Day 1 - Very first video game: Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt
The great-grand daddy of 'em all. I played this at my neighbors house, and not too long after, I had an NES of my own, I've been hooked ever since. And even today, as a 2D platformer, Super Mario Bros. is a stern challenge.
John Marston is an intensely sympathetic and truly heroic character, specifically, I mean he adheres in many ways to the Monomyth, The Hero's Journey. The whole story of the game is based around his character. He is only trying to secure the safety of his wife and his son. He is trying to leave his violent past as an outlaw behind. The new, modern world around John will not forget who he was, and he can never escape his past.
Day 3 - A Game That Is Underrated: Army of Two
This is a game that I feel was unduly criticized for it's sense of humor. Yes, the humor was juvenile. That's what it was aiming for. It was a celebration of not just the camaraderie between Tyson Rios and Elliot Salem, it was a celebration of the camaraderie between you, the player, and your other human partner playing the game with you. After pulling off an impressive feat, you would naturally give each other a high five. If you feel they dropped the ball, give 'em a slap upside the head. This was reflected in the game. The cooperative gameplay was superb.
Day 5 - Game Character You Feel You Are Most Like (Or Wish You Were): Niko Bellic/Adam Jensen
An interesting question. I'd say that the character I feel most like would be Niko Bellic. I relate to Niko and his nearly constant cynicism, especially in regard to politics. He sees America as being very shallow and hypocritical. Niko is fiercely protective of his family and his friends, and he can be incredibly compassionate towards strangers. He gives a lot of thought to the things he says and does. He admires optimistic people, even if he thinks they are a little naive. He gets along with other, more pessimistic people quite well. He tends to have a problem with authority, particularly when he believes they are corrupt or abusing their power.
The character I WISH I was would probably have to be Adam Jensen from Deus Ex: Human Revolution:
All of his augmentations are friggin' Bad-Ass.
Day 6 - Most Annoying Character: The guards in Splinter Cell: Conviction
The most annoying character is EVERY guard in Splinter Cell: Conviction. They absolutely will NOT EVER SHUT UP. Holy Hell, are they ever annoying. It's not even that their taunts or name calling are effective, they don't make me angry, they make me annoyed. I do not feel one ounce of sympathy or pity as I silently murder each and every last single guard in this game. They've got it coming. Oh, do they ever.
Day 7 - Favorite Game Couple: James & Mary Sunderland & also Maria
Technically, I suppose this is more of a three-way couple. The relationship between James Sunderland and Maria is absolutely fascinating. He initially mistakes her for his (dead) wife Mary. The similarities are obvious. For the sake of spoilers, that's all I will say. It is wonderfully beautiful, and profoundly tragic.
Day 8 - Best Soundtrack: DOOM
Sure, it's simple 8-bit Midi music, but Goddamn, does it get the job done. I loved every second of the score for this game. The different music for the different levels is great. From the kickin' opening track for Episode 1: Mission 1 to the disturbing songs for the more disturbing levels later on, it pulled me into the hellish nightmare.
Day 9 - Saddest Game Scene: Child Slavery in Fallout 3
This isn't even a cutscene I'm about to describe. It's something you can do. I'm not sure I have ever been as heartsick and filled with regret as a human being as I was once I did this. Note, this was done during my Bad Karma playthrough. Eulogy Jones, the head of a group of slavers based out of Paradise Falls, wants you to bring a child to him so he can sell the child to a buyer he has lined up. In the town of Little Lamplight, there is a little girl named Bumble. She is sweet and naive. You convince her to go outside with you to meet a "friend." A slaver. The slaver fits her with a "friendship necklace." It's a collar that can be set to explode. When Bumble mentions the "necklace" is kind of uncomfortable, the slaver tells her "Don't worry, you'll have plenty of time to get used to it." After doing that, I felt sick to my stomach, and I could not continue my Bad Karma playthrough.
Day 10 - Best Gameplay: Half-Life 2
While I may have my qualms about the quality of Gordon Freeman as a character, and his place in the story, I have absolutely no reservation in saying that Half-Life 2 has the most superb gameplay of any game, ever. All the weapons in the game are balanced, and feel appropriately lethal. The Zero-Point Energy Field Manipulator aka The Gravity Gun is the coolest weapon, EVER. And anyone who's played Half-Life 2 will recognize this screenshot and will know what comes next, which, coincidentally is my favorite part of the game.
