Archive for June, 2003

Million Man LAN Condensed

Monday, June 30th, 2003

Million Man LAN was this past weekend (June 26 – June 29). I had planned on having an update for each day that I was there, but tecnical problems on the morning of Day 3 (which I’ll elaborate on later) made sure that didn’t happen.

If you’ve already read my impressions on Day 1, then you pretty much have a feel for what the rest of the days were like, so rather than recap the particulars of each day, I’ll just go into what I liked, didn’t like, and what just didn’t seem like it worked.

The Good

MML had one of the better gaming networks that I’ve had the pleasure of plugging into in recent memory. Not once did I have any problems connecting with game servers, or any of the other computers for that matter. Whenever I needed to transfer the odd file across the network, it was pretty fast.

MML also had Internet access. Now, normally, this isn’t really something that LAN parties need to have. However, if there were no access to the outside world for four days, I would have gone absolutely crazy. Now don’t get me wrong, talking to other game geeks has it’s own special charm, but so does talking to people that didn’t want/couldn’t come to the event.

The volume of games being played was refreshing. With a group as large as the one that was at MML, there was a large variety of games going on at all times. Some of the ones I saw being playes included: Unreal Tournament, UT2K3, Quake 3, Warcraft 3, Jedi Knight 2, Counter Strike, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and I’m sure that there’s some that I’ve missed. The event planners were nice enough to provide game servers for most of the more popular games, and the attendees did the rest.

The Not So Good

MML had a projector in the center of the room set up to show whatever random things that were (I assume) were supposed to be entertaining, and the audio was piped through the house speaker system. Now this sounds like a good idea, but unfortunately, there were some hiccups with the system. The selection of songs/videos that were to be played on the projector was fine, but entirely too short. Several times throughout the event, someone would queue up 5-10 songs and let them loop for over an hour. One of the most striking examples of this was on the morning of Day 4, when were treated to the first episode of Red vs. Blue several times in a row (five or six times, I lost count). Overall, the entertainment was lackluster, and could have been done much better.

One of the things that I like about LAN parties are the ‘extra’ things that go on along with the computer gaming. I mean, sure, the main reason I went was to get annihilated at some of my favorite online games, but it’s nice to be able to get up, take a break, and compete in something else, be it for fun or some kind of prize. Several official events were held: an paper airplane flying contest, a box-building contest, worst-case contest, and a ‘Lowest Score in 3DMark 2001′ contest. Of all these contests, I would have liked to participate in a couple of them. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t know about most of them until they were over, or nearly over. The ‘Worst Case’ contest was announced in the newsletter weeks before the event started, but the others were not. The paper airplane contest was announced on the evening of Day 3, and it was at that time that I found out that there had been a box-sculpture contest (and we were to vote on the winners with our applause), and that the ‘Lowest 3DMark Score’ Contest would be wrapping up soon. Had I known what the rules were, and when they started, I would have made an attempt to enter them, but that was not the case. Extra non gaming events were nicely done, but the dissemenation of the information was not.

Now, anyone going to a LAN party solely for door prizes just shouldn’t be there at all. Door prizes are nice, but should not be the focus of any LAN party. Additionally, if a LAN party is going to provide them, then they should have a way to distribute the prizes fairly. Near the beginning of the event, there was a lot of hoopla over how many prizes there were. I, of course, would have liked to win something, but I really don’t know how these prizes were distributed. My understanding is that many of them were given out during the Q & A sessions that I had opted to not attend, for asking questions to the speakers. I waited around for quite a while on day 4 for some sort of giveaway for the rest of the door prizes, but it didn’t look like there was going to be any kind of random drawing, or anything like that. Prizes should not be the focus of a LAN party, but if you are going to have them, you should give all attendees an equal chance to win at least some of them. The guy that pays his money and sits in his seat for the entire time, being a total social recluse, should have just much chance as the guy who plays in every tournament and all the other special events.

Power is critical to the success of a LAN party. On the morning of Day 3, as I was coming back from getting breakfast, and noticed that the power for my entire row was out. Not good. The electrician came by and worked on the problem, and we had power again… for about an hour… then my row, as well as some others lost power again. The electrician was called back, so I made the decision to not update the Socks, and to leave to check out the local arcade scene. The power issues were not necessarily the fault of the operators of MML, but it was still annoying to have to sit through.

