Archive for January, 2011

The Tri-Cities Flea Market

Posted in Local, Modern, Video Game with tags , on January 30, 2011 by Divide By Zero

This week, I ventured into what I can only describe as the Mall of America, of flea markets.  At least for around here.  That’s right, I talk about it all the time, I tell you I get all of my old games from there, and now I’m back here talking about it… with some pictures.

I want people to understand this, I am going to make this article as funny as I can, but I am not being condescending at all.  I frequent this place, and I know a lot of people out there look down on flea markets, or think of them as “dirty” or, whatever else they think.  I could really care less about what they think.  I have a friend that has a collection of video games pretty similar to mine, except he spent about 5 times as much on his because he travels all over the place, he buys online, and he buys one game at a time.  And the flea market isn’t just about video games, there are tons of other thing you can get a little cheaper too.

For example:

Need some keys? No problem here. (Sorry for the blurry picture)

Lost your favorite wig? We got your back.

This next picture, I have to explain for those of you who aren’t yokels.  All Fired Up is a store where you can buy any kind of hot sauce that’s out there.  They have a huge selection and are even in some local malls.  I don’t know exactly how big the chain is, but a lot of local shops and things get started at the flea market, and save money up until they can expand.

But hot sauce and sunglasses in one place, at last?  Finally, you can put that Dave’s Insanity Sauce on your pringles, and no one will be able to tell you’re crying.

This sign is on every single door to all of the 10 or 11 indoor buildings (there are also about 6 “outdoor” buildings).  But that doesn’t stop vendors from renting a space and moving in a little business solely dedicated to catering to your pet.  There are shops in there that sell customized dog collars and ID tags, sweaters and leg-warmers (I’m guessing), another little stall even sells life preservers for your pets, both dogs AND cats.  I know, I found it a little odd that there’s a market for life preservers for cats, too.  And for the dogs out there that are spoiled rotten:

My dog: "Whaddaya got there?" Your dog: "Milkbones." My dog: "Pfffft, hahaha, loser!"

This place seriously is like a mall.  Look at the aisles down each building, they look pretty much like this…

Go on deadmalls.com and this is actually a step up.

Some of the stalls, you can really tell people put a lot of time and effort into making them really nice.

Mall or flea market? Who can tell?

Some stalls even offer a larger variety of products than malls do!

All in one place? For realz?!

And the amenities this place offers is awesome.  A lot of “flea markets” up North, or in different parts of the country don’t have indoor restrooms.  They might not even have indoor buildings.  Just a bunch of people standing outside at pic-nic tables, well…

...we got that too.

But there are also…

Indoor plumbin', y'all!

And seriously, what do you do when you’re at a flea market and have no cash?  You either go to one of the FOUR (that I counted) cash for gold places, or hit up one of these:

I counted 6 of these in the buildings I went into today, and I wasn’t even really paying attention to how many there were.  There could be more, just in case you need a little more cash to get what you had your eye on.  Check out just some of the things I came across.

Movie posters? Got'em.

Women's Fashion Boutiques? Got'em.

Check.

Golf clubs? We might have a few.

WHAAAAAAT?!

High quality, hand crafted cedar furniture? Done and done.

I heard washer/dryer combos are on sale this month.

Kids section? We're workin on it.

And this isn’t your grandma’s yard sale either.  This is a legitimate business that people from all over the Tri-Cities come to.  They bring their friends here when they come in town.  I know I do it.  There are a lot of things I didn’t take pictures of, as well.  One stall boasted “100% soy wax candles”.  I have no idea what the difference between soy wax and regular wax is.  My best guess is that regular candles taste like bacon, and soy candles are vegetarian friendly.

And what mall flea market would be complete without…

Tourists use this thing.... a LOT.

Another similarity between this flea market and an average mall is…

You bet your ass, we got one.

That’s right.  There is a food court.  And it’s a far sight better than the food court I was used to growing up in Northern Virginia.  There are ladies there that make homemade fudge, a lot of people are using their granny’s recipes, and honestly.. how many other places do you know of besides state/county fairs where you can find deep fried Oreos/Twinkies/pickles/cheesecake/butterfingers/snickers-ON-A-STICK!?  Better hit that ATM up again, and call the boss, it’s going to be one very long lunch hour.

