Favorite 5 Games

There’s a tweet making the rounds right now encouraging you to share your favorite 5 games of all time. Narrowing down your favorites to a truly top 5 is of course an impossible task — I’d count pretty much every Legend of Zelda game as favorites — but I tried to do the exercise nonetheless, highlighting 5 games that had a strong enough impact on my gaming life that I would certainly count them among my favorites. Just below this I’d need to also include a Mario game (probably Super Mario World) and Ultima (especially Ultima 7), but for now, here are possibly/maybe my 5 favorite games (in no particular order).

Phantasie III: The Wrath of Nikademus
SSI was better known for all of the games it produced under the Dungeons & Dragons license (Pool of Radiance being my favorite), but this pre-D&D era RPG was a highlight for me. It’s quite possibly not a great game if you revisit it now, but I remember spending countless hours playing it, and a lot of those hours were played side-by-side with a friend in front of the PC (a Commodore PC-10), our own version of couch co-op. Also, the names I used for my characters in this game are the same names I continue to use for any character I need to name in an RPG.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
The Zelda series in general is my favorite series in games, and so narrowing it down to 1 or 2 titles is tough, but it’s hard not to point to A Link to the Past as a milestone (and its modern 3DS sequel, Link Between Worlds, is fantastic as well). The Super Nintendo graphics were astounding at the time, and it was certainly the game that cemented the series as a classic for all time.

Wave Race 64
I love Wave Race so damn much, and I can say that I also love the GameCube sequel (Wave Race: Blue Storm). Experiencing those beautiful giant waves was a joy, and added a fun level of randomness to the racing experience. More than any other racing series, this is the one that I’d most like to see a proper sequel, and so I keep wishing that we’ll see one on Switch.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
I was a huge fan of the Infocom library of text adventure games, and it all started with Zork, but the adaptation it produced of Hitchhiker’s is the title that is the most memorable to me. From the insanely convoluted Babel Fish puzzle (that you pretty much needed the hint book to help you through) to just the genuinely funny vibe throughout, it stuck with me.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Including a game that came out just a few months ago? What can I say, as someone who truly loves the Zelda series, this entry is as groundbreaking as it is fun as it is engaging. To see Nintendo produce such an amazing Zelda game thirty years after the first one is something I feel is pretty special.

New Year 2017 Visuals

If you were to ask me what my favorite New Year images I’ve seen shared so far, first up would be the Mother-inspired illustrated piece by Amelicart (pictured above, via this tweet), and then the Legend of Zelda illustration shared by Nintendo, below, which pays tribute to classic imagery of the original game (both below).

Ready for Zelda Year

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I’d had my eye on that Zelda calendar you see in the photo, and while at HMV yesterday I saw that they had it at 25% off, and so that was that, I had to grab it. I’m of course super excited for the release of Breath of the Wild next year, and so this helps 2017 get even more Zelda-y. A bit later in the afternoon I spotted the mug you also see in the photo at EB Games, and so grabbed that as well. Oh, and I also started playing the original The Legend of Zelda game on my NES Classic Edition this weekend.

Famicom Manuals

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As I wrote earlier, I’m a very happy owner of an NES Classic Edition, and I find it pretty neat that Nintendo has put online the original printed manuals for all 30 of the games included in the set. Even better though I think are the manuals for the Famicom. Picture, the cover to Japan’s Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.

The Legend of Zelda Meets Ghibli

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The following trailer by Matt Vince for an imaginary The Legend of Zelda animated film by Studio Ghibli is borderline torture (while being fantastic at the same time). Oh to dream for such a thing to happen. He created the trailer following the popularity of a few posters he produced last year that imagined such a film happening.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD

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It’s been an absolute joy to revisit this game, and it really does look great with its new HD sheen, and like with Wind Waker HD, I enjoy the handiness of having my map and items on the Wii U controller. Sure, there are occasional frustrations – like anytime you ride Epona, with her clunky controls, or that goddawful puzzle in the Sacred Grove with the two statues – but it doesn’t detract from the otherwise fantastic time I’m having playing it (as I close in on the end). The Death Mountain temple is just so great, with the use of the magnetic boots, and the water temple is so huge and intricate. I’m finding myself much more in love with this game then when I originally played it on GameCube, and it just makes me wish they would give the same HD treatment to Skyward Sword (and if possible, remove the motion controls), which is the only mainline Zelda game I haven’t played. The Legend of Zelda series as a whole remains my favorite series in games, and there’s no game I’m more excited about than the upcoming new Zelda game on Wii U (and possibly NX).