Since I started Critical Coins I haven’t taken much time to talk much about myself. Rather, I have been focused mostly on analyzing and delving into game industry news—but Critical Coins isn’t just about analysis, it’s also about enjoying games. So what better way to celebrate games than to talk briefly about why I collect them, what I collect, and why I love doing it.  

The Before Time

Previously, I never collected games. As many kids did, I would take the games I played, trade them in, and use that money to get the latest title I was interested in. Thinking back to when the Gamecube was around for at least a year or two, I remember trading in several of my Xbox and PS2 games just to have a chance to play Metroid Prime. After beating it, I never really did much else with my Gamecube outside of the occasional Nintendo game here or there, eventually, I grew tired of it. This pattern existed through the entirety of my youth from my Sega Genesis to Playstation 1, to N64, Playstation 2,, Xbox, Gamecube, and let’s not forget the extensive amount of Gameboy games and PSP titles as well.

After having consoles my entire life, I eventually dove into PC gaming. I had always played PC games before, titles such as Half-Life, RollerCoaster Tycoon, and Lemmings hold a dear place in my heart, but the majority of my time spent playing games never reached that of consoles at the time—largely because of my lack of a true gaming PC.  During the last year of grade school, I managed to scrounge up enough moolah to purchase the parts to my first gaming PC. PC gaming being what it is with Steam as the champion force in the market, I never found much value in collecting physical games, especially with my Steam library being more than efficient.

Lemmings
Lemmings

But there was always one company that I couldn’t find a replacement for on my PC– Nintendo. Love it or hate it, Nintendo has always made it a point to create a reason to own their consoles. As such, I always made it a point to owning one going forward, even going so far as standing in line for the Wii’s launch to play Twilight Princess. But then the years passed, I built a new computer, picked up a Wii U, but largely ignored consoles during the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 era…this was, until the latest console generation came out.

The Now

Halo 3

Considering how long the previous consoles generations were, there was a lot that I had missed. I had missed the entirety of the previous console generation, which means I missed entire series and entries that many had played several years back. Series that I had loved before had continued on and I was longing to see how they concluded. In an effort to fix that issue, I took to Craigslist to find an Xbox 360. Later model of Xbox 360’s luckily seem to have most of the issues worked out, and thankfully came in a color other than white. With a little effort later, I had found one, for the low, low price of $80 (with the addition of a Kinect). As soon as I got home, I plugged it in, and jumped into a series that I remembered many years ago back on my original Xbox, Halo, and finally decided to complete the original trilogy.

It was fantastic to not so much play the games that I had loved before, but rather to finally finish them or to see how those series have grown so many years later. Ironically, I didn’t much care for Halo 3 after all these years as it lacked much of the polish found in many of today’s shooters; but I persisted. After Halo 3, I tried ODST, moved on to Reach, and eventually found myself starting Halo 4. It was like playing a brand new Halo, a Halo I hadn’t played in a long time, one that felt like how it was to play the original the first time and was a resurgence in the series. After Halo, I moved onto Gears of War, retreading the same steps I made with Halo, playing one game after another becoming further invested as the series reached its climax. As I slowly completed some of the main titles found on the Xbox 360, I came to the realization that there were several series on Playstation 3 that I hadn’t started or completed from my Playstation 2 days. Again, the pattern repeated itself with Uncharted, God of War, and Ratchet and Clank.

Now, after playing all these popular, triple-A titles that I had missed in the previous generation, I wanted to go back to earlier generations and consoles and rediscover the many games that existed on those platforms. I wanted to see how they held up, how I would feel about them now, especially being several years older. I wished to unearth the many games that have come to pass and see if there was value to be found, and sure enough, there was.

Rediscovering Sonic on the Sega Genesis was a call back to my childhood that I admit can be somewhat hazy at times. But once I started playing again, remembering those fond moments of before, it was like I was a kid once more. Finally being able to actually understand what is actually going on in Metal Gear Ac!d and how to play was a welcomed surprise for a title that was originally inaccessible to me. It was a chance at attempting to figure out how Ratchet and Clank: Deadlocked exactly fits into the series, mechanically speaking. Taking a moment to finish the many portable Zelda titles that originally I overlooked. And of course, all the multitudes of titles that I simply never heard of before until I actually went to look for them.

So now, here I am, collecting, playing, and above all, enjoying all the many facets of past games with no signs of stopping.


Here are a few pictures from my Twitter account of fairly recent pictures of my collection: