30 Days of Me: Day 20 - A Hobby of Yours

Hm... I guess a relevent hobby worth talking about (since I already covered my musical talent and shared some of my artisticness in previous installments of this meme), would be gaming.

I've been playing video games since I was about the age of 3 or 4.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_pJlwRrgGJfk/S-17HldW7AI/AAAAAAAAAVo/kvLQUOMlJx4/s1600/nes-console.jpgIt was around 1987 or 1988 and I remember the older brothers of my childhood best friend had gotten a Nintendo. We would sit and watch them play from time to time and when they weren't around we would try our hand at it (we weren't very good). They had a handful of games, including some old school skating boarding game I could never figure out the controls to, Mike Tyson's Punchout, Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, DuckTales, Gauntlet, Castlevania and Anticipation. My friend and I played Mario, Zelda, DuckTales and Gauntlet regularly, and would occasionally play Castlevania, although I remember thinking that one was a bit creepy! One of her brothers was really good at Gauntlet though - while we could only get so far on our own, I remember he giving me updates on how far her oldest brother had gotten while playing himself!

We also tried Anticipation but since weren't even 5, it was years before we were any good at that game! (Anticipation's the one where the computer draws an image and you have to guess what it is and spell it correctly before the time runs out - if you get it correct you get that colored piece and once you get all the colored pieces in that level you advance to the next slightly harder level - there's 3 levels you have to beat in order to win.)

Wanting a gaming system of my own, for Christmas one year my somewhat older cousin (by 3 years) sent me his old Atari system as he had gotten a Nintendo himself and didn't need the Atari. I remember it was okay - I mostly played Pac Man and Space Invaders on it as I couldn't figure out how in the world to play the stupid ET game (which apparently has been named one of the worst games ever made - doesn't surprise me one bit!). Eventually "Santa" brought me my own Nintendo system for Christmas one year - it came with Super Mario Bros, Duck Hunt and a track game that required the included Power Pad. The Power Pad kinda sucked as apparently I wasn't heavy enough for it to register me running my little legs off, but I got plenty of use out of Duck Hunt with the gun, and of course playing Mario on my own so I'd be good when playing with my best friend or my dad. My favorite babysitter I had when I was a kid was a girl that was REALLY good at Mario - we'd spend a good bit of the night playing Mario and she'd show me some tips and tricks I didn't know about, including warp zones.

Eventually I got some more games, including The Legend of Zelda (which my mom's brother spent what seemed like an entire day and night playing when he came to visit us once, getting all the way to the last level - he got farther than I had ever seen!), the Little Mermaid game (which I didn't beat until I was older - that one's actually pretty easy, I could do it in under a half hour, as I started timing myself for kicks, lol...), and my favorite to play was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game, although I never got to beat that one until I got the Game Genie cheat adapter. Over the years I've gone back and bought a few from used gaming stores that my childhood best friend had (we used to borrow games and bring them back and forth to each others houses). I used to rent them from the video store some weeks too - I remember there being a Muppet game where in one stage you had to float around on inter-tubes without crashing into various objects... I have yet to find that one for sale!

As we got older, my friend got annoyed with me a bit, as I got a little too into the game (ie: jumping when my character did, or freaking out and giving a little shriek if I thought I was going to die, etc) - I remember her playing the last level on Mario and I had to go stand in the closet as she beat it cuz I was distracting her too much with my "getting in the game" a bit too much, lol...

I think it was 2nd grade when I got one of the original bulky Gameboy handheld systems. It came with Tetris, which I would be glued to for hours (until the 8 batteries the system required died!). Other games I had for it were the Ren and Stimpy game and Kirby's Dreamland, which I got pretty good at! I think I had a few others, but I can't remember what they were... Eventually they came out with the slimmer Gameboy Color while Sega had the Game Gear handheld. I always wanted to upgrade to the Game Gear, but never got one. I almost bought a Gameboy Advance in college, but spent the money on something else. I'm sure we'll get Jay a handheld at some point, although I wouldn't be too surprised if he keeps finding mommy and daddy playing with it, lol...

In 5th grade, I worked hard and got good grades and my dad promised he'd get me a Sega Genesis, as by then the 2 big systems to have were a Super NES or a Sega Genesis and I really wanted the Sega as I liked playing Sonic over at a friend's house.

http://www.gamesconsoles.com/uploads/Image/Sega-Genesis-Game-Console.jpgThe console we got came with Sonic 2, which as you know, was the first one that introduced Sonic's sidekick Tails. In single player mode Tails mostly just followed you around, and in co-op mode the 2nd player could control him a little bit, but there wasn't much to do with him. He was cute though and I enjoyed saving all the little critters from Dr. Robotnik. I had trouble getting past the Vegas level though... I recently went back and played it not too long ago, finally reaching the last level and OMG... that last level is a PAIN IN THE BUTT! Other games I had for Sega were The Lion King and Toy Story. The Lion King game I enjoyed, but again, I hard time getting past the Hukuna Matata level - fortunately, I had subscribed to Disney Adventures magazine and they published a cheat code that let you select what level you started at and could give you infinite lives - thanks to this, I was able to eventually beat the game (now I can do it without the code). They also published a code for Toy Story which made it so I could finally see the end of the game (some of the later levels were really difficult!) I also purchased used the Anamaniacs game as well as Aladdin, which I had played at a friend's on her Super NES system.

