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Review Suggestions; Fallout 2; Planescape Torment

++++++++ FREE GAMES, BROWSER GAMES, AND GAME MODS

read Raph Koster's A Theory of Fun for Game Design

multiplayer shooters

tower defense

Alien Swarm

Blood and Duke Nukem 3D mods

Deus Ex various gameplay enhancement mods

Deus Ex: The Nameless Mod

Diablo: The Dark

Diablo: The Hell

Diablo: Back to Hellfire

Doom 3: Evolution

Doom 3 Perfected

DoomRL

Dungeon Crawl

DungeonDoom

Dark Mod for Doom3

Thief 2X: Shadows of the Metal Age

Linear platformer puzzle games: Chronotron, Portal (the flash version), Shift...

Gunz

House of Dead Ninjas

Iji and Hyper Princess Pitch and so on

Madness Interactive

Max Payne

Max Payne 2

Nehrim (Oblivion mod)

Poacher

Spelunky and Tastes Like Spelunky

Stealth Bastard

Swat 4

Ultima mod for Dungeon Siege

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines

++++++++ FALLOUT 2 TIPS

Use the restoration project by killap the bear dude, his website is http://www.killap.net/fallout2/web/Downloads.html

science at least 100% eventually

Cult of Personality, obtained at level 12 with charisma of 10, malfunctions due to bugs

Bonus HtH Attacks is a level 6 perk

best power armor gives adds 4 to strength

armor implants decrease charisma

easy means 20% bonus to non-combat skills, hard means 10% penalty

Do not tag unarmed since

a) the skill is pretty high in the beginning anyway

b) you can avoid fighting for quite a while

c) you can delay the quests that require your fistfighting

d) LoPan can teach you up to ~100%

final unarmed move is unlocked at 130%

Tag speech, doctor, repair. Science can wait since computers are rare at first.

The maximum experience you can possibly get is 300,000

The awareness perk requires 5 in perception.

Make beginning SPECIAL stats 5158001, where int & agility (0)are tens. UPDATE: more like 6175001 or even 6193001

Get 80 doctor so you can read about implants in vault city and talk to Troy.

80 in traps and a good repair skill is needed to be able to assassinate bishop.

Get 80-something science for New Reno

Get 100 speech, i guess as soon as possible, and stop there.

Become a slaver as soon as you can sell Sulik

Dig up all graves for negative karma

Made man of the Bishops -> acceptance at the Golden Globes

There'sa merchant wandering about to the north (up or up-left) of Modoc, who occasionally has the alien blaster on him

Apparently 150% might be the skill limit that makes any difference.

Molotov cocktails are good for killing dogs and wolves as well as destroying earlier doors.

Cookies raise action points by 1 and last 15 minutes and are found in Modoc (from Rose, or Farrel if IN < 4), or in the Sierra Army Depot Level 2.

Mentats is the only drug that can increase charisma.

Keep both the electronic lockpick and the expanded lockpick set.

Paramedic's bag adds 40% to doctor skill while doctor's bag adds only 20%.

Motion Sensor is an item that detects the movement of biological material over a distance of meters using a tuned radar device. If placed in an active item slot, the motion sensor can be used in conjunction with the Pip-Boy 2000 AutoMap feature. The motion sensor will display all living and moving beings on the map - represented as red dots - if the "Scanner" button under the AutoMap is clicked. In Fallout 2, carrying a motion sensor in your inventory gives you a 20% bonus to the Outdoorsman skill when traveling on the world map. In Fallout it may be sold by Killian Darkwater in Junktown, the Shopkeeper in the Cathedral or at the General Store in the Hub. In Fallout 2 one can be recieved as a reward for Vault City quest Enter NCR and return to Stark. It is also found in the Unusual Call Box Special encounter. Or from the Armorer in the Navarro Enclave Base, But you must kill him.

The masticator's ear can be bitten off if you have more than 110% skill in unarmed; otherwise he may bite your ear off.

Oneshould probablymax out intelligence at the beginning for the 2 skill points per level up, despite the fact that you can increase this stat by one. Update: really evil people cannot use a module to get their intelligence stat raised.

Activate sneak, kill somebody, then end turn, and then end combat, to avoid having the entire town attack you.

When faced with completely isolated individuals, bash their legs and either slice their eyes or attach a primed explosive. Alternatively, practice knife-throwing or practice rotisserie cuisine.

You can even sell husband or wife into slavery and then brag about it back where you got hitched.

In vault city, offer to take the suitcase for free and not for money.

inject serum that you get in NCR into the mutant you find facing away from you in the military base.

Go with a woman. Get the 'Heavy Handed' trait, and probably 'Chem Reliant', and ignore the 'good natured' trait. Good perks:

3 Awareness 6 Empathy 9 Explorer 12 Tag! 15 Bonus HtH Attacks 12 Living Anatomy 12 HtH Evade 24 Slayer

UPDATE on traits: Heavy Handed actually decreases critical hit table values, doing the opposite of the "better criticals" perk, thus instant death is not for such a build after all. Jinxed is a great defensive trait, especially if have high AC.

+++++++++++++++++ Planescape: Torment checks

ATTRIBUTE almost all checks below or equal to this value -> highest check ever

for playthrough 1 as a evil-chaotic thief, get STR 15, CON 11, DEX 15, CHA 16. for playthrough 2 as a good-lawful mage, max out wisdom and intelligence.

CON 12 -> 21 STR 16/17 -> 21 (17 if the nameless one is a warrior,16 otherwise) DEX 19 WIS 22 -> 24 CHA 18 -> 25 (not as important as WIS and INT) INT 19 -> 21

Hey everybody, what configurations do you think would most polarize two playthroughs of P:T ?

evil good maxNPCs less NPCs (is there anything to be gained from ditching NPCs?) physical stats mental stats (stupid hunk vs feeble brainiac) lawful chaotic is there any opposition among mental stats (e.g. perhaps wisdom vs. charisma ??? maybe if you're good, you never lie, and never need charisma? help!)

According to my personal worldview, people tend to cluster on a range from lawful-evil to chaotic-good, while good-lawful and evil-chaotic people tend to be ostracized or otherwise made powerless. However, this is a game and it might have very limited support for lawful-evil and chaotic-good characters. For example, I know it has special items for lawful-good characters. Help!

Note: After research I found that I was right all along. Lawful good and chaotic evil are the allignments to pursue.

Arcanum - MOST DIVERSE BUILDS/PLAYTHROUGHS

How can you experience the most Arcanum has to offer in the least number of playthroughs? I think 2,3,or4 builds can represent a lot. Here's one idea:

EVIL, UGLY WITCH

female (since this race actually allows females) half-orc
background: Troll Offspring (-4 CH, -4 BE, +2 ST, +3 CN, +1 DX) OR Only Child (+6 WP, -4CH, 2 less ranks each of persuasion and haggle)
Develop WP, IN,CN, and learn spells. Ignore beauty, charisma, and social skills.
Consistently bad NPC reactions are good enough reasons to go evil, out of spite.
Good first build because of strong beginning stats, because negative NPC reactions are less annoying if you're playing for the first time, and because magic becomes very powerful eventually.
It should be possible to get 3 followers without ever raising charisma (correct me if I'm wrong) by drinking lots of persuasion potions (1st level therapeutics!) and getting expert training for persuasion.
What is the difference between Beauty 6 (default) and Beauty 2, for a half-orc?

GOOD, DIPLOMAT TECHNOLOGIST SUPPORT

gnome or dwarf
background: Miracle Operation (1st choice) / Lady's Man / Extreme Personality
Pursue intelligence, charisma, beauty, persuasion, and learn technologies.
Make technologies for use by party members and oneself.
Develop firearms skill for combat to pick out enemies from behind the warfront.
Explosives are not practical since they could hurt friendly NPCs.

NEUTRAL/BALANCED/SELFISH, STUPID THIEF

background: Idiot Savant (not halfling) OR Raised in the Pits ORRan Away with the CircusOR Feral Child
(Low social intelligence should be tried once and seems well suited for a character that has no sense of moral right and wrong, or of good and evil.)
Pursue DX, PE, melee, throwing, explosives, and thief skills.
Options:
#1 halfling. Gets thief-related bonuses in the beginning.
#2 human. Very neutral character, easily molded into any kind of character.
#3 half-ogre (recommended). Naturally the dialogue options are stupid with the idiot savant background, just like they would be if the half-ogre was chosen and intelligence never increased.
The half-ogre might want to find special items to compensate for his -2 prowling penalty at the beginning.
Explosives seem very useful for the prospective thief, to get out of tough situtations.
The half-ogre starts out with good stats but developing his stealth skills is difficult.
He'd be a pain to develop, considering his uselessness of his strength to a thief. Especially if you want to become a technologist. If you want to, say, use great grenades a lot, you might have to get Sebastian to make them for you, or steal all the grenades you can. Can you get 19 intelligence with a half-ogre? The arcanum character planner (google it) in internet explorer does not seem to allow this, with any background. I suppose it might be possible to become a druggie - raise intelligence (by 20 points?), learn schematics, lower intelligence.
Now HELP me, please, to find out if half-ogres permit unique gameplay possibilities, besides having a low intelligence. Are races in arcanum much like gender, having an extremely marginal effect on gameplay? I don't expect any Malkavian-level changes, but does race modify anything other than your avatar's appearance and your beginning stats?

