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The Questionnaire

October 13, 2014

Dear Reader,

Jasy of Cannot be Tamed suggested that bloggers answer a gaming questionnaire.  I’ve been sitting on it a while, but finally took the time to answer the last few questions.  In the spirit of other such “challenges,” I’d like to suggest the staff writers of Epic Slant Press who have not yet answered these questions take the time to do so.  I’m curious who my new coworkers are!

  • When did you start playing video games?
    • My first video games were on the Atari 2600, as my mother was interested in computers from when they first became prevalent in her life during the 1970s.  I don’t have any specific memories of the Atari, but I do remember our next system, the Commodore 64, which is still in stasis in our attic somewhere because I’ve staunchly refused to let them throw it away.  I specifically remember the cartridges and 5¼ floppies on which I played Frogger, Cleopatra’s Needle, Summer Games, and a game where you rode a unicycle and kicked balloons up in the air (Kickman, perhaps?), but I’m sure there were others.  I also remember some very early text-based adventures that I was far too young to understand at the time, which means they didn’t get much play.
    • After the Commodore was the Tandy 1000, on which I know I started playing role playing games.  I don’t remember any specific titles for the Tandy 1000, but that’s likely because we didn’t get one until after the Nintendo came out, and I’m QUITE sure I got my first Nintendo in May of 1987 for my birthday.
    • The only other really significant computer gaming milestone came for me in 8th grade when I won a writing contest, the prize of which was a x386 computer.  I don’t remember the model of it, but it was mine.  It was my first computer, and I’ve had one of my own ever since then.  Of course, that also taught me a very important lesson should I ever decide to be a parent: DON’T LET YOUR KID HAVE A COMPUTER IN THEIR ROOM.
  • What is the first game you remember playing?
    • As above, I can specifically remember some of the Commodore 64 games.  I know that in Summer Games, for instance, my by far best sport was pole vault.  I have no idea why.
  • PC or Console?
    • Both, of course.  After the x386 I got an early intel chip (I don’t remember which one, but I skipped over the x486 model entirely), then better and better computers up until now.  I think I’ve owned – let me see if I can remember – probably 7 computers since I was in 8th grade?  That seems about right.  In the same time frame I’ve owned the Nintendo, Super Nintendo, N64, Playstation, Playstation 2, Wii, and XBox 360.
  • XBox, PlayStation, or Wii?
    • All of them.  I stayed with Nintendo a long time because of the Final Fantasy series, which I also jumped to Playstation for the 7th installment of.  Each system I bought after the Super Nintendo I likely picked up for a very specific game, which usually then left me disappointed in the rest of them.  The XBox is the exception – I got that for free when I purchased a laptop and barely have used it at all.  I played Portal 2 on it, and that’s about it.
  • What’s the best game you’ve ever played?
    • I’ll have to go by genre:
      • JRPGs: Final Fantasy 3 (aka 6 – the one with Terra and Locke and Shadow)
      • Computer RPGs: Fallout 2
      • Platformers: Klonoa – yes, that’s a weird one, but it was excellent
      • Shooters: Does Fallout 3 count?  If not, then Borderlands 2
      • 4x: Honestly, I think it was Galactic Civ 2 or Space Empires 4; I can’t really differentiate them in my memory any more.  What made it so good was the depth of the diplomacy system, something the more traditional Civ games have always lacked.  Of course, Master of Magic and Master of Orion 2 rank quite highly up there, as well, but they suffer in the ranking simply because I was younger and understood much less.
      • RTS: I was never really fast enough for the RTS games; I’m such a defensive player that against harder difficulties I’d always eventually be overwhelmed.  I don’t really have a “favorite” of these as a result.
      • Other: Star Control 2.  Isn’t that everyone’s?
  • What’s the worst game you’ve ever played?
    • I’m really not sure; they’re so forgettable.  I can certainly tell you the games I’ve been the most disappointed in:
