The Top 100 Games of All Time

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Post by Guest » Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:23 am

chris wrote:So you WILL put a game on the list (AvP) for a game system that you never owned (as far as I know), but you WON'T put a game on the list (Jumpman Jr.) because it was never available for that rancid piece of shit IBM PC Jr.??? This list just lost any credibility it might have had.

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Fri Dec 08, 2006 10:20 am

Anonymous wrote:
chris wrote:So you WILL put a game on the list (AvP) for a game system that you never owned (as far as I know), but you WON'T put a game on the list (Jumpman Jr.) because it was never available for that rancid piece of shit IBM PC Jr.??? This list just lost any credibility it might have had.
Thanks for checking in, Guest.

UPDATE TO CHRIS'S POST

He wrote me a while back ago regarding something that happened with Walrustitty, but I didn't get back to him - Chris - in a reasonable time regarding what he wrote, then it became this big piece of drama involving others so I didn't get involved. He probably thinks I dislike him when that is not the case.

I got a chance to play AvP for the Jaguar in broad daylight recently. Let's just say... well... the Jaguar should have an internal clock like the Saturn did. It should refuse to boot AvP if it's before 9:00 at night. Has there ever been a game that has played so poorly in daylight? Besides "Ghost in the Graveyards" for Yards, I mean.

The GP2X claims that it can run Dosbox, but I'll be dead before I ever figure out how to get it to work. Which is too bad because I would love, or at least deeply fall in like, to be able to play Jumpman Jr. for the thing and get the REAL deal on the seminal Jumpman series. I have no idea what "seminal" means but they use it in rock band reviews and this thread just rocks.
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Post by Lex » Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:03 pm

So anyway



Where's RAPTOR? The best shoot 'em up since Xenon?
WHOOA!

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Thu Dec 28, 2006 1:01 pm

#4 - KNIGHT ORC

IBM PC

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Level 9 released Knight Orc in July of 1987 and soon thereafter changed what entertainment software could be. Some would say that it single-handedly proved that MMORPGs would be successful. OK, I would say that. It stands here on that list as a substitute for all those games because, frankly, it avoids all the human idiots that you have to hang around in a regular on-line game. It holds up years later due to its gameplay, the strength of its atmosphere, and the sheer indifference (hatred?) it shows to the player.

Knight Orc was one of the first games to give a voice to a villain. The player assumes the role of an orc named Grindleguts, abandoned by his buddies after a night of hard drinking. Even the most Vulcan of geeks can relate to what a miserable experience drunken abandonment can be. The orcs, caught in an inebriated stupor by a pack of foppish human knights, arrange for a "Contest of Champions" to take place in the morning. Which is all well and good, as they have no plans on sticking around for it. The orcs tie Grindleguts (completely passed out and in no position to argue) to a horse and give him a lance. The knights, bound by their code of honor, can do nothing but watch as the roving evil horde skulks off into the darkness. Much like the Baltimore Colts leaving for Indianapolis. The orcs then destroy the bridge and make good on their escape.

The interface to Knight Orc is... legion. An option exists for pure text or text & graphics. The graphics were designed without real regard for how they would be displayed upon the screen, as an outside artist conceived them for digitization. Consequently, ugly "pillars" fill in the space to the left and right of the art. The process had questionable results on the PC -- it seems that the paintings were originally a type of fresco. Regardless, they do not look particularly pretty. While the PC version did not allow manipulation of the image size, much more text is present than on the default settings for the Magnetic Scrolls games. Knight Orc's parser is excellent -- objects can be located using a FIND command -- regardless of whether or not you have seen them (this does not work for special items you will learn about, and the command will not do any problem solving for you). It will understand virtually anything you throw at it, or give you helpful reasons why it doesn't. Unlike some later Level 9 games, Knight Orc does understand the word "at." Nice, huh?

Anyway, you're an orc trapped in human country. While attempting to pick up some rope to cross the river you will encounter the first bit of magic the game has to offer: the characters. I have never witnessed a greater collection of thugs, losers, egomaniacs and self-important motos than I have in this game. The descriptions offered by the parser as to the wandering characters are cruel --

The gripper: "he is a squinty, rat-like youth, with an orcish squint."

