Zomg, do you like FPSs? Are you stuck in the early 90s? Do you think Quake is still one of the best games ever made?
THEN YOU NEED TO TRY DUSK
It’s so good.
I’m not very far in, but—let me say it again—it’s so good. Most video games don’t hold my attention for very long for some reason. It takes a really special game to keep me actually engaged for any stretch of time. This list of games includes:
- Fallout 3
- Rock Band
- Euro Truck Simulator 2
- The Sims*
I can now add Dusk to that list. I could play this for hours at a time.
*The Sims is…special. I will spend three hours making a family, but as soon as I’m tasked with building them a house, I “nope” outta there to go make a new family. I’m one of those Sims players.
I’m unsure as to whether or not I classify myself as a gamer. Sure, I obsess over the five or so games I adore, but apart from them I’m certainly not a hardcore Xbox-hugging control-gripping game freak.
I do, however, love a good shooter.
Give me an FPS and I can go for hours (Unreal, anyone?). I’ve caught a lot of flak for this when I happen to mention it to people who are gamers but generally stay away from this violent genre. I usually get the “I hate shooters, they’re so mindless and boring,” or something along those lines, usually followed up by a defense for fantasy, RPG, or pretty much any other genre. In a sense, I agree. Take Quake, for example. There’s a “plot,” but it is grossly overshadowed by levels and levels of straight killing for killing’s sake.
Boring? Yeah, okay, maybe, but only if you take it at that value. Back in my “I’m seven years old and my fingers can barely reach the arrow keys on the keyboard” days, I didn’t really see Quake above that level because I really couldn’t. Physically, it was a challenge to finish the game. Once I got older, though, I continued to obsessively play Quake. Why? Two words: speed runs.
I’ve posted The Rabbit Run on here before, and I think it’s an excellent example of how shooters can be fun past the “MUST DESTROY EVERYTHING LIVING” mode of gameplay. Basically, if you can find another element to tweak while you’re playing, there’s far less focus on the mere shooting aspect and more focus on whatever other element you’re trying to maximize/minimize/perfect.
Another example of this for me is Gears of War 2 (thanks mainly to Aaron). Apart from the incessant stream of possible Cole Train jokes arising from the campaign mode, the main pull of this game for me is the Horde. In Horde (both single- and multiplayer) there are 50 levels, each with an increasing number and/or difficulty level of enemies that you must kill without being killed yourself. It’s not so difficult when you’re going through it with a partner, but by yourself it’s freaking tedious as hell. And that’s what’s so great about it, at least for me. Between rounds of freaking out about Multivariate Analysis and Linear Algebra back in spring semester 2009, I spent my time trying to work my way through all 50 levels of Horde in easy mode. It literally took me months to complete.
Of course, anyone who knows me in the slightest knows I love tedious, and that’s exactly what this game provided. Shooters, in my opinion, when played correctly, are horribly tedious. And that’s the fun part (it’s another reason I adore Fallout 3 as much as I do, too, now that I think about it). It’s why I get a bit upset when people bash shooters as these mindless violence trips. Sure they are, most likely, for some people. But for some of the gaming population like myself, we approach them and work through them like ten pages of matrix algebra.
And that rocks the socks off of a fox.
Quake rules and here’s why:
10. When you’re totally out of ammo, you still get an axe
Almost as good as the crowbar in Half-Life (though nothing will ever beat that), when you’ve exhausted all ammo (Shamblers, anyone?) you’re left with a little bloody axe that you swing like a dork. It’s freaking great.
I love Scrags, and I’m not really sure why. I remember we had to make soda bottle water rockets in 5th grade, and I managed to decorate mine to look like a Scrag (obsessive much?). There’s a level that’s almost entirely Scrags; I like to go into God mode and just play with them. Yeah, I’m that cool.
8. You kill the final boss by waiting until a purple spiked ball floats through her
To my little first grade mind when I first played through Quake, this was so freaking amazing. You had to time it so that you went through a teleport gate as the little spiky goes through her body. While you’re surrounded by Shamblers. And lava. Yay.
7. Story line? Pfft.
That was the good thing about mindless FPS games back in the early nineties—they were mindless. I like shooters, especially when there’s no other point than to see how good you can be with strafing while shooting. When (actual) story lines are developed, it loses some of the genre’s charm.
6. Cheating is super fun
No clip activated in water + God mode = JESUS FLIGHT! I always used to fly up and out of the map, or into the weird little ceiling textures above some of the upper levels. It was great. I really need to play more Quake.
