games and me

Most of you know that I love games. I love to use my brain to figure out how the game works and then solve the problems a game presents me with. I feel smart when the solutions I come up with actually work.

The problem with a lot of videogames is that they require not only problem solving skills, but also fast fingers on the buttons. And my fingers just don't always do as they're told. A lot of games that require me to make the character jump from one platform to another, frustrate me to no end. I'm stuck in limbo: I know exactly what I'm supposed to be doing, but I can't seem to pull it off.

I try to avoid games where I need such precision, like platforms and shooters, but sometimes a game comes along that I just have to play, no matter how clumsy I am. Like Shadow of the Colossus. Or Portal. I haven't managed to beat either of these games, but at least I've experienced them. I rocked at Fallout 3 though. I'm still wondering about Mass Effect and Dragon Age. I don't want to waste my money on a game I'm just no good at, but I've heard a lot of interesting things about them.

I feel so lucky that MMORPGs are still very playable for me. With my clumsiness I'll never be an interesting endgame player, but I can enjoy the questing, leveling and PVP play all the same, and my problem solving brain really knows how to combine skills into interesting strategies.

How about you? Tell me what you love about games, what you hate about games, and which games are your favourites.
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I hate it when you are not allowed to save your progress whenever you want to. Like with the new Mario Bros Wii game, it pisses me off that you can complete three or four levels and if you happen to die you have to do them all over again. I want to save every time I complete a new level, darnit!

That's what I like about playing old NES games on an emulator, that I can save my game at any point.

My favorite games are Mario Galaxy and the Guitar Hero series, although I have not played in quite a while.
I also liked the Harry Potter games a lot :)
I like it when I can be creative and especially when there is more than one right answer. I don't like the feeling of being fenced in.

I don't really like games all that much though. I have no patience (or memory space) for complicated rules. Anything that gets my adrenaline up is right out. I like the rush, but comedown is a bitch. I can be out of sorts for hours afterwards.

And anything I do like has a tendency to become a complete timesink...

Games I like(d): old school The Incredible Machine (mad science FTW!) and World of Goo.

Odd... I never thought of bad hand/finger coordination interfering with gaming. I don't play FPS either because my accuracy sucks, but I also don't really like the gameplay (I just prefer RPGs) I've never really had a problem with the keyboard controls, even when they are rather complex - it takes me a short time to learn the new controls for a game and that's it.

Mass Effect and Dragon Age are very doable if you set the settings to easiest; Mass Effect 1 allows target assist so you don't have to aim precisely, and skills that fire with quick keys (1, 2, 3, etc) Mass Effect 2 has much more the aspects of a third person shooter, as you actually need to aim, and combat is more challenging. I eventually got decent at it and then it's actually fun, but I did have to tweak the game to give me twice as much ammo or more since my aim just sucks. (ME1 you have unlimited ammo but your weapon might overload; ME2 you have ammo but no overload. :x)

You don't need to aim at all in Dragon Age. You simply attack a target and fire off your abilities. It may be more or less difficult depending on which class you choose. The main difficulty with Dragon Age is that you can die pretty fast, which means you need a good healer Mage in your active party.

What I love about games is the story, characterization and graphics, which is why I love games like Final Fantasy, Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect. I love it when I get pulled into a game's world and the characters become as real to me as in a book or movie.

But yet, Fallout 3 is one of the best games I have ever played, too. So I think I also like a huge amount of freedom and exploration.

What has become almost a prerequisite for me is that I can choose the gender of my character. I find it more and more frustrating to play games where I *have* to be a guy, so I just don't. And almost all games feature a male main character. That's what I hate about games: that I just can't identify with the main character because they're a duuuude. I really don't give a damn about testosterone-filled games like Crysis, because there's nothing there for me to identify with at all.

I also can't stand dumb stuff like how there just has to be this supersexy alien race that only has females and that you can have a relationship with any gender and species except a male-male relationship. Nonsense like that is why Mass Effect could've been much more awesome but isn't. Sexism in games is a huge turn-off for me and honestly, it's everywhere. RPGs tend to place men and women more equally too (Dragon Age does this very well, as well as all Final Fantasy games)
I also have clumsy fingers but love gaming.

