Post by Colonel Kurtz on Jan 22, 2016 6:20:44 GMT -5
The Sony Thread is slowly becoming a more general thread wherein each of us is invited to tell their personal video games history. First console, changes of allegiance, everything that made you the gamer you are now is welcome in this thread here. Be personal; don't fear long posts; there is no better way of knowing who we are than by reminiscing about our past as gamers and sharing it with the community. Here is the place for long posts, personal stories, anecdotes, everything that makes a gamers' history.
Don't restrain yourselves, go nuts! What was your first console or computer? Why? What were you playing ten years ago? You get the idea.
For me it all started with an older cousin of mine who owned a NES and SNES, whenever I would visit him I would more often than not watch him play games on either console, I would try them myself but I was too young to really be able to play them, the first game I remember playing is Super Mario Bros, but the first game that I ever maned to play fore more than a few minutes without dying was Bart's Nightmare for the SNES funnily enough.
During my early childhood I always had a fascination with video games because of that and would dream of owning a console myself.
Then in 1996 my dream came true when one of my mom's co-workers gave me his old Sega Genesis, so that was the first console I owned and while I loved it and I'm very glad that I had exposure to classic gaming despite it being a bit "before my time", over time I realized there were newer consoles out there so come Christmas of 1998 I figured it was time to upgrade, it was tough picking between PS1 and N64 though, I went with PS1 though because an elementary school friend of mine had one and would tell me about it, on top of that there was a Rugrats game that came for the PS1 around that time and that sealed the deal (embarrassing I know).
I still remember that Christmas and how mind blowing it was, even though the first game I played for it was that rugrats game it came with a demo disc where I sampled Tomb Raider 2, Parappa the Rapper, games like that and what was cool about the PS1 to me was that even though I loved games like Crash and Spyro there was also Twisted Metal and Tomb Raider, games that were obviously meant for teenagers and that made the PS1 seem more mature than the N64.
Then come October of 2000 and this is gonna make me sound super spoiled (hey, I wont deny it) my mom actually waited all night at Wal-Mart for a launch console and they didn't even make me wait till Christmas, which is ironic because most of what I played those first few months was PS1 games since there wasn't a whole lot available at launch, but when I told my school buddies about it they were so impressed they couldn't believe it, I was the only kid in my entire class that had one and boy, I felt like king shit! I loved showing it off to my friends.
So I guess for those reasons that era of Sony is special to me, I also started reading Official US Playstation Magazine in the fall of 2001 and that was a magazine that gave me a lot of joy for 5 years, until it died right after the PS3's launch, which says it all to me really, that the golden age of Playstation was over.
From there in Christmas of 2001 I got a Gamecube and then for my birthday 2002 I got an Xbox, later when the 7th generation started I got an Xbox 360 in spring of 2006, a Wii for Christmas of 2006 and then finally a PS3 in spring of 2007.
And that was it for a while, so long in fact I actually started to get bored with that gen so in fall of 2009 I decided to try my hand at PC gaming and got a gaming capable desktop for Christmas of that year and the rest is history.
My first memories of playing a video game were around four, where I messed around on a Gameboy with Tetris, which belonged to a guy who lived at a daycare I went to. My uncle gave me his Sega Genesis not long after, so Sonic the Hedgehog and Road Rash were my first owned games ad I adored them. When I really got into this hobby is when I got a Pokemon game for my birthday one year, and the rest was history. There are few gateway games as effective as Pokemon.
From there, I got an N64, then Gamecube, saved up money moving sand for a home project to get a PS2 and Kingdom Hearts (lol I was actually really interested in that series at one point, though 2 was legitimately amazing), got all the Nintendo portable systems up to the DS vanilla, and then I got a Wii around when we started having financial troubles. Eventually, I discovered Steam and got into indie gaming, where I mostly played JRPGs and caught up on PS2 classics before.
I think the games that had the most influence on me were the first two gens of Pokemon, Sonic 1 & 2, the Sonic Adventure series, Super Mario 64, Banjo-Tooie, Super Smash Bros., Kingdom Hearts 2, Devil May Cry 3, the Sly Cooper and Ratchet & Clank trilogies, Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes, Metroid Prime 2, Soul Calibur 2 and 3, Street Fighter 2 (one of my daycares had an arcade cabinet), Radiata Stories, Final Fantasy X, Shadow the Hedgehog (where I started to love awful games), the Phoenix Wright trilogy, Yakuza, Bully, Sakura Wars: So Long My Love, Persona 4, Odin Sphere, GOD HAND, Viewtiful Joe, Suikoden V, Disgaea, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (my first crack game after Pokemon), Analogue: A Hate Story, and most recently, Always Sometimes Monsters and Actual Sunlight.
Post by Sac (a.k.a Icaras) on Jan 22, 2016 7:13:49 GMT -5
(Boo, the older thread got deleted/merged while I was replying! haha. thank goodness I could click back and copy paste!)
