Article The Dorklyst: The 13 Greatest Snow Levels in Videogame History

December 8, 2010

Winter's here, and that means one thing: snow. Well, snow and Kevin McCallister's annual abandonment by his neglectful, emotionally-abusive parents. Luckily, we all have videogames to entertain us during the horrible weather (fact: 99% of winter deaths occur while not playing videogames). Weirdly though, sometimes the best escape from the frozen tundra of the outside world is the digital frozen tundra of a videogame. Here's our tribute to the 13 greatest snow levels of all-time.


After a few levels of blasting through endless hordes of asteroids, enemy ships, and Slippy's pleas for help, Fortuna was a welcome relief. Finally you could engage in dog fights with some worthy opponents: The lazily-named Star Wolf (since all space teams in this universe are composed of 4 random animals led by some sort of canine). As if Star Wolf relentlessly hunting down your teammates (who all have no idea how to turn around or defend themselves in any way) wasn't enough, there's a bomb that will blow if you don't defeat the enemies in time. Not that it's too big a deal either way, since apparently no one else in the entire universe is at all concerned about that evil monkey head but you.


As anyone who remembers this game will attest, completing this level was a badge of honor. Missile-shooting snowmen? Check. Random holes to fall into? Check. Meteor-tossing rat-dude final boss? So check it isn't even funny. Also not funny – this level wasn't even in the original arcade version: They added it at Nintendo's request, so more kids would break their controllers in frustration and have to buy new ones. If you had any less than two busted controllers and no sudden desire for Pizza Hut, you are clearly some sort of robot.
Filed Under   the dorklyst   snow levels

Article The Dorklyst: The 15 Greatest Commercials in Videogame History

November 29, 2010

The holiday season is upon us, and everybody knows the best part of the holidays is all the new games. Remember repeatedly seeing the commercials for games you REALLY wanted? It was painful, but it was also kind of great. In a perfect world every commercial made before the year 2000 would be included on this list, as they're all glorious in their own way, but this site isn't made of unlimited space, so we had to opt for 15 instead of 15 thousand.


Before we had Rock Band or Guitar Hero (or any music game for that matter), we had PaRappa the Rapper, the lovable dog who taught us all how to believe. This commercial really helped to convey the consummate weirdness of PaRappa the Rapper to the general public. To this day, people who have never played the game still know about the part where the weird stoner lizard sings about having to pee.


Truthfully, this is a pretty standard commercial for the time period. I mean, I like it, but I don't love it. But what sets this apart from any other commercial of the era is a young Paul Rudd, blown away by the powerful graphics generated by the Super NES. It makes you wish that Paul Rudd would do another commercial for Nintendo today, charming us all by simply talking about Wii Sports Resort or the new Donkey Kong. Now that, I can get into.

Filed Under   retro   the dorklyst   commercials

Article The Dorklyst: The 15 Greatest Arcade Games of the 90's

November 10, 2010

Before everyone had four consoles in their house and a phone that had more games than phone numbers, the only way to play the newest and coolest videogames was to steal $10 from your mom's fanny pack, hop on your bike, and head to the arcade. We honor the quarters that sacrificed their lives in the last decade of the 20th century with this tribute.

15. Gauntlet Legends

Gauntlet itself was always pretty fun – a hack 'n slash fantasy adventure with wizards and warriors and hordes of bad guys – but the big selling point here was the ability to level up and actually save your characters; giving you the feeling of real accomplishment with each token spent. It was like owning the game, except you were leasing it one quarter at a time. Then again, if you wanted to actually accomplish something, you could have been putting those tokens into that skeeball game to work your way to that glow-in-the-dark yo-yo that was going for a mere 150,000 tickets.

