Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Classic Games Race - Star Fox

Recently, me and my buddy Josh decided we didn't play enough video games and wanted to tackle some classics.  That's not entirely true.  I play an ample amount of games but I've been making it a point to plow a classic when I can - which sounds more like something I would say if I were running around nursing homes with a boner.  There are definitely some classic titles that either escaped mine and Josh's childhoods completely or at the very least we were just too stupid as kids to beat. Lucky for him, a few months back I made him an Emulation Station that contains enough ROMs of classic consoles to keep him busy for an eternity and I of course have my massive collection of cartridges and systems.  Yes, it's illegal for him to own the ROMs but did I mention his real name is Kyle and he lives in Alaska?  Josh who?

To motivate the playing of some titles we decided we'd start a game and play until one of us beat it, however long it took; Kyle on the EmuStation and me on the original hardware.  No codes, no cheats, no save states - just as God intended (except for the emulation part but fuck off).  It took us about a week of occasional play time to finally finish Star Fox.  I completed it first but it's less about the race and more about the experience.  At least, to me.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Super Mariothon Commence!

Goal: Beat six Super Mario games over a weekend.
Requirement: Have fun
Rules:  No cheats, or warps.  Beat a stage, pass controller.  Die, pass controller.  Easy-peezy

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Dear Haters: Why I Collect

Recently a friend ridiculed my collection claiming I could afford more of what they want me to buy if I sold the random, useless video games donning my shelves in my game room.  It bothered me a little but it's not the first time I've been judged for what I feel is an exceptionally awesome collection and man-cave.

"It's dumb, you're not going to play them, just sell them."

How about.. no?

Lemme tell ya why...

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Couch Bro-Op Finally Beats Another Game: Alien: Isolation


The Bro-Op tandem of myself and Briz has not had the pleasure of watching credits roll together since we sacked ZombiU back in January.  After that we moved onto Alien: Isolation on the XBox One which took us just under six months to beat thanks to a multitude of life changing and schedule altering events that prevented Bro-Op nights from happening.  Plus, the game is no breeze and certainly challenged the depth of our wits and the resilience of our sphincters.  

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Recent ebay successes: The Shotgun Technique

On most days, I'd rather take my chances on Craigslist and run the risk of being kidnapped and brutally murdered inside a van off the side of a highway somewhere in West Virginia than venture into the price gouging, fake shilling world of ebay.  But recently, I don't know what's gotten into me.

You already know how ebay works because you've been alive for more than a day but just in case you need a recap, people post their wares/goods/collectibles (what have you) on ebay and idiots throw money at it until it sticks.  It only sticks when time runs out and it is determined that you were the idiot that lost the most money on it.  You do gain the item but you probably paid more than you should have had to.  This is evident because no other idiot offered to pay as much money as you did. You stupid sucker.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Far Cry 3 gets beaten; I end up wanting more

At first, I didn't really want to play Far Cry 3.  I was scared away by how long it would take to complete - ain't nobody got time for dat!  Upwards of forty hours for most people means I get about seven hours in, get tired of it, and rush through the rest.  In the back of my mind there are WAY too many games, not only in existence but on my shelf and in my backlog to enjoy one for too long.  But this game was like Pringles and black tar heroine, once you pop you just can't stop, or so they say (about heroine, that is).  The game DID take me several months of my daily gaming allowance to beat but man... it was awesome.

This is Vaas, a villain in the game.  He's a real cocksucker.
The game has so much good packed into it.  There are a few flaws but it truly does deliver action and adventure on a thrilling and often terrifying platter.  Let's talk about the look...

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Craigslist [almost] Misadventure

Tuesday was a big day for me.  I panicked while waiting for an engagement ring to get to my house via mail when no tracking number was provided to me.  I was going to propose that day, where the hell was my shipment?  I scrambled to get home in time to sign for it.  It was important that I was there before noon or else I'd miss the delivery and my plans for asking the love of my life to marry me would be squandered on her birthday.  On top of that, the engagement was all I had planned.  Without that it was just a shitty birthday and I was a shitty boyfriend.

Meanwhile, a guy named Alex waits patiently for me at the mall.  At 7am that morning I told Alex that per his Craigslist ad for a $25 Luigi's Mansion, I'd offer him $20 and would meet him at the mall. He obliged and he arrived at the mall, at noon as was agreed upon, and waited.

And waited.

At 12:15 I received a message from Alex.  "Hey I've been here for 15 minutes and I'm leaving now, we can try to meet up again some time...."

Ironically, this is the exact face I made upon realizing that I had forgotten all about Alex.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Online Bro-op Beats Dungeon Defenders

There are few things in this world I would defend.  Among those few things are of course my significant other, my own life, my honor... shit like that.  But something else I would defend with every ounce of my beating heart and vibrant being are my dungeons.  Don't even fuck with my dungeons.
Josh and I started wailing on this game shortly after we retired the oft-clumsy and regularly hyperbolic Resident Evil 6 campaign.  Instead of going after another triple-A blockbuster we decided that since Microsoft was tossing out freebies left and right, we might as well tackle one of the games already collecting digital dust in our digital libraries.  On the digital cover of Dungeon Defenders it read something to the effect of "Most addictive co-op, 9/10" or something.  We rolled our eyes and figured what the hell, we'll try it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Proud Pickup: Super Metroid

It's not quite a yard sale find where I paid $1 and skipped merrily back to my car, but it's still a good find and a great deal.  A guy I've chatted with in a video game collecting chat... thing.. has his own online shop, Thundercards.com.  Trust me, it's not weird.  I chat with lots of strange guys on the internet and I click on all the links they send me.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Highlighting My Gems: Die Hard (NES)

What makes a game a gem in my collection?  Monetary value.  That's really all.  Whether or not it's fun is sadly secondary.  No one would break into my house to steal a game that was fun but they might break in to steal one worth plenty of money.