5. The Nailgun(s)
DUDE I LOVE THESE. I got my gamer name (Nailpit) partially due to these guns. There’s nothing more satisfying than firing a crapton of nails at stuff. Except maybe being Gordon Freeman.
These things scared me when I was little. I really, really didn’t like them. They shoot lightning bolts from their hands and make this awful guttural growl. Plus they’re one of the hardest enemies to kill.
3. Quake is perfect for speedruns
Quake Done Quick and The Rabbit Run are two very nice speedruns through all the levels of Quake, proving that with games like these, run-throughs can be done at a ridiculously fast pace. Pretending to be good at doing so is pretty fun, too.
2. Quake begot Half-Life
And we all know how awesome Half-Life is.
1. The fact that you can play it effectively with just arrow keys, a spacebar, and the control button
This is my favorite component of Quake. It has a y-axis, but you don’t really need to use it. “Aiming” is essentially accomplished by pointing your weapon in the general direction of the enemy and firing; there’s never any real need to look up or down, unless you’re paranoid about platforms or possible enemies on floors above.
I guess I like it ‘cause you don’t need a mouse to play it, just a bit of finger dexterity on the keyboard. That appealed very strongly to my first grade mind, and now that the majority of games I play are on the Xbox 360 or are PC games that require the use of y-axis looking, I really appreciate the simplicity of “up, down, right, left, spacebar jump, control key shoot” gameplay.
Today’s song: Caramelldansen by Caramell
OH GOD IT’S ANOTHER LIST WHO WOULD HAVE EVER GUESSED
Hi people. Today I shall provide you with (gasp!) a list of my favorite games of all time. I’ve been gaming a lot lately, due to the fact that school has yet to begin up here.
I grew up on this game, so it has become part of my soul. This is one of those retro early ‘90s FPSs with no story and horrible (read: awesome) graphics. I was so damn good at this game when I was a kid.
Rock Band/Rock Band II
This game is for crazy people like Sean and myself who take it way too seriously. This game is for all college students who, despite having way too much to study for, are able to somehow play in a fake band for 4 hours straight every Monday-Saturday. In other words, this game is awesome.
The most recent addition to this list, Fallout 3 is half FPS, half RPG, and it is for those reasons that I love it. It’s also got a lot of humor (threesome offers from soda enthusiasts and love letters from people who want to blow up your city, anyone?) and there are a lot of different ways to “make” your character. Awesome.
Oh, and Button.
OH GOD RETRO! Another of those early ‘90s/late ‘80s games, Cosmic Osmo is a Mac (Macintosh, back then, I guess, eh?) game that’s entirely in black and white, which allowed for the world to be HUGE, especially for back in those days. Totally a kid’s game, totally awesome. It’s really hard to find now; apparently eBay copies are selling for like $300. It also can’t be played on Macs nowadays, which blows.
The Sims 1 and 2
The Sims is great. I always made my Sims as replicates of people I knew in real life, then I married people that I thought would go well together, and sometimes I would kill my enemies. Then I got a metric ton of mods and my Sims became orange, giant babies, 500-pound fat guys, skeletons, floating torsos, and were able to have ridiculous amounts of children (FOUR HUNDRED BABIES!). Fun times.
Gordon Freeman is like the Chuck Norris of video games. Alternate univerise alien creatures show up, Gordon’s all, “not in MY research facility, bitches!” Then he whips out his crowbar and weilds it in a way only an MIT graduate could. I wonder how bad his PTSD was after this incident? Like, every time someone mentioned the word “rotors,” did he start spazzing and chucking crowbars at fellow scientists?
That would be a great alternate sequel. “Half-Life 2: Mental Breakdown.”
So have you ever seen a game made entirely out of clay? Well then you’ve obviously never played this. It’s sort of a puzzle game, in which you play Klayman, a clay dude (durh) who has to somehow get the true king Hoborg’s crown back from the evil Klogg. The music is rad, and the little touches this game has make it awesome.
Gears of War
Because “I ON DA COLE TRAIN!” is the best thing to shout in any situation. And because I like shooters.
So remember that blog a few days back when I was talking about Quake? Well, these guys apparently hold the record for finishing the whole game: 10 minutes and 58 seconds. It sounds pretty impressive, but wait until you see them play it. I have three words to describe them: Lords of Quake.
I have the utmost respect for these guys.
Oh, and by the way: this was done on Easy. The record on Nightmare (the hardest) difficulty? Just a minute slower.