First off, I have to say thankyouthankyouTHANKYOU to everyone who voted. This lovely community has come through with flying colors, and y’all are awesome!
As for the poll, I can’t say I’m too surprised that Chrono Trigger won after hearing from you guys about the game, but the fact that it eked ahead by only one vote certainly says something about Earthbound. For most of the time this poll was up, the two games were running side by side. By late last week, the two were tied. I’m very happy that someone broke the tie, because I didn’t want to have to flip a coin or something. (I’ll admit that I’m a touch sad that Earthbound didn’t come out on top, but that only means it now has a top spot on my to-play-ASAP list. Alas, tis a case of the constant battle faced by gamers everywhere — too many games, not enough time.)
But enough with the typing, it’s time to get set up and start playing! The excitement…it is palpable, and I can’t wait to get started on this new gaming adventure. This series, under the reworked and totally mindblowing title of “Mission Chrono Trigger,” will be back in few Mondays from now with a first impressions post. If you have any initial and non-spoliery advice on getting started with CT, I’ll take it! In the comments, I mean.
Onward and upward with some time traveling, chronologically-driven, old school JRPG fun!
When we met last Monday, I announced that I’d be starting a new gaming project: playing through a 1990s JRPG for the SNES. As I’ve been wanting to play Chrono Trigger for some time now, I initially thought I’d just pick it for the project and move on. But no, I thought, the community was so supportive in helping me with some initial decisions for my last project, Project 151, that I knew I had to turn to all you good people again.
Only then, Chrono Trigger got tons o’ love in comments on last week’s post, and I almost reconsidered.
Welcome the next installment of my year-long look back at the decade that was ruled by big hair and bigger egos. Every other week I’ll be covering pop culture tidbits from the 1980s, sharing memories, choking on the ridiculousness, and maybe offering an insight or two into what made the 1980s so great/bad/silly. Serving as my inspiration are two lists from Buzzfeed, and I’ll include links to the original list items in each post. So throw on your neon windbreaker, lace up your hi-tops, and adjust your Wayfarers, because this DeLorean is taking off! (Ugh. Did I really just type that? Gag me with spoon, seriously.)
The frustration of having to blow into your cartridges in order to get them to work.
It’s a shame that a good portion of you wonderful readers out there will never know the maddening joy incited by blowing upon electronics, video game cartridges in particular.
Come to think of it, we no longer have to abuse, physically or otherwise, our electronics in general. There aren’t components in them anymore that come unstuck or need to be jiggled just right in order to get the things to work. Blowing on your phone might make Siri happy, but it won’t cause its screen to become uncracked or it to send text messages any faster. Plus, what would you blow on, exactly? Phones, tablets, laptops, game systems…none have exposed parts. Save for the USB/charging connections, I guess. But even then, when was the last time you had to blow into a USB port?
My earliest experiences with the Mario Brothers were not spent playing, but reading the instruction manual while watching my younger brother play the very first game on our Nintendo Entertainment System. As I scoured over the game controls and characters, my brother would play through this relatively new experience with the ease of a much older gamer. All of Mario’s moves seemed natural to him, as if he had traveled these fantastic worlds for years. The reality of the situation is that my brother has better eye-to-hand coordination than I do, but the level design of Super Mario Brothers had something to do with his genius as well.
Think back to that very first level, World 1-1. There was no tutorial, no overt guidance for the player; only a stubby little plumber standing on the far left side of a screen. Any attempt to travel further left would result in the player hitting a wall, so to the right we must go. Oh no, there’s an angry looking mushroom heading your way. Quick, try one of those red buttons on the controller. Okay, ‘B’ doesn’t do anything… what about ‘A?’ Ooh, you made Mario jump! Try to stomp that mean looking guy. Hey, you squished him, good job. No time to celebrate though; there is a timer counting down up there. Let’s get going.
Between the time that I kinda sorta played Castlevania Adventure and most definitely played Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, I spent several memorable months play playing the highly enjoyable Super Castlevania IV (1991) on the Super Nintendo. This title didn’t really bring much new to the story of Dracula and the vampire-hunting Belmonts, but it was set in the beautiful, spritely 16-bit graphics of the time.
Shortest blog post EVAR?!
HA! Yeah, right — like I could ever stop at a single paragraph.
And I mean neither rhinoceroses in human form being all big and bad and evil nor “virtual reality” rhinos grazing upon the African savannas. I mean helpful rhinos that you can ride, use to kick your enemies to the curb, and who’ll listen to you in your time of need. Um, or something. And it’s not like I’m the rhino’s biggest fan. They are splendid members of the animal kingdom; and I just happen to think that they can be quite useful. First off, they are quick! Have you ever seen a rhino gallop at full speed? It’s a little bit scary but they’re able to carry their bulk well at high speeds. A horse race, no they won win at that, but they’d be able to get you across the plains in no time! Second, there’s that horn (or horns). A mean instrument of attack and defense if ever there was one. And third, their tough skin makes for great armor. It’ll take a bit of doing to penetrate that hide!
Join me in welcoming Chris from At the Buzzer and his recollections of Saturday Night Slam Masters. They nicely fill a void here since I’ve never played a wrestling video game. In fact, my wrestling-related memories don’t extend much beyond WWF and Sunday mornings in the 80s. See, professional wrestling was on before a delightful block of Godzilla and/or kung fu movies and after an equally delightful bunch of Three Stooges shorts. Yeah, all that plus church were pretty much how Sundays went in our house. Yep…Sundays. Boy, that was boring. But not to worry! Chris’s article will allay your boredom — read on and share in his story.
One of the primary focuses here on Recollections of Play is a trip down nostalgia lane to video games played in one’s youth. I played a lot of classics back then, like Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI, but there were also some lesser-known games like Brawl Brothers of which I’m not so proud.
So here’s my dirty little secret about my childhood that I don’t talk about much: I’ve kinda liked professional wrestling for a long time.
Dinosaurs. They’re pretty cool, right? I mean, they are by far the most popular exhibit in any natural history museum. How many kids think that digging up dinosaur bones is the coolest job ever?? (Do kids still think for themselves these days?) What would the history of this planet be without dinosaurs??? B-o-r-i-n-g, that’s what.
So insert a dinosaur into a video game, in this case with Mario and Luigi, and it’s bound to become a fan favorite for generations upon generations, without a doubt!
This loveable, rideable green dinosaur was introduced to video gamers in the incredibly fun and popular SNES game, Super Mario World (1991). Now, I liked Super Mario Brothers. I fell in love with the tanooki, frog, and raccoon suits in Super Mario Brothers 3. But Super Mario World truly captured my heart.