Memories Of A Generation: Dominic

Prior to this generation, I’d never really been a Sony fan. I’ve never had a PS1, and had viewed them with a certain level of disdain as I absolutely loved my Sega Saturn and frankly couldn’t see why people were being drawn away from them by a company who, by my perception, didn’t even make games.

I’d had a PS2, but in my bedroom it had been in a distant fourth place in that generation behind my Dreamcast, Xbox and Gamecube. This carried over into the next generation as the Xbox 360 came out and I picked one up at launch and, later on, a launch Wii as well with both the DS and Sony’s PSP appearing in my collection too.

When the PS3 arrived it just didn’t seem like a necessary purchase, especially with its high price tag, lack of meaningful exclusives and (as I understood it) inferior versions of multi-platform games.

I was, in the majority, an Xbox gamer for the next six years and in that space of time I played many titles that I loved. However, with each update of the Xbox dashboard Microsoft seemed to be moving further and further away from what had originally attracted me to them, and with the final ‘Metro’ update I decided I’d had enough – seeing the ‘Game’ box relegated to a small corner while a quarter of the screen displayed a Lynx advert completely alienated me.

I went out and bought a PS3, and was immediately taken by the amazing exclusives I’d missed out on, the functional and focussed UI that I was accustomed to from the PSP and no adverts on the dashboard (apart from that recent Singstar logo). I was won over, and wholly so, as some of the finest games of the seventh generation have been Playstation exclusives. It speaks volumes that going into the eighth era my set-up consists of a PS3, PS4, PS Vita and a 3DS and I absolutely can’t wait to see what gaming memories Sony in particular generate in the coming years.

Monster Hunter Tri.

Monster Hunter Tri was my most played game of the last generation. I logged hundreds of hours and found myself regularly playing it till four or five in the morning when I had work the next day.  It was a hardcore online multiplayer game on a console that had no real online infrastructure, and by that virtue it shouldn’t even have worked.

It proved that you didn’t necessarily need all the bells and whistles of the HD consoles to enjoy a great community, and I’d meet up with my friends to play online using our mobiles on speakerphone as in-game chat. The graphics were remarkable for the Wii and Capcom supported the game all the way until its HD appearance on the Wii U. Alongside Xenoblade Chronicles this game completely made owning a Wii worthwhile for me.

Gears Of War.

Gung-ho, brash, loud and brilliant, Gears Of War was a generational standpoint where the capabilities of the Xbox 360 really became apparent. It helped that it was a great game too, and hugely enjoyable in co-op, becoming one of the few games of the last gen that I experienced sat alongside my friends, working as a team.

I’ve always preferred sci-fi and fantasy over games set in the ‘real world’ and the Gears Of War world and characters just worked for me. There’s its contribution to cover systems and various game mechanics to consider too but I doubt that means as much as the plain and simple fun it is to play.


Puzzle games and handhelds are a match made in heaven, and Lumines completely justified my purchase of a PSP. It’s mesmerising, both graphically and aurally, and I don’t think I will ever tire of playing it.

It was a wonderful showcase for the PSP’s screen as well, pulsing with colour and movement and, as with earlier generations, it highlighted just how cool and modern Sony’s system was when placed next to the offerings on Nintendo’s more child-like DS.

I remember taking my PSP on holiday, repeatedly hiding myself away in the kitchen while everyone else watched television and getting up in the middle of the night, just so I could take another run at my high score. When it appeared on 360 I bought it immediately, so I could play it on a big screen. Having thought about it I’ll play it tomorrow, eight years since it first came out.  It’s that good.

Rock Band.

My first experience of the rhythm game genre was Amplitude on the PS2. It was just a brilliant computer game that combined my love of music and gaming perfectly. While Guitar Hero 2 was my first peripheral-based take on the genre it was Rock Band that perfected it. Friends would come round for band practice, caterwauling through a great selection of songs that just kept growing and growing with one of the few examples of truly meaningful DLC.

I’ve played in real bands for the last fifteen years, but Rock Band allowed me to become a drummer when I’d never previously had the chance and I would sit and play into the early hours (though my wife made me buy the silencer pads after I did). The drummer in my current real band genuinely learnt how to drum by playing Rock Band and that’s an amazing outcome from playing a computer game.

Valkyria Chronicles.

I, as many of the TSA writers, originally had Uncharted 2 in this spot. While it’s easily one of my favourite games, and a game I’d wanted to play for a long time as a 360 owner, there was another PS3 exclusive that I’d looked at longingly for a considerable time, and which I bought the moment I got hold of Sony’s console – Valkyria Chronicles.

On reflection it is one of my strongest memories of this generation. It’s a tactical game, which I love, with a fantastic art style, from one of my all time favourite developers and publishers – Sega. Getting a PS3 just to play it would be an exaggeration, but it was a defining reason for having one, and as a game it completely lived up to and exceeded my expectations.

I think transitionally it was a classic Sega game, on Sony’s fantastic hardware and as such took in both the past and the future of my gaming life.


  1. Monster Hunter Tri is a game that I really wanted to love, but just couldn’t. I only ever played the single player. I decided that I was going to give it another go, but this time on 3DS and was gutted to find out the handheld version has no native multi-player support :(

    • It really makes no sense that the 3DS version doesn’t function online (at least not without owning a Wii U, and then you may as well be playing the HD version!). It’s still an enjoyable game but the online portion really makes the experience – I’m crossing my fingers that Capcom will see the light and bring it back to Playstation. There’s a least a possibility of it with the Wii U becoming less of an enticing prospect.

  2. Great to see Rock Band getting a mention – definitely one of the defining games of this generation, for me.

  3. I was wondering if Valkyria Chronicles would be mentioned in any of these articles. Definitely one of my best memories for last generation, if not one of the best games of last generation simply for bringing back classic mechanics with a superb story.

  4. I liked lumines and got into the vita one too!

  5. Nice article and great choice with Lumines! I first had it on a Sony Ericsson phone back in 2008, never having had a Nokia to experience the Snake addiction that was my first stint as a phone game addict! The PSP version is, like you say, utterly mesmerising and so cleverly structured to encourage strategy and repeated plays to learn new ways of dealing with the speed changes and recovery from the occasionally frantic stages. I’m gonna get my copy out today for a quick blast, you’ve inspired me!

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