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Areala Asks: Again For The First Time (20160919)


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TWO 'Areala Asks' questions this week? What sorcery is this?!

 

Well, to be honest, I'm not really sure. Let's find out together, Retro-nuts.

 

Today's other question is:

 

"What video game do you wish you could re-experience for the first time, and why?"

 

Let's face it, after a while, most games lose their lustre. Stuff that scared us senseless in 1997 is now so familiar that we barely stifle the yawn as we run down the hall between the shambling corpses that gave us nightmares in the first Resident Evil. Levels that seemed so infinite and sprawling with their numerous secrets in Doom we can now navigate in the dark. People are so familiar with Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! that they've turned to playing it while blindfolded. Story surprises, twist endings, and legendary battles are only new once.

 

Thus: one game. One choice. You get to re-live the excitement, the stress, the shock, the awe, the wonder, of playing it again for the first time. Name that game. :)

 

*huggles*
Areala

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And why...? :)

 

'Cause Super Metroid.  A game so phenomenal the "why" is inferred.  ;)

 

But if I had to elaborate it'd be the interactive ending.  I won't spoil it for anyone - because Super Metroid should always be exempt from the usual Spoiler Statute of Limitations - but the final boss encounter is still my favorite game ending to date.

 

So Super Metroid is the game I would love to re-experience for the first time.  Though, honestly, even now - so many years removed - I can still remember that final battle, with all the excitement and stress and shock and awe and wonder, like it was yesterday.  :)

 

To anyone reading this, that is how you know you've experienced a damn fine game.

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my answer is my favorite game of all time, The Legend of Zelda. the original, on the NES.

 

i spent countless hours on the floor of my bedroom with hand-drawn maps strewn about me, trying to find out WHICH ROOM HAD THAT SECRET PASSAGE? I KNOW I WROTE IT DOWN SOMEWHERE!

years later, i set out on a seemingly endless quest to burn every bush, bomb every wall, push every stone. i had to break this game down completely and discover every last secret.

many years later, i still have these maps and hints that i discovered.

 

i play through the game probably once a year and get absolutely enamored every time. i've played (and beaten) it every way imaginable. play through with only three hearts? yep. get to Gannon without nabbing the sword? double check.  play it blindfolded? well, no, that just sounds crazy and i'm totally not buying a blindfold on eBay right now.

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You know that guy?  The guy who can't do anything without questioning it and analyzing it until all fun has been sucked away and the point is lost?  Yeah, that's me.

 

I don't know if I understand the question or not, but if I do, I may not understand the point.  If I wanted to experience all the magic I had when I played a game the first time, I'd have to have my mind wiped of everything that happened beyond that point.  In which case, I wouldn't be experiencing it "again," but rather for the first time ever (essentially.)  I wouldn't have any kind of perspective needed to experience it "for the first time again."  It's an endless loop.  To get all the "good feels" out of it, I'd have to actually be experiencing it for the first time (with no knowledge of what comes later,) but to appreciate the chance to have those "good feels" again, I'd have to have the knowledge I have now...which would mean I couldn't experience the "good feels" of experiencing it for the first time...and so on...
So since I've already played everything for the first time once before and wiping my memory and doing it again wouldn't produce any new feelings, I don't know if there's any benefit in doing so?

 

Like I said.  Just me and my fun vacuum, ridding the world of speculative whimsy.  Oh look!  Over there!  Is that a time travel paradox I see?  If you'll excuse me, I have business to attend to....

 

What would be interesting (but can only be hypothesized about) would be if everyone who replies to this thread had their memories of just that one game erased from their memories but with the rest of gaming history intact in their minds.  Would someone with decades of gaming experience who was just now experiencing Super Metroid or Legend of Zelda for the first time be overly impressed, or would they just nod their head and say "yeah, not bad, I guess I can see how that could have been regarded as an important game"?  Kind of helpful to understand the perspective of a younger generation - like what's bound to happen this Xmas when kids who've never heard of the NES get an NES Mini from parents hoping to share their passion.  Will the kids be blown away by how awesome the games are, or unenthusiastically appreciative of the games' places in the evolution of the industry, or else amazed at how anyone could have ever enjoyed such primitive games in the first place?

