The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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SirPsycho
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10 Most Important Games of my Childhood

by SirPsycho Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:04 pm

WARNING LANGUAGE! This is the first part of a two part blog series I'm doing, next week I'll be posting part 2 everywhere. If you wish to read more of my psychotic work check it out here: http://whydidiplaythis.wordpress.com/

Four off white walls surround me, a mattress just resting on the floor ghetto style, a television turned on with white noise on the screen. I sit in front of the TV with a Nintendo Entertainment System between us, my small finger pushes the button, and before I know it I'm running and jumping as Mario in 1-1. I was at my uncle's house, my cousins being much older than me. I was a small child left behind and I discovered this wonder on my own accord.

This is one of my earliest completely vivid memories, and my first experience playing a video game. No surprise, it was Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt and I was 3 or 4 at the time. I remember the events as they happened, usually not the exact time they happened, my memory has always been that way.

Now I would be personally gameless until I was 5, this is one case I remember the exact time as well as the events. Its hard to forget what is perhaps the most important Christmas gift I have ever received and most likely will ever receive. On Christmas of 1994 I unwrapped a Super Nintendo with Super Mario World and Super Mario Kart as the pack in games. My game life wouldn't really spiral out of control until the PS2 was out in force, so for now let's just take a look at the most important games I ran into growing up. But, real quick before we start, I am not saying these games are inherently good or not, they were just important for me, opening a door to a new genre or series. Thanks Crabmaster2000 for mentioning this idea you had done before on the Collectorcast, I'm stealing it.

Number 10: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island

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I was a fairly ignorant young gamer back in the SNES days. I didn't read many magazines or publications to get a really good idea of what the system really had to offer, and still didn't know until years later with easy internet access and a constant barrage of fan reviews, my own adding into that mix. What makes this game special was because it was a major victory against the parents. I knew about this game primarily because I had the first one, and seeing that a sequel was on shelves gave me shivers and pure joy up and down my spine. I begged and begged every time I went with my parents to the store for anything and there were games there. Finally they bought it brand new back when SNES and Genesis games were $60-70 new most commonly. Yoshi's Island remains one of my favorite games on the Super Nintendo, I was a bit disappointed after playing the DS sequel but that does not take away any amount of importance the first game had on me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... lUeW7IOSFc

Number 9: Grand Theft Auto 2

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Back in my day (the mid-late 1990's) we used to go to stores, not vending machines, that would allow you to rent video games and movies for a few days. This is the game I rented the most, to tell the truth if I could remember exactly how many times I rented GTA2 for PS1 it would probably tell me that it would have made much more sense to buy the damn game. But instead I found myself renting it when nothing new caught my eye on the shelves. This game is just simple, mindless fun. Not only do you have the ability to steal cars, but those bastards in the red shirts would steal YOUR stolen car. The green shirted dicksnots would sneak up behind you and try to rob your ass blind. Don't stand for that shit, kill everyone, but most importantly, Taxi Drivers Must Die.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... bIFx1u8jzc

Number 8: Deus Ex: Invisible War

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I have a feeling I know what you're all thinking, "Why is a forgettable sequel to one of the greatest games of all time on this list?" So to answer it I guess I just have to tell the story. I upgraded my family's video card back in the day and this game came with it, without my experience with it I never would have played the first game, nor really cared too much about Human Revolution until I would have probably bought it cheap on Steam and tried it for like a couple hours before forgetting I even own it. All I could think about while playing this game for the first time was, "Its not bad as everybody's making it out to be," and truth be told, its not. Its not a bad game, the mechanics and graphics for its day were quite incredible, this public sentiment is more of a testament to how much better of an experience the first game was than its sequel. This one gets double points for not only introducing me to one of my favorite series, but being one of the gateways to more modern PC gaming in general for me because of that blazingly fast and powerful 128MB ATI Radeon 9250 PCI card.

Number 7: Tomba!

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Before Tomba!, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and Klonoa came around there was a severe shortage of 2D platformers on the PS1. A lot of studios were going 3D just prior to and in the wake of Super Mario 64. Out of the three I listed the only one I had as a kid was Tomba! I would not own this game today if it were not for my sister, who bought this game for me as a birthday present. Given its current online price I think she did good spending $40 or less. Tomba! is about as childish of a platformer as you can get, but with its mixed in quest system (called Events), circular world exploration, tight controls and gameplay, and humor it is easy to see this game's current status as an uncommon, in high demand cult classic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... 6NGvucCU90

Number 6: Final Fantasy VIII

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I really don't want to put this game on this list. I really really don't. As a kid I enjoyed this game, why? It was my first RPG. Ever. Final Fantasy VIII being a first RPG feels like losing your virginity to a toothless, peg legged, one eyed, graying hooker and being really happy you didn't catch anything. As a kid I enjoyed this game, somewhat, most likely because I had never played anything remotely like FF8 and being a young, naive, and ignorant gamer I wasn't able to immediately see the countless ways there are to completely break the game, nor did I understand literary analysis and how much FF8's storyline blows Taco Bell out of its ass.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... YHqjGlAQQw

