There are many games that have inspired me and given me weeks worth of entertainment, but if I was to name only three, just three games from my past that I would have to say I could play from scratch even now and enjoy to the fullest, it would be these:

 

ff8wp-09

Final Fantasy VIII (FF8)

I think for most people, the first Final Fantasy game tends to be their favourite, especially when it comes to 7, 8 and 9, and for once I fall into the “most people” category. Final Fantasy VIII was the game that introduced me to the franchise. I later went on to play other favourites, 7, 10 and 9 (not in that order, but in order of preference), and more recently, 13, Realm Reborn and FF3 for the Nintendo DS. I will always remember the beauty and emotion of FF8, the opening sequence is burned into my memory, each cutscene not just visually amazing, but masterfully crafted to express such powerful emotions and used as an incredible storytelling tool. It is scenes like the “Battle of the Gardens” that probably triggered my interest in film editing, especially to music scores. The style of the first two disks, earning your way through school, paying for train fairs, car rentals and petrol, it was a type of responsibility and decision making not seen in games from that era, and abandoned in most modern ones too. It made the fantasy seem real and relatable, and made the struggles of the characters, the need to perform well and maintain your rank so that your pay stayed high, so much easier to associate with. It truly encouraged you to not just get through, but to fly through the game with skill and finesse, and outperform yourself with every battle. I will always remember that game fondly, even if those flashbacks and time warps with their memories were really annoying lol.

 

silent_bomber_by_dualgemini-d36ex9s
Silent Bomber

Everyone knows about Demon’s Souls, (that’s right, I pronounce the “s” every time, and for those that don’t know what I’m talking about) Silent Bomber was and always will be in my opinion, the original Demon’s Souls, when it comes to games that were “HARD”. When I say hard, I mean stressing to the point to which you think you must be doing something wrong, maybe there is a secret route or this is an enemy you’re not meant to fight like the secret bosses of the FF series, or even that the game was broken, because there was truly no way to beat this opponent. But what made the game so scary, was that no matter how hard the boss was, or how long it took you to beat it, the next boss was always harder, and trust me when I say, you simply would not believe it to be possible until you face them. To be honest, I never even completed the game, the final boss (that I had to go online to confirm that it truly was the final boss), was so difficult that after week of trying, I eventually gave up. Now I’m not a quitter, I had no intention of not trying again, but during the time I had school and other responsibilities, by the time I could face off against my nemesis again, my playstation had “mysteriously” broken (you may have guessed by my tone, I have siblings) and I never got to try. After that came PS2 and Xbox and so on, and I never got around to trying my hand and defeating that Chess Board Bastard! Anyway, besides it’s difficulty, Silent Bomber was an original and unique game, which even today, some 12-14 years later, I still haven’t seen another like it. Imagine if Bomberman was a third person shooter, with double jump and a much more violent assortment of enemies, then you will have a vague, distant idea of what Silent Bomber was like. A shooter without a gun is how I look to describe it, and as a game designer, it often comes to mind when I’m contemplating unorthodox ways of expressing my unique ideas.

 

Pokemon-3

Pokemon

I’m wasn’t going to mention a particular one, I wasn’t even going to give a description, I thought the name in itself said it all, and there wouldn’t be a person that’s read to this point that has not played on of the Pokemon games, but I will give an example of the one that captured me, but I’ll start with the one I call my favourite usually, Pokemon Gold. As an upgrade to the original it was in some ways the perfect sequel (yes I know they come out in pairs, and Silver is in its own way identical, but for me it’ll always be Gold). What is so heartbreaking about my tale of Pokemon Gold is that I took the time to train all my Pokemon to level 100, and didn’t dare use a single rare candy, but I lost my cartridge!!! I don’t know how, and I don’t “think” that among the gameboy games I let my little cousin borrow but never got back or even saw again, was the Pokemon Gold, the one game I would never lend out, but I never did get to triumph with my ultimate team again, even now I wonder how they are doing… Anyway, I say that Pokemon Gold was my favourite, but in my heart of hearts, the same way I will always love FF8 over all the others, it was Pokemon Yellow that stole my young heart, with the addition of gaining all the starting Pokemon, but more than anything the presence of Pikachu. Even now those cute little emotions he displayed when he was angry with you or they extreme joy he showed after you gave him a little treat, is a gameplay mechanic so unnecessary from a “technical” standpoint, but was one of the best selling points of the game, and wasn’t re-intrdoduced for until some 10 years later. Like I said from the start, these are games I could play over and over and never get bored, and if my Yellow Cartridge could fit into my current DS right now, I would be playing it from the beginning already, (except that I’m taking a break from handheld games to finish FF3 😀 ).

 

xcom-enemy-unknown-wallpaper

And finally there is just one game I need to mention. It is more recent than the other, but still worth bringing up, and that is XCom: Enemy Unknown which, as I say on it’s own page (that you can see if you click the link), became an instant all time favourite of mine, dominating both past and present games, probably up until my own games get released ^_^

Leave a Reply