Last week's list of the Top 10 computer games of all time provoked a storm of reaction, and understandably so. Games are something that the technically minded often hold dear, because they were the first time we really got into computers.
Some of the complaints were about games that we love, but that don't translate to the computer very well. There are good reasons for this. I've always regarded console systems as the idiot savant of IT: very good at what they do but little use for anything else. Shaun is a passionate advocate of such systems, and this week's list has taught me a lot about how his generation look at computer gaming.
Like all good scientific stuff, with the exception of The Matrix, good things come in threes. Last week it was computer games, this week consoles and next week - well let's just say that, if you're fond of yellow eating machines or barrel-throwing monkeys, stay tuned.
Mention: Fallout 3
Shaun Nichols: This game is a lot more than an Honourable Mention for me. In the past year or so, I've spent more time playing Fallout 3 than just about any other title.
The third instalment of the series has been by far the most popular, and makes just about everyone's list of the top four or five games of the past few years.
Fallout 3 reminds me a bit of Half-Life in that it doesn't really break ground for adding a ton of new features and concepts, but takes the elements of previous titles and does everything a bit better.
The graphics are amazing, the storyline is immersive and deep, the missions are unique and challenging, and the world is large and fun to explore.
There have been earlier RPGs that have had some of these qualities, but few that can deliver them all on the level of Fallout 3.
Iain Thomson: I appreciated Shaun's comments on the game, not least because he's turned up late for work on two occasions with a story about the latest downloaded episodes, and with eyes like Keyser Söze on full burn.
You have to appreciate a game that inspires that kind of loyalty. Yes, Fallout 3 may be this year's thing, and in the years to come may be looked on as an embarrassment, but I've a sneaking fondness for something so immersive that it can make a chap forget the important things in life.
The storyline is also very amusing. As someone who grew up in the shadow of the Cold War, the plot is catchy and darkly chilling.
Iain Thomson: Nintendo was originally a US-centric operation and had very little impact in Europe, so when Shaun argued his case for Metroid I had to do some digging.
It turns out I missed a trick. Metroid was actually the precursor to two of the games yet to come on the list, and was a rather nifty bit of work. The game explores the boundaries of what you can do in a virtual environment in a way that other games sought to follow.
Having since researched and played the game, I have to say I regret missing it as a youngster. Most games were far too simplistic when I was growing up, and Metroid managed to bring the basic elements together in a unified whole. Although it's now outdated, Metroid showed the way the industry was flowing.
Shaun Nichols: Metroid is sort of the black sheep of Nintendo's big hits. The game is decisively darker in its tone and overall visuals than the company's other big titles from the 1980s.
Still, mentioning Metroid to a certain age group of gamers will cause more than a few eyes to glaze over. The game was a nice combination of side-scrolling action with a bit of non-linear game play and a good plot thrown in.
It is also likely to have caused more than a few young male gamers to be thrown for a loop when the ending screen revealed that the super-tough space mercenary with whom they had been blasting away half the galaxy was actually a woman. A groundbreaking title in more ways than one.
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