Gameplay is at the heart of every game, be it an RPG
or otherwise. Without solid and enjoyable playability,
a game is sunk, no matter how beautiful it looks or
sounds. Of course, there is no one way for a title to
achieve greatness in gameplay. It could be by offering
an amazing battle system, in depth character
specification, engaging puzzles, exciting quests, or a
good blend of all of the above. Regardless of exactly
what elements make up the gameplay, the bottom line is
that the game has to be enjoyable.
And if there is any game that is fun to play, its
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. The second Paper Mario game
once again chose to focus less
making any one part of the game too over the top, making
Paper Mario 2 a perfect example of good blending of
gameplay elements to create an enjoyable gaming
experience. The structure of the game is what really
places the game atop all others in this category. The
game unfolds in a episodic manner, with each chapter
having its own subplot and feel to it, different from
the all the others. Yet, still somehow the story weaved together
to great a grand game in general. As your explore the
environment and the world, you talk to various interesting characters in
very interactive environment.
While some may say that Paper Mario 2 caters to a
younger audience that does not mean that it is a simple child's game.
While the game does keep things simple, there are
quite a few puzzles throughout the game to keep even
the most veteran gamer on their toes. Young or old,
its highly unlikely that you could not like this game.
Pulling up in second place is the GameCube's 'tale' in shining armor,
Tales of Symphonia. Tales offers players
a variety of options that boast its gameplay lovability.
On the overworld, you see enemies and have the option
to fight or avoid them, and if you choose to fight,
you are rewarded in battle with a fantastic battle system.
If you aren't satisfied with the way the battle went,
feel free to change up your options and character
specifics in the detailed menu screens. No matter how
you look at it, Tales of Symphonia gives you what you
want, when you want it, sometimes even if you never
asked for it.
Rounding out the top three is a game from a generally
under represented genre, the MMORPG, and that game is
World of Warcraft. Blizzard, a company renown for consistently
making quality games, does not letdown with
their first step into the MMORPG world. World of
Warcraft's gameplay shines by allowing the player to
play the game virtually any way they want to. You can
play alone or get heavily involved in groups and
guilds, you can be a master of the duel or have the
skills to take on numerous foes at a time, or you can
just sit back interact with community as a craftsman
of any of the various professions that the game offers
you. Most importantly, you can be a casual player or a
hardcore MMORPGamer, and you will still enjoy the play
of this game.
by Matthew Foster