RPG Index: Single player Role Playing Games

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Elder Scrolls: Oblivion

Genre: RPG, Adventure
Release Date: March 20th 2006
Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Score: 9/10
Similar Titles: Skyrim, Fallout
Start up menu.
Oblivion is one of those games that I had to finish an extensive playthrough to review it accurately. It's a benchmark in gaming, something that made the industry what it is today. The elder scrolls has always been a great series with intriguing lore. Ever since Morrowind, I've been looking for that hole to fill. Bethesda put a lot of work into this vast and beautifully developed RPG and it shows. The graphics are still stunning today, especially with the right modifications, and Oblivion has no trouble pulling you in and devouring your time.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Final Fantasy X

Genre: JRPG, RPG, Adventure
Release Date: July 19th 2001
Platforms: PS2, PS3, Vita, PC
Score: 9/10
Similar Titles: Dragon Quest, Breath of Fire, Star Ocean
Worth Playing: Final Fantasy X has become widely available through numerous ports, and therefore anyone searching for a fairly decent game to play will find this game a pretty enjoyable experience overall.

The cover wouldn't be so bad if I didn't hate Tidus.
As number one on my list of best Final Fantasy games, this FFX review has been a long time coming. While I say Final Fantasy X is the best Final Fantasy game, that's purely due to the Sphere Grid.

The tenth instalment of Square-Enix's greatest franchise did pretty much everything right. When the game was released it was an unnerving time for fans, who were skeptical as to whether the series would adapt as wonderfully to the playstation 2 as it did the playstation. In my oh so humble opinion, Final Fantasy 10 succeeded in every way possible. I've met more than one person who didn't enjoy playing RPG games until they encountered FFX.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Baldur's gate 2

Genre: Western, RPG
Release Date: September 24th 2000
Platforms: PC, Mac, Android, Iphone
Score: 10/10
Similar Titles: Neverwinter Nights, Planetscape: Torment, Icewind Dale

The game cover, nostalgic.
I'm pretty sure my review of Baldur's gate 2 won't do it justice. My score of 10/10 is all I can give it. This game is basically the king of singleplayer RPG, and I don't know how to express that. I started playing it for the first time in 2009, and it still captivated me until the very end. It has aged wonderfully, for such an outdated game.

You won't be surprised to hear it was one of the early games made by Bioware, before they became the gaming behemoth that they are today. This is another one of those games you will get constant remarks for not playing if you consider yourself an RPG connoisseur. It's not hard to get your hands on it, I'm sure there's a torrent you can find somewhere if you're a cheapskate.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Suikoden 2

Genre: JRPG, RPG
Release Date: December 17th 1998

Platforms: PS1, Mobile, Android, Iphone
Score: 9/10
Similar Titles: Final Fantasy, Kessen
Worth Playing: By now (2016), Suikoden II is an epic classic that should be played by every connoisseur of retro RPG titles. It holds up well to the test of time, being one of the best Suikoden games to date.

The cover, trying to display as many of the characters as possible.

If you're wondering why I'm reviewing Suikoden II before I, it's because I think the first game was a little unpolished and annoying to play at times. Suikoden 2 however, has everything that its predecessor doesn't, and is wonderful all the way through.

The main character and his partner in crime, Jowy.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Knights of the old republic

Genre: RPG, Adventure
Release Date: July 15th 2003 
Platforms: PC, Xbox, Mac
Score: 10/10 (If you like Star Wars)
Similar Titles: Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Oblivion

Game cover.

If you haven't played Knights of the old Republic and you are either a Star Wars or RPG fan, I can say only one thing to you: play it.

Most of your party can train to use the force.

If you've heard about the MMORPG game Star Wars the Old Republic, this is where it all originally came from.

KotOR is easily one of the greatest RPG games I have had the luck to play. Sure it's got flaws, any game has. But even if you despise George Lucas and Star Wars entirely, I still think you would look upon this legendary Bioware masterpiece as one of your favorites.

