I’d really like to take the time to write more but I’ve been so rarely in the house lately that I’ve done very little blogging. Can’t complain of late, given the (finally) nice weather. Fall is approaching, so after the next 2 weekends, there should be some stability.
That said, late as always, I thought I’d give the Gaming Questionnaire from Cannot Be Tamed a shot. Some part of this is for me, some part for you! win/win
There are a lot of questions and after running through it, I get to realize that this is like asking me who my favorite child is. They all are, for various reasons, at various times. And I’m really glad I can say that.
1. When did you start playing video games?
A little squib, probably 5-6. I’m 35 now, so that’s a fair amount of time.
2. What is the first game you remember playing?
I do remember playing Pong at my grandmothers and a fair chunk of early Atari. My friend had a commodore. A neighbor was always buying new Atari games, then selling them. I bought what must seem like 30 games from him for a dollar each. It was a lot of fun.
3. PC or Console?
I started on console, then moved to PC, then back to console, then back to PC. I really don’t see the need for consoles today. Steam + Big Screen + controller is the way forward. I think the actual conversation today is PC or mobile.
4. XBOX, Playstation or Wii?
Today? Playstation. It’s a gamer focused device with a bunch of value services. XBOX is a shell of what it was and Wii is in a really, really weird place right now.
5. What’s the best game you ever played?
That is a really, really good question. How about I split that up a bit because a game today can’t really compare with one from 20 years ago. Quest for Glory series has been on the list for a long time. The original XCOM. I prefer Civ 5 over the other ones in the series but 1/2 were amazing. Myst had me change the way I thought about games. NHL 94 and Jeremy Roenick. FF6 I’ve put hundreds of hours. Ni No Kuni is the best RPG in the past 5 years.
How do you ever pick a single game?
6. What is the worst game you ever played?
I dunno, Enter the Matrix? I tend to put in a good 5 hours into a game, even if I don’t like it. Just to get a feel for it. EtM was really quite bad.
7. Name a game that was popular/critically adored that you just didn’t like.
Call of Duty/Battlefield/FPS clones. I just don’t see the point.
8. Name a game that was poorly received that you really like.
I’m going to say Hellgate. PvE FPS MMOs are all pretty ugly today. Hellgate did a TON of things wrong but also did a TON of things right. There was next to no middle ground.
9. What are your favorite genres?
RPG, platformers, tactical/strategy games tend to be top of pile. I prefer to think than to react.
10. Who is your favorite game protagonist?
This isn’t a fair question. Protagonists today are clearly defined while 10 years ago you had to fill in the blanks. Voice actors make or break it. So old school, I’d say the hero from the QfG series. Very flexible, you could act noble or not. I thought it was solid and the story kept pace. Today’s hero is Oliver from Ni No Kuni. The character progresses drastically from start to finish, it’s really impressive what they did.
11. Describe your perfect video game
RPG with MMO elements, set in sci-fi, with PvE sandbox elements. Solid replay value, with different branching stories. I like the idea of playing the protagonist but even more so the strategist. How about a combination of Minecraft, Overlord and Mass Effect.
12. What video game character do you have a crush on?
Hmm. Female characters are so underdeveloped it’s really hard to go that route. The new Lara Croft angle sounds promising, and FemShep had potential (but spoiled it in ME3). I guess right now, Drusera in Wildstar is the one I’m most curious about.
Lightning from FF13 started out as a crush but then you learn more and go “oh”. I would be curious to see Nathan Drake’s descent into madness.
13. What game has the best music?
FF6 is up there. Eternal Sonata is highly noted. Ni No Kuni has an amazing soundtrack. Transistor was also quite good.
14. Most memorable moment in a game
Biggest plot twist is likely Aerith’s death given that no one liked to kill protagonists in the first 1/3rd of a game (outside of an intro). I’ve had quite a few memorable moments, when I either get my wife to see it or my kids. To pick one would be to deny all the amazing moments in great games. By and large though, it has little to do with the climax of the game but more with the intertwining of the story. Bioshock Infinite is less about the climax and more about the 2nd playthrough and seeing the game through a different set of lenses.
15. Scariest moment in a game
I can’t honestly say that I’ve ever been scared in a game before. Never been my type of thing.
16. Most heart wrenching moment in a game
There have been plenty of self-sacrifices in games over the years. Booker in Bioshock Infinite is the most recent memorable one. I have great difficultly watching a parent lose their child, yet thankfully that is a rare occurrence in gaming.
17. What are your favorite websites/blogs about gaming?
See my blogroll :) In addition, the official Reddit forums for a game are usually the best place for news.
18. What’s the last game you finished?
Transistor? Devious Dungeon on Android might be more recent. Does a replay of Quest for Glory count? How many games today actually have endings?
19. What future release are you most excited about?
Today, Civilization: Beyond Earth and Wasteland 2. I try not to look too far ahead.
20. Do you identify as a gamer?
Why yes, yes I do. Anyone filling out this survey would be a gamer otherwise they couldn’t answer these questions. Play games? Gamer.
21. Why do you play video games?
I’ve answered this in the past. I game for all sorts of reasons. It’s my main hobby and allows me to decompress after a long day. I enjoy nearly every aspect of gaming and find more pleasure from it than I think most do. I am oddly concerned to meet someone my age or younger than doesn’t play games. Outside of sports/crafting, an engrossing social life, or perhaps self-improvement activities, I’ve always been quite curious as to what people would rather do in their spare time.