YOUR MOMENTS OF THE GENERATION
When we picked our games of the generation in issue 272, we invited you to share your moments from the same era. Here, as promised, is a selection of your contributions, encapsulating an obsessive orb hunt, a dose of Call Of
Duty rage, and a leap into the unknown. I loved Crackdown, one of my favourite games on 360. Completed it a couple months after release, found all the 300 secret orbs relatively easily. Spent hours searching for the agility orbs, got to 499. Spent hours scouring Pacific City for the final orb, couldn’t find it, drove me mad. Fast-forward three years: Crackdown 2 came out, but it felt wrong to play until I found that 500th agility orb, so I loaded up the original again.
Cue more hours searching. Then, running over a roof in La Mugre, past somewhere I had been hundreds of times, I heard the agility orb noise – it was there, just below me. I couldn’t believe it – I swear I’d run past that spot time and again, but had always missed it.
Free Runner achievement earned, I called my older brother, who also loved
Crackdown, to tell him about it, as I was pretty sure my wife wouldn’t understand what I was so happy/relieved about.
Autoball. Or more correctly and poetically: Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered
Battle-Cars. Or most commonly: SARPBC. It was there from the beginning. Not from my beginnings as a PC gamer more than 30 years ago, but from when I first discovered consoles. That first night after I unboxed my shiny new PS3, a friend came over to celebrate the occasion with some splitscreen-trial-versions-of-whatever-is-outthere action. When you included “cars“as a search criterion, you found yourself downloading the tiny trial version of
SARPBC pretty instantly. And there it was: like soccer in an enclosed gym, only that instead of athletes your team consists of one-to-four little RC cars, dwarfed by a gigantic ball that you were supposed to drive into the opponent’s goal. And there the ball exploded! The gameplay was so straightforward, the controls so concise, the physics so relatable, the graphics so crisp… We fell in love with it straight away! We played the whole night, and within days my buddy got a PS3 himself. And then we went online…
In all my life there is not one game, or even game series, with which I’ve spent remotely as much time. And I wouldn’t want to miss a moment! After a few particularly good matches two months ago, I got a message from one of the Big Players, saying, “You‘re almost there“, and I smiled. These days the pressure is mostly gone, my gnarled hands release their clutch on the controller, and it is still as much, if not more, fun as on the first night, our Autoball.
A pair of glances – those of Ellie and Riley after the photo booth breaks down in The
Last Of Us DLC. Never in games have I seen characters express emotions with such subtlety as achieved there. After the moment passed I paused the game, closed my eyes, tilted my head back, and revelled in the skill of Naughty Dog’s animators. Previously, only the best film directors were able to evoke such a response from me, but Naughty Dog had once again raised the bar.
I remember the first time I had a moment with Call Of Duty. The annoyance, the rage that filled me at being killed for the umpteenth time, overwhelmed me. After all, I was clearly the best player in the world at the time and therefore nothing should be dominating me so efficiently. I couldn’t shout because the neighbours would hear and remind me of the unspoken noise agreement shared between friendly neighbours, but no one was in the room so I charged my throwing arm and raised my 360 controller above my head. I leapt out of my seat, took aim at the empty floor in front of me, and threw it as hard as I could on the laminated flooring that had only been laid two weeks previously. Rather than solving all my problems, awarding me with the revenge I sought on the evil that had overtaken my prowess and skill, the controller bounced right back and hit me squarely in the forehead.
I blinked, frozen in my post-throwing stance, sat down, and thought about my actions. After a long think, I changed my gamertag to something that would remind me to stay cool, stay calm and would convey my message to those around me. And since that fateful day, I haven’t thrown a tantrum, controller or any sort of object in disgust at a game ever since. And my gamertag hasn’t changed either.
Super Mario Galaxy completely subverted the 3D platforming genre and is an absolute delight from start to finish. There isn’t a weak moment in the game: the levels are intricate, the soundtrack is fantastic, and the graphics are phenomenal, even now in the HD era. True, it didn’t have a real story, but it was about the story you forged with it, demonstrating that gameplay trumps all in videogames. I love how the game started in the Mushroom Kingdom and then jettisoned into space when Bowser kidnaps Peach for the umpteenth time. Once I was in space I realised I had no idea what to expect, and couldn’t wait to jump into the unknown.
PS3 title SupersonicAcrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars, from Psyonix