The Childhood Game Collection – Scott The Woz

Bulletproof Weight Loss System

Hey Scott, Scott here. I’m recording this for you to open at a later date. I wanted to show you a glimpse of what you looked and acted like in the past, like a [ __ ] dork. Children, oh man, I got a lot to say on this topic. I have been legally advised to stop there. We were all kids at one point, and our experiences as such helped shape who we are today, for better or for worse. Hey, there is a reason the kids who grew up with video games are still playing them now, and the kids who grew up with WB kids are in jail now. So maybe if I try to catalog all of my video game experiences throughout my childhood, I can finally figure out how I ended up here. That would be helpful.

This was me as a kid, white, no darker glasses though, and I wasn’t a Nintendo fan yet. And when you’re that young, you didn’t necessarily ask for most of the things you have. Your parents just get you things they think you might like until you form your interests and tastes. So the first few games I owned and played happened to be anything my mom thought, “Oh, he’s gonna love this.” I was raised in a very particular way. This old Windows 98 Gateway was my first foray into the video game sphere, with most of the titles my parents owned being of the board gaming or game show variety. To be fair, I’m not sure how many of these were bought specifically for me. I think a lot of the board game titles we had were also popular inclusions in cereal boxes as bonuses, so I assume that’s how we got them. Ultimate Yahtzee, sorry, The Game of Life, all games I remember distinctly seeing as I flipped through our PC game disc binder to play titles I cared about significantly more. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’s second edition, now this was my PC game. That wasn’t my PC game. This was most certainly one of my parents bought for themselves. I mean, it doesn’t have a clean sweep on the age rating, but this was always a favorite of mine. I had a soft spot for how well this replicated the actual game show. The visuals and sounds genuinely made me feel like I was on the television program. Did I know the answers to any of the questions? Surprisingly, one. But it didn’t matter. Trivia games were always exciting for me to play. I think because I was an only child, I appreciated them since these were experiences I could have had with my parents. They understood the concept of a question, so what’s keeping them from other games? We also had Who Wants To Be A Millionaire sports edition, which I’d pop in from time to time for variety. But this wasn’t mine in the family. I mean, yeah, you could probably assume that. Why should I clarify? Wasn’t me. But a game that was all mine was one Disney Magic Artist Studio. This was a paint program with loads of 3D effects to sprinkle amongst your images, and I abused the hell out of it. It’s one of those applications that you could just dick around with, and the animations and sound effects were entertaining enough to keep you engaged. It didn’t have to be making anything in particular. It was just fun. I feel that programs like this don’t get the credit they deserve. Many people who critically look at them go, “This is so limited. Why not just use Photoshop, man? This car sucks. Buy an Audi.” This type of software can help kids express themselves creatively in simple and entertaining ways, or get them to realize they have a passion for art. It’s also a great stepping stone on the road to Photoshop. Because show a caveman this, will they know where the crop button is? To be fair, starting with Magic Artist Studio, you can make it more confusing. Where’s the warp tool? I use this thing all the time.

When it comes to actual video games I owned, these weren’t living book titles popular in the 90s. They were point-and-click adaptations of children’s stories. I had Arthur’s Reading Race and Arthur’s Birthday. And um, got this weird blotch on my neck that never went away. Guess which one stuck with me the most? Don’t get me wrong, I do have positive memories of these games, but man, I had to dig for them. These are games of mine I played a fair amount but forgot about for the longest time. And then all of a sudden, you see a screenshot online that looks familiar, then immediately look up a YouTube video to confirm your suspicions. I [ __ ] played that. I have nostalgia for these titles, and replaying them will invoke a sense of nostalgia. But I hadn’t been lying in coming up with any legitimate memories or genuine thoughts then and now. These are games I played as a kid, and that’s where it ends. And you know what? Might as well throw a Tonka Search and Rescue in that pile. Listen, man, I feel bad because looking at these games, this rush of childhood memories is coming back. But they’re only coming back in the form of the words “remember” and that. I have a ton of fondness looking back at these. But other games just had a stronger connection to me, which brings us to my very first video game console. I think many kids of the late 90s and early 2000s were in the same boat as me and were weaned on PC games before graduating to ruin their Sundays. I viewed PC games more than once in a while, why not? It’s probably due to having to ask my mom whenever I wanted to play on the computer. Hey, this was still during the era of the dial-up modem. When you’re using the Internet, you can’t use the phone. So because of that, it’s understandable why I was only allowed to use the computer during specific times. That and child endangerment. So that fateful day when I was being babysat by my cousins and one of them pulled out their old Sega Genesis and gave it to me, that’s when video games went from a toy I’d play with now and then to a weekly situation. I still wasn’t playing them religiously, but getting that old hand-me-down Genesis made things a whole lot more legitimate. I was no longer just playing 30 minutes every couple of weeks. I owned a video game console. Now things were changing fast. If there was gonna be a Rapture, well, you