Friday, 23 December 2011

My Personal Gaming History

My gaming history huh? Well as far back as I can remember, the first game I recall playing was a game on the Gameboy that I can’t remember the title of. It was a space shooter and was one of the hardest games at the time on the Gameboy. A few games I do remember playing though since the around the time I was playing that was Super Mario Land, Lode Runner, Motocross Maniacs, Tetris, Double Dragon and Dragon Ball Z, all on the same Cartridge.

Motocross Maniacs

I think one of the main reasons I couldn’t remember the space shooter game was because all the games were jumbled onto a single cartridge illegally. It may seem like I’m stereotyping here, but almost all of my Chinese friends in the past had parents that bought them these kinds of cartridges, it wasn’t strange at all with us lot. My parents didn’t know anything about what’s legal and illegal in video games, and still doesn’t.

They were seen as just toys back then and nothing more. My parents would buy us a few more of those many games in one game bay games even after my mum found our first gaming console in a car boot sale, the master system II. However a lot of the games on those cartridges were rip-offs of existing games, or were the same game as another on the cartridge, just under a different name. I remember there being one game with 4 different names on the cartridge once…

One such game I remember playing was a game called ‘Crayon Shin Chan 4’ It was an epic game back in the day when I was still Gameboying my life away, and stumbled upon a game called ‘Super Mario Land 4’ on the same cartridge…

I wasn’t sure which game was ripped off of which at the time, but after playing through the Mario game, it just didn’t feel anything like Mario, and there was so much wrong with it… The music just didn’t sound right, and why the hell was Mario giant in ‘mushroom power’ mode then turns tiny when he collects the wings power up? Shouldn’t he be small only when he gets hurt? Why is he throwing msuhrooms instead of fireballs? >_>. 

Anyways moving on, I think it was during my Gameboy days that really brought me into enjoying all sorts of genres. There is no genre I absolutely hate, as long as the game plays well and that I enjoy the theme of it. I really started to get into video gaming when my family and cousins were introduced to multiplayer gaming. I remember the times I would spend countless hours on games such as ‘Battle Squadron’ and ‘Pit Fighter’ on the Amiga, ‘Road Rash’ and ‘World Soccer’ on the Master System.

Fun, simple, classic co-op game
As my family owned the Master System and didn’t have a SNES until a little later, I was brought up playing multiplayer games like Blitz Ball, Super Smash TV, World Games, California Games, Mortal Kombat, Double Dragon and the others that I had mentioned earlier. Though some of the games we had to take in turns, we still considered that multiplayer as we kept track of our own scores and had a great laugh watching each other succeed or fail miserably at the events in the games. 

Since our cousins had the SNES, we weren’t exposed to games such as Mario All Stars, Killer Instinct, Donkey Kong Country II and III, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Firepower 2000, etc. as much until a little later. We would also go onto a Mega Drive playing classics such as Streets of Rage and Golden axe, Alien Storm and random wrestling games, but I feel I’ve probably gone a little overboard with my earliest gaming days (which doesn’t surprise me as I was majorly influenced by multiplayer couch gaming during this time).

I don’t have a single favourite genre, though the ones I like the most are Fighting, Beat’em ups, FPS , RTS and RPGs, Bullet Hells and Rhythm games…genre.. :p.

Elvis from Perfect Dark!
I started getting into competitive gaming when (once again dating back to my early days of) when my brothers and I would play Street Fighter Alpha 2, Mortal Kombat , Soul Calibur, Perfect Dark etc. When Super Smash Bros came out for the N64, I was obsessed and played it for most of my free time. It got the point where I was too good at the game and no one enjoyed playing it with me as much anymore. I took a break from the game and it wasn’t until when Super Smash bros Melee came out I started to take the fighting game genre very seriously, along with my very good friend Brendan Turner, who would continue playing no matter how many times he lost ^^. 

During college was when it really got big for me and branched out into competitive games, starting with Halo 2 and Guilty Gear X2 #Reload. We had a blast playing games in person, with everyone in the coffee house. Even though people would stress out and claim people would “screen hack” them, we all had a good laugh and wasn’t so serious and hostile (which is something that I don’t see often in online play when someone rages…). 

