We’re an opinionated bunch here at KnowTechie. In fact, the only thing we enjoy more than expressing our own opinions is shooting each others’ down with vociferous, unrestrained vitriol. As such, we’ve decided to launch a new weekly series, the KnowTechie Roundtable, to do just that.
Join us every Friday to hear us dish dish, bish on our favorite topics in tech while hurling insults at one another but mostly Kevin.
So, we ask: With the PlayStation celebrating its 25th year, what are some of your favorite gaming memories?”
Oh boy! So I was on team N64 until the release of the DualShock version of the PSOne. For that Christmas ’97, I got Final Fantasy VII, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Bloody Roar. Those games were all absolutely amazing and I immediately went and hooked it up and spent the rest of Xmas getting yelled at for binging Castlevania while my little brothers watched.
I’ve owned every PlayStation console since then at launch. Also, two words: Crisis Core.
I’ve owned every PlayStation device except for the PSP and I think landmark titles are the reasons I got all of them. I remember playing Final Fantasy VII at a friend’s house and just thinking, “Holy shit,” before realizing that I needed one.
For PlayStation 2 it was Zone of the Enders, which I still adore. PlayStation 3, I played God of War III at PAX East and just went, “Okay, wow, yes.” Then for PlayStation 4, I needed to have inFAMOUS: Second Son, which still holds up as one of the best superhero games ever made. The Vita was a special case, because I remember thinking, “I can play Castlevania: Symphony of the Night anywhere I want?” and from there it was an easy choice.
Oh boy, where to start. I mean, there was the 1st-gen PlayStation owned by my housemate that needed to be flipped over to actually run any games. Anyone else had one of the plastic-spindle PlayStations before they realized that playing games all day, every day melted the spindle enough to make the laser no longer read the disc? Fun times.
Anyway, the games that glued us to the 13-inch TV included Metal Gear Solid, which blew our minds with the Psycho Mantis ‘trick’, Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, which threw physics out the window with the terrible rubberbanding when you got too far ahead of the CPU players, and Tenchu: Stealth Assassins, which deserves a reboot in this age of awesome graphics, cause the fog of war was real in that game and probably inspired Silent Hill’s terrible fog.
My favorite gaming memory was Christmas, in the year 2000. I was 7 years old and my NES broke the previous year. Whenever I wanted to play video games I had to wait until I could go to my cousin’s house and play on his Nintendo 64. I wanted to get a Nintendo 64 just like my cousin, but my parents surprised me with the PS1 hiding underneath the Christmas tree. Spyro: Year of the Dragon was the first game I got for the brand new console (at the time). I loved playing this game until I learned about a strange video game accessory that doesn’t really exist anymore.
My previous experience with video games was on the NES and N64 so I didn’t realize that “memory cards” were a thing. I played Spyro for hours, but I was horrified to see that all my progress was lost, the next time I turned the PlayStation on. It was such a disappointing experience for me because I remembered that my cousin’s games seemed to “remember” his progress. I played Spyro from the very beginning every time I had to turn on the console so I learned to make a habit of leaving the console running overnight to “save” my progress. My worst fear was that someone would unplug it and I’d have to start all over.
For months, I had to beg my parents for this weird “memory card” thing. Eventually, on my next birthday, I could finally finish Spyro. The Spyro Reignited Trilogy just came out in 2018, with all three of the PS1 games from the early 2000s. When I heard about that game, it definitely triggered some nostalgia in me. That happened almost 20 years ago and the memory still sticks with me.
Josh: I’ve never played Spyro or Crash (outside of Crash Team Racing) but man, that iron man playthroughs of any platformers without a memory card is the thing nightmares are made of!
Jake: Jesus christ Hayk was born in the mid-90s. I think I just aged into dust and blew away in the wind.
Josh: I didn’t want to be the one to say it.
Jake: You can always count on me to be the one to Say The Thing.
Kevin: You guys are monsters.
I’ve been a video game nerd (I shudder calling myself a gamer knowing what the term became) nearly my whole life. It’s a hobby that is not, well, just a hobby for me. I love researching obscure games, writing about them, finding out how games are made, there’s just so much I love!
So, what I am trying to say is we are going to be here for a long, long time. I’ll try to sum up a few of my favorite memories…
Jake: I’ve played games for 29 years and never willingly called myself a “gamer.”
Colin: This is why I prefer to call myself a video game nerd since it’s significantly more accurate to how I feel about the hobby.
