Monday, 16 July 2018

Throwback - Gaming with my Brother

Us gamers can be pretty nostalgic people. We all look back wistfully at old gaming memories we still hold dear to us. Look at the reaction on Twitter when the Spyro the Dragon, and Crash Bandicoot remasters were confirmed - people who were playing this the first time around were delighting that a piece of their childhood was making a return. 

So, this got me thinking about my fond gaming memories growing up. A lot of my gaming took place sitting next to my brother, handing the controller back and fourth to one another when either of us died in-game. I've brought my brother Jack on board for this one, so join us as we reminisce about a selection of games we both played through together, and loved!


Couldn't seem to find an old video game pic of us,
so here's me and Jack playing Incy Wincy Spider with our Dad instead!


Worms 


8-Bit Girl: "The great thing about Worms is that although the graphics have evolved through the years, the format has stayed pretty much the same, yet it still works. As Jack said, Worms was the first PS One game we owned, and we spent an awful lot of time renaming worms, and battling it out."

Jack: "First PSOne game we owned and played. Was a surreal, but brilliantly unique idea for a game. Always loved the sheep bomb and the theme music. The one memory I do have was the game only supporting one controller so you had to keep passing the dualshock back and forth."

Mario Kart




8-Bit Girl: "Weird memory to start with, but I always remember our mum feeling seasick when we were spinning round and round on the Battle Mode and firing shells left, right and centre! Mario Kart is a fantastic series, and the SNES version got a LOT of plays in our house. I remember us really getting into Double Dash, when we were able to partner up as two characters in one cart. Jack tended to be the one throwing the items, and I was the designated driver!"

Jack: "Played the original on the SNES from day one and was hooked (especially battle mode, which we used to play together). Rainbow Road and the ghost levels were always the most challenging. The sequels that spurned from this were amazing too as they always added new features. Double Dash in particular enhanced the customisation of racers, allowing you to pick two characters per cart and allowing you to pick up multiple weapons. This was one of many games that made the Gamecube such an underrated console."

Super Smash Bros. Melee



8-Bit Girl: "Ah, this game. We pumped endless hours into collecting the trophies! I remember we also played through Smash Bros. Brawl together too, but it's Melee where my fondest memories lie. I believe we got pretty much every trophy in the end."

Jack: "Again, the Gamecube, a classic underrated console that deserved more accreditation. Melee was a brilliant Nintendo allstar beat em up, the addiction to collection all the trophies and fighting the creepy master hand boss was the most prominent memories I have of this game."

Donkey Kong Country, 1 & 2



8-Bit Girl: "The thing I remember the most about playing both of the SNES Donkey Kongs was the fact that we passed the controller between the two of us every time we died. We died a lot...so there was a lot of swapping back and fourth! I especially loved the mine cart levels, and those soundtracks...brilliant."

Jack: "Two brilliant games for the SNES and the first games to mark Donkey Kong as a hero. These games were challenging to say the least, but were innovative and way ahead of its time as the graphics, layout, and soundtrack were epic. I have since replayed the first one on the mini SNES and it hasn’t got any easier."

Super Mario World, All Stars, Sunshine



8-Bit Girl: "Like many Nintendo fans, Mario has always had a place in mine and my brother's collections, too. I admit, I am pretty terrible at most platformers, but the beauty of Mario games, is that although they can be challenging, they're also incredibly fun and charming, too. Super Mario World was one of the first games we got on the SNES. I remember our dad helping us through the trickier areas (he loved it too, by the way), but we often took turns to get throug them. Super Mario Sunshine was, and still is, one of my favourite Mario games. I know we got most of those sunshine stars when we played it together!"

Jack: "These in my opinion are the best Mario games around bar none, Super Mario World was our go to game growing up and caused so much stress and joy at the same time. This was the first SNES game we owned if i’m not mistaken. Super Mario All Stars was a great compilation game with a handful of Mario games, if we thought supermario world was hard this would take the title straight off it. Challenging and supplied hours of entertainment especially on boring sundays. Super Mario Sunshine was probably our favourite game on Gamecube, it was slick, challenging and damn right addictive. The style was completely different to other mario games and the Delfino Plaza music still gets stuck in my head to this day."

Crash Bandicoot


8-Bit Girl: "I've recently tried the remastered version, and it made me remember just how challenging, yet fun the Crash games were! The first game was one of the first games we picked up on the PS One. I remember we tried taking it in turns to get through levels, and loved that 'Hog Wild' level in particular!"

Jack: "remember us going to the now defunct Comet (electronic megastore for all you kids out there) with our Christmas money and buying this and Tomb Raider. Crash was an inventive game and was quirky and damn right fun to play. Who can forget the classic theme tune either."

Tomb Raider



8-Bit Girl: "Jack's got this one spot on. We tried playing this as kids, and found it a little too challenging, and pretty spooky in places, too. Do you remember what some of those bosses looked like? They're terrifying! Still, it cemented my love of the Tomb Raider series in general. Along with our mum, we watched our Dad play through all the classic Tomb Raiders, so it became a bit of a family event!"

Jack: "This used to scare the crap out of us, whether it was bears, dinosaurs, demons or mummies, this game had it all. The levels and different environments were captivating to watch. We used to watch dad play this as we weren't good enough, and both scared to play it."

Toobin' 



8-Bit Girl: "I recall that we discovered Toobin' as it was on a collection of retro games we had on the PS One. This one, along with Rampage, became our favourite games on the collection! Toobin' was pretty straightforward - you guide a man in a rubber ring along multiple themed rivers, avoiding enemies, and throwing cans to take them down. Some of the levels got a little creepy (for example, at one point, these swimshort wearing racers traverse along what looks like hell), but it's a lot of fun."

