Gamer’s Hangover News Report 10.20.03

Quasi-random thoughts:

For those that need to feel good about how “boring” their life is, read this, but not until you’ve finished MY column, because you’ll never make it back otherwise.

After reading a few hundred of those, you start to wonder what such a synopsis of your own life would read:

Laflin, Cory: Painfully straight. Well-documented video game addict. Moody, but considered a Nice Guy within his circle of friends. Makes his infant son wear a Chiefs jersey on game days.

Actually, it would more likely read like this (lifted from the Pete Sampras entry):

Laflin, Cory. Pleasant, but dull.

The longer I write for 411 Games, the more I find out about Alex Lucard: Best-seller writer, one of the top vampire lore reasearchers in the world, won a lawsuit with Konami over use of his name. Me: Aerospace Engineer from Kansas who likes video games.

Laflin, Cory: MAJOR insecurity issues. Sucks up to readers for validation. Slut.

Good news this week: Barring catastrophe, I WILL finish my Master’s degree work this week. I’ve also been give the green light to start asking about a PhD in Aero, even though my Master’s will be in Electrical. I guess having rapport with the Dean of Engineering (who used to be just an Aero prof) does help sometimes.

Laflin, Cory: Once made fun of his college’s Dean in a campus contest and won. Known to beat a joke into the ground. Spree-head.

Okay, the Subway commercial with the guy and the cheerleading outfit”¦..ugh. I can’t even type it”¦..is easily one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen, and they WON’T STOP PLAYING IT!!

*singing* I’m going to Lord of the Rings! I’m seeing them all at once! Twelve hours of mo-vies!

I attended a wedding on Saturday. The groom’s name, and I shit you not, was Scott Summers. The bride’s name, again not kidding, was Jeanette. The 411-Comics guys can draw their own conclusions.

NEWS

And Worldwide Productivity Takes Another Hit
Electronics Arts, have moved to subvert the economies of the industrialized world by releasing its latest free online game on EA Online. A version of PGA Tour Golf with all 18 holes of TPC Sawgrass is now available for free online play, its Java goodness available with no needed plug-ins provided you register/are registered with EA Online

Tell Your Mom Your Therapist Told You To Play GTA3
The benefits of video games become more and more apparent every day. Now, there’s a paper that has been published in the October 2003 issue of CyberPsychology and Behavior (not sure if that’s peer-reviewed or not) that theorizes that computer games are a “safe, convenient, and economical alternative” to virtual reality technology. VR technology has been used for some time now in treating “anxiety-producing” stimuli in people with acute phobias.

The study compared the expense of the development of purpose-specific VR phobia treatment ($10,000 or more per program), and computer games ($50.00), which can often be edited in ways to achieve the same sort of phobia-targeting simulations.

The study itself tested 26 participants, 13 with diagnosed phobias (spiders, heights, or enclosed spaces) and a control group of 13 non-phobic participants. Using Half-Life and Unreal Tournament, custom environments were created to help target the appropriate phobias. If you’d like to read the study, click here.

Scientists Say Kids Get Allowances. Still No Cure For Cancer.
In a fascinating bit of science, a new study from the Opinion Research Company (“Researching what opinions you should have for over 50 years.”) has produced the shocking revelation that most kids, even kids as young as SIX YEARS OLD, have money to spend.

According to the study, 91 percent of kids surveyed between the ages of 12-17, and 95 percent of kids surveyed between the ages of 6-11 reported having money to “spend as they want.” Moreover, 53 percent of teens and 60 percent of pre-teens receive an allowance, with 86 percent of teens and 90 percent of pre-teens reporting that they “supplement” their “income” from friends and relatives. Of course, the fact that they were probably conducting this survey inside a mall didn’t skew the data in the least.

As for where this disposable income goes, 50 percent of teens reported spending their money on, surprise surprise, clothes. Video games drew 14 percent. Computer games drew 2 percent. Handheld games drew zero percent (yeah, right). As for pre-teens, where girls/boys are still yucky, 27 percent reported spending their money on toys, 14 percent on video games, 3 percent on computer games, and 4 percent on handheld games. Where drugs registered in either survey group were not reported but this columnist would estimate responses in the 5-10 percent range for teens and the 10-20 percent range for pre-teens. This would not be representative of the actual purchase rates, but in the rates of stupidity of children to actually admit in a poll that they buy drugs.

I Gotta Say: Not A Bad Idea
Check this out. Radica Games has released a new controller for the Xbox which they claim is the first controller designed for first-person shooter games.

