30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 30 – Your Favorite Game of all time

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

If you have been reading along with this challenge it should come as no surprise that The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is my favorite game of all time. While I think that Breathe of the Wild is the Zelda game I would recommend most, that’s largely due to the open world elements that really wasn’t important or possible in the 90’s. Ocarina of Time was my “Favorite Classic Game.” Instead, I’ll list my top ten games of all time.

  1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  2. Super Mario Galaxy 2
  3. Resident Evil 4
  4. Mass Effect 2
  5. Bioshock
  6. The Legend of Zelda: Breathe of the Wild
  7. Star Wars: KOTOR
  8. GTA: 4
  9. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
  10. Batman: Arkham City

That marks the end of my 30 Day Video Game Challenge. Thank you for your support.

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30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 29 – A game you thought you wouldn’t like, but ended up loving

Eternal Darkness

Most Nintendo console are largely platforms their top tier games. They definitely not for second or third party games, especially not AAA one’s. Eternal Darkness is a game from the Silicon Knights, released in 2002. It wasn’t a commercial hit and Silicon Knights evetually went out of business. The game was a third-person action adventure game. You generally fought monster and solved puzzles. What set Eternal Darkness apart from other survivor horror games was the “insanity meter.”

When the is spotted by an enemy their green bar decreases. As the bar becomes lower the gaming environment changes. These effects are random and reflect the players distorted grip on reality. The camera angle can change, weird noises, bleeding walls, enter rooms only to find out that you never left the previous one. Your character may even appear to have die suddenly. I was concerned that this aspect of the game would get old and I would like it. However, the gameplay along with the interesting story kept me invested in completing the game.

The games story skip’s throughout time, from 26 BC to 2000 AD. You can play as 12 different characters. Multiple paths can be taken, with difficulty changing with each path. Unfortunately, Eternal Darkness sold poorly, despite the fact that it received high reviews. It was ranked 96th on IGN “best video game of all time on all systems.” The sequel to Eternal Darkness, entitled Shadow of the Eternals was planned but never could get the funding necessary. I’m still hoping it does.


Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 28 – Favorite Game Developer

Logo

Nintendo

This is the easiest day of the challenge so far. Nintendo is by far my favorite game developer. Nintendo is THE most storied game developer. I will make an argument that it is the most influential gaming develop ever. Nintendo was founded all the way back in 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi. Originally a hanafuda playing card company, Nintendo became a video game company in the 1970’s. What makes Nintendo so great is that they always focus on quality and fun as the most important aspects of gaming.

The legendary Mario

Many gamers have complained that Nintendo continues to produces games with simple stories and cartoon graphics, instead of more realistic and serious content. Nintendo wanted to build a reputation for having family friendly games. This wasn’t always well received by gamers. Violent games like Mortal Kombat were censored, removing blood and altering finishing moves. However, many of the games Nintendo produced were well made. This dedication to quality has to be the hallmark of Nintendo.

The 64 contoller

Nintendo also has been an innovator in the gaming industry. The many buttons featured on the face of a typical controller can be traced back to Nintendo in some way. The NES controller largely set the industry standard. The Nintendo 64 for example was the first home console to introduce four controller ports, so families could play together split-screen. They also brought the analog to home controllers and introduced 3D gameplay to gaming with Mario 64. Nintendo also dominated the handheld gaming market, with the Gameboy, Gameboy Color and now the Switch.

Smash Bros. Ultimate

Many have credited Nintendo with saving the video game industry itself in the 80’s with the NES. The most important aspect of Nintendo is of course the games. Mario. Legend of Zelda. Pokemon. Metroid. Donkey Kong. These are some of most influential and profitable video game ip’s ever. Collectively, Nintendo has sold over 700 million consoles and over a billion games. Most of the games I play are Nintendo games and their consistent quality is unmatched. Nintendo is a pioneer in the industry, whether it’s mobile gaming (Gameboy), multiplayer (64), VR gaming (Virtual Boy), motion gaming (Wii) or home to mobile (Switch). They take risks and keep gamers guessing.