Tournaments. What kind of a LAN party doesn’t have tournaments? Apparently very few kinds. There were several tournaments, and since I didn’t participate in any of them, I really can’t comment on how those were run. I do know, however, that the Warcraft 3 tournament did not seem to be organized very well. The rules for each of the tournaments was posted on the website weeks before the event, but the Warcraft 3 rules were grossly unfinished and provided very little information on how the tournament was to be conducted. Even the day of the event, had I been signed up for the tournament, I still would not have known exactly what the rules were to have been until it actually started. While I’m sure the tournament staff did a fine job at the event, the lack of information before hand in one of the less popular tournaments is inexcusable.

Towards the end of the event, something came to a head and the party just seemed to stop. I couldn’t tell you exactly what happened, since I’m not privy to that information, but there is more info here.

Overall, MML was a solid LAN party, with a few major hiccups. A schedule of events posted somewhere (at least a bit more detailed than the one posted on the main site and in the email). This schedule was the best that I could find. No mention of the airplane contest or the box-art contest. If you were signed up for a tournament, you knew when the times were for that particular tournament, but other than that I was completely in the dark about what times certain things were going to get underway. Every time I had to leave to get food, I was never sure if I was going to miss something (and I’m almost certain that I did). The Warcraft 3 tournamet almost seemed like a last-minute addition, and was seemingly nearly forgotten by everyone. MML2 was, however, a unique experience, and I will probably go back next year. I just hope the event staff understands what went well and what went poorly so that MML3 can be better. As it stands, MML2 was a very big, very mediocre LAN party.

It gets a C+.

Million Man LAN Day 1

Friday, June 27th, 2003

The party apparently got underway at about 11-ish yesterday. I arrived at noonish, and immediately started putting my computer together. After getting that squared away, I began to have all kinds of computer related problems that were independent of the LAN: mouse acting funky (the scroll wheel decided when it would scroll, and not me), it would refuse to boot for several hours, and other small miscellaneous problems. I think that I’ve put a large enough Band-Aid on the thing to keep it going until I get it home in a few days, but it’s apparent that I will need a new computer in the near future.

Right… LAN party…

So far, MML has been OK. The concession stand food that they are forced to have to deal with is, hot dogs/popcorn/nachos/other not breakfast food.

There seems to be a lot of games being played here: Counterstrike (as always), Unreal Tournament (and 2003), Warcraft 3, Jedi Knight (2, maybe 1, I don’t know, I never played that one), America’s Army, Battlefield 1942, Wolfenstein (and ET), and probably other games that I don’t know about/care about.

The local news was here this morning, supposedly. I was unconsious on the floor doing my best to get a little bit of sleep. This was at 5:00. AM, even. Even at a LAN party where the goal is to stay up as much as possible, get as much quality time in killing your friends, and play some computer games, nearly everyone is asleep at 5:00 AM. Shortly after the news crew left, we got treated to some horrible song twice. In a row. Then wake up call, some (way too) early morning UT2K3, and now this news post. Barring any more major computer catastrophes, I should be back with More from the Floor tomorrow morning.

The Weekly Game Review

Tuesday, June 24th, 2003

Yep, so if you’re one of the 15 or so people that come to this site on a regular basis, you may be wondering where the crappy… er… value game of the week review is.

Sorry, Teacher, I don’t have it because (insert lame excuse here).

No, I was at a LAN party this weekend at the House of the Dakotas, so there wasn’t a whole lot of time to get any crappy gaming in, we tended to focus on games that don’t suck. Or at the very least didn’t suck when we played them. I am happy to report, however, that I still know how to play Half-Life Deathmatch, and even managed to feed some bullets to my friends. However I still suck at Unreal Tournament 2003 and am stuck in the Land of the Mediocre in Warcraft 3.

That being said, there probably won’t be any game review next week either since I’ll be at Million Man LAN from Thursday through Sunday. I can barely form a sane sentence after two days of gaming, after four days, anything I type or say should be scribed somwhere, it will it will very likely uncover some psychic illness I don’t even know I have yet.

Arcades revisited

Thursday, June 19th, 2003

It had been several months since I went to an arcade. The last time I went to an arcade was April 11, 2003. I only know that because that’s what it says on the back of my Buster Ball ticket coupon thing (I’m going for the world record in tickets accumulated, or their Police Trainer machine).

Whoops, I digressed again.

