Testing, Testing… Am I coming in ok? First time writing a blog here so bear with me…
Hello! I’m PJ, You might remember me from a fantastic article about pizza I did a while ago, “I wish he was here all the time” you muttered, well through the magic of the universe and by holding Dave’s scarf hostage I’ve been given the keys to post here, hurrah, excelsior, and so forth.
So how do you start your first official post? Well it just so happens you join me on the eve of something truly magical, my xbox 360 gamescore is currently 99940. A mere 60 points shy of the fabled 100,000 mark which, when reached, makes confetti explode from the sky, launches fireworks spelling out “PJ IZ EPIX” round the clock and gets me into any theme park of my choosing half price (possibly).
So what with this being a retro gaming site, you guys knowing nothing about me and shamelessly bragging about my gamescore I thought I’d take a look back through my gaming life at what I consider my biggest gaming achievements:
Super Mario Bros – The First Level.
Oh that wonderful morning when I loaded up the combined NES game of Super Mario Bros, Tetris and Nintendo World Cup. My first major console with it’s huge cartridges, the amazing tinny noise coming out of the tv as the first level loaded, the joy at finding that hidden 1-up on the first level because I was jumping around like a kangaroo crossing hot coals, then came THE HOLE. The hole was my first major challenge in video games, requiring mario to run AND jump to cross it. I could not do this. I would scream and sob at my dad until he came over and helped me with it sailing over the hole with ease as I watched stunned by his ability, “How doth this man break the surly bonds of gravity and punch the very clouds?” I asked. (Yes I was a posh baby) “Hold B before the jump mate” said my dad, “And stop crying when you can’t do a jump, you’re twenty-three for God’s sake”
Burn Cycle – The Entire Game.
Because I was raised on videogames (milk would have been better, but times were hard) I was lucky / unlucky enough to receive a phillips CD-i to play on one year. For those not in the know, this console was a very VERY bad idea by Nintendo to take on the mega-CD. One of the games for it which I was obsessed with was ‘Burn Cycle” The game is surreal, set in a techno-punk future, you have had a virus placed in your head which will kill you within two hours so off you go to get it out and figure out who put it in. Set to a techno soundtrack and using point and click style gameplay (The CD-i controller was essentially a dvd remote with an analogue stick) you played various mini games, shot a few people, hacked a bank, died, fought with your own rage in an on rails shooter section set in your own subconcious, met Buddah in heaven, then got a sex-change and went off “For a tan”
I had no idea what was going on 95% of the time and yet I somehow managed to beat this game and not a day goes by I don’t think about it…
Gears of War – The Train
The final level of gears of war takes place on a train, you are piloting a lightmass bomb into the centre of the locusts’ (bad guys) tunnel network with a plan to win back the planet for the gears (good guys). Unfortunately the train is full of locusts who aren’t too keen on extinction, a shooting section where you go against giant squids and the biggest baddest locust ever (Raam) who commands flying pirahna bats. I decided to attempt this on the hardest difficulty. I am an idiot. I had gotten through the entire game up to this point and was being killed time after time getting more and more frustrated until in popped my dear old mum; “You look sad” (She says this often, I blame my droopy face) “Yeah this levels really hard” “Well I could help!”
In moments of desperation we all make bad judgement calls, “Yeah, Why not?” I said, watching her pick up the controller (possibly upside down) and squint at the screen. What followed was thirty minutes of screaming as my mother shot upwards over and over again while I balanced between using her as a shield, bullet sponge and mindless turret. But we got through the locust, we shot down all the squids and before I knew it, there we were at Raam, my mum not understanding any of my commands without checking the letters on the controller in case they had changed in the two seconds before she pressed them before and yet as I lay wounded on the floor I watched her shoot a charged arrow straight into Raam killing him. We had completed the hardest level, on the hardest difficulty through sheer fluke. “We… We’ve killed the final boss, the guy who killed my team leader, the locust general!” I managed to stammer “Hmmm, he looks sad” said my mum as she dropped the controller and walked off.
So there you have it, three small moments that have shaped me and my gaming life, I hope you like what I wroted! Please give me feedback (and rum) and hopefully I’ll write more soon!