It's all Chris' fault apparently.
I believe this topic has come up with Mark and Chris before in a podcast however I never got to say any of my favourite gaming memories so here they are! I’m going to talk you through some of my favourite gaming memories throughout all of my 21 years but disclaimer: I have the worst memory so expect a lot of vague details in this and a lot of Kingdom Hearts entries… what?! That game means a lot to me!
Finally Completing Dream Drop Distance
Let’s start with a fairly recent one, If any of you keep up to date with me on social media or just know me in general, it’s probably well known that I once had a strong hatred for Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. I’m not entirely sure what it was but I tried multiple times over the years to try and get into it and I just couldn’t! Perhaps it was having to play a game I’m used to playing on a larger console like a Playstation on a small console; the 3ds that confused me, or maybe all the new features that was added to the game eg; flow motion, dropping between players, dream eaters, etc. either way I could not get along with it. That was until it was re-released for the PS4, it took another couple of tries but I did eventually get into it this time and managed to get through it (with of course the usual cries of frustration on some bosses) I actually got to the last set of bosses on the last world of the game; The World That Never Was and I gave up, I finally came to terms with perhaps I was never meant to complete this game due to the fact there were multiple staggered boss fights and no chance to save, therefore stubbornness got the better of me and I left it uncompleted… that was until I moved back home for summer, with no uni work and no job I had bundles of free time; meaning I was pretty bored. So after completing The Last Guardian I decided to give Dream Drop Distance one last try, I decided to first though spend a few hours over the span of a week or so going back through other worlds and fighting any dream eaters I could find in order to level up and boy was it worth it, I managed to fight all of the final bosses! It gave me a feeling I haven’t had in a while; the feeling of completing a kingdom hearts game I hadn’t finished before, I’m still immensely proud considering I once refused to play the game. In fact, I now play the 3Ds version whenever I’m bored! A true life turn around if I do say so myself.
My First Console
Once again, another fact regular listeners to our podcast will know; Chris once worked at the UK video game shop; Game, Chris also happens to be my older cousin, therefore his influence has been around for my entire life. So anyway, I think I was around the age of 5 or 6? Possibly younger, I don’t remember very much about this apart from one very vivid part which I will get to soon. With Chris working at Game, me being one of the newest members of the family and a potential candidate for Chris to brainwash into liking nerdy things - I was spoilt with gifts that he picked up from work, a lot of things he bought home for me were Pokémon related, small figures, plushes that kind of thing as Pokémon was my life at that age, it’s one of the only things I don’t still love from childhood! This particular day though, it could have been a birthday of mine or just a lucky day but I think I remember Chris and my other cousin putting money together to get me my first games console; the PS1 (known as just a PlayStation back then) It came with classic games such as The Hoobs, Disney’s Hercules, Rugrats Studio Tour, Scooby Doo and the Cyber Chase, The Little Mermaid 1 + 2 and I think Monsters Inc. Scare Island? I think I had more over the years but I can’t remember all of them, I do still own the same original console and games though! I remember having it set up for me on the day I received it and having never played a proper console before I wasn’t used to the normal things every gamer is used to, I had never experienced a rumble from a remote before so whilst playing The Hoobs I got the scare of my life, I remember shrieking from surprise and excitement and everybody else finding it hilarious – as well as myself. What a great start!
Growing Up Gaming
Staying on the topic of growing up with Chris’ influence, I’m going to try and reminisce all the games he introduced me to throughout childhood. Again, the ages are foggy but let’s just say I was between the ages of 4-11, so during this time Chris may have been living at home with his parents; my auntie and uncle or he could have just been visiting the same time that I was – it depends on our ages at the time. So anyway, I used to go and visit this auntie and uncle every Saturday and sometimes when I went over Chris was there and again depending on what was around at the time; he would either show me a game on multiple consoles ranging from the PS2, Dreamcast, SNES, potentially more or he would play co-op games with me, like I said it’s foggy. I do remember going over and playing a couple of fighting games with him for a few hours like Marvel vs Capcom, Soulcalibur, etc. on many occasions! I remember always picking the female characters with the coolest features like if they had wings or cat ears, I also remember once playing Mario Kart on a NES or SNES - I wish I could remember which - with one of our other relatives but that is a really vague memory. Every Christmas Chris would bring out family fun PS2 games like Buzz and SingStar too! My favourite gaming memory with Chris though has to be when he introduced me to Kingdom Hearts, now if I work it out with when the game came out I would have been roughly 6 years old so I wasn’t that impressed with it, that was until he bought in some of my favourite characters, I didn’t realise this at the time but when I asked him years later he told me that all he did was go to Merlin’s House (a place where he could practice magic without depleting his MP) and summon my favourite Disney characters which at the time was Simba from The Lion King! It was this introduction that prompted me - 10 years later when a friend of mine asked if I had played it before – to look into it and fall in love with it myself! So yes, you can blame Chris for all of the Kingdom Hearts content on this site.