Right, so I went to this arcade…thing and I noticed that not a lot has changed since I went 2 months ago or the time I went 2 years ago. The only thing that changed were the games, and even some of those were oldsters.

One of the things that must have completely passed me by was that our arcades have somehow metamorphosed into some sort of sort of interactive gym. In this particular arcade we had DDR, some kind of perpetual climbing wall, pool, some skiing game, and Final Furlong. I never really thought about it before, but going to a modern arcade is more cost effective than going to some fitness center. I mad a few rounds and got some gaming in. I nearly killed myself on the DDR machine. Now, I know that only about a dozen people read this site, so I’m not that much of a celebrity, but as soon as I stepped on the DDR platform, no less than 24 people materialized around the machine to watch me kill myself and anyone foolish enough to get within 3 feet of me. SSB Master decides to pick, according to the ‘expert’ that walked up behind me, the toughest song in the game. After losing as well as I could, and believe me, I lost very well, I decided to move on to Time Crisis 3, and quickly decided to move on since that one only takes first born children as payment. I’ll play it once it gets a bit cheaper.

Ms. Pac Man is definitely showing her age, although she’s still good for a little quick fun. It still amazes me that this machine is in nearly every arcade in the country, (I’m counting the ‘new’ ones that are packed in with the huge screen and Galaga) and that they all still work.

One of the fun things that I had forgotten about was the kid who’s parent had dropped him off, probably with less than $5, and left him at the arcade for 4 or 5 hours. Since he blew all his money on a machine that gave out prizes (without winning any, of course) he decided to glom on to me every time I got near the machine that took all his lunch money from last week.

So what’s the moral of this story? Never play Uncle Fester’s Electric Chair if you value your hands.

The Ultimate Yahtzee CDROM

Monday, June 16th, 2003

I’m going to conduct this review assuming that you know what Yahtzee is. If you’ve never played Yahtzee, then you’ve probably at least heard of it, and if you haven’t heard of it, here’s a quick rundown of the rules to get you started.

The Ultimate Yahtzee CDROM is, well, it’s Yahtzee on your computer. Let’s start off with a quick comparison of the two:

The Ultimate Yahtzee CDROMRegular Boring Yahtzee
Game Modes

Classic Yahtzee

Triple Yahtzee

Battle Yahtzee

Color Yahtzee

Pyramid Yahtzee

Classic Yahtzee

Triple Yahtzee

Any number of Home-Brew Yahtzee variants

Number of Players 1-4 As many as you have score sheets
Music CD Music The box sounds sort of like a drum
Dice Cup 3D animated dice cup Depending on which version of Regular Boring Yahtzee you buy, you will either
get a cup covered in imitation leather, or no cup at all. Yahtzee without a cup
is… well… still Yahtzee, I guess.
System Requirements Very low. Probably the only computer that won’t run this game is a TI-83. Even lower! No computer required.
Price $4.99 Anywhere from $5 to $15.

Here’s my patented one-sentence summary of the different game modes offered:

  • Classic Yahtzee: Regular Yahtzee with standard rules.
  • Triple Yahtzee: Regular Yahtzee, but you can get 1x 2x or 3x your normal totals.
  • Color Yahtzee: Your dice have different colors painted on them, making scoring a little more interesting.
  • Battle Yahtzee: You use 2 sets of dice (and have to play this with 2 players) and use the red dice to try and knock around the hand of the person who threw the green dice.
  • Pyramid Yahtzee: Regular Yahtzee with 4 sided dice and different scoring methods

So there it is. I don’t really know what else I can say about this game except that it *is* Yahtzee, and you don’t have to worry about losing the dice. You can play against the computer if you don’t have any friends, and the 3D animated dice cup and dice all look fine.

The hallmark of this game is it’s medioctriy. There’s nothing in this game that makes me want to jump up on my roof and sing it’s praises, but then again, there’s nothing really bad about it. It’s just there.

Game Name: The Ultimate Yahtzee CDROM
By: Hasbro Interactive

Price I paid for it:$4.99
Price I wish I’d paid for it: $4.
Rating: I give this game a 6.5 out of 10. It’s an OK game, just nothing great. If you like Yahtzee and have a computer, it’s certainly a viable option.

What you get
This is what you get with the game.
Random Game Shot
Me doing horribly at the game.
What happens when you play Yahtzee all night
This is what happens when you play shoddy software all night.

