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The 10th Hour 1.25.08: Top 10 X-Box Games
Posted by Derek Robbins on 01.25.2008



Hello and welcome to the 10th hour! This is the second in my t here part "last-gen" series featuring my top-10 X-Box games ever, but before I hit on that…let's hit on a couple of things first (As always)

-As I had mentioned in my little news column, Ness, Lucario, and Jigglypuff are in Brawl. The reason the video I linked to doesn't SHOW the proof is because Nintendo edited it shortly after they noticed that people actually saw the leak. (It was on their official site, so they probably WOULD notice an increase of hits) I also posted the "Lucario, Jigglypuff" picture twice, so I haven't posted the Ness one…so here it is. That's Ness and Lucas you can see there. The guy is selecting a Claus (mother 3) sticker, so it makes sense.

Ness THIS is the Ness confirmation. His logo is decidedly different than Pokemon Trainer's.

-I just got No More Heroes, and I have to say…HOW DID THIS GAME BOMB IN JAPAN? Holy hell is it awesome. The boss fights are amazing, the graphical style is really neat, the story is intriguing…really, I haven't been this surprised about a game in a while. I highly recommend you try it out. The closest thing we'll ever get to "Kill Bill" the game.

Alright, now that that stuff is out of the way…let's get to some viewer feedback. As always, their stuff is in italics, my replies are in your typical neutral font.

Reader feedback

Real quick, there were some people asking about the lack of Twilight Princess. Since it was released on the Wii first, it was ineligible for the list. If it had been released on the ‘cube first, it would have definitely been up there though. I would have made an exception, but then why even have self-imposed rules? Ahh…sorry for the in-convenience.

This first one is from 411 Boxing editor, and all around company VIP Ramon Aranda.

Great list...couldn't agree more but there's one game that's not on that list that I think should be and that is "Beyond Good & Evil".

I would normally agree with you on that, but…I believe BG&E was released on the three consoles simultaneously which would DQ it from the list. Trust me, if I had a multi-platform list that and Prince of Persia would have ranked towards the top. Thanks for the compliment though!

Next Vitamin D clocks in with his thoughts.

Real good list and applaud that Eternal Darkness was on there. I haven't played Pikmin but that's cool. The only thing I may address is that there was no Ultimate Muscle on there. I think that was a very awesome game that I play every now and then. Other than that, it's cool. Maybe not on the top 10 but at least the Mario DDR game could of gotten an honorable mention? =)

I *do* think Ultimate Muscle was a great game. It was certainly a surprise for me as it came out of left field. I wasn't expecting such a fun license based off of a kiddy franchise such as Ultimate Muscle. That said, I just didn't think that it was good enough to be on the list. Not deep enough, if you will. As for Mario DDR? I guess I could see your point. DDR is probably one of the more popular casual games out there, so it should probably deserve a mention as the Gamecube's best dancing option.

This next one is from T.G. Corke

It's a farce that Smash Bros is number one, yet the far superior and more original Super Monkey Ball is not included. But then, you're not here to tell me what I already think, so no real complaints.

Well I definitely agree that it is more original, but Monkey Ball…well…after about a month of getting that game I had no urge to play that game again. Melee, on the other hand, I STILL get the urge to play every once in a while, and for me…that makes all the difference. Don't get me wrong, Monkey Ball is good, I just don't feel that it is ‘elite'.

This next one is from Eric

Uh..your list is great. But.... BRAWL HAS BEEN DELAYED AGAIN DAMNIT. It will now be released March 10th Motherfucking nintendo....

Man, you don't have to tell me that. I was so pissed when I found out, but if the game is as good as I think it will be…I won't even care that it was delayed. That said, why do the Japanese get only a week delay while we get a month delay? Not fair!

This next one is from my boy Sean McCabe

Not a bad list again (except Viewtiful Joe, I honestly didn't care for that game one single bit and actually much preferred PN03). But as for mine: 10)Killer7 9)Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker 8) F-Zero GX 7)Soul Calibur 2 6) WWE Day of Reckoning (2 was better but this one was played more in the end) 5) Resident Evil 0 4)Resident Evil 4 3) Tales of Symphonia 2) Metroid Prime 1) Resident Evil Remake Old school RE fan here, I like 4 but it will never beat the original in my view.

I love that your list included Killer 7. Suda 51 doesn't get near the credit that he deserves, and I am glad that somebody appreciates his work. The only game that you listed that I just plain don't care for is Tales of Symphonia. Don't get me wrong, I'll admit it's a good game…it just isn't my cup of tea. Outside of that, really good list.

Here is one final message from my good friend Tobias

This list is terrible, what kind of a journalist can't handle criticism? A writer who can't handle criticism can't be a good writer. Did you actually come up with this list or did someone else make this for you? How many of these games did you actually play? Bob your uncle signed, Tobias P.S. A Career change might be in order.

