My first contact with the video game world came via a HC-91 spectrum, where i had to wait for the game to load via cassete player. 😛 If you remember those times you can consider yourself old my friend, but also a true veteran. I remember all too well the times the game didn’t load properly and i had to rewind and start all over again, and in time i learned to know just by the sound patterns if there will be an error or not. There were many games that i enjoyed back then, and some of their names sound familiar to some even today, like Elite and Dizzy. Nether Earth and Austerlitz were the precursors of the RTS and TBS games that i will later play and at that time they were unique and fascinated me entirely. I would play them all over again, trying new strategies, new aproaches
For those who are nostalgic about that period, or for those who don’t know what they missed, here you can find an online emulator that let’s you play a lot of those games:
Some years later followed a Terminator console, that i enjoyed for a time, beofore getting my first pc. The graphics weren’t much better than what the HC games had, and the gameplay and depth was much shallow indeed. Still, i enjoyed it as the dual controllers allowed me to play with others more easily and the load time was 0.
I received my first computer when i was in the 8th grade, a Cyrix 6X86 233 MHz with a Virge 1 or 2 Mb video memory and 16 Mb of Ram, and the first games i played there were Wolfenstein, Jack Jazzrabbit and the demo’s from Level magasine’s CD. I was crazy about KKND, Diablo – Hellfire and my love, Panzer General.
Ofcourse, my apetite for strategies grew larger, and i discovered Warcraft, C&C, Red Alert and the ruler of them all, the one and only STARCRAFT! Like in the other cases, i remember playing the 3 unique missions from the demo again and again, and being totally enchanted by the world Blizzard created. Later i would go to internet cafe’s and duel other Starcraft lovers, either on Lan or Battlenet games. I loved those days, and i will always cherish those moments. I also spent countless hours playing Spellcross, an underdog TBS where you controlled modern day human armies against orcs and magic wielders that invaded Earth. Total Annihilation was also on my list, along with hundreds others.
It might sound a clisee, but back in the days, the games were BETTER, the graphics didn’t matter that much as the gameplay, and there was an unique feeling about most of the titles that were launched, not like today when we have Fifa 100, NFS x10 and many sequels that lack personality…
A few years after i had the pc i managed to connect to the internet via a dial-up modem 😛 and then the world really opened up. By trial & error i understood how things work and how to fix both software and hardware problems, ability that was proven to serve me well in life up to this point. I am quite proud of one particular moment, when i stood an entire day to find and then download a game that i liked a lot and was near impossible to find, A.R.S.E.N.A.L. – Taste the power. It was about 80 mb, but still, it took more than 8 hours to get it, along with various other fixes that made it work. Yeah, it was pirated all right 😛
Over time, as i had the financial possibilities, i would upgrade my rig so that i was able to play most of the games that came out, but, as i have said, finding good games wasn’t as easy as it once was, as our espectations grew exponentially as well. About the 9 Dragons period and more recent games, in another post!