It's hard to be a PC gamer, it really is! You always find yourself wishing for the latest graphic card to play your games with all the bells and whistles. Unfortunately, even with the Zeag MK2 here who isn't what I'd really call a lame PC, I learned something important:
PC game developers DON'T want us to run their games at max settings with a sub-2000$ computer. It's a conspiracy! I'm telling ya!
Cost: 2000$ including monitor. It can't play Crysis decently above 1280x1024 on medium.
The excruciating cost of a gaming PC made me switch back to console gaming, which I had snubbed since the 360 came out.
At least the games USUALLY work well (I'm looking at you Ubisoft!!)
With never-ending increases in piracy and consoles now offering a much easier online experience than PCs, I can see why developers are focusing more on consoles nowadays. They don't have to make sure their games adapt and scale well over millions of possible configurations.
But hey, if you give me that Turning Point machine, I might just go give Crysis another spin!
It happened at least once to all of us, well, almost all of us. A game so addicting, so enthralling that you could just play it for days straight and toss almost everything else aside.
Did you knew there's some World of Warcraft Guilds that require you be online at least 8 hours a day, everyday, or else you get kicked out? That's serious! The only way I could play that much on a day to day basis would be to have a completely inexistent life! Not that I consider my life pretty exciting these days though *cough* but that's another topic.
My first (and last) game that really hooked me to a dangerous level was Phantasy Star Online, back in the Dreamcast golden year. Oh man did I loved that game, playing ONLINE with a CONSOLE was something that I couldn't even imagine (Note that it was a time where dial up 56k modems were pretty much the standard connection for everyone, you had to be in some big city to have access to broadband...)
Only 4 different locations, limited gameplay, not very entertaining missions; what was there to love in this game? Well if you didn't had the chance to play online I'd probably say NOTHING, but if you could live with getting yelled at by your parents for jamming the phone line to connect on the net, then you where in for an experience that was otherworldly: basically it was Diablo 1, in the future and in 3D, which made the game totally badass.
I have characters that easily exceed the 1000 hours of gameplay, even though they had reached the max levels since aeons, all the fuss was about the ones who had the best, rare gear (until hackers came in at least). I have spent white nights just grinding my mags and eating ice cream, I skipped school just to raid the Ruins countless times with my friends to find the elusive Spread Needler (aka the rape machine). This game was the Everquest or Ultima Online of consoles, and it reigned supreme since there was NO competition. Literally.
But since I was, and am still, poor like hell, once the game went to version 2, requiring players to pay to have access to levels 101 to 200 and the new difficulty level; I kinda dropped the game, and the Dreamcast altogether.
I can now happily say that I'm clean since 6 years, but strangely enough I'm craving for a game that will offer the same kind of ecstasy that I experienced while playing PSO...
This debate isn't new, it pretty much dates from the time Final Fantasy II was released; as soon as they could, fans started pulling each others' hair over which game in this series deserved the "Holy Grail" award.
While most fans these days give this honor to the seventh game, quite a lot of fans still stand by other installments of the series, notably FFIV, FFVI, FFVIII and FFX.
There's a reason why this debate (just like the series) will never die: It's all about personal opinions. Just like music and clothings, video games are about personal preferences. Games are not a science, they are pieces of art, and thus are experienced as such. Some may hate Picasso, some think it's one of the greatest painters to have ever lived on this planet, and most just wonder what the hell is a Pick Ass Hoe.
Does everyone love Halo 3? I sure wouldn't have given it the game of the year award but some people (especially Microsoft) believe it deserves a 10 out of 10 everywhere it goes.
A game will never be universally acclaimed by everyone, it just can't be. Just like there will never be a single genre of music that will reign supreme. Of course there are some games that are more popular, and it's because obviously more love and effort are put into these games, but even games that seem almost flawless to some will leave a sour taste in the mouth of others.
Some liked Kefka (I sure did!), others prefer Sepiroth (boo!); there are so many factors beyond technical execution, beyond hardware limitations, that make games a hit or miss with players, that we will never reach a consensus about these kinds of issues.
Although we can certainly agree that not all games are equal, I'm only saying they can be rated on a 1 to 10 scale, but this will never truly determine if a game is a memorable experience or not, or if everyone feels the same about the said-game.