Sunday, June 3, 2012

Coffeebreak's Top 5 Games

**DISCLAIMER**: Before you read this (aka, breeze over the bolded game titles and disagree), keep in mind that these are my top 5 games, not the top 5 ever created. These are games that I loved, that I found extremely entertaining, and I will always remember. Please leave comments with your favorites though too!
So I finally have my little desk area set up back at home (just in time to settle in before I move out again!) and am ready to jump back into gaming after being out of it for a little bit. I came across a nice little package called The Humble Indie Bundle ( ) is a great way to give a bit to charity and get a little back. Quick details on that:
  • Pay what you want
  • Receive downloadable copies of up to 5 games and their corresponding sound tracks
  • Copies can be used via steam or just download them from the site
  • You choose how the money you spend is distributed between charity, the game developers, and tipping the people that make this happen
One of the games on that list is Amnesia: The Dark Descent. For those of you who watched me play this game, you got some awesome laughs as I tried not to cry, and you know that I have great admiration for this game. Now I decided to, for some reason, download the soundtrack to Amnesia and just kind of... you know... torture myself by listening to it. And this is what spurred my brain into writing a list of my top games I've played. More on that later down the list. Let's get started!

A portion of the main island in Myst: Exile
5. Myst series (developed by Cyan) 
Not too long ago, I embarked on a great journey through the lands of Riven, where the D'ni's world was decaying, and a bunch of other places, which I shall not name, for I don't know where my notebook with all my notes about the game went.
The Myst series (I played the first three, the latter two of which, Riven and Myst: Exile on stream) is an adventure game that places puzzles of varying degrees of difficulty in front of you to solve, with the ultimate goal of "simply" figuring them all out. Please note the quotations around "simply", because while this is the overall goal, there is seriously nothing easy about it. If you don't like to think hard, and you don't have the patience of a freaking stone, Myst is not the game for you.
For those of us that love a good challenge, though, and like a little thinking where you just sit back and wonder, what the fu?, Myst is an absolutely stellar game. It places a small emphasis on the storyline itself, and leaves the player to read books of 30+ pages to really learn what's going on. Okay, that part sounds kind of boring, right? Well, the bastards at Cyan put necessary fucking clues in these books. That's right, you have to not only think, but spend hours of your gameplay reading to really figure the game out.
Myst: Masterpiece Edition (released in the earlier 1990's)
The most important aspect of this game is to take lots and lots of notes. By the end of my two play through's I had accumulated ~12 pages of notes, diagrams, and thoughts along the way. Without the notes, there is literally no way for you to beat this game.
The last point I want to mention is the beautiful environment of the game. This isn't a WASD movement thing. You point. You click. You're given a new frame.
That's right folks! Myst 1 and Riven are 100% still frame shots, which is how they achieved the graphics levels they did in the 90's and earlier 2000's. Myst: Exile was there first game to feature a full 360 degree environment (they later went back and recreated Myst 1 with a 360 degree environment).
Still interested at all? Probably not. But hey, for $6, you can't really go wrong! Just give it a shot, I promise you'll love it! You can buy all three games on Steam.
Killing Diablo in Hell

4. Diablo II (developed by Blizzard)
The Diablo trilogy has had pretty interesting developments, considering that they are all related games. Diablo I is almost completely different that Diablo II, and Diablo II is pretty different from Diablo III. Let's just think of the basics for a moment here. The essence of an RPG, whether it is Dragon Age, Skyrim, or Diablo, is its leveling system. Blizzard overhauled the leveling system in each game, and this is the main reason why I singled Diablo II out from its predecessor and its... uh... foredecessor.
Diablo II, as many of you know, is a birds-eye- view RPG based on you, the hero of varying classes, killing demons from the Bible as many ways as possible.
And for those of you about to say something, yes, the main bosses are from the bible- Andarial, Duriel, Mephisto, Diablo (aka Satan), Baal, Belial, and Azmodan.
Looking through the inventory screen
As you progress through the game, you encounter hundreds of different demons, pick up magical items of varying types and power, and level up your character. Each class has three different skill trees, and around 10 different skills / tree that you can put up to 20 points in to (you get a single point per level). You also have your 4 main attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Vitality (Constitution), and Engery (for mana).
The overall goal is simple. Get super powerful, kill the three Prime Evils, play the game on a harder difficulty. Rinse and repeat.
Diablo II and III are available for purchase and download via Blizzard's site
Mass Effect 2: This time, it's not Mass Effect 1