The FPS Master retails for $29.99 and shifts the A-B-X-Y buttons to it’s twin grip handles, so that gamers can, “keep both thumbs on the analog control sticks at all times.” Also, button locations can be reassigned with the controller’s built-in LCD. I’m sure there are a lot of purists out there that scoff at this sort of assistance, but this columnist is already thinking this will be a companion purchase with Halo 2.

Electronic Arts Steps Up It’s Goal Of Worldwide Video Game Hegemony
EA, in a very Microsoftian move, has bought out Studio 33, a Liverpool-based video game developer known for racing games such as Formula One, Newman-Haas Racing, and Destruction Derby Arenas. The Studio 33 staff will be incorporated into EA’s Northwest studio, located in Warrington, England, and will focus primarily on driving games. I’m sure the change in the morning commute for the Studio 33 people will provide a fresh perspective for the next version of F1 Career Challenge.

The Games We Rented, A Week In Retrospective
The Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA), on behalf of Home Video Essentials and Rentrak Corp., has announced a preliminary list of the top renting games for the week ending October 12, 2003.
Here are the top 10:
1. Madden NFL 2004—PS2
– Next year with new, Steve Beurelein finger popping action!
2. NCAA Football 2004—PS2 – DAMMIT! Oklahome wins here, too!!
3. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004—PS2 A fun game, but hilariously easy.
4. Soul Calibur II—PS2 – I’ve given up on this one. Make your own jokes.
5. Midnight Club II—PS2 – Okay, I didn’t finish my thought on this from last week. I rented it finally. It’s a good game. The cars handle well with the analog stick, the characters are interesting, and unlike most racing games, you CAN cause your computer-controlled opponent to wreck and buy yourself some time if need be. I can see why this game is popular.
6. Enter the Matrix—PS2 – Only 2 and a half more weeks, kids.
7. Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes—Xbox – What the hell?
8. ESPN NFL Football 2K4—PS2 – I want an option where Warren Sapp comes skipping through your pregame stretches, and you can get up and spear him. Why hasn’t anyone come down on him for his “Master” comments? Doesn’t anybody remember the man makes SEVEN FIGURES A YEAR?!
9. Soul Calibur II—GC – “¦..
10. Madden NFL 2004—Xbox – Randy Moss kung-fu lateral action sold separately.

NON-GAME NEWS

I had written a rather long piece detailing why Cubs fans got what they deserved for blaming Steve Bartman for their NLCS loss. Given that a few days have passed and people are starting to get on with their lives, I decided to let that one go. I was attacking the reactions of people caught in the heat of the moment, and while being in that moment shouldn’t excuse some of the actions taken, I think it’s been covered adequately elsewhere, and the responsible parties are finally becoming somewhat responsible.

There is one thing from that rant I will leave in, and that’s this: If one thing, one single solitary thing happens to Mr. Blackman at the hands of a Cubs “fan,” I sincerely hope that the Cubs NEVER go to the World Series. This guy is one of your own, Cubs fans, and judging by the replays, one of MANY who were going after that ball, so cut the poor guy a break. He feels bad enough.

So now what do I write about? Both the Cubs and the Red Sox have lost, both for reasons far too corporeal to be attributed to a curse. There may be a lot of things that can’t be explained about how the breaks fall in a baseball game, but tired pitchers ain’t one of them. I could talk about how the rest of the known universe has to listen to all of the Cubs/Red Sox sob stories for another year, but I know for a fact that those stories piss off Cubs/Red Sox fans as much as they do everyone else. I could talk about how this will be the least-watched World Series of recent history, thanks to it being played by a team that nobody outside of its city likes and a team that nobody inside its city watches.

On a side note, what would it take to get Daniel Stern in as Commissioner of Baseball? Nah, then we’d get treated to Yankees/Lakers”¦.er”¦.Dodgers matches until time immemorial.

I could talk, yet again, about the financial advantage that the Yankees have over the rest of the league. $180 million dollar payroll, folks. That’s about a third of what Nintendo Inc.’s profit will be this year. Still, I’m not saying anything I haven’t said at high volume and with numerous expletives before.