Kris the ant-warrior: "she is a muscle-bound champion, armoured with plates of giant ant cuticle and wearing a strange ant-head helm. She looks a lot like an ogre-sized fried roach."

Denzyl: "he is a right gullible and stupid-looking person."

Fungus the boggit-man: "he is a lanky, twitchy-fingered, nicotine-addict."

-- but funny in that cruely. Hey, much like this place!

Furthermore, there are plenty of hapless denizens just waiting to have horrible things happen to them. The following story is offered as to why this game works so well: During one stretch on the first episode I was being identified as an orc rather easily. (When a character recognizes an orc, her or she will attack.) While getting thumped by the Green Knight (arguably the most powerful character in the episode till you solve his puzzle), a do-nothing slacker named "Sam the Grey Earl" jumps into the fray for a bit. After dying, the game was restored. A different navigational route is taken, and Sam follows for a little bit when reaching the cemetery. For whatever reason, Sam continues lapping along like a well-trained puppy. After entering the tomb for the first time the Vampire spies the still-following Sam and consumes him. He offers a spell for his treat and Sam is sucked down for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Due to his inability to leave the player character alone he gets his. Just desserts, so to speak.

Such an event is completely impossible to specifically reproduce. It's also the single coolest moment I have experienced in a video game and the inspiration for much of my own work. Poor Sam. That asshole.

The denizens in the game seem to have some "goals," like picking up treasure and killing orcs, but while Sam never followed that path again, it can not be said that the characters in the game really move in completely random patterns. Somehow, Level 9 were able to create an environment filled with rich characters leading their own lives, all while not creating an impression of headless chickens running around in a maze.

The last two episodes of Knight Orc are interchangeable. Without giving away too much, the end game involves a story of revenge and escape against those that tormented you -- and yet, reading the novella and playing the first episode does not begin to prepare you for the outcome. (I should note that it ties into Level 9's earlier "Silicon Dreams" trilogy. Very, very nice.)

The puzzles, jokes, characters and parser are all up to par with the best that Infocom had to offer. I suspect that this game did not receive the props that it should have due to its subject manner -- playing the "bad guy" didn't really become in style until Syndicate. While Grindleguts is a greedy, violent, angry little pit he is also a character worthy of our respect. Especially among the piles of spods he's running around with. I suspect that the background characters in Knight Orc are set to mirror the kind of individuals we (the gaming community) can't, in theory, stand or relate to in real life. Jocks, girls, urchins, soldiers... when that lot are in our world (a game) they should, naturally, be considered the outsiders. Knight Orc describes them with as much distaste as we normally get in "their" environments.

If you take the time to enjoy this game -- to smell the roses -- Knight Orc will return your attention with an incredible amount of pleasure. It's the best text adventure written under Reagan's term of power. Ah fuck, it's the best game period written under the Gipper's reign.
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Post by bruce » Fri Dec 29, 2006 6:25 pm

Ice Cream Jonsey wrote: Ah fuck, it's the best game period written under the Gipper's reign.
Cock-knocker.

Ronald Reagan's Dominion: 1981-1989.

Off the top of my head: Pitfall!, Trinity, Donkey Fucking Kong, Ms. Sperm-gurgling Pac-Man, Goddamn Archon. In fact, almost all of the really great video games came along during the Gipper's reign.

Bruce

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Post by AArdvark » Fri Dec 29, 2006 6:54 pm

I have never witnessed a greater collection of thugs, losers, egomaniacs and self-important motos than I have in this game
Was this BBS up and running then?

This was one of the few text adventures that I wanted to try (by *Infocom) but never seemed to get around to. Alas, it is too late for me now, as I am old.


THE
TIME OF OUR
TIME IS PAST
AARDVARK

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Post by jjsonick » Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:08 am

I am only partially through this thread, but I must say THIS LIST ROCKS. I have already added several games here to my "to play" list (Snooper Troops for example...I think I did play that as a kid but have never returned to it - now's the time). I'm sure I'll have some obnoxious things to say once I read more & find some favorites of mine not mentioned, but for now I say:

Let not # 1 - 3 be abandoned!

