It Has Been a While, Old Friends

Hmhmhm, I can't help but have a small chuckle when looking at this... Pictures such as these would fill my 11Gb hard drive when I was in 5th and 6th grade

I can’t help but have a small chuckle when looking at this– Pictures such as these would fill my 4Gb hard drive when I was in 5th and 6th grade!

I bet my parents wonder sometimes whether it was a good idea to expose me to video games when I was little; it was them who offered to get me a console even though I was fine messing about on the computer most of the time! I believe the very first time I got a taste of gaming was when I stayed at my cousin’s house overseas and would bother her to hook up the Sega Mega Drive. I would get hooked on playing Sonic The Hedgehog (it likely explains a lot to know it was my very first game) on her console to the point that she would hide it from me.

That was many years ago, back when I was in second grade. The first time I was actually able to own a console of my own however was about a year later when my parents told me that they would buy me a Nintendo 64 if I was able to get good grades. I do not remember the specifics, but I do remember us going into Best Buy and coming out with the Pokémon Stadium console pack so that we could have two controllers for my brother and I to play together. We absolutely loved the console and it went on to bring the both of us many great memories playing Super Mario 64, Super Smash Bros., and the Mario Party series (which would sometimes end badly). In short, we treasured our N64 and there were many times when my brother and I would try to finish our homework as quickly as possible so that we could go upstairs and play.

When the next generation of consoles rolled around, I was obviously very excited and could not wait to get my hands on a Nintendo GameCube. Since I was subscribed to Nintendo Power at the time, they mailed me a mini disc full of trailers and music from the upcoming games (remember, this was before Youtube existed so you would be hard-pressed to find videos online at a reasonable quality) so I could see firsthand what the little machine would offer. However, I was too young to understand just how much launch-date consoles cost and my father, an ex-Enron employee, wanted to purchase a device that would offer the most versatility. While I was hung up on wanting a “Nintendo,” I still remember being excited the day my dad brought home the Sony PlayStation 2. A console that would offer both the game libraries of the original PlayStation and the new PlayStation 2 games was far more appealing of a purchase to my father as a long-term entertainment device (especially since it could also play DVDs) so that’s what we were given.

Part of what factored into my father’s decision was the fact that his background as a programmer quickly recognized that Nintendo recycled a lot of its game-play assets; since Nintendo didn’t have as many third party relationships back then, it was quite easy to generalize the console’s library as containing fewer “unique” games than Sony’s. PS2-tanNow that I’m older, I can definitely see where he was coming from (and the PlayStation 2 was a great device) but back then I was too young to understand could not let go wanting the GameCube. Don’t get me wrong– once I actually started playing some of the games my brother and I wanted, I had a blast and I am thankful that my dad exposed me to them (as opposed to some brand fan-boys I knew that had not touched a “rival” console until college). Still though, I was too young at the time for the game itself to matter; it was the characters that defined the game for me. My father, being the nice guy he is, eventually gave in to my whining after some months and bought us a Nintendo GameCube as well so that my brother and I had both systems. As I think back, I feel kind of bad for giving my dad such a hard time (especially after his employment was thrown into limbo), but it just goes to show what a kind personality he has.

Owning both systems gave me a lot of perspective to consider what I wanted in games as I grew older; both brought with them their own unique memories. When I grew old enough to appreciate them, I began to play games with more involved storylines and character development which made many of Nintendo‘s characters seem shallow in comparison. As I learned to program, I began to notice just how much engines were reused and how they would constantly remake music from earlier games (the Kirby series is notorious for this). As I became busier in school and my time began to wane, I started to gravitate more towards games that I felt would be worth my while rather than those that would likely be rehashes of games that I had already played; I began to seek out more “unique” experiences for the limited time I had to play. For this reason, when the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 came out the generation after, I gravitated towards the PS3 and PSP simply because I had lost my interest in watching Nintendo churn out the same games over and over. Despite still enjoying the game play such games offered, I simply didn’t value game play as much over stories at that point; I didn’t have time to play games over and over to become “good” at them. Because of the shift in my preferences, Kirby, Pokémon, Mario, and games such as fighters were out of the picture.

