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Games

It's best not to play "the Internet tough guy".

Games

As a child, I always enjoyed playing video games. My parents were happy to buy them for me, as long as I did well in school and such. As it turned out, I was lazy. And because I was lazy, I was not one of those kids that was on the honor-roll every year... not even close. As a result, my performance in school was not great and was most certainly not my greatest up until my final year in high school. In short, I did not play games often, but I did play them more often than I should have. ;)

As an adult, it is quite rare that I play games anymore. My interest in playing games has undoubtedly diminished. In some ways, I suspect that it is a good thing (after all, the typical adult schedule is pretty busy and leaves little time as it is).

For better or worse, this page is meant to be a memoir of the games that I used to love and play throughout my life as a child and young man.

Battlefield™ 3

© 2011 · EA Digital Illusions CE AB®

This game was pretty much my go-to first-person shooter game from 2011 all the way to 2019. In the earlier years, I played the game on the PlayStation™ 3 platform until it became too much of a distraction from school and I stopped in mid-2012.

I began playing the game again off and on somewhere around December 2018 and tapered off shortly after March 2019, when I reached the highest rank, which was my biggest goal (honestly, just because I thought the insignia looked nice lol).

I never was particularly "good" at first-person shooter games (or any games for that matter), but I still had many fun times in this game. Although rare, I still do play every once in a while, but it is very rare due to my schedule and my dying interest in games.

Reached rank 145 (Colonel Service Star 100) on March 13, 2019 with my main account on PC.
Over 3,770 kills with my M1911 pistol.
Over 10,000 kills with my trusty ACB-90 combat knife.
Time Played: 1,219 hours (PC).
K/D: 0.746 | Accuracy: 41.8% | W/L: 2.040

Grand Theft Auto™ V

© 2013 · Rockstar Games®, Inc.

As an avid fan of Grand Theft Auto IV™, I anticipated the release of this game for a long time. Unfortunately, I had to stop with games altogether since they had become too much of a distraction during my university studies, so I played it cool for the first few years when this game initially was released on the PlayStation 3™ in 2013. Being such a strong fan of the previous title in the series, I pre-ordered the game sometime after they announced its upcoming PC release in 2015. The PC release finally debuted on April 14, 2015. Sadly, I was unable to play initially due to some technical difficulties that caused the game to crash on startup but after a couple of patches during the weeks that followed, I was able to jump in for the first time. The graphics did not look so great on my netbook but I was obviously happy to be able to play at all. Special thanks to the mobile Intel® HD™ 4000 integrated graphics for putting up with me and allowing me to play at a reasonable 20-30 FPS while running at a resolution of 800x600. ;)

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Grand Theft Auto™ IV

© 2008 · Rockstar Games®, Inc.

I got this game as a gift from my aunt and uncle sometime in 2008 on the PlayStation™ 3. I had never played such a game before, and so I didn't play it until nearly a year or so later when I decided to try it out. Being the first open-world game that I ever played where you could drive and walk around on-foot, I quickly became hooked to this game.

Since then, this became my favorite game of all time, and I attempted to play it anytime I got the chance. After starting university studies, games became too much of a distraction so I had to eventually call it quits. But from time to time, I still enjoy firing up this great gem.

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Need for Speed™ Hot Pursuit (2010)

© 2010 · Criterion Games, EA DICE®

I never had the chance to play the original first or second Need for Speed™ Hot Pursuit games, so I took my time and had as much fun as I could with this one. I don't remember how I got exactly the purchase went, but it was one of the games my father bought me when he noticed it on sale. It had been a while since I played a Need for Speed™ game, but I did not let that stop me. I had a fair amount of fun in this game and it played quite reasonable given the underpowered systems I attempted to play it on at the time. So with that plus the graphics (which I felt were quite insane at the time), I made it my mission to enjoy it. Drifting in this game was quite fun, and I personally found the map interesting, as it was much larger, and did not feel as much of a "closed track" as the maps in the previous titles did.

Reached rank 20 (Ultimate Enforcer) (police side) sometime in 2011.

Battlefield™ 2142

© 2006 · Digital Illusions CE AB®

This was the first first-person shooter game that I played. Being new to first-person shooters and unfamiliar with multiplayer gameplay, I played the singleplayer game and fought with the "bots" (as they were called) for longer than I'd like to admit. I got somewhat frustrated, as it seemed that no matter how many rounds I played, my statistics never got tracked and I never progressed through the ranks. It was only after I randomly attempted to join a multiplayer server one day, and noticed that I had received an award and had made some rank progression. A bit of research clarified everything: statistics would only be tracked in ranked multiplayer sessions. As a child, my main desire was to 1) progress through the ranks and 2) get the "cooler" weapons.

My first multiplayer session in this game was on February 16, 2008, and my last session took place on August 27, 2013. To every fan's dismay, all official servers relating to this game were closed after the GameSpy service platform shutdown on May 31, 2014.

Reached rank 40 (Brigadier General) on December 14, 2009 with my main account.
Time Played: 271 hours.
K/D: 0.571 | Accuracy: 32.3% | W/L: 0.917


Reached rank 40 (Brigadier General) somewhere between March 7, 2012 and April 6, 2012 with my secondary account.
Time Played: 308 hours.
K/D: 1.204 | Accuracy: 22.3% | W/L: 1.814

Need for Speed™ High Stakes

© 1999 · Electronic Arts™

The only Need for Speed™ I had ever played before this was Need for Speed™ II and the one thing I always wanted, was to be able to play a Need for Speed™ game with police, as Need for Speed™ II did not have any. One day while my father and I were walking around at our local Target® store while he browsed for sales. Somewhere in the clearance section, I noticed the Need for Speed™ High Stakes shrink-wrapped jewel case. I had never heard of it, and the front-cover didn't look all that exciting to me, but I picked it up to look out of curiosity. After flipping to the reverse side, my attitude quickly changed, and I wanted that game: it featured the ability to play both with and against the police. I remained humble about it but I did mention to my father that it seemed like it would have been a really great game to have. He thought about it for a while and to my surprise, he bought it for me.

