We have some pretty amazing fans. Case in point, our good friend SdZeroX, who reached out to us and asked what our first gaming memories were. After thinking about it for a while, the Twinfinite team came together to write out a list of the very first games we all enjoyed. If there’s ever any questions you want us to discuss and answer, just send an email to [email protected] with the subject Twinfinite Discusses, and we’ll answer it.
Technically, the first game I ever played was Tetris. Sometimes my dad would let me play with his original Game Boy (the fat, grey one), but most of the games were too hard for me (some twenty years later I still can’t beat the Home Alone game). Tetris was the only one my little 4-year-old brain could get the hang of. But Tetris is boring, so I’ll do what was probably the second game I ever played: Kirby’s Dreamland (again, on Dad’s Game Boy). It wasn’t until a few years later that I actually managed to beat it. But I remember playing those first few levels over and over again, on long road trips or even just riding the bus to grade school.
When I was 5 or 6, my parents (read: my dad) got me a Sega Genesis, and my first game on that was either Sonic the Hedgehog or Aladdin. Both were tough for a little kid, but Aladdin was especially sadistic: I’m talking Dark Souls of the 16-bit generation difficulty. Elsewhere I’ve mentioned that at age 9 I lost my faith in god because of Aladdin. Finally, the first PC games I ever played fell into the genre of 90’s edu-tainment. It was probably Treasure MathStorm!, but Logical Journey of the Zombinis had a much greater impact. Arguably a greater impact than Tetris (although I could totally kick your ass)!
In a time before handhelds, before consoles, there was the arcade. The first game I ever saw was Space Invaders, but I never played it back then. The following year however, I saw something that blew my mind and I just HAD to play it. That game was Galaxian, and it was not only the first game I ever played but it was my first ‘next-gen’ experience.
Seriously, look at Space Invaders — it wasn’t much to look at even in the context of its time. Galaxian however had colorful enemies and a background that actually looked like outer space. I’ll never forget the feeling of putting a quarter into the machine, hearing it spring to life, and taking control of my ship…and then losing my last life 30 seconds later.
After that brief encounter with Galaxian, I was hooked for life.
Similar to many children in the 90’s, playing Pokémon Gold on my Gameboy Color was how I spent every waking moment of my free time and was actually how I got into gaming in the first place. Earning gym badges, battling my stupid red-headed rival, scouring the grass for the elusive legendary beasts, and growing my Pokémon collection were the only desires I had.
Thinking about the game instills a sense of sweet nostalgia because I can remember how immersive the game was. To this day I could play the game without any type of guides or help because I can remember where everything was. This experience unknowingly primed me for a life of gaming that still includes Pokémon. By the time I have a kid I hope that they’ll play (whatever color/letter/number they’re on) with the same sense of joy and passion that I once had.
The house is dark, and a storm rages just outside of old, Cold War era windows stained by decades of cigarette smoke. The door slides shut behind me, sloshing through the trail of water my light-up sneakers dragged in the door. The place is empty, but it was not quiet. Off in the distance was a dull roar, like the static of a television crossed with the echo of a chainsaw. I walked through the house and around the corner to the one open door, with a single shaft of blue light coming forth into the hall. I walked in, and on a 15 inch tube-television screen was an unforgettable image; a xenomorph, jaws wide open, and ready to kill. My brother, having paused the game out of sheer terror, then turns and looks at my slack jawed five-year old face, and for the first time said some amazing words; “Hey, wanna play?”
Alien Trilogy is still, somehow, the only good Alien game ever made. Which is remarkable, because looking back, pretty much nothing about it has aged well. Its shooting is bland, and the level design is awful, with meandering maze-like corridors clearly designed just to piss you off. It also has a totally unsatisfying shooting mechanic that nearly cripples the gameplay. However, Alien Trilogy manages to execute so perfectly the atmosphere and tension of the original Ridley Scott film that dated gameplay and graphics (the xenomorphs now look closer to over-cooked chicken) don’t matter. You’re too busy running for your life to care, and it manages to scare me even to this day. I don’t know whether to credit the game designers or the eternally terrifying work of Alien art director H.R. Giger with that, but it does make me wonder…if Fox Interactive could pull this off in 1996, how come we can’t get it right today?
Some of my earliest memories are of playing games. Of course, my FIRST memory is waking up on the couch as a three year old to the theme song of Scooby-Doo (remember the one with those eyes). Oddly enough, I actually remember dreaming about Ecco the Dolphin for some reason, but that’s not my first true memory. I’m pretty sure the first game I actively remember playing is Street Fighter II on my Genesis.
