To be truthful, its probably easier to tell you the games that I have played than the ones I have not. The reasons why I haven’t played the games that everyone seems to have though are more of a complicated web when I think about it.
A major example of games that I was aware of but never played were ANY of the great games that came out during the Nintendo 64’s reign, from Banjo-Kazooie and Crash Bandicoot all the way to Mario 64 and Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Okay, so let’s get this straight, there isn’t anything particularly bad about any of these games. They’re relatively age appropriate (I was eight years old when Ocarina of Time came out, just as a point of reference (so yay, now you can figure out my age *sarcastic handclap*)) and really, one could argue that the 90s was a golden era for gaming. So how come I missed out??
Simple. I had parents who simply did not want a games console in the house, especially when they had kids that weren’t even in double digits yet.
Other examples of me being aware of games but never taking the time to play them also include the vast majority of Bioware’s backcatalogue, all of the Bioshock series, pretty much every Call of Duty/Modern Warfare/other generic war-based shooter, the Resident Evil series, the Silent Hill series… seriously, like I said, its endless. But like I said, there have been reasons.
Some were a case of when they came out I had parents who, quite rightly, said no to it – they learned the hard way when my brother was given GTA San Andreas as a gift. He was around about eleven at the time and applied that oldest of tricks, the application of peer pressure, on them. My mother was horrified by the content once she realised what it was about, and has since been wary of gaming on the whole. Other times, it was just lack of interest (like I said in my first post, my interest in Modern Warfare and its ilk is pretty low at best). But mostly, it was a case of money, or lack thereof. There is nothing sadder in the world than being a gamer who wants to play all the great games but doesn’t have the dosh to fund the hobby – apart from watching a charity advert at Christmas (or indeed any) time, obviously. So for the longest time, I waved goodbye to my chances of ever capturing that 90s gaming spirit, deciding to focus on the future – and choose one home console per generation since there was no way I could fund two on my allowance.
Or at least, that was what I thought. While I was able to later play Ocarina of Time after buying a special version of Legend of Zelda: Windwaker, I’m sad to report that it was not love at first sight… and I have still yet to complete it. (Yes. I know. Put your pitchforks down.) Mostly I just felt that Windwaker had somewhat spoiled the experience of playing the then ‘masterpiece’ of the series, and I suppose as I never played Ocarina in the 90s I didn’t have the same sort of nostalgia for it than any of my friends who were lucky enough to have the N64 and a copy of the game. Perhaps though I’ll pick it up again this year, especially since this year seems to be the year of brand revivals.
Yooka-Laylee, the spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie, is coming out next month, and that’s swiftly followed by the return of Crash Bandicoot in June! Meanwhile, over on Nintendo’s new console the Switch, Link is having a bit of a successful reinvention in Breath of the Wild, possibly even knocking Ocarina off it’s perch as the ‘masterpiece’. Persona 5, yet another series I’ve never had a chance to play but looking forward to very much now, has already had glowing reviews, with a near perfect score from gaming magazine icon Famitsu, and a perfect 10/10 from Playstation Official Magazine UK. On top of this, the remake of Final Fantasy VII is also making a return, along with its Playstation 2 brethren Final Fantasy XII, not to mention much beloved space RPG Mass Effect is suddenly upon us with a new look and a fresh take upon the space odyssey drama. And let’s not forget that Resident Evil has gone straight back to its survival horror routes in its latest outing, giving the franchise a much brighter future (ironically enough… given its subject matter). It looks like I’ll have plenty of reason to finally introduce myself to the games I missed out, if only through their successors. Not to mention that there are a ton of new games, new IPs, that are forging a way into what could be very successful futures indeed (Zero Horizon Dawn I’m looking at you).
Here’s hoping the wallet survives the year, because it looks like I’ll be having a lot of fun over the course of it. Bring on 2017, the year of the reinvention, the rejuvenation and the triumphant return of the gaming franchises.
How about you??? What classic games did you miss out on for various reasons? Would you play them now? Or will you play their successors instead? Drop a comment below! See you soon!