411 Games Top 5 01.25.13: Top 5 Adventure Games
Hello everyone, I hope it has been a good week for all the readers out there, let’s go on an adventure.
5. Discworld – Set in the incredibly strange city of Ankh-Morpork from Terry Pratchett’s legendary Discworld series, this game features the inept Wizzard (that’s what it says on his pointy hat, anyway) Rincewind, as he tries to save the city from a very hungry fire-breathing dragon. Which is a problem when your strategy for survival consists of “Run away”. And if it weren’t enough that this game features the wit and wisdom directly from the mind of Pratchett, your unwilling hero is voiced quite marvellously by Eric Idle, who you might recognize as one of the Monty Python gentlemen. I would pay any amount of money if I could get a copy of this game that I could play today, with all the sound and dialogue.
4. Day of the Tentacle – The reason I put this, the sequel to Maniac Mansion, on the list instead of the original is because, well, you can play the original as a hidden bonus in this game anyway. Plus, this was a really clever game that forced you to use your brain to have your three main characters make changes across the past, present, and future, in order to solve fiendishly insane puzzles with the help of a time-travelling Port-a-John and the era-spanning family of Dr. Fred, in order to somehow, stop the Purple Tentacle from taking over the world. I’d say it makes sense in context, but it really doesn’t.
3. Sam and Max Hit The Road – It should come as no surprise that I loved the peak of the LucasArts era of adventure games, so here’s another one, as we follow the travels of Sam, a world-weary canine detective, and Max, a homicidal anthropomorphic rabbit, as they solve crimes and hurt people, not necessarily in that order. In this game, they’re searching the United States for the mythical Bigfoot, who has escaped from the local circus. Along the way, they meet a wacky cast of memorable characters, trade witty dialogue, and occasionally discover clues that will help them discover the final location of the elusive creature. Plus, it has an eggplant shaped like Abraham Lincoln.
2. The Walking Dead – One day I will steel my emotions enough to get through the final chapter of this eminently depressing game of a world going through the zombie apocalypse. When the dead walk the earth, the only person who can decide what the right course of action is you, and this game makes sure that you never forget that. Around every corner, you must make choices that will change your life, and the reactions of the people around you, forever, and just like real life, there are no take-backs. And the worst part is, the game is so well written that you can’t help but care. However, just like the 2012 GOTY voting, this still isn’t my #1.
1. Secret of Monkey Island – This is the perfect adventure game. It has pirates, monkeys, ghosts, insult swordfighting, monkeys, pirates, puzzles, humour, vegetarian cannibals, pirates, and monkeys. Oh, and there’s a game in there somewhere, as Guybrush Threepwood seeks to become respected among the piratical community, and inadvertently ends up mixed up in a plot involving Ghost Pirate LeChuck, the dashing young governor Elaine Marley, and the dreaded and mysterious titular Secret of Monkey Island. This is credited with innovating the idea of “take two seemingly unrelated things and combine them to make something else” that basically required a twisted sense of humour (or lots of trial-and-error) to figure out. In summation, there’s one simple reason why Monkey Island is the greatest adventure game of all time, and it is this:
Look behind you, a three-headed monkey!
5 – Prince of Persia: Sands of Time - Okay guys I’m gonna ask you go easy on me this week, whilst researching what people considered ‘adventure’ I realised this is a genre I have played very little of so if your picks are missing it’s simply because I haven’t played them, and I haven’t played a TON of the best adventure games. Sooo probably the most fondly remembered POP, I only played this a few years ago as a HD collection. I can see why it got so much love for its time. Yes alot of it has been surpassed now but back then the wall running puzzles, 3D combat and the ever helpful sands of time reversal made for some pretty sweet gameplay. The world created was deep for its time and was fun exploring.
4 – Stacking - This was a fun game, after getting it free on Plus but having never heard of it bar its developers rep it took me a few weeks to get round to ‘giving it a go’, well there went my weekend. Running around as Victorian era russian dolls doesn’t sound appealing does it? Thankfully the game has humour to spare, hell farting can help you solve puzzles. Dolls have various abilities and its these that you must use to solve the well considered puzzles. You feel quite smart about having figured them out as they make sense. Also the clue system is a helpful cop out if you’re stuck.
3 – LA Noire - So this one might be considered a leap but the focus isn’t really on combat or shooting, its about solving the case. This largely comes down to the interrogations but it was for the hunt for clues and generally experiencing old school LA that got the game its place on my list. I enjoyed driving through LA and listening to my partners chat about the case we’re on. I liked visiting different locations that each clue led me too. Whilst each case is seperate each job role is built around a bigger case, which in turn built around an even longer case that evolves as your career does. Just don’t buy expecting a GTA clone.
2 – Heavy Rain - I think most can agree that if only the killers identity could change with different playthroughs this title would be much higher on ‘best of’ lists. I was sold on this game when I found out that every main character could be dead before the credits role. Sure branching stories was a good perk but knowing that every decision I made could result in me losing someone meant I paid alot more attention to what I was doing. Course turned out there was only a few spots that they could die (who else got hit by that truck early on?) but thats all hindsight.
1 – Portal - Why not the 2nd game? Because I found GLaDOS much funnier here and I also felt smarter playing this game. Portal 2 felt too signposted for how to solve puzzles, Portal however just put you in a room and told you where the exit was. Watching my then flatmate play after me let me see how varied the solutions were. This is probably the biggest ‘cult’ classic of this generation. Its short but you’ll love it all the more for it. 10 years from now I suspect GLaDOS will be ‘still alive’…. hey at least I didn’t make a cake joke!
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Games Coming Out the Week of 01/27/13
Hitman HD Trilogy (Xbox 360, PS3)
Heavy Fire: Shattered Spear (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
Skulls of the Shogun (Xbox Live Arcade Only)
Let’s Fish! Hooked On (PS VITA)