Elke zaterdag plaatsen wij de rubriek ‘De game collectie van …’, een wekelijkse rubriek waarin jij, als bezoeker van intheGame, kan vertellen over jouw game collectie. Het is eigenlijk heel simpel, wij stellen een aantal vragen waarop jij kunt antwoorden. Wil jij ook je game collectie delen? Stuur dan een e-mail met als onderwerp ‘Mijn Game Collectie’ naar info @ inthegame.nl.
Vorige week konden we de collectie van Benny P. bewonderen. Deze week spraken we met een heel bijzonder iemand. Tot dusver hebben we altijd personen uit de community gehad. Dit keer zochten we enkele grote kopstukken uit de games-industrie op (in binnen en buitenland) en stelden hen dezelfde vragen. We zijn daarom blij te kunnen vertellen dat we deze week de game collectie van Ghostlight mogen zien!
ITG: What is your name and what would you like to share with us about yourself?
Hi, I’m Ross and I’ve had the pleasure of working for Ghostlight for the last five and a half years. I started out as a Games Tester, but for just over a year now I’ve also been handling the Community Management here at Ghostlight, the EU and PAL territories publisher of Persona 3 Portable, Persona 2: Innocent Sin, Fate/EXTRA, Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky and the Agarest series.
Outside of work I’ve been a gamer for most of my life, ever since my cousin introduced me to his Spectrum, but I’m also really into anime & manga, heavy metal and sci-fi. I’m also currently studying Japanese.
ITG: What are your favorite top-3 games?
Now that’s a tough one. You’d probably get a different answer every time you asked me this. While – to avoid accusations – of bias I’m going to avoid mentioning any of our games, I would like to give a special shout out to Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky (is that cheating?), which I completely fell in love with. The quality of the translation and the dialogue is just fantastic and when you combine that with a cool battle system and a very well told story you’ve got one of the best JRPGs of recent years.
Anyway, I’ll move swiftly on and hope you all choose to ignore my attempts to increase the size of this list.
My favourite game of all time is probably the awesome Planescape Torment from Black Isle studios. This was one of the best of the fantastic D&D games that came out in the late 90’s and – while it was Baldur’s Gate that used my experience of playing in the Forgotten Realms in the tabletop version of D&D to hook me on CRPGs – Planescape Torment is the one that sticks out clearest in my mind.
While the mechanics of the game and the balancing may have been a little ropey, the quality of the storytelling was immense and the way it incorporated common RPG elements, such as death not being final due to saves, into the fiction of the world has rarely been equalled. To this day it stands out in my mind as the game which best manages to give real weight to your choices, while still giving you a well told tale. As much as I enjoy the freedom something like Skyrim gives you, there is a sense that your choices don’t really matter; that was definitely not the case in Torment.
Of course it wasn’t just in the writing that the game shone: while it was a pre-existing setting, Sigil, The City of Doors, is one of the best settings to feature in any video game. Yes they may have sacrificed the broad sweep of the plains themselves, but the atmosphere of Sigil itself is perfectly realised and there is a real sense that anything could happen.
On my first Torment playthrough I saw a demon standing on a street corner, so I went up and spoke to him (it turns out he kills you if you annoy him enough.) Other weird denizens of this city include a talking skull who becomes your first companion and the burning wizard who lends his name to the pub he is trapped in. Despite all this weirdness, Sigil still feels very coherent and never gives you the impression that it’s just a convenient place for you to adventure in.
Another fondly remembered classic from that era of PC gaming was the Dungeon Keeper series. Bullfrog were a fantastic development team back in the 90’s and this is the series which resonates most strongly with me. A delicious sense of dark humour ran through the game from the concept, to the monster interactions and the pitch perfect narration, which has been imitated so often but never equalled. And what a concept it was! Rather than play the hero, trying to battle their way through the dungeon, you were the evil overlord building up your dungeon in order to attract monsters to aid you in defeating the hero.
Before each level, the narrator would describe the paradise sitting above your dungeon and after completion you’d hear how this paradise was despoiled and it’s people brought to ruin. The whole game was so much fun and that’s without going into the simple pleasures of slapping your imps to make them work faster.
