Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sword of Senack Launch & Top Five Tuesday : All-Time Favorite Video Games

Before we get to today's Top Five, today is the big launch date for Elisa's latest book, The Sword of Senack.

Used with permission.
It's currently available on Kindle for $0.99, so head on over to this link to read part of the first chapter and link over to buy the e-book.

Amazon Paperback
Amazon Kindle ebook
Smashwords - multiple ebook formats

Now...today's list.

The Premise

I had a friend in high school who was, dare I say, obsessed with David Letterman's "Top Ten" lists. So much so that he would share his own top ten lists over lunch periods. The subject matter of those lists is not retained in my long-term memory, no matter how good it is. However, I'm sure I could ask him since I still know how to contact him. Thank you, Blogger and Facebook. One day, as I was reading through the blogs that I follow, I saw that many of them have theme days. That's when I thought I would try my hand at my own theme day, and "Top Five Tuesday" was born. The only disclaimer is that these lists represent my own opinions and are subject to change whenever the hell I feel like it. Also, these lists are not in ranking order, unless specifically said.

All-Time Top Five Best Video Games Ever

1. Thief (PC)
The graphics were the best when I bought this in 1998. Compared to today's games, image edges are a bit sharp, but that does not discount the fact that Thief and it's subsequent installments are an amazing trilogy of games. This is the one that made me an EIDOS fan, and not the Tomb Raider games. However, they are also responsible for the Hitman series, as well as Lego Star Wars.

2. Fallout 3 (All Versions)
This is my go-to game. If I'm home sick or home alone with nothing to watch on the DVR and no other pressing gaming issues or household tasks, this is the one I go to. I have three versions of the game: Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. That's how much I love this game.

3. Landstalker (Sega Genesis)
One of the two games for the Sega Genesis that I still play regularly on an emulator. When I was a kid, mom and dad splurged one year and bought us the Genesis console. This was the second game I owned; the first was Toejam & Earl. A fantastic rescue storyline and a mega shit tonne of puzzles.

4. Shadowrun (Sega Genesis)
Yes, the graphics are basic, and the top-down, slightly askew perspective is old school, but there is nothing about this game that isn't great. Amazing story, three character type choices, and weapons and armor and magical upgrades. Even the repetitive nature of the shadowruns (missions to earn money) don't annoy.

5.Age of Empires II (PC)
One of the only games I can get The Wife to play. She loves games like this, and used to play AoEII all on her own while I was doing homework in grad school, or while I played something on the TV, or watched TV. We actually used to play this with her dad and brother, all four of us sitting in one room of their parents' house until the wee hours of the morning, teaming up two-on-two against four computer players, or a free-for-all against each other. So much fun, and hours of it. In addition to the multiplayer aspect, the campaigns were really great and (mostly) historically accurate. Win-Win-Win.

The Best of the Rest, or Other Games that Just Missed the Top Five:
  • Myst (PC)
  • Riven (PC)
  • Shining Force (Sega Genesis)
  • Toejam & Earl (Sega Genesis)
  • Betrayal at Krondor (PC)
Even if you're not a gamer, is there a game you could consider playing over and over? It doesn't have to be a video game. It could be Settlers of Catan or UNO or Phase 10 or...

Word to the Nerd


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The Fallout series would definitely make my list. So would Diablo and Starcraft.

Joshua said...

Alex - Those others are good games, as well. Excellent choices.

DEZMOND said...

you know how much I love me dragons. I was painted as a dragon recently by an artist :) A rainbow breathing Dezzdragon to be more precise :)

Joshua said...

DEZ - I think I remember this Dezzdragon.

B said...

WHOO! I can comment again.

I could play fallout 3 forever if I had to. It's an amazing game.

I just started playing Mass Effect 3 without having played the other parts of the series, and I absolutely love it. Can't get enough of it.

Have you ever heard of Alan Wake's American Nightmare? The story is pretty trippy, but it looks cool. I subscribe to a guy on youtube that does walkthroughs of that game and I've been watching it on that.

Elisabeth Hirsch said...

Thank you so much :) You're awesome!

P. S. I'm in love with the Mario Bros. (especially Luigi) lol

Joshua said...


The decisions you make in the first game change interactions in the second game, and the decisions from both ME1 and ME2 roll forward and change ME3!! Start from the beginning of ME1 first!

Joshua said...

Elisa - It's the mustache isn't it?

