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Unbiased? I'm afraid not...

Unbiased? Unlikely.

Many of us, since the first day we picked up a controller, chose a system due to a certain game or games, and named it as the best system. Many of us would defend that system to the death in an argument involving the topic of what system is better. And many of us didn't have the opposing system. How many of you out there can truly say that you never got into a fight with your best friend over video games when you were little?

My first console was the 16-bit Sega Genesis. I had played a few games on the ol' NES and the SNES, but before I had purchased the Genesis in 1993, I had never expressed any real interest in console systems. I was gripped into Ultima and AD&D games on the PC, and NES RPG's paled in comparison at the time. I spent almost all my spare time in Ultima IV: Quest for the Avatar on my old Commodore 128, which had a sound track that blew away many other RPG sound tracks in my opinion. When Ultima VI: The False Prophet was released for the PC in 1990, I was really hooked, and it drew me farther and farther from consoles. Sure, I'd occasionally play a game of Super Mario Brothers or Rescue Rangers, but I kept my distance for the most part.

When I got my Genesis for Christmas in 1993, I recieved many games such as Mortal Kombat, Jurassic Park, etc. etc., and not a single one of them was an RPG. Reason was, I didn't have any interest in console RPGs at the time. I was STILL hooked in Ultima 6. However, my dad had given me a subscription to EGM that Christmas, and a few months down the road, when I was looking through the magazine, I saw a little page with Phantasy Star: The End of the Millenium for the MegaDrive (the Japanese Genesis counterpart). When I saw the pictures and read a little about the storyline, I knew I had to have that game. At the time, I had growing interest in anime, and because I was denied a Sega CD to get Lunar: The Silver Star (another Sega RPG that got my attention), Phantasy Star was my choice.

It was a long wait, but in Christmas of '94, Phantasy Star 4 was finally released for $100! I was shocked and had a very hard time convincing my parents to get it. When I got it, I beat the game in 5 days, but I was hooked every moment of the game, and it changed my perspective of console RPGs forever. It was truly a new experience for me. I actually had a few tears when one of the characters died in the game. Never had I been so touched by a video game before.

Now, what do the previous three paragraphs have to do with anything? Simple. I immediately got the attitude that the Genesis was "it", and it had the best RPGs, best games, yadda yadda yadda, and Super NES "sucked" in comparison, all because of my experience from Phantasy Star. The only game I really even touched on SNES was Secret of Mana (one of my fav. games of all time), and everything else just "sucked".

When the 32-bit systems showed up, obviously, my choice was going to be the Saturn. And why was that? Can I truly say that it was because of games coming on the Saturn that influenced my decision? No, because that would be a lie. Really, the games that I had played beforehand on my Genesis made me feel that the Saturn would be even better because of the newer technology. I was biased in choosing the next system. At the time, I completely ignored the PSX. I didn't even care what was going to be on the PSX, the Saturn was simply going to be "it". N64 was even farther in my mind, mainly because it launched much later, but again, Sega in my mind was THE company, and anything else was just "inferior".

Now the 128-bit systems are coming, and we all have the decision of either purchasing a Dreamcast, PSX2, or the Dolphin. Can I truly say that my experiences with the Genesis and Saturn won't affect my decision? Of course not, I most likely will purchase the Dreamcast over the other two, mainly because I enjoyed the previous two Sega systems so much. I never really experienced a lot of joy from the non-Sega systems, quite possibly because I never owned any of them and only played a little bit at a friend's house.

Those of you who never owned a Sega system, can you truly say that you will be unbiased in your decision on whether to purchase a Dreamcast this September? Those of you who never owned a Sony system, can you truly say that you will be unbiased in your decision on whether to purchase the PSX2 come next year? Those of you who never owned a Nintendo system, will you be unbiased regarding the upcoming Dolphin? I don't think so. Your experiences with your systems, whether it be PSX, Saturn, or N64, will greatly influence your choice. Saturn owners will most likely snag the Dreamcast, PSX owners will most likely wait for the upcoming PSX2, and N64 owners will most likely get the Dolphin. Those of you who owned multiple systems, are most likely going to get the system whose predecessor gave him/her the most enjoyment, i.e. those who loved the Saturn best will get DC first, those who loved the PSX most will get PSX2 first, etc. etc.

Basically, I'm trying to say that being 100% unbiased is pretty much impossible. I like Spaghetti more than any other food. If I had never eaten either Lasagna or Tuna Casserole, and I had a choice between the two for dinner, I would most likely choose Lasagna, merely because it's much more closely related to Spaghetti.

Each of us have experienced games and systems in a different way. Trying to say that you will make a decision regarding the purchase of a new system without bias is like saying you will choose between your favorite food and your least favorite food on the merits of nutrition over taste. It's highly unlikely.

I for one, admit to being a Sega fan. And I will be one forever, because I for one, admit to being biased. And I will always be biased in favor of Sega, all because of my experiences with Sega systems. Does it mean I will never buy another company's system? No. But Sega will always be my favorite, quite possibly because of the memories I've gotten after years of gameplay on Sega systems. Nintendo, Sony, and any other company that might release a system can never take those away from me. And whenever I have a choice between a system, I will look more favorably towards a Sega system than any other.

Now, if you can truly say that you are 100% unbiased, raise your hand. Hmm...I thought so.

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