What Games Have Stretched Your Imagination?

Discussion in 'Video Games' started by Jhale M., May 31, 2018.

  1. Jhale M.

    Jhale M. Goddess of health, purity and truth. Veteran

    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    82
    Location:
    Massachusetts, United States of America
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RM2k3
    What games took you by surprise and showed you something you never expected to see or didn't know you wanted?

    Non-RPG Maker games: Shin Megami Tensei: Shin Megami Tensei is a satisfying blend of urban, fantasy/myth and science fiction settings. Even though the gameplay can look pretty boring, it is usually a lot more enjoyable when you try it. This game is inspiring because it adds social aspects to battling, which is something that is still lacking in many modern RPGs. It also created the monster catching style of game which Poke'mon chose to mimic. Lastly, it pushed boundaries simply by being religion turned into an entertaining game, unexpectedly going beyond the monster designs and into the core of the story itself.

    Persona 3: The Persona series is an extension of the Shin Megami Tensei series. It is more purely urban. Persona 3 adds in a new element called social links where you gain strength from your friends. This might not seem that great on paper, but the experiences with all of the friends you are supposed to make in order to gain power makes the world a lot more lively. It is also nice that your game follows a calendar and you can only do so much exploration and training and other events in a day. It is nice and replayable and it also works well with the horror themes that are present from beginning to end. Overall, a well written game with great concepts and also pretty good for pacing yourself. It is also kind of hard to imagine how they made a game so complicated, although the dungeon and monster design is indeed pretty simple and recycled from older games in exchange. Lastly, the music is just amazing. After I heard so many great soundtracks, I didn't expect to hear one that sounds so fresh and beautiful again. The music is still a bit of a hit or miss, however and I don't like all of it.

    Earthbound: Earthbound began to get noticed by people mainly through Smash Bros. (like the Fire Emblem series did). Like Shin Megami Tensei, it does seem to have also influenced Poke'mon, although more subtlely. Mother/Earthbound Zero is part of this entry too. These two games introduced the modern setting to RPGs when they had started out with mostly Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy and Falcom's Dragon Slayer and Ys series. Although Megami Tensei had also existed on the Famicom, it is a future-based game. More importantly, these two games introduced a style that was casual and personal which was never done before. In Earthbound, it extended into more of a reality warping style as well as a world-spanning "coming of age" story. The scope and charm of these two games were unmatched in their time and they also were very well designed games with fantastic and equally unique music. They feel like they belong on their own plane of existence.

    Fire Emblem: This is likely the first game to make RPGs into a more social experience. Even before the recruitment systems of Megami Tensei and such, there was Fire Emblem with it's map conversation system. It is such a surprising mechanic that you can talk to people on a battlefield, unexpectedly, even recruiting many of them, while already playing a genre-defining game. Fire Emblem is also great for going on and making some of the most complex narratives in video game history and games 1-5 did so much experimenting and innovating with the format that it beat the innovation of Final Fantasy, while making game mechanics good enough to recycle into later games. It is great that Fire Emblem so commonly draws upon its past when other long-running, non-sequential RPGs will only make small references, change things completely or not pay attention to the past much at all.

    Tales of Phantasia: This game is very powerful in my opinion. Not only did they push the limits of the SNES technically with their sound (even having a lyrical song as the opening), but they also made a new type of action RPG which I found to be really fun. It doesn't play too much like its sequels, in my opinion and while most people think it is inferior to them, I think I rather replay Phantasia. The music is very great, although it can be hard to like at first, basically making the most of the sound system they designed and even making a music room that showcases some of the technical aspects of the sound design. Additionally, and I guess this should have been mentioned somewhere earlier, the whole game is voice-acted for your character's attacks. The control over the main character is less simplistic than it initially seems and allows for the use of a lot of skill (if you can figure out the secret inputs). The cast of characters are pretty special, but you only get 4 partners after all (or 5 if you have a non-SNES version). Equipment is very nuanced, with stab and slash stats and also weapon types to factor into what you should use and what attacks you can do effectively. There is also a strong skill system that is very similar to Chrono Trigger in how you learn various techniques through practicing the ones you have learned. The plot of the game is what felt most imaginative, however.... It feels like it stretches beyond most things by mixing a lot of time travel elements as well as battles that go on longer than you expect and enough content that you actually normally reach the end of the game around max levels. Plus, you get a seriously intimidating villain, who is even blonde and named Dios.

