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Emerald_Warrior Blog

My Top 20 Games Of All-Time

My Top 20 Games:

1. The Elder Scrolls Games - Particularly Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim. I haven't ever played Daggerfall or Arena. Those games just give you so much freedom and exploration, and a massive yet detailed world to do it all in. And the character options are endless as well. A masterpiece of gaming with each iteration.

2. Metroid Franchise - The first one was just alright for me. The lack of an in-game map and the constant grind for health (plus only starting with only 30 health) kept it from being a masterpiece, IMO. But when Super Metroid came out, it blew me away and remains one of the greatest gaming experiences I've ever had to this day. And every Metroid game after it has been fantastic, as well.

3. The Legend of Zelda Franchise (2D Games) - I LOVE The Legend of Zelda series. The first game on NES is one of my first personally owned games as a little kid. I know every nook and cranny of that game by heart. The different, yet still good Zelda II on NES is another favorite of mine (but so hard at the end), and A Link to the Past was a complete masterpiece. The handheld Zelda games are on par with those console counterparts as well. But for some reason, I just can't get into the 3D Zelda games as much.

4. The Super Mario Bros. Series - Mario is a gaming icon, and as cliché as it may be, he's a gaming hero for me. Super Mario Bros. is the reason I wanted an NES so badly as a kid. And Super Mario Bros. 3 improved on perfection. Super Mario World was stunning, and even Super Mario Sunshine on Gamecube is a blast to play. The core Mario series never disappoints with it's crisp controls and perfect platforming.

5. The King's Field Series - I just love this series, and I have to be it's biggest fan out there. I've played all 3 U.S. entries so many times, that I could verbally walk you through each game. It's an a 3D action-RPG played from the first-person perspective with a very heavy emphasis on exploration, a steep learning-curve, and a bit of a challenge.

6. The Resident Evil Series - I've always loved horror movies, especially zombie flicks (Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead by George Romero are MUST-SEE MOVIES for any horror-fans). And I've always been a big fan of Capcom. So it's only natural that I'd love this survival-horror series. The settings, music, sound-effects, and storyline just come together beautifully for most games in the series.

7. The Halo Series - Yeah, another cliché title in my list...sue me. I love sci-fi, and I love a well-polished game. And Halo is both. The biggest draw for me is the sci-fi universe, story, and setting. I love the epic scope of it all. And the graphics are beautiful to behold on both Xbox and Xbox 360. Plus the music is some of the best in the entire gaming world. And the great multiplayer sure doesn't hurt.

8. Castlevania Series - If I love the Metroid Series, then I have to love the Castlevania Series. From Sympony of the Night on PS1 and beyond (and on Castlevania II: Simon's Quest for NES), the series has embraced the Metroidvania style of gameplay, and executed it perfectly, which I'm a huge fan of. The music is always amazing. Plus the added RPG-elements really fleshes out the gameplay. And the platforming is spot-on (and was even before Symphony of the Night). Plus the gothic settings and cool looking creatures helps, too.

9. Neverwinter Nights (PC) - The best "Diablo-style" action-RPG ever made, as far as I'm concerned. The attention to detail is just astounding in gameplay, in stats & abilities, in character choices, in the amount of gear/spells available, and in the size of the world you're playing in. And then the sheer amount of expansions and modules available for the game just make it an amazing deal.

10. Crystalis (NES) - An 8-bit masterpiece. Easily one of the best games on the NES, and a crowning jewel in SNK's library of games. It's a damn shame that this game never received a sequel. It plays a lot like the original Legend of Zelda, but does nearly everything better than Legend of Zelda: Better graphics, better music & sound effects, bigger world to explore, more RPG-elements, and more towns and NPCs to interact with. I recommend this HIGHLY to fans of the 8-bit era, or of The Legend of Zelda.

11. Bionic Commando (NES) - Who would have thought that the addition of a bionic-arm would switch up 2D platforming so much and make a game so much fun? But it did! A must-have for the NES and a rare example of an NES version of a game being better than it's arcade counterpart (Ninja Gaiden also immediately comes to mind). Capcom really outdid themselves with this one.

