Hey everyone, and welcome to another Controller Crusade Roundtable discussion. Every Friday our team of writers tackle a different gaming question, and the question this week is “What is your favourite game series?”. Everyone has that one series that is a little more precious than the rest. Whether you collect all the previous titles from older generations, or you wait patiently for the newest titles to be launched, it is always special when you get your hands on a game from your favourite series. Let’s see which series the Controller Crusade team enjoys most.
This one is a no brainer for me. Ever since I first got my hands on The Ocarina of Time I have been obsessed with the Legend of Zelda series. First let me say that I love OoT, but it has to be one of the most overrated games of all time. I think there are way too many so called “Zelda fans” out there who have only played that one Zelda game and constantly over-hype it to the point where its annoying. While I will agree that Ocarina of Time was an amazing game, there are several games in the series that are just as good. Link’s Awakening on the Game Boy doesn’t get enough credit, same with A Link To The Past, Minish Cap, and Twilight Princess on the Gamecube. I could go on and on listing all of my favorites, but I will just say that I love every single one.
A very close second is the Uncharted series. I got into this series a little later on, around the time Drake’s Deception was released. I quickly became obsessed with the games and beat them all several times in a month. I thought they made a perfect trilogy and I was happy how they wrapped things up, but it will definitely be interesting to see how the 4th installment fits into the storyline.
Favourite game series? Easy! Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid series. Each game had the perfect blend of action, suspense and intrigue that delivered intriguing gameplay and in-depth storyline in a unique world. The original Metal Gear titles on the MSX2 (let us pretend the NES versions didn’t exist) were special titles that deserves merit but I strongly believed the series never really took centre stage in the gaming world until 1998’s Metal Gear Solid was unleashed and what an experience it was taking the role of Solid Snake in a 3D environment. The whole concept of not having to plow every enemy on the screen with your gun brought forward a new way of playing that players found astounding. While coming up with an infiltration plan and conserving your ammo, you were encouraged, and at times rewarded, for behaving like a proper secret agent. Were you capable of sneaking past 6 soldiers in the room without being caught? At a younger age being extensively familiar with Duke Nukem, I found this to be almost unfathomable yet at the same time it didn’t feel unachievable. The game put you in situations where you had to think. Surprisingly, I only managed to defeat Psycho Mantis after spending an entire day repeatedly getting defeated before calling up my friend to find out how to overcome him. Part of believes that perhaps I could’ve figured it out but, truthfully, placing the controller into the second port never crossed my mind. And this is exactly why I found the series so fascinating as it just brought forward something impressively new in every game. Additionally, the more I played the sequels the more I was blown away with what each game offered. The bosses were memorable and challenging to defeat, Kojima’s tendency to include long, cinematic cutscenes brought cohesion to the saga’s convoluted storyline and the game’s orchestral soundtrack; simply memorable and divine. It was quite difficult for me to put down any of the games as I was constantly craving for more stealth, suspenseful gameplay that was wrapped tightly in an over-the-top complex military/conspiracy/cold war narrative. Sneaking around as Snake and Big Boss is addictively fun.
Metal Gear Solid 1, 2, 3, 4, Peace Walker (my personal favourite), Ground Zeroes and even the “love it or hate it” Metal Gear Ac!d games have all given me fond memories in their own special way and whether it was on the PS2, Gamecube, PS3, the PSP or any of the new consoles, the Metal Gear Solid series will always be my all-time favourite game series.
It is almost impossible for me to narrow it down and pick just a single favourite, there have been so many games that have enriched my life and influenced me through-out the years, and I couldn’t bare the thought of depriving myself of those experiences by sticking to just one particular series. With that being said I’ll at least name two franchises I have played a lot of and still affectionately do to this day.
The first Being ‘From Software’s’ Souls series, which probably comes at no surprise for some people. I talk about these games all the frigging time; I just can’t get enough of ’em. From the dark and dreary fantasy setting, the strong role-playing elements, the awesome bosses and yes, even the brutal difficulty I enjoy very much. Not since the glorious 8-bit or 16-bit days have I ever felt so satisfied in beating something, something that was truly challenging that tested both my reflexes and my wits. I still work on making ‘perfect build’ characters that can potentially clear multiple playthroughs, which steadily increase in difficulty each time they start over.
On the opposite side of the spectrum is The Elder Scrolls series, which may be in the same genre but contains a completely different philosophy to its gameplay. No other game I played has invoked a stronger sense of escapism than The Elder Scrolls games. Of course there are many games these days that feature a large open world, but I don’t believe any of them do it as grand in scope or as organically. While they do contain a free-roam sandbox kind of style of gameplay there is still usually linear objectives or goals you must achieve. While The Elder Scrolls does have it’s main story-line, you are given the choice to disregard it and simply wander through the game world and literally just experience your own unique adventure. The most enjoyable moments I remember are when I was doing just that, overlooking the beautiful vistas (complimented by Jeremy Soule’s magnificent score) and being enticed to explore and discover. Even on multiple playthroughs it is never certain your experience will be the same as the last, as there is always something new to discover. This powerful sense of freedom makes the game so much more immersive, and with their latest game Skyrim having included the feature to build your own house, marry and adopt children, you can almost live another life in a virtual world. For me, it doesn’t get much more awesome than that.
This is a tough one. I love old Final Fantasy and I love Zelda, and the Total War and Civilization series are definitely some of my favourites. It’s a hard question, but if I had to pick one series and just one series I would have to go with Super Mario. As time goes on I’ve discovered that the platformer is my favourite genre of videogame, and let’s face it, no one does it better than Mario. Every game in the core series (I’m not talking about any of the spinoffs) is made with such care and is held to such a high standard that the choice is easy. I’m hard pressed to think of another game series that has as many high quality entries. There’s a reason why Mario has remained at the forefront of gaming for decades.
There’s a bit of nostalgia involved, too. An embarrassingly large part of my childhood was spent playing Super Mario World with my grandfather, and the first time I played Super Mario 64 was like the first time cavemen discovered fire. When it comes to getting older and learning to “see behind the curtain”, so to speak, I’m as guilty as anyone. Once you hit a certain age the world becomes a much less magical place, but it’s comforting to know that there’s always one thing that can turn me back into that bright-eyed kid filled with wonder and awe.
That’s a wrap on this edition of Controller Crusade Roundtable. As always we love when our readers join in on the discussion, so give us your two cents in the comments below. Also if you have any questions that you would like our team to answer for next week, let us know! Check back next week, and each and every Friday for more Controller Crusade Roundtable Discussions.