know I wasn’t gonna be a part of it. My cousin included one game with his old system, which is Sonic the Hedgehog. Yeah, what the hell else would it be? Oh, you’re throwing the crust in too? I remember playing the hell out of the first Sonic the Hedgehog level, the first level. I mean, Green Hill Zone. When we get to the second Marble Zone, couldn’t beat it. Now you may be asking how I couldn’t have possibly figured Marble Zone out. Yes, I too wonder why five-year-olds suck at things. I tried and tried and tried and just could never get anywhere far on the stage. Now since then, I have beaten Sonic 1 a couple of times, and I can see five-year-old me who only played Green Hill Zone over and over wasn’t missing out on much. That’s where the game peaks. So I think I got what I wanted out of that experience at that age. And what an experience it was. This was a great first game. It’s so bold and colorful with this giant world to explore, featuring power-ups and secrets, different pathways to take. A dead simple control scheme of just run and jump. It was something any kid could handle while also having so much more depth than I was used to with video games. Collecting 50 rings, making your way to the end of the stage, and seeing that massive rotating ring. It was incredible. They tried jumping in, and you’re brought to my first encounter with epilepsy. Everyone remembers their first. This was so awesome. I may not have gotten far in it as a kid, but sometimes that doesn’t matter. What matters is what you got out of something, especially when you’re younger. So who cared if I didn’t beat Sonic 1? I was doing more important things, like moving on to Sonic 2. A very distinct memory of mine is coming home from dinner with my parents and grandparents, but stopping at a record store on the way back that happened to have old video games. I could finally get more stuff for my Sega. Compared to the loose cartridge I got from my cousin, these had the whole protective case and everything, which was awesome. I could finally spill my pudding and eggs and pasta salad and bleed all over my games, and no harm, no foul. I saw Sonic 2.

I had to get Sonic 2 because Sonic 1 was one of the only video games I knew at that moment. But my mom said I could pick up one other title, and I had to decide between Miss Pac-Man and Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures. I learned more from that decision than I ever did in college. I added Miss Pac-Man and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to my collection that day because, as God says, “He has a plan.” This Bag Man on Genesis was a really solid rendition of the arcade game, which I was already a fan of. Anytime we went somewhere, I wanted to play it. But to be honest, with how accessible games like Pac-Man are, I feel like I wasted a pick on this one. I would receive a few plug-and-play Arcade sticks in my day, and I played Miss Pac-Man on this a whole lot more than on Genesis, which meant Sonic 2 was the apple of my eye at the time. I got farther in this than in Sonic 1, the second part of the second level. At the time, it was hard to appreciate how much better of a game Sonic 2 was. I remember maybe liking it a bit more, probably because Chemical Plant Zone was way more fun than Marvel’s own. But I still viewed games as toys, things to play with during playtime. Sonic 1 and Sonic 2 to me were like two dolls that were pretty much the same, so you just kind of stick your hand in the toy box and whatever you pull out, that’s what you’re playing today, except one is on fire. And that was it for my Sega Genesis experiences as a kid. It made me realize how one decision can completely change your outlook on life. I wish I spent more time with this platform and had more games for it, but I’m grateful for having an experience with it at all. This solidified my respect for retro games, alongside the NES rotting at my grandma’s house. Yeah, whenever I’d go to her place, I’d add to the old TV in the den and fire up my cousin’s Nintendo stashed away there with a shoebox of old titles, some of which included a title that always confused me, Jack Nicholas’s Greatest 18 Holes of Major Championship Golf. Look at this, hooray! One of those games I will always remember, even though I never played it. The cartridge’s shiny silver label made it damn near unforgettable. It’s about time I settled the score and see what I’ve been missing all these years. Wow, the 19th Hole. Ninja Turtles 1 and 3 were here right alongside Kung Fu Heroes, Excite Bike, and The Adventures of Bayou Billy. I’m sure you can tell the kind of guy my cousin was. Please tell me I haven’t seen him in years. Well, I dabbled in all of these, but none captured my attention quite like Super Mario Brothers, Duck Hunt, and Super Mario Brothers 3. I would play each one of these games every time I’d visit. So much to the point where my parents helped me replace the controllers by buying new ones on eBay for the thing. I think my mom noticed I was digging this kind of stuff, and while the computer, Genesis, and plug-and-play sufficed, it was time for an upgrade. I have bad news, your son is a gamer now. For my birthday in 2002, I received a purple Game Boy Advance, my very first new game system. Now, considering the rest of my family lived an hour away from me, I think my parents knew I needed some backseat entertainment to get through the car rides every weekend. And after spitting milk in my lap fell through, I guess this was the next best option. And the game I got with it was SpongeBob SquarePants: Legend of the Lost Spatula for Game Boy Color. Let me tell you, as a kid, you’re not always privy to what’s considered a good game, and neither are your parents. And as a mother, I don’t know why you’d buy your kid this anyways. So back in the day, licensed games based on properties you already liked were like lice. I got them as a child. I liked SpongeBob if you will. I was a SpongeBob, a sponge [ __ ]. Oh [ __ ], that was my show. Everybody had their show, so don’t go making fun of me when