Friday, October 10, 2008

I used to be good at video games.

Jeepers creepers. So I went ahead and downloaded Mega Man 9 on my Wii. A couple of days earlier, I played through one of the five best games of all time, Mega Man 2 on my NES emulator on my DS. Blew through the game in about two hours total while riding the subway to and from work. I see that my choice of the Mega Man game I am most familiar with was setting myself up for disappointment.

See, I've played Mega Man 2 so many times that I know all the levels by heart, and I know precisely which Robot Masters to tackle in which order. (For reference: Metal Man, Wood Man, Air Man, Crash Man, Bubble Man, Heat Man, Flash Man, Quick Man.)

But playing Mega Man 9 is like being eleven again.

I... I can't beat it. Seriously. The first time I fired the game up, I played for nearly two hours. I tackled every level, and I never once even caught sight of a Robot Master. I couldn't even reach the end of one single level.

The second day, I finally met my first new robot master (Galaxy Man). He trashed me. Utterly.

The third session (last night), allowed me to glimpse my second robot master (Magma Man). I also belatedly discovered what all the fucking screws I had been picking up were for. (Read the instructions, I know, I know.) The screws are the game's currency, and can be used to purchase things like extra lives and energy tanks. OMFG. So I went ahead, grabbed a pile of energy tanks (after first wasting 200 screws on a new god-damned outfit for Mega Man's sister, Roll), and proceeded to teach Magma Man a lesson in humility. I followed that up with a sound thrashing of Galaxy Man, and boom, I'm back in it.

The problem is, it's not just the order of the levels that's tricky. The levels themselves were designed by the most sadistic game designers in the world. Take this part of Magma Man's level where you have to jump to the ladder. Looks like he's going to make it, right? Only problem is, the jump is impossible. The only way I've been able to reach the ladder is by purposely getting hit by that little grey fucker down there, so that the lava doesn't kill me, then running on the lava to jump to the ladder. What. The. Fuck.

I don't have the time or expertise to take videos of myself playing the game, but I was able to find a couple of videos on youtube that effectively demonstrate the myriad ways you can die in the game. Trust me, there are no spoilers in these videos. I assure you that I have, in fact, died in every way illustrated, and when/if you play Mega Man 9, you will die in these ways, too.

Suffice to say, Mega Man 9 is BITCH-HARD.

Final score: 10. I love this game.

So. I guess some of you have been following the riveting soap-opera that's been passing for the American presidential election these days. Katie and I, having shunned cable television lo these many years, joined our less-TV-immune neighbours for the town hall debate between Obama and McCain the other night. Highlight of the night: McCain derisively pointing to his opponent and calling him "that one." Hilarious. I checked the internets the following day, and sure enough, my first search produced three separate sites selling "That One '08" t-shirts. (The number has now ballooned to the dozens.) Caplitalism at its finest.

Speaking of Christmas presents for Adam capitalism! Namco is offering a "Pac-Man Plush-Head." This would constitute the entirety of my Halloween costume. (Along with hysterically shrieking, "HELP! PAC-MAN ATE ME!" every few minutes.)

Sighted at the Met grocery store: imported luxury beer. "Imported daily from Canada." At the steep price of $1.29 per can, I was forced to shoulder the financial burden of enjoying the taste of home. Now if we can only get some Old Stock...

Confusing and slightly off-putting: in order to get that ludicrous bailout package approved, lawmakers added $110,000,000,000 (yes, 110 billion dollars) in what is called "pork" to the package. Pork is essentially bribes; apportions that favour a particular person or group in order to give that person or group an 'incentive' to support the package. Some of the weirdest provide tax exemptions for a particluar kind of arrow used by child archers and some kind of tax/depreciation loophole for the owners of motor speedways. I honestly am no closer to understanding this country. (To be fair, the pork also includes a large amount of money and tax breaks for green energy, which is, needless to say, long overdue.)

So there's this game called LittleBigPlanet that's coming out soonish for the PS3. One of the major draws of this obscenely-cute but otherwise fairly-typical platforming game is the availibility of user-created content. Utilizing a vast array of user-friendly tools, just about anyone can hop in and make a level. The game has been "in beta" (meaning that it's not for sale yet, but some people are playing it to help test and get the bugs out) for a while now, and the amount of user-created content is already baffling. The one creation that really got my attention was the one below. It's just a simple difference engine (basically an adding-subtracting machine), but when the camera pans back to show the shockingly complex system of pulleys, magnets and yarn that allows the machine to function, one can only shake one's head in astonishment.

I shall have to get a PS3 soon.

Local News: One of my new New York friends, Chris, recently read an article in the Daily News about a woman who had scattered her father's ashes on the pitcher's mound at Shea Stadium. Now that the stadium is being torn down, the woman approached the Mets (baseball team) and asked if she could have a bit of the dirt from the mound as a memento of her father's passing. She was refused (citing safety reasons), and Chris, who is currently working at Shea dismantling the bleachers, acquired a bit of the dirt and gave it to the lady, attaining his fifteen minutes at the ripe old age of 26. Can we have a round of "awwwww"?

International News: A man in Cambodia who wanted a divorce from his wife "because his wife wouldn't tend to him when he was ill" took the novel approach of actually cutting their house in half and taking his share away. Words fail me.

Now, you know I love many of the internets. I love the video internet, and the information internet, and the prOn internet. But occasionally the world wide web tosses up something so wonderful, so spontaneously ridiculous, that I have to stop and marvel at its magnificence.

I present to you such a thing. An innocuous article from Wired about an organism found deep in a South African mine that is essentially the one-man-band of the biological world. But the great thing about it is not the article itself (which is as perfectly perfect as any Wired article can be), but the comments thread which follows it. Hundreds of people took a simple misspelling from the very first comment ("Maltian" instead of "Martian") and spun it out into a golden tale of the kingdom/planet/religion of Maltia. And all in less than a day. This thing has "next internet meme" stamped all over it. (Which I guess is a lot like saying that my next breath has "Adam's next breath" stamped all over it, internet memes being roughly as common as my individual inhalations.)

Well, I guess I'll leave you now with this wonderful, wonderful video from Gametrailers. It requires no explanation, merely a childish gasp of glee and a quiet prayer of thanks that I don't have to try and buy a Wii this holiday season.

Now fuck off.

Love, Adam
Mike Tyson is a rapist and will never ever ever ever be in a Nintendo game ever again. So stop saying that it 'won't be the same' without him.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last night, I bought a Wii card for the first time. Specifically to play Mega Man 9.

That and I'll wanted to play Balloon Fight. Shit, how I love Balloon Fight!

1:51 pm, October 10, 2008  
Blogger AdamFireFist said...

Well, Anonymous, I hope you like dying.
Personally, I preferred Balloon Fight when it was called Joust.

6:36 pm, October 10, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, that was me.

How is Joust anything like Balloon Fight? Are you retarded? Where are the balloons or cute characters in Joust?

Megaman update: I played some, but baby is jealous and demanding of attention. Plus parents were visiting and it looks bad if I ignore baby Colin to play Megaman. What little I played reminded me of Megaman 2 combined with the item-purcasing aspects of Megaman 7.

You can buy a shield, that will save you from spikes (only one use though).


12:20 pm, October 15, 2008  

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