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 411mania » Games » Columns

411 Games Top 5 01.26.12: Various Lists
Posted by Todd Vote on 01.26.2012

Welcome to the final edition of the Top 5 under my reign. After some serious thinking, I have decided to step away from the site as a columnist. I'll still be around in the 4PC, as well as an occasional participant in Fact or Fiction for the games, movies, and MMA zones. Let's get into the column, shall we?

Toddo Says Thanks

Instead of covering reader feedback this week, I decided to take this time to thank some of the people who have helped me out during my time in here. Hope that is okay for everyone, and if not, feel free to scroll down to the start of the column.

First off, I think I have to thank Jordan Williams, Jordan writes the always interesting Working Title. I am pretty sure it was him giving me time in his column, and even letting me fill in for him a couple of times that really got the powers that be to give me a chance here on this site. I can't thank him enough for that.

Next, I'd like to thank all three of the Games Zone editors I have worked under in my time here. Ramon Aranda, for agreeing to give me a column, and workin with me till I found something that worked. Chris Lansdell, for always trying to get me to expand and work out of the Top 5. I never really did, but damn it if he didn't try. Of course, the current Games Zone honcho, Adam Larck, for being one of the most easy going and understanding guys I've had a chance to work with.

I'd like to offer a sincere thank you to Armando Rodriguez, as there were times when I was without a computer, and Armando would always step up and take care of the column for a month or two till I get get back on a PC. To the reader voices, I thank you as well.There were times when you guys would really step up and fill a void. Especially when we were short on lists. So Donald Stewart, Lee Jones, and Dominic Holley, thank you guys.

Thanks to Mark Salmela. Yeah, I said it. Mark was always someone that you could feel okay about venting to. Whether you liked or appreciated his work on Games Only a Mother Could Love or his unhealthy obsession with Target Terror, you had to appreciate what he did with B3yond the Report. When he was at the helm of the now dormant column, it was always an excellent read. Besides that, call me crazy, but he always cracked me up.

To the writers who I feel wrote some of the best columns on the site, Steve Gustafson, Ben Piper, Stephen Randle, Jeremy Thomas, Dustin James, Larry Csonka, Steve Cook, JT & JP for Hidden Highlights. Thanks to Mathew Sforcina, for doing a smashing job on the Ask 411 columns. Thanks to Leonard Hayhurst, Gavin Napier, The Robbins brothers, and anyone else I'm forgetting. Thank you all for giving me something good to read nearly every day of the week over the past few years, and continuing for years to come.

Last but not least, as corny as it may be, thank you readers. We didn't always see eye to eye, but without you there is no column, there is no 411. Thank you for always being awesome and for always reading the column. I know the column wasn't always great, but I hope you at least enjoyed your time reading.

I thought to myself what could be a better way to end my run on the Top 5 that to do so the same way it all started. A bit chaotic, perhaps? So give the writers free reign, and Hodge Podge returns. For those of you who may not know, the hodge podge was occasionally dusted off when I couldn't think of a subject, or something else managed to stop me from getting a topic in a timely manner. Basically it gives the writers a chance to make a Top 5 list of anything gaming related that they could think of. Sounds simple enough, doesn't it?

By the way, I should warn you that Salmela was so upset about me leaving that he demanded I let him post his lists from the first two weeks of the Top 5. There will be two, it's not a mistake. His lists will have comments in italics, back in the day we used a random point system that was hijacked from us by the 4PC. The points meant nothing, but were just a way to hold things together. On with the show.

Adam Larck
Top 5 RPG Hybrids

Dead Island The Zombie/RPG combo is fun, especially when you get three other friends helping you with missions.

5.Deus Ex: Human Revolution -I really like the combo of RPG elements and stealth in HR. You can sneak around and hack like there's no tomorrow, and keep leveling up to become an even bigger sneak. If that's not your forte, don't worry. You can also level up to just cause more chaos with weapons as well.

4. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - Years ago, this would have been my top game. I still love the elements of RPG in this game, along with its leveling style. The game had tons of quests to do and a great world to explore. However, Bethesda showed they could improve on every level with this game and did.

3.Mass Effect 2 - Another fun action-RPG, the series seems to be going away from the RPG elements, yet they're still there. Leveling the skills are useful, and questing gives the benefit of a broader story, among other things. I'm not sure how many RPG elements will be in the third, but it should be a great game regardless.

2.Borderlands - The FPS/RPG hybrid that's a blast to play with friends. Constantly questing just to get a new gun or ability is really what this game is about, and seems to exemplify what it means to be an RPG game. Personally, I'm thrilled to see what the next game will offer, and to see how much it can build off the elements in the last game.

1. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - This set a new standard for RPG hybrids for me. The elements of RPG are strong in this game, from health and mana to leveling. Plus, the combat in the game is solid as well. I'm still running through and trying to level, at least until I hit level 50. After that, I'll still be questing, just for the next piece of rare gear.

