So, in the last post, I've mentioned how I obtained my Tomb Raider II game for the brand new Sony console. I eventually finished the game with all the secrets, I made myself a hand written strategy guide and I finally got my own memory card. As I promised, I've lent the game to my friend Angelo after I completed it and he lent me his copy of Tekken 2, which I played quite a lot. Angelo was a really nice kid.
Within the next couple of months I was able to get a few more games to play. I don't remember exactly which ones were. I know my second game was Dragon Ball: Final Bout. Being a huge Dragon Ball fan, I obviously had to get that game. I saw the intro on a TV show and I couldn't believe how epic it was. That game was a Christmas gift. As soon as I inserted the game disc in the console and the opening intro started playing, my mind was blown. Unfortunately the game was not that good. It was extremely slow and the gameplay was poor, but I was still glad with it.
On that TV show about videogames that I used to watch, they started to talk about this really popular game which was already a huge hit in Japan and was coming to Europe. They mentioned that game in more than a single episode. They made quite a big fuss over it, but I wasn't impressed at all. To be honest, I was not even slightly interested. That was until March or April 1998.
My Grandmother used to give me a monthly allowance. I also had some money left from Christmas, so a few months later I had saved almost enough money to buy a brand new game. I just didn't know which one to pick. On a certain day my parents picked me from school and we went to a small local shopping center that had an electronics store. They didn't have a big stock of games but it was still nice to visit and I was trying to make up my mind about what to buy next.
Sitting on a shelve there was this weird, fat box with a rather uninteresting cover. When I originally started buying games for the PS1, those fat boxes had already been replaced by the smaller formats. Fat boxes were scarce. They were mostly available for multi-disc games and I didn't even know there were PlayStation games with more than a single disc. I picked that game merely out of curiosity. "What the heck is this?" was what was on my mind when I first picked it. As I turned the box around I instantly noticed three things about it that immediately caught my attention. The first thing was the price. I knew the game was just released because I had never seen it before. New games over here would all cost around 50 or 60 euros but that one was priced at just 45. The second thing was that small symbol saying the game had 3 discs. The last thing was... I immediately recognized the small gameplay screens. It was that game they were talking about a lot on that TV show. I also remembered how unappealing the game seemed to me, so I immediately placed in on the shelve.
We came back home for dinner and for some reason that game was stuck in my mind. I knew I was very limited to buy just a few games per year and at that time I was old enough to know exactly what I wanted. I was no longer buying games just because I needed something new to play. I had become more selective. I needed to buy good games that lasted as long as possible because I knew I couldn't buy another one so soon. The fact that the game has so many discs had me thinking... If it had three discs, it probably would take a lot of time to beat and that's something I was looking for. At that time I still didn't have enough money to buy a 60€ game, but I did have almost 50€, which was enough, so that had me thinking as well. The only thing that was bothering me a little was the fact that I didn't like that game when I saw it on TV.
I kept thinking about the game for a couple of hours before going to bed: "Maybe I should buy it... Maybe it's not that bad and I should give it a chance. It's 'cheap', it probably takes a lot of time to beat
and those guys on TV said the game is very good... yeah, maybe I should buy it." So that same night I asked my parents if we could go to the store again the next day so I could buy the game. The next day I've bought it. Needless to say, it was the best decision in my entire life.