“Welcome to my new (semi) regular feature where I look back on an old gaming experience, whether good or ill, that in some ways changed my life as a gamer.”
Newcastle upon Tyne
Sometime in 1996
After having spent a good part of £300 getting an original Playstation from the Sony store in Newcastle, you would think that I was happy with the purchase after all I had managed to wrangle a loan off my bank to go towards this (claim it was for a holiday as bank managers frowned upon people who claimed that they were gamers). In front of me was a nice and shiny box, on which was the Playstation logo and a picture describing the contents of the box. Within it was everything that I needed to waste hours of my life, just a few minutes of my time were required to hook it up to my (rather ancient) portable TV… then away we could go playing the two games included in the package!
Okay, not exactly my normal fare but they’ll do for now, well until I get paid and Alien Trilogy makes an appearance into my rather meagre collection.
And perhaps another joypad as in both games going against the AI results in my coming off second best (or last depending upon the game).
More bloody money!
Then perhaps it was for the best that I decided to rent a game from Blockbusters called:
Toted as a survival horror, the whole idea around playing a character in a cheesy B movie not only kept my interest but dragged me by my (very long) hair and took me outside for a thrashing. A good thrashing by the way, but upon reflection a rather one sided affair…
So there I was sitting on my bed, late one night with my rental copy of Resident Evil spinning away furiously in the Playstation. The lights were off (couldn’t be bothered to change the light bulb that had blown the month before), the sound on the TV was quite low (didn’t want to wake anybody else up in the house which I unfortunately ended up doing anyway – more on that later) and a can or four of Carling on the desk next to my bed. The anticipation surrounding this moment in time was so great that nothing could interrupt the first (important) moments of my life with this game.
And there it was, RESIDENT EVIL (and even if I couldn’t read, the title was announced over my tinny speakers like it had always been there just waiting for my time)…
And off I went on my first trip into the B Movie zombie fest that would stay in my thoughts for at least the second sequel. It was intense, but slow, covering all those cliches that now infect our very waking lives but unlike any other game before, it played out like a proper 80’s smolcky gore filled horror fest. Bad acting, atrocious writing and none of the characters had any sort of genuine personality (yet even these pixelated dummies had more expression that a certain miss Kristen Stewart), but did I care? HELL NO!
After several restarts and a brief change of bed sheets (NO, it was not because of that! I simply spilt some of my lager… back to the gutter, the lot of you!) I finally ventured forth into the now infamous L shaped passage…
A quick disclaimer for those with a nervous disposition – nothing happens to me, the Playstation, the TV or my bed sheets, the only casualty is a small dent in the top of my third can of lager. Best to get this out of the way so that you can all breathe knowing nothing terrible is about to happen.
To say that I screamed the house down when those mutts jumped through the windows would be downplaying what is perhaps one of the most embarrassing moments of my life – well maybe not in the top ten but definitely between eleven and fifteen. Thing was the rest of the house was asleep – parents in the room next to me, younger sister in another room, younger brother away having fun down Sunderland (and even he sensed my scream and embarrassment). My siren scream not only woke them all up, but had them rushing in (in their various states of dress which I might add wasn’t at all flattering) and wondering what manner of creature was torturing me…
Even after a fifteen minute explanation, a promise only to play the game in broad daylight (yeah right) and several apologies my redden face could bear it no more. Shunned by the family and feeling like I should attend some sort of victim support group, I pretended to switch the Playstation and TV off while climbing into bed (it made a particular squeak when I moved, came in handy when I had to hide away and pretend I was asleep…). Of course I was back ploughing my way through that B movie classical style mansion (now with added insane doctor’s lab)…
These days I can look back at that moment in time and think, “Boy you really were a big girl’s blouse! There was no reason to scream out like that! It’s not as if some time of boogey man is out there… like the Slender man… which would probably mean I should keep my light on just in case… and stop playing that Slender game… oh no!”
“Was your experience with Resident Evil any more embarrassing, or do you really think that I should stop being so soft and watch a few more horror DVDs… in the dark…. by myself…. with headphones on… Sound off in the comment section!”