Packaged with a Bow
I am not sure if this was intended to draw out posts during Blaugust or not, but yesterday Jasyla over at Cannot Be Tamed posted a survey. I seem to be able to rattle on every morning without much issue, but I am always thankful when a ready made post is handed to me so neatly. In part my hope is that through my own blog post and Liore’s (who turned me onto this) we will get this one spread through out the Blaugust community and get Jasyla a bunch of responses. I am really not sure how far I will make it into the survey in a single post, but we will see.
Cannot Be Tamed Gaming Questionnaire
You can see the full text of the survey here, but I will attempt to answer all of the questions
1. When did you start playing video games?
I honestly do not remember a time when I was NOT playing video games. I would have to say age three or four maybe? The earliest memory I had of video games was that my parents owned a Sears and Roebuck Pong clone. More than actually playing it… I remember the desire to play it. Like from the moment it got hooked up to the television I wanted my hands on it. Though being as young as I was, my parents were super reluctant to let me play. It was finally my Uncle Billy who I think let me play for the first time, and I remember losing almost immediately. The thing is it intrigued me so much that I kept wanting to try over and over. That early experience pretty much imprinted my brain for video games permanently.
2. What is the first game you remember playing?
Well like I said in the above answer the first game I remember playing is Pong. The first game I remember absolutely loving however was probably Ms Pacman. My aunt was the first to get an Atari 2600 and all of us cousins played it nonstop over most of our formative years. I ended up getting a second hand Atari system not too long after that. The game I can remember playing the most of however was Seaquest a game where you rescued drivers from sharks in a little sub that could fire a weapon. It was also the first game I can remember playing that didn’t have just a constant repetition of levels. As you progressed through levels the colors would change and new enemies would be added, and we wove a complex storyline through these simple transitions.
3. PC or Console?
I am primarily a PC gamer, but it hasn’t always been that way. In fact I have a ton of rare console systems stored away in my closet including an 3DO, a NeoGeo and a TurboDuo. In fact during the years before I got hooked on MMOs I had a video game loft with all of my consoles hooked up and “on tap” through a complex series of A/B switches. I have spent large swaths of my time shifting back and forth between them. Prior to 1992 I was a hardcore console gamer and mostly an Super Nintendo JRPG fan. Then we got a PC and I got hooked on Wolfenstein, Doom and Civilization. As I went through college the 3D graphics changes were happening and I was all about playing everything in “GL”. It was during this time that I played Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft, Fallout, Quake, Baldur’s Gate and pretty much anything i could get my hands on.
When I got out of college however I had a massive console resurgence with the Sony Playstation, Dreamcast, and Saturn systems. I didn’t really make the journey back into PC exclusivity until I got hopelessly mired in the original Everquest around the release of the Scars of Velious expansion pack. It has been my love of the MMO that has kept me glued to the PC, and while I have dabbled with the PS2, PS3, Xbox 360 and PS4… I still prefer the PC. While until recently it was the MMOs that had kept me there, it is also the fact that I can modify my games freely. Everytime I install a new back of mods in Fallout 3, it makes it a completely new experience for me and I go through another 50 to 100 hour play through running back through all the content with fresh eyes. So when given the chance I will almost always gravitate back to the PC.
4. XBox, PlayStation, or Wii?
I started off my gaming life as a Nintendo Fanboy, but over the years their consoles have gotten less and less practical. All I really want is for them to release a good solid console without a gimmick controller. I don’t want new ways to play my games, I just want new content. I am admittedly these days a Sony Playstation fan. I have owned two different Xbox 360s, but it is really the value of the Playstation Plus subscription that keeps me attached to Sony. Over the last few years they have come off as the good guy in the console wars, and Microsoft coming off as the part of the stodgy corporate power. I realize that both are huge corporations hell bent on parting me from my money, but I feel less horrible about supporting Sony. Right now I have the PS3, PS4 and Vita in my office and they are hooked up so I can livestream the PS3/PS4 so I guess my alignment is pretty clear.
5. What’s the best game you’ve ever played?
The game I constantly keep coming back to over the years is Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. The game represents pretty much my perfectly crafted game. For starters it is lovingly drawn 2D animation and not 3D. It has an amazing soundtrack with awesome rock versions of the Castlevania classics. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the Castlevania franchise, despite how many false steps it has taken over the years. I love the idea of hunting down Vampires, Werewolves, Ghouls, and all manner of things that go bump in the night. Castlevania is one of the first games I purchased for myself on the original Nintendo. I remember saving up my money and making a trip to Toys R Us to get it… and that was quite the pilgrimage considering the closest one was an hour away. Symphony of the Night was pretty much the pinnacle of “metroidvania” for me. It had roleplaying and leveling elements to keep me hooked, and an awesome world to explore and find all sorts of secrets. I have repurchased this game at least four different times, on various platforms and I have it installed on my Vita at the moment. When I am feeling horrible this is the game I boot up to take me back to a time when everything made sense.
6. What’s the worst game you’ve ever played?
I have played so many games since the days of the Atari 2600, but no game has ever absolutely confounded me as much as E.T. the Extraterrestrial. This game is the game that began my fear of movie tie-ins regardless of what they might be. I was still in elementary school when the movie came out, and absolutely loved it. So when they released it on my favorite console system the Atari, I had to get it right? There was nothing at all about this game that made any sense what so ever, and still to this day I cannot reason what the hell I am supposed to do. You alternated between getting humped by men in trenchcoats, to picking up piles of poo on the ground that were supposed to be Reese’s Pieces… to falling into trenches for no apparent reason. To make things even stranger… sometimes the trenches had things that looked like record players… that gave you credit of some sort for collecting them. But the most frustrating part was trying to get back out of the trenches, which involved extending your neck and levitating out… but you had to do so in exactly the right spot or you fell back down again. This was the first game to ever make me want to throw my controller across the room. After all of these years I still get angry thinking about the disappointment I felt as a kid playing this game. I have to say that the Ghostbusters Atari 2600 game redeemed movie ports somewhat, because I remember that game was really good.
Taking Longer than Expected
So at this point I am only 6 questions in… and there are a total of 21. This is going to take awhile, so hopefully you can bare with me as I answer a few questions each morning. I simply have run out of time this morning so I have to cut this off here. I blame the fact that I just had to look up images to go with each of the paragraphs. In any case tune in tomorrow for the next set of questions, where I hopefully make it through more than six!