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Added by Ashley Winchester on 11 Aug 2013 09:36
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AW's Favorite Video Game Series

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People who added this item 278 Average listal rating (179 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Castlevania - Famicom and NES
First game I played in the series:


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Yeah, kind of like Final Fantasy I didn't really jump on the Castlevania bandwagon until the 32-bit era. I didn't expiernece any of the "old-school" Castlevania titles until after playing Symphony of the Night... but even though Symphony of the Night was a different and newer take on Castlevania, I did feel at home with the older games since they were similar to the Ninja Gaiden games which I did manage to play through at an earlier time.

Favorite game:


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When it comes to my favorite Castlevania game I try not to lump things together. In other words I don't have one favorite game, but rather have one favorite game per "type" or "style" of Castlevania. For example Super Castlevania IV is my favorite "old-school" Castlevania, Symphony of the Night is - somewhat reluctantly - my favorite Metroidvania and Mirror of Fate is my favorite of the (soon to be three) Mercury Steam games. Why do I do this? Well, I just find it kind of a disservice to pit different styles of gameplay against one another. I don't necessarily think that one style is better than another although I DO have my share of praises and gripes with each variety.

Least favorite game:


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I'm sure some will be caught off gaurd by my general dislike of the original NES Castlevania trilogy, but I generally never revisit these games because they always seem to be an annoying exercise in frustration to me. I understand that's part of the experience and "charm" but as was explained above when it comes to playing these kinds of games on the NES I tend to gravitate to the Ninja Gaiden games (mainly the second one) which, somewhat ironically, can be just as frustrating. Then there is Circle of the Moon on the GameBoy Advance that just seemed to be an really pale facsimile of the Metroidvania formula to me... yet at the same time almost all the GBA Castlevania games are freaking weird outside Aria of Sorrow. Still, while I can't say it's a bad game I think I have to take a slight shot at Lords of Shadow for more or less coping the God of War playbook as well.

Most overrated:


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Seriously, I don't think I need to explain why Symphony of the Night makes the list (sorry, but I refuse to believe this one title defines the Castlevania series as a whole) as the fanboys have gotten even more intolerable since Mirror of Fate came out. As far as Dawn of Sorrow goes it certainly isn't a bad game but I just fail to see what makes it better than Portrait of Ruin and/or Order of Ecclasia in many people's eyes. Finally there are the two versions of Rondo of Blood in the Dracula X Chronicles which received so much hype since the game wasn't released abroad back in the 90's yet the experience didn't scream lost treasure to me.

Most underrated:


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It simply dumbfounds me how by the wayside Lament of Innocence has become for some people. I know it's not the perfect vision of a 3D Castlevania but in most respects it does blow the series' previous attempts on the Nintendo 64 away and, unlike Lords of Shadow, it still feels like a Castlevania despite the combat having some God of War like tendencies. Then there is Mirror of Fate who's fate (heh heh, destiny humor) is murky at best and really ended up surprising me with it's resiliency. I don't have any regrets picking that one up and the switch from 3D to 2D really helped cover the tracks of where the ideas for the game's combat originally came from.

Biggest WTF:


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So let me get this straight. I've read that Lords of Shadow is the highest grossing Castlevania ever produced... yet it pretty much, let's make this sound less blatant, borrows almost every facet of it's gameplay from another popular franchise? Yes, I'm sure some will say that Castlevania "borrowed" elements from Metroid for the previous batch of games, but Castlevania was able to make those borrowed elements it's own through skillful manipulation and technique. There is no such grace or elegance present within Lords of Shadows which makes its success downright insulting to those who followed the series during it's early days. Shadows isn't a bad game... but it's not the answer the series has been looking for.
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People who added this item 261 Average listal rating (154 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
Final Fantasy - Famicom and NES
First game I played in the series:


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Big shocker, right? Anyway, I should probably get the obligatory intro out of the way and say Final Fantasy VII was a big and important title for me that got me interested into RPGs and yadda yadda yadda yet the fanboys eventually and totally ruined this game for me. Seriously, this IS a good game, but when you put it on THAT high of a pedestal and lose any and all objectivity, well I'm just going to turn away and boost up less celebrated titles. The truth is Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy as a series simply don't mean as much to me as they once did... and I don't really lament that.

Favorite game:


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As you can imagine after completing Final Fantasy VII for the first time back in 1997 I wanted to play more Final Fantasy, so I borrowed Final Fantasy III (aka Final Fantasy VI) off my friends and personally thought it was superior to Final Fantasy VII in almost every way. The lack of fancy CGI videos and three-dimensional graphics did little to nothing to stop me from throughly enjoying this one. As far as a runner up to Final Fantasy VI goes I would probably have to go with Final Fantasy IX despite the fact that I don't like Kuja.

Least favorite game:


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Before I get into this I should probably admit I haven't played many Final Fantasy games past Final Fantasy X; if I had I think this list would be bigger than it currently is. Regardless, it's not that I dislike Final Fantasy II (IV) but the game has never felt "right" to me for some odd reason. Final Fantasy VIII's inclusion generally has to do with its characters and story which I DO dislike for several reasons. I'm VERY anti-Squall and the game has some severely questionable twists that do enough damage to make me forget that the game play is pretty enjoyable.

Most overrated:


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Oh my god people, just let it go! A sealed black labeled Final Fantasy VII should never being going for $400+ on eBay. But seriously, what happened with this game? I think everyone on the planet thought it was good if not great, then all of a sudden (or more precisely when Advent Children came out) people took their respect for this title and just magnified it until it was out of control like an incurable outbreak. Screw objectivity and common sense... Final Fantasy VII rulz! You can't deny it! Please. The fanboyism has gotten so out of hand I really have no desire to replay this thing and I would personally take Wild Arms and Wild Arms 2 over it if given a chance/choice.