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I don't know. So many games. You know what game kind of wowed me at the time that would be amazing to recapture the excitement, Lunar on Sega CD. I mean I was mulling Phantasy Star. But I was absolutely enthralled by Lunar. In a world of speechless games, here was this game with voice acting, CD music , animated cutscenes, a thrilling story. I was frankly just blown away at the power of the Sega CD. The game seems kind of quaint and antiquuicated now. But I mean it was an experience unlike many other favorite console games you couldn't even get in the arcade. It was just at the right time and place to be completing amazing. Sure there was similar CD fare, on the Turbo CD with Y's, but I didn't have one, and I had played that game on the SMS. It just added animated cutscenes. Lunar was built for the CD medium from the beggining.

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Would someone with decades of gaming experience who was just now experiencing Legend of Zelda for the first time be overly impressed, or would they just nod their head and say "yeah, not bad, I guess I can see how that could have been regarded as an important game"? 

 

as i mentioned above, LoZ is my all-time favorite game. i truly can't begin to comprehend how i would react if that game came out today. i probably wouldn't like it, to be honest. "where's level three? you mean i just have to wander around until i find it? that's stupid". and don't get me started on trying to find level 5. there's no f-ing way i would EVER run across that one.

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as i mentioned above, LoZ is my all-time favorite game. i truly can't begin to comprehend how i would react if that game came out today. i probably wouldn't like it, to be honest. "where's level three? you mean i just have to wander around until i find it? that's stupid". and don't get me started on trying to find level 5. there's no f-ing way i would EVER run across that one.

 

I feel like we didn't expect to be able to finish most games back then on our own.  That's why mags like Nintendo Power were so valuable, despite having absolutely no journalistic content.  Hard data like maps, hints, secrets, and codes basically acted like a time-release function for completing the game, extending its lifespan and allowing us to progress a bit further each time a new helpful hint was revealed.  We no longer have that kind of patience, but I can't really say that's a bad thing.

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Oooh tough one, the game that really sticks in my mind is the one.....the only......Legend of Zelda for the NES (Gold Cart). It was such a turning point for video games, up to that point I had been playing Atari 2600-Atari 7800 games......and the leap from a game like Pitfall or Defender.......to Legend of Zelda......was amazing. Going around bombing every wall, burning every bush....pushing every stone......trying to find that next secret that your friends didnt even know about. Opening up Nintendo Power hoping for a tip or hint to help you along......oh and a battery save feature? What! Lets not also forget the SECOND QUEST! This isn't like Super Mario Bros where goombas turn into buzzy beetles the second time around.....no, this is a total revamp that adds a new level of challenge!

 

I remember playing Legend of Zelda all day long and then at night time I would lay my head on my pillow and worry that I didn't save my progress correctly......and I would sneak downstairs and fire back up the NES so I could check.....which lead to me playing some more, saving.....laying back down....and worrying again that I just saved incorrectly.....rinse and repeat.

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It's amazing how boredom wasn't boring back then.  Faced with being stuck in a game, nowadays I'd probably instantly look up the solution on the internet.  Back then, if a magazine or a friend couldn't help you, you just played the game anyway without making any progress...and somehow still enjoyed it.  I remember burning every single bush and bombing every dungeon wall in Zelda just out of curiosity, and not being bored by the futility of (most of) it.

 

The same goes for Super Mario, where I literally smashed every breakable brick in the game just to see if there was anything there (getting excited even if all I found was a coin block or something).  Nowadays, I'd probably just race to the end of the level without caring a whit for what might be in those blocks, and certainly not giving a damn about finding anything less than a 1-up.

 

This is why I wouldn't want to experience any of these games for the first time now.  I'm afraid most of their magic would be completely lost on me at this point.  More than any other art form, video games have had an extremely fast evolution from their crude beginnings to what they are now, and at this point, I think the best way to be able to enjoy these games is not to experience them for the first time, but rather to have the experience of playing them again augmented by our memories and nostalgia for how special they were to us the first time around.

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I've never liked the first Zelda game. Not back then, and not now. I've tried to play it many times. I guess it would help if you had the map that came with the game. I'm also one of those people who loved Zelda 2.

 

Now see, I bought Zelda 2 back in the day and was so disappointed that I did not buy another Zelda game until Ocarina of time came out on the N64. I still kick myself to this day for missing out on Link to the Past.

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Now see, I bought Zelda 2 back in the day and was so disappointed that I did not buy another Zelda game until Ocarina of time came out on the N64. I still kick myself to this day for missing out on Link to the Past.

