Welcome everyone to episode 2 of the highlights! In Episode 1, we covered every game that was rated 5 stars on TT. This time I will covering all 5 star games on TA.
In total, 9 games have received this ranking on TA, however, as four of those are duplicates to TT (The Bioshock series and Castlevania HoD) that leaves us with 5 games to address, 3 of which are available of PS.
On to the games Nier
Okay, so we have kinda been over this ground before. Nier is obviously the prequel to Nier:Automata which was featured in episode 1. Yoko Taro has a very specific style to his games that I absolutely love.
I am aware however that many people are put off this game because of the gameplay. There was no Platinum Games involvement in this game, so the combat is not as fluid as it is in Nier: Automata. Regardless, I still think this game has a lot to offer and a fantastic story that whilst not necessary to enjoy Automata, it is really interesting to see how all of Yoko Taro's stories tie-in together.
The great thing in my opinion about Yoko Taro is how he approaches topics and always presents multiple levels of analysis. Whilst I enjoy the gameplay, music, story etc, in these games, it is the thought provoking nature and impact that they have had on me that keeps them in my thoughts as some of my favourite games ever
Anyone aware of a game designer more eccentric than Yoko Taro? If there are any contenders please let me know Double Dragon Neon
The pinnacle of the beat 'em up genre! Basically for my entire life there were two undisputed champions of the beat 'em up genre for me, those games were Golden Axe 2 and Guardian Heroes.
After years of playing beat 'em ups and the heyday being over for the genre, it was looking like these two games from my childhood would remain unchallenged forever.
Then... Something totally RADICAL happened, my dudes!
In comes Double Dragon Neon. Wayforward decided to take the classic Double Dragon formula, add some meat to the bones with some great combos and added mechanics, all wrapped in an over the top 80's theme (both visuals and audio)
The core gameplay is there, the levels look stunning and the OST is one of my personal favourites in gaming. It is great fun with a friend, particularly on Double Dragon difficulty with friendly fire enabled brings back that feeling from the golden age of the genre. I never hit my teammate... honest
Lastly, this game has one of the greatest uses of an achievement/trophy I have ever seen and one that I gave props to in a very old blog. In all honesty, I think the achievement works better on XBLA than it does on PS or PC, but I would love to see more game devs be inventive with their trophies/achievement Black Knight Sword
Why doesn't this game get more love?? Whilst not quite in Yoko Taro's league, I find Suda51 to be a very interesting game designer and love the style he brings to his games. This is certainly my favourite Suda51 game by a long way.
Black Knight Sword absolutely reeks of Suda51 and I think it suits this game very well. The game plays like an old style Castlevania in many respects, which is one of my favourite genre.
The theme of the game fits very nicely with this game as you and the aesthetic is perfect. You are a black knight, on a quest to defeat the white princess. The game is set up like a stage with the scenery and background like a pop-up book.
It really is a very unique game, with a lot more depth to it than it first seems. The gameplay pulled me in and the depth kept me hooked.
This game also has a super hard arcade mode which I have yet to finish, but is on my list of 4 final XBLA challenges to beat. I know I can do it as I've been close before but a lack of patience and shiny new games took me away from it.
I am really looking forward to going back to this later this year and conquering the arcade mode once and for all! When I complete this game it will likely forever stand as one of the hardest challenges I ever do in gaming Mutant Storm Reloaded
We are now onto the final two entries and the ones that sadly aren't available on PS
A common theme I am seeing with this blog is entries that are one of my favourites in the entire genre. This one is no exception. One of my favourite genres is dual stick shooter (or twin-stick if you prefer, pls no hate
) and this is my favourite of all of them.
While many people were raving about Geometry Wars (Which I also love <3), I was trying to convince people that this game was better. It embodies everything that makes a dual stick great. There is no luck involved in this game. Every level is self contained with clear goals. The levels and enemies are varied, with any death being your fault and purely your fault.
Some fans of the genre won't like that it is level based as they prefer endless wave games. I actually feel that the levels enhance this game, and love the way that you can tackle any level or set of levels on any difficulty to get better at the game and increase your score.
Much like Black Knight Sword, this is one of the four XBLA games I want to finish in the next 2 years and another one I know I am capable of. Again, much like Black Knight Sword, the Black Belt Grandmaster achievement will probably forever sit as one of my greatest gaming achievements and once again in a game that I love
On a side-note, I'm kinda bummed I never played this game for more than 3 or 4 days in February 2006. I got the game on the 20th, played it a lot over the next 3 or 4 days and got to the point that I could consistently get to the late 70's early 80's in my black belt grandmaster (BBGM) run.
Back in 2006, I never had internet at home, TGN didn't exist and achievements were brand new. I kinda decided to go for BBGM but after 3 or 4 days of getting close I got bored and moved on, never to look back. Little did I know that it would eventually be regarded as one of the hardest achievements to accomplish and one that I would be returning to over a decade later.
Given that my gaming prime was probably 2004-2010, eventually falling off sharply in 2015, if I knew now what I knew then I would definitely tell my younger self to give it another day's worth of playing
I guess that is one of my regrets in life, though I guess in terms of the regrets one can have it ain't that bad
And now the final game... What do we have here?? another favourite entry in a genre
Yep that is right, Deathsmiles is my favourite Bullet Hell game ever. I am actually so confident in the caliber of this game, that I feel it can be used a test for people who want to try Bullet Hell. To me, if you try this game and you don't like it, then bullet hell just isn't for you
This game has a great art style, fantastic OST, great level design and a level of challenge that can be tailored to any skill level.
I'm really not very good at the bullet hell genre, which is why I don't tend to play them all that often, but this game just hooked me from the start. Deathsmiles 2 is also high on my wishlist but unfortunately it has remained awkward to obtain in the UK
This game does sometimes make me wish I was better at the genre, as I would love to know the rush of being able to get to and defeat Bloody Jitterbug. Whilst I reckon I could do the 1CC runs, Bloody Jitterbug is a challenge that has forever been so far out of reach that a man can only dream.
For anyone who is interested, youtube "True Tyrant achievement" to see what this game can offer if you put the time and effort into it . I love the game just to casually run through, but I am sure Deathsmiles is a game that ages like a fine wine as you attain more mastery and more efficient runs