My Interest in gaming began in grade school when my grandparents owned an Intellivision gaming system. Their ownership of this game system lead to an increased desire to visit my grandparent’s house and solidified their place as the coolest grandparents ever. For those who don’t remember the Intellivision, it was sort of between an Atari 2600 and a NES in capabilities, and was one of the the first systems to be able to run arcade games like Donkey Kong and have them look almost the same as they did in actual arcade cabinets and here’s what it looked like:
I have fond memories of playing Popeye, Burgertime, Donkey Kong, and Space Invaders. I had yet to become obsessed as I am now.
Then an Uncle introduced me to the Nintendo Entertainment System, at which point my mind was promptly blown. The Intellivision was quickly and heartlessly cast aside and forgotten as my interest in games grew. I started playing more graphically sophisticated games like Duck Hunt, Paperboy, and, of course, Super Mario Brothers.
Then I got an NES for Christmas one year and my interest in games blossomed into obsession. At this point I was a chubby kid(now I’m a chubby grown-up), I didn’t have tons of friends at school and it was around this time that my parent’s split up, so I escaped into games. I played a lot of Super Mario Bros. 3, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Wars, and a game called Captain Skyhawk. That last title is awesome in a way that only an ’80s game title can be. Am I right? At this point I had yet to actually finish a game. Here’s whatCaptain Skyhawk looked like:
On a later Christmas I got a SNES, and started playing JRPGs like Breath of Fire, Final Fantasy 3 (Final Fantasy VI in Japan) and Chrono Trigger, by the way JRPG stands for Japanese Role Playing Game. I’m not going to discuss the differences between Western and Japanese RPGs right now because I don’t want to waste the time of both the people who’ll read this. (Hi Mom) All you really need to know for the purpose of this story is that they take a massive amount of time to complete. Once I’d spent the massive amount of hours required to finish these games there was no going back I wasn’t ever going to be “normal” again. I got to the point where I’d REPLAY these games after I finished them. Sometimes I would turn the sound off and listen to National Public Radio while I played because I knew what would happen in the game so well. Here’s an image from my favorite, Chrono Trigger:
Some other Games I played during this time included: Metal Warriors, Contra III (I sucked at it), Super Mario World, Star Fox, Street Fighter II (I sucked at it), F-zero, The Super Star Wars Series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (I sucked at it),and Donkey Kong Country.
The next system for me was the Playstation, which I got as a Christmas gift. Actually I think the only system I ever purchased myself was a replacement for this first Playstation. Every other system I’ve had was a Christmas gift. Lucky me, right?
The two most important games on Playstation for me were Final Fantasy VII, and Final Fantasy: Tactics. If you’re a gamer and you had a Playstation chances are you’ve played Final Fantasy VII. I’m pretty sure that anything I have to say about it would just be a repetition of something someone else said about it at this point, so I won’t waste your time talking about it. You’re welcome.
Final Fantasy: Tactics, on the other hand, doesn’t get talked or written about even though it was pretty successful, so here we go. Final Fantasy: Tactics is essentially a game of chess that allows you to customize the pieces you use over time: players earn experience points for winning matches and use them to upgrade unit’s abilities, like how far hey can move and how powerful their attacks will be. The board is different in each match and the enemies you face change as well.. Chess, is an incredibly deep game that takes years to really master. Final Fantasy: Tactics, on the other hand is just a video game, but its as close as any video game has come to capturing the strategic depth of chess. There are some strategy games for the PC that I have no experience with that are supposed to be pretty close too, but, as I say, I have no experience with them, so I’d be a fool to comment on them on the internet. Here’s an image from Final Fantasy Tactics.
This was about the time I was in high school and I somehow managed to get a close circle of friends at school, despite my compulsive need to play games. I still didn’t get into going out to parties, or sporting events, or school dances, though.
Some other games I liked on the Playstation included: The Colony Wars series, Breath of Fire 3, Xenogears, Einhinder, The Tekken Series, Tobal No.1, Wild Arms and, of course Metal Gear Solid.
Then, on another Christmas I got a PS2 (Playstation 2), which I had all through college. One of the cool things about the PS2 was that you could play games from the original Playstation so I could play all the old games I was obsessed with over, and over, and over. None of the games for PS2 really hooked me as much as some of the other games I’ve talked about. I still enjoyed playing but, for whatever reason, I didn’t get as obsessed with the new games I played at this time. Some of the games I liked on PS2 were: The Got of War series, Tekken4, Dragon Quest 8, Okami, Shadow of the Colossus, Ring of Red, the Grand Theft Auto series, Ace Combat 4, and Killzone.
Then I got a PS3 and that’s mostly what I play on now. My current favorites are: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Borderlands, Mass Effect 3, Batman Arkham City, Resistance 3, and Dragon Age 2. Here’s an image from Skyrim.
I dabbled in PC gaming a while back too, but I could never really get into it because you need to constantly upgrade your computer, which gets expensive. At the time most of the best games were MMORPGs (Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Game) that charge subscriptions,too and I wasn’t making that kind of money.
That is my history with games, I figured since I’ll be writing about games readers might want to know where I’m coming from, so to speak.