I can't say I was there for the dawn of gaming but it was at least the early morning. I've played 'em all from Atari 2600 to Xbox 360.
If I'm not playing games I'm listening to music (game and movie soundtracks mostly), watching movies/TV, surfing the web or "sigh"...working.
Favorite games include:
Atari 2600 - Space Invaders, Pole Position, Frankenstein's Monster, Kangaroo and Jungle Hunt
NES - Super Mario (all), Legend of Zelda, Mega Man 2, Final Fantasy and Castlevania
SMS - Shinobi, Phantasy Star, Fantasy Zone and After Burner
SNES - Super Mario World, Zelda: LTTP, Castlevania IV and Final Fantasy VI (III to the uneducated)
Genesis - Sonic (all), Streets of Rage, Phantasy Star IV, Castlevania Bloodlines and Earthworm Jim
Sega CD - Sonic CD, Night Trap, Sol Feace, Final Fight CD and D
TG16 - Bonk (all), Splatterhouse and New Adventure Island
Turbo CD - Dracula X: Rondo of Blood (not released in the US)XX
Playstation - Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy IX, Castlevania SOTN, Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil (all)
Saturn - Panzer Dragoon.....that's all I got there
Jaguar - Alien vs Predator and Doom
N64 - Zelda OOT, Super Mario 64, Doom 64, Star Fox 64, Castlevania 64 and Superman 64....j/k
PS2 - God of War 1 and 2, MGS 2 and 3, Final Fantasy XII, Dragon Quest VIII and Ratchet and Clank (all)
Xbox - Halo, Burnout 3, Panzer Dragoon Orta, Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Doom 3
Xbox 360 - Halo 3, Burnout Revenge, Star Ocean 4, Left 4 Dead and Ghostbusters
PS3 - MGS4, Little Big Planet, Dead Space, Batman: Arkham Asylum and Uncharted
There are many more games to mention and these are not in any particular order
First a bit of background: If you've read my profile, you know I'm a gamer from way back. I've watched games evolve over the years and I don't like this trend I'm seeing where developers are taking fewer risks and we end up with cookie cutter games where one company does something that works and everyone copies it. So what I'd like to do is a series of posts featuring different games and talk about how ridiculous their concept is. Not in a critical sort of way, but to just show how perhaps some of our favorite games came from some of the most off the wall concepts. So if you like what I'm doing here, show me some love and I'll do more. On with the show.
Being almost Halloween and the fact that I was playing Castlevania 3 when I came up with this idea we'll start with Castlevania
Premise: Your a vampire hunter named Simon Belmont who's out to kill Dracula.
Nothing necessarily ridiculous here seeing as Hollywood has done this concept countless times, but the way it was executed is entirely unique.
Your hunter's weapon of choice is a whip. Think on this a moment. A whip? Not exactly high on my list of threatening weapons. Sure they hurt like a son of a gun and can even cut you if you get hit by one but hardly lethal. Why not a sword or something more logical?
In addition to the whip there are a few sub weapons. Lets have a look at each individually.
The Axe: OK, this is more like it, but wait. You don't swing the axe, you throw it. Alright, fine. A throwing axe is a real weapon after all and quite deadly in the right hands
The Knife: Not my first choice for fighting demons. I'd like something with a bit more reach, but again this is a throwing weapon so fine.
Holy Water: Now we're talking. When dealing with demons, nothing beats a little blessed H20. But wait, a throwing weapon? Not in the sense that you actually throw water on the enemies. This is more like a Molotov Cocktail. Throw a bottle and it creates a flame on the ground damaging anything that touches it. Whoever heard of exploding water?
The Cross: Again, great for fighting the denizens of the undead but again doesn't work the way you think. It's another throwing weapon. This one works like a boomerang. Two ridiculous things spring to mind. 1: Who would think to actually throw a cross at a monster? 2: Crosses are not aerodynamic enough to work as a boomerang.
The Stopwatch: Yes I said stopwatch. How could one use a time piece as a weapon? You might say that you could throw it and perhaps stun the target for a second, but this is not a throwing weapon. When activated all on screen enemies stop in place for about 5 seconds. It's like Simon says stop (yes that was a pun) and the monsters actually listen. Now that's ridiculous.
These weapons require energy to use. Logically, you should be able to use the weapon as much as you want as long as it's in supply, but not here. This energy is collected in the form of hearts that you gather as you play. Not too far fetched. Hearts are often use to represent energy of some sort in these older game so we'll roll with it.
Here's where things go off the wall. Where does one find these weapons and hearts? Off the corpses of fallen enemies? Treasure chests? Mystical alters? No no no. That would make far too much sense. Instead you obtain these from the candles decorating the castle walls. Small unassuming candles that one would think were part of the background. You see one, you smack it, an item falls out. Now sometimes these candles are just hanging in midair and that in itself is ridiculous.
Other than that it's typical gaming fare. You go through stages you fight bosses, you kill Dracula. End of story.
All of these elements come together to form one of the weirdest, hardest, most awesome games ever made. All because some guy at Konami convinced his boss that this would be a good idea and they ran with it. How might things have turned out differently had Konami not taken the chance?
My friends and I were arguing a while back. We were at a convention in the game room and I had just beaten Contra on the NES. They were going on about what a badass I was for beating it and I happened to mention that it's not so bad when you have 30 lives and their whole perspective changed. Now the running joke is that I'm a "hero" (that's what it says at the end of Contra) because I used the Konami Code.
My point is this: At what point do you say someone cheated at a game? Would you say the Konami Code is cheating or would you not call it cheating unless you used a Game Genie/Game Shark/Action Replay?
For myself I wouldn't call cheat unless you use an external device. If it's built into the game then it's just another way of modifying the difficulty as there are codes that make games harder as well as easier. I wouldn't say I cheated at Contra. I just beat it on the easiest difficulty.