If there is one thing I like - it's computer games. I play them constantly, Turn-based and Real-time strategy, First person shooters, Computer RPGs, Space and Combat simulations. I've played them by the dozen. There are some old favorites for which I hold fond memories of hours spent solving devilish puzzles and defeating hordes of enemies. There are also some current favorites of mine - especially in the multi-player genre which lets me play with and against my friends. Below you will find a listing with brief descriptions of some of my favorite games, and links to the companies that made them.
The AD&D Gold Box Series -
Put out in the late 80's thru early 90's by Strategic Simulations, Inc. (SSI), the Gold Box series were the first step of the great D&D game into the encoded halls of computer gaming. Despite graphics which would now be considered simplistic and cheesy - they were a solid game, with a great interface and twisted, deeply involving plotlines. Games like Pool of Radiance, Gateway to the Savage Frontier and Champions of Krynn drew you into their worlds and stunned you with their simple, solid playability. They can still be found in "Best of..." collections on CD-ROM, and are a strangely wonderful trip into nostalgia for those who enjoy CRPGs.
X-Com UFO Defense -
Simply the best turn based tactical squad game ever made. X-Com was a incredibly challenging, money management, troop training, base building, lead the elites into the fray simulation of how to kick alien butt. None of its sequels could match its elegance of gameplay nor its balanced yet terrifying combats. For the ultimate in squad command against a strange and intelligent foe - X-Com rules. And its such a rush to take out a scout ship of Chrysalids with a guided Fusion Bomb! I hate Chrysalids!
Leisure Suit Larry Series -
Well, if it ain't Larry Laffer - the ultimate lost in the 70's freak. The Leisure Suit Larry games were a light adult romp interspersed with excessive innuendo, oddball but constantly improving graphics, strange commands and cutscenes, and poppy goofball music all driving toward a single goal - to get the ultimate geek laid. The games held onto a seriously demented form of humor thanks to it creator, and pushed forward with the concept of what games should be - just having fun. Playing a Leisure Suit Larry game was always anything but serious, and that was the great part.
The AD&D Legend Series -
The Legend Series was the next evolution in computerized D&D - it was a fully first-person perspective - engaging the player in puzzle-solving and combat from a head on view rather than the more common bird's eye view of most CRPGs. And it was great, especially Eye of the Beholder and The Temple of Darkmoon - the first two in the series. With dozens of levels, a wide variety of quests, incredible puzzles and vicious villians all displayed in gorgeous graphics for its day - the Legend Series was a great way to play D&D.
Ahh, Civilaization. Sid Meier's finest achievement - its a testament to its solid design that so many turn-based world builder strategy games almost exactly copied its design and interface scheme. And a pity. Civilization was a great game despite simple graphics with aggressive and unique computer opponents and a complex technology tree which and a random world generator which made every game unique. In its wake came game after game after game that used its basic design and implementation. Unfortunately, after a while, no matter how many face lifts or odd scenarios you add, its the same old game. Capable of keeping me glued to a computer for 16 hours straight with nary a pee break, it shall always be remembered fondly.
Wing Commander - Origin,
The first space combat sim to use rendered bitmaps with dynamic lighting rather than colored polygons as its ships - Wing Commander was a visual feast for the Space Combat Simulation enthusiasts. The fact that it ran perfectly on a 12 Mhz 286 was stunning! But the reason it was a hit was because of its excellent flight engine, engrossing storyline and its highly personalized characters who drew the player into a universe where humanity was fighting for its survival among the stars. Wing Commander - bar none - will ALWAYS be my Favorite computer game. It spawned a series which is still selling today - and if that doesn't say something for its appeal, I don't know what will. Thank you Chris Roberts.
Baldur's Gate - Interplay
WOW! The finest implementation of D&D on a computer ever seen, with an immense world map, intriguing character, involved quests and a magnificent storyline with the cutscene movies to make it live. I was stunned and addicted to Baldur's Gate - thrilled with the simplicity of the game engine and ecstatic with the great plotline which dragged me by the nose unable to stop playing until the next major clue was found. If you like CRPGs - GET IT! It's a winner.
Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn -
An absolutely grand sequel, with combat, romance, mystery, and a villain you quickly and deeply love to HATE. The scenery is extraordinary, the quests diabolical, the gameplay streamlined since the first game, and capable of higher resolution graphics for even more stunning detail. And the end movie, well, it makes it all worth it!
Planescape: Torment -
Using a modified version of the game engine from Baldur's Gate, Torment takes you into a magical, mechanical, spiritual universe populated by myriad species beyond just humanity, hellish fiends and the homes of the gods. You are the Nameless One - an immortal who loses some of his memory with each death - someone keeps killing you - can you find out who and why? Can you find the secret to your immortality and your amnesia? Can you get the girl? (hubba hubba) This game drew me in with its fantastic artwork and locales, hideous beasts, and twisting story - along with some of the most interesting computer controlled companions an adventurer ever had.
MechWarrior 3 and MW3: Pirate's Moon -
When you want to strap on a 100 tons of steel and blast your enemies to molten slag - these are the games for you. While the single player missions are a nice bit of fun to hone one's skills - these two games really shine with their multiplayer deathmatch and team combat modes - whether over the internet or a home network, there's nothing quite so much fun as slamming your friends with 20 pack long range missiles or burning them with your pulse lasers. Fight on, MechWarrior!
Rogue Spear - RedStorm
The sequel to RainBow Six, the first person anti-terrorist squad game based on the novels by Tom Clancy - this game rocks the house. The graphics are intense, the realism stunning, the terrorists are deadly and the guns are magnificent! But what makes this game in my book is the fact that while you can play death match against your friends over the network, much cooler is the ability to work together as a team to complete the (normally) single player missions - bringing a cooperative team aspect to multi-player gaming that is often so lacking. Just remember these words - 'Tango down!"
HomeWorld - Sierra
And then there was...a rippling blast as my destroyer vaporized in real time before me - and I commanded my wing of defender fighters guard my other destroyer as my frigates closed in on the offending heavy cruiser! A fully 3D, rotatable view, real-time space-fleet command game. I was stunned. The graphics were beautiful. The game interface amazingly simple. The combats brutal. The need for strategy - a must. The game is one of the finest examples of 3D gaming I have ever seen. To top it off, it has an engrossing single player mission path with a detailed and page-turning history, as well as excellent multiplayer capabilities.
UnReal Tournament - EPIC
And with a pelvic thrust and a call of, "Oh, I'm Sorry, Did I blow your head off?" the she-bitch commando fragged me. But vengeance would be mine, up the tower I climbed, got the sniper rifle, and from my hidden vantage picked her off again and again. Unreal Tournament is a fast paced, cleanly rendered first person deathmatch battlefest. With a set of wild and deadly weapons, the ability to add additional player models, skins and voices, and maps that make the mind boggle with a half a dozen different styles of gameplay - Unreal Tournament is one of the best first person shooters for multiplay on the market.
When my fingers aren't as cramped I will add to this page - regaling you with more tales of the new and the old. Till then...May your Gaming be Grand!
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