Rayman Arena

Monday, June 9th, 2003

Rayman. Wow. I don’t even know where to begin. My only experience with the Rayman franchise is on the demo disc that came with my Dreamcast. From that experience, I thought that the series could do at least one thing well: look really good.

The Good

Rayman Arena has been or will be released for just about every modern console on the planet. All the different versions, I imagine, are pretty close to the same, but I’m not going to compare them. I’d have to buy them all, or at the very least rent them all, and that’s not on the agenda. I checked it twice to be sure.

Rayman Arena plays as a pretty solid game. There are two modes to choose from: Race and Battle. In Race mode, you take control of one of the trademarked characters from the Rayman 2 universe and run around a track. The first to make 3 laps wins. Easy. I only played the first 3 race stages. By myself. The races themselves are nicely done. I enjoyed playnig the stages on practice mode, but got spanked when I tried to play against the computer. Battle mode is a little different. It’s 1v1 (or 1v1v1 [or 1v1v1v1]) with one of 3 goals: Grab the shiny thing (Lums), Beat Each Other Senseless, and Hold on to the Shiny Thing for as Long as Possible. Grab the Shiny Thing is pretty straightforward. The only weapon you get is the ice…something. It freezes your enemies in place for a few seconds. It’s borderline fun. Beat Each Other Senseless is a little more action oriented. Don’t go into the match expecting Unreal Tournament Deathmatch, and you won’t be horribly disappointed. Each of the players gets 5 ‘life points.’ Knock off all 5 of them and you get a point. 5 points wins. There’s weapons all over the place, but you won’t know what they are until you actually pick them up, so you will have a hard time staying away from the lamer items. I got bored before I played HOTTSTFALAP, so here’s a picture of me waking up at a LAN party.

Rayman Arena PC looks pretty decent. The game has modest enough system requirements that it will run well on a lot of computers. I poked around the menus for several minutes and couldn’t find a place to jack up the level of detail in the game. But as it is, it didn’t make my eyes run away in terror, so it’s acceptable.

The box for the game claims that it supports LAN play, but I couldn’t convince anyone else to get a copy, so I’ll just have to take the box’s word for it.

The Not So Good

Rayman Arena has an inconsistant control setup. why the designers decided that there should be one setup for Race and another for Battle is beyond me. I get used to one scheme, and then have to switch it up for the other mode. The designers were gracious enough to let you configure the controls to your liking, but using the mouse+keyboard combo, I couldn’t get them both to the same.

Rayman Arena also comes on two discs. No big deal, right? The copy-protection scheme, however introduces a whole host of headaches. Well, really just one. When you start the game, it does the obligatory CD check. But here’s the fun part: you have to put in both CDs. You can reduce this annoyance by putting the second CD in a second drive, but if you don’t have one… well, just get used to switching them out.

The Verdict

Overall, this game is not too bad. I’m sure if you had some friends with this game at a LAN party somewhere, it’d be a great way to pass a few minutes. I’ve played worse games. For that matter, I own worse games.

Title:Rayman Arena

By:Ubi Soft

Price I paid for it: $3.31

Price I would be willing to pay for it now: $3
Grade: 7 out of 10. This game would be a world better with a unified control shceme and without that annoying CD check.

A quick IRC Primer

Thursday, June 5th, 2003

AAW – Alive And Well
AISL – After I Stop Laughing

AFK – Away From Keyboard

AYST – After You Stop Talking

CTF – Cheaper Than Free
DLTH – Don’t Listen To Him (Her)

DMMKU – Don’t Make Me Kick yoU

DYHAP – Do You Have A Point(?)

GAFM – Get Away From Me
IC – I’m Confused

ICTT – I Can’t Type Today

IDC – I Don’t Care

ITF – In The Face

IHMC – I Hate My Computer
IYPKB – Is Your Period Key Broken(?)

IYSS – If You Say So
FTMTN – For The Millionth Time, No

FTTTN – For The Thousandth Time, No

GAFM – Get Away From Me

GTB – Going To Bed
IASG – I Ate Something Gross

IDC – I Don’t Care

IDK – I Don’t Know

IDTS – I Don’t Think So

IUOK – If yoU Only Knew
IYL – It’s Your Loss

IYSS – If You Say So
MBFA – My Butt Fell Asleep

MFG – Mining For Gold
MMGB – My Mind’s Gone Blank

NEIYPM – Not Even If You Paid Me
OIYWW – Only If You Want (to) Win
OOTH – Out Of The House

OOYM – Out Of Your Mind

PTMYJ – Please Tell Me You’re Joking

QBS – Quit Being Stupid
SIPO – Sorry, I Passed Out

TAS – Take A Shower

TWTF – That Was Too Funny
WTB – Went To Bed

WTN – Way Too n00b, or What The n00b

YCBS – You Can’t Be Serious

YDWN – You Don’t Want (to) Know

There we go, just a sampling of the many many acronyms floating around the IRC channels. Happy chatting!

