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Monday, August 4, 2014

Summer Gaming: 1994


In the summer of 1994, I had entered the Blockbuster World Video Game Championship. My local Blockbuster presented entries with games to play for the championship and one such game I had to play was NBA Jam.

I've never really been big into sports titles. The last basketball game I played before NBA Jam was Double Dribble on the NES a game I liked immensely largely due to it's arcade nature. I was well aware of NBA Jam's popularity but I had no desire to play it. But being involved in Blockbusters's tournament, that meant that I had to. To my surprise, NBA Jam wasn't a simulation basketball title, but was firmly rooted in arcade style play. I was chanting "Boom-shakalaka! He's on Fire!" and so many other of the game's catch phrases while making slam dunks and breaking backboards. NBA Jam was not a serious basketball game and that's what I loved about it. Had I not been in Blockbuster's game tournament, I might not have discovered this one.

Super Metroid (SNES)

My first experience with Metroid was with Metroid II: Return of Samus on the Game Boy. The general opinion is that Metroid II is the worst entry in the series (although some may give Other M that dubious honor) but I enjoyed it enough to give Super Metroid a look, especially after seeing the TV spot for it.

Giving this one a rent from Blockbuster, and still not being well versed on how Metroid games work, I fired up one of the three files already in progress and went exploring. It didn't take long before I realized that I was lost and so I deleted one of the files and started over. Upon starting over, I was introduced to plot, spooky scientific facilities with all personnel dead and Ridely! Had I played and finished the original Metroid before playing this one, that one minute countdown to escape the space station at the start of the game probably wouldn't have freaked me out. But what was even more frightening was the Chozo statue that came to life after I picked up some missiles. I've been cautious around those things in every Metroid game since.

Mega Man X (SNES)

Yeah, my 1994 summer gaming was chock full of good times on the SNES. I played and finished Mega Man X 100% back in January during my three day rental period. When I was in Toronto, Canada with my uncle and cousin, I was given $250 to do whatever I wanted with. One game that I picked up was Mega Man X, it was one of the first games that I bought out of my home state.

I guess I was feeling brave because I kept subjecting myself to self imposed challenges like beating Storm Eagle without the dash boots or taking on Armored Armadillo with just the Mega Buster. Anyone that knows anything about the first Mega Man X knows that these stunts really aren't recommended, but I can assure you that they are quite doable.

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