I think there are two points that I need to make, and these are points I haven’t seen made anywhere else yet. First, instead of looking at the debacle that will be the 2003 World Series (no offense to the Marlins, who have legitimately kicked ass to get there) let’s look at the positive things we can glean by examining the data a little more closely:

Boston: You’ve got a winning team. Don’t forget that. Get manager that won’t fall asleep by the fifth inning and you can win it all. Don’t dink around with anything else and next year very well could be the year. And when you guys do finally win the big one, I fully expect you to get a big poster of Babe Ruth, carry it out to the pitcher’s mound immediately after the trophy presentation, and rip that sucker to shreds.

Cubs: Ditto. Here’s my suggestion at how to take it to the next level: At the start of next season, fill up Wrigley Field, get all of the players lined up on the field, bring out the goat, and have everybody within the stadium walls simultaneously give the goat the finger. Jeer, gesture, whatever cathartic therapy you need to do to get all of that frustration out. Tell that goat to get the hell out of Dodge and toss his ass out onto Waylon Avenue. Have the Cubs’ front office issue a statement that the goat can go f*** himself. If things start to flag throughout the season, repeat as necessary.

Kansas City: If this season did anything, it made it okay to be a Royals fan again. This is the first time in 18 years that Royals fans could legitimately carry pride. It felt good.

The other point I’d like to bring up is that, if anything, we should really pity the New York sports fan. I’m serious, they really are deserving of our pity. Here is a city with a grand total of SEVEN professional sports franchises (not counting the New Jersey teams) and the only one that has been good enough to even compete for a championship within the last five years is the Yankees.

Mets: Suck, but at least lovably so.
Knicks: Possibly the worst franchise in the NBA right now.
Rangers: Haven’t done squat since Gretzky left.
Islanders: Potential, but unrealized as of yet.
Giants/Jets: Both got beat. At home. By the COWBOYS. Nuff said.

So, other than the month of October every year, it really does suck to be a New York sports fan. That is, unless you can swallow your pride and start cheering on the NEW JERSEY Devils and/or Nets (although that’s technically bandwagon jumping).

So, let the New Yawkahs have their fun”¦.and as I write this, the Yankees have already lost Game one, but are ahead 4-0 in the third inning of Game 2.

Deconstructing: ESPN Gamer Is Always Good For A Few Laughs

Once again, it’s me and the bots. I haven’t gotten any cease and desist letters yet, so I guess as long as I give a shout out to mah homies at Best Brains, Inc, I should be okay.

For those of you just tuning in, I have a bit of an issue with ESPN Gamer. Mostly raging jealousy, but sometimes true literary contempt. Witness this fluff piece that wouldn’t crack the rotation on Page 2 but was good enough for a featured column on Gamer:

Teed Off

Crow: The Jack Nicholson Story!
Tom: *condescendingly* Don’t you mean “Nicklaus?”
Crow: I meant Nicholson. When was the last time you saw Nicklaus smash a windshield with a nine-iron?

By Kieran Darcy
ESPN.com

Tom: Kieran Darcy, Darcy Kieran!
Crow: Not only are the names androgynous, they’re reversible!

Are video games supposed to make you bleed?

Cory: Not ones that you can get in THIS country, anyway.
Tom: *announcer voice* The new Hari-Kari simulator! Only for the PS2!
Crow: Live in your world, die in ours!

Don’t think so. But there is one video game that makes me bleed.

Crow: Kill Bill for the Nintendo GameCube!
Cory: PS2. It doesn’t fit with the younger demographic of the Cube.
Crow: Oh, but there’s no nudity in Kill Bill.
Cory: GameCube it is, then.

Bleed internally.

Tom: Mike Tyson’s Punch Out with the Power Glove?

Bleed red.

Cory: Fist of the Northstar?

And bleed green.

Crow: *Spock* As you are keen to point out, Doctor, I am NOT human.

Golden Tee.

Crow: Also known as, “What are those dorks playing?”

Golden Tee golf is probably the biggest addition to the bar scene since darts were born.

Cory: I don’t know. I have yet to see a bunch of drunken Japanese businessmen huddled around a Golden Tee machine.

These days, a Golden Tee console is essential for any sports bar that wants to be popular. And certainly any sports bar that wants to popular with my friends and I.

Tom: I’m sensing that was directed to someone in particular.
Cory: *Kieran* What do you mean, you don’t have Golden Tee?! Look, I don’t CARE if Jeremy Shockey hangs out here”¦.
Crow: Greenwich Village?
Tom/Cory: Ooooooooo.

We’ve become quite the Tee junkies over the last couple of years.

