Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Microsoft Xbox

Finally! It was hard work, but I managed to come up with an Xbox Top 10 list that I can be proud of. I looked over the game list for that console and I realized, there really weren't that many good games for it! In a way, that's a good thing: less games to spend my money on! There were some amazing games that couldn't make the list, but here's the Top fucking 10.

After the forgettable Road Rage & (shudder) Simpsons Skateboarding, I think they started to realize that Simpsons games have sucked since the NES. Fortunately, they've corrected that mistake. The Simpsons Hit & Run is what Road Rage should have been: huge levels, tons of unique vehicles, the ability to get out of your car, and a bunch of zany, fast-paced missions. Think of it as a GTA game, but with Homer saying, "Careful, don't sit on my nachos!" and other stuff like that. Brilliant game.

When this came out, I was like, "Whaaaaa!?" A superhero RPG had been unheard of at the time! (At least, by me). I quickly scooped it up and realized that it ruled! You got to play as so many different X-Men it was crazy. You also got to control a new X-Man, Magma, with some kickass fire-powers. There were boss battles with a ton of cool X-Men villains, and a bunch of mutant power upgrades to help you out. My only beef with the game is that at times, it was a little TOO difficult. The amount of enemies they throw at you is just insane, and some of them don't die unless you have a certain character out. Definitely a challenge for any Marvel fan.

When Xbox Magazine started hyping up this game, I was excited as hell. I thought this would be the next Zelda, for sure. Of cuorse, I was so fucking wrong. But, that doesn't mean Fable wasn't loads of fun. Sure, it was pretty much a stock action/fantasy, but it was amazing for a stock action/fantasy. You've got a very big world to explore, lots of weapons and magical powers to choose from, and an interesting branching storyline with multiple endings. If this game wasn't so short, it would probably be even better. Fable 2 looks promising, though.

For a game based off a movie, this game totally kicked ass. And such an improvement from the first movie game! (Whoever designed that first movie game, Spidey web-swings on rooftops. Roof-tops. Why did you have like 40 fucking INDOOR levels? Retards.) With a totally free-roaming gameplay style, you could guide the friendly neighbourhood Tobey Maguire through the skyscrapers of New York (outside of them, not IN them. Retards). There was so much to do, too! You stopped purse snatches, bank robberies, gang wars. You saved injured civilians & people in peril. You fought supervillains & teamed up with Black Cat. There were extra missions, too, like taking Daily Bugle pictures and delivering pizzas for Mr. Aziz (the pizzas were delivered to OUTDOOR locations. Retards). Swinging was awesome, fighting was awesome, and the recreated New York was fantastic. Play it, dawg.

Face it: GTA III brought that piss-poor series back on the map with a non-overhead, sprawling 3-D game environment that just oozed badass attitude. It was big, it was violent, it was too good to be true. And Vice City, it's sequel, was twice that. The fact that it took place in the 80s is half the reason it's on this list. All the allusions to Miami Vice & Scarface were so cool. Having the ability to buy your own profitable companies (like the Cab Depot, the Ice Cream Factory, the Paper Mill, etc.) was so much fun, something no other GTA game has done before or since. The 80s soundtrack was sweet (Journey and Mr. Mister, I'm looking in your direction!) and the voice acting was done by some big-name stars. This game was overall greatness.

This is honestly one of the most fun games I have ever played in my life. The first was equally as good, it's just that this one had a bit more to it, so it made the list instead. Every Star Wars character you can think of, LEGO-fied and made all cute and cuddly, then thrown into the action. I think this is actually the first Star Wars game that lets you play through the action scenes of the MOVIES, as opposed to all the others that just make shit up. I just wish they hadn't made the bundle for the 360 (which included both 1 & 2, as well as a bunch of extras). Those money-grubbing bastards.