12. Contra (NES) - Another rare example of an NES version of a game being better than it's arcade counterpart with added levels and even better control. The run-n-gun action is so good in this one, that it's still a blast to play to this day, and even more fun with a friend for some co-op action. Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, B, A, Start. The famous Konami code was the most useful right here on this bad-boy for the coveted 30-lives.

13. Mega Man 2 (NES) - The BEST game in the Mega Man series, bar-none. Great level-design, tight controls and 2D platforming, great boss battles, fantastic 8-bit music, and it's freaking Mega Man! Such an improvement over the original game.

14. Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of the Super Heroes (Dreamcast) - The best 2D fighting game ever made, as far as I'm concerned. Now I could be biased on this one, because I am a life-long comic book fan. But the gameplay and the amazing 2D graphics and the sheer amount of characters available to choose has to have a little to do with it. And the crisp controls and tight-gameplay that you expect from a Capcom fighter definitely has a little to do with it, as well.

15. Sonic the Hedgehog Series (2D Games) - I love me some 2D Sonic the Hedgehog platforming. The 3D games just aren't the same for me. Sonic the Hedgehog 1-4, Sonic & Knuckles, Sonic: Pocket Adventure, and Sonic Advance are all fan-freaking-tastic platformers that are just plain fun to play. Sonic CD I hear is just as good, but I haven't played much more of it than the first level; which I did enjoy, though.

16. Guitar Hero Series - I'm big into metal and hard-rock. And this game let me live out my inner-fantasy of being a rockstar. Plust there's a lot of great hard-rock stuff on these games. So I'm a sucker for this music-based series.

17. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater Series - Because doing a ton of tricks with crisp controls a great soundtrack is a fantastic way to waste some time.

18. Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection (XBox 360) - I know, many of your are thining "Hey, that's cheating!" But I love classic game compilations. I own a ton of them. You just get so many games for such a cheap price, and I don't have anything against playing older games. Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection is THE BEST classic game compilation I've seen. Just a massive amount of great Sega classics at your fingertips to play on 1 disc.

19. WWE: Smackdown Series - I like professional wrestling. (And yes, I know it's fake.) I've been a lifelong fan since the days when Hulk Hogan, Macho Man, Ultimate Warrior, and Rowdy Roddy Piper ruled the WWF. The Smackdown series has been the best wrestling game series to date. Great controls (most of the time), lots of game/match modes, nice level of polish, and lots of fan-service in these games.

20. The Legend of Legaia (PS1) - My favorite JRPG. Good story, memorable characters, and cool abilities/spells; but most of all a unique and addicting battle-system that involves using a combination of button-commands to unlock special attacks and spells. Which kept you constantly fiddling it with it to discover new attacks which helped a lot to prevent random-encounters from getting repetitive.

My Christmas Gaming Loot and Happy New Year's to Everyone!

I so made out like a bandit this year. I'm quite blessed to have such great family and a fantastic wife to spoil me so much.

I hope everyone else had a Merry Christmas this year!

Gaming Stuff:

  • Resident Evil 6 (XBox 360)
  • WWE '13 (XBox 360)
  • Classic Home Video Games: 1985-1988: A Complete Reference Guide

I Bought Myself Some Christmas Gifts After Getting Done With Christmas Shopping This Year at Goodwill:

  • The Adventures of Batman & Robin (Game Gear) - Complete in Original Packaging for only $2!
  • Final Fantasy III (Nintendo DS)
  • Midway Arcade Treasures 3 (XBox)
  • Test Drive 6 (Dreamcast)
  • Wings of Wor (Genesis) - This one was actually a trade.

