In between ACOG-M40ing scrubs in Call of Duty 4, saving the universe in Mass Effect, and trying to legally marry Portal, I like to indulge in a dirty pleasure: playing admittedly horrible games. You know the feeling I'm talking about. You're perusing a game store, you see an old N64 title that you remember sucking, and you just have to have it, especially for $5. I catch that affliction about once a month.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm a purist when it comes to niche gaming. I live for games like Disgaea and Harvest Moon 64, but it just feels GOOD to laugh at a game that was clearly made by Helen Keller armed with a coding program.
My current guilty pastime: Earth Defense Force 2017.
The the game is ludicrous, as I'm sure many of you know. You never run out of ammo, the vehicles are all but useless, and hundreds of giant aliens (including my favorite, a T-Rex with giant laser guns for arms) fill your radar with red dots 90% of the game.
All blinding flaws aside, EDF2017 is actually kinda fun in that B-Movie sort of way. No game has made me shout, "This is just f***ing ridiculous!" more times, and that is why garbage games will always have a special place in my heart.
Do yourself a favor, go buy FIFA: Road to the World Cup or Sonic R. Your eyes will only bleed for a short while, while the memories will last a lifetime.
There was only one time in my life I skipped school to play a video game. Most people would brag about missing classes to beat Ocarina of Time in less than a day, or leaving after first period to go play God of War. I on the other hand, am not one of those people. I skipped school to play Animal Crossing.
I had just received my GameCube for Christmas. I was ecstatic to start playing Rogue Squadron 3 and my Zelda Collection. One thing I didn't see coming was this little interior decorating game called Animal Crossing. Who would have thought paying off a massive debt to a bitchy little raccoon could be so addicting? The next thing I knew, I was feigning sickness and lying down on my beanbag, picking apples and running errands for villagers. This continued for seven hours.
I got to the point where there was nothing left to do in the village. I had run all the errands. I had caught all the fish. I had plucked all the apples. Yet, I was a content 11 year-old. Perhaps in the future, this gaming epiphany will serve me well. I'll always have a sick looking bedroom, and I'll always make payments on my house on time.
Although, it would help if my landlord were a raccoon.
In 1997, Nintendo pushed one of its most successful 8-bit and 16-bit characters into the realm of 3D. Detonating friends and foes alike, Bomberman transitioned onto the Nintendo64 amidst mixed reviews. The question still remains, was his entrance as explosive as his SNES debut? Or are three dimensions just too much for the mouth-less protagonist? (see Bomberman Act Zero)
I remember the day I first got my hands on Bomberman64 with vivid detail. I had played Pocket Bomberman for the Gameboy Color (see-thru purple plastic? craziness!) ad nauseum, and I was itching to try out the latest iteration. One stop at Funcoland and $30 later, I was the proud owner of BM64.
This is what I remember about my initial opinion of the game: I thought the character models where the sweetest thing since the second-gen Power Rangers, but I had trouble working the 3D-adapted controls during the single player campaign. The story was fluff, but suiting. The bosses were mildly memorable (nothing like MegaMan though). The mechanics were a little funky.
The multiplayer on the other hand, was a fresh take on one of the building blocks of multiplayer gaming as a whole. I spend many more hours trying to outwit my neighborhood friends than doing homework, let me tell you.
All in all, I think Bomberman64 was exactly was the series needed, for two reasons: First, it allowed designers to fully realize the Bomberman universe, which is still used in games today. Second, it reminded Nintendo that updating a game doesn't always mean one should forget about its roots. Bomberman Live is considered one of the best entries in the series ever, and no one can argue with such a pure form of multiplayer. That's what Bomberman is all about.
It started like any other trip to eBay. I was just browsing. I had no intention of buying anything.
12 minutes later I was the proud owner of an original Gameboy and 10 games.
I figured, "Hey, I own every other member of the Gameboy family; I NEED this to be complete."
Now I'm looking at getting a Dreamcast. There's just something intriguing about this failed system that draws me in: the strange controller, the exceptional graphics for the time, the list of cult classic games. Maybe the most appealing part of my quest to own a Dreamcast is the fact it was the only member of that console generation on which I didn't game. One thing I have heard though, is that everyone who ever owned a Dreamcast still has it. Interesting...
So now the choice looms in front of me: splurge on a piece of history (hehe) or save my cash and buy a hooker or two.