Evolution of a Gamer, Part 3: PC, PS, and XBox
I’m going to need to take you through about 20 years of gaming in the next few minutes, so bear with me.
PC: I was in college during the years between Sega Genesis and X-Box/Play Station. Personal computers were not cheap, but if one wanted to game, one needed a PC.
My friend Rod, who introduced me to the Lemur, had a computer. Most games at the time were single player games. He invited us over to watch him play games…seriously. This was a thing. We did the thing. We had no lives. Besides, we wanted to hang out with each other without annoying roommates. So…
Rod tried to get us hooked on Leisure Suit Larry, which…ew. Then, he bought Diablo. Now there is the game that made me buy my first gaming computer, not the word processor I took with me to college. We watched Rod play this Halloween, 1997. We were hooked.
I bought the computer over spring break and I really don’t remember much of the rest of that semester. That summer, I played so much I got nights and days mixed up. I would call in to McDonald’s thinking I’d missed a day of work, only to be told I didn’t work until the following day. We even bought the expansion pack to Diablo, Hellfire, when playing it over and over again wasn’t enough. Remember the Cow Level? Yeah, you remember. “Moo moo-moo-moo-moo…” “MOOOO!”
When Diablo II came along, we expected this franchise to keep us interested for the rest of our lives. Baal and the expansion were just as awesome as the game itself, since this time Blizzard made the expansion. Unfortunately, Blizzard Entertainment had other ideas about what was important, and World of Warcraft trumped the Diablo franchise. “Join the army they said. See the world, they said. I’d rather be KILLING DEMONS, YOU FUCKS!” (I obviously loved the Warcraft series, too, and I am a master tactician on the battlefield, but hand-to-hand combat is more my style, and I’m a loner, so WoW never appealed to me.)
By this time , the Lemur and I had our own computers, so we each had a version of the game, and we played online with Rod. Seriously. We sat right next to each other and played a game online. Ah, marital bliss.
About this time was the rise of gaming consoles. To match our gaming trend, we followed. We didn’t buy a Play Station until Lemur’s brother convinced us we couldn’t live without it. Why? A little gem called Twisted Metal 4.
This. Game. Is. Addictive. I thought Diablo was bad. We could play through the whole game in about an hour, and then we would start over, because it was so damn much fun. My favorite maps were Highway and Bedroom. Yes, I still remember them. I still have nightmares about Sweet Tooth’s special laughing attack following me around a deserted carnival.
Lemur played Resident Evil, and I watched, terrified. Somewhere during the PS1 stage, I started to write Schoolhouse Five, so I wrote, and watched, and wrote some more. No wonder it’s so dark, right Ro?
We were content to play our old Play Station games forever, until we met new friends and watched a new game: God of War. Have you seen this guy?
Kratos is…wow. All the rage. All the vengeance. And tiny little Hope. These games kicked my ass. I am not that coordinated, so all the joystick shaking and turning and hitting the right button at the right time…yeah. Not a fan of the game-play, but give me someone who can play, like the Lemur, or Tim, and I can, and have, watched this game for hours.
Tim also introduced us to Gears of War, which resulted in our first ever XBox purchase. But you already know that story. Another interesting fact about our friend Tim: he builds cosplay costumes. He bought the Lemur’s Sand Trooper suit as a regular Storm Trooper suit and dirtied it up so it looks like it’s been through the deserts of Tatooine. He also made his own Boba Fett Mandalorian armor. Needless to say, Tim’s a Star Wars fan. And so are we, so we’ve spent many hours watching the movies and playing Star Wars: Battlefront.
I know I’m old-school, but Battlefront II wasn’t as good as the first game. I love the old maps, for one thing. Cloud City, Kashyyyk, and Hoth. I mean, where else can you bring down a fucking ADAT?
This was my first first-person shooter, rather than first-person hack-and-slash, unless you count shooting other cars, as in RC ProAm and Twisted Metal 4, which I don’t. Which brings us to the best first-person shooter game ever (and no, I don’t mean Doom, or Wolfenstein, though I’ve played both): Gears of War.
What more can I say about my favorite game of all time? Great story. Decent graphics and game-play. None of that “shake here,” “half-circle left here,” “now hit triangle” bullshit. Funny as fuck entertainment. If you don’t know what I mean, you have not met my friends Baird and Cole.
It’s not all fun and lighthearted annihilation of Locusts, either. This game will grab you by the feels. Kim. Tai. Maria. DOM. We call him “Dumb” as a bot, but forgive him. He’s got a lot on his mind.
So you thought you were done with these installments, since I made it to my favorite first-person shooter? I have not yet mentioned my favorite hack-and-slash game. Stay tuned for Part 4, Saturday.