It was 1996. My family had just returned from the store where we traded our Sega Genesis for cash. We used that cash to purchase a brand new PlayStation. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much left for a game. We picked the cheapest one we could find: Tail of the Sun.
My brothers and I hooked up our new wonder system and excitedly sat on the floor, inches away from the TV screen. I remember it well, the feeling of denial, of creeping buyer’s remorse. After the wow factor of 3D graphics faded, we were left with a bewildering game. A game where your character would randomly collapse into an exhausted slumber. A game that featured little feedback, no concrete objectives, and endless open fields sparsely populated with prehistoric creatures. This is what we traded our Genesis for?
Released today, Tail of the Sun would be called quirky, artsy, or maybe just really Japanese. It might have been endearing to an older gamer, but at 13, I was unimpressed and a little disappointed. It was a bad first impression for a system I had high hopes for. Thankfully things turned around when I got my hands on Crash Bandicoot, Twisted Metal, Metal Gear Solid and Ape Escape.
I remember all of my first games with system purchases (Mario on NES, Mercs for Genesis, PowerStone on Dreamcast, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time for Xbox, to name a few), because those are the games that set the tone. They get you excited about the expensive piece of equipment you just bought, get you thinking about the possibilities. They stick with you, for better or worse.
But sometimes you get a Tail of the Sun. Ever get a bad first impression of a system based on the game you got with it? What game changed your mind?