Thursday, 18 November 2010

Gamer Girl: Oh, The Memories...

"Oh, F.F.S, let ME do it!"
Being a Gamer Girl, you may have guessed that I spend an obscene amount of my time playing video games.  F.P.S's, R.P.G's, detective games, I love them all.  I couldn't possibly list my top ten games because, A, the list changes all the time depending on my mood, and, B, I couldn't limit it to just ten games.  So instead I am going to list my top ten memorable moments in gaming.  Coming up with this list wasn't easy as there are so many great moments in my video game history, but I have been able to limit them to the memories that had the most profound effect on me.

*WARNING:  This list will contain spoilers if you haven't played the games.*

Honorable mentions:

Pyramid Head from the "Silent Hill" series
Without a doubt, Pyramid Head is one scary dude.  He is the stuff nightmares are made of, but as frightening as his is, he didn't make my final top ten because I'd already heard so much about him before I started playing the "Silent Hill" games, so it took the edge off of my fear.

Dr. Salvador  from "Resident Evil 4".
"Resi. 4" is by far my favourite of the series, and being chased by a mad man with a chainsaw and a sack over his head is certainly worth an honorable mention, even if it is extremely cliched.

A gorgeous looking game which is let down drastically by it's terrible game play and cringeworthy sex scene.  The game looks good, but it smells of wee.

10.  "Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion" - It's raining dogs!
Madness carries a big stick.
Throughout your travels across Tamriel, you will occasionally stumble across shrines of the many gods of the land.  One of these holy beings is called Sheogorath, and, quite frankly, he's bonkers.  He doesn't like a nearby village and so recruits you to demoralize the people that live there.  After you've carried out the tasks for him (boiling stinky cheese to attract rodents and poisoning the sheep), he tells you to stand back and watch as he performs a miracle.  And so he makes it rain.  He makes it rain dogs.  You are standing in the middle of a village, looking at the blood red sky, and it's raining dogs the size of alsations.  Definitely one of the most surreal moments in any game.

9.  "Mass Effect" - One of them must die.
Who lives? Who Dies? YOU decide!
Death isn't unusual in video games, particularly in first person shooters, but this death was a bit different.  After exploring the universe and going on many an adventure with your crew of misfits, you get to a point in the game when you are forced to make a decision.  You have to send one of your team into a battle where the odds are stacked against them.  You have two people to choose from;  the fiesty (if a little annoying) Ashley, or the brainy (if slight monotonous) Kaiden.  In my case, I chose to send in Ashley thinking that she's the better of the two at combat, and, hey, she's an important character, the game isn't going kill her off just like that, is it?  Is it?  Boy, was I wrong.  Off she goes in her space ship to fight the monsters, and that's the last you ever see of her.  Words cannot express the guilt I felt.  Yes, I know it wasn't real life, but when a game manages to evoke feelings of sadness and guilt, you know it's well written.  Either that, or your just too pathetic for words.

Madness wears red lipstick.
8.  "Bioshock" - Madness takes it's toll.
Sander Cohen is probably one of the most twisted characters I have ever come across.  This self-proclaimed musical genius is twisted beyond belief, and when people make him mad, he doesn't just want revenge; he wants them dead.  So you have to kill them and take a photo of their managled corpses to put on display on a sculpture comprising of more dead bodies wearing bunny rabbit masks.  Just a typical day in the underwater land of Rapture, I guess.

7.  "Portal" - Let them eat cake.
I only discovered "Portal" a couple of months ago, and it really is an enchanting game.  You wander around with a clever little zappy gun, shooting doors into walls and avoiding traps.  A super brain computer follows your trials with the promise of cake at the end of it, only to turn psycho and pull out all the stops in an attempt to kill you.  The game isn't very long, taking only an hour or so to complete when you get the hang of what your doing, but it's still worth playing as it's such a clever concept.  And it's worth playing all the way through to hear the gorgeous song at the end.  This tune was stuck in my brain for days after, but I still love it.

6.  "Vampire, The Masqurade:  Bloodlines" - Same Difference.
Madness... Oh, never mind...
Long before the "Twilight" phenomenom managed to ruin the vampire genre for an entire generation, this game tries to capture the essence of what it would be like to actually be a vampire and some what manages to succeed.  You have to drink blood to survive, you can only come out at night, and you don't bloody sparkle!  But for me, the most memorable moment of the game is meeting two of its characters.  Therese and Jeanette are sisters who run The Asylum nightclub, and they couldn't be more different from each other if they tried.  Therese is intelligent and sensible, whereas Jeanette is seductive and mischevious.  They both have some errands for you to do, and after a while it dawns on you that you never see them both at the same place at the same time.  Yes, you guessed it, they're the same person, but the way the storyline handles this is brilliant.  When you actually see them together in the same body, the acting is superb and the contrast between the two conflicting personalties is handled fantastically.  I'm not altogether sure how one of them manages to kill the other with a bullet and not kill themselves in the process, but I'm guessing it must be a vampire thing.

