new super mario bros: awesome

So, on that road trip that Les and I took a few weeks back, I took with me a new toy: a Nintendo DS:

blue nintendo ds

This is the current incarnation of the venerable gameboy, and the first portable video game system I’ve bought since my parents used that monochrome classic to shut me and my brother up on long plane rides. Things have come a long way since then, what with touch-sensitive screens and wireless gaming. But the thing that actually got me in the store to buy it was a new super mario game. My love of the little plumber is no secret, and I was near-catatonic with pure joy at the idea of a new, 2D platformer in the classic vein:

screenshot from new super mario brothers

I played through most of it on the trip, loving every minute, and just polished off every last bit of coin-collecting today, in the classic “completionist” style which I reverently bring to all mario games I touch (and cannot muster even for classics such as Final Fantasy VII). I would say that the game alone paid for the cost of the system (which is now defuct anyway, since they have the fancy new DS lite), and I have barely even touched the other two games I bought for it, Brain Age and Animal Crossing. I never saw myself as a “portable gamer,” and indeed most of the time I’ve played since we got home has been ironically reclined on our couch in front of an inert, 27-inch TV screen while squinting at the DS’s diminutive pair. Still, the machine has revived at least some of my flagging ethusiasm for video games in general, and has got me that much more excited to buy one of those inscrutably named Wiis when the time comes.

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