When time flies it moves at warp speed. We just celebrated our one-month anniversary in our new house (squee!). We are also 11 weeks out from the wedding. Did I mention that “my fiancé” will soon become “my husband”? I know you’re like um, yeah, whatevs…games? But seriously, 11 weeks is not a lot of time considering that I have to work, play house, plan, and try to maintain a modicum of calmness throughout. Honestly, I still think about video games; I really do. Maybe, someday, I’ll get to play them again. Reading other blogs has helped me stay connected and remain grounded when everything else feels so up in the air. Many thanks to the gaming blogosphere for keeping me in the loop and entertained!
Now on with it, shall we…?
Since a lot of (happy) crap seems to be piling up in my life right now, why not recall a game that was, indeed, a pile of (unhappy) crap. E.T. the Extra Terrestrial.
Long written about as one of the industry’s Worst. Games. Ever. (this blog post is particularly fitting), there’s little I have to add to that saga. If you’ve never played the game, well…it’s really something you have to experience first hand to know how bad it is, like inhaling a Slurpee in one gulp or eating wasabi paste point blank.
This guy offers a really great review that exemplifies the frustration, confusion, and suckitude associated with this game. And it’s all true…all the things that happen on the screen actually happened in the game. No one could make this shit up, seriously.
In related news, I have a confession to make:
I’m not a big fan of E.T. the movie.
I have no problems with the movie itself – it’s a fine film replete with cute aliens, mean government agents, Drew Barrymore before her Lindsay Lohan years, Reese’s Pieces, and levitating bicycles. I never saw the movie as a child (or I don’t remember doing so). Perhaps if I had seen it before I saw Return of the Jedi, Superman II, The Dark Crystal, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Gremlins, The Goonies, Labyrinth, Legend, and Ghostbusters, then I might like it more.
So playing E.T. on our Atari was, for me, pretty much without any knowledge of the movie. Just like everyone on the planet at that time though, I knew about the “phone home,” glowing finger, and levitating tropes, so at least some of the story’s concepts weren’t completely foreign.
The point of E.T. was…well…I don’t know what the hell the point was; it certainly wasn’t to make anyone any money. In my case, the point was to waste a good thirty minutes of life a day while waiting for dinner to be ready. But, here’s the really sad thing: I actually thought I could play the game and maybe even beat it and save E.T. or meet whatever goal the game was supposed to offer. I was young, eager, naïve, and a little stupid – this was exactly what you had to be to even attempt to derive any “enjoyment” from the game.
At the risk of re-hashing everything that’s ever been written about the game, there was really no point to it all. The gameplay was unbearable, the movement between screens was awful, the “plot” and “chase scenes” made no sense, “treasure finding” was a ridiculous venture, and when the “timer” at the bottom of the screen ran out, you died.
If Hell is a video game, it will be E. T.
The one strange glimmer of joy that I personally got from the game was resurrecting flowers. In the game, if you weren’t running, you were falling into various holes. Some holes contained special items and the occasional dead flower. I liked bringing the flowers back to life. That was good. And sad.
E. T. the Video Game is a perennial favorite on everyone’s “worst of” lists. And yes, many, many, many, oh so many unsold copies of the game were supposedly buried in a desert in New Mexico. You, of course, don’t need to become Indiana Jones in order to play this game. E.T.’s been emulated, for your pleasure. Try it for yourself just after you’ve meticulously and triumphantly beat [insert game name here]. That way you might not be as apt to crush your computer under the weight of ridiculousness and frustration.