Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Genre Standards

I've heard a lot of criticism from others that I shouldn't compare a game I'm currently playing to another game from the past, and judge the current game against the the game that I hold as the "golden standard". Apparently this is a poor way of judging a game. But despite those criticisms, that's just how I do things. If a game is clearly in a certain genre, I am going to judge it against the game I hold as the standard of that genre; just as someone judges a sequel against the original.

These are my genre standards:

3D Action: Bayonetta

I have never had a true standard for the 3D action genre until Bayonetta, because before Bayonetta came along, I was never truly satisfied by any 3D action game. This is mainly because I saw so much potential in the genre going unfulfilled. I don't think any other 3D action game will knock Bayonetta off of her throne unless a Bayonetta 2 is made; but, hey, the future is full of surprises.

2D Action: Viewtiful Joe

VJ is the best when it comes to 2D action. If Muramasa had a little more 'oomph' to it's gameplay and a better story, then it would've probably beaten VJ, but it didn't, so, yeah, it's VJ. The only 2D action games coming in the future will probabaly only be from Vanillaware, so it's all on them to knock VJ off of his throne.

3D Fighting: SoulCalibur series

I love the entire SC series, and no other 3D fighter has come even close to knocking it off of it's throne. The future is unpredictable, but I doubt any 3D fighter will top SC for me.

2D Fighting: The King of Fighters XII

Games are all about satisfaction, and KOFXII is the most satisfying 2D fighter I've ever played. Arcana Heart 3 is a close second, but KOFXII is just raw energy in a game form. It's very balanced and fights are just intense. KOFXIII has a good shot at beating it though.

RPG: Chrono Trigger

FFXIII is an incredible RPG experience, but CT remains the epitome of the genre. CT took players on a believable and charming journey that was full of incredible moments. No RPG has marked more memories into my head than CT. Maybe FFXIII-2 can beat it though.

Action-Adventure: Okami

The Legend of Zelda series had been my standard for this genre for the longest time, but Okami took the Zelda formula and actually managed to improve it vastly. Not only that, but provide a sweeping storyline that is usually reserved for RPGs, and a battle system striaght out of a 3D action game. Okami remains not only the best action-adventure game I've ever played, but the best quality experience I've ever played.

2D Platformer: Yoshi's Island

This is the holy grail of 2D platforming. While Yoshi's Island had great crayon-esque graphics and a great soundtrack, it was the gameplay that really shined. YI was original, challenging, and creative. Plus, it has one of the greatest final boss fights ever!

3D Platformer: Super Mario Galaxy 2

It's hard to choose between Super Mario 64 and Galaxy, but Galaxy just improved upon 64's playability to the point where it's the more satisfying experience. Galaxy 2 had it's flaws, but it's still the best example of a 3D platformer.

Strategy RPG: Fire Emblem: The Blazing Sword

Balance. That is the key to the perfect SRPG. A developer needs to balance story, gameplay, and presentation, or the entire formula just leans to much to one side and the satisfaction is lessened. Fire Emblem balanced all of these elements perfectly.

Action-RPG: The World Ends With You

Odin Sphere means a lot to me, but TWEWY is as close to perfect as a game can get. The presentation, gameplay, and soundtrack were all supremely original and stylish.

Real-Time Strategy: Grimgrimoire

GG has the gameplay of Starcraft, with a superb twist-driven storyline, and a beautiful soundtrack, all wrapped up in Vanillaware's signature style. It's just a beautiful experience.

FPS: Bulletstorm

The one FPS that satisfied me.

Racing: Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

Mario Kart is the best and DD is the best of the series.


  1. "I've heard a lot of criticism from others that I shouldn't compare [...] Apparently this is a poor way of judging a game."

    I'm kinda surprised to hear this. Comparison is and has always been a more than proper way to assess the quality of any product or service.

    Anyway, seeing as I share most of your choices for favorite games, I was wondering if you played (and if you did, what do you think of them?) these other games that rank in my personal favorites when it comes to amazing games that set the bar.
    These would be:

    3D RPG: Shadow Hearts and SH:Covenant

    2D RPG: Valkyrie Profile

    3D Action RPG: Chaos Legion and Ys:The Oath in Felghana

    2D Action RPG: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

    2D Fighting: Vampire Savior (Darkstalkers 3)

    1. - Shadow Hearts; I've only played the first one, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. The gameplay was fun, and I especially liked the dark presentation of the story (which also had some nice touches of humor here and there). I've also come to appreciate the soundtrack more.

      - Valkyrie Profile; it's unique in many facets of its design, but it just wasn't for me.

      - Chaos Leigon; I liked the visual execution of the game, but I found the gameplay paled in comparison to DMC, at least at the time.

      - Ys: The Oath of Felghana; the only Ys I've played was Ys Seven, and while I thought it was a pretty good game, I just couldn't get into the setting and characters, which is a must for RPGs.

      - Castlevania: Symphony of the Night; I've played it, but haven't beaten it. Personally, I prefer the GBA and DS entries to the Castlevania series; specifically, Portrait of Ruin and Order of Ecclessia.

      - Darkstalkers 3; I actually don't like this series much. I find it to be too fast and difficult to play. Though I do love the a lot of the character designs and respect the originality of the series.


      Also, if I could change something from my list, it would be the "Best Racing Game", that easily goes to F-Zero GX. It must have slipped my mind when I did this list.