FINALLY, AN HONEST (though not necessarily good) MONK ELF

Create an elf who uses neither weapons nor 'direct attack' spells like fireballs and harm. You would limit your magic to strengthening yourself, weakening your opponents, and playing with odd spells. Avoid thief skills. Might as well put points into the bow skill. Should be fun enough.

JUSTIFICATION FOR MAGE=SOLO, TECHNOLOGIST=GROUP (CORRECT IF WRONG)

Spells are more offensive than defensive. Sure there are support spells that basically make yourself or your allies more powerful, but there is a limit to the number of spells you can cast. So you cannot energize and fortify your entire party and keep unleashing attack spells. Besides, there are also basicsummoning spells, and while would you create creatures if you already have company?

Also, many spells appear to replace the things you can do with skills. Non-magic users need to learn skills by themselves, or find somebody else who can do it. So why would a mage bother finding capable friends?

However, a technologist mostly crafts equipment. There is no limit to how much he can make. Why hog to yourself all your self-made weapons and armour? Waste not, equip your party members. Thus I think that a technologist goes well with a diplomatic character - assemble and equip agang and fight from the sidelines.

JUSTIFICATION FOR MAGE=EVIL, GROUP=GOOD (CORRECT IF WRONG)

Is it just me or do summoning spells seem evil? In addition to many neutral spells, evilish spells outnumber the goodish spells.

Commanding a evil legion must be awesome, like being the leader of a biker gang. But I'm doubtful that the game supports this kind of play. Teamwork relies on trust and working towards a common goal, while evilis related to betrayal andselfishness. I suspect that most NPCs would be disgusted by your evil actions. Having a few evil followersis is fine (I know Virgil can be evil) but many evil followers? I skimmed one FAQ and found 4 evil NPCs who can join your party. If anybody had fun with this please tell me!

MY BIOGRAPHY FOR MY FIRST GAME (as an EVIL, UGLY WITCH):

Half-orc, preferably female, of minimal charisma and beauty. Background is'troll offspring' in spite of temptation to become an idiot savant or sell soul to devil. Focus on willpower, intelligence, constitution,and fatigue. Your mother is from a wealthy and fortunate family. Once upon a vocation together, they went to have a picnic in a park with another wellbred family. The two families had a history of friendship and prosperous business. This other family had an unusual number of children, made even more unusual by the fact that all of them were girls. It was not uncommon for the two families to joke about this menagerie of girls, many of whom were ready for marriage. Your mother's parents playfully teased the other about having an elite brothel at their disposal. Your mother, on the hand, was a sole child. Overall, the children loved each other's company.

So, at the aforementioned picnic, the girls went off to play in the woods while the parents were merrymaking. Now here comes the tragedy. A few days ago, a train was transporting a number of orc-slaves when a passing wizard accidentally caused the steam engine to explode. The blast was so powerful it deformed the adjacent wagon that was carrying the savages. All of them escaped and ran faster than you can imagine, away into the obscure surrounding forest, eager to get their first taste of freedom. Now, some ran this way and some ran that way, but as orcs are wont to do, like wolves, they stuck in packs and moved in a single direction. They knew, from a previous and larger escape, how determined slavers can be in recapturing every last orc. They also knew the penalties?

Cube Inex was the latest client of the slaver company. It had a advanced business model of assembly manufacture where countless of hours of mind-numbing work (even for an orc!) were used to make bloated, unwieldy machines. Even thought it had strong competitors, they were not as efficient in cranking out products and did not threaten the loyal clientele of Cube Inex. But even the orcs employed at their factories could not tolerate the meaninglessness of the work. One typical day, the usual product was far larger and more vacuous than anything they had seen before. It was rather volatile and could have exploded from rusting on its way to market. Realizing it would sell even if it had a huge smoking hole, the managers ordered to go ahead as planned. They underestimated the defect by just a notch. The product blew into several giant pieces as it was moving out of the gates. It put many workers out of their misery, and hundreds of others saw their opportunity to flee and took it. Thousands of hired slavers began massive manhunt. Eventually all orcs had been rounded up. The number of orcs captured, dead or alive, matched the number of orcs that disappeared the day of the explosion. Lots of them were executed on the spot for attempted defection. The most brutish and unsubtle of orcs ? the type Cube Inex needs most in their army ? were spared. By various accidents of fate, these very orcs ended up on the train that exploded, and became convicts once again.

That's why the orcs moved quickly. They knew how unrelenting slave-hunters could be. The orcs moved quicker than news. And yet, feeding upon whatever critters they could snatch while moving, looking back every few seconds for signs of pursuit, they could not help but take in the forest's serene habitat with its gushing streams and dewy air and majestic trees and chirping birds, and marvel. And mixed into this appreciation of beauty intruded the painful memories of trudging for Cube Inex, and vengeance pounded in their blood as they realized the full extent to which they have been cheated in life.

One particular group of five orcs had just scaled a hill and was about to rest when one of them noticed a willowy figure ahead of them, dressed in white. He gasped in horror, knowing that the slavers had them surrounded once more. There was nothing left to do but break out at full speed, dodging traps and bashing anyone who got in the way. But as he stood up, his eyes still transfixed on the person, he noticed the small frame and flimsy, flowing garments. No, this was not a slaver. This was a well-formed young woman. And the largest thing they had eaten so far was a fox. By this time, all the orcs were staring down the hill, watching as more girls showed themselves. This certainly was a blessing of a first 'taste' of freedom. None of the orcs communicated; they knew what was to be done. They descended at an easy pace. The foremost girl screamed. Even more girls popped up now. Some staggered. One fainted. The others ran. But even at full speed, no girl could outrun a playfully advancing orc. They grabbed their victims, one or two per orc. One orc firmly grasped a trio in a bear hug. As they held the gently resisting females, their thoughts wandered from their grumbling stomachs to other needs. One empty-handed orc let out a yelp and made the others turn. His eyes were strangely fixated a bit further out. The other orcs looked and only saw one last figure dart out of sight. The orc promptly gave chase. As the fastest and fiercest of their group, he was useful to their survival. He had distinguishing features ? yellow spots over his body and lines running across his face. They could not let him go so they followed, awkwardly managing their load. In a few moments the yellow-spotted orc reappeared, playing with the most adorable human female the orcs had ever laid eyes on. They had forgotten what they held in their hands. Mouth gaping, one started squeezing his only prey. Another hardly noticed as his victims wriggled out from under his arms. A third dropped the girl he was holding and took a step forward. They all pounced upon the beauty. In a second, her clothes were decimated. Never minding what went on around them, they satisfied desires that were undreamt of. The girl was soon silenced, her body pulled every which way, orc flesh probing every inch.

Some time later ? an instant for some, an infinity for another ? a married couple were having tea with another when they saw all their children run out of the nearby forest. Their barely audible cries were enough to freeze one's blood.

Now as you can probably imagine, they set up a rescue party and went to the forest to get em orcs. Your mother's father was there, gun in hand, when he heard the awful orgasmic cry of the yellow-spotted orc. Taking two more steps, he saw a clump of green, pulsating, bellowing matter. It took more than one shot for the orcs to back off and retreat, leaving a shambles of broken flesh behind.

Some orcs were caught later on, but not all. After a while it became evident that your mother was pregnant. There was only one orc who carried out what must necessarily happen to sow a child. This orc had circles of a sick complexion, everywhere below the neck, and vertical ridges all over his face. Said to be highly pronounced, they were never found on any orc thereafter. Unable to take satisfactory revenge on the assailant, your mother's father swore to awaited your birth and henceforth make your living as excruciating as his daughter's central event in life.

At least, this is the story you've been told every day of your life. If it's true, your mother's father sure knows to keep his word. Never letting you get away from his control, he once put you in a steel box and took you with him on a business trip. It would be his last. As the blitz went down, the steel box protected you perfectly from the chaos outside. Ironically, your mother's father's method of locking you up provided your only salvation, your only chance at freedom. Freedom? to avenge the existence you never deserved. Freedom to summon all the sinews in your being to lay waste upon world how you see fit.

Oh, and in case you were wondering about that product that had exploded in the factories of Cube Inex, the broken pieces were sold individually for the price of the full package. Production recommenced the very same day.

discussion 2

NON-GAMES = TOYS. You're right in the declaration that you make no video games, nor any computer games. You make video toys. You make computer toys. Sounds much snappier and less arrogantthan prefixing 'non' every time you say 'game'.

trolllllllllllllllllllllll! in the forums! troll in the forums!

Some **** from http://tale-of-tales.com/tales/OverGames.html: "The old media, with their one-way communication and linear formats have ceased to suffice. The complexity of the world has spiralled out of anything that they can handle. What can we do? We need a medium that is interactive, a medium that can generate realities, a medium that is not linear! Is there such a thing?" Alright so suppose this planet is going straight to hell and you got your panties in a bunch. Why is the reaction a demand for an interactive medium, of all things? You don't actually say why our media needs interactivity. Is it gonna make daisies grow out of our asses?

I loved Cat Mario, AKA Syobon Action, a parody of Super Mario Bros that had no consistent rules, infinite lives, a bizarre reward and all the things you want videogames to have. But it was a concept and that's it. I didn't even know it was a game; I thought it was a joke because I watched a video of it. Playing it yields no further insight. And this *ahem* game would be no lesser if it was unplayable.

What would you ever do if the transistor was never invented?

The (non?)games I see touted here are isolations of concepts and ideas that have already made it into bigger and better (non?)games. [Examples would include xcom and bloodlines and even shadowof the colossus, but don't mention these in the first post; wait instead for a challenge.] However flawed, they fulfill your purposes better with their number-crunchers and reflex-testers than with the abstract playgrounds you construct. Besides,we also keep score in life when we don't play (non?)games,and it's not like progression doesn't happen in real life, not that art (or whatever we're talking about here) needs to mirror life. So I don't grasp your revultion at rewards and rules and whatnot. Think about what drives us in our daily life. Seems like you're sucking games lifeless by rejecting all these characteristics. Now I know why you call them NONgames.

All activities must be programmed, they don't jump out of nowhere. I haven't played the deer-park game, but I doubt that I'd be able to go around killing other deer or dig a trench or visit the antarctic or become a master of poetry. Where does choice, i.e. interactivity, come in? How can it be truly non-linearif your only action is to prance around?

No goals
No conflict
No art
No content
No fun
No choice
No interactivity
Obviously, no game either

Your (non?)games to the industry are like 'man with a movie camera' was to the movies. 'man...' showcases some useful tricks of cinema that would become useful in better movies. Sure, 'man...' had value, but itdid not disqualify other movies as media/art.

Don't get me wrong, I think commercial games are mostly stupid. But nongames are mostly stupid too. No offence.

Appendum: IfI really was disinterested I wouldn't come all the way down here. Nice passion you got there, not even willing to try to quell doubt.

Appendum: Well I gave you a chance to engage in discussion and you prefer to lock yourself in a cage and hurl roughage. Have a bran muffin and come in 24 hours. Unless your rectum is so tight that not even Amnesia: The Dark Descent can squeeze out a pellet.

Appendum: Ok it's all clear to me now. Good luck getting funding.

Rebuttal:

Bloodlines is a game that lets you pick a vampire race and role-play your way through it. And if you want, you can avoid bloodshed via seduction, persuasion, intimidation, and magic. This game could have become a poster game for your kind, if only it did not have a great flaw - you cannot simply jump into the game and expect to think like a vampire, feel like a vampire, be a vampire... oh no. First, you have to be into number-crunching, that RPG mechanic that makes you weigh stats and make rudimentary calculations. But it's a sacrifice I would rather make, compared to not having such a game in the first place. Yes, bloodlines constrains you to a story. But you can't just remove restrictions out of a game. If I'm a flying petal or a prancing deer, there is very little that I can actually experience. Your kindcould make a (non?)game where you simply drive around a city. That would somehow engage the player. But if you increased the player's options by allowing him/herto crash into other cars, run over pedestrians, and kill cops, that would demote the experience by introducing stale mechanics. It's like saying Flower offers true freedom, as opposed to Oblivion.

Rebuttal:

Enemy Uknown, also known as XCOM UFO Defense, pits you as a leader of an international organization in charge of repelling an alien threat. The map is a spherical representation of the earth. You build bases and radars. Radars detect UFOs, dots travelling across the globe. You can choose to ignore them. Sometimes you will have to, some UFOs travel too quickly for your ships to catch up. Sometimes it's to your advantage, and you can lose a precious elite squad by messing with the aliens. But you lose funding if you ignore UFOs. If uninterupted, alien activity in government circles will make nations withdraw all funding. Lose too many countries or sink into debt, and your organization is terminated. Game over (gasp!) and you're explained how the world as we know it would be destroyed by the aliens. But even you were allowed to keep playing there would be no radars, so you would see no UFOs, and all you would be able to do is watch terror sites pop up around the globe. Ah terror sites, when the aliens send legions to wreck havoc on human cities. Perhaps the one thing you're really not allowed to do in this game, and it's a shame, is visit safe areas under the pretense of suspected alien activity.

As you can tell from the description (I hope) this is an open game. It's kinda like deer-park, withlions.But it rests upon scores, points, rewards you for killing lots of baddies, and you can even win the game (although it'snot easy and seems very unlikely for a looooong time). I wonder what bad things you can say about it or how you can criticize it from a nongame perspective. How can XCOM be improved? Would it actually be better if you were a petal that could peek at the alien and human endeavors? Or if you could play as the aliens and do as you wish with defenseless earthlings, with no resistance in sight? Why is conflict downplayed in nongames?

When you speak of creating worlds for the user to interact with, they apparently have to be neutral to the player. Is there something ignoble about creating a dangerous world where survival is at stake? I understand that the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game projects have attempted to just create a world and throw you into it. It's hard to gauge how much they succeeded, but it sounds much genuine than what I've read around here.

I guess the fundamental question is, what can nongames achieve that games haven't done yet?

If nongames are about meaningfully giving more control to the player, it sounds like you just want better games with more options.

I read somewhere (the_brainy_gamer) praise for games that are made with Little Big Planet's creation kits. People are not playing LBP when they're making levels. They're creating and designing games. People have been doing that for decades. Amateurs too, and it's called modding, people! Just because it's accessible to newbies does not make it better. And I'm sure youcan find professional game designers who can't even program a simple sorting algorithm. Their designs are even more flexible.

Different topic:

"Should it ever come to pass I do sex in a game this will be one of the references. It would be immensely telling of a character to see what options are open to him sexually speaking. But perhaps we should kiss in games first? Perhaps we should grab a shoulder with unexpressed affection first and cross glances by which we learn of the shape of things to come." Shoulda done your research; sex games are out there. I'm not sure if any have implemented foreplay yet. Look up Singles. Never woulda thought it an art game without ya.

Different topic:

"I don't object to the recent spate of HD makeovers. I'm thrilled to see Sly Cooper return for an encore; RE4 HD will undoubtedly lure me back to rural unnamed-Spain" Ha! Some nongamer lover this one is. (Actually, I don't know how I got to this one, is is from the nongame site at all? ah, nevermind, this is from the_brainy_gamer.) I don't know about Sly Cooper, but to comment **** like RE4? A game that exemplifies typical boring mechanics that repeat over and over and over ad nauseum? RE4 is a great game... for anhour, at most. The rest is cut-and-paste with a coat of paint.

Different topic:

Re: So if (non?)games should or better be linear, what's so wrong with games that we have now? What would you say about the first hour of Half-Life 2?

Different topic:

More pretensious BS: "Designing for the real-time medium is a playful activity. Because we are designing for interactivity. We are not purely designing rulesets anymore. We are creating situations in which people can have experiences. We are architects, we are masters of ceremony, we are priests and prophets." Then you need to create lots and lots of situations, which is what the makers of Fallout have been doing all this time. You also complain about games lacking non-linearity, but mention that most of the latest games have a "sandbox" element. So what's the problem? You say games should have a skip function. Many are structured like that, where you complete or ignore questsand missions as you like. Some games allow you to skip ahead to whichever level or mission you like.

