Wednesday, May 03, 2006

My grandkids won't even know what hit 'em

Speaking as a person who can still beat Super Mario Brothers (anyone who visits can witness this feat and play along on my retro NES from junior high which I still own) I found this to be an incredibly entertaining video, even if it isn’t exactly a spot-on re-creation of the first level. Close, but not exactly.

The sad thing is that I really have no ability to play video games anymore other than those I learned how to play when I was a kid. Have you *seen* the controllers these days? I mean, the simple joysticks of the Atari 2600 and the paddles from Pong have mutated into unrecognizable hunks of plastic covered with eleventy billion buttons that require at least three people* to actually use. I was okay from Atari through the Super Nintendo but i think my ability maxed out with the idea of "shoulder buttons". I happen to own a Playstation and a bunch of games I bought off a friend cheap. but I can't play any of the games without looking down to see which button I should be using. This makes me sad. Sad that I cannot share in America's passion for whichever version of Madden is current, sad that I will be getting schooled by my grandkids in "Madden 2045" much the same way that my grandpa used to school me at pool. Why am I getting the short end of the stick on both generational ends?

But then I throw my cartridge of Super Tecmo Bowl** into the ol' NES and charge through the playoffs on the strength of Lawrence Taylor's coke-induced speed on defense. Then, suddenly it all feels better. Sure, I may not be able to operate the 17-button combos to use Finishing moves in Mortal Combat. Sure, I may never have experienced the joy of beating a virtual prostitute to death in Grand Theft Auto. But I have laid waste to every buffalo between Jefferson City and The Dalles in Oregon Trail, my Lemonade Stand taught me how to run my own small business, mastered the woodland and aquatic food chains thanks to Odell Woods and Odell Lake***, and always knew where Carmen Sandiego was. And I feel somewhat better about myself knowing that kids of the future won't have anywhere *near* the patience to learn how to master those games so I'll be able to school them every time they come over. Now I just have to keep my old school, non-HD TV working until I'm 85...

* Two of which are either double jointed or tentacled like octopuses/i
** Or the original if I'm feeling particularly retro-hipster
*** Watch out for the Osprey!

6 comments:

Grafs said...

I love playing WW2 games on Bubba's Playstation, but those damn Krauts keep sniping me while I try to figure out where the "duck" button is. War is hell...

The Phoenix said...

I rock Lemonaide Stand. Oregon Trail was awesome too.

KC said...

I've not mastered any games, but then again, I haven't tried. I know what you mean about those crazy new controllers. How does anyone figure this stuff out while looking straight ahead at the TV?

Oh, yeah, I forgot... I totally rock at XBox karaoke. I got a 96% on The Supreme's "Stop! In the Name of Love". I would have got 100% but didn't realize I wasn't supposed to sing the back-up parts also.

J.Po said...

You bring smiles to my somewhat stressed-out face with mention of Oregon Train and Lemonade stand. Those two games WERE my 7th grade computer class. What up with that? Public school, yo.

Anyhoo, I can't wait for the day when my kids don't know how to plug the 8 Track into the 8 track player. So there.

towwas said...

I once entertained myself on a 12-hour flight to Japan by playing Super Mario Brothers on the seatback entertainment thing. Yep, leave it to a Japanese airline to provide such stellar entertainment.

miss shirley said...

You know what I love? Zelda. Great series of games, right up there with the Super Mario Family. You don't need speed and can play the mini games over and over until you beat them.