I also got a total of $150 in Christmas money, which I promptly spent on:

  • Armored Core (PS1)
  • Bionic Commando (Game Boy Original)
  • Legend of Legaia (PS1)
  • Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (Nintendo DS)
  • Parasite Eve (PS1)
  • 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die
  • Encyclopedia of Game Machines: Consoles, Handhelds, & Home Computers 1972-2012

Non-Gaming Related Christmas Loot:

  • $10 Gift Card for McDonalds
  • $25 Gift Card for the Comic Shop
  • $40 Gift Card for Hometown Buffet
  • Batman Symbol T-Shirt
  • Beanie
  • The Cover Girls of DC Comics Book
  • Electronic Beard Trimmer
  • Exiles: Age of Apocalypse Graphic Novel
  • Gloves
  • Long Johns
  • Mad About Super-Heroes Hardcover (Mad Magazine Hardcover)
  • Marvel Super-Villains Framed Lithograph
  • Old Spice Cologne Gift Set
  • Ultimate Fantastic Four Vol. 1 Hardcover Graphic Novel
  • Wooly Socks

Need to Focus More on My NES Collection and Want List

The NES truly is where my love for gaming began. I remember BEGGING my mom for one as a young child. Then for Christmas (or maybe my birthday? I was pretty young) my mom and my Grandpa went in halves and got me a brand-new NES Action-Set with some games (Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt, Star Soldier, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Pin-Bot, and The Legend of Zelda). Hours upon hours were spent in awe in the Mushroom Kingdom of Super Mario Bros., even more hours spent with my older sister figuring out all the secrets in The Legend of Zelda, and yet more hours clocking in honing my skills in Star Soldier and getting just a little further each time. And possibly years spent trying to beat the hard as nails original TMNT game (which I still haven't made it past the airport level to this day). Ever since then, I have been an avid gamer, and the system and it's library holds a special place in my heart.

Considering that, you'd think I'd have a very large NES collection, yet sadly I don't. I have a few systems that I have more games for, and I really need to remedy that.

There's a good reason for it, though. It's a long story, but basically I moved out of my parent's house and my younger brother sold my NES collection from my childhood. I've since been rebuilding it, but in the meantime have come across various other consoles and have been swooping up cheap as dirt PS2 & XBox original games.

So it's time to focus on my NES collection again, and get thing right with the gaming gods.

My NES Collection:

  1. Batman
  2. The Battle of Olympus
  3. Bionic Commando
  4. Castlevania
  5. Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
  6. Contra
  7. Crystalis
  8. Double Dragon
  9. Dragon Spirit: The New Adventure
  10. Dragon Warrior
  11. Duck Tales
  12. Frankenstein: The Monster Returns
  13. Friday the 13th
  14. Ikari Warriors
  15. Kid Icarus
  16. The Legend of Zelda
  17. Legendary Wings
  18. Life Force
  19. Mega Man 3
  20. Metroid
  21. Monster In My Pocket
  22. Ninja Gaiden
  23. Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos
  24. Pinball (Nintendo)
  25. Pinball Quest
  26. Pin*Bot
  27. The Punisher
  28. R.C. Pro-Am
  29. Rygar
  30. Shadowgate
  31. Star Soldier
  32. Super C (Contra 2)
  33. Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt
  34. Super Mario Bros. 2
  35. Super Mario Bros. 3
  36. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  37. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game
  38. Tetris
  39. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

My NES Want List:

  1. Adventure Island 3
  2. Air Fortress
  3. Arkanoid
  4. Batman Returns
  5. Bomberman
  6. Bucky O' Hare
  7. Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
  8. Double Dragon II: The Revenge
  9. Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones
  10. Dr. Mario
  11. Dragon Warrior IV
  12. Duck Tales 2
  13. The Empire Strikes Back
  14. Final Fantasy
  15. Gradius
  16. High Speed
  17. Mega Man
  18. Mega Man 2
  19. Mega Man 4
  20. Mega Man 5
  21. Mega Man 6
  22. Mike Tyson's Punch-Out
  23. Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom
  24. Pipe Dream
  25. Rad Racer
  26. R.C. Pro-Am II
  27. Renegade
  28. River City Ransom
  29. RoboWarrior
  30. Star Force
  31. Star Wars
  32. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project
  33. Time Lord
  34. Wild Gunman

