30 Days: Favorite Sound Effect

This is one of a series called “30 Days of Video Games“, an exercise on daily writing.
Follow the link for the full list.

(Note:  I changed this topic from favorite hand-held game, a topic which I do not have much write on as I haven’t played a lot of hand-held games.)

The level up sound for World Of Warcraft.  The ding of collecting coins in Mario Bros – the ding of collecting a ring in Sonic the Hedgehog.  The “DING” from Everquest.  Iconic sounds and sound effects have a massive effect in video games, they are our reward and notification of success, as much as they are the indication of failure, danger or mistakes.  It’s hard to pick just one – sound effects have become so integrated within video game culture.  Log into almost any MMO guild chat and you’ll see people clammering out, “DING!” when they level up, regardless of what game (and what sound it makes.)  That comes from this;

Perhaps no game did sound effects better than Starcraft.  The real-time (and sometimes more-than-often hyperactive) strategy game required those audio cues as you juggled several armies scattered across a map.  The setting for the game allowed for imaginative and flavorful warnings such as this one.  And while the unit selection easter eggs of Blizzard games weren’t vital to gameplay, they certainly were fun.  I still find myself wanting to find ways to slip “En taro Tassadar” into my everyday speech.

Some sounds were sounds of dread – the “horns of war” coming between turns in Civilization 4 followed by Shaka’s screaming face declaring war on you and everything you stand for is always an unpleasant experience.

It’s too hard, I can’t pick a favorite!  Wait… is that Johnny Cage’s music?



30 Days: Best Soundtrack

This is one of a series called “30 Days of Video Games“, an exercise on daily writing.
Follow the link for the full list.

Da, comrade.  There is only one logical choice.  Tetris for the Nintendo GameBoy.

Featuring perhaps one of the most famous and iconic video game scores, the GameBoy version of Tetris’ 8-bit arrangement of “Korobeiniki” is known the world over simply as the “Tetris Song”;

Much lesser known but just as awesome, the game came with two more arrangements;

With Tetris becoming such a sensation during the glasnost period of the USSR, the game was a natural fit to highlight the indomitable cultural legacy of Russia.  Versions of the game often include images of Russian & Soviet culture, images such as St. Basil’s Cathedral, Yuri Gagarin, and scenes from the Nutcracker ballet, just to name a few.  Music was also a way that the various Tetris games presented and shared Russian culture, and in the GameBoy version, they nailed it.

Plus, it was a very pleasant surprise to go a Timbers game for the first time and see the Timbers Army serenading our beloved club on with this;

With all this being said about Tetris, I have to give two honorable mentions, Diablo & Civilization 4.

Let me know your favorites!

30 Days: Your Guilty Pleasure Game

This is one of a series called “30 Days of Video Games“, an exercise on daily writing.
Follow the link for the full list.

My guilty pleasure game involves lots of destruction.  It involves very little challenge, just the patience needed to get to the point where I am gleefully annihilating enemies left and right.  It requires no thought, no grand strategy other than the basics; overwhelming force.  It has many different names, though;

At first it was Total Annihilation – I would find some defensible terrain, set up some automated turrets while building up tech and the resources needed to unleash the “Buzzsaw” – a repeating siege weapon that would literally pepper my enemies with cannon fire as I chortled towards building bigger weapons of mass destruction.

It became Starcraft, as I would set up choke points with siege tanks just to watch endless waves of Zerg and Protoss  AI melt against bunkers, towers and tanks.

It was Gauntlet, and Diablo II, it was Civilization IV on the Earth 18 map.

Hrm, maybe I should search for a new guilty pleasure game.