Can you recommend a great adventure game?
September 4, 2006 2:51 PM   Subscribe

My wife and I like hanging out and playing console adventure games together for fun, but we've run out of things to play.

We like puzzle-type adventure games (Zelda games are the best), and platformer/explorers like Jak & Daxter, Prince of Persia, Beyond Good & Evil and Ratchet & Clank. We've also been through the Baldur's Gate/D&D Heroes/Champions of Norrath type hack and slash stuff, but they get kinda boring. We like playing World of Warcraft together but sometimes couch potato games on a giant screen is just the ticket. So what's your favorite adventure game for PS2 or GC? Multiplayer is not necessary since we take turns, but if it forces you to think, that's a bonus. Can you recommend?

(Note: If you're wondering where to get a wife like this, I suspect she's the only one there is).
posted by BorgLove to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (53 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Final Fantasy?
posted by trevyn at 2:54 PM on September 4, 2006

Response by poster: Trevyn... can't do the Final Fantasy thing. We find the turn-based system really frustrating and displeasurable.
posted by BorgLove at 2:56 PM on September 4, 2006

My wife and I play Zelda and Prince of Persia together. One unmentioned game that we both liked was Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem. Really cool game.
posted by codswallop at 2:57 PM on September 4, 2006

Resident Evil 4.
posted by Memo at 3:01 PM on September 4, 2006

I've recommended Dark Cloud 2 before as a Zelda-esque game for PS2, it's a bit of grind at times but has a nice story. Okami which is coming out soon has been getting excellent reviews (game of the year contender) and is in the Zelda genre. And there is a new Zelda game coming out soon.
posted by bobo123 at 3:03 PM on September 4, 2006

Silent Hill 2. The other Silent Hills are good, but Silent Hill 2 is great.
posted by pazazygeek at 3:05 PM on September 4, 2006

Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. Ico is more puzzle oriented (I've heard it's similar to Prince of Persia) and I think it's easier than SotC, but both are great games.
posted by clearlydemon at 3:11 PM on September 4, 2006

Super Mario Sunshine is a really great platformer.

I'm not sure how important impressive graphics are to you, but the Game Boy Player lets you play GameBoy games on your GC, which opens up several very good Super Nintendo-level Zelda games if you haven't already played them. Otherwise, picking up an old SNES is worth it for A Link to the Past. (And I also think that everyone should check out Secret of Mana.)

I'm still a Square fanboy, so if you don't mind running original PlayStation games on your PS2, I can recommend Threads of Fate and Brave Fencer Musashi (which has a PS2 sequel which isn't really as good). I didn't really care much for Kingdom Hearts, but a lot of people did, and I suspect you're already aware of it.
posted by trevyn at 3:18 PM on September 4, 2006

Yes, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. Ico is unbelievable - my favorite game for ps2.

I liked Jak & Daxter 2 and 3 as well, but if they get boring for you, then maybe not. There's more to them than the first, so you know. For other platformer/adventure games, I always loved the Spyro series, for original playstation that is. Don't do the ps2 version.

Silent Hill games are great. I would hate playing them alone, but with another person they're more fun.
posted by Camel of Space at 3:21 PM on September 4, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for the great answers so far. Dark Cloud, Eternal Darkness, Ico and Mario Sunshine have all been previously devoured. Silent Hill + Girl = nightmares :) Will definitely check out SotC and Okami though, and some of trevyn's suggestions. Thanks!
posted by BorgLove at 3:28 PM on September 4, 2006

Your wife isn't the only one out there - I'm in the same boat. In addition to some of the ones already listed (with Zelda being the King), I'll add Sanity's Requiem and any other Resident Evil.
posted by magwich at 3:30 PM on September 4, 2006

Depending on how far off the adventure path you're willing to go, you might want to consider Metroid Prime. It's a really amazing game, and has more of an adventure feel to it than its first-person view might lead you to believe at first. It has a lock-on system similar to the 3D Zelda games, so you don't have to worry too much about frantic bouts of run-and-aim-and-fire: the aiming is basically taken care of for you. The only thing that I think could give you pause is the fact that the game turns into Serious Business about 3/4ths of the way through. The last boss fight takes about half an hour.

And then if you do like it, there's Metroid Prime 2, which is more of the same.
posted by brett at 3:33 PM on September 4, 2006

X-Men Legends is a pretty cool 'action RPG'. You can play the campaign co-op with up to 4 people.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:34 PM on September 4, 2006

Second hand XBox with Fable, Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire not an option?