The plot is the games strongest point. From the beginning you are thrown into a battle with almost no recollection of your past. Original, right? Anyway, as you progress into the story it will encapture you in a immersive atmosphere, getting more intense the further you get. Not everyone wants to kill you, but you'd be surprised how many do. Your party members are fairly interesting, and can say some hilarious things. There are plenty of dialogue options, allowing you to say some pretty awesome stuff.

Dark side powers are awesome and powerful.

Graphics and sound are nothing special compared to the standards of today, certainly not the reason to buy the game. Think slightly worse than Mass Effect, with lightsabers. Overall, they aren't horrible. There are a few cutscenes in the game, some are pretty badass.

Combat is another one of the games strong points. Developing your Jedi is fun as hell, especially with all the abilities and equipment options. Using force powers like Lightning and Push are just as awesome as ever, and you can train your characters in many different specialisations. When encountering a pack of enemies and arrogantly smiting them you will truly feel like a boss.

Lightsabers are basically the best.

Choosing between light and dark has completely different consequences throughout the plot, which adds plenty of replayability along with the veritable host of characters you can recruit to your party. In other words, you wont be short on content. Even when you run out, there's always KotOR 2.

Check out the top 5 PC turn-based RPGs here!

Monday, 4 July 2011


Genre: Action, Adventure, HacknSlash
Release Date: January 25th 2011
Platforms: PC
Score: 7/10
Similar Titles: Renegade Ops, Realm of the Mad God

Starting up a level is as easy as pie.

Magicka was recently a summer deal on Steam, so I bought it for next to nothing. Obviously me and my friends weren't expecting much from this 1-4 player RPG/action game. However, I found myself pleasantly surprised upon starting up Magicka in all its glitchy gloriness. Despite constant crashes and annoying bugs, this game is freaking awesome. Don't let the images fool you, it will entertain you.

Creating the right spell combination unleashes devastating effects.

You may heal yourself, but healing your friends is far more effective.

My friends and I had our fun separated into short periods of time by constant issues and having to alt + f4 and restart the level. When you encounter so many problems and still want to play, you know it's a something special.
The fire element is handy for setting groups of enemies aflame.

Freezing an enemy opens them up to being shattered by rocks.

The most prominent feature of Magicka is the spell system. By using different elements, you can combine and create new spells. While this doesn't sound too crazy, when you and three friends are testing combinations, you are bound to accidentally blow yourselves up rather frequently.  Don't play this game alone, I beg you.

Combining spells with your friends will really cause damage.

Cruising around with a couple of buddies makes combat incredibly entertaining, hitting eachother for bonus points and ressurecting eachother on the fly. Blast enemies to bits in the challenge modes with crudely mixed magic using every tool at your disposal to survive. There are even new PVP modes so you can explode your friends in an arena designed for it!

Don't buy this game expecting diamonds because it will let you down. But in my eyes, this game will always be a great way to kill some time with my mates.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Top Five Final Fantasies

The greatest Final Fantasies, listed by order of awesome
I know this article may open a can of angry fanboys that I am not prepared to deal with, but I decided to do it anyway. I will be writing about what I believe are the best Final Fantasy games. I will not be including the online version, FFXI in the list, since it has practically nothing in common with what Square-Enix usually produces. The earliest games with empty plots obviously can't compete, no matter how addictive they were, sadly I shall disinclude them too. I'll mainly be covering the games on consoles like Playstation 1 2 and 3.

There would be no contest if I were to judge by graphics, in that respect the newest edition will always win. So I have made my decisions based on the quality of storyline and combat. As always, these are my opinions and therefore open to discussion. Comment if you think I should change the ranks, please provide a good reason.

Let's get started with honourable mentions, the Final Fantasies that didn't make the list but are still excellent.

Honourable Mentions:
Final Fantasy IX (9):
 Great game, colourful cast of characters. Combat is nothing special, but interesting nonetheless. Sadly, it's just not quite there as the best that Square-Enix has to provide.

Read the review for Final Fantasy IX here.

Final Fantasy XI (11):
Square tried to launch themselves into the MMORPG market with FFXI, and did fairly well. Although the game had it's flaws, it was a great online Final Fantasy experience and many people enjoyed it before World of Warcraft.

