Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Goodbye, Productivity. Hello, Eye Strain!

My productivity dial has been cranked up higher than usual lately. I’ve been keeping my pledge to write here daily. I’ve been making renovations to my home office. I’ve been practicing baseball in the backyard with the boys, which also means staying on top of the dog poop retrieval. I’ve even had the chance to engage in family time, going out to the movies or having a nice dinner together. I’ve been in what one might call “the zone.”

All that may very well change. Curiosity hit me after completing this week’s top 5 list and I, innocently enough, conducted a Google search for Tecmo Bowl. What I discovered may be enough to distract me from all responsibilities for the next several years.

I happened to stumble upon I have a link now posted for it along the side of the page. Before you click on it, allow me to warn you that unless you have at least three hours to spend hunched over your keyboard in the dark, save this journey for another time.

At this website, you will discover every single NES game that I ever knew to exist. This includes Super Mario Brothers 1-3, Mega Man 1-6, Castlevania, Tecmo Bowl, Blades of Steel, The Addams Family: Fester’s Quest (I know, random), Contra, Spy Hunter, Metal Gear…well, you get the picture. In fact, I am throwing down the gauntlet right now (that reminds me, I wonder if Gauntlet is on there) to see if anyone out there can scour this site and find a game for the original Nintendo Entertainment System that is not available to play.

I immediately began playing Tecmo Bowl. Suddenly, it was a Saturday morning in the late eighties and I was still in my pajamas, trying to get a few games in by myself before my older brothers woke up and wanted to play. It didn’t take long to get the hang of it again either. After a 500 plus rushing yard performance by the late, great Walter Payton, I defeated Dallas by a whopping 70-0 (or 00 as represented during touchdown highlights on the screen). I then turned to my dry erase board and scribbled down the pass code so I could continue some other time. I proceeded to play five more games, erasing the old pass code and writing down the new one each time, having every intention to stop.

Eventually, I’d had enough, but this was only because I wanted to play Blades of Steel. You’ll be happy to know that after going down 2-0 in the first period, I was able to rally (winning fight after fight I might add) and pull out a 3-2 victory. A good time was had by all, meaning just me. A few levels of Super Mario Brothers later, I noticed soreness in my back, eye fatigue and blisters on the index and middle fingers of both hands. Best night ever.

I’m looking forward to showing my sons this site. I wonder if they will think it’s cool or just laugh and roll their eyes at how excited their father is over such old looking games. The latter of the two would certainly leave less competition for computer time in order to play said games, so I think I’ll accept the eye rolling.

I must warn anyone reading this once again that this site is at once dangerous and unspeakably awesome. Perhaps I’m behind the times on noticing it and everybody else has been visiting it and playing for years. In that case, I wish somebody would have told me. Why am I always the last to know? I think of all the wasted time I’ve spent doing other things when I could have been wasting time playing old NES games.

Of course, this does leave me with a lot to do tomorrow. Immediately after dropping the boys off at school, I’ll need get the next few days chores out of the way early so that I can start a new campaign on Legend of Zelda with minimal interruption. I wonder if I still have all those self made maps somewhere.

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