With money and time as an finite resource, it’s very easy to stay in a comfort zone with the video games you play. But sometimes, you get rewarded for escaping your imaginary box. Despite my previous negative response to art games like Journey and The Unfinished Swan, trying out Gris on the strength of a recommendation from Kris and Rachel from Double Jump proved to be a worthwhile endeavour.
Here are a few more games that I’ve played that expanded my horizons in ways I wasn’t expecting.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3
But wait, I thought you liked fighting games already? Yes and no. I’ve always been a huge fan of Street Fighter, but other games in the genre have been hit-and-miss. During my early days of Street Fighter IV when I was just starting to get serious, I truly believed that I couldn’t grasp other games in the genre due to how different they were.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is not inherently designed to be a gateway game, but playing that game gave me a greater appreciation for the fighting game genre as a whole. Besides being a wild and frenetic fighter, garnering some success in it proved to me that my skills can transfer between games. From this point forward, I took a keen interest in the scene, dipping my toes in almost every major fighting game out there, while also trying my hand at more niche titles.
Advance Wars was the first strategy game I’d ever played. At the time when I bought it on launch day, the game didn’t even look that appealing for me. However, as a highly-impressionable teen gamer, I had to check out this game got a whopping 9.9 out of 10 by IGN. You shouldn’t always follow review scores as gospel, but IGN was right on this one. Advance Wars was a brilliant strategy game that opened the door for me to enjoy games like Fire Emblem and XCOM.
Just before Telltale’s The Walking Dead blew the doors wide open for the modern adventure game, Heavy Rain slid into my PS3 and blew my mind. While it still had some of the adventure game obtuseness that had bothered me about the genre for quite some time, it placed the focus on its mature story and the impact your decisions would have on the narrative. This new take on storytelling in games is the reason I played the aforementioned Walking Dead games, Telltale Batman, and Life is Strange.
Before Guitar Hero, I saw rhythm games as just Dance Dance Revolution. It seemed nothing like dancing to me, and I also have two left feet. While holding a plastic guitar will never make someone think you’re actually Eddie Van Halen, Guitar Hero was close enough to the guitar playing experience to make me feel like I was a rock star. Not long after this, I jumped over to Rock Band, where I bought hundreds of DLC songs, rocking out to the sounds of great music and an empty bank account.
What games helped you expand your horizons?
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