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Old 7th Mar 2008, 11:46   #1
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This Isn't About Monkey Island, Honest

http://www.bit-tech.net/columns/2008...onkey_island/1

Joe Martin wants to know what is is that makes a hardcore gamer. Prompted by the death of somebody close to him, Joe examines what hardcore is and invites readers to share their stories about what game it was that first hooked them.

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Old 7th Mar 2008, 12:13   #2
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I was a relatively late comer to the gaming scene, being in my mid-late teens before I really got into it (so less than 10 years ago at this point). So for me it would have to be Civilisation 2 or Age of Empires. The former because it got me completely hooked to turn based strategy/empire building games of that sort. I still games of that type to this day. AoE2 is slightly different, not only did it get me into RTS (which I play slightly less religiously) but more importantly is a game I still play today, unlike Civ2. Admittedly AoE2 is mostly at LANs where I play with friends.

It's a weird thought that 10 years on, more or less, and none of the RTS made since have really replaced it. There have been prettier games, games with better AI, more features but AoE2 sort of hits the sweet spot for me. There certain games in the C&C series, Supreme Commander or Dawn of War have all added their own take but for my money there is no RTS that is as good as AoE2.
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Old 7th Mar 2008, 12:35   #3
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My development as a gamer was somewhat stunted by the fact that whilst we had computers galore in our house, my Father insisted that they all ran Windows NT 4.0. That meant that whilst my friends were playing every game under the sun, I was afraid to spend my hard earned cash in case a game wouldn't run under the somewhat draconian operating system. However, there were three games that I did play that still stay with me, namely Hitman 2, Civ2 and Baldur's Gate.

All of those launched me well and truly into their respective genres. Both Civ2 and Baldur's Gate were fiercely addictive, and I have spent many, many hours playing both. Something that strikes me as novel is that in each of their respective genres, I have played numerous games in those genres since (Sequels and others), and with the exception of perhaps Oblivion, none of them have managed to get their game design quite as spot on as those two. The thing that sold me on them was coming to the end of a session and realising that it was 3-4am and I had been playing far longer than I ever intended.

With regards Hitman 2, it was again a matter of addiction, but it is the only time I have gone back and played through the same game over and over because there was so much material there, and so many different ways to achieve each mission.
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Old 7th Mar 2008, 12:38   #4
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For me, there are a few games that have had an effect. My first proper gaming experience in my own house was probably Treasure Island Dizzy on the Amiga 500. I'd played games at friends, but this was the first one that really had a large impact. I even remember it being a social experience, chatting about it with friends at Cub Scouts and solving the puzzles together. Shortly after however, I was actually put off gaming for a while by Shadow of the Beast II - it scared me too much (i was young).
Then, when I got my PC, Commander Keen got me into a different type of game. And this then led on to Command and Conquer and endless hours on Theme Park and Sim City 2, both of which i played endlessly, with no end in sight. Finally, the other game that got me hooked on gaming was Quake. The endless mods that me and my friend downloaded on our enormously expensive Compuserve connections kept this one alive for ages.
I think many games have had an impact on my life, and i'm certain that many will in the years to come...
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Old 7th Mar 2008, 12:38   #5
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The first games I remember playing are Treasure Island and Fire Ant on the Commodore 16+4.

Following that I played a lot of shareware games on my AMD 286. Dizzy, Duke Nuken, Commander Keen, Godz and Zool are a few that stick in my mind. Following that I spent a lot of time playing Monkey Island 1 and 2, Indiana Jones FoA. Wolfenstein 3D must have been the first FPS I played and I played that until I discovered Doom and then Quake. I'd say Quake was the game that pushed me over the edge from being a casual gamer into a hardcore gamer. I'd use my 14k modem to ring up my mate and play some 1v1 Quake running software mode because at that point I hadn't got around to getting a Voodoo.
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Old 7th Mar 2008, 12:39   #6
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I actually can't remember which game it was that really got me into gaming, I remember getting a C64 when I was very, very young, and I remember some of the games I played on there. I think the first game I played and thought, wow this is great I love it, was Treasure Island Dizzy. Back then though, I was pretty bad at everything so I had trouble figuring out what I actually had to do so I'd just run around the levels jumping about everywhere. I think what I liked about the game was the dizzy character, I thought he was awesome, and on treasure island dizzy he was dressed up as a pirate which is even more awesome. I tended to play Kwik Snaks more though because it was more arcadey and easier for me to understand, but I always loved the treasure island dizzy. New Zealand Story was one I also really enjoyed, and Bubble Bobble too, I loved that game.
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Old 7th Mar 2008, 12:55   #7
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i can always remember playing games to various degrees from when we got our amega and i played paperboy(i think that was on the amega, it could have been spectrum). i remember playing duck hunt and mario on the nes occasionally.

i think the first game that i had was lemmings on some apple computer we had when cd drives first came out, putting the cd in that little case that made it look like a floppy disk then putting that into the computer. i can also remember obsessively playing dungeon keeper 1 and 2 and also theme hospital. i think it was the humour in these games that really got me hooked, all the crazy illnesses in theme hospital were great.

due to the humour aspect all the lucas arts games were great to play though, unfortunately i suck horribly at the puzzles in them so i often had to use a guide for most of them. the first one i played was sam and max which ive played through multiple times now due to the crazy humour. we had to get an upgrade to the pc to run grim fandango, me being hopeless at it didnt help and i only completed it last year! after having it since release.
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Old 7th Mar 2008, 12:57   #8
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my first ever game is one i remember fondly, it was Bomb Jack on the atari ST back when i was 7 iirc, its scary that i can remember it like it was only yesterday
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Old 7th Mar 2008, 12:58   #9
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Nice read Joe! and sorry to hear of your loss.

