This is a thought exercise I saw in Rock, Paper, Shotgun a while ago. It is one of those posts I've been meaning to write for a long time but... uh...I kept getting distracted and didn't do it.
Anyway! Here is the hypothetical situation: Imagine that one day there is some weird cosmic event that wipes all games from existence. Not only that, anything related to those games is also wiped: game boxes, manuals, magazine articles, sites, etc. Even people's memories of those games existance are gone. Except you are given the choice of saving one game from this gamepocalypse.
Now think carefully about which game you want to choose. First because it will probably be the only game we'll have to play for a while. Secondly since it will be the "first video-game in the history of humans" it will influence a lot of developers in the short term as they try to figure out this new medium and on the players as they come to expect games to have features like that one.
I gave a lot of thought about which game I would choose but right now the only one I can think of is Morrowind.
Yes, I know there are lot of other games who do story or gameplay better. But I have quite a few reasons why I'd choose to save it from annihilation.
The other night while watching Pizza Maid's stream the topic of how we "codify" our appearance in games came up. It was a pretty good conversation and even prompted her to write a blog post about it which you can find it here. Go ahead and give it a read. I will be waiting until you come back. 🙂
Ok, back already? Like I said, in that conversation I don't usually have recurring themes when picking character appearances in single-player games except that my first character tends to be male, a melee class and whichever race picks my fancy at the moment of character creation.
Recently, Syl linked this music video from Chrono Trigger. Besides this giving me some warm, fuzzy feelings it also made me want to replay Chrono Trigger. The last time I played it must have been about 20 years ago, when I was still a teenager. Back then I didn't appreciate it as much as I should, just like many games of the time. I mean, I knew it was a good game back then but due to a combination of factors I just treated it as just another game to be played. There are a few reasons for that I think, the first is that like all things at a certain point in time we never consider that it may change. In this case, I never ever stopped to think there might never be other games like Chrono Trigger. I thought games like that would end up being made until the end of time. Or at least they would only get better and better. That the games that would be developed from that point, that even my tastes and gaming systems would change so much over the years were not something I ever considered.
Then there were the fact that I don't think my english (which is my second language) was still very well developed back then. Mix that with it being a rental that I would only keep for a day, maybe two, didn't give me much of a chance to appreciate the story or the characters.
All that makes me think of how much I missed, not only of the games I did play and forgot so much about, as well as a lot of other games that for a reason or another I missed.
As the steel grip that the Sims 3 had over me for several weeks is finally loosening (it can be a pretty addicting game if you like building and coming up with weird/funny concepts) I find myself looking at my always growing list of games unfinished and yet to play.
Most of my woes are with single player games. There are so many games there unfinished or that I haven't even started yet. Just to name a few: Planescape Torment (I have yet to find out how the story of the Nameless One ends!), Skyrim (Got to finish up getting the Thieves Guild back to its former glory, plus a few other things), Terraria (I haven't yet entered even in the dungeon!), both Torchlight games (Ironically the 2nd is so good that made me enjoy the first one for what it is too!), The Witcher and a lot more. The games I have yet to start playing aren't much better but at least I started to trim a bit on that one with Edna & Harvey: The Breakout, an excellent adventure game. The good thing about adventure games is that it is easy to play them in bite-sized sessions and they don't take too long to finish. Plus once you are finished with it you are pretty much done. There isn't much incentive to replay again until nostalgia hits you and you really need to revisit the game.