All of us got our start somewhere, whether it was seeing Star Wars as a kid, listening to Radiohead as a teen, or taking a biology course in college. While I owe Zelda: Ocarina of Time the honor of solidifying my desire to work in the games industry, there were several games before that point that influenced me and what I wanted to do. One of those games was Gauntlet Legends for the N64. Released in October of 1998, I played it a few months before I ever played Ocarina of Time. I could rent Gauntlet whenever I pleased, whereas OoT was property of my older brother. Ignoring the fact that I was only 8 and playing a T-Rated game, I had a blast. I loved the hack-n-slash dungeon crawler and it opened up a new world of games to me. I later went on to play Baldur’s Gate, The Bard’s Tale (PS2 and iOS!), and several others in that same vein.
Below is a written version of the picture-iffic presentation (or pecha kucha) I gave on the original Gauntlet, the harbinger of the hack-n-slash genre. We were to tie together the game with contemporary issues (at the time) and present how it influenced arcade culture and how it was influenced by pop culture. Without further ado, check out the written form after the jump!
I finished Gears 3 last night. This is a series I’ve followed since the first game made an appearance on the 360, and it’s one that I’ve loved from the get-go. My friends and I would gather around and play the first one together, remarking on the controls and the cover system. I played Horde mode non-stop once the second came out, and I was immediately the best of my friends. At this year’s past E3, I waited a little under an hour in line just to play a few rounds of Horde mode in the third game.
While Zelda: Ocarina of Time will forever be my most favorite game ever, the Gears series is definitely my favorite as a young adult. Why?
A year ago, I would have given the answer, “It’s simply a fun, well-executed game. The pieces all come together. The result is cinematic and epic. I feel like a hero.”
After finishing up this last entry, I want to bring up another aspect that has caused me to enjoy the series even more. It’s something that Gears detractors (one of them a dear friend of mine) enjoy bringing up and ridiculing.
The character insight given to players in Gears 3 reverses previous notions of an all-brawn-but-no-brain cast, and the characters become stronger and more developed in simple moments throughout the game.
Spoilers, from here on out.