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Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Update: 6/30/14

Mario Kart 64 (N64): Second Appearance, Second Straight Appearance
I have been very into creating content lately, and with the content I have created, the created content will contently create content. Monetize your youtube views. This is a good game

Mario Kart 8 (Wii U): Fourth Appearance, Last Appearance 6/16/14
I took a week off from Mario Kart 8 until last night when I figured out that 150cc mode in Mario Kart 8 is really, really difficult especially when playing with friends. I don't remember it being that hard on MK7, but then again I wasn't stuck with a Wii Remote & Nunchuck back on Mario Kart 7.

Super Mario 64 (N64): First Appearance
My friend Joe came up with a theory about Juicy Fruit a long time ago. To really understand this theory, you have to understand that Kansas City's airport has a few stores scattered around before visitors can access the terminals/go through secuirty and all that. This is very nice for people who live in Kansas City because going through security is quick and simple, and you immediately end up in your gate. If you are not from Kansas City and, say, have to transfer between two flights that aren't in the same terminal, it's not good at all.

Anyway, Joe's theory essentially states that every time he goes to an airport, he buys a pack of Wrigley's Juicy Fruit gum. He tries a few pieces, then the flavor runs out after like 7 seconds, then he realizes he hates Juicy Fruit. However, he only ever sees Juicy Fruit prominently displayed in airports, and he rarely visits airports, and the 7 seconds of good Juicy Fruit is all that sticks in the mind. So, the next time he visits an airport, he buys more Juicy Fruit, and the cycle begins again. The main idea is this: if you stay away from something enough but still have some fond memories, the longer you stay away, the more you remember the fond memories and the more you forget the negative ones.

Super Mario 64 is exactly this way with me. The Juicy Fruit Theory applies with Mario 64 mainly because of two reasons-
1. It was the first game I ever owned on a console
2. That's it
I always had fond memories of Mario 64, so I tend to go back to it after waiting for periods of about a year. Last time I tried was early June of last year, previously it was September of 2011*, I guess this year it's late June. Mario 64 does not hold up terribly well today. After playing some of Shifting Sand-Land, I figured out what my main issue was - The control! It's basically the first game to control that way, so I understand why it's flawed, but I had forgot how finicky they are. You have to be absolutely precise in exactly the way it wants with very little leeway. On top of that, the camera doesn't stay still for more than about 2 seconds at a time when I need it to do so. Even with all this, I don't think it's terrible, but it's not a good game for revisiting in 2014.

*The phrase "There is no God in Wet-Dry World" comes from the star titled "Top of the Town". Wet-Dry World has two different segments, a large room with a large tower where the water level may rise up and down (the room in which the player spawns), and a second room which contains a small town. From the name of the star, one might assume that "Top of the Town" would be found in the "town" part of the only level in the game which has a town. This is false, as the star is in the first area. It tricked me. There is No God In Wet-Dry World.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Update: 6/23/14

Mario Kart 64 (N64): First Appearance
I'm gonna do something about this game soon. Clay and I enjoyed this title yesterday. Have you ever noticed how amazingly easy it is to fall off a ledge and not be picked up by Lakitu, but end up on the road behind you having lost time and position in the race. This happened to me on Choco Mountain, Royal Raceway, and Frappe Snowland. (actually, on Frappe Snowland, I fell into some water between a jump and the rest of the track and was unable to work up the momentum to continue going so I had to turn all the way around and then build up more momentum because the game replaces you on the track in no position to build up speed). Mario Kart 64 is not my favorite Mario Kart, but damn if it isn't one of the most interesting.

Adventure (Atari VCS): First Appearance
I read a book about this game so I figure I better talk at least a little bit about it.  Crazy how games like that, games that are 35+ years old, can still be readily enjoyed by friends. Clay and I tried streaming it and then figured out that we had possibly the dumbest problem of all time happen, wherein I had the stream itself playing in one window and you could hear us talking and then us repeating ourselves a few seconds later in what must have been the most confusing thing of all time. But hey, Adventure is still enjoyable.

