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Good Food to Grow Up On.



Good Food to Grow Up On.

With the loving influence of  Needle I have been spending some time over the past few months exploring some 'classics' that I missed growing up. Currently I am working my way through a myriad of NES titles that I never bothered with (because I was too busy playing other stuff).  
 After asking him (admittedly I was a bit tipsy)  
"WTF is Princess Tomato? " our following conversation  had me pondering the various games throughout my time that were influential, for me, for some reason or another.  
As i finish the list of course, I realize that I'd love to include so many more. The standard, Grand Prix, Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt, Tetris, and Unreal, even games like Age of Empires and Myst, but I'm not creating a list of "All the Games I Loved Before" but rather the ones that impacted my young mind with some sort of influence. Whether their game mechanics, art direction, subject matter, or characters were the reason these ten, nay, eleven games are games I grew up playing.  
I regret nothing.  O_o

List items

  • The year was 1982. This is where it all started. In a little living room in a small town in rural Ontario I hopped craters and shot towards the sky. Why my, albeit young, parents had the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A or where they obtained it is beyond me. What I do know is that this was the catalyst f a life long love affair with technology and gaming that would help create the upstanding person I have become today. Moon Patrol was available on many platforms at the time but what better way to break away from the shape matching and multiplication 'games' that my folks thought would help occupy my knowledge thirsty brains than with a quick trip to the moon. Buried within the recesses of my memories a recent encounter with Moon Patrol in an arcade case has reminded me how influential this really was, for me.

  • Seven year old Sharon now has a four year old brother and an obscenely large monochrome computer in the playroom. Fluent in DOS by this time, there was nothing quite like the 'responsibility' of reading through this game to my sibling. A chance to show off my excelled reading ability via use of technology while being able to boss around a small familial person ? Sign me up!

  • Blades Of Steel was one of my favorite "play with a friend" games. I have a funny, and somewhat embarrassing, story about this game (ask me sometime and I will tell you the tale). I still can't say the word 'fight' in conversation without hearing the NES sounds of punching in my perfectly sane head.

  • My first laptop was a Toshiba and was somewhat similar to the T1600 (although Im not sure if that was the specific one) and great news, I was allowed to keep the computer in my room! No longer did I have to play the NES in my living room where all could see my struggles and triumphs but now I was free to fall on spikes and challenge dropping floors in privacy. Prince of Persia was a significant part of my personal computer time, back before I knew the franchise would develop a long history.

  • Like the previous entry, Prince of Persia, Shinobi was one of my personal computer favorites. It was here that I was exposed to, and fell in love with, Ninjas as a concept. The ninja phase of my life was only furthered by four tiny turtles and some 'the foot' but Shinobi was it. Even just looking at the screens makes my heart swell.

  • Forget what you know about Duke Nukem now. Forget the ridiculousness that has become the longest development of possibly the worst game ever, and go back to 1991 and a side scrolling Duke. While it might not seem so now, at the time, i felt like this game was different. I played the hell outta this game and never grew bored. I loved the way it looked, the way it sounded, and all of the silly details. I'm not sure any Duke Nukem game after it ever lived up to what was, at one point, my favorite game.

  • Mortal Kombat was one of my favorite gameboy games. The reason it was such an influence for me though was the character design. My first ever fan art was of the female characters that appeared in the game book. I spent a lot of time drawing the characters in the various stances, with modded costumes, with shaded colored pencils.

  • I didn't play Castle Wolfenstein nor did I play Beyond Castle Wolfenstein but i played a LOT of Wolfenstien 3D. This game started my love for FPS, a love that has dissipated with age, and I enjoyed every second of it. I could probably still walk you through all the secret treasure rooms and instinctively know where enemies will emerge from.

  • This one has to be on everyone's list. Who didn't play (and love) Doom? I wasn't allowed to watch R rated movies or TV shows that were on too late but I could easily become a demented space marine and destroy a myriad of monsters with more gore and awesome weaponry than my innocent preteen mind could imagine. And the mods, oh my, the mods! This was also the first game I ever played via LAN.

  • Metal Gear Solid was one of the first games that brought me over to consoles from PC gaming. MGS was one of my first exposures to this style of storytelling, over the top complex scenarios, and characters that 'break the wall' (with it's psycho mantis boss battle). I was 18, I was in my first apartment, and I fell for a guy named Snake.

  • I almost hesitate to include this game in my list. Why? Because there really is no good reason as to why it was such an influential game for me. Lara was not the first female character in a game and certainly not the last, she was also not the most compelling, but she was easy to gravitate to. Also as one of my early PS1 games, i spent a lot of time with the controller learning the moves, enjoying the environments, and wielding two guns at once.