Before I became an anime fan, I was first and foremost a gamer.
Call of Duty 2 – This is the only FPS that game me the most authentic World War II experience as if I was part of a World War II movie. It’s so amazing.
Chrono Trigger – Time travel RPG at its finest. If only it was as dynamic as FFVI this would have been the greatest RPG ever made.
Counter-Strike Source and Day of Defeat: Source – Multiplayer FPS that packs a lot of punch when I’m bored. Too bad I can’t bring my gaming PC in Japan so I’m stuck without any frags now.
Dance Dance Revolution – My favorite arcade game series ever. Healthy and fun foot killer. I don’t care if I look epileptic playing this thing.
Donkey Kong Country 1 and 2 – Some of the most fun platformers ever. I was so amazed by the graphics, this even delayed my PS1 purchase.
Final Fantasy VI – This is the real pinnacle of Final Fantasy for me. It had the most dynamic and fun RPG gameplay of all.
Half-Life 2 – Mostly because it was way ahead of its time in terms of graphics and physics rendering. In fact, chunks of expansion packs are still being released (Episode Two next year) with still-relevant graphics.
Metal Gear Solid – Mostly because it broke the fourth wall a lot of times, which is incredibly entertaining.
Need for Speed – Includes Need for Speed II, III, High Stakes, Porsche Unleashed, Underground, and Most Wanted. My definitive car racing series, mostly because it gave me the most fun crashes.
Quake 1 and 2 – The first PC game I bought, and the pioneer for my FPS addiction. It was real fun especially when all the mods and extras arrived.
I played lots of games. LOTS of them. While some these favorites of mine are not that groundbreaking, all have one thing in common: replayability. It’s like what the movie Titanic had a while back. Why do fangirls keep rewatching that movie over and over again in theaters and in their home entertainment sets? It’s probably some feeling I can’t describe in full, but as I said these games are incredibly replayable. Whenever there was no good game to play, I can backtrack and find myself playing these games over again. I’ll fire up that old console, play through emulators, or play the various ports to other consoles. And despite its length, FFVI probably holds the record for my most replayed game ever (in SNES, in PS1, even in emulators… and in GBA soon?). I probably would reach my 10th run-through of that game when the GBA version arrives.
Do I have a Nintendo bias? It shouldn’t be. Each of my consoles was the most popular for their generation. But why didn’t I continue the trend with the PS2?
Aside from obvious real-life reasons such as college, my interest in gaming went down because I didn’t buy a PS2. I found that this generation is almost the same as the last one, aside from the better graphics. More importantly though, I found absolutely no game in there that I could consider to be ‘replayable’. Even without a console, I did try some games, but I never found replayability in them. There’s nothing memorable in any game that warrants a replay in the future. Even the newer Final Fantasies and Metal Gears became too formulaic.
Moreover, games are getting more and more complex. Longer gameplay times, more secrets to unlock, and more brain-cell requirements. Where has all the fun gone? Gaming is not a college course, but it really appears like such right now.
So I was stuck at PC gaming. I upgraded my video card and basically blasted away immersing myself with great graphics. Eventually I found my niche, which is first person shooters (FPS). Yea right, you would argue that I am formulaic in that sense, but I would only get specific FPS games because it is also highly replayable. I would want to relive the COD2 experience again because it’s simply fun. I’d play CSS and DOD:S again because I can have a different multiplayer experience every time.
Which leads me to my main drive on what I want in a game. I want fun, replayability, and a different experience. The PS2/XBOX/GC generation didn’t have that, or at least I never had the time to find out where to find that.
(Fun? Replayability? Different experience? Sounds like… bishoujo games? Er… moving on…)
Now with the next generation coming to us in full force (PS3/X360/Wii), I am again searching for the games that would make me play a console again. Once again though, it looks like Sony and Microsoft are failing me again. Their consoles and games are still the same old same old but with better graphics. But at last, Nintendo is trying to bring me back with their new console Wii.
Well you know the specs and highlights of Wii, so I need not enumerate. Aside from the control scheme though, the biggest thing that interests me is, obviously, the Virtual Console. No more old systems and emulators… I can play good old games again! Replayability points for that.
As for the PS3 and X360, well at least they have their good points. XBOX 360 rocks because they were first to market, with the power that’s more or less the same as the upcoming PS3. They have the advantage now with a powerful online service, and a reasonable enough price. Playstation 3 will have the momentum of the games running in it, because it still has the most popular franchises as exclusives. While price is a drawback, it makes up for being true HD, and with a future media format to boot (that is if Bluray succeeds).
I see the next-gen video game war as the clash of the titans on one side, while the snake (on a plane) sneaks away with some loot. My loot, it seems. Looks like I’ll be getting a Wii for now, but the battle hasn’t started yet. Like E3, it would probably depend on the upcoming Tokyo Game Show for momentum, although historically Nintendo doesn’t participate in that.
Anyway, I hope to be going to the Tokyo Game Show this coming Saturday and/or Sunday. That ‘hope’ is the only thing going for me though. I’ll be all alone now unlike my other outings here, not knowing of the train system, not knowing how early should I be there to avoid lines, or maybe where to buy food there, or maybe how to even buy a ticket. I’m completely oblivious to what I consider my very first convention attendance in Japan. Hell… what more if it were Comiket? Would I even dare? I hope this won’t be the tragedy of the year.