THE CRAVE GAMING CHANNEL
V'lanna
 






Affiliates
metacritic
AnimeBooks
Play-Asia.com

banner
Mass Effect (series)

Mass Effect (series)
By: Johnathan Stringer | Platform: PS3/Xbox 360/PC/Wii U | Released: 11/20/2007

   No other games or series have compelled me to play them from start to finish like the Mass Effect games have. Being able to star and interact in my own epic space opera complete with intrigue, betrayals, and choices that impact the course of the story is just fantastic. While the seemingly polarizing good or evil choices turn some off, and the series does have its low points, I feel the high points more than make up for that and offer the best complete packaged experience around. The worlds and universe are fleshed out, and the races and canon become second nature. You join forces with some truly awesome characters that you genuinely come to care about. The scale was truly grand and the set pieces and worlds give such a variety. I almost always wanted more and looked forward to jumping back in for a few hours in the Mass Effect universe every night over the course of many years.

     Honorable Mentions:

  • Dragon Age: Origins
  • Fallout 3
  • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
  • Demon's Souls

Resonance of Fate

Resonance of Fate
By: Nathan Schlothan | Platform: PS3/Xbox 360 | Released: 3/16/2010

   Resonance of Fate is an amazingly unique experience, completely unlike any game before or since. It has a steep learning curve and a lot of flaws, but if you stick with it you are presented with a fun game that has a lot of charm. It has unconventional storytelling, an unusual setting with a lot of character, and most importantly a great main cast that is incredibly fun to watch. Unlike more traditional RPGs or more recent action RPGs, it embraces a battle system that combines turn-based action, real time movement, positioning-based strategy, and fancy cinematic gunplay. This game lets you hide behind cover and take potshots at passing soldiers, but what it really wants you to do is launch a grenade with a backwards somersault kick as you jump over the head of a giant elephant armed with a cannon. Or for you to run in circles around a tank made out of truck parts and juggle it midair with SMGs until it explodes into a fountain of coins. It will be a long time before we ever see an RPG that makes gunfighting as fun, or as wild, as Resonance of Fate does.

     Honorable Mentions:

  • Xenoblade Chronicles
  • Valkyria Chronicles
  • White Knight Chronicles
  • Dragon's Dogma
  • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
  • Demon's Souls
  • Tales of Graces f
  • Rune Factory Frontier

Fallout: New Vegas

Fallout: New Vegas
By: Sam Marchello | Platform: PS3/Xbox 360/PC | Released: 10/19/2010

   For a long time I wasn't interested in Western RPGs. They sounded too complicated for my tastes, so I always kept avoiding them. That's a silly reason when you're fiancée is an advocate of the Western camp, but I was stubborn in that I felt as though JRPGs were the superior breed. Flash forward to the summer of 2011 when I decided to take the plunge into Fallout: New Vegas and my world changed -- I learned how much I actually loved this side of the genre.

   Fallout: New Vegas instantly hooked me with it's premise -- being a courier, having the situation go awry, and coming to terms with a world full of unique characters, each with their own motivations on what they believe is right for the world around them. Siding with any faction gives you newfound motivations and understanding, though you can totally choose to blow off these factions in favour of yourself. I loved the freedom that New Vegas granted me, and I found myself falling deeper in love with the world building, the desolation, and the knowledge that no man, woman, or child could ever be fully trusted. It's a world filled with genuine fear, fear that you can choose to stop or harness for your own desires. Not too many games give you these types of options.

   While Fallout: New Vegas had the unfortunate problem of being buggy, I still found myself wanting to roam the Mojave Desert as much as I could. The game also was given four very unique and different DLCs, each of which contained a brand new storyline to enjoy. Now all I need to do is muster the courage to go back to The Strip and play it on Hardcore Mode.

     Honorable Mentions:

  • Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland
  • Yakuza 4
  • Alpha Protocol
  • Dragon Age: Origins
  • Dust: An Elysian Tail
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  • Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale
  • Tales of Graces f

Cthulhu Saves the World

Cthulhu Saves the World
By: Michael A. Cunningham | Platform: Xbox 360/PC/Mobile | Released: 12/30/2010

   This past generation was one of transition for me. I came into it with an eye only for RPGs from Japan, but that changed. New experiences such as Fallout 3 and Dragon Age: Origins opened my eyes in the joys to be found in RPGs developed on this side of the planet. With my horizons broadened I was finding myself open to new ideas and games I'd have normally ignored without a second thought. This included the realm of indie RPGs, an area I'd previously believed was only RPG Maker games and iOS shovelware.

