I love me some pixels and retro games from the 16-Bit era and I miss the arcades of early 90's. Recently bought a PS3 followed by a 360 but I tend not to keep up with new releases, instead I often play older games I missed out on. Lately it's been hard though. Gamefly just keeps sending me games, and I keep beating them =)
Dragon Age: Origins
Rainbow Six: Las Vegas 2
Zombie Shooter 2
Shadow of the Colossus
Metal Gear Solid
Thief 2:The Metal Age
River City Ransom
Castlevania:Symphony of the Night
Secret of Mana
System Shock 2
Final Fantasy III(j6)
Baldur's Gate 2
Zelda: Link to the Past
LONG WINDED INTRO I POSTED IN THE FORUMS
Love this site, and the people involved in making it great. Its nice to have a gaming news blog that lets me curse unchecked when I fucking need to! I feel fortunate to be a part of such a great community. I became a big fan of the site when I stumbled across RetroforceGo! and fell in love with retro games all over again listening to others share their memories of the early glory days of gaming. Yeah, I'm an "old timer" that dislikes online console nonsense, misses the arcades and the fact that 2D games still take a back seat to 3D (the uprising is coming, I swear it!) but allow me to tell you how I came to be the gamer I am today.
I'm 27 and grew up on Nintendo and PC Gaming. Basically when my brother would have the TV to game I would be killing Nazis in Wolfenstein 3D or mapping out dungeons for Eye of the Beholder. When the SNES was released, the same pattern was repeated only with Doom and Lands of Lore in the mix. Throw in some Warcarft and Duke Nukem and I was two mouse clicks away from being addicted to PC gaming for life. Thankfully my brother was gracious enough to have a life so I could waste mine on our consoles when he had things to do, lol.
Back then every Friday it was almost an unspoken tradition to ride our bikes to Video Action down the block and rent a game for the weekend. Good lord we rented some terrible Nintendo games, but hey, we hadn't played them yet, so we had to try them. Home Alone and Cliffhanger would teach me otherwise.
I, like many, was duped by Nintendo with the 64. What a piece of shit system! At least I got to play Zelda and I did beat Turok (3D pitfall jumps and all). Mario 64 and F-Zero round out the few games I actually enjoyed on that system. PC games filled A LOT of my time then. Baldurs Gate, Thief, Tie Fighter, Diablo, Half-Life, Jagged Alliance, Mechwarrior 2, Warcraft 2, Starcraft, Hexen, Counter-Strike, etc. It wasn't until I convinced my brother that he had to get a Playstation for Final Fantasy 7 that I truly became a console junkie.
Getting a PS2 was a no brainer for me in high school. How could I not after devoting countless hours to my PS1 with games like Resident Evil 1 & 2, Alundra, Bushido Blade, FF8, FFTactics, Wild Arms, BoF3, Vagrant Story, Syphon Filter, Grandia, Silent Hill, Castlevania:SotN, Metal Gear Solid... I mean, sweet Jesus there were A LOT of great games for Playstation. Yeah they look old and busted now but back then they were amazing. So PS2 was just the next natural step up.
I PC gamed a lot more after that, heh. For some reason the PS2 console couldn't hold my attention past the obvious choices like GTA3/VC/SA and MGS2 & 3. Probably had more to do with my upgraded PC and the fact that PC games had a lot more appeal to me during the PS2's life cycle. Morrowind, Fallout 1 & 2, Diablo 2, Half-Life 2, Farcry, Deus Ex, Thief 3, Warcraft 3, Call of Duty, Gothic 1 & 2, Oblivion and then... World of Warcraft. Above all other reasons I find myself so behind on games, its because of WoW. That and around the time of WoW's release I started dating girls. I am now 3 years clean from WoW and am a better gamer for it. Only a few years clean from women, and also a better gamer for it, lol.
These days I'm catching up on games I missed. After two failed engagements and finally graduating from college with a BA I find I have LOTS of free on my hands but I'm loving every second of it. You realize how much you really take for granted when your freedom is limited for a time, and then given back to you.
RetroforceGo introduced me in to a new genre of games - SHMUPs!! I never get tired of some arcade shooting action. Can you yell DO DON PACHI!?! I can and do when I'm drunk and shooting spaceships in droves, muwhaha!
