:genki: THE 501 GAMES OF ALL TIMES :genki:

Alright. I must have never called him because he has a shitty name and I had no idea who he was.

Completely fair. I never used him in game either, but I remembered him being there.

The only person I trust to save me money is Bargain Bernie.

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#401. PHANTOM CRASH

I know you’re probably saying “Wait! What’s this? Phantom Crash is surely the #1 most :genki: game of all time!” But please, gentle reader – pay attention! This list is :genki: The 501 Games of all Times :genki: which is a very different thing.

Phantom Crash was a game about buying and shooting robots that you played because it had a cool soundtrack. It was also one of the few decent Xbox exclusives. So here it is, at #401.

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I am here to save this thread from devastation, across the nation

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401. RETURN TO ZORK

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I’m not a nerd. Just look at that definition up there. Doesn’t apply to me. I’m very cool and suave and wouldn’t be caught dead studying anything…except for your body. :wink:

Unfortunately over the years so many games have been made by and for nerds. Was Zork one of those games? Maybe. It was before my time. Like I may be older than you but I’m younger than Zork, okay. I didn’t play that shit until 2014, so if it was loaded with a bunch of in-jokes about MIT or Dr. Who or Dr. Demento or Dr. Solar or Dr. Spock or some shit…it all went over my head, and I’m so fuckin’ grateful, cuz all that shit blows.

So to me Zork is Blighttown (But Not Quite As Damp): The Game. It was all spelunking and dealing with inventory limits and being spooked by the thief. In my memory it’s all black, with white text, and the only time you ever saw any color was when you were outside that house, in front of that mailbox. In my memory it was fuckin’ cool and so harsh you wanted someone to evaluate you.

In my memory Zork is not some fuckin’ Andrew Weil/Nicholson Baker/Me In 10 Years-looking motherfucker going “WANT SOME RYE? OF COURSE YOU DO!” I reject that shit. I reject a Zork that has colors. I reject a Zork that has a mouse-driven interface. I reject Return to Zork, even though I’ve never played it, cuz it looks like some shit made by some fuckin’ nerd who got the license to some cool game about caves and used it as an excuse film his unpublished Hitchhiker’s Guide to Middle Earth screenplay.

I reject Return to Zork cuz I’m not a nerd.

400. TOKYO JUNGLE

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What’s that Sid Meier quote? A game is a series of meaningful choices? I dunno if I agree with that – I may be a professional game designer now but I don’t spend much time thinking about, like, game design – but I do know Tokyo Jungle should be the greatest game ever made but its meaningful choices are spaced so far apart that it’s one of the biggest bores of all times. Yes, it is really neat when your Pomeranian gang takes down a horse, but those flurries of action are sandwiched by interminable stretches where you trot down one alley after another waiting for anything to happen so this game fucking blows.

Yet despite immediately realizing this game was lacking I kept playing, because having sex is really fun. Big fan of roleplaying as a sex haver over here. Do you have a favorite game where you get to have sex? If so please share. I want to know more about you and all the ways you’ve enjoyed sexual video games. Don’t be shy. I won’t bite…unless u want me 2. :heart:

399. KANE & LYNCH 2: DOG DAYS



Look I’m not gonna talk trash about this game. I currently have a lot to live for and you guys have so many weapons and opinions, y’know? I already got one death threat in this thread already. I don’t need any more.

Just kidding! I’m not scared of you. I think you’re so sweet, and I know you love me. I consider every bloodpotion I earn a little Valentine, and I’m sure you feel the same. And I think this is the only game with real guns and real deal violence that I’d ever want to replay. Though that won’t happen for a long time, because I don’t feel very good about myself as of late and I refuse to play any games that might make me feel even more insecure about my sour, lumpy body. Like, I wish I looked at least as good “completely starkers” as Lynch does, so until my 501 Games book deal money comes in and I can afford a personal trainer and some real good PEDs I’m only gonna be playing, like, Kirby and Dodonpachi.

