Absolutely Essential Games

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Absolutely Essential Games

Postby Golem » Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:14 pm

What are some essential games everyone should play? If you have a repeat, please post it, because I want to see where we agree.

-Super Mario Bros
-Soldier Blade
-The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
-Tetris Attack

-Space Harrier
-Rocket Knight Adventures
-Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap
-Mega Man 9
-Sonic the Hedgehog
-Super Metroid
-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time
-Streets of Rage 2
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Re: Absolutely Essential Games

Postby Sky-Fox » Fri Aug 21, 2015 3:06 am

Personally
-Thief
-Deus Ex
-Fallout
-Fallout 2
-Monkey Island 2
-Planescape: Torment
-Final Fantasy Tactics
-Hitman: Blood Money (Don't make me post flow charts)
-Streets of Rage 2
-Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri

But I sort of want to pose another side to the question. I'm assuming you're asking for games I think are essential fun-makers.
But what about games you think are essential for analytical purposes?
-Alpha Protocol (for immense reactivity )
-Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magic Obscura (quest design)
-Donkey Kong Country 2 (Interplay between music and level design)
-Wizardry (historical long reach)
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Re: Absolutely Essential Games

Postby Golem » Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:18 am

Hmm, that's an interesting point. I want to ask, how did you arrive at the list of topics for analysis?

I tried to choose essential games based on genre. So Super Mario Bros is essential for platforming, Soldier Blade for shmuppery, Ocarina of Time for action/adventure, and Tetris Attack for puzzle. These games have lots of excellent points that then provide understanding of further games from their respective genres. So while there wasn't an explicit analytical question at hand, I'd say they're still ripe for thinking.

My second list is like a second tier in that sense: almost essential games. Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man expand what a platformer can be in different directions from Super Mario Bros, and Turtles IV/SoR2 also make great complements to one another in learning the flow of belt scrollers.

I really wanted to add Wave Race 64 because of how great and awesome it is, but it doesn't give me much transferable knowledge to another racer.
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Re: Absolutely Essential Games

Postby Sky-Fox » Sun Aug 23, 2015 3:59 pm

Hmm, that's an interesting point. I want to ask, how did you arrive at the list of topics for analysis?


At first it was just a single list of games that came to mind as important. Then I tried to justify why they might be essential. This might be presumptuous of me, but the first list is mostly games I think are self-evident in their contributions. By which I mean you could play them and assuming you made it through to the end it would be impossible to miss the core thing or things they bring to the table. For example, I would be hard-pressed to believe someone could make it through Thief or Hitman without learning a few new things about level design and freedom in stealth games.

The second list is games I couldn't as easily justify. It wasn't that I was thinking about those topics explicitly, but those were the parts of the games I think make them important.
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Re: Absolutely Essential Games

Postby Yourself » Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:38 am

Super Mario Bros.
X-COM: UFO Defense
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
SoulCalibur II
Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge
Half-Life 2
BIT.TRIP COMPLETE

Simulation is sorta the purest form of data manipulation gameplay that informs "RPG" systems as well as all kinds of ammo and resource management that extends far into action games, hence X-COM. It feels weird to name such an unknown as Crimson Skies, but to me flight games are an essential realization of 3-space. The two also illustrate the two primary structural alternatives to "levels" - X-COM is a sandbox game and Crimson Skies is objective-based free-roaming. Half-Life 2 is the quintessential cinematic ride, actually translating set-pieces into salient gameplay. BIT.TRIP is there for abstract aesthetics. At first I thought Rez, but Rez is too undercooked.

Most strained omissions:
Ninja Gaiden Black, which more precisely explores combat, but only by repeating lessons about enemy and spatial design you can get from SMB. I think only a fighting game illustrates the breadth and depth of it.
DOOM 2, which again is purer and more thorough shooting than the games included, but tells a story about mazes that I think your life would be better without.
Super Mario 64, which is so pioneering with space but conservative with the action defined on it.
Majora's Mask, because of all the normal stuff said about it with regard to OoT.
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Re: Absolutely Essential Games

Postby Yourself » Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:45 am

Question to Golem: what makes you limit essential genres to those four?

Question to Fox: why Fallout AND Fallout 2?
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