Escapist Expo: My Favorite Game

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My Favorite Game

Everyone has that one game that they put on a pedestal. The one game that you measure all other games against. The Escapist contributors talk about their favorite games and why they will always compare new titles to the one game that provided the perfect mix of character, story, and skill challenge.

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It seems Jim's cursed with microphones.

I could listen to Yahtzee and Jim talk games all day long.

Also i finally know what Susan looks like!

Loved this. It was nice hearing these guys talking about what they loved, especially after the panel of love which was talking about what they love in what they hate.

Got to say though, for a game I'm embarrassed to say that I do love, probably the Sims series. I know, I should probably just play out my own life, but I don't know what it is with the Sims. Making them do well, or causing them utter harm or death, something about that I find really addictive and interesting.

What I thought of when I saw the title.

Anyway, loved this one along with the other two. Could listen to them talking about games all day actually.

I am with Gav on FF. I don't get it. I tried, but I just don't fuckin' get it. What is supposed to be fun about Final Fantasy games?

Thanks for uploading all this panels, sucks to be 7000 km away.

chkdsk1991:
Thanks for uploading all this panels, sucks to be 7000 km away.

My sentiments exactly.

Also, on a side note, the panel looks like last supper painting :D

Interesting Graham said FF7 was his favourite. I remember him making a joke on Checkpoint at how it didn't deserve its reputation and was actually pretty average and that the only reason it was revered so much is because it was the first time a lot of people had seen a game like that. I guess that's pretty much what he said here too. But still, it's weird to say it's his favourite when before he seemed to be not so hot about it.

I also don't think CoD is hated in the Escapist community. We generally don't like it but we won't hate someone for liking it. Every so often you get people on these forums professing their affinity for the games. They don't get shouted down, in fact it often brings up a discussion that's usually pretty civil.

Jim's summary of FFX was hilarious too. I love that man.

purifico:
I could listen to Yahtzee and Jim talk games all day long.

Also i finally know what Susan looks like!

I would love to listen/talk with Yahtzee and Jim about games all day long, and would be more than willing to provide alcohol :D

captcha: MAKE IT SO
Its a sign!

Scrustle:
Interesting Graham said FF7 was his favourite. I remember him making a joke on Checkpoint at how it didn't deserve its reputation and was actually pretty average and that the only reason it was revered so much is because it was the first time a lot of people had seen a game like that. I guess that's pretty much what he said here too. But still, it's weird to say it's his favourite when before he seemed to be not so hot about it.

Jim's summary of FFX was hilarious too. I love that man.

You're an imaginary man who needs to vanquish a whale that's also his father. How difficult to follow is that? :D

I love Final Fantasy VII for the same reason Graham does, really, because it was the first one I ever played and after growing up on Sonic the Hedgehog and Banjo-Kazooie it was really something new and different. But I also had Jim's reaction to his comment about FFIX because I think that was the highest quality Final Fantasy that's been released. It was just a masterpiece in terms of character development, story and world design, area design, soundtrack, combat, everything about it was superb. But then, I also liked VIII, X, and XII...

I love watching these panels, even with how lengthy they are the time just seems to fly by.

I know it wasn't asked of us, but my favorite game would probably be a tie between Sonic 3 and Final Fantasy IX, my 'shameful secret' would probably be Halo I guess, or Crysis 2, games I wish people would stop trying to get me to play would be... eh, I dunno, I'm not a social butterfly right now. :D

Games that I think should've been more popular - Okami for sure. Sonic Generations as well, a lot of people have written it off just because it's a modern Sonic game, but it's a really good game. And Alice: Madness Returns. It's a little bit repetitive, but I'm loving the creepy aesthetic, character designs, and how the plot is being carried out. It's a lot different from standard run-of-the-mill AAA games, and a platformer to boot.

Most hated game - To pick a pair of games that aren't just flat-out terrible because they're broken, buggy, and generally have ridiculously low production values, Final Fantasy XIII and Pokemon Black/White. And I hate them all the more because I love so many of the previous games in both franchises, which makes me feel bad about despising them so much.

Fuck yeah to Yahtzee giving a shout-out to Spec Ops The Line (currently my fave game of the year) and its similarities to Silent Hill 2 as a psycho-drama.

