Having watched from afar as the gaming world enthuses over The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild I have noticed a common theme with the reviews and opinions of the game.
Gamers are enthusing about the game taking them back to the days when video games induced wonder and awe much like the original Legend Of Zelda on the NES did.
You know the games I mean don't you?
These are the video games which made your mouth open wide as you felt like you were transported to the gaming world portrayed on your screen.
These were the video games that made you feel like you were exploring a new land and that you were the main character.
Over the years as franchises get sequels it's harder to recreate that sense of wonder and awe as gamers know what to expect in the next installment and developers rarely want to stray too far from the tried and tested methods and mechanics.
In that respect, it makes it even more of a feat for Nintendo to be able to recreate the feelings felt by kids in 1986 in 2017......
It's a special moment in any gamers life and there are only a small number of games throughout your lifetime that you can truly feel that awe.
I'm going to name 5 and I hope you will have a go too, let me know how you get on.
Here are my fave games that left me wide-eyed and in awe when I first played them:
1. Last Ninja 2 (Commodore 64)
For a commodore 64 to have scenery that you could interact with and explore was just mind blowing for my tiny head at the age 9 years old. It came as a pack-in title for my mate Paul's Commodore 64 along with WEC Le Mans. There was only one game we ever wanted to play though and it was Last Ninja 2. The sense of being in a film with moving characters made me feel like anything was possible with video games.
2. Indiana Jones & The Fate Of Atlantis (Amiga)
I was bowled over by the sense of starring in an Indy film! I was Indy and I loved it. Whipping things, solving puzzles and getting the girl was just this amazing moment in my video games life when I fell in love with point n click adventures. The awe in this game was built y the atmosphere and the need to think things through very carefully. Lining up those sundial things took me another 20 years to work out after I revisited the game and watched a walkthrough on You Tube!
3. Super Mario World (Super Nintendo)
The first game on the SNES. I love the SNES and I love this game. The awe in this game was brought about by the sheer expanse of levels that I was asked to guide Mario through. 99 levels were unheard of! The graphics, the music and the sheer perfection of the controls all molded with the best joypad ever invented made this the most awe-inspiring platformer that there has ever been. For me, Nintendo never fully got that sense of awe even from Mario 64 or Galaxy and I don't think they could ever recreate that perfection and the perfect storm.
4. Grand Theft Auto (PS1)
The awe here was brought on by the openness of the gameplay. I could do whatever I want in whatever order I want and I could drive any car I want at any speed I want. This pixelated top-down universe had the most potential of any game I had ever played. My mind played out scenarios and I would try them and they would work! It was the first ever true sandbox open choice video game and it stuck with me forever. GTA III took it to the next level and I have to admit that did also leave me open mouthed as it was taken into 3rd person view but GTA 1 just beat it to this place as it was the original gangster!
5. Bioshock (XBOX 360)
The Bioshock awe was built on a number of very key things that all the best storytelling games use nowadays. Bioshock had the world you wanted to lose yourself in (even though it was dead scary. Bioshock had an intriguing and gripping story. Bioshock has the scariest adversaries of all time...... BIG DADDIES! This game still sends shivers down my spine. I watched the trailer for it and knew I had to play it even though those Big Daddies gave me nightmares... The plot and the world work together to bring this twisted story to life through the player's eyes and never before have I felt dread and excitement from a video game. It felt like playing a clever well-directed film rather than a video game. There have been other games since that have almost matched this level of story and world but Bioshock for me had that wow factor that I will never forget.
6. The Last Of Us (PS3)
This game was the last truly great game I played. The awe in this game came from the sheer emotions I felt whilst playing it. I was totally invested in the characters and every decision that had to be made. I hung on every piece of dialogue and every word uttered by every NPC in the game. I wasn't waiting for cut scenes to finish in order to play instead I was looking forward to the next part of the story as I played my way through the beautiful and yet tragic landscape of the earth. If Naughty Dog could give us a TLOU 2 that can be half as good I would be happy. I'm guessing that Naughty Dog will probably match the TLOU experience as they are that good at making games that matter!
Hopefully, within my list of 6, I have been able to portray exactly why these games brought about the awe and wonder that they did at the time I played them for the first time.
The interesting thing is that the first game in that list brought that feeling when I was 9 years old. The last (of us) game that I talked about delivered that feeling when I was 36! 27 years on and video games are still giving me that feeling of wonder and awe.....
What a wonderful medium video games are!
I Hope That YOU Have Given Your List A Thought...
Which Games Would Make YOUR List & Why?