Scuttling from the low lying valleys and long dried, long dead, long grass of California's Central Coast valley, Hayden Robel (aka Draco, aka your Messianic, omnipotent lord and savior) has been playing games since the vestigial outgrowths of embryonic, womb-bound, thumb tissue developed enough to sustain button mashing. He is currently biding his time until Fall of 2013 wherein he will be enrolled at San Francisco State University as an English (Creative writing)/ Journalism major.
God writing in third person is both narcissistic and a chore...ON YOUR KNEES PEONS!
So I know in my first pathetic excuse for a blog post * I rambled on about WHO I AM, WHY IM WRITING A BLOG, YADDA-YADDA, incredulously monotonous/excruciatingly redundant exposition etc.** (like this) and promised my subsequent post would be a “genuine article”, well…TOUGH SHIT!***
Shit does happen (routinely in my diet), and life is overflowing with fecal flows of late so I haven’t had the chance to prepare a decent topic for this week and I thought, well, how could I bore you into a stupor coma sleep once more?! Ooh, I KNOW! With another “introductory/reflective” post!
Ultimately I feel that in order to really get to know who I am as a gamer, my likes, dislikes, opinions, potential biases, to truly grasp the sheer mediocrity that is me, its only appropriate to detail my upbringing with gaming, my “evolution”, my “maturation”****
Will this “article” entertain/interest anybody else but me? Prolly’ not. Does this “article” stem from some sick, twisted, subconscious need for self-masturbatory ego stroking? More than likely. But I really do feel a need to let you guys know who I am before I start spouting off like an arrogant, video game self-righteous, turret. You guys deserve better than that, better than this (and I PROMISE, SOLEMNLY SWEAR TO MAKE IT UP TO YOU!; SEE THE END)
*(Which I’m absolutely elated that people actually read and surprised by the mental fortitude you most certainly must possess, you masochist)
**(You know the stuff no one with any remote quantity of self-respect would in the slightest give two fetid, heaping, shits about)
***(And believe you me a diet of Mtn. Dew and Doritos does produce some adamantium defecations that would make wolverine’s claws seem like silly puddy scissors)
****(Me “matured” ha!)
Let’s get a move on and board this train wreck shall we?
How I’ve “matured” as a gamer
My history with video games
As early as my scattershot brain can remember, video games have always been an indispensible facet of my life. Embryonic fluids spilling down the chubby vestigial mounds of developing flesh that were my nascent nubs of thumbs as they mashed the buttons of a controller, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when I started, or what my first game even was, but ill try.
Backstreet boys to N-sync reverberating in cacophonous harmony, a pre-balding Britney playing in the background, as a kid of the 90s I succumbed to a cultural phenomenon the likes of which had never been seen: the Pokémon fever.
Yep, as a Gen Y’r my earliest video gaming memories are those with my first “console” the Gameboy Color, Pokémon Blue cartridge jutting out in all its 8-bit glory (which I still own in horrendous condition I might add). From battling to capturing, those little Japanese imported Pocketa Monstuls (as I racistly pronounce) characterized my early days as a gamer. I remember staying up well past bedtimes, under the covers training my Charmander (the only REAL starter imo, fuck McSquirtle and don’t get me started on Bulba-ill smoke you in the morning-suar). Collecting Gym badges, making team rocket blast off again and again, oh rosy-eyed nostalgia! Indeed those were good times, and what ultimately began my history with video games (as well as pizza parlor arcade Pac-Man). But, like all things, my obsession with Pokémon ended, though always holding, no...CAPTURING a soft spot in my otherwise lard-calcified heart.
It was time for me to move on, to …EVOLVE.
Coming off a Nintendo high it’s ironic that my first home console would be Sony’s first entry into the video game biz. I did play most of the N64 classics (Mario 64, a little OoT, the masterpiece that is Star Wars Episode One: Pod Racer etc.) via neighbors but I guess my dad didn’t care for playing as an obese, somehow pipe-stuffable, Italian plumber when he purchased a PSone for himself and, by parasitic proxy (as all we once were), me.
Platforming, butt-smashing crates in Crash Bandicoot to liberating petrified Dragons (and chasing that FUCKING EGG THIEF!) with some vehicular manslaughter on the side with Twisted Metal, GODDAMN! There were some amazing games I played on the PSone! But then, just as I began delving into a new 3d-polygonal era of videogaming the emergence of stupid distractions like education, friends, physical exercise outdoors, females *shivers in fear* disrupted, stunted, my video game development, not returning until…
In the post-apocalyptic aftermath of Y2K, the sixth generation saw too my return to video gaming. Starting off with the Nintendo Gamecube, by and far my all-time favorite Nintendo console (unfortunately the NES and SNES were a little before my time), this gen, as I reflect in retrospect, is what solidified gaming as my life passion (well, that and writing :).