Crow: Dude, remember that Earl Grey we scored that time? We were so WASTED!
Cory: Not that sort of tee, honey.
Tom: *LAUGHS WAY TOO LOUD.*
(Cory and Crow turn and look at Tom)

And over time we’ve become acclimated with the unique playing culture that has developed around the game.

Tom: I’m sorry. “Tee.” “Honey.” It just struck me funny.
Cory: We understand.

First of all, injuries do happen.

Crow: Steve Beurelein, ladies and gentlemen!
Cory: I would’ve said Steve DeBerg.

Tee is more physical than you might think.

Cory: To be fair, it probably takes more physical conditioning than baseball.
Tom: Looking at David Wells, I’d have to agree.
Crow: Where’s John Kruk when you need him.

Driving the ball requires a violent push forward on the track ball with the palm of your hand, if you want to get any distance on your drive. I’ve read about players breaking fingers and even hands in the process.

Cory: Amateurs.
Tom/Crow: *look at each other*

I suffer from what is commonly referred to as “Tee hand.”

Tom: Uh, Cory, is there something you’d like to tell us.
Cory: Like what?
Crow: You’ve played Golden Tee, haven’t you.
Cory: No.
Tom: Oh, come on. We won’t make fun of you”¦.
Crow: “¦much”¦
Tom: “¦just admit it.
Cory: Nope. I’ve never played Golden Tee, but I spent a large amount of my childhood playing Track And Field with the trakball.
Crow: Get out.
Cory: No, really! Spent an entire evening on one quarter once.
Tom: You were that good at ALL the events?
Cory: “¦Well”¦
Crow: Be honest.
Cory: Well, I did the hurdles and the high jump. My brother did the 100 meter dash and the long jump. We split javelin duties.
Tom: And the hammerthrow?
Cory: “¦my dad.
Tom and Crow: *laugh*

Early in my Tee career, I ripped open two penny-size cuts on my right hand from driving the ball. One cut is on my palm, right below my middle finger. The other is at the base of my palm, right above my wrist.

Tom: How about one a little lower”¦.ON your wrist.
Crow: *laughing* “¦your dad”¦.
Cory: *defensively* MY DAD is an extremely cool person, and I think that story shows it.
Crow: Okay, which one did he buy you: The Atari 2600 or the Odyssey 2.
Cory: *grumbles*

I have permanent scabs in both places. They never fully heal. (Well, I don’t exactly let them.)

Cory: *Ralph Wiggum* Mommy says scabs are Nature’s Band-Aids!

How could I let injuries keep me off the course? The adrenaline levels, and the stakes, are too high.

Tom: I wonder if Bill Romanowski breaks his hand playing Golden Tee.
Cory: Uh, no, he breaks OTHER PEOPLE’S hands playing Golden Tee.

Gambling goes hand in hand with Golden Tee — especially when our crew gets together. For the love of the game? Hardly.

Crow: I have a feeling these people would stick live bees up their noses for a free round.

Our standard bet is $5 per man. We sometimes raise it as high as $20 per. But, by far, our most intense games take place when we play under what we call “UVA rules” — named so because we first learned these rules from our friend at the University of Virginia.

Cory: “¦where the men are men and the sheep are scared.
Crow: I smell a recycled Kansas State joke.
Cory: *grumbles*

Under “UVA rules” everyone drinks on one tab during the game. On every Par-5 hole, the person who hits the longest drive gets to give out a shot to anyone else in the group he chooses. On every Par-3, the person who hits his tee shot closest to the hole gets to give out a shot. At the conclusion of the round, all the losers pay the tab. The winner doesn’t pay a dime.

Tom: *darkly* He pays in blood.

Playing under “UVA rules” is all about risk. First, there’s stratgey “¦

Crow: *hack* and the spellcheck coughs up another furball.

“¦involved in distributing the shots. You can try to get the top player on the leaderboard inebriated, hoping he will falter.

Tom: Thus began the descent of John Daly’s career.

But I tend to give the shot to the biggest loudmouth, or whoever protests too much.

Crow: Thus began the descent of Fuzzy Zoeller’s career.

There’s another risk involved.

Cory: Risk Now THERE’S a game to play drunk.
Tom: Axis and Allies a little too much for your inebriated mind, eh Cory?
Cory: Yeah. I once invaded the U.S., playing as Great Britain.
Crow: *Patton* Laflin, you magnificent bastard!”¦.

You can choose to drink heavily during the round, banking on winning and not being responsible for the tab. But that can come back to bite you, too.

