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Ethos and Riddles talk about video games...
            Can you handle it?
by Ethos

Sunday Soapbox: When Bad Crosses Over Into Good

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

Well this week turned into something a little different than intended when Riddles’ infamous banner made the first few days explode into madness. The rest of the week just couldn’t live up. Not even the best Scatter Storming in the existence of both storms and scattering. Either way, if nothing else, this theme week exposed that I essentially only talk in Star Fox 64 quotes. I’ll be frank in admitting that there isn’t much of an editorial hidden within the addictively terrible one-liners from that game, but it was interesting to hear Riddles tell me that he didn’t really care for the 7 minutes he played of the title. He panned it for archaic controls and obviously didn’t love it enough to start quoting it daily like I do.

His next point was to accuse me of seeing the game through a thick nostalgia lense. While I’d never deny that nostalgia is a significant part of my love for the game, I also have massive nostalgia for games like Mario Kart 64, and when I return to that game, it simply doesn’t hold up anymore. The same could be said for Pilotwings 64, and Wave Race 64. Still, when I load up Star Fox 64 again, the same pacing is there, the same deceptively deep on-rails strategy is there, and – of course – the one liners are exactly how I remember them. Some quotes are built up and exaggerated to an extreme point to which the original sounds bland and forgettable. It’s strange, but every line in that game is just so quotable, and so memorably articulated that I’m never let down when I play the game again. What’s even more bizarre is that it’s obviously not very good voice acting, but I don’t think I’d have such fond memories of the title or have as much fun replaying it if every moment wasn’t so fucking quotable.

Like I predicted, I don’t have much to say, and therefore haven’t said much in this crater of a Sunday Soapbox, but to make it up to you all, I leave you with the greatest comic ever drawn. Thank you VG Cats.

Fireside Games Countdown #1 – Star Fox 64

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

Ethos’ Fireside Games are games that he can pull out at any moment and it will soothe his fruity soul in one way or another. It is the perfect mix of nostalgia and comfort. It is a game that gives the same feeling it did the first time he played it. It’s the sort of game that can create the most unique distinct cravings that only the game itself can satisfy. Ethos is counting down his top #5 all week.

Fox! Look behind you!

Fox! Look behind you!

#1 Fireside Game – Star Fox 64
My god I love this game. I’ve been steadily quoting it for over 12 years and it’s one of the few games that I can proudly say I’m good at. Perhaps I don’t know it like the back of my hand anymore, but I know my favourite route, and that’s the route I take when Star Fox 64 becomes the best fireside game. The incredibly memorable (and cheesy) dialogue to the perfect on-rails timing makes for a the ultimate half hour dose of warm gaming goodness. I talk alongside the game almost like singing along to a very popular song, and I get excited for every single level. Not just that, although I’m extremely familiar with every moment in the game, there is still challenge present to make the game have endless replay value; an important trait for a Fireside Game. The game is all about the high score and keeping your teammates alive, and all these responsibilities are dispensed at a challenging but not frustrating rate. It’s a wonderful balance of the comfortable expected and the challenging variable.

Star Fox 64 is absolutely the game I have beat the most number of times. I can knock out a playthrough in 30 minutes and I usually want to play it again right after. It’s absolutely a comfort to remember when Star Fox was all about the simple and satisfying gameplay and ridiculous characters. In fact, I’ll probably knock off another playthrough tonight.