The Old Days...Something odd happened today.
Are you ready for this?
I got bored.
I know. You'd figure a guy who plays video games all day, feeds people to a dragon for a living, has a wife and child at home to entertain (read: annoy this shit out of) couldn't possibly get bored.
You would be mistaken.
One of my ever so endearing personality traits is that I can go from zero to bored in a matter of seconds. I'll just finish logging out and already be looking for something to do.
Susan enjoys this trait oh so much.
I believe her exact words were "Would you stop walking around and find something to do? You're driving me insane."
So, I decided to go through my old video game collection. You know, fire up the old system and relive my youth.
All of my retro video game collection is kept in my gaming room.
In case you're not married, this roughly translates to "a cardboard box in the basement."
Apparently, a vintage NES just doesn't go with our decor.
I have no idea what a decor is.
I don't remember buying a decor.
Anyway, I was going through my old games and decided to dust off the old NES. Setting it up was remarkably easy.
Step 1) Hook up cables
Step 2) Insert game
Step 3) Remove game because it didn't work
Step 4) Blow into NES until I was ready to pass out
Step 5) Pass out
Step 6) Wake up
Step 7) Reinsert game
It's just that easy.
Do you know what I spent the afternoon figuring out?
Video games used to be F&%@in' hard.
I'm not talking challenging here. As we've discussed, I actually enjoy games that present an honest challenge to the player. I like games that take skill to master.
Yeah, not these games. These games are just plain hard.
Jack Thompson should really be going after the people who used to make NES games because if these things didn't lead to violence, then nothing will.
I started out with Contra. It was always one of my favorites and seemed like a good way to waste an afternoon. I popped the cartridge in (then took it out, blew on it, and put it back in) and that familiar screen from my childhood scrolled across my TV.
Withut even thinking about it, my fingers started tapping out the Konami code from muscle memory.
I can't remember to pick up milk, but I remember the Konami code.
For fun, I decided to try playing the game with just three lives instead of using the code to get thirty.
It'll be fun, my brain said.
My brain is a damned liar.
There is no way anyone could finish that game on just three lives. It just isn't possible. If you say you did it, then you are a liar.
I think the code was put in there because they knew there was no way in hell anyone would ever see the end of their game without it. They spent all of that time working on it, they might as well help people actually get there before they throw the damned NES out the nearest window.
Did I see the end of the game? Yes.
Did I do it on three lives? No.
Most games today will give you three lives and you probably won't even need two of them. Between health packs and extra lives and whatever else, you just really don't need them.
After finally beating the game, I decided to pop in a nice, simple looking game. Maybe a game that would be really straight forward.
So, I pop in Silver Surfer.
I must not have ever played this game as a child because if I did, my beautiful NES would be in pieces and buried next to my parents house. I would have smashed that thing to dust.
The Silver Surfer game is just a slap in the face. I mean that literally. The game jumps out of the NES and comes over to the couch to physically assault you.
As I understand it, the Silver Surfer is gifted with near limitless power. As the harbinger of Galactus, he needed to be practically god-like.
Unfortunately, he has only one weakness.
Yes, the man who can fly through outer space and fire energy blasts gets murdered by some drywall.
Why even have guards around your fortress? Just don't open any freaking windows.
Boom. Surfer beaten.
Congratulations, Silver Surfer. You were just defeated by the nice people at Home Depot.
This game is not challenging. This game is just outright painful to play.
I guarantee that there is no end to this game. The game designers made a handful of levels just in case and then said screw it because there was no way in hell anyone would ever make it anywhere near the end.
The end of the game is actually the time you decide to stop torturing yourself and turn the damned thing off.
Since I was already inflicting so much pain on myself, I decided to just keep going. At this point, it was me versus this infernal machine and I wasn't going to lose to no damned 8-bit bitch.
Screw. You. Battletoads.
The Battletoads were a disgustingly awful rip-off of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I mean, they didn't even bother finding an animal in another phylum.
Dev1>> Hey, what's a good animal to base this thing on?
Dev1>> Dogs? Cats?
Dev1>> No, no, no.
Dev1>> We're already copying the turtles.
Dev1>> We need a different animal.
Dev2>> Hey, what's the closest possible thing to turtles?
Dev2>> Do you smell that?
Dev2>> I smell money.
Like any copied product, the Battletoads suffered from an inferiority complex.
They made up for this by starring in a game designed to kill anyone who even tried to play the damned thing. If you even looked at the controller, your brain would shut down.
I tried my best to beat this game. This wasn't boredom talking anymore. It was the epic struggle between man and machine.
Actually, it was between angry man and most evil game ever created.
And... In the end... I was victorious.
Oh, I didn't beat the game. Oh, F&%@ no.
But my trusty friend, Mr. Hammer, helped settle the score.