I was playing my usual selection of games recently and enjoying them as usual, for me Fallout 3 and New Vegas never get old. Also watching my brother playing Final Fantasy 13 was also all fine and good and everything that comes with that sort of game, etc. Then made supper and thought to myself although this meal I am eating is not a bad meal as I am not the worlds worst cook by any means but it is still nothing like my mother used to make.
Now this thought made me look at everything else I love. Music, movies and of course, video games.
I love the games of today, Fallout to me is the greatest. I loved how Netherealm Studio made Mortal Kombat 9 and everything about that game. Bioshock Infinite was the best shooter of last year and I’m sure most will agree. With all the advances in graphical engines and sound effects and everything just getting bigger and better in gaming it makes me wonder…. Why does it not feel as good as it did when I was a kid? I suppose there can be many attributes to this issue, like the feeling I got playing Super Mario Bros on my little Golden China machine ( NES knock off console ) and Contra. Or being six years old and playing Balloon Fight with my older brother thinking that it’s the coolest 2-player game EVER! It was this magical feeling that there was an unexplored and magical world that existed out there and these video games were the only way to access it. I remember the first cartridges we got with our Golden China.
It was a 76-in-1 which considering its volume of titles was actually a spectacular cartridge because normally if you have that many games or more on the cartridge they tend to be a fraction of the advertised amount with many repeats of the games starting on different stages etc. Now, our 76-in-1 had 76 games. Not every game was the greatest of games but there were not really any complete stinker’s either. It had Super Mario Bros and its predecessor Pipeline. It had their one spin-off called Wrecking Crew, Balloon Fight, Bomber Man, Tetris 2 and B-Wings and many others. Some of these titles are today called classics, and all these games instilled this feeling in me that these are the greatest games ever.
The other cartridge we got was the first, and still the hardest, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game. The one that had your usual enemies synonymous with the franchise and also some random enemies like people who seem to be made out of fire and hopping frogs, etc. This game was played a lot and I never once was able to finish it. I probably could now with the aid of PC emulated save states, etc, but that would make a cheap and hollow victory I think.
Over the next few years (before getting a Sega Megadrive 16-bit console) we’d get several cartridges from our Mom and Dad as gifts, or just because, and saved money towards games etc.
I remember collecting the Monster in my Pocket toys and loving them because let’s face it, that shit was awesome, and one day my brother and I saw it at Time and Sound (this chinese shop that sold all the NES and Sega games, and machines, and eventually PS1 games….cough cough cough….pirates) and I insisted we had to get Monster in my Pocket the video game and playing it for the first time, and actually being the monster and not just having the toys. It was this feeling of pure happiness. And the game was crazy difficult too. I did clock it yes, but it was still challenging. I remember getting Super Mario Bros 3, where you got the power to fly and be a frog and throw hammers etc. and remember the feeling that it is the best Mario game they’ll ever make which I still believe it is to this day.
I remember the best multiple game cartridge we had, was a 16-in-1 that had a good amount of great games. It had Gun.Smoke and the original Mega Man game but it was the Japanese version known as Rock Man so to me it was Rock Man. Only a few years later I found out it was Mega Man, anyway it had Contra and this side scrolling aircraft game called, or at least we called it, Life Force. Which was just a great game. There were other great games on there that allude me right now. We had Castlevania and the oddest yet coolest game ever, Wai Wai World 2 : S.O.S which was a parody of many games like Castlevania and Contra etc.
All in all though, I do love the games of today. I do feel that the feelings I had growing up don’t get released when playing the current games that get made, maybe that’s because I’m older or because I’m more cynical and lost the innocence of youth, but maybe it is because games are made with money in mind with insane budgets and seem to be made from money and not passion like the games of old were made from. The passion in the games I’ve mentioned shone through and possibly contributed to that overall feeling gotten from those games. I don’t know if I’m right or not but that’s just how I feel about it.
Until next time keep gaming and up the Irons! – TheMav666