Friday, March 19

Let me show you what it's all about

At the moment I live a passive life. I receive (inuendo not intended, not that there's anything wrong with that). I am not the master of my own destiny.

That is not to say that I don't enjoy myself. There's a lot of funky noise out there. I'm playing a lot (A LOT) of videogames at the moment. More than usual and for me that is saying something.

I first started playing videogames when I was 3 years old. Dad had a Collecovision and an Atari 2600. He provided for his family. I logged a lot of time on Missile Command, River Raid.... and Strawberry Shortcake. I can't remember much about those games, how they played, even what they looked like but I can imagine that they haven't aged well. My Uncle Peter (RIP) then passed on his Amstrad to my brothers and I. Prince of Persia (and it's effective DRM) captured my imagination and I must admit that I enjoyed watching far more than I enjoyed playing (mainly because I sucked at it, hard).

One of my Mother's work colleagues allowed us to borrow a Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) and suddenly the Atari looked like a dusty box of horrors. Pixels could now articulate blue hedgehogs, burly men and attack helicopters. My Dad could see how much the Damen boys needed a Mega Drive so he bought us a Sega Master System. WHY!?!?! In retrospect, I am eternally grateful for his technological faux pas. I got to play the likes of Alex Kidd In Miracle World, Shinobi (Joe Musashi FTW!!!), Lord of the Sword and one of my all time favourites: Wonder Boy III - The Dragon's Trap. WBIII captured my love of morphing into cute magical creatures to traverse serene beaches littered with fire breathing snakes. My mate Greg had a Nintendo Entertainment System which allowed face time with Kid Icarus and one of the greats: Super Mario Bros 3.

The Damen family did eventually adopt a Mega Drive. To date, the Sega Mega Drive is the longest serving console in my gaming lifetime. Street Fighter II: Championship Edition (with it's $149.95 price tag) captured a great deal of my childhood. The 16 Bit machine reigned for 6 years at the top, and we still fired it up to play a borrowed copy of Gunstar Heroes in the years after the Sony Playstation entered our lives.

My experiences with PC gaming have been limited but have always left me yearning. It began with Star Wars: Rebel Assault and other space shooters like Wing Commander III. Games like Relentless: Twinsen's Adventure, Crusader: No Remorse (and the disappointing sequel, No Regret), Warcraft II and Total Annihilation are pleasant memories. I never owned machines strong enough to play Half Life at a decent speed however I would always reassure myself that one day I would own a machine strong wnough to play it. While that dream has come true, the laptop heats up to the point of combustion when I load up TF2.

The Sony Playstation (and before you ask, I am a Sony fanboy) continued to distance my body from bouts of physical activity. The Final Fantasies, Metal Gear Solid and many various Capcom 2D fighters (including the incredible OMGWTFBBQ Rival Schools: United By Fate) absorbed most of my time. I got my first job about this time and I bought a shitload of games for the PSone. Good ones, bad ones, games I remember owning but honestly don't remember playing. I am desperately hoping that one day soon I will get to play Jackie Chan: Stunt Master once again. It was the hidden gem of a generation of gaming. We did own a Nintendo 64 however most of the system's killer apps were missing from the Damen's collection. We never owned Super Mario 64 or GoldenEye64. We did have Perfect Dark and the recent XBLA port has me pondering whether I should buy my 4th Xbox 360.

The Playstation 2 is in my opinion the greatest console in history. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, Final Fantasy X, Metal Gear Solid 2 (3 was great too), SSX and it's many sequels and without a doubt, the single most influential game in the last 10 years: Grand Theft Auto 3. We didn't own a PS2 when GTA3 was first released in Australia. When the game was pulled off shelves, I resorted to purchasing an ex-rental copy from the Aspley Blockbuster Video for $110 without a system to play it on. I never regreted the decision.

I have to this date endured an expensive, exhausting love of portable game consoles. My parents bought me a Game Gear with Mickey Mouse: Castle of Illusion, a true gem. The Master System Converter was another gift from my parents for which I am eternally grateful. I spent a lot of time with the Gameboy Advance and the Pokemon games. Matt and I tried sooooooo hard to catch them all. We came pretty damn close. The GBA Metroids and Fire Emblem games are also true time consuming classics. The Sony PSPgo is now my sole portable system. I hate this machine more than my lone, freakishly long back hair. Seriously, pick 5 good PSP games available on the PSN store I triple fucking dare you.

My hands are now chapped, and bloody so I will discuss the Gamecube and Xbox in my next post.

Please share your favourite gaming memories from any generation. Or tell me about yourself and why you think Street Fighter EX plus Alpha is one of the most underrated fighters of all time (it is just quietly, seriously: Skullomania, C Jack and Allen).


  1. You're just having flashbacks of Terry crack shooting Blanka. You're dominance of CVS2 came to a sudden end.

  2. Personally, I'd ignore DJ Perez over there. I hope this provides an outlet for you. You write really well about the stuff you love :)

  3. you forgot to give tiger woods golf 2005 a plug...

  4. Yeah Tiger Woods 05, Capcom VS SNK2. I'll get to it. I really wanted to write something about God of War III first.

    Tiger Woods ate up a lot of my time.... especially drunk, after getting home from karaoke time!

  5. Ah Tiger Woods 2005, good times had by all. CVS2 took up far more time, and my Rugal owned all of you! ALL! Matt's blanka was nowhere near as annoying as Reuben's Christie in Tekken Tag Team and Tekken 4 & 5. My god I wanted to throw the controller at him sometimes.

  6. Oh and I remember the whole back of the boot exchange made for GTA III. Man that was aweosme. I also remember that I picked the game up for about $90 2 weeks later, but I would much rather have paid the extra $20 and got it earlier. That game was perfect. There was nothing that I would change. Nothing. Even the grainy (by todays standards) graphics were well suited to the grittiness of the game.