10 Games for $10

Monday, June 2nd, 2003

Sometimes while browsing my local game stores, I run across some games that are attractively priced. To put it another way, I look for cheap games. Often, if the price of the game is less than $5, I will put some serious thought into buying it. Sometimes the games I get are well worth the money. Other times they really aren’t. Here’s a sample of ten games that I found for $5 of less. My hope is that this list will convince you if you want to be a Seeker of the Value Software Titles.


Mystic Towers

Format: PC

Price I paid for it: $3.00

Mystic Towers is a game about an old man-wizard that has to make his way through towers filled with deadly monsters. At least that’s what the back of the case says. It’s my understanding that there is a level 2, and possibly a level 3, but I suck too bad at it to get past level 1.

To keep your wizard friend alive, you have to not only eat the food that just happens to be laying around all over the floor, you also get to make him drink the water from the toilet-shaped fountains that are all over the place.

The one thing that stands out about this game, aside from the hideously difficult quest itself, is that occasionally (and by occasionally I mean all the time) Mr. Wizard will fart with a mischievous grin on his face. Now I don’t know who came up with this marvelous innovation, but I hope he got a raise for this visionary idea. It would be years before another company realized the genius of the fart and turned it into a weapon in the Boogerman franchise.

Rating (Out of 10 Stars)
Old men farting is never not funny.


Format: Game Boy
Price I paid for it: $5

Tamagotchi was a fad that lasted from approximately the Summer of 1998 to the Fall of 1998, and in that time, Bandai was able to sell about 300 billion of the little virtual pet key chains to the world. Not content with the freakishly large pile of money that it got from this, they decided to make a version of it for the
Game Boy. Whereas the keychain version restricted you to one Tamagotchi at a time, the Game Boy one let you ‘care for’ three of the freaky things at a time.

So what do you do with your Tamagotchi? Well, you can feed it, you can study with it, you can play ball with it, and you can play the ‘Smile Game’ with it. Anyone that tells you that raising a virtual pet is easy never played this ‘game’. The three games that you have to play with your Tamagotchi are a chore to sit through, and even more of a chore to play every single day, and it’s not like real days either. Every day in Tamagotchi World passes in about 3 hours, so most of the time you get to sit there watching whatever thing you’re growing bounce around until you decide to play with it. Each of the games that you can play will increase one of its meters (the Intelligence Meter, the Athletic Meter, and the Happy Meter). Why would you want to increase the meters? Once a day, you can enter your Tamagotchi in a contest to see if it’s the fastest, cutest, or smartest. I’ve played through several Tamagotchis and every single one of them that I’ve raised has been slow, ugly, and stupid. I’ve tried to raise them in different ways, and this site claims that there’s more adult Tamagotchi than the one pathetic one that I always end up with, but I stopped believing anything that I read on the Internet a long time ago.

Rating (Out of 10 Stars)

Not even potty-training your Tamagotchi can make this game good. I wanted to flush this game about an hour after I got it.


Don’t Quit Your Day Job
Format: PC
Price I Paid for it: $0.89

Don’t Quit Your Day Job is supposed to be a game about getting your big break as a stand-up comedian. Your goal is to walk around the night club you work for, and talk to all the guests in a certain order. If you talk to them in the wrong order, you get dropped to the basement where you get to play some game or other to get out and then you get to continue where you left off.

One of the things that makes this game so great is the fact that you get absolutely no clues as to who you talk to next. Honestly, when a game tells me what I have to do, it makes the game entirely too easy, especially when there’s about a dozen or so people that you could talk to at any given time, and only one won’t throw you in the basement.

Once you finally muster the courage to actually ‘talk’ to someone, you get treated to a short Quicktime movie of them doing… something (apparently funny according to the manual. They must have left the humor out of my copy.), and if it’s the right person in the chain, then you get some comedy item like a Fire Extinguisher or a Banana Peel, and then you get to talk to someone else, get thrown in the basement, get out of the basement, talk to someone, get thrown in the basement, get out of the basement, talk to someone, get comedy item, etc. etc.

