6 Video Games That Changed My Life

For a lot of people, video games were a big part of our childhood and our adult lives, too. Games are fairly inexpensive, fun, and provide hours and hours of entertainment. We got a Nintendo 64 in around 1998, and my brother and I would spend our afternoons and weekends killing monsters, going on adventures, and making amazing memories.

If you’re like me, you have a few games that are not only rooted in your memory forever, but sorted of shaped who you are. Connections to places and characters can alter your perspective and make you see the world differently. It doesn’t matter that they’re fictional!

Let me share with you six video games that seriously changed my life.

1. Pokémon Fire Red

I never had one of the original Game Boys, but my cousin did, and he sometimes let me play the original Pokémon Yellow on his device. It seemed awesome, and when I got a bit older I finally got a Game Boy Advance and Pokémon Fire Red.

I have a tendency to get really, really into games, just like some people get really into books, movies, and TV shows. Fire Red sucked me right in. I fought Team Rocket, explored the exciting Kanto region, developed close bonds with my Pokémon buddies and became World Champion. I was completely in love with Fire Red and its story. This was around 2005, so I was about twelve years old.

I cared so much for my Charizard, Dragonair, and other Pokémon I had. Like a lot of ’90s kids, I remember watching the anime on TV and always remained biased that the first generation of Pokémon were the best. My little avatar was eventually so strong and I got super emotional when I finally managed to win the Pokemon league.

Because I didn’t have the wires or stuff to trade Pokémon, the last part of the game was inaccessible to me. If I can’t 100% a game for whatever reason, it always seems even more mysterious and exciting.

2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

I know I’m not alone on this one. Ocarina of Time is still the best Zelda game in my opinion. With a great story, an explorable world, really cool temples, this was another game I spent hours and hours of my childhood on this game, really cared about Epona, Saria, Malon, Zelda, Ruto and, of course, Link himself.

This was the first ever game I played and I still love love love it to this day.

3. Dragon Age: Origins

I have my brother to thank for introducing me to what was probably the best roleplaying fantasy game of the 2010s (though Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion comes a close second). As a teenager who loved fantasy (still do), I lost myself from the very beginning in the rich land of Fereldan and its story.

I love games where you create your own character (2000s-2010s Sims games, anyone?) and immediately chose to be a Dalish Elf. I, like many other girls around the world, fell in actual real love with Alistair, one of the characters, and changed my own character halfway through so that I could be a human noble and marry him at the end.

Though there are some quests that are a pain, the game is truly gorgeous with a rich story and unforgettable characters. I cared about Alistair more than I cared about a lot of real people and even now he makes me give a dreamy sigh. Dragon Age: Inquisition, the third of the DA series, is also absolutely fantastic, but Origins has that special place in my heart.

4. Fallout 3

I didn’t think Fallout 3 would really be my kind of game. I wasn’t keen on post-apocalyptic style games since I found them to be depressing. However, I gave it a try.

I could make my own character again! Similarly to Dragon Age, I could choose dialogue options and either be nice or cruel. I explored the world, completed missions, and saw a glimpse of what the world (or Washington D.C., at least) could be like after a nuclear war. It was sobering as it was thrilling.

This game got me more interested in the United States and although I’m not American, I felt a sort of patriotic rush of sadness at the sight of the ruined city.

5. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon

Another Pokémon game makes this list with Mystery Dungeon, which was released in 2005. I probably played it in around 2006 or 2007 on Game Boy Advance.

This game is unlike the usual “become a trainer, capture Pokémon, and become Champion” playthrough. In Mystery Dungeon you’re transformed into a Pokémon (which one you become depends on your answers to the quiz at the beginning) and you help out other Pokémon with problems like getting lost in caves or getting separated from their friends. The game has no human people in it at all and provides insight into a completely different side of the Pokémon world.

I got really attached to your best friend in the game, whom you are always with. He even stays by your side when you are blamed for something you didn’t do and you go through a lot together. I cried my eyes out at the end and thoroughly enjoyed the game and all the adventures you go through. I was 14 years old when I played it and it touched my heart.

6. Final Fantasy X-2

(Still one of the coolest openings in any game, ever).

I had never played any Final Fantasy games before. We always had Nintendo consoles and didn’t get a PlayStation until what felt like way after everyone else. I remember my brother’s friend came over and played Final Fantasy X-2 and I was just besotted.