your show was goddamn Skunk Foo. I watched every episode and consumed everything I possibly could revolving around the franchise for the longest time, until that fateful day when I realized the show hadn’t been good for years. But those early years, there ain’t nothing like it. And hey, this game was released during that era. It’s the first SpongeBob game ever. Can you tell? Yeah, even back then, I could tell this was pretty rudimentary. It was hard to unconditionally love this thing simply due to being based on the show I watched when it was so dull and awkward. It’s confusing as hell too. It’s oftentimes hard to know where to go and what to do. The game is non-linear in its design and revolves around exploring levels to find items to help us progress. Which, hey, they could have just made this a SpongeBob calendar. Props to them for going above and beyond. Alright, when do I start bitching again? Well, if only they made this a SpongeBob calendar, I would know. The screen is so zoomed in and SpongeBob jumps so high and stiff that it’s beyond annoying to get anywhere, especially when so much of the level design revolves around platforms in the air off the screen. But the developers found a great method to teach players what to do. Here, they put various enemies in line with your jumping height off-screen. That’ll teach you to play our game. I never got far in this one as a kid. I honestly would only play to mess around in some of the levels, maybe look at the main menu since it reminded me of the show. I may have played this a lot back in the day, but by that, I mean I let it happen to me. Just a crummy little kids’ game. That’s all this is. It is unacceptable or egregious. It’s just completely worthless if you aren’t a six-year-old SpongeBob fan in 2001. I was five in 2002. Damn it. Pretty interesting experience getting a Game Boy Color game as my first game on Game Boy Advance. I come to think of it, I might have played around with the aspect ratio stretching feature more than the actual game here. But that’s all the more reason to get an actual Game Boy Advance game. And one of my next titles just so happened to be Frogger’s Adventures: Temple of the Frog. Strange, this was one of my first GBA games as I don’t recall being much of a Frogger nut at that age. But hey, maybe I was a late bloomer. This era in gaming felt lucrative for these old-school arcade mascots. I mean, simply judging by the fact this was one of my first games and considering how well it sold overall, I think a lot of parents were buying these for their kids because they recognized the names from back in the ’80s. “Oh, it’s Gorp! They’ll love Gorp!” Temple of the Frog is a pretty natural evolution of the original Frogger arcade game, expanding it from one screen to sprawling levels. It ain’t that bad. Now, what did five-year-old Scott think? He didn’t. Let’s add another to the Scott barely even finished the first level but played this one a lot pile. I don’t know what my problem was. It’s goddamn Frogger. Well, thankfully, my next game was an entirely different story. Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2. The very first Mario game I could call my own, and what an entry to start things off with a bang. Then I didn’t think twice about this being a game from the ’90s thrown onto the GBA, and I just viewed it as the game. But why didn’t I question the copyright date or the back of the box here or what the title meant? This was just a Mario game to me, and even if I didn’t fully comprehend its origins, it didn’t make me any less obsessed. I remember getting some Mario toys from a Wendy’s kids’ meal back in 2002, but one of them was this little action figure. I would tie a Kleenex around his neck to mimic the cape power-up. It just captured my imagination, unlike any game I played prior. Yeah, this was my go-to cartridge at the time for more reasons than one. Literally in glitter, with many Mario games on the Game Boy Advance, was a remake of the original Mario Brothers arcade game, which was bad. Sure, it’s a classic, and we wouldn’t have gotten Super Mario Brothers without Mario Brothers. Yeah, okay, well, the same logic applies to Big Kmart. The gameplay design here is solid, but man, the controls just butcher this one. Jumping in this is like, “Oh, I’m set.” In this version dubbed Mario Brothers Classic, we have actual controls. So smooth and fast-paced with beautiful new backgrounds. Mechanics, four-player multiplayer. This is Mario Brothers to me. This is [ __ ] up. Ain’t this essential during long car rides? Because as great as Super Mario World is, it’s always a plus to have an endurance-based arcade game to hop over to for some variety. This was no doubt one of my favorite games, and you know what that means. I didn’t beat it. I got stuck at this part in the Forest of Illusion. Did you beat a level and the map reveals? Yeah, what the hell does that mean? I wouldn’t say this made me a die-hard Mario fan, but it for sure put the franchise on the map for me and locked in one of the greatest games of all time as an integral part of my childhood. It’s seriously validating to see something that you enjoyed as a kid turned out to be one of the all-time greats. Uh, what’s next on the list? Oh, thank God. Just because I had a Game Boy now, it didn’t mean I stopped tinkering with the PC over there. I had another licensed SpongeBob title, this one being Employee of the Month. Man, I’ve played this one so many times. It’s a point-and-click adventure game, though I think calling this an adventure is pushing it as well as a game. Yeah, point and click here. This is about as interactive as QuickBooks. But considering the target demographic for this, I’m stupid. It makes sense how simple, straightforward, and short this one is. And to be fair, that made it ripe for replays. If I had an hour or two to kill on a lazy summer afternoon, I’d play through this because why not? Certain aspects always resonated with me, the sound effects, locations, items you collected, and public nudity. All the things you just remember as a