Retro Gamer

PRECIOUS MEMORIES

Darran gets a time machine

-

At the end of August I celebrated my 50th birthday. I marked the occasion by watching Jurassic Park on a local cinema screen and eating some incredibly delicious pasties from Philps Pasties – all in all, it wasn’t a bad way to finish off my forties.

Being a child at heart, I received a number of amazing and very thoughtful gifts. Melanie bought me a US copy of Castlevani­a: Legacy Of Darkness (which I’ve been after for the last four years) and a swanky Tissot watch. I also received an Indiana Jones-style fedora, a mould of one of the raptor heads from Jurassic Park, as well as vouchers and Lego. One of the most thoughtful presents I received though, was from my cousin Martin, who recently gifted me an amazing picture containing 50 of my favourite games.

It went so much further than that though, as all the games hold exceptiona­lly precious memories for me, either those I have shared with Martin or with other friends and family. Proudly displayed in the order of each game’s release, the epic selection features everything from I, Robot to Magic: The Gathering Arena and while it’s heavily console focussed (Martin and I didn’t regularly play games together until those systems came out) it serves as a fantastic snapshot of my gaming life.

When I look at the image of Goldeneye 007 it lets me recall all the frantic multiplaye­r fights I used to have with Melanie and my friends. It instantly brings a smile to my face, as you could always tell where Melanie was during a game, as her view was normally pointing towards the floor. If I gaze at Final Fantasy: Tactics Advance, it reminds me of when I put my back out whilst working on games™.i had to spend two agonising weeks lying on the floor and playing on my GBA was one of the only things I could comfortabl­y do.

When I peruse the image of Devil May Cry, it instantly takes me back to Martin’s house, where he proudly showed off his new Japanese PS2 games. I didn’t care for Final Fantasy X, but Devil May Cry was phenomenal and it convinced me that I needed to own a PS2. What a shame then that the PAL version I bought was so terrible. Another memory with Martin is evoked if I glance over to Super Castlevani­a IV. It was the first game I used to show him my newly modded

SNES, which now had stereo sound and we listened in awe as the chandelier­s on one of the stages rocked from speaker to speaker.

Seven N64 games made it into the 50, which makes perfect sense when you consider how much I love Nintendo’s console. Seeing Ridge Racer 64 on there is particular­ly gratifying as it marks one of the few times that I’ve managed to complete a racing game that Martin hasn’t. The memories are coming thick and fast now. Dead Or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball isn’t a particular­ly good game, but my daughter Emily was obsessed with its intro as a child, while Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast takes me back to playing Sumo’s game with my daughter Alice sleeping blissfully on my stomach.

Interestin­gly, only five shmups have made the list, but they’re all bangers. Sure, I can’t look at Gradius V without being reminded of my

games™ 9 being knocked down to a 7, but I’ve still got amazing memories of that game, as I have for Axelay, UN Squadron, Radiant Silvergun and Thunder Force III.

Seeing the image of Ryu throwing a fireball reminds me of the many games we used to play at lunchtime when we were still working in an office, while both Eagle Flight and

Until Dawn: Rush Of Blood highlight my obsession with the early days of PSVR. Another obsession is Magic: The Gathering Arena, a game I introduced Martin to when he lived with us during lockdown.

I don’t know how many hours of my life I’ve devoted to those 50 games, but I’d imagine it probably stretches into months. I love how games can trigger our imaginatio­ns and how some, like The Last Of Us and Spec Ops: The Line, have the power to shock and thrill us.

This gift is so much more than just a picture, it’s a time machine, something that I can use to effortless­ly send me back to some of my favourite gaming memories. Melanie was so touched by what it represente­d that she’s even allowed it to hang in the house, rather than my shed.

Thanks a lot cuz, I really appreciate it.

All the games hold exceptiona­lly precious memories for me DARRAN JONES

 ?? ?? A FANTASTIC AND TOUCHING WAY TO CELEBRATE MY 50TH BIRTHDAY.
ALL THE SNES GAMES THAT MADE THE TOP 50. HOW MANY HAVE YOU PLAYED? [IOS] I PLAY MTG: ARENA EVERY DAY, I EVEN STREAMED IT FOR A WHILE.
A FANTASTIC AND TOUCHING WAY TO CELEBRATE MY 50TH BIRTHDAY. ALL THE SNES GAMES THAT MADE THE TOP 50. HOW MANY HAVE YOU PLAYED? [IOS] I PLAY MTG: ARENA EVERY DAY, I EVEN STREAMED IT FOR A WHILE.
 ?? ??
 ?? ?? [ARCADE] SEQUENCES LIKE THIS MEANT I ALWAYS HAD A CROWD WHEN PLAYING CAPCOM’S ARCADE GAME. [PS3] UNCHARTED 2 IS FULL OF DAZZLING SETPIECES, BUT THE TRAIN SECTION IS THE ONE I ALWAYS THINK OF. [NINTENDO 64] I’VE FOND MEMORIES OF MELANIE USING A GUIDEBOOK TO HELP ME THROUGH PARTS OF OCARINA OF TIME.
THIS IS A MORE RECENT MEMORY. I SHARED MY ADVENTURE ONLINE AS I MADE MY WAY THROUGH THE GAME. [MEGA DRIVE] I WAS IMPORTING GAMES FROM AN EARLY AGE. GETTING THIS, STRIDER AND MOONWALKER ON THE SAME DAY WAS AWESOME.
[ARCADE] SEQUENCES LIKE THIS MEANT I ALWAYS HAD A CROWD WHEN PLAYING CAPCOM’S ARCADE GAME. [PS3] UNCHARTED 2 IS FULL OF DAZZLING SETPIECES, BUT THE TRAIN SECTION IS THE ONE I ALWAYS THINK OF. [NINTENDO 64] I’VE FOND MEMORIES OF MELANIE USING A GUIDEBOOK TO HELP ME THROUGH PARTS OF OCARINA OF TIME. THIS IS A MORE RECENT MEMORY. I SHARED MY ADVENTURE ONLINE AS I MADE MY WAY THROUGH THE GAME. [MEGA DRIVE] I WAS IMPORTING GAMES FROM AN EARLY AGE. GETTING THIS, STRIDER AND MOONWALKER ON THE SAME DAY WAS AWESOME.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom