The leaves are changing and the days are getting shorter. Yes, that time for thankful thoughts that we call Thanksgiving here in the States is rounding the corner and here at BagoGames, we couldn’t be more thankful for our greatest passion of all: games. Whether we gather ’round the dinner table or fall asleep on the couch with a controller in hand, we’re taking an opportunity this Thanksgiving to look back on just how much – and how long – we’ve been fallen in love with video games new and old.
There are many games that I could never imagine living without. Spirit Tracks from the Legend of Zelda series is one. The hours I spent collecting rabbits to bring them to Rabbit Land Rescue or collecting treasures to craft every single train part could never be replaced. Seeing Link conduct a spirit train in Hyrule brings a goofy grin to my face even after completing the game two years ago.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf is another one that’s still enjoyable. Spend a quite hour collecting fruit and helping villagers with their chores gives me a sense of peace after a confusing and hectic day. Creating a home that I can dream of in a town of lovable yet slightly demanding animals truly helps me focus and sort out my cluttered mind after work.
But the game I am most thankful for after years of gaming is Monster Hunter Tri Ultimate. It’s this game that brought my online buddies and I together to form a common goal: to hunt monsters and wear our trophies for other hunters to admire. MH3 U with it’s world of hunting monsters that threaten the beloved Moga Village lets me feel as if I truly could hunt down a monster. For the most part the community respects each other. Players are more willing to give advice and help others more than any other game community I have ever seen. People are constantly offering advice or are willing to lend support for a hunter who is struggling to finish crafting an armor set or wants to take down a difficult monster.
The Monster Hunter community has taught me that there are still gamers who care about passing on knowledge to the next generation. My friend introduced the MH series to me and offered everything he knew about the game. Now I am the one who has taken the current MH game and is teaching newbies the ropes and offering my discoveries and secrets to them. The hundreds of hours I have put into Tri Ultimate is half due to the actual gameplay. The reason I love playing MH3 U is because of the community of players and the friends I have met along my journey. And that is why I am so very thankful for having Monster Hunter Tri Ultimate in my life.
The games I’ve come to treasure most are the ones from my start as a gamer and that was the Gamecube. Pikmin was one and Super Mario Sunshine was another, alongside the joyous seas of Windwaker from the Legend of Zelda, of course. The one that would always brought the biggest smile to my face would be the first I ever played on the system. That game would be Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 2, whose demo was an equal priority of my obsession.
Years later, I can still feel the rush of lining up my attack run on the Death Star’s trench and tripping AT-AT walkers by the dozens on Hoth. The view from an X-wing’s cockpit flying into a Star Destroyer is something I’ll never forget and I still marvel at the breathtaking detail applied to each and every Tie Fighter I blew out of the sky. I fervently swore to never give up on finding tiny animated versions of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru hidden on Tatooine and I marveled at the size of the second Death Star on my TV screen. For me, Rogue Squadron 2 brought a galaxy far, far away a bit closer to home, and for that I’ll always be thankful.
None compare to what I consider the crown jewel of both the Gamecube and my gaming career, however. Few games have lasted longer in my mind than those in the Paper Mario series and fewer still affect me as much as The Thousand Year Door. Smart, charming, and impossibly endearing, it’s everything I’d want out of a perfect game and one of the most lovingly told stories Nintendo’s ever written.
A globe-trotting treasure hunt on an epic scale across the outskirts of the Mushroom Kingdom, The Thousand Year Door brought together the finest cast of characters I’ll ever remember. Each of them tell a story in their own right, each lending a personality to the group in only the way that a Wonderful Wizard of Oz dressed as an RPG can. If I could travel with anyone like Goombella or Vivian or Admiral Bobbery again, I’d die a happy gamer, but not any sooner than it’d take me to play a million more games.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and as gamers we have many things to be grateful for, new systems, an amazing Fall/Winter line up, and glitch memes up the wazoo!
There are a couple games and series that I am extremely thankful for, had one of them not existed I would not be the raging gamer that I am today. The series and games that brought me back into gaming after I packed away my SNES were the Resident Evil games, I remember seeing television ads for it, and was genuinely interested in it. Luckily at the time that I was working for KB Toys and we received amazing discounts on everything in the store. I saved up some money and bought a Playstation, Resident Evil and Resident Evil 2 right before I went home for winter break. During my break I spent most of my time wandering Spencer Mansion and Raccoon City, I fell in love with this new genre in games, survival horror, and I never looked back.
The other game that I’m thankful for is oddly enough another survival horror game by the gentleman who gave the world Resident Evil, Shinji Mikami. The Evil Within is one of my favorite games of the year, it holds true to the terror I felt when playing Resident Evil for the first time, and makes you feel truly hopeless. I hope that this begins the birth of a new survival horror era in the industry. I would definitely be thankful for that should it happen once again.
Suda 51 is like M. Night Shyamalan in many respects, starting off truly great with a bold vision, and I can say that Killer 7 is his masterpiece. As a teenager, I couldn’t believe the complexity of the game’s nature and how dynamic it was compared to its peers then and now, holding up in my opinion to the countless Call of Duties and Assassins Creeds.
Killer 7 may have been shot down due to its design and narrative, but it’s become an inspiring game in its own right – even legitimizing video games a true art form. Suda’s game design’s long tried to combine art house and commercial success into one and Killer 7 is not different. The game is a story about a hired assassin with multiple personalities trying to eliminate a terrorist organization of invisible suicide bombers – The Heaven’s Smiles – bent on overthrowing the government via demonic ministers, sadistic cartoonists, and an anime character who kidnaps children. Yeah.
The game’s design is simply devious in nature. You play as one of 7 assassins tasked with taking the terrorists out in the first or third person along a set path, shooting a certain part of their body to kill them before they reached you and exploded. There were a number of different and dynamic set pieces, including several duels, each with their own take, a variation of different enemies, puzzles and a collection of fun boss battles that made you think laterally on how to murder them.
The game was odd, to say the least. Everything about it had a creepy, colorful vibe juxtaposed against rather disturbing subject matter, particularly for the time. The year of 2005 was wracked by fears of terrorism and Suda saw a chance to discuss not just terrorism, but how we react to it as human beings. It was never an easy game to play at the time and its graphic violence would chill anyone to the bone, but Killer 7‘s story was something bold, a fantastic look at the real world and just how many problems were in it. System Shock 2 held great praise for its story and gameplay, but Killer 7 went to the extra mile and ripped it the hurdles of narrative and dynamic storytelling to shreds.
Another game from my teenage years and one that’s stuck with me to this very day is Deus Ex – a game I used to compare to any game that consider themselves on the same level. Bioshock and Dragon Age may be good in their design of choice and outcome (well, Dragon Age is at least), but Deus Ex was one of the first to make consequences out of such a small thing like saving a prostitute from an abusive pimp with a temper.
Deus Ex also offered what Halo and Half-Life do so well: the choice in your minor actions. How you handle a group of terrorists or even how you open a gate were left squarely to the player and even the most minor paths had multiple means of completion and outcomes. You were given a choice of attack, stealth or to completely at times ignore the whole thing and risk a terrible event in the future.
Like Human Revolution, it did have some highly questionable voice acting, but that didn’t overwrite the complexity of its choice-making, its fantastic RPG elements, or its thought provoking gameplay. Human Revolution may have picked up a few notes from it here and there, yet I still felt the original still holds high ground due to its flawless and complex design, along with the narrative that gripped you from the start.
Tell us: What are your favorite games? Share your greatest gaming memories in the comments below and stick around for all the latest gaming news, reviews, previews, and opinions here at BagoGames. From all of our staff, have a very happy Thanksgiving!