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Your biggest wow moment of each gen you've lived through

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Hiku said:

For this gen, several things in Nier: Automata. In particular, a realization you make several hours after reaching the ending. I have not seen any other game do something like this before.
And then there was a choice you get to make at the very end, which transcended the game itself into real life.

There was nothing comparable in any other generation. But worth mentioning, albeit a very different experience, was trying Mario 64 for the first time.
I had played games in 3D before that, but in a way it almost felt like I hadn't.

I'm curious, why? 

I see you write about this game a lot and admittedly I usually don't read the entire comments, but it's nice and admirable to see someone have so much passion for the game. 

But everytime I start the game, I end up losing interest in a few hours. It's either just a case of bad circumstances (like rushing to catch up on DMC series to get to DMC5), or just the game boring me. And it's sad, because I want to really see the appeal of it 100%, but I feel like I only see parts of it. 

To some extent it's my fault because I played the old demo when it released and it was just the first part of the game - which is so awesome and beyond flawless. I kind of figured it would be a highly polished linear game where the entire experience is hand-tuned to be as great as possible from start to finish, even knowing the history of Drakengard and Nier. 

Of course I ended up getting it a few months later and realizing that a lot of it is a somewhat modestly budgeted semi-open world game. It wasn't a huge issue but it kind of got repetitive quickly and it felt like there wasn't a great plot thread to follow a few hours into it. Looking back on it, it's the kind of game where I can't tell how I even got a few hours into it because not a lot of specific things even happens in that time (not that that's bad necessarily, does make it hard to describe later on though). 

The music is nice though a lot of it is just kind of there and the overall feeling of controlling the character is a bit of a double edged sword - on the one hand having the character feel weighty and having a delayed feeling to your movement feels great especially because the smooth animations don't make the characters feel too cumbersome. On the other hand having these large spaces you need to travel, as well as the game being somewhat close to a hack and slash combat-wise, makes the weight of the characters feel restrictive and a bit tedious. 

Game also walks the line between beautiful and extremely ugly, it honestly changes a lot based on any given moment. Sometimes it's beautiful and sometimes it's ugly. The emptiness of the world can also be bothersome, though it's a bit more forgivable because of some of the secrets. 

I also feel like having the combat be based a lot what i presume to be JRPG elements (can't say I got in depth enough with it to say) like chips would probably be a detriment to making the combat fun. Can't comment on whether or not it's the case, but seeing how many options there are actually makes me want to invest in the combat less especially when it's so easy. I think this generation there's been a little too many compromises between RPGs elements and action games and it kind of feels like developers are scared to just do a straight up action game that actually feels like it's progression is made properly and naturally rather than just requiring you to look at a stats screen (and this is coming from a Souls fan). 

There's a lot I like in the first few hours in the game - I love the opening, I LOVEEEE the fact that you can go back to the opening area and pick up your weapons and items and experience from your dead android self (i've seen very few games that hide the ability to go back to the tutorial and pick up your left over items - that's great!), I like the soundtrack to some extent (though honestly some of the themes get kind of grating), I like the weird android fight, I like the carnival somewhat, I like the robot sex scene, there's a lot to like. But with stuff like the occasionally ugly environments, the somewhat boring travel, the plot threads taking a while to be truly hooking after the first 30 minutes or so, and a lot of the "weird stuff" kind of just becoming normalized and rather standard in the game (both thematically and gameplay-wise, like the bullet hell elements), it just kind of is hard to play through the whole thing. 

Not criticizing or disagreeing, just, seeing as how you've explained a lot about the game before I'm wondering: What is the appeal? And does it get better? 



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Genesis/Mega Drive - Altered Beast... I had played for some time on Atari, so having a game where I could hit, jump and super powers was fantastic (was around 6-7y)
Playstation - Final Fantasy IX I was dazzed by the opening CGI and still love the game to this day. The jump from the carton games I played on Genesis to FF IX (like I bought it late in the gen and was almosts unaware of PS existence until few moths before). Also Gran Turismo, its simulation of racing was much superior to arcades that I played it endlesly, and still my favorite series to this day together with FF probably (was 15y). Tony Hawks also deserve note with Syphon Filter and Soul Reaver (story was great for me) and RE it was so great and terrifying to play a survival horror (I really liked the scare jumps from Alien 3 on Genesis)
PS2 - Hard to be sure but would be between FF X-2 and LotR as first impression was great, but DMC3 had me playing non-stop and was so adctive and dynamic. Tekken 5 and their target to have body fur and pores was something that had me gasping.
PS3 - Uncharted for sure. I wasn't much into shooting games before, but the adventure aspect was so great that it became a favorite within hours of play (have platined it 8 times, 2 for the original trilogy, UC4 and LL, think I need to play Golden Abyss) and God of War that I had ignored the previous gen was a fantastic Hack and Slash that I fell in love (platined all the available on PS3 and also GoW on Give me God of War difficulty on PS4)., Heavy Rain for the image quality and multiple choices.
PS4 - To many have left me happy and smilling, but GoW was breathtaking. If talking something I haven't played before I would say Until Dawn with it almost direct film play.



