Gaming Confessions & Blasphemy

Playing with the controller behind one's back isn't too hard, right? It's not like you're ever looking down at it when you're playing? Playing with your feet, or while not looking at the screen, though, sounds impressive!

1. The best Final Fantasy games are 1, 4, and 10, in that order. 7 was meh. Admittedly there's probably a good amount of nostalgia in that pick of FF1 as my favorite -- although it at least kind of still holds up for me, since I recently played through it again in the iOS remake.

2. The GBA game Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is better than the original. For me, at least. I played all the way through the GBA game, but have tried twice to play the iOS (iPod Touch) version of the original and have gotten bogged down a couple of hours in both times. Maybe this is a function of the game not being terribly well suited for the small screen on that platform? I never played it on the Playstation.

3. The best Zelda game is the NES original. Nostalgia again? Although, again, I played through it fairly recently -- going so far as to not pick up any of the heart containers after defeating bosses to try and make the combat as challenging as it was when I was a kid. Couldn't beat the final boss, though, due to not having the magic sword, due to only having 3 hearts.

4. Zelda: A Link to the Past was merely okay. I remember being impatient with the slow speed of Link in that game, and therefore always using the dash boots to move around, and ending up as a result slamming into walls wherever I went. I also remember feeling like the game threw too much money at you, making the money not very meaningful as a result -- it was tedious always having to go visit the fairy who would upgrade your arrow or bomb capacity and spend lots of rupees there just to get away from being at the maximum rupee cap, to try and make picking up rupees meaningful again.

5. The best RPG combat system of all time is Paper Mario for the N64. Basic attacks only doing 2 or 3 points of damage and enemies often having HP totals in the single digits meant that each combat could be carefully planned out to optimize efficiency, if you wanted to play that way. I like that much better than attacks dealing 3764 points of damage towards the end of a typical Final Fantasy game and therefore being fairly meaningless. Oh, and Jr. Troopa was hilarious!

Skipping ahead to add my own 2¢...

I genuinely love the multiplayer mode in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. I think the player collision physics is one of the strongest points of the game. I like that you have to communicate and coordinate with other players in a damn cooperative game.

Late to the party but here goes:

1. I feel extremely guilty when I don't finish a game, and the guilt doesn't ever really go away.
I have a large shelving unit behind me in the office/game cave. It's covered in games that I only got 50%, 70%, maybe even 90% through. Those games are flanked by dozens and dozens of games I did see through, yet I still see it as a Hall of Shame and feel bad that I have so many "unfinished" projects laying around.

This character trait probably originated in my childhood NES days, when I actually kept a list of all the games I had beaten, lovingly carved into the back of a Michael Jordan calendar I'd pulled out of a cereal box or something. I completely finished over 100 NES games back in the day, including some of the stupidly hard ones like Ninja Gaiden and RC Pro Am. Nowadays it's an effort to even come close to finishing great (but comparatively easy) games like Bioshock 2, Red Dead Redemption, and The Witcher. It makes me feel bad and I'm a bad person for not putting in the effort. Not to mention I frequently blow $60 on a game I won't get around to playing until it's going for $5 or $10 on Amazon/Steam.

And then later when the guilt becomes too much to bear I end up finishing the game finally and realize I was almost done with it the first time around. True story, I played through both System Shock 2 and Dragon Age Origins when they first came out without finishing them, only to return much later and play through the whole game again from the start (because I couldn't remember enough to jump back into the "middle" again) only to find in my original play-through I was less than 10 minutes from the end in both cases. Why do I do this to myself?

2. I can only enjoy MMOs when I'm drunk
I feel for MMOs as Indiana Jones does for snakes. I have the same contempt for MMOs that Electronic Arts has for its employees. I hate them the way Francis hates.... everything. I beta tested but never paid a dime for Everquest, Asheron's Call, AC2, Warhammer Online, and a couple of lesser known titles. I played all of those only because it was what my friends were playing. I got a 7 day trial of WOW (for the same reason) and made it through 2 days before I gave up in disgust.

