Games that shaped me into the gamer I am today

I was talking to a some friends a few days ago about what songs alter and create our musical tastes and it got me thinking. What games have shaped me as a gamer? Its a cool thing to spend a few minutes thinking about. Anyway here are a few thoughts I had.

List items

  • Deus Ex was the first game I played all the way through and didn't understand what had happened in the plot. That failiure on my part blew my tiny little mind. At the same time I was watching a lot of films like Clear and Present Danger with my older brothers and not understanding what was happening in them either. I was only 12 at the time but it meant somehow that this video game's plot, at least in my primative understanding, was as good as a big, intelligent film like Clear and Present Danger. As such, it was the first game I could talk to non-gamers about without feeling like I was somehow putting myself down.

  • This was the first videogame I ever bought. I remember getting the Archimedes version and some 90's rock complation on my 9th birthday. I spent the next few days with my two older brothers taking turns playing each mission and as such it was probably my first experience of co-op gaming even though it wasn't actually co-op. I can't hear "Track 2" by blur and not see a daisy chaine of cartoon soldier following a cursor

  • I didn't have any games consoles or a windows based PC until 2000.Until then I was stuck with an old Risc OS Acorn I was given by my dad. It had its own set of games, most of them Amiga ports and it was slowly getting better games released for it but lets just say that when my friends we're all talking about Half Life I was stoked to finally be playing Doom II. When I finally convinced my Dad to let me build my first PC, playing Operation Flashpoint was going to be my finishing line. It was the first game I ever learnt about before its release, pre-ordered and bought on release day. It's also the only game I've never sold or traded in. I still have my original copy, plus the two expansions

  • Simon the Sorcerer is the first game I ever remember finishing. I think its also probably the first game I remeber playing that I didn't have to finish in one go. I know thats not true for gaming as a whole but it was for me. It was also the first game I remeber playing that made me laugh.

  • Ah, Flashback. The one that got away. Neither I nor my two brothers were ever able to finish this game. we got the the pink blob planet and made our way to plant the bomb at it's core, but we could never find our way back out in time. Now it would be easy, in fact while typing this I looked up a video on youtube showing the route to take. Maybe one day I'll fire up Dos Box and give it another go. This game taught me that hard games, are good games.

  • I had to run C&C on a PC emulator in order to play this at home, but it was worth it. The first RTS I ever played and still one of my all time favourites. It also gave me my first taste of playing as the bad guys. I got a strange thrill out of the Nod campaign, as well as some other feelings that are weird and deeply disturbing.

  • I never really played scary or particularly atmospheric games until STALKER came out. The game may have been only a shadow of what it originally planned to be but it is still, I think, one of the best PC shooters around to date. I've played and liked Clear Sky since Shadow came out, and if I can repair or build a new rig before Call of Pripyat I'll get that too but I hope that some day they will be able to get back to what the game should have been. I may at some point put something up on GB about how I think STALKER could be fixed but, another time.

  • In a time where stealth was ruled by Metal Gear Solid, Splinter Cell gave me somewhere to rest my weary head. I've grown to love the MGS games since but around the release of MGS 2 I couldn't understand why they were so popular. I hated the stupid characters and the ridiculose story, the constant monologues and terrible dialouge. Splinter Cell was MY stealth game. The story was intelligent, the character was almost all universally bad ass and it all made sence. No mental powers, no drinking blood or running on water. It was all possible, and thats the way I liked it.

  • I think I remeber this game less of playing it and more for watching my brother play it. He was so obsessed with this shooter that he would come up with new ways to play each level. The game was only an ok mildly stealthy FPS but something about it trigger my desire to become a games designer. The levels were usually set in huge outdoor area's that had mine fields to keep the player from running off into the sunset. My brother would turn on god mode and run out into the wilderness, walk all the way around the base he was supposed to infiltrate and then turn god mode off again so he could play the level with a different starting point. It took him about 10mins to do this as he would need to walk a long way into the surrounding area if he didn't want to be seen as he tried to get behind the base but he was willing to do it for the varity it created. It something I've never really forgotten

  • This game taught me two things:

    That blowing up things is awesome,

    and that save checkpoints are even better.

    If you've never played it, basically you fly your starfighter around blowing up whatever it is you've been told to kill and at the end of most missions you need to land on your mothership to finish and move on. The problem was that of the hundreds of times I played the game, I maybe managed to dock three times. Checkpoints had yet to come along but I did have lives, but again, 3 lives later and I was screwed. It taught me one very important lesson about game structure, and I thank it for it.