Today was one of those days where inspiration for the game I chose came from outside influences. Actually, it was the culmination of several days worth of influences, both in real life on the video game universe. Today, I chose to play the original Batman, on the NES of course.
For starters, I have been emailing back and forth with my favorite pizza delivery guy in a point/counterpoint type of discussion thread, talking about what we thought about The Dark Knight Rises movie, and why it does or doesn't hold up to scrutiny. That was my first of many inspirations for Batman.
This morning, on twitter, their was chatter about the new Arkham game announced for later this year, and the corresponding handheld (Vita and 3DS) game that is going to be a completely new and different Arkham experience in its own right. The handheld game is supposed to be a Metroidvania 2D style platformer, which sounds awesome, and immediately elicited memories of the original NES Batman from someone on twitter, going as far as to post a screen shot from the original game.
Well played, sir.
Then, this afternoon, while I was taking my seven year old to baseball practice, we had a discussion about superheroes, and he pointed out that Batman was the only one he could think of that didn't have any powers, and then asked if he could be real. This, of course, made me happy as all getup, as that is the exact reason I have always been fond of the caped crusader in comparison to his superhuman friends and counterparts. By then, I still hadn't decided what game to play, but that discussion cemented the notion that Batman was going to be lucky number 105.
As I started playing it, however, I suddenly felt a different connection to Batman and why playing it was important today. In light of the Boston Marathon tragedy, it's times like these where I wish there was someone like Batman to help make rights all the wrongs in the world, especially this great country of ours. Someone who is willing to fight for what's right, fight for notion of safety and not feeling fear constantly, and fight for the greater good. Amidst the tragedy of the horrific events today, one thing was crystal clear and not nearly talked about enough. Despite the chaos, panic, confusion and horror of what took place, there were HUNDREDS of people responding at the scene, running towards the destruction despite the uncertainty of what was unfolding, and putting their own lives on the line to help and try to save as many people as possible.
These were all normal people - workers, volunteers, police officers, fireman, EMTs and anyone else nearby that was brave enough to run towards the crime scene, not away from it. These people weren't superheroes with super powers, but average citizens doing what was right for the greater good. Each and every single person there helping in whatever way they could was essentially Batman. And essentially, Batman is in all of us. He is the good side, the caring side and the protective side of each one use. We are Batman, and Batman is us.
I did play the game, however. It is still fun. It's a tough side-scrolling platformer, where you have the ability to wall jump like Ninja Gaiden, and you have a selection of projectiles in your arsenal at your disposal. I'm pretty sure it was supposed to be based around the Batman movie, but it turned out to be very loosely based on it, for the sake of making an interesting and fun video game. It still remains one of my favorite NES games (top 10, perhaps?) and remains fun and frustrating to this day.
Thank you, Batman, for keeping me entertained for all these years. And thank you to everyone in Boston today helping to make a horrible and terrible situation just a little easier to cope with. Thank you all for not only being what we needed, but what we deserved as a society,
XBLA = The Noyse
PSN = the_noyse
NNID = The Noyse
3DS F.C. = 3007-8109-2329
STEAM = TheNoyse
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Games played for project : 365