A decade has passed since the last time Metroid crossed my fingers. My fingers cramped and bled, just like they should. Being played on my new, custom monstrosity of a gaming device (which is fabulous) it was hard not to get caught up in the beauty of this primordial masterpiece.
How would it feel after all these years? How can I relate to it now as opposed to when I was younger (and yet even younger the first time)? Keeping constants in life is an important architect in the creation of new ideas and experiences. Something old becomes something new again and again. How would this claustrophobic expedition feel to me now at this point in my life?
I was rewarded for my renewed curiosity. Pure exploration at it’s finest. Easter Eggs and a few cruel jokes along the way balanced the experience nicely. Rolling through this maze of puzzles constantly reminded me that I was only a few bombs away from a potential prize. Every time I found one, I was compelled to continue to the next. My best move was playing it as seamlessly and cautiously as if it were the first time. It is easy to cheat in 2012 but I resisted. Playing in an emulated environment was close enough. It seems that playing these games this way gives them something new and perhaps less bouts of frustration related to computation speed and RAM (A mere 10 kB powered this wonder). New technology can somethings bring good things to old classics. Thirty minutes in front of a Jefferies tube shooting speeding bugs to power up was such fun in 1986. Now it borders on a pixelated form of cancer. Slowly digesting your insides until nothing is left, much less my will to play. I vote technology.
My memory during this traverse was fairly solid but then again, some of the most influential things in your life aren’t the most obvious ones (or the most useful). I found myself remembering little details but forgetting obvious tricks. Running through the familiar corridors filled me with a nostalgic warmth. Remembering how important ice is. Rejoicing over finding the “wave” and it’s pointless usefulness (you don’t even need it, or it’s excessive beauty, but yet, there it is). How often I reflected on this experience and then realized, I am lost in this game. How often do you get lost in everyday life?
Music is another constant. It leads a trail of bad decisions and triumphs in everyone’s wake. The music’s tone is dark and forbidding to say the least. The title screen brings it’s score to a full new moon. Letting the player know that this is exactly what to expect. Kraid’s area score is like a complex, 8-bit symphony that has never left my conscience since 1986. The Brinstar theme graces my cellphone to this day with it’s simple upbeat groove, perhaps the only instance of “upbeat” in the entire exploit. A constant reminder of my youth and inexperience haunting me whenever my phone sings it’s familiar chorus.
What more can be said? There are only so many ways you can spell “classic.” If you can watch Citizen Kane and appreciate the revolutionary camera angles and shadows, you can marvel at this gem of a distraction. If something so old, can after so many years, feel so new again, yet also so familiar, you know someone paid their dues and got paid to do it. Right Sakamoto?