June 21, 2013

Blank Cartridges

We're entering the dog days of summer. Well, I guess summer doesn't even technically start until today, but the Royals' May was so interminable that time has lost all meaning for me. In any case, the weather's getting hotter than balls, which means many of us are spending more time inside with the blinds drawn and the A/C cranking. Perfect blogging weather for me, and perfect video game weather for Mike Moustakas. Hey, he's got to do something if he's not going to watch any game film.

Anyway, video games are big business. As the former Prime Minister of Wal-Mart Superstores, David Glass knows this. That's why, as he's done so often, he's chosen to license the Royals beyond just the standard baseball video games. That's right, the video game companies now are allowed to insert any Royals player or property into their games, as long as Glass approves. Unfortunately, the fact that video games make money is about the extent of Glass's knowledge, and he's approving some games with pretty limited appeal.

You'll soon see what I mean, in the first post in our new series, "RPGs: Royal-Playing Games."

The basic issue is that Glass thinks video games haven't changed much since the last and only time he played one. That game was called Choplifter, and he played it on a ColecoVision in 1984. Now, granted, Choplifter was a pretty sweet game, but there's been some progress since then. 

Anywho, let's have a look at our first batch of games!

Thanks, David. Our first game is a ripoff homage to the arcade classic BurgerTime.

Chef Billy Butler is the star of ButlerTime. In the game, he walks over platforms of burger parts: buns, tomatoes, Billy Butler's Hit it a Ton! BBQ Sauce, cheese, lettuce, and beef patties. When Billy's big ass steps on one of these burger parts, it falls under his tremendous weight to the next platform. Do it enough times, and you've made a burger! But watch out for the the evil Ketchup Dogs, Pickle Dudes, and Egg-Men, goo goo g'joob! If you win the game, you're blessed with consistency, a high Zagat rating, and the scorn of casual diners who want your restaurant to be something different than what it is. Oh well!

Our next video game is based on the Atari hit, Pitfall!

In Pitfall 3b, you control Pitfall Mikey as he swings his way through the jungle. Make sure to watch out for Vortex, the spinning Storm Chasers mascot, and the pits that lead to AAA Omaha. Pitfall 3b maintains the spirit of the original game in that there is no way to win. Players will eventually just get tired of the same shit over and over, the stifling, numbing mediocrity of doing just enough to avoid Omaha, that they'll finally just let Pitfall Mikey get caught by Vortex or demote him through the pit on their own.

Next up: Mega Mendoza!

An update of Mega Man, this game posits that Luis Mendoza is part robot/part long-haired Mexican pitcher. Other than Mendoza's pixelated flowing locks, it's not much different than the original game. Mega Mendoza has to fight his way through a throng of competing mediocre robot pitchers to have a chance to be in the rotation. What's surprising is that so many sequels have already been made based on this property.

Then, of course, is Dayton Kong:

In this game, hard-working Italian second-baseman Johnny Giavotella must battle through several levels of insane challenges doled out by the evil GM (Gorilla Manager) Dayton Kong. Jumpman Johnny fights off barrels, springs, fireballs, and more as he attempts to get to the top of the screen so he can steal Chris Getz's spot on the GM's pedestal. Will he ever get there, and even if he does, will the game just start over immediately? I think we all know the answer to that.

And finally, we'll wrap up this post with Frenchy Open Golf:

It's one of the worst kept secrets in baseball: Jeff Francoeur prefers to swing only at pitches in the dirt. Here, Nintendo has taken the idea and run (well, walked leisurely) with it, in Frenchy Open Golf. Use the power meter to time Frenchy's swing and whack the hell out of the ball! If you miss, make Frenchy throw the ball as far as you can with his amazing arm. WARNING: Children who play Frenchy Open Golf have been known to act out the violence it contains, delivering nut taps to others with wreckless abandon.

That's it for this edition of RPGs. Have a great weekend!

Go Video Games! You're the Best!

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:40 PM

    Billy Butler has Uncle Leo's marker eyebrows.


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