Author Topic: Games that wowed you  (Read 16999 times)

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Offline StarSlayer

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Games that wowed you
You know the ones that from the moment you got in your grubby little mitts till you finished had you giddy as a school girl.  That totally knocked your socks off from the intro to the ending.  

Xwing and TIE Fighter(not "vs." i mean the originals that came in about 20 floppy discs):  Oh the sweet intro cutscenes with their awesome midi soundtracks!  Angry blaster toting personnel making sure you signed in your password!  Sure looking back the low poly models and textures not deserving the name might be a bit dated but at the time? Bliss from start to finish, everything I could ever want from a Star Wars game.

Hexen II Beyond Heretic:  First Person Melee set in this medieval fantasy realm.  This was probably my first bloody game, and boy was it fun.  Featuring a pletethora of fun weapons, from lighting axes to magical powers and a special item that turned you enemies into piglets.  The environments were absolutely beautiful featuring complex puzzles to progress though the multi zone levels.  There was this one ice level with strobing lights and big nasty yeti monster things that used to scare the crap out of me as a kid.

Journeyman Project: Time Turbo and Buried in Time:  Ah I miss the point and click adventure games, and these two were excellent examples.  Graphically they were complete eyegasms, even today there isn't much I could complain about in terms of the visuals and audio.  Thats pretty good considering Presto Studios released them in 1992 and 95 respectively.  The stories and puzzles were excellent, even today I will occasional take them out for a spin.  As a member of the Temporal Protectorate you were charged with protecting the time stream, and boy was it a fun job.

Duke Nukem 3D:  Hail to the King Baby!  The perfect blend of one liners, violence and debauchery.  What else is there to say?  cept maybe shame on you 3D Realms.

Rebel Assault II:  Where else could you fly a YT1300 balls to the walls through a bloody mine shaft?  At the time for me this was a graphical tour de force, the full motion video was amazing.  From the intro following the mouse bot around the corridors to blowing up that massive asteroid facility I was hooked.

Total Annihilation:  Probably my favorite RTS ever.  A few RTS games come close, Dawn of War in particular, but I still will dig out the old disks and create some mayhem.  The rumbling advance of Bulldogs, the whithering fire of Brawlers and the thunder of Big Berthas all combine into this great destructive adventure.  If I were to only have a few games to play for the rest of my life TA would be one of them.

Dark Forces II:  I remember it distinctly because it was the first game I got after a major computer upgrade.  When I saw the FMV intro zooming through Nar Shadda to see Kyle Katarn dealing with a shifty droid I knew I was not going to be disappointed.  Nor was I, in a few ways I think DFII was even funner and more epic then Jedi Knight.  The story, the environments complete with civilians, the weapons everything was just fabulous.  It all combined into an adventure that seemed much more grandious then Jedi Knight, even if the latter did perfect much of the light saber combat and force powers.

FreeSpace 2:  This was another benchmark game for a new computer.  From the beginnings of the Gregorian sounding vocals through the flyby of the Colossus I was just wowed.  That greatness continued into the first training mission when after shooting an amazon i noticed the particle spew.  Holy Crap there are flames shooting out of my weapon strikes!  I was also impressed with how fleshed out the "verse" was when i visited the techrooms.  The campaign was magnificent, the impetuous bravado of the GTVA running into a solid wall of unbeatable Shivan strength was very well executed.   Everything about FS 2 was top notch from start to finish.      

Call of Duty:  The original, when WW2 Shooters were not done to death, and I couldn't navigate Carentan despite never being there.  It just had plenty of great moments, those scripted events COD does so well where amazing the first time out.  The perfectly recreated boat trip over the Volga was right out of Enemy at the Gates.  Not to mention the multiplayer, oh good times indeed.

America's Army: Oh the free multiplayer goodness.  This game was a staple of my college multi gaming.  So many little things were just great, from the ringing after affects of a grenade going off close by to needing to unjam your weapon.  Plus the original photo recon Ranger mission in the depot?  Being the last remaining member of your team running around the halls in Night Vision?  Probably the only game ever that actually got my adrenaline to pump.