I've only ever paid for City of Heroes and EVE-Online. City of Heroes I can blame on going through a divorce - it was a good escape at the time and the character creation was pretty damn amazing, but it still devolved into a grind-fest. EVE-Online I played for years but mostly for the metagame, and only for so long because after the first 6 months I made enough passive income in the game to buy time cards and therefore play for free. The fact is EVE is a terrible game. I also confess to joining Goonfleet and harvesting tears for fun, something I'm not exactly proud of but it was damn fun at the time. Eventually though I had to quit to save my soul from turning black and rotten save my liver. Because I could only ever enjoy the, uh, "software", falsely presenting itself as an actual GAME with actual GAMEPLAY, when my perception was clouded by an alcohol-fueled mental fog.

It baffles me that in this day and age, 15 years since the release of Ultima Online, nobody has managed to create a good massively multiplayer experience that is also a good game.

3. I will play an old "comfort" game rather than spend the time trying to figure out the new, cool game.
I have Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance on my PC. I'm on my 5th or 6th PC since it came out. I actually look forward to getting a new PC not only for the obvious benefits, but because when I install Supreme Commander on it I'll have reset the campaign and get to play through the whole damn game again.

I never lose at this game. I know every which way to win, the fastest and longest way to do it, when and where the AI is going to do what, and everything in between. I almost literally do not have to think to play through this game. It hold zero challenge, zero exploration potential, zero unknowns whatsoever. And yet I will often boot that up and play a level or two rather than fight my way through the latest challenge in Demon's Souls, level up a bit in Borderlands 2, finish those last few levels of Legend of Grimrock, or make some progress on my 4th (5th?) attempt at the Neverwinter Nights 2 original campaign which I have repeatedly told myself I have to finish before I move on to the supposedly spectacular Mask of the Betrayer.

Supreme Commander isn't the only example though. I once played through the entirety of Baldurs Gate 2 again (including expansions) while I had a pile of new games waiting to be played. I've played KOTOR 3 times over the years, despite being able to recite the plot start to finish before I ever booted it up the 2nd and 3rd times.

Why do I do these things? What do they say about me? I don't know. I'm not sure I'd like all of the answers if I did know. But I didn't come with answers, only confessions. I await absolution.

Rykin wrote:
iaintgotnopants wrote:
Thurgrim wrote:

LA Noire is the only game Rockstar ever made that is a total piece of crap.

FTFY

That game was terrible.

Guess you never played State of Emergency. They should be ashamed of that game.

[Size=7]I liked it.[/size]
Also, Rockstar didn't make it, they just published it. I don't think the company that made it exists anymore. Go figure.

I've never played a Valve game. I didn't even own one until a friend gifted me L4D last night.

omnipherous wrote:

I've never played a Valve game. I didn't even own one until a friend gifted me L4D last night.

Gasp!

Now, I could totally understand never liking a Valve game. But never even playing one? You gotta get out more! Or stay in more, I guess...

kexx wrote:

Never played Halo's, COD's, Battlefields, MOH's, WOW's, MMO's, Skyrim, Diablos, Star Wars, and never plan to.

I was going to ask you to marry me... then you said this. I shall see you in hell, sir

Probably not. To kexx will go the Kingdom of Heaven, for he is obviously poor in spirit.

Unknown Soldier wrote:

3. I will play an old "comfort" game rather than spend the time trying to figure out the new, cool game.

This is the exact reason why I've purchased Doom/Doom II on, let's see...8 different platforms.

Far and away my choice for gaming comfort food.

This is like saying "I never had a favorite stuffed animal as a child."

Thin_J wrote:
Lex Cayman wrote:
gore wrote:

Oh, I have a supplementary one:

a) I used to connect to the Dreamcast Q3 servers with the PC version of Q3 and kill everybody on them repeatedly

It was a relatively little known fact that the Quake 3 Dreamcast port was actually fully compatible with the PC version of Quake 3, and that the DC Q3 servers were actually just public Q3 servers running special maps. Some intrepid young hero extracted those maps and made them available to PC players, and the slaughter commenced.

