11/11/2008 § Leave a comment
Sunday I went to the Ski and Snowboard Expo at the Convention Center and opened my world again to the wonderful possibility of sliding down a mountain on a shaped piece of wood covered with fiberglass. Being from Ohio, I saw skiing and snowboarding TV and sometimes heard of friends going, but they were sports too expensive for my family to afford. I think I just became content with watching skiers and snowboarders on TV. The first time I really wanted to go snowboarding, being captured by the environments and the activity, was shortly after I purchased 1080 Snowboarding for Nintendo 64. I remember vaguely the intro to the game and the stunts you could do while playing. Sliding down a mountain seemed so majestic and freeing with a lake and mountain view. My desire was re-ignited when, in 2006, I purchased Amped 3 for Xbox 360. I mentally added snowboarding to a list of things to do before I die.
With the improved graphics and wider range of actions made possible by improved hardware, I was enraptured by the sport, and despite the weirdness of Amped 3, I began to appreciate the subculture of snowboarding much more. Only now I am realistically approaching the chance to do what I’ve done virtually, and since, dreamed of doing with my body. I now plan to snowboard this winter and I feel that my virtual experience has pushed me a little in this direction. I’ll get nowhere close to what I did in the videogame, but I don’t think I would want to… 50 foot drops, spinning and flipping. No thanks.
Being reminded of Amped 3 and what it has done for my winter expectations has made me want to share other games that have given me an unforgettable experience. The list does not include the obvious fun or classic games that most have come across: Mario, Sonic, Mario Kart, Donkey Kong Country, Halo, Tony Hawk, etc. Check ’em out:
Mega Man X- SNES
This game was just brilliant in style and in level of challenge. The concepts behind Mega Man plot-line were also very interesting to me. This game got me to pay attention to those ideas a bit more. Specifically, the idea of robots or artificial intelligences separating themselves from humans and starting to colonize. I admired the Mega Man character and still have a warm spot in my chest for him.
Super Mario RPG- SNES
My first RPG. I thought the art-design was incredible and the storyline exceptionally creative. You team up with Bowser which is something I never thought they would do. I learned that a slower game experience could be just as rewarding as a fast one. After playing this game, strategy and adventure became more valuable game qualities for me.
Tokyo Extreme Racer- Dreamcast
I found this game when I was in a street-racing trance back in high school. Friends were modifying their engines and adding aerodynamics and groups raced after school. I remember this game being incredibly challenging at times but also very rewarding when a challenging opponent is defeated. Being able to react appropriately when traffic appears ahead is a demanding expectation and it takes discipline to master this game. Patience is invaluable, you must remain calm. Especially when an opponent is trying to outmaneuver you.
Final Fantasy 4 (english)- Snes9x
I cried twice while playing this game. Involving plot and challenging gameplay. Helps develop strategic thinking skills. I heard the U.S. version (FF2) wasn’t as challenging so I played the Japanese version in translation. Well worth it.
Tetris Attack- SNES
I became such a bad-ass at this game. Rediscovered and practiced this game for a week freshman year and beat, dominated, destroyed the game on its hardest level without any continues. I’m not as good as those who make these videos for Youtube though.
Such a great multiplayer game. Get together with a group of friends and hours can pass before you realize it. I also spent hours in the Facility bathroom making remote mine sculptures and blowing them up.
Beetle Adventure Racing- N64
This is a beautiful game. Highly recommended to all who like racing games that feature short cuts. Not only are there short cuts, but long cuts too. Many many scenic wonders in this game will leave your jaw dropped. This is arguably the best racing game I’ve played. (My other contenders are Project Gotham 2 and NFS: Most Wanted) Soundtrack in-game is not 36 Mafia or Rick Ross despite what you experienced above. Watch the following video on collecting bonus boxes:
The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion- Xbox 360
I think I logged around 300 hours of gameplay which is telling of three points: 1- the game is incredibly large, 2- I really enjoyed it, 3- I could have used my time for more important things but didn’t. I don’t think I’ll ever devote that much time to a game again. I seriously could have written a novel in the time I used to play this game.
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance- Gamecube
Probably one of the best storylines I’ve ever come across in a game, even though it conforms somewhat to the general hero quest to defeat evil. Race, prejudice, and discrimination are issues the game deals with. Character development is similar to a novel and to emphasize the impact the characters have in the story… if a character falls in battle, they’re dead, that’s it. There’s a lot of pressure to keep them alive.
NHL ’94- Sega Genesis
Classic. K and I play on a regular basis. There are so many tricks and strategies I still have to learn.