Back in 1989 when I was just 6years of age, my father had kindly purchased me an Amstrad pc of my very own, for my birthday.
Upon this machine came bundled with a few classic well known games, such as space invaders, asteroids and lemmings however the game that got me spending many engrossed hours on that machine was Sim City, it was this game that got me hooked in front of the screen for hours, eventually leading to me ranting to a friend or 2 back at school whom had also got suckered into this game, and where playing it along the same timelines, we would discuss our epic failures of trying to get a city to actually build, and what was working for 1 friend and not for another, till we eventually got it sussed, well I say sussed, but by that I mean actually getting more than half a dozen buildings popping up. One could say I had somewhat a very keen addiction to this game, still making time to this day to play the honourable and what I feel was the best in the Sim series, Sim City 2000.

As time passed by and fresh hardware was bought in to replace my aging machine, I got introduced to many other games by my friends, such as Wolf 3D , commander keen, jazz jack rabbit and then eventually Doom when one evening my friend invited me to his fathers office where we had a multiplayer session. This multiplayer session really wowed me and opened my eyes to multiplayer gaming, and how I felt it bought a whole new level to gaming.

With multiplayer games now set in my then tunnel vision sights, there where a handful of games that got me well and truly hooked to gaming, the games in question? War Craft and C&C got me hooked into the RTS genre, and still to this day I am an avid fan of this gaming genre!

These days I tend to enjoy many of the game genres out, however it is the RTS and FPS genres that I am most fixated on.
I could rant on for hours about the many games and experiences from the years, however to draw this to a close, it was...
Sim City, War Craft and C&C that the beginning of my gaming addiction lies.

Ahhh reminiscing, im off to go rant and reminisce with my gaming work buddies, and find out what got them fixated.

Last edited by Delphium; 7th Mar 2008 at 13:06. Reason: typo
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Old 7th Mar 2008, 13:03   #10
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Great article! For me, that game is without a doubt, the unrivaled, the flawless, the reason why i am going to university to study computer science: games and virtual environments- Final Fantasy 7. The first game i played on the playstation. It was just so cinematic, so involving, the story and the music in terms of quality were just way ahead of their time, i don't think any game yet has come close to surpassing it. The materia system was fantastic- the range of weapons and armour, items and sidequests allowed you to pour some serious hours into it.
There are certain books and films that i find i must come back and read/watch about once a year such as Lord of the RIngs, His Dark Materials and Citizen Kane, which are the height of their respective formats of art, and I rate FF7 among them
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Old 7th Mar 2008, 13:05   #11
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MS-DOS gamer right here. Even though i had an NES (duck hunt and punch out!), I never really got into things until wolfenstein, Lord of the Rings RPG and Where in the World is Carmen San Diego. I also played Oregon Trail frequently.
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Old 7th Mar 2008, 13:06   #12
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Hardcore and gaming do not belong together in a sentence to me. I'm a baller, MMA freak, and vegan. I love sports and entertainment right now I'm at a net bar for about the 238472384th consecutive day in this country and it's STILL CS 1.6 everday!!!@!@!!!!!!

I PWN so nasty I get banned from servers... Just like back home.. No admins like being knifed

I have to wait for games like Battlefield 2, quake4, and GTA:SA to make it over here (illigally of course, no CDS!) and I can't ever play them online or with a system above a semperon and 7300gt or if I'm lucky and in a ritzy net bar a DAZZLING athlon 3800x2 with an 8500gt!!!

Here is what makes me "hardcore", as a non smoker I sit in a smoke filled cafe with people spitting on the floor and looking at hentai whilst playing every single single player map in BF2 on the hardest settings dominating.. same for the rest of the games.

I want the Q6600 with an 8800gts and 8gb's of ram with a 1900x1200 display just like everyone else, but I'm a student and I take what I can get. I have entered every contest Bit-tech has ever offered since 2004 and I've gotten zilch. I am still waiting for some charity.

Joe- I love that you loved torment
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Old 7th Mar 2008, 13:29   #13
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I always played games, but it was only when GTA 2 came out on PC that I realised I might have an addiction.
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Old 7th Mar 2008, 13:35   #14
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Before I got to secondary school the only game I had really played was Age of Empires (1,2 and all the expansions were given to me as a birthday present I think).

What really got me hooked was a combination of C&C Generals and CS1.5/6. Since them, the games that I have spent a long time playing are rather few in number. Oblivion, completed twice, and Diablo 2, completed twice on easy and loads of LAN play.