    Guilty Gear: Guilty Gear was the most intense fighting game I had seen and it was hard to believe that it was even harder to control than it looked. The futuristic fantasy setting for the game is also quite inspiring. The world is driven by a force that combines technology and magic. So many very original and fun character designs as well as the heavily rock music made this a franchise I could never forget. I was pretty averse towards metal music before Guilty Gear, but it still managed to slowly convince me that the music was good (once I looked outside of the most popular songs).

    However, Guilty Gear Overture is my favorite game in the series so far. Although it had been reviewed poorly when it came out, the game is incredibly complex, fast paced and competitive and it has perhaps the best presentation of the Guilty Gear story. It combines Real Time Strategy and Fighting game genres to make something new that hasn't been done after. It might sound like a MOBA, but it is much more of a Real Time Strategy game.

    Megaman Battle Network: This game is practically a dream for the Gameboy Advance. It is filled with secrets and post-game content that makes it really fun to share secrets about and study carefully. It has very punishing gameplay, but it is almost always satisfying. The design of the game makes sure that each battle is unique while still following an RPG style format. The battle chips can be traded between friends and you can battle each other with no real distractions from skill and deck-building. But most importantly, it is a game that emphasizes the social aspects of games and competition. It has a very nice cultural basis to its gameplay and setting, which is especially unexpected when you compare it to the mostly detached action platforming in the rest of the series...

    Megaman Legends:
    This game is an amazing mix between adventure and action-RPG. There are just so many subtleties that make you feel like you are exploring the uncharted or feeling the romantic vibes of an island, yet the area is mostly pretty small. It feels like the environment is very proper in scale, which is something I can almost never remember being in a big commercial game before. You also get the great fun of experimenting with weapons, as is expected in Megaman, but they even give you a highly customizable Mega Buster and a few other more in-depth mechanics. And yet the most unexpected part is how this game feels rather horrific. Even though there aren't too many big threats in the game, the first boss is a huge pain to fight and I don't think I ever fought such a tough first boss before. Additionally, the robot enemies sound really terrifying when you are traveling through the dark dungeons and they can come out of nowhere quite a few times. Survival is a real factor when it comes to dungeons.

    Corruption of Champions: Since this is a sexual game, I can't talk about too much, but this game showed me the power of a more taboo medium for RPG games. The main parts that make the game really strong are its modularity and transformations as well as random events. It also has some really great writing and combat and taught me the power of Interactive Fiction, which I did not know could pull off something like an RPG game so well.

    This next part is basically my favorite RPG Maker games like I listed a few days ago. The main reason I like RPG Maker is to give a voice to personal feelings in game design.

    Magical Camp: This is an erotic game, although it started out with pretty minimal erotic content. This game's concept is like a dream come true and I never even realized it until I saw it. The story/setting is about magical girls, but it is more practical than even Madoka Magica. The characters are all realistic and not too afraid to be themselves. In fact, many of your allies are of questioanble morality and your initial goal is supposed to be to escape from the camp, with these allies also being people who get in the way of you achieving that goal. It basically has a tug-of-war between being the chosen protagonist and also being in a place where you don't belong.

    As for the game structure itself, it is a hub-focused game, maybe a bit like Megaman. I had totally forgotten how much I loved the hub idea and it is done very well here since not only do you have a variety of people to talk to and important events there, but you also have a social link system, like Persona 3 (and beyond). The game has no level ups but is instead gives you power mostly through items, social links, transformations and events. The idea of a game without level ups seems like something I would not want to play, but with all of those mechanics influencing it, I find myself enjoying it potentially more than regular RPG progressions.

    Monster Girl Quest/Paradox: This is an outright hentai game, but it is perhaps the most known RPG Maker game (series) outside of Yume Nikki. I feel like these games really add a new dimension to turn-based gameplay. The erotic elements are used to give the combat more social stakes and pressures. I don't think the erotic content itself is very good and most people literally play the game for how well designed it is and how good the story is. It highly influenced Corruption of Champions and it is sort of an influence to me too. I love how the world of monsters is more of a focus and they are more human than in other games since their goal is basically to have human monster hybrids take over the world as the demon lord's grand plan.

    Embric of Wulfhammer: Another game that I didn't expect to like. Not only is this an RPG Maker game with seemingly no combat, but it also is focused around referential humor. I am not a fan of a lot of humor and referential humor is my most hated. But what made me fall in love with this one??? The protagonist is a true oddball. The world is purposefully a mess where you can simply retry if you get to the ending credits due to a bad end. Finding out how to progress the story is a big puzzle, but unlike most games that try to be a puzzle, most of it is found easily enough and in a way that makes it fulfilling to uncover.
     