Day 11 - Gaming System of Choice: Super Nintendo Entertainment System
When I finally get my dream setup for a home entertainment system, my Super Nintendo Entertainment System will occupy a place of honor. I'm not going to lie, there is TONS of nostalgia value here for me. As much as I love my Xbox 360, I find their absurdly high failure rate inexcusable. I've never once had a SNES fail on me, or die, or just glitch out or lock up. I've had mine for roughly 20 years. 20 years without a single hardware failure. I think that's pretty remarkable for any electronic device.
Day 12 - A Game Everyone Should Play: Braid
I have many games I love, and games I think every GAMER should play, but for someone who doesn't play video games, I had to rethink. It had to be simple enough that someone without any experience playing video games could get the hang of it. A simple, 2D puzzle platformer is a game that anyone should be able to play. The puzzles are all very solvable, but require you to use your brain, which is always a good thing. The story that is told along the way is thought provoking, and by the end, somewhat tragic. Though that is subject to debate.
"Chapter 2: Time and Forgiveness"
"Tim is off on a search to rescue the Princess. She has been snatched by a horrible and evil monster. This happened because Tim made a mistake."
"Not just one. He made many mistakes during the time they spent together, all those years ago. Memories of their relationship have become muddled, replaced wholesale, but one remains clear: the princess turning sharply away, her braid lashing at him with contempt."
"He knows she tried to be forgiving, but who can just shrug away a guilty lie, a stab in the back? Such a mistake will change a relationship irreversibly, even if we have learned from the mistake and would never repeat it. The princess's eyes grew narrower. She became more distant."
"Our world, with its rules of causality, has trained us to be miserly with forgiveness. By forgiving them too readily, we can be badly hurt. But if we've learned from a mistake and became better for it, shouldn't we be rewarded for the learning, rather than punished for the mistake?"
"What if our world worked differently? Suppose we could tell her: 'I didn't mean what I just said,' and she would say: 'It's okay, I understand,' and she would not turn away, and life would really proceed as though we had never said that thing? We could remove the damage but still be wiser for the experience."
"Tim and the Princess lounge in the castle garden, laughing together, giving names to the colorful birds. Their mistakes are hidden from each other, tucked away between the folds of time, safe."
Day 13 - A Game You've Played More Than Five Times: The Legend of Zelda
This is a game I play just about every year as a matter of tradition. I adore the simple gameplay, and the classic, stirring Legend of Zelda theme music.
Day 14 - Current (or Most Recent) Gaming Wallpaper: Soulblighter from Myth II
I find the character of Soulblighter to be incredibly fascinating. He was a great sorcerer of old, now one of the Fallen Lords. He possesses the ability to turn himself into a murder of crows at will, and has cut out his own heart as part of making himself an immortal. He is absolutely evil. Soulblighter, like Balor before him, seeks not to conquer but to destroy; to be master of the unthinking dead and their blasted lands.
Day 15 - Post a Screenshot from The Game You're Playing Right Now: Deus Ex: Human Revolution - The Missing Link
I thoroughly enjoy Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and I'm currently working my way through the DLC - The Missing Link. I'm a sucker for stealth-based games.
Day 16 - Game With The Best Cutscenes: Ninja cutscenes from Total War: Shogun 2
In gaming today, there are MANY cutscenes, and many of them have top-notch production. Many are used to tell stories, or expand upon characters backgrounds. The cutscenes in Shogun 2 are very simple in comparison. They are used to show the outcome of ninja assassination missions. They are a profound break from the normal play of the game. All the rest of the game is turn-based and real-time strategy. As wonderful as it is to see your ninja successfully complete his assassination mission, I'll admit that it's slightly more enjoyable to see him fail spectacularly and bite it in the process. In fact, sometimes it's downright hilarious. The above video just shows ninja assassination failures. Enjoy. =)
Day 17 - Favorite Antagonist: The Joker
I almost feel like this is cheating, because the Joker is such an amazing antagonist in any medium. Mark Hamill is absolutely phenomenal as the voice of The Joker. Though there is an interesting debate about who the "Ultimate" villain is in Arkham Asylum. As much as I love the Joker, it is interesting to note that while he's the best of the Batman villains, Batman is also probably the ONLY hero who would have such a hard time dealing with the Joker.
