Archive for January, 2010
Wintereenmas is about the gaming we’ve lived with and that drived us. Nothing drove me more than to conquer a game in under two weeks. I’m not a serial gamer. It can often take me 2 years, or more, before I beat a game. I play it for a time, go to something else, and sometimes return to it months later. As previously mentioned The Playstation 2 was the first console I got in it’s generation since the Game Boy. I had borrowed Metal Gear Solid 2 from a high school friend over the summer . I hadn’t experienced such things as Final Fantasy 7 or the first Metal Gear Solid, so I didn’t know what to expect. I was sold from the first cinematic, with entrance graphics. I wasn’t even pissed at the lack of Snake in the latter majority of the game since I wasn’t a returning player. Though Raiden was a bitch. I played this until the sun came up on more than a few days. But that’s ok, because otherwise I’d be up drinking a cappucino at Perkins anyways.
So I went on, over that summer, playing MGS2, often until the sun rose. Many times exclaiming ”Im in a box” or “I’m in a box, stop shooting at me. Missy, my then girlfriend, was highly entertained, then turned maybe annoyed, when I was up all night as she slept, trying to box sneak through the facility. All was awesome…until Naked Raiden…
Wow. This Wintereenmas experiment with Chachi and myself is so close, and it’s been a great week of reflecting on the games of our lives. If you haven’t seen, we’ve been running a series on wrestling games over on WrestlingMayhemShow.com that’s been fun as well.
So today, we decided to talk about “camp outs”. The sort of camp outs where a piece of gaming gold is on the other end. I don’t have anything at such a young age, or with subsequent injury like my cohort, but still a big one to me. In 2006, I was taken by the Nintendo Wii. It was a new controller. A new way to play. A big gamble. Something cheaper, different, and sure to have my staple alotment of Mario and Zelda. I could wait on the rest of this generation.
Now, typically, I would never buy a system on the day of release. Usually, not within the first year, even. But this time, I figured I would wait a month, have a little extra cash from the Christmas bonus, and snatch one up when the craze died down. That was a mistake. But I don’t think that anyone would have a problem getting their hands one of these little white boxes almost a year later.
So I set out with some old friends from AIP to get our Wii on. We had word the that Gamestop up on McKnight Rd had a shipment coming in. We showed up about 1 AM, and sure enough, there was a sign on the door that there would be 8 or 9 systems, and a mother and son already waiting. Wow. So we waited and made some friends. By about 3 AM, we had enough people in line to fulfill the promised number of systems. Desperate soccer moms and kids would come along, but we stood firm, as a group, to inform them that there was no reason for them to wait in this line. It’s as if we had all made a pact. It was a desperate time, and strangers came together for a common goal. Revolutionary gaming.
Our store opened about 10 AM. But we weren’t the only ones waiting in the plaza this night. We were bookended by a Best Buy and a Target. Both promising some variety of Nintendo Wii and Playstation 3 systems. They opened at least 2 hours before our store, and handed out tickets even earlier. We had the chance to watch the mayhem out front as we sat in our nice little, peaceful republic of Gamestop Wii-land. Shenanigans were afoot. Some kids were walking the plaza after Best Buy handed out tickets trying to sell it. One desperate soccer mom, displeased with our “poor attitude” in telling her she was too late in showing up at 6 AM seemed that she was taking them up on it. At one point, a pickup truck pulled up with their PS3 hanging out the window, screaming at us. Another stopped by and tried to sell it to us. Eventually, we were joined by my wife and company about an hour before opening, bringing us, and others, some coffee to warm up a bit, and help wait out that last desperate hour.
In the end, I got my Wii. Zelda. An extra controller. And I was happy. The wayward souls that met that night dispersed into the morning air, never to see each other again. I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world on that cold December night.
I’ve thought long and hard about what game really was the best ever. I hate picking a best ofs of anything, to be honest. What criteria do you pick? I’d pick Metal Gear Solid 2 as the first game that captivated me with it’s delivery (having missed MSG on PS1). Bioshock nearly beats it in atmosphere. Guitar Hero was a complete game changer, making the party game happen as I’d hoped Dance Dance Revolution would have. But we always go back. Back to our child hood. The games that stole us away from our school work. The game that you spent all your time on, when you had all that extra kid time. Chachi went with a classic that we still enjoy sequels of on today’s consoles that still deliver a chillingly effective storytelling element that’s evolved and revolutionized over the years. Mine. It hit an early peak, but an important one.
I found this one at my local Jamesway. Maybe it was Muphy’s/Ames. Who knows. That first ten years just blend together. But this was a game that drew me in by the cover art. And that’s all you really had in those days. Look at that. He’s on a platform, fighting two colorful bad guys. Brandishing his…gun? Not an arm cannon? What’s up here? Well, art aside, this was the game to have. You pick from eight levels, throwing the idea of linear gaming out the damn window. The power ups, massively different levels, and the menacing Dr. Wily. All this and it was accessible!
