Description: The seventh installment of Final Fantasy series takes place in a post-modern, steampunk sci-fi world where high technology reigns and where robots and bio-engineered mutants co-exist with humans and dragons. The story focuses on Shinra Inc., an evil mega-corporation responsible for all the world's high technology. Shin The seventh installment of Final Fantasy series takes place in a post-modern, steampunk sci-fi world where high technology reigns and where robots and bio-engineered mutants co-exist with humans and dragons.
The story focuses on Shinra Inc., an evil mega-corporation responsible for all the world's high technology. Shinra supports this technology with Mako Energy, Shinra's patented source of power. Unfortunately Mako is the lifeblood of the living planet and by using it up Shinra is slowly upseting the balance of nature.
In comes Avalanche, a rebel group of disenfranchised citizens who have taken it upon themselves to oppose Shinra's ambitions. The main character is an ex-Shinra soldier named, Cloud Strife, an angst ridden fella with a complex history that's explained as the game goes on. Cloud joins up with Avalanche as a mercenary for hire, and together they take on Shinra's maniacal executives and their army of shocks troops, robots, and mutants. However after a while it becomes apparent that there are other forces at work, and ultimately Cloud must not only fight against Shinra, but also stop a powerful terrorist from destroying the world.
Final Fantasy VII introduces a new materia system: your weapons have different amounts of slots where you can equip various orbs (called "materia"). All magic spells must be learned by equipping materia, but there are also other types which enhance your spells, parameters, etc. By equipping different materia on different characters, you can customize them freely, without depending on character classes. Final Fantasy VII also features plenty of mini-games and many ways to explore the game world, including the submarine first introduced in Final Fantasy V.
Manufacturer: Eidos Interactive Release date: 24 June 1998 Number of discs: 3
Description: note: Known as SH2: Restless Dreams on NTSC Xbox, SH2: Inner Fears on PAL Xbox, and Director's Cut on European PC & PAL formats Players return to the eerie town of Silent Hill in an new story with new characters. Players assume the role of James Sunderland, who receives a cryptic letter from his wife - who has bee note: Known as SH2: Restless Dreams on NTSC Xbox, SH2: Inner Fears on PAL Xbox, and Director's Cut on European PC & PAL formats
Players return to the eerie town of Silent Hill in an new story with new characters. Players assume the role of James Sunderland, who receives a cryptic letter from his wife - who has been dead for three years -- beckoning him to meet her in Silent Hill, a place that holds great meaning for the couple. The mystery of the letter frightens and confuses James, compelling him to investigate the surreal horror and all-too-real danger that awaits him.
Gameplay is similar to the first game. You walk around in the town of Silent Hill and collect weapons, health and puzzle-solving objects in an unlimited inventory. A radio alerts you when enemies are near. While the basic concept is the same, this is a part of town that was unexplored in the previous game and the weapons and enemies are mostly new as well. Of course, the graphical and audio presentation is given a major overhaul for the new platform.
Restless Dreams contains all of the content of the original release of Silent Hill 2 and adds several pieces of new content. The most significant is a new short scenario called "Born from a Wish" where players take control of Maria from her first moments right up to where she first appears in the main game. Also included is a sixth ending to the main scenario and a minor feature that allows you to turn off the graphical effect that makes the game look like it was shot on cheap film stock.
Manufacturer: Konami Release date: 28 February 2003 Number of discs: 2
Description:Metal Gear Solid (メタルギアソリッド, Metaru Gia Soriddo, commonly abbreviated as MGS) is a videogame by Hideo Kojima. The game was developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Japan and first published by Konami in 1998 for the PlayStation video game console. It is the sequel to Kojima's early MSX2 computer games Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. The game featured cinematic cutscenes rendered using the in-game engine and graphics, as well as voice acting in numerous codec sequences.
In Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, superspy Solid Snake infiltrates the GameCube for one of the most games ever! Twin Snakes is a complete remake of the legendary Metal Gear Solid, with updated graphics for better, smoother gaming. Prepare to save the world, in the game that launched a classic series and started the spy gaming genre.
Manufacturer: Konami Release date: 1 March 2004 Number of discs: 1
Description: Red Alert takes place in the 1950s of a parallel universe that was inadvertently created by Albert Einstein in a failed attempt to prevent World War II. Starting in the "real world" of 1946 at the Trinity site in New Mexico, the opening to Red Alert shows Albert Einstein preparing to travel backwards through Red Alert takes place in the 1950s of a parallel universe that was inadvertently created by Albert Einstein in a failed attempt to prevent World War II.
Starting in the "real world" of 1946 at the Trinity site in New Mexico, the opening to Red Alert shows Albert Einstein preparing to travel backwards through time. After the time machine is activated, he appears in Landsberg, Germany, in the year 1924, where he meets Adolf Hitler just after his release from prison. After a brief conversation, Einstein shakes Hitler's hand, eliminating the man and returning Einstein to his time of origin. Upon Einstein's return to New Mexico in 1946 he finds his time altered beyond repair, and Red Alert's storyline has begun to take place in the early history of the Tiberian universe.
With the threat of Nazi Germany removed from history, the Soviet Union began to grow increasingly powerful under the rule of Joseph Stalin. Had Hitler risen to power, Germany would have emerged as the balancing force standing in the way of Stalin's ambitions. Instead, left unchecked, the Soviet Union proceeds by seizing lands from China and then begins invading Eastern Europe in order to achieve Stalin's vision of a Soviet Union stretching across the entire Eurasian landmass. In response to this, the nations of Europe form into an Alliance, and start a grim guerrilla war against the Soviets. Over the course of the game, the Allies and Soviets fight a prolonged conflict for control of the European continent.
Manufacturer: Electronic Arts Release date: 31 October 1996 Number of discs: 2
Description: If you think cruelty, paranoia, ruthlessness, and double-dealing are endearing traits, you're going to love Molluck, the Glukkon and his army of gun toting, slime-slobbering Sligs, Slogs, Paramites, and Scrabs. You want weird? Look no further than Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee. Mild-mannered factory worker Abe h If you think cruelty, paranoia, ruthlessness, and double-dealing are endearing traits, you're going to love Molluck, the Glukkon and his army of gun toting, slime-slobbering Sligs, Slogs, Paramites, and Scrabs.
You want weird? Look no further than Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee. Mild-mannered factory worker Abe has discovered that his employers at Rupture Farms are planning to use his fellow Mudokons as the main ingredient in their latest product, Mudokon Pops. Like any decent Mudokon, Abe aims to rescue his peers. He also is determined to seek justice in his battle to bring down the corrupt Rupture Farms. You help Abe carry out his heroic duties by possessing enemies, participating in action sequences worthy of an Indiana Jones flick, and talking to fellow Mudokons using the game's impressive "gamespeak" feature, which allows multiple characters to communicate with each other using your control pad.
The graphics in Abe's Oddyssee convey a unique personality, which is often lacking in platform action games. Still, a few pretty game environments will not distract you from the devious puzzles scattered throughout the game. Fortunately, you never run out of lives in Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee. Instead, Abe rematerializes immediately after you "die" and the game continues from the last checkpoint you reached. This approach encourages exploration, which you'll want to do anyway since this is one of the most beautiful 2-D games we've seen. -- T. Byrl Baker
Manufacturer: Oddworld Inhabitants Release date: 31 October 1997 Number of discs: 1
Description: The Immortal is an isometric action-adventure game.
Your old mentor Mordamir has disappeared. Probably kidnapped. You're not too sure where he might be, but a dungeon is always a good place to look, so you seek out the nearest one and plunge into its depths. Beware: 8 levels of isometric death await.
The Immortal is the prototype of a trial-and-error game. Progress is made by encountering a hazard, dying, solving the problem, encountering the next hazard. To solve a level, you have to know its traps and their patterns by heart. As frustrating as this may sound (it is), The Immortal quite cleverly balances annoyance with curiosity and graphical rewards. In short: You want to see what challenge lies in the next room.
The puzzles range from simple avoidance of traps to the correct use of items; you collect objects in an inventory. Every now and then, The Immortal surprises with a special challenge. For example, you've got to ride a magic carpet through a hallway full of fire traps, or ride a barrel on an underground river. The dungeon isn't empty: some friedlies may have valuable information or trade items, the nasty sort of guys will attack. Combat is fought man-to-man on a special screen. Your adversary indicates his next attack a few seconds before he executes it, so you've got time to react appropriately. You can dodge to the left or the right, as well as attack from these two directions. There is no save option in the game, of course, but you may restart each level as often as you like. Levels can be skipped by entering passwords.
