8-bit memories…

If you ever owned a Game Boy in your life, is it possible that you never played Super Mario Land? Well if it is the case, you really missed something. This game is a classic. It was launched at the same time of Nintendo’s portable console, in the holy year of 1989.

To me it is a special game, because it is the first videogame I ever played in my life. This was in 1989 or 1990 -can’t remember for sure-, and at the time I was either 6 or 7. Why am I even writing this? Believe it or not, but I haven’t played the game again for twenty years -until I got it from second-hand very recently, a few weeks ago only.

Of course, it was quite a special feeling playing this game after such a long time. For instance, I had completely forgotten the sprites were so tiny, and the graphics so basic, probably because I didn’t give a damn at the time -and honestly, who did? In 1989, Super Mario Land and the Game Boy were just awesome for everyone! As for the game itself… first time playing it after 20 years I was like “OMG, the Koopas explode!” I had forgotten this, too. This is so different from the other Mario games… And all of a sudden I remembered how stunning it was playing this game for the first time in 1989. These great childhood memories were back!

Another thing I remember: I got pretty clear memories of its sequel, Super Mario Land 2 (also a great game), which I used to play later in my life -used to own the game until I lost it, something I’m not proud of… :S SML2 had pretty neat graphics for Game Boy standards. It was awesome as well and is still high on my wantlist, but I happen to love the first one just as much. Despite its simplicity, it is in fact equally fun, and I always have a great time playing it.

I mean, everything about the game is amazing: eargasmic sound effects and themes, a well-thought level design inducing a lot of fun, and perhaps the most important of all, the gameplay is just perfect. A perfect gameplay: this is not something you can say about that many games, right? Well, that’s mainly why the Mario games rock.

Also for what I can recall, at the time I pretty much sucked at it. To be honest, I can’t even remember if I was able to beat the first world. Maybe I did it once… still loved playing it. It’s kind of funny when I think of it today. Well, I was a child and it was my first videogame… so many great memories! Something else I must say, even today, I hate World 3! The enemies are so annoying and it’s actually not that easy to beat. Oh well. I’m telling you, Super Mario Land is pure win. And when I play it now, I got this strange feeling of being both the kid I was and the adult I am today… Maybe that’s what I love about retrogaming. Nostalgia is a wonderful thing. That kind of thing that, in my case at least, really helps you through life, by making you feel that pure, simple, innocent joy again. Ironically though, it also makes you sad all these great moments are over… But when we choose to play these old games, don’t we all yearn to become that child again? IMHO, I believe there’s a part of that kid in all of us.

Shit. I still can’t believe that was 20 years ago.

It’s scary.