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SNES - DKC (Literally my first owned game, might be why).

 PS1/N64 - Mario 64's scope alone, or playing in Midgar or MGS1 Soldier following your footsteps in snow

PS2/GC - I would say just the joy of Smash, it will never leave me.

 PS3/Wii/360 - Lost Planet on the HD screen for the first and/or Wii Sports Boxing

 PS4/WiiU - This one I don't really have one, nothing has made me have that sense of wonder or amazement, I am hoping Ghost of Tsushima will.

 Switch - Breath of the Wild, honestly what I would give just to experience that world again, it felt like the old days where wonder was around every corner.

Last edited by Acevil - on 12 March 2019

 

Mostly graphics, gameplay can make me really excited but "wow" is more due to graphics.
Even as I was born in 1993 I started gaming with gen 3 Master System, so I'll start there.

Gen 3: Afterburner
One of the first games I played it was so much more "real" than Sonic or Fantasy Zone because of the big plane model and the sense of flying around planets down there, and them the massive bosses and mothership, I was just in awe all the time when I first played it as a kid.

Gen 4: Streets of Rage
The same reasoning, such colorful night city streets and big human bodies kicking actual ass, Master System was now just so much behind.

Gen 5: The Legend of Dragoon
The CGI generation. LoD intro CGI was so massively better than anything else I had ever seem, the realism in Shana's face, the fire spreading throught the city, the great general'a armor (still loves armor to this day). There was just nothing more impressive than that to me. Got even more surprised the actual game itself was so damn perfect. Nothing will ever be as good as that.

Gen 6: God of War 2
Now already a teen, my awe was mostly about how could the PS2 handle something like that and the scale and sense of epicness.

Gen 7: The Last of Us
Same reasoning, it shocked me the PS3 was delivering that to me, I still believe Ellie's eyes depict actual emotions on the last scene of the game, as if it was a human (even if games now do use humans for expressions, it's still today an unique feeling, only closely followed by one look from Helena during Uncharted 4). It even outshines my shock from first entering the Tower Knight "zone" on Demon's Souls.

Gen 8: Horizon: Zero Dawn
Horizon world and enemies are what I still automatically think about when thinking about this gen.
Guerrilla went from irrelevanf to one of the most talented studios ever in my eyes after that.
Could not be happier about Kojima been handed such a competent engine.



Fourth Generation = Beating the Pokemon League with only Mewtwo and no items in Pokemon Yellow. (Closely followed by Sonic The Hedgehog on the Megadrive)

Fifth Generation = Beating Gundam Wing Battle Assault 2 on the hardest difficulty as every character.

Sixth Generation = Playing Rogue Squadron 2: Rogue Leader for the first time. That game was a graphical/audio powerhouse.

Seventh Generation = Playing Wii Sports for the first time. Then I played it again and again and it never got old.

Eighth Generation = The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild. I stumbled across a possesed dragon atop a mountain and had to fight it but I only had two arrows, two blunt swords and the battle was in the air. I fell down cliffs, into trees, into nearby enemies, i got struck by lighting. So much was against me but I won in the end and I'll never forget it.



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It's not often that you play a game and it can content for your top 10 games of all time. But it's even more amazing when after only a few hours you know your playing one of the best game ever made.

Nothing even come close to what Legend of Zelda: Breath of the wild did for the switch or gaming in general. I've been playing since the NES era, I never imagine that Nintendo could outdo them selves like they did. Wow moment is playing that starting area and when the game open up, feeling of total freedom and experience something new in gaming after so many year.

Special mention to Ori & the blind forest & Inside.



