#10: Mega Man X7
Mega Man X7 is, to this day, one of the worst Mega Man games of all times. Instead of sticking to its 2D roots, Capcom to mix things up while staying true to the Mega Man formula. This includes: making the game 3D with a mix of 2D, having the game a bit more story driven, adding a third playable character, and including missions with different objections. Yeah, the game executed all that poorly. Heck, Mega Man Legends did all that and did them better. And that game was released on the PlayStation. Mega Man X7 was released on the PlayStation 2! What happened here?
But, in all honesty, I appreciate that Capcom was trying something different. It failed, but they tried. I like the idea of a Mega Man X being in 3D while having some parts being in 2D. I also like that you have the option to play as a third character instead of sticking with X and Zero for the fifth time. Axl is a pretty cool character to use. His voice and personality just suck. Also, who's idea was to have X locked from the start of the game? Might as well call it "Mega Man Axl" or something.
After this game failure, Capcom went back to the game's 2D roots while keeping the game's graphics 3D. Basically 2.5D. However, they kept Axl and made him much better. Oh, and X isn't a grumpy old man anymore. Thank goodness.
#9: Sonic Unleashed
Sonic games were always known to change things up in their next installments such as hack n' slash or shooting guns. Arguably, the one game that had the most significant change was Sonic Unleashed.
After Sonic The Hedgehog 06, Sonic Team decided to ditch the adventure formula with the brand new boost formula. The boost formula was inspired by the Dimps developed game, Sonic Rush. The game also runs on the beautiful Hedgehog Engine, making Sonic Unleashed the best looking game in the franchise. Well, until Forces came long, that is. Anyway, the purpose of the boost formula is dash through stages like a maniac while dodging dangerous hazards and avoiding obstacles. This new gameplay style tests your reaction time and reflexes. You have to think a step ahead to clear these stages well.
Another thing the boost formula add are gimmicks that don't suck. Unleashed have Werehog levels. I don't mind them. It's a nice change of pace. Later entries, like Colors and Forces, also added some pretty cool gimmicks. For example, Colors introduced Wisps. Wisps grant you different power-ups such as turning into a laser or a ball of spikes. Forces, however, allows you to create custom characters and give them powerful weapons. I like this new style to Sonic. Instead of running around doing an annoying mission or having multiple gameplay styles in one, the boost formula keeps things simple while adding some challenge. While it's nice that games nowadays are being more exploitative and open, it's nice that Sonic's boost formula keeps things fun and straightforward.
To this day, the boost formula is the most used formula in the Sonic franchise. Of course, I wouldn't mind Sonic Team taking a crack at the Lost World gameplay style again. Just hope the Adventure fans will shut up for once. They are an annoying bunch.
So around the Dreamcast days, Sega wanted to make this awesome new Phantasy Star game. Sonic Team is like "Bro, TBRPGs are so old school. Let's try something different". Sega is like "Okay bro. Whatcha got?". The results end up being Phantasy Star Online.
This was a HUGE leap for the franchise. Instead of being a turn-based RPG, Sonic Team went to the MMORPG route. And wow, what a payoff! Everything changed from gameplay to the setting. No longer Phantasy Star is an ancient style fantasy. It is now more futuristic. What's even cooler is that the game supports online play. You can argue that this was the game that popularized online play. Back in the day, this kind of thing was huge. Playing a video game with other players around the world? How cool was that? Gameplay was great too. Now you can actually rely on skill instead of luck! Haha! ...I was joking. Don't hurt me.
After the major success of the game, future titles started ditching the turn-based gameplay and stuck with the PSO gameplay style. Old fans were bumped out about this, but modern gamers loved it. Sadly, Phantasy Star Online 2 hasn't come to the west yet. Bummer.
Ooooooohh it's this game. I should be careful to not anger Zelda fans by saying how empty and boring looking this game is. Oops. Too late. Oh well, let's talk about what a big leap this game is.
Wow. This game took a HUGE leap in the franchise. First of all, this game takes open world to a whole new level. While other open world games give you lots of freedom in its gameplay, they can take a bit of it for story reasons. This game, however? No way. You have the option to do that. This game gives you a truckload of freedom. Almost as if it wants you to follow YOUR path. Do you want to face off against Ganon without any power-ups and such? Go on right ahead. Be warned: you'll get your ass kick. HARD! Wanna follow the story and learn about the world? By all means, go right ahead. You are Link after all. Be a hero or be a legend. Do what you must to save the world. Also, take my horse. I'll take it back once Sega decides to make a new Shinobi game. In other words, never.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild was massive. It won multiple awards, even the GOTY award. I know, I was surprised Mario didn't win too. Maybe it's possible future titles will keep this bold style to Zelda, but only time will tell.
I was really excited about the sequel to the original Sly Cooper game. However, I never anticipated how much the game would change.
Rather than a small, simple hub for each world that led into different, linear levels, you had a MASSIVE area to explore in each main area of the game that led to all the different jobs and things to set up for your big heist. This also allowed you to do more traditional things a thief would, like stealing loot, carting off fine art pieces, and trashing luxurious suites, to name a few. Truly a different game experience that still retains the series charm and is always a joy to re-visit.