Please make my dreams come true. Please send me enough money so I can level up to a “dad bod”, or, failing that, a “George ‘The Animal’ Steele bod”

398. TRASH PANIC

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Hey do you wanna play a bunch games with great concepts and mediocre execution? Well, I got the console for you, buddy: it’s called the PlayStation 3, and it was never good. Aside from Demon’s Souls. That’s the best game of the last decade, and I refuse to believe Sony Computer Entertainment had much to do with it, because that company never made a game that was actually fun to play.

Feel free to swap this game for Echochrome or Patapon or Puppeteer or LocoRoco or that Ape Escape spinoff where you vacuum up monkey shorts or any other SCEJ game cuz they’re all varying degrees of not good. We can all admit that now, right? Oh what, you don’t really remember those games? Well, can’t say I blame you. In the end none of them were very interesting.

396. D

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I have no clue what this game is but it looks kinda dumb.

395. PHANTASY STAR III

Phantasy Star III is an incredibly underrated game and no I will not replay it or offer up any solid evidence to prove my point but I will write 200 words about how I felt about it before I had pubes and that’s good enough, right?

When I was a kid I duped a bunch of other kids into thinking RPGs were cool. My main motivation for doing this was so’s I could see all the branching paths in Phantasy Star III without replaying it myself. When I was a child I valued my time more than I do as an adult, you see. So on the rare days I went to school I would talk this shit up. “Yeah, Phantasy Star is this game where you can get married, and make babies, and then your babies have babies, and so on, and so on, and depending on the babies you make you get different endings!” Endings were a big deal back then. I remember taking Polaroids of my TV when I’d beat games. I still have some of them. You can barely see shit cuz of the flash but guess what mothefucker: I beat Zelda 2, and I have the photos to prove it.

So after a time I got two other kids to buy Phantasy Star III, and I convinced them all it was very good, and I also kinda influenced them enough to pick the brides I didn’t pick, and make the babies I didn’t make, and as far as I can recall the branching paths weren’t wildly different but fuck, that was a real power trip. Fuck, I can’t believe I never started a cult. Must be because I’m too sweet to ever truly hurt anybody.

Please do not reply telling me inflicting Phantasy Star III on other people is hurtful because it’s not. Phantasy Star III is incredibly underrated. Just listen to that opening theme. It’s very good.

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Editor’s note: Starting today we will be presenting the fine words of our boy @Rudie, who did us a kindness and offered to flesh out this list, free of charge. Unfortunately a few months back we went and had an emotional breakdown and quit the scene. We said “Yo, good friend, dunno if we’ll ever be finishing that list, so you might wanna post your stuff elsewhere.” And Rudie did, even though like a week later Your Author was back on the scene and back in the groove, acting like we didn’t massively embarrass ourselves on-line. But despite our public shaming we’re doing what we said we was gonna do: we’re gonna get real rude with our boy Rudie and you gonna love it.

You can tell what Rudie wrote cuz it has that chessboard pattern surrounding it, cuz that’s “The Mark of Ska”, and Rudie loves ska, which I am told is making a comeback.

394. LOST PLANET 3

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I own too many games. I have so many unredeemed Steam keys. You want a free game? Hit me up, I got something you might like, and I love to give things away cuz it makes me feel like a big man.

But despite my newfound aversion to accumulating More Shit I recently redeemed a Humble Bundle key for Lost Planet 3 because John Carpenter once tweeted that it was an “enjoyable game” with a “good story.” But I will never play Lost Planet 3, because John Carpenter’s taste in games is terrible. He really likes Borderlands 2 and Bioshock and Assassin’s Creed and Sonic the Hedgehog. Just real unfortunate favs from this guy. Great movies though. You’ve seen They Live, right? That’s a perfect movie, right?

John Carpenter once said:

So yeah, he’s right on Skyrim, which is very bad, but this means John Carpenter would not like my excellent game, which just has you talking to people, buying stuff, and doesn’t feature a single gun. Looks like the guy’s on the wrong side of history. Real shame, that.

