In 1993 when Mortal Kombat released, I can remember the sense of comradery that the MK players had. We knew where every Mortal Kombat machine was in town. Every now and then weíd travel from our favorite arcade and go check out the bowling alley or roller rink; just to see if there was any fresh blood in the pool for us to sink our teeth into.
One night in particular, I remember walking into the local bowling alley with a few friends. We could see the Mortal Kombat machine from the door and some people we didnít recognize were throwing down. We didnít need to say anything to each other, but the four of us all had smiles on our faces.
We walked up to the machine where a small crowd was huddled around. Winner was called a few men deep so we had a wait on our hands. It gave us time to scout the competition. One man in particular was running wild on everyone who stepped up to the challenge. His Kano was solid, no doubt about it. He knew how to use him and he knew the fatalities. We were impressed, it wasnít often you saw someone of his caliber not playing at the arcade.
After disposing of maybe three people, it finally came to Sean.
One could argue that Sean was in the upper echelon of Mortal Kombat players in the area. Everyone from the arcade was solid, donít get me wrong. Holding a 500 record against each other wasnít bad, but we all knew Sean probably was closer to 550.
Sean stepped up to the machine and lined his quarters up along the monitor; the game was on.
The first round was close, the current champion was playing the defensive and it worked. Jump kicks, leg sweeps, and uppercuts he countered almost every time. He changed up his style from what we observed just minutes ago. The guy was pretty good. He won the first round, trash talking ensued, but Sean kept his cool. Heís faced this kind of thing before, and he just needed to adjust and he did. Sean slowed his play down, and forced the bowling alley hero off his game. Time was running close, but Sean was able to wear down Kanoís health enough by the time the timer hit zero to take the round.
One round a piece.
By now there was a large crowd of people around us. Kids, teens, adults; people see a crowd and they are drawn to it. Iím sure most of them didnít even know what Mortal Kombat was, but they knew whatever was happening was epic.
Round three started. Both kombatants were poised and ready. Sean even said ďgood luckĒ to the unnamed prodigy, which was acknowledged by a nod.
Kano versus Scorpion in the battle of the bowling alley.
Seanís Scorpion stood in place, seconds running off the clock. Kano was moving in, throwing a few high punches which were effectively blocked and countered with an uppercut. Recognizing an opening, Sean moved quickly with a leg sweep coupled with a jumping kick. It was a classic combo before combos were cool. Kanoís health was just over a quarter of the way down. Sean knew that any player worth their salt would know what to do to stop the fourth move in the original combo, so he waited. Sean obviously had respect for the new competitor. Scorpion moved back across the screen watching his distance. Kano was slower to move in, being cautious, he was smart. Moving towards Scorpion, than stepping back, rinse and repeat for a few seconds which felt like an eternity. Sean threw Scorpionís spear at him as a feeler, knowing it would be blocked; however it was a poorly calculated move. Kano blocked quickly and countered with a cannonball uppercut combo, which was his bread and butter. The prodigy in one fell swoop had effectively put the arcadeís all-star at about half health.
Everyone around the machine was silent. Aside from the distant sounds of bowling, button mashing was all that could be heard.
The fight ended in what seemed like an instant after the big combo.
Sean reacted to what happen perfectly. As soon as he could, he threw Scorpionís spear to counter what was coming next. Leg sweep, uppercut, jumping kick. Fatality.
The contender threw his hands up, let out a groan and some laughter. ďGood fightĒ was exchanged and they shook hands. Everyone around the machine was buzzing, the crowd quickly dispersed except for us Gamers. Sean picked his quarters off the monitor, we talked to the opponent for a little while, invited him to the arcade to play with us and parted ways.
That night was easily the coolest experience Iíve ever had gaming. But what does it have to do with the theme of this monthís musing?
The majority of up and coming gamers wonít be able to experience these kind of events anymore. The days of the arcade are long gone. Every arcade that was in town has since closed up shop. The arcade machines that are still around are contrived and boring, itís about winning the prize now. Not playing the game.
Iím not one to put the blame on anything specific. The advancements weíve made in multiplayer gaming are phenomenal. I love the social network available because of the internet and online gaming. The experience and atmosphere is still there, it is just presented in a different fashion.
Since the days of trolling the local Mortal Kombat machines, Iíve participated in many different gaming communities. From playing Counter Strike on a competitive level to being addicted to WoW for three years Ė Iíve had the sense of community and Iíve enjoyed my experiences, but it never even comes close to what it was like in that bowling alley.
LAN centers are the new arcades in some areas, in others they canít even get off the ground. Arcades were everywhere in the eighties and early nineties and now they are few and far between. The community is still there, but it isnít how it used to be. Maybe Iím just getting old and bitter. Maybe I just love my nostalgia. Maybe I think people need to appreciate what once was and support their local arcade. Donít let it fade out. Do not forget about it. Show up, have fun, enjoy it while you can.