Started off gaming on a Commodore 64 in the mid 80s. My dad bought it (originally with a tape drive!) to use for educational programs and I do have vague memories of him and my mum buying some (Funnily enough no memories of actually playing them, haha). We ended up getting heaps of cracked pirated games via an uncle of mine, so I used to look forward to trips to his house because I knew I'd get a haul of new games
Last Ninja 2 was one of my favs, altho I could only play the 1st disks levels, as the cracked copy I has was messed up. I remember I even write a story based on Last Ninja 2 in primary school. (I did see all the levels many years later, thanks to emulation)
About the only memory I have of my Dad and my Mum playing on the C64 themselves was an RPG they'd bought (Kinda shocking that they got one!) which was Alternate Reality: The Dungeon. I recall waking up one night and peeking through the door. My mum was playing and my dad was with her. They came to a door and she asked if she should open it. A bat came out and attacked her, and my mum was surprised. That scared my younger self into going back to bed I actually still have 2 boxed C64 games. Batman: The Movie by Ocean (Which was a Christmas present. Great game) and Smash TV (At one point in the mid 90s, a department store had a clearance of C64 games. Sadly, I only had the cash for one. Smash TV was actually great fun...until my sister broke our 2nd joystick, and nobody sold C64 joysticks any more by them)
Around 1991/1992 we got a PC (Helped by the same uncle, I can remember visiting PC stores. I even remember one of them had a PC setup with Lure of the Tempress, while another had a non playable rolling demo of a Might and Magic Game) and for a few years we still got a nice haul of pirated games. (Funnily enough, even years after we stopped getting games, I was occasionally finding disks with old PCs games I didn't realise he'd got for us. it was very pleasant discover a disk with the original police quest 1 one day) As my uncle was into adventure games and we got lots of those I ended up getting into them quite heavily myself. I even sent a letter to Sierra On Line asking for help with games, and I still have the reply they sent me....which impressed me immensely as I'm in Australia.
in 1993 I got an original Gameboy for Christmas...something which shocked me as until then I thought there was no way my parents would ever buy me a proper games machine.
I actually still played the C64 a little bit, but mostly played on the PC. By the mid nineties, the uncle I've been talking about broke up with my aunt. As he wasn't the blood relative, my family fell out of contact with him, so no more games. (He was still in contacts with his kids/my cousins, but the rest of the family didn't have anything to do with him. A shame as while he was a grumpy bastard, I still quite liked him. Such is life!) I recall the 1st commercial release I ever bought myself was around this time, which was a Space Quest collection. It had 1-3, but I couldn't get 2 to run. We waited ages for a replacement and the store took so long that my Dad made them give me a refund. One of the games I bought with the money I got back was Willy Beamish. I think I also got Quest for Glory IV (Which was so much better)
Otherwise I mostly played shareware games(mostly Apogee and EpicMegaGames), and demos. For a little while there was a stall at the local weekend market that would sell demos and shareware games on floppies, really cheap. (I believe they got these from BBSes, but as a Teen with no real income aside from pocket money and no BBS access, this stall was great!) Plus there was magazine coverdisks (later CDs). I even snagged some interesting big box games from that stall and the odd computer market/parts trade we visited. (Innocent Until Caught, an adventure game I still really like, was one. Double Dragon 3 was another. I played that game so much I could eventually beat it with no lives lost. From watching videos, I think it was a better version than the sub par GoG conversion)
Towards the end of the 90s, I started to get more interested in RPGs (I recall spending ages playing the shareware version of a windows 3.1 game called Mordor) and a cool present I got for my birthday was Betrayal in Antara (IMO, better than Betrayal in Krondor. I'd played the demo of Anatara HEAPS and had hinted quite a lot that that was what I wanted, tho I didn't expect I actually would).
During 1997, as I started college (Essentially years 11 and 12 of high school, but not quite.) and gained access to the internet. Coz of the Final Fantasy 7 hype I got into emulators and 1st played the 1st final fantasy (and later 2 and 3 translated)
Christmas 1997 me and my sister got a Playstation and that essentially had me transition to mostly console gaming and magazines, instead of PC. (And when I DID play on the PC, it was mostly to play ROMs on emulator...mostly Megadrive and SNES RPGs)
I remember on boxing day that year we got Tekken 2 (The previous year I'd played this heaps on a relatives PSX, so I was quite happy to own it myself. I seem to have traded my copy at some stage, which saddens me) and Final Fantasy 7. My little sister was outraged by this, thinking my dad had bought 2 games for me and none for her (TBH, at the time I was surprised myself, as I didn't expect he';d get us a 2nd game. I got no complaints about my parents when they were raising me) True of Tekken 2 (I spent ages playing as just Kazuya, tho those skills have LONG since eroded...though some of his moves are permanently burned into my brain ) but she ended up playing ff7 just as much as me, heh. In fact, when ff9 came out, she was the one her bought it instead of me (Coz I didn't have the cash for it)
My parents didn't buy as a PS2. Well, they were going too get us one for Christmas, but my sister bought herself one of the little white PSXs (The ones you could get a monitor for), this pissed them off for some reason, so they didn't get one. I ended up buying her one myself later on, for a Christmas present (Well, we both put in money for it, but I put most in. I ended up inheriting that PS2)
The 1st console I ever bought for myself was a Gamecube (With cash earned from my 1st job working at McDonalds), and I also later on bought a Wii (Only because I wanted the Wii Fire Emblem game, otherwise I would have skipped it) and PS3. My last console was a PS4 that was a Christmas present.
These days, due to MMORPGs, I play more on my PC than consoles.
Post by elektrolurch on Jan 22, 2016 7:47:24 GMT -5
Oh wow this is so cool! Ok let me start:
The first video game I remember playing is Popeye on Atari 2600. I was like 3 years old, at the most. It was already an old system of an uncle of mine, he hooked it up to my parent's tv and wow. I don't remember playing many other games on it, and he took it back home after that, where he put it in his cellar:(
My father was kind of a computer nerd back then, and my first memory is: he had basically two systems hooked up in the computer cave, an 8086 IBM and an Amiga 2000 with two floppy drives. Wow. With the 8086 I only remember some snake and some tank clone on dos. Which looked really, really crappy next to the Amiga. I still adore this machine to this very day, played the crap out of plattformers, some rpgs (I think I never got really far) and Adventures like Monkey Island when they were new. Kids from my school always hang out with me and we played final fight and stuff like that. It was really weird because in like 1993, SNES or consoles in general were rare. Some had a C64 in their family or something like that but graphics whise the Amiga really stood out.
