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Friday, July 9, 2010

My gaming History. Parts 1 and 2!

I've been playing video games along time, most of my life. I was probably about 3 or 4 when I played my first video game. It was either Robotron or Defender, a 7-11 down the street from the family home had both of those machines in it. I had to be held up by my dad so I could reach the machine to play it and I was hooked. I did a good amount of my playing at the 7-11 for awhile until we got the Atari 2600. We got one of those I believe right after it came out I can't remember exactly. I played the living hell out of that thing. My dad and I would play Combat for hours it was probably the most played game on that system. But then tragedy struck, the 2600's insides fried and it stopped working but to my extreme dissapointment it would not be replaced. Sometime passed and I had no actual system in the house. Arcades would be hit on occasion but I was hungry for more. Eventually I was given a Colecovision which I was quite fond of. It had one of my favorite games ever on it, Frenzy. Frenzy was a sequel to Bezerk and followed the basic same formula of that game. I kind of gloss over this section because I was really young and I don't remember a lot of the games I had for these systems, Combat and Frenzy for me were the stand outs on the respective machines. This is probably how I handle each section, talk about the systems I got in order and you can assume I had the big games for each. Then I'll mention one or two games that I think not a lot of people played or are just special to me.

Then came the NES, one of the greatest things ever made. I had played Super Mario Bros. in the arcade in one of those Nintendo arcade cabinets. It was SMB and I think Hogan's Alley again in a 7-11. I got the NES with ROB the Robot and the Zapper. That came with Gyromite and Duck Hunt. I also was given SMB and The Legend of Zelda. SMB I was familiar with having played it in the arcades and at a firend's house. But Zelda, holy crap I was floored by it. You could save, a game that was so big you had to quit and come back to it later. I didn't have any experience with PC games at this time so the whole idea of saving was strange and wonderful to me. Basicly I had all the big NES games. All the Mario games, both Zeldas, Mega Man, and Metroid plus tons of others. Metroid was another game that just completely blew me away. It was so impressive to me I would probably have to say it's my all time favorite NES game. Another game on the NES that I don't think a whole lot of people have heard of is The Guardian Legend. It was a top shooter combined with a Zelda type exploring sections. You would play as a spaceship and blast your way into a base then as you explored as a female robot you'd unlock ways to bosses and those were fought in the top down space shooter stages. Just a fantastic game. The NES kept me happy for a long time. I was still working well into the PS2/Xbox/Gamecube era until it gave up the ghost and stopped working while I was playing Castlevania 3.

Backing up again. The next system to join my NES was a Turbo Graphx 16. I chose between this and a Genesis. Some may say I made a mistake but I quite enjoyed my TG16. One of the features I really liked were the controllers having built in turbo buttons. The TG16 had a lot of really good games and I miss having it because I'd love to rock some of these games again. Blazing Lazers was one of these. A very good verticle shooter. One thing I really dig about schmups are the ones that have crazy rediculous weapons and this had them in spades. You be a screen clearing power house just destroying everything in your path. It wasn't a bullet hell type shooter but it could be kind of crazy. Another favorite of mine was Neutopia, which was a complete Zelda ripoff but it was a fantastic Zelda ripoff. So good to me that I think if they had just called it Zelda something it would of been a classic game spoken in the same sentence as Zelda 1 and 3. I also had the CD add on for the TG16. There was a game on the CD format call JB Harold Murder Club. It was basicly a slide show that had a detective story along with it. You were trying to solve a murder but it was done like this. You'd go to a location a picture of a person would pop up and you'd ask them questions and show them evidence. If you did things right you'd eventually find the killer. If you screwed up you could know yourself who the killer was but not be able to prove it because you asked a qrong question somewhere and you would need to start over. It took me forever to beat that game, I would site there yelling at the TV, "I know who did it!" to no avail because I screwed up somewhere. The game that made me so glad to have a TG16CD was Y's Book 1&2. At the time I was big on RPG's so this was right up my alley. It also had talking instead of just text screens. I was floored by this, you could hear the characters, amazing. It was an overhead view run around kill stuff kind of like Hydlide but really good. It's on the Wii Virtual Console if you've never played or you can check out a few Lets Plays on Youtube.

Next up is what I consider the all time greatest console of al time. I still play games today but really it's kind of like just going through the motions because there will never be a machine that had the range and amazing number of good quality games on it. What could I be talking about? The freaking Super Nintendo. Damn, it was amazing. Super Mario World, Zelda 3, Final Fantasy 2 (4) and 3 (6), Super Metroid, Chrono Trigger, Home verions of Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat 2, Star Fox, Contra 3. The list goes on and on. Out of all the games on the SNES Final Fantasy 3 (6) was probably played the most except for Street Fighter 2. When I got Street Fighter 2 at home it was a wrap I mastered every character knew all the ends and outs it was crazy. I'm sure I'm leaving some games out but that's only because there was so many excellent games theyre just rushing through my head right now and I can't just seem to single out titles. But if you had a SNES you know what I mean, you may not agree with my statement about it being the best but I just think it's where games peaked and we're probably going downhill now. Very, very slowly but I think there may be a decline.

I had a 3DO sometime after the SNES but the games I had were crap and that system was a waste of money. One game on the machine was called D&D Slayer. It was a first person action RPG. I've heard it was on the PC and called Dungeon Hack but I haven't looked into it. It was a fun game and I spent some time playing it but in the end the 3DO was crap and I'm sorry I ever had one. It's really the only "failed" console I ever owned. I saw a Jaguar in a Kaybee toys for 20 bucks one time and I was going to grab it but I didn't have 20 on me and I never went back. I never had a CDI, a 32x, Virtual Boy or any other I may be leaving out.