PS2-wise, If you enjoyed Ico then Shadow of the Colossus is definitely worth a look. It's stunningly beautiful. Okami, as had been noted, should be special too. If Resident Evil 4 is too much, how about Killer 7?
posted by nthdegx at 3:36 PM on September 4, 2006

you might like some of the classic 2d platformers that came out for the original Playstation. I second Brave Fencer Musashi, and offer up Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (absoutely one of my favorite games of all time) and Tomba (trust me!).
posted by mcsweetie at 3:37 PM on September 4, 2006

Viewtiful Joe?
posted by knapah at 3:48 PM on September 4, 2006

Is Lego StarWars available for PS2 or GC? Simple, cute, amusement with very basic puzzles to solve.
posted by dendrite at 3:49 PM on September 4, 2006

The different Tenchu ninja games for ps1/ps2 are worth looking at. None are spectacular, but they can be fun.
posted by Camel of Space at 3:50 PM on September 4, 2006

Lego Star Wars is available for PS2. And there should be another one just around the corner now. My wife and I are playing the original now. I highly second the recommendation.
posted by neilbert at 3:53 PM on September 4, 2006

Crash Bandicoot?
And not really adventure, but I always recommend Katamari Damacy. Hours of fun!

Silent Hill + Girl = nightmares
I don't play them myself, but I like watching my husband play the Resident Evil (Biohazard in Japan) and Silent Hill series. I think they're good games. Not so scary when you're not actually playing it!
posted by misozaki at 4:08 PM on September 4, 2006

Oh, and the Tomb Raider series. Husband and I had fun trying to keep Lara Croft from missing and falling off ledges and drowning... which happens a lot because some of the stages are so damn difficult. But the series was good overall, I think.
posted by misozaki at 4:13 PM on September 4, 2006

I don't play many adventure/puzzle games myself, but I do sometimes watch others do so.

Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy seemed to be well enjoyed. Definitely puzzle-oriented.

Likewise some of the Spyro the Dragon games, but they seemed a bit more platformy.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:16 PM on September 4, 2006

not to threadjack but any suggestions for the 360..? my fiance is not so into the Call of Duty I am playing now but loves the Croft type know more 3rd person than 1st
posted by UMDirector at 4:17 PM on September 4, 2006

Broken Sword 3: The Sleeping Dragon
posted by blag at 4:17 PM on September 4, 2006

Prince of Persia - Sands of time
posted by Frasermoo at 4:20 PM on September 4, 2006

I totally second the Resident Evil suggestion. My bf just got me into them, and so far I've beaten 0 and 1. I'm not going to bother with 2--it's for PS, not even PS2--but we'll be getting 3 and Code Veronica shortly--he's already got 4.

And I WHOLEHEARTEDLY second the Prince of Persia suggestion. They're all fantastic.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:21 PM on September 4, 2006

oops you've mentioned PofP. how about a quirky game which is all about the two players working together? Cookies and Cream
posted by Frasermoo at 4:55 PM on September 4, 2006

I'm surprised Kingdom Hearts (PS2) hasn't been mentioned thus far.

It's by Square, but eschews turn-based combat in favor of Zelda-style control, and the familiar Disney characters therein give the game a nice Nintendo-ish vibe. It's a Greatest Hit now, so it retails for only $19.95 new.

The sequel is also on the shelves now, but I'm really quite ambivalent about it, since its plot seems to involve several huge retcons. No spoilers, but something like this:

You know that huge, game-changing event that happened in Kingdom Hearts? Well, it actually wasn't what you thought it was, despite the fact there was no indication to the contrary in that game. If you play the follow-up game we released exclusively for the Gameboy Advance, you'll find out exactly how we nullified the original game's resolution to make a new game more viable!
posted by The Confessor at 4:57 PM on September 4, 2006

UMDirector: The Tomb Raider game for the 360 is fairly good; Dead Rising is a must-have at this point.
posted by Remy at 5:09 PM on September 4, 2006

For those who have a Playstation/PS2, here's a sleeper hit...Tomba. It's a great platformer that will drive you nuts, but is incredibly enjoyable.

Good luck finding it, though.

Second the Super Mario Sunshine suggestion. Mario 64 is great too, if you still have a N64 lying around or feel like spending 30 bucks at a used game store.
posted by richter_x at 5:11 PM on September 4, 2006

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Racconus (and the 2 sequels) are some of the best platformers out there for the PS2. Really engaging and well designed. Also, if you're willing to consider non-PS2 games, I highly recommend Knights of the Old Republic for the Xbox (action rpg). Oh, and this isn't an rpg or a platformer, but my wife loves Mario Kart (all of its iterations, but specifically Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart DS). Always a blast...
posted by tundro at 5:20 PM on September 4, 2006

For GC - Pikmin. Explore, fight, think, and while I always suggest you play them in order, #2 has a two player that's pretty fun. i still find the one player better.

