graphics, the music, the story, the ending, everything was a huge letdown. So perhaps it wasn’t necessarily the “worst” video game, but rather the most disappointing, but I think that still counts in my book.
Strangely I don’t regret playing and finishing it for one second. Playing a poor game only makes you appreciate the truly great games that much more.
So what was the worst game you completely finished? Tell me your story in the comments and next week I’ll select one random comment and give you some sweet gaming swag!