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Top 35 PS3 Games - Part IV

We're at the halfway point on my Top 35 favorite PlayStation 3 games countdown. From here on, there are only great games that were very difficult for me to rank. I actually cannot believe that that numbers 18-16 failed to land a spot in my top 15. Here's the list so far:

35. LittleBigPlanet

34. Dishonored

33. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

32. Far Cry 3

31. Grand Theft Auto V

30. MLB 13: The Show

29. Call of Duty: World at War

28. Assassin's Creed III

27. LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4

26. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

25. Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time

24. Infamous

23. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance

22. Deus Ex: Human Revolution

21. Infamous 2

20. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune

2007

Developer/Publisher: Naughty Dog/Sony CE

Genre: Action/Adventure

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is the worst game that Naughty Dog has released since the days of the PlayStation 1 (not counting the kart racers). That is saying something about the developer seeing that Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is a must-play PS3 classic. And not only was Uncharted the first truly impressive PS3 game, it is one of the most important games in the PS3's library as far as being influential goes. It brought the cinematic action, Indiana Jones-esque adventure, and breath-taking set pieces of a Hollywood blockbuster to video games. More importantly, it did so carefully enough that Uncharted still has the engaging, hands-on fun that Hollywood blockbusters can't offer. Whenever I play it (the Uncharted series is a blast to replay again and again), I can't help but feel like I'm on an adventure myself, maybe more-so than any other game on this countdown except maybe a couple RPGs. A crucial part of creating a good narrative adventure (movie or video game) is having the audience care about the characters taking part in the adventure. In Uncharted's case, Naughty Dog created three iconic characters in Nathan Drake, Elena Fisher, and Victor "Goddamn" Sullivan. All three of which may be Hollywood stereotypes, but their back-and-forth lines throughout the game make them anything but ordinary and mundane. From a gameplay standpoint, Uncharted is made fun to play though the game's unique mix of third person shooting, melee slugging, and inventive platforming. There's a lot to love about Uncharted that only got better as the series went on.

Favorite memory: First getting to play as Drake in the jungle after his failed parachuting escape from a crashing plane. At the time, I had never played anything similar.

19. Bioshock Infinite

2013

Irrational Games/2k Games

First-Person Shooter

Probably one of the more controversial, "love it or hate it" games on the list, but as I recall playing Infinite, I loved every minute of it. There are games that you complete by picking at them here and there, saying, "I guess I should finish this game", and then there are games that you cannot wait to play again between sittings. Bioshock Infinite is certainly the latter for me. It's riveting plot kept me guessing and hanging on every moment while the combat was simple but fun. The only thing that keeps Infinite from being a top 10 game for me is that the two elements do not compliment one another. It's almost like, "travel this path in the giant connected world (you literally step, fly, or hang-slide every inch of this game from start to finish in first-person without a single cutscene), shoot these guys, experience a crazy set-piece action scene, and then experience the story." Especially for a game that lets you look and act first-person through every dramatic scene, it was a missed opportunity to not let the combat have a purpose in the plot. But that's really my only complaint. Infinite may be the most technically flawless game that I've ever played. There wasn't a single glitch I ever encountered during my playthrough. What really makes Bioshock Infinite an exceptional game is its level design and atmosphere. As with the first two Bioshock games, every square inch of the game world is extremely detailed and full of mystery. Maybe my favorite parts in the game weren't the ones where Booker was shooting everything in sight but rather carefully exploring the floating city of Columbia, taking in all of its sights and discovering its mysteries. There isn't a modest part about Bioshock Infinite. Irrational Games was one of the best game developers in the business by the time Infinite came out and they were not afraid to boast about it through their game. And seeing as this was the last Irrational game, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

Favorite memory: The mind-blowing ending. I sat through the entire line of credits just thinking about it. It's a brilliant ending, really.

GOTY Awards to its name: Best Shooter 2013, Best Atmosphere 2013, Best Voice Performance (Troy Baker as Booker DeWitt & other roles) 2013

18. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

2008

Kojima Productions/Konami

Action/Adventure

From one controversial game to another. MGS4 is certainly an odd game. Its stealth-based, boss fight drenched gameplay is absolutely great. Then, infamously, there are the sometimes 30+ minute long cutscenes. I certainly scratched my head a few times when I had to watch some kid cook eggs for like the fifth time in the game, but in the end, these custscenes are mostly immovable from the full game experience, which I think was 'once in a generation'. Each cutscene built character and continued to tell the plot of a very old Solid Snake on his final mission. And what a mission it was. As mentioned before, the stealth gameplay is great: just what you would expect from a Kojima MGS game. The other great gameplay aspect were the sometimes extremely difficult boss-fights in the game. Seriously. Vamp. Screaming Mantis. Crying Wolf. RAY. This game holds some of the best boss fights I've ever played. And since they were so rare across the the PS3/360 generation, extra points go to Kojima for proving that boss fights aren't just a retro gimmick. What we thought was the last MGS game was innovative, nostalgic, weird, and fitting. Everything you would expect from the series. (Side note: MGSV looks incredible)

Favorite memory: The ending. Tears were shed.

17. Bioshock

2007

Irrational Games/2k Games

FPS

I originally had Bioshock inside my top ten for this list. It's an outstanding game, but it has too many faults that restrain it for me. Its final 2 hours are a disappointing mess, it hasn't held up as well over the years as you'd might think, and it simply doesn't mean as much to me as it may to others. Do not get me wrong though, Bioshock is a fantastic game. It's an influential game in that it changed the way stories were told in video games. It leaves cutscenes to movies, and instead has the player trek through the game world completely oblivious as to what's around every corner in both the underwater city and the plot. All in first person. When a big moment happens, you experience it through the eyes of the character. It's not the first time it happened in a game, but it was never done as well and as inventively before, with such brilliant writing at its core. The star of this game isn't its innovative FPS combat, but rather the world of Rapture that you explore. Through masterful level design and a unique art style, Rapture offers a creepy, cool atmosphere open for exploration and discovery. Only the Batman: Arkham games rival Bioshock's atmosphere and level of detail.

Favorite memory: The Sander Cohen encounters.

16. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

2013

Level-5 & Studio Ghibli/Namco Bandai

RPG

Sadly, the only JRPG from last generation even worth mentioning. However, with Ni no Kuni, we got probably the best true JRPG since the genre's glory days on the original PlayStation. With its unexpected success even in the west, we may just see a renaissance of JRPGs very soon if we're not in one already. Playing this game (I'm still playing it which might be keeping it a bit low on this list) is really like nothing else. It's best described as a playable Studio Ghibli movie with classic JRPG gameplay of turn based combat and exploration. This means a lot to me personally, since JRPGs and Studio Ghibli (along with Dragon Ball/Z, Pokemon, & Harry Potter) brought my childhood a sense of wonder and magic. All five (none of which are American by the way, as I am) influenced my imagination as a child. When not watching, playing, reading, I would be outside with friends or family or by myself playing outside in nature, having our/my own adventures. It made my childhood special. With Ni no Kuni, that same sense of imagination and wonder lives on and I get to experience it all over again. Even the simple fetch tasks in villages brings back countless childhood memories, just as a Studio Ghibli movie would. Personal meaning behind, Ni no Kuni has a very touching story full with colorful characters that I won't forget. And the amount of content in this game is ridiculous. Even at 80ish hours in, there is still so much content. And all of it is fun and inventive, not just a retro throwback. Ni no Kuni is a very different game than most of the games on this list and I love it for that.

Favorite memory: First playing the game. I was amazed with its beauty; even in 3D, Ghibli's influential art design comes to life.

GOTY Awards to its name: Runner-up GOTY 2013, Best RPG 2013, Best Soundtrack 2013, Best Graphics (Artistic) 2013

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I told you it was nothing but top-tier games and personal favorites from here on out :P I still can't believe Bioshock, MGS4, & Ni no Kuni didn't place higher. But there is just no way that they could have. Keep a look out for Part V soon. It includes two of my favorite military FPSs that gave me days of hours of fun, a game that marked a turning point in a still popular franchise, one of the most bug-filled games that I ever played (but put up with because it otherwise would be in my top 5), and a game that really wasn't like anything before it. If I don't before next Friday, have a safe and happy Halloween! Thanks for reading and please comment :)

- Dylan

Top 35 PS3 Games - Part III

It's been a while (commuting college student grind), but here is part three (of seven) of my latest list that counts down my 35 favorite PlayStation 3 games.

Here is the list so far:

35. LittleBigPlanet

34. Dishonored

33. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

32. Far Cry 3

31. Grand Theft Auto V

30. MLB 13: The Show

29. Call of Duty: World at War

28. Assassin's Creed III

27. LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4

26. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

25. Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time

2009

Developer/Publisher: Insomniac Games/Sony CE

Genre: Platformer, Action/Adventure

Ratchet & Clank, unlike my favorite Sony platformer duo Jak & Daxter, made the jump from the PlayStation 2 to the PlayStation 3. Unfortunately for Sony and Insomniac, everyone's favorite Lombax and robot pairing never achieved the same level of popularity it had on the PS2. This is especially a shame because not only would ACiT be the last major R&C release, but it was also the best, in my opinion. The series' quirky tone and crazy shooter/platforming gameplay was finally met with amazing art design, absolutely brilliant level design, and a great story that concludes the Future trilogy. What further sets the game apart from the older R&C titles is just how varied the gameplay is. In ACiT, it isn't just get from A to B to C by using all sorts of funky guns. You get to play as Clank in mind-bending puzzle challenges, explore the galaxy in Ratchet's space ship, zoom around large worlds with rocket boots, compete for medals in challenging arena matches, and who could forget the My Blaster Runs Hot mini-game?

Favorite Memory: The secret final level that had plenty of nods to the history of Ratchet & Clank had me emotional with all sorts of nostalgia. I also really liked the secret final boss fights that brought back villains from the past. Both were such treats that topped off an excellent game.

