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European Tastes

August 7, 2011

Yes, this link of PC Gamer UKs top 100 PC games of all time (2011 edition!) confirms that I most definitely have Euro-centric gaming tastes. Granted, most of those titles were developed in the US, however I’ve noticed that US “top 100” lists tend to vary a bit from Euro/UK tastes, likewise with general reviews of PC games.

I’m not /quite/ sure when or how my tastes turned “Euro”, but it was before I ever even moved to Europe. My earliest gaming exposure was almost entirely Japanese console games, and I became a Japan-o-phile for a summer. I loved Ninjas, I wanted to learn Japanese, etc. And this was in the late 80s, before Anime /really/ became an integral part of pop culture in America, or before Japanophile was even a word, nonetheless a legitimate youth fad. Either way – sometime in the early or mid 90s my gaming tastes changed and my affinity for Japanese games was quickly on their way out the door.

I /think/ that I can attribute my taste change to getting a PC in the winter of ’92, when all I played were American developed PC games. In particular, the US developed, European-themed C-RPG games that I was playing probably had something to do with it. They were deep beyond any Japanese game that I had played so far. US / Euro C-RPG games had rich lore and long stories that spanned several games (unlike Japanese series games, where the story between games is tangental, at /best/). US / Euro games often times had somewhat original gameplay, as opposed to the very generic, cookie-cutter Japanese games of the time.

Granted, I have played some VERY unique Japanese games, especially on the PlayStation 2, but my “favorite games of all time” list contains only one Japanese game: Zelda Ocarina of Time.

One reason that I differentiate between US and Euro tastes (versus.. say.. “anglo” tastes, I guess??) is the US “top games of all time” list rotate their top 10 or 20 games every year, such that the most recent franchise “A+” titles make it somewhere in the top. That leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and makes me wonder what developers may have paid for a slot in the top 10 or 20. The Euro lists that I found, on the other hand, tend to have only a few newer titles; and in the case of the list I linked, none of the top 100 were published in 2011.

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