Last week, classic gaming console the Super Nintendo turned 25 years old. Seeing as how I was seven when the console launched, I was at just the right age to get hyped over SNES mania. I thought it might be fun to share some of my memories related to the console.
Over the past week, a few websites have shared news reports from 1991 about parents outraged at the console. Gaming wasn’t as mainstream as it is today, so the idea of ditching your Nintendo Entertainment System for this new thing that doesn’t even play the old games really seemed to grind some people’s gears.
Luckily, my parents didn’t fight me too much on the system. While I knew they wouldn’t get it for me the day it came out, I knew Christmas was right around the corner. In the meantime, our local pharmacy had a raffle for one. I’m still bummed we didn’t win. The Super Nintendo was also the first console my parents ever rented for me (although, I believe I had to twist their arm to do so. I imagine just renting the thing was stupid expensive). I remember playing it with my Uncle Jay in my bedroom. The first two games we played were Super Mario World (naturally) and Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball. I still have no idea who Bill Laimbeer is, but as a kid, I imagined he was just the guy responsible for really shitty SNES games.
That Christmas, the moment of truth came. As per our yearly tradition, we spent Christmas Eve at my grandmother’s house, and I got to unwrap presents. I couldn’t wait to tear open that giant box. To my disappointment, the Super Nintendo I received didn’t come with any games packed in, and only had one controller. However, my mom knew the score. Since that was the only version of the console she could find, she ALSO bought me a separate controller for it, as well as my first game, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles In Time. In addition to my obsession with all things Nintendo, I was also madly in love with the Ninja Turtles, so it was pretty much the perfect gift. “Santa” would bring me a game or two to go with the SNES the next morning. I really like the idea of my parents having a conversation deciding they would be the ones to give me the big gift, so they’d get the credit.
Sadly, as money got tighter around our household, this would be the last console my parents bought for me, and I traded in the SNES for a Playstation a long time ago. I still have my fond memories of it, however. And thanks to things like the Wii U’s virtual console, and PC emulation, I can bring back those memories any time I want.