Most of the started playing on the ps generation that's no very long ago.

Susan actually looks pretty much how I imagined her to. Although in my imagination she had black hair.

How old are these guys? I don't think I'm much older than them...but my first game was Flimbo's Quest on the C64!

Answers were both insightful and funny for the most part. Great expo

Scrustle:
Interesting Graham said FF7 was his favourite. I remember him making a joke on Checkpoint at how it didn't deserve its reputation and was actually pretty average and that the only reason it was revered so much is because it was the first time a lot of people had seen a game like that. I guess that's pretty much what he said here too. But still, it's weird to say it's his favourite when before he seemed to be not so hot about it.

All those things are true.

I still love that game though, I even said it in that CheckPoint episode. It's nostalgia, logic has no place here :)

Yaaaay, i missed this at the con, so glad i could see and hear their answers after all :D

I am also one of the people who liked Kane & Lynch 1.
It probably helped that it was my first 'next-gen' game but there was also the fact that this game allowed you to play as someone you are supposed to hate and who hate each other. Then there were some of the levels like the bank robbery that bleeds into a chase scene and then a firefight was great. And there was the nightclub level where all the people behaving normally and then something goes wrong and you see them fleeing and the environment changes completely right in front of your eyes. As I mentioned it was my first game from this generation (and also Eidos' first game from this generation as Blood Money was on the PS2 as well) so it was the first time I saw something like that.
And I had high hopes for Kane & Lynch 2 but, there was the terrible camera, the stupid lens effects, the shooting was bad and it was all wrapped in a terrible story.

shrekfan246:
snip

All this talk about Final Fantasy recently has got me wondering whether I should have a stab at getting in to JRPGs again. I've never had a particularly good relationship with them, especially FF, but there's something about them that makes me feel like I should like them. I guess I should get around to finishing the few JRPGs I've found I do like before I start looking for more, namely Infinite Undiscovery and The Last Story. I'll probably not bother with the former though. I do enjoy it but it's been so long since I played it I literally have no idea what's going on with the story and I've gotten to a point where I need to do a lot of grinding to past a boss.

I was thinking about what I would say if I was on the panel too. I often feel like I want to chip in with panels and podcasts I hear. Sometimes it can be annoying when they're missing something that's so obvious to me, but I digress.

I can never pick a single favourite for anything, but I guess I would pick something like Okami, the Zelda series, or the Forza series. I can't even narrow down to a single game in each series either! I just finished Darksiders 2 today and I really loved that game, even if the end boss was a kind of disappointing cakewalk. That seems to be a trend with games recently. End bosses are relatively anti-climactic and pretty easy.

As for games I think should have been more popular I also have to mention Okami. I feel like such a scratched record saying that though. It seems pretty much everyone knows about that game now. It's gotten round thanks to word of mouth a lot recently. Hopefully that'll help it to finally get the success it deserves on PSN (Bring it to XBLA! Grrr!) even if the money for it will no longer go to the people who created it. So sad that Clover was shut down. We'll never get a true Okami 2.

If I wanted to pick something a bit less obvious I guess I would go for something like No More Heroes or Muramasa. NMH has captured my attention more than any other Suda51 game by far, and I think the IP is brilliant. It really deserved a lot of attention. I guess part of the reason it didn't do so good was because it's a Grasshopper game (they tend to be obscure) and that it was on the Wii, even if the control method was actually suited to the console. Muramasa probably didn't do great because of its platform either. It might have found more success on XBLA or PSN. The game also has pretty much zero publicity behind it and the production run was minute. I actually had to order it twice because the first place didn't actually get it stocked even though they said they would. That place wasn't a small shop either, it was Amazon! Really glad I got it though. More people should try it out.

My most hated game was Fable 2. No contest. I've talked about how much I hate that game at length many times, and I've already done a lot of talking so I won't cover that ground again. I'll just say it felt like a massive betrayal to me as a lover of the first Fable and I hated pretty much every aspect of that game. I have a very special loathing for it.

