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7:44 AM on 02.18.2012

Beginnings: The Life And Times Of A Video Game Fanatic

For as long as I could remember I have been a video game fanatic. It's been the one constant thing in my life ever since I was a child and will continue to be until the day I die. What started out as fun and games has turned into a way to kick back, relax, and escape all of my real world problems. Video games are my drug of choice and there is no better high than beating a level, earning a trophy or completing a game. It's the reason I can spend over $350 on a PS Vita and not regret a damn fucking thing about it. I didn't always have the luxury of buying the newest video game system though. It's been an interesting journey just to get to this point so join me as I relive my life and times as a video game fanatic.

The first video game I ever remember playing was Duck Hunt on the original Nintendo Entertainment System at my cousin's house. It was so much fun wasting so many hours shooting ducks on the TV with the orange gun the game came with that I begged and pleaded to my parents to get me my own NES. They agreed, but only if I earned it by doing chores around the house and other menial tasks. In the meantime, I would always go to my cousin's house to get my video game fix. After growing bored with Duck Hunt, my cousin ended up getting games such as The Legend Of Zelda, Contra, RoboCop, BattleToads, PunchOut and all of the Super Mario Bros games he could handle. I loved going over to his house, especially on the weekends when I would sleep over and we would stay up all night playing the hell out of that NES.

So, after months of doing chores and being on my best behavior, my father came home and told me he had a surprise for me. I was so excited. This was the moment I was anxiously waiting for, I was going to be the proud owner of my very own COLECO VISION?... WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT?!? To say I was pissed the fuck off would be an understatement. I hated my father for the longest time behind this. He tried his best to sell me on the Coleco Vision and how it was the greatest thing ever, even better than the NES, but I wasn't trying to hear that shit. The system just didn't appeal to me, the controllers were beyond hideous and the games fucking sucked.

My Coleco Vision came with 3 games; Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr and Zaxxon. No matter how much I tried to love those games, I just couldn't. Deep down inside I wanted to play the games everyone was talking about on NES. I never did get any other games beyond those three and to make matters worse, every time I talked about Coleco Vision with my friends, nobody knew what the fuck I was talking about and as a result they made fun of me, all because my dad was an idiot and brought me the wrong fucking system. At this point, my love for all things video games was starting to fade until...

My cousin got a Super Nintendo Entertainment System! And not only did he get a Super NES, but the spoiled little prick got a big box of games to go along with it. I never knew what jealousy was until I saw that gray gaming console with its glorious purple buttons. I wanted one so bad, but after the Coleco Vision fiasco I didn't trust my father to buy me another video game system. I had no choice though so we cut another deal where I would have to earn a Super NES by doing chores and getting good grades in school. Seeing as I was a good kid at this point in life that seemed easy enough. In the meantime, I had a fucking blast going over to my cousins house and playing his Super Nintendo. I basically lived at his house that summer because I never wanted to go home to my shitty existence of being a Coleco Vision owner.

To this day I still think Super NES is one of the greatest systems I have ever had the pleasure of playing. It had the best graphics for its time and it had one of the biggest collections of high quality games I have ever played. I wasted so many hours playing awesome games such as Super Mario World, Final Fight, Final Fantasy 3, Chrono Trigger, Earthworn Jim, NBA Jam, Donkey Kong Country, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Megaman X, The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past, Double Dragon, Home Alone 2, WWF RAW, Killer Instinct and so many more great games that this list can go on and on and on. So, did I ever get my hands on my very own Super NES? Well, not exactly...

My dad, being the idiot that he is, once again fucked up and brought me the wrong fucking video game system. Instead of getting me the Super NES like I asked for, he ended up bringing home a Sega Genesis. At first I was mad, but then I realized people actually know this system and while everyone was enjoying their Super NIntendo's, they all wanted to try out the Sega Genesis and I was the only one that had one in my circle of friends. While people would brag about playing Super Mario World, I would talk about how cool Sonic The Hedgehog was. While people played Final Fight, I was kicking ass in Streets Of Rage.

