Growing up I was not only cursed with the bog-poverty channels, not only was I doomed to drawl out a midlands accent without knowing any better, but I also suffered in the realm of the video gaming world. For quite some time, there was no NES nor a SNES nor a Mega Drive nor Sega Saturn to grace the hallway of the home.
I would visit friends and they’d show me Game Boys and Mega Drives, shapes and colours would come on the screen, but I’d never really ask for a go, not knowing how and the potential to cause embarrassment to myself being one of the reasons, but furthering that point, I was happy out gawking at masters in my belief at their craft. Streets of Rage, Mortal Kombat, Actua Soccer even looked incredible. But this world of colours and pixels and kick punch kick excitement always had an end point, and reality would hit me at home, the nearest thing to Johnny Cage v Sub-Zero was Winning Streak. Reality was hard.
Then there was a glorious day. My sister rang up 2FM’s Saturday lunch time show. There was a prize being given away and to win the listener had to guess the identity of the person from a series of clues read out. My sister rang, confident that Santa Claus was the answer – the clues were “He wears red.” and “He’s halfway there.” However, when she got live on air her plan was dashed, the previous contestant had given Santa Claus as his answer. Put of nowhere the brother goes “David Beckham” and sure enough that was the answer and 2FM promised the moon and the stars in the form of a Nintendo 64 and one game a month for a year. This machine, hailed as revolutionary console with games still spoken about in reverted tones today, was headed our way. Living’ life, lovin’ the music.
But even this was messed up.
The reality hit. Hard. It was a PlayStation. No explanation was given, and since my sister was the “true” owner, she never said a word to the men in power. And instead of twelve, we only got four games. Tomb Raider 2, Nagano Winter Olympics ’98, NBA Jam ’98 and World Cup ’98. Needless to say, Nagano has stood the test of time the best, without doubt.
But we learned. We coped. We survived. We carried on. We played Final Fantasy after Final Fantasy. We persevered. We overcame. We learned to love Sony, and forgot about the first crush of the N64 standing by the bay in a summer skirt looking at an August sun.
The PlayStation’s pride and place in the home meant that the floodgates had finally burst, and a Game Boy Colour was gifted to me and soon I was Pokémon master again and again and again. I even managed Oracle of Seasons, not so much Ages, but I got my Nintendo fix finally and properly, and some closure was got. That tangential reality of an N64 coming to the house, Mario 64, Mario Kart, Ocarina of Time, even bloody Star Fox, that was another life, a different time and was finally accepted as not a thing that occurred. I was over it.
G’d luck yeah right.
And now, I breathe today, still a proud PS2 owner, but not wanting or attracted to the idea of a PS4. An Xbox has always had an air of needing too much work or effort, so what else can be done?
A nostalgia, one that I quite factually never partook in to feel this strongly, is as powerful as a bank manager, egging on the purchase, nay, the investment of the Switch, a handheld device, as well as a console as well as capabilities for VR in the future, the complete package is there, ready to be got at.
Me. An owner of a Nintendo console. Finally. Fulfill the dream I hear off the echoes from the forest of youth.
When the book is writ, when the plan is complete, and when Mario Kart is released, I shall own a Nintendo Switch.