Manufacturer: Electronic Arts Release date: 17 March 1991
Description: Shadow of the Colossus, released in Japan as Wander to Kyozō (ワンダと巨像, Wanda to Kyozō?, officially translated Wander and the Colossus), is an action-adventure video game published by Sony Computer Entertainment (SCEI) for the PlayStation 2. The game was released in North America and Japan in October 2005 and PAL territor Shadow of the Colossus, released in Japan as Wander to Kyozō (ワンダと巨像, Wanda to Kyozō?, officially translated Wander and the Colossus), is an action-adventure video game published by Sony Computer Entertainment (SCEI) for the PlayStation 2. The game was released in North America and Japan in October 2005 and PAL territories in February 2006. The game was directed by Fumito Ueda and developed at SCEI's International Production Studio 1, also known as Team Ico; the same development team responsible for the cult hit Ico. Shadow of the Colossus is considered a spiritual successor to Ico. Along with Ico, Shadow of the Colossus will be released in Ico and Shadow of the Colossus: The Collection for the PlayStation 3 in spring 2011; it will feature HD graphics, Trophy and 3D support.
Manufacturer: Sony Computer Entertainment Release date: 18 October 2005 Number of discs: 1
Description: ICO (イコ, Iko, English pronunciation: /ˈiːkoʊ/) is a 2001 action-adventure video game published by Sony Computer Entertainment and released for the PlayStation 2 video game console. It was designed and directed by Fumito Ueda, who wanted to create a minimalist game around a "boy meets girl" concept. Originally plan ICO (イコ, Iko, English pronunciation: /ˈiːkoʊ/) is a 2001 action-adventure video game published by Sony Computer Entertainment and released for the PlayStation 2 video game console. It was designed and directed by Fumito Ueda, who wanted to create a minimalist game around a "boy meets girl" concept. Originally planned for the PlayStation, Ico took approximately four years to develop by Team Ico. The team employed a "subtracting design" approach to reduce elements of gameplay that interfered with the game's setting and story in order to create a high level of immersion.
The titular protagonist is a young boy born with horns whom his village considers a bad omen. Warriors lock Ico away in an abandoned fortress. During his explorations of the fortress, Ico encounters Yorda, the daughter of the castle's Queen. The Queen plans to use Yorda's body to extend her own lifespan, so Ico seeks to escape the castle with Yorda to prevent this fate from occurring, keeping her safe from the shadow-like creatures that attempt to draw her back. Throughout the game, the player controls Ico as he explores the castle, solves puzzles, and assists the less-agile Yorda across obstacles.
Ico introduced several design and technical elements, including a story told with minimal dialog, bloom lighting, and key frame animation, that have influenced subsequent games. Though not a commercial success, it was critically acclaimed for its art and story elements and received several awards, including "Game of the Year" nominations and three Game Developers Choice Awards. Ico is listed on several overall top game lists, and is often considered a work of art. The game was reprinted in Europe in 2006, in conjunction with the release of Shadow of the Colossus, the spiritual successor to Ico. Along with Shadow of the Colossus, Ico will be released in the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus: The Collection for the PlayStation 3 in spring 2011 which will feature HD graphics, Trophy and 3D support.
Manufacturer: Sony Computer Entertainment Release date: 24 September 2001 Number of discs: 1
Description: Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus is a multi-award winning platform video game developed by Oddworld Inhabitants and published by GT Interactive. It is a sequel to the video game Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee. It is considered a bonus title in the Oddworld series, and not part of the main Oddworld Quintology. It was released in 1998 for the PlayStation video game console and Microsoft Windows for North America, Europe and Australia,and in 1999 for the PlayStation in Japan. It was re-released on the PlayStation Network on October 22, 2009.
The game continues the story of Abe, charting his efforts to save his fellow Mudokons from another plot by the Glukkons to exploit them. Abe discovers that the Glukkons are enslaving Mudokons, this time to produce a drink called Soulstorm Brew, which uses Mudokon bones and tears as its ingredients. The player assumes the role of Abe, embarking on a quest to halt production of Soulstorm Brew.
The game was released to similar critical acclaim as the first title. Reviews praised the game's ability to allow the player to QuikSave anywhere they liked, a feature that was not present in Abe's Oddysee, while noting that it was very similar to that title.
Manufacturer: GT Interactive software Release date: 1 November 1998
Description: Final Fantasy VIII (ファイナルファンタジーVIII, Fainaru Fantajī Eito) is a role-playing video game released for the PlayStation in 1999 and for Windows-based personal computers in 2000. It was developed and published by Square (now Square Enix) as the Final Fantasy series' eighth title, removing magic point-based spell-casting and the first title to consistently use realistically proportioned characters.
The game's story focuses on a group of young mercenaries who are drawn into an international conflict, and seek to protect the world from a sorceress manipulating the war for her own purposes. The main protagonist is Squall Leonhart, a 17-year-old loner and student at the military academy Balamb Garden, who is training to become a "SeeD", a mercenary paid by the academy.
The development of Final Fantasy VIII began in 1997, during the English localization process of Final Fantasy VII. The music was scored by Nobuo Uematsu, series regular, and in a series first, the theme music is a vocal piece, "Eyes on Me", performed by Faye Wong. The game was positively received by critics and was a commercial success. It was voted the 22nd-best game of all time by readers of the Japanese magazine Famitsu. Thirteen weeks after its release, Final Fantasy VIII had earned more than US$50 million in sales, making it the fastest-selling Final Fantasy title of all time until Final Fantasy XIII, a multi-platform release. The game has shipped 8.15 million copies worldwide as of March 31, 2003.
The game became available on PlayStation Network as a PSone Classics title in Japan on September 24, 2009, in the US on December 17, 2009, and in Europe on February 4, 2010.
Manufacturer: Eidos Interactive Release date: 25 January 2000 Number of discs: 4
Description: Prince of Persia (often shortened to "POP" or "PoP") is a platform game, originally developed by Jordan Mechner and released October 3, 1989 for the Apple II, that represented a great leap forward in the quality of animation seen in computer games. Mechner used a process called rotoscoping, in which he studied many hours of film of his younger brother David running and jumping in white clothes. Also unusual was the method of combat: protagonist and enemies fought with swords, not projectile weapons, as was the case in most contemporary games. Mechner has said that when he started programming, the first ten minutes of Raiders of the Lost Ark had been one of the main inspirations for the character's acrobatic responses in a dangerous environment.
After the original release on the Apple II, Prince of Persia was ported to a wide range of platforms. The game managed to surprise and captivate the player despite being at first glance, repetitive. This was achieved by interspersing intelligent puzzles and deadly traps all along the path the Prince had to take to complete the game — all this packaged in fluid, life-like motion.
Prince of Persia also influenced a sub-genre, which imitated the sprawling non-scrolling levels, fluid animation, and control style pioneered by Prince.
The game is set in Ancient Persia. While the Sultan is fighting a war in a foreign land, his vizier Jaffar seizes power. Jaffar's only obstacle to the throne is the Sultan's daughter. Jaffar locks her in a tower and orders her, under threat of execution, to become his wife. The game's nameless protagonist, whom the Princess loves, is thrown into the palace dungeons. To win the game the player must lead the protagonist out of the dungeons and to the palace tower, defeating Jaffar and freeing the Princess in under 60 minutes.
The character of Jaffar is loosely based on Ja'far bin Yahya Barmaki, a Persian vizier who was executed for allegedly having an affair with a princess. He is a recurring character in the Arabian Nights and elsewhere in film and literature.
Description: Lemmings is a puzzle computer game developed by DMA Design (now Rockstar North) and published by Psygnosis in 1991. Originally developed for the Commodore Amiga, Lemmings was one of the most popular computer games of its time, and several gaming magazines gave it some of their highest review scores at the time. The popularity of the game led to development of numerous ports to other systems, including most recently ports to the PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation 3 in 2006 and 2007, and the creation of several sequels.
