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Nny3 Blog

"They let me pick...did I ever tell you that?"

You have been called upon to serve. You will become the protectors of Earth and all Her colonies.
This place will become your home. Your fellow trainees will be your family now. The training will be difficult. There will be a great deal of hardship on the road ahead, but I know you will all make it. You will be trained and will become the best we can make you.

Never Forget.




For a long time, I had thought that we had to sacrifice a few for the good of the entire human race. But I should have been trying to save every single human life—no matter what the cost.



Make the units better with new technology. Make more of them. And make them cheaper.

Die?




Didn't you know? Spartans never die.




Reach falls this Fall. Play the multiplayer beta on May 3rd with your copy of
Halo 3: ODST



What was I doing again? Ah yes. My number one pick.

JD, it's sad that we don't know each other and you know me that well.



Yup. Halo. I know some of you will be angry about this, but yes. Halo is my favorite gaming series of all time, and considering the much older titles on my list? That's a big accomplishment, especially since I've been gaming since before I can remember.

Halo did what no other first person shooter had done before it. It made a first person shooter work on the console, flawlessly. You may argue that Goldeneye or Perfect Dark did, but with the single joystick, movement was always off. Halo gave you full control of your character, and not only that, but added vehicles into the mix. All three Halo games follow the same gameplay formula of "30 seconds of fun." That is, the same 30 seconds of fun being repeated over and over for constant enjoyment. Of course there were gameplay tweaks throughout the series, but the general gameplay was the same.

The environments in the Halo games were always expansive and huge. Stepping into the grassy, open level Halo in the first game, you realized what the XBOX was capable of. Stepping into the snowy and decaying Quarantine Zone in Halo 2, you saw how everything had evolved. And in Halo 3 with The Ark, The Covenant, and Halo, you knew we finally made it to the next-generation of gaming.

The characters in these games were always believable. Not once did I ever think I was playing your run-of-the-mill Call of Duty or Medal of Honor with your faceless hero who goes against all odds. I always knew I was playing as an established super-soldier of the UNSC, trying to stop the Covenant from activating Halo or exterminating the humans. I felt I was really fighting with Sergeant Johnson, shaking hands with Captain Keyes, repelling a small Covenant invasion force on the streets of New Mombasa, and destroying the Ark, and all Halos with it.

Most of all, the thing that stands out in Halo is it's story. One of the only first person shooters I've ever played with a great story. A story about human's survival against an imperialistic alien race may sound cliche, and overused, but Halo does it in such a way where it doesn't make it cliche, and keeps you on your toes about what's next. Halo's story started with the novel, Halo: The Fall of Reach, a few months before the game came out. Most people started with the actual game, however. The story is of these games is completely expansive, and literally anything can be done with it, so long as it's not too crazy. Spawning several novels, a graphic novel, two spin-off games, a few short movies, and even a collection of animated shorts, Halo has proven that it's story can be great on any front. A full length movie? That's a different story. Man, I said story a lot in this paragraph.

I can go on and on preaching about how great these games are, but you'd do yourself a hell of a lot better if you just played the games, read the novels, and immerse yourself into the story.

Number 3! and Number 2!

This was a toughy, choosing between these three series, which to put where. So, I think I'll combine #3 and #2 together in this one. Also note that, as of right now, 3 = 2 = 1 for me. It is truly that tough of a decision.

Number 3!









While these games DID start off on the MSX with Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2, I'll be focusing on the meat of the series. The Solid Playstation games.

I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a year I didn't play through these games. I always play in the order of release, and I've done it every year since the release of Metal Gear Solid 2.

Everything about this series is phenomenal. The gameplay, the focus of stealth, choosing between combat and sneaking, whether to kill that guard who's blocking the door, or letting him live and finding another way around. The story is fantastic, up until the latter parts of Metal Gear Solid 4 with the BS "Nanomachines did everything D:" explanation, but I really don't mind anymore, because the characters are more important than the story of these games, I think.

Solid Snake - The "hero." Seen by others as mythical, but won't have any of it. Does his job because it's right and nothing more.

Revolver Ocelot - The series main villain. A triple crosser, excellent gunman, and devious plotter.

Raiden - The "rookie" soldier. Unknown to him until he is reminded by his adoptive father, Solidus Snake, he is a soldier of inhuman proportions. No augmentations like Solid Snake, and he killed like a demon. Being constantly reminded of his days as a child soldier, he is sent into a downward spiral.

