Posted on Friday, January 6th, 2012 at 7:30 PM by Tim Bowers
It’s the start of a brand new year and what better way to celebrate then to look back over my almost 30 years of gaming. Some of what follows is 90 percent true but as we’re dealing with a large time scale with at least 10 years of being abused by alcohol you’ll have to allow me some artistic licence in filling in the blanks!
I was born in July of 1982, despite what I may think my parents assured me I was not born with a controller in my hand, of this I think my Mother is most grateful, however it always feels like it’s been there. I was far too young to be aware of the “Great Video Game Crash” of 1983 but during my infancy gaming slowly started building itself up again.
I may have had an Atari or an Amiga before this but the first console I remember having is Commodore 64 Games Console. This came out in 1990 according to Wikipedia which I guess would be about right for my age. I don’t really remember having a lot of games for it, in fact i can only remember one.
Fiendish Freddy’s Big Top O’ Fun was essentially a very very early version of a Mini-Game collection. In it you were tasked with saving a circus from an evil business man and his henchman, the titular Fiendish Freddy, by completing six circus events and raising the $10,000 needed to save the circus. The events were Diving, Knife Throwing, Juggling, Trapeze, Human Cannonball and Tightrope Walking. During the events Freddy would appear to the sides of the screen and attempt to thwart your actions, such as during the juggling he would chuck on bombs that you would be required to chuck back at him before they blew up. I remember it being very difficult, although that could of been due to my under developed hand eye co-ordination.
As I said I can only really remember that game from the Commodore days but a year after getting that I got my hands on my first real console, the console that had almost single handedly revived the gaming world. The Nintendo Entertainment System.
My love for the “Big N” knows no bounds, in fact I have owned every Nintendo console that has been released and it all began with that little grey box of joy. I remember the slot that held the game in was broken so I had to use a cassette tape box (remember them!!) to hold the game in place when I wanted to play. I must of spent a small lifetime playing that machine. I kept mine for years and every now and then I used to dust it off and fire it up. Oh the games, THE GAMES!!!!! This was the start of the New World of Gaming. So many of the biggest franchises still going today started off with the NES. Super Mario Bros. Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Final Fantasy, Metal Gear, Ninja Gaiden, Castlevania, Mega Man. The list goes on and on.
During my time with the NES I also had a Sega Master System, it was ok, I did and still do enjoy Sega’s consoles but in the same way I’ve never really taken to Microsofts forays into todays market, I never really got on with Sega. Sorry. Go Team Nintendo!
After this you can follow my gaming life with the subsequent releases of Nintendo consoles. Our next stop is the Super Nintendo era and a game that devoured an entire Christmas Holiday and still to this day I can’t listen to George Michael’s “Jesus to a Child” without my mind thinking about it. It’s the one, the only, the sex bomb herself. Super Metroid.
The adventures of Bounty Hunter Samus Aran on the NES were unknown to me. I was possibly too young to really notice and too swept up in the colour of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. 3 to really notice the dark environments of Zebes but I found them on the SNES. The game blew my mind, it was like Zelda but in space and with aliens!! How awesome! I was running around, exploring, fighting giant space monsters and weird brain sucking things (later I would realise these were Metroids). It was everything a game should of been but was vastly overlooked back then. Still to this day the Metroid franchise is the forgotten child of the Big N’s Big Three. Did you know it was Metroid’s 25th Anniversary last year…..No didn’t think so, the fanfare that accompanied the Mario and Zelda anniversaries is sorely missing in celebrating the accomplishments of Miss. Aran. If you own a Wii and have never played Super Metroid you resolve this by downloading it from the Wii Store. I urge you to do it as it is one of the best games you will ever play. FACT!
I can’t move on from the SNES era without talking about The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. The first console Zelda since Zelda II on the NES. A Link to the Past was a return to the top down, treasure hunting, dungeon solving Zelda that people had fallen in love with but it was better oh so so better. Again the game reaffirmed my love for the series and still remains a firm favourite.
I think I may leave it there, we’re slowly heading into modern territory now but all you need to know is that if there has been a Nintendo Home system with a new Zelda or Metroid game – I have owned it. My love for these series is unwavering – even when one stumbles (Metroid: Other M)
If you were wondering I currently own a PlayStation 3 so my love is spread over both Nintendo and Sony.
If you don’t mind I will leave you with Jerry Springer style thought. To be a gamer in this day and age is a wonderful experience, it finally feels like Gaming as a hobby is being accepted, yes it may have taken the watering down of some of our beloved franchises and the invention of a new genre which strikes fear into the heart of any hardcore gamer (“Party Game”) but it’s where we want to be as an accepted and admired art form. There’s still enough people out there who would be happy seeing our hobby vanish from the face of the earth so don’t compound their small mindedness by hating on each other because I have a PlayStation and you have an Xbox and they have a Wii. Do you think the studios and the programmers and the artists and the developers give a crap about that or do you think they’re more concerned about being part of an awesome industry, doing a job they enjoy?
Take care of yourself, and each other!
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