(Fun Fact #4538: The Coleco Vision controller was fully functional with the Sega Genesis).

This was the first time I ever remember there being a console war and it was great being able to say I played both systems in their prime. As time went by I started getting more games for the Genesis including; Beavis and Butthead, Ren & Stimpy, Fatal Fury, X-Men, Comix Zone, Tiny Toon Adventures, Golden Axe, Shinobi, Road Rash, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Captain America And The Avengers, Double Dragon, Vectorman, Splatterhouse 2 & 3, all the Sonic The Hedgehog games and the one game that almost put an end to all of my video gaming, Mortal Kombat.

At this point my parents would just buy me a few games here and there without really knowing what they were buying until they saw me doing fatalities in Mortal Kombat and banned me from playing any and all violent video games. I was fucking pissed. As a Mortal Kombat fanatic that was one of the worse things they could have possibly done to me. I still got my fix by playing at my cousin's house, but it just wasn't the same. In order to make it up to me, my dad asked me if there was any other game system I wanted that had more age appropriate games, so seeing as I was a fan of the Sega Genesis I decided to go portable and asked him to get me a Game Gear with a few Sonic The Hedgehog games.

Instead of getting me the Game Gear I had asked for, he ended up buying me a yellow GameBoy Color that came with the Pokémon Yellow game. I should have seen that one coming. I don't know if he found joy in getting me the wrong video game systems, but it never fucking failed with him. Thinking back on it, I should have always asked for the opposite of what I wanted. I'm sure he would have finally gotten it right. Anyways, I was never really into my GameBoy or Pokémon so I ended up giving the handheld system to my little brother. The only other portable systems I ever owned was the original Nintendo DS because I wanted to try the Castlevania games, the 3DS which fell into some water and now doesn't work and the PS Vita I just brought the other day. Even though I've never been into handhelds like that, I have high hopes for the Vita, but enough portable talk, let's get back to the home consoles...

As time went by, both the Super NES and the Sega Genesis were starting to be phased out in order to usher in the next generation of video gaming. Everybody abandoned the systems that gave them so much joy throughout the years in order to get their hands on the newest technology available. The new systems everyone was talking about were the Sega Saturn, Nintendo 64 and the new and unproven Sony PlayStation. Mostly everyone I know went with the proven player in the game, Nintendo, and jumped into a new phase of 3D gaming with their 64's. At this point my parents calmed down over the Mortal Kombat violence so I decided that instead of asking them for a new system, I was going to take all the money I had saved and buy my own damn system.

I never had a more difficult decision to make as a youngster. Not too many people were into Sega Saturn and the games available left a lot to be desired. I was going to purchase a Nintendo 64, but then I thought to myself, I can go over to my friend's house and play 64 anytime I want. Plus other than GoldenEye and all the exclusive wrestling games on the 64, I didnt really like the direction of the games I saw. The graphics were all boxy and the games were child like. Seeing as I always ended up with a different system than everybody else, I took the gamble and went with the PlayStation. Best choice I ever made! Sony's video gaming console changed the way I looked at gaming forever.

While my friends were playing their little childish games like Mario, Donkey Kong and Zelda, I entered a world of mature gaming. Metal Gear Solid, Parasite Eve, Resident Evil 2, Final Fantasy 7, Tomb Raider, Bushido Blade, Dino Crisis, Driver, Gran Turismo 2, Soul Reaver, Need For Speed and many more games changed the way I played games. Before I was all about the fun, but with PlayStation I was all about beating and perfecting my games. I became a serious gamer. People would go on and on and on about how their 64's were awesome and all I could do was laugh at them. Those fools, they didn't know what they were missing and I took great joy in being the one that introduced them to the world of PlayStation.

Shortly after, people outgrew Nintendo, which was hell-bent on sticking with family friendly titles, as more and more people flocked to the PS One. The unproven system ended up becoming the king of all gaming, but Sony was just getting started.

