I know I just talked to you in yesterday’s Weekly Blog, but I wanted to put out this special Weekly Blog talking about Video Games that have influenced me throughout my life. If you remember, I put out a similar blog post where I told you about the Five Books That Have Influenced Me and people really seamed to like that post. Honestly it was one of my favorite to write. It got me reminiscing about my favorite books over the years as well as the other types of media that have influenced over the years. You might also remember that there was a series of tweets in April in which people talked about four video games that made an impact in their lives using the hashtag #GameStruck4. When this was popular, I made a Twitter post about it, but since then I’ve thought about it greater details. Plus I expanded my list to five (with some honorable mentions) because I couldn’t narrow it down to just four. The games I share with you are in a somewhat chronological order, but since some are long-running series of games, they overlap with my childhood and adulthood. Now let’s start talking about video games!
#1 – The Pokemon Series; Specifically Yellow and Pokemon X and Y
Of course Pokemon has to be first on this list. If you know anything about me, you know that I LOVE Pokemon. It’s my go to series that I can play over and over again. It’s a game that I played when I was a child and I have been playing ever since. I remember sharing my Gameboy Color with my brothers all trading and battling each other. We had Pokemon Red and Blue as well, but Yellow was my favorite. The fact that you start with Pikachu and end up getting Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle made it the best version of the game. I just loved having Pikachu follow me around as we battled other Pokemon and explored the Kanto Region. Pokemon Yellow was one of the first video games I ever played and the first one I ever beat. The feeling of beating the Elite 4 with Pikachu by my side was the best feeling as a kid. Now I continued to play the new Pokemon Games when they came out and I continued the tradition of playing the third game. Crystal, Emerald, and then Platinum. Then 5th generation came along. My younger brother bought both Black and White and I tried playing through them. I got to maybe the second gym. I wasn’t into them at all. Next generation comes around and I bought a 3DS to play Pokemon X and Y. I started with X and instantly fell in love with Pokemon all over again. I ended up with a Greninja and Mega Charizard X as I traveled around the Kalos Region. Altogether I love the entire Pokemon series, including Generation 5, but Pokemon Yellow and Pokemon X and Y are my standout games.
#2 – Sid Meier’s Civilization III and Civilization V
The Civilization series was my introduction to PC Gaming. Even though I am not a PC Gamer, I always enjoyed the CIV series. I remember playing Civilization II where you could play as Elves, Merfolk, Bird People, and Goblins. The controls were a little hard to understand for me, since I was a child at the time, but I enjoyed the endless wars between the Elves and Goblins and my attempts to kill dragons. Civilization II was fun, but for me Civilization III was iconic. It was a game I probably played more than anything else, even rivaling Pokemon. Anytime the computer in the living room was open, I was on there playing Civilization III. I particularly favored civilizations like Babylon, Germany, Japan, and America. I liked playing as scientific and religions civilizations. The other thing I loved about Civilization III was it had a cheat code where you could get unlimited money by tricking the enemy AI into giving you a Billion gold per turn. Then I turned science funding up to 100% and surpassed every other civilization in technology. I had the best army, the most cities, max happiness, and unlimited money. I was unstoppable. I didn’t play Civilization 4, but when I got my own laptop I downloaded Steam and bought Civilization V. As an adult, it is probably a game I have sunk the most hours into. I just love building an empire through military might, trade routes, religion, and diplomatic treaties in the United Nations. All the things that Civilization V added just enhances the experience of creating history. I still have the most money, the most cities, and the biggest, most technologically advanced army, but most of the time I like to win by making allies, winning the UN Vote, or launching my spaceship to Alpha Centauri. Again I really enjoy the Civilization series as a whole, but Civ III and Civ V stand out to me.
#3 – Animal Crossing Series
From just showing up with no money to running a small town full of animals. The Animal Crossing Series has always been a favorite of mine from playing on the GameCube with my family to playing on my 3DS with friends, family, and people around the world. To me, the Animal Crossing Series was always there when I needed to relax and just spend some time hunting bugs, fishing in a river, or buying furniture from a raccoon. You know, just the usual stuff. I have fond memories of sharing a town with my brothers in the original Animal Crossing game. My younger brother was obsessed with chopping down trees. It got so bad, both me and my older brother banned him from buying an Axe and anytime we saw one in the store, we bought it before my little brother could. There were a lot of shenanigans. Like the time I was gone for months and the town filled with weeds so I payed my brother like 10,000 bells to de-weed the entire town. He did it because he really needed the bells, due to the fact that I always collected the fruit before he could. So yeah, maybe he did have good reason to go on a chopping spree. Either way I finished paying off my mansion first and got a gold statue in town. I had fun with the DS version, Animal Crossing Wild World, but to me the 3DS was a huge upgrade to the Animal Crossing world. I loved Animal Crossing: New Leaf! I got to be the mayor and build public works project as well as plan out fruit orchards and other fun places for my animal friends to hang out. Plus there is so much clothes, furniture, accessories, etc. to collect. Animal Crossing is still my go to when I just want to relax and live out my dream of having a house full of furniture and a yard.
