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qoncept

What gaming moments really wowed you?

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Throughout the years a handful of games and moments have made me step back and be truly amazed. The first was some old technology demo or something I saw shortly before Doom's release. Stairs and non-orthagonal walls just seemed impossible at the time.

1998 was a big year. First was Thief. The game itself had what I thought was an awesome premise and is really probably more my style than Doom. It didn't turn out to be as much fun, but there was one point early in the game where you sneak through a sewer that made my jaw drop. You come in to a big junction room, it's brightly lit and there's water sprinkling down from above. It just looked incredible for the time and I had to stop and look for a while.

Later that year I played the original Unreal. Again, early in that game when you first go outside and see a wide open environment with the most realistic waterfall I'd seen up to that point just amazed me. The water all flowed way too fast but it still looked great.

Finally, the original Call of Duty is one of the best games I've ever played. It was probably the first game I ever played which recreated real events and made me feel like I was actually in them.

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Biggest for me must have been in 1999 or 2000 when I discovered MMOs. You can play with people, real people, in a virtual 3D world? Wow!

I've also had a few "wow" moments in Far Cry, Oblivion and Crysis. There's something about natural landscapes in video games, especially when used as mere background, that tends to impress me when it's done well.

Edit: another one comes to mind now, the writing in Vampire Bloodlines. Made me feel like I'm part of an universe with actual characters rather than just [hero] doing [quest].

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Never got in to MMOs but the entire concept is pretty amazing.

I did forget to mention the original Need for Speed. For its time it was by far the most realistic "driving simulator" I'd ever played -- from a PC Gamer demo disc on my 25mhz 486. SX. The first racing game I ever saw that actually felt 3-dimensional instead of like a sprite sliding back and forth.

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The first time I leaped into Bob-Bomb Battlefield for Mario 64, my mind got blown (granted, I was 9 at the time). I went from Sega Genesis and an NES straight to the N64, so the vast difference between the two made my jaw drop. Here was a completely open world, and the freedom to move in any direction. It made the side-scrolling I'd been accustomed to (on consoles) feel so unaccomplished.

That game will always be one my favorites.

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this blew my mind back in 1995, although my 2x speed cd-rom made a mess of playing the intro smoothly. i was asking myself if games can ever get better looking.

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There are so many wow moments for me that I could write a small book about them. One of the oldest ones that leaps to mind however is the first time I saw Ninja Gaiden for the NES. As we sat on the rug and watched the intro(with cutscenes!), every jaw in the room was on the floor.

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Half-Life 2 - Being 14 or 15 picking up the Collector's Edition upon release, I was wow'd by well.. everything. It was like being at E3 but playing the full game finally.

Need for Speed The Run - Mediocre story, acting and script although the Scenary, the roads, the sounds, the music soundtrack everything visual and audio made me go WoW for a NFS game.

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Contra 3: The Alien Wars. In the first level, when the plane flies at the screen and nukes the ground, I'm pretty sure I screamed with excitement.

My first 3d video card, a 3DFX Voodoo 2 and running Unreal for the first time. More specifically, the moment when you exit the ship into the wilderness was jaw dropping.

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The first time I played Doom episode 1, and the time when I revisited it, was equally as awesome. Also Unreal really blew me away with it's beautiful large outdoor landscapes, another would be the art direction of Heretic for sure. :)

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Watching this scene is still one of the most impressive display of visuals I've ever seen in a game. Back then (99), I was convinced the Dreamcast was the next big thing...nothing on the PS2 or Xbox came close to this.

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Doom was pretty amazing when I first saw it. Duke Nukem 3D was pretty sweet because of all the realistic environments, and Quake was cool because fucking polygons. I also remember Half-Life being pretty amazing, what with its interesting method of storytelling (letting the player walk around during scripted events instead of cut scenes) and fairly unique enemies at the time. Civilization intrigued me with its level of complexity and its resource of historical data, and it actually got me really into history. Years later, I'm finding Europa Universalis 3 and Crusader Kings 2 to be even more intricate and interesting.

In the past year, both Portal 2 and Mass Effect sucked me in with amazing story and fun gameplay to the point where I uncharacteristically beat them in a short amount of time (within 48 hours of Portal 2's release and in less than 2 weeks for Mass Effect). Only other game I remember having that effect on me was Fallout.

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Ed said:

My first 3d video card, a 3DFX Voodoo 2 and running Unreal for the first time. More specifically, the moment when you exit the ship into the wilderness was jaw dropping.


This.

Also seeing the Lightening Force (Thunder Force IV) intro the first time. My jaw still hurts.

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Chu said:

Shenmue Intro

Oh god that was awesome. The whole game was, really. Someday I still plan on finishing it...

One of the most memorable moments for me was the first time I played Metroid Prime (which was also my first Metroid game). Those first few steps on Tallon IV, with the rain falling on your visor and this music playing in the background, is just mind numbingly amazing. The same thing goes for the Phendrana Drifts area. Just amazing atmosphere.

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Previews of shooters on Wii:

Wow! This is going to change first person shooters forever!

Playing shooters on Wii:

Wow! This is the most disappointing moment of my life!

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yukib1t said:
One of the most memorable moments for me was the first time I played Metroid Prime (which was also my first Metroid game).

