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Thinking back with fondness where that game or system wowed you, with graphics or music or gameplay

dvdvideo

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Thinking back with fondness to some moments that stick out to me, tried to be in order but might not be perfect:

First time in gaming, young, at friends playing asteroids on atari 2600.

Apple iie computer - text adventures, Conan with a Gravis joystick

At my cousins house, wouldn't let me touch the computer, but showing off what I think was Amiga?

At another cousins house trying zelda for the first time.

Getting a nes for Christmas.

Playing a Sega master system (wonder boy monster land) at a friends)

Staying up all night playing snes sim city.

Getting a turbo graphics 16 from the states
Basketball, bloody wolf, etc

Endless games of goldeneye

Getting a 3d0 day one, just seemed so cutting edge at the time - road rash, get, need for speed

Getting a dreamcast.......loved the hardware and the games - soul caliber, nba and NFL

Friend from bc visits with a whole set of neo geo with samurai showdown

GameCube- the music in starfox adventures...

Endless games of red alert 2 online

Probably tons more I'm forgetting but these stick out in my mind ......
 

Optimus Lime

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Seeing all four boards of Donkey Kong working on a Vic 20.

Playing Elite on an Amstrad CPC 6128.

Playing The Last Ninja, Law Of The West, Platoon, and Head Over Heels on the C64.

The CGA/EGA era of the PC - Defender Of The Crown blew my mind.

Seeing Doom E1M1 on release. The shareware era was an insane revolution of creativity.

Ultima Underworld. Shadowcaster. Lands Of Lore. Eye Of The Beholder.

Playing Dune 2 on release and seeing the birth of a new way to play.

The transition from 2D to 3D hardware acceleration.

Seeing the gel gun in Unreal, and the locational damage in SiN.

Metal Gear Solid 1, Ridge Racer Type 4, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater.

I could go on, really. Because, like Brutal Deluxe, I'm real fucking old.
 
Nov 1, 2019
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My Ps1. A lot of my friends already had one and I honestly didn't think my mum would get me one. Opening that present and realising what it was, I'll never forget it.

When I first booted up a game on the ps2 as a kid. At that age the leap in graphics was mind blowing. I remember loading up a WWE game and the intro animations looked like real life.

Falling in love with Borderlands 2. It's pretty much my favourite game ever. Got it on the PS3 and played it for countless hours. When it released on ps4 I bought it again.

San Andreas K-DST radio station. Imo the best radio station ever to be included in a GTA game. Nothing used to beat driving through the desert with it blearing.

The Tekken 3 intro on Ps1. Used to watch it all basically every time I put the game on. Same with tekken 2. Just brilliant.

Crash bandicoot 3, wait, I've got a wompa launcher, a motorbike? Epic game. A classic.

Being amazed in tomb Raider 3 that you could lock the butler in the freezer.
 

dvdvideo

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Sep 15, 2005
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My Ps1. A lot of my friends already had one and I honestly didn't think my mum would get me one. Opening that present and realising what it was, I'll never forget it.

When I first booted up a game on the ps2 as a kid. At that age the leap in graphics was mind blowing. I remember loading up a WWE game and the intro animations looked like real life.

Falling in love with Borderlands 2. It's pretty much my favourite game ever. Got it on the PS3 and played it for countless hours. When it released on ps4 I bought it again.

San Andreas K-DST radio station. Imo the best radio station ever to be included in a GTA game. Nothing used to beat driving through the desert with it blearing.

The Tekken 3 intro on Ps1. Used to watch it all basically every time I put the game on. Same with tekken 2. Just brilliant.

Crash bandicoot 3, wait, I've got a wompa launcher, a motorbike? Epic game. A classic.

Being amazed in tomb Raider 3 that you could lock the butler in the freezer.
I can't believe I forgot tomb raider, the feeling of exploring caves/lost civilizations seemed greater than it really was
 
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Oct 14, 2020
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Going way back…King’s Quest on the IBM PC jr. Star Strike trench run on the IntellIvision. On the IntellIvision as well, the sound design of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons was way ahead of its time. Neighbour kid had a Smurf game on his Colecovision that blew minds back then with the graphics.

More recent times….Oblivion on Xbox 360, when you first emerge from the dungeons to see that world. Very recently, the water fidelity and physics on Sea of Thieves has had a similar impact on me.

I could spend hours thinking about this stuff. Been gaming since the 70’s.
 

Rathalos

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Completing Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance in one sitting with my friend during a sleepover
N64 Wrestling games with my friends using our custom wrestlers
Achieving High Warlord in Vanilla World of Warcraft
Getting a PS2 and Tekken for Christmas
Going to the iSeries LAN with my clan for Counter Strike
Getting an RTX 3080 for retail price
 

InfiniteCombo

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Ninja Gaiden on NES - those cutscenes were like watching a movie.

