Great Games for Cheap Gamers : Of Eggs and Lansers

In these trying economic times, it’s hard to be a gamer.  Shelling out sixty dollars to play “Super Space Marine Adventure 24 : Revenge of the Generic Alien #24” is tempting, but wouldn’t we all rather get more games for less money?

That’s what I’m here for!  After the jump, join me as I show you two great games for low prices, and you can save up the rest of the money to buy the really big title this fall, “Raceway Adventure 4 : Revenge of Vader.”

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Game: Global Pokedex Plus [GPX]  System: PC/Online  Cost: FREE  Rating: E

It’s a very high possiblility that while surfing TSG forums, you’ve probably stumbled across the topic known only as “Pokemon Eggs Topic”, and immediately disregarded it to more Poke’nerd talk.

Not necessarily true.  The topic is actually an ongoing discussion/adventure regarding an online game known simply as Global Pokedex Plus [GPX].  GPX is a site dedicated to users collecting every pokemon egg in existence, and raising the contents of those eggs into fully evolved pokemon.

At first glance, this may seem like an extension of the highly popular Nintendo handheld franchise.  In essence, it is.  The only difference being that it’s free, and that it’s more addictive than the nonexistent cake song.

GPX functions as an online site, where the users utilize various means of collecting, hatching, evolving and leveling up pokemon.  Most of which is done by “adopting” pokemon and then “clicking” thousands upon thousands of eggs to gain experience/maturity.

GPX is more than just a gigantic online fetch quest, however.  Much like the PS3 or Xbox360, GPX utilizes and achievement based system, giving users rewards for various activities.  They range from a large number of points added to your account for collecting all of a gym leader’s pokemon, items to be used in battle for losing/winning a certain number of battles, and some paltry amounts of experience for force breeding two piles of green slime.  Yes, I did just type that sentence, and no it wasn’t a typo.

While the prospect of clicking [and naturally carpal tunnel] doesn’t sound flattering at first, you realize how much there actually is to do around the site.  Collecting all 493 pokemon, the “novelty” pokemon the site itself developed, gathering all the items around the site, shiny racing, and having TSG-based rivalries and friendships is actually quite fun.  TSG has an active topic and usergroup working in GPX, many of which have become wildly successful in their endeavors, and are more than willing to share/help newcomers to the hobby.

Since the game and site is free to use, it’s something I highly recommend to waste entire days with.  I know it certainly comes in handy at the office!

[From left to right:  Eggs that are for clicking, shelters that are for grabbing, and achievements that are for unlocking]

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Game: Growlanser Generations  System: PS2  Cost: $20-$40 [Ebay/Amazon]  Rating: T

Growlanser Generations, without exaggeration, is the best video game of all time, and anybody that has failed to play this magnificent game has failed at life itself.  [How’s that for fair and balanced coverage?  I should write for FoxNews!]

Kidding aside, Growlanser Generations is one of my favorite games of all time.  The plot and characters are rich in variety and are virtually cliche free.

While the jump from FREE to $20-$40 may seem a tad harsh, Growlanser Generations is actually a packaged deal and comes with two games.  Growlanser II and Growlanser III, both games independent of one and other and both games equally fun and enjoyable.

Growlanser II sets the stage for Wein, a newbie Knight on his first mission who unwittingly sparks a war between two nations, and is caught in the middle of the conflict with his subordinates.  Growlanser III, by contrast, is the tale of Slayn, a boy who has lost his memories, and the search for them alongside friends, in a world slowly dying from the lack of sunlight.  Oh, and there’s a war for mankind stuck somewhere in both of these, but that’s not important.

The games utilize RTS-RPG elements throughout the adventures.  Battle on the field is completed by real time strategy [with an example at the end of this segment linked from youtube], while leveling and character interaction is much similar to RPG’s.  You know the formula by now.  Find monsters, beat the stuffing out of them, get experience, do not pass go and do not collect $200.

The game play, however, is not what makes this game deep and interesting.  What does, however, is the  amount of work that has gone into our free will.  Growlanser, on several occasions if you’ve met certain critera, allows you to change the utter outcome of the game.  If you don’t want to save your nation, and would rather side with the rebel army?  By all means!  The game has several endings to support your outcome.  Or perhaps you’d rather like to enslave all of mankind for the pursuit of peace instead of stopping it?  Again, it’s your choice.  With 9 different endings [13 if you count a few duplicate endings with only paltry differences], the game will have you coming back for more and more.

If there are any downsides to this game, I suppose they could mostly come from small “windows” of time.  In-game, there are “windows” that you must open and close before a certain battle/time has come and gone.  Failure to do everything in these short periods of time, and you can kiss the most powerful characters and items in the game goodbye.  What’s worse is that the game fails to notify you of when these events should occur, or even a small hint as to when/where you should go and how to complete it.  Some of them are even really quite arbitrary and unnecessary in the long run.  I failed to get a seashell from the seashore, and I cause a small girl to die?  How are those two things even remotely relevant?  Sadly enough, when I play through these games, I usually always have to cross-reference GAMEFAQS to make sure I haven’t missed anything important.

There’s a good 50+ hour playtime on your first frolic through the games, but acquiring every ending, the best equipment, and especially becoming massively over-leveled and overpowered will take you months of your time.  For $20-$40 dollars, that’s far too great an opportunity to pass up!

[veoh]http://www.veoh.com/browse/videos/category/entertainment/watch/v944082atdNn4Jf[/veoh]

[Growlanser II/III Battle System]

[Author’s Note:  If you know of a great game for a cheap gamer, let your word be heard!  Shoot me an e-mail or pm, and if your content is something I think our readers might like, it might be featured on “Great Games for Cheap Gamers”!]

(Images: GPX.net and IGN)

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