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    Troll in the Playground
     
    Koury's Avatar

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    Default Getting Into Gaming

    My girlfriend has embarked on quite a journey recently. She has began her journey into gaming. She is not alone on this adventure. I'm at her side, the proverbial trail guide, with a little more then twenty years experince in this area. I've got the map (and its quite a large map), I know where we're starting from, but I'm less sure where our destination will end up.

    The Map
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    {table=head] System | Title | Reason Added | Other
    SNES | Zelda: Link to the Past | Classic/Must Play |
    SNES | Super Mario RPG | Story/Gameplay |
    SNES | Super Mario World | Platformer |
    SNES | ActRaiser | Sim Lite |
    SNES | Lufia 1 & 2 | Story |
    SNES | Secret of Mana | Story/Gameplay |
    SNES | ChronoTrigger | Story/Classic |
    SNES | FF II & III | Story/Requested | AKA FF IV & VI
    SNES | SoulBlazer | Gameplay/Story | Suggested by TaRix
    SNES | Illusion of Gaia | Gameplay/Story | Suggested by TaRix
    SNES | Robotrek | Fun | Suggested by TaRix
    SNES | EarthBound | Story/Gameplay/Classic | Suggested by TaRix
    Wii | Twilight Princess | Adventure/Zelda | Suggested by Sipex
    Gamecube | Fire Emblem: Path of Radience | Story/Gameplay | Suggested by Geno9999
    GBA | FF Tactics Advanced | Story/Gameplay | In Progress
    GBA | Harvest Moon: FoMT | Gameplay | In Progress
    GBA | Fire Emblem | Story/Gameplay | Suggested by Geno9999
    GBA | Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones | Story/Gameplay | Suggested by Geno9999
    Genisis | Shining Force 2 | Story/Strategy Intro
    PS1 | FF Tactics | Story/Stratagy | Curious to see if deeper strategy interests her.
    PS1 | FF VII, VIII & IX | Story/Requested |
    PS1 | Alundra | Story |
    PS1 | Suikoden & II | Story/Gameplay | Suggested by TaRix
    PS2 | Suikoden III, IV & V | Story/Gameplay | Suggested by TaRix
    PS2 | Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2 | Story/Requested |
    PS2 | FF X | Story/Requested |
    PS2 | FF XII | Story/Requested | In Progress
    PS2 | GTA: Vice City | Story/Open World |
    PS2 | Dark Cloud 1 & 2 | Story/Gameplay |
    PS2 | God of War 1 & 2 | Story |
    PS2 | Shadow of the Colossus | Classic/Art |
    PS2 | Okami | Art/Gameplay | Suggested by Terraoblivion
    PS2 | Wild Arms 3 | Story/Gameplay | Suggested by TaRix
    PS3 | Uncharted 1, 2 & 3 | Story | Suggested by Domochevsky
    PS3 | Valkyria Chronicles | Story/Art | Suggested by Terraoblivion
    Xbox | Halo: CE | Requested/Story | COMPLETED
    Xbox | Halo 2 | Requested/Story |
    Xbox | Max Payne 1 & 2 | Story/Requested |
    Xbox | Fable | Story |
    Xbox 360 | Mass Effect | Story/Gameplay | COMPLETED
    Xbox 360 | Mass Effect 2 & 3 | Story/Sequal |
    Xbox 360 | Red Dead Redemption | Story/Open World |
    Xbox 360 | Assassin's Creed | Story/Gameplay | COMPLETED
    Xbox 360 | Assassin's Creed 2 | Story/Gameplay | In Progress
    Xbox 360 | Assassin's Creed Bro., Rev. & 3 | Story/Gameplay |
    Xbox 360 | Halo 3 & Reach | Requested/Story |
    Xbox 360 | CoD: Black Ops | Story/FPS | COMPLETED
    Xbox 360 | CoD 4: Modern Warefare | Story/FPS | COMPLETED
    Xbox 360 | CoD: Modern Warefare 2 & 3 | Story/FPS |
    Xbox 360 | Fallout 3 & New Vegas | Story/Open World
    Xbox 360 | Elder Scrolls IV & V | Story/Open World |
    Xbox 360 | Max Payne 3 | Story/Requested |
    Xbox 360 | Batman: Arkham Asylem & Arkham City | Story |
    Xbox 360 | Bioshock 1, 2 & Infinite | Story |
    Xbox 360 | Duex Ex: Human Revolution | Story/Gameplay | Suggested by arguskos
    Xbox 360 | Dragon Age: Origins | Story/Gameplay | Suggested by arguskos
    Xbox 360 | Fable II | Story/Gameplay | Suggested by Maxios
    Xbox 360 | Asura's Wrath | Gameplay | Suggested by James the Dark
    Xbox Arcade | Bastion | Story | Suggested by factotum
    Xbox Arcade | Braid | Story/Puzzle |
    Xbox Arcade | Limbo | Atmosphere/Puzzle | In Progress
    PC | The Witcher 1 & 2 | Story | Suggested by Eldariel
    PC | Baldur's Gate 1 & 2| Story | Suggested by Eldariel
    PC | Grim Fandango | Adventure/Story | Suggested by Eldariel
    PC | Planescape: Torment | Story |
    PC | Alpha Centuari | TBS | Suggested by Aidan305
    PC | Master of Orion II | TBS | Suggested by Aidan305
    PC | Neverwinter Nights | Story | Suggested by monkman
    PC | Starcraft I & II| Story/RTS |
    PC | Knights of the Old Republic I & II | Suggested by Dublock
    PC | Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword | TBS | COMPLETED
    PC | Portal | Puzzle/Gameplay | COMPLETED
    PC | Portal 2 | Puzzle/Gameplay |
    [/table]