The behavior of the creatures in Lemmings is based on the supposed behavior of real lemmings, who by urban legend are believed to go on migrations en masse that eventually lead to disaster. The basic objective of the game is to guide lemmings through a number of obstacles to a designated exit. In order to save the required number of lemmings to win, one must determine how to assign a limited number of eight different skills to specific lemmings that allow the selected lemming to alter the landscape, to affect the behaviour of other lemmings, or to clear obstacles in order to create a safe passage for the rest of the lemmings.
Description: Resident Evil, originally known as Biohazard (バイオハザード, Baiohazādo) in Japan, is a video game series and media franchise consisting of comic books, novelizations, films, and a variety of collectibles, including action figures, strategy guides and publications. Developed by Capcom and created by Shinji Mikami, the series has sold almost 40 million games as of May 2009.
Manufacturer: Capcom Release date: 12 September 2002 Number of discs: 2
Description: Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee is the third game made by Oddworld Inhabitants. Originally announced as a title in development for PlayStation 2, it was instead released exclusively as one of the launch titles for Microsoft Xbox. It is the second chapter of the Oddworld pentalogy, following Abe's Oddysee and its sequel Abe's Exoddus. While an "Oddboxx" containing all four games was originally intended for a holiday season 2009 release on Steam, the third and fourth games in the series were not released until December 20th, 2010 on Steam, over two years after the first two.
Taking place after the events of Abe's Exoddus, the story begins with a froglike Gabbit named Munch, searching for others of his kind. Munch continually uses a form of echolocation to call for fellow Gabbits, reminiscing about friendlier times before many of his friends were commercially fished to near-extinction in large nets. Unfortunately, owing to the delicacy of Gabbit eggs, known as "Gabbiar" (a parody of caviar) and the suitability of Gabbit lungs to replace those of the chain-smoking, dominant-species Glukkons, he is the last of his kind. While looking on a lonely shore, he is caught by an animal trap and taken by two Vykkers to their massive hovering base of operations, Vykkers Labs. There, they disagree on whether to sell Munch's lungs or to use him as an aquatic slave to gather trapped animals for them. They choose the latter, implanting a sparking sonar device in Munch's head. The plan backfires: when the two Vykkers leave, Munch discovers he can use the electrical properties of his new implant to free the furry-but-vicious lab specimens called Fuzzles, and enlist them into attacking the Vykkers and their cohorts. With his new army of Fuzzles, Munch manages to escape the dreaded facility.
Meanwhile, the Almighty Raisin tells the Mudokon hero Abe of Munch's plight, and commands him to find and rescue the Gabbit. The two manage to find each other just as Munch is escaping Vykkers Labs. After they destroy two Sloghuts (areas where Mudokons are forced to tend and feed Slog guard dogs) and help natives fend off Slig attacks, they find their way back to the Almighty Raisin. He tells them to go back to Vykkers Labs (particularly appalling for Munch) to save their respective species. The last can of Gabbit eggs is being auctioned in a few days as the last delicacy of its kind, and there are large stockpiles of Mudokon eggs in the fortress, intended to be used to hatch slaves. They infiltrate Vykker's Labs, and eventually save the remaining Mudokon eggs. What happens next depends on the actions of the player...
Manufacturer: Microsoft Release date: 3 December 2001 Number of discs: 1
Description: Another World, also known as Out of This World in North America and Outer World in Japan, is a 1991 cinematic platformer designed and developed by Eric Chahi. The graphics and box art were designed by Chahi, while the music was composed by Jean-François Freitas.
Selling around 1 million copies in the 1990s, Another World was innovative in its use of cinematic effects in the graphics, sound and cut scenes, with characters communicating through their facial features, gestures, and actions only. This cinematic style granted Another World cult status amongst critics and fans. Eurogamer called it "one of the most visionary and memorable games of its time."
Originally developed on an Amiga 500 for the Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, Apple IIGS and MS-DOS platforms, the game was widely ported to other contemporary systems. Later efforts resulted in several game engine recreations for the game that permitted it to run on modern computers, consoles and mobile phones.
In 2006, Chahi independently released a 15th Anniversary Edition for Windows which allowed the game to be played on modern computers with original or enhanced visuals.
A sequel, Heart of the Alien, was only released for the Mega CD.
Description: Flashback, released as Flashback: The Quest for Identity in the US, is a cinematic platformer developed by Delphine Software of France, a now defunct company, and published by U.S. Gold in United States and Europe, and Sunsoft in Japan. The game was directed, written/designed and partially programmed by Paul Cuisset, who had previously created the adventure game Future Wars. It is listed in the Guinness World Records as the best-selling French game of all time.
Flashback was initially released for the Amiga in 1992, then ported to MS-DOS, Acorn Archimedes, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and Super Nintendo in 1993. CD-ROM versions of Flashback for the Mega-CD, 3DO, CD-i, MS-DOS, Apple Macintosh and the FM Towns were released during 1994 and 1995, together with a cartridge version for the Atari Jaguar in 1995.
Originally advertised as a "CD-ROM game on a cartridge", the game features fully hand-drawn backdrops and all animation is rotoscoped, giving movements a fluidity unusual for the time, similar to that of the earlier Prince of Persia. The rotoscoping technique of Flashback was invented independently of Prince of Persia, and used a more complicated method of first tracing video images onto transparencies.
A two-track CD soundtrack was released featuring music inspired by the game, but not directly from it.
Description: SimCity 2000 (SC2K) is a simulation/city building computer game and the second installment in the SimCity series. SimCity 2000 was first released by Maxis in 1994 for computers running Apple Macintosh Operating System. It was later released on the Amiga, DOS & Microsoft Windows, followed by a release for OS/2. In 1995, SimCity 2000 won "Best Military or Strategy Computer Game" Origins Award.
The unexpected and enduring success of the original SimCity, combined with the relative lack of success with other "Sim" titles, finally motivated the development of a sequel. SimCity 2000 was a major extension of the concept; the view was now dimetric instead of overhead, land could have different elevations, and underground layers were introduced for water pipes and subways.
New types of facilities include prisons, schools, libraries, museums, marinas, zoos, hospitals and arcologies. Players can build highways, roads, bus depots, railway tracks, subways, train depots and zone land for seaports and airports. There are a total of nine varieties of power plants in SimCity 2000, including coal, natural gas, nuclear, wind turbines, hydroelectric dams (which can only be placed on waterfall tiles) and the futuristic fusion power and satellite microwave plant. Most types of power plants have a limited life span and must be rebuilt periodically.
Players can build highways to neighboring cities to increase trade and the population. The cities are named after British Science-Fiction sitcom characters notably from Red Dwarf.
The budget and finance controls are also much more elaborate—tax rates can be set individually for residential, commercial and industrial zones. Enacting city ordinances and connecting to neighboring cities became possible. The budget controls are very important in running the city effectively.
Description: Altered Beast (獣王記 Jūōki, literally "Beast King's Chronicle", in Japan) is a 1988 arcade game developed and manufactured by Sega. After its initial arcade release, it was ported to several home video game consoles and home computers. Makoto Uchida was the primary developer of the game and also was responsible for the creation of Golden Axe. A re-worked arcade version was released for Xbox 360's Xbox Live Arcade on June 10, 2009, with HD support, online leaderboards and network play.
Altered Beast is a side scrolling, platform, beat 'em up game that puts the player in control of a centurion who had died in battle. The centurion has been raised from the dead to rescue Zeus' daughter Athena from a Demon God called Neff in the Underworld. The player battles undead and demonic hordes, controlling the shapeshifting hero. He must fight through several levels in order to save the kidnapped Goddess. Although 'Centurion' was a rank in the Roman Army, the game takes place in a setting resembling Ancient Greece, complete with Greek Gods, Temples and ruined Ionic columns.
The player must battle armies of fictional and undead creatures to defeat the Demon Neff, who is holding Athena captive. Along the way, the player has to obtain "Spirit Balls" (power-up orbs which increase his strength and size) from defeating white two-headed wolves (It was blue oxen in the DOS version. It is hinted that this wolf might be the Orthrus dog of Greek Mythology). These enable the player to turn into a superhuman (stage one: "giant man", stage two: "superman"...). When three are collected, the hero transforms into a beast with exceptional abilities.
Description: Final Fantasy IX (ファイナルファンタジーIX, Fainaru Fantajī Nain?) is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square (now Square Enix) for the PlayStation. Released in 2000, it is the ninth title in the Final Fantasy series. The game introduced new features to the series, such as the "Active Time Event", "Mognet", and a revamped equipment and skill system.
