Nostalgic Game Review Finale: Part III (2002 – 2010)

Nostalgic Game Review

In this last part of the 3-part finale of the column, we will wrap up with 10 titles in the span of 8 years. These are mostly pretty famous titles that we continue to get sequels or the game morphed into franchises. The gaming industry continues to improve the 3D rendering capabilities, HDR, and improving shadows and some raytracing that make some of these games visual feats.

Aside from all that, the game also improves the way storytelling is done. Games such as Bioshock, God of Wars III, Uncharted were all series that pushed the limit of game stories into the realm of cinematics, where players really felt for the in-game characters.

Again, these games fall into a special category since they are either 1) ones I had fond memories of, but didn’t play enough to really write a full article for; 2) ones that are already widely reviewed and I don’t have much to add. By walking through these games with me, I hope to shed some light on the history of game design and reflect on how gaming technologies have evolved.

Without further ado…

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (a.k.a KOTOR, PC, 2003)

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Windows Fighting a Mandalorian battle group
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Windows A sword fight with two of the Sith
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Windows Title screen

Back in a time when good Star Wars games were rare, this one shines like a bright jewel. It’s completed with all the great traits of Star Wars stories – the good vs evil, technologies vs spiritual power, an impressive central story with memorable characters – yet players are presented with choices from who to play and how the story plays out, which make the game worth replaying over and over.

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (PC, 2004)

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within Windows The ship is under attack!

After the success of ‘The Sands of Time‘, Warrior Within took an intentional step taking players into a darker, grimer world where the prince found himself descending into chaos in consequence of using the power of the Sands, which connects to the inner conflict in The Two Thrones. The game impresses the player with the same fun of ‘time manipulation’ – gaining sands allows players to reverse a bit of time when mistakes are made. I remember the game came with a weird background music that threw me off a bit 🙂

Titan Quest (PC, 2006)

Titan Quest Windows Most likely the Sphinx was built by the pre-Egyptian civilization, more than 10,000 years ago... OK let's kill some monsters.

It’s essentially Diablo with the story of Odyssey. It’s fun and educational if you ask me. Highly recommended!

Gears of War (XBox 360, 2006)

Gears of War Xbox 360 Surprise!

I played through this game on a XBox 360 that’s not mine, and not at home, just because it really impressed me how well it played and beautiful (and violent) the whole experience is. I don’t recall ever running into the infamous red ring of death, but I do remember the console’s fans were full the whole time, to the point that the box worked well as a small room heater…

Portal (PC, 2007)

Portal Windows The Cake is a lie

it’s a spin-off of Half-life, it’s an amazing sci-fi first-person puzzle-platform game. There are no humanoid enemies coming at you or the pressure to kill them before they kill you… but there’s a psychopath AI called GLaDOS 🙂 Oh, and it sings hilariously at the end of the game (spoiler)

Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition (Wii, 2007)

Resident Evil 4 Wii Easy to pull off headshots.

I can’t praise this game on Wii. The game itself is already very well done, but with the way the control is designed on Wiimotes, it made the whole aiming so realistic and the whole experience became very immersive.

Bioshock (PC, 2007)

The perfection – combining beautiful graphics, amazing music, engaging storyline full of twists and turns, satisfying gameplay that makes you want to replay it even though it’s still just a linear story/world… I can’t wait to reunite with big-daddy and the little-sisters in the next installment.

Okami (Wii, 2008)

Similar to Resident Evil 4, this is another great port to Wii that took full advantage of Wii’s revolutionary control system. It works exceptionally well for players who use the wii-mote and write various pen-strokes to summon attacks. Its cute and awesome story is created with Japanese/Chinese ink brush art and that’s just freaking amazing as it is still a 3D world in the game.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3, 2009)

So, this game was so good they have been made into a motion picture starring the Spider-man 😀 OK, I heard that movie was just OK, but this game was impressive. I don’t remember it being particularly hard yet, they made the experience quite immersive with smooth transitioning between gameplay and the beautiful cinematics. I definitely can see how this game inspire the successful reboot of the whole Tomb Raider series a few years after

God of War III (PS3, 2010)

It’s beautiful, it’s violent, and it’s an amazing alternative story to Greek mythology. Just look at the video above, starting at 04:05, the epic first battle still leaves a great impression on my mind.

Closing words…

It’s in the can! This is the bitter sweet finale of the Nostalgic Game Review column! Thank you for stopping by. Who knows, maybe in another few years, I will restart this column writing games in this past decade 😀  Keep playing and have a lot of fun!