kid. So replaying it today, while I enjoyed myself, it wasn’t because this was an ideal experience. Just goes to show how much nostalgia can affect your perception of things, which is perfectly fine. I think it’s reasonable to like something just because you grew up with it. However, when you fail to see any flaws and can’t comprehend why nobody else likes it, well, that’s because you’re right. Makes me scared to death to say anything bad about any horrible, stupid, [ __ ] dumbass piece of garbage [ __ ] in this game. Kind of game you might have grown up with. I don’t want to offend you. Like, are there any defenders out there for Rugrats? I gotta go party, also known as Carpet Mice. I gotta take a mean [ __ ]. This was another GBA game of mine based on yet another Nickelodeon property, and it’s a party minigame collection. It’s like watching food rot. Most of the minigames here are of the “who gives a [ __ ] ” variety. In this game, we gotta pick the right thing. Uh, pick the right thing. Pick the right thing. Mike, just let me pick the wrong thing for once. Well, I already chose this game. This features some of the most basic ideas for games imaginable, now with a Rugrat skin. And when things get a little more creative, you realize how much they directly ripped off Mario Party minigames. And when things are completely original, laugh. Absolute time waster. That’s all this was. Not bad, but not substantial whatsoever. It’s something for your thumbs to do. The game, much like I Spy Challenger, another childhood game of mine, damn near blew a gasket trying to remember. Oh yeah, completely forgot I own this. But after replaying it, yep, it’s all coming back to me. This is based on the I Spy books, which were always a treat to peruse. And one problem, they don’t work with the B button. That’s where Challenger comes in. A couple of modes are included, which mostly boil down to actual I Spy or matching-based puzzle games. But once again, we have a game I played a lot, but only when I was depressed enough to do so. Car ride fodder, man. I guess the Pac-Man Collection sort of falls into that category as well. I got four Pac-Man games here: Pac-Man, if you will, the original Pac-Man, which I was more than familiar with at this point, but also Pac-Man Arrangement, Pac-Mania, and Pac-Attack, which were entirely new experiences for me. I got a fair amount of playtime out of every title in this display here. Though looking back, I definitely would have preferred getting Namco Museum here instead. I mean, that has Miss Pac-Man, plus a handful of other Namco arcade games I liked, which was a better variety than four men. But I still got a lot out of this collection, mostly from Pac-Man Arrangement. A new take on the original game with some stage gimmicks and funky ghosts. Makes it way more engaging, especially for a kid. But what sealed the deal for me was the limited continues. Made for an unforgettable night at my grandma’s house, where I played this one for hours. It was legendary. Which is more than I can say about Pac-Attack. I would try this from time to time, but I never understood it all too well. A Pac-Man puzzle game, but of course, at the time, I don’t think I knew what puzzle games were. So I think I mainly played this when I needed to humble myself a bit. Pac-Mania, Pac-Manik Syndrome. I like this one because it was 3D and Pac-Man could jump. What did you like as a kid? And we’re talking Desert Island games again. Would you be Jimmy Neutron versus Jimmy Negatron? Watch how you say that. This was a sequel to the game based on the original movie, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. Though this one is based on the show titled The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, which, based on all existing logos of this game, it is fair to consider this the official title. Though official press releases refer to it otherwise. So what’s the legal name for this game? Well, let’s sue to find out. Oh, and I got nowhere in this one. And for good reason. While these games weren’t anything special, I still popped them in from time to time because I legitimately had the urge to play them. In this game, I only ever put in to see my Game Boy run a 3D-looking thing. I would play for 10 minutes and then react accordingly. Wow, this looks cool. Other than that, I have genuinely no memories of this thing, which is insane. I mean, I remember more about the PC version of this game, which I didn’t own. I just played the demo for it included Employee of the Month. I honestly got a better Jimmy Neutron kick over there with that, plus Nickelodeon Twister 3D, a little application with 3D models of Nickelodeon characters you can manipulate to create your cartoon. And listen, this was a big deal for me back then. I could realize some of my wildest dreams with this thing. Hi there, Carl. I can’t stop. Do you smell it? I loved fiddling around with this kind of stuff, kind of like how I felt with Disney Magic Artist Studio. Though this one, the joy came from creating the Rugrats episode I always wanted. Hi there, Carl. Do you smell it? Between the computer, my GBA, and rotting Sega Genesis, I had enough to keep me busy. But not a ton of genuine gaming experiences were had outside of a few key titles. The kind of games I was playing that pissed my pants or am I just embarrassed? Thus, it was time for something new. For my birthday in 2003, I received a brand new home console, the Nintendo GameCube Platinum Edition. I had no goddamn clue what this was. What does that mean? To be fair, the name did a good job explaining it. It’s a shape. I didn’t ask for this. So I assume my mom pulled a mom in a toy store and was, in fact, a mom in a toy store. Walk up to the clerk, explain you have a son who’s turning six, he has a Game Boy, but that’s it. Well, oh well, I will point you in the direction of the Nintendo GameCube. It’s the cheapest console in the market. It’s kid-friendly, and with an adapter, you can play your Game Boy games on it too. Because there is no way in hell she would have gotten this for me if that