Arcades are forgotten by many, not even known by some. Take advantage of them while you still can. I met some of my best friends in an arcade, and have had some of my best gaming experiences because of the arcade. I can only hope that another generation of gamers will have that same opportunity.
Yes, thatís right. Itís been a while since weíve held a contest at Gameslaves, but weíre back in action and ready to give away some stuff.
This time itís 1600 Microsoft Points. It may not seem like a lot, but itís fair to say that there are some pretty good games on Xbox Live Arcade, and hereís your chance to get 2 for free, assuming you win the contest!
On the latest episode of Gameslaves Radio (Episode 45) we announced our contest for N+, the latest puzzle/maze game available on Xbox Live Arcade. To win the contest, and the 1600 MS points, you need to create a level using the gameís level editor. Fairly simple, fun, and it gets some user created content up and going for the game.
You can enter up to one full episode (5 levels) into the contest, and it will count as 5 chances to win. Or if youíre lazy, you can just create one awesome level and hope that it wins.
In order to enter, you must create your level, and then email it to Pete, ryvvn (AT) gameslaves (DOT) net, stating that you have an entry for the contest (subject the email something along the lines of Ė N+ Contest). Once thatís taken care of, you and Pete will have to add one another on XBL and he will have to play your episode (or level) in order to download it and save it to his HDD.
Friday March 28th is the last day to submit your entries. We will be judging and choosing a winner on the 29th, and anything submitted after the deadline will not qualify.
On the following episode of GSR (which will be episode 48) we will announce the winner of the contest. The winner will be announced on the episode, so you must actually listen to the show to find out if you won. Donít worry. Just in case you hate us, weíll announce it early in the show.
So to summarize -
Create a level or episode in N+
Email Pete, ryvvn (AT) gameslaves (DOT) net, and tell him you have an entry.
Set up a time to play with Pete so he can download your entry.
Weíll judge it March 29th.
Weíll announce the winner on Episode 48.
Listen to see if youíve won 1600 Microsoft points.
You can also listen to episode 45 to hear us talk about the contest and stuff like that.
Christmas has come and gone, and Iíd like to think I made out like a bandit. Obtaining a Wii, a bunch of games for it, and Uncharted for the PS3, itís fair to say that Iíve got a fair bit of game playing to be done. However, I have popped in everything I got atleast once minus Uncharted, so since Iím bored, SNAP REVIEWS (that no one gives a shit about)! By the way, if you don't read my stupid impressions on the games, there is a question at the end.
Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles Ė Not too bad, I played really briefly but it wasnít terrible. Itís a rail shooter, hurr, and since I grew up around arcade machines Iím used to this kinda thing and like it.
Super Mario Galaxy Ė Itís Mario 64 with sweet controls and a fuckiní awesome universe. Loviní this game.
Resident Evil 4 Ė Amazing. Iíve played this the most out of all the games Iíve gotten so far and god damn is it good on the Wii.
Trauma Center: New Blood Ė I played the DS version of the first title and liked it well enough. Iíve been popping this in when taking a break from ďrealĒ games and it keeps me occupied. I like it.
Mario and Sonic Olympics Ė Only really playing it with friends or my brother, not too much fun by myself. Definitely a great party game though.
Brunswick Pro Bowling Ė Itís a bowling gameÖ I like it, itís fun, though Wii bowling probably would have been enough, however, I do like the career mode option in this title.
Carnival Games Ė In the same boat as Olympics, really fun party game but I canít imagine playing it with myself.
Mario Party 8 Ė Fantastic party game, love it to death.
Manhunt 2 Ė Eh, itís Manhunt I guess. I havenít really gotten into it too much cause I donít really care, Iíll probably beat it eventually.
Spyro Ė Not too much play time with this one, watched my brother play it some though and it seemed alright.
Yeah so, I made out pretty good, on top of that stuff I got a bunch of DVDs too which I havenít watched because of the constant playing with my Wii. All and all, Iím pretty pleased with the new system and the games Iíve gotten. A lot of things to play and keep me occupied, even though I am pretty overwhelmed. With so much stuff to play, I canít decide if Iím going to jump around or just dominate one game at a time, itís a lot to cover. For the Wii anyway, Iím going to wait till I have time to sit down and play Uncharted straight through without playing other stuff in between. I am one of those gamers though, thinking about it, itís kind of a joke thinking Iíd skip around and play different games. Itís not my style, especially for single player things.
So you tell me, what game should I bang out first?
Resident Evil 4
Super Mario Galaxy
I figure weíll leave it to those three since they are really the only ones with strong single player. The others I could jump around and play at my leisure, but Iíd only want to play one of these at a time.
