My Love of Retro Gaming

I don't get older. I level up.

My Love of Retro Gaming
December 2016: Posing with the NES Classic That I Got as an Early Christmas Gift.

The 80s: the decade that retro games were popular and enjoyable. The first game system that I had laid my hands on was the beloved Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). It belonged to my father and I was mesmerized by it. My love of retro gaming started back in 1989 and I saw this awesome game console that had a few games and a great accessory called the NES Zapper. I was eager to try this electronic light gun accessory. The very first game I have played on the NES was Super Mario Bros. Unfortunately, I never made it past World 1-1. So I played a game called Duck Hunt, which required the NES Zapper. Growing up, I wanted to shoot the laughing dog so bad. Almost 30 years later, I still haven't done it. Every time that I would miss shooting the ducks, it would laugh at me. By the early 1990s, I knew that playing video games was something that I was good at. It was a hobby that I can enjoy. The NES is and will always be my first love, but I have played many games on different gaming systems. To this day, my favorite NES games are the following: Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt, Contra, Super Contra, Bubble Bobble, Ninja Gaiden, Super Mario Bros. 3, Tecmo Bowl, Galaga, StarTropics, Wrath of the Black Manta, Pac-Man 1943: The Battle of Midway, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game.

Back in December 2016, I bought an NES Classic, a miniature version of the Nintendo Entertainment System, pre-installed with 30 games. I wanted to purchase one for my birthday back the day it was released, but by the time I went to my local GameStop and Best Buy to get my hands on one, they were sold out. At the time, I saw postings of the NES Classic on eBay and Amazon and they went for two to four times the original price, which was $59.99. Scalpers can ruin the experience for retro gaming lovers by jacking up the prices on games, gaming systems, and so forth. So I had to wait two weeks before Christmas of 2016 to buy an NES Classic on eBay for a great price. I can't tell you how much I bought it for, but when it finally arrived at my home, I was so giddy and eager to play on it. So I was hooked on it for the first few hours and the first game I played on the NES Classic that I wanted to play so bad was Castlevania. I've never played it before and it was a good game. The Vampire Bat in Level 6 gave me a hard time, attacking me as I was trying to inflict damage to it. The hardest enemy that I have difficulties, by far, is Frankenstein's Monster and Igor. Igor is invincible and will throw fireballs at you. The way to inflict serious damage to him is if you have either the Holy Water or Boomerang and a shot multiplier before Igor can hit you. I'll defeat him one of these days.

I accomplished so many gaming accomplishments playing on my NES Classic. Most of these achievements happened late last year: beating a team 70-0 in Tecmo Bowl, surprisingly finishing Super Contra before completing the first Contra game, and finally, I beat a game that gave me so much trouble for over 20 years: Ninja Gaiden. When I was 10 or 11 years old, I could not beat the first of the final three enemies. The final three enemies were The Masked Devil, Guardia de Mieux (aka The Jaquio), and finally, The Demon, or Jashin. Flash forward to October 2017: this was my moment to finally defeat all three enemies. The Masked Devil was easy to beat, but it took me so many tries to defeat The Jaquio. He was a handful, trying to dodge his attacks and inflicting damage to him. Eventually, I defeated him and said to myself, "Did I really destroy him?" Finally, it was the moment that I have been waiting for two decades: going up against Jashin. It was an enemy that was not easy to beat at all. At first, I never knew how to defeat it, but I'll share with everyone on how I destroyed this beast: I removed the head and tail first. Note: when you remove its head, it drops off the body and slides to the left off the screen. Once you have gotten rid of Jashin's tail, go straight for it heart. Remember, make sure you avoid its attacks, because it will release an endless supply of fireballs from its neck. The fireballs will scatter around the room at random intervals and in random directions, making it very difficult to predict. Each fireball can be struck and destroyed with your sword. So once you have destroyed its heart, Jashin is no more. When I finally defeated The Demon, I was so happy and relieved that I finally beat Ninja Gaiden, after 20 years of frustration. The ending to that game was so beautiful and I'm glad that I achieved something huge. Ninja Gaiden may be mad difficult, but it's an exciting game to play. I'm eager to play Ninja Gaiden 2: The Dark Sword of Chaos someday and see if it's better than the first one.

People ask me why I love retro games so much. I can give you one reason: nostalgia. When you start playing a game like Contra or Super Mario Bros., the memories of your childhood start occurring inside your head. I post screenshots of the games that I have played on social media. I talk about everything retro gaming as well, because it's an interest that I'm so passionate about. I've been playing video games for almost 30 years and I'm still a kid at heart. No matter how old you are, as we get older, so do video games. My favorite YouTube gamers are The Angry Video Game Nerd and Pat the NES Punk, who are my biggest influences. I would love to hear from everyone about why you love retro games so much and also, who are your favorite YouTube gamers? You can follow me on my Facebook page, Texxx-Man Cosplay and on Instagram, @thecosplayerfromtexas. I'm a cosplayer who loves retro gaming, so I would love to hear from you about this topic.

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Mark Wesley  Pritchard
Mark Wesley Pritchard
Read next: 'God Of War'
Mark Wesley Pritchard

LGBTQ cosplayer in Arkansas. On the Autism Spectrum. GlitchCon 2019 Cosplay Contest Judge’s Choice Winner.

Facebook: Texxx-Man Cosplay

Instagram: @thecosplayerfromtexas

Twitter: @texxxmancosplay

See all posts by Mark Wesley Pritchard