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?
Press Start writes: "There’s a lot to like about the new Forza Motorsport, then, but there are a few things that hold this title from back being truly excellent. While significant improvements have been made to the experience of racing when it comes to visuals, physics and audio – the AI drivers are a different story. Almost entirely unpredictable at times, the AI will consistently disrespect the racing line, side-slam your car and even brake check you during races."
ESTNN writes: "The Season 7 "Rise of Darkness" trailer for Overwatch 2 also gave us our first look at an anticipated Sombra rework."