As lovers of retro video games we love nostalgia. We love it when we sit down with our comfort games, play through them like we did when we were younger, then move on to the next game. Yet there are some games that, for whatever reason, we couldn’t beat at a young age. Be it we took the wrong turn, got stuck in a certain level, or that the final boss was just too hard. There are many reasons as to why we put down games we loved as kids and never went back too. After some time the negging feeling kicks in. You want to go back and play the game again, you want to conquer that one level, beat the boss, do what your younger self couldn’t do. Beat the game. While you’re playing it something magical happens. You realize you don’t remember the game like you used to, and suddenly it’s a completely different experience.
At the time of this writing I’m currently playing Metroid Fusion for the GBA. I’ve written about this game before years ago and why it haunted me (you can check that out right here). Now that I own the game again I’ve discovered something. I do not remember this game well at all. What I mean by that is my memory about this game is messed up that when I started playing, it was like playing a brand new game. I remember getting lost, getting stuck and not being able to progress, which lead to me eventually giving the game away. Of course these thoughts were in my head when I booted up the game, and then I saw it. The mission briefings in the navigation rooms. Instructions on where to go once you’ve completed an objective. As a 12 year old playing games I skipped text based cutscenes like this. Was this the reason I got stuck? Did I not read where I was supposed to go? Was I so impatient that I just wondered blindly? Yes, yes, and definitely yes.
Twenty minutes into the game I realized I messed up big time as a kid. My not paying attention to the cut scenes caused my downfall but now as an adult, I was having a blast. Fusion was quickly becoming my favorite of the Metroid games and even though I played it as a kid, it was like a whole new game to me. Granted I’ve played and beaten all the previous 2D Metroid games so I knew what I was getting into. However with that knowledge and understanding of Metroid games the game just clicked like it never did before for me. I go into a room with nothing of note and set off a super bomb to find the hidden missile tank. Game tells me to go left and I go right to find a hidden energy tank. Constantly finding hidden secrets and following the storyline makes me keep playing and not wanting to stop. It’s while playing again for the first time in close to 18 years I realize something. Something that I think all retro gamers should try and do.
I know I’m not the only gamer with a game on their list that they couldn’t beat when they were younger. Playing Metroid Fusion got me thinking that I should go back and play games I couldn’t beat as a youngster. Now that I have a broader aspect and deeper understanding of games, I might be able to find a new found love for a game I may not have liked as a kid. As I keep saying our tastes change as we grow older, even when it comes to games we played as kids. So I implore gamers everywhere to give games they stopped playing way back when another chance. True you may still have your original feelings about a game, but there’s a good chance you’ll find something new that’ll make you love a game even more. It may even become one of your new favorites.