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My first gaming loves: a nostalgic look at consoles

SegaMegaDrive copy

I think I can say that I’ve been privileged to have grown up with an assortment of consoles; but when I think back to my earliest gaming days, images of drawn curtains and 16 bit colours reflected off my face in the mid to late nineties are etched quite vividly in my mind.

Sega Mega Drive

I don’t even remember school, or being told off by one of the parentals for playing games too much, all I remember was the addictiveness of the Sega Mega Drive. My first console and looking back, it was a pretty neat one at that.

Released in 1988 in Japan (the rest of the world saw its release in 1990) this sturdy little console found mainstream popularity amongst the masses – especially in my household. My brother and I would often battle over the controller to start a fresh game of Earth Worm Jim or Disney’s World of Illusion.

It boasted a wide selection of games including its flagship namesake – Sonic the Hedgehog and a great number of arcade and sports games. This continued to be the console of the house until the arrival of the PlayStation in 1994.

PlayStation 1

God, I still remember that noise of the initial console boot up. Like someone had gone into the cupboard, picked up a pile of plates and threw them to the ground and some thoughtful artsy person in the background finishing off the entire episode with a badly played recorder afterwards.

Oh I do recall some real fun with this console. 

I can’t remember the first game I got, but I do remember the first few games I had: Critical Depth, Tenchu, Doom, Crash Bandicoot and Croc: Legend of the Gobbos – a mixed bag right there.

From there I graduated to and fell in love with the RPG (Role Playing Game) genre which I believe really blossomed with this console. Even though I never bought my first two consoles (because; Question: How does a 6 year old pay for a Sega Mega Drive and a PlayStation?), I avidly awaited the release of the next generation.

PlayStation 2

The PlayStation 2 (PS2) in 2000 was where I would later scar myself for life with Fatal Frame 2 and other games in the horror genre.

Fatal Frame 2 fits in with the typical Japanese occult genre enriched with some morbidly beautiful folklore. It’s an action-adventure game with a story that revolves around two sisters Mio and Mayu who find themselves trapped in a village (which was coincidentally wiped out as a result of a failed ancient ritual). You control Mio, fighting off ghosts with a camera (yes, a camera) whilst wandering around trying to find your sister who has been possessed by the main antagonist, malice-ridden Sae (ghost by-product of said failed ancient ritual). The game itself is beautiful constructed, with a lot of attention to fine details present in characters, costumes and settings.

Today

Eventually, I found a distinct sense of complacency in being a PC gamer. After graduating from the PS2, I found myself engorged in the Player versus Player lifestyle in games such as World of Warcraft and Rift amongst other MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing game), entering a different plain of gaming altogether.

I wouldn’t say I’m as heavy a gamer as I used to be – it might just be a sign of age, but they just don’t make games like they used to; games that left you thinking afterwards; that drove imaginations, left you wanting more. Or stuff that was just plain fun.

Those pixelated graphics and (sometimes) complex story lines will always have a place in my heart. Maybe one day I’ll blow the dust off my old PlayStation and pop Final Fantasy VIII in to reminisce. I could download it on PC, but it just wouldn’t be the same without that god-awful plate smashing welcome and those dodgy dual shock controllers.

Photo credit: Steve Berry

11 comments

  1. Claudia says:

    They certainly were pioneers and lots of fun, but lets not forget the awesome SNES (Super Nintendo NES), with brilliant games such as: Chaos Engine, Super Metroid and Bomberman. PS: I still have my console & games….classic!

    [Reply]

    Chris Burbidge Reply:

    you should help Nintendo wii U tvii for 2014

    [Reply]

    Nthside Playa Reply:

    @Chris Burbidge, I 2nd that motion, Have owned A WiiU since release date, and am kinda bummed that the TVii Feature can be used everywhere else in the world but australia.

    oh but back to topic, Ahhh old Games,
    I still Play my colecovision every couple of weeks!!