As this past console generation ended, I completely skipped over the Wii and Nintendo DS. When I did get a chance to play a few games here and there, I honestly didn’t have any particular interest in the consoles to warrant purchasing them– most games just seemed like updated versions of the games I played all the time during my childhood with a coat of shininess to make them look “new.” As my time to play further decreased, I began to value handhelds more and jumped at the chance to buy a PlayStation Vita. Once again, between the Vita and the 3DS, I chose the one that I felt would offer me a richer gaming experience. While game play wasn’t as much of a factor anymore (Nintendo had begun to change), I opted for the more technologically powerful system since I only planned to buy one handheld and wanted a device that could offer the most “current-gen” experience. I love my PlayStation Vita and sure enough, it has brought me wonderfully immersive game experiences– just what I wanted.

However, I recently had the opportunity to purchase a Nintendo 3DS cheaply and have found myself more excited over it than I would have expected. Because I skipped a generation between Nintendo consoles, it is fun to see how things have changed since then (while Nintendo innovates, they do so very slowly) since the changes are more apparent than if I had not skipped out on the DS. Pokemon Over TimeHaving played through some of the demos in the eShop, I can’t help but get a little excited to see classic Nintendo characters again– I feel like I’m being reunited with old friends. Seeing everyone in 3-D and is also quite exciting, and while I cannot say that I have always been a fan of Pokémon games, watching Pokémon X and Y break into the 3-D realm makes me excited about the series. Not only have these games been given ample time to mature since I last played them, the characters have also grown, giving me a new appreciation for them.

I’m not really a person who tends to look through things with nostalgia goggles on (which may seemingly contradict some of the content of this blog). When I evaluate my feelings towards objects and material possessions, I tend to be rather objective because I know that ultimately they are objects being “sold.” I haven’t touched a Zelda or even a Sonic game for a long time. I don’t have as much as time as I used to where I can just sit and mindlessly play a game all day, and I likely never will again. Even so, part of me just can’t help but get excited to see some of these characters again… I look forward to what the 3DS will bring.

5 Comments

  1. balance
    balance
    Rooftop Dreamer
    Class 1-B
    Seat no. 6
    Valid from: 03/07/2014 at 4:35 pm

    I too sometimes wonder if my parents have ever thought it was a bad idea to have introduced video games to me. I know for a fact that I saved over their progress before when I was a little child playing their games. Now that I am older, I can only imagine the rage that ensued from me saving over their progress.

    Ah man, I remember those good ol days when those magazines really were the only source of this kind of information. I was never fortunate enough to have been able to subscribe to one of these magazines, but whenever I did get one, I was always happy. I remember back when I was in grade school, there was this drawing of sorts which had a lot of different prizes. I was lucky enough to get a strategy guide of Luigi’s Mansion. The funny part was that I never owned a Gamecube (and obviously thus, don’t own Luigi’s Mansion or had any way to play it). Though later in the future, I would finally own a Gamecube and got to play Luigi’s Mansion. Because I read the strategy guide so much, I knew how to do everything, where to get everything without reference.

    Anyway that was a bit of a long tangent.

    I grew up actually having the Playstation 1 as the first console that was specifically bought for me. So that console really gave me a lot of memories. The good ol games that gave me extraordinary adventures. That’s how I got to love Final Fantasy VIII, how Megaman Legends really became a legend for me, and how the dark history of our people were like from Metal Gear Solid.

    Thus luckily, when the PS2 came out, I was more than happy to have gotten it for my birthday present when I turned 13. Though as I became more interested in the Gamecube, I eventually let my friend borrow my PS2 to borrow his Gamecube. Though in the end, I’ll always be a Playstation fan since it was really what gave me most of my memorable times with gaming.

    Though it really is interesting to see how far Nintendo has gone (albeit slowly). I remember getting a Wii years after it had been released. It was something that I still desired for because of its innovative technology for gaming. Though I already knew of its cons for gaming, I still very much enjoyed what it offered. Now the Wii serves as a way for my family to connect to Netflix. It lost its glory as a gaming console now. Though I do hope to finish some of the games that I have for it (specifically Zelda: Skyward Sword).

