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Neil’s last  post reminded me of something:  How fantastic the older-generation video games were. (Original Mario, Zelda, etc.)  It also reminded me of how difficult they were.  You know what I’m talking about when I mean difficult, right?  I’m talking about getting only 27 coins TOTAL through World-1 in the original Mario Bros. game.  I’m talking about playing through a game hundreds upon hundreds of times just so you can figure out how to make it to the last stage, only to be killed in one hit by the final boss, starting you all the way back to the beginning of the game.  Games back then were nothing but trial and error, but the thing was is that we didn’t have a problem with that.  We just kept going at it like a bunch of spider monkeys jacked-up on Mountain Dew.  (Take a look at the recent release New Super Mario Bros. 2.  It is IMPOSSIBLE to make it through the first level with less than 30 coins.  You will have full 99 lives half-way through the game.  Where is the challenge?  In fact, if you die enough times the game gives you an invincibility suit so you can move on to the next level!)

When was the last time you played a game on your shiny Xbox 360 or PS3 that you just absolutely could not beat.  Not because you got bored with it, but because of the high level of difficulty.  They’re few and far between, correct?  It’s because video games now are more like playable movies than they are actual video games.  I’m not saying they’re bad, I’m just saying they are less like video games than those that released through the late 80’s and early 90’s.  When you die in a video game today, you don’t have to start all the way back at the very beginning.  In fact, if they made a game that actually did that no one would buy it.  Why?  Because we are spoiled.

Hey look! He only has one coin! Why? Because there might be a total of ten in this entire level.

Now I’m not saying that games today aren’t challenging.  I mean take a look at freakin’ Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls.  There is a special place in hell for developers that make such insanely challenging games.  Challenging they are, but they are NOT unbeatable.  There is a way to play through every single one of these games without having to start over.

There is no punishment nowadays.  Our character dies, and then at the absolute worst and red screen will pop-up that reads “Game Over”  or “You Have Died” and two seconds after that you have the option to either “Restart Mission”  or “Restart Last Checkpoint”.  Well gee-whiz I wonder what I’m going to do?

Games “back then” kept a high-score for you in one of the four corners of the screen.  This gave you a reason to pick the controller back up to see if you can beat that number into the ground.  When you died “back then” you threw your controller to the ground in frustration (notice how they didn’t break then like they do now?  Man what sturdy systems they were!) and thought to yourself: “I know I can get it this time.  Just one more time.  I know I can do this.”  And so on, and so on…Where is the “Hi-Score” meter nowadays?

This is what made games addicting.  The re-playability.  “Whoa!” You may be saying to yourself.  “What in the heck is re-playability?”  That’s a good question.  You see, good games had this.  As soon as you’re done with your Call of Duty Modern AssPoop you will go trade it in at your nearest video-game retailer, correct?  Yeah…that’s what I thought.

Now do you understand what I mean when I say video games are like playable movies now?  All video games now have and end-game, or and end cutscene to provide closure, much like a movie.  You may call yourself a “collector” and keep your copy in case you ever felt like playing through it one more time, but let’s face it: You probably won’t.  It’s just like buying a DVD.  You will watch it maybe 2-3 times within the first week that you own it, but it will never see the light of day again after that.

The reason I’m talking about all this is because, if you were listening to our NerdTakeout Podcast you would know this already, I pulled out my original Nintendo Entertainment System.  And guess what.  The thing is still in perfect working condition.  Just give the game cartridges a quick blast of air to clean out the dust and you are good to go.  Bingo.  Have fun.

If you still have a video game system that came out in the late 80’s/early 90’s I encourage to pull it out of your attic and stop treating it like a worthless piece of trash.  I promise you you will get so much joy out of doing this.  In fact, if you have an NES still sitting around, and a copy of the original Mario Bros. or Galaga, go play them and post your high-score from either game and how many coins you collected in World-1.  But, most importantly, quit acting so spoiled and enjoy yourself.

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This is what we call “Nerdstalgia”.

I’d say somewhere in the Mushroom Kingdom squeezed into a little cartridge called Super Mario Brothers 3.  It’s bright, colorful, pixel perfect palette slaps a stupid childlike grin across my face as the red curtain lifts and the title drops onto the screen. It’s fantastic. And it gets me giddy every time. This is both 50% nostalgia and 50% 80’s Nintendo-can-do-no-wrong magic.

I mentioned on the podcast that growing up even my mother would select Luigi and co-op her way through the worlds of SMB3 with me. Which is to say, ANYONE could play this game. You didn’t need to put them through some lengthy tutorial or watch them fumble hopelessly trying to figure out which button does what. People just knew. People just got it. People just played.

