Good Games Commenting: Kingdom Hearts, Mario, and Lost Youth

Good Games Commenting is our regular look at a comment that sticks out for its sheer ability to not drag you down into the mire that is comments sections. Yes, we read the comments so you don’t have to.

As discussions around Kingdom Hearts III unfold, we are bound to be encounter wistful nostalgia. After all, it’s been 13 odd years since the last numbered entry: No matter how good a Chain of Memories (11 years) or Dream Drop Distance (six years) may be, it’s not the same as a full on, numbered sequel.

Naturally, that excitement has translated into press buzz, as is the case at Polygon. There, we find our noble comment from david.wurzel:

That’s the rub, though – no game will ever feel the same way as it did when you played it through as a child.

I’ve been waiting for a game to mean as much to me as Super Mario 64 did when I played it as an 11 year old in 1996. It seemed like an entire world hidden away within a plastic cartridge. It seemed like there were endless nooks and crannies to explore, countless secrets to uncover – to my adolescent mind, it felt like the experience could go on forever. Ever since, I’ve been waiting for a game to make me feel that way again.

[…]

It wasn’t until I started my second playthrough that it finally dawned on me – Mario Odyssey wasn’t recapturing the magic of Mario 64 because I’m no longer an 11 year old boy and simply no longer experience anything the way that I didn’t back then. It wasn’t a Mario Odyssey problem, it was a me problem.

In the words of Paul Rudd in Knocked Up, “I wish I liked anything as much as my kids like bubbles.” I’ll simply never like anything as an adult in the way that I liked things as a kid.

david.wurzel’s full comment goes on to explain each 3D Mario‘s efforts to win him back, but ultimately he concedes he won’t find the joy and whimsy of Mario that once captured him. It’s a bittersweet look at gaming and one that is sure to be argued. In the context of Kingdom Hearts III, however, there is sure to be excitement more than a decade in the making. The only question is: will it deliver?

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