That time I almost didn’t play DOOM II

In a post that I wrote long ago about DOOM and DOOM II, I glossed over the latter game. I probably wasn’t ready then to admit to myself that DOOM II almost never happened in my life.


I know. Wouldn’t that have been the worst kind of tragedy? I mean, After my mind-numbing experience with DOOM, it would have completely unthinkable for me to turn a blind eye to DOOM II. Early in my sophomore at college, I saw its glorious PC version on sale at our local gaming/comic store. Being a poor student, it wasn’t something I could afford at that moment. So I let it sit in the back of my mind with thoughts of “Christmas…oh yes, at Christmastime, you will be mine! Mwaaaahahahaha!”  Okay, so maybe I didn’t do the evil laugh…maybe. But I did have a plan.



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Project 151: One Badge Away from Victory

Forgive me universe, for I have faltered. It has been over a month since my last Project 151 post, and I still haven’t beaten the game. But goddammit if I’m not close…so freakin’ close!

No time to relax in the hot springs!

No time to relax in the hot springs!

Picking up from my previous post, I was faced with the option of going through Silph Co. for something unknown and the Seafoam Islands for something else unknown. Based on a couple helpful comments, I opted to head first to Silph Co. Holy crap, y’all, I did not expect to spend so much time there! Eleven floors of Team Rocket madness, for which I really wasn’t prepared. Though, actually, my team fared okay – it was the mental acrobatics of remembering where you had been and where you had to go that almost broke me. I didn’t have the opportunity to shoot through Silph Co. in one go, which would have been the smart thing to do. Instead, I played in fits and starts over about a week, and each time it started things up, I couldn’t remember exactly where I needed to go. So I spent a number of brief sessions just going around in circles. I was actually glad to see that ol’ bastard Gary again, because facing him meant that I had to be going in the right direction.

Silph Co. was great for leveling up!

Silph Co. was great for leveling up!

And then, of course, HE popped up again.

And then, of course, HE popped up again.

I eventually defeated my other old friend Giovanni in Silph Co., and then decided to go back to the Seafoam Islands, which I had previously started but not finished. Picking up with all the boulder-moving and water-redirecting in this icy dungeon, I made my way to a small outcropping and faced Articuno. And what a pretty foe it was! And what a stupid master I was! I was determined from the get-go to capture Articuno, but one bad battle move on my part cost him. Well, just…shit. I left the Seafoam Island all totally sad faced. :(

I headed back to Fuchsia City without a clear idea of where I needed to go next. So I spent some more time roaming around the Safari Zone, where I managed to snag a couple Pokemon I hadn’t before. And then…I started wandering. This what I usually do when I don’t know where to go next, and I ended up revisiting a couple towns I hadn’t been to in awhile. And then I finally figured that I should just stop dicking around because I had a map, you dolt!

Wandering here...

Wandering here…

...and wandering there...

…and wandering there…

As I perused the map, I remembered that (aha!) I still another gym leader to face in Saffron City. So off I went on my merry way to the little yellow town where I soon met gym leader Sabrina in an intense head-to-head battle (though not really cause my near 60-level Charizard was tough as nails). From the battle I received the Earthbadge — woohoo! Six badges down, two to go.

I have a vision...of your DEATH!  What? Too harsh?

I have a vision…of your DEATH! What? Too harsh?

My visions are never wrong.

My visions are never wrong.

After coming down from that high, it was time to move on. Returning to the map, I noticed an island just off Pallett Town which I had yet to visit. Seemed like as good a place to go as any.

Surfing on my favorite Snorlax, I arrived at Cinnabar Island and was ready to face…a broken down mansion? Hmm. Also a gym, which was locked. So I opted to visit one of the island’s other four buildings (the fourth being a Pokemon Center), which turned out to be all science-y, and was a place where my helix fossil finally meant something! I traded in my helix fossil and a piece of amber for some special goodies, which was kind of nice. But there was still the matter of opening the gym and figuring out the mansion. One of the locals alluded to the fact that the gym’s key might be in the mansion, so mission given.  (And there I discovered the story of Mew and mad Mewtwo. Uh, bonus?) But I also got the gym’s key and went head-to-head with leader Blaine and his fire stash. I left the gym victorious and with the Volcanobadge in hand.

