Top Ten Things I’m Proud of as a Gamer

Proud Feature

Last time, I wrote about the things I was ashamed of as a gamer.  It was a pitiful display where I shared my demons and talked about my unfinished gaming business as well as my gaming shortcomings.  In short, it was about the pointless things I wish I had or hadn’t done as a gamer.  Today, I’d like to show the flipside of that coin and share with you the pointless things in gaming I’ve done that I’m actually proud of.  So sit back, relax, and revel in how sad my life is because, not only am I proud of the following things, but I actually spent the time to write it all down.

Here are the Top Ten Things I’m Proud of As a Gamer!

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10.) Getting a Platinum Trophy on Velocity Ultra in a Single Day

Velocity Ultra

Velocity Ultra is a souped-up PS3/Playstation Vita version of the PS Mobile game Velocity.  If you haven’t played either game, shame on you!  They’re incredible, very challenging and demanding games.  Basically, they’re horizontal teleportation shmups (because that’s a genre?) where you have to speed through levels as quickly as you can while picking up escape pods containing survivors.  Also, you’ll have to fight enemy ships, solve puzzles, and not die.  If you can do all those things in a single run of any level, you’ll get a Perfect Gold Medal.  Get a Perfect Gold Medal on every level, including the optional hidden levels, and you’re on your way to getting the game’s Platinum trophy.  I got that Platinum trophy, and I did it in a single day.

Why I’m Proud:
Velocity Ultra is a damn tough game if you’re a perfectionist, which I totally am.  I’m especially proud because, unlike most games whose trophies are rewarded simply by progressing in the game or are given to you by doing arbitrary things, Velocity Ultra‘s trophies are mostly skill based and demand you to play to perfection to earn them.  So that means In order to get a majority of the trophies, you have to have skillz!  And I think getting its Platinum trophy in a single day is pretty impressive (ladies).

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9.) Being a Champion at Super Smash Bros.

Smash Trophy

This pic is some stock pic I found online, but I actually owned this trophy – and many more – before I lost everything in a house fire.  I was an ardent Smash Bros. player that attended many local tournaments and won some cash here and there. There was rarely an occasion when I didn’t place first in a tourney; I was really that good at the game.  And the funny thing is that my main was Ganondorf, the lowest tiered character on the roster.  I could play with anyone (except Ness.  I suck with him), but I would tear everybody’s shit up with Ganon.

Why I’m Proud:
I’m not a world champion or anything, but I won a hell of a lot.  And it just feels good to be really good at something, even if it’s only a video game.  And, yes, I can probably kick your ass at Smash Bros.  If the new Smash‘s online doesn’t suck like Brawl‘s, I’ll be more than happy to show you.

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8.) Beating Death in Castlevania

Death

When I was a little kid, my dad used to take me to this establishment where he’d play cards with a bunch of guys.  This place was very boring until the owner showed me where the arcade cabinets were.  One of those cabinets actually had the original Castlevania, so of course I was all over that shit.  A quarter would get you 3 lives, and a game over required you to put in another quarter and start at the level’s beginning.  Considering Castlevania is a pretty tough game, you can imagine how much of my dad’s cash I blew through.  And the part of the game that took the most money from my college fund was the fight against Death, the son of a bitch!  I seriously had to have spent $100 just on that asshole!  I screamed in girlish delight (much to my dad’s disapproval) when I found out how much Holy Water kicked his ass and finally beat him.

Why I’m Proud:
I spent so much money and wasted so much time, I better be proud that I finally took him out!  Besides that, I proved to myself at a young age that hard work and dedication is important and can get you what you want, even if it’s something as trivial as beating a boss in a video game.

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7.) Beating My Cousin at Street Fighter II

Street FighterWhen I was 7 or 8, my cousin was 16 or 17, and I idolized him.  He had a job, a car, and a girlfriend; he smoked, cussed, had dyed black hair, wore spikey accessories, had a chain wallet, and played in a punk band that actually released an EP.  All that was pretty impressive to a little kid.  And, on top of all that, he loved video games and liked playing them with me.  So when Street Fighter II came out for the SNES, we played it every time we got together on holidays.  Of course he would kick my ass; he had like 10 years on me.  He seemed god-like to me, so I was content with losing to my hero… at first.  But then my stubborn personality eventually shone through, and I had to prove I could beat my hero.  When a buddy and I rented it one weekend, I focused on getting good so I could take my cousin down.  And, sure enough, at the next family get-together, we sat down to play it with our other cousins, and I kicked all their asses, even the cousin I idolized.  They were all significantly older than me, so it blew them all away when a little kid beat them.  My hard work had paid off.  That moment of astonishment from the man I considered to be my hero has stuck with me ever since.

