The lights are on
Gaming has been a big part of my life for almost as long as
I can remember. Sometimes it’s been background noise, while other times it’s taken
over everything around me. There have been a few standout games though, that
seemed to have arrived with perfect timing. Here are three of them that spring
Street Fighter IIIt’s difficult to overstate how much of a sensation Street
Fighter II created when it released back in 1991. And what wasn’t to love?
Capcom’s one-on-one fighting game had huge, bizarre characters, and a clever
rock/paper/scissors mechanic that made it accessible for newbies but rewarded
players who took the time to hone their skills. And all of this before the Internet.
I was a freshman in college when a cabinet was installed in
the campus rec center (so old!), and it fundamentally changed my life’s
trajectory. I spent countless hours playing the game with existing friends and
making new ones, to the point where I maybe stopped attending class and
possibly dropped out of school for a while. Perhaps.
The timing couldn’t have been any better. Here I was, in one
of the last moments of my life before the responsibilities of work and family
would take over. I had access to a steady stream of new people to play with,
and the game was still novel enough to where people lined up to check it out.
Online matchmaking has replaced those lines now, and it’s just not the same for
me. I did mention I was old, right?
Super Smash Bros. MeleeAfter college (graduation!), I moved in with some friends. The GameCube
had just come out, and I picked one up along with a copy of Rogue Squadron and
Super Smash Bros. Melee. We were all Star Wars fans, and I assumed that the
bulk of our time would be spent battling the Empire. Nope.
If you’d put Smash Bros. in the console and epoxied the lid
closed, we could have been perfectly happy. Unless someone was sick or out of
town, we spent hours every night for months playing the game. Everyone in the
house was about the same skill level, which made the already enticing gameplay
Over time, we got to know what we were each thinking based
on the characters we picked. Jigglypuff, eh? Mike must be feeling sadistic
right now. Pichu? Ah, Robin just wants to be annoying. Me? I’d usually stick
with Ness (yellow and black costume variant), because he is adorable. Every
night ended with a final match on the Pokémon Stadium map, with only Mario and
Mario-based variants allowed. Don’t ask why. You had to be there.
Animal CrossingNintendo’s village simulator was the last time I’ve played something
that I felt came at the perfect time. I’ve had a blast with more than my share
of games in the years since, but Animal Crossing arrived at an intersection of
my life that isn’t possible to recreate.
I had two different roommates when Animal Crossing came out,
and everyone in the house had wildly different schedules. We all liked each
other, too, which was a bonus. Since our schedules didn’t overlap much, the
game took on a dual role of acting as a communication beacon and social outlet.
I might fire it up at night after work and get a letter from Brenda telling me
that tickets for some show were going on sale. Or I might get some carpet
mailed over as a gift. In return, I’d bury trash in our town and send them
notes leading them there. We honestly did like each other!
Are there any games that stand out to you as being in the
right place at the right time? Let me know about them in the comments!
Email the author Jeff Cork, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
I would definitely agree with the Street Fighter write-up. I also have to mention Mortal Kombat. This game revolutionized gaming. It involved the gory aspect of gaming. Sometimes, people want to see the darker side of a story. This game definitely introduced gamers to that theory.
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I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this, but COD Modern Warfare 4. There is no doubt in my mind that THAT game came at exactly the right time and right place. We were all looking for something in the multiplayer field other than Halo 3 when MW1 came out, and found it in that game.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater was the "right place at the right time" game for me. When that game came out, me and my friends were just getting in to skateboarding and BMX biking. After being at the skate park all day, there was no better way to spend the night than playing against each other in endless rounds of THPS.
I would have to say the first Breath of Fire game. It managed to get me into RPGs when I was young, and is still among my favorites. And Final Fantasy IX for being my favorite game of all time and occupying many a summer day just trying to beat it.
Two of my favorite games, Pokemon Emerald and Portal 2, came out right after I got the Game Boy Advanced and Xbox 360, respectively. Also, an older game called Rampage: Total Destruction, came out when my friend and I got Game Cubes, and we used to play that all the time.
Nice Feature, Jeff! I'd say the games for me were Tactics Ogre, the strategy/RPG released for PlayStation when I was a kid and getting into RPG's. I was starting to fall in love with math and science at that point, so the turn-based strategy kept me thinking and on my toes.
Another is Asheron's Call 2. I had some experience with MMO's, but when AC2 was released, I saw some gameplay online, fell in love with it, and picked it up. I played that game from release until the servers shut down. I heard that the servers were recently put back online, but I don't want to ruin my good memeories on it.
Definitely the first Kingdom Hearts came at the right time.
Star wars Battlefront 2 and any smash bros game.
huh... I believe this is an article about games that came at a perfect time for HIM, which none of us give a *** about
Pokemon Red and Silver, Dance Dance Revolution, Bloody Roar, Halo Combat Evolved, Monster Hunter and Mario were some great games that came to me at the right place and right time!
Star Wars BattleFront 1 & 2. Those games were my childhood!
i like these games and all but really animalcrossing idont know i would rather stick with me playing countless hours of play super smash bros melee i dont know its just me :P
This made me feel very nostalgic and I too love every game on that list, but if I would have to write my own list of games it would probably start with Halo, Minecraft, and Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom.
For me, the games that came at the right time are:
Rampage 2 Universal Tour: I got this when I was but a wee lad at six years of age. I was going through a bit of a tough time at school, and this game let me take all my aggression out on it. Destroying buildings and spitting fireballs/howling destructively while eating people? Instant classic.
Pokemon Yellow: I was too young when Red and Blue came out, but once Yellow made it's debut, I managed to get a copy. In the neighborhood where I lived, all the kids my brother's age *11-12, where I was 7 at the time* played the game. The result was a fairly tight knit group of trainers duking it out night after summer night on the front porch.
Megaman X 4: I'd never played the earlier games, due in part to my family not owning a super nintendo. Once my brother happened to pick this game up, however, I was hopelessly hooked on Megaman games. The action packed shoot 'em up gameplay as X cemented in me a life long appreciation for the series. Zero's hacking and slashing was pretty good, too.
supersmash bros melee....my god how i wasted my youth on that game lol