This is pretty difficult. At first i thought this was an easy subject to write as my first blog entry, but it was not.... how can i choose just one favorite game? i had so many, from many different platforms, different genres, different eras.
Im going to tell you about one that represents my favorite era of gaming: Contra Hard Corps for the Sega Genesis.
It was summer 1995, all the kids on the neighboorhood were outside playing soccer, or at the beach, or simply enjoying their vacations. Meanwhile me and my best friend were working our asses off to buy a new game for our Sega Genesis.
January and February passed by and we finaly make enough money to buy our desired game! after checking every gaming magazine (just one) and asking other guys who had a Genesis (just two) we decided to buy Gunstar Heroes. It looked amazing, it was 2 played co-op, had lots of bullets and it was an exclusive for the Genesis! what could possibly go wrong, right?
"What do you mean our money is not enough?" asked my buddy to the shop clerk. "exactly that, is not enough for the game you want" he responded. We were floored... we didnt had a backup plan, and we cant keep working because school starts next week. "why do you want that game? you know is kinda rare right?" No Mr. Smartass shopclerk, we didnt knew.
Maybe the sight of two 12 years old kids despairing wasnt his prefered way to start the day, so he blurted "B-But if you want something for 2 players i reccomend this one. Some kid trade it back because it was too hard for him, but maybe you two can play it"
"Isn't that a Nintendo game?" we asked. In our minds Contra, Ninja Turtles, Final Fight, Castlevania and Mega Man were made by the same company, for the same console. "no, its not from Nintendo, its from Konami, and it came out some months ago. You want to check it?" We nodded and he put it on the Genesis he had.
5 minutes later we were walking home with it and excitedly talking about what we just had seen. "Did you see that truck running over those bad guys?!? It had 4 characters to select! IT HAD A WOLFMAN!"
And the rest it was just the amazement 2 kids playing co-op in a run and gun game could provide. Sure, the game was hard as hell, and i believe the first day we didnt even pass the first stage. But we keep playing, everyday after school, for like 2 months. And then we finally finished it! the damn Alien queen-heart-thingie exploded and we were patting our backs and exchanging high-fives. "Another round?" i asked, and we started again. But this time, my friend told me "hey man, you know that after the first stage that cyborg enemy talk about something and we just press the buttons? what does it say?"
It was a pretty good question. We had no idea of english and just mashed buttons on any part with a dialog. But this time we took our time, try to read, bring an english-spanish dictionary and figured out what this misterious english thing mean. "It says something about rescue someone... wait... you can move?!? HEY MAN, YOU CAN MOVE AND CHOSE ANOTHER OPTION HERE!" Our minds were blown off... we had that game for more than 2 months and just now realized that it had branching paths.
Well, that's my story with my favorite 16bit game. Sure, we played a lot of others like Streets of Rage 1, 2 and 3, The Sonic series, Vectorman, Ristar, and another co-op gem like World of Illusion Starring Mickey and Donald. And before Contra, that was my favorite co-op game. But after it, the bar was raised.
Thanks for reading, and well, keep gaming with the same enthusiasm you had as a kid!