Some things get infinitely better with time, while other things seem to do the exact opposite.
One thing’s for certain:
Time can majorly mess with dormant gaming skills.
Clearly, I haven’t been playing video games anywhere near enough lately.
I recently discovered that I now totally suck at video games.
I’ve somehow gotten to the point where I now lose frequently… to any and every opponent.
Not only have I been playing poorly, but my hands actually ache afterward from the determined death-grip I inflict upon my controller.
But determination alone still doesn’t stop me from losing.
I hate losing.
And more importantly, I’m far too young to be losing this badly.
Whatever happened to the days of being a badass Video Game Master?
I used to rule Old School.
I am undisputedly the worst player in my house.
Possibly even the worst player in my neighborhood.
Okay, so that may not be entirely true.
Surely, there must be at least a handful of electronically inept 90-year-olds who would do worse.
But seriously, where did I go wrong?
Modern games have become my worst nightmare.
I used to be able to defeat every last Goomba, Koopa, and Hammer Brother in record time on my quest to rescuing Princess Toadstool from that evil jerk Bowser, who had nowhere to go but down.
Down, down, down, into the fiery lava.
Which, apparently, is where all my gaming skills have ended up.
Super Mario Galaxy makes me feel like I’d just downed a few cases of liquor and then repeatedly smacked my head into a concrete wall before hitting the power button on the console.
And let’s talk about Rainbow Road.
Notorious for being a highly challenging level on Mario Kart, it’s only gotten more complicated over the years.
Especially now, with all the nauseating, seizure-inducing graphics that cause me to barrel off into a black hole in a fit of rage from all the flashing acid-trip type effects.
Mario Kart has evolved to the point where it makes me sick to my stomach as I drive my stylishly customized kart backward, off cliffs, and straight into the oblivion of dead-last place.
Don’t get me wrong, all of these incredibly realistic 3D graphics are astonishingly impressive.
They also make me wanna hurl.
I sometimes miss the days of 2D, where I wouldn’t become nauseated from inadvertently spinning myself sick in just a matter of minutes.
I’m naturally bad with directions as it is, so I really don’t need the additional challenge of getting lost for all eternity on a convulsion-inducing level of some infuriating game.
But all is not lost.
Super Smash Bros is one of the few games I do seem to excel at lately.
I suspect this stems solely from the joy of clobbering big bullies like Donkey Kong and Ganondorf with unassumingly cute characters like Yoshi and Kirby.
But even so, there are times when I get embarrassingly decimated by a highly skilled, child-controlled Jigglypuff.
Mortifying, I tell you.
I’m compelled to blame my unimpressive losing streak on my older brother.
Sure, it was years ago, but I firmly believe that always being stuck as the dreaded Player 2 as a child clearly accounts for my overall lack of game playing time.
By the time I’d finally be about to get my turn after watching my brother play Super Mario Bros for 57 straight minutes, he’d be so pissed about (finally) losing a life on level 8-3 that he’d reset the game and start all over.
I usually had to wait until he left the house altogether to even get a turn.
I suppose there’s also the remote possibility my skills have deteriorated due to my penchant for not being able to sit still for very long.
As an adult, there’s always this overwhelming inclination to get stuff done.
No time to sit idle when there’s so much to do!
But surely that can’t be the issue here.
It probably has a lot more to do with the fact that kids are practically born with electronic devices in each hand nowadays.
Or maybe I just need to get more sleep.
At any rate, I guess this means it’s time to return to my Old School roots and start playing like a boss again so I can get back to kicking some butt.
Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start…
Konami Code, help me!