For my sins, I work at a counter in a Supermarket that sells CDs, DVDs, Blu Ray and Video Games. Last night, while doing the ''Availability checks'' on the Gamezone, I was looking at some of the games in vogue on the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360, the Sony PS3 and the Nintendo DS. Recently, a young boy asked whether I had a PS3, because he said he wanted to play against me online. I said that I didn't, but that I wanted one, since the fourth generation slimline PS3 has 250 GB memory and plays Blu Ray, but going through the games last night, I only found one that I thought was worth owning - a new release called Final Fantasy XIII, but even this, in spite of the impressive graphics and visual gameplay, looks like a poor comparison to its excellent predecessor, Final Fantasy VII on the original Playstation, released in 1997.
When I was little, I had every games console worth having (the Super Nintendo, the N64, the Gamecube, the Gameboy, the Gameboy Color, the Gameboy Advance, the Playstation, the Playstation 2, I also had lots of games for the desktop computer). My mother brought me the Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360 for Christmas and my birthday some years ago, but I never played them, partly because the games she brought me were rubbish (they are ''Mario Party 8'' and ''Mario Strikers Charged Football'' for the Wii, and some racing car game for the Xbox 360), and because I think I was content with the old consoles, which take me back to many Christmas' and birthdays ago. I used to spend hours playing classic Tetris on the SNES and the New Tetris on the N64; I loved Donkey Kong, Super Mario World (Yoshi's Island 2 will always be my favourite, one of the last games to be released on the SNES in 1995), Super Mario Kart (on both the SNES and the N64).
My two favourite games of all time, though, are without doubt The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, released on the N64 in 1998, and Final Fantasy VII, released on the Playstation in 1997. In terms of quality of gameplay, difficulty, music, art, story and adventure, they simply cannot be beaten. It took me two whole years to ''complete'' Final Fantasy VII (and even then, the first time I merely got to the end and neglected the many side-quests - I still haven't thoroughly completed it, since I haven't defeated the two hardest Weapons - giant monsters, one lives in the desert, the other under the sea, and this is a game I have been playing sporadically for over 12 years). It took me less time to complete Zelda, but the game is shorter. Newer versions in the Zelda series were less good. I completed Twilight Princess on the Gamecube, but only once, and I haven't played it since (it was only released in 2006 anyway).
Lately, the Wii have been releasing some of their classic games, like Super Mario Bros and Super Mario Kart (these are also available on the DS - I'd like to know why. Years ago one game was available on one console, another on another console, so if you wanted both, you had to get both consoles. I know that there is slight variation in gameplay across the different consoles, but I still don't see the point in releasing the same game on two and sometimes three different consoles). Having played them, I can honestly say that I am most unimpressed. They are just rip-offs of the classic Super Mario games, with hardly anything original about them. They're not even that hard anymore! Of course, boys 10 plus years younger than me, who have no memory of the old games, think they're the best thing ever...I wonder if I just grew out of them? I think that games consoles have had their day and unless Nintendo, Microsoft or Sony come up with something wonderful and original, I'll stick with the classic games.