I was pretty amazed by the original Metroid once I finally realized what an awesome game it is. It was a hard enough game that without any guidance from the very beginning I never bothered to get in to it for a LONG time. I finally played Metroid Zero Mission on GBA while I was deployed in 2005 and saw what an awesome series it is.

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yukib1t said:

Oh god that was awesome. The whole game was, really. Someday I still plan on finishing it...


Shenmue 1 and 2 are both great. The first one starts a little slow but I can't help getting engrossed anyway. Shame the series will never be finished.

What's awesome is they planned on having Shenmue on Sega Saturn and even had some tech demos of it running, it looked amazing even on that system. Yu Suzuki rules.

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I hate to say it, but when I first played WoW, I was utterly floored by just the sheer amount of crap that goes on all at once in Azeroth. It was overwhelming at first.

Pretty much all of the Metal Gear Solid games left me in awe at some point.

Needless to say, getting killed/finally killing the Cyberdemon was the the big wow moment in Doom for me. I played episode 1 so many times and can honestly never remember being wowed by it, strange but true.

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I will never forget this scene.



Also, the prerendered backgrounds from the remake are still gorgeous to this day. I hope for an HD revision (not a crap upscaled port) of the game some day. One can only hope.

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DoOmEr4LiFe said:

Pretty much all of the Metal Gear Solid games left me in awe at some point.

Ahh yeah, same for me. Especially that crawling scene at the end of MGS4. That one almost left me in tears.

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Use3D said:

What's awesome is they planned on having Shenmue on Sega Saturn and even had some tech demos of it running, it looked amazing even on that system. Yu Suzuki rules.

Yeah, that was an impressive tech demo. Shame the system was so difficult to work with, it would've out-classed the PSX if given enough chance. Sega needs to get off their asses and greenlight a third one, Yu Suzuki deserves that much for sure.


One other important experience I left out is below...truly amazing, even if you hate FMV games. I haven't finished it yet but it STILL managed to be terribly engrossing even by todays standards. Highly recommend this game!

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No time for a list but one that stood out was seeing the final boss of Serious Sam FE for the first time.... yikes.

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Ed said:

Contra 3: The Alien Wars. In the first level, when the plane flies at the screen and nukes the ground, I'm pretty sure I screamed with excitement.


YES! Everything about that game blew my mind... wasting those two boss robots only to have a huge skeletal terminator rip the walls open and fuck up your shit... taking a ride on a helicopter to be shot off it (!) ... man that gane was something else. I had never seen anything like it.

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I almost forgot about the big reveals in Bioshock and KOTOR. Both of them were done in a subtle way that actually made a video game's story feel like it didn't suck.

What a revelation that was for me.

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The one thing that completely and truly blew my mind was a scene demo called the product. Not a game of course, but it's still incredible this is possible in 64kb.

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Chu said:

Gabriel Knight


The whole GK series is superb. I highly recommend Jane Jensen's recent game Gray Matter if you haven't already played it.

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Seeing the non-blocky polygon characters in Virtua Fighter 3 at an arcade around 96-97. And then Unreal in early 1998. Nothing else has ever come close to being as big of a graphical leap for me.

I always chuckle a bit when Oblivion is brought up in these anecdotes, which seems to be the modern equivalent of that Unreal moment. I never thought that game looked particularly good. They had some great new technologies, but they were utilized in very crude and primitive ways. The distant land was blurry as hell with very blatant low-def tree models, and the generated faces looked downright horrid. As the game has aged, more people opened their eyes to this, while I think Unreal has aged notably more gracefully.

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Snakes said:

big reveals in ... KOTOR.

you mean the one i joked about immediatelly after the intro sequence when the loading screen hint made a painfully obvious effort to remind me that one of the bad guys mysteriously disappeared? and kept bringing it up during the whole game? yeah, very surprising. i like the settings bioware builds, but the skeleton of their stories is usually pretty simplistic.

i was left in shock by the early plot twist in homeworld.

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I'll admit that the reason I didn't see it coming is probably because I typically shut my brain off when I'm playing whatever game I happen to have at the moment. This includes my ability to pick up obvious foreshadowing and other such things.

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GeckoYamori said:

I always chuckle a bit when Oblivion is brought up in these anecdotes, which seems to be the modern equivalent of that Unreal moment. I never thought that game looked particularly good. They had some great new technologies, but they were utilized in very crude and primitive ways. The distant land was blurry as hell with very blatant low-def tree models, and the generated faces looked downright horrid. As the game has aged, more people opened their eyes to this, while I think Unreal has aged notably more gracefully.


Bethesda has a funny way of mis-using technologies in games. The lighting in Skyrim stands out as part of the engine they just plain fucked up. Doesn't stop a lot of their design and art direction from being jaw dropping. Yeah, Oblivion did that for me when I first walked out of the sewers and in some other places. It still does in some places, despite the horrible LOD models/textures. Skyrim does this too. Lots of places look kinda crappy, but others are just amazing.

DOOM was a shock. I was hooked on Wolf3D at the time and my friends kept telling me DOOM was very similar, so I kinda thought, "meh." (This was already 18 months after it came out and I had never seen it.) Then I played it. Best. Shock. Ever. :D

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