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Man Down!
by SundaySmash

It occurs to me that despite our gag-a-week format, Sunday Smash does actually observe a form of continuity, and that is our repeated creation of disposable characters that we nearly immediately take a liking to and bring back whenever the opportunity presents itself. If this offends thine eyes, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize. Please accept these vouchers for a free comic strip on us.

While we never pass up an opportunity to take a jab at the modern first person shooter obsessed 360 gamer, that’s not actually what we intended the focus of today’s strip to be. Today’s comic, like nearly all of them, began with a conversation about how difficult old video games were compared to modern ones. Game cartridges back then couldn’t contain as much information as the discs consoles use today, yet I still spent more time playing them than I do most of today’s games, and the reason for that is they were incredibly difficult. If you need evidence of this, pick up a game from the 8 or 16-bit era that you’ve never played before. It’s incredibly hard! This is something I rediscovered after downloading Sonic the Hedgehog for the Wii’s Virtual Console. If I don’t have a game from that time period already memorized to the point where I can finish it in my sleep, I suck at it!

Be honest: how many of you at some point or another in your childhood broke a controller out of sheer frustration? Most of my controllers broke out of too much use, but I do have a Super NES controller that I shattered as a teenager. The game was Super Mario Kart. For months my sister and I had been trying to get a gold cup in 150cc class Special Cup and we had only managed a bronze until that point. I was in the middle of the best race of my life, and at the start of Rainbow Road all I needed to do was finish in first place and I would have that gold cup I so coveted. For four stress filled laps I kept in the lead, the other racers closely on my tail. The final lap began and I continued dodging electrified thwomps and safely made it around every turn with no guard rail. Finally, the finish line was in site. I drove towards the black and white checkered line with purpose, when suddenly a computer controlled racer zoomed past me at the last possible second and claimed first. I sat in shock, then as the awards ceremony began, I threw the controller on the floor and stomped on it, breaking the face buttons and making it no longer fit for use. To this day I still have the original Mario Kart sitting on the shelf behind my desk. I’ll even take it off and play from time to time, but never again have I played 150cc. I guess as a kid you need to find things to be frustrated with, but as an adult I find that I have to bang my head against enough things that I don’t need to do this in my leisure time as well.

-Kevin