Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Gaming like the old days....

For as long as I can remember, I've enjoyed playing video games.  It started back in the early 80's with computer games and my "Intellivision II".  Since those days, I've (or my family, rather) has had a Nintendo, Super Nintendo, GameBoy, GameBoy Advance, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 64, and finally, a Game Cube.

I am a Nintendo loyalist -- no Playstation or XBox for me, pure Nintendo.  Just an aside.

Anyway, over the last 20+ years, I've owned several game systems made by Nintendo.  I bought my Super Nintendo in High School and have gotten more than my money's worth out of it.  It had a great library of games, and the controls were simple enough that I could actually play the game, but still offered more game play than what the original Nintendo offered.  I don't know how to explain it, other than the fact that I'm old.

I don't know how much time happened between the release of the Super Nintendo and the next gen, Nintendo 64.  However, I do know that it wasn't until I was well-married that I got a 64 for Christmas from my parents.  I wanted it because, in my opinion, there are 2 "must have" video game franchises for me -- Zelda, and Castelvania.  The 64 offered new experiences in both of these franchises -- "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time" and "Castlevania 64".  To me, those made having the 64 a "must have"....or so I thought.

I got the 64, and got Ocarina's sequel, "Majora's Mask" with it.  I also got Castlevania.  Immediately took to and enjoyed playing Castlevania (though I believe the critics panned it), but never got into "Majora".  My complaint with Castlevania was, it was now 3D, which wasn't what I was used to.  The controller was more complex, there were angles I wasn't familiar with, and it was harder for me coming from the "old school" games where Mario was in 2 dimensions, and his options for movement were "forward" and "backward".  Zelda: Majora's Mask suffered from these as well, plus one more thing -- the puzzles it offered were way harder than previous.  While the previous Zelda games had their share of puzzles, they added to the game without being so difficult/time consuming as to...well, tick off the players.  I felt like I had to do too much thinking for Majora's Mask.  While thinking, in general, is a good thing, and I do enjoy puzzles in my games, spending too much time/effort on side-puzzles can detract from a game.

Time is especially a factor.  My time was stretched, so if I got to play, I wanted to make sure I felt some sense of accomplishment in the time I spent playing, versus spending 3 hours just trying to get a special flower from one side of Hyrule to the other, so that I could get the next piece of the trade game in order to get a 4th of a piece of a heart container, that, in the end, didn't really add much.  In fairness to the makers, it wasn't a necessity to go off on the side quests/missions, but heart containers = life, so the more you have of them, the more life you have, which, in the end, helps you defeat Ganon.  If we don't defeat Ganon, he shrouds the world in darkness and rules with is Triforce of Power and an iron fist.  And we can't have THAT.

The purpose of this post actually wasn't to offer a history of my love affair with video games.  It seems to have turned into that, though....so, continuing, after not doing much with my 64, I begged for a GameCube shortly after it came out (I remember that there seemed to be a shortage of them at the time, so I assume it wasn't long after they came out).  It ended up being a Christmas present and came with a disk of past Zelda games (The original, the second, Ocarina, and Majora's mask.  I don't understand why they didn't include "Link to the Past", which, in my very humble and limited opinion, is the best of the series). I was very excited about this and began playing Ocarina, but didn't get very far because of, ironically, time (get it...."Ocarina of Time", and it was time that preven...oh, ne'ermind....).  And so, long story short, it sat there, not getting much use....

Until recently.  I've dusted off the GameCube, bought a 27" TV from an "everything must go" sale at the University Surplus store, and discovered 2 games that remind me of the things that I used to love about video games in the beginning....

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and Resident Evil 4

And on that note, I have to say...."to be continued"

1 comment:

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