Great Moments in Video Game History

General and high profile video game topics.
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Re: Great Moments in Video Game History

Postby red_curry_paste » January 23rd, 2020, 12:47 pm

The part in KOTOR where (spoiler) you learn that you're actually Revan. Best plot twist in any game in recent memory.

Also, the ending in The Last of Us when you have to carry Ellie to safety to the hospital elevator. The atmosphere during that section gave me chills.

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Re: Great Moments in Video Game History

Postby Gleebergloben123 » January 24th, 2020, 1:25 pm

Going old old old school. Told this story many times here, but in one summer in 1981 I won 45 sixteen-inch pizzas at our local arcade/pizza place. The pizza place was in the front, the arcade in the back, about 20 games in all, and like 7 qualified for the free pizza each week. Some weeks I won 5 pizzas, and asked the owner if he could give it to me uncooked. We had a freezer full of pizza. Growing up we were poor, so my mom was stoked with the free food, and I started delivering newspapers when I was 9(!?) which earned me enough quarters to do my thing.

In the summer of 96, I was working in Tokyo, and had a chance to see Mario 64 on the N64 when it first came out in Japan at a department store in Shinjuku. The graphics at the time just blew me away and I couldn't take my eyes off of it.

In 1984-85, the fall of the the console and arcade market was a bummer. Home games were tossed in bargain bins, and those that were full price were ignored. Arcades closing left and right.

Games over the years that blew me away graphics-wise (as opposed to wiseguy-wise): Dragon's Lair (arcade), Donkey Kong Country (SNES), Time Traveler (arcade), and the above-mentioned Mario 64.

I believe in the Christmas of 1978, I got a Mattel Football handheld. It was my first gaming addiction, and I didn't put it down for months. As Scotland who posts here once stated, I still have muscle memory from that game when hitting the buttons.

From 1982 to 1984, my two friends and I would go up to Pittsburgh (about an hour away) after school on Friday, stay at my friend's grandmothers in town Friday night, and then come back home by bus Saturday evening. We would go see pro wrestling on Friday night, then either a Pens or Pirates game on Saturday. Other than that we just hit arcade after arcade in the city. During this time arcades were everywhere, and some of my best memories as a kid was playing new arcade games. There was an old Sears and Kaufmann's buidling in the city in very old buildings. There we'd see all the newest games and systems, which is where I first saw the Atari 5200 and the Colecovision. It was at Sears that I first saw Donkey Kong for the CV, and thought (yeah, graphics aren't going to get better than this). LOL.

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Re: Great Moments in Video Game History

Postby icepeople » January 24th, 2020, 3:37 pm

Pac-Man kill screen. Massive WTF shock for the unaware who achieved it, massive triumph for those in-the-know.

Also, whoever came up with that crack/knock sound when you win a free game at pinball was a genius.

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Re: Great Moments in Video Game History

Postby Buttermancan » January 24th, 2020, 7:15 pm

One of the first things to truly shock me was the graphics in the original Prince of Persia. The rotoscoping animation blew me away!!
Another is the the digitised graphics for Mortal Kombat. I just couldn't believe that graphics could look this realistic.

Seeing a dual sit down arcade cabinet of Daytona USA was incredible at the time. Though it came out in 1994 I think I saw it around 95 and the graphics were just so advanced, they still look good today.

There are surely many more memories but these are the ones that come to mind at the moment!

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Re: Great Moments in Video Game History

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » January 24th, 2020, 11:01 pm

1962: Space War is the first videogame that isn't a simulation of something already existing. It's also the first multi-platform hit.

1976: The first videogame controversy, as you can run over helpless stick figures and create tiny little crosses. Anyone who didn't at least smile while playing Death Race probably voted for something much worse.

1978: Shooting a hole through your own shields, to become a nearly invincible sniper.

1978: Panicking as the last invader speeds up and begins spamming the fire button. Your shields are gone. Your planet is defeated. But you're just one quarter away from a rematch. And just like that, gaming has its first killer app. The Atari VCS will eventually reap the rewards - and with over 112 gameplay variations, instantly make the original arcade game obsolete.

