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A Belated Top Five Consoles List – Nike Halifax

A Belated Top Five Consoles List – Nike Halifax

I think too long and too hard about simple things, like what my top five favorite consoles are. After 37 rewrites and two months’ of writer’s block, I’ve decided to say “fuck it” and keep it as simple as possible. In no particular order, here are my top five favorite consoles.

Click the headings to check out my selections!

Number ?

 

surga

Console Nickname: Carlos

I love the Genesis because it was my first experience with video games, as well as the first console we owned. A hand-me-down from my cousin across the street, I wasn’t any good at the games because I was, like, four. I loved those games on a purely stimulus-response level. It was a pavlovian wash of bright colors and punchy music. I developed a cultish fascination with Sonic the Hedgehog. Hi, I was born in the 90s. The Genesis disappeared shortly after we got an N64 for Christmas of 1998. I didn’t notice at the time, but in later years I realized I had missed out on a huge portion of gaming history, and the Genesis (and the few brief times I had seen a Super Nintendo) was the only real link I had to it. Despite only actually owning it for a little over a year, the Genesis primed me to rediscover, research, and play retro games several years down the road. Also, Mickey Mania is bullshit.

Number ?

 

 

n64-logo

Console Nickname: Carlos

The N64 is the first console my parents actually purchased for my brother and myself. My experiences with the N64 pretty much form the foundations of my childhood. Many of the games I grew up with, such as Ocarina, Majora’s Mask, Goldeneye, and Star Fox 64, are still some of my favorite games ever made. Others, like Banjo Kazooie, Mario 64, and Perfect Dark, are games I enjoyed but that haven’t aged particularly well. It’s strange, then, to list this as a favorite system, because I don’t find it fun to collect for, and a substantial portion of its library is either archaic or downright unpleasant to me. I’ve gotten pretty much every game I’ve wanted for the N64. I still replay most of what I grew up with. I’ll probably be playing them on my death bed, six hundred thousand years from now.

Number ?

gaemcyoobConsole Nickname: Carlos I spent my entire middle school career defending the fucking GameCube. Now everyone’s like “man, the GameCube is so great” and I’m just like “I KNOW.”

What I’m trying to say is the GameCube got no love where I lived growing up. It was all PS2 and Xbox fans everywhere I looked. I guess the GameCube was the first time I developed a sense of console loyalty. I would eventually reconcile and get a PS2 a few years down the line, but the GameCube was my precious angel baby. It was the first console that was wholly mine–not mine and my brother’s, not a hand-me-down, none of that shit–it was mine. And I worked my ass off to get it. We’re talking weeks of weed pulling, pine cone sorting, stick collecting. I fucking manicured my aunt’s and my parents’ yards for this shit. All so I could play Melee and Sonic Adventure 2. The sense of sheer joy and wonderment I get from the GameCube makes it difficult to decide which console is my true number one. I’m pretty sure it’ll always be a contest between the Cube and the N64.

Number ?

 

sega_saturn_logo_zps34491143Console Nickname: Carlos

 
I love the Saturn, but do I *really?* That’s the question The Cubist posed for me when I randomly submitted my sixteenth draft of this god forsaken list.

Cubey raised a good point–I stated outright that I had no real attachment to the Saturn’s library and had more of a fascination with the system itself. Would it be justified to list it as a favorite, then? Well, yes. The Saturn is a strange part of my childhood. My only exposure to it prior to actually owning one was the five minutes I spent playing NiGHTS at a Target Kiosk way back in nineteen-ninety-whatever. That vague memory stuck with me. I knew it was called the Saturn. It had a weird game on it. That was it. The Saturn was almost mythical. I never saw or heard about it anywhere. It wasn’t until I started collecting old systems that I really started learning about it. Long story short, I found every aspect of its design and history fascinating. I had to have one. I passed up the collector’s deal of a lifetime–a complete Atari Jaguar with eight complete games for under 150 dollars–for a Saturn bundle. Three years ago, I finally went and bought a Saturn, along with 13 games in complete condition. Ebay bundle, 110 dollars.

That’s the most Saturn games I’ve ever seen at once. Even at the best game stores I’ve ever been to, Saturn games are pretty much nonexistent.The Saturn made me really, really interested in studying games, design architectures, business strategies, and developer tricks to squeeze the most power out of a system. Thanks to the Saturn, I get giddy when I notice pop-up, texture loading, billboard sprites, distance fog, and all the other rendering tricks developers can do to overcome technological limitations.

Most interesting is the console’s place in Sega’s history. It’s the unsung hero squeezed between the brutal hard-rock barbarian that was the Genesis and the beautiful swansong that was the DreamCast. The Saturn is almost an unwitting antihero, something that in one way or another helped facilitate the end of Sega as a hardware manufacturer despite being a solid, unique, and interesting system. Simply  put, owning a Sega Saturn is like owning evidence that unicorns exist.

Number ?

 

x360transparent

 What can I say? Okay, sure, blah blah blah, red ring, okay, fine. First model sucked. Had that thing for six years and from day 1 it wheezed at me like that fucking Triceratops from Jurassic Park. That pathetic hard drive lasted me so long because the damn thing rrod’d on me twice and games were so expensive. Eventually I got tired of component-only inputs and running Ethernet cables to my laptop, so I upgraded to the slim. Since then, the 360 has seen plenty of play time.

The library isn’t unique, but it’s certainly robust, and the online service is the literal gold standard. I rarely play multiplayer online anymore, but I still chat with friends, watch Netflix and YouTube, and download a ton from XBLA and the marketplace. It’s just good, you know? The controller, save for the d pad, is excellent. The system is sleek and reliable. My only issue with the PS3 and 360 is that they both paved the way for an uncertain future in console gaming, one where the benefits and differences of a console versus a PC are becoming increasingly nonexistent. Additionally, there’s no real point to buying either an Xbox or PlayStation now, since they both have the exact same games. But that’s the future. The systems themselves, as they are, probably offer players the most choice in library and functionality this side of the PC. Who can fault them for that?

Top 5 Consoles

Written by Nerd Bacon

Nerd Bacon

 
 

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