Categories
General

My love affair with video games

People who read my blog and watch my youtube can conclude a few things about what I like: I like technology, I like computers, I like guitar and music, and I like video games. I’ve already talked somewhat about technology, gadgets and guitars on my blog, so now time to talk about video games and my history with them:

Computer games and video games were basically what got me interested in programming; My dad was a programmer and he was also kind of a tech geek as well, he bought the latest powerful computers (at that time was a 486 IBM PC I believe), and he always bought me and my brother CDs and floppy disks full of cool DOS games. My mother was never a fan of games and she always thought it interfered with our studies, but my dad was the one who got me into computer science and programming. I remember playing all these cool and obscure DOS games on these CDs, which were often full of things like 50+ shareware titles etc. Thats how I became acquainted with such classics as Doom, Duke Nukem 3D, Commander Keen, Shadow Warrior, Rise of the Triad, Xargon, Jill of the Jungle, and a host of other games usually by Apogee, Epic Games or Sierra. I still have fond memories of those games to this day. I think my favorites are still Rise of the Triad, Shadow Warrior, Traffic Department 2192 and Dark Sun shattered lands.

In elementary school, everyday after classes I would go to my childhood friend’s house and play Goldeneye 007 on his N64. That was the best multiplayer game at that time and we must’ve played 100s of hours worth of that game.

For video game consoles, my mom wouldn’t let me get one until I was in high school. In high school, I was allowed to have my own computer (Dell Inspiron 7500 laptop) as well as the original Xbox console. I played a lot of Gunbound and Ragnarok Online when I was in high school, almost to the point of becoming an MMORPG addict. I wouldn’t even play the game, I would just go online to chat with my online friends on there. That’s how I made a lot of friends back then, due to how shy I was in person.

On the Xbox, I would play Soul Calibur 2, Halo, Halo 2, and Call of Duty 3 with my friends. As well as GTA III and GTA Vice Citywhich was released on the Xbox a little later after the PS2 version as well as exclusives like Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire. Back then, LAN parties were actually LAN parties because every game had split screen multiplayer. Halo 2 was definitely the game I played the most with my friends in high school.

In university, I would meet new friends at my computer science program, and they would often play fighting games like Super Smash Bros Melee and Street Fighter IV. I was never good at fighting games but I was pretty decent at Rock Band and Guitar Hero, which were all the rage back in those days. I would also go back to my hometown during holidays and play Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4 with my old high school friends. I would also play Magic Online a lot (those were the old days when Magic Online had the great 2 headed giant format.. I sorely miss it).

I would also bring games back home to play with my brother. In elementary school and high school we would play various obscure 2 player DOS games like Liero, Gladiator, The Ultimate TK, C-dogs, emulated games like DBZ Hyper Dimension, Final Fight 3, Super Double Dragon, Battletoads, Gunstar Heroes, Gundam Wing Endless Waltz, Metal Warriors for SNES, and Starcraft 2 Marine Arena and Rise of Legends together.

During university, I also had a modded Playstation 2 and modded Xbox 360. The reason being that I was poor in those days, and didn’t have enough money to buy games, so I just burned all my games and played them on modded consoles. Persona 3 and Timesplitters Future Perfect for PS2 and for Xbox 360 too many to remember.

After I graduated, I finally made more money, and bought the Playstation 3 and Playstation 4. Me and my good friend / coworker would play a lot games together, but usually basketball games, wrestling games or fighting games like NBA 2K or Marvel vs Capcom. On the PC, I would play Farcry 4 and Borderlands with my other friend as well. Some of those sessions are available on Youtube.

So thats my history with video games. Some of my favorite games are FPS or RPG games. I love Goldeneye 007, Halo 2, Duke Nukem 3D, Star Wars Battlefront 2 (the old one), Starcraft & Starcraft 2, Timesplitters, Persona series, Chrono Trigger (the best RPG ever still IMO), Knights of the Old Republic 2, Fallout series, Deus Ex series, Farcry series, Borderlands series, The Sims (I used to rec-create all my friends/classmates/coworkers) starting from Sims 2, Saints Row series, Liero, and Sleeping Dogs (a game I REALLY wish they would make a sequel to).

Categories
Tech

Top 20 Greatest video games of all time

Yay.. another top 20 list!! Here we go.. the topic is Video games. I’m going to list the video games in order of influence, and mention the developer, the first console it was published for (starting with Atari, not gonna count Space War or Pong since those were before consoles), and the first year it was released in.

1. Doom

Doom made FPS games popular
Doom made FPS games popular

Developer: id Software
Console: PC (MS-DOS)
Year: 1993

This game is the most important of all time because it made first person shooters popular. There were FPS games before Doom like Wolf3D and Catacomb Abyss, but this was the most well known one. Without Doom, we wouldn’t have the multi-billion dollar gaming industry of Call of Duty and Halo like we do now, its that simple. I remember my parents wouldn’t let me play this game because it was “violent” at the time. Now seems silly cause its so pixellated.

