Childhood Returned

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By: Connor Lenahan

I’m not sure that an impulse purchase has ever made me happier than the one I made today. It wasn’t really an impulse as much as a calculated choice to bring out the joy and inner six year old in my friends, my brothers and I. I speak of course of deciding to buy a Nintendo 64 and a copy of Mario Kart for my room and subsequently my house on all further visits home. I plugged it into the TV in our common room of my suite here at Boston University and prayed that it would work. It immediately did not. I was saddened greatly before I tried the surefire way to repair everything N64. I blew on the Mario Kart cartridge. Presto, we were in business. Soon I was racing along Rainbow Road and giggling excitedly. My suite mates walked in on this experience and immediately lost their minds. It’s simple, it’s outdated, it’s incredible.

For as amazing as the technology and graphics of the Xbox One and the PS4 are they don’t extract the same reaction from my heart that watching the blocky graphics of my first ever console pop up does. Games like Forza Motorsport have flawless renditions of Lamborghinis and Ferraris, yes, but dammit I want Bowser in a tiny-ass go kart throwing turtle shells at Peach. I don’t care that there are individual blades of grass in the new Madden, I care that Pikachu is about to thunderbolt Squirtle into oblivion in Pokemon Stadium. I care that games I haven’t thought about in years like¬†Volkswagen Beetle Racing are now suddenly back in my life. The purpose of these games – at least to me – is to escape from the responsibilities of the real world to gain joy. That’s why I picked up the N64. I want to go to the games that made me happy way back when and still do today. My brothers and my friends agree as well. The thought of playing the original Super Smash Bros had some of my friends texting me excessive exclamation points. This is is good move. This only brings joy. Long live retro gaming.