Nintendo Switch – Neon Red and Neon Blue Joy-Con

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 27 – Most Epic Scene Ever


Psycho Mantis Reads Your Memory Card

Many gamers who hand the privilege of playing Metal Gear Solid and maybe some that haven’t, the boss battle with Psycho Mantis one of the most epic. However, before the fight with him, he “displays” his psychic powers. If you have a controller with the rumble ability, he will activate this feature. He can also make players believe that there’s a problem with their television, by turning the screen to black. I was borrowing Metal Gear from my friend and he deliberately didn’t tell me about this part. I actually though something was wrong with this game and turned it off. LOL.

Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection

Furthermore, he “reads” the memory card of the gamer. Particularly, games like “Azure Dreams, Suikoden, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and Vandal Hearts.” The breaking of the “fourth wall” was what made this such a shocking moment. Finally, when first attempting to defeat Psycho Mantis the player has to plug the game controller into another port, otherwise, you’ll fail to land a hit on him. The scene where Psycho Mantis shows off his powers is one of the most creative scenes in gaming and most epic.

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 26 – Best Voice Acting

Voice acting is something that I tend to undervalue in gaming. It’s a passive aspect of the gaming experience. However, most games now feature voice acting. It’s difficult for me to determine exactly what makes voice acting good. Obviously, if the character is funny then you gonna appreciated the voice acting more. But is that voice acting? It more of a scrip thing than a voice thing right? Then again the voice actor has to deliver the lines well so the joke lands. I’ll choose my top 3:

1. Bayonetta/Hellena Taylor

This might be in part due to her British accent but Helena Taylor’s performance as the Umbra Witch, Bayonetta is great. Bayonetta can be seen as dry or cold, but she has wit and is clever. When fighting she often engages in playful banter. She likes to use sexual innuendo to tease her enemies.

2. Kratos/Christopher Judge

Anyone that’s played the God of War series know the voice of Kratos is iconic. Kratos is a stoic character that can be called uptight or self serious. He also has anger problems. As the result of his difficult life due to the Gods he can also be sad or even depressed. Come to think about it I don’t think we’ve seen him smile or laugh. His voice actor for the latest God of War game is Christopher Judge. The original voice actor (TC Carson) wasn’t particularly happy about Sony’s change, unsurprisingly. Regardless, Judge does a great job portraying the God.

3. The Joker/Mark Hamill

This ones pretty obvious, but Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker fame) as the Joker is probably one of the best and most well known video game voice actor. Like Kratos, the Jokers voice is iconic. I can’t really describe his voice but it’s distinct. Most importantly, Hamill gets the sinister Joker laugh perfectly. The Joker often changes his voice in subtle or unsettling ways. It’s a spectacular performance.

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 25 – A game you plan on playing


Devil May Cry 5

So far this year there has been so many good game that I haven’t been able to catch up on the games I bought. I haven’t finished Red Dead Redemption 2, I started Anthem and got to level 30, before beginning Division 2 that I’m currently playing. So the game that I plan on playing is either Sekiro Shadows Die Twice or Devil May Cry 5. Of the two I think I would like DMC5 more.

While I hear that Sekiro is the challenging, I heard better things about DMC5. Unlike, Sekiro which is a new IP, DMC5 has been the anticipated for years. I found the combat in the demo to be difficult to grasp, I hope that more time with the game will change that. However, I try not to play new games until I beat my current one. DMC5 is next on the list.

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 24 – Favorite classic game

Zelda cover

I couldn’t figure out what exactly makes a game classic. According to Wikipedia, classic means ” an outstanding example of a particular style; something of lasting worth or with a timeless quality; of the first or highest quality, class, or rank – something that exemplifies its class.” That kinda clears it up but not really. So I decided that I will limit the time frame to at LEAST a game that was released 20 years ago.

I think this has to go to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I’ve noticed that I’ve picked the Zelda series A LOT during this challenge I just can’t help it. Zelda is just such as magnificent series. Ocarina of Time is among the best in the series. The game was the fifth in the series and the first to have 3D graphics. The switch from 2D to 3D had a profound effect on gameplay. The graphics were obviously an upgrade, as the cutscenes and the size and detail of the world.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is often considered to be one of the greatest games of all time. In 2012, Rockstar Game’s Vice President, Dan Houser stated that if “Anyone who makes 3-D games who says they’ve not borrowed something from Mario or Zelda [on the Nintendo 64] is lying.” It’s nearly impossible for me to think out a game that had more impact and was enjoyable 20 years ago than Ocarina of Time.

