Pink Goes to Hollywood

When I was given the title of this game, I was hoping this would be a game about vaginas.
  • Anthropomorphic animal protagonist
  • Uninspired platforming
  • Mildly popular cartoon license

The only difference between this game and the other games that can be described by these bullet points is that it was worth my 90 seconds of play to hear the Pink Panther theme done (surprisingly well) in 16 bit sound.

The world would have been a better place if this game had been about an anthropomorphic vagina named Pink who was searching through Hollywood for a genuine orgasm.

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Pinball Fantasies

WELCOME TO PINBALL FANTASIES ANONYMOUS

Believe it or not, I have a pinball fantasy. Nothing dirty, just one simple thing: to own the Star Wars pinball machine. I vicariously live out this fantasy through a friend of mine every New Year’s Eve. Specifically, I live out this fantasy through his father, who happens to be a fairly well-to-do member of local government. He owns the Star Wars pinball machine. It’s in the pool room, beside the bar. I have fond memories of a New Year’s Eve; “Chariots of Fire” by Vangelis playing (inexplicably) over the stereo, inebriated friends taking assy cue shots behind me; and me, sipping down a Canadian Club and Cola playing Star Wars pinball. I swear I’ve missed the countdown every year.

The Force is strong with this one.

It’s more than appropriate, I think: A New Hope for the New Year. And what better way to start the year than with a You-just-blew-up-the-Death-Star Multi-ball?

TALKING ABOUT THE ACTUAL GAME NOW

Pinball Fantasies is nowhere near as cool as Star Wars pinball. It is NOT worth missing the countdown for.

Pinball Dreams

Ok, so I’m going to level with you.  I have about 10 minutes to review a PINBALL GAME before watching the Olympic Men’s Hockey Gold Medal Game.  I don’t really care about pinball.  It’s pinball.  Digital pinball is always second rate.  It’s like it’s not real pinball.  And further more, pinball games are usually pretty low-budget and lame.  Also, as a Canadian, this game means more to me than if I had children.  If I had children and they needed my attention during this game, I would tell them that they are not important to me until the game is over.  They would learn to be self-reliant.  They would be emotional latchkey kids.

So pinball or whatever.

Mostly when I see the name Pinball Dreams, though, I think about how horrifying it would be to have a dream where you were inside a pinball machine with a giant sphere flying around… and how this all seeing overload above the sky would aim that sphere at you.  And then like, you  try to hide behind bumpers and crap but this guy above the sky is fucking amazing and you’re going to die.

So hey… uhh… I’m gonna go watch this hockey game and if you want you can go get this game about pinball because if you’re the kind of person who likes pinball games then my guess is that you’re not very picky about your games and one pinball games is as good as the rest of the pinball games.

Pinball?

Pilotwings

Geez, sorry! Nice greenroom you've got there, Bruce Lee.

I have atrocious eyesight and could never be a pilot. Luckily for me, I never had any desire to be a pilot and instead wanted to be a giant nerd with big stupid glasses, so that worked out okay. It’s why I’m writing a review of the SNES game Pilotwings instead of flying an actual plane. That’s the only reason.

Pilotwings for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System* is yet another Mode 7 offering, so it’s already got strike one from me (out of twelve possible strikes, like baseball x4). I’ve talked about it before, but I just plain don’t like Mode 7 graphics—they’re all blocky and make me miss Mode 6 graphics. I think that was the best mode of graphics. 6. I’m too young to appreciate Modes 1-5 and too old to understand that sexually confusing Mode Gaga. I almost made a P-P-Pilotwings joke here but decided against it. Kind of?

When you’re playing a flight simulator, what’s your favourite part? If you said “landing,” then you’re entirely unlike me but will probably enjoy Pilotwings in a way I did not: a little. Yeah, I don’t like Pilotwings. First I’m trying to land a plane, but—oh no!—I missed a floating green ball! Damn! If only I’d been able to slowly turn my ponderous plane in the proper direction and hit the Loc-Nar, then maybe that guy wouldn’t be so disappointed with me. But no, I miss the Loc-Nar. But never fear, I don’t miss the ground! Oh no, I hit that thing right on target. Except not, since I suck. I can’t even crash right. Dale Earnhardt would be so disgusted.

How about skydiving? It’s too bad I accidentally spun off course, and now I don’t even know where the course is! I’d get back to it, but I have zero clue what direction it’s in and all I can see in the game is brown. Just a giant patch of dirt silently awaiting my incoming failure. Here I come, failure! Headfirst! The same way I came into the world to begin with! WHOOOO *crunch* (that was the sound of the doctor eating a carrot—he is health-conscious because he is a doctor and recognizes the importance of proper nutrition even as he is busy delivering babies. He is a true American hero, unlike G.I. Joe, who was Hawaiian.)

In conclusion, this is the last sentence I’m going to write for this article, with the exception of any footnotes.

* Ohhh! Now it all makes sense!

Pieces

FEEL THE FORCE OF DINOSAURS

Hey, you there! YEAH, YOU!

What the hell are you doing playing with boring, old-fashioned jigsaw puzzles? DID YOU LOSE YOUR GODDAMN MIND!?

