Retro Reanimation, part 1

Been on something of a retro gaming kick lately thanks to someone’s birthday gift to me, so I thought I’d start a new series on my blog and lay out my thoughts about these old games and how I feel about them in this day and age.  So without further adieu…


I wouldn’t get a console of any kind until my freshman year of high school, and what I asked for was a Super Nintendo.  I told my mom that’s all I really wanted and I nagged and begged and did whatever it took.  Finally, it all paid off and after years of nothing but an original battery sucking Game Boy and the occasional weekend and my sister’s trashy trailer playing rented games on their barely hanging on for dear life NES, I was the proud owner of an SNES.  I remember that Christmas fondly.  I would often sneak into the basement where mom kept all the wrapped presents looking for mine.  The speculation running around in my head as to what it was or could be underneath the paper often annoyed me to the point that I would take a kitchen knife to the tape holding it together and take a peek at what I was getting.

On one of our usual shopping trips to Walmart to pick up this or that, my mother never had a problem finding me as I was usually glued to the SNES demo unit in electronics trying my hand at whatever was on offer and more often than not getting yelled at by her that it was time to go.  This particular Christmas when we were there, I remember pointing at the SNES box that had A Link To The Past packed in and asking for it as my gift that year.  She finally realized how much it meant to me and relented and got it for me.  Being the industrious snoop that I was back then, I couldn’t wait until Christmas and would sneak into the basement on tiptoes (it was an old house that made a lot of noise so I learned how to sneak quietly) and find the SNES shaped wrapped gift and work my mojo on the tape with said kitchen knife.

Ah the sweet taste of victory at finally having an SNES of my own.  I would nightly (after finding out that I was getting one) sneak the box into the bedroom and hook it up to the TV after mom was in bed and start my journey into the world of Hyrule.  I kept the instruction manual out of the box (back when games came with such things) and devoured it from cover to cover, determined to be a member of the triple zero club at school.  But I digress as this first Retro Reanimation post is going to be about my most recent visit to the glory days of Nintendo, Super Mario World.

I don’t know if it’s that I’ve gotten older and more skilled at gaming, or if this game was this short back then and I was just too dumb to notice.  I’ve managed to complete the game – getting all 96 gates – in a matter of hours.

Apologies for the shitty picture quality, I don’t have the proper equipment for screen captures from a 3DS.

I like to come back to old games like this every now and then as sort of a gaming palate cleanser.  After completing the mediocrity that was Metroid: Samus Returns, I wanted something fun but in a sense bite sized before I dove into my next big game.  I amazed myself at just how much of this game I remembered after not having played it in years.  I remembered where each and every keyhole was and where the secret exits were to every level that had them (that Cheese Bridge secret exit to Soda Lake can still suck it!)  I connected all the stars on Star Road…


…and then found myself here…

Fuck my life

And then I remembered why I hated the Special area.  Two reasons:  1) they’re very frustrating and 2) once you do finish them, the main map turns that sickly brown and green color and is much less vibrant than before.  I was and still am proud of my accomplishment, don’t get me wrong, I just wish that the game designers hadn’t made that choice.

My other issue while playing this game, is that now that we have Super Mario Maker I couldn’t help but want to plagiarize the crap out of this game since it’s so full of good levels.  Instead of just copying levels from the game wholesale, I took a few notes here and there and will have to give things a try in the future.  Over the course of a few hours at work (it was a very slow day) I was greeted with victory:

I sat and sort of paid attention to the credits as they rolled by, only then to be met with many pictures of enemies from the game that are sadly nowhere to be found in Super Mario Maker, but I hope that if there were ever to be a sequel that some (or all of) these enemies make the cut:

Enemies M.I.A. in Super Mario Maker

I think it’s a glaring oversight that none of the Koopa Kids are anywhere to be found in Mario Maker.

I enjoy making some of my Mario fantasy levels come to life, but the realization of just how many enemies were missing from the Super Mario World palette was as depressing as finding out there were no art assets from Super Mario Bros 2!  But that’s a post for another time.  Super Mario World still remains one of the best SNES games in my personal lineup.  Even after all these years it’s still loads of fun to see how high of a score you can get or to take to the skies with the cape and simply fly over the entire level if you want.  I’ll be enjoying this game for years to come or any time I want to relive the best Christmas I ever had.