Day 18 - Favorite Protagonist: Solid Snake/Old Snake
I feel that Solid Snake is an all-around solid protagonist. (no pun intended) He has enough personality to make him distinct (wonderful voice acting by David Hayter helps tremendously there), but not so much to make him unrelatable to a player. He really can almost only be described in generalities. He's a battle-hardened soldier, always calm and cool-headed, and he has a certain moral ambiguity, as he has no illusions about what he does. Despite others claims that he loves killing and warfare, he states that he does not, though he is extremely proficient at ending human life, he isn't particularly moved by the deaths of others, taking their passing in stride. He is humble, always downplaying his reputation as The Legendary Soldier, but he is also supremely capable, even fearless, in the face of seemingly impossible odds. Pretty much everything a good hero should be.
Day 19 - Picture of a Game Setting You Wished You Lived In: The Kingdom of Zeal from Crono Trigger
I've long been in love with the Kingdom of Zeal from Chrono Trigger. It's a beautiful blending of ancient past, pure fantasy, and even some advanced technologies that keep Zeal going. Also, I think it's extraordinary in that it is set in the year 12,000 BC. It gives it a bit of an Atlantean appeal. I think it's absolutely gorgeous.
Day 20 - Favorite Genre: Point and Click Adventure
I have a well-known love of old-school Point-and-Click adventures. The thing is is that they don't tend to sell terribly well, so most developers are reluctant to throw much support towards making adventure games. This has led to a relative dearth of adventure games. The once champion of adventure games, Lucasfilm Games, has largely abandoned the genre in favor of milking the Star Wars franchise for all it's worth, and subsequently rebranded themselves as LucasArts. Alas. It is now up to relatively small studios to carry the torch for adventure games, most notably Telltale Games. I do like the idea that it's generally quite difficult (if not actually impossible) to fail at these games, though that certainly doesn't mean that they're easy, not by any stretch of the imagination. And it is exactly that, Imagination, that you are going to need to make it through these games, as they often require you to think outside the box to come up with the solutions to their ingenious puzzles.
Day 21 - Game With The Best Story: Planescape: Torment
What can change the nature of a man? While amnesia might be a bit of a tired trope when it comes to telling a story, in this case I feel that it is actually quite compelling. The Nameless One has lived many lives, and has been killed many times. Though death isn't exactly a career-ending injury in his case. Sometimes though, what it does is wipe his memory. This time, you must piece together your past, your many pasts, in fact. The search to reconcile who you are now with who you were and what you have done is a fascinating journey into the question: What Can Change The Nature of a Man?
Day 22 - A Game Sequel That Disappointed You: Dragon Age II
I hope you've got your button-mashing finger ready, because the RPG game you once knew is now a button masher. Sure, you can develop intricate plans, and issue individual orders to your party members, but it always boils down the same, mash the attack button until all the enemies are gone. And then do it some more after some enemies spawn in behind you. The story was also painfully boring. This stands in stark contrast to the absolutely superb first game, Dragon Age: Origins. The original had a marvelous cast of characters, each with their own motivations and histories. It was like having many little stories contained within the central story of the game. In the sequel, all of your companions seem whiny and one-dimensional in comparison. I don't recall ever having been let down as much by a game.
Day 23 - Game You Think Had The Best Graphics or Art Style: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
This is a game that is filled with absolutely gorgeous, exotic locations shown in breathtaking detail. One little thing that grabbed my attention was how Drake's clothing would look wet in direct proportion to how much water he was submerged in.
Day 24 - Favorite Classic Game: River City Ransom
A classic beat-'em-up. Dispensing justice by walking to the right and beating the snot out of anyone who gets in your way. Both single player and cooperative play are an absolute blast.
Day 26 - Best Voice Acting: L.A. Noire
The voice acting in this game is absolutely top-notch, but something else that factors into it is the fact that the motion-capture and syncing it with the voice acting is just about flawless. It makes watching characters talking in any other video game looking like hand puppets in comparison. Rockstar Games really pulled out all the stops and made a truly remarkable game.
