I have rejoined the gaming world!

Posted: August 12, 2013 in Movies & TV
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The PlayStation 3:

Rejoining the Video-game World

On Wednesday 8th August 2013 I purchased a new PlayStation 3. I paid £130 for 120GB of the finest that Japanese gaming has to offer. It’s a big moment for me, I’ve been out the loop gaming wise for nearly three years now. I used to live it large: an Xbox 360 and a PS3, along with a huge television and speakers to play it on. Unfortunately stupid decisions in my personal life cost me all of that.

But now I’m back and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve got a swanky FullHD LED Samsung television to go along with it and some of the games that I’ve been wanting to play since they were released but instead had to settle for the occasional LetsPlay or demo play through around friends. I’ve got a couple of BluRay movies as well. Another aspect that I’m looking forward to a a lot more than I thought I would is being able to play PlayStation 1 games through the console.

In this article I will be summing up my gaming history and telling you about a few of my favorite games. I figured it might be a good start in my drive to post a lot more (I’ve been seriously slipping on the blog front, though I have been writing articles for me friend Craig’s wrestling blog which can be found here) while I also spruce up the page a little too.

My gaming life started sometime in 1994 or 1995. My mother had just bought a Mega Drive for me and I’d spend hours playing classic games like Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Golden Axe, Earthworm Jim and FIFA Soccer. Times were good. I was a young (four or five when I started gaming) boy and I couldn’t get enough. The bright colors and addictive music were a constant escape and source of comfort.

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I continued with the Mega Drive (also adding a Master System at some point) until around 1996, when I got something for a Christmas or a birthday that would go on to change my life in many ways. I got a PlayStation. The PlayStation was a whole new world compared to the Mega Drive and Master System, it’s games were a lot more complex and longer and I also had the ability to save my progress, unthinkable only a few short years previously.

Through the PlayStation I was introduced to the games that would go on to define my media enjoying life. Though the PSX game library started off simple, it would soon grow to include bonafide classic video-game series and the ones that hooked me in closest were mainly from Japanese studios. Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil and Silent Hill were all games that I became completely absorbed in.

Metal Gear Solid‘s incredible storyline, the movie like cinematography and presentation in it’s cut scenes and it’s peerless graphics were like crack to me. The philosophical and sociological ideas put across were huge mind openers to my 8 year old self and kicked off a love of history and science that still holds strong today. Resident Evil introduced me to the concept of zombies and Silent Hill terrified my young self. Another game that I have fond and dear memories of is MediEvil. The awesome platform and hack and slash game still remains one of my favorite games.

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For me the PlayStation era can be summed up with these games: Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil, Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Dino Crisis, Dino Crisis 2, MediEvil, Grand Theft Auto, Crash Bandicoot, and Silent Hill.

When 2001 came along my mom was ready. In December 2001 I received as a gift a PlayStation 2. This was huge for me as it was also the first time I had a DVD player in the house so I could watch all my favorite movies again. On that Christmas Day I got two games with my console: WWF SmackDown: Just Bring It and Grand Theft Auto III.

I’d say it was around this point in the story is when I properly became a gamer. I started buying magazines, I started calling cheat hotlines (youngsters may not know about these, this being before I entered the online world) and I’d spend hours playing games instead of doing chores, my homework or whatever trivial nonsense you have to do at that age.

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Grand Theft Auto III was another edition of a series that I loved. I had played GTA, GTA: London and GTA 2 when I had my PlayStation but truly the games didn’t really impress me that much. But when it came to GTA III I was well and truly bowled over. The incredible scale of Liberty City and the full soundtrack and voice cast was astonishing to see. Here was a series where I recognized the humor and one that seemed to embrace my love of movies, particularly classic mafia stories like The Godfather and Goodfellas.

Another game that was soon to release at this time was the peerless Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. This was a game that improved on every aspect of the original and made so many improvements. I consider it to be the Aliens of video-games, the perfect sequel. The intricate and mind bending storyline was divisive but I couldn’t get enough. It is still to this day my favorite video-game and one that I look forward to replaying on PlayStation 3 through the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection.

Other great games of the PlayStation 2 generation that I loved are of course the incredible Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Those two games are probably the two that I have played the most and are two of my favorite games of all time. In particular the soundtracks to these two games had a huge impact, introducing me to many new genres and classic songs.

During this time I also had a Xbox and GameCube at certain points. With these two consoles it was about games. I bought the Xbox to play Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire and Fable. With the GameCube it was for Resident Evil, Resident Evil Zero and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. But during this time my main love was the PlayStation 2.

During this time the games that I loved are: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Resident Evil 4, Devil May Cry, God of War and Mercenaries.

Skip forward to 2008. I’m now 18 years old, about to leave school and head off into adulthood. There was also a game that was coming out that I was looking forward to so badly: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. I was obsessed by this game. It was released on the day of my last ever examination and I remember being so happy on the walk home. I had bought a PS3 a few days previously after having held off on joining the current generation. But I just had to play that game.

In the end I was rather disappointed by MGS4. I don’t know what it is but for some reason I felt really let down by the storyline developments and the direction of the game play, which seemed to be heavily oriented to the action side of the game. For me, MGS has always been about stealth, about making it through the game without being spotted. I will say that the presentation of the game is absolutely incredible and while its not something I particularly enjoy, the shooting side of the game is awesome and is one of the best action games that I have ever played.

 

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However there were other games to be enjoyed. Grand Theft Auto IV chief amongst them. This is another game that is divisive in it’s fandom. While it has many camps and factions I would say that is firmly set in two different sides: GTA fans who appreciated the darker and more detailed storyline and city, and GTA fans who wanted something more like San Andreas. I’m a member of the former group. I loved GTA IV and especially the boggling detail to which Rockstar Games went in it’s pastiche of New York City. Maybe it’s just because I have been to New York but I really loved Liberty City.

At some point in 2009 I had the dumb idea to trade my PS3 in for a 360. While I did enjoy playing games like Fable 2 and the awesome Mass Effect series of games I never seemed to have much luck with the 360. I went through a series of red rings of death and other hardware malfunctions. Very frustrating to a (now) stoner gamer.

The games that I loved during this time, which goes from mid 2008 to around early 2011, include: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Grand Theft Auto IV, Resident Evil 5, Grand Theft Auto IV: Episodes From Liberty City, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2 and FIFA 11.

So we get to the end of the tale. I’m sitting here typing this on my laptop as The Dark Knight BluRay plays on my television. Fully back into the gaming life I have been playing the games I have, as well as taking a new step and buying my first digital game. I bought Mass Effect from the PlayStation Store and it’s downloading as I type. I can’t wait to replay that game.

With my console I have also bought a few games: Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, Batman: Arkham City, Grand Theft Auto IV: The Complete Edition, Sleeping Dogs, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, FIFA 13 and Injustice: Gods Amongst Us. I’ve only really started playing Arkham City and Metal Gear Solid 2 so far but I’m easing myself in. I’m going to start a career on FIFA, going to go through Deus Ex and Sleeping Dogs and just really enjoy playing the whole of GTA IV with the DLC included which I’ve never done before and Injustice and Arkham City as I’m a huge Batman and DC Universe fan.

I’m really looking forward to it and I’ll be writing a few things as I go along.

 

My PlayStation Network ID is: doctorstrangeSF

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