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 23 – Game you think had the best graphics or art style


The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

Wind Waker was the tenth game in the Zelda series. Published on the GameCube in 2002, the game is set on a series of islands. Link attempts to save his sister from Ganon. He sails the seas on his talking boat King of Red Lions. The game incorporated a way to manipulate the wind, that was controlled by a conductor’s baton. The original concept for the game was a more “realistic” style. Nintendo showed a brief clip of Link fighting Ganondorf during Space World, a video game trade show. This video was well received.

The Zelda Space World Video

The Nintendo team wasn’t happy with the style of this game. Designer Yoshiki Haruhana created a cartoonish young link. Instead of the traditional 3D graphics, the next Zelda game was going to be cell shaded. In 2001, Nintendo presented the new look to an audience during Space World. Many fans, myself included, were very disappointed that the next Zelda game wouldn’t be realistic. Some critics even called it “Celda”. However, as is the case with almost all Nintendo games it was a breath of fresh air.

Wii U Wind Waker trailer

The games visuals were stunning. It truly felt like you playing a cartoon. With many critics comparing the game to the animation of Disney and Hayao Miyazaki movies. The art style of the game made it unique. Of course the game was more than the visually pleasing. It had amazing gameplay, responsive control system, a great story and puzzles. A game that was once considered to be divisive, became a classic. The game was then later re-released in high definition. According to Keza MacDonald, The Wind Waker HD was “near-universally hailed as a masterpiece.”


The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 22 – Most disappointing sequel

Ninja Gaiden 3

The previous Ninja Gaiden game frustrated me. It was a difficult game for me. However, the challenge of defeating the game felt earned. Playing stages over and over again was annoying sometimes (the checkpoints helped), but mastering the game mechanics was worth it. Apparently, this difficulty was too much for other players. The next game in the series, Ninja Gaiden 3, was suppose to fix this.

It fixed it too well.

They over-corrected. Making the game far too easy. You can get through it largely with the basic controls. All the deep combat is removed. The game is more fun to watch than play. Other games have taken up the difficulty mantle, like the Dark Soul series. I was anticipating another complex Ninja Gaiden game and got the opposite.

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 21 – Game with the best story

The Metal Gear Solid series

The Metal Gear Solid series is one of the most storied series in video games. The series is a stealth action game created by Hideo Kojima. In the series you take the role of a Special Forces Operative that has been sent into battle to face off against a superweapon called “Metal Gear.” The series pioneered the stealth genre. One aspect of the series that has always set Metal Gear Solid apart is the lengthy cinematic cutscenes. The storyline covers politics, warfare, science and other themes.

Metal Gear Solid Remake

The Metal Gear series often utilizes “magical realism” combining a modern world with a supernatural one. For example, the character of Vamp is considered to be a vampire. His thrust for blood was developed when he was a child, when ” lost his family in a church bombing. In order to survive, Vamp fed on the blood of his family until his imminent rescue.” The series can have some ridiculous elements to it but I think it’s part of the charm.

Of the many entries in this series I think the best story was Metal Gear Solid. Published in 1998, it received a a metascore of 94/100 and sold over 6 million copies. Whether this is actually the best Metal Gear story I don’t know. However, it was my first game in the series. I remember that it changed my understanding of what a gaming story could be. The complex story was amazing and felt like I was playing a role in a movie. Engaging, dramatic and highly entertaining, the Metal Gear series has the best story.

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 20 – Favorite Genre

Action Games

The “action” genre consists of a large number of sub-genre’s, fighting, platform, and shooters among them. With the exception of RPG’s, almost all my favorite games are in this genre. The action genre is a genre that “emphasizes physical challenges, including hand–eye coordination and reaction-time.” Taking control of character, players are expected to navigate levels, ” collecting objects, avoiding obstacles, and battling enemies with their natural skills as well as weapons and other tools at their disposal.”

At the end of each level is a boss. The player repeats these events until the game is over. Action games often focus on scoring and victory. Some of the most notable games in the large “action” genre are, “Action-adventure games like, Zelda, Assassins Creed and GTA. Other games are, platforms games like Mario, survival games like DayZ and shooters like Halo and Call of Duty.

