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Added by Ashley Winchester on 2 Jun 2013 02:02
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AW's Game Log

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People who added this item 33 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
Castlevania Double Pack - Game Boy Advance

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Last Played: 07/18/10 ~ 07/28/10
Purchased: 07/18/10
Playthrough: First

As some might expect the Castlevania Double Pack is an interesting little item. While it's true the games are obviously related because they both take place in the same world (they just take place at different times) a combination such as this just reinforces the player to compare the two games against one another even more. I myself found such in-depth analysis to be fascinating and I pretty much found where one game failed the other game would succeed and visa versa. Still, perhaps the best thing about the Castlevania Double pack is that it wisely avoids including Circle of the Moon which didn't make a very good impression on me and feels very different than these games.

Positives (Harmony of Dissonance):
+ Castle design is weird but good enough to be interesting
+ The dual castle system (and the reason behind it) is a neat twist
+ The loss of sound quality for larger castle was a successful gamble
+ Despite lifting from Symphony a lot it doesn't scream rip-off
+ Some bosses are kind of cool
+ The game is better than it initially seems; decent
+ The small homage to Super Metroid is very clever
+ An odd, almost surreal title that manages to work for some reason

Positives (Aria of Sorrow):
+ Graphically superior to Dissonance
+ Things are actually hidden unlike Dissonance
+ More resources were devoted to sound
+ The experience system has finally been fixed
+ Soul collecting system is rather unique
+ Player will get a hoot out of who the one character really is
+ The bad ending makes the series come full circle
+ The battle against J is perhaps the game's best moment
+ Ghramn's final form looks kind of like Copy X from Mega Man Zero

Negatives (Harmony of Dissonance):
- Juste is a pretty forgettable Belmont despite looking like Alucard
- The secondary character is kind of cooler than the main one
- Some areas of the map are just graphically ugly
- Character sprites are very unappealing
- Flawed experience system from Symphony still in effect
- The merchant is kind of an annoying character
- Juste is a sad attempt to remind players of Alucard
- Some boss fights are technically flawed
- The last boss is one of the worst the series has seen
- The fact the Crush Boots have to be equipped is a pain
- Next to NOTHING in this game is really hidden

Negatives (Aria of Sorrow):
- Castle layout isn't particularly interesting
- Some hidden rooms are a little too hidden
- Having certain items equipped as triggers is getting old
- Game contains some rather uninspired bad guys
- Final bosses are kind of lame
- Easy to get juggled and killed in the final battle
- Some of the flying enemies are a pain to deal with
- The medusa/spike/treadmill room in the arena sucks
- As soulful as the characters can be the environments squander it

Overall Score: 7/10
People who added this item 284 Average listal rating (182 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Metroid: Zero Mission - Game Boy Advance

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Last Played: 07/29/10 ~ 08/01/10
Purchased: 03/29/12 (Second copy; first in poor shape)
Playthrough: First

The premise behind Metroid: Zero Mission initially seems promising: a re-master and re-envisioning of the original game with all the advancements of Super Metroid while adding an new, all original climax. Unfortunately, while the first part of idea works well enough for most of the game, it's the second part that pretty much takes the whole plan down a dangerous road. Yeah, it's true that the original NES version of Metroid has taken a beating over the years - so a new version is a good idea - but Zero Mission's new conclusion adds next to nothing to the Metroid story... outside one cute little moment.

+ New mini boss fights are interesting even though boss design is lacking
+ Two moments of comic relief by space pirates are priceless
+ Samus' link to planet Zebes is cute

- Remixed tunes don't do originals justice even if they're less annoying
- The new, original music tracks aren't that great
- Spinesharking puzzles are simply maddening
- Super jumps/spinesharking ill-explained in a lot of places
- Boss fights feel a lot more sloppy than the fights they're based on
- Despite lifting from previous games the map layout isn't too great
- Holding L for missiles is aggravating especially for puzzles
- Missiles should have been assigned to select button
- Game's new climax is nothing but a big bust
- The last energy tank... oh god the LAST ENERGY TANK!
- Don't understand why you lose your first suit
- The gravity suit is obtained way too late
- Game almost crumbles due to difficulty spikes

Overall Score: 7/10
People who added this item 363 Average listal rating (222 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
Metroid Fusion - Game Boy Advance

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Last Played: 08/02/10 ~ 08/05/10
Purchased: 07/23/10
Playthrough: First

Metroid Fusion is a game I have a mixed opinion of. On the negative side of things there's the feeling I have that it is a pale imitation of Super Metroid, but then all sorts of things like the fear the SA-X instills in the player, the part Adam plays in the story (which is essentially ruined by Other M later on...) and how it's directly related to Metroid II: Return of Samus (dude! So that's the reason the metroids were created!!!) makes me seriously reconsider my stance on the game. I still think the game's story outguns the gameplay by a mile which isn't what most are looking for in a Metroid game. That said, Fusion's narrative should definitely be commended for adding so much to the series mythos and not screwing it up.

+ With Metroid Prime essentially revived the franchise
+ The music seems to take influence from Metroid II
+ Game offers the fans of Metroid II a lot of fan service
+ The final boss is just too cool for words
+ Game's structure seems like it influenced Prime 3
+ Dude - the return of the Etecoons and Dachora!!!
+ SA-X really adds sense of fear and oh crap factor
+ The concept of Samus starting off in a weakened state
+ Methodical build up of the story just can't be beat

- Like Zero Mission the map design just feels off
- The aquatic sector of the station is just a disaster
- The locking off of the sectors after a certain event
- I can appreciate Fusion's music but it's just not my thing
- The final boss once again has scripted events
- The mission-based gameplay kind of discourages exploration
- I don't think we need that many power bombs
- Some boss enemies feel really damn cheap
- Shinesparking puzzles are VERY annoying
- Ridley looks very bizarre like a pterodactyl
- Some will dislike how power ups are obtained (I'm fine with it)
- Can't stand the way missiles are fired

Overall Score: 7/10
People who added this item 140 Average listal rating (88 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
Mega Man X4 - PlayStation

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Last Played: 08/09/10 ~ 08/12/10
Purchased: 09/25/08 (Second copy; first was greatest hits)
Playthrough: ??? (Countless times)

I'm not going to mince words here: I LOVE Mega Man X4. After two standard sequels on the Super Nintendo in the forms of Mega Man X2 and X3 (which were good) Mega Man X4 finally breaks the door down and allows the player to FINALLY play as Zero for the entire duration of the game! Really, you can't underestimate how big that was and how the game ingeniously added a degree of separation of how each played with X being the long range fighter and Zero being the ruthless, up close hack and slash character. It's true there are some plot holes and gaps in logic but I just don't give a damn with a game that gives the excellent original this kind of run for it's money. The sad part? Aside for a few bright spots (Maverick Hunter X and the gameplay of X8) this is the last great game in the series.

+ The game's two-dimensional graphics still look great
+ Full motion videos a great way to celebrate the franchise's anniversary
+ The degree of separation between how X and Zero handle is perfect
+ Soundtrack is PHENOMINAL
+ Last battle is very challenging
+ Sequels prove separate scenarios for X/Zero is the better option
+ Characters don't have to divide power-ups between themselves
+ Game maintains classic Mega Man game structure
+ Repliforce members are excellent characters (booya!)
+ Game is very affordable and easy to procure even today

- I consider Zero's Hyouretsuzan technique too risky to use
- Game spoils the player with features that aren't used in future games
- Some gaps in logic present in the game's story
- Some of the music is a little too typical
- For SOME reason Mega Man 8 sold more copies than X4 (sacrilege!)
- Lacks the small refinements (looping music) of the Saturn version
- Voice acting is pretty terrible (but l like Colonel's Aussie accent)
- Last *great* game in the Mega Man X franchise
- Makes most of the following games look bad in comparison

Overall Score: 10/10
Ashley Winchester's rating:
People who added this item 134 Average listal rating (81 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0

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Last Played: 08/12/10 ~ 08/13/10
Purchased: 08/20/08 (Second copy; first stolen)
Playthrough: ??? (Countless times)

As pandering as it sounds Metroid II: Return of Samus is a game I feel sorry for and feel very passionate about. Some may be surprised to know this was my first Metroid experience (followed by Super and then the original) so there is an obvious connection between me and the game that goes back many years. Now I know Return of Samus can't really hold its own against something like Super Metroid (I don't know what can) but I feel Metroid II is severely underrated and casually tossed aside by too many fans. It's obvious there's a lot of competition for which title in the series constitutes a given players favorite, but I will always consider Metroid II to be one of the greatest GameBoy games - let alone handheld titles - ever produced and I do not regret having such an opinion.

