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About
A relatively new dad telling tales on what life is like as a gamer and a father.

- I'm the youngest of two children with one older sister.

- I'm first generation American as my parents were born in Italy.

- Married to a wonderful wife and have an amazing daughter who makes me laugh and smile every day.

- Hobbies include exercise, reading, writing, sci-fi, film, and of course, video games.




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PSN ID:Der-Sizilianer58
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I'm sure many of you have already heard that the venerable Leonard Nimoy passed away yesterday. It is certainly sad, but luckily for his fans, his long career has left us with no shortage of ways to remember and celebrate him.

Microsoft apparently agrees with this assessment, and after only a few hours after Nimoy's death was announced, Xbox Video was updated with a page of of his television shows and films.

You stay classy Microsoft.

 

 

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Does the name Ernest Hemingway ring a bell? It should, he was one of the world’s finest writers. He lived a fascinating life, won a Pulitzer and Nobel, survived two world wars, walked away from not one, but two plane crashes, and was a big game hunter and fisherman. He was the consummate man’s man

His moustache alone could kick your ass.

 Simply put, he was a hard-drinking and hard-living badass who just so happened to be a great writer when he wasn’t kicking ass. He was also known for the interesting manner in which he would write. Simply put, he wrote standing up. He did this due to a injury he suffered in World War I, but found that it had additional benefits as well.

However, Hemingway's habit of working and writing while standing was shared by other remarkable men as well, such as Thomas Jefferson and Winston Churchill. They all believed that standing while working increased productivity by fighting fatigue as well as other distractions.

Windston Churchill

Working on foot has seen an increase in popularity lately. All the hipsters are doing it, but a small part of me can't help to feel like this is a fad that will slowly disappear. Not too long ago, the big thing at the office was sitting on a yoga ball. Quite frankly, sitting on a yoga ball at the office looks ridiculous and is dangerous, especially when I'm around. I have to make a conscience effort not to kick your stupid yoga ball chair out from under you.

Also, ladies, be mindful that sitting on a yoga ball can and will expose your ass. Last place I worked had an open office environment (fuck you Google for making this a thing) and the woman who sat directly across from me sat on a yoga ball. She also liked wearing thongs. You can say that this was a slight distraction. Sure, a giant ball can help build your core strength, but you look like a moron while sitting on one at the office.

Don't worry, we'll just throw that ball out when you're done with it.

Standing however, is so much more convenient than sitting on a ball. Some of the benefits of standing include a lower risk of obesity, jump starting your metabolism, and reducing cardiovascular disease and cancer. Not too shabby.

Yes, some offices and people take the standing and working thing to stupid levels. Case and point, the treadmill desk. I also worked in an office that had one of these. It was hardly ever used, because A) it's stupid, B) It's dangerous, and C) It was always broken. Some people have trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time, and you're going to recommend that they walk and work on an Excel spreadsheet at the same time?

I used to work at gym a long while back. Since I was a morning person, I got the 5:00 AM to 12:00 PM shift. It wasn't as bad as you would think and was pretty easy. People who exercise in the mornings tend to keep to themselves and are pretty low maintenance. The one downside is that really old people also exercise early in the morning and this particular gym had a ton of octogenarians shuffling in at the ass crack of dawn.

One of my responsibilities was giving orientations to new members. Only old people would sign up for the orientations when they joined the gym, because they're really old, it was free, and the last time they exercised it was to Jack LeLanne's TV show. Nautilus equipment and cardio machines were new and terrifying things to them, and a sleep deprived and possibly hungover college kid had the pleasure to show them how to use it.

Jack Lalanne

Many times, I would sit them down on the leg press machine, which was the first exercise on the circuit, tell them what to do, and they would just sit there, smiling and staring at me. "Is the weight too heavy?" I would ask. "No, I don't think so." Grandma would say. "Okay, because you're not pushing the weight out." I would say. "Ohhhhh, I have to push it myself? I thought the machine did that for me!" Granny would reply.