So, on particularly frustrating days, I'd log into a DC Q3 server and just go to town.

Now, I was an OK Quake 3 player in my day, but I had a mouse and those poor suckers had a stupid gamepad, which made me like some kind of super-god stepping on ants. I didn't do this a whole lot, because I eventually felt kind of bad for them.

That sounds amazing.

I did this too.

Ah, the glory days.

Both of you just took a huge respect dive in my eyes.

Aaron D. wrote:
Unknown Soldier wrote:

3. I will play an old "comfort" game rather than spend the time trying to figure out the new, cool game.

This is the exact reason why I've purchased Doom/Doom II on, let's see...8 different platforms.

Far and away my choice for gaming comfort food.

For me those games are Sins of a Solar Empire and Skyrim, newer games than your examples but games I have mostly mastered and don't feel any real threat in but games where I still have fun playing. In Skyrim that usually means just completing a random quest I haven't done yet of which there are still many.

Unknown Soldier wrote:

3. I will play an old "comfort" game rather than spend the time trying to figure out the new, cool game.

Hi, my name is Keith and I'm a L4D (1&2) versus player. Years ago some friends and I were a highly ranked team on gamebattles. Now I buy a game now and then but when I'm not listening to podcasts or checking the GWJ forums, my game time is 50% spent trying iOS games for 10 minutes and forgetting them, or 50% jumping into pubstomps with other friends on L4D2. We try to find meaningful opponents, teams of four who know one another, know the game, and how to communicate, but most often it's random skill-less newbs and we have to handicap ourselves by not taking weapons, not using merits, etc. to keep the game close. When we lose it's because there was less than four of us and we had Joe Newbody slowing us down and getting instakilled.

Now what's step #2?

Dakuna wrote:
Thin_J wrote:
Lex Cayman wrote:
gore wrote:

Oh, I have a supplementary one:

a) I used to connect to the Dreamcast Q3 servers with the PC version of Q3 and kill everybody on them repeatedly

It was a relatively little known fact that the Quake 3 Dreamcast port was actually fully compatible with the PC version of Quake 3, and that the DC Q3 servers were actually just public Q3 servers running special maps. Some intrepid young hero extracted those maps and made them available to PC players, and the slaughter commenced.

So, on particularly frustrating days, I'd log into a DC Q3 server and just go to town.

Now, I was an OK Quake 3 player in my day, but I had a mouse and those poor suckers had a stupid gamepad, which made me like some kind of super-god stepping on ants. I didn't do this a whole lot, because I eventually felt kind of bad for them.

That sounds amazing.

I did this too.

Ah, the glory days.

Both of you just took a huge respect dive in my eyes.

Dude, this is a confessional, we're supposed to be absolved after we confess! What kind of church is this, anyway?

gore wrote:

Dude, this is a confessional, we're supposed to be absolved after we confess! What kind of church is this, anyway?

I'm a lousy priest? Don't worry, I won't send the inquisition to your house

This might lose me some respect around these parts, but oh well...

I grew up a Macintosh gamer. I know, you probably didn't even think we existed right? So when all of you reference some old classic PC game, I pretty much have no idea what you are talking about. And frankly, I don't care.

Even back then, I always felt PC gaming was overrated, and I still feel so today. If any of you played Escape Velocity or Marathon back in their glory days, you probably know exactly what I mean when I say I don't feel like I missed anything.

jamos5 wrote:

This might lose me some respect around these parts, but oh well...

I grew up a Macintosh gamer. I know, you probably didn't even think we existed right? So when all of you reference some old classic PC game, I pretty much have no idea what you are talking about. And frankly, I don't care.

Even back then, I always felt PC gaming was overrated, and I still feel so today. If any of you played Escape Velocity or Marathon back in their glory days, you probably know exactly what I mean when I say I don't feel like I missed anything.

What is your physical address? For, uh, kidnapping and no-ransom purposes? Wait, that was the secret reason.

jamos5 wrote:

This might lose me some respect around these parts, but oh well...

