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Favorite vidya games

Having finished ME2 and its DLC, I've decided that it joins the ranks of my favorite games. Figured I'd post my list (in no particular order) of favorite games - across consoles/PC, which I have played and completed.

1. Final Fantasy VII + FF7: Crisis Core I love the story and the characters. I like the gameplay and pacing. *shrugs* I don't think there's much I can say that's different from the reasons others list FF7 as a favorite.

2. Final Fantasy IX I really like this installment of FF. The characters are quirky and great. I actually really enjoy the art style. The story is interesting and I like how the player party really gets mixed up with the way gameplay is set up. The world's interesting to explore. I love the moogles in this tale! A very awesome game that is extremely underestimated in the realm of FF games, which is tragic, in my opinion.

3. The Cat Lady Could qualify as my top favorite game. This is an extremely mature game with dark themes (suicide, depression, death, chronic illnesses, mental health issues) but not necessarily a downer message. This game is a beautiful piece of art with the most gorgeous soundtrack, interesting artwork, and heartaching story. I love the characters and the art and music and story... There isn't anything I don't like about this game. I own the instrumental and vocal OSTs and have ended up over time with three or four copies (the extras I gifted to folks) due to extra codes given by the devs and packages I've bought. I've raved about this game before and can again. ;) If you don't want to play yourself, TheRPGMinx and Cryoatic's playthroughs of the game are lovely. There are a few different endings.

4. Tales from the Borderlands I bought this game just before the third episode (of five) came out and fell in love with it. The first TellTale game I played myself and I adore it. The cast is awesome, it has great guest appearances of characters from BL, BL2, and BL:PS. I felt like it stayed true to the world of BL while adapting to give a story-driven game without the fighting and driving of the main games. I love Fiona and Sasha (and Loader Bot! OMG LB!) the best, Vaughn was a quick bestie, and Reese was just ridiculous enough to grow on me very quickly. I like the characters' flaws. I love the humor and lots of tongue-and-cheek things that go on. And yet there's some quality emotion that comes into things. The music is great! The art style is great, too, and stays pretty true to what I think of as the comic book style of the main games.

5. Borderlands 2 I haven't BL, I should say, nor the Pre-Sequel. I love BL2 solo or co-op. It's just a lot of fun with a crazy world, bizarre characters, an excellent villain, and fun combat.

6. Saints Row 3 Never thought something like this would end up on my list! But I tried the game out during a Steam free weekend and fell in love with the utter ridiculousness of it. I really enjoy the characters, I like the variety of gameplay, and it's fun to go all out with customizations. This makes it onto my list, while SR4 doesn't, because they did a good job of adapting dialogue and commentary to fit to the different Boss voices (which each have their own personalities) - that did not make it into SR4. I love SR4, don't get me wrong, but there's the failures with the Boss dialogues (makes me so sad, especially since my character/voice got dropped between 3&4) and there's a lot of distinct sloppiness with the visuals. (I feel like the "virtual world" comes as a convenient excuse to fuck up a fair amount of graphics.) Anyway, the DLC is a lot of fun and nicely adds additional plot. I have absolutely adored playing co-op with a friend, but also love playing on my own.

7. Portal 2 I hadn't heard of Portal (though was familiar with "The cake is a lie") when my friend handed me the controller one day and had me try to figure out a puzzle while he was replaying the original. P2 was coming out soon at that time, so it was sort of in my mind when Tobuscus started playing. I was watching the lp and figuring out the puzzles, so when I could get a copy of P2, I snatched it up and got to playing. It's a fascinating game and while the puzzles are definitely challenging, they're challenging in a way that I could eventually figure out on my own without getting beyond frustrated and needing a walkthrough. (I have little patience, sometimes, when I want to progress a story.) The characters are fabulous and I love how exploring with turn up interesting little things.

8. Katamari Damacy And yes, specifically the original game. This makes my list due to some of the best memories from college. Friend of mine always ended up in our room playing video games (I guess he liked the company) and he brought KD down one day. The utter bizarreness and what looks like an LSD-trip opening sequence caught anyone's attention who came into the room. It's addicting as hell. We had people dropping by our room often (a very social year) and they'd stop mid-sentence to squint at the TV and go "Huh?" To which the response was to promptly invite them in, turn over the controller, and laugh our butts off as people tried it out. We'd gotten We (heart) Katamari by the end of the year and my roomie took breaks in between final papers & exam studying to collect 1 million roses. (Or at least I'm pretty sure she gathered about 85% or more of those damn things.) Very good memories.

9. Dragon Age: Origins I love this game! By chance I poked through my roommate's Xbox games a few years ago and tried out DAO. She didn't like the combat style so hadn't played much of it, but I quickly fell in love with the characters and plot. I never finished on the 360 since I bought the game with all its DLC on PC shortly after being introduced to the game. (I haven't finished Awakening nor all the DLC quests since I ended up focusing attention on replay.) Steam has me with over 100 hours logged into this game. I love it to pieces. I really enjoy the voice actors and I think they contribute a lot to how much I enjoy the characters. I like the extent of customized dialogue to change the path of the story (something I wasn't used to since JRPGs tended to be my gig before this). One of the biggest things that sets DAO far above DA2 (which I still haven't finished) is that DAO has a variety of origin story and race and class options.

10. Mass Effect 2 As posted previously, I really enjoyed the world of ME1. The setup was great and the story/universe(s) was very compelling, but the character development around Shepard was very lacking. Wrex stood out to me as the most interesting, really, and I was biased from former roommate's fondness of Garrus, but otherwise the characters seemed rather "meh." ME1 was like a very long prologue, in a lot of ways. Excellent setup and information. Then in comes ME2 and it's just about everything I could ask for in terms of improvement. The characters are finally really engaging and I wanted to switch up my party. I missed Wrex a lot, though I'm glad all of the ME1 party members show up in some way or another. I was actually invested in romance this time. The little personalization touches (Space Hamster FTW and goddamn fish that won't stay alive!) are great and the story-heavy DLC was great. It did a really nice job of integrating ME1 choices and story, too, which is still a newer thing for me. I am so psyched to start ME3 soon.

Runners-up/extra recommendations: Kartia (Playstation), The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav + Memoria (PC), Blackwell series (PC), Yesterday (PC), Chrono Cross (Playstation), Xenosaga (PS2), Kingdom Hearts 1+2 (PS2), Don't Starve (Together) (PC), Sid Meier's Civilization V (PC), LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (various), Saints Row 4 (various), The Wolf Among Us (various), Parasite Eve (Playstation)

Bonus: My least favorite game that I own and have played to completion - Final Fantasy XIII.

Any with that, I need to sign off and prep for sleepy times.