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1:23 AM on 05.16.2010

Runs in the family: Great Karts of Fire!

(Been a while, but I felt compelled to write a legit blog.)

Growing up, I had my fair share of single player gaming. Endless hours of Sonic and countless other Genesis games solidified my gaming spirit. However, I didn't always play alone. My Father and Brother were always in the mix. Whether it was passing the controller when you lost a life in Raiden III or competing in Mario Kart for hours, there was never a dull gaming moment.

My Fathers' gaming resume goes back to the early 80's. Arcade games such as Dig Dug and Burger Time kept him occupied for years. To this day his still brags about his top scores in Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga when he was a teen. Of course, he doesn't remember what they were... If you get a relatively high score in "Namcomuseum" or any other compilation package of old school games, it will NEVER be high enough. It wasn't just arcade games he had a fascination for though. Breakout the original Playstation and pop in R-Type Delta or Crash Bandicoot and be prepared to miss a show on television, because the entertainment room was locked down for hours.

Gaming in my family isn't limited to just my Father, however. At an early age my younger brother was involved heavily. Once we purchased a Nintendo 64, Mario Kart 64 was never turned off. "I'm Toad!" my Brother would always exclaim as we rushed to pick characters. Usually he never got his ways, but somehow managed to place most races. As I watched my Brother mature over the years, I've seen him game library increase in size and his competitive nature grow stronger. He is the Call Of Duty stereotype these days. Hopefully though, it is just a phase. It is just a phase, right!? (Oh god, he just asked me to post his PSN. How do I get this to stop.)

Do you enjoy a nice hidden object game? Me either, but don't tell my Mom. She is fairly new to playing games. She never really gave them the time of day when I was younger, but since last year she has been all about casual games. Bejeweled is among the top of the list, which is something I'm not to ashamed of. I have yet to introduce her to Peggle, simply because I don't think she will be able to stop... Also it may crash her AOL 9.1 that she refuses to get rid of.

Since my younger years to now, gaming with my family never ceases to amaze me. It has really brought us together over the years. From late night Mario Kart action (I still am the reigning champion) to pulling up a chair and helping my Mother beat her silly hidden object games, I find myself surrounded with the people I love the most doing the one thing I see myself getting involved in for the rest of my life.. It feels good.   read

4:28 PM on 09.20.2009

Gran Turismo 5 release date? (shortblog again)

Not sure if this has been posted or if it is even legit. Amazon usually holds true, though.   read

6:40 PM on 09.18.2009

Need For Speed: Shift and Destructoid = Godly? (shortblog)

I just wanted to thank everyone involved with the Dtoid and NFS:S twitter party, today. I won a copy of the game and am looking forward to getting it. I hope I am not the only one from Destructoid that won.   read

9:42 PM on 04.13.2009

Suggestions! I need them.

Growing up, I really didn't have too much a gaming life on any of the Sony systems up until the purchase of my PS3 at it's launch. I've played a few here and there, but never anything "hardcore" I guess you could say? My favorite PS1 game is Ape Escape, haha! I guess what I'm really looking for is suggestions for games to checkout on PS1/2. I have never really been too fond of JRPG's though, so many not too many of those.

Just some serious suggestions.

Thanks Dtoid.

Formatting fixed! I'm glanced at some of the suggestions, and a good deal of these I've played. Maybe I had more play time on Sony then I thought. Either way, thanks and keep the suggestions rollin' in.   read

7:28 PM on 02.24.2009

Playing With Yourself: A Boy and his Joystick(s).

(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.)   read

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