The Art of James Teeple

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Leicester, United Kingdom
I'm 21 / DMU Art Student / British-American.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Personal Gaming History: Part Two! 2003-2011

 A.K.A. The dark days of my “Academic” schooling ;)

I’ll just talk about the clear winners for me in each category and when I first played them. My first and all time favourite PC game or (CRPG) was “Baldur’s Gate.” Got given it for the family Windows 95 pc in 2002. This game profoundly influenced my choice of games in the future. Although it took a couple of failed attempts to get into it, once I got the hang of it there was no greater CRPG personally. It was developed by Bioware and released by Interplay Entertainment in 1998.

The game takes place in the Forgotten Realms, a high fantasy campaign setting, using modified Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) 2nd edition rules. That’s part of the reason it was a challenging game for me to enter the PC games genre with. After Baldur’s gate, years later I bought and played its sequel and subsequent spin offs “Icewind dale I & II”, using the same Infinity Engine. Since then I’ve been comparing every RPG back to it and hoping for another sequel from Bioware. 

My next transition weirdly some might say was from PS1, to Xbox original. I had seen a friend playing Halo Combat Evolved and when he let me have a go on it, I was totally sold. That was all I wanted for Christmas that year, and with the gods luck I bagged one under the tree. “Turok Evolution” was one of the first games I owned on it that I really liked. Mainly because you could use poison arrow bows and kill all manner of Dino’s. It also had great couch multiplayer with friends and the simple fact you could kill each other as Raptors meant it was WIN. 

After “Turok” I managed to bag a copy of eventually “Halo: Combat Evolved”, developed by “Bungie © 2001.” Now that was really the first Sci-fi shooter I obsessed over. To this day it is probably one of the best shooters I’ve ever played and that rank will stay for sure. It was so good for a few simple reasons. It was fresh, it had a great story to it, great graphics for the time and it was oh so fun. “Halo 2” took over when it arrived because of the new expansive multiplayer and incredible graphics but even with that, I still revisit Halo one and not two.

Just after Halo 2 came out, and once I’d played it to death with my friends. I wanted to get back into RPG’s remembering the days playing Baldur’s Gate. Mum had just got a new family Pc and I had the Xbox, so I started to search around and began to collect the gems that I’d missed over the years.
That was when I discovered “The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind Game of The Year Edition.” Developed by “Bethesda Game Studios”, and published by “Bethesda Softworks and Ubisoft © 2003.” I decided to get it on Xbox because that was what I was most familiar with but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The game was a beast. Mammoth in size and so detailed that it mind boggled me at first. Overwhelmed, I abandoned it for a while, initially put off by the seemingly dated visuals.

But not wanting to feel like I’d wasted my money, I returned to it and really sunk my teeth in. 450 hours or more later I think I pulled them out. I had discovered the mesmerising depth and beauty of the “Elder scrolls” world and from that time onwards, I had a new favourite game above all others. The sheer quantity and variety of Items had me trekking for hours and hours across the entire map scouring every inch of fogged map, and the difficulty lead to countless reloads which only hooked me more. That was the game that really highlighted my personality in RPG’s as an obsessive explorer and compulsive hoarder. Lol

Another RPG that I was massively into at the time was “Champions of Norrath: Relms of Everquest” on PS2 produced by “snowblind  Studios ©2004”. It is a hack and slash action RPG designed to be played single player or up to 4 player with friends as I mostly did. It was great because we could all meet up at a house and bring our memory cards to import our single player characters then go questing together. Simple but addictive fun, and was made more addictive by the limitless variety of randomly generated items and unique rare items to collect. It had a sequel in 2005 which was essentially the same but bigger game and more characters. It was so much fun and probably the best PS2 game I ever played.

Along came the Xbox 360 in 2005, though I didn’t get mine till 2006. There are many titles that I like on the 360 platform, and I have quite a collection, but there are a few that stand out. “Gears of war” being one big sore thumb. I got gears of war a month after its release on November 17th 2006 along with my Xbox 360 for Christmas. And that had to be the best Christmas I had had in a long time.

It was like nothing anyone had ever seen before, or at least no-one I knew in terms of the fast tactical squad based combat, dark macabre colour pallet and level designs and the insane gore. I loved every ounce of that game and must have racked up hundreds of hours online play with friends. This was around the end of my GCSE’s… I think it may have made an impact, I know it did on my Art! My sculpture went from facial studies to, to Full blown demon skulls!  To this day it is the 5th most selling Xbox 360 title.

“The Elder scrolls4: Oblivion” was the next most memorable game I played on the Xbox 360. I didn’t get it when it was released in March 2006, but got the Game of the year edition in 2007 which included both major DLC expansions, the same as Morrowind’s game of the year edition did. Like its predecessor I fell in love with it, not at first but soon after adjusting to the changes from Morrowind. And it commenced the easy task of devouring hundreds of hours of my life until I had played it to absolute completion. I have to say; I think as a game, Morrowind was more in depth, believable and creative than Oblivion. So I prefer it, but Oblivion sure was perdy!
well sometimes... o.0

That about brings me to Present day. Over the last couple of years ive focused more on my art and thats only increasing. So I have amassed many more games than I have time to play sadly, and become more of a collector. But names like "The Witcher" and "The Witcher 2: Assassin of kings" stand out, along with another favorite older CRPG I forgot to mention "Neverwinter Nights". And now, most recently Skyrim...  I wont talk about that one now, save it for another blog! SO where would I like to see games heading in the future? e.g. what would I like to be working on I guess? Well, I'd love love to see more thought put into the simple aspects of a game that made the old classics like Crash and spiro so fun. It would be an interesting blend with next generation graphics I'm sure, but perhaps now that technology is heading towards the immersion experience of free control and ditching the control pad, we could see those fun aspects being re applied with a whole new feel. 

But really I just want to see Morrowind remade even bigger with next generation graphics and online capability! XD that's the game I wanna work on. Thanks for reading, I hope it was interesting in some way at least.

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