(This is my first post on Dtoid, but not my first time here. I was pretty much a lurker until January. I wanted my first post to be with the "Playing With Others" topic, but it never happened. Hopefully I can make up for it with this.)
I sat in shock and awe when I woke up to the sight of the Christmas tree. There we're presents everywhere. I didn't know what I was going to open first. Then I inched closer and noticed something that seemed to not fit in with anything else. Disguised cleverly as an ornament was a Sega Genesis game entitled Sonic the Hedgehog 2. I did not really understand why it was there, I didn't own a Sega. My tiny little mind didn't put two and two together until later whilst opening presents, then it happened. I unwrapped the present that started it all, The Sega Genesis. I had been waiting for it for a long time, and at one point I thought I would never get it. It was also accompanied with Madden '94 which, honestly, I was not as excited about. And so the adventure of single player gaming began.
From the time I pressed start to the time I first put my controller down, was probably the greatest time I have ever had in my life. Never had I been so enthralled in something before. It felt as if Sonic and I were actually running up and down the coast of Emerald Hill Zone. Destroying the badniks and collecting rings. From level to level my smile grew bigger and addiction grew stronger. The images of the first time playing will forever be instilled in my mind. How I started the Sky Chase Zone and felt like I was going to jump off the plane on accident or sliding down the oil slicks on Oil Ocean Zone was actually exhilarating at that age. Upon beating the Wing Fortress Zone, I knew something legendary was about to happen. Running down the corridor only to meet Metal Sonic made me have my first nerdgasm. This also led me to my first mindfuck! Who knew Robotnik was going to do that! After beating the game, I realized that I had been searching for this all my life. I just didnít know it until that moment (Thanks Dante).
There is an almost medicinal feeling to beating a single player game with no help and no cheats. I think at a younger age it is a tad bit more satisfying, but the accomplishment of winning is awesome nonetheless. From Sonic I branched out to different games, even drifting over to, at the time, my arch-nemesis' system, Nintendo. The amount of time I put into Super Mario World and SMW2: Yoshi's Island was amazing. These games caused countless hours of dedication and frustration, which made the game more enjoyable and an overall pleasant gaming experience. To this day, I still think that crack or another addictive drug was infused with the cartridges of that gaming era to keep you coming back for more. Everything from Vectorman, Ducktales, Aladdin, Ecco The Dolphin, Earthworm Jim and others are what really shaped me into the gamer I am today. Just when things seemed they couldn't get any better, they did.
My 8th birthday brought me a Sega Saturn and Sonic Jam. To this day, Sonic CD is by far the best Sonic Game created. That year also brought great stress to my family and I. My brother, who was only three, was diagnosed with cancer in the bladder. All of this came at the same time my Father received orders we would be transferring to Naples, Italy. We packed up our belongings amidst the difficult times and had the movers comes in and take out things overseas. In a last minute decision, my Fathers command decide it would be better to stay stateside and re-routed his orders to Norfolk, Virginia. So on top of my Brotherís cancer and all of our belongings already in Italy we had to move to Virginia. As soon as we got on base we were taken to our temporary Townhomes where we stayed until our items got to Virginia. In the room I stayed, sat a Sega Genesis. I avoided depression by reliving the moments when I first got my Sega, until our belongings we delivered to us. The movers stole almost every important electronic device we had, including the Saturn I got for my birthday. I was devastated. Things didnít really look up for a while.
My Father surprised my brother and I one day with a box. To my surprise, it was a Sega Dreamcast!
He won it from a radio contest and decided to give it to us instead of keeping it for himself. He also went out and purchased Sonic Adventure for it. Once again I received that feeling that I got from Sonic 2. Though every Sonic Adventure game was bugged when they were released, it didnít matter. It felt as if things weíre going to get betterÖ For everyone. Things did start to look up in 2000. My Brother was dismissed from his heavy treatments due to the cancer shrinking and eventually fading away. The family seemed to be in a better place, and as for me, I was doing much better with my found love of video games.
Over the years Iíve played many great games
and plenty of bad ones.
Either way, nothing beats the feeling (videogame wise) of playing a solo game and enjoying it at your own pace. Getting away from the world, discovering things at your own pace, not being hurried up by a douchebag teammate online or arguing with a friend about what to do next. Things seem to just feel work better when your lost in a world when its just you and the game.
(I learned a lot of things writing this. I know it isnít the best blog on here by any means, and Iíll make sure to better formulate ideas to talk about it. I just got lazy and didnít feel like writing the whole thing.)