+ Has aged much better than the original Metroid
+ Looks great for a GameBoy/handheld title
+ Introduces many power-ups that would become series staples
+ The soundtrack is eerie and not as bad as people claim
+ The artwork presents us with the Samus we now know and love
+ Game is a precursor to Metroid Fusion in countless ways
+ Game is inexpensive and easy to procure even today

- The events of the game can be summed up in a small paragraph
- The Space Jump can be a little inconsistent
- Certain power-ups wouldn't return until Metroid Prime
- Some players will have issue with the game's structure
- Can only have one beam at a time
- Game is severely underrated by fans and detractors alike

Overall Score: 8/10
Ashley Winchester's rating:
People who added this item 247 Average listal rating (161 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 0
Star Fox - Super famicom and SNES

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Last Played: 11/09/10 ~ 11/10/10
Purchased: 11/09/10 (Second copy; sold first off)
Playthrough: ??? (Countless times)

Ah... Star Fox! I know some people are totally going to have issues with your graphical presentation but damn I have no problem getting past that. In fact, I like you more than your following incarnation on the Nintendo 64 in many ways. However, the unfortunate thing about Star Fox is I'm not entirely convinced that Nintendo has had Star Fox's best interests at heart. I don't really have a smoking gun that really proves that unconvincingly (I guess Star Fox Adventures could be seen as a low point) but then I guess Star Fox hasn't been nearly as ignored as F-Zero has in recent years. Still, I guess this all could be traced back to my complicated relationships with Nintendo franchises. Mending such a bridge is a work in progress.

+ Game can make a small amount of polygons look quite impressive
+ An impressive piece of software for its time (despite the limitations)
+ There's a certain level of beauty in the game's simplicity
+ Game contains some truly cinematic moments
+ Gameplay has more than enough resolve to make up for graphics
+ Game dodges a lot of problems by not employing free-range mode
+ Audio succeeds beyond the game's wildest dreams
+ Lack of voice acting and use of presidio-speak for pilots
+ The voice acting that is imployed is very impactful
+ The three paths to the finale offer different levels of challange
+ Game is a wonderful precursor to games like Panzer Dragoon

- Some will obviously have issues with the dated graphics
- Texture mapping kept to a minimum due to resolution
- In some battles it's hard not to collide with bosses
- Hard to avoid some objects in certain battles due to camera
- Slowdown becomes apparent in busy levels
- Issues with twin blasters and continue points arise
- I think everyone can agree that wing damage SUCKS!
- Game (especially Level 3) not as hard as I remember

Overall Score: 8/10
Ashley Winchester's rating:
People who added this item 53 Average listal rating (34 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
Syphon Filter 3 - PlayStation

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Last Played: 11/14/10 ~ 11/17/10
Purchased: 10/18/10 (Second copy; first sold off)
Playthrough: ??? (A handful of times)

Even as a diehard PS1 Syphon Filter fan I have to admit that the Syphon Filter series was starting to show its age around the time Syphon Filter 3 debuted. However, I can't even begin to explain how well the game fights against such an eventuality with its method of storytelling. Syphon Filter 3 turns previous footnotes into levels, builds the backstories of its main players even at such a late hour and provides an excellent conclusion to the PlayStation Syphon Filter trilogy. The only thing the game can't accomplish is mending my thoughts that this was pretty much the end of the series... when the franchise moved to the PlayStation 2 Syphon Filter's time and place in the world of video games really felt over to me.

+ Series storytelling rebounds from problems in last game
+ Story turns previous footnotes into full-fledged experiences
+ Story fleshes out the backstories of many characters
+ Method of storytelling is what makes the game so great
+ Storytelling helps makes up for the lack of gameplay innovation
+ Level design is still excellent
+ Convoy level totally nails the concept of a desperate situation
+ Some of the unlockables are challenging to obtain
+ Plenty of new weapons
+ Music is still great despite new composer
+ Voice acting pulls you into game (bad voice acting done on purpose)
+ Provides an excellent conclusion to the PS1 trilogy
+ Character models in FMVs (outside Gabe) are vastly improved

- The game's engine really starts to show its age
- There are hardly any new improvements to the gameplay
- Convoy level will have you pulling your hair out
- Pretty lax level of difficulty throughout (outside Convoy!)
- Some of the unlockables triggers are rather ill-explained
- Mini games have arrived too late to be of worth
- Difficulty of mini-games rises sharply
- Characters don't have individual grunts when getting shot
- Game does little to make me interested in the following PS2 games
- Game was delayed due to the events of 9/11 (something I respect)
- Original cover art was changed due to 9/11 (the right decision)
- Gabe's new appearance and cheek bones are dumb

Overall Score: 8/10
Ashley Winchester's rating:
People who added this item 126 Average listal rating (73 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Syphon Filter - PlayStation

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Last Played: 11/19/10 ~ 11/21/10
Purchased: 08/12/10 (Third copy; one stolen and one sold)
Playthrough: ??? (A handful of times)

Now I know what some readers are going to say, that Syphon Filter has nothing on Metal Gear Solid and blah blah blah.... Well sorry to burst your bubble but I'm not really concerned about that. Yes, it's true that both games are similar on the most basic of levels, but at the same time the games do things radically different from one another and Syphon Filter is a case where I'm willing to give up a little quality for more quantity. But where Metal Gear Solid has an endless amount of people that are somewhat ignorant of the fact the game hasn't aged too well Syphon Filter has encountered the opposite scenario as there are many people eager to tear the franchise down. I may be a little blind myself considering how important Syphon Filter was in selling me on the original PlayStation, but I don't think the game has aged THAT badly. Anyway I guess such views are really in the eyes of the beholder.

+ Syphon Filter has the concept of quantity in its corner
+ Level design is excellent
+ Game provides a good balance between action and stealth
+ Completing Rhoemer's Base with stealth is very rewarding
+ Gabe doesn't control as workmanlike as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider
+ The chopper fight is great despite its problems
+ Game gets more challenging as it progresses
+ Voice acting draws the player into the game
+ Music is definitely a highlight
+ Story is engaging enough to propel the player through the game
+ Written, pre-mission briefings are instrumental to the narrative

- The series has never carried the clout of a Metal Gear Solid title
- Difference in general quality between Metal Gear and Syphon Filter
- Models in the full motion videos look better in following games
- Game's engine falls to the pratfalls of most PS1 games
- Some will feel the controls are too loose
- There are some problems with the chopper fight halfway through
- The end of the game is significantly more difficult than the beginning
- Some of the voice acting is in league with the original Resident Evil
- I think everyone was disappointed with how you kill the last boss
- You kind of had to play the game when it was released to see the big deal

Overall Score: 8/10
Ashley Winchester's rating:
People who added this item 88 Average listal rating (45 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Syphon Filter 2 - PlayStation

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Last Played: 11/22/10 ~ 11/27/10
Purchased: 08/01/10 (Third copy; one stolen and one sold)
Playthrough: ??? (A handful of times)

Much like the sequels to other popular games Syphon Filter 2 doesn't change too much from the last game. Granted it sticks to its winning formula more than Tomb Raider II where the deviation seems slight yet is anything but - the only new additions are that enemies can get head shots on you and a new aiming system for grenades - the main draw here is the continuation of the story from the first game. Unfortunately, this is where Syphon Filter 2 runs into problems. While I can't say the first game was flawless in such a regard, some of the twists 989 has employed here help tear down any sense of believability. I know a video game is a realm where imaginations should be allowed to roam free but Syphon Filter 2's missteps are so obvious they can't be ignored.

+ Enemies can get headshots on you; new grenade aiming system
+ Continues the narrative from first game and answers questions
+ Get to play as Gabe's partner Lian Xing
+ Like the first game the voice acting draws you into the game
+ Ending sets up some good but not-so-surprising twists in next game
+ Revising some of the locals from the first game is clever
+ The concluding levels in the New York Slums are downright excellent
+ The gameplay outguns the narrative by a mile
+ Addition of unlockables adds some replay value

- Improvements are few and far between
- Compared to other sequels Syphon Filter 2 has some obvious holes
- Opening video with slow-motion kills is just ridiculous
- Some of the voice acting is hilariously bad
- Story tries to be something more than it really is
- Story is top heavy and becomes unbalanced
- Some plot points are suspect and easy to pick apart
- Lyle Stevens has nothing on Markinson despite getting his hands dirtier
- Most of the game's problems can be traced back to storytelling
- The inclusion of the multiplayer means nothing today

Overall Score: 7/10
Ashley Winchester's rating:
People who added this item 557 Average listal rating (582 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
Donkey Kong Country - Super famicom and SNES

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Last Played: 11/29/10 ~ 12/02/10
Purchased: 09/18/08
Playthrough: ??? (A handful of times)

Unlike every other game before or after this point on the list, I can actually remember the first time I saw Donkey Kong Country in action. When in grade school Nintendo sent the local junior high school a VHS promo tape (remember those?) to air during movie night. My friends and I were just so blown away by what we saw... but I never ended up getting the original Donkey Kong Country outside of borrowing it. I did purchase DKC3 a few years later because I couldn't find DKC2 for sale (DKC2 being my favorite) but when I got around to actually getting and replaying the first game I ended up being a bit disappointed despite what I thought would be a grand reunion. I don't know what really happened... it's not like the game didn't age well. Anyways I hope the sequels fair a little better when I get around to playing them.