24. Infamous

2009

Sucker Punch/Sony CE

Action/Adventure

From one great 2009 PS3 exclusive to another (Uncharted 2 also released in 2009!). I remember being really down on Infamous leading up to its release. The graphics looked dull and I thought Sucker Punch bit off more than they could chew by entering the open world sandbox genre after two disappointing Sly Cooper sequels. When my brother bought it for me on my birthday, I was instantly proved wrong. There wasn't anything like Infamous at the time, making it an innovator. You control a man with lightning at his finger tips and the ability to scale the walls of skyscrapers. But the kick was that the game didn't tell you to be a hero in a rotting city. It left the choice of heroism or infamy up to the player. You could use your powers to save Empire City or leave the city dying in your path. The black and white karma choices were boring by the time Infamous: Second Son came out, but at the time, the sense of choice and living with the results of your choice was just as empowering as Cole McGrath's super powers. The game also came with a lengthy, heavy-hitting story.

Favorite memory: Blast shards. Oh god. There were 100+ of these tiny collectibles that you had to track down one by one for the 'infamous' BRONZE trophy. And it wasn't like the game's sequels that pointed you exactly where to go. No, you had to wander around the entire HUGE map searching high and low for each individual blue blast shard. The only help you received was by pressing in L3 (or R3, I can't remember) that would tell you on the mini map if you were almost literally on top of one. I found all but one shard without resorting to any online guide. Then, I lost my mind. After searching randomly for hours, I covered every inch of the map rapidly pressing L3 trying to find the damn thing. Eventually, enough was enough. I printed out colorful, unofficial maps that revealed every blast shard location, marked with a blue dot. I went to each and every dot in search of the one I was missing. I crossed out every single one before swearing that the game was glitched after probably 10+ hours looking for a single blast shard. So, I put the game away for over a year. One day, I threw in Infamous just to mess around in the open world. I found the damn thing by accident on a broken pier far into the ocean (colored blue on the maps I printed out). Trophy unlocked. Mission accomplished.

23. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance

2006

Raven Software/Activision

Action RPG

A huge roster of Marvel comic book characters. Beat-em up gameplay. RPG elements. These three factors combined in excellent fashion to make the best Marvel game ever made. Almost every Marvel character imaginable, ranging from Spider-Man to Thor to MODOK to Enchantress to The Vision, is either a unique playable character, a boss fight, or a character that you can have conversations with, referencing their Marvel lore. The RPG elements and beat-em up gameplay complimented each other perfectly and were both very deep. You could even wear one of four different outfits for each character and match up different characters to form classic teams like The Avengers. What further made MUA (in my opinion) the PS3's best launch game is its well thought out story that had you travelling to different famous Marvel worlds such as Mandarin's Palace, Valhalla, and Tony Stark's pent house. It's the Marvel game to end all Marvel games. Literally. The sequel was awful.

Favorite memory: Talking to different characters in the different headquarters gave the game an interesting backbone. It also helped me get into Marvel lore which is currently paying off in all of these great Avengers movies.

22. Deus Ex: Human Revolution

2011

Edios Montreal/Square Enix

FPS, Action RPG

Deus Ex: HR is one of those games from last generation that is often forgotten despite being one of the greats. I've written three different paragraphs trying to back up its spot on my list, but the thing is, DXHR is such a complex game with many elements that all combine to make it great. So I thought it would be fitting to list them individually:

- One of the greatest stories ever told in a video game

- Complete freedom of choice as to how you clear levels. You can try (and likely fail) at shooting up everything, stealthily take out each enemy in a variety of badass ways, or even clear through the game without killing anybody (excluding boss fights, which are all awesome).

- RPG elements that let you customize and enhance your character, catering to how you wish to play

- A truly memorable, mostly open game world that includes hub worlds of futuristic versions of China and Detroit.

- Stunning art design. I can't imagine the game without its architecture and shades of gold.

- One of the best soundtracks in a video game, ever.

Favorite memory: Exploring the hub worlds of Detroit and China was especially memorable. Every alley, building, and room of the two cities had different puzzles to solve in order to receive credits and items, complete side missions, and learn more about the interesting game world. I remember not having the hack skill high enough to unlock a door to a fence that was protecting a building. So I stacked up different cardboard boxes in a stair pattern to vault over it. Cheating, maybe. But it was so worth it.

21. Infamous 2

2011

Sucker Punch/Sony CE

Action/Adventure

In my opinion, Infamous 2 is the best game in the series of three. It kept the soul of its predecessor but made it a lot more fun and exciting. I think a lot of that has to do with its setting, a rip-off of New Orleans. Where Empire City was cool in its dirty, dark way, the spooky atmosphere of New Marais is more exciting and features an open world that is packed with variety and activities. Outside of its setting, Infamous 2 improved by having more powerful gameplay. With each new power, you felt more in charge and doors opened that made playing the game more fun (much unlike Second Son). Where it matched the original game, was having an outstanding story that really pulled you into the fictional world to make you care about Cole, Zeke, Kuo, Nix, and the rest of the character cast. Most importantly, this superhero game felt like a superhero game. It wasn't like its lame sequel (Second Son) that tried too hard to be realistic. It was fun. It was flashy. It was exciting. It was everything I've ever wanted from Infamous.

Favorite memory: Both the good and evil endings. I played through both and was destroyed emotionally each time.

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Sorry if the paragraph that was supposed to praise Infamous 2 sounded more like a Infamous: Second Son rant. I was just so disappointed by that game. It traded the soul and heart of Infamous for shiny graphics and tech. You could really tell Sucker Punch made the game look good first, and then tried to throw in a half-assed story and boring side activities. Bummer. Anyhow, I am getting really antsy about finally playing a great PS4 game. I have some faith in Assassin's Creed: Unity but that series has such an identity crisis going on that I don't know what to actually expect. I hope its "going back to its roots" approach is accurate and not just a PR thing. Also, with how Ubisoft greatly downgraded Watch Dogs, I am paying little attention to how amazing they are making the game look. The tech parity between PS4 and XB1 has me especially nervous.

If the game doesn't turn out, at least we'll have 2015 with The Witcher 3 and Arkham Knight! I am so excited for each. Currently, I just started my second season in Madden NFL 15 and I just started playing Dead Space for the first time (just in time for Halloween). That's what I'm playing at the moment. How about y'all?

Thanks for reading and please comment :)

- Dylan

Top 35 Favorite PS3 Games - Part II

Time for the second part of my blog series that counts down my 35(!) favorite PlayStation 3 games. To catch up on the list and see my complicated list of rules and restrictions, here's a link to Part 1:

http://www.gamespot.com/profile/dylan417/blog/top-35-favorite-ps3-games-part-i/26062327/#livefyre

Now, for Part II. Part II contains my all-time favorite co-op game, two sequels of the same franchise, the lone sports game on the list, and one of my favorite licensed video games. Here's the list so far:

35. LittleBigPlanet

34. Dishonored

33. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

32. Far Cry 3

31. Grand Theft Auto V

30. MLB 13: The Show

2013

Developer/Publisher: SCE San Diego/SCE

Genre: Sports (Baseball)

While I am a shameless Madden NFL addict (every game, week 1 since 2005), I do admit that the series rarely innovates and is easily the lamest annual installment franchise around. That is not and has never been the case with MLB: The Show. Ever since 2006, the single team of Sony San Diego has continually innovated and constantly improved their Major League Baseball licensed series. Choosing from 2008, 2010-2013 was no easy task as far as which installment was my favorite, but I feel that MLB 13: The Show in particular found the perfect balance between fun and challenging/arcade-ish and realistic. The authenticity of the series (especially) is amazing and I wish every sports game could come close to matching it. Baseballs bounce in the outfield the way they should. Where you hit the ball on your player's bat is relative to where the ball ends up in the field. Players from Derek Jeter to Denard Span to Pat Neshek are superbly replicated in the series complete with their batting/pitching style, tendencies, and facial expressions. And believe it or not, the three play-by-play commentators never get old and repetitive; they sound authentic. On top of it all, the series packs two game modes that offer hours on hours of baseball. Both the actual gameplay and making managerial decisions like signing free agents, making trades, setting lineups, etc. It's a series that truly captures every detail of baseball and the timeless tradition that it carries.

Favorite Memory: Having a late game comeback as the New York Yankees in my season mode. I overcame a three-run deficit and earned a win as a relief pitcher in one late inning. Let's just say the signing of Brian Wilson (not the Beach Boy) paid off. What a rush.

Archived GOTY Awards To Its Name: As a series, Best Sports Game 2010, 2011, 2013

29. Call of Duty: World at War

2008

Treyarch/Activision

Military FPS

WAW (or COD5 as me and my friends called it back in the good old days; sh*t, this game is 6 years old) is a game that I learned to love. After all, who wanted to go back to World War II after experiencing modern warfare? Well, now that I look back at it, it is my second favorite Call of Duty game of all-time, only behind the legendary COD4. There is something compelling about using single shot rifles instead of Ak-47s and SCARs. There is more of an adrenaline rush but oddly less of a mayhem scramble. You simply cannot play WAW the same way as you played COD4. That takes balls from Activision's/Treyarch's end. Thankfully, it paid off for them. They made perhaps the last and by far the best WWII campaign to date with unforgettable moments that didn't just copy what COD4 did. On the competitive multiplayer side, it was certainly challenging given the weapons and perks that you had to deal with. But once you got past the learning curve, you would find WAW to be refreshing and unique despite carrying over COD4's basic features. But where World at War truly shines and makes the game unforgettable is its cooperative multiplayer mode known only as Nazi Zombies. At first a fun little reward for beating the game, Nazi Zombies became a pop culture phenomenon that inspired actually great DLC (who could forget the asylum or the swamp house!?) and revolutionized the zombie survival genre. This mode was an addictive adrenaline rush that I couldn't put down.

