Hello dear readers and welcome to Shoot the Rookie. I don’t know about you but I’m finding this whole lock-down thing a bit of a de-motivator when it comes to writing proper long form posts, so instead I’m concentrating on shorter, fun, community inspired ideas! To that end, today’s post is the first (and possibly last) in a new series that I like to call Twitter Tags, so please join me to find out what it is all about!
So, Twitter Tags! As you may know I am pretty active over on the old Twitter (that’s @pix1001 to you), and so far during the lock-down it has been awash with tags. These start with someone coming up with a topic, usually list based, and then tagging other people to get responses to the topic and then those people pass the tag on and thus the idea makes its way happily around the Twitterverse.
Tagging people in these is generally a friendly thing to do. It shows that you are interested in the responses of the people you tag and can make for good conversation starters. I’m lucky enough to have been on the receiving end of a few of these in recent weeks and have decided that these tags are also good starting points for blog posts. Now I do have a confession to make. I have shamelessly stolen this idea from the wonderful Kim from Later Levels. This isn’t the first time Kim has inspired me with her ideas so I want to say a big thank you ❤️
Right! So what is our first tag? Well, in a bold move which I assume was inspired by the amazing Games That Define Us collaboration, I have been asked to name not one, but four games that define me! I was tagged by the most excellent Alexander Sigsworth! Regular followers of mine may remember Alex for his awesome submissions in collaborations such as the Video Game World Cup and Blogovision, and he was also a very tough opponent for me in last year’s Blogger Blitz competition. As well as this, he is a long-standing member of the Well-Red Mage group and is the host of the Untitled Video Game Music Podcast, which is AWESOME! Oh yeah, and he is one of the only people on the internet I can talk to about Yuri on Ice! I definitely recommend checking out his writings and talkings and giving him a follow on Twitter (@AlexSigsworth).
So! On with the tag! What are four games that define me? Let’s take a look:
I’m not going to write too much about Guitar Hero here as I’ve already written extensively about it for The Games That Define Us collaboration so I’d recommend you hop over to read that piece here. If that is too long a read for you though I’ll summarise here by saying that Guitar Hero has defined me in a number of ways. It has taught me the value of patience and the rewards of working hard, it has shown me the joys of playing games socially and also helped me through difficult times. It introduced me to a wide variety of music and even helped me learn to sing. For me, it is that rare game where I actually feel proud of my achievements in it and find it simply a joy to play.
If you have ever spoken to me before (if not, hello!), then you are probably aware that Xenoblade Chronicles is my favourite game. It perhaps does not define me in the sense that it changed who I am, but if you ask anyone I know to name one game they associate with me they will probably say Xenoblade Chronicles. Whilst I love all the games in the series, the original game is the one that sums up best the reasons for my obsession. The genuineness and relatability of the characters, the depth of the themes tackled – which range from war and racial tension to friendship, family and loss, the twists and turns of the story, the music, the world… everything about this game has left an imprint on my heart and I cannot wait to play it again when the Definitive Edition comes out on May 29th.
The Secret of Monkey Island
Given the impact this game had on me I haven’t exactly given it a huge number of column inches over the years but none the less it remains one of my favourite games. I first played it in the early 1990’s – I’m not sure when exactly, but definitely before I reached double digits. Anyway, what I do remember was immediately falling in love with it. When I say immediately, I mean like before I even played it. Just looking at the box and hearing that theme music for the first time enchanted me. Upon starting the game, I fell in love with the young wannabe pirate Guybrush Threepwood and the island’s governor Elaine Marley. Some of the puzzles the game presented were ridiculously tough, and I had to look things up more than once, but that aside there are few games with more charm or a better sense of humour, and possibly no other games where a rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle is a key object.
As with Monkey Island I’ve written very little about Civilization in the past but it was actually a huge part of my younger life. I guess I was about 6 when I first played it and even at that age I absolutely loved it. It was the first Strategy type game I’d played and although I never became a real master of it I absolutely loved the endless possibilities the game (and it’s sequels) presented me with. I came up with my own style – playing on the smallest worlds and focusing on population size rather than number of cities. I also favoured the Space Race as the means of victory rather that any of the other options, but there were so many ways to win, so many paths to go down that for a while (and by that I mean about 15 years) I just couldn’t stop playing – there was always time for one more turn!
So, what do you make of my choices? Have any of them had a defining influence on your life as well? Perhaps you have other games you would choose? Let’s chat below in comments and thanks once again to Alex for the tag!
Thanks for reading,