Posted: February 13, 2009 (04:22 AM)
For some reason I've lately found myself thinking about what phases of my gaming life I feel most nostalgic about. I think I'm thinking about this because after RSI took my right arm out completely for months, I started considering long term ramifications. I expected I would heal up, but thought, 'Okay, what if I don't heal back to full, what activities can I remove from life, and how will I feel about living without those activities?'
When I was small, we had the Apple II. My friends would often come over and play it with me. Coin-operated arcade games of that time were more amazing than anything you could ever have at home, so I experienced breathless excitement whenever I got the chance to play them, either at milk bars or in the foyer of the Hoyts cinema in town. For years I always felt the same excitement wash over me upon approaching any arcade machine.
I guess the next phase was when people started getting Commodore 64s. The hours/days spent playing C64 games during sleepovers at their houses were great, especially because this was my first experience of real two-player gaming, whether competitive or cooperative. I kind of saw the Apple and the Commodore as the twin poles of gaming. Any good RPGs or adventures you had to play on the Apple II (the Commodore had the shittest, least reliable disk drive in the world...) but the C64 approached arcade quality in lots of its action games, and had the effortless two-player power.
In high school I got an Apple IIGS and suddenly had 16 bit games at home. This was awesome and again, I had a renewed round of friends visiting in the arvos to play, especially Zany Golf. Though secretly I was devastated that the IIGS version of Gauntlet sucked, when it should have been as good as the Amiga's. Every time you went to someone else's house, you'd see a different gaming platform. A IIGS, an Amiga, a Mac, a PC, etc. Cool time.
At the end of uni I got my first Mac, and entered what I think of as the beginning of the current era of gaming. PC games took off. Doom arrived and blew us all away.
Around 2000 I got a console for the first time ever, a Playstation. The first two games I ever tried on it were Um Jammer Lammy and Resident Evil 2. Poles apart, yet in retrospect, highly representative of the best of the range of the console. What was depressing about this time was the death of variety in games in arcades. Platformers, especially, disappeared, to be replaced by endless rows of gun and racing games. And from here we extend, all console-like, to the present.
Posted: February 13, 2009 (09:48 AM)
i love nolstagia. sometimes i wonder if i can continue playing video games steadily until i'm 40. my mind thinks i'm getting too old for this hobby but at the same time my heart wants me to keep on playing games until i die. i love video games too much. i hope your hand is gettingn better.
Posted: February 13, 2009 (11:04 AM)
For nostalgia, I have a certain amount towards the Atari 2600. I remember when I was a little kid, I'd "rank" my games, as I had a little case that held 20 or so carts and a shoebox that all the others were stuffed in. So, every couple of months, I'd have a day where I'd play virtually all of them for as few as 5 minutes or as many as a half hour or so.....and re-rank them according to that.
The main nostalgia I'm feeling right now is towards the NES, which probably explains why I'm spending so much time reviewing games for that system right now.
As the systems got more advanced, I feel nostalgia for certain games, but I don't think I do for those systems in general.
Posted: February 13, 2009 (12:53 PM)
Gaming for me has never really gotten better than the NES, which was my second 'phase' of gaming (and the longest lived). I started with the Apple IIe and still like it, but the NES was really the system that hooked me on games. Its influence survives to this day. After that I played and loved the SNES, naturally, but it's games were more like extensions of the NES than they were their own marvels. The N64 and PSX era were good, but my favorite games there were extensions of the SNES stuff... watered down but pretty. I wasn't really convinced that 3D gaming had entirely lived up to its potential, a feeling that persisted through the PlayStation 2 and GameCube era and right into the present. Games like Assassin's Creed and Grand Theft Auto are finally starting to do good things, but even then I'm just not sold on present-day gaming compared to the beauty of stuff from the NES era. I continue to enjoy games immensely and to be pleasantly surprised by new releases all the time--mostly stuff no one here cares to play--but I'm thinking now that nothing will never top the NES era for me.