I know that most people who read my blogs are from gaming websites so I thought I would write a blog about my history of gaming. I would not class myself as a hardcore gamer but I am a gamer and always will be. My earliest memory is having the Sinclair Spectrum 128k, man I loved that thing; I used to play Dizzy with the massive black keyboard with the cassette player attached to the side and a massive joystick which broke easy with excessive force. As my sister had a bigger room we would sit on the floor with the Spectrum connected to a black and white TV which actually made the games look better. If you were lucky enough to play it on a colour TV you would get blurriness from the poor gaming design. As well as going through the Commodore 64 and of course the God of Console/Keyboard machine the Amiga 500 with syndicate and Cannon Fodder (ohh what days); anyway where was I going? Umm oh yes first console experience was around my Uncles and they had an Atari 2200 with games like Pac Man and Jungle Hunt. Skipping on a few years I remember cycling around one of my friends house to check out his new console, it looked fantastic with control pads instead of joysticks. Also it had a D-pad and two red buttons and took these carts that slotted into the front flap of the console. I am of course describing the Nintendo Entertainment System or as it became know as the NES. The controller was so uncomfortable having sharp 90 degree angles and in the shape of a rectangle but we didn’t care, seeing the Super Mario Brothers for the first time was pure heaven. I needed to have this console. So next Christmas I asked for one, but I was at that craft age where I knew there was no Santa and I went looking through my dads wardrobe when they where out one day to see it sat there. I remember that Christmas I had to put on a surprised face when I unwrapped it knowing full well what I already had. It’s caught on video and if you are ever lucky you might see my award winning performance. After unwrapping it there was little more to do then get a TV and hook it up, of course in those days my dad would never let me use the BIG TV to play video games, uh no I had to use the small tiny 14” screen to play duck hunt on. Again going back to that classic video moment you can see my sister playing duck hunt with the light gun less then an inch from the screen….Happy Days Things moved on quite fast from there, with the delights of Sega vs Nintendo I bought the Master system before splashing out on the colourful SNES with that nice rounded controller and pretty coloured buttons and what was this? Easily breakable shoulder pads. I say this because when I went through 3 controllers because I dropped them and every time they would land on the shoulder. My favourite memory of the Snes was just completing Super Soccer against Germany after hours of play only to chuck the controller down hitting that massive reset switch!!!! Did it really need to be that big? It was no where as good and we designed to say the megadrive. Yes you knew it was coming and one of my greatest consoles was the Sega megadrive. With its batman like controller and games like Castle of Illusion, Sonic and Strider. 1996 and the console sat under my same 14” colour TV was the Nintendo 64, Wow this to the day remains the only console I was excited about the night before release. I had one on pre order and I could not sleep. During some Temp work I spent a few weeks working for Future Publishing in Bath, once at Total Magazine where I spent most of the time playing Earthworm Jim and another where I worked for the OPM (Official Playstation Magazine). When working there Edge magazine which worked in the same room had an American N64 with Mario Kart 64 and Mario 64. Every time we finished for the day all the magazines would go to the Edge area and we would have a knock out competition on Mario 64, it was class to the maximum and this would have been my dream job if the money was better. Keeping on the lines of work at future I managed to finish Mario 64 within a week nearly a year before its UK release but that never stopped me buying it with my N64 along with Killer Instinct. When I started working for the company I work for now in 1996 I bought a guys PS1 off him, this became one of my greatest consoles. I got worms with it which got boring fast but with the release of Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil and the game that still remains my favourite game to date…. Final Fantasy VII. Each of those games brought something new and different, with Resident Evil it was the chill factor, the moments that made me jump like the first time the dog comes through the window, with MGS a game where you had to sneak around and take out the enemies with stealth was amazing. And Final Fantasy VII the first RPG I ever played which dragged me into its own world and for once it was more then a computer game, It was like being there, free roaming I could do what I wanted. All these games have one thing in common and that is deep storylines which have since expanded over time and still alive today. Before I move on I would like to add a quick mention to GTA, a game where you had to sale drugs, kill people and nick cars…… how did they get away with it? But then again who cared at the time. Playstation 2……………. Before I start I would like to just say that before I had this console I had the Sega Saturn and Sega Dreamcast which I do regret getting rid of 1 month after buying it. The PS2 didn’t really hit me like the PS1 had, I had Tekken Tag and SSX as my launch games which I thought where brilliant at the time but Sony had failed to recap all the fun I had with its first console. The Final Fantasy games where good but not a patch on 7 & 8, MGS 2 was a let down and Resident Evil Code Named Veronica wasn’t up to much scratch. GTA 3 and Vice City where two games that got my wow factor and even though FF didn’t hit me enough Kingdom Hearts sure did. But what I really want to talk about for the PS2 are two games that never got enough credit and both will lye in my top 20 games for a long time. ICO and Shadow of the Colossus, both games where so simple and so beautiful it has been a pleasure to have been able to play them. After the PS2 I bought the Nintendo Gamecube which I will pass over very quick like the lifespan of the console. Mario Sunshine, Mario Kart where a huge disappointment but the Gamecube released a few titles which where simply breathtaking and still would stand up to games of today. These being MGS Twin Snakes, Resident Evil Remake, Zelda Twilight Princess and of course Resident Evil 4. When the Xbox was released there was a lot of bad hype, and the only game to get credit was Halo, It took me a year to buy an Xbox but when I did I could see why everyone was so excited about it. It wasn’t just because Halo was a kick ass game but the real strength behind the Xbox was Live. Playing over the internet with people around the globe was such a thrilling and new experience, games like Halo 2 and Splinter Cell had me playing for hours and hours at a time which increased the value of the games. No longer where you paying £40 for a solo game that lasted 30 hours but you had another 50 hours plus playing people on Live. It’s Live that made me pre order a Xbox 360 and it’s live that will keep getting better as years go on. We now have a web cam and mini games like Uno which are so simple but you will play them again and again. Hope I haven’t bored you but I have to cut this short as I should be on my way home by now. Bring on the PS3.