Bread me up something and throw it in the oil!

A Mexican place, their stuffed potatoes will keep you going for a while.

Security is a big issue here.  A lot of the vendors have day-jobs and come here on the weekend to earn a little extra cash.  They don’t want you stealing their stuff, is what I’m saying.  They take their paycheck and invest in the inventory they sell.  They don’t have time to watch you and your stupid friends walk off with their things.  And I mean come on, it’s a flea market.  How much could the thing in your hand cost?  Haggle with them, or something, but don’t steal.  Not cool.  All this behavior warrants signs like these:

They are not joking.

Yup.

This guy sells stereos and wasn't there that day. He locks up tighter than a drum.

Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the people there have their own specialty shops where they just sell Mary Kay, or just sell Avon, or just sell “knives” (that’s how they advertise them, with the quotation marks and all), or just video games (more on that in a minute).  But there are some stalls there where the people that rent them out just bring… stuff.  Not anything in particular, just stuff.

Pictured: Stuff.

Pictured: More stuff.

Look up there, stuff on a shelf! You can buy it, take it home, and put it on your shelf!

It’s crazy, and sometimes if you don’t feel all high and mighty, or like it’s beneath you or anything, you actually can have a pretty good time rooting around through all of that stuff.  The people that own it don’t even know what they have.  And I’ll tell you what, I’ve known people that have found some good (not super expensive, but not costume) jewelry out of the bottom of a “stuff” box.  I’ve found old original game boy games in their original boxes in “stuff” boxes, and they asked a quarter each for them.  One time, I was at a place like this flea market and I found a sterling silver ring that was a dolphin, and it was circular, as most rings tend to be, and the nose touched the tail of it which made it a loop.  My mom was so pissed when I didn’t give that ring to her, and instead gave it to my cousin.  What the hell did I know about rings, I was 8.

I PROMISE you this picture was taken at the same flea market on the same day. Yes, you can get calves, goats, and roosters there too. We ARE in the south.

***

Okay, I definitely saved the best (or at least my favorite part) for last.

 

It's go time, baby!

Fellow nerds, and nerdettes, the guy behind the counter is Ben.  He is one of the nicest guys you’ll meet.  He is my “hidden source” for all of my video game needs.  Most of the reviews I do about older video games.. are all thanks to him.  On average I probably buy from him twice a month.  At the very least, once a month, and a few months have gone by where I’ve bought games from him every weekend.  His inventory is massive, his prices are very reasonable, and I could have fun in his little corner of the market for hours.  He sells comic books, action figures, and other things that are strong pheromones to nerds.  While I was there the day this article was written, I flipped through the pages of a “Howard the Duck” comic book.  Remember that movie?  Yeah, he’s got a ton of stuff, and I’m sure he’s got a ton more to bring in if he were to flip all of his inventory tomorrow.  Let’s take a look…

 

There's a "Vader" 2600 up top I didn't notice until I loaded this pic up at home. Oh, and some games.

...A few more.

And just a couple more for the avid NES/SNES fans out there.

...And for the XBox fans.

Then a few GameCube games for the kiddies.

PS2, anyone?

Yet more NES games, and the case on top is full of DC, Saturn, Sega CD, and other disc only games.

N64, for sure.

He keeps a few of the better games behind the counter.

And I know what you’re saying.  “But Jester, I love all of those old games, but I don’t have the system for it!”

 

Ben's got you, dude.

He's totally got you.

His collection just keeps on going!

I didn’t take pictures of nearly everything he has.  And keep in mind this is just one section of one building of the entire flea market.  Fun to go to, fun to look around, and fun to haggle.  Fun all around.  If you run into Ben, tell him “that guy who writes the blog” sent you.  He’ll know what it means.

Okay, I showed you the stuff, the food, the luxuries, the everything else.  Except the sign.

 

There.

I showed you everything now.  Hit it up, or don’t, more stuff for me.  It is fun though.

See you there!

The Jester.

*All images are property of me, The Jester.  I didn’t copyright them, and give everyone permission to use them.  Just give me a credit for it, please.*

Top 10 Tuesdays : Pulling an All-Nighter (With Assassin’s Creed)

Posted in Uncategorized on January 30, 2011 by Divide By Zero

There are about 4 million metric crap-tons of reasons to pull an all-nighter.  Some people do it for school, especially college kids in the week before a big exam.  Other people (myself included) do it to catch your favorite show on Adult Swim.  For some people, their work schedule turns their nights into their days, or you just can’t sleep.