Then a bit later, a 486 with 33Mhz and a CD Rom drive entered the computer cave, together with games like Doom, blackthorne, Hexen and so on and so on. Wow. That was something else, and at that time I mostly abandoned the Amiga to play DOS Sharewaregames (some of which I bought later as CD retail versions) like the Epic Games or later id titles like Doom 1+2, Heretic etc. Also a year or two later, strategy cames really cought my attention- not so much command and conquer, which a lot of friends played, but Settlers 2 and Warcraft and stuff like that. We visited each other in our "PC" circle and discussed the latest strategy games. At that time I also bought those then common magazines with full version of older games or cheap game compilations of older games like gold games. Funnily, around that time, I inhereted the Atari2600 with all games. BUT it was broken since he kept it in a cold humid cellar for all those years. BUT a local shop in my town changed the owner, they made a storange clearance sale and- bam. A Atari2600jr for 12 DM (6Euro now;)) was mine. And all games worked. So that was there as a fun curiosity now.
Soon a P1 with 166Mhz hit the cave, and it was updated regularly in the later 90ies with a Voodoo card. I played so much crap at that time, bad early 3D plattformers or bad tombraider clones because hey it was 3D..And friends here and there started to get a PS1. It was a time of quick technological advancement. And I already started to loose interest to care too much about details (note that I still never really had my own system but basically used my father's since he didn't really use it anyway). Some AMD with GeForce was the next system I guess, and around 2000 or so, I used it at LAN parties with my friends in garages or cellars where we would play stuff like Q3A, rune, Counterstrike and the like for a few days straight. Sadly noone of my group liked strategy games.
And well, when I finished school, i lost interest in gaming, got a macbook and somehow, for the most part, stopped being interested in games. That was the time when now big franchises like CoD hit the scene and well it was not my cup of tea, I was more artistic, interested in music and art and kind of anti big cooperations and their games. Well, i still had an old gaming PC; which i carried to a LAN party or two to play "the old games" like Q3A and Cs,even some AOE II aigan. But that was it... Until a local shop opened where they sold old games. They had Atari games, lots of 'em. I bought them all (>80) for like 50 Euros and started playing Atari, showing it to friends and the like. Retro gaming was something that clashed with my interest and culture and public events and stuff so I started making public "retro gaming nights" where we set up all kinds of old systems where everyone could play. It was that point when Megaman 4 in XBOX 360 hit the scene. When I saw it the first time running, I cried. Honestly. I mean I never owned an NES myself, but the thing that the old style of gaming was coming back made me so happy. I couldn't even hold the controller still because I was crying and laughing all the time. Tears of joy. That was also when the indie scene emerged. And games like super meatboy really made me happy. At that point, I was playing aigan. NOT to emerge some feeling of nostalgia with friends, but to play. And enjoy. For myself. LAN parties with older games still happened, I got a laptop with basic gaming capabilities which I still use to this day, and I really got into emulation of all kinds of systems,MAME,DOS,C64,Amiga,ZX SPectrum,MSX,you name it. This site I think was great way to dive in deeper in worlds I did not know too much about. These days I mainly play indie games and old games. I see games as an art form, and I love how small developers now can make unique stuff and sell it easily. Thank you internet, and thank you HG101.
(I think I left out quite a lot indivual experiences but this is the gist of my 26 years as a gaming person with maybe 3 years of a break inbetween)
Reading through it aigan, I think a lot of influential games for me are missing in this personal gaming history. Therefore, I'll try to correct this by a few anecdotes: 1st: My relation with RPGS Since the amiga days of Dungeon Crawler RPGs I was fascinated by them, but I never really got that far as a kid. I think the first RPG that I got into deeper was Diablo. From there I tried stuff like Fallout, Baldurs Gate and the like. We played through Dungeon Siege during one LAN for a weekend or two- it was cool. But the first RPG (and I think I'm not alone on that one) that I sunk many hours into was Morrowind. Aigan, we met up for a LAN Party with a few friends. But Morrowind was out, and all we did for that weekend play Morrowind, each on their individual systems;)..... It was crazy, it was the first time I wanted to read everything there is, look at stuff, explore, and so on and so on. Yet- I never finished the main quest. Not to this day. The only RPG that made me feel similar regarding immersion was Arx Fatalis, though in quite a different way since the atmosphere is totally different- while MW feels like this grand big open world to explore, AF feels very claustrophobic and hostile- which in its own right is cool as hell...
I'm starting to realize I can't do it justice because each time I write about games, I remember different aspects of the history, it just happened with RPGs....I........ I think I give up.
Post by 🧀Son of Suzy Creamcheese🧀 on Jan 22, 2016 8:17:56 GMT -5
Well, it all started in the 90's. I must've been three at the time of my earliest gaming memories, which is the castle from SMB1 and the overworld of SMB3, both from the All-Stars versions. Around that same time I played old DOS games like Commander Keen (pirated on good ol' floppy disks), and we must've gotten my aunt's Original Gameboy around that time too. Got a great deal of games with it, my favorite of which was Super Mario Land 2. Playing on a friend's Donkey Kong Game & Watch.