    And in this case, that might just be ok. Unlike most trips, this one is much more about the journey then it is about the destination.

    We don't want to go on this trip alone, however. We invite you to join us. Talk with us. Help us plot the course. Gaming is, after all, about the shared expierience, isn't it?

    To that end, let's start with a recap of where we began. I had just began playing through Mass Effect 1 in preperation of Mass Effect 3 coming out. Something about it caught my girlfriends attention and before long she had her own character.

    I'll let her tell you about it in her own words.

    ~~~~~

    Read SHeRUBI's thoughts on the following games:

    Mass Effect - Link
    Call of Duty 4: Modern Warefare - Link
    Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword - Link
    Assassin's Creed - Link
    Portal - Coming Soon!
    Halo: CE - Coming Soon!
    Call of Duty: Black Ops - Coming Soon!
    Last edited by Koury; 2012-12-10 at 09:14 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SHeRUBI's Avatar

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    Default Re: Getting Into Gaming

    Iím not sure how it is that Mass Effect came to be my introduction to gaming. I know Koury was ever eager to share his hobby ó so much more than that I now realize ówith me, and maybe Mass Effect was chosen as an exemplar RPG. Around the same time I tested the waters by entering boyfriendís weekly DnD games, and I didnít mind so much letting creativity reign. Itís nice to be someone else sometimes.

    In terms of the basics, I selected the following for Shepard:

    1. Spacer ó I thought Earthborn would be too close to my comfort zone.
    2. Sole survivor ó not that I could personally relate to the psychological profile nor would I ever wish it a reality, but thought it interesting to project a tough-as-nails persona, but understand the value/fragility/temporality of relationships.
    3. Koury help me out hereÖ Infiltrator? I know my weaponry was more in line with sniper rifles, and biotics totaled at zero. I will say that starting Mass Effect 2, while I kept most of my same character, I traded in for a biotics-heavy class having envied Liaraís defiance of gravity.


    So high on the desirability list is RPGs with a great level of character control. I was intimated during our first session, agonizing over if I had made the ďright decisionĒ in character creation. Later on when choosing Ashley over Kaidan I still felt the crushing weight of responsibility and couldnít silence that nagging voice of ďDid I do the right thing?Ē But thatís the point isnít it? That in life those big decisions are turning points in who we are, and we have to have the grace to carry on, believing that we made the best decision that we could. No regrets. Whoa, did I just learn something from a game?!

    Thoughts on Mass Effect as an entry point?

    Another aspect that Mass Effect introduced me to was video game as a means for puzzling out everyday reality. Racism ó human versus alien ó and organic versus synthetic paranoia exist into the future presented by Mass Effect, showing that no matter how far we come, hierarchy and prejudice are likely to be there just the same. Are both of these themes common in gaming? Iíd imagine so, as gaming is a subcultureís teasing out of social norms and deviances, like television, movies. I would like to see more games and their treatment of the real, even as Iím in a different time or place.

    Other common themes in games? I think thatís a discussion in itself.

    Reading responses to the previous thread, I know a lot of questions have been asked about what I dislike in games. And in terms of Mass Effect, I really have no complaints. Maybe it is the newness of the medium in general, because as a cultural/media studies student Iíve turned complete cynic when it comes to movies and television. But this is new! This is interaction in a way I havenít had since Choose Your Own Adventure Novels, and itís all playing out in front of me. And itís deep, with things to be said about what subculture is saying. I only wish I hadnít written video games off and had seen the potential for something great.

    Iím sure I will find that there are games for the sake of games. And maybe with such a rich, story filled beginning Iíll be more inclined to later try playing for playing sake. But for now, letís keep the characters and the depth coming.

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    Default Re: Getting Into Gaming

    Hm... maybe an MMO? There's always the old standby of WoW, but that costs quite a bit between expansions and subscription fee, then there's EVE Online, which I don't know anything about but I've heard is either really good or not your style, and Guild Wars 2 (no experience in the original necessary. In fact, it's barely even helpful, since with 250 years and the awakening of the Elder Dragons, the world is vastly changed, and GW2 is going for a new style of MMO gameplay), which is coming out August 28th and requires no subscription, just the sixty dollars for the game.

