Saturday, August 04, 2007

A History of Gaming and Everything aka Tomb Raider: Anniversary edition

I don't play many computer games. I did once, though. We forget that the computer game industry is now in its 2nd generation. There are people in their 40's who played computer games. Their children play computer games. My mothers assertions that only children play games is totally wrong now. Sucessful, professional people come home from the City and switch on their X Box for a few hours. Its now a normal pass time.

I played many games in the 80's as a kid. Down the local arcades playing PacMan, Street Fighter, Mortal Combat, Bubble Bobble, and of course, the legend that is Mario Brothers! I could get further than nearly anyone on Mario, and was the un-disputed champion of Bubble Bobble. I had minor celebrity down the local arcades for a time. :)

In the 80's when you qualified for a top score you were only given three letters. I got bored with my initials MWW. Other people were known by their playing "handles" and I wanted one of my own. So I shortened my surname Walker to WAK and thus my nickname was born. In the end I ended up being only known as WAK by everyone, and those people who ended up my close friends had to be trained to call me Martin again! I occasionally run into people I knew from back then, and I cringe when they call me WAK. I started going back to my real name when a friends Dad shouted up to us "Tell WAK to move his car!". When your friends parents only know you by a nickname its time to start using your real name again! But yet, Ive gone back to using a version of it (Its my fantasy football team name Team Wak!) for my internet peronae. Maybe they'll have to put it on my tombstone, in case nobody knows whose buried there, lol.

I still have a Playstation 2 that I bought years after its launch (just like my PS1), and I play only two games on it; Resident Evil and Tomb Raider. I played both games in 1997 when the PS1 come out and I was blown away by them both. Resident Evil had a sense of terror about it that is palpable. I had never known anything like it before, and Tomb Raider was a full realised 3D world. For anyone who had grown up on 2D games this was a revolution like the invention electricity. TR cast a spell on me that has last 10 years. I have consistantly bought every new version of each game and played them to death.

Tomb Raider for their 10th anniversary had the fantastic and novel idea of revisiting the world of the first game in 1997 and re-doing them with the new techologys of 10 years later. We sometime forget how powerful micro processors have become in 10 years. The quality of the graphics and gameplay has increased expotentially in ten years. Tomb Raider:Anniversary is just beautiful to behold. Its like a painting come to life, and total immersement that the game brings has been hightened even more. I bloody love it!

I took the opportunity to dig out the original TR game to compare graphics. :) That was what this post was to be about. Two paragraphs and a couple of pics. Somehow it turned into the History of Gaming and Everything! How did that happen?


Alexander said...

When all around was green fields, "Bat n' Ball" was the start of the art in gaming LOL

Bip ....(pause).....Bip!!

Martin said...

Ah, Pong!!!

Good times :)