When I was a kid, I didn't really have much of an opinion when it came to decent videogames. My collection of games were largely hand-me-downs from my Uncle and whatever my parents deemed as suitable for a 10 year old to be playing. Hopping 8 years in to the past, we were set to go on a boating holiday with some family friends and as a result, my mother didn't want me complaining about boredom every nautical mile so decided to treat me to a new game.
My choice was pretty easy. I saw that Crash Bandicoot
had a game out on the Gameboy now and considering how much I enjoyed it on my Playstation, I'd surely enjoy it on the Gameboy. Besides, it was called "The HUGE Adventure"
so it sounded pretty intense. Crash Bandicoot: The HUGE Adventure
was actually a pretty solid platformer and I enjoyed it. The only problem I had is it was too short and a little bit too easy. Once again, I'd fallen for the juvenile mistake of picking something because it looked cool without really thinking about it and whilst I had a game that could offer me instant gratification, it was also repetitive and didn't offer much replay value.
Fortunately for me, Crash Bandicoot
went missing after a few days on the boat and I'm not pointing fingers (yes I am) but I'm fairly confident (as was everyone else) that the son of my mother's friend threw it in the river in some sort of temper tantrum. It was a pretty awkward thing to discuss or imply on an otherwise pleasant family holiday so everyone let it slide but at the end of the day, I was still missing a brand new game and had to spend the rest of my holiday trying to get enjoyment from X-Men: The Reign of Apocalypse.
After a few weeks of sulking and generally being a little shit, my mother finally took pity and decided to buy me a replacement game. As we were looking through the games, I made a few suggestions which my mother denied and eventually she said something along the lines of, "Tim, why don't you try this game? I know it might not sound very exciting but the back has dragons on it and it's about warriors or something."
Back in the present, Golden Sun
is still one of my favourite games of all time and I frequently replay it. I also think back to other games she bought for me like Breath of Fire IV, Legend of Dragoon
and Fire Emblem
. I never asked for any of these games nor showed a marked interest in them but my mother seemed to know me better than I knew myself and as a result, I ended up playing some of my favourite games of all time.
As a child, I never really appreciated my mother's opinion when it came to gaming but now I'm older, I've come to realise the significance of her input. My mother taught me not to judge games by the title and box art which sounds obvious but so often as a child, I would buy something because it looked cool and it ended up being a pretty weak game. She also fostered my interest in games with roleplaying elements and decent storytelling where I actually had to work to get satisfaction.
So in conclusion, thanks mum for helping me become the patient and well educated gamer that I am today. Without your guidance, I'd probably be playing Kane & Lynch 2
right now and feeling pretty stupid for it.
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