Gaming has evolved over the years with more powerful hardware, stunning graphics & sound, more inventive gameplay and online multiplayer, but there a few things that were staples of my childhood gaming, in particular the PlayStation era!
We have it so lucky today. Consoles have gigabits of storage and saves can now be sent to cloud storage to pull down and play when and wherever. Back in my PlayStation 1 owning days though, saves were reliant on having a memory card. Played a lot of games and only had one memory card? Then this is where the fun began.
Each memory card was broken into fifteen slots and depending on what game your were saving, took up between one to fifteen of those slots. Hard decisions were made on what to keep, as well as many games lost after the realisation you didn’t have any space. There was also that feeling of heartbreak, when you left your memory card in your friends house, never to be seen again.
The use of CD based gaming allowed games to bigger, include more sound, FMV cutscenes and huge worlds. Although the CD had lots of data storage, there were times that one disc was not enough to pack in all that awesome gaming pleasure.
The likes of Resident Evil 2, Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy VII, VIII & IX came across multiple discs and it came to a point where you had to swamp them out to continue playing. Most of the time it was a simple exchange, but there came a time where your adventure was halted due to the lack of loading the following content, a scratched disc or worse a missing game. Heartbreaking stuff.
Remember when you had to be directly connected to the console. Wires strung across the floor, as your controllers conspired to be in the way at all the wrong times.
A tripping hazard to many, people would jump over to avoid the inevitable entanglement that saw the controller fly out of the console port or worse, the console moving from it’s perch to hit the ground with a bang. As hard as those consoles and controllers were, many fell by the way side, as wire became frayed and buttons lost function!
Need to check out new games? Demo discs were the way to go. Included in gaming magazines. Pop them in and get a level or two of the newest games. Nowadays, it can be very hard to play the big name titles before the come out and this was the easiest way to see the upcoming releases and get a feel for the game before you buy.
There are an abundance of games nowadays and access to them is only a click away on their online stores, but there was a time where rentals were the easiest way to play games. Whether it was a local shop or the once might Xtra-Vision, I first discovered some of the my favourite games through the renting process, including Tomb Raider, Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy VII. You had that short timescale to get through as much of the game as you can. It was sometimes a lucky dip of games too and there were several stickers that were rented. Loved the game? Well it was either bought if available or it was rented again until you completed it.
What memories have you from your childhood gaming? Is there anything you miss from gaming eras gone by?