+ Series revived the iconic Nintendo mascot
+ Game still looks and plays great
+ Music has some definite moments (but sequels are better)
+ Oil Drum Alley is an awesome level with awesome music
+ The Kremlings are excellent villains
+ The ending is well thought out

- Some intangible x-factor limits the game's appeal now
- The fact there is less to collect than sequels may hurt the game
- Bonus areas aren't as streamlined as they are in the sequels
- Donkey and Diddy are a more limited team than Diddy and Dixie
- The lack of team throws
- Bosses are complete cakewalks
- Love the last boss but I beat him in one try even after all these years
- The sequels are definitely better games

Overall Score: 7/10
People who added this item 651 Average listal rating (599 ratings) 8.7 IMDB Rating 0
Metal Gear Solid - PlayStation

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Last Played: 12/02/10 ~ 12/06/10
Purchased: 11/06/08 (Second copy, first was greatest hits)
Playthrough: ??? (A handful of times....)

With two new Metal Gear titles on the horizon after the release of Metal Gear Revengeance a few months ago most Metal Gear fans will probably be somewhat stunned that the original Metal Gear Solid is the only game in the franchise that I've got around to experiencing throughout the years. I don't really know why (a similar situation exists between me and Zelda) but it may be time to try the other games out because it's my belief that the first game has failed to age gracefully. This doesn't blow the game completely out of the water as its complex and rather implausible narrative is still insanely entertaining - and I couldn't imagine a PlayStation collection without it - but I feel it's more than time to be honest about its problems.

+ The game's age has started to expose some of its issues
+ Despite it not aging well I still have a lot of respect for it
+ Can't imagine a PlayStation library without it
+ The game's narrative is easily the better half of the experience
+ Cinematic nature of the game has few rivals on the console
+ Characterization of Snake's adversaries is phenomenal
+ Boss fights are the game's meat and potatoes
+ Voice acting is great, even the hilarious game over pleas

- The endless praise towards the game delayed meaningful criticism
- You watch the game just as much as you play it
- Some parts of the story are just implausible
- Anti-nuke message is kind of annoying
- Just live sentiment at end is an excuse to toy with player
- Manual contains fair amount of hubris about series origins/importance
- Juggling items in the inventory system is very cumbersome
- Controls are touchy when it comes to certain actions
- Some sections of the game are just plain annoying
- Certain boss fights are just really messy
- There isn't much gameplay between boss encounters
- Soundtrack is good but merely serviceable

Overall Score: 7/10
People who added this item 324 Average listal rating (233 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
Mega Man X - Super famicom and SNES

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Last Played: 12/08/10 ~ 12/11/10
Purchased: ??/??/??
Playthrough: ??? (Countless times....)

Perhaps the best debut title for a Mega Man series ever seen Mega Man X is a near perfect cart that deserves to be in the collections of anyone with a serious love for platformers. I've always liked the original Mega Man X but it wasn't until I saw Egoraptor's Sequelitis video on YouTube that I realized how brilliant certain parts of this game really are. However due to the rarity and price of the game's two immediate follow-ups I don't really recommend them to anyone other than the most devout Mega Man fans unless you can find a copy of the Mega Man X Collection. The only thing that really hurts Mega Man X is the fact Mega Man X4 is excellent as well and it allows one to play the entire game as Zero.

+ Artwork and game takes on a more serious tone than the original series
+ Power ups infuse the game with light role-playing elements
+ Music takes on an excellent and iconic hard rock edge right out of the gate
+ Game introduces a villain that is unredeemable unlike Dr. Wily
+ The wall climb is just an ingenious addition
+ Heart tank system forces more strategic play rather than pure attrition
+ Being the first game it probably has the best crew of Mavericks
+ Gameplay doesn't abandon what worked in previous games
+ Uses a light touch when adding worthwhile improvements
+ Control is dead on as always
+ Game contains excellent sprite graphics
+ Hasn't aged a day in years
+ Stage design is great as always
+ Unlike the following two games the game is easy to procure
+ Better than *almost* every game that came after it

- So good it's a sad reminder of how bad some of the later games are
- Heart tanks limit what challenges you can tackle at a given time
- One of the easier/easiest Mega Man X games to complete
- Some mavericks are far from threatening to experienced players
- Didn't need to be remade on the PlayStation Portable
- Introduces one of the most tiresome villains ever
- Maverick naming scheme doomed to run out of gas
- Better than *almost* every game that came after it

Overall Score: 9/10 (but it probably deserves a 10/10)
Ashley Winchester's rating:
People who added this item 152 Average listal rating (99 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Mega Man X2 - Super famicom and SNES

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Last Played: 12/12/10
Purchased: ??/??/?? (Birthday gift when in sixth grade)
Playthrough: ??? (Countless times....)

After purchasing and being entranced by the original Mega Man X, I remember how excited I was for the sequel... the unfortunate part is while I was able to buy the first game brand new for a mere twenty bucks, Mega Man X2 would run me seventy due to its low print run and Cx4 technology. In today's world I find that simply insane but I guess I shouldn't be so hard on myself as I loved this thing when I was younger. I still have a soft spot for most of the Mega Man X games but in more recent times I kind of see Mega Man X2 for the standard sequel it really is. My copy of Mega Man X2 is kind of special in other ways as when my roomates lifted my games back in 2003 they didn't end up taking this one so it's one of the few games I have left that I obtained during my childhood.

+ Like the original the gameplay has definitely held up
+ The X-Hunters add a sense of danger to the game's narrative
+ The return of Zero who is by most accounts cooler than X
+ There are two possible scenarios slightly adding some replay value
+ There's an abstract edginess to the game the original lacks
+ Yuki Iwai's peculiar soundtrack is definitely unique

- Game doesn't totally live up to the memories I have of it
- Can't believe I shelled out seventy bones for it
- The definition of a standard sequel
- Cx4 technology prohibited large print run
- Game hasn't held its value for the right reason
- The original is still the better game

Overall Score: 7/10
Ashley Winchester's rating:
People who added this item 133 Average listal rating (86 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 0
Mega Man X3 - Super famicom and SNES

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Last Played: 12/13/10
Purchased: 07/03/09 (really wish I could have found it sooner)
Playthrough: ??? (A handful of times)

During my childhood (before the internet made almost anything a mere click away with the exception of plutonium) Mega Man X3 was the game that got away. I could never find a copy of it for sale and if I did I would have definitely broken the bank to buy it since Capcom's Cx4 technology drove the price up to seventy dollars and the production numbers way down. The closest I ever got to it was renting it and completing the game in one sitting. Over a decade later I would acquire Mega Man X3 (thankfully way before the price exploded in 2012/2013) but the truth is Mega Man X3 is a mere step in a franchise content with producing standard sequels. This doesn't mean I don't appreciate having the game in my collection but it's not the crowning jewel I billed it as in my youth.

+ The history of the game's development is very interesting
+ The game's low print run makes it kind of a collectors item
+ Like Mega Man X2 the game has a more wreck loose feel than the original
+ This rendition is somewhat superior to the CD-based versions IMO
+ There are a few moments of cause and effect that add replay value
+ The game's eventual release made Mega Man X4 the game it was

- X3's development history may be more interesting than the game itself
- The Cx4 technology raised the price and lowered the print run
- Music has its moments but is somewhat hit-and-miss
- Game's value has risen dramatically recently making it hard to procure
- Playing as Zero is a joke and nearly pointless compared to Mega Man X4
- Game does little to fight the premise of just being another Mega Man game

Overall Score: 7/10
Ashley Winchester's rating:
People who added this item 412 Average listal rating (253 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
Tomb Raider - PlayStation

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Last Played: 12/13/10 ~ 12/16/10
Purchased: 09/28/08 (First copy was a greatest hits)
Playthrough: ??? (A few times, but first time was on the Sega Saturn)

I should probably warn those reading that this little ditty on the original Tomb Raider is going to be a bit biased. Much like how Mega Man 2 was my first two-dimensional platformer Tomb Raider was my first three dimensional platformer when I played it on my cousin's Sega Saturn one summer vacation. The time I spent with the game would influence my gaming purchases for years to come and was - along with Final Fantasy VII - the reason I chose the PlayStation over the Nintendo 64. As far as a rating/score goes a ten out of ten is pretty generous but it doesn't feel like it when the game pretty much smokes most of its successors which fall prey to the signs of differentiating visions.

+ The game was psychotically important to me as a gamer
+ Tomb Raider has always had its fair share of detractors
+ The game's gritty sense of maturity was what I was looking for
+ The workman-like controls usually get the job done
+ Adversaries in the game are mostly of a natural variety
+ Enemies with projectile attacks mostly at the end of game
+ Combat/weapons put heavy focus on staying mobile
+ Grid based system makes jumping an exact science
+ There is little to fear once you get the controls down
+ Level design is downright excellent
+ The game's design complements its sense of isolation
+ The music, while used sparingly, is perfect
+ The use of ambient silence enhances sound effects
+ Story is easily the best in the series despite its cliché nature
+ Natla is the best villain the franchise saw in the PS1 era
+ Game doesn't pour on unneeded details like the remake

- I often see the game through rose tinted goggles
- Controls can get cumbersome in tight spots
- Gunning down enemies from high perches is somewhat cheap
- Careless acrobatics during combat can get you killed
- Like all PS1 games there are camera issues
- Easy to avoid enemy fire if you know the trick
- Grid based system causes obvious graphical limitations
- Game sometimes baits you into overly complex situations

Overall Score: 10/10
Ashley Winchester's rating:
People who added this item 254 Average listal rating (138 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0

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Last Played: 12/17/10 ~ 12/25/10
Purchased: ??/??/?? (Second copy; traded first off)
Playthrough: ??? (Probably a ton)

When it comes to Tomb Raider II I think most people are aware that the game's development was under the control of a different individual than the original - much like the situation seen with the God of War franchise. There is a stark difference in the overall vision between the first two games and it shows in every aspect that isn't related to the controls. The game's locations - like an offshore oil rig - and increased presence human enemies have began to betray the underlying power isolation had in the original game. This doesn't really make the game bad by any means, but it does mark the beginning of the missteps that would cause the franchise to unravel in a relatively short amount of time.