#4 – Life Is Strange
Coming in at #4 on my list (in no particular order) is Life is Strange from Square Enix. Now I absolutely think that Life is Strange should be on this list of games that have influenced me. This one had a huge impact on me. However some people might put a little asterisk by it because….I’ve never played it. It’s not my fault, ok! I already told you that I’m not a PC Gamer and I don’t have anything else to play it on. I don’t have a Playstation 3 or 4 or an XBox 360 or One. If Square Enix brought over Life Is Strange to the Nintendo Switch, I would absolutely buy it and play it. But until that happens, I’m stuck watching others play it. Anyway, as I have mentioned before in other Weekly Blogs, I am someone who watches other people play video games on YouTube and Twitch. Life is Strange is actually one of the first games that I watched Mathew Patrick play on Game Theory and when they got to the end… I don’t want to spoil anything, but I really felt that ending. Definite tears. I will say that Square Enix and Dontnod Entertainment do an amazing job at creating a town full of characters we really care about. I really related to Max Caulfield and her journey alongside her best friend/possible girlfriend Chloe Price. Sure there are parts where the game tries too hard with its dialogue, but the world and the characters are still fantastic. Plus, there were plenty of moments that pulled at the heartstrings and left a lasting impact on me. So yeah I’ve never actually played Life is Strange, but it’s by far my favorite game that I’ve never gotten the chance to play.
#5 – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Now I can’t finish a list of video games that have influenced me without mentioning The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. You may have noticed that this list has a definite Nintendo slant to it, but hey, that’s just the games and system I grew up on. I played Pokemon. I played Animal Crossing. And I also played The Legend of Zelda. That being said, I do have massive holes in my Zelda game experiences. Like almost every console Zelda. I’ve played a fair amount of Ocarina of Time, but that’s about it. My main focus was on the handheld Zeldas. I played Minish Cap and Phantom Hourglass and even Spirit Tracks. I also played A Link Between Worlds on my 3DS. So yeah, I apologize to all those Zelda fans that are angry at me because I didn’t beat Ocarina of Time or Majora’s Mask, but hopefully I’ll make you less angry by having Breath of the Wild on here. In all seriousness, when this game was first shown, I knew that I had to buy a Nintendo Switch to be my Legend of Zelda machine. I mean this game looked amazing in the trailer and it looks amazing in game. That cutscene near the beginning of the game where Link stands there looking out over all of Hyrule. It’s so beautiful. Not only does the whole game look awesome, but I found the whole thing to be enjoyable. I loved exploring the world and finding surprises around every corner. I like that the game gives you the tools you need at the beginning of the game and then just sends you out into the world. You don’t have to do anything in a particular order. You go at your own pace and you can go as you like. For someone who loves Zelda but have never beaten a console Zelda game before, this blew away my expectations and made me fall in love with the world of Zelda and Link all over again. Totally worth buying a Nintendo Switch.
So there’s my list of five video games that have influence me throughout my life. Some childhood favorites and some games I still play to this day. Of course there are many other games that I enjoyed playing and have left a lasting impression on me. Really quick I want to give a shout out to some of those games that didn’t quite make the list, but are still really important to me:
- Super Mario Sunshine
- Super Mario Odyssey
- Doki Doki Literature Club
- Zoo Tycoon
- Super Smash Bros
- Halo – 1, 2, 3, ODST
- LEGO Games: Star Wars, DC Heroes, Marvel Heroes
- Detroit: Become Human
Ok that concludes my list of video games that have influenced me throughout my life. I’m sorry that this Special Weekly Blog was so long, but I just have so much to say about these wonderful video games. If you liked this, feel free to give it a like and/or leave me a comment down below. What games would you have on your list? Let me down in the comments. Also if you haven’t read my list of Books that have influenced my life, make sure you give that a read. I really appreciate all the love and support! It means a lot to me.
Thank you again and I hope you have a wonderful week!
Header Photo Credit to UC Santa Barbara
Pokemon Yellow Cover Art
Pokemon X and Y Art
Civilization III Cover Art
Civilization V Cover Art
Animal Crossing Art
Life is Strange Cover Art
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Art