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Old 04-25-2010, 11:05 AM   #1
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Default Games that changed how you view games

After reading Ebert's comments on how video games are not art it made me think of all the games that I have played that evoked emotions comparable to any film I have seen in recent years. It doesn't matter what genre they fall in but what games have you guys played over the years that really changed how you view games and the potential they hold as a medium?

Games for me that changed my perception of what is possible within the medium:

The Longest Journey/Dreamfall
Deus Ex
The Last Express
Psychonauts
Grim Fandango
Half-Life
Shadow of the Colossus
Indigo Prophecy/Heavy Rain
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic

I guess i could list Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Fable, The Witcher and other action rpgs that I enjoyed a lot but I feel Deus Ex had the biggest impact on me and none of those games would of existed if Deus Ex never came before them (that statement is completely debatable and probably wrong in many peoples view and you could say Fallout had just as much impact but you cant deny Deus Ex's influence on many future games).
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:28 AM   #2
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Hmm... I'll have to get back to this, but on a quick note, I'd have to say (in the order in which they pop into my head)...
Gabriel Knight 3 (obviously)
Beyond Good & Evil
Grim Fandango
Psychonauts
Outcast
Knights of the Old Repblic
Samorost (yes, Samorost)
Mirror's Edge (many things in it, but especially the fact that you have the possibility to play it as a shooter of sort, but it basically rewards you from going non-violent (to a certain extent))
Half-Life

Well, that's off the top of my head. I might change it on a longer thought, but it's a pretty nice first draft I especially have a feeling that I've missed something...
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Old 04-25-2010, 10:04 PM   #3
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Gabriel Knight 3 changed my view on adventure games and got me into them. I had played Day of the Tentacle before, but I didn't like the humor games back then. After GK3, however, I started taking games seriously and consider them art. This goes for TLJ as well.

Half Life 2 got me interested in fps games in a major way, but I'm still debating whether it actually has a story at all, or if the "mystery" was just Valve's way to release a game to show off what they can do with graphics.

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines was and still is, the only RPG that I actually enjoyed playing. It didn't really change my view on much, tho as I think it's pretty unique.

Portal changed my view on puzzle games and made me realize they can be fun. Wish there were more games like that.

Fahrenheit... Made me angry for the most part. Great graphics, and somewhat interesting (yet thin) plot. But way too Grand Theft Auto for my liking and kinda alienated me from the genre for a while.
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:22 AM   #4
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Ancient Games:

Prince of Persia (the original one from the 80s)
Hero's Quest (aka Quest for Glory I)
Simcity (the original one)
Golden Axe (not really groundbreaking but way too much fun back in the day)
Ultima series (some games, not all)
Monkey Island I
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
King's Quest V, VI
Death Gate
Darklands
Albion
Elite

Recent Games:
Planescape: Torment
Baldur's Gate II+Throne of Bhaal
Diablo II
Zelda: Ocarina (and generally, all Zelda games are of extremely high quality)
Final Fantasy I, II, III (played the remakes on PSP & DS recently)
Dreamfall (my favorite adventure since the mid 90's)
The Longest Journey
Fahrenheit (enjoyed it but I put it here mostly as an interesting effort rather than as an unforgettable game)
Knights of the Old Republic II (for the first half of the game, the rest was sh**y because Obsidian had to hurry)
Neverwinter Nights II: Mask of the Betrayer (*only Mask of the Betrayer*, not the orginical campaign nor SoZ)
World of Warcraft (especially Sunwell, which imho was the pinnacle of raiding, quit in early Wotlk)
Mass Effect 2 (absolutely stunning with quality actors for each character in the game)


Upcoming games I expect/hope to push their genres further: Dragon Age II, Dreamfall Chapters, Diablo II, Star Wars: The Old Republic.

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Old 04-26-2010, 09:32 AM   #5
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Hmm, interesting thread.

