I miss my Nintendo 64. I picked mine up while I was in college. Worked n and off for a pool and spa place and earned one for my troubles. Cash would have been very cool but I think I got way more entertainment out of the N64 over time than I ever would have from the same amount of money. Due to the gameplay, the game library and the fact that four people could play on one system, we logged many an hour on the N64 in the dorm. Here are my four favorite games that I had and played the crap out of on this system.
Mario Kart 64 was certainly one of the winners and a fav in the dorm. There were days that the game started early in the morning and players switched on and off all day until midnight or beyond. The graphics were good, TVs were big enough to play four people at a time on one screen and we could all play round-robin tournaments and never get bored. It was ridiculous how quickly we all learned and memorized the maps. And we all had our favorite characters to play, thinking they gave us distinct advantages. I am still not convinced that any of the various playable characters were any better than any other. There was something about the competition, the flinging of shells at each other and the flinging of insults around the TV that made this game a joy to play, whether you were any good at it or not.
WCW vs NWO: World Tour might be my favorite wrestling game of all time. It is not the best, it is not the end all be all, but it was my favorite. The graphics were great for the time. I was really into wrestling as well. We would watch on Mondays with two TVs going so that we could watch WCW and WWF at the same time. Playing those characters that we all loved to watch on Mondays and during the pay-per-views was fantastic. Add to this the fact that the gameplay was easy and you had a really fun game. When I say that the gameplay was easy it might be the easiest wrestling game ever made. Learn the combinations and it all comes down to reaction time. Freaking great game!
Of all of the games that we played together, GoldenEye was my favorite. I had played First Person shooter style games before but this was the first time that I could play against someone else. I learned the maps. I learned the weapons. i had my favorite spots to run the game from and I was unbeatable. Now, that was amongst my peers in college and I not that would be assassin in FPS games today. In fact, I am very mediocre. I still ove playing a good FOS but none will ever touch GoldenEye for sheer fun and enjoyment. In particular Man with the Golden Gun matches that were one shot one kill – those were the best.
For single player games, it was Shadows of the Empire. We were all Star Wars geeks. We loved all things Star Wars and in particular, those of us that had read the book were completely jazzed about the fact that they were going to be releasing a Shadows of the Empire game. This game followed the novel better than any game based on a book or movie ever has. It was fun to play, you got to relive some of the great moments of the novel and you got to do a little bit of everything. Third person action game, meets flight simulator, meets swope bike pilot. Again, it was the first time I had ever played anything like this and I loved every miniute of it. We even set down and beat the thing in one sitting.
In the end, this was one of the most used video game consoles that I ever owned. Hours of game play with friends and family and it was catridge based so the loads times didn’t take forever. I may have to go see if I can find one of these and buy it again.
I am currently playing through Just Cause 3 on PS4. I have been a fan of this series from day one. In fact, I think I may have purchased the first one the day that the game came out. Basically, this is an action adventure game in an open world environment. Third person allows you to feel the action and almost treat the game like an action movie. The real hook for this series has always been threefold:
You can drive, fly pilot anything. If you can get behind the wheel, it is yours to command.
You have a grappling hook attached to your arm. The grappling hook is retractable and if attached to something bigger than you, you will be pulled toward the item you are attached to.
You have a retractable parachute. This is the biggest gimmick of the game. You have a parachute that you can deploy or retract in a moments notice. Combine that with your grappling hook and you can fly… more or less.
The story this time around brings Rico Rodriguez back home tot he Mediterranean. We find out that the island country of Medici has a dictator of its own and Rico’s friends back home have asked him to come back to help overthrow this illegitimate government.
The gameplay has not changed a lot from the other two games. In fact, you are still overthrowing cities and military sites the same way that you always have. This time you do have some new gadgets, though. EMPs, battleships and of course a wingsuit. You have side quests in the form of races and challenges and you can upgrade your gear a lot more effectively this time around.
Why am I so hooked on this games? Easy gameplay. Funny dialogue. Good action grinder for me, seeing as I am a bad gamer to begin with. The controls are easy to use and some of the stunts with the vehicles outweigh those in the Saints Row series and maybe even in the Grand Theft Auto series.
I finally got my mods for Fallout 4 on PS4! And I can only say it is about time. We, the Playstation using portion of the country, were told we would have mods late spring of 2016. The kibosh was put on that by Bethesda or Sony or both and the delay was on. I kept up in the forums for a long time but gave up checking when we moved into Q4 of 2016. Finally, early in 2017 we got mods on the PS4. I broke my copy of Fallout 4 back out and started over from the beginning.
Now, the biggest question is: Why Mod? Modding can be cheating on some level and I am fine with that. I don’t mind the idea of making my gameplay much more casual on a story driven game. You get the chance to do EVERYTHING without having to spend quite as much time slogging through the resource gathering. Mods can also add different aspects of the game, change the graphics and so much more. For me, this also makes the game have a new level of re-playability.