I grew up a Macintosh gamer. I know, you probably didn't even think we existed right? So when all of you reference some old classic PC game, I pretty much have no idea what you are talking about. And frankly, I don't care.

Even back then, I always felt PC gaming was overrated, and I still feel so today. If any of you played Escape Velocity or Marathon back in their glory days, you probably know exactly what I mean when I say I don't feel like I missed anything.

Word. ResEdit, represent.

jamos5 wrote:

This might lose me some respect around these parts, but oh well...

I grew up a Macintosh gamer. I know, you probably didn't even think we existed right? So when all of you reference some old classic PC game, I pretty much have no idea what you are talking about. And frankly, I don't care.

Even back then, I always felt PC gaming was overrated, and I still feel so today. If any of you played Escape Velocity or Marathon back in their glory days, you probably know exactly what I mean when I say I don't feel like I missed anything.

Escape Velocity was the bees knees. Loved that game.

Playing it again has brought be back around to this: Final Fantasy XIII is a brilliant game, the best in the series, and all of you hating it is the reason we gamers can't have nice things.

There, I said it.

The battle system: brilliant, understated and elegant, with loads of strategy. The plot: focusing on interwoven character development of six people instead of some incomprehensible war-of-the-worlds scheme is a masterstroke, and leads to some really great moments. The cinematography: Square's best to-date, with some truly affecting scenes like Snow and Hope's confrontation and Sazh's pathos moments. The music: bar none the best that's ever been put in a game, and I will defend that to the death.

What it lacks: most of the JRPG tropes that make a lot of people hate the genre. Close friends who suddenly betray your party for no good reason? Gone. Idiotic worldwide fetch quests to assemble twelve pieces of a powerful weapon before the final boss, where most people abandon the game? Gone. Poor pacing, where you are sent on some crazy objective and have to fight your way through the field, then the forest, then the dungeon to get to the next plot point? Gone. Obnoxiously cloying white-magic-using princess deposed from the throne by an evil uncle/father/stepmother? Gone. Drawn-out trash mob battles? Gone. Every ounce of the game's energy emphasizes speed in battles; it's the only thing that goes toward your grade.

And yet you complain. It's not "open world" enough. (I haven't gotten lost once! What's up with that?) The plot is too linear. I don't have enough choice in battle (I honestly don't even know how people can make this complaint in good faith).

You people make me sick.

Who let Min out of his cage?

Veloxi wrote:
jamos5 wrote:

This might lose me some respect around these parts, but oh well...

I grew up a Macintosh gamer. I know, you probably didn't even think we existed right? So when all of you reference some old classic PC game, I pretty much have no idea what you are talking about. And frankly, I don't care.

Even back then, I always felt PC gaming was overrated, and I still feel so today. If any of you played Escape Velocity or Marathon back in their glory days, you probably know exactly what I mean when I say I don't feel like I missed anything.

Escape Velocity was the bees knees. Loved that game.

Ambrosia put out some great games.

Minarchist wrote:

Playing it again has brought be back around to this: Final Fantasy XIII is a brilliant game, the best in the series, and all of you hating it is the reason we gamers can't have nice things.

There, I said it.

The battle system: brilliant, understated and elegant, with loads of strategy. The plot: focusing on interwoven character development of six people instead of some incomprehensible war-of-the-worlds scheme is a masterstroke, and leads to some really great moments. The cinematography: Square's best to-date, with some truly affecting scenes like Snow and Hope's confrontation and Sazh's pathos moments. The music: bar none the best that's ever been put in a game, and I will defend that to the death.

What it lacks: most of the JRPG tropes that make a lot of people hate the genre. Close friends who suddenly betray your party for no good reason? Gone. Idiotic worldwide fetch quests to assemble twelve pieces of a powerful weapon before the final boss, where most people abandon the game? Gone. Poor pacing, where you are sent on some crazy objective and have to fight your way through the field, then the forest, then the dungeon to get to the next plot point? Gone. Obnoxiously cloying white-magic-using princess deposed from the throne by an evil uncle/father/stepmother? Gone. Drawn-out trash mob battles? Gone. Every ounce of the game's energy emphasizes speed in battles; it's the only thing that goes toward your grade.

