RPG DNA: Games That Shaped Us – Part 4
Previously, other writers of SwitchRPG have shared what RPGs have left an impact on their lives. Some of these games are classics to the average gamer, while others are only classics in our own hearts. For me, it’s always interesting to see what games others point towards as the games that brought them the most joy in their lives.
I probably have the least “experience” with RPGs compared to the rest of the staff. By that, I mean that I didn’t have the chance to play a lot of the classics growing up that others did. However, the games that I do have listed will always be close to my heart, from childhood into adulthood. Today, a lot of the passion that I have for gaming comes from wanting to experience that same happiness and joy brought about by playing games when I was younger.
While not my first Pokemon game, this one comes to mind vividly from my childhood. Growing up, I didn’t have many games, so I remember replaying the few that I had many times over – Fire Red was one of those titles. I can’t even recall how many times I replayed this game, but it was enough that I could have probably written up a walkthrough for the game from memory back in the day. Pokemon Fire Red was the game that solidified my love of Pokemon and while it is not my favorite by any means, I can’t help but look back fondly on this game. I mean, none of the other generations have a Pokemon as good as Dragonite.
Yu-Gi-Oh Capsule Monster Coliseum
This was the game that kickstarted my love for the tactics genre. This was made during the years where Konami were much more willing to be creative with their Yu-Gi-Oh games. Heck, this game was fully voice acted and had 3D animations! I remember young me having her mind blown over the fact that they got the full VA cast to voice act in this game, and I’m still surprised by that to this day. Even more surprising, looking back now, this game is strangely competent – it honestly had no business being so fun, and yet, it was.
Honestly, this game is almost everything I want in a Yu-Gi-Oh game. Voice acting, appearances from all of the major characters (and some minor, as well), fun gameplay that isn’t just the TCG, and nice art. The only thing this game would need to be the perfect game for me is an actual story instead of just using a tournament as your motive to win. Since that probably won’t happen ever again in this lifetime, I’ll just have to settle for what we already have.
I know, I know…another Pokemon game is on this list. Pokemon is my favorite series, however, so there’s not much that can be done about that. Platinum is my favorite game out of all of the Pokemon titles and it made an enjoyable generation even more enjoyable. As someone that didn’t like Dialga or Palkia, having Giratina being front and center in the story was a lovely change (especially since it was the Origin version). On top of that, a fun story, fun characters, a great Pokemon generation in general, and a great post game makes this game almost everything that I want in a Pokemon game.
While I am, of course, one of many people excited about an eventual Sinnoh remake, I can’t help but be nervous about whether it will live up to my love for the original or not.
Fire Emblem Awakening
I kind of look back and laugh at the fact that playing the demo for this game was the reason for me finally diving into the tactics genre once and for all. After Capsule Monster Coliseum, I never really touched another tactics game, mainly due to lack of urge to find another one to play. I was comfortable in my Pokemon bubble. So, when I played through the first few maps of this demo, I was actually surprised by how much I loved the gameplay. Even more surprising was how quickly I got used to playing a tactics game, since I only really played Pokemon games up to that point. I seriously loved this game, and while I do have some feelings about the Fire Emblem games that came after this one, I’m glad that Awakening drew me into such a fun series.
Given that most of my RPG knowledge growing up was Pokemon, you can imagine how amazed I was when I played Xenoblade Chronicles for the first time on the 3DS (yes yes, I know). I couldn’t believe that you could travel such a long distance, have so many side quests, speak to so many characters, and still feel as though you’ve barely scratched the surface of the game. I was so overwhelmed that I eventually stopped playing the game. You can, of course, imagine my excitement when the remake was announced for the Switch and I would have the chance to play this behemoth of a game once again. One day, I’ll actually finish it.
I didn’t get into the Disgaea series until around 2014-2015 and it was mainly because I was looking to scratch that tactics itch once more. I hopped aboard the Vita train so that I could finally break out of my comfort zone and try out some RPGs that I never really had the chance to try previously, and when searching for tactics game recommendations, Disgaea was almost always brought up (after Final Fantasy Tactics, of course). Given my weak spot for anime-esque games, I couldn’t say no to it. And oh boy, was it as wacky, cringy, and crazy as I expected it to be, and I loved it.
Dragon Quest XI
It should come as no shock to anyone who has reached this point of this article that my exposure to RPGs, to say the least, has been a bit lacking. Unfortunately, my overall experience with the Dragon Quest franchise is no different. While I had played VII on the 3DS, my mind was blown seeing all of the trailers for this game. Even when I saw the same trailer shown at three different game shows, my excitement picked right back up after watching it. When I finally played through it, my whole world was turned upside down.
I fell in love with this world and these characters, and I found myself rigorously playing through this long game to reach the end. In an era where I don’t really have a lot of time to dedicate to games like I once did, a game being able to draw me in so much that I plow through it’s 50+ hour campaign is really something.
And those are the games that have played a part in making me fall in love with the genre! While perhaps a lackluster list to the diehard RPG fans out there, these games undoubtedly played a major role in shaping my tastes. Circling back to my initial point, this is exactly what makes gaming as a whole really interesting. We all come from different backgrounds, and what one person may brush off as just “another game” may very well be someone else’s favorite of all time. What are some of the RPGs that shaped YOUR interests? Let me know!