I really do enjoy writing, whether or not anyone ultimately reads the result. You should see my backlog of posts that I’ve started but haven’t yet finished because of my inability to stop rambling on Tim-Rogers-style.
Thank goodness for 1up’s article about their writers’ favorite gaming moments; it serves as a good bite-sized writing prompt.
Let’s get on with it, then…
I was absolutely floored by the shift of scale in this game. For the first half hour or so of playing, you sometimes struggled to even meet the stage’s goals, carefully trying to roll up enough paperclips to grow big enough to snag that mouse. Then you could get cats…then children…then adults…then cars…then buildings…then so damned big you could pluck planes out of the sky. And it just getting more and more ridiculous until you could pick up g-damned weather.
I knew that multi-tap adapters existed on the NES, but I never found myself playing any games that really needed more than two people at a time. Most often my friends and I would play single-player games and just pass around the controller between lives or levels.
Then when visiting my cousins, they brought out Super Bomberman. I’m pretty sure we just started out with the campaign w/ two players but eventually more people wanted to play. You mean there was a way for him to play, too? And her? All of us at the same time? Hours of fun with blame and yelling and uneasy, temporary alliances.
My parents knew it was something special and surprised me with my own copy on my next birthday.
Super Mario 64
I’d been following the Ultra 64 hype train in magazines, but screenshots could not prepare me for what I saw one lucky day at the mall. There was an independant retailer that sold import games. That day, on the demo station in the corner (with the television high up by the ceiling) I witnessed the magic of 3D Mario. Me, and about a dozen other awed kids and teens. I’m sure we all had sore necks after hours of craning to look up at the TV. I don’t think any of us understood Japanese, but Mario games are all about joyful discovery anyway.
Then when Nintendo put demo stations in Toys R Us leading up the US launch, I’d spend minutes of precious play time just messing around with morphing Mario’s face on the title screen. They used to sell computer software whose sole purpose was give people funny stretched/warped faces, and here I was doing it on a TV!
Feel the Magic: XX/XY
I was so giddy that I could blow out virtual candles that I ran to my parents to show them this amazing advancement in video game interaction. Yes, I was already in college at the time, and yes, it has since become an overused gimmick, but, c’mon, that was a pretty neat party trick the first time you saw it!
Going over to friends’ houses to play Sega
Back in the day you were considered pretty wealthy (by kid standards) if your family could afford to have both a Nintendo and a Sega. Thankfully I could stay in the loop by playing the games I was missing out on by paying a buddy a visit.
Zelda: Four Swords Adventure
I’m not kidding when I say that this game sold GBA SPs and link cables within my group of friends. Heck, some of us felt so left out by having the original non-backlit GBAs that we upgraded. For one week, we spent marathon sessions alternating between puzzle-solving and being complete jerks to each other in possibly the best social gaming I’ve experienced until the rise of Wii and Guitar Hero/Rock Band. (Actually, where’s DDR fall in the timeline? We had plenty of fun parties with that, though less inclusive.)