I think it’s safe to say we all upgrade our video game systems eventually. Whether you are a console gamer or prefer your gaming to be on a PC. However if you are the one of the few who is still playing your beloved NES which you love so dearly that have never, and will never upgrade from, I salute you. To anyone still playing their beloved PC classics on Windows 95, I congratulate you. Your refusal to change your video game systems in favour of current gaming technology platforms is truly inspiring. I on the other hand, along with most of the video game community, whenever something new and shiny comes out that could be considered an “upgrade” to what we already have. So I thought it would be an interesting idea to list the games that lead me to eventually upgrade my video gaming experience over the years,starting from the sixth generation of video game consoles (1998-2013) onwards.
Excluded from this list are the Nintendo GameBoy Advance, Nintendo DS and Sony Playstation Portable for not having any one game that stood out for me to upgrade, and the Nintendo Wii, primarily because everybody had a Wii in the late noughties and I hopped on the bandwagon and got one myself.
Playstation 2- Ace Lightning
When you think of all the great Playstation 2 games that were released in the early 2000’s, Ace Lightning is not one of them. But I loved the Ace Lightning franchise as a child. I was a massive fan. Sometimes I think I was the only fan; no one I knew ever watched Ace Lightning despite it being on free TV via the BBC here in the UK. The franchise was even big enough to get toys and books which I immediately bought to satisfy my Ace Lightening craving. Yet why does it feel like I’m the only one to acknowledge the franchise’s existence?
I think I loved Ace Lightning was because it was the first television show I ever watched that featured video games as a main theme and a vital component of the series, in a time where video games where still seen by many as a “nerdy” and “dorky” thing to play. Ace Lightening was a television show about our titular named video game character Ace Lightening coming to life and recruiting our budding protagonist Mark as his sidekick to help the fight against Ace’s pantheon of villains that also originated from his video game. I can’t tell you how much I wanted to be Mark as a child. Instead of being able to be the sidekick of a video game superhero, I had to settle for the video game of Ace Lightning instead.
Ace Lightening technically had two games. The first game was released on the Game Boy Advance version and was a 2D side-scrolling platformer. Released a few months later on the PC and PlayStation 2 was a game with elements of action-adventure, third-person shooter and platforming, this game was nothing like the GameBoy Advance version. This version of the game; the Playstation 2/PC version, was far better than it had the right to be. Instead of being some terrible adaptation of the show, the game instead was based on the original video game from the TV show that Ace and his enemies came from. While I don’t think the game has aged that well as a video game, especially when compared to the original Ratchet and Clank which I got in the same bundle with my Playstation 2, it still has a place in my heart of a better and simpler time.
Xbox- Halo 2
Halo 2 is the only game I have ever owned without owning the appropriate console before hand, or an emulator to play on it. I first received this game as a birthday gift from a relative, who mistakenly believed I owned an Xbox when I at the time did not. While I did not keep up to date with video game news outside of anything PlayStation related at the time, nor did I know anything about the Halo franchise, I could tell Halo 2 was a big deal. It was one of the first video games I had seen in my life to get a huge marketing campaign. I saw buses with adverts for the game which surprised the child in me at the time, because I had never seen a game being marketed to the public in a way like that. It may seem normal for today’s world, but over a decade ago the world treated video games with a lot less respect as a hobby. I did eventually get an Xbox to play Halo 2, and I loved every moment of it. Because I had an Xbox I was also able to play Xbox exclusive games that I love to bits such as Kingdom Under Fire and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, which I would have never been able to play with my Playstation 2, so I’ll always have a soft spot for Halo 2 for introducing me to the Xbox and the variety of games available on it.
Gamecube- Star Wars Rogue Squadron
I loved Star Wars as a child. I’m not that into Star Wars nowadays, but as a child I was a massive fan of the franchise, especially the prequel movies. Yes, yes I know the internet’s almost unanimous negative opinion of the prequels (outside of memes at least), but to an easily impressionable child like I was, they were an amazing trilogy of movies. They had such an impression on me that I had my parents buy me an entire video game console just for some exclusive Star Wars games. Thus I became a Nintendo GameCube owner.
Growing up I didn’t know any of the legendary Intellectual Property (IP) Nintendo had at their disposal. Such was the effect of Star Wars that I only wanted the GameCube for the Star Wars Rogue Squadron games, which were exclusive to the GameCube. Sure I had a Nintendo Game Boy Colour as a child and it was my first ever video game console, but the only Nintendo original IP title I owned was Pokémon Blue or other third party licensed games like Power Rangers or Scooby Doo, nothing like the main Nintendo IPs available on the Game Boy like Super Mario Land or Kid Icarus. After I got my Playstation a few years later I became a Sony gamer exclusively, caring only for my PlayStation and nothing else.
I’ll always love Star Wars Rogue Squadron II and III that were released on GameCube not just for being great Star Wars games, that made the younger me start to appreciate the original trilogy of Star Wars movies but for being the reason I own a GameCube. The GameCube is a hidden gem of a console in my opinion. Sure it didn’t have as many games released on it as the PlayStation 2, nor is it the technical behemoth the original Xbox was, but the games that were released on the GameCube were some of the best. Super Mario Sunshine, Legend of Zelda: Windwaker, Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes, Pikmin, the original Resident Evil remake, Fire Emblem Path of Radiance. That was just a small selection of some truly great games available on the GameCube.
