Article The Dorklyst: The 7 Greatest Videogame Movies

By Sophie Prell / September 28, 2011

Poor Bob Hoskins. While we'll all fondly remember his adorable alcoholism and devil may care attitude in toon noir film Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, we'll also forever remember him as chubsy wubsy Mario Mario in the Super Mario Bros. movie. And if there's one thing we gamers (and Bob Hoskins) can't stand, it's bad videogame movie adaptations.

What is it about videogame stories that Hollywood just can't get right? While novel adaptations will always have their "the book was so much better" crowd, the kindest words we can say about videogame films is typically, "Well the vomit didn't actually exit my mouth…" So let me put your mind — and stomach — at ease. Here's a list of films that, while not fantastic, are at least tolerable; the best videogame movies you'll ever see. And keep in mind "best" is a relative term, because for every entry on this list, there's three Uwe Boll sh*t sandwiches.

Break out the popcorn, and let's get rolling.

7. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time

Jerry Bruckheimer is a pretty cool dude. He took a boring kids ride at Disney World that just about everyone had either willfully forgotten or just plain ignored and turned it into a pop culture phenomenon, complete with a captivated, yet ultimately ignorant, youthful audience. Oh, you want to be a pirate, do you? That's cute. Let's get you started with a routine rape and plundering of an unarmed fishing village, and then we'll set you adrift on the ocean where you can lose your teeth, sanity, and eventually life to scurvy. Cute, isn't it?

So it was nice of Bruckheimer to at least attempt to bring some life into the videogame to film adaptation market. Big-budget special effects, Alfred Molina, Ben Kingsley — oh I'm sorry, Sir Ben Kingsley — and Chesty Jake seem like a recipe for a movie that would leave no sour aftertaste. Ultimately though, that's all the movie was: a summer popcorn flick with all style and no substance. Still, it was a fun ride while it lasted. Now who wants to take me on in an ostrich race?

6. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life

It's weird to think of a time when Lara Croft was the name in jungle/ancient ruin exploration instead of Nathan Drake. And lately, the famous Ms. Croft seems to be channeling horror film The Descent more than a female cross between James Bond and Indiana Jones. Which, by the way, in case you haven't seen The Descent, do so. Now. It's even got a little dig at the long-running Eidos/Crystal Dynamics franchise!

But back when Lara was still on top of her game — and Angelina Jolie wasn't busy crossing off third-world countries to adopt from like she was collecting Beanie Babies — there was this little diddy of a movie. While the first stumbled over its own feet in terms of pacing and an appropriate sense of wonder, this sequel delivered exactly what fans wanted: Lara Croft in skin-tight outfits, kicking ass, exploring appropriately awe-inspiring locales in the quest to stop baddies from wielding that which man was not meant to use.

Again, a popcorn flick and not much else, but at least it gets points for having not one, but two full colons in its title. Because God knows that's the one thing it would've been missing otherwise.

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Article The Dorklyst: 6 Great Moments of Retribution in Videogames

By Daniel Abromowitz / September 21, 2011

Rarely in life do people get what they deserve. Your boss still thinks AltaVista is the world's best search engine and gets checks with more zeroes. The ex-boyfriend who backed over your dog has a profile picture with a new girl every weekend. You have crabs. In our universe, God plays dice, but in video games, you can murder God for giving you crabs. Here are some of the greatest moments of virtual people getting what's coming to them.

6. Finally Fighting The SA-X (Metroid Fusion)

The Metroid series has always been more geared towards creating a moody atmosphere than filling the player with eye-rolling, pants-pissing terror. Metroid Fusion opted to buck that formula. Though the addition of an AI companion alleviated some of the overwhelming solitude, Metroid Fusion more than made up for it by pitting Samus against the SA-X, an unstoppable juggernaut of an alien parasite.