Whatever the case, your bed is nearby.  It’s warm, it’s comfortable, but you aren’t getting into it any time soon.  So why not stay up and catch up on some great video games perfect for ignoring sleep with?  And then I “write a lame segway line into”…

The Top 10 Video Games to Play While Pulling an All-Nighter!

I’m going to be honest with you now.  This isn’t a top 10 article.  Sad, I know.  But this week, I don’t need to share with you 10 games that you need for an all nighter.  Because there’s only 1.  The best game to play while pulling an all nighter has got to be Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood.

This beautiful bastard is the brainchild of a team that, I’d be willing to wager, is bigger than the entire NFL.  Not just the players on the teams… but anyone that receives a paycheck from the NFL, including all of the guys who write the checks.  Everyone from the head-honcho’s, down to the people that bring you your flat beer back in row 62.  There were a lot of people that contributed to this game, is what I’m saying.

Anyone who has played this game can attest to this.  After you beat DNA sequence 9 (I’ll explain all that in a minute!), the credits start to roll.  And as usual, you can’t skip the credits and go back to the main menu until the credits are done.  Well, after coming off of the extreme adrenaline high I got from beating the game, I sat there satiated and relieved, not to mention amazed that after about 83 hours of game play, I finally beat it (I thought).  So I sat there and watched the credits for about 5 minutes.  Getting bored with that, I went downstairs, and made a pot of coffee.  At 2am.  Don’t judge me, I needed something to calm my nerves.  I waited for the coffee to finish, poured a cup, waited for it to cool, and drank it.  I repeated that again.  Then I poured one more cup and then checked my e-mail.  After all of that, I went upstairs and the credits were still rolling.

All that aside, as I said I thought I had beaten the game.  But there’s so much to do!  Honestly, I recently went to a doctor for some tests, and by the end of it, I was diagnosed with having what is scientifically called “Having an astronomically gigantic… ego.”  I’m about 130 hours into ACB now, and I’m still around 40% done.  This game is huge, and in talking about it to some of my friends, and other ACB fans, it really is almost like living the life of the character in the game.

Brief Synopsis:

The game is [obviously] the sequel to Assassin’s creed II, making it the 3rd game of the franchise.  You play as a modern day man named Desmond who has hooked up with this team of scientists and hott women in order to save the planet from some unforeseen mystical power (or something).  In ACB though, Desmond is not the star of the show.  The scientists hook him up to a machine called “The Animus”.

Pictured (left to right): Desmond, Hott Scientist, Animus.

What the Animus does is it lets him replay memories his ancestors had back in 1400’s Italy.  In ACB, you end up playing as Ezio Auditore de Firenze.  A very intelligent, assassiny, good guy who lives by the code “Nothing is true.  Everything is permitted.”  The game is so named around all of this, and the fact that he is a part of a brotherhood of assassins.

Why it is fantastic to play during an all-nighter:

THERE’S SO MUCH TO DO!  Okay.  As I mentioned before, there are DNA sequences when Desmond is in the Animus.  He replays the memories (meaning you play the part) of Ezio. Your job is to fully synchronize all of the memories in each of the 9 sequences.  I’ll be honest, I didn’t count how many memories there are, but I would roughly ballpark each sequence as having 8-10 memories.  So 80, total?  More or less?  Something like that.  Therefore if you have a bigger break, or just plain can’t sleep, try synchronizing all of the memories.  If you’re studying for an exam, there are a lot more, less time consuming things to do.

I’m just going to shoot through all of this in order to try and get this out there for you to take in, otherwise I could write a novel.