Like I said, I broke my copy of the game back out immediately and started playing again from scratch with mods turned on. I wanted to experience something new and the way that the developers handle mods make it really easy. You search through the mods from the load screen and then add the ones you like. The mods are not huge in size and they dont add tot he load time. Now, I will give the same disclaimer that they give when you mod – these mods are developed by other players. They are not vetted by Sony or the folks from Bethesda. Things may break or just not work the way you intend.
Right now, on my new playthrough, I am using the following:
Unlimited build at settlements
Burden Ring – I can carry everything
Miscellaneous ammo and guns and stuff
Lots of money!
Anyway – mod it up! Whip out that copy of Fallout 4 and play the way that we were intended to play. Unfettered, as Darth Vader, or Buzz Lightyear – you can fly, you can fly, you can fly!
Ark: Survival Evolved finally hit PS4! There was great rejoicing. People lost hours, days weeks of their lives and dinos were tamed. I first heard of this game through a friend who was playing it on PC. He was regaling me with tales of dino taming. Crafting everything from scratch. Building not only weapons and gear but actual buildings. I was intrigued. I went to the nearest source of the interwebs (in this case my phone) and looked for a release date for PS4. They said June of 2016. I was elated – dancing ensued. June came and went and the Ark folks said nope, it is not ready. Back in the oevn. It finally hit in December of 2016. I bought it digitally, something I don’t usually do, and have been playing it every since.
Here is the idea behind Ark: Survival Evolved. You wake up on a beach. You are clad in a loin cloth of sorts. You have to make, build, craft everything. You have to control your food intake, your hydration. You can over heat and you can get hyperthermia. Oh… and there are dinosaurs. Did I mention the dinosaurs? You can tame them, fight them, saddle them, ride them – the dinosaurs are your friends, your enemies – both. Now, you can play Ark by yourself on your own local server or you can play Ark on the web with people. This is one of the truest PvP games I have ever seen. You are in a constant state in game. If you exit the game, on a non-local server, your body falls to the ground. You are technically still there. Someone kills you in game, something kills you in game while you are logged out and you still die. Very intense. I am a chicken, I don’t play that much on large servers.
The best part for me is the fact that you are literally doing everything. From clothing yourself to making all of your tools and weapons you have to build everything and everything tiers up. You have to learn how to make clothes out of cloth to advance to hides to end up with shiny metal armor. You make a slingshot to end up with a sniper rifle. This is a true survival game. I like playing in my own local hosted server because when I stop playing the game stops. I don’t get to play for a set amount of time each day so being able to control the gameplay is important for me.
And speaking of control, this game lets you control everything. On your own server you can control basic gameplay functions like the amount of time to tame a dino, the amount of time that night lasts, damage amounts – literally all of the basic game functions. On top of that, like computer games of old, you have a whole host of admin/console cheats and commands to use. Dino spawning, item spawning, auto-taming, level boosting – you are in control even in this game of survival – if you like to cheat – which I do.
In the end, this is a fun game that can suck your life away or just be a diversion from time to time. The world is entralling, the gameplay is solid and it just keeps getting better. Take the time to check out Ark: Survival Evolved.
I was asked this recently and it made me stop in my tracks. What kind of gamer am I? One that plays games, isn’t that enough? Now, in a day with so many games to choose from and all falling into different categories, you do have to align yourself with one game or type or another.
First person shooter games such as Call of Duty or Halo would have been my first choice until the Master Chief collection came out with all of the bugs that came with it and COD moved towards a hyper, faster-paced play style.
Puzzle games mixed with action have always peeked a certain amount of interest. With the imagining of the Tomb Raider series, at least the first one, I found a new respect for the blending of the two genres. Now with two kids under five in the house, I don’t get to play every day and often find myself asking aloud, “Now where was I, what was I doing and what in the world is the button for jump again?”
So I move on to button mashers. We all know these games and the one I fell in love with long ago that they have remade is Castle Crashers. No real thought to it, push the attack button as many times as necessary to kill whatever is on screen and collect the loot. I don’t have to remember the map or a complex story line, just kill things and along with them some time. These are the types of games I spent countless quarters on back in the olden days of arcades and happily hand over my onetime payment plus DLC for them today.
I know there are many games and types I haven’t even tried to bring up here. Some I’ve tried (Dark Souls players are a special breed that I respect but don’t understand) and some I love to watch on Twitch but don’t have the hours to sink into getting good at them anymore now that I’m an adult (looking at you Overwatch).
What kind of gamer am I now… I’m an adult that finally has a little bit of money to spend on the games, a dad without time to play the games, and a kid at heart that still thinks Dig Dug is highly under-rated. That’s what kind of gamer I am now.