Set in the fantasy world of Gaia, Final Fantasy IX's plot centers on a war between several nations. Players follow a young thief named Zidane Tribal, who joins with several others to defeat Queen Brahne of Alexandria, who started the war. The plot shifts, however, when the characters realize that Brahne is a puppet for an arms dealer called Kuja.
Final Fantasy IX was developed alongside Final Fantasy VIII, but took a different path to return to the style of the early Final Fantasy games with a more traditional fantasy setting; consequently, Final Fantasy IX was influenced heavily by the original Final Fantasy game, and features allusions to other titles in the series. The music was scored by the then regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu. The game has been subject to extremely positive reviews, receiving 93% on GameRankings (making it the second highest rated Final Fantasy game after Final Fantasy VI). Final Fantasy IX was commercially successful, selling 5.30 million units worldwide as of March 31, 2003.
Description: Shadow of the Beast is a side-scrolling platform computer game produced by Reflections Interactive and published by Psygnosis in 1989. The original version was released for the Commodore Amiga, but the game has been ported to many other systems. The original Amiga release cost 35 pounds, an unheard of price for a video game in that era, but it did include a T-shirt in the box.
Psygnosis had published numerous side scrollers with high quality graphics prior to the release of Shadow of the Beast (most notably Obliterator). Shadow of the Beast, however, was considered revolutionary because its graphics, with many more colours on screen and up to twelve levels of parallax scrolling backdrops, were of a level rarely if ever seen before in action games. It was also notable for its atmospheric score composed by David Whittaker that used high-quality instrument samples.
The first game's story is about a man named Aarbron who was kidnapped as a child and corrupted through magic into a monstrous warrior-servant for the evil beast lord Maletoth. The creature's memory of his human life returns when he watches a man being executed, whom he later recognizes as his father. This prompts Aarbron to seek revenge on Maletoth.
The box artwork of the game, like many Psygnosis releases of the time, was created by fantasy artist Roger Dean, in a style reminiscent of his Yes album cover artwork.
Description: Devil May Cry (デビル メイ クライ) is a series of five hack and slash video games set in the modern day. The series was developed by Capcom and created by Hideki Kamiya. Originally intended to be a sequel in Capcom's Resident Evil series, Devil May Cry was such a radical departure from the series' style that it was developed into a new property entirely. The series centers on main character Dante's goal of avenging his mother's murder by exterminating demons. The gameplay consists of heavy combat scenes in which the player must attempt to extend long chains of attacks while avoiding damage in order to exhibit stylized combat; this element along with time and amount of items collected and used are taken under consideration when grading the player's performance.
The series has been a success with the first three games selling multiple million copies and being awarded the "Platinum Title" award by Capcom. The success of the video game series has led to the creation of comic books, novelizations, an anime series, guides, collectibles, publications, and a variety of action figures.
During the 2010 edition of the Tokyo Game Show Capcom revealed a new game named DmC Devil May Cry. The new game is developed by Ninja Theory and centers on a younger version of Dante.
Description: Legacy of Kain: Defiance is a video game developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Eidos. It is the fifth and thus far final game in the Legacy of Kain series. It was released in North America in November and December of 2003, and in Europe and Australia in February 2004. The game acquired high reviews upon its release, with the site Gamespy giving it three out of five stars, and both IGN and TeamXbox rating it eight out of ten. The game was praised for finally answering many questions posed in previous installments, but criticized for its repetitive gameplay and awkward camera controls.
Defiance continues the journey of the Vampire lord Kain and his lieutenant-turned-wraith Raziel. After having Raziel killed to be revived by the Elder God as a wraith during the events of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, Kain travels backwards through time and is followed by Raziel into Nosgoth's past, uncovering the conspiratorial events that led to the land being doomed to an eternity of corruption. After establishing his free will by refusing to kill Kain when prophesied, Raziel discovers that Moebius the Timestreamer had originally manipulated Kain into igniting a genocidal war against Vampires until he was the last of his kind. In manipulating Raziel who has free will and thus whose decisions and actions cannot be foreseen by Moebius, Kain hopes to find a way to undo the consequences of his actions and restore Nosgoth to its former glory.
Description: Final Fantasy X (ファイナルファンタジーX, Fainaru Fantajī Ten) is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square (now Square Enix) as the tenth title in the Final Fantasy series. It was released in 2001 for Sony's PlayStation 2. The game marks the Final Fantasy series' transition from entirely pre-rendered backdrops to fully three-dimensional areas, and is also the first in the series to feature voice acting. Final Fantasy X replaces the Active Time Battle (ATB) system with a new Conditional Turn-Based Battle (CTB) system, and uses a new leveling system called the "Sphere Grid".
Set in the fantasy world of Spira, the game's story centers around a group of adventurers and their quest to defeat a rampaging monster known as "Sin". The player character is Tidus, a blitzball star who finds himself in Spira after his home city of Zanarkand is destroyed by Sin. During the game, Tidus, along with several others, aids the summoner Yuna on her pilgrimage to destroy Sin.
Development of Final Fantasy X began in 1999, with a budget of more than US$32.3 million and a team of more than 100 people. The game was the first in the main series not entirely scored by Nobuo Uematsu; Masashi Hamauzu and Junya Nakano were signed as Uematsu's fellow composers. Final Fantasy X was both a critical and commercial success. The game has sold 6.32 million units worldwide. In 2003, it was followed by Final Fantasy X-2, making it the first Final Fantasy game to have a direct game sequel.
Description: God of War is an action adventure video game for the PlayStation 2 console by Sony Computer Entertainment's Santa Monica division. First released in March 2005, it is the first instalment in the God of War series, which is loosely based on Greek mythology. The game's protagonist is a warrior named Kratos, and the story forms part of a saga, with vengeance as a central theme. In this chapter, Kratos must stop the God of War, Ares, from destroying the city of Athens by finding the fabled Pandora's Box.
The success of God of War led to the development of five additional games as part of the God of War series.
As a third-person camera game, the player controls the character Kratos in a combination of combat, platforming and puzzle game elements. The player typically has to navigate Kratos through a long series of tests, trials and mazes to reach goals.
Kratos' main weapons are the Blades of Chaos, with secondary weapon the Blade of Artemis also being acquired. Magic is also acquired, with four different attacks being available: Poseidon's Rage, Medusa's Gaze, Zeus' Fury, and Army of Hades. The relic Poseidon's Trident is also obtained, which allows Kratos to breathe underwater. Kratos also temporarily wields the Blade of the Gods during the final fight with Ares.
A special ability called “Rage of the Gods” is also acquired, which provides temporary invulnerability and increased attack damage. It can be recharged by killing enemies.
Health and Magic upgrades - Gorgon Eyes and Phoenix Feathers respectively - are found throughout the game in chests. Six of each are needed to upgrade the Health and Magic bars respectively. Other chests found in the game, containing orbs, are marked with a corresponding color for the orbs (green, blue, and red). Green Orbs replenish health, blue orbs replenish magic and red orbs provide experience, which in turn allows the upgrading of magical abilities and weapons.
Red orbs may also be collected by killing foes and destroying certain inanimate objects. Combat includes a quick-time feature, which is initiated when the player has weakened a stronger foe and a icon (the circle button on the controller) appears above them. The player then presses the corresponding button commands appearing on screen, with success ending the battle, and failure usually resulting in damage. A "grab" maneuver is also available for use on minor foes that yields experience points in the form of red orbs.
A quick-time sex mini-game is included (an encounter with two hand maidens on Kratos' ship). A Challenge mode (ten trials called “ Challenge of the Gods”) is also included in the bonus features, which unlocks secret costumes and behind-the-scenes videos.
Description: Pikmin (ピクミン, Pikumin) is a strategy video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube video game console in 2001. Pikmin is the first game in the Pikmin series of video games, designed by Shigeru Miyamoto. Pikmin was released on October 26, 2001 in Japan, December 2, 2001 in North America, and June 14, 2002 in Europe. The sequel, Pikmin 2, was released in 2004. The image song, "Ai No Uta" by Strawberry Flower, appeared in the Japanese commercials for the game, but soon became an unexpected hit song, eventually eclipsing Pikmin's sales. As of March 31, 2002, Pikmin has sold over one million copies.
