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Look But Donít Touch: The Allure of What You Canít Have

This generation, its commonplace for people to own two or even all three current consoles. Years ago, this was far from the case. Gamers were forced to carefully weigh the pros and cons of each system and pick what would be their video gaming conduit for the next five years. This is partially why console wars were so fierce then; no one wanted to feel as if they made the wrong investment, hoisting their flag under an inferior faction. But decades later, I still wonder if I made the right choices. No matter how devoted the fanboy or loyal the zealot, everyone always wonders if the grass is greener on the other side. These consoles are the forbidden fruits I couldnít have, yet pined for in stores during the holidays and coveted in magazines. Deep down, even today, I still feel pangs of desire for what could have beenÖ

Game Boy
Bah-DING! Ah, the little puke-green screened tank that could. It seemed like EVERYONE had one of these except me. No matter though, that just meant that I had plenty of borrowing options during recess. Some of my fondest gaming memories are on one of these, trying to fit in a good 30 minutes of playtime as our carpool made its way to school.

The only things sure to survive a nuclear holocaust: cockroaches, twinkies, and Gameboys

Angry birds eat your heart out: this is still the best casual game of all time.

Being a gamer in the early 90ís meant being forced to make the hardest decision in gaming history: Genesis or Super Nintendo? Unable to resist the temptation of blue hedgehogs and streets of rage, a Sega fanboi was born. I donít regret my decision that fateful autumn day I was asked what I wanted for Christmas, but it doesnít mean I wasnít jealous. Iím sure that missing out on gems like Star Fox, Link to the Past and everything by Square changed me as a gamer. Iíve done a lot of catching up over the years, but some titles like Mario Kart Iíll never fully be able to appreciate.


I can still remember looking at these longingly in the case at Electronics Boutique. Okay, I only really wanted this for its great name. That, and Bonk! Still, Bonk was freaking awesome.

Only one controller port...okay?

Three letters: S.N.K. Samurai Showdown, Fatal Fury, Metal slug. What other system could boast arcade perfect games? I wanted one SO very badly. Too bad the system was $650 and the games were $200-$400. If I ever won the lottery, I knew what the very first thing I was gonna buy.

Only rich kids need apply.

Phillips CD-i
The motherfucking Phillips CD-i. I didnít say all these consoles were good, did I? The bastard mutant lovechild of a partnership Iím sure both Phillips and Nintendo would rather forget, the CD-i was still groundbreaking for its day. I can still fondly remember staying up super late to watch this horrible infomercial over and and over again, and wanting one SO very bad. It had Space Ace and Dragonís Lair people! And to a young, sugar addled gamer in the 90ís, that was enough. Also: ZELDA! If you listen closely while playing, you can hear Miyamoto sobbing softly in the background.


Sega CD/32x
Love em or hate em, Sega was ballsy as hell for making these. Not content with the 16-bit cartridge era anymore, they dared to venture into the mysterious realm of CEEDEES. It begs the question if Sega didnít choose such half-assed milquetoast add-ons, they probably could have created a cheaper, more awesome Saturn that would have curb stomped the PS1. Instead, we got mostly crap that would be right at home on the CD-i: Night Trap, Sewer Shark, and Slam City with Scottie Pippen. Despite their shortcomings, we still got one of the greatest Sonic games ever in Sonic CD, and great ports of Doom and Virtua Fighter. Also, the only American version of Kojimaís Snatcher.

Form feet and legs! And Iíll formÖthe greatest console clusterfuck of all time.

Atari Jaguar
Atari: putting the suck in 64-bits way before Nintendo did. Still, respect must be given considering this was Atariís last shot at a console. The Jaguar really could have been decent if not for the lack of almost ANY GAMES. Honestly, I still would have bought it for just Alien vs Predator. The Jaguar also offered great versions of Rayman, Wolf 3D, and Worms.


Holy crap there were a lot of consoles released in a four year period in the 90ís. The brainchild of EAís Trip Hawkins, the 3DO really was actually a damn good console. Road Rash, Return Fire, Gex, Need for Speed, SF2 Turbo, Alone in the dark, superior versions of FIFA and Madden, the list goes on. It really is too bad that it was positively murdered by its $700 launch price.

Sega Saturn
Last but not least, we have the Sega Saturn. One of my greatest gaming regrets was not trying harder to get one of these. There are a downright criminal amount of Saturn games that most gamers missed out on. Nights, Panzer Dragoon, Virtua Fighter 2, Fighting Vipers, Lunar 2, Burning Rangers, Guardian Heroes, and an insane amount of arcade-perfect fighters. Alas, gamer apprehension from the quickly dumped 32x and Sega CD in addition to the prohibitive $400 price tag quickly sunk the system. Not to mention the thing was damn hard to program for.

Obviously inspired the Dreamcast controller.
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About konaone of us since 10:16 PM on 10.21.2011

Ever since my dad held me up to a Pole Position cabinet to steer as he worked the pedals, I've been absolutely hooked on games. It just took me 25 years to figure out that I loved writing about them too. I don't have any particular genre biases, I'll play just about anything that involves pressing buttons (that's probably why I shouldn't visit hospitals...). This blog is just the thoughts of a guy who loves games, but is occasionally frustrated when they squander their potential.