- - - - - - - - - -

the essentials / starter kit (arcade games not included):

[unless specified, a franchise game can be assumed to be the latest installment]

[Uncharted 2: Drake's Fortune may supplant many other games here such as Shadow of the Colossus, Half-Life 2, and especially Gears of War, Resident Evil 4, and Metal Gear Solid 4]

StarCraft

Company of Heroes

Civilization

Total War

Final Fantasy VII

Planescape: Torment

World of WarCraft

Shadow of the Colossus

Grand Theft Auto

Half-Life 2

One of Crysis or Halo

Doom II

Counter-Strike

Battlefield (more to do than in Call of Duty)

Unreal Tournament (not Quake)

Left 4 Dead (the most successful multiplayer gimmick)

Silent Hill 2 (best installment of series; started recurring motif of sexy creepy nurses that only have relevance in this game; has a spinoff movie; is poster-boy of survival-horror games and has the genre's trademark clunky controls that are now extinct)

not Mortal Kombat (choice from among fighting franchises based on pop-culture recognition; although a good game for beginners to get a grip on what fighting games are really about, as opposed to more realistic combat simulators which may take longer to get comfortable with) but SuperSmashBros (an unusual and not immediately obvious form of gameplay; also, exposes participants to some of the best-known Nintendo characters)

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (other stealth games such as Thief, Hitman, and Splinter Cell are usually episodal, where all missions can be played in any order, with the default progression based on increasing difficulty.)

The Legend of Zelda (the cute, snuggly, adventury kind of game)

God of War

Demon's Souls

- - - - - - - - - -

[what follows is the immediately preceding section, butreworked; no title from that section is missing in the following section.]

[i considered including Super Mario Bros and Doom II but on second thought, these games have too much in common with arcade games that can be comprehended within seconds - tetris, space invaders, etc.]

[specific titles, approximately ordered:]

Shadow of the Colossus

Final Fantasy VII

Planescape: Torment

Silent Hill 2

Nethack

Thief II

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle

Portal

Grim Fandango

ICO

XCOM UFO Defense / Enemy Unknown

Demon's Souls

Dungeon Keeper

[shooter multiplayer, unordered:]

Counter Strike

Unreal Tournament

Battlefield

Left 4 Dead

[strategy franchises, in general, approximately ordered:]

StarCraft

Total War

One of: Company of Heroes OR Warhammer 40,000

Command & Conquer (one of Tiberian Sun, Red Alert 2, Tiberium Wars,Red Alert 3)

Civilization

World in Conflict

[other franchises, in general, unordered:]

World of Warcraft

Grand Theft Auto

God of War

The Legend of Zelda

One of: CrisisOR Halo

Super Smash Bros

Mortal Kombat

The Sims

Uncharted (approximates such titles as Gears of War, Resident Evil 4/5, Metal Gear Solid, Half-Life)

discussion

Discussion_Many_Points:Four ohms: do you like having all control wrested away, using sims to randomize non PC acting and choice of locality***, why spitefully punish for bugs, decade-long shortening of each one is to our benefit and should continue, trackball controls, all blazing a contrivance or easification, one per month rule over one decade works due to balance of growth and migration, action convergence, acclaim can only come from one with patience/tolerance, true overlooked like strife and not vampire or shock "overlooked", 2d f3 modification, PC starter kit with PT et al., go to website called neogaf. name: krug. image: pulleys of war."Nooo! I wasn't supposed to die!" -Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in Doom (2005). What is the best year to be born for a gamer (provide milestones for reference, like 1980, 1995, 2000, and 2005)? How do you hack unlockables such as difficulty settings and new game modes (a: in-game cheats. b: DL somebody's savegame. c: ???)?

*** - BTW, is there a gossip-travel system implemented in any RPG? So that committing a deed would earn you a reputation in the same house immediately, around the town soon enough, in a neighbouring city after quite a while, and across a canyon only after a really long time. Perhaps it could take into account city-alliances or sub-groups or the presence/absense of radios or wizards. No need for keeping track of individual NPC interaction; such a system should not be too hard to implement, and could go a long way for immersion.

Discussion0: Games that make you think BEFORE playing. For me, there's usually nothing to do with a game other than play it. However, some complex RPGs make you create a character at the very beginning. Mess up at this point, and you're heading towards a very odd game. As you consider character creation, you start planning your first playthrough. Before long, you've planned your first playthrough. This tactic is IMO more effective than any critical hype a game can garner.

Discussion1: propose a triple-tiered ranking system where a game is rated for its singleplayer, multiplayer, and stability/convenience. Tons of websites rate different aspects of games but not in this way; they breakgames down into gameplay/graphics/sound/replayability/presentation etc. However, final impressions kinda render those subdivisions useless becausethe final score is seldom a weighted average of the other sub-scores.^

[This stability tier might penalize a game for having odd default controls, requiring extra work to get the working, having to mess around to get a gamepad attached and working, having a save system with a limited number of slots or a messy and unclear method of naming/labelling/organizing saved games, etc.]

[What does tier really mean? is it the ideal word to use in this context?]

A singleplayer/multiplayer/stability rating, however, would give a lot of insight into whether somebody should buy a game. Even in unambiguously positive reviews, it can be difficult to say how the singleplayer and multiplayer compare. Thesecomponentsare usually 2 very different experiences! Games with mediocre scores due to stability issues may pose no problem to a players who don't get they panties in a bunch over a crash.

And the 'stability' ranking would do a lot to solve the weird scores that ported games get. A ported game can score 20% lower just because there's a bug here and there, or it can be a pain to get onto a server, or the framerate is lower, or there are more loading times (and the last 2 solve themselves as computers become faster.) It's the same game!

I just don't understand very clearly the urge of game reviewers to punish buggy games. Reviews often even say that they would give a score that is 10% higher once a patch comes out, or that the reviewer just cannot forgive the frustration caused by a game that needed some more tweaking.

REWRITTEN: game reviewers: stop using bugs, convenience, stability for score. I'm tired of seeing bugs and difficulties with installation used as justification for giving games low scores. For one, it is very confusing. Since I'm used to playing on sub-par computers, I get stability problems much of the time, and so I cannot fault a game for such issues. These are minor distractions from the actual game. If the game is not working, I do not consider myself to be playing the game. What aggrevates me most is near-identical ports that get disparately different scores due to some bugs in one of the versions. Just because one version plays smoother than another does not mean one is mediocre and the other is excellent. The underlying game is the same and should be scored separately from how well it runs. Therefore I propose that games get two scores: quality, and stability. The first is common and self-explanatory. The second can be influenced by: installation issues. tech support. moddability. ease and reliability of networking (for multiplayer). system requirements. frame rate. bugs. controller support/customizability. intermediate save points that are lost when you exit the game. price. length.

Discussion2: Modding seems to be the primary way to save PC gaming. You're not gonna have much ethusiastic modding for consoles of the extensive, intensive, debugging, unusual, totally-changing type of modding. Game developers can do the most heavy-duty aspects of gaming like art, animations, in-game engine, artificial intelligence, graphics, models, random terrain generation, developing game mechanics, etc. Modders can spend a lot of time voluntarily refining the games. Just look at the amazing things that modders have done to intriguing and well-designed but buggy and unbalanced RPGs like Fallout 2, the Elder Scrolls series, STALKER and Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. Look at Counter-Strike and Defeat of the Ancients.

Now, a primary reason why the consoles have started to dominate the marketplace, aside from the fact that so many games are made exclusive to the consoles, is the ease with which people can just start playing. Modding, however, is not made so easy for PC users. Little Big Planet would be a move in the right direction were it not a ps3 game. Support and encouragement of modding, by providing customers with the necessary tools, is not enough. Mod-seekers are still left to their own devices. They have no choice but to go on the internet to do research. What percentage of gamers are willing to go to all this trouble? Doesn't the majority simply play the 'vanilla' version? Some must alsobe paranoid of downloading third-party content. And all along, many mods can increase one's enjoyment of a game manifold.

It seems like what modders are most capable of doing is changing gameplay for the better - you know, the stuff that actually makes a difference. Especially for online play and sandbox games, they can beat up pro game devellopers. What game designers for the PC should focus on is the core aspects that make the game run, and as mods come out, assimilate the good ones into the 'official' version, at least as options. Valve is among the most mod-friendly companies out there, busy making sequels to successful mods, and look at how properous they are! Look at the quality control!

Discussion3: The most fun part of The Sims is when you get to burn down a house with Sims inside, or isolate your Sim in an empty room and watch them starve and eventually collapse from fatigue in their own urine;if that wasn't fun, you wouldn't hear about this ability in practically every review of the game! So this series should be given a special Sims: Torture expansion set to give gamers countless hours of addictive fun. The way the series is, even getting your Sim to sleep in a puddle of someone else's urine is not a very streamlined process.

Discussion4: hey fans of Ultima! has Ultima been superceded yet? I just keep good hearing about this ancientseries but has it done anything that hasn't been copied without loss in quality? Perhaps 'The Witcher' or The Elder Scrolls outshine those games in every way?

I know some old games have no equal (X-COM ftw!) but i've never played Ultima so that's why I'm asking.

