The Video Game Odyssey: A Guide for New Gamers

So you’ve made it your new year’s resolution to delve deeper into the world of gaming, but you don’t know where to start. To help the budding gamers out there, I’ve put together a small list of several must-play titles from some of the major genres for your consideration.

Action-Adventure:

The villagers in Resident Evil 4 aren’t about to welcome you with open arms. Photo courtesy Google Images

The villagers in Resident Evil 4 aren’t about to welcome you with open arms. Photo courtesy Google Images

Resident Evil 4 — The fourth entry in the Resident Evil series, RE4 is a wonderful mash-up of creepy monsters, explosive gunplay and the occasional puzzle. Despite the occasional headache of having to play babysitter to your defenseless companion in the later stages of the game, RE4’s gameplay is the most polished of the series and definitely worth a look if you enjoy horror or action.

Legend of Zelda: Windwaker — If you have any friends who are into gaming, they might have already mentioned Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time as one of the best games of all time. While I would certainly agree, another Zelda game that is equally worth your consideration is Windwaker. The overworld is a giant ocean that must be navigated by boat, but retains the classic Zelda standards of exploration, adventure and kooky characters.

Amaterasu faces off against the demons that plague the people of Nippon. Photo courtesy Google Images

Amaterasu faces off against the demons that plague the people of Nippon. Photo courtesy Google Images

Okami — Okami is a fun, Zelda-esque game, with a loveable cast of characters, killer soundtrack and lovely cell-shaded graphics that are based on traditional Japanese watercolor paintings. Players join the sun goddess Amaterasu, as she travels the land in the guise of a white wolf, working to restore balance and peace to the world.

Super Mario Galaxy — When it comes to adventure and platforming there are few who do it as masterfully as good ol’ Mario. This time, however, Mario’s gravity-defying feats take the bold leap into the deep reaches of space.

Role-Playing:

Chrono Trigger — Chrono Trigger features a tale of magic, time travel and swashbuckling swordplay. It’s a game that still stands the test of time and remains one of the finest RPGs ever made. You’ll join brave Crono and his friends as they travel across the world and even time itself in order to save their world from the menace of the alien Lavos.

Final Fantasy 6 — While most gamers have their favorite Fantasy, Final Fantasy 6 stands apart from the rest with a killer cast of characters, a wonderful and mature story as well as the classic Active Time Battle (ATB) system that keeps combat fast-paced and strategic.

Fallout 3’s patented VATS targeting system adds a nice way to pause the action and consider your next strike. Photo courtesy Google Images

Fallout 3’s patented VATS targeting system adds a nice way to pause the action and consider your next strike. Photo courtesy Google Images

Mass Effect — The space opera that is the Mass Effect series is one of the finest sci-fi RPGs ever made. If you have even a passing interest in shows like Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica or Babylon 5 you owe it to yourself to give this game a chance.

Fallout 3 — Set in Washington D.C area after a devastating nuclear war, Fallout 3 is one of many sandbox RPGs that gives you a giant playground filled with battered survivors, mutated wildlife and dangerous bandits. You play as a member of a nuclear shelter called Vault 101, who has been forced out in the desolate wastes.

First-Person Shooter:

For a physicist, the protagonist Gordon Freeman sure does know his way around a gun… Photo courtesy Google Images

For a physicist, the protagonist Gordon Freeman sure does know his way around a gun… Photo courtesy Google Images

Half-Life 2 — The critically-acclaimed Half-Life 2 stands as one of the finest games ever made. Pitch-perfect gameplay combined with a story that stays interesting without ever getting in the way. Without a doubt, this first-person shooter is a must-play for any aspiring gamer.

F.E.A.R. — Take the usual gunplay, add in a dash of creepy atmosphere, a mysterious girl and finally bullet-time. When you put it all together you get F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault Recon), a thrilling shooter filled with supernatural intrigue and explosive action.

Big Daddies (pictured above) are one of the most intimidating enemies you’ll face in the depths of Rapture. Photo courtesy Google Images

Big Daddies (pictured above) are one of the most intimidating enemies you’ll face in the depths of Rapture. Photo courtesy Google Images

Team Fortress 2 — One of the most popular multiplayer games of the past few years, TF2 is also free to play. Its zany charm, variety of character classes and game modes make this an addicting team game.

Bioshock — Bioshock takes players into the underwater utopia of Rapture, where the idealistic philosophies that created a utopia have now torn it apart. Genetic engineering has granted people superhuman abilities and turned some into monsters, adding to the devastation of the civil war. Bioshock adds some X-Men-esque flair to the usual gunplay as well as an engaging story filled with colorful characters, philosophical intrigue and bizarre twists.

Puzzle:

Portal's puzzles are guaranteed to bend space as well as your mind. Photo courtesy Google Images

Portal’s puzzles are guaranteed to bend space as well as your mind. Photo courtesy Google Images

Portal & Portal 2 — A first-person puzzle game series whose smart writing, witty personality and unique gameplay set it apart from the rest. Guided by a psychotic, sarcastic computer, you are tasked with completing a series of puzzles with nothing more than a portal gun to aid you and the promise of cake as a reward.

Fez — At first, Fez seems to be nothing more than another platformer, but Fez adds another dimension to its world by allowing players to spin the camera around to get a new perspective on the playing field, changing the landscape. This is a thoughtful 2-D platformer that challenges players to constantly think in 3-D.

In Catherine be careful on how you move the boxes to climb up! Can you make it to the top? Photo courtesy Google Images

Be careful on how you move the boxes to climb up! Can you make it to the top? Photo courtesy Google Images

Braid — Braid is a puzzle-platformer that allows the player to bend time in order to solve puzzles or even correct mistakes. A deceptively simple game that is sure to delight puzzle fans.

Catherine — Catherine tells the story of a Vincent Brooks who finds himself caught between his commitment to one woman and his affair with another. At night, his nightmares become a block puzzle bonanza where players must manipulate boxes in order to reach the top before time runs out or the nightmare catches up to you.

Hope these suggestions help out all you aspiring gamers!

 

To the gamers out there in the audience, what other games would you suggest to new gamers getting their start?

 

Want to get in touch and talk gaming? Contact the reporter at preston.sotelo@asu.edu or via Twitter at @p_sotelo