It’s been a while since I wrote here. My sudden “disappearance” on my blog was mainly because I was busy with work and other things in life which we call responsibilities. It’s been an exhausting few months from my end, and what little time and energy I had left, I used it up on sleeping and watching videos on Youtube.
To be honest I feel like I’ve hit a gaming “mental” block. I wasn’t playing triple-A games and checking out the gaming scene for quite a while because I usually have to take notes and jot them all down and organize my thoughts and what not, and I really haven’t had the time and momentum to do all of those.
Nonetheless, I was still playing video games. However, the games I played took little mental effort and emotional investment. And how fitting it is that the one thing that sparked my creativity back to life, is a retro game. It was a no-fuss, no-muss game which was suddenly released during April Fools’ Day.
I’m talking about Google letting us relive Pac-Man in their Google Maps. I believe I spent a couple of hours going to different familiar neighborhoods and guiding Pac-Man through the streets, chomping away.
It’s amazing how video games, as well as pop culture and entertainment in general, can touch us and create powerful memories, no matter how trivial they may seem to be. I was not born in the era of Pac-man and other arcade games, but I was raised by people who loved the video games of their time and believed it was only fitting to pass it down.
These games have been gone for a long time, and the mere concept of re-purposing it for some lighthearted event, is enough to bring us all back to happier memories and inspire a lot of things. In my case, getting back to writing about video games.
I believe my generation also has our own retro games. Games that were made during our time which we now consider pretty dated yet remains a classic.
With the passage of time, technology has developed at a much faster rate and I believe that the gap of gaming between 10 years ago and now seems wider, than the gap between 20 years ago and the past decade. We now have a lot more video games and genres to choose from than from the past generation. And so slapping on the term “classic” on a specific video game is subjective. I may deem one video game a classic, but you, my fellow gamers, may not agree to it. And that’s fine.
But I think we can all agree, that when in doubt, or, in my case, a mental block, we can always turn to our own classics to help us relive our drive.
With that being said, I would like to share to you three of my classic games, which have kept me going during my brief hiatus with blogging and triple-As, and have kept my love for video games, alive.
1. Roller coaster tycoon 2 – 2002
Not many people may be familiar with this game, but this is my go-to classic video game. It’s a theme park simulation where you can build and manage your own theme park. As a lover of exhilarating rides and roller coasters that take on new heights, this game was my drug. Whenever my sister would leave the computer, I would jump straight into it and play until I am forced to leave my seat so she could play the game as well. And since I was 8 to 9 years old at that time, I could play just an hour or two and then be kicked out of the chair.
I’ve also played its predecessor and its sequel, but I’ve fallen deeply in love with RCT2 because it just fit right for me. It was an improved version of RCT1, and while RCT3 may have more to offer, I wasn’t a fan of the weird graphics.
Ultimately, in the past, it filled the void of me not being able to go to theme parks when I was a kid. Now however, RCT2 fills the void of me not being able to go to cooler theme parks around the world. Because honestly speaking, the theme parks in my country suck.
2. Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2 – 2000
This game never failed to give me an adrenaline rush when I was a kid. Who doesn’t want to be called commander and lead an army to death and destruction without anyone really dying? Plus, Red Alert 2 had cut scenes that I thought kicked ass. In hindsight everything was pretty cheesy, but I still love it now nonetheless.
I played Red Alert 1, but there weren’t any Prism Tanks then. I was a kid before so I only had one trick up my sleeve that time, and it was Prism Tanks. I never got to try Red Alert 3, because my sister switched to playing Tiberium Wars afterwards.
3. The Sims – 2000
This brought to life everyone’s hidden desire to play god. It sucked me in for hours and I had a difficulty to discipline myself from playing the game. Every day after school, this would be the first agenda. Not homework, not playing with friends, not even watching my favorite TV series.I was addicted to Sims 1 so badly, my grades and social skills were affected. Hell, I must have destroyed and rebuilt the lives of the Goths and Newbies several times.
I would build my own neighborhood in Sims 2, make its own backstory, build and destroy relationships, and create my own drama. I killed so many Sims emotionally and physically that I even think George R.R. Martin would be proud.
I did the same with Sims 3. But because home building was improved, I focused more on destroying the games’ current homes, and building it to look better or worse, depending on how I liked a family. And while I’m not a big fan of Sims 4, I am waiting for the right moment to buy its better expansion packs and live the life of a hermit playing god.
In a way, I also have a love-hate relationship with this game too. Because I feel that it is one of the pioneers of milking money off a series through DLCs and expansion packs. But that’s for a different post, and maybe I’ll try to expand on that later.
There’s a noticeable pattern on the games I consider “classic” of my generation, and it’s that all of them are strategic or sandbox (except for Red Alert 2). It could be argued that there were better games and genres that are more apt to be called classics, but again, because there are more genres and games to select from in this generation it really varies from person to person.
Regardless of which games you consider as your classics, it all boils down to this: That the games you’ve loved from your childhood, your classics, will always and consistently spark your love for video games. These are the games that have never left your heart despite years and decades of newer, flashy, and fancy video games.
So if you’ve been feeling a little down lately and you’re too busy or too tired to play the industry’s newer titles, I suggest going back to your roots and reliving your own classics.
That being said, I’d like to hear about your list of video games that will always have a place in your gamer heart. What are your classic games, and why?