Your best friend is Leonardo Da Vinci, he was captured and forced to design/invent war machines for a treasonous guy wanting to become king (who also sleeps with his own sister).  Because of all of this, there are side missions that let you seek out and destroy those war machines AND the blueprints.  You can also find secret meeting places to meet Da Vinci so that he can make you better weapons, armor, etc.  All the while, you have to fight off guards, you can pickpocket the citizens walking around, you can watch the street performers (who are actually pretty good!).  Of course this is while you are rescuing other citizens who are being attacked, you recruit them into the brotherhood, and visit your pigeon coops often in order to send said citizens out on missions to progress them through 10 levels of skill sets in order to make them full-fledged assassins.  Whew… not done yet.  Pickpocketing only gets you so far, so if you save up enough money, you can buy different shops.  There are blacksmiths, art merchants, banks, landmarks, doctors, stables etc.  The more property you buy, the more income you get every 20 minutes.  You can then buy a crap load of items from each shop, and one of those items is treasure maps.  Then you go around and look for treasures, and collect different items.  If you find the right combination of items, you can take them BACK to the shops and go on “quests” which unlock EVEN MORE items.

Some of these things take 5 minutes, 20 minutes, 45 minutes, up to about 2.5 hours.  So no matter what in the world you are doing staying up all night, or how long of a break you are willing to take, this is the game for it.

It is so easy to get lost in it, I promise you, you could pull an all-nighter solely dedicated to playing this game.  On second thought, this might be the worst game to play for this situation.  It doesn’t put you to sleep, so it doesn’t help insomnia.  It’s addicting, so you won’t get any studying done.  Unless you have 2 televisions in the same room, you’re going to miss whatever show you were planning on watching.

Yeah, maybe this is the worst game to play for an all nighter.

See you around 4am.

The Jester.

*All images are property of their respective owners and may be subject to copyright laws.  All images obtained through Google Image Search.*

Duke Nukem Forever release date: May 3rd, 2011

Posted in Uncategorized on January 27, 2011 by Divide By Zero

Holy crap! Scroll back through my blogs and read my very first review of Duke Nukem. The one where I kind of compared it to Doom. Now watch this trailer, and tell me how excited you are!

http://www.dorkly.com/video/9422/duke-nukem-forever-trailer

See you in line at midnight for this one!

The Jester.

Nerdy Monday 16: The Sitcom Wisemen.

Posted in 1990's, Modern, Nerdy Monday, Retro, T.V. shows on January 25, 2011 by Divide By Zero

There’s a formula to the cast of any given sitcom.  There has to be a star who is somehow naive.  It’s up to the supporting cast to guide and direct him/her on their journey.  In the supporting cast, there has to be a wealthy person, a best friend, a girlfriend who post often proves to be the voice of reason, and of course there has to be a wise man, or a mentor.  I’ve picked 3 of my favorite wise men, and dons some research on them.  This is my tribute to the sitcom wise men!

Wilson, from Home Improvement.

In the world of the sitcom wise men, Wilson was in a class all his own.  He was in the popular show based on Tim Allen’s stand up comedy that ran all the way through the 1990’s.  Literally, the show ran from 1991 to 1999.  And I’m pretty sure Wilson was in every episode at least once.  Wilson, or known by his full name:  Wilson Wilson, Jr. played the extremely intelligent best friend and next door neighbor to Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor.  And whenever Tim follied up in his every day life, he ended up chatting across that infamous fence with Wilson.  Time after time, Wilson had the best possible answer for Tim.  One of the running gags in the show (if you remember) is that Tim would take that advice that Wilson gave him (that was usually most noted by Wilson’s historical points, or famous philosophical works made to drive the point home) and he would turn around and try to tell them to his wife in the show, or his audience on Tool Time.  Every single time, he would misquote Wilson, or the name of the person who made the famous work, or the historical event.  He would mispronounce Wilson’s long words, on a few occasions, and those were my favorite ones.

If you isolate the persona of Wilson, and look back on the show, that was the 1990’s way of trying to give your children (namely my generation) a moral compass.  Exactly the same way The Animaniacs were allowed on the WB Network because of the last 40 second segment entitled “The Wheel of Morality”.  You can’t blame them.  They were the ’90’s, they always had some awkward way of trying to teach kids the right thing to do.

Wilson, we thank you for all that you gave to us (and our kids) growing up, and wish you were still around to impart your wisdom.

And here’s what he looks like in real life:

He was also the creepy old guy in the horror-cult-classic Pet Sematary.

Dr. Cox, from Scrubs.