Later that day at home, he told me that the computer might not be able to run it, as he did some preliminary research and found that other users on the Internet reported there to be compatibility issues with running it on Windows® XP. I naturally got a bit worried, but he attempted to install it anyway and try our luck. While I do not remember how the installation went back then, I do know that my father got it working, and I had a blast playing it ever since. I played this game consistently for quite many years after, and enjoyed the "support" for modding that it had— particularly the ability to install add-on and custom vehicles to the game.

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Midtown Madness™

© 1999 · Angel Studios™, Microsoft Game Studios™

As odd as it was, I played game after (instead of before) its sequel (Midtown Madness™ 2). And as an avid fan of the other game, I always wanted to play this game too. After all, the game featured the very city that I lived right next to: Chicago! At the time, we lived approximately 30 minutes away from the city, and had visited the city on a few occassions. Much like I did with the sequel to this game, I played the trial version of this game as well for quite a long time. It had the same trial version limits as the sequel: the player was locked-down to a small area of the city, had only a few cars to choose from, and was only able to play for 5-minutes each time.

Out of nowhere, on this one weekend that seemed like any other, our family went to check out a new store that had just opened-up, Fry's. As my parents browsed the store and we walked down the isle of CD's for games and miscellaneous other computer software, I found (what I felt) was a special treasure: Midtown Madness™. There it was: in all its glory. I picked up the shrink-wrapped jewel-case and held and stared at it in absolute awe. At that point, I felt that if there was one thing in the world that could ever make me the happiest child of all time, being able to have that game would be it. It had a $10.00 USD price tag on it. I knew better, and usually never begged my parents for anything. I showed my mother the disc, with hopes that she could help convince my father. It was ultimately his decision, and when I asked, he said he would think about it. For the rest of the trip, all I could think about was about how badly I wanted the game. When it came time to check-out, I showed my dad the game once again. Alas, he approved it!

Later that night, my father installed the game to the computer. Needless to say, I had heaps of fun.

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Midtown Madness™ 2

© 2000 · Angel Studios™, Microsoft Game Studios™

I first saw this game as a child running on one of the computers at a local MicroCenter® stores in Chicago while my father and I visited the store. I fell in-love with it as it enabled the player to drive a heap of cars in a large open-world. It stood-out from most other racing games, which only permitted driving on closed courses. For a long time, I played the free trial version of the game, and always dreamed of having the full version of the game that would allow me to explore the full map (instead of being restricted to a small area), all the vehicles, and play for more than 5 minutes. If my memory serves me correctly, I had asked my parents for the game once or twice and they refused, citing that "I had better things to do than waste time". Little did I know, they had something else in-mind the entire time.

Later that year, my aunt and uncle came to visit and with them, they brought a box that instantly made me one of the most excited kids of all-time: the full version of Midtown Madness™ 2 in all its glory.

My father installed it on one of the computers and not long after, I was playing it and having a blast. One of the heavily-featured vehicles in the game was the 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback, and needless to say, I had known nothing regarding the significance. As it turned out, my uncle also brought along with him the DVD for the 1968 movie Bullitt, starring Steve McQueen (which I had never seen). We watched it, and that helped open my eyes to the significance of the '68 Mustang.

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Test Drive® 6

© 1999 · Pitbull Syndicate

I do not remember a huge amount about this game, but I did play a fair amount of it. I loved driving games as a child, and this game was certainly no exception. I also had plenty of fun running from the police and even playing as them and ticketing other opponents. I recall the game had an interesting ticketing system that would actually dynamically add offenses to the ticket as you kept violating traffic laws and such, which you would see if you got ticketed by police. As I did with most racing games, I spent more time messing around and having fun driving around, crashing into objects and such than actually racing.

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Demolition Racer™

© 1999 · Pitbull Syndicate

To be honest, I nearly forgot about this game and the loads of fun that I had with it. But as soon as I remembered, I knew I had to mention it as one of my favorite games throughout my childhood.

Prior to this game, I had only ever played Need for Speed™ II and although I had loads of fun with that game, there was one thing that I always wished it had: damage. I had plenty of fun driving around and intentionally crashing into other opponents (don't ask why... kid logic perhaps?) and was always a bit disappointed that no matter what I did, the cars always looked to be in pristine condition. Well, that was one of the very differences with this game: it was all about demolition.

Even though the damage models are nothing compared to today's standards, back then I found them to be simply amazing. Vehicles would get progressively damaged as you hit obstacles and other cars: hoods would pop open and fly off, smoke would come out of the engine bay, and eventually cars vehicles would catch fire when they were done for. This made the racing modes super fun and to add icing to the cake, the "demolition mode" (or whatever it was called) was another one-of-a-kind experience in itself. I will say, that of all the games that I played throughout my childhood, this was truly an amazing game with many nostalgic memories.

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Need for Speed™ II

© 1997 · Electronic Arts™

This is where it all began: my first game. I played the game on the family computer, which at the time was running Microsoft® Windows® 98. I do not recall the first day I played it (nor the last), but I do know that I had plenty of fond memories of this game. I was not as interested in the racing as much as I was with just driving. Still, I raced plenty in this game and had a blast doing so. My favorite car in the game was the Ford® GT-90.

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