Pikmin is a 3D, top-down, strategy game, with the player controlling Captain Olimar from a third-person viewpoint. Olimar is followed by the Pikmin, whom he directs.
In 2009, both Pikmin games were re-released for the Wii as part of the New Play Control! series.
Description: Age of Empires is a series of computer video games developed by Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios. The first title of the series was Age of Empires, released in 1997. Since then, seven titles and three spin-offs have been released. The titles are historical real-time strategy games, and their gameplay revolves around two main game modes: random map and campaign. This game was to compete with another hit game back then called "Civilization". The games are set amidst historical events. Age of Empires focused on events in Europe and Asia, spanning from the Stone Age to the Iron Age; the expansion game explored the formation and expansion of the Roman Empire. The sequel, Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings, was set in the Middle Ages, while its expansion focused on the Spanish conquest of Mexico. The subsequent three games of Age of Empires III explored the early modern period, when Europe was colonizing the Americas and several Asian nations were on the rise. The newest installment, Age of Empires Online takes a different approach as a free-to-play online game utilizing Games for Windows Live. A spin-off game, Age of Mythology, was set in the same period as the original Age of Empires, but focused on fictional elements of Greek, Egyptian, and Norse mythology.
The Age of Empires series has been a commercial success, selling over 20 million copies. The popularity and quality of the games has earned Ensemble Studios a strong reputation in real-time strategy gaming. Ensemble collaborated with Big Huge Games on Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties. Critics have credited part of the success of the series to its historical theme and fair play; the artificial intelligence (AI) players fight with less "cheating" than in many of the series' competitors.
Description: Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain is a top-down action/adventure video game developed by Silicon Knights and published by Crystal Dynamics. The game was first released in November 1996 for the PlayStation, and eventually ported to Microsoft Windows in August 1997.
The game is focused on the brutal but charismatic protagonist Kain, and forms part of a saga - the Legacy of Kain series - with redemption as a central theme.
Blood Omen was praised for its high-quality voice acting, moody atmosphere, and compelling storyline.
Blood Omen is a two-dimensional action-adventure game. The game camera is fixed in a bird's eye view position and follows Kain as the character travels the world of Nosgoth. Gameplay is divided between outdoor exploration and visiting internal structures, including crypts, houses, castles, cathedrals and temples.
The game screen constantly displays three features, being the sun gauge, and health and magic meters respectively. The sun gauge monitors the passage of time via the use of icons (e.g. sun and moon), with the screen also becoming lighter or darker to accurately reflect the time. Certain doors, or "Moon Gates", possess a "time trigger" and only open when a full moon occurs. A full moon briefly occurs once every two hours of real time.
The health meter is a red blood vial that monitors Kain's current level of health. By finding small vials throughout the game it is possible to increase the size of the vial. The magic gauge is signified by a series of blue glyphs, and by finding additional glyphs the gauge increases in length.
During the course of the game, the character Kain acquires a variety of abilities, weapons, armour, magic and items.
Description: Riven is a puzzle adventure game, the sequel to Myst. Developed by Cyan Worlds, it was initially published by Brøderbund. Riven was distributed on five compact discs and released on October 29, 1997, in North America; it was later released on a single DVD-ROM, with improved audio and a fourteen-minute "making-of" video. In addition to the PC versions, Riven has been ported to several other platforms, including the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and most recently iOS-based devices.
The story of Riven is set immediately after the events of Myst. Having been rescued from the efforts of his sons, the main non-player protagonist Atrus enlists the help of the player character to free his wife from his power-hungry father Gehn. Unlike Myst, which took place on several worlds known as Ages, linked together by special books, Riven takes place almost entirely on the Age of Riven, a world slowly falling apart due to Gehn's destructive rule.
Development of Riven began soon after Myst became a success, and spanned more than three years. In an effort to create a visual style distinct from that of Myst, director Robyn Miller and his brother, producer Rand Miller recruited former Aladdin production designer Richard Vander Wende as a co-director. Brøderbund employed a US$10 million advertising campaign to publicize the game's release.
Riven was praised by professional reviewers, with the magazine Salon proclaiming that the game approaches the level of art. Critics positively noted the puzzles and immersive experience of the gameplay, though publications such as Edge felt that the nature of point-and-click gameplay limited the title heavily. The best-selling game of 1997, Riven sold 1.5 million copies in one year. After the game's release, Robyn Miller left Cyan to form his own development studio, ending the professional partnership of the two brothers. Rand stayed at Cyan and continued to work on Myst-related products, including the novel Myst: The Book of D'ni and the real-time rendered game Uru: Ages Beyond Myst. The next entry in the Myst series, Myst III: Exile, was developed by Presto Studios, and published by Ubisoft.
Description: Myst III: Exile is the third title in the Myst series of first person adventure video games. While the preceding games in the series, Myst and Riven, were produced by Cyan and published by Brøderbund, Exile was developed by Presto Studios and published by Ubisoft. The game was released on four compact discs for both Macintosh and Windows PCs on May 7, 2001; versions for the Xbox and PlayStation 2 were released in late 2002.
As in previous games, the player assumes the role of the Stranger, a friend of Atrus. A member of the D'ni race, Atrus can create links to other worlds called Ages by writing descriptive books. In Exile, Atrus has written an Age for the D'ni to live on while rebuilding their civilization; it is stolen, however, by a mysterious figure. The Stranger pursues the thief in an attempt to reclaim Atrus' book.
The creators of the Myst franchise gave the task of creating the third Myst game to Presto Studios, known for its adventure game series The Journeyman Project. Presto sought to develop a diverse and logical approach to puzzles and Ages, and worked to make the villain sympathetically multifaceted. The developers hired Jack Wall to develop a musical style different from earlier composer Robyn Miller but still recognizable as a Myst game. The project required millions of US dollars and more than two years to complete.
Exile was received well by critics; British newspaper The Daily Telegraph called it the best game in the Myst series. Conversely, long-time critics of the series complained that Exile continued to prove that Myst's slower gameplay did not belong in the fast-paced modern game market; GameSpot editor Greg Kasavin described the Myst series as having lost its relevance. Despite selling more than one million units within the first year of release, Exile fared poorer commercially than Myst and Riven, which had sold more than 10 million units combined. Presto Studios ceased software development entirely after the game's release, and Myst IV: Revelation, the fourth game in the series, was developed and published solely by Ubisoft.
Description: Myst is a graphic adventure video game designed and directed by the brothers Robyn and Rand Miller. It was developed by Cyan (now Cyan Worlds), a Spokane, Washington-based studio, and published and distributed by Brøderbund. The Millers began working on Myst in 1991 and released it for the Macintosh computer on September 24, 1993; it was developer Cyan's largest project to date. Remakes and ports of the game have been released for Saturn, Microsoft Windows, Jaguar CD, 3DO, CD-i, PlayStation, AmigaOS, PSP, Nintendo DS, and iOS by publishers Midway Games, Sunsoft, and Mean Hamster Software.
Myst puts the player in the role of the Stranger, who uses a special book to travel to the island of Myst. There, the player uses other special books written by an artisan and explorer named Atrus to travel to several worlds known as "Ages". Clues found in each of these Ages help reveal the back-story of the game's characters. The game has several endings, depending on the course of action the player takes.
Upon release, Myst was a surprise hit, with critics lauding the ability of the game to immerse players in the fictional world. The game was the best-selling PC game of all time, until The Sims exceeded its sales in 2002. Myst helped drive adoption of the then-nascent CD-ROM format. Myst's success spawned four direct video game sequels as well as several spin-off games and novels.
Description: Theme Hospital is a simulation computer game developed by Bullfrog Productions and published by Electronic Arts in 1997, in which the player designs and operates a hospital. Like most of Bullfrog's games, Theme Hospital is permeated by an eccentric sense of humour. The game is the thematic successor to Theme Park, a game also produced by Bullfrog.
The game is set in a hospital, and requires the player to build an environment which will attract patients with comical complaints, illnesses, emergencies, and diseases. The game has a somewhat dark sense of humour, which is similar to that of Theme Park in many ways. The player has no direct control over the patients that wander the hospital, although gameplay largely centres on influencing their actions in one way or another. The player does, however, have the ability to pick up any staff member in the building and move them to a different area (to speed up their movement from place to place) and to expel any patients from the hospital (if they are being a nuisance, causing rowdiness or about to die and affect the hospital's statistics). The player may also force the patient into taking a chance of possible cure at the risk of killing the patient (this is useful, for example, if a patient is about to die but has already completed enough diagnostics requirements to identify the kind of disease the patient is suffering from) and rearrange the queue of each of the rooms in the hospital (useful for moving dying patients to the front of the queue so they can receive treatment first).
