[Hello again everyone! After some chaos last week, Monthly Musing promotions have returned! Except, they're not called Monthly Musings anymore. Welcome to Bloggers Wanted -- something very similar to Monthly Musings, but not necessarily on the strict schedule of the past. Going forward, there may be multiple topics active at once that last for various periods of time. Expect to see some quick calls for blogs around E3, or perhaps a call for blogs related to a just-released game or major gaming event. Don't worry though, the old Musing style topics will be sticking around, although they may become new topics every two weeks rather than for the entire month.
With that out of the way, have a look at Ali D's P2 Press Start blog! He fondly reminisces (with retro-goggles, no doubt) about the times he and his friends would all sit together in front of a tiny CRT TV and shoot each other in Goldeneye, stab each other in Bushido Blade, and do other unspeakable things to each other in a number of other games. P2 Press Start blogs will continue to be promoted throughout the month (and on a more regular basis now), so if you haven't written one yet there's still plenty of time. -- JRo]
If anything has been made clear by the recent PSN outage is how multiplayer gaming has changed since the advent of online gaming. Not that it's anything new, people were playing online Quake back in the mid-90's, but back in the day, your main multiplayer fix came from sitting in front of a TV with your mates.
During the 90s, I was pretty much without a games machine; my brother and I shared an NES towards the end of the 1980s and that was all I had until I bought a Dreamcast shortly after it's launch and I bought my first PC after my first year at uni in 1999. That's right; no SNES, Megadrive/Genesis, Saturn, N64 or PS1 for me. My gaming teenage gaming experiences came from going round to my friends houses and playing some multiplayer stuff, whether it was Nik with his PS1 (and his Atari Jaguar, but the less said about that the better) or Matt with his collection of consoles.
Our favourites varied, but Goldeneye was a particular favourite, despite the fact that I was absolute rubbish at it. We had specific rules, like no one could go Odd Job as he was smaller than the other characters and therefore (in our minds at least) harder to hit. Our friend Euan, who would just come up with the most random phrases, used to love the dual-wielded Klobb setup and running around shouting I'm gonna Klobb-inate ya!!”. I was rubbish at the game seemingly because I just didn't play it enough as my friends (a precursor to most of my online FPS experiences); I remember one time Nik seeing where I had spawned and declared "I know exactly where you are, expect death in 3.... 2.... 1...." and proceeded to shoot me in the head.
When we all left school, my friends moved to other cities to study at university, whilst I studied and worked part time, where I met a bunch of guys my age who were all big into videogames. By this point I’d gotten an X-Box, whereas my friends had gotten PS2s or Gamecubes, and despite playing more and more single player games on my PC, weekends usually found me at either Ross or Grant’s place playing a console game. Usually that would have meant me being absolutely pummeled at whatever was the game of choice at the time. However, now was the time of multiplatform titles that everyone could play, regardless of what console they had at home. And what did we play....?
Tiger Woods PGA 2003
A lot, to the point where there were 4 of us in a small room, all playing as Tiger Woods and only having a single shot be the difference between the winner and runners up. Here, thankfully, I could play the game on my own and practice so I wasn’t the whipping boy all the time. This was probably the last great period of local multiplayer gaming that I’ve really had. It’s highlighted by two different by great experiences. The first was a Xbox party round at the flat Chris (aka Badger) had, one weekend where we got some extra TVs and played Halo via a cobbled together LAN. Lots of fun (we even took a break to see Rangers beat Motherwell in the Scottish Cup Final), some custom games were created, booze was consumed and it was lots of fun.