Lol wut?

Also, it was Uncle Cleetus. Ayhuck.

ANYHOW, let's get this show rolling.

Top-10 X-Box games

The general rule for this list is as follows: To qualify, you HAVE to have been released in America. If the title was multi-platform, it MUST have appeared on the X-Box first. (This does not include PC games, though. Since the X-Box had a lot of PC game ports) Finally, I must have played it.

10-) Halo: Combat Evolved - Now some feel that this is a controversial choice to have this game so low, but I honestly don't think so. The single player game is atrocious, and I assure you…the game doesn't get ranked here for that. No, on the strength of multiplayer play alone, this game is going to get the nod. While the single player was a looping level mess, the multiplayer featured a lot of customization options and really gave a revitalization to console LAN parties. While I felt Halo 2 improved on this in a lot of different ways, I think that the original Halo was so important to the X-Box as a whole, I would be pretty remiss to leave this title out. Honestly, as much as I rag on Halo…one of my favorite gaming memories is the very first time I played in a 16-player Halo LAN party. It was just fun. I know it wasn't the first game to feature this, but I felt it had the best customization options and it deserves praise for this. The LAN play was so superior, in fact, that Halo 2 and 3 were probably the most hyped North American games ever. That says a lot. So props to Halo.

Hm - The game that would start it all.

9-) Doom 3 Say what you will about the game being so dark that you can barely see at times, Doom 3 is one of the few games to legitimately scare me at times. Now don't get me wrong, I didn't lose any sleep over it…but there were definitely a few "creep out" moments. Doom 3 is your typical first person shooter, but it feels much simpler (I know, you didn't think it was possible). What I felt set it apart from other shooters on the X-Box is the fact that it was – too my knowledge – the only X-Box game to feature an on-line co-op campaign. Remember when people were upset that Halo 2 left it out? Well, this game helped make up for it. So now you can recreate stumbling around in the dark and being scared out of your mind with a friend! While some may rag on this game for being a tad bit easy and a tad bit simple…I think that if this sort of game was too hard, it'd probably drive a lot of people away. So…good move there. While it's not as good as its PC version (Shock! A console FPS inferior to the PC counter-part!) it still is a must play in my eyes.

Hurr - Most of the game is actually darker than this.

8-) Halo 2 - Three First Person Shooters in a row? Holy cow, when did I become such a casual gamer? With that said, Halo 2 was probably the most hyped game of all time when it was first released. Who could blame them? At this point in time, Halo 1 was one of the most fun party games out there, and this one looked to improve on it. It didn't…really, since a lot of the multiplayer options are largely the same (Except with added online!). The reason this game gets the nod over the original is because the single player isn't mind numbingly bad. The story isn't the best, but the levels don't loop near as much and the ability to play as "The Arbiter" is really neat. A lot of people whined about this, but I thought it was a good move. While Halo 2 wasn't much of an improvement over the original, it WAS an improvement and I feel it deserves some recognition on this list.

Halo 2 - The first Halo to have a competent single player game.

7-) Dead or Alive 3 - I would gladly place DOA: Ultimate on this list, but sadly…I count it as a port. That said, I've always been a pretty large fan of the Dead or Alive series, and this game did nothing to change that. It had everything I have enjoyed about the series (the simple yet deep gameplay, the BIG levels) and added a really pretty coat of paint to it. In my opinion, this has got to be the best looking launch title out of ANY of the consoles from the last generation. The X-Box wasn't a system that you could look to for fighting games, so for a fighting fan…there really wasn't much else to go to. Luckily, Dead or Alive 3 (and Ultimate) was good enough where it almost didn't matter. By the way, in case you were wondering which DOA girl was my favorite: Definitely Ayane. Gotta love that purple hair.

Whoo! How could you NOT love her?

6-) Crimson Skies - This was my favorite online game for the X-Box. While it wasn't the most popular, I had a lot of fun zooming through the various environments and engaging in dog-fights with the various twelve years olds(oh wait, this isn't Halo!) gamers in the world. The single player game was pretty fun, but nothing terribly memorable. Honestly, I can't even remember what the story was about. That said, the multiplayer mode left such an impression on me that it gets ranked this high. Pretty neat, huh? When this game came out, I feel that it was over-shadowed by the Halo franchise, which is a shame…this deserved a lot of attention, and I'm going to give it some. Thanks for the good times, Crimson Skies.

CS - I'M GOING DOWN.