Favorite Memory: In the deep rounds of Nazi Zombies, all three of my teammates were down after a 2+ hour match. It was just me vs well over 15 zombies. I was the last hope to keep the game going. I mowed each zombie down one by one and kept the fun going for what felt like an entire night of zombie carnage. Unforgettable fun that I didn't think would ever be matched by a co-op video game (until Red Dead Redemption).

28. Assassin's Creed III

2012

Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft

Action/Adventure

One of the PS3's more controversial games in terms of love it/hate it, ACIII is certainly a game that I will not soon forget. After all, behind maybe Batman: Arkham City, there wasn't a game that I was dying to play in anticipation more than ACIII. I am a huge fan of colonial American history and the war for American Independence. To me, there isn't a more fascinating time period throughout history. So I was always begging for a game set during it and when Ubisoft announced that their next game in their historical series would have the main character interact with George Washington, Sam Adams, Benedict Arnold, etc., I freaked out. It all seemed too perfect to be true. Well, it kind of was. While it is set in the time period and while the character does encounter historical fugures/locations/events galore, that is all he does is encounter this time period. Connor does not "ignite the revolution" as the advertising displayed, the revolution (and the Templar/Assassin war) just happens in the background during his personal quest. I enjoyed Connor's story (I wrote a lengthy blog on that topic in the past), but I did feel cheated by Ubisoft. That, combined with the game's many bugs and its extreme lack of player choice during stealth missions are what keeps this game from being higher. But there is so much to love about ACIII. It captures Colonial America BEAUTIFULLY and authentically. The hand-to-hand combat is great. The tree-climbing free-running is exhilarating. The huge open world game map is packed with activities to do. And the biggest surprise, the naval gameplay was a smash hit that inspired a great pirate game that I only left off the list because of its superior PS4 version which I played over the PS3 version. ACIII has its flaws that keeps it well out of my top ten (would have been otherwise), but it still has a lot to love.

Favorite Memory: Exploring the lovely frontier and doing EVERYTHING in it.

GOTY Awards: Game of the Year 2012, Badass 2012 - Connor, Best Surprise 2012 - naval gameplay, Best Atmosphere 2012, Best Graphics (Realistic) 2012, Best Voiceover 2012 - Noah Watts as Connor, Best Action/Adventure 2012

27. LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4

2010

Traveller's Tales/Warner Bros. IE

Action/Adventure

I am a giant Potter nerd. I've read the books again and again and I re-watch my blu-ray collection every year. It's a franchise that ruled my childhood alongside Batman and Dragon Ball Z. HP, alongside Spirited Away, takes credit for giving my childhood magic, creativity, and imagination. But what makes Harry Potter so special to me and my entire 90s kid generation is that it grew up with me until the final movie release a few years back. Needless to say, I always wanted a great videogame set in the wizarding world. While I hope a Hogwarts RPG is still on its way, LEGO HP is the best we've got. And it is great. Set in an almost open world of Hogwarts and its surrounding environments including Hogsmeade and the Forbidden Forest, you play through Harry, Ron and Hermione's first four years of adventure. It captures the magic of Hogwarts and their adventure completely. It isn't a lazy cash grab but rather a faithful celebration of Harry Potter for fans of any age to enjoy. It is simple and fun to play through, but it is the mass collecting that makes the game addictive and consuming. What is was really surprised with was how the HP story was told without words and while lightening the series' darker moments. It's faithful but makes its own fun by being genuinely funny. It may be impossible to understand for people who have never read or watched the series (who are you?), but for Harry Potter fans of any age, LEGO Harry Potter is a treasure.

Memory: Exploring Hogwarts' open world and collecting everything. Finding/unlocking character studs was my favorite.

GOTY Awards: Best Kid-Friendly Game 2010

26. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

2010

Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft

Action/Adventure

In my opinion, this is the best AC game since Assassin's Creed II, which will have its place high up on this list. It builds upon Ezio's initial adventure without changing the formula. That said, it isn't just simply a Part II. ACB introduced the recruitment of Assassins to assist Ezio on his journey and a smart and unique multiplayer mode that didn't feel like a lame add-on. ACB of course takes place in Rome and its surrounding areas, complete with everything you would expect from the prestigious setting including the Coliseum, which is 100% interactive to climb. Riding along the Roman countryside on horseback was a delight as Ezio became a veteran Assassin fulfilling his mission started in ACII. In terms of gameplay, Brotherhood brought largely superior melee combat and perfected the stealth combat to near perfection. In fact, in my opinion, Brotherhood is as good as AC got with stealth gameplay before throwing it away with Revelations, III, and Black Flag. Although, it does look to be making a grand return in Unity, which I am really excited for.

Favorite Memory: The game's cinematic, hectic ending was very well done and was perhaps the high point in the Ezio trilogy. Overall, I had a hard time putting the controller down until Ezio's main story completed.

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That's it for Part II. The next part includes three PlayStation 3 exclusives, a 2011 gem that is often overlooked, and three of the best superhero games ever made. Then after that, it's on to the 9.5's and 10's. I can not tell you how hard it was to order those. Yikes. What's up with you all and any? Enjoying the news from TGS so far? What games are you playing? Personally, I had to pick my jaw off of the floor after watching the Final Fantasy XV and Metal Gear Solid V demos. As to what I'm playing, mostly Madden 15 and a few PS3 games I never got around to beating. Namely, Sly Cooper 4, Ni no Kuni (there is no end to this game and I love it), and Fez. In honor of Jak 3's upcoming 10th anniversary, I am thinking about replaying the Jak & Daxter HD Collection. If I find the time in the busy life of a commuting college student. Thanks for reading and please comment :)

Go Buffalo Bills.

- Dylan

Top 35 Favorite PS3 Games - Part I

The PlayStation 4 is on shelves and in homes. And while a few big upcoming games are only coming to the older generation (Kingdom Hearts 2.5, Persona 5, Assassin's Creed: Rogue), it's time to look back at the PlayStation 3 and its generation. Character platformers became rare, multiplayer shooters became pop culture forces, RPGs came back in a major way, and open world games became common. Gaming memories were made online with friends, late night trophy hunts drove us crazy, graphics became photo realistic and artistically beautiful, and storytelling in video games had a renaissance. It's the generation that changed gaming forever. Here are my 35 favorite PS3 games:

Here are some rules/guidelines:

- Games on the list must have been released on the PS3 before any other Sony platform and must be first released on a console from this generation (disqualifying "HD Collections" and "PS/PS2 Classics") [The one exception is any game that launched on the PS3 that previously existed on an older console.

- If a game released on the PS4 during the PS4's launch or after, it is disqualified.

- Games are based solely on their PlayStation 3 version, so don't expect to see Skyrim.

- This list does not take into account Game of the Year/Ultimate editions.

- Any annual sports game (Madden, FIFA, etc.) is represented by the best game in the series.

- DLC (including standalone spinoffs like Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon) are unaccounted for.

- Remakes are disqualified.

On to part one of the list:

35. LittleBigPlanet

2008

Developer/Publisher: Media Molecule/Sony CE

Genre: Puzzle/Platformer

LBP is a game that I fell in love with shortly after the infamous PSN outage of 2011, when the game was offered for free as an apology gift from Sony alongside a few other titles. From the tutorial level, it is undeniably charming and happy with a backbone of wonderfully innovative game engineering. But do not let the cuteness of Sackboy confuse you, LBP is a challenging game that requires perfect timing and some out-of-the-box thinking. Its Play, Create, Share feature is its contribution to gaming by letting players create levels and then share them with the online community to play. LBP will also be remembered for its catchy soundtrack that perfectly captures the spirit of the game.

Favorite Memory: After a terrible couple of days (2010 and 2011 were hard years for me personally), the tutorial level of LBP put a big, uplifting smile on my face.

34. Dishonored

2012

Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks

Action/Adventure

In a year full of sequels and franchises, Dishonored stood out as not only the best new IP that year, but one of the best games that year. The team that created the eerie atmosphere of Bioshock 2 broke out with this stealth-based first-person action adventure that put you under the mask of Corvo, a royal bodyguard who was wrongfully framed for the murder of a secluded city's beloved empress. Corvo then seeks revenge on the true conspirators in the bleak, pandemic aftermath. Dishonored packs a unique, gothic art design that compliments the game's creepy atmosphere and tone. In terms of gameplay, few games do stealth gameplay better than Dishonored thanks to the game's tight controls and clever level design. Dishonored further stood out by offering its players freedom as to how they want to clear a level. Just be warned, the way you play changes the game world entirely.

Favorite memory: The masquerade ball is one of my favorite levels in any video game.

Archived GOTY Awards to its name: Best Innovation 2012, Best New IP 2012

33. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

2009

Infinity Ward/Activision

Military FPS

Certainly a controversial game (read up on the unfortunate Infinity Ward/Activision clash if you haven't), but a fun one that I sunk days of gameplay into online nonetheless. And while the game is often bashed for being a rather lame sequel to Call of Duty 4, MW2 offered tremendous value even for $60. It came packed with a full-throttle roller coaster of a campaign that is iconic today, a series of cooperative "spec-ops" missions, and an addictive, obsessive multiplayer component. I believe that this is the last great game in the still titan-strong Call of Duty franchise. The main reason I say this is because competitive multiplayer is only as good as its map design and weapon balance. This was the last Call of Duty to offer great, fluid maps and a steady balance of power between weapons.

Favorite memory: Experiencing my first nuke killstreak, which was on Wasteland as a sniper.

32. Far Cry 3

2012

Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft

Action/Adventure FPS

2012 saw the glorious return to the presumed dead Far Cry franchise. It pleased old FC fans and welcomed many new ones such as myself with its action-packed open world, interesting characters, great FPS gameplay, and compelling story. The idea of this game is pretty frightening: a character named Jason Brody and his friends are captured during an island vacation. You play as Jason Brody, who sets himself free and becomes a crazed mass-murderer in search of revenge. At the end of the game (minor spoilers), Brody's reunited friends (and himself) feel scared about how he has become accustomed to killing. It's an idea that kind of makes fun of itself and similar games but also makes a statement. But all philosophy aside, the game featured an incredible open world filled with engaging activities, my favorite being taking down enemy outposts, where you had to methodically plan out your attack. Not that it mattered most of the time thanks to the unpredictable open world that featured deadly wildlife creatures that posed as wild cards.

