Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Five Great Games and Gaming Moments

I'm a gaming geek - I admit it.

Thought I would share with everyone some great gaming moments...

5. Need For Speed - Hot Pursuit/Hot Pursuit II/Most Wanted

These three titles exemplified (for me personally) the very best of the series. Incredible driving, variety of cars, engaging tracks and (of course) those amazing chases as you try to outrun the law. The police would ram your car, set up roadblocks, lay down spike strips and bring in helicopters to drop exploding barrels. All the while, you're racing against opponents to cross the finish line. This is white-knuckle gaming at its finest.

Gaming Moment - I was racing against a single opponent. At the end of the race, we were dead even. The cops were in hot pursuit. With the finish line in sight, a helicopter drops an exploding barrel on my opponent. He explodes, clips my rear-quarter panel and sends me flying. I cross the finish line upside-down and backwards.

4. Half-Life/Half-life 2

This was the first-person shooter (FPS) that redefined the genre. The entire game played out before you with no cut-scenes or ridiculous load times. The result was a completely immersive and engaging experience. This was also the first game that made me feel as if I was just a small player caught up in some massive crisis. Half-Life 2 simply took everything that was right about the first game and improved upon it. This is the gold standard of FPS that all other games strive to emulate.

Gaming Moment - All hell had just broken out at the underground lab where I (Gordon Freeman) worked. I'd just run across some strange crab-like critters and beat them with a crowbar. I headed over to the glass-walled elevator to see if I could make my way to the surface. Earthquake like-tremors and small explosions had rocked the facility. I pressed the elevator button, look up through the glass to see (to my surprise) the elevator cables snap and the car go tumbling past me into the abyss. As the elevator passed me, I saw two lab workers screaming in terror. This game world had consequences.

3. Diablo

Also known as "The game I could not stop playing". Blizzards original action RPG (Role-Playing Game) Diablo was a time-sucking juggernaut. The player’s mantra became "Just one more level". And once you won the game, it was time to create a new character class and head back down. With randomly generated dungeons, critters and loot, the game had massive replay ability. The template of Diablo is still copied to this day.

Gaming Moment - The first time I battled Diablo himself (or itself). The satisfaction of vanquishing this beast of pure evil was sweet indeed.

2. Fallout 3

This was the first hybrid (part FPS/part RPG) that worked on all levels. An amazing, immersive experience that opened up a huge world to explore at your own pace. The post apocalyptic environments were detailed and stunning, the enemy AI was consistent and challenging and the quests were challenging and exciting. I personally roamed the wasteland for months just to see what I could find. A game with massive depth and replay ability, this is one of the best games ever made. A note of caution with this one - it is rated M for a reason (language and extreme violence).

Gaming Moments -
I was running from Talon agents (the bad guys) and stumbled across a drive-in theater. I ran through the parking area littered with old rusted-out cars, ducked behind a rock outcropping and waited for the Talon squad. When they were in the middle of the drive-in theater parking area, I threw a grenade into the mix. The grenade exploded, the cars next to the explosion exploded and soon the entire parking area was one massive exploding fireball. Talon flambé anyone?

The wasteland is home to nasty gangs and bandits that maraud the countryside. One bright, sunny morning, I happened upon a rusted out semi truck and trailer. Peeking into this trailer, I found a gang of five fast asleep. Trailer + gang of five + grenade = very, very messy clean up.

1. Starcraft

I had no interest in playing RTS (Real-Time Strategy) until a friend convinced me to try Starcraft. This is the game that I have played more than any other. The Sci-Fi story arc was amazing, the three races (Protoss, Zerg and Terran) engaging, and the game play is out of this world. Strategy, planning, using your environment, building defenses, attacking, retreating, capturing resources, they all played a vital role in your success. Add to all that the creative dialogue of the sprites which became catch phrases in the gaming community. For me, this game is second to none and I eagerly await Starcraft II.

Gaming Moment - The entire game, start to finish, is a gaming moment that should not be missed. 'Nuff said.

Any gaming moment you'd like to share?



I wish I was "Gaming Geek" as you put it, they seem quite alot of fun. Thanks for sharing your expertise .


Jamie Gibbs said...

I remember playing the opener to Half Life. Beating crabthings with a crowbar is oddly satisfying.

My favourite games are the Legacy of Kain games; the story, the voice acting, the twists and turns of the plot and characters, everything works brilliantly. As for favourite gaming moment ... I'd say Resident Evil (original) where you're walking through a corridor in the house, all quiet like, and suddenly a pack of zombie dogs burst through the window. Scared the crap outta me, and had me tense for the rest of the game.

Ted Cross said...

I still like slower older games like Rome Total War, Baldur's Gate and Close Combat. I did enjoy Call of Duty. I haven't played any of the ones you listed.

Matthew MacNish said...

I do not care much for Need for Speed, any of the versions I have played at least.

As for the other four you listed, all very awesome.

Hannah said...

I'm a gamer and I've not played any of those. I love POP. FF, Kingdom Hearts, KOTOR, Metroid, Zeldas...off the top of my head. I played WOW briefly but I like my games to end. Oh and of course, Guitar Hero!

India Drummond said...

I'm a totaly gamer geek too!

About once every year or so I will STILL play Starcraft!

Goliath online.

Jay Watson said...

Though really not much of a gamer, your comments Alex, make me think I might enjoy changing my status :) My kid is in to most of the games you've mentioned, maybe he'll let me in to his sanctum sancotrum and actually touch his PS3 or whatever it is.

DEZMOND said...

Oh, and I thought you were playing computer games with little animals, butterflies .... :)))) it's good to know you're not playing anything violent or devilish :PPP

Unknown said...

