Friday, August 1, 2008

SuperPhillip's Top 100 Games of All Time

Hey, wasn't it Friday just a week ago?! Wait... I guess that's how it works, doesn't it? Regardless, it's another Friday, so it's time to roll out my favorite games I've personally played. My collection of games surpasses 500, yet I've only played about 350 or so! Maybe that's a conservative estimate, but you get my drift.

As always:

The first ninety games are in NO particular order. For someone with OCD, compiling a list of 100 games in order would drive me absolutely crazy. There's a good mix of titles from multiple consoles, developers, and genres. Hope you leave this list with some fuzzy memories and good times.

- Halo 3 (X360)

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Finish the Fight

I completely abhor Halo 2. It wasn't very fun, and the community was full of gangster-speaking, chocolate milk-craving children. Halo 3 at least fixes the not very fun part by offering multiple maps, multiple players, and a whole lot of content for your sixty bucks (or $100 if you decided to be an idiot and buy the legendary edition). Halo 3 is nowhere near the deepest FPS out there, but to me, it's one of the most fun. While it'll never top my favorite FPSes (those will be revealed much much later), it does give the player a pretty cool campaign and pretty nifty multiplayer modes.

The campaign may seem boring and archaic alone, but you can take three other spartans with you online to play with one another. You can set up rooms and lobbies for your friends, select the arsenal of weaponry and equipment a map holds, and just unleash Hell on the opposition. The fight has been finished, but now we'll see how the milking will commence.

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- Final Fantasy VI (SNES, PS1, GBA)

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Dancing Mad

Originally known the North America as Final Fantasy III on the SNES, Final Fantasy VI is an RPG that reinvented how the series could and would be in future installments. Nintendo and Squaresoft both thought that-- at that time-- Japanese-only Final Fantasy II, III, and V were too difficult for North American gamers. Thus, only Final Fantasy IV (which was dubbed in America as II) and Final Fantasy VI (dubbed III in n America) were released in the early to mid nineties. FF VI brought with it an epic cast of characters to select from, countless locations and empires to explore, and dozens upon dozens of sidequests chalking up one of the largest RPGs of its time.

Final Fantasy VI holds a special place in my heart simply due to the fact it had so many masterful themes and story elements. The opera scene still is remarkable to this day, and who can forget my favorite Final Fantasy villain of all time-- the mad Kefka. If you get the chance, track down a copy of the original Super Nintendo version, GBA remake, or Playstation disc and prepare to me amazed. It holds up better than FF7 in my opinion.

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- Gran Turismo 4 (PS2)

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The Ultimate Driving Simulator

Gran Turismo 4 is not for everyone. Those looking for an arcade racer need not get behind the wheel of this beauty. With over 500 licensed vehicles each sounding like the real thing, 30 some-odd racing locales-- personally measured so they take just as long in game as in real life-- a rockin' soundtrack full of techno, rock, R&B, and classical, and more hours to invest in this game than humanly possible, and you have one of my favorite racing titles bar-none. Did I mention it's pretty time-consuming?

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- Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (PSP)

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The Best Strategy RPG of All Time

There's a war brewing in the land of Ivalice, and Ramza Beouluve and his acquaintances will be placed in the dead center of it-- The War of the Lions. The original Final Fantasy Tactics came out for the original Playstation in 1997 in Japan and 1998 in North America. It was the first SRPG in the Final Fantasy franchise, and man, was it a deep one. Numerous character classes, jobs and skills to master, weapons to select from, characters and monsters to befriend, and much much more. But it was the gameplay that made this tactics title so addicting, and it was here where the game truly shined.

Cutscenes with full voice-acting was added to the PSP remake as well as two new playable characters in the form of Balthier from Final Fantasy XII and Luso from the forthcoming Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2. New sidequests and battles have been added, two new job classes are available, and two new multiplayer modes have been included for local skirmishes.

