Category: 30 Days of Games


Well, it’s been a while and I figured that I should get back to trying to complete my 30 days of gaming, as suggested by Codie Collinge.

I thought that favourite genre would be a breeze. I went to my cupboard and basically took note of the games that were in there. I found that I have far more first person shooter games than anything else. That surprised me as I don’t really think I’m particularly good at first person shooters. Even though recently I’ve been deeply immersed in Borderlands 2 I think that it’s not the FPSiness of the game that I like. It’s the style and the graphics. Sure the gameplay is good but that’s not what I really enjoy about that.

I think that I actually prefer third person action games, like Tomb Raider or Darksiders 2. I’m not sure why though. Perhaps there is more scope for a variety of activities, and often a deeper narrative, which seems somehow more rewarding that you usually get in a FPS game.

Tomb Raider Rebooted

Tomb Raider Rebooted

The latest release of Tomb Raider did a great job of transitioning Lara Croft from a slightly nervous young girl who is way out of her depth forcing her through desperation to evolve into the confident character we recognise from the rest of the series. The feeling of evolution is echoed throughout the game as you upgrade your skills and become able to reach previously inaccessible areas.

Darksiders 2 - I don't know why the Darksiders games don't get more attention

Darksiders 2 – I don’t know why the Darksiders games don’t get more attention

Darksiders 2 is less serious, but is still driven by a great narrative, and I can remember being very fond of third person action games growing up. I remember loving Soul Reaver on the PS1 (despite the extremely disappointing ending) and I also remember playing the original Tomb Raider to death over the course of about a week.

soulReaver

Soul Reaver – A great game with a hugely disappointing ending!

Games designers might tell you that this preference for 3rd person games tells you something about me. They might tell you that I feel more empathy for a character that I can see rather than a character that I’m looking through the eyes of. Overall though I think that genre isn’t really of much consequence. There are great FPS games and there are terrible FPS games, and there are great 3rd person action games and there are terrible ones.

Another genre of games that I don’t play that much, but I think deserve at least a tip of the proverbial hat is RPG games. I’d never played an RPG game before Final Fantasy VII and I don’t think I’ve played one I enjoyed as much since. The genre deserves a nod because I think that the idea of levelling up, and progressing statistics has spread across every other genre. At one time this was referred to as “RPG elements” and now it just seems to be standard practice.

Final Fantasy VII remains a firm favourite

Final Fantasy VII remains a firm favourite

I haven’t even mentioned Legend of Zelda, or Mario, but you’ve got to draw the line somewhere, and I kind of feel like those are a little bit obvious. I don’t think I really have a favourite genre, but if I did, it would be “story driven 3rd person action adventure puzzle game with RPG elements”. How’s that for sitting on the fence?

This one was a difficult one too, mainly because a lot of games are quite “fighty” and so their settings are not the most pleasant of places. Thinking a little harder I did come up with a couple of options.

Fable 2 – offering a quiet life

The first is Fable 2. Fable 2 is set for the most part in tranquil countryside and adventure only finds you if you go out looking, so I’d quite like to live in that setting assuming that they still have electricity and a broadband connection.

The second is a bit of an odd one; Paris from the Broken Sword games. It’s an odd one because I’ve never really fancied living in Paris. I don’t speak French, so I would feel ignorant, and I get the impression that a lot of Paris has been spoilt by tourism. The picture of Paris painted by the Broken Sword franchise is different though. Everyone speaks English even to other French people, so there would be no need for me to feel awkward. The locations are very romantic and traditional. They remind me of the picture that John Grisham paints of Parma in “Playing for Pizza”. That and in the Broken Sword version of Paris there only appears to be one tourist!

Beautiful Paris in Broken Sword

Broken sword is another one of those games from my childhood, but I recently got the updated versions for a great price from steam. I’m working my way through them when I can, but I’m ashamed to say that there are parts that I’m sure I didn’t struggle as much with when I was younger.

The creators of Broken Sword seem to have gone to a great deal of effort to creating this believable, picturesque and charming setting, and it’s far more likely to have a much more reliable internet connection than you would find in Albion.

This one was tough. Trying to separate the character from the game itself is tough. I considered a lot of games for this one, but after a while I realised I had to look beyond the game, and consider the characters. Gordon Freeman came a close second. An unwitting scientist forced onto another path due to extreme circumstances, but because Half Life is a first person shooter once the character is established it seems there isn’t as much opportunity to add a huge amount of depth to his character. That isn’t to say that the game my favourite protagonist is from isn’t great. It is, and I think a large part of that greatness comes from the various characters you encounter and particularly the lead.

Read Dead Redemption’s John Marston

The way I see it John Marston is a good man in a harsh world. He’s tough when he has to be, but he shows compassion and has a strong sense of morality in circumstances that would tend to make most morals fragile. That’s why John Marston is my favourite protagonist.