Each level consists of an empty hospital to plan and design, with set goals in the fields of financial attainment, patients cured, percent of patients cured, and hospital value. Holding negative funds or allowing sufficient patients to die will bring about losing requirements. When the goals have been met the player has the option to move on to a new, more elaborate hospital with tougher winning conditions and more diseases present. The final level in the game, 'Battenburg' consists of an enormous, yet somewhat awkward, hospital with all the diseases and rooms in the game present, all disasters frequent and very high winning requirements.
Description: TimeSplitters: Future Perfect is a 2005 first-person shooter video game developed by Free Radical Design and published by EA Games for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube video game consoles.
It is the third game in the TimeSplitters series, after TimeSplitters 2, which was released in 2002. The game features a single-player mode consisting of levels where the player assumes the role of Sergeant Cortez, a time-traveling marine from the 25th century, as he attempts to go to the past to save the future. The game also includes a range of multiplayer options as well as a cooperative mode. Online play was included in both the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions. This is also the first Timesplitters game in the series to receive an "M" rating by ESRB.
In June 2007, a sequel was announced to be in development, titled TimeSplitters 4.
Description: Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is a third-person action-adventure video game developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Eidos. It was released for the PlayStation and Microsoft Windows in 1999 and for the Dreamcast in 2000. As the second game in the Legacy of Kain series, Soul Reaver is the sequel to Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. Soul Reaver was followed by three games, one of which, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2, is a direct sequel.
Taking place 1500 years after the events of Blood Omen, Soul Reaver chronicles the journey of the vampire-turned-wraith Raziel, lieutenant to the vampire lord Kain. Raziel is killed by Kain, but is revived by The Elder God to become his "soul reaver" and to exact revenge. Raziel shares this title with Kain's sword, Soul Reaver, which he acquires during the game.
Crystal Dynamics began development of the game in 1997, but a deteriorating relationship with Silicon Knights, who had developed Blood Omen, created legal problems. This and other delays forced material originally planned for Soul Reaver to be instead released with later games of the series. Soul Reaver was generally well received by critics and praised for its intriguing gothic story and high-quality graphics. However, the game was criticized for simple and repetitive gameplay and an unsatisfying climax. The game is included on Sony's "Greatest Hits" list, and was re-released on the PlayStation Network in 2009.
Description: Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis is a point-and-click adventure game by LucasArts originally released in 1992. Almost a year later, the title was reissued as an enhanced "talkie" edition on CD-ROM with full voice acting and digitized sound effects. This version was also released both as part of Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings and as a Steam title in 2009. The seventh game to use the script language SCUMM, Fate of Atlantis has the player explore environments and interact with objects and characters by means of commands constructed with predetermined verbs. The title features three unique paths to select, influencing story development, gameplay, and puzzles.
The plot is set in the fictional Indiana Jones universe and revolves around the eponymous protagonist's global search for the legendary sunken city of Atlantis. Sophia Hapgood, an old co-worker of Indiana Jones who gave up her archaeological career to become a psychic, supports him along the journey. The two partners are opposed by the Nazis who are seeking to use the power of Atlantis for warfare and serve as the adventure's antagonists. The story was written by Hal Barwood and Noah Falstein, the game's designers, who had rejected the original plan to base the title on an unused movie script, and came up with the final concept while researching real-world sources for a suitable plot device.
Fate of Atlantis was praised by critics, received several awards for best adventure game of the year, became a million-unit seller, and is widely regarded as a classic of its genre today. Two concepts for a supposed sequel were conceived, though both projects were eventually cancelled due to unforeseen problems during development and were later reworked into two separate Dark Horse Comics series by Lee Marrs and Elaine Lee.
Description: Pokémon Crystal (ポケットモンスター クリスタルバージョン, Poketto Monsutā Kurisutaru Bājon,? "Pocket Monsters: Crystal Version"), for the Game Boy Color, is the seventh game in the Pokémon video game series in Japan, and the sixth in North America and Europe. The game is an updated version of the previous two versions, Pokémon Gold and Silver, and was released in Japan on December 14, 2000. It was released in North America on July 29, 2001 and in Europe on November 1, 2001.
The plot and gameplay of Pokémon Crystal is largely the same as in Gold and Silver, although it holds new features. It is the first game to allow players to choose the sex of their character, while previously the character was always male. Pokémon have animated sprites; for example, when a Cyndaquil enters battle, the flames on its back flicker. This feature was absent in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire and Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, but appeared in all games following. In addition, a couple of subplots were added, one involving the legendary Pokémon Suicune, featured on the front cover of the game,and the other involving the Unown. The game's biggest addition was the Battle Tower, a new building which allows players to participate in Pokémon Stadium-like fights. A feature exclusive to the Japanese version of Crystal allows the player to link up with others through the use of a mobile phone.
Pokémon Crystal was received fairly well by critics, obtaining an aggregate score of 80% on Game Rankings,but most commented that there were just not enough new additions and features to significantly set it apart from Pokémon Gold and Silver. "The final (hopefully) Game Boy Color edition is definitely the version to get if you aren't already one of the upteenth billion owners of the previous games, with Crystal's slight updates to the design and graphics. But there's not much in this edition that makes it a "must buy" for folks who already own a copy or two of the previous editions," said Craig Harris of IGN who still gave the game an "outstanding" 9 out of 10.
Manufacturer: Nintendo - The Pokémon Company Release date: 2000
Description: GoldenEye 007 is a 1997 first-person shooter video game developed by Rare for the Nintendo 64 video game console, based on the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye. The game received overwhelmingly positive reviews, and sold over eight million copies. It has been praised for the quality of its multiplayer deathmatch mode, and its incorporation of stealth elements and varied objectives into its single player missions. It is widely considered to be one of the most influential shooting games of all time.
GoldenEye 007 was followed by a spiritual successor, Perfect Dark, also developed by Rare. The commercial successor was Tomorrow Never Dies, developed by Electronic Arts for the PlayStation. A new game based on the film, also titled GoldenEye 007, was released for the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS on November 2, 2010.
Description: Halo: Combat Evolved (frequently referred to as simply Halo) is a first-person shooter video game developed by Bungie and published by Microsoft Game Studios. The first game of the Halo franchise, it was released on November 15, 2001 as a launch title for the Xbox gaming system, and is considered the platform's "killer app". With more than five million copies sold worldwide as of November 9, 2005,Microsoft released versions of the game for Microsoft Windows (ported by Gearbox Software) and Mac OS X in 2003, and the surrounding storyline was adapted and elaborated into a series of novels and comic books. The game was later released as an Xbox Original for download onto an Xbox 360 HDD.
In Halo's twenty-sixth century setting, the player assumes the role of the Master Chief, a cybernetically enhanced super-soldier. The player is accompanied by Cortana, an artificial intelligence who occupies the Master Chief's neural interface. Players battle various aliens on foot and in vehicles as they attempt to uncover the secrets of the eponymous Halo, a ring-shaped artificial planet. The game has been called "easy to learn",and has been praised for its "engaging story".
Many game magazines have praised Halo as one of the best and most important games of all time. The game's popularity has led to labels such as "Halo clone" and "Halo killer", applied respectively to games either similar to or anticipated to be better than it. In addition, the game inspired and was used in the fan-created Red vs. Blue video series, which is credited as the "first big success" of machinima—the technique of using real-time 3D engines, often from video games, to create animated films. A prequel to the game and Bungie's last Halo title, Halo: Reach, was released on September 14, 2010.
Manufacturer: Microsoft Game Studios Release date: 2001
Description: Halo 2 is a first-person shooter video game developed by Bungie Studios. Released for the Xbox video game console on November 9, 2004, the game is the second video game title in the Halo franchise and the sequel to 2001's critically-acclaimed Halo: Combat Evolved. A Windows Vista version of the game was released on May 31, 2007, developed by an internal team at Microsoft Game Studios referred to as "Hired Gun". The game features a new game engine, as well as using the Havok physics engine; added weapons and vehicles, and new multiplayer maps. The player alternatively assumes the roles of the human Master Chief and the alien Arbiter in a 26th century conflict between the human UNSC and genocidal Covenant. Players fight enemies on foot, or with a collection of alien and human vehicles.
