The Insert Credit Video & Game Poll Honor Roll Thread

If you are so inclined, put some honor on the name of your picks that ended up on the Insert Credit Video & Game Poll Honor Roll with a paragraph or two of why you love it or felt that game deserved recognition.

Armed Police Batrider

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Shinobu Yagawa's games are in a league of their own. Garegga, Batrider, and Ibara could all fit in here, but I went with Batrider for its style and character variety. They all have you balancing scoring high enough to unlock extra lives while dying enough to keep the difficulty from scaling completely out of control, and are put together which such intricate detail as to boggle the mind.

I submit as Exhibit A this 6 hour scoring tutorial for Garegga, which includes over 30 minutes on how to best bomb the birds in the background of stage 2 with each character.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pz1kXyXOz_4

And as Exhibit B this run from Garegga high score holder T3 Kamui as explained to Tetris and FGC commentator James Chen by shmup popularizers Softdrink and Frenetic
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tPVBpjcrxE

Batrider takes this complexity and adds in a roster of 3 ships per run a la King of Fighters. You now also have to judge how many deaths you need to take before each stage to figure out how to get the optimal ship in the front before you get to it. It's a puzzle that I know I'll never come close to mastering, but I have infinite appreciation for it as the Mt Everest of single player score chasing.

**Defender and Robotron 2084**
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Larry DeMar is for my money the most important American game dev of all time. In the first half of the 80s he and Eugene Jarvis invented the scrolling shooter, the twin stick shooter, and the rail shooter, and then after the crash he reinvented Pinball working with Pat Lawlor on Banzai Run, Funhouse, Addams Family, and Twilight Zone. The thing about DeMar's games that always strikes me is how playable they remain to this day. Pac Man and Dig Dug are neat and all, but Defender and Robotron 2084 are _fun_ in a way that's not common with games of this era. They show their age graphically, but their pulse is driving action games to this day.

**Windjammers**
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Windjammers is the best competitive arcade game that doesn't involve fighting. I don't know if there's much to add except to show it in action. Game rules.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnX2QoLuOyE

**Ninja Gaiden**
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Cutscenes. On your console. What a concept.

Ninja Gaiden is Castlevania but faster, with some of the most meticulous level design of its era. The game gets much much harder the second you stop running forward due to enemy placement and behavior. A lot of games can shock a bystander witnessing someone move through the game effortlessly, Ninja Gaiden is the only one I can think of that shocks the player when they see themselves running though the game effortlessly. Then they get hit once, and the screen fills with enemies and they feel stuck until they run past the same section with ease on the next go, and are rewarded with a full screen cutscene about shadowy government agents and demons. It's the coolest game of all time.

**Wizardry**
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It's impossible to overstate Wizardry's influence. Without it, video game rpgs look a lot different, if they even exist at all. Yeah we have Ultima or whatever around the same time, but the party buildin, dungeon crawlin, stuff equippin formula we all know and love is all Wizardry through and through. It's still unmatched in a lot of ways in what its trying to do, and the more time passes the more games go back to it, from Etrian Odyssey to Darkest Dungeon.

Heck yeah to Windjammers, one of my friends‘ and I’s favourite local multiplayer game

I'm thinking about what to say about Oiκοςpiel, Book I……….

A Mind Forever Voyaging:

I like the theme and setting: the socioeconomic
ravages of reaganite neoliberalism on an “ugly” fictional plains states mid sized city. I just personally like office building/shopping mall/ subdivision landscapes for art and fiction. Kind of an idiosyncratic taste I know. But overall an ingenious narrative and of course well written

Playable here
https://classicreload.com/dos-a-mind-forever-voyaging.html

Feelies viewable here http://infocom.elsewhere.org/gallery/amfv/amfv.html

Bare Knuckle III

I know 2 made the big list and I think it’s great. We’ve discussed the differences a little bit on the forum. I like how dense and aggressive 3 is over 2 and how it feels more like a fight to survive rather than being on the offensive

Oiκοςpiel, Book I

I don’t claim to “understand” this game, but I think it’s totally engrossing and I admire how full of stuff and humor it is. It’s hard to describe the experience of playing it, most of the time you’re basically a dog running around the world if the world was the cd rom encarta encyclopedia from 1996. It’s sort of like if video game play was put on a sensory axis wrt synesthesia experience. I appreciate how it’s built out of software and videogame stuff. I’d say the closest videogame cousin would be those pre-myst cyan games like Spelunx: The Caves of Mr. Pseudo. I’m also a fan of “utopian scholastic” which I think about all the time and am glad it has a name

https://www.are.na/evan-collins-1522646491/utopian-scholastic

Heck of a game!