Why I’m Proud:
I beat somebody that I considered to be superior to me in every way.  That’s a pretty good feeling.  I also learned that, despite how much I respect or idolize somebody, everyone is human, and that knowledge helps me keep people in perspective when I find them intimidating, either physically or intellectually.

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6.) Beating Zombies Ate My Neighbors from Beginning to End… Alone

ZAMN

ZAMN is one of my favorite games in the world!  A buddy and I used to rent it all the time, but we never beat it.  The game is unforgiving and huge!  I mean, “55 Un-Deadly Levels” huge!  And the passwords were pretty useless during the latter half of the game.  Sure, they’d get you to the level you wanted, but the bosses took so many hits there was no way you could possibly have the ammunition to take them out.  So I went through elementary school and junior high never knowing how this game ended.  One day during Biology, I snapped.  I looked at my friend and said, “I’m going to the flea market this weekend, finding Zombies Ate My Neighbors, and beating it.”  He laughed in derision, for the thought of beating that game was ridiculous, and he went back to dissecting our pig.  But I wasn’t kidding; I found the game, bought it for like $4, and took it to my friend’s to beat it.  BUT WE COULDN’T!  After all these years, we still couldn’t beat that game.  However, I discovered why: he was bringing me down.  I let him down gently and told him I was going to go it alone.  Reluctantly, he cheered me on from the sidelines. And after about 2 hours (55 Un-deadly levels, people!), I finally gave Dr. Tongue what for!  I spiked the SNES controller (it was mine) and started victory humping my friend’s couch.

Why I’m Proud:
ZAMN is a pretty tough game, so beating it by yourself is not an easy feat.  Plus, the game always stressed me out.  There were times when your neighbors would die and there was nothing you could have possibly done to save them.  I guess I’m proud of my determination and unwillingness to let this tough and sometimes unfair game keep me down.

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5.) Beating Rubicante in Final Fantasy II

Rubicante

I’ll set the scene because this is one of my most vivid gaming memories:

Friday night, a freshly rented copy of FFII in my SNES connected to my grandmother’s huge TV in the living room, and tons of Mountain Dew.  I’m 8 years old.  It’s way past my bedtime – 11p.m., I do believe – and I’m so focused on beating Rubicante that I actually ignore the fact that I’m missing Skinemax.  Fight after fight I lose to this guy, but I press on.  There was no way I wasn’t going to my friend’s house the next day with nothing to show; we’ve been wanting to see what’s next in this game for weeks.  And then it happened: bright lights flash with the sound of lightning, and then the Fire Fiend’s sprite starts shaking as he slowly disintegrates, starting at his head and ending at his feet.  The epic boss music stops, and then my characters dance to the victory music.  I stared at the screen… until I started running around the house proclaiming how incredibly awesome I was.  My grandmother didn’t appreciate it.  But in my defense, it was A LOT of Mountain Dew.

Why I’m Proud:
Defeating Rubicante was a huge milestone in my life.  I proved to myself that nothing was impossible, hard work truly pays off, and sometimes hard work can be fun.  I also got to see how focused I could be when it was needed.  RPGs also became a huge staple in my life because of this victory, and they still are today.

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4.) Beating Contra: Shattered Soldier on the Hardest Difficulty Without Getting Hit

Contra

A group of my friends and I used to meet up after school sometimes at one of our friend’s places because he had several TVs, each with a console connected to it.  I had always been a huge fan of Contra, and when Shattered Soldier came out, I was all about it.  And damn was it hard!  I remember a guy betting me I couldn’t beat it on the hardest difficulty without getting hit, so of course I had to prove I was awesome and he was an asshole.  So a couple of weeks during my Senior year in high school were solely dedicated to winning this bet.  I used to get home from school, go to my friend’s, pop Shattered Soldier in, and blast Shadows Fall on my portable CD player until it was time for dinner.  After hours and hours of perfecting the game, I finally kicked its ass in a way only a select few ever have.  Pathetic?  Only if you consider wasting some of your Senior year on a pointless video game “pathetic.”  And I’d be inclined to agree with you if you did consider it, except this was fucking Contra: Shattered Soldier!  That shit was worth it!