+ Game was a instrumental part of the PlayStation's success
+ The level design is still good despite deviation from the first game
+ Keeping the Barkhang Monks on your side is a lot of fun
+ Ending is so sexist it's psychotically hilarious

- Game strays from original just enough to make topping it impossible
- Game's environments ignore the lessons learned from the first game
- Combat with countless human targets becomes quite bothersome
- Game literally turns Lara Croft into a mass murderer
- Bartoli is far from being any kind of an interesting villain
- Conflict between Lara and Bartoli never feels personal
- Uneven usage of danger and deathtraps
- Keeping the Barkhang Monks on your side raises questions
- Every addition to the game is cravenly safe; no risk taking

Overall Score: 7/10

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Last Played: 12/27/10 ~ 01/06/11
Purchased: 12/09/10
Playthrough: ??? (Not many however...)

Easily the reason why I never played Tomb Raider The Last Revelation or Tomb Raider: Chronicles when they debuted, Tomb Raider III is an ugly game that really tries to do too much. While the game touted some new additions like sprinting and crawling the truth is the experience is far from inviting and is quick to punish the player for even the slightest miscalculation which is really the opposite of what a game should do. This isn't to say there shouldn't be a penalty for making a mistake in a game, but Tomb Raider III seems a little over eager in this regard. The game may have been a success in the simplest sense of the word yet one can't underestimate how damaging its missteps really are.

+ Graphics/effects have been touched up from previous games
+ In-game secrets changed back to health and ammo pickups
+ London levels come awfully close to forging their own identity
+ Game attempts to increase the overall challenge level

- Game no longer shows what pickups add to your inventory
- Pickups are insanely small
- Many pickups are annoying hid amongst the shadows
- Game's first key hard to see because of lack of contrast
- Weapon selection forgoes having many dual wielded weapons
- Takes forever for many weapons to prove their worth
- Shotgun isn't really allow to come into its own
- Piranhas' within water filled areas can't be killed
- Mandatory loss of weapon section of game is no longer clever
- Game steals ammo and health pickups during weapon loss segment
- Select adventure feature adds nothing to the game
- Game/series can't make up its mind about its save system
- Save system creates an uneasy sense of uncertainty
- Game locals are flaccid despite their details
- Redundant backtracks
- Half-baked vehicle segments
- There are more than a few blind jumps
- Questionable settings (Area 51?)
- Contrived boss fights
- Variety presented by locals is nothing but a façade
- Narrative is a joke and makes one question Lara's intelligence
- There are poison spewing sea otters in the game (*laughs*)
- The game once again turns Lara into a mass murderer
- Game attempts to fire on all cylinders at once to prove its worth
- Challenge factor easily eclipses the fun to be had
- Performance of game engine pales to rebuilt rendition in following games

Overall Score: 5/10
People who added this item 77 Average listal rating (44 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 0
Tomb Raider: Chronicles - PlayStation

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Last Played: 01/08/11 ~ 01/18/11
Purchased: 12/01/10
Playthrough: First

Tomb Raider: Chronicles is a game I would have played through much sooner had the third game not burned the bridge between me and the franchise like it did a few years earlier. It is a real shame that occurred since Tomb Raider: Chronicles felt somewhat refreshing even though it really added nothing new to the Tomb Raider experience. Most of Chronicles success stems from its method of storytelling which is strikingly similar to another PlayStaion title Syphon Filter 3. However, it should surprise no one that these franchises PS1 sawn songs pretty much indicate some innovation was sorely needed during the next console generation.

+ Shows there's a little life left after Tomb Raider III
+ Larson and Pierre from the first game return
+ There's no longer a death trap around every corner
+ Levels generally benefit from their shorter stature
+ The Black Isle portion of the game is awesome
+ Father Patrick Dunstan, the Irish Priest/Demon Hunter just rocks
+ Okay, Zip does have a few good lines
+ Uses the cleaner, refined game engine from Revelations

- We're faced with a recon regarding Larson
- Seriously, Larson is not that stupid
- Level design feels stilted and too safe
- Could really do without the underwater level
- The Tower Block section is too reminiscent of Tomb Raider III
- Zip is a pretty insulting, stereotypical character
- Things almost fall apart during the final level
- Kind of annoying when the camera locks into a fixed position

Overall Score: 7/10
People who added this item 164 Average listal rating (112 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 0
Kirby's Dream Land - Game Boy

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Last Played: 02/28/11
Purchased: 09/31/11 (First copy was stolen, second was in bad shape)
Playthrough: ??? (Way too many times...)

Kirby's Dream Land... where do I start with you? I know you are not perfect (you're too short and way too easy) but when it comes to you I have a bad case of nostalgia goggles. Why is it when I play other Kirby fare like your immediate successors Dream Land 2 and Adventure I wind up being severely disappointed? Even when you evolve and add things to deepen your gameplay mechanics - like Kirby's trademark copy ability - I retreat more and more to the times before those days. I don't think I'll ever understand why my relationship with you is so convoluted but it would be nice to run into another Kirby game that could knock you off your pedestal.

+ An excellent debut title for a new franchise
+ Easily one the best original GameBoy games ever
+ Game easily overcomes it obvious shortcomings
+ Soundtrack is excellent (Green Greens anyone?)
+ Better than many of its immediate follow-ups

- Game is way too short
- Game is way too easy (but this can be fixed!)
- Game is overrated (I'm guilty!)

Overall Score: 8/10
Ashley Winchester's rating:
People who added this item 117 Average listal rating (50 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Final Fantasy Anniversary Edition - PlayStation Portable

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Last Played: 03/05/11 ~ 03/13/11
Purchased: 05/16/10
Playthrough: First (But I played the Origins version)

As much as I enjoyed playing through the original Final Fantasy when the remastered edition was released in the Origins package back way back in 2003 the PlayStataion Portable version packs some changes that severely compromise my opinion of it beyond the fact this is the third rendition of a game we've already played. Ditching the casting system for mage characters opens the game up tremendously but essentially upsets the game's original sense of balance which significantly lowers the overall difficultly level. This is problematic enough but heap on some rather misguided extras and the game quickly proves less is sometimes more... much more.

+ High definition graphics are nice but not necessary plus
+ Heightened accuracy for characters at outset of adventure is nice
+ Some additional battle commands (like Defend) have been added

- A somewhat sad reminder of what Final Fantasy has become
- Mages no longer handicapped but this destroys the game's balance
- The last bit of challenge the game offered is now gone
- Soul of Chaos dungeons are built upon insanely insipid concepts
- Game's combat system not built for truly challenging battles
- The Labyrinth of Time is even worse than the Soul of Chaos dungeons
- Not really the kind of product that should be used to mark a milestone

Overall Score: 6/10
People who added this item 112 Average listal rating (46 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 0
Final Fantasy II Anniversary Edition - PlayStation Portable

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Last Played: 03/13/11 ~ 03/23/11
Purchased: 05/16/10
Playthrough: First (But I played the Origins version)

No matter how you look at it, Final Fantasy II - the *real* Final Fantasy II - is a funny game. For as many times as it has been re-released and tweaked over the years the sad fact is the underlying game remains broken to this day. Given that it's not hard to see why it initially failed to see daylight outside of Japan but even so it is an interesting chapter of the franchise. Like the original Final Fantasy, I have to question why Square Enix though a third rendition of this game was necessary (seriously, Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions was a more deserving anniversary title) but this PlayStation Portable rendition is definitely my favorite version of an insanely flawed game that will only be free of problems until it's rebuilt from the ground up.

+ Not as broken as the original/Orgins versions
+ Characters are no longer blank slates
+ Story is a sign of things to come in Final Fantasy VI
+ Soundtrack highlights certain plot points well
+ PSP extras are miles above those found in Final Fantasy
+ HD graphics are a nice (but hardly essential) improvement

- Didn't really think a third rendition was necessary
- Underlying game is still broken despite tweaks
- The new weapon leveling system is ill-explained
- Game design is still dependent on original loopholes existing
- Story puts so much importance on nearly useless Ultima scroll
- The way the damage is calculated for the Ultima spell is ridiculous
- Rebirth of Souls is an awesome concept but flawed in execution

Overall Score: 6/10
People who added this item 36 Average listal rating (12 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Lunar: Silver Star Harmony - PlayStation Portable

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Last Played: 03/23/11 ~ 03/31/11
Purchased: 03/22/11
Playthrough: First (But I played Silver Star Story Complete years ago)

Considering that I was completely underwhelmed by Silver Star Story Complete during the PlayStation era many might be caught off guard by my opinion of Silver Star Harmony. It's true that I'm still not the biggest fan of Lunar and its narrative in general but this rendition of the game goes a long way towards fixing almost every other grievance I had with the previous iteration. Still, my positive feelings towards the game come with a slight edge of disappointment as Silver Star Harmony is what Wild Arms Alter code:F could have been for the Wild Arms series. Silly dreams aside this is definitely one of the better remakes on the PlayStation Portable.