These are just three of the characters I think about when I think "Metal Gear Solid." Seeing their stories begin and end was one of the best parts of the series, especially Solid Snake's story. I cannot wait to see the prequel with Raiden.

Number 2!



Probably the best RPG to ever grace this world. Again, not a year goes by where I don't replay one of these games, my most played being Final Fantasy IV and VIII. I haven't played IX as much as I've wanted to, but I just found it at a local store and am finally going to be able to play through it again.

Starting the series out, it had basically no story and no characters, but the gameplay, the fact that you were put in the boots of the Warriors of Light to save the world from a devious being, kept you playing. You wanted to save the world, wanted to fight on, to become stronger and slay that monster in your way.

As the series progressed, storyline and character development became more and more important. Final Fantasy IV was the first real game in the series to have an expansive storyline and character development. You felt like you were Cecil, fighting off your darkside to become a warrior of light. You felt the betrayal he felt when Kain sided with his mortal enemy, and the rejoice when he came to and realized who needed to be destroyed.

This, for me, was the beginning of Final Fantasy as it is today. Final Fantasy would go on to spawn an astounding nine more sequels, one of them in particular being liked so much that fans would rather a remake of it than a new game itself.

Constantly reinventing the setting, story, and characters, Squaresoft, and later, SquareEnix, has brought back the magic again and again with this series. I am always anxiously awaiting the next title, so long as it isn't another VII cash-in.

Number 4!



One of the four series I have everything of. I'm talkin' games, novels, comics, and even action figures. Resident Evil is the embodiment of survival horror.

Many people complain about the "tank" controls of the originals or the story being told through files. I, however, loved both of these. The files were always eerie and added to the atmosphere, especially the Keeper's Diary in the first Resident Evil. The two On-Rails shooters were okay. The first one butchered the story quite a bit, effectively eighty-sixing some events and characters, namely Nicholai's betrayal, and both his and Barry's removal from the story. Dark Side Chronicles did a great job, though.

The newer ones I have mixed feelings on. I hated the more action oriented gameplay and the lack of atmosphere. It seems Resident Evil 4 sacrificed story for action, and Resident Evil 5 sacrificed atmosphere for story. Not once did I feel threatened in either of those games. Not until Resident Evil 5's DLC, Desperate Escape and Lost in Nightmares, though. Those two brought back the elements that made Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Survival and Horror respectively. Desperate escape gave the survival element by pitting you against many enemies with little ammo. Lost in Nightmares pitted you against powerful, suspenseful, and unpredictable enemies.

However, nothing beats the horror and suspense of the original games. The static camera angles, abundance of files, lack of email, and powerful enemies. All of these made Resident Evil, Resident Evil for me. I loved walking around a corner, not knowing what was next, wondering if I had the right weapon for what was ahead of me. This was especially true in Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 with Mr. X and Nemesis.

A captivating story (if you're willing to read), great gameplay (if you want to look past the "tank" controls in the early games), good action, great pacing. A cIassic horror game, and one of the first of it's kind, but the first to do it right.

Number 5 of my favorite game series list:





Need I really say more? Star Wars: Something you can do anything with, and it usually won't be a cheap game. From fighting amongst the stars in an X-Wing starfighter to battling Sith on distant worlds as a Jedi, Star Wars has the most diverse games, and even has a few racing games.

My most enjoyed series from Star Wars is Rogue Squadron, though. I loved being put in Luke's and Wedge's place in the series and going through famous battles like the Death Star Trench Run, the Battle of Hoth, and the Battle of Endor. The ships were very diverse, too, giving players a Naboo Starfighter with the right code, and even a Cadillac complete with fuzzy dice on the rear-view mirror. In contrast to Star Fox 64, Rogue Squadron always let you move around the field of battle at will. There was never really any restrictions, save the invisible walls the stopped your progress forward, but even then, those walls sometimes stretched forever.

My favorite one in the series is Rogue Squadron II, which is more of a prequel to the N64 version than a sequel. My favorite battle is the last one you do, the Battle of Endor. The music, the fighters, everything is identical to the movie, and it was the first time I got to experience it, and with such great graphics, too! I was blown away when I got to that part, and was pumped going through the Death Star II with Lando. If you were to get one Rogue Squadron game, I would say get Rogue Squadron II on the Gamecube. You can even unlock the Slave I if you like (However slow and weak it may be)

And by Top 11 Gaming series, I of course meant Top 6.

Still goin' one step beyond! Sort of!