Favorite memory: Every Vaas confrontation.

Archived GOTY awards: Runner-up GOTY 2012, Best Shooter 2012, Best Villain 2012 - Vaas Montenegro, Best Moment 2012 - Burning down Hoyt's weed plantation, Most-Improved Sequel 2012

31. Grand Theft Auto V

2013

Rockstar North/Rockstar Games

Action/Adventure

GTA V is a game that crushed sales records and helped GTA become a worldwide pop culture phenomenon yet again. I personally did not care for GTA IV. I thought that the game was extremely bland, somewhat boring, and featured bad controls. It was an oft-regarded 10/10 upon its release that simply does not hold up today. GTA V on the other hand, was responsible for bringing back the Vice City/San Andreas fun to GTA. Frankly put, the game's size is truly amazing. There is so much to optionally do that it is overwhelming. You could easily sink 200+ hours into the single player alone. I personally never even touched the multiplayer, but that features even more activities to take part in. What makes this GTA one solid experience is the absolutely perfect driving controls, which you will need because GTA V consists of a lot of driving from A to B. But here's the thing: it never gets boring thanks to the city of Los Santos that feels alive. Also alive are the game's main missions which are action-packed and feature multiple ways to get the job done. What makes this game truly special and unique is the game feature that lets you seamlessly switch between the three great characters of Trevor, Franklin, and Michael.

Favorite Memory: The first bank heist mission where you escape on bikes. It was a "holy sh*t" moment.

Archived GOTY Awards: Most Anticipated 2012 (tied), Best Innovation 2013, Most Improved Sequel 2013

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That concludes part I of VII of my Top 35 Favorite PS3 games countdown. It's a blog series that I've wanted to do for almost a year now, so it feels good to finally be sharing the list. As for what I've been up to in terms of video games, I finally just beat Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Infamous and MLB 14: The Show got in the way, but ACIV is definitely a game that I enjoyed playing. At times, the naval gameplay pissed me off and left me wanting more classic, on-foot AC. But I guess that's coming with Unity later on this year, which I am very excited for. One thing I noticed, and maybe it's because I played it over like five months, is that the characters got confusing. When a character was reintroduced and killed off, it seemed like it was meant to be a big deal but wasn't to me because I could vaguely remember them from the crowd of other characters. Overall, I liked the game quite a bit and would give it an 8.5/10. Oh, and I loved the ending and the mid-credits scene :) Part II should be up next week, so look for that. Thanks for reading and please comment :)

Videogame Music of the Day: Dishonored - Main Theme

- Dylan

Checking In

Hey, all and any, just stopping by to say that I haven't left Gamespot for good. It's been about three months (crazy busy) since my last post and I've missed blogging. I plan on posting my Top (some number) PlayStation 3 games soon! I realize that most of my old Gamespot buddies have left the site and that my double-digit comment count days are behind me, but there's something about blogging. It makes my subject material (games, movies, TV, comics) more enjoyable for whatever reason.

Here are some quick rundowns/reviews:

- Non-Stop - (has it been that long? Yikes.) Decent action/thriller that Liam Neeson shines in, yet again. Fun at the time, forgettable weeks later. 7/10

- The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - Sony is destroying Spider-Man quickly. Excellently cast characters are let down by an awful script and a lame plot with too many even more lame subplots. I liked the dark ending, everything else was a disaster. 5/10

- Captain America: The Winter Soldier - After the punch-to-the-gut that was Iron Man 3 and the 'just okay' Thor: The Dark World, Marvel Studios redeemed themselves with what might be the best movie in the entire saga. It did everything right and then some. 9/10

- X-Men: Days of Future's Past - Brilliantly connected the scattered X-Men franchise with a clever plot, truly amazing cinematic scenes (Quicksilver!), and great balancing of many characters. 9/10

- Game of Thrones season 4 - The show that continues to amaze with every episode. Plenty of unforgettable moments that rank with the previous seasons'. Almost every character had something big going on, leaving Westeros changed more than ever heading into season 5. Dany's plot was the only letdown. 9.8/10

- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - A rare summer blockbuster masterpiece. Half of the lines were in subtitles and the pace didn't skip a beat. A movie with a deep message that says a lot about our society. 10/10

- 22 Jump Street - Saw it with a few friends, worth a few midnight laughs. Not as refreshing as the original, but just as funny. 7/10

- Guardians of the Galaxy - From Cap 2 to X-Men to Apes to Guardians, the first half of 2014 has been a blast at the theaters. I cannot remember a string of movies this good. Guardians of the Galaxy was a delight. I feel it's unfair to compare it to the Avengers for a couple of reasons. One, we met the Guardians characters in the movie while in The Avengers, we already knew Cap and the gang. And two, the two movies have different tones. Avengers was a superhero team-up to stop the bad guy. Guardians was a sci-fi with unlikely anti-heroes who bonded while saving their galaxy. If I had to choose one above the other, I would choose Guardians. It's laugh-out-loud funny with great action (like The Avengers), but I felt more connected to the characters, and the plot was actually interesting. Starlord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Groot are characters that I already have stuck in my head and I can't wait for them to return. I also enjoyed how heartfelt it was, something that the superhero genre has been lacking. A 9/10 that could turn into a 10 with time.

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Thanks for reading and please comment :)

- Dylan

Top 10 Games of E3 2014

Rather than breaking down each E3 conference/digital event, as I had originally planned, I decided to instead just list my top ten games from the somewhat lackluster week that was E3. Nintendo, Sony, EA, and Microsoft each displayed what little they have coming in 2014 and only hinted at what's to come in 2015 and beyond. I would probably crown Ubisoft as the victor of E3 because unlike the other four, they had a lot to show from their 2014 lineup, while also showing extensive gameplay for two of their big 2015 games. I don't know they are doing it, but Ubisoft seems to just keep on bringing out great games year round, year after year. The bridge between generations didn't slow them down. And they just launched Watch Dogs, which set sales records for the publisher. If I had to pick one loser, I would point at EA. They showed their annual sports games, a Battlefield 4 re-skin, and only briefly showed off concept footage of their '2015 and beyond' games. But hey, it was either that or take a page from the Microsoft playbook and just show cinematic trailers that may not represent the actual game in the slightest. Overall, I felt each conference lacked a "holy s***" moment. Halo 5, Uncharted 4, and Legend of Zelda each had pretty neat teaser trailers for their respective consoles, but we knew about those games. There really weren't any big surprises. That said (and now I'm just rambling), I do think that whether you own a XB1, PS4, or Wii U, E3 gave you plenty to look forward to. Just not Fallout 4... :(

Here are my top ten games from E3 this year (I didn't count teaser trailers):

But first, some honorable mentions:

- Splatoon

- Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/for 3DS

- Madden NFL 15

- Ori and the Blind Forest

- LittleBigPlanet 3

10. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

The trailer for the probably far-off follow-up to Ground Zeroes, did everything I want from a trailer by looking really good but not revealing too much of the plot. I haven't played Ground Zeroes yet (not paying $30 for <4 hours), but from the trailer, it looks like the prologue wasn't kind to Big Boss. Again, it wasn't very clear what in the hell was happening, but then again, do we ever know what TF is ever going on in a MGS game? Regardless of that answer, the main MGS games have always been amazing experiences. And I highly doubt that MGSV will break the chain. Oh, and extra points to Kojima for the Mike Oldfield jam that definitely helps set the trailer apart.

9. Pokemon: Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire

As I stated in a previous blog, I couldn't be more excited for this game. Over a decade ago, I put an insane amount of time into Pokemon: Ruby. It was the last Pokemon game that I really cared about and put significant if any time into until last year's Pokemon Y, which finally brought the franchise forward in an innovative way. The sizzle trailer at Nintendo's digital event, confirmed obvious rumors that the game will use Pokemon X/Y's engine and many gameplay elements to remake the fan favorite GBA games. Personally, the trailer crushed me with nostalgia. I easily recalled every reimagined location, character, and Pokemon from the trailer. Combining X/Y and Ruby/Sapphire looks like its going to be pure gold.

8. Valiant Hearts: The Great War

The first video game trailer to ever bring me to tears. The entire trailer was pretty emotional, but the last shot of the dog at the cemetery emotionally wrecked me, being a dog owner and all. Games that provoke emotion are special, but this game looks more than just that. The art style is absolutely gorgeous (making good use of Ubisoft's Rayman Legends/Child of Light engine), it deals with the first World War (which is rarely covered in any form of entertainment), and I'm really interested in the adventure/quest gameplay mechanics. And it comes out next week!

7. The Order: 1886

The Order's presence at E3 set aside some of the fears I had for this game. Mainly, it assured me that the game wouldn't be a generic over-the-shoulder-third-person shooter. The demo of the knight running away and fighting the werewolf-man looked suspenseful and almost reminiscent of Uncharted, which is a great series to be compared to in terms of gameplay diversity. Secondly, the game aesthetically looked stunning and the transition from cinematics to gameplay is literally seamless, meaning that the trailer we saw last year wasn't just a CGI representation. I'm really excited for the developer of the PSP's Daxter and God of War spin-offs to finally get their chance to make a AAA console game. It would great to have another top-tier developer in business.

