While browsing the shelves of my local GameStop, I was halted by a sudden question. What year is it? I had stumbled upon the cult classic FPS (First-Person Shooter) Wolfenstein, and its promise to be revamped for the next-gen systems. With only a vague memory of the original Wolfenstein which was released in 1992 by id Software, it intrigued me. I recalled being totally mesmerized while watching my older brothers play the original shareware version on our first computer. Watching them run through the halls of Castle Wolfenstein was thrilling to me as I bear witness to them mowing down anyone who got in their way. This was the first time I had ever seen a video game such as this, it was unlike anything I had ever seen, it was something special…and fantastically bloody.
Looking back now as an avid FPS player, I know the importance of this game, it set the grounds for FPS games. To see this legend returning was incredible, so without hesitation I preordered it there on the spot. Upon playing the game for the first time, I was blown away. The game’s combat system boasts the same over-the-top, duel-wielding tech as Goldeneye, coupled with a grotesque and gory death style for the enemies. This game echoed my early years of gaming, in what other game could I walk down a hallway with an automatic shotgun in each hand mowing down Nazis? Needless to say, playing the game countless hours has pushed me to find and replay the originals on their respective platforms as a result of renewed nostalgia.
Not soon after my meeting with the game that set up the FPS genre, I was reunited with another old friend. SURGE. As a kid I remember drinking nothing but the nuclear waste green colored sugar kick at my friend Sean’s house. I mean sure it looks like Shrek pissed into a can but seriously, this soda is still just as delicious as I remember and holds a special place in my heart. When I initially heard that it was to return from its almost twelve-year hiatus from Coke’s lineup, I knew I had to have some. I was able to find and purchase some on Amazon.com thanks to the information online. I could feel the green nectar of the Gods surging through my veins as I drank the whole case in a matter of days. I must admit, I was able to relive my youth with a bag of Doritos, SURGE, and DOOM. So I must say thank you again, Coke, for instilling me with your kryptonite green soda once more, and for the love of Zod, do not take it away.
Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better, the movie industry dropped a mega-sized bomb on me. Jurassic World. I mean seriously, you’re telling me I get to kill Nazis in an over the top fashion, drink my beloved SURGE and watch Dinosaurs go wild in a theme park once more? To make a long story short, I went and saw it opening day with my girlfriend and in a nutshell, the movie kicked some prehistoric ass. The movie was great from start to finish and the characters were very enjoyable, dinosaurs included. What the film did exceptionally well was nod at its predecessors. Throughout the film, the creators placed small momentos from the others, especially focusing on the first. From the character Lowery wearing a Jurassic Park shirt, to Zach and Gray finding the original welcome center for Jurassic Park and taking one of the original Jeeps. They went even as far as letting the T-Rex (badass of the century) smash through a skeleton of the Spinosaurus, stating its dominance. The movie was a breath of fresh air, yet also kept the series alive through embracing nostalgia from 20 years prior. Jurassic World is a must see and does the series justice.
As all of these events transpired, I kept them in the back of my mind. For over a year they stayed there and culminated until it all came full circle. There I stood again in GameStop, as I drank a can of SURGE, I preordered DOOM and Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. It was in that moment it hit me, “what year is it?” It caused me to ask myself and the world, “Is it the 90s?” For here I am in 2015 but SURGE is being sold in stores again, DOOM and Wolfenstein are back better than ever, and Jurassic Park is the top grossing film in the box office. Now what year is it I ask, because it feels an awful lot like the 90’s, and I’d be damned if it doesn’t feel right.