This game was made shortly after the advent of ‘CD-ROM’ and ‘Quicktime’ technology, and they are married here in a union of crap. The disc itself is crammed full of short llittle movies of rndom ‘comedians’ performing ‘comedy’. Trust me, if you are unfortunate enough to own this game, you will get all of the value of the game by browsing the contents of the CD, then using the disc itself to clean out the cracks in the sidewalk in front of your house. Yes, the game is that good

Rating (Out of 10 Stars)


KISS Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child
Format: Dreamcast
Price I paid for it: $0.99

This game is among the worst that I’ve played. I don’t know how this game managed to get out the door with this much suck in it.
I really have no idea what this game is supposed to be about. I played a little of the first level and got so frustrated at the controls that I just started to run directly into the ridiculously weak enemies to put myself out of my misery.

You start off with one of the members of the band in street clothes (sorry, I’m not any kind of KISS fan, so I can’t tell you who) and you need to find all the pieces of your KISS armor to do… whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. I’m sure there’s more band members and more costume pieces in the game or something, but I don’t think I’ll ever want to play this game again.

Now, in a game that has a band as the stars, you might be thinking to yourself, “Wow, KISS in their own video game. Sweet! That means I can run around gutting aliens while I listen to their music.” Sure, it sounds good, but the makers of this game decided to not do that. The game has in it some really bad ambient sounds
and music, and in every level there is a jukebox that contains *one record* that has on it about *30 seconds* of a KISS song, and thanks to the creative visionaries that crafted this fine game, you can only hear the song while you are standing next to the jukebox. So you would think that this would give you some super powers like invincibility, or invisibility, or a giant alien stomping foot, or something like that, but no, it just makes you stand there
and listen to one riff of the song for a little while before you have to go slaughter more ‘things’

Rating (Out of 10 Stars)

I’d rate it lower, but my gauge doesn’t go that low.


Jazz Jackrabbit Episodes 2, 3, and 4
Format: PC (DOS)
Price I paid for it: $3.99

Now this is an odd collection. I suppose the thinking of this was that Episode 1 was already installed on every computer in the universe at the time it was released. Episode one was shareware, and every computer you went to had this game on it, well either this or you spent time playing gorillas.bas. Of course by the time I actually bought a computer, episode one wasn’t even available any more, so I played it after completing these…

Jazz Jackrabbit, for those of you who don’t know, was a knockoff of the Sonic the Hedgehog games, with the following exceptions:

You control a green rabbit instead of a blue hedgehog
Instead of jumping/rolling into enemies, you use your shoulder mounted bazooka to blow them up. You fight a turtle trying to rule the universe instead of a fat man trying to rule the world.

Really, the game itself looks and plays well enough. The levels are huge and take forever to complete. They are full of enemies and ammo for your gun, and that’s about it. The different ‘planets’ offer different backgrounds, but the game is still the same: run around 3 huge levels for an hour, kill the turtle at the end, go to the next planet.

Epic knows how to build a platform game and there are lots of platforms in this game. In fact you will spend more time jumping between them than anything else in this game. In fact, unless you have some affection with pressing the ‘fire’ button a lot, you’ll have entirely too much ammo for the ‘army’ in this game.

So you get through episodes 2, 3, and 4 and then what? I don’t know. The game itself spans 10 episodes, and I wasn’t about to pay anyone for the rest of the series after I got ripped off buying this game.

Rating (Out of 10 Stars)

The game is kind of fun for a while until you figure out that you aren’t actually doing anything.


Jet Grind Radio
Format: Dreamcast
Price I paid: $4.99

When the SEGA finally killed off the Dreamcast, some of the games for the system became too cheap to pass up. I’m glad I found this one when I did, because at the time I bought it, it was going for $9.99 used (Such a dilemma)

Right, Jet Grind Radio. Okay, this is a strange game. The story goes something like this: Your character (Beat {fantastic choice for a name, SEGA}) wants to start a skating gang. So he challenges a couple of people that just happen to handy to contests. He wins, they join, and then they hit the streets spray-painting everything in sight with his gang’s graffiti, covering up the graffiti of their rival gangs. So all’s right with the world, until the police decide to try and stop you.