After the success of Combat Evolved, a sequel was expected and highly anticipated. Bungie found inspiration in plot points and gameplay elements that had been left out of their first game, including multiplayer over the internet through Xbox Live. Time constraints forced a series of cutbacks in the size and scope of the game, including a cliffhanger ending to the game's campaign mode that left many in the studio dissatisfied. Among Halo 2's marketing efforts was an alternate reality game called "I Love Bees" that involved players solving real-world puzzles.
On release, Halo 2 was the most popular video game on Xbox Live, holding that rank until the release of Gears of War for the Xbox 360 nearly two years later. By June 20, 2006, more than 500 million games of Halo 2 had been played and more than 710 million hours have been spent playing it on Xbox Live; by May 9, 2007, this number had risen to more than five million unique players on Xbox Live. As of November 2008, Halo 2 is the best-selling first-generation Xbox game with 8.46 million copies sold worldwide, with at least 6.3 million copies sold in the US alone.Critical reception of the game was generally positive, with most publications lauding the strong multiplayer component; at the same time, the campaign was the focus of criticism for its cliffhanger ending.
Manufacturer: Microsoft Game Studio Release date: 2004
Description: Assassin's Creed is an award-winning historical video game series that currently consists of six games, with one to be added, a facebook game, a short film (split into three episodes), two novels and comic books. The games appeared on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, Mac OS X, iOS, HP WebOS, Android and Windows Phone 7 platforms. The main games in the franchise were developed by Ubisoft Montreal, with the handheld titles developed by Gameloft and Gryptonite Studios, with additional development by Ubisoft Montreal. All games in the franchise are published by Ubisoft.
The main story arc of the series revolves around a bartender named Desmond Miles as he is captured by megacorporation Abstergo Industries (a front for the Knights Templar). Using a machine known as the Animus, Desmond is forced to relive his ancestors' memories, who were all assassins, in order to recover artifacts, called the "Pieces of Eden", for Abstergo. While the original assassin ancestor of Desmond is Altaïr, the most recent games feature another assassin from Renaissance Italy named Ezio. Assassination targets are mostly actual historical figures, although the timelines for their lives and causes of death have been changed to suit the games' plot (in-game these inaccuracies are attributed to the Templars rewriting history to cover up their actions, as well as honest mistakes on the part of historians).
The gameplay varies slightly from game to game, consisting of a mixture of action and adventure with a heavy emphasis on stealth in open world recreations of historical cities. The series has sold over 20 million units.
Description: Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath is an action-adventure game developed by Oddworld Inhabitants and published by Electronic Arts for the Microsoft Xbox. Music for the game was written by composer Michael Bross. It was released in January 25, 2005. A version for the PlayStation 2 was planned, but cancelled.
The game details the adventures of Stranger, a fearsome bounty hunter. Throughout the game, Stranger pursues and captures outlaws in order to collect bounties. The goal is to ultimately earn enough moolah (in-game money) to pay for a mysterious life-saving operation. One of the most notable features is the "live ammunition" system, which is literally ammunition made of living creatures like fictional insects and small mammals, each with different uses and effects against enemies.
The game is re-released as part of the "Oddbox", a newly announced collection which includes all the Oddworld games released so far. It was scheduled to be released in the first quarter of 2010 on Windows through Steam, but became available 20th December 2010 . Development team Just Add Water are currently preparing an updated version of the game for release on the Playstation 3.
Description: Loom is a graphical adventure game originally released in 1990. It was both developed and published by Lucasfilm Games (now called LucasArts) and was the fourth game to use the SCUMM adventure game engine. The project was led by Brian Moriarty, a former Infocom employee and author of the classic text adventures Wishbringer (1985), Trinity (1986) and Beyond Zork (1987).
In 2009 the game was released for digital download on Steam content delivery system.
A departure from other LucasArts adventure games in many senses, Loom is based on a serious and complex fantasy story. With its experimental interface, it eschewed the traditional paradigm of graphical adventures, where puzzles usually involve interactions between the game character, the environment, and multiple items the character can take into their possession.
Loom's gameplay centers instead around magical four-note tunes (drafts) that the protagonist, Bobbin Threadbare, can play on his distaff. Each draft is a spell that has an effect of a certain type, such as "Opening" or "Night Vision". Drafts can be learned by observing an object that possess the qualities of the relevant draft; for example, examining a blade while it is being sharpened gives the player the "Sharpening" draft.
Some drafts can be reversed by playing their notes backwards, so the "Dye" draft played backwards becomes "Bleach", while others, such as the "Terror" draft, are palindromes and can not be reversed in this manner. The player's abilities increase over the course of the game, with more and more powerful drafts. At first, only the notes C, D and E are playable, but by the end of the game F, G, A, B, and C' (high C) are also available.
Loom was also the first game to follow the LucasArts Game Design Philosophy, which states that the player will never be killed or forced to restart the game and won't have to "spend hours typing in synonyms until [they] stumble on the computer's word for a certain object" (see guess-the-verb).
The game can be played at three difficulty levels, each with slightly different hints. For example, the "Expert" level does not mark the distaff and is played solely by ear. In the original version, the expert player is rewarded with a graphic sequence that does not appear in the two other levels. The DOS CD-ROM version, however, shows a much shorter version of this sequence to all players.
Description: Medal of Honor: Rising Sun is the fifth installment of the Medal of Honor series released by Electronic Arts in November 2003. Like its predecessors, Rising Sun is a first-person shooter set in World War II. Unlike predecessors,Rising Sun is set during the Pacific War. It features single-player and multiplayer capabilities (multiplayer terminated as of November 2006). In single-player mode, the player assumes the role of Cpl./Sgt. Joseph Griffin of the United States Marine Corps.
A sequel was originally planned in which players would have assumed the role of Joseph's brother Donnie. However, this was canceled after Rising Sun received poor reviews.
Medal of Honor: Rising Sun has two multiplayer modes, Deathmatch: a free for all match, and Team Deathmatch, in which the player can choose teams.
The online multiplayer was one of the more successful elements of the game, coming at a time when online play titles for the Playstation 2 were not widely available, the online mode attracted and retained a loyal player following right up to its closure in January 2007.
Offline multiplayer is also available, where up to four people can play against each other and alongside AI bots.
Description: Gears of War is a third-person shooter video game developed by Epic Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios. It was initially released as an exclusive title for the Xbox 360 in November 2006 in North America, Australia, and most of Europe and included a "Limited Collector's Edition" with added content and an art book titled Destroyed Beauty that detailed much of the game's back-story. Despite the initial statements of Xbox 360 exclusivity, a Microsoft Windows version of the game was developed in conjunction with People Can Fly and released a year later, featuring new content including additional campaign levels, a new multiplayer game mode, and Games for Windows LIVE functionality.
The game focuses on the troops of Delta Squad as they fight to save the human inhabitants of the fictional planet Sera from a relentless subterranean enemy known as the Locust Horde. The player assumes the role of Marcus Fenix, a former prisoner and war-hardened soldier. The game is based on the use of cover and strategic fire for the player to advance through the scenarios; a second player can play cooperatively through the main campaign to assist. The game also features several online multiplayer game modes for up to eight players.
Gears of War sold over three million copies in just ten weeks and was the fastest-selling video game of 2006, and was the second-most played game over Xbox Live during 2007. The game has since sold over five million copies by September 2008. The game was well-received by critics, praising its gameplay and detailed visuals, and won several "Game of the Year" awards in 2006. The success of the game has led to the development of the Gears of War franchise, including the 2008 sequel Gears of War 2 and the upcoming sequel Gears of War 3 announced April 12, 2010, when Epic Games Cliff Bleszinski was a guest on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, with adaptations to books, comics, as well as a feature film to be expected.
Manufacturer: Microsoft Game Studios Release date: 2006
Description: Captain Planet (also known as Captain Planet and the Planeteers) was a video game released for the Nintendo Entertainment System by Mindscape in 1990. The game is loosely based on the environmentalist animated series, Captain Planet and the Planeteers and was produced by the third party developer Mindscape Inc. The company also created different games using the license for the Amiga/Atari ST and ZX Spectrum/Amstrad CPC.
