15 most important games

Krapulan yhtenä oireena on saamattomuus, mutta vähintään yhtä paha lieveilmiö on morkkis. Vähän tuli harmi puseroon siitä, että sunnuntainen arvostelu jäi julkaisematta. Tartuin sitten tälle aamua erääseen Facebook-muistiomeemiin ja vartin homma muuttui kahden tunnin muisteloksi, jonka julkaisen myös täällä. Tarkoituksenani on pitkään ollut tehdä listamuotoinen juttu, joten tälläpä se mukavasti starttaa - samalla lukija pääsee matkalle pelihistoriani uumeniin, kulkien kronologisesti alusta loppuun.

Teksti on poikkeuksellisesti englanniksi. Syitä piisaa: alkuperäinen meemi oli englanniksi, harjoitus on hyväksi ja lämminverinen rauhoittuu paremmin, kun sen korvaan kuiskii englantia - en tiedä miksi, mutta näin se vain on.

Tarjolla siis Nimmarin 15 tärkeintä pelielämystä, olkaatten hyvä. Kiitokset Awelle hommaan usuttamisesta!

15 most important video games in my life

So, like this one red-suited plumber keeps telling us, HERE WE GOOOOOO!

1. Super Mario Bros (NES)

Oh, yes, the guy I mentioned before is also the first title on my list - Mario. I know this is a pretty basic answer, but if you were a kid in Finland on the 1980-1990 era, you just couldn't avoid Super Mario Bros. This was my first touch on video games and it introduced me the world of discovery, fascinating unknown landscapes and tons of absolute fun. Nowadays I own three copies of this game and it still kicks ass.
(Check out the review)

2. Legend of Zelda (NES)

If Mario was the one game to lure me into video gaming with it's quick-paced action, Legend of Zelda on NES was the one to suck me right into vortex. Zelda was incredibly deep (for it's time), exciting and full of secrets and surprises. I just loved to wonder around Hyrule, feeling like being on an actual adventure, not playing a video game. Link, a young boy trying to rescue a princess and fighting tons of monsters with his sword, was a character that I really could relate to (which must tell something for some psychiatrists).

I even remember one moment in my childhood, when I was taking a trip to Norway with my family. I remember running along the rocky beach and trying to find rupies from the sand (probably just shells and rocks, but you get the idea). I was most disappointed when we had to leave and remember saying to my father "But I wanna have an adventure, just like Link!".

And like most of my friends know, I've had few adventures abroad since my childhood. That's what I call an affection from a video game.

3. Mega Man 2 (NES)

Even though Mega Man 2 isn't that much different from other Mega Man games, it's still the best in the series. It's easier than other games (which give me the most terrible red-mist-hate nerd rage moments) and the music still rocks my world. The one song keeping me sane during my work practice in summer 2010 wasn't Buddhist hymn or Mozart. Nope, it was a remix from Dr. Wily's Theme from Mega Man 2. I can still remember almost every song in the game in few seconds.

Mega Man 2 also had the best enemy robots in any Mega Man game - Metal Man, Air Man, Quick Man (that effing impossibly fast bastard), Flash Man...oh, the memories. I even drew my own enemy robots when I was a kid, including Snow Ball Man and Fire Cracker Man (and no, you will never see them).

4. Super Mario 3 (NES)

Another Mario game on the list. It was a pretty tough choice between this beauty and Super Mario World, but SMB3 is superior. SMW is a great game, one of the greatest ever, but still it was Super Mario 3 that set the standard for a Mario game. It was huge, it was fun, it was clever. Me and my sister played this for hours and hours. And it had the most memorable enemies - the attacking sun, those creeping-as-hell-dropping-from-ceiling-bouncy-thingies from castles (which scared me even when I wasn't playing) and the grumpy-looking fish from water levels. We even gave that fish a nickname according to our uncle.

