If you’ve spent much time around TSA you’re probably very familiar with our resident lunatic, SolidSteven. He’s decided to grace us with another of his guest articles, this time looking at his love for RPGs.
My love of the RPG genre probably earns me a place in the “geeky” class of gamers. The fact that I split gamers into classes probably shows that I spend too much time with the genre, and invest far too many hours in a single RPG. The question is though why exactly do I love them so much? Well that’s what I’m here to tell you.
Back in my PS2 days I had a rubbish taste in games, my purchases ranging from movie tie-ins to any old FPS. I would play anything except RPGs. The only RPG I had even heard of back then was Final Fantasy, and I didn’t actually know it was an RPG.
This ignorance continued until, one day, I picked up Lord Of The Rings: The Third Age; a game I happened to enjoy. That was the first time I had played an RPG and I didn’t even know it until many years later.[drop]When I had matured and broadened my horizons I purchased Final Fantasy 7 (FF7) and enjoyed it, losing many hours to it. That was when I became interested in the RPG genre as a whole, rather than individual games. Slowly I started to get more and more RPG games until they’d become the majority of my collection, probably investing 1000+ hours in the genre. So that’s how I got into it.
That’s not why I love them though, which is the point of this. The reason I adore them is simple, it’s the long and engaging stories that seem to be a staple of the genre. Final Fantasy has become well known for the quality of its stories (with the exception X-2 which seems pretty awful), and I’m a sucker for them.
Beyond that, I like being able to customise my character and have them specialise in a certain area, as well as being able to control what my character says. At one point I spent 3 months playing nothing but Fallout 3. Before that, I hadn’t heard of the Fallout series, and thus didn’t notice many of the issues that Fallout 3’s critics complain of. This was where I was really introduced to the levelling system that many RPGs use. You put points into a skill, that skills becomes more effective etc…, it was another tool to draw me into the genre.
After a period of focussing on FF7 and Fallout 3, as they were the only ones I owned at the time, I purchased Dragon Age: Origins (DA:O). That was when I really got into RPGs, when my love become a solid thing. The story was excellent and it allowed me to pick a race, customise my character and have a origin as well as choosing what style to use. From the classic sword and shield to the duel wielding style, I’ve experienced it all.[drop2]It was also the first game that I had played which introduced me to moral choices that weren’t always obvious. For example do I give the throne to Lord Harrowmont King of Orzammer, who is kind, was the previous king’s advisor and generally would be well respected king, or do I choose the power hungry Bhelen, son of the previous king. I chose Harrowmont as it seemed like the best choice at the time, but I was surprised by the ending, when it told me what he had done as king (I won’t spoil it for you). There were plenty of similar choices that I had made where the outcome wasn’t what I was expecting. The result? I started a new game and played it differently.
After DA:O, I had become the geeky gamer that I am today. I now generally plan out my characters when I play games like DA:O, Mass Effect 2 and Fallout: New Vegas. For some reason though I never try to create myself in those games, I really don’t know why.
So, am I the only one who is a geeky gamer? And what is your favourite genre? Feel free to tell me below in the comments, or to berate me if that’s more your speed. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to play Fallout New Vegas as a character whose combat style is unarmed.