And you are, of course, welcome.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Age of Empires = Preparing!

Joshua said...

Lass - OH! Research!!! I've never thought of it like that before. I fully intend to teach The Girl and The Boy how to play this game. Teach them some economics and city planning and whatever else I can think of when the time comes.

Teri Brown said...

Yours are so...manly.

I'm a Nintendo kid, so mine are:

1. Tetris
2. Super Mario Brothers (all systems)
3. Mario Kart Wii
4. Mario Party Wii (haven't gotten the new one yet, but can't wait)
5. Obscure tie: Paperboy & Adventures of Tom Sawyer, both for NES

Cassie Mae said...

I DID NOT know you were a Fallout fan! Why have we not talked Fallout???

Gosh, I can't pick my fav. video games cuz it all depends on the mood I'm in. I'm up for anything HP (always), or Battlefront, and when I was younger (okay, like 5 years ago, lol) I played HALO nonstop. And BLACK and Metal Gear Solid. There's the classic Super Mario which I play on my laptop with the PS3 controller, lol. Oh! And Mario Party!! I'm tempted to buy a Wii just so I can get this game. And Tekken, Soul Caliber, Star Wars Episode 3, X-Men Legends, and all those other head to head battle games that are awesome.

See, I can't pick!

Teri Brown said...

Oh! And I love Bejeweled Blitz on the computer. I play it on Facebook.

Annika said...

Thank you for posting these, it's always interesting to see what other gamers consider as the best ones.

I haven't played ANY of those, but I've heard of them though.

We only had Nintendo 8-bit when I grew up, so... I never play games on the PC, and I bought my XBOX couple of years ago - so my favourite games would all belong to newer releases (I play the Call of Duty series ~ they are quite alike but still good, I like Battlefield 3 and I adore the Lego games. Also, I like playing Guitar Hero ~ because I suck at playing my real one...).

But if I should mention any of favourites I've played on friends consoles, it'd be Colin McRae on PS2 and Resident Evil 1 & 2 on PS2. Oh, and also METROID on Nintendo 8-bit...

I love gaming.

Joshua said...

Teri #1 - I'm a recovering Tetris addict. If I play, even for five minutes, I'm mentally playing Tetris for hours after. Even while driving, which is dangerous.

Cassie - I hated X-Men Legends, but I can't really say why. Too linear, maybe? And how do you no know that I love Fallout? I've only posted about it a thousand times. :oP

Teri #2 - I avoid Facebook games for the most part. Best day ever when they linked Words with Friends. I can play the same game on my computer, phone, or iPad. It's magical!

Annika - Nothing wrong at all with the original 8-bit and 16-bit games. I have all of the old systems as emulators, and about 900 or so games for them all. Original NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, Atari, Commodore 64 games, and even TurboGrafix16.

Padded Cell Princess said...

I'm so excited for Elisa and well done to you for all of your past work with her and Melynda! You are truly and wonderful person!
Video games are a bit odd for me. The boyfriend I had before I met Branden was a big video game player. I spent hours just watching him play Fallout, Gears of War, Halo, and all the rest. I almost get sick just thinking about video games because I also think about him and the *sorry, no other lingo option* dickwad he was. We have a Wii and Branden sometimes plays it but I just can't really play without my mind going back to those miserable memories. Random thought and now I definitely seem crazy so Happy Monday, I'm going to make some tea and eat cookies!

Joshua said...

Princess - Umm, Maggie? It's Tuesday. :o)

Anne said...

Myst was one of my favorite PC games at the time of release. It seemed so complex then and I had a great time working my way through the game.

Joshua said...

Anne - It's still a great game. Sometimes I try to play it and time myself to see how fast I can get through the puzzles.

Matthew MacNish said...

It's so hard to judge these things. For example, looking back, I probably spent more time playing games like Pools of Radiance, and Bard's Tale, than any other game in history, even King's Quest III. But I'm just not sure they would stand up to modern games.

Thief is a different story - though, of course, it's not as old.

Padded Cell Princess said...


aziasaidwhat said...

Mario Kart. Where is Mario Kart? And Sonic? Clearly, I'm not a gamer.

fishducky said...

I love almost any card game & have gin rummy & cribbage tournaments with my husband. I used to be into Mario. Many times, years ago, I'd grab a passing dinosaur for a game of Pong. (Ask your grandparents what that was.)

Joshua said...

