Posted on Wednesday, November 23 @ 17:20:00 Eastern by GR_Staff
The game I'm most thankful for this year is Final Fantasy III (at least that's what it was called when I played it back on the SNES). Before Final Fantasy III, I wouldn't have considered myself a fan of RPGs. They didn't hold the short attention span I had as a kid. I need action, or any other type of instant gratification. However, Final Fantasy III had enough to pull me in from the beginning, and as a result was one of my first "mature" gaming experiences where I formed a bond with the characters. And there were so many of them! After Final Fantasy III, I started to seek out the Squaresoft logo on any and all games, which led me to find other gems like Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana. Final Fantasy III is the game that solidified me as an RPG gamer, and a life-long Final Fantasy fan. If only I still had the time for long hours need to complete RPGs, and if only Final Fantasy was still as I remember it.
I love portable games. Anything playable on the go, or epic in the palm of your hand, I want to see and play it. That's why I'm disappointed it took me so long to actually play through The World Ends with You, and I'm incredibly thankful I did get around to it. When I picked it back up, I didn't bother with my previous save; I started over from scratch. Thank the universe I did. The controls weren't perfect every time, but the visual style was amazing and the soundtrack is the only gaming soundtrack in every playlist I make. The story is engrossing and reliable and set in a real place. Between the ambience and the ease of play, it's everything I want in a game... and it's in the palm of my hand!
In my freshman year, my buddies and I would throw down the challenge at will. $20 on this game of Madden or $25 of a match of NBA Live. Despite all of that money, I made plenty of time for one title: Hitman: Blood Money. I couldn't get enough. Everything about it was, and still is, fantastic. Agent 47 is like a mix of James Bond, Batman, and Johnny Cash. I love the free range maps, varied objectives and stealth gameplay. Taking on disguises and creeping through casinos, parties, hospitals, and mansions... it's pure genius.
I'm going to play the resident prick this year (no Thanksgiving table is good without one) and say that I'm grateful for something called "new ideas". This year is rife with sequels, extraordinary ones, the kinds that make Game of the Year nominations and GameStop giddy with pre-orders, but in this recession, there's hardly a single new IP in sight. It's been a season of thress, and I'm already bracing myself for the season of fours and fives in the next few years. So thank you, Atlus, for Catherine and its sexually charged block puzzles. I'm always up for new things in bed (while I game).
Thanksgiving is a time for family and I've gotta say that one game I'm truly thankful for is NBA Hangtime for the Nintendo 64. My brother and I used to fight... and fight... and fight. With four years between us, there was enough of an age difference to put us on different planes. With no younger sibling to cooperatively terrorize, we ended up terrorizing each other. That translated to hilarity on the Hangtime hard wood.
During a brief five-day rental period we pushed each other to the floor, stole the ball, broke glass, and caught fire mid-slamdunk... all while goal tending every single shot. We laughed our asses off through every 3-minute quarter. That's when my dad came down the hall and told us to quiet down in his usual perturbed growl. Finally! Matthew and I stopped terrorizing each other and turned our goofy ways against the people we could truly rally against in cooperation.... our parents!