So there, seven badges achieved, just one more to go! Maybe I should have directly sought out the eighth, but instead I decided to pick up what ended up to be a sidequest involving other islands off of Cinnabar — the inventively-named One, Two, and Three Islands. It wasn’t a total waste of time as I did capture a few more Pokemon. And leveling up my own team slowly but surely wasn’t so bad either. I also faced off with what I guess was another special Pokemon in Mt. Ember: Moltres. I killed him too. :( Fuck if I’m not the worst ever at being strategic in this game.

Dammit, another mountain. Dammit, dammit, dammit.

Dammit, another mountain. Dammit, dammit, dammit.

Suppressing one's bloodlust is harder than it seems.


I’m now back on Cinnabar Island, hanging out and getting a tan, and it’s time to figure out the resting place of the final badge. I’m guessing it’s in a gym that I’ve yet to visit. Or is it hiding someplace weird and/or special? If you care to drop hints in the comments, I’ll take ‘em!

List of progress:

  • Fought Team Rocket in Silph Co; defeated Gary and Giovanni. Received Master Ball from Silph Co. president.
  • Fought and defeated Sabrina in Saffron City gym; received Earthbadge.
  • Faced Articuno in the Seafoam Islands – did not capture.
  • Went to Cinnabar Island. Exchanged helix fossil for Omanyte and amber for Aerodactyl.
  • Found gym key in Pokemon Mansion.
  • Defeated gym leader Blaine; received Volcanobadge.
  • Traveled to One, Two, and Three Islands.
  • Went through the Berry Forest yet did not find berries – did not look very hard though.
  • “Climbed” Mt. Ember. Faced Moltres – did not capture.

Totally 80s: Scratch ‘n’ Sniff stickers

Welcome the next installment of my year-long look back at the decade that was ruled by big hair and bigger egos. Every other week I’ll be covering pop culture tidbits from the 1980s, sharing memories, choking on the ridiculousness, and maybe offering an insight or two into what made the 1980s so great/bad/silly. Serving as my inspiration are two lists from Buzzfeed, and I’ll include links to the original list items in each post. So throw on your neon windbreaker, lace up your hi-tops, and adjust your Wayfarers, because this DeLorean is taking off! (Ugh. Did I really just type that? Gag me with spoon, seriously.)


List item #46 from 50 Things only ’80s Kids Can Understand

The joy of the first scratch on a brand new Scratch ‘n’ Sniff sticker.

I can practically smell the memories from here.

I can practically smell the memories from here.

My first sticker book, my only sticker book, was 50¢ spiral-bound jammy with the words “STICKERS” drawn ever so colorfully and creatively on the front cover (by yours truly). I’ve mentioned stickers several times in these here posts, so I don’t think the fact that I made my own sticker book would come as much of a shock. The phenomenon of sticker collecting as it pertained to the 1980s isn’t one that even I think I comprehended at the time, but I was obligated to participate in nonetheless.


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The First Encounter


United We Game‘s celebration of Halloween surges onward with our Spooky Silly Poetry Contest! Now’s a great time to write up a quick, little (or large) poem about your favorite scary game and submit to UWG. (Email your entries to We’re collecting your poems through October 31st, and next month, we’re going to vote on our favorite! That one person will be crowned, in the name in fun, the poet supreme of spooky silly games!

Look, if I can write a poem, anyone on the planet can. And I’m supporting the spirit of the contest with my own attempts at writing verse and such. Here’s one I recently posted about game LIMBO and the first encounter with its infamous spider.

Originally posted on United We Game:

Image by Flickr user Justin.

Image by Flickr user Justin .

With this post, I hereby submit another group of carefully worded…er, words that may be spooky and/or silly. I don’t think I’m spoiling too much when I say that in the game LIMBO is a spider. I knew that going in, and my first encounter with it was royally unpleasant; hence, the following.

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I ain’t afraid of no ghosts! Being the fifth wheel…now that’s another story.

Ghostbusters has been all up in the news lately. This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the original movie. (YAY!) Many sites have reported about a possible reboot of the franchise starring women in the main roles. (YAY! I hope.) It’s the month of ghosts and goblins, and “The Ghosbusters” remains a very popular Halloween trend. Also, Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff is currently running a Ghostbusters-themed update in celebration of the holiday. So yeah…Ghostbusters. Seems appropriate then that I should get back to Ghostbusters: The Video Game (2009), which I valiantly attempted to do recently…again.

