Monday, October 31, 2016

Super Mario: Underworld, etc.

The video above from Nukazooka, “Grown ups who are bad at being grown ups,” is one of several game-related videos they’ve made, all with some pretty awesome special effects, and many that are a bit, um, dark. I like that in this case. But I didn’t expect it to make me remember my own game-playing.

Many years ago, when I was still living in Chicago, I bought a SuperNintendo console, which came with Super Mario Bros 3. I later bought Tetris and, then, the first two iterations of Super Mario Bros. I took the game reasonably seriously, and even watched the Saturday morning cartoon because, it turned out, it actually had some useful tips for playing the game.

In those days, there were only a limited number of times that a character could “die” before the game was over. This video takes a look at what happened to Mario after he fell and “died”. I think it’s pretty hilarious, but I know that it won’t be funny to anyone who didn’t play the game.

But the video reminded me that at one time I played a lot of games.

My game-playing days peaked way back then, though I eventually played some games on my Mac: Wolfenstein 3D, and I think I at least came close to finishing that, whether I did or not. I also played Marathon and Marathon 2: Durandal, and at the time I thought the graphics were amazing. And Tetris was always a favourite, as was SimCity 4, along with pinball games.

Then, we got the original PlayStation, where I played Duke Nukem, and while I can’t remember which version it was, I do remember that it’s still the only video game that I know for sure I actually completed. I played a few other games, Crash Bandicoot, and Gran Turismo, among others.

We had a short flirtation with the Nintendo GameBoy, where I played Super Mario Bros again, but I got too tense, so I just stopped. I still have it somewhere.

Eventually, we got a Nintendo Wii, and I got another Super Mario Brothers game, and used the Wii Fit a lot. But, I got tired of setting up the game machine and lost interest.

Finally, I got my iPad, and started playing games on that—especially fairly sedate games like Words With Friends, and The Simpsons: Tapped Out, both of which I still play. A few other games I originally started playing on Google+, then Facebook, I later played on the iPad—then, I just stopped. But then Marathon and Marathon 2: Durandal were released for free on iPad (which, like The Simpsons, has premium features players can buy). I’m not very good at that anymore, it turns out.

The iPad also let me play some other old favourites again: Tetris, SimCity, and others. But, I rarely do.

While I used to play a lot of “first person shooter” (FPS) games back in the day, my interest in that waned with my interest in the PlayStation. By the time, not so many years ago, that friends in the USA tried to get me to play World of Warcraft, I was uninterested. To this day, I rarely play any game that requires shooting anything.

The thing is, until I sat down to put together this post on a video I thought was funny, I never realised how much I used to play games, how varied they were over time, or much I once played FPS games. I certainly DO remember playing SimCity and Tetris a lot. There may be something to the positive effects on the brain that Tetris is said to cause, but I definitely experienced the Tetris Effect, seeing the blocks when I was between being awake and asleep. I also sometimes saw Tetris-like patterns in real life. I saw none of that when I wasn’t playing a lot in a short period of time.

I don’t play games nearly as much as I used to, and the few I play at least somewhat regularly are nothing like what I used to play. Times change, and so do people and technology. I still play games, though.

And now I know what happened to Mario when he “died”—which is something he frequently did when I played the game. Thanks to thevideo, I now remember that, too.

Video found via Nerdist.

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