Starcraft : Top 5 Influential PC Multiplayer Games In The Philippines

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Starcraft wasn't exactly a groundbreaker in many things. By the time it got released locally in 1998, people in my school were already playing real-time strategy games like Total Annihilation and Red Alert, both of which already had a relatively loyal fanbase. Selected internet cafes were already offering head-to-head local area gameplay for these games as well.

More after the jump.

Thinking about it, despite its hype overseas, the reception of the relatively small PC gaming community of this game locally was far from impressive. Of course, not many people had internet connections at the time so we didn't know what the world thought about it, and game magazines were imported and reserved for our rich pompous asshole classmates who had relatives overseas. We were left to our own devices to find out about Starcraft, but like many good things like porn and torrent, it was more of an inevitable discovery than a lucky break.

Gameplaywise, Starcraft featured three distinct races that basically had zero common units that played differently, which made games like Red Alert and Total Annhiliation look like boring chess variants. Starcraft also limited the number of maximum units that could be created in the game, forcing players to manage resources and construction time better. Suddenly, multiplayer games were no longer about who could click the fastest alone (although rushfags will always exist). Personally, I'd like to believe this was the turnkey feature that enabled RTS to be turned into an electronic sport. Strategy was brought into the limelight, where it would stay up to this day.

As another revolution to gaming locally, Starcraft featured a dial-up connectivity mode, enabling anybody with at least a 28kbps baud modem and an unguarded phoneline to connect to a friend from miles away for some head-to-head/co-op games. Considering prepaid internet would not be introduced until a year later, and would not become mainstream for at least 2 more years, the dialup function gave local players a taste of what it felt like to rape somebody ingame, at the comfort of their own home. On a lighter sidenote, Starcraft also introduced the first time parents got angry over the overusage of telephone lines for a reason other than "telebabad".

With its amazing sprite graphics, flexible multiplayer-for-poor-people capabilities, fluid gameplay, and robust support for abusive zerg players, Starcraft invaded local networking haunts and served as the standard way of settling disputes about who has the bigger e-penis among the select few network gamers for a veeeeeeeeery long time.

Runner up : Warcraft 2
Warcraft 2 is the direct prerunner of Starcraft and had many of the features that made Starcraft a staple game for many of us. However, it was a game well ahead of its time, and could only be enjoyed by the select few who already had computers capable of running the game, which wasn't a lot. (I got my first pentium around mid '96, but didn't start playing games on it until the following year, when Red Alert already existed)


Anonymous said...

made me want Starcraft 2 even more!


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