Tommy Jean, CPA, CGA

AngryLittleAlchemist said:
Hiku said:

For this gen, several things in Nier: Automata. In particular, a realization you make several hours after reaching the ending. I have not seen any other game do something like this before.
And then there was a choice you get to make at the very end, which transcended the game itself into real life.

There was nothing comparable in any other generation. But worth mentioning, albeit a very different experience, was trying Mario 64 for the first time.
I had played games in 3D before that, but in a way it almost felt like I hadn't.

I'm curious, why? 

What I'm referring to there about Nier are two specific parts of the game, and not the whole game overall, since the topic is asking about moments.
The first is both gameplay and story related, and the second is only gameplay related, and yet it hit my feels harder than any story in any game ever has. Isn't that weird? A non-story gameplay mechanic made me feel more emotional than any game story ever has.

I can't really describe them much without spoiling it. But the reason I mention them is because they made such a strong impression on me. Up there with my favorite videogaming moments, that I'll always remember. And will compare other games to in the future.

AngryLittleAlchemist said: 
I see you write about this game a lot and admittedly I usually don't read the entire comments, but it's nice and admirable to see someone have so much passion for the game. 

But everytime I start the game, I end up losing interest in a few hours. It's either just a case of bad circumstances (like rushing to catch up on DMC series to get to DMC5), or just the game boring me. And it's sad, because I want to really see the appeal of it 100%, but I feel like I only see parts of it. 

To some extent it's my fault because I played the old demo when it released and it was just the first part of the game - which is so awesome and beyond flawless. I kind of figured it would be a highly polished linear game where the entire experience is hand-tuned to be as great as possible from start to finish, even knowing the history of Drakengard and Nier. 

It's always nice to find a game that feels special that you're passionate about. But after I finished it, even though I had a lot of things I wanted to talk about, I didn't know where to begin of how to structure the topic. So I thought about making several separate topics. One for the music for example, because aside from having one of the best OST's I've heard, it does something very interesting with the music in that it has like 5 or more variations of almost each track, that change dynamically based on your actions.
And then they did something interesting (also dynamic) with the music during the end that made the whole thing more impactful.
But I ended up not making any of those topics. Maybe I will some day.

I also started off by playing the demo, and then I played through that same section in the full game, but didn't find any motivation to keep on playing. So I actually pushed it aside for over a year.
I think my impression of the Demo section may have been different than yours, though I'm not sure. To me it was fun, and reminded me of games like Devil May Cry and Bayonetta. But I didn't see anything that made the game seem special. And that's fine. I love games like Devil May Cry, but I just wasn't in a particular mood for that type of game, at that time.

In fact, there were two things in the first section of the game (up until the bunker) that I didn't like, and thought it was poor writing.
And I thought so throughout most of the game, and that was fine because it was one of few weak points in the story. But then after something gets revealed later on, it changed my whole perspective of those two scenes I didn't like, and I realized it wasn't poor writing. I had just picked up on a very vague hint about something that would be explained later. And I like that they leave those sort of very vague clues in the game that you can look back on.
Persona 4 had something similar as well.

The reason I picked up the game again after a year was because of high praise I heard from people. Some specific things like "Nier: Automata gave me all the feels I expected from FFXV, but never got." And someone posting a screenshot with the caption "I never realized how beautiful the world is."
Some of those things made me interested in pushing forward to see what the fuss was about.

And a few hours later into the game I realized it was much more of an rpg than I first realized. And became a bit more invested in the characters and story and wanted to see where it went. And then several hours further in I realized the game was semi-revolutionary.

If you've seen some of my comments about it before, you may have seen me recommend a particular review of it. But either way, I'll link to it again because I think he did a much better job at expressing his thoughts about the game than I can.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NiyfG8Ctbo&feature=youtu.be

I always recommend it as it's a very good watch.
And he's also someone who initially had no interest in the game, as he explains at the start.

AngryLittleAlchemist said: 
Of course I ended up getting it a few months later and realizing that a lot of it is a somewhat modestly budgeted semi-open world game. It wasn't a huge issue but it kind of got repetitive quickly and it felt like there wasn't a great plot thread to follow a few hours into it. Looking back on it, it's the kind of game where I can't tell how I even got a few hours into it because not a lot of specific things even happens in that time (not that that's bad necessarily, does make it hard to describe later on though). 

