Archive for the ‘For the Nerd’ Category

Get down with these bad boys

Get down with these bad boys

Before we begin I should probably preface this reflection with the fact that my first video game system was a Sega Genesis. Have always loved the Genesis, will always love the Genesis, am biased towards the Genesis. Sega (before it decided to systematically dismantle its core franchise with these new age Sonic the Hedgehog iterations) really did some things well back in its heyday, and one of them was the creation of two of my favorite drinking buddies; Toejam & Earl.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve found myself slowly pulling away from some big budget purchases (Bioshock Infinite and Dishonored to name two) simply due to the fact that I don’t have any time to make serious headway on any given weeknight. Work seems to eat my free time (like Kim Kardashian eats souls) Monday through Friday, so I find little more than an hour a day with the ability to play video games. One night I dusted off the old Sega and perused my old titles just to mix it up; which one was I going to choose? Altered Beast, Kid Chameleon, Sonic 2, TMNT: The Hyperstone Heist? As I inspected each individual title, my eyes rested on a picture of two aliens; one with the speech bubble “JAMMIN’!” above his head (and sporting the backwards baseball hat and massive gold chain) and the other one (the fat one with shades and border shorts) about to pound a hotdog with mustard. I instantly decided to shove my copy (albeit it took multiple tries) of Toejam and Earl into the Sega Genesis and dove into a nostalgic bliss.

Games Like Mass Effect are awesome, but far from simple

Games Like Mass Effect are awesome, but far from simple

A brief description of the game for those who haven’t had the pleasure: Toejam and Earl are two aliens who’ve crashed to earth (a bizarre earth made up of 25 platformed levels that are traversed by elevator) and are searching for the broken parts of their spaceship. Along the way they eat food, find presents, use presents, and avoid all types of earthlings like the plague. The game takes a solid hour and a half to complete, which may sound short, but it has two main things I love:

• Low Key Gameplay – As I said before, you basically walk around looking for ship parts while avoiding earthlings while using tons of presents.

Ahhh the good old days

Ahhh the good old days

This allows you to spend the entire hour pounding beers without the threat of getting killed (always a positive on a Tuesday night). There’s almost zero stress, which is the opposite of what you get from blockbusters like Modern Warfare. Now think about this – All day you deal with people, no one thanks you for your hard work, and you feel stuck in your life like a fly caught in orange marmalade. Toejam and Earl lets you do exactly the opposite: explore at your own pace, avoid everyone that’s trying to get in your grill, find rewards everywhere, and have an endgame where you get the hell out of where you are and on the track back to what you ought to be doing. Scary.

• A Great Soundtrack – Some people don’t like certain types of music. I personally hate everything country, so as you can imagine if there was a video game involving Taylor Swift I’d rather find myself making out with a circular saw than purchasing it. Toejam and Earl has the first truly “funk” soundtrack that I’ve ever heard in video gaming. Beats like “Toejam Jammin’”, “Big Earl Bump” and “Alien Break Down” somehow use a 32 bit system to create music that is not only memorable, but unique. The best part about these songs are how they perfectly mesh with the whole “just kind of waddling around” theme of the entire game. You can’t imagine George Clinton creating his music without being high as the MIR space station, and you kinda get that vibe from our two alien heroes as they ramble through their own version of earth.

Mmmm Big Earl and The funkadelic parliament would've gotten alone just fine

Mmmm Big Earl and The funkadelic parliament would’ve gotten alone just fine

You can find the above songs on Youtube, but a great way to hear them is on iTunes. The One-Ups do a nice job capturing the heart and intent of the songs through their versions, and they also do a masterful job with other classic video game music. Check them out.

That being said, for those of you who are lucky enough to still own a Sega Genesis, it’s worth searching for this little known treasure. Toejam & Earl is a game that really helps mellow you out at the end of a hard day, which is rare now. It does it without being childish, pretentious, or completely crappy. So crack open a cold one, and treat yourself to some TJ&E. You won’t regret it.



How To Get Your Girl To Play Video Games:


Guys, unless you’re one of the lucky few that has a girl who enjoys playing videogames, your primal need to sit out on the couch and flip on some Call of Duty can actually be detrimental to your relationship. Before you look to your lady for flaws, or even view this as a reason to split (all depending on how hardcore your gaming is), why not try a couple of simple things to help indoctrinate her into your favorite hobby? If done correctly, playing videogames together can help strengthen your relationship by giving you both another thing in common to enjoy. Here are some tips to get you started:


1. Use the K.I.S.S. method: By the 4th iteration of CoD, having a kill to death ratio of 2.5 might come as natural as breathing to any hardcore gamer, but have you ever seen someone try to pick up the controls for the first time and do anything but shoot their foot? Me either. My point here is make sure you’re choosing a game where the controls don’t hinder her experience: the simpler the better. If you’re a hoarder (like me) you probably have a 16 or 32 bit system (or possibly a Wii if you sold out), which are much better platforms for first timers. Something like Sonic the Hedgehog might seem simple to you, but if you recall, you probably started out with something with no more than a D-Pad and 3 buttons when you first started gaming.

2. Pick a game SHE might be interested in: I like to think I’m eclectic when it comes to video gaming, which makes this generation of games one of the most diverse in our history. Most guys prefer to live our fantasies through games like NCAA Football or Mortal Kombat (new or old, although for my money I prefer the Genesis version). When she sees you playing these games, she probably has no interest in learning, so I suggest taking her out to your nearest Gamestop and let her choose a title based on the cover. Shelling out $30 for a used copy of Kirby’s Epic Yarn may hurt your man card (although not your wallet), but you’ll reap the benefits in the long run.

