With spring just around the corner, it's the time of year for beginning new things, which got us thinking back to where gaming started for us. (Plus, in James' case, the recently revealed Sonic 2 film poster brought his experience flooding back).
There we were, bright eyed and bushy tailed, blinking as we stepped into the light of what this hobby could be. So we thought we'd share our stories of what was the catalyst for this grandiose moment with you all.
What about you? What was that game that made you think "yes, this is something I could see myself doing a bit"?
Grand Theft Auto III | Chris
Though GTA III released in 2001 (and I already considered myself a gamer at this point) it was a title which changed the gaming landscape for good. Loading up for the first time left me in awe, it was a visual treat like no other. The massive (by early 2000's standards) 3D open world felt vibrant and alive in a way that no game had previously managed.
Even the smaller touches, like the satirical talk radio, add to the feeling that this world existed before I came along and will still exist when I'm gone. The best had been bettered, there's a new yardstick and nothing will be the same again.
GTA III not only reinvigorated my love of gaming but it was a taste of what was to come. I had been made aware of what could now be achieved and the possibilities seemed endless. It wasn't just the aesthetics; the variety of missions, the scope of the narrative and the gameplay itself were new to me, despite the many years of gaming I had clocked up.
Since then, the series has continued to grow and evolve but the biggest step was the almighty leap from 2D to 3D. GTA V deserves the (almost universally) perfect review scores, and I still jump into the online mode from time to time, yet it lacks that same feeling of wonder I got from discovering something special for the first time.
Super Mario World | Liam
Like Chris, there’s multiple points in my gaming career that could be considered pivotal moments. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare got me into online multiplayer and into HD gaming in general (I’d been playing a Wii until that point). Perfect Dark was probably the first time I’d really got into a game’s story, setting and characters, while Ocarina of Time properly felt like a big adventure.
But I’m going to go with the earliest game I remember being into, which is Super Mario World. This game had already been out for several years before I got to play it sometime in the mid-90s but was an ever present in my household thereafter.
This was the first time a game had looked and felt like a premium product. It was like playing a living cartoon, with bright, bold visuals and a catchy, iconic soundtrack. I personally never got much further than the second island, but I remember a real sense of awe whenever one of my older brothers reached a new and previously unseen level.
I’m sure games would have continued to interest me had I not played Super Mario World, but it probably marked the point where I realised they fascinated me.
What title got you into gaming?