Old-School Video Games

Nothing worth noting happened today. I was barely awake to face the day to begin with, so I’m not too surprised that I don’t recall anything to write about.

I shall once again cover for my lack of excitement by linking y’all to somewhere else. This un’s a shockwave-based isometric version of the original Nintendo classic, Metroid, appropriately entitled Metroid Cubed (link first seen on Insert Credit).

The real problem* with Metroid Cubed, as I see it, is that the isometric perspective completely destroys the first major puzzle of Metroid: to get anywhere in the game, you have to first go left to get the ability to roll into a ball. That little twist threw Cameron and me for a hell of a loop, back in the day.

You should remember, once upon a time, that games were all two-dimensional. Many had all the action occur on one stationary screen (e.g. Donkey Kong), and a few actually scrolled (e.g. Super Mario Bros.)—but always scrolled to the right. Once you moved right, frequently you couldn’t move left again. It was in that world, in that time, that Cameron and I were stymied.

It’s weird to think that there is a whole new generation of people who play video games, but don’t know that they should love the Power Glove, [because] it’s so bad. These people have never been exposed to the idea of Nintendo hard. They didn’t cuss out Kid Icarus for jumping down and committing suicide simply because you pressed the down button one time too many. They didn’t become Ikari Warriors, nor do they have any idea who Lolo is or why his pushing blocks around a screen could be called an adventure.

I spent too much time playing Nintendo as a kid, as you might guess. I stopped playing most video games when they went 3D, though, as they almost universally made me motion sick. That was one of the best things that could have happened to me, as I am no longer susceptible to the siren song of video and computer games. (I don’t have enough time for my life as-is; I don’t want to think of how bad things would be if I still wasted hours away in front of a console….)

All of this doesn’t change the fact that kids these days don’t know their roots, and that’s a damn shame. Poke around the last link’s site, the NES Games (Rating) Archive, and see how many of those games you remember.

[*4/29/04 Update: After receiving a (pleasant!) email from the creator of Metroid Cubed, I realized I was technically incorrect, and was being a bit harsh and/or unclear in my choice of words. The issue of seeing Maru Mari is less an issue with the isometric perspective, and more an issue with the zoom factor—the initial zoom displays more than one screen of the game. Furthermore, it’s not that big of an issue—especially when you consider it’s actually billed as a “tech demo,” not a complete game—and so my word choice (e.g. “the real problem” and “destroys”) is a bit much. I originally linked to it more because it was darn cool, not to actively critique; my writing was more to segue to the rest of my ramble….]


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