What can I say about this guy?  Dr. Percival Cox, M.D. has been a mentor to me since I started watching the show Scrubs in its 3rd season.  I’ve been a closet fan of John C. McGinly (the actor who plays Dr. Cox) for a long time.  He’s one of those guys who has been in every movie ever made.  Some of you may remember him from Platoon, or Wall Street. The younger kids probably first saw him as “one of the Bob’s” in Office Space. Any ways you slice it, he is awesome.  He is the epitome of awesome.  Back during my last few years of college, my friends and I would party on Friday & Saturday nights while watching DVDs of this show.  Each one of us had a character that we most related our personalities to.  I got elected Dr. Cox.  One of my friends was the Janitor, our friend “Turk” automatically was Turk.  And the list went on.

When word of that little game got around campus a little bit, some people looked down on me because I was “A Dr. Cox”.  I didn’t care though, I took it as a huge compliment, he is the smartest person on the show.  I mean, who else could give out little nuggets of wisdom like these?  Haha, I love it.  And if anyone disagrees with me, I think this video clip of Dr. Cox’ top 5 rants will change your mind about him.

Also, another thing about Dr. Cox is how he delivers his wisdom.  He runs the entire gambit of wisdom-giving.  He can be hateful and sarcastic, he can be downright arrogant and a little rude.  He can be completely angry, and he can also be nice, gentle, kind, and sincere.  If you’ve ever watched the show, you know what I’m talking about and you can see the compassion in his eyes when he’s talking about something he truly cares about.  He has taught me to refrain from “biting” someone (figuratively, of course) when a simple “growl” will suffice.  And I guarantee you will learn a lot and have a few very good laughs if you scroll through that Coxism website I linked to up there.  Thank you Perry Cox for coming onto the scene and being a supporting cast member that steals the show!

Last, but certainly not least, Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World.

George Hamilton Feeny.  Who doesn’t remember this character?  The way I think about this role, played by veteran actor William Daniels, is that it progressed throughout the entire series to envelope relationships with all of the other characters.  There wouldn’t have been a Boy Meets World, at least as we know it, had this character not been involved.  Think about this seriously, for a minute!  He started out in the series as Cory & Shawn’s (or “Sean’s”, whatever) 6th grade teacher.  Fast forward to the end of the series, and he helped out every single character through various troubling and sometimes even tragic circumstances.  I would go so far as to say he was the sole person to advance everyone elses character to the next phase of life.  He helped Shawn out when his mom ran off and his dad went to look for her.  He helped Cory out pretty much every episode.  He was a “Wilson” to the Matthews’ (the parents), and was basically a foundation for the older brother Eric.  In so many ways he helped character development, while doling out good advice and being a moral compass, simultaneously.   And he did it all without being maniacal, egocentric, aggressive, or manipulative.  And rarely did he ever raise his voice.  He was a true role model that kids my age were lucky enough to aspire to.  Thank you George Feeny for everything!

Check out this video that is very memorable to me, and was probably one of the more funny Feeny moments:

That’s my rundown for Nerdy Monday this week.  See you by the T.V.

The Jester.

*All images and videos are property of their respective owners and may be subject to copyright laws.  All images obtained through Google Image Search.  All videos obtained through Youtube.*

What You REALLY Learn While Going to School in Southwest Virginia.

Posted in Downtown Bristol, Local, Modern on January 25, 2011 by Divide By Zero

When I first went to college, I attended the prestigious Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.  They gave me the most money right out of high-school, so that’s where my parents ended up sending me.  Through a few different circumstances and everything else, I wanted to finish up closer to home, so I transferred to a school in Southwest Virginia.  It was a bit of a culture shock to me, and I realized that on top of getting a very good book-smart education, I learned a few things that helped keep me street-savvy as well.  Shocking, I know, but here they are, in no particular order:

