Wednesday, April 2, 2014

My Favorite Things - Video Game Edition

I've spent about 120 hours so far playing Tales of Symphonia Chronicles. I haven't spent nearly this much time of a game since early last year and it got me thinking about my favorite video games.

My favorite type of video game is the JRPG. I also like a few other kinds and some of them will also be represented. And I'm sorry in advance for talking about some games that are old and possibly hard to find.

And now, in no particular order....

Heroes of Might and Magic III

Overall, I love the whole Heroes of Might and Magic series. Heroes is a turn-based strategy game where you have to defend your castle and steal all the other castles/destroy all the other players. I doubt at this point there is online play, but there used to be for some version. I've played this game from the very first game all the way to the last (6th) game. III is my favorite, even though it's pretty old. If I had to pick one that was my least favorite, it'd be V.

Buy Heroes of Might and Magic III & IV Complete Collection on Amazon

Shadow Hearts

As I said before, my favorite games are JRPGs. The only real complaint I really have is that a lot of them are fantasy stories. What I loved about Shadow Hearts was the horror element in the real world. It also had a really cool battle feature called the Judgement Ring that made this game different from any other I've played. There are two sequels on the PS2 (Covenant and From the New World) as well as a loosely connected prequel on the PS1 (Koudelka). This one is my favorite of the series. Sadly, it's no longer made but you can find it used.

Persona 3

The Persona series is probably my favorite game series of all time. I love the graphics, the music, and the stories. Like Shadow Hearts, it is horror rather than fantasy. Persona 3 changed the gameplay from what it had been in 1 and 2, including a social/dating element and more of a dungeon crawler feel. Most people seem to like Persona 4 the best, but this one is my favorite. It's the only one that I've played multiple times and probably has my longest run time for a single game. While the original release can only be found used now, Persona 3 FES, which includes a minorly altered original story plus a small epilogue, is still available on the PS2 and Persona 3 Portable, which includes the option for a female main character, is available of the PSP.

Buy Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES on Amazon
Buy Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable on Amazon

Tales of Vesperia

While I generally prefer horror over fantasy, it's the common type of JRPG. My favorite of the fantasy ones is the Tales series. Tales of Vesperia is my favorite of the ones I've played so far, mainly because of the main character. I really liked that Yuri was not the normal dim guy with an overly developed sense of righteousness. He was much more morally ambiguous. I also found Estelle, the requisite girl that needs saving, to be less useless than most. I'm really sad that the PS3 version with extra content is not available here.

Bust a Groove

Bust a Groove is a rhythm game for the PS1. I naturally have no rhythm at all so I had to work like crazy to be good at this game but it's just so fun. The music is also really catchy. There's a sequel on PS1 called Bust a Groove 2 and one on the PS2 that was never released in the US called Dance Summit 2001. It's long be out of print, but is floating out there used.

Monster Rancher 2

Monster Rancher is a series of sim/monster battle games. In the game, you feed and train your monster to fight other monsters in tournaments through it's life cycle. What was really awesome about this game was that CDs and DVDs created different monsters. Monster Rancher 2 on the PS1 was my favorite because it was more involved that the original but didn't get bogged down with extra stuff like the following games. I also liked Monster Rancher DS because it played very similarly to 2. Both are only available used.

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