This game owned my live for a time. It was in my Nintendo Power magazine every month. I had an interest in drawing the character art in a small notepad I carried at the time. Surely, this was a game that spawn my addiction to gaming. To the point that everyone thought I played video games all day, as I think that’s all I spoke about, and always had the latest Nintendo Power or GamePro in my bag.
The music. Oh those tunes. Just for fun, we’ve found ourselves in the office playing “guess the boss” games. The NES was when music started becoming crucial. The system had an amazing setup for audio that included interesting use of effects. Every video game cover band worth it’s salt has a Mega Man cover in it’s repertoire.
Also astonishing was the size of the bosses. Never did we have boss battles that took up so much of the screen. The revelation that you were in a hologram room, stars flying by, and Dr. Wily was an alien? This was also the first game I got to beat to see an amazing cut scene (was Mega Man dead? Self imploded? Or did he just leave his helmet behind) and finally see all of those “funny names” from the Japanese developers.
It’s a big statement, I think, that after all of these years, and the small strides this series has made, and huge gambles that may not have paid off (I disown Mega Man Legends from existence) we have gone back to the NES 8-bit style graphics from Mega Man 9, and soon, 10 on the digital distribution systems. Yes, the boss names have been too rediculous since about 1993, and it’s hard as all hell (so I’m told), but dammit, it’s the Mega Man you love!
From Wrestling Mayhem Show..
Oh, it was my return to gaming. My brother had an N64, and I was the good brother that got him this for some sort of gift giving holiday, I’m sure. And oh boy, did we play the heck out of this one. WCW/NWO Revenge was certainly from the height of the company’s dominance over WWF. You had the NWO, Goldberg, Raven, and a whole slew of WCW wrestlers. While all of my friends were having a great time with WWF Warzone creating characters and versions of our crew, I was playing the best damn wrestling game there was, and there was a reason for that. This game was one the the early wrestling games put out by THQ, the company that would later bring us the fantastic WWF/E Smackdown series we still enjoy today. Luckily, this version made the Playstation renditions of WCW Nitro and Thunder look like a joke.
The game was not without it’s faults. Due to the unfortunate size limitations, while our friends were getting CD quality DX theme music, we were stuck with some generic digital entrances. WrestleMania for the NES at least had custom themes! Also, in what seems like an attempt to expand the roster, there were inclusions of several fake feds (at least I’ve never heard of them). This may be a hold over of the WCW vs the World/World tour games with awkwardly large, and Japanese, rosters. All of the characters were cheasy, and you’d avoid them, except the ninja.
But the rest of the game was great. You didn’t have a custom wrestler mode, but you did have the ability to arrange the wrestlers in factions as you’d like and swap wardrobe amongst the roster. I recall making great strides to divide up the NWO at the proper point, and turn Hogan back to the Red and Yellow. Also, I think I turned The Giant into Big Show when that change occured. The game had fun weapons, that came from the crowd, a good battle royal mode, and decent enough title modes. And venues for all of the major PPVs of the era! All this, and the quintessential representation of the NWO, The Flock, cruiserweights, and tag teams. I’d dare say this was the best WCW game ever done.
Of course, the Asmik Ace/AKI engine that was known for a great grappling system, was carried over when THQ took on WWF in WrestleMania 2000, and the epic No Mercy.
But while this game didn’t have all the fancy CD-quality features, it did have this sweeeeeeetttt intro…
Oh, strange naked man
A long game and this is how
I think I see balls
This been a long game
He said to turn the game off
Game freaks me out now
From Wrestling Mayhem Show..
I recall back in the day, I had maybe a year’s worth subscription to the good old WWF Magazine circa 1992. This was where you heard of great things like those sweet wrestler ice cream bars, or, of course, WWF Arcade games! I once happened across a machine for WWF WrestleFest, and it was wrestling fan Nirvana. The characters were large and colorful. This was likely one of the first appearances of the Royal Rumble, ring entrances, actual people in the crowd, and the only showing of Saturday Night Main Event that I know of.
I had a chance to revisit this one, taking the aforementioned Saturday Night Main Event Tag Team mode the distance, beating the unplayable Legion of Doom with my team of Ultimate Warrior and Jake “The Snake” Roberts. The button mashing was to be had! Then the Royal Rumble mode, the only other mode in the game, is great. Six guys start off, and after pinning, yes pinning, you see the entrance of the next. This, and digitized Mean Gene Okerland! This is easily the most fun game of one of my favorite eras in wrestling. There’s even a page dedicated to bringing the game back to Xbox Live!
From Wrestling Mayhem Show…
It’s episode 203 with Sorg, wrestlefan, and Mad Mike. We are joined this week by Ryan Mitchell as we discuss his training days with Rocky Johnson, experience with the Funkin’ Conservatory, his time in WWE developmental, Florida Championship Wrestling, working with All Japan and in Canada, Florida indies vs Western PA area indies, and what’s going on with this past week’s CWE/PWO and upcoming Far North Wrestling and NWA East shows!
