Chey’s Top 25 – #17 – Puzzle Quest

Genre:  Match-3, RPG
Platform:  All, I think.  I have it for Nintendo DS and XBox 360.

Having long been a fan of match-3 type of games, you can imagine my delight at finding a game that combined that simple game play with RPG elements.  I believe this was one of the first games I downloaded from the XBox Live arcade, many years ago.  I have played the poo out of this game.  I have played it all the way through at least 10 times, which is no small feat because there’s a lot of grinding involved in it.  I personally think the DS version of the game is best due to the use of the stylus.

This game has you create a character from a few different classes and start on your merry way.  It has some “save the princess” story, but there are definitely twists on it.  For example, you have the option to help the princess escape her situation of forced marriage and be a badass with you on the road.  Of course I did this.  Screw the man!

As you play, you level up and get to assign points for different attributes which increase the game play.  As you encounter certain enemies, you can “capture” them by completing an often-challenging mini game.  Once you do that, you learn the spells it knows, allowing you greater ability to customize your character.  You can also lay siege to cities, build a citadel with various beneficial buildings, train mounts and research spells.

The “Quest” part of this game is no laughing matter.  There are a TON of quests to do, and it may take you hours of grinding to become powerful enough to complete some of them.  That was fine with me, however, because this is a super fun game.  There have been a few other versions of it.  I never gave Puzzle Quest 2 a fair shake and I’ll go back to it someday.  I didn’t like Puzzle Quest Galactrix, which is hexagonal and set in space.  There’s also a Marvel version which is quite good, too.  But I would first check out the original and its expansion, which is always included with the original game.  Have fun!

Chey’s Top 25 – #22 – Legend of Zelda II

Genre – RPG
Platform – Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)

I can hear fans of the Legend of Zelda series yelling at me already.  But again, this list is about personal preference, not what critics and other fans widely agree upon.  I enjoyed The Legend of Zelda II – The Adventures of Link more than the first Legend of Zelda.  There, I said it.  I feel like I’ve had that on my chest for thirty years.  This game just made more sense to me and I had a lot more fun playing it.

In typical Zelda fashion, you play as Link, a young hero out to save the pricess, Zelda.  While this sounds Mario-ish, it is far different.  In Zelda, your character levels up and allows you to upgrade different aspects of them such as health or magic.  This allows you to move to different parts of the map and fight stronger creatures.  This type of game is called a role-playing game (RPG).

This game introduced me to a part of RPGs that I hadn’t seen before – the grind.  I spent hours walking around simply killing mobs (gamer for enemies) to get experience to level up.  If a bag of experience dropped, it was like the gaming god shined upon me as it was worth 50 experience points.

This game also got difficult.  Like most games, the boss mobs had a weakness, but it took some trial and error to find it.  This was the first game that I remember playing that let you save your progress, so there was no more keeping the Nintendo powered on while at school and praying that Mom didn’t turn it off.

I currently have this game downloaded on my Nintendo 3DS and I do still play it from time to time.  This is a big reason it made my top 25.