Xbox 360- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (TES IV)
Have you ever fallen in love with a game because of how it looked in a screenshot or in a trailer? I have. That game was a game called The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (TES IV). The love I felt for that still image was so much that I even bought a console just to play it. At the time I didn’t know TES IV was also available on the PlayStation 3 and PC, and I would later own the game on the PC when I discovered the TES IV modding community but for some reason I assumed the game would be Xbox only like The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind before it on the original Xbox.
Though I must admit while I was enamoured with TES IV it wasn’t the only reason for purchasing my first seventh generation home console. Growing up, I was a Sony fanboy through and through. My allegiance to Sony was so great the only reason why I bought a Playstation Portable and the Sony EyeToy for the PlayStation 2 were out of blind loyalty, nothing more! But even as a child I had to balk at the launch price of the PlayStation 3 at £425 here in the UK. There would be no way of convincing my parents to pay that much for a video games console. So I settled for the significantly cheaper Xbox 360.
Despite my use of the word “settle” I happily became an Xbox 360 gamer for most of the seventh generation. It became my console of choice despite later owning the other consoles of the seventh generation. I practically abandoned the PlayStation 3 and Wii despite the great exclusives released on those consoles. The Xbox360 also happened to be the console of choice for all my friends which was a win-win for me. While I would later return to my Sony fanboy nature and in recent years make the PlayStation 3 my seventh generation console of choice for replaying games of that generation, I’ll always have a soft spot for the Xbox 360 for introducing to the magical world of Cyrodil and showing me the possibilities of the then “next generation of gaming”.
PlayStation 3- Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction
I really like the Ratchet and Clank series. I own all the games and I even have the DVD of the movie released in 2016. I know fans of the Ratchet and Clank franchise have tried to forget that movie exists, but that alone should be proof of my dedication for the series. I don’t know why I love Ratchet and Clank. Maybe it’s because it was one of the first games I played on my Playstation 2? Maybe it’s because the games were extremely enjoyable to me as a child, and still are to this day? But the mere announcement of Ratchet and Clank Tools of Destruction was enough to for me to decide to get a PlayStation 3. That game alongside the highly anticipated PlayStation 3 exclusive Haze which was hyped in the gaming media as the next best first person shooter was enough for me to get a PlayStation 3. Despite my desire for Ratchet and Clank Tools of Destruction, I would still have to wait for a PlayStation 3. I’ve all ready mentioned the extortionate launch price of the PlayStation 3 in the Xbox 360 section above, but I had to wait a full year until I could get my hands on a PlayStation 3.
It was worth the wait. I loved the game. It was the Ratchet and Clank I knew and loved but with amazing new graphics. Sure it wasn’t as good as Ratchet and Clank 3, the best game in the franchise, but it was something I loved. Alongside Ratchet and Clank I purchased the aforementioned Haze which massively disappointed me and critics alike, and a game my father was recommended called Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. A game I didn’t like it, for no particular reason. Little did I know that almost a decade later, that game and Uncharted franchise would eventually become one of my favourites of all time.
However because I had the Xbox 360 first and my friends had Xbox 360’s mostly, I pretty much abandoned my PlayStation a year after I got it. The device I had so desperately wanted first when it was announced then later desired when Ratchet and Clank was announced sat on my shelf mostly unused, save for the occasional PlayStation 3 exclusive. It wouldn’t be until 2015 I would start to play my Playstation 3 more frequently, and by 2017 it had replaced the Xbox 360 as my console of choice for playing games of that generation on console.
Nintendo 3DS- Samurai Warriors Chronicles
This game will probably seem like the oddest game on the list. Well except maybe for Ace Lightning. Yet I really wanted a Nintendo 3DS for Samurai Warriors Chronicles. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not sure if I can defend this choice. But in my defence the Nintendo 3DS had a pretty weak launch don’t believe me? Have a look at this: https://www.nintendo.co.uk/News/2011/Nintendo-confirms-day-one-launch-line-up-for-Nintendo-3DS-253379.html
At least the original DS had a Nintendo original IP in Super Mario 64 as a launch title, but the 3DS had no such luck. Yet such is my love for the Dynasty Warriors spinoff; Samurai Warriors that I managed to convince my parents to get me one for my birthday at the launch day price. Yeah I do feel a little guilty about that to this day. For all my love for the Samurai Warriors franchise my parents paid full price for a handheld console that would later drop in price because of poor sales. Literally a few months later! Even with Nintendo making me a 3DS Ambassador for being an early adopter of the console, which gave me 20 free Game Boy Advance games on the virtual console, I started to question the console’s worth. The free games were games that I only appreciate now my gaming palette is much wider than it was at the time.
