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Favorite period for each genre?

by PresidentLeever Thu Jul 23, 2020 4:28 pm

Pick your favorite era or timespan for each genre (can be any period of years such as 1985-1993 for example). I've divided the genre list into three parts to make things more manageable and to encourage reading other people's lists. I'll post part 2 in a few days, and part 3 a few days after that.

I tried to list some important games/series over the years for each one but my knowledge is sometimes limited.

Part 1:
2D Platformer (Action Platformer, Hop 'n Bop or Avoid the Enemies-style; Mega Man, Shinobi, Castlevania/Super Mario World, Sonic 2, Bonk/Super Meat Boy, Within a Deep Forest)

Run 'n Gun (Top Down (Mercs, Pocky & Rocky) or Side View (Contra, Gunstar Heroes, Metal Slug))

First-person Shooter (FPS; Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake, Turok, Unreal, Half-Life)

Rail Shooter (Space Harrier, Star Fox, Panzer Dragoon)

Free-roaming Shooter or Looping Shooter (Defender, Choplifter, Fantasy Zone, Bosconian, Solar Jetman, Desert Strike, Bangai-O)

2D Beat 'em up/Hack 'n Slash (Double Dragon, Crude Buster, River City Ransom, Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, Guardian Heroes, D&D (Capcom), Guacamelee)

Arena Fighting (Archon?, Bomberman (MP mode), Nekketsu Kakutou Densetsu, The Outfoxies, Sugoi Hebereke, Virtual On, Poy Poy, Power Stone, Super Smash Bros., Sonic Battle?, Jump Super Stars)

Rhythm (Parappa the Rapper, Vib-Ribbon, Beatmania, Bust a Groove, Samba de Amigo, Elite Beat Agents)

Stealth (and Stealth-focused AA games; Saboteur, Metal Gear, Crack Down, Thief, Tenchu, MGS, Deus Ex, Hitman)

3D Action Adventure Games (System Shock, Mystical Ninja (N64), Mega Man Legends, Ocarina of Time, Medievil, Soul Reaver, Outcast, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Dark Souls)

Sandbox/Open World AA (GTA, Shenmue, Driver?, Crazy Taxi, Yakuza, Spider-Man 2)

Text Adventure (Zork)

Visual Novel/Interactive Story (Snatcher, Steins;Gate)

Japanese-style RPG (Final Fantasy IV-X, Chrono Trigger, Lunar, Earthbound/Mother, Mario RPG, Suikoden, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Persona)

3D ARPG (Ultima Underworld?, Strife, King's Field, Brave Fencer Musashi, System Shock 2, Phantasy Star Online, Deus Ex, Dark Cloud)

Tactical or Strategy RPG (Fire Emblem, Shining Force, Langrisser, King's Bounty, Heroes of Might and Magic, Ogre Battle (part real-time), Jagged Alliance (part real-time), X-Com/UFO (part real-time), Sakura Wars, FF Tactics, Nintendo Wars/Advance Wars, )

Vehicle Simulation (2D: Thexder, Assault Suits, Battletech (MD), Metal Warriors, Front Mission: Gun Hazard, 3D: Carrier Command, MechWarrior, Earthsiege, Descent?, Starsiege, SimCopter, Heavy Gear II)

4X Strategy (Explore, Expand, Exploit, and Exterminate; Civilization, Space Empires, Master of Magic, Master of Orion, Imperialism, Age of Wonders, Alpha Centauri, Shogun: Total War (real-time battles), Disciples II: Dark Prophecy)

Real-time Tactics (RTT; Lemmings, Syndicate, Commandos, Team Buddies?, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six (FPS), MechCommander, Dawn of War 2)

Turn-based Strategy (TBS; Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Military Madness, Warlords, Gemfire, Panzer General, XCOM 2)

Fictional Sports (Speedball 2, Windjammers - air hockey variation)

Action Puzzle or Puzzle Platformer (Boulder Dash, Knight Lore, Adventures of Lolo, Solomon's Key, Dizzy, Chip's Challenge, Catrap, Lemmings, Castle of Dr. Brain, Another World, Lost Vikings, Myst, Mole Mania, Abe's Oddyssee, Toki Tori, I.Q.: Intelligent Qube/Kurushi, Kula World, ChuChu Rocket, Mr. Driller?, World of Goo, Limbo)

Art Game (incites an emotional feeling and/or presents a political message, doesn't necessarily have a win/lose state or a defined goal; Moondust, Loom, Another World, Bad Day on the Midway, The Dark Eye, Peter Gabriel: Eve, Eastern Mind: The Lost Souls of Tong Nou, LSD, Planescape: Torment?, Samorost, Ico, Mother 3, Flower, "Papers, Please", The Path, Spec Ops: The Line, Passage, Journey, Brothers, "That Dragon, Cancer", )

My 2d platformer pick: 1988-1997 (SMB3-MMX4, Klonoa and Oddworld 1)

My run 'n gun pick: 1990-1998 (Mercs-Robotron 64)

My FPS pick: 1993-2004 (Doom - Half-Life 2)

My rail shooter pick: 1988-20?? (Galaxy Force 2-???)