6. Assassin's Creed: Unity

Assassin's Creed III and Black Flag were both really good games. They covered the two topics I wanted to be explored by videogames: the American Revolution and pirates, respectively. However, they deviated very far from what made Assassin's Creed so great. I miss the tall buildings, the cities with rich histories and beautiful architecture, the stealth, and the sense of open freedom as to how you wanted to tackle an objective. From the cinematic trailer and two gameplay demos at E3 this year, as well as the concept footage from earlier this year, it looks like Assassin's Creed is getting back to its roots while innovating. The game is set in France during its revolution period, which means that the tall, beautiful buildings just begging to be traversed are a go. And with Unity, it looks like it will be just as fun to climb down from the buildings as it is to climb up them. Also new for the series is the new stealth feature that will finally let you crouch out of view. The game isn't going to be available on the PS3 or 360, which is very telling of how great this game is going to look as well. But perhaps the biggest takeaway from ACU's E3 presence was its co-op multiplayer, which lets you team up with up to three players to complete objectives at any time in the game.

5. Rainbow 6: Siege

The sad death of Rainbow 6: Patriots brings the promising Rainbow 6: Siege. From the multiplayer demo, it looks like everything that made R6 great, back in the day, is coming back. The high tension, the hardcore one-death-and-you're-out stakes, the planning ahead, the propelling down a building, and the tactical shooting. It's all back and it looks fun.

4. The Division

Last E3 brought this game's big reveal at the Ubisoft press conference. This E3 brought the assurance that this game looks promising. I'm still not sure how the co-op system works or if it can be avoided (hear me out), but The Division reminds me of Fallout 3, The Last of Us, The Book of Eli, and The Road. An apocalyptic crisis happens, forcing people to drop everything that they are doing and try to survive. Only a few people manage to survive including the character that you follow. Now, the world is divided and open for your character to explore if he/she can stay alive. Count me in. But the thing is, if The Division is anything like Fallout (I hope so and it looks so), I wouldn't want a single other player in my world. I love the isolation of Fallout, and games like Fallout. In any case, the game does look to be coming along great.

3. Far Cry 4

I really liked Far Cry 3. The story, the characters, and the open world were all great. Far Cry 4 looks like its taking that successful formula and taking it to the max. Which I am all for. The gameplay demo of the opening when you first meet the game's Vaas-esque villain was all about the story and characters. The gameplay demo of assaulting an outpost was all about the hectic open world gameplay. It looks very similar to Far Cry 3, which is 100% okay by me. And you can play the game with a buddy if that's your thing. Again, personally, I don't know how I feel about another player entering my game world. I like to do things my way, alone when it comes to single player games. I like playing multiplayer in different game modes. But mixing the two doesn't seem like it's up my alley.

2. Batman: Arkham Knight

We finally got to see the third final chapter in Rocksteady's Arkham trilogy in motion at E3. We saw the Dark Knight's new armor, an overlook of Gotham City, the rainy weather on the streets, the new and improved hand-to-hand combat, the fast-er paced gliding, the explosive Batmobile, Kevin Conroy's iconic Batman voice, and a surprise Scarecrow encounter. It all looked jaw-dropping. It's a bummer that it was delayed into 2015, but for a game that looks this promising, I want it to take all the time it needs to perfect itself.

1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

I've never played a Witcher game, but The Witcher 3 looks exactly like everything that I want from a video game right now. It's an open world, medieval/fantasy action/adventure. But unlike, say, Skyrim, The Witcher 3 looks like it has very tight, somewhat tactical gameplay. This allows for almost cinematic sword fights and the like. The griffin hunt/damsel in distress demo was action-packed and exciting while the village demo showed the more mellow side of the game where you can pick up new quests, cash in your loot, upgrade your gear, talk to characters by choosing from pre-set options (think Mass Effect or Fallout), etc. This is a game that I could sink 100 hours into. The type of game that I want on my PS4 right now.

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That's that. I was really bummed that Fallout 4 wasn't announced. But it does make sense. Bethesda doesn't have their own conference at E3 and why would they want to announce their next game at Sony's or Microsoft's conference, a conference that they have no control over? I do think that we are close to a Fallout 4 announcement. Bethesda Softworks' last game, Skyrim, came out in 2011. That's three years ago. How long can they keep a secret? Maybe by next E3 we will see some gameplay? I hope so. I'm already excited for E3 2015. Thanks for reading and please comment with what excited you at E3 :)

- Dylan

Pre-E3 2014 - Part II

Excerpt from Part I - "This blog series will be split into 2-4 separate blogs because, simply, this year's E3 is going to be huge. Last year, we were shown more of the recently revealed Xbox One and PS4. This year, both consoles are on shelves and in homes (mostly) across the globe, meaning that the next generation of gaming is here. PS4/XB1 holdouts are looking for reasons to spend $400/$500 while early buyers have played through the few games that caught their interest and are now looking for more. Infamous, Dead Rising, Forza, and Killzone are neat and all, but where are the big dogs that people bought their pricey consoles for? Where's Uncharted? Where's Halo? Where's Fallout? Nintendo has a long road ahead of them thanks to their under-performing Wii U and their hot handheld that currently doesn't have much promised for it looking ahead. Nintendo would be foolish to pass through E3 with a small bark. Almost every developer is hard at work on next-gen titles (some have been since 2010 and long beforehand), so it only makes sense that we will get big reveals and more information on previously announced games this year at E3. All while carving out a half hour for Wonderbook (Sony), TV (Xbox), and brand name cash grabs (Nintendo). :P"

Basically, this blog series is a hype train leading to E3. I go over each game that I'm looking forward to seeing at E3 (via livestream, of course) and describe what we know about it and why I'm personally interested in seeing it.

Part I covered the games that we already know about to some degree, such as Uncharted 4, Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, and Batman: Arkham Knight. Part II is all about the games that we were introduced to a while ago, and well... that was that. These are the five games that need to break their silence in the style of a re-reveal similar to last year's Final Fantasy XV.

- The Legend of Zelda (Wii U)

First Revealed: 2011

Developer/Publisher: Nintendo/Nintendo

What We Know: When the Wii U was first revealed, at E3 2011, the biggest takeaway was the brief demo of an HD Legend of Zelda game. It turned out that the demo was specifically designed for demo purposes only and that the game was indeed not representing an in-development LoZ game. It wasn't until early 2013 when Nintendo officially announced that a new Legend of Zelda game was in development for the Wii U. Fast forward to today, and we still know nothing about it. It has been confirmed that the game will be at E3. But to what extent?

Why I'm Excited: The Legend of Zelda is one of the important franchises in gaming. Different games separated by decades helped define video games, especially the action/adventure genre. Without Link, we probably wouldn't have Uncharted, Jak & Daxter, The Elder Scrolls, etc. After more than a dozen unique games, there hasn't been one half bad entry. The series continues to innovate and define console generations. That said, it's hard to imagine that the series hasn't entered the world of HD yet (other than the brilliant remake of Wind Waker). What does the Wii U and its HD graphics mean for the series? Will text bubbles and mumbles turn into voiceovers? How will Link be rendered? How awesome will Hyrule look? I've stated this before and I think others will follow suit: If my dream HD LoZ releases for the Wii U, I will buy a Wii U. And then I'll buy Mario Kart 8, DKC: Tropical Freeze, Super Mario 3D World, and the impressive lineup that Nintendo is building for its console.

- Rainbow 6 Patriots (PS4, XB1, PC)

First Revealed: 2011

Developer/Publisher: Ubisoft/Ubisoft

What We Know: R6 Patriots was originally announced in November 2011 with a vague, gritty, cinematic trailer that left viewers puzzled. Some light was shed in GameInformer's December 2011 issue soon after. Apparently, in the game, there's a terrorist group rising in New York City with its eyes set on Wall Street and the American political world. You play as Team Rainbow in squad-based gameplay. The game went dark, with heavy rumors of its cancellation, until last year's E3 when Ubisoft confirmed that the game was still in development, though now for the new generation of consoles.

Why I'm Excited: I have fond memories of playing Rainbow 6 games in the past and I'm sure I'm not the only one. I always thought that the series had huge potential but just needed its Modern Warfare moment. Patriots could be that game if Ubisoft takes the right, tactical but fun elements from past games and fuses them into the interesting concept and story that appears to be at hand. By the way, the story looks like it could be on the same level as Spec Ops: The Line, which I think had the second best story of last gen behind only The Last of Us. If Ubisoft can tell a story with the same impact as Spec Ops did but with great, tactical combat and a deep multiplayer component (both are staples in R6 games), we could be in for something special.

- The Last Guardian (presumably PS4)

First Revealed: 2009

Developer/Publisher: Team Ico (of SCE Japan Studio)/SCE

What We Know: In development since 2007, TLG was first gloriously revealed at E3 2009 with a gameplay video that stole the show. It's a third person action/adventure (think Ico or Shadow of the Colossus) about a boy and a giant griffin-type creature. That's all that we really have to go on given that the game has been silent ever since its 2009 reveal. In March of this year, a Sony representative stated that the game is still in development.

Why I'm Excited: If I were a betting man, I would bet that this game will be at E3 this year. Along with other games on this list, The Last Guardian probably had the same development dilemma as Final Fantasy XV had. By that, I mean that somewhere in the game's development, the developer/publisher figured out that the next generation of consoles was upon them and that maybe it would make more sense to release the game on a console of that generation. So, the game is probably very far into development. So far, that I wouldn't be shocked if the game hits this year for the PS4.

- Agent (TBA, likely PS4)

First Revealed: 2009

Developer/Publisher: Rockstar North/Rockstar

What We Know: In 2007, Sony made an announcement that Rockstar was working on a new franchise for their recently released PlayStation 3. At E3 2009, it was announced that this new franchise would be called Agent and that it would be exclusive to the PlayStation 3. Set during the height of the Cold War, Agent is a stealth/action game that deals with counter-intelligence and espionage (think FX's series The Americans). The game has been cold ever since with rumors that the game was cancelled. In 2013 and again in 2014, Take-Two renewed trademarks related to the game.

