The Earn This Podcast, Episode 27: Top Ten Games #5-1

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Listen to Part 1 (#10-6) here.

The long-awaited finale is finally here! With their oddball picks out of the way, Dan, Collin, and Brian drill down into the hardcore classics, occasionally challenging and contradicting each other.

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Dan S.

Dan is the editor of Earn This. He co-founded the site in 2009.

Brian T.

Brian T.

Brian is the host of the TV show Count Gauntly's Horrors from the Public Domain and the creator of Brian Terrill Movie Night. He joined Earn This in 2013.

Collin W.

Collin W.

Collin is the world's biggest fan of the Earn This Podcast. He's video game collector, competitive Smash Bros player, and Mountain Dew connoisseur. Follow him on Twitter.

4 thoughts on “The Earn This Podcast, Episode 27: Top Ten Games #5-1

  1. I’m a month late to the party here, but with the comment section empty so far, maybe I’m just getting the party started…

    I think it’s telling that essentially anyone who has ever played at least one Final Fantasy game is all but guaranteed to include one among their all-time favorites, and the same is true of the Zelda series. For my part, I side with FF6 and Ocarina of Time, though I’ve played many FFs and only that one Zelda game. Oops!

    As far as RPGs (and specifically JRPGs) go, though, I have to plug Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinistrals (SNES). This game has truly excellent, fun, and difficult puzzles in its dungeons, often solved using a Zelda-like suite of weapons and tools. Instead of random encounters, monsters in dungeons only initiate combat if you run into them, they only take a step when you do, and your ranged tools affect them. You can stumble upon pokemon (basically) who evolve when you feed them items and armor and who fight with you as AI. You get limit breaks, but the attack you use is a function of your current equip. And if you really want to go deep, this game has both “The World’s Most Difficult Trick” (a fiendish slider puzzle) and “The Ancient Cave,” which is a 99-floor procedurally generated dungeon of paced but staggering difficulty, a great mechanical basis that enhances replay value, and no save points. All of this in 1996! I will add that the great story in this game is made even greater if you’ve played the first Lufia game, but that game has literally none of the good features of Lufia 2, and is instead frustrating and pretty bad.

    That would be on my list, but my #1 would certainly be Mega Man X. None of you mentioned a Mega Man game, so it’s possible these things aren’t up your alley, but maybe you just never played them and had your eyes opened. Here’s a solid 20-minute song of praise for Mega Man X as a paragon of game design principles.

    Lastly, I will also raise a glass to the Super Smash Bros series. For those of us who don’t excel at FPSs, Smash gives us a fast, fun, and infinitely replayable four-player free-for-all, and in that respect, it excels way beyond alternatives like racing or… I don’t know, Mario Party? For me, it was Melee, every day all day for the first half of my freshman year of college.

    • Wow, Colton, nice html skills: 20-minute song of praise

      Anyway, afterthought: this podcast needs a curmudgeon. There was far too much respect and too little arguing. With favorite games, it’s tough, because it could come off more as a personal attack, and because all the games discussed are clearly very good… but it would’ve been entertaining at least to hear someone be like, “Smash Bros 4 is the best in the series, and it’s not even close, and I will loudly deride anyone who says otherwise.”

      • I watched the video you sent, and it’s very persuasive, though I wish he talked more about parts other than the beginning of the game. (In fact, I watched all of the Sequilitis videos he made, and I really enjoyed his contrarian take on Ocarina of Time.)

        I’ve played bits and pieces of Mega Man X, but definitely don’t have the complete experience playing it. I’ll definitely add it to my to-play list and let you know what I think when I do play it.

        As for the gentility of the discussion here, I should note that Collin and I had much less civil discussions about Smash Bros prior to this podcast. I was surprised how little shit he gave me for ranking Brawl so high. He had come into the habit of calling things he didn’t like “the Brawl of” that type of thing. Like: Cleveland is the Brawl of American cities. I could definitely do for some more prodding and challenging of my choices, though I didn’t mind that these casts really turned into unchallenged veneration.

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