5.  "Bully" (a.k.a. "Canis Canem Edit") - I kissed a boy.
"Oh, Jimmy!"
This game became infamous for all the wrong reasons.  Parents started yelling about how this game is disgusting as it's about bullying, and some stores jumped straight up on the bandwagon and refused to sell it.  In truth, the game is more about standing up to the bullys and reforming them. True, I wouldn't recommend this game to youngsters as there is an element of violence in it, but at the same time, parents allow their kids to watch "Tom and Jerry" and they're forever beating the living daylights out of each other with frying pans.  I can't help thinking some people have double standards.

Anyway, enough or the rant.  In "Bully", you play a character called Jimmy Hopkins, and he has a way with the ladies.  One of the ways to increase Jimmy's health (apart from drinking copious amounts of fizzy pop) is to kiss girls.  You say something nice, give them some flowers or chocolate, and they reward you with a peck or occasionally a full on smooch.  It's kind of sweet. So, imagine my surprise when little Jimmy started kissing the boys too.  Yes, it appears that the main character in "Bully" swings both ways, and in each of the 5 cliques at Bullworth Academy, there's a boy who has the hots for him.  I'm not sure whether the programmers put this is for a laugh or whether they really wanted to show some sexual diversity, but either way it was genius.

4.  "Fallout 3" - Not a happy place.
She knows all your secrets.
You go into a virtual reality pod which transports you to a charming little street that looks like something out of a 1950's American sitcom, only to discover that your dad has been turned into a dog by a mad German scientist who choses to take the appearance of a blonde haired little girl, and in order to escape, you launch a program that enables a chinese army to invade the lane and kill the inhabitents.  Enough said really.

3.  "Dragon Age: Origins" - Heartbreaker.
Oh, Alistair, how could you!?
The only way to describe "D.A.O." is epic.  The game is so long and so detailed, with fantastic interactions between the N.P.C's and a truly incredible storyline.  It is also the only game I played where I was dumped by a computer generated boyfriend.The first time I played it, my character was a mage elf.  Throughout the course of the game, she struck up a relationship with the party's male eye-candy, Alistair.  Eventually they became romantically involved (which included a laughably bad "romance" scene in a tent), and seemed set to live happily ever after - only for my poor little elf to be dumped when he became king.  Gutted isn't the word.  I invested a lot of time in him, brought him countless presents and did everything I could to make him happy, only to be told "I'm going to be king, you can't be my queen because you're a lowly elf, see ya!"  It hurt.  A computer game actually hurt my feelings.  I ate a lot of chocolate that night.

2.  "Final Fantasy VII" - What do you mean, she's dead?
R.I.P. Aeris/Aerith
I loved playing R.P.G's on my old P.S.1, and F.F.7 was one of the first games I ever played.  I loved exploring unknown lands, having random conversations with strangers and riding chocobos.  It was fun!  What wasn't fun was when the storyline killed one of the main characters so early on in the game.  They weren't allowed to do that!  They weren't allowed to introduce a character, let you get to know on her and rely on her in to heal your party in battles, and then just kill her!  All the way through the rest of the game I kept expecting Aeris (as she was called in my game, but I know sometimes she's named Aerith for some bizarre reason) to make a reappearance, to pop up suddenly and say, "  Surprise!  I wasn't really killed.  That giant sword missed all of my vital organs and I'm all better now."  But no.  She was dead.  I sulked.  And I felt Cloud's pain.

1.  "Thief: Deadly Shadows" - Rocking the cradle.

"Who you gonna call?"
This game has made the top of my list for two reasons.  Firstly, it was because of "T.D.S." that I went from playing console games to p.c. games.  Secondly, because one part of it is so damn scary!During the game, you end up having to pay a visit to the Shalebridge Cradle, a dilapidated building that was once an insane asylum and orphanage (although why anyone would put the two together is beyond me).  The building is old, dark and creaking, so it comes as no surprise when you discover it's also haunted by the ghost of a little girl named Lauryl who was killed there.  You need to help her in her transition to the afterlife by gathering her belongings so Cradle will forget she was ever there.  To do this, you need to travel back in time, and this is where the game gets really creepy.  It is impossible for me to describe how chilling it is wandering around the dark corridors which are patrolled by staff and patients, so you'll just have to take my word for it.  Suffice to say that the spooky sounds, atmospheric lighting and the down right scariness of sneaking down the corridors, praying that none of the homicidal lunatics will see you made me jump in fear on many an occasion.

So, that's my list.  Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions, as I would be interested to know what your most memorable gaming moments were.  In the meantime, I hear the wastelands of Fallout New Vegas calling me.

1 people love me ♥ Add a comment...:

lifesizevision said... [Reply to comment]

I am fan of the video game! They helped me escape the villians of my reality (my parents) and allowed me to explore the depths of other worlds, and other characters. If I couldn't have the emotion and strength I should have, then I would have to get it from the characters and worlds I would get lost in.

I love Final Fantasy VII! Truly, one of the genre-defining RPGs of the time. I play and replay it currently, still awesome every time. I started Final Fantasy IX, not as good as VII. I've played X. Not as good as VII. I'm still hoping that Square reboots VII on a future console.

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