After this I had a Genesis that I picked up for cheap. Not a lot to say about it. I know it was great but I got it late in it's life cycle and I didn't own a lot of games for it. I had played a bunch at friends which Phantasy Star 2 was the stand out. Of the games I owned I really liked Rocket Knight Adventures and Strider. My favorite game on the system was Gunstar Heroes, a Contra clone that was so much more fun. I don't think I need to say anything more about it. I'm not dogging the Genesis by not going into more detail but it wasn't that important of a system to me. I grew up a Nintendo kid and didn't own any Sega Consoles for a long length of time. I had a Saturn for a bit but it was awhile after it came out. I still have my Dreamcast but I'll get into that later. But I am listening to Genesis the band as I type this so I think that's cool.

I'm going to call this part one right now. I'm getting tired and I don't know if I can just save this as a draft or not. I'll either do a part 2 tomorrow or edit this and finish.

Part 2

With part two of this I'm going to talk about the later stages of gaming. Pretty much all the machines that have come out since the game format has gone disc based. I'm not going to go into as much detail about these systems because I didn't spend a lot of time with each one. The main reason was a got my first real PC Between my SNES and my PS1. After I got my hands on a real PC I pretty much forgot about console games. I had many years of PC gaming to catch up on so I spent my days playing through dirt cheap old PC games. Old Sierra games, Some of the early FPS games, whatever I could get. The PC in question was a Packard Bell, 75hz Pentium with a whopping 4 MEGS of RAM and at the time a massive 1.2 gigabyte hard drive. I ended up upgrading the ram to 8 MEGS (OMG!) so I could run Quake a little better. I had played lots of PC games at friends houses but never owned one myself. I would say at that time Quake was the most important game I'd played because it introduced me to online play. I would sit up at nights and play Quake over my super fast 56k modem, it ran like mud but I had a blast. That turned into an obsession with Red Alert online later in the year. But eventually the hard drive in that PC died and I was unable to afford to replace it so my PC gaming went into hibernation.

I got the PS1 the year it came out but it only got a little love as I was playing the PC. Resident Evil 1 and 2 were the stand out titles for me. My absolute favorite game on the PS1 was Castlevania Symphony of the Night, definately in my top ten of all time it was so good. Taking the best parts about Castlevania and adding what I loved about Metroid but anyone reading this already knows that. I played Final Fantasy which I'm sure anyone with a PS1 at the time played that one. Speaking of Square at that time this was when they started to release more than FInal Fantasy games in the US. Einhander was one of those games. With my love of Shmups be it verticle scrolling or sidescrolling this game was near perfection for that genre. Everything about it melded together in a way that was just borderline perfection. With all the PS1 classics being released on the PS3 I'm sad this has not been put on the PSN yet. Freaking Final Fantasy 8 is on there and it wasn't that good a game. But I digress, basicly I played all the big name games on it but some of the lesser known titles slipped by due to my PC gaming.

With a new job at this time I picked up a Japanese Dreamcast with Soul Caliber and Sonic Adventure. I didn't have a lot of import games for the Dreamcast but I did get the US release when it came out. I had Ready 2 Rumble and Blue Stinger which was okay but had some really bad crap about it gameplay wise. Everything in life grinded to a hault when I picked up Phantasy Star Online. That was like crack, I was addicted like you wouldn't believe. I was only getting a couple hours of sleep a night because I stayed up so late just playing that game grinding for the next rare item. After my addiction to PSO came to a close I decided I wanted to try a real MMO. With my new PC which I had played Half Life and other games of that time on I decided to play Everquest. I couldn't get into it. I was looking for something closer to PSO but Everquest was a more complicated game. The first Dungeon Siege was a game on the PC I really enjoyed I blew through it in a three day weekend with very little sleep. I think in those 3 days I only slept about 5 hours.

I eventually got a PS2/Gamecube/Xbox but this was a generation I passed by for the most part. I played GTA 3 on the PS2, KOTOR on the Xbox and Metroid Prime on the Gamecube and not much else. I ended up getting Star Wars Galaxies when it launched and the next year was spent playing that. I love Star Wars and this game while not being really Star Wars-ey was just enough to scratch that Star Wars itch. I really enjoyed the game and I was not a fan of the giant overhaul they did to it over time. The only two breaks I took from playing it were to play KOTOR and Jedi Academy. After I stopped playing SWG I played a couple different games on the consoles I owned but one by one those were sold to upgrade PC parts. Eventually I got into World of Warcraft and that was it, I don't need to go into detail about this but it was more consuming than SWG. It would be the only thing I played for 2-3 years.

So now I sit here typing on my PC, with a PS3, a 360 and a Wii sitting next to my TV. I haven't played the Wii in months, Madworld was the last game I played on that. I've been through some games on the 360 but the RROD crap has burned me on the system, I'm on my fourth 360. The PS3 is my go to console for the moment but if the game is on the PC I play it on that. Because no matter what I own or what I play I will really be a PC gamer for life. It's just what I enjoy the most but I like all the platforms out there for some reason or another and that's really all I have to say about that.

So that's a brief history of my gaming stuff. I glossed over some stuff but I'm pretty sure I hit the important parts. I just wanted to share some things about how I've enjoyed the hobby I've had for almost my entire life.

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