+ Completely blows the previous version of the game out of the water
+ Dungeon design is greatly improved
+ The archaic inventory system has been replaced
+ The music has been significantly upgraded
+ The dialog is still well written/translated
+ Game seems shorter this time around
+ Arts attacks help spice up battles

- The hubris in Lunar's advertising has always been embarrassing
- Game allows you to spend infinite time trying to win an unwinnable battle
- My gripes with Lunar's narrative will always exist
- New prologue makes game's twists even more transparent
- There was no real need to redo the voice acting
- Too much time wasted in battle announcing attacks
- There are some balance issues with arts attacks

Overall Score: 8/10
People who added this item 55 Average listal rating (32 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
Mega Man Maverick Hunter X - PlayStation Portable

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Last Played: 04/02/11 ~ 04/04/11
Purchased: ??/??/??
Playthrough: Second? (Unsure of how many times)

No matter how many times I try and fight the thought process I always arrive at the same conclusion: Mega Man X was the last game in the world that needed to be remade. It's true that Maverick Hunter X is a nice game, but it doesn't really do anything to mend the fact that Capcom literally drove the franchise into the ground with crap games like Mega Man X6 and Mega Man X7 or excuse the fact that this game would have spearheaded even more remakes if it had performed up to Capcom's expections. With such great plans like that in store for an aging franchise I'd hope most fans would see that any kind of hope for the franchise's redemption is long gone.

+ Those that played the original should be able to hop right in
+ The rearrangement of the capsules spices things up
+ Some of the bosses are a little more challenging
+ Day of Sigma video gives insights into the game's backstory
+ Some will love that the leg capsule is now hidden

- Seriously, there is NOTHING wrong with the SNES original
- Doesn't do much to undo damage done by previous games
- Spark Mandrill is a complete joke with Shotgun Ice in hand now
- Last boss has been given a new, insanely pointless attack
- Soundtrack attempts to change the genre of the original score
- Game takes liberties with story; fudges up the original canon even more

Overall Score: 7/10
Ashley Winchester's rating:
People who added this item 114 Average listal rating (54 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Legend of Legaia - PlayStation

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Last Played: 04/06/11 ~ 05/05/11
Purchased: 12/13/10 (Third copy; one was stolen the other was sold)
Playthrough: ??? (Beat it a handful of times)

A product of the seemingly unending parade of role-playing game titles released during the PlayStation era, Legend of Legaia is many different things to many different people. To me it's an average game with a really cool battle system that pretty much reinforces every RPG cliché in the book. However, beyond such an obvious vice, Legend of Legaia initially seems to be a top offering for the genre until the game's highlights double back like a boomerang later on, proving it can't really go toe to toe with the heavyweights. That said, this isn't really saying much as those with an interest should definitely give it a go.

+ The combat remains the game's driving force after all these years
+ The theme played in the Mist Generators is awesome and oppressive
+ The game's storyline does have its moments
+ The graphics during battle are simply astounding
+ Love how each weapon and armor changes a character's appearance

- Beyond the battle system the game is short on individuality
- The only way to attack multiple targets is through expensive magic
- Out of all the Seru you can capture only a handful are truly useful
- Combat unfolds at a rather slow pace
- Money is a pain to grind for which in turn makes combat tiresome
- Late game is annoying when enemies start targeting your whole party
- Soundtrack is appropriate but rather uninspired

Overall Score: 7/10
People who added this item 58 Average listal rating (35 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
Doom - PlayStation

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Last Played: 05/09/11 ~ 05/16/11
Purchased: 09/27/08
Playthrough: Second (Played it after purchasing it)

While Doom had to make some concessions to optimize itself for every home console debut it saw in the mid 1990's, Doom (and by extension Doom II) on the PlayStation is easily the best of them all. It's true it doesn't look as good as the PC version - despite what John Romero says on the back cover this isn't "the best Doom yet!" - but the PlayStation rendition benefits from some exclusive levels and controlling the action through a controller rather than the keyboard and mouse which I've always found to be difficult. However, beyond the actual gameplay there are a few things that make the PlayStation version rather archaic like using passwords over memory card saves.

+ Easily the best 90's port of the game
+ New ambient soundtrack changes the feel of the game compared to PC
+ The edits to the levels are tastefully done
+ Some of the new/exclusive levels are excellent
+ PlayStation controller provides dead-on control
+ Game allows two player games via link cable (kind of pointless now)

- Graphics are good but nowhere near PC quality
- "Updates" to the graphic engine are offset by other limitations
- Bobby Prince's original music is missing in action
- Number of textures a level uses is lower than PC
- Many levels have been edited to allow smoother performance
- Some levels have been outright omitted
- Some boss battles (Icon on Sin) have been completely removed
- Game's age means analog control is out of the question
- The password system is simply archaic; no memory card support
- Removal of intermission maps due to removing levels
- Removal of the events at the end of Phobos Anomaly from PC (*boo!*)

Overall Score: 8/10
Ashley Winchester's rating:
People who added this item 238 Average listal rating (177 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 0
Mega Man - Famicom and NES

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Last Played: 06/28/11
Purchased: 04/20/11
Playthrough: ??? (A handful of times w/the pause trick)

Explaining my stance on the original Mega Man is a bit tricky. Of course it's an important title - I mean you got to start somewhere - but beyond the main fact it's the franchise's first brick the game generally isn't too memorable (its lasting appeal is mostly summed up with its robot masters and music) and the experience is complicated with several roadblocks like unforgiving bosses (okay, I'm too lazy to learn the Yellow Devil's pattern...) and tricky platforming. In all truth, only the most devoted fans should buy the original Mega Man, everyone else would be better suited with one of the vastly superior sequels.

+ Obviously important as a starting point
+ Laid the foundation for the following games
+ Has horribly awesome box art
+ Cast of robot masters is memorable (cartoon helped that though)
+ Good music (but the sequels are much better)
+ The pause trick helps many people complete the game

- It was Mega Man 2 and 3 that put the franchise on the map
- No password system
- Levels are kind of bland with their industrial settings
- The whole game kind of feels impersonal
- Some rather tricky areas crop up late game
- Possible to get stuck if you forget the Magnet Beam
- Game keeps score for no real reason

Overall Score: 6/10
People who added this item 339 Average listal rating (246 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
Mega Man 2 - Famicom and NES

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Last Played: 06/28/11 ~ 06/29/11
Purchased: 08/01/09
Playthrough: ??? (So many times it's not even funny)

To say Mega Man 2 isn't an important game to me would be a lie. It alone is what spearheaded my interest in console gaming and later would ignite my love for video game music. However, like other games - Final Fantasy VII for example - Mega Man 2 is kind of overrated and fawned over a little too often despite how important its success was for the franchise. Of course, I know I'm not helping my cause by giving it a perfect score but after re-playing it I don't really know where I would begin in an attempt to take this thing down a peg or two. Mega Man 2 is damn fine game but I find there is no reason to champion it to other gamers... I'm sure they already know.

+ Instrumental in forging the Mega Man brand with Mega Man 3
+ Mega Man 2 addresses many of the issues people had with the original
+ Game is more-or-less timeless
+ It is insanely easy to find and afford a copy of the cartridge

- In a certain way the game has been hurt by the hype and nostalgia
- Some of the music has fallen out of my favor because of overexposure

Overall Score: 10/10
Ashley Winchester's rating:
People who added this item 241 Average listal rating (170 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
Mega Man 3 - Famicom and NES

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Last Played: 07/01/11
Purchased: 02/21/12 (Second, traded up for better condition)
Playthrough: ??? (I've beat it handful of times)

Oh boy. Mega Man 3... is a game where I know my opinion of it is going to cheese some people off. I guess this is to be somewhat expected since I was introduced to the franchise with Mega Man 2 (which is somewhat overrated when I'm honest about it) while many others were with 3. However, I have to agree with Keiji Inafune that many things in this game would benefit from being redone and that the change in the development lead between this and the last two games clearly shows. As it stands Mega Man 3 is full of many small irritants that bring the presentation level down significantly. This doesn't make it a bad game but it does make it less enjoyable.

+ Mega Man 3 was instrumental in making Mega Man a household name
+ The introduction of everyone's favorite canine Rush
+ Giving the items from Mega Man 2 more of an identity
+ Soundtrack exemplifies the advancement to come

- The crash damage from bosses is INSANE!!!
- Bosses have practically no invincibility frames
- Rush items can get you stuck if you have no energy
- If you get stuck you may intentionally have to kill yourself
- Weapon/energy capsules don't respawn after losing a life
- Only bits and pieces of the story are in the actual game
- Doc Robot levels are mere padding and little else

Overall Score: 7/10
People who added this item 30 Average listal rating (23 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 0
Felix the Cat - Famicom and NES

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Last Played: 07/02/11
Purchased: 07/05/10
Playthrough: ??? (I've beat it handful of times)

As much as I try, the questions never end when I look upon a Felix the Cat cartridge. With the SNES out and about why would anyone make a previous gen game based on a silent era cartoon character? The answers escape me but the crazy thing is Felix the Cat on the Nintendo Entertainment System is actually a pretty good sidescroller and with this game going from common to seemingly uncommon overnight it seems many people are finding that out. There are some oversights here (you can actually skip over all the obstacles in some levels if you know what you're doing) but I can think of far more broken games that are more revered. Regardless, the game caught me off guard in a good way and I welcome that.