I don't really have any games I'm ashamed to like. I have games that I like that I know are technically bad, but I still enjoy their good aspects and I feel no shame in doing so. I know they're not perfect, but they still make me happy. I guess the closest thing I have to a guilty pleasure does actually fall in the same category as games I like even though they suck. SRS: Street Racing Syndicate. The game has a lot of problems but it has a charm to it that I enjoy. One aspect of the game I really don't like though is the "girlfriend" system. You do these special events to impress a girl (who is a real glamour model of some sort) and as you win them you unlock progressively provocative dance videos featuring them. That part of the game can go die in a fire. It's stupid, pandering, condescending and completely pointless. Perhaps the pointless aspect is actually a plus, because it means that you can ignore the whole thing all together and just concentrate on the rest of the game and it won't effect any other aspect of it.

I don't have any games people keep pestering me to play. I guess for a short while my friend tried to get me to try Borderlands, and I did. I was in a really crappy mood at the time so I only gave it like five minutes before giving up. I really wasn't interested. Borderlands has always seemed disinteresting to me for some reason. But seeing all this stuff about Borderlands 2 recently has kind of got me interested in it.

But why do you say Halo and Crysis are shameful? I enjoy Halo, I feel no shame. They're really good games. I've never played Crysis, but I thought that was supposed to be a pretty well respected FPS. Visually stunning and mechanically interesting.

Wow, Final Fantasy VII, the Metal Gear Solid Series, and Silent Hill 2. My own Holy Trinity of favorite games mentioned. :D

'Okami for obvious reasons'

I love you Gav.

Have my babies.

Graham_LRR:

Scrustle:
Interesting Graham said FF7 was his favourite. I remember him making a joke on Checkpoint at how it didn't deserve its reputation and was actually pretty average and that the only reason it was revered so much is because it was the first time a lot of people had seen a game like that. I guess that's pretty much what he said here too. But still, it's weird to say it's his favourite when before he seemed to be not so hot about it.

All those things are true.

I still love that game though, I even said it in that CheckPoint episode. It's nostalgia, logic has no place here :)

While we're on the subject of Final Fantasy, what you said about FFX really made me smile. Now I don't feel quite so alone in thinking Tidus's awkward laughter was simply awkward, not ear-piercingly horrendous. How that one scene became so infamous is beyond me, but then again a lot of things are.

Thanks for making my day! And thank you Team Hollywood for uploading these!

Incredible Bullshitting Man:

Graham_LRR:

Scrustle:
Interesting Graham said FF7 was his favourite. I remember him making a joke on Checkpoint at how it didn't deserve its reputation and was actually pretty average and that the only reason it was revered so much is because it was the first time a lot of people had seen a game like that. I guess that's pretty much what he said here too. But still, it's weird to say it's his favourite when before he seemed to be not so hot about it.

All those things are true.

I still love that game though, I even said it in that CheckPoint episode. It's nostalgia, logic has no place here :)

While we're on the subject of Final Fantasy, what you said about FFX really made me smile. Now I don't feel quite so alone in thinking Tidus's awkward laughter was simply awkward, not ear-piercingly horrendous. How that one scene became so infamous is beyond me, but then again a lot of things are.

Thanks for making my day! And thank you Team Hollywood for uploading these!

This is completely off-topic, but I fucking love your avatar! PRAISE "BOB"!

OT: I can't wait to get home from school and watch this!

12:00

BUT I LOVE TO HATE HATE HATE!!!

Scrustle:

shrekfan246:
snip

All this talk about Final Fantasy recently has got me wondering whether I should have a stab at getting in to JRPGs again. I've never had a particularly good relationship with them, especially FF, but there's something about them that makes me feel like I should like them. I guess I should get around to finishing the few JRPGs I've found I do like before I start looking for more, namely Infinite Undiscovery and The Last Story. I'll probably not bother with the former though. I do enjoy it but it's been so long since I played it I literally have no idea what's going on with the story and I've gotten to a point where I need to do a lot of grinding to past a boss.

JRPGs are a bit of a mixed bag with me. As a whole series, I've only ever really been able to get into Final Fantasy, the Tales games, and Kingdom Hearts, and I've been trying to get into Persona lately but keep getting distracted by other things. (Er, and Pokemon if you count that, I suppose.)

