Retro Nostalgia – An Origin Story?!

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I recently received an email from the Community Manager for Man Crates, which happens to have a very popular retro gaming crate you can get from their site. They wanted to know what my earliest gaming memories were and, perhaps more importantly, what memories I had from when I was “sucked into the gaming world.” That’s a pretty interesting topic, so I figured I’d do them the kindness of writing a post about this topic.

My first real experience with video games came when I was in preschool in the 1980s and my parents brought home this wonderful new gadget called a Nintendo. I had no idea what this thing was, but they plugged in a strange grey box with a picture of some mustached man shooting fire, and I quickly became acquainted with the strange world of Super Mario Bros. A little later, my parents got The Legend of Zelda, and I recall wandering aimlessly for the longest time, getting frustrated quickly by the enemies, and feeling a sense of accomplishment when I finally located Level 2 (which, yeah, wasn’t really that hard to find, was it?).

However, I think I really got hooked into gaming as being more than just an occasional fun thing to do with the Mega Man series. Nope, it wasn’t the original game that drew me in (an interesting fact is that I didn’t play the first game until the mid-1990s), but rather Mega Man 2, followed quickly by Mega Man 3. It’s really hard to explain what it was that drew me in so much – was it the simplistic, yet devious, gameplay? Perhaps it was the awesome OST that each of the games possessed? Maybe it was the story set in the distant, ambiguous future filled with computers that looked right out of ’60s era Star Trek and robotic menaces controlled by a wily (get it?) mad scientist bent on world domination? In any event, while I was probably drawn in specifically by those titles, my tastes grew more and more varied over the years, and now as an adult I’ve grown into a collector who still loves to share my joy of gaming with others.

But, what would I like to see offered in a crate like the Retro Gamer Man Crate? Well, for their $99.99 asking price, there’s actually a challenge involved in selecting what might fit in a box like that for the price. I’d love to say that they should randomly offer a Retron 5 retro console as a rare gift, because that would simply be awesome. But, one thing I’d certainly like to see would be them including some original soundtracks, either in disc format or as download codes. There’s been some especially great chip-tune remix albums published lately – the various Mega Man ones are perfect examples. I think they could also offer some action figures/toys from various classic franchises (Mario, Zelda, Sonic, etc) that are available even today, some models randomly selected for those who like to put them together (there are some fantastic ones out there), or even some DVD sets from classic shows like The Super Mario Bros. Super Show or Captain N: The Game Master. Or, heck, even a USB NES/Genesis/SNES controller would be great for those who like enjoying the classics on a modern machine!

Well, that’s my two cents. What do y’all think?

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