The Games That Define Me
In this series I am going to talk about the games that have defined me as a gamer. They might be worldwide hits, overlooked gems and anywhere in between. I am going to solely focus on games from the current gen back to the days of the Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo 64 and Sony Playstation. For me to consider a game to define me as a gamer it must do a few things. First and most important of all whenever I talk about it I must be able to reflect upon it as if it was just yesterday.Secondly it must have brought something new to the world of gaming for me. Lastly it must be a game I could find rather easily today. I will also do my best to keep this as spoiler-free as possible just in case someone hasn't played these games.
To follow up my first entry about The Darkness, I decided to write about a game that is my second favorite game of all time. A game that narrowly edges out Shenmue for the Dreamcast and is just beat out by Final Fantasy VIII, look for both of those soon. Today I am going to write about Indigo Prophecy.
Indigo Prophecy was released here in the states on September, 26th 2005 by Quantic Dream, thus beginning my appreciation for a game with a great story.
A few weeks prior to release I was looking around Gamespot if anything new news has came out about Shenmue III, and I saw this game on the side and the box art immeditaly grabbed my attention. After clicking it, looking at some videos, screen shots and posts I decided this game must be mine. The next day I preordered it and counted the days until it's release; a first for me.
I waited kinda like this... But I don't look as good in my underwear and my room is much messier.
Finally! September, 26th! EB Games, here I come! I wasted no time popping this bad boy in as soon as I retuned home and boy was it worth the wait. Even the tutorial was new to me. Having David Cage with his funny voice guiding me through the tutorial and how the controls worked was awesome to me. After you get the hang of the controls your plopped in a dirty bathroom in the shoes of Lucas Kane. Now there was no time to get your bearings as to where you were, oh no... you just KILLED A MAN! FOR NO DAMN REASON!
Yes, this game start with you killing someone whom you've never met before, for reasons you don't know and all you can do is hide the body in a stall, mop up the blood, throw the knife in the trash can and walk out of the diner past the cop like nothing happened. Sounds like just another Friday night to me...
Finally! Those years as a high school janitor pays off!
After you help Lucas avoid being thrown in jail for the rest of his life, the game throws a curve ball right at your face and you meet the other two main characters of the game; police sergeant Tyler Miles and police lieutenant Carla Valenti. They are two of New York's finest and are incharge of investigating what and happened that fateful night, why, and to bring the culprit to justice. You guide Tyler and Carla through the case while keeping Lucas one step ahead of them.
"You better be investigating the murder, Tyler!"
Soon it becomes clear that the events in the bathroom were just a precurser of things to come, the fate of the world soon is placed square in the hands of Lucas, Carla and Tyler. Due to my fear of spoiling an amazing game I refuse to go into much more of the main story, however covering up and investigating the murder isn't the only thing you will have to worry about. You will undoubtly notice the Mental Heath Meter on screen. Everything you do effects it, if Lucas has a drink, it will change. If Tyler spends time with his girlfriend it will change, if Carla does something significant in the investigation it will change. Sound quite simple, however there are many times when something may increase Lucas' mental health while reducing Tyler or Carla's at the same time, if someone’s mental health gets to low... game over.
Go home and have some vodka, just leave the aspirin alone. Or wash down some aspirin with the vodka, who am I to tell you how to live your life?
Story aside, the games controls are something that I grew quite fond of quickly. It's marketed as an "interactive film" and the controls reflect that. The left stick controls how you move either Lucas, Carla or Tyler while the right stick is reserved for everything from sitting down to climbing a fence. For example, in the beginning of the game, after Lucas is done in the bathroom he can walk to his booth in the diner and one direction will make you take a sip of your drink, one direction might have you look at your bill, and so on. Later in the game's more intense moments you will have to complete QTE events by pressing the buttons or moving the analog sticks (much like the game Simon.) While QTE might be common place now thanks to the God of War series and the past few Resident Evil games, the only other time I had encountered QTEs were in Shenmue.
See that chopper? You know what to do.
This game has become a yearly tradition for me. Every year when it gets really cold and the snow starts building I pop this game in, curl up under a blanket and drink some hot coco. It's very fitting as the tempature gets colder and colder in the game. This game is still up in my bedroom along with my X-Box and a few other beloved games.
Just a few more inches!
But this game did something besides change how I look at games. It changed my musical tastes. This game has a band in it whom I hadn't herd of at that point in time ,who have recently made quite a name for themselves with their latest album. Hell they've even about to go on tour with Motley Crue for the second time. That band is Theory of a Deadman.
The video does have a spoiler or two, watch at your own risk!
The game has four of their songs (Santa Monica, No Surprise, No Way Out and Say Goodbye) and after hearing them I immediately went out for got their first two CDs after hearing just those four songs. This might not be too groudbreaking with Guitar Hero and Rock Band being out, but for me to go buy rock music in 2005 when I was only listening to stuff like 2Pac, Tech N9ne and Immortal Technique was quite a change.
Indigo Prophecy has gotten mostly 8/10's all around and they are all well deserved. It has also sold over 800,000 copies world wide, not bad for a game that isn't a Halo or Madden, but that number should me buch higher in my opinion. The game has three different endings with a fair amount of debating as to which one was the "true ending." However I believe this game doesn't have a "true ending," it all depends on your actions in the game and I like it that way. There won't be a sequel, however there will be a successor...
To say I am excited for Heavy Rain would be an understatement, I bought my PS3 JUST for it... it's mostly collecting dust right now as I type this. After my 4th run on Indigo Prophecy I ordered a copy of Omikron: The Nomad Soul for the Dreamcast, however I haven't beaten it, it has a lot of issues that simply cannon be ignored, I own it just because I am a collector.
Thus ends another entry in "The Games That Defined Me" and I hope you all enjoied a game that holds a very special place in my collection. I really can't say enough about the game. It seems every other week my friends and I have a discussion about this game or Heavy Rain. You can get a used copy of the PS2 version for about 13 bucks at EB Games and even download it on the X-Box Live Marketplace for 1200 MSP along with a free theme and set of gamer pictures. If you appreciate a good story or are ooking for something different than whats out there now, you really cannot go wrong with this game.