So I managed to land a NES Classic recently through pure luck. Walmart found some stock, or had some left over, and was running a deal every day for a week or so. Log in at 5 PM central, click buy, and if you were the first of 25 or 50 you got one. I managed to get on the site on the last day, right on time and get one. So it arrived two days ago (as of this writing), and of course, like a little kid on Christmas morning, I couldn’t wait to plug it in.
The ‘console’ itself fits in the palm of your hand. Hookup is easy, just an HDMI cord and power. The nice thing is the power is like a USB/standard power cord similar to what some cell phones have. That way you can plug it into an outlet or a power USB port. Between that and the 3 ft controller, I think they intended people to hook this up to their desktop monitor and play it there. Like the old-school gamer that I am, I hooked it up to my TV. Then I proceeded to sit close, probably just like I did back in 80-whatever when we got our NES for Christmas, and got to playing.
Scrolling through the 30 games pre-installed on the little replica was a trip through memory lane, but firing up the first game was like being ten again. I fired up Punch-Out and proceeded to play with the biggest dopey grin on my face. It was shameless, laughing and mashing the two red buttons for all I was worth. The music and graphics took me back to a time when video games were still a fairly new wonder. I didn’t get far, because I had long forgotten how to beat some of the fighters from all those years ago.
Just last night I played about 45 minutes of Legend of Zelda, one of the first games we had on our old NES. I’ll be doing a lot of playing of that one, but it was actually the few minutes I spent on Dr. Mario that hit me the most. It wasn’t my favorite game, but it was fun. The music was kind of annoying, and the gameplay a bit repetitive, but it was my mother’s favorite game. Ever since we lost her back in April, I’ve been looking for every little connection I can to the good memories stored away after all these years. This is definitely one of them.
My brother and I thought it was so cool that our parents liked video games. They bought us our first consoles of course, actually buying the Atari 5200 probably more for themselves. Watching, and playing Dr. Mario with my mom is one of those good memories. It probably sticks with me the most because of the music. Completely unforgettable, ingrained in our consciousness almost, is music from those old games we love. Like the Super Mario Bros theme, Legend of Zelda, or the classical music from Tetris, they just stick with us much more than a lot of modern games.
Games have had a huge impact on people’s lives, right down to creating memories that we carry with us for years. Some people like to discount nostalgia, or the affect it can have on a person. All I can say is cherish those memories you make while gaming. Hold on tight to the afternoons playing 4 player split FPS on the TV with your friends or playing head-to-head Super Mario with your sibling to see how fast you can beat it. Those memories are just as important as any part of our lives and can sometimes bring a smile to your face when you need it most. It certainly did for me.