Super Mario 3 was mind-blowing experience. Yep, we knew that Mario 1 and 2 were good games, but SMB3 was just AMAZING. We never thought that human race could make something that entertaining. And it wasn't just the kids who loved this game - I remember both my father and uncle sitting in front of TV for hours, either watching us playing or playing themselves.

5. Jurassic Park (NES / SNES)

Jurassic Park was my first motion picture that I saw in movie theatre and it literally changed my life. Jurassic Park introduced me in the wonders of cinema and also pushed me to get interested in science and biology - there was a pace in my life when I could easily tell names of 100 different dinosaurs. And I still see nightmares of T-Rex chasing me.

I waited the NES game for several months. I had to use all my tricks for my parents to finally get it, because we normally bought just used ones and new JP cost 600 Finnish Marks (probably more than 100 euros today). And when I finally got it, it was nothing else than fucking awful piece of crap. Graphics sucked, Alan Grant moved around like drunk blue whale and it didn't feel anything like the movie. I was trying to make best of it and deny all the shittiness, but eventually I had to come to terms with the reality.

Luckily, my parents got sorry for my disappointment and after weeks and weeks of looking sad all the time when someone mentioned Jurassic Park, we finally decided to buy Super Nintendo - because it had a much better version of Jurassic Park. My father noticed that someone was selling it on newspaper, so we drove to next town to buy it. It was October and the two months before Christmas Eve must've been the longest period in my life. Think about that, you three-games-in-one-month-spoiled-brats.

And when I finally got it, it was my personal paradise. It looked nice, it had 3D sections, velociraptors were scary as hell and everything was just better. I bought it for my SNES this year and no nostalgia could make the difference - it's pretty much just graphically advanced version of crappy NES game and I couldn't find any fun playing it now. But on that time, it was amazing experience.

6. Zelda: Link to the Past (SNES)

This is still The Zelda Game for me. Grahpics were amazing, music pure art and the world was just huge and full of secrets. Link to the Past didn't treat me like kids - I had to see Link's uncle die, fight all kinds of terrifying monsters and travel to Mordor-like Dark World to save Zelda. And I loved every minute of it. I still get warm feeling in my chest thinking about teasing the chicken and seeing Link getting run over by huge flock of flying KFC.

7. Super Star Wars (SNES)

The last big game on my SNES era. I got the game first and it was so good, that I wanted to see the movie - which was one of the most amazing things in my childhood. And after seeing the movie New Hope, Super Star Wars turned from really good game to best game ever. I always chose Luke Skywalker, because that gave me opportunity to cut sandpeople in half with lightsaber. And when I finally exploded Death Star by shooting missiles in exhale vent, I felt nothing short from a hero.

8. X-Wing (PC)

Yes, yes, another Star Wars game - I'm a geek, so what do you expect? Super Star Wars gave me a glimpse of how cool the career of a Rebel Pilot could be (at least when you're one of the main characters in the movie - otherwise you'll probably die) and X-Wing offered me a long contract. Having a long campaign and achieving medals from missions made me really feel being part of the Star Wars universe. I played this so much, that my mouse broke because of too much intense use.

9. Doom (PC)

It's a little funny to include this one on the list, because the first time to really own this game was on this year (buying it from Xbox Live Arcade - it was still pretty good). My parents never allowed me to install this on my own computer, because they were worried about graphic violence (probably a wise decision) and Satanic symbolics (this one I still don't get - Space Marine is FIGHTING AGAINST Hell's forces, so shouldn't that be a perfect game for a little Christian boy?). So I did like all the kids do and played it at my friend's place.

This temptation to brake rules to enjoy a violence in a safe form is the one to make me a FPS-maniac and splatterhound that I am today. Has it made me violent in real life? Ask me one more time and I'll blow your fucking head off.

10. Secret of Monkey Island (PC)

I love almost every Lucasarts adventure game ( especially Day of the Tentacle & Sam and Max Hit the Road), but this was the first video game that told me a proper story and made me laugh every five minutes. When I was playing Monkey Island, I was too young to survive on my own with English dialog, so I played it through by using a walkthrough from Pelit magazine. It tells something about the game, that playing by instructions didn't make experience any less magical.

