As part of the 1st-anniversary celebrations at TBG towers @pigswing thought it would be a good idea for everyone to chip in and provide a few words about their greatest moments in gaming. It didn’t have to be the most critically praised title just the experience that stuck with us the most. Well, of course, we jumped at the chance to talk about ourselves (for once) so here it is – TBG’s Greatest Moments in Gaming Pt. 3!
When I started playing video games they didn’t really have endings as such, a high score board, increase in difficulty from one level to the next, maybe a credits roll. In the late eighties early nineties console gaming started to provide you with a still image and a few words, a-la Kung-Fu Master, Double Dragon or Street Fighter. My standout moment in gaming then is when I finished Hideo Kojima’s Snatcher. Released originally back in 1988 on the Japanese only PC-88, most westerners finally got to enjoy this cyberpunk adventure game on the much-maligned Mega CD/Sega CD. The advent of the CD medium for console gaming allowed the game to be revisited. Extra content from the original and voice acting made this game feel like I was playing a movie, and it was the end of this movie which blew me away. The 40 minutes of cut scenes, wrapped up the story. This was the first time I experienced games as an entertainment medium rather than just something little boys did in their bedroom or in a sticky-carpeted arcade. The sense of achievement I had from completing a game and being so handsomely rewarded in its finale was a turning point in gaming, and something we take for granted nowadays. Sadly Mr Kojima went on to make the Metal Gear series, where his ability to tell a story became bat shit crazy levels of contrived bollocks.
Greatest Gaming memories is it even possible to choose one? I would say not. Saving my pocket money for what seemed an eternity so I could buy Sonic on the Master System from Blockbuster. Standing and watching Sonic on the Mega Drive for the first time in a Dixons store. After hearing so much from abroad about Pokemon, playing Red when it finally released. Pulling the Master Sword out of the stone in Zelda on the SNES. Singing along to Daytona on the Saturn. Playing Wipeout on release with the PS round theJohnincs after watching the dinosaur tech demo more than we should! Getting into the first vehicle on GTA Vice City and hearing MJ’s Billie Jean. Getting an import N64 to play Mario 64 about 9 months before the UK release. Going to trade shows with theJohnInc. Playing arcade perfect Dreamcast games. Queuing up at stupid o’clock to pick up my copy of Zelda Ocarina of Time. Playing 4 players on the N64, GoldenEye, WcW Revenge or Mario Kart, which usually involves someone getting a kicking. After linking 4 Xbox consoles together to play Halo round theJohnInc’s flat and then watching him beat the living daylights out of Lopez. Playing the Kung Fu Chaos game where you jump over a pole with my cousin and friends. Playing through the original Gears of War with theflamey online. “All Ghillied Up” ‘nuff said. Playing GRAW 6 player co-op over XBL for the first time. Or maybe it was killing 49 people out of the 75 with only 2 deaths in a game TDM on Modern Warfare 2. Going to the Arcade Club in Bury for theJohnInc’s milestone birthday with Lopez and theflamey. Finishing Dark Souls for the first time and feeling of relief! Any of the opening introduction sections on Forza Horizon game.
Going through the best gaming memories I have had, fall into three main categories anticipation of a game/console release, personal achievement or sentimental memory. For my out and out memory, I am going to go with the sentimental choice, playing and finishing Lego Marvel Superheroes. Not the greatest game granted, but a hell of a lot of fun with the subject matter being Marvel and Lego. But purely for the company I had, playing through with my son. It was beautiful to see his face light up with enthusiasm and with enjoyment, playing through all the challenges and unlocking all the next character. We finished it with 100% completion, and what memory it is, with my little superhero, my son.
This is an interesting concept for me and impossible to pinpoint a single moment, so I have decided to give a top three – something old, something new and something shared.
Old – Completing Super Mario Bros. 3 on the NES was quite possibly my defining moment in gaming. It was the first time I remember completely finishing a game that I had purchased and then replaying it to find all of the secrets missed. It’s one of Marios best outings and still holds up today.
New – Playing and finishing Lego Batman with my 5-year-old was an experience like no other. Mostly pure frustration all be told but finally, I had someone on my wavelength and in my skill range to play with. We both giggled like little boys throughout, except only one of us was.
Shared – Another moment that has stayed with me was playing Halo on the OG Xbox multiplayer. Long before online gaming was an everyday reality a group of roughly 8, including @lopezgreen and @thebigmacdaddy setup camp in @thejohninc ‘s flat for the day. At the time it involved a great deal of coordination! 4 original Xbox consoles, 4 TV’s, a shed load of cables, a router and enough physical space. What ensued was a few average deathmatches followed by a lot of drinking and people beating the crap out of @lopezgreen HAPPY TIMES x
If I had interrupted my former 10-year-old self whilst playing Metal Gear Solid 2 and informed him that some 16 years later, I would be experiencing a gaming moment much greater than that one, I would have laughed. In fact, that could have been said for many a game on my beloved PS2: Resident Evil 4, Shadow of the Colossus, GTA III…the list goes on. Yet here I am, fast approaching my thirties, and Nintendo has provided me with my greatest gaming moment to date.
The Legend of Zelda is not a series that I have closely followed, and that pains me to say. I have admired it from afar and tried my hand at The Ocarina of Time, but the latest entry in the series had me at ‘Wake up, Link.’ The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild culminates all that is right with gaming and provides a breath-taking package full of promise and delight. My single greatest moment has to be approaching the Great Plains of Hyrule for the first time, safe in the knowledge that this was mine to explore. The art style is outstanding and it’s delivery could not have been any better. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to traverse the vast plains, and it is one of the few games that hasn’t lost its magic – even after two years have passed!
That’s it for part three, be sure to check back soon for more updates!