Yesterday may have been Video Game Day–as confirmed by nothing less of a source than daysoftheyear.com--but today… today is the 30th Anniversary of one of the industry’s most ground breaking accomplishments. Super Mario Bros. turns 30 goddamn years old today.
There is seriously nothing that I can add to the conversation about this game.
I could marvel at its design–so innovative that its high water mark has only ever really been topped by other games in the same franchise. I could talk about it cementing Mario as a pop culture icon. I could share personal anecdotes about trying to reach The Negative World, or playing the game while looking at the TV in a mirror, or wrestling the controller away from a superior Player 1 shouting “Hurry up and die, so I can play!”. Something Something Iconic Soundtrack, etc., etc.
But everything… everything–good and bad–has been said better by someone else. Go read and/or watch their stuff. It’s good, really.
Instead, I’m going to be a lame dad, and share the names my daughter, Charlotte, gave the Goombas (and Koopa Troopa) found on World 1-1. That’s right, I’m turning a review of an unparalleled gaming classic into a shitty Facebook post.
Asteroids is a classic arcade game by Atari from 1979. In 1981, a port of the arcade classic was released by Atari on their Atari 2600 console. Like so many other 2600 ports, Asteroids‘ differences in both gameplay and graphics were very noticeable. Asteroids had a completely different look and feel to it at home than it did in the arcades. Using the Atari joystick instead of simply using buttons. Also noticable is the required use of coloured pixels instead of a vector display.
That’s it. I can’t take this seriously anymore. I really wanted to, but I can’t. No matter how much I want this game to hold up even today… I can’t do it. I could try and tell you about how (somehow) this game used a lot of memory for a home console cartridge, and that it was the first to use some kind of dual side switching memory technique. I could tell you about how much fun I had with this game as a kid. I absolutely love this game, still. But even I can’t convince myself that it holds up today. I started out wanting to compare apples to apples, and keep my state of mind geared solely towards 80s Atari games. It’s not going to happen. I firmly remember this game being a solid 9 or 10 when I was a kid. That’s just not the case anymore.