+ The power-up system is very well done
+ Plot and antagonist true to original cartoons
+ Adequate stage design (most of the time)
+ Title theme and World 1 theme are excellent

- Can't help but think Felix was out of place in the 90's
- Obviously superior games were available on the SNES at the time
- Basically a clone of a Mario game
- Possible to fly over entire levels in some places
- Boss encounters are insanely weak
- Music has its moments but it's not consistent
- Lax level of difficulty
- Easy to build up a massive reserve of lives
- Game can be beaten in one sitting
- Current prices are a few times over what the game is really worth

Overall Score: 7/10
People who added this item 161 Average listal rating (99 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0

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Last Played: 07/04/11 ~ 07/08/11
Purchased: 04/03/13 (Upgraded to non-players choice)
Playthrough: ??? (I've beat it handful of times)

As odd as it may sound this is one game overview I do not want to write. I guess I should start off by saying that giving Wario his own game/franchise after the conclusion of Six Golden Coins is an idea I still like, however, the sad fact is Wario Land has not aged gracefully. It's not really easy to explain why as it still works on the most basic level... but there are many things that just make the experience feel cumbersome and not worth one's full devotion. I don't know, maybe I just played through it at the wrong time or maybe this is one case where those nostalgia goggles I'm accused of wearing are far from being thick.

+ The Wario character does deserve his due
+ The game is still a respectable platformer

- Sound effects from Metroid II take you out of the experience
- Gathering all the treasure is a real pain in the ass
- The reward for collecting a lot of treasure isn't too rewarding

Overall Score: 6/10
People who added this item 107 Average listal rating (64 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0

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Last Played: 07/06/11 ~ 07/07/11
Purchased: 01/04/10
Playthrough: ??? (I've beat it handful of times)

When it comes to Ninja Gaiden it seems the comparisons to Castlevania are never far behind. To be honest I'm sure most are sick of people pitting these franchises against one another but it is kind of impossible not to because in my youth Castlevania's loss was Ninja Gaiden's gain. I ended up playing The Dark Sword of Chaos way before playing any of the NES Castlevanias and well, the exploits of Ryu Hayabusa just kind of trumped the arduous vampire killing of the Belmonts. Additionally, you can't underestimate how important the now-primitive cut scenes and mature narrative were in forging this and the series (minus the ridiculous story in The Ancient Ship of Doom) into such a must-play experience.

+ Stout challenge helps fuel *eventual* feelings of accomplishment :)
+ Game is difficult yet more inviting than the original
+ The use of cut scenes is pivotal to the story and game
+ Narrative is refreshingly dark, mature and mostly uncensored
+ The opening cut-scene is one of the greatest in a video game
+ Ryu controls much more fluidly than a Belmont does
+ New power ups (like the Shadow Clones) are excellent
+ One of the best NES soundtracks ever programmed
+ Hidden sound test actually has track names!
+ Animation has been added to many backgrounds
+ Checkpoint issues from first game have been addressed
+ You no longer have to jump up walls to scale them
+ A great sequel that improves with a light touch

- The slightest miscalculation usually equals death
- Knockback from enemy attacks can prove *insanely* fatal
- Boss themes are very lackluster

Overall Score: 10/10
Ashley Winchester's rating:
People who added this item 163 Average listal rating (99 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 0
Mega Man 4 - Famicom and NES

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Last Played: 07/09/11 ~ 07/10/11
Purchased: 07/09/11
Playthrough: ??? (I've beat it handful of times)

While Mega Man 4 is a much better product than Mega Man 3 (*waits for the ensuing firestorm*) I feel it lacks a real identity when compared to every other game in the series. Such a conundrum is downright puzzling because the game introduces several things like the Mega Buster and the whole "fake antagonist" thing that would be beat to death by the following two games. Anyway, while it can be said that Mega Man games are always going through the motions without any real innovations, this becomes rather apparent with Mega Man 4, a game without any real home beyond its number.

+ Has one of the more challenging robot master line-ups
+ Game introduces players to some new characters
+ First appearance of the Mega Buster
+ Game simply handles better than the last entry
+ One of the less costly games in the series
+ Game mixes Dr. Cossack's Russian heritage into many designs

- New characters only fuel the "fake antagonist" thing
- Beginning of the overused "fake antagonist" ploy
- Game is essentially Mega Man 3's hangover
- Not very memorable despite introducing new elements

Overall Score: 7/10
People who added this item 142 Average listal rating (87 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 0
Mega Man 5 - Famicom and NES

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Last Played: 07/10/11 ~ 07/11/11
Purchased: 07/09/11 (Second copy, sold first off years ago)
Playthrough: ??? (I've beat it handful of times)

Mega Man 5 is a game where my opinion has greatly shifted over the years. In the past I basically saw it as the bigger part of a endless pattern - which it still is and always will be - but in more recent years I've noticed there are a few interesting things within that set the game apart. The first part of the game is the usual bread and butter but once one enters the fortress stages a strange sense of maturity - almost akin to a Mega Man X game - takes over and makes the player take notice. I'm not entirely sure how or why this occurs (it may have to do with the Dark Man robots) but it adds some identity to a game in a series that needs some individuality.

+ Second half of the game (fortresses) feels surprisingly mature
+ The series has cleared the oddball hump from the last two games
+ Not as mindless of a sequel as some of the other games
+ Most we've seen of Proto Man in a while

- Game costs a surprising amount of money to procure
- Uneven level of difficulty

Overall Score: 8/10
People who added this item 137 Average listal rating (87 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 0
Mega Man 6 - Famicom and NES

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Last Played: 07/11/11 ~ 07/13/11
Purchased: 02/21/12 (Third copy, traded second for nicer third copy)
Playthrough: ??? (I've beat it so many times)

While most will probably find there is little credence to my opinion, I think Mega Man 6 is a little underrated as far as Mega Man games go. It's true there isn't much new here (although the Rush adapters do help in that respect) and its all been done before but it's not hard to see that Mega Man 6 was very overshadowed by the release of Mega Man X - so much so that Capcom decided not to publish it abroad which meant Nintendo themselves had to do it. However, while I still have a soft spot the game I do have to admit that the game isn't as refined as I thought it was in my childhood. In fact, Mega Man 6 can be downright ugly if you tackle it in the wrong way.

+ Rush adapters add a dash of needed interest to the gameplay
+ Soundtrack is full of great ideas even at this late hour
+ Ending leaves one with a strange sense of accomplishment
+ The robot master design contest was extended outside of Japan

- Series is obviously running out of inspiration
- Gameplay can become ugly if not tackled in the right way
- Fake villain motif is more than stale by now
- Pales in comparison to an excellent game like Mega Man X
- Mega Man 7 eventually put a damper on the ending

Overall Score: 8/10
Ashley Winchester's rating:
People who added this item 31 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
Final DOOM - PlayStation

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Last Played: 07/13/11 ~ 07/18/11
Purchased: 07/11/11 (Second copy, sold first off for some reason)
Playthrough: Second (Beat it when I had previous copy)

There are those who will undoubtedly - and perhaps rightfully - question the overall value of Final Doom on the PlayStation, especially since it only contains a handful of levels from the possible pool of eighty-five one can experience in the related PC products. The scale of the levels comes at the price of graphic fidelity but the real prize here are the Master Level levels which are severely hindered on the PC because of the archaic way they were set up on that expansion. Final Doom on the PlayStation bypasses such annoyances and backs it up with a controller that fits the experience like a glove.

+ Ups the challenge factor from the first game
+ Master and TNT levels still contain great design
+ PlayStation controller perfectly handles the action
+ Can carry weapons and ammo between Master Level stages
+ Master Level experience free of PC set-up irritants

- Level selection is haphazard at best
- The PlayStation's 2D capabilities compromise the game
- Size of levels comes at expense of graphic fidelity
- Still uses password system (no memory card saves)
- Game's age means analog control is impossible
- Plutonia Experiment levels redefine the phrase "cheap shot"

Overall Score: 7/10
People who added this item 10 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
Wild Arms - PlayStation

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Last Played: 07/25/11 ~ 08/15/11
Purchased: ??/??/?? (sometime in 2004 after first copy was stolen)
Playthrough: ??? (Beat it a small handful of times over the years)

Like a lot of gamers my first experience with role-playing game was Squaresoft's Final Fantasy VII. In a certain sense I guess it's pretty poetic how my love affair with the genre began but FFVII is far from the game I reflection upon most retroactively. Personally I believe the original Wild Arms to be more responsible for my interest even though it didn't contain all the glitz and glam of Squaresoft's three disc opus which is rather amazing as most saw it as a filler title and not a top offering. Still, in many ways I consider Wild Arms to be the superior game which probably has a lot to do with all the damage the Final Fantasy fanboys have done to VII since Advent Children.

