Brother None counts down his favourite games

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by Brother None, Oct 22, 2009.

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  1. Phil the Nuka-Cola Dude

    Phil the Nuka-Cola Dude Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Jul 9, 2004

    Eh, hitting a target ~20 feet away with a pistol doesn't take much skill nor experience. My first firearms experience was me shooting a .32 automatic at a tree from a pretty good distance at 15. I emptied the clip fast, and had an impressively tight grouping on the hits. Sure, I didn't know how to reload it; but it was easy as pie to point and squeeze.

    Even of you've never fired a gun before, you should have a feel for it after the first shot.

    Now sure, it's an RPG... but it's also a first person shooter. When you're aiming at someone, only to have your shot miss because of some magic cone of fire effects; that's just bad design. I could definitely understand reloading speed being tied to skill, but not bullet trajectory.
  2. Serge 13

    Serge 13 *On Vacation* Orderite

    Jul 20, 2006
    yup, the Hollywood theme definitly kills! feels kinda corrupted and down right dirty! 8-)
  3. Arr0nax

    Arr0nax A Smooth-Skin

    Oct 30, 2009
    *skill* is a lot more than just ability to aim on an immobile tree.
    Like for example, ability to not shit yourself and remain calm. Ability to keep your hands steady regardless of tension. Ability to run/move while firing. Or ability to remain in position when a god damn monster is swinging claws at you.

    So if your taking the approach of realism, I think bullets dispersion is clearly not "bad design". It's just the best way we found yet to simulate these real factors.

    In Rainbow Six, which for reminder is a FPS, and one of the more realistics ones, your ability to fire was largely impacted by the fact you were moving or running. After running, your tension was high and you had to wait for it to lower before firing a steady shot.
  4. SuAside

    SuAside Testament to the ghoul lifespan

    May 27, 2004
    even the dog is optional.

    as a techy get either firearms or the fireaxe (doesn't take damage when used in melee against golems iirc).

    as a mage, just disintegrate or harm the fuckers.

    i bet you were really friggin' stressed when shooting that tree.

    you do realise that the average policeman hits with 5% of his shots in real life situations, right? the better police districts score 15%.

    tunnel vision, stress, shakes, trigger errors, flinching, panic,...

    yeah, gunfights are really bloody easy, aren't they?
    because a dumbass with 0 firearm skill should be able to walk through the game with ease using automatic shotguns because he's got good real life reflexes and decent aim? that's not very RPG-ish, now is it?

    Diablo sure benefitted from your ability to shift+click rapidly, but then i'm not saying that kinda stuff should be removed altogether. just taken into account that you can miss even if you aimed right because your char is a pile of puke.
  5. AskWazzup

    AskWazzup Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Aug 21, 2008
    Ahh..... VTMB.... This game slowly, but surely crept into my favorite game of all time position while i was replaying it for 8 times to date (considering to reach 10 in the future).

    I was never a fan of vampires, but this game made me a believer! The wonderfull dark setting, the believable, non corny npc's (at least when in comparison to other games), the branching dialogues and different options for different PC's, the great VO, facial animation etc. It's not the best game gameplaywise, but it's so damn.... em.... charismatic. And that's why it's such a shame that we will never see another game likes this :( .

    Really? Doesn't being appropriate make it good though? If it blends with the setting, while being in the backround, and enriches it, i'd say that's all a soundtrack should do. It's not made for personal listening, it's made to add some spice to a certain area, display its theme...

    Come to think of it, this and the soundtrack in Fallout were the only soundtracks i liked in all of the games i played :)
  6. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    7. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City - Rockstar North (Windows, 2003)

    Firstly, sorry about that whole "updating before weekend" thing. Didn't happen, shouldn't have asked since it was too late and I was too tired to type out an update. Also note for those who don't want to really follow the thread that the first post contains the list with links. Anyway...

    Grand Theft Auto. Hell yeah. It's remarkable how many franchises I name in this Countdown are dead our should be dead. Diablo and GTA might well be the only two who have any shot at a long line of proper sequels, and that's only because both have formulas that appeal to the mainstream.

    GTA is also probably the biggest reason I included the "one game per franchise" rule for this list. There are other franchises that could well send in two or three entries, but GTA would just crowd out this list: II and III would easily make the top-15 if not top-10, I could probably still make it to the top-15 and even SA and IV would crowd around the #14-15 spot.

    However, GTA: Vice City is - for me - where the series peaked, for now, though closely followed by GTA II. That doesn't mean it's best at everything: I prefer the story progression structure of GTA II. I like Liberty City better than Vice City, especially the LC from GTA IV. I think GTA IV and GTA: San Andreas probably both have stronger characterization. GTA III had my favourite GTA vehicle in the bullet-proof Patriot. The best theme is probably either the one from GTA I (Da Shootaz - Joyride) or IV (Michael Hunter - Soviet Connection). Niko Bellic from GTA IV is definitely a stronger main character than Tommy Vercetti.

