It's become a trend to have today's generation of teenager play classics from the olden-days of gaming; I'm talking the 1980s of gaming. A group of teens were selected to play the 1987 Capcom classic, Mega Man, for the NES. Here's how they did.



The desperation. The frustration. Those tears... I love it.

This is an ongoing series from the YouTube channel React. They've done other series like older folk reacting to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, or teens reacting to Five Nights at Freddy's 2, a game that keeps people coming back for more because they can't get enough of those killer animatronic party animals.

Anyway, the Mega Man video clocks in at nearly 10 minutes, giving each of the handful of teenagers some ample time to showcase their skills with the classic NES title.

That one kid with the braces... Justin Bieber-lite... he really tried hard. His determination was almost root-worthy because you could tell the game happened to be a few hard-as-brick-moments away from him just throwing the controller down and giving up in anguish. It's brilliant.

However, a lot of old-school titles were known for causing that level of frustration. Back in the day you didn't have games with eight forced-hours of gameplay to justify why it deserved a $60 price tag. Classic titles didn't have 20-minute long cut-scenes or long dialogue sequences that contain enough voice-over work to fill out several episodes' worth of hour-long, night-time dramas. Back in the day the games had to rely on challenging stage designs and utilizing the limited scope of the game mechanics to get players to critically think about overcoming those challenges. It wasn't about the game holding the hand of the gamer back in the day, it was about getting the gamer to recognize and understand how to pull themselves up through perseverance and critical determination.

The braces kid, Josh, actually points that very thing out, stating...
“Games today – even the bosses aren't that hard as the first level [in Mega Man]”

This is very true. It's hard for me to recount a new AAA game where the boss was actually a challenge and actually required some kind of strategic play-style. It's really sad because we have some amazing technology that allows gamers more control over the characters with little to no latency, and yet we're force-fed factory-ready entertainment experiences designed for adults but easy enough for a five-year-old.

Past-puberty kid, Jasser, even drives the point home, saying...
“All the games I play today, I put them on hard and they're not that hard.” … “[Mega Man] is the type of game where you have to play it over and over until you got it down.” … “I can definitely understand why it's a classic.”

Hear, hear.

NES games are still a bit too difficult for my tastes, but I still love the 16-bit platformers from the SNES and Sega Genesis era. It's nice to recognize that even teens today see how watered down and easy a lot of the mainstream titles have become. Oh well, there's still Nintendo pumping out first-party titles that still give gamers some real hard fun for their money.

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