  • Name a game that was popular/critically adored that you just didn’t like.
    • Half-Life 2.  Yeah, I said it.  I don’t know why, but it just never did much for me.
  • Name a game that was poorly received that you really like.
    • EYE: Divine Cybermancy was riddled with bugs, bad translations, and had multiplayer co-op issues, but I still really liked it.  It was what Deus Ex should have been.
  • What are your favourite game genres?
    • RPGs, hands down
  • Who is your favourite game protagonist?
    • Probably Cecil from Final Fantasy 2.  He was struggling with some serious issues of loyalty versus goodness.
    • Terra from FF3, for that matter, for many of the same reasons,
    • All the Fallout protagonists, because they often have tough choices to make.
  • Describe your perfect video game.
    • It’s likely an MMO or at least a large co-op team game.  It has a variable skill system, like a Fallout game or The Secret World, smooth, action-oriented combat like TERA, a deep lore that’s available but not necessary to delve into to understand the game, and a vast collection and crafting system like Fallen Earth.
  • What video game character do have you have a crush on?
    • Kirby, and mostly because he or she is the most odd answer I could think of.  I have a wife, people, who I love very much.
  • What game has the best music?
    • You really have to ask Syl and Syp of Battle Bards questions like that.  They are, in my opinions, the custodians of a vast modern day video game music knowledge database.  The best music you might not have heard of yet, though?  Paper Sorcerer.  Check it out.
  • Most memorable moment in a game:
    • The Mysidian Twins Polom and Porom petrifying themselves in Final Fantasy 2. I cried.
  • Scariest moment in a game:
    • Most terrifying or horrifying?  Terror is way overused in both movies and games and relies only on the primal flinch/fear instinct.  Horror is about a disconnect with everything you know and understand.
      • For terror, probably the first time I played Resident Evil.  I wasn’t familiar with the zombie genre and didn’t know that they’d be getting back up if you didn’t headshot them.  I killed the first one, then turned around to putter around at a door, and then got startled when I turned back towards the “dead” zombie and found it approaching me.
        • For that matter, there was a game called Legacy: Realm of Terror by Microprose (my tied-for-favorite game developer who did X-Com and other awesome games.  It’s tied with Square Enix) that had a lot of moments like that.
        • For horror – hmmm.  Horror’s a lot harder to do.  Even the beginning of Mass Effect 3 is a bit horrible, where you see the kid, then see him again, and then see him again, and he gets killed.  That’s pretty horrible.  Undoubtedly, though, the most horrifying game series I’ve played is The Walking Dead, in which horrible things happen over and over.  Probably Duck’s death followed by his mother’s.
  • Most heart-wrenching moment in a game:
    • Again, that’s probably from a Walking Dead game.  There’s so many; those games were so good.
  • What are your favourite websites/blogs about games?
    • Why, it’s www.sheepthediamond.wordpress.com, of course!  But I assume you meant others.  I really like Jasy’s site, but to be fair to everyone, check out my sidebar.  I love them all.
  • What’s the last game you finished?
  • What future releases are you most excited about?
    • I don’t like the hype cycle, so I mostly stay away from it, but I’m intrigued by Star Citizen.
  • Do you identify as a gamer?
    • Yes, Shamelessly.  I don’t go around announcing it to everyone I work with, but if asked, I don’t hide it.  Since I also play pen and paper RPGs, which are far less mainstream, admitting that I play video games isn’t a big deal.
  • Why do you play video games?
    • To have fun!  I like the challenge of video games, and the stories, and the unique approaches to old genres.  I like the socialization of it, too, when I can play with my friends who live 1000s of miles away.  Video games bring people together – all games do, in fact, and even the root of the word, the “ga” sound, comes from the same root that forms gather.  Games bring us to the table, digital or physical.  What we do after is up to us.

So there’s my answers.  I hope you enjoy!

Sincerely,

Stubborn (and questionnaired)

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