10 Things I (Don't) Hate About You
Posted on Thursday, September 19 @ 15:42:32 Eastern by ryanbatesThose who have read my past few pieces may get this impression that I’m that super serious guy that has a bone to pick with everyone and everything and doesn’t know how to have fun. After reading my past few columns here at GameRevolution, I’m not surprised. But let me assure you, I’m not that guy.
I am absolutely not afraid at all to take on social issues of injustice and inequality, especially in gaming. But sometimes I just want to enjoy gaming. Isn’t that the actual point? I like to have fun and laugh too. Some days, I just long for a good fart joke.
Granted, I love writing for the readers, and sometimes there’s just something so satisfying about commiserating over crappy stuff. Worst consoles, worst peripherals, terrible games. Misery loves company, and it’s nice to know I wasn’t the only one who fell victim to Raid on Bungeling Bay (dear God, what a festering pile of game). But from time to time, we need to stop and reflect on all the good stuff. The commonalities we have as gamers. That which brings us together to thrust the proverbial middle finger at Orcs, aliens, Goombas, rival gangs and/or armies, and the undead masses.
So now, I present a list of Things For No Reason Other Than I Like Them. Hopefully you do too.
1. Tetris Music
Go on YouTube and search “Tetris theme.” The search results confirm it's one of the most widely recognized pieces of game music, maybe even more so than Mario's theme. After the first bar of music, you can already visualize the blocks falling down into your screen, and the anticipation for a 4-bar. The theme, which is properly titled “Korobeiniki,” is so widely recognized that endless covers of the song resonate in a multitude of styles. From classical to dubstep, ragtime to ska, it's not just a musical piece... it's a part of gamer history.
2. Games With A Silly Sense Of Humor
Zombies Ate My Neighbors says that the best defense against the living dead is a squirt gun. The whole point of Toe Jam & Earl is to fight off Earthlings. The game Boogerman exists.
Video games are evolving into an art form akin to cinema, and as such have stunning graphics and intricate storylines that warrant the comparison to movies. But just like film, where sometimes you get high-brow masterpieces like Citizen Kane and Schindler's List, sometimes you get Anchorman, Occasionally in gaming we get an Anchorman too – maybe it's not as good as the hoity-toity stuff, but damnit, it's just fun.
Now, say “Fuzzy pickles!”
3. Party and Dance Games
“Multiplayer” is the heavy, oversaturated buzzword in games today. The industry thinks that everything worth an ounce needs multiplayer, sometimes forcing the mode into games awkwardly.
But party games and music/dance games, such as the Mario Party, Just Dance, and Rock Band series, are the real definition of “multiplayer” modes. Grabbing a bunch of friends, getting a little goofy (sometimes with the help of a drink or nine), stealing stars, rocking out, or shaking your “groove thang,” as the kids call it, and just plain having fun. Whether you're a superstar or a second-rate pile of suck doesn't matter – it's the experience you share with other fellow players.
4. The Relief of Finding a Well-Placed Life-Restoring Item
Mushrooms, hearts, fairies, food, energy tanks, first aid kits, potions... no matter what form they're in, they replenish the vital health needed to continue your adventure. And when you're down to your last unit, with the screen blurring or your meter beeping and/or flashing, and no save points in miles, nothing is a happier sight than that life-up item.
Except maybe multiple life-up items.
5. Putting The Hamster In The Microwave In Maniac Mansion
It does absolutely nothing to move the story along, and in fact is one of the few ways to actually die in that game. It's cruel and uncivil, and I laugh and laugh and laugh.
See? I'm not always a role model.
(DISCLAIMER: Do not put your actual hamster in an actual microwave unless you live with a paramilitant, a sentient, evil meteor, and two living, disembodied tentacles.)
6. Gamer Inside Jokes
“Hey, you, we getting in the shower and I took a Pikachu!”
“Mario's constantly high... I would be too with all those mushrooms!”
“Luigi and Daisy is a sham, we all know Daisy's into Zelda.”
“Now you're thinking with portals!”
They may not always be funny, but we all get them, and deep down inside, we're at least snickering.
And if you're not, well, go Rai-chu own jokes.
7. A Perfect Win on a Fighting Game
For those of us who are ultra-competitive, the only thing better than mercilessly beating your opponent in a fighting game is mercilessly beating your opponent in a fighting game without taking so much as a scratch. But I'm not one to brag.
Fortunately, most fighting games will reward your ability to mollywhomp your lesser opponent with some sort of reward, like a graphic or a tagline. While it might not be much, it breaks the ice for brag-tastic smacktalk.
8. Absurd Fighting Games
FUN: Two characters using fighting and special attacks to beat their opponent into submission. See Street Fighter II.
FUNNER: Two characters who would normally never interact with each other using fighting and unique special attacks to beat their opponent into submission. See Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
FUNNEST: Two blobs of clay morphing into bizarre shapes and objects to beat their opponent into submission for no apparent reason. See Clayfighter.
(PS. This will probably be the only time you ever see me use the words “funner” and “funnest” ever... Though maybe that could be the angle for a new fighting game... beating up people who suck at grammar and syntax...)
9. Link Finding Anything
I think every gamer has done this: You're anxiously looking for something you can't find, such as your wallet or car keys. You've turned the entire house upside down, racked your brain, looked under piles of papers, junk drawers, and dirty clothes hampers. Finally, after much searching, you locate the item. YES!
That music you just heard in your head? That was Link finding an item. It's gamer instinct. No need to be ashamed of it. Hold those keys over your head, Hero of Hyrule! Then... you know... do whatever you were going to do.
10. The Great Mighty Poo
The Great Mighty Poo is a character from Conker's Bad Fur Day and Conker: Live and Reloaded. He is a giant pile of poop that enjoys Sweet Corn, flinging fecal matter at Conker, and opera.
What's not to love?