Source: Wikipedia

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 19 – Picture of a game setting you wish you lived in

The Pokemon World

Pokemon for the Switch

This one is pretty obvious to me. When I was a child I would dream of being in the World of Pokemon. I would image what the Pokemon world would be like if it were real. Of course video games and T.V. shows are good substitutes for reality. The World of Pokemon has large variety of environments. The government doesn’t really get much attention, so the politics of the world is quite clear.

Pokemon Sword – Nintendo Switch

The current major Pokemon regions, Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova, Kalos, and Alola are modeled after real world regions. Most are based on Japan, however, the United States and France have been inspirations as well. Of course there are dangers in this world. Many of the legendary Pokemon are or could be life threatening. Culturally, this world of course centers around Pokemon at that’s why I love it.

The population of the Pokemon world (at least in the games) feel small, but that is likely do to the need for them in game, as opposed to in the real world. From a science and technology stand point the Pokemon world is superior than the real one. For example, it’s possible to clone ancient Pokemon. I would probably try to be a Pokemon champion and then become a gym leader.

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 18 – Favorite protagonist

Male and female Commander Shepard defaults

Commander Shepard

Commander Shepard is the main protagonist in the Mass Effect original trilogy. Born in the year 2154, Commander Shepard became the first human to join the Spectres. In the game Spectres are given special powers from the Citadel Council. When you first start the game you get to choose the gender, appearance, skills and history. The character is named after Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr. the second person and the first American in space. Shepard is considered to be a highly skilled solider.

Mass Effect – Xbox 360 / Xbox One Digital Code

The ability for gamers to import the previous version of Mass Effect made the connection to Commander Shepard stronger. It felt like you were Commander Shepard and you took the decisions made in game seriously. Whether you waking friends, getting into a romantic relationship and even deciding who dies, you really embodied the character completely. For this reason I think Commander Shepard is one of the best video-game protagonist.

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 17 – Favorite antagonists

GLaDOS (Portal) 

This is a conventional pick, but GlaDOS from Portal has to be the best antagonist. GLados (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System) is a central core that is suppose to control the “the Aperture Science computer-aided Enrichment Center.” She is a major narcissist. Her consciousness had been controlled “by personality cores.” GLaDOS is one of the most memorable villains in gaming.

Despite being a villain, she made the game entertaining. In particular her wit, passive aggressive attitude and sarcasm are enjoyable. You need her to progress through the game, even though you can’t really trust her. GLaDOS manages to be both a threat and a delight. At the end of the day, who doesn’t want to play against an rude, funny and homicidal AI.

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 16 – Game with the best cut scenes

My criteria for a game that has “good cut scenes,” is whether I can watch it if it was a movie. The Final Fantasy series is one of the most storied video game series ever. However, the story themselves can be basic. The tend to follow a predictable format. A major character will die, Princess, Cid, etc. Anyway, I found FF12 to have the most impressive story of all the Final Fantasy games.

Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age – Nintendo Switch

The characters were interesting, as was the story. The graphics (at the time) were great. I loved the voice acting and the overall story arc. Someone put the cut-scenes together on YouTube and from time to time I watch the “movie.” The story “begins with the defeat of the Kingdom of Dalmasca at the hands of the powerful Archadian Empire, and subsequent occupation.” Watch it, if you have time:

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 15 – A game moment that totally surprised you

Call of Duty: Non Russian

This on was easy. I don’t play Call of Duty anymore, but when Modern Warfare was released I was hooked. The famous or infamous scene “No Russian,” should be an obvious choice. In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, you play Joseph Allen, a CIA agent that’s undercover. He participates in a mass shooting at a Moscow airport in order to gain the trust of a Russian terrorist group. At the end of the level, Allen is killed. It is intended to lead the Russian government to believe that the United States was involved.

According to game designer Mohammad Alavi, he wanted the “level to explain why Russia would invade the United States, and create an emotional connection between the player and Makarov.” When I first played the level I was confused. Generally, you are the good guy and it’s often impossible to kill civilians in the game. I’ll admit that I was conflicted about the killing civilians, but it was a rare experience. It should be noted that player can skip the level altogether.

