It's been a very slow month in terms of RuneScape updates this August. All and all I think the community, and Jagex to a lesser extent, has just been in a holding pattern waiting for "The Light Within" quest. I thought this would be a great time to answer a listener question from RSBANDBUpdate!, episode 530 and 531. The question was from Tyler and he asked, "what was your favorite game growing up?" This question made me think back and reflect on all the games I loved as a kid and while its terribly difficult to choose one, I definitely have a favorite series that has crossed different gaming platforms. However before I let the proverbial cat out of the bag and disclose my favorite game let me start with some honorable mentions.
As many of you know I've been a gamer since before home consoles were even a thing. To take a look at some of my favorites in many ways is like taking a tour of gaming history. Of course the very first games I fell in love with have to be Asteroids and Defender for the Atari 2600, yes I go back that far. I recently dug up these games and gave them a little play and I have to say their simplicity and ease of access is still charming and a big reason Atari dominated the early 80's. That brings us to the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). What a ground breaking system it was. My all time favorite game makes its first appearance on this legendary platform. Before we get to that, first I have to give it up to some of my favorites that are often considered some of the best games of their era. Contra was such an awesome game. I mean who doesn't still remember the 100 extra life code to this day, and talk about difficult. I dusted off this classic awhile back and couldn't believe how hard it was. Along with Contra I also have to mention the Castlevania series. Castlevania 3 is widely acknowledged as one of the best games of the original NES and its no wonder. It was a platformer with difficult boss fights, a great story line, and memorable characters. Lastly I have to mention Mike Tyson's Punch Out! I still enjoy this game. It was challenging with each fight having its own mechanics and even had a cameo appearance from Mario as the referee. I shudder to think how many controllers met an untimely end due to not being able to get up from the count of ten after receiving an devastating uppercut from Iron Mike himself.
I know many of our readers remember Super Nintendo as their first console and while I never actually owned the console I do have some favorite games from the era. Star Fox was so revolutionary at the time. I remember marveling at its graphics. I spent many a sleep overs staying awake until the sun came up playing this game with friends. Then came the Sega Genesis. This was the first console I purchased with my own money. I spent the summer of my sophomore year in high school bailing hay to earn the cash for it. The first games I bought became my favorite games of the system, Roadrash3 and Streets of Rage2. Roadrash3 was just pure fun. I mean kicking someone and smacking them with chains and billy clubs while racing a motorcycle in traffic just made me smile. Streets of Rage is one of those games that you don't even remember why you liked it so much, you just know you did. Now its time for what you all have been waiting for, the big reveal.
My favorite game growing up was... (drum roll please) Final Fantasy. I loved this series and still do. It's the only game remotely close to the number of hours I've put in to RuneScape. It was my introduction to RPG's and the original grinding RPG. The very first Final Fantasy game was released for the NES and was thought by many at the time to be Square Enix's swan song. The company was in real trouble and was looking like it would be boarding up and going out of business. The game critics didn't think much of it at the time but it quickly gained a huge following. Final Fantasy saved the company and brought it back from the edge and gaming history was made. Its one of the most prolific games of all time with titles on the original NES, Super NES, PS1, PS2, PS3,and PSP and even the PC now.
Of course we can't talk about Final Fantasy without talking about its most popular titles. Final Fantasy X was an epic adventure. It had a complex leveling system, turn based combat, voice acting, and an epic story line that immersed the player in the game. You found yourself caring about these characters and wanting to uncover its mysteries. Oh, and did I mention saving the world? When you think about PS2 you can't help but to think about this game, which is saying a lot considering the PS2 is the best selling console of all time, a record not likely to ever be broken. Now you know my favorite series but is there one game in particular that stands out the most for me as my all time favorite game?
Here it is my favorite game growing up Final Fantasy 7. I can't describe the joy this game brought me then and even today. It was so immersive so compelling it literally felt like you were playing a fantasy novel. It had plot twist and turns and the connections you made with the characters were deep. This game had what many in the gaming world still see as one of the saddest and most shocking scenes of all time. Sorry can't spoil it but FF7 fans know what I'm talking about. If all that wasn't enough, the customizability and flexibility of the equipment in my opinion is the best in the series. The weapons and armor had their own stats and attributes, however in addition there was this stuff called materia and it could be put into weapon and armor slots. Different weapons had different number of slots and the materia itself had different purposes ranging from magic to summoning to health boost. It brought a level of strategy that just hadn't existed before . It was also a true grinding game too. Talk about OP, if you spent the time you could become so OP that nothing could withstand you. I loved that aspect of it. I want to be rewarded with Chuck Norris like powers when I spend that much time grinding. There's really nothing more that I can say about this game. If you've never played it try it especially if you like grindy RPG's.
So there you have my favorite game of all time. I want to thank Tyler for his question and please forgive the unsolicited response. I hope this has been a stroll down memory lane for at least some of you. If your in to retro gaming give some of these titles a try. I can attest to their timeless appeal. As for next month I'm cooking up something special so stay tuned for that. I'll give you a hint its RuneScape related and has something to do with pointy ears. Until next time, Happy RuneScaping.