My free-roaming shooter pick: 1987-1999 (Fantasy Zone 2-Bangai-O)

My BEU/H&S pick: 1989-1997 (RCR-D&D: Shadow over Mystara)

My 3D AA pick: 1999-2006 (System Shock 2-Twilight Princess)

My JRPG pick: 1994-2000 (Lunar 2-Paper Mario/FF9)

My 3D ARPG pick: 1996-2000 (Strife-PSO/Deus Ex)

My SRPG/TRPG pick: 1993-1999 (Shining Force 2-Heroes 3/Jagged Alliance 2)

My vehicle sim/mech sim picks:
2D: 1991-1996 (Metal Storm-FM: Gun Hazard), 3D: ?

My Action Puzzle pick: 1986-2013 (Solomon's Key (NES)-Toki Tori 2) or 1999 (ChuChu)
Last edited by PresidentLeever on Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:38 am, edited 2 times in total. - Mini-reviews, retro vgm tribute, rom hacks, chip music, mockups, misc. lists
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Re: Favorite period for each genre?

by pook99 Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:48 pm

I'm going to use console gens as time frames rather than years and leave out genres I dont play but here we go, also some genres you may want to include are 3d platformers and one on one fighting (broken up into 2d fighters vs 3d fighters)

1) 2d platformers: impossible for me to say, 2d platformers are probably my overall favorite genre, the early days (8 and 16 bit systems) were their glory days but from xbox 360 to today they have seen a major resurgence and are just as strong, if not stronger, then they ever were.

2) run n gun: probably have to go with 16 bit era here(includes neo geo), as much as I hate to forsake contra and super c, we had gunstar heroes, hard corps, and contra 3 during this time frame and the top down shooters in the 16 bit era were much stronger than any other time frame

3) FPS: probably xbox 360 to today, I generally prefer the more modern style of fps to the old style, although I have a special place in my heart for OG doom, I would take a modern FPS over an old one just about anytime.

4) Rail Shooter: this is an easy one, wii generation hands down, not only do wii light gun shooters work on modern tv's but the quantity and quality of these games are vastly superior to any other console generation, not even close. You could make a case for the arcade scene during a certain time frame but I'll stick with the generation that gave us house of the dead 2-4, overkill, dead space extraction, resident evil chronicles, and so much more

5) 2d beat em up: no brainer here, 16 bit era is king, both in the home console scene and the arcade. If you include openbor games the water becomes much more murky as I have played many open bor games that I enjoyed even more than streets of rage 2 and turtles in time, but if we are strictly talking commercial releases than its a no contest.

6) Rhythm: PS1 is the winner here, I am not a huge fan of this genre but parappa and bust a groove are both epic games for me and I still often listen to songs from bust a groove when I'm lifting, just this morning I was listening to heat and gas-o's extended tracks while squatting so those games are timeless for me.

7) 3d action and advenutre: this is a pretty broad category, if you include stuff like god of war, devil may cry, bayonetta here than the answer is modern years (gen 7 to today)is an easy one, this is a genre that just gets progressively better

8) JRPG: close call between ps1 and ps2 era, this was the era where I definitely played the most jrpgs and I dont think I could pick a clear winner here but if I absolutely had to I would say the ps1 era is king for me.
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Re: Favorite period for each genre?

by PresidentLeever Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:46 pm

Alright man, do as you prefer! Yeah I haven't forgotten those other genres, I just did this thing where I picked the first genre on the full list, then the fourth, seventh and so on for each part, which made me skip variations on some genres for each part but keeps each part more varied.

Pasting my comment on 2D platformers from elsewhere:
While I can revisit SMB 1-2 and enjoy them, SMB3 seems like the first basically timeless platformer to me. I Would have to say 16-bit era is the peak here personally. 32-bit era had a couple of greats (more if we include MVs) but was kind of creatively bankrupt overall and while some later ones have slightly better controls and/or better variation (MM Zero or Sonic Advance and Mania are generally a good time for example), I'm generally only interested for real if they introduce brand new mechanics and level gimmicks.