I’m sure there are many people who would rage in person and maybe try to punch you in the face for shooting them in the face on a game, but I’ve never had that problem. I’ve come to really enjoy offline multiplayer much more so than 1 player online gaming. I find that there are not enough games that support online split screen play. Though games such as Call of Duty have started doing that, I feel that it is a very important thing to include and would make online gaming much more ‘sociable’ and having to speak through a stupid headset.

I’ve stopped playing competitively halfway through my college years as something else that was much more important came into my life. From there on, I moved onto casual gaming.

Fighting games has always been something I’ve been really into and I really enjoyed the visual and style of the 2D fighters. When they started going into 2.5D (3D models in a 2D styled fighting game) it just really didn’t look right. To me it really took away the charm of the 2D sprites and the little detail and how over top it could go and still look ‘right’ like in Guilty Gear, BlazBlue, King of Fighters, etc. An example would be the latest Street Fighter games such as Street Fighter IV. They, in my opinion, look rubbish =\.

 However I’ve been really surprised about how Marvel vs. Capcom 3 turned out. The way Capcom stylised that game really appealed to me for a 2.5D fighter.
Though I’m not a big fan of the looks of the 2.5D games, I do love the looks of 3D fighters, especially Soul Calibur genres with the 8 way run mechanics.

Although I go on about how much I love couch gaming, I also really enjoy single player type games. The Legend of Zelda games, Final Fantasy IV through to X, The Last Remnant, Resident Evil genres, Assassin’s Creed, etc. all have given me a great experience on single player games, as did many others but these are what comes into my mind at this time :p.

There is no genre I 'hate'. I tend to give all sorts of games a try and not judge them on things like reviews as they can be a load of crap. Though it may help many people into buying games and what not, I find the best way to see if you like it or not is to actually play them game yourself. I once looked at a review for Devil May Cry 2.
Devil May Cry 2
People were bashing on how rubbish it was and saying how it’s nothing like DMC1, etc. Though it might not be like DMC1 as much as people would have liked it to be, I REALLY REALLY enjoyed DMC2. If I was to listen to the reviews that everyone has been saying I would have never had the experience that I did with the game, and wouldn’t be up there in my personal gaming classics (and no I’m not saying this stuff because I’m a fanboy to Devil May Cry, seriously :p.) I think it’s like someone telling you that sushi is gross and you should never eat it. It’s all down to you yourself personally.
I’ve had many friends who’ve told me that they wouldn’t buy a game because it had bad reviews. Though these days you can look on youtube how the game looks, I would still recommend playing the game first before judging it.

Diddy Kong Racing
So yeah, I don’t hate genres because of what it is. If that was the case I would be hating on games like Mario Kart, Wipeout, Diddy Kong Racing, Burnout, Need for Speed, etc. because I’m not really into games such as Gran Turismo, F1 racing, Colin Mcrae, etc.

Right I’ll, stop there because I’ve probably nattered on about that a bit too much…

Recently I’ve been diving into PC gaming since I’ve now got a computer that can run games to a good standard. Though I’m not a stranger to the mouse and keyboard for gaming (I’ve played RTS games on the PC such as Starcraft, Age of Empires, Dawn of war, etc.) Playing genres such as FPS and RPGs feel very different. It personally feels fresh playing it on a different control scheme. 
I find it really fun when playing games on a different type of control, such as using Beatmania’s turntable and Donkey Konga’s Bongos and Guitar Hero’s Guitars and Point Blank’s Light guns (dual wielded! ^_~)just really give it that more depth and can enjoy the games that much more.
I’ve been playing Killzone 3 recently and was worried about using the New control scheme it had with the gun and Playstation move controller. Though it was really awkward to use at first, I soon got used to the controls and was really surprised with how effective it was for the game. 
Even though I am most comfortable with the traditional gaming pads, I would really like to see more games that utilise new controller types like that as an optional setting and not force it as the only way to play the game.

                                      A much more appropriate control scheme I think.
                                      This can actually also be played with a PS2 pad!

So yeah, there many games that I’ve played, if not all of them that has influenced me greatly. I’ve yet to talk about certain games and game genres to a deeper degree, but I will talk about them in other upcoming posts :). Thanks for reading!

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