List Reflection: Batman: Arkham Asylum Edition

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So, Asylum placed at #11.  I’m just not ready to say it’s better than Mass Effect and let it hang out in the top ten.  That said, I’m feeling like there was a delta between ten and eleven…Dynasty Warriors is now at #12…but I can see tons of games going above it. Batman fits nicely in there, not as a threat to the top games but as a middle tier experience.  Also, I’ve got twenty games in my list!  Whoa.

Next Review: Crimson Shroud

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(XENOGEARS)Tough one.  My placement of Xenogears at #3 reshapes the top five a little bit.  It’s kind of telling, I suppose, that the Two and Three spots are going to games with a lot of developer crossover…in particular the composer Yasunori Mitsuda.  Sometimes I even think of Chrono Cross as a refined Xenogears type of game.  A ‘what if’.  Chrono Cross suffered from no budget or time constraints, no creative shackles…things that some people think destroyed Xenogears.

For the people who feel the same as me, though, Xenogears is a work of art.  As beautiful (if unfinished) as the painting of Sophia herself.  There is a sadness in me when I reflect on Xenogears and not because of these constraints or lost potential, but because the game itself has an almost sorrowful undertone to it.  The ‘happy’ ending does little to lighten the overall mood of a game with themes as dark as Xenogears’.  Lost love, envy.  Death, torture and murder.  Corruption in the government and in the people.  War.

All said and done, Xenogears is amazing and deserves a high place on my list as well as a spot in video game immortality.

I’ve said things like this before that seem to end up changing but I’m fairly certain that the top three might be locked in.  Maybe even the top five.

Now Playing: Resident Evil 2
Just Finished: Mass Effect 3, Resident Evil
Next Review: Batman: Arkham Asylum

List Reflection: Dynasty Warriors 7 Edition

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So DW7 cracked the top ten, which might be surprising.  Hell, I’m kind of surprised.  But consider what I’m about to say because it took more than a little thought to come to a conclusion.

Dynasty Warriors is a pretty stale franchise.  They’re all samey enough that no other entries in the series are actually even worth putting on the list.  BUT, like I said in the review… DW is pretty unique in the gaming business.  It’s unique enough to be the only place to find its one particular brand of action.  In fact it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that DW is its own sub-genre, one that other companies have constantly tried to emulate.  Being that I consider 7 to be the best in the series so far (which then makes it the best in the genre), I don’t think it’s hard to accept the idea that it easily earns its 10th spot on my list.  Hell, Mass Effect and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door wouldn’t even receive the “Best of Genre” tag that I just handed out to DW7.  Sure, they’re in bigger categories with tons more competition…but that’s why they’re higher.  Point is I think everything below it is worse.  Funny how lists work.

Will it stay in the top ten, hell no.  Does it deserve recognition?  Hell YES.  Recognition that isn’t awarded bountifully by critics to Dynasty Warriors, that’s for damn sure.  Dynasty Warriors 7 is hands-down an awesome game that’s tons of fun, period.  I love it and I guess that’s all that really matters.

Now Playing:  Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of The Lions, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Just Finished: Batman: Arkham Asylum, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (damn, been a long time since I’ve updated this huh?)
Next Review: Final Fantasy XIII