My ever continuing quest to play the classics

For as long as I can remember, I've loved video games. I played them as a kid and now as a young adult. Most likely I'll play them until the dementia sets in, hell I'll probably still play them then too. The point is that video games are special to me.

The preface for this list is that I may have always played games, but I sure missed out on a lot of (what are considered by most) classics. Whether because of sheer ignorance or financial restrictions, I wasn't in a place to play a lot of games growing up. The ones I did get my hands on I played the ever loving shit out of and continue to love today. The Pokemon franchise stands out in this respect.

I really only got into games (I hate this term, but hardcore) around 07 or 08 and since then have been catching up. I also started listening to gaming podcasts around that time and since I've never had a lot of gamer centric friends, I grabbed on to the audio goodness and never let go. I quickly began to gain perspective on the industry at large, where it's going and where it's been, and while for the most part stayed current, I still have an entire legacy of games to play through for the very first time.

Exciting, isn't it?

List items

  • Several years ago, I picked up the Sega game collection on the Xbox 360. While there were plenty of good games on there, the one I latched onto the hardest was Streets of Rage 2. The music and combat were fantastic and for what it was going for, which from what I can tell was a game set in the 80's where you messed fools up with pipes and fists, it did truly well.

  • The Hd collection of ICO and Shadow of the Collusus came out late 2011. I remember buying it with the full intention to play both immediately, but unfortunately it was late 2011 and the shitstorm of games set in fast. I eventually did get around to playing Ico late last year, and finished it earlier this year.

    All I have to say is that the game is really something special. The emotional connection they try to establish between Ico and Yorda could easily fall flat for some, but for me it stuck. All of the conspiracy theories I discovered on the internet after completing the game were really neat to discover too. Loved the game.

  • Blood skeletons and the dance of gold will forever be ingrained in my mind when thinking of this game.

    The exploration, combat, rpg aspects and of course the soundtrack all helped this game become one of my all time favorites. I absolutely kick my self in the metaphorical ass for having a chance to play this a few years after it came out and passing on it.

  • Coming hot off the trails of Symphony of the Night, I began Super Metroid. I got a taste and I needed more of the Metroidvania formula.

    Depending on whether you were up to finding the many secrets, the game can vary in length. For me, it was around 14 hours. Finding key items were essential to progressing through the game. The items found mostly consisted of various power ups beneficial to the player. Along with these power ups, Samus regained some of her core abilities as well. Each new ability allowed the player to traverse the map in a new and interesting way.

    All this time later and the formula still stands strong. It all fits together in a very fun and cohesive gaming experience. It truly is a classic in the full meaning of the word. I wholeheartedly recommend going back and playing it if you never have.

  • Playing through this game started as simply as waking up on a Saturday, picking up my 3ds and pressing the buy button. It was a spur of the moment decision and I regret nothing.

    As a kid, I remember playing one of the PlayStation mega man games and being completely stumped. I didn't understand the structural nuance of the game at all. Fighting each boss in a certain order was key to progressing. Gaining new powers allowed the player to exploit the weaknesses of each robotic foe, eventually helping you to conquer all eight robots. It took me ten years, but I finally got the hang of it.

    Playing mega man 2 gave me a very important perspective that good game design will always hold up to the test of time.

    Also, the musical theme of Dr. Wiley will forever stand as my Saturday jam.

  • Time can be a cruel mistress when it comes to games, but in A Link to the Past's case it's more of a fine wine. Just like I mentioned with Mega Man 2, whether it's 5, 10, or even 22 years in this case, good game design will always hold up.

    Exploration and trial and error we're key to completing this game for me. For most the game, I consulted a FAQ for guidance. This revealed to me the myriad of hidden treasures to be found all over Hyrule.

    Being the big fan of Dark Souls I am, I couldn't help but draw comparisons. The complete openness to explore and the way the game thrusts you into Hyrule with no apparent direction was pretty refreshing. I'm fairly used to Nintendo games holding my hand all along the way, but all's obscured ready for the discovering in this game.

    Sometimes I forget the massive legacy Nintendo has on it's belt. I really look forward to A Link between Worlds.

  • I'd say this first entry in the franchise is a little rough around the edges compared to its later entries, but still a solid first outing. Mega Man encapsulates the best a game could bring to the table in its era. Play it if you haven't.