    #1
  2. JtheDuelist

    JtheDuelist Just a dev who actually got a game finished Veteran

    Messages:
    1,163
    Likes Received:
    1,424
    Location:
    RMW Forums, Granvia, or Askr
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    My teen years were terrible- back when I was in middle school, I was always that problem child who wanted things their way and hardly had friends, then I played "The World Ends With You". I think it really helped me mellow out and become who I am today, maybe because back then, I could really relate to the main protagonist Neku on many levels. It also brought me to start listening to many different music genres, as back then, the only thing I listened to was either hard rock or anime OPs. Not to mention many of the game's features were years ahead of its time (TWEWY had freakin' StreetPass before it was a thing!)
     
    #2
  3. TheMutantSpaceDancer

    TheMutantSpaceDancer Maker of Goof 'ems. Veteran

    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    3,550
    Location:
    The Depths of Space
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    Little King's Story on Wii, this f#$king game is one of the most under-rated gems on the Wii. In this game you play as a small boy who, after finding a magic crown in the forest, becomes king an sets out to take over the world! This game has all kinds of creative kingdoms and enemies that you gotta go against to gain full world domination, storm a mountain kingdom that is obsessed with being the tallest so you gotta storm to the top of their mountain while dodging the king's massive f#$king beard hair, storm a kingdom of drunk party people with their drunk-a$$ king standing on a tower of beer crates, storm a TV kingdom where you gotta take a geography quiz to not get sent to the punishment channel, storm a kingdom of worried egg folk who you gotta do a quiz or else chickens show up to beat you to a pulp! every boss fight in this game is a different fight entirely, pinball! quiz! obstacle course! I came into this game blind and I was treated to something new every hour. I give it a 25/25
     
    #3
  4. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

    Messages:
    4,447
    Likes Received:
    5,034
    Location:
    Riftverse
    First Language:
    Indonesian
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    How I read the title description as: "Any games that made you imagine more than the game itself"
    What the thread actually about: "What game(s) that is surprisingly good and you didn't expect it"

    The difference is, if it was the first, I was going to say Starbound because I can imagine being planet explorer, building new colonies and many things. In fact, most if not all open world / sandbox games suit best with the title, but it wasn't all about it.

    If it was the second, then I'd say an RMXP game named Quintessence: The Blighted Venom, KanGao's previous game before To The Moon. I don't usually play story heavy games, because weighting on only the story, they usually bore me because I didn't do anything to excite me like grinding and battles. But this game was an exception that I somehow enjoy every bit of the story, it was like a watching a movie.
     
    #4
    VioletSpark likes this.
  5. Windows i7

    Windows i7 Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    988
    Location:
    USA
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    Yume Nikki Dream Diary - I wasn't a fan of the original Yume Nikki, but this one got my attention.

    Eternal Senia - A free RPG Maker game on Steam... I was expecting very little of it but ended up with a true work of art. Playing through it, it just feels like it was made with passion.

    Persona 5 - One of the few games ever to get me truly interested in the characters.

    BeamNG.Drive - I never thought I'd see the day that a realistic racing game with full modding support would happen... much less one from a smaller developer. This game is IMO revolutionary in a manner similar to the original Gran Turismo on PS1.

    Saints Row The Third - Saints Row always seemed like a GTA knockoff to me... until I played this one. The amount of references in this game is insane, it is hilarious at times, and there are plenty of overpowered upgrades. Oh, and cars crush so much better in this game than they do in GTA.

    Saints Row IV - This one kicks it up a few notches when it comes to overpowered mechanics... and there's nothing wrong with that. There's even the Element of Destruction pack DLC... which is a must-have. It is insanely fun. This game also introduced one of the greatest weapons in any game ever... the Dubstep Gun.

    Saints Row: Gat out of Hell - The reviews made me think it was going to be a mediocre game. Fortunately, I did end up really enjoying it. Quite a bit of humor in it too... like punching Satan in the face, or dying in lava for the achievement called Extra Crispy.

    The Deep Sleep - I generally hate this game's genre but this game was epic. Its a flash game... one of the few that tell a very interesting story.
     
    #5
    VioletSpark and Jhale M. like this.
  6. rue669

    rue669 Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    193
    Location:
    Toronto
    First Language:
    English
    The game El Shaddai stretched my imagination. That and Asura's Wrath. Both games were just cool and unique in their own ways, whether that be graphically, story, or mechanics.
     
    #6
    VioletSpark, Canini and Jhale M. like this.
  7. Lothloran

    Lothloran Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    89
    Location:
    Canada
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    Stretched my imagination you say?

