Best Game--Every Decade

General and high profile video game topics.
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Crummylion
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Re: Best Game--Every Decade

Postby Crummylion » December 19th, 2019, 9:58 pm

Might be hard since I didn't technically start gaming until the late 90s/early 2000s, but I'll try to go as early as I can.

70s: Asteroids

Ok, there is a personal bias here. I just have a thing for vector graphics. It's just a cute and simple game, yet there's still a lot to manage to be engaging.

80s: Tetris

Never mind the simple gameplay, the development of this game is a wild trip and nearly every rendition of the game is something to write home about. Unlike something like The Simpsons that's been alive but so so worn out, there's always someone there to innovate or rejuvenate the game.

90s: Another World

I wanted to give the title to Metal Gear Solid, as it was one of games that influenced a whole new generation, but I feel the title more so belongs to Another World. (I mean, Hideo Kojima did take heavy inspirations from that game, so....) I felt the need to bring it up because it was one of the earliest games to try for a cinematic tone, and succeeded in a way that changed gaming forever, and without words too. I honestly love a game that puts you IN the game and changes while you play like a huge interactive cutscene.

2000s: Silent Hill 2

Didn't age the greatest, but so much carries the game that you have to play it at least once. The atmosphere, soundtrack, characters, enemies, and story are all amazing. It's like, why don't people make games like these anymore? There's so much more I want to discuss here, but I can't as it'd be spoiler territory.

2010s: Super Meat Boy

Oh, the Critic is totes gonna disagree on this one! I wanted to name Dark Souls for a similar reason, they're both influential. Well, they're both hard and one became a meme, but Meat Boy influenced and kickstarted an entire indie crave, influencing young creators and flourishing all over the online market. Aside from that, Super Meat Boy is a simple but challenge experience that vowed to bring games back to the era of not holding your hand, but crushing it to fine powder. Kinda evident with the references they made in the game like Mega Man, Ninja Gaiden and Castlevania. (Sidenote: I only played a little bit of DS and wasn't a fan despite its popularity)

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Matchstick
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Re: Best Game--Every Decade

Postby Matchstick » December 19th, 2019, 11:36 pm

Crummylion wrote:90s: Another World


That's a rad game. Called "Out of This World" when I played it, but man, did I have a great time with that one back in the day. Not my favorite, but it's nice to be reminded about it. Great call!

I've been holding off commenting on this board, mainly because I'm pretty ignorant of gaming from the early 2000s and onward. 70s, 80s, 90s, sure, I have a dog in this fight. Beyond that, though... eh. Just don't care enough for modern gaming to make an honest, informed comment.

Plus, this is one of those debates where I think it's important to separate "best" from "favorite." A lot of us have done a good job of that so far. My favorite games from the eras are certainly not the best ones, but there can be a bit of overlap, sometimes. It's always easy to appreciate an excellent game for what it is, whether or not I particularly enjoy it, myself.

With that out of the way...

60s - Spacewar! Kidding, of course, but when you're pretty much the only game from the era, you've got the title all to yourself.

70s - Space Invaders. I mean, it's pretty much a three-horse race between this, Asteroids, and Pong. I guess you could count Computer Space, as well, but I think that one gets lumped-in with Spacewar. Between the three mentioned above, my nod goes to the Invaders. Definitely the one I've played the most of the three. Too bad Pac-Man came out in 1980, or else it would definitely get the nod, here.

80s - Tetris. I won't add anything else that others haven't already mentioned. Such a timeless classic, even if my favorite home game from the era is The Empire Strikes Back on the 2600. It's also hard to completely discount the 80s arcade scene, and in that respect, this is the era where I have the hardest time choosing just one title. So it goes.

90s - Doom. Surprised nobody mentioned this one, already. Definitely a "Space Invaders moment," when the industry immediately took notice of one particular game and spent years producing countless clones and derivatives. Sort of a coin flip between this one and Street Fighter II as far as the impact the games had on the industry, though the SF series was improved upon a great deal as time went on, with Alpha 2 being my favorite. Doom, itself, I feel was never matched, even by its sequels. Honorable mentions go to favorites such as Panzer Dragoon II, Road Rash, Riven, UN Squadron, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, and as others have mentioned, SOTN.

00s - Resident Evil 4. Fun fact - I don't really care for the RE series, but maaaaaan, was this a quality game. Fun in both its original form and in the countless remasters / re-releases that have followed. Personal favorites from this era would be F-Zero GX and the original No More Heroes, which probably goes to show just how much gaming I was doing during this time. I've never even played heavy-hitters such as Bioshock, Half-Life 2, etc, but trust me, they're all "on the list."

