December 9th, 2007
Know Your Roots
This expression, I hold with great importance. People that believe in this statement are people who are proud of what they have become and hence have great respect towards the things that shaped them into the person that they are today. I am one of those people and for me video games is one of those things that has shaped me into who I am today.
It is important for us not only as gamers but people to look back at our past and place things of this nature in high regard. So hence I want to talk about the first games that I owned.
I remember when I was selecting my first two games for the NES. My brother and I had a set limit of money to spend. So we spent our money wisely we bought a 3-in-1 cart because it was only a bit more expensive then a single game but it was 3 games! After we made that decision we didn’t have much left to spend so we were forced to buy one of the cheapest games in the cabinet. So we chose a game entitled Totally Rad, probably because of the sweet name I’d say.
3 in 1 cart: Super Mario Bros, Tetris and Nintendo World Cup
You gotta say, this cart is absolutely awesome. Not only did it have the two most defining games of the era but it also had the sweet Nintendo World Cup. As a gamer I shouldn’t need to introduce Tetris or Mario to you but I do want to briefly mention that the NES version of Tetris. Anyone that remembers this version of Tetris will no doubt remember the part of the game (I forget which part) where there were the set of Nintendo characters each playing a musical instrument, yay!
A lot of people probably haven’t heard of Nintendo World Cup. It was part of the Kunio-kun series which basically means that each of the players had the same character design as River City Ransom’s bad asses. Before each match you could set 4 variables for the computer AI, for example should the your team mates shoot for goal etc. Much like other NES sport titles NWC was unique in gameplay to work around the NES’ limited hardware. Unlike modern soccer games you control only one player and when you don’t have the ball you call to your team mates for them to pass the ball. By controlling one player it stops the camera from constantly moving from player to player which probably would have killed the NES as any camera panning in this game made the sprites often flash white and caused some slow down.
Now considering that this game was one of the cheapest NES games on sale that day this game is actually a better than average 8 bit platformer. Totally Rad was made by the not very successful developer Jaleco. There is a storyline in there about a kid that can use magic and his girlfriend being captured but its not very interesting. This is made worse by the totally lame (pun) dialogue. The translators have tried to make things interesting by using teen slang and outdated words like gnarly and tubular. But despite the lame story the game plays quite well. Its not as frustrating as your typical unfair NES platformer and the game has quite a consistent balance throughout.
The game’s main selling point is the set of magic powers that you can use to heal, go invincible and turn into animal-esque creatures. It is very similar to the abilities in other NES platformers like Megaman.
So what about you? What was the first game that you owned?