The games that made me, me.

Everyone has a few iconic games that made them the gamer they are today. Some have more impact that others but it’s the ones that you always come back to that make the difference to you. I’m going to share my iconic games with you and add a word in the direction the franchise is heading.

Sonic the Hedgehog

The very first game I every played was this blue blur. I’ve played many of his incarnations, but like most Sonic fans, the megadrive games are the iconic ones for me. All the memories of running through Green Hill Zone (which as I was little I very rarely passed) are some of my more cherished childhood memories. I don’t know what that says about the quality of my childhood. But Sonic is definitely the character that I like the most from Video Games. And unlike some of the Gamers around now-a-days I enjoy most of the Sonic games I’ve played, yes that includes Sonic Unleashed, and I am looking forward to Sonic 4 and Sonic Colours with equal amounts. Both appealing to different types of Sonic fan.

Pokemon

My very first RPG game, Pokemon, has effected most people in someway. Pokemon is what got me into Handheld gaming. My first games being Ruby & Sapphire. Sure I have the brick that is the original Gameboy and my brother had the Gameboy Colour, but I never had Pokemon RBY or GSC. Ruby and Sapphire were the first I had, and they got me into RPG’s. Thanks to them I am a big fan of RPG’s and Story-driven games such as Final Fantasy 13 and Fable 2 (to name 2 I own). What’s in store for the series is looking to be extremely fun aswell. Pokemon Black and White look to be a brilliant step in a new direction for Pokemon.

Need For Speed

Need for Speed. It wasn’t my first trip into the Driving Game genre, and wasn’t my most recent either. But I can say, without the shadow of a doubt, that it is the series that got me interested in the Driving genre. 4 of the games in the series stand out for me as the ones that really effected me. The 2 underground games, most wanted and Carbon. All made within a few years of each other, they sparked my interest in driving games. See I had played other driving games, the TOCA Race Driver series for example, but all those tracks (with the odd exception, Monaco Grand Prix circuit for example) were proper dedicated Racing tracks. The 4 games in the Need for Speed series I mentioned weren’t on racing tracks. They were driving in cities. THIS is what sparked my interest. The idea that it could be done on normal roads was brilliant to me as a kid. This is why the next game in the Need for Speed franchise sparks my interest. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. A remake of an older game, and made by Burnout creators Criterion, it’s looking to be a great game full of action and real-road driving fun.

Guitar Hero

I’d like to say the Guitar Hero franchise had me from the beginning but that would be a lie. I have played the first one close to its launch (by which I mean within a year) but it was until I owned a copy of Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock that my interest in the genre of music rhythm games, and indeed rock music itself, really kicked off. Just wanting to be able to play harder difficulties is what kept me playing GH3, it didn’t hurt that it had an awesome set list, but when World Tour was announced, adding Drums in my heart jumped off a cliff. I’ve always wanted to play drums you see, kind of a hidden ambition of mine, and World Tour seemed to be answering my prayers. But it was actually another instrument in the game that got me playing it repeatedly. Bass. Yes, it was always there. But only in the Co-op modes. World Tour introduced the concept of playing it solo. And it was a godsend for the side of me wanting to play harder difficulties. I quickly advanced to Expert play on Bass, which reflected on to my ability to play Guitar, and now I love playing it in every Guitar Hero. Playing a seemingly unnoticed instrument I was. But without Bass a lot of rock/metal songs don’t sound at all the same. I can now safely say I want to buy my copy of Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock A.S.A.P.

Halo

Halo. It’s just fantastic to me. Most shoot-’em-up players seem to prefer Call of Duty. But Bungie’s brainchild will always win to me. It’s hard to explain. Ever since my first taste of it playing Halo 2 at a friend’s house I’ve loved the series. I’ve been gripped in fact. It’s gameplay isn’t like any other. Yeah it’s running and gunning just like Call of Duty, but it requires a different style of tactics to deliver that vital stick, or wither away those important shields. It seems to me to require more skill to play, and it’s kept me thrilled. As for its story, well, I love Sci-Fi what more need I say. The Halo setting seems like it was built for me because I adore it. Halo: Reach, the most recent installment, just helps concrete that in my mind.

It seems that I have gone through quite a few game genres, in varying detail. But these are the games I love and will always have a place in my gaming heart. Let’s try something new in the comments now. Share some of your most treasured games of your gaming past. Let’s compare and share in the sentimentality of the greatness that is Gaming.

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About Nick Duggan
I'm 19 an I study Computer Games Design at Staffordshire University. I'm a video gamer and also a Yu-Gi-Oh! collector/player. Twitter: @30DiedOnMars

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