Part II of My Life in Games, where I unashamedly reminisce about all the games that I’ve had a special connection to over my life.
- 1990-91: I spent a lot of time at the arcade, putting all my measly money into Final Fight and original Street Fighter. My friend and I would go down about 9 am on a Saturday and leave when all our coins were gone. We eventually won Final Fight (I played as Guy and my friend was Hagar), but we were no match for Sagat in Street Fighter. Only the older teenagers could beat him. I also played a lot of Alex Kidd and Wonderboy on my friends’ SNES, and Altered Beast, Sonic, Mega Man X and Golden Axe on my other friends’ Mega Drive. We also continued to play D&D. One of my friends was forbidden to play by his Catholic grandmother. D&D was getting a bad rap in the media as some sort of devil-worshipping cult. I gave him a set of dice for his birthday and she confiscated them and threw them away.
- 1992-93: Ninja Turtle mania hit my school and we started to play Palladium’s TMNT & Other Strangeness as a bit of a break from D&D. This led to briefly experimenting with some of Palladium’s other systems, like Heroes Unlimited and Ninjas and Superspies. We then discovered that we could combine these games in an unholy feast of Kevin Sembieda-inspired lunacy. Essentially it all imploded in a giant festival of overpowered teenage boy alter-egos, culminating in us shooting the Shredder with an AK-47 and assassinating Vanilla Ice while he was on stage. Being able to make any sort of character we liked was too much for our power-hungry adolescent brains to handle, and we soon lost interest and switched to Shadowrun, which was disappointingly realistic by comparison. Every week our characters died because in Shadowrun, if you get shot you tend to die. I got really carried away with the Shadowrun background and started to write my own Australia sourcebook. I also began collecting and painting Games Workshop armies in earnest: Dwarfs for Warhammer Fantasy Battle and Whatever the Hell I Felt Like, Mostly Squats for Warhammer 40k. We didn’t play 40k much at all but we had a good go at Fantasy. My own group of mates preferred RPGs but my brother and his friends really took to Warhammer so I often played with them. We had a table tennis table in the garage which was great for epic Warhammer battles.
Next time it’s 1994, when I really started to play Street Fighter…