...And no, we don't have jiggle machines, unfortunately.

I shit you not, this was a very common occurrence. That's why I would save the treadmill for last, because they will just stand there when the belt starts moving and simply fall off back. I learned that the hard way my first week of work at the gym. I was terrified and thought some old man broke his hip on my watch. He said that he didn't know that he HAD TO MOVE HIS OWN FUCKING LEGS!

My, boss, who was a great guy saw that I was freaking out while filling out the accident report. He just laughed and said that people fall of the treadmills all the time and I would get used to it.

And it wasn't just old people who fell off the treadmill. Young people, middle aged people, boys and girls of all ages and back grounds fell off the treadmills all the fucking time. Eventually, I learned to enjoy and actually looked forward to people falling off the treadmills, because they never ever got hurt, working at a gym is boring as hell, and I was and still am a horrible person.

My personal favorite is when people would lose their balance, but hang on for dear life, trying to regain their footing, while the belt was going 10 miles per hour. They would hang onto the bar and it looked like they were getting dragged by an out off control stage coach from an old timey western . I had a good laugh then would scream at them to just turn the fucking machine off.

 

All these people who fell off the treadmill had one thing in common, and that is they were all just trying to walk or run on a treadmill. They weren't trying to do anything fancy. Now, I ask you, do you want these same people to use a laptop or a phone while using a complicated piece of exercise equipment? This is a recipe for disaster when simply standing and working is more than adequate.

With that said, I'm not quite ready to spend eight hours a day standing at my desk. I prefer to take a lot of breaks and walk around the office, checking in on the status of things. There are some folks that I work with that have dove right into standing, but I'm not quite there yet. I prefer to ease into it.

Truth of the matter is, I like sitting at my desk. It feels natural and I'm also incredibly lazy. However, I wanted to see what the whole standing craze was about, so I decided to try it out at home, while playing video games.

It's important to point out that this little experiment constituted playing regular video games while standing, not exercise games on the Wii or Xbox Fitness, where Jillian Michaels yells at you and makes you feel horrible and fat.

I can self loathe without your help Jillian.

First game I tried using the standing method was GTA V on the PS4. Things went well for about the first 15 minutes, until my feet started to hurt. Apparently, one of the major problems of standing for long periods of time is that it's hell on your feet. I should've definitely worn a good pair of shoes. The hard wood floor in my game room wasn't helping either. After a half an hour, I was ready for a break and sat down on my couch, where I stayed for the rest of my gaming session. My first attempt of gaming while standing was a failure.

Next night, I was ready to give it another shot. This time, I was wearing sneakers, and was much more motivated. I was able to play much longer before becoming fatigued, clocking in an hour before I was ready for a break. I also found that I was playing much better. I found it easier to weave through the Los Santos traffic without wrecking and combat was much easier. I felt that I had sharper focus which was probably aided with me being closing to my screen. After the break, I played for another 45 minutes, before calling it a night.

On my second night I was able to play much longer, but I was still fatigued. Standing wasn't the main issue, but rather I was already tired after working an entire day. Gaming while standing isn't relaxing, especially after you're already tired after working all day.

 Luckily the next day was Saturday, so I would be able to test out how gaming while standing would work when I was more well rested. This time, I was going to try out a different type of game and see if that made a difference, so I booted up Forza Motorsport 5 on the Xbox One.

This time around, fatigue wasn't an issue, as I was well rested. Again, I found myself being able to focus on the game and was playing very well. I was taking good lines and easily finishing in the top 3. However, a part of me found playing a racing game standing a bit unorthodox. You drive a car while sitting, so you might as well sit while playing a car racing video game, right?

Unless you're this guy, then nevermind.

Next day being Sunday, I was once again well rested. The wife and kid were also away for the afternoon so I would be able to close out this completely unscientific experiment with minimal distractions.

This time around, I started off with Sunset Overdrive on the Xbox One, a game I have not played previously. Once again, I felt that I was able to focus much better throughout the tutorial and early missions.

