A retro-gamer enters the modern age

As I was growing up, I was pretty into gaming. My family didn't have a lot of money, so we were usually behind--we got an NES in 1991, and only had a few games for it. The ones I had, I played to death. I can still sit down and beat every level in Super Mario Bros 3, without warp whistles, over the course of several hours. Same with Crystalis; few have even heard of this game, but I know it inside and out.

When I got to university in 2000, I mostly stopped gaming. I think the last new game I really played through was Neverwinter Nights. But I kept that sort of retrogamer identity. I still have the White Mage robes I sewed during my brief flirtation with cosplaying.

I have a 3DS and a 360 now, acquired over the last year. I'm starting to discover what the world of games is. I think I might try to write about it all a bit more here, since it allows me to talk about experiences in gaming without boring my non-gamer friends on my other blog/social media stuff.

So, what have I been playing in this brave new world?

  • Dark Souls. Oh wow, this game is fantastic. I get that it's not for everyone, but once I found my groove in it, I am loving it. Such a beautiful world to look at, too. I love getting to a new area, standing on a ledge, and just staring out at the landscape. (And then usually getting stabbed in the back, of course.)
  • Assassin's Creed. The original. I'm told I should skip to a later one, but I also have a real love of the medieval Middle East, so just running around Jerusalem is fun. I do hope that the developers who worked on the combat system in this game were fired and blacklisted from the industry, though.
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. S-ranked it. Loved it. It's that kind of fantasy that I used to read when I was a kid--I still have a couple of my old DragonLance novels, and I read a ridiculous number of R.A. Salvatore's books. It's that fantasy where everything is still brightly coloured and shiny, rather than the pointless, neverending darkness of modern fantasy. Like Dark Souls, it's just such a pleasure to run around and look at things.
  • Dragon Age: Origins. S-ranked it, too. I love the story, and have a bit too much fondness for Leliana. Gameplay not so great; at times it got rage-inducing, in fact, but the story drove me through.
  • Blur! I never thought I would actually have fun with on-line multiplayer, and I certainly never thought I'd have this much fun losing over and over again.
  • A whole pile of downloadable titles. Loved Costume Quest. Enjoying Super Meat Boy, although I'm not done with it yet. Braid was clever. Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet was beautiful.

I've also got a stack of games I haven't started yet: SSX, LA Noire, and Fable 2 come to mind.

One of the nice things with being this many years behind is there are so many awesome games I can pick up for like $4.99. And yes, I do buy new games new, but the old games are still awesome, too.