For once, it’s been a good week to be a fan of Cyberpunk 2077. The game has seen a new wave of success that even CD Projekt Red probably didn’t expect, suddenly becoming the best-selling game on Steam. This comes after the Cyberpunk: Edgerunners anime renewed interest in the series, with game updates making this return to Night City all the more enjoyable.
It’s not often we see a game turn its fortunes like this, so this got us thinking: what’s the best video game throwback story?
Dragon Age 2
Rhiannon Bevan, Editor-in-Chief
It’s a weird choice, I know. Unlike, say, No Man’s Sky and Cyberpunk 2077, Dragon Age 2 didn’t make a big comeback thanks to big updates and flashy graphical improvements. But he’s endeared himself to the community over the years, and I think that’s worth celebrating. When played through a modern lens, already knowing that Dragon Age 2 isn’t a sequel to Origins, Hawke’s story really shines. A beautiful stand-alone story of a refugee who becomes one of Thedas’ most important figures, Dragon Age 2’s premise has only gotten better with age. Throw yourself into fun, fast-paced gameplay and some of the best sidekicks in BioWare history, and it quickly becomes clear that the clumsy middle child of the Dragon Age series isn’t so bad after all.
Star Wars Battlefront 2
George Foster, News Editor
They removed microtransactions. That’s it. This is the entrance.
Vaspaan Dastoor, editor-in-chief
I remember when Destiny 2 vanilla launched. The campaign was so lackluster that I’m fuzzy on the details. The Cabal attacked, put a massive chastity belt on the Traveler, and forced you through the worst thing possible in a video game – a slow walking section. The rest of the campaign, and the game as a whole, was pretty mundane, until they killed Cayde-6.
Forsaken was a huge shake-up for Destiny 2. He introduced a whole new dynamic to the game – hunting down the Fallen scum out of revenge, instead of being a beacon of Light. He even gave you a hit list of the most wanted vermin in the industry, a pretty big change from Zavalla’s good manners. The upward trajectory of the game can clearly be attributed to this expansion.
Final Fantasy Tactics
James Kennedy, Specialist
People might not realize it, but Final Fantasy Tactics was not met with adulation and praise upon its release. Sure, it was quite appreciated, but it wasn’t a “big release” for Squaresoft. Nobody rolled out the red carpet for Final Fantasy Tactics. But although it was largely ignored when it was released, appreciation for this classic has only grown with each passing year. These days, when people talk about the best Final Fantasy games, it’s not uncommon to find it near the top. Where it belongs. Unlike its bigger budget brethren, Final Fantasy Tactics’ simpler aesthetic, which still relied heavily on sprites, has aged beautifully. Pair that with Matsuno’s legendary script, Sakimoto’s stunning score, and Yoshida’s iconic designs, and you’ve got a game that’s essentially timeless.
James Troughton, News and Photo Editor
It’s hard to imagine that one of the greatest Western RPG series could ever fail to deliver an MMO, but that’s exactly what happened with ESO at launch. It failed to transition like Warcraft to World of, instead turning a dedicated following of enthusiastic fans into sour gamers who quickly gave up. It was a generic, mediocre mess, with an average main story that mostly followed the ponytails of the far superior Oblivion. And came huge updates that allow you to explore Tamriel with anyone, regardless of faction or level, opening up the borders for total freedom. Jump into expansions that revel in having some of TES’ best stories to date and it’s no wonder ESO grew in size after launch, becoming an MMO juggernaut.
The whole industry
Matt Arnold, Specialist
It’s not exactly an untold story, but the early 80s were a rough time for video games. Piles of unlicensed Atari titles being shoveled from stores led to a huge drop in consumer confidence, culminating in the infamous ET adaptation disaster in 1982. The whole industry almost collapsed like a house of cards as people stopped buying games.
Nintendo’s decision to market the Famicom/NES as a toy rather than a product for adult hobbyists, coupled with their strict system of quality control measures, shook up the entire industry. While a few unlicensed carts were still making their way to the shelves, the company made sure most developers couldn’t make games for their consoles by forcing them to buy all of their empty cartridges directly from Nintendo, and only if the game met a certain standard. The success of the NES shook up video games, launching the industry as we know it today.
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