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the ideal first game?

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My son is almost three and, despite my sporadic attempts, has never really played any games. He sees me playing sometimes and watches, and she's shown brief interest it/held the controller a bit every now and then. Today though, he was pointing and saying he wanted to play the games with the fat controller, which is how he refers to the ps3 controller.

The games I've idly show him before and let him mess about with are mario sunshine, need for speed underground 2, gran turismo, motorstorm and mario kart wii. I was seeing if there was anything appropriate for him to try on the ps3 when it occured to me that the vile, shitty ps3 sticks might not be the best starting point. Then I started thinking about what the best introduction to games would be, that it should probably be a 3d analogue controlled game, as those skills will be most relevant to playing other games and a d-pad is probably easier to adapt to than a stick.

After a bit of deliberation, I stuck Ocarina of Time on for him, which he played for about an hour, and seemed genuinely transfixed by. What else would people suggest?

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Steel Battalion, obv. :)

In seriousness though... you want games which aren't quick to punish the player for mistakes (obviously) - OOT was surely a good choice in this respect, as you can run around without the risk of insta-death. Generally, Zelda-likes are a good start because of this - only problem is that the current gen isn't exactly awash with them (well, not those with suitable subject matter. I'm not sure Darksiders is particularly 3-year-old friendly). The other issue is avoiding games with complex control schemes.

Perhaps a good introduction would be an arcade racer (I'd say the Outrun re-makes would be ideal, though they're last gen) - a good way to learn how to use analogue sticks and triggers.

2D platformers are a good call too. Though I'd recommend Sonic over Mario. Entirely because that was the game I preferred as a child, what with it being pretty and not starring a creepy moustachioed plumber.

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Um, let's see... I genuinely have no idea. Something with simple concepts, like Shatter?

Final Fight and Streets of Rage style games would work as well. I remember being eight years old and loving stuff like Vigilante, but I was 5 before I started playing stuff like Manic Miner and the like.

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Flower. Non-punitive, basic controls, and you get to fly around.

Oh hell, how did I forget that?

Flower. A thousand times flower. And as an added benefit, your son isn't old enough to shun the game because it's "too boring and girly".

*glares at ten year old brother*

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I'd say Sonic the Hedgehog, you know. The first one. It's incredibly simple - one button to jump and attack, it's lovely and colourful and fun to jump around the levels, even if you're not too good, and it's pretty easy. I'd imagine Super Mario Bros would be quite hard for a young, first-time gamer, to be honest.

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The Lego games are alright, arent they?

Yeah, these are great as there's no "game over". The Star Wars Complete edition is the best one, IMO.

My first kid (she's six now) has always loved open-world games where she can just roam around.

My youngest (aged 3) has a harder time, and is struggling a bit with the concept of the analogue stick.

Games that we've enjoyed most playing together;

Super Mario Sunshine

Zelda: Wind Waker

New Super Mario Bros on the DS

Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts

Burnout Paradise

GTA games in "kid" mode (no guns, and no hit and runs :) ).

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My son is almost three and, despite my sporadic attempts, has never really played any games. He sees me playing sometimes and watches, and she's shown brief interest it/held the controller a bit every now and then. Today though, he was pointing and saying he wanted to play the games with the fat controller, which is how he refers to the ps3 controller.

The games I've idly show him before and let him mess about with are mario sunshine, need for speed underground 2, gran turismo, motorstorm and mario kart wii. I was seeing if there was anything appropriate for him to try on the ps3 when it occured to me that the vile, shitty ps3 sticks might not be the best starting point. Then I started thinking about what the best introduction to games would be, that it should probably be a 3d analogue controlled game, as those skills will be most relevant to playing other games and a d-pad is probably easier to adapt to than a stick.

After a bit of deliberation, I stuck Ocarina of Time on for him, which he played for about an hour, and seemed genuinely transfixed by. What else would people suggest?

Wat?

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I'd say Sonic the Hedgehog, you know. The first one. It's incredibly simple - one button to jump and attack, it's lovely and colourful and fun to jump around the levels, even if you're not too good, and it's pretty easy. I'd imagine Super Mario Bros would be quite hard for a young, first-time gamer, to be honest.

Echoing this, due to the simple streamlined-ness of it all.

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I'd say Sonic the Hedgehog, you know. The first one. It's incredibly simple - one button to jump and attack, it's lovely and colourful and fun to jump around the levels, even if you're not too good, and it's pretty easy. I'd imagine Super Mario Bros would be quite hard for a young, first-time gamer, to be honest.

I'd love to know which of these titles a first-time gamer enjoyed the most.

If I try to take myself back to my early years I'd imagine loving the shit out of both of them almost equally: Mario for the immense satisfaction in learning how to pull off amazing manoeuvres in environments of increasing hostility and Sonic for it's vaguely similar qualities and incredible visuals.

And I think I'd adore the soundtracks of both the games - even though I probably wouldn't think about it at the time. Soundtracks of the earliest games I loved hold a special place in my heart, and I've come to realise that the many brilliant, chip-generated tunes of my childhood have informed me as music lover and musician in a deeply profound way.

But that's just me.

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My first game was a mario; I can still remember standing to the left of a platform and pressing jump + up on the dpad, because I wanted him to jump "up" there :)

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As said, while I wasn't a first-time gamer, Sonic and Mario were my childhood (as in, Sonic came out when I was six). I much preferred Sonic because it was bright and colourful and fast and (relatively) forgiving; Mario was slow and ugly and considerably more difficult :)

Also, Sonic started by chanting SEEGAAAAA at you, and had awesome music. My fondest childhood gaming memories come from caning Sonic the Hedgehog (Game Gear version) over and over again :)

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I'd say Sonic the Hedgehog, you know. The first one. It's incredibly simple - one button to jump and attack, it's lovely and colourful and fun to jump around the levels, even if you're not too good, and it's pretty easy. I'd imagine Super Mario Bros would be quite hard for a young, first-time gamer, to be honest.

easy? I'm 22 and I've never finished a sonic game in my life. well, except for sonic adventure.

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easy? I'm 22 and I've never finished a sonic game in my life. well, except for sonic adventure.

Sonic 1 is lolworthily easy (on GG at least. Never owned a Mega Drive :))

By contrast, Sonic 2 on Game Gear is completely fucking impossible.

Sonic & Knuckles is piss-easy too - played it on my cousins' Mega Drive. Rinsed it with Knuckles on my first go. Completed it with Sonic on my second. Never played it again.

Edit: and yeah, Noby Noby boy's a great call too. I really should just have looked at my PSN list for inspiration.

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1st Sonic game on the Megadrive. Easiest game a 3 year old can play really (one button if memory serves), and is fun and simplistic enough for a 3 year old. I would say Mario but its not ideal for a 3 year old imo.

Paulando said it all before me, but its true and deserves repeating.

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