I’ve gone on record before talking about the Genesis being my first and one of my most sentimental consoles, but along with that comes my memories of Street Fighter. I remember sitting in front of the TV and watching the demo screens play over and over on Ryu’s stage—it’s also how I learned what blood types were. To this day, that game is probably still one of the ones that absolutely imprinted into my memories.
I think the first game I played was Super Mario Bros on the NES; we had a triple-game cartridge with that, Duck Hunt, and World Class Track Meet, along with the Light Gun and Power Pad used for them. I remember playing a ton of all three games, but I’m pretty sure that Super Mario Bros was the first one we fired up.
It probably set in motion a lot of my gaming habits to follow, since I’ve always had a soft spot for platformers (and Mario games -see SMB3DW as my GOTY for 2013) as well as gimmicky attachments like those used for the other titles. That might be why I love my Wii U so much, since the Gamepad is really the ultimate gimmick add-on and has a lot of interesting, unique uses in different games.
What was the first game I played? That’s a pretty tough question. I have a couple vague memories of playing the NES, but the one that specifically comes to mind when I think of the first game I played -bear with me this memory is extremely, fuzzy- is Mortal Kombat. I remember it being played by my Jamaican babysitter’s son, and him offering me the Genesis’ six button controller, which was something that instantly intimidated me.
I remember being infatuated by the “realistic” graphics and blood. I also fuzzily remember moving the slider down on the Genesis to see if it would make the game easier — don’t laugh, I was six. However, this is where my memory gets uncomfortably fuzzy, because the next thing I remember is my mother and the babysitter yelling over, “the demon game,” I was playing; my mother happens to be a very religious person, and had a couple issues about her six-year-old son being subjected to the awesomeness of Mortal Kombat.
Power Rangers consumed a big part of my childhood, so it’s no surprise that they invaded my first experience with video games as well. If I remember correctly, the first game I ever got to play with was Mighty Morphin Power Rangers on the Super Nintendo. Did I know what I was doing? Hell no, but that’s beside the point.
It would still be a few years before I had any concept of how to properly deliver a high-flying kick to the face of one of Rita Repulsa’s goons. Nevertheless, it was so surreal to be able to control these multi-colored badasses. I was still very young though and probably left the controller after a little while to go eat ants or something, but I’ll always remember that game to this day.
My first memory is easily from when I was a very, very young child. I was lying awake in bed about to fall asleep, and at that time the computer my parents owned – an ancient non-windows piece of work – was in my room. I distinctly recall my old man playing Hack on it, a roguelike (actually a direct descendent from Rogue and superior to it in every way). It’s easily the first memory I have of gaming, and one of my fondest.
It has been a long time since I first stumbled into games, so I’m not sure what my first game might have been. The first game I would wager on however had to have been Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt. Truly it was the ultimate combo of video games and it is one I remember fondly.
Imagine picking up an NES that came prepackaged with this bad ass gun that actually shoots something on your television. And they paired it with the platformer that defined the genre. This was all a brilliant new technology and it is what I like to blame for my fascination with this industry.
If we ignore all the educational games and Barbie games (though Detective Barbie is my 2001 GOTY), one of the first games I can remember seriously playing and getting involved with was a Sierra point and click adventure called Pepper’s Adventures in Time. This game told the story of a young girl named Pepper who, while spying on her crazy uncle in the attic, is sucked through a time machine and tossed back into the days of Colonial America and Ben Franklin. With her dog Lockjaw at her heel, she has to set history straight after her uncle messed everything up.
Set a hippie Ben Franklin straight, secretly discover electricity, fix the printing press, and explore a twisted early America. The game is filled to the brim with historic trivia but never for a second feels dull. Looking back, I think Sierra actually tricked me into learning something.
The very first gaming memories I have are going to my friend’s house to play SNES and Sega Genesis. He was a little spoiled so he got every game as they came out and I remember spending 15-20 minutes at a time looking at the massive collection he had in a drawer. I would spend hours and sometimes even days over his house playing through Mortal Kombat, Super Mario Bros. 3, and A Link to the Past. I remember not ever being good at any of them but my friend’s older brother constantly reassuring me and telling me I could do it.
Eventually, it was that friend’s older brother who gave me my first console, a Sega Master System. That simple act of getting rid of his old system to make room for a new one, led to every gaming experience I’ve ever had since then. Every barrel roll in Star Fox 64, every touchdown in the Madden series, and every fart ripped in Fable can be tied back to that one event.
What about you, Twinfiknights? What was your first game or gaming memory? Let us know in the comments!