But I still follow the guy on Twitter, hoping to read his latest takes on big budget gun games. Nowadays he only tweets about those concerts where he stands in front of a keyboard while his kids stand behind him performing all his soundtracks though. I think they should get the dude an Xbox for his tour bus. Or at least a Vita.

Imagine experiencing anime with John Carpenter.

Imagine John Carpenter shooting a Vita after spending 20 minutes with Akiba’s Trip.

393. D4

I do know what this game is: three hours long yet I never bothered to finish it.

Feel free to donate to SWERY’s latest Kickstarter but also please remember that my adventure game about a drunken blonde with debts no honest woman can pay is way better looking, way funnier, way less violent, and way more in need of funding, though even if I don’t get any my game’s way more likely to get released cuz I’m just that dedicated to the arts. Also please don’t tell him I said that, cuz I like SWERY, and I liked this game. Also please don’t tell him that I keep making jokes about how he ripped me off, even though maybe that’s not a totally unreasonable conclusion considering I’m one of only 40,000 people he follows on Twitter and some of his friends got a copy of the DDD zine and maybe

Hold on, my lawyer just rang me up and said I should delete all this.

I’ll do that tomorrow morning.

392. MICKEY MOUSECAPADE

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Imagine how beautiful this world be had Walt Disney never been born. Or perhaps if he had been born but actually gave adequate credit and compensation to the great artists who built his company. I personally can’t imagine such a thing cuz even though I’m a natural born genius I’m not some fuckin’ delusional baby prone to flights of fancy. I live here, right now, in the flesh, and I hate Disney almost as much as Tulpa does. But hey, if you got imaginations bigger than mine…please use it to make something beautiful and never, ever sell the rights to anyone. Keep that shit to yourself.

Here’s a list of the only good things ever associated with the Disney brand:

  1. Floyd Gottfredson Mickey Mouse comics, especially the ones where Mickey repeatedly tries and fails at committing suicide.
  2. The Carl Barks duck comics, even though none of those ducks wore pants and that’s kinda obscene.
  3. Laura Dern as a tough purple-haired anime broad in a Star Wars movie.
  4. The Duck Tales NES game.
  5. I was going to say all the bits of Inside the NBA where Charles Barkley makes an ass out of himself but that’s on TNT not ESPN so I guess there are only four good Disney things.

This entry was originally about Epic Mickey but I didn’t want that on my list. Mickey Mousecapade is also awful but it’s the only Hudson X Capcom game that I can recall, and that kinda curiosity is enough for it to “make the cut.”

391. ROAD AVENGER

The theme song for Road Avenger was performed by a rock combo named JAYWALK.

I am pretty sure if you gave me a pristine vinyl copy of the album this song appeared on or some FLAC rip of the CD or the original master tape and we pumped it through some insane audiophile set up using the most expensive placebos on the planet there’s absolutely no way it would sound better than this bitcrushed Sega CD version.

If any of you all wanna make an FMV game at Bump Ass bring some costumes and props and ideas cuz guess what: I’m ready.

390. YOOT TOWER

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Look this entry was initially Seaman but I deleted all the shit I wrote cuz it was a bunch of rude comments about “jizm” AKA “spunk” AKA “baby juice” AKA “semen” and no one needs to read that. Especially not you, gentle reader.

But I’m still gonna tell you a story about “come.” Watch out!

I sold off all my Pokémons games in 2016, after Pokémon Go hit it big. This was difficult for me cuz I felt such a bond with my Pokémon. They were my babies. I named each and every one with care. But fuck, did you see the prices on those games back then? 120 million copies of that shit out in the wild and people were paying like 4x retail price for loose carts. And I needed money, so goodbye my loves. Hope you found happiness in your new homes.

I still need money, by the way. Please give me money. I promise I’ll spend it on food or lavish vacations or a nuisance lawsuit against a dude who’s making a game that’s superficially similar to mine. I promise I won’t spend it on more Pokémon games.

