Twitter User's "#top20games"?

As always, I enjoy tooling around on Twitter. Some of you may know of the practice of “hashtags.” #hashtags are a way for people to track trends and topics on twitter (holy T‘s, Batman).

I won’t bother with all of the details, but basically @GenXer and I started, on 3/27/09, “#top20games.” The Top20Games idea was just a way to get lots of people involved listing their favorite games. Using TagalUs and So why not post a list of the #top20games I tracked on Twitter. Below are just some of the results. Take them in to consideration, maybe there’s something there you should be playing!

@ricardo3g: South Park 64 4 the N64. ’twas a gd shooter at the time & was very fun. t was also the firs time I hrd “Bitch” used in a vid game. #top20games
Yoshis Island : Super Mario World 2 for the SNES #2 of my #top20games
Super Mario RPG : Legends Of The Seven Star on the SNES is my 1 out my #top20games
@gravitybomb: Phantasy Star Online, Mass Effect, Goldeneye 007. Man, that was a tough list to make. Not 100% about it, but there it is! #top20games
@cronotriggers: Oh cripes, completely forgot Metal Gear Solid (PS1)! #top20games
Oh wait, just remembered WipEout Pure! #top20games
Assassins creed #top20games
Rez #top20games
@Phoenix8424: Resident Evil 5 and Gun and Viva Pinata on Xbox 360 #top20games
@Geminiace: Goldeneye on N64! #top20games
Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2 on PC! #top20games
Rock Band 2! #top20games
frdarvin: #top20games Dungeon Keeper 2 (PC)
Ultima 3.. definite fave #top20games
#top20games Descent 1/2 (PC)
#top20games Galaga (Arcade)
#top20games Impossible Mission (C64 and Others)
#top20games Legacy of the Ancients (C64)
#top20games Galaga (Arcade)
#top20games Impossible Mission (C64 and Others)
#top20games Legacy of the Ancients (C64)
#top20games Lazy Jones (C64)
#top20games Wave Race (N64)
#top20games Mario RPG (SNES)
#top20games Pokemon G/S (DMG) They worked with the Older gameboys, and you could retro trade with R/B/Y
#top20games Tetris (NES/DMG)
#top20games Mario Kart (SNES)
#top20games The Sims (PC) Again, the original.
#top20games Grand Theft Auto (PC) The Original Top down that started the insanity.
#top20games Super Mario World (SNES), FF6 (SNES)
@animaonline: Final Fantasy VI #1 #top20games
@OldSchoolgamer: I can’t believe someone put Resident Evil 5 in their #top20games. It just came out! Expand your library for crying out loud!
@TheHeadGeek: Crazy Climber, Tempest, Golden Eye, Return to Wolfenstein, COD4 there’s 5 for ya #top20games
@Trixie360: All platforms fair game? Vid games only or do board games count too? How about Charades? 😉 #top20games

And of course, my own list… which never did quite hit 20 games, but it was fun none-the-less.

@NuAngel: Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger – PC and PS3. #top20games
The Simpsons – ARCADE GAME #top20games
Oh I’m not done, folks. lol Goldeneye – Nintendo 64. #top20games
Law of the West (C64) #top20games
Pro Wrestling – NES #top20games
Metroid NES, Metroid II, Gameboy, Super Metroid, SNES: 3 more for #top20games
NHL Stanley Cup (SNES) – also called Super Hockey in Europe. #top20games
Mega Man III for the NES #top20games

India Makes Game about God: Feels Wrath

Here’s one you may have missed, but will surely hear more about soon: Developer “Aurona Technologies” in India released Anuman, Boy Warrior for the Playstation 2. The game is reported to be the first game entirely developed within the country of India. The plot goes like this: “This game is a “growing up” story of Hanuman, where he starts as a powerless being and regains his powers through the game. …The players ultimate objective is to ‘free’ the sun and kill as many Asuras as possible or to banish them back to the underworld.” Sounds fairly straight foward, so why is this game causing such ruckus? Well, for one, Hanuman is pretty much one Hindu’s most prominent concepts of God. What I actually found most fascinating of this reported “backlash” were the comments on GamingIndian’s coverage of this story. Some people are for it, some against it, all I can say is that I’m glad it wasn’t a huge international incident, condemning some poor North American or European developers for designing a video game without considering prominent religions.

