Thursday, August 06, 2009

Games That Changed The World Vol. 1

And by "Changed The World" I mean MY world, because that's the only world that matters really. Your world sucks and you know it.

Mario? Check. Duck Hunt? Check. Free? FREE!

These days, a good deal in gaming is if you spend 60 dollars and the developers don't violate your private regions then steal your wallet and run away screaming. Mostly, when you get multipacks of games, you're getting compilations of games that they've long since either given up on or have long since made their money back on. Sure, there's some good deals out there, The Orange Box had one full length game, 2 episodic games, a fantastic and short spin-off title, and a an online only FPS game. It was a phenomenal deal. But for the most part, the pack in games that you get with a console are either tech demos (albeit fun ones) like Wii Sports, or just various game pack ins designed to keep costs up or a vain attempt at boosting sales. It's all good, but Nintendo seems to be one of those companies that when they put their mind to it, they do it right and they do it well.

Case in point. The Wii. A low end piece of hardware. Motion control wands is a good idea, but the hardware of the console itself lacks anything to get anybody excited about. Nintendo basically had to rely on their name and development studios to get them out of a console gutter. They've nailed down the handheld market. Even with serious competition like the PSP, Nintendo still maintained the tried and true fact that Nintendo is king in portable gaming. They need not worry about Japan. They know they'll buy the Wii. Here though. We're living in the Madden generation. The hottest properties are sports titles and FPS games. Not exactly Japans strong suits. Japan got Wii Play packed into their set. We ALL know about Wii Play. CLEARLY, considering it's one of the most bought games this generation. We however, got Wii Sports. A simple looking game, with simple design. Some of the games on the disc are almost broken to an extent. Boxing really has no rhyme or reason to it, and baseball is just, well. I don't know what it is, but it's barely baseball. And tennis plays more like a game of ping pong. Bowling and Golf pretty much made everybody on the planet want to own a Wii.

Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt eventually came packaged with the NES. Originally, it wasn't packaged with the muti cart. It wasn't until a couple years later that it came with Super Mario/Duck Hunt. It was probably one of the slickest pack ins ever. When you look back on it, it's funny. Mario seemed like a massive game, 8 long, peril filled worlds with secrets and awesome music and branching paths and all sorts of good stuff. But being able to fit it onto one cart with it and an equally awesome game, Duck Hunt, you realize how tiny most of these games really were.

On that cart, Duck Hunt was probably my most played. Mario created gamers, but Duck Hunt built onto Mario's foundation. Three games there on the game. 1 duck, 2 ducks, or skeet shooting. Of course it was easy as hell to cheat the system. Hold the Zapper up to a light bulb, or right up to the screen. It didn't matter though how easy it was to cheat. There weren't any unlockables or achievements. All you wanted to do is get as far as you could so you could brag. And the less you saw that dog the better. I could make a joke about shooting the dog or something, but I think we're all getting FAIRLY tired that running gag. Mario Bros./Duck Hunt is a game that needs no more discussion about. It's THE first game. Not in terms of videogames themselves, but as a product that bred a new breed of culture. Games went from being living room niceties, to being living room essentials.

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