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To truly drive this message home, a group of us from our forums banded together to give more control to the users in regards to what they see on the front page. Whether it’s through popular demand, a good idea in and of itself, or for when our writers are strained for ideas and we need one quick, the users have more control than they ever had before.

For our first article from the forums, we asked what each person’s favorite game of all time was and why. We writers compiled them, stuck in a few pretty pictures and published it for your pleasure. So remember, want to see your idea come to life by one of the writers? Sign up for our forums and become one of the community.

LightsaberBlues

Favorite Game, Thy Name is Zelda….

I’ve been pondering this question since it was posted as the idea for the article, and am having a tough time with it….

You see whenever I’m asked a question like this so many games go through my head as the answer….

I must have played thousands of games since I started when I was 5, and have loved so many of them over the years…. So when somebody asks this question I don’t take it lightly…. Having had the grand chance to play most every great game released over the past 25 years puts me in a precarious spot when trying to decide what game is the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing…. But in the end I always come back to one series….

The Legend of Zelda games have to be my first choice…. I would be lying if I said anything else….

Over the course of the past 25 years I’ve been engrossed by Link’s adventures in the land of Hyrule…. From NES to Wii U, I have extremely enjoyed playing every Zelda game ever released minus a couple handheld titles like Phantom Hourglass and Minish Cap that I’ve missed…. And I still have yet to play A Link Between Worlds (SOON!)….

To explain why I believe this series is the best I’ve ever played I’ll take you on a trip down memory lane and explain my first experience with Zelda….

The Legend of Zelda

Released in 1986 for the original Nintendo Entertainment System, Zelda was an interesting game even before you played it…. Before I had even ever seen the game played or played it myself, legends about its special gold cartridge spread throughout my neighborhood…. All of my friends were talking about this game called ZELDA that had this awesome gold cart…. I mean to kids like us it might as well have been made out of real gold, it was something I had never encountered before, and it was exciting…. I had been playing SMB, Gradius and Contra a lot at the time because those were the games I got with my NES for my birthday and had never really played a game like everyone was explaining ZELDA was going to be like…. So even before I had a controller in my hand, ZELDA was mysterious and exciting to me….

Time went by, my friends were all waiting to see who would be the first one of us to get ZELDA, and suddenly it happened….

A friend of mine was lucky enough to have a birthday and of course we all made him ask his parents for Zelda so we could play it at his house or borrow it when he was done…. At first we were all over at his house everyday for like a month watching him play and helping him conquer the game…. When he finally did beat it he spilled all the beans on the game at a little meeting we had and said he would now let everyone else borrow it, but there were like seven of us…. So we decided to draw straws and of course I got the smallest one and ended up having to be the last one to get it….

So months go by and I’m waiting and waiting to get my hands on this copy of ZELDA…. It was already a legendary game because of the way it was passed along between all my friends and played by all of them…. So it ends up being like an entire summer before I finally get my hands on it…. It still had my friend who owned the game’s save on it as he made us keep it there for him, but after the rest of my friends were done they had to delete their saves to make room for the rest of our playthroughs….

I remember my buddy bringing it over to me…. I heard a knock and sprang up from the floor where I was playing Nintendo on my Mom’s old wooden box RCA TV and ran to the door…. I open it and there is my friend Ryan, and in his hands is this fabled copy of ZELDA that has been passed around between every kid on my block…. He looks at me and says “finally your turn dude.” He hands it to me and it’s like slow motion…. I’m looking at this cart and seeing that it’s been beat to hell…. The gold paint had chipped off of some of it, it had scratches all over it revealing the plastic underneath, but it was in my eyes the most beautiful thing I have ever seen….

I took it out of the sleeve and immediately started reading the manual…. The art was fantastic…. It was the most beautiful instruction booklet I had ever seen at that point in my life….

S***, even still to this day….

 

But when I looked in the back of the instruction booklet I found something even more stupendous…. ALL OF MY FRIENDS HAD HAND WRITTEN NOTES ON EVERYTHING IN THE GAME FROM START TO FINISH! It was like looking into the eyes of God…. I had everything I needed to know to beat the game 10 times over right there in my hand! But then I noticed something written on the first page at the top right that said “Only use if you get stuck!” and the initials of my buddy who owned the game in the first place….

So I had decided right then and there before I even blew into the bottom of the cart (which was almost a gamer custom back then) and rammed it into my NES that I was going to try and do it myself….

Over the course of the next week I played fake sick to my Mom to get out of going to school so I could hide out in her room and play ZELDA from back to front…. The moment I booted it up I knew it was going to be special…. The music, the story, the graphics, the mystery…. It all grabbed me by the brain and had me completely and utterly immersed in this new land called Hyrule…. What was this mysterious place…? What secrets did it hold for me to uncover…? Would I be up to the challenge…?

It was like the moment I started playing I was there in Hyrule discovering new and wondrous things….

Now you could take this experience with my first ZELDA game and apply it to every major ZELDA console release over the past 25 years…. I have a story like this one for every era of Nintendo….

I guess what I’m trying to say is that the day I left reality behind for the digital land of Hyrule to go save a princess from an evil wizard known as Ganon, the truth is… I never came back….

And I have been enjoying my adventures in Hyrule ever since….

Written by Ryan C.

Also known as CitizenOfVerona on the forums, he started writing for the site due to his love for Mega Man and all things retro. Mainly a reviewer and a feature writer, when he’s not playing or writing about gaming, he can be found watching movies, playing music and drawing

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