wasn’t the case. Yep, alongside the GameCube, the only game I got with it was the Game Boy Player, which did ensure I had a beefy library of games to play right from the get-go. By that, I mean, I feel this is more beef than game. Game Boy Player was an awesome contraption, but as my only GameCube game for a bit there, it made for an odd first impression. Like, the only reason I’d play this console for a while there was to understand the concept of unnecessary. Ah, I don’t like this, though. It was something I used just for the sake of switching things up. Back then, I needed a game made for the GameCube to get the most out of this console. For an experience, I couldn’t have already. So, one day at Toys R Us, I had the opportunity to get an actual GameCube game. For a damn wild guess, SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom. Yet another licensed game, yet another Nickelodeon game, yet another SpongeBob game. I bet you’re saying, “I predict the next game he owned was ‘Suicide in Five.'” Well, Battle for Bikini Bottom spoke to me, as it had SpongeBob on the front. I think I just saw a SpongeBob thing. I wanted a SpongeBob thing. But by God, out of all SpongeBob things, this was the SpongeBob thing. Behold, Scott’s greatest accomplishment, convincing his mom to buy this for him. Because I genuinely could not imagine my childhood without this game. I know that sounds silly, but this especially considering how the other SpongeBob games I’ve played weren’t all too great. But this, this was special. A 3D platformer not unlike Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie, but this was SpongeBob. This was SpongeBob’s world. I was transported into my favorite show as a kid, which I think emphasizes how important licensed games can be if done properly. The levels here were so big and lovingly crafted to be incredibly faithful interpretations of locations from the source material. I remember exploring SpongeBob’s house and neighborhood by themselves for hours, voicing the characters to craft my cartoon in real time. I would pop a blank VHS tape into the VCR, hook up my GameCube, and record everything, trying to control the game smoothly enough and now let’s skip cutscenes so I would have my own little SpongeBob episode. This was the perfect game for a SpongeBob fan in the 2000s and a good game in its own right. Like I said, it’s pretty much Mario 64 but SpongeBob. Golden spatulas are linked to various objectives throughout an area. Do them to progress throughout the game. Pretty simple but very effective execution. There’s a reason anybody born in 1997 won’t shut the hell up about this game. Though they really should sometimes. I’ve seen fellow lovers of this game beg authors to give it a try. Others were people who barely ever watched the show and were 40 years old. Why bother with that request? Just cut to the chase and ask them to tell you this thing you love sucks. When this game got a remake in 2020, a whole lot of people went, “I don’t get it.” And I understand where they’re coming from, but also not at the same time. On one hand, this game isn’t anything groundbreaking. It’s a clone of Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie. However, that hasn’t stopped other games from being lauded. Do we expect anything more out of this game than what it is? A solid 3D platformer for kids based on SpongeBob? I think that’s on you, not the game. I have heard some fans say this is one of the greatest games of all time, and I would agree when I was six. I wouldn’t say it’s aged poorly at all. Rather, what made this so amazing at the time was experiencing it as a kid. Nowadays, it’s easy to see a good kids’ game, but harder to see anything more than that. If you didn’t play it back then, come on, it’s fully voiced with colorful, detailed visuals, great fitting music, solid level design, controls, and a good length. How can you look at this and think it’s just another licensed kids’ game from the 2000s? Like, am I insane? I’ve always thought this looked at leagues better than similar titles at the time. The boss fights, man, the epic music is etched into my mind, especially the final one. That’s usually one of the coolest last levels out there. That you defeat the giant robot SpongeBob, then go inside him for a mix of a platforming gauntlet and ultimate showdown, with the very last bit asking to use your homing crow’s bubble missile attack to destroy these three units of the robot’s brain. This is so damn cool. I would boot the game up just to replay the final boss constantly. Though this was something that always bugged me, you couldn’t replay any of the other objectives once you beat the game. There’s nothing for you to do when you return to these areas. That did encourage me to make fun by running around. This game changed me, man. It got me to pick up my first memory card. For a few weeks there, I would just play the opening bit over and over again without saving. It got me to try 100% in a game. Back then, I nabbed 93 out of the 100 golden spatulas and maxed out my currency to the point where when I would collect more, no sound effects would play. It got me to bring a video game instruction manual to school to thumb through as a book. It got me punched in the face. And it got me to beg for the same damn game three times in a row. Yes, of course, I had to give Battle for Bikini Bottom for PC as well. I just loved this game so much. I just had to play it there. And there you know, that’s good enough. Now, PC versions of console games are normally the same deal, but that’s not the case for titles aimed at children. This is a completely different experience. I guess a lot of kids were in the same boat as me when it came to their relationship with the PC. It’s one of your first gaming experiences and it’s on what dad doesn’t do his taxes on. You’re probably not gonna have the motor skills to control a game like this with a keyboard and mouse, let alone own a USB game controller. So it just made sense for this to be a completely different point-and-click minigame collection. I