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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Video Game Ramblings

I would climb the deepest river
Swim the tallest mountain
Wash my feet in lemonade
If I knew it’d make you love me I’d put soup on a stick

CompUSA is apparently going out of business and so I decided to attempt to feed on the wounded computer department store by buying some of their marked down crap. The first thing I was worried about was seeing my old friend there who I worked at Toys R Us with.
M was this gangly, goofy kid who would gleek on you for hours until you were at the point where you placed his arm in the paper slicer and then he’d finally quit. He, plain and simply, was a douche and he would try to get out of his funk by coming to school hungover and try to get pissy every now and then but he just couldn’t shake his doucheness. M eventually got fired for allegedly stealing stuff from Toys R Us and we just grew apart.

Boof: Hey M, wanna go and watch Space Cowboys at the theatre?

M: Um.. No thanks

I think that was about it for quite some time.

Last year I went to CompUSA to buy some more memory for my old computer which had 64MB of RAM and a 4gig hard drive (yeah, this was about 2 years ago sadly enough--my ipod is more proficient than this piece of crap). I tried to act like I knew what I was doing but I just couldn’t get rid of the googly eyes and the drool falling from my lips. That’s when M spotted me and started walking my way.

At first I didn’t even recognize who this person with the douche-like face and the weird smile was. After a couple seconds it dawned on me, this was M plus about 30 pounds of fat. We talked, he helped me while he was bewildered (because he sold me that piece of shit 4 gig computer 6 years previously), and we talked about going for drinks sometime. I knew I wasn’t going to go for a drink because I believe that people come and go in life and I consider him to be “gone”. Plus, I didn’t want to be back in that weird Toys R Us crowd that I was almost forced into.

So I strolled into CompUSA and luckily I didn’t find M but I think I found a couple other old Toys R Us workers who I don’t think recognized me. I perused and everything was about 20% off. I found this bin with “managers choice” marked on the side. This bin was stuff they REALLY wanted to get rid of. Inside I found “Final Fight: Streetwise” for the PS2. Apparently this game was a new and improved version of the old school classic “Final Fight” where you destroy the cars. It was $14.95 and I wasn’t seriously going to buy it until I found out that it contained the original Final Fight arcade game. I was all over that so I bought it.

When it comes to video games, I’m not really one to talk to. I had my moment twenty years ago in the Nintendo 8-bit era when I was a religious subscriber to Nintendo Power and read every magazine from front to back in school. I would have dreams of playing one of those Nickelodeon game shows where kids grab a bunch of games from the wall and I would extend both my arms and grab as many games as I could. I envisioned myself to take games and put them down my pants and under my shirt to maximize my game grabbing potential. I was as crazy as can be when it came to Nintendo. Then Super NES came out and I was done. I was not about to start over in buying new games and a new system. Since then I’ve been almost anti-video game and, other than a couple small phases with Tiger Woods golf, I don’t really play much of them.

I do still have a love for old school arcade games but only the most simple ones. My games of choice are, first and foremost, the games where you’re in a jet (or plane) and you simply press the “A” button and fire your generic shot at the enemies and “B” which drops this super duper atomic bomb which erases everyone. The game is simply nothing more than moving a joystick and mashing the “A” button. What I liked the most from these games is the items you collect which would make your gun into something completely crazy. Like one of my favorite games is “Raiden” and in it you can get this “green gun” and it eventually turns into an electrical current which can destroy all the other planes in its path. Then there’s the (sigh) spread which always gives me a hard-on seeing a weapon that nearly covers the whole screen. God bless the spread item.

My other favorite games are the scrolling level games where you fight other guys and pick up weapons. There were good versions of these games (teenage mutant ninja turtles, double dragon, ect) and bad ones (Xmen, Simpsons, ect). The one game I liked the best was Final Fight if nothing more than the car trashing bonus round. I would wander around the arcade and find myself watching someone play this game the most out of any other.

So at CompUSA I saw this game had the old school version of Final Fight and I was ready and willing to part with $14.95 for this game.

I came to the check out counter and talked to the employee which I think was a previous worker of Toys R Us that I worked with and asked him about his job.

Boof: So did you guys just lose your jobs?
Worker agitated: yup and they didn’t even want to tell us until the public knew. That will be $4.75.

$4.75?!? Oh hell yeah! So that night I played the arcade version complete with enemies named after 80’s hair bands (slash, Axel, Poison) and yes, I got to destroy a car too. So much joy for $4.75

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