The best. Bring the back, please?

Every bit of this two dimensional wonderland screamed polish. It blew past expectations of what an original NES game could do graphically, rivaling even games on much better 16-bit hardware. Each overworld map was animated and vibrant, laying out a distinct mood to separate itself from the ones before it.

In the levels themselves you’ll find yourself running away from an angry 8-bit swooping sun one minute and then jumping around in a flying green boot the next. The variety of gameplay mechanics and tightness of the controls make the game a simple joy that I love going back to every chance that I get. Sure I love Super Mario 64, the Super Mario Galaxy games, and every bit of Super Mario 3D Land…but there’s something about the retro old school whimsy to Super Mario Bros. 3 that sets it apart from the rest.

This sun is no fun.

Do you have a particular game you go to when you need a little pick-me-up?

-Neil

Twitter: @neilporche

Today I’m going to leave you with a few things I couldn’t make individual posts about before our unofficial  “Week Of All Things Batman” comes to a close. I’m listing it in no particular order, so feel free to consume it in which ever way you please.

Batman and Harry Potter crossover.

This world is hilarious.

I don’t know what it is about FanFiction but it seriously has a Rule 34 type way of existing regardless of whether there’s any conceivable reason why it should.

With titles such as:  A Wizard In Gotham, Bats Don’t Use Magic, Dark Knights of The Soul, Harry Potter and the Mantle of the Dark Knight, and The Boy Who Lived to Fly.

And wonderful descriptions:

A retired Batman saves Harry and, after taking him in and training him, Harry becomes the new Batman. Harry/OC, Harry/Draco.”

Typical Batman/Harry Potter crossover. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Neville end up in mysteriously in Gotham. Oh no! With the help of Tim Drake, they struggle to find their way back to the wizarding world.”

After living a long life, Harry Potter died and is reborn as Adrian Wayne, the younger brother of Bruce Wayne. Born into this new world, Harry still retains memories of his former life, and it seems his magic is there to stay as well.

You can’t help but just smile, cry, laugh or sigh. It’s adorable in it’s own little way, right? If you would like to read more please visit: FanFiction.net

LITTLE BIG PLANET 2 – Batman: The Animated Series

I posted Episode 1 of this on our Facebook Page earlier this week but if you haven’t checked out both episodes, you really should. Little Big Planet 2 mainly provides you with tools to make platformers and 2D shoot em’ ups,  but it’s thinking-outside-of-the-box projects like this that solidifies it as one of my favorite games. And the creator here just nails all the style that made the cartoon fun.

BAT ROMANCE

Look, it has Harley Quinn and Lady Gaga. I just…I’m sorry. Poison Ivy sure gets some clever lyrics though.  And if you skip ALL THE WAY to 5:08 you can see Andrew’s dream woman.

Google “The Adventures of Little Batman” and you won’t regret it.

Well, thanks for joining us as we rambled about Batman like geeky children. I’m sure you’ll still see a few posts about our favorite Caped Crusader here and there so don’t fret. We love Batman but we also love plenty of everything else too. Including you. So tell your friends we’re amazing, listen to our podcast, and LIKE us on Facebook. You guys are awesome.

-Neil

Twitter: @NeilPorche

 Welcome to NerdTakeout.

We discuss entertainment for your amusement and intellectual consumption. Presented by Josh Carley, John-Michael Carley, Andrew Green, and Neil Porche. Sometimes we are funny. Sometimes we are loud. But usually we’re entertaining.

Please “Like” our Facebook Page: NerdTakeout

Follow us on Twitter: @NerdTakeout

Listen to us: http://www.youtube.com/NerdTakeout

OR  http://nerdtakeout.podbean.com/

And if you really liked us you’d tell everyone how awesome we are. Until they like us too.

Continue reading below for a constant stream of ramblings and thoughtful insights.

So a space ship named the “Marveller” from planet “Spider” crash lands on Earth. Spider-Man pilots a giant mecha robot named “Leopardon”, wears a magical bracelet, and the alien blood injected into him grants him the ability to crawl on walls. This is what makes watching the Japanese TV show Spider-Man (スパイダーマン) from the late 70’s AMAZING.


“OH BUT IT’S JUST POWER RANGERS!”  No, no, no. Well…actually, yeah. See this show was produced by Toei Company who ALSO happen to later become the producers of what becomes the Power Rangers here in the United States. So it’s all relative. I know it’s cheesy but I really am fascinated by just how off the wall everything is. Spider-Man fighting the Putty Patrol, Spider-Man shooting an uzi, Spider-Man driving the Mach Five…there’s just too many things to list. I love watching someone take a licensed property and just go completely left field with it to places the owners of the license never would.