So yes, you mentioned that Baulders Gate got tedious, but Xmen: Rise of Apocolypse was the first dungeon crawler I played and Eattheweak and I are having a fine time with it. I find the added nerdiness of playing comic characters is really nice.

If you liked the stealthy parts of Beyond Good & Evil, try out splinter cell.

I hear bombastic is a great time.

it's PS1-but Boardgame Top Shop
posted by nadawi at 5:34 PM on September 4, 2006

Is Lego StarWars available for PS2 or GC? Simple, cute, amusement with very basic puzzles to solve.

It is available for PS2; we've got it. It's a lot of fun (my husband and I play it together and with our 5 year old son), and I'm looking forward to the release of the sequel (which covers Eps. I-III) - coming out 9/12.
posted by Lucinda at 5:51 PM on September 4, 2006

[Lego Star Wars] is available for PS2; we've got it. It's a lot of fun (my sband and I play it together and with our 5 year old son), and I'm looking forward to the release of the sequel (which covers Eps. I-III) - coming out 9/12

To clarify, the first Lego Star Wars game covers the events of the Star Wars episodes I-III (the prequels). The yet-to-be-released sequel, Lego Star Wars 2, covers Star Wars episodes IV-VI (the 'original trilogy').
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:57 PM on September 4, 2006

I'm going to completely disregard the fact that you don't own an N64 and reccommend Conker's Bad Fur Day - quite possibly the hardest, most entertaining puzzle game to be released on a console. The multiplayer mini-games are pretty fun, too.

Look! Nintendo64 systems for less than 30 bucks!
posted by muddgirl at 6:05 PM on September 4, 2006

Psychonauts! (PS2) It's technically a platformer, but has an awesome and hilarious story.
posted by Sibrax at 7:12 PM on September 4, 2006

Oh, yeah, seconding Sly Cooper. I always think of Jak & Daxter, Ratchet & Clank, and the Sly games as a trilogy. Probably just because they're my favorite 3 series. Does Grand Theft Auto count as an adventure game? Because Vice City was my absolute favorite game to play, and to watch my husband play (he was much better at it than I was).
posted by peep at 7:14 PM on September 4, 2006

The newest Tomb Raider, Legend, is fabulous, but do not get Angel of Darkness... it's plagued with awful controls, an awful camera, and bad slowdowns.

We Love Katamari (the sequel to Katamari Damacy) has a great cooperative 2-player mode.
posted by IndigoRain at 7:28 PM on September 4, 2006

Viewtiful Joe, Shadow of the Colossus, and Castlevania: SoTN are fantastic suggestions.

You said you didnt like turn-based, so I'd be hesitant, but Paper Mario 2 might be a nice choice--it eschews traditional cookie cutter turn-based mechanisms in favor of one that engages you with every step.

Ooh, yeah--Sly Cooper. Definite charm and sleek aesthetic. Psychonauts for sure.

You know what? I'm going to whip out a generic little list for you from Play Magazine--it might just prove useful. They say 'platformer,' but some of these games are ones you mentioned and TPAs in their own right.

GCN-wise: Pikim 1/2, Killer 7, Metroid Prime (very epic).
posted by Lockeownzj00 at 7:37 PM on September 4, 2006

A poster after my own taste in games! Most of my favourites have already been mentioned. I'll second the Resident Evils, Conker, all the Prince of Persias, both Spyros (definitely kids' games, but fun nonetheless, and Stewart Copeland did the excellent music for both - the second is better than the first), Sphinx (also kiddie, but good), and I'll add The Hobbit, which is surprisingly very good (not the other LotR games, just The Hobbit).
posted by biscotti at 7:41 PM on September 4, 2006

The Metal Gear series are good adventure games which are more than just running around with a gun, and aren't turn based.

Also, if you don't mind playing an old game, Vagrant Story. This is a semi-RPG that is not turn based.
posted by Charmian at 7:58 PM on September 4, 2006

God of War is one of the best games to come out in a long time.

Also, I second Dead Rising.

The best thing about playing games with a buddy is that when something comes up which is frustrating, instead of throwing the controller at the TV, you can just pass it to your partner.

Something I've enjoyed is hooking up my PC to my TV with a wireless keyboard and mouse, and playing old PC adventures llike King's Quest, Space Quest, Sam&Max, Day of the Tenticle, Secret of Atlantis, Monkey Island, Myst 4, and Syberia.
posted by blenderfish at 8:02 PM on September 4, 2006

Response by poster: Wow, just got back in and so many great responses. Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone.
posted by BorgLove at 8:34 PM on September 4, 2006

Anyone mention Myst III exile? One-player, but great to solve the puzzles as a team.
posted by The Deej at 8:47 PM on September 4, 2006

extra votes for kingdom hearts 1 & 2.
posted by juv3nal at 8:53 PM on September 4, 2006

I too play video games with the family.