mean, this was how I learned what wisdom was. This thing reuses nearly all of its assets from Employee of the Month, thank God, but it’s now a minigame collection based around pointing and clicking with the mouse. I mean, the general premise is the same as the console game, but that’s it. Robots have overtaken Bikini Bottom, but you sure as hell wouldn’t know that by playing it. These games all feel so disconnected. It’s just a bunch of random ideas loosely tied together via SpongeBob trying to find his friends and save the city. But does this minigame make me feel like I’m doing a damn thing to save the city? Feels like I’m doing SpongeBob’s laundry. This was probably either developed as a completely different game that got a reskin to fit the theme of the console game or was cobbled together right quick to get a PC skew of the game out in time. Either way, much like Employee of the Month, I played this a ton. I do appreciate how this was different from what came before and the console game in pace, I guess. These minigames were, they kept my attention. Though I feel the sound effects played a massive role in my satisfaction here. There’s just something so pleasing about it all. It’s hard to explain. But what’s even harder to explain is the third goddamn version of this game I owned. Battle for Bikini Bottom on GBA. For some reason, when I got this game, I envisioned it being the PC game running on my Game Boy. The thought of playing this in the car. Oh, but when I finally popped it in, I learned a valuable lesson that day. I should take a bath. Yeah, this is just a pretty basic 2D platformer. I played it, but it was never a huge favorite of mine. But honestly, my greatest memory with this was in putting random things on the password screen when I was bored and guessing the code for the final boss. That was one of my finest moments as a user of skin. I’m naming my kid this now. Around this era of my childhood, I recall harnessing my creativity like never before and truly making something friends. Now, back then, making friends was smooth sailing. All you had to do was look at somebody funny and boom, you got an invite to their birthday. And because of that, I got a lot of experience docking at other kids’ game consoles. It was like stepping into an alternate reality. This was how I thought games were played these days. So to see my peers had this instead, how does that work? You’re a kid, you own a GameCube. I thought it was pretty straightforward. But no, one of my neighbors had a PlayStation 2 and showed me a PlayStation 2 owner get [ __ ] done. They owned Shrek 2, Shrek’s Super Party, and Rugrats Royal Ransom, and they lived right next to me. Then Xbox owners could never. I remember fiddling around with these at their house, but they never left a huge impression. And that was because they had one other game. [ __ ] Christ, God, yes, a SpongeBob game. I didn’t own Revenge of the Flying Dutchman. No joke, what sold me on this one was the fact it played the full intro to the show. They didn’t alter a damn thing. It’s ripped right from it. A Battle for Bikini Bottomatic cover version of the theme playing during this basic-ass title screen. And from what I played, exploring Bikini Bottom was far more traditional in this game compared to Battle. That one had a bit of destruction caused by the robot outbreak. So what appealed to me about Revenge of the Flying Dutchman was that it felt like the most true-to-form interpretation of the series. It had the opening, it had the default world. Oh, I wanted this one for myself. But I guess around this time, the console version was a bit too old to actively find retailers. It was a 2002 baby. And the difference in quality between the 2002 PlayStation 2 games and the 2003 ones is staggering. It babies had a slump that year. So they probably just weren’t stacking it anymore. But that wasn’t the case for the Game Boy Advance version. Out, son of a [ __ ]. It turns out Battle for Bikini Bottom on GBA was a follow-up to this game. And by God, do I wish it wasn’t? I never liked how SpongeBob looked in these titles. He just, he looks [ __ ] gross. Kind of bootleg, honestly. These games are both pretty interchangeable to me. I didn’t dislike them, but they sure as hell weren’t a part of my daily regimen. I missed a Tuesday somewhere. But listen, while you can infer a lot from my thoughts on these two games, you can’t assume I wasn’t a fan of two games built from the same assets. Because for Christmas 2004, my grandma got me the SpongeBob SquarePants movie video game for GameCube. It reused damn near everything from Battle for Bikini Bottom on consoles but switched things up to make this unique and fresh experience. And now we only have two playable characters. A much more linear experience here, featuring less exploration than Battle. And that, plus the worlds being based on one 90-minute movie compared to seasons upon seasons worth of a show, made this less interesting than what came before for me. But this was still a great time. It had better gameplay variety with driving levels and slide levels, you could upgrade your attack moves. The boss fights once again was stellar. I just loved replaying them. They were so exciting. The unlockables were so rewarding. Like, damn, I earned this. And I think the atmosphere throughout is phenomenal. The ice cream parlor, the rocky desert side, the apocalyptic Bikini Bottom, this trench. I mean, I have never gotten my trench fix like I do from this game. And played Battle for Bikini Bottom more, but it was probably like 60/40. I think the movie game was fun to play as a straightforward video game with cool levels and platforming challenges. But Battle was a better, more fleshed-out package overall. I mean, so much of the movie game’s content is padded out with “repeat what you just did, but now go through rings.” But as a kid, this stuff never fazed me. Then next year, for my birthday, I finally got a Game Boy Advance game I didn’t have to create a PowerPoint to justify. Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3.