   Cthulhu Saves the World was not my first indie title, but it was the one that really shined as a serious contender in the genre. A speedy turn-based RPG with a fun, diverse cast of characters (go October!), the game really showed that consoles were ready for indie RPGs. It also paved the way for other indie developers to bring their games to consoles, including another of my favorites Dragon Fantasy. So while there were a lot of great RPGs that came out during this past gen, Cthulhu Saves the World pioneered a way for RPGs outside of the AAA space to thrive.

     Honorable Mentions:

  • Fallout 3/New Vegas
  • Xenoblade Chronicles
  • Dragon Age: Origins
  • Demon's Souls
  • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
  • Mass Effect (series)
  • Lost Odyssey
  • Valkyria Chronicles
  • Dragon Fantasy

The Witcher: Enhanced Edition

The Witcher: Enhanced Edition
By: Phil Willis | Platform: PC | Released: 9/16/2008

   The game that stood out the most to me this past generation is The Witcher: Enhanced Edition by CD Projekt RED. As far as a I know, these guys came practically out of nowhere and released one of the best RPGs to date. The hero, Geralt, is not some spiky hair teenager with a sword twice his size, but rather a man's man with little fear and a desire to correct some of the wrongs in the world. More than any game I've played before, this one treats the player like an adult. From the low fantasy setting, to the choices that Geralt must make, to how he spends his free time, one instantly recognizes that kid gloves do not exist in this title. This enabled me to connect much faster with the world and the main character.

   Yet, as much as I enjoyed these elements, several others really define this title. Throughout the game the player must make choices at key points, which have impact later on in the story. Rarely black and white, I struggled at times to choose between the decisions laid out before me. In later chapters, Geralt sees the aftermath of those roads taken and reflects on how it may have ended differently. Because CD Projekt RED spread out these important decisions and their consequences, the player cannot simply reload a saved game from a few minutes before and get a different turnout or ending. I admire the developers for implementing this process, insuring that my decisions would have weight and would not be easy to undo once chosen.

   I also enjoyed the writing immensely. This generation certainly pushed graphics and other elements up a few notches, yet I rarely felt as if the writing improved in the same way. In a world where developers spend millions on graphics, I enjoyed seeing a shift of resources to hiring a well-known writer with an established universe and story. I cared about the world and the people. I loved the dialogue and found myself laughing on more than one occasion. I found it hard to return to generic RPG writing and tropes after The Witcher spoiled me. And it also laid the groundwork for the excellent Witcher 2. The Witcher: Enhanced Edition exceeded many expectations that I had for this western RPG, and to this day I actively sing its praises when discussing current generation RPGs.

     Honorable Mentions:

  • Mass Effect (series)
  • Valkyria Chronicles
  • Disgaea 3
  • Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Arc Rise Fantasia

Arc Rise Fantasia
By: Cassandra Ramos | Platform: Wii | Released: 7/27/2010

   It might be odd to consider a game with such glaring flaws as Arc Rise Fantasia a favorite, but I can't help but love this game. I am able to look past the localization issues because of what the game does so well: its battle system, difficulty, and music. Arc Rise Fantasia's combat is fast when it needs to be, but allows for deep strategy when facing the game's bosses. Character abilities can be customized to best suit the situation, and it's very satisfying to pull off a powerful spell or Excel Trinity Act against a difficult enemy. The bosses are tough without being unfair, and the soundtrack, composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, Yuki Harada, and Shunsuke Tsuchiya, is fantastic. While ARF is held back from being a truly great game, it remains one of my most memorable titles of this past generation.

     Honorable Mentions:

  • Xenoblade Chronicles
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
  • Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World

Darksiders

Darksiders
By: Paul Engemann | Platform: PS3/Xbox 360/PC | Released: 1/5/2010

   One of my favorite games of this generation is Darksiders. To me, it's everything a modern 3D Zelda should be, despite not being a Zelda game. It has great characters, a compelling story, a unique world, and fluid combat and controls. I really enjoyed many aspects of this game, like the fact that it tells a grown-up story in which you are trying to redeem the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Combat is fluid and easy to get started, but offers a great challenge when it comes to stringing combos together and knowing when to block or what weapon works best. The puzzles are interesting as well, similar to Zelda's puzzles where you manipulate objects to open doors or gain access to new areas. Probably my favorite part of Darksiders is that it's just plain fun and that it's the best Zelda since Link to the Past.

     Honorable Mentions:

  • Alpha Protocol
  • Yakuza 3
  • The Witcher
  • Bastion
  • Valkyria Chronicles
<< Page 1
Discuss on the RPGamer Message Boards
© 1998-2013 RPGamer All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy