Recent Event Highlights: Super Mario 64, Super Mario Bros. / Duck Hunt, and 9 more...
Created by mgarry on Oct 10, 2009
Last updated: 03/05/10 at 04:43 PM
Microsoft Xbox Bungie The Halo 2 release was huge. Kids at my school were running around collecting TVs and Xboxes on November 8 to set up rooms for 16-player matches while other kids were waiting in line to grab their copy right at midnight. One of my friends even got dumped by his girlfriend for waiting for his copy of Halo 2 instead of taking her to the movies. It marked a big change in social gaming. Before Halo 2, I never really played a game online, it was always with a friend sitting next to me. Now I can't imagine having a console without being able to play online. Competitive gaming is no longer about demonstrating you skills to your friends or the kids at the arcade, it's about showing them off to the world. Image from personal collection.
Microsoft Xbox Lionhead Studios Peter Molyneux, the lead creative mind behind Lionhead Studios is an interesting man. He thinks big when he designs a game and sometimes he can't always deliver on his promises but he succeeds in his main objective of trying to make you feel. Fable is an emotional experience as much as it is a video game experience. Image from personal collection.
Microsoft Xbox BioWare Knights of the Old Republic was an action RPG developed by BioWare. Its story took place 4,000 years before the events of the Star Wars films. The game play was a party-based combat system where all of your actions were done in a turn-based style rotation like RPGs of a Final Fantasy nature while you could move your character freely in a real-time fashion similar to Western RPGs. You could even pause combat to direct orders to your other party members. While the combat was unique, you’re interaction with non-playable character (NPCs) was unlike anything I had ever seen. When you engaged in a conversation with an NPC you would have a choice in how you would speak. It was a unique way of interacting with the world around you. What you said and how you said it would directly affect what happened to your character. You could succeed or fail in a task by saying the wrong thing. Another aspect of this was you could dictate you alignment. You could choose to join the dark side by acting accordingly. Alignment between good and evil is predominant in a lot of games today but it was a whole new thing for me at the time. It felt like I was acting out my character as I saw them instead of passively making decisions for the character. Image from personal collection.
Sony Playstation 2 Konami This was my first experience with "tactical espionage." The Metal Gear series has become one of my favorites over the past few years. I like how the series experiments with different gameplay elements. The games all try to do things differently than they had been done in the past and it usually leads to some pretty interesting fourth-wall breaking elements. I also like the fact that it was a game that rewarded you for not killing enemies. You can't grab a machine gun and run from corridor to corridor pumping lead into every enemy you find. If you do, you won't last very long. Stealth-action is a lot more commonplace now with games like Batman: Arkham Asylum and the Hitman games. We can thank Snake for that. Image from personal collection.
Nintendo 64 Nintendo This is probably my favorite game of all time. It's certainly my favorite Zelda game. It's on the level of Super Mario 64 in that it finished what Mario 64 started in developing the foundation of 3D gameplay. The big influence for me that I get from this game is that it's the first game that i really cared about the story. I never really fell in love with a game's story until I played this; in all other games before it, the story was only secondary when it came to action and gameplay. It started an idea for me that video games, like movies, could be used to tell a compelling story. Image from personal collection.
Nintendo 64 Rare Ltd. When this game came out for the N64, I was very excited to play a James Bond game. The main campaign was very fulfilling visiting most of the locals from the movie and reliving a lot of the key scenes. I really enjoyed the bungee jumping sequence from the game. The game had a lot of replay value with items, maps and characters that you could unlock by completing missions on different difficulties under a certain amount of time. Most of this translated into the multiplayer, I would say the best part of the game. The N64 had four built-in controller ports and this game is the reason to own four controllers. This was the first mutliplayer first-person shooter I remember playing on a home console and I played it a lot. The controller style I use today for playing FPSs today can't be blamed on GoldenEye (my friend can't understand how I can play with an inverted y-axis). Image from personal collection. Video retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqW8KdnQ-gk
Nintendo 64 Nintendo This is a game that should be on most everyone's list. It was such a drastic change from everything else we had ever seen. Mario was no longer confined to two dimensions and neither was the rest of the video game industry. Super Mario 64 showed us how 3D gameplay was done. It was the most dramatic advance in gaming up to that point and, in my humble opinion, still is to date. Games my look more realistic and there may be advances in the social aspect of gaming but it's all Mario 64 with a shinier paint job.
Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis Acclaim Image retrieved from http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/bigboxshots/9/588499_40302_front.jpg Adams, O. (1994). Techno Syndrome [Recorded by The Immortals]. Mortal Kombat: The Album [CD]. Virgin US.
This is the game that started it all for me. It's the first video game I ever played. In Mario, I loved running around, jumping on enemies, leaping over gaps, avoiding obstacles. It was so exciting when I discovered the warp zones or a hidden mushroom. With Duck Hunt, it was all about the Zapper. It was the closest thing to a gun I was allowed to handle so I would pretend I was in an old John Wayne movie, shooting the ducks from the hip. Image from personal collection.