Entertainment items. There’s lot of fun stuff out there, from movies to comic books, and lots of other things in between. Odds are that if the topic has something to do with Tiger Blood, it will be in this category.
As we prepare to for the new wave of console hardware, its hard to quantify how important the Seventh Console Generation has been to the gaming community. It was long (It started in 2005! I was still in high school!) and it brought with it many new advancements in hardware, software, and really pushed forward the general philosophy of interactive entertainment. As exciting it is to think what the next generation will bring, I think it’s a worthwhile endeavor to look back on where we’ve been, and how it will ultimately shape where we may end up.
In this multi-part series, I am going to look at the games and hardware of the past 8(ish) years in the game space and offer my insight (for whatever it is worth) into the thing’s we’ve seen, the characters we’ve met, and the places we’ve been. Of course, it is impossible to cover everything… there’s simply been too much to see and do. For each of the topics I will cover, I will try to limit myself to a handful of items and a few honorable mentions. This is not a top ten list or some sort of ranking mechanism… just a selection of things that impacted me while I was gaming during this generation. Feel free to list your own ideas in the comments!
Fair warning: This will probably tend to run a little long (like most of my writing, frankly) so… pour yourself a beverage.
When I was very young, I found what I thought was a toy Millennium Falcon on sale at a toy store for $20, so I bought it and to my shock (dismay? Surprise?) it was actually a model kit. I was disappointed at first… $20 wasn’t exactly recouped via my allowance back then, so it was a major purchase for me, and I had to live with it.
In the 90’s, there were two heavyweights in the video game world. Sonic the Hedgehog, and Super Mario. I was always more of a Sonic guy, having owned the Sega systems over the course of the decade, but I’ve always had an admiration for Mario and the level of care Nintendo gave the Italian Plumber. Every game I’ve played of his has always been a polished, unique, and memorable experience (Something I cannot say for my favorite Hedgehog) and I’m pleased to say that Super Mario 3D Land is no different.
Having been a long-time Star Wars fan, and a long-time, high-end World of Warcraft player, I was almost immediately interested whenever I heard about a Star Wars MMO coming out. Then I heard that Bioware was at the helm for this new game, and my heart lept. Could this be a good Star Wars game equivalent to Knights of the Old Republic? I was intrigued, so I signed up for the Beta Test, much later than most Star Wars fanboys did. I had no hope of getting in…until one day I got an email asking me to participate, and I knew that this game was an insta-buy for me. (more…)
Nobember 15, 2001. 10 Years ago today, Microsoft released the Xbox. It was a gamble for the software giant… could they capture customers in the living room where Sony and Nintendo (and previously Sega) had dominated for so long? Could they design hardware that would not only play games, but encourage developers to create games?
As Microsoft has demonstrated for decades, It was all about the software. This philosophy lead to their acquiring of an Apple game studio, called Bungie, in 2000. Bungie had been hard at work designing what would become the most influential game series of the decade. Halo.
Let’s take a look through some of the key moments in the Xbox lineage’s history, starting with the most important moment: The release of Halo: Combat Evolved alongside the first console.
I reload my SCAR-H and check my corners. Nobody in sight, but I can hear their footsteps on the other side of the wall. The M-COM unit is behind me, and the enemy has tried to arm it with explosives twice already. I can’t let that happen… we have two armored units coming up behind our current holdout. The LAV-25 is acting as a mobile command center, and some teammates jumped into the Growler ITV and were peppering the treeline with gunfire.
I leveled my gun, and fired four bursts through it. The indicator says I hit something, so I pull out my pistol, an M1911, and swing around the doorway and empty my clip.
Ah yes… the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. We all have, at one point, looked at things like the Colossus of Rhodes, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and the Pyramids of Giza with child-like wonder. How were they built by ancient societies? Could we build such things today? What purpose did they serve?
While the true answer lies in the past and may therefore never be found, our imaginations constantly draw on these things as inspiration for equally mysterious and wondrous fictional locations, people, and stories. Man’s mind did, after all, developed the actual wonders… and it is with equal imagination that fictional companions exist. They may not be real, but they have the same level of thought and care put into their creation and design.
I was inspired by the Star Wars movies to start this series of posts, as they alone contain dozens of fictional people, places, and ideas to fill an encyclopedia. I chose seven items from various works of fiction to put on my “Seven Wonders of the Fictional World” list, each item getting it’s own post and some great detail on them for those who may not be familiar with all of them. I realize that there are plenty of things that would qualify to be on this list, so don’t assume that I am any authority on this sort of thing. These seven items that I chose reflect the depth of imagination and wonder that the actual wonders of the world showcase.
Let’s start with a race of beings that are truly mysterious… and quite dangerous.