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Thread: "I'm Staring at the Future of Gaming"

  1. #31
    I was really impressed by games usually at the beginning of a generation, when we saw new ideas we never thought possible, or towards the end of a generation when the developers are making the hardware do stuff you'd never think it was possible to do.

    Sega's arcade games: This shit shouldn't have been possible in the 80's!

    Super NES launch: F-Zero, Castlevania 4, and Super Mario World were mind blowing.

    Sega CD: Not the crappy FMV games, but the excellent side scrollers with awesome redbook audio, like Sonic CD, Final Fight CD, and the Terminator

    32x: Doom! I didn't have a PC at the time, and this blew my mind. Also, Virtua Racing Deluxe.

    Saturn: My bud and I rented a Saturn when it was first released with Daytona USA, Panzer Dragoon and Virtua Fighter and played it on my dad's 50 inch TV. Mind. Blown. To this day, this is probably the most impact new hardware has had on me.

    PC: Installing a first generation 3DFX card and playing Jedi Knight, Turok, and Wing Commander Prophecy. The PC was so far ahead of the PSX/Saturn at the time it was ridiculous. If it wasn't for Saturn imports, I would have stopped console gaming altogether then.

    Dreamcast: I got a Japanese import unit a while before the US launch because I wanted to play Virtua Fighter 3. I wasn't so impressed with the DC port since I had played the arcade game, but the next week Sonic Adventure came out, and it was a religious experience. I knew the Dreamcast would be something special.

    There wasn't much after that that impressed me too much, but the SNES, Saturn, and DC are hard acts to follow.

  2. Backbreaker: Vengeance (XBLA)

  3. This is going to be TL;DR for most people, but this is a great topic, and something I love to talk about.

    Pac-Man series, especially Mrs. Pac-Man - Namco, 1980-1982 There is a reason why this is the most successful video game of all time. It's the perfect example of gameplay being distilled down to its most basic element: easy to learn, hard to master. I was instantly addicted. A great epiphany I had as a kid was realizing that the ghosts actually had different AI patterns, and exploiting quirks in their AI's is how you mastered the game. I never was good enough to make it to the kill screen, however.

    Zookeeper - Taito, 1982 The majority of the arcade games I saw in the early 80's were variations of ships shooting down hostile aliens, or maze chase games popularized by Space Invaders/Galaga and the Pac-Man series. At a local skating rink, I saw the attract mode of Zookeeper and thought the concept of a Zookeeper trying to keep animals from escaping an enclosure was quite novel. I played it and was instantly hooked. It had a great graduated difficulty curve where the later levels were frantic exercises in manual dexterity. The scoring mechanic has one of the best risk/reward elements I've ever seen where putting yourself in dangerous situations could lead to huge scores. I still remember arguing with a camp counselor about whether you get more points from jumping over the animals, or keeping them in the zoo (I was right, jumping got you more points). To this day it's still one of my all-time favorite games.

    Super Mario Bros 2 - Nintendo, 1988 Super Mario Bros was amazing, but it was getting old hat. A strange package arrived on my doorstep one summer. Inside was the very first issue of Nintendo Power which featured a spread of Super Mario Bros 2. Inside was a huge expose' on the game including character and item descriptions, strategies, and these huge, vibrant maps of the first 8 or so levels. I wanted that game, and wanted it now! This was also around the time of the "cartridge shortage" of SMB2 and Zelda 2. This only caused me to bug my parents even more out of fear of not being able to get the game in time. Seeing THIS on TV only exasperated my fear.

    Final Fight - Capcom, 1989 I was a huge side-scrolling fighting game fanatic at the time, and I owned just about all possible games in the genre on my NES. They were good, but were all hampered by the NES's low sprite processing ability. Fighting 2 and 3 enemies at the time kind of shattered the illusion of you against an entire gang. After seeing Home Alone with my family, I wandered next door to some hole-in-the-wall pizza parlor. In the corner was this innocuous looking game called Final Fight. I was immediately floored. Gorgeously designed environments, large and meticulously detailed sprites, and best of all, there were lots of them. This is the game I always envisioned the genre to be. I wanted to strap the cabinet to my back and leave. TMNT gets an honorable mention here.

