I had often heard about Muscle Memory when it comes to playing games you use to love during your childhood. However, I had never believed it due to the fact that I never experienced it. Dabbling with my older games on a weekly basis I wondered how I beat games like Mega Man 2 and Ghost and Goblins when I was a wee eight year old lad. A few years ago I dusted off my original NES and had serious problems playing those two exact games as a thirty-something. I thought I had lost it and that current games had babied my skills into oblivion. Little did I know, the NES Classic would show me that I had lost no skills at all.
Thanksgiving Day was the first day I actually got to hook up and play my NES Classic and I was very pleased. It almost felt like when I got my original NES about 30 years, but this time I was ready for the challenge that Miyamoto and company had designed. I first scrolled through all the games, seeing which ones I had played and which ones I had never heard of. I spent a few minutes with Ninja Gaiden, Bubble Bobble and Gradius; the last two I owned as a child and still own. I did reasonably well with the titles I had already played and pretty crappy with Ninja Gaiden, but I do pretty bad with new Ninja Gaiden titles too so that didn’t surprise me. Then I finally decided to play one of my favorite NES titles, Punch Out!
Seeing that I was late to the game getting one of these I watched a lot of videos and read some articles on the machine. I’d read a few stories where Punch Out! was a somewhat broken game due to the timing being off because the game is no longer being played on a CRT television. This bummed me out a bit, but since I had a few moments to play before we had to leave for dinner I decided to try my hand at the game once again. In five minutes or so I blew past everyone except for King Hippo because I had forgotten his trick. While chomping on turkey and rolls I finally remembered what his tell was and defeated him the next day. I thought this game was going to be unplayable, but my skills haven’t left for Punch Out! which is kind of nice. Knowing that all your talent hasn’t faded away with time a nice little perk to grabbing these Classic systems.
I hope that when I get my SNES Classic and PlayStation Mini there will be other games that unlock my older talents. It just feels good to school an old game that you use to be great at and that most people aren’t too hot at nowadays. Most people won’t get to experience this feeling for awhile, maybe not until Fortnite gets a mini console will this generation understand muscle memory in games. It does suck getting old, I won’t lie to you, but it really is nice to go back now and then and relive some of the best days of your life and that gaming had to offer.