So here we go. The most nostalgic console for me.
Yes, more than the NES.
My older brother had an NES and a Master System when I was growing up. His selection of NES games wasn't all that... Impressive? Hell, I can barely remember what he had for it.
But that Master System I remember.
When my brother had gotten a shiny new Playstation 1 for his birthday, it wasn't long before he lost interest in his old consoles. So, one delightful day, he passed them on to me.
I couldn't thank him enough.
Let's look at some of those memories.
(Also: Before anyone says anything, these are the Master System games I've played. So if you're wondering why stuff like Rescue Mission or Zillion aren't on here, that's why.)
Being a kid obsessed with planes, this was an amazing viewing experience when I was little.
Years later, when I was finally allowed to play it (by owning it... My brother was pretty possessive), it... Kinda disappointed. It didn't control quite as cool as I remembered.
Still; I found a trick to it.
Just hang to the far left or far right, and all attacks just whiz past you. Right up until level 12 or so, then it doesn't help you any.
It also doesn't help against the boss battles - Which is okay, because the boss battles are amazing. One of the coolest things I'd seen as a kid.
If I'd had friends as a kid, this would probably be a much higher game on my list. Shame, since I've only played it single player.
It's still amazing fun regardless! Simple, satisfying gameplay executed very competently.
And you're playing as a giant monster smashing up buildings and eating people. That was just about the coolest goddamn thing to a kid. (at least, up until Godzilla: Kaijuu Daikessen)
I should really play this with someone, see if it stands up to my memory. (likely not)
Before Contra; I had this.
I don't like Quartet as much as I do Contra, but this is still a pretty good game. It stands on its own quite well, keeping a fair distance from the Contra formula, but borrowing enough elements from the tried-and-proven formula to keep things engaging.
It's really a shame that the only way to really stand a chance in this game is to grind... It's stupid, silly, but it's a score-attack game, and so that's how it rolls.
Annoying. But! The rest of it is pretty good.
(Edit: Oh shit, looks like Quartet came out a bit before Contra, at least arcade-side... Hm.)
Awww yeah, now we're gettin' to the good stuff.
Everyone, back in their childhood, had their favourite Zelda-clone/knockoff/copycat. Mine was this one.
And, well, because I'd played this first, I just didn't like the first Zelda game. The controls of Zelda felt stiff and clunky compared to the difficult-to-master flow of Golvellius. The old man wasn't funny or interesting, since the old woman in Golvellius said much funnier stuff. The puzzles in here weren't as difficult either, thank god, since I'm terrible at them.
So yes, it's a matter of timing. I was one of exceptionally few that didn't play the first Zelda as a kid.
I'm okay with that, though.
1. Phantasy Star
I'm not prepared for this. There's...
Okay, so, I think it's impossible for me to talk about this game in any kind of professional manner. Heck, I can't play it without losing myself in a childlike blur.
When playing it, I find no faults. Sure, later on, in retrospect, I can think of some, but the flaws are so ingrained with my mind that I don't recognize them when I play. I can work around them, and, hell, enjoy them so much, that it doesn't matter.
Not allowed to choose which monster to attack in a battle? Meh! Grueling first-person dungeons that are near-impossible to navigate? I welcome them! Gets a bit grind-happy at times? With a battle system THIS fast paced, why is that a problem?!
And, well, the world is just facinating. There's the barest of exposition, plot, and development, but the cohesive world is a fantastic mix of science-fiction and medieval fantasy elements. I'm still enthralled by it, and I haven't found something quite like this game that does it so damn well.
So in essense; since this game has fallout-shelter-thick nostalgia blur, it's exceptionally difficult for me to look at it objectively.
And that's a shame, because if I share the game with anyone else, they... Aren't likely to like it. It's so damn easy to die in the beginning, it takes a lot of grinding to get yourself to a powerful level, and figuring what to do to go from one thing to the next is a bit too obtuse at times.
So... I'm not likely to ever share my love of this game with anyone.
Which kinda saddens me... Since I love it so much. When I watched my brother play it, I would go outside and play my own little Phantasy Star stories, and then later, when I had the game to play for myself, I would be enamored in it for whole months.
And it's... Not something I can really share. Especially since, even if the game WAS perfect in terms of gameplay (which no game is), and someone enjoyed it nearly as much, an adult just doesn't have that sense of wonder and awe that a child does.
So I guess it's all just a happy, personal memory that surfaces when I pop that unassuming black cartridge into an aging electronic relic.
See y'all next week.