Favorite IPs in no order:
Shenmue - The grandfather of console open world games. The amount of detail packed in every scene was mind-blowing at the time and something I can still appreciate to this day. Using the Virtua Fighter mechanics as the fighting engine was genius and giving every NPC a unique voice, character model, and routine added so much personality to the world. Sure the game has some glaring flaws, especially today, but what an amazing achievement and series this was for me.
Resident Evil - One of my favorite gaming memories growing up is my friend and I staying up all night playing through the first Resident Evil. The voice acting was horrible and controls were unintuitive but the atmosphere and mysteries that infected the Spencer mansion was so amazing to us. While I can’t say I love every entry in the series, I couldn’t be happier with the current state of the franchise. Resident Evil 7 was one of my favorite games this gen and the remasters were both really well done. Can’t wait to see more of Resident Evil 8.
Halo - I remember playing Halo for the first time at an EB Games and it just didn’t click for me. I ended up getting DoA3 with my Xbox and didn’t understand the hype for this game called Halo. Well after some convincing from my friend, I ended up getting the game and fell in love during the opening scene. The Aliens influence was awesome, the music was amazing, it put every other console shooter to shame graphically, and the gameplay was near perfect now knowing what button did what. Just like the Resident Evil series, I haven’t loved every Halo game but I can’t deny every game is a quality title in their own way. I really hope 343i do the series right with Infinite and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on it.
Panzer Dragoon - When I purchased my Saturn in late 2005, the only game I got with it was Panzer Dragoon. I had no idea what the game was but it had a dragon on the cover and as a child, that was enough. I was so happy I stumbled on this series and still own every game in the original series. Panzer Dragoon 2 and Orta are still some of the best shooters to this day. Panzer Dragoon Saga is still one of my favorite RPGs ever and the only RPG I’ve beaten multiple times and found every secret. I can’t express enough how much I love the world, the lore, and the style of the game. I would pay anything to see a remake of Saga or even a sequel.
Ninja Gaiden - The game you can boast about beating before Souls games were a thing. Ninja Gaiden 1 and 2 damn near perfected the action game formula. The somewhat metroidvania design of Ninja Gaiden 1 is still amazing to this day. The graphics of the OG Xbox version were out of this world. Never have I seen such an amazing looking game run so smooth. I wish Itagaki was still working on the franchise to this day but at least we still have the first two to enjoy. Never really had much experience with the classic versions, but I have plenty of fond memories fighting my way through the 3D reboots.
Favorite Console: Sega Dreamcast - Sure there have been plenty of other amazing systems like the Saturn, PS1, PS2, PS4, OG Xbox, 360, etc. but they all failed to burn as bright in my gaming life. Coming off the 32/64-bit generation, the Dreamcast was a system of so many magical experiences. Attending a launch party on release day with my four games, seeing games like Soul Calibur look leagues better than the arcade, wondering how many polygons were in the whale in Sonic Adventure, winning my first game online in NFL 2K1, using voice chat in Alien Front Online, being weirded out by Seaman, living the life of Ryo Hazuki, and forming new friendships in PSO. These were only some of the memories I’ll always have of my time with the Dreamcast. It’s the one system I’ll never trade in and always have it hooked up, ready to play. As an old school Sega fan, it was some of their best days, even if they were short lived.