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    Default Re: Getting Into Gaming

    I'll recommend Kirby Super Star (Ultra) as an early pick, as it has a rather smooth difficulty curb and is a rather solid platformer with plenty of modes.

    And plus, it's Kirby! Who could hate that widdle face? :3
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    Ponytar by akrim.elf

    Quote Originally Posted by The Lost Eyeball
    Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

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    Default Re: Getting Into Gaming

    Ooooh, the idea of choosing games because they explore certain themes...

    Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines must CERTAINLY be added to the list, as a PC game.

    It's considered by many as one of the best RPGs ever, the game is based on the World of Darkness tabletop RPG, and I assume explores the same themes as the tabletop equivalent: humanity vs monstrosity, and dealing with becoming a monster.

    The Deus Ex games are also great, and has a major theme of conspiracies, with also the minor themes in at least the latest game of fanaticism and transhumanism.

    Edit:
    There are lots of games that have strong themes but don't let you interact at all with the themes, which really doesn't make the theme pop out. Bloodlines and Deus Ex both allow you to make VERY VITAL decisions connecting with the themes. Skyrim's VERY dominant theme of racism would also be roughly equivalent.
    Games like Bioshock 1 and 2 have REALLY STRONG THEMES but you only see the themes played out, you don't get to really interact with them. I'd strongly recommend those ones for strong thought-provoking themes though.

    What are other games with thought-provoking themes... I'm also pointing out ones that have already been suggested for themes, by the way.

    Oblivion's themes kinda fail to come through in my opinion. I'm not sure I really got any strong themes from that.
    Morrowind had very subtle but effective themes revolving around 'belonging', and also, as you noted, very prevalent in fantasy and sci-fi games, the theme of racism. Also if you get the graphics and sound overhaul, it's a great experience to just wander through and marvel at all the sights. Oh, also the theme of Fate and what that actually means. There's very nice exploration of the question of "if someone thinks they fit a prophecy, and actively attempt to fulfill the prophecy, does that retroactively make them the chosen one".
    Nehrim, the mod for Oblivion, has the over-arching theme of Hubris and also Fate.

    S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl might also be a good one. STRONG themes of greed, though it's hard, and you die a lot.
    Last edited by Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll; 2012-07-11 at 03:48 PM.
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    Default Re: Getting Into Gaming

    I've only played a bit of Mass Effect, but what I did, it seems to have come out as that amazingly nuanced balance between amazing story and excellent playability. Some games are heavy on story to the detriment of the ability to play, like watching a move, with a few button presses. And it's frustrating.

    And others make the game eminently playable and yet the story is terrible.

    Bio ware has learned over the years how to balance those two elements. It makes Mass Effect a good entry point. There's story enough to delve deeply into, but not so much that you can't take it as: Kill the evil aliens, and pay no more attention than that.

    And at the same time you can play the game very shallowly without worrying too much about the mechanics of it, but there's depth enough that you can delve deeply into the system and turn out some strange combinations that are insanely effective.

    For some terribly interesting examples, try the Baldur's Gate 2 Official Campaigns forum, specifically the no reloads topic. One of the users there did a Solo Sorceror play through, focussed entirely on shape shifting into a magic immune form and abusing it like mad. She made it all the way until just before the final, final, final fight. (It's' that sort of game.) But it was just the sort of strange, insane combo allowed with the sheer depth of the game system.

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    Default Re: Getting Into Gaming

    Oooohhhh, themes, okay. Um, try The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, with a warning of some of the game's undesirable features and how to curb them (e.g. time limit/reversed song of time, respectively). It's one of those games that, the deeper you look into it, the better it gets, as there are a lot of latent themes if you pay close attention (it is an analyzer-favorite for a reason, after all). A real love-it-or-hate-it game for fans of the series (what with sacrificing main-quest length for dozens of character-based side-quests), but definitely worth a try if she's a fan of character-driven games.

    I'd also suggest that she try The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (3DS) first, given its mostly undisputed "BEST GAME EVUR" status. If nothing else, it's a blast to play through and a definite classic.
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    Ponytar by akrim.elf

    Quote Originally Posted by The Lost Eyeball
    Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

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    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Getting Into Gaming

    Not seeing any puzzle or party games on this list. Any of the Mario Karts are a good choice (though I've only played the first few), maybe even a Mario Party game.

    Any Lego game that she enjoyed what the game is a parody of (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones), the childish humour keeps the game fresh, and the games aren't too difficult.

    An early Megaman or X-Com, to teach her that not all games should be easy. You have to learn some things are just hard. Or try Spelunky. It just came out on XBLA, but you can get the old PC version free on their website. (easily googled to find too) It's a rogue type game. Play smart, don't die; play dumb, have fun until you die... which will be within seconds.

