Video games, being a huge source of entertainment, have become a huge part of tech-savvy cultures. But like everyday living, video games continually evolve. Whether it’s graphics, story or gameplay, with every iteration of a game, you can expect something different. The question, however, is this: How does the gaming experience start, and what comes from it? The story differs from person to person, even with the following gamers.

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Photo by Angela Linc

Nick Rabideau, the assistant store manager of a GameStop store Plattsburgh, N.Y., began his gaming experience with Pokémon games.“Once they made a Pokémon game, I had to play it,” Rabideau said.

However, when it came to a game’s changes over time, his first picks are the “Final Fantasy” games. The game that started out as Japanese Role-Playing Game (JRPG) has gone through at least 14 different versions. Rabideau describes the game’s evolution as “far-reaching and risky.” Unfortunately, he could remember only as far as games 10, 11, 13 and 14. Rabideau recalled game 10 having more freedom of movement than the previous incarnations. As for game 11, he identified it as a simple Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing (MMORPG). Rabideau then rated game 13’s open-world feel higher than its predecessors. Finally, in game 14, he recognized the MMORPG’s ability, which proves to be far more successful than all previous games combined. Rabideau’s most favored genre of games is the RPG, as it gives the player choices while keeping him or her on a story path.

Jeremy Kokofsky, the senior game adviser at the same GameStop location, started his gaming experience playing on his dad’s Sega Genesis. His favorite game at the time was “Streets of Rage,” which was a side-scrolling game he described as “simplistic yet fun.” Basically, the protagonist walks screen-right and beats up groups of thugs along the way. However, now-a-days, Kokofsky favors a monster-fighting game simply known as “Monster Hunter,” which is made by Capcom and had only five releases in the United States. Kokofsky doesn’t admire the game’s changes as much as the company’s ability to admit mistakes, such as certain character abilities.   Kokofsky related, for example, how one of Capcom’s game releases gave characters the ability to swim. Capcom later apologized and took the ability out of future versions of this game, as multiple players disliked the ability. When it came to game favoritism, Kokofsky shared Rabideau’s love for RPGs. He describes these games as more fleshed-out or detailed and complete. He feels as if the player becomes part of the game world. He spoke further, bringing up the game of “Dragon Age,” where the player’s actions can even change the game world.

Justin DeCoste, the operator of the DeCoste Insurance Company in Ellenburg Depot, N.Y., began his gaming experience with the Super Nintendo. His top two games were the original “Mario Bros.” and “Duck Hunt.” At that time, Mario Bros. was a side-scrolling game with pixelated graphics. Duck Hunt’s objective is in the title: Shoot ducks as they come onto the screen. Later, he moved onto the Nintendo 64. As games evolved over the years, DeCoste admired “Mario Bros.” and its various split-offs the most. These include Mario Party 1 through 8, the Mario Cart games and “Super Mario Sunshine.”

For those who are unfamiliar with this game, Super Mario Sunshine is an open-world action/adventure game set on a dolphin-shaped island called “Isle Delfino.” Mario, Princess Peach, Toadsworth and three Toadstool kids travel to this island for some rest and relaxation. When they land, however, they discover strange happenings involving colored goop. Obtaining an AI-infused water cannon named FLUDD, Mario washes the goop away. He is then locked up and later sees he is being framed for polluting Isle Delfino and is ordered to clean it up. The game makes Mario very acrobatic, allowing him to wall jump and flip. The water cannon has several attachments, including a rocket pack, allowing him to reach higher altitude, and a motor pack, which turns him into a motorboat in the water and increases his speed on land. The villain is dressed in a blue gel-like outfit, giving him glowing red eyes, and morphs into a distinguishable yet grotesque likeness of Mario. He creates the goop and the monsters the player fights with a magical paint brush, which brings up the game’s biggest, if not one and only, plot hole. The brush and FLUDD are created by the company FLUDD identifies as Gadd Science Inc. Although throughout the game, we never see any cut-scenes or missions related to this little detail except when the villain reveals his true identity.

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Photo by Angela Lince

As for his favorite genre of video games, DeCoste enjoys racing games the most. His most recent experience is “Need 4 Speed: Most Wanted.” In this game, the player is an underworld racer trying to rise to the top of a racer blacklist. To do so, the character needs to be driving the fastest, most aerodynamic car that can be built. The side missions allow players to obtain car parts and unlock other cars. When a player beats the blacklist racers, that person gets their cars. Also, while racing through the streets, high-speed chases with law enforcement occur. Players can cause accidents to lose police and find safe spots to lay low. If cornered, players pay certain fines in terms of experience and cash.

As games continue to evolve, gamers can only imagine what new releases will bring. Will players ever reach their ultimate gaming experience? All we can do is wait and see what happens.

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