No, this is not a blog post about the gaming industry as whole, but rather my current (and past) gaming habits. I've noticed that as I have become older (I am turning 21 soon) my habits and preferences have changed despite the fact that I once said they never would!
The evolution of my gaming tastes and preferences becomes more intriguing to me the more I think about it. When I was around the age of 6-10, my favorite genre was the platformer. Nobody could convince otherwise, and I remember going to my local Blockbuster and renting the usual suspects, Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie, Glover, Yoshi Story, DK 64, and only once did I play the horrendous Super Man 64. I enjoyed these games to no extent, playing them over and over, either trying to beat my high score or finding those Jiggie pieces! Then, as I transitioned out of the N64 era into the Gamecube generation, I became obsessed with fighters, more specifically Super Smash Bros Melee. I would have my best buddies come over and play t hours on end, and unlocking new characters was a nice surprise. Since I didn't know what wikis were at the time, I wouldn't know that after the versus match or after the single player campaign i would be challenged by a new fighter. Soul Caliber II was a close second, ans my go-to fighters were Kilik and Link. Cervantes and Nightmare were my biggest hurdles, and once I conquered them I proclaimed to my friends that I was invincible (yeah, that's right!).
During my Gamecube saga (now between the ages 9-13), I also dabbled into my friend's Xbox. This is where I met the little app called Halo: Combat Evolved. This is also where I began my love for shooters, specifically the Sci-Fi genre. I remember vividly playing the campaign cooperatively, from the Slip-Space jumped Pillar of Autumn to touching down on the Forerunner artifact named Halo, and unleashing the killer parasite known as The Flood. Aside from the impressive scope and draw distance of the missions, the gameplay and the music are what drew me in the most. Just waiting in the main menu, listening to the main theme with its drums and Gregorian, almost Gothic chants was enough to win me over. I personally didn't own an Xbox until 2004, after the launch of Halo 2. Halo 2 got me sucked into Xbox Live and online gaming changed the way I have played games since. Creating obnoxiously stupid clan names became the norm, trash talking and teaming up with strangers became a regularity, and good times were had on a daily basis.
My run with the original Xbox was truncated, lasting only 2 years, and the jump to the Xbox 360 overwhelming, to say the least. During the early ownership of my Xbox 360 to the end of my high school years (ages 14-17), the shooter remained king. Squad based shooters became a personal favorite, with standout games including but not limited to: Rainbow Six: Vegas, Gears of War 1-3, and Chromehounds. In between I sprinkled in experiences like Crackdown, GTA 4, Lost Planet, Halo 3 and Reach, Resident Evil 5, and many more. At this point in my gaming career, it is easy to say that the shooter was king, but things would change.
Entering my adulthood (ages 18-present) I was faced with an obstacle called "Life out of High school". My college courses and then part-time job (now Full-time) consumed my life, and gaming time became a precious commodity. My tastes evolved yet again, this time looking for ANY games with a good STORY. In the span of three years, I can honestly say that the last game that I thoroughly enjoyed for gameplay, music, and the now almighty plot, was Bioshock Infinite. I felt like a kid again, immersed in the city crafted by Irrational Games known as Colombia. The use of skylines to travers the city is imaginative and effective. Weapons feel "hefty" and inflict damage, but I believe that the Vigors are the stars of the show. With Vigors, the environment becomes your weapon. See oil on the floor? Set it on fire for explosive results, toasting any enemies nearby. Taking on this new world as Booker Dewitt was an amazing experience, and has since left me wanting more excellent plot lines in video games, regardless of genre.