What's up everybody?!
My name is Benjamin Boyce and you may remember me from such blog posts as "Welcome to Short Pause!" and well... that's it right now. But I'm excited to finally begin work on ShortPause.com!
“My young mind was captivated by this new form of interactive entertainment, and while I may not have realized it at the time, this captivity would take hold of my imagination and never let go.”
With this post, I just wanted to introduce myself a little bit. I live in South-Eastern Michigan with my wife and our two boys of 2 and 4 years old. I'm a big football fan (Go Lions! *sad face*), and in addition to gaming, my other big hobby is collecting comic books. I'm a lifelong gamer, going as far back as the days of the Atari 2600. I have fond memories of playing Pitfall, River Raid, Frogger, Bowling, and countless other classics with my Aunt Jo (who was obsessed with Ms. Pac-Man at the time if memory serves me right) over at her house. But it was my time with the original NES that cemented my lifelong affinity with gaming.
I still remember getting my first NES for my birthday, cracking open Super Mario Bros., and humming the most iconic tunes in all of video game-dom as I hopped, skipped, and warped my way through wave after wave of Goombas and Koopa Troopas in my quest to rescue the increasingly elusive Princess. Then there was Duck Hunt, and the totally mind-blowing at the time Light Gun peripheral, which provided a new way to interact with my TV and game system. My young mind was captivated by this new form of interactive entertainment, and while I may not have realized it at the time, this captivity would take hold of my imagination and never let go.
While originally enthralled by the likes of the aforementioned Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt, the NES' immense and seemingly endless library of classics introduced me to worlds I still hold onto fondly to this day. I would lose hours to Mega Man, Castlevania, Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!, Disney's Rescue Rangers, Ducktales, Little Nemo, TMNT: The Arcade Game, and on, and on, and on. As I continued to grow, my love for the medium grew right along with me.
From the NES, I graduated to the Super NES, another amazing system with a ridiculous library of classic games. It was here that I became enchanted with RPGs and fighting games for the first time. Final Fantasy IV was my "gateway drug" to the the Role-Playing genre so to speak, and with its weaving narrative full of shocks and twists, it remains a favorite of mine to this day. It was here with my Super NES that I couldn't get enough ofStreet Fighter II and Mortal Kombat II. These games that I had spent quarter after quarter on in my local arcade, were now here in my bedroom on my own TV! These arcade games that were once thought to be the Holy Grail of graphical fidelity and video game elitism were now able to be played on my home console! How cool was that?!
Then there was Super Castlevania IV, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI, Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario Kart, TMNT 4: Turtles in Time, Contra III, Mega Man X, Earthworm Jim (in my top 10 games of all time!), and too many others to name. I eventually owned a Sega Genesis as well, and had a ton of fun with it (Sonic 2!), but I was a Super Nintendo kid through and through. The Super NES was such an amazing system, and was the single most important element shaping me through my formative gaming years.
Then 1995 came, September 1995 to be exact, and something came that would change the face of not only my gaming world, but the gaming world as a whole. That something was the Sony PlayStation, or as we know it now, the PS One.
“Final Fantasy IV was my “gateway drug” to the Role-Playing genre so to speak, and with its weaving narrative full of shocks and twists”
Sony entered the scene with a bold new vision of interactive entertainment. They had a long-term plan for changing the face of gaming, and this little gray box was the first step. I can still remember reading an article in EGM (still the greatest video game mag there ever was!) where Sony outlined their vision for the PlayStation, and a future that included a PlayStation 2, 3, 4, and 5 (it's crazy to think this future is now!), each one iterating and improving upon the one that came before it. Technology was evolving.
While Nintendo stubbornly stuck to the ways of old with expensive cartridges, Sony was trumpeting a new gaming frontier, replacing the old stalwart cartridge with the shiny new CD-ROM. We were introudced to CD sound and CG movies for the first time on a home console. While the Nintendo 64 had some fantastic stuff on it (Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Goldeneye, etc.), it was at this time that I started to lose my connection with Nintendo and establish a brand new one with Sony. Nintendo didn't have the same magic for me it once did, and Sony's new breed of console began to sink its hooks into me. I've been a PlayStation fanatic ever since.
I can vividly remember renting PlayStation consoles from Blockbuster Video (remember when renting consoles was a thing?!), complete with Ridge Racer, and racing that one track over and over again, having a blast every single lap. I wanted a PlayStation of my own, but it wasn't until a little gem called Resident Evil came on the scene, that my want turned into a need. My friend rented a PlayStation and picked up this new game we had heard about called Resident Evil. The cheesy live action video came on to intro the game, and regardless of its quality, I had never seen anything like this. We entered the mansion, and shortly thereafter, we encountered our first zombie, as he turned away from his human snack to look into our frightened eyes in one of the most iconic scenes in video game history. I was hooked. I had to own this game. I had to experience this bold new experiment in survival horror. It wasn't long after I was introduced to Resident Evil that I was finally able to own a PlayStation of my own. No more renting; I had that glorious gray box connected to my very own TV and it wasn't going anywhere. Resident Evil was the first game I bought, and 18 unforgettable years later, PlayStation continues to entertain and delight with no end in sight.
“I wanted a PlayStation of my own, but it wasn’t until a little gem called Resident Evil came on the scene, that my want turned into a need.”
Playstation 2 was amazing. Playstation 3 was unbelievable (Could PS3 be my favorite system of all time? Hmm I'll have to keep thinking about that one...), ushering in the HD era of gaming with an embarrassment of rich gaming experiences (in my humble opinion). And now here we stand, at the genesis of a new generation, heralded by the arrival of the incredibly sleek Playstation 4. It has a lot to live up to in terms of its console ancestors, but from what I've seen so far, its well on its way to solidifying an unforgettable legacy of its own. As the next-generation becomes the current generation, I can't wait to see where the Playstation 4 takes us and what awesome new experiences await us in the near future.
I'll be contributing heavily to the gaming side of Short Pause among other things, and I'm pumped that you, our endearing reader, could join us! That's a little bit about me, and if so inclined, I'd like to meet you guys and learn more about you in the comments below!
Thanks for reading, Greatness Awaits!