"Nihil" is the pseudonym I use for writing / gaming on the internet. I came across Destructoid by searching for information on Way of the Samurai 3. Tubatic had the most comprehensive coverage on it I'd seen anywhere.
For that, and for leading me to this community that has changed the course of my life, I thank him.
I started gaming in kindergarten, when the most advanced piece of hardware I could get my hands on was a black plastic handle and an orange button attached to a brick. I used it to blow up little squares on a black and white television screen. A couple years later, I was molested by the girl next door after beating her copy of The Legend of Zelda. I have mixed feelings about the experience.
Unfortunately, over the years, my ability to maintain a passion for games has waned (as in being able to play through them start-to-finish). This is due to various reasons and issues that would be too emo to get into at this juncture. But even though my passion has waned, my interest in them has not, thanks in great deal to the extraordinary friends I've made during my stay here.
10 Most Influential Games of Nihil's Life - Continued
Christmas, 1996 - I was given a decision that even then, I knew would alter the course of my life forever. As such, it was not an easy one. Both Nintendo and Sega had brought out their big guns. This new contender, Sony, was rising through the ranks with their "Station" that "Plays" awesome-looking games. Then there was Samurai Shodown and KoF, which were made for only one system that nobody gave a fuck about except for the Korean dude down the street. Ultimately, I had to stick with my boys. The guys that made gaming cool first. I wasn't, and am still not ashamed to admit that I was rooting for Team Sega.
Fuck the haters. Accept no substitutes.
Saturn it was.
VIRTUA FIGHTER 2
Just by watching this demonstration, you now know Kung Fu
My first 3D fighter and the gold standard by which all other 3D fighters would be judged... all two of them.
DOA was practically a button masher's delight. And while I appreciated Tekken's "Put-Your-Right-Arm-In, Take-Your-Left-Foot-Out" approach, it felt too slow to give it merit. VF2 struck the perfect balance between speed, style, and technical precision, across characters with deep move sets - most of them feeling completely different from one another. It also introduced "tiers", with a decent range of learning curves. Not everyone was easy to pick up, and even if they were, they usually had somethin' special tucked away that you could use to demolish the mashers with.
Like all good fighters, it rewarded knowing what you were doing with certain victory. However, if your opponent also knew what he was doing, it was going to be a slaughterhouse; leaving either of you a gibbering wreck after every fight.
Not Pictured: The faint of heart, vomiting from watching what just occurred
Flashy, devastating moves that could only be successfully executed with skilled timing; badass reversals that required an even closer eye. Fucking pouncing on guys while they were down... If this game didn't make you feel like you've literally just learned how to destroy a man with your bare hands and/or feet, then you were doing it wrong. Period.
And it didn't require a Bruce Lee knock-off to do so.
Remember when this was supposed to happen? Yeah, fuck you too, Square
That Korean dude down the street? He had an older brother that imported JRPG's. So that's how that got started.
It was almost as if he was serving me appetizers, with FFII and the Breath of Fires, before letting me borrow the Chrono Trigger. An epic original story, non-linear gameplay, combo-spells, and one of the most critically lauded scores known to Man. This wasn't something to beat and toss away... This was meant to be cherished by all who encountered it...
Yes. I was there, friends. I was playing history on my sister's Super Nintendo.
Not much more to go on about, without sounding redundant to those who've played it. But I owe it to 'em; I don't know who or what kind of gamer I'd be now if it weren't for Korean Dude and his jaded-ass brother.
omg lolz stfu
One of my first and fondest forays into competitive online gaming. The setup was simple, yet amazingly effective: Team FPS in a fantasy setting, with magic spells instead of guns. Not only does this formula work for a younger audience, but it was just freakin' wicked.
You got a gothic 3D map with elevation and multiple floors. Contested areas within the map, and 2-3 teams of up to 25 people to fight over and hold them. 4 classes that start relatively the same but quickly branch out into their own specific types of offense and defense; AoE attacks, multiple types of shielding, healing, gravity alteration, and upgrades for the lot of 'em as you level up. You wanna talk about being addicted, man? You start with something like this.
I guess AOL was good for something after all... Besides the porn.
WAY OF THE SAMURAI
Like this, but with more cowbell
Picking up spiritually where Bushido Blade 2 (again, fuck you Squaresoft) left off and expanding it; this shit had "CULT CLASSIC!!!" written all over it. I don't even really know where to start... I saw it in a Hollywood Video, and being a BB and SS fan, I was somewhat fascinated with anything that had to do with katanas. Little did I know what was in store.
Colorful and diverse cast of characters? Check and mate
Imagine, if you will, an interactive period Japanese soap opera that... Oh, you've never seen a period Japanese soap opera? Okay...
Imagine, if you will, the video game version of one of Kurosawa's samurai epics, except in color and... You haven't seen any of those either huh? You're not making this easy.
Imagine... living in a time, right as the Wild West ended and the Industrial Revolution began. Only instead of carrying revolvers and rifles, almost everyone used swords. And instead of dueling out in the dry desert, you fought on a grassy knoll.... And instead of having round eyes, you had slanty eyes.
The chaotic and free age of the wandering warrior is coming to an end. You can feel it - looming in the distance, edging ever closer to this quiet town you have stumbled upon.
A WILD BAND OF OUTLAWS APPEARS - they are terrorizing a young woman! Do you choose to save her or mind your business?
Your bravery knows no bounds as you defeat the outlaws! But what's this? They recognize your skill and attempt to recruit you into their fold. Do you join them or finish them off?
They take you to their headquarters, which also happens to be the home of the reigning Shogun! Before you are put on the payroll by serving him, you must be tested to see if you are worthy... You die in combat because you suck at the controls.
Okay, let's try this again... This time, you save the woman and send the bandits packing. The woman is eternally grateful! She tells you she owns a restaurant in town and you are welcome there anytime. You arrive at the restaurant and decide to have a small meal with the woman and her very odd friend. All of a sudden, a well-dressed man bursts through the entrance with some men, who begin tearing the place up. The man demands the woman to pay her taxes to the Shogun! The righteous ronin that you are, you unsheathe your blade and take it to the heathens! Defeating his cronies, the well-dressed man now engages you in mortal kombat... You die again because you still suck at the controls.
Okay... One more time... Remember those bandits terrorizing the woman? They kick your ass 'cause you suck at the controls and leave you tied up on some train tracks.
You hear a locomotive's whistle in the distance. Certain death is approaching. Out of nowhere, a young man with an awesome jacket and his attractive lady-friend casually walk up to you, and give you an ultimatum: join their misfit crew in taking down the Shogun or become roadkill.
You tell them to fuck off because life sucks. The train promptly runs you over.
Yes, that's an actual option at the beginning of the game. It's the most nonlinear shit you will ever play and ALL of it is engaging. The combat is deep and exhilarating. And by the end of every playthrough, you will want to get in your Delorean and travel back to Feudal Japan to start an adventure...
Or maybe not, 'cause that sounds pretty dangerous.
Welp, I lied. One last segment coming up because I didn't think these would turn out so damn long. So stick around and thank you again for reading!