Anyway prior to listing the games on eBay I went through all my Pokedexes or PCs or whatever and said goodbye to all my babies. I also made sure none of them had rude names that might lead to negative feedback. During this process I noticed I’d caught numerous plant Pokémon in over half a dozen games, right? And in each and every one I’d named a different plant-type Pokémon “BabyJuice”. I know one was a Seedot. Seedot is a Pokémon shaped like an acorn. The rest…who knows. They all probably sucked cuz the only good plant Pokémon are Bulbasaur and Chikorita.

So this “BabyJuice” discovery made me feel really bad about myself. Made me realize not only was I maybe some kind of sex pervert but maybe I was a real unoriginal one, reusing the same lame “seed” joke for different lame Pokémon for well over a decade. Also reinforced my belief that Home Movies is the most underrated TV show of the 21st century. Made me realize it was time to pay the price, and put childish things behind me, and kill all my digital babies.

…I miss them.

Yoot Tower’s a neat game where you played an evil role: landlord. I believe for a time it was a Mac OS exclusive in the USA, and it was published by Sega. That makes it way more hardcore than your favorite Dreamcast game. That makes it better than Seaman, which was also developed by Yoot Saito. It also may be better than Pokemon, cuz it didn’t lead to me making any sad discoveries about how I’m a broken record. But it doesn’t have Miltank or Snorlax, so maybe not.

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petition for “The Last Eichhof”.
Thanks.

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I don’t mean to piss you off, but I really had to do this:

Definitely the wrong side of history there… the end of it.

389. STARDEW VALLEY

I have no clue what this game looks like or how it differs from Harvest Moon. Please do not tell me anything about it, because I know this is 120% a danger game. I know playing it would wreck my life. Games such as this are, to quote a wise man, not good for the soul. Like if I had a kid I’d let them play maybe 10 games out of the 501 on this list. I’d let my kid listen to every Nate Dogg and Trick Daddy song before I let them touch any game that has loot or quest logs or social links. I would be such a good dad, and if you doubt it, well, my horoscope says otherwise, buddy. Don’t even try and disagree with the stars. That is the ultimate folly.

Many years ago I drew a Harvest Moon tribute comic a gift for a friend. It was romantic, and had boys falling in love, and realizing they were gay. In retrospect I’m not sure if boys falling in love appealed to her in the least but it sure entertained me. That shit is good for the soul, and if you can kiss someone without spending 80 hours tilling fields, well, maybe Stardew Valley is a good game. But I doubt it.

388. SAMMY SOSA HIGH HEAT BASEBALL

I promise once I get rich I will do every kind of steroid available.

I actually find juiced up physiques repulsive and do not want to have one myself but I’ve spent years promising this so I guess I gotta follow through on it. In case you haven’t noticed I am very dedicated and never give up, no matter how bad and self destructive an idea might be.

This is the maybe the only good commercial ever made.

387. MAX PAYNE 3

I haven’t played this but I think someone once subtweeted me by saying someone they knew reminded them of the Max Payne who starred in MAX PAYNE 3 so I assume in this installment he’s very handsome, healthy, humorous, and sexually gifted.

I will never find out the truth firsthand though. I refuse to purchase any game with an install size over 15 gigabytes unless it’s a fighting game or by From Software. This will likely never change unless storage prices drop dramatically or I get really rich, cuz I’d rather use my precious hard drive space to preserve all my favorite parents’ movies classic films.

386. FULL THROTTLE

I still haven’t finished this game. Sorry, Cuba. LucasArts adventures were my favorites when I was younger, but when this came out I hit some weird bug and couldn’t progress and I didn’t know patches were, like, a thing. So I’ve held a grudge against it, and bikers, ever since.

Years back I lost my home and had to move into my dead dad’s place. It had been gutted – rooms with no walls or floors, wires hanging from the ceiling, no back door, no kitchen, shower kinda didn’t work, but there was cable TV and a bed and a vacuum cleaner with a Harley Davidson sticker on it. That vacuum belonged to my father and I’m gonna be dramatic and claim it was the only thing I inherited from him. We’ll ignore the house and all the junk in it, ok? We’ll pretend all my daddy left me was an object that combined his greatest passions: loud shitty motorcycles and compulsively cleaning.

