Back in the Day …

I share origin stories of how I got into video gaming as a kid during the NES era, talk of training hijinks at my local arcade and reflect on those definitive moments when games became a huge part of life. It’s an episode celebrating game nostalgia and memories of “the good ol’ days” gaming as a young child.

Shout-outs to Super Mario Brothers, Qbert, Crystalis, Battletoads, Street Fighter 2 and Dark Souls 3!

Comments & Conversation


  • Your Waifu says:

    Damn, I got so melancholic over this episode. Nostalgia about videogames and childhood is almost physically painful. Such a good times. Just remembering how my parents were trying to buy something that is okay with them and will interest me. Now that I am an adult I can truly appreciate that. And they always succeeded, surprisingly. Even when they gave me that ps1 disc called “5 puzzle games” and I was like “well, this shit sounds boring”, but one of these games turns out to be freaking amazing (can’t even remember the name, but it was some 3D-arcanoid where all these different bricks had characters and there was an overall funny plot, weird, but so good). Speaking of the game that made me fall in love with that industry, it is most definitely Crash Bandicoot. Ps1 was my first console so there is no surprise here, I guess.

    Well, that was a long and boring comment, but I felt the need to share it. Feels hit strong with this topic. The older I get, the more I adore my childhood and want to get back there. And since I just turned 20, it is especially touching.

    • Phil/Poly says:

      Neither long, nor boring; and I’m totally with ya on the, ” … want to get back there.” Without going too far down the melancholy rabbit hole, I miss those feelings of awe and wonder somethin’ fierce. It’s totally possible I’m looking back on it through rose-tinted goggles but the highs seemed so much higher.

      I’m fascinated by this 5-in-1 puzzle game; I just did a quick search on the Googles and came up short. I’ll have to do some digging.

      I remember struggling with Crash. Like … a lot. It was my first 3D platformer after a long time of NES and SNES time and constantly missed jumps or just ran off ledges. Good times.

    • Your Waifu says:

      I managed to remember the game, here:
      But I’m pretty sure the disc itself was pirated, I don’t think we even had official games for ps1 in my country at that time. Every game was pirated, poorly translated (like, worse than google translate would’ve done) and costed around 8$. So yeah, this 5-in-1 disc might not even exist outside of my country.

      Good times indeed, I never managed to finish the last stage of Crash Bandicoot 3.

  • Jacob Fry says:

    So, I think the lack of enthusiasm we are witnessing as a culture stems from a few pillars:
    (1) We are constantly aging and learning more and more frames of reference as new games come out.
    (1ex) I think a good personal example of this (now mind you I’m 18 so my nostalgia =/= your nostalgia) is Tak and the Power of Juju for the GameCube. It was just my favorite game as an elementary age kid. I loved the soundtrack, the creative levels, and the goofy characters that came together to create this atmosphere that was unparalleled (or so I thought). Looking back on it, Tak was never very famous because the game was overshadowed by so many better games that just did what Tak tried to do and did it with tenfold intensity. (The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker) This love for Tak went on to shape the way that I saw other games.
    (1 again) I think it takes a good game to know a bad game, but you can enjoy a bad game if there’s no frame of reference, which is why we were always excited to open a new game, because when we were young games could have almost no impressive assets and we would still play them until the console overheated (hyperbole). Now we are so seasoned that we have set an unreasonable bar for every game. We want the rewards and challenges of Dark Souls, we want the soundtrack of Undertale, we want the writing of Heavy Rain, and we want the performance of CS GO. Then, if these criteria are met, we want 2 sequels that are even better, but are still inviting to new players. I think this ruthlessly critical approach to gaming can damage the inherent love of taking a game out of the box and playing it until the controller is an extension of yourself. Just to sit back and enjoy the magic that copious amounts of effort in programming, art, and music have created.
    (2) Like you touched on, I think ease of access has greatly taken the magic out of getting a new (insert item).
    (2ex) Have you ever read any of the Laura Ingalls books, by chance? We had to read them in middle school, and I remember one event that has stuck with me. Laura got an orange for Christmas, and her brother got a sled. Laura was more excited than her brother. As a younger reader I could never comprehend how someone could be excited about a 15 minute snack when the person right next to you got hours upon hours of enjoyment. Now I understand that she was excited because oranges were nigh impossible to acquire in the midwest during that time. She understood the difficulty of acquiring it, and there was a certain amount of love behind it. There’s no love behind me purchasing dark souls 2 sotfs on PlayStation Store, then waiting an hour for it to be on my PS3..
    (2 again) This ease of access has taken the time and effort out of acquiring a thing, and this tells us that it isn’t something special. Information has changed from being a privilege to being a commodity or right. I think this spritual depreciation of information was to come with the territory of the internet and the constant betterment of its use. Just my thoughts on the matter. I really enjoyed this podcast and the ‘inaugural’ one. Good stuff, man.