Growing up in a suburb of Seattle, I spent sunny days playing sports and rainy days playing videogames. As you might imagine, there were a LOT of rainy days, and a Rain City Gamer was born. My older brother and I got a NES when I was 5 and played endless hours of Contra, Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, Zelda, Baseball Stars, Tecmo Super Bowl, you name it, we played it. I remember at one point having over 50 games. We ended up trading all of them in (Along with our NES) for what we felt was going to be the next big thing, The Turbo Grafx-16.
Although we ended up being wrong, we loved the system (which had the best cartridges ever) and would play hours of TV Sports Football and World Class Baseball. Unfortunately TG-16 didn’t last and since we were such huge fans of sports games we picked up the Sega Genesis. Us and the neighborhood kids would do leagues in Madden, Bill Walsh College Football, NBA Live, *insert sports game here*. This was before games kept stats let alone have season or franchise modes. We would write down what happened on every play and tally it all up into a spreadsheet. I also vividly remember playing my brother almost every night after dinner, loser had to do the dishes. He would do dishes a lot but I would always get a “Charlie Horse” as a reward.
One day my brother came home with a SNES which was bundled with Super Mario World. I was conveniently sick and spent the next day home from school beating the game in one sitting. The Genesis remained our console of choice but that didn’t stop me from enjoying many of the great SNES classics. Christmas of ‘94 I was given the first console that wasn’t also my brother’s. That console was the Panasonic 3DO.
The 3DO was ahead of its time with a CD drive and outstanding graphics, it is a bummer it didn’t have the games to support it. I played a ton of Need For Speed, Madden, and Return Fire which was my favorite game on the console. Unfortunately the games on 3DO were few and far between and the 3rd party support was non-existent. One day Dave and I were reading a Gamepro magazine and saw an article about Sony’s new console and it highlighted the hundreds of 3rd party developers who were already on board. After having the powerful 3DO but no games to play on it, that was all I needed to hear. I sold my 3DO to a friend and used that money to buy the Playstation 1 a few weeks after it launched.
The Playstation era was outstanding, with so many incredible titles: Resident Evil, Symphony of the Night, FFVII, Twisted Metal, the list goes on. Oddly enough there are actually 2 demos I remember playing to death as well and that was the Metal Gear Solid Demo and the Hot Shots Demo. I was already buying Metal Gear Solid but that didn’t stop me from playing the demo 30+ times and that was bested by the Hot Shots demo. I remember playing it for 2 days straight until I finally went and bought the game. I also will never forget playing FFVII for 14hrs straight and beating the Emerald Weapon after endlessly mimicking Knights of the Round for 40 minutes. Or thinking I beat Symphony of the Night only to realize I was halfway, upside down castle FTW! During this same time my brother ended up buying the Sega Saturn solely to play Daytona USA, but it was short lived as he ended up returning it a couple weeks later after we got our Daytona Fix.
Next he bought the N64 and the two of us, like many, were addicted to Golden Eye. I still think to this day both him and I could speed run the train level blindfolded. There was also the infamous Wave Race night where Dave, myself and another friend passed the controller around trying to beat each others trick scores till 6am. The funny part was, we only went to bed because we heard my mom coming and we didn’t want to get in trouble. Similar nights would happen with Star Fox as well, the dog fighting in that game was epic!
A few years later I was lucky enough to get a PS2 at launch after pre ordering it the summer before. I was one of only 7 people who were able to pick one up at Babbage’s in South Center (It’s a Gamestop now). They opened the store at 7am just so we could go pick it up. I bought Swing Away Golf, Timesplitters and SSX along with it. I was in college at the time so I drove to Dave’s house and left it with him for the day because I didn’t want it sitting in my car. That was officially the longest day of school ever! After baseball practice I rushed back to Dave’s and spent that weekend playing endless splitscreen games of Timesplitters and doing misty flips in SSX. A few other notable PS2 memories were: Trying to Get 5 stars in GTA3 and then see how long I could survive. Wondering why they were calling this skinny blonde kid “Snake” in MGS2, Losing to my friend 21-19 in NBA Street every single game and the first time I experienced voice chat online while playing Socom. I picked up a Gamecube next and although the majority of my time was still spent on PS2 I loved the exclusives including Metroid Prime, Wind Waker, Twin Snakes, Resident Evil remake, Wave Race, and arguably one of the best games ever made, Resident Evil 4. I held out pretty long on picking up an Xbox, I just HATED the giant Duke controller. Once they made the Controller S though, I couldn’t hold out any longer.
Halo LAN parties were a staple then. We would all go to a buddy’s house, 2 rooms, 4 TV’s, 4 Xbox’s. It was one room vs. the other with lots of beer and endless laughs. I’ll never forget a CTF match on Hang’em High. They were heading up their tower about to return the flag and get the win. My friend launched a rocket from our base and the whole room went silent for 5 seconds as we watched the rocket flying on his screen. Just as they came up the ramp and turned to score the rocket hit the flag carrier square in the back and our room ERUPTED as the flag flew and the game continued! If only we had the share button back then, it would be a Youtube sensation alongside “Leerrroooyyyy Jeeennnnkkkiiiinnnsssss!!!”. Other notable Xbox memories were playing Burnout 3 with my roommate and when we finally stopped the W-L was 109-102. Both of us also completed an entire season of NCAA Football in one day including recruiting, do the math in your head…trust me, it’s impressive. I also got addicted to Xbox Live and could not stop playing Ghost Recon 2 and Crimson Skies Online. I owned over 100 games between the PS2, Gamecube, and Xbox combined. Such a great time in gaming history.
