Category:  Videogame Virgin

By Michael Oshima, May 7, 2013 0 Features, Videogame Virgin

(Editor’s note: Restarting this bi-weekly feature, Michael Oshima shares his frustrations while diving through the vast library of videogame “classics” in the name of games journalism. Please be gentle and remember Wheaton’s Law.)

Videogames were always a tag-team-spectator sport in my house. I played with my younger brothers, usually, and we played a few of the action adventure type games, of which I remember one of the Star Wars games and the new Prince of Persia games, but always together. I was good at the puzzles, riddles, mazes, ciphers and things like that. I never met a sidequest I didn’t love.

My brothers were always better at the shooty, stabby, fighty parts, so I just handed off the controller for all the more un-subtle explosion-type sequences. I had always thought that they didn’t have the patience to do random side quests and long climbing sequences and stuff like that, so this was just a reasonable division of labor that kept everyone mostly happy, especially my mom who didn’t then have to hear us killing each other over who got to play next. Don’t get me wrong, we did the requisite amount of back-seat-video-gaming that any good brother would do, e.g. “You suck at this,” and “No, hit him on the stomach you idiot!” and “Block! Block! Why aren’t you blocking?”

But now I’m a grown-up (this is a lie) with my own apartment (I have three roommates), and I get to play video games without having to hand over the controller because Mom said so. I also get to pick which games I want to spend my hard-earned money on and not rely solely on the generosity of relatives at Christmas. So I bought the first two Uncharted games, which are universally praised and said to be Indiana-Jones-like, and who doesn’t want to be Indiana Jones? (more…)

By Matt Brown, March 5, 2013 0 Features, Videogame Virgin

(Editor’s note: In this bi-weekly feature, Pixelitis staffer Matt Brown shares his “down the rabbit hole” look into gaming history. Having admittedly missed what many consider “classics,” join him as he dives in head first. We ask that you just be gentle with him.)

Every year, a handful of triple-A titles are released and every year more than a few of those titles fall short of all the hype. One title that for most, did not fall short of the hype was The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. For almost everyone I know, Skyrim went above and beyond in so many ways. It enriched hundreds of hours of their lives and brought them great happiness. Great bang for their buck.

I did not get any of these wonderful things.

Skyrim felt, to me, like I imagine hanging out with the cast of Jackass would feel like. Repeatedly asking myself the question, “I am the only one who realizes how crazy this is?”

(more…)

By Matt Brown, February 19, 2013 0 Features, Videogame Virgin

(Editor’s note: In this bi-weekly feature, Pixelitis staffer Matt Brown shares his “down the rabbit hole” look into gaming history. Having admittedly missed what many consider “classics,” join him as he dives in head first. We ask that you just be gentle with him.)

Every two weeks, like clockwork, I find myself with no socks. No t-shirts and no socks. Thus comes the inevitable trip to the laundromat with the quarters and the waiting and the bad television. I’ve discovered that one of the only remedies for this is the wonderful world of browser games and one of my new favorites is Doom.

Long before I discovered it’s online iteration, I had already played the original Doom on a high-schooler’s laptop at a party I probably shouldn’t have been to at an age not necessarily suited to exploding flesh. But hey, ’90s era graphics aren’t that disturbing. (more…)

By Matt Brown, February 5, 2013 0 Features, Videogame Virgin

(Editor’s note: In this bi-weekly feature, Pixelitis staffer Matt Brown shares his “down the rabbit hole” look into gaming history. Having admittedly missed what many consider “classics,” join him as he dives in head first. We ask that you just be gentle with him.)

Of all the games in 100 Computer Games to Play Before You Die, so far I haven’t come across too many that I had already played. And among that number, even fewer that I had any sort of emotional connection to, pleasant or otherwise.

So the original Donkey Kong is a pleasant addition to this series for me. (more…)

By Matt Brown, January 22, 2013 0 Features, Videogame Virgin

(Editor’s note: In this bi-weekly feature, Pixelitis staffer Matt Brown shares his “down the rabbit hole” look into gaming history. Having admittedly missed what many consider “classics,” join him as he dives in head first. We ask that you just be gentle with him.)

I’m a big fan of carnival games. My father worked at a state fair when he was in high school and I guess I am my father’s son. I love tossing rings and swinging hammers and more than anything, I love whacking moles. The thing is, I couldn’t stop thinking about that while I was checking out Diablo for this post.

A little creepy crawly thing pops its head up and you hit it. Hit it dead. Granted sometimes its head isn’t so little, but regardless of how big it is, you knock its noggin all the same. The more noggins you knock, the better stuff you get to bring home with you. And whether that’s an enchanted sword or a large stuffed gorilla, the thrill is there all the same. I guess the main thing that I appreciate is the fact that you only have to buy Diablo the one time, but Whack-A-Mole keeps comin’ back to my wallet for more.

