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You’ve no doubt seen your fair share of RPGs featured in these Operation Rainfall Origins pieces. But I’m going to offer something a little different! The game that is responsible for my love of video games is the SEGA classic Streets of Rage. Some of you may not have even heard of it, but read on to find out why I owe this game so much.
What’s a video game?
It was the summer of 1990, I was nine years old, the Ninja Turtles were insanely popular, MC Hammer was still cool and I had just moved back to England with my family, after spending three years living in Portugal.
I came back to good old Blighty as an active, outdoorsy and fairly well tanned (for an englishman) chap that had little to no idea on what a video game was. My knowledge of the ‘hobby’ went as far as seeing some Arcade Machines in the local stores around Portugal, but they never held my interest – I was too busy swimming, running around a beach, or climbing trees. I was essentially doing everything that many parents of today wish their child was doing now.
However, that all changed, in August of 1990, when my older brother was given a Nintendo Entertainment System for his birthday. “What on this jolly earth is this strange gray box?” I thought to myself. It didn’t dawn on me that this would be my first experience with a video game console until my brother received his second birthday gift – a copy of the game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. For the rest of the day I sat in awe, staring at the TV screen, taking in the glorious 8-bit graphics, listening to the funky 8-bit sound and watching my brother die over and over again on the first level. It was nothing that I had seen before, I didn’t even know that I was watching a game on a Nintendo console, all I did know was that I wanted one too.
A SEGA Megadrive?
For the months leading up to christmas, I was adamant that I wanted my very own NES with my very own copy of TMNT. My brother was one of those mean older brothers that would never let you play on his console and would constantly give you dead arms if you tried to play on it without asking – so my only option was to have one for myself.
“Are you sure?” my parents kept asking me, “I’m sure your brother will let you play on his, there’s no need to have two Nintendo consoles in our home“. I wasn’t listening, I was determined to have my own NES to play on whenever I liked, nothing was going to change my mind. That was until a saw a TV commercial for a new gaming system – it was black, it was sleek, and it was…more powerful than the NES! It was the SEGA Megadrive (Genesis).
“Ooooh, look at the graphics” I squealed. The thought of owning a NES started dwindling. My shallowness over graphics, had taken over, and I knew then exactly what I wanted. “Mother, Father. I have made my decision. I would like this new fancy, more powerful, gamesconsole for Christmas.” I had never felt so sure of anything in the nine years of my life. “Okay” they replied, “We’ll see what we can do“. My brother spent the months leading up to Christmas scowling at me.
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