Anybody else curious or not?

Discussion5: unsurpassed gamesfrom the 20th century. Upon raiding 'greatest games ever' lists, I keep coming upon games that were groundbreaking at their release but are tired fare by modern fare, unable to compete with most mods and any modern release. What I'm looking into isold games that have not clearly been improved upon and refined with sequels and ripoffs. Games playable to this day, and which can be honestly recommended to somebody who has never been exposed to them (ie nostalgia doesn't matter).I don't know many, but here are some candidates. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I find it hard to imagine anybody being seduced by Elitein this modern world, what with all the 4x strategy games and space-MMORPGs. Anyway,

Planescape Torment: an obvious choice. Everybody who finishes it goes bananas over how good it is.

various LucasArts adventure games: the point-and-click adventure genre is hardly limited by technology. There is little that can be done here that was impossible twenty years ago.

XCOM ufo defense: completing this game for the first is one of the most exciting moments of my life. The presentation of this game lies upon a simple concept, spends little time on outright storytelling, and the game shrouds its flaws (such as AI) by using mysterious enemies.

Dungeon Keeper: could this be the best game to come from Peter Molyneux? DK2 and Dungeons are its inferior successors that,respectively,removed intricate aesthetic details and changed the focus entirely. The Black & White games don't hold a candle to this game.

Syndicate: I suppose this is something similar to the above but I have not played it, need some help describing.

Jagged Alliance 2: I haven't played this but apparently is the best since X-COM.

Aliens vs Predator: The 2002 sequel is good, but its marine campaign lacked horror, and its alien campaign was totally flattened.

Age of Empires II the Age of Kings: I lie, this doesn't belong here, it's just noltalgia speaking.

Diablo: for the atmosphere, since later hack n slash games took all the action outside.

Nethack: according to fans, its gameplay is extremely intricate; this game spawned the saying 'the dev team thinks of everything'.

potentially belonging in this list are some games that, while outdated, feature great level design that deserves to be played once: duke nukem 3d, blood, half life, fallout, fallout 2, thief, system shock 2, ocarina of time.

P.S. Picking 2000 as the cut-off date seems quite arbitrary, and it is. But it's a good date, as most games after this time could afford to be in full 3d without reducing polygon count until nothing resembled its real-life counterpart. This cutoff is very easy to notice since the release date says 19** not 20**. OK, the thing is, all genres had been defined in 1990s, and since 2000 all that most games have done is3 things: 1) refine gameplay; 2) focus on presentation; or 3) invest in gimmicks that divert and entertain. So most build upon peviously released games with few total innovators. Thus most old games are truly outdated and have been replaced by better 'versions'.

Discussion 6: Games are still too long! I know games have been becoming shorter and shorter in the last decade, but that's a good thing! Ideally i want to see some games that can be completed in single sitting, and therearesuper-long movies that have lengths up toa dozenhours: Satantango, Greed, War&Peace, Out 1, Lord of the Rings. Most games are so long and repetitive that I want to skip chapters and see what's up ahead. I like variety and the joy of learning the ropes of a game, to see 'how THEY do it'. I like getting used to a new interface and new controls. But ideas in a game are limited, and games tend to throw the same thing at you over and over. I'd gladly play truncated versions of popular games. In fact I play many demos knowing I won't buy the full game. There was a study where people playing video games had activity showing in their entire brains when they're just learning how to play, but once they get used to it, only a few spots kept firing, according to their brain scans. If anybody has a ton of demos, like a collection of disks from thePC gamer magazine, I'd gladly buy it.

Discussion7: 2000 was a turning point in games. Graphics had revolutionalized; the next-gen ps2 came out; pretty much all genres and sub-genres had become well-defined. Many major genres had only been waiting to be born in the early 90s, just a few years prior. As for graphics, games were finally becomingso pretty that you can play them years later and not mind at all. Sure, some titles of 2000 were still very rough around the edges, visually, but by 2001 nearly all games had good-looking graphics. Character models, previously sprites or terribly blocky 3d models, became well-rounded with defined features. I'd say that the 90s were a special decade that produced the first titles that are still worth playing for the first time, but they still had graphics that are so bad that they warrant a remake in the modern era. The only games from the 90s with non-repulsive graphics have static cameras and 2d backgrounds. In fact, I think that it's a good idea to remake 90s games like Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid, and Half-Life. On the other hand, remakes of more recent games like MDK2, Beyond Good & Evil, and Chronicles of Riddick seem pointless.

Discussion8: Fallout, Planescape, Arcanum, Bloodlines - THEN WHAT? I want to find out more examples of that special breed of nonlinear games such as the following: Fallout, Fallout 2, Planescape: Torment, Arcanum: Of S&MO, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. BTW all of thesehave apparently been made by same group of people who kept bankrupting their companies and forming new ones. The lastest company, Obsedian entertainment,released Fallout New Vegas - hot stuff!I guess the little list above can be expanded with all BioWare and Bethesda games, although some people would argue against the last one. CD Projekt's witcher games andDeus Exalso come up.

My particular question is, are the following games like that? Baldur's Gate series, Icewind Dale series, Gothic series, maybe even Ultima VI or VII?

I don't want to beat a dead horse with "what is the best one" or "what are the top five" polls.

So in summary, not final fantasy or diablo games.

And not mere collections of linear missions that you can do in any order.

Discussion9: Investigate the following games to discover if they are of the type that I seek. These are RPGs to look into and ask others before trying. Hey every1, can you tell me a thing or two about them, so I can cross some titles off?

Baldur's Gate II: The Shadows of Amn

Gothic II

Ultima VI

Ultima VII

Nox

Darkstone

Siege of Avalon

Summoner

Gothic

Anachronox

Arx Fatalis

Icewind Dale series

Sacred

Divine Divinity

Betrayal at Kondor; Having seen some videos of this last game, it strikes me more as an adventure game of the Final Fantasy sort. Characters can talk on and on without your having any say. Also, your mobility seems very limited, what with point-and-click screens and all, so it makes it very hard for me to understand how choice and non-linearity have place in this game. EDIT: nevermind, I found a review that confirms my suspicions: http://rpgcodex.net/content.php?id=173

Discussion0: Games can be art (why not?) but there is nothing special about the medium. If goal is to create art, why usegames? Making games is the least efficient pathway to creating art. My understanding of art is close to Dan, you know, Schneider; check out his website 'cosmoetica' and 'great films list' and some movie reviews. Arguments for games as art are very limited and can be pigeonholed into several categories:

1. 'art' games, that are practically virtual 'concept art', if you're familiar with the term. Concept art allows anything to be art. Unless you think video games are less artful than urinals. stfw.

2. sympathy, by placing the player in an odd situation and saying 'well? huh? how does THAT feel?' like September 12, or Super Columbine Massacre RPG. Now, it's true that an interactive medium allows the easiest shortcut to accessing a person's psyche (not like I know wtf that means... I should really look that word up, 'psyche'). But great art does that too, and to assume people need to feel a situation is to take them for unempathetic/dispassionate dolts, and that type is not worth bothering with art in the first place. Besides, art does not have to be accessible, let alone easily experienced. And you MUST engage with a piece of art in order to appreciate it -- if anything, video games make this process easier for the masses.

3. enjoyment. We find playing games to be a very engaging activity. Having a controller in our hands can make us hooked to a story that would have bored us to tears if we caught it on TV one night. This is why we love games. Don't believe me? Can you imagine watching a movie with nonstop shooting for an hour straight, or a show where, every episode,the main character goes on the same fetch-and-kill-monsters questand gets slightly better equipment? And now, my point: art necessitates neither enjoyability nor tears. We can relish and simultaneously dismiss as artless other things, like some trashy yet irresistiblepop culture (I know you have a weakness).

4. music, story, dialogue, in-game art, etc. These elements are not exclusive to video games and can be incorporated elsewhere.

5. fine gameplay can be claimed as art, however it has more to do with craftsmanship and deserves contious refinement and improvement as well as innovation. Are rollercoasters art? Gameplayshould be functional, intuitive, fun, and these are things that are not inherently artful at all.

6. the player defines the game. Games that simply allow the player to draw stuff have been claimed as art, even if the player draws nothing but hairy cocks. More subtly, nonlinear RPGs and other genres allow sandbox gameplay where the player is forced to define the narrative. This is the point in which games can show their greatest strength and potential... but where does the 'art' part come in?

6 cont'd. Furthermore, it turns players into performers. Let Dungeons&Dragons be art. I saw Robin Williams play Spore (not his best work, I must say) but most people are not Robin Williams. Oh, but do watch'Marik plays Bloodlines' on youtube; you won't regret it. eeeeeeveryyyyyyoooooone...