 I definitely felt that standing allowed me to block out distractions. While sitting on the couch, even while engrossed in a game, my mind would wander at times. Did I remember to finish that thing at work? Did I leave the stove on? Sure is windy outside... Standing allowed me to block all that stuff out and focus on the game, which is pretty good when you're starting a new title and trying to learn the controls.

Next up was #IDARB, the indie developed sports game mash up. Once again, I haven’t played this game before, so I was able to approach it with laser focus. Once I was comfortable, I jumped into an online match and proceeded to get my assed kicked. However, I did find myself hopping up and down and swaying back and forth like a crazy person. Good thing the wife wasn't around to see this, but the dog sure looked concerned.

Last game for the day would be Titanfall, a title that I have not played for months and was sure to be rusty. I did get schooled quite a bit at first, but after a few games, I found myself finishing in the top 3 regularly, and even leading my team in points in a couple matches. These outcomes were nothing extraordinary, but I did feel that I was able to get back into the swing of things quickly. I would like to believe that playing while standing up helped in this regard.

So, you may asking yourself if I'm now a born again gaming while standing convert? Short answer is no. Standing for extended amount of times is not easy. It's tiring actually. I would be more willing to try out standing all day at work than standing at home while I'm trying to relax. Gaming while standing is almost counterintuitive. Playing a game is supposed to be a relaxing, leisurely experience. I'd rather stand all day at work and then come home and sit on my comfy couch and play a game.

At the end of the day, gaming while standing has it's benefits. Maybe it would be beneficial for competitive gamers as I found being able to focus on the action much easier while standing. You're also burning a handful of calories, which is better than nothing, I suppose. However, if your looking to get healthier, perhaps getting outside for a walk or a run, or god forbid the gym is more worthwhile.

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I’ve never watched an episode of Law & Order from start to finish, but there is a first time for everything. It just so happens that the first episode of Law & Order that I watched was gaming related. I figured it would be mediocre at best to epic train wreck disaster at worst. Turns out, it was something in between.

Law & Order: SVU likes to tout that it “rips” stories from the current headlines. When they say current headlines, they mean headlines from two months ago. The producers believe that this gives the show a sense of relevance, as it attempts to stay with the times on topics that are affecting people in the here and now. Apparently this works most of the time, however when it comes to the topics of video games, I couldn’t help feeling that the writers were a bit out of their depth.

This is not the first time Law & Order had a video game episode. Back in 2005 they had an episode titled “Game” where detectives investigated a murder that was very similar to a scene in video game that had an uncanny resemblance to Grand Theft Auto.

This time around, Law & Order: SVU takes a stab at the Gamergate controversy. The episode is called “Intimidation Game” and Kudos to the writers on such a snazzy title. 

Episode starts off with Mariska Hargitay, who’s not unattractive speaking to her therapist about the challenges of raising her young son.

Holy shit her therapist is the clown guy from Sesame Street. Why do I remember this? He’s still very creepy. Get out of my head Bill Irwin, if that’s your real name.

For whatever reason we find three SVU detectives at an e-Sports event and Ice-T is getting embarrassed by a little kid while playing a game called Kill or Be Slaughtered (seriously?).

Good thing the detectives are at this e-Sports tournament, because it turns out that they have a case on their hands. It just so happens that a couple of gamers threatened and then physically assaults a game representative because she has a vagina and apparently works for a company whose CEO also has vagina. They really have a problem with vagina.

When one of the detectives comes to the representative’s aid, we have our first of many eye wateringly awful game puns, when she states that her attackers “leveled up.” Hahahahahaha, THAT'S HORRIBLE!

We quickly learn that there is a small, but very vocal group of gamers who don’t want girls in their industry and hobby of choice (because ewwwwwwwwwww). They focus a lot of their anger towards a woman named Raina Punjabi, who releasing a game called Amazonian Warriors, because of course she is. Did I mention that she has a vagina?

