A Trip Down Memory Lane | Part 2 | A decade with a controller

In the first part of A Trip Down Memory Lane I began with a small introduction of my first time with video games beginning with the Sega Mega Drive, I then went on to PC gaming throughout the 90s and promised I’d address console gaming of the 90s in part 2. As this is part 2 it’s time to continue from where I left off but before I do I still have some unfinished business in regards to the Sega Mega Drive, so lets get to it.

Like I mentioned in part 1, Sonic The Hedgehog 2 was my first introduction into the world of video games and it definitely holds some of the fondest memories of the Mega Drive for me but I neglected to mention all of the other games I enjoyed on the Mega Drive the first time around, alongside the Sonic franchise was a another pair of games from a different franchise that I used to play for hours on end; Desert Strike and Jungle Strike.


Desert Strike

I definitely remember Desert Strike being my second game on the Mega Drive and I hated it, it was so difficult. You’d start off on an Aircraft Carrier and you’d have to fly for about 2 minutes before you’d reach land and it was then that your real mission began, the mission to stay alive for longer than 10 minutes. Up to this day I have never been able to get very far on Desert Strike, the game used to frustrate me so much, having to replay the beginning of the game so often I eventually memorised the layout of the entire first section of the game. I was destined never to progress any further into Desert Strike.

After Desert Strike came Jungle Strike and this game was a welcomed change from the onslaught of the desert, I used to play Jungle Strike a lot. It was never as difficult of Desert Strike but it still provided a pretty hefty challenge, there was so much to do and so many places to explore. You had to rescue people, collect fuel, blow up terrorists, protect monuments and escort the presidential limousine across the map. I’ll always remember the opening with the chopper rising from the trees and then shooting off across the screen, classic.

Road Rash was another big one for me, the original Road Rash was the most badass racing game I had ever seen, being able to punch and kick people off their bikes whilst racing was incredible. Road Rash had a fantastic soundtrack too, I’ll always remember how my Dad used to taunt me about the Diablo when the bike shop screen would show up, only once did I ever get to own the Diablo and it was absolutely impossible to ride because it was so fast.

I also owned other games of various different genre for the Mega Drive but none of them really hold as many memories as the Sonic franchise, Road Rash, Desert Strike and Jungle Strike.


The original Game Boy. The big, fat bugger.

Now after the Mega Drive most my memories were explained in part 1, it was very PC-orientated and as I wasn’t into all things Nintendo I never owned any of the Nintendo home consoles like the NES or the SNES but there was that handheld monster that Nintendo released called the Game Boy and I owned one of those. The first model Game Boy I owned was the original fat one, of course it wasn’t new but I can still say that I owned an original Game Boy and it was brilliant, gaming on the go was the next best thing. I don’t remember too much about the games that I played on the original model Game Boy except for one game that stood out among all of the others, that game was Metroid II: Return of Samus.


Metroid II: Return of Samus

I thought I had it tough with Desert Strike but that was nothing compared to Metroid 2. This game was brutal, it punished me for every little mistake, if I wasn’t perfect then this game wouldn’t give me a second chance and that’s what made it so good, I played Metroid 2 constantly until I finally beat it which I think I did do but the memories of how hard it was will never leave me.

My next model Game Boy was the incorrectly spelled Game Boy Color, I could now play the Game Boy IN COLOUR but again like the original Game Boy, I really don’t remember too many games that I had played with the Game Boy Color. I do remember in school whilst everybody else was going on and on about the Pokemon colour games, I was busy still trying to beat Metroid 2 but that’s about it. No more memories here, unfortunately.


The elusive Sega Saturn

In the mid-90s the Sega Saturn appeared, I never owned a Saturn but one of my Cousins did and I actually got to see him play it once. I read about the Saturn in magazines but I’d never seen one anywhere up until this point when I saw my Cousin playing his, he was playing Virtua Racing and I remember the graphics as the best thing I’d ever seen. It’s funny looking back that at the time how a few untextured polygons could be considered progress but back then everything was 2 dimensional, this was a new thing. I only spent a few minutes watching him play his Saturn before leaving, my meeting with the Sega Saturn was short but sweet.

Sega soon went quiet and the next thing to grab my attention was Sony’s PlayStation, every magazine I read talked about the PlayStation, sure they also mentioned the Nintendo 64 but that was Nintendo and this was the PlayStation, it used discs and the Saturn used discs and the Saturn blew me away but before we get to the PlayStation I must not neglect the aforementioned Nintendo 64.


The Nintendo 64

I never owned a Nintendo 64 but a bunch of my friends used to play one and I have to say up until my time with the N64 I didn’t think Nintendo could compete with anybody else but for me the N64 changed my views on Nintendo, the first game I played on the N64 was of course Super Mario 64 which was a fantastic game. After I’d delved into Mario for a bit we’d fire up Goldeneye and play 4-player deathmatches, a fantastic game that really needs no introduction.

My all time favourite game on the N64 was Super Smash Bros, it had absolutely everything and I was great at this game, Kirby was my preffered choice of character as I could just suck my friends characters up and then shoot them off the map. A brilliant game that is still as enjoyable now as it ever was back then.


The first model PlayStation, although the controller has analogue sticks

Time to move on to the biggie, Sony showed us what gaming should be like when they released the PlayStation. I own so many PlayStation games that it would be silly to go through each and every one, so instead I’m just going to focus on the ones that provided the most enjoyment and the greatest memories for me, there are a lot to choose from and it’s going to be difficult to narrow it down to just a handful of games but I’ve got to give it a shot.

Right now the first big memory of the PlayStation for me is with Alien Trilogy but only because the game used to scare me senseless, I still own it and to this day I’m unable to complete it because it’s so difficult. One of my biggest memorable moments with the PlayStation was Tomb Raider: the original, the best. I remember everyone used to talk about Tomb Raider when it first came out, people would talk about: the enemies, the platforming and most of all I remember everybody mentioning some unknown button combination that would make Lara nude so that you could experience her in all of her pixelated glory. Needless to say nobody ever knew the button combination and soon everyone just went back to talking about the actual game.


Tekken 2 screenshot

The next real big one for me on the PlayStation was Tekken 2, a fantastic fighting game that I’ll always love. I used to play my sister on this game all of the time and she would get so irritated when she didn’t win that the controller would end up flying across the room in anger, ultimately leading to a big falling out until the next time it happened. Yoshimitsu was always my favoured character and my sister used to frequently pick Nina Williams.

My second meeting with the Carmageddon franchise was also on the playstation, I always enjoyed the PlayStation version of Carmageddon but sadly my original copy of the game from Electronics Boutique was stolen and I only have the manual left from it, I did however recently re-acquire the game from eBay, which is nice.

I was obsessed with the PlayStation, my library of games was huge and I used to buy the PlayStation magazines as often as I could and I’ll always remember the speculation regarding the PlayStation 2, the concept designs that people used to come up with were fantastic, you’d have: black toasters, freezers, machines with top-loading disc drives that looked like coffee machines it was insane.

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So it’s time to bring this chapter of gaming to a close, the 90s was a great time to be growing up and gaming really evolved throughout the 90s. In the third part of this series of articles I’ll be talking about gaming of the early 2000s.

Thanks for reading and good gaming.
~Razor.