I find it very sad that Arcades are slowly being phased out in America.  There was a time when going to an Arcade meant you were getting the best graphics and fun factor game producers could offer packaged neatly together in a huge box of happiness.  Back then $5 in quarters lasted longer than my dad’s average trip to the bathroom.  Speaking of my dad, one of my best memories in the Arcade is playing Arkanoid with my dad.  Arkanoid, also known as break out, Araknoid or block break was the game where you slide the little bar across the bottom of the screen trying to keep the balls flying while taking aim on different colored blocks.  Some blocks dropped goodies that would make your bar longer or (gasp!) shorter.  But the best upgrade was the one that turned your little bar into son-of-robocop!  That’s right, you’d get some serious firepower to blast the pasta outta those pesky blocks!  My dad would spin that wheel that controlled the little bar and I’d hammer on the fire button like a maniac when he got the appropriate power up.  Our second favorite was Pac-Man of course.  I didn’t get to participate as much, but it was always fun to watch.

More Arcade memories to come next time folks!

-B

I’m going to be blunt.

I miss sidescrollers.  Platformers are great but I haven’t re-experienced that same awe while playing a game as I did when I was 10 years old playing Rampage and Super Mario Bros 3 on my grey, boxy friend: The Nintendo Entertainment System.  It seems that some game makers agree with me because I’ve seen a few attempts at “next gen sidescrolling” in the past couple years.  Viewtiful Joe was a cool take on an old genre, though if I had to choose….give me those good ol mushrooms!  (I’m really not a drug addict people)  (anymore.). 

My cousin and I used to stay up all night drinking coke and eating ruffles with a greasy control pad in our hands.  The game?  Rampage.  We’d devastate state after state and typically, we’d both just sorta fall asleep while playing.  Crums on our chins and empty coke cans littered about….  that was living.

Super Mario Bros 3 totally put me in a trance with it’s bright colors and addictive muzak.  I was one of those suckers who didn’t know about the musical flutes until I saw “The Wizard” so my nintendo usually sat running weeks at a time, paused for hours during school and painful minutes during pesky meals.  I never actually beat the game.  I know, I’m a loser.  I just couldn’t get through those end levels, it was so difficult and it always took so long to get there that…well…it just never happened.  Thank to some great YouTube videos I’ve gotten to live somewhat vicariously through the efforts of others.  But I still dream folks.  I will defeat Bowser….

-B

Sony Playstation came to me one fine winter’s day, the snow was falling, the controller calling what more can I say?

The box of lore, was wrapped in paper adorned, with the pics of Santa Claus. The word in sharpy scribbled sharply revealed the giver’s cause.

The word read “Blair” which seemed unfair, for Blair’s my sister’s name.  The box was handed past my grasp and I was filled with shame.

Her eyes were wide, she wondered what’s inside, perhaps a make-up case? 

The paper tore, and excitement roared, as santa twas torn in two.  When the gift revealed, I quick concealed, the fact my anger grew.

The box read “Sony”, I hoped it phony, why would my sister get; a gift I asked for, indeed I was sure, my desire would be met.

The next gift handed, to Blair had landed, again upon her lap.  She tore it asunder, what plunder among her, was she now about to unwrap?

Final Fantasy VII, Blair wasn’t in heaven, what was this odd game about?

I jumped in the air, my family did stare, at my obnoxious behavior.  The Sony box was in hand, I fled to a land where Cloud Strife could be a savior.

I ran out of the house and tripped on a mouse, and the box into air flew.  I looked like a clown, my face was a frown, and it took on a dark red hue.

The Sony Landed in snow, and thankfully so, the white stuff softened the fall.  I sprinted to steal it, and I’ll have to admit, this next fact is sure to appaul.

My sister stepped on my head, and I woke up in bed, she’d traded The Sony for a ”My Little Pony”!

-B

I just got done devoting an hour or so of my time to Marsupilami for the Sega Genesis.  Odds are you have no idea what I’m talking about.  Marsupilami is a video game based on Andre Franquin’s comic book of the same name.  The Marsupilami is a some kind of crazy, long-tailed cross between a monkey, a lion and your grandmother’s leopard skin purse. 

