…And screaming for my inner child to come out and play.
Growing up in the early 90’s I loved Nintendo and Sega equally. I loved games like Turtles in Time, Sonic the Hedgehog, X-men, Kid Chameleon, Strider, and Earthworm Jim. Platforming was the only game genre I was aware existed. This all ended one day when my dad’s best friend came over to the house.
Why Didn’t I Have A Computer Too?
We were late adopters of the personal home computer. I remember begging my dad for one on a regular basis. We had computers at school, and we had computers at the library. There were computers at all of my friends houses, and I was pretty confident that the transformers were also computers (at one point I also asked my parents for a tractor beam after watching the Transformers movie, this was my logic). But alas we were late adopters of the personal home computer. All I wanted was to play King’s Quest and Oregon Trail!
When we finally did get a computer, I went insane with excitement for I had a new toy that would be all mine. Finally I would be able to solve those majestic King’s Quest puzzles and maybe even convince my parents that Doom was an OK game for a young impressionable child to partake in. I don’t think I ever got “the King’s Quests”, like my dad called it. I actually remember having very few games on that old white box. There is one resounding memory I do recall though, it had to do with spaceships…. I LOVED THOSE SPACESHIPS!
This is Where It All Changed
My dad’s best friend came over frequently to show off his fun new toys to my dad. My dad’s friend was a huge nerd who loved all the things I have since fallen in love with myself. He would show us his crazy hand painted action figures (Warhammer miniatures), his old guy comics (issue number 0 of Spider-Man), and if I was lucky he would show us a PC game that was usually very inappropriate for me to be watching.
This is the man who would change my life. He made me realize sitting in front of the TV to play a game was not the only choice. This man converted me to the cult of the “PC Master Race”. This man introduced me to 2 games that changed/ruined my life. This man showed me Wing Commander III and Descent. Wing Commander was great but Descent became the epicenter of my fragile little ecosystem. This game made me realize what stress and anxiety and twitchy fingers were all about. I loved Descent with all of my little boy heart.
Have you ever played a game that mixed the frustration of a flight simulator with the excitement of a first-person shooter all while being on a roller coaster with a bomb strapped to the front car? Developed by Parallax Software (which later split and became Deep Silver and Outrage Entertainment), Descent was the first time I had ever seen a game that really made me feel like I was living the space pilot’s dream.
In Descent You take the reins on a mission for the Post Terran Mining Corporation. It seems that all of their wonderful mining bots have been infected with some sort of crazy robot virus and you are the only one who can stop their rampage. Go out and explore all of the mining locations from the Moon to Pluto, all while committing robot genocide for big brother because it seems they neglected to imagine a day when the robots would turn against their creators. Now did you destroy everything in your sight? Good, now locate the 3 keys needed to unlock the mine’s reactor. Once that is done escape the mine with just enough time for you to flawlessly navigate out of these insanely intricate labyrinths with no room for error. FRUSTRATION!
Oh the memories, oh the sweat, and the tears. Descent, you truly made me embrace the idea that “difficult means fun“.
Steam You Beautiful Bastard
Descent is a very dated game with dated 3d gameplay, and dated controls. Descent is also the grandfather and inspiration to the 3D fly around and blow crap up genre. So many people (young gamers I am looking at you) would have completely missed out on this experience. Luckily Steam wants to be your gaming Messiah and has done us all a favor. Yes it looks like 1995 threw-up all over this game, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
You can now purchase Descent for a mere
$6.99 $3.99 (at the time I wrote this). Yes this game has been available on the Wii Virtual Shop for some time now, but there is just no substation for a PC, a flight stick, and if you happen to own an old CRT monitor go ahead and hook that up for good measure. If you have never played Descent, go buy it. If you have played it you undoubtedly love this game and need to go buy it. In fact buying this retro jewel is probably the best thing you could do with your hard-earned money.
[button link=”http://store.steampowered.com/app/273570/” target=”_blank” color=”white” shape=”rounded” size=”small” align=”left”]Descent on Steam[/button]
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