SMT: DDS

Deeply bleak game about endless suffering that follows its own logic surprisingly far. Real heavy and paranoid atmosphere. Maybe another idiosyncratic choice on my part vs nocturne, but I think there’s a lot more to this game. Maybe apples and oranges though if this is a jrpg and nocturne is a dungeon crawler

Terranigma

Concise and beautiful little game and the ending is a special one I think. Some of the best 16 bit->mediocre translation-> resonant weirdness type of stuff I can think of

Ys I and II

come the heck on it’s way better than zelda

@“yeso”#p40045 I was surprised Nocturne got no votes. DDS is a game that I appreciate more than love as I‘m definitely in the DRPG > JRPG camp, but it’s a hell of a JRPG. Atlus really spoiled PS2 owners with like 5 of the top 10 games on the console.

@“MichaelDMcGrath”#p40047 I had never played Nocturne previously, and am only an hour or two in after buying the recent release on my Switch. I started it, then refused to let myself fall in to my all-too-common trap of dropping what I've been currently playing to start on the new shiny thing I just got.

It seemed cool/interesting/fun! I'll get back to it once I'm done with what I currently have on. Maybe next year it makes my list? Who knows!

I will return with a proper breakdown of 428: Shibuya Scramble, Final Fantasy 12, and Nioh soon but the one thing they have in common from my personal experience of them is that they‘re all great chill out games. It’s easy to see how a game of 428‘s nature can be seen as a chill out game but Final Fantasy 12’s automated battle system, combined with the X4 play speed setting on the modern rereleases is wonderfully mindless.

With Nioh, it has a high barrier to entry but overcoming it and understanding the layout of each level, enemy behaviour, and so on lends itself to an experience that rewards perseverance with a more easily attainable flow state. I can't think of any other game that has actively encouraged me to not just jump into New Game + but New Game ++ and just keep playing.

Regarding 428, all I can say is that it‘s a visual novel that throws everything off the window and doesn’t expect anything but trying to see what happens. It‘s very similar as the Yakuza series because they take the dorama concept in all the possible directions and, at the same time, it holds everything together because of how the characters intersect. The game sometimes can be jarring because of how you need to connect and use certain mechanics to continue character plotlines, but I think that’s a minor inconvenience because there‘s a whole trove of memes to be found, the plot keeps you on edge when it wants you to and it knows when to be ironic, too, so you keep going through the hours and well, it holds together quite well. I also appreciate that failing doesn’t feel bad at all, as you can sometimes fail and get a laugh at it, and the devs were nice to give some clues -sometimes they‘re too obvious, but still, it’s nice of them to keep this secondary because what matters is following the plot and being curious about which and how the characters will connect.

I’ve been interested in 428 for a long while think I’ll finally give it a go

Umineko is the best VN but 428 is the one I would recommend to get someone started in the genre, so definitely a thumbs up on my part.

I had a few of honorary votes and will write something about all of them because they are beautiful games, but for now, let's say something about Resident Evil Remake, a game that coincidentally I have been replaying this very week.

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In 2021 it's safe and fair to consider the survival horror subgenre esentially dead. There are and will continue to be horror games, but the medium has move past the resource management, fixed camera angles, pre-rendered backgrounds, and balance between horror, adventure and action elements. That is something understable, if somewhat saddening because I freaking love that style of game to the point I could say it's my favorite. The remake of the first Resident Evil is a game that makes me less sad the genre died, though. And that is because, to me, it represents the peak of the genre, a game that takes all that corpus and philosophy design and brings them to the absolute boiling point, the ultimate consequences, the end of the road, basically.

I like looking at videogames from two perspectives. As narrative/aesthetic devices, in which the mechanics and interactivity act in service of exploring certain themes, ideas and characters (VNs for example would sit here), and the other one would be the opposite, videogames as beautiful machines, organisms composed a set of systems that intertwine with each other to create a particular experience. Now, I would concede that the narrative in the first Resident Evil is basically trash, and trash less compelling than even the original game, which at least had the B-series FMV-slasher film stupidness going for it, where the remake is esentially dry, rigid and cold. But oh boy, that mansion, those spaces, the tension, the excitement, the constant surprises and delightfully horrible traps the game throws your way. The Spencer Mansion in the remake is a beautiful piece of videogame design, absolutely memorable and, to me, essentially perfect.

