7 video games that stole our hearts
Ahead of our Rabble Talks Games event this September, studio members share the video games that they fell in love with as soon as they picked up the controllers.
Matt Ayres, writer
Pokémon Blue (Game Boy, 1999)
"Pokémon Blue was the first and only game I needed for my Game Boy... until Gold and Silver came along, that is. From choosing my starter Pokémon (Squirtle, if you were wondering) to beating the Elite Four and eventually screwing up my save file with the infamous 'Missingno' glitch, this game was a constant obsession throughout my childhood. The fact that I'm playing Pokémon Moon in my twenties is a testament to how well the series has held up. Link battle, anyone?"
Crash Bandicoot (PlayStation, 1996)
"Combining the cartoon zaniness of Looney Tunes with the impressive 3D graphics of the PlayStation, Crash Bandicoot made rivals Mario and Sonic look ancient when it came out. The original game's crate-based puzzles, tricky jumping sections and memorable boss battles are just as fun to play in 2017, while its multiplayer kart racing spin-off Crash Team Racing remains the most popular way to solve brotherly disputes in my family. Naughty Dog have created some incredible games since, but that fruit-guzzling orange marsupial is still number one for me."
Paul Thomas, graphic designer
Wipeout (PlayStation, 1995)
"This game was inspiration and information overload in gaming form – visually sensational, with anti-gravity racing at a pace that (at the time) defied all physics. Existing in a fully branded universe complete with its own unique visual language and designed to an unprecedented depth, it launched a graphic style that would inspire countless imitations; it is incongruous amongst the portfolios of many an aspiring designer.
"It introduced me to the profession of Graphic Design, to The Designers Republic, to Michael C Place and to the art of going against the grain. The game urges you to mix disciplines, merge influences and let go of preconceptions, to opt for the unexpected and embrace the power of provocation. It captured a zeitgeist, fusing design, music, popular culture and gaming innovation into something unmistakably all of its own. The result continues to capture my attention; I'm currently addicted to reliving my youthful exhilaration by playing Wipeout: Omega Collection (PS4, 2017) on PSVR."
Amy Pay, journalist and content creator
We ♥ Katamari (PlayStation 2, 2006)
"From the moment I heard the curious Japanese soundtrack of the opening credits, I knew this game would be different. I didn't think it'd become one of my all-time favourite games, though, especially given its simple concept. For the uninitiated (which is most people), you play as a Cousin, a super cute little creature that rolls a giant sticky ball (a 'Katamari') around various imaginary rooms and worlds. The aim of the game is to grow your Katamari by collecting as much stuff as possible as quickly as you can, with increasingly larger items becoming available as you get bigger and bigger. Simple! The real charm lies the quirkiness of the items you can collect – everything from woks and harmonicas to Morocco and a Great Great Great Grandpa – and the wit of the narrator, King of All Cosmos. I could roll all day."
Russ Morris, games developer
Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360, 2010)
"So much of Red Dead Redemption is about exploration of your own free will and seeing stories play out in front of you. The dynamic sound track reacts to the lives that others are leading. The ambient accompaniment breaks into a rolling baseline as the Sheriff rides past in pursuit of outlaws. For all the free will the game affords you, my favourite moment is upon arrival into Mexico. Jose Gonzalez’s ‘Far Away’ perfectly soundtracks your journey to a new land that allows a moment of reflection, a private moment for you and John Marston to reflect."
Half-Life 2 (PC, 2004)
"For me, Half-Life 2 was a collection of firsts. The first game I played on the first PC I built. My first digital download from Steam. The first footsteps into City 17 and the first introduction to a city that you have chosen, or been chosen to relocate to. The first interaction with the combine. The first physics puzzles. The first realisation of why they don’t go to Ravenholm anymore. Your first journey along the coast. Your first Gravity Gun. The first time you finish the game and realise that you haven’t blinked for hours. You never forget your firsts."
Dan Spain, graphic designer and illustrator
Final Fantasy VII (PlayStation, 1997)
"This game started my love affair with RPGs. I remember I borrowed the game from a mate for the summer, spent everyday playing it then never returned it. The storyline is still one of the best in the series. The side quests are unbeatable without a walkthrough guide, partly thanks to a battle system that forces you to add different types of magic and abilities to characters in various combinations in the hope they will defeat the insanely hard bosses.
"Spoiler alert: this was my first experience of a game that killed off a main character. That was a sad day. FFVII defined the genre for me, and I still dust off my old walkthrough guide and restart the game with a fresh challenge in my head every few years. I've even spent my hard-earned cash on going to see the Philharmonic Orchestra play music from the series in the Royal Albert Hall."
Russ Morris will be talking about his journey into becoming a video game developer later this month at Rabble Talks Games.
For more information, head to our events page. It's gonna be a good (albeit geeky) night!