Knights of the Old Republic:  I remember standing out in the street on Taris being deliriously happy I was in a living breathing Star Wars world.  Statement: There isn't much I can say about KOTOR that hasn't been said master.  May I splatter the meatbags' organs all over the floor now?

Half Life 2:  I picked it up late with the Orange Box so it came with the extra episodes.  If ever there was a game that made me feel like I was living in a dysotopian hell hole post alien invasion it was HL2.  From regimented City 17 to the gutted hulks of beached ships i totally bought the environments in Half Life.  It also scores high marks on making me care about my fellow NPCs.  Kudos Valve, i hope Episode 3 rocks hard whenever it comes out.

Portal:  One of the most unique things I've played in a while,  All the obscure cake jokes Axem prodded me with to get it was well worth it.  The novelty alone makes it stand out but the execution of it made it a big wow for me, albeit a short one.  The cake was a lie, but does that mean there was grief counseling?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

God I miss full motion video cutscenes :D  Well thats my list, now these are complete knock your socks of games, I've left off plenty of good ones that either grew on me or didn't have the complete impact from frame one.  For example I consider Dawn of War one of my favorite games ever but in terms of wowing the crap out of me from the get go it didn't cut the mustard.  So I'd like to hear some of everyone else's.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2009, 11:48:45 pm by StarSlayer »
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Re: Games that wowed you
Half-Life 2 (plus Episodes) and Portal, definitely. I'd played Half-Life (which also wowed me), but HL2 was a major step up from that, and Portal... is Portal. No more explanation needed.

Freespace 2: Everyone here knows why. But for me, the moment I saw the first beam cannon fire, I thought "Holy crap, this game is gonna be awesome!" And it was.

Cave Story: I'd heard good things about the game, but, it being freeware, I didn't expect all that much. I was wrong. Dead wrong. Perhaps my favorite part was finding out that the machine gun propelled you upwards at full power: I don't know how long I spent "flying with bullets", because that was just plain awesome (too bad getting the machine gun loses the best gun in the game).

Touhou series: particularly after getting the English patches. As shooters, the games definitely deliver: intricate, challenging, but never unfair bullet patterns and a not-annoying-like-Gradius-was item system. But then it also had some great characters, good and occasionally hilarious dialogue, and some of the most jaw-dropping soundtracks I've heard. Seriously, that one guy with a synthesizer can make something like this amazes me. The stories also obviously had a lot of thought put into them: reading up on the legends that inspired them made me realize just how clever ZUN can be at times. A pity that so much gets lost in translation.

There have been many more, many MANY more (that's what happens when you play games for more than 16 years), but these are the examples that currently stick in my mind.  :)
"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?" -DEATH, Discworld

"You can fight like a krogan, run like a leopard, but you'll never be better than Commander Shepard!"


Offline Scotty

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Re: Games that wowed you
Halo:CE.  Mostly the first one, because the first time I played it, I had no idea what was coming out of that door the dead guy falls through.  2 and 3 just had the feel of "Eh.  Flood."

FreeSpace 2.  Duh.

Call of Duty 4.  One of my favorite story lines in any game.

Mass Effect.  The best story of any game I have ever played IMHO.

Legend of Zelda:  Ocarina of Time.  This was just a classic.

Knights of the Old Republic.  Both of them.  Number 1 for the story, number 2 for the gameplay.


Offline Ghostavo

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Re: Games that wowed you
Most games that qualify for me have already been posted, so I'll just add one that hasn't been.

I wasn't expecting much from it, and was just looking for a storyline, but then the intro intrigued me and then... you get out of the boat.

I swear I spent an hour just looking at the water. It was that gorgeous at the time.
"Closing the Box" - a campaign in the making :nervous:

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Offline ShadowGorrath

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Re: Games that wowed you
Call of Duty 4, FreeSpace 2, Tiberium Wars, Red Alert 2.