Most underrated:


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To be honest, I find it very hard to think of any underrated Final Fantasy titles out of the ones that I have played... but I do believe there are some insanely misjudged games. For example, Final Fantasy Mystic Quest gets A LOT of mud thrown it's way yet the people that fling said mud completely ignore the game was designed to be a beginner RPG and was in no way meant to be put up side by side with games like Final Fantasy IV or VI. Personally I think the game is wonderfully crafted when I consider the purpose of the product. Then there are earlier Final Fantasy games like Final Fantasy I and II that get criticized for lacking the complex narrative of their successors... but people forget these WERE complex stories back when these games debuted. If anything, games like these are unappreciated because many don't analyze the context that originally surrounded them and it's a damn shame.

Biggest WTF:


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I know I've said a ton on this game already, but I did find it crazy how when interest in Final Fantasy VII managed to peak again years after its release copies of the game were fetching rather insane prices despite the fact there had (and still has) to be a TON of copies out there. Prices did settle down after a while however, especially after the game was released on the PlayStation Network. The difference between supply and demand was really out of whack on this one which is why I'll never forget it.
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People who added this item 523 Average listal rating (601 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
Super Mario Bros. - Famicom and NES
First game I played in the series:


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While I know some will probably consider this to be somewhat of a sacrilege, I honestly don't remember which of the four games above was my first Mario game. I would like to say it was the original but I can't really say that with any level of certainty. It really could have been any of the first three games... and it could have even been the first GameBoy game but that possibility is rather unlikely. Still, while some will question how I could forget my first encounter with Mario, the short answer is my attention towards Mario was generally cut short due to the presence of other franchises.

Favorite game:


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Here's a toss-up if there ever was one. Mario 3 is easily my favorite of the 8-bit NES titles but it faces some very stiff competition from Super Mario World which is also a damn fine game. Unfortunately my experience with Mario titles doesn't extend much further than the SNES so I don't know where the following games would fall in my personal hierarchy.

Least favorite game:


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When I really think about it the original Super Mario Land is a game that hasn't aged too well... but then it was kind of already put in it's place the minute Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins came out. The sequel is just a far superior product and it calls attention to some of the puzzling design aspects of the first Land. By no means is it a bad title, but sometimes progression can be a little bit merciless. Additionally, I could place the Lost Levels (the original Mario Bros.2 here) but that game is such an oddity it barely even registers to me as a Mario title much of the time.

Most overrated:


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To be honest I haven't really encountered any scenarios that lead me to believe any of the Mario titles I've played are overrated. I'm sure there is someone out there that is a little too vested in one or some of them but generally Mario titles have and hold a decent amount of clout.

Most underrated:


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Same deal as the above... don't really know of any situation where any of the Mario games I've played have been considered underrated. However, I'm sure if I had played more Mario titles I would definitely have a candidate to nominate here. I haven't even begun to touch all the various side games outside Luigi's Mansion.

Biggest WTF?


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Wait... you're telling me that Super Mario Bros.2 isn't the REAL Super Mario Bros.2? If that's true then what the hell was I playing all those years? A game that was actually another game altogether but was retrofitted by Nintendo to be come Super Mario Bros.2 abroad? So what was the original Super Mario Bros.2 like? Oh, I see... I totally get that. Crazy story bro!
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People who added this item 197 Average listal rating (142 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 0
Mega Man - Famicom and NES
First game I played in the series:


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Again, this probably isn't very surprising. I can't even begin to address how important Mega Man 2 was to me as a game. It singlehandedly got me interested in console gaming and was, unknown to me at the time, one of the reasons I became so invested in video game music and video game music soundtracks years down the road. Mega Man and the various reincarnations that followed (X and Legends) became so important to me as a gamer that they quickly usurped other prominent franchises like Mario which is simply not an easy thing to do.

Favorite game:


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For reasons that will be made clear below, I kind of hate to call Mega Man 2 one of my favorite Mega Man games - let alone favorite games overall - but then considering the story about how I came to play it I guess it can't be helped. Then there is Mega Man 6 which - again for reasons that will be explained in greater detail down below - actually faces a very different scenario and essentially gets my nod due to some of the outside pressures it had to deal with around the time of its release. Still, as much as I enjoy it, Mega Man 6 hasn't really endured the passage of time as well as I would have hoped.

Least favorite game:


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You know, for as much as I like Mega Man, it sure is crazy how many of the games I dislike. The original Mega Man is just rather unforgiving as a game, the third one is full of annoyances that ironically weren't in Mega Man 2, Mega Man 7 is overly cute and totally overpriced on the secondhand market considering what you're getting, Mega Man 8 is again overly cute and adds nothing to the series during a banner year for the franchise (more on this later) and Mega Man & Bass is just one - if not the - ruthless games in the series that was pretty well neutered on the GameBoy Advance. I guess I could throw Mega Man Powered up on here as well but in a certain sense complaining about that game seems kind of pointless.

Most overrated:


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As important as Mega Man 2 is to me in the scheme of things, I definitely feel it has entered the realm of overrated works. When it comes to Mega Man 3 I always love how my valid criticisms of the game are always shot down by people that love the thing and are unable to be objective about it. As far as Mega Man & Bass, well, that had to be the biggest cock-tease in the franchise as it took us years to get a legitimate rendition of it outside of Japan and then one finds out the game is nowhere near as interesting as it sounds as being able to play as Bass only gets it so far.

Most underrated:


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Given it's rather curious back story, it's really not that surprising that I have a soft spot for Mega Man 6. As a game was almost completely overshadowed by the release of Mega Man X (which is completely understandable given the quality of that game) to the point where Capcom wasn't going to release it abroad. Nintendo ended up publishing in the States rather than Capcom themselves and I believe the PAL territories (which almost ALWAYS get screwed) didn't even get it. Damn... I know I be kind of pissed if I was missing one title from such a long running series, even if it just was more of the same plus the power and jet Mega Man suits.