One example of how good the design in this game is would be the zombies. Resident Evil Remake made the bold choice of turning the most basic and run-of-the-mill enemy, the cannon fodder, into the worst fucking nightmare in this game. To those who don't know, zombies in this game don't disappear. If you kill one, he rests on the very spot you downed him until he becomes something a lot worse, a crimson head. Basically a super zombie that runs, slashes, do insane amounts of damage and absorbs bullets like a champ. So the operation of clearing a room of zombies, so routinely performed in the rest of the Resident Evil games turns into something else here. Esentially, each time you down a zombie in this game you are setting up a ticking bomb. Each time you cross that room you will see that zombie and wonder when will it happen. The only ways to dispose of zombies in the remake are destroying the head or burning the corpses. The first one is performed by critical hits, an RNG mechanic already present in the rest of the games that here aquires a new dimension: it's imposible to feel the rush of adrenaline each time you get lucky, because you basically avoided this horrible and inmensely stressful enemy. On the other hand, the mental drain and stress each time you cross a room where you *know* you killed one of those assholes is almost unbearable, "is he going to fuck me, is he going to get up, ok he's not THANK GOD". Burning the corpses is something performed by a new mechanic in which you use kerosene and a lighter to burn them up, it basically adds another layer to the resource management the game is all about. Burning the corpses is basically your bomb defusal tool, you do that, and the zombie is finally taken care of.

There is something else I would like to talk about. What Capcom pulled off in the Gamecube with this game is absolutely insane. Playing the remake now via Steam or any other modern console can feel ordinary, but putting things in perspective, it's mind blowing. You need to consider the fact that Capcom achieved PS4 levels of fidelity two generations early. How did they do that? Following that idea of maximizing and pushing the genre to its ultimate consequences, they did the same with the pre-rendering technique. GC was a lot more powerful and had better resolution than the earlier generation of consoles, so they could make both better backgrounds and, at the same time, since the console didn't have to put much effort to show that, extremely detailed 3D models and very demanding dynamic lighting. RE1make looks better than RE7 to me, and only the Dimitrescu castle in RE8 looks as good. As proof, here you have an example:

Spencer mansion in RE1make:
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Baker's home in RE7:
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So yeah, I freaking love this game, I urge you all to play it and will fight anyone who says that it sucks.

Peace out!

I forgot to mention, it feels damn good that the game that imo brings the subgenre to perfection is precisely a remake of the very game that started the whole trend (although I know it was predated by games like Alone in the Dark or Alien Odissey).

It's awesome.

I agree with everything you wrote but I am too scared of the crimson heads to play it all the way through. Gonna get there one day

The graphics are too good. Cannot believe it's on Gamecube

Doki Doki Literature Club

It has so many intertwining layers of meaning and I was just reeling for days afterwards thinking about it. There‘s probably almost no one on here who isn’t at least superficially aware of its big meta twist moment, and I can understand rejecting games that rely on those, but I hope people will give it a shot and consider its deconstruction of, first, dating sims and more broadly, gender in games; then virtual worlds and AI in games; and finally, at a kind of extratextual level, the relationship between the game‘s creator and its subject matter, which plays out in interviews and on Dan Salvato’s Twitter. Or play it for its poignant depiction of depression. Or its stylistic flourishes – dialogue written to read like it was translated; poems that read like they really were written by high school students. Can't really say enough positive things about it

Subnautica
This still feels like a new kind of game to me. It solves the problem of objective-setting, which is one of my biggest hangups with 3D, open-world games. The game never explicitly tells you to go anywhere or do anything (OK it does exactly ONE time), but at all times you have a few overlapping objectives, set by yourself, that you are working through. OK I'm trying to build a water filtration machine so that means that I need to go get this material, but to do that I need to reinforce the hull of my little sea cruiser thing so I can dive deeper, so I need to get that material first, etc. Oh and while looking for that I found this other material that I need to build this other thing. It's a 3D metroidvania in that progress is gated by upgrades, but because the world is so vast and there's so much meaningful stuff you can do at any given time, you never notice. Compare it with Hollow Knight or something where you're often presented with, like, holes that are too big to jump across and for a while everywhere you go you see these big holes and the game is in essence waving a big red X sign at you and yelling YOU DON'T HAVE THE DOUBLE JUMP YET...TURN BACK. So you scour the map for unexplored areas that don't require the double jump to access. In Subnautica it's more like ah I can't go that deep yet...I'll just turn around and go north instead because I know I'm gonna find something cool or useful. By the time you head around that way again, you _have_ found the upgrade and you _can_ go that deep. So you're like Oh cool I can do this now! Because I decided to stop and explore that underwater wreck and I found the hull reinforcement upgrade inside! Also it's scary as hell so check that out if you're into it

@“tapevulture”#p40178 Two neat tricks from a Resident Evil pro player to make crimson heads more manageable:

1) You can burn multiple zombies with a single kerosene charge if you manage to kill more than one zombie on the same spot, saving a lot of resources. This is worth it even if you only manage to line up two of them. If you apply this to your strategy and avoid single zombies while prioritizing rooms with multiple enemies in them you can get a significant edge on consumables, making the game a lot more tameable.