I think one of the biggest problems with JRPGs is that they require a large amount of time to really get into them, even when compared to more 'Western' RPGs like The Witcher or Dragon Age. It's a significant time investment, and they usually seem to lose steam about a quarter or halfway through and then it takes too long for most of them to get interesting again. And as Graham and Paul talked about in one of the other panels that's been posted on the website, some JRPGs just adopt the most asinine and archaic combat systems that require a damn PhD in Astrophysics to navigate properly (which is why I like the relative simplicity of Tales, FF, and KH).

I was thinking about what I would say if I was on the panel too. I often feel like I want to chip in with panels and podcasts I hear. Sometimes it can be annoying when they're missing something that's so obvious to me, but I digress.

I can never pick a single favourite for anything, but I guess I would pick something like Okami, the Zelda series, or the Forza series. I can't even narrow down to a single game in each series either! I just finished Darksiders 2 today and I really loved that game, even if the end boss was a kind of disappointing cakewalk. That seems to be a trend with games recently. End bosses are relatively anti-climactic and pretty easy.

If I didn't keep getting distracted, I'd be working on Darksiders 2. I've been trying to clear out a bit of my backlog first though, still working on Alice: Madness Returns. As far as Zelda is concerned, I've never been too interested in it. Wind Waker was amazing, and I always got stuck in the Water Temple of Ocarina, but I couldn't get anywhere in Majora's Mask and I've never really been all that interested in the rest of the franchise.

As for games I think should have been more popular I also have to mention Okami. I feel like such a scratched record saying that though. It seems pretty much everyone knows about that game now. It's gotten round thanks to word of mouth a lot recently. Hopefully that'll help it to finally get the success it deserves on PSN (Bring it to XBLA! Grrr!) even if the money for it will no longer go to the people who created it. So sad that Clover was shut down. We'll never get a true Okami 2.

Don't lie to yourself, the only reason people around here have heard of Okami is because of Daystar. >.>

If I wanted to pick something a bit less obvious I guess I would go for something like No More Heroes or Muramasa. NMH has captured my attention more than any other Suda51 game by far, and I think the IP is brilliant. It really deserved a lot of attention. I guess part of the reason it didn't do so good was because it's a Grasshopper game (they tend to be obscure) and that it was on the Wii, even if the control method was actually suited to the console. Muramasa probably didn't do great because of its platform either. It might have found more success on XBLA or PSN. The game also has pretty much zero publicity behind it and the production run was minute. I actually had to order it twice because the first place didn't actually get it stocked even though they said they would. That place wasn't a small shop either, it was Amazon! Really glad I got it though. More people should try it out.

I've actually recently gotten Muramasa, because I got Odin Sphere on the PSN and wanted to check out its 'spiritual sequel'. Haven't played it much yet though, for previously stated reasons. I can agree to a point on No More Heroes, but I think that it's a relatively niche title, and I'm not sure how much better it would have fared being built from the ground up for the PS3/360. Personally, I'm not too much of a fan of the style of humor they used, but I can agree that it was a pretty solid game.

My most hated game was Fable 2. No contest. I've talked about how much I hate that game at length many times, and I've already done a lot of talking so I won't cover that ground again. I'll just say it felt like a massive betrayal to me as a lover of the first Fable and I hated pretty much every aspect of that game. I have a very special loathing for it.

I loved Fable, but the lack of an Xbox 360 back when it was released prevented me from maintaining any interest in the series after I did get a 360.

But why do you say Halo and Crysis are shameful? I enjoy Halo, I feel no shame. They're really good games. I've never played Crysis, but I thought that was supposed to be a pretty well respected FPS. Visually stunning and mechanically interesting.

Eh, it's more about who you bring up those titles around. A lot of people like to blame Halo for making the Health-Regening, Two-Gun Toting, Slowly-Ambling Space Marine shooter all the rage. But that franchise was one of the reasons I ended up buying an Xbox 360. And the first Crysis is generally regarded well, but I consider the second one to be better, which is apparently heresy among Crysis fans because it was 'dumbed down' for the consoles. (And I consider Crysis Warhead to be the best out of all three, but apparently only four people in the world played it so nobody ever brings it up, ever.)

Loved this panel,great work guys! :D

Jim, thank you for mentioning Metal Gear Solid. It gets so much hate aimed towards it (mostly fairly, those cutscenes are ridiculous), but it's great.

