Video Game Firsts Part 3

More video games means more memories.
March 10, 2014
Hey retro junkies, snowstorm here with another video game firsts article for ya. Sorry it has been a while, but I have been very busy with school and my family; apparently babies don't let you write that often. So without further delay here is part three.

First: Multiplayer Shooter Game

First and foremost let me tell ya'll that I grew up on James Bond movies and Ian Flemming novels thanks to my dad. So when I heard that there was going to be a new bond movie called Goldeneye I got super excited. My dad took my older brother and I to see it at the century 21 theaters in San Jose, CA and it surpassed my expectations; tank scene sealed the deal. Then one day, while reading GamePro magazine, I saw a coming soon article about Goldeneye the game for Nintendo 64. Needless to say I got really pumped to see one of my favorite movies turned into a game. Now for all you young readers/gamers, back in the early 90's video games based off movies were actually really good. Don't get me wrong some developers made some garbage (I'm looking at you LJN) but for the most part these movie based games were very fun and very good.

So, back on topic, I begged and pleaded for my parents to buy me the $60 game, only to be sadly told, "No, it's too expensive just wait for your birthday". Remember when your folks told you that? So my bro and I decided to throw our own garage sale to raise the money ourselves. We dug out all our old toys, coloring books, kid books, comic books, and my folks even gave us a few of their old junk to sell too. We made some signs to put up around the neighborhood, set up a booth on the sidewalk, and told all our friends that we were having a yard sale. We did ok making about $40-$45, I really don't remember the exact amount. In the end we were short just 15 or so bucks and were kind of bummed to say the least. Thankfully my dad noticed how badly we wanted the game so he said he would take care of the rest of the cost. By the end of the day my brother and I stayed up almost till midnight (thanks pops) playing goldeneye, and man what a night it was. We beat story mode in just a few hours and spent the rest of the time playing multiplayer. It would be a couple of months to years before we unlocked all the characters and all the cheats, but those were times well spent.

I loved playing with either all throwing knives, slappers only, all timed bombs, or paintball mode. Our favorite time was when we got all our friends together to play and take turns playing 4 player mode. I have so many memories of friends picking oddjob (cheaters!), accusing each other of screen watching, and frustrated yells of defeat. This is why I personally think that multiplayer games work better when people are present rather than online. There's something about having the player there that makes the victory all the more sweeter rather than being alone in a room; but I digress. If you haven't played the game I highly recommend that you pick up a copy and invite some friends over to play, it is well worth the price.

First: Weird Video Game

You might be asking yourself what constitutes as a weird game? In layman's terms it is a game in which you are so confused about what you are playing/watching that you have no choice but to say, "WTF am I looking at?"; or as I like to call them: Japanese games. There are so many strange games from Japan that I couldn't possibly list them all here, but let's just say that whatever you can imagine has probably been turned into game over there. Now I'm not saying all Japanese games are weird, most of the games we play here in the states are from Japan, but a lot of games over there don't make it outside of their country for a reason. However one odd game managed to make it out of the land of the rising sun and I am glad it did. It was a little game called Katamari Damacy for the sony playstation 2. A tiny gem of a game that almost flew under the radar here in America, but thanks to its innovative gameplay, catchy music, simple design, and easy controls we were given an addictive and fun game.

You play as a little prince, the son of the king of all cosmos, charged with the task of creating new stars that your old man has knocked out of the sky. You create said stars by rolling anything and everything up, on planet Earth, onto a little ball called a Katamari. The various things you gather range from as small as a tack to as large as a continent. Yes...a continent. You put this gameplay alongside quirky, yet catchy, Japanese music, blocky character designs with hardly any moving animation, and surreal visuals and you've got one weird game that you are never going to forget. One minute you're picking up toys in a kids room and the next minute you're rolling up Godzilla and Ultraman...WTF!?

I remember renting it from Blockbuster, off a whim, and getting a taste of what REAL Japanese culture was. I was so confused by it, but couldn't put it down no matter how hard I tried; it was unlike anything I had ever played before. Once my friend came over and asked what I was playing, and as soon as I said the title he was like, "what the hell are you talking about?!". However, once he started playing it he refused to give up the controller, wanting to see how big this tiny little ball could become. I don't know how to describe it, but this game has a way of enveloping you in its world and not letting you go. It's just really hard to explain how "wacky" this game is in writing, so I suggest you get a copy yourself and give it a try. Is it for everyone? No, probably not, but it definitely will surprise you in ways you can't even the music is really catchy.

First: Really Hard Game Completed

I think we all can agree that everyone has a favorite difficult video game right? Some people love Contra and some prefer the original Super Mario Bros. 2, or as it is called in the USA, the Lost Levels. Me...I love Castlevania for the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The music is haunting, yet inspiring. The monsters are creepy, but memorable. And the challenge is extremely difficult, however not impossible to master. These qualities and so much more are what make Castlevania one of my most favorite difficult games in my video game library. Before I go any further I just want to remind you that I didn't own Castlevania for the NES back in the day. I know it's blasphemous for a retro gamer like me, but you have to understand that at the time my family couldn't afford a lot of video games back in the late 80's/early 90's, so I had to borrow and trade games from my friends to experience the entire NES library.

I remember playing Castlevania as a kid and being extremely frustrated with the medusa heads and the flea men who kept jumping around. I was used to playing mario and zelda so these new stiff controls were all new to me and hard to learn. I remember throwing my controller on the ground a lot, in rage, and even kicking my NES due to the sheer frustration that was known as "knockback". Anyone who has played most retro games knows how irritating "knockback" is.
So when I heard that most of the classic nes games were going to be on the wii virtual console, I made it a top priority to download all the old nes games that I never had beaten as a kid. The first one I had to download was the ever infuriating Castlevania; I had to beat it no matter what! So late one night, after my wife and son fell asleep, I grabbed 2 energy drinks, a large bag of salsitas chips and committed myself to conquering one of the hardest games ever made. After 6 grueling hours and several muffled screams of frustration(curse you medusa heads), I finally reached the staircase leading to Dracula himself.

I was extremely tired and knew I was going to be in trouble with my girl, but I didn't care, I was going to beat this game tonight/today. After a few deaths I finally got his pattern down and with one final whip strike, Dracula burst into beautiful 8-bit flames. I swear if it wasn't for my family sleeping in the next room I would have shouted to the heavens in triumph. I tell ya there is no greater feeling than beating a ridiculously hard game with your own blood and sweat.

Well that does it for this Video Game Firsts. Thumbs up if you liked it and let me know some of your video game firsts.
So until next time, adios.
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