Getting To Know Me, Part III (games)

Yes, there is a part II somewhere out there in the pipeline, but some of you people just don’t know the meaning of the word patience.

To begin with, I have a bit of a confession to make:

I’m not a gamer.

At least not in the traditional sense. Jonas and a few other people I know, you throw them the name of a developer, and they rattle off a list of ten games that this dude has made. And they played at least eight of them.

I’m, well, a bit less versed on the subject. And I played almost (note: almost) exclusively RPGs and strategy games, mixed in with the occasional adventure game, most of them made by my husband.

So, after destroying what few illusions some of you may still have had about my geekity, here is the list of my ten favourite games in the world. A list which may change drastically in the next two months or so, because we’ll get Risen, Two Worlds II: The Temptation (winner of the 2009 Game Title Alliteration Award, bestowed by the Association of Alliteration Adoring Academics) and, somewhen in the hazy future, Arcadia: A Gothic Tale.

  1. Gothic II, 2002, Piranha Bytes
  2. Fallout II, 1998, Black Isle Studios
  3. Zoo Tycoon, 2001, Blue Fang Games
  4. Gothic, 2001, Piranha Bytes
  5. The Strange and Somewhat Sinister Tale of the House at Desert Bridge, 2008, Jonas Kyratzes (Yes, my husband. The game is still bloody good.)
  6. X-Com: Apocalypse, 1997, Mythos Games
  7. Oblivion, 2006, Bethesda Softworks
  8. Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares, 1996, Simtex
  9. Two Worlds, 2008, Reality Pump
  10. Discworld, 1995, Teeny Weeny Games and Perfect 10 Productions (I also enjoyed the other two, but didn’t finish either of them. Not for lack of trying: in both cases the CDs crapped out on me.)

Honourable mention should be given to Companions of Xanth from 1993, developed by Legend Entertainment, which is the first computer game I ever played. And I still have fond memories of it.

Well, the list is, as I said, subject to change, quite probably in the near future. Risen is set to come out next Friday. Jonas and I can’t wait to get our hands on it. And the rest of the year looks good, too. I’ll keep you posted.

8 thoughts on “Getting To Know Me, Part III (games)

  1. I stumbled on your blog while looking for info for Divinity 2, and I’m rather impressed. I do believe, if you are familiar with them, that there are also a few wonderful games you may wish to check out, and adding to Sarah’s list above (and in no particular order)

    Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne: From the same universe as Persona, but (i think) a broader and more vivid storyline. You can choose to basically blow it all up, kill God AND Satan, take things over your way, or follow whatever path you want. Dante from Devil May Cry also makes some appearances and is a playable character. The skill system(and having to choose very carefully where points go and what skills you wish to have, along with the various Magatama choices) make this a difficult but enjoyable game.

    Planescapes Torment: Quite possibly one of the great PC classics, and a huge cult classic in its own right, based in the AD&D universe (Planescapes, just thought I’d say it). The story is vivid and massive, choices about for every possible playing style, and doesn’t rely heavily on combat (in fact, you can literally play the entire game and only have to fight a handful of times). Deep character development round out this one as one of my personal favorites.

    Beyond Good and Evil: This Xbox game was a ton of fun, but didn’t meet with any huge commercial success. The story was fun and innovative, the characters were engaging and well developed, and simply had bad marketing and timing against Prince of Persia in the marketplace.

    F.E.A.R: I really liked the game, simply from a standpoint of being creeped out by an 8 year old. I am not the type who gets freaked out by scary games, but..something about little Alma is just downright disturbing. In terms of pyschologically messing with people and making something where even turning around to face a different direction makes you nervous, this game was well done in regards to ambiance and overall effect.

    Again, nice site and i look forward to coming back and visiting another time.

  2. You can lower to difficulty in Risen, that much is for certain, although I’m block-headed enough to play it on medium.

    I don’t remember about Gothic, neither does my husband, but we both agree that you probably couldn’t.

    As for Fallout 3: the combat is easy enough, especially if you use the VATS system which basically pauses the real time combat to let you pick where to aim. It’s what they’ve done with the plot that is so upsetting to me. Not only does it feel like a bad patchwork made up from the plots of the previous games, they also actively ruin some characters from Fallout 1 & 2. I shudder to think what they’ve done to Harold, to name but one example.

  3. I’ve heard that you can at least lower the difficulty level in Risen (I don’t know if that was possible in the Gothic games). So I might try the demo, after I finish Planescape Rising. But I’ve always got lots of games I want to play (though I rarely finish any of them).

