Speaking only for myself, this is what made each game special:
+Beautiful cutscenes. Especially when a static background suddenly came to life and became a FMV. I'd never seen anything like that before.
+Exploration: such a huge world with so much to find and people to talk to. This was back when I had to read every single line of dialog. I tried so long and hard to see some blocky titties in Don Corneo's lair, you wouldn't believe it.
+Music/Atmosphere: so much of the game just gave off a vibe of sadness and hopelessness. It was pretty mature. When that plate fell on a section of Midgar, I was shocked. Couldn't believe a game did that.
+Story: Like most FF games I've played, I always enjoy how the game starts off as one thing with one goal and then expands to something you couldn't even imagine and includes concepts that you could actually believe. To this day, I kinda feel like that whole "Lifestream" explanation may actually be real.
+Gameplay: While lots of battles were just "point and kill", I always loved the strategy that later battles had. Using a healing potion on the undead to kill them in one hit. Using electric magic to damage machines. Choosing which enemy had priority or which party and equipment was best for the job. It was awesome.
+Character development: Almost every character had a moment to shine. It was often hard to choose who I would take with me because everyone was endearing to me. And the feeling of power they had by the end was just something I'd never had on such a level playing other games. Like nothing could stop me! ... Then I'd get my ass handed to me my some new threat.
-Random battles. Some people love them. Some hate them. After Chrono Trigger, I hated being attacked by foes I couldn't even see. Especially when I was just trying to get to a save point.
-Reading: Not so much a problem back then but now I just can't see myself reading tons and tons of text.
-The story: Love/hate. There were parts of the story that went off the fucking rails. Parts I try to forget when I think about the awesome moments.
Ocarina of Time
+A real world: This one of the earlier games I played where it felt like NPCs had lives and weren't just standing around waiting for me to show up. It added a lot to the immersion despite the fact that I didn't play it until 2002 long after I'd had a Dreamcast, GameCube, and PS2.
+Puzzles: One thing Zelda games have always done better than any other series, in my opinion. That feeling of being stuck and maybe even wondering if the game is broken. Then trying something crazy like shooting an arrow through a flame to burn something far away. Those "AHA!" moments are what I live for in gaming.
+Character progression: While you have to fill in much of the story yourself playing a Zelda game, there's always a sense of personal growth when your silent protagonist learns a new skill and ability. You the player feel like you've grown. There's a sense of awe when you think "I was just a kid using slingshots and twigs. Now look at me."
+Exploration: Again, the more you look, the more you find. It's never a waste of time going off the beaten path. The love and care put into the world and its inhabitants was just something unheard of in 1998. I knew this even in 2002. It's still a rare thing now in 2020.
+Gameplay: Z-targeting, auto jumping, assigning weapons to specific buttons. These are things I don't remember experiencing prior to OoT.
Last edited by d21lewis - on 18 February 2020
Vgchartz is acting crazy. Can't finish this post.