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If you are reading this,
you either live in some Third World country that doesn't have turkeys, or you
snuck away from your Thanksgiving festivities to read about video games on the
internet. When your family joins hands around the dinner table and
everyone takes turns saying what they're thankful for, your Mom probably
doesn't want to hear about how happy you are that there’s no level cap in Skyrim. But we here at Player Affinity know how you
feel. Here are few games that we feel
Erik Chalhoub: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
There are very few things that I own that recall childhood memories, and Ocarina of Time is one of them. My first playthrough of the game (like mostly everyone else) was during its launch year of 1998, as a little 9-year-old who was too distracted with this game to do his homework. As I grow older and juggle between work and school 24/7, I slowly forget what being a kid was like—that time when I could play video games all day without having many responsibilities. To this day, I still play Ocarina of Time. With almost every scene in the game, I can recall my reaction as a kid. For instance, every time I visit the Hyrule Royal Tomb and encounter the Redeads, I always remember walking up to them when I was 9, expecting to “talk to them.” We all know what Redeads do to Link if you get too close to them, and this experience was so traumatic that I still vividly recall the horror that shot through me. Yes, this is why I’m thankful for Ocarina of Time, just for reminding me what my lost childhood mind was once like.
Yaron Elmaliah: Dark Souls
Today, I'd like to give thanks for a little game called Dark Souls. I thank it for punishing my mistakes without mercy and without pity, for teaching me that patience is a virtue and reminding me that a good challenge is immensely rewarding. As much as Dark Souls hates me, I can't help but love it. Nobody has the guts, the audacity, to make games like this anymore. Games that require trial and error, patience, and re-treading your steps. Not only that, From Software actually managed to make these things fun and rewarding as opposed to frustrating. Most games are afraid to let you fail, and more importantly, to let you figure things out for yourself. Not sure where to go? Here's a big fat arrow to follow. Died on that boss? Not to worry, the game will tell you exactly what to do. Dark Souls doesn't do any of these things. It presents players with a seamless world filled with things that want to kill you, and challenges you to make it through however you can. I am incredibly thankful that this game was made and released, and even moreso that enough people still crave this experience that it does well enough for them to warrant a sequel. Not every game needs to, or should be Dark Souls, but I'm sure glad it's around. Praise the sun!
Fergus Halliday: Team Fortress 2
If there’s any game I'm thankful for it's Team Fortress 2. Since I first played Valve’s Online Multiplayer FPS/Hat Simulator in a LAN Cafe, it's been the FPS for me and my mates. Personally I've devoted over six hundred hours to the game. TF2 caters to pretty much every kind of FPS gamer. Players who like to play fast and loose can go Scout while more defensive players can play as Engineer. TF2 was already a solid FPS when it first came out as part of the Orange Box but there have been numerous additions that Valve have made since release and they have shown no signs of stopping with their recent Manniversity and Halloween updates adding new items, hats and maps. I'm thankful for Team Fortress 2 because it's the best $10 (I got it on sale) I've ever spent on a game.
Mat Ombler: Skyrim
I can breathe ice and flame. I have shouted Bandit’s to death. I have brought down giants by placing myself out of harms reach and then showering them with a frenzied storm of arrows. I have thrown myself onto the back of a dragon and driven an axe into its skull. I’ve ridden horses off the end of cliffs, just to see my horse reach rocket-like speed as it spiraled, or flopped, to its inevitable demise. I have pickpocketed my best friends, and with their hard earned money managed to buy myself houses and find vast fortune. I have single handedly ruined the lives of hundreds. I have torn apart families and caused terror on a mass scale. When confronted by guards about my antics and ever increasing bounty, I can still bribe them to look the other way. I’m untouchable, or at least I thought I was until I killed a chicken one-day. People don’t seem to mind the death of loved ones, but kill a chicken and entire towns, and indeed the neighboring ones, won’t rest until they hunt you down. I'm fifty hours in to Bethesda's latest masterpiece Skyrim and it feels like I still haven't scratched the surface. I should probably start my second quest.
Chris Mole: Final Fantasy VII
I’ve recently been re-playing Final Fantasy VII (for what seems like the umpteenth time) and despite the number of times I’ve seen Cloud’s level 3 limit breaks, laughed at Aeris’ “This guy are sick” comment or been deeply moved by Cid’s Theme, the game never fails to affect me in some way. That’s why I’m thankful for Final Fantasy VII; to me, it represents the perfect fusion of enjoyable J-RPG gameplay, characters that you can care about deeply and a fantastic, absolutely spellbinding soundtrack. In fact, in my other job as a musician, the music from Final Fantasy VII has been a huge inspiration and has shaped my development as a composer- making music that is still captivating the two hundredth time that you’ve heard it is incredibly tricky and I have nothing but respect for Nobuo Uematsu’s talents in that area. It’s one of very few games that I played as a child which have retained their polish and nostalgic sheen despite the encroaching cynicism of adult life, and I am incredibly thankful for it.
Steven Hill: Ultima Online
Ultima Online strikes some chords with me. It was strange and different, completely unlike just about any game that had come before. Many gamers out there now cut their teeth on level treadmills like EverQuest or even the starting-to-get-long-in-the-tooth World of Warcraft. I can actually still whistle a few of the rather catchy songs, and I genuinely miss seeing the treasure chest main menu open up, waiting for my login. Of course, that was back during the days of dial-up. Trying to PvP with a 33.6 or even a 56K was quite painful, seeing as your run speed (especially on a mount) appeared to be tied with how fast your computer could send data to the server. If EA were to announce a T2A (no Trammel for me, please) classic shard tomorrow, I would be the first to pick up another copy of the game. Ah, to return to the wild west days of UO.
Charles Battersby: Mario Kart 7
It isn’t out yet, but I’m thankful that this game will give me a first party Nintendo title for my under-used 3DS. Sure, it’s fun being a hardcore gamer who shoots zombies and frags n00bz, but I also like to play something whimsical every now and then. Having had a little hands on with Mario Kart 7 at a recent con, I’ll be on the edge of my seat for the next week and a half until it launches and I can go zooming around on a hang-glider that is also a submarine!
What game are you thankful for? “Like” our Facebook page and tell us.