So, something like 1989-1996 for me. That includes Kirby SS at the end and hopefully I didn't forget something awesome from the late 90s.

Just a note regarding Rail Shooters - I'm doing Light Gun specifically later on, so this means the ones where you can see and control an avatar and move on rails in some direction(s) like a shoot 'em up.

Didn't know about Open Beats of Rage at all, that sounds pretty cool! - Mini-reviews, retro vgm tribute, rom hacks, chip music, mockups, misc. lists
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Re: Favorite period for each genre?

by PresidentLeever Sat Jul 25, 2020 6:15 pm

Thanks for the replies so far. Have another batch of genres to discuss!:

3D Platformer (Jumping Flash, Mario 64, Tomb Raider, Dark Forces II, Spider-Man 1-2 (PS1), Crash, Banjo 1-2, Spyro, Sonic Adventure, Mario Sunshine, Jak & Daxter, Ratchet & Clank)

Maze Shooter or Maze Action (Robotron, Gauntlet, Alien Syndrome, Smash TV, Chaos Engine, Zombies Ate My Neighbors, Goof Troop, Crusader: No Remorse)
My maze action pick: 1990-1993 (Smash TV-Goof Troop)

MP FPS (Quake 1-3, Starsiege: Tribes, Unreal Tournament, Team Fortress)
My MP FPS pick: 1997-2001 (Quake 2-Tribes 2)

Light Gun Shooter (T2: The Arcade Game, Virtua Cop, House of the Dead)

Bullet Hell or Danmaku-style Shoot 'em up (Batsugun, Donpachi)

3D Beat 'em up/Hack 'n Slash (God Hand, Devil May Cry, God of War, Bayonetta)

Vehicle Combat (Gravity Force, Return Fire, DeathDrome, Twisted Metal, Car Battler Joe) & Racing (Road Rash, Mario Kart, Rock 'n Roll Racing, Carmageddon)

Misc. Action (Bomberman, Crazy Climber, Aztec Challenge, Megumi Rescue/Flying Hero, etc.)
My misc. Action pick: 1989-1996 (Mendel Palace-Saturn Bomberman)

Interactive movie/FMV (Dragon's Lair, Triad Stone)

2D Metroidvania/Platform Adventure (Metroid, Goonies 2, Blaster Master, Exile, Gargoyle's Quest, CV: Symphony of the Night, Tomba, Monster Boy, Guacamelee, Axiom Verge, Hollow Knight)
My 2D Platform Adventure/MV picks: 1989-2002 (WB3-Metroid Fusion) and 2013-2018 (Guacamelee-Monster Boy)

Survival Horror (Project Firestart, Alone in the Dark, Resident Evil, System Shock, Silent Hill, Dead Space)

Graphic Adventure (Deja Vu, Myst)

3D Adventure (The Walking Dead, Firewatch)

First-person party-based RPG or Dungeon Crawler RPG (Wizardry, Dungeon Master, Eye of the Beholder, Lands of Lore, Might & Magic, Shining the Holy Ark)

MMORPG (Ultima Online, Tibia, Everquest, World of Warcraft, FFXI, Runescape, MapleStory)

Construction and Management Simulation (Nobunaga's Ambition?, SimCity, Theme Park, Caesar III, Theme Hospital, Dungeon Keeper, Dwarf Fortress)

Space Exploration Sim or Space Combat Sim (Elite, Wing Commander, SW: Tie Fighter, Descent: Freespace, Colony Wars, Elite: Dangerous)

Artillery (Scorched Earth, Worms, Gunbound, Angry Birds)

Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA, Action/RPG/RTS hybrid; Defense of the Ancients/DotA, League of Legends, AirMech)

Sports Games (Ice Hockey, Super Dodge Ball, Super Tennis, NHL '94-'97, NBA Jam, ATP Tour Championship Tennis, Super Fire ProWrestling X Premium, International Superstar Soccer Deluxe, NBA Live 98, FIFA: Road to World Cup 98, Ken Griffey Jr.'s Winning Run, Captain Tsubasa 3 (RPG Hybrid), Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, Virtua Tennis, Mario Tennis)
My sports pick: 1990-1995 (Slap Shot (SMS)-ISS DX and NHL '96)

Sports-based Fighting (Punch-Out!, Budokan, Best Bout Boxing, Ready 2 Rumble)