Your relationship starts off on a bit of a low note when it steals your really cool suit and all of your really cool power-ups. The SA-X operates on the decidedly dickish MO of showing up at totally unexpected times and cooly murdering you with your own really cool weapons. It's incredible to experience how quickly the sense of being a bad-ass bounty hunter is wiped away by being forced to cower in an airduct. Not until the very end of the game are you able to actually make a stand against it, at which point all your pent up feelings of impotence and fear come bursting out in a few massive charge shots. Plus, by that point, you've got a brand new really cool suit.

5. Beating Your Rival (Pokemon)

From the very first minute you meet this guy, he's mouthing off like he's the cock-of-the-walk and you're a ripe heap of human garbage. What's more, you haven't done a thing to him (well, you might have; Pokemon games are only slightly more tightly plotted than Tetris). Maybe he's grumpy because his own grandfather can never remember his name (it's PENIS), but any way you slice it, the guy's a grade-A PENIS. So when it comes time to pick your starter Pokemon, and he waits so he can get the one that beats yours, it's time to wipe the grin off his smug, pixelated face.

Murdering his very first Pokemon feels good, but doing it again and again feels even better, not in the least because he brags about them at the start of every encounter. And, unless you're grinding away in tall grass for hours on end, they are always better than yours, at least ostensibly. Just another reason why forcing this douchebag to fork over a wad of cash and slink off with his tail between his legs is such delicious retribution.

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Article The Dorklyst: 7 Of The Cheapest Boss Fights In Video Game History

By Sophie Prell / September 14, 2011

Many of us gamers bemoan the lack of challenging battles in today's games. It seems that the controller-chuckingly stressful boss fights of yesteryear have been largely replaced by streamlined QTEs, cutscenes, and a significant drop in difficulty in order to appeal to a broader audience. Well, prepare to retrospectively grind your teeth in agony, because this is a tribute to seven of the cheapest boss fights in video game history. Not including SNK bosses; those gloryhounds already got the very concept of cheap bosses named after them.

7. Death Egg (Sonic The Hedgehog 2)

Once you actually learned things like "timing" and "spatial awareness," this fight wasn't all that hard. But Sonic The Hedgehog 2 came out in 1992, meaning you were probably just barely old enough to understand simple concepts like "Robotnik bad," "Must beat Robotnik," and "Jump at bad things." Couple this with the panic of running ring-less through the Death Egg Zone, taking on two bosses, and you have a recipe for hedgehog stew. Even the immortal Tails couldn't help on this final level!

Oh, and keep in mind that Genesis games like Sonic 2 didn't have a save system. If you failed enough times at this fight, you had to start the game completely over. It's a level and fight that neither I nor my grandmother's busted television will ever forget.

6. Anima (Final Fantasy X)

Oh sure, you could go in prepared for this fight, all knowing what to do and sh*t, and not break a sweat. Or you could play casually and find yourself facing an impossible battle with a fell beast torn from the world of Hellraiser. Seriously, Final Fantasy X is 99 percent rainbows, sparkling quetzalcoatls, and underwater soccer-playing Jamaicans who take hairstyle tips from There's Something About Mary. And then this unholy abomination gets dragged up from Hell with a grappling anchor.

Anima has only two attacks, both of which are magical in nature, and as you can imagine, they've got cheery names: Pain and Oblivion. Without proper spell resistance, Pain is an instant kill and Oblivion can typically deal 99,999 to 1,599,984 damage depending on your version of the game. What a nice lady to fight. Huh? You didn't know that? Oh yeah. That's totally a chick. And thus, there most assuredly must be pornography of it somewhere. Isn't the Internet fun?

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Article The Dorklyst: 7 Unsung Heroes of the Original Star Wars Trilogy

September 9, 2011

For every Luke Skywalker there are fifty rebel pilots that lost their lives in a terrifying ball of fire. After all, not everyone has a Han Solo to swoop in and save their asses at the exact right moment. Or a wise old ghost to tell them exactly what to do and exactly when to do it. Let's take some time to pay tribute to the characters that never got their due.

