For me, my love of games and gaming developed thanks to how much I admired my older brother as a child. He’s my half brother, and 12 years older than me, so we never had anything to fight over. I didn’t exactly have a stable family life so throughout my early years he was my only positive male role model. As a grubby little 6 year old I spent a lot of time hanging onto his coat-tails. Thankfully this was greeted more with amusement than frustration for which I am eternally grateful.
I probably played my first video-game, Toejam & Earl on the Sega Megadrive when I was about 4. What is probably most alarming about my early years as a gamer is the absence of Nintendo. The first Nintendo console I owned was a Gamecube, which I bought on the cheap many years after it was released. I was barely aware that Mario existed until I was a teenager and my friend introduced me to him. To be honest, I remain unconvinced by Mario and the like, apart from the Paper Mario games, which are awesome.
One question above all others is asked between gamers across the globe: ‘What’s the best game you’ve ever played?’ I’ve been asked this many times and, like anyone, the answer can change depending on my mood, or just over time as new titles are experienced. However, recent queries around this issue have caused me to reflect back at the number of series and styles I have played, drifting back to some of the first games I ever played through to the most recent ones I’ve just reviewed. During this process I had something of an epiphany and it was this:
My life as a gamer began with a happy mix-up by my parents, who got me a Sega Mega Drive for Christmas back in 1991. I had asked for a Game Boy, but it was decided that my younger brother would be the one to get the Nintendo. Once my Dad had set my new console up, I popped in the game my parents had got me and turned on the power. As I raced through the Green Hill Zone of SonictheHedgehog, I knew right away that I was hooked.