Over the years I have played hundreds of different video games.
Of those hundreds of video games there havn't been many that I could truly hand on heart say that i've mastered.
My gameplay style is a usually a stumble and trip through the game world and then by law of averages if I spend enough time playing the game I will eventually somehow complete it.
For example in Metal Gear Solid 3 I came up against the notorious Boss "The End"
This guy is tough but if you are skilled you will be able to pop him off with a bit of skilled marksmanship......
I however, do not possess that kind of dexterity in any of the video games worlds that I inhabit, this lack of genuine skill meant that I tried countless times to beat The End with no joy whatsoever....
Eventually I gave up trying and went and played PES 4 for a week or two. Of course as some of you will know, if you leave the game long enough (or manipulate the PS2 clock) you will basically beat The End by default as he will pass away because such an old timer!
That kind of skill sums up my video games prowess but my lack of ability doesn't stop my enjoyment of the greatest medium on earth!
With all that in mind you can understand why for me to master a game it would be an immense achievement in itself.
So, which game have I managed to master after all these years?
Well I got very good at Pro Evolution Soccer 4 but I wouldn't say I mastered it to the point where no one could beat me. I was very hard to beat though!
Then you could also say I was awesome at Street Fighter II BUT only on the SNES with a SNES joypad could I truly say I was a blackbelt SFII legend (especially with Guile!). On the arcade version however I was a limp wristed button basher!
I completed every single part of Super Mario World but I wouldn't say I mastered it, a times SMW felt like it was mastering me and owning me, but I lapped it up as it was the single greatest platform game ever made,
Then there was the single hardest game I ever played through to the end SUPER GHOULS N GHOSTS.......completing this game wasn't mastery, it was a marathon of mental will and endurance crossed with determination and grit mixed with a massive dose of frustration!
So after thinking it through rather methodically I have reached the conclusion that the only game I truly mastered was.......
SUPER MARIO KART.........
Yes the grandaddy of Kart games was the game that I managed to memorise inside out. Every tight corner ,shortcut and racing line is ingrained into my grey matter due to my relentless playing of this truly remarkable game.
Super Mario Kart is fun if you are good at it or not BUT when you get even better at it, the fun reaches a whole new level!
I loved racing in single player mode vs my "GHOST" and shaving off that vital hundredth of a second from my lap time.
For me, Battle Mode was a competitive sport as my friends and I created our own battle mode league and tactics in the battle arenas were born.
This game had so much depth underneath it's cutesy racer veneer and I lapped it up and became a Mario Kart Blackbelt!
There's a seriously advanced jump on Ghost Valley which using a speed mushroom and a "jump bumper" you can cut a corner and gain 3 places.
This was a route that for some reason we called "The Glockenspeel Route" , if you could do this you were a true Mario Kart Don! I got so good at this it was second nature to me to nail it every time.
Yes, at this point in my life me (and my friends) were Super Mario Kart Masters......
Jump to 2015 and I had a go at Super Mario Kart for the first time in a while.....I was a bit rusty but it all came flooding back to me in no time......
The twitch reflexes were still there and my use of the power slide was second nature still....BUT during my Ghost Valley round I had the chance to nail the GLOCKENSPEEL ROUTE!!!
I had the speed mushroom in my armory......I saw the jump bumper and lined up my approach ...... boom! I unleashed the speed mushroom and totally fluffed my approach only to smashed into the side of the track and into the deep never ending abyss!!
Maybe my mastery hasn't stood the test of time after all, but at least the fishing Lakitu came to my aide as the reality sank in :)
What Video Game Could YOU Genuinely Say That YOU Have Truly Mastered?