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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

question of the weekend: What’s your favorite video game?

It’s another cold, rainy Saturday at the end of a long, busy week, and I’ve got a ton of crap to do this weekend. And I don’t want to do any of it. I’d much rather, I dunno, play a game, maybe. It’s been ages since I indulged myself with either SimCity or Civilization, which I used to be addicted to — they’re such fun time-wasters.

At the moment, I’m totally hooked on a little game called Trism, for the iPhone/iPod Touch, which I can at least play on the subway, and can pick up and put down midgame. It’s a Tetris-esque matching-tile game, and it’s incredibly addictive yet also sort of relaxing. I zen out while playing — games aren’t timed, which removes the adrenaline-pumping aspect of it, and they can go on for a long time and get ridiculously high-scoring.

What’s your favorite video game?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD/QOTW, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTW sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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  • Keith

    I like so many. Currently playing a lot of the shooter/rpg Borderlands (a variation of Left 4 Dead on an alien planet). Was playing the Diablo type game Titan Quest, but am sort of taking a break from it as it is quite long. Spent some time playing a couple of the Popcap/Spintop hidden object games recently, specifically the Mystery P.I. games. Was really into Plants Vs Zombies for a while. Like real-time strategy too, occasionally loading up one of the Command and Conquer games or Age of Mythology. I played Everquest for three years some time ago before I decided to avoid MMOs. Can’t say I have one favorite above all others. The list of games I’ve played is quite extensive.

  • Right now, Plants vs. Zombies. (Beatles Rock Band is second.)

  • Cori Ann

    Lego Star Wars. (The Original Trilogy)

    Also, I am quite partial to Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy. I like that it has a lot of run around and bash things with a sword interspersed with just plain puzzle solving.

  • Bill

    Civilization IV. Quit cold turkey months ago, but I’m sure I’ll fall off the wagon soon enough. And I can kill a few hours every now and again with the Oddworld games. Beyond these few, it’s all Snake, Tetris, and Pong for me.

  • JT

    Left 4 Dead / Left 4 Dead 2.

    Such a great way to blow off steam.

  • Sandy

    Fallout 3. Played it 6 or 7 times through so far.

    @Bill: Heh! I’ve probably wasted several years of my life on the various Civ games.

    -Sandy

  • JoshB

    The wretched, soul-sucking World of Warcraft. I’ve been on the wagon for two years now, but it keeps calling to me…

  • fett101

    At the moment or of all time? I’m currently eagerly awaiting the release of the Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks this Monday and have no doubt it’ll be a grand ole’ time.

    But my favorite game of all time would have to be Grim Fandango.

  • the rook

    nethack – nothing like old school.

    http://www.nethack.org/

  • Drave

    Of all time? Tough call. Toss-up between Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo, Portal, the Half-Life series, Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Psychonauts. Currently? Assassin’s Creed 2.

  • Paul

    The last computer game I was addicted to was Blaster Ball. Then one day I spent six hours playing and missed the high score by fifty frakkin points (The high score was a little over 2 million). I realized I never wanted to play six hours straight again and deleted the program.

    I avoid those Civilization games because I know I’d get too hooked, so I stick to occassionally playing hearts or spider solitaire.

  • Hdj

    Naturally I would say GTA , grand Theft auto, but if , you ask me whats my all time favorite, Doom. Theres nothing like listening to country music shooting demons.
    Some have mentioned “Left 4 dead”. Ive been told ” you haven’t lived till you play Left 4 dead live”. I disagree though, I doubt the challenge Left 4 Dead is equivalent to the task Resident Evil 4 & 5 has to offer.

  • isobel

    My sister and I spent an entire Christmas holiday playing the Lord of the Rings on Xbox which was great fun.

    I had a Nintendo DS for a while as well and I got a bit obsessed with the Nintendogs thing.

  • Sean Stangland

    Rock Band 2 is still getting spins in my Wii thanks to all the downloadable content.

    My all-time favorite, though, has to be Super Metroid from the SNES, which is available on the Wii’s Virtual Console. It perfected a genre the original invented — the non-linear platformer — and I’m still discovering new areas and new moves years after its release. (Not to mention that I’m still playing it.)

  • Les Carr

    I have too little hand-eye co-ordination to be able to play computer games. No really, my four-year old children were always able to beat me at anything on the Nintendo 64 I bought them one Christmas because I could barely get started. Consequently I’ve never developed the appetite or patience for video games.

    That’s why my favourite is currently a Solitaire game for the iPhone. My favourite game of all time was called “Short Circuit” (Mac platform about 15 years ago), but it was a real minority interest and I guess no-one has heard of it.

  • RogerBW

    I don’t play much at all now…

    atc (old BSD text-mode game, probably in the “bsdgames” package on your free Unix of choice) seems to be getting most of my play-time recently.

    If I have a bit more time, flight simulators, particularly Orbiter (realistic space-flight simulator, and entirely free).

  • Marshall

    Currently: Fallout 3 (I love the fallout series) and World of Warcraft.
    Top ones have been: Deadspace and Final Fantasy.

  • I’ve been addicted to City of Heroes for 5 straight years…

    I’ve enjoyed the Myst series up, the Command & Conquer series, Jedi Knight series, and Battlezone (Battlezone II was okay but some of the maps were TOO dark to see anything sheesh).

    Oh, and an Atari Flashback II plugged into my T.V. at the moment.

  • Isobel

    Really old Macs used to have that Crystal Quest game – that was seriously addictive. I miss it!

  • D

    The Metal Gear saga, because it’s a story that could only have been proprely told trough a video game.
    Also, Kingdom Hearts, which I believe every Disney fan would enjoy, and, forgive me if I’m being cliche, a couple of Final Fantasies.

  • markyd

    Kudos to Sean for his mention of Super Metroid. Truly one of the greatest games ever made.
    Nowadays I enjoy action/rpgs like Mass Effect. I also had a lot of fun with Uncharted and want to play the sequel badly.
    Currently playing Valkyria Chronicles. Great strategy rpg.

  • Jester

    Of all time: Wing Commander 3, where the player’s actions actually affected the outcome of the story.

    Current gen: Fallout 3, which… kinda… tries to do the same.

  • e

    I don’t know about all-time, but I have to mention the underated game, Mafia. It does involve shooting/killing, but it has enjoyable and ever-present story, great play mechanics, and is set in 1930’s era, so you get all the cool cars and suits and such.

  • Keith

    System Shock 2. First person shooter/rpg. Have had time to think on the question for a bit now, and since one one has mentioned it yet. If not the top, certainly in my personal top three or so. Great atmosphere (creepy as hell), story told visually and through data recordings, replayability. Graphically a bit dated compared to newer takes on the genre (like Dead Space, which is pretty awesome, but I know some people who won’t play it because it is 3rd person). It’s too bad Looking Glass failed and got sold off in pieces. Makes the likelyhood of a System Shock 3 virtually nonexistant. Bioshock (and upcoming Bioshock 2) are the closest thing to an SS3, but a steampunk cousin to the original cyberpunk game.

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