What I’ve Learned from Games

I feel so old, LOL. I’ve been a video gamer since 4 years old. I dedicate this post as a memoir of my past experience and a nostalgic way to express 15 memorable games that I’ve played. I won’t mention up-to-date games or recently released games in here.

1. Dig Dug

Platform: Windows 3.0

Maybe a lot of people around my age doesn’t know what Dig Dug is. Well, I played this game in the very first laptop I’ve ever touched. I played this in Microsoft Windows 3.0 when I was 4 years old (1995). Yes, it is Windows 3.0 that I touched. The desktop has 6 active windows, each grouped into somekind of folder consisting work tools such as Borland Turbo C++ (WTF that I touched at my age?). Well, at that time, my father hadn’t bought the Windows 95 Toshiba notebook yet.

This is the first video game I’ve ever played. Unfortunately, in those time, the Windows 3.0 laptop has no color scheme, so it’s monochromatic black and white. Here’s the screenshot of the Dig Dug in Apple II OS (I couldn’t find the Windows 3.0 screenshot)

Well, at that time, I only managed to play up to level 7, where the level 3 or above the enemy become harder and some of them can walk through the wall.

What  I learned from this:

A computer is truly an entertainment machine.

2. Prehistorik 2

Platform: Windows 3.0

Still the old and memorable game, this is the first platformer I’ve ever played. Still in the old Windows 3.0, I found this game pretty interesting. In this game, I played as a prehistoric man in his quest finding food. I remember that some secrets need you to fly using hang glider in level 5 (What? hang glider in prehistoric era?). Here’s the screenshot of Prehistorik 2.

What I learned from this:

A game is something with goals, rewards, and punishments.

3. Chip’s Challenge!

Platform: Windows 95

It’s the first game I’ve ever played in Windows 95. It is included in Windows Entertainment Pack,  with the infamous Ski Free. It’s a game where the geek is tasked to collect every chips scattered around the level.

Confusing and full of traps, this game had made me paranoid to touch computer, since this game suddenly made the whole laptop frozen (hang). Shit, it was my father’s laptop, and at the time it froze, he departed to United States without this laptop.  It has no reset button! Yes, my uncle plugged a needle to the reset hole in the laptop. For 1 year after the incident occured, I was scared of touching a computer, afraid of hang and blue screen. That’s ridiculous, of course.

What I learned from this:

Always bring needle just in case the Windows 95 froze.

4. Dragon Ball GT Final Bout

Platform: PSX

At 6 years old, my parents finally bought me a PSX. This is the first game I played in my old PSX, since at that time I was a fan of Dragon Ball. Now, not really, then, yeah I really liked it. Here’s the screenshot:

What I learned from this:

Button mashing in a fighting game won’t win the match. Think carefully, hone your skill

5. Harvest Moon : Back to Nature

Platform: PSX

Ah, a quiet and peaceful life of a farmer in Mineral Town. This game has taken a lot of my time since then. Then, I chose to marry Karen. I don’t even know why, even though there are 5 girls available, I chose Karen. I really like this game. Here’s the screenshot:

What I learned from this:

Harvest Moon has made my English better than ever. Thank you Harvest Moon for teaching me English!

6. Suikoden II

Platform: PSX

A legendary masterpiece, if I do say so myself. Konami’s finest storyline crafted in this game. This is first RPG I’ve ever finished. (The first RPG I played was Final Fantasy VIII – very complex junction system, meh). Engaging storyline, full of intrigue, politics, diplomacy, friendship, and trust engraved inside Suikoden II. The graphics is so-so, but the storyline, nothing can compare this. Even until today, I still remember everytime I spent on this game.

I still think that this game has the best story among other RPG I’ve ever played, hands down.

What I learned from this:

Another legendary english teacher, this one taught me about the meaning of true friendship, politics, and warfare.

7. Crash Team Racing

Platform: PSX

What if I combined two keywords: Racing and Simulation? It will produce Gran Turismo series. But, what if I combine Racing and Fun? It will produce Crash Team Racing (CTR). Alright, this game was the one who made me love fantasy racing game. Apparently, Naughty Dogs really knew how to make a good racing but fun to play. Featuring the famous SCEI PSX mascot: Crash Bandicoot, you’ll race through many tracks with your trusted cart, mythical mask Aku Aku, and a lot of missiles.

What I learned from this:

If you jump repeatedly, you can even let go of TNT (huh!?)

8. Monster Hunter

Platform: PS 2

This game is one of the numerous reason why I bought a PS2. Simply magnificent, this game let you fight beast not only with skill and equipment, but also with experience and tactical movement. Wrong step, you die. I found Monster Hunter’s fighting mechanics quite unique, where you attack using right analog stick. Every tilt to the analog will be perceived as different attacks. Even though this game is fun to play, I have a bad experience where all of my data in my memory card erased, and my character with it’s equipment gone. Damn.

What I learned from this:

Monster Hunter taught me that every AI will behave differently, and player must act accordingly to win a battle.