    Streets of Rage - Sega, 1991 This actually isn't about the game itself, but the music. I was shocked at what was emanating from my speakers. The beats of the jazzy tunes was infectious and I would linger around the levels so I could listen to the music (before I noticed the sound test option). Even my mom was impressed, going so far as asking me "what video was I watching". The music to this game made me a fan of Yuzo Koshiro, and the first time I actually knew the name of a game composer.

    Street Fighter 2 - Capcom, 1991 My first exposure to this game was a couple of tiny screenshots in an EGM. When the game arrived at a local Diamond Jims, I was pretty ambivalent to its presence as I was still enthralled with Final Fight at the time. The game had a trickle of players, but never any crowds. A month or two later, EGM released a guide in one of their issues that had screenshots of every move of each character, the point values (heh), and the button presses. Slowly I saw people gravitate towards the game, many with the guide in hand trying out the moves, and then it exploded. It's not often when you can say you bore witness to the birth of a genre. It's also funny that the original intent of the game was for the players to discover the commands for the specials theirselves via experimentation. Nowadays the moves are often included in an in-game menu.

    Battle Arena Toshinden - Takara (?), 1995 Around this time, all of the magazines were inundated with news of the upcoming Saturn and PS1, and all the journalists were fellating over this game. There were page after page of articles describing the graphics, and the technical jargon on how the graphics were possible. I got the game with my PS1 purchase on launch day, and needless to say, I was really impressed.........with the graphics. The gameplay itself, not so much. I think I eventually just put the game in watch mode so I could admire the graphics without actually playing it.

    Super Mario Bros 64 - Nintendo, 1996 This should be a no-brainer.

    Final Fantasy 7 - Squaresoft, 1997 I rented Tobal #1, and it included a demo of this. I ignored it until the last few hours before I was to return the game, when I decided to give it a try. This was back when I had a mindset of "RPG = Dungeons and Dragons = Nerds = Fail, so I generally ignored any RPG up to then. I fumbled my way through it, thought it was "interesting", but didn't think it would be anything I'd purchase, so I promptly forgotten about it...until the advertising blitz began on every channel under the sun. The ads worked, and my interest was piqued, but I still wouldn't bite.....until Toys R Us released a flier for 10% off the game. I had some spare money, and nothing else was on the horizon, so I took the plunge. I was astounded by the back then cutting edge cinematics, and it was also the first game I played that had a memorable and intricate "plot". That was the gateway drug that got me in, and I'm still addicted (not so much lately, though). This game is polarizing to a lot of people, but one thing that's undeniable, this legitimized JRPG's as a mainstream genre in the U.S

    Soul Calibur - Namco, 1999 After college classes, I accompanied a friend to a local Gamestop. He reserved a Dreamcast and was going to pick it up. The lines went on for miles, so I decided to wander the mall a bit. I walked upstairs to an empty Kaybee, and the clerk asked me if I wanted a DC. "Sure". I purchased it, an extra controller, and Soul Calibur. I then walked past my friend who was still way back in line, and decided to walk the rest of the way home as I lived close by. I started the game, and was FLOORED. Beyond impressive was the hyper-detailed character models, and even more impressive were the fluid life-like animations of the moves at 60 FPS. I really thought that was the quantum leap in graphics, as I was coming off of pixelated textures (PS1), and blurry textures with low poly models (N64). "This looks almost as good as VF3" was what I uttered.

    There's many I have omitted/forgotten, but this is really getting a bit lengthy, so I'll cease. Since then, I haven't been as exited or impressed anymore. Sure, we've far advanced since the DC days, and many games have highly proficient graphics, but it's been pretty incremental, and nothing awe-inspiring. While there's certainly room for improvement, I think we're now in a time of diminishing returns. Maybe we need to eventually involve the only 2 senses that remain to be utilized: smell and taste.

  4. TLDR

  5. Wolfenstein 3D (PC)

    Like everyone else, I just couldn't believe what I was seeing when I watched a friend play this game on his computer. It was the craziest display of video games I had ever seen. You were shooting the shit out of people, in the first-person, with a variety of guns (even a chain gun!). Not only that, but it performed and played well.

    DOOM (PC)

    This took everything that impressed me with Wolfenstein 3D and took it up ten notches. The graphics were even better. You had more weapons (chainsaw and plasma guns!). You were fighting demons from Hell. The levels were "actual" 3D because you could go up stairs and onto different floors. It was also the most intense gaming experience I had ever encounter. I couldn't afford a decent PC back then, but this game blew me away so much that I bought a Sega 32X at launch just so I could play it in some form or another.