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Sat Apr 14, 2007 5:26 pm

Yeah, Snooper Troops might be the one game that was placed on the list purely for nostalgia, because I could totally see it not holding up today. I never ended up getting an Apple emulator going (I think I wrote the original review a couple of years ago... man this thread has been around for a while) but I tried to list the other games in terms of stuff I'd enjoy playing in this day and age.

The best game missing from the list is probably Elite. At the time I drew up the list I had not played it enough to give it a fair rating. I've now done so, and I'd probably put it in the mid-30s. Dwarf Fortress and Grid Wars 2 also came out for the PC after I cobbled together the list and I think they are both awesome.

Yeah, the two other big "missing" games would probably be Mario 64 (which I include in the history of Super Mario Bros., but I probably didn't ever mention it before now) and Planescape: Torment (which was like the one Black Isle / Bioware game from the late 90s / early 00s that I didn't play, having spent an embarrassing amount of time on the other ones that used that engine).
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Post by jjsonick » Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:06 am

What computer are you currently on? AppleWin for Windows is pretty simple to set up and use, and Virtual II for OS X is awesome (it's shareware, but very worth the price. It's making up for the fact my recent IIe died in a power surge last year).

If it's a question of system roms, I can, er, post some for information purposes.

Also, if you're on a PC, you can play Apple II games online if you're using IE or Firefox.

See here
ACS

They don't have Snooper Troops online, though. :(

JJ

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Post by hygraed » Mon Apr 16, 2007 2:40 pm

Robb, if you'd be receptive to the idea, I could make a nice little website for your 100 Greatest Games list, to make it easier for people to navigate. I haven't read through the whole thread, so if someone is already planning this, please forgive me. Anyway, when you're done I would be happy to whip something up.

ICJ

Post by ICJ » Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:51 pm

hygraed wrote:Robb, if you'd be receptive to the idea, I could make a nice little website for your 100 Greatest Games list, to make it easier for people to navigate. I haven't read through the whole thread, so if someone is already planning this, please forgive me. Anyway, when you're done I would be happy to whip something up.
Tell you what: I am currently about 70% done with turning the list into a book I am going to try to self-publish through the Internet. It will contain expanded reviews and many of the essays on games and game series that the posters here have contributed over the last five years. If I don't make any progress on this in the next month I will gladly take you up on this. Hopefully I should find the time to make a nice little tchotkie for people to pick up, flip through and read. Keyword being "hopefully." (But yes, thank you very much for that offer. This thread definitely takes forever to run through.)

co

Post by co » Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:44 pm

Are you going to finish the list also?

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Mon Apr 16, 2007 7:42 pm

That would also be helpful, yes. It's like a 2-in-1, things to do for this list.
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Post by hygraed » Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:58 pm

OK, Robb, I don't know what the deal is, but your Red Alert screenshot is really fucked up. I don't even know how you got it to look like that, but regardless, here's a better one.

Image

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:11 am

Thanks. I've updated the original post. There's been a lot of attrition in screenshots. My goal, when I finally get started on the 100 worst games, is to boot each one of them and get a screenshot personally. There did not seem to be much point in doing this for the 100 best, as there are tons of screens available for these games, most of them being famous and everything.
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Post by Lysander » Wed May 16, 2007 2:13 pm

Hey Rob, how's that BOOK going
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Post by Morko » Wed May 16, 2007 2:53 pm

Hey Robb, hows that GAME going?

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Thu May 17, 2007 12:59 am

Lysander wrote:Hey Rob, how's that BOOK going
Two "B"s, if you please.
Morko wrote:Hey Robb, hows that GAME going?
Better than the ending of the book, if that is any help.
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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:29 pm

I'm so sorry. I'm like 85% done with this and my MAME cabinet but I am having trouble finishing.
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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:14 pm

#3 - DUKE NUKEM 3D

IBM PC

Image

I don't know if there has ever been a game that has been so overshadowed by all the nonsense that came after its successful entry into the software market. Okay, except for Grand Theft Auto 3, but that's because you kill hookers in GTA3. Er, wait, you can kill strippers in DN3D. But the strippers are pixelated. Oh, and in 1996 the entire world wasn't consumed with alarmist hysteria, therefore when it came to killing women in a video game, NOBODY GAVE A SHIT. I killed thousands in video games and directly after only a few outside of video games and guess what, I didn't end up a sociopath.