9. Star Wars Battlefront

Platform: PS 2

This too is one of the reason why I bought PS2. To be blunt, this is the first game that I finally understand how to play FPS and TPS. Well, I am Star Wars fan, and SWB gave me the experience of the wars inside Star Wars series. Rather than you played as a Jedi or Sith, this game offer you to play as one of the foot soldier in the battleground. There are 4 faction to choose, Galactic Republic vs Confederacy (CIS), or The Empire vs the Rebellion. Each faction has 5 classes, each with it’s own specialty. This game is addictive, really.

What I learned from this:

Then, battle 16 vs 16 is big enough to satisfy the need of battlefront.

10. Grand Theft Auto : San Andreas

Platform: PS 2

One of the reason to buy PS 2, GTA:SA offer so many experience inside a game. A lot of people even called this game the best GTA ever, due to the vast world, vast customization, and array of weaponries. GTA:SA took so much time to beat, and my second playthrough I played it purely, without using a single cheat. Challenging, but worth to try.

Sometimes I play this game once in a while. Though the graphics and physics wasn’t as near as GTA IV, still I find playing this game give me much more entertainment rather than the 4th generation.

What I learned from this:

Some swearing language which is inappropriate for many people, this game has provide me so much entertainment.

11. Fable – The Lost Chapter

Platform: Windows

The legendary Fable, I played it due to the vast customization, personalization, and many choices along the gameplay. Yes, choices in Fable is important things. It alter your personality, you world, your storyline, and how the world see you as a man. Derived from the Suikoden, even a yes-no question can change the whole storyline 180 degree.

What I like? I can slaughter the whole townspeople, buy shops, marry girls, make people bent or kneel, or maybe adore me as a legendary hero.

What I learned from this:

Every choice that I choose, there’ll be different consequences. It is irreversible.

12. The Elder Scrolls IV – Oblivion

Platform: Windows

One of Bethesda Softworks masterpiece, Oblivion was different than any other A-RPG. This game offers too big world to explore, incredible AI, each of NPC has daily routine to do, many choices and faction to joins, and so on. It just like a virtual life compiled into a single huge game. Graphically appealing, I thought it was impossible to make something like this, something this big, and beatifully  drawn to my monitor.

The storyline is not the strong point, but the vast world to explore, quests to take, and thousands of mods keep you from stop playing it.

What I learned from this:

Too make a game in this scale is something outrageous. I didn’t even knew that computer could handle such graphics like this one.

13. Naruto – Narutimate Hero 3

Platform: PS 2

After such a long time, I didn’t play any fighting game. Everything is just kinda plain punching and kicking game. However, Bandai and Sofdec could deliver something different. There’re Naruto Narutimate Hero series throughout the decade, but I found that Narutimate Hero 3 was the most memorable one. Contrary to the first two predecessors, it allows us to customize each characters. Some customiztion may lead to the different usage of Ougi (Special Move).

Well, I played to get all the 42 rosters, and the 2 hardest ones were Hanabi Hyuuga (need to answers 10 randomly generated question in Japanese without a single mistake) and the Fourth Hokage. Yes, this is the first game featuring the infamous Yellow Flash. But it was worth to try, since The Fourth was uber strong. Around 2008, the Narutimate Accel 2 released with much more rosters, but still, this one is still my most memorable fighting game.

What I learned from this:

Some japanese letter and improved button mashing speed (due to abuse of ougi and kawarimi no jutsu)

14. Shin Megami Tensei – Persona 4

Platform: PS 2

Many called Shin Megami Tensei Persona 4 was the last masterpiece of PS 2 games. For some reason I could agree. I found that Persona 4 is something different with any other RPGs. In this game, your player is tasked to do routines, just like Harvest Moon. But, in this game, you tried to uncover the whole serial murder case in a rural town. Spend morning in school, hanging out with friends in afternoon, and do part-time works in night, this game is something worth to play for.

Building social link was as important as honing your “persona” level. Befriend with other people, you can even going out with 6 girls at once. What I like in this game that it features some slice of life events, sometimes filled joke which has made me laughing hard enough. I even collected all of the persona available and got the true ending of the game.

My biggest achivement in this game was the creation of my godly Izanagi. I did spend three hours only to make this persona has all the skills I want.

What I learned from this:

Persona 4 has taught me the importance of having friends and how to treat the others well.

15. Phoenix Wright – Ace Attorney

Platform: iOS

Okay, I know that I played this game really late since it’s first release. I played this in my iPhone, a complete remake of the Phoenix Wright : Ace Attorney in the Nintendo DS.

Why I played this kind of game? Well, there was a time where everyone in the TouchArcade argue what is the best game with the best storyline in the iOS. Most of them agree that Ace Attorney has the most intriguing story compared to any other iOS games. I found it hard to believe that this game has so much depth in the storyline. Not only intriguing, but also addictive.

Every case I played, I feel the atmosphere of the pressure how to defend the un-guilty defendant in front of the judge and the prosecutor. To play this, one must have a high degree of concentration to find the contradiction between the witness’s testimony and the evidence. Paying attention to everything that other people said is the key to win against-the-odds cases.

Although limited to 5 chapters only, I assure you, you won’t regret playing this game.

What I learned from this:

Many things concerning law and trials. Keep your heads up even in the midst of desperation.

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