The level sparked major controversy. Many journalists “described the level’s plot as illogical and derided the ability to skip the level.” Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was censored in international versions and removed from the Russian version. However, after a while journalists came to see the level as important. Laura Parker of GameSpot stated that “No Russian,” was a “watershed moment for the video game industry.”She also states “that if more developers were willing to take risks and include controversial material, then video games would finally receive cultural recognition.” Whatever your views on the level, it is clear that it was a surprising video game moment.

Source: Wikipedia

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 14 – Current (or most recent) gaming wallpaper

I don’t really use gaming wallpapers like I use to, I tend to focus on anime. The most recent wallpaper I have found was of Bayonetta. I love her, I thinks shes a really cool character and her design is great.

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 13 – A game you’ve played more than five times

Resident Evil 4


Over my 20 + years of playing video games I have played many games more then five times. I’m assuming we are talking about main stories in single player. However, fighting games and racing games are designed to be played over and over again. Once again I’m going to use a game from the past decade. A lot games are primed to be played again. Hack and Slash games like Bayonetta and Devil May Cry have ratings for each stage played. This encourages players to replay the stages and games multiple times. I usually like to replay stages as I go but that ends up taking forever. That said I have only played these games about 3 or 4 times each (I haven’t played the new DMC yet).

I basically play ALL Pokemon games more than once. Of course the Mass Effect series is literally design to be replayed. The story arcs, choices and character creation make this series necessary to be replayed. Personally, I always have a male Shepard, a female Shepard and then go for at least a third run. However, the game that I have probably played the most is Resident Evil 4. I played it at least 5-7 on the GameCube, then when it was re-release TWICE, once on the PS2 and the Wii. I played it on each console and multiple times on the Wii (it had motion controls added). I’m surprise how much I loved this game as I was lukewarm on the Resident Evil series. Resident Evil 4 is well worth a replay or 10.

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 12 – A game everyone should play

Well there are a lot games that can be suggested for this challenge, however, you can only pick on right. Since the list of games I would recommend, I decided to narrow the games I considered to worthy of recommendation. First the game should have received a perfect score from Famitsu, GameSpot and IGN. Famitsu uses four reviewers to score a game from 0-10. Due to the larger number of reviewers I think it’s the standard. However, it seems to have a bias in favor of Japanese developers, so I will use GameSpot and IGN to back the score up. Finally, I will focus on games in the last decade.

Anyway, the game I choose isn’t surprising and many have played it (11.68 Million). The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a game that is considered the best designed game of 2017 and one of the best ever. I have always loved Zelda games, but this one is the best, I’ve played. Personally, I have had difficulties finishing open-world games. The non-linear play allows the gamer to have an unprecedented level of freedom. Players can approach a problem in many different ways.

The game uses a “chemistry engine” that is described as ” the physical properties of most objects and governs how they interact with the player and one another.” For example, ” players may take advantage of the game’s dynamic weather by throwing metal objects at enemies during thunderstorms to attract a lightning strike.” This can backfire on the player as well as I found myself begin struck by lightning while wearing metal during a storm.

The addition of hunting, gathering fruit and the ability to cook them is a mini game in and of itself. The puzzles remain clever and rewarding. The story is imagining and the boss battles fun and challenging. Breath of the Wild is viewed as a “masterpiece,” I think everyone should experience it.

30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 11 – Gaming system of choice

I’m not really sure what this challenge is asking here. All time favorite console? Favorite current console? I’ll just choice all time favorite.

All time favorite console (SNES)

My gaming began in the “fourth” generation or the “16 bit” generation. The SNES is my all time favorite gaming console. Part of the reason for this is that it was my first gaming console, so I’m probably a little nostalgic. Anyway, the SNES was the second console from Nintendo. It would become the best selling console of the era, with almost 50 million sold. The SNES controller introduced many elements into the gaming industry.
Of course the MOST important aspect of a gaming console is the games. The SNES had a large library of games that covered a large array of genres. Many of those games are among the most highly regarded games of all time.

With games like, Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country (1-3), Super Mario Kart, Street Fighter 2, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Killer Instinct, Star Fox, Mortal Kombat 2, Mega Man X and NBA Jam you see how I spent countless hours playing the SNES. While, gaming consoles have far superior tech. now and many games have surpassed the quality of SNES games the console will always be a trailblazer in gaming.