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Veteran Member - Level 11
As a self proclaimed video game enthusiast and freelance
game blogger (I have even been called a professional gamer, though I’m not sure
that is a fitting title…certainly not on skill and ability…but perhaps on
enthusiasm and interest) I try and broaden my horizons and knowledge level by
partaking in a wide array of video game genres, platforms and formats (like MP
and SP). I also truly enjoy the exchange of dialogue with other gamers (in case
you were wondering why most of my blogs conclude with asking the reader their
thoughts – I don’t put that in there just to boost views and/or comments – I
really do enjoy the discussion).
What does all that mean…it means I like to play a lot of different games and
talk about it with other gamers.
A few days ago, I completed Splinter Cell: Conviction and
published a blog that was somewhat of a review, but more just a piece about my
personal experience and thoughts about the game. Since then I’ve been playing a
few of the other features like the Deniable Ops mode. For whatever reason, it
got me thinking about how I find myself playing parts of certain games over and
over because I find the experience enjoyable (while this is similar to a
different blog I wrote about making up your own games within a game, this is
very much a different topic).
And by parts, I’m not talking the mini-games within the main
game like Mario Party. In reality, there are tons of games that have
mini-games, side quests or whatever fancy name you want to call it. But that’s not
really what I’m talking about either. I’m talking about parts of the main game
that are just downright entertaining so I play it over and over again;
activities within the scope of the main game that some might consider mundane,
irrelevant or simply insignificant. Perhaps a few examples will help illustrate
As a side note, did you know in Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure
(which I played on the SNES) there was a hidden door that would give you access
to the original (and fully playable) 8-bit Atari version of Pitfall.
I’ll start with a relatively new game that you might have
heard of, called Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Ring a bell? While I shy away
from the MP component of the game (see yesterday’s blog on player types and
read the description of the whiner – that’s me) I did enjoy the SP side of it.
But one thing I found myself playing over and over and over was the shooting
range. It’s the first stage you play and is a rather common technique among
shooters to get the player familiar with the controls, layout and feel of the
different weapons. I have played through that stage so many times that I
recognize the slight variances in target positions, realize which weapons are
the most efficient (at least for me) and honed my technique to expeditiously
maneuver through the course while executing the evil cardboard cutouts and
protecting the innocent bystanders. While it’s the first stage (and not a very
challenging one at that), its significance in the overall scope of the game is
really very minor. But I still love playing it. Why on earth would I choose to
shoot cardboard cutouts, when real bad guys that shoot back are out there
waiting for me to dispose of?
Similarly, in the somewhat aged Battlefield 2 (not Bad
Company 2, I’m talking regular old Battlefield 2) I loved to fly.
Jets…helicopters…didn’t matter. If it flew I liked it and became somewhat of an
adept pilot, if I do say so myself. I got so good at flying the Blackhawk that
when I saw a real one (we live near a military base) I would tell my wife and
kids, “I can fly that.” I believe a part of me thinks I can. While practicing
on your own with no other real players in an empty server is a great way to
learn the ropes, long after I was a proficient ace pilot I would hop in empty
servers just to mess around with the jets and helos. Rocketing through
unimaginable spaces, like the tunnel on the Dam, to hovering in the Apache with
only the wheels resting on the edge of a building. (Did you know you can hover
with the Blackhawk practically in the water without crashing?) I loved it and
still love it. Of course I like the in game action too, so why on earth would I
play alone just to weave a helo in and out of the palm trees of beautiful and
sunny Wake Island? The little birds in the
expansion pack were awesome because of their maneuverability.
It’s not just First Person Shooters, although that is what I
do seem to play the most. I’ve done some rather quirky stuff in Soul Caliber. I’ve
played Assassin’s Creed just to climb around and jump from the buildings. I
could play a whole game of just that. Leave me alone with your silly missions,
and just let me climb. Don’t even get me started on how much time was wasted in
Crackdown. I don’t know how far I got in the game from a mission perspective,
but I can’t even count how many cars I jacked. That’s all I did. I didn’t
really do any of the missions or side quests. I just drove around looking for
the coolest or most unusual vehicle and then I took it. You might think that
would get old rather quickly, and for most it probably did…not me though.
That’s all I ever did. Needless to say, I didn’t play that game very long.
For some of the veteran gamers (also known as “old”) that
remember Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar, I used to go to Lord British’s castle
with my merry band of adventurers and attack him, knowing full well we wouldn’t
be able to win the battle (he was invincible) against the endless supply of
guards (they weren’t invincible). I wanted to see just how long we could
survive. I think we held our ground valiantly, for a while, until our reagents
and spells were diminished and then it was just a matter of time. Oh the fun
But by far…without a shadow of a doubt…the most entertaining
and enjoyable activity I could spend hours (and have) playing that is very much
a part of the main game but definitely not a significant part of the game is…
Well the game is Nintendo 64’s Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of
Time…and the activity was…fishing. I’m not even a fisherman or angler or
whatever they’re called.
I have been fishing before but gosh, it’s been
probably over 20 years ago. So, yeah…I’m not a fisherman, but I could spend all
day fishing in Zelda. My son and I used to have competitions to see who could
catch the biggest fish. I think he used to get really frustrated because he wanted
to go off adventuring and I would be like, “just let me catch one more fish
over xx pounds and then you can play.”
So, what about you…any tasks, events or activities in games
that you enjoy playing over and over, or am I alone?