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- Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando (PS2)

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The Best Lombax/Robot Pair Ever

Ratchet & Clank is a fantastic series of platforming games. However, my favorites of the series are the early entries. Everything was much fresher and more fun. Going Commando took our heroes into new territory with amusing ship combat battles, entrances into a gladiator style arena to bash enemies within the time limit for bolts (the currency of the series), and a story regarding cute little pets that could turn on you in the blink of an eye. This is my favorite Ratchet title thus far, but that could change as I play through Tools of Destruction.

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Until next week, see you!

Believa Piñata

A fan-made commercial for the upcoming Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise for the Xbox 360. The ad is modeled after Halo 3. You can pick up Trouble in Paradise September 2nd!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dead Rising (X360) Review

In celebration of the million-seller, Dead Rising coming to the Wii, I thought I'd take this opportunity to review the game that started it all-- the original!


He's covered wars, y'know.

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Capcom has had it well on Microsoft's second home console. Both Lost Planet: Extreme Condition and Dead Rising have sold upwards of over a million copies worldwide. One of those games has sold well for good reason, and it's the little 'ol title called Dead Rising-- where one man is voluntarily placed into a zombie-infested mall to get the story... no matter what.

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You can take the camera, but not the stylish clothes!

You are put into the shoes of freelance journalist Frank West as he's on-board a helicopter headed straight for the tiny little Colorado community of Williamette. As the helicopter pilot states, what is the major discerning factor of this town from any other? "Jack %#&@". The military has stationed multiple roadblocks in Williamette, blocking anyone from going in and out of the quaint township. What Frank West witnesses, years of war coverage couldn't prepare himself for. The townspeople-- or what looks like townspeople-- are rioting in the street, overturning vehicles, destroying buildings, and terrorizing other citizens. After a military copter threatens to shoot Frank's ride down, Frank's air chaffer drops him off on top the roof of the Williamette Mall. It's here where we meet the mysterious Carlito who gives the photojournalist a foreboding speech.

Feeling it's his duty to cover the story, West presses on inside the mall to the Entrance Plaza. Here a group of surviving civilians are holed up. Furniture is pressed against the glass doors to keep the menacing zombies out. However, an old lady's poodle is on the opposite side of the glass, and the woman feverishly pushes the furniture and men out of the way to retrieve it. Smart move, old hag. Suddenly, the zombies flood the inside of the mall. Frank West takes the advice of a police officer, Brad, and hightails it to the security room. After welding the door shut, the main game now begins. But where did these zombies come from, or how did they come to be? Buyer's remorse perhaps?

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Well-acted cutscenes help "flesh" out the story.

Dead Rising is played in a third-person perspective. Starting in the security room players are to exit through the vent to reach the roof where Frank will meet his first survivor of which there are fifty. Some survivors will follow you simply by speaking with them. Others will need you to do something before they will follow you such as giving them food or drink to fill their empty stomachs, reuniting them with a lost love, or simply talking to them a number of times. Early survivors will be easy to retrieve. They follow you, and you can even give them weapons to garnish and food to regain their health. Frank can issue a command to have them stay in a safe spot (or if you're an ass, place them in the middle of a swarm of zombies) or simply follow him. When you're escorting more than two survivors it can get hectic. You'll be backtracking to save them from their zombie captors. For the most part, survivors can take care of themselves. However, some have broken legs or other health problems which means you'll most likely have to carry them or hold their hands the entire time. A survivor is saved once they make it to the security room.

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Serving up a dish of pain.

Speaking of saving survivors, it's a good time to bring up the day system. Dead Rising plays out during the span of three days (one day is equal to two real life hours). At 12:00 p.m. on the third day, Frank's escort will arrive to pick him back up. There's so much that can be done during the three days and so little time o do it in that some players may feel overwhelmed. However, this is why there's multiple play-throughs to be had. One play-through can be following the game's story while others can be rescuing survivors or defeating psychopaths (more on those later). Each section of the story is divided up into cases. You'll need to be in the area designated by the case in time or you'll miss your chance to follow the excellent story. The story explains who Carlito really is, where the zombies came from, and how Frank West escapes his hellish nightmare unscathed. Additionally, time is of the essence with everything in this game. Certain survivors will only appear at certain times on certain days as will psychopaths. Thankfully, Otis, the head of security at the mall, will be on your side (literally) in the form of a walkie-talkie. He'll give you updates on any strange happenings within the walls of the mall from inside his location at the security room. This becomes one of the problems with the title. 1) The text for Otis' messages are WAY too small, and 2) Sometimes you'll just have to kill a lot of time in waiting for the start of your next case.