Step on up to some FAST-PACED, SPACE-AGE jigsaw puzzle action with Pieces, the latest in UNABATED ACTION HOTNESS for your new-fangled computer-game system machine console…box…

…cube…

…system…

Putting together regular old cardboard jigsaw puzzles? THATS FOR GRANDMAS, CHUMP! This game will knock your dentures straight out of your mouth and replace them with PURE TITANIUM ADULT-SIZED CHOMPERS. Think Jaws from The Spy Who Loved Me, but with freakin’ DIAMONDS embedded in his grill. Everyone will know you’re business when they’re BLINDED BY YOUR DIAMOND TEETH.

DON'T TAKE THAT KIND OF SHIT FROM BACON

So what have we done with this game, you might ask? SHUT UP, SALLY—I’LL ASK THE QUESTIONS HERE!!

What we’ve done is made puzzle-building a COMPETITIVE ACTION SPORT. Battle head-to-head putting together puzzles faster than the other person, and you win large sacks of SELF-SATISFACTION. You’ll simply be beaming with so much IRRESISTABLE SEXUAL MAGNETISM after you play this game, you’ll have to wear a bag over your head just to be able to walk into an Applebee’s without getting torn to shreds by CRAZED JIGSAW-PUZZLE GROUPIES.

Still not excited? ARE YOU DEAD FROM THE NECK UP!?

It’s NO RULES, NO LIMITS puzzling here, man! You’ve never put together a puzzle until you put together one here. Just the other day, I mean, these two guys were battling it out, and one of them simply flipped out and proceeded to strangle the other guy with red-rope licorice…AND HE STILL LOST! I swear it, a friend of a friend saw it happen, and I’ve been told he’s a trusting guy. NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH HERE, BUDDY.

WHAT ARE YOU STILL DOING NOT PLAYING THIS GAME!? GET YOUR FINGER OUT YOUR NOSE AND PUT TOGETHER SOME DAMN PUZZLES!@#$1

Phantom 2040

So this game is apparently based upon that Phantom that was portrayed in the 1996 film starring Billy Zane. However, this game came out in 1995. So, the Billy Zane thing is kind of irrelevant. Regardless, I will treat this as BILLY ZANE: THE MUSICAL: THE GAME.

I can’t believe they made a musical about Billy Zane! What a crazy idea! You know, the guy who is bad in the Titanic movie? And then to make a game about the musical? That’s some real meta-ass shit, right there. Kudos to the game developers who thought it was a good idea! Whatever kudos means anyway! I don’t really know! My English is limited to that which I read on that “special” English version of Wikipedia!

That’s where the inventiveness ends, though! The rest of the game is like Contra, with Billy Zane in a purple suit fighting T-100s from Terminator, and dying a bunch! This game is junk! Nobody even sings any songs about Billy Zane! Where is my favourite song from the musical?

Zane!
You’re gonna live forever!
You already know how to fly!
Zane!
You bring the whole world together!
You shoot all the chumps and they cry!
Zane!
Creating drama like God made heaven,
Just kidding you made heaven too!
Zane!
You’re gonna live forever!
You already know how to fly!

Overall I give this game TWO THUMBS TOO LAZY TO EXTEND IN ANY DIRECTION!

This article was transcribed by Rudolph X. Weingarten at the Call Me To Write academy in Poughskeepie, NY. Original words by Will, who… you guessed it. PHONED IT IN!

Phalanx

What about this cover does not make you want to play this game?

Once in a very long while I read something that’s so crazy epiphanic that it pushes just about everything else out of my head. This week it was that Esquire profile on Roger Ebert. I seriously had no idea that the guy had cancer, or that he had no lower jaw as a result for, like, three years. I’ve been reading the guy for the past couple of years because short form writing is some of the best stuff to read. A.A. Gill is a hilarious writer, a food critic who only rarely and tangentially writes about food. Ebert is a movie critic who has a lot to say about movies and a select few other topics.

There had been two things that puzzled me about him: that he was, despite being a 60-something print writer, one of the most prolific twitter users I’ve ever seen (over 3,000 tweets since he joined, a feed that bombards you every morning with talk about movies, authors, culture, and whatever else is interesting or not. In addition, he has written often and at length about rice cookers and noodles.

None of this made any sense to me. Why is the first man to win a pulitzer for criticism writing the best he has ever written, and why is some of the best stuff he’s ever written about stuff that has nothing to do with criticism? Why does he write all the time?

And it all hit me in a flood after this profile. The man does nothing but write. It’s his only avenue to the outside world. He’s taken what seems to be the absolute worst curse for a great communicator and it has only made him stronger. And happy. And the rice and noodles? Soft food, no need for chewing maybe. It’s incredible. It’s like solving a crime and discovering that what seemed like a mad sort of eclectic genius is just a pure practical adaptation to his circumstances.

Roger Ebert got back on the horse and proceeded to jump it over the moon.

By comparison, the first boss of Phalanx is a giant flailing robot squid thing that pretty much becomes a total wuss the second you blow off its lower jaw.

Fierce and flaily
This guy just rolls right over, he's not getting RTed on follow friday, I'll tell you that.