7. Chewbacca

Chewbacca's snub at A New Hope's closing ceremony is easily the biggest "f*ck you" in Star Wars. Denying him a well-deserved medal is bad enough, but leaving him standing on a lower pedestal under the recipients is downright anti-wookie. Princess Leia should have worn a giant "F*CK ALIENS" sash just to go all the way with it. I suspect Chewie's last groan before the credits roughly translates to "Why are you all clapping? They haven't finished handing out medals." Luckily for our pal Chewie, he's enough of a fan favorite that he's in a considerably more enviable position than the other characters on this list.

6. Bothan Spies

It only takes one glory-hogging moisture farmer to blow up a Death Star, but it takes many Bothans dying to get him there. Though they gave their lives to obtain the Death Star plans that would lead to its destruction, Bothans are completely absent from the Star Wars movies save for Mon Monthma's one half-assed reference: "Blah, blah, exhaust port, blah blah, some guys died to get this or whatever." Sure, Chewie never got a medal, but the Bothans weren't even invited to the ceremony. Or maybe they're such good spies that we couldn't see them hiding in the human crowd. If that was the case they probably wouldn't be getting killed all the time.

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Article The Dorklyst: The 7 Greatest Evil Computers in Videogame History

By Staff / August 31, 2011

Ever since Hal 9000 first lit up audiences with that ominous red glow, sinister computers have become one of our favorite go-to enemies. And why wouldn't they be? They're mentally & technologically superior, but they lack the gung-ho go-get-em spunky attitude that humans love to think they possess. And it is so gratifying to see filthy humans triumph over their cold, calculating superiors, isn't it? ISN'T IT, HUMANS!?

Sorry! My valid, authentic human emotions got the better of me. Let's take a look at the seven most admirable evil computers in videogame history, shall we? //INITIATING DORKLYST PROTOCOL//


7. MAAX (Bill Nye the Science Guy: Stop the Rock!)

We all remember 1996 as the year that brought us the first (and last) Bill Nye the Science Guy video game. Stop the Rock! concerns a giant meteoroid heading towards the Earth, and an AI-enabled meteorite-defense satellite named MAAX. MAAX, possibly taking his cool acronym-name & his ominous synthetic voice as a hint, decides to go rogue, and refuses to save the Earth unless humanity can solve seven science-based riddles.

Come on, MAAX. Riddles? You're a sinister orbiting intelligence, if you're going to go rogue, at least go all out. Pepper humanity's major cities with laserfire, mock their helplessness, live a little. But no, you email them seven chapter review questions from a high school science textbook? Are you under the impression that among a race capable of building a complex AI satellite & launching it into space, there's not one single person who passed geology class?

Apparently he's right, because it's up to Bill Nye and his top-notch team of scientists at Nye Labs to crack this conundrum. Well, not Bill, he's busy, and FMV sequences were a bitch in 1996. So it's down to just you, the player. Luckily, you've got a giant lab full of 7th-grade science projects to help you save the day. Humanity's salvation lies where we always expected it: in a warehouse full of static-charged balloons, potato clocks, and baking soda volcanoes.

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Article The Dorklyst: 8 Terrible Levels in Great Games

By Daniel Abromowitz / August 24, 2011

One awful level doesn't make for a terrible game. In fact, it's often quite the opposite. Many classics include at least one conniption-inducing section, presumably to level out the sheer awesomeness that is the rest of the game. Here's our tribute to 8 levels that almost made us give up on our favorites.

8. Turbo Tunnel (Battletoads)

Battletoads' infamous hoverbike run is the level even your older brother couldn't beat for you. Let's get something straight first, Battletoads ain't easy. Where other brawlers were content to let you spam the throw button, Battletoads demanded tight combos and well-placed huge-fisted punches. The game would never let you get comfortable, either, changing up game mechanics faster than most people change something that people change quickly. But there's hard, and then there's hard. And then there's Turbo Tunnel, a level designed with the sole purpose of getting controllers from one side of the room to the other at speeds upwards of 90 MPH.

