Old Not Gaming

I wrote this an age ago and found it recently. I’ve done an HD transfer and re-saturated the colours a bit, remastered the audio and removed some of the hiss…but this is still the theatrical original, so please allow for the time that has passed…


I have had reason to muse on the old “favourite computer game” question.




I came to gaming relatively late, at least compared to my nerd-peers. I had little (although not NOTHING) to do with gaming until after university, when I got hold of a celebratory PSX. Not much sticks with me from then, although the first Spyro game was brilliant and I still wish I’d given more time to Sentient. There was also Final Fantasy VII, of course. I think that was a requirement…it was a law, or something.

I would like to say that I then became a PC gamer…not sure why…probably because it seems like a more ‘serious’ answer, but I’m not. I would be unsatisfied with a gaming rig that wasn’t kept up-to-date and I simply never had the budget for that. I am a console gamer, by default. I have no interest in arguing the matter; play what you choose and enjoy it.

After the PSX, of course, came the PS2 and the original, big green Xbox. I LOVED my Xbox. Seriously, it blew the pants off PS2 in every way. Sure, the PS2 had The Mark of Kri, but Big Green had Fable.

When the next gen rattled along, there was no question that I wanted an Xbox 360 before a PS3. Since I am spoiled, I have eventually ended up with both and for a while there I also had a Wii – a brief and abortive chapter in my gaming life, but one which left enduring fond memories of BoomBlox with friends.

Only with the 360 did my gaming really flourish. I began reliably to finish games and to play them on more than just ‘easy’ difficulty. I got a taste for shooters that I had never known before…which brings us to today…


And the question of my favourite. Many people seem to cite something very early as their fondest gaming memory. Well, I never got into Mario while he was still relevant and these days I find him frustrating and unrewarding. Little from that era made any mark on me and I’d be lying if I claimed anything I really care about is from back then.

I am loathed to claim a favourite, though. Depending on whim and mood, the answer is fluid. So many games these days are of generally awesome quality that I greatly enjoy many of them. Some, however, stand out in my memory, for one reason or another. Perhaps those should be my favourites.

The Darkness: the first time a shooter had a real emotional effect on me. The first time I played through the orphanage…awesome. It still lingers with me and will always be an important memory.

The Saboteur: what a gem, albeit in the rough. There are plenty of sand-boxes in gaming and a great many of them look alike. The Saboteur looked and felt different. For all that it lacked a lot of polish (it was the swan-song of a dying developer) there was a great deal to love about the noir-black-and-white Paris, about the stupidly sweary Oirish lead character and about the way it treated you like a grown-up…alright – a childish grown-up, but that’s what I am. There was a thrill to wandering around a Nazi base setting explosives and strolling away as twenty carefully placed bombs go off in unison. Oh – and there was a ‘have a cigarette’ button. Gotta love that.

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