Why I'm Excited: How cool would it be if the game was re-revealed for the PS4 at this year's E3 with gameplay? Originally, I thought that the game would go multiplatform similar to Final Fantasy XV. Then, I realized that FFXV was probably originally going to be a PlayStation exclusive at the decision of Square Enix, who always had a great relationship with Sony. Almost a decade later, it made little sense for Square Enix to leave out the Xbox One from a business perspective (same with Kingdom Hearts III). With Agent, I'm guessing that Sony made a deal ($$$) with Rockstar for an exclusive game on their console. Rockstar presumably owes Sony this game. As to why I'm excited for Agent, A. it's Rockstar and B. a Cold War spy game sounds fresh and really interesting.

- Whore of the Orient (presumably PS4, XB1, PC)

First Revealed: 2012

Developer/Publisher: Team Bondi/none

What We Know: Following their accusations of unfair labor and an unhealthy work ethic, the developer behind L.A. Noire (one of my all-time favorite games!), couldn't (and still can't) find a publisher for their next planned game. The game, questionably titled Whore of the Orient (can't be helping their publisher quest), is set in 1930's Shanghai, where the government is polluted with mob corruption. 2013 was a noteworthy year for Whore of the Orient. Unfinished gameplay leaked on the internet, Team Bondi received $200,000 in funding from Australia, and it was announced that the game would be released on the next generation of consoles.

Why I'm Excited: I freaking loved L.A. Noire. It was so different from anything I had ever played thanks to its clever innovation and insane amount of detail. Seriously, if you go out of your way to just explore the open world of 1940's Los Angeles, you would see why the game was controversially made. It baffles me how this game was made; it's so advanced and packed with detail. That said, it's an absolute shame that Team Bondi can't find a publisher to release their next vision. I'm just hoping that surfing on small funds and their L.A. Noire royalties will get the job done. I'd love to be a fly on the wall of Team Bondi's HQ.

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Some might say that it's extremely unlikely that any of these games will at E3 this year. To that, I'd say have a look at Final Fantasy XV or Kingdom Hearts III. Anything can happen at E3. Thanks for reading and please comment :)

Videogame Music of the Day: Metroid: Zero Mission - Title Theme

- Dylan

Pre-E3 2014 - Part I

I originally planned to post my annual pre-E3 blog(s) next week, but with all of the recent leaks/reveals, I thought it would be more fun to post it now before even more information surfaces before June 9th.

This blog series will be split into 2-4 separate blogs because, simply, this year's E3 is going to be huge. Last year, we were shown more of the recently revealed Xbox One and PS4. This year, both consoles are on shelves and in homes (mostly) across the globe, meaning that the next generation of gaming is here. PS4/XB1 holdouts are looking for reasons to spend $400/$500 while early buyers have played through the few games that caught their interest and are now looking for more. Infamous, Dead Rising, Forza, and Killzone are neat and all, but where are the big dogs that people bought their pricey consoles for? Where's Uncharted? Where's Halo? Where's Fallout? Nintendo has a long road ahead of them thanks to their under-performing Wii U and their hot handheld that currently doesn't have much promised for it looking ahead. Nintendo would be foolish to pass through E3 with a small bark. Almost every developer is hard at work on next-gen titles (some have been since 2010 and long beforehand), so it only makes sense that we will get big reveals and more information on previously announced games this year at E3. All while carving out a half hour for Wonderbook (Sony), TV (Xbox), and brand name cash grabs (Nintendo). :P

The first blog of the series focuses on the games that we already know about to various degrees, but want to know more about.

*Note: I'm keeping Super Smash Bros. off of this list. I'm pumped for that game and would be willing to buy a Wii U mainly for it if Nintendo didn't make the poor decision to also release it on 3DS, a system I already own. And get this, it will be released on the 3DS multiple months before the Wii U version. But the thing is, we already know so much about that game. Do we really need to know about every single character on the roster? Can't we have surprises? It's the Batman: Arkham City of fighting games! :P

- Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire (3DS)

What we know: Earlier this month, Nintendo shocked the gaming community by announcing remakes of Pokemon: Ruby and Sapphire that will have a new, "dramatic" story set in the world of the popular GBA games. Even more shocking, the games drop worldwide this November.

Why I'm excited: Besides maybe Silver/Gold, Ruby/Sapphire is my favorite generation of Pokemon. I dumped probably 200+ hours into Ruby back in the day. I played it so much that it broke me. I passed up Red/Blue and Gold/Silver remakes completely and only tasted Diamond before immediately deciding that the series turned sour at some point. I later dipped my foot back into the franchise with the 'meh' Black/White version. Then came Pokemon X/Y, and for the first time since 2005, I was hooked once again. With X/Y's bold new steps for the franchise that will likely carry over to future games, there isn't a better time for a return to Hoenn. In Ruby, loved the game world, the new Pokemon, the gyms, and all of the sweet little features the game packed like the hidden forts and fashion shows.

- Uncharted (PS4)

What we know: The next installment in the Uncharted series was announced at the PlayStation 4 launch event with a teaser trailer and much excitement. Since then, the game has had nothing but bad press. Writer/creative director Amy Henning and game director Justin Richmond both left the studio in March, taking the only publicly cast voice/performance actor with them who was reportedly set to play the main villain.

Why I'm excited: I love the Uncharted series. All three games are among my favorite games in the entire PS3 library. They are incredible experiences during the first playthrough and are a delight to replay again and again. I'm dying to see what Naughty Dog can do with the PS4 and I'm really excited to get my Nathan Drake back on. The game is confirmed for E3 and I'm expecting to see a brief gameplay demo to keep fans' worries at bay.

- Star Wars: Battlefront (PS4, XB1, PC)

What we know: The series' revival was one of last year's surprise highlights at E3. Battlefront was announced with a very short teaser trailer set on the planet Hoth. EA will publish with its brand new exclusive Star Wars license while Battlefield vets DICE will develop. It's rumored for a 2015 release that would coincide with Episode VII's theatrical release.

Why I'm excited: Battlefront's absence from the last gen was heartbreaking and honestly confusing. The series sold very well in the PS2 generation and alongside a slew of other SW games, became all-time favorites for SW geeks and gamers alike. Despite this, like I said, Star Wars swung and miss a few times in the PS3 generation, with not one of the 'swings' being a BF game. I'm itching for more Star Wars. The series goes so well with videogames. Give me some Storm troopers, Rebels, and famous SW lore locations/characters and I'll be more than happy. I'm just really concerned that EA is behind it, given their online mishaps lately.

- Kingdom Hearts III (PS4, XB1)

What we know: Like Battlefront and too many other PS2 generation series, KH sat the bench all of last gen besides a few handheld spin-offs. Last year, in a teaser trailer that gave me goosebumps, the third chapter in the epic saga was finally announced with a confirmation that it was in development. Strangely, the game was also confirmed to make its series debut on a Microsoft platform (Xbox One), alongside the PS4. Storywise, we have a lot to go on given the plot-advancing ending to Dream Drop Distance. Basically, Sora and friends will be back to stop the evil Master Xehanort. I'll be surprised if we hear from KHIII again, this year, but I will be looking for some Kingdom Hearts 2.5 Remix info as well, including a release date.

Why I'm excited: It's Kingdom freaking Hearts :P But really, I posted an entire blog about my hopes and dreams for KHIII a couple weeks back. I, along so many other fans, have been waiting forever for this game.

- Final Fantasy XV (PS4, XB1)

What we know: Before KHIII stole its thunder last year at E3, Final Fantasy Versus XIII was finally re-revealed with a huge gameplay trailer with a new, more traditional name of XV. As fans do not need to be reminded, FFvXIII was first revealed at E3 in 2006 with a promise that the game will depart from the series' traditional gameplay into something of a third person action-RPG while also having an overall darker tone. The game is believed to be far into development.

Why I'm excited: Given how Japanese game developers usually keep their cards close to their chest, I wouldn't be surprised if a late 2014 release date for Japan is announced. The trailer from E3 last year looked far from what's going on with the franchise right now, which I think is well-needed and welcome. I'd like to see a straight-up game demo presentation.

- Assassin's Creed: Unity (PS4, XB1, PC)

What we know: AC: Unity was leaked, then soon confirmed by Ubisoft in March with a pre-alpha trailer that showed off gorgeous visuals of Revolution-era France and a quick look at a brand new assassin. It will release on PS4, XB1, and PC. The game is said to be in its third year of development.

Why I'm excited: I really dug Assassin's Creed III and, to a lesser degree, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, but neither game truly felt like a true Assassin's Creed experience. Ubisoft did a great job with recreating the American Revolution and turned in a pirate game with everything I could have asked for, but I want an AC game that takes the series back to its roots of stalking the bad guy, then planning and executing assassinations. There's a certain thrill of it that worked so well in AC2 and Brotherhood. I think a lot of that has to deal with the setting of tall buildings, but also the whole lore of Assassins vs Templars that never really came back after Revelations. I think that Unity can bring both elements back.

- Batman: Arkham Knight (PS4, XB1, PC)

What we know: The final chapter in Rocksteady's trilogy was revealed in March with a cinematic trailer and a lengthy GameInformer article. The game takes place one year after the events of Batman: Arkham City. 'Batman's villains all unite to finally take him down' is the story that is being pushed. But if you have played Arkham City or Origins, you would know that the story being pushed isn't necessarily guaranteed to be the core story of the game. Both Hugo Strange and Black Mask played second fiddle to The Joker in Arkham City and Arkham Origins, respectively. But this time, without The Joker, who could the wild card be? It looks like that wild card is going to be a new villain named the Akrham Knight, who is supposed to be on par with Batman himself, making for a formidable foe. I have a theory that the Arkham Knight is secretly Hush. Other tidbits of news include that Kevin Conroy is back to voice the Dark Knight, the Batmobile will be fully drive-able, all of Gotham City will be open to explore, and that there will be no multiplayer so that the developers can focus solely on their single player vision.