5-) Mech Assault- When I was growing up, I really…REALLY loved Gundam. My first exposure to it was Gundam Wing, but because of that show…I researched older Gundam shows and got into those as well. Unfortunately, most Gundam games are quite putrid. Along comes Mech Assault to put my Mech-Driving fantasies to work. I got addicted to a DEMO of this game that came with my X-Box LIVE subscription. A DEMO! When a demo can grab you and get your attention, you know that you're doing something right. What I like about this game is the divergence of mechs and how differently they control. While some games of this ilk will say: "Play as different mechs (but they all play pretty much the same"…this game isn't like that. Each mech has a distinct play style and it's quite fun. Like a class system, really. The reason this game ranks above Crimson Skies is the fact that it has BOTH a fun single player and a fun multiplayer. It blends the two, so it gets the nod. I didn't much care for the sequel (And I can't quite put my finger on why), but this game is still a classic for me.

Mech Assault - The DEMO got me hooked. THE DEMO.

4-) Half-Life 2 - Let me start off by saying that this game WASN'T as good as it could have been on the X-Box. The PC version was a work of art, but this one suffered from too many load-times and some bothersome lag. IF this had been a perfect port of the PC version, this would probably have ranked number one. That said, this game is AWESOME no matter what system you play it on. It combines the shooting genre with STORY. Not a crappy one either, an actually good one that makes you think! Shocking, I know, but Half-Life 2 was one of a kind. On top of this, the game is relatively lengthy and offers a decent challenge. I was fairly excited when this game came out for the X-Box as my PC isn't good enough to play Half-Life 2, and I wasn't disappointed in the least. If you consider yourself a fan of first-person-shooters this is a game that you absolutely cannot miss.

FROHMAN - FROHMAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNN

3-) Panzer Dragoon Orta - I was looking forward to a new "Dragoon" title since Panzer Dragoon Saga, and here we have it! A very exceptional title for the X-Box. Some people complain that it is an on-rails shooter and thus promotes linear game-play, but that was never a problem for me. Why you ask? This game was CHALLENGING. If you weren't prepared for a dog-fight odds are you would be sent home packing. In an age of gaming where games are getting progressively easier due to the influx of casual gamers, it is nice to get the occasional super difficult name (Just like how it's nice to get a super easy/simplistic/fun game every once in a while). As if the game-play wasn't enough, the graphics are beautiful, the music is lovely, and the story is actually pretty good. On top of that, it features a bevy of un-lockables, including the ability to play through the original Panzer Dragoon. Now that is awesome. I wish this series got some more main-stream publicity because I would LOVE to have an X-Box 360 Panzer Dragoon title.

PDZ - We need more games like this.

2-) Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Readers of this column will know that I don't much care for WRPGs. Actually, to be quite frank…I can't STAND them. They offer various ways to play but the ending is usually the exact same no matter what you do. Whatever. The thing with this game is that it incorporates the Star Wars Universe into a WRPG setting. The place is massive, and for the first time ever…you could play as the bad guy in a Star Wars game. You didn't have to be the goody two-shoes Jedi that enjoys helping everyone out…you can be the badass DARK Jedi that kills anyone who even questions you. I know a lot of WRPGS offer similar "YOU CAN BE GOOD OR EVIL" scenarios, but this one resonated particularly well with me. Add onto this a remarkable plot and really, really well written and believable characters and you have a winner. It's a shame that the sequel didn't live up to this game. In my eyes, there probably won't be another Star Wars title that matches up to this one.

KOTOR - One of the few WRPGs I can stand to play through.

1-) Ninja Gaiden Black - The reason this game gets a pass over the original is that it IS the superior version and the original was released on the X-Box anyhow, so…it escapes the "port" rule. When Ninja Gaiden was first released, a lot of people were skeptical as it was being developed by Team Ninja who at that point were mainly known for the Dead or Alive series. Now, while that IS good…it's quite hard to shift focus sometimes, and just because you are proficient at one genre doesn't mean you're proficient in all of them (Just ask Square Enix). When Ninja Gaiden finally launched, it was fair to say that I was blown away. This was a relatively difficult game that managed to stay fun throughout and never got overly frustrating. Awesome! Add to that really, really impressive graphics (again, for the time this game was beautiful), a better than expected story, and a likable sidekick (Rachel) and you have a winner. What I think I liked the most about the game though is that it incorporated ninja-like game-play and didn't turn it into an insufferably boring stealth-action game. (unlike the Tenchu franchise) While the X-Box is probably best known for Halo and Morrowind, I felt the TRUE gem of Microsoft's first system was Ninja Gaiden. I can't wait for the sequel!

Whoa! - Did I mention the boss fights? Because this game had some awesome boss fights.

honorable mentions: Morrowind, Jet Set Radio Future, DoA: Xtreme Beach Volleyball

Well, that's it for this week. Next week I'll wrap up the last-gen consoles with the top-10 PS2 games.

As always, if you have any thoughts, complaints, compliments, suggestions, or you just want to talk about something…you can e-mail me at Dragonmaster_Alex_158@hotmail.com or Desipiot@hotmail.com your choice. Or simply leave a comment below.

Til' the crossroads


Screenshots
All 9 The 10th Hour Screenshots





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