Mark Salmela
List From Week One
Games that Deserve The Hollywood Treatment
House of the Dead - …Oh wait…

5 points for slamming Uwe Boll.

5.Target Terror - Oh hell yes! This could be the biggest action blockbuster of the 21st century! A solid R rating, tons of blood, guns, mayhem, and maybe even nudity *who am I kidding of course NUDITY!* set in the Target Terror universe would make for the bloodiest and funniest movie of all time. If you thought The Rock holding a BFG in Doom looked awesome, just wait until you see the guy from Target Terror make hookers explode with his trusty automatic grenade launcher! Estimated body count in Target Terror: The Movie: 32,562.

We all know that random numbers rule, so I am giving 36 1/2 points for Marks use of a random number.

4.Half-Life 2 - I love pretty much everything about the Half-Life universe. Whether the movie is based on Half-Life 2 or Half-Life 2 plus episodes 1 – 3 doesn't matter. Hell it can also include parts of Portal if it wants. Everything Valve makes is pure gold, and I'd love to see the Free Man make his transition onto the big screen.

And with that Mark becomes the first to lose points in the new format. How can you have Half Life 2 without first making Half Life 1. I'm taking back that half a point sir.

3. Alice - First off, let me say that I am absolutely thrilled that EA has announced a sequel to Alice coming later this year to consoles and PC. Alice was an amazing game when it was first released for PC back at the turn of the century, and I believe that a sequel has just as much potential to kick ass today *especially with the upgrade to HD graphics*. But the original concept of Alice would also work as a movie, and let me just say that there is still the potential of Alice actually being made into a movie, so this nightmare may become a reality. Alice takes a very dark and twisted take on the world of Wonderland, something that was strongly teased in the two books. Given an R rating and a director who knows what they're doing Alice's journey to the corrupted Wonderland would make for a wonderful movie.

2.The Legend of Zelda - I am the furthest thing from a Zelda fan, but even I must admit that Link's journeys to save Hyrule would make the perfect transition onto the big screen. Last year IGN released a fake trailer for a Legend of Zelda movie for its April Fool's Day prank, and I still think the trailer was pretty cool. As long as Nintendo lets the movie obtain at least a PG-13 rating with large amounts of action to compliment the story than a Legend of Zelda movie would definitely kick ass in my opinion.

1.Metal Gear Solid - Could there seriously be anything else in the number one slot? Metal Gear Solid is begging to be made into a movie. With Metal Gear's amazing storyline, awesome yet quirky characters, and stealth espionage action Metal Gear Solid the movie would kick ass as long as the script is written by someone who understands Metal Gear *such as David Hayter*.

And now, R. Lee Ermey

Mark Salmela
List From Week Two
The Top 5 Reasons Target Terror Has Ruined My Life
Target Terror has ruined my love for all things Sony - Why do you think I stopped writing B3yond the Report? Things just weren't the same after Target Terror was released on a non-Sony platform.

5.Target Terror has ruined my ability to sleep at night - Every time I close my eyes I see Target Terror. That's all I think about, that's all I dream about. I haven't slept much at all since last summer. My dreams are a continuous replay of Target Terror. Even as I blink all I see is the vision of the final terrorist of Target Terror begging for mercy right before I kicked him out of the plane and into the engine propellers where he was chopped into little bits.

4.Target Terror has ruined my perception of violence - I just don't feel sympathy anymore. I look on TV and see people being hurt and I just can't feel sympathy for them, not after what I did in Target Terror. I killed thousands of people for the most miniscule of rewards. Hell I killed people with a flamethrower while they were taking a dump at a stall in an airport. I blew hookers up with RPG missiles because I feared that they would kick me with their pointy hooker boots. I shot more bullets into one masked terrorists at the Golden Gate Bridge than Germany shot in all of World War 2. Hell I shot one terrorist in a jump suit in the stomach so much that eventually his head popped off. When you can shoot someone in the stomach so much that their head detaches from their body, it's game over man.

3.Target Terror has ruined my social life - At first my friends thought Target Terror was awesome as well. But then it soon became apparent that I more than loved Target Terror. My friends realized that Target Terror was an addiction, and was something that was taking over my life. At first my friends tried to support me, but they realized that it was a losing battle. Target Terror has ruined my social life, and I fear that I will soon lose my humanity.

2.Target Terror has ruined my sex life - It's true. After playing Target Terror, my perception of women has been completely warped. I look at a woman and think one of two things. Either "she's a dirty prostitute out to roundhouse kick me in the face" or "she's a confused pre-teen in a dumpster looking to show off her newly sprouted breasts". Women won't even look at me anymore, and quite frankly…. I don't blame them…

1.Target Terror has ruined my enjoyment of other games not named Target Terror - Up until Target Terror's release, I loved video games. Hell I considered myself a philanthropist on games. But after popping my Target Terror cherry, everything else was just second best. Why do you think it's so hard for me to write a review now days? My review scale has been completely warped. Every game is rated on scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being in the same league as Target Terror. I look at every game and think "well it would be more fun if it were like Target Terror".