2. Space Invaders

Space Invaders pioneered shooting games
Space Invaders pioneered shooting games

Developer: Taito Corporation
Console: Atari 2600 (first port)
Year: 1978

Space Invaders has become synonymous with video games because of the pixellated space alien character. It pioneered space shooting games which were popular in the 1980s, and video games in general because without it, the modern video game industry wouldn’t have been born. This is the game that made Atari 2600 popular, and thus making video games a viable industry as a whole.

3. Pac-man

Pac-man is one of the most enduring popular arcade games of all time
Pac-man is one of the most enduring popular arcade games of all time

Developer: Namco
Console: Atari 2600 (first port)
Year: 1980

Pac-man, like Space Invaders, made video games accepted and popular among the masses. It was a brilliantly addictive game that continues to be widely played today. This game and space invaders helped create the video game industry and pave way for more advanced games, both on arcades and on consoles.

4. Tetris

Tetris is one of the most popular games of all time
Tetris is one of the most popular games of all time

Developer: Alexey Pajitnov
Console: Gameboy (most well known)
Year: 1989 (for gameboy)

Tetris is one of the most addictive and popular video games of all time. Designed by one Russian programmer, it has led to numerous versions and remixes, and continues to be widely known and played, much like Pac-man. This was the game that sold Game boy to the masses.

5. Super Mario Bros

Super Mario Bros made platformers popular and revived the video game industry
Super Mario Bros made platformers popular and revived the video game industry

Developer: Nintendo
Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Year: 1985

Super Mario Bros made platformers popular in the late 80s/early 90s, and revived the video game industry from the crash of 1983. It is one of the most well known and important video games of all time. The success of this game led to the success of games like Sonic, and Super Mario 64, and other platforming games, but this is the original.

6. Grand Theft Auto III

GTA3 made sandbox games popular
GTA3 made sandbox games popular

Developer: Rockstar North
Console: Playstation 2
Year: 2001

Hard to estimate the impact of this game. In 2001, games were mostly linear, requiring you to finish a set of goals in a certain order. When this game came out, people were blown away because of the freedom they had. I had friends who played this game for days on end, because there was essentially no “end” to it. You could just not do the missions and just go about the city. This was and is a landmark title for video games for that kind of influence.

7. Halo: Combat Evolved

Halo changed the FPS genre
Halo changed the FPS genre

Developer: Bungie
Console: Xbox
Year: 2001

This game single-handededly saved Microsoft’s ass, and revitalized the FPS genre to boot. When Halo came out, it popularized the notion of using vehicles in FPS, and using shields instead of health packs, and only carrying two weapons. In comparison to 90s FPS like Doom, Quake, Duke3D, Unreal Tournament, which focused more on how many weapons and powerups you could get. Without Halo, there wouldn’t be Call of Duty or Battlefield or modern FPS’s.

8. Street Fighter II

Street Fighter II popularized fighting games
Street Fighter II popularized fighting games

Developer: Capcom
Console: Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Year: 1992

This game made the fighting genre popular in the 90s, and spawned other games like Killer Instinct, Mortal Kombat, Soul Calibur, etc. Anyone ever heard of Street Fighter I?? No, everyone talks about II, because this is the one that made it to the USA and made it popular. This is the one that had like 20 different versions.

9. World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft is the first popular MMORPG
World of Warcraft is the first popular MMORPG

Developer: Blizzard
Console: PC
Year: 2004

World of Warcraft was the first popular MMORPG. Yes I know there was Everquest and Ultima Online, but WoW made the genre really well known in the public mind. People died over this game. People starved their kids to play this game. Anyways, its immensely influential, and you can see its influence in MMORPGs today like League of Legends and Guild Wars.

10. Legend of Zelda

Legend of Zelda was a landmark adventure game
Legend of Zelda was a landmark adventure game

Developer: Nintendo
Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Year: 1986

Legend of Zelda was a landmark adventure game for the genre. It established elements popular in the genre including the overhead map, puzzles, role playing, etc. The influence of Zelda can be felt in virtually every adventure and RPG game today.

11. Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII popularized JRPGs in the west
Final Fantasy VII popularized JRPGs in the west

Developer: Squaresoft
Console: Playstation
Year: 1997

Final Fantasy VII made Japanese RPGs popular in western culture.. before there were a minority of players playing great classics like Dragon Quest and Chrono Trigger but JRPGs really became popular after Final Fantasy made it. Final Fantasy established the traditional JRPG formula, and blended it with great graphics and great storytelling, and spawned a legion of cosplayer fans everywhere. Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger are considered amongst the greatest RPGs of all time, but I think FFVII still wins based on influence.

