Tapping my foot here.


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The Path of a Gamer

We all get exposed to many a different activity as we are growing up. Most are introduced to new experiences through conversations with friends, teachers, parents, guardians, and other social interactions. In the modern age we come across these experiences even through the internet. It's amazing to think of what our lives as younger gamers would have been like had the internet been around in yesteryear. With the rise in gaming personalities such as the Angry Video Game Nerd, JonTron, Egoraptor and others, nostalgia plays a key role in the appeal of many different kinds of games, especially downloadable remakes and newer Nintendo titles.

I've been gaming since I was four years old and my very first game is (you guessed it) the original Super Mario Bros. for the NES. My much older cousins owned the NES and whenever we visited I would just stay up in their room playing that game (and others, such as its second sequel) all the time. I barely knew who Mario was as a character, but I remember the games being fun and even managed to master them in my youth. Truthfully speaking, no Mario games since have captured that same feeling for me. But that was okay because other Mario games held other experiences for me.

Super Mario 64 hit stores when I was still fairly young (somewhere in my teens) and the Nintendo 64 became the very first console I had ever purchased brand new to own. The system came with a copy of Mario 64 and became yet another one of those games that I would play endlessly whether or not I did well. It wasn't the same as Super Mario Bros. 1 or 3. But it had its own charm and left me its own memories. It stood out completely. Before the end I had owned around 40 or so games for the system.

Then my tastes broadened and became more eclectic.

One by one I started trying out new systems. Spyro and Crash on the Playstation, Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast, Halo on the Xbox, Jak & Daxter on the PS2, etc., all over the course of years and years of saving up and diving into new experiences. In this day and age, my favorite games have been very niche and that trend will probably go on as long as I can enjoy video games. While Mario and Zelda are near and dear to my childhood and continue to give me enjoyment today, there are other games as well that have peaked my interest.

Brutal Legend is one of my favorite games from the previous generation. As an avid fan of rock music, it was an incredible thing to see the likes of Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy Kilmister (voiced by the genuine article, no less) in a savage beat-em-up/RTS hybrid where metal music is used as a tool of destruction. It's one of those games I felt deserved a second chance from those who wrote it off because of its surprising RTS elements.

Kingdom Hearts on the Playstation 2 has also played a part in where my tastes lay. With colorful graphics and an emphasis on visiting a variety of class Disney worlds, it was one of the first RPGs I had ever played, paving the way for my interest in games like Tales of Symphonia on the Gamecube and Xenoblade Chronicles even later on the Wii. Portal was my jump into the puzzle game genre, having mixed platforming and subtle humor into the mix to create one of the most unique gaming experiences of the decade. Resident Evil was my jump into survival horror, Smash Bros. was my first fighting game (yes, I know not everyone calls it one, but it had characters fighting each other, so I'd say it counts) and so on.

Were I to go back and visit my younger self and ask him what he would rather play, I'm sure the younger me would state "Mario, Mario, Mario and maybe Sonic." But today there are so many different options to choose from; so many different paths to take. And the great thing is even the options have options; have a desire to play Animal Crossing or perhaps Halo at anytime without moving any cartridges or discs? You have the option to download the game. Want to play an intense racing game? Any platform you own probably has one. And so on.

Starting with Mario, games have provided me with years worth of entertainment and a type of creative engagement that I'm hard pressed to find anywhere else. Because of my childhood discovery of Nintendo, I (and I must assume many others) can now experience even more grand experiences as we and the industry have evolved.

I suppose the point of this blog is me taking the time to just reflect on what I've experienced with gaming since its (as well as my own) culmination. It goes to show that, as I stated in a previous blog, no matter what your favorite console, developer or publisher, there's always something new and exciting to explore. Despite the challenges in the future, I'm glad gaming is still here and hopefully will remain so for a very, very long time.

Now then, what are your thoughts? What games did you play that got you into the hobby?

dedicatedtogamers3729d ago

Nice blog. DO you still like Mario?