The first game I actually owned myself though, was Rayman for PC. Still one of my favorite games of all time. I was only allowed 30 minutes of Computer time back then, so I spent what feels like an eternity on that game (I never could beat it when I was really young though - you need to find all the cages in the game to progress to the last world, and it's pretty hard for a youngster with no internet).
The first system I owned was a GBA, which I got at either Sinterklaas 2001 or my birthday 2002, not sure. Either way, the first game I got for that was Rayman Advance, which is a port of the original Rayman, so that sure is a milestone game for me.
Next came the GCN in 2003 or 2004 (probably the latter), which my parents got from a saving enough stickers you get from buying at least 10 bucks worth of groceries at a local super market. Now, that was one of the biggest milestones, I'd say. We got Mario Kart Double Dash with it, which was just the best thing I'd ever played at that point (it still holds up really well), and shortly after my aunt let me pick a game for it, and I picked Mario Party 5. It was at that point that I became curious about just how many Mario games there were. Apparentely they were already up to 5 Mario Parties, I had a platformer (SML2), and a racing game, not to mention I knew of those old classic iconic Mario images. So I looked it up online (it was around the same time I got the old home computer, since it got replaced) and holy shit, what a lot of games! And mostly, what a lot of consoles I'd never heard of. So, partially because of Mario, but also SSB Melee (which I loved like anybody else and had a lot of characters I didn't know), I got interested into Nintendo's history, which soon became gaming history in general. At that time I also found out about the SNES versions of the NES Mario games, which instantly triggered some kind of long-lost flashback of playing Super Mario Allstars. A similar thing happened when I read about Game & Watches.
Funnily, most people I knew owned a GCN. Pretty much nobody had a PS2, and certainly no XBOX (one Dreamcast, though). Everyone pretty much agreed that since the PS2 didn't have Mario Kart or Smash it was the inferior choice. Sound logic if you ask me. Most people also had a Gameboy (Color), which would ALWAYS include at least one Pokémon and Game and Watch Gallery game.
Then the first console I ever bought with my own money was a DS Lite with Mario Kart DS. I sold my old GBA and GBA SP to be able to afford it. I also got my aunt's SNES and Playstation 1 around that time (probably before the DS), the second of which I spent a lot of time on visiting in the late 90's.
From that point (2006) I got a few more classic consoles, and I kept up with Nintendo's handhelds and consoles, getting the DSi, 3DS and Wii U at launch (well the DSi was a neccessity since my old DS Lite's D-pad was worn out). The Wii shortly after launch, and not bought alone, so it's not technically mine.
Unfortunately around 2008 (?) I found out that most classic console games run too slow, so I've slowly started building a US NES and N64 collection (SNES games for some reason don't bother me as much slower, or maybe there are more games that run correctly).
Now Playing: Etrian Odyssey V (3DS) / Slaughterfest 3 (DOOM II) (PC) / Kirby Mass Attack (DS)
I forgot to mention that after I got my PS2 I traded my old PS1 for a friend of mine's N64, since I no longer needed the standalone PS1 due to backwards compatibility.
So there was a period of time there in 2001 where I played quite a few N64 games like Super Mario 64, Ocarina of Time, Starfox 64, Paper Mario and Banjo Tooie, unfortunately it wasn't in the greatest condition and it broke in early 2002.
Post by Exhuminator on Jan 22, 2016 8:52:52 GMT -5
I am 36 years old and have been playing video games since 1982 and PC games since 1987. I own many consoles and handhelds and PCs and now mobile platforms. Over the years with this industry, I have seen a lot of ups and downs. I find just as much joy in modern gaming as I do retro, and vice versa.
Post by tokenflipguy on Jan 22, 2016 11:30:02 GMT -5
1980s NES 1991 SNES/386 PC 1995 486 DX2/66 PC 1997 Pentium 133 MHZ 1998 Celeron 266 MHZ, PlayStation 1999 Sega Dreamcast/Gameboy Color 2000 PlayStation 2 2003 Xbox/Gamecube/Athlon XP 2005 Xbox 360/PSP/Athlon 64/Saturn 2006 PlayStation 3/Wii 2007 Sega CDX 2008 MSX2 2009 Dual Core 2.8 GHZ/DSi 2012 PS Vita 2013 3DS/WiiU/PS4/Windows Phone 2014 Android Tablet 2015 AMD A4 PC
Post by cambertian on Jan 22, 2016 11:52:04 GMT -5
It's kind of murky for me. I don't remember what my first game was, or in what order things happened, but here are some of my earliest memories:
Watching my siblings put music CDs into the PS2 to get new monsters in Monster Rancher
Crash Bandicoot. I was actually scared to play at one point because of Cortex's face popping up between levels.
My older brother playing Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast
Getting my first Gameboy Advance. Later on I decided to get Super Mario Advance instead of Monster Rancher and was disproportionally sad.
Neo-Pets, if you're willing to count that.
Staying up late to watch Adult Swim and play the weird, often humorous games my cousin would find in bargain bins
Gaming was and still is a huge part of my household. Because of the great influence around me, I quickly became obsessed as well. I went through a lot of "phases," some big and some small. One day I liked Sonic. The next day I wanted all of the Rayman games. Heck, even Bubsy was on the menu at one point. I was a game and hardware collector. If a console was rare - even if it didn't have a great library - I still wanted it. I managed to get the Sega Saturn and the Virtual Boy out of it. Over time my collectors phase has subsided, and I've grown more fond of emulation and digital games. I still have a great appreciation for consoles and video game history. At the moment, though, I can't afford the habit. I'm perfectly happy with just playing the game, even if it's not on the original hardware. I've also become more appreciative of the technical aspects of games, since I'm mostly a programmer now. Games don't even have to be good for me to enjoy them anymore
I still have the former (and it's legitimately fun; I still played it a lot even throughout the 90s).
