8 Feb 2007

State of Gaming: The 1-Up Mushroom

Ahh... back to my gaming roots. I'm not going to talk about retro games in the post now (that would be saved for Retro! features). Instead, I shall talk about how I am now getting back into gaming and how I got out of it in the first place...

Until recently, I had been gaming quite a lot, whether its on the PC, Xbox or on an emulator. Even during my A Level examinations, I was playing quite a bit of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (averaging about 2 to 3 hours a day on that game). And then after my examinations, I sort of became really bored of gaming. Why? My PC has just hit 3 and my Xbox controller is starting to become a little wonky. Even emulated and casual/indie games began to seem boring. I tried to get back into gaming by playing C&C Generals, but I got bored of it after just 3 days. It was only 2 days ago that I suddenly realise what was wrong...

I had been depending too much on game guides. Yes folks, I'm a cheat. Every secret passage and hidden ending is known to me even before it happens. This took a lot of the fun exploration factor out of many games. Every major plot twist is known and bosses became too simple. Gameplay was punctuated by my frequent checks on GameFAQS. To cut this long story short, I began trying to enjoy games as it is meant to be played. With the help of Final Fantasy 6 (released as FF3 on the SNES to the US), I can now proudly say that I'm a gamer again. Games like this make me feel that there IS some hope in this industry filled with copies and unimaginative games. Too many games look like clones of each other, with the same style, gameplay and controls (the only difference being visual). Thankfully there's the Nintendo and SquareEnix to depend on for occasional surprises and constant quality.

With this flame re-ignited, I downloaded the demo for Supreme Commander the very moment it was available on FileAxis, and boy does it blow my mind! When I read articles and previews of this game, I couldn't really understand what was the big deal. The trailer (with the 10 or so nukes firing at the same time and gigantic experimental units roaming the beautifully destructible environment) made me more interested. The demo brought me to an orgasm. Seriously, you have to try it to feel the sense of scale and destruction for yourself. Play it. And be blown away by it. (www.fileaxis.com)

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