11. Grand Theft Auto (PC)

This is the game that teached me that anarchism, exploding cars, running over people and making a total chaos in city are the most entertaining thing in one's life (just in video games - stop dialling 911). GTA was also the first game to give a whole city to mess around with. Me and my friend Tomi played this for hours and hours in row - I guess the longest session was about 8 hours. During that we managed to destroy every other vechile from city but buses and taxes, which is a thing I've never heard anyone else to do. Hoo-ray for us (and R.I.P for approximately 63 532 Liberty City residents)!

12. Half-Life (PC)

This is the game that changed the way I thought about first person shooters and made me a fan of a genre. Before Half-Life shooters were just Doom-lookalikes with same weapons, same monsters and same endless corridors of some place we didn't care. Half-Life took us right into middle of a story, told it well and made us thrilled countless times during the trip. You could never know what was behind the next corner. For the first time that I met the Marines in Black Mesa, I got slaughtered in ten seconds. I was just shocked how fast and smart they were - and first time felt like fighting a real enemy in a video game, not just some mass of pixels repeating same attack pattern.

Half-Life also had a wide and lively mod culture which offered a endless list of good gaming experiences for our LAN Party Group. No matter were you soiling yourself in Vampire Slayer, making progress of having a carpal-tunnel syndrome by rushing in Snow-War or blasting terrorists to the laps of virgins in Counter-Strike, clicking Half-Life icon on our desktop always ment good times.

13. Operation Flashpoint (PC)

This is probably the most important game in my history of gaming. I've always seriously interested in war, but none of the games in the market displayed the war in realistic, gritty style - until Operation Flashpoint came out. Before purchasing the game I played that one demo mission over and over again. I have teammates, that have conversations about their fear of dying before entering the combat! I can see miles and miles of open space! And yep, I can die from a one single bullet that flew from a gun I never knew was there. That's war, bitches.

Single player kept me happy for years, but when Finnish Defence Forces mod came along with it's excellent multiplayer maps that portrayed modern Finnish warfare, I just couldn't believe my luck. Making a guerrilla attack to Russian convoy with your friends by using careful timing,radio commands and self-made attack plan is still a experience that no game offers (well, maybe Armed Assault I & II).

(Check out the review)

14. King Kong (PS2 / Xbox 360)

If someone had introduced me to King Kong after seeing Jurassic Park, I've probably thought that I've died and gone to heaven. And after that, sold my soul and went to hell just to play it for five minutes. After all these years, I finally got that Jurassic Park game that I've always wanted. Okay, there is that huge monkey in some parts, but who cares? Dinosaurs! Big fucking dinosaurs - that you have to fight against with a spear. Awesomeness, pure awesomeness and almost real fear of death.

Not just being a superior dinosaur vs. man game, King Kong was also one of the first game to blur the border between a movie and a video game. It feels cinematic and epic experience - a real adventure that I'm always looking from video games.

(Check out the review)

15. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Xbox 360)

Yes, I've been going apeshit about Scott Pilgrim for a while, but not without a reason. It's just so much fun on every minute you play - it's simple but deep, easy to control but hard to master and the soundtrack is the best that I've heard since the death of Super Nintendo.

This is also a good game to end this list, because it takes a long history of gaming to enjoy Scott Pilgrim completely. It's stacked with references to other games, right from Super Mario 2 -stylish character menu to Battletoadsy pause music. And it feels so damn good to know all this stuff, because it's something that some people never understand. Don't get this wrong - I really love the fact that more and more people are playing nowadays, but still Scott Pilgrim gives us long-term gamers all the satisfaction of being a true fan of an art form.

(Check out the review)

So, this is my list of my 15 most important video games. Doing this was a warming experience. So many good memories, so many good games. It's also a statement that proves that games really DO matter - they've been one of the most important ingredient of my life.

And always will be.

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