My brother (who's five years older than me) got an NES in '87, and while I loved it, most of my NES gaming experience is actually post-2000. Back when the system was still alive, I found most games just way too tough for me to handle at my young age. It was a massive accomplishment when I finally made it to 1-2 in Super Mario Bros. I played that, Duck Hunt, a little bit of other stuff, but mostly I just enjoyed watching my brother play. I would say it was Metroid and Castlevania that turned me into a lifelong game fan. The atmosphere of those games set my imagination ablaze, even without playing them myself back then. Between the music, the graphics, the characters, just everything, I was totally fascinated with them, and Castlevania would go on to become one of my favorite series.
In '93, after painstakingly saving up my own money, I bought a SNES and had my first video game stuff that was truly MINE. Sometime between then and '91 or so, my brother lost interest in games (which has stayed the case). For a little while, he let me borrow his NES and games and keep it all in my own room, playing as I wanted, but then he sold it all off. So I went completely without video games for a couple years, and that's what motivated me to get a SNES. In fact, instead of a brand new game, I wanted Super Mario All-Stars as my first SNES game so that I could play the Mario games I had loved again. Of course, it also worked out perfectly that Nintendo was doing a promotion, giving away free copies with proof of purchase of a SNES. Goodness knows how much longer I would've waited if I had to save up for a game as well, considering I bought the bare SNES model with no games and one controller. In today's GOTTA HAVE IT RIGHT NOW world, it's kinda hilarious to look back and think about how I was an 11-year-old kid, with a SNES in my possession with absolutely nothing to play on it, sitting patiently for about a whole month until Nintendo shipped me my copy.
I was sort of buying/asking for games blindly early on, not really having a clue what was available or what was going on in the industry. But because of that promotion for Super Mario All-Stars, I ended up on Nintendo's mailing list, and they sent me the Donkey Kong Country promotional video. Now that thing got me hyped like crazy. I wanted the game so badly that my paternal grandma, the sweetest woman, went out and bought it for me on release day. Not as a gift for a holiday or anything, just completely randomly, which wasn't at all the norm with my family (the occasional random small gift, sure, but not something that cost like 70 bucks). I became totally DKC obsessed, and in the following years, my grandma also bought me DKC2 and DKC3 for Christmas. With DKC, I later picked up the official guide at a brick and mortar store to help me find all the secrets, and with DKC2, I had planned to do the same (actually, I wanted the guide first to help me with one of the bosses that I was having a hell of a time with), but seeing all those slips included in SNES games advertising Nintendo Power and free guides for subscribing, I figured why not. For nearly the same price, I got the DKC2 guide AND a year's subscription. That marks the point when I finally started to become informed on what had and was coming out (even if limited to Nintendo systems). And then, thinking DKC2 was the greatest game ever, it was unbelievable to me that DKC2 lost in several categories in Nintendo Power's yearly awards, mostly to a game named Chrono Trigger. Well, I knew basically jack about what Chrono Trigger was like, but that was enough to convince me that it must be something great if it could beat DKC2, haha. So I put down my 80 bucks for it. And go figure, it would end up surpassing DKC2 in my eyes and started my still ongoing obsession with RPGs (though I had enjoyed watching multiple Dragon Warrior games and Final Fantasy on NES, so the genre wasn't unfamiliar to me).
Around that same time, hype for the N64 was really ratcheting up in Nintendo Power, and I fell for that hook, line, and sinker too. I had my mom take me to Toys R Us September of '96 multiple times over just to plant myself in front of one of the displays for an hour at a time. The experience of playing Super Mario 64 blew my mind. Don't get me wrong, I still loved 2D games even past this point, but it was unlike anything I had ever played before. The N64 would end up being the only system I've ever gotten on launch day (a day early, actually), after somehow convincing my mom to drop the $200 for it for my birthday (which was a month prior, so again I had to patiently wait), which was a really expensive present by my family's standards, with the agreement that I would buy Super Mario 64 with my own money.
It wasn't until '99 that I finally ventured out of my Nintendo bubble when I bought a PS1 (after they had been marked down to $99). While I never engaged in console wars, I did have a negative view of the competitors prior to that, especially Sega. You can blame their mean-spirited advertising for that, which I only found off-putting. I much preferred Nintendo's approach of just not bothering to acknowledge the competition, rather than taking potshots. Anyway, I had been hearing about Symphony of the Night and lots of cool RPGs, like Star Ocean 2, the sequel to a game I had been fascinated with ever since I read about it in Nintendo Power in '96, so I took the plunge. And while it didn't click with me at first, when I replayed Star Ocean 2, it solidified itself as my new favorite game, besting Chrono Trigger, and still reigning as champ to this day (though I kind of like to think of it as a three-way tie between SO2, Star Ocean: Blue Sphere, and Valkyrie Profile).