Biggest WTF?


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Serious question time. Seriously, how in THE HELL does a game like Mega Man 8 sell more copies than a game like Mega Man X4? Seriously guys. One game adds like nothing to an aged property and the other let's you play as freakin' Zero! Do I have to draw out an illustration as to why this makes no sense? As a game Mega Man X4 simply had a lot more damn value than Mega Man 8... and the fact the sales numbers reflect that this didn't matter makes me downright sad :(
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People who added this item 326 Average listal rating (200 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
Metroid - Famicom and NES
First game I played in the series:


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I know some people are going to question my logic on this one, but personally I've always been happy that Metroid II was my first experience with the Metroid franchise. Why? Well, if it wasn't I would probably dismiss it as "one of the worst games in the franchise" as easily as others do when it comes to talking turkey about Metroid. I'm sure some of my love for Metroid II is based purely out of nostalgia yet at the same time I think there is a solid level of genuine respect in the equation that doesn't make me hesitant of not only naming it one of my favorites, but feeling that it one of the best handheld titles you can possibly buy.

Favorite game:


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Again, I'm sure some will question putting Return of Samus in a favorites list next to Super and Prime, but I'm not terribly interested in making complete sense here. So in order to fit back in with the status quo, I should probably mention that Super is my top pick out of these three yet Metroid Prime really does a great job of bringing the franchise into the third dimension despite the shift in perspective - and it's a real shame I put off playing it and its sequels for so long.

Least favorite game:


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By no means should Zero Mission's presence in this category imply that it is a bad game but for some reason I seem to be immune to the game's tasty charms. Personally I found several parts of the game to be downright annoying and aside from one cute and one clever part the game just failed at fulfilling it's purpose to me. I agree we did need a new rendition of the original Metroid... but when you tack on such a superfluous climax, well, it's an experience I start to tune out of. If you're wondering why Other M isn't listed in this category, well, I haven't played it yet even though it sits on my shelf after buying it for a measly four dollars.

Most overrated:


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In a certain sense it's kind of ironic that both original GBA games end up in this category when my opinion comes into play. Aside from a few small facets of the game I've never understood the love for Zero Mission and Metroid Fusion tends to be celebrated for the wrong reasons in my book. I'm not heavy vested in Fusion's gameplay as much as I am in the story which is downright odd considering many people consider the heightened focus on the story to be the beginning of the end for the franchise that came to a hideous conclusion in Metroid Other M. When it comes to gameplay I've always felt that Fusion was just a pale copy of Super Metroid.

Most underrated:


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I'm sure some probably have a smirk on their face that I'm going to defend these two titles but damn it they deserve a little more attention and respect than they receive. First off all, I will admit that the original Metroid hasn't aged too well. It was just one of those things that happened. Still, while it does pale to later games, I do think it should be experienced by those who are just getting into the franchise at some point (but definitely not as their first game!) and no, I don't believe you should substitute Zero Mission in it's place and be done with it. When it comes to Metroid II, well, I've already defended it a bit above, but with Other M making the fanbase's minds explode maybe it won't be known as the worst game in the series anymore - a title it doesn't really deserve.

Biggest WTF?


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If you're like me, you're probably wondering what Retro Studios was huffing when they thought up a product like Metroid Pinball. On a superficial level it seems like a pretty crazy idea... but once you look at the sales figures for this game - it's one of the top 20 highest grossing DS games in existence - you kind of have to quit mocking it and realize that it actually worked. Of course, the game did kind of lose out once the DS dropped the GBA slot in later revisions but despite that copies of the game with the rumble pack have retained a decent amount of value on the secondhand market.
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People who added this item 173 Average listal rating (114 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Ninja Gaiden - Famicom and NES
First game I played in the series:


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Pretty much being the reason I never got into the NES Castlevania titles, Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos is my kind of game. Sadistically merciless when it comes difficulty (although not as merciless as the original) The Dark Sword of Chaos is an early platformer that has it all: great music, tight control and a very robust story line (for its time) that makes it no mere video game - it's an experience. Well, such an decree may be a little too dramatic and theatrical but the series is definitely up there when it comes to my personal favorites.

Favorite game:


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It's another non-surprise that the first game in the series I played ended up becoming my favorite... but when I look at it objectively The Dark Sword of Chaos does have an handful of positives over the original (there aren't any psychotically bad continue points in the game) and it isn't a case of taking one step forward two steps back like Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom. Overall an excellent conclusion to the original NES Trilogy and one of my favorite games of all time: a game that just has it all.

Least favorite game:


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Oh Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom... oh how you initially seem to be a good game. However, once you get past all the small, superficial improvements oh how the slick veneer quickly runs off. You may explain what happens to certain characters between Ninja Gaiden I & II but this thing you call a story is really just an abomination. Bio-Noids? Are you serious? I thought fighting demons was pretty cool, what happened with that? Then tack on how Tecmo removed certain features (like passwords) and increased the difficulty (by doubling the damage done by enemy attacks) it's easy to see why you trail behind the pack. When you consider all that, it's somewhat of an injustice how you cost a small little fortune to buy when compared to your predecessors.

Most overrated:


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Ninja Gaiden Trilogy is easily one of the most overrated Nintendo cartridges I can possibly think of and when you combine that with the current going price on the secondhand market there are simply better alternatives for those looking to play these games. Simply put Ninja Gaiden Trilogy is full of problems. There are some rather annoying miscues that brings the presentation down a notch and then there's the fact that many of the cinematics were censored this time around when they weren't on the NES originals. Really, the only thing that really saves this collection is that the missing features from The Ancient Ship of Doom were included along with restoring the game's original difficulty settings. Still, that doesn't really fix the other underlying problems with that game....

