What’s up, everyone?! Mike here with another visit to the Videogame Shoebox!
The next few sessions are going to involve the first games I played on specific consoles and this week, I’m going to get absolutely legless…and armless…and neckless.
That’s right! Rayman!
I love Rayman, the limbless, fist-throwing french platforming giant from developer Ludimedia, publisher Ubisoft and famed game director Michel Ancel has had a bunch of great games to his name over the years. A couple of stinkers as well, but we’ll save those for another episode.
There’s not an awful lot to say about the game itself other than the fact that it has rock-solid platforming, artwork and character designs that are super inspired, catchy music and oh yeah, Rayman has no limbs! How does he punch?! How does he climb?! How does he stand?! Most importantly, how the hell can he rotate his hair independently of every other part of his body AND do it at such a speed that it allows him to glide?
Of all of the games that I’ve played over the years this is one that I still manage to hold in high regard, not just as a gem that was great at the time but also as one that totally holds up and is enjoyable to this day. Despite the fact that its over 20 years old at this point, the original Rayman on PS1 is still great and I urge you to try it your self if you haven’t already on one of the MANY platforms it has been ported to over the years.
It was the first game I played on the Sony Playstation along with 4 others which I will undoubtably get to one day.
Allow me to set the scene. It’s Christmas 1996, the Playstation has been out for over a year and a bunch of my friends have already got one. I’ve just recently turned 10 and of course, I’m sure it’s a conspiracy against my own personal happiness that I don’t have one. I did chores and constantly (in my mind, cheekily and subliminally) reminded my parents of the ONLY thing I would like to receive.
My younger brother and I are finally allowed to enter the lounge room at 7am and of course, like any other little shit, I immediately scan the sizes of the gifts for those that closely resemble that of what it is I am seeking.
There is one that fits my detailed files.
Of course, I’m excited and immediately want to sprint over, tear that paper off and hold the box aloft like I’m presenting a newly born Simba, but I didn’t want to spoil the morning for my parents and brother by starting with the show-stopper and then potentially being bummed out by the other gifts. So I played the long con. My plan was to open every other gift and get gradually more excited until the crescendo when I open the mystery box and proceed to go absolutely berserk.
Until it happened.
I opened a smaller gift. Totally innocuous in its size or shape, such was my folly.
It was a collection of 5 games wrapped together as one.
For the Sony Playstation.
I didn’t falter though, I kept the game going.
“That’s weird” I said aloud, on purpose, with my brow furrowed just a little bit to make it look like I was confused. “I just got some Playstation games, I don’t have a Playstation”.
I was a little shit, but I was at least a courteous little shit.
“Oh no!” I heard my Dad yell from the hall as he returned from the bathroom.
I clearly wasn’t supposed to open that gift yet, it must have gotten mixed in or they just forgot to hide it. To his credit though, Dad didn’t miss a beat.
“Father Christmas must have mixed it up with another Michael, I’ll make sure he gets it back”
That was mostly for the benefit of my brother, who was 6 at the time and still very much in “Father Christmas” age.
I continued on, it was a minor speed-bump but was not enough to need to adjust the plan.
Eventually only one remains.
I gently un-taped the corners and unfolded the paper and there it was.
“OH WOW! A PLAYSTATION!”
“Oooh!” My mother exclaimed, that’s what you’ve been asking for isn’t it? Aren’t you lucky?!”
“Yeah! and Father Christmas accidentally gave me another Michael’s games, but I can have them instead because I have a Playstation now”
I may have been a courteous little shit, but I was still a little shit.
That’s it for this edition of the Videogame Shoebox, join me next time when I’ll be dusting off some more games from yester-year. Be sure to let me know in the comments or on twitter @MikeNotridge any games you’d like to see on here.
I’ve been Mike Notridge, and I will see you, next time.
What’s in your Videogame Shoebox?