Regrettably, I don't have a ton of valuable NES games in my collection; but, one I do have of value is Die Hard made by Activision based on the 1988 blockbuster Bruce Willis flick.  I picked this game up for $1 at a local yard sale back in 2013 and at the time I wasn't real sure of its worth.

I remember it like it was yesterday.  My girl and I pulled up to this non-flattering abode with a number of tables out in the front yard.  I walked up to one of the tables and was delighted to see a bevvy of video game cartridges laying there.  I asked how much and the fella said "Dollar for these," pointing to a number of NES and SNES games and "Ten dollars for these," as he pointed to a second group of games.  "'Ese ones here have Mario in'em so they're worth more," he said, referring to the second pile.

I took everything he had.  There were many more deals in this grab that I'll highlight in later posts but one of the games in the dollar pile was Die Hard.  Excited, I strutted back to the car with my armload of loot, dumped them into the backseat and pulled out my phone. I typed "D I E  H A R D" into the Video Game Price Charts app.   FIFTY DOLLARS!? WOOHOO!  A little less than two years later the game can be fetched for about $70!  A collector's perfect day out.

So, why is Die Hard, a movie tie-in game, worth so much dough?

Friday, February 6, 2015

Collecting NES: Why are Taito games so expensive?

As a kid who loved video games, I absolutely did not care or take notice of what companies made which games I played.  I’m guessing most of you probably didn’t either.  Now, as a grown up and collector, it’s easy to take notice of which companies are associated with the better games.  Nintendo games made by Nintendo generally are of high quality in terms of both depth and fun so it’s understandable why many games published by Nintendo for their own systems, though not always rare, are still difficult to find cheap.  Franchises like Zelda, Kirby, Metroid, and of course Mario are the flag wavers for the mainstream market of video games across all platforms.  They’ve gone from fun loving characters to enormous company mascots.
Figure 2: Mario as Nintendo's mascot

Friday, January 30, 2015

MAGFEST 13: A Collecting Adventure

I love MAGFEST for a number of reasons, primarily because it's a unique collaboration of gaming culture.  It has what you would expect in a gaming convention from a free arcade, video game tournaments, and Magic and tabletop tournaments, to academic panels.  The gaming themed music just adds to the madness as bands like Urizen and Bit Brigade wow crowds with on-stage feats.  I definitely get excited about all of that stuff and I wouldn't go to MAGFEST if that wasn't part of it. But, one thing that really excites me is the vending booths.  I don't find many games I don't already have here in rural Southwest Virginia and MAGFEST usually has some stuff to fill in the holes in my collection.  The prices are typically... TYPICALLY.. reasonable.  But not all the time! Occasionally I wondered if I was looking at the prices upside down but that's just how it goes sometimes.

To highlight my little game hunting adventure, I tooled around and made a short video that looks more like a middle schooler trying to bootleg a porn convention but is instead a grown man trying his best.  I didn't want to spend too much time on it because I knew my footage sucked, so pretend it's purposefully trying to capture the essence of a sixth grader trying to give a book report about a book he didn't read.  If you hate it enough, I might try to make another one day just to spite us both.

Edit:  I've gone nearly 30 years of my life without ever learning I have a speech impediment, until now.  Thanks for not telling me, assholes.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

I beat Donkey Kong Country Returns. Goddammit.

I love a challenge especially when Nintendo does it.  A lot of developers not named Nintendo will make a challenging game but it will be challenging because it's stupid.  Naw.. naw, if Nintendo makes something challenging, which it rarely does anymore, it wants to burrow down inside your skin and live there for a while, making you want it, seducing you with its color and whimsy.  Then just when you think you've mastered it... BAM.. you squirt blood out of your ears and pass out.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

What's on the docket for 2015?

I completed over thirty games in 2013 and did so once again in 2014 which either indicates I'm consistently into gaming year after year OR my life has reached a point of stasis and this phase is very inactive and predictable thus I'm a loser.  Either way, I'm okay with it.  VIDEO GAMES!  Will my consistency carry on to 2015?  Well, I sure hope so but you never know what life might throw your way.  I could POTENTIALLY go outside and find something to do OR I could get kidnapped by pirates and tortured on an island by psychopaths for weeks!  It would really cut into my play time but I wouldn't have to go to work for a while at least OR maybe EVER if I can find someone to sue over the whole ordeal!  Oh by the way, I'm playing Far Cry 3 right now.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Couch Co-op Beats ZombiU

"Ahh! Oh my God! Get'm off me! God no! Why!?" - Said by us several times.

My bro-op mate Brian and I finally beat ZombiU for the WiiU last month, just before holiday break.  I'm only writing about it now because it's taken me this long to process the psychological trauma and deal with the amounts of excrement I released into the depths of Brian's sofa.  Just kidding, but seriously the game has some good scare times.  Without spoiling anything, if you do plan on playing this one stick it through 'til the end and I mean the very end, credits and all.  You actually get the credits before the final segment of the game and after that final segment there's no going back. Your game ends how it ends - good or bad.  That's a lesson we learned on the fly - we got the bad ending.