What do YOU think? Are games art? Should they be?

BTW anyone reading this, can you provide me with links to other threads/forums/commentary sections that I can further spam with this?

Other

Accessible:
demos up to mid-2011;
full versions up to and including 2005/2006, counting the first release on any platform.
The exceptedare the full versions of Death to Spies (2007) and Amnesia (2010)
and Duke Nukem Forever (2011) which are archaic-like gamesanyway.

remember to patch just in case

++++++++ IMMEDIATE TIME

Diablo: The Dark (MP as Sorcerer)

DarkStone (as Sorceress with minimal vitality and minimal Lycanthropy)

DDHe with vampiric scimitar.

DoomRL

SpaceChem

Stealth Bastard

Replay original Xcom game with xcom:util installed and most of the new tweaks and features and gameplay balance changes included. Keep in mind that as of the time of this writing someone is creating an open-source C++ remake (I think openXcom or xcom2000) that is supposed to support all mods especially xcom:util and be capable of running on any operating system so no dosbox or anything like that may be necessary.

Watch a let's play of xcom apocalypse by someone competent like, apparently, MetalCanyon on youtube.

Avoid latter-day xcom clones such as UFO: Extraterrestrials with Bman's Ease of Use Mod 4.07 and UFO: Alien Invasion and Xenonauts and XCOM: Enemy Unknown by Fireaxis and UFO2Extraterrestrials: Shadow(s?) over Earth.

+

Get, ask for from the game remembrance thread on gamespot forums, for a list of bird's eye view games that use keys for movement and the mouse cursor as a pointer for shooting/targeting.

Check out all of TotalHalibut "WTF is..." videos, he boasts an interesting collection of games, so he might introduce me to cool games like Magicka, even though his actual commentary rather sucks. IndieStatik, also on youtube, can also introduce me to cool games like Dead Meets Lead.

http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/easy-games

rockpapershotgun dot com looks like an awesome website for me!

Tower Climb, upcoming Spelunky clone, and La-Mulana, an older game that is a throwback much like Spelunky, were both found as recommendations from a Spelunky-like games article from: http://indiegames.com/2012/07/top_10_spelunky-like_games_for.html

++++++++ EXPENDABLE RECENT 'REPLAYS'

Return to Castle Wolfenstein

Max Payne

Aliens V Predator 2 marine campaign (Primal Hunt?)

Hidden & Dangerous

GTA San Andreas, modded of course

Hitman 2: Silent Assassin

Resident Evil 4 on hard difficulty and full of graphics-enhancing mods, with HUNK's special moves instead of Leon's

++++++++ ALTERNATIVE TIME

Instead of going for Current Time followed by Future Time as outlined below, complete games that have great replay value. This way, in another era, a colossal playtime could include everything in both Current and Future Time, put together at once, for all time and without playing the same game more than once within a brief period. Replayables include:

Fallout 2 (playing Fallout 1 later on would be almost like replaying Fallout 2, even if I never again actually replay Fallout 2.)
Heroes of Might and Magic I (in replay, would be the sequel)
Planescape: Torment
Deus Ex (agressive playthrough)
Arcanum
V:tM - Bloodlines (consult tweakguides.com to get running with good framerate)
DMoMM (ditto)
Gothic series?

Remember to check for mods!

++++++++ FUTURE TIME

BACK TO HELLFIRE (Diablo II mod) as Rogue or Blood Wizard

Diablo: The Hell (record horror->purgatory assassin playthrough with commentary)

Dungeon Siege (footage for "In the Name of the King")

Divine Divinity (played with a magic class)

Diablo II: Median XL (use the "-act5" command in the target line to get high level necro and skip acts 1 and 2)

Gothic series?

Half-Life 1 or Black Mesa

Half-Life 2 + Episodes 1 and 2

Worms (probably Worms: Armageddon)

Heroes of Might and Magic II [replay]

Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss

Strife

System Shock (1)

The Longest Journey {1gb}

Arcanum

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines

Deus Ex - Fast & Stealthy, no casualties, no alerts, behave, don't stop to hunt for equipment, and don't steal!

Planescape: Torment for the second time, if it spikes an interest, in which case the play decisions would be made opposite to the ones that were made intuitively the first time around.

Fallout 1:
Try hard to play 'Iron Man mode', accepting consequences of all mistakes (unless they're game-ending).
Male w/SPECIAL 6561480 (ugly retard or 7802481 (vampire, feel free to channel P to C and A) skilled, night person;science,repair,lockpick
1 (L4) Strong Back (has 3 ranks) OR Lifegiver (has 3 ranks)
2 (L8) Pack Rat OR Mysterious Stranger?
3 (L12) Better Criticals OR Bonus Rate of Fire (eat mentats) OR Explorer (coolest non-weaponry perk so far, althouh encounters are few and familiar) OR Mutate! (from 'skilled' to 'fast shot' trait; this will allow 3 more perks, not 2 more perks, since Fallout 1 has a level cap of 21; but at the cost of skill points)
4 Tag! (bigguns)
4 Mr. Fixit (+20% to Science and Repair, each)

Fallout 2 (replay of a replay):
Create the oddest dumb-male character that can be thought of, and be good with him (as opposed to doing evil deeds) to get good karma. Tag throwing, to be the only viable combat option. Tag speech and raise it to 100%, then drop it forever. Tag and invest into the lockpicking skill. Later on, tag 'sneak' and try to maximize it. Alternatively, never raise speech and instead tag 'sneak' right away. Minimize intelligence in order to get 'stupid' diologueand definitely max out luck. Traits chosen should be 'finesse' and 'skilled', although 'kamikaze' could serve well for the purposeof sneaking past hostile NPCs. Throwing a boulder and getting an instant kill would be awesome. Get Marcus the mutant, Goris the deathclaw, and the skynet robot,into your party. Sample SPECIAL stats might be 6663360 or 6665340. Perks should be: 'quick pockets', 'more criticals', 'better criticals', 'tag', and 2 more ranks of 'more criticals'. Later perks can be whatever such as 'better rate of fire', 'action boy', 'silent running', and 'gain charisma' (for more annoying party members). UPDATE: new character design: flarethrower. Flares take 1 action point to throw with or without body-part targeting. Flares restock in your hand automatically so you do not need to go to inventory. 'sniper' perk can be got at level 24 if small guns is at 80% - there should be enough guns and bullets magazines in the wasteland to get it this high without ever putting points in it. 'sniper' + 'better criticals' + flares = an average of 5 action points to kill a creature.

++++++++ NEW? STRATEGY?

The Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-Earth (I has better campaign, II with its expansion is better overall, many mods exist for both games.)

World in Conflict (warning: good multiplayer requires teamwork and effective communication)

Frozen Synapse

Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Expansion [replay]

say no to Company of Heroes

say no to Supreme Commander

say no to R.U.S.E.

say no to Warhammer Dawn of War series

++++++++ AVOID

Cave Story

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Silent Hill 1 and 3

Fatal Frame series

TimeSplitters 1, 2, and Future Perfect (consoles)

Resident Evil (GC), Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem (GC)

Super Meat Boy, Braid, Trine, Limbo, Oddworld, Another World, Iji, Derek Yu games, etc.

Terraria

Bully

EYE: Divine Cybermancy

ArmA II

America's Army

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

Xenus series

CryoStasis: Sleep of Reason

Metro 2033

Doom 3 mod DungeonDoom

Hellgate: London

Borderlands

Zombie Shooter

Alien Swarm

Alien Shooter 2: Reloaded (is version of Alien Shooter: Vengeance)

Titan Quest: Immortal Throne, with mods of course

Anything by Bioware and anything by Obsidian Entertainment
and that includes Fallout 3 and Oblivion's Nehrim and sequels

World of Warcraft

Diablo clones past 2011

Tempting triple-A games beyond my timeframe such as Rage, Max Payne 3, FarCry 3, and later Red Faction sequels.

Painkiller Black: Painkiller + Battle out of Hell expansion
Bad expansions: Overdose, Ressurection, Redemption, Recurring Evil
Similar titles: http://encogen.blogspot.ca/2012/01/doom-tradition-tierlist.html

Doom WADs: Requiem, Alien Vendetta, Scythe, Sunder, Memento Mori, Hell Revealed, Plutonia, Deus Vult, Doom Community Chest, Eternal Doom, and sequels, perhaps with something like BrutalDoom, played in a progression of increasing difficulty at the Hurt Me Plenty setting.