Most underrated:


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Personally I can't think of a Ninja Gaiden game that is underrated. I guess you could say that about the GameBoy game Ninja Gaiden Shadow but I've never played it. Most of the games in the NES are about where they should be in people's hearts as far as I'm concerned. Then again, if I ever got around to playing the newer Ninja Gaiden games I may have something to put here. Maybe someday....

Biggest WTF?


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Well, it's hard to choose just one so this one is a tie. The first WTF is in the original Ninja Gaiden when you die during one of the bosses in the final level and get thrown back to the beginning of the stage instead of just the beginning of the current block. Then there's Ninja Gaiden III and its "attempt" at narrative which is just downright silly. Seriously, what's up with those Bio-Noids Clancy? Just a downright, hilariously misguided attempt at writing.
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People who added this item 109 Average listal rating (48 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
Breath of Fire - Super famicom and SNES
First game I played in the series:


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Damn... I really wish I could remember which one of these I played first. I really do believe it was Breath of Fire II, which would somewhat explain why that game means so much to me, but in all honesty I can't say for sure. In a certain sense it doesn't really matter that much as both games are really good. However, if I had played Breath of Fire III before Breath of Fire II I think Breath of Fire II's impact would have been drastically reduced. Too bad I didn't write things like this down when I was younger.

Favorite game:


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It really shouldn't surprise anyone that I wanted to place Breath of Fire III in here as well but I decided against it because I wanted to focus on Breath of Fire II. Breath of Fire II is really one of the more unique picks when it comes to my favorite games because it's not a mind-blowingly great game. It's good - and there are some parts and elements that I will NEVER forget - but at the end of the day it's not a genre defining experience. Often times I refer to Breath of Fire II as "the poor man's Final Fantasy VI" which I feel is appropriate even though it is far from a complement. However, at the end of day, Breath of Fire II's status remains so lofty with me because nostalgia has to throw its two cents in. So no, I won't defend this title to the death in some silly little fanboyish debate but I will admit more people should look into it even though it clearly can't complete with role-playing franchises higher up on the totem pole. Still, it would have been nice for Capcom to redo the translation on the GBA port.

Least favorite game:


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By no means is the original Breath of Fire a bad game, but it had the misfortune of being the last game in the series I played. Well, that last part isn't really true as I've never played Dragon Quarter (can never find a copy in good condition!) yet that game is so dramatically different than the first four I hate lumping them together despite the fact they are part of the same series. Anyway, I don't reget playing through Breath of Fire but the game is just the victim of circumstance when it comes to my experiences.

Most overrated:


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This is a tricky one because Breath of Fire IV isn't really isn't overrated per say... but I do feel some people overlook some gaping issues with this one. It never takes me too long when playing this game to realize that the pacing is absolutely horrendous. It takes eons for things to actually occur and even when they DO occur the game's narrative still remains extremely dry. This isn't helped by the game's muted color palette which just makes everything seem insanely dull. When you combine those two factors the game just can't get ahead of what the player (or I) personally expects. Again, it not really an overrated game and much as an under examined one.

Most underrated:


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I know some people would like me to post a picture of Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter here but as I said above I haven't got around to playing it or even owning it yet. I do know it does get a lot of mud thrown at it however. Still, as far as the first four games are concerned I don't think any individual one is underrated... yet I know some would say the entire series IS underrated. I don't know if I agree with that or not but if you do like role playing games you should definitely check the series out.

Biggest WTF?


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In this section I wanted to point out how crazy it was that Squaresoft localized the original Breath of Fire on the SNES but I have bigger fish to fry. Fans of Breath of Fire are probably aware of the content in Breath of Fire IV that was censored due to the financial pressures Capcom was experiencing at the time of the game's release. I'm not so much worried about the removal of the sorted scenes of a sexual nature, or even the death of the emperor, but I am rather upset how certain details of Scias' character were glossed over to avoid a drug reference label. Just no... you do not neuter such an important aspect of a character like that and replace it with something that gives the player such a false impression. Bad Capcom, bad!
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Mega Man X - Super famicom and SNES
First game I played in the series:


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I don't know if there is anything more poetic than one introducing themselves to the Mega Man X series than by playing the first game in the series. The original Mega Man X is just an excellent cart and is perhaps the best lead-in title any of the various incarnations of Mega Man has ever seen. I know some in the media feel that Super Metroid eventually overshadowed it but that's really comparing apples and oranges in my opinion. Regardless, Mega Man X uses a light touch when adding new gameplay options to the Mega Man formula and none of them crash and burned... actually they all felt like they belonged all along. Easily a highlight among Mega Man games, Mega Man X also came with a hint of sadness as fans would eventually see what lied on the opposite side of the fence that is known as success.

Favorite game:


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Yeah, I know... another tie. Well it is really hard to say which one of these games is better. On one hand we have the high quality game that spearheaded this spin-off series and on the other we have the game that let you *really* play as Zero for the whole freakin' game. Damn that's a toughie. Still, I think the original might have the slight edge as X4 gains a bit of sympathy when one considers - at least in my opinion - that it's the last great game in the series. Beyond this point the wear and tear on the franchise becomes rather apparent and is definitely exacerbated by some poor decisions on Capcom's part.

Least favorite game:


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Capcom... Capcom, Capcom, Capcom. I don't think anything would make me happier than to forget that these two games exist. I mean really... you DO see how far away we are from the quality of the original or even Mega Man X4 with these games, right? And to think if you had gone along with Keiji Inafune's plan to make Mega Man X5 the last game in the series you could have avoided this... but I see that money is more important than... oh... not tarnishing a once respectable franchise. Seriously, there is so much wrong present here that I've really given up trying to justify games like these. I know some people TRY to, but no, I cannot... yet I OWN them. I must be one sick puppy with a case of true blue fever.

