The second part of the last decade was an interesting place: in 2008, the manufacturer NVidia released the first graphics card of the GeForce 8 series, and started a more advanced type of parallel processing power to the graphics cards, making PC’s the utmost system to play games in the highest resolutions possible; relegated to secondary positions in the years of the Playstation 1 and 2, the PCs now have the most power available for those who search for the most impressive graphics in-game.
Basically, it was the beginning of the PC Master Race bullsh*t. 😀
BULLY – Rockstar Games
Of course that Rockstar games would not be out of hot water for a long time, and the next subject under criticism was Bully. The simplest form of describing Bully is if you transport the whole atmosphere of borderline-illegal action of the protagonists from the Grand Theft Auto series to a teenage years, and dress it with a layer of High School drama.
In this game, you assume the role of Jimmy Hopkins, a newcomer to a high school in a fictional city, only to dive in a “society” filled with bullies, while attending school and keeping up your grades.
The most interesting fact about this game is the controversy around the title, preemptively launched by the parents and teachers organizations. Based on the track record from Rockstar, an announcement that the next game about bullying by the company could really spark the most absurd ideas in the parents, even before the game was in the public hands.
The game received a good praise from the public, and sold more than 1.5 million copies in the original launch, on the Playstation 2. It was ported later to Xbox and Wii, and re-launched in a special digital edition for the Playstation 4 in 2016.
PORTAL – Valve
One of the most original games off all time, Portal was released by Valve in 2007, for PC, PS3 and XBox 360, starting a new genre of first person puzzle-platform.
In the game, you play as Cell, a test subject in an enrichment center of Aperture Science, performing tests as directed by a voice of an artificial intelligence named GLaDOS (which in turn, stands for Generic Lifeform and Disk Operational System).
Starting as a graduation project in the Digipen Institute, in Washington, the original game was showed to a few employees of Valve, including Gabe Newell, that instantly invited the students to join Valve and work in a successor for the same idea. From the original game, a few perks were kept, and the creative producer of the Half Life series suggested placing this new game in the same universe, to allow the use of similar aesthetics and assets.
The game was an enormous success critically, and placed GLaDOS in a very distinct hall of memorable characters in games, given its crude and cold personality, that included offense to the player, and promises of cake. It is also recognized as one of the best examples of level design, specially when introducing players to a new type of game.
It sold more than 4 million copies to date, stapled GLaDOS in the hall of fame, and the most impressive feat yet: it receive ZERO NEGATIVE COMMENTS from the Ben Yahtzee in his famous reviews No Punctuation. You can watch it in this link!
It’s amazing to think that Minecraft was released almost 10 years ago, and as of today, it’s one of the most popular games in the world. In my view, this is caused by 2 facts
- The game is really simple for first-time users, in terms of mechanics and usability, hiding the depths of gameplay for those who decide to dive deeper, widening its audience to every extreme side;
- It can be compared to building blocks, one of the most fundamental toys everyone plays with in childhood, and this sparks a lot of nostalgia moments in anyone who decides to play it.
The game was originally conceived as a cave exploration game, and the creator, Markus Persson, aimed to build a game where you could use RPG elements in an environment based in Infiniminer.
To date, Minecraft sold more than 106 million copies worldwide, considering the core game (for PC’s), and a few variations for Playstation consoles and Xbox One. The brand Minecraft (and the studio behind it, Mojang) was purchased by Microsoft in late 2014. It’s one of the best seller games of all times (behind only Tetris), and the most sold PC game of all times.