FWIW, Dragon Age is AMAZING -- one of the best-written games I've ever played, as well as one of the most immmersive RPG experiences (only the Baldur's Gate and Elder Scrolls series match it). You can customize things so that little button-punching skill is needed. Highly recommended!
I like a lot of games for a little while, but there are a few I was(am) really addicted to:

Oblivion: endless questing and a feeling you can do whatever you want because there are so many quests. Loved that you had multiple solutions to the quests, and that different characters really played differently.

Bioshock 1 and 2; just played straight through these two games, even though it is 'just' a shooter. The atmosphere and storyline are amazing!

Zelda: the puzzles in twilight princess were great, although the running around for items got a bit boring in the end (like, after a hundred hours or so). Liked a lot that you had to switch between wolf and Link. Played the entire game three times and now it is all too familiar. When are they going to make another proper Zelda! (I do not like the ds-versions.)

Mario sunshine was brilliant but I lacked the skills for Mario Galaxy; al the jumping and racing and running got too split-second. Really annoying when the two little guys in my house seemed to do it effortlesly.

Civilization and it's clones are lovely till you understand the AI and get a feel for what you have to do to be successfull, then the fun is gone. When you have your inventions figured out so that you are alwasy a few steps ahead of the competition, you can win each game.

Liked to play Mercenaries 2 for a while but it soon got too powerplay for me (demolishing an attack helicopter in five seconds)
Oh, I forget Ratchet and Clank. Each and every game of that is played around here till it's grey. By all four of us!
I admit I'm curious about Dragon Age, but my CRPG itch has been scratched by WoW at the moment. Bioware always puts out a quality product, however.

Computer/electronic/console games are great when you can't find another player. Even a social game like an MMORPG you can run solo a lot of the time.

That said, I personally like boardgames more, like the old Avalon Hill games and the newer designer games. The social interactions are fun, and the time can pass by in a blink without realizing it. Favorite game? Probably Avalon Hill's Civilization, with Settlers of Catan a close second. With three kids in the house and limited time for FTF games, you can guess which of the two gets played more often.

I've played RPGs since roughly 1980-81, and I love the richness you can build into a campaign. Of the games I've played, I probably like D&D 3E the best, with a sentimental nod to the old Middle Earth Roleplaying/Rolemaster system.
Ah, a fellow MERP/RM fan! It was the first RPG I ever played, and shortly thereafter did I buy the then-new RM second edition -- along with all the Companions... I play in nathreee's D&D campaign, and some situations really make me long back to the elegant RM system...
I really like games with a story and progression. This includes most RPGs and story-focussed games. But I don't like grinding, which means that most RPGs are right out...
I 'learned' to game on my MSX, with a keyboard. I never got the hang of using a mouse in a hurry during games, so while I was pretty unbeatable in Doom (which could be played with a keyboard, since there's no vertical aiming), I completely sucked in Quake. I haven't played FPSs since then -- except for FPSs on the Wii, where I can simply point at the screen -- my hand-eye coordination is better than most in that way, it seems.

I like turn-based RPGs for that reason: being in control and not having to hurry appeals to me. But since I don't like grinding or finding out that I should have crafted item X two hours ago so that I can pass through checkpoint Y (or win fight Z), I don't tend to finish games like Final Fantasy.
The RPG that I like the most is Final Fantasy Tales: Chocobo Dungeon, which I completed some time ago. It's pretty laid back, and while some dungeons are frustrating, it's a pretty linear progression through the game. There is some grinding involved, but because the game is pretty forgiving and light-weight (you can 'escape' the dungeon at the end of every floor and then save your game), it's an easy game to pick up and play for half an hour.