12. Angry Birds

Angry Birds made mobile games a force to reckon with
Angry Birds made mobile games a force to reckon with

Developer: Rovio
Console: iOS
Year: 2009

Angry Birds is the game that really made mobile games a force to contend with. They were such a runaway hit, and spawned such successful sequels that now iOS and Android can compete with PSP and Nintendo DS in the handheld market. In 2009, no one thought mobile games would be that big. Before Angry Birds, mobile games were essentially the equivalent of flash games and facebook games. But Angry Birds really proved how successful mobile games could be.

13. Starcraft

Starcraft is one of the most influential RTS games of all time
Starcraft is one of the most influential RTS games of all time

Developer: Blizzard
Console: PC
Year: 1998

Starcraft was one of my most beloved games when I was young. I used to make mods and conversions for it, and played the LAN multiplayer all day with my friends. It is one of the most influential RTS games of all time. It is so successful in Korea that they have 24 hour channels broadcasting tournaments there. The races are perfectly balanced. The story is great. The cinematics are awesome. And the multiplayer is very addictive. Even 15 years later, my Korean friends are still playing it.

14. Goldeneye 007

Goldeneye 007 made FPS the multiplayer genre
Goldeneye 007 made FPS the multiplayer genre

Developer: Rare
Console: Nintendo 64
Year: 1997

I’m also going to put Quake in this entry as well, but basically these two games changed FPS’s from Doom-like clones and dungeon shootem ups to a genre with more realistic graphics and awesome multiplayer abilities. I remember playing Goldeneye for hours every day after school at my friends house, and the multiplayer was just awesome. All those cheats, levels and mods were great. A very influential game in the genre.

15. Half Life

Half life gave FPS games more story and depth
Half life gave FPS games more story and depth

Developer: Valve
Console: PC
Year: 1998

Like Goldeneye, Halo, Doom and Quake, Half-life evolved the FPS genre. Where Goldeneye and Quake made FPS’s more realistic, Half-life gave them more depth, making use of scripted dialog to make the game feel more like a cinematic film rather than a typical shoot-em up. Without Half-life, there wouldn’t be Halo, and without Halo there wouldn’t be modern FPS games like Call of Duty.

16. Commander Keen

Commander Keen made smooth scrolling platforming possible on the PC
Commander Keen made smooth scrolling platforming possible on the PC

Developer: id Software
Console: PC (MS-DOS)
Year: 1990

Ahh.. how I loved playing Commander Keen in my childhood. This was the first game to use smooth scrolling platforming on the PC, and it revolutionized platform gaming on the PC. After Commander Keen came out, all these DOS games that were basically platforming clones of it came out as well. Commander Keen itself was based on the smooth platforming of Super Mario, that wasn’t done on PC at the time until John Carmack figured out a way to do it.

17. Sim City

Simcity made simulation games popular
Simcity made simulation games popular

Developer: Maxis
Console: PC (MS-DOS)
Year: 1989

Sim City (and by extension, the Sims), made simulation games a viable genre. Before Simcity, there weren’t any really good simulators out for things like playing God and building your own city, or controlling your own inhabitants. Its legacy can be felt in virtually all Sims games by both Maxis and other companies.

18. Pokemon

Pokemon revolutionized handheld RPGs
Pokemon revolutionized handheld RPGs

Developer: Game Freak
Console: Game Boy
Year: 1998

Boy, was Pokemon a huge fad when it came out. Pokemon cartoons, stuffed animals, trading cards – kind of like how Angry Birds is now. Anyways, it was a huge deal when it hit the US, because the concepts were so unique. Catching monsters to battle?? Trading monsters?? TWO versions of the same game?? It was such a unique idea at the time, and it was executed so well. Millions of children became addicted to the game, and I still don’t mind playing it today.

19. Deus Ex

Deus Ex is considered the  best PC game of all time
Deus Ex is considered the best PC game of all time

Developer: Ion Storm
Console: PC
Year: 2000

Deus Ex is a game of magnificent proportions… released by Ion Storm (the same studio that made the ill-fated Daikatana) in 2000, the game combines FPS, stealth, adventure and RPG genres, and does it seamlessly. For the great blend of elements, gameplay, graphics, storytelling and sheer scope, its often considered the best PC game of all time. Its legacy can be felt in virtually all sci-fi FPS’s since then, including Bioshock and Fallout 3.

20. Wii Sports

Wii Sports made casual and motion gaming popular
Wii Sports made casual and motion gaming popular

Developer: Nintendo
Console: Nintendo Wii
Year: 2006

Wii Sports, along with Guitar Hero, made casual games part of social parties, and made motion/peripheral gaming popular. Without Wii Sports, its arguable whether or not Nintendo would have sold so many Wii consoles, and its influence on casual gaming is pretty vast, having influenced pretty much the design of the PS Move and the Xbox Kinect, and all those motion based games as well.