Gaming Questionnaire

I noticed a number of bloggers providing answers to the gaming questionnaire from Cannot Be Tamed. I spent some time thinking about my answers last night, and decided to join the crowd with answers about my gaming history! Sorry it’s so long!

When did you start playing video games?

I didn’t grow up in a gaming household — my parents were neither gamers nor technologically comfortable. My first exposure to gaming was when I was five years old. (See story in question 2). 

However, I was a gaming fan as young as 4 years old. I remember really loving the quirky old Pac-Man cartoon show for some reason. I think I knew it was a game, and not just a TV show, though I didn’t play the game until later.

I remember drawing my first Pac-Man fan art as a 4-year-old — which included ghosts on the misted-up windows. 🙂 I bet that concerned my parents a little bit.

What is the first game you remember playing?

When I was five years old, my family moved across country. Somehow during that, I inherited some of my cousins’ old toys — I guess they thought it would help keep 5-year-old me occupied on a 10 hour car ride. Among those toys was a handheld Pac-Man arcade game.

I played it until the batteries were dead (which sadly didn’t take long).

Once I arrived at my new home, living next door to yet another cousin opened up the world of Atari. He had it all!

When he graduated to the first Nintendo, we inherited his Atari system — good times! Whenever we visited, though, I would play his Nintendo for hours.

We finally got our own NES for Christmas one year, after saving up half the cost and splitting it with parents. Again, parents weren’t gamers, so they didn’t understand the concept of paying $100 for a gaming system. We were lucky (and happy) kids!

PC or Console? 

I started out as a console player and was primarily console until college, when I got my first computer. I think I started making the shift into PC gaming with MMOs and MUDs. After the PS1, I just wasn’t into consoles as much. Now days, I hardly pay attention to console gaming anymore.

XBox, PlayStation, or Wii? 

I’ve never owned an XBox. My last PlayStation was the PS2. I own the original Wii, but it doesn’t get as much playtime as it should.

I actually love my Nintendo 3DS, though. I’ve put more time into that little system than my Wii and PS2 combined!

What’s the best game you’ve ever played? 

Depends on what you mean by “best.” I think the game that’s made the most impact on me is obvious to those who know me. 🙂

Final Fantasy IV (originally Final Fantasy II for the SNES) was the start of all my fan works that still exist today. This blog wouldn’t exist without it, as a matter of fact. I’ve made so many friends, including my RL best friend of over 10 years, because of the game.

Despite all the crap Squeenix has done to sully the game lately (Ugh… so many re-translations and The After), it still remains my first real fantasy RPG, and the game that changed my life.

What’s the worst game you’ve ever played? 

Without a doubt Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes of the Lance for the NES. I remember being so stoked about picking this up as a kid. I mean, you had a game based off of Dragonlance, including all the iconic characters. What could go wrong?

Everything. It was awful. Just awful. I couldn’t have been more disappointed! It was the one game that we actually returned to WalMart and exchanged for another game (I think Shadowgate).

What’s so awful about this game? Well…

Name a game that was popular/critically adored that you just didn’t like.

I’ve never been a fan of World of Warcraft. I dunno. I played vanilla shortly after launch and while I don’t hate the game, it never caught me.

I also have a hard time getting into Skyrim for some reason. So many people love it, and I keep telling myself I need to try it again someday.

Name a game that was poorly received that you really like.

The new Sim City. I understand why there was so much rage against the game, but I actually enjoyed it — online mode and all. Of course, I waited until it dropped in price before I bought it. 🙂

I also saw a lot of hate towards Diablo III when it first launched, which again, I understand. I enjoyed it despite all that.

What are your favourite game genres?

MMO, RPG, RTS, Horror, and Adventure.

Who is your favourite game protagonist?

Paladin Cecil Harvey from FFIV remains my beloved childhood knight in shining armor. 🙂

Describe your perfect video game.

This is tough.

  • I value simple game play, something that’s easy to get into (but perhaps hard to master).
  • I also value strong story and character development. Actual game mechanics aren’t as important to me as a story that makes me feel.
  • I enjoy a game with a living world — where NPCs have names and character, and you can be just as entertained by talking to them and exploring their world.
  • I like games that offer options — let me customize the difficulty and game settings. Allow other folks to play as they like while I scale it back if I need to.
  • I love games that allow me to be creative. If I can build or customize things using my own creativity skills, I’ll stick around a game for a much longer time.

