Ramblings About Video Games

Don’t ask me why, but today I was in the mood to search Youtube for clips of some of my favorite games from my childhood.  Where shall we begin?

Day of the Tentacle:

Now there’s a classic for you.  You play the role of Bernard, an intrepid computer nerd who is forced by dire circumstances to save the world from the evil disembodied purple tentacle, who, after drinking industrial waste from Dr. Ed’s basement laboratory, turns into an evil genius bent on world domination.  The mad professor builds you a time machine out of three porta potties, sending you and your friends to different eras in time to save the world.  This is one of the most creative games you’ll ever play.  It’s old school, but if you ask me, the graphics still look great.  Laverne’s face is priceless!  Look into those eyes!  Hay Baby!  I remember buying it right when it came out and playing it on my old 486 66 computer.  *pushes up nerd glasses*  This was back in 1993, so it’s been quite a while.  I was only ten years old at the time so I wasn’t old enough to drive, but my older brother took me to Walmart to get it.  This game came out on MS-DOS!  This was before Windows ladies and gentleman.  You had to type in commands to get a game going.  That’s hardcore!

Or how about Sam & Max Hit The Road?  This was another puzzle game.  I don’t even know how to describe this game.  You play the role of a freelance detective who gets involved in a rather bizarre plot.  You’re accompanied by your sidekick, Max, who is a deranged rabbit prone to violence and wild swearing.

That cat at the end is spectacular.  “Hey there little fella!”  *Scratchy voice*, “You talking to me!”  And do you notice the pigeons boozing it up on the ledge of the liquor store?  When I was with my brother the other day, I saw that they offered new Sam & Max games on the PS3 and also PC.  I just figured out about them a few days ago, and plan to buy them.

It’s hard for me to say which Final Fantasy is my favorite, but Final Fantasy VI is way up there.  Does anyone remember Shadow, the mysterious ninja who joins your group several times throughout the storyline?  He rarely spoke, and seemed to live in his own world.  You only begin to learn about his tragic past when he suffers from nightmares as you sleep in the inns.

You can see he’s a man with some inner demons.  He’s forced to leave his best friend on the ground, on the verge of death, and is haunted by it the rest of his life.  At some point he was involved with an unnamed woman, but leaves her, wondering when his past life might catch up to him.  He doesn’t want to get her involved.  He’s is one of the deepest characters in the entire series.

Even at the game’s closing, you can see that he hasn’t come to terms with his friend’s death. He feels such a deep guilt for everything that happened, and hopes for the day he reunites with Baram once again.

Or take Final Fantasy VIII.  This scene has to bring back some memories?

Rinoa was really something.  Playing this game as a teenager, I always thought she was dreamy.

I don’t want to get too much into this, but the Final Fantasy series has gone downhill.  I’ve been a huge fan since my early childhood, so I buy every new release, but I’ve been rather disappointed over the past years.  I remember buying Final Fantasy X-2 from the store one evening and there was a cute girl at the register.  I thought, “Oh great.  Figures.”  Imagine being a guy and having to buy a game with this cover.

The girl giggled, rung it up, and then told me how her roommate had bought this game, hated it, and left the DVD on the floor to be mangled by her dog and eventually scratched into inoperability.  Now it was nothing more than a soda holder.  I said, “It’s that bad?”  She laughed, “Oh, I’ve never played it.”  It was humiliating and I left thinking, “This better be good.”  I fired up my PS2 and saw this for the game’s opening.

“What can I do for you. What can I do for you.  I … can’t… hear… you…”  Oh God, what had I gotten myself into?  What had happened to my series?  I wept to myself, quietly, all alone in my living room.  The series used to have epic characters, such as Shadow, Cloud, and Auron.  Now I was to play through the game as three scantily clad teenage babes.  “Look at me, I’m cute and fun!  Weeeeee!  Let’s save the world and my boyfriend!”  My older brother walked in on me playing this game one afternoon and said, “What the hell is this?  The babe trio?”  To go through this game, I had to endure losing my brother’s respect.

Imagine hanging out with the guys and they’re like,

The Guys:  “Dude, is that the new Final Fantasy?”
Me:  “Uh, yeah, I guess.”
The Guys:  “Let’s play it.  How far are you?”
Me:  “Suit yourself.”

Then we play for an hour or so and come to this scene.

Look at those alien thingies waving their arms in the background like, “Wooohooo.  Cuuuttteeee giiirrrlllsss!”  I still can’t believe I played this game for like eighty hours to beat it.  Was it dedication to the series?  Was it so I can proudly say, “Yeah man, I’ve beaten every Final Fantasy.”  I don’t know.  Was it worth it?  I don’t know.  Just listen to that music in the hot spring scene.

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