SNES FLASHBACK - PART TWO
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island -The year was 1995. I was in middle school and getting very good grades. I would say about a B+ average. I didn’t have any money at the time because I was obviously too young to work so I asked my dad if he would get Yoshi’s Island for me. He told me that he would if I brought him a report card with all A’s. So I did just that. It was the first time in my life I managed all A’s (it also happened to be the last).
I spent a whole weekend playing this game. I stayed locked away in the basement trying to get a high score on every level as I progressed. One of my favorite moments was the first time I walked into a Fuzzy. These little cotton-like balls of fluff would make Yoshi dizzy which would distort the level around him. It was like an acid trip. I also really enjoyed the boss battles. Two of my favorites were Raphael The Raven - who you battled on a small moon much like a 2D version of a boss battle from Super Mario Galaxy - and the final battle with a giant Baby Bowser - which was absolutely EPIC.
The only bad thing about this game - and by bad I mean COMPLETELY FUGGIN UNBEARABLE - was hearing THIS noise every 10-seconds. Go ahead… click the link. Punish yourself. That whine will never go away.
Virtual Bart - This game was comprised of, I believe, six different levels that were more like mini-games than anything. For example, in one level you were a Bart/Dinosaur hybrid and had to navigate a prehistoric land. This stage controlled like a traditional 2D platformer. In another level (see picture above) you glide down a water slide with multiple paths as you attempt to avoid any obstructions - aka Homer. This handles much like the bonus levels from Sonic 2 where you had to strafe left and right inside a half pipe to collect rings. My personal favorite level was one where you hid behind a bush in front of Springfield Elementary and threw tomatoes/eggs at the students. Oh, and it also happened to be picture day.
The game used its own version of a roulette wheel to choose what level you would play, so you never knew what you were going to get. The good thing about this mechanic is that it definitely brought a few different gameplay elements to the table to make for a surprisingly diverse experience. Sadly only 2 or 3 of the levels were any fun. But apparently I enjoyed the Water Slide and Class Picture Day levels enough to endure all the rest because I used to play this game with my sister all the time.
The Ren & Stimpy Show: Fire Dogs - This is another one of those games that I played all the time even though I couldn’t advance beyond the first few levels. In it Stimpy had to navigate a multi-floored firehouse to collect all of the gear (a jacket, hat, rope, beaver etc.) needed for the station’s firetruck. The gimmick was you had to stay covered in paint to appear as if you were a Dalmatian. To make this a challenge the station was littered with sprinklers, flames, and a Fire Chief that pummeled you if your paint washed off. Plus you had to deal with health and a very unforgiving timer. These sections of the game were pretty hard and not very fun. When you completed one of these areas you’d be rewarded with a much better level where you were equipped with a trampoline to catch people and their belongings as they fell from burning buildings.
A few years back I decided to give this game another romp and I did significantly better than I did in my youth. I didn’t take the time to beat it though because it’s so damn redundant! It’s the same two types of level over-n-over with very few changes made to their design. Maybe one of these days I’ll give it another go and complete it in full.
Super Mario Kart - Super Mario Kart was the Goldeneye of its time. I know, I know, it’s not an FPS, it’s a racing game. But when I compare it to Goldeneye, I’m comparing it to the way it always managed to bring friends together for some furious competition. This game caused me to swear in front of my mom for the first time ever which got me slapped in the face. For that alone, it deserves acknowledgment.
PART THREE PREVIEW: Rashes, Pimples, and Zitz, decapitating your best friends, and a collection of the original Nintendo’s best games.
The Simpsons: Season 1 - Part 1
Ugh. Last night I decided to watch a rerun of The Simpsons on TV. It was one of those newer episodes. Ya know, the ones from the last few years where it’s all humor and absolutely zero substance. It was such a miserable experience that I decided I would go back and revisit the first season of the show to see how drastically things have changed.
About five minutes into “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” many nostalgic feelings rushed over me and I decided to transcribe them and share.
“Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire”
- I’m only five minutes into the first episode and I’ve already been transplanted back into my childhood.