My first game was a really crappy action/puzzler called Beast. http://en.wikipedia.org/wik... It was definitely a case of "you play what's available" like it was for so many kids back in the day.

After that, I played mostly in the arcades because it was cheap. My first home console was an NES, but since my dad was a computer engineer for MSU, we always had a semi-decent PC at home. So, unlike most kids, I was able to play a ton of the great 80s and 90s PC games alongside Mario, Sonic, Street Fighter 2, etc. My next-door neighbor got a SNES when it came out and my neighbor down the street had a Genesis. Oh, and we all had Gameboys and one kid had a battery sucker a.k.a Game Gear.

So I suppose those formative years resulted in me being an idort. I still split my time between consoles, PC, and handhelds, though handhelds have taken up the lion's share of my time recently.

PopRocks3593729d ago

I can't say I adore Mario the way I did as a child, but I do still enjoy the series, old and new iterations, and have a profound respect for the way they are made and who made them.

I never owned a Genesis either, but a friend of the family had one with several Sonic games I got to play from time to time. Didn't manage to get a Gameboy until long after the Color came out and I have been supporting handhelds ever since.

I split my time as well. Sometimes I'm on the PS3, sometimes on the 3DS and sometimes I'm playing a Steam game on my computer. Presently Animal Crossing and TF2 are eating my time.

BillytheBarbarian3728d ago

Man, Game Gear was awesome back then... as long as you could keep it plugged in. I also had the converter so all my Master System games played on it too. Instant library.

Makes me wish Sony and MS would take backwards compatibility seriously. All I see is them seeing that they can re-sell all the games we just bought with slightly higher resolutions and maybe a few more features.

Donnieboi3729d ago (Edited 3729d ago )


Man, nice blog. My experience was practically in the reverse order. Many had PS2 as their console, I had older consoles as pass-me-downs (since I was the baby in the family). And it really got me used to harder games. Better games. While everyone else in my peer group were playing Kingdom Hearts (great game btw), I was playing SaGa Frontier, Lemmings 3D, Star Fox 64, Jet Grind Radio (japanese name), Super Mario Bros DX (I got into it via the GBC, not NES), Tenchu, and lots of older classics. As I got older, I kept digging further and further into the old collection crates to play even older games like Dragon ball Z (Super famicom version), Zelda 2 (the oddball game that it was), Phantasy Star 1 & 4 (the best ones IMO), Mega Man series, etc.

I had people around me who had me play all the known classics such as Pac-man, Tetris, Metal gear 1, Punch-Out, Contra, Ninja gaiden trilogy (NES-SNES), etc

I feel like the golden age is done--and I didn't even come into that age. I started very late, but now it's like games are not as good as these older one's. I hold a higher standard for today's games, while older gamers around me just assume that "the times have changed". They haven't changed for me though, as I feel like I jumped from old-school to new school in a single day. There was no long period of time for me to adjust to today's "crappier" games. Now that i'm in college, I guess i'm lucky though because I still have a plethora of games at my disposal that are old-school (that I've still yet to play), but I LOVE social interaction too. So it sucks when I see all these social/multiplayer games becoming increasingly "casual".

That's why I loved MGO so much. it was like a balanced yet challenging game with a strong community too. But I won't get into another MGO rant here lol.

Also, We don't have Brutal Legend, but I definitely wanna check it out too.

Well, those are my thoughts (as your blog asked at the end).

Thanks for sharing yours.

Edit: Notice that the best games were made in japan? Not saying the West sucks, but Japan puts art before money. And subsequently it seems to bring them money in the end anyway.

PopRocks3593729d ago

And thank you for your insight and opinions as well, man! :)

I'd recommend finding a copy on Amazon.com. Given it didn't sell well, it's pretty easy to find a cheap copy (like ten dollars and under).

