The Rampant Coyote of the Tales of the Rampant Coyote blog, one of my most favourite stops on the internet, posted an entry listing what he feels are the 16 Essential RPGs. Reading through the list left me feeling nostalgic. I own nine of the sixteen titles listed. Of those nine, I’ve only played four through to their end: Fallout, Diablo, Final Fantasy VI, and Deus Ex. For the remaining five, and in fact, a few other titles in the list of sixteen, I kept wishing I had played through them back in the day. So, inspired by the Rampant Coyote’s list of 16 essential RPGs, and my previous post where I said EverQuest II keeps me from playing other games, here now is my list of Gaming Regrets.
1. Baldur’s Gate II
I loved the first Baldur’s Gate and rushed to the store the day its sequel was released and installed it as soon as I got home. I put hours upon hours into this game and loved every second of it. I’m not sure, but I think I was getting towards the end of the game when I mistakenly wiped out my “games” partition on my hard drive in an ill-fated attempt to install Linux. My save games were gone. I’ve re-installed and tried to play BGII again on numerous occasions throughout the past few years but I never end up sticking with it despite my love for the game. I’ve got the discs right here within arms reach, and at this very moment I’m planning on installing it yet again. Until I play through it though, I’ll regret the day I blew away my save game.
I’m ashamed to say that while RPGs are my favourite games, I’ve never played any of the Ultima’s. Many years ago I picked up the Complete Ultima VII but strangely never got around to playing it (I was probably playing Doom or Quake along with the rest of the world). Ultima VII is widely regarded as the best of the Ultima’s and I do hope to get to it some day thanks to Exult.
3. Falcon 4.0
I had always wanted to play a flight simulator; something about them really appealed to me. In hindsight, it may not have been the best idea to choose Falcon 4.0 as my first. The manual was thicker than a phonebook, and for someone who had never played a hardcore simulator like this, the game was pretty intimidating. I eventually was able to take off without too much difficulty, fly around and even shoot at some things, but for the life of me I could never manage to land my plane. The best I ever did was an extremely graceful twenty bounce landing well beyond the runway. I wish I had stuck with it though, back when I had more time for these things, because everything about that game, especially its dynamic campaign, just seems really cool to me.
4. Planescape: Torment
I never ended up buying this one and now wish I had based on the high praise it has received from many people. To tell you the truth, I don’t even know too much about the game, save for the fact it emphasizes the story over combat. I’ve always enjoyed a good RPG story so I’m really feeling like I missed out on this one.
5. Chrono Trigger
For a while the Super Nintendo was my gaming platform of choice. The SNES was littered with lots of Japanese style RPGs, of which I played many. I remember Final Fantasy III (or VI, whatever) and The Secret of Mana being exceptionally good games and I played both through to the end. There was a lot of hype around Chrono Trigger when it was released and I had every intention of picking it up, except at the time, it cost more than I could justify paying for it. I told myself I’d pick it up as soon as it came down in price, which it never did, at least not in any of the stores I went to. Eventually I moved on to the PC and buried my SNES in the closet, never having played Chrono Trigger. Every now and then I’ll come across people singing its praises, and it’s definitely a game I wish I had played.
6. My Super Awesome RPG
While I don’t dabble in code very much any more, I like to fancy myself as a hobbyist programmer. I’ve taken a bunch of evening programming courses at a local college just for fun, but most of that knowledge has been directed at various business applications, etc. Since I was a kid though, I’ve always wanted to program games. I remember copying the code from COMPUTE!s Gazette into my Commodore 64 way back when, in the hopes it would turn into some wonderful game. They never really did, but I did it all the same. Now, I look at my bookshelf here and see a very impressive library of Java and C++ books, many of which are focused on games development. However, like everything else, I just haven’t had the time to dedicate to them. I did create a little program in Java once that read in a tiled map and you could control a little guy with the keyboard and have him walk around that map, but that was it. I’ll try and finish it up and have it released within thirty years.
I’m sure I’ve had other gaming regrets, but these are the ones that stick out. Not finishing Baldur’s Gate II is definitely the biggest for me, and within the time it’s taken me to write this post I’ve made up my mind that I’m going plug away at it once more during the times I’m not playing EverQuest II. It may take me five years, but I’ll finish it some day.