Well, this is later than I expected. I’ve been trying to blog over the past few days, but I haven’t really found anything interesting to say. That’s probably just because I’m boring. And I don’t want to seem like this blog is just here to pimp Not Quite Normal (I will be talking about that shortly, but only for a second, promise!). So this post is going to be about something very close to my heart: myself.
See, recently, I’ve been getting all nostalgic. I posted previously about my love affair with the Harry Potter series. But what I didn’t mention was that since I did all that thinking on the series, my mind has turned to my childhood a little. Call it a quarter-life crisis, if you want. Without the crisis bit. Anyway…
It came to a head earlier this week, when I was instructed to sort through some of my old stuff, which was just sat in the loft, gathering dust and broken bits of ceiling insulation. Since my room was redecorated and ‘modernised’ last year, I just haven’t had the space for it. And man, it was a blast from the past. Especially when I found my Game Boy collection.
I’ve always said that games and gaming – Nintendo, specifically – have been a huge part of my life since I was tiny. A lot of people grow up with music – they can relate certain periods of their life to songs that were about at the time, that sort of thing. Exactly how old they were, exactly where they were when the first heard the song etc. Well, I can do that with games. (For the record, the following is being written without resorting to Wikipedia or any other site to check facts about dates and the like, just so that you know. Hopefully I won’t fail miserably.)
For instance. The oldest Game Boy I found was a clear-plastic original Game Boy, which cost my parents a small fortune back in the day. It needed new batteries, but otherwise worked perfectly. The game that was in the slot was Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins. I got that from a second hand shop in Boscombe (a suburb of Bournemouth) when I was approximately seven years old. I distinctly remember the cart being a bit dodgy and, sure enough, it didn’t quite load properly.
Another original Game Boy cart was a pirate, multi-game pak. I know, naughty. I got it on my one foreign holiday, in Benidorm, Spain, in August 1999. I was, uh, very ill shortly after because I drank too many Slush Puppies. We’d been careful about not drinking tap water, but – d’oh! – the ice for the drinks came from the tap. British people may also remember this month because it was the date of the total solar eclipse. Yep, the one time something monumental happens in my country, and my family takes me to bloody Spain to get the runs. Typical.
And then the Game Boy Color. That I got for Christmas, 1998. The main reason I remember that is because my former favourite game of all time (now reduced to second because of the blisteringly brilliant Mass Effect 2), The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, came out a few weeks before it. I had a choice: I could either get Zelda or the GBC at launch, and get the other for Christmas. I think I probably made the right choice.
Exactly one year later, I got a badge from N64 Magazine (which is still going – sort of – as NGamer) because I sent in a gameplay variant (which is still good ‘fun’ – try and hookshot onto every roof in Kakariko Village without touching the floor!) which got published. It was also the week that my mate and his mum had to sleep in our living room because her partner was being a bit of a bastard.
The original Game Boy Advance was up next. That was clear blue plastic. I got that on launch day, after failing to win a competition from Nintendo Official Magazine to win a pre-launch one (I’m still bitter about that). I unfortunately can’t quite remember the year – it was perhaps 2001? – but I know that I got F-Zero Advance with it. It also notably began my launch-day Nintendo streak – since that day, I’ve bought every single major Nintendo console release on launch day. It also began my streak of playing said consoles for about three days before getting bored and playing something else. Yeah, I’m kind of mad like that.
I could go on. Playing Ocarina of Time after my grandad’s funeral is one that always comes up in my mind. 21st September, 2001. Getting my N64 in Year 4 – Feburary 13th, 1998, if you want me to be specific – at Winton Primary School (I was in Mr. V’s class) from Toys R Us. My Granny from Ireland being in the UK when my parents got my my Super Nintendo in 1993 (packed with Super Street Fighter II Turbo, if you were wondering). I don’t have a specific date for that one. Consider me a failure if you must. I got my first Xbox 360 on 20th April 2006, and my second on 8th March 2009. Which, if the parttern repeats itself, probably means I’m due another one this month. Oh crap.
And even more recently. I’ve always been an attentive student at school, college and University. Indeed, I didn’t even miss a class through illness from September 2005 right up until October 2009. However, I did – without a hint of regret, I might add – skip my final poetry class of my first year of University – 23rd May, 2008 – because that was the day Rock Band came out. I like music games that much.
(If you know me you will undoubtedly have heard me say this before, but if you’re a new reader, you may want to know that I despise 99% of the poetry ever written throughout human history. Naturally, having to take a mandatory, 12-week class on poetry in my already-horrid first year at Uni made me want to slit my wrists. That’s probably quite bad of me, especially since I like to think of myself as a writer, but I’m being totally serious. I can count the amount of poems I even vaguely like on one hand, and they’re all either by Shakespeare, Seamus Heaney or…no wait, that’s it.)
So yeah, I quite like games. I kind of feel like they’re a huge part of me. They are, as I said earlier, ‘my music’. Although The Beatles are/were pretty damn good.
Anyway, allow me to completely change the subject.
Today – well, yesterday – I released the newest preview of Not Quite Normal, called Mirrors. I’m not going to plug it that much, but you can get it in a multitude of eBook formats for the low, low price of free by clicking this thingy, which I suggest you do with reckless abandon. Hopefully it’ll go down as well as Tomahawk and Endeavour have done. Fun fact: it was the first story I ever wrote for a piece of University coursework. It’s actually quite humorous to see how far my style has come on in the four years since then. Let me know what you think – I’ve updated the Contact page with some places you can, uh, ‘hit me up’.
As ever, many many thanks for reading. You can’t possibly know how much this means to me. Back soon.