The Later Earlier Years
It was around this time our family upgraded from our old DOS PC to a system capable of running a Windows OS. Not just any Windows OS…Windows 95. I was ballin’ now. Playing Demo CDs pilfered from my uncle’s library, being introduced to the wonders of the Maxis Sim games, making shortcuts of everything so I could change the icons, I was in heaven. I could now properly play LucasArts and the Dune adventure games on my home computer and not have to exercise extreme amounts of patience in playing bit by bit whenever I was at my uncle’s. I must’ve played (at least the demo) of nearly everything that was out around that time. Fond memories of that first video card upgrade my dad got for it that allowed me to run my newly purchased Spycraft (by Activision).
It was also around this time that Andrew and I used to go over to my place after school and watch It’s Alive! every day and check to see if the entries we sent in for their daily Panasonic 3DO drawing had any success. We never won…but hey…the shows were good. Maybe it was for the better too as looking back on it, I don’t know why we were so enthralled. Maybe it was the cut scenes or Road Rash…but I’m glad we avoided that pitfall.
After saving up enough money, I scoured every week’s Buy and Sell magazine after my dad finished with them. Eventually, I found a guy selling the Nintendo 64, 4 controllers, a memory card, a rumble pack, and 5 games (Mario 64, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, WCW vs. nWo: World Tour, Goldeneye, Mario Kart 64) for $350. Being in love with Fighting Force for the Playstation, it was a tough choice to go to the N64, but one I do not regret at all. Goldeneye soon became my game of choice and I spent a lot of time totally owning my friends. After that, I decided to give World Tour a try, only to have it totally rope me into following wrestling until about Grade 10. By the end of the N64’s life span, I owned every WCW wrestling game (unfortunately including Mayhem…so bad) and WWF: No Mercy. My verdict? Every wrestling game AKI/THQ made for the 64 was pure gold. I can probably trace my religious following of pro wrestling to the beginning and ending of the span of AKI/THQ wrestling games.
After having played the N64 for quite some time past its “death”, I was lucky enough to have my entire family pitch together to get me a PS2. Honestly, it was a great system, and I had a lot of great times with it, but it really didn’t give me the warm fuzzies and amazing memories of my other systems. I was in high school now and it seemed like there were way more important things going on than video games. It’s not that I didn’t play the system very often (believe me I did…being able to play Time Crisis from my bed was amazing), but reflecting upon my time with the system doesn’t evoke the same nostalgia that I get from my other video game memories. The PS2 (and every system after that) just seemed like a machine that played games. As such, I don’t really have any special memories of the system other than I’ve gotten a LOT of play time out of it, still playing to this day. The only real emotion I think I can get out of it is that it followed me through high school, university, and as a recent graduate, always reliable for a good time.