10s - MGSV: The Phantom Pain. Again, really haven't played much from this era, but this one really drew me in. 300+ hours and 100% completion later, I still play it for fun from time to time. Very, very well-made. Plus, it got my wife to like Spandau Ballet, so it's got that going for it, which is nice.

(On a side note, it's surprising how many of my selections involve guns and excessive violence. Don't really care much for violent games and I can't stand firearms IRL, so... yeah. Weird! Anyhoo...)

Fun topic! I like the variety in all of the answers. No real rights-or-wrongs, just lots of happy memories to go around. Dawwwww ^_^

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DrLitch
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Re: Best Game--Every Decade

Postby DrLitch » December 20th, 2019, 12:34 pm

Matchstick wrote:90s - Doom. Surprised nobody mentioned this one, already. Definitely a "Space Invaders moment," when the industry immediately took notice of one particular game and spent years producing countless clones and derivatives.


Doom is a masterpiece of early 90's gaming goodness - we had it on the old 486. Still like to play it today, set yourself silly goals like clock the game using nothing other than fists. Great soundtrack as well although surprisingly the 3d0 and SNES versions had better music. As for Doom being a great game.... well........ quite honestly it gets old after 30mins of playing when doing nothing other than collect keys and pumping enemies full of lead. Still a masterpiece but titles like Goldeneye, System Shock 2 and then Half Life 2 really moved the bar on the First Person Action genre.

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noah98
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Re: Best Game--Every Decade

Postby noah98 » December 21st, 2019, 8:02 am

For some reason, the original Doom has always made me motion sick. I remember living in the dorms when I was younger and trying to play Wolfenstein on our old computers. All of us got sick from it!

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Matchstick
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Re: Best Game--Every Decade

Postby Matchstick » December 21st, 2019, 10:29 pm

Great replies, Litch and Noah.

Doom never made me motion sick, but man, did some of those early full-3D FPS games ever do the trick! Quake and Turok, in particular. I mostly blame Turok's issues on the squirrely N64 joystick, as I had the hardest time aiming in that game and would usually just end up spraying lead all over the place, completely missing my target. Thank Grud for cheat codes!

I find both Doom and GoldenEye to be infinitely replayable, mostly due to their individual level structure. I had a hard time getting into Half-Life and System Shock 2, by comparison, as the games are one massive narrative from beginning to end, with no easy point to jump into or out of. Similar to RPGs in that way, which is why I have a hard time sticking with that genre. I like being able to pick a level at will and just rip through it, and it helped that both Doom and GoldenEye had par / target times for each level. You knew from the start it was possible to make it through at insanely fast times, but it was up to you, as the player, to figure out the best way to do it.

Plus, both games can be beaten at a casual pace in an afternoon. I think they compare well despite GoldenEye's more complicated mission structures, as both feature about the same number of levels (at least with Doom's three original chapters) kick-butt tunes, and a wealth of cheat codes. They're both some of my all-time favorites, but I still give Doom the nod from a pick-up-and-play standpoint.

When I think of Doom, I mostly think of the shareware version, which is now the first episode out of (checks notes) five. While I liked The Shores of Hell and Inferno, as the game progresses, enemies become understandably more and more demonic, which means they don't use firearms and therefore don't drop ammo when defeated. The game goes from being a run-n'-gun blastfest to almost a survival horror experience, as you'll never have enough ammo to defeat every enemy unless you find the secret stages or hidden areas in each level. Or, you know, cheat.

The shift in tone can be a bit startling (though I do appreciate it when a game gets more challenging as it wears on) and because of that, I feel the first chapter, Knee Deep in the Dead, is the true, essential Doom experience. And we could all play it for free, since its original release. Talk about bang for your buck!

I do like the OG MIDI tracks from the game, but that 3DO soundtrack is something special. Rumor is that it was literally recorded in someone's garage, but if that's the case, man, did they have some killer recording equipment and production values in the editing room. It's such a clean, clear, sharp recording, and while I don't prefer the real instruments to the MIDIs, I can definitely marvel at and appreciate the effort that went into those 3DO recordings. The SNES tracks were good for what they were (and are some of my favorite tracks in the entire SNES library, truthfully) but man, do those MIDIs just shred.