Yeah, it’s about time I got another actual video game, and it was quite a fitting one considering my history was Super Mario World. It meant never before had I played a game so lively. As much as I loved Mario World, this is the most video game-ass video game. You ain’t fooling anybody here, it’s real Yoshi’s Island. It feels like you’re peering into another dimension where all of this is going on – how the enemies move, how you can interact with the environment, the animations, and the character voices. It all came together to create a game unlike anything I had ever played before, all while feeling like a natural follow-up to Super Mario World. I was pretty damn happy with these two as my Mario games on the handheld, though I do wish I had the others as well, especially Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Brothers 3. And when I saw that game was a thing, this was when I was starting to put two and two together. That’s the game I played at my grandma’s. I think I was only starting to get a clue about how these video games worked, so naturally, I became far more reasonable with the games I asked for. Eventually, the SpongeBob movie game for Game Boy Advance became another birthday present in ’05. All I remember about this one was that it wasn’t too bad. It was a pretty quality time, quality enough to remember anything about this game. What game? I don’t know. This one just didn’t stick with me as much, even though at the time, I could tell how much better this was than the previous GBA games. I think I was just growing up. I wasn’t as enthusiastic about something just because it had SpongeBob on it. I was forming more of my own opinions, and my taste, and no time was that more apparent than when I finally found this piece of [ __ ]. Yeah, I remember going to an EB Games and finding a used copy of Revenge of the Flying Dutchman for GameCube. Oh my God, I finally can have it all to myself. Where’s the intro? Where? Where? Where is the intro? That’s half the goddamn reason I wanted this game. So the GameCube discs couldn’t possibly fit such a meaty video file on them. I mean, 45 seconds of footage? Nah, man. Have you seen this game? We can’t fit that. It’s already bursting at the seams. Revenge of the Flying Dutchman is one of the emptiest feeling games I’ve ever played. Every area feels like an ominous Ghost Town. Oftentimes, there’s no music. All you hear is the ambiance of the ocean floor, and it’s honestly creepy. But when there is music, it’s linked to one of the four costumes you can wear. Not there. You’re in. So it’s like, “Oh yeah, the entire world is crumbling around me, and death is imminent.” A 3D platformer that’s just so awkward and slow and weird. I mean, it genuinely feels like they put out the rough draft rather than the finished project. Like, what is this font? What are these menus? What is this Glide move? What? SpongeBob flaps like a bird? Look at these visuals. Look at these physics. Oh my God, I finally figured it out. This is what a bad video game is. I’ve spent goddamn hours as a kid delivering food in downtown Bikini Bottom where every street looks the same and you get exact addresses you have to find yourself. Like, dude, the target demographic for your game is womb fresh. They’re not gonna want this, nor do they understand it. The rest of the game is so unremarkable. It’s honestly remarkable. Most people at this point would throw in the towel. They’d say, “Yep, this game is bad. I’m not wasting my time on it.” Yeah, I played this one a lot right after I gained standards too. I knew this game was junk at the time, but there was something about it that just drew me back to it time and time again. Just kind of that comfort food guilty pleasure of mine. I think I was just always entranced by this game’s early GameCube and PS2 energy. It’s an unintentionally strange, ominous feeling. While it wasn’t good, it also wasn’t unplayable, and I would pop it in more often than I’d care to admit. But my god did own this makes me envious of PS2 owners? I mean, you compare the two here, and I was coming out looking rough. Now, that would be the last thing I would say out loud. Well then, I better get started. I think that was because I was coming down with that console war fever. You’re gonna defend your thing because of the idea of you having the inferior thing. Wow, Mr. Negative over here. I’m not being negative. I just own a GameCube. As much as I would scoff at my friend’s PlayStation twos, I was secretly very envious. And that envy bubbled up so much that it had to be released with my next hand-me-down. Get it? Did exactly that. Turned out that was an ulcer. One of my other cousins ended up giving me his PlayStation one alongside two discs: Gran Turismo 2 disc one and Rascal demo. Well, damn, why did my cousin stop there? He could have thrown in a bloody nose. Suffice it to say, I didn’t use my PS1 much. I messed around with playing audio CDs on it. I recall playing Rascal maybe twice. Do you know how they say these are the best years of your life? Yeah, they just say that to make Rascal feel better. Gran Turismo I played for probably five minutes. It left no impression on me. It didn’t get me into the series, didn’t get me to watch the movie. I couldn’t care less because, quite frankly, I had the only racing game worth a damn over on my Game Boy: Mario Kart Super Circuit. My first Mario Kart. I recall seeing my cousins play something like this on their Nintendo 64. Damn, what was it? But this was all mine and easily one of my favorite GBA games. I mean, this looked so damn similar to that N64 game my cousins played. It was like a console game to go. And the fact that it was Mario Kart, pure and simple fun, infinitely replayable, that made it a no-brainer pick for car rides. The cartridge was lost at my uncle’s house. If that upsets you, he lost it, not me. Out of all games to lose, like I couldn’t have lost Nicktoons Freeze Frame Frenzy instead. No, but I could lose my [ __ ]. Okay, so this was probably one of the most