What video game character do have you have a crush on?

Mmm… no. I can appreciate a good character in game, and am a “fan” of a number of characters, but I’m a little too old for crushing on game characters these days. 🙂

What game has the best music? 

Another hard question — I really can’t pick one.

I’m a big fan of Jeremy Soule as a composer, and like pretty much everything he creates (GW1, GW2). I also love oldskool SNES music, such as the Final Fantasy IV soundtrack. Final Fantasy IX also had a great soundtrack. If you like a little something different, the original Wild Arms for the PS1 had a pretty amazing soundtrack, too!

Most memorable moment in a game:

At the end of FFIV, when the Red Moon leaves the Blue Planet’s orbit, and Golbez says goodbye to his brother, Cecil.

The thought that the two brothers would never be together wrenched my heart so much that I had to write a fan fic about Goblez returning to the Blue Planet. This eventually led to me developing my version of Golbez, Ben, with the story becoming what is now Coming of the Darkstar. 🙂

Scariest moment in a game:

I like to play horror games, but my scariest moment isn’t a normal jump scare.

My friends and I have been heavily into 7 Days to Die since June. This is a zombie survival game with a voxel-based world. This means you can build and destroy anything in the game. The zombies can also destroy things in game… including your houses and bases. This means you’re not safe if zombies detect you in your base — they will full out attack it until they reach you.

We were fairly new at the game, and made our little base at the top of a prefabricated wood building (not knowing zombies mow through wood like nothing). We were safe for a number of nights… until the mega horde came along one night.

At night, zombies run as fast as you can. So when you’re faced with a horde of 30+ running zombies and several zombie dogs, this is a very scary thing indeed! They found our little house and began ripping it up right under us — we were on the second floor. This didn’t save us, as spider zombies could climb our house and proceeded to bust through our upper floor windows!

We did our best to shoot what we could from the second floor, but had no idea the amount of damage the first floor was taking. Somewhere in all that, I ended up falling off the balcony straight into the horde. I did my best to fight them and run, but it wasn’t enough.

As I ran, I heard a terrible sound, and turned around just in time to watch half of the building collapse — since the zombies had destroyed the supports holding it up! It also destroyed our sleeping bags (spawn spots) and killed everyone in the base due to the fall and zombies swarming over them afterwards.

Moments later, a dog ripped me apart and I died, too.

Ever since then, I’ve been very leery of hordes when they approach our base. We’ve learned how to fortify much better now, but I’ll never forget staring into the gaping hole that had once been our house-base!

Most heart-wrenching moment in a game:

The end of Final Fantasy IX… Vivi.

Also, The Walking Dead game has made me cry rivers of tears. Ugh! How can a horror game do that?

What are your favourite websites/blogs about games?

I’ve followed for years. But I’m moving away from the industry sites towards blogs lately. I enjoy keeping up with the posts at the Gaming Blog Nexus more than established sites. I just feel like bloggers are going to be more straight up with their thoughts, and unbiased beyond their own opinions. When I do look for reviews, I look for player thoughts over the “professional” reviews, too.

What’s the last game you finished? 

I don’t play a lot of games with endings. I think the last game I finished was Shelter.

What future releases are you most excited about? 

I know there’s a bit of negativity swirling around, but I’m really excited about Sims 4 launching in a few weeks.

I’m also looking forward to ArcheAge!

Do you identify as a gamer?

I do, actually, and have for a long time. I’m proud of being a gamer, even if I’m a casual! 🙂

It’s easier to claim the label now that gaming is a bit more mainstream. When I was growing up, I didn’t talk about my gaming hobby with too many people. Because, you know, girls don’t game. Right?

Why do you play video games? 

Depends on my mood. Sometimes I play to relax and unwind after work. Sometimes I’m ready for an adventure or looking for a world to inspire and explore. Sometimes I feel creative and want to build something. Sometimes, I enjoy some social aspects of online games, too.