You start missing things like friends to play with. None of my friends were on the same track as me which meant that I had to figure out how to keep myself entertained. Both of my parents worked and my siblings were off at school. So, in reality, being off track meant three weeks of pizza Lunchables and a new game to rent every week.
|The only thing magical about those pizzas was how you managed to have enough sauce for 7 pizzas, but only enough cheese and pepperoni for 2.|
Of course, this meant that I had to navigate the odd world of N64 releases around 1998. It was a tricky minefield. Because you only have so long at the video store before your mom says it’s time to go. You have this fun little panic attack where you have to decide right then and there if you were going to risk your entertainment for next week on something new and unproven. Or if you were going to rent Banjo-Kazooie again. This lead to me having to also decide what game to rent solely on the front cover. Anything that looked mature was out because my mother would veto that pretty quick. So I had to stick with kiddy looking games. That’s how I discovered how hard something can be while looking so cute.
This looked innocuous enough to my 8 year old self. Of course, there’s no way of telling based on the cover certain gameplay limitations that might be frustrating or impossible for a small child to wrap his head around. The back of the box will tell you about what you can do. You can play in frantic 4-player multiplayer! (A moot point, since I was alone at home with no friends.) Customize your Bomerman with different costume parts. (Sounds awesome until you realize that it’s linked firmly to point number 1) And 24 levels to explore. Well, that sounds hunky-dory until you start thinking about what Bomberman can’t do.
First and foremost, Bomberman cannot go through airport security. Like, at all. You do not want to be anywhere behind this guy if you’re in a hurry. Bomberman cannot survive his own bomb blasts. I suppose that’s fair. I mean, most bombers can’t, right? Well, except the “Blue Bomber” but then again, I never understood that particular nickname for Mega Man. But I think the most important thing that Bomberman can’t do is jump.
Of course, this is exactly the kind of thing that Sirius would tell you in the game, if he wasn’t being all angsty about you cheating.
|“Your general incompetence at this game hurt my feelings. So, no, I won’t help you. Not until you apologize and stop being such a pussy.“|
|Looking back, my childhood wasn’t an exceptionally happy one…|