October 07, 2010

15 games from my past

It's been something of a hiatus with blogging after I got my wisdom's teeth pulled out (five in all) and things at work got unexpectedly busy. But things are looking better again, so I'm hopeful I can pick up my pace with blogging as well as with other projects. As a warm-up exercise, here's a silly meme from Facebook. The first 15 games that came to mind!

These are the rules if you want to play: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen (15) games you've played that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag fifteen friends. To do this, go to your Notes tab on your profile page, paste rules in a new note, cast your fifteen picks, and tag people in the note. (I didn't tag though. I'm anti-social like that! Well, that and the fact that the rest of the world already filled this ages ago :D)

Commodore 64, early 90's

Neuromancer (The game had the greatest opening track and cover art ever, and overall it's a rather interesting adaptation of the book. The game perverted my relationship with plates of spaghetti for the rest of my life.)

Amiga, mid-90's

Space Quest III (So much fun if only you wouldn't die all the damn time. A lot of the pop culture references were lost on me back in the day. I remember dad explaining to me what's funny about Buckazoids and the name Roger Wilco. Interestingly enough, this is the first -- and only -- game that got me thinking about where all the meat we consume comes from and how it’s made.)

The Secret of Monkey Island (This game taught me words like scurvy, breath mint and battery acid, which were considered pretty rad in 3rd grade. My command of the English language has its roots deep in the Caribbean. Also, I blame my irrational fear of root beer on this game.)

Another World (The intro animation still sends chills down my spine. The transition from cut-scene to game was so flawless I spent many days wondering why anyone would make such a beautiful intro, only to have it end with the protagonist slowly getting drawn into the watery abyss by a swarm of tentacles. Took a while to figure out I was actually supposed to start playing at that point. Seamless! This game tells a story in a way only a few games have been able to since then.)

Flashback (The spiritual successor to Another World. I liked the plot and loved the graphics. The narrative had some awful hiccups but it still blew the mind of mid-90's me. The box art was appropriately trippy.)

Universe (A semi-obscure adventure game that had terrible puzzles and a really clumsy interface. Still, I really liked it even if the retail copy I had glitched about 1/4 in to the game and prevented any further progress. The art was nice and I liked the music. Especially the starting area is worth checking out, starts at about 3:40: http://youtu.be/o9qjg9oarMY)

Apple Macintosh, mid-90's

Escape Velocity (This game might very well be the game I've spent the most hours playing, ever. It's a simple game but it had everything I could've hoped for back then. Everything! It's the MMOGest experience I've ever had with a single-player game.)

Windows PC, late 90's, early noughties

Chrono Trigger (A masterpiece in every regard. Also, had interesting, non-trivial, non-decorative female characters, and a genderbending boss character who says the famous, if a tad cheesy, line: "Male… female… what's the difference? Power is beautiful, and I’ve got the power!")

Final Fantasy VII (My favourite game ever. With bunnies and kittehs and chocolate.)

Final Fantasy VIII (Nothing short of a miracle.)

System Shock ("L-l-look at you hacker! A pathetic creature of meat and bone, panting and sweating as you run through my corridors. How can you challenge a perfect, immortal machine?" That line still causes goosebumps -- And it's just the pre-game sound configuration test!! SHODAN is a computer game antagonist par excellence.)

PS2, mid-noughties-ish

Ico and Shadow of the Colossus (That’s right, I'M CHEATING! I SO just put two games down as one! But I argue that they have too much overlap in my mental and emotional register to be jotted down as separate entries. After Ico who cares about the Citizen Kane of Video Games? Personally, after Ico I've had trouble caring about the Citizen Kane of Movies as well.)

Katamari Damacy (Had I lost faith in the video game industry, Katamari Damacy would've brought it back. Too bad Katamari Damacy was published before its sequels, though. There was definitely a need for faith-restoring when they rolled out.)

Magna Carta:  Tears of Blood (An awful, awful game. And one of the best experiences of my life. It's been close to five years now and I still haven't got the words to describe the greatness of this game.)

Nintendo DS, 2009

The World Ends With You (You know the feeling when your soul shifts gears?  You blink, the world sort of turns, and you are hit by the sensation that you are not the person you were  a moment ago. TWEWY does that to people. By which I mean it did that to me. Aside from dishing out mind blowing paradigm-changes for your life, The World Ends With You is also a very good JRPG.)

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