'99 was a year when I expanded my gaming horizons in general, which can mostly be attributed to my growing presence online. I got my first home computer in late '97/early '98, I believe, and while I didn't do much with it but schoolwork for the first few months, I eventually discovered Nintendo.com and their BBS. I got into posting on their BBS, and when Dan Owsen had a meltdown and pulled the plug on it, I found my way to various game-related ezboards. I not only heard more and more about non-Nintendo systems, but I also learned about how it was possible to acquire retro games. I made the decision to track down an NES and the games that I had loved on it. Everything has just snowballed from there over the years since, with more and more systems and games, of all ages and from all companies.
That about sums up the highlights of my gaming life. If you actually read this novel, you have my kudos.
I was gifted a ColecoVision and a VIC-20 in the early 80s, but I was far too young to really play the ColecoVision or take advantage of the potential future interests/built skills the VIC-20 could have represented. The ColecoVision was mostly played by my mother. She had a fondness for Donkey Kong and Mousetrap.
The NES came in 1987, and I was put off of video games for years because the "BOING" death noise in Kung-Fu traumatized me.
I got back into it around the time the Game Boy hit the US and everybody at my school had one except me. For some reason, I remember everybody was really into Motocross Maniacs, and that ended up being one of the first games I had for it when I finally got one.
Many of the kids in the neighborhood I lived in were big into trading NES games around, and they tended to make the rounds among everyone, to the point where you didn't really expect to get your original game back (and if you did, you probably wouldn't be getting it back from who you originally traded it to). People would even trade with people they didn't particularly like, and it was always 1-to-1 (unless they had something they didn't particularly like and would throw it in extra just to be rid of it). As we all got older, sometimes we'd sell off games we didn't want anymore, on the cheap since none of us had jobs.
In fall of 1994, I bought a Genesis off of a friend with my own money (they were fully into SNES at that point, and would lose interest in video games almost entirely once they got their first car a few years later); and that Christmas would FINALLY receive an SNES (though my father had wanted to get me a 3DO instead (because "it was newer"); I insisted otherwise) along with FF6 (then 3) and Super SF2.
This was around the time where I was able to start buying my own games from retail, the first two being Genesis titles (Super Baseball 2020 and Gunstar Heroes). In an unfortunate example of how far retailers have fallen, I bought Gunstar Heroes from a store in Frederick, MD while I was with my mother for the weekend (parents were divorced, she got me every other weekend for most of the year, every weekend during buck hunting season), and not only were they willing to order in a copy when they had none, but also hold it for two weeks when I told them of my situation. Especially at the age that I was then, I can't even imagine the dismissive attitude I would have been met with in 2016.
FF6 had opened the floodgates for me and RPGs at that time (my previous experience was the pain and suffering of the original Dragon Quest/Warrior), and a neighbor had started selling me his RPGs when he had beaten them. At first, on the cheap (Shining Force, Great Greed, SaGa 3 (then FFL3)), but then he wised up and asked for more for Shining Force 2.
Come 1995, I'd been playing arcade games here and there, and has become fixated on Virtual-On. I ended up buying the Saturn version without even having the system or knowing if I'd even acquire one (though I had a friend who had one, I almost never hung out with him outside of school). Well, I finally did in 1996; where I played Guardian Heroes and immediately fell in love with it. Also during this time period, I'd traded my SNES away for a Sega CD for about the period of a school year. While it definitely felt like an uneven trade at the time, that was how I got to experience Vay, Snatcher, Lunar, and Silpheed; it was absolutely worth it for me.
So began the story of my greatest gaming mistake; I got a Saturn that Christmas (which came with the Triple Pack-in : Virtua Fighter 2, Daytona USA, and Virtua Cop. I also received Tomb Raider, Sega Rally, and Guardian Heroes). This is where my "There need to be 5 must-haves before I buy a system" rule (which I'd later break...) started. I was all about my Saturn for a good while, even starting to buy imports because the Saturn was the one system where they were readily available even in mass-retail video game stores. ThunderForce 5, X-Men vs. Street Fighter, Silhouette Mirage, and Fire ProWrestling 6MenScramble became favorites.
Most of the other people in school who still played games skipped over the Saturn for the PS1, mostly because of the MASSIVE hype FF7 had garnered. I myself began to want a PS1... for Tekken 2. When I finally bought one in October 1997, no copies of Tekken 2 were anywhere to be found; I had to settle for Psychic Force. I'd later find Tekken 2 restocked, and also acquired Mega Man X4 and RayStorm.
In hindsight, I think the PS1 was the last time that I became truly enamored with and really dove into a system after acquisition.
In 1998, on the release date of Ocarina of Time, I bought a copy of All-Japan Pro Wrestling feat. Virtua for the Saturn. But I paid for it entirely by trading in old Game Boy and NES games. I held up the line (which had now extended outside the store) for a damn long time. It was a proud moment.
Anyway, in early 1999, I broke my "5 games" rule and bought an N64 for only 2 games (WCW/nWo Revenge and F-Zero X). Despite playing a few other games (Ocarina, Castlevania, Mischief Makers), I ended up not holding onto it long, and traded all of my N64 stuff in towards a Dreamcast.
There are a number of strange personal anecdotes I could tell about my life in the Dreamcast era, and how the Dreamcast fits into that, but a lot of it are things that nobody really needs or wants to hear (including one about Shenmue and canned Rice Pudding). I was happy with my Dreamcast in the moment, but it doesn't speak the same way to me now in 2016, being the arcade-port-centric machine that it was.
I'd started buying a few (only a handful of) PS1 imports, having become fixated on Gungage after playing it at an anime con, and also having bought Bust-A-Move 2 : Dance Tengoku Mix and Silent Bomber (both of which would eventually get NA releases, though I only re-bought Silent Bomber, selling the Japanese version to an acquaintance), and later Soukyugurentai. I'd also bought a Neo-Geo Pocket Color, entirely just to play Card Fighters' Clash.
