I'm in my 20s, I'm married, and I've been playing games since I was 4. I still remember buying my own NES system at Sears and going home and playing Mario/Duck Hunt. Fast forward to the present, my wife and I now own a PS3, 360, Wii, and Wii U.
As far as contemporary systems go, I also own an iPhone 4 (which I game on very heavily - check out HookChamp), a 3DS XL, the Kinect, the PS Move, a PSP-2000, and a Playstation Vita. If I had to choose a system I had the "best times" with, it would be a two way tie between the Sega Dreamcast and Sony Playstation 2. My favorite game series is Mega Man Classic, but I own every Metal Gear, Devil May Cry, Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, Wario, Tony Hawk, main series Final Fantasy, and Resident Evil game ever released in the US (and a lot more), so it's a close call!
There are too many good games out to count now, but I'm always itching to play my backlog of old PS2 action titles. I'll play anything and everything action-adventure, so if you have a game in mind, drop me a line! I have strong opinions regarding the financial decisions of many publishers, but at the end of the day, I'm willing to give anything a chance; especially if it comes recommended by a community member.
Oh; and in 2012 I started contributing to Destructoid.
Resident Evil 5
Fallout: New Vegas
Dragon Age: Origins
Skies of Arcadia
Lunar 1 and 2
World of Warcraft: All Expansions
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
Devil May Cry 3
Phantasy Star Online
Ape Escape 1
Rockman and Forte (Megaman and Bass)
Jet Set Radio Future
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Donkey Kong Country
Final Fantasy Tactics
Dark Souls II
Deception IV: Blood Ties
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
South Park: The Stick of Truth
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy
The Wolf Among Us
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Super Mario 3D World
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
Dead Rising 3
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD
Pokemon X & Y
Super Mario 3D World
Grand Theft Auto V
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
Persona 4 Golden
Tomb Raider (2013)
Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon
Brave Fencer Musashi
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Far Cry 3
Assassin's Creed III
Retro City Rampage
Guild Wars 2
Binding of Isaac
Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning
Zone of the Enders 2
Kid Icarus: Uprising
Batman: Arkham City
Kingdom Hearts II
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
Dust: An Elysian Tail
Tomb Raider II
Metal Gear Solid 4
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
Zombies At My Neighbors
Super Bomberman 2
Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect 3
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
Tony Hawk's Underground 2
Assassin's Creed II
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Ninja Gaiden Black (Xbox)
Power Stone 2
No More Heroes 2
Secret of Mana
Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy X
Super Mario RPG
Super Mario 64
Super Mario World
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
Super Mario Galaxy
Super Mario 3D Land
Mega Man 8
The Lost Vikings
Bujingai: The Forsaken City
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong's Quest
Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence
Call of Duty: World at War
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Half Minute Hero
Kirby Super Star
Super Meat Boy
Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony
Shantae: Risky's Revenge
Mighty Flip Champs
Child of Eden
Kirby's Dream Course
Shadows of the Damned
Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR)
I thought I didn't love pain. That was, until I met Alma.
My life for Gaiden
You see, Alma and I go way back. I was visiting prospective colleges in 2004, and I had a few friends at a southern Virginia college named Christopher Newport University. Those friends happened to have Ninja Gaiden. My first mistake was to start playing it, even though I only had 2 total days there, and most of it was supposed to be spent viewing the campus and "taking in" my future.
On one hand, there was the thought of "choosing my future place of education, where most likely what I learned there would influence the rest of my life in respect to Academia", and on the other hand, there was the primal thought of "I want to fucking play Ninja Gaiden right now". Stew on it a bit and guess what prevailed...
I started the game and was blown away. Not by it's difficulty, but by how much fun it was. I breezed past the enemies with my advanced hand-eye ninja coordination, and before I knew it, I was in a chapel. It seemed innocent enough; you know, it's a holy place.
There's nothing there but tortured screams, cries, and death; there's nothing there but Alma.
When I first saw Alma I laughed so hard my eyes hurt. She looked like a Power Rangers villain that didn't make Rita Repulsa's B Squad. The battle started, and I was shocked. Every time I attacked her, she did a flip-dodge, and every attack she landed on me did-in most of my health.
Now Alma wouldn't have been too hard if I had any healing items at all. Left naked in the sun, I had to defeat her with my skill alone (problem #1). Finally, in what felt like days, I learned her tactics.
She was dead.
I am the girl in this picture
I was done. Finally, 2 hours later, I was free of my seemingly eternal torment. 6 more hours of the game flashed like lightning. I felt a sense of relief coming over me; even though Alma swore to me that she would be back, she was no where in sight. Then it happened.
Ziggarat. Alma Form 2. Spider body. All memories of that event are just fractured thoughts. I vaguely remember the shock of Alma actually coming back very late in the game when I thought I had been purged of my arch-nemesis' effects.
All I remember is killing her.
I cried. The joy overtook me like a sack of potatoes dropping right on my head. But wait! I had to leave in order to be on time for work the next day...I had to leave my saved game on my friend's hard-drive, who was graduating that year...I head to leave my hopes and dreams.
Funnily enough, I actually ended up going to Christopher Newport. My first day on campus, while perusing the local shopping mall, I came across a Gamestop; and what did I see on sale? A used copy of Ninja Gaiden. I mustered up the courage and decided to tough it out again. Alma got her shit wrecked. I sliced her on every parry, and dodged all that she could muster.
I decided to play hard mode, innocently enough, and said to myself "if Alma is too hard, I'm just going to quit, ok?" 30 minutes into hard Alma I decided to call it quits. My roommates were in at the time and called me a chicken.
Oh no they di'nt.
1 hour later amidst loud cheering, Alma was vanquished. Next stop, Spider Alma Hard.
Pressing my luck, I ventured into Very Hard. I had similar experiences with Alma, even though I was very prepared for the occasion this time, stocked with healing goodies. Eventually, health couldn't save me...
An unpleasant surprise
In Ninja Gaiden, on Very Hard, the enemies change, and in some instances, so do the bosses. I had just mastered Alma to the point of near perfection; I did it! Alma would never again trample me with her salmon-feet and slick buttocks. I had made the decision not to venture into the next difficulty level, and all I had from here on in was to defeat a few more easy bosses, then the final foe.
Final area. Final boss gauntlet. Alma: reincarnated. I couldn't believe it. Team Ninja shamelessly used Alma's character model to re-create an entirely new boss fight only found in Very Hard. 3 hours, 2 popped blood vessels, and 1 busted controller later, and I had beaten the game. I promptly turned it off and never looked back.
To this day, I have not beaten Alma on Master Ninja. She is a hurdle that I must cross before my time is up on this Earth. Once I beat her, I think it would just be best to sell the game and never speak of her again. Never before have I experienced that much pain in a video game, and I do not foresee anything like it in the future. Alma tormented me a total of 7 times before I was finally through with my anguish; and I still have another 3 to go.
Ckarasu, I hope you enjoyed it; my copy of Soul Nomad just broke.