Kinda goes without saying when the "composer" completely ripped off DRI, Slayer, etc. Good ones borrow, great ones steal 8-)

ThePixelatedGenocide
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Re: Best Game--Every Decade

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » December 23rd, 2019, 4:45 pm

Matchstick wrote:I do like the OG MIDI tracks from the game, but that 3DO soundtrack is something special. Rumor is that it was literally recorded in someone's garage, but if that's the case, man, did they have some killer recording equipment and production values in the editing room. It's such a clean, clear, sharp recording, and while I don't prefer the real instruments to the MIDIs, I can definitely marvel at and appreciate the effort that went into those 3DO recordings.


The head of the band that made the soundtrack is also the guy who hired one programmer to port the entire game to the 3DO's slow cpu. He may have given her an unrealistic deadline, but how hard could it be? Just cut and paste the art assets, and boom, you're done! In fact, he boasted that it would have new features not seen in any other version.

To be fair to him, he'd hired one of the best in the industry. After all, Burger Becky has a reputation for making an impossible port look easy. Like Another World on the SNES, despite Interplay using the cheapest cart available? One which would boot the cpu into a "never used for the original purpose" slower compatibility mode? No problem! She just sacrificed a goat and used Sith magic in the DMA registers, which somehow allowed her to build an impressive polygon rendering engine in software...

Because that's the obvious way to do it.

And hey, who needs sleep?

So she built her own tools to do the port for Doom 3DO, because of course she did. And she figured out she could free up cpu clock cycles if she used pre-recorded audio, since her boss bloody owed her for even attempting this project.

But in the end, she just didn't have the time. Miracles can only get you so far. So she hid a few modes that would boot the game to a larger screen on an M2, since at least she had that one last hope to salvage all of her hard work. Surely, Trip Hawkins would come through?

Later, she'd also work on the kernel code for the PSP and PS4. It's worth noting that those two systems were actually released to the public.

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Matchstick
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Re: Best Game--Every Decade

Postby Matchstick » December 23rd, 2019, 5:58 pm

Lots of good info there, TPG. Burger used to (or still does?) have a Q&A channel on YouTube called Burger Time where she'd address various projects she'd handled over the years. One of my takeaways from one of the videos echoes your comments, talking about how out-of-touch the publisher of the 3DO version of Doom was with the programming field. As in, the head of the studio knew *nothing* about it, and for example thought that all that was needed to add a new weapon to the game was to simply take a photo of it and paste it into the code somewhere. Yeeeeeeeesh...

The industry is definitely a different place these days. Back then, the 3DO version of the game came out, reviewers said "it sucks," and that was the end of it. The story behind its rushed, troubled development was largely unknown. The fact that it was put together by mostly one person in a completely unreasonable amount of time is truly a marvel, not unlike the story behind ET for the 2600. Both games turned out less-than-great, but no one can knock the effort that went into their creation. If only their respective publishers had been more patient or given them more to work with.

I had read the bit before about Interplay being too cheap to spring for the FX chip for the SNES port of Out of This World. Heh, a classic story of the cartridge era, where publishers would often cut costs by releasing their games on the smallest amount of ROM space possible. Even with the FX chip, I'm amazed that SNES Doom managed to release on a puny 16-meg cart. I would have thought those assets would have taken up so much more space, though quite a bit was cut from the PC version, such as several levels, many extra frames of monster animation, and certain AI behaviors.

Still, the "core" game was there, and even with the cuts I think the SNES version even had more levels (and more accurate levels, if I'm not mistaken) than the 32X or Jaguar versions. But don't quote me on that.

LoganRuckman
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Re: Best Game--Every Decade

Postby LoganRuckman » December 25th, 2019, 10:30 am

My Nintendo fanboy bias is definitely gonna show, but:

'70s: Breakout
'80s: Super Mario Bros. 3
'90s: Super Mario 64 (my favorite game period)
'00s: The Legend Of Zelda: Majora's Mask
'10s: Super Mario Odyssey

jon
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Re: Best Game--Every Decade

Postby jon » December 28th, 2019, 2:20 pm

I think I might agree with SM64. Besides my Neo time the Super Mario games up through the 90’s were magic. SM64 has a quality to it that’s like 2d. It’s a relativel6 small game so you can get a real grip on it. I might have to think and SM 64 is up there. Imagine if Luigi was playable then we’re talking maybe the GOAT. I was so upset in ‘96 that Luigi wasn’t playable. There were all these rumors that maybe a cheat code would get him but not

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noah98
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Re: Best Game--Every Decade

Postby noah98 » December 28th, 2019, 5:28 pm

Mario 64 still has that special feeling. Such an innovative game for the time. Even my kids still love it!


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