The PS2 era doesn't feel so significant to me in hindsight, even though that was around the time I discovered there were independent game stores in my general area and could start exponentially building a library relatively inexpensively...
...And then the colossal mistake. Selling off my Saturn so I could buy an X-Box, because I wanted JSRF Just. That. Badly. I was mostly unimpressed with the X-Box beyond that, and retreated back to my PS2, where I continued my path of playing between 30-60% of an RPG and never finishing.
Everything after that feels pretty insignificant in the here and now (aside from switching between my 3DS and my Vita for bus rides and lunch breaks during the week), despite the shameful mountain of titles that I've since bought.
Then came 2015, where a friend of mine who still likes the idea of video games, but doesn't so much like actually playing them anymore bought a Genesis and a Famiclone. I found there were more old used game/movie stores around here (and that I still had a working Genesis of my own) and checking them out, probably having acquired around 25-30 NES games and 40-50 Genesis games in 2015.
Now, going back to computers... My grandfather got me a 286 back in 1989? 1990? It came with a CD full of not-so-great games (some of the few I could actually grasp included Uridium and Into the Eagle's Nest), and so many of them seemed completely incomprehensible to me (Alternate Reality : The City, Infiltrator, Infiltrator 2, Wizball). One of my father's co-workers gave him a bunch of 3.5s full of pirated, ZIP'd DOS games (introducing me to PKZip and PKUnzip), such as Wheel of Fortune, Leisure Suit Larry, and the original Commander Keen trilogy. I'd later be introduced to Wolfenstein 3D, Kiloblaster, Galactix Spellcasting 301 (but not 101 or 201), and more Game Show games... and then for some reason, Metal & Lace and Cobra Mission.
I was too dense and innocent to really understand exactly what was going on in Cobra Mission.
And once again, I was too short-sighted and dense to take advantage of what I had in right there in front of me, and start leaning file systems or programming.
I got a more powerful machine in late 1994, where I was introduced to Doom, Tyrian, OMF 2097, and had ports of games like Toshinden and NBA Jam TE. This was also when I first found emulation (1995, I believe), through VGB-DOS and Pasofami. I also found one of the strangest (but most useful) utilities during this time period, a MIDI Wavetable simulator known as WinGroove.
I'd get another PC somewhere around 97-98, along with SHOGO and Vigilance. 98-2001 was the time where I was playing and buying PC games, most of which have found their way onto GOG now (exceptions being Sanity, Nocturne, Heavy Metal FAKK 2, and Vigilance). That PC was a pre-built Pentium 2, and I slowly replaced it part-by-part until the only original piece remaining was the internal ZIP Drive, but even that was eventually gone. I had to abandon that machine when I started moving from place to place, and haven't had a desktop since, only laptops (due to limited physical space to keep possessions).
I think I've learned from making this post that even though I still buy quite a lot of games, I just lost a lot of my sense of awe for them after "The Mistake" (rediscovering my Genesis notwithstanding).
I always enjoy topics like these, because gaming has been an important hobby throughout my life. I'll try to hit all of the important moments for me over the years, but I'm sure I'll miss something. Anyway, here it goes.
My earliest memories with video games comes from when I was around four years old I suppose, so 1992. My brother, who is six years older than I am, had an NES growing up (I'm not sure when he actually received it), and got an SNES for Christmas of '91. I remember playing a bunch of different games for both of those systems. For the NES I specifically remember spending a lot of time with Contra, Double Dragon II, and the three Mario Bros. games. I also have memories of attempting the Legend of Zelda, Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, and Dragon Warriors; but those games were a bit beyond me at the time, though I still enjoyed playing them. As for the SNES; I remember Final Fight, Super Castlevania IV, Super Mario World, and Street Fighter II. So those are some of the first games I really remember playing. One thing to note about this time, however, is that the NES was kept at my grandparent's house, and the SNES was at our house. My parents divorced when I was very young and my grandmother would keep my brother and me while my mom worked. Needless to say we played a ton of NES games while over there, and I have a lot of good memories because my grandmother would always watch us play. She even had a fondness for the LJN Jaws game, and would try to get through it when she wasn't watching me or my brother. That probably explains why I don't think that game is that bad.
My brother stuck with the SNES and would go on to get a lot of classic games such as Super Metroid, The Ninja Warriors, and A Link to the Past just to name a few. During the summer I would always wake up really early and sneak into my brothers room to play the SNES. We ended up bonding over a lot of those games, and whenever I was stuck at some point in a game I could always count on him to come along and help me out. It was a really great time in my life looking back, and is the main reason video games have remained a constant throughout my life. I'd eventually get a Genesis (I can't remember if this was a birthday or Christmas gift), and would have a few games for it; mainly Rocket Knight Adventure, Sonic 2 and 3, Cool Spot, Vectorman, a Power Rangers fighting game, and the Disney Lion King game. I enjoyed the Genesis, but never had much beyond that. However, not long after the release of the PlayStation, a lot of this collection would go away.
Since the SNES technically belonged to my brother, he ended up selling the system and all of the games to get the PlayStation and a few games for it. I don't remember much about the first few games he got for it, but I was really drawn to the system and all of the 3D graphics. We kept the NES (still have everything for it), and I held on to my Genesis for a while, so I still had those systems to fall back on, but looking back I can't believe he got rid of all of the SNES stuff he had. I've since picked up another SNES and a few of my favorite games for the system, but I don't have quite as much as we once did.
