When we talk about “jumping the fence,” this week, a lot of names pop up. Names like “Solid Snake,” or “Cloud Strife,” or even “Mega Man.” Don’t expect that here. I’m going to tell you about one person who jumped the fence that you may or may not have known about before…
So, yeah, if you’ve read my old staff profile, you must already have an inkling of what happened. But just in case you didn’t, I’ll take you on a step-by-step account of my gaming journey.
Look, this wasn’t a big surprise, what happened. When Squaresoft — as it used to be known — jumped ship from Nintendo, I was ready to do so as well. The company had made some — not all, but some, a great deal, really — of my favorite Super NES games, so when word came down the pipeline — the pipeline was made of paper then, instead of a series of tubes — that Square was moving to Sony’s new PlayStation, which, last I’d heard, was going to be a Super NES add-on, I was pretty well sold on whatever that other system was going to be.
It didn’t help that I really disliked the N64. The controller was awkward and ungainly, even when I held it the appropriate way, and I wasn’t too big on analog control at the time, though this would change later. This being the case, I got a PS without too many qualms. There were some good N64 games, but I did eventually get to play them elsewhere.
I went two generations without a piece of Nintendo hardware. By 2004, I think I was nearly a lapsed gamer. Meaning, I was barely playing games at all. I think the only game I actually purchased that year was Katamari Damacy. The only reason I started gaming again was because I heard about the Nintendo DS. This system was different, affordable, and also offered the chance to play Game Boy Advance games, of which I had played none previously.
And I was happy. So happy that the GBA and available DS games weren’t enough for me, so I bought a GameCube. And, since I had purchased it at the tail end of its life cycle, I didn’t have to wait for the big-name releases to trickle out — I had them all at my fingertips practically from day one. So, all in all, that worked out pretty well, too.
I’m really satisfied with the way Nintendo tries to push the gaming world in new directions. It’s something that the company has practically always done, and even though I’m not totally psyched about 3D, I think that they’ll handle that fairly well, too. I mean, Nintendo is responsible for the Control Pad, Game Boy, DS, modern analog control and 3D gameplay (but not THAT kind… yet), and and the invention of several game genres. That’s a pretty good track record.
So… That’s how I jumped the fence, and then jumped back. If you want something more entertaining, go talk to Nester64x.