Lee Jones
Top 5 Reasons I'm a Gamer
5.Role-Playing - Early on this is what attracted me to games, getting to fight Mike Tyson, be a ninja turtle. These were awesome things. Less important to me now as its been replaced by a later entrant but its the reason I started gaming.

4.Multiplayer/Co-Op - No not online I'm talking Local action. I love playing with friends but my brother most of all. Late ps1 + all ps2 era a game almost had to be 2 player for me to buy (RPG's the exception). Shame its been largely ignored by AAA games this gen.

3.Interaction - Movies are cool, movies I can play are better. Way I see it CD's give my ears something to do. Films give my ears and eyes something to do. Games give my ears, eyes AND hands something to do. Games has more interaction. Games > Film > Music. Oh and to the smart ass thinking porn keeps hands busy well... you're right, porn is good.

2.Escapism - This is Role-Playing for grown ups. Real life can suck at times and games give me an out. I can tune out the day so far and chill by err killing things, mostly killing things.

1.Enjoyment - I like games, its the main reason I play. I played for trophies for a month and got fed up cause the quality of my gaming nose dived. Now they're a bonus I really want to get but I have to think I'll enjoy the game. Surely enjoyment should be number 1 for everyone? If its one of the rest you got issues. In that case look for someone with more issues. Please read Stephen Randle's columns. Now your going to think those comments are related aren't you? (looks innocent)

Donald Stewart
Top 5 Video Game Story Lines

Metal Gear series Although I haven't played the PS3 game, I have played the others and these are a stand out in Video game story telling. From the tortured bosses of Metal Gear Solid (Sniper Wolf, Vulcan Raven anyone) to Raiden realising that its not all sunshine and roses in war. Also tackling some pretty serious topics is an unusual thing for a video game. And Snake is pretty awesome too. A relic of a bygone age.

5.Fallout 3 - What makes this stand out for me isn't the apocalyptic setting but the fact that this is your story and you can mould it any way you see fit. Fancy being a suave talking barter expert? Done. A bad ass wasteland ninja? done. Also the setting is so bleak that you can almost cut the misery down. Filled with moral choices from the get go its gets pretty dark out in the wasteland. So party up with Fawkes and start up the Gatling Lazers. We hope you enjoy your stay

4.Bioshock - SPOILERS. From your staring point not really knowing whats going on, swimming towards the light house and descending into Rapture, this game has one of the best stories. From the sad comments of the Splicers to the tapes you find lying around detailing the fall and to the death of Ryan and the twist revelation that you are not the everyman you thought but a mentally controlled assassin being told what to do the entire game, forcing the player to think that this is what happens in all FPS!

3.Star Wars:Knights of the Old Republic -POTENTIAL SPOILER!! With a storyline better than episodes 1-3 and with a twist that most people wouldn't have seen coming, this is one of my stand out choices. From the fully developed characters to stand out missions and planets, side quests galore and HK 47. This tale of redemption or revenge ranks high on my list as so much to do and I have completed it half a dozen times and I still don't think that I've seen all the story has to offer. Good times.

2.Silent Hill 2 - SPOILER!! The more recent Silent Hill games have lost the plot a bit, but this was something else. From the strong cast of supporting characters to the enemies including the rather shocking Pyramid Head and the excellent storyline dealing with love, loss, revenge, hatred and guilt amongst others. The disturbing horror atmosphere is made all the more creepy once you begin to realise it's actually a reflection of the main character's fears and the guilt he feels over who really killed his wife...
> 1.Lost Odyssey - This touching tale ranks as my favourite story in Video games so far. The tale of Kaim and the people he meets is full of sadness, love, friendship and humour. The storyline is good with the Kaim not remembering his tragic past or his own daughter for a time and when SPOilER his daughter dies you really feel the pain of Kaim, Sarah and the 2 kids. From the relationships between the characters to the little vignettes you find detailing how Kaim has helped people throughout his immortal life and him meeting them later, when they are old or dying. I defy anyone to not be a little touched my Kaim's daughter's funeral scene.

What Toddo Plays

Finally managed to put WWE '12 down for a bit and got started on Assassin's Creed II. I'm through the first two DNA sequences, and still going. I was under the impression that the second game was a drastic improvement over the first game. It's been quite a while since I played the first game, but this really just seems like the same game. Am I missing something?

411 on Twitter!

Well, that's it. I am done. Don't worry though, the Top 5 will go on. Sean Garmer is stepping in to take over the column. I'm not exactly sure what he has planned, but you can bet that it will he will be changing up a few things here and there. Sean is very capable, and I think you will enjoy what he brings to the column. Be sure to leave your comments down below on what you thought of the lists this week. I'll see you when I see ya. Take care of yourselves.

One to Go On:
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