Halo Ring

My Personal Video Game Fan Blog

My Favorite RPG Video Games

RPG games are amongst the most popular types of genres in the gaming community. Rich stories, customizable characters, epic adventures and enticing combat all mark the engaging elements of the genre. In celebration, here is a quick list of the best RPGs in history.

#5 Dark Souls

Dark Souls is a Western-styled action RPG that utilizes Eastern horror and it was made in Japan. In a nutshell, Dark Souls is a modern RPG that blends a lot of elements from action-horror games but it does so in such a perfect way that its proper genre doesn’t really manner. It is punishingly difficult but equally rewarding. Mass Effect and Fallout 3 could have tied for this spot as well but Dark Souls simply offers a more rewarding feeling due to its escalating difficulty that requires timing, skill, and dedication.

#4 Final Fantasy IX

While VI is often regarded as the best of the 2D titles and VII is the most popular, IX is often regarded as the perfect Final Fantasy. It is unfortunate that it is always overshadowed by its more popular brethren. Even series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi stated that IX was his favorite title in the series. It was a homage to the past games but still pushed forward with its beautiful presentation, streamlined game play, and wonderful cast of characters.

darksouls

#3 Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn

There are a myriad of Western RPG’s that barely made this list such as Diablo II, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, but none of them have perfected the Western-style of RPG as Baldur’s Gate II did. It was Dungeons and Dragons done right. Players were thrown into an epic quest with all the tabletop freedom that D&D had to offer, save this time it was on a computer instead of a living room table.

Baldur’s Gate II would go on to inspire the Dragon Age series, MMO games like World of Warcraft, and others.

#2 Pokemon Gold/Silver and Crystal

Pokemon games are often left out of “The Best Games” lists but there is no doubt that these games execute perfect gaming mechanics. While the newest titles boast updated graphics and online multiplayer, it was the second generation (Gold, Silver, and Crystal) that elevated the series as a gaming legend. Gold, Silver, and Crystal introduced a day/night cycle, in-game communication, 100 new critters to capture, a complex breeding system, and an entire new map (the whole world of Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow) as a post-game reward.

#1 Chrono Trigger

Behind this project were Hironobu Sakaguchi, the man behind Final Fantasy, Yuji Horii, creator of Dragon Quest, and Akira Toriyama, the artist and creator of Dragon Ball. Composing the music were Yasunori Mitsuda and legendary composer Nobuo Uematsu. The story was done by Masato Kato, the man who also penned the highly acclaimed Final Fantasy VII. In all sense of the word, this was the dream team.

Chrono Trigger had a simple but elegant time-travelling story that had several endings. It was littered with characters spanning the eons, from a futuristic robot to an ancient anti-hero of a time long-forgotten. It shared a similar combat system with its Final Fantasy brethren but it was refined to near perfection, with the inclusion of dual-techs and triple-techs. There has yet to be an RPG this amazing.

 

Are in-game Lock-Picking Games Accurate? John, a Toronto Locksmith Weighs In

These days you’ll find lock picking in most games including Skyrim, Fallout and Oblivion among others, but just how accurate are they? Well the answer is it varies, with some games quite accurate and others just way off the mark.

Real vs. In-Game Lock Picking

One of the most accurate I’ve seen is the one is in Risen 2, as it includes single pin picking, tension and raking. Sure there’s a cut away view as you’re picking, but it gives you an idea of how the thing works. Another popular lock picking game can be found in Assassin’s Creed III, but really it seems pointless. Why would you put in the effort to find the set and tension point only to break it down later?

The lock picking in the video game Thief gives you a feel for the real thing, but only if you’re in focus mode. If you’re not in focus mode you’re just spinning until you find the right spot, and that’s not how it works. If you’re not in focus mode, Thief’s lock picking system is very simple, but it’s still fun.

Fallout 3 locksmithing

Mass Effect and Other Games

Some of the lock picking in games like Mass Effect and Bioshock are more futuristic. In Mass Effect for instance, you must hack a computer or door to get to the next level, while in Bioshock you need to align tubes with the sterf and liquid. While they’re very entertaining, it’s not very accurate.

One game that does a fairly good job accurately depicting lock picks is Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. The game only focuses on pin tumbler locks, but it accurately portrays driver pins and key pins as well as the shear line. The game also shows the torson wrench. However, it doesn’t depict torsion wrench pressure accurately, or pin binding either, but it’s pretty good.

The bottom is lock picking in video games is a mixed bag, and even the best of them are no match for a genuine locksmith from Toronto. In other words, don’t count on your video game to get you out of trouble in case you lock yourself out of the house.

 

Age of Empires 2 Review: A Classic

Ensemble’s first dip into the RTS genre with Age of Empires was more of a miss than a hit. It involved many world-building elements of Civilization and the strategic combat of Warcraft II but it didn’t blend them into a cohesive gaming experience. Then Age of Empires II came out and blew the original out of the waters. To this day there is still an active modding community for the game and even though official servers have been shut down years ago, players opened their own so that the game can still be played online.

Presentation

Visually, the game still looks good to this day. There are obvious signs of aging, especially with the sprites for the militia men and the numerous combat animations, but overall the game looks and feels very good. Some might argue that the different factions all look a little bit the same but the slight differences in theme and color make each group their own.

Age of Empires 2

Campaign and Multiplayer

The campaign sprawls through the ages – as does the gameplay – but this is one that offers both a historic look of events and also the freedom to twist the pages of time with your own efforts and decisions. The single-player campaign can take a good long while to finish yet it is very rewarding in the end. You might even learn something about history.

The multiplayer offers a lot of competitive options and this is why it is still running to this day, via private servers and new gaming communities that keep the system alive.

Gameplay

This is the aspect where Age of Empires II turns into a true classic. Each faction might seem the same at first but then you realize each one has their own tech trees, meaning no faction is the same. One faction might have the advantage of building better siege weapons but poor defenses while another might have a tech tree granting them all of the best milita, archers, and cavalry but poor siege weapons or towers. There is just so much depth and variety with Age of Empires II that it guarantees a fresh new experience each time it is played.

Conclusion

Age of Empires II is a testament to excellent RTS gaming. While the first game was nothing memorable, this second attempt perfected everything that the developers wanted. It was deep, engaging, fun, and quite memorable to this day. There is a recent HD remake that gives new, younger players the chance to experience this game and it is one that should not go by unnoticed.