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Merrick Rose

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PostSubject: Top 10 Lists   Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:52 am

Thought I'd revive an old favorite. I'll get the ball rolling with...

GameInformer's Top 10 Annoying Enemies

10. Medusa Heads [Castlevania]
While they've been in many Castlevania titles, these airborne nuisances were at their peak of annoyance in Symphony of the Night's Clock Tower stage. Not only did these swarms prevent Alucard from making that one precise jump, but the yellow ones could even turn him to stone.

9. Malboros [Final Fantasy]
These terrifying creatures have been inflicting a multitude of status effects on RPG lovers for years. One whiff of its Bad Breath attack could render your party useless with stuff ranging from confusion to poison. If enough of these ailments hit your team, there's little else you can do besides run away.

8. Hunters [Resident Evil]
How could things get worse than barely managing to kill a giant mutated plant? Try limping back to a mansion you just cleared of zombies only to be decapitated by a huge, bipedal reptile with foot-long claws. Hunters infest the Spencer Estate later on in Resident Evil, and their quick instant kill attacks make the undead look like puppies. Survival horror fans had to learn the hard way that half a clip of handgun rounds and an ink ribbon do jack squat against these beasts.

7. Birds [Ninja Gaiden]
Swarms of ghost fish plagued Ryu Hayabusa in his Xbox comeback, but his original animal adversary came in the form of these infuriating hawks from his NES debut. In a game that required insane reflexes and precise platforming, there was nothing worse than a bird swooping down and knocking out of the air and to your death. Again. And again. And again.

6. Big Eyes [Mega Man]
As if Mega Man blasting his way through devious gauntlets of traps isn't harrowing enough, Dr. Wily decides to deploy the Big Eyes. Guarding the entrances to the original Robot Masters' lairs, these one-eyed nightmares are difficult to hit and can arsorb a ton of shots from your Mega Buster. Even worse, their jump attack does absurd damage, sending you back to a mid-level checkpoint when you're only inches from confronting the boss.

5. Lakitus [Super Mario Bros.]
The sight of these goggle-eyed jerks will trigger instant rage for any old school Mario fan. If you think all Lakitus are friendly, cloud-riding dudes who carry video cameras and hold checkered flags, you need to spend more time in the Mushroom Kingdom's 2D incarnations. That's where this floating menace assaults players with an unending bombardment of Spinys, occasionally taunting you with an extra life on a fishing line before he unleashes hell.

4. Mimics [Many RPGs]
More than any other enemy on this list, Mimics love to add insult to injury. At least other bad guys look like bad guys. These spike-toothed pests have the balls to disguise themselves as treasure chests. You think you'll be getting some money or a nice new weapon, but with a giant middle finger to the player, you end up having to fight a monster. Perhaps the most insidious Mimic of all is found The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, where some treasure chests turn out to be disguised Like-Likes.

3. Will-o-the-Wisps [The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion]
If you happen to be wandering through Cyrodiil without a magic weapon on hand, you'd better be prepared to run for your life if you see a Will-o-the-Wisp. These shimmering beacons of death are immune to normal weapons, and will relentlessly chase you as they fade in and out of existence. Be careful not to lead them into a town, because that's essentially a death sentence for all nearby guards and citizens; the Wisp unceremoniously zaps everyone in sight before turning its attention back to you.

2. Metroids [Metroid]
On one hand, Metroids are among the most awesome, iconic enemies in gaming. On the other hand, they're huge pains in the ass. You have to blast them with missiles, usually after freezing them, which is easier said than done when they're zooming in from offscreen while you're trying to jump on tiny platforms hovering over lava. If one manages to latch on, prepare to do Samus' signature "bomb and jump and flail like crazy" maneuver to get free.

We've covered some of the most annoying enemies one can meet, but our next entry is the very model of annoyance...

1. Like-Likes [The Legend of Zelda]
Most annoying enemies are content to simply kill you, but the Like-Like has more sinister intentions. The real threat with it isn't that it'll swallow you up and drain your health, it's that it'll steal one of Link's most important pieces of equipment: his shield. If you don't defeat it fast enough after it spits you out, you'll find yourself angrily running back to the nearest shop to waste your hard-earned rupees on another shield.
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Merrick Rose

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PostSubject: Re: Top 10 Lists   Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:02 pm

GameInformer's Top 10 Gaming Screw-Overs

Challenge is part of the fun of gaming. However, sometimes games aren't just hard, they're completely unfair. Unreasonable difficulty spikes, flagrant rule breaking, and unavoidable lost hours of progress don't make for good entertainment. These are some of the most infuriating examples of video games resorting to dirty tactics to make life hard for hapless gamers.

10. The Cat and the Rat [King's quest V]
While walking past a bakery in King's Quest V, you may see a brief scene of a cat chasing and catching a rat. Little do you know that you just watched the game render itself unwinnable. Unless you throw something at the cat in the few seconds you have to act, you will face an avoiable death hours later, when you're trapped in a cellar and bound by ropes a grateful rat could easily chew through. Time to restart!

