Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Gaming History

I don't quite remember when we got our first computer.  I know it was while I was in Rochester and that we had it for a year or two which would put me between eight and ten and the year between 1994 and 1996.  There wasn't a lot available for the computer at the time so I, like many, grew up wildly entertained by solitaire.

After a while I finally got some real games, those being puzzle solving games in the Dr. Brain series.

I remember the above and The Castle of Dr. Brain the best.  I always loved solving brainteasers and puzzles as a kid and these type of games fit in perfectly.  Another favorite, which as far as I am concerned is one of the best games ever made, is The Incredible Machine 2.

I used to spend hours tinkering with the Rube-Goldberg devices and puzzles.  Hell, I still want to.  I think I'll download it now.  It's puzzle mode is wickedly addictive, and it's free build mode even more so.

I played a few football games here and there, but those aren't particularly interesting and never held my attention for long periods of time.  I was off and on with different things until about seventh grade when my friend and I became absolutely obsessed with Mech Warriors 2: Mercenaries.

It's a funny story, when I got this game, my dad had to install it because he's a paranoid jerk and didn't trust me to handle something that is basically idiot proof.  After installing, he played the sandbox mode before he let me on.  When I got to the computer, I thought that was the only facet of the game and was kind of miffed.  I actually wanted to return the game but my mom wouldn't let me because it's not ethical to return something you don't like.  (I don't know either.)  There was also a $5 rebate for this game (cost $10) in which I lost the slip and almost got grounded for.

Anyways, the campaign of the game was AWESOME.  Even at a young age, I started to understand how nice nonlinear gameplay is.  The overall campaign did tend to shift you in a certain direction, but there were many ways to get there and they were all enjoyable.

This was probably the first game I was obsessed with.  My friend Tom and I played for literally hours at a time exhausting all possible avenues of the campaign, and screwing around aplenty in the sandbox area.  It was also probably when my parents started to hate my being a gamer.

After Mech Warriors 2 and 3 I was introduced to Starcraft.  I think between grades 9 and 12, and large stretches of college, I probably put 300+ hours into StarCraft a year.

I specialized in money maps, and I was the kind of good they usually reserve for Koreans.  During my second wave of interest, I met a random kid from southern NY and we teamed up to play 2v2 and 3v3 matches, probably putting up over a hundred, and never losing once.  I wish subsequent battlenet updates hadn't corrupted replays, because we had some pretty awesome ones.  We were also collossal dicks and would often go into 7v1 "compstomp" games that people use to rack up wins just to backstab the other seven participants.

The two of us played as Zerg with nearly identical strategies.  We met by playing a 1v1 game and fighting to a stalemate for over four hours.  He was a better micromanager than I, and I was a bit quicker and more creative.  It made for a deadly combination.

There were a lot of great wins.  In one instance someone tried to backstab us in a compstomp, only to have him and I split my island half and half and decimate the other players one by one.  There was another where we beat a stackhacker by maxing the game's unit limit with overlords so he couldn't build any more defense structures.  We came up with several unique tactics.  False drops by sending hordes of empty overlords to an opponent's base.  We timed attacks to set our enemies up for the following wave.  One of the best was building all guardians, an air-to-ground only unit for the first attack.  The best air-to-air units in the game couldn't attack ground.  So we would then follow the guardians with three hundred zerglings from each of us while their air only units flitted around retardedly.

Yeah, I played Starcraft a lot, on and off with Diablo II, another Blizzard creation.  After a while, I grew tired of being a hardcore gamer.  Probably right around the time Halo came out.  I understand that Halo was really popular, but to me it was a game of such soul-crushing awfulness that I don't want to touch another console made post-xbox.  I think that console games, particularly console FPS games in the modern era are terrible.  Give me a mouse and a keyboard.

Mario Kart for the N64 is easy.  This game is not, but I was determined to be good at it.  So I played.  A lot.  At one point I was ranked in the top 100 in the United States, and in the top 400 Worldwide.  I'm pretty bad now, but I can probably still kick your ass.  

Sadly this was the last game I was obsessed with.  I just don't have the desire to while away hour after hour on the computer.  It's expecially difficult that while gaming, it's impossible to multitask, to talk to people, to write, to research things, all of which I am doing at any given time.

I do play The Killing Floor occasionally.  My Steam username is CriminallyVu1gar, but I rarely play online because I have no one to regularly play with.  Beyond that I mostly play flash games, tower defense and such.  I can put them down at any given time and walk away to do something more important.  I like that.

1 comment:

  1. Omg...the incredible machine.. I LOVED that game.