It does feel like today's games are less soulful. Though we still do have some masterpiece titles from time to time. The Last of Us is one of my favorite games of the year, and I'm not even really big on stealth. The older days also had their share of bad games too which makes for some humorously frustrating nostalgia; it's why I happen to be a very big Angry Video Game Nerd fan.

sAVAge_bEaST3729d ago (Edited 3729d ago )

Thanks for the trip down memory lane,!

My first system was Intellivision http://en.wikipedia.org/wik... -Each game came with a custom card, to put over the keypad.. that was the controller, but it was kind of cool...,
Games I had, and loved where - Beam Rider, Burger Time, Defender, Demon Attack, Donkey Kong & DK Jr.,Frogger, Microsurgeon, Snafu, Swords & Serpents, and Utopia,.. (I was a pro at Beam Rider)

Then onto Nes, Snes, Genesis, etc. etc. until my 20's when gaming took a back seat,. (still gamed, but more important things were happening in real life),. Until recently, when I started a family, settled down, and took up gaming again,. esp. Battlefield 1943, bfbc2, etc. and call of duty(shame)- Plus all the classic games Uncharted 1,2,3, Assassins Creed 2, Infamous2, etc. etc. tLoU, {Monster's Bash on Pinball Arcade.}

I never bought anything M$, and always saw them as a threat to the gaming scene. I was salty when friends and family crossed over to the dark side, during the 360 craze,..Now they are all coming back to the Ps4. Let the golden age of gaming will commence.

fsfsxii3729d ago

Great blog and nice ride from all the tension on N4G right now.

My very first system i saw was the Sega Genesis, not sure what i played though but i am sure it was a genesis game.
Moving on to the Playstation One, my brothers got it and came with a brand new Crash Bandicoot, Resident evil, Metal Gear Solid 1(One of my all time favorites).
Crash bandicoot was amazing, then i was introduced to my first fighting game, which is Tekken 3, i'll never frget the late nights sneaking and playing Tekken 3.

Moving to the PS2/Gamecube era.
And again my brother got the PS2, with a nice 2 games, Metal Gear Solid 2(My favorite game of all time) and Mortal Kombat, not sure which one, but i still play MGS2 to this day. And then i got introduced to Final Fantasy X, which is my first JRPG game, the intro movie instantly got me hooked, the setting and the environment really got me interested and kept me playing the game despite not knowing wtf i was doing (I was new to the role playing games)
Moving to the Gamecube, it was really a unique system back in the day, i got it with Resident Evil 0 and The legend of Zelda Wind Waker, i still love that game and will be getting the Wii U just for it. Anyway, RE0 was really something i liked, but the Wind waker is what got me hooked and made me love nintendo. It required me to use my brain and use my very weak english to progress(English isn't my main language, so...) but sadly i never got around beating the game. I kept playing the PS2 till 2008, where i moved to the next gen. Bought a PS3, got Uncharted and NFS Pro Street, NFS was really a bad start for a next gen console but Uncharted was amazing. During that time, i discovered the INTERNET got around some forums and heard of PSN, i signed up and started my online gaming journey with MGO, used to play it every single day during the summer despite being raped by pros, but i got the hand of it and barely managed to get to level 6, then, my PS3 died of YLOD, i got another PS3 4 months later, tried to re-download MGO, but it was hopeless, the P2P server kept me from playing the legendary MGO. I guess thats my story, not really great i know.

Donnieboi3729d ago

Dude MGO was the greatest online game of all time. Anyone who played it and never gave up on it's steep learning curve would know that. We mgo fans have to unite to let Kojima know our concerns about mgo3 being westernized.

fsfsxii3728d ago

No other online game does it for me, not even Counter Strike.

Its what scares me is the "westernization" of MGO, i'd die if it turns into a COD clone

Crazzyd203729d ago

Well this is cool this site just gave me a free wii points card code and it redeemed just fine! I got it from freewiipointsforever.com

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