Now that I’ve gotten that little problem out of the way, I have officially dropped it because I found a solution that suits me well: if Sony is going to stick it to me because they’re butthurt over my “violation of Terms and Conditions” without further explaining what exactly I did or why they took the specific course of action they did then I’m going to return fire in a similar fashion that will keep me happy:
Now that I feel the playing field is even, again, I can get back to what I love doing: playing the games I love and finding new games to enjoy. With my wedding to my beautiful fiancee Daisy coming up in October along with my job in electronics retail hell, among other things, I have enough on my plate; I really don’t have to add to it.
I’ve Been There Before…
I spent a lot of time playing video games. I think I actually learned how to play certain video games well before I learned many other things. I became very involved in the industry and its operation before I got into high school. It wasn’t until high school that I got involved in the greater gaming community. It was right around this time that I found that I was treading water with a bunch of gamers that were just getting into gaming as something more than a casual thing – I did this to share my love, knowledge, and theories of Final Fantasy VII with others and I found I was doing so with a lot of people who were new to gaming or new to, at least, role-playing games. I found that I was an old toad among a lake full of tadpoles and it was frustrating, at times.
I’ve spent a lot of Youtube video blog entries trying to tell people to calm their shit down, especially regarding the ending of Mass Effect 3. I suppose that I should clarify that this isn’t as someone who’s brutally annoyed with how irrationally butthurt the general community is over this thing – even though I am – but rather as someone who’s been there before, in a time when what you had was what you got and there was nothing you could do about it.
With that in mind, I have a story that directly correlates to that whole Mass Effect experience because I’ve actually been there before, with the same amount of ire and craziness: enter Super Mario Bros 2. This game was the first game I’d ever gotten on day one and it was the first game ever purchased for me and not for my brother. I loved Super Mario Bros on our Atari system and I loved the version on the NES even more. I’d spent a lot of time and effort beating Super Mario Bros and I was really excited to play Super Mario Bros 2. I didn’t know about anything surrounding the game – this was before the advent of the internet and before I really got into gaming publications.
I got a completely different game than what I was used to. Little did I know it was, literally, a completely different game with the game’s initial main characters replaced with with Mario characters. While some of these then-new things are now fixtures in the franchise, everything that made a Mario game was changed drastically. I was able to get through the game in spite of this and the fact that the difficulty curve gets kind of steep half way through the game – provided you didn’t warp through the stages and, even then, you get dropped on, possibly, the hardest level in the game – was about the only thing that felt right was just enough to push me through. After a lot of time, I finally got through the end to find an abusively stupid and idiotically easy boss (let’s be fair, here, though, this was one of those games where the stage design was the hardest thing about the game) and possibly one of the least rewarding endings of all time: the fact that this was, in fact, all a dream. Given, this wasn’t a Mario title in its inception, the ending probably would have had the same impact – even in spite of the fact that the ending made sense in the context of the game: you were a guy, summoned from your dreams, to save the world of dreams, SubCon, so it was only natural that you would save the world of dreams from within your own dreams. It just seems that seeing him sleeping there while the credits rolled felt kind of lackluster. I kind of half expected Mario to wake up, come to some kind of epiphany, and then discuss his dream with his friends in a kind of Wizard of Oz fashion. Instead, we don’t even get the satisfaction of knowing whether or not he even got to remember the whole excursion and we may as well have gotten thrown into Super Mario Bros 3 without that game even existing.
Super Mario Bros 3 made the whole thing worth it and discovering that The Lost Levels was really the original Super Mario Bros 2 totally made up for the whole affair but… damn, was I ever shocked and was I ever angry about this. I can still recall yelling at my brother only because I had nothing else but the television to yell at. I wanted to march right into Nintendo of America with a torch and wave it around, yelling and screaming at its employees. It’s never been something I’ve ever been able to let go of, either: when I found out about The Lost Levels and why it never came to our shores, initially, I just about lost it, then, too. Tell me you’ll not release a game over here because we’re simply cannot deal with the difficulty of your games, Japan?
So… needless to say, guys, I’ve been there before. It sucks and I know where a lot of you are coming from. Keeping that in mind has allowed me to cool down about the whole issue, a little, but on the whole, I still feel that it’s silly to talk shit about a game that, minus the ending that’s so controversial, is supremely awesome in every way. Super Mario Bros 2, even in its prime, wasn’t nearly as good as Mass Effect 3 was, in terms of relative success, but… well… I’m going to leave it at that.