And yet you complain. It's not "open world" enough. (I haven't gotten lost once! What's up with that?) The plot is too linear. I don't have enough choice in battle (I honestly don't even know how people can make this complaint in good faith).

You people make me sick.

Heehee... I picked it up recently and am about 10-15 hours in IIRC. I've enjoyed everything about it so far. I got to a point (boss) where I'm going to have to get better at chaining. The battles have an excellent rhythm to them. They are very satisfying if you do things right.

lostlobster wrote:
Veloxi wrote:
jamos5 wrote:

This might lose me some respect around these parts, but oh well...

I grew up a Macintosh gamer. I know, you probably didn't even think we existed right? So when all of you reference some old classic PC game, I pretty much have no idea what you are talking about. And frankly, I don't care.

Even back then, I always felt PC gaming was overrated, and I still feel so today. If any of you played Escape Velocity or Marathon back in their glory days, you probably know exactly what I mean when I say I don't feel like I missed anything.

Escape Velocity was the bees knees. Loved that game.

Ambrosia put out some great games.

Yeah, it's sad that they're still charghing $30 for Escape Velocity Nova. No one is gonna buy a nearly decade-old game for that price. :/

Minarchist wrote:

You people make me sick.

That's funny, I played that game for about an hour with some friends (friends who played other FF games with me notably 7, 8 and 12) and then, we turned off the machine and took turns throwing up in each others faces for the same amount of time. If I had to choose, I would take the second part of that evening over the first every single time.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

Heehee... I picked it up recently and am about 10-15 hours in IIRC. I've enjoyed everything about it so far. I got to a point (boss) where I'm going to have to get better at chaining. The battles have an excellent rhythm to them. They are very satisfying if you do things right.

Pro tip: you've noticed that if you can expend two entire ATB bars that when you switch to a different paradigm you automatically have a full ATB gauge, maybe? If you don't need six separate paradigms, keep two of your main battle paradigm (probably COM/RAV or COM/RAV/RAV) in the same deck, and switch back and forth between the two every 15 seconds or so. It can really help speed battles up and keep those chain gauges from dying.

gore wrote:

Word. ResEdit, represent.

Hahaha loved that sh*t man. My first Mac/computer was a Performa 600CD running System 7.6.1. A friend gave it to me after he upgraded. I managed to completely bork the system about 2 days later doing some ResEdit hacking.

lostlobster wrote:

Ambrosia put out some great games.

Oh hells yes. Played so much Maelstrom back in the day. Turning the speed limiter off on my friends PowerMac 8600/300 was a hoot

Now I want to pull my old PowerMac G3 out of the closet and get a working harddrive and find my old backup discs for Mac OS 9.

I can objectively look at FFXIII and say that it is a well-done game. I actually did enjoy the battle system a lot, but to be honest, the game, as a whole, just didn't grab my attention.

The nature of the story makes the way the game plays make sense, but I just felt like I was in a constant dungeon. You know that feeling you get at the end of a long ass dungeon and you just want to get to the boss or a save point or anything so that it's done and you don't have to fight any more? That feeling of "just let me get to a damn town"? I felt that for the 25 hours I played. It was constant. No reprieve. Now, like I said, the story kind of makes this make sense. It didn't make it any more fun for me. I don't even know if any of the above makes any sense, but it's how I felt playing.

I, for one, enjoy towns in RPG's. I like the eb and flow of the gameplay and talking to npc's to fill in the lore.

Also, Tetsuya Nomura needs to go away. XIII was damn pretty, but I'm getting a little tired of his character design... which seems to have become the Squenix house look.

Who knew you could play games on a MAC? Does it require going to art school first, or some kind of same-sex marital agreement?

Dakuna wrote:

Who knew you could play games on a MAC? Does it require going to art school first, or some kind of same-sex marital agreement?

Nope, just requires you lower your expectations on which games you'll get to play... Or buy a copy of windows and partition your machine.