Growing up in the 80s, playing video games was a different experience as today. Most of the video games were side scrolling, 8-bit graphics with a kick ass soundtrack instead of the first person perspective, highly graphic, and definitely not kid friendly games. I played games mostly produced by Nintendo from Marble Madness and Paper Boy to Super Off Road and the Super Mario Bros series. I even played Dr Mario and Pokemon on my Game Boy and Game Boy Color. You could say I was an exclusive Nintendo gamer but with most of the Nintendo catalog being rated E for everyone especially for young children under 10 years old, my parents approved of those games. My parents even bought my twin brother and I our own Game Boys so we wouldn’t need to share (well, honestly, I think we fought a lot because we only had one Game Boy.) And, we brought that thing everywhere with a one pocket with a handful of games and another pocket full of batteries.
Even though I’ve played other consoles growing up like Atari, Sega, Dreamcast, Xbox, and PS2-4, I can honestly say that Nintendo is and will always be my favorite gaming console. Even though I do enjoy playing NBA Jam and NFL Blitz on the Playstation, with the simple game play and having young kids and older adults able to pick up a controller and play, it’s hard to compare to Nintendo. Now that I am a dad with young kids, playing video games with my kids gives me as much joy as me playing videogames when I was younger.
My favorite game on the Nintendo has to be Super Off Road. My brother and I would race against the grey care every Sunday after mass. We figured out that you didn’t have to come in first place but could move on to the next race if you beat the grey car! We had hours of fun just trying to beat the grey car and occasionally ‘taking one for the team’ by blocking the grey car so the other could place ahead of him.
My favorite gaming character has changed over the years, but I always go back to Link. He’s the character I chose for Super Smash Bros even though he might not be the quickest or most powerful character. And, with his inclusion in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Nintendo Switch, I’m usually using him as my racer. He is an elf with the Master Sword and his cool Link hat is pretty awesome!
Growing up, I played more video games than I do now, so my favorite gaming console had to be the original NES. Yeah, I’m going back old school. I always had fond memories of playing Super Off Road and Battletoads. As a kid growing up, that was summers well spent with the sun shining through the window and my eyes glued to our little television.
Looking back, it’s hard to just choose one favorite game. I think I always have a place in my heart for the 1992 X-Men game that is best played with 5 other of your favorite mutant friends at an arcade. The side-scrolling gameplay and the ability to use your mutant power made this game an easy one to keep pumping quarters into. My character of choice in this game varied from Wolverine’s fighting claw ability to Cyclops’ optic blast mutant power (that’s when Cyclops was bad ass; not so much after the James Marsden interpretation from X-Men: The Last Stand). But being able to play as the different mutants in a collaborative mode really made this game a fun one growing up.
If I had to choose my favorite video game character, I think I’d choose Star Fox in Super Smash Bros. I always liked playing as him whenever we melee’d during college and though I wasn’t the most finesse player (the game has smash in it’s title, so naturally I’m going to button mash until my heart’s content), I still held my own during the marathon video game nights my house hosted. Star Fox was the perfect balance of slick jumping attacks, far away laser attack, and, my favorite, backflip kick, reminiscent of Guile’s Flash Kick, that popped my opponent into the air to more easily perform a finishing attack to propel you off the screen. It’s the little joys in life that are worth living, right?!
Jason T’s pick:
I’m an avid collector of video games, new and old. Choosing one game system as my favorite is super difficult, as I can name a handful of games that I genuinely love for each system. If I have to choose one system, however, it’d have to be the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The majority of my “desert island games” come from the SNES library. Games like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Mega Man X, Super Mario World, Final Fantasy VI, Super Metroid, Chrono Trigger, and Super Castlevania IV are ones that I will always treasure. Also, when Street Fighter II was released for the SNES, it was a mind blowing moment for me. Arcade quality game for the home console? Yes, please! As I’m going back to collect classic games for old consoles, I’m finding that I’ve been buying more SNES or Super Famicom games than anything else.
Like choosing a favorite console, choosing a favorite game isn’t easy. There are games like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past or Super Metroid that I’ll always be happy to sit down and replay. Tetris is always a good choice too. In terms of pure enjoyment, and total number of hours played, my favorite game would have to be StarCraft: Brood War. I played this game for hours and hours everyday for a good decade.
Choosing my favorite video game character is easy – Link from The Legend of Zelda series. How could I not choose a hero that happens to appear every time he’s needed to save Hyrule?
Gaming was a big part of my and the other Nerd (Col)laborator’s life growing up. With the evolution of gaming spanning larger than living rooms and into the digital online space, people can game easily with their friends at a party or late at night after the kids go to bed! It’s hard to keep up with all the new games and consoles nowadays, but the fun you have playing those games and hanging with your friends, family, and kids will span any game and console now and the future!
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What is your favorite gaming console of all time? Do you have a favorite game and character? We’d love to hear all your favorites! Please feel free to leave a comment below or on our Facebook page here or Instagram page here or our Twitter page here.