Quake 1 mods/maps such as ones at quaddicted.com and at www.youtube.com/user/monster667

Wrack

++++++++ FREE MULTIPLAYER

FEAR Combat

Quake Live

Team Fortress 2

Tribes Ascend

++++++++ CURRENT TIME

------------- STEALTH

Hitman: Contracts [kinda replay]

(+) Hitman: Blood Money? (made in 2006)

Aliens vs Predator (alien campaign) {.5 or 1.3gb} [replay]

Thief II: The Metal Age {.5gb}

The Dark Mod for Doom3

Thief 2X: Shadows of the Metal Age

play the following 4 games in order until they become bad:

Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines (1998)

Commandos: Beyond the Call of Duty (1999)

Commandos 2: Men of Courage {3gb}

Commandos 3: Destination Berlin

No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way {1.5gb}

Hidden & Dangerous 2 {2.4gb}

(+) Death to Spies? {3gb}

(+) Sniper Elite? {4gb}

Second Sight?

Manhunt?

Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy?

------------- HORROR

Aliens vs Predator (marine campaign) {.5 or 1.3gb} [replay]

System Shock 2 {.5gb}

Silent Hill 2 (play in 2d control mode; combat/action difficulty: hard; puzzle difficulty: normal; but you know what? a combat/action difficulty of normal may help keep the number of monsters low rather than completely saturate levels with them, which might reduce the game to a messy slog. o well, better slog than prance with no sense of danger.) {2.3gb}

(+) Condemned: Criminal Origins {8gb}

(+) Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth (use unofficial patch to make the game easier, or don't) {2gb}

(+) Amnesia: The Dark Descent {3gb}

(+) the Penumbra series

Clive Barker's Undying? {.6gb}

American Mcgee's Alice?

The Suffering?

Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr?

Afraid of Monsters? (HL1 mod)

Cry of Fear? (HL1 mod)

Realms of the Haunting?

Pathologic?

Doom 3: Evolution or Perfected Doom 3 with Sikkmod, Trent Raznor soundtrack, or whatever to make the game less $hit?

------------- ACTION

Deus Ex - play like a berserker {???} [replay]

Blood [replay]

Shadow Warrior

Redneck Rampage?

(+) Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena {11gb}

(+) Dark Messiah of Might and Magic?

(+) Far Cry {3gb} [kinda replay]

Shogo: Mobile Armour Division? {???} [kinda replay]

KISS: Psycho Circus? [kinda replay]

Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne? {1.5gb}

Prey?

Freedom Fighters? (developed by IO Interactive)

F.E.A.R. (only the first original game, expansions and sequels are inferior)?

TimeShift (recommended by gamespot forum regulars as excellent shooter-porn, was released in 2007)

Duke Nukem Forever?

------------- ADVENTURE & RETRO

The Incredible Machine [replay]

Little Big Adventure 2: Twinsen's Odyssey {580mb} [replay]

Sonic 3d Blast {???} [replay]

Prehistorik 2 [replay]

Dangerous Dave [replay]

Dangerous Dave in the Haunted Mansion [replay]

Rockford, play it while avoiding Boulder Dash and Supaplex [replay]

The Legend of Kyrandia Book Two: Hand of Fate [replay]

The Legend of Kyrandia Book One?

MDK2 (HD version is coming out in 2011) [kinda replay]

Grim Fandango {1gb}

Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle? {???}

Tomb Raider: Anniversary? (Mirror's Edge 2008?)

------------- STRATEGY

Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun + Firestorm (is free to download, full game) [replay]

KeeperFX (Dungeon Keeper 1: Fan eXpansion) [kinda replay]

RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Gold/Platinum (includes expansion sets)

Sacrifice

Rage of Mages [replay]

WarCraft 2? [replay]

Red Alert 1? [replay]

Incubation: Time is Running Out? [replay]

Jagged Alliance 2: Gold and Silent Storm?

Myth: The Fallen Lords and Myth II: Soulblighter? [kinda replay]

Shogun: Total War (only total war with no mods; some prefer the original entry in the franchise; might be like Myth)

The Settlers 2? [kinda replay]

Sim City 1 (1989) or Sim City 2000 (~1993) or Sim City 3000 (1999) [replay]

Civilization 1 [replay]

------------- RPG

Fallout 2 [replay]

Planescape: Torment

Arcanum

Vampire : The Masquerade - Bloodlines (probably ventrue{claws,seduction} -> nosferatu{sneak,security,persuade,guns} -> malkavian{intimidate,magic,be like a tank}, in this order til boredom comes) (keep in mind that all physical stats can be temporarily maxed out in the unpatched [officially patched] version which should be tried once before the [unofficially] patched version. Try to cheat, giveVentrue celerity not fortitude, give Nos auspex not potence (and maybe presence not animalism*****), give Malk thaumaturgy/presence/fortitude/animalism not auspex/obfuscate. wesp5 says this is possible: "that is set in vdata/system/clandoc000.txt!". Ask wesp5 via gamespot's VtM-B forum whether this could causebugs like some clan/discipline combinations leading to crashes.Consider also Camarilla Edition mod, Clan Quest mod, etc... it is said that "CQM 1.2.1 integrates CE 1.1". Keep in mind that mods keep getting invented/updated. Also ask if there's any point to playing anything less than totally modded.) {5gb}

***** not very recommended cuz could end up with Malk stuck with dementia/thaumaturgy/animalism, 3 alike disciplines, without protection of fortitude (no tank!)

"Find the executable file's shortcut. Right click it and go to "Properties". Then in the "Shortcut" tab, type -console 1 (with the space) at the very end of the "Target" text box. Make sure this is typed outside the quotes. When you do this, the console command will appear when you use that shortcut to start the game. It will also show up every time when the game starts up to the menu screen. Then, press ~ while playing the game and type one of the following codes to enable that particular cheat code. Press [Enter] or click "Submit" to activate the code. REMEMBER: Commands entered at the console will auto-complete while you type them -- just type any letter and you can scroll up and down with the cursor keys to view the various available console commands. Click the "X" in the corner or press ~ to exit the command window."

Useful commands include 'cmdlist', 'vhelp', 'quit', and 'vclan player_chocula'.

Keep checking for mods, Final Nights was released multiple times by the time the above paragraphs were last updated.

++++++++

The Best Games (pretend that ALL GAMES EVER were all released at the same time)

GAMES TO GET

- You're looking at leagues -- PH 1 is the first league, PH 2 is the second league, and so on. I did NOT sort the games WITHIN the leages.

- I only accounted the quality and NOT the value of a game -- it's up to you to weigh in the cost and value of a game.

- It does not matter how revolutionary or groundbreaking a game was for its time. What matters is how good it is now (this includes the goodness of novelty.) Just pretend that all games ever made were released in a single day.

- I didn't have the time to incluede sports games, racing games, simulators, handhelds, mobile games, and Guitar Hero.

- Expansion sets have been omitted.

- Action = Action + Action/Adventure

- Due to porting, you may find some of your favorite RPGs and action games for consoles under the PC Action genre.

Mostly Personal Computer

Western-Type Computer RPG's

+++ PH 1 +++

World of WarCraft

Planescape: Torment

Baldur's Gate 2: The Shadow of Amn

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

+++ PH 2 +++

Star Wars: KOTOR II: The Sith Lords

Guild Wars

Baldur's Gate

Fallout

Fallout 2

+++ PH 3 +++

EVE: Online

Diablo

Diablo II

Neverwinter Nights

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

Freedom Force

Freedom Force vs. the Third Reich

Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura

City of Heroes

The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl (more of an Action game, but whatever)

Adventure - RANKED

Grim Fandango

Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

Little Big Adventure 2: Twinsen's Odyssey

Indigo Prophesy (XBOX, PS2, GC only)

Strategy

Bold: Real-Time

Italics: Strategy games which are hard to categorize.

Normal: Turn-Based

Bold Italics: Wargame

TRTS - Traditional Real-Time Strategy (2D, gather resources with one unit, build structures, research a little to improve army, annihilate opponents)

+++ PH 1 +++

Company of Heroes

Homeworld 2

Black & White

Rise of Nations

Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings TRTS

Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars TRTS

StarCraft TRTS

WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos TRTS

Rome: Total War

X-Com: UFO Defense / Enemy Unknown

Civilization IV

Galactic Civilizations II: Dark Avatar

Alpha Centauri

+++ PH 2 +++

Darwinia

Dungeon Keeper 2

DEFCON: Everybody Dies

Homeworld

Sacrifice

Pikmin 2 (GameCube only)

Warhammer 40 000: Dawn of War TRTS

Total Annihilation TRTS

Age of Mythology TRTS

Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle Earth II TRTS

Supreme Commander TRTS

Command & Conquer: Red Alert TRTS

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 TRTS

Command & Conquer: Generals TRTS

Europa Universalis III

Medieval II: Total War

Sid Meier's Pirates!