Duke Nukem 3D has been ruined by the announcement and non-delivery of Duke Nukem Forever, its intended sequel. After writing 96 of these reviews I'm ready for a handicap, so I won't mention DNF from here on out. If you really gotta know, visiting, ah, every other game site on the planet will fill you in.

With that in mind, let's talk about the things that DN3D brought to the table, like, a pool table! OK, they didn't include Virtual Pool as a mini-game (in Duke, all you can really do is hit the spacebar and see the balls scatter) but it was a better implementation of pool than what we've seen in most other video games. A lot of people aren't aware that there is a billiards mini-game in the Atari 2600 version of Donkey Kong. Not because the mini-game was hidden, but because nobody can stand the 2600 version of Kong long enough to clear the first board and see what lies beyond.)

Urinals also work in Duke Nukem 3D. There is a Duke-themed pinball table, and when you hit the spacebar while next to it Duke says, "No time to play with myself." Ho, ho, ho!

(When Balls of Steel, a pinball game released with a Duke Nukem-themed table, was made available, the first thing you hear is John St. John -- the voice of Duke -- saying, "Now I do have time to play with myself!")

The pinball tables and toilets all lead towards this huge interactivity thing that the game presented / invented. It beat the previous high score for the genre, which was the Doom marine frantically searching for a hidden door in a doorless room going, "Uhn! Uhn! Uhn!" constantly. (That's also the same sound the real-life Doom marine, actor Karl Urban, makes as he attempts to shut your website down.) So not only were you shooting people up, but you had a world to explore as well. Nobody in subsequent shooters really seemed to give a crap about this level of craftsmanship. And I'm not downing first-person shooters. Next to text adventures and arcade games, the FPS is my favorite genre. I'm just saying that Duke Nukem 3D is still ahead of its time after a decade.

The design of the levels is quite memorable. The Build engine gets my vote for best game engine of all time. Doom II attempted to be "Hell on Earth," but remarkably, none of the levels looked anything like they were ever Earth on Earth. They all looked like you were visiting Hell. That's kind of cheating. DN3D, and its expansions, had a burger joint, a football stadium, a movie set -- all of these levels looked realistic. (Okay, I am bluffing about the movie set as I have never been allowed onto one. I know that might come as a shock to some people that have seen the Polybius video, but it's true. But hey. the DN3D level looks like how Hollywood makes movie sets to look, so if there is some inconsistencies I blame reality, not the Duke team.)

The multiplayer is the best ever, except for the mod Jailbreak. The DN team created levels that worked perfectly in single-player mode annnnd then perfectly in multiplayer mode with a few well-positioned teleports. The sound is perfect: the music kicks ass and Duke has the best voice-overs by the best voice talent in video games. The art direction equally gnarlyt: the chicks were all sexy and curvy, the pig cops disgusting and, well, curvy, the alien brain beast... yeah, just disgusting. I was happy to shoot all these in the chest. There were no annoying enemies, like in every other first person shooter. Seriously, who here hates the annoying FPS bad guy? (The spider in Blood and that resurrection a-hole in Doom II are looking at each other right now, wondering if I mean them specifically, answer in the next sentence.) I do! Well, that guy is missing from DN3D. But don't feel too bad, they all got jobs as the ghost in Daggerfall.

Duke also featured a great range of different weapons. Personally, I can't stand the ten thousand WWII games that are out there because not a single one of them have an interesting new weapon. I don't understand how people are content to limit themselves like that. Duke's shrink ray and laser trip mines are a fucking blast. Yeah, the ice-gun is just as preposterous as you'd think it would be, but everything else is great. Get a rocket pack and you can drop the pipe bombs from overhead. You can RAIN DEATH from overhead. There's no raining of death going on in your average video game.

Duke Nukem 3D is the third best game ever made. It holds up, even today. If you want to skip through the last half of the space station, we all understand (it's a little long) but episodes 1 and 3 make up some of the very best gaming in the world.
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