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November 22, 2013

Top 12 Video Game Franchises I Want To Try Someday

Hello again, everyone! A third cycle of reviews ends with this Top 12 article! This time, I decided I'd go out of my field of expertise. I said it before, I say it now and I'll say it a couple more times in the future: I'm a Nintendo guy. I hardly ever played any Playstation or Xbox games. Or, well, I hardly ever played any video game franchise that has its roots in either of those consoles.

But that doesn't mean that I'm not interested, either! Many famous video game series are not available on Nintendo consoles. Other famous series are on Nintendo consoles, but I've never played them. Whatever the series' home video game company, there's always new things to try every day. And so, I decided I'd make a list of 12 video game franchises I'd like to try someday.

Not quite sure, however, if this counts as a Top 12 or if it's just a regular list without any order... Also, keep in mind that I don't know as much about those franchises as I do about the franchises I've already tried. And if you don't see a series on this list, if it's a series with any few games on Nintendo consoles, then I probably already tried that series.

12. Halo
I'm a big science-fiction fan. I'm a bit less of a fan of first-person shooter games, though. Maybe that's why I'm putting this one low on the list. Master Chief is a super-soldier helping the side of mankind in a full-blown interstellar war against a species of aliens called the Covenant. The first game is considered one of the best games for the original Xbox, and one of the best shooter games altogether. The franchise has spread through seven or eight different games, and has presented an increasingly complex story to the gamers.
However, like I said, I'm not really good at shooter games. However, I can acknowledge how the series has gained such a huge following, and so I'd be willing to give it a try someday. When I end up seeing an Xbox somewhere...

11. American McGee's Alice
Anybody remembers Alice in Wonderland? Well, duh. Anybody remembers the dozen or so dark versions of Alice in Wonderland? Heck, even Tim Burton did one! However, this one is a special case. American McGee's Alice is a retelling of the original story where Alice is in an asylum following some horrible event in her life; and therefore, she tries to hide in Wonderland again, so basically she tries finding peace through her imagination. Except Wonderland has become just as screwed up. And scary. All the main figures of the story have been twisted into horrible versions of themselves.
As a fan of psychological horror, I think the idea and its execution are great. This could definitely be a fun playthrough, and I'm looking forward to playing this series soon. After all, up here in Quebec we've got the champion of all dark versions of Alice in Wonderland.

10. Animal Crossing
Coming from horror to peaceful lands now. Animal Crossing starts with your character appearing in a city with anthropomorphic animals everywhere... and they make sure you stay there FOREVER by keeping you indebted and owing them money all the time. The money is collected by accomplishing tasks around the city. And you have to play this game pretty much every day. Therefore, the game hardly ever ends. It's also famous for Mr. Resetti, who was awesome enough to appear in Brawl. Villager made it into SSB4, too.
As a busy man, I might be unable to keep up with playing this game every day for a long time. However, it does seem like a fun series. As long as you forget the deeply disturbing ideas brought by the concept, you can have a good time. Just, don't forget: You're here forever. And there's no way out of Animal Crossing. Not even resetting.

9. Ratchet & Clank
A PlayStation series, Ratchet &Clank follows the adventures of a mammal-like animal alien named Ratchet, sort of a warrior and a mechanic, and his robotic pal Clank who really comes in handy during the former's missions. The duo appeared for the first time in 2002; in their first game, villainous Supreme Executive Chairman Drek was planning to create a whole new planet for his species by stealing large bits from many other planets in the galaxy.
Although space warriors is nothing new, we still get a cool spin on the concept by having a non-human character helped by a small robot, and some hilarious villains; we really needed some comedy in this genre. The series has spawned over twelve games, and has gotten good ratings from IGN for most of its games. Such merit had to be deserved... no wonder I want to play it!

8. Batman: Arkhan series
Batman is one of the most famous superheroes, along with Superman and a half-dozen Marvel heroes. In fact, he's probably the only superhero who's got his own video game franchise. The Batman Arkham series has Batman investigate Arkham Asylum, as he gets trapped inside the asylum with the inmates; during that time, Joker plans to cause havoc in Gotham City. The sequel forces Batman to look over Arkham City, another facility for Gotham's mad men – and we all know there's over a hundred of 'em – and Origins is a prequel to the first game.
I heard that the series is very great, with a dark and gritty story – the same kind that worked so well for the Dark Knight saga – and a unique element of gameplay in the Detective Vision Mode. With this, Batman can spot potential danger from his enemies. Definitely a must-try. I hope to try it someday, anyway.

7. Portal
One of the most memetic video game series ever, Portal is yet another science-fiction series about robots getting too much control. I mean, who among us on Internet has never heard the name GlaDOS, or the sentence “The cake is a lie”, or even heard about the companion cube or the ending song Still Alive? The character, Chell, has to solve multiple puzzles based around teleporting objects. Also, the robotic GlaDOS clearly has a few viruses in its programming.
While the series doesn't have a lot of games (only two), it has clearly left a mark in many a gamer's memories. And really, if the series is so fondly remembered with so little games, it must have done something right. Again, the series' villain is very good, and there are other hints that make this series a whole lot creepier than we'd think of at first sight.

