I can remember certain games that really defined times in my life. My first experiences with gaming were with Super Mario Brothers and Donkey Kong. Later on I was infatuated with The Legend of Zelda, so much so I would make my own maps of every secret I knew of. After that, Ninja Turtles and Metal Gear. When I got my Super Nintendo, Super Mario World and Link to the Past really hooked me. Then I discovered Koei games like Romance of the Three Kingdoms II & Genghis Khan Clan of the Grey Wolf. Then we got a PC and a new set of games came with it.

I have been thinking the last couple of days about what games have caught my fancy lately. I think this is a interesting time in gaming where I have a glut of games and where as that has changed how I play games, some games have really impacted me and I wanted to write about them.

This list isn't in any particular order.

portal 2

Portal 2 is a fantastic game with a killer story. I purposefully took my time with this game because it was so engrossing I didn't want to stop playing it. The way Valve keeps the story, puzzles and game play interesting is superb. Whereas the game didn't win any Crytek video card overclocking awards, it looked fantastic on my PS3. The PS3 copy ALSO came with a free Steam version, something I really applauded Valve for. Now that my PS3 doesn't get a ton of use anymore, I can keep playing Portal 2 for the rest of my days on my PC or soon to be ... Linux :D

That said, it had a great ending that was very unique. The game wasn't larded to the hilt with puzzles that fatigued me as some games do. Sometimes either a new game is WAY too short or too long, Portal 2 felt ... just right.

Portal 2 is also extremely quotable. In fact my wife and I still talk about wanting to see the deer outside. :D

fallout 3

I cracked out on Fallout 3 so hard I would spend entire days doing nothing else. I remember on one weekend day I got up and started Fallout 3. Later that night I went out and my brain was all woozy from doing nothing else.

The story, the character and gameplay kept me hooked for months.

borderlands

I found Borderlands on sale for $20 for the Game of the Year Edition and snapped it up. The game was awesome because I could start it up and sink a little or a lot of time into it if I wanted. The missions were fairly contained and short so it really set itself up for quick bursts of play. The main campaign was very long and I think it took me about 3 months of playing a bit at a time to finally complete it.

I recently picked up Borderlands 2 and whereas its a fun game, I am not sure I hold it as highly as the first one. I was never really attracted to RPG grind/loot games until Borderlands warmed me up to it. Plus it has so many guns...

FTL

FTL is a relatively new game that has really sparked my imagination. I also recently beat it in a pairing session and I haven't had as much satisfaction beating a game in years. The game is hard, but its not soul crushing. Its a VERY strategic experience that seems to reward you for spending more time contemplating what you should do.

I nearly never give much thought to unlocking anything in a game because most of it doesn't seem important. Unlocking the ships in FTL not only seems really awesome but I have actually changed how I play to try and unlock them.

If you are looking for a fun game to play while you sit on the couch, FTL is it. At least, thats how I play it.

terraria

I bought Terraria last year during a Steam sale for about $3. I picked it up alongside Skyrim and Fallout New Vegas and have to date spent WAY more time in Terraria than both of those games combined.

I bought Terraria based on the continued recommendation of WhiteboySlim. When I bought Terraria and Skyrim in the Summer sale I played Terraria first because I expected to sacrifice my life to Skyrim. What ended up happening was I sacrificed my life to Terraria and I played a few missions of Skyrim about a month later.

Terraria is a 2D sidescrolling building, crafting and mining game that has a simple premise and some really deep gameplay. It also ups the ante by allowing Multiplayer. A few weeks or so after I started playing it I started the first run Cheerful Ghost Terraria Server. Playing on the server with everyone was one of the most fun experiences I've had in the last few years in gaming. The first server was so much fun we ran another one a few months later and now with Terraria 1.2 on the horizon are planning our third game when 1.2 launches.

What games have you played in the last year or so that have stuck with you?

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 05/31/2013 at 07:03am

This past year has produced an amazing crop of games. Thinking back on it and looking over lists of what has come out, reminds me of some that I either haven't taken the time to play, or almost forgot about entirely, due to the sheer volume of goodness there was.

Journey

I'll never forget this experience. When I finished my first playthrough, I felt as if it were the first time I had ever played a video game. It hit all the senses in a singularly profound way. It was that deep for me. When I think about what to compare it to, I find myself thinking of real life experiences, rather than other games: Viewing stars and planets from the darkest part of Rabbit Creek Rd on a cloudless winter night. Driving through Portland with Jeremiah in his Volkswagen Golf, on our way to his house from Nampa, Idaho. My first kiss from a girl. My first rejection from a girl... Journey ranks on those levels.

Planetside 2

Not quite the life-changer that Journey was, but epic nonetheless. The players that play this game offer some of the best multiplayer experiences I've had in a shooter. Communication is key, and moving as a massive force across these gorgeously generated landscapes (or defending from such a force) is a thrill I'm glad to only participate in on a digital level. Although, if I actually got the opportunity to pilot a Scythe on some distant planet, I would not turn it down.

The Swapper

Uhh... So, this game just released today, and honestly there are many other games I could put here in it's place, but I like to keep it in the moment. Keep it fresh. I'm only a couple hours in, but I'm hooked, in a "now, this is what I'm talking about" kind of way. All graphic elements are hand-crafted from clay, beautifully haunting music, finely crafted storytelling, set in that Metroidvania-like 2D sprawling dungeon, with maneuvering mechanics (swapping) that remind of the first time you opened your first portal. I'm really liking this game :)

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 05/31/2013 at 08:33pm

The video for The Swapper looks intense.

http://facepalmgames.com/the-swapper/

Looking forward to you talking more about it. I have so many games right now, I think ill hold tight until I get another one but WOW it does look really great. The music alone in the trailer was very cool.

I may need to get Journey. From what you and Travis have said about it and it does have a disc version I can get for the PS3 too.

Timogorgon   Member wrote on 06/01/2013 at 06:57pm

First off, you're welcome @jdodson for that Terraria recommendation. ;) I look forward to our next CheerfulGhost server when the new update hits!

Also, I watched the video for Swapper and... wow... those graphics. That is a beautiful looking game.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 06/02/2013 at 05:24am

Yeah I appreciate you mentioning it. Not sure I would have tried it otherwise.

GregoPeck   Super Member wrote on 01/25/2014 at 05:23am

Minecraft sucked me in last year (to be technical) around Thanksgiving. I was home alone as the rest of the family went to Kentucky and I stayed home to look after the pets. I was amazed with Minecraft and amazed also at how it made time completely irrelevant. I remember I had spent a 20+ hours awake playing Minecraft, something that hasn't happened in a while. That said, I played Minecraft for a month or two.

I remember years ago when I was playing Skyrim, I spent over 300 hours on it, just with my first character. It was awesome!

Recently, Terraria has sucked me in and I've spent 159 hours on it. I still love it, but I feel like I've reached a near-end-game point where it's time to move on to something else.

I don't remember how much time I spent playing any of the Fallout series, but I really did enjoy Fallout 3 and New Vegas on the PS3.

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