Now I’ve never actually been to Tokyo, so I don’t have first hand experience of how things work there, but if this game is any indication, the police has the authority to pull out the heavy artillery for any type of violation. All we have going on in this city is gangs fighting each other with spray paint. The police have on their side Storm Troopers, Riot Squads that shoot tear gas, Assault Helicopters, and Tanks. Of course, these are superhuman kids of the future. They take several shots from a military grade tank before they fall down and faint.

The game continues like this for a while. Paint graffiti on walls, paint graffiti on rival gang members, paint graffiti on the police, etc. We aren’t looking at a realistic skating game here, just a few gangs of kids who want to show their art to the world.

Rating (Out of 10 Stars)

How can gang wars between invincible kids with spray paint not be a good game?


The Dame Was Loaded
Format: PC (DOS)
Price I paid for it: $0.89

The Dame Was Loaded is a game that’s patterned after games like Shadowgate and Déjà Vu. It takes place in the 1940’s and places you in the role of a detective who gets caught in the middle of a conspiracy to frame him for a murder. The whole story is told from the detective’s point of view and everything is seen through his eyes through a mix of static screens and full screen video. Now, honestly, the video doesn’t look so great. It’s displayed in 256 colors, but as any enormous box of Crayolas will tell you, there are more than 256 colors in the world. A lot more. Once you get into the game, it really doesn’t bother you as much as you might think.

Everything in the game looks authentic enough. The cars look old, and the food at the diner looks… gross. It’s also easy enough to tell the males from the females, which is imperative for any game. The actors, all of whom I’ve never heard of, did an adequate job. Let’s just leave it at that.

Rating (Out of 10 Stars)

This game is so big that it spans 2 discs. It also doesn’t hurt that I like this kind of game.


Crazy Taxi 2
Format: Dreamcast
Price I Paid for it: $4.99

Unless you live in a cave, you know what Crazy Taxi is. If you do live in a cave, you don’t have a computer and probably are at a friend’s house reading this. So for the cave dwellers, here is a quick run-down of what Crazy Taxi is. Crazy Taxi is a game where you, the cabbie, have to pick up customers and take them to where they want to go.

How boring does that sound?

Luckily, though, the game’s a little more complicated than that, and a whole lot more fun. You get tips for aggressive driving (driving down the wrong side of the road for example), as well as performing stunts (jumping over buildings or parked cars, or sliding around a curve). In fact, you have to do the stunts to get your customers to where they actually want to go in the time that they give you to get there.

I could go on for pages and pages about how much I want to have this game’s baby, so let’s just end it here before I say something that I might embarrass myself with.

Rating (Out of 10 Stars) So good I forget to eat or sleep while I’m playing it.


Bubble Bobble Also Featuring Rainbow Islands
Format: PC (DOS)
Price I Paid for it: $3.00

Bubble Bobble is possibly the strangest game that I’ve ever played. You are a dinosaur, you blow bubbles around your enemies, you pop the bubbles and the flying walruses or whatever you are fighting turn into food, you eat it, you go to the next level. I just can’t seem to get into a game like this. Sure, the challenge is there, but you have to do the same thing for 100 levels. 100 levels is more than my tolerance for freakystrange games will allow me to bear.

Rainbow Islands is the sequel to Bubble Bobble somehow. Maybe it’s because I never finished Bubble Bobble, but I can’t tell how these games are supposed to be related. In Rainbow Islands, you are a little boy instead of a dinosaur. Instead of blowing bubbles, you create these little rainbows over your enemies and then walk across them to make them crash down on the head of whatever overly cute lethal animal is on your level.

Rating (Out of 10 Stars)

I just don’t get it.

Super Tennis
Format: SNES
Price I paid for it: $0.97
Super Tennis is one of the first games ever made for the SNES. In it, you play the fine game of Tennis beautifully rendered on your screen by the graphical powerhouse that is the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

The options that this game provides are truly amazing. You get to pick your tennis player from a wide selection of, I think it’s 8, players, each offering a unique combination of shirt and short color. You can select what type of court you’d like to play on, and you can even change the color of the ball if you decide that you can’t see the ball on the color of court that you’ve chosen.

All in all, it’s a good Tennis game to just pick up and play, just don’t expect it to be a simulation along the lines of “Super Tennis Tweaker 2000”.

Rating (Out of 10 Stars)

It was worth the dollar.