I wrote about my own Christmas ‘97 involving Crash Bandicoot 2 and a summer where my brothers and I absolutely decimated Tekken 3, so I’d like to touch upon a few other ones.
Anyways, my family and I used to go up to York, Maine at Short Sands Beach. It’s a typical, New England oceanside town, meaning it’s great for the summer and not-so-great during the rest of the year. At this beach is an arcade called Fun-O-Rama and it had…EVERYTHING. It was also where I became introduced to the fighting genre. Marvel vs Capcom, Tekken Tag Tournament, Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, King of Fighters 2000, etc.
Not to mention the glorious Metal Slug X, which is in my top 10 of all time. Visiting this arcade every summer was a treat for me since I got to enjoy spending time with my family, yes, but I got to play games that I literally couldn’t play anywhere else. But, the big takeaway from it is all of those franchises (and many more) were introduced to me, ones that I consider personal favorites that making gaming awesome, at this one arcade.
Another one involves Christmas 2003, when I got a game console that was mine. Not my brothers’. MINE. And it was the GameCube, which is a system I hold in very high regard. Smash Bros. Melee became a way of life for 12-year-old me.
I’ve never owned a Playstation console, so any gaming memories I’d have aren’t related to Sony. My gaming memories are few and far between thanks to decades of alcohol and drug abuse. I do however have two that stand out. One in childhood, one in young adulthood.
I remember playing Ultima IV a lot at a friend’s house. And I remember finally getting the space shuttle in Tetris on a mobile flip phone sometime when Hayk was still in primary school. I took a picture with a camera. I have it somewhere. I don’t game to remember or to create new wonderful memories. I game to fill my brain with nonsense in order to destroy the crap that’s up there, to escape from real life. I don’t want to create new memories, I just want to escape reality.
There’s a lot of fond gaming memories, but my main answer is pretty on-brand for the 25th anniversary, as many of the best ones revolved around the original PlayStation. I owned a PlayStation and played my fair share of games, but it wasn’t until my cousin introduced me to Metal Gear Solid that my views on gaming completely changed. What an experience, what a story! 11-year-old me didn’t know this type of adventure was even possible, let alone accessible.
Fast forward a little bit and my second favorite gaming memory is from the Call of Duty era. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was my first real experience with online gaming and the second experience to really shape what gaming could be for me. A small group of friends and I played that game for hours on end and when Modern Warfare 2 came out, we all went to the midnight release and played for a solid 24 hours afterward.
I’m old and bitter now, but I still hold out hopes that a new game can still make me feel like these did one day.
Man, where do I even start? I recently turned 36 (gasp) so it’s fair to say I have a TON of gaming memories. But one that stands out to me the most is when I unwrapped a GameBoy the Christmas of 1989. I was too young to bust a nut, but if I could, I totally would. Seriously, I nearly lost it. Here’s an idea of how it went down.
But to be fair, a lot of my gaming memories revolve around the original PlayStation. Prior to this console, graphics were pretty shit for gaming consoles. So when Sony launched the PlayStation, everyone was blown away, but man, finding one to play was extremely rare because it was so damn expensive.
Thankfully, I had a cousin who had one and we would run to his house after school and play for hours. Mind you, he didn’t have any games – just the demo disks. We ended up playing the console so much that at some point, my cousin’s mom banned me from coming over for a while.
I eventually got my own console a year later and the rest was history.
Josh: Demo discs were the shit! I have a few stacks of them somewhere in my garage. In fact, I remember playing more demo discs than games just to speed run the content on discs and discover new games.
At the end of the PSOne era, there was this insane game called Incredible Crisis that my late brother, Blaze, found on an Official PlayStation Magazine demo disk. We all played that demo so much that when the game appeared on our local Walmart shelves a few months later, we breezed through the early content in it.
The demo, though, didn’t include all the weird-ass Japanese cutscenes that were in the full game, so needless to say, the full game release was a huge surprise. It also had this Japanese ska soundtrack that was totally bonkers. I feel like that game shaped a lot of the humor and personality of both my brothers back then. Yeah, they are/were weirdos.
Alright, that about wraps things up for this week’s KnowTechie Roundtable. What do you think? Did we miss anything? If that’s the case, Let us know down in the comments or feel free to reach out to us personally. Seriously, whether it’s about Curtis, Colin, Jake, Josiah, Josh, Hayk, Joe, or Kevin – we want to hear from you.
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