    With the 3DS, I still just can’t find myself playing on it as much as everyone else has. Especially with Pokemon. I remember being really, really into it back in the past. I played it a lot on an emulator when Pokemon first came out because we could not afford to buy a gameboy. I’ve really tried to find out why I can’t really get into Pokemon and I think it’s just because they’ve made it become such a complex game with all the different types of Pokemon. What kind of pokemon goes well with other ones. How to get shiny pokemon, etc. As I watched its development ever since Ruby (that was the last one that I played), I only got more and more discouraged to really begin to play any more.

    Though with how you’ve explained the gameplay on the newer Pokemon, I feel like I could really find myself enjoying its style of progression. As both of us have indicated numerous times before, we tend to have similar tastes so I believe I would really enjoy playing this Pokemon. Though I still would have to wait a little longer before I can justify my purchase of a 3DS.

    As I like to say though, sometimes time can mature the relationship. I too look forward to what the 3DS will bring to us.

    Reply

  2. Draco
    Transfer Student
    Class 2-D
    Valid from: 12/10/2013 at 1:11 am

    Oh hey, you have joined me and zoey in the dark side owo

    In any event, there’s a some amount of change in the game but the core of it is still in tact and is still very enjoyable. The end game content could need some tweaking though but its still work playing. Also friend safaris are convenient for getting to meet new people AND getting pokemon that you normally wont get in the normal game.

    If you get the chance, add me on the friend’s list, I’ll inform zoey as well ^^

    FC: 5257-9713-4205 my friend safari is a dragon type so have at it owo

    Reply

    • Student Council
      会長 | Class 4-B
      Seat no. 1
      Valid from: 12/10/2013 at 8:00 pm

      Yup! It’s not a 3DSXL sadly, but I can’t complain because of the deal I got.

      While I [will soon] have Pokemon X, the irony is that I don’t particularly enjoy the game core of the series because it has always felt like grinding sans character development or story progression. But again I’ve heard great things about the newer ones (especially with Black/White and beyond) so I’m looking forward to trying it out. That, and I’ve always enjoyed the environments that are depicted in the games. The online features should be neat too since I never used to be the trading type!

      I will be sure to add you sometime this week; it is my last week of school for the semester so I’m trying to knock out this final test. If you haven’t already added me, you can grab my friend code from the Clubroom. Also yes, be sure to tell Zoey! She can drop her code off in the comments here too– I get an email whenever there is a new one so I will definitely see it.

      Reply

  3. Tao
    Transfer Student
    Class 4-B

    Glad you got a 3ds, I beat pokemon x recently and it was great since I hadn’t played a pokemon game since ruby/sapphire. In my childhood I jumped around consoles starting from just a sega gamegear, gameboy and dreamcast to what I have today and it gave me a richer gaming experience. Having a ps2 showed me how amazing rpgs could be with stuff like a great ost, character development, and just an overall good time. By the way what are your favorite game series? Mine are anything made by Atlus, pokemon, tales of series, final fantasy, shadow hearts, anything like devil may cry, some FPS and Rythm games

    Reply

    • Student Council
      会長 | Class 4-B
      Seat no. 1
      Valid from: 12/10/2013 at 7:54 pm

      I remember I actually preordered Pokemon Sapphire and got a limited edition holographic Kyogre coin thing with it! Oddly enough however, I’ve had a bad track record with Pokemon games and they have never held my interest for long… the only reason I used to like them was because I liked the show so that was my motivating factor to play. Once I stopped watching, the overly simple stories were not enough to keep me playing (though I have been told that since around Black/White, they have been better at fleshing out the story).

      I definitely loved Sega consoles but I ended up playing most of them on emulators because my dad bought a CD overseas with a bunch of SNES and Sega games on it. He just bought it because it was being sold as a legitimate product in Asia (lol) and back then I hadn’t a clue what an emulator was. I just thought they were computer games until I grew older. So I did have a rather diverse gaming experience growing up too… more so than I realized!

      My favorite game series are stuff made by NIS or Atlus, often things made by Square (especially Squaresoft back in the day), Sonic the Hedgehog games (the good ones), and the Zelda series. Those come to mind first off the top of my mind. Basically most RPGs (and the companies that often put them out), but I also have a soft spot for arcade-type games like platformers (even non-conventional ones like NiGHTS) and rhythm games… likely because of my fondness for Sega.

      Reply

Leave a Comment

... You're the new transfer student aren't you? You should register first at the faculty office for an ID. I... promise this isn't my usual attire...