Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My top RPG time-stealers

Thought I'd do a post on some of the games that have stolen the most of my time over the years. I got the idea from some guy's list on backloggery after browsing through people's pages. Here's mine. I like RPGs and games to give me a lot of content and a lot of replayability. These days I don't replay games as much as I used to, but I still occasionally go back to older games I like, or ones I have lots to do in and just try and have some fun with them. Hopefully this list can give you guys some ideas of games that will give you lots to do.

I like the idea of doing lists, but I am a really indecisive guy, so this seems like a good starting point as there is little actual deciding on this top 5. The only rule I'll make for this is that there will be a max of 1 game per series. Otherwise this list would be seriously Pokemon-flavoured...plus that way I can get an actual numbered countdown. I'll still talk about some of the other ones in the series that I played to death. Its kinda not a Top 5 per se, but whatever. I'll talk a bit about each one and some of the others in each series. Hopefully you will enjoy hearing about my obsessive gaming habits of the past...I swear...some of these games were so awesome.

I'll list the platform the game is (and where applicable, the one I played on) and my play time in brackets... *eesh* here goes..

1. Pokemon Emerald (GBA) (559 hrs 28) Man....this gaem stole so much of my time. First of all, I tried to get the entire dex filled in, and I got pretty far actually, surprisingly so for not having many other people to trade with. (I had a handful, but the biggest help was from having 2 GBAs and multiple games to get pokes from). My current dex completion is 381/386. I say current, but its not like I still play this game any more. It was at this point that I was starting to get into the 'competitive' game. You'll know what I mean if you've ever dabbled in that scene. Its all about breeding and training up the pokemon so that their stats mean that they can outrun and outpunch other ones that don't necessarily have as high IVs (Individual values that vary from pokemon to pokemon, but can be passed on by breeding) It is very time consuming, but once you get a decent egg pokemon (having rare candied it to lv100 to check IVs, and reset) you can begin the EV training. Yet more time-sinking. And after that comes the grinding to lv100. Another brilliant thing about this game was the cloning glitch, which was invaluable to my completing the dex in Diamond. Cloning items and legendaries and pal-parking em over really helped me get stuff to trade over wi-fi. We had a lot of fun with these games, me and my friends..but now I've kinda become a bit burnt out on pokemon games, having played them fairly religiously up to Platinum. Other games in the series I played look like this in terms of hours: Pokemon Diamond (390 hrs 06)-But I finished the pokedex completely =D, Pokemon Leaf Green (382 hrs) and Pokemon Silver (328 hrs 19). My favourite pokemon game is probably a tossup between Silver and Emerald.

Edit 11/8/10: So I did go along to that tournament I was talking about earlier. I ended up winning, in fact not losing a single game. I felt quite bad though, it was a lot of kids, not all of whom had lv100s. Prize was a set of sealed Pokemon The First Movie and Pikachu's Vacation comics signed by the Brock and Meowth voice actors from back inthe original series. Man, those comics took me back. I went to see the first movie in the cinema if I remember rightly... XD

2. Dissidia: Final Fantasy (PSP) (151 hrs 43) Technically not #2, but I don't wanna talk about Pokemon too much in this list...*shudders* Similar to FFXIII, I am strangely compelled by this game despite it's flaws and the fact I despise it at times. I was really looking forward to this before it launched. Like, seriously looking forward to it. So when it arrived, I was seriously addicted for a good while until I finished it. I still haven't got good at the game, I'm sucky at the timing of blocking, dodging and attacking. There is so much depth to this game, but I am still really dissapointed with it. For a game I claim to hate at times, I sure have played it a lot. Theres so much, perhaps too much to do for completionists...I guess I got my money's worth though. My file looks like this currently: Accomplishments 72%, Catalogue 97%, Battlegen 79%, Shop 82%. Lv100s: 5. Who knows, I might go back some time and try and get decent at the actual battling side, or try and finish off the accomplishments and shop (the 2 hardest things from what I remember.)

3. Final Fantasy XIII (PS3) (134 hrs+)..I really don't know why, or how I've played this so much. Its nowhere near my top 3 of the FF series, but I think its because I knew I could get everything I needed for 100% completion in 1 playthrough, and the goals were relatively simple for the most part, I kept grinding and pressing on with the hunt sidequests to the stage I am at now; I've done all the missions and just need 2 or 3 more trophies (treasure hunter, the 5* mission one, dunno what else) before I am done. Plus it looks absolutely amazing, apart from that though, there are way too many flaws with this game: for me, it is too linear, has boring characters and confusing, convoluted (and downright stupid in places) story and many other little things I don't like. Once I eventually get enough Trapezehedrons I will be really satisfied. Why? Because that'll mean I don't need to play this game anymore... Others in the series I've played to death: Final Fantasy VIII (120 hrs +) I played this back when it came out a fair few times, but never did finish it. Somehow my most recent file took me 100 hrs or so (although that included 2 nights of me falling asleep hehee...) It may get a lot of hate, but I like a lot about it. It has the nostalgia factor for me, since it was one of the first FFs I played. I know VIII has it's flaws, but I still like it. Gotta love Triple Triad!

