Monday, June 18, 2012

Exploring A Different Side

I feel it somewhere...... and it mostly seems to be this "feeling" in my chest.  Somewhere just below the region of the heart, but not the area of the heart itself.  It's like there's this force threatening to take over.

Enough of the vagueness.  I've always considered myself to be a Console Gamer and in all respective purposes, I have been and still am.  Sure, I've enjoyed playing computer games, but they were never "very" current/cutting edge/ AAA rated/level  games.  

And now, some history of my computer gaming-ness:

The first computer game I remember playing was on a color screen in kindergarten (1985-86), which must have been something special, probably something akin to an Apple IIGS.  It was some Disney point and click game, similar to Shadowgate in that it was a "point-and-click" adventure that involved Mickey Mouse and outer space.  Then in the third grade (1988-89) we had an Apple IIe computer, which is where I was introduced to "classics" such as The Oregon Trail, Number MunchersLemonade Stand and Where in the World/USA is Carmen San Diego; these games were all on a monochrome black and green screen.  Sometime around 1991-92 (I don't remember exactly), our family got our first computer, an Apple IIe with a duel floppy drive.  [I believe we received/bought this system (as well as a dot matrix printer) from my aunt and uncle after they upgraded].  The games that came with this computer, from what I remember, were The Hobbit, some kind of Olympic game that may or may not have been Olympic Decathlon from Microsoft, some kind of graphics / drawing program that I was never able to make any sense out of and your basic word processing and spreadsheet program.  Most likely there were some other programs, but I can' remember anything else.

This computer we had until sometime around 1995 when my sister used some of her high school graduation money and bought herself an Apple Macintosh Computer; I believe it was a Macintosh 5215CD running the System 7.5 OS (To add, we had, I think, 8MB of RAM and a 500MB hard drive).  The few games that we had for this computer were Where in the World is Carmen San Diego and The Oregon Trail II.  Again, we probably had some other games at that time, but I don't recall what any of theme were.  Since it was primarily my older sister's computer (which was in my parent's room for whatever reason), I was mainly able to use it for homework assignments, and not too often then.  My letters to colleges when I was applying in 1997, I typed them out on one of our families two typewriters.  Don't get me wrong though, I'm not knocking my upbringing or our lack of serious computing power, I'm just trying to tell a story.

It must have been when I was a junior in high school (1996-97) that I was introduced to Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, with an online demo (we had a 28/8 modem, recently upgraded from a 14/4).  It was the very definition of awesome computer gaming.  Shortly after playing the demo numerous times, I went out to Target and bought the Warcraft Battle Chest, which contained Warcraft: Orcs vs. Humans, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, and Warcraft IIx: Beyond the Dark Portal.  I played the ever-living shit out of these games, although never completing either the Orc or Human campaigns in Warcraft II or IIx.  I spent most of my time using the level editor, trying to perfect how the computer controlled its characters and how to create a compelling story.

In late 1998, I bought a Compaq Presario laptop, partly because I wanted a computer that was separate from the one my sister had bought then taken with her that year to SDSU, or maybe she bought another computer for herself and left the old one with my parents; I think that's what happened.  Either way, I wanted my own computer.  Shortly after I played quite a bit with the Diablo demo although never got around to buying the game.  I did buy the PC port of Final Fantasy VII, being the avid Final Fantasy fan, it seemed only natural. Within a year, my computer began experiencing odd issues when I tried installing a DOS D&D game; it was never the same after that.

Jump ahead to around 2002 when I was introduced to Baldur's Gate from my friend Dylan; this was on a Dell something-or-other.  That's all I'm going to say on that, as anyone whose ever played will know how much it can consume your life.  I also went through the sequel Baldur's Gate II: Shadow's of Amn, although I felt it was too linear and it didn't pull me in like the first game.  Then, in 2003, I purchased Neverwinter Nights, which was about the limit of gaming that my then Dell something-or-other (but better than the previous Dell that I had bought with an ex-girlfriend) could play.  I played this quite a bit as well, purchasing the physical expansion packs and like with Warcraft II, tried making my own games/stories.

This was really it for computer gaming until more recently, as in 2006-7 when I played the Bioshock demo on my roommate's (Vorlynx) computer.  I also got through Doom III on Vorlynx's gaming computer back in 2010 before I moved up to Portland.  With my previous netbook, I mentioned in a previous post, that I'd been playing Diablo, Diablo II, Plants vs. Zombies, and Portal.  I got about halfway (maybe?) through the first Fallout game, although I got to a point where I didn't know where I had to go or what to do.  With all this in mind, I've never really considered myself a PC gamer.

Now I have a newer-ish computer (Lenovo Ideapad Z575), I have a Steam account with over 20 games, some from Dr. Potts while others I bought because they looked awesome and pretty (Dear Esther), with Dear Esther and Portal 2 being the most recently released games.  Most of the purchases have been when Steam has a weekend or daily sale with a game being 50-80% off.  

I now have a computer that can handle newer-ish games unlike my consoles, the newest of which is the Nintendo Gamecube.  I do, however, as previously stated, play the DS and PSP a lot and would count those as my primary source of gaming.  I also just bought a Nintendo 3DS last week and am loving the shit out of it

I don't really consider myself a PC gamer, although I'm starting to feel the pull.  And the pull is quite strong.

The Grass Is Just A Different Shade Of Green

1 comment:

  1. There is a clear trend from Warcraft II to Neverwinter Nights for games with level editors and/or RPG games. I've noticed that is one thing about my experience with Steam: Not much for RPGs. But these indie developers sure do love platformers!
    I remember those computers you had. Remember when you figured out that you could make the computer read text in different voices?
    I feel like maybe I should make a response post. Just to compare notes.