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[[!meta date="2011-09-10"]]
[[!meta title="Some good games"]]
[[!tag static_imported]]
[[!template id=note text="""
This page was originally a static page on my website.  I have incorporated it into my blog, entry dated the last time the page was edited, as a more appropriate place to archive old things like this.
"""]]
Here's my top ten computer and video games.

Skies of Arcadia: Legends
=========================

[[blog/img/ramirez.jpg]]

> Everyone has their limits, their codes, their morals. But everyone
> also has a weakness. If you find that weakness and exploit it, those
> limits, codes, and morals seem to fade away. —Belleza
>
> Impossible is just a word to let people feel good about themselves
> when they quit. —Vyse
>
> Maybe losing hope because you're afraid of the future is the same as
> living life with your eyes closed because you're afraid to see the
> truth. —Old lady

Skies of Arcadia is a proper old-fashioned turn-based RPG, in the style,
tone and feel of games like *Final Fantasy VII*. The world draws you in
and while the combat has a number of flaws, it does require you to think
a bit in some of the harder fights. A fascinating world with engaging
characters; I have so many good memories from this game.

The music is very good; the Dreamcast version of the game had better
music that got made worse for the GameCube release, but you can get the
Dreamcast music on a CD/find it online.

As well as turn-based hand-to-hand combat there is also ship-to-ship
combat which is pretty broken, but slots really well into the story.

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
================================

[[blog/img/morrowind.jpg]]

> They have taken you to the Imperial City's prison, first by carraige,
> and now by boat. To the east, to Morrowind. Fear not, for I am
> watchful. You have been chosen. —Azura
>
> Make it quick outlander, I haven’t much time. —Citizen
>
> Go on about your business. —Ordinator

It’s hard to talk about Morrowind without also talking about Oblivion,
it’s successor. Both feature massive worlds with a myriad of quests and
factions, okayish main quests with along with the infinitely more
interesting task of developing a powerful character and rising in
standing in society.

Oblivion fixes Morrowind’s shoddy combat, which swiftly breaks if you
know just a little about what you’re doing. Yet, it doesn’t get this
quite right: the levelled monsters make the world seem a lot less
threatening, whereas Morrowind there was no guarantee that what you
faced would be appropriate for your character’s power level.

Oblivion’s great failure is how utterly generic the world is, compared
to Morrowind’s imaginative spleadour. Without fast travel, just moving
between towns in Morrowind was a real experience. You’d be given vague
directions talking about rocks to turn left at; some routes had
signposts, but not all of them did. There was a great wonder in moving
slowly (oh so slowly until you levelled) through the world, waiting for
that glimpse of towers of the settlement in the distance that you
crunched into as dusk fell, to a cool reception as an outlander—and with
such variety of cultures and architecture to greet you. Oblivion comes
nowhere close to this.

Also stunning music.

Diablo II
=========

[[blog/img/tyrael.jpg]]

> Stay a while and listen! —Deckard Cain
>
> Hi there, I’m Charsi, the blacksmith here in camp. —Charsi
>
> You have quite a treasure there in that Horadric Cube. —Deckard Cain
>
> Not even death can save you from me. —Diablo
>
> Tyreal was a fool to have trusted me! You see, it was I who told
> Diablo and his brothers about the soulstones, and how to corrupt them.
> It was I who helped the Prime Evils mastermind their own exile to your
> world. The plan we set in motion so long ago cannot be stopped by any
> mortal agency. Hell, itself, is poised to spill forth into your world
> like a tidal wave of blood and nightmares. You and all your kind… are
> doomed. —Izual
>
> Stop! The beast contained herein shall not be set free, not even by
> you. —Tyrael
>
> We travelled together into the east. Always into the east. —Marius
>
> My brothers, at long last we stand re-united. The infernal gate has
> been prepared, while the time of our final victory is at hand. Let the
> way to hell be open … and the evil that was once vanquished shall rise
> anew. Wrapped in the guise of man shall you walk amongst the innocent,
> and terror shall consume they that dwell upon earth. The sky shall
> rain fire, and the seas will become as blood. The righteous shall fall
> before the wicked. And all creation shall tremble before the burning
> standards of Hell. —Mephisto
>
> I stood in the doorway between light and dark. What was left of my
> sanity implored me not to enter. But that voice was just a whisper
> now. —Marius

The game of my generation? Diablo II drew us all into a dark world of
heroes and monsters, keeping us their for so many hours. And without a
doubt the best cinematics I have ever seen in a game. I can probably
quote the third word for word.