    And if you're looking for an end destination: Minecraft. Why end there? Because once she starts, she won't be able to stop any time soon. PC is the better version, but the XBox Live Arcade version is playable 1-4 people per system, but in my experience, the 360 version only seems fun on Peaceful.
    Proud watcher of Iskandar's Travel / Let's Plays
    I even have my own Let's Play channel.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Getting Into Gaming

    You might be better off with FFTA2 instead of FFTA, I've never played the first but I hear that it has some obnoxious mechanics that FFTA2 got rid of or handled much better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jothki View Post
    You might be better off with FFTA2 instead of FFTA, I've never played the first but I hear that it has some obnoxious mechanics that FFTA2 got rid of or handled much better.
    Well, FFTA2 has some pretty obnoxious mechanics, too. I'd suggest playing them all instead! :P

    Great to hear you're getting into gaming, though! If you two are up for it, I think that I and a lot of other people would enjoy seeing a series of Let's Plays for these games with you two as the hosts. Thoughts?
    Formerly known as Cariyaga.

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    Default Re: Getting Into Gaming

    Max Payne is spelt with a "y", not an "i".

    And I think a lot of those games might be suggested out of bias. Not that this is a bad thing, these games clearly mean a lot to those people. I just don't think that Final Fantasy VIII can really count as a game you'd play based on it's story. The main character is frustratingly drab, and a good chunk of the PCs have little or inconsistent character development. I think VII is a good game, with a good story; it's not perfect, but it's good. It also has a serious nostalgia factor behind it. However, I agree completely with IX. It's the last truly "Fantasy" title of the numbered entries in the franchise.

    I did notice a lot of these games are marked as "story", when they really shouldn't. Call of Duty 4, sure. It had a great story, and it was really unique at the time. Still (sort of) is. But MW2 and MW3 are hardly good stories. They're fun, full of ridiculous plot twists and (gaping) plot holes, but I don't think they'll win the story award. It's more like playing an exciting Summer movie.

    I only can really suggest Just Cause 2 and Left 4 Dead 2. Just Cause 2 is absolutely insane, and full of the craziest stunts you'd ever pull in a game. You have a grappling hook that can pull you towards things, things towards you, or attach stuff to things. Hook a car to a helicopter and watch the chopper lift the vehicle up, and detach the hook to watch it plummet. You have unlimited parachutes, and can climb to virtually any place on the map. It's got the best open world since Grand Theft Auto 3, and if you ask anyone who's played it, they'll say you should, too. Left 4 Dead 2 is a fun and exciting romp through several campaigns (play it on the PC to get the free DLC, because you get all the original campaigns, too) of undead-slaying action. It's centralized around co-op, and the split-screen play is as exciting as it is challenging.

    Oh, and put Planescape: Torment as suggest by Cogwheel, because even if he didn't suggest it, he would have.
    Steam username is Triscuitable.
    I got VAC banned in COD: Ghosts for using an FOV changer.
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    Default Re: Getting Into Gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by Jade Dragon View Post
    Hm... maybe an MMO?
    A good idea. Not sure about getting into one this early, but certainly something to keep in mind for later. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLaughingMan View Post
    I'll recommend Kirby Super Star (Ultra) as an early pick, as it has a rather smooth difficulty curb and is a rather solid platformer with plenty of modes.

    And plus, it's Kirby! Who could hate that widdle face? :3
    Kirby is a good idea as well. Platforming in general is probably going to be held off for a small while though as they tend to be more gameplay oriented over story. Will keep Kirby games in mind as well. Epic Yarn would seem a pretty good entry there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll View Post
    Spoiler
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    Ooooh, the idea of choosing games because they explore certain themes...

    Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines must CERTAINLY be added to the list, as a PC game.

    It's considered by many as one of the best RPGs ever, the game is based on the World of Darkness tabletop RPG, and I assume explores the same themes as the tabletop equivalent: humanity vs monstrosity, and dealing with becoming a monster.

    The Deus Ex games are also great, and has a major theme of conspiracies, with also the minor themes in at least the latest game of fanaticism and transhumanism.

    Edit:
    There are lots of games that have strong themes but don't let you interact at all with the themes, which really doesn't make the theme pop out. Bloodlines and Deus Ex both allow you to make VERY VITAL decisions connecting with the themes. Skyrim's VERY dominant theme of racism would also be roughly equivalent.
    Games like Bioshock 1 and 2 have REALLY STRONG THEMES but you only see the themes played out, you don't get to really interact with them. I'd strongly recommend those ones for strong thought-provoking themes though.

    What are other games with thought-provoking themes... I'm also pointing out ones that have already been suggested for themes, by the way.

    Oblivion's themes kinda fail to come through in my opinion. I'm not sure I really got any strong themes from that.
    Morrowind had very subtle but effective themes revolving around 'belonging', and also, as you noted, very prevalent in fantasy and sci-fi games, the theme of racism. Also if you get the graphics and sound overhaul, it's a great experience to just wander through and marvel at all the sights. Oh, also the theme of Fate and what that actually means. There's very nice exploration of the question of "if someone thinks they fit a prophecy, and actively attempt to fulfill the prophecy, does that retroactively make them the chosen one".
    Nehrim, the mod for Oblivion, has the over-arching theme of Hubris and also Fate.

