The first time I ever played Bioshock, it was because of a friend of my kids' uncle, who had just recently rented it right after it was released and brought it over to play. At the time, I don't think I even had an Xbox 360 yet, and was still trying to reacclimate myself to the video game landscape after my gaming hiatus. I knew about the game - well, I had at least heard of it - but other than that, I couldn't really care less about it. I knew the premise was that you were in a city under water, and that there were big, creepy guys with drills that chased you about, but past that, it was nothing I needed to care about at that point in my life.
Yes, it was a weird time for me, but it is forever part of my personal history timeline, and I can't change that. That time in my life helped shaped me to be the person I am today, for better or for worse, and while I realize I missed out on so much, I like to think I picked up a few positives out of it as well.
Anyway, I remember watching him playing it and still not being interested in it at all. I was asking a few questions here and there just for context about what I was watching, but it's not an easily explained game in the first place, coupled with my disinterest, and it only led to obligatory head nods and vacant stares.
And then it happened. He went to pick a lock, which was the first time I had seen this part of the game, and immediately my radar went off. I saw the pipe and water flow mini-game and perked right up. First person shooters were dead to me as a game genre, but puzzle games? Even if it was a small, brief mini-game just to unlock a safe or deactivate an alarm system, the puzzle aspect instantly made me interested in what he was playing. In fact, he was having quite a hard time figuring out how to complete them successfully, as I watched him fail over and over again.
Eventually, I got the courage to ask him if I could try to solve the pipe maze puzzle and help him out, and he graciously accepted my offer. So the next time he had to hack something, he tossed the controller to me and let me have a whirl, in which I was successful on the first try. Not to brag or anything, but those types of puzzles are my cup of tea. I love when video games challenge the mind, not just the reflexes of the hand. And that stupid little pipe game was all I needed to make me pay attention to the game.
I realize that the hacking mini-game was the least liked aspect of the game for almost everyone who played it, hence why they changed it to the much simpler hacking system in Bioshock 2. If enough people complain about something, eventually things will change. And yes, the new hacking method sped up the process exponentially, but for me, I was sad to see the pipe mini-game go away.
Years later, I would eventually decided to back to Rapture and give the game a decent shot. After all, other than the hacking, I didn't really play any of the game, and because I started watching it being played at an arbitrary point in the middle of the game, I had no idea what was going on in the storyline.
I didn't start playing it right away when I did finally purchase it for myself, however. I waited for some odd reason. Maybe I was just waiting for the right time to be in the right mood for that type of game, or maybe I just still wasn't super high on the game still, despite my previous fun with the hacking mini-games. Whatever the case was, I waited for a while. Then I had to get my wisdom teeth removed, which meant a few days off work and laying on the couch trying to recover and fight the constant pain. And to deal with the pain, lots of Vicodin were ingested, which is one of the few times in my adult life that I have heavily relied on medication to make me feel better.
Because I had nothing to do and nothing but time on my hands, I figured that would be the perfect time to play Bioshock. Yes, while heavily sedated and quite loopy from Vicodin, I journeyed to Rapture. Needless to say, it wasn't the best idea. When I think back, I realize how bizarre the game is already, but when you play it while practically hallucinating, that game became the craziest, scariest and more unbelievable game in the world. While I got the gist of what was happening, I couldn't fully wrap my head around it, because well, I felt like I couldn't even find my head at some points, as it seemed to be floating up in the clouds.
I managed to beat the game in those few days I had to myself, as the only thing I did was play Bioshock and sleep. I enjoyed it, but I missed a lot of it, so I did go back and play it again for the sake of better understanding the game, but even to this day, my memories of the game always revert back to the drug-induced mind-trip I had while playing it before.
It's funny how different a game looks when your memory or perception is greatly skewed. I realized this going back and playing some once again. Especially after playing Bioshock Infinite a few different times now, my excitement to get back into Rapture is at an all time high. While I have and have downloaded the DLC titled "Burial at Sea" which takes Booker and Elizabeth to Rapture, I have yet to play through it yet, thanks in part to all the games demanding my attention. But with that DLC chapter looming and this visit back to Rapture via the original Bioshock game, I don't know how much longer I can hold out before marathoning the whole series.
If you don't hear from me for a while, send help. I've either completely lost my mind or got stuck in an endless game of Pipe Mania.
Finally - and I mean, FINALLY - I get to write about BioShock Infinite. I bought it before my Disneyland trip, but didn't crack it open until after we got back. Then I started it, but because of Little League and everything else, I didn't get a good enough start of the game to write about it. This past weekend, I played a TON of it, but stopped a couple hours short of completing it. This week has been a firestorm and whirlwind of personal issues and again, Little League, so my ability to play any of the game and get it finished was completely put in check ... until tonight.
I made it an absolute point all day to get this done tonight, so I can write about it. Because all I've wanted to do is write about it, talk about it, read about it, listen to others talk about it, etc. etc. etc. And I haven't been able to do any of that because I hadn't finished it, and didn't want anything ruined or spoiled for me. I had to get through it. I just had to. If I took any longer, I literally would have gone crazy thinking about it. Literally.
No, seriously. Literally.
First, can I point out that I used the alternate box art for this post, which is the B-side of the original box art in the box, and with the simple reversal of the paper, you can display the really awesome cover artwork. And no, I don't hate the original cover like I lot of people did online when it was revealed. I just think this one is cooler. Simple as that. Not everything has to be complicated and hard to figure out with this game. But close.
OK, so I finished it, right? Well, my head is spinning. It has been spinning for most of the game, really, as every story point seemed to just create more questions without any of them ever being answered. Every time something happened, I sat there confused, wondering what I just saw or heard, and trying to put the pieces together myself of this impossible jigsaw puzzle. But I felt like I was doing the wrong puzzle with the pieces given to me.
I wish I could say I was super astute and picked up on all the clues and had the "Ah ha!" moment all on my own, before the big reveal after big reveal after big reveal. But alas, it wasn't until the end credits rolled where everything made sense. Well, almost made sense. Started to make sense, I should say. I still am dumbstruck and somewhat confused by what I saw and what I was told, but the overall premise and major sticking points make sense.
Honestly, I don't know. Now I get the awesome chance to explore every nook and cranny of the internet to read and watch everything I can find about people talking about the game and especially, the ending. I simply can not wait to hear other people's opinions on this whole crazy mind-rape of a game. It's been a very long time before a game made me care 100% about the story, every line of dialogue, every hidden puzzle piece, every subtle clue and hint to the point where I spent more time thinking about what I was playing than I did actually playing it.
Bravo, Irrational Games. But you guys already know that, I'm sure.
Oh, and if you were wondering what I actually thought about the game play, well, I enjoyed it. It felt like a BioShock game, and that was the most important thing to me. The combat and skylines and all that worked and I didn't hate any of it, but honestly, I felt like I was just doing all that for the sole purpose of advancing the storyline - and that's not a bad thing.
Now I only have one last thing to think about on my own involving this game. Do I even attempt to play through 1999 mode?
XBLA = The Noyse
PSN = the_noyse
NNID = The Noyse
3DS F.C. = 3007-8109-2329
STEAM = TheNoyse
FEEL FREE TO FRIEND ME!
Games played for project : 365