Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Nostalgia and why it's so hard to beat Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time

It's pretty much inevitable that every time a new Zelda or Mario game comes out, Super Mario 64 and Zelda: The Ocarina of Time are brought up. There are great reasons for thinking that these games are the best ever.
But I can't help but think of one important aspect that makes these games unique; eternally so.
Super Mario 64 in particular as it was a launch game for the N64. After so many Mario games that were all 2D side scrollers, all of a sudden this game stood out. It was everyone's favorite mustachioed plumber in 3D where you could run around and perform various different jumps, slide around and everything!
I believe that an important component of the nostalgia that people associate with SM64 is this transformation to 3D that simply will never happen again. Only kids who you bring up playing the old 2D classics and suddenly expose them to the next 3D mario game could you reproduce that same awe.

It's kind of funny how it's similar to how some jazz musicians wish they could forget more about their musical training. To have less knowledge upon which to improvise on. Kurt Rosenwinkel once said that to him, improvising is like taking everything you've learned and bringing it to an altar to sacrifice. I have recordings of many of my lessons at the conservatory and while my playing was wonky and lacking in many places, there are many concepts I now hear and think "wow, that was actually a really neat line!" and wish I could play with whatever was going on in my mind.

I wonder how it would be if I could erase my experience with certain games and play newer incarnations of its series, like the recent Super Mario 3D World - which by the way I'm not planning on buying as I'm biding my time with other games until Mario Kart 8 and Bayonetta 2 release for the Wii U.
How would it be to have had Twilight Princess, Wind Waker or even Spirit Tracks on DS as my first ever Zelda experience?

Is this the perspective of those old folks who wish they could be kids again?

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