My first system? NES. My first game? Super Mario Brothers. My first villian? A goomba. This one here. It was painful remembering how long it took me to get through the first level. I played over my cousin’s house watching her play. Her version of jumping was making the controller cable do a roll type move. When it was my turn and this guy came up to me I did her false motion controller move to be killed instantly. The sound of Mario dying was startling and sad.
My NES days consisted of Bubble Bobble, Super Mario 3, Ice Hockey, Bart Simpson vs. the Space Mutants, Marble Madness, and more. As technology advances there will be things lost from the world of old school gaming. Things of value that every gamer should experience. Yeah it was 8 bit (I know whatever that means), it may have been two dimensional and lacking in luster. But before we were all dazzled by how real something looked we were taken by the story, the journey, and the creativity of the game. Not that games now don’t possess a good story. But we are more aptly dazzled by how something looks than the quality. We buy it and try to experience it and are disappointed. Today most games seem pretty straight forward more realistic. But where else would you find a bubble blowing dragon going through a hundred levels to save his girlfriend? Where else would you find Bart wearing X-ray specs to see “aliens” ( I love that movie they live btw. It’s message is invaluable). You know friday the 13th on NES still sends shivers down my spine. But that’s what happens when you have to use the resources and limitations given to you. It’s doesn’t all rely on vision. I feel sound was such a big factor the story, the ability to do something that has never been seen before. Something now taken for granted.
The age of NES was the age of playing a game from start to finish for 8 hours or more because you couldn’t save. You did what you had to do. Today that desperation just doesn’t exist. You start from a save or a check point. Granted games are ten times as long now they don’t hold that same kind of threat and commitment. NES said if you start a game you better be ready to sit and finish it. There are a select few that did have a save function but not many. Not any of the games I’ve played. Gunsmoke has brought tears to my eyes from button mashing but you couldn’t stop. You had to press onward.
So with technology we gain a lot. But we also lose. I feel we all can benefit from both old school and next gen. They both offer us pros and cons. Like that first goomba that held me back we learn from the past to become better gamers and think outside of our constraints and limitations.