Matthew - I've probably spent more time playing Landstalker, Shadowrun, or Shining Force than any other game. Police Quest 1 might be on that list, too.

Princess - No one should. I guess...

azia - I was more of a Dr. Mario fan. :o)

fishducky - We had the original Pong with paddle control. The only game system until the Sega came into our lives. I'd take a game of cribbage any day of the week.

Libby said...

I've never been good at video games, but I do love Mario Bros. :)

Joshua said...

Libby - Mario is still a good game.

Pearl said...

I'm gonna take your word for it.



Joshua said...

Pearl - You should take my word on it and buy the book (even though I know that's not what you're talking about). ;o)

Jamie Gibbs said...

Excellent choices, but no Dungeon keeper? Surely, tis a classic?

Joshua said...

Jamie - Can't say that I've ever played that one before. Might need to correct that situation.

Ciara said...

What happened to Ms. Packman? :)

Joshua said...

Ciara - If you believe everything you see on Futurama, she's a grieving widow.

Ciara said...

Is that what happened to her? She just never got the love she deserved. :)

Paige Kellerman said...

I"m definitely not in a place to have a n expert opinion on video games,(that's the husband's area of expertise) but I do know the few I've liked playing over the years.

-Super Mario Bros...of course.
-Halo...a skill I picked up during my last pregnancy
-Soul Caliber...because I can press buttons at random and still somehow win.

Pickleope said...

Nice. Having dropped off gaming a few years (decade) ago (once they added six buttons) I prefer the classics:
1) Ducktales the video game
2) Tetris
3) Earthworm Jim
4) This super old school Star Wars PC game I can't remember the name of, and,
5) Based solely on nostalgia, Oregon Trail.

Christine Rains said...

Shining Force was my first RPG video game and I was hooked ever since. I love Settlers of Catan, but no one ever wants to play me. Nor will they play Risk with me. I'm a lucky roller! I notice there are no Final Fantasies or Dragon Warriors on your list. Not your cup of tea?

Scope said...

A quick 5 games I can play always:

5) Mattel Football II - The green one.

4) College Rules Uno - Wilds & Draw 4's can be played on your turn any time you feel like. Draw 2's roll. Draw 2 > Draw 4 > Draw 6. I saw a "Draw 12" once in college. "Always carry a spare (draw 2)"

3) Dragon Warrior - NES - Talk about a classic. Buy the club, kill $6 worth of slime, sell the torch, and then buy the leather armor. END.OF.STORY.

2) Free Cell - PC - I play a dozen hands or so a morning, and a couple dozen in the evening every night.

1) Axis & Allies - PC - I will say with certainty that I have played this game more times than any other person on the planet. Thousands. Tens of Thousands.

Vodka Logic said...

Of course I have heard of none of them.
My fave game was/is Rachet and Clank on PS2. lol... maybe I am too much of a girl. you need to talk to daughter #2 (also a Doctor Who fan) she is the gamer in the house.
I like my bejeweled on my own personal DSi... :)

Joshua said...

Ciara - I used to play Ms. Pacman all the time at the Pizza Hut growing up. They had that machine that looked like a table, where you looked down inside the table to play. Good times.

Paige - You're not the first I've heard pick up Halo during pregnancy and maternity leave. I suppose better to shoot the Covenant or the Flood than yell at a baby...or babies.

Pickleope - I'm interested in this Star Wars game. What year was it? 1996 was "Shadows of the Empire" which was and still is a fantastic game. I still have it for the Nintendo64. There were also the three Jedi Knight games (Dark Forces, Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy). Or Rogue Squadron in 1998. There were also the X-Wing Games and the Rebel Assault games. So many choices, but those are the main ones from the 1990s.

Christine - My mom kicked ass at Shining Force. It was absolutely crazy to watch how good she was at it. I'm not a Final Fantasy hater, but I've never really had the time for everything.

Scope - I used to Free Cell a lot. I retired after a streak of 300 straight wins.

Vodka - Nothing wrong with Ratchet and Clank, at all.

vic caswell (aspiring-x) said...

when i was in jr. high, i was really into mortal kombat 2. that was the only time i really loved a game.

Joshua said...

vic - Good choice. The ones that have come after that have not been great. I didn't mind Deadly Alliance as much as others did, but the new one that came out last year was just...blah to me.

Vodka Logic said...

PS, my nephew is one of the artist for Call of Duty... :)

Joshua said...

Vodka - And your nephew is now one of the coolest people I don't know.