I never used that vacuum cuz why bother, that place was a wreck. But after a time it became livable and I had some good times in there being alone and watching Turner Classic Movies. I saw PSYCHOMANIA in that house. It is a film about Satanic bikers who commit suicide so they can live forever, I think? I recommend it. It is the only thing that’s ever made me think motorcycles might be cool, which is saying something. Not even PURPLE RAIN had that effect on me.

I dunno what happened to that vacuum but while living there I do remember regularly being woken up at sunrise by rich senior citizens cosplaying Easy Rider. Harleys are so loud and so awful. I had these maroon curtains in my room so every morning my room would be cast in this deep red light and whenever those hogs would blast by I’d jolt awake and think “Oh shit, they finally dropped the bomb.” Then I’d feel the relief that comes from realizing you’re not about to perish in nuclear hellfire, followed by the anger that comes with realizing those millionaire motherfuckers weren’t gonna burn either.

Anyway Full Throttle isn’t as good as Maniac Mansion, because it has bikers, and bikers are awful and loud and often very racist.

385. UNISON: REBELS OF RHYTHM & DANCE

I think Vanna White was the first naked lady I ever saw.

Nelly once did a rap about Vanna White.

Thanks to Nelly I often find myself spelling “here” with two r’s.

Nelly is a garbage human but he had a song featured in Unison, which has one of the finest subtitles of all times.

It is a crazy world.

384. PILOTWINGS

Sorry, Tulpa. You are wrong. Pilotwings is better than Sky Odyssey because it has a crying Jo Shishido in it. It has what Sky Odyssey lacks: the human touch.

Never let it be said I am a misanthrope. I love all people, as long as they’re on Select Button, or say nice things about me, or were featured in a launch window Super Famicom game.

383. SECRET OF MANA
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I am a natural born genius and I bet I’d totally shame Ken Jennings if I ever went on Jeopardy! but I have my fair share of troubles with what many would consider very simple tasks. I’d like to think this humanizes me and adds to my charm but sometimes people gotta deal with my shit and ain’t no one thinks you’re charming if you’re wasting their fucking time, let me tell you.

Like, I once called that Nintendo Power Game Counselor hotline cuz I was stuck in Secret of Mana, right? Was in some haunted mansion or some shit and couldn’t figure out how to proceed. Spent an hour on the phone with this dude who was just tearing his hair out, to the point where he started really exposing the business. “There’s nothing about this section in this binder,” is something we’ll pretend he said. He kept insisting that I must have been missing something obvious and I kept insisting that no, I’m a child prodigy, there’s no way I ever make mistakes, this game is just fuckin’ busted. But it turned out he was right, and I was wrong, and all I had to do was just shimmy past some bookcase to proceed. I remember sheepishly saying “Sorry it was a bookcase thank you” before slamming down the phone and spending the next month terrified my family would kill me for running up the long distance bill cuz I was dumb enough to be bad at Nintendo.

I don’t think I got in trouble but at one point my family bought me a t-shirt featuring the Far Side strip you see above. Maybe that was a form of punishment. Or maybe my family were fuckin’ dicks.

Also maybe Full Throttle didn’t have a bug in it, I dunno, I doubt it, cuz nothing is ever my fault.

382. STATE OF EMERGENCY

Shortly after moving into my dead dad’s place hurricane Sandy hit. The day after I walked around the neighborhood, surveying the damage, and the only car I saw was this old motherfucker in a convertible Porsche driving very slowly, with the top down, trying to avoid having his rich b car damaged by all the downed trees and telephone poles. His car had a ROMNEY/RYAN 2012 bumper sticker.

One of my biggest regrets in life is not throwing a rock at that dickweed’s head.

I haven’t played State of Emergency but I’m still confident in declaring that the only wholly good violence game Rockstar ever published was Red Dead Redemption.

