A couple of days ago, I found myself in an interesting situation. I found, that I had no desire to play my next-gen games. Hell, I didn’t even want to play my PS2. No, I wanted to play something 2D, and not the 2D with a 3D twist like Odin Sphere, but something truly classic, retro. Something … Mario.
I reached for my technology bin, which is cleverly hidden underneath my bed, and reached for my Super NES. After blowing the dust off and setting it up, I was pleased to find that it still worked. Initially, the hard choice came in finding a game to start with. I still have all my old SNES games, mostly for the sad fact that I can’t get more then 89 cents for them at my local Game Crazy.
After scanning, I found the one that I wanted — the one game that started my gaming carrier. My earliest memory with videogames is the first level in Super Mario World. I was 5, and I was feverishly excited by the fact that, by pressing buttons, I could jump on turtles and pop them out of their shell.
I would later find that this does not apply to real life.
When I found out about Yoshi, my 5-year-old life was blown away. I remember the joy I got when I made Yoshi eat an apple, and the laughter I got when I would watch my grandmother try as hard as she could to get on Yoshi, only to fail miserably, throw down the controller, and say words my Mother would say not to use.
Super Mario World became my catalyst, and as the years past, and more and more time was consumed by games, and the greater my parents’ concern grew over that time, my videogame carrier can be traced back to Super Mario World, and the joy and reward it gave me. So, I found it rather befitting that I should pop in the game that started it all.
I blew the cartridge, and flicked the switch. The simple tune of the SNES intro was enough to get me started for an epic journey into my past. I was surprised to find that I still had a save file for this game, and amazed that the SNES still retained all the information for a game I have not played in 10 years or more. I decided to start a new game though, for I desired the full experience.
Everything was as I remembered. The buttons felt comfortable and familiar. Every secret tunnel or area was remembered. In high school, I had a hard time remembering math equations I’d learned the day before. It’s funny that I remembered all the secrets and button schemes from a game I have not played since I was nine.
SMW is a 2D-scroller at its finest. Challenging, but certainly surmountable. Every cannon bullet fired at me and mushroom I collected was a constant reminder as to why I love games so much.
When I was little, nothing else mattered when I was playing that game, and I guess, a little bit of that thought process has stayed with me. When life is brining me down, all I have to do is pop in my Call of Duty or GTA, and nothing else matters.
Super Mario World reminded me what games use to be like. Graphics were not so much the huge focus it is today, it was about game play. I was about challenging and fun level designs, it was more about, what does the played need to do skillfully, to beat this section? Now a days, that seems to be a bit loss. Do not get me wrong, there are plenty of current games that do that, but much has been loss to the ‘graphics’ war.
I guess that is why I am a fan of the Wii. Say what you want about the Wii, — I know it is not the best console — but Nintendo did something wonderful by forcing people to think outside the box.
Pop in your “first game” sometime. Look at the differences between old school and current generation, because this is the only way to see how far we have come, as in industry and as a daily consumer.
Our needs have changed, and the game industry has changed much to keep up with these demands. I don’t know, maybe I’m just nostalgic — I don’t even think I am old enough to be nostalgic — but it is always good to sit back, kick in an old game, and realize how simple your demands use to be.
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