14. NFL Blitz

I don't think anyone would disagree with football having a lot less rules about late hits, excessive celebration, and pretty much doing whatever you want on the field (well, maybe actual players would). For all of us, NFL Blitz was a dream come true – brutally hitting players a good 10 seconds after the play was over, flinging opponents onto the ground, constant fake punts, pass interference that would send most refs into an epileptic frenzy – it had everything. This was what I think everyone expected the XFL to be, and if it had been, maybe it would still be around today (RIP Memphis Maniax).
Filed Under   the dorklyst   arcade games

Article Halloween Dorklyst: The 10 Greatest Zombie Games in Videogame History

October 27, 2010

Long before the Internet fell in love with them, zombies have been a fixture in videogames. And though they all fall under the general zombie game umbrella, the games themselves couldn't be more different. From the silly "Braiiiins"-chanting zombies to the ones who wipe out entire cities, here's our tribute to the virtual undead.

10. House of the Dead

There's a lot to be said in favor of the survival horror genre, but sometimes it's fun to just grab your gun and blow away some undead. And for all its mindless fun, House of the Dead actually has some complexity to it: The game re-writes the story based on how well you're playing. Failing to save a civilian from getting thrown off the bridge means you have to go through the sewer instead of the front door. Progressing through the game with a low rating means your fiancee dies. I've spent so many quarters beating the arcade version over and over that I probably should have saved that money for something more important.

Like my own House of the Dead arcade cabinet.

9. Plants vs. Zombies

Not every zombie game has humans fending for their lives and being forced to put an end to their undead loved ones. Some games are more…adorable. Plants vs. Zombies is a tower-defense game featuring (occasionally) disco-dancing zombies battling peashooters, potatomines, and sunflowers among other plants and food stuffs. But don't let the cuteness fool you: Plants vs. Zombies is just as fun for hardcore gamers as it is for casual ones. You might scoff at it at first, but you'll change your tune when an army of flesh-hungry zombies eats through your walnut defense shields.
Filed Under   zombies   the dorklyst

Article The Dorklyst: 10 Memorable Accidents in Videogame History

October 15, 2010

Accidents happen. Sometimes important accidents happen, like Christopher Colombus discovering America, or the inventor of the popsicle leaving soda out overnight with a stick in it. Videogames are no exception, and sometimes the biggest contributions to games have been entirely unintentional.


Though many of you could not even imagine what life would be like without being able to experience a 1:1 backswing in Wii Sports Resort, golf wasn't supposed to be part of the sequel in the first place. During 2008's E3, Nintendo Superproducer Shigeru Miyamoto talked up how much better Wii golf was going to be in the new game, due to the WiiMotionPlus adapter. The development team had no choice but to put golf in, since he mentioned it in an interview. This was a maneuver that Miyamoto actually referred to as "blocking off the escape route," because that's what happens when you're the Steve Jobs of Japan.


We all live in fear of the frightening sound of Sonic's drowning theme, but it might have never happened. According to an interview with Sonic creator Yuki Naka, the reason that Sonic can't swim in water levels is because he at the time thought hedgehogs couldn't swim. It makes Labyrinth Zone even more disappointing, not just because it was really really hard, but also because it sullies what was once a realistic portrayal of the way hedgehogs curl up in a ball, run really fast, and defeat evil scientists.

Filed Under   lists   the dorklyst

Article The Dorklyst: The 11 Most Shocking Deaths in Videogame History

October 2, 2010

Permanent death is one of the most shocking things that can happen in a videogame – mainly because we grew up in an age where new life was just a quick continue away. Here's a tribute to 11 of the characters whose moms wouldn't give them any more quarters. Warning: Most of these games are pretty old, but may contain spoilers if you're totally out of the loop.


It's a good thing there's no fall damage in FFVII, or Sephiroth probably would have broken both of his legs and we wouldn't have the most shocking death in VG history. Actually, Sephiroth probably would've died and then THAT would be the most shocking death in VG history. And probably the grossest. Whoever heard of someone going to a place of worship only to be unexpectedly penetrated? …Don't answer that.


Roman's death shouldn't have bothered us that much. He was pretty much just a human, fat, Yugoslavian combination of Navi and Natalya, except he always wanted to go to strip clubs or bowling. So, a kind of awesome combination, but still annoying and always in need of rescuing. RIP Roman Bellic – Husband, Cousin, Friend. Do not weep for him, for he is ogling titties in Heaven now (or not, otherwise RIP Kate).