The Dark Eye
Hell Cab
Gabriel Knight 2
- First and only FMV game I've ever played.
The Dig
Harvest Moon
Carmaggedon - I think this was the only game that I've been banned from playing by my parents.
Grim fandango
Outcast
Zelda: Ocarina of time
Syberia
Indigo profecy


Ohh, there are so many... like UPtimist said, I'll have to update this later.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:20 AM   #6
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Phantasie - a not-very-well-known RPG from the early 80s which was my introduction to RPGs, which would eventually become my favorite genre of games for a long time. It was also one of the earliest (if not the FIRST) tactical RPGs, although you never see it cited as such, because no one's ever heard of it.

King's Quest III - a text adventure with graphical gameplay! I was hooked!

Maniac Mansion - King's Quest III, but you don't have to do any typing! And, the first game to genuinely make me laugh out loud on a regular basis! Awesome!

The Longest Journey - the first AG I ever played which starred characters that sounded like real people, in real situations, who I could actually relate to. Witty, not cartoony, and with plenty of dark humor. It was like playing a season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Diablo - extremely dark atmosphere + action gameplay + RPG + plenty of loot so you always feel rewarded for your accomplishments = a winning combination. Very few clones actually get it right.

Prince of Persia (original) - my first puzzle platformer. Fully action-oriented gameplay plus problem solving. The newer installments, as awesome as they are, still have not nailed the puzzle elements of the original.
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Old 04-28-2010, 12:27 PM   #7
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Here's my list:

Pong (Pong) Wow. Video entertainment is possible.
Space Invaders (Atari 2600) Wow. Video entertainment is fun.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (Atari 2600) Whoa. You can tell a story.

The Temple of Apshai (Commodore 64) D&D on computer? No way!
Wizardry (Apple //) Read above

Fallout 1 (Mac) Aesthetic, emotional rendition of apocalyptic future.
Myst (Mac) Ethereal, first person experience

Morrowind (PC) Living, breathing, world where I could play any character I could dream in a world with a vivid, fleshed-out history

Riven (Mac) Video games as art, best game of all-time

Amber - Journeys Beyond (Mac) Whoa, video games can be scary

Little Big Planet (PS3) Amazing graphics, art direction, enough on its own to nearly qualify as art

Grand Theft Auto IV (PS3) Still hate narrative, but fully functioning, living, breathing, surrealisticly violent world - it's genius but why can't they do this without making me make choices I can't sympathize with

Heavy Rain (PS3) Video games as artistic noir thriller, second best game all-time
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Old 04-28-2010, 12:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booB View Post
Phantasie - a not-very-well-known RPG from the early 80s which was my introduction to RPGs, which would eventually become my favorite genre of games for a long time. It was also one of the earliest (if not the FIRST) tactical RPGs, although you never see it cited as such, because no one's ever heard of it.
I played Phantasie II nearly to completion. I still remember the review I read in a gaming magazine talking about how abhorrent the violence was in the game in that it had wounds to individual limbs. To little stick figures in a fantasy...er...phantasie world. Still find that funny.

What would that person think about GTA I wonder...
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Old 04-28-2010, 07:24 PM   #9
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Someday I need to play fallout 1 and 2 just to see what it is like because I've heard much good things about it.

I am looking forward to the new fallout vegas game but from the screenshots I've seen so far it looks exactly like Fallout 3 which I guess isn't too bad a thing. I was just hoping they would take advantage of having a game take place in a really large city opening it up to whole bunch of different situations in the fallout universe.
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Old 05-07-2010, 12:48 PM   #10
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In order of greatness:

1) Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion & Fallout 3 - Never played a game as much as this one, must of clocked over 120 hours with different characters etc. Its always fresh for me, I would live in that game given the chance by the Gman. (He seems to have that power )

2) TLJ & Dreamfall - Never thought I'd love video game characters as much as the ones in this game. My first tattoo is going to be Crow on my chest. Love it that much I importeed the USA special edition and got the art cards, UK edition, poster etc .

3) Space Quest 4 & 5 - I never thought that its possible to create a mythology around spoofs and humour. SQ has so much spunk and great moments.

4) Quest for Glory 3, 4 & 5 - Is probably the biggest inspiration for the book I'm writing. Rich in folk and myth, dripping in beautiful art, I could frame so many screen shots and hang them in my wall.

