I’m not going to make some kind of wild and insane statement like ‘I’m getting back into video games’ because that’s the kind of thing that is never definite. However, I have accomplished something today that I don’t believe I ever have in a game, and I’ve got time as well as interest in other games as well. Because I didn’t want to clutter an upcoming review with talk about video games in general, I’m making this post instead.
I haven’t been playing video games for as long as most gamers, but I have been playing them since about 98′-99′ which is more than long enough for them to be a major part of my life. In the beginning, and up till about 2003 I was a die hard Nintendo fanboy, and only owned their consoles (though we bought a PS2 in 03 to play the .hack games). When I got into anime, I didn’t really pay much attention to games, but it was video games that eventually pulled me out of my year-long anime craze back then.
It was partly because I could never afford to buy whole series of anime, and partly because half the fun had been watching with Funeral who wasn’t around as much anymore, but my interest in anime was waning. It was when Toonami was having a contest to win the upcoming Sly Cooper 2 that my brother took interest in the original Sly Cooper (which he actually never ended up playing much of.) I found myself playing it and completely loving it, so much so that I beat the (incredibly difficult) game despite hours and hours of dying. The game had been so fun that I took interest in other classic PS2 games and bought Jak and Daxter and Ratchet and Clank. The latter impressed me so that I quickly turned coat from anime fan to gamer.
At that time, we were just moving into a new house and my dad had just gotten a higher-paying job, and we found ourselves in a situation where my dad was paying me 25 bucks a week to do chores. I would use this money to buy assloads of cheap games at Gamestop, half of which I would later sell, and I started reading Game Informer and Gamespot.com (which I still read all the time for the hell of it) and pretty much trying to play anything they scored highly enough.
But much like my anime fandom (in fact, even more so) I spent a lot less time actually playing video games compared to just researching them. I was always trying to learn about all the games out there, and as such I knew a lot of under-the-radar games and other crap that none of my friends had heard of lol. Also like with anime, I was always writing stuff, and wrote over 20 game reviews for GameFAQs (I’ll show them to you, but you must remember I was 14 and just getting into writing, so they are bound to suck ass.) As such, I actually completed very few of the games I played, often loosing interest very early. The only games I would beat were shorter action games like Devil May Cry and God of War.
Due to my inclinations to anime, I eventually found a niche in Japanese RPGs and started buying mostly games in that genre. It’s really funny, too, because in spite of owning so many RPGs, I have beaten none of them. I almost beat Shadow Hearts: Covenant, but I could never complete the final boss. I even at one time owned every Final Fantasy game except for 4 and beaten none of them.
What eventually killed video games for me was that I moved and my dad quit his job, meaning he couldn’t pay me anymore, so I had no money, and when we lost internet for a month I stopped being updated on games and gradually lost interest. The only games I continued to play were my favorites like Halo 2, Phantasy Star Online and Super Smash Brothers Melee that I could play pretty much forever. I then got into music heavily, so when I started getting money again, it all went to that, and later the same case happened over 2 years ago when I got back into anime again.
It’s not as though I’ve completely ignored video games, though. My brother has never stopped being a big-time gamer, and is now one more than ever, plus his best friend is a huge-time Xbox 360 junkie who buys all the new releases. And lets not forget No Name, PS3 fanboy and true hardcore gamer who can play Ninja Gaiden Sigma on highest difficulty like it’s nothing. There have been plenty of fun games that we all got swept up in for a while when they came out (such as Soul Calibur 4 or Street fighter 4), some fun multiplayers that we burst out from time to time, and of course older classics that we still give a spin here and there.
Now, I’ve actually been trying to get back into video games for a while now (pretty much since Metal Gear Solid 4 came out.) I’ve always wanted to be a full-on generalist, with interest in anime, manga, and video games all together. However, I just could never bring myself to get into games – it involves too much dedication of time and attention, time away from the computer, and not enough of the stuff I look for in a medium. However, I am finally at a point where I have assloads of free time, I haven’t been using the computer as much anyway, and there are more than enough games that I am interested in.
