Let’s talk games.

I am glad I fought off the temptation of stating “I will update my blog every Monday”. Life works in funny ways, I know. So I hunkered down and only committed to one post every week. Meaning I could post a new one anytime between Monday and Sunday, as long as no single week went without a new post. Now you could say, dude, just write a little bit every day and that way you know your post is ready by the end of the week. But that is not feasible because I write better if I do the piece in a single sitting, and also because if I did it in pieces it would either have me falling short on the word count (less than 200 a day to make a thousand) or with posts of about five thousand words, which is too large for anyone’s patience (in terms of blog posts anyway).

But I digress. Digressions are fun, but let’s get to the topic at hand, shall we?

In case you have not noticed, I love games. My generation began getting into consoles and computers at a relatively early age, I know I got my first foray into Nintendo (Mario Bros and Duck Hunt, anyone?) when I was barely 7. My family was not very solvent at the time though, so I had to depend on friends from my block to invite me over to play. I will tell you right now, I do not remember how good I was at shooting those ducks, but I do remember I never cheated. What is the point of shooting point blank at the screen? That kills the fun for me.

I was disappointed too as the years went by and that zapgun technology went ignored. Until a few arcades began to boast games where you could take a gun and shoot stuff. Zombies, criminals, even dinosaurs, so cool. For the most part, however, the pew pew fun comes from pushing buttons instead of sheer aim, with a few good exceptions like Twilight Princess on the Wii.

Anyway, I have toured the whole Nintendo dynasty from NES to Wii. I have seen it all, or almost. Mario, Zelda, Starfox, GoldenEye, you name it. A saga I remember fondly is Super Smash Brothers. I will not delve too deeply into it because I intend to devote a full piece to talking fighting games, but if you want to fight your peers without it even feeling like violence, pick Smash Brothers Brawl up. You can even play online with friends or strangers. I do not know how the crowd is nowadays, it has been a few years since the game came out and I have not played in a long, long time. But you can still bring a few friends together and have a blast in show downs of four a time. A recommendation though: do not play it with the Wiimote. It sucks. For this game, pick up a Gamecube controller; then you will know bliss.

I’ve had some experience with the other two major brands, PlayStation and XBox. PS1 had some fun games; my fondest memory was Dino Crisis 2. I never played the first game, which made me sad. The saga ended at 2, which made me even more sad. Hell of a game if you like fighting dinosaurs with guns. Finished it like three times.

My experience with PS2 was a bit more extensive. King of Fighters 2006, Soul Calibur 3, Star Wars Battlefront 2 (the first tribute to the fabled 501st Legion, that I know of) Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, Need for Speed Underground and Most Wanted… the list is pretty large. As a Nintendo guy it took me a bit of practice to get used to the double stick and four buttons at the front end, but not long after I began I was handling that baby like a true pro.

XBox hardly graced me with any attention, such is life, but I still managed to play some good titles on the 360. Prince of Persia was a delight, beautiful landscapes and great feeling of freedom as you moved through walls, rings, bars and whatnot with speed and grace. It took some skillfull button-mashing, but the resulting thrill was a treat. Fallout 3? Another great memory. From being a child in a sealed vault to marching alongside the Brotherhood of Steel through the streets of Washington, you see both the worst and the best of a human society brought to its knees by a nuclear war. I even got to play some Assassin’s Creed, though it was too short it still left a pleasant impression on me.

Such was my tour through Console Land. But then life happened.

Hardly anyone will be able to object to the obvious perks of PC gaming. Your machine is easier to upgrade, it can handle a much larger variety of titles. you can do more stuff from the same device (like write walls of text or shop for a T-shirt), and you don’t need accessories like memory sticks, controllers, and the likes. All the wires are better hidden too.

My very first experience with PC gaming was about twelve years ago. A cousin’s boyfriend introduced all of us in the family to Starcraft. Oh the fun hours spent in that game. I was not a serious player though, I used all the cheats. I was not there for the thrill of strategy, I just wanted to build things and then overwhelm my enemy with an ungodly mass of aerial forces. Years later I picked up the Battle Chest and I played to my heart’s content, until Windows 7 finally made it too obsolete. The sads. I have been thinking of getting Starcraft 2 but its system reqs keep it out of my reach for the time being.

Not long after my first foray into Starcraft, a friend of mine gifted Need for Speed Most Wanted to me (and the nostalgic feeling is what made me pick the PS2 edition up several years later).Those graphics. Breathtaking, for their time anyway. The music tracks gave it a really good, roguish feel. And the feeling of skidding through the busy streets of a big city, dodging hapless civvie cars is hard to explain. I think every road rager should have a game like that to play after work so they can blow off all the steam ramming imaginary police cars (that is more of a Most Wanted thing but still).

Yet a few more years went by, when I got introduced to MMOs. Nothing remarkable, some korean titles like Fly For Fun. Typical fantasy-anime style. I did a stint through Perfect World too, best character customization ever. You could really make a character that was completely unique, and either very uggo or strikingly beautiful. Beyond that though, it lacked any attractive, at least for me. Many other titles came and went, Shaiya, Rappelz, an extremely short swing into Mabinogi… those stints taught me terms like aggro, and grinding, and noob, which prepared me for my later incursion into World of Warcraft some time later…

And from WoW came other powerhouses like Guild Wars 2 and Star Wars the Old Republic. From this extensive tour I have come to learn that there are bad games, awful games, good games, and great games; but there is no such thing as a perfect game. I think if the great minds of the gaming industry came together and fused some features of each game, they would come even closer to perfection. But that would kill the purpose for them, would it not? Oh well. It is still fun, and if you look close enough you will find great company.

Thanks for reading me, comment at will, and see you next week.

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