Just look at all that text on the right column of this ad! Was any kid going to read that? Probably not, though it might have been good because this ad makes the game look silly. Actually, lets be honest, Bubble Bobble is absolutely a silly game. You’re people who got turned into bubble-spitting dragons trying to…not die through 100 levels of insanity. Or something. I was never really clear what the point of the game was, but that didn’t diminish my love for it whatsoever.
My pal Geof had the NES game. There were several summers where I would spend nearly every day over at his house hanging out with him, his brother and sister and a few neighbors. I can’t tell you how much we played this game, but it was a lot. I think we also got to the very end, but I honestly can’t remember if we ever beat it. That end boss is HARD. Maybe Geof will read this and remember better than me.
For what it’s worth, Bubble Bobble is the only NES game I ever downloaded onto our Wii from whatever the Nintendo archive is called. I think I got all the way to the end again, but couldn’t beat the final guy. It’s been a while since I’ve even turned the Wii on, so that tells you how long it’s been. Actually, writing this makes me want to fire that little white box back up and play with some dragons.
The other day I mentioned how excited I was to download Mario Tennis and Bubble Bobble on the Wii Virtual Arcade. Well, the other night, I went out and got one of those cards for $20. Because I haven’t played my Wii since…I have no idea when, it took me a while to figure out how to get the damn thing to connect to the internet. After downloading the system update I got to the store and downloaded the two games (Mario Tennis was 1000 points and Bubble Bobble 500). And bam, I started playing Bubble Bobble. For over an hour. It was amazing.
I remember playing Bubble Bobble with my buddy Geof when we were kids for hours. And you know what? Even after years of playing more complicated games, Bubble Bobble STILL gave me trouble. There were whole levels that I wasted a full string of lives and continues on. I got up to level 79 before heading to bed for a little while. When I got back up, I didn’t go right back to the game and the next day but when I woke up the next day, my hand was sore from gripping the WiiMote in the old school sideways position. I haven’t gone back to keep playing (even if the password I wrote down doesn’t work I don’t think I’ll mind going through all 79 levels again the game is THAT MUCH fun). I grabbed my GameCube controller out of storage for future playing and for Mario Tennis.
My only complaint isn’t related to the game itself, but more to Nintendo’s internet capabilities. I’m not much of a Wii player, but wouldn’t it make sense to be able to play games like this online with your friends? How hard could that be to set up? It seems like Xbox Live and I would assume Playstation Network can do the same thing with older games from their libraries, why not Nintendo. Hell, you can play these games in your browser and on your phone now, why not with friends online?
Thanks to Ben’s post of his top five NES games over on The Cool Kid’s Table, I decided to check and see if Bubble Bobble (his #5) was on the Wii Virtual Console. Now, I’m not that big of a Wii fan. We have one, but when I get the itch to play some video games, 99% of the time I head for my 360, but now that I know that both Bubble Bobble and my beloved Mario Tennis for the Nintendo 64 are available on the VC, I think I might be spending a little more time with my Wii. Neither of these bits of information are particularly new to the world, but they’re new to me.
See, in college, I was in a fraternity. It wasn’t what you think of as a fraternity, but a genuinely great group of guys coming together to try and do something good for each other, ourselves and the community. We also loved to played video games. To us, the number one “running around and shooting people” game wasn’t Halo 2, but Red Faction 2, a game I still enjoy to this day. But we also had an N64 in the basement that we used mostly to play Mario Tennis. It was a ridiculously fun and nuanced game that was easy to play but difficult to master. We even started holding a tournament every year that my roommate and I came pretty damn close to winning (unless my memory is making us out to be better than we were, though I do remember Team Awesome being fairly hard to beat). The Game Cube version added way too much nonsense with super crazy powerful hits and what not and left me feeling disappointed, but I am absolutely overjoyed to discover that I can go back to those wonderful courts with Boo and Shy Guy. Time to get some of those Wii points I guess and get back in like with my Wii.