+ All three characters feel important despite Rudy being the main
+ Excellent Zelda-influenced puzzle style gameplay
+ Michiko Naruke's soundtrack is flat-out great
+ The Metal Demons/Quarter Knights are excellent villains
+ Game pretty much responsible for introducing me to anime

- Combat graphics are and were behind the times at launch
- Combat is far from being complex
- It's easy to cheese your way through fights with Goat Dolls

Overall Score: 9/10
Ashley Winchester's rating:
People who added this item 257 Average listal rating (160 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0

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Last Played: 09/15/11 ~ 09/18/11
Purchased: 01/11/12 (upgraded from Player's Choice copy)
Playthrough: ??? (Beat it countless times in my youth)

Along with games like Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins makes me very reminiscent of my earliest gaming days prior to the point when the Sony PlayStation lured me away from Nintendo's consoles. However, while 6 Golden Coins is a classic sidescroller that cleverly introduced the Wario character, replaying it did make me wonder what exactly happened with my relationship with Mario and all Nintendo properties outside the Metroid series. Such debates aside however this is another must own for the GameBoy despite the fact it isn't nearly as long as I remember. It also makes the original Mario Land look quite inferior.

+ Game is a big improvement over the previous Mario Land
+ The game is graphically beautiful
+ Levels and zones are very clever
+ Game introduces Wario and spearheads his own series of games

- The game literally feels over before it begins
- The last level (Wario's Castle) is a real bitch

Overall Score: 8/10

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Last Played: 10/18/11 ~ 10/19/11
Purchased: 10/10/11
Playthrough: First (Beaten on PS1 many times prior however)

As most well-versed Mega Man fans know, Mega Man 8 (along with Mega Man X4) were originally planned to be Sega Saturn exclusives. However, Sony quickly changed their tune and both 10th anniversary games also saw light on the PlayStation. Sega may have lost the exclusive but they generally ended up winning the war on bonus features. Because of this the Saturn version of the game would retain a decent amount of value as the years rolled on when compared to the PlayStation rendition. Unfortunately, to most the small extras within probably won't justify the price tag and does little to change my opinion of Mega Man 8 in general.

+ Contains the additional Cut and Wood Man battles
+ Contains the alternate (and awesome) Tengu Man theme
+ Excellent looking 2D graphics
+ Great looking full motion videos
+ Soundtrack packs some great tracks

- Nauseating cute chibi-esque character design
- The game adds next to NOTHING to an aging series
- Most of the voice acting is terrible
- The PlayStation version is way more affordable
- Game actually sold more copies than X4 (wtf?)
- Extras don't really justify the price tag
- Some music tracks screw around with unbroken traditions

Overall Score: 7/10
People who added this item 30 Average listal rating (22 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
Mighty Final Fight - Famicom and NES

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Last Played: 10/26/11 ~ 11/27/11
Purchased: 10/20/11
Playthrough: ??? (Played it a few times before owning)

As strange as it may sound, I may like this pint-sized NES rendition of Final Fight more than the SNES port of the arcade original. I'm not really sure why that is, but there's almost an abstract charm about going back a console generation despite the fact that there are many other beat'em ups to compete with like Double Dragon, Battletoads and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle games. The only real negative that hinders Mighty Final Fight and stops me from recommending it is the cart is far from common and the price has significantly risen since I purchased it. However, it can be found on the Capcom Classics Mini Mix (GBA) for a very reasonable price.

+ There's a strange charm to the game's overall look
+ The game's simplicity is a reminder of a simpler time
+ Gameplay is hardly affected by going back a generation
+ Inclusion of light role-playing elements

- A high amount of flicker affects the sprite layer
- Audio is somewhat disappointing despite good composer
- Speedy characters have a huge advantage over slower ones
- Game carries a significant price tag due to rarity

Overall Score: 8/10
People who added this item 395 Average listal rating (187 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
Final Fantasy III - Nintendo DS

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Last Played: 01/28/12 ~ 02/10/12
Purchased: 01/28/12
Playthrough: First

Much like the *real* Final Fantasy II and Final Fantasy V, the *real* Final Fantasy III was once one of those forbidden treasures destined to be confined to its land of origin. With the arrival of the Nintendo DS gamers outside of Japan got their first chance (beyond the realm of emulation and fan translation) to experience the game. As wonderful as that may be in the general sense, Final Fantasy III is a game that ultimately seemed to divide Final Fantasy fans with some eating the game up and others claiming that its expiration date was well past. Generally I ended up somewhere in the middle, but the game has an exceptionally long break-in period.

+ Takes some liberties with the original source material
+ Liked the reasoning behind the villain's actions
+ Job system is pretty much as fun as it was in FFV
+ You're pretty much free to tackle the game in your own way
+ There really isn't a "brick wall" for most classes' usefulness

- Takes some liberties with the original source material
- The first real plot twist is rather implausible
- Plot obviously shows its age
- Game beats you over the head with gameplay clues/hints
- Magic resistance and its importance is ill-explained
- Still would like a 2D remake of Final Fantasy III
- Messaging to unlock content is an insipid obstacle (I have no friends)
- The PSP version makes this rendition completely obsolete

Overall Score: 7/10
People who added this item 53 Average listal rating (21 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0

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Last Played: 02/13/12 ~ 02/21/12
Purchased: 03/05/12 (Bought a second, complete copy)
Playthrough: First (but I beat it again soon afterwards)

The 4 Heroes of Light is a game that gets away with so many things because it has the words "Final Fantasy" in the title. I can't imagine any other company releasing such a retro-inspired product - which in today's world of role-playing games seems like suicide - but for life of me I found 4 Heroes to be very engrossing even though it failed to shine in any particular area. So yeah, many people will pass over it - and perhaps rightfully so - but those who do forge a connection with the game will find it's not a bad product that just needs a chance and a little love.

+ Game is an odd product which makes it kind of interesting
+ There is a level of overall consistency throughout
+ Some really well written moments/arguments
+ Dungeons don't contain too much treasure
+ Plenty of classes; some are rather unique

- Example of how Square-Enix eagerly slaps Final Fantasy on everything
- Music has its moments but is generally only serviceable
- There really isn't one element of the game that stands above the others
- The music in battle becomes grating when an ally is in critical condition
- Game is overly dependent on using certain songs
- Artwork isn't attractive early on; must grow to love
- Muted color palette that's reminiscent of Breath of Fire IV
- There are times where the story botches emotional extremes
- Good character interaction only occurs in the first half
- Story takes on super sappy "we've grown so much" thing
- Game tells rather than shows
- Story isn't cut from the greatest mold
- Auto targeting spells and attacks will put off some
- Combat is overly focused on buffs
- Some things in the first half of game inaccessible later on
- Switch in experience systems half way though is ill-concieved
- Overreliance of elementals in combat often causes you to be ill-equipped
- Limited, on hand inventory space
- Magic defense statistic is too important like Final Fantasy III
- Attacks in combat don't do a static amount of damage
- Dungeons don't bring the goods intellectually
- Money is hard to come by if you don't know what to do
- Some classes are boarderline broken
- Game is an utter nightmare for completionists (*raises hand*)
- Like a Pokémon game there is only one save slot

Overall Score: 6/10
People who added this item 191 Average listal rating (90 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0

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Last Played: 02/22/12 ~ 03/08/12
Purchased: 02/17/12
Playthrough: First

With its connection to Castlevania Bloodlines on the Sega Genesis, Portrait of Ruin is kind of like a yoyo; it starts off great and then completely sucks until the extras make the bungled conclusion of the game salvageable. However, even with all its problems, Portrait often feels like it is the closest Konami has come to recapturing the magic that ran rampant throughout Symphony of the Night all those years ago. Such a decree may be important in itself but the game still comes up a little short.

+ The dual character gameplay adds a layer of strategy to the game
+ The extras literally save the game

- Level design is still a shallow facsimile of that in Symphony
- Partner often becomes a liability in boss battles
- The last two battles in the game are simply atrocious
- Practically impossible to obtain max level

Overall Score: 8/10
People who added this item 353 Average listal rating (183 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0

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Last Played: 03/05/12 ~ 03/08/12
Purchased: 03/05/12
Playthrough: First

The sequel to Aria of Sorrow on the GameBoy Advance, Dawn of Sorrow is another entry in the ever growing line of Castleroids available for Nintendo handhelds. In a certain sense I guess I am a little underwhelmed with Dawn as the last sentence would imply - and Aria felt a little bit better to me as a game - but then I'm not too vested with the protagonist of these games despite his true identity. In the end, Dawn of Sorrow just does a bunch of little things that are somewhat off-putting and only few things that really catch my eye.