    S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl might also be a good one. STRONG themes of greed, though it's hard, and you die a lot.
    About a million good suggestions here, and the reasons behind them well explained. i'm interested to see her reply to this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Triaxx View Post
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    I've only played a bit of Mass Effect, but what I did, it seems to have come out as that amazingly nuanced balance between amazing story and excellent playability. Some games are heavy on story to the detriment of the ability to play, like watching a move, with a few button presses. And it's frustrating.

    And others make the game eminently playable and yet the story is terrible.

    Bio ware has learned over the years how to balance those two elements. It makes Mass Effect a good entry point. There's story enough to delve deeply into, but not so much that you can't take it as: Kill the evil aliens, and pay no more attention than that.

    And at the same time you can play the game very shallowly without worrying too much about the mechanics of it, but there's depth enough that you can delve deeply into the system and turn out some strange combinations that are insanely effective.

    For some terribly interesting examples, try the Baldur's Gate 2 Official Campaigns forum, specifically the no reloads topic. One of the users there did a Solo Sorceror play through, focussed entirely on shape shifting into a magic immune form and abusing it like mad. She made it all the way until just before the final, final, final fight. (It's' that sort of game.) But it was just the sort of strange, insane combo allowed with the sheer depth of the game system.
    Baldur's Gate as a series is a good suggestion (as was brought up a number of times in the preceding thread). This is one I think that will go over well. Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLaughingMan View Post
    Spoiler
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    Oooohhhh, themes, okay. Um, try The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, with a warning of some of the game's undesirable features and how to curb them (e.g. time limit/reversed song of time, respectively). It's one of those games that, the deeper you look into it, the better it gets, as there are a lot of latent themes if you pay close attention (it is an analyzer-favorite for a reason, after all). A real love-it-or-hate-it game for fans of the series (what with sacrificing main-quest length for dozens of character-based side-quests), but definitely worth a try if she's a fan of character-driven games.

    I'd also suggest that she try The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (3DS) first, given its mostly undisputed "BEST GAME EVUR" status. If nothing else, it's a blast to play through and a definite classic.
    Ah, the Zelda series in general. Majora's Mask is a good idea for the exact reasons you outlined. Thanks for the post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crossblade View Post
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    Not seeing any puzzle or party games on this list. Any of the Mario Karts are a good choice (though I've only played the first few), maybe even a Mario Party game.

    Any Lego game that she enjoyed what the game is a parody of (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones), the childish humour keeps the game fresh, and the games aren't too difficult.

    An early Megaman or X-Com, to teach her that not all games should be easy. You have to learn some things are just hard. Or try Spelunky. It just came out on XBLA, but you can get the old PC version free on their website. (easily googled to find too) It's a rogue type game. Play smart, don't die; play dumb, have fun until you die... which will be within seconds.

    And if you're looking for an end destination: Minecraft. Why end there? Because once she starts, she won't be able to stop any time soon. PC is the better version, but the XBox Live Arcade version is playable 1-4 people per system, but in my experience, the 360 version only seems fun on Peaceful.
    Mario Party/Kart may well be on the "too focused on gameplay" side. We can definatly give them a shot at some point though. As far as Megaman, I've explained the concept of Nintendo Hard to her. May be fun to actualy do at some point. Maybe Megaman 8. Again though, platformer/lack of story may delay that til a bit later. Good suggestion though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jothki View Post
    You might be better off with FFTA2 instead of FFTA, I've never played the first but I hear that it has some obnoxious mechanics that FFTA2 got rid of or handled much better.
    Hmm, haven't looked much at FFTA2. I really liked FFTA though. Wonder what changed. Will look into it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cute_Riolu View Post
    Well, FFTA2 has some pretty obnoxious mechanics, too. I'd suggest playing them all instead! :P

    Great to hear you're getting into gaming, though! If you two are up for it, I think that I and a lot of other people would enjoy seeing a series of Let's Plays for these games with you two as the hosts. Thoughts?
    Ha, as far as LPs, I think the intention behind this thread is not just to discuss what games would be good to play, and not just to discuss order to play and things like that, but also to talk about the games as we play them, and talk about things as they come up. Kinda a LP: Everything! kinda deal and with more focus on the perspective of her, a intellegent young woman coming into gaming with maybe a preconcieved notion or two, but a willingness to try and examine honestly.

    She started this thread with ME because, well, she started her gaming with ME. Next up is probably (and this is all up to her, I'm just guessing based on order) her discussion of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Should be interesting, in my opinion. She was skeptical that the game was anything more then "its moving, shoot it! blam blam guns yay!" and I think, well... I'll let her post her thoughts instead of me posting my interpretations of them.

    After that comes Assassin's Creed, the game we're currently on. I think we are two assassinations in.