Offline bloated

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Re: Games that wowed you

Mechwarrior 2 all versions and Mechwarrior 3

Freespace 2... FS1 was pretty good despite several annoying missions.

Half Life, Half Life 2, Episode 1 and Episode 2..... where the hell is Episode 3!!!!

the original Unreal Tournament.

the first Call of Duty

Medal of Honor Allied Assault...... a group of 6 of us were all playing the campaign at the same time and we all were uber pissed off the day we walked into the sniper village and *****ing about it at work.

Ground Control II.

the fist Halo for Xbox..... the only decent game on the old Xbox, Halo 2 was ok but showed Xbox's age graphically.


Offline starbug

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Re: Games that wowed you
Oh for me it was

Doom 1 & 2


both Freespace's

Novastorm, awesome soundtrack

Now this one seems to have been forgotten, Realms of the Haunting. It was an huge epic game with amazing live action cutscenes that scared the crap out of me, i was just a kid at the time and the graphics at the time were brillant! I haven't seen another of its like, it took me 2 months to finish!

Total Annihilation, Still to find a game that beats the soundtrack.

Warcraft series, except WOW.


The First Half-life, wasn't to struck on Half-life 2, amazing graphics just i didn't find the game as good as the first

Blood 1 & 2 brillant games with a good sense of humor, i would love to see a third bring back caleb!


Both KoToRs more the first.

Conquest Frontier wars

Dungeon Keeper 1 & 2, i mean come on those were a joy to play, i just loved the humor in them.

and Oblivion

if there is any consistancy with the Shivans, it's their lack of consistancy - -Norbert-


Offline Mikes

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Re: Games that wowed you
Freespace 2 naturally... and now that this is out of the way:

Baldurs Gate 2 for a story that has yet to be surpassed.
Planescape Torment for its uniqueness and twistedness.

Deus Ex for showing what potential FPS really have.
System Shock 1 for sheer atmosphere and immersion.

Vampire 2: Bloodlines for expanding on the FPS/RPG idea and meshing it into a fantastic experience.

TA for showing what scope RTSs can have.
Supreme Commander for adapting the TA idea, but building the game for multiplayer from the ground up.

Portals for showing that innovation still exists even today.

Guildwars for showing how great MMOs can be without grind, but complex gameplay instead.
Neverwinter Nights (1) for really exploring the potential of user-created content (ironically while only being shipped with a mediocre "official" campaign).

Unreal Tournament 2004 for unforgettable mods, not neccessarily the game itself. Air Buccaneers and Alien Swarm certainly are hard to forget however. ;)

Master of Orion 2 for being propably the most important "classic" 4X game even today.
Sins of a Solar Empire for showing that 4X games actually CAN work in realtime.
Galactic Civilizations 2 for featuring one of the most elaborate AIs to date and delivering the most enjoyable modern 4X experience.

mhhh and maybe The Witcher... for showing that storyline and immersion actually CAN trump crappy (combat) gameplay quite easily hehe.

Edit: and almost forgot Wing Commander 1-4, the games i grew up. Ah the glory days of full motion life-acted video immersion goodiness. ;)
« Last Edit: June 02, 2009, 12:38:28 pm by Mikes »


Offline newman

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Re: Games that wowed you
Ah, the games of my youth.. I won't go on about X-Wing and Tie Fighter, and the other stuff Slayer mentioned, suffice to say I lost many a night's sleep over them.