I think this was one of the very, very first games to ever come out on the original Xbox. I rented it once, and I re-rented it a bunch more times because of how fucking addicting it is! Eventually I bought it used; I hate used games, but I couldn't find it new and I had to have it. It's only 1 player, but you play as two characters named Abe and Munch. Your goal is to save your planet Oddworld from a shitload of evil industrial guys. Abe could possess enemies, and then you can control them and make the enemies fight amongst themselves. Genius. This is also probably the funniest video game ever made. The voices are so bizarre and the lines they spew are so childish and immature that it's hilarious. One whole sub-plot of the game involves possessing rich people and making them give away all their money. Oddworld rocks. The sequel, Stranger's Wrath, is just as awesome, but it just missed making this list.

Very few people have played this game, and most haven't even heard of it. But this was THE reason I bought an Xbox in the first place. You play as a young Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the game takes place two months before (and then eventually, during) the events of Episode I: The Phantom Menace. What was great about this game were the conrols: you had a lightsaber. But it wasn't controlled by the lame little X button or by (groan) the gay-ass triggers. No, the saber was controlled entirely by the right thumbstick. So if you rotated the thumbstick in a circle, Obi-Wan would swing in a circle. As a result, the controls were so freaking smooth it was like an orgasm. You could pull off kickass moves and totally look good doing them. The game was just the right length and difficulty, too. Obi-Wan, you are my hero.

When I finally got the chance to play San Andreas, I was blown away by just about everything in it. Most of all, I'm still blown away by the fact that it's way better than the game that came AFTER it, Grand Theft Auto IV! The voice acting was performed by stellar, well-known actors (in GTA IV they were good, but they were no-names). The characters were deep, rich and very well-developed. The amount of different cars, missions and locations was immense. There was so much cool shit to do. You could work out, you could buy a bunch of different clothes, then mix and match wardrobes (a feature those bastards took away in GTA IV for some dumb reason), you could have girlfriends, you could fly jet planes and parachute out of them (again, not in GTA IV), you could go to drving/flying/boating school (not in GTA IV!), you could go to rural places like farms, fields, lakes and deserts (not in GTA IV!), you could ride BMX bikes (not in GTA IV!), you interact with a bunch of characters from the previous two games in the series (not in GTA IV!), you could customize any car you want in any way you want (not in GTA IV!), you could buy a crapload of different safehouses all across the map (not in GTA IV!), the text was big enough so that you could actually read it (not in GTA IV!), and best of all, the missions were exciting, with a variety of different objectives (not in GTA IV!). Rockstar had it right with San Andreas. Please, please make the next game like this one!

This is the third Star Wars game on this list. The onl reason I think it kicks more ass than Obi-Wan & San Andreas is because this game is a mega-huge RPG with an amazing twist storyline, the ability to play as a man or woman, the ability to be either good or evil, a team of really cool characters who join your party, fun quests & missions, awesome upgrades, weapons and Force powers, and...lightsabers. Lots & lots of lightsabers. You have to wait a long time to get one, beacuse when you start off, you're not a Jedi. When you reach the third location in the game, you finally do your Jedi training, but you don't actually get a saber until you kill some schmuck out in the fields who happens to be carrying one. Then, it's all good. You can upgrade your saber's power, colour and even carry two at once. It was a really big toss-up between this and San Andreas for #1, but in the end, I went with Star Wars. This game was epic, it was fun, it was very challenging, and it had a sweet sequel to boot. Bring on number 3!

Next time on Strawberry Toaster Oven: I will attempt the probably impossible. Taking into consideration these lists I've been making regarding games, I'm gonna make a Top 10 list of (wait for it) my all-time favourite video agmes, EVER. Period. Exciting? For me, hell yes. For you, probably not, but if I cared, I wouldn't be writing this (or would I?).
So stay tuned, kiddies, for the final Top 10 video game list.
if you read this far, you have no life...but I respect that.

"I don't want to be considered as a Jedi anymore. Just think of me as any other regular member of the team. With a lightsaber. And Force powers."
-Jolee Bindo, Knights of the Old Republic

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