Her detractors state that she has only gotten ahead because she’s a woman, engaged to a millionaire, has a vagina, and essentially slept her way to the top due to the power of her vagina. In the course of the episode we see that she is threatened, swatted during a live interview, doxed, and eventually kidnapped.

Regarding the kidnapping, this actually occurs during a press conference for Raina’s soon to be released game. She has her own security as well as the presence of multiple SVU detectives, and yet, her kidnappers “hack” the system, kill the lights, take control of the AV equipment, make the lights strobe, and make off their victim.

First off, I’m pretty sure that is not how “hacking” works. Secondly, her security and the SVU detectives are useless. Lastly, why was the press conference at the Port Authority Bus Terminal? I’m very familiar with Manhattan and there is no reason why a press conference would be at the Port Authority Bus Terminal unless your attendees are mentally ill, homeless, or all of the above.

PLEASE DON'T TACKLE ME HERE! IT SMELLS LIKE URINE!

I’m not going to spoil the episode if you intend to watch (Don’t), but the SVU team does eventually save Raina in the end and there is a minor twist ending, which is par for the course in Law & Order.

Hey little sister, SHOTGUN!

There are few things that I found interesting in this show. Ice-T is portrayed as the resident gaming guru. He’s like a gaming Yoda, dropping knowledge on his fellow non-gaming detectives. He explains to them that an FPS is a “first person shooter,” calling someone a FAL means that they “fail at life,” and explains what “noobs” and campers are.

Anyone find it ironic that Ice-T became famous for releasing a controversial song in the 90's called "Cop Killer," but now plays a cop that kills people?

Ice-T even gets to drops a few gaming related one-liners, my personal favorite, telling someone that, there’s "…no reset button in the real world." Indeed there is not. You’re so very wise Ice-T.

Here, Ice-T demostrates camping.

In the end, I give the Intimidation Game episode of Law & Order: SVU, 2 Ice-Ts menacing a cracked out Chris Rock out of 5.

It’s cringe inducing crap, but worth a few laughs on how clueless the show’s writers are when it comes to video games and the gaming industry.

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I don’t shop at GameStop anymore. With the convenience of digital distribution on both the PS4 and XboxOne, I’m all about downloading games right to my console, without ever having to step foot into a brick and mortar store ever again. It's never been a better time to be a lazy gamer.

This hasn’t stopped me from getting pinged daily by GameStop’s marketing department through e-mails. Sure, I can unsubscribe, but I find them so deliciously horrible, that I actually look forward to reading them. They are not unlike a car wreck in that you try to avoid them, but just can’t help rubbernecking when you pass one.

Case and point, last week I received an e-mail from GameStop with the subject line “Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Bonus Points. Here’s a screen shot:

Love is in the air indeed. GameStop’s idea of romance is apparently giving triple and double points to Pro and Basic members respectively. To get these points, you just need to use the GameStop PowerUp Rewards credit. I’m getting moist just thinking about that. Nothing says romance like drowning in crippling credit card debt.

Maybe this is a good time to point out that the GameStop PowerUp Rewards credit card is a HORRIBLE product.

With all the credit cards out there that offer perks like cash back, miles, and points, why would anyone think that a GameStop credit is a good idea? Here are what GameStop refers to as the benefits to their credit card.

• 15,000 bonus points for PowerUp Rewards Pro Members and 5,000 bonus points for Basic Members (These are crap.)
• Use your card to shop in store or online (All credit cards allow you to do this. This is not a benefit.)
• Choose to pay in full or make monthly payments over time (Again, any credit card allows you to do this, and by the way, you’ll want to pay this baby off in full every month.)
• Exclusive cardholder offers (Currently on the card website, there are no special offers, but they’re coming soon!)
• No annual fee**

Notice the asterisks by no annual fee? Remember when I said that you’ll want to pay off the balance in full every month? Because there’s some legal jargon that GameStop hopes you don’t read. Take a look below:

Minimum monthly payments are required and at no time will the minimum payment due, be less than $25.00. Standard variable APR of 26.99%, based on the Prime Rate. Minimum Interest Charge is $2.00

So let’s get this straight, there’s no annual fee, but if I’m carrying a balance, the minimum payment is $25. Okay, I’ll give you that.