As an eleven-year-old, I thought the pretty, crazy-dressed fighter girls were the coolest I had ever seen. I particularly loved Paine, with her gothic-style look and giant sword. I hadn’t played X, so I didn’t know who Yuna was talking about when she mentioned Tidas from the first game. To me, he was mysterious and I wanted to know so much more about him. Yuna’s song 1000 Words still makes me cry.

This was before the time when I could just pull my phone out my pocket and search. I didn’t know who this man was or if Yuna would ever see him again. I was just the right age where I thought the three female characters were the coolest girls ever. It was something of a unique experience.

The game itself has horrible gameplay and awkward as hell animation but I think there are many people out there like me who think of FFX-2 as a guilty pleasure.

We all have memories we hold dear from our days of being kids. Whether it’s a memory of a place or person, TV show, movie, or game, we love to hold onto the unique feeling we got from the experience. Have you ever played a video game that changed your life?

Dragon Age: Inquisition Guides and Articles

All Dragon Age Inquisition-related guides and articles on LevelSkip I have written.

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Romance and Approval

Who Should I Romance in Dragon Age: Inquisition? A Complete Guide

How to Romance Josephine

How to Romance Cullen

How to Romance The Iron Bull

How to Romance Cassandra

How to Romance Solas

How to Romance Sera

How to Romance Dorian

How to Romance Blackwall

How to Get Maximum Approval From Cole

How to Get Maximum Approval From Vivienne

How to Get Maximum Approval From Varric

Levelling Up

All the Fighting Classes at a Glance

How to Level Up Quickly

How to Gain Power

Quest-Related

A Complete Guide to Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts

How to Find and Defeat All 10 High Dragons

Misc

6 Things Dragon Age: Inquisition Did Better Than Skyrim

The Actors and Actresses Behind Our Favourite Characters

Playing The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Again

Day 28

Guyyyyyyys. It finally arrived.

Hnng.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is a fantastic game and one that was played for thousands, probably millions of hours worldwide in the late 00s. As a lover of fantasy roleplaying games, I did my fair share of exploring, Oblivion gate closing, questing, and guilding. My younger brother, Calum, fell in love with the game and that was the first of many he ended up playing.

Upon finishing Skyrim and Dragon Age and listening to the Oblivion soundtrack I knew I needed to play it again. I never knew until recently (which might have saved me a lot of trouble) that the Japanese and the American PlayStations are the same; as in, you can play an American game on a Japanese console and vice-versa. I found Oblivion for a fairly reasonable price on Amazon, waited several weeks for it to arrive, and was suddenly jumping on the spot.

Would it be just as magical as when I first played it? Video game graphics have come along way since 2006. But as the music played, I was a happy teenager again, ready to dive into Tamriel and close shut the jaws of Oblivion.

Sometimes when you play a game for the nostalgia, it ends up being a bit disappointing. Last year, when I still had my Wii U, I downloaded Pokemon Snap which, to my delight, was available on the virtual console.

I finished it in about two hours thinking was that it? As a kid I spent weeks exploring the levels, taking photographs, collecting items and wondering where I needed to go to unlock new stages and new Pokemon. I’m not saying that it isn’t a good game; I just didn’t get the joy out of it that I did as a child because now I already know where all the secrets and items are.

Oblivion, however, is still as perfect and awesome and insane as it was twelve years ago, and I’m ready to waste time I could be spending reading, writing, or having a social life completing quests and helping Martin Septim realise his destiny as king. For the Emperor!

Top 10 Favourite Games of 2017

Day 11 [New Year’s Resolution]: Top 10 Favourite Games of 2017

I like video games a lot, and 2018 promises to bring some seriously cool releases. I played some awesome titles in 2017, so here is a list of my top ten favourites! Bear in mind these games weren’t necessarily released in ’17, they’re just ones I played.

10. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

Released in June 2017 on PlayStation 4, I was pretty excited to see a remake of this loveable orange character, who first appeared on the PlayStation 1. I didn’t actually have a PS1 when I was a kid (we were a Nintendo 64 family), but I remember playing the original on a cousin’s console sometime in the ’90s, and The Wrath of Cortex, which vaguely resembles the second in the new trilogy, was on GameCube.

The new one was fun and actually pretty difficult! I only just managed to finish the first of the trilogy, which means there is a lot more crystal and gem collecting, box destroying, fruit pick-upping, and bad guys’ ass whooping to go.