Oh, Rare. Rare, rare, RARE. Why? Why crush all fans hopes and dreams? One word can answer that: Microsoft.
How? Spend a bajillion dollars to take rare from Nintendo,and force then to make terrible stuff (Kinect Sports, anyone?). When rare finally recieved the green light for their Banjo-Kazooie pitch, Microsoft rode into the office and forced them to scrap their idea and create this travesty. While this game is undeniably one of the worst rare games in over a decade, keep mind that if it wasn't a Banjo-Kazooie game, it could have been awesome. the vehicle-building is so open-ended that you can have tons of fun with that. Build anything you want, crash it, build some more. Focus on the central mechanic, ignore Banjo-Kazooie, and go nuts.
After two installments, Kid Icarus laid dormant for 25 years. Pit got a comeback in SSBB, and then Sakurai decided to make a new Kid Icarus game for the then unknown portable that would usher in the new generation. The 3DS hit the scene and Kid Icarus was there to ride the wave right as the handheld started to build up steam.
Transforming an old platformer into a 3-D on-rails/off-rails shooter was a radical move, but Sakurai and his team proved that they did games like no one else. Many things from Smash Bros. Found their way into this. Challenge panels, scores of collectible trophies, and the best and most comical dialogue in any game I've ever played (on par with Portal 1 and 2!). The charm and humor in this game is spot-on and laugh out loud hilarious, meant to put a smile on your face and make every encounter as memorable as the last. Truly a winner.
Lets just hope the next one won't take another 25 years...
#3: Metroid Prime
I joined in with the collective groan when it was announced that Metroid was going into 3-D first-person, and it was being handed to a rookie team in Texas. One of Nintendo's original holy trilogy going to a new and complety untested studio? Then I got my hands on a playable demo at E-3, and I became convinced that Nintendo had a grand slam on its hands.
Retro was VERY devoted to making sure they held the high standards of the franchise. Boy, was I excited about the new look and feel. The Metroid Prime trilogy is the most critically acclaimed part of the entire franchise, and has become the standard that other sci-if games are measured by. Making an adventure presented through the eyes of the lead character has never been done before or since, and it's part of what makes the Prime series so special. Tons of extensive lore and expansive backstory enrich the Metroid universe like never before, and I lost my freaking mind with everybody else when they showed a logo for the fourth game. We didn't even see a single screenshot, and we were freaking out!
That alone shows the impact this series made.
This series has an excellent bloodline. Tri-Ace first made headlines as the creators of the Star Ocean series, and the team now includes those who have worked on Tactics Ogre and Luminous Arc as well. When playing this installment of the franchise, it becomes instantly obvious that it wasn't cut from the same cloth as it's predecessors.
The battle system is more or less intact, it just has a strategy RPG built around it, rather than a 2-D dungeon exploration system. No longer are you playing as a Valkyrie mustering the souls of dead warriors to take on Ragnarok. You play as a mercenary named Wylfred who blames the Valkyrie for his father's death (which also led to his little sister starving to death). So, he's gonna go slay the Valkyrie by making a pact with Hel, the mistress of the underworld to forge an almighty blood-soaked Blade called the Angel Slayer from the Valkyrie's feather that was recovered from his father's corpse. Hel wants blood, preferably from his closest friends. You, the player, have to get it for her. This is NOT your normal swords and sorcery tale of hopes and dreams. Lots of betrayals, murders and heartless sacrifices.
The game is a grim, fatalistic one, but RPGs don't need to always be a slave to tradition...
#1: Super Mario 64
After a streak of amazing games (well the second game kind of suck and we don't talk about the CDI game), Nintendo wanted to do something big. Something that knocks everyone's socks off. Something that can change gaming forever. The result was Super Mario 64.
Not only is this game staying to its original roots, but it's staying to its roots while being almost entirely different. What you mean, you might ask? Well, think about it. Metroid Prime may have stuck to the franchise aerial roots while delivering something fresh, but you take Samus out of the game and would feel like a generic first-person shooter. You take Mario out of Super Mario 64, and it will STILL feel like a Mario game. Are you still confused? Me too. I don't know what I'm saying. Anyway, Super Mario 64 was a HUGE change to the franchise. The game delivered something wholly fresh and new while keeping the feeling of playing a Mario game there. You got your jumps, power-ups, and collectibles. The game also encourages exploration. Instead of Nintendo expecting you to be a wizard and find hidden goodies like in the 2D games, you can now look around and find them yourself without any bullcrap. Okay, maybe there's a little bullcrap here and there, but DAMN IT IT'S BETTER THAN NOTHING!! Super Mario 64 is a perfect example of trying something new while still keeping what makes the previous installments great.
After the game's enormous success, many games were inspired by Mario 64. These games include Banjo-Kazooie, Conker's Bad Fur Day, etc. Even future Mario games took notes with the best examples being Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Odyessy. To this day, Super Mario 64 is considered to be one of the most revolutionary video games of all times.
Special Thanks: LostSoul
Thanks for reading!
List by QuickSpinsZero (05/31/2019)
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