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June 5, 2014

Throwback Thursday: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Filed under: Throwback Thursday — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Willis @ 9:00 am

You’ve heard the legendary tale of the landfill that Atari dumped all the unsold cartridges of E.T. into. Supposedly 3.5 million copies of the game were tossed. And when people started trekking to the dump for free games no matter how terrible it was, it was covered over in concrete. For some reason, people started to think that maybe this was just a legend even though a report of this happening was in the New York Times. Well, just last month they started excavating the site and finding all the old games.

And with that, there’s been talk of how bad E.T. really was. Polygon made a small list with games they thought might be worse so I took the Atari 2600 games on that list for a spin to see which one is the most sucky.

The Contenders:

Tron Screen

Can you beat my score?

Adventures of Tron – It’s similar to a Donkey Kong game where you have to climb ladders to get to where you need to go. What you need to do is collect all the weird flying objects while avoiding other objects. How do you tell the good from the bad? Trial and error. The crap part of this game is that it’s a single screen that only changes color when you switch levels… Or at least as far as I got because the hit box on the collectables is garbage but it’s gigantic on the enemies — A perfect recipe for frustration. But the game made sense, and there was a score that could be used to compare to friends. Definitely not the worse of the bunch.

 

Star Wars Screen

The walkers would change colors as they were hit

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back – Fly and shoot a never-ending raid of AT-AT walkers. It’s ice planet boring and a pain in the ass to control, but it kind of makes sense in a fucked up George Lucas kind of way.

 

 

King Kong Screen

That is supposed to be King Kong!?

King Kong – Take Donkey Kong and have it drawn by a 4-year-old using their off-hand. Then have that monstrosity throw what can only be described as cupcakes (with a candle) at you. When you reach the distressed maiden at the top of the building, repeat the horror again. I opted to run directly into the cupcakes when I realized that my life was Groundhog Daying… Because who wouldn’t want to run directly into a giant cupcake?

 

 

Fantastic Voyage Screen

Just flying up this narrow rainbow path, don’t mind me.

Fantastic Voyage – Fly your spaceship up some kind of rainbow road avoiding/shooting things in the way. I guess this is the titular voyage? I would never take this trip… it’s a tiny road filled with crap that is too small to shoot and to fast to avoid. The good part about this game is that the goal is pretty straight forward: fly up and shoot things. The most awful thing about this game is the noise that came out of my headphones. As you took damage/continued down the road it was like a heart monitor getting faster, and death was a loud and long flat-line tone. My ears tell me that this should be a contender for the worst of the bunch.

 

 

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Look at the snake, if it comes in the middle of the screen it is invisible because it’s the same color as the background.

Raiders of the Lost Ark – I don’t think I had the right controller for this game, but I was able to play a bit. You pick up your gear (like a gun and a whip) while avoiding a snake that blended into the background. Then I would fall down a pit and lose a life. Once there, bird enemies and some evil dude that would try to kill me. Sometimes I could shoot him, other times he took my stuff. It was possible to climb out of the pit, but you’d have to lose a life falling in again if you left.

 

 

 

Alien Screen

Baddies could also be Mousers from Ninja Turtles.

Alien – Take PacMan and make it not possible to kill the ghosts, and then take Frogger and make it impossible to move left and right. When you put that together, you get Alien. All the enemies were different colored T-Rex looking things. The whole time I was wishing the Predator would show up and end everything — the aliens, the game, me, this game journey I put myself in. Ugh.

 

 

 

E.T. Title Screen

My high (and only) score because I wasn’t willing to play again.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial – The reigning champion of bad. You, as E.T., can run around avoiding the government officials that moved much faster. You could make E.T.’s head lift up that would teleport him somewhere random. There were little dots around that it seemed like I was collecting and the government officials were taking away from me. Oh, and there were pits of doom all over the place that once you fell in, you’d have to extend E.T.’s head and float out of the pit. And to top all that off, there was a death timer that ticked down as you moved. Did I mention all the pits? More pits than a cherry tree. This game is still the worst of the bunch. Because Pits.

I tried to put the games in order from bad to worst, let me know if you think that there’s something worse than E.T. on the 2600, because I am willing to put myself through that pain.

April 15, 2008

The Nerds On Sports March Madness Grand Champion

Filed under: Nerd Tournaments — Tags: , , — Perich @ 1:07 pm

You’ve helped us slug through thirty-two impressive contenders, the best warriors that nerds have to offer. Now it’s down to the final two: BATMAN vs. LUKE SKYWALKER.

First Period

Luke SkywalkerBatman flung a handful of boomerangs, flash grenades and other sharp, distracting implements at Skywalker’s head. Skywalker parried them with his lightsaber and leapt across the court. He swung wildly, but Batman tumbled over his swings and rolled up behind him to kick him in the back.

Skywalker flung Batman against a stanchion with a Force push, then charged him with his saber flurrying. Pinned against the far wall, Batman narrowly avoided decapitation, but the tip of the laser sword shredded his armor from hip to shoulder.

The Dark Knight flipped his cape around to distract the Jedi and vanish. But Skywalker’s attunement with the Force meant that Batman’s stealth wouldn’t avail him. He pretended not to notice Batman hiding in the rafters – until he lashed out suddenly, severing a support pillar with his lightsaber, and knocking Batman off his perch.

Second Period

The Caped Crusader and the Jedi Knight circled each other warily.