See that's another one. While far better than Zelda 1. I've never finished Link to the past. I've only played the GBA version. But I got stuck in the dark world as a bunny. Got frustrated and quit.

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I think a game id like to experience for the 1st time again is an arcade game that I was slightly baffled that it didn't get a home release : CarnEvil by Midway...

 

   Growing up in New Orleans and playing this game at the arcades on halloween had a special feel to it... not to mention it was the 1st Video Game i could remember fully beating (With Help and A roll of Quarters of course!) Sadly ever since moving to Texas (And now to the Carolinas) ... I've never seen that game again.... so in a way if i see it again... it would very well be like playing for the 1st time

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  • 2 weeks later...
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I had to think about this one for a while, as there are a number of games that are just mind-blowing the first time through, whether it's for a plot twist you don't see coming (System Shock 2 was the first game to really floor me with a twist in the storyline), or for the experience of trying a new genre of game (Doom, for instance), or for the sheer WOW factor of seeing something that really pushes a system or shows off its expertise (60 FPS car combat in Twisted Metal Black, anybody?).

 

For me, there's really only one choice and anyone who's known me for long enough shouldn't be surprised at all. My choice is the original Tomb Raider for PC.

 

Tomb Raider utterly changed the landscape in terms of what a 3D action/adventure platformer could offer, and while subsequent games might look prettier and offer new features, that first game captured everything about what it felt like to run through long-lost caves on the hunt for treasure. I spent HOURS exploring every level, looking for the secrets, and just enjoying everything the level builders did to create this feeling of immersion and isolation. There are locations in that game that were breathtaking in 1996, and though they're terribly crude by today's standards some twenty years later, I still find myself swept up in the moment when I look at the waterfalls in the Lost Valley, the slanted red roof of the main building in the City of Vilcabamba, the stark, crumbling visage of the sphinx in the City of Khamoon, and the dizzying heights of St. Francis' Folly.

 

Tomb Raider, for me, is the demarcation line for when games finally "grew up" and 3D came into its own as a viable medium. I'd LOVE to experience that demo again for the first time with new eyes. :)

 

*huggles*
Areala

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I think a game id like to experience for the 1st time again is an arcade game that I was slightly baffled that it didn't get a home release : CarnEvil by Midway...

 

I could be wrong about this, but my guess is that CarnEvil never saw a home release for two big reasons.

 

1 - It was complex as hell for an arcade game, as it didn't ship with just PCBs for RAM and ROM info but also its own internal hard drive that held several gigabytes of polygonal models, FMV, stereo sound effects and music, and animation.

 

2 - It was coded specifically for a (custom?) 3DFX chip's capabilities, so porting it to a platform-agnostic format or coding drivers for other video cards could have been a nightmare. Not saying it couldn't have been done, but there's no way consoles of the day could have handled something that intensive, neither Sony or Sega had comparable graphics processors, and even computers of the time would have received a stripped-down version out of necessity. CarnEvil's a monster. :)

 

*huggles*

Areala

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I could be wrong about this, but my guess is that CarnEvil never saw a home release for two big reasons.

 

1 - It was complex as hell for an arcade game, as it didn't ship with just PCBs for RAM and ROM info but also its own internal hard drive that held several gigabytes of polygonal models, FMV, stereo sound effects and music, and animation.

 

2 - It was coded specifically for a (custom?) 3DFX chip's capabilities, so porting it to a platform-agnostic format or coding drivers for other video cards could have been a nightmare. Not saying it couldn't have been done, but there's no way consoles of the day could have handled something that intensive, neither Sony or Sega had comparable graphics processors, and even computers of the time would have received a stripped-down version out of necessity. CarnEvil's a monster. :)

 

*huggles*

Areala

 

Well... with that explanation that clears it up not only for just CarnEvil... but 2 other games I was wondering about (The Grid and INVASION : The Abductors)

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So many good games over the years... I genuinely couldn't pick just one. Not gonna say that everything I played on PS1 was amazing, but man, 95-2000 were some REALLY good years in gaming. The new hardware helped with both atmosphere and exposition, so gaming as a whole became a LOT more immersive.

 

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, I have a pretty limited memory. There are only a few games that I could play through in my mind and be anywhere close to correct on story points and details. The rest of my gaming memories? Mostly a garbled mess of good feelings, imagery, and sound bytes. So, it may sound weird, but I really am able to play games I've played through, more or less, for the first time again. It's a weird blessing, but I'll take it. :)

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