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Iconic Video Games

John Hoang, Staff Writer

Video games have been a place where people can escape the outside world and enjoy themselves. Whether the player enjoys engrossing stories, mesmerizing graphics or just blowing things up, people have seen video games as a source of entertainment. Several games have gathered a large, loyal fan-base over the years being recognizable by a large general population. Certain games have become icons in the gaming industry with fans coming back for more and more. As time goes by, these game have become a part of American culture.

Background: Earth changes dramatically after an all-out nuclear war between the U.S and China, annihilating most of the world’s civilizations. Anarchy, war, mutants and diseases spread across post-apocalyptic America, with only fragments of the American government trying to regain control of a once proud nation.

What made it last: The environment of the Fallout series is dirty, dark and gritty. Set in the 1950s mindset of the Cold War, this game shows what could’ve been if there was a nuclear holocaust between the Americans and communist nations. Even with chaos and death, the game developers maintain a dark humor throughout the games relieving the seriousness of a world that could’ve happened. The Fallout games give the player the ability to decide their choices to affect the outcome of the story. Players have the freedom to do almost anything they want, bound only by their moral sense of right and wrong.

Legend Of Zelda:
Background: The classic story of a hero saving the damsel in distress, who must use his courage, determination and strength to succeed.The player controls Link, a silent and mysterious protagonist who must always save the world from a certain evil to save Princess Zelda.

What made it last: Even though the basic story for every Zelda game is similar, Nintendo finds ways to keep it fresh and inventive. Throughout the game there are puzzles, monsters and temples act as obstacles for the player to overcome. The music of Zelda games has been integral to the story and is a key element of the Legend of Zelda franchise. Both critically acclaimed and popular by critics, Zelda has been one of the oldest video game franchises.

Background: Mario, a plumber dressed in red and blue overalls, must go through trials of courage to save Princess Peach from the clutches of Bowser.

What made it last: The simple gameplay of jumping from platform to platform while smashing Koopas, mushroom guys and saving the princess never gets old. Pioneering the genre of platformers, Mario games are some of the most popular in the gaming industry.    

Elder Scrolls:
Background: The majority of Tamriel has been ruled by the Empire for centuries. Although each part of the series is set in a different region of Tamriel, the Empire has a significant amount of influence in throughout the games.

What made it last: The lore, gameplay and freedom given to the player are all staples in the series. The diversity of the Elder Scrolls games enables the player to customize their character in various ways. Like Fallout the power to control your own destiny and influence the world around you has been a defining feature of Elder Scrolls.

Background: Within a small maze the player controls a yellow ball consuming small dots while being chased by ghosts. The player must run from them until they complete the level or until they obtain the power-up to eat the ghosts.

What made it last: This popular arcade game is widely known and appeals to a large variety of people, with its easy to learn controls and gameplay.

World of Warcraft:
Background: The game that brought MMORPGs to the mainstream with its addicting gameplay and sense of community within a game. With a fourth incoming expansion, WoW still has a massive fan-base eagerly awaiting the new release.

What made it last: Although WoW did not reinvent the wheel of MMORPGs, it gave a great sense of immersion into the magical and diverse world known as Azeroth. Questing and exploring unknown lands with other adventurers is an experience WoW players always remember. The aspect of a community within the game is apparent for every server. The social media of WoW links players all over the world together, and brings about a unique community.

The Japanese cartoon became a hit show in America, spawning various games and merchandise over the country.

What made it last: Although the Pokemon games are generally aimed towards children, people of all ages can enjoy the video game. Playing any Pokemon games gives a sense of nostalgia, bringing back a time where things were more simple and carefree.

Background: Players must arrange incoming blocks to fill a line to obtain points and level progression. As the game progresses, the blocks increase in speed and the player must react quick enough to succeed. The game starts off slow and easy, but later levels eventually increase to near instant speed.

What made it last: The game tests the player’s reflexes and ability to recognize patterns. Playing tetris is always a challenging activity, as each game is a different experience.

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