There is going to be spoilers, but I doubt you care givin the nature of the film.
Bored out of my mind and looking through the new releases on my Video on Demand service, I came across the movie adaption of Dead or Alive. Being me, I had to see it and chances are at some point I will own it. You might be asking yourself, "why?" because without even reading my pseudo-review, you know this movie is going to be terrible, so why would I purchase it? Because I can't help myself. My two passions are video games and movies, and when you combine them, no matter how awful or terrible, I must own it. And yes, it includes the Uwe Bolle Collection, I'm sorry.
I knew they were making a movie out of DOA, but I had no idea that it came out over a year ago or else I would have seen it much sooner, needless to say as soon as the cursor came down to the option on the screen, I paid my $3 and grabbed some popcorn.
The opening scene easily sets the tone for everything. Bad acting, low budget props, bad CG, and a hot chick. Other than that, there is some really lame plot going on that I don't pay much attention to because the opening credits are rolling and I want to know who I can attribute this pile to. Than a familiar name crossed the screen and I was confused, J.F. Lawton? The name stroke a cord and I knew I heard it before, and half way through the movie it occurred to me -- he had part in writing Blankman, Pretty Woman, and Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death. The latter easily one of my all time favorite movies.
The opening scene went on about Kasumi being some sort of princess going off to try and find her brother, Hayate. Now, I only played the 4th DOA and I haven't played it in quite some time, so maybe this is the plot of the game too, but I promise, the game does it better. Apparently Hayate entered in the last DOA tournament and never returned to the ninja village, obviously there was foul play involved. Now, Kasumi must set out to find what happen to her brother, even if it means defying Hayabusa who strongly recommends against it! Kasumi goes to leave, than Ayane shows up, who apparently loves Hayate but must kill Kasumi for leaving the ninja village. Follow?
In short, Kasumi and Ayane battle, Kasumi gets away and jumps over the edge of a big fuckin' cliff. Luckily, under her ninja robes she wears a back pack equipped with a hang glider and glides to safety, but not before a DOA Ninja Star Invitation gets thrown at her and she catches it. Garbage like this continues for about ten minutes and all the girls of DOA get introduced: Tina (who is played by White Trash Princess herself, Jaime Pressly), Christie, Helena, Ayane, and Kasumi. Oddly, they are all quite attractive and not wearing very much through out the entire movie.
The movie focuses on those four girls the most part, however there is appearences by Zack, Gen Fu, Bayman, Leon, and Bass - who is played by Kevin Nash... FUCKIN' BIG DADDY COOL!
Ahem, there is a little more sub plot going on with Christie and how her and Max (her boyfriend) are going to knock off the tournament and steal the money and stuff like that, but I couldn't really pay attention because of the girls playing volleyball and fighting in the rain while wearing white.. things. Good thing that plot didn't really matter much, because out of nowhere, random battles begin. Action packed baby, action packed.
There is about an hour of random fighting going on, and mixed in ever so blatantly, is the boobs. Not naked boob though, which made me sad but it made sense when I noticed the PG-13 rating. So yeah, fighting and stuff.
Than with about 20 minutes left in the flick, they explain the rest of the plot that you don't really care about anyway. Basically, the event organizer killed Helena's father so he could test out these sweet sunglasses that steal you martial arts kicks and blocks, and teaches you how to fight like the person you stole sweet moves from. He used the DOA tournament to get the best fighters in the world so he could download their move lists, and than test the glasses out on none other than... HAYATE! Oh snap.
Oh, yeah. He got Hayabusa, Tina, Kasumi, and Christie all in that big chamber room thats at the end of DOA 4 where you fight the Nanobot. Ya know, that annoying, green girl that steals your moves. I guess they couldn't afford anymore CG, which is why Eric Roberts, who plays the event organizer Donovan by the way, had to wear cheap sunglasses with a red laser on the nose piece, instead of getting a sweet nanobot to fight Hayabusa.
The worst fight scene I have ever seen proceeds, Hayate obviously losses to the sunglasses, but thank god there is a computer geek around who frees the girls and they kick Eric Roberts ASS! Like, really bad, you wouldn't believe how bad they kicked his ass. His face melted, because they blew up the DOA island, that's how bad they kicked his ass.
Yeah so, this movie was really bad. However, it was fun to watch and the best line in the movie is "THE LAB IS GOING TO EXPLODE!" But with no emphasis whatsoever. I don't know what the deal was with this movie, or why it was even made. I'm honestly surprised that it isn't a Uwe Bolle film, but Corey Yuen, who directed this pile of fail, could easily keep up with the Bollster for bad video game movies if he continued down this path.
I mean, this is the guy's first American film, or well, film in English, because I IMDB'd this fool, and he hasn't done a god damn thing I can pronounce.