We’re going to take a bit of a break from the CKII AAR, because I have this idea now, and I’m getting further and further in my game from where I’m writing, which makes it harder to make relevant posts (this is the same thing that killed my Skyrim in-character blog, all those years ago). But I saw Krikkit’s post on this topic yesterday, and it made me think.
Thing is, many of my favorite games are a part of some series – but I don’t like the rest of the games. Fallout comes to mind: Fallout New Vegas is definitely in my top five favorite games ever, but I’m not fond of the rest: 1 and 2 are just not my genre, no matter how many supposedly great games I try; and I despise the Bethesda offerings. The Elder Scrolls games are similar: I love Morrowind, but the rest are pretty meh (and I have the hundreds of hours of gameplay in each to know!). But I’ve thought about it, and I think I can come up with five series I generally like, which have games I love.
The Legend of Zelda
I’m not the biggest Zelda fan, but I generally love this series. As I’ve said recently, Breath of the Wild is now in my top games ever, and Hyrule Warriors I also love. Ocarina of Time is perhaps the first console game I’ve adored and put a lot of time into. When I got into emulators my top playtime went to the various SNES and GB games. As I’ve said, I’m not a huge fan of the dungeon setup in most Zelda games (and many games I never finish, though I think I’ve at least tried all of them except for Skyward Sword, since I had no Wii or WiiU), but still, every new Zelda game announcement fills me with excitement.
My favorite game, ever, is the original Deus Ex. This is pretty much the Platonic Ideal of “greater than the sum of its parts” – the game isn’t that great technically, or in story, or in acting, or gunplay, or any individual element. But taken all together, this is a superlative game. The sequels never live up to the original, but I don’t know if that’s even possible. Invisible War gets a bad rap, because it’s doesn’t even come close for various reasons; it’s still a decent game on its own, however. Invisible War was also good, but I think missed the point; still a game I’ve played more than once, which I can’t say about too many games. Mankind Divided is probably the objectively best game in the series…except that it’s only half a game. But besides that, great stuff.
This is another one of those series that get me excited every new game, though I don’t always like many aspects of any particular one. I just like the crafting aspect of it. There are so many games though, that any particular mechanic that I don’t like will go away, eventually. Or at least, there will be something else that I do like, that it makes up for it. And I love a game about cute girls doing cute and dangerous things. Even the PS2 games that had a male protagonist and tried to be a regular jrpg.
I love the lore in this series, and I love the games. Yes, even the first one. Perhaps especially the first one. I know it tends to rub people the wrong way, but I got along with its jank just fine. I couldn’t even get into the second one until after I played the first: it was the first that got me hooked, and gave the motivation to power through some of the harder parts of the second game. The third is one of those masterpiece games, no matter how much /v/ hates open-world games, and perhaps the best open-world game ever: I hate when scale is off for game purposes (because rendering realistic distances is a bit hard, even now), and Witcher 3 comes closest to realistic in any game I’ve ever played, while still being fun to play and having things to do (unlike Daggerfall).
This one came out of left field for me. I had heard these were pretty mediocre, and not too fun. Also, huge, with a beefy computer needed. Eventually I got one of those, and gave it a try. The first one, I mean. And I didn’t like it. Tried 2, couldn’t even get it to run past the first save point. The third one though, that was something special. Not only did it run, but it ran well. And it was a good, fun game. Story wasn’t that special, but it was good enough. Then I played 4, and that was everything the third wasn’t. And then Primal, which was super fun. And 5 was even better. (Not the new one though – super disappointing that they went the Borderlands route with the gameplay).
I guess the thing I really like in a series is a large scope, with quality gameplay and lots of random crap to do. I guess I learned something about myself today.