Next week on November 15th officially marks the end of this generation and the beginning of the next one. Starting with the release of the Xbox 360 in 2005, this generation has been one of the longest in the history of gaming. With such a long time span, gamers have had time to forge plenty of memories with their respective systems. Since we’re saying goodbye to one generation and hello to another, I figured it’d be a good time to talk about some of my fondest gaming moments of the last eight years. Let’s get it going.
One of my favorite things to do as a kid was play games in co-operative mode with the homies in my neighborhood. As I got older and assumed the responsibilities of adult life, it wasn’t as easy to get people together in a house to spend hours huddled in front of the television. Thank God for online gaming.
Me and the homie Jerz have definitely gotten it in on popular titles like Dragons Crown, Call of Duty, GTA Online and Borderlands. In life, it always helps to rock with people you have a relationship because you know what you’re getting into. You know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Our bond as brothers has been forged in the fire of late night online shootouts and early morning strategy plans for those shootouts.
2. Kratos vs. Helios
Fast forward to 1:11 and just watch. Also, not safe for work. Or kids. Or parents. Or those who don’t like violence.
3. NCAA online franchise mode.
Playing in an online franchise mode with 12 people in NCAA led to some EPIC moments. Being able to face each other week after week, ruining national title hopes, stealing recruits, and kicking the crap out of each other on the gridiron were awesome times. The amount of trash talk between all parties was voluminous during the regular season, but the best part of the online franchise was the off-season.
In addition to all the off-season tasks EA had on the schedule, being in a chat lobby with 11 other dudes for three to four hours made from some riotous moments. I remember laughing until the wee hours of the morning with the homies on NCAA, talking trash about hard-fought victories, soul-crushing losses, or even just shooting the breeze discussing life. If I spent 100 hours playing NCAA, at least 35 of those hours were spent cracking jokes with the homies.
4. Metal Gear Solid 4: Solid Snake vs. Liquid Ocelot
Metal Gear Solid (MGS) is one of the best franchises in videogame history. There are two things MGS will always be associated with. Long cutscenes and some of the best boss battles a gamer will ever participate in. For a game with such a storied history of boss battles, the final battle with Liquid has never left my memory bank. I’m not sure if it was the setting, the music, or the cut-scene that actually preceded the fight, but everything about this battle was an unforgettable event. Gaming at its very best.
5. X-Com Enemy Unknown: The squad-sight perk.
You know what I hate the most about videogames? The beginning. I often find myself wanting to get to the “sweet” spot in my gaming experience. The part where you have just enough understanding of everything you need to do and everything becomes second nature. Sometimes, an ability makes that sweet spot come sooner. Enter the “squad-sight” perk for the sniper class in X-Com: Enemy Unknown.
One of the greatest difficulties in X-Com, is taking out enemy aliens without putting yourself at risk. The squad-sight perk allows for snipers to have the same visibility as any of the soldiers on the field. Snipers, as a class, have limited movement and can’t shoot and move in the same turn. While that’s a crappy limitation, snipers do have the ability to kill most enemies with one shot from halfway across the map so long as nothing is blocking the shot. On an open map, with multiple enemies, having a sniper being able to cover the entire field is the closest thing you can get to a cheat code in this game. And it’s truly a glorious thing.
6. Mass Effect: Punching the reporter woman in the face.
Violence against women isn’t cool. Violence against reporters that try to twist the facts and make you look bad but also happen to be women? Well…that’s ok.
7. Waiting outside all night for my Xbox 360.
It was a cold night in November 2005. A very cold night. I was working at Best Buy the night before release when people were already lined up outside. A couple of my co-workers were interested in copping a 360, but all of us were scheduled to work until closing. One of my co-workers told a few of us that CompUSA would be selling the system as well. CompUSA was right down the street from my house and happened to be a low traffic area, since Best Buy was the go-to store in Tallahassee. I got off first and swung by CompUSA on the way home, and much to my delight, I didn’t see anybody in line.
What followed was a wait time of roughly 11 hours in the car with the heat turned on full blast. I even went home at one point that night to make a jug of hot chocolate to bring back for the crew. That was the first time I’d ever waited overnight for a system…or well, anything. In hindsight, it was pretty ridiculous but at the time, we were just down for the cause.
8. The Last Of Us: Joel lying to Ellie.
Everything about The Last of Us is emotional. Outside of Telltale Games: The Walking Dead, I honestly can’t remember the last time I was this emotionally invested into a game and its characters. I can’t really think of a good way to talk about how great this game is without ruining it, but just know, if you haven’t played it you’ve deprived yourself. The Last of Us isn’t just one of the best games of this year, it’s one of the best games of this generation and it’s going down as one of the greatest of all time.
With that said, after the journey, you’re following Joel and Ellie as they continue on. Her face says something is wrong with her and eventually she speaks on the matter. Watching the conversation between Joel and Ellie and his lying to her after all they’ve gone through is necessary, but heartbreaking.
9. The Walking Dead: Carly getting killed.
Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead, strictly from a story standpoint, is one of my favorites of this generation. I loved it so much I even thought about naming my daughter after one of its main characters, Clementine. While I don’t plan on following through with that sentiment, it speaks to the high quality of the story presented.
The characters I met in this story are three dimensional and I eventually became attached to them. Unfortunately, the attachment was used against me and no death had caught me more off guard than the death of Carly. In a game full of “oh shit” moments, I literally yelled out “oh shit” when Carly died. The Walking Dead is an intense game with plenty of intense moments. While Carly was just one of many, the manner in which she died came as a complete shock all the same.
10. GTA 5: Trevor and Lamar have a heart to heart.
I promise you on everything, I hated Lamar when this game started. After this conversation, Lamar became one of my favorite videogame characters of all time. The conversation starts at the beginning of the video and ends around the 7 minute mark. Enjoy.
And there you have it. My top ten favorite moments of this generation. Check back this week as my compadres, ChronoJerz and @Peagle05 share their favorite moments of this generation as well. In the meantime, feel free to hit the comment box (or hit us up on twitter at @OurcadeGames) and let us know some of your favorite gaming moments from this generation.