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The Nintendo Experience - Part 1

If I could pick any game company that left the best impression of video game entertainment during my childhood, it was Nintendo. My first gaming console wasn't the Atari, or Colecovision, or even the fancy Commodore 64. My tyke years began during 1990, and as I became old enough to hold a controller, the Nintendo Entertainment System is where I started and it only got better as the hardware evolved through the years. This story is what I'd like to call...

As you may recall in my "20 years of Pok'emon" article, I mentioned that I got the least amount of attention in the family. My older brother and sister were always going out and hanging with friends while I was either in my bedroom alone or playing out in the backyard. I was definitely a shy child at the time, and what it boiled down to was an eventual hobby of playing video games with an addiction to follow. Since my stepdad and mom also had their own activities aside from my siblings, I was given an NES of my very own (which originally belonged to my stepdad) and I had an interesting library to start with.

Double Dragon, Fester's Quest, Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Castlevania II, Duck Hunt, Monster Party and Vice: Project Doom were the games that I owned as I first dove into playing on the system. Of course a few of those games were out of my experience in beating (Fester's Quest was possibly the hardest because of the respawning toad enemies), but over time I got a little better at playing the same games.

As 1992 rolled around, the SNES had been out for a year and I wouldn't see myself getting one for another few years. In the meantime my NES library was growing as I was. Double Dragon II, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, Monsters in my Pocket and the Adventures of Bayou Billy were all added to my stack of games. Because of the new titles I earned it also meant that I would have a new two-hour restriction on how long I could play them. I was oblivious toward the NES overheating, so I had to learn about that the hard way. In all honesty, most of the time the games were hard to put down, even with some frustrations in the way. I guess it's just the eye popping colors and gameplay of them that kept me going.

I also owned a Sega Genesis during this same period, and with having two home consoles my parents were over buying more games than I already had, and with 1994 coming to a close my stepdad thought it would be time to get rid of the NES and the games with it. This didn't mean that he was going to use the same selling money to buy me a Super Nintendo, though. So with just a Sega Genesis I still had my fair share of fun with the games I owned for it, but I still sorely missed my NES. Cut to 1995, and an eventful situation occurred at my aunt's house.

My cousin and her friend said that they had a Super Nintendo, but the RCA cables for it were missing. With that said, she was willing to give it away free of charge, even with the games (and the box) that came with it. I tried to contain my excitement, but I was in for a surprise before I got home. I found the RCA cables myself as I did some rummaging through my cousin's bedroom closet. My guess was that she misplaced the cables with the console while moving into the house as I was never told how it disappeared.

The attention to detail with the Super Mario Bros. All-Stars version of Super Mario Bros. 3 was staggering. Even without my NES I could still remember how plain the backgrounds and sprites were in the original, and playing it to see the visuals made the SNES version even more fun.

My jaw dropped with the handful of games that I was left with. Super Mario All-Stars, Super Mario World, Super Mario Kart, Donkey Kong Country, and even the underrated Mario Paint were all in a little dust-protected see-through case. With how late it was in the SNES' life though, there were many games that I was missing out on. Unfortunately owning the system was cut short once the launch of the Nintendo 64 happened, but I enjoyed every second of the games that I was given for the SNES. Super Mario World was the most played out of them just because of the variety it had as a Mario game, and its impressive use of layered sprites with Mario in front of and behind a fence as he climbed it.

The Nintendo 64 was a humongous step up from the previous system before it, and I was excited to jump right into the action after my stepdad purchased one during Christmas of 1997. The system came bundled with the already popular Super Mario 64, and as a bonus for buying the system he got Pilotwings 64 for free. Both games were innovative, especially Super Mario 64 since it broke the mold for 3D environment games. Pilotwings 64 on the other hand was like a game of its own. It was a flight sim sure, but it had depth as you were given different challenges and difficulties to advance through the game.

1998 was a pretty slow year as obtaining new games went. I was in middle school while my older brother was out working as a dishwasher at a restaurant in our city. My brother did buy a couple of N64 games from the money he earned though, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire and Mario Kart 64 were the two that he got, while I pleaded for him to buy Banjo-Kazooie for me. This made him a tad upset however, because as November came around my parents were starting to leave him with 20% of his paychecks. He got around to it, but he told his friends that he wanted to use that money toward getting something else.

Blockbuster Video was the source in checking out future Nintendo 64 games. But since I was hooked on using my money to rent games, I never thought about buying one.

The year after, my older brother spent less time around me and the parents and already had thoughts about moving away, while I was just left with the same few games I had for the N64 and never bothered to buy any new games for it with my allowance, but rather just rented games with the money. I had my N64 as late as 2001, and eventually got it sold to make room for Nintendo's purple colored cube shaped console.

Stay tuned for Part 2, the final part as I talk about my time spent from the years of 2001 to 2013 from the Gamecube all the way to the Wii U.

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Benjanime Posted on Feb 13, 2017 at 11:26 PM

it probably did come to that reason alone, especially since my cousin was getting into horse riding and she's only a year older than me.

Hoju Koolander Posted on Feb 13, 2017 at 10:41 PM

Losing the RCA cables seems like a simple fix after a trip to Radio Shack. I think your Aunt just wanted to get those brain rotting video games out of her house and you were the beneficiary!

Benjanime Posted on Feb 12, 2017 at 07:59 PM

in my pok'emon article i did state that i had one, but for this article i wanted to focus on the home consoles. i had my gbc up until 2002.

vkimo Posted on Feb 12, 2017 at 06:09 PM

What about the Gameboy Color? We're about the same age so I assume you had one during the N64 years as I did.

Benjanime Posted on Feb 12, 2017 at 04:10 AM

All except the Virtual Boy, but I'm not even sure if that counts as a console.

Vaporman87 Posted on Feb 12, 2017 at 03:57 AM

Sounds like you were at least able to get in on all the Nintendo consoles in your youth. Looking forward to part 2.

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