The thing about its smaller open world setting is that I ended up associating things to specific landmark locations, based on what had happened there. Which includes some side quests. And so when you pass by those locations again, you're reminded of those things. And that's an upside to centering the events around a few landmark locations. But having vastly expansive new terrain to explore like in Skyrim also has its upsides of course.

I don't recall at which point the game itself got me hooked, where I was not just trying to find out where the praise for the game was coming from. It might have been near the first ending. Which sounds late. But it's not.

AngryLittleAlchemist said: 
The music is nice though a lot of it is just kind of there and the overall feeling of controlling the character is a bit of a double edged sword - on the one hand having the character feel weighty and having a delayed feeling to your movement feels great especially because the smooth animations don't make the characters feel too cumbersome. On the other hand having these large spaces you need to travel, as well as the game being somewhat close to a hack and slash combat-wise, makes the weight of the characters feel restrictive and a bit tedious. 

I also feel like having the combat be based a lot what i presume to be JRPG elements (can't say I got in depth enough with it to say) like chips would probably be a detriment to making the combat fun. Can't comment on whether or not it's the case, but seeing how many options there are actually makes me want to invest in the combat less especially when it's so easy. I think this generation there's been a little too many compromises between RPGs elements and action games and it kind of feels like developers are scared to just do a straight up action game that actually feels like it's progression is made properly and naturally rather than just requiring you to look at a stats screen (and this is coming from a Souls fan). 

Well there is fast travel some hours into the game. And some shortcuts you can activate (getting back to the village you get to after the amusement park for example)
There are not many sections you have to walk to on foot more than once.

As for combat, I'd say it is pretty much a hack and slash, in spite of the rpg elements. Or perhaps because of them. One of the few issues I had with the game was that it became too easy on Normal, and yet the Hard difficulty was too hard for a long time, because bosses could just one shot you until you got a bit invested into the chipsets.
But there are other ways to have fun with combat, even if the challenge isn't there, so I focused on that instead.

AngryLittleAlchemist said: 
Game also walks the line between beautiful and extremely ugly, it honestly changes a lot based on any given moment. Sometimes it's beautiful and sometimes it's ugly. The emptiness of the world can also be bothersome, though it's a bit more forgivable because of some of the secrets. 

Yeah some areas in the main city look very monotonous and bland, and same can be said for most of the desert area.
I was never bothered by it though. Maybe because of other areas in the game, and probably because of the music.

AngryLittleAlchemist said: 
There's a lot I like in the first few hours in the game - I love the opening, I LOVEEEE the fact that you can go back to the opening area and pick up your weapons and items and experience from your dead android self (i've seen very few games that hide the ability to go back to the tutorial and pick up your left over items - that's great!), I like the soundtrack to some extent (though honestly some of the themes get kind of grating), I like the weird android fight, I like the carnival somewhat, I like the robot sex scene, there's a lot to like. But with stuff like the occasionally ugly environments, the somewhat boring travel, the plot threads taking a while to be truly hooking after the first 30 minutes or so, and a lot of the "weird stuff" kind of just becoming normalized and rather standard in the game (both thematically and gameplay-wise, like the bullet hell elements), it just kind of is hard to play through the whole thing. 

Not criticizing or disagreeing, just, seeing as how you've explained a lot about the game before I'm wondering: What is the appeal? And does it get better? 

There's actually an email you get that suggests you go get the items you lost, but I think it was a bit vague. The game doesn't push you in that direction though, and it's very possible to miss it if you don't keep your eyes peeled. How did you come across it? Was it because of the email, or did you just find it randomly?
Jackass will setup fast travel for you to access points (save points) a bit later, so that should prevent you from feeling bored due to traveling distance.

Did you get to the opera singer boss in the amusement park? I thought it was interesting how they made use of the camera there to force you to play differently a few times, mixing different game modes on the fly.

If you keep playing I'd suggest trying to do some side quests, because it helps with the world building. And some of them are more important to the story than others.
For example I'd recommend doing "Lost Girl" when you get to the village after the amusement park. And one called "Amnesia", but you can't do that one until after you've seen the first ending.

As for "Does it get better." I'm not sure since we lost interest at different points and I'm not entirely sure where you are in the game and how much optional stuff you've explored.
But that's not to say you wouldn't be interested in experiencing the things about the game that are thought provoking and revolutionary. Which are still there, no matter how you end up feeling about the combat and story, which picks up a lot as you move along.
I can say that I now see what everyone was talking about, and the game did a good job at exceeding my expectations. Even when I was sure I had seen most of what was worthwhile in it, I wasn't even close.
But I'd recommend checking out that video I linked as it does a much better job of explaining things than myself. It might tell you if you should continue or not.

