Games (Console and PC)

     I’m an RPG/Strategy fan when it comes to console games. I used to enjoy the occasional fighter and shooter, but the RPG/Strategy genre is my favorite. I hardly play console games anymore. I have an Xbox 360 but I find myself playing sample games or puzzle games on it. Every once in awhile I will crack out my modded PS1 to play something like Valkyrie Profile or Wipeout XL.

Chrono Trigger      One of the most hyped RPGs for the Super Nintendo, it lacked a little something… But let me explain first… NEVER, NEVER USE A GAME MANUAL (WALKTHROUGH) TO PLAY THROUGH A GAME THE FIRST TIME!! It absolutely ruins the story line. That’s what I did here and it ruined the experience for me. This game is a great RPG, but I ruined it by knowing what was gonna happen next.

Final Fantasy 3      I played Final Fantasy 3 on the Super NES and enjoyed every second of it! This is one of the best RPGs ever! The story line is very engrossing. Twists and turns around every corner. Despite the older 16 bit graphics, this game is one of the best! I actually printed up spell lists I created in word to keep track of who had what powers (in my group). I was really involved in it.

Final Fantasy 5      I played Final Fantasy 5 on the Playstation’s Final Fantasy Anthology. This games is just as good as Final Fantasy 3 with added bonuses. This game has all sorts of character classes like Final Fantasy Tactics as well as Summon spell like Final Fantasy 7 and 8. This game was truly ahead of its time! 

Final Fantasy 7      I bought the Playstation almost solely for the fact that Square Soft was doing their games on the PS. And was I satisfied….YES! Final Fantasy 7 rocked. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll BE AMAZED!!!!!!! This game was very good, but it seemed to be missing something that FF3 had, I just can’t figure out what. The graphics were awesome but I think that THAT is what I felt was missing (over FF3). I am BIG fan of 2D graphics over 3D graphics.

Final Fantasy Tactics      This game was heaven at the time. I didn’t notice any kind of glitches, the music was great, even better than FF7, the battle fields were beautifully rendered (i.e. the waterfalls), and the story was superb! A tad complicated, but jeez, just about everyone in this game is betrayed and stabbed! The only games that come close are the Front Mission ones. Once again the 16bit looking graphics added to my enjoyment. Final Fantasy Tactics gameplay was different than the other RPGs I had been playing. It was turn-based strategy as opposed to turn-based role playing. Each turn and each battle relied heavily on the placement of your characters and such.

Suikoden      Suikoden was a great Playstation RPG. It’s long and has a good story. The quick load time for battles was appreciated! Many games on the Playstation have to load battles and when they are complex (graphics wise) it can take a few seconds to load each battle. When THAT is the whole point of the game (the battles) it gets annoying (all the waiting). Suikoden battles loaded fast! There is a mini game within the game where you roll dice and bet money and I had so much fun with that alone that I recreated it in the real world!

Suikoden 2      Suikoden 2 is great! It’s just like the original so it felt like visiting an old friend! Another tale of friendship, betrayal, and all around good fun. I highly recommend either of these games! 

Beyond the Beyond      Beyond the Beyond was the first Playstation RPG I got. Don’t even waste your time. Too many battles! Way too many! It still sold well, and that’s good for RPG fans. But don’t bother unless you like having to battle every 2 seconds.

Carnage Heart      Carnage Heart was a COMPLEX game! You have to be a deep RPG/Tactics fan to like this game. I played it for a couple of hours…and I was still designing a mech, not even battling yet! You REALLY have to think in a logical manner to get this game to work, the programming of the robots is tough! You have to build the robot’s programming by using command tiles. It was like a visual form of the BASIC programming language. I gave up cause I could never get my robots to respond right.

Valkyrie Profile      This was a different kind of game RPG! It was pretty refreshing. It plays along the lines of a an RPG, but with elements of a side-scroller. When you go into battle you use different combinations on the controller to execute different attacks with your party members. Some of the enemies are way too hard, while others are too easy. Still this was a fun game to play it’s just that the makers should have spent some more time ironing out the bad bits. 

Front Mission      Front Mission was originally a Japanese game (weren’t they all) that was available only on the Super Famicom (Japanese Super Nintendo). My friend Tuyen introduced it to me and I got hooked. It is a turn-based strategy game (like Final Fantasy Tactics). In this game you use mechs and it is set in the not too distant future. Alot of the fun was the in-between battle customization of your mechs. I still have this game and play it every once in a blue moon. It was finally released a few years ago for the DS which allowed me to finally understand the complete storyline. The new release added a new storyline and a couple of new elements but the game was fairly close to the original. Way back in the day I created a Website that ruled the roost for Front Mission but is now sadly outdated. You can see it here.

Front Mission 2/3/Alternative      Front Mission 2 is turned based like it’s Super Famicom predecessor. They both look-a-like (same menus and such). The load time for the battles is annoying long, but there is a map that shows you an overhead view of the terrain, that helps pass the time. Front Mission 3 was actually brought here to the US and gained the fame it deserved. There was also a game called Front Mission Alternative which wasn’t turn-based at all. It was a real time game. I played it but I can’t read Japanese so I missed out on the story line.

Front Mission 4 (and all it’s kin)      Front Mission 4 is pretty much and updated version of 2 and 3. The graphics are better and there are a couple of extras like ‘repair ray’ backpacks and the notion of linking your units in their attacks and defense. Later there were more (Front Mission 5 and Front Mission something or other) but I haven’t kept up with them.

Ogre Battle      Ogre Battle was a Super Nintento game that eventually got released on the Playstation. It is exactly the same as the Super Nintendo version except it will have enhanced music and enhanced spell effects. I wasn’t too interested in it when I borrowed a copy from a friend long ago but did try since it was a turned-based strategy game. Apparently it was VERY good to fans of the genre because it was really complex and the battle system was very deep.

Wipeout XL      If you remotely enjoy any kind of racing, you WILL love Wipeout XL. This game is the best racing game of all time in my opinion. I wish there was a current port of this game onto new technology. The only thing that would make this better is of you could upgrade your racers. The futuristic settings and the kick ass music make this one of the best of all time. Wipeout, Wipeout 3, and (PS2) Wipeout Fusion still don’t come close to XL!

Macross      This side scroller for the Japanese Saturn was fun. If you are Macross/Robotech fan, you will enjoy this great game. The sound effects and music are right from Macross. The CGG scenes are great and the newly created animation was cool too! You could play import games on the Saturn without any sort of fakery which was cool.

Dragon Ball Z Legends      This Japanese fighting game for the Playstation is pure mayhem! With up to six characters fighting on the screen at the same time, it utter chaos! A neat feature is to press start and let the battle go on auto! You don’t have to lift a finger!

PC GamesDark Forces 2: Jedi Knight      I wasn’t really interested in this computer game until a friend got it and I took a look. WOW! The environments are HUGE, I don’t mean big, I mean BIG!!!! This game gave me vertigo on many levels. I had been so used to the close hallways of previous games like Doom and Wolfenstein that it was like day and night playing this.

Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast      This game was fantastic. Once again the super large environment give this game it’s appeal (oh yeah and it is set in the SW universe)! I did have a tough time with the Reborn and those black stormtrooper Jedi guys, but it was well worth it. I have played this game several times over the years because it was just that fun. When you have played it once, look on the web for the cheats. There are some real cool ones out there (like the clone cheat).

Secret of Monkey Island      This game is one of my all time favorite computer games. I especially enjoy the version that has a real soundtrack. I love the pirates theme and all that stuff. This is one of the best games I ever got. True, its’ old and not super high tech but oh well. It’s got such a good story that it doesn’t need all that high-tech stuff! I got SoMI (Secret of Monkey Island) with a CD-ROM kit. It is the version with the real soundtrack. I still love it! Not only can you play this great game but you can stick it in your CD player and listen to the music too!!! The same it true for Sony Playstation’s Wipeout XL. In 2010 they visually re-made the game and released it online. You can toggle between the new look and the old block graphics. Either way it is a fun game.

Curse of Monkey Island      This computer game is nicely done. It has beautiful animation and good funny voice acting. It also has that nutty pirate humor that made the first 2 monkey islands popular. There were a couple more after this one (all with the same animation-look). These are some great games.

Diablo 2      This computer game is one of the most deep and yet shallow games I have ever played. The inventory is sooooo massive! This one I got my moneys worth. I played this like crazy. I finally quit after I got to level 67 (Amazon) in Hell (Mt. Arieat). In 2011 I started playing it again and spent a good four months leveling up a Sorceress.