    I do have a question for discussion though. Is it better to play a series of games, or to play multiple kind of games? For example, when should we move on to Mass Effect 2. I know she wants to sooner then later, and that carries a fair bit of weight (her preference, that is) but I mean in general. Does it vary by series? Should you play Portal 1 & 2 sequentially, but not worry about Max Payne 1, 2 & 3 being played in order?

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    And I think a lot of those games might be suggested out of bias. Not that this is a bad thing, these games clearly mean a lot to those people. I just don't think that Final Fantasy VIII can really count as a game you'd play based on it's story. The main character is frustratingly drab, and a good chunk of the PCs have little or inconsistent character development. I think VII is a good game, with a good story; it's not perfect, but it's good. It also has a serious nostalgia factor behind it. However, I agree completely with IX. It's the last truly "Fantasy" title of the numbered entries in the franchise.

    I did notice a lot of these games are marked as "story", when they really shouldn't. Call of Duty 4, sure. It had a great story, and it was really unique at the time. Still (sort of) is. But MW2 and MW3 are hardly good stories. They're fun, full of ridiculous plot twists and (gaping) plot holes, but I don't think they'll win the story award. It's more like playing an exciting Summer movie.

    I only can really suggest Just Cause 2 and Left 4 Dead 2. Just Cause 2 is absolutely insane, and full of the craziest stunts you'd ever pull in a game. You have a grappling hook that can pull you towards things, things towards you, or attach stuff to things. Hook a car to a helicopter and watch the chopper lift the vehicle up, and detach the hook to watch it plummet. You have unlimited parachutes, and can climb to virtually any place on the map. It's got the best open world since Grand Theft Auto 3, and if you ask anyone who's played it, they'll say you should, too. Left 4 Dead 2 is a fun and exciting romp through several campaigns (play it on the PC to get the free DLC, because you get all the original campaigns, too) of undead-slaying action. It's centralized around co-op, and the split-screen play is as exciting as it is challenging.

    Oh, and put Planescape: Torment as suggest by Cogwheel, because even if he didn't suggest it, he would have.
    Reguarding games suggested out of bias, yes, there are certainly a lot of those on there. Specifically reguarding the Final Fantasy series, it was specifically requested by her as something she wanted to play. I'm sure that we'll more likely end up hitting highlights. VII for the importance, III/VI for the old skool "where they came from"/roots aspect (and story), X and XII or XIII for the modern version of the game.

    Reguarding CoD, it is very much like playing a summer action movie. That might not be such a bad thing in this case. I'm open to arguments to the contrary, of course.

    Will check out Just Cause 2, but you'll have to do some convincing of her to get Left 4 Dead on the list. I agree it should be there, but horror is something she specifically is trying to avoid.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cute_Riolu View Post
    ...
    Great to hear you're getting into gaming, though! If you two are up for it, I think that I and a lot of other people would enjoy seeing a series of Let's Plays for these games with you two as the hosts. Thoughts?
    I'd watch that. (but could be difficult to set up in video form.)

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    I would toss Super Metroid / Metroid Prime on there, especially if you liked the Sci-fi shooter setting of Mass Effect. Much less emphasis on character, story, and shooting, but more on exploration and puzzle solving.

    How about Catherine? THAT would be an interesting game to play through with your significant other watching what choices you make...

    I'll suggest a SRPG like Disgaea too. good game and amusing story, but I wouldn't say it has any really deep themes.

    If you're interested in sampling a bunch of different games I would say play one entry from many different series. Of course, if one really grabs you there's no reason not to play more of them but most games you can get a really good feel for in the first few hours. Don't be afraid to ditch a half finished game, either, if it isn't grabbing you the way it used to any more.
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    Kingdom Hearts is a good place to start, due to familiar characters and accessible gameplay.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ogremindes View Post
    Kingdom Hearts is a good place to start, due to familiar characters and accessible gameplay.
    Agree. My biggest question here is whether to play a few FF games first, so the other part of the cast is recognizable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koury View Post
    Will check out Just Cause 2, but you'll have to do some convincing of her to get Left 4 Dead on the list. I agree it should be there, but horror is something she specifically is trying to avoid.
    Left 4 Dead 2 is a game about surviving a zombie apocalypse across Southern America (New Orleans, to start, and the group moves North). You work in a team of 4 to fight against the hordes of infected that break like twigs to your mighty shotguns and rifles. The infected do have two big advantages: the special infected, which work to seperate your group, and their numbers. You're only ever alone if you decide to run off on your own, but that's going to spell your end. You need to work as a team to stay alive, and if you do, you'll be fine. Each survivor you play as isn't just a model, either. They're flawed characters with backgrounds, names, and constant banter mid-game. You'll learn about their pasts just by playing alongside them.

