BACK TO THE INDEX.
"Five Years, 20 Columns, and a Whole Lot of Memories"
-By Harold "Hbomb" Price-
|Where does the time go? Ok,
so you'd think I'd get a lot more than 20 articles in 5 years. That's
like 4 a year. I guess if that's the average, I'm good for 2008. :)
But seriously, things come and go. Life has peaks and volleys. And in that time, I like to write about gaming.
After 5 years and 19 previous columns, I'd like to take a look back, and see what's happened since I started this column.
Hbomb, the Retro Gamer
Ok, so my first couple columns were about my love of gaming- from buying used games to dusting off classics to just the enjoyment of the classics. Since the column on used games, I purchased 3 used systems- an N64 (which I wrote about in column #8) and a PS2 from GameStop and a Virtual Boy off of Ebay. I got to catch up on a couple classics I missed out on, like VB's "Wario Land" and N64's "Mischief Makers". I've also added some new games to my column #3 list of classics, such as "Meteos", "Super Smash Bros. Brawl", and "Picross DS". And as for column #2, Wii's Virtual Console has definitely satisfied my love of classics, like "SimCity" for SNES and "Yoshi" for NES. Other old-school-styled titles, like "New Super Mario Bros." have made it into my library.
Money, Money, Money!
In column #4, I posted about expanding the "Player's Choice" line to GBA titles, Nintendo did just that. I bought a couple GBA titles that way, like "Mario Kart Super Circuit" and "Super Mario Advance". Oh, and the reference to having money for batteries is totally outdated. However, no such luck for column #5 and Nintendo's unbundling of classics. At least Virtual Console is cheaper, and there's a better selection.
Did I call it, or what?
In column #6, I wrote on the trend of Nintendo characters crossing over into other game series. I also predicted the existence of third party characters in the next Smash Bros. game. Ok, so Tails, Mega Man, and Simon didn't make it, but I was right about Sonic (but I still don't get Snake, especially since the MGS series was primarily on non-Nintendo systems). Plus, I also predicted a Mario/Sonic crossover, but I was thinking a platformer, not the Olympics. Moving ahead to column #9, I made a birthday list of hypothetical games I wanted. I got my old-school Mario side-scroller ("New Super Mario Bros."). I got my new Smash Bros. title (after 3 years). I got DDR Mario Mix and Donkey Konga 2 (but not 3, sadly). I got US "Lost in Blue", but I never quite got into it. I got GBA ports of Final Fantasys 1 & 2 and 4-6, DS ports of 3 & 4, and DS ports of Dragon Quests 4-6 on the way (Hooray!). Heck, we're even getting Dragon Quest 9! (eventually) As for a "Fire Emblem" port, I believe Nintendo's working on a DS verison of the original (but no word on a US release). And I haven't heard a peep from THQ or BAM lately, but there's plenty of shovelware publishers still around. Oh, and the free online play in Animal Crossing Wild World (and many other subsequent games), as I mentioned in column #11 has worked out nicely (unless you try to play "Super Smash Bros. Brawl").
Or what, indeed!
...but then again, we never got Earthbound/Mother remakes. We never got a "Faceball 2000" remake. And no collection of classic Nintendo games for Cube (other than Animal Crossing), but at least there's Virtual Console. Never got a "Final Fight" remake, like I mentioned in column #11. There were Street Fighter sequels, remakes, and collections, but they mostly stayed away from Nintendo's consoles. Oh, and "Katamari Damacy" never made it to DS.
I experimented with writing columns about non-gaming subjects, such as my hatred towards Valentine's Day in column #7 and sports scandals in the form of video games in column #10. It didn't catch on, so I stuck with games after that.
After writing about non-gaming stuff, I just threw a bunch of ideas together and called it column #11. I still hadn't gotten my DS yet, but I did list some games I wanted for it. I actually own or have owned all those games on my list, except for the non-existant DS version of Katamari Damacy (although I played the PS2 version- we're not missing much). I finally got my DS later that year, which led to column #12. In the three years since that column, my DS library has ballooned from 2 games to over 30. Definitely worth every penny.
Wii will like to play... next year.
In column #13, I was totally psyched about the upcoming console not yet known as "Wii". Many classics have been released on VC, but the "Dragon Warrior" and "Final Fantasy" series and "Mischief Makers" are on the long list of no-shows. Not on the list of no-shows is Sega, as Genesis games (along with TurboGrafx 16 and NeoGeo) were included on Virtual Console. As for pricing, my guess of $5 was a lot closer than Phil's $1-2, with N64 games running as high as $10. Pretty much, Virtual Console has been a success.
In the Poke'
However, my requests for Pokemon upgrades/changes in column #14 have gone unanswered (as well as the carrying over of linked moves from the Mystery Dungeon games, which I mentioned in column #15)- except for the Wi-Fi and 2-on-2 battles with a CPU ally. I'd still love to see a Pokemon tactical RPG or a MMORPG.
Wii would still like to play.
In column #15, I ranted on about the difficulty of securing a Wii pre-order. I had to get mine in an online bundle. Who knew that close to 2 years later, it would still be difficult to find a Wii. It seems to be the same thing for "Wii Fit" and the Balance Board- I'm still trying to get one. Anyway, after I finally got my Wii, I went on to write about my first week with it in column #16. Like my DS, my Wii library has expanded to about a dozen games, and several more from Virtual Console and WiiWare.
Did I mention I was a retro gamer?
Column #17 was about Capcom's decision to release an 8-bit Mega Man 9. Since I just wrote said column a couple weeks ago, there's still no word on an 8-bit revolution, but it's way too early to give up.
Me, Myself, and I(pod)
Column #18 discussed Apple's iPod and gaming. Since I wrote the column, Square-Enix released a game entitled "Song Summoner: The Unsung Heroes", which featured the ability to turn your own iPod songs into playable characters. It's a game that is very different than any other game on the iPod so far. I've drained my battery several times while playing it. From a control standpoint, a DS or PSP release probably would've been better, but the Tune Trooper feature shows how this game wouldn't work on another system. Plus, it's only $5.
Back in column #15, I ranted about the changes to E3- about moving it from May to July (when I could hypothetically attend) and then shrinking the size. E3 hasn't been the same since. G4 tried, but their coverage was very hardcore-centric and stayed away from handhelds. Plus, Nintendo's press conference was a bust, without a megaton announcement (Microsoft seemed to use their share, plus Nintendo's and Sony's). Well, the Wii version of Animal Crossing seems cool, as does Wii Music.
Anyway, that was my trip through memory lane (and probably my longest column to date). My next column, I move from the past to the future as I write about what I would like to see in a successor to the DS.!
-Hbomb is currently property of DMG Ice, but could be yours for the right price.. especially if you're cute. :)-
-Property of dmgice.com-