In addition to the Rachet and Clank series, some members of the household have really enjoyed Sly Cooper and Ty the Tasmanian Tiger. As far as playing on the Playstation together, I think the most fun we had was with Gauntlet: Dark Legacy. On the PC, we also played stuff like Age of Empires (I and II) head to head on the LAN.

The husband is now transitioning from Star Wars Battlefront II to Battlefield 2142. Both support network play. And I keep being told how they need more female gamers, why don't I just try it.
posted by ilsa at 9:26 PM on September 4, 2006

This is probably a very stupid question, but does "turn based" mean that one has to take turns when battling monsters and such? In that case, the new Final Fantasy (XII, due out in the States in October, apparently) is not turn based. It's more adventure-game like so you might like it. I personally liked it best out of the recent (post-VII) FF series. It started out being directed by the same man who did Vagrant Story, mentioned above, which I agree is a great game.
And I will shut up now...
posted by misozaki at 9:37 PM on September 4, 2006

Pitfall Harry was pretty awesome; my husband and I took turns playing it. Time Splitters was pretty fun. Psi-ops was also fun for another reason. One person controlled the movement and aiming, the other controls weapons and psychic powers.

> Husband who plays these games taking over for [ICNH]:

Massive seconding for Eternal Darkness. Honestly, it's one of the best games ever. Also Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy is fantastic, as is Jade Empire and Dreamfall (Though it ends on a cliffhanger)

One I haven't seen is Metal Arms: A Glitch in the System. Disposable and fun. The wife wouldn't let me finish this one without her watching.

Main recommendation though, is Oddworld, Strangers Wrath. Seriously, it's good.

> OK, back to the wife's posting...
posted by [insert clever name here] at 10:05 PM on September 4, 2006

A very old but thoroughly amazing game is Chrono Trigger, on the Super Nintendo. Even now, more than 10 years later, it's still great fun. It's a little bit like Baldur's Gate in a sense, in that it's a combat-oriented adventure, but it's more arcadey than tactical, and rarely very tedious. You can avoid many fights if you want.

Despite fitting into just 4 megabytes of memory, it is one of the longest and most intricately-plotted adventures I've ever seen. It involves time travel, and there is a very great deal to do and see. There are 13 possible endings. It continues to amaze me that they fit as much as they did; they literally must have been sweating it down to the last byte. Truly a masterwork. I've seen multi-gig games that didn't come close to its complexity.

If you don't have a SNES available, there was a remake done for the PS1, which should still run on the PS2, I would think. That version has the reputation of being pretty slow, but it adds a few more endings... ones they wanted to have in the original, and simply didn't have room for.

Finding it on the SNES is possible, but difficult and expensive; it's a very rare collector's item. However, SNES emulators on the PC have gotten to the point that they can play it very nicely. I just went though the game again a few months ago, and it plays like a dream. Unless you have a PC hooked up to the TV, you'd have to play it in the computer room, but I think you'd find it well worthwhile. At the time it was written, it was a towering achievement, head and shoulders above anything that had come before. Even now, 11 years and three console generations later, it's still fantastic.

If you can't find it online, drop me a note (email's in my profile), and I'll see what I can do about getting you set up.
posted by Malor at 11:21 PM on September 4, 2006

I agree with the Game Boy Player suggestion. It adds the entire GBA (and original Game Boy!) library to your list of "couch potato games on a giant screen." The player can be purchased on eBay for ~$40 and GBA games are usually pretty cheap if you buy them used. Tons of quality SNES and NES ports plus some great originals, especially in the platformer category.

Also a second for Metroid Prime. This is a bafflingly amazing game. There is definitely an action aspect to it but the vast majority of the game is exploration and puzzle-solving.
posted by aparrish at 10:16 AM on September 5, 2006

another vote for Chrono Trigger. with no question, it is my favorite video game of all time.
posted by mcsweetie at 2:07 PM on September 5, 2006

Added note - the sequel to Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, is one of the few games that Gamespot has ever rated a perfect 10.
posted by IndigoRain at 7:51 AM on September 6, 2006

We Love Katamari (the sequel to Katamari Damacy) has a great cooperative 2-player mode.

I have recently acquired permission to post that "this is true, if ripping a baby in two is your idea of 'great'."

That said, one-player Katamari is great, and, uh, there are technically platforms.
posted by trevyn at 3:29 PM on September 8, 2006

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