Why I’m Proud: 
Because Contra: Shattered Soldier on the hardest difficulty without getting hit!

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3.) My (Former) DS Collection

DS CollectionThat pic is an actual picture of the DS collection I lost in a house fire (maybe a month or two before the fire, so it was actually bigger than this).  I had over 500 games, domestic and import.  My imported games, Japanese and European, were on top of the shelf with my Atlus boxed games as well as the games I had in a queue ready to be played next.  Every game I owned was complete, meaning I had the game, case, manual, and any other things that came with it, such as posters, boxes, and soundtracks. I never intended to become a DS game collector.  I just never let go of any games.  After awhile, my library just began to build.  Then I noticed DS games were really cheap, most selling for under $5 at GameStop.  So I just grabbed a couple games every time I found some.  Next thing you know, I’m the DS King!  And, before you ask, I didn’t own any Imagine games or anything like that.  I stayed away from things that were obvious shovelware or girly.

Why I’m Proud:
It was cool to have such a huge collection with a lot of quality games.  I became very knowledgeable about the system and its software, and I liked feeling like an expert.  Whenever anyone has any questions about DS games, I’m always who they go to, even today.  R.I.P., my DS collection…

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2.) My Surviving TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine Collection

2013-11-21-230023

Look at that picture.  That’s all I have left of my TurboGrafx-16/PCE collection because of that damn house fire.  But at least I have something.  My DS collection was burnt to a crisp!  I have no idea how my TG/PCE collection survived!  Granted, all the cases melted and some of the instruction booklets got a little singed, but all the games still look perfect!  I can’t recall how many games are in my collection, and I don’t feel like counting them, but I know I was only 5 games away from owning the complete US TG-16 library, and I owned over 100 PCE games.  It’s too bad I don’t have a system to test these games on; I’d have to get a Turbo Duo and a converter for my PCE games, and that all costs more money than I’m comfortable parting with at the moment.  But one day I’ll test these bad boys out and see if they truly survived.

Why I’m Proud:
Because it’s still here!  The Turbografx was the first system I started collecting for, and it makes me happy that I still have all those games I hunted down.  Every time I look at one of those hucards, it takes me back.  Each little cartridge is like a portal to a better time…

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1.) Anytime I Beat a Game that Beat Me as a Kid

Beating Video Games

That’s right: I’m a vengeful bastard!  I remember every single game that kicked my ass when I was a kid: Batman on the NES, Ghosts ‘n Goblins, Monster Party, Fester’s Quest, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I’ll never forget all the frustration these games caused me when I was younger.  I know they’re glitchy and broken and unfair, but I didn’t know all that when I was a kid!  I just felt like I was stupid for not being able to beat them!  Well, now that I’m older and wiser, I like to go back to those games and give them exactly what they have coming to them.  And, let me tell you, it feels good!  It feels good to beat these 20+ year-old games!

Why I’m Proud:
Vindication!  I feel vindicated every time I take down a game that kicked my ass when I was a kid.  Whenever I finish a particularly difficult game (fuck you, Ninja Gaiden!), I feel accomplished (suck it, Ninja Gaiden!).  It sucks because I actually don’t accomplish anything when I beat one of these games, but I feel like I did anyway.  It’s weird, but if I can start and beat a tough game on Friday night, I’ll have an excellent weekend. However, if I can’t beat it, that defeat is going to stew and screw up my weekend.  Oh well.  I guess I’ll just have to stop sucking and continue destroying these old games.

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Thanks for Your Playing!  I hope you guys enjoyed reading about the ridiculous stuff I’m proud of.  And please don’t judge my neuroses too harshly (he begged the internet).  Anyone feel the same way I do about any of these things?  Do you guys have anything you’ve done as a gamer that you’re proud of?  I don’t care how lame you think it sounds.  Let me know in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “Top Ten Things I’m Proud of as a Gamer

  1. Wow and I thought I had a lot of DS games! Sorry about your loss… it must hurt looking at that pic… I’m with you on the DS though. I love that system to death. I wouldn’t even call myself a collector, I just kept buying games for it because there were so many great ones.

    • Yeah, that’s how it started out for me, too. But then it just kept growing and growing until it consumed EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      The fire was probably a preemptive strike by some self-righteous neighbors. They probably saved humanity.

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