The Games that Introduced you to a new Genre
We've most certainly have been there; been playing our favorite games, usually sticking a some key game types for a while due to comfort and familiarity. Then, out of nowhere, a game comes in that actually looks rather appealing, so we jump in and decide, "hey, this is actually pretty fun!". It's those unique games that are of a known genre, but have enough sub-genres to them, that it makes getting into the primary one that much more appealing.
I'll start with the one that got me into the First Person style genre. While I had played games on the N64 like GoldenEye, and had some experience with First Person puzzle/adventure games like Riven, what got me more eased into the realm of FP games... was Metroid Prime. While the controls weren't particularly designed for that style of play initially, you do eventually get used to it, and it becomes rather easy to use.
Once I had settled in with that, I then played the subsequent sequel... but I hadn't really played any other actual FPS games.
That later changed in 2007 with the release of the Portal. I'd heard of Half Life, I'd heard a lot of different things about the games, but... I hadn't ever heard of Portal. And that got me intrigued. Not only was it the first time I would actually be obsessed with wanting to play an FPS like this, it would also lead into my foray with Valve. I think Portal is where I finally got comfortable with dual analog controls, and where I gradually learned to like playing First Person/Shooters.
Another genre that I was finally willing to jump into, and actually explore it more indepth, was the fighting game genre. I mean, this was the one where I think I knew about it in general, but I jump wasn't too keen for it simply due to lack of knowledge. I'd dabbled with it a few times here and there, but had never actually owned a game from it.
BlazBlue, with it's uniquely styled characters, and intriguing story mode, led me to wanting to check out this game that I had initially not really given much thought on. The 4 button combo system mixed with a "shield" function made it the perfect way for someone like me to just jump in and try and find the character that suited me the most. It was also where I actually bothered to learn combos and various moves for that particular character, which led me to gradually get good with them while learning. A different experience, but one that I enjoyed greatly.
An interesting case involving me gaining interest in a sub-genre, was done through the game, Metroid Fusion for the GBA. I'd remembered renting games from my local video store, and checking out the various games for that console. Metroid Fusion seemed like one I would enjoy. Not only did it introduce me to that series, it brought me knowledge of the Metroid-vania style; a style that I would later learn was later implemented into quite the number of Castlevnia games.
I'd heard of Rhythm games like Guitar Hero. Honestly, I didn't think I'd do so well. I was proven differently when I tried out Guitar Hero 2 at my neighbor's house. I found I was surprisingly good. When Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero: World Tour were released, I had heard about the custom song function for GHWT. I was going to pick that, when someone on Serebii had told me, that Rock Band had way more songs, and were going to eventually implement a custom song feature in a future game (clearly never happened). With that, I decided to not only would I be getting Rock Band 2 for the Wii, it would apparently get free DLC somewhere down the line to incorporate stuff from other consoles (Still Alive, for instance). Needless to say, thanks to Rock Band, I actually learned a lot more about a ton of different songs I otherwise wouldn't have known, and actually got pretty good with the Guitar itself (Medium, but still).
So, what games got you into the right genres?