    Killer Instinct / Donkey Kong Country (Arcade / Super NES)

    CGI rendering impressed me from the get-go, with shows like ReBoot. When I saw Killer Instinct in the arcades, I thought it next step in video game graphics. Everything looked so smooth and fluid. Donkey Kong Country, while not as impressive due to the hardware, still looked great and blew me away with what it did accomplish on the Super NES.

    Devil May Cry (PlayStation 2)

    I don't know if there's anything technically impressive about Devil May Cry, but what floored me with this game were the gameplay and controls. I can't recall any action game before this that had such a great execution of style, action, fluidity, and control. It had fighting game combos, but in an action game setting. I just couldn't get enough of chaining combos together with sword and guns.

    Crash 'n Burn (3DO)

    This game is cruddy as hell now, but when I first saw it at a Good Guys store, it looked incredible. The 3D graphics were better than anything I had seen at the time. The full-motion video character profiles that talked smack to you were awe-inspiring. The visual and audio effects were beyond stunning. It even impressed my dad so much that he went ahead and plopped down $700 on the spot for the system.

    Super Metroid (Super NES)

    This wasn't just Metroid, it was Metroid on steroids. The voice-over in the intro, the huge sprites, the mode 7 effects, the vibrant colors, the diverse designs for each area of the planet, the visual and audio effects, the attention to detail... the list goes on. This was the greatest game ever for me at the time.

  6. Oh yeah, Flashback and Out of This World (I played them both in the same month, right after Flashback came out) were pretty mind-blowing at the time. After I beat Flashback I would enter the last password (CYGNUS, IIRC) just to watch the montage of cutscenes at the end.

  7. I've been racking my brain trying to remember what wowed me back in the day, and couldn't think of anything until you wrote flashback and ootw.
    Prince of Persia. The first time I saw that, the animation floored me. No herky jerky movements, just incredibly lifelike silkiness.

  8. #38
    I can't think of anything that outright floored me. My dad for the longest time always had to have the newest stuff. We had Atari, computers and the Sega gen fairly early in their life cycle. And for the most part graphics never really impressed me. Going from something like mario and gorilla warfair on the NES to Mickey Moues castle of Illusion on the gen didn't impress me a whole lot, visually. And I don't think I noticed that newer games controlled better, consciously. I just knew that the better the controls, the more enjoyable the game was and it got more time as a result.

    I don't think I was very impressed with Wolf 3D and Doom because of flight and racing sims. It seemed like a rational next step ("If I can simulate flying, why not simulate war?")

    The only real things that come to mind are:

    Lunar and Sonic CD. Sonic CD for the audio and cut scenes. "HOLY FUCK, CARTOONS IN MY GAMES" And Lunar because it was the first time I played an open world game (and a jrpg that wasn't shining in the darkness). The game was linear but it didn't seem that way to me, at the time. It felt like I could go anywhere and do anything. I still remember the winter we got that game. I picked it up for my sis for Christmas. The gameplay, the cut scenes, the music, the story and character designs, it was a really charming way to be introduced to jrpgs. Up to that point I had never played a jrpg. I must assume because of how expensive and rare they were in the south at the time. Tupelo, Jackson and maybe the coast were about the only places I could get them. And they were always like 60-80 bucks. I still remember how crazy awesome the intro was for back then.


    Sonic Adventure - I'm pretty sure it was the whale in the first stage. That first stage moved and controlled just so great. And then that fucker jumps out. Sonic is probably at its best in those early green hill / beach like zones. They are always much more fluid than the later levels.

    Valkyria Chronicles - Probably the first time I was really impressed with graphics. The water color and hand drawn effects were pretty rad. And the cut scenes and in game graphics were on equal footing.

    Looking back on my list, I think for me to be impressed, a company has to do something that doesn't seem like a logical next stage to something previous. It needs to be something I'd never have thought of.

  9. Quote Originally Posted by Fe 26 View Post
    Going from something like mario and gorilla warfair on the NES to Mickey Moues castle of Illusion
    Jesus fucking christ

  10. capitalization and homophones, how do they work


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