Let’s go back in time, to the best years of my life, the mid-late 1990’s. Yes, a magical time indeed and the golden age of video games. I was a very lucky child growing up. I had both a Nintendo 64 and a Playstation. And just about every Friday that my mother got paid she’d take me to the greatest place on earth– Toys R Us — where I’d get a new video game. It may be the nostalgia speaking, but back then it felt like a new game came out every two weeks, and good games too. Solid platformers with challenging bosses, and even the easy games (EHEM Yoshi’s Story!) were so fantastic that you could play them over and over and over again day after day!! (Possibly just me, but I doubt it)
My Greatest Guilty Pleasure
I was a Toys R Us kid if there ever was one. Some may even say that I was spoiled. But I knew a toy store like the back of my hand, and when I was younger, the game station wasn’t sectioned off from the rest of the play palace either. It wasn’t a game station at all, it was just another aisle. Actually, it was the best aisle! Anyone would drift in without feeling segregated from the rest of the store. Picture a child wandering in wonder- awestruck- at all the dolls, bikes, balls, only to be greeted by the whimsical illustrations dawning each box. It was pure colorful brilliance! I remember gunning straight to the sanctuary– the game sanctuary. Hoarding ticket numbers and debating my best friend Phil over which one we wanted to play first! (Because back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth we’d take a ticket to the register and then actually get the game.) The game section wasn’t some designated prison for disks guarded by magnetic alarms. Frankly these new glass museums of games and gadgets rub me the wrong way. In the 90’s gaming was friendly, and games were about more than trophies and kill count.
Are you almost crying too?
What I liked about the cartridges most was the solution to a wonky connection– you’d blow in it! (Either that or you’d slam it in like The Rock’s face under the force of the mighty Stone Cold) Yes youngsters, you read that right, and yes, there were warnings against it but to this day I haven’t had a file corrupt because of it! Unlike the disks where if they got scratched after you threw it because you couldn’t catch the egg thief in Spyro… maybe, you’d be up shits creek without a buffer!
¤Cue Tetris Music¤
Think hard, did I miss something? Umm yeah… who could forget the Gameboy? Oh, you know that I of all people would be the last person to neglect the father of handhelds! Yeah, I had a Game Gear… Thanks to my boyfriend I still have a Game Gear with an impressive game collection which now awaits our daughter. But none can argue successfully (that’s a challenge haters!) that the Game Gear was even in the same realm of awesome. Yes it was color, yes it was even brighter and larger (even I can admit that the Gameboy’s screen was at times so dim it was impossible to play), but that’s all irrelevant when you need 3 batteries and can’t play longer than 3 or 4 hours! Needless to say, Sega dropped out of the game (pun intended) and Nintendo sat steady for the ride, and ended up with a pretty view of Earth from space. Bringing us around to the point… after 2o years, the Gameboy still stood as the 3rd highest selling console of all time. Do you understand that without the Gameboy Nintendo wouldn’t be a competitive giant in the ranks of Sony at all? I think we all owe our pocket pal a huge Thank You!
I’d pay so much money for this to be real.
I’ll let you into a little secret that I didn’t even understand until I was digging deep as to why I love games like I do. I’ve attributed my attachment to handhelds for convenience of being able to game where ever and whenever. The greatest invention since sliced bread is a handheld with a rechargeable battery just so you know… But my first handheld, the first one that was mine and not something I shared with my cousin (we had a large and close Italian family)… was the 1999 Pokemon Gameboy Bundle with Yellow Version (complete with Pikachu that won’t leave your side). I remember the day I knew I was going to get it, my mother bought it for me for my birthday (late November) with her Christmas Bonus check (it cost 100 dollars… I swear I never forgot). I went straight to Phil’s house and just played… I’ve never stopped playing. I’ll always have the heart of a Toys R Us Kid (and a Pokemon Master). That Gameboy shaped my life, I grew with my heroes and animated friends. Bomberman, Batman, Red, Link, Mario, Megaman, Samus! I could go on and on… and I plan to!
It really was perfect.
Keep coming back and I’ll keep posting! Look for Pt. 2 and relive the nostalgia when I tackle Super Smash Brothers, Yoshi’s Island, Mario 64! I need to build on this, I need to build up to it. I love Nintendo so much, it’s one of the greatest Love Stories, written for a generation forgotten, a generation they call X. Happy 9o’s!
- As an aside, I’d like to thank my Mother for allowing me to be a kid with the coolest Gameboy ever. I’d also like to thank her for buying me every system and every game even though everyone kept on telling her that video games weren’t for girls! (Yeah, Fuck those people!)