My Life History As It Pertains to Video Games:
Back in the days on Pong, there was a hunting game
that came with a light gun shaped like a rifle. I
have no idea what it was called because I was about three years old at the time, but that's what my dad used to teach me how to shoot (until I was older and graduated to my first real 20-gauge shotgun). I was fairly unimpressed at the time, but at that age, you lose interest in things pretty fast, especially when you've seen everything the limited gameplay has to offer.
Then my parents bought the 2600. At first they were more excited about it than us kids, until my brothers and I began regularly beating them at Pac-Man, Asteroids, Space Invaders, and pretty much every other game. When we were finally old enough to see over the controls of an arcade cabinet though, we realized that there seemed to be a discrepancy between what we saw at the arcade and what we saw at home. My uncle picked up the Colecovision a while later, and while we
all liked the improved graphics, the wonky controller sort of turned us away.
It was a while before I got back into games again, but you can probably guess what did it. I went over to my cousin's house one day and he had just picked up a Nintendo Entertainment System. Super Mario Brothers was the coolest thing I had ever seen in my entire life. I had dreams about that game. It looked fantastic, and you could actually explore a whole videogame world, and it was the first time I had ever experienced anything like that. I was used to the static screens of Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, and Pac-Man.
After that, I was hooked. I forced my parents to buy me a NES, and I would stay up until 3 a.m. playing Contra, Double Dragon, Castlevania, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Life Force, and a million other games. I sort of held off on the SNES for a while, because the graphically updated NES games like Super Mario World didn't seem all that much different than the games like Super Mario 3 that came before it, but as soon as Street Fighter 2 appeared, I had to have that
too. Fantastic new game ideas were springing up left and right, and I loved it.
I took a break from games for a while in high school. Girls, getting a driver's license, and the rest of the troubles of adolescence sort of took precedence, and the dabbling in 3D technology that I saw was severely unimpressive. The jerky marshmallow graphics of Virtua Fighter just frankly looked like crap compared to the 2D beauty of Samurai Shodown 3, so I saw no reason to go on to the next generation of games.
Later on, when developers finally figured out how to make 3D games work, I came back in a big way. It all started with a demo of Armored Core at a friend's house. I was totally dumbstruck at how you could maneuver around in a 3D environment in a game that actually looked pretty good, and the depth to the game was just amazing compared to what had been available in SNES action games. There was just so much that you could do, even in the demo, that I couldn't believe it. From there, I dove into Tenchu, Syphon Filter,
Medal of Honor, and a bunch of others that pioneered 3D gameplay, letting us do things we had only dreamed of until then. They finally figured out how to make 3D games work, and I hadn't felt like this since the first time I saw Super Mario Brothers all those years ago.
Since I'm older now and I don't always have the time available to play everything I want, I have to be more discerning, but gaming will always be my passion. If I don't take some time every so often to play, I start getting anxious. Sometimes I'll be doing something totally unrelated and just get this urge to play and it nearly overpowers me (the GBA SP has saved me in
these situations countless times). I may have a
career that eats up a ton of time and friends and
family that ask a lot of me, but I'll always be a
gamer at heart, and nothing will ever take that away.
Top 5 favorites:
#1: Armored Core 3
#2: Samurai Shodown 2
#3: Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
#4: Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven
#5: Chrono Trigger