1979: You can feel the roar of your engines. Every shot you fire is a nearly blinding diamond against a pure black space. But you're being hunted by an unknown enemy, in an asteroid field. And you never know when they'll strike. But you know you can farm the unknown enemy for points if you don't destroy that last asteroid. And you can put your initials into the brand new high score table for all to admire.

1980: Vore goes mainstream. But the real milestone is how each of the ghosts chasing you has a unique personality. If you don't try to get into their heads the way Toru Iwatani wants you to, then you'll get inside their heads the way that costs you money. Suddenly, gaming has it's first real characters. For a brief moment, Pac-Man fever is inescapable, in a way that won't be matched in sheer overkill until Pokemon. (Although Super Mario Bros and Sonic would come very close, and in some ways, surpass it.)

1981: No Superman game has ever made me feel as much like Kal-El as Defender. Somehow, hearing a faraway cry for help, looking at the "radar" above me, and rushing to the rescue at super speed. And then, taking out the enemy the second I see them in my line of sight? None of that's the power trip. The real power trip is if you're skilled enough to catch an innocent civilian as they fall.

1981: Track ball gaming. Watching the centipede rushing down to kill you, never knowing it was in a death trap. Watching the colors change. Damn, this game was beautiful. It was easily the best part of doing the laundry.

I just realized this list is going to be an encyclopedia set if I list everything I count as a great moment. So after some heartfelt tears, several more amputations than I have limbs, and a mess of internal organs on the keyboard later...

1985: Ultima IV, much like this list, demands I pick and choose between several conflicting types of good. What's more important? The sanctity of life, or a life lived without suffering? Honesty or compassion? This nuanced ethical system is so far ahead of its time that it will never be seen again. Also, it's only used to find out how hard the game will screw you over in the beginning. Still, we're talking about great moments, and in my eyes, this one might be the greatest.

Seriously, this game's player select menu has only become more relevant, as the ethical puzzles it presents are repeated in the news. Would you really challenge a villain who tortures prisoners, if you'd sworn an oath to defend them and your country? How many people are defending torture now?

1987: You can blow up the hamster in the microwave, give the remains back to the traumatized owner, and then, once he murders you, continue through the game as a ghost. At least that's how the glitch works in the NES version I eventually played. Look, I care about real world ethics as much as the next person, but nobody was ever inspired to attempt anything this ridiculous in real life. And I'm pretty sure Razor never did this in canon, as she was briefly considered to return for Day of the Tentacle.

1987: The floating princess in Super Mario Bros 2 would be horrified by some of my entries, so far. But isn't gaming wonderful, that it can offer so many varied experiences? Take this one: She doesn't actually break the game, but when you're just discovering NES style adventures, it's enough that she feels like she could. Later, this feeling of getting away with something would be perfected by games like Super Mario Bros 3 and Super Metroid.

1987: There's something magical about an elbow punch, and a broken AI that keeps falling for it over and over again.

1991: And I thought Double Dragon was too easy. Jump in, strong kick to the head, a sweep below, and then a hurricane kick or a dragon uppercut as the enemy rises to their feet. That's how you win nearly every fight in Streetfighter least in my mall, it was. But the real cheat code was using the wall jump then a drop kick, and spamming Chun-li's lightning kick. Anyways, the AI in this game was completely broken, but fortunately, that was only in multiplayer. And once everyone else caught up? The first time you fought someone good enough to be your fighting game rival, was a memory you treasured forever.

I'm ashamed to say I remember it way more clearly than my first dance, anyways. Oh...wait. I just remembered my first dance. Nevermind. It totally destroyed my occasionally fearsome high school reputation. Back to the dungeon those memories go.

1998: WWF Warzone is the worst game to make this list, by far. But it's also the first game to let you design your own characters. How did I even have a social life during this time, and why was so much of it built around wrestling games? The 90's were weird.

