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When A Game Takes Over Your Life
We’ve all played them; they’re the games that take over every waking moment of your life, whether you’re playing them or just thinking about them. You spend every free moment hooked to a console (or PC) to play them, delay or cancel plans in order to clear you schedule to spend time with them, think about them constantly, and stay up until all hours of the morning in order to clear “just one more level”.
There’s something unique and endearing about games like this. It’s when this occurs that you’ve found a game that resonates with you and really delivers the gaming fix you so crave. Maybe they’re a popular Triple-A title, or maybe they’re one of the most random or obscure games that have a niche fanbase. Whatever the case, they’re something to be celebrated in the life of a gamer.
While some of them are admittedly odd, here are the six games that became my obsession for weeks at a time. What are yours?
Rise of Nations
Back in the day I was a pretty big Age of Empires fan, but for some reason, Big Huge Games’ Rise of Nations was the strategy game that grabbed my attention and would not let go. Sure, it’s not perfect, and it’s more than likely I’d catch heat from more experienced strategy game players for loving it so much, but the execution of this game felt flawless to me when I was a teenager. I loved the city construction, the upgrades, the resource gathering, and the army tactics involved. It’s a fairly involved game that would more than test my logic in a positive way. Hours upon hours went into this game, and I still have fond memories of watching my little army guys take out the enemy as I moved towards world domination.
The original Fable was loaned to me by a friend one summer vacation. I’m a casual fantasy fan, so I’ve always enjoyed the odd fantasy RPG and JRPG. But from the moment I started playing, Fable was different. It felt so totally different from any other game I’d ever played, whether it was the quirky art style, the interesting story, the morality choices, or the fluid and satisfying combat. I spent hours taking quests, exploring side stories and meeting NPCs, decapitating bandits, clearing out caves of Hobbes, and testing my might against the most dangerous of Balverines.
I’ve played through and enjoyed Fable II and III enough, but it’s the original Fable that will always have a special place in my heart.
It’s definitely not the first Pokemon game I’ve ever played, but it is the one I dumped a significant majority of my adolescence into. Right after I purchased my own Game Boy Color with a collection of birthday, allowance, and babysitting money, I went down to the local Blockbuster and bought a used copy of the game. The rest is history. I spent months holed up in my room, battling masters and leveling up my Pokemon until becoming nearly invincible and winning the Pokemon league. Meals were skipped, sleep was lost, and beautiful summer days went ignored as I spend time in this game. And of course, I don’t regret a single moment of it.
Sure, Skyrim has been the most recent time suck of Elder Scrolls gaming for me, but Oblivion was the notable first. Being fairly impatient and rarely able to stay consistent with one title at a time, I don’t necessarily tend to invest a large amount of time into certain games. Not so with Oblivion, which I invested a personal best of seventy hours in. There’s something strangely individual to an Elder Scrolls game; due to its random quality, no one will ever play the same way as anyone else, allowing you to craft a story all your own as you traverse the game’s vibrant world. Plus, the fact that you can go anywhere and do anything made it something special that I couldn’t put down for months. I even figured out a way to work out on the elliptical and play the game at the same time. Dedication, my friends.
I grew up in a house with three brothers who all loved games as much as I did. The first video game console to come into our house was a Nintendo 64, which we all proceeded to fight over until everyone had a chance to play. Eventually, we pooled our money together and purchased Excitebike 64, a motocross game that quickly became the first game I ever successfully completed 100%, defeating all the difficulty modes, unlocking every extra mini game, and even setting time records on a majority of the tracks. The strangest part about this, however, is that I’m only a mild racing game fan. But despite that, the game quickly became one of my crowning achievements when I was a kid.
I used to spend every weekend at my best friend’s house playing solo missions and multiplayer with her and her little brother. What’s not to love about this game? Paintball mode, big head mode, camping, screen watching, running by and shooting your friend dead with one shot from the golden gun…it simply did not get better than spending hours on end playing as James Bond and his cohorts in a deadly corridor chase with firearms. Even today I still pop this game in for nostalgia’s sake, making it one of the most beloved time-sucking games I’ve ever played.