Next point of contention is the APR or interest that they’ll charge, which is a whopping 26.99%. That’s a lot folks. That’s actually ridiculously high. That’s getting ravaged out in the Appalachian by a redneck high.


So romantic….

Most credit cards give an introductory rate of 0% APR ranging from 6 to 12 months. When the introductory APR period ends, the rate then usually goes to 10.99% to 22.99%, depending on your credit history. Not so when it comes to GameStop’s card. Everyone is automatically at 26.99%, regardless of credit history.

Last point, is the minimum interest charge. Regardless of your balance, GameStop is going to charge you $2.00. So, let’s just say that you have a low balance, carried over from the previous month and the interest charged is $1.00, GameStop rounds that shit up to $2.00.

There really are no redeemable factors to the GameStop credit card. Everything about it is built to screw you over. This is the case with many credit cards, but when someone fucks me, I like to get kissed. Other cards have perks that can be used to your advantage if you're smart. Not so for GameStop. GameStop doesn’t believe in foreplay. They are going to lube you up and make you squeal like a piggy.

No blog post of mine is ever complete without a silly list. So I decided to compile a quick top 5 places I’d rather spend Valentine’s than at a GameStop using their shitty credit card.

5. Going Shopping with a 2-year-old

I’m a man, and being a man means that I pride myself in getting in and out of the store as quickly as possible. Armed with a list and a plan, no trip to the store should take longer than 30 minutes. HOWEVER, throw a child into the mix and that all goes out the window. Without fail, there will be temper tantrums, arguments, unplanned purchases (OHHH CEREAL!), and diversions. Still, I’d take this over going to GameStop.

4. Prostate Exams

Full disclosure, I’ve never had my prostate checked. I’ve got many years to go before I have to look forward to getting my balloon knot annually digiblasted by the friendly urologist.

3. Department of Motor Vehicles

Oh the bureaucracy. It’s wonderful. Wait in line, then sit. Wait in another line, then sit. Oops, you got on the wrong line, you’ll need to go to another line. Oh, you’re on the right line, but you filled out the wrong form.

2. Jury Duty

I’ve managed to get out of jury duty every year since I turned 18. That’s a long time. My luck will run out one day and then I’ll have to perform my civic duty. My dream is to be a jury on the court case of a century, like OJ Simpson or the Boston Strangler, some shit like that. With my luck, it will be some guy suing a pharmaceutical company because their boner pills gave him an erection for seven days. Exhibit A, flaccid penis. Exhibit B, erect penis. Exhibit C, post operation penis.

1. College/University Registrar Office

Does anyone who works at a school registrar have any empathy? Do they take joy in making me jump through hoops and making me miserable? Is anything ever good enough to placate them? Yes, I understand that add/drop has ended, but I gave you the form for the class that I want to add, I have a letter from the professor saying that it’s okay. I gave you a letter from the dean saying that is okay. I cut off my pinky finger and presented it to you in an elaborate ceremony in accordance to yakuza tradition.

But I forgot to sign the ADD/DROP forms with the blood of an Incan virgin. FUCK!

As always, I’d love to hear from the community on what your thoughts are. What are some horrible places you would rather be on Valentine’s Day than in a GameStop using their piece of shit credit card?

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Do people still use the term “Jump the Shark?” If they do, do they even know what it means? Do they know the history behind the term? I’m big on history, especially pop culture history. Let me enlighten you.

The phrase originated from a scene on the TV series Happy Days, when the Fonze, a greaser tough who happens to be friends with a bunch of squares, goes water skiing in LA and jumps a confined shark, proving once and for all how manly and cool he is. He also did this while wearing swim trunks and his trademark leather jacket. Many believe that this was the point where the show had surpassed its apex, and now was on a steady decline. Simply put, jumping the shark means it’s all downhill from here.

