The lights are on
Admit it. There’s some big game you haven’t played yet, a collector’s edition you let slip through your fingers, or an event you realize in retrospect you just should have been at. Don’t worry. You aren’t alone.
We decided to share our biggest missed opportunities with you. So get some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the schadenfreude.
Ben HansonMy freshman year in college in 2005 placed me in a tiny dorm room with three strangers. It was awkward. Everything turned around when we discovered we all love RTS games. We fired up Starcraft: Brood War and Warcraft 3 and played a couple of great matches until it all came crumbling down.
My roommates discovered some mod for Warcraft 3 called "DOTA" or some forgettable name like that and never wanted to play a standard RTS match again. Instead of diving down this rabbit hole at the ground floor with them, I replayed Harvest Moon on SNES and Pokemon FireRed on my GBA.
Their excitement grew and DOTA consumed every conversation, I was kept up every night by the sounds of Goblin Techies repeating the same line over and over again. Bitter over the lack of Starcraft LAN matches, I acted like I was above this local trend and decided to wait until the whole DOTA craze died down. It is now 2014.
Tim TuriStarting with games like Journey and Demon’s Souls, gamers started talking about the magic and mystery of anonymous help from other players. While those games are wonderful, I experienced those fuzzy feelings years earlier when playing Resident Evil Outbreak online on my PlayStation 2.
The four-player co-op game injected multiplayer into the classic, punishing Resident Evil formula. It was unlike any other online experiences of the time, and there’s still nothing quite like it. I remember waiting out a self-destruct countdown until the last minute hoping a fellow survivor might show up, only to be overjoyed when one showed up and helped me beat the final boss.
The Outbreak games even let players come back from the dead as zombies to attack players that were perhaps too selfish. Sadly the servers have been shut down and no LAN options are available. Some dedicated Capcom fans have managed to get the Japanese version working online again, but there’s no word on getting the North American version up and running again.
I regret not playing more Outbreak while it was functioning. If I had the foresight then I would’ve spent far more time exploring Raccoon City with my friends.
Kyle HilliardWhen I was very young, just starting out with video games, my mother was visiting a friend and brought me along. Her friend had children, but they weren’t home, so I looked through their Super Nintendo collection trying out each game, every single one of which was new to me.
After playing a few completely forgettable platformers, I tried out Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest. I entered a save that had already been started, and found myself looking at a group of characters from the overhead perspective. I walked them around a castle a bit, but was disappointed I couldn’t jump or attack, so I moved on to the next game confused why anyone would think this was fun or interesting.
I’d like to think if the game’s owner were present, they might have given me some background on the game and explained why it was interesting, but without any guidance on that first experience, I wrote off the genre for a long time. It wasn’t until many years later when I was older and slightly wiser that I tracked down a copy of Final Fantasy II for the Super Nintendo and decided to commit.
I started the game from the beginning, and it clicked for me. I understood it. I moved on to Super Mario RPG and eventually Earthbound, though I wasn’t able to find Chrono Trigger until much later. I’ve always regretted not playing RPGs earlier in my video game education, but I’d like to think that I’ve done my best to make up for it.
Matt KatoI never had an SNES. At the time, I went for the Sega Genesis because of the sports games, but even later when I had more money, I should have gone back and got Nintendo's seminal system. As such, I missed what some consider the company's great era.
Kim WallaceMy biggest gaming regret is selling my Sega Genesis and all its games to buy a Nintendo 64. I didn’t get nearly as much use out of my N64 as I would have liked, and I miss a lot of those Genesis games.
I don’t blame myself too much. I was a kid with no income, and I just had to play Mario 64, which I had a blast playing. I just wish I would have been patient and waited for my parents buy it for me as a gift for a special occasion.
Ben ReevesIn the summer of 1995 all of my friends were obsessed with a cool-looking Japanese RPG called Chrono Trigger. The game had been created by a dream team of Square Enix designers who had worked on both the Final Fantasy Series and the Dragon Quest series. The game looked awesome – you could avoid enemy encounters and featured a unique time traveling narrative with a bunch of different endings.
The only problem was that I didn't have a SNES, so I busied myself with games like Earthworm Jim 2, Marvel Super Heroes, and Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. Years later, when I eventually did get a SNES, I started Chrono Trigger, but I had such a backlog that the RPG eventually fell to the wayside.
Over a decade later, I tried to pick it back up again on my DS, but after that system and game were stolen when I was only halfway through the story, I lost enthusiasm for Chrono Trigger. If only I could go back in time like the characters in the game and make myself finish Chrono Trigger the first time around!
Mike FutterI never should have traded in my Game Boy Advance SP. As much as I love my 3DS (and adored my DS, too), the GBA SP might be my favorite handheld. Its compact size and backlight make it perfect for keeping in your pocket. The fantastic library of games contains gems that are still great by today’s standards.
The only thing that might ease my pain is if Konami releases a compilation of the Castlevania titles (or if Nintendo somehow sees its way clear to putting GBA titles on the 3DS eShop). I hope whomever has my GBA SP is taking good care of it, because it took great care of me.
Feel free to share your most painful gaming missed opportunities and regrets in the comments.