This is something I've wanted to do for a long while, but I horrible at concentration. I can't really vouch for the validity of the order I finished these games in or bought them in, but that's not really the point. The point is the lessons I've learned because of what I have learned. As such, it's very likely there's going to be a LOT of games I won't list, because of shoddy memory, or because they just weren't important enough.
Also, I had to remove images for most of the cases. Apparently list urls don't like them.
We don't ever stop developing. That's at least one thing that separates us from animals. We continue to grow right until we grow out of our bodies.
Ignoring the quasi-religious joke, it's been some of recent for me to look back at my "gaming heritage". I find it kind of fascinating to see where I've come from. How far I've come. How much further I've got left to go. I feel it's pretty prevalent to understanding who I am and why I am. Naturally, it also serves as a nostalgia shock for me
PlayStation One - The Childish Era
I was born, according to your own definition, in the early to mid Nineties. The exact same year as the PlayStation One, as it turns out. I feel it kind of fitting we were both brought into the world at the same time. I'd like to think we'd both have the same level of impact on gaming in some way or another. That's wishful thinking for my future, though.
Kids love to interact and play. That's how they learn, through experimentation. I couldn't necessarily "play" the games, but I certainly f****ed around with them. I didn't see pixels, polygons, hearts, lives, rules, boundaries or anything like that...as far as I know, even though I couldn't put it into words, I saw this natural extension of myself. This grey box which made loud noises allowed me to do things I could only dream of...
The Initial Games
My first few games were either demos, racing games or Ape Escape, which I'm inclined to believe came with the console. My Dad loved the racing games, as per his enjoyment of motorsport. Specifically, the first few games I remember were:
- V-Rally - 98 Championship Edition
- Star Wars: Episode One: The Phantom Menace
- Destruction Derby
- Ape Escape
- Gran Turismo
- Formula 1 - 98 Edition
Note that of those games, only Ape Escape and V-Rally were full copies. Although I eventually acquired full copies of everything else (except Destruction Derby), I was mostly stuck with demos. I have a feeling that my need for having the "full game" (why I was willing to fork out $220 on a game we'll discuss later) spawned from this.
It's important to note that V-Rally's controls are quite frustrating, and it's no better with most other PS1 games. They're not awful, but at times they can be ridiculously precise, or too restrained and you get characters/cars that move on 35 degree angles. I think that's had a rather negative effect on the way I play today, as I'm always under and over-correcting everything. If I had to blame any game that was most guilty of this, it's V-Rally, which was also one I probably spent the most time on. Thanks, Rally game I never actually won a race in...
Like a Library for cool things...
You guys know Blockbuster? Let's not dwell too hard on what's happened to it, but rather focus on what it was; a video rental store. Kind of like a library for cool things. Well, I dunno if you guys had it, but Australia had a direct competitor called "Video-Ezy", and my Mum got herself a membership there. As it turns out, they allowed rentals for video games.
I could never afford games. I didn't get pocket-money like all the other kids. It was irrelevant anyway, since, up until this point, I didn't know any other games existed (I didn't even know there were other consoles). This place, however, provided me with a new opportunity. I could finally try out some games anytime my Mum wanted to watch a new (old) movie. The end result? I got to try out some of these titles (and later, I purchased some of these games for myself):
- Rugrats: Search for Reptar
- Rugrats: Studio Tour
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
- *insert some generic racing game either made or published by psygnosis here*
Aside from the racing games already in my collection, these games, which I only had a single week to beat, have instilled in me possibly the most poisonous and hated attribute I have today. Speed.
I don't know if I've slowly developed ADD or if I'm just less focused that I should be, but I can't sit straight anymore, and it's most apparent when I play video games. I was doing a playtest for somebody's game, and my teacher noted how, in comparison to other players, I just frequently blitzed through everything until I died, respawned and then attempted to do everything again with the same speed. Even though the game called for a slower, more strategical outlook, I had to rush through. It's a f****ing miracle I can play RPGs at all.
The Most Important Game I Ever Played
What were you expecting? Pokemon? An RPG? Halo?
I'm sure you've all experienced some kind of story, where something/somoneone is credited as the non-literal father of something/someone else. This is where I came from. This is my progenitor.
This was the first video game I ever remember getting for a birthday. It would have been about 6PM, sitting in the kitchen, right in front of my cake. A 6yo me tore open the wrapping and was utterly amazed. I was pretty interested in bikes at the time, but more importantly, I actually got a video game as a present.
I remember the game being easy, but fun. I spent weeks practicing, and I think it's the first game I remember actually feeling as though I was getting "better" at it. I can still remember those times when I finally nailed the stunt jumps and won my first bike race...good times.
But for me, there's something more important. Up until that point, I had never ever considered *creating* games. I had just seen these amazing worlds, and been so awe-struck, I never imagined how they came into being. That's when I discovered the level creator.
It was limited. Annoying camera. My designs were basic and horrid. But I f****ING LOVED IT. All those years of practice with LEGO finally paid off. I got my first taste of being a creator.
I don't think I recognised it back then, but the seeds for the future had been planted.