  • In Intramural soccer, always team up with the foreign exchange students.
  • Don’t complain about how far you have to walk.  Your class could be on the side of a mountain.
  • Two inches of snow, even in the mountains, will shut the whole campus down.
  • Running low on cash?  Go to different campus events for free food.
  • In what is a very conservative area in a mostly Republican state, you will meet more gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and trans-gendered people here, than anywhere you’ve ever been.
  • Even on Friday & Saturday nights, pizza deliveries stop at 9:00 p.m.
  • Beer (in some counties) isn’t sold on Sundays.
  • Professors get to know you as a person.  They then take that, whether good or bad, and translate it to their grade book.
  • Facebook is more reliable than the school newspaper.
  • German people are crazy smart.
  • Fraternities/Sororities don’t have their own houses.
  • This is a pretty universal truth — freshmen are cocky, beligerant, and overall arrogant with something to prove.  Down here that’s the same, except they have an accent.
  • Most of the time, you don’t even need an appointment to talk to the Dean.
  • Older people go grocery shopping between 6 and 8 in the morning.
  • Whatever city or town the college is in, shuts down during the off-season.
  • The weekend parties consist of trips to Wal-Mart, or whoever is in your dorm room that night.
  • Everyone smokes cigarettes.
  • People from Virginia Beach throw away their furniture at the end of the semester.
  • Any test can be made up later.
  • There are more theatre majors per capita than students.
  • Youtube is a perfectly acceptable source for any project.
  • The same thing goes for the show “Mythbusters”.
  • You’re probably going to be in a smaller town than you’re used to.  So it’s not what you know, but who you know.
  • Grocery stores sell crawfish AND pickles.  Sometimes in the same container.
  • Most of our public restrooms are cleaner than anywhere in the country.  Because no one uses them.
  • Libraries generally have much, much older books.  Some 100 years old or more.
  • Most of the menu at mostly any seafood restaurant offers everything deep fried.
  • Homeless people prey on and will harass the college kids for money.  Some are violent, so be careful.
  • There will only be one liquor store near your campus and underage kids will wait outside looking for someone to buy for them.
  • Make a lot of friends early on, because going to college down here is kind of like high school.  You’re going to see everyone, every day.
  • If you start talking to someone, about someone else — I guarantee that person will show up half way through the conversation.
  • No one is willing to drive in any amount of snow.  Even the people with the really big trucks.
  • People down here have different talents than anywhere else in the country, possibly even the world.
  • People from up north think people from down here are less intelligent because of the way we talk.  People from down here know this, and are nice to the Northerners anyways.  That’s just how we are.
  • Most people you will meet, don’t have a shed.  They have a barn.
  • Traffic is slow?  We’re not in a hurry to get anywhere, we’re enjoying the ride.  Try it sometime.
  • You have something you don’t know how to cook?  Either boil it, grill it, or fry it… it’ll all turn out good.
  • Foosball is a waste of time.
  • You may have seen “goth” or “emo” kids in your high school, but that’s the last you’ll ever see of them in these parts.

There is so much more I could put in this article.  But I think this is sufficient for now.  Maybe I’ll add more to the list later.  All of this stuff I seriously came up with in about 10 minutes while I was at work.  So I’m sure if I planned some stuff out, I could have a list 4 or 5 times as long.  Either way, I have about 3 more articles to write up today, so I’ll see you then!

The Jester.

Top 10 Tuesdays 6: Vids to play on your honeymoon.

Posted in 1980's, 1990's, 2000's, Dreamcast (Long Live the...!), Girlfriends, Halo, Modern, NES, Playstation, PS2, Retro, TMNT, Top 10 Tuesdays, XBox on January 25, 2011 by Divide By Zero

In hopes of getting through all this winter-y nastiness, I figure I’m going to start looking forward to Spring.  Spring is a wonderful time of the year, and I’d be willing to put money on the fact that there are more weddings in Spring than there are in any other season.  It’s the time of rebirth, rejuvenation, Spring Fever, and starting anew.

If you’re a hardcore gamer, you play games in any given circumstance.  And I mean, on your honeymoon is no exception.  You are going to have some down time in between all the consummating, believe it or not.  Hardcore gamers are more loyal to their video games than mailmen are to the mail.  Nor rain, nor sleet, nor nuptials are going to keep you from playing.  Nor power outages, nor earthquakes, nor slow internet connectivity either.  None of that will stop a true gamer, we’re like electronic Boy Scouts.. we’re always prepared.

It’s a sad but true fact that there are a lot of video gamers out there that rush through work, skip social events, even flake out on funerals [which is astonishingly disrespectful by the way] when they’re in the middle of something on their favorite game.  With that being said, let’s jump right into it, and talk about the…

Top 6 Video Games to Play on Your Honeymoon!