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  2. Andrew says:

    My sister and I played Space Invaders on an Atari. I can’t remember whether we played Pac Man on that console or a Texas Instruments TI99. I played Lode Runner on an Apple 2c and 2e at home and at school – that was one of the original floppy disks. I was playing Command And Conquer: Retaliation, a PS1 game, on my PS2 yesterday.

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  3. Michael says:

    Good article and all but surely there is an older gamer at iiNet who could have done this article?
    Sure back in the late 80s to mid 90s most households either had a Sega (of some sort) or the Nintendo brand (nes & snes).
    How about the Atari 2600 or 7800 before that?
    Also, surely this writer had experience with other next gen systems in the mid 90s. I only owned a PS as well but it didn’t mean I didn’t get to use the 3DO before it, the Sega Saturn or the Atari Jaguar. It was a boom time for consoles!

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  4. Matt says:

    Thanks for sharing – I played Sonic for hours growing up!

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  5. Tim says:

    Pretty lame look back at the history of gaming consoles. I mean, three? And one of them is a PC? No Nintendo let alone Atari or Commodore 64? This is the worst gaming blog I’ve ever read, no offense.
    You guys can do better than this.
    x

    [Reply]

    Peter Reply:

    As the title was “My first gaming loves” I think the author did a fine job.
    I played many computer games over the years, on many platforms. From the Dick Smith “Wizard”, Commodore 128, PS1, then on to PC games.
    The first game I couldn’t put down was Tomb Raider on the PS1, then Syndicate Wars, also on the PS1.
    Call of Duty 4 was the next game I couldn’t put down, I played that on my PC almost every night for over 2 years, until I found Warhammer Age of Reckoning.
    That too I played almost every night. Creating, equipping, growing and nurturing each character. Modifying them trying to make them as useful as possible to the team. Then going out and “beating the living snot” out of the enemy.
    Warhammer has closed now and I feel the loss, its a physical ache.
    I never felt that way when leaving any other game, so perhaps Warhammer was my first, my true Love.

    [Reply]

    gazac Reply:

    @Tim,
    You are right Tim, The Commodore 64 was the biggest game machine for its time, also the Vic 20 before it was the 1st color game machine, & loaded games from a tape cassette, I remember typing in games from mags in to it.

    The other big game machine was another Commodore the Amiga it was the best one made. But I must say I did work at Commodore Australia, what a great job getting paid to play game on a 64/Amiga

    Consoles are a big part of Gaming & work great for what they do, but they get outdated fast, Myself, I like playing PC gaming as I like the games on them, seeing I’m in my 60′s & so are my mates we play Arma3 where you have to play it like a real tactical military shooter, not the run’n'gun game on the xbox

    Merry Xmas & Happy New Year Gamers

    [Reply]

  6. Jozefeen says:

    I remember buying an Atari for Xmas 1981. Space Invaders, Asteroids (haemorrhoids!), Joust (I always think of it when Sheldon bemoans the loss of his battle ostrich) & Pitfall. And then when Legend of Zelda was released on the NES – OMG. We stayed up all night at a friend’s place playing it, and then went out and bought it asap. Moved on to the Mega Drive, the SNES (Soulblader – needed a converter but that was OK). After that we could just rely on the offspring to buy the latest console. :-)

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  7. big - h says:

    My first gaming console was the commondore vic 20 or something like that. Also some years later was an apple mac and a few years later I owned my first pc which was a intel 286 386 486 and then changed over to the AMD processor as back then intel had problems with their 486 processors. After that I also had the ps1 Another amd pc ps3 and 3 years ago I built my first gaming computer which has the AMD 6 core processor. As you see I do like AMD quality hardware. Yes I know it runs hotter than intel processors. But AMD hardware has still not let me down 3 years after the build. And also when I do upgrade my system in the next 2 years from now I will be using AMD hardware again.

    [Reply]

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