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Games Twitter is currently obsessed with the hashtag #GameStruck4, a variation on a hashtag that flew through Film Twitter earlier this week, #FilmStruck4. In essence, it’s the four movies that speak to something about you, the foundation of your taste.
It’s cruel to ask a person to pick only four, given how much games were part of my growing up (and career), but I found a way to (painfully) get mine down to four.
Mega Man 2
You can draw a direct line between my eventual appreciation for games like Spelunky and Dark Souls to Mega Man 2. With Mega Man, you’re rewarded for careful, precision-based play, which is absolutely perfect for a young kid with seemingly endless summer days to dedicate towards understanding the optimal path to Dr. Wily. Mega Man forced you to pay close attention to everything, the concept of strengths and weaknesses, and the joy in knowing every year, there’d be a new set of robots to take down.
The first computer in our house was a 486- something. We’d been a Nintendo home, but with a PC, a new set of games were available to me. Around the time we bought the PC, Doom II: Hell on Earth was released, a game that simultaneously enthralled me as a player, and helped me understand how computers work. Doom II led me to games like Dark Forces, which would only run on our PC if I booted up the machine in a very specific way, freeing up enough RAM. I didn’t know what RAM was before Doom II.
Dance Dance Revolution
I did not play sports past my early years—the moment I entered high school, my parents stopped forcing me to sign up—but a long time, you might have assumed I was into track and field; my legs were ripped. I spent several hours a day playing Dance Dance Revolution on maniac, the game’s hardest difficulty. Despite not having a creative bone in my body, I love music rhythm games, and DDR made me a participant. Most DDR releases didn’t come to America (or with inferior track lists), which is how I began importing. learning how to make Japanese discs run on American machines.
This was the first time I played a game that rewarded me, as a player, for being curious and creative. I must have beaten the PC Gamer demo of Deus Ex a billion times, trying to find new ways to infiltrate a dystopian Statue of Liberty. Sometimes I’d go in guns blazing, but mostly, I’d sneak around, dispatching enemies with silencers, hacking terminals, and ghosting around corners. It helped Deus Ex was The X-Files: The Game.
What’s your #GameStruck4?
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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/j5a4ay/whats-your-gamestruck4-the-four-games-that-define-you