I know what you’re thinking… and yes, this is the first top 10 I’ve done that doesn’t go up to 10.  But if you remember my first Top 10, I said specifically that sometimes I’ll go past 10, sometimes I won’t make it to 10.  So get over it and enjoy the rest of the post.

#6.  The Little Mermaid  (Game Boy/Super Game Boy (SNES))

Okay, I’m going to be honest on this one.  This isn’t only for your new bride to play while you’re in the bathroom, or running down the block to pick up food or whatever it is you’re doing leaving the hotel room.  This is actually a challenging game.  It goes to show that some graphic design companies (in this case Capcom) can take something as little kid-ish and as girly as the little mermaid and actually make a decently challenging game out of it.  I get frustrated playing it, it’s quite hard.  And to be even more honest, it’s only on this list because it’d be a good tool for you and your better half to bond over early on in your marriage. Who knows?  Later on, if she starts getting on your case about playing too much C.O.D. Black Ops, you’ll have at least a little ammunition for your side of the argument.

#5.  18 Wheeler Pro American Trucker (Dreamcast)

If you haven’t played this game, it’s pretty awesome.  The only thing about it is, I’m pretty sure it isn’t realistic at all.  It’s like the difference between Forza Motorsports and Speed Devils.  If you haven’t played those games either, go play them.  AFTER you play 18 wheeler.  I included this game on this list because you’ve just taken a leap of faith with a woman to embark on a new life together.  You need something to help you feel like a man.  Short of taking classes, changing your lifestyle, getting your CDL, and buying a truck… this is it.

#4.  Halo 2  (XBox)

I know, I know.. You’re thinking “Jester… enough with the friggin’ Halo already!”  But I’m telling you, there is never a bad time to play it!  It’s addicting, it revolutionized first person shooters back in the day.  Then Call of Duty manned-up and took the whole fps genre to a different level with their entire franchise.  This game is perfect to play with your new wife because you can either work together towards a common goal [ridding the universe of those pesky aliens] or you can battle to see who is the better soldier.  The choice is yours, just remember… while playing with a new bride, it’s important to take into account that from now on there are going to be consequences to every action you take.  Think about that for a while.

#3.  A Boy and His Blob  (NES)

I can’t report on the new remake they did of this game on the Wii, because I haven’t played it yet.  But this game came up in a conversation I had with a friend of mine about a week ago.  I started thinking about it, and while I was writing up this article, I decided to include it.  I haven’t played through this game in its entirety since I was about 8 years old, so I can’t tell you all about the plot and everything, but here’s what I remember:  You play as the boy, and you have your own blob.  You feed the blob different flavors of jellybeans, and depending on the flavor, the blob changes into a certain shape.  A ladder, or a bridge, or something.  It’s up to you to place the blob in the right place, and feed him the right flavor of jellybean.  It gets rather cryptic, and intriguing.  And if you’re playing it on your honeymoon, you wife is going to be there.  And since you have a wife now, she’s going to remember everything for you.  And since there are about 100 different flavors of jellybeans, and you’ve been married for less than a week, you can use her honed skill to your advantage.  It might be the only time in the marriage you get to do so.  Let me know how that one goes!

#2.  Rampage  (NES)

This also came out on Playstation 1, and again on the PS2, but there’s nothing like playing the original 8-bit game.  It’s a fantastic 2 player game where both of you play as monsters and you just keep traveling right, and destroying buildings.  It’s perfect for if you feel a fight coming on, or if you’ve been playing all the other games on the list, and hogging the controller.  If she actually wants to play with you, great!  If she doesn’t, then you have a whole new set of problems on your hands.

The Winner, and #1.  Battle Toads  (NES)

As we all know, this game is a thinly veiled attempt to cash in on the Ninja Turtles franchise.  This game came out not too long after the TMNTs hit the scene.  So a different company came up with a far-fetched synonym for “ninja” and a different amphibian, threw them together, and marketed them as something different.  It’s been going on since the dawn of time.  Anyways, that’s not why this is the best game to play on your honeymoon.  The reason why is because there is no versus mode, only cooperative.  It’s an arcade style button-masher with one fatal glitch… they left friendly fire turned on.  So if your new mate is talking too much and frustrates you to the point of slapping her or something (or, vice-versa for the girls out there reading this) don’t slap her in real life, that’s a horrible way to go.  Pop in this game, and go to town on her/him.  Blame it on the glitch, they’ll never know the difference.