This is what the arena looks like right before the home team starting 5 are announced“This is senseless,” Skywalker told him in calm tones. “You can’t possibly defeat me. Surrender now and save yourself the trouble.”

Batman’s response: flinging a bolo with one hand and a tear gas pellet with the other. Skywalker shredded the bolo, but the gas cloud enveloped him in thick white smoke. Batman lingered cautiously outside the cloud, his cape held over his face.

When Skywalker vaulted out of the cloud feet first, kicking Batman in the head, the Dark Knight was caught completely off guard. He sprawled backwards in a heap, fighting to clear his head. Skywalker watched him struggle, standing in the same spot Batman had stood seconds ago.

“Your thoughts betray you,” Skywalker said. “I feel the good in you, the conflict. I know that underneath that mask you’re a decent man.”

Palming the remote in his hand, Batman rolled onto his side. “No, I’m not.”

The micro-mine, lying in the spot where Batman had just been kicked from, beeped between Skywalker’s feet.

“Oh, sh–”

Winner and Grand Champion: BATMAN

BatmanThanks to the over 300 people who cast votes in this year’s tournament. We saw quite a few surprises and some epic matches thanks to your participation. Be sure to tune in for next year’s March Madness tournament, where a whole new roster of nerd icons will duke it out for that prestigious title – the Nerds on Sports March Madness Grand Champion.

January 23, 2008

The Guardians of Peace and Justice in the Old Republic

Filed under: Football — Tags: , — Perich @ 3:13 pm

Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2007 All Star Wars Starting Lineup:

Offense

Cover your mouth with a clipboard, Lobot!Center: Ryan Kalil (CAR).
Offensive Guard: Deuce Lutui (ARI).
Offensive Guard: Uche Nwaneri (JAC).
Offensive Tackle: Marshall Yanda (BAL).
Offensive Tackle: Quinn Ojinnaka (ATL).
Tight End: Todd Yoder (WAS).
Wide Receiver: Devin Aromashodu (IND).
Wide Receiver: Ben Obomanu (SEA).
Running Back: Reno Mahe (PHI).
Running Back: Joseph Addai (IND).
Quarterback: Tony Romo (DAL).

We recommend the ‘dime’ package against Super Star DestroyersDefense
Defensive End: Kenechi Udeze (MIN).
Defensive End: Osi Umenyiora (NYG).
Defensive Tackle: Dek Bake (NYG).
Defensive Tackle: Baba Oshinowo (CHI).
Outside Linebacker: Tully Banta-Cain (SF).
Middle Linebacker: Lofa Tatupu (SEA).
Outside Linebacker: Na’il Diggs (CAR).
Cornerback: Nnamdi Asomugha (OAK).
Cornerback: Ty Law (OAK).
Strong Safety: Atari Bigby (GB).
Free Safety: O.J. Atogwe (STL).

December 29, 2007

Everything is bigger in Texas!

Filed under: Basketball — Tags: , , , , , , , — Willis @ 5:12 pm

A week and a half ago while on a business trip to the fine city of Dallas, TX, I was able to score some tickets to a Dallas Mavericks v Phoenix Suns game (thanks Stub Hub). I don’t know if all the games that happen at the American Airlines Center are that good, but for me, it’s 100% accurate so I’m just going to assume all games are similar.

Giant TV at the AACFirst off, there is the American Airlines Center which is a large television screen covered and wi-fi enabled arena sponsored by Mr. Mark Cuban. I’m not joking about thebeing covered in TVs. The main entrance has 2 moving screens that flank the big screen above the doors. Oh, and there was another one before you got to those 3.

One of the moving TVs at the AACOnce we got past all the screens, we went into the arena and sat down in the Jack Danial’s restaurant by the buffet and watched the Celtics get their third loss. The view from where I was sittingThe close game and sad outcome for the boys in green left a bad taste in my mouth. Entrance to the American Airlines CenterThat was quickly remedied but a delicious pile of smores. After I had had my fill of deliciousness, it was time for some basketball, and we headed to our seats — as far back and away from the floor as possible. (more…)

May 1, 2007

Ravens Draft Day Roundup

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , , — Perich @ 9:01 am

One of the virtues of being in the thirties when it comes to draft day is that hey, you’re there for a reason. You’ve got shit figured out. Take it easy. Now’s the time to start making long-term investments that’ll pay off in a year or two, rather than hurrying sandbags into a collapsing levee.

So I’m going to talk about my Ravens.

1st round: Ben Grubbs, right guard, Auburn. One of the most liked linemen coming into the draft. The combine is full of those non-specific but enthusiastic notes that, were this baseball, would make Billy Beane tip over a lat press machine. “Explodes off the line” … “non-stop motor” … “mauler with a mean streak.”

Go You TigersOn the other hand, it’s tough to quote impressive figures about a guard, so I understand the ambiguity. So here’s one impressive stat: Ben Grubbs never missed a game in college. This speaks of good health and, more importantly (on a team which still starts Jamal “Probation” Lewis and Ray “Obstruction of Justice” Lewis), good behavior.

3rd round: Yamon Figurs, wide receiver, Kansas State. The Ravens probably didn’t draft Figurs to catch passes, which is no doubt making the Texans pull their hair out. Say what you will about his hands – Figurs posted the fastest speed at the combine this year, and he ran back more than five fields’ worth of punts, twice for touchdowns. Pair him up with the like of B.J. Sams and the Ravens could once again have a punt return unit that puts points on the board. (more…)

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