Also on the show, the crew discusses the Awesome Kong controversy, Royal Rumble, Wrestlicious, and Hulk Hogan’s toilet pleasures.
This is Episode 202 for Tuesday, January 26, 2010. You can get the episode here on Talkshoe, subscribe, and as always, stay tuned towww.wrestlingmayhemshow.com for the latest! The Wrestling Mayhem Show is recorded live and can be heard/viewed from 8 PM to 10 PM Eastern on Talkshoe.comand Ustream.com. Let us know what you think of the show, and your thoughts on the wrestling world by emailing us at email@example.com! Don’t forget you can find links related to the show’s news stories and more at our Delicious Links Page for Episode 203!
“Night People (feat. Freeway, Red Cafe & Masspike Miles)” (mp3)
from “100 Proof (The Hangover)”
It’s time to show them what you got. Who’s the biggest geek in these internet parts this Wintereenmas between myself, the ever technical technological Sorgatron, and the Mayor of Twitterland Chachi. And my answer? If it’s show and tell time, it’s collection time. I know little who have the stacks (of games) I have. Those that visit Mayhem Studios see a menagerie of gaming gear. About 7 consoles in semi-retirement, ready to be hooked up anytime. There are never less than two consoles under my living room television. There’s even a PS2 in my bedroom for the more intimate gaming needs. There is a basket of controllers, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DS on the coffee table for easy access.
- NES – The first. The alpha.
- Super Nintento – used and smoke damaged, but dammit it works!
- Sega Genesis
- Sega CD – went through two of these failing on my brother and myself
- Sega 32X – Why? Because Star Wars Arcade was the shit!
- Sega Saturn – Because I loved the Capcom 2D stuff! Street Fighter Collection. X-Men. I even wanted to mod the console and try to import Street Fighter vs X-Men!
- Sega Dreamcast – Shenmue. Marvel vs Capcom. The ability to run NES emulators and more! Best $50 I ever spent on a discontinued product
- N 64 – Conker’s Bad Fur Day. NFL Blitz. Loved it.
- Playstation -
- Playstation 2 – Was the first console since the Game Boy that I had bought while still “in cycle”. And I never regretted it.
- Game Boy – I beat Kirby’s Dreamland on the way home from WalMart. What is wrong with me. Also was excited at my sluggish version of Mortal Kombat I was relegated to.
- Game Boy Advance – This thing is the greatest console for anyone with a love for old 16-bit games.
- Nintendo DS – Ok. It’s the wife. She loves Phoenix Wright
- Xbox 360 – Bioshock. Rock Band. And I watch a lot of movies on it.
- Wii – Collecting dust, but I’ll get to that Wii Sports workout someday…
There. So what you got Chachi…
I wasn’t on the cusp of technology in the early ’90′s. I found that the best way was to wait until a console was in it’s later years and clean up at the used game store, ebay, etc. One of the best things I found, and something that had been on my wish list for some time: WWF Rage in the Cage.
It was the quintesential wrestling game. It had all of the colorful graphics we came to expect of the Super NES and Sega Genesis WWF games of this era. The huge 16-bit graphics. Man. This was good stuff. On top of that, that Sega CD delivered on the major promise of CD-Rom: Full. Motion. Video. Watch as your favorite bigger than life wrestlers actually move on the screen in glorious 16 color palettes in the quarter center of your screen!
It wasn’t all good in Mayhem Land for this installment, though. We had the cage. We had the video. We had the Fink giving digitized ring announcements, as well as digitized voices of the roster. We even had a tag team representation in the Headshrinkers and the Nasty Boys! But no tag team option. Ouch. But still, for 1993, this was the best game in town, and this week we celebrate it!
Each year, there is a lesser known holiday that we have celebrated amongst our crew. That is the Wintereenmas holiday, first started by those crazy guys at ctrl alt delete. Chachi and myself have embraced this holiday over the years. Even leaving my Christmas tree up to decorate in video game controllers. So this week, in celebration, we present to you a series of posts amongst Sorgatron.com and ChachiSays.com. Today: The Best Gamer Girl.
While Chachi may have aimed for someone that is traditional,, yet strong after getting tired of being whisked away by the bad guys, my pick is more along the lines of a 14 year old fantasy that it was when Super Street Fighter II came out. Chun Li was buff, but Cammy with her (supposed) english accent and that leotard, made my high school dreams. I’m happy to see that the fan art, sites, and cosplay, as well as updated HD appearances keeps that still alive to this day.
Now, it’s not all good. As per her bio, Cammy is a British Central Intelligence Agent. Ok, we got you. It makes sense with that berret and combat boots. But I’m not sure where a leotard and sparse camo leg paint is functional in the field. Thankfully, the Street Fighter movie at least come something more realistic than the game when they pantsed up Cammy’s character (but not in the Movie game)
But the best, by far are the cos play shots.
Bam. ’Nuff Said