(more…)

By Matt Brown, January 8, 2013 0 Features, Videogame Virgin

(Editor’s note: In this bi-weekly feature, Pixelitis staffer Matt Brown shares his “down the rabbit hole” look into gaming history. Having admittedly missed what many consider “classics,” join him as he dives in head first. We ask that you just be gentle with him.)

I’ve always considered myself more a fantasy guy than a sci-fi guy. Especially when it comes to games, I’ve always been more Tales series and less Mass Effect. More large swords and less large… eyes on green alien heads. But now I think that may be changing.

I just started watching Doctor Who this past week. I finally gave in.

And just in time for me to develop a fairly high-level obsession with British sci-fi, no less. I give Deus Ex a whirl for the first time. I need a bloody vacation just to deal with all of this. (more…)

By Matt Brown, December 11, 2012 1 Features, Videogame Virgin

(Editor’s note: In this bi-weekly feature, Pixelitis staffer Matt Brown shares his “down the rabbit hole” look into gaming history. Having admittedly missed what many consider “classics,” join him as he dives in head first. We ask that you just be gentle with him.)

I’m having a real crisis of faith here. I find myself at a crossroads of life, and I don’t know which road to take. On the one hand, I could continue to hobble on, my mediocrity like an old wound from ‘nam that wakes me up in the middle of the night and makes me scare my kids and yell at my dog. Or. I could just give up the whole, “gaming,” thing like it never was a thing to begin with.

Demon’s Souls is a crisis of faith. And I’m Heath Ledger in The Order. Or something like that.

(more…)

By Matt Brown, November 27, 2012 0 Features, Videogame Virgin

(Editor’s note: In this bi-weekly feature, Pixelitis staffer Matt Brown shares his “down the rabbit hole” look into gaming history. Having admittedly missed what many consider “classics,” join him as he dives in head first. We ask that you just be gentle with him.)

When I was a kid, arcade visits were sort of a mixed affair. I didn’t grow up with dedicated arcades anywhere near my hometown but we had pizza joints with tickets and prizes and all that business. We had an indoor ice rink that had a small arcade. And even those these experiences were few and far between, I developed an early love for Tekken that still remains strong to this day.

But that statement in and of itself is indicative of my age and therefore my arcade generation. I played Ms. Pacman on my Sega Genesis, not in an arcade. So Defender is entirely new territory for me. And it’s incredibly difficult territory to get into. Or even find. (more…)

By Matt Brown, November 13, 2012 0 Features, Videogame Virgin

(Editor’s note: In this bi-weekly feature, Pixelitis staffer Matt Brown shares his “down the rabbit hole” look into gaming history. Having admittedly missed what many consider “classics,” join him as he dives in head first. We ask that you just be gentle with him.)

Going down the list in Steve Bowden’s 100 Computer Games to Play Before You Die, I was supposed to write something about Defender this week but I decided not to. Just doesn’t feel right. Not for this week, not for right now at least.

I want to talk about something bigger, I guess. I want to talk about how, in times like these, gaming is valuable and vital. So I’m gonna do that instead.

I live in Brooklyn, so in the spirit of full disclosure, I got lucky with Hurricane Frankenstorm Sandy the Great and Terrible. I didn’t experience flooding or wind damage, I didn’t lose power. I lost internet for a few days. So I count myself lucky on all counts. But what’s come from all that not getting worked over by Mother Nature is a week long house arrest with my four roommates and our cat and my bathrobe and FIFA 10 and Assassin’s Creed 3 and some realizations about what it is we do when we game. (more…)

By Matt Brown, October 16, 2012 0 Features, Videogame Virgin

(Editor’s note: In this bi-weekly feature, Pixelitis staffer Matt Brown shares his “down the rabbit hole” look into gaming history. Having admittedly missed what many consider “classics,” join him as he dives in head first. We ask that you just be gentle with him.)

Now I know I’m supposed to talk about Dance Dance Revolution according to Steve Bowden’s 100 Computer Games to Play Before You Die, but I don’t even know if I want to start down that road.

That’s not to say that I don’t like the game. That’s not to say that I do like the game, either. It’s to say that DDR is quite the subject to tackle. It’s a behemoth of a franchise. In a lot of ways, I feel it was one of the real positive impressions made on the general public before gaming became mainstream. You know, because a bunch of people lost a bunch of weight from playing a bunch of DDR or something.

My friends down the street had the roll-out DDR pads in their house. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. (more…)