Crow: Like when you pass out by the 12 hole, and the Polaroids of the entire bar standing over you with their doo-dads out”¦.
Cory: Crow”¦.

“UVA rules” can also cause controversy. We have an ongoing debate regarding the Par-5 holes.

Tom: *John McLaughlin* Par-5 holes: What’s your usual score? PAT BUCHANAN!
Cory: *Pat Buchanan* Uh”¦.I usually”¦uh, par”¦.except for the days that”¦..
Tom: *McLaughlin* WRONG!! ELEANOR CLIFT!
Crow: *Eleanor Clift* Well, if I hit from the red tees”¦.
Tom: *McLaughlin* WRONG!! The answer is: you both double bogey EVERY TIME.

Technically, the person who hits the longest drive gets to give out the shot. But what if a 340-yard drive goes in the rough, while a 325-yard drive lands in the fairway and is closer to the hole? Or what if the longest drive goes in a bunker, or the water?

Tom: Answer: STOP DRINKING SO MUCH!!
Cory: I dunno. I’m a bad enough golfer sober. Maybe I should get plowed before my next round.
Crow: Why else do you think they invented Scotch?

Should the best shot win, and not necessarily the longest? Unfortunately we do not have a higher authority to appeal to.

Crow: We just have the sweet, sweet booze to console us.
Cory: I notice this column is more about booze than it is video games.

Speaking of bunkers and water hazards — a lot of trash talk transpires during a Tee game, particularly when people hit poor shots.

Tom: *narrator* You can see the pack ridicule Kieran from the display of poor gross motor skills, thereby preventing him..er”¦her”¦er”¦”Kieran?” What is Kieran anyway?
Cory: Do you really want me to answer that?

But there is an informal code of ethics that most players follow. We stay relatively quiet once a person starts lining up a shot or putt, saving our “commentary” for after the ball is in play.

Crow: *Golf announcer whisper* What a fantastic shot. A 350 yard drive right into that deep thatch of stinging nettles. The crowd seems very very pleased with that shot.
Cory: Huh. Must’ve been Sergio Garcia.

There are other rules of etiquette.

Crow: Hole in one: Chug.
Tom: Chip in: Chug.
Crow: In a sand trap: Chug.
Tom: In the water: Chug.
Crow: Hit the ball: Chug.
Tom: Put in a quarter: Chug.
Cory: Remind me never to take you two to a bar.
Crow: Aww c’mon! I play some WICKED foosball!

When a player has to use the bathroom, or (preferably) is getting another round of beers, the rest of the group will skip his turn and continue play, allowing that person to catch up when he returns.

Tom: Hi. You were a little slow getting back, and it was a par-5 and all, so you hit a loft wedge.
Crow: Hey, if he doesn’t make it to the women’s tees does he have to”¦
Cory: a-HEM!!

The group will also usually inform the returning player what clubs they used on the shots he missed, so that he is not at a disadvantage — as in real golf, you can learn a lot from watching other players’ shots.

Crow: What? Like how to drink a cement mixer without flinching?

The group must give the player who’s up enough room around the console — some players need room for a bit of a running start or a leg kick. It’s also common for a player to quit mid-round if he’s really screwing up and slowing down the game.

Tom: I’m not so sure I’d call it “quitting” as much as “storming out.”
Cory: Don’t forget, “stiffing the tab.”

And it’s absolutely expected for players to spurn any and all romantic advances by members of the opposite sex during play.

Tom: Like THAT’S a problem.
Crow: I dunno, Kieran may be pretty hot”¦.

This rule seldom needs to be enforced in our group — girls don’t seem to flock to Golden Tee.

Crow: Wait a minute. So, you’re a GUY? Kieran is a guy?
Tom: Thus the androgynous comments at the beginning Crow. Weren’t you paying attention?
Crow: Yeah, but “Kieren?” The only more effeminate would be to name him “Cory.”
Cory: Thanks. Thanks a lot.
Bots: *snicker*

A postgame handshake, as in tennis, is routine. But there are exceptions,

Tom: *cheerfully* A swift kick in the groin will often suffice!

like the time a friend of mine won a $20 game and proceeded to breakdance on the floor of the bar, re-opening a wound on his back he had recently had surgery on and causing him to bleed through his jeans.