5) Knights of the Old Republic series & Mass Effect series - Same reasons as above but SCI-FI!

6) Tomb Raider 3 & Legend & Underworld - Made me feel like a true super hero and a great sense of adventure that is indescribable to me. I know the series goes up and down but I can safely safe my favourite video game character ever.
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Old 05-08-2010, 11:53 AM   #11
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Quite a few to pick from, but i gess the ones that truely affected my experience are....

Deus Ex (awsome freedom & moral choices)
Half Life (blew me away, the first game i ever bought on the PC)
Thief (amazing stealth in an erie era)
The Mystery of the Druids (my first ever point and click adventure that got me into the genre)
Tomb Raider 2 (the first game in which i felt emotionaly attached to the main character)
Oblivion(my first full RPG which i bought on a whim & resulted in me searching & buying old games the likes of Morrowind/KOTR/NWN/Freelancer etc..)
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:18 AM   #12
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I kinda forgot about Thief but that was also a very good game and series.

What do you guys think was a better stealth series? Splinter Cell or Thief? Id say for the time it came out i would go with Thief.
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Old 05-10-2010, 06:58 AM   #13
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Since I can't edit my last post anymore, I'll just have to add that reading certain last posts, I need to add Morrowind to the list. I hadn't really ever played games like that before and everything was just so exciting about it I still also say that with the exception of certain little things (such as the mana bar (the magic meter, whatever)), it's a better game than Oblivion.

Of course there are other games that were very important in my past, but I can't say if they really changed the way I see games. Perhaps more like shaped it (you know, to begin with).

(Edit): Here's better details on my old list (I'm still sure I'm missing some games, but whatever)
Quote:
Gabriel Knight 3 (obviously)
Beyond Good & Evil
Grim Fandango
Psychonauts
Outcast
Knights of the Old Repblic
Samorost (yes, Samorost)
Mirror's Edge (many things in it, but especially the fact that you have the possibility to play it as a shooter of sort, but it basically rewards you from going non-violent (to a certain extent))
Half-Life
Gabriel Knight 3 - just so many things that I can't really even start to talk about it (I'd be at it all night). Let's just say that while it was one of the first AGs I've ever played, that wasn't the only time it has changed the way I view games, but in fact I've often been amazed by what it has to offer and it has changed my views many times since. It's constantly changing my views. It's still to me pretty much the epitome of AGs. Just absolute brilliance, even despite some of its flaws. The best - game - ever.

Grim Fandango - the more I've played it the more I've enjoyed it. It's just the absolute elegance in which the world is built, the story is told, just everything that shows that games can be so much more than what they often tend to be.

Psychonauts & Beyond Good & Evil - surprise to see another Schafer game? Again, the way everything is built and told, the twisted beauty... And, as well as with Beyond Good & Evil, the way that such strong story and adventure elements are combined with the sort of platformer/action games that they are. And in the case of Beyond Good & Evil, the way the seemingly simple and cartoony world in fact has an unusually touching and even tragic story.

Outcast - Again, so much to say, so little space. Still no real rivals, an incredibly rich and open world, the combination of the wonderful story and exploration and a shooter/action game... Also, and this especially nowadays is important: how the world is built in that it is what it is - right from the beginning. As you evolve, further in the story etc. the world doesn't change - only you do. The world the same from the very start and there are places that are simply impossible for you to get into. You can try though, and sometimes it has its own reward and this just makes the world seem so much more real and alive - as well as makes for a very nice rhythm for the story as you later return to the places you once looked at with fear and just make your way in. Also, the way the action isn't about how big a gun you've got but about how good you really are. You can't simply go in with the biggest gun you have blazing, you need tactics, cleverness... And all this in such an old game

Knights of the Old Republic - the first turn-based RPG I've played. The story was (and is) amazingly broad and gripping, the world has so much to do... I can't really describe what it is.

Samorost - something so wondeful and marvelous with such simple ingredients. Really proved to me once and for all how indie games can be the top of the notch.

Mirror's Edge I already quickly covered, so I won't go into that.