Commandos 2: Men of Courage (Also a Stealth game)

Worms: Armageddon

Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin

Gettysburg!

Heroes of Might and Magic 3

Jagged Alliance 2: Gold

Sim and Tycoon (Strategy without hostile opponents) - RANKED

The Sims 2

SimCity 4

RollerCoaster Tycoon 3

Animal Crossing (GameCube only)

The Movies

Viva Pinata (X360 only)

Railroad Tycoon 2 or 3

Caesar III

PC Action - Single-Player

Bold: hardcore action.

Italics:tactical action games

Underline: Action Adventure games that have way too much adventure to begrouped into the other categories.

Bold Italics: platformers and acrobatics games

Normal: stealth games.

+++ PH 1 +++

Half-Life 2

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (& co-op on PS2, Xbox)

(adventure-like) Bioshock

Splinter Cell Chaos Theory (& co-op)

+++ PH 2 +++

F.E.A.R.

Call of Duty

Call of Duty 2

Halo (& co-op on Xbox)

Halo 2 (& co-op)

FarCry

Grand Theft Auto 3

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Medal of Honour: Allied Assault

Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne

Mafia

Brothers in Arms: The Road to Hill 30

(adventure-like) System Shock 2

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Psychonauts

Deus Ex

No One Lives Forever 2

The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from ButcherBay

Splinter Cell

Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow (& co-op)

Thief: The Dark Project

Thief II: The Metal Age

+++ PH 3 +++

Max Payne

Half-Life

Duke Nukem 3D

Doom 3 (& co-op on Xbox)

Serious Sam: The Second Encounter

Return to Castle Wolfenstein

Prey

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: The Shadow of Chernobyl

Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield

Rainbow Six Vegas (& co-op)

SWAT 4 (& co-op)

Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood

(adventure-like) Giants: Citizen Kabuto

(adventure-like) Tron 2.0

(adventure-like) Jedi Knight: Jedi Outcast

Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones

Tomb Raider: Anniversary

Rayman 2: The Great Escape

Aliens versus Predator (action campaign + stealth campaign; for highly experienced gamers)

Aliens versus Predator 2 (action campaign + stealth campaign)

Beyond Good and Evil

Thief: Deadly Shadows

Splinter Cell Double Agent (& co-op)

Hitman 2: Silent Assasin

Hitman: Blood Money

Commandos 2: Men of Courage (Also a Strategy game)

Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus (PS, PC) (Also Arcade and 2-D Platformer)

+++Additional Information+++

The best Stealth games on the consoles are:

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (PS2) or Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance (PS2, XBOX, PC, GC)

Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsitence (PS2)

Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (GC) Twin Snakes is an improved remake of the original Metal Gear Solid (PS).

Sly 2: Band of Thieves (PS2)

If you can't get enough of stealth games, you could check out the following games.

Manhunt (PC, PS2, XBOX)

Hitman: Contracts (PC, PS2, XBOX)

Hidden & Dangerous 2 (PC)

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus (PS2)

Sly Cooper 3: Honor among Thieves (PS2)

Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven (PS2) or Tenchu: Return from Darkness (XBOX)

Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines (PC) (Also a Strategy game)

Commandos: Beyond the Call of Duty (PC) (Also a Strategy game)

Commandos 3: Destination Berlin (PC) (Also a Strategy game)

Oddworld: Abe's Oddyssey (PS, PC) (Also Arcade and 2-D Platformer)

PC Action - Multi-Player

+++ PH 1 +++

Unreal Tournament 2004

Counter-Strike: Source

Battlefield 2

+++ PH 2 +++ (too extensive, I know. I couldn't think of a good way to categorize them.)

Team Fortress C l a s s i c

Brothers in Arms: The Road to Hill 30

Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood

Call of Duty

Call of Duty 2

America's Army: Special Forces

Aliens vs. Predator 2

Quake III Arena

Quake 4

Painkiller

F.E.A.R. Combat (F.E.A.R. for free)

Halo

Halo 2

Return to Castle Wolfenstein

Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory

Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising

Splinter Cell Double Agent

America's Army: Operations

Tribes: Vengeance (+ 15-hour single-player "tutorial")

Tribes 2

Medal of Honor Allied Assault

Medal of Honor Pacific Assault

Soldier of Fortune 2

Star Wars Jedi Knight Jedi Academy

Battlefield 2142

Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45

Command & Conquer: Renegade

Sniper Elite

Gunz: The Duel

Day of Defeat

ArmA: Combat Operations (Armed Assault)

Mostly Game Consoles

Arcade (mostly Side-Scrollers and 2-D Platformers) - RANKED

Viewtiful Joe (GC, PS2)

Castevania: Symphony of the Night (PS, X360)

Super Mario World (SNES, Wii)

Super Paper Mario (Wii)

Super Monkey Ball (GC)

Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus (PS, PC) (Also Stealth)

Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, & 3 (NES, Wii)

Super Metroid (SNES, Wii)

Donkey Kong Country (SNES, Wii)

Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (SNES)

Super Mario Kart (SNES)

Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved (X360)

Bomberman Live (X360)

Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee (PS, PC) (Also Stealth)

Viewtiful Joe 2 (GC, PS2)

Super Monkey Ball 2 (GC)

Other good SNES games

Fighting (Console) - RANKED

Soul Calibur (DC)

Soul Calibur II (GC, PS2, XBOX)

Tekken 3 (PS)

Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution (PS2)

Virtua Fighter 4 (PS2)

Super Smash Bros. Melee (GC)

Virtua Fighter 5 (PS3)

Dead of Alive 4 (X360)

Tekken 5 (PS2)

WWE: Smackdown! Here Comes the Pain (PS2)

Action Console Games (Action that is horrible or N/A on PC)

+++ PH 1 +++

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64, GC, Wii)

Metroid Prime (GC)

Resident Evil 4 (GC, PS2, Wii)

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (PS2)

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii)

Ninja Gaiden Sigma (PS3)

Gears of War (X360)

Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (PS2)

God of War (PS2)

God of War 2 (PS2)

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Wii)

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (X360)

+++ PH 2 +++

Super Mario 64 (N64, Wii)

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GC)

Okami (PS2)

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (GC)

Devil May Cry (PS2)

Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal (PS2)

Super Mario Sunshine (GC)

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 (X360, PS3)

+++ PH 3 +++

GoldenEye 007 (N64)

Perfect Dark (N64)

Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)

Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando (PS2)

Resident Evil (GC)

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem (GC)

Panzer Dragoon Orta (XBOX)

Jax & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy (PS2)

ICO (XBOX, PS2)

TimeSplitters 2 (PS2, GC, XBOX)

Ratchet & Clank (PS2)

Jak II (PS2)

Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition (PS2)

Resistance: Fall of Man (PS3)

FarCry Instincts (XBOX) or FarCry Instincts Predator (X360)

+++PH 4+++

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64)

Jet Grind Radio (DC)

Ape Escape (PS)

Shenmue (DC)

Sly 2: Band of Thieves (PS2)

Red Faction (PS2)

SOCOM II: Navy Seals (PS2)

Bully (PS2)

Oddworld Stranger's Wrath (XBOX)

Silent Hill 2 (PS2)

Jet Set Radio Future (XBOX)

Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (GC)

Medal of Honor Frontline (PS2, GC, XBOX)

Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy (PS2, XBOX)

TimeSplitters: Future Perfect (PS2, GC, XBOX)

Jak III (PS2)

Onimusha 3: Demon Siege (PS2)

Mercenaries (PS2, XBOX)

Dead Rising (X360)

Crackdown (X360)

Call of Duty 3 (X360)

Warhawk (PS3)

The Darkness (X360)

Resident Evil: Veronica (DC, GC) or Resident Evil Code: Veronica X (PS2)

Eastern RPG's

Bold: RPG's with Western elements or Action RPG's

Italics: Online RPG's

Normal: Traditional Eastern-Type Japanese RPG's

I don't know which leagues they are in.

Jade Empire (XBOX)

Vagrant Story (PS)

Dark Cloud 2 (PS2)

Kingdom Hearts (PS2)

Kingdom Hearts 2 (PS2)

Champions of Norrath (PS2)

Fable (XBOX)

Phantasy Star Online (DC)

Final Fantasy XI (PS2)

Final Fantasy series (SNES, PS, PS2, and ports)

Skies of Arcadia (DC)

Skies of Arcadia Legends (GC)

Grandia II (DC)

Xenogears (PS)

Chrono Trigger (SNES)

Chrono Cross (PS)

Grandia (PS)

Suikoden III (PS2)

Shadow Hearts: Covenant (PS2)

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (PS2)

Tales of Symphonia (GC)

Super Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (GC)

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 (PS2)