Really I could go on and on about how absolutely mind-boggling this whole take on Spider-Man is but I think the show speaks for itself.

Listen to our podcast. Like our Facebook Page. Tell us what you’d like to hear from us.

-Neil

Twitter: @neilporche

Are you watching EVO 2012?

No?

No one?

For those of us into competitive fighting games, July 6-8 is the highlight of the year. The EVO Championship Series  brings all the greatest fighting talent from around the world into one place. This is where you get to see an 11 year old kid smashing his way though the Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 semifinals,  Daigo “The Beast” Umehara missing shoryukens, and people actually PLAYING Street Fighter X Tekken. What is not to love?

Sunday July 9th is your last chance to get a glimpse into the mecca of fighting game scenes until next year.

Give it a chance.

And about 8 people there were excited to see Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale.

WATCH HERE: http://evo2012.s3.amazonaws.com/live/index.html

-Neil

Twitter: @NeilPorche

What up, nerds.  Andrew here.  I just wanted to add a few thoughts on Mass Effect (I know, I know, enough already) that we didn’t really delve in to during the podcast.  SPOILERS!!!!

Though we did mention the three (well four now) endings to ME3, we didn’t really delve into the Control (Blue/Space Jesus) ending.  The epilogue video, though as comforting as it was to hear “Shepard’s” voice again, still haunts me.  Though I didn’t choose this ending in my original play through,  I wonder now if I should have chosen this one.  We did mention, however, that with the Extended Cut (EC) DLC that it is much harder to decipher which ending is a “good” ending because if you look at them a certain way you can see the good in all of them.  But I digress…

Just kidding, let’s keep talking about it.  Sometimes I lie awake at night imagining a universe where Shepard still exists, but as Space Jesus, and has full control over the colossal, evil-squid army (Reapers).  Would he eventually use these for good (initially, yes he does)?  But what if he develops free-thought.  What if he (Shepard Jesus from Space) figures that using the Reapers to destroy one alien life-form to benefit the rest of the universe, would this be the morally correct thing to do?  This is what haunts me.  I’m interested to see where they (Bioware) take this.

ALSO, Neil mentioned that he chose Synthesis, simply because he didn’t want to destroy EDI or the geth, which I completely understand.  Something we didn’t piggyback off of from this is WHY WE EVEN CARE ABOUT THE GETH IN THE FIRST PLACE!  What I’m trying to say is, is if you played the first Mass Effect when it released we are introduced to the Geth for the first time.  Now I want you to really imagine what it was like when you first came across these terrifying, yet very easy to kill, creatures.  It was pretty scary, right?

Now fast-forward to when we are introduced to Legion.  While a very interesting character, and perhaps one of the best of the entire series, by the end of ME2 it was still difficult for me to decide whether I should fully trust Legion or not.  Now skip to Mass Effect 3…hold on let me get my box of kleenex…

…does this unit have a soul?

*sniffle*

I thought this character arc, (not just Legion’s, but the Geth as a whole) was the most interesting to me.  We’ve gone from fearing these deadly creatures, to damn near siding with them over those stupid, evil Quarians.  How did we get here?!  I would just like to say bravo, Bioware.  The Geth were handled very well, even to the very end where it was extremely difficult in deciding their fate.  Goosebumps indeed.  Okay that’s what all I wanted to say on Mass Effect.  Moving on.

NEXT PODCAST we plan on talking about the new Spiderman flick.  I think we’re all a bit skeptical with how good this film will be.  I personally would like it to be a good film because I can’t remember the last time there ever being a year in which every comic book movie that came out was good.  This year may be the first time.  I think it will be an interesting take on the friendly neighborhood web-crawler that we all know and love because the writers of this film are going a different route.  For instance, Spiderman now has web canisters on his forearms as opposed to him shooting and regenerating webs from his wrist area.  Also, no Mary-Jane.  I’m fairly certain that there will be more disagreement in the next podcast.  Spidey-swing!!!

ALSO FOR THE NEXT PODCAST we release a Free Downloadable Character.  John-Michael (the man, the myth, the legend) will be joining us.  I can’t tell you how excited I am for this to be happening.  He has got to be one of the funniest human beings/robot hybrids I have ever met, plus he is mega-nerdy and knows a lot about stuff.  You guys are in for a treat, I promise you.

Until next time, NERDS!!!

R.I.P. Legion.

-Andrew

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