3. Encourage her throughout the entire process: There is no better way to kill her willingness to try a videogame than if you shoot down her self-confidence ten minutes into the experience. Example: Started playing New Super Mario Bros. Wii with girlfriend; told her that if she didn’t stop losing all her lives I wouldn’t let her continue; now have a broken CD and am banned from playing any Mario like games. Like any activity, practice is necessary, so do your part as a gentleman and support her throughout her learning process.

4. Let her win occasionally: Tough for me because of my competitive nature, but letting your girl win a round of Tiger Woods Golf or Soul Calibur 4 will actually go a long way. Ever go to a party and start playing beer pong for three hours but never win a game? Although you’re smashed, all you can think about is beating that tiny clown in the corner making eyes at your lady. And it makes you never want to play pong with him again. Take the high road and “forget” to block once in a while, just never admit to her that you did it.

5. Co-Op is key!: Setting your lady up for a night of Bioshock Infinite get you harder than a brick house, but your girl may not see things the same way. By playing a game where you both are working cooperatively to achieve the same goal, you’re essentially solidifying the fact that you work well as a pair. There are a ton of these games out there (my favorite being Streets of Rage 2 for the Genesis), and they practically scream date night. It’s also a great way to get out of watching the Notebook.

6. Tell her how much it would mean to you: How many mall trips have you been on? How many dates with her friends? How many meetings with her mom? If the answer is “I can’t remember” I pity you. The point here is that all of those things are things that she really likes to do. If you sit her down and explain how important videogames are to you (and more importantly why), she might better understand your attraction to them. That way, when you finally invite her to join you for a session, you can explain how you’re trying to share a different piece of yourself with her, and we know how chicks love that emotional stuff.


This list is no means the be all, end all of having success in this matter, but it’s a pretty good place to start. The key here to get creative, keep an open mind, and have some fun with it! Worst case scenario, you’re back to listening to 14 year olds on Xbox live by yourself by morning.

Five reasons Final Fantasy VII is the best game ever. Gamer-guy is going to try and keep this as short as possible


5. It was the first 3D game with 9,000 side quests. That’s right nerds, side quests. Side quests for gamers are like protein shakes for jocks. They give us more time to stay locked in our own fantasy world of awesomeness. In this scenario though we’re not talking about random side quests. We’re talking about Ruby and Emerald weapon, knights of the round, and all that jazz. Not to mention there’s a casino in the game. Win at the casino, watch Tifa dance, see Tifa’s tits go up and down. Who said animated chicks were a bad thing? Get out the tissue paper


4. The main character is the ultimate badass. Here we have one of the first classic stories of some dude with no past, who doesn’t know his family, hates everyone he meets, and carries a 100 pound sword that literally takes a piss on everything in his path. Cloud’s darkness alone is enough to make Cid head to counseling.


3. There’s a character in the game that’s a giant stuffed cat. In other video games, side characters are rough and tumble and have exotic back stories. Don’t get me wrong, theres plenty of this in FF7 with other characters, but the fact that some developer pulled the stuffed cat out of his ass and somehow factored it into the most revolutionary game of our lifetime is nothing short of fantastic. There’s a reason Japan rules the streets when it comes to these games. While we’re at it, can we see Tifa’s tits go up and down again?


2. The game comes with 3 CDs. This was one of the first games ever to do it. Think about it, this reason doesn’t even refer to the gameplay itself. The natural gamer gets the game for his/herself, sees that there are three CDs inside and already starts wet-dreaming about how long it will take to beat. Maybe you went to school and talked to your friend John who developed early onset carpal tunnel in first grade from too much counterstrike and you tell him “I’m still on CD 1”. If he’s anywhere further than you, a feeling of jealousy and self-pride sets in. You’re jealous because hes on CD 2 and will find out the ending before you do, but you’re excited because you still have X amount of hours more to play while he sits on his ass and plays with his tamagochi


1. The final boss fight is the end all be all. You don’t kill this mother fucker once, or twice, but three times. It’s the ultimate boss fight. You finally get a chance to kill the bastard who’s been screwing with your head for the last 3 CD’s. At this point there’s emotion involved. You feel for Cloud, and you want Cloud to kick Sephiroth’s ass. The problem is this asshat has three different forms. Bring all the potions and elixirs you have for this fight because you’re gonna need more than 1 omnislash to kill three of this douche. In addition, you’ve put in over fifty hours of gameplay which means you’re almost a member of the party. My real life elixirs were yoohoo chocolate milk which is why I was pushing 200 lbs in 4th grade.


If that wasn’t enough, here’s some more ‘knowledge’ on why its the greatest game of all time.

A Game of Focus

Posted: May 1, 2013 in For the Nerd
Tags: , , ,

For everyone out there wondering if playing video games has any advantage outside of ‘hand-eye coordination’ – we’ve got some good news for you. Staying in and playing Madden and Call of Duty while downing a set of nachos and some beers can actually be a good thing…when it comes to girls.

Our friends over at put together a list of reasons videogames make you better at sex than the average jock. Let’s get real here, sex is the ultimate game of concentration, if you can’t keep it together, you’ll jump the gun, and she’ll find someone else. Celebrate this article by staying in and throwing sticky grenades on what what otherwise be a normal Wednesday night.

My first gaming platform was Sega genesis. The system was a piece of shit, but there were some decent games. The next couple systems I had were N64 and Playstation. We all understand that N64 was the multiplayer platform while PS was more of an RPG and solo gaming system. Nothing wrong with either, just different.

Goldeneye was one of my favorite games as well as final fantasy VII. Final fantasy was the first game I played where I realized I was becoming addicted. Not only that, but I was pretty good at sitting inside on the couch in my early teens while other kids were actually talking to girls.

The site is meant to cover all boundaries. So I’ll kickoff this section with the top 25 games of all time. It’s hard to compare PC games with legitimate gaming systems but this list covers it all.