I suck at retro games, am I becoming a noob?

by Ben Salter Featured 22 Comments 34 Votes 3964 Views 06/08/2012 Back to Articles

Is it possible to revert to noob status?

I fear danfangled new age video games have turned me into an incompetent n00b. After previewing New Super Mario Bros. 2 for 3DS last week, Heller and I dusted off our cartridges and delved into some Super Mario World and All-Stars on the SNES.

I sucked.

That wasn’t always the case. I used to dominate the NES and SNES Mario games and the likes of Donkey Kong Country in my teens, and even below, but now I’m just...terrible.

In the interest of full disclosure, there was some debate over the functionality of the aging SNES controller, but that’s no excuse for running directly off an edge. Several times.

As much as I love retro games, especially platformers, my skills have deteriorated faster than an aging football star who clearly played one season too many.

I lost at least five lives on the same relatively easy jump. And therein lies my problem. You see, older Mario games had a slight delay between pressing the jump button and Mario actually performing the leap. It’s a fraction of a second, but when you’re blasting through a level at speed, the result after playing more recent games is running directly off the edge. By the time Mario starts to jump, he’s already long-dead.

It’s amazing how much of a difference this makes, especially in contrast to the slowed-pace of New Super Mario Bros. 2 with its emphasis on coin collecting, rather than speed runs.

There’s always going to be a moment of lag between pressing a button and seeing the action executed on-screen, but it’s unnoticeable in the more modern, noob friendly Mario games. Even if you manage to exhaust your hundreds of lives in the New Super Mario Bros. series, you can resume right where you left off; 1ups have become meaningless.

The original Super Mario Bros. gave you three lives. Once you’d burnt through them, plus the handful extra you toiled away to earn, that was it. You’re back to the beginning, DayZ style. Not brilliant when your constant death is the product of mistimed regulation jumps.

As much as I love retro games, especially platformers, my skills have deteriorated faster than an aging football star who clearly played one season too many. Modern platformers just aren’t the same. They’re simpler, enemies are less threatening, it’s impossible to really die and controls are considerably more responsive, all in an attempt to make them more accessible to a larger, less skillful audience.

Challenging platformers are still out there, as indie or smaller releases, but the mainstream evolution of the genre has, generally speaking, been simplified well beyond the trying foundations that had us raging with frustration and cheering with jubilation in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

It’s just not the same now, and I appear to be awful at retro games. I fear modern, easier games may be turning me into a noob. Will I ever be able to finish Super Mario World again?

By Ben Salter

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I suck at retro games, am I becoming a noob? Comments

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I'm sure after a few hours with the classic we'd be back in the swing of things, but we had shots to drink and @Beta to pick on. I was surprised at how awful we were, but nothing will surprise me more than going back to the play the SNES Mario Kart. I can't even drive in a straight line anymore!
That is terrible.
Old games like that I found were always super hard. I never finished super Mario 3 and I played it at my cousins for hours. I think I can remember my brother finishing Alex kiddin miracle world but I'm not 100%..
WHAT IS THIS!?
Just bashed through some NES Mario on 3DS, and I was a bit better. I suspect a ruined SNES controller played a part [Shifty]

But I'm still nowhere near as good as I was 10 years ago.
you can't be come a noob if your already one :P
Harsh words from @xxLCr0wxx but sorry @Ben it wasn't my controllers. I played ALttP and they worked fine, having said that it isn't exactly a twitch platformer either.
Aww, don't be too hard on yourself, Ben. :P

Older games were designed to be more challenging so they would last longer, right? And besides, all these new games have just softened us up. [MOG]
Tia
+

Ben said: Just bashed through some NES Mario on 3DS, and I was a bit better. I suspect a ruined SNES controller played a part
But I'm still nowhere near as good as I was 10 years ago.


Maybe you're just getting old. :O
Hey Ben you keep blaming everything else for you being bad at these old games. New games have softened everyone up.

the whole part at being skilled is getting the timing right when jumping. The "lag" (which i hardly get) is a challenge to see if you get the timing right.
We're you playing on an old school CRT tv or an LCD? Maybe it was some HD lag ;)
Tano
+
I played literally for 10 seconds. I jumped once and it was straight into a gap. Died.

I followed that up with a shot of Jack and all was forgotten.

I can still play hem now likei did then
I don't think you are noob. Game play has changed a lot over the years. Give yourself a few months of only playing Retro games and you would get back into the swing of it.
This must be what it's like when you realise your children are better than you at stuff.
Were you as good at FPS in your early SNES days?

BBking said: Were you as good at FPS in your early SNES days?



When you could play Doom or Doom [MOG]
You forgot Wolfenstein 3D [MOG]

Ben said:

BBking said: Were you as good at FPS in your early SNES days?


When you could play Doom or Doom


Heller said: You forgot Wolfenstein 3D


Haha! Yes! =D

Nah. I was just saying that if you'd play old games now and stopped playing new FPSs, I could take a very good guess that you'd improve on old platformers and diminish your latest FPS skills.

I don't think it's anything you do with you being a n00b.

...You n00b.

:P

EDIT: I've told you about what I think abpout the term "noob", haven't I?
Danfangled? That's the worst case of dyslexia I've seen on this site lol :P
Old games were hard, I think that's all there is to it.

New games hold your hand, and I admit, I'm really spoiled by it.

It's also a time factor thing now, if I don't achieve a result after a couple of attempts, I will put it in the too hard basket. :P
I used to put hours in. Namely the TMNT on NES... underwater stage [Rage]

Get Turtles on NES and play it and film it for us to see the fail please
Old games were hard, indeed... I mean... Look at the trailer for NSMB2 and the coins seem to come to you... It doesn't show any difficult aspect of the game, even if there is any...

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