That questioning was only for a year though. The 3DS saw massive amounts of use later when I was going through my final exams at secondary school. I have fond memories of returning home from school early during study period to revise, and then relax by playing Samurai Warriors Chronicles. What I really loved about the game was the game’s unique storytelling device; by having the player (as a created character) take part in the various battles and events of the Sengoku era of Japan and being able to bond with the various characters in the game’s roster. That combined with classic hack n slash gameplay I love to bits, and being able to be taken anywhere I wanted via the 3DS’ portability validated the 3DS for me.
PlayStation 4- NBA 2K14
Remember how in the Xbox 360 section I asked whether you had ever fallen in love with a screenshot or trailer? Well I did it again when it came to the eighth generation of video game consoles. I’m quite the fan of sports video games. Especially the video game adaptations of American sports like Madden NFL or NBA 2K. So naturally when I saw the announcement of NBA 2K14 for PS4 and Xbox One, I was both stunned and excited.
The leap in graphic technology was amazing. In all the previous NBA 2K games, the players looked like they were characters in a video game. However now the players now looked like their real life counterparts. I couldn’t have cared less about how the game played, I was so enamoured with these life-like graphics that I was convinced to get a next gen console. That’s right; a sports game convinced me to purchase a new console. Not a new title for an old IP or a revolutionary new game for a new console, but the latest basketball sports game.
PlayStation Vita- Dynasty Warriors Next/ Persona 4 Golden
I never actually asked for a PlayStation Vita. I never even really wanted a Vita. I put it down to Sony’s terrible marketing for the device and the fact there weren’t many games that interested me on the Vita except Dynasty Warriors Next. However for some reason I never got a Vita for Dynasty Warriors Next. I can’t figure out why. I did it for the 3DS with Samurai Warriors Chronicles, but I couldn’t do it for the Vita. Maybe it was because I knew Nintendo would release high quality games for the 3DS, whereas for the Vita, Sony’s inconsistent quality on the PSP had put me off? I can’t say for sure. But one Christmas I did get a Vita as a surprise gift, and boy am I glad I got one.
I had heard people online mention this game called Persona 4 Golden and how it was one of the best games ever and how it had “changed their life”. Curiosity got the better of me and the game became one of my first purchases for the Vita. I wouldn’t say it changed my life, but it was a great RPG nonetheless and I still replay it from time to time. The Vita also introduced me to Danganronpa and other Vita titles that I love to pieces. I even bought a second Vita so wouldn’t have to replace my memory card whenever I wanted to change my UK PSN to a Japanese PSN, something I was loath to do, especially compared to how easy it was to do the Playstation 3.
I know a lot of people don’t rate the Vita very highly but I love it. The console really has a few underated gems on it, and it’s a shame a lot of the games were ported to PC or re-released on the PS4, taking some of the exclusivity from the Vita. I understand from a business standpoint why they did it, but it still irks me. Yet I’ll always be glad I got a Vita and was able to play these games wherever I wanted thanks to the Vita’s portability, even if I did get the console by surprise.
Wii U & Xbox One- Console Exclusives
This final category seems like a bit of a copout doesn’t it? But it’s really true, the only reason I bought the remaining consoles of the eighth generation was for any game that I couldn’t get on my Playstation 4. In the last few years I’ve returned to being a bit of a Sony fanboy after years of being on the Xbox 360 bandwagon, but can you blame me? The huge amount of high quality PlayStation 4 exclusive games was more than enough to make the PlayStation my console of choice for the eighth gen, but I’ve always have an interest in the other consoles exclusive games. Nintendo exclusive games are almost always extremely high quality and while Microsoft hasn’t focused much on exclusive titles this generation, there were a handle of games that interested me, so I ended up getting them. While these consoles haven’t seen much playtime in comparison to the Playstation 4, I do consider these consoles as validated purchases in their own right.
Yet I suppose it wasn’t just the games that convinced me to get these two consoles. The consoles themselves had some features that interested me. The Wii U’s gamepad allows for a slight amount of remote play and portability, features of which I am always a fan of. I just really like being able to play away from my game setup. Who doesn’t like being able to play in another room when something causes you unable to play in your usual room? Even the Xbox One which many lambast for not being as significant in the gaming world especially when compared to its predecessor, the Xbox One has a few features I like. I’ve always been a fan of backwards compatibility; I blame the PlayStation 2 and its excellent backwards compatibility for PlayStation 1 games. Even though not every game I own on the Xbox 360 is backwards compatible, a good portion of my library is, even my digital library, allowing me to upgrade console without having to worry about how I will play games from previous generations. The cross buy feature that the Xbox One has with Windows 10 is interesting from a technical and industry standpoint. I personally don’t utilise the feature, because I don’t own a computer with Windows 10, but I’ve always appreciated the cross buy feature on the PlayStation Network, and I can see many use this feature. I’m not sure it cuts into the Steam monopoly on PC gaming, but I’m sure many who would prefer not to use Steam for whatever reason, love another competitor to Steam in PC gaming.
What did you think of the games that convinced me to upgrade game consoles? Were there some good choices, or were you puzzled? I’d love to hear your thoughts and the games that you bought a new console for in the comments section below.
If you like this blog and the content produced by it, why not follow this blog? You can follow this blog through a WordPress account or by email to receive a notification whenever a new post is uploaded here on Room 633-K.
Thanks for reading this post on Room 633-K. Have a nice day!