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411 Games Top 5 11.12.09: Week 37 - Top Open World Games
Posted by Todd Vote on 11.12.2009

Toddo is back. The rumors of my demise in Salms' basement have been greatly exaggerated. I went into the basement, and I took some ass and kicked some names. Then I rose up out of the ashes like a phoenix. Yeah, take that basement. Besides, it could have been worse, Mark could have brought Shaq.

In all seriousness, thanks to Mark for filling in for me so I could go out last Wednesday and celebrate my birthday proper. We had decided since I had never touched a Sega CD, the column would be better served to be moderated by someone who loves the Sega CD more than Paris Hilton loves night-vision cameras. So it all worked out in the end. Since Mark was your host last week, let's kick it over to him to cover the Sega CD feedback. Mark?

Comment Time with The Salms

WTF is Tattoo Assassins?! That player controlling Karla was cheap! This must be the new Target Terror!
Posted By: Armitage Shanks (Guest) on November 05, 2009 at 04:11 AM

The Salms: Tattoo Assassins is an unreleased arcade game by the same company who made Burger Time. It's basically an MK rip-off that was developed and finished but never made it into production as an arcade cabinet. If you use Mame you can download the ROM. Every move is completely over-the-top and allows for amazing moves. There's also over 1000 fatalities. Seriously. There are some garbage ones but a lot of them are just plain funny and awesome. Oh, and AC Current is a cheap bastard with his nail gun.

Sewer Shark didn't rate even an honorable mention? I loved that game. I rented an entire Sega CD system like 3 times, JUST to play that game and finish it. I had loads of fun with it.
Posted By: Nyte (Guest) on November 05, 2009 at 08:21 AM

The Salms: I guess we just have different tastes when it comes to our full motion video games. I don't want to become a critic here but I just didn't find Sewer Shark to be all that fun. Not to mention maybe it was my TV but the game looked even worse than the other full motion video games. All the games looked like grainy crap but Sewer Shark just looked like a gray mess to me.

Glad that Snatcher got so much love- game was way ahead of its time, and still one of my favorite games ever. Still kicking myself since I can't find my original copy. Lunar series and Shining Force also deserve the nod. also surprised that Willy Beamish didn't get any mention or Popful Mail if anyone even remembers that one.
Posted By: Ultra Gepetto (Guest) on November 05, 2009 at 08:56 AM

The Salms: Snatcher is an absolute classic. I love so much about the game the second I found out there'd be a top 5 Sega CD list I knew Snatcher would need to get some pimpage. There have been lots of Snatcher remake/sequel talks over the past 3 years and I would be so excited if it were to happen. Come on Konami…

MK 2 was never on Sega CD, 32x it yes but not Sega CD
Posted By: MichiyoYoshiku (Guest) on November 05, 2009 at 09:32 AM

The Salms: Thanks to the people who noticed my error. I knew that Mortal Kombat 1 came out on Sega Genesis and Sega CD and Mortal Kombat 2 came out on Sega Genesis and Sega 32X but I mistakenly put MK2 when I made the list. Hey, all of those versions use the Sega Genesis controller and the same hybrid Genesis/32x/sega CD monstrosity so who can blame me? And I'm not kidding the Genesis with Sega CD and 32X add-ons looks like an absolute monstrosity. Nothing more, nothing less….

I've never, ever played a Sega CD or even seen one outside of a store. I do think, historically, this was the beginning of the end of Sega's hardware division. They conquered the world with Genesis, but then we got useless add-on after add-on before the Saturn and Dreamcast tanked. And that was all she wrote.
Posted By: The REAL MP (Guest) on November 05, 2009 at 12:52 PM

The Salms: While the Sega CD did definitely hurt the reputation of Sega and was the very beginning of a long chain of mistakes by Sega I do think the 32X and the botched launch of the Saturn were bigger mistakes than the Sega CD. The 32X was a piece of garbage that Sega of America was 100% behind supporting for years. The even planned on giving the 32X its own console codenamed the Sega Neptune. That and the Sega Saturn, which couldn't handle 3D very well and had a terrible launch were in my opinion the two biggest mistakes from Sega. I love all the Sega consoles *well not really the 32X*, but Saturn was doomed from the start.
Thanks for all the feedback everyone. May the Sega CD live on forever!

Thanks again Mark, I hope you readers enjoyed the Sega CD Top 5, but now it is time to get on to something new altogether.

This column is approved by Christina Hendricks

This week we are going to take a look at our favorite open world games. This Top 5 was suggested by reader John Bateman a few weeks back, so thanks John for the topic. Be sure to check out John's list at the bottom of the column as well.

So open world games became all the craze, arguably, with Grand Theft Auto III on the PS2. There were games before that had attempted the open world, but there is no denying that those loveable folks over at Rockstar have perfected the art, and continue to expand the limits of the open world, or sandbox title every since. Below you will see our favorite open world games. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

Lee Price

Elite - How many 80's games let you do so much. Be a space pirate, drug dealer, protector. The choice is all yours.

Grand Theft Auto - One of the games that helped start it all. Check out its Retronomicon entry here

Fallout - The graphics may be dated but this game lets you cross moral boundaries that Fallout 3 didn't dare try.

