What we're playing now, and -- What was the first game you fell in love with?

by: Randy -
More On: What we're playing
This week we're asking you, the Gaming Nexus faithful (and lurkers alike), What was the first game you fell in love with?  Our staff reminisces on the warm-fuzzy times, Sean Colleli is still stuck on the subsequent heartaches, while Ben Berry interprets "first love" in a far more promiscuous light.  We also list our current love affairs.
  • Ben BerryAirborne Ranger (C64) - An overhead map let you drop your supplies before parachuteing out onto the field of battle. Pick the wrong place for supplies to fall and youd lose them. Pick the wrong place to land your guy, and you'd be dead before the mission started. You then worked your way up the map taking out enemies and emplacements to achieve one of several different types of missions. With success came promotion, while failure ended in death.  Bard's Tale II (C64) - I never had any of the other ones, but I still remember thebox for the game, having to switch 5 1/2" floppies back and forth, and how much it felt like I finally got to play a D & D style game without it all being in my head.  Gauntlet (arcade) - My Commodore 64 arrived on the scene about the same time I was old enough to appreciate arcades. And the arcades at both shopping malls in Toledo had Gauntlet. And usually a line to get to play. The first co-op multiplayer game I ever experienced, it was strange sliding upo to a game, grunting a basic hello to 3 other guys, and popping in a few quarters. My favorite character will always be the Wizard, but it seems like when a machine was full, the only character ever to open up was Valkyrie.  Operation Wolf (arcade) - The first game I ever played where the controller set wasn't a joystick and buttons. THe sound that gun made, and the feel of it vibrating in your hands as you pumped hot lead into the enemies on screen was the closest I came to firing a gun in my teens. I was never quite sure how someone could blow up grenades mid flight with an Uzi, but I guess if the A-Team could do it, it was probably realistic.   (Currently Playing:  LEGO Indiana Jones, NHL 09, Rock Band, Wii Fit, Mario Party 8)
  • Elliot Bonnie:  The first game I fell in love with was Combat for the Atari 2600. My uncle had an Atari set up in his basement and I would play it every chance I got.  (Currently Playing:  Prince of Persia, Fight Night Round 3, Fallout 3)
  • Sean ColleliStar Raiders, Atari 800. My first love, at the tender age of 2 no less. From there it led to Wolf3D, Super Mario, Doom, Dark Forces, System Shock 2, Deus Ex and...well, I'm a bitter used-up wreck now, memories of my days as a carefree romantic completely consumed by heartbreaking sequels, endless shovelware minigames and movie tie-ins. You play the game of love long enough, eventually you lose big time, but you guys probably knew that already...  (Currently Playing:  A Kingdom for Keflings, Deus Ex)
  • Charles Husemann:  Just to be really old school my first real love was Ultima III: Exodus.  Sure I was a little late to the series but Ultima III really got me into RPGs in a tangible way. This marked the first time I would serve as the righteous fist of Lord British.  I waded into many battles with Iolo, Dupre, and the rest of the gang as we tried to save Sosaria from the spawn of Mondain and Minax.  I was tempted to talk about my affair with the original Wizardy game or even Choplifter but Ultima III was the first game I ever finished.  (Currently Playing:  Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon, Left 4 Dead, Call of Duty: World at War)
  • Randy Kalista:  My first love was the one that hurt me the most.  It was a rained-upon and wind-blown fall in 1987, and the Commodore 64 Sid Meier's Pirates! was turning my bedroom into a balmy dungeon of endless volleys against Spain, Netherlands, England, France, and of course, pirates.  Exclamation point.  Time and time again, I built myself up an armada of destruction for whomever was targeted on my letters of marquee.  And yet, after finding the ocassional long-lost relative, and after digging up the occasional buried treasure, and after plundering stragglers in the Spanish Treasure Fleet or robbing the Silver Train up from South America, I still could never retire as anything more than a pauper.  A botttom of the pile, no-401(k)-having pauper.  It was because I could never fully grasp the concept of when to divide the plunder.  After every outing?  After too many months at sea?  As a kid, I could never figure it out.  And I hated it all for making me love it so much.  (Currently Playing:  Prince of Persia, Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People - Episode 5: 8-Bit Is Enough)