    But that's all small-picture thinking. It's easy to find something minor to criticize in any entry to the GTA, from SA's somewhat hamhanded application of "RPG elements" to IV's restrictive-feeling gameworld. Fact is pretty much every main entry to the GTA franchise is a great game, I just feel GTA: VC best exemplifies why that is.

    The sandbox gaming is the most obvious point. Sandbox gaming's become quite the hype lately, but what games like Borderlands fail to understand is sandboxing is not "go anywhere and become bored by repetitive gameplay", it's "go anywhere, do anything". GTA as a series always excelled in this exactly because they understood so well that a rich variety of activities is key. Driving, shooting and walking are only a part of it in a franchise that would expand to include such activities as bowling and playing darts, perhaps to its detriment.

    However, Vice City fully exploited some of the random activities elements: it has kill frenzy pickups hidden throughout the game, it has airplanes, helicopters and tanks to drive, it has miniature planes and choppers to control, carjacking or shooting range side-quests, insane jump bonuses, everything that's always worked so well for GTA.

    Vice City also incorporated all of this into the missions, and probably does so better than any other GTA, though both SA and IV would add more complexities but with their own flaws (SA is too zany, IV too shooty). Intimidating jury members, protecting a huge yacht as it leaves the harbour, shooting from a helicopter, boat races, hi-jacking a tank, it's all fun and challenging, even if the lacking controls for choppers and planes made Demolition Man and Bombs Away! two of the most frustrating missions in the GTA franchise (but they never got flying right until GTA IV).

    The irreverent sense of humour GTA started off with is key to the functioning of this open-world gameplay. Because on some level, a too-serious setting always jars with too-frivolous gameplay even if you manage to turn your brain all the way off. That's what turned a lot of people off in GTA IV, and I think GTA: VC is the perfect example of "doing it right".
    Now, personally I really don't like the '80s, and the setting per se doesn't appeal to me, but it is executed so, so well: Vice City is easily the most heavily themed of all GTA games, and its homages to both Miami Vice and Scarface are laid on so thick that even if you barely know the series and film you should still be able to spot them. This is why Vice City - like other GTA titles - manages so well to combine its heavy-handed material of drug-dealing and murder with an irreverent tone that keeps the actual gameplay believable.

    And Vice City did a lot of the little touches as well as any other GTA game. It has an enjoyable soundtrack with a good selection of radio channels. It has a large variety of pretty cool vehicles. Its characters from minor to major are well-written and superbly voiced. Also, the Malibu Club mission arc is probably my favourite mission arc from any Grand Theft Auto game.

    Oh, as for discussing the switch from helicopter view to over-the-shoulder between II and III: no thanks. Even though it sometimes sparks some controversy, it's a bit silly; anyone who played I and II could tell you the games are clearly limited by their camera. Sure, the feel is great as the top view gives you a further feeling of freedom in a sandbox game, but shooting or driving at high speed was a nightmare in those games.

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    So that's pretty much it. Vice City holds tops of a franchise made up of games any one of which could have well made the top-15. Grand Theft Auto is a great franchise, and it looks to stay that way for some time.
  7. Flop

    Flop Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Aug 10, 2004
    I defnitely agree that Vice City is the best GTA game, so far. For me, that's mainly because of the 80's setting, which is really well done, and the excellent sound track.

    Just taking an evening stroll along the beach promenade, with its pink neon lights and roller skating girls, makes me think of Miami Vice.
  8. SuAside

    SuAside Testament to the ghoul lifespan

    May 27, 2004
    GTA? VC? better than the previous games? wtf you on, Kharn? :(

  9. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    I'm trying but I can't find an actual argument in there.

    Sure. It does what it's made for really well. It's just not the kind of soundtrack I'd listen to separately from the game, and for the other soundtracks I discuss as "good" that's the case: they're both good in their function as soundtrack and separately as music.
  10. Arr0nax

    Arr0nax A Smooth-Skin

    Oct 30, 2009
    I must agree that this show a scary prevalence of console-like gameplay and artifices of modernity over story-telling and alternate realities.
  11. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    You gotta be kidding me. Even though I agree GTA II's setting is probably superior to that of any other GTA, its execution doesn't come close to that of VC, SA or IV. And story-telling? What storytelling would that be in I or II? How do those games even compare to any of the later games in storytelling?

    "Console-like gameplay" is just a lazy strawman. As I said and you conveniently ignored, the hard fact is that the helicopter view was not the most practical POV for the camera, so they changed it. A practical, sensible decision that made the franchise better.

