Top 5 NES Games That I Crave On A Bi-Daily Basis

This morning, I caught a glimpse of an important MTV special titled “True Life: I’m Addicted To Videogames”. At the time, I was unsure whether or not I fall into this category. After observing the 2 subjects of the program, I found that I do not share the same features. From what I could grasp, I learned that these 2 people:

1) Have a significant other

2) Struggle to graduate college

3) Likes to digitally shoot things with a gun

Because of the fact that this does not ring true to me, I must not be addicted to video games. However, during the time in which I do not have a significant other, did not struggle to graduate and have no desire to shoot things with a gun, I like to play games from my endless NES library. This does not make me a gamer, as these games are almost irrelevant to the gaming world today. GTA 4 overwhelmed me, I couldn’t for the life of me become interested in Fallout, and the idea of an RPG that never ends really bores me. I like my games to be simple, addictive and easy to turn on and off. Although my house contains a pS3 and a Wii, my only use of them is playing older games. But then again, I do spend too much time playing classic games, so maybe I am a gamer? Fuck it. For the record, I can’t stop playing the following games:

5) Hello Kitty World

Fly cat, fly! Woo!

This was one of those games that I booted up as a joke, and only expected to play for a maximum of 30 seconds. This did not happen. I have come to build a good manly reasoning for playing this game. If you were to be confronted by a large biker dude, would you rather that he had an Orange County Choppers tattoo or a Hello Kitty tattoo? The OCC tat shows that the man is generic, and trying really hard to fit in with his peers, which could mean an easy battle. On the other hand, a Hello Kitty tattoo says that the man is absolutely batshit, and will do much worse and weirder things to you other than rough you up. In a nutshell, playing a Hello Kitty game is equivalent to being insane, but it’s the kind of insane you wouldn’t want to mess with, so your manhood can be restored after performing such an activity. And the game itself is more relaxing than taking a Darvocet and reading last month’s issue of Cosmo. All you do is fly around on a balloon. Nothing more, nothing less. You fly through a colorfull landscape while dodging sharp objects. I realize that it sounds like a more popular NES game, Balloon Fight, but trust me, it is much better. The controls are impeccable, the music is lighthearted and soul-warming, and you get some kind of strange opaitesque joy out of doing nothing but floating via balloon. Staying away from this game is quite tedious. Once it’s in, it’s in, and your life will never be the same.

4) Hatris

Seriously, what the fuck are those bearded guys doing?!?!?

In the late ’80s, Soviet game programmer Alexey Pajitnov was on top of the world. His landmark game, Tetris, was gaining popularity like mad, and everyone was asking about what his next project was going to entail. Well, judging from the title, he did not stray very far from the familiar formula with this game. Of course, Hatris is a puzzle game, but it is one of the most eccentric I have ever seen. Basically, you control a machine that stacks hats. I repeat, you stack hats. Somehow, this game actually does become challenging. You have to stack 5 of the same hats on top of each other to make them disappear. The real challenge is in the fact that the hats are very distinguishably shaped, so they all stack differently, some better than others. You will learn that stacking a tophat on top of a wizard hat is not a good idea. That’s advice you can take in account in everyday life. The essence of what hooks me to this game is it’s subtle quirkiness. The hats are controlled by two oddly shaped bearded men, and they are stacked on top of angry-looking heads that slide on a conveyor belt. If that doesn’t sound totally badass, you should probably get a physical, because something aint right. The plot is almost as cryptic as the one of Tetris, in which you were supposedly stacking blocks so that a rocket ship can fly away. I’m not exactly sure what these hats are doing, but I hope at the end, I get to see a giant hat ship fly away. There’s also something very rewarding about knowing that you spent an hour of your day stacking hats.

Roommate – What have you been doing all day?

You – Stacking hats!

Roommate – Oh yeah?!?! Where are they?

You – In the computer machine!

Roommate – Nice! Great job! Why are you naked?

3) Marble Madness

Yes.

