31 January 2015

Game Genres I like and some thoughts on modern video games

I owned an original Game Boy in the 1990's, the old block used to belong to my older siblings. I played Mario and Wario on it. I got a Nintendo 64, my first console, for Christmas one year with Goldeneye 64. Mario Kart 64, Ocarina of Time and Lylat Wars would all follow. I never owned Mario 64 though I played it quite extensively on two friends' consoles. I played Age of Empires 1 and later 2 as well as Sims on PC around the same time. Pokemon came out the year I got a Game Boy Color for Christmas so all was all. One day my Dad walked in with a SNES he got at work and an assortment of games.

I have played a lot of games. I have also owned a lot of different platforms and still have all of them. My foundations may be in Nintendo but after 2006-7 I never forgave them and switched to my Xbox and later the 360 came out and made it all the sweeter. I loved the N64 and the GameCube but having been spoiled by them I couldn't face the Wii and its focus on kiddy and casual games. Around this time I also started playing the PS2 extensively and had played the PS1 on and off for a few years prior and my favourites were Final Fantasy, Silent Hill and all the wacky Japanese titles that came on the market for that platform. I wanted to keep growing up with my consoles and the gimmicky motion controls and appeal to family and newcomers coming from the Wii served to alienate me anyway.

So genres; first person and third person shooters are fine by me; I'm not a huge fan of 3D platformers but I love 2D ones; I love real time and turn based strategies, particularly 4X games; I dislike browser games, probably because one sucked away months my life on two different occasions; I don't really like mobile games or tablet games in general, I have no interest in them; my last handheld was a Game Boy Advance and the last game I bought for it was Pokémon Sapphire - if I really want to play these I'll get an emulator; racing games are OK; I'm not a big fan of fighting games though I have a soft spot for Tekken, Mortal Kombat and Soul Calibur; I love RPGs of all kinds, especially those open world ones currently on the market like Fallout and Elder Scrolls.

I never really got the console wars, they never got to me either - Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are all the same. They have their ups and their downs; the Wii U seems to be undergoing a Renaissance of sorts while the other two seem to have hit a ceiling of frames per seconds. They look amazing, but I'm not ready to switch from the 360 to the Xbone just yet, seeing as they are still making games for the former. I was slightly intrigued by the PS4 exclusives but never having played MGS properly I don't really care, while all my old franchises seem to be just releasing more and more of the same: Halo, Gears and Assassins Creed are either finished in my mind or stuck in a rut.

The PC has long been a staple for me. I'm no elitist, all I played on them for over a decade was Age of Empires 1,2,3 and Age of Wonders, an old TBS favourite of mine. I played all the original Sims and its expansions as well as the Sims 2; once you play the latter its very hard to go back to #1. It's only in recent years (2009 onward) that I've owned the entire Fallout series, Borderlands 1, Dragon Age Origins and a number of other titles. In very recent history I've sold my soul and bank card to Steam and have bought a dozen titles. I have friends IRL on Steam who have over a hundred games but I'm not sure how many of them bar one of two have actually played all of them. I really like the idea of buying a desktop in another year or two and basing myself entirely off that, even if its only to play 15 year old turn based strategies in glorious HD.

I'm not sure what I think about the current YouTube Let's Plays and 'personalities' among other things; I like some LPs on games that catch my eye and I want to see them played but I would rarely or never watch one about a game I own unless there was some sort of hook to it or something amusing happened at some point in the video. I am not that surprised that there are people on the internet playing games for other people to watch and they make their living this was, especially if it's Twitch TV and people will throw money at you.

Ramble over, will post again.

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