I’m not saying that Law & Order: SVU is jumping the shark by having an episode based on GamerGate. Law & Order has been on a steady decline since Baby’s father from Dirty Dancing passed away. I’m saying that GamerGate is jumping the shark because a shitty crime show watched by your grandmother is now hopping on the bandwagon.


Rest in peace, Baby's Dad.

Did you know that OG gangster rapper Ice-T is on the show? I saw him a few years back in New York City, just walking down the street with the some blonde woman who was not unattractive. They were lost and bickering on how to get to some cross street. OGs DON’T ASK FOR DIRECTIONS!

Ice-T posing in front of what he believes to be Times Square.

Know who else is not unattractive? Mariska Hargitay, who is also on the show.


Hot in that she'll bring orange slices to her son’s soccer game kind of way.

Mariska Hargitay is also the daughter of late great Hollywood icon and bombshell Jayne Mansfield. That’s some major pedigree in hotness there.

Getting back on point, Law & Order has a history of taking recent headlines and crimes and regurgitating them out into their episodes and video games have been a topic on the show before. Case and point, the 2005 episode, simply titled “Game.” Major kudos on the creativity of the writers on coming up with that title.

In this episode, the detectives find that a violent homicide is very similar to a scene in a popular video game called NtenCity. Say it out load and it sounds like intensity. CLEVER WRITERS. The game in the show also has a striking resemblance to GTAIII, big surprise!

Using crack detective work, they are able to arrest a teenage couple who claim to be unable to distinguish fantasy from reality, therefore it was all the video game’s fault, or some shit like that. After reading a bunch of recaps and watching some scenes online from this particular episode, I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that the writers of this show have no idea how video games actually work.

So, Law & Order is dipping its toes again in the game bashing pool. I can’t wait to see how far off the mark they are when it airs. I’m speculating on what the title of this episode will be. I reckon GameGhazi. Also, which actresses will play Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn? I have some suggestions.


Kim Kardashian IS, Anita Sarkeesian!


...And special guest star, Dame Helen Mirran, as Zoe Quinn.

What do you all think about this? I think the show is going to be an utter disaster and miss the mark completely, but this is a show for people who are really old (live in Boca Raton, Florida old) and they don’t know shit about Gamergate to begin with.

Lastly, if any of you can think of better actresses to play Miss Sarkessian and Miss Quinn than my selections, let me know in the comments. I’m am incredibly interested and terrified at the same time to see what the community comes up with.

 

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It’s cold outside. When I say it’s cold outside, I really do mean its freeze your face off, toes turning blue, testes shriveling up inside of you, kind of cold. It’s not pleasant. For my friends in the southern hemisphere basking in the warmth right now, you can get stuffed.

The first month of winter can be a pleasant experience. You get to break out the heavy coat, warm hat, and mittens. Stylish? You bet! However, once January begins to wind down and February’s cold embrace takes hold, I’m sick of winter, ready for it to come to an end and spring to return.

I remember being younger and not being affected by the cold as much. I’d go out into the elements without a heavy coat and be totally fine. I was young and stupid and everyone knows that people under the age of 25 know everything.

There’s this kid that takes mass transit in the morning with me. I don’t know him personally, but what I do know is that he likes to act tough out in the cold. In the wee hours of the morning as we wait for the train, he’ll just show up on the platform in his corporate casual uniform consisting of just a button down dress shirt and slacks. No coat, hat, and gloves for him.

One day he did this when it was 6° F outside. I think he may have shit for brains, so I tried to enlighten him. I asked him if he owned a coat and he said that he didn’t need one. I then asked him if he was cold and he said that the cold didn’t bother him. Oh, he’s a TOUGH GUY. But, the cold was bothering him as he was shifting his weight back and forth from foot to foot and was huffing and puffing, like he was doing a pee pee dance. I left it at that. I was not going to get through to him. I may be getting older, but I’m not ready to start lecturing kids on the virtues of wool hats and gloves.

