2005 comes along and I’ve been out of school for a few years. I was working, so I wasn’t short a buck and Nintendo were about to release the handheld innovation, the Nintendo DS. After hearing rumours from an announcement that the new system would have two screens, reading about it in magazines, searching everyday on the internet and finally seeing the thing unveiled at E3, you could say I was a little bit excited.
Ryan and I both had pre-orders at EB Games in the city. I’m 99% certain I was meant to be at TAFE the day the machine came out, but I decided that this was far more important than doing what I was meant to be doing… Working on a website and video promotional package for Camp Quality… A charity foundation for kids with cancer…
What’s that? You didn’t know I was an asshole? Well now you do.
I still didn’t have my drivers license, so once again I had to train it into the city. I met my brother there nice and early. We got to EB at about 7:30am and figured that would be plenty of time to miss ‘the big lines’. We were right. There was only about 4 other people waiting for the 8:00am opening time. We sat on a bench about 50 meters away from the store and waited. We didn’t want to get in a line of such insignificance and be forced into the awkward social situation of talking to these few, obviously geeky guys about the new handheld.
The store opened and we got in line. This time I had enough money to buy a game with the console at launch and didn’t have to negotiate with Ryan to be able to afford it. The only question I faced was, would I get Warioware: Touched to go along with Super Mario 64 DS. I did.
On the way home sitting on the train, I read the instruction manuals to the games and DS. I was a bit disappointed because we would have to charge the batteries before we could use them. The reason it was disappointing was because we always said that we were gonna sit at opposite ends of a train car and use pictochat and play Super Mario 64 DS while riding the train for like an hour. That’s something we never did. When we got home Me and Ryan plugged our new handhelds into the wall to give ’em some juice. For some reason, we had to go out and wouldn’t be home until later that afternoon. This was some few years after the events of the original Super Smash Bros. adventure and since then, my father had married the woman we used to live next door to… That’s right, the mother of the young boy who we didn’t really like, that seemed to annoy the crap out of us all the time. We were now living under the same roof, at least every second week anyway. This young boy was now our step brother.
We talked with Dad and made him guarantee us that he wouldn’t let this child even LOOK at our DS’s. He had a habit of using our Gamecube when we weren’t home and we hated it. We didn’t hate that he used it, just that it was without permission. When we finally got home and had the opportunity to use our DS’s they hadn’t been touched, so all was well.
I guess around now, or possibly before we got DS’s, was when we got a Playstation 2. Ryan bought it with his own money and just showed up at home with it one day. I had no idea he was even thinking about getting it.
As I have written in other blogs, I’m a pretty big fan of Rockstar Games, but especially the Grand Theft Auto series. At the time I had played GTA III and Vice City a fair bit on PC but didn’t really know much about GTA San Andreas. The latest issue of Hyper had arrived in the mail and I was saving it for a ‘special’ occasion. Well, nature was calling and that seemed special enough.
This month had the review of GTA:SA. I came to a realisation. I must have this game. There was no question about it. It was on the crapper that I decided I had to buy this game. A game that I have probably devoted more time to, than any other game. I looked at the release date printed on the next page, a full page advertisement for the game. Well freak me sideways. That date just happened to be the same and very day it was.
As soon as I had ‘finished reading’ I called EB Games in Joondalup and asked if they had any copies of the game. As if trying to hold back a laugh, the woman said “No, you should have pre-ordered.” Bitch. I called Kmart and asked the same question. “Sure man, we have heaps of them.” SCORE!
I got on the next bus and picked up a copy. As always, on the bus ride home I read the manual and pretty much fell in love, without even having seen the game running yet. I had to work that night, so I didn’t get a chance to play it until about 1:00am. I was blown away.
The next day I called Ryan, who was stay at Mum’s place, and told him I bought GTA:SA. He wasn’t overly excited. I told him this was seriously a game that was amazingly awesome. “DUDE! It has Samuel L. Jackson in it and the first thing you do is ride a bicycle!” He was coming to Dad’s that day and I told him that he HAD to play it while I was at work.
I don’t know if he fell in love with it as instantly as I had, but I would say that it really is the game that collectively my brothers and I have played the most, more than any other game at the time and possibly still now. Even more than Super Mario Bros. 3.
When we played, it was never about missions. It was about screwing around and causing havoc. Using cheats and shooting pedestrians with RPGs. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is the last game that my brothers and I played all the time together. That’s a part of growing up I guess. You don’t see each other as much in that kind of situation. I worked with John, but he lived in his own place. Ryan was spending more time at Mum’s and I was spending more time at Dad’s. Ryan and I ended up living together for a year or two, but our schedules were different. But hey. That’s life, and there are still more adventures for me to talk about…
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. I was on the train home from TAFE, reading the latest issue of Hyper. It was early evening on a Friday. It was starting to get dark. I had just finished reading the Snake Eater Review. HOT DAMN! Why didn’t I pre-order this game! I guess I was low on funds, but now I had some dough in my account. Once again, the stars had aligned and it was the release day of the game. The train pulled into Perth station. I had to make a decision. Did I want to get the game right now… Would EB have it in stock? I had about 2 minutes until the train continued towards home. I called EB and confirmed if today was the release day. It was. Did they have it in stock? As if trying to hold back a laugh the woman said “Of course we do. It only came out today.” I liked this lady better than the lady at EB games in Joondalup…
I jumped off the train as the doors were closing. I had about 15 minutes until the next train and then it was a 30 minute wait for the one following. I had to do this fast. If I missed the first train, I would miss my connecting bus and then I would have to call my mother for a lift. No issue there, but it would be her husband who would have to pick me up. Her husband. A man that I didn’t like. A man that always seemed to disapprove of everything me and Ryan did. Frankly he would rather me walk in the dark for an hour and a half. Through Maddington. By myself.
Running is not something I do. I do walk fast though. Usually if I’m walking with someone they ask me to slow down. I moved as quickly as I could, taking short cuts through the different malls and shops. I knew the most direct way to EB. Up the escalator, across the overpass, through Myer and then through David Jones. I had this. I got to EB and paid for the game. Time to fly.
I rushed back to the train station. My watch told me I had less than a minute. I saw no train. Had I missed it? Or had it just not arrived yet? Well… I don’t remember. In all honesty I think I missed it but I don’t know for sure. I know that I was sitting around on the train waiting for it to depart for about 5 minutes, which suggests I was on the second train.
While I was waiting for the train to leave Perth, I called Ryan and told him about my purchase. I think his response was “Oh, it’s out?” When I did get home, we put the disc in straight away. Even though I bought the game, I wanted Ryan to play first. He is a bigger Metal Gear fan than I am and being that I suck at video games, I got to see what I had to do. He played through the Virtuous Mission that night and I played it the next morning, still with his guidance.
Otherwise wait until I link to it tomorrow.