    And when it comes to the multiplayer, there's a lot of variety there, too. You can survive with friends or attack the survivors as the special infected. The game is full of value and excitement, and isn't truly very scary. It's just a lot of fun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koury View Post
    Agree. My biggest question here is whether to play a few FF games first, so the other part of the cast is recognizable.
    I'd say that's not really a good idea as the FF characters are from 7 (extremely dated), 8 (not accessible) and 10 (I personally hated that one).

    Also, Kingdom Hearts was one of the games that got me into gaming in the first place (my first action game. It came with my PS2. I didn't think I'd like it but I put it in after taking out FF10 in disgust), and even my mum played it and KH2 through (they'd be about the only full length games she's played through).
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    These game recommendations are awesome, first of all. Let me throw in my two cents:
    1. Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn: Because Path of Radiance was recommended, I thought that I'd throw in this one. I think the story was much more interesting in this one, but that's subject to opinion. (Just to be clear, this is the sequel to Path of Radiance).
    2. Pikmin/Pikmin 2: Pretty simple (and very fun) pseudo-RTS games. Based around tactically controlling a midget and his plant armada. The split-screen in the second game is pretty fun, too.
    3. Silent Hill Series: Well, I didn't see any survival horror on the list, and this series shows some of the best AND worst of it. A cautionary tale, perhaps. But Silent Hill 2 & 3 are great for their scares. Wooooopppsss, just noticed the no horror comment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falgorn View Post
    These game recommendations are awesome, first of all. Let me throw in my two cents:
    1. Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn: Because Path of Radiance was recommended, I thought that I'd throw in this one. I think the story was much more interesting in this one, but that's subject to opinion. (Just to be clear, this is the sequel to Path of Radiance).
    2. Pikmin/Pikmin 2: Pretty simple (and very fun) pseudo-RTS games. Based around tactically controlling a midget and his plant armada. The split-screen in the second game is pretty fun, too.
    3. Silent Hill Series: Well, I didn't see any survival horror on the list, and this series shows some of the best AND worst of it. A cautionary tale, perhaps. But Silent Hill 2 & 3 are great for their scares.
    I don't think his girlfriend will ever play Silent Hill. Ever.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triscuitable View Post
    I don't think his girlfriend will ever play Silent Hill. Ever.
    Did not notice the no-horror comment before. It's been redacted.

    Also, I'm going to agree with Ogreminds. It's not really necessary to play previous Final Fantasy games for Kingdom Hearts - it definitely seems like the Disney characters have a more substantial purpose in the story. (Also what got me into RPGs, by the way.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koury View Post
    Reguarding games suggested out of bias, yes, there are certainly a lot of those on there. Specifically reguarding the Final Fantasy series, it was specifically requested by her as something she wanted to play. I'm sure that we'll more likely end up hitting highlights. VII for the importance, III/VI for the old skool "where they came from"/roots aspect (and story), X and XII or XIII for the modern version of the game.
    Again, I really cannot stress how much you do not want her first experiance of FF to be 13. It really Is that bad. I'd say FFX-2 was the best of the modern ones, then 12, then 10. But It's really close between 10 and 12.

    FFX-2 just happens to be an easy, well thought out entry into the FF tradition, as well as having that coin game we all know and love. Right guys?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SirDalyus View Post
    Again, I really cannot stress how much you do not want her first experiance of FF to be 13. It really Is that bad.
    How about you let Koury and SHeRUBI decide for themselves? There are plenty of reviews both positive and negative out there, though mostly positive if you look at major blogs and professional reviewers, that they can learn more than random people on the internet providing a categorical statement of its quality. Especially one with no argument for why its bad to back it up.

    And before anyone asks, yes, I do like the game. A lot in fact. I felt that the story was among the most lucid and coherent in the series and that it had by far the strongest emotional impact and that the smooth combat was the most engaging in the series. I honestly felt that by streamlining and thinking carefully about how every bit of the game fit together they created a stronger experience on all levels. It had flaws like any game, of course, most notably the ending. But I still think that the narrative is largely a good take on themes of destiny and free will with a strong, likable cast. And my personal experience was that by cutting minigames, awkward overworld maps and constant menu-diving they created a stronger, more focused gameplay that sacrifices none of the tactical depth or challenge once combat starts. It is, however, the biggest departure from previous games among the numbered entries in the series. I just happen to also find it the best.

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    When you do Final Fantasy IV (aka II), I recommend the DS version, which has a few deleted scenes and a better translation (which does keep some of the old Woolseyisms (from the trope namer himself, no less!)), as well as some voiced cutscenes and a remastered soundtrack.

    Other DS RPGs that I will readily recommend are Dragon Quest IX and Pokťmon Black/White. Both are filled with pun names and have an odd yet likeable mix of silly with serious and cute with badass.
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    Oh right.
    Horror.
    STALKER might be out then.

