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Video games will always have a strong hold on my growing up. I think everyone associates their childhood with the games they played, especially when comparing them to masterpieces nowadays. And sure, playing those games may just create a feeling of disappointment and wonder at how you ever liked it, but they still hold a certain place in your heart. There’s just a childlike innocence to these games.

I wasn’t much of a Nintendo or Sega player. My first console was a Playstation, meaning that my early game experience is very different from those that grew up on Sonic and Mario, which these days, seems to be everyone. Therefore, for this article, I have decide to delve into the past and explore some of the treasured games I used to love as a child.

3 – JURASSIC PARK

This was my first ever game. To give context to this, I was a major Dinosaur nerd, when I was six. I saw ‘Land Before Time’ and decided that giant killer lizards were the coolest things in the world. Part of me misses that side of myself, as I don’t really pay attention to the world of Dinosaurs these days. I have tried to rekindle the excitement, but archaeology has just ruined the cool mythology of Dinosaurs. Apparently T. Rexes were kind of lame and Raptors were tiny lizards with feathers. Dinosaurs will never recover from that embarrassing scandal.

Not the best opening image for a level.

Not the best opening image for a level.

But this game captures young Luke’s passion for the Dinosaurs. It opens up with you playing the smallest Dinosaur, a Compsognathus, or a Compy, as we in the Dino club called them. There are nine annoyingly difficult levels of basically every single creature in the dinosaur period, bullying the hell out of you. I played it again recently, for memory’s sake, and it is so frustrating. It is the kind of game, where the jump button isn’t a solid art, so you can be following a smooth hopping rhythm and then your little lizard character will decide to jump off in a random direction and nose-dive off a cliff.

However, if you make it past the Compy levels, you are rewarded by playing even better characters. You get a turn at playing a human hunter, equipped with several guns, a Velociraptor, which lets you rape any fleeing guards (seriously, watch your Raptor’s attack!), and eventually, the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex. However, while the childish dino fan in me was able to put with the several flaws in the game, adult me just found the game so buggy, I simply went online and found cheat codes to fast-forward to the levels I remember enjoying. And I recall being disappointed with them as well.

2 – CRASH BANDICOOT

While Jurassic Park was the first game I physically owned, the reason I bought the console was because my best friend got one, complete with its own copy of Crash Bandicoot: Cortex Strikes Back. OK, so I started with the sequel, but that was the one, where Crash found the format it was most comfortable with. The first game is good for nostalgic reasons, but the real charm comes from choosing the order you want to complete the levels in and chilling in the ‘warp rooms’ in between missions.

...don't make... obvious joke.....

…don’t make… obvious joke…..

Crash is the symbol I most associate with, when it comes to childhood games. It just has so many loveable characters and fun locations. It is a game at its simplest form and it enjoys being that. It still holds some enjoyment as well. Out of all of the games I have revisited, Crash Bandicoot still delivers. Me and girlfriend have spent many a night, battling through the first three Crash games, mastering the secret paths that get you the bonus levels and finding all of the little Easter eggs stashed in the game. Another thing that proves my love for the series: my current console has no memory card. I bought it online to act out my nostalgic impulses, but the Playstation came with a busted memory card slot, meaning I cannot get a card into the device to save my game. Me and the girlfriend could not care less. So what if we have to start the game from scratch in the morning. It adds to the fun and excitement to the game.

Sadly, time has not smiled well on the Bandicoot games. Despite the Playstation 1 instalments still holding a place in my heart, the newer reinventions of the series have been less than successful. The game works at its simplest, but when gamers in general have evolved beyond the simple platformer, it is hard to bring a new, yet classic story to the games. So, it looks like we won’t be getting a successful new game to play any time soon, but I am more than happy to stay with the three I have in my bedroom for the time being.

1 – SPYRO THE DRAGON

Crash was one side of the pole, when it comes to figures from my childhood, but Spyro the Dragon was the other big name in my past. While Crash was the innocent fun, Spyro was a bit more complex, yet just as amusing. He was the rebel character and he was prepared to actually kill off his bad guys, rather than just blasting them into space (which isn’t the same thing in game logic).

I remember loving these games to bits. Each level had a different theme to it and when replaying the game, I loved that sense of nostalgia hitting you, the second the level opened up. There were also a lot of side missions hidden around the map, meaning that when you had completed the game, there was still a world of possibilities to hunt down. I remember spending months completing Spyro 2 100% and it was probably my biggest gaming achievement from that decade.

Could have come up with a better name for a level, but hey... who am I to judge?

Could have come up with a better name for a level, but hey… who am I to judge?

Sadly, when replaying the first Spyro, I found it painfully easy. The game was over before it started. I guess you could argue that this is what I should have expected from playing a child’s game, yet while Crash was still easy, I still found some sense of enjoyment from it. Spyro gave me nothing. I kind of felt bad, as I chased down fleeing enemies and burned them alive. The game wasn’t even putting up a fight and I was continuing without mercy.

I remembered the game being really hard as a child and before long, I broke into the later levels that I had never managed to get to before. When I was put face to face with the game’s antagonist, it was the easiest fight I have ever done in my gaming history. As the game ended, I couldn’t help shrugging in indifference. Maybe some games are meant to be kept in the past.

However, I will be ignoring that rule. Every week or so, I shall be dragging up these games from the past and seeing how well they cope against my memory. Look out for it.

One thought on “Games from my Childhood

  1. Pingback: Games From My Childhood (Part 2) | Oracle of Film

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