Dune. Not Dune 2 the RTS, Dune, the first person strategy game. It was one of the first games that really had me hooked, as a kid.
The Lost Vikings - anyone who's played this DOS game knows what I'm on about.
Chuck Yeager's Air Combat - 3 campaigns, one WW2, one Korean War, one Vietnam. How can you go wrong?
Privateer - unprecedented graphics for that age, large explorable space, ships you can buy/maintain, good storyline and the possibility to be a bounty hunter, merchant, pirate...
Star Control 2 - this may have been the first game I lived and breathed. Literally, from start to finish, it was all I could do or think about. Living in Croatia, this was about the time when the air raid sirens were frequently going off, and school was often canceled due to this. I didn't care. All it mattered was getting every spare moment behind the computer, collecting enough ore around the galaxy so I can put those Hellbore cannons on my Precursor mothership..
Monkey Island 1 and 2 - possibly the best and funniest adventure games ever made. Feel free to count every Lucasarts adventure game of the era, from "Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis" to "Day of the Tentacle"..
There were many games after this, I really loved "X-Wing: Alliance".. but the only games that managed to make me go nearly maniacal on them as I did over StarControl 2 were DeusEx (1, 2 was crap) and SW: Kotor.
Oh, one other I kinda liked was "Vampire: the Masquerade Bloodlines". Had many faults, but I liked it all the same.
You know what the chain of command is? It's the chain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here! - Jayne Cobb


Offline Sushi

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Re: Games that wowed you
In addition to what's already been listed...

Oni. It successfully blended the best parts of those 2D/2.5D fighting games with a full 3D action game. I'm always on the lookout for a sequel, or at least a "spiritual successor."

Jedi Knight 2/3. I actually played JK3 first, and while the story was only so-so the light saber action was amazing. It was clearly revolutionary when it appeared, and as far as I know there's still nothing with a comparable dynamic. About the only thing that could get me excited about this "The Old Republic" MMO crap is if it somehow featured real-time light saber combat ala JK2/3 (or better).


Offline Ashrak

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Re: Games that wowed you
Outcast in its day



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Offline darkone

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Re: Games that wowed you
Diablo - Is still being played today and D3 is coming and looks amazing
Wing Commander 3 - in all its FMV glory and the story was great
Farcry - Brought FPS to a new level ... have you played Crysis Warfare... gfx are insanely good
Syberia - Great story

Re: Games that wowed you
Freelancer - Definitely. Freelancer is a beautiful game, and even though the planets were horribly underscaled, I spent over 400+ hours (according to Xfire) playing that game, which is longer than I've played Guild Wars, which is a persistant online game (the type of which usually drain hundreds of hours).

Half-Life 2 - Oh, damn. my favorite FPS of all time. It's the only game where I've truly felt cinematic unscripted moments, which number way to many to describe. The simple, memorable, thumping sound that the explosions make is probably what makes everything so realistic in huge battles. I can go on, and on, and on; like how the game uses a persistant health instead of the bull**** regenerating health most games use, the realistic recoil, and the very best atmosphere and story I've ever seen in any video game. Dis the story all you want, but take one good look at the fanon circuling about and you know that Valve has the potential to launch the whole series into a massive franchise.

Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2. the single player was downright amazing, but I have yet to find a mod that will ever match the power and novelty of the explosive weapons pack. Modding the Jedi Knight games is something I'll never forget...which leads me to my next choice;

Unreal Tournament 2004 for unforgettable mods, not neccessarily the game itself. Air Buccaneers and Alien Swarm certainly are hard to forget however. ;)

Air Buccaneers was awesome.

and I'm surprised Descent isn't mentioned - it revolutionized the way I look at First Person Shooters. If there's one concept I want to see copied and cliched to hell in this generation of gaming, it's the 6 Degrees Of Freedom that Descent offered...not the bull**** regenerating health gimmick.

* haloboy100 Will try harder in the future to not rant about regenerating health in games.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2009, 11:53:45 am by haloboy100 »
Fun while it lasted.

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Offline Sushi

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Re: Games that wowed you
and I'm surprised Descent isn't mentioned - it revolutionized the way I look at First Person Shooters. If there's one concept I want to see copied and cliched to hell in this generation of gaming, it's the 6 Degrees Of Freedom that Descent offered...not the bull**** regenerating health gimmick.