Even if you somehow had the stones to make it to level 3 with all of your lives intact, all of that could be stripped away in twenty seconds by a few wrong twitches. Turbo Tunnel reminds gamers of the harsh reality that life just isn't fair, a truth most people use video games to escape from. Sure, there are YouTube videos of people playing it perfectly in one go, but there are YouTube videos of monkeys drinking their own pee, too. I don't know what point I'm trying to make. F**k the hoverbike level.

7. Meat Circus (Psychonauts)

(SPOILERS) Indie sleeper hit Psychonauts did a lot of things right: It was laugh-out-loud funny and endearingly weird, had some of the most original and mindbending level design in gaming, and featured a level inside the mind of a gigantic mutated lungfish named Linda. As a platformer, though, it left a little to be desired; the controls were just a little too clunky, the camera a little too imprecise. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the Meat Circus, a psychic amalgam of the minds of protagonist Razputin (raised in a carnival) and antagonist Coach Oleander (raised by a butcher).

The Meat Circus somehow makes meat, one of nature's best things, into an object of revulsion. Tasked with defending Oleander's inner child against mutated rabbit creatures, you're forced to endure repeatedly failing at platforming while listening to the little fat kid whine (Hearing "Ow!" and "That hurts!" bring my blood to a boil almost as quickly as "Hey, listen!"). Somehow, the Meat Circus managed to combine all of the most frustrating elements of video games: escort missions, rising water, relentless, high pitched voice overs, and endless boss battles. Plus, even the name is terrible: Meat Circus sounds like the name of a dirty magazine that I definitely don't own a few copies of.

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Article The Dorklyst: The 10 Sexiest Girls & Guys in Video Game History

By Sophie Prell / August 17, 2011

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but the chances of you meeting porn star Jenna Haze, supermodel Heidi Klum, or actress Eva Longoria to do the nasty in real life are slim to none. That's why we have pictures on the Internet and locks on our bedroom doors. But there is another upside to this fact we nerds can use to our advantage: if anyone thought your unhealthy obsession over that infamous Lara Croft nude hack made you creepy, feel free to point out that your chances of meeting the shapely Ms. Croft are just about the same as those mentioned above.

In other words, it's totally cool to fantasize about fictional people. And I'm gonna add some fuel to that fire of passion with this sultry list of sexy video game characters. Bow chicka wow wow!

5. (Women) Morrigan Aesland — Darkstalkers

Morrigan is a succubus. Okay? She's a succubus. For those that don't know, that means she's a demon whose entire purpose is to infiltrate dreams in the guise of a beautiful woman and have sex with sleeping men in order to steal their manpower (if you know what I mean) and make more demons. However, since, according to legend, demons are infertile, what they actually do is act as sexy tupperware for semen by carting it over to a sleeping human female, transforming into their male counterpart, the incubus, and impregnating them with the stolen sperm. Or they might not, and just give you the most terrifying nocturnal emission you've ever had.

Sadly, while Morrigan is one of the most sexually appealing characters in all of video game history with her come hither looks, sinfully good taste in clothing, and massive… uh, wings… her kind was basically the best excuse horny teenagers could come up with for why Mom found stains in the laundry. And despite the proliferation of hot succubi imagery that abounds on the Internet, classic artists pictured them more like this in their true form, and H.R. Giger envisioned Lilith, one of the first succubi, looking like this. Yeah, try to put that into a leotard.