    Baldur's Gate 1 because of the sheer amount of hidden content and somewhat random events, like the Drow party member you can recruit (I forget how) and the appearance of Drizzt Do'urden. Plus, despite how limited the game is due to its age, it's so full of robust characters and personality, the world is truly a masterpiece and that's something I really put a lot of effort into in my projects. World building, I'd rather play a game with bland characters and a sub-par story as long as the world building has been done properly.

    Fallen Enchantress because it's a really unique take on real time strategy and roleplaying.

    Fallout 1 and 2 for mostly the same reasons as Baldur's Gate, I love a rich world with tons of stuff to explore and do, even if the motivation is a bit vague or even non-existent, I like being able to imagine the story rather than be beaten over the head with it.

    However...

    Final Fantasy 13 AKA Final Fantasy: World of Hallways, Idgaf what anyone says about this game, I love the corny, overly emotional storyline, I play it once a year and I always get sweaty around the eyes at the end.

    The only RPG maker game I've ever played and actually enjoyed enough to 100% (on steam) was Grayfox, even though it's kind of basic, and the game doesn't take very long to play and I generally like 30-50 hour+ epic RPGs... it was really well done, the dialogue and story didn't really piss me off or seem stilted, it was quiet good, it might actually be the reason I bought VX Ace lol

    *edit*
    ^That's a lie, I also really enjoyed The Deed, which has kind of sort of been a bit of inspiration in my up coming game Suns of Uriel, at least as far as the puzzles/choices/etc go.
     
    #7
    VioletSpark and starlight dream like this.
  8. Matseb2611

    Matseb2611 Innovate, don't emulate Veteran

    Messages:
    4,595
    Likes Received:
    6,466
    Location:
    UK
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    The original Deus Ex. It really changed my outlook on what games can do and plays a huge part in inspiring most of the projects I do to this day. Of course since then there have been plenty of games made where choices matter and where multiple solutions exist to reach the goal at hand, but that was truly the first of its kind, at least for me anyway.
     
    #8
    VioletSpark and Jhale M. like this.
  9. Neka Music

    Neka Music Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    93
    First Language:
    Empty
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    When I was a kid I grew up on light-Japanese games (Like disney platformers and beat-em-up games ); therefore my western game knowledge was limited.

    Games that streched my imagination came from western games; for example :
    GTA Vice city (my first open world game)
    Diablo II (my first action rpg game that introduces stats distribution & skill tree)
    Mount and Blade (the combination of open world & action rpg game) -- I'm not sure if this is a western game, though.

    Although for RPG Maker games, I do happy to be a playtester of Labyronia Elements, this game
    inspired me; the elemental world-travelling concept was great , there were ups and downs, but this is just my personal taste.
     
    #9
    VioletSpark, Amarok and Jhale M. like this.
  10. consolcwby

    consolcwby (2015: afk...) 2018: BAK! :P Veteran

    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    334
    Location:
    Somewhere the East Coast of the USA... i think...
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    MIDWINTER, Mike Singleon 1989:
    This was the first Open World game I ever came across, and opened my eyes to the possibilities of parallel turn based games. Honestly it was amazing for it's day and I've never quite seen anything like it since. The little character bios always intrigued me and made me wonder how an innocent 12 year old girl was so expert in stealth and demolitions!

    DEUS EX MACHINA, Mel Croucher, 1984:
    A true "Multimedia" experience I encountered on the Commodore 64 back when I was 16. The "game" required you to sync an audio tape to play in the background. The combination of the voices, music, visuals, and "gameplay" felt hypnotising and panic-inducing at times. The only thing to ever resemble electronic LSD. What is it about? AI, humanity, rat feces, and Jon Pertwee! A "Must Watch" for those who love let's plays!!!
     
    #10
    VioletSpark and Jhale M. like this.
  11. Darkanine

    Darkanine ...In my thoughts and in my dreams... Veteran

    Messages:
    335
    Likes Received:
    176
    Location:
    North Carolina
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    An odd choice, but Snoopy Concert on SNES. The game is pretty simple, it's an point-and-click adventure game about The Peanuts. The game is just beautiful with graphics faithful to the look of the strips, accompanied by nice music and a very humble and endearing story.
    The simplicity of it made me realize that hey, an adventure doesn't have to be defined by uncovering ancient civilizations or punching gods in the face, it can be as simple as Snoopy rounding up hims friends (and Lucy) for a concert. And because of that, it helped me come up with more creative ideas in my plots.