When the PS2 was announced, I almost jizzed in my pants. Never in the history of everdom had I anticipated the release of a video game system as mush as I did the PS2. I was one of the first people to get the console and I must say that this was hands down the best video game system I ever spent money on. Even 'til this day, with all the newer technology and technically advanced games, I still consider the PS2 to be the greatest video game system of all-time, even surpassing the Super NES, which is no easy feat. The PS2 had the best games ever. I absolutely loved playing God Of War, Devil May Cry, Onimusha, Call Of Duty, Tekken Tag, Medal Of Honor, Castlevania, all the WWF/E games, Gran Turismo 3, Grand Theft Auto 3/Libery City/San Andreas, Hitman, Madden NFL (pick a year), NBA Streets, Max Payne, and so many other great games.

PS2 improved on everything that made the PS One great and then some. It was such a complete video gaming experience that I completely overlooked Nintendo's GameCube and Microsoft's Xbox. I simply had no interest in playing any of those systems because to me, the PS2 was everything I ever wanted in a video game console. Even 'till this day I have never played a GameCube game and I once tried playing the original Xbox at a friend's house and I just didn't like it. The controller felt weird in my hands and other than Halo, none of the games really appealed to me. Speaking of weird controllers...

I did manage to put my PlayStation bias to the side and picked up the last system ever made by Sega, the Dreamcast. I always thought Dreamcast was underrated. I loved the arcade style games I owned on the system such as Crazy Taxi, WWF Royal Rumble, House Of The Dead and Jet Grind Radio, but my favorite game on the system had to be Shenmue. That game was all types of awesomeness that I'm about to go on eBay and repurchase the system just to play it again. My love for Dreamcast was quickly diminished though since Sega decided it was time to move on, abandoning the system shortly after it came out. Such a shame because the Dreamcast had the potential to be great. Oh well, at least there was PS2 to keep me entertained.

Once the PS2/Gamecube/Xbox generation came to an end, I decided to get a Nintendo Wii because I thought the motion sensor controllers where a great innovative feature. After two weeks of playing around with the Wii, I quickly became bored of it. I even brought Wii Fit as a way to make the system more appealing, but I grew bored with that too. Nintendo continued to stick with the family friendly games I didn't care for and thus I can honestly say that other than Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, I never bothered to buy a game for the Wii. To me the Wii will go down in history as the greatest dust collector of all time. Easily the worse video game system I have ever purchased.

When the PS3 came out I was excited to get it until I saw the $600 price tag. Sure it had a Blu-Ray player, but I wasn't about to spend $600 on a video game system. I was going to finally take the plunge and cross over to the Xbox 360 side, but then I started hearing about the "Red Ring Of Death" so I just decided to wait for a price drop on the PS3. When I finally got my PS3, it was the greatest day ever, until I went to play God Of War 3 and had to wait over an hour for the game to install on the system.

WHAT THE FUCK?!? I was pissed and if anyone was to ask me what has been the worse thing about this generation of gaming, my one and only complaint would be the mandatory installs. I fucking hate waiting and with all this new technology I don't understand why this is even an issue. Never in my video gaming life had I had to wait for an install. The only worse inconvenience I can even remember when it came to playing games was having to blow on a cartridge if it wasn't working properly back in the Super NES/Sega Genesis days.

Other than that this generation has been great. I love the polished HD graphics of my games, Blu-Ray went from something I didn't really need to an absolute must have and games like the Uncharted series, Killzone 3, Assassins Creed, Dead Space (series), iNFAMOUS, Gand Theft Auto 4, Metal Gear Solid 4, Rage, Batman Arkham Asylum/City, Bioshock (series), Resistance (series), Bayonetta, Saints Row: The Third, Red Dead Redemption and many more, have cemented my loyalty to the Sony PlayStation brand. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Xbox 360 hater and I loved playing Gears Of War at my friend's house, but I'm a PlayStation guy for life.

I don't care how old I get or what the future of video gaming holds, I will always be a gamer. What about you? Are you a gamer? Ever owned a video game system? Which one was your favorite? Sound off in the comments and thanks for reading.

Add me on PSN: D_3VIL_CITY   read

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