SMB3 on NES - It was hard believing this was the same console on which SMB1 was released. SMB3 felt, for all practical purposes, "next gen."

Tekken 2 on PS1. That FMV intro was sick. To this day I'm still picking up my jaw, it got permanently floored.

King of Fighters '95 on Saturn. 3-on-3 crossover of Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting, with such amazing graphics, blew my mind. To this very day, KoF 95 (specifically the Saturn version) is a sentimental favorite of mine.

X-Men vs Street Fighter combined one of my favorite cartoon series of the 90s (X-Men) with my favorite (at the time) video game series. When I saw Ryu throw a goddamn LASER BEAM out of his hands during his Shinkuu Hadoken, and Ken have a goddamn PILLAR OF FIRE for his Shinryuken, I... Yeah, my thoughts can't be adequately put into words. Mind blown indeed.

Soul Calibur 1 on the Dreamcast was like nothing I had ever seen before. That game... It looks fantastic to this very day.

Experiencing VR for the first time. I'm not one of those "once I go VR I won't be able to do flat gaming" people, but damn if VR isn't thoroughly immersive and impressive.
 

Sander Cohen

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Nothing comes close to watching MGS2 intro for the first time. I was completely mesmerized, mom had to snap me out of it. Going to a local gaming club in the 90s to play that NFS, Tekken 3 and FIFA on PS1. Turning on HD signal for the first time on my tv for TES: Oblivion. Playing PES as a kid with friends. Getting emotional for FFX ending. Nier Automata - that’s all I’m gonna say. Clearing Coil of Bahamut turns in 2014 with static, meeting people in FFXIV. Most recently, experiencing by far best game of all time, RDR2.
 
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dvdvideo

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Sep 15, 2005
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Going way back…King’s Quest on the IBM PC jr. Star Strike trench run on the IntellIvision. On the IntellIvision as well, the sound design of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons was way ahead of its time. Neighbour kid had a Smurf game on his Colecovision that blew minds back then with the graphics.

More recent times….Oblivion on Xbox 360, when you first emerge from the dungeons to see that world. Very recently, the water fidelity and physics on Sea of Thieves has had a similar impact on me.

I could spend hours thinking about this stuff. Been gaming since the 70’s.

Yes! The smurfs, I remember biking to my friends house just to play this. Horrible game, great memories lol. And Bc the quest for ?

Also my other cousin had an intellivision and some sports games and other wierd stuff that impressed at the time.
 

lachesis

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From young, I was more interested in art direction than actual technical power on any given games.
The game could have shown million colors at the same time, poor art direction / style just ruined it for me.

However, I'm easily impressed by ear - with more channel sounds.
SCC / FM chip on MSX was my first experience of sound enhancements over existing 3 channel sound... and I was completely blown away by it.


Same goes on PC - with Sound Blaster cards or whatnot could enhance the MIDI music, etc.... but those days are pretty much over where CD quality digital music is pretty much given. :)
 

Mistershine.

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Going from my beloved spectrum to my friends C64 was mind blowing at the time.

On my way to visit a friend lawyer in life and popped into Dixon's to waste a couple of minutes, had a go on Sega Rally, ended up leaving with a Saturn.

Mrs had an appointment so I was keeping the boy entertained, he was about 3 months old, went into PC World and had a go on the new hotness - PGR. God damn, couldn't put it down. Mrs came into the shop with a face like smacked ass and didn't even speak to me, just walked off with the push chair. I told the guys at work the next day and a customer said she had an xbox she didn't want and I could have it for £50, along with the JSRF/sega GT disc. Bargain.
 
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Jan 3, 2021
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Seeing San Andreas on a PS2. I was shocked to see the scope of the game; huge map and all that customizations. Up until then, games had barely slopes and I used to think it was a limitation of games. San Andreas was full of slopes and descends and I was grateful for it. Probably slopes need a seperate physics coding so that cars get slower or something. Vice City and III had some slopes but not steep as San Andreas was.

Playing Harry Potter 5 after finishing HP1/2/3 for countless times. It went from this:



To this:



First time playing Skyrim (first ever RPG open world game I've ever played). It was a step-up from San Andreas graphically and of course it was different. I didn't know much about RPG games upto that point but this game hooked me to the genre and thankfully I managed to discover more games like that in following years so I owe that to skyrim
 

NahaNago

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I'd have to go with ps1 as well. Tekken 3 and those FF games were just too crazy. Watching that FF8 intro over and over again. Being wowed by the world of ff9.