TIE Fighter      This computer flight sim was the best for hard core SW fans. With a good system (back then) the graphics were smooth and ultra fast. The mission were intense! I fully recommend this game!!!!! I wish they would update this but I don’t think flight sims are popular anymore.

High Seas Trader      I played High Seas Trader quite awhile back. I really enjoyed it. Sailing around the world trading goods and having sea battles with enemy nations or pirates. I had fun. Then I saw a review in a PC game magazine and they couldn’t have rated it worse. They absolutely hated it. True sometimes it got a little monotonous but hey, it was neat. Oh well. 

Tropico 2      Tropico is the ultimate Pirate sim. You manage several islands and try to keep your slaves fearful and your pirates VERY happy. What other game allows you to build whore houses?! 

Lords of the Realm 1/2      Lords of the Realm was made by the same company as Highseas Trader. It is a great strategy game set in Medieval times. It puts you up against other people trying to manage lands and take over rule of England (or Germany). You control food production, weapons production, castle building, and running battles. I highly recommend it. Lords of the Realm 2 is very similar but has a prettier look. The music was really good (for its time) too. There have been more recent additions to this series but I prefer 2D over 3D graphis (as you know) so I wasn’t so impressed.

Heroes of Might and Magic 2      You want to get your moneys worth on a computer game, get HOMM2! Heroes of Might and Magic 2 is really infectious. I just couldn’t stop playing! I found myself playing for hours on end and I couldn’t stop! I got the expansion pack and it is just as good with new locations and scenarios! Totally worth the money you get it for now-a-days. I got a deluxe version in 2011 with all the expansions for like 10 bucks!

Heroes of Might and Magic 3/4      Like the Cool-Aid man says: “Oh Yhea!” This game combines the great game play of HOMM2 with new graphics and TON of new creatures, artifacts, towns, and more! Much MORE! Although, I do have a couple of complaints. The music is not as good as HOMM2 and the mouse pointer moves jerkily on the screen. I could be that my P200 wasn’t fast enough. Note: After I upgraded to a 1600+ XP the game works fine!      HOMM4 was a step up in graphics from the previous one. More of the same but still fun. Like I said earlier you can get these game ULTRA cheap now-a-days so there isn’t any reason not to try it. Check on YouTube for some game play examples.

Chaos Island: The Lost World: Jurassic Park      This PC game is intended for kids, but I enjoyed. It is like a simple version of starcraft or warcraft set in the JP2 atmosphere. One thing that makes this better than the other tons o ctrap out there is that ALL the actors in the movies did the voices for this game which I found very cool. Way to short and a little too easy, but fun (if you like JP). 

Blade Runner      This game was awesome. It is a adventure game where you play Ray McCoy, and rookie Blade Runner. The game takes place the same time as the movie, but it is a different story line. Almost all the places featured in the movie are in the game. If you ever wanted to be a blade runner, this is your chance. It also has 13 different endings and all the computer characters have AI. Every time you play stuff turns out different! 

Dragon’s Lair 2      One arcade game that caught my eye way back when was Dragon’s Lair. I still think it’s one of the coolest concepts ever. There is now a Dragon’s Lair 2 for Win95, that uses really compressed video. Its not perfect, but is an exact translation.      O.K.! I got Dragon’s Lair on DVD! WOW! It rocks! Its hard to control with the DVD remote though. You can even watch it without playing it! Now I want Dragon’s Lair 2 and Space Ace!

Unreal Tournament      Around 2000 Unreal Tournament was released. It wasn’t until a few years later that I tried it. This is the best first person shooter I have ever played. What I enjoyed most about it was the smooth graphics, array of weapons, amount of levels, and (most of all) the A.I. is really good. I play this game every couple of years to get my fix.

Stronghold / Crusader / Extreme      Here at the bottom of my list is my #1 all time favorite PC game series… the Stronghold series! This is a real-time Castle sim game with resource management. I can’t tell you how many times I have played and replayed this series of games. Around 2000 they came out with Stronghold (set in England) a couple of years later they came out with Stronghold Crusader (set in the Crusades), then in 2009 they released Crusader Extreme. This version allowed more than 10,000 troops on the battle field and new attacks and extra features. There was a Stronghold 2 and 3 but they were in 3D and you know how I am when it comes to 2D so I have chosen to keep playing the originals. The audio is great on these games too.