WARNING: This article mentions the ending of Red Dead Redemption so if you’re still concerned about “spoilers”, you might want to avoid it.
The team have re-assembled for yet another TSA sound-off and it isn’t all doom and gloom. We kick things off by recalling our most treasured moments in gaming, followed by a discussion on user reviews and their role in the gaming industry. If you have a topic for the team, don’t be shy and send them to jim[at]thesixthaxis[dot]com, or if you want to vent your anger or approval on a personal topic, send an entry to the same address; entries should be no more than 125 words.
We start with one of the more personal topics featured on TSA Talks. Some of us have been playing video games for what seems like decades, others only recently getting into the hobby, however we all have those iconic moments in gaming that stick with us forever such as taking down your first Colossi, stepping out of Vault 101, or inadvertently discovering the doomed city of Rapture. Here are some of the team’s most memorable game set pieces (note that there will be spoilers.)
Jim: Without hesitation I would cite the return to Shadow Moses (Metal Gear Solid 4) as the finest video game set piece in recent years. For me, the original MGS was my first proper taste of “real” gaming and without it I probably wouldn’t be sitting here, spouting my opinion on the entertainment medium today. Treading the same ground that I had done some years before from a top-down perspective, Kojima’s recreation of Shadow Moses was pitch perfect, housing a number of pivotal moments in the Metal Gear timeline. Completely unforgettable.
Blair: Any single moment of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. That game is just magical, and thinking of any part takes me back to when I was young. If I had to choose a moment, it would probably be the very end with the camera swooping across Hyrule. Portal 2 also had some suitably awesome experience, Chapter 5 springs to mind.
Aran: That scene from Red Dead Redemption, y’know the one, with John Marston’s final shoot out. We’re used to games giving us extra lives so if you fail go back to a checkpoint, try again. Suddenly, the protagonist isn’t coming back. I couldn’t believe it. That scene had a large emotional impact and really, however many games I play that scene will be hard to top.
Peter: My most memorable scene in a videogame from recent years is probably from Grand Theft Auto IV. I loved the first mission that took you into the game’s version of Manhattan. I got married in City Hall in Manhattan and spent a couple of weeks there about six months before the game came out. I adore New York City, it’s a magical place for me and seeing the little similarities and nods to real life locations as I drove my car up the length of the island really reminded me of everything I was missing. The other GTAIV moment was the first time I went up in a helicopter and saw the sun rise (or set, I can’t be sure through the mists of time) over the city. It was astonishingly beautiful.
Kris: I thought long and hard about this, mostly because I’m normally awful at picking a favourite anything. The only thing I think I’ve ever settled on is High Fidelity as my favourite film. So I sat, and I struggled and struggled thinking about this question, and then the answer hit me. It’s so obvious really, and there was only one answer I could give.
Green Hill Zone. I know, I know, I picked a level from Sonic; how predictable. Hear me out though. That stage never gets old to me, it’s always as good as it’s ever been and for an opening level there’s a surprising amount in it. If you look at how relatively simple 1-1 from Super Mario Bros is, the level that’s the most obvious comparison, I really enjoy the amount that’s in Green Hill Zone. You’re presented with so many kinds of enemies, so much variety that will stick throughout the rest of the game.
For me though it’s more than that, within seconds that level throws me back to a time nearly twenty years ago when I sat down in my front room above a noisy pub and played Sonic for the first time. That will always be something that sticks with me, and anything that has that kind of power just can’t be overlooked.
Tuffcub: If you want the honest to gods answer, the most memorable moment in my gaming history is the final cut scene from Dante’s Inferno. If you have finished the game then I don’t think I need to explain why, suffice to say Beatrice was a very lucky lady. Truly a jaw-on-the-floor moment (which is just wrong considering what is on screen).