I think this is really going to spark an interesting debate about modernization within the country of India. I intend to follow more news of it closely, but until then, don’t expect the controversy to drum up sales… the same site above,, only gave the game a 1 outta 10.

Little Big Disappointment

When the exact phrase I used as the title of this article nets a whopping 749 results on Google, it’s easy to see that there must have been a misstep somewhere. Little Big Fail actually brings back over 1,200 results.

The game is a genius concept and was one of the most anticipated titles of all of 2008. The Playstation 3 exclusive was being looked forward to by all of the critics as a family friendly game, a new approach to video games, and a nod to creative players everywhere. Instead the game became all about a controversial recall and Super Mario Bros. level remakes.

I, myself, try not to buy in to the hype that surrounds games like this. If still have not seen the 2000 movie “Gladiator” because everyone said it was the best film I would ever see… I don’t like being letdown, nothing is ever as good as the hype. So I waited a while, passed up a few deals in the Sunday paper, and added LittleBigPlanet to my Goozex queue. After a little more waiting, the game finally arrived. The anticipation was over. I slapped the disc in… and waited. Evidently, I had been missing out on some 200+ megabytes worth of updates. So, once all of that was out of the way, I grabbed my controller and ran through a few tutorials, listened to the charming introduction and narrative that would follow me around. I completed tasks of varying difficulties, and unlocked the ability to play online (a feature I had yet to even look for, and hadn’t realized you had to play to unlock… quite a nuisance to other players, I’m sure).

With a scoreboard that makes little to no sense and trophies that requires true dedication to the inhabitants of this LittleBigUniverse, I found myself not caring about that aspect of the game. Which leaves… traversing through some sort of afterthought storyline, or playing levels designed by amatures. Neither of which sounded appealing. And then I stopped. I have stopped playing. I added the game back in to my Goozex trade queue, and within hours have seen a request pop up. I will probably even be shipping the game out this weekend.

A moment of silence to reflect. The base of the game is brilliant, lighting schemes, physics engine, the nearly limitless power to create… if you have the patience to work your analog stick and build everything in your world brick by brick. I did almost no level designing because my creativity doesn’t inspire me – other people’s does. I’m a writer, not an architect. As a kid, I got frustrated by Lego sets and G.I. Joe toys that had “some assembly required.” I built a desk upside down, once. I am not mechanically inclined. I wanted to see what the developers of the game could do – but evidently, beyond building a cool new engine with some fantastic texturing… not much. It’s like writing the world’s best novel with no main character, or the best painting ever of a bowl of fruit. It’s wonderful to look at, but not for long. There is nothing there to hold my interest, to keep me coming back.

I am by no means the first person to think of this game as a let down, but for being one of the saviors of the Playstation 3, I force myself to think that these really are dark times for Sony. Well, there’s always Resistance 2 and Killzone 2. The Killzone 2 demo didn’t make me think it was anything ground breaking, but I will give the full game a better shot at some point. Resistance 2 is waiting for me at home (since before LBP arrived), and I should be diving in soon. Both of those games excite me more, not just because they are action and First Person Shooter titles – but because they have engaging storylines.

It was a game that I was so anxious to play, and the fastest turnaround I have ever had for a game. I feel almost bad letting it go so soon, but I am comforted knowing that if I ever need my LittleBigFix, I can get a similar experience just by visiting the LittleBigPlanet website.