If on top of that you prioritize the zombies on critical spots (hallways or rooms you know you'll be traversing multiple times) you'll be fine and most likely will finish the game with more resources than you needed.

2) Keep always in mind that the game wants to keep you on edge, not disturb or put you through an impossible ordeal. Ammo and herbs are limited, yes, but not rare to find at all. These are games that can lead to a mentality of self-imposed scarcity that can become your actual worst enemy. Avoid hoarding stuff. Trust me when I tell you that even on the hardest setting (which in truth is only normal, hard is unlocked after beating the game once), the game gives you fairly more than you need to finish it.

(On this one, it's also helpful to keep in mind that health is as much a resource as ammo or any other of the consumables. You can find yourself at a point in which you're running out of bullets but have 9+ green herbs on the inventory. That's a signal to start considering tanking some hits from zombies while waiting to be good on ammo again.)

Finally, I admit the game is at its greatest on normal/hard difficulty, but even easy and very easy are suspenseful, intense and enjoyable enough to provide a great experience, that can also be a stepping stone to face the game in a harder difficulty on secondary playthroughs. The game is a masterpiece regardless of the difficulty setting. Also: Jill is slightly more manageable on a first playthrough than Chris, so I would recommend playing with her first, I also find her route more fun because of Barry, so that's a win-win!

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@“JoJoestar”#p40180 Also: Jill is slightly more manageable on a first playthrough than Chris, so I would recommend playing with her first, I also find her route more fun because of Barry, so that’s a win-win!

I had never given this a serious, modern thought but it’s retrospectively quite brazen from a game design perspective – especially on such a complex endeavor as the first Resident Evil’s development – that Capcom went with the decision of removing two spaces in the inventory for one character (so 6 instead of 8, a 25% loss!) and that it did not screw them over in terms of game logic / "softlock" and overall game balance. I wonder if they actually went the other way around, and started at six? But six spaces seems so reductive that I have to think they started with Jill’s inventory in mind.

That was a great sales pitch, by the way, I might replay the remake this summer by your fault. Never finished it back then, mostly because of the (most unpleasant!) surprise of the crimson heads.

@“chazumaru”#p40203 It's very interesting to think about that because moving forward 8 inventory spaces became the standard for the franchise. In a way they went the opposite route in RE2 by making an specific item, the backpack, increase the inventory space of the character you wanted, instead of making that choice character locked and restrictive.

If I had to make an assessment I'd say level design has always been the invisible protagonist in the whole series (except for that valley when they went full action in 4/5/6). Since routing, establishing priorities and choosing what puzzles or spots you want to solve first has always been a focus, the whole game has to support a degree of leniency, it has to be kind of open. This is reinforced by having a character choice on the table. You need strong fundamentals, really good design to support all those nuances, alternate paths and differences on playstyle. At least if you want to make that character choice meaningful, of course, and not just strictly cosmetic or whatever.

A strong reason why Chris inventory works is the presence of the storage boxes. Those are without a doubt a pillar of the whole game design, specially in RE1. It's a strictly necessary element, integral to the whole experience. The game simply wouldn't work without them. If you think about it, their role is to act as a buffer to the inventory of both characters, they have to work with their respective spaces, but can rely on the boxes to make relevant items (and frankly, every item in this game is relevant) more easily accessible. So having already established that aspect, you really get some margin to work with, which would be, well, I guess precisely those two slots.

But it works! Because everything in this game is perfectly measured and beautifully calculated. A perfect machine working with clockwork precision during the whole playthrough.

So sure, give it a try! Resident Evil is one of those games that get better the more you play them. Familiarity boosts the appeal and you'll probably find that your prior knowledge of certain things like the existence of crimson heads will make it both more suspenseful (because of the anticipation) but also more manageable and enjoyable :)

I'm starting to feel bad for monopolizing the thread with the Resident Evil talk, but I agree with the GC (and also the lesser known port to Wii, which is essentally the same as GC but with wiimote support, both discs on the same DVD and other minor differences) being the best version.

The newest remaster/re-release is serviceable in most respects, but it's pretty obvious they didn't conserve all the originals for a fair amount of the backgrounds, some look incredibly ugly and low-res, while others seem to have been cleaned with some sort of AI reconstruction solution. An interesting workaround for this problem is the Switch version. If you play on portable mode forcing the 4:3 aspect ratio (adding lateral black bars) the small screen helps hiding a lot of the imperfections of the backgrounds, and it's a good way to play the game, with the added advantage of portability of course. This last playthrough I have done that and playing this on the bed with headphones and the lights off is pretty chill.