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Console Games Featured PC Games

GamesRadar’s 100 Best Games of All Time – OH REALLY

The folks at GamesRadar threw down their list of the top 100 games of all time, and while I’m not going to comment on every game (I haven’t played all of them), I’d like to point out what I think they got right and what they missed.

  • 99.  Ducktales – Excellent pull here, actually, as this game was fantastic.  You don’t want to admit to your friends that you played this, but it was really that good.
  • 92.  Quake 3 Arena – Meh.  It was fun, but top 100?  Let me see where the other games end up.
  • 81.  Kingdom Hearts 2 – I’ve tried to play this several times, and it’s like the beginning is some impenetrable wall of text and zzzzzz….
  • 77.  Star Wars:  Knights of the Old Republic – Man, this low?  Not sure about these guys.
  • 72.  TeamFortress 2 – Pure entertainment.  Love this game.  Even if I suck.
  • 64.  Braid – Just a beautiful experience.  Try it out.
  • 58.  Counter-Strike – I came to this late, but had tons of fun with this.  Hours spent at Cyberjocks when it was open here in Buffalo, and many more online.
  • 54.  Sim-City 2000 – THERE BETTER NOT BE ANOTHER CITY BUILDING GAME ABOVE THIS although a Caesar game would be OK I guess.
  • 40.  The Sims 3 – So much better than the first game, as I can manage to get these Sims to stay alive.  With the first game, it was a race to see how my Sims would die (usually trying to cook).
  • 39.  Diablo 2 – On the front of my mind, thanks to the Diablo 3 beta.  Burrows into the part of your brain that likes getting stuff, and then getting more stuff, and more stuff…
  • 38.  Mega-Man 2 – Jesus this game nearly killed me, but I kept the fuck at it and finally triumphed.
  • 30.  Skyrim – Interesting it’s up here.  Is Morrowind not on the list?  I still go back to that.  Maybe because it’s my first Elder Scrolls game.
  • 29.  Super Mario 64 – Agree 100% with this one.  All the different ways to interact with the environment, yet not so complex that you needed a cheatsheet.  Just played great.
  • 27.  Deus Ex – Yes yes yes.  Might’ve been over my head at the time, but still a ton of fun.
  • 26.  Civilization V – I need to give this another shot.  Civ 2 forever!
  • 24.  Final Fantasy X – Never played this one.  But I will smash these guys in the face with a shovel if FFVI (or FFIV) are not above this.  No way this is the only FF.
  • 19.  Starcraft 2 – You’ve read my thoughts on this.  SP is good enough, but MP is a whole bunch of rabid clickers with meticulously mapped-out build orders.  Just not fun for me.
  • 17.  The Legend of Zelda:  A Link to the Past – Still the best in my book.  Worth busting out the SNES for.
  • 14.  Final Fantasy VI – THANK YOU I will not get arrested for shovel-based assault.  Great story, great villain, replay it in whole or in part every year.
  • 12.  Half-Life 2 – Will the original be above it?  Either way, if you are reading this, I probably don’t have to tell you why HL2 is so good.
  • 4.  Super Mario Bros. 3 – The ultimate Mario game, ever.  No equal.
  • 2.  Tetris – We all have a favorite version, whether it’s the Tengen NES (or Arcade) game, the Nintendo version, Game Boy…EVERYBODY has played it.
  • 1.  Portal – Portal 2 was on there too, but I want to replay the original before I comment on the new one.  Portal remains one of my all-time favorite games, and GLaDOS is simply the best villainous AI there is.

WoW is on the list, but I’ve never been big on MMOs, if you are wondering about that.  I think they’ve done a solid job on the list, but there are some glaring omissions to my eyes.  In no particular order:

  • 4X games – What, no Master of Orion?  Stars!?  Galactic Civilizations?  Sins of a Solar Empire?  Anything?  Tough room.
  • Flight Sims – Another genre that isn’t ‘cool’ right now, but so many games here that are worthy.  X-Wing?  X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter?  No Wing Commander games?  Elite?
  • Combat Sims – Microprose needs to be here somewhere.  Gunship, Silent Service, Red Storm Rising…heck, there still isn’t a tank battle game to beat M1 Tank Platoon.
  • Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri – No Civ2 AND no Alpha Centauri?  How does this happen?
  • M.U.L.E. – How many games did they miss from this era?  Still fun to play today.

And with that, I’m sure I’ve missed some games.  What would you add?  Hate any of my choices?

Categories
Featured PC Games

Old Game Tuesday – Wing Commander: Privateer

She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid

One of my all-time favorites, and to me, the best game of the Wing Commander series, is Wing Commander: Privateer.  Unlike the other games of the WC series, in this one you play a free pilot with your own inherited ship.  At that point, you are completely free to do what you want.  Fly around and hunt pirates, trade goods between worlds, do a little pirating yourself, whatever.  There are mission computers in each base that give you randomized one-off missions, and there IS a plot to follow, when you feel like it.

Privateer was one of the first (if not THE first, since it was 1993) games I played that was open like that.  It was months before I actually found the guy that started the plot – my memory is they only sort of mentioned him at the tail end of the manual (“talk to Sandoval, in New Detroit”) and once in a while the bartenders mention him too.  I just enjoyed visiting the various ports, upgrading my ship and weapons, trading goods, fighting pirates the whole nine yards.

The game runs well for me via DosBox (though your mileage may vary), but there are some other options to play in Windows if you don’t want to tangle with that.  Privateer: Gemini Gold is a remake using the Vegastrike Open-source flightsim engine.  I have downloaded but not played that yet, but if there’s interest I can do up a review of that as well.  Nice thing there is you can play Privateer on Windows, Mac and Linux.

I know flightsim type games have never really regained the foothold they had back in the 90s, where X-Wing, Tie Fighter and the Wing Commander series were some of THE games to play, but if you have any nostalgia at all for that era, or just want to play a classic of the genre, try Privateer.

Categories
Life

Things our kids won’t believe

For sports:

  • Baseball was played mostly during the day.
  • The only way to track the stats of your favorite players was through the box scores in the newspaper.
  • There were no Russians in the NHL.
  • The Mets were good and the Red Sox were perpetual losers, often in heart-breaking fashion.

For media:

  • MTV showed music videos.
  • Nobody got famous because of reality shows.
  • UHF/VHF dials on your TV.
  • VCRs with wired remotes.
  • The best cartoons were on Saturday morning.

For video games:

  • You could play all day in an arcade for a couple of dollars, provided you didn’t suck at gaming.
  • Also, arcades.
  • The only handheld gaming device weighed as much as a brick and was black and white.
  • If you wanted to play against a friend, he had to come to your house.

For computers (mostly DOS/Win):

  • Command line and ini file editing.
  • Boot disks and memory managers for specific games (Wing Commander).
  • Sound beyond the PC speaker was a revelation.
  • 5 1/4 in. floppy disks, clipping the other side so you could make them double-sided.
  • 8 character file names.
  • WordPerfect was king.

What else do you have for this?