I realized when it came down to it, I really could only pull out 6 series that meant a lot to me. Here's Number 6:

Parasite Eve!







A forgotten series, hopefully being brought back with the third game on the PSP soon. This was Squaresoft's first, and really, only delve into the horror genre. With an eerie soundtrack, creepy story, and even creepier monsters, the first game really set the mood for the whole game. Aya Brea, the main character, did run obnoxiously slow, however. I didn't mind so much because I ended up forgetting because the story pulled me in. The combat in the game was very unique and one of the best in a game. It was ATB, like later installments in Final Fantasy, but you could move Aya around the field to dodge attacks and get into better positions to attack the enemy. Aya also had Parasite powers, which could help her, or hurt the enemy. These were basically magic from Final Fantasy. It's still one of the best combats an RPG has ever seen.

Parasite Eve II made it a bit more like Resident Evil. Combat was still like the first game, in that you ran around, but ATB was eliminated. You could move around the field, fire your gun as much as you wanted without worrying about turns. The time it took to charge your Parasite powers this time, though, was like an invisible ATB, but it happened so quick some times that you wouldn't really take notice. The story was still engaging, and the soundtrack, at some points, was still eerie.

I still find myself playing this series today. Usually, I'll break out the first game during December and the second game during the Summer, for the respective time frames of the two games.

Number Ka Five tomorrow.

Or not. Just beat Final Fantasy XIII and I need a break from anything involving anything. :|

And my number one favorite video game character of all time is...!

[spoiler] Zack Fair!



Yep. Zack Fair. When I saw the hidden scene in Final Fantasy VII, I wanted to learn more about him, but it wouldn't be until years later where I would get the chance. Unfortunately, I was put off by the constant milking of Final Fantasy VII, so it was further prolonged. Finally, I got the game and Zack Fair quickly rose to the top as my favorite video game character of all time.

Laid back. Easy going. Funny. Cheerful. Self-sacrificing. The type of man I wanted to become, and the type of man I have become. As far as Final Fantasy characters go, I used to see myself as Squall. Quiet. To himself. Alone. Playing Crisis Core, I remembered who I used to be. Laid back, easy going, funny, cheerful, and self-sacrificing. For awhile, I was pretty depressed. Playing this game and playing as Zack Fair reminded me of who I have to be for not only myself, but for everyone else, and so I quickly changed back. A little too late for a certain someone in my life, but that's the price of freedom. Thanks, Zack. An inspiration to some, role model to few, hero to all. [/spoiler]

Now that that ordeal is over, I think I'll do top eleven gaming series. Probably plan it out better this time, type them all up first, an post them day after day.

Number 2! Almost bloody there!

Raiden!



Yes, Raiden. Anyone who doesn't believe he's a good character completely ignored the game once you got to the Plant chapter. Listen to the CODEC calls, especially between him and Rose. Playing the game for the first time, I really didn't care too much that I was playing as a new character. In fact, I kind of liked the idea of playing as a rookie-type. Progressing through the game, saving a lot to listen to him and Rose, I began to realize something.

There's something odd about this character. He doesn't really seem like a rookie. One CODEC sequence with Rose stands out, where he says he's enjoying all of this killing. The very next scene reveals that he was, in fact, a child soldier, and has a LOT of battle experience.

This character is one of the most tortured souls in a video game to date. Snake taught him a lesson at the end of MGS2, and to me, that's where his story ends. I was quite aggravated that Kojima fell under pressure and decided to make him a cyborg ninja, which everyone ate up, mind you. MGS4 really puts him in my number two spot, and if it weren't for that character change, he'd be my number 1.

Paul's Top 11! Number 3!

Okay, these next three are a bit harder to come up with.

Here's Number 3:




Captain / General Scott Mitchell






Scott Mitchell is a veteran of many campaigns, and leads the Ghosts across many missions in Ghost Recon 2, and the two Advanced Warfighter games. Yeah, I know he doesn't get a whole lot of development as a character, but you can already sniff out his established character by playing the games. He's a soldier that believes in doing what's right, follows orders, and gets the job done. He also ensures the survival of his soldiers. Makes sure they all get to go home.

As far as games go, he is the best fictional soldier I have ever seen. Repelling Mexican rebels, and stopping them from launching a nuclear weapon at the United States by calling a strike on his location because the area was too hot for it to happen otherwise. After this ordeal, he and his team survived, becoming good leaders.

I hope to see him giving the orders to the Ghosts in Future Warrior when that arrives, till then, here's to you, Scott.



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