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Article The Dorklyst: 7 of the Greatest One-on-One Battles in Video Game History

By Mark Filipowich / August 10, 2011

All games need conflict. Most of the time the player's objective is blocked by several thousand faceless, nameless mooks throwing themselves in the path of danger with all the fervor of a headless chicken. But behind those mooks lies the antagonist, the figure that has been working against the hero all along. The best rivalry showdowns are between two solitary figures, foils of one another. These are the kinds of rivalries the player waits the entire game (or series) to settle once and for all. Here are some of the best one-on-one showdowns in gaming history.

7. Solid Snake vs. Liquid Snake in Metal Gear Solid

Cut from the same cloth—or rather, grown from the same Petri dish—Solid and Liquid are both clones of the same super-soldier. Liquid Snake was created from all the best aspects of the cold-war hero Big Boss, while Solid Snake was made from the inferior genes of the same man. However, because the American government couldn't justify keeping a soldier with such a sinister British accent on staff, Solid Snake became the series' hero, and the perfect-on-paper Liquid was kept from his birthright. Believing himself to be the genetically weak twin, Liquid's inferiority complex drives him to do what any of us would, take over a secret Alaskan military base and hijack a doomsday device.

Snake (the solid one) must wind his way through Liquid's facility, defeat an animal-themed squad of super soldiers and disarm Metal Gear, a nuclear-powered robot T-Rex (did I mention this was a Japanese game?). But before Snake can hang up his skin-tight rubber jumpsuit and call it a night, the two rivals settle their dispute the way they both knew they inevitably had to: a man-to-man fist-fight on the head of a metallic dinosaur's corpse. Never change, Japan.

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Article The Dorklyst: The 6 Things Every Great Rockstar Game Does Wrong

By Kevin Corrigan and Jeff Rubin / August 3, 2011

Let's get one thing out of the way first: Rockstar makes awesome games. But when a company has such a high pedigree, sometimes we can be blinded to the things they don't do so well. Here's our list of the six things Rockstar's most-amazing games still need to work on.

6. Commitment to Realism Over Fun

In real life, you're not suppose camp within 100 feet of a trail. You're not supposed set up your tent on top of living plants, and it's in your best interest to sleep on a level surface. I understand why all of those things are important in real life. I don't understand why they're enforced before you can quick travel in Red Dead Redemption.

Rockstar games are usually referred to as sandbox games. I'd say they're closer to playgrounds. The insane level of realism creates a miniature version of reality to play in. They do a great job. It's why driving on the sidewalk in GTA is so fun. Sometimes, though, they get carried away. At some point realism gets too close to reality, which is boring.

Here is a small sample of things I don't enjoy doing in real life, let alone in a videogame: getting tired after running a short distance, going to a store and finding out it's closed, delivering pizzas, working out. If I thought working out was fun, I wouldn't be playing a videogame.

Article The Dorklyst: 8 of the Greatest Floating Islands in Videogame History

By Dan Abromowitz and Caldwell Tanner / July 27, 2011

As long as mankind has stood on dry land, we have looked up at the sky and wondered, "Shit, dude, how cool would floating islands be?" While science and technology continue to fail us day after day, videogames have come through to stoke our imaginations with images of our ultimate aspiration: to live among the clouds. In the spirit of that lofty ideal, here's our list of the greatest floating islands in video games.

8. Skyloft (Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword)

The only way living on a series of floating islands could ever be construed as a safe idea is if you don't actually know that solid ground exists beneath you. Luckily for Link, Zelda, and the other inhabitants of Skyloft, a life surrounded by nothing but a sea of clouds (and of course the ever-present threat of death by freefall) is all they've ever known. As a result, the people of Skyloft appear to be both prideful, brave, and severely ignorant. Possessing the Triforce of Courage doesn't really seem that impressive when one of the main hobbies for Skyloft youth appears to be jumping off cliffs and then hoping that one of the island's indigenous giant birds will break your fall. Eventually, Link makes his way to the surface world of Hyrule, but can travel back to Skyloft using the Skyward Sword at any time. We can only hope he uses this ability to help drastically reduce Skyloft's ultra-high mortality rate among wandering blind people.

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