A long time ago in a galaxy quite close by, lived a boy who chanced upon his dad's handheld Space Invaders and PacMan games. The sweet LED presentation coupled with his nubile 4 year old mind made it the ultimate way for his parents to keep this spoilt brat in his place.
Well until he saw his cousin sister play Mario on the NES. Which resulted in him making quite an embarrassment of his folks till her could get one.From crying and beating the floor at malls to screaming bloody murder he did it all to make sure he could play Mario, TwinBee, Spitfire and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in all their 8-bit glory. And when they succumbed, all was good.
Or at least it seemed to be, till he realized that he never knew how to plug the damn thing on, leaving him dependent on the parent folk yet again.
All seemed lost, and gaming sessions were infrequent, mainly due to his dad never being around to plug in his NES. However seeing the awesomeness that was the Sega Mega Drive with Sonic,Street Fighter and more Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle goodness, he proceeded to be a model child and get his hands on a Mega Drive. And learn to plug it in himself. At the tender age of 8.
And everything was beautiful and perfect again. But twice as good, after all it was 16-bits and not 8 this time around. His life felt complete with whooping his sister and friends in epic matches of Street Fighter 2, getting his arse handed to him in the mesmirising gore that was Mortal Kombat, and some epic matches of Brian Lara Cricket '96 Part 2. Add in some insane Streets of Rage (I and II) sessions and a few rounds of Maui Mallard, Alladin and Cyborg Justice and he felt that Sega was the be and all of consoles. Or so he thought.
Then in 1999 along came the PSOne with its stellar collection of games. He was blown away and proceeded to convince the parents it was better than the Dreamcast (which they wanted him to pick up) mainly due to the presence of a certain cricket game.
The next four years were less of a multiplayer frag fest and more of a single player introspection. Basking in the radiance of epic stories such as Final Fantasy VII, VIII, IX, Chrono Trigger and Vagrant Story. He transformed from a "social" gamer to a full blown Square-Enix fanboy. After all, the multiplayer sessions of Crash Team Racing, Quake 2 (grenade launchers for the win!) and Tekken were few and far between.
Due to his discovery of the internet and PCs at the same time, this phase was short lived. On being gifted Deus Ex for his 16th birthday,he realised that the PC, apart from checking email could also play a few great games, turning him into a major tech head who upgrades his system every year or so. As well as start a few CS/UT'99 clans. Bringing back the good old days of multiplayer madness.
Falling to the hype machine that was the PS2, XBOX and GC, he proceeded to purchase all three. At the end of the generation, only two systems survived. The XBOX died after just 8 months. Leaving him quite confused and perplexed. This was his first tryst with death. The death of a loved one after giving him close to 40 hours of KOTOR, finishing Halo 1 , JSRF and running rampant on DOA and Halo multiplayer, left him (if you can excuse the pun)inconsolable. However the memorable experiences that were MGS2,3, Paper Mario ,Final Fantasy X,XII and Metroid were just enough to get him through.
As for now, he remains undecided on what to do this generation. Should he get a new PC err...Xbox "RRoD" 360? Succumb to the old school goodness that the Wii seems to be? Or should he wait out and hope MGS4 stay as an exclusive so he can get a PS3?
All this and much more, once better console games are out for this generation! Join us same time, same place for a different kind of melodrama. Of the geek soap opera variety. read