How I learned I have a deep love and respect for Chinese fiction.

My taste in video games has never been that of the main stream. I enjoy the major titles just as much as anyone else, but more than that, I obscure, off-beat, and sometimes just downright bad games. My shelf is under constant flooding of games that no one else seems to have bothered to play, or forgot about as soon as they were finished. And the way the trend seems to go, they are of Asian origin. Not a statement about the developers of the area, simply an observation of my habits.
 
Now I've owned a console from every generation since the NES. But this trend started in the winter of '97 when I got my Playstation, it was intended to be a Christmas present, but my brother and I found it in my mother's closet, it wasn't purchased new, so it wasn't in a box, which was fine with us, we were able to hook it up every time my mother left the house, until of course she came home and we would rip the cords out of the tv and throw it back in the closet. (Usually with a bit more finesse than that.)
 
I can only imagine that whoever my mother bought the Playstation from, but the slew of games that came with it were probably my gateway into the obscure.
I can't remember them all, but I do remember:
Romance of the Three Kingdoms IV

Suikoden 
Final Fantasy VII
Wild ARMs
 
There were probably a few others, but these are the ones that stick out in my mind the most. Romance sticks out because of how much I hated it, probably because a 7 year old couldn't figure out how to play it properly. But I quickly fell in love with Wild ARMs, and Suikoden, which remains to this day to be my favorite game. I played some of FFVII, but over all, I don't have the same reverence for it that most do, and certainly not as much as the other two.
 
Nowadays, my buying habits include buying the Yakuza games and the Way of the Samurai games. But I'm really writing this to talk about 3 specific games, and how the purchasing of the last one opened my eyes to the quadfecta I hope to someday complete.
 
Lets go in chronological order, shall we?
 
1. Suikoden - The first RPG I ever played, the first one I ever beat, my favorite game of all time.
I can't pinpoint why this game has such a special place in my heart, probably nostalgia, because while I've heard many people voice similar opinions, I've had people close to me say it was rubbish. All the same, I find the characters lovable, and the story endearing. 
 
2. Dynasty Warriors 3 - I picked 3, but it could have easily been the entire franchise, I picked 3 because it was the first one I played. I spent hours and hours playing this game at the Babbage's in my local mall before my aunt bought it for me for a birthday. I still have memories of muting my tv, listening to Tenacious D, and riding around as Guan Yu, tearing fools up. I still buy installments of this game every time they have a numbered release, and have a particular fondness for the Empires series that allows for character creation.
 
3. Enslaved: Odyssey to the West - I just bought this game today. I haven't played much of it yet, but I hope to enjoy it.
 
So why write about these 3 games? I'm sure plenty of you know that Dynasty Warriors is based on The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and ever more of you know that Enslaved in based on Journey to the West, which also inspired Dragon Ball. But did you know that Suikoden is based in Water Margin? And that together, along with one other novel, these are considered to be the Four Great Classical Chinese Novels?
14 years of my gaming career has been spent playing and replaying these stories time and time again. And all this while, I had no idea they shared any sort of relation.
Is this just a coincidence? Or do I have an unconscious affinity for the works of great chinese authors?
If I don't enjoy Enslaved, it will be a good indication, if I love it, I can either read the fourth book (pppfffffttt) or hope they make a game out of it (Yay!)
Either way, as long as I have power, I'll keep playing.

3 Comments
3 Comments
Posted by Pahn121

My taste in video games has never been that of the main stream. I enjoy the major titles just as much as anyone else, but more than that, I obscure, off-beat, and sometimes just downright bad games. My shelf is under constant flooding of games that no one else seems to have bothered to play, or forgot about as soon as they were finished. And the way the trend seems to go, they are of Asian origin. Not a statement about the developers of the area, simply an observation of my habits.
 
Now I've owned a console from every generation since the NES. But this trend started in the winter of '97 when I got my Playstation, it was intended to be a Christmas present, but my brother and I found it in my mother's closet, it wasn't purchased new, so it wasn't in a box, which was fine with us, we were able to hook it up every time my mother left the house, until of course she came home and we would rip the cords out of the tv and throw it back in the closet. (Usually with a bit more finesse than that.)
 
I can only imagine that whoever my mother bought the Playstation from, but the slew of games that came with it were probably my gateway into the obscure.
I can't remember them all, but I do remember:
Romance of the Three Kingdoms IV

Suikoden 
Final Fantasy VII
Wild ARMs
 
There were probably a few others, but these are the ones that stick out in my mind the most. Romance sticks out because of how much I hated it, probably because a 7 year old couldn't figure out how to play it properly. But I quickly fell in love with Wild ARMs, and Suikoden, which remains to this day to be my favorite game. I played some of FFVII, but over all, I don't have the same reverence for it that most do, and certainly not as much as the other two.
 
Nowadays, my buying habits include buying the Yakuza games and the Way of the Samurai games. But I'm really writing this to talk about 3 specific games, and how the purchasing of the last one opened my eyes to the quadfecta I hope to someday complete.
 
Lets go in chronological order, shall we?
 
1. Suikoden - The first RPG I ever played, the first one I ever beat, my favorite game of all time.
I can't pinpoint why this game has such a special place in my heart, probably nostalgia, because while I've heard many people voice similar opinions, I've had people close to me say it was rubbish. All the same, I find the characters lovable, and the story endearing. 
 
2. Dynasty Warriors 3 - I picked 3, but it could have easily been the entire franchise, I picked 3 because it was the first one I played. I spent hours and hours playing this game at the Babbage's in my local mall before my aunt bought it for me for a birthday. I still have memories of muting my tv, listening to Tenacious D, and riding around as Guan Yu, tearing fools up. I still buy installments of this game every time they have a numbered release, and have a particular fondness for the Empires series that allows for character creation.
 
3. Enslaved: Odyssey to the West - I just bought this game today. I haven't played much of it yet, but I hope to enjoy it.
 
So why write about these 3 games? I'm sure plenty of you know that Dynasty Warriors is based on The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and ever more of you know that Enslaved in based on Journey to the West, which also inspired Dragon Ball. But did you know that Suikoden is based in Water Margin? And that together, along with one other novel, these are considered to be the Four Great Classical Chinese Novels?
14 years of my gaming career has been spent playing and replaying these stories time and time again. And all this while, I had no idea they shared any sort of relation.
Is this just a coincidence? Or do I have an unconscious affinity for the works of great chinese authors?
If I don't enjoy Enslaved, it will be a good indication, if I love it, I can either read the fourth book (pppfffffttt) or hope they make a game out of it (Yay!)
Either way, as long as I have power, I'll keep playing.

Posted by fetchfox

@Pahn121: I like your choice in games, and I've come to some of the same myself. I got into The Romance of the Three Kingdoms through playing Dynasty Warriors when I was younger. It's more or less a chinese soap opera with all its drama, but interesting nonetheless. If you like a more truncated version of (part of) its story, check out Red Cliff 1&2 by John Woo. An nice take on one of the more famous battles between the kingdoms. Journey to West was introduced to me through Dragon Ball, which sent me to wikipedia, movies, and some games. There are a ton of media based solely or loosely on the tale of the Monkey King and his journey, so take your pick.

Posted by Pahn121

I really enjoyed Red Cliff, I have a copy of the first volume of the Romance, but I haven't gotten around to reading it. 
Damon Albarn, of Blur and Gorillaz fame did an album about Journey called Monkey: Journey to the West that was...interesting.
I watch anything based on the Romance that I can get my hands on though.