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T3: Tyrranis Top 10 - RPGs I'd Play Before FFVII
Posted on Monday, January 14 2008 @ 07:32:03 Eastern

OK, since I seemed to strike a chord with the 360 owners with my last blog, I thought I'd stick to a subject that wouldn't annoy as much people...

...I'm sorry, but I couldn't continue that sentence with a straight face.

Here's my list of RPG's I'd Play Before Playing FFVII. Now, this list isn't that hard to make, considering I've played every game on this list and yet not played the 'phenomenon' that is Final Fantasy VII. That's right. I have not delved into the realm of Cloud and Sephiroth, and probably never will, given the quality of the RPGs in this list.

10. Final Fantasy VIII
With an incredible story behind it filled with unforgettable characters like Selphie, Edea and (struggling for a third name here) Quistis, FFVIII ranks low on my list to the surprise of almost every Final Fantasy nut to read this list due to my incessant hatred of all things level-crunching, and my trend of focusing on using only a select few characters, only to have them unavailable during a critical fight.

9. Final Fantasy X
OK, this one's on the list for exactly the same reason as FFVIII, but is ranked one higher due to the fact that it's shinier and features one of the coolest video game characters in recent memory. I'm looking at you Auron.

8. Wild Arms
A classic pick, Wild Arms features at #8 on the list due to its also brilliantly written storyline, but ultimately falters due to its not-so-graceful aging and some noticable engrish issues. Otherwise commendable due to it's lack of level-grinding, 3-playable-character cast which means you don't need to worry about neglected characters that much and intriguing puzzle-solving tools system.

7. Bioshock
OK, so it's a FPSRPG, but that just means its a RPG from the first person. The GOTY for 2007 ranks surprisingly low on this list due to a noticable lack of sophistication and low levels of customisation when it comes to your character. For all intents and purposes, Bioshock is an FPSRPG which is heavy on the FPS and light on the RPG.

6. Deus Ex
Narrowly beating out Bioshock for the #6 spot, Deus Ex may be an older game, but it just goes to show that "they just don't make 'em as they used to". With a more engrossing RPG element than Bioshock, Deus Ex falters a little due to it's aging graphics and lack-of-depth when it comes to the three different endings. What with them all being in the last level and all, it just seems like they were tacked on at the end, and that you weren't really building up to them.

5. Suikoden V
Yes, I know it's somewhat ironic that #5 is the fifth title in the Suikoden series, but it deserves it. Suikoden V comes in at #5 due to the well-written story line, incredible cast with believable depth-of-character to them and stunning visuals, but ultimately falls short due to the frankly periodic audio track (Either have audio or not, don't have it in some parts and not in others) and random battles. One would think that they would have gotten rid of those by now.

4. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Earning bonus points for being a quality spin-off of the Star Wars franchise, KotOR locks its place in this list due to character customisation options, the good-evil gameplay mechanic and multiple methods of goal acomplishment based on your character setup that doesn't railroad you into a specific direction. Although it does suffer a bit from repeated sound effects,  that pales in comparison to the dialogue spouted from fan favourite, HK-47.

3. Disgaea: Hour of Darkness
With simply insane levels of depth and witty dialogue that will have you cracking up between the strategical battles, Disgaea is a game where one playthough just isn't enough. It's like the gaming equivalent of crack cocaine, except without the nasty side effects of prolonged exposure. Well, unless you count 'severe enjoyment' as a nasty side effect. I suppose that at times it can get a bit monotonous, but that's usually an indication that perhaps you should be giving the storyline another go. It's so easy to forget that you're doing side quests sometimes. If I had to mark down this game, I'd say that it has a little level-crunching, though that's not as bad as it is in other games due to a lack of urgency when it comes to the story. You are forgiven Disgaea.

2. Wild Arms 3
There is just something about this game that makes it so damn good. Perhaps it's the three kinds of battles you have (one of which is similar to that of the FFX battle system). Perhaps it's the (all together now) well-written storyline. Or, perhaps it's because of the revamped random encounters mechanic that gives you warning for battles that you can avoid without getting into them. Then again, perhaps its the modifications you can do to your guns and the sandcraft you get later. Do I know which it is? No. Do I care? No. All I care about, is that it's awesome.

1. Suikoden I
Sometimes, you just can't beat the originals. The first Suikoden is truly a great amongst RPGs and a testament to the genre as a whole. With gameplay mechanics hidden amongst side quests that you could exploit accidentally, a great storyline behind it, a truly original cast of wonderful characters, a magic system that both looked and performed amazingly and a graphics engine that has aged well over the years, this game is worth anyone's attention. Sure, it had random battles, but that can hardly keep a game like this down. In fact, had it not been for FFVII, this game would have gotten the respect it deserves.
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