The Old Days... ContinuedAfter having my ass handed to me by my own classic NES games, a few people suggested maybe it was just me. Maybe, as my retched mortality has aged me, I've lost my edge.
Personally, I don't see it. My edge is as sharp as ever.
I don't even shave anymore. I'm so sharp, the hair just falls off my face.
But, because so many people suggested it, I felt I had to find some way to test this hypothesis. As I am very concerned with sound scientific methodology, I decided the experiment must:
a) adequately gauge the difficulty of classic games
b) not involve me dealing with idiots
c) cost absolutely zero dollars
What? I'm just a poor GM. I don't make the big science-y dollars.
Thus, I decided the best thing to do was bring in a third party to try playing other classic games to give their own opinions and perspectives.
At least... That's how I explained to Susan that Brad would be staying over and that we'd be playing old video games all night.
She's pretty much given up on arguing with my insanity. At this point, she just shakes her head slightly and then leaves the room.
I would have gone after her, but that would have required actual effort on my part.
You can see the bind I was in.
Besides, those consoles weren't going to carry themselves up out of the basement...
I decided on Brad simply because we spent so much of our younger years playing these games together. He is truly one of my best friends and I know he'd do anything for me.
Also... Jeff was busy.
Once I got the consoles all set up, I started preparing for Brad's arrival. I did some light cleaning and then put together some nice snacks.
I'm a guy. I made sure there was at least 12 beer in the fridge. That's it.
Then, I made sure there were 11 beer in the fridge.
Then, I made sure there were 10...
You get the idea.
By the time he arrived, I was feeling no pain.
I was ready.
The next twelve hours was a blur of some of my most love (and hated) video games (and hated) from my younger years.
We started with Wolverine. The excellent new movie and very reasonable X-men trilogy had helped us remember how great the NES Wolverine game was.
They also, apparently, gave us brain damage because that game is freakin' retarded.
You don't even know what the hell you're doing half the time. You're running and jumping, and they're just firing crazy shit at you.
Ninja? Why not?
Scuba suit guy? Seriously?
Even that shit I could have let go. Unfortunately, the game has one devastating flaw:
Oh, you have claws. Yes, you can hit select and your cute little adamantium claws pop out.
Thing is that every time you hit anything with your nigh indestructible claws, your health goes down.
And you don't even regain health over time.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Wolverine have a healing factor? You know, with the whole healing from cuts and bullet wounds.
How could they leave that out?
It's Wolver-F&%@IN'-ine, man. Wolverine has two basic character traits:
b) healing factor
How do you manage to screw that shit up?
Punch Out wasn't that bad. It took a few tries to remember the old patterns, but it wasn't too hard.
Until we got to Mike Tyson.
Yes, Mike "I'm gonna bite your ear off, rape you, and then eat yo children" Tyson.
If you get hit even once, you're done. D-U-N done.
Seriously. If he even so much as grazes you, your character'll get hit so hard he'll wake up on an Atari.
In a wheelchair.
How did the game designers even consider this to be balanced? There is no learning curve up to Tyson. The characters get slightly harder to defeat until the game decides to just kick you in the balls.
Stupid f&%@in' game.
Hour after hour, we played every classic game we remembered being good at. Mega Man, Bionic Commando, Metroid. We even busted out the SNES system to see if that would be any better.
No... Not really.
We probably would have kept playing the entire next day, but I had to work.
Brad... Brad decided he wasn't going to give up. He was going to play until he kicked something's ass.
Susan had to leave for work as well, so we left Brad playing happily on the floor of our living room, a SNES controller clutched in his hot little hands and Super Mario World on the screen.
Aw... Just like my mom used to leave me.
Except Brad wasn't four and I wasn't headed to a bar.
Bah dump psshhhh.
I got home, many hours later, to find he hadn't moved.
Literally. He was sitting in the exact same spot.
And he was still playing Super Mario World.
I may have thought he had passed out from lack of sleep. I may have thought that had it not been for the wild flailing of his limbs as Mario got his ass kicked by a Koopa.
Brad>> SCREW YOU!
Brad>> SCREW YOU, DAMNED VANILLA DOME!
That's really what he yelled.
I sat down and watched him die over and over and over again.
Always to the exact same Koopa. He'd run through the areas up to this one dome and then get killed by the third Koopa along the line.
Every single time.
I'd honestly have thought he was trying it if he didn't look like he was about to have a stroke.
Then... Then something funny happened. Brad went to throw the controller at the chair nearby. You know, toss the controller in anger, but still aim it towards something soft and safe.
This would have worked perfectly if Brad hadn't forgotten that the controller was tethered to the console on the floor.
The controller aly straight at the chair with alarming velocity and then, when it reached the end of the cord, arced directly into the floor.
I'd never seen a SNES controller shatter like that.
Brad felt really bad. He started stammering and apologizing. Being no stranger to video game-related rage, I told him it wasn't a big deal. I wasn't even that mad.
I even told him that if he's back by 10 with a new controller, I might even let him keep his kneecaps.
We are friends, after all.