6. Renting the Worst Games
When you have brothers and sisters, you learn the harsh lessons of sharing early-on. One of the harshest wasn't fighting over a beloved toy or our parents' affections, but was much, much worse: having to trade off who got to pick the video game at the rental store. This is the ultimate test of patience and humility to an eleven-year-old kid.
It would have been tolerable if my little brother picked out any decent games, but he was constantly picking out the worst of the worst, despite my constant reminders about his track-record of terrible choices. I'm talking like Back to the Future 2 & 3 bad. Or some terrible racing game like Indy 500 where he'd get a couple laps in, get bored and abandon it before we even saw a checkered flag.
Of course, I always picked the good games that we could both play. But the younger ones never really appreciate these gestures and sacrifices until you're much older.
5. Not Respecting the "Die or Pass a Level" Rule
Sometimes picking a single player game was inevitable. With games like Mega Man and Prince of Persia, we'd invoke the "Die or Pass a Level" Rule. It's pretty self-explanatory: if you die or pass a level, it's the other person's turn. Simple, balanced, fair.
Nothing steamed my broccoli more than when I'd come back from a quick bathroom break (usually caused by chugging one too many Yoshi Berry sodas) only to see something was seriously wrong. I could have sworn we had eight guys left. Didn't we? How do we only have seven now? Oh what the did he use one of the Energy Tanks I was saving for when it was my turn!?
He was notorious for breaking this most sacred of doctrines. And I couldn't complain to the 'rents; I could only grin and bear it or risk having our video game privileges revoked for the rest of the weekend.
Article Five Rite of Passage Games
Almost every culture has some kind of rite of passage. Obnoxious, privileged rich girls throw lavish Sweet Sixteen parties (and apparently get simultaneous TV deals), Native American tribes send their young out in the wilderness to wait until nature speaks directly to them. It's a way to mark the transition from child to man. Or in my case, manchild. These are some of our video game vision quests.
Leisure Suit Larry
I can't recall exactly when Larry Laffer confidently strolled into my life. But I do remember that my father always told me to "scram and while you're at it, get me another RC Cola" whenever he launched the randy PC adventure game.
But what was he cackling about? What was so damn funny? After what seemed like eons, I waited until he was asleep to slip away to the family den and boot up DOS as quietly as I could.
Unfortunately, it would take many failed attempts before I could crack Al Lowe's cryptic "Prove Your Age" questions. But when I finally did (by sheer chance), the vault was finally opened to the raunchy, perverted jokes that would make a ventriloquist dummy blush.
Following Larry in his saucy adventures made me feel like a grownup. A real man. Unfortunately, this euphoric feeling ended abruptly when I reached a point in the game where I had to order up a bottle of wine to the hotel room, but didn't know how to spell "suite" correctly.
Thanks to the demise of text-based adventure games, I won't make that mistake again.
Pros: Napoleon gets points for being the only possible leader who could serve as a tactician and as comic relief. If a tiny yelling Frenchman in a feathery hat doesn't lighten the zombie apocalypse mood, nothing will. Plus his Oddjob stature may come in handy against zombies expecting delicious brains at zombie-arm height.
Cons: French generals don't have a sterling record against Nazis or zombies. Combining the two doesn't exactly bode well for your team.
Pros: If Fallout taught us anything, it's that Lincoln had a badass shotgun. If recent publishing trends have taught us anything else, it's that Lincoln was also a vampire hunter. If my history classes have taught me anything, it has yet to be applied in this article.
I also heard Lincoln had a cool hat which, as everyone knows, intimidates zombies to no end.
Cons: He's dangerously bullet-prone, and his tall and lanky figure probably looks delicious to zombies. And in a worst-case scenario, try explaining how you shot Zombie Lincoln: the most honest of all zombies.
5. The Everstone
Evolution is one of the most integral parts of the pokÃ©mon games. With a few simple levels, your pokÃ©mon will transform from a puny pile of crap to a fire breathing beast of death. Unless, of course, it's equipped with an Everstone: An item that allows your pokÃ©mon to level without the strain of becoming too useful.
The Everstone made its first appearance in PokÃ©mon Gold and Silver as the second prize in the bug catching contest (and considering first prize was a Sun Stone, you should probably work a bit harder next time). Stopping pokemon from evolving can allow it to level faster and learn moves earlier, so the Everstone seems useful on the surface. However, pressing "B" does the exact same thing. And you don't have to be runner-up in some stupid bug contest. Then again, you wouldn't want to strain your thumb reaching for the "B" button.
4. The VS Recorder
Not to be confused with the VS Seeker, the VS Recorder is a device that allows you to record your battles. What's the in-game benefit of it? There isn't one. You get no experience, no cash, no items, NOTHING. The VS Recorder is used exclusively for players to smugly show off their mad skills as a pokÃ©mon trainer. Essentially, all they're doing is showing their lame battle to an audience that will undoubtedly just find fault in their technique. Beats going outside, I guess.
"I, for one, welcome our new Nintendo overworlds."
I honestly don't blame them for not including me. They really needed the extra space for the gaggle of Resident Evil chumps. It's a pretty great move, so long as you ignore the fact that survival horror characters bring nothing to the fighting game table. But if they happen to come upon any puzzles mid-combo, they'll totally be prepared! Besides, the Mega Man void has been filled by the all-powerful Zero. I mean, the guy has a ponytail! How cool is that?
Seriously, though: Get a haircut you f**king robot hippie. I'd rather play as Servbot.
I used to be the face of this series. The cover of "X-Men vs. Street Fighter" had me shaking hands with Ryu. Now the guy won't even return my calls. Why does Capcom hate me? I shoot lasers out of my eyes. I am the leader of the X-Men and they include a f**king Sentinel over me! That'd be like making a Ninja Turtles fighting game and replacing Leonardo with a foot soldier. Though I'll bet they would have had the decency to give Leonardo a severance package. I had to sell my microwave to pay rent this month. Do you have any idea how degrading it is to heat up a Hot Pocket with an optic blast?
Article The 6 Types of Pokemon Namers
1. The Defaulter
Battle Quote: "Blitzle is a perfectly respectable name."
Examples: Oshawott, Patrat, Lillipup
Synopsis: You don't work for Nintendo. Why should it be your job to name their army of made-up monsters? You're too busy on your quest to catch them all. Besides, you want to be able to talk shop with your Pokebros without wasting time trying to figure out which particular Pocket Monster everyone is talking about. Then again, maybe you're just lazy.
2. The Pro
Battle Quote: "I'll show Game Freak how real puns are made. In fact, you could say my skills are pun-believable."
Examples: Zapidash, Piglit, Grassassin
Synopsis: You are a master of the written word, even if you haven't had time to sit down and write that novel yet. In the meantime, you prove your linguistic prowess with well-crafted Pokemon names. So what if you spend more time coming up with the perfect nickname than actually playing the game? It's totally worth it for that slight chuckle your friends emit when they first set eyes upon your Pigeru Miyamoinko.
One of the biggest problems in the Pokemon universe is that there is tall grass everywhere, and no one is mowing it. Maybe it wouldn't be such an issue if electric rats, fire dogs, and hypnotizing sloths weren't hiding out in it and attacking children at random; a pretty massive landscaping flaw. Of course, the process of actually mowing the grass would require a huge amount of effort at this point. Plus you would need lawnmowers capable of grinding through creatures made of pure rock and steel.
Sure, there are trade routes. And the tiny, isolated towns seem to be well-stocked in the essentials: It's not like anyone's dying of the measles or starving to death. But for some reason, the first town you come into contact with only has regular Pokeballs. No Superballs, or Ultraballs, or any of the better balls. They exist, and are being mass-produced. Why not ship a couple to the town surrounded by rattatas and pidgeys? You could probably make a fortune off of those small-town rubes. Instead, they're stuck with regular Pokeballs and regular potions. Now, if only they'd start mass producing Masterballs, maybe half my team wouldn't have to die to catch Mewtwo because I wasted the only one in existence on a Psyduck.
Article 5 Annoying Types of Gamers
Congratulations! Despite your penchant for reading articles about video games on the internet, you've managed to scrounge up enough friends to warrant buying some extra Xbox controllers and a few multiplayer-heavy button mashers. Social life: managed, right?
Who or what you choose to play as in games as juvenile as Mario Kart to as life-replacingly epic as Mass Effect say a lot about the character of any gamer (excuse the pun.) Allow me to provide a comprehensive guide on who you're dealing with based on player character selection, and how to deal with them. Happy hunting.
1. "I'm Really Good With Kirby" Guy
How to spot him: Your first thought when walking in the room and spotting him is "Oh, this douchebag." He plays the easiest character to win with in any game, but insists he "knows all the tricks" and isn't just button mashing like the rest of you. Get a few drinks in him and he'll challenge the entire room to play him in his video game of choice as that character, then blame every external factor possible ("The sun was in my eyes!" "It's two AM, dude." "There was glare!") on why you kicked his ass in under a minute with your obscure favorite character.
Best course of action: Don't bait this inevitable douchecube into a match on the off chance he's the 1% that is actually really good at playing Kirby or Link (Soul Calibur 2 Link, the dirty bastard with the bombs that took away half your health. Remember that sh*t?). If he's the one to challenge you, pull out your A game and stomp him, preferably in a public setting. It'll hopefully shut him up and save the rest of us from having to do the same.
2. "She's Just A Good Character!" Bro
How to spot him: He really likes the Dead Or Alive series, even the godawful volleyball games. He gets his ass kicked in every fighting game and RPG he plays because of his terrible choice in character or character build. He hasn't played the new Call Of Duty because he's in the middle of replaying an old Final Fantasy title. Why beat around the bush (again, excuse the pun)? This guy likes boobs, and he plays games and characters with the lowest clothing-to-digital-boob ratio.
Best course of action: Just let the guy be. Leave him, his vintage Capcom titles and his hentai porn alone. And ALWAYS knock before you walk into his dorm room, lest ye be scarred for eternity.