I did play nes and snes back in the day but I was too young to be thoroughly impressed by the graphics.
 
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Nov 30, 2013
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Chrono Trigger comes to mind.

The leap from PS3 to PS4. I played Tomb Raider Definitive Edition as my first game on my PS4. It wowed me with how great it looks. To this day it still looks amazing. Not only that I reached the diminishing returns where graphics don't wow me anymore.

I still think the PS1 - PS2 Era is the best era when it comes to JRPGs. So many great games I played on both systems.
 
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Apr 21, 2021
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Making my first shootdodge in bullet time with Max Payne 1 on PC way back still sticks out to me. It felt other worldly to do it.

Thanks to the Radio Shack in the nearby mall they sold it early by 3 days. Still have my big box and mousepad :)
 

AJUMP23

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Beating Bionic Commando with my brother and seeing a curse word in a game for the first time.

NES Ice hockey with my brother and friends. I think we were unbeatable. Making up rules like All Fats or All Skinny's. Using no friction.

Learning how to beat Castlevania 2 at the Bowling alley while bowling against the other team, and the guy on the other team talking about the Orbs and kneeling.

Convincing our mom to walk out of Walmart with SMB3, the first day we saw it. Game was worth the begging.

Watching our Vic 20 start compiling the code we had typed in (our mom did most of the work) for a tank game, only to have our little sister trip over the power cord and unplug the computer. Broke our hearts.

Playing Halo 2 for the first time online and winning some rounds. Hearing others talk to you.

Getting my N64 on launch day with my own money and playing Mario 64. A true masterpiece.
 

A.Romero

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First time I saw a NES running Mario Bros
Playing TMNT at the arcades
Playing Jazz the Jackrabbit for the first time on PC
Playing Doom and Duke Nukem for the first time on PC (I got to play with a friend over dial up)
First time I saw Pilotwings on a video
Playing Chrono Trigger and using techs
Star Fox, both the original and the N64 release
Goldeneye's first mission... Even the intro felt amazing (just like the movies!!!!)
The first time I played MGS
Resident Evil Intro
Playing Half Life for the first time (the non cutscene intro was amazingly fresh back then)
Playing FF7 for the first time. Those FMV's!
Setting up a LAN and playing Unreal Tournament and Age of Empires with friends
That MGS2 trailer
Driving around Vice City
MGS3's halo jump
First time I played Motorstorm
Halo 2's first couple of hours
First time I played Battlefield 1942, felt like a real war conflict (to my civilian eyes, of course)
Jumping down a black hawk while playing Desert Combat (BF1942's mod)
Being surrounded by explosions while playing BF2 (Strike at Karkand)
First time I played Company of Heroes, cinematic strategy!
First time I played Rome: Total War and controlled a huge army
The train scene Uncharted 2
The cementery MGS4
The plane scene Uncharted 3
Bombing a suburb from within a burger joint CoDMW2
The Last of us' intro
The jeep chase in Uncharted 4
Running through the hallway in P.T.
MGSV's intro (hospital)


There are so many... the more I think about it, the more come to mind.
 

Markio128

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The PS1 was the console that dropped my jaw for the 1st time. Wipeout when Firestarter kicked in. Ridge Racer was like playing an arcade machine. GT ‘Moon over the Castle’. So many amazing moments. PS1 without doubt set the bar for 3D console gaming.
 

DadEggs

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I had unintendedly taken some time off from videogames in college and was ready to get back into it. I bought a ps3 and was ready to jump back in with my first game GOW3. It wowed me right off the bat and sucked me right back into gaming. twas glorious.
 
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MastAndo

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I know this is a nostalgia thread and I've got plenty of examples of that, but most recently NBA2K14 as a launch title for the PS4 blew me away (and still does). I'm still not sure what happened to that graphics/lighting engine.
 

kunonabi

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Playing the Super Mario 64 demo

Seeing Sonic Adventure on the Dreamcast for the first time.

Virtual Fighter 3(visuals) and X-Men vs Street Fighter(shock value) in the arcades

Silent Hill 3

Pretty much it.

Not so much a wow moment but playing Super Mario Galaxy reignited my love for games when I was about to drop the hobby entirely.
 
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NeoIkaruGAF

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Playing the SNES and the PSOne at home for the first time. I never felt new hardware emotion in the same way ever again. The unboxing, the new console smell, the pads, loading the games... both times it was like starting up a new era of my life. I got my SNES on Christmas day, too - the only time I got a home console for Xmas.
 