    It's pretty damn terrifying.
    Especially at night.
    Or in the lab.
    Or basically whenever you underground.
    Like I screamed. Freaked my family out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirDalyus View Post
    Again, I really cannot stress how much you do not want her first experiance of FF to be 13. It really Is that bad. I'd say FFX-2 was the best of the modern ones, then 12, then 10. But It's really close between 10 and 12.
    I don't think it much matters what her first FF experience is. The series is very erratic in my experience, with many entries sharing little in common, and it being very easy for different people to have complete opposite opinions of each entry. For instance, while I agree that 13 was not good (mainly due to the story, as I liked the combat), I'd personally be much quicker to warn them away from 10-2, which I'd say was the second worst FF game I've played, after only 8.

    Anyway though, Koury, I'd honestly say you're going about it wrong with those games you recommend due to being "classics" or "must-plays." It would be far better to let her try games representative of various types (genres, sub-genres, etc) to find out what she likes, then recommend ones from there. There's really no such thing as a "must-play" game, and little point in playing "classics" if they're of a style you don't like.

    Since she specifically lists stories as her biggest draw to gaming right now though, I'll throw out my own suggestions in that area: Persona 3 and 4, and the "Tales of" series, especially Tales of the Abyss and Tales of Vesperia. Persona 3 and 4 have the best writing in video games in my opinion, so as long as you don't mind that you don't really make choices or affect the story yourself as in Mass Effect (well, mostly, anyway), they'd be great in that regard. The Tales games come in just behind those, but with very different gameplay (action RPG rather than turn-based). For Persona 3 get either the Portable version on the PSP or FES on the PS2 (I'm honestly not sure which to recommend over the other), for Persona 4 the only current version is on the PS2 but a PS Vita remake is forthcoming, for the Tales games Abyss is PS2/3DS and Vesperia is 360. Other "Tales of" games are available on a variety of consoles, but those are my top 2.

    Also, if you have a DS, other games that would be great for story purposes are Devil Survivor 1 and 2. Though they are hard, so you may want to wait until she's got some familiarity with Japanese turn-based games and/or tactical RPGs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zevox View Post
    I don't think it much matters what her first FF experience is. The series is very erratic in my experience, with many entries sharing little in common, and it being very easy for different people to have complete opposite opinions of each entry. For instance, while I agree that 13 was not good (mainly due to the story, as I liked the combat), I'd personally be much quicker to warn them away from 10-2, which I'd say was the second worst FF game I've played, after only 8.
    Yeah... the numbering scheme isn't really useful. Directly related games are almost always given the same number as their predecessor, just given a different subtitle, for example FFIV: The After Years or FFVII: Crisis Core. Crystal Chronicles games use that title in lieu of a number.
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    I think you might be doing gaming a disservice by not experiencing the phenomenons, even if they are bad, just so you can understand what the hype is about.

    So, without further ado, I recommend you add just about anything from the Madden series. Not because it is actually good, but to see a different type of game than you might otherwise be used to and how stagnation can create a horrible monster.

    World of Warcraft is the reigning king of MMOs, but one need not play this game specifically to get the references, a certain episode of South Park can probably fill you in on most of the relevant things this game has contributed to the genre. (Though I admit, I am highly biased, I did not care for WoW at all.)

    Diablo 2 should be on a must play list. There is a reason that "Diablo-clone" became a genre all on its own.

    Portal and Portal 2 are wonderful games that nearly anyone can enjoy, and they set the bar higher for humor than any other game in recent memory.

    Super Smash Brothers (any variation will suffice) is a rabid cult classic. I personally don't care too much for the game, but it can be fun to sit with 3 of your best mates bludgeoning each other with hammers and baseball bats.

    Bioshock or if you prefer, System Shock 2 contributed the exact same thing to their genre, one was just newer and prettier.

    Planescape Torment for the rich RPG that it is.

    Gears of War multiplayer, though watching Youtube videos of matches may be enough to understand its contribution to the medium.

    Red Dead Redemption Who doesn't love a spaghetti western? (Note, Undead Nightmare is only for those that enjoy the main game, or Zombies.

    Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 Another set of Valve titles, these should definitely be on a must play list.

    Civilization or the simpler Civilization: Revolution may suffice if Alpha Centauri is not played instead.

    The Sims Chances are, you know exactly what this game is and is about. If not, it is worth a small fraction of your time to find out.

    EDIT: I don't think most of the games on this list are bad, but some are, and all are a cult classic or a cultural powerhouse.
    Last edited by Logic; 2012-07-11 at 09:33 PM.
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    Since you apparently are playing PS2 games I'll recommend Time Splitters: Future Perfect, Champions of Norath, and Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, as well as the sequels of both Champions and BG if you enjoy the first. These were some of my favorite games and are great games for co-op.

    I'll also second (third? fourth?) Left 4 Dead 2, and say that I personally didn't think there was a very large horror aspect to it. And I'll add that I just played through Bioshock and it scared me a lot more than L4D ever did, especially the Medical Pavilion.

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    I'll second Persona 3 and 4, If you don't mind not having any choices to make. Well-written with some great characters and imaginative designs. Persona 4 is also known as the most cheerful game about murder known to man.
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