Friday, August 24, 2007

Ten Years Ago Today...

Yep, it's another big videogaming anniversary. Before I get into what it is, let me set the stage.

In late July 1997, I broke my leg - right at my ankle - at work. I was out of work and on crutches for about two months because of it. I spent much of that time staying with my folks while I recuperated, and damn I was bored. I had my Playstation and my Nintendo 64 with the latest games, but most of them I had already played to death and beaten.

So I had all the time in the world for videogames, just nothing new and interesting to play. August dragged on, and I languished in videogame hell. Until, on this date in 1997, Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64 came out.

The graphics and controls were just perfect. And on that first level, almost immediately, I got the sniper rifle and was totally amazed. It was the first game in my experiece that had one, and it worked really well. Picking off those guys on the dam before they saw me was a thrill. And everything that followed, from the Siberian level to the train level, was just one helluva ride.

When I got back to Columbus and back to work, the game got another year of play as a four player multiplayer game. My friends and I played every level, with every different weapon combination there was available. Rocket launchers made for chaotic and quick battles. Proximity mines dealt death mostly to those who placed them.

I've been very nostalgic about 1997 lately for some reason. I recently found an old VHS tape of Spawn (the animated HBO series) episodes which I had, at the end of the tape, accidentally taped about two hours of VH1's top video countdown. It's given me a new appreciation of the music that was popular at that time, from the Wallflowers to OMC's "How Bizarre" and beyond.

1997 was a year of great change for me personally, with the broken leg giving me a lot of time to reflect on my life. Three big videogame things actually happened during that time. Other than Goldeneye 007, I also got Final Fantasy VII, and had read in Next Generation about a revolutionary upcoming PC game called Ultima Online. I came out of my convalescence vowing to get a PC just so I could play that game.

Ten years ago I was experiencing all of this. Goldeneye 007 totally ended my videogame boredom when I was recovering from my broken leg, and provided many, many hours of fun long after that. If only such a game would be released for the Nintendo Wii right now.

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