Pilotwings 64 (N64): First Appearance
This is such a weird game but I love every second of it. I never enjoyed flight simulators all that much (except for Microsoft Flight Simulator 98, which was installed on the computers in my 8th grade industrial technology class and was about the only thing we had planned for stretches of about a week at a time). Pilotwings really isn't any typical flight simulator, though. Also if it looks like I'm playing a bunch of N64 games from 1996-97, it's because I am, I'm trying to collect N64 games and I'm going to do it... Chronologically. Starting with the games from 1996 (I currently have 5 of the first 8, missing Shadows of the Empire, KI Gold, and Mortal Kombat Trilogy at the moment).

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater (GBC): First Appearance
I played Tony Hawk's Pro Skater for the Game Boy Color and it went about as well as you'd guess.

So that updates you on most of the things going on in my life games-wise. What a weird ass week.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Monday Update: 6/16/14

Alright a bunch of whatever with little to no substance this week, sort of like... most weeks?

Mario Kart 8 (WiiU): Third Appearance, Third Straight Appearance
Well my sister left for camp for like the entire summer so looks like I have the Wii U and the family's one copy of Mario Kart 8 to myself FOR TWO MONTHS. Looks like I'm just gonna have fun being not all that good at Mario Kart.

I got fairly solid at 7, though never really "great" and I never figured out the Maka Wuhu trick. I was never particularly good at Mario Kart Wii, either, mostly because I never purchased it and instead rented it four weeks in a row from Blockbuster (It doesn't feel like that was too long ago, but hey, it was. Back in 2008 Blockbuster was really still the best option in terms of rentals compared to Netflix (whose streaming service hadn't totally taken off at that time) or Redbox (still relegated pretty much exclusively to McDonald's lobbies). Now, I haven't seen an open Blockbuster in over two years. It doesn't feel that long ago but hey, here we are.

I'm going to start trying online play later this week, so we'll see how that turns out.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS (Wii U/3DS) First Appearance
Oh, no, wait, no I didn't. I stood in line at Best Buy for 3 hours to be told that there wouldn't be enough time to get everyone through and then we had to leave. But I lost at Mario Kart 8 to some random kid and I did this:
also I had to work on Saturday so I couldn't ever make it to try it out. I'm gonna go ahead and say it's the best game I ever played and I've never seen anything more enjoyable in my whole life. Truly the most life-changing game I have ever tried, it will destroy all other forms of entertainment. Music? You have four months to come out with your final album, because the only thing that you'll need coming circa-October 2014 on 3DS and Q4 2014 on the Wii U will be Super Smash Bros. Movies? Stop making them. You're wasting your time. Theatre? Replaced by people playing Smash Bros. Hope you enjoyed the Super Bowl, we're never doing that again. Netflix? It's going the way of Blockbuster. Smash 4 is that good.

Castlevania (NES/GBA): First Appearance
I hadn't played Castlevania for the NES in probably about 15 years in all honesty, but I tried out the GBA port at Clay's house the other day and, unsurprisingly, I'm not good at it. Granted, Clay's Gamecube controller is fucked up, one of those third party controllers with the grips on the sides, and the A button is smashed in so it sometimes presses itself. I always preferred the later PS1 and Game Boy Advance style Castlevania games to the older ones.

Bram Stoker's Dracula (GB): First Appearance
Clay had me play this too. Imagine one of the most atmospheric horror movies turned into a Super Mario Bros. clone somehow.

Super Mario Land (GB): First Appearance
HEY! HEY! THIS GAME IS GOOD. PLEASE RECONSIDER ALL OF YOUR THINKPIECES WHERE YOU'RE LIKE "Hey actually Super Mario Land is bad because the turtles turn into bombs and the fire flower's different" AND JUST ENJOY IT PLEASE THANK YOU

NBA Live 2004 (XBOX): First Appearance
I'm considering an idea called "The Alternate Clay Bennett Timeline" in which the Sonics stay in Seattle due to a random number of coincidences and changes. It'll be like the Butterfly Effect mixed with the Mandela Effect mixed with AfterEffects and everything will be beautiful.

