OK Computer

And I’m back… Apologies for the lack of posting lately – holidays and various other things have meant that I’ve not had a chance to spend time on the blog lately, but normal(ish) service should now return… Future posts should include a dissection of Flash Gordon and a sideways look at the five ages of superhero comics.

But first, this:

Since the post on Batman: The Animated Series, quite a few people have recommended Batman: Arkham Asylum to me. And looking at the reviews, it does indeed look pretty good. But it also got me thinking about what my favourite computer games are.

So, cue the Top of the Pops music and prepare for the count down of my top 5 computer games of all time.

5) Elite

The first game I ever played on a home computer was Horace Goes Skiing on the ZX Spectrum. It consisted of Horace crossing the road, then skiing. It’s fair to say there wasn’t a lot of plot.

A few years later, my parents bought a BBC Master and I bought a copy of Elite from my next-door neighbour. There still wasn’t really any plot, but there was a whole universe where you explore, trade, fight and blow up asteroids. It set my expectations for future computer games, making me want a world that you could explore and weren’t hemmed in by the restricted imagination of the game designer.

4) Mechwarrior 3

As I’ve mentioned before, I love giant stompy robots. Mechwarrior 3 wasn’t the first giant robot game I’d played (that was Mechwarrior 2 – I’ve no idea what ever happened to Mechwarrior 1…) or the last, but it’s still my favourite.

The Mechs looked good in it, it had a good plot and best of all, it gave a real sense of piloting a 50 ton giant robot.

(It’s also the only computer game I own a t-shirt for.) 

3) Baldur’s Gate

Baldur’s Gate is the game that, for me, revolutionised the computer roleplaying game. It’s got a compelling plot, characters that are really interesting and world that one feels really involved in.

This is the game that got Bioware started in the computer games industry, and I still think it’s their best. (That opinion might change if I could ever get Mass Effect to run on my PC…)

2) Crimson Skies

I love airships. I love strange, experimental plane designs. I love weird 1930’s pulp plots. Crimson Skies has all of them.

Again it’s an immersive experience. It’s little things, like being able to change the photos in your character’s office and customise your plane, which raises it from being just another flight simulator. (The voice acting helps a lot too.)

1) Freedom Force

I love this game. The way that it recreates the feel of Silver Age comic books is amazing. It’s got everything right – art, perspective, plots, dialogue. the ridiculously overwrought pathos. There’s even fake comic covers and cartoons done in the 1960’s minimal animation style Marvel used.

It’s even fun to play!


About pointlessephemera

Blogging about the geekier end of popular culture...
This entry was posted in Comics, Computer games, Giant robots, Planes, Pulp. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to OK Computer

  1. Fizzgig says:

    Loved the open endedness of Elite… it was fantastic how the universes were generated using Fibonacci sequences… I can still remember the sense of achievement I had when I managed to jump the first time… then decided I didn’t like it and spent ages trying to get back to universe 1!!

    I still have Baldurs Gate. I’m ashamed to say that while I loved it I didn’t make it very far through. Too much beer and partying. I’ve resolved that I will spend a fair bit of time on it at some point. I may even have my old saves squirreled away somewhere. Of course, I’ve resolved to do that many many times…….

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