6. Fire Emblem
I don't know much about Fire Emblem. They're strategy games, they personalize all the soldier units, the protagonists are different for almost every game, many villains are total badasses... Although, for that last one, it's the case for a lot of video game villains. Fire Emblem is particular because it never saw America until Marth and Roy appeared in Super Smash Bros Melee, after which our North American gamers asked “Why have we never seen them before?” And so the market opened for Fire Emblem here.
Why do I want to play this series? Well, I've found that I have quite some talent when playing strategy games on Internet. I think I'd have a lot of fun with this series. I just need to find a game of the series somewhere. And also, most people talking about this franchise say they love it. Surely I must be missing something!

5. Jak & Daxter
Jak was good pals with Daxter, until Daxter fell into a vat of Dark Eco (some demonic matter, I guess) and turned into an ottsel. Now, Jak has to travel around with his friend Daxter in order to find a cure. However, this world of theirs hides some secrets potentially darker than Dark Eco... The series contains six games in total, and they all follow the same continuity.
Mixing supernatural and science-fiction, with large touches of comedy, the Jak & Daxter series is enjoyed by many PlayStation 2 owners. And beyond with the sequels. The characters are enjoyable, so are the villains. I think a friend of mine had the first game; I could see him playing the first J&D once. I didn't try it, though. However, I'm convinced I'd have a great time if I were to try it at some point in my life...

4. Metroid
When the first Super Smash Bros came out, I always wondered who that Samus was, until I found out that not only it was a character from a series called Metroid... she was a woman, too! A woman that kicks alien asses and travels through dangerous environments to do so!
My knowledge of Metroid is still extremely limited. I should get my mind off Mario and Pokémon sometimes and try different Nintendo franchises, huh? Some of the Metroid gams are truly impressive, with the world of Super Metroid being incredibly large. The concept behind Metroid has been the basis for a lot of more recent video game franchises, such as Halo. Would I have fun with this game? I think so. It sure would take me time to get used to the gameplay. However, my Pokémon fan friend played them, and she had fun. Hm, I'm pretty sure I'd enjoy these games too.

3. Earthbound
One of the most creative RPGs ever, if not THE most creative ever. Earthbound tells the adventures of some earthling kids as their world is attacked by a race of aliens. Known characters from Earthbound include Ness, Lucas, Jeff ad Porky. How is it creative? Just a hint: Praying for the main villain to be destroyed is what destroys it. In the same vein, some monsters have unlimited HP but can be destroyed in a single hit by particular weapons. Just a few examples of creative gameplay mechanics in this series.
And frankly, this is the main reason why this series sounds so great. The characters? Aside from those who were in Brawl, I don't really know any other. Except maybe Giygas, which has to be one of the most epic RPG villains. Sure he's the one destroyed by prying, but still... Did I mention it had to be the player praying for it to work?

2. Assassin's Creed
Every time an Assassin's Creed game gets released, we make a big deal about it here in Quebec. Why, you ask? All the main games in the series were made in Montreal! Yep, this was Made In Quebec, suckahs! Joke aside, though, the games are really great. We're tossed into this historical fiction, with bartender Desmond Miles projecting his own mind into those of his assassin ancestors in order to save the planet. Okay, I didn't play the games, so to me it's a strange concept...
However, my will to play this series goes beyond chauvinism towards my province, and beyond this puzzling storyline. I heard that this game series is really awesome, offering stealth, open worlds, action and adventure... Of course, the story will seem less strange once I've played the games a bit. Still, one great series, and almost all those who know it like it. This can't be a bad sign. On the contrary, it's all more reasons to try it in the near future!

1. Kingdom Hearts
GASP! I never played Kingdom Hearts? Wow, I really suck! It must really be awful to be me, since I never played this brilliant mix of Final Fantasy with Disney! Seriously, though, I know this series has a ton of fans, and it's one of the franchises with the most fanfics ever. That says something about its popularity. Then again, at least part of the series' popularity can be attributed to simply being a gigantic Disney crossover, with characters we've loved and cherished ever since we were kids.
Kingdom Hearts is the Number 1 reason why I should definitely get some non-Nintendo consoles. Everyone has a good time with those games, and when I hear fans of the series telling me about it, I can see why. An RPG that combines our most dearly-remembered characters with complex stories with comedy, drama and all the good stuff we find in well-built storylines... Truly, if there's one series I want to try someday, it's this one.

So... I guess that ends this Top 12 list. If I needed any reason to buy a non-Ninendo console... Well, I got 8 reasons right there. And I go four reasons to buy Nintendo series out of my field of expertise, too. I'd say that if I even manage to try all those series over the course of my life, I'll be very happy. And yeah, I guess that's the point: Be happy playing your video games, and sometimes discover those played by people that are not yourself.

Tune in next week for the fourth round of video game reviews, with Garfield: The Search For Pooky!