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Published on July 9th, 2013 | by Alex Porter

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Blog: My Gaming History

I said my next blog post would be positive so here it is, an overview of my gaming past… now whether you consider it positive or just long, I dunno, but it’s not negative that’s for sure! You’re in for the long haul on this one!

So how did I get into gaming? When I first thought upon this my first thought was that I was never into gaming all that much, at least not until the last 5 or 6 years anyway. But that being said when I really thought about it, my life has had games in it far more than I’d imagined. I’m only 21 so I never experienced the era of arcades and what we now consider classic and retro titles. That’s not to say that I haven’t played some, I certainly have, but that’s not where my gaming story begins.

My first memories of gaming are not of me actually playing games, but rather me watching as my parents played games on the SNES. The particular game I remember watching them play was Looney Tunes Buster Busts Loose and I particularly remember the train level for some reason. I’m amazed I can remember this game since I was born in 1992 and the game was released in 1993 so I must have been only a few years old. Nevertheless, this is my first gaming memory and I always enjoy thinking about it for some reason.

After this, my next gaming memories are the first ones where I actually remember playing the games myself. Although I don’t recall where it came from, I remember having an original NES, which I still have today. I had a handful of games for it including Super Mario Bros. obviously, but there has always been two games that I specifically remember because of the number of hours of entertainment I got out of them. These games are Mega Man 2 and Kirby’s Adventure. Despite my age which I guess was around 6 at the time, I completed Kirby multiple times and even managed to beat all of Dr Wily’s bosses in Mega Man 2, although I never made it to Wily himself. I played the NES as much as possible at home and round my grandparents’ house, they just happened to have a second one! Over time though I eventually lost Mega Man 2 and lent Kirby to friend and never saw it again. I did re-buy Kirby recently since it was my favourite NES game so I now have my original NES console and my favourite game to go with it once again!

The next part of my gaming story goes back to the good old Playstation 1 days. While I had my NES, my parents had their PS1, although it was primarily my mum who played on it. My mum has always been a puzzle game fan so naturally when she played the original Tomb Raider, she was hooked. This is another part of my life where I can remember just spending hours watching my mum complete each Tomb Raider game. The one I recall the most though would be Tomb Raider 3. I always laughed when my mum ran too far down one of the subways and ended up getting slapped in the face with a train. My mum loved the puzzle aspects of the older Tomb Raider games but she wasn’t one for combat. That’s where I came in. My mum would regularly call upon me to fight the bosses or get her through particularly combat heavy areas in the games, a service that I was only too happy to provide. I actually got to relive this recently as I bought the new Tomb Raider for my mum on Mother’s Day. Needless to say, she didn’t really care for it as there was so much combat and too few puzzles compared to the original games.

Alongside Tomb Raider, I can also remember watching her play Alundra. I never quite understood what was going on in the game when I was that age, all I remember is the massive spiked-balls and the creepy music. I recently replayed the whole of Alundra myself to relive what I’d seen, I was rather surprised at how much I loved that game. I also remember watching my dad play Need For Speed Porsche 2000 on the PC, he could normally be found driving around Corsica in a 911. Naturally the PS1 was handed down to me but I don’t recall playing much on it other than Driver. I always tried to drive legally to see how long I would last but the game wasn’t perfect so it wouldn’t take long until the cops were trying to ram you off road for braking too hard. The only other game that I particularly enjoyed had to be Metal Gear Solid. I loved the gameplay although I usually had no idea what was going on in the game. This started my love for the series so naturally I went back when I was older and figured out what was actually going on!

Around this time I received my first handheld console, the Gameboy Colour. My first game was Pokemon Yellow so naturally I had to have a yellow GBC to go with it! To this day Pokemon Yellow remains my favourite handheld game closely followed by Gold. I spent hundreds of hours playing Yellow until the day my brother wiped the save… I restarted though and managed to greatly improve on the second run, I didn’t waste the masterball on Moltres this time round! Despite this, I stopped playing, it wasn’t the same for having lost my original save. My disappointment didn’t last long though as Gold soon arrived, after months of saving up for it, and I was once again hooked.

New gaming platforms became available to me quite fast within a couple of years of each other at this point. Not long after getting the GBC and PS1 was I sitting down to my first PC one Christmas morning. Naturally it was big, noisy, and beige… eugh… but that’s just what PCs were like back then. Through my first PC I was introduced to Serious Sam, one of my favourite games of all time simply because of how crazy it could get! I also played a lot of Unreal Tournament, only against bots though, I didn’t have the internet connection or the skill to play online. The game that particularly stuck out though had to be The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. If I had to guess which game I have spent the most time playing on in my life, it would be Morrowind. This game started my love for RPGs back when I’d never even heard the term before. I have to thank my sister though for getting me into Morrowind, I’d seen hear play it and as the younger sibling I had to copy her! The game did have it’s flaws, I mean you could just go straight to the final boss without pretty much doing anything before hand and kill him, provided you had levelled up a bit at least. I only did that once just to see if it were true, most of the time I just explored the land and raided peoples’ homes for all of their loot but to me, that was all I needed!