I was immediately impressed by the game’s squishy-wishy graphics and animation.  Graphically, it reminds me of Disney’s Classic Aladdin for the Sega Genesis.  However when it comes to game play I had no clue what was going on.  The game’s lack of a button configuration menu didn’t help.  It’s like these guys said “Hey lets make a game about this monkey-lion thing!  And ya know what’ll be really funny?  Lets totally leave out any instruction or sensible explaination as to what the heck’s goin on!”  Sweet Guys!  Great idea!  You successfully left me in the dark and thus…I couldn’t get past the first level.  However, I can tell you that if you hold the C button Marsup-salami will blow up his tale like a balloon or use his tail as a jump rope both of which… do nothing practical to help you figure out what the heck you’re supposed to do!

Graphics: 4 out of 5

Music: 4 out of 5

Controls: 2 out of 5

Fun Factor: As fun as your grandma’s leopard skin purse.

Collectability (1= uncollectable 10= a must have): 3 out of 10 - This game is relatively rare, but it’s lack of fun factor makes it an easy one to skip over.

Likely price: A nickle at your neighbor’s garage sale.  Or about $2 on eBay.

I rate this game 1 out of 5 salami sandwiches. (This number is not an average)

I was 13…I think.  My dad used to come home with huge wads of cash (he was a big boss in the Dairy Queen Mafia).  I was a little punk back then and when I’d see money laying around, I’d claim it for myself.  One day I claimed about $600 for myself.  “What to do with this money?” I thought.  “I know!  I’ll buy a Sega Saturn!”  I called up a friend of mine who rode over on his bike and I told him I’d pay him $50 to ride to toys ‘r’ us, buy me the Sega Saturn and bring it back.  I also ordered Panzer Dragoon, Sega Rally, and a Sega Saturn Steering wheel. 

He returned about 3 hours later with all my booty which we happily unpackaged and hooked-up.  My parents asked how I got all this stuff and I just said I found it.  They didn’t believe me of course and were convinced I was selling drugs or something.  Imagine that?!  A 13 year old selling drugs!  Of course, I was selling drugs too but not making quite enough to buy a Sega Saturn with. 

My favorite games were NiGHTS, Guardian Heroes, Panzer Dragoon, Mr. Bones, and please don’t judge me for it… Space Jam.  Don’t ask me why I liked Space Jam.  *dodges tomatos*

Later on, when I was older, I admitted to my dad that I had taken the money.  He made me pay back 7 times what I stole!  I ended up working it off all summer long.  But for Panzer Dragoon…. back then I felt, it was worth it.

-B

Raise your hand if you currently own a Nintendo power pad.  Now, if I had a nickle for every hand flailing wildly in response to the question I posed, I probably couldn’t buy a pack of gum.  Luckily for me, I have a job that doesn’t include collecting hand raising nickles.

I got the Power Set NES for Christmas which included the Power Pad, Zapper and a game cart with duck hunt, Mario and World Class Track Meet.  My cousins came over that night and we stomped furiously on that pad until the floor gave out and my cousin Petey fell through.  The ambulance ride was fun.

The coolest thing was when we learned that we didn’t really have to “run” on the power pad.  We could just drum on those huge blue and red buttons with our fists to make our guy run faster.  Of course then someone would always yell “cheater!” and it would cause a ruckuss that usually resulted in a black eye and a trip to the corner for someone, but those were the days weren’t they?

I don’t know what ever happened to my Power Pad.  I know I eventually traded in my NES, games and zapper to Funcoland for a Sega Genesis but where that power pad went…it remains a mystery.

 -B

Ever see half an acronym before?

FAVGame was born for people like me who love video games.  From SNAFU, to Mario, to Sonic the Hedghog, Mortal Kombat, Sega Rally, King of Fighters, Night Trap, Crash Bandicoot, Final Fantasy, Metal Gear… the list doesn’t end but your tolerance for reading might, so I’m keeping it short.

My love for video games is so vast that if you took all my DNA it couldn’t fit in 3 grand canyons worth of library books.  Or something like that.

Anyway, to keep it short and make sense at the same time, I’ll be checking in with random thoughts on video games new and old and writing reviews of games as often as possible.  I hope to do a few video reviews and maybe ask some special celebrity guests to review a game or two.  Check back often for updates, info, reviews and video game buying recommendations!  Also, if you’d like me to review a particular game (even a game you may have made yourself) email me at brian@findavideogame.com

 -B