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Classical Reminiscence

For some reason, fond memories of the past come back to hit me in full force, compelling me to reminisce on the past classics I’ve ever played on my PCs…


3rd Person Action Aventure
Time Commando

One of the most underrated games of all time, Time Commando features great length of gameplay with its inclusion of many enemy archetypes and weaponry unique to its various time periods, such as Prehistoric, Medieval, Wild West and World War to name a few… :D

Despite its many flaws, the game did managed to captivate me with its pre-rendered National Geographic documentary-esque environments, where your 3D avatar enters different time periods from history in a time distortion vortex, moving around engaging various enemies in his attempt to finally bring down the virus itself the cause of the mess, represented by a shark avatar… :3

Moreover, this was the only game that I managed to trick my family into buying (Wasn’t financially capable to buy PC games yet at that time… ^^;) by suggesting it’s an educational software… ^_~

Other mentions: Tomb Raider, Max Payne…


Real Time Strategy
Command & Conquer: Red Alert

The most successful franchise in the history of Real Time Strategy gaming, Red Alert was my first hand experience in the gaming world of RTS. Set in an alternate timeline, where Einstein managed to invent a time machine to erase Hitler from ever exists, this event upsets the balance of world powers, causing the rise of the Soviet as oppose to the Nazi in our timeline…

Fast pace instant base building and mass tank rushing instantly drew my attention, and before long I was totally indulged in the game. Live action cut scenes further enhanced this experience as I immersed myself into the alternate world of C&C, battling enemy AI with hordes of ships, tanks and planes, raining havoc on every corners of the game map…

It’s a pity that the sequels aren’t as impressive as the first, which draws down-to-earth ideas and concepts from real world WW2 references while the latter going on to introduce some of the most unconventional and wild designs…

Other mentions: StarCraft, Total Annihilation, Homeworld, Metal Fatigue… 


Mecha Simulator
Heavy Gear

This is the closest simulation game you can find on Mobile Suit versus Mobile Suit battle (MechWarrior doesn’t really count as most of their mecha designs aren’t quite humanoid…) on PC. Heavy Gear was a table top RPG game-turned-simulator that sets in a future world of Confederacy versus Union, where huge mecha donning superb weaponry ala Gundam fought each other on a distant planet called Terra Nova.

Featuring the most impressive customisable function even to date, the game allows you to pick and design your own mecha with various body parts, from arms to legs to engines to backpacks… You can eventually designed cool looking ones with moderate body and huge arms along with slender legs, although this will make your mecha slower due to its top-heaviness… ^^; As for the weaponry, you can carry as much as your chassis’ slots can fill but it will severely slows your Gear to a crawl due to the weight… ^^; 

You control your Gear from the comfort of its cockpit, interacting with the outside world with a camera on the Gear’s head (Like I said, very Gundam-esque! XD). All Heavy Gears have these wheels (On lighter units) or tank caterpillar thread-like secondary movements system that significantly boosting your mobility ala Code Geass’s Knightmares albeit it’s harder to do sharp turns during this mode. It also features a couple of camera modes like night vision and Low Light (Turning your sight into 3D wireframes for easy spotting of camouflaged enemies from the vast environment)…

A sequel was released, further enhancing the game systems and features the requirement of 3D Graphic Accelerator to play. Unfortunately it decided to remove the customisable body parts system and instead featuring a Threat Value system to limit your on board weaponry at a one time…

With no other games ever come close to the magnificence of this simulator (I never really like Armoured Core…), and with Gundam games only been released on consoles, I’m sure I’ll play this classic once too many for many years to come… ^_^

Other mentions: MechWarrior, Gundam, Armoured Core…


Squad Based Action Shooter
Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri

One of my first experience of a CD based PC game, Terra Nova remained a jewel in my heart even after all these years…

In the game, you are Ap Io Nikola, a recently transferred Squad Leader of the Strike Force Centauri to combat the growing threat of piracy in the Alpha Centauri systems… You’ll be dropped into missions wearing a Powered Battle Armour or PBA, which is equal to that of Elemental battle suits from MechWarrior franchise or the Marauder units from Starship Troopers…

The game is essentially an FPS, featuring one true mouse aim system: moving your mouse does not turn your vision to a certain point ala modern FPS, but it is where you’re shoot your weapon… Point and click takes on a new meaning in the game, as where you point is where you’ll focus your laser weaponry upon, precision guaranteed ala modern-day Wii rail shooters… XD

The game features one of the most advanced inventory systems ever even to this day, where you can directly move your mouse pointer outta your vision area to click upon various buttons in your HUD to do various chores, from calling out overhead map to giving in-depth orders to squad mates (Repair certain objects, go to point, cover me…) to managing your own weaponry and sub systems…

Plots are unfolded through live action cut scenes very much like C&C’s, where a storyline of betrayal and conspiracy are conveyed between each missions like an epic TV drama… It’s also worth mentioning that the creator of this game is Looking Glass Studio, the one behind the later success of the First Person Sneaker/Stealth epic Thief… ^_^

