Thursday, September 11, 2014

Shades of Resonance: Fond Reminiscence - Memory Log #5

Mario's Cement Factory

As far as I knew, the LCD-handheld market was home mainly to Tiger Electronics and a few smaller players. I didn't know that Nintendo had any presence in that particular market until I received Game & Watch: Mario's Cement Factory as a Confirmation gift during the dinner celebration at the Italian restaurant New Corner. My father reserved for our family one of the establishment's back rooms, which I didn't even know existed! "A whole room just for us?" I thought. "Wild."

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Specifically, it was a gift given to me by my uncle from New Jersey (the guy who informed us about Adventure's Easter egg). I remember being quite surprised to see Mario's name on a game that wasn't related to his arcade or NES properties. I'm actually surprised that I didn't immediately dismiss it as something archaic; instead, I found the whole idea of this simple device kind of neat and messed around with it all during the downtime between dinner courses. In the year that followed, the game did its job to keep me occupied for a few minutes here and there, and I was genuinely interested in setting as high a score as I could. Moreover, its existence was more fuel for my fascination with this Mario cat's versatility--a reminder that he wasn't always "super" and had to take on a lot of odd jumps prior to earning his well-established plumber credentials.

I can't really speak of many great memories as tied to its gameplay because it was so simple and fleeting--merely a matter of running from one side of the screen to the other and dropping layers of cement down from one truck to the next and finally into a mixer. Though, I was always high on its quality: Judging by my future interactions with Game & Watch devices, I consider myself lucky that Mario's Cement Factory was the one that caught my uncle's interest, since it looked to be one of the better ones (and I still think it is).

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Sadly, I haven't seen my copy of Mario's Cement Factory since I moved to Long Island seven years ago. It's still laying around somewhere in this house--probably in an unpacked box in the garage--but I don't know if it still works or if they even make those round batteries anymore. As I've found myself saying a lot lately in regard to old systems and games: I wish I'd taken better care of it. Perhaps more for sentimentality's sake, I download it from Nintendo's DSiWare service a few years ago; I was impressed with how well they replicated it and hope they continue the practice, perhaps including these recreations in the more-focused category of "Virtual Console," where I feel Game & Watch belongs.

For now, Mario's Cement Factory remains on my 3DS as another important reminder, and I hope for its future transference.

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