I never seem to have a good relationship with long, story based FPSs like Far Cry. That was fine until all the monkeys arrived but soon lost its attraction and i never completed it. The call of Duties (1,2 and 4) have all kept me interested enough to complete them but I have never really got into them as much as Oblivion/D2/the beginning of Far Cry. STALKER was reasonably good and I got a long way into it but lost my save game and didn't feel strongly enough about it to go through the many hours I had spent on it again.

By the sounds of things, I think I will enjoy Mass Effect when I get my hands on the PC version of it. I have started Crysis but that looks like it is about to go the same way as Far Cry so I won't last long on that.
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Old 7th Mar 2008, 13:44   #15
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I remember now, the one that really got me hooked well and truly. I always loved games before but this was the first game I managed to get obsessed about. Settlers II, most awesome game ever, it was before my family got a PC, but round the child minders I used to go round after school when I was in primary school and my mum was doing a longer shift at work, they had a PC that had Settlers II on it. I put the disk in randomly because I thought it looked interesting, had Roman soldiers and stuff on it, at first it took me a while to get used to the game (there was no manual and I was only round there twice a week for a couple of hours). At first I gave up quickly, but after a week or so of going backwards and forwards to the game I suddenly figured out how it all worked. After that point I was hooked. I loved the art and animation of the game, you had all the fat little men running about doing their tasks, it was also the first time I was introduced to economics and supply and demand, I found it fascinating and challenging.
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Old 7th Mar 2008, 13:49   #16
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Spent many hours playing A-Train, Sim City and Civ2; the Civ forums (Apolyton and Civ Fanatics) were amongst the first I joined way back in early 2001. But fixed-price broadband stopped me playing the longer games, I could spend more time online for no PAYG cost. And the later Sim City and Civ versions were a big disappointment.
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Old 7th Mar 2008, 13:50   #17
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I had a couple of games in my history that properly cemented me as a gamer.

The first one I can remember was Prince of Persia - the first one, it seemed to special to put all that effort into getting your computer working, grab a joystick and start jumping about a magical temple. It was so far removed from anything I'd seen on PC before that I was obsessed.

Next up, a couple of years later was Road Rash on the Sega Game Gear. This was probably the game that turned me into a gear-head, with the concept of street-riding a monstrous motorbike, dipping your knees all the way down to the deck and generally beating the hell out of everyone else was brilliant. From then on if it had a petrol tank, I loved it.

Then finally, the one that really, totally affirmed me as a gamer was Ridge Racer on the PlayStation - I didn't have a great deal of money as a kid, so arcades were something very special indeed, and far removed from life, so the PSX was a chance to play something really immense. That magical combination of speed and ridiculous powerslides, accompanied by the challenge of mastering the tracks was all I needed.

One game that definately galvanised me to the PC was Half Life, I'd played lots of other PC games at my best mate's house (acrimonious' house, for those wondering) and had never fallen so heavily in love with a game as this, the intoxicating combination of brilliant action, clever enemies and a seriously cool storyline was what really inspired me.

In fact, I'd say that Half Life was the game that made me wanted to be a Theoretical Physicist. I'd always wanted to be a scientist, but Gordon's coolness was somehow cemented into my mind, and from then on, that was it.
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Old 7th Mar 2008, 13:50   #18
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This is easy for me i remember like it was yesterday,c&c red alert 2 and starcraft ..i was running on a 800mhz celeron Packard bell pc ! from that i wanted a faster pc so the games would load quicker on multi (mine was always last 2 load) and now im playing fps,rts and building computers.
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Old 7th Mar 2008, 13:59   #19
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Well I started with a ZX81 & Spectrum, but never really got into gaming until we got a Commodore 64 and that just opened my eyes to the world of gaming.

The first game that got me really, really hooked had to have been Lucasarts' Zak McKraken & The Alien Mindbenders - it took me and my friends ages to solve, and we'd phone each other up when we'd solved one of the puzzles or had a thought about one of the puzzles. Also loved all the Infocom games, I used to have an original copy of HHGTTG, complete with little bag of fluff

I had an Amiga 500, but since I was at university at the time, it didn't really get used for gaming much. I do remember getting excited when a friend got a maths co-processor & hard drive for his Amiga. That was proper computing right there! About the only Amiga games I really remember were the originals (Marble Madness et al) and more Infocom games, especially Zork Zero. I remember being blown away by the graphics.

I got into PC gaming while doing my Masters in about 92-93. More adventure games (particularly LucasArts' games), but also strategy games (like Syndicate, from Bullfrog) and the X-Wing games.

This thread really just confirms how old I am, how long I've been playing games (blimey! over 25 years!), but most of all it confirms that I still love playing games. Hell, I wouldn't review them if I didn't enjoy it (and at least I help fill up bit-tech's Sunday morning publishing slot )
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Old 7th Mar 2008, 14:17   #20
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The game that hooked me...

Felix In The Factory on the Acorn Electron.

Twenty odd years laters I've got a wife and kids and 70% of the time lead a normal(ish) life until I can escape and play games.
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