I used to like the Metal Gear series quite a lot (and still do), but I do think that towards the latter episodes, the story becomes more important than the game -- cutscenes of half an hour! Sure, the story is important to me, but if I wanted to see a movie, I'd... go see a movie! Sheesh.
My game experience has the same problem as my taste in music. It's wide spread. First person shooters, tactical, browser games, rpg's etc. I find that the amount of time playing is not in perspective with RL as soon as you're hooked on it. So I kind of banned the gaming for a while to turn to IC gaming in the woods. Wich is far greater fun! But I know myself. As soon as there's is a cracking game on the marker again I will get hooked, again!
I like the ones that tell great stories, like Final Fantasy X (better story than most movies in the cinemas!) and the old Phantasy Star series. What I also like about these 'old skool' RPGs is that the battle scenes are turn-based, allowing me to carefully think out my strategy - instead of being bashed to a pulp because I'm not fast enough with the buttons.

Mind you, I do like the 'fast-button' type games as well, but I hate getting stuck in a story because I can't make a jump from one platform to another. Speaking of which, everytime I play the old Megaman (part I!) game on a NES emulator, I think to myself: "Sheesh! This game is rock hard! How did I ever get past this in the old days without the emulator savegame feature??"
I have the same problems with a lot of old nes, snes en megadrive games. In the old days we used to be able to finish them in 2,5 hours with almost no deaths and now I need about 345 lives to reach the end ^^
I'm a fan of old school games. Like, really really old school.
You know, the kind where you can't save, period. Well, once in a while there were level codes.

I used to own a Commodore=64, and I played tons of games on those. Qix, Impossible Mission, Bombuzal, ISS, The Snare, Last Ninja, Exploding Fist, IK+, Crazy Comets, Green Beret, Delta, Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken, just to name a few. It's a completely different type of gaming than nowadays (some web games are similar, though not really).

Also, in parallel, there were the first onlne games like moria/nethack/angband (even a multiplayer version) and I also spent lots of times in several MUDs.

And then came the Amiga with games like Lemmings, Monkey Island, and lots more I can't remember, and when the PS1 was out a while, I bought one and did stuff like FF7/8/9/T, Rage Racer, Gran Turismo, Wipeout, Tekken, IQube, Driver, Crach Bandicoot.

After that, I got out of gaming, so I haven't really played anything newer than that. And nowadays I usually roll up an emulator for an old machine, or I pick up some webgame. And perhaps some online puzzle sites (like killer sudoku, puzzle loop, and similar).
Dragon Age can be hard at points but I don't think you'll have any problems with the controles since you can pause the game during fights to give orders.
I love a lot of game genres but my reflexes aren't the best in the world. So I usually suck in the multiplayer part of games that require those reflexes.

My Fav games of all time : Neverwinter Nights, Diablo, the Warcraft franchise, Starcraft, Aion, Age of Conan, Megaman 1 & 2, Super mario brothers 2,3, tetris, Puyo Puyo, Medal of Honor, Super Mario Kart, Super Bomberman, Phantasy Star 1,2,3,4 and zillions more ^_^
In other words... I guess I don't really have 1 super, best uber game that I love.

What I have always hated about games is platform jumping into the extreme. You know, the type of games that almost requires a magnifying glass so you can see that last pixel on the ledge that you can stand on before you hit the jump button.
Ah, what you describe is said to be the two kinds of game patience. The first kind of patience is the patience you need to solve puzzles, mysteries and other problems. And that is mostly easy kind of patience because quote: "I feel smart when the solutions I come up with actually work."

Second kind is you know what you have to do. Get mario over those two holes and up the ladder onto the moving platform. But it needs the exact button mashing at the exact time. This patience lacks and leads to said frustration. Its a known fact among game designers. But this is where the people who enjoy boosting there skills, getting there kicks. Guitar Hero on Expert...way to casual for that bit.

My favorites are the "Total War" games. Conquering the world makes my inner Napoleon glee. Those are games I come back to ones in a while.
I haven't played a game in ages...

but my favourite is Ratchet and Clank, Zelda and Little Big Planet.

I'm stuck in one level for Ratchet and Clank and I still have to ask Anastaszia or one of her boys to get me out of there! I just don't have the hand eye coordination or the reflexes you need to clear that level.

I liked Portal too, but de-installed it some time back because my hands where not fast enough and I figured that I would never get to to end of the game anyway

I used to play more games but I guess that had something to do with a boyfriend addicted to (board)games. Right now I'm busy doing other things that leave no time for gaming :-)