There are certain times or moods that makes me go through a reflective state, to think about my life, about the stuff I did, why I did it and so on. Some times however that kind of reflection is triggered by something external, like this post by Eldariel at StarShadow about her gaming history. That made me go through the memory lane, remembering games and consoles I played as well as how it shaped my vision of them. So I thought it might make an interesting post to someone, even if it is pretty indulgent. Also, a good way to test some of the changes I did under the hood to the blog.
Just one note before we begin, you will have to forgive me not mention any years as I have a terrible memory. I can remember things more by stuff that happened (or in this case, consoles, games and PCs I owned) than the time that it all happened at! With that said, let’s begin!
The first console I had contact with was an atari. I don’t remember the model for I was just too young to really care about such details. Frankly, neither did I care all that much for the games too. They were all too primitive to hold my interest as a child, for the most part. Sure, there were a few I loved but I can remember the name of none of those. Still it is worth mentioning since it was with the atari that started my trauma with jumping in games. Curse you Pitfall!
It wasn’t until the NES that I really got hooked into games. I guess it was mostly because it was something I could play together with my brother, an habit that lasted at least until the Super Nintendo, when our tastes in game started to diverge. There were some games I liked to play just by myself too, like Megaman and Super Mario 3 on the NES, Wonder Kid on the Master System, Sonic on the Mega Drive (Genesis to you americans. :p), Super Mario World in the Super Nintendo and so on so forth. It was also in the Super Nintendo that I got hooked into jRPGs. It all started with Final Fantasy 6 (which I still consider the best one of the whole franchise!) and from there I got into other series like Breath of Fire, Zelda, Chrono Trigger and others I can even remember anymore!
The last consoles I played with some regularity were the Playstation 1 and the Nintendo 64. After that my brother just didn’t seem too interested in consoles anymore while myself found it hard to justify spending so much money on a console. Probably because of all the huge changes that happened during that console generation that made it harder to know which would be the next great console and which one would die a quiet, early death. You see, until that point you could either buy a console from Sega or Nintendo and it was a safe bet that either one would have plenty of titles to play. If you even like certain franchises it was easy to know in which console it would be released. The generation of the Playstation 1 however changed all that and I guess that traumatized me in a way that I still don’t feel completely confident investing so much money in a new console. Well, there are other reasons too but I guess that is the main one.
Between all that I got into contact with computers. First with a MSX, which I don’t remember playing anything on it but always wishing I could as there were supposedly some fun games for it. Then later on with a 386 PC that my brother got. With the PC I discovered adventure and strategy games, falling in love with those. And for a long time PCs were for those two for me while consoles were for more action-oriented games and RPGs. Yes, I know that PC also had those kind of games but they weren’t much to my taste. I did dabble into RPGs like Eye of Beholder but never really got into them. Even Baldur’s Gate didn’t grab my heart! Ironically, I think Icewind Dale did. Probably because it was more linear, like the jRPGs I played. Also, because it didn’t have 5 CDs like Baldur’s Gate which at the time, for me it felt like an absurd number of CDs for a game! Silly, I know, but I have those kind of silly reactions from time to time. :p
While I had trouble justifying keeping with consoles I had no such problems with PC. I guess in part is was because PCs never had the same kind of generational schism as consoles did. While I had to buy a new console as a new generation came, I could just upgrade parts of my PC as necessary. The other part is because with PC I could do much more than just playing games and as the PC evolved what I could do with it grew exponentially.
Nowadays, it is also far more convenient for me to buy PC games than console ones, thanks to digital distributors like Steam and GOG.com. While with consoles, unless it is some really popular game, I have to import it. The reason is I live in Brazil and unless it is a really popular game like Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, FIFA, etc it is unlikely that we’ll be seeing it in the stores around here. Sure, I could import games too but that that would make it a bit too costly and too much hassle for my tastes. Despite that from time to time I still get the temptation to buy a console too. Eventually I will probably do that but right now I am pretty satisfied with gaming on PC. 🙂
As for how I got into MMOs that is a bit of a long story. Well, actually it isn’t but I could swear I wrote about it and wanted to just link to that post but I can’t find it for the life of me! Still, I think this post is big enough as it is and I might just write about that story another time. 🙂