Howdy! Michael here, the new kid at Thermaltake Australia. Happy to report that I’ve yet to receive a wedgie. I figured if I were going to begin regularly blogging about all things video games and tech, then it’d be pretty handy if you had an understanding of where I’m coming from! I’m of the opinion that writings on games/tech are kind of pointless to consume unless the audience has a thorough understanding of the writer’s tastes, preferences and comfort zones first. After all everything I’ll say here will be completely subjective. So basically, if I’m giving my thoughts on Just Dance 2021, my word isn’t gospel! If anything, it’s usually more akin to constant incoherent nonsense. Alas I thought it’d be a nifty idea here to begin by presenting you with a list of games to get to know me. This will inform you of my tastes and preferences in this truly unique medium.
It’s not a top 5 favourite of all time or anything of the sort. These are just a handful of games that mean a lot to me. They will also help you begin to shape an idea of what kind of games I enjoy playing and discussing! So with that boring drivel out of the way, here are 5 Games to Get to Know Me.
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Melee happens to be very formative for little Michael, not that I even played it that much as a kid. I actually first fell in love with it during my final year of schooling, as I began perusing its competitive scene. While I’m sure it was much to the horror of my mother and her early lectures on stranger danger, I spent the time that I should’ve been studying for my final exams, traveling around Melbourne meeting random people in order to play this children’s party game from 2001 together. (Shh) And the reason being is because it’s just so fun! Whether casually or competitively, it’s a game that completes the ‘truly obsessed’ trifecta for me. In that it’s fun to play, fun to think/talk about and fun to watch. I mean the sheer amount of hours I’ve logged into this game ought to leave any self-respecting, responsible adult shaking their head.
It also led me to discover fighting games. It remains my go to pick in the series too because of how fast it feels compared to the later Super Smash Bros. entries. Because of it, the game basically has a non-existent skill ceiling. All these years later and the pros are still discovering new tech that was never intended to be discovered or used within the game! Also, it will never not be satisfying to beat up Mario. He deserves it.
Metal Gear Solid 2
Alright, I admit it. I’m a sucker for the Hollywood drama and pseudo intellectual nonsense that defines the games created by the half genius, half crazy person Hideo Kojima. While I’m not the biggest stealth guy, I ate up the ‘tactical espionage action’ offered in MGS2. The immersive, sneaky game play plays backdrop to a captivating, high stakes story, that contains more twists than an Elvis routine.
Also, without going into spoilers, you gotta admire Kojima’s courage to completely mislead his audience and shatter everyones expectations mere hours into the experience (if you know, you know). I mean, it was a totally unnecessary swerve from a financial standpoint. (MGS2 was probably the most hyped-up game release of 2001) But was done to ultimately to tell a better story. A risk that I think certainly paid off. It’s a game narrative that has aged exponentially well, with an ending that has only become more poignant as we march onward into the digital age.
Love you Kojima you stupid, brilliant man.
Pokémon has always been a big part of my life. I do not remember a time in which it did not exist in my life in some capacity. Not only did it introduce me to handheld gaming, it kicked off what was a lifelong love of the franchise. And if I had to point to just one game as the pinnacle of the series, my beady little sausage finger would be positioned towards Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver. Having built on the mainline Pokémon games that had come before it on the Nintendo DS, it was a remake that pushed the hardware to its limit. It also did the originals justice, polishing what was already the most jam-packed Pokémon experience to date.
Plus, respect where it’s due – shout outs to HG/SS for being the original Pokémon GO. Coming with a Pokémon themed pedometer that was part Tamagotchi, part fitness device, I can admit that it did encourage me to walk more. You could catch Pokémon on it and transfer them to your Nintendo DS. So, while I look forward to the newly announced games with a mix of excitement and caution, I still consider SoulSilver to reign supreme.
Resident Evil Remake (2002)
Having loved the Silent Hill Trilogy ever since I was far too young to be playing them, the Resident Evil Remake found me somewhere in between. This was during a time where I was jonesing (are the kids still saying that?) as an adolescent for a great survival horror experience. Luckily (or unluckily) for me, REmake (as the gnarly dudes say it) couldn’t have been more pants-wettingly terrifying. Corridors are cramped, ammo is scarce, and the atmosphere is relentlessly oppressive.
But while the game play is unnerving, the story is also campy in all the right ways. I just can’t get enough of the STARS team and their awful voice acting as they investigate the zombie infested Spencer Mansion in a Scooby-Doo episode gone wrong. For what it’s worth, I’m also a shameless fan of the movies. All I can be is myself.
Also, can we just admire how freaking good this Gamecube game looks all these years later? It’s an experience that was made even more polished with the 2015 HD remaster. But even vanilla on its own looks jaw dropping in places. I can’t imagine what this must’ve been like for those that grew up with the original PS1 game from ’96. A must play for those who want a genuinely engaging survival horror experience that perfectly rides the line between “2spooky4me” and “pew pew bang bang”.
Wrapping up this list is the incredible Persona 4! I’m a big fan of RPGs and JRPGs, so it was only natural I slot in this bad boy from the PlayStation 2 as my pick of the bunch. Essentially, a group of high school kids get word of the ‘Midnight Channel’. Legend goes, if they stare at their unplugged televisions at midnight when it’s raining, they supposedly see the image of someone. But a few days later, the person who appears on the ‘Midnight Channel’ will be discovered dead! Naturally, it’s the work of a serial killer who is placing their victims inside the ‘Midnight Channel’! Like chill bro, I’m just trying to watch Survivor!
As part dungeon crawler, part social sim, Persona 4 let me relive my admittedly tame adolescence as the inquisitive rag tag group of misfits attempt to enter the ‘Midnight Channel’ to catch the killer. While the plot is admittedly ridiculous, it’s a narrative that’s carried by a cast of lovable characters that I still think about from time to time. Admittedly I’ve yet to play the supposedly even better remake Persona 4 Golden. But having recently been ported to PC, perhaps that’s in my near future.
And with that, I wrap up my list of 5 Games To Get To Know Me!
I think I’ve covered a good portion of what I’m into here. And while I’m obviously leaving a bunch of stuff out, I’d consider this a decent basis for what my current tastes in video games are. So, how did I do on my first post? Was it groovy? Did I stink it up? Let me know in the comments!