- Cartoons of the 90’s were so much more balanced than most of what is out there today. This was a highly controversial show for its time yet it still contained heart and a sense of morals at its core. I feel like most everything today — especially Family Guy — solely aim for a controversial WOW factor instead of developing a plot.
- Moe has black hair.
- FACT: Homer doesn’t know the names of all the Reindeer and neither do I. D’Oh.
- When I look back on the 90’s I revisit the greatest memories of my life: SNES, N64, Nicktoons, the slacker mentality (that I still embrace), Surge, Green Day’s “Dookie”, quality MTV, Dazed and Confused, Beavis and Butt-Head, yadda yadda yadda…
- LEARNED: 99 x 13 = Merry Christmas.
- It took me until the final scene to realize that the episode seems strongly influenced by National Lampoon’s Vacation.
“Bart The Genius”
- I miss life before the technological takeover. I had a whole lot more time to live in my head back then.
- Martin is a douche.
- Like Bart Simpson, I am terrible at math.
- Martin is still a douche. At least Bart is getting him back by switching their tests.
- I’m having the most random craving for those Cheetos Cheesy Checkers from the 90’s. Those and Surge together were like cocaine to an elementary/middle schooler.
- I used to watch reruns of this show around dinner time when I was younger. Sometimes I’d watch Doug instead. It was a battle.
- I loved that Bart read comic books because I grew up on them thanks to my Uncle. I still read them now but they meant so much more to me during the developmental/explorative stages of my life.
- Homer definitely used to be smarter and more affectionate.
- I take that back.
- I’m so happy that Konami finally released The Simpsons Arcade on XBLA and PSN. Definitely my favorite arcade experience of the 90’s.
- Remember when the thought of getting a kiss from a girl would disgust you?
- Smithers was once black. He pulled a Michael Jackson on us.
- This “Nuclear Energy” video reminds me of the video in Jurassic Park that explained how they resurrected the dinosaurs. What was that guys name? Mr. DNA?
- I want beer but can’t have yet. Waiting for Tylenol to leave system.
- Oh man! I want to go to a drive-in diner! Luckily there is one not too far from here. The food is terrible but the atmosphere is great.
- The old couple are awesome!
- This suicide by drowning scene reminded me of Vesper’s death in Casino Royale. That was a great movie. Definitely my favorite Bond film. Can’t wait for Skyfall.
- I know a crazy lady who actually drove my whole hometown nuts because she wouldn’t stop proposing stop signs around the city. She was one of my best friend’s moms and a total bitc…
- Was black Smithers also gay? Waiting for innuendo…
- I want to visit a real life replication of Springfield. That would be way more fun than Disneyland. Actually, I’d probably spend all of my time at Moe’s.
“There’s No Disgrace Like Home”
- Does anyone remember Media Play? I used to spend SO much time there. One time I went with my Uncle, his wife, and my sister and we picked up a couple collections of The Simpsons on VHS. That night we went back to his place and watched all the tapes. This is the episode that reminds me of that day. The one that definitely got the most laughs.
- I miss being young and fighting with my sister. I used to get her in so much trouble.
- As rough as this animation is, I still prefer it to 90% of the cartoons out there today.
- I no longer want kids. Never having sex again.
- I LOVE this episode.
- Using your kid’s grades as a tiebreaker to decide who you love most is the right thing to do.
- Marge is getting plastered and so am I. Mmmm Bud Light Lime.
- “Kiss you? But dad I’m your kid.” — Bart
- Homer looks like Waldo.
- Does anyone actually enjoy TV dinners? The only ones I ever enjoyed were those Kid Cuisine ones with the penguin on the box and I only cared for the desserts. Pretty sure I worked my way through poison to get to those treats.
- “The dad has a shirt on” Hahahahahahahahaha
- Moe’s hair is still black.
- If college only cost $88.50, I probably would have went. Who am I kidding? I would have just bought a video game instead.
- Why did the kids in that family leaving the therapist sound like Itchy?
- Damn. I’m officially drunk.
- I need a new TV. Still don’t have anything widescreen. It works for retro gaming but for any modern-day cinema viewing, it blows.
- It’s now storming so badly outside that I have to discontinue the marathon. Part 2 soon? Maybe.