Saturday, August 25, 2012

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Games

So I literally just finished playing Journey. My brother recommended it to me months ago but I just finally got around to buying it last weekend, and let me tell you, it is a beautiful, affecting game. A new addition to my list of favourites for sure. And with that in mind, I figured I'd share that list with you as my post for the month.

#1 - Megamania for the Atari 2600

My introduction to gaming was a bit different than that of most kids born in the mid-80s. I never had a Sega Genesis or an SNES; my family didn't have a modern console until we got a PlayStation. What we did have, though, was a relic from before I was born, the Atari 2600. (My original plan for my post this month was to haul the thing out and take some pictures of it, but I ran out of time.) In case you're not familiar with the Atari, this is the system with the joystick and single red button on the controller. It's pre-NES.

And while I loved most of the games that we had for the Atari, Megamania was by far my favourite. The gameplay is along the same lines as stuff like Space Invaders and Asteroid, and I was basically a pro at it. There isn't a whole lot more to say about this kind of game, though, so let's move on.

#2 - Super Mario Kart for the SNES

We'll skip the NES because to be honest the only games I ever really played on that console were Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt, which are obvious classics that everyone has played and no one needs to hear anything more about.

Mario Kart is kind of the same way, but I suppose it's more notable for me because I fell in love with it over the course of a few days spent with my family in a cabin at a lake about an hour and a half north of Edmonton. It was February and almost too cold to be outside most of the time, so the other older kids and I spent a lot of time playing Mario Kart and Donkey Kong Country. While not exactly my introduction to multiplayer gaming (the Atari had a few options that weren't just turn-based, but I rarely played them), this marked the first time that I understood video games could be something played together, not just played by one person and observed by everyone else.

Also it was just a great game.

#3 - Portal for the PlayStation 3

I'm skipping over the original PlayStation and the Xbox because while I loved a few games on that console for sure (primarily platformers), none of them really changed my perspective of what a game could be. (If I'm not mentioning a console at all it's because it's pretty much off my radar completely.)

And then there was Portal. Somehow I found out it was a puzzle game, decided I had to play it, and pretty much haven't been able to shut up about it ever since. In case you've been living under a rock and don't know how this game works, it's like so: you have a gun that shoots both ends of one portal, and you use it to navigate your way through test chambers.

For me this game was also a revelation of interactive storytelling. It's a great example of how games can have stories as interesting as the ones in movies and books, and how amazing that can be if the medium is really exploited.

#4 - Minecraft for PC (or in my case Mac)

I hope I'm not mistaken in saying that Minecraft is the purest sandbox available in gaming right now. In a nutshell, you mine and you craft. This is basically electronic Lego and it pushes all of my buttons: collaboration, construction, exploration.

That's all for now, though.

What are your favourite games?


  1. I decided a while ago not to try Minecraft cause I thought I'd get addicted, but I am definitely going to check out Journey. It looks lovely! :)

    1. For me Minecraft has been less about addiction and more about "yes, I will spend five hours in a row intensely focussed on this game today." But then going a long time between playing. Possibly because so far I only play it with my brother.

      -Definitely- play Journey. You could get addicted to that one, too, though. As soon as I finished I wanted to play it again, haha.

  2. You need to play Journey. My experience was incredible. One of my favourite video game experiences ever.

  3. I would love to try journey, but I believe it is exclusive to Playstation, which makes me and my xbox sad.

    Good list though. Portal is such an amazing game, and will always hold a special place in my gaming heart.

    I am also a fan of minecraft. It is great fun on its own. I am curious what things could be made on a group server.

    1. I host my brother's and my server on my computer but it's not really powerful enough to do a bigger one. But I'd be down to join a group server if it's a creation type of one rather than PvP, which I don't think I'd like much.

  4. Dave: I have access to a PS3 and a projector and I'm in town for the weekend. You should come over and play it. Open invitation.

    1. Thanks for the offer. I would love to, but I am in the North!

    2. I have a PS3 too, so if we're ever on days out at the same time you could totally come over and play it at my place.

  5. Noooo, now I'm pretty sure I won't be able to play it. ONE DAY

  6. Does anyone know how to contact MA (Minecraft Anonymous)? I have made the first step (admitting I have a problem), but I need treatment!

    I agree, M.R. I seem to go through periods of intensive crafting activity followed by calendar chasms of downtime. I thought I could stop after making my first large building, but after that one I thought "wouldn't it be nice if this were part of a city?" Such thoughts are dangerous in a game as open as minecraft. I recently started dabbling in redstone circuitry trying to build a programmable music machine. That opened a whole new door. Thank goodness I am busying myself with other things this fall before I become incurable.