PacSam Video Games

PacSam's BlogRetro Epics

Video games that shaped my childhood

Published by Samuel L. | Thursday, December 15, 2022, 06:00 PM

My name is Samuel (aka PacSam), and in this very first blog post, I share with you my childhood story and my first steps with different video game consoles, such as Nintendo, Super Nintendo and PlayStation 1. Life was so good and simple at that far away time... We were naive! This is my story with video games throughout my childhood.

My first contact with a gaming console

Let's go back around 1994, when I was about 6-7 years old and had no previous experience with video games, except maybe from TV commercials and magazine ads... To give you some context, a video game console coming into our house was out of question for my parents. I wasn't complaining, I had mountains of LEGO bricks and it was my passion at the time!

Although the Super Nintendo console has been available in North America for a few years, it is the Nintendo console that I first discover with close relatives. I used to play, with my cousins, games like Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt and others that I no longer remember. Let's face it, for a young kid who never had a controller in his hands, Super Mario Bros was a game with a very good degree of difficulty and without a game save option. From what I remember, we couldn't get past the third or fourth world... but we were never discouraged! We passed the controller to each other every time we failed against Bowser, a Koopa or even just a difficult jump. We could stay for many hours in front of the television without ever getting tired.

A milestone era and an unforgettable video game

A few years later, I discovered Super Mario World and Donkey Kong Country for the first time on the Super Nintendo console. The technical prowess was mind-blowing compared to the last generation of consoles.

Even today, the adventures of Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong remain one of my favourite platform games. With a great mix of catchy music, captivating levels and stunning graphics, it was hard not to be a fan! I still remember asking older relatives to help me complete certain levels like "Mine Cart Carnage", "Oil Drum Alley" and "Snow Barrel Blast". I never got tired of this game; even with an arm in a cast, I found a way to play it. I managed to complete the game later, as a teenager, with the help of the famous B-A-R-R-A-L secret code to get 50 lives when starting a game! Some will say it's cheating, but don't forget that when you turned off the console, you always started again with 5 lives, no matter how many you had accumulated...

New Horizons

Still without a console at home at the time, I discovered all the new games in stores and at some relatives' or friends' houses. I loved hanging out in the video game section of Toys'R'us and Zellers to try out some demo games and take free promotional flyers.

I must have been around 10-12 years old when I borrowed the Game Boy handheld console to play Pokémon Red for the first time. This is the very first game I've fully completed! At the time, we exchanged our tips between us and we could already search for tricks on the Internet, but I preferred to explore and discover everything on my own. Charizard was my favourite Pokémon, so I always picked Charmander to start a game. As I collected Pokémon cards and had the Pokémon Official Guide, which listed all the creatures of this fantastic world, I had in mind to find and catch all the specimens in the game... Unfortunately for me, you had to have Pokémon Blue to achieve this feature by swapping our Pokémon between two Game Boy consoles and a Game Link cable.

At the same time, the arrival of the PlayStation 1 in stores and in magazines makes me salivate. I discovered a new kind of game with one of my uncles, now deceased. Every time we went to visit his family, I asked him to play Driver and Destruction Derby. With one of my cousins, it was wrestling games that were popular; I loved the characters of The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar from WWE.

High school entrance

The first time I tried the Nintendo 64 console was, if I remember correctly, at a friend's house in my first years of high school. We mostly played Super Smash Bros; I must admit that I was not very good due to lack of practice... I had a few friends who owned game consoles and it was a subject that fascinated and intrigued me.

Finally, a little later, with the release of the GameCube console, we were treated to some really impressive 3D! At this point, we believed that graphics could not be improved in the future... I had the opportunity to play Luigi's Mansion and complete Resident Evil 4 with other friends at the time, and it remains today among the best gaming memories of my adolescence.

Last word

Feed your children with their passion and participate with them in order to enrich their universe. Banning something is never a viable solution to their curiosity… They always find a way, sooner or later!

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Conrad, 2023-04-25

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