Why I'm excited: This is the game that I am most looking forward to at E3. I'm a huge Batman nerd and I adored Arkham Asylum and City. It's been biting me to know whether or not Rocksteady would be back to do another Batman game. They are, and I couldn't be more excited. I would love to see a floor-room game demo.

- Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (everything but the Ouya)

What we know: Earlier this month, the internet exploded with a leak, followed by a reveal trailer of the latest annual Call of Duty, which is set with a November 4th release date this year. The trailer shows that the game takes place in 2054 and shows off exoskeletons, hover-bikes, wall-climbing gloves, cloaked aircraft, and Kevin Spacey. Sledgehammer is solely behind the game, kicking off a new three-year/three-team development cycle next to vets Infinity Ward and Treyarch.

Why I'm excited: I haven't really gotten into a multiplayer game since 2010's Battlefield: Bad Company 2. I disliked Call of Duty: Black Ops and MW3's multiplayer components (loved the campaigns!) and haven't gave the series my money since. To be honest, I am itching for some military multiplayer. I really want to like this game so I can have some mp fun. Bring it on, Microsoft's E3 conference.

- The Order: 1886 (PS4)

What we know: The game has been in development by Ready at Dawn (Daxter, God of War PSP games) since 2010. It was first revealed at last year's E3 with a stunning in-game footage trailer. The game is set in alternative history London, where an order of knights with sci-fi guns defends against monsters. The game has an early 2015 release window.

Why I'm excited: The game has a very interesting concept and visually, it looks better than any videogame yet. I'd love to see more of this game at E3 and I'm very pleased with the delay into 2015. I've never understood why folks get upset when games are delayed. It just means we are getting a better game.

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Other notable games that I'm interested in (with less writing):

- DriveClub (PS4) - I'm dying for a next gen racing game and this one looks like a beauty.

- Below (XB1, PC) - The only thing that caught my eye from Microsoft's E3 conference last year and it looks great. I really like the art style and the old school LoZ inspiration it has going for it.

- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PS4, XB1, PC) - Looks very interesting, I'm all for a medieval-fantasy game. I've never played a Witcher game, which makes me a bit nervous. Need to see more, but I really want to like it.

- Game of Thrones (TBA) - Announced last year by the TellTale guys who pump out the episodic adventure games. As a big GoT fan, I'm intrigued. Zero information is out about it, I'd like E3 to change that.

- Everybody's Gone to the Rapture (PS4) - I have no idea where this game is heading, but I'd like to. Made by the team that made Dear Esther.

- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4, XB1, PS3, 360) - Confirmed to be at E3 this year in some fashion, needs to win back fans after the controversial Ground Zeroes.

- The Division (PS4, XB1, PC) - Ubisoft's *big breath* multiplayer open world third person shooter with RPG elements stole the show at last year's E3. I'd like to learn more about it. Looks like it has Fallout elements, which I'm all for.

- Destiny (PS4, XB1, PS3, 360) - Very similar to The Division in terms of its approach. It's from Bungie and its first-person. The GameInfomer cover story a few months back picked up my attention, but I still have quite a few questions about it. Releases September 9th.

- Rime (PS4) - This game is an under-the-radar exclusive for PS4 that could be a surprise hit. It's a third person open world adventure with a great art design. Really want to see more.

- Far Cry - Rounding out the long list is one of my most anticipated games for this year. FC3 was a great game that had a breath of fresh air to it. Here's hoping this sequel builds on it while not wandering too far from the formula that made FC3 so good.

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That was a lengthy post! :P I'm super excited for E3. Stay tuned for Part II, which deals with a handful of games that have been previously revealed, but are in need of a re-reveal.

I'm currently replaying Red Dead Redemption, one of my all-time favorites. I am pleased with how much it has held up over the past few years. There is still nothing quite like it. Thanks for reading and please comment :)

- Dylan

Top 10 Dramatic Performances by Comedic Actors

The recently released trailer for Bennett Miller's (Capote, Moneyball) new movie Foxcatcher turned some heads given that Steve Carell, an actor with tremendous comedic talent and a goofy filmography, is starring as the main character. Foxcatcher is a dramatic movie based on the true story about a paranoid wrestling manager who is convicted for murder. Not exactly comedic material. Early reviews last year were very positive, praising Carell's performance to a point where there was Academy Award talk. The movie's wide release was delayed.

Carell is certainly not the first funnyman to take on a more dramatic role. Here are my top ten (recent) dramatic performances by actors best known for their comedy:

*note that TV does not count*

10. Mike Myers, Inglorious Basterds (2009)

Mike Myers made a name for himself in the 1990s and early 2000s as a Saturday Night Live cast member and the main character of comedy movie series Austin Powers, Wayne's World, and Shrek. Then came The Love Guru's flop and his sudden decline. For Inglorious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino cast Myers in a small but important role as a British army lieutenant who has a great one-on-one scene with Michael Fassbender's character. Myers, along with the cast of Inglorious Basterds won the big prize at the SAG award ceremony. Half a decade later, Myers hasn't appeared in a single movie other than voicing Shrek once more.

9. Seth Rogen, Funny People (2009)

Seth Rogen first came to the small screen in 1999's Freaks and Geeks (my favorite TV series!) where he played an awkward teenager alongside then-future collaborators James Franco and Jason Segel. It wasn't until the mid-2000s when he became a household comedic actor and has since starred in some of the best comedies of recent years including Superbad, Knocked Up, and Pineapple Express. He has also launched a career of screenwriting and directing. In the midst of his rise to fame, Rogen starred alongside Adam Sandler and Leslie Mann in the Judd Apatow comedy-drama Funny People, a movie about a comedian (Sandler) who deals with being diagnosed with leukemia, influencing him to reconnect with an old love interest (Mann). Rogen plays his writer and friend who offers him support. The movie was met with positive reviews and acclaim for the comedians' strong performances. Funny, sure, but Funny People is also very touching and mature.

8. Ed Helms, Cedar Rapids (2011)

Helms came to small fame as a correspondent on The Daily Show in the early 2000s and joined as a fan-favorite cast member in the hit TV comedy series The Office and starred as part of the "wolf pack" in The Hangover trilogy. The small indie movie Cedar Rapids came somewhere between the Hangover movies where he starred as the main character who has a life-changing weekend at an insurance conference trip in Cedar Rapids, Iwoa. The movie is best defined as an indie comedy and packs more than a few laughs, but it also comes with some great dramatic acting from Helms and his co-starring cast that includes John C. Reilly. If you haven't checked this movies out, it comes highly recommended from me. It's a movie that grows on you.

7. Steve Carell, Dan in Real Life (2007)

Nope, Carell isn't necessarily a stranger to dramatic acting. He also proved his abilities in Little Miss Sunshine, The Way, Way Back, and his tear-jerking final episode on The Office. It was his iconic Michael Scott character on The Office that made him a household name. Around the same time, Carell gave great comedic performances in Anchorman and The 40 Year Old Virgin. Dan in Real Life is a personal favorite of mine. It's a comedy-drama about an unhappy newspaper columnist who finds love at a family reunion. There's one scene in particular in this movie that gives me chills every damn time I watch it.

6. Owen Wilson, Midnight in Paris (2011)

Woody Allen's strange movie titled Midnight in Paris is in my top ten favorite movies of all-time. It's about a struggling author (Wilson) who takes a trip to Paris with his fiance and in-laws, where every night at 12:00 am, he meets famous, long-dead Parisians from decades ago. It's a really quirky movie that I fell in love with when I first watched it back when it got Academy Award buzz. I consider it to be one of the best movies made in the 21st century with large thanks to Owen Wilson, who gives a great performance that is far from his usual 'buddy' roles alongside Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jackie Chan, etc. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance. This wasn't Wilson's first nor last movie where he gets to spread his acting wings as he does a great job in a number of Wes Anderson movies, Permanent Midnight, and Wedding Crashers.

5. Jonah Hill, Moneyball (2011)

Jonah Hill made small appearances in comedies before he appeared in the 2007 hit Superbad alongside Michael Cera. Hill continued to be cast in comedic roles throughout the 2000s and 2010s. In 2011, he earned an Academy Award for his portrayal as an assistant to the Oakland Athletics general manager played by Brad Pitt. Far from just another baseball movie, Moneyball is more about the front office part of the game that scouts, signs, and trades ballplayers. Pitt's and Hill's characters revolutionize the way teams with small budgets build their teams. His acclaimed performance led him to a role in Wolf of Wall Street, where he again plays an assistant in a business and again was nominated for an Academy Award (still bothers me that WoWS didn't win anything by the way, but any boring, gloomy film dealing with AIDS or slavery will always win, I guess). Hill is set to star in dramatic movies alongside Mark Wahlberg and James Franco in the next couple years while still making us laugh in comedic roles as well.

4. Will Ferrell, Stranger than Fiction (2006)

We all know Will Ferrell as the biggest name in comedy. He's one of the all-time great SNL cast members, has starred in some of the most popular comedies that defined the genre including Anchorman, Old School, Elf, The Other Guys, Step Brothers, and Talladega Nights, and has stole movies with his cameos. Stranger than Fiction is another favorite of mine about a man with a plain, organized life as an IRS agent. Eventually he discovers that he is the main character in book currently being written. The movie landed Ferrell much praise for stepping outside his comfort zone. More recently, Ferrell starred in Everything Must Go, a small indie movie that again proved he has talent outside of making people laugh.

3. Adam Sandler, Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

Before Will Ferrell, Sandler had a similar rise in comedy by being on SNL and headlining big comedies. Today, Sandler's movie career is a mess and it's hard to imagine he has acting talent. But he does. Alongside Spanglish, Funny People, Reign Over Me, and (in a few scenes) Click, Punch-Drunk Love showed a different, more dramatic side of Adam Sandler. In Punch-Drunk Love (directed by Paul Thomas Anderson), Sandler stars a compulsive small business owner with a terrible temper who finds love. It's a decidedly odd and powerful movie that won over critics and earned Sandler a Golden Globe nomination. If only he would do more movies like this or at least put effort into his Happy Madison comedies. Or at least stay away from Dennis Dugan.