I knew I forgot something!


Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: Games that wowed you
MechWarrior 3 was basically everything a giant robot game should ever be, with lovingly detailed textures for the 'Mechs and atmosphere. These were not the usual uncanny-valleyed mocap mecha. These were giant friggin' robots and they acted like and felt like giant friggin' robots. They fought like it, they moved like it. MechCommander would also win this accolade, except for the fact that I did not actually finish the game until more than a year later due to striking a brick wall on one of the missions.

X-Com and TFTD; this was squad combat as it should be. It's rational, and realistic squad tactics actually work. That's not something I can say about any other squad-based games I've played. UFO Aftermath does it too, but not until the late game unfortunately. (While a more forgiving game in general, Aftermath's aliens are actually much more difficult to kill, requiring much more concentrated fire...and hence much more bunching up.)

Ground Control was more or less the perfect Real Time Tactical game in play and story. Ground Control II was good as well, but not as good...though there is much to be said for the only game which ever gave the MBT a freaking coaxial machinegun. I mean, my god. Tanks are suddenly as badass as they should be.
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: Games that wowed you
I agree with NGTM-1R's picks. I'll add Hardwar for its atmosphere, economy, and living-world AI.


Offline Scotty

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Re: Games that wowed you
MechCommander would also win this accolade, except for the fact that I did not actually finish the game until more than a year later due to striking a brick wall on one of the missions.

Same for me with MC2.  I actually liked MC2 better because the graphics aproach MW3 for 'Mechs and vehicles, even if it is an RTS.


Offline General Battuta

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Re: Games that wowed you
Really? I always thought MC1 looked a lot better.


Offline Angelus

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Re: Games that wowed you
You know the ones that from the moment you got in your grubby little mitts till you finished had you giddy as a school girl.  That totally knocked your socks off from the intro to the ending.  

Knights of the old Republic, great story, great graphics and a really awesome dark side ending.

Mechwarrior 3, this is how a Battletech Mechsimulator is like, Microsoft! Not the wishy-washy sequel Vengeance and Mercs you gave us.

Mechcommander 1, tankrush impossible unlike C+C.

Thief 3 ( with high-res texture pack ), awesome game, handled the stealth-and-sneak-around-thing a bit better then the Splinter Cell series.

Spinter Cell, 'cause sneaking around is way cooler then shooting everything on sight.

Shining Force, my first game on the Genesis and my first RPG ever. It feels like it's decades ago...

X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter 1+2 no explanation needed.

Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, it's for PC games what Alien is for the movies.

Alien vs. Predator 2, the first part of the game is awesome, the rest is average, but those first missions are great.

Homeworld 1, for me, still one of the best RTS games.

Here ends the list, although there are more good commercial games.


Almost everything FSO based.

I knew about the existance of FS2, but it never was interesting enough to buy it, or download it with FSO.
I was more interested in TBP.
I was searching the internets for screen caps of BSG as i found pics of BtRL.
Knowing that most mod teams fall apart, mods never get released ( or only partly like the B5 mod for Homeworld ) my first thought was, " yeah sure, no way that the game looks/ plays really that good", it has to be crap.

I was almost sure that those pics have been "enhanced" in photoshop ( like the C+C designers did it in the first three games ), during the download i prepared a "little letter" to the DEVs, just in case i'm right.
I downloaded it and was all "OMG, that actually is playable BSG", and months later i DL FSO, so basically everything FSO based is top, regardless of it's standalone ( Diaspora, BtrL, TBP ) or a mod for FSO ( Blue Planet... ).

« Last Edit: June 02, 2009, 03:15:06 pm by Angelus »
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Offline colecampbell666

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Re: Games that wowed you
FS1 - It was completely different from FS2

HL2 and Episodes, Especially Ep2. Just an amazing story


Age Of Empires, I was about 7 when I first played, and I was wowed.
Gettin' back to dodgin' lasers.