I loved the NFS series. All of them were great right from the beginning. Though, the one part that had me addicted was Most Wanted. I loved it.
I have never played Starcraft and Fallout though!

Nice post...:)

Sarah Ahiers said...

for being a gaming geek myself, i've actually only played starcraft, though i've watched my brother play half life 1 and 2 mutliple times (i think he breaks them out abotu every 6 months)

one of my best gaming moments is my brother and i were playing rocket race on halo 3 (which is where someone drives an atv and your teammate rides on the back, shooting rockets at the other players as you all race to checkpoints). We were driving through a desert and next to the horizon was the checkpoint and another team moments away from claiming it. Just for the hell of it i shot off a rocket at them and watched it disappear over the horizon. A few seconds later the other team exploded as my half-cocked rocket hit its target.
My brother and i screamed in astonishment at my once in a lifetime shot

god i love gaming

Charity Bradford said...

Ah, Diablo. That game will forever belong to memories spent with my younger brother. We played as a team because we were awesome that way. He preferred the part of wise, cautious sorcerer. He stood back, observed and cast spells to save my butt. I was always a rogue, and my style was run in arrows flying. *sighs* Those were the good old days.

I may or *cough* may not still have this game installed on my desktop. *cough* just in case. Ya know?

Anonymous said...

I have to admit I've never played a video game before. Not that I don't want to. I do. Just too busy. But soon I'll buy a Wii for the fam. Looking forward to that.

Stephen Tremp

Zoe C. Courtman said...

OMG - for, like, an entire MONTH after Christmas, all three of my boys (my gamer hubs included) did NOTHING but play FALLOUT :D Not complainin - love me some gamer geeks :D

Maurice Mitchell said...

HALF-LIFE was practically life-changing for me as I'd never played a game that was so interactive before. Even the ending changed if you played it differently. I never played FALLOUT 3, but I remember FALLOUT 1 opening with the song "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" and finding it chilling.

Hart Johnson said...

I've freuqently wished I could get sucked into games because the idea of role-playing is really appealing to me. Somewhere in the translation to fingers on buttons though, I lose interest in anything more complicated than space invaders or frogger... probably I an the wrong age. It's probably good though... I seem to have managed to find several time drains even without them...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jamie, the Resident Evil series has had its ups & downs, but the original is still a great game.

Ted, Baldur's Gate was the first to really model itself after the Advanced D&D rules. And it rocks!

Matthew, a couple of the NFS didn't do it for me, either.

Palin, Knights of the Old Republic is a spectacular game, and you can't beat Guitar Hero. Hope I gave you some new game ideas.

India - of course!!

Rogue - bring an offering of food and he just might!

Dez, no butterflies for me.

Mr. Stupid - Most wanted was brilliant.

Falen, that is an excellent gaming moment!!!

Charity, you just might need to check...

Zoe, I'm sure they appreciate you letting them indulge their inner geek!

Maurice, Fallout 3 starts with that same song! 1 & 2 were brilliant, but Tactics fell way short.

Tart, my wife likes the simple games as well, and that's okay!

Julie Dao said...

Nice! I know quite a few gaming geeks who enjoy the same :) I'm more of an old-school nintendo person. We broke out the SNES and had a trip down memory lane with Mario RPG the other weekend :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It's been a while since I've been sucked into a game, but I loved my Roller Coaster Tycoon and Serious Sam was a hoot when you reached the big battle while racing for the pyramid.

Arlee Bird said...

A few times I made it to the second level of Sonic the Hedgehog, but that was nearly 20 years ago. These new games look pretty cool. Maybe someday one of my nephews or nieces will let me play their's.

Tossing It Out

Helen Ginger said...

To tell you the truth, Alex, I don't play online games. But! My son does and is currently working toward a Game Design degree, so I found your post fascinating.

Straight From Hel

Beth Zimmerman said...

Never been much of a gamer myself .... I couldn't even beat PacMan. (I know. It's sad.) But some of them, especially the racing ones, are entertaining to watch while someone with more talent than I have plays!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Julie, that's always fun as well!

Diane, Serious Sam was fun.

Arlee, I used to play Sonic!

Helen, I will post more then.

Beth, I can show you some driving!

The Man-Cave said...

I'm a huge video game nerd as well as a movie nerd. Glad I found your blog!

I really wanted to get into Fallout 3, but I was warned that I will get frustrated because it's so addicting and will clash heavily with my travel schedule. Good list you put together with F3 being the only one I have not tried.

Currently, I am trying to finish up Arkham Asylum.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Geof, welcome! And I heard Arkham Asylum was quite good. And yes, Fallout 3 is very addictive.

Unknown said...

have you played everyone of them?? I have only played everquest.. I think they are hard, and long and addicting more than my blog. lol

Natasha said...

I am not into gaming at all, but as the mother of two boys, it was an interesting post for me to read. A couple of years later, I may need the information to be able to talk to them!

Anonymous said...

There are some awesome gaming moments here. Need for Speed Most Wanted is incredible fun and it never really gets old breaking through barricades and evading the police. Half-life is incredible and Fallout 3 looks amazing. Haven't played StarCraft because I'm just not an RTS person but you made it look very intriguing.
Thanks for sharing these games.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wasabi, I've played so many games it would scare you!

Rayna, you definitely need to know your stuff about games, as many of these are not suitable for children. (Due to graphics.)

Cassandra, Starcraft is the greatest game ever. Give it a try sometime.

Glynis Peters said...

I am not a game person. I have a sududo cube and that is fast enough for me! ;0

Eric said...

Great list. I'm currently enjoying Need For Speed: Carbon. I haven't played any of the others, but I really like this one.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Eric, you'll like the others then!

Gail said...

I am hooked too. Forever I knew only the many faucets of Diablo and played to the detriment of my family. Nightmare was my paradise.