Which brings me to why I’m getting back in – I have been stating my interest a lot lately, and wanted to play a rather short game that I could beat in a day or two, so No Name made me play Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. Now, if there’s one thing you should know, it’s that I suck at most games, so I always play on the easiest difficulty. I did on Uncharted and beat the game in about the span of a day, and was planning to review it. However, I didn’t think I’d really had time to appreciate the game, given that it had a lot of potential to be one of my favorites. What happened was unexpected – I ended up playing through the game on hard mode, then on crushing (which is insanely difficult even for hardcore gamers, apparently) and then I went through the game and gathered every collectible for 100% completion and watched all the bonus content.
While I’ve done a lot of collecting and unlocking in games before (Super Smash Brothers Melee especially) I have NEVER gotten 100% completion on a game (I tried for Ratchet and Clank 2 and Sly Cooper but lost interest before completing.) It felt really good to do that, and I got completely sucked into the game. I feel a love for that game that I am only used to feeling from anime and haven’t felt for a game in a very long time. So it’s definitely made me feel like I want to play more video games. The next game I am planning on taking on is InFamous, which will be interesting because it is actually developed by Sucker Punch, creators of ye olde Sly Cooper. I’ve played the demo and had a ton of fun, so I’m giddy to play more.
And now, some lists~
My Favorite Games
1. Gears of War / 2 – Oddly the opposite of a game you’d expect an anime fan to like, but I LOVE the tactical shooting aspect, and I can never get enough of multiplayer with my friends. I am a complete shotgun whore.
2. Phantasy Star Online Episodes 1 & 2– Even though I never actually played this game online having owned it on the Gamecube, it was the ultimate 4-player experience at home. We played this game obsessively like every fucking weekend until we outright couldn’t stand it anymore. We had many, many characters and we even reached the final boss a couple times though I don’t recall ever killing his ridiculous ass. I haven’t played much Phantasy Star Universe, but it’s my brother’s alltime favorite game.
3. Super Smash Brothers Melee – Always loved melee, and ever since I started playing Samus about 4 years ago I am almost impossible to defeat by anyone I know or have met in that time. That’s actually part of what made the game get boring for me, my inability to loose XD I didn’t care much for Brawl – it was a close copy, but the small changes really bugged me, so I just prefer Melee.
4. Tales of Symphonia – I was fucking OBSESSED with this game when I was around 14. I spent all my time in the GameFAQs forum for the game and had written a bunch of…. erotic fanfiction that got a positively fucking absurd amount of hits before getting deleted after about 6 months on fanfiction.net.
5. The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time – This one is really, really odd because I never actually beat or evn played a whole ton of it myself. I watched other people beat it like 10 times, and I completely adored the game, especially for it’s amazingly told story. Metal Gear Solid 4 would have a rank like this if I’d watched the whole game.
6. Pokemon Silver – I still love the old Pokemon games, and silver was always my favorite, with the new games never living up to it in my eyes. I’m very glad the games are getting remakes because I have been thinking about a replay.
7. Shin Megami Tensei Persona 3 – This is another recent one as well as another odd one because I have only played about 10 hours or so of the game. It’s just that this game is so overwhelmingly awesome that I absolutely love it. it would be much higher on the list if I actually completed it.
8. Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune – I know, I just beat it, and I haven’t had the time to play it ‘over the years’ or anything, but it was an insanely enjoyable experience that I can see myself doing again.
9. Halo 2 – Before I loved Gears of War, Halo was my multiplayer shooter of choice. Halo 2 is one of those games that’s just straight-up fun and probably my first game that I played on the highest difficulty and cleared most of. It’s a shame that Halo 3 didn’t live up to it in my opinion.
10. Guilty Gear X2 #Reload – My favorite fighting game, this thing is wacky, absurd, and made of pure fuckwin. It’s got style out the hizzay and an infinite number of possibilities seem to be stored in it’s moves lists. Another game I love to replay again and again.
1. 10 Years Later I Still Love Pokemon Red – I wax nostalgic and talk about my latest playthrough of Pokemon Red.