My third all-time-favourite pick was a really tough one. While there were lots I was looking at, such as the original Majesty I’ve decided to go for something a bit more recent and more reflective of my general gaming tastes; the original Persona 3 on the PS2. While it has since been improved upon by Persona 3: FES and the amazing Persona 3 Portable on PSP, it is still a fantastic game in its own right.
I was a relative late comer to the JRPG scene. Final Fantasy 7 was my first and it wasn’t until towards the end of the PS2 era that I started looking beyond the Final Fantasy series. By the time Persona 3 came out I’d already played and enjoyed a few more JRPGs and some fantastic reviews persuaded me to pick it up. I was hooked from that opening cut scene and the feeling lasted all the way through my twisted adventures in the hidden hour, right until the point where my save died after 80 hours.
While having to balance your time between school friends and adventuring was both novel and fun, the thing that sticks out to me most is the terrific sense of style the game has. While, after losing my save, I wasn’t able to bring myself to return to the game until working on the release of Persona 3 Portable last year, even today I’ve found that the game holds up wonderfully and it’s definitely a modern classic which I’m glad I got the chance to return to.
ITG: What was the worst game you ever bought?
This is another tricky one. Both me and my brother used to buy games on impulse without really checking out reviews and while this led to us picking up some obscure gems, such as Majesty, it also left me with a lot of absolute rubbish. The names of most of them have since slipped from my memory, but it was another of my former bad gaming habits which caused me to stumble upon this particular game.
I used to pick up lots of really obscure sports games, not just those based upon sports I enjoy, such as football, rugby and cricket, but sports I had no interest in as well. While these tended to be a bit of a mixed bag there were some absolute stinkers. A particularly memorable one was an Aussie Rules Football game I picked up for 39p from GAME, because, well, how bad could it be? I still feel ripped off! While knowing next to nothing about Aussie Rules Football probably didn’t help, the fact that every single player looked the same was not very impressive. And as for the physics, well, to call them ropey would be too kind. I’ve never quite worked out what bizarre object they were basing the bounce, on but it certainly wasn’t a ball.
ITG: Do you own any exclusive collector’s items?
Despite the credit we get for our fantastic Collector’s Editions, I’ve never really gone in for them, largely because they just take up too much space for me, valuable space which could be used to store more games. It’s probably a good thing that I’m not too involved in that side of things, beyond passing on suggestions. However, I do own a rather small collection of figures, including a Saber, an Estelle and Renne Nendroid and a Chun-Li figure I was given with my copy of Street Fighter 4 and there is a Trails in the Sky poster currently hung in my room.
ITG: What does your game collection looks like?
Mine’s actually a joint collection with my brother, which is split in several locations around the house, depending on when it was bought and what system it’s for. While I’m a bit of a hoarder it’s actually a terrible mess. While we’ve gotten better recently, we used to be terrible at keeping our games organised. Not only are there a tonne of PC games in blank jewel cases which we have to search through every time we’re looking for a specific game, but many of the PS one games are in the wrong case. Terrible isn’t it?
I’ve also recently been expanding my digital collection and I now have far, far too many games on PSN and Steam.
ITG: To which game(s) do you look out for in 2012?
Well, 2012 looks to be another terrific year. We’ve already released the awesome Fate/EXTRA (PSP) and Agarest 2 (PS3) and its fantastic Collector’s Editions will be out in July. Then, of course, we’ll be releasing Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked (3DS) and Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 (DS) later this year.
I’ve also heard strange rumours that other companies might be releasing games this year too, which seems a bit odd, but if – by some strange chance – that’s true, then I’d have to say that Gravity Rush is my most anticipated game that is not from Ghostlight.
I’m also pretty excited about Dragon’s Dogma, Tales of Graces F and Ni No Kuni, although that will out next year. I’m sure plenty of other games I fancy will pop up between now and 2013 and I’d be surprised if I didn’t get the new Football Manager when it comes out.
ITG: Ross, thank you for sharing your game collection with us. We wish you all the best with Ghostlight and we’re looking forward to get our hands on the upcoming Agarest: Generations of War 2.
Before I go, I’d just like to say a big thank you to Dennis, for asking me to appear on here.
You can find more of me over on my blog for Ghostlight (http://blog.ghostlight.uk.com) and I also post on Twitter under the highly imaginative handle of @Ghostlight_Ross