9. NieR RepliCant

NieR was a game that it seemed only my brothers and I knew about. It had a gorgeous storyline, a great script, fun gameplay, and was completely underrated. Then NieR: Automata came out, and everyone was suddenly a huge fan (just for the record, I do like Automata too, but I didn’t start playing it until 2018).

I found RepliCant on PS3 at a BOOK OFF store sometime last autumn and decided to play it again. Although it was RepliCant where Nier is a young boy and the brother of Yonah (as a teenager, I played the XBOX version, Gestalt, where Nier was a middle-aged man and Yonah was his daughter), it was still enjoyable. It brought back some great memories.

8. Shadow of the Colossus

Another classic is Shadow of the Colossus, an incredibly artistic game that resonated with a lot of people with its fantastic orchestral soundtrack, unusual gameplay, heart-wrenching ending, and mighty monsters. I bought my PS3 especially to play this again, and it was a lot of fun to complete.

Apparently PS4 owners can look forward to another Colossus remaster (it was originally released on PlayStation 2 in 2005). If you’re a fan of the game, keep an eye out for it. According to PlayStation’s Twitter account, it’ll be out in February 2018!

7. Call of Duty: World War II

I’d never played a Call of Duty game before, but I was really excited for WWII. I’m not too big on the multiplayer function, but I really enjoyed the campaign. Sometimes I felt I really was Officer Daniels, fighting to stay alive and blowing up Nazis.

6. Destiny

I’d vaguely heard of Destiny before, but didn’t pay it much attention until I heard the song Rise from the Dark by Malukah. As a huge fan of her music, that song got me interested, so I bought it.

I actually thought it was a lot of fun. It had a lot of features I love in games: open-world (kind of), the ability to level up and upgrade my weapons and armour, and interesting lore. However, I never got far beyond the basic campaign since I wasn’t willing to pay for downloads. Considering I got it for 600 yen at BOOK OFF, it was pretty good value for money.

I’ve heard Destiny 2 is out, but haven’t heard enough good things to invest 7000 yen into it.

5. The Binding of Isaac

All right, this game is super old, but I still played it a lot in 2017 (mostly during times I was supposed to be writing or studying.) It remains a fantastic and addictive game with deliciously dark underlying meanings.

4. Dying Light

I hadn’t even heard of Dying Light until my friend Mike lent it to me. He lent me a bunch of games, and I didn’t even touch this one until it had been sitting in my drawer for several months. I finally pulled it out last year and had a go at it, expecting a lot of shooting and gore like in Left4Dead. But it was really good!

I loved the open world, the ability to collect, loot, and craft, and the fact that it wasn’t all killing zombies – you had to climb and run and hide as well. Dying Light definitely exceeded my expectations.

3. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

This gets bonus points for nostalgia and the time spent furiously playing online and losing much more than I was winning. Super Smash Brothers has a special place in my heart; my brothers and I played it from the original Nintendo 64 version all the way through Melee and Brawl, too.

I, unfortunately, sold my Wii U towards the end of 2017, but not before I had fun playing as Peach, Wario, Kirby, and Shiek.

2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

I’ll admit, I was a late bloomer when it came to Skyrim. I actually did buy it when it came out in 2011, but my PC could barely run it, and after half an hour of lag, I gave up and didn’t play it again until January 2017.

I don’t need to explain why this is a great game. It had its flaws, but from its open world to endless quests to great music to DRAGONS, it was fantastic.

1. Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dragon Age: Origins on XBOX 360 was my favourite game when I was a teenager, and the story, music, and characters (Alistairrrr) touched me on a level nothing else has ever managed to. If you’ve played Origins, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

So imagine my surprise when Mike casually offered to lend me his copy of the newest installment, Dragon Age: Inquisition. I don’t really keep as up-to-date with the latest gaming news as much as I should, so I had no idea it was even out.

I’ve easily knocked five hundred hours or more into Inquisition, and it’s everything I wanted. I’ve written around twenty articles on LevelSkip including romance guides, approval guides, and how to kill the high dragons, and the characters have stayed with me almost (almost) as much as Alistair did in Origins. It’s a total masterpiece, and I just bought the Game of the Year edition the other day!

Rumours are flying around about another Dragon Age game as well, which I’ve got all my fingers and toes crossed for.

Video games are a great pastime, and I’m always looking for interesting new titles to try as well as clinging to the games I played as a kid. Have you played any of these? Which ones do you like?