Super Mario Bros. (NES)

Super_Mario_Bros_cover[1]Yesterday may have been Video Game Day–as confirmed by nothing less of a source than daysoftheyear.com--but today… today is the 30th Anniversary of one of the industry’s most ground breaking accomplishments.  Super Mario Bros. turns 30 goddamn years old today.

There is seriously nothing that I can add to the conversation about this game.

I could marvel at its design–so innovative that its high water mark has only ever really been topped by other games in the same franchise.  I could talk about it cementing Mario as a pop culture icon.  I could share personal anecdotes about trying to reach The Negative World, or playing the game while looking at the TV in a mirror, or wrestling the controller away from a superior Player 1 shouting “Hurry up and die, so I can play!”.  Something Something Iconic Soundtrack, etc., etc.

But everything… everything–good and bad–has been said better by someone else.  Go read and/or watch their stuff.  It’s good, really.

Instead, I’m going to be a lame dad, and share the names my daughter, Charlotte, gave the Goombas (and Koopa Troopa) found on World 1-1.  That’s right, I’m turning a review of an unparalleled gaming classic into a shitty Facebook post.

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Bejeweled Blitz (Xbox Live Arcade)

Bejeweled Blitz is a puzzle game from PopCap games. You probably already know this game. If you know a woman over 30 who’s on Facebook… you’ve probably seen her spam your newsfeed with her latest and greatest Bejeweled High Score. Outside of Tetris and Angry Birds, it’s probably the next most successful casual video game to ever exist.

The reason for this is because it’s like shiny, flashy crack… with explosion sounds. If you ever owned an NES or Gameboy in the 90s… you played Tetris. Remember how addictive that shit was? You’d probably be playing it right now if your mom hadn’t stashed the Gameboy in a box and put it in the attic when you went away to school. Now realize that puzzle game designers have had another 20 years to perfect exactly what makes Tetris so addictive.

This is the new shit. It’s streamlined. It’s more accessible. The scores are higher. It’s fucking shiny. If you’re any good at it at all… it’s faster paced.  And worst of all… it doesn’t take long to play.  Rounds are one minute.   That’s it.  Just one minute and you’re done. Except… you’re not done at all. You could have one more round before you go back and do whatever stupid shit you’ve been avoiding…

Just one little round. That’s all. No one will ever know… Just one little round.

Buying the Cow Anyway…

Relatively recently the price of Bejeweled Blitz on Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) dropped in half. It used to be 800 Microsoft Points ($10 US to the un-Xboxed masses out there.) They dropped it to 400 MSP (or $5 US). Woah, wait. That’s not all. When I acted, they had it on for an additional 50% off. Stop opening up calc.exe. and put your fucking iPhone away. I’ll do the math here for you. That’s 200 MSP/$2.50 US.  I enjoy getting deals, achievements and video games I snatched this one up, but I’m still puzzled as to why the flying fuck I bought it.

Seriously. It makes no sense. The game is available for absolutely fucking free on Facebook. This isn’t something I learned after the fact. I bought the game knowing this. I’ve even played it on Facebook probably 5 times since buying the game.

I’d love to throw out some honourable bullshit and say that I did this because it’s important to support video game developers and vote with your dollars and such.  That’s all true, but when it comes to me actually shelling out my own cash on something that I can get (without even “stealing” it off the internet) for free… Normally I’d be first in line to say “Fuck the Devs.”

Maybe it was because I had some extra MSP on my account.  Maybe it was because I wanted another couple hundred Gamerscore.  Maybe I thought my wife might play it with me.  I will probably go to my grave, and this will be one of life’s great mysteries.  That’s it.

Here’s the complete list:

  • How did they build the pyramids?
  • Where did the Mayans go?
  • The Caramilk Secret
  • Who took the cookie from the cookie jar?
  • Why was Highlander 2:  The Quickening ever made?
  • Why the flying fuck did I buy Bejeweled Blitz?

I suppose I should probably actually review it…

Maybe later. I think I can probably squeeze in one more round.

Sucker.

So, Mel wanted to go to The Salvation Army (TSA) again tonight.  There was talk of a couch or something there.  I was very worried.  But we went anyway.  Fortunately for me, the couch was a much bigger piece of shit than she had remembered, and far worse than the one we have.  Score.  So I don’t have to move a couch.  With that ordeal wrapping up in my favour, I turned my attention to the kids shit… because as a Fat Guy With Glasses, I still have an unhealthy affinity for plastic molded in the forms of nerd icons and stuff from my childhood.

Turns out there was a C-3PO carrying case that said it was made in ’83.  It wasn’t busted all to fuck, and it was sitting in a bin at TSA, so I was doubtful.  But it was only 2 or 3 bucks or something, so I ended up getting it.  After some quick ebay and Google searches, it turns out it was actually from the mid 90s Star Wars revival.  So it’s not from my childhood at all. I feel duped.  
I know it’s my own fault, though.  There was a time when I could tell you exactly what a Darth Vader with a 2 3/4 inch lightsaber in a 3 3/4 lightsaber tray was worth, when it was produced and what the asian kid that slapped it together made for an hourly wage.  Now I’d have to think about which one was 4-LOM and which one was Zuckuss.  (4-LOM was a droid, so that should make recognition easier, I suppose.)
Pop Quiz! Who’s Who?
I’ve lost touch with my inner Fat Kid With Glasses He Never Wears ‘Cause He’s Still Trying To Fit In.   Sure, I still send him e-mails from time to time… but he’s on Facebook now, and it’s really awkward ’cause I don’t really need to know what his current status is every 3 seconds so I don’t do the whole Facebook thing.  And he’s all uptight about it because everyone’s on Facebook and I should just join Facebook already so we can keep in touch, and I’m all like, “Dude, seriously, back off with the Facebook, ok?” and now we don’t really connect as much as we should.  So I bought him this C-3PO thing and it’s not good enough and now he’s all like “I don’t even like Threepio, douche.”  It’s really annoying too, ’cause things were starting to get better since a few weeks ago I bought him this Spikor figure at this store he really likes for 3 bucks, but now I’ve gone and fucked it all up, I guess.   Way to go, man.  I should plug in the NES and smooth things over, but then he’d probably just bitch about having to give away his Atari again.  Fuckin’ ingrate.