Animal Crossing with Friends
As some of you may know from other blog posts on this site and podcasts, I’m a big animal crossing fan and have been since I was 9/10 years old! Another person that I’ve shared this love with is my best friend of 16 years now; Rachel. Rachel was actually the person that got me into the game franchise in the first place and we have had many, many years of playing the game together in person and via Wi-Fi. When we were 10-13 years old we would go to each other’s houses and play Animal Crossing Wild World, then when Animal Crossing: Let’s Go To The City for the Wii came out we would connect every Saturday night to go to the museum and watch K.K. Slider the guitar playing dog perform there together, it was a simpler time… This tradition has carried on all the way to the latest installment of the game; Animal Crossing New Leaf for the 3Ds, we are now both adults though so we don’t quite have the time to visit each other’s towns as much as we used to but will still send any Animal Crossing articles, news or memes we find to each other.
University… is Strange
So I’ve been living in my own rented uni house for over a year now but I won’t lie, when I first moved out of my family home – it was daunting! It was tough not having my parents to rely on at first so I got myself into daily routines, it was around the same time as this though that I started playing Life is Strange, since I was playing it in September 2016, all the episodes had been released, therefore I didn’t have to wait, so I got into a nice little routine of going to uni, coming home, playing some Life is Strange, making lunch/dinner depending on what time of the day it was and then going back to play it! It was a nice distraction from the stress of living in a new area and starting University. It was a pretty cool coincidence that Life is Strange’s prequel game; Life is Strange: Before The Storm came out at the end of August this year meaning that I played it in September right after moving back to University! You can find out my first impressions of episode one right here on NOWO.
Completing Kingdom Hearts 2, right on time!
We’re now throwing this memory back to when I was around 16 years old. I had made my way through all of Kingdom Hearts 2 for the first time and was now up to the last bosses, I was however stuck on these final bosses so whenever I had a spare hour or so I’d give it a go. One day during this time, I came home from college and had an interview for a part time job around an hour/two hours later so of course, I picked up the PS2 remote and gave the Kingdom Hearts 2 final bosses a go (thinking that I probably wouldn’t finish it this time, it would just kill time before my interview) Well the craziest thing happened because I did it! I completed it this time! The only problem now was, I had to leave for my job interview in 10 minutes, and I’m the type of person that wants to see all of the final cutscenes and after credit scenes so I was desperately praying and frantically panicking that I could watch everything and get to my job interview on time, by some miracle I managed to get through all of it with a minute to spare. I didn’t get the job in the end but it didn’t matter because I managed to complete Kingdom Hearts 2 under immense pressure, in a short time frame. I’m still very proud of this achievement.
One of the Boys
When I was a young kid, between the ages of 6-10 one of my best friends was a kid coincidentally also named Chris and he had a Nintendo 64 and a PS2, he also lived close to our school so almost every day after school we’d go to his house and play games – I remember playing a lot of Super Mario 64 and Banjo Kazooie as well as WWE Wrestling games on PS2 and occasionally Grand Theft Auto San Andreas or Vice City? I can’t remember which, we were pretty young so didn’t really play it properly or understand any of it, we literally just drove cars around, crashed them and escaped from the police. This childhood memory of the Nintendo 64 prompted me for my 15th/16th?? Birthday to get one myself which of course came complete with Super Mario 64.
That just about wraps it up for my favourite gaming memories, If you’d like to read more from me you can find my wordpress blog linked at the top of the site and you will also find all of my other posts right here on Nerd Out Word Out.