I was flicking through Ebay listings the other, occasionally stopping at things I desperately wanted, but couldn’t afford. As I made my way into the games section of the site, my eyes strayed from the safe confines of modern day, high-tech gaming into the older, less expensive consoles. Playstation, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast; I scrolled over names that were once so familiar to me and soon, waves of nostalgia hit. Before I knew it, I had wasted an hour just looking over all these auctions.
For me, the 90’s were the absolute golden age for gaming. There were many consoles that absolutely flopped, but the strength of the original Playstation and the Nintendo 64 absolutely triumph anything the modern day can throw at us. I remember when games were about having fun, not admiring the use of water effects on an irrelevant waterfall; or when owning a games console was a privilege, not a right as some people think today. I was lucky enough to have both an N64 and a PSX in our household, as me and my sister had one of them each. However, she soon disappeared to university so I was left with both consoles and a plethora of games to enjoy. Such was the excitement of owning such a prestigious piece of hardware in the 90’s, I still vividly remember Christmas day 1997. I tore open a large box with absolutely no idea what could be inside. As a six year old, I’d heard of such magical things as Playstations, but I’d never seen one, nevermind played one. The paper came off and that slow realisation came over me. I remember setting it up all (or should I say, Dad set it all up) and blasting through Crash Bandicoot for hours on end. There is absolutely no way a console these days could replicate those first few moments playing an absolute classic in CB. As a fairly young gamer, I never had the pleasure of playing Metal Gear Solid, or Silent Hill, therefore my memories are mostly dominated by the arcade/platformer style games, and boy, did the PSX have a good number of them. Now, I own an Xbox 360 and I enjoy playing on it, but it doesn’t excite me the same way as playing through the campaign on Goldeneye did. This brings me nicely onto my next point. There has never been a shooter as good as Goldeneye and I doubt there ever will be. The way the shooter market has gone, it seems that company’s are all too happy to clone each other’s games, or just release the same game over and over again with aesthetically shallow tweaks that seem to garner sales. I’m not mentioning names, but Call of Duty. Sort it out. Don’t get me wrong, not everything is wrong with CoD. Call of Duty 4 is my 2nd favourite shooter of all time, after Goldeneye, but if you keep releasing the same game, people will suss you out.
People say you’re blinded by nostalgia, but for me, I rate these consoles so highly because they really are that good. So many games game were unique and added so much to each console. Banjo Kazooie and Spyro the Dragon are both 3D platformers, but are completely different games. This is in stark contrast with the modern day, where developers decide on the genre, then use the same formula for every single game. I finished my Ebay session actually buying an old Playstation. It cost me £30 with 3 controllers and 13 games. Boasts brilliant games and is affordable on a student budget. I urge you, leave your 360 or PS3 for a day and invest in a PSX or N64. The good times will flood back.
- Crash Bandicoot
- Spyro the Dragon
- Ape Escape
- Parappa the rapper
- Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
- Mario 64
- Lylat Wars
- Star Wars: Rogue Squadron