I am not a religious man, but when I wake up every day, I thank the lord that this game exists. This is another weird chapter in the story of “what I thought the future was going to be like”. As a child, I was convinced that someday I would be able to have these geometric ramps that I would be able to utilize to telepathically move marbles on. This has yet to actually happen, and probably never will. So I play Marble Madness instead. The overall atmosphere of the game is compelling. The faux-3d graphics, the mind blowing color palettes and driving kickass soundtrack create a world like no other. A world about marbles. One would think that after 18-20 years of loyal playing, I would actually be good at this game. I am not. I still constantly get stuck on the 4th level, with all the stupid fans and low time limit. My marbles are always dropping like I am 18 again. I am also certain that the last level is next to impossible. That is, until the Game Genie comes into play. That’s what I miss about video games. There was actually a time period in which cheat codes were fashionable, attainable, and all-around helpful without taking away all the fun in the game. So I turn off the time limit, so what? Have a problem with that? Well, let’s have a fucking roll-off! Grab your bags! It’s on!

I am seriously taking Marble Madness challenges, as I hope that someday I will meet someone that loves this game as much as I do.

2) Family Feud

Survey says...you have a very ugly family!

There’s something very delicate about game show adaptations on NES. For the most part, they actually work! I spend a lot of my time playing Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and Classic Concentration, but the one that really takes the cake is Family Feud. [It must be noted that 3/4 of those games were made by the same company, GameTek, who are also the assholes responsible for American Gladiators and Double Dare. The company saw some success, but it sometimes got to their heads.] Roscoe and I, under the guises of Guz and Loo, have clocked at least 50-100 hours playing this game. It never gets old. The questions rarely ever repeat, the CPU is just dumb enough, and the task of earning $20,000 is still one that is not easy to achieve. It’s one of those games that really bring a room of people together. We can all have fun shooting people in FPS games, but nothing like that really compares to the sheer euphoria that spreads around the room when we all figure out what the top 5 “Things you would fold after laundering” [Towels, Sheets, Trousers, Underwear, and Shirts].  It is also addictivley infuriating when you answer “watch” and they were looking for “wristwatch” or vice versa. I realize that there are better versions of this game out there, but nothing can really beat the true charm of the NES version. The character models are downright hilarious, there’s no annoying filler graphics (although the host does take a long time in the beginning making out with women), and for some reason, it kind of reminds me of home. Not the house that my parents live in, or the domicile that I currently reside in, but more like a comfortable state of mind in which you know you are always welcome, always loved, and when the other family wins the game, there will always be a complication preventing them from playing fast money. People get pregnant a lot.

1) Tecmo Fucking Super Bowl!!!!!!!

See? The Packers DID exist in between Lombardi and Favre!

I talk about this game way too much. I must express one more time that this is, in my opinion, the perfect game. I spent an obscure amount of money buying the latest Madden game, and it’s growing an immense amount of dust. Nothing else will do. Sure, football games these days are much more precise and purdy lookin, but you can’t make Warren Moon throw a 102 yard pass to Drew Hill, no you can’t. And that’s why this game is so fucking amazing. Just the fact that a simple little NES game in 1991 can gather so much information. There are very few players left out of this game. Sure Randall Cunningham chose not to be in this game, but when you’re playing as “QB EAGLES”, you know what time it is, and the time is good. The fucking game even gathers stats, schedules, injuries, substitutions, everything you could ever want in an 8-bit football game. This game is orgasmic, and it is wasting my life away, one play at a time.

So it can be easily seen that I am not a gamer, I am simply a lover of the less complicated things in life. When I want to unwind after a day of doing nothing, I’m not going to steal a car, shoot an Afghan, or level up my Mage (what the fuck is a Mage?). Nor, sir. I’m going to roll balls, stack hats, figure out how people thought shit was in 1989, fly around on balloons and play for the Houston Oilers. That is, what I believe, the way life is supposed to be, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

– Guz [missing Loo like crazy]

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