Monday, November 8, 2010

Gaming Again

A brief look back:

1991: My parents buy me a Nintendo Entertainment System complete with Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt. Watching my dad try to figure out how the RF Modulator works when setting up the NES is hands down one of my favorite all-time memories. Anyways, the collection of games grows to at least 30 and a few years later my sister takes everything including that crappy third party super controller with the super A and B buttons and put it on the front lawn.

1999: After several disappointing Christmas' pass and I miss out on SNES, Sega Genesis, Dreamcast, Jaguar, Virtual Boy, XBOX, and the first Playstation I take matters into my own hands and purchase a used Nintendo 64 from Daniel. Once again I build a great collection of games thanks to the lowered prices and Gamecube craze. Everything sells on eBay for a solid gain and Daniel sees a portion of the profits throughout the coming years.

2001-ish: Counter Strike sends me and a few friends from high school to an internet cafe where we pay $4 to use a PC for 2 hours with a few hundred other idiots. My favorite part about that game was knowing how awful I am at first-person shooters and ruining any chances my team had at winning.

2006?: Once again I'm in control and forfeit the option of buying an XBOX 360 or PS3 and go with a Wii. MarioKart and Super Smash Bros. excluded, the system was a great idea but didn't have enough adult content to last so it too went the way of eBay. I don't really regret the decision but I will say that playing MarioKart online with everyone from work was a blast.

2009-2010: A PS3 and XBOX 360 Elite were purchased and life is good.

No, I'm not in line for the midnight release of Call of Duty: Black Ops. A hidden zombie mode isn't enough to make me buy this game any time soon specifically because I am terrible at anything related to Call of Duty. I don't hate first-person shooters but I am aware that I do usually suck at them compared to anyone else playing online. Halo proved to be fun for about thirty days but after getting crushed by tweens over XBOX Live and giving up on a pretty boring storyline I'm back to playing my current favorites: Fallout: New Vegas, Fable III and Little Big Planet.

I love these video games the way I love my favorite movies. The experience, especially from the Fallout series, is everlasting. These games were made for people like me who enjoy an open universe and beginner's curve that lets you learn how to get better without feeling emasculated. A good fifteen hours has been dedicated to all three of the video games listed above and the true staying power is in the possibilities. At what I thought was the ending of Fable III you become King and have to make a whole set of decisions that create a brand new experience. Pardon or execute the tyrant? Raise taxes? Keep the promises you made along your journey? I'm not even close to the end.

One thing that's been bothering me is the fact that my new favorite games supposedly require no skill. Compared to Call of Duty, Fallout: New Vegas is a cake walk I'm told. First-person shooters require quick reflexes and mental agility where as an RPG requires a lot of reading, roaming, and time. The no-skills argument still doesn't sit well with me because I think fans of first-person shooters don't have the patience for an RPG and dismiss it immediately. At best it's still an apples and oranges discussion that can continue in the comments section. Either way, I'm back at the video game helm for good right now. Bring on the Radscorpians!

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