Anyway, the PlayStation was the new thing. Early on I remember receiving In the Hunt for my birthday and absolutely loved that game. The most defining moment with the PS1, though, was Resident Evil. I still remember our mom driving us, and a few of my brother's friends, to the store to pick it up. I had no idea what it was. Back then I didn't really keep up with any game releases, as my brother was the one who knew about all of that. The name sounded weird, but I had no idea what Resident Evil was about. On the drive back home my brother showed me the zombie face that was on the front of the manual (this was the long box release) and I was terrified. Resident Evil gave me nightmares for quite a while, and I was too scared to play the games myself for years to come. This is important, though, because it was the first time a video game made me feel that way. Nightmares be damned, I still watched my brother play through it; trying to help him out whenever he came across a puzzle. The entire concept of Resident Evil was so new to me that I couldn't wait to stay up late and see what else my brother discovered about that mansion. Resident Evil would continue to be his go to game, and I would continue to stay up and watch him play it and then subsequently have nightmares once I went to sleep. I eventually worked up enough nerve to try the series with Code Veronica, but that's getting a little ahead of myself.
Not long after the PlayStation came into the house, I decided to sell my Genesis and the few games I had for it and get a Nintendo 64 (really I think I just used the money on games for it, as I received the Nintendo 64 for Christmas). This was Christmas of '96, and I received the 64 with Mario 64, Killer Instinct Gold, and Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire. The Star Wars films were soon to be re-released, and I was absolutely blown away by Shadows of the Empire. I still enjoyed playing some games on the PlayStation, and would have my first real exposure to RPGs with Final Fantasy VII, but the 64 was my system and I fell in love with it because of those first three games and later releases such as Ocarina of Time, Star Fox 64, and Super Smash Bros.
I should point out again that Final Fantasy VII was my first real experience with an RPG. Yes, we had Dragon Warrior for the NES, and I did enjoy that game, but I never tried to put any significant time into it. I preferred more instant action instead of spending time leveling up and figuring out where you needed to go next in the game world. I put a decent amount of time into Final Fantasy VII, but RPGs wouldn't click with me until 1998 when Pokemon Red and Blue were released in the US.
Now, I'm probably going to sound like an elitist when I say this, but I remember getting Pokemon Red before I truly knew exactly what Pokemon was. I'm sure I had heard about it at some point, considering how much of a success it was in Japan, but I went into the purchase blind; having seen no screenshots or anything. Needless to say, I became completely absorbed in Pokemon. I've never been able to recapturing that sense of wonder that I felt upon first starting out my journey in Pallet Town; picking Bulbasaur as my starter and taking the first steps towards becoming a Pokemon master. I loved all of the designs for the Pokemon, and thought it was so cool that the first gym leader was named Brock (which is my last name...it seems funny looking back on it, but I had never encountered someone else with the name outside of family). I would eventually go on to get the Blue version to complete my Pokedex (yes, the sad existence of trading with myself), as well as the Yellow version once that was released. Pokemon was what got me into anime (well, along with Dragon Ball Z), and I remember eventually talking my mom into ordering VHS tapes of the anime before it started airing on TV. I also formed a lot of friendships over Pokemon; finding other kids in school who played the games and battling and trading with them after school. Afterwards I would start trying out other RPGs, and the genre has since become one of my favorites.
Around this time I also had a lot of great experiences with friends. Some of them had the Dreamcast, and I would enjoy going over to their house to play Sonic Adventure and Power Stone. I never owned the console myself, so it was always fun seeing the exclusives for it. I was also exposed to Doom and Wolfenstein at a friend's house, and that opened up a whole new interest in PC first-person shooters. That was short lived, as the PC my mom had wasn't suited for gaming, but it's still worth noting. I would go on to delve into PC RTSs, mainly with Age of Empires 2, as well as a few dungeon crawlers like Diablo. The same person who introduced me to Doom would also introduce me to Morrowind which blew my mind. Ultimately, though, I've never been big into PC gaming.
Unfortunately, 2003 would mark a pretty bad point in my life. My grandmother passed away due to cancer and it took me a long time just to be able to cope with that loss. I almost stopped playing games entirely after that, and I guess looking back the fact that I spent so much time playing games with her around probably had a lot to do with that. I still picked up a few things, like Resident Evil 4, but I wouldn't get back into games until early 2006. Without getting into too much detail, I had just recently gotten out of a bad relationship, and found a new group of friends to spend time with at school. It was my senior year in high school and they were three grades below me, but we got along really well and had video games as a common interest. We all hung out quite a bit that summer after my senior year; having overnight gaming sessions and just goofing off in general. This group has remained my closest friends up to this point.
This was the time I started really getting into exploring games that I never had a chance to play. It was also the time where I seriously though about going into journalism to write about games, something I still have a passion for and really need to make more time for. I got into 2D fighters fairly heavily, and even went to a few tournaments mainly playing Street Fighter III, and fell in love with SNK (a company I only had a few run-ins with over the years). I also started getting more into RPGs, going back and playing the early Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest games, as well as newer releases such as Persona 3 and 4; and also discovering a love for older dungeon crawlers through the Etrian Odyssey series.
That about sums up my gaming history throughout my life. Obviously I just hit the most notable points, but it was fun reminiscing about the past as I typed this out. I've enjoyed reading the other posts in this thread so far, and I hope you all enjoy reading about my experiences as well.