9. Single Save Slot [Gears of War]
You're close to beating Gears of War, but your buddy wants to play co-op, so you start up a new game. You get some warning about overwriting saved data, but you don't think it concerns you. Surprise! Gears of War doesn't have separate save slots for single player and co-op, so you just lost all of your progress. Of course, any headway you made with your friend also gets erased when you try to restart the solo campaign.

8. Guile's Flash Kick [Street Fighter II]
The perfect counter to any aerial assault, the Flash Kick usually involves charging for a few seconds by holding down the joystick. As an AI opponent, those rules don't apply; Guile can do it whenever he wants. "The computer is cheating" is normally a dumb excuse for losing, but in this case, we can make an exception.

7. Catch-Up AI [Madden]
Sometimes your opponent just needs to accept defeat. That's easier said than done in Madden, since computer-controlled teams pull miraculous plays out of nowhere to keep the game close. In real life, a 21-point comeback in two minutes (as the result of three consecutive turnovers) isn't luck; it's divine intervention. Or an average Detroit Lions game.

6. Lou [Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock]
You might think that Guitar Hero is about hitting all the notes, but that's not the case in the final guitar battle against Lou. Instead of rocking out, you need to horde random power-ups while praying that Lou gets all the duds. Your skill plays almost no part at all. If the arbitrary sequence doesn't go in your favor, you lose. Just like a real concert, right?

5. Katze [Bushido Blade]
What's the best way to win a swordfight? A shameful disregard for the rules! At the beginning of this battle, Katze whips out a revolver and blasts your sword-toting samurai in the face. You can beat him if you're quick enough, but a gun in a game about elegant swordplay is more than a little cheap.

4. The Zodiac Spear [Final Fantasy XII]
Don't get that treasure! If you want to obtain the Zodiac Spear in Final Fantasy XII, you need to leave several otherwise unremarkable treasure chests untouched. The chests are in different locations separated by hours of gameplay, but opening any of them ruins your chance to get the game's best weapon.

3. The "End" [Ghosts 'N Goblins]
As if Ghosts 'N Goblins wasn't difficult enough, the game doesn't even throw you a bone after you defeat the last boss. Instead of getting a happy ending, you have to play through the whole game AGAIN. And it's even harder the second time around.

2. WarMech [Final Fantasy]
Crossing the bridge leading to Tiamat's chamber, you may encounter WarMech, an ancient machine far more powerful than the boss you're only steps from fighting. Unfortunately, WarMech is beyond your party's ability to beat when you first meet it, so you inevitable die in the first round of combat. Without save points, this means having to redo the whole dungeon.

Which brings us to Number One...

1. The Turbo Tunnel [Battletoads]
Battletoads' Turbo Tunnel is the most infamous screw-over in gaming history. Instead of focusing on combat, this level puts your toads on hoverbikes and has them plowing headfirst into a series of oncoming walls. The only way to avoid getting flattened is pure memorization, trial and error, and a level of saintly patience that few possess. This sequence alone prevented most gamers from ever discovering that Battletoads has more than three levels.
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Merrick Rose

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PostSubject: Re: Top 10 Lists   Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:21 pm

My Top 10 Scariest Levels & Places in Video Games

10. The Bonefin Galaxy [Super Mario Galaxy]
When I first played this level, I thought it would be just another underwater level. What I DIDN'T expect was to have a giant undead shark chasing me. It's enough to make anyone jump out of their seat.

9. Raccoon City [Resident Evil 3: Nemesis]
The only reason Raccoon City is on this list is because of Nemesis, the near-unstoppable mutant that chases you for most of the game. Whenever you hear that low growl of "STARS...", you'd better be prepared to run for your life. Sometimes he chases through several areas and doesn't leave you alone for anything. Other times, he comes after you with a ROCKET LAUNCHER. The scariest part? Eventually, you have nowhere left to run and you don't have any choice but to fight him.

8. Underground Tunnel [Resident Evil 4]
I don't know the exact name of this area, but that's not important. After barely avoiding being impaled in a pit of spikes, you have to work your way down a dark tunnel to look for switches that open doors and power an elevator. What truly makes this part scary is that you have a monster that looks like Vin Diesel fucked a Xenomorph stalking you the entire time. Keep your eye out for those dodge prompts or be prepared to get your head chopped off.

7. The River Twygz [Super Paper Mario]
At a few points in the level this river is in, you have to jump in and swim to the bottom to get to your next destination. That wouldn't be a problem except that you're being chased by dozens of disembodied hands. The music that plays when you're underwater doesn't help either. I thought this was supposed to be a game for kids. What the hell, Nintendo?

6. The Sewers [Resident Evil 4]
After Ashley gets herself kidnapped AGAIN, you have to navigate through a small sewer infested with giant mutant insects. In small numbers, they aren't hard to kill. They're just annoying. But they can make themselves nearly invisible, so you never know when you're going to be attacked.

5. 343 Guilty Spark [Halo]
I thought this would be a normal level, but when I saw blood and dead bodies everywhere, I knew something bad was going to happen. It did. And it was called the Flood. AND I FUCKING HATE THE FLOOD.