I've actually picked up my save on FFXIII in an effort to finish it off completely. I just need the Treasure Hunter trophy and then I'm done, but I gotta do a lot of Gil farming and get a few catalysts like Dark Matters to get there. I do like some things about it, but its far from my favourite in the series. Too many flaws and a tedious postgame at times.

4. Dragon Warrior Monsters 2: Tara's Adventure (GBC) (127 hrs 51) If you like Pokemon and Dragon Quest (especially the DQM: Joker games), this one is still viable-it has aged quite well actually. I put a lot of time into it a couple years ago trying to breed and grind up a strong team. Its basically got a fusion monster mechanic at it's core, (kinda like SMT and Pokemon in a way) where you can combine any 2 monsters together to get a new one with the moves and stats passed on (to an extent) to the new monster. Its got a lot of depth-if you want to get the boss family monsters as well as all the other ones, expect to put in at least what I have-probably a lot more time. Definitely a good game. I have the 2 first Dragon Warrior Monsters games, and I've still not finished DQM1 yet, but want to some time. Really cool game, check this one out if you see it cheap.

5. Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness (PSP) (104 hrs+) Another game I absolutely love. I'm a big fan of tactical RPGs and this series is about as deep as it gets. You can for one thing, get all the way up to lv9999. There are many classes to unlock, items to find (just completing the item list is a massive challenge in itself), Dark Assembly stuff to do. Tonnes more that I've not touched on. A youtube user I follow was working through this game and put over 600 hours in and still had a lot to do. The psp port of the first game also has multiplayer and Etna story mode added, as if you needed more content. Etna mode has even more of the quirky, over the top humour that the series has as it's style. I reckon this is the strongest in the series, things started to go downhill since then. Although I still need to play the 3rd, so I can't really say that for sure. If you are a completionist, man..this game could kill you. But it will be an awesome, Prinny-filled death. I'll definitely go back to this game some time and play more of it. I like it a lot.

Honorable Mentions: Diablo II (PC) I love this game. I've played through the story at least 4 or 5 times over the years since it was released (I got it right around the time of release) and have many good memories of it. I don't think it has suffered over the last few years-it has aged pretty well. It has been such an influential game in defining and dominating the hack and slash type WRPGs, often with a focus on loot or dungeon crawling. Dungeon Siege, Torchlight, many others would not have existed had it not been for this and Diablo coming out. Its a must play. Another one I'll mention quickly is Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (PSP). This one is a remake of the PS1 game Final Fantasy Tactics, and has a fair amount to do. Sidequests, unlocking job classes, tonnes of items, Treasure Hunter items hidden around the stages and a few additions from the original, as well as a nice new translation. Only drawback in this one is some of the lag you will see in battle.

I recommend: Thought I'd chuck another few games in there to make this more interesting. I'm picking these based on the amount of replayability and content they have. So if for some reason you have read through this and are inspired to go pick up a lengthy, content filled RPG, or you want value for money, you should check these RPGs out: Chrono Trigger (DS) with its 13 or so endings, Bestiary, Item compendium and much more, it has a lot to do and is often described as one of the best games of all time. Check this one out if you didnt see the other versions, this has been described as the definitive version, and it will keep you occupied for a while if you are a completionist. It has a really decent New Game+ system so you can just run through time after time to pick up different endings. I really want to go back to my file at some point soon and try and complete it more. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (PC/Xbox)-strangely enough I'm recommending this one over Oblivion, based on my opinion of the two so far. I felt Oblivion wasn't quite as interesting in places. I'm still yet to finish Oblivion or quite get into it as much as I did with Morrowind. But either of those games have massive amounts to do, especially if you dabble with the modding aspect of the PC versions. Fallout 3 (360/PS3/PC) might actually be more people's cup of tea though, it has a more interesting world (though not to everyone's taste) than Oblivion and arguably Morrowind. All 3: Morrowind, Oblivion and Fallout 3 have their share of flaws but equally all 3 have some brilliant aspects. Pick up the Game of the Year editions for maximum content. I could easily recommend more games in here but this article has gone on much longer than I planned already. 

Hope you liked it, or found it entertaining at least. Its pretty clear that a) Pokemon is crack in video form for me, b) I should definitely steer clear of MMORPGs... and c) I don't have much motivation any more to play a single game for huge periods of time. Anyway, if you haven't checked out some of those games, have a look into them. I recommend the majority of them.

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