381. POKÉMON GO

The most 2016 moment of my 2016:

I’m at a urinal in a Las Vegas banh mi shop while two children stand behind me giggling up a storm as they try to catch an augmented reality Pokémon that is hiding in that restroom. On the top of my urinal someone’s carved the words FUCK TRUMP. In the stall next to me a man is having a very unpleasant time, making some very unpleasant sounds, but it is relatively easy to avoid inhaling his very unpleasant smells cuz I’m toally a mouth breather. I have a lovely nose but my nostrils barely work. Thanks to that man’s difficulties I decide not to eat my sandwich; I bring it with me to the airport and throw it in the trash. I spend some time worrying that I might get arrested for being a suspicious character, cuz what kind of monster throws away uneaten food? But I evade detection and return home rejuvenated, and not just because I avoided getting violent diarrhea.

That Vegas trip was my first vacation in many years and I went because Select Button told me “you should go”. I met many good people on that trip. It restored a bit of my confidence. So upon my return I decided to stop being shy. To stop being paranoid. I signed up for on-line dating, and that lead to me going on the first proper dates of my life. And I also played some Pokémon Go, cuz it was very popular and I thought maybe if I roamed around town I’d bump into some cutie who was also in search of an Eevee and I’d bring them home and show them all my Pokémon named BabyJuice and that would prompt them to say “Will you marry me?”

But that never happened. I didn’t meet anyone worthwhile doing on-line dating or playing this shitty NSA-funded spyware game. But I do have memories. Memories of kids laughing at my butt while a nearby man had explosive diarrhea while I thought “I’m so glad that man will never be president.” And memories of going on bad dates with weird people, such as the time a gal surreptitiously photographed me throughout our meal, and weeks after things fizzled out she sent them to me saying “Put these on your profile. They’re better than what you have up.” I’ll carry those memories with me to the grave, but these posts, and all the metadata harvested from my usage of “apps”…those things will live on…forever.

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Incredible syngery.

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Yeah yeah yeah sorry I forgot what day it was. Give me a break, you weird looking broad. I’ll post tomorrow.

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Ultima is wild.

380. GURU LOGIC CHAMP

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Guru Logic Champ is easily the best game on the Game Boy Advance and, maybe, the best portable game of all times. It is about ducks who shoot squares out of cannons so they can solve Picross puzzles. It was made by Compile and I was under the belief that it was their last game but that is not true. Their last release was some Neo Geo puzzler. But let’s pretend they went out with this, the biggest bang of all times.

There’s a DSi Ware clone titled Snapdots. It is not as good, because it stars a cute little anime girl instead of problem solving ducks. I do not recommend playing it in 2018. I recommend you go full Gururoji if you haven’t already.

379. JACK BROS.

The first time I ever experienced on-line voice chat was playing Unreal Championship on Xbox Live.

Unreal Championship was pretty much just Unreal Tournament 2003 but you were stuck using a controller.

Xbox Live was an on-line service where you paid $50 US a year for the right to host and participate in laggy peer-to-peer battles over the Internet.

Xbox Live was never worth the money. Neither was Unreal Championship. But I bought both of them. I have made mistakes.

Despite all appearances I’m a very self-conscious fellow and for many years the idea of anyone hearing my voice filled me with crippling anxieties. Yet OG Xbox Live kinda appealed to me, as it had filters that let you mask your voice. You could sound like you’d just inhaled helium, or like your mouth was filled with mechanical bumblebees, or like Jabba the Hutt. Adopting a false persona while talking to strangers is my favorite thing so this sounded like it would usher in a whole new era for my #1 pastime.

But then I logged onto Xbox Live, and played my first game of “Deathmatch”. One of my opponents was an individual who was using that mega-bass Jabba the Hutt filter. Their “GamerTag” was “BangBus”. And after every kill they would utter the words “Bang Bus, bitch.” Or “Bang Bus, ho.” And, once in awhile, simply “Bang Bus.” It was awful, and it was mechanical, and I almost thought they had a soundboard plugged in, but you could also hear them breathing. Loudly.

This BangBus easily won the match. They were very good at this mediocre version of Unreal Tournament. And they also turned me off voice chat for the rest of my life. So I think maybe they did me a service, as I learned from day one that I should avoid talking with and listening to stranger gamers at all costs.

