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My Video Game History
Posted on October 19, 2008 by Oscar Gonzalez

With my acquisition of a Dreamcast and PS1, I have gone a little old school. Thanks to some classic game compilations for the DC, I've been replaying some fun memories of the past. So with that walk down memory lane, I decided to list my video game system history.

1984 My first time with an Atari 2600. My cousins had one and I remember them playing Donkey Kong. I tried my hand at it failing horribly at it. Also, around this time I remember playing some arcade games like Joust, Galaga, and of course, Pac-Man.

1985 The first system I actually had was an Intellivision. I don't remember the names of the games I played, mostly shooters, but I do remember the big controller with all the buttons on it.

1986 The dawn of a new era was at hand. The NES had been out for several months and I wanted one damn it! For my birthday, I was hoping that I would get a NES but it just wasn't there. I cried a bit because I was such a hardcore gamer at the time that not playing the NES was such a.oh leave me an alone I was only 8 at the time. Later in the day, I eventually did get my NES and proceeded to play the shit out of it. Hours upon hours were spent playing Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt because as a kid, that's all I needed. Over the next few years I played the other big names games like Mike Tyson's Punch Out, Legend of Zelda, and began my long love affair with RPGs starting with Dragon Warrior.

1990 After years of playing the NES, a new time was coming. The 16 bit generation had come and it blew away the games I was playing at the time. My birthday came and my gift for that year was the Sega Genesis. The system came with Altered Beast, and that first time in the game when you change into a werewolf, sent chills up and down my spine. An arcade favorite of mine was in my home and played almost the same. I was also allowed a second game to be bought with the system and my choice was the ever so deceptive game, Last Battle. Deceptive in that it just happens to be similar in name to the game, Final Fight which was a favorite of mine. Also, recently, I learned that the game was actually a Fist of the North Star game that was horribly translated and watered down to make a terrible game. The Genesis continued my love of RPGs with its epic Shining Force and Phantasy Star series. Christmas time also brought my first taste of portable goodness with the Gameboy. That little box of black and white (or yellow) goodness provided hours upon hours of entertainment away from the TV as long as my batteries held up.

1991 While in the past my various cousins and myself received game systems at different times, the Christmas of '91 was a family wide Super Nintendo Christmas. Several cousins and I received the SNES that year with a plot schemed by our parents coming together to form an alliance to get us all SNES systems. That night an unplanned family event of "Who Can Beat Super Mario World First" began with me being the winner two non-sleeping days later. Along with Super Mario World, I had finally the means to play my current favorite arcade game, Final Fight. I was severely disappointed when I discovered that Final Fight did not come with two players mode nor the ever red-headed stepchild of the series, a guy named Guy. With the two 16 bit systems in my possession, I was in video game bliss until my uncle borrowed my Genesis a year later and somehow screwed it up.

1994 The year I became a man. No I did not get laid L . But I did get a summer job at UTSA (I took two courses there while I was still in high school), and with my earnings I decided to by my own damn system. My birthday came after I finished working and for a gift to myself, I decided to purchase the Sega CDX. Now here's a system that just blew me away at first. I had the ability to play Genesis games again, and now I could take a whack at those, at the time awesome, FMV games. I was giddy playing games with actors rather than your typical sprites. Lunar and Vay were my first games and the anime sequences were almost too much for me at the time. On top of all that, I had now acquired my own portable CD player although it was freakin HUGE. Christmas time also brought about my second portable system, the Game Gear. I was highly impressed with the great colorful graphics of that little system but it wasn't till much later that I realized that it was a battery hogging waste of a system that only had one game I truly enjoyed and that was Shining Force: Sword of Hajia.

1996 As a graduate of high school, I was given a very hard choice. Saturn vs. Playstation. On one hand, I had Sega's Virtua Fighter 2 ready for me to play at my own home with all of its arcade glory. On the other hand, I had the promise that my favorite series, Final Fantasy, was going to be released in the future. I decided on the future release of a game I love and spent my graduation money on a Playstation. As the Sega CDX impressed me with its FMV, the Playstation surprised me with its 3d graphics. It was a tough choice but ended up being for the better. At Christmas time, I came back from home after being at school in Tulsa, to THE gift of the year, the N64. Like before, I had the best of both worlds and gaming was at a new high for me.

