Saturday, January 9, 2010

Game On.

I like video games. I'm not a hard core gamer or anything but I've always liked to play them. We had an Atari 2600 growing up. Some of our favorite games were Pitfall, Stampede, Outlaw and Combat. We also had a completely awesome game called "Plaque Attack" where you were a tube of toothpaste and you had to destroy the junk food that was out to rot your teeth. Think "Space Invaders" but with donuts and candy canes. We also had a Strawberry Shortcake game where the main point seemed to be dressing the characters in their appropriate costumes before the sun set. There was probably more to that one but I honestly don't remember. Our neighbors had a highly coveted Smurf game. Don't much remember the point of that one either except avoiding Gargamel and Azrael, but I do remember being absolutely green with envy that we didn't have that game for ourselves.

And then there was Adventure. Adventure was the best damn game in the world. You were a square. A little yellow square. Your sword was an arrow and you used your arrow to protect your little square self as you navigated your way through various rooms and other castles looking for the golden chalice (always hidden in the black castle). Once you found the golden chalice and used the magnet to retrieve it from the wall, you had to then safely bring the chalice back to the golden castle. You had to watch out for the dragons though and, in the more difficult levels, the bat. The bat would swoop into the scene at random times and steal whatever item you were looking for, such as a key or a bridge (Yes, I said a bridge) and then put it somewhere else. Sometimes he would take the bodies of dragons you'd slain and leave them in inconvenient spots. Bastard.

Funny story about mother came across one of those "nostalgic" game things you plugged into your television. It looked like an original Atari joystick and contained a plethora of their most classic games, Adventure included.

One evening, my sister, B, and I were playing Adventure. We were playing one of the harder levels which meant the bat was flying around stealing everything in sight. At one point, I desperately needed the bridge so I could get through the maze so I could get to the black castle and that damn bat swooped in at the last second and stole it.

"That goddamn bat stole my goddamn bridge!" I yelled.

"Hmmm," my mother said. "The language seems to have changed since you girls last played that game."

Another fun story about Adventure. We were introducing a new generation of kids to the wonder that was the Atari 2600, kids who had grown up on the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis and whatever had followed them.

"Okay," my sister and I said at the very first screen. "Now there's your sword over there, so go and get it."

"Where am I?" the kid holding the joystick asked.

"You're right there," we said. "The yellow square."

"I'm a square?" she asked then.

Needless to say, she was not impressed.

After the Atari, we had a Nintendo and fell in love with Tetris and Super Mario Brothers. I am a freaking Tetris genius. On my game boy, I have defeated the first thirty something levels. As for Super Mario Brothers, I am proud to say I beat the first game multiple times, the sequel game once and never, to my recollection, finished the third Mario Brothers. The Nintendo also introduced me to my one true, still going strong today video game obsession, The Legend of Zelda.

Oh, how I tried to win that game. I tried desperately hard to win that game. I never did. Then I tried desperately hard to win The Adventures of Link. I never did. I must have had a curse put upon me because every time I came thisclose to winning the game, my character and game log would get deleted and I would have to start all over again.

I even once downloaded a step by step how-to-win-this-game guide for other Zelda and Link and tried to win each in one sitting. Still never managed it though. It was a long sitting.

I had a Sega Genesis in my later high school years which meant I played a lot of Paperboy and Sonic the Hedgehog. Man, those games were awesome. I also had a game like Adventure and the Zelda games. Well, it was more like the generic brand of those games. It was called Fatal Labyrinth and it more than lived up to its name because all I managed to do in that game was die.

The next gaming system that managed to suck me in was the original XBOX because it had a Buffy The Vampire Slayer game and I had (have) a Buffy The Vampire Slayer obsession. Spent a lot of time trying to kill video vampires. I am an excellent video vampire slayer. Even if I never could manage to get out of the Bronze level. Too many buttons, you know? I was an old school video game girl. A joystick and one button. Maybe a directional pad and two buttons. But the XBOX with its directional pad and steering stick (I don't know what they actually called it) and A, B and C buttons combined with your X, Y and Z buttons? Not to mention the trigger things on the front...A little too much.

I also had The Lord of the Rings games for the XBOX. I am very, very sad to report that I never made it out of the Shire in those games. I did, however, manage to walk around the Shire, hitting random objects with my walking stick. FYI: Don't hit the beehives with your walking stick. The bees come out and sting you to death.


So I've been out of the gaming arena for a while now. My XBOX and Sega are covered in dust and hardly used. I've given up trying to get out of the Shire and just stick with watching the movies because it's easier. But then, it happened.

I thought I was out but they pulled me back in.

I went out today and bought a Nintendo Wii.

My brother and sister-in-law have one. We played Mortal Kombat at their house one weekend and it was hysterical. We were just jumping around the living room, flailing around and pushing random buttons to see what happened because we had no idea how to play it. My sister-in-law, by the way, rocks at Mortal Kombat.

When my sister, B, got her Wii, we played the winter sports game which included a Bobsledding game. We're strangely obsessed with bobsledding. I blame Disney's movie Cool Runnings. But yeah. We love bobsledding and so we had a bobsledding competition on the Wii one afternoon. We also competed on the skeleton and in figure skating. I don't remember who won said competition but it probably wasn't me.

I am what you would call Wii Challenged.

But, regardless of that, I liked the concept of the Wii and I kept coming back to it. I saw they had a Zelda game for it and I kept coming back to that. I liked the idea that you would use the remote controller thingy as a sword. I liked that there was a crossbow accessory.

And, oh yeah, there's also a Wii Fit so I could pretend to work out at the same time.

So, I broke down and bought one today. I'm calling it a late Christmas present from Joe. He was, of course, thrilled. I didn't get everything as they didn't have additional nunchuks in stock nor the Wii Fit in stock but I can pick those up at a later time. They did, however, have the Zelda Twilight Princess game and that, I bought.

I came home from the store and started setting it up. I put in the Wii Sports game and prepared to do some bowling. It was then that I made an important discovery:

The Gator Girl really doesn't like it when you jump around, swinging your arms and hooping and hollering over the virtual strike you just got.

She also doesn't like it when you try to hit virtual home runs, return a serve or hit virtual punching bags. I am going to have bruises tomorrow from fending her off.

The following video demonstrates what it's like playing Wii with a Malinois in the room. I would be the guy in the suit holding the stick. Joe would be the other guy, standing around and saying, "Uh...what's wrong with your dog?"

You get the idea.

So, after dinner, with Joe home to help me train the Gator Girl on accepting the new worrisome toy, I started to play Zelda. I played for about an hour. I think I'm off to a good start.

First I lost my horse. Then I ran into some walls. One of the townspeople kept yelling at me that he needed my help to herd his damn goats but I couldn't help him until I had found my damn horse. I climbed a ladder, fell off the ladder and ran into a scarecrow. I picked up some rocks and ran into some trees. I finally found the damn horse. It was stolen by this girl who then gave me a lecture on the proper hygiene needed for my horse. I then rode the horse into some trees and some walls on my way to herd the damn goats. I figured out (eventually) how to get the horse to jump over a damn fence and then got to go back to my house. Then I found the store only to be told the shopkeeper couldn't help me because her cat ran away. I found the cat but the cat ran away from me too. I know I need to catch a fish to lure the cat to give to the shopkeeper so I can get my slingshot or whatever but I can't get the fishing pole because the little punk village kid who was making it for me is off stealing my damn horse while I run around the village making an ass of myself. The shopkeeper's husband kept trying to knock down a beehive (I think they must have known about my LOTR gaming success) because when he knocked it down, he was swarmed and stung. A lot. The pregnant woman needs her cradle. I found that too but it's being held hostage by some screeching monkey thing perched on top of a boulder I can't figure out how to climb. I smashed some pumpkins because I knew how to pick stuff up and throw it, only to be yelled at by a townsperson for wasting food. Oh, and then I was run over by a runaway goat.

The Gator Girl fell asleep at my feet. Joe fell asleep on the couch. That's how interesting I was.

Maybe tomorrow I can get to a level where you actually kill orcs or whatever the evil creatures are called in this game.

Good bye, writing was nice while it lasted.

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