Matching Puzzle (Tetris, Columns, Klax, Dr. Mario, Puyo Puyo, Puzzle Bobble, Tetris Attack, Baku Baku Animal, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo)
My matching puzzle pick: 1993-2001 (Columns 3-Bejeweled)

Educational Game/Edutainment (Oregon Trail, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, Treasure Mountain!, EcoQuest, Logical Journey of the Zoombinis, Typing of the Dead, Big Brain Academy) - Mini-reviews, retro vgm tribute, rom hacks, chip music, mockups, misc. lists
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Re: Favorite period for each genre?

by pook99 Sun Jul 26, 2020 9:59 am

I'll follow the same format I did before using console gens as opposed to years and I will add some personal picks like you are doing as well

3d platformer: probably late ps2 -wii for me here, early 3d platformers were clunky with bad camera angles and then as they began to get refined morphed into these horrible collectathon games that were less about platforming and more about collecting 50 million different kinds of collectables. but ps2 -wii era had more focused 3d platformers that were better refined and more about platforming and I tend to enjoy those a lot more.

personal picks: Mario galaxy series, ratchet and clank series

maze shooter: hard for me to pick here, I feel like there is no dominant era for maze shooters (or twin sticks as the case may be) and there are good ones sprinkled all around so I don't think I can have a definitive answer.

personal picks: smash tv, a bunch of xbox live indie and steam games whose names currently escape me

Light gun shooter: I usually conflate these with rail shooters but my answer remains the same as it did before, wii gen wins this hands down.

Personal Picks: House of the dead 2/3 overkill, martian panic, ghost squad, resident evil chronicles series

Vehicle combat: not a genre I'm super into but the one era where I did play some of these was ps1 so I have to go with that, twisted metal + rogeu trip are the clear winners for me in this genre.

Picks: twisted metal 2, rogue trip

Bullet hell: xbox 360 era, 360 had a ton of great bullet hills (some import only) as well as dreamcast ports of some of their bullet hells and a nice variety of these on their xb live arcade.

3d beat em up: modern era, I play a ton of these, I actually think I played literally every one of these ever released and it is a genre which just keeps getting better.

Picks: DMC 5, bayonetta 2, metal gear rising revengeance

Interactive movie: sega cd era wins here, they had a ton of great games in this genre and a fairly competant port of the original dragons lair. Dragons lair 2 is hands down my favorite of these games and this was in the arcades at around this time as well.

Picks: dragons lair 1 and 2, time gal, return of the ninja (name might be wrong)

metroidvania: this is a hard genre to choose from. Metroidvania's are kind of timeless, while the very early ones are pretty rough to play today (yes, I'm looking at you metroid) from the 16-bit era onward we just got some great games that hold up very well today. Ultimately I will have to say modern eras as metroidvanias are more prevelant today than they have ever been and the bar for these games just keeps getting raised at every level.

Picks: Guacamelee series(might be more favorite all time metroidvania), axiom verge, ori and the blind forest, castle in the darkness

Survival Horror: xbox 360 wins here very clearly for me, this is the era where survivial horror was more atmospheric action horror (dead space, res evil 4-6, evil within) and I absolutely love that style of game.

Picks: evil within 2, resident evil 4 wii edition, dead space series

sports games: nes era here, this is kind of unfair but the nes era is the only one where I actively played sports games which is why I am choosing it but the games here tend to be less realistic and more focused on fun.

Picks: blades of steel, baseball stars
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Re: Favorite period for each genre?

by PresidentLeever Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:51 am

Cool, I'll have to try those as I basically agree with you on 3D platformers from what I've played.

Castle in the Darkness looks like a quick play, I'll probably check that one out too.

Btw, it would also be interesting to hear where everyone started with each genre, to see if there's a correlation between firsts and faves there. - Mini-reviews, retro vgm tribute, rom hacks, chip music, mockups, misc. lists
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Re: Favorite period for each genre?

by PresidentLeever Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:35 am

Let's finish this up with the third and final part:
Collectathon Platformer (2D: Flicky, Jumpman, Jet Set Willy, Ruff 'n Tumble, Rayman; 3D: Mario 64, Banjo 1-2, Ape Escape)

Third-person Shooter (TPS; Xybots?, Tomb Raider, Mega Man Legends, Dark Forces II, MDK, Armored Core, Burning Rangers, Max Payne, RE 4, Dead Space, Vanquish)