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Hm. This may pose to be a problem.

Apart from the hoard of the undead that blocks Frank West from easily traversing merrily around the mall, at certain times of certain days there are also psychopaths. This part of the game is the most disturbing. These psychopaths are ordinary citizens who just couldn't handle the emotional torment of having everyone around them turn into zombies and simply snapped. There's Cletus, the gun shop owner that when he tells you not to move any closer, you better not move any closer. Meanwhile there's Adam the Clown-- a psychotic creature who wields two miniature chain-saws and if defeated, dies an incredibly gruesome death. Each psychopath has their own back-story, cutscenes, banter, and gimmick. The battles with them aren't too difficult either and with the right weapon can be taken down in one or two well-placed hits.

Frank West is a resourceful man, and you would be too if you had a zombie plague around you. There are zombies everywhere, and it really shows that this game could not at all be done on any previous console. Hundreds and thousands of zombies crawl and creep throughout the five main areas of Willaimette Mall. What does Frank West use to combat these bastards? The answer is simple-- anything and everything. From hurling a bowling ball into a makeshift bowling alley where the zombies serve as your pins to a chainsaw to carve a path to safety. There's a lot of satisfying ways to kill the undead, but unfortunately it isn't as easy as, say, a Phoenix Down. Funny that I should mention an RPG reference as that makes a perfect segue. Frank has limited space in his inventory, but as he gains PP (by shooting photos, saving survivors, beating the game, and defeating psychopaths) his level will increase. Increased levels means more inventory space, more health, and new moves to unleash. My favorite moves being one where Frank grabs a downed zombie by the legs and whirls him around in a circle, knocking out any surrounding ghouls, and a visceral attack where Frank punches a hole through a zombie's gut and rips out its organs. How gruesome yet exhilarating!

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Frank West can act as a bookworm, too. By picking up certain books helpful abilities are added as long as that book is in Frank's inventory. Such benefits include the usefulness of health items increases and certain weapons (such as those of the gardening variety won't break on Frank as quickly

Graphically, Dead Rising is beautiful. From the great character models, excellently crafted cutscenes, and detailed stores to the textures of everything. When a zombie is slain it doesn't just fall down a disappear from the screen like most games. It actually stays there, so don't be alarmed to see over 100 bodies lying motionless on the floor while another 200 are still shuffling around you! The game is damned impressive even without HD available. The voice acting is top-notch and never feels hokey like in some other Capcom titles (Resident Evil [cough]). A nice touch includes having muzak played throughout the mall accompanied by an announcer thanking you for shopping at Williamette Mall. The rest of the music ranges from ominous techno to hard ass rock. Not just hard rock, mind you, hard ASS rock!

One of the best parts of Dead Rising is the variety and rewards for achievements. Most 360 games just have achievements with goals, and once unlocked all they give the player are meaningless Gamerscore points. However, some of Dead Rising's achievements will actually give you in-game items and costumes such as the awesome Megabuster, the Mega Man body suit, and a kickass laser sword to slash one hell of a mark into any zombie that stumbles your way.

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M-M-Mega Man?!

Overall, Dead Rising is an incredible game with rewards that go further than worthless Gamerscore points. There's a wide variety of things to accomplish, and with the right weapons the game can be a breeze to play. Waiting around for missions to start or notices from Otis can be boring during later play-throughs, but for the most part it isn't a very large problem. From trying on new clothes for Mr. West to splatter blood all over the ground by plowing over zombies, Dead Rising has a lot going for it and it mostly succeeds. Is it a killer app for the Xbox 360? A better question would be, "Has Frank West covered wars?". The answer is an enthusiastic "yes"!

