Thursday, December 21, 2006

Re: An interesting question

Incognito, I would have to say that my vote for most important game is actually a pair (a cop-out I know, but I am appealing to your magnanimity as the newly crowned man of the year) of 3do games which really altered my perceptions of what games could be: Star Control 2 and Shock Wave 2. What these games did that very few, if any, games did before them, was to apply a deep and interesting story to genres that hadn't really utilized story in such a way before.

In Star Control, the basic gameplay consists of rotating your two dimensional space ship around an oppoisng two dimensional space ship until you can blow said other ship up. But what Star Control 2 added was a point. All of a sudden, you were the sole free human being in the universe and it was your job to stop those other two dimensional space ships from enslaving the remainder of humanity. Add the fact that you could finish the game while only discovering roughly half its secrets, and you have what may be my favorite game of all time.

In Shock Wave 2, you pilot a fighter craft against an alien horde seeking to enslave humanity. I know, I know, "Wow what an original story!" But the reason it was so influential to me, is that it, like Star Control 2, raised the notion of applying story to areas where it had not been present before. Both Shock Wave games are essentially mock-up first person flight games in the vain of the old Empire Strikes Back arcade machine. But in Shock Wave 2 there are characters and plot lines that give impact to the missions you play, and for the first time in my memory playing the game was like participating in a science fiction movie come to life.

I am sure that other games have accomplished the integration of game play and story better than these two, at least by now, but for opening my eyes to what video games can be, these two games get my vote as most influential. Good question, Incognito.

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