Top 10 Games of the 6th Generation

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NOTE: THESE ARE IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER EXCEPT ALPHABETICAL

Burnout 3: Takedown
The third game in the Burnout series takes arcade driving/racing to its pinnacle with crazy, over-the-top car battling at its finest.

Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium 2001
The second take on the Capcom and SNK fighting crossover truly makes good on all the greatness it had the potential to be.

Counter-Strike
Quick paced, realistic action is the name of the game in this team-based shooter. Such is the importance of this modification of the original Half-Life that its influence is still the driving force behind shooters today.

Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening – Special Edition
Chock full of challenge, good length, awesome combat, and great replayability, Devil May Cry 3 truly lives up to the stellar original entry in the series and then does it even better.

Guitar Hero
The good-will these games at first received may have been squandered by Activision’s greed, but there is no doubt that a lot of fun can be had rocking out with a faux-guitar.

ICO
A fantastic atmosphere and sense of place makes this one escort mission you’ll actually like.

Max Payne
Fun bullet-time mechanics and a great noir story make Max’s first outing one that you’ll likely not forget any time soon.

SSX 3
Late 5th generation and early 6th generation was a breeding ground for a cornucopia of great alternative sports games and SSX 3 was at the pinnacle of this sub-genre. The ability to tackle the entire mountain for 30-min. in real-time was incredible.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4
The other top series in the alternative sport sub-genre, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 finally takes the time limit restriction out lets you have at an entire level for as long as you want.

Yakuza 2
The second entry took everything that was great about the first, made some good improvements, and then just gave you a lot more of it.

Review Quickies, Vol. 11

Soul Reaver 2
(PS2, 2001)

+ excellent graphics
+ great music
+ voice acting is pretty good
– combat is simplistic and easy, but OK
– lots of stops in the pacing for many puzzles

I played the original Soul Reaver quite awhile ago and I found that my taste in action/adventure has changed a good deal in the meantime while playing this game. Being big into fighting games I tend to lean towards games that emphasize action thanks to the changing of the action landscape in the same year this game came out with the seminal Devil May Cry. Because of this change in my taste I found Soul Reaver 2 to be a bit of a bore. I don’t think it’s a bad game at all, just a kind of game that isn’t for me anymore. I suspect if you like the Legend of Zelda series, you may find you like Soul Reaver 2 as well.

RATING: 4 out of 6 / 6.0 out of 10

Tetris Party Deluxe
(DS, 2010)

+ plays very smooth
+ single cart multiplayer and online play
+ includes one of my favorite variants: Bombliss
– all other variants aren’t actually Tetris in any way
– presentation kinda sucks

I’ve been a diehard Tetris fan since I first played it on the NES back in 1989 so I gotta (not really) collect ’em all. Tetris Party Deluxe is a fine version of Tetris that plays some standard-ass Tetris very well, but that’s about it. The Bombliss variant that’s also included is one of my favorite too. Outside of those two play modes it is pretty much a bust since the other variants aren’t really like Tetris in any way except that they use the Tetris pieces. The perfect Tetris would be one that is just like EA’s Tetris on PS3, but also includes Bombliss and Push (featured in Tetris DS), but that hasn’t happened yet.

RATING: 4 out of 6 / 6.5 out of 10

Malicious
(PS3, 2012)

+ pretty good visuals
– music is bland and forgettable
– combat is anemic
– each stage is a boring slog
– camera kinda sucks

If I’m anything when it comes to video games, I’m first and foremost a connoisseur of action. I love it. I eat action, breathe action, and sleep action. Yes, even in my sleep it’s all action, all the time. Hell, I even shit action! If I’m not kicking some ass, then what the fuck am I even doing? So, it’s especially disheartening when I have the misfortune of buying and playing an action game that is the steaming pile of crap that Malicious is. Everything about the gameplay sucks. You have many moves at your disposal and gain more as you finish stages, but even with all of these seemingly cool moves to use the combat is super anemic. It all feels weak and unimpressive. To make matters worse each stage is a slog to finish. Since each stage is only a boss fight with other minor enemies to complicate things, each boss takes forever to defeat and it’s boring to boot. No matter how cheap this may be, don’t waste your time or money. Play Fighting Force instead (LOL).

RATING: 3 out of 6 / 5.5 out of 10

Devil May Cry 4
(PS3, 2008)

+ excellent graphics
+ combat is of the usual excellent DMC quality
+ both Nero and Dante are a lot of fun to play as
+ lots of great boss battles
– music is only decent at best
– some bosses repeat up to three times
– backtracking can be a bit excessive

In order to get the bad taste of Malicious out of my mouth I had to play an action game that I thought had a good chance of being, you know, good. I decided to play Devil May Cry 4 and I was not let down at all! In fact, I seem to like it more than most. The graphics for a four year old game still look really good today. Combat is really great and Nero is a fantastic new character that I hope we get to see again someday. He was a little too much of a straight-man in this though. I still prefer a more lighthearted, wisecracking badass like Dante or Bayonetta, but Nero was a lot of fun to play as. Some of the bosses repeating for a third time near the end of the game was clearly padding that wasn’t necessary and the backtracking with Dante was a little excessive even if it was a part of the plot. Having said that, the minuses really are very minor and should not deter anyone interested in giving DMC4 a shot.

RATING: 5 out of 6 / 8.5 out of 10

Top 10 Games of the 7th Generation So Far

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NOTE: THESE ARE IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER EXCEPT ALPHABETICAL

Batman: Arkham Asylum
Great mix of combat, stealth, and use of gadgets together with awesome vocal performances.

Bayonetta
Crazy awesome shit always happening with the best combat ever! The pinnacle of action games from the pinnacle of action games developer, Platinum.

Burnout Paradise
Everything great about Burnout 3, but minus the dumb crash mode and put into an open world with fantastic multiplayer.

Demon’s Souls
An action RPG with all of the customization you could want married to great methodical combat and unique multiplayer functionality.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
I’ve tried getting into the Metal Gear series a number of times in my life, but it always felt like the controls were lacking too much. For whatever reason I took another chance on the series with MGS4 and it was everything that’s great about the series, but with controls that worked really well.

Mirror’s Edge
Wonderful first-person platforming that gets even better in subsequent playthroughs.

Street Fighter IV
As fantastic as any version of SFIV is, the initial return of the king’s true significance is that it resurrected fighters in a big way and paved the way for some fighting games we never would have seen without its success.

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Speaking of a fighting game that wouldn’t have existed without the success of SFIV. Crazy, over-the-top action that’s just as fun as it is insane.

Vanquish
A fast, fun, and unique take on the overexposed shooter genre that only Platinum could bring us.

Warhawk
A surprisingly awesome and varied multiplayer shooter experience that I loved a lot more than I ever expected.