Thank you very much for reading the Monday Update, now go win some soccer games no matter who you are or what country you call home. Unless you're Belgium. I'll never forgive you for the Smurfs

Monday, June 9, 2014

Monday Update: 6/9/14

Hey there's an E3 going on and I've played some weird shit

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (PSV): Second Appearance, Second Straight Appearance
So apparently I'm not supposed to play this one first, apparently it's "The Fourth game in the series"-Ben Higbee, and "You have to play the first ones first or else you're gonna be confused" -Ben Higbee, But hey the next few levels were fun and it's a good game to have on the Vita because the objectives don't seem too long to get through. That's what I want out of a portable game, I'd rather finish something in 10 minutes than get partway through something and forget about it after the same amount of time. That was my issue with the Ocarina of Time game for the 3DS. So yeah, Sly Cooper, Platforming game for a Sony console, I'm on board, and I shouldn't have waited this long to try it out.

Tomb Raider 2 (PS1): First Appearance
I know it means a lot to a lot of people, but how the fuck did you guys in the mid 1990s play this game? The control's just so difficult for my small "born in 1995"-Shawnee Mission Medical Center brain, who thought pressing down on the controller should make you walk backwards and not turn you around? It's very clumsy and I was bad at it so instead of being an adult and figuring out how to play this properly, I'm just going to complain.

Mario Kart 8 (Wii U): Second Appearance, Second Straight Appearance
Yeah it's good. Now that Microsoft announced that Master Chief collection I want DLC Mario Kart tracks, I want to play all the old tracks, please, that would be great. Also I'm really genuinely excited for that Master Chief Collection and the Madden 15 defensive additions are either going to make or break the series because they had something okay going already, so if they mess this up the Madden series is going to have some issues.
Also Mario Kart 8 is fun

NBA 2K14 (X360): Tenth Appearance, Second Straight Appearance
NBA 2K14 has run away with the record for most appearances on the Monday Update. But I'm never playing this dumb game again because I am too bad at it and it's too hard. Why the fuck did I make my shooting guard character 6'10" that is too tall for a shooting guard but without the skillset built in for a small forward or power forward or center goddamn it Dalembert got hurt and they put my guy at CENTER 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Monday Update: 6/2/14

Another fairly small week for the Monday Update
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (PSV): First Appearance
Sly Cooper was always one of those games that I was supposed to have played, but I never did. I have now. Rather, I played the epilogue and then had to go to work. It's pretty solid and I will try more, but I haven't played a good 3D platformer game in a long, long time, probably since the Mario 64 Incident of Summer 2013. I hear that the characters and dialogue are very unique in this game, so I might have to finally play a handheld game with the audio on, which I rarely ever do.

Mario Kart 8 (Wii U): First Appearance
So I'm never going to buy a Wii U, however my sister did and therefore sometimes I get to share a Wii U with the rest of my family. I have been known to call Mario Kart 7 my favorite game of all time, but I typically try not to get excited about games all that much so I actually knew very little about what to expect from MK8 beforehand. I wasn't disappointed with the quality of the game by any means, though i was pretty disappointed with my own performance against the rest of my family, only winning two races (though, to be fair, my sister won almost every race  and she had been practicing all afternoon so I don't feel bad, also I had to use the Wii remote and Nunchuck for controls which I wasn't used to [actually why am I making excuses for my poor performance that's not something good players do]).

I don't love the new tracks so much, but that's how I typically am with newer games. The remastered old tracks are great, though, and I hope they make use of the DLC possibilities, so we could maybe, theoretically, hopefully, in some universe, be able to use all of the tracks available in the history of Mario Kart. That would be perfect. Anyway, I like Mario Kart 8 and I get to use the Wii U all by myself now that my sister's off at Summer Camp (funny how that works).

NBA 2K14 (X360): Ninth Appearance, last appearance 5/19/14
What if Kansas City had an NBA team? I questioned this last week. There will be a post coming out sometime soon in which I consider this idea. This may be a mildly angry post for there are many things that need to be said by me that probably won't be entirely correct but eh, it's just a funny post about video games and also how did we lose the Kings to goddamn Sacramento?