Thursday, June 28, 2001


Many moons ago I was playing through Metroid for the millionth time. My normal goal in Metroid was to secure all 255 missiles before going to hash Metroids. This time I played it a little different - see how few missiles I could get and still defeat Mother Brain. So I was ripping through the Zebbetites at 155 missiles and I busted open the 'Brain's shell and was pumping rockets into her. At around 70 missiles remaining I obliterated her and began the long ascention to the elevator. As was tradition, I turned on my missiles to make Samus pink (Varia of course) and climbed into the elevator. No big deal, yawn, yawn. Maybe this time I might get the helmet taken off. I couldn't tell how often that happened, but it seemed pretty rare to me. Imagine my surprise when I saw Samus in a bikini. Holy shitters! I found a new ending! No big deal, though, really. My little brother (cka Poo) was watching me play through this time and before I turned off Metroid, he asked if he could play with my guy now. Why not? I was approaching six hours of pure NES for the day anyway and it was time to move onto GameBoy. I walked out of the room to get some food and Poo started going nuts. "Joey! Get in here! Get in here!" I dashed in and motherfucker if I didn't see Poo playing as a woman! I couldn't believe. Of course he turned the controller over to me and let me play through Metroid once again. Just to see if there were any more cool endings after that. When I later realized that the key to getting the woman ending was to play through quickly, I cursed the millions of times I just played through to get every missile and every item (of course the only remotely difficult one to find was Screw Attack).

The lesson: even the slightest change in how you go about something can make all the difference.

Wednesday, June 27, 2001


I'll tell you what, the American release of the GBA has squashed my posting time down to nothing. I

've got almost all of the Yoshi coins (not the cheating fucking eggs mind you) on SMBA. I like the version of Mario Bros. better than the one of SMB2, so I've probably been playing that more. It reminds me of when I had Mario Bros. for Atari 2600 and I would play it all the time because that was the closest I had to Super Mario Bros. for NES. Sigh... Ahh the days before I had the money to blow on any game I want... sniff sniff...

Other than that I finished F-Zero Extreme Super Champion Fighter Premium Challenge Ultra Mission Jet Type X or whatever moniker it has. It's a pretty exciting game actually - I never got behind FZeroX, but I always loved F-Zero and F-Zero 2 (import it dingii).

Tony Hawk is exciting but still kind of akward to me. GT Advance is also cool - I can't believe how good it looks either - but I'm stuck on the eigth track and I don't feel like passing it yet.

And Super Dodge Ball... fabulous! Tons of fun! Shitty thing - I beat it in one try without losing a single match. I don't know if it's because my Dodge Ball skills are so highly tweaked from the two installments I've played previously or if the AI is junk. Anybody else do that yet?

Monday, June 04, 2001


How many times have you been sitting there playing THPS2 and had that goddamned "ya gat me runnin' in a cy-ca-lone" song come up? Don't you want to just shit right in the Cy-Ca-Lone guys' mouth? How about when you're racing an endurance race in Gran Turismo 2 and you get the fucking "Super Bon Bon" song? The very first few measures of which are enough for me to reset the whole damn PSX/PS2.

Enough - that's right. Enough of this stupid-ass music. It's lame and sucky and it detracts from the game. Don't get me wrong, occasionally there's some great songs (THPS1 has almost all great music save Primus' poop-kebob) and THPS2 has about half good songs. But most of the time it's just tired old rap songs and Dragula remixes. Enough!

If you're going to put in music, how about a simple option that will let me skip the songs I don't want to hear? I can't tell you how frustrated and riled up I'd get playing THPS2 and having that "out wit da old in wit da new mom said keep it clean do dis" song shitting up the game. Whereas I'd feel elated every time "No Cigar" came on. I wouldn't even mind just having "No Cigar" looping over and over. Let me skip the junk I don't want to hear or just put in video game music. In fact, I'd settle for MIDIs. I'd settle for the sound of Pitfall Harry jumping looped over and over again.

As the American release date of GBA approaches, I've been reflecting on some of the loose ends I have yet to tie up on the Game Boy. Will I get to them before GBA comes out and I'm getting into those games heavily? With one week left, these are my tasks:

  • Oracle of Seasons: While I finished Oracle of Ages on May 20th, Baby has yet to finish Oracle of Seasons so I can usurp the cart. She finished all the labyrinths last night and only needs to kill the final boss. This one is a priority - I need to finish this before GBA games come out. I expect to get it from her today which leaves me about a week to do it, roughly the time it took for Ages.

  • Metal Gear Solid: Though I absolutely loathe the PSX version (boring, cheating motherfucker), I adore the NES versions - even Snake's Revenge. I was able to get the game for $10 new so I figured I'd give Snake another shot. Lo and behold it turns out to be a fabulous game. I'm about halfway through stage five. I figure I'll still play this even after GBA USA comes out, it holds my interest pretty well.

  • Metroid II: For someone who's expoits on SRR39 are legendary you'd think I'd have mastered this one as well. I don't know how I never bought this - I've had a Game Boy since about a year after they came out. I know I'll get to this one eventually.

  • Game Boy Printer: Well shit, I have the camera so I may as well get the printer. I want to print out the cool Nintendo banner and stick it on my DreamCast.