See you at the reception,

The Jester.

 

*All images are property of their respective owners and may be subject to copyright laws.  All images obtained through Google Image Search.*

Nerdy Monday 15: My Tribute to a Little Game Entitled Simply: PAPERBOY!

Posted in 1980's, 1990's, Bad employment, Nerdy Monday, NES, Retro, T.V. shows, Video Game on January 17, 2011 by Divide By Zero

Oh my gosh.  Paperboys.  What can I say about them?  I was never a paperboy, but if being one were anything like the movies or T.V. shows made them out to be, it was a rite of passage into the work force.  It helped boys become men.  It was a fast track to manhood.  However you want to say it, it was a huge responsibility.

This brings me to my first point, why is it that all the way through the entire game of paperboy, you’re delivering papers during mid day?  All the paperboys I knew growing up had to wake up at 3:30am, and deliver all of their newspapers before everyone woke up.  Not while they were out mowing their grass and sending their lawnmower at you at 25 miles an hour, or letting their dogs out of their house as you rode by.  I’d bet you that if the paperboy in the popular video game wasn’t so lazy and got up before mid afternoon, he wouldn’t run into half of the inane obstacles he did!  I’d play that game, it’d be more like having a real paper route.

Paperboy was an arcade game released in 1984.  There was a movie released about it at the PEAK of paperboy’s popularity, in 1994.  So there was a good 10 year run right there.  I can’t remember if paper boy was on the regular Nintendo (NES), but I know there was a version of it released for the Sega Genesis.  There was a sequel to paperboy entitled just: PAPERBOY 2 released on the Super Nintendo (SNES).  And as far as I can tell, they are the exact game.  LET’S CHECK OUT SOME SCREEN SHOTS!

Here’s paperboy 1:

Right?

And here’s paperboy 2:

Okay?

Not much of a difference there.  I was going to dedicate an entire section of this article to comparing, and another entire section was going to be dedicated to contrasting Paperboy & Paperboy 2.  But check it out, in Paperboy 1, you ride your bike, try not to crash, refill papers as needed, dodge hazards, deliver papers to white houses, don’t deliver to red houses, and try not to break anybody’s window.  IF POSSIBLE, you try to make the paper go into the mailbox.  In Paperboy 2, you ride your bike, try not to crash, refill papers as needed, dodge hazards, deliver papers to white houses, don’t deliver to red houses, and try not to break anybody’s window.  And IF POSSIBLE, you try to make the paper go into the mailbox.  In a Venn diagram, these 2 games would be the exact same circle intersecting at every possible point.

Which begs the question:  Why was this game so popular?  Everyone had, or has played this game.  It seeped its way into our pop-culture.  Perfect example:

PAPERBOY THE MOVIE: TRAILER

Sorry, that was going to be a picture, but the file corrupted.  But the video is even better.

So seriously, why was this game so great?  Was it the simplistic concept?  Was it how easily relatable the game play was?  Was it the innocence of the subject matter?  Was it the family friendly tone?

My theory is your parents bought it for you in hopes that it’d inspire you to get your own damn job in order to be able to buy your own video games.  See the logic there?  They bought you a video game, because they were hoping that they’d never have to get you another one in real life.  They were hoping that you would get so good at it on your Sega Genesis, that it would act as a simulator (of sorts) to get you a bunch of practice.  Do you see?  Then once you beat the game once or twice, they’d drop the bomb on you, saying “well, try it in real life”.

Knowing you though, I hope your parents didn’t hold their breath.

Because God forbid they’d have to keep spending $28.99 (the original retail price of Paperboy) on some dag-gone video games!  And seriously, did anyone ever beat it?  Did you ever beat Paperboy?  I never did, and I don’t know anyone who ever has, so we all would have made horrible paperboys in real life.

All kidding aside though, I think it was something about the lines, the restricted areas and the random obstacles that make this a rare game insomuch as it is both fun AND difficult.  Kind of like Bubble Bobble!  Any way you slice it though (I like it julienne), be it innocence, ease, or just simple nostalgic value this game somehow rode off the virtual streets of a fictitious neighborhood full of people that just wanted to read the news… and rolled right into our hearts.

See you at the mailbox, neighbor.

The Jester.