I started this project exactly five months ago yesterday, and today marks the conclusion to my first console venture. I’m not really sure how to write this post, hell, part of me wasn’t sure I’d even have to. I guess I’ll start it off just like any other…
My earliest memories are of me playing my NES, on my little TV in my little red plastic chair. My mom worked at a video store when I was young, and during the summer I’d go with her and sit behind the counter, plugging in rental systems and picking games off the shelf. For a tiny gamer I was truly living the dream. I also meant I got first crack any new games that were coming out, notably Sonic 2 and 3.
I remember my mom looking at the game boxes, and the on screen warning, telling me to MAKE SURE I tell her immediately if I start experiencing any muscle spasms or eye twitching or… seizures… These were interesting times.
When I wasn’t lining up empty rental boxes like dominoes I was almost exclusively playing NES games. Everything from GI Joe to Base Wars, a baseball games wherein your team was comprised of giant robots who would sometimes fight.
At home it was all Mario and Mega Man, with a bit of Kickle Cubicle mixed in for good measure. My whole family played games. Before we had a NES in the house my parents would sit and play Master System games like Ghostbusters and Fantasy Zone. The memory alone has me shopping around for a Power Base Converter, if not a Master System itself. We had an NES around the same time we had a Sega Genesis, and while my parents would whip out the notebook for Might & Magic: Gates to Another World on Sega’s console, my cousins and I were would be held up in the bedroom taking turns on Super Mario 2. I think, in that regard, I was lucky, as even now my family has a reasonable understanding of my
Sadly, once we got an SNES in the house and my dad and I discovered the unparalleled joy that is Super Mario World, the NES was forever relegated to dust collection duty…
I was actually probably more excited going into the NES than I am going out. I am SO ready for some 16-bit gameplay at this point. Still, I wanted to go in and find some gems that I missed as a child, and I definitely accomplished that! I knew I’d be spending the back half of this one playing most of the games I remember growing up, and may have even played recently, but it was the front half that I was hoping would deliver.
What I wanted in the NES were some fun games that ranked low in complexity. I knew all about “NES Hard” going into this, and that held true for sure.
Finally, I wanted to go into this hoping to prove to myself that “retro” didn’t have to mean “quaint”. We all like to talk about these old games and how AMAZING they are compared to today’s selection, but the reality is most of us wouldn’t really be all that entertained if all we had to play was Super Mario and Legend of Zelda. I certainly wouldn’t tell anyone I didn’t hate to play Final Fantasy I over, say, 4 or 6.. or 5… 3… maybe 2…