I'm really feeling it!

How PlayStation Changed Video Games for Me

As with many gamers who's now in their Mid-20s and older, the 8-bit era and 16-bit era is when video games probably enter their life.

Unlike most kids around my age, there was no NES, SNES, or Sega Genesis in my house. Fortunately for me, there were consoles at my cousin's house. It was over at my cousin's house that I learn about Mario and Duck Hunt. It was at my cousin's house that I discover the joy of Double Dragon, Mario Kart and many other games. Games provided entertainment through simple platformers all the way to an epic tale on a JRPG.

Although I didn't get a console until a bit later in my life, I did end up with a PC towards the end of my childhood, and it has taught me the power of amazing graphics and RTS. While the 8-bit and 16-bit graphic had it's charm, PC graphic had my growing up in the 90s kid's mind blown away at how real everything look. For example, Rainbow Six Rogue Spear look so much better than the PlayStation counterpart.


Rainbow Six Rogue Spears - One of the first PC games I've owned.

My parents has always dislike the idea of buying video games, and with consoles being so expensive, that didn't help. My parents eventually cave into getting Gameboys for my brother and me. As a result, the Gameboy has taught me that grand adventures and fun doesn't have to be long and addicting, as long as it's fun.


Despite the limited gaming experiences I've had with all wonderful stories, characters, awesome gameplays, and memorable music, something was missing from games. But what? This allude me for a while...

Then one day, my brother borrow a game from one of his friend, Megaman X4. We didn't have a PlayStation, at the time, but I somehow managed to discover emulators and bios early in my age. After setting up the PC for the PlayStation Emulator, what followed next, my mind was not prepare, Full Motion Video, in a video game.


This is what's missing from all those cutscenes in the older Megaman X games. While the dialogue cutscenes were entertaining, FMV made cutscenes infinitely more enjoyable for me. Suddenly, running around defeating all those Mavericks had a purpose other than beating them for a cheesy dialogue scene. I was running around beating the Mavericks for the cheesy dialogue scene with animation. All my efforts and hardwork are rewarded with something I yearn for more. Iris's death and Zero's anguish could have not been so well convey through a dialogue scene. This was it.


The FMV didn't stop there, as more JRPG such as Breath of Fire IV, and Valkyrie Profile started incorporating them into their games, it became common for games to include some FMV. I was hooked, and grinding didn't seem as bad because I was striving to play games more for the story and more specifically to be rewarded with FMV cutscenes.

What made FMV cutscenes so special to me was the fact that after getting to know the character but hardly getting to see the emotions on their journey, FMV suddendly turn what appears to be a blank slate into an experience where the characters comes to life. I didn't want to be the protagonist but I do want to know his story, and his hardship. I can emphasize with the character when I play as the protagonist. But I cannot gauge a larger range of his character and emotions if I am in control all the time. This is where cutscenes come in, it allows to character to be themselves free from my influence, and FMV cutscenes can show me more about the game's characters rather than tell me.


Sadly, the N64, even though it's the first console I've ever owned, did not have FMV with a few exceptions. And if I was lucky, some of the games contain real-time cutscenes but they couldn't beat the quality FMV simply because the technology wasn't there.

Today, I still enjoy games with FMV but it's becoming less common as the technology evolved to a point where real-time cutscenes can do a good of a job as FMV. And that's okay because PlayStation help open the door to a very important piece of puzzle for gaming to me, amazing cutscenes that parallel cinematic scenes..


I take no credit for the two screenshots, I found them through Google Image.

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