Most overrated:


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I'm sure some are looking at the screen with a raised eyebrow and mouthing "really?" but hear me out on this one. I don't think anyone can take away the prevailed opinion that these are good games... but at the same time I have to admit that these are standard sequels and little else. Additionally, I don't think many will argue that these games have kept their value for the right reason. The SNES carts aren't pricey because they contain high-quality games, they're expensive because the Cx4 chip within prevented a large print run. This isn't to say I'd want games without the positives that chip granted them but I think many people would agree a larger print run (and a lower retail price) would have helped many collectors out in obtaining these two games. Really, have you SEEN the going price for an X3 cart lately... that's some crazy stuff.

Most underrated:


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I'm sure most of those reading have heard someone talk some trash about these three games but if you're looking for "absolutely bad" Mega Man X games these aren't the games you should be looking at. It's true the Xtremes are mainly just rehashes that reuse elements from X1, X2 and X3 packaged with a new (but small) narrative and most knew Command Mission was never going to go anywhere based on premise alone yet I've certainly played worse and that includes games within the franchise. Still, these are the kind of games most will only purchase to fill in the holes in their collections, they aren't crowning achievements or franchise figureheads.

Biggest WTF?


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Some may be wondering why we're revisiting Mega Man X6 and X7 when I've already crowned them my least favorite but I'm not done with them... and we just HAVE to get X8 in here as well. Beyond the basically believable fact that these games should not exist, they are guilty of an even more grievous offense. What "crime" do these games commit? These games add ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to the series narrative which for all intensive purposes was wrapped up by Mega Man X5. I know some will try and tell me that X8's ending was a huge moment for the franchise's story but when you fail to follow that up (seriously, WHY would you introduce such a twist a such a late point when you might not make another game...?) with ANYTHING it fails to mean anything in the end. And that's the real kicker here. Yeah, X8's gameplay was a good apology for the last two games, but as a fan I think (e.g. know) I would be happier had the series ended at X5. The person who said "it's better to burn out than fade away" obviously never played the Mega Man X series.
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Mortal Kombat - Super famicom and SNES
First game I played in the series:


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Remembering this one is so easy. No, I didn't own a Sega Genesis when I was growing up, but pretty much every one of my friends did so I did get a lot of time in with this one. It's true that some of the fatalities in this one are pretty famous (like Sub-Zero and Kano's) but beyond that I've never felt a need to revisit this one... Mortal Kombat II was a huge improvement in just about every conceivable category. Also, just as a warning to those reading, this look back at Mortal Kombat isn't going to be very toasty... er... rosey because I've really moved past being a fan of the franchise after Mortal Kombat 4.

Favorite game:


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Part of me wanted to put the SNES version of Mortal Kombat II because it generally is the best MK game I've played (minus the lack of combos outside juggles) yet I have to be honest and say that I really DON'T have a favorite Mortal Kombat title. My patience with the series started to run kind of thin with all the Mortal Kombat 3 revisions and I think the lack of overall of care I exude with such indecision pretty much tells everyone how I feel about MK.

Least favorite game:


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It should be kind of obvious if I can't pick a favorite game I might have a problem picking a least favorite game. This is really tough as well because I really DO have some major gripes against some of the games... but as to which ONE gets such a dishonor placed upon it it's damn hard to choose. However, as consolation I could say it's one of my least favorite franchises!

Most overrated:


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You would think the third time would be the charm... and you would be wrong. While I can't really go into WHY as I'll end up spoiling something I want to say later on, I just can't look at Mortal Kombat Trilogy with a straight face. You'd think combining practically EVERYTHING from the previous four games would make for one hell of a game... but you would be wrong again. Seriously, I just can't get over how much Mortal Kombat Trilogy sucks. It hurts my brain that people (myself included) were actually excited for this thing when Midway and Ed Boon where just choking the MK chicken for all that it was worth. Again, as to why it sucks, keep reading....

Most underrated:


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This is an odd one because some are probably wondering how I could consider Mortal Kombat 3 underrated when it is generally perceived to be the point where the series started running into problems. Well, I'm not going to refute that as Mortal Kombat 3 isn't that great of a game... but I will defend the idea that the SNES port of the game is better than many reviewers give it credit for. So yeah, I'm defending the quality of a port of what is generally a rather lame game. Many of the criticisms that are leveled at it I've just never felt were that game-breaking and to be honest the lack of loading makes it even more attractive to me.

Biggest WTF?


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For those wondering what is wrong with Mortal Kombat Trilogy I'm going to go into it right here. So, let me get this straight... you release what is essentially the same damn game three times in a row, but NO ONE thinks that it is a good idea to, oh... I don't know... take a look at the utterly broken and bi-polar computer AI? The AI in Mortal Kombat 3 sucked so did they fix it in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3? Hell no! The AI in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 sucked so did they fix it in Mortal Kombat Trilogy? That, again, would be HELL NO! When I was younger this didn't bother me because I was too stupid to know any better, but in the more recent era I've become all too aware that this pretty much rips the entire experience apart and fuels my current theory that remembering the fun times you had playing Mortal Kombat is much more fun than playing it now. The only thing that really saves the franchise is the wonderful cast of characters it cultivated up until Mortal Kombat 4 where that element became corrupted as well.
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DOOM - PC Games
First game I played in the series:


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While I didn't exactly play it back when it debuted, by the time I got a good enough computer to run Doom I was absolutely hook, line and sinker. I'm not even a fan of the first person shooter genre but there was something about Doom (perhaps its amazing sense of design?) that just carried it, even if you played it way after it's prime. Games like those aren't really a dime a dozen but despite the fact I absolutely LOVE it as a game, I have to admit that Doom's legacy - the games and genre it helped usher in - would become insanely redundant to me. While there's a bit of malice and annoyance in those thoughts, the first person genre is simply out of control these days... and I can't wait until people get sick of shooting things.

