I spent a lot of time with my 9-year-old nephew last Saturday. It was an adventure - by far, it was the most time I've spent with anyone under the age of 10 in a very long time. But that's another blog post.
My nephew is very much a part of our family. He's only 9, but he's already showing off his nerdy/geeky tendencies. He likes books and comics and cartoons - and video games. He really likes video games. I'm sure part of it is his generation, being raised by the first generation of video game lovers who have had the pleasure of enjoying video games for their entire lives. But I can tell that he has a love for the classics.
He asked me a question on Saturday. "Who is your favorite NES character?"
As a big fan of video games, especially the classics, myself, I knew that "NES" referred to the Nintendo Entertainment System - that first Nintendo system that brought Super Mario Bros. into our lives. Just to clarify, I asked my nephew if he meant all of Nintendo, or just the original Nintendo. He assured me that it was original.
I gave it some thought. A lot of the games I enjoy today had their origins on the NES - "Final Fantasy" started there, but the original didn't really have the most memorable characters - that didn't happen until the Super Nintendo came around. "The Legend of Zelda" also began on the NES, and Link - the protagonist character in those games - has always been one of my favorites. But I had to go with the ultimate classic.
"It's gotta be Mario," I replied. "He's where it all began."
My nephew was satisfied with that answer. As a player of plenty of modern games, he knows that Mario has built himself an empire - he's like the godfather of Nintendo games.
It's very true. I love Mario games - the classic platformers. I love the spin-offs, like Mario Kart and Mario Party. I love them all.
Today, I went to the video game page on Amazon to add a game I saw advertised on television to my wish list. That game is for the DS, and it looks like a fun one - it's called "Mario vs. Donkey Kong Mini-Land Mayhem." But I got sidetracked. Right on the front of the Amazon video game page, I saw this:
You can find the info on it here: Super Mario All-Stars on Amazon or here: Official Nintendo Site.
Now, those of you in the know are aware that quite some time ago, a Super Mario All-Stars game came out. For the SNES. It came out in 1993, and it contained Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros - The Lost Levels, Super Mario Bros 2, and Super Mario Bros 3. This game, the same. I've even purchased all of those games (except The Lost Levels) through the Virtual Console for the Wii, so I can play them any time I want.
Even so, I nearly cried when I read the product description. It's a giant bucket of nostalgia and I want it. I want the goodies that come with it (a Mario history book and a soundtrack CD). This game encompasses everything that I loved about video games in my childhood.
Those of you buying me Christmas presents: the game comes out on Sunday. It's a mere $30 if you buy it on Amazon (free shipping!) - that's a steal for a new Wii game. Just sayin'. It'll be on my Wish List.
I may be 30 years old, but the chubby plumber with the red hat will always hold a place in my heart as my first true love.