Monday, February 25, 2013

My Gaming Timeline: Game Boy (Original) Oh, I totally was... at Nintendo Sep 18, 2012 2:59AM PST

Hello there, friends. One week, no blog. Sorry about that, I was busy hanging out with the girlfriend this weekend. Also, getting one of those (girlfriends) on Friday while hanging out in her step dad's screening room. Speaking of which, her dad has some sweet ass signed movie posters, like Rocky and Indian Jones in there, and his man cave... holy shit! Let's just say I might want to break into this practicing law thing, so I can build that awesome a man cave. Granted, that interview for Teller this Thursday should go well, even though that's not really using my degree, and we're not her to talk about my personal life are we? No, we are gathered here today to discuss the fact I scored some sweet Star Wars pajama pants through the events this weekend and...

Full Disclosure: I forgot this game's title, and wasn't sure if I had the right one until the Stage 1 music started in this video. Music = Memories.

FUCKING SOLAR STRIKER! Never heard of it? Well, it's awesome! And one of only four games I can really recall playing on the original Game Boy. Not even kidding, I looked on Wikipedia to see if there was anything I forgot and... nope. Game Boy Color and Advance will be a different story, but those are later blogs, as is Super Nintendo... which will be a nightmare chock full of content, and probably require a couple blogs. 

Until then, though, let's talk about the space shooter that took up the vast majority of my time with the grey brick wonder. It had catchy music, great gameplay, and ... yeah, that's about all I can say, cause mostly I just powered it on when we had to go somewhere boring, like a convent/old folk's home, and died faster than most of the residents there... could sneeze. You thought that was going to be a low blow, didn't you? Nope, I'm keeping it classy with snot jokes. Well above the belt.

It's weird that the game that I most enjoyed on the thing has so little to be said about it, but that's the great thing about classic gaming: simplicity. It's that simplicity that made my initial impressions of this:

 a bit underwhelming. 

Now, I've often heard this be described as a kid-gloves JRPG, and I certainly believe it. Why? Because I hate JRPGs. I suck at them. Yet, this one, I enjoyed, and invested so much time in I cried all through the night one time to my parent's dismay, when I hit a dead end I did not think I could get out of, even with a strategy guide's help. My parents were both incredibly annoyed until I explained I had been "working" on the game for months. And I wasn't kidding.

Despite realizing it was "one of those games," after getting my parents to buy it for me somewhere in the midst of the TV show getting popular, my middle school banning the cards after unfair trades had caused fights apparently, and my dad repeating Rush Limbaugh's pronunciation of "Pokey Man," I decided to bite the bullet on annoying random battles, because the concept of evolving fictional creatures through cock-fighting was cool, the rock-paper-scissors esque strategy of deciding which element beat which was more straightforward than most JRPGs, and the story was simple and accessible.

Plus, the collection thing really did appeal to me, and I rarely linked Game Boys to fight, but just to get Pokemon I couldn't otherwise.

If you're wondering, I had Blue because... seriously, water beats fire, why the hell would you go with red? That was my thinking as a kid, and that's kind of my thinking now. Where everyone else liked Charizard, I just loved Blastoise, mostly because.. well, he beats Charizard. I even chose Squirtle at the outset.

I am also firmly of the belief that this card was not rare, but simply decided to elude me due to my cartridge choice. Seriously, every kid I know had this card but me. Stupid card packs.

 Speaking of Pokemon, I received a VHS in the mail as a kid (7 years old, I believe which would make this 1997) that promoted the soon-to-come TV series with an episode featuring Ash capturing the pidgeon Pokemon in the rain, and at the end had a shadowy figure on a jumbotron talking to Team Rocket to tease the story. Anyone know if that VHS is rare or worth something? Cause if so, I'm gonna dig like a Dugtrio looking for it. 

The other two games I had for Game Boy, and actually remember playing, were monopoly and Tetris. 

I might not have liked the game, but it had a pretty good theme song, I will say.

 Monopoly was Monopoly, and I found it kind of boring. I liked the sound effects, but I wasn't a huge fan of the actual board game as a kid (I was always bad at math, and couldn't really tell what was happening most of the time... I'd probably love it now, though), so I wasn't a huge fan of the black-and-white version.

Tetris... embarassingly, also confused me as a kid. See, I thought the point was to stack the blocks to the top as fast as possible. I really wish I were kidding, but that's largely why I found it boring. Now, I spend much of my time on, always starting out on level 10 so I won't get bored of it being too slow, and it's my go-to boredome game the same way most slackers use Solitaire. Back then though, I thought the game was really pointless... because I thought the goal was the exact opposite of what it actually was. Yup. I might have always done well in school, and gone on to become a Magna Cum Laude four year University graduate, but I had some dumb ideas as a kid.

You think I'm kidding, but I seriously thought this meant I won.

On that note though, that's one of the things I love about nostalgia: it both lets you know you were a kid with no worries, and that you've improved since in the common sense department... a little.

Bullet Bills:

- I know I said I'd tell you what I played through online websites/emulators, but I've decided to keep this series to just what I've played on actual, physical consoles. Don't worry though, there are some games I never played that I still have commentary for. Stay tuned.

- I saw Lawless this weekend. It was fine, I wanted to see ParaNorman, but the girlfriend wanted to see the serious Shia LeBouf movie, and I'm not arguing this early in the relationship. If you like people being badasses, lots of shooting and violence, people talking extra southern, prohibition movies, and/or Christoph Waltz being cruel, you might like it... or you'll be like me, and be a little bored at the cliche and predictable plot despite all the good elements.

- We also rented a couple horror flicks from Red Box, and got through neither. Silent House was too boring, Mother's Day was trying too hard. Personally, I only like horror movies when they work just as well as dramas (Exorcist) or comedies (American Werewolf in London: classic), so they're entertaining, if not scary. What scares me isn't blood, gore, or sudden bumps in the dark, it's abstract and freaky crap that has little explanation other than just being creepy and mysterious. The Ring is the only movie to scare me while watching it in a theatre to this day (I usually only get scared once I go home and suddenly think something's behind me

- In the screening room, we watched Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Princess Mononoke, and Daria: Is It Fall Yet, and that Triforce of rental perfection will actually get a full blog of reviews from me.

- Another blog coming is the New Alternative vs. The Four Horsemen, how I loved Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax in HS, and how I love the resurgence of good alternative music like Gotye, Foster the People, fun., and AWOLNATION that's happened recently. Might even have to make my music memories another timeline blog series. Stay tuned.





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