Favorite game:


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I'm sure some aren't too surprised to see I can't really make a decision between Doom and Doom II when it comes to my favorite game. Doom II is a sequel but at times it feels more like an expansion pack. Still, while I try and narrow the divide between the games to justify my choice, there are many ways in which the games differentiate from each other. The level design is excellent in both games yet really conform to different philosophies. This is really apparent at the start of Doom II where the levels are very small and cramped. Anyway, it's hard to pick just one because both games just add so much to the feel of the franchise.

Least favorite game:


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I don't hate Final Doom completely (TNT Evilution is a pretty good experience) but man oh man do I HATE the Plutonia Experiment. These are easily some of the hardest Doom levels ever devised and almost all of them are completely devoid of fun. Think of every video game cheap shot you've ever been a victim of all happening within the span of a single experience and you'll know what it's like to play this thing. Hell, even the fact that you can save at will on the PC doesn't help that much. Do yourself a favor and play the Master Levels instead - if you can actually manage to set it up.

Most overrated:


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To be honest I don't think any of the games in the Doom series are overrated... at least not anymore. I could see how someone could say that when these games debuted considering the size of crowd they drew in but nowadays I always run into people who look downright puzzled when I want to talk about these games and not the latest Call of Duty. Despite that however I am sure there are those that don't see what the big deal was back in the mid 1990's. However, on the flip side, I don't see what so special about first person shooters these days so I guess turnabout is fair play.

Most underrated:


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Again we have some old ports that some will question my wisdom in defending. It's true that the PC versions are far superior (despite what John Romero says on the back of the case of Doom) and in current times there are the near-perfect ports on XBox Live and the PSN Network but I'm very fond of these games (yes, even Final Doom with it's pot-luck like section of material) because they're the best renditions of Doom you will find that support the d-pad. If your moaning, yes, I absolutely LOVE being able to use the d-pad over the analog sticks. The lack of analog control would probably turn a lot of people off but then I'm about ten years behind every trend in the gaming scene anyway. Additionally, while these ports had to make some concessions to make the conversion to the PlayStation a little smoother the edits are pretty tastefully done in my opinion.

Biggest WTF?


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Okay, I guess I should admit that how Master Levels for Doom II was set up made sense back when the game debuted but now that most people have ditched the original executables for Doom because of compatibility issues with new operating systems, this is one game that is a pain to set up. Personally I just say screw it and play the levels that were included in Final Doom on the PlayStation because it enables me to skip over a lot of the hassle but this is one case where id's hindsight was definitely not 20/20.
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Mega Man Legends - PlayStation
First game I played in the series:


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Unlike some of the previous series on this list, I can definitely remember the first time I saw and played Mega Man Legends. My friend Shane ended up renting the game at one point and then I got the game for the following Christmas. I absolutely loved every minute of it despite the fact I manage to beat the game in a mere three days but Mega Man Legends was important to me in other ways. While you can't really compare the two - one is a system seller and one isn't - Mega Man Legends essentially ended up being my Super Mario 64. Yeah, it's kind of shameful I'm never really played that game yet Mega Man Legends filled the void that game would have filled had I gone with the Nintendo 64 a year earlier.

Favorite game:


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While it is a little rough around the edges (there are some issues with the target lock on) the original Mega Man Legend is easily my favorite. As to why I think it had such huge impact the fact that it was the first 3D Mega Man game (and it wasn't an abomination like some other 2D to 3D transitions) was big, not to mention it had a very robust world and cast of characters compared to the original and X franchises. Still, the thing I remember most about Mega Man Legends - outside the fact that easy mode is ridiculously broken - is the ending. I don't think the fact that it hinted at a sequel was as important as my opinion and feeling that the game really felt like a complete, cohesive experience.

Least favorite game:


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Out of the three games in the Legends series (which would and should have been four....) I don't really have one I dislike more than the others. I think each one has their irritants but Capcom never really dropped any bad eggs like they did with the X series.

Most overrated:


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I'm sure some are screaming "Misadventures of Tron Bonne! Misadventures of Tron Bonne!" but that game isn't so much overrated as it is overvalued and that's kind of a different thing. Additionally, when you really look at it - and play it - Misadventures is really a clever little game. One-hundred fifty plus dollars is a little steep for that sucker but then it's often times hard to tell which games will become rare later down the line.

Most underrated:


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Honestly I could have just posted all three games in the series (I'm sure you've heard that old "the Legends games aren't real Mega Man games" thing from someone before) but I want to be more focused in my efforts here. Mega Man is a series that has for better or worse has gotten, shall we say, a little too comfortable with the obligatory sequel. There really isn't much progression between games but I find this not to be the case with Mega Man Legends 2. Legends 2 made some very impressive improvements over the first game in areas like challenge and story progression. I'll admit the game isn't as lovable as the original because of these things but I personally respect the increased effort on Capcom's part to make this a little more than more of the same. For that I salute you Mega Man Legends 2.

Biggest WTF?


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I think everyone was expecting this... not the cancellation itself but me placing this as the biggest WTF? Now like a lot of people I was definitely looking forward to this sucker, especially considering the fact that the second game ended on somewhat of a cliffhanger (gee... that sounds awfully familiar...) but well, in a certain way I understand it. This isn't saying I like it but I don't think it's all Capcom's fault. Now back when this game was announced I was willing to buy a 3DS just so I could play it. I didn't, but I would have had I had the money. Anyway, when one considers how botched the launch of the 3DS really was (which is completely opposite of how it's doing now) I kind of see where Capcom was coming from. This isn't saying that this was the only factor involved in the game's cancellation (it wasn't) but if the 3DS had been doing better at that point I don't think Capcom's feet wouldn't have become so cold. Still, I guess it doesn't matter much in the end... once I heard there was another playable character other than Mega Man my enthusiasm for the title was cut in half anyway.
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Syphon Filter - PlayStation
First game I played in the series:


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Man, I remember the first time I laid eyes on a copy of Syphon Filter. My one friend was going to trade his PlayStation and games in towards an Nintendo 64 and I decided to swap a few of my games for his so I could play something fresh. I know I gave up Tomb Raider II, Tomb Raider III and Resident Evil 2 (which my cousin more or less ruined by leaving it in his jeep with the top down during a rainstorm) and I got Need for Speed: High Stakes, Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped and, of course, Syphon Filter. I hadn't played any Syphon Filter prior to the trade but damn, this was one deal that was a match made in gamer heaven. I ended up liking Syphon Filter a lot and it was one of the most important franchises on the original PlayStation to me.