This winter has got me thinking about some classic gaming chestnuts that seem to have pushed aside, in particular the snow and ice levels of previous generations’ platformers. You just don’t see many snow and ice levels anymore, certainly not in the same way as they used to be. Now, snowy levels are just for the visual impact. Ohh, look at me, I’m on a snow level. I can see my breath. My character leaves footprints in the snow. SO FANCY!

It seems like every platformer of my youth was required to have certain levels incorporated in order to be published. It’s like all the executives huddled into a board room and built a check list. Does it have a water level? Does it have a fire level? Does it have an ice level? If it doesn’t have all of these then they send it back.

I don't care if it's Tetris, put in a snow level.

Quite frankly, as I have gotten older, I would prefer to avoid winter. I’m not quite ready to say fuck it and move to Florida, because let’s be honest with each other, Florida sucks. So I decided to take a trip down memory lane and recall my top 5 snow and ice levels while huddled in my man cave by a roaring fire while shaking my fist at Old Man Winter.

5. SSX

Okay, so this is cheating because the entire game is just one large snow level, but what a nice snow level it is.

When I purchased my Playstation 2 on launch day, I picked up two games to go along with it. One game was Madden, because at the time I was a complete tool, and the other was SSX.

All I knew at the time about SSX was that it was a snowboarding game and it was graphically impressive. Once I loaded up the game however, I was awestruck on how visually impressive this game actually was. To go along with all the eye candy, SSX was also tremendously fun to play. It became the title that I would pop into my PS2 to show off what it was capable of to both my gamer and non-gamer friends.

4. Super Mario Brothers 2 – World 4

This game is not really a Super Mario Brothers game, that much is known. It was a cruel joke from Nintendo of Japan on all us stupid westerners. However, my friends and I played it over and over again none the less.

3. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 – Ice Cap Zone

As a huge Sega fan, I have a dirty little secret, I did not care for Sonic 2 or Sonic 3. I adored the first game, but its sequels didn’t capture the same magic for me.

With that said, the Ice Cap Zone in Sonic 3 was a blast to play. Great music paired with Sonic on a snow board. What’s not to like?

2. Super Mario 64 – Cool, Cool Mountain

Arguably speaking, Super Mario 64 was the first 3D platformer that got things right. Everything about the game was solid and many have tried to emulate it with various levels of success. With that said, it has one of the more memorable snow levels in my humble opinion.

First off, you get to rescue a baby penguin and return him to his mother, which is ADORABLE! Also, Mario gets to race down a giant ice slide on his ass, which is more fun than it sounds.

1. Shadows of the Empire – Battle of Hoth

As a fan of the Star Wars films and as a fan of the book Shadows of the Empire by Steve Perry, I was very excited to play this game on my newly acquired Nintendo 64. It was released four months after the launch of the Nintendo 64 and I was aching to play something other than Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64.

To say that Shadows of the Empire the game was a disappointment is an understatement. The best part of the game was the first level, which was the battle of Hoth. Every hardcore Star Wars fan’s wet dream was to pilot a snow speeder taking down Imperial AT-ATs. Shadows of the Empire did not disappoint in this respect. It’s just that the rest of the game was a steaming turd. I found myself just playing the first chapter over and over again.

Bonus: Wave Race 64 – Glacier Coast

Is it just me or is this list Nintendo heavy? Seems like Nintendo makes the best snow and ice levels, no?

Wave Race 64, a fun Jet Ski game that takes place for the most part in tropical climes. The last and arguably hardest course took place in frigid waters. Can Jet Skis even operate in arctic waters? Wont the racers get hypothermia? Who cares, it’s a video game! You’re on a Jet Ski doing jumps off ice ramps and dodging glaciers.

Hope you enjoyed my short list of my favorite classic ice and snow levels. Would like to hear what some of your favorite ice stages are. Let me know in the comments.

 

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