Friday, 8 February 2008

I Wasn't Always A Gamer. I Had Friends.

To say my initiation into gaming was a smooth and glorious one would be much too flattering. In fact, my first real taste of gaming was probably nothing more to me than another pass-time in between creating Lego fortresses and riding my dog around the house. I had no idea how such a thing would engulf my life so profoundly.

It's hard for me to pinpoint the first experience I had with video games. Partly due to the fact that it was most likely when I was about 7, and partly due to the fact it's so late at night that the words on this screen have to be appearing by magic since my brain sure isn't doing this. So I'll just start reeling off early memories of "My First Games" and we'll see what we make of it.

The first thing that springs to mind is the Aladdin game on the PC, for Windows 90...-something. You played as Aladdin, surprise-surprise, in a side-scrolling...action-adventure game, where you had to fight enemies...and I'm pretty sure collect some kind of jewel...?

(When in doubt, Google it.)

"Disney's Aladdin is a video game based on the 1992 motion picture of the same name, released in the 16-bit era. The game mostly involves killing enemies with basic swordplay and jumping across ledges. Several levels were very different, including one level where Aladdin must escape from the Cave of Wonders on Carpet."

Paraphrasing this just a tad, I remember now that it really just involved jumping over rooftops in Agrabah, chucking apples at some slightly effeminate guards with very oddly shaven beards.

But I loved it though. 7 year olds must've been a very easy target market, considering I can remember spending months playing that game, (commonly not getting past the first level but shuttup) and not getting bored of it. And then I remember how many times it crashed because our computer could not handle the obvious intense graphics that Disney's Aladdin had to offer.

The second main event in my 'vie de jeux' I've kind of already touched on. It was the first time I experienced a Resi game. I say experienced because it wasn't me playing it at all, it was some friend of a relative or whatever, and there's no way my parents would let me within a metre of the controller. Regardless, I still got to watch what ensued on the screen.

And let me tell you now, the soul despairingly terrifying ordeal of watching low resolution characters get ripped apart, polygon by blood-splattered polygon will stay with me for the rest of my life. Up until counseling becomes an option at least.

I'm not sure, but I think this little event not only stopped me from playing a Resi game for years, but hindered my entire gaming experience. If only for a week or two. By the time my mind wandered back to games after my haunting, I had reached an age where my voice would be heard by my parents, and gaming for myself became an option.

At this point, we had a lot of gaming 'devices', none of which I had gotten into. To name a few (or all) we had a Sega Megadrive, Gameboy Classic (x3), Gameboy Colour (x2), Gameboy Pocket (x3) and a Playstation. Besides indulging in my brothers multiplaying needs, I really didn't see the draw to games. At least, I assume I thought this, but I probably wasn't smart enough at that time to figure out how to turn on most of these confounded contraptions.

This all changed however, when I got a Nintendo 64. My god, I swear that was god's gift to gamers everywhere. Not only did it have the best library of games ever conceived, but it had Zelda. ZELDA. I know we hear a lot about how this series was "the best evar" but just speaking for myself, IT WAS THE BEST SERIES EVAR.

And it all really started with Ocarina of Time. I'll spare going into detail and doing a whole review on it (I've learnt my lesson), I'll just say that I get goosebumps thinking about the time I had with that game. I would trade almost anything I have now to get that feeling of pure bliss, and wonder and utter perplexity that I had when I explored every nook and cranny, every new adventure that game had to offer. I thought nothing could best it. It was impossible. And then Majora's Mask came along. Needless to say, I loved this game even more. Many of you might disagree, but I found this game bigger, better, and prettier than it's prequel and more deserving of praise than OoT.

And it was pretty much "downhill" from here. I bought copious numbers of games for the the N64 and Gameboy, catching up on the years that I should have spent gaming, which I actually spent socializing with friends and playing with imaginary animals and things far less constructive.

I bought every Nintendo console from then on and I bought and all of the flagship games for each system. I became an avid Ninty fanboy after my first stint with Zelda, and it continued from then on, and I'm proud to say I'm still one today.

There's a part of me that would really like to have gone into more depth about all my past experiences with games. Heck, you may find me reviewing games from now that were on systems like the N64 or the Gamecube, since I know of so many gems that are overlooked, it's not even funny.

Next post we will see the introduction of a new feature, which I hope will give me a cause to expand upon more games from the past which I loved, but don't get your hopes up.

Yeah, I know the quality of writing sucked in this. You try acting coherent and suave at midnight.
-Aquatic Wanderer


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