From what I've heard about the Tales series it seems like something I might like. The real time combat and the art style look really interesting, and I hear they're among the best JRPGs out there. I've never really been that familiar with Kingdom Hearts despite hearing about them a lot. The combat in them looks really cool. I can't get past all the Disney stuff though. There's only so much of that I can take. That's why FFV13 looks to me like one of the only FF titles I would ever find interesting, if it ever even comes out. That's supposed to have a very similar combat system to KH since it's made by the same people, right?

I find it strange that I've never really had a problem with the Water Temple in OoT. Inside Jabu Jabu pissed me off, but I got through the Water Temple really smoothly, apart from the underwater combat and that god damned whirlpool room. But that kind of stuff I kind of expect from a game of that age. I never really experienced the horror that most people seem to have at that point though.

And who of us round here hasn't heard of Daystar or his evangelical love for Okami? I also preach The Gospel of the White Wolf around my social circles. You also find plenty of people in the gaming media talking about it a lot. It comes up a lot in pretty much every circle of gamers who's interest in the medium goes beyond the most mainstream releases.

I think NMH could have found a broader appeal if it was given the chance. Some of the more subtle parts to it might be lost on most people, but I think there's a sizeable audience for the insane gleeful chaos of the game. Plus, you cut people up with a laser sword! Maybe the gameplay would need some more polish, but I can see it happening. As for finding a home on the PS3 or 360, I think it might be better suited to the PS3 (although of course I would love it on both). In fact it did come out on PS3. I think that had more to do with the Move controller than bringing the game to a more mainstream audience though.

I've never played Odin Sphere. I hear that it's supposed to be more of an RPG than Muramasa, even though Muramasa has some pretty large RPG elements to it. Maybe that's not really true and people just don't know how to define the games properly. From the little I've seen of the game it seems to be almost identical to Muramasa, in visual style and basic gameplay at least. I've thought about getting it but I'm unsure. I mean I've already played Muramasa, I don't want to just play another game that's exactly the same. I already have that.

Ignorance is bliss my friend.

I think this hatred towards mechanics like health regen and a two gun limit are stupid. They're not dumbing down the game or anything like that, they're purposeful design choices made deliberately to create a certain type of play.

It's true that slowing down the game was done to make it easier to play on a controller, but so what? Slower games aren't necessarily bad. And I think Halo is still a pretty fast paced game anyway. If they made it as fast as a game like Quake then you simply couldn't use a controller.

The two gun limit adds a layer of tactics in to gameplay. You have to select what guns you take to suit your play style or what hazards are coming up next. It's also done to create proper pacing in the game. A game can become really unbalanced if the designer has to build a level without knowing what weapons a player might have.

The same can also be said of the health regen. You have no idea if a player is going to have loads of health or next to none coming up to a certain point of a level. It might be completely unfair and impossible, or completely unfair and boringly easy. Although I admit the idea of healing gunshot wounds by running away and hiding in a corner for 15 seconds is pretty silly. That never annoyed me playing a game though. Is it any less realistic or immersion breaking than running around at top speed for half an hour while your internal organs are all trailing along at your feet? In those games you're exactly the same if you're on 100HP or 1HP. In games with health regen you're only really at low health when you're doing terrible and you're under a rain of gunfire. You need to react at that point. When you regenerate your health you also gather your thoughts to plan a different way of attacking. They happen together in tandem in an intuitive way.

All it really is is a different way of dealing with failure states. With static HP systems it doesn't really matter how or where you lose all your health. Once it's gone you fail and you have to start over. With a health regen system you only fail at a place where you're actually doing badly. Only at the point where you are taking too many hits and not playing smart enough. When you work out what you're doing wrong you will be able to face the next hazard without still carrying the burden of almost failing the last time. You won't be screwed over on a part where you know you should be able to win. They're simply different systems. One may be more forgiving than the other but I wouldn't call either of them "better". It doesn't make the game worse, it's simply a different design philosophy.

Yeah Susan... Yeah, he is. Nathen Drake is a sociopath. Maybe he wasn't meant to be, but that just makes him a badly written sociopath, who's a sociopath because he's badly written.
I'm sorry Susan... That's just what I think:)

Cory, Y U NOT JOIN the band?

