Childhood challenge distortion is certainly something I've been aware of but never really acknowledged.
It's not just about reflexes or something either, it's mainly having to put up with the amount of trial and error involved.
Oh I definitely had WAY more patience for level grinding when I was younger. I used to really like BoF2, Phantasy Star 2/3, Daggerfall, Albion, etc., and was prone to grinding through games when it wasn't required because I didn't get the mechanics (See Earthbound, above.
One of the most extreme examples I can think of isn't entirely fair since it involves and emulator, but I was playing a translated ROM of Final Fantasy V (this was before there was any official English version) and there was a section where you're exploring a ship that had water in it I believe was supposed to cover like half your character sprite. But my emulator didn't handle this part correctly and the water just covered the whole screen so you couldn't see a thing.
Oh god I had a similar issue with SD3* as Kevin, and I wasn't aware that ZSNES was glitching out and I just though the game was really goddamn stupid.
... I also thought the NES version of FF3 ended at the initial credits roll.
@ Klyde: Did you ever play the original DOS X-Com? It has nice sprite work, although I'm under the impression that it doesn't play TOO differently from the new one so you'd probably not want to double-up.
* Just since I know the internet police are watching, I own legits fuh-realsies copies of SD3 and all that other weird import stuff I've been playing lately and I will gladly show pictures of my import collection because I am /a really huge dork I mean I can't even believe this where did my life go wrong/.
... I wish I owned legit copies of Chu-Teng and LSD, but I mean there are all of four copies of the former in existence, so.