April 23, 2009

life after 8-bit.

i broke out RC Pro AM today for my nintendo. it brought me back to some of the better years of my life*. i was a 1 year old when this game was released and i was 6 when my parents bought it for me.

we have a home video of the christmas morning when i was told that there was a gift for me in the basement. i run downstairs and freak out - not quite to the extent of the nintendo 64 kid - but i throw at least one fist pump into the air. i push in the power button and start the game up. then the following conversation ensues...

mom: what do you think, adam?
me (mesmerized): ...

mom: do you like it adam?
me (mouth gaping open): ...

dad: adam. your mom asked you a question.
me (drooling): ...

and so began Life After 8-Bit.

unlike today's video games with 390 buttons on the controller - NES only has A, B, Start, Select, and the D-Pad (up, down, left, right) - but that doesn't mean the gameplay was any simpler. in fact, one could very easily argue that NES games were substantially more difficult than the games of today. those games didn't have the life meter that slowly decreases as the game goes along. NES was Licensed to Kill mode. one shot and you're dead. how in the world did people ever think that kids would enjoy these things? these are adult-style games. these games are HARD.

back to RC Pro-AM. when i was a kid my dad and i would play the game together. he was given the B button (gas pedal) and the D-Pad (steering wheel), i was responsible for the A button (weapons). i remember my dad getting so so frustrated playing that game, but i would always be having the time of my life. all i had to do was sit there and blow up these little RC cars when they got in front of us. i cared nothing about winning or losing, i just wanted to shoot rockets.

but today, i felt like my dad. that game is HARD. i got to like the 11th level (of the "32 tracks of racing thrills") and said out loud, "how am i supposed to beat this? it isn't even possible." i was getting frustrated and annoyed. these games aren't for kids. these games are made for adults.

this is why i will never ever get rid of my nintendo. i will play it with my kids someday, and when they've grown and they move on to simpler video game consoles like Wii**, XBox 360 and PS3, i will still have my NES hooked up to the massive plasma screen in my living room. you can have your amazing graphics and realistic gameplay - i just want a challenge...and i want to continue to relive my childhood forever.


* - this is not to say that the current time of my life isn't also one of the "better years of my life" - on the contrary, i think 2009 is going to be a year to remember in my life - but you understand.

** - and for everyone that thinks that the Wii has revolutionized video game play...they just reinvented the wheel. i've had the power pad for the better part of two decades now.


nick said...

Oh, maaaannnn. I want to play some RC Pro Am!

I'm a huge fan of Re-Volt, which was pretty much a direct descendant. You drive R/C cars and shoot at each other, but Re-Volt was a decade later, in 3D and played on the PC. Given a choice between the two, I might have to go with Re-Volt, but there is a deep respect in my soul for the original, RC Pro Am.

Chris said...

i tried to get TMNT arcade to work. I couldn't get either copy to work. I tried MegaMan 4, which froze three minutes into it.

Maybe you've got the special touch.

And I did try the 'old faithful' method while trying to fix it.