Super Mario Sunshine, Metroid Prime, Resident Evil Remake, Super Smash Bros. Melee (10x in order of magnitude better than Brawl! *nostalgia bias*), Starfox: Adventures (I don’t give a damn what the whiners say, Starfox translated perfectly in to this form! *more nostalgia bias*) the Gamecube graced my pre-teen angst only barely usurped by Sony’s sixth gen answer: the Playstation 2. I literally purchased and played way too many games on PS2 to remember let alone list. From Battlefront to God of War, Kingdom hearts to Persona 3, I still have a sizable library left, including the consoles themselves. In many ways this was my own “golden age” of video games. Maybe it was a sign, a sign to stop there, end my gaming as it reached it peak, for yet again those stupid distractions of life began interfering with my gaming and yet again I took a temporary leave from the world of video games. The end of the “golden age” giving way to the dark…
I remember the scramble back in 06’ when the Wii launched. Thousands of people across the globe trampling over one another like the savage animals they really were (also when I became the ultra-cynic I am today apparently…).
I remember asking myself, gimmicky, arm flailing like a chimp suffering from cerebral palsy? (too far?…Hell nah). Don’t get me wrong; when my family managed to grab one, I too was enamored with the concept of motion controls. I mean, C’mon…who wouldn’t be with Wii Sports Tennis? Groundbreaking, and purely fun stuff it was, for awhile.
Super Mario Galaxy, (though exceeding my expectations and even the late, great, Sunshine) and the rehashed Gamecube titles with motion controls wasn’t enough to pull me back from the abyss of non-gaming. No, not until a surprising turn of events would I find myself back in the Bose, True Dolby Digital 7.1 surround, DX9, supported gaming saddle.
Throughout my illustrious scroll of gaming history I have jumped in fandom from one system to the next. Yes, I have been a “NINTENTARD”, “PSfanboy”, at one or many points in the past. BUT it wasn’t until 08’ that I discovered the 360 and, like the naive little brat I was (still am), threw away my Nintendo/Sony fanboy flag and praised the Microsoft, windows enabled conflagration of Xbox.
When I saw Halo 3 for the first time it verifiably blew me off and blew my mind in FULL HD-1080P tandem. As the original Xbox was essentially a “Halo box” (lets be honest here) I forgot the console even existed, too engrossed with the Nintendo/Sony counterparts. Having never experienced HD visuals or online matchmaking (ps2 broadband was absolute shit) the 7th gen horsepower of the 360 pulled me back from my gaming celibacy once more. For better or worst I became an…
XBOT *retrospective cringe*.
I became obsessed in a deluge of fps, tps, team slayer, ffa, deathmatch mindless multiplayer shooting, forgetting if not out rightly dismissing any and all campaigns. Eschewing the advances in the medium by such titles as Bioshock (I did actually playthru it completely but it wasn’t until a second play thru I realized/appreciated the magnum opus) or Assassins Creed (thinking now…didn’t miss much there). I played games for artificial, arbitrary awards, online ranks, achievements inflating a virtual ultimately flaccid erection or “gamer score”. I lost the meaning of gaming…
Fortunately within the same year I got my hands on a ps3 (not to denounce the 360 of course, still play it constantly, spectacular console really) and with titles like Infamous, Uncharted (granted not the avant-garde paradigms of art/plotlines in the industry) I remembered why I even played video games in the first place…to have fun.
Flashforward (like LOST, wait…) to present day, 2013, I feel as if I’ve experienced a video gaming renaissance. Within the past year alone discovering and playing thru MGS, Castlevania, the 2d Metroids (finally), FFIV, Chrono Trigger, so many more, reviving my passion for the medium of video games as a whole. I rose from abyss of substance-less gaming. Thru videogames I have learned many a life lesson, explored and became enlightened to many real world truths. Thru video games I have matured not only as a gamer, with diverse tastes, an ever expanding appreciation for the artistry of the medium, but matured in life as well, having genuine, real, and true fun in the process.
Hope that wasn’t an utter waste of your valuable time peeps. It just didn’t feel right to not detail my maturation/experience/history with video games before endeavoring forward with this blog. Like I mentioned briefly in the preface I promised to make it up too you for this weeks arguably (inarguably) pointless post, and, well I thought I’d let you guys (if any one actually reads/makes it this far) select the topic for me too right about next. I have quite a few topics accumulating in scrawled sticky notes next to my desk, hopefully one will intrigue
1. A REVIEW; I have a few games I’ve been thinking about, feel free to suggest a title, might have played it
2. Emulation: Is it piracy or necessity?
3. Rage quits; my biggest rage quits in thus far in gaming
4. Other; A suggested topic of your own creation
Feel free to sound off on a topic (if no one chooses ill select one at random). If you feel so inclined: comment, critique, ridicule, complain below if you enjoyed, utterly despised, or are seeking monetary payment from damages bodily or otherwise acquired by the reading of this “article”. I will pay them, lips puckered and peppered with lubricant in the nearest back alleyway of your choosing. Eternal, undying gratitude and Thanks.