Welcome back to my the second part of the My Life in Video Gaming, if you have not read the first part and you love a little video game reminiscence then it might be worth going back and having a quick read.
When I left you all before I was waxing lyrical about Nintendo’s range of handheld consoles. Where to go next?
There are things I missed in the last post. Some of my fondest memories were of playing games together, I remember when I younger, playing one of the Ultima games with my then boyfriend at the time. He was at the controls, but I was taking notes, there were no quest logs back then to refer too, when you found runes they were not saved in a handy dandy quest book you could access from the menu, you had to make a note. I remember having pages of notes about talking horses, who had given what quest in what town, bits of notes and code that were found. When we spoke to someone else or found something relevant we would wade through the notes to find out what we were supposed to use where. There is a small part of me that misses that part of the game now, like something is missing when everything important is saved and active quests can be found with a quick click. It almost made it more of an adventure.
I watched another play through Sanitarium and we solved the puzzles and enjoyed the stories together. Even when games are one player, certain games can still be enjoyed by two people. But I digress…
I never had a PlayStation 1, but I knew people that did, I would go round their houses and play Tomb Raider and other games together. Later in life I obtained a PlayStation 2 and then I got myself a whole bunch of 1 and 2 games and began to play. Tomb Raider was always a firm favourite. The mix of puzzle solving and platform, along with a strong female character, had me hooked. I could overlook dinosaurs and ammunition left around the place because I just loved solving those puzzles.
The later Final Fantasy games were also firm favourites. Final Fantasy X and X-2 were played so often for the second one I had the mascot dress sphere and knew all of the plots by heart. Not only that most of my dress spheres were maxed out. Now for those of you crying out to me about 7 and 8, do not worry, I played those, a lot. In fact I am replaying 7 now…again, but I played those on the PC.
Then of course the Playstation 3 was released, the games could be huge, the graphics were amazing and I was hooked back on consoles again, by now you could tell which games were going to be huge, the world is a smaller place now and it is impossible to miss the hype around such games as Fallout 3 and Skyrim, enormous games with a million side quests, all ready to pull out in and not let you out for a month. Games I still find myself going back too.
My PC gets a Steam upgrade.
Oh my, Steam. Any gamer worth their salt knows Steam, a system basically designed for hoarding games, you can head into nostalgia, get the latest games and change the password to your PayPal account when the summer sale rolls around.
Considering my propensity for spending, on things I do not need, I feel remarkably restrained having only 137 games in my lib. The first thing that happens is you take that walk down nostalgia lane. It was not long before I owned the Lucas Arts pack, because, well, Loom! Final Fantasy 7 made its way into my library one Christmas sale, and let’s not even talk about the hours wasted on the Age of Empires games, and I could not have been more excited to play through The Longest Journey again and the Broken Sword games made their way back into my life again, but we cannot live in the past and the access to new games without leaving the house and at a great price is where Steam really comes into its own.
The Book of Unwritten Tales seemed like a natural addition to my collection, with its classic point and click feel, but original characters and jokes (though the first one is full of homages), and the second one with its sprawling world, great plot and clever puzzles and the old characters back again, has made its way up my list into my all time favourites.
Thanks to Steam I have had introductions to the newest Telltale games, the games that are run more through choice than skill or puzzle solving, a novel in a game. As a huge Fables fan The Wolf Among Us was a perfect game, a new story, characters I love, great story telling and fun game-play, playing it a couple of times making different decisions was no hardship.
I have found games by independent creators, such as Her Story, a gripping game which involves unlocking a story piece by piece, Morphopolis a beautiful, hidden-object, puzzle game involving evolving insects, short but stunning, Night of the Rabbit, another gorgeous and well told point and click….and oh so many more.
Now with the reducing cost of VR technology, the increase in availability of VR games and other new technology being introduced every year, I look back on the past with fondness and nostalgia, I am thrilled by my present, but I cannot wait for my future in gaming.