The summer before 9th grade we went out east to visit family and met up with some cousins I hadn't seen in ages. They had a Playstation which my parents agreed was pretty neat, as the graphics were so crisp (for the time). We eventually got one of those for Christmas and over the years I had quite a bit of games for it (my favorite racing game was the Test Drive series), although in a matter of years we upgraded it to a PS2 because of the DVD player that came as part of it and the backwards compatibility of being able to play regular Playstation games in addition to the PS2 ones.

Sometime in high school I got hooked on The Sims and had bought multiple expansions for it (Livin' Large, Hot Date, and Unleashed - the one with the pets). I loved building the houses and thanks to the rosebud code I could just give myself infinite money so I never had to worry about my Sims missing work. Back in the late 80s, I also enjoyed playing DOS floppy disk games, like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade as well as some mine hunter game my dad (which I wish we could remember the name as I LOVED that one - from what I can find online, it's similar to Boulder Dash).

When I went off to college my sis, high school boyfriend, and eventually my college boyfriend all had Gamecubes, so I got to play on those from occasion. Coming home I'd play Mario Party 4 (or was it 5?) with my sister; some RPG game and occasionally football with my high school boyfriend; and my college boyfriend enjoyed that Donkey Kong bongo game, Super Monkey Ball, Super Smash Bros Melee, and Mario Kart: Double Dash. I also had bought myself the Naruto game for Gamecube that's similar to Mortal Kombat, as my ex and I watched Naruto and he had the Gamecube, but unfortunately I never got that one back after the break-up, no matter how many times I reminded his roommate (who was dating my roommate) to tell my ex I wanted it back and to bring it over with him at some point.

Speaking of his roommate... he had an XBox and I remember playing Fable on it a little bit - that was a pretty neat game! If we ever get an XBox, that's one game I wouldn't mind getting and playing more - the concept was pretty interesting, as your actions determined what path your character would ultimately take. You could be a hero or an evil villain!

Eventually for my birthday one year, not wanting me to take the original PS2 that belonged to the family and stayed in the Rec Room, my parents got me one of the newer, slimmer PS2's to have for myself down at school. It came in handy, as between me and my roommate we had 2 NES's, I think she had a Super NES, the Sega Genesis, and a Gamecube. Guitar Hero became pretty popular shortly after I got my own PS2 and it was an instant hit for when we had people over - I had gotten Guitar I and II with guitars for Christmas one year, so that was always a fun time! My ex also got me into the Kingdom Hearts games and I still play some of the Tomb Raider games from time to time.

I was happy with my PS2 for years, but hubby and I both wanted one of the newer 3 big systems - PS3, XBox, or Wii. The Wii I figured was a must have, just because it's so different, but we plan on getting either a PS3 or an XBox at some point (hubby doesn't like playing the Pro-Sports or Shooter games on the Wii - he's leaning more towards XBox though, while I'd prefer the PS3 just for the backwards compatibility with the PS1 and PS2 games). I actually got our Wii and most of our games and accessories for free, as I'm part of the VH1 VIP community and won VIP of the Month several months in a row last winter (in which the grand prize is a $100 Amazon gift card each month, or a $20 gift card for the 5 runner-ups) before they changed the rules and added restrictions to how many times you could win (oops!). I had saved up enough in Amazon gift cards though to get us the Wii bundle with Wii Sports, an extra Wiimote, a charging station, New Super Mario Bros Wii and the Mario Kart Wii bundle with an extra wheel. I also bought us Lego Star Wars and hubby got some WWII fighter pilot game and MLB 2K10. We have a 2nd nunchuck too and I got Lego Harry Potter and Lego Indiana Jones for my birthday a few months ago. I look forward to when Jay's old enough to play - I could see him really enjoying the Wii when he's little! I'm hoping to get Mario Party 8 once the price drops a bit, as the Mario Party games are pretty fun for both kids and adults!

And we all know in college, I got sucked into WoW (World of Warcraft) at the end of my 3rd year of college and it had me hooked for years. I still play occasionally - the addiction comes and goes really (I'm lucky to already be playing the Beta for the upcoming expansion which is released about 2 and a half months before Jay is born, which means I'll have just enough time to level up at least 1 of my 3 80s to 85 before I gaming takes a backseat to parenting). I tend to get sucked in for a bit when the newest expansion comes out, but after awhile, after doing all the new content once, twice... three times, it gets a bit boring and I hate grinding and farming items for rep or materials. Since I started playing WoW I also tried out City of Villains, which was pretty interesting, as well as the Star Trek MMO Beta, which was okay, but got a bit boring and repetitive after awhile.

Do you game? What games and consoles have you played?

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you've been living a happy life full of gaming :)

    The console most near and dear to my heart is the Sega Genesis, as we got one when I was maybe 7. The whole family enjoyed playing games together on it (especially Streets of Rage 2). My little brother got a PlayStation years later, but it wasn't something everyone in the family used (I only played one single-player game on it), so no family bonding time there.

    I loved playing Sonic 2, but I never did beat it. The place I always remember dying was the Oil Ocean Zone. Tails was so cute, and I remember the first time I got to the end of the third level (Aquatic Ruin), I didn't know how to beat the boss, but Tails showed me (you had to jump on the arrows shot at you, and then onto Dr. Robotnik). So he was helpful. I loved the Casino level, because you could get so many rings.

    I loved playing both The Lion King and Aladdin, though in both cases I could never make it past their respective lava levels without using cheats. I know that Hakuna Matata level was so hard, with the jumping up the logs on the waterfall! That took me forever to be able to do.

    Thinking about the Genesis sure brings me back. Fun times.


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