Great music too (noticing a pattern?).

Final Fantasy VI
================

[[blog/img/ffvi.jpg]]

> People seem to only want power. Do they truly want to be like me?
> —Tina
>
> This little hamlet has too much boring and not enough burning… TORCH
> EVERYTHING! —Kefka
>
> Why do you build, knowing destruction is inevitable? Why do you yearn
> to live, knowing all things must die?
>
> Life...Dreams...Hope...Where do they come from? And where do they go?
> None of that junk is enough to fulfill your hearts!
> Destruction...Destruction is what makes life worth living! Destroy!
> Destroy! Destroy! Let's destroy everything! —Kefka

What can I say, it’s Final Fantasy VI! This is a game that immersed me
despite me playing it much later than most of the others on this list. A
solid turn-based RPG with interesting combat, what makes this game stand
out for me is certain sequences that it does so well. The opening, with
the three mechs walking in the snowstorm. Tina’s theme when you step out
into the overworld: to me, the best piece of video game music ever
composed. The opera sequence! An experience not to be missed.

SpellForce: The Order of Dawn
=============================

[[!img blog/img/spellforce.jpg size=511x380]]

> I watch over the treasures of Mulandir, until the world is ready for
> them again.

An entirely underappreciated RPG/RTS. A great campaign with a really
interesting mix of hero, party and army combat, with a decent enough
plot most of the way, and an absolutely jaw-dropping final conclusion.
The concept of how your hero builds armies is effective, and there are
some great moments, such as the above line which you get from a strange
masked warrior atop a hill top overlooking a city overrun with demons.

The game forces you to be defensive, but not too defensive! The
difficulty works well even if it varies wildly. And when you’ve got your
base up, and your army is getting going, you can switch into
third-person and return your main character from a scouting expedition
past your defences, into the workings of the base with workers chopping
down trees etc.—this is very cool, and all looks really good.

Great music. Shame the expansions and sequel aren’t so great.

Here’s a [nice
review](http://www.gameboomers.com/reviews/Ss/SpellforceOrderofDawnbyDrizzt.htm).

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
===================================

[[blog/img/ww.jpg]]

Zelda is hard to beat, and for me Wind Waker
is the best. Its gameplay is more sophisticated than Ocarina, and it
maintains that Zelda magic that only Nintendo seem to be capable of
infusing.

[image source](http://zs.ffshrine.org/wind-waker/official-art.php)

The Legend of Zelda: The Oracle of Ages
=======================================

[[blog/img/nayru.jpg]]

Another really enjoyable Zelda game. The
main theme, despite being 8bit, somehow hits me really hard. Great
puzzles, an interesting adventure progression (weak plot) and a detailed
world to explore.

The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time
========================================

Reputed to be the best game of all time. I’m willing to accept this, I
think, but I didn’t get quite as much out of it because I came to it
late, and so its lack of polish took some of it away for me.

Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance
==================================

My first games were strategy games, but this is one that I keep coming
back to. Take your average strategy game and blow up the scale to a map
that it takes your starting unit forty-five minutes to cross, add a
strategic zoom which allows you to view combat at any level, add really
cool megalomaniac macro capabilities and you have the ingredients for
what could be the ultimate strategy game. Unfortunately there are
problems when it comes to executing this (such as totally unreasonable
processor demands for hosting games), but this game allows real
long-term strategic planning and plotting unlike games like StarCraft.
Highly recommended; my friends and I have had so many hours out of this
one.

HalfLife 2
==========

> Welcome to City 17. It's safer here. —Dr. Breen
>
> Yes, you did it! Come on, Gordon! We have to get out of here! Maybe we
> still have… —Alyx
>
> Time, Dr. Freeman? Is it really that time again? It seems as if you
> only just arrived. —The G Man

The only shooter I’ll play; lots of fun as you get carried along by
memorable characters and an urgent need to save the world.

EPISODE THREE WE NEED YOU.

Honourable mentions: *Tiberian Sun*, *StarCraft II* (maybe it will
graduate up there soon), *Portal*, *Transport Tycoon Deluxe*.