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Five Big Games To Play Instead Of Watching The Big Game

by Kyle Hilliard on Feb 07, 2016 at 10:40 AM

Today, an important football game will be played. Many will have their eyes on the game, but not everyone is a football fan. Much like today’s big game, these games within video games aren’t large in physical size. Rather, they play important roles in the context and stories in which they exist making them big, important games.

If you don’t plan on watching the big game this weekend, but want to join the inevitable work conversations surrounding it on Monday, you can play one of these big games. You may not be able to talk about the big game, but at least you will be able to talk about a big game.

Final Fantasy X – Blitzball
From Final Fantasy X’s opening cutscene, it is apparent that Blitzball is an important part of Final Fantasy X’s worlds, and more importantly, of protagonist Tidus’ life. The game is played throughout Final Fantasy X’s multiple worlds as a means of distraction from the ever-present danger of Sin. It is the means by which Tidus meets and makes friends with what eventually becomes his party, and moves the story along at a few crucial moments. You can even build a team of Blitzballers to participate in tournaments.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Vampire Chess
Lords of Shadow is a brutal action game where you beat up monsters. Sometimes they’re swamp monsters, sometimes they’re forest monsters, and sometimes they’re gigantic rock monsters. At a certain point however, Gabriel puts down his chainwhip to play a supernatural version of chess with the young vampire, Laura. Defeating her grants you access to her mother’s castle. The game also marks the beginning of Gabriel and Laura’s friendship and she eventually plays an important role in Gabriel’s transformation into the Prince of Darkness.

Banjo-Kazooie – Grunty’s Furnace Fun
After a game filled with item collection, jumping, and indiscernible gibberish spoken by every non-player character in the game, it all comes down to a trivia show/board game. In order to finally defeat Grunty, Banjo and Kazooie must take part in a board game to prove how much the duo knows about Grunty before battling her. It’s the only way to get to Grunty, defeat her, and complete the adventure.

Devil May Cry 4 – Dice Game
In the context of Banjo-Kazooie, a life size board/trivia game isn’t that insane. In Devil May Cry 4, it makes slightly less sense, but a gigantic board game is present none-the-less, and you have to play it order to make your way to the end. Nero ends up playing the game twice, hitting a gigantic die with his sword in order to move around a giant board to, in turn, hit demon enemies with his sword. Dante is placed in a position to play the game as well, but decides to chop the die in half because he doesn’t have time for board games.

Far Cry 3 – Poker
Poker exists inside many non-poker video games, often as a distraction from the main storyline objective. Poker exists in Far Cry 3 in the same way, but there is one game you have no choice but to play near the end of the story that serves an important (and to keep with the theme of this feature – big) role in the story. I won’t spoil what happens during the game, but I will say that things get ugly fast over a simple game of cards.

For the non-football fans, you now have some worthwhile alternatives. For football fans, you now have a list of big, important games to play as you gear up for the one happening tomorrow.

This feature was originally posted on February 1, 2014.