It’s Monday and it’s time for Ask Kotaku, the weekly feature in which Kotaku-deliberate on a single burning question. Then we ask you to take.
This week we ask Kotaku: What is the best (or worst) gift for games you’ve ever received?
This is easy. For years, my family has been conditioned by the fact that if I want a video game, I buy a video game. If I want hardware, I’ll find a way to enable my hardware. I was blessed with the means to get the things I wanted, but there was one piece of hardware that always eluded me: the Japanese Hello Kitty Dreamcast, translucent pink.
This is not about the special edition console, which came with a pink VMU, keyboard and a good kitten typing was very expensive. You can find them on eBay for a few hundred dollars. As much as I wanted my pretty pink thing, I couldn’t justify the purchase. I have several Dreamcasts. I didn’t need another one, no matter how gorgeous.
My parents are coming in. In 2018, with practically nothing on my Christmas wish list, I suggested they search my eBay for the pink plastic prize. Very helped by my husband (my parents are 70 and 80 years old), they managed to get through, even if they had to do it in two transactions, because they mixed eBay auctions.
For my 2014 birthday, a bunch of friends raised some money and gave it to me to build a gaming PC. Before that, I played things on a gaming laptop that burned out very quickly and I replaced it with a device that I could work on, but not play games. It was a very sweet gift – I cried a lot – and they even helped me choose pieces and build everything. Having a gaming PC was great for my then independent career, because I could play games I couldn’t until now and that definitely helped me get this job, so it was really the gift that I keep giving. .
My family was friends with two other families I knew through my father’s job. The father of a family – everyone was straight! – I always buy the latest technological equipment, including video games, and at one point I began to give my famous hands, when the most recent and greatest affected his interest in the old and the known. His first donation to our clan was a Atari 800 computers, the first gaming device I had access to at home. I adored him.
It came with 15 or 20 cartridges, most games (one was the BASIC programming language). I quickly became attached to the strange 8-bit Atari versions Donkey Kong, 2084. Robotron, Centipede, Missile command, Star Raiders (I remember getting the final rating for the “space washer” game) and the last secret gem Rescue River. I even played a lot Mrs. Pac-Man, a game I don’t care about today, because I was absolutely fascinated by anything and everything that excites the beautifully bright phosphors of a TV screen.
That was it: I was officially a child with video games. About 15 years later, the last technological gift of this kind man – this time directly for me – will be his old Neo Geo AES console, which smelled of cigarettes. It was a radial surprise, but the smell was so unbearable that I replaced it with a strange copy of PC Engine Tatsujin. (Which, oddly enough, seems worth more than an AES now.)
My best gift for games has to be NES. Despite my love affair with Atari, I slowed down until I found other newer video game systems. In the summer of 1987 or 1988, I stayed with some cousins and they had an NES along with a dozen common early games: kung fu, Super Mario brothers., Dribble double, Ice Hockey, etc. It was the closest thing I experienced to loving at first sight. (I remember I didn’t like it Punch-Out !! at first, though.) When I got home I was sure I was unbearable, all “Friendship ended with ATARI, now NINTENDO is my best friend.” My besieged parents soon gave up and another Nintendo zombie was born.
As for the worst gift for games, I once asked my grandmother for the NES Friday the 13th, one of the most famous bad games for the system, after I’ve already rented it once. Children are sometimes inexplicable.
What kid wants snow boots for a birthday present? It is a gift rooted in practicality, without an ounce of fun. Tomorrow (I grew up there) is known for its severely punishing winters. A ride to the school bus in mid-December could easily give a child frostbite, especially if that child is a petulant child who prefers thin paper Vans slip-ons instead of more seasonal footwear.
So, yes, for my birthday (try nice; let me tell you the exact number will date me right away), my mom bought me snow boots. Boots. For a student of a few years. A practical gift, sure, but not exactly cool.
It seems that the mother hid a copy on each of the two new ones Pokemon versions Gold and Silver, in every boot. Now that it was great. The condition in which, once I chose one, I should have committed and played it to Elite Four before starting the other. In other words – and this seems to me now only as a result of the double-edged power of the retrospective – my mother seemed to have latent dreams of being a Pokemon Professor. This obviously led, as I finally managed to prepare a list of both Lugia and Ho-Oh on him, which I used briefly to crush each Pokemon-play the child in school. And I didn’t even get frostbite going there.
It’s easy: the best gaming gift I received was a Sega Genesis. I remember then thinking this was the best and most amazing console ever. I didn’t have game magazines or YouTube to tell me otherwise. This Sega Genesis console in my house was amazing and I could play one Power Rangers I play on it. (It was too the first game I ever won, By the way.)
However, what I did not know was that my parents were very smart and frugal. I play back in the middleThe 90’s, like today, was very expensive. So my people would buy my brother and I the older consoles and games. We didn’t care. They were new to us. And it saved my parents a lot of money, which was good because I often didn’t have much to spare. It also means that I grew up playing things on the Atari 2600 and NES, even though I was born years after those consoles were relevant or new.
As I grew older, this strategy would eventually become unsustainable as I began to learn more about the hobby and demand newer consoles and games. But, for various reasons, I did not receive another Christmas gift console after that Genesis. So it holds a special place in my heart and is easily the best gift of games in the world.
There are so many that it’s hard to choose. In 1998 I received a magenta Game Boy Coloring and Yellow Pokémon. I was ecstatic. Finally, my own handheld to sit and play games alone in any corner of the world I wanted. The following year my family bought a Nintendo 64 and I received it The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. A few years later, in a feat of pure magic, my brothers and I somehow got both PS2 and GameCube in the same year. One Christmas, two systems. Last year my brother bought me KART for PS1, complete with jewelry case and brochure. I hadn’t played it in decades. It was just a pleasure to keep it.
But my favorite gift for games came back in 1995. I think it was the year I got a Super Nintendo. My parents handed me a big package, too big to be a video game. It looked like it could be clothes. I tore the wrapping paper in half to reveal a black box with a yellow starfish on it. “EarthBound. “Earth-what? I had no idea what it was. My parents took it from a distance nearby THE BEST department store who had gone out of business. the sticker said $ 19.99.
I finally searched through the huge guideh. I started playing later that day. I scratched and sniffed the “n” scratch cards that came in the package. A monkey chewing gum with a ball smelled sweet; a burning dog smelled of hot pepper. Over the following days and weeks I slowly came to know what Earthbound it really was and he’s been with me ever since … at least the cartridge. The box and all the others that came with it were lost a long time ago. At one point I cut everything to make collages to hang on the wall. I lost these too. Maybe one day they’ll come back to me.
How are you?
KotakuIt’s weighed, but what do you think? Looking back, what was the best gaming-related gift you’ve ever received? Or, if you want to eat, the worst? Have your say! We will come back
next Monday in two weeks to deliberate and debate another stupid issue. See you in the comments!