Not long after my first PC did I get the Playstation 2, like I said, I seemed to be getting new platforms all the time. While I enjoyed playing on the PS2 and had plenty of games for it, only a few ever stuck out for me. I loved the first Red Faction, I spent hours just playing splitscreen and mining through the multiplayer levels but I also really enjoyed the story and the setting for the game. Alongside this, Grand Theft Auto also had a special place in my console. I would spend hours just driving around not caring about anything other than what the hell was playing on the in-game radio. The big games though that I really loved on the PS2 had to be the Metal Gear Solid games. After the first game I didn’t think that they could do much better but they proved me wrong, especially with Snake Eater. Sure there are other games on the PS2 that I enjoyed like Ratchet and Clank and Deus Ex but for me MGS just overshadowed the others and remains my favourite Playstation series today.

At this point, I had played the PS2 for quite a while and I wanted something new, not just in terms of games but controller and console too. So I ended up getting an original Xbox one Christmas. I didn’t have it for long as I bought it right before the 360 was released but I did manage to play Halo 2 and Fable before I traded it in. While I never got to play Halo 1 on the Xbox, Halo 2 got me hooked onto the story behind the Halo universe. Fable was also impressive with how you could make choices for either good or evil purposes. I was always good though, I could never bring myself to be bad! I did eventually go back and play the first Halo but I think by then it was too late as the story had pretty much been spoiled for me since I’d started on Halo 2.

I also upgraded my handheld around this time with the release of the Nintendo DS. I still have my original DS today but the hours I spent playing Pokemon on the DS definitely show from it’s rather scratched condition. Alongside Pokemon, the only other game I really played on it was Mario Kart. I didn’t actually own the game but a couple of friends of mine would come over several times a week and we would us DS Download Play and spend hours racing each other. I always enjoyed this because we always played outside on sunny days, something you can’t really do with a proper console.

Well, the day finally came when I got the Xbox 360. I had intended on getting the PS3 primarily for MGS 4, but my school friends convinced me to get the 360 as most of them already had one. So one summer I went out and bought my 360. All was well and good… until I realised I’d spent every pound on the console and had no money for a single game. Despite this my mum convinced my dad to buy me a couple of games so we went into GAME and looked through their 2 for £40 offer. First of all I picked Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth II but as I scanned the games I saw the Holy Grail that I’d been seeking. The sequel, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. I had to have it, and it had to be the first thing I played! I put about 200 hours into my first save on Oblivion and I also received my first achievements with it.

Soon after getting the 360, I got Xbox Live and became The Porternator, the nickname that I’d been given by the same friends who had convinced me to get the 360 in the first place. I still remember my first online Gears of War match. I joined my friends game and then left as it said that I was a spectator. I had no idea it was round based and that I was just waiting to respawn! This began many years of online play for me beginning with Gears of War and moving onto the likes of Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4, and eventually moving up to Halo 4 and Gears of War 3 and many other more recent titles. I still play my 360 daily to this day, my friends and Xbox Live made that so by creating such an amazing social part to gaming and I hope to be playing for many years to come!

While the 360 is my primary platform, I do have a decent gaming laptop that I use on occasion to play PC games. I would probably play them more often but using the laptop isn’t the most comfortable way to game and I lack the space for a good desktop computer. I also have a PS3 which I bought primarily for the exclusives like MGS 4 and Ratchet & Clank but I only use it occasionally, especially since I know so few people who use it and most of my friends are on the 360.

As for the future, I’m still not 100% sure what I will do with the next generation. The Xbox One is pricey, the PS4 doesn’t have the exclusives or the controller that I want, and I don’t have the space to get a new desktop which I really want. I’m still looking towards the Xbox One but unless I can get the money for it soon, I may lag into the next generation of consoles! As for a future career, I’m looking into becoming a video game developer. I start university in September and I’m hoping to follow up a degree with a career in video games development, particularly in a programming area. While I’m relatively new here at HXR, I’m also hoping to stay on here for as long as possible, it’s an enjoyable experience and something I find I really enjoy working on in my spare time!

Now if you made it through my life story, congratulations and thanks for reading! What? You want a reward?

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About the Author

A 22 year old avid gamer across both PC and consoles with the gamerscore and game collection to prove it. He tries to divide his time between work, playing through his massive game collection, and studying a degree in Computer Science. He is hoping to follow a career path in video game programming in the future. GT: The Porternator - Steam: The Porternator - PSN: The_Porternator - Twitter: @ThePorternator



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