You know how it is when you’re a kid and a new console comes out. You tell your parents about it, put it on your birthday/Christmas list, repeatedly remind/bother them for the next several months, then if you’re lucky, you’ll get what you asked for.
One of the best feelings ever.
When we’re kids, our desires are simple and we generally know what we want, particularly when it comes to games. Between 1990 and 1992, I asked for and received an NES, Genesis, and SNES. No begging or whining, just items on the Christmas list. And these were all great systems, so yes, when it came to gaming, my childhood was awesome.
Fast forward to 1995. The Playstation and Saturn are out, but I’m holding out for the Ultra 64. Nintendo made two amazing systems, one after the other. Surely their 3rd will be even better, right? The Mario 64 demo at Toys ‘R’ Us blows my mind, so I ask for the Nintendo 64 for Christmas. It’s a no-brainer. The N64 will be the Greatest System of All Time.
Mario’s belly swells with pride at the N64 lineup.
My awesome parents purchase the system for me for Christmas, along with Killer Instinct Gold. I’m not the greatest fan of Killer Instinct, but I play it because it’s there and eventually, I use Christmas money to procure a copy of Super Mario 64. And I’m in love. Because in my eleven-year-old brain, Super Mario 64 was the Greatest Game of All Time on the Greatest System of All Time, objectively.
As the 90s fade away, I grow into an awkward teenager, and the N64’s luster fades away. Banjo-Kazooie, Goldeneye, Ocarina of Time and a handful of others keep me somewhat occupied, but for the most part, Nintendo has let me down. I’d go to the video store to rent a game and see the overwhelming PS1 selection. Blockbuster hits like Resident Evil 2 and Metal Gear Solid. Weird Japanese titles like Point Blank and Irritating Stick. RPGs like Final Fantasy VII. The system seemed to have it all. These are the games I want to play, not sad oddities like Chameleon Twist 2 or Milo’s Astro Lanes.
*weeps softly to self*
The late 90s was a rough financial period for my parents, so I didn’t even bother asking for another console during that time. By the time I got a PS1 in 2002, I played a few games here and there – Silent Hill, Parappa the Rapper, and Chrono Cross among them – but I never plunged deep into the console. Polygon Symphonies exists to fill in the gaps.
And not just the PS1, obviously. Originally, that’s the only Sony console I was going to focus on. As I pondered playing hundreds of PS1 games, one after the other, with their janky polygons, tank controls, and awkward camera angles, I decided to add the PS2 into the journey. PS2 games are nicer to look at, easier to control, and – dare I say – just more fun to play.
But enough about me. What consoles were you not able to experience when you were a kid? Did you ever ask for a system for Christmas, then regret your decision afterwards? Let me know in the comments.
DYLAN, WHERE ARE THE REVIEWS?
This has been a busy week, and I’m going out of town for a few days starting this weekend. In other words, I haven’t had time to punch out reviews. Starting next week, please look forward to Tekken Tag Tournament, one of the PS2’s finest launch titles.
*thanks to BoredBug, Reddit, Geeks Under Grace, and GameFAQs for the images.