I'm really feeling it!

Gamer Mosaic: What Kind of Gamer Are You?

Around the start of nü-TAY I posted an article to introduce myself to all you fine folks and vice-versa. It's been a while since then, and the TAY of today is certainly a different place than it once was, full of woefully un-introduced people. So let's take a moment. Hello! I'm poco.

Hi poco.


What we're going to do is create a mosaic. You start by picking 9 games. These can be the games you've played the most, the games you've enjoyed the most, or simply the games that have affected you the most. The purpose isn't to create some "GREATEST GAMES OF ALL TIME: THE DEFINITIVE LIST," but instead, ask yourself: how do you want to represent yourself as a gamer? What games get you excited? What games influenced you deeply? What made you want to call yourself a gamer at all? Who are you?


And of course, above all, this is meant to be a fun chance to talk about the games we love. So! To get started, go to:


Using Google Image search, find some images from your 9 favorite games and arrange them together in a 3 x 3 grid. Then, a brief sentence or two (or three! Heck, go nuts!) about why you chose them and what they mean to you. To get the ball rolling, here is mine!

Super Mario Bros. 3

The alpha and the omega. This game is ground-zero for me and gaming. It came with my yard-sale-bought NES, along with a few other classics, and was easily my most-played game of that era. This is the game that got 2D platforming so right, other games are emulating its mechanics 25 years later. Meanwhile I've still never beaten it.


Final Fantasy VI (aka Final Fantasy III)

Although I was quite late to the party on this game, only playing it on a PC emulator in high school, it had a profound effect on me. This is the game that forever set me on the path of the JRPG. The scope of the story, the memorable characters, and the cataclysmic plot-twist all worked together beautifully to create perhaps my most memorable gaming experience ever. If there was one game I wish I could experience for the first time again, this would be it.


Deus Ex

This game arrived during my first phase of PC-gaming obsession (I'm currently deep in the midst of another). It was clunky, dense, and weird, full of odd details and non-essential bits of world-building. It had huge environments and almost too many options to travel through them. It completely and utterly fascinated me. I simply lived in that world for several weeks. I was JC Denton.


Deus Ex also has the distinction of being the first game I ever paid full-price for out of my own pocket. I was 14 at the time. So. Worth it.

Tekken 3

As a child of the 90's, arcades were a big part of my gaming diet growing up. One day I saw my local pizza place acquired a Tekken 2 cabinet, so I promptly wasted several dollars trying out all the weird looking fighters and gawking at the polygons. A few years later I found a case-less copy of Tekken 3 among a bunch of junk in an Army-Navy store and bought it immediately. It became a perpetual obsession. I played through every bonus mode and unlocked every piece of content there was, and then I just kept playing it anyways.


Mario Tennis

During the 64/PSone era I landed on the PSone side. Thus, I missed my first chance to play many of the greatest 64 games, with the notable exception of GoldenEye at friends' houses. However, in 2006 I lived with some great college friends, and one of them brought his 64 with a copy of Mario Tennis. There were four of us living together, and we all fell deep into an obsession with the game. There's just something magical about when that happens, especially in ye olden days of local multiplayer. Also helps that the game is just fun as all heck (close runner-up: Mario Golf).



A few years ago, when I bought my PS3, I'd heard about an interesting game called Flower. I bought it, played it, loved it, and played it again. Soon afterwards I heard about thatgamecompany's upcoming title, Journey. I followed news about it religiously, eventually preordering for the sake of a bonus PS3 theme and some music. The experience was simply sublime. If I start talking about it, I could easily be here all day. Let's just say I loved it.


Hotline Miami

Not long after falling in love with Journey, I began to look for more interesting indie games. Thanks to the amazing Humble Bundle I ended up with a copy of Hotline Miami, a game that initially hadn't interested me much. I'm not much of a "challenge gamer," and I'd heard about its brutal difficulty. What I hadn't heard about was its incredible, delirious story, and the brilliantly effective atmosphere of psychosis it creates. I've played it three times since, and it still reduces me to a nervous, twitching, murder-happy monster. The sequel, Wrong Number, is easily my most anticipated game of 2014.


XCOM: Enemy Within

While I've always enjoyed a good turn-based battle system, the X-Com reboot Enemy Unknown took something I enjoyed and streamlined it into a pure masterpiece of agonizing choices and paranoid planning. It would have seemed impossible to improve upon such a fantastic game had they not done it themselves with Enemy Within. New troops, new enemies, new maps, and a new resource to track down all fit together seamlessly, adding even more depth and replayability to what was already one of my favorite games ever.


Crusader Kings II

The base game gave us centuries of history to play with. Since then, Paradox has added so much content as to justify a whole new game. They somehow managed this without destroying the balance or muddying the appeal of the original (indeed, many elements of the base game have been improved by the expansions). This is my most-played Steam game, and yet I still feel I've barely scratched the surface at 98 hours. If I had infinite free time, you'd better believe I'd spend a lot of it immersed in the world of Crusader Kings II. It's a fantastic, deep game, especially well-suited to history buffs and those who don't mind suffering through a bit of a learning period. Those who persevere will be well rewarded.


So that's my mosaic! How about you, TAY? What nine games would you choose to represent yourself? Post away in the comments!

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