On most occasions, when someone mentions gaming, we think of video games like PubG, Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto, Rainbow Six Siege, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, Final Fantasy and very recently, Animal Crossing. These attract people because they are action-adventure based and open-world games.
In my gaming experience, I have come to realize that I can’t expect everyone to love the same games as I do, and vice-versa. We have our preferences and mine don’t include these. I’ll admit that some of these have engaging characters, or modern warfare tools, techniques, and strategies, which I do admire, but they’re just not my cup of cold coffee. Allow me to introduce you to a different genre of games. Brace yourself because these are guaranteed to stray away from mainstream games.
Now let’s bring our attention to the kind of games that are highly underrated. Have any of you heard of these in the world of gaming?
The Last Guardian? Undertale? Inside? Life Is Strange? Stanley’s Parable? Journey? Night In The Woods?
I assume the answer is a ‘no’ or perhaps, ‘I think I’ve heard of it.’
That’s what I thought. Fret not. I am here to tell you about my experience with some of these games in the hopes that you may try them out and see for yourselves the sheer beauty, calm, and intense emotions that gaming can make players feel.
The Last Guardian
I was watching Pewdiepie’s gameplays from a couple of years ago and I came across one of them called ‘The Last Guardian.’ It confused me a lot because Pewdiepie likes to clickbait people into watching his gameplays. Anyway, I decided to give it a go. It was beyond my wildest expectations. Not only did my heart melt on more than a thousand occasions, but the exquisite scenes of this game really pulled at my heartstrings. It’s aestheticism and sheer efforts put into appealing to souls that connect with nature, kept me enthralled throughout the game.
It’s such a pure-hearted game that once you start, there’s really no chance of abandoning it. The trust, love and dedication that the protagonist holds for the creature that they find, left my soul wrought with emotions that it took me an entire week to recuperate. Of course, different players will perceive the game differently, that’s a given.
Stanley’s Parable is another game that is, in my opinion, shockingly good. It was recommended by one of my dear friends, and I couldn’t be more grateful. You know how in real life, we are sometimes told that we are ‘free to choose’ or ‘we can do whatever we want’ or how we often declare ‘it’s my way or the highway?’ Well, this game will question those exact notions and pull the player into a vortex of ‘what the hell is happening here?’
There’s an ominous narrator who, without fail, comments on your every move. It keeps on warning you if you don’t follow its instructions and you, the player, of course, are free to exercise your own will, but what really happens if you don’t? Stanley’s parable is basically every player’s, dare I say every human’s, parable.
Toby fox’s ‘Undertale‘ is another game that’s very close to my heart, and might I add my current favorite. Again, I was inspired to play this game because of Pewdiepie and Jacksepticeye’s gameplays. Who thought there was a game where one can BEFRIEND monsters, instead of straight-up killing them to gain EXP (Experience Points) and LV (Level of Violence)? I found myself laughing at random puns thrown my way as I proceeded through the game or at the various quirks displayed by each monster or creature I came across.
I was in awe of every scenery or location that I found myself in whether it was the Ruins or Waterfall or New Home. I found peace in realizing the impact of choosing to show kindness and felt weirdly unsatisfied by the consequences of being unaccountable to my actions, i.e., blind genocide. My favorite part of the game is how the game subtly reinforces the importance of acceptance among people of diversity.
This may not be overtly noticeable since you realize once you start playing it and encounter very different creatures. This can easily translate to the way we choose to treat people in real life. At least, this is one of my takeaways from the game. I found beautiful people in the fandom that I honestly never expected to ever come across, but then again, life never came with a handbook. So you have to make your own decisions and just trust your gut.
I feel that there’s a lack of awareness when statements like ‘what’s the point of playing video games?’ or ‘all you do is fill your brains with a whole lot of nothing all day’ or ‘do something more constructive with your life for once’ are thrown around casually, without adequate knowledge of the kind of games and the inspired works of creativity that are born from them. I’d personally recommend trying all of these games out, and some more, simply to gain an alternate perspective to the world of gaming.
Guys, just keep an open mind and have fun!