Shoot 'em up/Auto-Scrolling Shooter (Horizontal: R-Type, Gradius, Thunder Force, Darius, UN Squadron, Lords of Thunder; Vertical: 1943, Aleste, Twinbee, Soldier Blade, Battle Garegga, Radiant Silvergun)

Gallery Shooter or Cabal Shooter (Wild Guns)

Trapping/Trap 'em up (Lode Runner, Boulder Dash, Spy vs. Spy, Tecmo's Deception)

Fighting (2D: IK+, Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombat, 3D: Virtua Fighter, Tekken, Soul Calibur)

Online Arena Combat/Non-RTS MOBA (Teeworlds, Superfighters Deluxe, Awesomenauts)

Roguelite/Real-time Roguelike (Toejam & Earl, Diablo?, Spelunky, Binding of Isaac, Rogue Legacy)

2D Action Adventure Games (Legend of Zelda, Starflight, Pirates!, Bionic Commando, Solstice, Quackshot, Star Control II, Landstalker, Beyond Oasis, Little Big Adventure, Legacy of Kain, Alundra, Bastion, Hyper Light Drifter)

3D Metroidvania/Platform Adventure (System Shock, Exhumed/Powerslave, The Divide, Banjo-Tooie, Spyro 2, Metroid Prime, Batman: Arkham Asylum?)

Survival (UnReal World (rogue-like), SOS/Septentrion, Deus, Minecraft, Terraria, Don't Starve)

Quest Adventure (King's Quest, Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island, Wonder Project J, Grim Fandango, Machinarium)

Western-style RPG (generally feature an open-ended structure, interactive dialogue and character creation; Ultima IV-VII, Wasteland, Shadowrun (MD)?, Fallout, Baldur's Gate, Elder Scrolls, Star Wars: KotoR)

2D Action RPG (ARPG; Ys, Zelda II, Quest for Glory, Crystalis, Seiken Densetsu/of Mana, Soul Blazer, Shadowrun (SNES & MD), Tales of Phantasia, Terranigma, Diablo, Star Ocean)

Roguelike (Rogue, NetHack, Angband, UnReal World, Shiren the Wanderer, Dwarf Fortress, FTL)

Life Simulation and Virtual pet games (Harvest Moon, Tamagotchi, The Sims, Nintendogs)

Racing Sim (Formula One Grand Prix, Gran Turismo)

Real-time Strategy (RTS; Herzog Zwei, Dune 2, Command & Conquer, Warcraft, Dragon Force, Lords of the Realm II, Myth, Dungeon Keeper, Age of Empires, Total Annihilation, Starcraft, Homeworld, Shogun: Total War (4x), WH40K: Dawn of War)

Tower Defense (Rampart, Starcraft & Warcraft 3 custom maps, Desktop Tower Defense, Lock's Quest, Plants vs. Zombies)

Racing (Outrun, RC Pro-Am, Stunt Car Racer, Power Drift, S.T.U.N. Runner, Micro Machines, Mario Kart, Top Gear 2, Rock 'n Roll Racing, Daytona USA, Ridge Racer, Sega Rally, Crash Team Racing, Need for Speed 2-3, Motocross Madness, Wave Race 64, R4, Crazy Taxi, Hydro Thunder)

Puzzle Games (Other)(Minesweeper, The Incredible Machine, Bill's Tomato Game, Cut the Rope)

Logic game (Mario's Picross, Brain Age, )

Party game or Mini-game Compilation (Puzzle & Action, Mario Party, Game & Watch Gallery, Wario Ware)


My SEU picks: 1988-1997 (Thunder Force II and Gradius II (NES)-G Darius) and 1988-1998 (Gun.Smoke (NES)-Radiant Silvergun)

My 2D AA pick: 1990-1997 (Gargoyle's Quest and Metal Gear 2-Alundra)

My 3D MV pick: 1994-2002 (System Shock-Metroid Prime)

My Quest Adv pick: 1990-1998 (Loom-Grim Fandango) and the fan remake of King's Quest 3

My WRPG pick: 1997-2001 (Fallout-BG2: ToB)

My 2D ARPG pick: 1990-1996 (Crystalis-Diablo)

My RTS pick: 1995-2010 (Warcraft 2-Starcraft 2)

My Racing picks: Early 1990s (Micro Machines and R'nR Racing) and All-Stars Racing Transformed (2012)

Edit: Removed VVVVVV from 2D AA. I guess it's more of a sandbox/precision platformer hybrid. - Mini-reviews, retro vgm tribute, rom hacks, chip music, mockups, misc. lists
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