Favorite game:


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To be fair (and a little bit honest) picking a favorite out of these three games doesn't mean too much as they all pretty much play the same. To really determine the top "winner" per say you really need to look beyond the gameplay. The first game really wins some props because it obviously sets up the rest of the franchise and lets everyone know they're in for a good, old-fashioned cheesy-ass super-spy time. By the time the third game came around the series (and the viability of the game's engine) was winding down but Syphon Filter 3 fought back with a rather unique (well, "unique" is rather generous considering Tomb Raider Chronicles did the same thing) storytelling method. The first and third games really took the cake for me, but what about the second...?

Least favorite game:


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Almost like the quintessential middle child, Syphon Filter 2 is a game that makes it very clear that it wants your attention. In a certain sense the game almost kind of forgets it already has that since it's a sequel, yet it still wants to pound its presence into your head. Because of this, the game spends an awfully large amount of time inadvertently making a fool out of itself from its gaping holes in logic to story line twists that will just seem implausible to those capable of understanding general causality. By no means is it a horrible game but it's pretty obvious that the gameplay carries the bulk of the load with this one.

Most overrated:


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This is a rather touchy one because there is a fair share of people out there that feel Syphon Filter was rather overrated back in the PlayStation days. Such thoughts generally came about when the these three games were re-released on the PSN Network where complaints of "aged gameplay" came about. Yeah, I can kind of see that, I mean the engine was showing it's age with the third game, but at the same time I don't think these games boarder anywhere on a level such as unplayable. Personally I can probably turn more of a blind eye towards Syphon Filter's failings because I grew up with it, but at the same time I don't think you can underestimate how synonymous Syphon Filter was with the original PlayStation back in the late 1990's.

Most underrated:


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Heh heh... I'm sure given the nostalgia filled paragraphs above just about everyone was expecting this. Again, I'm willing to admit that the series has aged, and that it pretty much outlived its usefulness after the PS1 days were over but these games, perhaps more than any other franchise, defined what the original PlayStation meant to me when I was growing up. Considering how many franchises we've covered in this list so far that's really saying something since a lot of these franchises had really good games debut during that era. So yeah, I understand why people don't really back up these games too often yet I will always have space for them on my shelf.

Biggest WTF?


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Note to 989 Studios: I really liked the end to Syphon Filter 3, but when you make a Syphon Filter game that doesn't have me playing as Gabe Logan (or as any of the other three main characters) well, I tend not to care. Additionally, I know the engine for the last three games was very aged by the time the third game came around, but when you replace it with... this... well, the more passionately I feel that Syphon Filter more or less died with the original PlayStation.
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Tomb Raider - PlayStation
First game I played in the series:


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Along with Squaresoft's Final Fantasy VII, Tomb Raider was pretty much responsible for making me ditch the Nintendo 64 and picking up the PlayStation in it's stead. That's a rather tall order for any game(s) to accomplish considering the 64 had Super Mario 64... still, my fondness for Tomb Raider really came down to the fact I was entering my teens at that point. While I didn't really know it at the time, I was seeking out games that looked and felt much more gritter than Mario. Of course, this isn't really an effort to label Nintendo as "kiddie" like so many do but you really do go where the games you're looking for are. And yes, in case you're wondering, I first played Tomb Raider on my cousin's Sega Saturn.

Favorite game:


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When it comes to Tomb Raider I'm a stout traditionalist... I mean the game IS called Tomb Raider and the following games REALLY don't bother with tombs, so... yeah. You kind of have to understand where my nostalgia fueled bliss with this thing (you really do have to admit that there is a stark difference in vision between the first game and the two that followed) comes from because for all intensive purposes this was my first 3D platformer. Still, as I've already hinted at, the series would eventually let me down in a big way and we've only scratched the surface with my experiences with Tomb Raider games.

Least favorite game:


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Ugh.... Really, that pretty much summarizes all I want to say. Ugh. Tomb Raider III is an INSANELY ugly game that encompass all that is wrong with the Tomb Raider series. I've actually made a list of all of them elsewhere but the main culprit here is the obvious push to increase the overall difficulty level and the amount of elements that suffer because of that is extraordinary. This isn't to say that an increase in challenge is a BAD thing, but Tomb Raider III goes about it in the most inane and bumbling ways imaginable. The icing on this proverbial crap cake is the story which is just down right laughable.

Most overrated:


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I should probably start out by saying that I don't HATE The Last Revelation... but I do HATE what it represents. After two games that didn't really relate to the series' title (yeah, I'm going to being anal about it) Core and Eidos *kind* of admit that it *might* be a good idea to return to the series' roots. In theory it's a great idea, but it would take one hell of a game to make me feel that the franchise's initial spark was rekindled. Sadly, The Last Revelation is not that game and personally I don't know if you could ever really "go back" and recapture the mood that existed in the original game. Also, throw in an somewhat ugly recon to the series canon and it's easy to see why this was too little, too late.

Most underrated:


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I have to admit while I wasn't exactly blown away by Tomb Raider: Chronicles, it was good enough to make me regret giving up on the series in my youth after Tomb Raider III. It took me about a decade to actually get around to this game (well, I did play Anniversary which I have mixed feelings about) but I honestly feel there is something within Chronicles that is worth checking out even to those who are a little jaded with the franchise like I was. Additionally, some of the NPC characters (one in particular) are really portrayed well. It might not have sold as well as some of the earlier games but I do prefer it to many of them.

