I miss that old spark

I spend a lot of my time watching play throughs (or playing) some of the old games of my childhood. Sonic the Hedgehog, Brian Bloodaxe, Shining Force, just to name a few. The thing is, however, is that I often come away feeling slightly disappointed.

I miss that old spark of playing something that is truly ‘new’ to me.

I think back to the very first time I played Sonic the Hedgehog at my aunts, and just remember how exciting it was. I’m not sure if it was just because I was young, or if it was the very first time I’d seen something like it – or even if it was just down to fluking the entire first level on my first try.

This is pretty much a conversation I have with my Dad at times. Never again will I be able to get these ‘first time’ moments. Too many of the ideas have already been done. That first time playing Tomb Raider, I remember dropping the joypad when the T Rex that had been hinted at first appeared (Yes, I subsequently died). Marveling at that cut-scene in Final Fantasy VIII, where there are feathers and hair blowing across a field, and thinking that *this* was the pinnacle of graphics. (Ha!). Even laughing at the cheesy dialogue in Resident Evil was a defining moment for me.

I’m not sure if I’m just too old to feel that kind of excitement with a new game, or if I’ve just become immune to the awesomeness that a new game should be. I came close to that old feeling with Dark Souls 1, but it still wasn’t what I’ve been chasing.

I guess I miss the feel of that old spark I used to get with games. Don’t get me wrong – I’ll still blow hours of my life thoroughly enjoying the games I am playing. But that old sense of ‘I’ve never seen anything like this before’ seems to be gone, and that makes me very sad. Games have lost that sense of ‘Wow’, and it’s still a feeling that I chase – and I admit, I’ll carry on chasing it, just because. So, my own main personal ‘wow’ moments are below:

  • Pacman (Atari) – A-mazing.
  • Brian Bloodaxe (ZX Spectrum) – my first introduction to 2D platforming. The bees knees!
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Megadrive) – OMG, cartridges that load almost immediately! No tapes! Gotta go FAST!
  • Dune 2, Battle for Arrakis (Sega Megadrive) – my introduction to real time strategy games. It blew me away. I was always House Atreides.
  • Tomb Raider (Sega Saturn) – my first venture into 3D platforming. What was this wizardry?!?
  • Resident Evil (Playstation) – Possibly the first survival horror game? It was at least the first one I ever played.
  • Final Fantasy VIII (Playstation) – Those graphics. Surely they could get no better?

This list is by no means complete for all my defining gaming moments, but they are the main ones that come to mind when I’m overcome by nostalgia. Think I’ll go download some emulators now and get all nostalgic again.

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