Be sure to catch all of CheatCC’s end-of-year coverage, counting down the very best and worst from 2017. Stay tuned for more content each and every day during the Christmas/New Year’s holiday!
Every year, the CheatCC team gathers together to weave a Christmas tale around the ole fireplace. This year is no different, as we’ve come up with a theme for story-time we think you’ll enjoy. We’re bringing you our take on a holiday classic (with a modern twist). For this yarn, each of our writers is imagining they’ve been given the chance to travel into the future on Christmas Eve, where they’ll be able to bring to younger generations one single solitary video game that has true meaning. That meaning can be of importance to our industry overall or can simply have some personal significance that they wouldn’t want forgotten.
So grab your hot cocoa and curl up with a warm blanket, as we bring you Cheat Code Central’s tale of the Ghosts of Gamer’s Past…
Holidays are all about connecting and gathering with the people who matter to you, and Mario Kart 8 has always been a game I use to connect. It didn’t matter if it was with family or friends. It didn’t matter if it was the original Wii U installment or Switch’s Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Each one afforded that opportunity to get together with folks are enjoy some friendly, yet competitive, fun. That is always what mattered most.
Though, people can’t discount the importance of this installment. It is the only Mario Kart to get an updated rerelease. It is the only one with DLC. It even is the only entry to pull in non-Mario characters by offering Inklings, Link, Isabelle, and Villagers are possible racers. Mario Kart 8 is the entry where Nintendo experimented and flexed its muscles. It was one that vaulted over barriers. It might just be the only Mario Kart anyone would ever need.
~Jenni Lada - Site Editor
I’ve grown up with video games for over three decades and have seen firsthand the technical progress over those years. I can only imagine what video games will be like a couple of generations in the future. But whatever graphical prowess takes shape down the road, for me the story, characters, and music are timeless elements that need the most attention to fashion a gaming masterpiece. If I were to bring one game into the future to showcase to my grandchildren, it would be Final Fantasy VI, which was originally released as Final Fantasy III in North America.
I haven’t played Final Fantasy VI since the 1990’s, but I can still pluck memories of powerful moments in the game. Memories such as Cyan’s rage after the genocide committed against his kingdom and family, Celes’ hardened persona melting away after her moving operatic song, and the epic and lengthy final battle against Kefka. I am more emotionally attached to these 16-bit sprites and orchestrations than any photorealistic characters found in current games. Future generations of gamers need to understand that a great game is not about the spectacle, but about the lasting impression its story, characters, and music leave in your mind and heart.
~Sean Engemann - Senior Contributing Writer
I’ll always love RPGs, especially JRPGs. If a game lets me just vibe out, run around in circles outside the safe haven of a town, and smash monsters for gold and EXP, I’m a happy camper. I’ll be playing these games forever, especially since I won’t need my reflexes to hold up in the long term to make menu choices. But no matter how many roman numerals end up following the phrase “Final Fantasy,” or how many goofy Shin Megami Tensei spin-offs we see in our lifetimes, I’ll always go back to Dragon Quest IX.
Dragon Quest IX came out in 2010. I was a few years out of high school, still figuring everything out. 2009 was a remarkable year for games, bringing Dragon Age: Origins and Batman: Arkham Asylum to the conversation, two games that really changed the landscape in a big way. 2010 was all about Mass Effect 2, which cemented this direction forever. Big games now needed to be dark and serious, full of moments that prompted players to make choices, or to shock the player with dark and violent twists.
But I picked up Dragon Quest IX, and found comfort in knowing it didn’t have to be that way. It’s easy to get dragged down, as a young person, into thinking being edgy, dark, and brooding is the way to go. Dragon Quest IX showed me that it’s okay to be colorful, and wear your heart on your sleeve. It also showed me it’s more important to tell a story using the full breadth of humanity, rather than just the grimy parts. It’s a lesson I’ve taken with me ever since, and a lesson I hope to keep passing on.
~Lucas White - Contributing Writer
When you sit and ponder a question as specific as, “What game would I show to future generations?” you find that your thoughts tend to wander. For me, I managed to settle on a title that I felt fit (and broke) all kinds of molds. That game is .hack//Infection for the PlayStation 2. It released in 2002 via Bandai Namco Entertainment. I was at the tender age of 12 years old and was just discovering which types of video games I liked most.
.hack//Infection offered a great number of things that I had never experienced or seen had before. It took a popular anime and manga franchise that I was already familiar with and translated it into a fantastic game. It introduced me to the world of Japanese import games. It showed me that single-player role-playing games were absolutely my jam. .hack//Infection also opened up the entire world of video game collecting to me, as it was just the first of four games after all. And last, but certainly not least, .hack//Infection's “The World,” gave me hope for a bright future of virtual reality in relation to gaming. This title has stuck with me into adulthood for all the above reasons, and I would absolutely want future generations to remember it as fondly as I have.
~April Marie - Contributing Writer