3) Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
The Metal Gear Solid saga is all about clones, nanomachines, nuclear tanks that look like dinosaurs, and stealthy infiltration of the enemy's headquarters. Pretty much your usual stuff, right? So Metal Gear Solid 2 pulled an Inception that went so much deeper down the rabbit hole, it made you yearn for the BWWAAAAAAHHHM sound. As it turns out, Raiden (the surprise main character) was really part of S3, a training program to make you basically turn into a badass of Solid Snake's level. And that was all virtual reality.
OR WAS IT? No, the S3 program was REALLY the terrorist incident Solidus orchestrated. OR WAS IT? Solidus had no intention of allowing the S3 program to continue. He wanted to destroy the Patriots. OR DID HE? Well, he actually wanted to free Manhattan FROM the Patriots, thus creating a new Outer Heaven. OR WAS Okay, you get the point. It all ends with a weird sword-duel in downtown NYC, and at the end, the main bad guy lectures you for not caring about the world and flowers enough. OR DOES HE?
2) Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
Why? Why did no one who played this overlooked gem on the original PlayStation warn us Dreamcast players (all five of us) that not only was this one of the more richly-crafted worlds in gaming with intense ratcheting up of tension in the final 20 minutes, but that all of that would come crashing down as we had to watch our prey escape into another game that wouldn't come out for another year?
Maybe part of what makes this ending so frustrating is that Kain is such a badass. He's the villain you love to hate, and hate to love. You can't resist his smooth, dulcet tones as voiced by Simon Templeman, nor your burning desire for revenge. When you finally face him down, it's as emotionally engaging and satisfying as every final boss fight should be. And when Kain taunts Raziel with,"You nearly had me Raziel," it doesn't feel so much like he's saying Raziel as he's saying "you, player."
And, by the way
No, Kain. I did have you! I was totally beating your ass! Now stop running away and come back and fight me or I'll
buy the next game. Sigh.
1) The Conduit 2
You have to watch this video. You simply have to. Don't worry about spoiling anything, because there's no goddamned context anyway. It really does speak for itself.
For those on dial-up modems or who've abstained from YouTube for Lent, that was Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, wearing cybernetic armor, coming out of a time portal to help protagonist Michael Ford fight against a robotic Tiamat, which has activated due to every Sumerian god who were actually reptile aliens controlling Earth governments for fun being killed.
Though perhaps poorly summarized, absolutely nothing in that sentence is untrue. Please remember this when raging about Mass Effect 3, everyone. For all we know, Harbinger could've turned out to be Benjamin Franklin.