It has 1,4 million views even though his channel only has 400k subs, for good reason.
I'll leave this one quote form him that I like:

“I think the entire gaming industry, while celebrating Nier: Automata, is drastically understating how incredible and important it is. Nier: Automata is a rare breakthrough moment in the history of our medium.”

Last edited by Hiku - on 13 March 2019

Here are some of my moments:

Gen 2 - Just seeing video games hooked up to my TV for the first time just blew my mind.  My favorite game was Adventure which I played for years before getting bored with it.

Gen 3 - After playing the Legend of Zelda, I realized that they had made a game that was somehow better than an arcade game.  That was mind blowing for me, because the arcade games were supposed to be the top of the line experience.  LoZ had great action like an arcade game, but it had an in-depth adventure which you would never be able to get at an arcade.  I could see the paradigm shift coming because of LoZ.

Gen 4 - Playing Final Fantasy 2 (4) had a huge wow factor.  Great graphics, but more importantly it had this huge fleshed out story and in depth characters.  I already really loved the first Final Fantasy and now this sequel seemed light years ahead of the first game.  I didn't realize that the trick was it was really the 4th iteration of the series and that is why it was so advanced.
Honorable mention - Actraiser.  This game shoudn't be fun, but dammit it is.

Gen 5 - Final Fantasy 7 had gorgeous graphics in it's day.  I showed the intro to my daughter a couple of years ago and she still thought it looked cool.  The graphics are dated, but the cinematography of the opening sequence is still impressive.  Most importantly this game has my favorite story in all of video games.  FF7 was just so excellent in every way.  Wow!

Gen 6 - ICO and Shadow of the Colossus both had huge wow factors back in the day.  I just felt I was playing in a living painting.  

Gen 7 - Biggest wow was probably 2D Mario on the Wii.  4-player Mario was just so cool.  This was also the only game my wife and I could play with our daughter when she was 3.  Every other game was too complex, even Mario Kart, but she could keep up with us in 2D Mario.

Gen 8 (Wii U/PS 4/ 3DS) -  I have these 3 systems, and while there are some fun games there, nothing had a huge wow factor.  Kind of a disappointing generation.

Gen 9 (Switch) - Breath of the Wild.  I remember leaving the plateau and immediately going far away from the suggested path that the game provided.  I was skeptical that this game would be as good as Nintendo hyped, and I expected that I couldn't really go wherever I wanted right out of the gate.  Boy was I wrong, so wrong, in such a wonderful way.  You really can just go wherever you want in this game and get totally immersed and lost in this world.  This game is a masterpiece.  It really does invoke feelings like I originally had when i was first playing the original.  At the same time it's really it's own type of Zelda game.  It's a new and beautiful type of Zelda.


Honorable mentions on the PC:
Diablo 1 - This is the first game I played on the internet.  The game was horribly hacked and broken and yet just being able to play on the internet was an amazing experience.

Ultima Online - The first real MMO.  Just a couple of years ago I tried out Diablo on the internet and now I am playing with thousands of people at once?  Mind blown.



6th Gen - I can vively remember the first time I saw the intro cinematic of FFX when Sin was prepping it's devastating attack on Zarnakand while Tidus was playing some violent ball sports and Auron looking at the city landscape in one of the beautiful(est) cinematic I've ever saw back then (and still holds up well today). Can't forget that rad metal track playing the background too !

7th Gen - Playing with other means than just a standard controller. To be honest that was back when I didn't play much stuff than COD. Else, I'd choose my playthrough of SoulSilver which I thought was actually a new game in the franchise and not a remake of Gen 2 :P Goes to say that going through Kanto once again was nostalgic.

8th Gen - Personally I'd have 3 moments that I consider on equal standing : 1) The beast of a story-telling that was the Zero Escape series gosh I'll probably never find something close to this masterpiece unless the creator itself surpass it. 2) The whole experience of playing Xenoblade 2 and it's DLC stand alone Torna, it was probably the greatest JRPG legacy I've ever played through. 3) Quitting the Great Plateau in Botw and going off on my own to explore what I consider the quintessence of the Open-World "genre".



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