March 26, 2009

Hopefully this will make me some money.

I kid! Well, money never hurts, but that's not the point. Not of this blog, at least. I've played so many great, good and lame games over the last twenty years that I felt it wasn't an entirely bad idea to write down what I think of them. I often read, especially AFTER completing a game (to avoid prejudicing myself), what fellow gamers thought of the game - gameplay, artwork, music, strategies, storylines, endings, sequels, prequels, mythologies. I also often leave feedback, good and bad, on several forums, that have sometimes been accepted - and acknowledged- by developers during re-releases of games. This blog will help keep my opinions (mostly) in one place, and will hopefully allow me to review the games more systematically than occasional comments on various forums.

There are some games that define my gaming world - the romance of the realms in Neverwinter Nights and Arcanum, the dark themes of Planescape:Torment and Fallout, the thrilling mythology of Knights of the Old Republic, can't-get-bored Age of Empires and Sierra's (I miss the old Sierra!) classic Caesar, Pharaoh and Emperor series. I remember waiting anxiously for the next episodes of Gabriel Knight and Monkey Island and Broken Sword and Syberia, and even Nancy Drew (so much fun relating the books I grew up with to the games!) - and the elation (or crushing disappointment) at the smallest and biggest news about their releases. And when real life interferes and I don't have the time to undertake a massive mission to save the realms , there's the nearly-always-fun casual games, ranging from Diner Dash and Cake Mania to MCF: Return to Ravenhearst and Women's Murder Club to keep my spirits up and going, and keep me calm and sane .

So, my life has pretty much been defined by PC games, and I've made the long and passionate journey - accompanied by my brother, my partner in crime - with the developers since the days of written text adventures like Wishbringer and funny-graphics-but-amazing-stories of the Quest for Glory and King's Quest series. Then technology was less polished, but there was more heart, and that more than made up for the lack of 3D and the jazz that is part and parcel of today's games. But just when I start reminiscing about the good old days of Sierra and Jane Jensen, and moaning the 'institutionalisation' of the gaming industry, comes mind-blowing titles like CDProjekt's The Witcher, or even small, but striking games like Bigfish Games' Nick Chase - A Detective Story and Serpent of Isis, labours of love by committed developers that blend story and gameplay and art in equal measures.

Then the late nights start again.