The game has five levels, each of which was divided into two different type of stages. The first stage involves controlling the international teenager heroes (Planeteers) flying their Eco-Jet to some enemy fortress, while trying to avoid the instant death that occurs by touching any of the scenery or getting hit by the various projectives.
The second stage involves controlling Captain Planet himself as he fights his way to a ecovillain from the animated series.
Description: Shadow of Memories (シャドウ・オブ・メモリーズ, Shadou obu Memorīzu?) is an adventure video game released by Konami in 2001. The American release of the game is called Shadow of Destiny. Shadow of Memories is the release title for the Asian and European markets. Originally released for the PlayStation 2, it was later ported to the PC and Xbox in 2002 by the now-defunct Runecraft company. A recently announced PlayStation Portable version was released on October 1, 2009 in Japan and on January 26, 2010 in the United States.
The main story revolves around a 22-year-old man named Eike Kusch who dies in the beginning of the game in the year 2001 in a fictional German town named Lebensbaum (Life Tree), loosely based on the actual German town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, from being stabbed in the back after leaving a small diner. However, he wakes up in a dark, strange place, where a mysterious voice offers to send him back in time to prevent his death.
Eike awakens in a coffee shop and meets Dana, the waitress.
Given the ability to travel through time via a device known as a digipad, Eike has to visit four eras 2001, 1980, 1902 and 1580 - in which he will meet people that are all somehow connected to his life and destiny, as well as figure out a way of stopping his own murder at various points in the present.
Eike's time-travelling adventures can result in drastically different games. Sometimes, the actions of a character in one play-through can be completely different in another, revealing different origins, and wholly different lives depending on Eike's actions. There is an overall set of actions that can be inferred from the different endings, but there are also conflicting results that cannot possibly co-exist. It is up to the player to find out what is truly happening in the game.
Description: Golden Axe is a side-scrolling arcade hack and slash game released in 1989 by Sega for the System 16-B arcade hardware. It is the first game in the series.
Makoto Uchida was the primary developer of the game and also was responsible for the creation of Altered Beast, a similar game. Several ports of the game were created, most notably for the Mega Drive/Genesis and Master System.
The game takes place in the fictional land of Yuria, a Conan the Barbarian-style high fantasy medieval world. An evil entity known as Death Adder has captured the King and his daughter, and holds them captive in their castle. He also finds the Golden Axe, the magical emblem of Yuria, and threatens to destroy both the axe and the royal family unless the people of Yuria accept him as their ruler. Three Warriors set out on a quest to rescue Yuria and avenge their losses at the hands of Death Adder. The first is a battle axe-wielding dwarf, Gilius Thunderhead, from the mines of Wolud, whose twin brother was killed by the soldiers of Death Adder. Another is a male barbarian, Ax Battler, wielding a two handed broadsword looking for revenge for the murder of his mother. The last is a long-sword-wielding Tyris Flare, an amazon, whose parents were both killed by Death Adder.
The warriors save the inhabitants of the ransacked Turtle Village, which turns out to be situated on the shell of a giant turtle. The turtle takes the characters across the sea, and they then fly to the castle itself on the back of a giant eagle. Once at the castle they defeat Death Adder, who is wielding the Golden Axe and save the land. In the Mega Drive and PC versions, and also in other ports, the characters also battle Death Adder's mentor, Death Bringer, as the true final boss.
Description: Chakan: The Forever Man is a Sega Mega Drive, Genesis video game published by Sega of America June 8, 1992. The game featured an uncommonly dark premise for the time of its release, which saw the home console market flooded with licensed (often from children's cartoons) platformers.
It is based upon a comic book by Robert A. Kraus and was produced by Ed Annunziata, who met Chakan's creator at a convention and was impressed.
The game follows the tale of Chakan, a warrior who was so confident in his martial abilities that he declared even Death couldn't best him in battle. Of course, Death appeared and challenged Chakan with a proposition. If Chakan could defeat him, he'd be granted eternal life. However, if Chakan was defeated, he'd become Death's eternal servant. The battle raged on for several days and the ultimate victor was very clear. While he defeated Death eventually, he was granted his "reward":
“ You are a tactful swordsman, so I will not renege on our wager. I grant you the kiss of eternal life, but, for your arrogance and pride I will temper my gift with this curse. Each nightfall, evils will be shown to you, and the pain of their victims will be your pain. You will never know rest as you wander this world searching to slay the horrors that haunt your sleeping world. You will suffer grievous wounds, but you will not die, and as eternity rolls on, you crave my touch. Your face will bear my visage, and your eyes will burn with hellfire. Let it not be said that I am without mercy. There shall be an end to your curse, if all the beasts of the dark are slain, then you may find rest. ”
Chakan will live forever until he destroys the four supernatural evils: Spider-Queen, Mantis, Elkenrod, and Dragonfly King.
Description: The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II, abbreviated BFMEII, is a real-time strategy video game developed and published by Electronic Arts. It is based on the fantasy novels The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien and its live-action film trilogy adaptation. The game is the sequel to Electronic Arts' 2004 title The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth. The Windows version of the game was released on March 2, 2006 and the Xbox 360 version was released on July 5, 2006. Along with the standard edition, a Collector's Edition of the game was released, containing bonus material and a documentary about the game's development.
The story for BFMEII is divided into Good and Evil Campaigns. The Good Campaign focuses on Glorfindel, an Elf who is alerted to a planned attack on the Elven sanctuary of Rivendell. With help from the Dwarves and other Good forces, the Elves attempt to eliminate Sauron and his army to restore peace in Middle-earth. In the Evil Campaign, Sauron sends the Mouth of Sauron and the Nazgûl to muster wild Goblins. With his army, Sauron moves forward with his plan to destroy the remaining Good forces in the North.
BFMEII received generally favorable reviews from video game critics. Reviews praised the game's integration of the Lord of the Rings universe into a real-time strategy title, while criticism targeted the game's unbalanced multiplayer mode. BFMEII received numerous awards, including the Editors' Choice Award from IGN. At the end of March 2006, BFMEII reached fourth in a list of the month's best-selling PC games. A Windows expansion pack for the game was released on November 28, 2006, called The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II: The Rise of the Witch-king, which features a new faction known as Angmar, new units, and several gameplay improvements.
Description: Magicland Dizzy is a platform adventure game published in Europe in 1990 by Codemasters for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Amiga platforms. By 1992 there were also DOS, Atari ST and Amstrad CPC versions available. It is the sixth game in the Dizzy series, and the fourth adventure-based Dizzy title. The story, set in a fantasy world called Magicland, follows on from the events of Fantasy World Dizzy, the previous adventure title. In Magicland Dizzy the player controls Dizzy, an egg-shaped character, who is trying to save six of his friends who have been placed under spells by the Evil Wizard Zaks.
The game was the first Dizzy game not to be developed entirely by Dizzy's creators, the Oliver Twins. Instead, whilst they were focusing on other projects, Magicland Dizzy was designed by Neal Vincent and coded by external developer Big Red Software. The Oliver Twins retained design-approval oversight.
The game is sometimes alternatively known by its development title, Dizzy 4, with the Roman numeral IV visible at the top of the game screen, behind the player's score. A prequel, Into Magicland, was released to promote the game and featured a new character that was never seen in any of the series games again. The game was positively received by critics across the platforms with scores typically in the 80-90% region. Criticism was leveled at its similarity to previous games in the series and the awkward inventory system. By November 1991 it was noted that the Dizzy games had sold more than half a million units across all platforms.
Description: Escape from Colditz is a game devised by successful escaper Pat Reid, based on the former POW camp at Colditz Castle in Germany during World War II.
The original game is a board game produced by Parker Brothers.
A computer game was also produced, based on the board game. It was a graphical Action and Adventure game from 1991, by Digital Magic, for the Amiga platform. Four prisoners; British, French, American and Polish, are about to try to escape from the Colditz Castle.
It is played with a combination of joystick and keyboard, whereby the player controls the four prisoners, one at a time, switching between them freely using the F1-F4 keys.
Guards patrol most zones of the prison day and night. There are curfews and there are calls for recounting the prisoners in the courtyard. Violating them would mean getting arrested into solitary cells; resisting would mean getting killed by the guards, who are quite skilled with guns.
Manufacturer: Digital Magic Software Release date: 1991
Games which had a deeper impact via their storytelling and level of detail. Game-play, beauty and a grain of truth via creativity...