I’m a gamer. I’ve been playing games for as long as I can remember with my very first gaming experience being on the Atari 400 which I still own today. Later I had an Atari 800XL with a disk drive and wealth of copied games. Particular highlights being Alley Cat, Bop ‘n Wrestle and Blue Max. I can play Alley Cat today and still be amazed at the amount of game crammed into such a small disk.
As I grew older, so did my gaming machines and it was time for them to be replaced. After a short stint with a borrowed Spectrum, my family upgraded to an Amiga 500+. A truly golden age of gaming for us all. It was bundled with Bart Vs The Space Mutants, Lemmings and Deluxe Paint and I was blown away by the fact that arcade gaming had come into my home. Of course, like a lot of Amiga owners at the time, I killed the industry by buying copied games from a local market. Something I still feel bad about today. Neverthless, I had access to hundreds of games and later on in the Amigas life, came to love SWOS, Cannon Fodder and a hidden gem in the form of Shadow Fighter.
I stuck with the Amiga right up until it’s dying days and then in September 1995, the Playstation came into my life. I originally wanted a 3DO but someone talked me out of it so instead I went with Sony. I think I was the first person in my hometown to own a Playstation and with it came Wipeout and Battle Arena Toshinden. Like many other gamers at the time, the Playstation changed the way I look at games forever. They were suddenly cool and edgy and could be enjoyed by everyone, not just spotty teenagers hidden away in their bedroom. (I’ve always hated this analogy so I’m sorry for using it)
The Playstation lasted a long time in my house and helped grow my love of video games. There’s too many to mention but I recall having many hours lost on NBA Jam, Klonoa and Silent Bomber (look this one up, it’s the very definition of a hidden gem)
My family got our very first PC when I was 18 and with it, access to the internet. I was now able to read about games, download music and play Messiah. A game which I wish had an HD remaster. I also got into playing Unreal Tournament and LAN parties. I miss LAN parties.
In my early twenties I got a job at GAME which saw my collection explode! I suddenly had access to every single new release which combined with my staff discount, meant I quickly amassed quite a collection of games. I was obsessed by the N64 and tried to collect every single UK release (something which I’m still trying to do today) and was there for the launch of the Dreamcast. Another day one console for me and one which still holds a very special place in my heart. It was through the Dreamcast that I was introduced to online gaming and surfing the web on my TV…. I wish I still had my @Dreamcast email address.
Because of my time at Game I was buying consoles and games at an alarming rate and soon had a PS2, Xbox, Gamecube and various handheld consoles. The Xbox was my console of choice for a long time and when Xbox Live was announced, I was straight on it. One of my first competitive games online was on Crimson Skies. I was commended by an American for sticking with the Game even though I was losing, badly.
After I left Game my love of games grew. Not being around them all day, every day somehow made me appreciate them even more. It’s true, I missed my staff discount but I’d since discovered eBay and was regularly receiving old games through the post.
I bought a Wii early on its life and like many others, didn’t play it that much. The motion controls just weren’t my thing. Of course, Tatsunoku Vs Capcom got plenty of use but I struggled to play anything else for extended periods using the Wii mote. I probably missed out on a lot but since then, I’ve modded my Wii and it’s quickly becoming my most used console.
When I got my Xbox 360 I was dubious. A lot of the games seemed like generic FPS shooter type affairs but nevertheless, I went with one. It was the right decision as I love my 360. The online features, party chats, Xbox live arcade were all amazing features and with each and every new addition to the Xbox dashboard, Microsoft were on fire! (let’s just forget about the beacons though) There’s far too many highlights to mention but the Gears series, Halo, Crackdown, Bayonetta and the Arkham series all left a massive impression with me. The Xbox 360 is easily my second favourite console.
All along the way I’ve acquired retro consoles from ebay and various shops and currently have about 13 sitting under my TV with a few others scattered in my Command Centre. My most recent purchase was the Xbox One. Microsoft haven’t quite hit the dizzying heights of the 360 with this console and I have little faith in it doing what it’s supposed to do. Taking screen shots and recording videos is an excellent feature but does seem very hit and miss. Still, I’m persevering as there’s some great games available. Just recently I’ve been getting stuck into Quantum Break and Steep and the backwards compatible games mean that I can enjoy many of my 360 games with the Xbox One features… when they want to work.
So that’s my gaming life in a nutshell. There’s plenty of things that I haven’t mentioned like how I acquired my Virtual Boy, a Neo Geo CD console, how I discovered emulation on my PC and what my all time favourite games are… but never mind, I’ve got the whole site to write about this.