5.Yakuza Series - These games follow a very similar template to the Shenmue series but the combat in Yakuza is just so much more satisfying and violent, if a good deal more simple. Mix that in with a Hollywood-esque story and plentiful side missions and bits and bobs to do and you have a damned fine open world game. Plus the first one had an all-star cast of voice actors the likes of which is rarely seen in the gaming universe.

4.The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - So much to do. Its just unreal the amount of stuff you can do on the side in this game. It is entirely possible to waste all your time exploring and completing side-quests rather than play the rather mediocre story if truth be told, but outside of a few jarring instances, everybody having the exact same voice for a start, this game has the potential to pull you in for hours.

GTA: San Andreas stunt montage

3.GTA: San Andreas - Of all the GTA games, San Andreas is hands down my favorite. There is just so much to do in this game that it is unreal. My personal faves are riding off the top of Mt Chiliad in various vehicles and skydiving out of a jet fighter onto a car (I've managed to get that right like once). Everybody has their favorite GTA game, but SA is the one that really does it for me. The Bigfoot and Leather Face myths alone just added to the desire to explore.

2.Shenmue Series - Pretty much the game that set the conventions for the free roaming games of today, and one of my favorite game series of all times. I've waxed lyrical about Shenmue plenty of times before, including a previous Retronomicon so anybody who reads my stuff knows how much I love these games. Ryo Hazuki's story is one of the most engrossing I've ever played and it annoys me to this day that I may never see it reach its conclusion.

1.Fallout 3 - I absolutely adore this game. From the first moment I set foot outside of the vault I just fell in love with the whole Fallout universe. I have since managed to get my hands on the original game and will bust my way through that when I get the chance, but the are so many standout moments in Fallout and so much potential for crazy shit to happen that I can play this game endlessly and never get bored. This first time you launch a mini-nuke is a very special moment.

Adam Larck

Prototype - Having access to New York with an arsenal of shape-shifting abilities led to more ways to cause havoc than I can remember.

5.Red Faction: Guerrilla - I had quite a bit of fun running around Mars with the sledgehammer causing building destruction. Not only with the sledgehammer, but any of the weapons were interesting to see the destruction that could be done to buildings. The environment was also fun to run around in to see various locations, just to try and tear them down.

4.Oblivion - Traveling around a medieval fantasy world was fun. It was even more fun when you couldn't see yourself. After getting a full chameleon suit of armor, doing all the quests and sidequests became a lot easier. Running around the landscape just to find a huge demon, sneak up on it and one-shot kill it was always fun.

3.Grand Theft Auto III and IV - I decided to group these two together to open up an extra entry. Liberty City was great to explore in both of these games. There were hidden eggs to find, and always something new that you hadn't seen before. Plus, nothing can take away the fun I had of random crime sprees I would start.

Agent truck driving school?

2.Crackdown - Being a superhuman Agent wasn't so bad. After maxing out my stats, bounding through the city on top of buildings with a friend was very entertaining. Plus, finding all of those orbs is still one of my proudest achievement moments. I'm already waiting for the sequel to come out.

1.Fallout 3 - Traveling the post-apocalyptic world of Fallout 3 was an experience that was amazing to see. No matter what place you saw, it looked amazing to see what a nuclear war had done to it. Like I said in my column about it, though, my favorite spot to see the fallen UFO spaceship in the land. It was just always interesting to see and explore.

Dan Owen

Dead Rising - It's a game where you run around and kill zombies in every imaginable way. Need I say more?

Fallout 3 - I never actually played the game that much since I mostly just watched my roommate do everything, otherwise this would probably have made it into my top five.

Grand Theft Auto IV - This is, in my opinion, the most realistic open world game ever made.

5.The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - This was the first open world game that I really got deeply involved in and did almost everything I could. The world was immense, but more importantly there was just so many damn things to do. The main storyline was compelling, as were the guild storylines. Then there were all of the side missions for you to complete as well. I know of people who logged more than 200 hours playing the game and I'm sure they weren't doing repetitive tasks the whole time.

4.Crazy Taxi - At first glance the concept of Crazy Taxi sounds kind of lame, I mean how much fun could it be to drive someone to a KFC or church? But when you actually get into the game you realize that it can be pretty challenging and a lot of fun. My only regret was that I sold my Dreamcast, since I would love to go back and play this again now that I'm older and would have a better appreciation for the game.

3.The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - When I was first putting together my list of games for this Top 5 I didn't include Zelda because I never really thought of it as an open world game like the others on this list. However, the Zelda series is an open world series, and I think it definitely deserves mention on the list. I picked Ocarina of Time specifically since I think it is a true classic but the whole series deserves recognition here.

2.Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - In my opinion this is the best entry into the Grand Theft Auto series. There was an unreal amount of things to do in the game, and unlike GTA IV, San Andreas didn't try to take things too seriously in my opinion. It was fun, massive, and just plain awesome.

