December 18, 2011

Lazy Sunday – Gorging on GBA

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , — Jamie Love @ 1:14 am

Sweet N Low Game Boy Advance
Nintendo’s GameBoy Advance kickback for early 3DS adoption is keeping my thumbs busy this weekend. Frankly, it’s a bit silly that I’m using shiny new hardware to play titles that can run on a machine I can pick up for change at a yardsale, but here we are. Being able to link my Club Nintendo account to the 3DS to earn rewards for purchases that can than be redeemed for even more virtual console titles means that this nostalgia trip isn’t likely to end anytime soon.

Normally I’d rank my memory as annoyingly sharp, but toss ten Nintendo published GBA titles my way and I have to stop to question whether I’ve ever really appreciated how many gems the system has to offer. From the delightful animation of Kirby using a cell phone to call on reinforcements in the Amazing Mirror, to the insane pace at which WarioWare Inc. spits challenges at players – and yes, even the simple joy of carrying Yoshi’s Island around in my pocket again – the burnout I’ve been feeling has subsided.

Yes, every now and again I worry that I don’t like videogames nearly so much as I thought, and I need reminding of why that isn’t the case. I get so busy consuming the never-ending flood of new releases, searching for the new aesthetic and digging around for adult-minded things that justify my immense investment of time, that the play and passion of that drive gets a bit fuzzy.

There are probably lots of important discussion points with virtual releases, about preserving the past and remembering it for me at wholsesale – all that jazz. But at the moment I’ve fallen back into an older language, the kind of excited chatter you squeeze in during recess. Is there a bit of escapism involved? Maybe, but I’m comfortable with it at the moment. All that matters is that this weekend, I’ve found some clarity in the finely aged sampling Nintendo handed out on Friday – though I’m sure it was waiting on any number of old consoles cluttering up my storage room, except the Jaguar of course.

If there is a point here, it’s that maybe I hope that some of you out there can relate. And if you can, then dig up an old game this weekend, a forgotten favorite or a freshly unearthed discovery, and as is the fashion in these uncharted Sugarlands, tell me about it below.

1 Comment »

  1. Funny how play so easily becomes work, but it is so hard to make work into play again?

    The older language that we live is, I think, why we’re able to dig into a back catalogue of Nintendo’s games. You’ve pinned down what each of those faux gilded Nintendo Seal of Approval stamps stand for: the clarity and simplicity of their games. Like boiling ginger root forty times to its essence. On any given day I can pick up Minish Cap and pick up where I left off. I learned Pokémon Red in about five minutes, and I was off with Professor Oak’s blessings.

    I wonder if the adult language that we speak through is, in fact, the tip of the iceberg under which floats an archaic immensity. 

    Thanks for this. I’m glad that there’s someone out there not continually kvetching about Nintendo’s 3DS misstep.

    Comment by Chris Lepine — December 19, 2011 @ 4:20 am

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