I love my job. That’s not sarcastic, either – whether I’m playing with kittens or cleaning out kennels, I love every moment. Still, 9 hours at a job that gets very physical is not a lot of fun while trying to beat an infected tooth. My body wanted a whole lot of rest today and is less than pleased I couldn’t oblige. Tired body, tired mind.
What is your preferred gaming platform? Are you a multi-platform gamer or do you stick to one platform all the time? What is it about that gaming platform that you like?
For most of my life, my answer would have been consoles, hands down. I grew up playing games on them, for one thing. The first game I ever played was on the NES. We actually couldn’t even afford that one, it was a gift from my dad’s parents. I still have clear memories of playing Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros., later Zelda, Final Fantasy, Super Mario Bros. 2 and 3, and many others. Nintendo games were a huge part of my childhood, and continue to be important in my bond with my brother.
While I enjoyed gaming from the first, I think I really fell in love with it with the SNES. That was when we got to play Final Fantasy IV and VI, and saw for the first time what an epic story could be told in a video game. Super Mario World, Earthbound, The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past, Lagoon, Mario Kart, Chrono Trigger; so many of my favorites come from that era and that system. I remember how amazing it was the first time my brother and I could play co-op, with Secret of Mana and Legend of the Mystical Ninja. We also borrowed a Sega from our dad one summer, which explains this Nintendo Girl’s love for Shining Force.
The N64 was the last family console we would buy, and I while I know I had fun – Super Mario 64 is a favorite to this day – I was super disappointed that Final Fantasy had moved to Playstation. Whether it was money or a general lack of interest in owning a PS, we just never got around to it. A few years later, and I was first shipping off to the Army, then moving to the Twin Cities, then moving back to help out my mom. There never was a good time to pick up a console. Two different people did try to give me their old Playstations – each of them died soon after. I am bad luck for secondhand Playstations!
While all this was going on, I had slowly been warming up to PC games. My brother and I both loved Resident Evil 1 and 2, and I fell in love with the Myst series. I also enjoyed American McGee’s Alice, The Journeyman Project 2: Buried in Time, and Obsidian. PC games were different than the console games, and intriguing. We rarely had a current computer though, so I didn’t really get into PC gaming at the time.
A while after I’d moved back to my hometown, I happened to be working at Walmart when the Wii console first came out. While we were prohibited from reserving any for ourselves, there was nothing saying we couldn’t buy one on our lunch break. Between missing owning a console and the lure of the hard-to-get, I plunked down money and went home with my Wii.
I’ve had a lot of fun with my Wii, less than with the SNES but more than the N64. I am a huge fan of Super Paper Mario, and that was the first time I played a Lego game (Pirates of the Caribbean) which has turned into one of my favorite franchises. Still, even when I bought it, I knew it was going to be the Virtual Console that really made the purchase worthwhile. Finally I could play (most of) my old favorites on a Nintendo console again! (My brother snagged all our consoles while I was in the Army, and I never had the heart to ask for any back. They have a good home with him.)
The Wii overlapped with the point in this story when I started getting back into PC games. Even all that time I couldn’t afford a console, I always had a computer. When I was taking classes, a computer made sense in a way that a console didn’t. I don’t remember being *hugely* into PC gaming until Minecraft with the Video Games Awesome server…but once I started, I got hooked fast. And not just to Minecraft, either! Both the VGA hosts and the VGA community were constantly playing the newest games, the indie games, the classic games not just on consoles but also on PC. I started paying attention to this gaming world in a way I hadn’t before.
I hate to say it, but I think at this point in my life I’m much more of a PC gamer than console. I’ll always love my old console games, but the current gen systems just don’t do much for me.
With one caveat.
I am that person who usually plays PC games with a gamepad. *shrugs* I have bad wrists, and literally cannot game for long periods of time with just a keyboard and mouse. In many games, I’ll swap between gamepad, keyboard, and mouse depending on what I’m doing and how much precision I need, but for me to play a game regularly I need to be able to map most functions to something other than the keyboard. (I did pick up a gaming mouse a while ago, a Logitech G600. It helps somewhat, but my wrists will still get stiff and sore after a bit.)
What I like most about PC is probably the many options in my gameplay. I can play anything from TSW to Thomas Was Alone to Dreamfall. Even using a controller for many things, I still have the ability to use my keyboard and mouse when that’s easiest. And really, I’m still in a place where having a good computer makes more sense than buying a new console.
I’m always going to love my old Nintendo games, though. And those are ALWAYS best played on a console.