I didn’t buy an Xbox 360 at launch, I told myself I was going to wait for the PS3. Then a few months later I played Geometry Wars at a friend’s house and immediately ran out and bought one along with Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. The 360 quickly became my console of choice last gen mainly because of how awesome Xbox Live was and the addition of party chat. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare solidified that along with many other favorites like Battlefield Bad Company, Gears of War, XCOM, Far Cry and Borderlands. As outstanding as those experiences were they are all overshadowed by my love for Rockband. From the moment I played Guitar Hero 2 I was hooked on the genre. One of my favorite memories was working my way from Easy, to Medium, then to Hard (damn you orange button) and finally beating “Free Bird” on Expert. Hearing Harmonix was making a band game I immediately preordered and it did not disappoint. I have poured hundreds of hours and dollars into the Rockband series and still to this day have Rockband parties every couple of months at my place.
I eventually bought a PS3 along with Resistance after Gamestop ran a promotion for $100 off if you turned in a PS2. While the bulk of my play time was on 360 I had a ton of fun with the Sony exclusives. Killzone 2 was outstanding, especially the multiplayer. I was late to the Uncharted series party but was blown away once I jumped into the pool. Uncharted 2 had so many amazing moments, and the airport-to-plane-to-desert sequence in Uncharted 3 was incredible. MAG was also a vastly underrated game especially once they patched it to 2.0 a year after release. I’ll never forget the first time I turned a corner in MAG and was shoulder to shoulder with 40 other players running towards an objective. Unfortunately Twisted Metal was probably my most disappointing game of the generation. While the gameplay was outstanding the half-baked campaign and severe connectivity issues online rendered the game unplayable. I of course have to mention the two masterpieces in, Metal Gear Solid 4 and The Last Of Us. I enjoyed the console but it wasn’t nearly the juggernaut the PS2 was in my home mainly because of the deficiencies of PSN, although PS+ was an outstanding addition late in the console’s life cycle.
I did end up buying a Wii after playing Wii Sports at a kiosk. Although I had fun with it, especially Wii Bowling, the novelty wore off quickly and I rarely turned it on. I played Zelda: Twilight Princess but after a couple of hours I got tired of the motion controls and never played it again. I did enjoy Tiger Woods ‘09 with the Wii motion plus as well as Punch Out which was by far the best game I played on the system. Now it just sits in a room and streams netflix on occasion.
That brings us to present day where I currently own a PS Vita, Playstation 4, Xbox One S, and Nintendo Switch. I don’t play the Vita as often as I should but I regularly play PS4 and mix in some Xbox One and Switch for exclusives. I hope you have enjoyed a recap of my gaming journey and it gives you some insight on why I decided, along with Dave, to create this website. I appreciate you reading through this and for following us here at Rain City Gamers. Please feel free to leave comments below and subscribe to my Twitch Channel.
20 questions with Marc
1. First gaming memory?
Using Rob The Robot to play Gyromite on my brand spanking new Nintendo Entertainment System
2. PC or Console?
Consoles now-a-days, but I was a PC gamer at one point pouring tons of hours in Red Alert, Total Annihilation, Duke Nukem, Unreal Tournament, etc
3. First console owned (not hand me down)?
I shared a number of consoles with my older brother, Atari 2600, 5200, NES, Turbo Grafx-16, Genesis, and SNES. The first console that was mine was the Panasonic 3DO, thank you Santa!
4. Favorite controller of all time?
NES Advantage! Loved the Slow Mo button!
5. Game you feel deserves a current gen remaster?
Twisted Metal Black
6. Sequel that needs to be made but likely never will?
Crimson Skies 2
7. Shoot’em up or Fighter?
8. Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter?
Mortal Kombat! Kintaro in MKII is such a bitch to beat!
9. “Lawful Good” or “Chaotic Evil”?
I always tell myself evil but then I end up on the good side every time
10. Damage Per Second, Tank, or Support?
Damage dealer, for sure!
11. Magic or Physical damage?
Physical damage, although it’s tough to argue with KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND
12. Greatest Hits or has to be original?
The collector in me used to care about buying a game day 1 with the original box art but now I’m all about the deals
13. Great story with passable gameplay or Great gameplay with passable story?
I think great gameplay will carry a game while a great story won’t necessarily do that same
14. Explore every nook and cranny for hidden items or breeze thru the level?
I explore almost to a fault. I don’t typically do a second playthrough so I want to soak in as much as possible the first time
15. Cheat codes?
Never, I even feel guilty looking things up on the internet when I get stuck
16. Kid Dynamite or Mr. Dream?
Kid Dynamite 007 373 5963
17. Arcade or Sim racing?
Typically gravitate more towards Arcade racers
18. Voluntarily level grind or wait till you get stuck?
I will voluntarily do it throughout playing that way I don’t have to sit for hours later in the game with nothing else to do. Helps break the monotony
19. If you could experience a game or series again for the first time what would it be?
Metal Gear Solid series…So good!
20. Would you be a Ninja or a Samurai?
Go Ninja, Go Ninja, GO!
Consoles owned and favorite game for each
|NES||Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!!!|
|Turbo Grafx 16||Final Lap Twin|
|SNES||Zelda: A Link to the Past|
|Playstation||Final Fantasy 7|
|Nintendo 64||007 Golden Eye|
|Playstation 2||Socom 2|
|GameCube||Resident Evil 4|
|Xbox 360||Rock Band 3|
|Playstation 3||The Last of Us|
|Playstation Vita||Killzone Mercenary|
|Playstation 4||Horizon: Zero Dawn|
|Xbox One||Ori and the Blind Forrest|
|Nintendo Switch||Zelda: Breath of the Wild|