Even the few friends who hated pro wrestling thought this was the most amazing thing they'd ever seen.

2001: "The Highway to Hell" apparently contains endless slow motion car crash porn from Burn-out 3. My best friend's elderly mom would soon be shooting fleeing futuristic fascist cops in the back to the song "Run, Runaway." by Slade. The original X-Box's massive hard drive is one of the great moments in video game history, in a way the Sega CD and Saturn only teased. Say goodbye to your memory cards forever.

Any other highlights of this decade would be technical achievements, blatant Metroidvania favoritism, or some variation of "But now it's portable!" So, skipping ahead via time compression weirdness...

2012: Dead or Alive V is released, which is a game that's actually the most epic thing you've ever played if your SO is also good at it. Suddenly, all that cringe inducing fan service is how two complete nerds can flirt with each other, and it almost completely makes up for painful high school memories about a first dance that got too dirty before a sheltered goth witch was ready.

Look, I know this one's a bit personal, but it's still my favorite gaming moment ever. And it wouldn't have been possible with something less refined. 3d fighting games, such as the Virtua Fighter base DOA was built around, often offer a grace and brutality in their movesets that games like Street Fighter 2 and Killer Instinct only hinted at. And I wish the style were revived, as it seems to be slowly dying out.

Feel free to give due credit to Yu Suzuki for treating the martial arts like actual art forms, if you need something more neutral.

????: I don't know when to include VR. Everyone experienced it at a different time. And everyone has a different definition of when it got good enough to qualify as great. But the first time I looked out at the clear, distant horizon of a crowded store, and saw late 90's arcade graphics trying to kill me in early 80's style? It was the first time the 21st century lived up to the hype, no matter how ridiculously powerful our tiny phones have become.

It's not quite Tron, yet, but it looks the part. And it's as close as we're going to ever get to a holodeck.

And it brought back all the excitement of the early arcades, playing on expensive hardware I couldn't begin to afford.

Not yet, anyways.

But what's life without a collection of good things to look forward to? It's been a welcome cliff-hanger.

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Re: Great Moments in Video Game History

Postby Breaker » January 25th, 2020, 1:17 am

TPG, that's a hell of a post. Well done.

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Re: Great Moments in Video Game History

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » January 25th, 2020, 2:16 am

Breaker wrote:TPG, that's a hell of a post. Well done.

Thank you!

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Re: Great Moments in Video Game History

Postby VideoGameCritic » January 25th, 2020, 11:17 am

Pixelated - I never thought of Defender as a Superman game, but you're exactly right! Someone should completely redo the graphics and give it a Metropolis theme, with Superman flying around saving falling humans. Oh except he can't shoot.

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Re: Great Moments in Video Game History

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » January 25th, 2020, 3:19 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:Pixelated - I never thought of Defender as a Superman game, but you're exactly right! Someone should completely redo the graphics and give it a Metropolis theme, with Superman flying around saving falling humans. Oh except he can't shoot.

Why not? Just claim it's Brainiac's robot minions reprogramming humans into slaves, and only your heat vision can save them. Just make the cyborg slaves revert back to people you need to save when you zap them, and get rid of the "Planet explodes for no reason" modifier. If the mutant wave is missed, it could easily be turned into something like a boss fight.

The smart bombs can be justified as Superman's new super solar flare power...which,to be comic accurate, he should only be able to use once per life. Perhaps after building up enough points?

Another modification would be that whenever Superman's sprite collides with a common enemy, they take the damage. More powerful enemies and enemy weapons could do the usual damage, either through kryptonite, red sun energy, or whatever is the easiest to work into the game. On the harder difficulties, this rebalancing should turn a masochistic game designed for the best of the best into a fair challenge anyone can get into.

But really, I'd be satisfied with just a Superman sprite swap, if I knew how. The 2600 version already provides Metropolis.

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Re: Great Moments in Video Game History

Postby Stalvern » January 25th, 2020, 3:21 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:Oh except he can't shoot.


Edit: Just a hair slow on the draw. :x

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