Finally, Half-Life - I hadn't even really played shooters before that. Mainly stuff like Tomb Raiders in that area (which I loved, but belong more to the "defining" games rather than the "view-changing" ones, as the demo of Tomb-Raider (#1) was really the first computer game I ever played (I had Commodore and Sega before that though)) but no FPS. However, even on a retrospect it's two or three things that really make it: first of all, the way the story is told. It just starts with an ordinary day, then something goes wrong, and it's never really forced upon you. Then there's the G-man, and the mystery is just so thick you can feel it... And the fact that the story is built without a single cutsene, without you ever saying a single word And of course very importantly - the best main character an FPS has ever, ever, ever seen. Not one of those macho... things, not even a fighter in any way, but a scientist, a PhD with glasses who's stranded in a huge industrial complex. And of course there's the gameplay elements - the puzzles like the missile silo tentacle thing, the radio comm and the music you start hearing when the commandos appear... Just so amazing! HL2 was great, but it just can't capture the feeling that Half-Life had.

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Old 05-10-2010, 07:19 AM   #14
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RxBandits123, well for me the Theif series beats Splinter Cell hands down. i dunno how to say it in words, but i guess the era & feel that Thief is set in & has, just makes it more....i dunno, magical, is that the right word ? i also think Hitman47 is just ahead of Splinter Cell too imo.


UPtimist, i played Oblivion first and it was a fantastic game for a newbie RPGer. When i went to Morrowind after that, the graphics were a bit of a put off, but with mods to make it look better, it does offer ALLOT more than Oblivion story & side mission wise. certainly lean towrds Morrowind as the better game with you. but why did the Dark Brotherhood have to have those gimp masks, lol.
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:53 PM   #15
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I haven't really seen a 'life altering'-esque title in YEARS but these certainly changed my point of view as I was growing up.

Leisure Suit Larry 6/Sam and Max: Hit the Road
These two titles were really the games that introduced me to the adventure genre before our family even owned a computer. I didn't realise games could be more than side-scrollers, puzzles and sports. Games could have storylines, fleshed out characters, have no real violence, be really funny and feel like you're experiencing a real narrative like movies or novels. This concept was later fleshed out further with The Dig - I actually stayed home to play this rather than watch Jumanji in the cinema - a film I had been wanting REALLY bad to see when I saw the trailer. It was worth it.

Little Big Adventure and the early games of Infogrames/Adeline Software
These include Little Big Adventure, Twinsen's Odyssey, Alone in the Dark, Flashback and Fade to Black. Essentially, these rich titles were precursors to main great element in modern gaming - immersive environments. These were the first impressive titles I played that I felt went beyond narrative to virtual reality - a simulation of real life. The freedom in Little Big Adventure, for example, was pretty much ahead of its time having a few years on it before Grand Theft Auto III changed gaming. Had the sequel been released on the Playstation, history would probably be written differently and maybe we would have a Little Big Adventure III. However, I still have fond memories of this title along with Alone in the Dark, Out of this World, Jordan Mechner's Prince of Persia 2 and Flashback that were perhaps prototypes to this model of game and deserve a mention.

Then you have the minor influences, including some points of view I've grown out of...

Dragon's Lair/The 7th Guest: Wow, games could be like movies and not like Duck Hunt.

Command & Conquer: The RTS genre to me feels like it was a trend that should have went away long ago like grunge music but there's no denying with the use of story throughout the FMVs and the mysterious Kane, this was awesome and made me branch out into other genres of gaming.

SimCity 2000: Games that adults will play and aren't about heroes and damsels in distress. Also, titles rooted in reality.

Half-Life: Even a simple, unflexible genre like the FPS can have a deeply engaging and interwoven narrative throughout the game... Even after everything that's came after, I'd still rather play this single player than do online gaming like Counter-Strike.