Jack: "A 2D game with the aim of guiding a man in a rubber ring down a river to avoid the obstacles. This was on a game we owned with other retro games, cant remember the name of the game now. Either way we used to play this loads, and loved throwing cans at obstacles down the river."

Mario Paint



8-Bit Girl: "I would honestly play another one of these if they ever brought it back! Mario Paint used a plug-in mouse, which allowed you to colour in Nintendo-themed pictures, draw your own, complete mini-games (the bizarre fly swatting one I remember a lot), and create music. There's still people today on YouTube that use the music maker to create their own tunes. I loved this!"

Jack: "Proof Nintendo has always been experimenting with gaming since day one. we pumped hours upon hours into mario paint and the fact a game used a mouse and pad for you to create Nintendo themed art pieces was captivating and mind blowing for us 90s kids."

Aladdin



8-Bit Girl: "Along with the Spider-Man games on Gamecube, this is one of my favourite movie-to-game adaptations, hands down...and not just because I'm a Disney fangirl. Aladdin was genuinely a brilliantly executed game. I remember the music, and replaying the 'A Whole New World' level repeatedly, too."

Jack: "The classic Disney film on SNES, this game was one of the few movie adapted games that actually was really good. The game was very tough, and had great sound effects. I remember most the final fight with Jafar as a snake, and getting help from dad to complete it."

Zoo Tycoon



8-Bit Girl: "We put so many hours into this game! I loved the dinosaur expansion, but I also loved the little easter eggs you could discover. I remember accidentally discovering you could create mermaids if you put a mermaid statue into a water exhibit. I've since played the Xbox One version, but it just didn't have the same level of charm as the PC versions did."

Jack: "We had the game on PC with all the expansions. This game was amazing, and especially the fact you could have dinosaurs in it too. We put many hours into making the perfect zoo and stopping all the animals from breaking out. This was another game with a great, catchy theme tune."

Virtual Springfield



8-Bit Girl: "We played this so much! Virtual Springfield let players explore some of the Simpsons characters homes, as well as key locations seen in the episodes (like Moe's, for example). Point and clicking at different objects caused them to animate, and it was genuinely pretty funny."

Jack: "Another game when we played on the computer, this game was brilliant as we were hardcore Simpsons fans, and the walk around Springfield and interacting with the characters was so good."

The Simpsons Wrestling



8-Bit Girl: "I agree with Jack, the graphics look so dated in today's standards, but this was pretty fun. Each character had their own signature moves, and I remember playing as Bumblebee Man with his little nipping dog a fair amount."

Jack: "Another classic Simpsons game. I used to love playing as Groundskeeper Willie and Barney Gumble. The graphics looking back are awful, but the gameplay was hilarious."

The Simpsons Cartoon Studio



8-Bit Girl: "Everyone loves a freebie, and this one was a pretty damn good freebie! We created a lot of cartoon shorts, and as kids, it made us crack up."

Jack: "A game we got free with PC Ace, this was basically a game where you got to create your own Simpsons short episode. We used to use the feature that made Mr Burns fly and made him say; “Look at me I’m a birdy!”"

Crazy Taxi 



8-Bit Girl: "There was something about this game that was just so fun. Fun, frantic driving set to a pretty decent soundtrack, it's worth a play if you haven't tried it before!"

Jack: "A game we got free with the ps2, this was a great arcade game, and was fast paced and tense. We used to love The Offspring song “All I Want” featured in this."

Tekken 2



8-Bit Girl: "I remember we picked this up on the fly during a shopping trip, not really knowing anything about Tekken beforehand. Like a lot of serious beat-em-ups, it's got a bit of a learning curve, but I remember we loved playing against one another a lot!"

Jack: "Another game we picked up cheap from Comet. This game had us button bashing and hoping to get a lucky manoeuvre in. There were many classic characters in this game with their own special moves. I always liked Jack-2, whilst you always went for Paul Phoenix."

Soulblade 



8-Bit Girl: "The thing i remember most about this was the great intro and the theme tune. Soulblade was our first introduction into the world of Soulcalibur, and we loved it! There was quite a variety of pretty odd fighters. Voldo was so creepy!"

Jack: "Another Tekken-esque fighter, soulblade was basically a medieval Tekken. I remember we got this game free with the Special Reserve game membership dad was subscribed to." *

*I just reminded Jack that Soulblade was the predecessor to SoulCalibur, but we'll take 'medieval Tekken', too! :P

Croc



8-Bit Girl: "Quite similar to Spyro, Croc was a bit of a forgotten gem...probably because people decided to embrace the more popular Spyro instead. Croc himself was super-cute, and the levels are colourful, and pretty fun to complete. Shame it never really took off!"

Jack: "Good old adorable Croc. Probably the most lovable game character around, one of the earliest PSOne games we had, and it was an absolute treat. A classic platformer that captivated us from the start. A franchise that deserved more games."


Spyro


8-Bit Girl: "We only owned Spyro 2, although I've definitely played a little of the others around friends back then, but I've never completed them! I loved Spyro 2 a lot though, we did manage to get through this by taking turns together. Looking forward to revisiting this, and the others in the upcoming remaster!"

Jack: "If I recall correctly, we only ever played the second one? We were hooked on getting as many orbs in this game as possible. This was a standout platformer, and I can't wait for the remaster later this year. I remember how annoyed we would get when the character Moneybags would ask for gems, so we could advance on in the game."

And one last thing...

Jack: "Gaming has been an important part of our childhood, and has supplied us with many memories. The gaming journey is ongoing, and it's always nice to go back to the games that got us into the beautiful world of gaming."


Cosplaying as Vincent Vega, and Minnie Mouse 
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