Sure it is not news that the N64 is outdated, but it was certainly a sad sight to see it up on the wall with a $29.99 price tag on it. In 1996 I remember how much I wanted to play Mario64 when it came out. I even considered saving up to buy a system and a game. But the N64 was then $199!!!! And games like Mario64 ran as high as $60 a pop! I think there were bundles later on, but at that time there was no way I could afford that.
Here is a little bit of history on my game systems….
It all started with a Radio Shack Pong game. I still have it, and will post pics if I remember. It was a Christmas present and it was impressive. There were many pong games for your home TV then, and pong was pong, no matter who made it. It was a blast, and you could play against the console or with someone else. I bet it would still work if I set it up.
In grade school, the biggest thing was the debut of a handheld football game. Even today, I can vividly remember the sounds the game made as it was played all around me on the bus ride to school. Sadly, even then I didn’t like football, so I didn’t have one. I did have some sort of handheld space fighter game, and that was very cool. Later (1976) the awesome WildFire handheld pinball game came out. That was a great game, and it still is. I have mine still, and every so often I put batteries in it and play a round. I think it was as close to real pinball as you would find. Really a great game. You can get a simulator of it here.
In 1977 came the Atari 2600. I remember that my Dad was as excited about it as I was. We even pooled our money and bought it together. (As I look back, he was probably just playing along, as he never really played it, but it was a bonding moment I cherish) The first game we bought was Breakout. I also had Asteroids, Pac-Man (ick) and Adventure. My favorite was Missle Command. I rocked on that one! I had a huge collection of Atari games, and held onto them until the late 90′s when I sold them all in a garage sale.
My Grandfather had a TRS-80 that ran some pretty neat programs off cassette tapes. He was a very good programmer and even wrote a math tutotial program for me. It had a sub-hunter game I remember playing, but I never did much else with it when I visited. At that time, I had little interest in computers (my how times change).
I never had an Atari 5200 (1982), though I played it a couple of times and the graphics were so much better than the 2600 I still had gathering dust. I remember visiting my girlfriend in Texas and her father had an Atari 400 or 800 computer. It had Pac-Man and Centipede which looked amazingly like the arcade version. But since I didn’t care for either game, I was totally bored waiting all day for her to come home from school (I was visiting for her Prom – yes, I was in college then). That was as close to the next generation systems as I ever got. I didn’t even know there was an Atari 7800 system!
In 1981 I somehow wound up with this Pac-Man tabletop game. I never got the Ms. Pac-Man version, which is what I really wanted. I think my wicked Step-B!tch got it in the divorce. An aside, I was so good at Ms. Pac-Man that I was able to enter a several local competitions.
Although my first game system ever was the Atari 2600, when the ColecoVision came out in 1982, that was the one I wanted. Why? Donkey Kong! I remember launching an all out campaign with my Mom to be sure she knew what I wanted. When the Coleco came out, they were hard to find as they were snapped up pretty quickly. I even found one at Otasco and made sure my Mom knew where it was in the store. Then one day it was gone! And I was sure Mom had not been over there. I kept tabs on her (or so I thought) and I was determined to be sure to learn if she had been the one to buy it. I think that was the only gift I ever actually searched the house for. Needless to say it was under the tree that Christmas and it was the only game system I owned. The in 1984, the game market crashed! My hopes of having an A.D.A.M. system were dashed. I kept the system for years to come, but finally sold it in a garage sale (mentioned above). Ah, if only I had forseen e-Bay then.
When the NES came along I was in college and never felt like I wanted another system, guess I was still mourning the loss of ColecoVision. But my (next) girlfriend had a younger brother with a NES. It had Mario Brothers and I would play it when I would wait (and wait) for her to get ready for our dates. Finally! A Mario fix after all these years!
When I worked at the FOX station I was lucky enough to score a free Playstation (one) AND a Sega Genesis. I had a few games for the PS1, mostly the Mario-ish Crash Bandicoot and a few of the Namco Museum games (I love the 80′s arcade games). For the Genesis I had all the Sonic games, again, because they reminded me of the Mario titles. And honestly, I didn’t play them all that much. When I saw Toys ‘R’ Us was closing out the Nomad system, I grabbed one. It came in handy on long plane trips and at hospital stays. Vectorman was a cool game. Especially with the GameGeinie added on. Still, I wish it was a SNES so I could play Mario games on the go (yeah I know the GBA does that, but I want it Nomad-sized, plus I own the carts already).
Then somehow I got a SNES. I actually don’t recall if I inhertited the SNES from someone or I actually bought it, but let me tell you, the only games I ever bought were Super Mario World and Yoshi’s Adventure (those games being the main reason I’d love a GameBoy Advance SP) and Mario All-Stars.
Thankfully, I can play all of my old ColecoVision & 2600 games on my Dreamcast thanks to emulators. But I would still love to have a portable SNES system like the Nomad I have. The Nomad was OK, but Sonic will never compare to Mario.
Make Your Own Portable Atari 2600 (and SNES too)
A portable 2600 made from a Sega Nomad – heyyy, I have a Nomad somewhere….
ClassicGaming.com – Atari 2600 Emulators anyone?
AtariAge.com – ROMS anyone?
Atari7800.com – Emulators and all kinds of goodies
Atari 5200 Emulators & Roms
Archive of Video Game Console Art – Pac-Man series of games
How Atari 2600 Arcade Game Should Have Looked – Some are even playable on emulators – wooo!
Play the music from NES games in WinAmp
Play the music from SNES games in WinAmp
Mario Games have a Soundtrack CD – here is a review