Thursday, 14 August 2008

Is There Tetris at the World Cyber Games?

I usually can't sleep much on airplanes, so when I was on those bloody long-haul trips to San Diego and Amsterdam recently, I spent my time watching a lot of movies (Memento is brilliant, Amelie is wonderful, Children of Men is amazing, The Usual Suspects is great, and Cars is ALWAYS awesome), and playing a lot of video games.

By video games, I mean just one game - TETRIS.

Yes, I'm really outdated when it comes to video games. I've never owned a games console in my entire LIFE, and even during my adolescent arcade phase, all I ever played was Street Fighter II (I've posted about my obsession for the game HERE before) and Daytona (the advance stage only though, I could never get pass the second turn on the expert stage). Oh, and occasionally I'd play Raiden or third person beat-em-ups like Three Kingdoms or some shit like that.

Yeah, my favourite games have been the really ancient ones such as Street Fighter, Final Fantasy and so on. And as far as first-person shooters are concerned, I DO remember starting out with Wolfenstein 3D, which was damn brilliant at the time but looks damn jaded now. I DID used to be quite addicted to Doom and Doom II, and then Quake (the axe was brilliant) and Quake II.

I never really got into Counterstrike though. For me, all that strategy and military nonsense never made sense to me; having grown up on Doom and Quake where the only objective was to frag as many monsters as possible and trying not to get kill while doing it. But if you're into that kind of teamwork first person shit, there's this competition you can sign up for HERE if you want. Me, I'll stick to mindlessly fragging monsters, thank you very much.

Nowadays though, there's competitions for video games, and even World Cyber Games championships like the one going on this weekend. People actually COMPETE against each other over video games. It's become like a SPORT now, good grief. And to think that I used to play video games FOR FUN.

Anyway, by the time stuff like Counterstrike, Half-Life and Quake III came around, I was already bored of first person shooters and had moved on to real-time strategy games like Warcraft and Starcraft; and CRPGS like Baldur's Gate II and Final Fantasy SEVEN.

That was ten years ago. And I'm STILL playing Baldurs Gate II and Final Fantasy SEVEN on my PC, for gods sake.

Anyway, here're some of MY personal all-time favorite video games, and might I warn you, the choices here may or may not reflect my age.... sigh...

  1. Tetris - Come on, who doesn't love this game? I can play this for HOURS and HOURS on end, and not get bored. It's probably the only game I'm actually GOOD at, and even then I still suck at it. Bah. I could do without all the annoying Russian jingles that is its 'soundtrack' though.

  2. Street Fighter II - the 2D version with those original 12 fighters. IMHO the best fight game ever made - so good that every other similar game were subsequently known as 'Street Fighter-styled' games. I was only ever good at Chun Li and Vega though. And I had an uncanny way of losing to anyone who used Ryu or Ken against me. BAH.

  3. Final Fantasy VII - I've never really gotten into the OTHER Final Fantasy games, but I could (and still can) play this for hours and hours, doing nothing but chase chocobos all day long. I love it so much I even bought the action figures... hehe. And yes, I prefer Aerith to Tifa. So there.

  4. Dune 2 - THE ORIGINAL real-time strategy game - the one that sparked the whole Command and Conquer craze and set the template for Starcraft, Warcraft and Handicraft. The fact that it's based on freaking DUNE was even cooler. I love them Sandworms! (except when they swallow my harvesters. GAH!)

  5. Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn & Planescape: Torment - I had to put these two together because I can't tell which one I liked best. I DO think they are the two best CRPGS ever made, IMHO. Also the only two I've ever completed without cheating. Haha.

  6. Quake II - I used to play this for HOURS, with the sound turned up and the lights dimmed down. Damn scary shit I tell you. And there's nothign more fun than getting together with a bunch of friends and fragging the shit out of each other. Teamwork? HAH! Eat hot BFG plasma, bitch!

  7. Full Throttle - I love adventure games such as this, Monkey Island, Grim Fandango and so on, but Full Throttle was the coolest and funniest one I'd played in a LONG LONG time. it's so cool I even played and finished it a couple of times. Plus the lead character is voiced by Luke Skywalker!

  8. Wing Commander - Ok, I'll admit it. I was never very good at flight simulators. And I never completed this game either. My brother did though, and he was damn good at it, so I enjoyed watching him play the game more than actually playing it myself. But this was one cool game. It had a cool (but now very dated) soundtrack, great stories, and the ships were damn cool.

Honourable mentions:
  • The Monkey Island series
  • Grim Fandango
  • Raiden
  • Double Dragon
  • Mean Streets
  • Battle Bugs
  • Cannon Fodder
  • Alleycat
  • Icewind Dale
Will add more when I think of more. In the meantime, if you really really like playing video games, or just like watching people who are really good at them play them instead, head on over to the World Cyber Games Championship going on this weekend at the Mid Valley Exhibition Centre. Here are the details:

World Cyber Games 2008 Malaysia Championship

15-17 August 2008
Time: 10am-9pm daily
Venue: Hall 2&3, Mid Valley Exhibition Centre

Remember those Ah Bengs you used to watch kicking ass with freaking ZANGIEF in Street fighter arcade machines? Watching the World Cyber Games should pretty much be like that too, minus the seedy atmosphere, fengtau music and the cigarette smoke, of course.

So yeah, if you're into video games, head on over there this weekend. For one, it should be really good to WATCH, because the guys participating would be really good at those games. After all, nothing beats playing a video game more than WATCHING someone kick ass at the games!

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