Recent Game Pick-Ups

  • Breath of Fire II (Wii Virtual Console - SNES)
  • Chrono Trigger (Wii Virtual Console - SNES)
  • Commodore 64 Computer
  • Descent 1, 2, & 3 (GoG Download)
  • Dragon Warrior (NES)
  • Earthworm Jim (Genesis)
  • Eternal Champions (Genesis)
  • Gargoyles (Genesis)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)
  • Mortal Kombat 3 (SNES)
  • Rastan Saga II (Genesis)
  • Tetris (NES)
  • T2: The Arcade Game (SNES)
  • Ultima IV: Quest For the Avatar (GoG Download)
  • Wave Race 64 (N64)
  • WizOrb (XBox Live Arcade)
  • WCW/n.W.o. Revenge (N64)

Halo 4 - First Impression

I stayed up all night last night playing the campaign after renting it from RedBox. Got through Act IV. Gotta say, I'm impressed. I expected a lot of things to change and suffer from Bungie's departure. But I was pleasantly surprised. It looks and feels like a Halo game. And the story so far is pretty good.

Am I the only one that's bothered by the changes to Cortana, though? The breast augmentation isn't what I'm talking about, either. I'm shallow enough to appreciate that. It's the the basic way she looks that I'm talking about. She looks darker, the computer circuitry thingies that are on her body look different, and her face definetly looks different. It looks a different "person" all together in the face. It keeps taking me out of the game just a little bit.

And the mech-suit vehicle, is so freaking cool! I feel like such a bad ass blowing my way through the Forerunner robot-thingies in that.

But I do miss the classic Halo theme music. Wish they would have kept that.

The music and Cortana complaints aside, this is has been a stellar Halo experience that is worthy of the Halo name. Great controls and lots of action, engaging cutscenes, fantastic graphics, and a good story. It tops ODST and Reach for sure, so far at least. Still not Combat Evolved or Halo 2 level for me, yet. But we'll see if that changes as I progress further into the campaign today.

Goodwill Had a Half-Off Sale, Lots of New Games!

Got these all for under $30 today (and that included 3 movies, too), thanks to a 50% Off Columbus Day Sale!

  • Enduro Racer (Sega Master System)
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Fighting Edition (SNES)
  • Need For Speed: Underground 2 (PS2)
  • Ninja Gaiden (XBox)
  • Nuclear Strike (PS1)
  • Soviet Strike (PS1)
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (XBox)
  • Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (N64)
  • Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike (Gamecube)
  • Tony Hawk's Project 8 Skateboarding (PS2)
  • WWF Warzone (PS1)

Recent Additions To My Collection

Recent Additions To My Collection:

  • 1080 Snowboarding (N64)
  • Alone In The Dark (PC)
  • Alone In The Dark 2 (PC)
  • Alone In The Dark 3 (PC)
  • Alone In The Dark: The New Nightmare (PC)
  • Colony Wars: Vengeance (PS1)
  • Crash Bandicoot: Warped (PS1)
  • Cutthroat Island (Game Gear)
  • Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem (Gamecube)
  • F-Zero (SNES)
  • Friday the 13th (NES)
  • Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire (N64)
  • Tetris (NES)
  • Ultima Underworld (PC)
  • Ultima Underworld II (PC)

Emerald_Warrior's Beat-Em Up Collection:

Beat-em ups was a genre that demanded a lot of attention from my childhood. I grew up in the 80s and 90s. In the 80s beat-em ups dominated the arcade scene. Then they took over home consoles during the 16-bit era. So've I've played a few beat-em ups in my time and have a bit of a taste for them.

I've acquired quite a few beat-em ups, but I also have a looong ways to go as you can see from my wishlist.