  • Dan Keener:  The first game I fell in love with was The Bard's Tale on the Commodore 64.  I would start playing at 7 pm on a Friday night and go to bed at 7 am on Saturday morning after 12 hour run through.  Ahh, the good old days of my youth....  (Currently Playing:  Sony's Home)
  • Cyril Lachel:  Like dating in real life, it took me playing a lot of games before I truly fell in love.  Sure I had a great time with Super Mario Bros. and all of the other early NES games, but it wasn't until I started playing Tecmo's Ninja Gaiden that I realized that I was in love.  Not only did it have stunning graphics (for the time) and some amazing settings, it also taught me that you could have a fast-paced action game that also featured a deep storyline.  The cinemas, while not impressive by today's standards, sucked me into this world of ninjas and magic.  I didn't care that the game was about as hard as getting a perfect score on your SATs while drunk and blindfolded, I was up to the task of battling cheap bosses, fighting through incredibly long levels (without checkpoints) and killing those damn ninja eagles ... oh those eagles!  Ninja Gaiden was a mean lover, the type that would kick your ass and then expect you to come back wanting more.  I did want more.  I fell in love with what I saw, I realized that this was a game that was showing me the future of video games.  I wasn't nearly as smitten with the sequels, but Ninja Gaiden is the first game I would say I loved with all my heart.
  • Matt Mirkovich:  The first game I ever fell in love with was the original Dragon Warrior, I had little idea on how to play it, let alone save (I was like... 6 or 7 at the time). But I just loved roaming between the two towns so I could beat up slimes over and over again. I remember getting my copy for free for having a Nintendo Power subscription. It came with the game and a mini-guide.  I did eventually beat the game over what felt like a 15 hour non-stop session of the game. I still have the guide somewhere in a box packed up at home.  (Currently Playing:  Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4, Tales of Vesperia, Prince of Persia, Chrono Trigger DS)
  • Nathan Murray:  The first game I fell in love with was GoldenEye 007 for the N64. I had other systems in the past and had played other games but GoldenEye was what turned me into a kid playing games into a gamer. I played it non-stop trying to get the quickest times in every mission and trouncing my dad and younger brother in multiplayer matches. Soon after that came Perfect Dark, StarCraft (also on the N64), Mario Kart, and Jet Force Gemini which round out my top five favorite games on the N64 but GoldenEye was the start of it all for me.  (Currently Playing:  Fallout 3, Quantum of Solace, Civilization Revolution, Ninja Gaiden 2, Castle Crashers)
  • Sean Nack:  Nathan Murray, word for word (first two sentences, leastways) totally jacked my answer.  So:  The first game I ever really played was Street Fighter II, which, as an only child, opened my world not just to videogames, but the concept of fraternal competition. (Currently Playing:  Left 4 Dead)
  • Tyler Sager:  For me, it was Ultima III: Exodus.  That was the first game I actually found myself dreaming about, in all it's green-and-white goodness.  (Currently Playing:  Fallout 3, King's Bounty: The Legend)
  • Eva Sines:  (Currently Playing:  Rock Band 2, The Lord of the Rings Online)
  • Rachel Steiner:  The first game I fell in love with was probably Dragon Warrior IV on the NES. My favorite characters were the twin sisters Mara and Nara. I'm not sure quite what it was... It was more than likely the epic scale of the storyline. Having to go through playing as each of the hero's companions in 4 chapters before the main battle even begins? This is all something that Chuck has heard before. I have so many great memories of this game and was very happy to hear it got a re-release on the Nintendo DS.  (Currently Playing:  Animal Crossing: City Folk)
  • John Yan:  The first game I fell in love with was probably Lode Runner on the Commodore 64. It wasn't just the addictive nature of the game but it was also having the ability to create your own levels and play that as well. My brother and I spent a lot of time just creating new levels to try out.  (Currently Playing:  Left 4 Dead, LittleBigPlanet)
What was the first game you fell in love with?  Dig laboriously through your heart-warmed or heartbroken memories and tell us what happened.  We'll listen.  We'll understand.  And while it's not proper to kiss and tell, go ahead and spill the details on what your current fling is -- be it a long-time love affair, or a one-night stand.

[Pictured:  Chuck and Tyler's mutual first love]