GTA: Vice City: Games can not only replicate reality they can simulate moments in time... I'm shocked there wasn't more sandbox games in general and not just "crime" titles. This is the same sort of game as Virtual Springfield...
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:47 AM   #16
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In the order in which I played them:

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 - Between the ages of 6 and 12, I worshiped a lot of things; the Power Rangers, Ryan Giggs, The Galaxy Rangers...but none came close to my love for Sonic The Hedgehog. He was (as the TV show put it) way past cool. His games were super fast and super fun. Sonic as a character sparked something in my young imagination like nothing else before it. I'd draw pictures, read the comics, make up stories and play it with my friends.

Shenmue - In the year 2000, at the age of 13, I knew nothing of PC games. I hadn't even heard of the point and click adventure, so Shenmue on Dreamcast was my first truly story-driven gaming experience. Unlike Final Fantasy or Resident Evil, Shenmue didn't have flat backgrounds that you hopped between. It was fully 3D that didn't look blurry, warped or suspiciously empty. You could interact with the environment and talk to everyone that roamed the streets. You could participate in cut-scenes and fight like in Tekken. The characters felt like real people to me, and I wanted nothing more than to get my revenge on Lan Di, the man who killed my father.

It really was the title that opened my eyes to gaming beyond cool mascots, extreme sports and survival horror. I know I always bring up Shenmue, but hey - what can ya do That's just how much it means to me.

Fallout 3 - Who knew that a desolate wasteland would be so compelling to explore? To me, Fallout 3 is the first open world game where your character feels like a part of the environment and your decisions feel like they really have an effect. The world itself is so well-realised, with a variety of realistic and interesting locations, seamlessly strung together.

The Longest Journey - I've never experienced such an interesting mix of magic and science, in all mediums. TLJ's world(s) are simply captivating, and the sheer amount of thought and detail put into them is marvelous.
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:00 AM   #17
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Thought provoking question....while there are many from the past, as far as this gen goes for the sake of a quick post before I dart off for a cuppa...

Oblivion - Stunning, open world with engaging quests and environments which I never tired of looking at. The game that drew me out of my apathy and onto the 360.

Hitman - Never having played the Thief games, this was my first foray into stealth action titles and I was blown away. The openess of the kills was like mana. Choosing my own path through the game, whether I wanted to just slaughter everyone with a pair of hedge clippers or find a more devious, subtle method had me hooked for a long time. Very replayable.

Mirror's Edge - It had me at that first, heart stopping leap. It took my breath away and never quite let me have it back. Usually I shun anything first person, unable to get on with them, but the concept and realisation of it were stunning. Sharp, clean rooftops, beautiful free flowing feel...I could go on forever. The sense of freedom and being plugged into an exciting new play experience was incredible....here's hoping that EA don't bork the sequel.
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:07 AM   #18
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Oooh... this is difficult to do properly. So many game playing experiences embedded in my head. Well, let's try...

Indiana Jones & Fate of Atlantis - the first adventure game I ever played and truly one of the best out there - a freedom of actions and wealth of details and events never even touched in Nintendo platformers (the kind of games I mainly played before)

Journeyman Project 2: Buried in Time
- the first game I played with photo-realistic graphics, traveling in time through believably recreated periods of history - mind-blowing!

Wolfenstein 3D
and Doom - discovered how much fun is to be had in 3D shooting games - a different kind of action game

Lost in New York - the first Interactive Fiction game I ever played, a totally different game experience - adds a lot more freedom to traditional adventuring in a way

Exile (by SpiderWeb) - first RPG. Those bits where you go to cities, the inhabitants have their daily routines, you can talk to them, do quests etc - addictive!

Thief: The Dark Project - Now you can have it all! 3D with complex physics, action, puzzles, atmosphere, fascinating, detailed plot, real-time cutscenes, living characters, moving around all kinds of in-game objects you came upon, a world with hundreds of background stories, optional subquests, bonus artistic cutscenes and more

The Last Express - time manipulation inside a story-driven game and a very non-linear one - brilliant!

Nelly Cootalot - At last! Proof that indie freeware adventure games can be sometimes better than the commercial productions

Interestingly, some of the most artistic and emotional games I played like The Dark Eye, the Gabriel Knight series, Grim Fandango, Planescape: Torment... didn't change how I view games at all. At least I think they didn't.
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