Altair kills everything

1.Assassin's Creed - This game will always be one of my all time favorites. A lot of people expressed disappointment that the game's missions were repetitive, which they were. But I still thought it was a blast to play and I never got bored with the in-game missions. However, what sets this apart from all of the other games is the ridiculous fun that was jumping from rooftop to rooftop, scaling buildings, and then leaping from above to knife some random civilian in the back. Truly I could run around Damascus or Acre (or the other city that I can't remember) for hours on end.

Armando Rodriguez

5. Assassin's Creed: If only the actual killings where as good as the exploration in this game. I loved the acrobatic exploring and it was a real thrill to find taller and taller structures to climb. I would make up my own games, such as spotting a random civilian and stalking him into a place where I could kill him.

4. InFamous: It was fun to unleash your electrical powers on any random person, blowing up cars and just exploring the city. The climbing animations where poorly done (I would have killed for Assassin's Creed-style animations)but there is no doubt that just exploring and blowing up stuff was a lot of fun.

3. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: I was the ultimate thief in this game. My character could get in and out of dungeons, killing everything in sight without being spotted. I stole everything and anything I could find and yes, I was filthy stinking' rich because of it. Pretty soon I started making my own customized gear to help my explorations, such as a helmet with night vision, which made me even more deadly. In such a big world where any random dungeon you found could be full of wonderful treasures or terrifying creatures, exploration was the key that unlocked the fun.

2. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: The only GTA game that hooked me enough to make me want to actually beat it, San Andreas was amazing. Besides cars and motorcycles, you could actually ride a BMX-bike! Plus, it had three different interconnected cities and those missions in which you needed to steal cars and deliver them to a ship in San Fierro where awesome because sometimes you needed to steal a car in a different city and carefully drive it all the way there if you wanted maximum pay.

easter eggs in Fallout 3

1. Fallout 3: If there is an open-world game that became an obsession, that is Fallout 3. Not only is the post-nuclear disaster world amazing and full of life, but it turned mundane things, like factories, stores and subway stations, into dangerous and rewarding dungeons full of enemies, loot and perhaps miscellaneous stories that enhanced the world even more. I mean, who was not surprised (and thrilled) to find out that there where still Chinese soldiers in the wasteland when they stumbled upon Momma Dolce's? Who wasn't scared out of their minds when exploring the Dunwich Building? Who did not shit their pants when they stumbled upon the ruins of Old Olney, only to find a lair of Deathclaws in control? This was the type of game that when I was not playing it, I was thinking about it.

Our last list this week comes from reader John Bateman who suggested this particular topic. Take it away John.
John Bateman

Star Wars: KOTOR - This....this was the first RPG to cross into the open world territory and while the sequel sucked, the first one was an amazing classic.

Fable - The foray in to true open-world play because every decision, action you did affected the world.

5:Fable II - an improvement upon near perfection while the story is too short for my tastes, it's entire basis is affecting the world from side quests to even the ending of the game.

4.Mass Effect - One of the greatest games I've ever played, if not one of the greatest ever made, this franchise truly blended together the open world, Shooter and RPG genre in one perfect mesh. The story was intense, and the reactions and personalities of your main character weren't stoic, or casual you could make him a patron saint with a gun or one truly sadistic bastard...ahh when is that Dexter game coming out?

3.Grand Theft Auto 3 - The best of the GTA series, so obviously it has to get a mention here, I loved the game however San Andreas, Miami Vice and GTA4 all tried, valiantly at that, but none of them match up to the classic.

2.Assassin's Creed - Yes I hear the haters groaning that this game was MSG4 in the old times which is a crock because Assassin's Creed had actual gameplay, not an overrated interactive movie. You got to see the world through the eyes of an assassin. blending in or scouring through the skies as an eagle atop buildings and rooftops. it is an amazing phenomenal of a game and the Sequel looks to improve upon greatness.

Slice and Dice?

1.Way of the Samurai franchise - Now people may scratch their heads but this was and still is a great open world series, one that had multiple endings, and ways to go through the story based on your choices or lack their of. It is an underrated open world franchise and sadly overlooked.

Bonus Video
Contains some profanity, but it is hilarious. Watch it at your own risk.

That's a wrap for week 37. No list from me this week as I am feeling a bit under the weather, and really didn't feel up to it. You can rest assured my list would consist of mostly GTA games, with a spot reserved for Superman Returns and Prototype. Dead Rising, and Crackdown would surely make my list. I guess that isn't mostly GTA games, is it?

I'll be sure to participate next week, where hopefully I'll feel a bit better. What's so special about next week? Well you'll just have to tune in to find out. Oh alright, I'll tell ya. Next week we will be tackling our Top 5 favorite Nintendo 64 games. Thats right, the N64 is on the chopping block in all of it's cartridge based glory.

Be sure to leave your favorite open world games in the comments section, and we will see you back here next week. Until then, ponder this: how does someone who is color blind solve a Rubik's Cube?


Armando Rodriquez checks in every Monday with The Ultra Combo News Report

Lee Price writes the always good for a flashback Retronomicon. All Pokemon this week.

Be sure to check out Adam Larcks review of Borderlands for the Xbox 360.

Also be sure to check out The Full Circle News Report each and every Friday here in the games Zone. Dan Owen has filled the column rather nicely.

We'll see you in seven.


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