Monday, August 20, 2007

RLLMUK's top 100: 50 - 41

50Pro Evolution Soccer 6 (PlayStation 2/Xbox 360/PC)
49Soul Calibur (Arcade/Dreamcast)
48Silent Hill 2 (PlayStation/Dreamcast)
47Guitar Hero 2 (PlayStation 2/Xbox 360)
46NiGHTS into Dreams (Saturn)
45Sensible World of Soccer (Amiga/PC)
44Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Mega Drive)
43Sega Rally (Arcade/Saturn)
42The Secret of Monkey Island (Amiga/PC)
41Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (PlayStation 2/Xbox/GameCube/PC)

Comments on the games I've played:

Soul Calibur (Dreamcast)

Other than Street Fighter 2, I'm not a huge fan of fighters because I can't be bothered to learn the huge move lists that are required to be good at them. There are a few exceptions. The Dead or Alive series is based around a select few generic moves, really, adaptable between characters. The first couple of Virtua Fighters were relatively simple in execution, with limited moves for each character. And Soul Calibur ... it's just really rewarding, and the weapon-based combat makes it distinct enough to keep me playing even though I'm really, really rubbish at it.

Guitar Hero 2 (PlayStation 2)

It's alright. I don't seem to like it as much as some people, but that's probably because I've never really had the aspiration to play the guitar and most of the songs in the game don't really appeal to me. What it sets out to do it does very well, but I prefer Samba de Amigo and its Latin basis.

NiGHTS into Dreams (Saturn)

An evolution of Sonic's platforming, really, keeping the style and speed and taking to the skies. When I first played this game I didn't really get it, just trying to rush through the levels to the end. Unlike Sonic, this is all about how you get to the end, rather than just reaching there. Some of the later levels do require speed as well, getting to the end of the course before the time runs out, but by then you're expert at pulling of stunts with a minimum of delay, even speeding you up. So elegant. I even loved the ground-based bits, the panic to get back to the temple. I've completed this game so many times, but it really is about the playing and not finishing. I hope the Wii game works as well, and more to the point, includes the original as an extra.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Mega Drive)

The pinnacle of the series? Probably. When we went to Kieron's at the weekend, eight of us played through the two-player game, taking turns, on the Wii (which comes complete with the slowdown whenever there are too many sprites on the screen). It's hardly dated at all, and I knew my way around the levels - even the Mystic Cave - with no effort at all. When this is released on Live Arcade, so it's not squashed and slow, I'll be buying it in a shot.

Sega Rally (Saturn)

It's a very different game to Daytona and Outrun 2, but all Sega racers share a general philosophy. It's my favourite theory of rhythm again, and Sega Rally exhibits this to a huge extent, with long sweeping corners and narrowing straights keeping the speed up throughout the stages. As you progress it gets harder very quickly, but I much prefer just playing the first stage over and over again - it's thrilling and relaxing at the same time.

The Secret of Monkey Island (PC)

I played it to completion, so it must have done something right, but I found the whole game to be a little too tenuous for my tastes. It didn't hang together that well - the sword fighting with jokes seemed tacked-on, and you couldn't really explore a lot of the island. Having said that, there were a few laugh-out-loud moments, and I felt sufficiently engaged to start the sequel ...

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (GameCube)

The new evolution of the 3D platformer. Following on from Tomb Raider, the Sands of Time often presented you with a room, and challenged you to get to the top of it. Ledges were cunningly placed, the wall runs and swings helped you cross huge gaps. It was a great mix between action and puzzle. The whole game was let down a little by its combat, but even that had some good aspects - in particular, the way that you had to finish enemies off properly rather than hitting them until they fell over. All the sequels were rather disappointing, and some of the exploratory aspects were done better, I think, in Tomb Raider Legend. This game is still well worth playing, though.

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