+ Drawing the seals with the stylus to seal bosses is probably the game's most notable feature

- Vain attempt to attract younger players with change in art style
- Being limited to three slots for equipment is a bummer
- The weapon synthesis system is simply a huge chore
- Like every other game maps nowhere as good as those in Symphony
- The whole equip items during fight to change outcome thing is old

Overall Score: 7/10
People who added this item 468 Average listal rating (413 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0

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Last Played: 06/04/12 ~ 07/15/12
Purchased: 03/04/10
Playthrough: Second (First playthrough over a decade before)

I know that many people are going to skeptical of my thoughts on Crash Bandicoot 3, but I personally find that the third Crash title is pretty much polished to perfection. It looks great, plays great and has a wide variety of gameplay styles that (surprisingly) don't dilute the core package. Given that this might be why Naughty Dog moved on to create another franchise and handed off the property... I don't know how you'd top this. Try as I might I can't really think of anything I would change or list as a flaw even though I don't want to call it perfect.

+ Easily the pinnacle of the PlayStation Crash games
+ Looks outstanding for a PlayStation title even today
+ Additional gameplay styles (vehicles) don't disrupt the experience
+ Time trails were a brilliant addition that add replay value

- Maxes out what the PS1 Crash Bandicoot experience is capable of

Overall Score: 10/10
Ashley Winchester's rating:
People who added this item 459 Average listal rating (400 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0

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Last Played: 06/09/12 ~ 07/04/12
Purchased: 06/19/12
Playthrough: Second? (A little unsure about that...)

When it comes to sequels that utterly demolish the game that came before it, I think Cortex Strikes back is an extremely good candidate to take the top prize. Pretty much everywhere you turn Crash Bandiccot 2 outdoes the original game by a mile, retroactively making it look like a fledgling student project. However, as good as Strikes back is - despite retaining some irritants here and there - it would ironically be outdone by its sequel... but not nearly to the same agree. Because of that it is a platformer worthy of anyone's attention.

+ Game is an substantial upgrade over the original in almost every way
+ Looks outstanding for a PlayStation title even today

- Game is great but it's outdone by Crash 3: Warped
- There is still some cheapness engrained in the gameplay
- Hit detection on the belly flop is suspect
- Some hidden/alternate routes are ruthless
- Overuse of certain level motifs
- Jet pack levels just suck
- Battle against Cortex at the end is a joke

Overall Score: 7/10
People who added this item 116 Average listal rating (37 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Wild Arms 4 - PlayStation 2

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Last Played: 09/23/12 ~ 10/23/12
Purchased: 09/19/12
Playthrough: Second (completed the game when came out)

My most recent experience with Wild Arms 4 has taught me a few things about the franchise in general. While it is the product of a series and genre struggling to remain relevant in the twilight era of console role-playing games it is better than the sum of its parts. Still, while all the changes within have arrived too late to be of any importance the game does fight back against such an unrelenting truth with some of its elements and may find a home in the collections of those willing to look beyond the hype of the genre's top offerings.

+ The game's villains are better than I what I remember
+ Script/translation is really well written
+ The depiction of the war that had engulfed Filgaia prior to opening
+ The depiction of the atrocities committed at the orphanage
+ Most the villains successfully blur the line between good and evil
+ Soundtrack is one of the best in series despite Naruke's absence
+ Raquel is an awesome character
+ The combat is a big and necessary improvement
+ Voice acting is respectable for series' first attempt
+ Story packs some deliciously placed pathos and pain
+ Puzzle solving is a little better than last installment
+ Borrows gameplay from other genres
+ Many of the insipid sidequests from previous games are gone
+ Unlike Alter code:F Agetech did not localize the game
+ First localization effort by Xseed games

- Recording English vocals for a J-pop song: stop that
- The main character just has to be a damn child
- The whole "kids vs adults" thing is pandering crap
- Jude's lack of reaction concerning the war
- The characters that are truly evil are insanely lame
- The identity of Brionac's 11th member is so obvious
- Action scenes completely destroy any sense of reality
- Combat is improved upon greatly in the next game
- Changes to gameplay have simply arrived too late
- Budget obviously reason behind comic book-like discussion screens
- People still can't get over the few oversights the game contains
- Lack of puzzle box sidequest
- Borrows gameplay from other genres
- The concluding dungeon is a bit of a buzzkill
- Jude's Assult Buster move literally breaks the game
- Game's gameplay has a confused identity

Overall Score: 7/10
Ashley Winchester's rating:
People who added this item 81 Average listal rating (54 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0

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Last Played: 11/03/12 ~ 11/06/12
Purchased: 11/03/12
Playthrough: First

I know I have said this in several other places in countless other ways but my relationship with Kirby is the most complicated out of all Nintendo's mascots and it all stems from how important the original GameBoy game was to me in my youth. Kirby's Dream Land wasn't a prefect game by any means - it was too easy and too short - but damn did it really feel like a steadfast classic if there ever was one. Like the other games that followed, it takes forever for Dream Land 2 to prove its worth and does little to mend my general hesitation to put down money on other Kirby fare.

+ The quest to unlock the Rainbow Drops saves the game
+ The *real* final battles are among the best moments

- Takes forever for the game to prove its worth
- Kirby's new friends don't really add to much to the game
- I've never been impressed by Kirby's copy ability
- Game does little to change my opinion of the series

Overall Score: 7/10

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Last Played: 11/19/12
Purchased: 11/19/12
Playthrough: Second (first was a decade and a half ago)

Many will probably laugh at the connection, but Tom and Jerry: Frantic Antics reminds me of the chicken pox. While ill with the disease in the fourth grade I played though a copy of the game I borrowed from a friend. After trying to rebuild my GameBoy collection back to were it was in the past few years, I was curious as to how well Frantic Antics held up over the years - especially considering the stigma that surrounds licensed products such as these. Thankfully, unlike some other games I've replayed, my memories were not crushed by current realities. It's true that Frantic Antics is far from being a stellar product but it is still respectable.

+ Surprisingly shares its story with the Tom and Jerry movie
+ You get to play as both titular characters
+ The game encourages exploration

- Game is a standard, run-of-the-mill platformer
- Can be easily be beaten in a one session
- Controls for the spring shoes leave a lot to be desired
- Some will be put off by the auto scrolling levels

Overall Score: 6/10
People who added this item 796 Average listal rating (495 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
Metroid Prime - GameCube

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Last Played: 11/27/12 ~ 12/09/12
Purchased: 11/13/12
Playthrough: First

It's going to be hard to try and not gush over this one but the original Metroid Prime easily makes the case as to why I should have paid attention to the GameCube much earlier than I did. For years I had people telling me to play this game even if I had a general dislike for the first person shooter genre... and well, I really should have listened to them. Prime undoubtedly handles different from the earlier side scrolling games but the feel and spirit of the Metroid franchise remains despite the change in perspective. The fact that Retro was able to capture such a vibe is downright amazing and it results in one of the best games I've played in a good, long while.

+ Easily justifies owning a Nintendo Gamecube
+ Contains the Metroid feel despite the change in perspective
+ Basically feels like Super Metroid but in 3D
+ Soundtrack is brimming with excellent tracks
+ Boss fights are excellent
+ Story makes the Space Pirates more intriguing than past games
+ Story is present but not crammed down your throat
+ The scan logs make the story its own collectable
+ New additions in most areas feel as if they've always belonged
+ Game in general is longer than the previous 2D incarnations
+ Jumping in first person in this game is PERFECT

- The dodge technique is not explained very well in-game
- The dodge technique (e.g. sidestepping) is insanely basic
- The Impact Crater is the worst area in the game
- Chozo Ghost attacks get old real fast
- Game screeches to halt because of the artifact hunt
- Some of the musical reprises (the old Norfair theme) get kind of old
- Phazon Mines theme (while excellent) is only twenty some seconds long
- Opening of game is a sad excuse to remind one of Super Metroid

Overall Score: 10/10
Ashley Winchester's rating:
People who added this item 27 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 0
Mega Man Xtreme - Game Boy Color

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Last Played: 02/07/13 ~ 02/11/13
Purchased: 11/29/10
Playthrough: First

To those familiar with Capcom's handheld renditions of Mega Man, it should surprise no one that Mega Man Xtreme is, beyond its story, a amalgamation of the elements that made up the first two Mega Man X titles on the SNES and little else. It's true such a decree will hardly fill any potential owner with confidence - and the effects of the game's portability isn't quite the positive it once was - but Xtreme does do justice to the original source material despite its limited stature.

+ Game is playable on GameBoy and GameBoy Color
+ Contains a new but simple narrative
+ Returning bosses retain all of their attacks
+ Music faithfully recreates the original SNES scores
+ Level layouts closely mimic those on the Super NES
+ Small and interesting touches present in animations
+ Environments aren't as compact as other handheld MM titles
+ Control scheme takes button availability into consideration
+ Auto save can be a lifesaver if you have a weak battery

- Game is an excuse to reuse elements from previous games
- Story bears little impact on the series canon
- Some graphical limitations are a little embarrassing
- Final battle is a mess (but there's a way to cheese it)
- There are some terrible continue points late game
- Writing/translation feels stilted
- Some important plot points not graphically depicted

Overall Score: 7/10
Ashley Winchester's rating:
Load more items (43 more in this list)

A list of the games I've beaten since 2010.

I actually played more games than these but these are the ones I completed. I kind of wish I had kept track of the games that I didn't complete as well but I didn't....

I decided to do positive/negative lists instead of writing a wall of text so it be a little more reader friendly.

I plan to add to the list as I get through the wall of games on my media rack.

Last Updated: June 19, 2014

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