Nostalgia With a Sick Gamer
I’m sick. My nose is so congested it’s making my head hurt. I’ve been drinking orange juice + ginger ale, lying in bed hoping for this to go away. Being sick has led me to reflect on my life, specifically gaming. Whats interesting about my gaming life, is how many of my fondest memories are tied to gaming in some form or another. So sit back, grab a box of tissues, some warm tea and let’s go.
SNES: Formative Years
The SNES was the first real console gaming experience I had as a child. My family received the system as a gift from our Grandmother. We never really fully played the system. Time was spent playing outside instead. When we got this console I was a kid. It was the first time gaming would be a part of our family. During our families SNES era, two games in particular stand out in my memories.
Jurassic Park for SNES. This game was literally so hard. I remember playing it as a child, never accomplishing anything, yet continuing to play it anyways. My SNES years seem to be highlighted by incredibly hard games. Does anyone remember Super Star Wars? I’m pretty sure our game completion was close to 0%. Just hearing the guy say “Welcome to Jurassic Park” at the beginning, brings back the feels.
Radical Rex. Does this game not scream pandering to children. Dinosaur check, skateboard check, dinosaur on skateboard check, check, check. I remember renting this game so often, but like other SNES games never coming close to finishing. Shred pre-historic pavement… Need I say more?
These weren’t the only SNES games we played as children, but they are the ones that are very vividly burned into my memory. The formative years though lacking in large amounts of gaming, would go on to set the stage for the most pivotal system my family would own… The N64
N64: A Gamer is Born
I have a very specific memory of the N64, which has stayed with me for years. My family was invited to a Christmas party being hosted by another family. We went, and in the middle of the living room was a large TV and and an N64. At this point, I had never even heard of the console. That night I saw Diddy Kong and Goldeneye in action. Fast forward a couple weeks later and my family would receive an N64 of our own as a Christmas gift. There are so many games I could list off which have some nostalgia tied to them, but I will try to keep this concise.
Jet Force Gemini. When I think about this game, two things come to mind. Bears and bugs. Bears, because you could gun down the bears you were sent to rescue. Bugs, because for some reason all the enemies are ants in this game. Memories of this game are strong. Characters running on treadmills at the character select menu. Coop that involved a little floating white robot. I actually tried replaying this game recently, but found the controls to be unbearably bad. The things you over look as a child.
Diddy Kong Racing. While many people believe Mario Kart to be a great kart racer, DKR was my families go to choice. Four player battles in Icicle Pyramid, rockets only. “I’m Pipsi”. The genie guy you would race. Golden balloons. Rocket ship lighthouse. This game had multiple vehicle choices: planes, hovercrafts and karts. Man, this game heavily occupies the nostalgia section of my brain. Any of These songs….
Goldeneye. So I thought I would save the best for last, and Goldeneye is definitely it. In terms of game time played, I must have put an obscene amount into Goldeneye. Easily the most socially played game we had. I remember friends coming over and playing Goldeneye for hours and hours. 3 Oddjobs, 1 Jaws. Slaps only. Golden gun. Complex. This game offered such a wide range of options for multiplayer. Easily one of gaming’s classics.
The N64 era was when gaming really solidified itself in my life. Gaming become a social and immensely enjoyable hobby for me. Things would snowball from here, my family would go on to get a Gamecube(I have less memories associated with the cube, aside from RE4 and Windwaker), Xbox and Xbox 360.
Looking back on my early years of gaming makes sad. Times were so much simpler then. Things have changed so much. I’m now an adult with adult worries and concerns. Long gone are the days when my most pressing concern was beating a boss, or leaving a console on because I couldn’t save where I was at. It is a sad new reality. However I am grateful to have had an exposure to gaming at a young age, allowing me to build a lifelong hobby.
What are some games you get nostalgic over? Let me know in the pit below.