4. The Winter Lodge [Fable II]
There isn't a whole lot that makes me scream, but this made me scream when I experienced it. Stepping through one of the many Demon Doors scattered across Albion, you arrive on a path bordered by tall pine trees. It's snowing, and although it's nighttime, you can make out a path lit by a series of lanterns. You follow the path until you eventually see a pleasant little cottage, the windows of which are glowing with warm firelight. You step through the door, eager to get out of the cold... And an earsplitting noise breaks the silence as the cottage changes into an abandoned, burnt out wreck filled with torture devices and skeletons.

3. The USG Ishimura [Dead Space]
After contact is lost with it, an ordinary engineer named Isaac Clarke is dispatched to the Ishimura on a repair mission. What awaits him, though, is pure, unadulterated horror. The tight, claustrophobic corridors of the ship are infested with dead crew members that have been brought back to life as zombified monsters called necromorphs. What might be a dead body in front of you could be something waiting to rip you apart. When you learn the truth about where these things came from, your situation becomes all the more terrifying.

2. The Shadow Temple [The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time]
The first time you hear about this place, the mysterious Sheik describes it as a "house of the dead". That term doesn't begin to do it justice. Ocarina of Time's Shadow Temple is littered with torture devices, traps, undead enemies, and some pretty scary imagery. At one point towards the end, you have to ride a ferry down a dark, foggy river which is reminiscent of the River Styx. Unlike all of the other temples, this place has a linear layout, going deeper and deeper into the ground. But the further down you go, the more it feels like you're descending into the very depths of Hell.

Which brings us to Number One...

1. Hell [Dante's Inferno]
What better place to end our sojourn into the heart of fear than the woeful realm? EA's take on the Divine Comedy has its share of powerful characters, but the most powerful by far is Hell itself, complete with nightmarish scenery, the cries of the damned, and Lucifer himself taunting you every step of the way. Survive it, and you'll save humanity. And be set for life as a televangelist.
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Merrick Rose

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PostSubject: Re: Top 10 Lists   Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:31 pm

GameInformer's Top 10 Heroes of 2010

10. Super Meat Boy
Over the course of his journey to save his girlfriend, Bandage Girl, Super Meat Boy will die literally thousands of times. As he trudges towards his goal, not even Hell, the end of the world, or a doppelganger made of poo can stand in his way.

9. War [Darksiders]
Most people wouldn't consider one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to be a hero, but good and evil are ultimately two sides of the same coin. Bound by his code of honor, War battles against both Heaven and Hell to restore order to the universe.

8. Lightning [Final Fantasy XIII]
Amongst Final Fantasy XIII's cast of lackluster protagonists, Lightning is the only character who seems capable of taking on the corrupt government of Cocoon. Lightning's no-nonsense approach to her mission makes her the game's standout hero.

7. Michael Jordan [NBA 2K11]
Forget the eternal struggle between good vs. evil. This year players stepped into the sneakers of a real hero, the greatest basketball player of all time. In an era where most of the NBA greats are self-absorbed showboats, playing through Jordan's illustrious career reminds us why everyone in the 80s and 90s wanted to be like Mike.

6. Noble Six [Halo: Reach]
Gamers knew from the beginning of Halo: Reach that the Spartans of Noble Team would not have a happy ending. When it comes time for someone to stay behind and protect the ship carrying Master Chief, Noble Six doesn't hesitate to sacrifice himself for the mission, paving the way for the Chief's future adventures.

5. Jason Hudson [Call of Duty: Black Ops]
Hudson is more than just Alex Mason's handler; he's the guy that will do anything to keep the United States safe from the Soviet threat. Tasked with the kind of difficult decisions that would make Jack Bauer lose sleep at night, Hudson's unflappable demeanor earned him the nickname "Ice Cube".

4. Commander Shepard [Mass Effect 2]
Most heroes would be content to sacrifice their lives to save the galaxy, but in Mass Effect 2, Shepard is brought back to life to save it again. While the Citadel's alien races are busy squabbling with each other over power and position, Shepard assembles a ragtag team of allies to save the day.

3. Ethan Mars [Heavy Rain]
How far would you go to save someone you love? That's not an easy question to answer, but when the Origami Killer puts Ethan through a series of diabolical tests to rescue his son, Shaun, this ordinary father displays uncommon determination.

2. Ezio Auditore da Firenze [Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood]
Ezio's transformation from a hotheaded lothario to a master assassin was rooted in a thirst for revenge, but after unraveling the mysteries behind his personal loss, Ezio devoted his life to the greater good. Granted, his method for fighting evil usually involves jabbing a metal blade into people's spines, but if you want to make an omelet...

1. John Marston [Red Dead Redemption]
Marston's list of past transgressions is as long as any Rockstar protagonist's, but once he was responsible for a wife and child, this reformed outlaw did his best to become an honest farmer. Ultimately his past caught up with him, but even in the face of overwhelming odds, Marston defends his family with unwavering resolve.
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