Bought a Gamecube for Twilight Princess and Metroid Prime. Then there was Ikaruga. I suck at it but man do I love playing that game. I plan on getting through Windwaker one of these days, but that damned jail sequence at the beginning really pissed me off.
Bought a PS3 for GTAIV because I knew MGS4 would be out soon and I'd have to have that as well. The 360 came soon after I realized games like Castle Crashers, Braid, Crackdown, Dead Rising and various SHMUPs needed my attention. Games like Dead Dishwasher Samurai still make me happy about my 360 purchase. Doubt I'll ever buy a Wii, though the new Punch Out was a lot of fun.
My DS begs for my attention as I attempt to play Piano for the first time ever. I also love reading fantasy novels from R.A. Salvatore and George R.R. Martin, watching movies and GOOD anime as well. I'm really in to TV shows like Dexter, House MD, and Sons of Anarchy as well as good independent pro wrestling like Ring of Honor and real sports like the NFL. Greenbay Packers 4 life! There just isn't enough hours in a day. Man, it is a great time to be a young nerd these days.
It was about a month ago today that I beat Shadow of the Colossus for the first time and looking back, I can't remember the last time a game choked me up as much as
that game did.
** SPOILERS (obviously...)
(This is seriously how mentally tied in to the game I was as the following actually went through my head as I approached the last Colossi of the game, adding my own narrative in my head.)
My horse and I, the only friends either of us had in this strange land.
We moved deliberately slow to the massive dark doors. Raising my sword to shine the light of the sun seemed like the only natural thing to do. The magical doorway opened and for a brief moment I thought I heard angels singing as we moved cautiously in to the shadows again.
Trotted to a stop before jumping off to say a quick prayer at the shrine to whatever gods may guide me, or not at this point as there was always something sad about killing a colossi and for the life of me, could not find the reasons why. It just, felt wrong. I buried the doubt again as I had before with the thought of the dying girl who needed my help. Turning to my horse I found reassurance.
Thats when it occurred to me, "this is the last colossi of the game, I won't be able to control my horse after this. I probably won't even need him anymore." In my mind I imagined my character saying a final farewell. So I gave him a last look and then bounded up the steps. When I got to the top of the steps I looked around the canyon, my thoughts lost on what to do next and how to cross over to the other side. Behind me, the echoes of "clip-clops"
reverberated off of the stone walls. I turned to look, then waited. Agro slowly plodded up the stairs, he had followed me.
I called his name and smiled. My faithful friend would not let me go so easily it seemed. I obliged and mounted his back one last time. As I sat in the saddle, I put my sword away and gave him a good pat on the head. We slowly stepped around the edge, there seemed no way over to the other side but an ancient walkway. It soon dawned on me what had to be done. I could not make that jump alone, Agro would have to come with me to the other side. I was happy to get the chance to spend just a little more time with him before I most likely had to leave him sitting somewhere while I continued on to tackle the next colossi like I had so many times before.
Another pat on his mane, and a whisper in to his ear for assurance, I leaned in close to him and snapped the reigns three quick times and off we went. We bounded playfully over the first jump however the seriousness of the situation became immediately clear to me as the ancient walkway started to collapse behind us. I kicked Agro again, pleading for more speed even though he was giving me all he could muster. Then it happened. My friend had tumbled, lost his footing and I was launched forward, landing safely on the other side of the expanse.
I remember saying to myself right then and there, "No!" It was the strangest thing that has happened to me while playing a game in a long time, fuck me, maybe ever. My in game character got up from the fall, turned and looked at the screen and cried out the same as I did, mouth agape in shock. The emotion he showed on his face was actually the same as mine at that time, a look of helpless shock and disbelief before crying out to his friend.
The poor noble beast struggled desperately with the falling rocks before finally tumbling
in to the dark waters below. It still chokes me up now as I write about the experience.
But I swallowed hard, looked to the skies and swore I would make someone pay for that. It was easier to continue on as one would actually do in life... bitter, angry and vengeful. I made the last climb up the rocks biting back the tears. I had come this far, no turning back now. I remember in the end, thinking as my sword finally stabbed deep in to the massive giant's head, "that one was for Agro you son of a bitch!"
What an amazing game full of sad and tragic emotions. My heart was hurting, my gut was wrenching and that wasn't even the end of the game.