I’ve never played Jack Bros., which is a Shin Megami Tensei spinoff for Virtual Boy, but its name reminds me of the Bang Bros and their infamous bus, which I know of only by reputation. I’m pretty sure you will not find any episodes of that web series on any of my hard drives. Pretty sure.

378. WILLIAM SHATNER’S TEK WAR

This game is not good but in 1995 it was probably worth $50 to hear Shatner say “you’re the best” and “his forte is the Matrix.

One of the nice things about living in 2018 is you don’t have to pay any money to experience such things. Yes, this is a fallen world, but sometimes a little light shines through.

The Tek War TV series starred Greg Evigan, of BJ & The Bear and My Two Dads fame. All those post-Three Men and a Baby sitcoms brought my family some brief comfort, as we also had multiple dads. None of our dads were gay though. I spent years under the impression that Greg Evigan came out of the closet – that he was my secret third gay dad – but according to the internet this is not the case. Very upset to learn Greg Evigan, the more rowdy of the two dads is maybe not gay. Why did I believe this? Perhaps it was schoolyard rumors based on his pierced ears? Is it because I mistook his George Michael-as-a-bad-TV-dad look as a sign that he loved men? Did I read too much into a blind item I stumbled across on livejournal? Who can say. The internet can do many things, such as deliver free positive affirmations from Captain Kirk himself, but it cannot answer the questions that matter the most to me, like why I look for father figures in all the wrong places.

377. TOWN AND COUNTRY SURF DESIGNS: WOOD & WATER RAGE

This is a game based on a line of characters featured on t-shirts. The characters were all about surfing and skateboarding. There was a gorilla, and a greaser, and some madman in a tiki mask. It was a very bad game but the music was very good and my sister and I were very into skateboarding. More the idea than the reality – real skateboarding is kinda hard and boring and nothing like the cartoons of my youth – but we were very into it.

I have photos of my adult sister with her face painted to resemble Spike the tiki-masked skater, and I am saving them should she ever get rich or famous. I’m saving them to blackmail her. You might think cosplay is nothing to be ashamed of, but that means you’ve never played this game. It is very shameful. It is very bad. It is #377 on the 501 Games of All Times.

376. SUPER STREET FIGHTER 4

I do not really like Street Fighter 4 much but I have played it more than any other fighting game. At one point I was kinda good at it. For a brief window there I was the #1 Rufus on Xbox Live. That means nothing, as ranked matchmaking is a joke and that #1 rank was because I played way too much and used the least popular character in the game, but I am still going to crow about this until the day I die. I was #1 once and you will never take that away from me.

My sister once had a Japanese roommate. He seemed like a good guy. Had some hard times. Spent his life becoming some virtuoso violinist. Came to the States cuz he got some scholarship for some fancy music school. Lost it after he had surgery to remove a brain tumor. Couldn’t play violin quite so well after that. Whenever he had a rough day at work he’d come home and start shredding on the violin but it was barely music. Sounded like cats fucking. Not very pleasant, but he was still trying. It’s been a long time since I last saw him. Maybe his brain’s rewired itself and he can jam again. I sure hope so.

He spent Thanksgiving with my family once. It was the last Thanksgiving I actually spent with my entire family. They were very ill-behaved and embarrassing and American. But this dude, he was very fun, and polite, and didn’t stab my father when Dad kept insisting that Elvis was still the most popular entertainer in Japan 30+ years after his death. After that nightmare dinner we went over my place, and this guy was very interested in my game collection. He wanted to play Street Fighter with me.

I’d done fighting games with seemingly “casual” folks many times before. It never goes well, even if you try and take it easy on them. I was expecting this seemingly chill dude to really lose his cool once I threw him for the second time because y’know “throws are cheap”. But then I hopped into a game with this dude and he was anti-airing my jump-ins and teching my throws and somehow pulling off qcf x 2 + p on a fuckin’ 360 pad. He knew how to play, even though he claimed he hadn’t touched Street Fighter since Alpha 2. So I spent the night teaching him SF4, and we had a grand time. He didn’t win much but his execution blew mine out of the water, even though he was way rusty. If he’d kept with it that dude woulda mopped the floor with me before long. And I’m so glad he didn’t keep with it, cuz my ego is fragile, and I love to win.

