Wow reading that brings back good gaming memories.
For me my first gaming system was an Atari 2600 - River Raid was an incredible game, River Raid 2 upped the ante. From there I was fairly hooked on games.
I loved the arcades, especially back when it was big business and kids would be lined up with fists full of 20c coins. Ghost 'n' Goblins, Wonderboy, Galaga all gaming greats. I remember when Ghouls 'n' Ghosts was out, clocked it and found out you had to go through it again to really clock it!!! It was a scandal, but it didn't stop me pumping the 20's in and after a while, I could get very far on just the one 20 cent piece.
The Commodore 64 though, it was the archangel of gaming, it heralded a new beginning for games. How incredible were some of those games - all the arcade ports and the original stuff like Sid Meiers Pirates!, Stridor, Last Ninja, Questron and the AD&D Gold box games. What copy protection? *flicks through the journal to find word 7 of journal entry 3* Ah those Gold Box games, pure gaming bliss, even the not so good ones were tolerable *stares at Secret of the Silver Blades* I can still remember my first play through of the Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance titles - these games are what really introduced the concept of carry characters forward over multiple games. Forget Mass Effect, 20 years prior it was being done with Curse of the Azure Bonds allowing your Pools of Radiance characters to be transferred over.
Ah the C64, best gaming machine ever.
This is not to say the PC wasn't a big hit on my gaming experience. Buying a FPU for my CPU was expensive, buying a CDROM? finacially prohibitive but it has 2x speed, it's incredible! I can stream a game from it a lot faster now! And oh man the rich kid at school got a 486! a freaking 486 who needs that much gaming power!?! Ah the technology then seemed so incredible and now CD-drives can be had for $5 for a 50x rather than $1200 for a 2x.
The PC games, so much damn variety out there.
Shareware was prolific - Castle Wolfenstein, Duke Nuke'em, Doom, Quake Games like that released for free these days don't exist, infact on the whole demo's (which made PC gaming in it's infancy) rarely exist.
Games like Descent grabbed the excitement factor for you, They evolved into deeper style of space games - such as Freespace and of course the amazing X-Wing series. How incredible is Tie Fighter? One of the best games that was ever made imho. X-Wing Alliance was the pinnacle of that experience for me.
The RPG's on PC were amazing - you had your Wizardry's, Ultimas made the journey over. Then RPG's matured more - Fallout, Planescape: Torment and the (imo) overrated Baldurs Gate (though still a great game). Arcanum hit the market later than the others but was by far the best, the bug ridden, crashing, save game corrupting magnificent **** that it was.
They need to make Arcanum 2 btw, best setting and story going about in RPG's today.
Remember when Morrowind hit? Incredible gaming experience, truly an amazing time was had with that game - still have it installed and have all the community updates for it and it still plays better than Oblivion. Arx Fatalis, holds a special place in my heart for what it achieved and for what has never been successfully pulled off in an RPG since - story, action, exploration and adventure all cohesive and supporting the other aspects of the game - they need to make Arx 2 *cracks whip at Arkane*
The Thief series, incredible experience (yes even Thief: Deadly Shadows aka Thief 3) was great on story, adventure and playability. The Thief series was high on concept and execution, the first first person sneaker and it hasn't been bettered since.
So many titles that bring back the good memories and have molded my gaming style and gaming life - Combat Mission series, Total War series, Tex Murphy! haha loved those games. Spycraft, man that was an intense game.
You know amongst all this reminiscing it seems to me that gaming has become less an experience for the player and more a diversionary spectacle. This game has the biggest explosions, highest level of viloence, biggest ****, biggest guns, highest bodycount, most vices etc.. but what became of crafting a concept and story? What became of innovation that is something more than simply the "new engine" *stares at iD* I'm not saying a game cannot be good with the above content (GTA is certainly a great series) but we are at a point where all that sells a "big" game is if that content is present or not.
/gets off soap box