Final Fantasy I (1):
Final Fantasy I the original definitely deserves a mention, released as a last resort to become the first game of one of the most popular franchises of all time. Despite it not being entirely original, it was still wonderful. It pulled it's company out of the ground, and allowed them to bring us many great games to date.

Final Fantasy Tactics:
I can't believe I missed this earlier, such a boss game. FF Tactics originally appeared on the PSX and was a hit with pretty much everyone. With an awesome combat system and interesting characters, this was probably the game closest to reaching the charts in the honourable mentions. Now avaliable on DS and Iphone, try it.

If you think one of these games isn't where it should be, let me know. Also, if you think I missed a Final Fantasy that deserves an honourable mention, comment!

Top Five Final Fantasy games:
5. Final Fantasy IV (4)
FF4 was nothing less than epic. It was the first of the series to implement the fabled ATB system, spicing up the combat. Characters with depth and personality as developed as Cecil and Kain were practically unheard of in RPGs back then. As one of the first games to integrate a real plot, you wouldn't expect it to be so good. Even though it gets a little freaky later on, the plot is immersive still today, and for that reason FFIV is rank 5.
If you haven't played Final Fantasy IV, it is now avaliable on DS and PSP. Grinding isn't an issue, you can make it all the way through the game without spending a few hours running in circles for battles to level up. The spells and abilities are pretty awesome, if you have played newer games in the series you will recognise them. Since they overhauled the graphics for the PSX, there are even cut-scenes that are quite pretty, this game should be on one of your to-do lists.

4. Final Fantasy VIII (8)
After the slightly over-hyped Final Fantasy 7, 8 had a lot to live up to. Despite the mixed response, the game had fresh but fun combat, a love/hate story, and the annoying ass protagonist we all come to accept. The weapon and GF (Summons) upgrade system is intimidating but worthwhile.
If you are curious to learn more about FFVIII, read the review here.
For all the haters out there for this game, there is a lover. So you'll have to play it to find out. I believe this ranking for FF8 is a little optimistic, but in my eyes, this game is my rank 4.

3. Final Fantasy VI (6)
FF6 kicked ass so much, it has been ported to more consoles than I can count. A couple of games after IV, Final Fantasy VI was an all rounded version of it's predecessors, with an epic unforgettable plot and badass characters. It is the best of 2D RPG games that Square has to offer.
Not only was it just a boss game in general, it had 14 party members in it, the most in any Final Fantasy game. Pretty much all of them can learn magic too, so you can power up who you want. If you want a blast from the past RPG, look no further.

2. Final Fantasy VII (7)
I'll start by saying this game doesn't deserve all the fanboys it has. But FF7 is by no means a bad game. As the first edition of Final Fantasy to hit the PSX, it was groundbreaking in terms of graphics and combat. The Materia system was well designed, making battles difficult and fun. Minigames present themselves as you progress, some so awesome I spent hours on them when I was a kid.
The game is flawed in many ways, but the plot is extremely addictive. Sephiroth is still one of the most awesome bad guys to date, and while Final Fantasy VII arguably isn't the greatest of the series, it deserves rank 2 for how popular it was alone. If you want to read the Final Fantasy 7 review, you can find it here.

1. Final Fantasy X (10)
It took me a lot of thought to decide on the best Final Fantasy. After much deliberation, FFX seemed like the most natural choice. Why? When Final Fantasy 10 first hit the market for PS2, nobody really expected it to be so well designed and polished. The sphere grid system is simple and fun to use, providing a class like level up system. This is an RPG where you'll want be eager to run into random battles, they are awesome. 
The plot is the good old Final Fantasy mix, with an unexpected twist or two. On my first playthrough, I was captivated from start to finish. Your party of characters have a wide range of personalities and depth, one that weaves an incredible story. Sadly, a few of the bad guys are cringeworthy douchebags. In my case that made me want to kill them more.
You will put hours of time into this game, the side content and blitzball is like an entire game in itself. I believe Final Fantasy 10 is the epitome of Square-Enix. It is one of the major contributions that brought a far wider audience to the world of RPGs, and defined it into the genre it is today.

I'll say it once more, if you disagree with the rankings, please comment why below. Thanks for reading.