Thursday, 16 April 2015

First Blood

Hello and welcome back to the Pixel cave. Today, I'm thinking back to the games I grew up with, and how they moulded my expectations and lifestyle, even from an early age. The customary soundtrack is on the left and today is from the '88 release of Robocop.

I started gaming when I was  pretty young, probably around the age of three or four. Even then, there had already been some excellent games released. I suppose I was lucky to be born at a time when, even after the crash of '83, developers had started making great, and forward thinking titles.

There's not that much that I remember from the age of 3. I don't remember where we lived at the time, I can't remember where I went to school or who my friends were. I DO remember quite clearly, sneaking into my brother's bedroom while he was asleep to load up Harrier Attack on our CPC464.

That time spawned some great games by developers (and publishers) who are still going today. One of my very favourite gaming series has always been Dizzy. starting in '87, that little egg brought countless hours of both frustration and happiness into my life and it's quite nice to see that even now you can pick up Dizzy Prince of the Yolkfolk on mobile devices (albeit with updated graphics).

At the time I started, gaming was turning corners. I am not old enough to remember the first Atari classics on release but sometimes I think maybe I was born at just the right time. The industry had made mistakes, learned from them (it would have seemed) and had picked up once more, dusted off and had started making use of the latest technology. What a time to be alive.

Games like dizzy, Silkworm, Paperboy, Roland on the Ropes. They all have their own small space deep in my heart and they formed the core of my beliefs surrounding gaming. It should be fun, end of. Graphics are nice of course, but the main thought behind any game should be "let's make this fun. Let's give them a game they will remember for 26 years".

   Possibly, today's companies should stop the "throw out the same game with updated visuals" train they've been running on for a decade and look back at the roots of Codemasters and Activision. The crash of '83 happened in part at least, because the industry forgot that consumers will not just buy any old game and rave about it. You have to put love in, to get love out.

Let us know what you think in the comments below

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