Other mentions: Outwars…


Role Playing Game
Planescape: Torment

Another good game no one plays, Torment is best described as a novel RPG, with sheer amount of text walls that may quickly bore out many of the players, but it is rich in story line enough to keep most of us in its breath…

You assume the role of an Immortal called the Nameless One, awoken one day at a morgue, with no recollections of your past, you set out into the world of multiverse Planescape in search of your identity… As you step further into the many worlds, you’ll gain companions, meet enemies and discover the personalities of your previous incarnations…

While the gameplay is nothing to be shouted upon, the intriguing webs of plots and storyline truly shine, striking my heart with awes and admiration. I was a bookworm then as I did sit through a whole evening just to read each lines of the lengthy passages of sentences eagerly pursuing the epic novel… :D

The game has many interesting people, such as a floating skull to a noble succubus harlot (In game tongue for prostitutes, or in this case, Geisha that offers only conversation but not body…) to a maniacal fire wizard… There’s even a computer AI like construct that blurbs out Macintosh’s fave quote at times as well… XD

Words aren’t enough to really describe this game, you’ll have to play it yourself to experience the wonder…

Other Mentions: Fallout 2, Baldur’s Gate, Knights of the Old Republic…


Flight Simulator
Descent: Freespace: The Great War

The most incredible space drama I’ve ever played, Freespace pits you in the cockpit of a starfighter, where you’ll fly with your wingmen in a war against an alien race called the Vasudans, and later in the game, to stop an invasion of another alien race called Shivans by forming an alliance with the Vasudans…

The only flight simulator I can truly said to rival that of the success of TIE Fighter and X-Wing, Freespace allows you to fit your selected fighters with guns and missiles, with various new gimmicks like calling for repair drones and diverting reflector shield to balancing power output for weapons/shield/engine and sub-spacing…

However, what really caught my attention was the sheer size of various capital ship classes and the way they engage other ships with force… :0

Another worth mention is the way the ships explode when their health reaches the end… 0_0 Incredible!

The sequel, known only as Freespace 2, further upgrades it’s already magnificent system with the inclusion of laser pew pew battle between capital ships, bringing on the epicness of true space opera with various capital ships tearing each other apart like paper while your tiny fighter swept through the vacuum doing your own objectives like destroy, protect or even infiltrate an enemy staging space…

The inclusion of a new environment type apart from the emptiness of the vacuum is the nebulae clouds, where your ship’s sensors aren’t quite working as you fly blindly in search of your targets in a mist like environment…

Hopefully the rumour of the possible development of Freespace 3 is true…

Other mentions: TIE Fighter, X-Wing, X-Wing versus TIE Fighter, X-Wing Alliance, Freelancer…


Point-and-Click Adventure
Grim Fandango

More like walking around and look adventure… :D

At the peak of its success, Lucasarts created many great original games at the time such as Monkey Island and Full Throttle.

Grim Fandango was one of their very first graphic adventure game that fully use 3D computer graphics laid on pre-rendered 2D back sets, where you directly controls the character Manuel “Manny” Calavera to interact with characters and environment to further explore the artistic world of the Land of the Dead…

Cheesy lines and comedic at best, Grim Fandango managed to capture me and my buddies’ hearts with its superb implementation of puzzle solving and interactions. This was also the game that prompted my buds to nickname me Glotto for some reason… 0_o

Unfortunately, adventure games totally die after this, with various games from hence forth not really caught my attention…

Other mentions: Fahrenheit, The Longest Journey, Still Life…


First Person Shooter
Duke Nukem 3D

Duke Nukem 3D is perhaps one of the first ever FPS (My first being Wolfenstein 3D but it’s kinda repetitive at most…) that intrigues me not because of the promise of bloods and gory carnage (Yeah… We kids those days love those things… >,<), but to directly control the symbolic titular macho character called Duke Nukem through his pair of visors that have a real name unlike the nameless soldier we controlled in Doom or Quake… ^_^

Apart from that, the game also include various minute environment interactivities such as toilet flushing, cursing at many situation (When stepping upon shit and such… :3) and paying hookers for their stripping service… 0_0

It was also the 1st ever FPS to introduce the Z-space control – that is to jump (And flies!) up and down instead of just moving forwards-backwards-sided-to-sideonly in a flat plane…

Unfortunately, the game sparked a controversy with its sexual and violent contents and being notorious for its “When it’s done” Duke Nukem 4Ever sequel incident, in which the sequel was supposed to be finished the year after the release of Duke Nukem 3D but the development has been dragged on and on for more than a decade… Perhaps it will never see the light… >,<

Such great game, such a waste… D:

Other mentions: Doom, Quake, Unreal, Half-Life…


Ahh… The good old days… Does that mean I’m ancient now!? 0_o

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