The nation is depressed. The government is raising taxes and cutting public services, probably. Africa is descending into chaos. HMV has collapsed. There was snow everywhere for a bit, but even that slipped into ennui and melted away.
Even the biggest movie at the moment has “miserable” in the title. According to the trailer it features neither giant robots fighting each other nor Megan Fox, and looks like a bit of a downer as a result.
It’s all getting to me.
I’ve started to crave familiarity. Only Fools and Horses on a Saturday evening. Big, sweet, warm mugs of tea. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. Ginger Snaps and Chocolate Bourbons. Gin.
This stretches to games, too. I finally completed Deus Ex: Human Revolution last week, and besides being stubbornly 15 hours too long, all it did was make me remember how much more fun I had playing Deus Ex when I was a teenager. It’s not that Human Revolution is a bad game, it’s just that it’s essentially the same game I played many years ago, without the magic. You can replicate mechanics, characters, textures and level design, but you can’t make us feel that same magic again. It doesn’t work like that.
Really, that magic is mostly nostalgia. There’s nothing wrong with nostalgia though.
Here are some other games that I feel nostalgic for right now. Games that I want to give me a great big figurative hug. Also, I’ve made some memes for them because I’m the gift that keeps on giving.
If you re-watch the movie Goldeneye now, you might be struck by how little sense Bond movies made before a half-naked Daniel Craig sauntered out of the water into our lives. There’s a nonsensical sequence where Bond essentially massacres a bunch of innocent Russian soldiers in central St Petersburg, shortly before embarking on an insane rampage through the city with a tank. Not so much “Licensed to Kill” as “Licensed to Crush Shopping Families Beneath Caterpillar Tracks”.
That said, because it stars Sean Bean it must be considered one of the greatest movies ever made.
The videogame, released for the Nintendo 64 at I think some time around 1996 (you look up the actual release date if you’re so interested all of a sudden) was a big deal back in the day. It was arguably the first compelling multiplayer console FPS, and it was certainly the first one in my world. People go on about Timesplitters and Halo, but for me Goldeneye laid the blueprint for split-screen FPS/wanting to hit the people sat next to you on the sofa because they won’t stop hiding in the Facility toilets with proximity mines. For three summer holidays, we played it endlessly. It never got boring.
However, I can’t play Goldeneye these days because the frame rate is a sick debacle.
2. Resident Evil 2
Resident Evil 2 was the one they really nailed. It expanded on its predecessor and took the natural course of taking the action to the city. It had the same tense builds and gory body horror glory as the original, but still felt fresher than Resident Evil 3 or Code Veronica, and it’s better than Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6 because Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6 aren’t really Resident Evil games. I know people generally say that Resident Evil 4 is the best game in the series, but I can’t help that people are generally wrong.
However, I can’t play Resident Evil 2 these days because I don’t know how to buy things from the PSN store.
1. Super Mario Bros. 3
Being a kid was great. I didn’t have to worry about recessions, or avian flu, or Made In Chelsea. Or gin. No game reminds me of being a kid more than Mario 3. Any screenshot, or music clip, fills my heart with joy. A good friend of mine and I would play it for hours on Friday nights after school, ploughing through the main levels just to endlessly re-play the simultaneous two-player bonus levels. Like Depeche Mode with a turtle and mushroom fetish, we quite simply could not get enough.
However, I can’t play it these days because I’ve traded every Nintendo console I ever owned for magic beans and porn. Mainly porn.
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