While computer shops or internet cafés aren’t as ubiquitous in the metro as before, they’re still thriving, as they are now specifically targeted towards gamers. And gamers just love to go to computer shops and spend hours upon hours sitting beside each other and yelling obscenities because a teammate died or something. And even if you’re not a gamer, there are times when you just succumb to your friends’ ribbing or the general rowdy atmosphere of the café and end up playing a game or two. And over the course of the years, you’ve probably played at least one of these games on this list.
Counter Strike is probably that one game everyone and their brother played. Not a lot of players knew what they were doing (we were kids, and why are those bots so good anyway?), but everything was pretty straightforward. Walk, shoot, throw a bomb, run, reload ammo, jump, try not to die. Back then, you thought those 8-bit graphics were the coolest thing ever. And maybe only topped by that shout of “Fire in the hole!”
The MMORPG that got everyone so hooked, Ragnarok Online (RO) was truly the ultimate virtual hangout place. Admit it; you probably used up all your allowance for the week to buy Level Up cards just so you can play. People spent so much time online joining parties and levelling up in dungeons and messaging your acolyte friend with “pa-buff.” Some people even just leave their characters sitting at the Prontera Square to sell their items, and leaving an “AFK” note. This game even led to Pinoy rock legend Kamikazee writing the song “Chiksilog”, which, you know, is simply iconic.
You probably had your significant other tell you “Puro ka na lang DOTA!” Or maybe it was your mom. But regardless, you keep on playing anyway. This game is seriously addicting, though. Especially with all the additional mods fans and developers keep on adding on top of the already amazing gameplay.
Way before Tap Tap even became a thing, O2Jam was already dominating Pinoy computer shops. It was a multiplayer musical game that allowed players to compete against one another in rhythm-matching battles. It was all the more fun with OPM songs like Bamboo’s “Noypi” and Urbandub’s “First of Summer.” Sadly, the Philippine server has been closed since 2009. We can still hear the catchy “Fly Magpie” and it’s making our fingers want to fly across the keyboard.
While MMORPGs dominated most computer shops, there were still strategy-based games that internet café goers liked to play. One of those is Battle Realms in all of its fantastical glory. You build all these villages and train all these peasants and try to get all these heroes just so you can win against those cursed hard-level bots. While there are four clans to choose from, it usually ends up being Dragon and Wolf going up against Serpent and Lotus. Unless everyone is just fighting everyone. In any case, I bet you can still hear those peasants saying “I follow the Dragon” or the Wolf Clan just growling “For the Wolf!”
Command & Conquer
Another strategy video game that you probably played is Command & Conquer. It’s actually a series of real-time strategy video games—one of the first, actually—that include Red Alert and Generals, both of which became pretty famous here in the Philippines. The series had more of a science fiction story line in its first inception, but when Red Alert was released pitting the Allies against the Soviets, Red Alert became more popular. Especially with all those spies and Yuri’s mind control powers.
Yeah, the Sims is where you played god, creating little people to your liking and making them do whatever you want. You made characters after your favorite celebrities (and probably fulfilled your fanfic dreams right there), and you probably experimented all the ways you can kill your sim—from removing all the doors in a room to taking away the ladder from the pool to simply shocking your sim to death. Good thing you had all those cheat codes to recover.
Grand Theft Auto
We’re sure you lived the gangster life vicariously through GTA. I mean, who didn’t? You enjoyed stealing cars and being chased by the police (ingame, of course). GTA made it all the more fun because it’s open-ended—you can literally go anywhere and do anything you want. No holds barred.
Which of these games have you played? Or still playing? Tell us below!