All: Ewwwww!
Crow: Geez! Where were they playing? “Dahmer’s Sports Bar?”
Cory: Nah. This is New York. Probably the “Son of Sam Cassell.”
Crow: Sam Jackson.
Cory: Sam Bowie.
Crow: Sam Waterston.
Cory: Sam”¦..-antha Fox.
Crow: Sam”¦.Peckinpah.
Cory: Sam”¦..Rockwell”¦.(yes!)
Crow: Sam”¦”¦Donaldson.
Cory: “¦..King of the Sams.
Crow: *snickers*

Despite that, he insisted on playing another round.

Tom: But, even with a ten stroke lead going into the final round, Phil Mickelson and his gaping surgical wound could not hold off the surge of Tiger Woods on Sunday.

Does it ever get old, you ask?

Crow: No, Mickelson jokes are pretty much always in vogue.
Cory: Can the lefty here get some love?

Not really. A new version of Golden Tee is released every year, with new courses — kinda like Christmas Day in our crowd.

Tom: Only with booze instead of presents”¦..or food”¦..or friends”¦..

We were particularly pleased when, just recently, an upgrade to the latest version of Golden Tee was distributed to several of our favorite bars, with an additional two new courses — including the challenging Shadow Swamp.

Tom: “several of our favorite bars”? Cripes, do these people have a regular rotation?
Crow: You know how it goes: Have some drinks. Play Golden Tee. Start a brawl over who had the longest drive. Get thrown out. Move on to next place. They probably have to keep an active rotation of three months worth of bars.
Cory: I’m guessing the one that allowed the guy to have the bleeding back wound would be a little more lenient than most.

The Golden Tee phenomenon continues to grow. The 2003 Golden Tee World Championships will take place in Orlando in November — a two-day event in which the top 16 American players match up against the best players from Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

Crow: Proof that pathetic bar culture is universal!

We dream of one day competing on such a big stage.

Cory: You know, I have a theory as to why golf is so popular.
Tom: And what’s that, Cory.
Cory: Well, golf is the only sport where someone can be in their fifties or sixties and still be competitive, thanks to the Senior’s Tour.
Tom: Oh, I get it. So legions of nobody salesmen and middle-managers hit the links every weekend in the hopes of one day being good enough to quit their meaningless, monotonous jobs and retire on the Seniors Tour.
Crow: I figured they did it just to get away from their nagging wives and moronic kids!

But the bottom line is, any stage will do. Many of us play the Tiger Woods game for Playstation2 … and that’s fun. Playing the real deal out on the links? That’s a blast, too.

Cory: But all that walking just CAN’T be good for you”¦.

But for some reason, we keep coming back to Golden Tee. Maybe we just like making fools of ourselves in sports bars.

Tom: “¦or maybe you just can’t help it”¦

Or maybe we just like to bleed.

Crow: I thought they had their OWN bars for that kind of people.
Cory: They do, honey.

Kieran Darcy is an editor for ESPN Gamer.

Tom: Apparently, they don’t actually have WRITERS for ESPN Gamer.

PIMP-LICIOUS

Because I LOVE to take people’s quotes out of context”¦.

This week’s Pimp Coat goes to Berg, partially as a make-up for dissing most of his favorite teams earlier, but mostly because he brings the news you can use this holiday season. The GTA Double Pack will be out in November, so X-Box owners, start thinking of what you want to listen to as you kill people now!

The Pimp Stick is wielded by A-Will this week for some high-energy news and the joy that is this line: Well, I for one am not going to be a sheep any longer.

The Pimp Boots strut in with TWO entries by Alex Lucard this week. He rants about games we don’t get on the gaijin shores, and raves about the Neo Geo Pocket Color. And for added fun, you could give Archie the option of branching out from Betty and Veronica into Midge (with the dangers of getting the shit beaten out of him by Moose), Nancy (for some jungle fever), Cheryl Blossom, and even Miss Grundy, because we all know she’s a hardcore bondage freak.

This week’s Ho Train:
Lee lifts a little Lucard stylee for the Hump Day, but since they’re tag-teaming the Demikids reviews, I don’t think he’ll mind.

L.C. talks about good game franchises gone bad. Strangely, he doesn’t mention EA Sports. Weird.

Chuckie talks about cheap games (something I’m all for) and invokes They Might Be Giants (ditto).

Fred went all “Sam’s Club” on us last week with some great places to stretch your video game dollar. Me, I’m just waiting for the Best of Zelda compilation disk to come out ere I buy a GameCube.

Next week, okay, maybe NEXT week I’ll do that “Super Troopers” special. No promises. I always brake for bad fluff pieces.

Until next time, get some sleep.

-Cory