Never Too Old for the Gamers' Vow

Before we get to this “vow” I speak of, let me share with you a little story. I sat down with a friend this weekend, in front of his Wii, and grabbed a classic controller. We loaded up Super Mario World. Those were the days. Mario and Luigi still looked exactly the same, with a small palette swap, but infinitely better than they had looked on the NES. You could swear that big round nose was going to come right out of the screen. The cape Mario applied to fly had so many frames it had to have been motion captured. Yoshi was the best addition to a video game saga in the history of video games. And the game itself was filled with just as many secrets as games from the golden years. Secrets which drove me mad.

My friend and I resumed a game we had already started – we made extensive progress through this Mario World, right up to Bowser’s castle, and several of the “SPECIAL” levels. Somehow, all of that was done within hours. This night, however, would be a tale of woe and frustration. As we paraded through the overworld map of completed levels, we looked for secrets we may have missed. One right outside of Bowser’s castle… a hidden exit on “Valley of Bowser 2.”

Frustration set in as I tried to remember if I had to obtain all of the coins to unlock the secret exit, or if there was a “POW” block that uncovered a secret door, or perhaps a winged Blue Yoshi had to fly my to the skies where I would collect gobs of coins. Nothing worked. My friend, meanwhile, spent nearly 90 minutes on the “Outrageous” level of Star Road. Our rhythm was gone. Whatever had possessed us to make it as far as we had was gone. “Our grade school selves would be so disappointed in us,” we agreed.

Angered, I searched the internet for answers. A key hidden in the valley would merely unlock another level I would be stuck on for hours.

I was defeated. By the game. Not only were we killing off our portly plumbing pals with prodigious persistence, but we had forgotten where things were hidden. We forgot our shortcuts, keyholes, and whether to be Super Mario or mini Mario. I resorted to a YouTube walkthrough.

What happened to you?” my grade school self prodded. Before I had a driver’s license I was able to get a “*96” rating on my game (100% of secrets found). This was in the days when the internet was new, walkthroughs and wikis were non existent, and YouTube wasn’t even a twinkle in any of the tri-founder’s eyes. We did this on our own, with patience, and determination. We wanted the reward. To get from 93 completion points to 96 – to see that star.

It begs the question: am I too old for these video games? Did I find Mega Man 9‘s demo frustrating because I didn’t belong in that era any more? Have I forsaken reflex time, curiosity, willingness to explore my worlds? Have I given it all up for superior voice acting and million dollar story lines? Have I given up on my roots and found First Person Shooters and Party Games the only two forms of entertainment for a digital generation?

Today I vow to return to that which made me passionate. I will go back to the things that turned this from hobby to a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. I will find several of my all time favorites and replay them, with a burning desire to complete them, to not quit until all my continues are gone. And I hope I have inspired you to do the same. I may not be able to complete every game I ever touch, but how dare I turn my back on what it means to play a game, to enjoy it, to truly experience it. Today I take the vow of the Gamer.

The Gamers’ Vow

We are not like the rest.
We are sword, shield, heart, fireball, sneakers.
Where there is a star to be collected, I will be there.
Where there are gold rings, coins, and experience points to be gained, I will be there.
Where there are princesses to be saved, girlfriends kidnapped, and forest creatures to be freed, I will be there.
I will explore the unexplored, collecting medkits and health viles along the way.
Injustice, in all its forms, cannot hide.
I devote myself to tirelessly pursuing all my enemies to the ends of the Earth, or whatever plane of existence on whence we do battle.
Man or beast, sprite or model, my weapon is my controller, and together, we shall overcome.
I accept my faults, but do not hide behind them: I welcome challenge.
Though I may not always win, my defeat will be graceful, and our rematch filled with intensity.
I will not be defeated by evil, no matter how many years it may take.
No secret will stray from mine eye.
May my arrow, bullet, and plasma blasts fly true.
My brothers and sisters in this fellowship will form a kinship, carrying us in to the world after our continues have expired.
I will battle by their side when called upon, and will hold my fellows to these same high standards.
All duties and responsibilities bestowed upon me henceforth, as a Gamer, do I most solemnly take on, without purpose of evasion.
I am a Gamer.

If you have pledged this vow, leave a comment below!