Mar 30, 2011

30 Days of Gaming (30): Favorite Game of All Time

Starcraft: Brood War, despite its very few flaws from aging, is by far my favorite game of all time. Sure, compared to it's big brother Starcraft 2, Brood War seems very naive with it's lower resolution and limited unit selection, but you can't have Starcraft 2 without Brood War. That and it really hurt's Starcraft 2's case that the story is only 1/3rd complete.

This game solidified my love for Sarah Kerrigan. She is a straight out manipulative bad ass bitch in the Brood War campaigns, and really makes her Starcraft 2 iteration feel like a completely different character*. Not only that, but you get to see new Protoss heroes step up to the proverbial plate such as Artanis and Raszagal, all set to the turmoil of Protoss racism. Not to mention you have crazy humans from Earth, who are oddly all Russian, turn up in the Korpulu sector as well. Oh, and you get introduced to the mysterious 'Duran' who at first appears to be a UED agent, but then later defects to being Kerrigan's right hand man, and then mysteriously shows up on a planet trying to make a hybrid of the Zerg and Protoss races, telling Zeratul that he works for a higher power. All these tiny talking heads and sprites have way more characterization than half of the crap released as games today.

Speaking of sprites, each race also got 2 new units that greatly improved each races arsenal of weaponry. Protoss got a stealth unit in the form of the Dark Templar and a fast anti-air unit that disabled ground based ranged attacks from the Corsair. Terran got the Medic, making them the only race in Starcraft with a cast based healer, and the area of effect air-to-air Valkyrie. Zerg got their long ranged siege unit as a Hyrdralisk morph into the burrowed Lurker and the air slowing Devourer. The addition of these strong anti-air units brought the strategic focus away from huge air armies back to a balanced mix of units that could handle diverse situations.

Then there is the pro gaming scene. You cannot mention Starcraft without pro gaming, as the terms are synonyms. Hell, South Korea's entire economy was saved because of the phenomena of pro level Starcraft play. Forget any other sport in South Korea, Starcraft sells out arena's constantly. There are even pro teams sponsored by the South Korean Military. That's right, a government is supporting pro video game play. There are what I like to call "dude-bro" gamers that think Call of Duty and Halo are professional gaming experiences and they do nothing but watch Major League Gaming** thinking that this is what pro gaming is all about. They have no clue. Halo and Call of Duty wish they had the pro gaming influence that Starcraft has.

Starcraft is my swan song to gaming. I will always have a copy in some way shape or form. Hell, Blizzard is practically giving the game away now that the game doesn't require a disc to be in the drive to be played. It will always have a place in my Zerg Infested Heart.

*Based on the small 33% of the story we have so far received.
**Not saying MLG is bad, they just have a long way to go compared to where pro gaming is over seas.