I never saw that dude again but I think about him often. Like, every single time I complain about 1 frame links. Or 2 frame links. Or 4 frame links. Or shitty input buffers. Or how my brain has endured much trauma and is surely very damaged so I bet it’s ain’t my fault I have such a hard time with these “finger puzzles.” Yet that dude had no trouble. That dude went through some rough shit and was able do focus-attack-dash-cancel with little effort. Why can’t I?

Oh yeah I know why: cuz all these games suck and practice is for losers and nothing is ever my fault.

375. STAR OCEAN
starocean

Imagine being so into Star Trek you decide to make an RPG homage to it.

Imagine being so fucking boring your Star Trek homage doesn’t ape the episodes about space madness or space sex or space chess. Imagine choosing to make 90% of your game like one of those episodes they had to shoot on the set of, like, Rawhide cuz of budget concerns.

That is Star Ocean.

Maybe there’s a good excuse for that? Maybe they had to use leftover assets from an abandoned fantasy RPG? Maybe they were using some early version of RPG Maker? Maybe games are hard.

Phantasy Star didn’t have any problems doing a space RPG though. Phantasy Star was way cooler than this. Maybe not as playable, but way, way cooler*.

374. THE LAST BATTLE

In Japan this was a Fist of the North Star game. In America this is The Last Battle. You might think if you’re familiar with Hokuto No Ken (as us aficionados call it) you can just jump into the U.S. version and have a good time, but not so fast! The story has some key differences! That is why I have transcribed the introduction for you, the future player. Take your time and read it, because it scrolls by very fast in-game and I want your Last Battle experience to be ideal:

My Last Battle experience lasted about 3 minutes and ended with a neon green Hulk Hogan lookalike kicking me in the junk until I died. That is my ideal and I will never play this game again. But maybe your tastes differ from mine. Maybe you will go longer and deeper with this title. If so I hope I was of some assistance.

373. VALIS II

26%20AM

The only interesting thing about this game is when the sword-wielding schoolgirl lead shouts “Why did you come to this world of reality?” That is the only line that’s remotely worthy of this game’s namesake. It is also something I’ll be asking myself every day until I die.

Here’s a heads up for ya: the English voice actors pronounce it “Varis”, so keep that in mind should you ever end up amongst hardcore TurboGrafx fans, Valis lovers, or gross anime perverts. Remember: it’s “Varis”, not “Valis”. “Ees”, not “Whys”. “Mo-ay”, not “mo”. Got it? I hope so. Like, I’m not sure I have it, but hope you do.

*Look, I know both series spend most of their playtime on pretty generic fantasy RPG worlds but one has a bright anime-style color palette and the other looks like a Super Famicom game so it’s clear which one’s more cool and sci-fi okay.

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My neighbor had a Thrilla Gorilla squirt gun, where he was emerging from a banana peel to shoot water from his mouth.

All of the T&C characters were the absolute best. Senor Lopez, Panama Jack, and all those other late 80s t-shirt company mascots had nothing on them.

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Holy Crap if my dumb bullshit inspired you to remember or make up a real powerful story.

I mean every word about Tales of Rebirth! In which I told you what happens in ToR. I bet you spent a lot of time to find the most ridiculous screen to represent it.

It also had a bunch of weird melee shit which was completely not what UT needed.

I’m too lazy to make things up nowadays but I was wrong about one thing: he didn’t do shit on an Xbox 360 pad.

I forgot I had two arcade sticks at that point in time. I’d purchased them both awaiting the day when I’d finally make a friend who wanted to play FGs proper. I guess that day came, and it was a Thanksgiving.

We apologize for the error.

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thank you for being the first person I’ve seen to acknowledge this

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if i hear anyone pronounce valis as varis im gonna punch them in the neck