- 10. Avalon Code (Nintendo DS)
- 9. Contact (Nintendo DS)
- 8. The Oregon Trail (Apple II)
- 7. Punch-Out!! (Arcade)
- 6. Scribblenauts (Nintendo DS)
- 5. Excitebike 64 (Nintendo 64)
- 4. Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (Nintendo DS)
- 3. Road Rash (3DO Interactive Multiplayer)
- 2. Rune Factory 3: A Fantasy Harvest Moon (Nintendo DS)
- 1. Ace Attorney Investigations 2: Prosecutor’s Path (Nintendo DS)
Allocating set requests is never an easy task. With so many great games out there and only a limited number of requests to work with, how do you choose what to prioritize? My list can be split into two distinct categories: games that I have fond memories of and would love to revisit, and games that I’ve always wanted to play but never got around to. After all, since I’ve waited this long, why not wait a little longer to experience those games with achievements? Here are my top ten most wanted games on RA:
10. Avalon Code (Nintendo DS)
|Avalon Code||Nintendo DS||Action RPG|
I remember reading about this one in Nintendo Power way back in the day and thinking it sounded incredible. It’s an action RPG that revolves entirely around a mechanic known as the Book of Prophecy. As you go through your adventure, you can record all sorts of things you find within its pages, such as people, monsters, weapons, and more. Using the touch screen, you can rearrange the “codes” of the things you’ve scanned to manipulate their attributes.
I’m not entirely sure of how exactly it works, but it sounds incredibly ambitious and fun to play around with. With so many different ways of playing the game, there’s so much potential for creativity in achievements. Plus, how can you go wrong with a game by the people who made Alundra?
9. Contact (Nintendo DS)
|Contact||Nintendo DS||Action RPG|
This game sounds delightfully weird and unlike anything I’ve ever played, which is precisely why I want to check it out so badly. It’s from Grasshopper Manufacture and Suda51, who have a pretty impressive track record of committing fully to really strange ideas regardless of industry trends. Apparently it sold poorly at launch and received mixed reviews, but went on to become a bit of a cult classic.
I’ve read several synopses of how the basic gameplay works, yet it’s so out there that I don’t know how to succinctly describe it here. I suspect this is one of those games that you’d enjoy most going into with as little advance knowledge as possible. All I know is that it sounds really clever with tons of fourth wall breaking and I want to experience it for myself.
8. The Oregon Trail (Apple II)
|The Oregon Trail||Apple II||Educational|
The Oregon Trail deserves an achievement set because it’s such an iconic game that everyone seems to love. Going west, naming party members after your friends, watching them die of dysentery, what’s not to like? I have a confession to make, however: I’ve never actually played The Oregon Trail! My understanding is that it’s so beloved because it’s one of the rare edutainment games that has actually engaging gameplay. You’re learning as you play, sure, but the real enjoyment comes from trying to actually survive the trail.
With the randomization elements and the high score system, I see so much achievement potential here. Despite its reputation as a “cursed” game, I retain hope that someday a skilled developer will come along and find a way to give it the achievements it deserves.
7. Punch-Out!! (Arcade)
As a predecessor to one of the greatest NES games, I’m surprised to see that this not only lacks a set, but only has a handful of requests. Aside from a costume reference in Smash and a recent Arcade Archives release on Switch, I never really see anyone talk about this game. I’m sure the sequels are better, but I’d like to see where the series started.
The gameplay appears more or less as you’d expect, and you even have the debuts of iconic fighters including Glass Joe, Bald Bull, and Mr. Sandman. The NES version seems far more like a sequel than a simple port, which is why I want to see a set for this forgotten piece of Nintendo history.
6. Scribblenauts (Nintendo DS)
Write anything, solve everything! I got really invested in the hype leading up to this game’s release; I even still have the rooster hat that was offered as a pre-order bonus! It was advertised as a game in which you could input the name of any object you could think of, which would then materialize for use in puzzle solving. This seemed way too good to be true at the time, but the end result actually managed to deliver on this promise. To this day it remains an incredible accomplishment, and is worth playing for that reason alone.
The novelty wears off a bit when you realize that a majority of the game’s puzzles can be solved with a handful of overpowered items, but this is precisely why an achievement set could be so great. By implementing certain restrictions, I think it would be possible to create a set that requires players to truly think outside of the box in order to come up with viable solutions, thus realizing the original vision for the game.
5. Excitebike 64 (Nintendo 64)
|Excitebike 64||Nintendo 64||Racing|
Does this game suck, or did hardly anyone give it a chance? I don’t know the answer, but I know that it was one of my childhood games that I have fond memories of and would love to revisit. Whereas most people associate the series with the NES game, this will always be the one that first pops into my mind upon hearing the name “Excitebike”.
I recall enjoying the races and the strategy of balancing your turbo usage in order to avoid overheating. I also remember a mode that’s all about performing midair stunts with the goal of racking up a high score, Tony Hawk style. I can still hear the campy announcer’s voice in my head shouting the names of tricks, such as “NOTHING!” and “CLIFF HANGER!”. The package is rounded out with a track editor and a robust cheat menu full of goofy toggleable options. It may just be the nostalgia talking, but I stand by the belief that this game is hugely underrated.
4. Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (Nintendo DS)
|Hotel Dusk: Room 215||Nintendo DS||Adventure|
Here’s another one that’s always been on my radar but I’ve never actually played. I often see it recommended when people ask for games similar to Ace Attorney, Danganronpa, and Zero Escape, all of which rank among my all-time favorites.
My understanding is that it’s a detective game that falls somewhere between a point and click adventure game and a visual novel, with plenty of puzzles that make use of the DS hardware’s various features. This is the kind of story-driven game that I usually like to experience knowing as little as possible going into it, so I’ve purposely tried my best to avoid plot details. Judging by the amount of praise it has received and the types of games that people compare it to, I expect it to be right up my alley.
3. Road Rash (3DO Interactive Multiplayer)
|Road Rash||3DO Interactive Multiplayer||Vehicular Combat|
Bet you weren’t expecting to see a 3DO game on this list, huh? Despite confusingly sharing the title with its Genesis predecessor, this is an all new entry in the Road Rash series. It had numerous ports to various systems, including Sega CD and PlayStation versions which already have sets on RA, but my research indicates that these are inferior versions of the game. I played the PC version as a kid, which is apparently the closest in quality to the 3DO original, so this seems like the best way to relive my childhood with the addition of achievements.
As for the game itself, it’s insanely fun! It’s a vehicular combat game in which the main objective is to win each race, but you can also punch and kick opposing racers or whack them with a chain in order to knock them off of their motorcycles. There’s a really satisfying gameplay loop as you keep racing to grind out money to purchase better motorcycles, which you’ll definitely need in order to overcome the toughest challenges. The game oozes personality, from its licensed grunge soundtrack to the stylized character designs you see on menu screens between races.
I absolutely adore this game, and hold onto hope that someone will create a quality achievement set for this definitive version.
2. Rune Factory 3: A Fantasy Harvest Moon (Nintendo DS)
|Rune Factory 3: A Fantasy Harvest Moon||Nintendo DS||Life Sim|
I’m surprised I even took a chance on this game back in the day. The DS era was the first time I truly began branching out to games outside of my comfort zone, and I’m so glad that I took that step. I was never a fan of Harvest Moon or farming games in general, and the closest point of comparison I had at the time was Animal Crossing: Wild World, but the glowing reviews I kept seeing convinced me to give it a shot. Little did I know just how addictive I’d find it. I think I just discovered this game at the perfect time in my life, when I was looking for an experience with tons of replayability that I could get fully immersed in.
It’s difficult to describe exactly what makes this game so compelling, that special factor that makes it so hard to put down. I’ve seen it described as “Harvest Moon with combat”, but I feel like that isn’t necessarily the greatest descriptor. The closest thing I can think to compare it to is Stardew Valley, which came out years later. It’s just a massive game with tons to do that allows you a lot of freedom in setting your own goals. I love planning out what I want to do each day and the feeling of constantly making progress. Minmaxing can be a satisfying playstyle if you’re into that sort of thing, but there’s nothing wrong with a more relaxed approach either.
I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of what this game is all about, but I don’t feel like going into extreme detail is really necessary here. It’s an insanely addictive game that appeals to a very specific type of player. Since there’s so much to do, however, I suspect it would be incredibly challenging to make a comprehensive achievement set. It would take a truly legendary developer to pull it off, but if ever happens, I’d feel seriously tempted to drop all my other RA goals and go all-in on mastering it.
1. Ace Attorney Investigations 2: Prosecutor’s Path (Nintendo DS)
|Ace Attorney Investigations 2: Prosecutor’s Path||Nintendo DS||Visual Novel|
Look, I know this is a boring pick for the number one spot and probably not what you were expecting. But I can’t help it, I love this game way too much. Ace Attorney is one of my favorite video game series, and this is undoubtedly my favorite game of them all. I want to replay this game so badly, but since I assume it’ll get a set sooner or later, I figure it’s worth it to be patient.
The interesting thing about Ace Attorney Investigations 2 is that it never received an official localization, despite its quality. This was most likely due to the poor sales of the first Edgeworth game in the west, since this is a direct sequel that expects you to be familiar with the plot and characters up to this point. Thankfully, fans took matters into their own hands, creating their own localization that, against all odds, manages to live up to the series’ usual quality. It’s the best fan translation I’ve ever played for any game by far.
You also need to understand how absurdly hyped I was to play this game originally. It was so tantalizing knowing that there was a game out there that I wanted to play so incredibly badly, knowing that there were spoilers that I needed to avoid, knowing that someday there would finally be a way to experience it in English. You would think these sorts of expectations would be setting myself up for disappointment, yet I ended up so overwhelmingly satisfied with the final product.
That initial playthrough was the last time I’ve played the game. I still remember the major twists, of course, but it’s been long enough for me to forget many of the finer details. I’m itching to replay this one so badly, if only someone out there would step forward and make an achievement set! I’ve already replayed all the Ace Attorney games up to this point in preparation, and I’m so ready to re-experience the story that brought me such intense happiness years ago. If this goes on long enough, I may have to learn how to dev it myself!
* Screenshots via MobyGames.