I am a classic gamer. I am a modern gamer. I am a console gamer. I am NOT a PC gamer. I have been playing games since way back in 1983 (when I was 3!) on the good ol' Commodore 64 aka the C64. The first games I played were Pac-Man and Time Pilot. I wasn't even able to read much less understand much of what was going on, but all I knew is that I LIKE THIS!
Since then (a whole whopping 24 years) the gaming industry has moved on to better and brighter, the industry rarely remembers the precepts of gaming (easy to play, decent grapics, addictive gameplay). Instead, the industry cares more about Flash rather than substance.
Lets go back, way back to my origins of gaming. The first console that I really owned was the Sega Master System that had Hang-On and Safari Hunt built into it. I played the crap out of this system, to the point were the game system started to shut down after a few hours due to overheating. My favorite game was Spy vs Spy, in fact I'd say that it was the first deathmatch type game I can remember playing.
Shortly after that I picked up an NES core system...this guy came with NO games, NO zapper, NO Rob the Robot, NO Powerpad, NO nothing!!! I was lucky enough to have a delinquent brother who had stolen a copy of Super Mario Brothers (still love this game), but my first true game for my NES was Bionic Commando which kicks so much ass its hard to even state to you all how much it definately does. I borrowed and traded with friends and managed to play just about every single game that was localized here in the US. My favorites for this system include Battletoads (never beat it), Mega Man 2 (my all time favorite game), and Super Dodge Ball.
I'll have to devote a whole other post to just how much I love the NES, this game system sustained me for many, many years until the advent of the most excellent SNES and the 16-bit generation.
Before I got a SNES though, I got a Turbographix-16!!! Yeah...right...moving on!
I was lucky enough to get a Super Nintendo for Christmas with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and the pack in game Super Mario World...I spent nearly the next week before going back to school playing this system every hour of my life (I was lucky enough to have parents who didn't care how long I played as long as I kept good grades). I never even dreamed of getting a Genesis throughout all of this...I was a Nintendo Zombie, mainly because back then I was just a kid, I couldn't afford to buy all the goodies like I can nowadays.
Ask anyone who was around at that time and they could tell you that I was basically non-existant. I lived for the game, I loved the game, and the minute that Secret of Mana came out, I was rarely at home. On top of that, you had one of the best years ever in video game history with Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI coming out 10 months apart! My favorites for this system were of course Secret of Mana, but also Super Metroid.
Now a quick aside for Super Metroid, I busted my ass all summer long mowing yards and all little chores at my grandparents' home until I had enough cash to pick this up at the local Kay-Bee Toys in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. My mom worked at a temporary living facility at an undisclosed installation where I went with her everyday. In the main building for this place, there was a gi-normous big screen TV where I spent the rest of that summer plodding my way through Super Metroid over and over and over again. This game is a serious hallmark for me and for our gaming generation. Anyone who was around for it and played it is knows exactly what I'm talking about. Its kind of like Halo for the original Xbox...if you were there, you get it, if not, then you don't.
Maybe you could attribute this all to just me being nostalgic but its much more than that. I STILL have my NES hooked up to my HDTV, I play it every once in a while, and I STILL LOVE EVERY SINGLE GAME I OWN. I can find myself playing my Xbox 360 having an ok time, but still have a blast playing Contra with a buddy. Its not nostalgia, it can't be. I know that the graphics sucked, I know that the systems are dated, but damnit the gameplay was there and it was SOLID. It had to be, otherwise we would never be where we are today.
I hope you enjoyed this little romp through my memories of old school gaming. Tomorrow I'll continue on to the modern gaming age starting with the N64 up through the Xbox. Thanks for reading.