Next week we'll be counting down 5-1. Stay tuned! While you wait why not check out the previously mentioned RFGeneration Collectorcast on Youtube?
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BoringSupreez
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Re: 10 Most Important Games of my Childhood

by BoringSupreez Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:07 pm

Good read. Very interesting analysis of FFVIII.
prfsnl_gmr wrote:There is nothing feigned about it. What I wrote is a display of actual moral superiority.
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Re: 10 Most Important Games of my Childhood

by Violent By Design Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:15 pm

cool list and nice insight on your childhood! cant wait for it to finish.
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Re: 10 Most Important Games of my Childhood

by J T Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:03 pm

Off topic, but is "Sir Psycho" a reference to the Red Hot Chili Pepper's song?
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SirPsycho
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Re: 10 Most Important Games of my Childhood

by SirPsycho Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:00 pm

J T wrote:Off topic, but is "Sir Psycho" a reference to the Red Hot Chili Pepper's song?


To make a short answer long, yes.
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Re: 10 Most Important Games of my Childhood

by SirPsycho Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:09 pm

Welcome to part 2 of my countdown of the most important games that shaped young Psycho!

5 Spyro The Dragon
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A dragon voiced by the Taco Bell dog.

A purple dragon with a mean charge, fiery breath, and could glide through the air. This was my first 3D platformer, and my oldest sister and I would play it whenever she was over on weekends. It was because of our team effort with this game, and its two sequels, that helped us beat everything 100% or more. This game blew my mind when I first played it and the original trilogy is still enjoyed every summer for a quick playthrough on those scorching hot days.

4 Super Mario All-Stars
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Ah, another good wholesome SNES classic. Sadly during my childhood my experience with SNES games didn't reach much further than the Mario series. I wouldn't really begin of learning of non-Mario adventures on the Super more during the years of the supreme Playstation overlord phase of my childhood. I also would not get the chance to explore many of them until my high school years and current collecting days. But, all that said, when compiling a list of very important SNES games I decided that I would not want to read one, think about my own life, and not have All-Stars be of the utmost significance. Everything, Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, AND 3? And go ahead and toss in the real Japanese SMB2 for good measure? And to think if I would have recieved my SNES much later then Super Mario All-Stars+World could have been the pack-in. Oh gracious me.

3 Gothic II
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I bought this game randomly a few months before I bought the video card upgrade to my old PC. This RPG introduced me to the idea of open worlds in a deeper way than GTA2 and GTA3 did. Gothic II also got me interested in the larger world of PC RPGs in general, leading directly to Morrowind and KOTOR leading forward, and back in time to Fallout and even further backwards. Unfortunately, like Final Fantasy I can't stand the newer releases of this series, but in my mind the first two games are prime examples of how to do open world exploration right and despite being 10 years old, still has more NPC behaviors than Skyrim.

2 Suikoden III
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All 3 colored characters are the main protagonists, letting the player see the events of 2/3s of the game from multiple angles.

This game is one of the most important discoveries of my life, and it barely squeaks onto this list. I discovered my favorite console RPG series on a random rental, much like the same day that I randomly rented FF8 and for some reason discovered a lifelong love of the RPG genre period. I rented this game when I was 12, just a few months before becoming a teenager and marking my endpoint of thought for this list. The anime styled intro cinematic had my jaw on the floor and the Trinity Sight System had me hooked as soon as I understood it. Since then I've discovered an obsession, and have strong feelings as a fan of this series. This will not be the last time I mention this game or series.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... A_gDnwcdZ8

1 Super Mario World & Super Mario Kart
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What else should really go here? These two games were the first games that were mine. For a few months they were the only games outside of rentals that I could play. As the first two games for the first system that is mine (and I still own and use nearly daily) this one holds a lot of nostalgic value and just keeps trucking.. That SNES has been through many years, and I only hope that it lives alongside me for many more. This well built, rugged Super Nintendo has outlived my first dog, these two carts always nearby for a quick play. Some random days I'll just pop in Super Mario World and do a quick Star Road speedrun to kill some time. For a bit more of a touching story Super Mario Kart is still the only game I've really gotten my dad to play with me, it was never for very long, a race or two on that Christmas day and a couple other times. But, those memories and that bonding will stick with me forever, giving me a good idea of how to be a father to my own children when that chapter of my life unfolds.
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Re: 10 Most Important Games of my Childhood

by Violent By Design Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:11 am

Two different games sharing one spot, now that rustles my jimmies!


Interesting insight btw.
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SirPsycho
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Re: 10 Most Important Games of my Childhood

by SirPsycho Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:38 pm

Violent By Design wrote:Two different games sharing one spot, now that rustles my jimmies!


Interesting insight btw.


Those two games get to share number 1 because they came together. I've always had the both of them since I got my SNES and I figured it wasn't fair to pick one without the other. I'm working on another list for my favorite soundtracks, and there are a few entries where I pretty much have to cheat and put an entire series as one entry.

Here's a little sample, if I don't do it like this then individual Castlevanias would dominate my list.
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