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Other Codices (or How I Want to Know About More Than CRPGs)

Is RPGCodex the only good game forum on the web?

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Oct 1, 2007
Is the RPGCodex the only decent game-discussion forum on the internet, or are there other "monocled" sites for, say, first-person shooters, JRPGs, strategy games (other than Tacticular Cancer) and Adventure games? "Advice" found elsewhere tends to seem a little too uncritical, following a bandwagon (with games popular in 2008 forgotten five years later) or nostalgia-biased.

For instance, last year I tried Half-Life 2 for between 1 and 4 hours, and was put off by my perception of 1) extreme, immersion-breaking linearity*; 2) an over-abundance of cutscenes, made worse by the fact that one cannot be passive and watch them happen**, but must wait around, managing viewpoint or performing other tedious tasks, while stuck in a confined space (and the cutscenes are unskippable, if I remember correctly); 3) dull-looking environments (in the first hour or so, at least); 4) dull gunplay (though, granted, I never got to the highly-vaunted gravity gun) and no dodging (do all enemies use hitscan weapons?). Yet, across the web, it seems to be treated like the second manifestation of Christ, with the most dissent I have found to be here, on these very forums. Is there no FPS-oriented forum with similar sensibilities to Codexia?

*The Portal games also suffer from this, but for them there are compensations.
**Games like Thief 1 & 2 do this properly, with cutscenes being breathers from, rewards for and set-ups to large, sometimes-rather-challenging levels.

I have a handheld device with many emulators, so JRPGs seem worth investigation, but where am I to get discerning recommendations that go beyond Final Fantasy 6, 7 & 10? Codexia seems a little sparse for this, judging from this list (though I do now enjoy Final Fantasy Tactics because of it). Pointers for worthwhile but not-too-hard platformers would also be good (there seem to be a lot of them; I hope that some have better premises than the Mario games -- save the princess, boring! DOOM has a much better premise, though perhaps platformers are just not my thing).

The great top 70 CRPG list is a wonderful resource, but I would love to find equivalents of similar quality* for first-person shooters, JRPGs and Adventure games. Are there any out there, or would I be better off trying to extract such lists** from the denizens of this hive?

*"High quality" means "gets credibility from acknowledging well the games I have already enjoyed" (and ignoring or ranking low the games I do not like) and, ideally, "recommends games that I shall enjoy", in addition to coverage.
**I think the system used for the top 70 CRPGs list is a good one. Perhaps it would give good results for JRPGs and FPS games, too.
Jul 26, 2015
PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
To be honest, I only have experience with this forum as a general game forum. I have no regrets joining here and have been introduced to many fantastic games that I otherwise wouldn't have ever touched and have also been introduced to a new way of thinking about games and their qualities.

Other specific game forums that I'm experienced with on other hand would be: Otherside, Larian, InXile, and Bioware (only for the brief moment that I tried to build mods for Dragon Age: Origins, only to find out that their editor was basically broken and unsupported)


Dec 1, 2015
Adventure Gamers is my choice for adventure games. The site proper isn't as critical as the Codex, but it's the best I've ever found to keep up with new releases and has covered all the classics going back to the mid 80's. They have their own Top 100 list (from 2011). Excluding disagreements with the order, it's a great compilation of the best the genre has to offer. They even go against the grain of reviews on their own website. I've seen some good threads on the forum in the past, but I don't actively follow it. If I'm on the fence about a game I'll see if they've had a discussion about its pros and cons. Your mileage may vary.

There's Hardcore Gaming 101 which is focused on retro gaming, but have some articles on lesser known, more modern titles. You can sort through content based on platform, genre, developer, etc. They just released released a book for their Top 200 video games. Also included are recommendations and runner ups. It effectively more than doubles the list itself. The forum is alright. I rarely browse it outside of the threads they have for nearly every article on the website like the Codex has threads tied to news. Some of those can be good. It's a lot more hit or miss than Adventure Gamers in my opinion.

Racket Boy also emphasizes retro gaming in addition to also breaking down their articles into platform and genre. The standard format is a shorthand list of the most well known games for a given genre, followed by brief staff suggestions of lesser known titles, and at the bottom they have another short list based on user feedback of things the staff supposedly overlooked. None of it is as in-depth as the previous two websites. It's good if you just want a jumping off point to hear about games people rarely ever talk about. Forum moves slow from what I've seen. Has sub forums for specific genres. Nothing mind-blowing.

I've never found a platformer-oriented website. Going off what you said you might want to give these a look:

Moon Crystal for the Famicom. Never released in English so you'll need the fan translation patch. Has a story told through Ninja Gaiden style cutscenes without the crushing challenge. Not your typical plot and offers a refreshing change of pace. The visuals remind me of Miyazaki films.

Mischief Makers for the N64. Again, nothing too hard. New gameplay mechanics are introduced through the entire game in a natural way that made me never feel overwhelmed and kept things interesting. The story does involve rescue, though that isn't the focus, and is but one of many jokes throughout. There's a constant humor in its cutscenes which play between nearly every level if you're looking for something light-hearted. It's quite a short game if memory serves.

Klonoa: Door to Phantomile for the PS1. Early 2.5D platformer. The story isn't engrossing yet serviceable for its genre. Without saying too much, the ending is bittersweet and the game can have a dark tint to it in retrospect depending how much you read into it. Moderate difficulty that gradually picks up throughout the game by introducing more skill-based puzzles.

Flashback, or Flashback: The Quest for Identity in the US, is a cinematic platformer. Harder than the other games I've suggested. Shouldn't make you pull your hair out. Being what it is, it plays similar to Prince of Persia and Another World/Out of the World. You move a space at a time and actions must be precise. Easier than both of its inspirations in my experience. Has some gunplay to it, a cyberpunk theme, and spatial puzzles.

If you're still looking for more that don't require a ton of skill and have some semblance of a story: Blackthorne (DOS/SNES), Little Nemo: The Dream Master (NES), Vice: Project Doom (NES), Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow (SNES/Genesis), The Adventure of Little Ralph (PS1)

Good platformers with next to no story but gameplay good enough to enjoy anyway: Gimmick! (NES), Little Samson (NES), Power Blade (NES), Shatterhand (NES), Magical Pop’n (SNES), Dynamite Headdy (Genesis), Ristar (Genesis), Heart of Darkness (PS1)

Intentionally ignored a lot of games talked about enough they don't need me mentioning them. Hope that helps.


Aug 28, 2008
Nirvana for mice
Try http://www.heavengames.com/ if you're interested in strategy games. I can't say much about their forums, but each sub site dedicated to a specific game is a gold mine. They host unofficial patches, user-made maps, mods and campaigns, strategy guides and all other sorts of useful information.


May 28, 2015
The Codex is like an abusive parent, it beats and hates you; yet you still crave its love.


More Codexers need to discover badgame.net so they can feel less anxious about the idea of possibly losing a gaming forum where you can say the word "nigger"

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