Overall: 9.25/10

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Media Create Sales: 7/21 - 7/27

From NeoGAF

1. [NDS] Dragon Quest V (Square Enix) - 190,000 / 834,000
2. [PS2] Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu 15 (Konami) - 84,000 / NEW
3. [PSP] Gundam Battle Universe (Namco Bandai Games) - 43,000 / 180,000
4. [PSP] Eiyuu Densetsu: Sora no Kiseki the 3rd (Falcom) - 39,000 / NEW
5. [PS3] SIREN: New Translation (SCEI) - 35,000 / NEW
6. [NDS] Katekyoo Hitman Reborn! DS Flame Rumble Hyper - Moeyo Mirai (Takara Tomy) - 32,000 / NEW
7. [WII] Wii Fit (Nintendo) - 30,000 / 2,410,000
8. [WII] Wario Land: Shake It! (Nintendo) - 25,000 / NEW
9. [WII] Mario Kart Wii (Nintendo) - 25,000 / 1,610,000
10. [WII] Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu 15 (Konami) - 22,000 / NEW

11. [NDS] Daigasso! Band Brothers DX (Nintendo)
12. [PS2] Persona 4 (Atlus Co. )
13. [NDS] Kirarin * Revolution: Minna de Odorou Furi Furi Debut! (Konami)
14. [NDS] Densetsu no Stafi: Taiketsu! Dire Kaizokudan (Nintendo)
15. [PSP] Monster Hunter Portable 2 G (Capcom)
16. [NDS] Beautiful Letter Training DS (Nintendo)
17. [PS2] Bully: Scholarship Edition (Bethesda Softworks)
18. [WII] Wii Sports (Nintendo)
19. [NDS] Derby Stallion DS (Enterbrain)
20. [360] Bully: Scholarship Edition (Bethesda Softworks)
21. [WII] Super Mario Stadium: Family Baseball (Nintendo)
22. [PSP] Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu Portable 3 (Konami)
23. [PS3] Tears to Tiara: Kakan no Daichi (Aqua Plus)
24. [NDS] Taiko Drum Master 2 (Namco Bandai Games)
25. [WII] Family Trainer (Namco Bandai Games)
26. [PS3] Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriot (Konami)
27. [NDS] Twilight Syndrome: Kinjiratera Toshi Densetsu (Spike)
28. [NDS] Pokemon Diamond (Nintendo/Pokemon Co.)
29. [WII] Wii Play (Nintendo)
30. [NDS] Mario Kart DS (Nintendo)

NDS - 11
WII - 8
PSP - 4
PS2 - 3
PS3 - 3
360 - 1

Wii MotionPlus and AiLive’s LiveMove 2 Demonstration

I didn't think such technology was possible in this day and age, but I'm glad I thought wrong!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

MMReset rolls on with a retro rewind of Mega Man 3.

I don't know, but I think that so far this is their worst video. I just don't like the narrator who mumbles and shows no emotion, and there's two really corny parts in the video. Can you pick them out?

Monday, July 28, 2008

SuperPhillip's Favorite VGMs - Where the heck has it been?

It's been two days shy of a month since our last look at my ongoing collection of favorite VGMs, and for good reason. It's been a hectic month of game reviews, news, and special features! Well, my favorite VGMs are back, and I hope you find something you really enjoy!


This is the second track of the Mushroom Cup in Mario Kart Wii. It's a real folksy song for Moo Moo Meadows-- a track full of easy turns, Moo Moo cows, and burrowing Monty Moles.

"The Beginning and the End" is one of the songs that plays during Xenogears' ending. It becomes quite haunting as well as powerful. It's a beautiful vocal piece.

This is the second track I really enjoy from Perfect Dark Zero. It's Mission 08's Trinity Escape. Enjoy.

From Phendrana Drifts in the excellent transition from 2-D to 3-D, Metroid Prime, "Ice Valley" is a very soothing and relaxing song for one of the most breathtaking areas of the game.

This is the Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec, an orchestrated Final Fantasy VIII soundtrack, version of Laguna's theme, "The Man With the Machine Gun". It's extremely powerful and heroic. I much prefer it to the trance original.