Steemit Gaming Challenge: Why Games Are Good

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Initially published on May 6th 2018 on Steemit

Source: Tigerfog

I received two challenges #whygamesaregoodchallenge from @retro-room and @darth-azrael to talk about four games that influenced me. I shall cover four games and my brother Tigerfog will cover four more in a future article that will be published once it’s ready. Without further ado, here’s my list in chronological order.

DuckTales on NES

DuckTales_NES_Cover.png
Source: Fair use, Link

How I discovered this game:

Like most kids who grew up in Quebec during the 80s, I had a NES and I enjoyed watching cartoons on Saturday mornings on Radio-Canada (French counterpart of CBS), especially DuckTales. When I found out there was a licensed game on the NES, I just had to try it. After I rented it several times, my aunt eventually buy me a copy which allowed me to spend countless hours playing it without worrying about late fees.

How this game defined me:

While it’s true the levels were varied and well designed, the music by Hiroshige Tonomura is a masterpiece and the gameplay was awesome especially Scrooge’s cane which can be used as a pogo stick or a golf club. How this game defined me besides the fact it’s the very first video game I ever finished is that it made me a Capcom fan and to this day represents living proof that **good** licensed games do exist. However, I naively believed back then that a game was automatically good if it was based on a licensed property.

The Secret of Monkey Island on MS-DOS

The_Secret_of_Monkey_Island_artwork.jpg
Source: Link

How I discovered this game:

My uncle had a pile of floppy disks containing various DOS games and while I was used to playing platformers and puzzle games, three games stood out by their gameplay that relied more on problem solving than ninja reflexes: Leisure Suit Larry which I didn’t know back then was for adults only, King’s Quest IV where it was very easy to die and Monkey Island which was the only game of the three where you used a mouse.

How this game defined me:

If I just discovered a new genre which is “graphic adventure game”, why then is Monkey Island the one that defined me? It was the first time that I could control a character using a mouse, choose my dialogue options during conversations, progress by solving wacky “think-outside-the-box” puzzles, win sword duels by having a better wit than my opponents insult-wise and being able to play without worrying about dying or be stuck in an unwinnable state because I forgot to pick an object from a location which was now unreachable. The reason why I own a digital copy of the game on Steam, GOG, iOS and PSN is simple: the timeless humor that never seems to get old no matter how many times I replay the game. Also, like DuckTales regarding licensed titles, I thought a game of this caliber was the norm and graphic adventure games were always supposed to be that funny.

Chrono Trigger on SNES

Chrono_Trigger.jpg
Source: Link

How I discovered this game:

While I spent my childhood in Quebec, I spent my teenage years in France where I discovered the “Club Dorothée” on TF1 (a French TV channel) and the fabulous world of animes like DragonBall Z which was an obsession of mine for so long. One day, I read in a magazine that an RPG was coming soon on the SNES and I noticed that Crono, the game’s main character looked strangely like Gohan, a DBZ character. It’s by learning promotional and in-game artworks were handled by DBZ creator Akira Toriyama that I decided to give this game a shot by renting it while I was visiting Quebec. Many rentals later, I ended up getting my own copy that I’ve since completed at 100%.

How this game defined me:

Before Chrono Trigger, I wasn’t too crazy about RPGs and whenever I watched someone else play, I was annoyed that level grinding was necessary to gain enough experience in order to progress. Also, I found that stories in RPGs tended to be the same for the most part. How was Chrono Trigger different? I really loved the idea of blending medieval, sci-fi and time travels elements in a single storyline, I grew attached to all major characters that I considered to be well-developed and interesting, the story got me hooked from day one, I could unlock multiple endings, the team attacks depending on current characters in your party that are used as part of fighting mechanics made battles more dynamic, I never felt the need to level grind and most of all, the soundtrack by Yasunori Mitsuda with contributions from Nobuo Uematsu and Noriko Matsueda still remains my all-time favorite by far.

One more thing:

While I already replayed the game on PlayStation and Nintendo DS, there’s another way to re-experience this timeless classic if you own both a SNES and an SD2SNES flashcart. You simply need to patch the game to be able to play using symphonic orchestral music from Blake Robinson’s Chrono Symphony album. You need to provide your own digital copy of the game and buy Blake Robinson’s album but instructions are available at this link.

This hack is possible thanks to Michaël Larouche a.k.a. DarkShock who presented it in his YouTube video.

Source: YouTube (Michaël Larouche)

Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles on PSP

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Source: Link

How I discovered this game:

At first, I wasn’t interested in the Castlevania series because back then, I was going through a phase where I played mostly RPGs and fighting games but I was fascinated by the vampire mythology. By further looking into it, I grew to appreciate the stories about the Belmonts who across centuries were almost always there to stand between Dracula and humanity. Not long after I bought a PSP, I decided to take the plunge via Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles, a remake of Castlevania: Rondo of Blood on PC Engine.

How this game defined me:

Besides the gothic atmosphere, equally exciting and scary music, a variety of subweapons in addition to the famed “Vampire Killer”, a whip passed down from a Belmont to another (with a few exceptions), a difficulty level that’s high enough without being impossible, it’s really the eternal battle between good and evil with supposedly insurmountable odds akin to David against Goliath that made me a (belated) Castlevania fan. In conclusion, Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles was my first step into this universe and I’ve since bought more games from that franchise.

That’s it for me. While I wait for Tigerfog’s contributions, it’s my turn to challenge the following Steemians:
@baart
@brokenzombie
@dekeigaming
@imaginalex
@ixindamix
@ragepeanut

If you liked this post, please consider upvoting and resteeming it and to be further updated on future posts, follow me on Steemit. Thanks for reading and see you next time.

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