    GTA II comes close to VC in quality but for different reasons. Its setting is superior, and its non-linear quest structure is unequaled in any other GTA. Does that put it above VC? It would, if it weren't for its choppy gameplay, caused mostly by the camera.
  12. Arr0nax

    Arr0nax A Smooth-Skin

    Oct 30, 2009
    I Guess I (We) wasn't very clear in my formulation. I'm talking about the precedent games of your top 15, not the precedent games in the series :)
    Edit : And from the tastes of Suaside, I'm guessing he was basically saying the same thing

    By console like-gameplay I mean most of the pleasure of the game comes solely from enjoying the real-time fluidity of the gameplay, things like driving, shooting, etc..., over more intellectual, tactical or strategical considerations.

    The game seems really well executed in this sense, but I'm personally demanding other types of enjoyment from the games I play
  13. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003

    You mean why is GTA: VC better than Bloodlines or Arcanum? Considering how heavily flawed the latter two are, I'd have a hard time answering that question...

    That said, with a sigh and a heavy heart I once again repeat that this my personal top list of games I enjoy, not a list of greatest games of all time - though I should note VC might rank above Arcanum and Bloodlines in the latter list too, I'd have to think it's simply a great game. Yes, I enjoy playing GTA: VC more than Bloodlines or Arcanum. Why? Because it's a polished, excellent, fun, well-told, well-designed classic.

    I know a lot of you were expecting a predictable list of classic RPGs or other safe picks, or - as you stated - for it to be gluttonous with "story-telling and alternate realities" (though why you'd expect my entire top-10 to be made of story-heavy games is beyond me), but I'm really just not that interested in other people's opinions, and am not selecting games to score brownie points. Outside of my top-3 games, no other franchise brought me as many gaming hours and sheer enjoyment as GTA did, and VC is a healthy representative of that.

    That's a pretty silly usage of the term "console like", and I completely fail to see what's wrong with "real-time fluidity of the gameplay, things like driving, shooting". Not every game has to be an intellectual barrage. I enjoy games that are well-made, except for a few genres, and I'm not that huge on intellectual content, not to the exclusion of everything else.

    Also, if you guys react like this to this pick, a relatively non-controversial one from my PoV, I can't wait until the top-5.
  14. Arr0nax

    Arr0nax A Smooth-Skin

    Oct 30, 2009
    Yes, preceding, English is not my mother language :P

    I'm not asking *why* GTA is better, I totally got that from your point of view it's more enjoyable.
    I'm just drawing conclusions over this choice and guessing that the top 5 won't be so interesting to me since you have different expectations from the games you play.

    I usually don't see much interest in single player games that focus on you doing repetitive actions against computer controlled ennemies.
    If the console industry didn't create them, at least it brought it to the masses and formed the core of the gaming clientele we have today, so I'll stick with this term.

    PC gaming introduced and continue to be characterized by different types of games, some of which I happen to enjoy more. Newly introduced considerations were strategy, strong story telling, and last but not least non-linear choice-driven story telling.
    The presence or not of such considerations will differentiate games that I play casually and enjoy for one hour or two, and games that can litterally suck me in for days in the same way some books can.

    That's just how I am, not trying to convince you of anything here.
  15. Nark

    Nark Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Dec 6, 2008
    Vice City was awesome, nice choice. :)
  16. Nonagon

    Nonagon Still Mildly Glowing

    Jul 8, 2006
    ...Kharn here found a GTA game more enjoyable than all the previous games, so what? It's some guy's opinion...
  17. Lexx

    Lexx Background Radiant
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    I couldn't put any GTA game very high on my personal list. Not because they are bad (I like Vice City the most too), but because of most of the missions. It all starts pretty good but sooner or later there comes the point in the game, where I need to replay every mission 2, 3, 4 times until I get it done. And I hate stuff like that.. it's annoying and time consuming, because you always need to drive to the place first, trying to not kill anything (it's hard to resist, heh) etc. etc. all that stuff.
  18. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    So, uh, your complaint is that some missions are challenging?

    Are you serious? I list one sandbox OTS shooter game and you jump to the conclusion that the rest won't be interesting to you? I am very curious how exactly your brain is wired.
  19. Verd1234

    Verd1234 Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Jan 16, 2009

    GTA was created on PC...GTA was made for PC....Each of the GTA games that are on both PC and Console play better on PC*....

    GTA is a PC franchise....and each game* shows this...

    Not all PC games have to have strategy or strong storytelling to be good...Some games on PC were made before Nintendo and they also don't have story-telling or whatever...

    It's fine to like Story-driven games and such but not all PC games are like that and not all PC games should even be like that...

    *With the exception of GTAIV
  20. UncannyGarlic

    UncannyGarlic Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Feb 6, 2008
    GTA games are fun to screw around in but the missions are mostly mediocre and bad, being far too repetitive and uninteresting. Most of my experience comes from GTA III (the only modern GTA game I own {1&2 are enough different to seperate them out}) but what I've played and seen played of the other games since hasn't impressed me as being enough better. All that said, it's not a surprising pick on a top 15 list.
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