OT: I have around teh same age as most of them, and I find weird to see not much came from the Famicom/NES era, still, it was one of the best panels I've seen so far, I still need to see Fanboyism, and while I expect a lot of fun, this one felt like the most insightful to the media and to the members of the Escapists as well.

I don't know what it is, but something about Susan Arendt just annoys me to no end.

Watching this I am somewhat disappointed in regards to the time frame of the games they picked, but then again it just goes to show my age, having started back in the early eighties with spectrum 48 and C64s. Of course any game a person chooses is highly subjective as that game made a profound mark on you and for very personal reasons.

My choice is X-Wing by Lucasarts from 1993, the reasons are varied, but it pretty much boils down to immersion factor. Before it all the flight and space flight games I had played on computer, had a element of imagining it being in a X-Wing fighter, miming the fanfare from Star Wars, while zipping along in a spacecraft. Then to suddenly be in an X-Wing, with sampled sound effects and music from the movies, now I didn't have to mime the star wars music any longer while zipping along in MY X-Wing.

Admittedly I am a huge Star Wars fan, so that contributed to my enjoyment, but the difficulty of the game, of always being the underdog, and the over all story arch, made every mission memorable. I still remember my greatest moment of the game, which came in a mission against a Star Destroyer. This my take a little explaining first, so please bare with me, but in X-Wing, SDs are extremely hard enemies. They are impervious pretty much to any damage you can dish out and they also have 72 TIE fighters it can send against you so you and it has some 60-120 laser cannons that shoot at you, were more then 3 hits mean you are pretty much dead. Star Destroyers are mean, and you never ever attack one!

In this mission, some 50+ mission into the game, and the first ever to attack a SD directly. My flight group was tasked with taking its shields down, and I had died like 20 times trying to shoot at the designated spot that my targeting computer had given me. All the tricks I tried and had learned over the course of the game didn't help as the shields regenerated faster then me and my AI wing men could damage the shields.

Then I remembered a scene from Episode 6 "Return of the Jedi" where a X-Wing is attacking a SD. In desperation figured I may as well try it. Aiming my torpedoes manually, just like Luke did in Episode 4, I aimed them at the two towers on top of the bridge. To my amazement they were destructible and not only that, it dropped the shield of the SD! That was just blew my mind away. Discovering that what worked in the movies worked in the game just made it so much more real, I can still remember today that very moment almost 20 years later.

Today I don't think the game would have the same impact on either me or other people. The reason being the common practice of having media tie-ins is very well established. Also the Star Wars library has become huge, then it was tiny compared to today. But back then fans of the movies were starved for anything having to do with Star Wars, and back then Lucasarts was a mark of quality on any game.

I'm tired of people acting like Mass Effect 3 " edited " ending is the first game to have the ending changed < cough > Fallout 3 < cough >

I wish I could go back to the Expo again...the drive was worth it and these guys are amazing.

Related captcha:

"Game on" You bet your ass it is! *fires up console*

Scrustle:
Interesting Graham said FF7 was his favourite. I remember him making a joke on Checkpoint at how it didn't deserve its reputation and was actually pretty average and that the only reason it was revered so much is because it was the first time a lot of people had seen a game like that. I guess that's pretty much what he said here too. But still, it's weird to say it's his favourite when before he seemed to be not so hot about it.

My favourite game is MediEvil for the PS1. A game I don't think left too much of an impression on the world, it was good enough to warrant a sequel but I don't think many people look back on it as life changing. There's so much that other action adventure game did better than MediEvil but to me it's still the best game. It might not have been the best at any one particular thing but it just brought it all together so nicely.

[I also don't think CoD is hated in the Escapist community.[/quote]Yeah I think most of the ire is aimed at the copy cats. CoD does what it's meant to do quite well. It can't be blamed for everyone else trying to ape its success.

Oh and yeah I can't judge Graham. FFVIII is my favourite and I prefer X to VII. I do sometimes get angrier at 7 than I should it's a pretty good game, but I think people criticise other FF games for things they either did just as well or better than 7. Like complaining about emo characters. Yeah Squall was a massive period but Cloud wasn't all cakes and handjobs either. I think Bartz, Tidus and Zidane are much better protagonists than Cloud or Squall.

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