Game: Super Mario Bros.
System: NES
Release Date: Winter 1985
Price: $44.95 (then)


You know, maybe the 80's were just a simpler time. We didn't really have a lot of WOW factor back then. Movie magic was made possible only by camera tricks and imagination, there was no blue screen technology. Pac-Man was mystifying. Just watching that sucker go off one side of the screen and reappear on the other was enough to make people wonder how it was done (if they hadn't seen it 30 times already). The most graphic intensive game at the time (that I can remember) was Double Dragon, and it'd be a long, long time before we'd ever have something like that in the home, we knew.

So I guess when Nintendo silently released the NES back in 1985, they secretly knew we'd love it, despite the worries about the US console market (Atari had just one year earlier crashed and burned). I still remember the first time I saw the game. It was in a local Wal-Mart which had just opened barely a year ago. I was walking with my mom when I saw this guy...."playing" something. I thought it was an arcade machine at first, but it was in the middle of the store, and the arcade machines were out front. Well, I got closer and realized it wasn't an arcade machine, it was better. It not only had arcade quality graphics; you could change the games on it. I stood there for an hour waiting to play it, and when I finally did, I died within five seconds. The first Goomba on 1-1 bit me.

Well I didn't let that deter me, and after about an hour, I'd gotten to the underground. The game was huge at the time. That first level was "Massive". Some time went by and Christmas arrived. Man, did I beg for all I was worth for a brand-new NES. I still remember the box. Shiny and black with holographic-like images all over it. And it was BIG. Like, the size of a Hot Wheels race track box. ROB the robot looked at you from the front, and the words "Now You're Playing With Power" beamed bright. Inside, sandwiched in Styrofoam, sat my NES, wrapped in plastic. The controllers packaged the same way every new Nintendo comes, the cords fastened with metal ties, control pads in plastic baggies.

Well, Santa brought me that, which came packaged with Super Mario Bros. (Yes, systems came with games back then), and I'd also gotten Mario Bros., the original before there ever was a "Super". It was a very happy Christmas indeed, that year. Time came to pass. The value of Super Mario Bros. became worthless. I traded off my system, most of the games. It wasn't until several years later that I actually realized how dumb I'd been, as I tried to track down all of what I so willingly gave away so many years ago.


(In light of everyone on the planet having played Super Mario Bros in some form, I chose to merely reminisce, instead of write a review.)