Numbers. Man, there must be millions of ‘em. Seems like every other game on the shelf has a number in it. Boy, I bet you could count to a hundred using just videogame titles and related items. Let’s see if I’m right.
Some games are upfront about their morally dubious nature, but others pretend to be innocent while hiding their corrupting content inside sinister subtext. Join us as we blow the lid on that whole den of depravity.
25. Kingdom Hearts
Squaresoft | Squaresoft | 2002
A third-person action game with light RPG elements added - and which happened to merge the Disney and Square universes in an utterly captivating way
What made it so great?
Kingdom Hearts is what happens when you give classic, universally loved characters to the best RPG storytellers in the business and ask them, "could you maybe fancy this up and make one of those video games with 'em?" It sounded ludicrous at first - Donald Duck as a wizard,
Because we enjoy making graphs, looking at graphs, and talking about graphs so darn much, we decided to do a little research experiment. Our goal was to discover which numbered entry in a game series (not the number of games into the series, the actual number in the game’s title) is most often the best. Is it scientific? Not in the least, but it still might surprise you.
In all honesty, some games would be better off left on the whiteboard at the design meeting. Whether they're too ambitious, too expensive or simply too good to be true, we're frequently led to imagine great things only to have our expectations dashed when the game finally arrives. How could these games be so good on paper yet underwhelm so spectacularly? Let's take a look...
month's Breaking Bad cliffhanger has us all hungry for illicit
thrills. Sure, that's not a videogame (though it's inspired a couple), but with narcotics subplots in titles like Sleeping Dogs and Borderlands 2, controlled
substances are all over contemporary games. Then again, you've
probably been gettin' that yellowtop in-game for years without even
realizing it, thanks to the well-hidden drug metaphors we're
about to expose...
Has it really only been 12 months since the last avalanche of “Best Games of 200X” awards? Well, we all love a good list, and you won’t find a better barf bag of random praises than our own Platinum Chalice awards, the place to have someone else’s gaming opinions shoved upon you. How important are these awards? So important. Real important. What do the other guys have, gold trophies? Screw that.
Thanks a bunch, Christopher Nolan. Ever since Batman Begins took the universally-reviled cinematic bastardization of a cool character and redrew it in the drab colors and long shadows of The Dark Knight Returns, the “gritty reboot” has been back in fashion. In Hollywood-speak, the term's a nice way of saying “we've screwed this up, can we have a do-over?” Of course, games being a forward-looking sort of medium, players have been wise to this trick for years now – and we're still suckers for it.
Whether it's a deeper-'n-darker sequel or restarting from scratch, rejigging your series with a darker palette and more distorted guitars is a great way to draw attention to what might otherwise be just more sequel-abuse. But how well does it work? From a player's perspective, a gray coat of paint is hardly going to turn gameplay upside down... but from a “cataloguing the tricks they'll pull to sell a new installment” standpoint, dark reboots are just gravy...
We recently took issue with the claim that “gaming has not yet had its Citizen Kane”. As you can see, we managed to find 25 games that qualified for that title – and you had plenty more suggestions besides.
We’d have had no trouble whipping up a counter-list of dismal flops.
We absolutely know that you've been waiting with eager anticipation for a feature to come along that catalogues examples of new games that share an identical name with an old game. It doesn't happen very often, so it's genuinely exciting when it does. Anyway, we've written that feature, and this is it. Direct all messages of thanks and amazement to the comments thread. K? Cheers.
Afrika | PS3 | 2009
The new Afrika: Is