End of Part 1

1999 Along with the new millennium came the new generation of systems. 9/9/99 was the launch date for the Sega Dreamcast. With it came incredible graphics that made everything else before it looks like crap. While I and every gamer knew of DC, I was not creaming in my pants over it. Nevertheless, another Christmas and I received another game system. Like previous game systems, I started off with an arcade favorite of mine, that being House of the Dead.

2000 With me working in retail, Circuit City, I had not experienced a system launch since CC did not carry the DC at the time. With the Playstation 2, I was in for an eye-opening experience. Here you have a system that was hyped up so much and supplies were cut so low. The night before the release, there were already people lining up to stay overnight to get a system. I had never seen something like this before, but it was not a surprise. I mention me being in retail because it's the reason I got a PS2 a month after it launched. So I gave up on the idea of getting the system at launch so instead decided to check out systems to see when a new batch would come in. Sure enough, about a month later, every store received a dozen systems. The company put an order that no employee can buy the system, but screws that and I came up with a perfect plan. I made a deal with my mom that she would pay for part of it later, so off I went to one of the other stores in town knowing that I would pay for it myself. I was shooting for a specific time in the morning where the stores were dead and when the truck with the systems were about to drop them off. Unfortunately, the store was full of idiot employees. I asked about the PS2 and was given a quick "We don't have any."  I then began asking if they could check their systems because I heard they would get more. Still, the idiots couldn't figure it out. Then when they got a manager involved, that idiot decided not to sell them and gave me a lie that they couldn't get it. Since I didn't want to tell them I was an employee in fear that they may get in touch with my manager about the whole ordeal, I decided to head to another store. Sure enough, I was in and out in about five minutes with my new PS2.

As a side note, I picked up a Gameboy Color earlier in the year. I decided to try my hand at Pokemon after seeing some coworkers playing the game. My older Gameboy was destroyed by me for a very stupid reason that I can't think of.

2001 Three systems came out in 2001: Gamecube, Xbox and Game boy Advance. So what system did I decide to get? That's right, Gameboy Advance. Surprised? You shouldn't be. The Xbox and Gamecube came out with a very underwhelming lineup and there was just not enough in the horizon for me to purchase either system right away. Instead, I picked up the Gameboy Advance because of its backward compatibility and its current batch of games. I arranged another deal with my mom with me paying for it and her paying me back.

2002 It was not until March 2002 that I finally got a reason to get a new system. That reason was Resident Evil: Remake. As a huge fan of Resident Evil, the remake really impressed me. It was also a time for redemption since I never did beat the original on the Playstation. Well March came around and I went into a Gamestop with a variety of items to trade in. Sadly, there was a last minute delay and the game wouldn't be released until April. Instead of taking a Gamecube without a game that I wanted, I decided to pick up the Xbox along with Halo. Funny thing was that Halo didn't impress me early on. I beat the game by the weekend and didn't really care to play it again. Luckily I was introduced to multiplayer by a coworker of mine. Then, by accident, I found out that with a program you could use your PC as a giant link cable and play online with other people. With that, I was playing Halo every night for several months becoming pretty damn good at it.

When April came around, I still wanted that Resident Evil game. So again, I went into a Gamestop with a variety of games, DVDs, and one particular GBA that had a broken shoulder button after long hours of playing Fire Pro Wrestling. I had my Gamecube and now completed the collection of the new systems. Funny thing is that I sold my Gamecube later that year. Circuit City had decided to create a new position for the holidays called the "Game Expert."  It didn't take much coaxing for the position because everyone knew that I was perfect for the position. And with the position, the company decided that those "Game Experts" would be given a free Gamecube. So I sold mine and waited to get my new Gamecube when January came around.

2003 This would be the year that I went retro. I was in a local gamestore, called Gamefellas, and saw a copy of Shining Force 3. Being a fan of the Shining Force series, I had to play this game. I purchased the game and a Sega Saturn to play it on. Not long after, at another local gamestore, I came across a great guy that had multiple copies of Panzer Dragoon Saga and Dragon Force. He took pity on my lack of Saturn knowledge and offered me his extra copies which I will always be thankful for.

