Monday, April 11, 2011

The Most Dangerous Time of Year

April is the most dangerous time of the year for me. This is the season where I've gotten my tax return and, like a responsible adult, have paid bills and put it into savings. But now, now I sit around in my remaining poverty adding to the stereotype that all gamers play video games in their underwear while eating Doritos right out of the bag. I don't go outside because I can't afford to put gas in my broken car, getting a lovely basement pallor that would make Sephiroth look swarthy. And I struggle through it because hey, that's what being an adult is all about.

And then the Navi of credit cards makes its presence known. I'll open my wallet to look at my license and assure myself that I'm actually a living, breathing human being and a tiny bit of blue plastic poking out will suddenly become the most obnoxious thing on the planet. "Hey, Listen!" It'll scream. "You don't have any money but think of all the cool things you could buy with me! Hey! Hey! Wouldn't that be cool?"

At this stage the thing is easy to ignore. I'm an adult. I'm perfectly content to cycle through Netflix instant on three different systems and convince myself I'm actually looking at a high tech series of multiple monitors at Skynet.

Then the credit card amps up its game. It's guilt trip time. And it sounds suspiciously like the hoarder woman from Labyrinth. "Don't you like your friends? Go out to coffee with them! Go to the arcade, go eat that salame out of a cup you like so much. Hell, with the limit on this thing buy them all iPads and challenge them to Words with friends. Wouldn't you like to see them and do things? You like things!"

But I can selfishly hold out. I can overcome. By this point I'm on my 96th straight hour of Katamari, eying things on the floor and wondering why I can't pick them up by stepping on them. My NES has overheated, the FC Mobile is surrounded by a pile of used up batteries which I've attempted to fashion into a crude cat condo and I've spent an entire day trying to swim to the island in Goldeneye.

And then my resolve breaks.

And it's always Wesker. "You don't need those pathetic fools. You've worked, you've been responsible. Incompetence surrounds you so reward yourself. Say, perhaps, with one of these suitable arcade machines like this specimen to the right."

And I have worked hard! At beating the high score on Pac-Man. And I have been responsible! In that I remembered to pay rent at least twice. I do deserve something awesome!

And that's how I end up with multiple Dreamcasts, three laptops, and action figures I don't have places for. But this year, as I've said every year, this is the year I won't give in. This is the year I level up into "Real Adulthood." I have a +8 to my willsave this year. I can do this.

I can.



Saturday, April 9, 2011

Majora's Mask Part 2

On March 16th the northern hemisphere experienced the SUPER MOON, the biggest full moon in the past twenty years. Of course living in the foggy San Francisco Bay Area I got to experience instead the super fog and didn't get to see this moon monstrosity. However, after playing this game for over five hours now I'm glad I missed it. Even outside looking for it all I could think was:

I feel as though I've relived the past three days of Link's life over ... and over ... and over again. Mostly, because I have. And while I've spent a lot of time in the game I haven't really done much interesting that anyone would want to read about. I got some masks, did landscaping for money, and played more hide and go seek. And while the moon is the main fright fest of the game, I'm far more terrified by these:

This woman is not at all what I'd imagine the Great Fairy to look like. Not only is she an amalgam of Poison Ivy and a transvestite mermaid, but her sound effects are horrifying. She's supposed to be giggling, but it sounds like a shriek of agony. In fact it sounds like the scream of those misshapen guys in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, the ones who hug you to death.

I'm not quite sure what this animation was supposed to be, but it certainly looked like he was doing unspeakable things to this organ grinder while reminiscing about a dog.

And then there's this guy. He doesn't look suspicious at all right? Just shirtless, at eleven o'clock at night, chilling in the corner next to a playground slide. Totally normal. Nothing to be concerned about. Imagine my shock when it turned out this fine upstanding gentleman was in fact a purse thief! Scandalous.

So the breakdown is thus:

Total Time: 5:20
Moon Based Deaths: 1
Dogs Thrown: 1
Masks: 5/31

I'm gonna keep chugging along on this game. And now I'm super motivated. Because this past weekend I bought myself one of these. That's right, in the box. With the manuals. I fired it up to shoot some ducks and fish and I could barely contain my glee. For those not in the know, the Master System rip off of Duck Hunt has one incredibly amazing upgrade: There's no snickering dog.

And for that alone this system should have decimated the NES. After Majora's Mask is all complete I'll be moving on to Altered Beast on the Sega Master System.

I can't wait.