Krizalidx11

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Witcher 2 2012, playing 1440p/60fps with medium High graphics was a reality check after years of low res 30fps on consoles with all those aliasing and shimmering all over the screen was a true shock, since then consoles failed to impress me in graphics fidelity
 

Aion002

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Ps2 Final Fantasy X playing at a game store.

cole sprouse GIF


Ps3 FFXIII First "gameplay" trailer:

Tim And Eric Omg GIF


Ps3 FFXIII real gameplay reveal trailer:

season 3 dj GIF by NETFLIX


Ps4 FFXV "not versus" trailer:

Season 3 Nbc GIF by The Office
 

NinjaBoiX

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Super Mario World - it looked so much like an actual cartoon!

Mario Kart - that mode 7 scrolling was next level at the time

Hunter (Amiga) - the real precursor to GTA, so much freedom!

Doom - just wow

MGS1 - it’s like an actual movie!

SM64 - the whole 3D thing was mind blowing at the time

LoZ: OOT - as above

F-Zero GX - so fucking fast!

WipEout 2097 - so fucking cool

Gears of War - grafix plus the cover mechanic
 
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dvdvideo

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This was fucking magic...

OMG I had this and no idea what it was called. Reminds me a bit of that arcade game that used real video you drove over top of. Also some weird device that you played number games on? There was as grid on it....hard to describe.
 
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Raven117

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Music wise (other than just having nostalgia for the 8bit stuff), Chrono Trigger, FFVI (man, FFVI back when it released was like...incredible....felt so serious, so massive), and Secret of Mana. All absolutely s-tier.

Graphics. Super Mario World...the richness of the color compared to the 8 bit stuff was just jaw dropping. ALso, Call of Duty on 360. Saw it at a best buy (having not played a video game for most of the ps2 generation), and was wowed.
 

01011001

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I remember going to a local store and seeing Dreamcast games for the first time... first thing that I marveled at was at how round street corners in Tokyo Highway Challenge (Tokyo Xtreme Racer) were... way more polygons, well less obvious edges. it was a weird thought but it wowed me.

I literally said to my mother, who wasn't versed enough in video games to get why this game would look so good to me, something like "mom do you see that street corner? look how round it looks! almost no edges!" in a very excited tone...

for todays standards of course, they are very low poly lol
 
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Kdad

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OMG I had this and no idea what it was called. Reminds me a bit of that arcade game that used real video you drove over top of. Also some weird device that you played number games on? There was as grid on it....hard to describe.
Hmmm..not sure what that numbers game would be...i had merlin, simon, bunch of mattell handhelds etc...all gone sadly haha and 100s of dollars to buy them now :)
 

BlackTron

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Sonic 1 on Genesis. To this day I still think Sonic has some of the best sound effects ever.

Yoshi's Island and Mario RPG on SNES -both subverted my expectations in both graphics and gameplay, given the many SNES games I had played before them. Yoshi was just about the best platformer ever with surprisingly new (and tight) mechanics, and the art style was both gorgeous and unique. SMRPG was my first RPG, and the 3D areas/movement surprised me.

Mario 64 -the first time I saw its opening with lakitu spinning around the castle at a demo kiosk is perhaps the most megaton moment in gaming in my entire life.

Ocarina of Time -getting to Hyrule Field. Enough said.

Dreamcast -it took everything great about 90's gaming and packaged it as a final swansong to the era. God damn Sonic Adventure, Soul Calibur, Phantasy Star Online, Grandia II and Rayman 2. I sunk SO much time in those games, to say nothing of the other ones I didn't play for more than 10 hours but were still extremely impressive (Ready2Rumble, Hydro Thunder, demo disks and others.) Sonic and PSO especially have the most incredibly good music and sound effects.

Gamecube, Star Wars Rogue Squadron II. Exactly the game I wanted. Without it, the GC launch would have been pretty bad to me. Smash came shortly after, and it was utterly ridiculous how much better it was in every way compared to the original. Unfortunately, GC went downhill pretty fast from there. Sunshine was awkward, I hated Sonic Heroes' floaty controls (I returned it, first time I ever returned a game), I was excited about PSO but SEGA and Nintendo made the experience horrible compared to my DC memories...

I was also extremely impressed with Starcraft II's look at max settings when it came out (not that I could run it like that myself, lol). In terms of console, Rogue Squadron II and Smash Melee were really the last times I was ever truly shocked at the improvement.
 
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[Sigma]

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Sega Dreamcast in terms of systems. I remembered being wowed by Sonic Adventure at Walmart when i played it for the first time. And I just thought the little VMU was the coolest thing ever. Sega Dreamcast remanins a special console to me despite it's commercial failure, played plenty of great games on it.