Filed Under   the dorklyst   death

Article The Dorklyst: The 8 Greatest Halo Videos on the Internet

September 15, 2010

In honor of Halo Reach's release this week, Dorkly would like to take this time to recognize excellence in Halo viral videos. From in-game stunts, to pranks and gamer freakouts, Master Chief has provided the Internet with hours of quality entertainment. Without further ado, here's our tribute to the titans of teabagging.


People like this are the reason the mute function was invented. Well, them and racist, pre-pubescent rich kids. As annoying as he may be, you almost have to respect his dedication to the game. You know someone really wants to win if they're willing to waste their time and voice shouting directions at total strangers regardless of whether or not they're even listening. Not to mention the amount of money he has to spend to support his lifestyle. Xbox Live is about $45 a year—and that's not even including the cost of replacement microphones and throat lozenges.


You've gotten a double kill before, but did you bat a manned tank into an enemy space marine using only a hammer? Didn't think so. This guy is about as cool as an Xbox Live player can get. And as an Xbox Live player myself, I can safely say….that the bar is actually set pretty low. Sigh.

Filed Under   halo   the dorklyst

Article The Dorklyst: The 10 Greatest World of Warcraft Videos on the Internet

September 4, 2010

People like to make jokes at the expense of WoW players, and with all the videos of them smashing monitors and throwing temper tantrums on the Internet, it's not too surprising. Finding the best Warcraft videos on the web is like trying to pick your favorite pizza topping: They're all so damn good that it's hard to narrow it down. But we did our best. Here's our tribute to the greatest freakouts, pranks, and embarrassing moments in Warcraft videos.


There's emerging genre of Internet video featuring girls destroying their boyfriend's gadgets (or in this case, characters) and then recording the fallout. You can actually see this guy go through the first two stages of grief almost immediately: "Hmmm, that's strange. My main character isn't showing up on my server login screen. No worries, it's probably just some kind of load error. I'll just go ahead and log back in…And he's still gone. This has to be some kind of mistake, unless someone deleted my char….AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! SMASH. SMASH. SMASH." From denial to unbridled anger in just a few seconds!


The first minute and a half of this video fails to mention Warcraft at all; it's just your run-of-the-mill friendly neighborhood Juggalo threatening an unnamed group of people with a tire iron. And it easily could have ended with that. There's no shame in a time-tested "Threatening The Internet" video. But then it gets better. A lot better. It turns out she's threatening her former Warcraft guildmates over some controversy about canceling her account. The best part? She gives them a martial arts demonstration to let them know what they're in for. SPOILER ALERT: It. Is. Great.

Filed Under   warcraft   lists   the dorklyst

Article The Dorklyst: The 15 Most Famous Secrets and Glitches in Videogame History

August 18, 2010

You can only play through the main story of a game so many times, and with each replay, the experience becomes less and less enjoyable. From warp whistles to programming glitches, game secrets can refresh a stale gaming experience. Here's a tribute to our favorite ways to cheat in videogames.

1. Legend of Zelda, Ocarina of Time: The Biggoron Sword

In Hyrule, the good stuff was hard to get. REALLY hard to get. Even after braving all the temples, Link's Master Sword was only second second fiddle to the Biggoron Sword. To get it, Link had to facilitate the Hyrulian black market between all of the shadiest characters, deal in Odd Mushrooms and Pocket Eggs, wait three days, dodge rolling boulders, and cross the country several times; all for a sword he wasn't even man enough to hold with one hand.

2. Pokemon: Missingno

This was a secret that many attempted, but few carried out to the end. After sailing around on your Lapras for a few hours (in those days, gamers still had attention spans of steel), a jumble of tiny pictures named Missigno would try to fight you. Even better, if you ran away, Missigno rewarded your cowardice by duplicating one of the items in your backpack. If only the mutant fish in the polluted river near my house did the same.

Filed Under   lists   the dorklyst   glitches   secrets