Game Philosophy: Your game’s first meaningful action

Press Start!
*Player presses X*
(Sigh) It’s people like you why we can’t have nice things…


Today’s topic:
Your game’s first meaningful action.

POP QUIZ! When you start a game, what’s the first thing you do?


Uhm… okay, I mean AFTER the Main Menu of the game.


Well… yes, usually walking is the first action you learn, but what I meant is the first MEANINGFUL thing you do in the game.

See, I’ve recently been part of a little playthrough with my friend Carlo, where each of us presented our favourite games.

I presented Ninja Gaiden Black (shocking, I know) and he presented Kingdom Hearts II.

Yeah… two TOTALLY different games, one is a game where you play a cold-blooded murderer of thousands of lives, justified by the dark story about how the victims are unholy beings that don’t deserve to live… and the other is Ninja Gaiden Black.

Huh… I guess they actually DO have a lot in common…

Sora! The most whimsical murderer in all of Disney!

But this is actually not the first time I’ve ever played Kingdom Hearts II, nor is it the very first time Carlo recommended it to me. I never got around to finishing it (J-RPGs were never really my thing. I mean I can appreciate them, but you won’t see me play them often), but one thing that really stuck out to me the first time I played it was when the game gave me the choice of three weapons at the game’s introduction of combat.

Choose your phallic symbol wisely!

You see, after this first choice, your experience will differ, because depending on which of these weapons you choose, the game will adapt to the playstyle that you prefer, due to which skills you unlock. Choosing the most left one will make the game more offense-based, choosing the middle one will make the game more defense-based and choosing the most right one will make the game more magic-based.

Now, in the end it won’t exactly make THAT much of a difference, but the first 10 minutes of the game really matters (or if you’re playing a J-RPG, the first 2 friggin hours, what with the amount of cutscenes). It will forever colour your perspective on the game, even when you plan to play through it again on a new game.

Now, some of you may find this comparable to another game’s first choice.

(Psst, I always go with Charmander)
(Psst, I always go with Charmander)

That’s right, the first real choice in Pokemon will always be to choose a Starter Pokemon. And hopefully you will grow a strong bond with the creature, doing many things together and…

oh who am I kidding, you’ll replace them the moment you get a Shiny.

So where am I even going with all of this?

Read the next page to find out!

Published by Huy Minh Le

Huy Minh Le is a Video Game Enthusiast, Movie Lover, Writer, Content Marketeer and regular TvTropes reader! His studies in Game Design, Art, and Writing has led to a very creative, yet analytical mind.

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