Emerald_Warrior's Beat-Em Up Collection:

  • Altered Beast (Genesis)
  • Cadash (Genesis)
  • Comix Zone (Genesis)
  • Double Dragon (NES)
  • Double Dragon (Sega Master System) (Different from NES version)
  • Fighting Force (PS1)
  • Final Fight (SNES)
  • Golden Axe (Genesis)
  • Golden Axe II (Genesis)
  • Marvel Super-Heroes: War of the Gems (SNES)
  • Maximum Carnage: Spider-Man & Venom (SNES)
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (SNES)
  • Seperation Anxiety: Spider-Man & Venom (SNES)
  • Streets of Rage (Genesis)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game (XBox Live Arcade)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game (NES)
  • X-Men 2: The Clone Wars (Genesis)
  • X-Men: The Arcade Game (XBox Live Arcade)
  • X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse (SNES)

Emerald_Warrior's Beat-Em Up Wishlist:

  • Advance Guardian Heroes (GBA)
  • Batman Returns (SNES)
  • Combatribes (SNES)
  • The Death and Return of Superman (SNES)
  • Double Dragon II: The Revenge (NES)
  • Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones (NES)
  • Double Dragon Advance (GBA)
  • Final Fight 2 (SNES)
  • Final Fight 3 (SNES)
  • Final Fight One (GBA)
  • Guardian Heroes (Saturn)
  • Knights of the Round (SNES)
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (Genesis)
  • The Punisher (Genesis)
  • Renegade (NES)
  • River City Ransom (NES)
  • Streets of Rage 2 (Genesis)
  • Streets of Rage 3 (Genesis)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project (NES)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles In Time (SNES)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan (Game Boy)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Back From the Sewers (Game Boy)
  • Time Lord (NES)

My Shoot-Em Up Collection And Wishlist

Thought I'd share this one, too. It's a favorite video game genre of mine, as well. Not quite as high on my favorites list as action-RPGs, but not far behind either.

However unlike a lot of shoot-em up fans, I really don't like bullet-hell games. I like the traditional vertical or horizontal shoot-em ups WITHOUT 2,000 bullets on the screen at all times. What's your thoughts on bullet-hell games?


  • Aegis Wing (XBox Live Arcade)
  • Asteroids (Atari 2600)
  • Astro Warrior (Master System)
  • Bio-Hazard Battle (Genesis)
  • Cloud Master (Master System)
  • Defender (Atari 2600)
  • Dragon Spirit: The New Legend (NES)
  • G-Darius (PS1)
  • Legendary Wings (NES)
  • Life Force (NES)
  • Lords of Thunder (Wii Virtual Console - TG-16)
  • Raiden Trad (Genesis)
  • Raiden III (PS2)
  • R-Type (Master System)
  • R-Type: Final (PS2)
  • Silpheed (PS2)
  • Space Invaders (Atari 2600)
  • Star Soldier (NES)
  • Super R-Type (SNES)
  • Super Star Soldier (Wii Virtual Console - TG-16)
  • Thunder Force II (Genesis)
  • Transbot (Master System)


  • 1942 (NES)
  • 1943: The Battle of Midway (NES)
  • Air Fortress (NES)
  • Axelay (SNES)
  • Blazing Lazers (TG-16)
  • Darius Gaiden (Saturn)
  • Darius Twin (SNES)
  • Einhander (PS1)
  • Galactic Attack (Saturn)
  • Lightening Force (Genesis)
  • MUSHA (Genesis)
  • Gaiares (Genesis)
  • Galaxian (Atari 2600)
  • Gradius (NES)
  • Gradius III (SNES)
  • Gradius V (PS2)
  • Gradius: Galaxies (GBA)
  • Gradius: Interstellar Assault (Game Boy)
  • In The Hunt (PS1)
  • Phalanx (SNES)
  • Phelios (Genesis)
  • Phoenix (Atari 2600)
  • R-Types (PS1)
  • River Raid (Atari 2600)
  • R-Type III: Third Lighting (SNES)
  • Raiden IV (XBox 360)
  • Raiden: Fighter Aces (XBox 360)
  • Raiden Project (PS1)
  • Thunder Force III (Genesis)
  • Thunder Force V (PS1)
  • Sidearms (TG-16)
  • Star Gate (Defender II) (Atari 2600)
  • Whip Rush (Genesis)

Free free to comment, pick apart my collection and/or wishlist, or share your own.