Ghosbusters: The Video Game cover art © Atari, Columbia Pictures, Sony, et al.

Ghosbusters: The Video Game cover art © Atari, Columbia Pictures, Sony, et al.

As I sit here staring at my keyboard, I realize this post could go in many different directions. Should I talk about how cool I felt in grade school for being among the first of my peers to proudly state that I had seen the most awesomest movie since Return of the Jedi? (Eh, that’s the whole story.) Should I go into how prevalent quotes from Ghostbusters are in my household? (Back off man, I’m a scientist. Also, no.) Should I delve into the social ramifications of Ghostbuters itself and how it forever altered my views on the supernatural. (Christ almighty, NO!) Okay then, let’s just talk about the game, because all my tendrils of thought concerning it boil down to one single point: I want to like Ghostbusters: TGV so much more than I do.

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The Importance of Friends


This year marks the 20th anniversary of lots of things, but none are as important to me as the premiere of the television show Friends. That might sound a little lame, but through Friends I became connected. Connected to the people I knew and loved with whom I watch the show, and connected to the greater zeitgeist that arose from the show itself. I still think it’s one of the best sitcoms ever created, and it’s nothing less than a true high point of the 1990s. If you feel that way as well, click below to head over to Geek Force Network for my own little treatise on the importance of Friends.

Originally posted on Geek Force Network:

This coming Monday (September 22nd) marks the 20th anniversary of the first airing of the first episode of the sitcom Friends. And while I could blather on about how that makes me feel “soooo old!” instead, Friends reminds me more of my friends and the bonds we formed over the show. But more than that, Friends was simply fine television. Yeah, it was (and still is) easy to make fun of its broadness and archetypical characters, or put down for being too fluffy and inconsequential, but Friends demonstrated a power that had only been captured by a handful of sitcoms before it. It was a show that was easy for everyone to watch. Whether you laughed with the cast or at it, you still laughed, and you still watched because there was just some about it that was so appealing.

I didn’t watch Friends from the start. In fact…

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Totally 80s: Rainbow Brite

Welcome the next installment of my year-long look back at the decade that was ruled by big hair and bigger egos. Every other week I’ll be covering pop culture tidbits from the 1980s, sharing memories, choking on the ridiculousness, and maybe offering an insight or two into what made the 1980s so great/bad/silly. Serving as my inspiration are two lists from Buzzfeed, and I’ll include links to the original list items in each post. So throw on your neon windbreaker, lace up your hi-tops, and adjust your Wayfarers, because this DeLorean is taking off! (Ugh. Did I really just type that? Gag me with spoon, seriously.)


List item #12 from 53 Things Only 80s Girls Can Understand

Thinking Rainbow Brite was the coolest girl EVER and drawing fashion inspiration from her colorful getups.


This post is all about motherfucking RAINBOWS, yo!

When I first went through BuzzFeed’s 1980s-themed lists in preparation for these posts, I highlighted this one about Rainbow Brite because two things immediately jumped to mind: my Rainbow Brite doll (that I loved so much more than my Cabbage Patch Kid), and my Rainbow Brite sheets (the only character sheets I ever had).

Now that I’m here actually writing about Rainbow Brite, all I can think of is the color black.

See, the Buzzfeed list item specifically referenced garnering fashion inspiration from Rainbow Brite. I really can’t say much to that one way or another. When I was in to Rainbow Brite, fashion wasn’t much on my mind. However, color was. And it’s quite possible that Rainbow Brite had something to do with that.

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This month United We Game is running a new contest, a fun contest, a contest that’s all about spooky, silly poetry! No dirges on death, no opulent odes, no prowling prose — just simple, creative lines of text (rhyming welcome but not required) written in honor or your favorite scary games (cause of Halloween and all that)! Clicking on the link below will take you to UWG’s contest post containing submission guidelines, UWG’s email, and further details. We’re going to be posting all poems on our site throughout the month and will be voting for our favorites come the 31st. One single wordsmith will be crowned the “winner” and shall receive all the proper accolades and flourishes! So get crackin’ with that creativity and submit your spooky, silly poem today.

A game of spooky, silly poetry!