    Opoona on the Wii also stretched my imagination, so to speak. If you've never played Opoona, it's a very flawed but enjoyable game with an incredibly memorable setting. Basically, Opoona takes place on an Earth after 90% of the surface was infested by weird monsters but humanity is still striving in its own weird way and hey, aliens have become a regular part of human society. Despite the dire circumstances, humans are trudging on just fine. The game was just bursting with optimistic creativity that always put a smile on my face. The enemy designs, the graphics, the music, all filled with wonder that you don't see much.

    Pokemon Fire Red on my first playthrough. Oh my lord, it felt like an actual adventure. So much mystery and wonder. I still remember the way I reacted when I off-handily noticed the cave near Cerulean was no longer guarded.
     
    #11
    VioletSpark and Jhale M. like this.
  12. trouble time

    trouble time Bearer of the Word Veteran

    Messages:
    751
    Likes Received:
    531
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    Stretch panic of course.
     
    #12
    consolcwby likes this.
  13. Tifa

    Tifa Villager Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    It's a Secret to Everybody
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    Pokemon Pearl, Dragon Quest IX, Pokemon Explorers of Sky, Final Fantasy VII, Radiant Historia, Rune Factory 4, and most recently, Persona 4 Golden and Persona 3 PSP. I'd say that those are the main games that had [and still do] have the biggest influence on me, and I play them over and over again.
     
    #13
    VioletSpark and Jhale M. like this.
  14. Rudostan

    Rudostan Descent Game Programmer/ Terrible Artist Veteran

    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    4
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    Haunt: Real Slender Game
     
    #14
  15. Tifa

    Tifa Villager Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    It's a Secret to Everybody
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    Pokemon Soulsilver as well.
     
    #15
  16. VioletSpark

    VioletSpark Launcher of a Thousand Ships Veteran

    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    49
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    Hamtaro: Ham Ham Heartbreak. It's a cool mechanic: you solve puzzles by learning new words.
     
    #16
    Canini likes this.
  17. samkfj

    samkfj Bug Powder Veteran

    Messages:
    349
    Likes Received:
    3,821
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    I would have to say--(and bear with me as I explain.)

    I was used to Mario Bros, Sonic, Final Fantasy, etc... then this thing came around and a cousin of mine was playing it. I remember asking him what he was playing... I was nine, I had no idea games could be played on a computer.

    He says to me--Doom. I still remember the feeling I got when I heard that word; it made little sense to me at the time, but it was like someone turned out the light. He let me play it for a bit, and it really affected me. I wanted to know more about it, but as my cousin lived in Houston and I lived in San Antonio (very far from each other,) I could only imagine. It wasn't until a few years later that I finally got to play it, almost a teen by then.

    In essence, it was the feeling that this was not a game I could win easily. It wasn't a game that would reward me with power ups or extra lives. I had to think about what could be around the corner, ready to get me. It was an experience that I have yet to find with any other game, some come very close, but not enough to re-create that feeling of dread, fear and solitude. To put it more bluntly, it was the first time I realized that a video game could be scary, and that the purpose was to survive.
     
    #17
  18. Engr. Adiktuzmiko

    Engr. Adiktuzmiko Chemical Engineer, Game Developer, Using BlinkBoy' Veteran

    Messages:
    14,640
    Likes Received:
    2,966
    Location:
    Philippines
    First Language:
    Tagalog
    Mount and blade - never knew leading a band of mercenaries across the lands, helpings lords and becoming one yourself could be super fun

    Dark Cloud and Ni no Kuni 2 from level 5 games - I usually dont like world building games but these rpgs with world building are really fun for me

    And well, almost every Square Enix, Tri-Ace and Nihon Falcom games that I played.
     
    #18
  19. Canini

    Canini Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    980
    Likes Received:
    651
    First Language:
    Swedish
    Non-RPG maker games:
    -Final Fantasy 9. Just everything about it. From the world to the charactrs to the game mechanics and music, everything is just right up my alley and formed my interests and tastes in fantasy.
    - Okami, awakened my interest in creating a game based on my own countries and legends.
    - Persona 4 for being a good mystery and showing me how fun urban fantasy is.
    - Banjo Kazooie for being a plain fun world and shaping my tastes in humerous characters and places.

    Also some games with absolutely amazing worldbuilding:
    Neverhood, Little Big Adventure

    Rpg-maker games:
    -Space funeral. The reason why is spoiled since it is not immediately obvious that the games are about these things.
    For being an absolutely amazing exploration of game design and the limits/freedom of Rpgmaker itself
     
    #19
  20. trouble time

    trouble time Bearer of the Word Veteran

    Messages:
    751
    Likes Received:
    531
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    I remember this game i think, Gameboy advance game right?
     
    #20
    VioletSpark likes this.

Share This Page