  • WarioLand 2 & 3: I own both of these games but never really got into either of them. The concept of never dying doesn't quite appeal to me in a platformer I guess. Why did I buy Wario 3 if I didn't like Wario 2? Simple, I like to have a new platformer around at all times and that was the only one available the day I walked into the store. Shit, I should've tried to find Metroid II!

  • Of all these, the only one I expect to get done in the next week is Zelda. It would be cool to get the GB Printer too. Then I can take pictures of my DreamCast and stick them to my GBA too.

    Oh, and lest you think this site will be only about GBA (I mean, it has been so far hasn't it?), rest assured there will be other topics to follow. As the GBA is the newest console coming out it gets my attention. Wait until there's a release lull and we get into retrogaming. Did I mention I have a Pac-Man tattoo?

Thursday, May 31, 2001


I imported my GBA right when they came out in Japan and I was able to get it over to the US via Priority Overnight in only two days. I imported it for two reasons: one, since it's a Game Boy I knew the US games would work on the Japanese console and vice versa; two, I wanted the popularity boost.

Initially, I tried showing people at work - hinting that I had something in my bag from Japan that nobody would even hear about until May stateside. They all assumed I meant some sort of freakish Japanese pseudo-toy a la Tamagochi. When I whipped out my pride and joy it would simply draw blank stares. "So? They redesigned the Game Boy. It looks nice, I guess." I explained the added processing power, the added colors, the added screen width, the backwards compatibility. "Alright! So I can play Tetris on it still?!" Clearly not the crowd.

Luckily there's also a daycare where I work. Here's my audience! I'm a video game God to them and the fact that they saw the GBA back in March and got to touch it and fall in love with it means that their parents have been hearing about it for over two months non-stop! A month more than Nintendo's own advertising! I'll bet I see GBA's in 95% of the kids there come it's release date. Plus that's more people I can link up against in F-Zero Advance!

Monday, May 28, 2001

Zelda: Do video games get any better? The original Zelda for NES has been a staple of my video game repetoire for years. The ability to complete both quests inbetween lunch and dinner made me famous on the schoolyard. People would call my house and ask for help on completing parts of Zelda.

Whenever a new game in the series comes out, my thumbs warm with anticipation. I literally become an elf-man. I run around with a green cap on and burn down trees. I only use keys once (unless they have an animal's head on them). I don't move anything in a room until all of the enemies have been liquidated.

And so last week two new Zelda games were released for Game Boy. This is also a good time to introduce my fabulous girlfriend Karen (aka "Baby"). You see, Baby is also a huge video game player and lover in her own right. What this means is that we both bought one of the new Zelda games (well, ahem, I bought them both but she's playing one - heh heh). Equipped with Zelda: Oracle of Season and Zelda: Oracle of Ages we began our journey.

The gameplay is very similar to Zelda: Link's Awakening. If you've already played through that you'll have no trouble picking up the control for this game. There's a few shared items between LA and the Oracle series too that will be easier to master if you've already used them.

I chose to play Oracle of Ages first because I traditionally pick red flavored games over blue flavored games and I wanted a change. Initially I was mighty impressed by the game - cool opening cinema, no boring story to sift thru to get going either. After playing for maybe 15 minutes I had already uncovered a special secret to the game too. See, I will import gaming systems no matter what the cost so I'm playing Oracle on a Game Boy Advance. Lo and behold there's a special shop right away that's only accessible if you have a GBA. Instant bonus points!

Baby and I played thru the whole weekend. It was nice out so we sat outside and played Game Boy getting sunburned in the process. Let me tell you, you get some funny looks when you claim your sunburn is due to excessive Game Boy. Anyways, we played for probably ten hours a day last weekend. In that whole time I was frustrated only once - I thought I had to do this stupid dancing game to get an item I needed so I sat there for proabably two hours trying to dance. I was getting mighty fucking pissed too - ready to toss the damn cartidge across the lawn. So I went and explored a little more and it turns out I didn't need to be doing that. Therefore, since it was my error I did not deduct any points from Zelda's score for it.

Other than that minor problem this game did very little to piss me off. I felt like I always had a rough idea of where to go but they weren't exactly holding my hand - the perfect balance of exploration versus blind luck. The dungeons are also incredibly well-designed and tricky, although six pissed me off when I had to adjust the water levels. But that's a rare sorepoint in an otherwise unfrustrating experience.

It took me a week to finish the game at roughly 25 hours of total gameplay. A solid ending and a great segue into the next game have me drooling to play Seasons. But at this time Baby is still playing it (she's on her way to level 7), so I have to wait a bit longer. I'm sure the score will get a finally adjustment once I've played them both, but for now:

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages for Gameboy Color
Score: 92/100
I loved: this fucking game!
I hated: how dumb I was trying to dance that afternoon
I cried: when I saw the references to Zelda's of the past, awwwww
I laughed: when I saw Tingle again
I didn't understand: where the hell the story will go after Seasons
I love video games. I'm not going to lie to you - video games are God to me. I worship at their altar daily and I intend this blog to be a celebration of the vital impact video games have had on my life. I will try to update how I'm doing in video games I'm currently playing and also relive past video game experiences. Which brings me to my first true post (see above dingus)...