I had a lot of fun a while ago when I wrote about my favourite television shows. It was great to just talk about things that I love and go into why I loved them. It’s also kinda dawned on me that I don’t have a terribly long time left to write this blog, before the challenge is complete…
So, on that note, there are a few more lists I want to get through! The topic of this list? Video games!
Video games is an incredibly new medium and art form, which means that even Space Invaders and Pong are considered quite young in the scheme of things. The extents of this art form and even which games can be considered ‘true art’ are still argued today, and will be argued for quite some time.
The main difference between video games and any other type of medium – such as film or the novel – is that there is a direct link between what the player of the game does and what the character in the game does. There’s a level of interaction which is unique to video games, and that’s what completely sets it apart from anything else. In some ways, a player can be more immersed in a video game than in anything else, as they’re directly impacting the story and the journey that the characters go through.
It’s this immersion that I’m judging this list by. These games are those which drew me in completely, which caused me to agonise over decisions that I made or cry over characters I lost, or which allowed me to become consumed by all-out fun and forget the rest of the world around me.
The one thing that I’m unhappy about with this list is that I feel that in the future, it’s definitely going to change. As video games are a young medium, I don’t think we’ve been offered the best that we possibly can. There was a time when Pac Man was the most advanced and powerful game out there, and while it’s certainly fun now, it has been eclipsed by other games. Video games are barely in their adolescence and the potential is limitless.
I also find that if I enjoy a video game, then I get sucked into it as soon as I start playing it. That’s why a few entries on this list are quite new – these are my favourite games that are on my mind right now. I’ve played quite a few games in the past year alone and yes, a couple of them have made the list, but that’s because they just drew me in so close and didn’t let me go.
So this list is my Top Ten Favourite Video Games at the time of this writing. It may change in the future, it may not… Only time will tell. But for now?
10) Pokemon Yellow
Pokemon Yellow isn’t the most advanced game. It’s not the best written, the characters aren’t that dimensional and the mechanics were broken as hell, as the later installments in the franchise showed us. So why do I love it so much?
It was the first game I finished.
My gaming history started in 1999, when my parents got my brother and I a GameBoy Pocket each, along with a ’50 in 1′ game cartridge (or something like that… there were lots of games on it, but only two or three were any good). It was a hell of a lot of fun at the time, but as my first exposure to games, of course I’d think it was.
Then my parents got us Pokemon Yellow. It was the first real game we’d ever had and I was hooked right then and there. I savoured every Gym Battle, collected any monster that I could and when I finally beat the Elite Four, I was over the moon. Not only was the challenge incredible, but I got to explore the world of Pokemon, learn all of the different species, all the different moves. Not only did I have my trusty Pikachu (which I refused to evolve), but I gained a strong, practically invincible companion in Nidoking and together, we conquered all who stood in our way.
I’ll be honest, a lot of my love for this game is nostalgia, but the Pokemon games as a series are incredible. From what I can tell, no one expected them to take off as they did, and they’re only getting stronger and stronger as time goes on. And as I’ve found out, my generation has a rather intimate connection to the series. Everyone has a favourite Pokemon, everyone has that one Gym leader they couldn’t beat, everyone has worked hard to make an almost invincible team.
I still play Pokemon games, every now and again. There are things about the series I love and things I’m not too fond of, but all the games I’ve played have been enjoyable at the very least. Formulaic as hell, but very enjoyable.
Pokemon Yellow was the game that sparked my interest in video games in general. I consider it to be my first real experience with games and, as I said, it was the first game I ever finished. Completely. 100%.
I’m talking all 151 Pokemon, right in my pocket. I remember being so proud of that, and I still am. I thought it was so awesome, at least until my friend caught all 251 Pokemon in Pokemon Gold… But he was just a show off.
Actually, that’s a nice note to end on. It was a mutual love of Pokemon which was one of the reasons I met one of my best friends in the entire world. So there’s that too. Pokemon has a way of bringing people together and affecting their lives, and none affected me more than Yellow, with that earnest and determined electric mouse on the cover, ready to start the greatest adventure.