Update: slight corrections to the year dates that are probably more accurate now
Gaming has been a part of so many people’s lives, me among them. Everyone has had their own individual and unique experience, from owning different systems to playing different games, preferring different genres, having friends that own other systems or the same, the list goes on. With this series of posts, I want to write something about my own history with the subject matter.
I have been gaming since around the beginning of the 90s, it all started when my parents got me my first handheld console, the Sega Game Gear (sometime in ’91-’92, though that’s mainly going by memory, I don’t have any exact data from that period of time). Over the years that I had it, my collection of games slowly grew into a big handful of them, most of which I played quite a bit. In my circle of friends, there were two others with a Game Gear, some had a Game Boy or a home console like the Mega Drive / Genesis, so I did have a peek at the “other side”, but I was content with what I had.
I guess that is partly because I was lucky in terms of what my parents chose as games for me, if it was by accident or they got them by recommendation, I don’t know. It definitely resulted in me enjoying a lot of hours of playtime with the handheld until the screen finally gave out and just would not display anything anymore (the rest of the system seemed to still work fine, but at the time repairing it wasn’t really an option). I mainly used it with a power adaptor and not really on the go, so the short battery life of the Game Gear had never really bothered me (and with some of the games that definitely helped).
My favorites on the system where (in no particular order) Wonder Boy 3: Dragon’s Trap, GG Shinobi, Dragon Crystal, Castle of Illusion, Land of Illusion, Halley Wars, Fantasy Zone Gear, Lucky Dime Caper, Sonic 1 and Vampire: Master of Darkness.
Each of these I played quite a lot, especially Dragon Crystal until I finally beat it (mainly took that long due to the randomizations and the high number of levels – 30 altogether – to get through). Most of the games did not have a save or password system, so I saw a lot of the earlier stages, though at the time I didn’t mind much, since the games where really enjoyable overall.
The rest of the games that I had mostly weren’t really bad either, I just didn’t enjoy them quite as much, like Columns (not really my favorite genre), Wonder Boy (got a bit too repetitive over time) and Taz-Mania (rather short and not that great, overall the worst one in my collection)
There were some other games that I played a bit by borrowing them from friends, like Mortal Kombat, Ninja Gaiden, Woody Pop, G-Loc and Pengo
Sometimes I also borrowed a certain peripheral for the Game Gear from one of my friends, the Action Replay Pro. While from time to time I would use it for “regular” cheating like endless lives and such, with some games I would experiment with the codes to see if I could find new things… it certainly resulted in some funny glitches / changes with some of the games, like changing the bullets in Halley Wars into all kinds of things.
What getting the handheld also started for me was looking at video game magazines (not really a surprise, I know). At first I limited myself to a Sega-centric magazine, though the reviews still seemed to be well done and not just “advertising”, since games definitely did not get good scores all the time. After a while I branched out to other magazines too and even after my Game Gear broke (sometime early in ’94 from what I remember), I kept up to date through those magazines. But those are a topic for another series of posts.
With the Game Gear being “done for”, I soon went into a different direction. Stay tuned…