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MPHtails avatar 6:30 PM on 06.04.2008
The Start of the Affair: How fanboyism led me down the path of the RPG (and revived my interest in games)

Now, playing games for as long as I have, you're going to come across games of all genres. Smash Bros. didn't lead me to play my first RPG (Mario RPG), beat my first RPG (Pokemon), or even enjoy my first RPG or anything like that. What it did lead me to was the first RPG that totally captured me in a way that made me want so much more. It led me not to play an RPG, but to play one that taught me how to love it's kind. That being said, the rest of the article is now a formality and obvious to most of you where this path will end up, but let me confirm your suspicions.

I played the first Smash Bros. on the N64 back in 1999, and quickly became obsessed with it's ease of play and the whole icon vs icon thing,which more or less is the entire basis of Smash being more than the sum of it's parts. But playing through and unlocking characters, I came across one I never heard of before called Ness. Along with a lot of players, I wondered where he came from, but soon learned his origins as a ROG character in Earthbound and never gave him a second thought (mostly because I sucked playing as him).

Time passed, and Melee came. This time with more characters, but also this Ness fellow again. I once again kind of ignored him. Time passed, I moved on to other games, and went on with life in general. I never really cared about him, his game, or anything until early 2006. I finally wound up getting enough free time and curiosity that I decided to look up Earthbound on google and see if it was worth my time, seeing as how I had recently gotten a PSP and put it to good use during seminar period in school. I figured a long game like RPGs tend to be would be a perfect fit, but didn't want to start up a game I would never finish, especially after the troubles I had with Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VII.

Anyway, I googled it and it led me to the big fansite called Starmen.net. I took a look around and, after seeing all the fan arts and fan "events" and general hubbub about the game and the passion they felt for the game and figured it would at least be worthy of a not-download and give it the try these people said it deserved.

For a few weeks i was hooked, enjoying the humor and somewhat differing fighting style it had. I was trucking through it until I got stuck in Threed. I set it aside to come back to later after playing something else to clear my perspective. It worked, and after a couple of weeks I resumed my path though the game, this time not stopping until the credits rolled.

I set it aside and went on to other not-roms, but soon after I felt a twinge of need to play it again. I was focusing on a few other titles, so I set it to the backseat, but after a while It grew to a head and I knew a trip to eBay was in my future.

After a failure or two, I finally scored a SNES cart of the game in January 2007 and waited the two weeks for it to arrive. As soon as I got home from school that day and opened the package, The SNES was emitting a red light and an awesome gaming experience. Halfway through, I felt that just playing it again would not be enough. I needed more of not necessarily this game, but more games of this ilk, this quality, this length. One name came to mind: Lunar.

I figured while I was going for a Sega CD game, I should probably get a Sega CD and see what else there was. I scored one, but it was destroyed in a flood, so I got another one. It came with a Genesis, one that worked better than the one I had, so I sold that off and used the cash to buy Disc only copies of both Silver Star and Eternal Blue, along with a similar copy of this anime inspired action/rpg game I once heard good things of called Popful Mail. Eternal Blue came first, so in my unknowingness of which was the sequel, I popped it in. I was soon treated to the start of a wonderful game, but that was soon stopped as my interests moved toward the internet as it does so often.

You see, my main two entertainment sources out here in the sticks of mid-Michigan are Video games and the internet. It's easy to tire of one and move almost exclusively to the other for a period.

But that did not last long as I decided to stop with the occasional round of NBA Jam and pop in Popful. As soon as I played through the first few screens I was back to the controller for the next month almost solid, working my way slowly through each area, each boss, each wonderful moment of the game. Even though by now it was nothing that hadn't been done before gameplay wise, it just felt like such a breath of fresh air, in part because of the high quality of the game, in part because it provided me with a blend of the RPG I still kinda yearned for but didn't quite want wholesale at the moment with the gameplay of a weapon-based platformer, which is a variation of my favorite genre into a smoothie I never wanted to reach the end of. (of course, I still havent because the disc is screwey, so I guess I got my wish.)

Soon I got stuck in that, but we also moved so I got a fresh look at games I hadn't touched in a while during the packing and unpacking phases of the move. I came across my Lunar discs and decided to finish Eternal Blue come hell or high water. Over the summer I progressed and progressed, but once again I stopped before the end, though this time because I finally got Xbol Live at home and Halo 3 was coming up.

I spent some quality time online with the newly reborn 360 of mine up until early 2008. I had a preorder for Brawl, and my excitement forced me to find things to bide my time. Two weeks before Brawl was to be released (the real time, not any of the delayed times), I figured now is as good a time as ever to polish off this wonderful game I just kept putting on hold. I added the challenge of being done by March 7th (giving me a good week and a half of time. Also, I wanted some time to practice with Melee before the big release, but it turned out I lost my disc). It turned out to be the best week and a half of gaming I had in a while. By the time I was listening to the post-game outtakes, I had discovered a true love for the Role Playing Game, and spent a little bit of money and time with them through April and Aay after the Brawl of March fizzled fast. I chose this time to finally get and finish Chrono Trigger proper (read: SNES), Start Mother 3, the Dreamcast game Evolution, and Lunar 1 (though I found the PS1 remake at a comic shop local to here, so I played that version), and buy Vay.

Though I am once again on hiatus from Role Playing and taking a break with Brawl, Dr. Mario, and the odd Xbox game, I have developed a real endearment for the genre as you may tell by the huge departure I took from the main point of this post gushing over Lunar. Sorry for the rambling, but thats how the story is told.

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