Biggest WTF?


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My big "gripe" with Tomb Raider II and III kind of takes root in the original. In the first game you more or less kill, what, about six people in scenarios that *could* be seen as self defense? Most of these "kills" take place in way out of the way locals, so it's not like anyone is going to find these bullet riddled bodies. Then comes Tomb Raider II and III where you end up killing many more assailants than that in ONE level and in densely populated areas. Seriously, I don't know if a judge is going to buy "self defense" after you've left a trail of bodies through downtown Venice. And that is what annoys me about these two games... they pretty much turn Lara Croft into a mass murderer. I guess it's a lot like that one scene in True Lies when Harry's wife asks him if he's killed anyone when he's under the effect of truth serum. He answers "yes, but they were all bad." I guess that just about sums everything up....
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Wild Arms - PlayStation
First game I played in the series:


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Wild Arms was either the second or third role-playing game I ever played. Of course, if you read the Final Fantasy section of the list you know that Final Fantasy VII was my first but quite honestly I enjoyed Wild Arms just much - perhaps even more - than it despite the fact it wasn't backed by a heap of hype and didn't have the latest bells and whistles. When it comes down to it, I wouldn't trade my time with this game for anything... to most it was a filler title, to me it was something much greater... it was that solid little title that stood against the coming wave that was known as Squaresoft during the 32-bit era. Unfortunately, as most know, the franchise would eventually collapse due to those pressures.

Favorite game:


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I know the last thing anyone wanted to see was another tie, but this really is a case where I cannot decide. I ended up becoming so fond of the original game that it beat back what where generally superior products like Final Fantasy VII, then there is Wild Arms 2 which was really dog-pilled upon by the gaming press because some of the game's elements were a little behind the times yet the game's AWESOME story wasn't enough to save it for those people. Both games just take me to a different world when I play them and just reinforce how great the franchise was during the PS1 era. Such warm and fuzzy memories aside however, things would not be so pleasant on the PlayStation 2.

Least favorite game:


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When you first start playing it, Wild Arms 5 seems like a pretty good game. There are some nice improvemtents to the battle system, the game obviously had more financial backing than the last game due to it being the series' 10th anniversary and the special edition came with a bitching sweet artbook. Regrettably once you start looking beyond that it doesn't take long to realize that Wild Arms 5 is a pretty big train wreck. It's not an "oh my God look at all the severed limbs!" kind of train wreck but a much more subdued, slow motion catastrophe. Because of this it is an interesting game to play to see where it all goes wrong... but it's not the kind of game - a good game - the series desperately needed at the time. Because of this, it's no surprise this was the last game in the series that was done in a traditional J-RPG style.

Most overrated:


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I always love how the same old arguments come up when I criticize Wild Arms 3 on any gaming forum. What usually happens is I take a subtle swipe at it for not really changing anything from the previous game (which it really did need to do to actually compete with any other role-playing games out there) and then I get ten responses that the "game got good reviews." Yes, the game did get good reviews... but what some fail to realize is one person's "good" is another person's "decent" or "decent into mediocrity." To me this is essentially what Wild Arms 3 is. I could say it's "good" but do I really believe that, or am I simply covering up what lies before me with a little white lie? When your a fan of a given franchise it is often times hard to accept what you're seeing is the beginning of the end. As painful as such an admission is it's much better to be truthful... eventually.

Most underrated:


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Being everything that Wild Arms 3 wasn't, Wild Arms 4 was Media Vision's attempt to breathe new life into what had become one of the most antiquated role-playing franchises on the PlayStation 2. While it took me an additional play though a few years after it's release to really appreciate what was done here, the sad fact is no matter what cards the Wild Arms franchise played it's fate and eventual discontinuation was actually set into motion way before this point. I guess Wild Arms 4 can be seen as a franchise toiling in vain, struggling to remain relevant... well, that what it actually WAS... but it's a shame because those who do give the game a chance may actually like it.

Biggest WTF?


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If you're a game developer and need a blueprint on how to take one of my most beloved childhood games and completely and utterly destroy it, play Wild Arms on the PlayStation and immediately follow it up with Alter code:F on the PlayStation 2. My oh my... I don't know HOW Media Vision missed the mark with this one... they weren't even close. The soul and essence of the original that I loved so much is completely absent here. This isn't a remake... this is just a copy of a copy of a copy. There is almost no personality in this game and considering all the delays I put up with because of Agetech this was so not worth it. If you're in the PAL territories and were upset that you didn't get this game don't worry about it - you're not missing anything, and I mean ANYTHING. The original is leagues beyond this tripe.
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This is my take on the list Pumpkinate whipped up here:

www.listal.com/list/pks-favorite-video-game-series

However, I added a few new categories like "most overrated," "most underrated" and "Biggest WTF?" to expand and cover some of the bases a little better.

I did want to add a lot more franchises than this... but I ended up having to exclude many of them because I hadn't played a bulk of the games within those given series. These are the ones I'm most familiar with.

Additionally, one series actually breaks with the title of this list as I no longer enjoy it but included it for contrast.

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Comments

Posted: 4 years, 10 months ago at Aug 20 21:36
How wonderful that you made this! I am pleased to see Mirror of Fate given such positive attention; I had thought it looked similar to the fantastic Griptonite-developed Metroid/Symphony of the Night-style games when I saw previews, and I am glad to be reassured as to its quality.

For the record, I played Metroid II: Return of Samus following having played Metroid Fusion, Zero Mission, and the original, and it places second only to Super Metroid in my book. (Besides the sidescrollers, I have only played the Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt demo, which I could have hardly avoided playing when the Nintendo DS was released.)

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