2004 There was only one system release for this year and that was the Nintendo DS. At launch, we sold out and kept on selling out of them at Circuit City. My mom told me to keep an eye out for the system saying that a friend of hers wants to buy one for her kid. I kept track of them and when we got them in, I called my mom and her friend came by and bought 2 systems, to my surprise. I realized later that she bought 2 so my mom could surprise me when I received it for Christmas. It was a nice attempt at a surprise by my mom.

2005 Another year for a portable release for me. This time it was the PSP which I was a big fan of with it variety of media capabilities and great graphics. Like in the past, I traded in games to pay for the system. Unlike the past, I went to a Blockbuster Gamerush. For those who don't know, certain Blockbuster stores have mini-gamestores in them that offer preorders and let you trade in games. What's great about the place is that they offer more trade in credit for the game and give you ridiculous amounts of credit for certain games. One example is that I used to play Everquest Online Adventures for the PS2 and like every MMORPG; you can't sell the game because the game key has been used. So if someone did buy it, they couldn't do anything with it hence you never see the games sold as used. Well I took a shot and Gamerush gave me a good $20 of credit. Another great example was a triple pack of games that Walmart sold for $10 but traded in to Gamerush for $30. So my PSP ended up being very cheap for me.

This year, there was a tragedy in my life. In November, my apartment was burglarized and all my systems were stolen: PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, PC and Saturn. Yet it wasn't my systems and games being stolen that made me cry. It was pictures of my friends that were scattered all over the place that made me cry because it made me feel violated. With some help of friends, family and coworkers, I had a new PC, PS2 and Xbox by Christmas.

2006.  The Xbox 360 was released the previous year but again, I felt there was not a reason to pick it up right away (of course having everything stolen didn't help either). It was around May that I came across a great deal on a refurbished 360. There still wasn't a lot out there for the system but eventually, it has become a favorite of mine.

I decided to skip on the PS3 because of a failure in a plan I had. I knew that the system was going to sell like crazy on ebay so of course, I was going to try and get one and sell it which would pay for another one. On Columbus Day, I read the rumors that Gamestop was going to do their preorders that day. I arrived at the store about half an hour before it opened and I wasn't the only that knew the rumor. A couple of guys had been there for a few hours waiting to preorder. A line started to form all hoping to do a preorder for the PS3. After my preorder, a thought came to me and I proceeded to call other Gamestops. The closest one still had some preorders available and I went right over and preordered a second system. Then I call the nearest Gamestop to that store and they had no one preorder yet so I hurried over there. That was 3 preorders and I was on top of the world ready for all the money to come in. But I underestimated Gamestop and that they were actually going to handle the PS3 launch with some sort of common sense. After a few days from the preorder binge, I received a call from Gamestop and they caught on to my multiple preorders. They said I could only have one even though I attempted a last second,  "But one is for my friend" routine. So at launch, I did pick up my PS3 and it was on ebay that night. It sold for $1600 netting me $800 profit after all the fees and taxes involved. Rather than trying to find a PS3 all over, I decided to wait on it.

I did not wait on the Wii. I was in line at the Circuit City that I used to work on the day of the launch. That had to be the longest line in my life. Not longest by actual people but longest as in my life was wasting away there and I could feel the seconds. There was some wannabe thug whore that would shut the hell up and continued to say "Did you say weed?" every time someone said the word Wii. I picked up the system, Trauma Center, and Zelda: Twilight Princess. Sad to say, I told the system within two weeks. As I had thought before, the gameplay were gimmicky and nothing convinced me to keep the system. Unlike the PS3, I came out even when it sold on ebay.

2007 Going back to tradition, I picked up a PS3 on my birthday with a deal with my mom. This was right after Sony dropped down the prices of the system so I considered it a bit of fate for me to pick one up.

2008 The year of the binge. On my birthday again, I decided to reclaim some game systems. So I picked up a DS, Saturn, and Wii again. Not only that, moving into my buddy's house, he had a Playstation 1 and Dreamcast collecting dust. So now I'm at the height of gaming bliss with:

1. PS3

2. Xbox 360

3. Wii

4. Saturn

5. Dreamcast

6. Playstation 1

7. PS2

8. PSP

9. Nintendo DS

10. PC

Originally blogged on 7/21/08

Oscar Gonzalez - Editor-in-Chief og (@) | all author's articles

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