2. Jim Carrey, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Also in my top ten favorite movie of all-time, Eternal Sunshine is a complex, dark movie centered around the idea of technology that erases memories associated with pain. Carrey steps away from his usual comedic roles (that go as far back as his In Living Color days in the early 90s that led him to big, brilliant comedies like Dumb and Dumber and Liar Liar) to play the depressed main character who meets a spontaneous woman (Kate Winslet) who turns his world upside down. Despite being completely opposite, the two draw towards one another. Trippy sci-fi scenes involving memory ensue. It's hard to describe the movie as it's really out there. The movie gathered critical acclaim and has since become a cult classic. Carrey was nominated for a Golden Globe. Carrey also provided dramatic acting in The Truman Show, The Majestic, and The Number 23.

1. Robin Williams, Good Will Hunting (1997)

When you think Robin Williams, you tend to think Mrs. Doubtfire, Aladdin, and his fast-talking popular comedic characters. He's also one of the best stand-up comedians of his generation. But Robin Williams has talent beyond comedy as he proved in the late 1980s and 1990s with Academy Award nominated performances in Good Morning, Vietnam and Dead Poets Society. Good Will Hunting won him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor along with a boatload of praise. It's one of my favorite acting performances of all-time. See The Final Cut and Insomnia for more of his great, dramatic work.

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Well, that's the list. It hurts not to put Paul Rudd, Ben Stiller, Jason Segel, or Bill Murray on here. They've all done great work as well. Steve Martin would have made the list if I decided not to stay recent, I almost decided to leave Williams off of it as well. And I tried to think of comedic actresses in dramatic roles, but I honestly couldn't think of any worth mentioning, which is sad but true. There are many funny women in the business (Kristen Wiig, Sarah Silverman, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and every female cast member currently on SNL) but I haven't seen them in any great acting roles that would knock off anyone on the list. I'd really like to. Speaking of lists, I'm real close to finalizing my Top 35 PS3 Games list. I'm really excited to start posting it. I just need to finish Mass Effect 3 (4 hours in and I do not like it so much but I'll give it more time) and Ni no Kuni (baffles me how long and packed this game is) before I place them in them in the right place. Thanks for reading and please comment :)

Videogame Music of the Day: Viva Apespania - Ape Escape 2

- Dylan

My Kingdom Hearts III Wishlist

While playing the original Kingdom Hearts in the PS3 Remix Collection late last year and earlier this year, I couldn't help but start brainstorming yet again about the finally announced Kingdom Hearts III. It brought me back to the days when I first played Kingdom Hearts on the PS2 in 2002. When I finished what I could of it (I'm ashamed to say that I've never beaten KH1. On PS2, I got as far as beating Riku; on the PS3, the giant shadow gargoyle from Fantasia broke my will after the 60th attempt), I started to dream about which Disney worlds would appear in the sequel that would come four long years later. Some of the worlds that I dreamt of like Mulan made it in to Kingdom Hearts II, while others like The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Treasure Planet didn't make the cut (Notre Dame was in Dream Drop Distance in 2012, which was one of the game's few highlights). And of course, there were worlds like Tron and The Lion King in KHII that I never even thought of or at least never thought could work.

So while playing Kingdom Hearts again, I started to think about what worlds I'd like to see in the upcoming and probably at least three years away Kingdom Hearts III. I went through the Disney archives and did a bit of outside thinking and I think I've come up with a list of both new and returning worlds I'd like to see. This list has been filed away for a few months before a couple days ago when IGN wrote a feature about what they would like to see in the much anticipated sequel. I read it and, well, I hated it. See that list for almost everything I don't want to see in KHIII. No Marvel. No Muppets. No Star Wars. No Final Fantasy XIII. No Indiana Jones. And while this might upset some, no Frozen. I just think it's too hot right now (and probably a bit hotter than it deserves to be) and too recent that a Frozen-themed world would feel cheesy and/or uninspired. What's cool about Kingdom Hearts is returning to worlds that you haven't seen in a long time. There was a certain nostalgic, magical feeling to exploring Atlantica or Olympus in Kingdom Hearts. I just think that Frozen is too recent and wouldn't feel it's own. Don't even get me started about Disney's properties in Star Wars, Marvel, etc. They simply do not belong.

- Returning Worlds -

Pirates of the Caribbean

Port Royale (and Tron's world) in Kingdom Hearts II was so unexpected because it wasn't based on an animated movie like the entirety of KH1's worlds. Somehow, it worked and turned out to be one of my favorite worlds to play through. Given the technological advancements since the dawn of the PS2 in 2006, a Dead Man's Chest world with Davy Jones and company could look awesome and truly bring KH into the world of HD. Davy Jones and/or the Kraken would make for such a kickass boss fight.

100 Acre Wood

The mellow tone of 100 Acre Woods was special in Kingdom Hearts and probably brought me closer to my childhood in a nostalgic way more so than any other world when replaying Kingdom Hearts this past year. There are a lot of places the story could go in KHIII to provide some comic relief from fighting off the Heartless.

Olympus Coliseum

It would not feel like a true Kingdom Hearts game without Hercules, Phil, and Hades. I know that Square Enix has rung this bell three times in the series so far and managed to touch on different areas of Hercules' world from the Underworld to the Coliseum itself to Hercules' origin, but something must be thought up to keep this world a staple in the KH series.

- New Worlds -

The Sword In The Stone

This world has already been teased in the original Kingdom Hearts when Merlin is teaching Sora magic. He said that he too lost his world to the darkness. But let's assume that all was restored and that the story of King Arthur hasn't been told yet. Sora, Goofy, and Donald could team up with both Arthur and Merlin as they take on Mim the Witch in her various transformations. Just imagine how cool of a boss fight that could be. Overall, just exploring the Dark Ages would be something new for the Kingdom Hearts series and again, it would fit into the series' lore given how Sora is already acquainted with Merlin.

Treasure Planet

While some show this movie hate and say that it was in the middle of Disney's drought in the 2000s, Treasure Planet has always been one of my favorite animated Disney movies. I'm sure a lot of this has to deal with me being a big fan of Robert Louis Stevenson, but I thought that a futuristic take on Treasure Island was a brilliant idea that brought to life a cast of likeable and a bit complex characters. It could be one of those worlds that Sora returns to a few times. This is the one world that I am really pulling for.

Atlantis: The Lost Empire

Like Treasure Planet, this movie has been kind of forgotten over the past decade and has become a cult classic of sorts. I have a rather vivid memory of first seeing this movie in the almost brand new IMAX Theater with a group of friends for like my 8th or 9th birthday. I remember being so amazed by its visuals (I'm sure the fact that it was my first time at the IMAX had something to do with it) and I also remember having this toy replica of the ship they used to get to Atlantis, by the way. Anyway, seeing as we're never going to get an Uncharted: Atlantis, how cool would it be to finally get to explore the lost city of Atlantis in Kingdom Hearts? Very cool.

*Here's where things get a bit out-of-the-box*

Gargoyles

As a 90s kid, I LOVED the cartoon Gargoyles. I know that this isn't exactly a Disney world or even a movie, but I think they still do own the rights to this long dead franchise. It could offer one of Kingdom Hearts III's darker worlds with its gothic design and overall dark tone. This is a longshot for sure, but one can imagine and hope.

Infinity and Beyond

People are on the fence as to whether or not Pixar should be in Kingdom Hearts but I'd personally love to see that happen. However, I don't think a Toy Story world should be attempted. I just think it's too precious to too many people to be tampered with. That, and I think the visual style would be tricky. So why not take something that Disney has always owned in the direct-to-VHS hand-drawn animated movie starring Buzz Lightyear? Zurg could be one of the coolest KH villains to date. Maybe the boss battle could show subtle inspiration from Toy Story 2's video game opening. I'm sure Tim Allen would be game to reprise his role too.

A Bug's Life

This would be the Pixar movie that would make the most sense besides maybe Brave (which nobody likes, so forget about Brave). Team up with Flik and the circus bugs to take down Flik and his Heartless insect army. Boom. Easy.

The Incredibles Prologue

My favorite part of my favorite non-Toy Story Pixar movie is the prologue which features Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, and Frozone in their glory days. It reminds me of Watchmen in a few ways, I love it. Setting the world of The Incredibles in this time period first would make sense seeing as The Incredibles movie can't be explained without its backstory. Maybe Kingdom Hearts IV in 2032 can tackle the Family/Syndrome stuff.

Mars (John Carter) or Narnia

I'm not sure where the legal ownership is at with these two series of novels turned movie(s), I just know that they both could work extremely well in Kingdom Hearts. I was one of the few who actually enjoyed John Carter by the way and I'm sad it will never get a sequel. The most recent Narnia movie was garbage and John Carter was a flop so I doubt that Disney wants anything to do with these series at all moving forward. But there is a lot of potential here.

The Haunted Mansion

No, not the bad Eddie Murphy movie. I think that it would be neat if Kingdom Hearts took their world inspiration from classic Disneyland/World attractions and simply did their own thing with them. Splash Mountain, Country Bear Jamboree, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Space Mountain could all lead to some pretty cool worlds as well, unless Disney would be against this idea. They did make billions off of their inspiration from a Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. I picked out Haunted Mansion in particular because it was my favorite during a childhood visit years back.

*Just a little side note here, I remember visiting Disney World in 2005 with my family and connecting almost everything I saw with Kingdom Hearts. :P*

For some reason, I think that Disneyland/World is going to play a big role in Kingdom Hearts III.

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I had so much fun writing this! I hope it was fun to read. What worlds would you like to see in Kingdom Hearts III? Disagree with me about Star Wars, Frozen, or Marvel? Let me know in the comments :)

Videogame Music of the Day - Buzz's Arena from Spyro: Year of the Dragon

- Dylan