3. Mass Effect Trilogy (developed by Bioware)
I have a good mind to completely eliminate this game from my list for two reasons: how bad the ending was, and because you are forced to use EA's Steam knockoff Origin to download and play the full series. However, it is a testament to the game's gameplay and story line that it remains here (seriously, the ending was that bad that Mass Effect was almost excluded from the list).
Mass Effect takes place a few hundred years in the future. Humans have discovered Faster Than Light (FTL) travel, and now are rapidly expanding around the Milky Way, much to the dismay of the rest of the inhabitants of the galaxy (most of which are somewhat-ish friendly). When an unknown threat begins to attack human colonies, it's up to Commander Shepard to kill absolutely everything that moves.
Pulling up the power and weapons screen temporarily pauses the Mass Effect game, allowing you to strategize 

This is another game whose leveling system changes throughout each game, but this time I feel it was for the better. The weapon system changes, too, as well as some basic gameplay mechanics, but every change they made improved the game.
WOAH! Stop there, Coffee. What the hell? Game developers don't keep the good and toss the bad.
No! Seriously! Hang the phone up, no need to call the local psych ward. Bioware... listens to their consumers... that just feels weird coming off the tongue when talking about a game developer. This is proved by their reaction to the end of ME3, but no spoilers here. I'mma shutup now.
The games are all available for electronic purchase and download via the Origin client, found here:
What. The fuck. Is that.

2. Amnesia: The Dark Descent (developed by Frictional Games)
Amnesia and I have this weird love-hate relationship. Let's talk about Amnesia itself a little bit, then we can talk about all the girly emotional feels this game gives me.
Amnesia is a survival-horror game. And by that, I mean you are surviving by not dying of a heart attack caused by pure horror. In Amnesia, you get no weapons- if something wants you dead, you run and hide somewhere. The game has both elements of causation and unpredictability- that is to say that some things are scripted to happen, some things are not, which adds a good chunk of replay-ability to the game.
Upon the first start-up of the game, you get some notes from the developers saying some of the above, as well as advising you to allow yourself to be taken in by the game. So don't pick this game up and say, "ya right, let's see how scary this really is." You are supposed to be absorbed and let the game take you, and the gods at Frictional Games made sure to give you the resources to be absorbed.
Frictional games went where no developer had gone before. The lead developer said that it frustrated him that there were no good survival-horror games, so he created one. To do this, he needed to find something no on had done to date. Some games, perfect their weapon systems, so games look at the leveling, some games the graphics... Amnesia took the atmosphere.
In Amnesia, there is constant background noises there solely to freak you the hell out. AND IT WORKS! Ya, it sounds like it would get tedious after a bit, but it never fades to the back of your mind- it is always freaking there. Just earlier today I was listening to soundtrack to Amnesia (got it when I bought the Humble Indie Bundle) and I started having a minor panic attack thinking about the game.
That was the moment I realized that this was one of the best games created. It was very close to being the number 1 slot. That's right, ignore my disclaimer this one time and read the next sentence. Amnesia is one of the all-time best games created. Bam, I said it. Let the game do the talking.
Amnesia is available through Steam at
Here are the highlights of my live-stream play-through. And if I may say... it's pretty freaking funny. 
This game... it's only a little bit different from Amnesia.

1. Starcraft 1 & 2 (developed by Blizzard)
Well, I bet none of you saw this one coming! Blizzard has a perfect track record in my mind- they haven't made a single bad game, and that is pretty freaking impressive (I can't think of a bad Bioware game either, come to think of it.) Starcraft 2 is a birds-eye-view Real-Time Strategy (RTS) that forces you to think quickly. A lot of the time it is described as a fast paced chess game. 
I have very little to say here.
To win a game (in multiplayer, which is what the game is designed around), you must gather resources, create an army, and destroy your opponent. This is actual about as simple as playing Myst, though, as the game features an extremely in-depth knowledge curve, consisting of what order you build units and buildings, the counters to every unit in the game, knowledge of common times for you enemy to attack, and more. Of the 5 games on this list, Starcraft is the only game played professionally for large sums of cash. I'm actually not going to go too far into Starcraft, as most of you probably know exactly what it is.
You can purchase Starcraft and Starcraft II at
And, for the hell of it, a link to a recent cast of mine.

That was long, but hey, it was fun to write out! I plan to have a follow up post of honorable mentions (much shorter than this!), as well as a video in the future showing a little gameplay of each game said above. Please leave a comment with your favorite games and a little justification- I'm really curious!


  1. It's hard to come up with 5... I'm gonna throw out X-COM: Terror from the Deep and Warlords III: Dark Lords Rising for now...

    1. I've don't think I have heard of either of those before. What genres are they?