I’ve found myself drifting back towards playing the video games of yesteryear. I’m not speaking of those games that came out on the original Xbox that still had full 3D environments and 8 trillion bytes per eye blink, I’m talking about your original NES games, and early 90’s PC games. As I was sitting on the couch after one rousing session, rubbing my soon-to-be calloused thumbs, I realized that I was only playing these for one reason.
I wanted to finally kick their ass.
I wasn’t the greatest gamer as a kid. I struggled through every game I ever picked up, and I recall vividly that Kirby’s adventure for NES was the first game I ever beat. And when I say I beat it, I really mean that I helped watch my little brother drop kick King Dedede into the stratosphere. It was soul crushing to play all these games, only to be waylaid so close to the finish line. I was sick of hanging out with my friends, lying through smiling teeth as they gave away the endings to games where I had barely survived the 3rd level.
So you could imagine my eagerness to re-return to these plastic cartridges that kept me tossing and turning at nights, contemplating strategies like a 5 star military general. These games no longer held a sense of nostalgia for me, they had become my arch nemesis, and I was the Mario to their Bowser.
I told myself that I’d finally beat Zelda, or Monkey Island without using online cheats or my little brother. The Game Genie would be secured under lock and key where even Samus couldn’t get to it. It was finally my time, and I planned on destroying every pixel bit by bit until I had emerged victorious through all eternity.
So far it seems that being a good gamer is genetic and it skipped a generation. My thumbs are sore and my eyes are bleeding from staring at the TV for too long. I still haven’t beaten any games.
Then again, the real reason I play any of these old games anyway is for the feeling of nostalgia.