Day 27 - Most Epic Scene Ever: Warhammer 40k: Space Marine Jetpack & Thunder Hammer combo
Everything about this game, and Warhammer 40k is Epic. It is epic right down to it's very core. It almost gets to the point where it's mundane. When everything is epic, it kind of devalues the idea of Epic. Having said that, having a jetpack to jumpjet around, and come crashing down with a mighty blow from the Thunder Hammer into a horde of Orks is epic unlike anything I've ever played. Also, the scene where you have to fight your way across a bridge held by Chaos Space Marines is pretty epic, if only for the fact that you see how truly Elite the Space Marines are. You go through most of the game with only two Space Marines supporting you. When you have to take the fight to the Chaos Space Marines on that bridge, you receive the full support of a detachment from the Blood Angels chapter of Space Marines. When there are a dozen Space Marines, nothing can stand in their way. This is especially noticeable as the Chaos Space Marines are normally deadly foes that you must engage with carefully, as they can kill you very quickly with deadly efficiency. But when you have a whole SQUAD of Space Marines... you just mow through them as though they weren't even there.
Day 28 - Favorite Game Developer: Rockstar Games
Rockstar Games is probably the only game developer that I feel has never let me down, no matter how high my standards may be. Everything they do is top-notch. I personally feel that crafting amazing characters is their forte. Cole Phelps, John Marston, Niko Bellic, Carl Johnson, Tommy Vercetti, and even Claude Speed, aka Fido, aka GTA III guy (as an everyman). They truly love the games they make. Every game they release is like a love letter to the gaming populace.
Day 29 - A Game You Thought You Wouldn't Like, But Ended Up Loving: Duke Nukem Forever
I like this game far more than all the game critics in the world think I should. Again, much like Army of Two, I understand that the immature humor in the game is the reason why I'm playing in the first place. As far as FPS games go, I'll admit that it is a poorly optimized game. The loading screens are a tad long (though the amount of time spent looking at a loading screen in this game is nothing compared to, say, Skyrim), and there were occasions where textures would pop in later than they should have. Still, the gameplay was solid, and the process of increasing Duke's Ego was always entertaining. The entire game is all about Duke Nukem's MASSIVE Ego, indeed, as is the entire game series.
Day 30 - Your Favorite Game of All Time: Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions
I thoroughly enjoy the world of Ivalice. The strategic turn-based combat is very enjoyable. It manages to be deep yet accessible. The sprites used for characters have a beautiful, simple charm to them. Which is quite entertaining when they engage in bloody violence. I enjoy the depth of strategy in this game so much that I've even taken up the Straight Character Class Challenge, which is using a party entirely consisting of one class, and using only abilities from that class, without abusing power-leveling. The story is one of power, conspiracy, succession, and betrayal.
There is a 30 Days of Video Games I decided to fill out. I also added a stipulation for myself: No repeat entries.
Day 1 - Very first video game:
Day 2 - Your favorite character:
Day 3 - A game that is underrated:
Day 4 - Your guilty pleasure game:
Day 5 - Game character you feel you are most like (or wish you were):
Day 6 - Most annoying character:
Day 7 - Favorite game couple:
Day 8 - Best soundtrack:
Day 9 - Saddest game scene:
Day 10 - Best gameplay:
Day 11 - Gaming system of choice:
Day 12 - A game everyone should play:
Day 13 - A game you’ve played more than five times:
Day 14 - Current (or most recent) gaming wallpaper.
Day 15 - Post a screenshot from the game you’re playing right now.
Day 16 - Game with the best cut scenes.
Day 17 - Favorite antagonist.
Day 18 - Favorite protagonist.
Day 19 - Picture of a game setting you wish you lived in.
Day 20 - Favorite genre.
Day 21 - Game with the best story.
Day 22 - A game sequel which disappointed you.
Day 23 - Game you think had the best graphics or art style.
Day 24 - Favorite classic game.
Day 25 - A game you plan on playing.
Day 26 - Best voice acting.
Day 27 - Most epic scene ever.
Day 28 - Favorite game developer.
Day 29 - A game you thought you wouldn’t like, but ended up loving.
Day 30 - Your favorite game of all time.