    And I’m really sorry to hear that about Fallout 3. I was afraid that was the case, which is why I still haven’t tried it. It’s so disappointing when they take a classic game and change the gameplay. I’ve always wanted another sequel to X-Com: UFO Defense, or even just an update to the original game, but I suppose they’d never keep the same combat. (They started to do that with X-Com Apocalypse, but at least they gave the player an option to keep the original gameplay.)

  4. Muhahahaha… my plans for world domination are coming to fruition!

    Erm… seriously though: Gothic 1 & 2 aren’t easy for people like us. One of the problems with those games is that going into the inventory won’t stop your enemies from turning you into minced meat while you try to guzzle a health potion. (In other words the game doesn’t pause.) Also the controls take a while to get used to, especially in Gothic 1. If that doesn’t frighten you too much: try, please. The Gothic games are amongst the finest RPGs that there are.

    I’m currently playing Risen by the same developers, which is a Gothic game in all but name, and I’m only managing by being very patient (and saving and loading and loading and loading…). But the game is excellent.

    I also recommend keeping away from Gothic III as far as possible. Not because of the combat, if you get in the first hit you can beat every enemy in the whole game, even at level 1, but because the game is a catastrophe on every level imaginable.

    Similar caution should be exercised when dealing with Fallout 3: that one just shits all over its predecessors. If you have any love for the original Fallout games it will just break your heart to see what they have done to the series.

  5. Sounds interesting, though I have to admit that I haven’t heard of half the games on the list. As I said: I’m only masquerading as a computer game geek.
    Your list of books was very nice though. I read quite a lot of the novels you mentioned, although I kind of got bored of the Star Wars books after a while. But I completely agree in regard to the rest, especially Dune.
    I will certainly check out a few of the books that I hadn’t read yet.
    Thanks for contributing.

  6. Hmm,… I’m going to have to start following your blog, I think. Partly that’s because I also prefer RPGs and strategy games, but mainly because you posted earlier about your “epically challenged hand-eye-coordination,” which describes me perfectly.

    I can enjoy SOME “real-time” games, but most reviews don’t give me enough information about the actual game-play. Can I easily pause the game. Can I look around and give orders while paused? Is the combat easy enough for me, or can I choose an easier setting? Or do I have sit hunched over my keyboard, frantically trying to implement combinations of attacks? Maybe your blog will tell me these kinds of things regarding the new games coming out?

    My favorite games are similar, but somewhat different (I’m a LOT older than you, I’m sure). I’m not a big fan of adventure games (except for Grim Fandango), but I like adventure game elements – mainly exploration and discovery – in other games. My all-time favorite strategy games are Civilization II, X-Com: UFO Defense (Apocalypse was fun, but can’t match the original), the original Master of Orion (much better than MOO 2, to my mind), and the original Warlords.

    My all-time favorite RPGs include Ultima IV and V, Planescape Torment, Morrowind (I enjoyed all the Elder Scrolls games, but I thought Morrowind was the best), Wasteland, Fallout 1 and 2 (I haven’t played Fallout 3, because they changed the combat, and I don’t know if I can handle it), Baldur’s Gate I and II, The Magic Candle I and II, and Starflight 2 (I never played the first one, but the second was a great game).

    I never played the Gothic games, because I’d heard the combat was real-time and difficult. Not so? I have enjoyed some real-time games (though I have to keep my character’s level low in the Elder Scrolls games). Maybe I’ll have to give Gothic a try sometime. But I’m currently re-playing Planescape Torment. Now THAT is a great game! I love a game where high wisdom and intelligence is more important – even to a fighter – than strength and dexterity.

  7. Awesome! 😀 Here’s my contribution:

    1. Suikoden, Konami (PS – JRPG)
    2. Grim Fandango, LucasArts (PC – Adventure)
    3. The Longest Journey, Funcom (PC – Adventure)
    4. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3, Atlus (PS2 – JRPG)
    5. Final Fantasy 6, Squaresoft (SNES/PS/GBA – JRPG)
    6. Atelier Iris, Gust (PS2 – JRPG)
    7. Suikoden 2, Konami (PS – JRPG)
    8. Curse of Monkey Island, LucasArts (PC – Adventure)
    9. Suikoden Tactics, Konami (PS2 – Strategy JRPG)
    10. .hack//GU, Bandai Namco (PS2 – JRPG)

    This is more or less in order. My excuse for the pitiful lack of PC games is all the papers I’ve had to write for school (which have the effect of keeping me away from the computer the rest of the time, aside from Internet use). All highly recommended, although most of them are disgustingly rare. *grumbles*

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