genetically engineered by the marketing machine games I own. It’s a Nicktoons photography game. Ah, they just made this because Nickelodeon photography games were all the rage back then. Okay, what I mean by the marketing machine is how this just feels like a weird damn product. Like they just wanted to whip up a quick game with all the Nickelodeon characters on the cover, and this was one of the fastest options. And the strangest thing about this is it’s not that bad. It’s like Pokemon Snap, but this one has more of like a [ __ ] tummy pickle sort of vibe. Keep an eye out for certain things to take pictures of. Made for a unique experience on the GBA, but one that felt like a forced concept with these characters. Most of them, I’m not sure of canonically, even held a camera, which makes me severely question the market for this game. Just SpongeBob with a cameraman. I love that [ __ ]. As halfway decent as this game was, it always felt kind of cheap to me. Like this wasn’t a true crossover. These were soulless husks, not the real characters. And the box art just has a bunch of them photoshopped together within that template all the Nickelodeon video releases had for a while there. Nothing screams “this matters” more than Impact font. No, no, no, that’s Papyrus. Well, if anything, Freeze Frame Frenzy proved to me how much I enjoyed exploring the world of other cartoons I watched, which led to my next GameCube game. I’ll talk about this one next. How about that? The Fairly Odd Parents: Breaking the Rules. One of my other favorite shows on Nickelodeon, though I remember watching it more often than not just because it was on, not because I desperately needed to catch every episode. But I still enjoyed it quite a bit, enough to warrant owning a video game based on the property. And this adequately did the job. Now, does that make it a good video game? I did my job today. Does that make me a good person? Listen, I loved the variety of locations in this game, all based on episodes from the show. But the core gameplay here was just a typical 3D platformer that honestly was a bit more boring than fun most of the time. It wasn’t bad, just pretty damn basic and bland. And the only thing that sets this apart from any other kids’ game was the fact this was The Fairly OddParents. And hey, it did that aspect fairly well. They converted one of the flattest [ __ ] cartoons I’ve ever seen into a fully 3D world. In nearly every review I’ve seen of this game, commented on how they could have done this better. Man, the first wheel is pretty rough, let me tell you. How I would have done it, considering this was 2003 and they had to turn this into a 3D model, I think they did pretty well all things considered. Regardless, I think a 2D game would fit the show a lot more, which is where Breaking the Rules for Game Boy Advance comes in. I owned this game. Oh, memories. Yeah, this is another one of those I forgot about for the longest time. Shooting frogs. I don’t want them. Now I remember why I blocked this from my memory. Around this time, I received the fully redesigned Flame Red Game Boy Advance SP, now featuring a lit screen. Oh, that’s what I’ve been playing. And one of my final GBA games, The Simpsons: Road Rage. These days, I fully understand this game being a ripoff of Sega’s Crazy Taxi series. In 2005, I just didn’t understand it. So you pick up people and drop them off where they want as quickly as possible for the best kind of cash. But I didn’t know that back then. I considered this more a replacement for my missing Mario Kart cartridge, which made the main mode confusing as hell for me. So I always opted to select Sunday drive, and that’s all I did in this game. Drive nowhere in particular. I would just roam around until I got bored. That’s enough of that. And those were my Game Boy Advance games. Now, I did own a few GBA video cartridges, much like how Vlad the Impaler killed a few people. But these were my games, and well, I did not get as much out of this thing as I thought I did. Most of these left no impression on me. The few that did really did and completely solidified the GBA as one of my core toys as a kid. But the GameCube games I owned were far less forgettable, and the next one up was SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants. THQ was pumping out a new SpongeBob console game every single year, and believe me, I was paying attention. This was my Madden. But hey, that meant they had to be working on multiple projects at once. So instead of being helmed by the Battle for Bikini Bottom team, this was a THQ Studio Australian joint and was advertised as the first multiplayer SpongeBob game ever. Did I take advantage of this feature? Sure, yes. The only child with barely any other kids in his neighborhood had a Mario Party-style game, and he played it by himself a lot. Oh my God, your sympathy tastes so good. Well, I did wish I had others to play this with. I’ve still had a blast here. Over time, I’ve grown more and more impressed with Lights, Cameras, and Pants. The basis of this game revolves around everybody wanting to be cast in a Mermaid Man episode, and the mini-games are auditions, with your reward for winning a block of them being your character nabbing the role and appearing in a scene. And there are versions of every scene with each playable character in the guest role. It’s genuinely a fantastic idea for a party game and makes it more than just a Mario Party clone. Double that without the mini-games themselves are fun. And we may have, wait, let him finish. The biggest bronze with this game is the low times and the number of mini-games, only about 30, which pales in comparison to other party games. But the 2005 Scott didn’t know that. All he knew was isolation. This was all good fun, and I appreciate this game a ton. But obviously, I was more of a single-player guy. Come 2006, the next SpongeBob game was looking to be the best yet, SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab. I [ __ ] hated this game. The advertisements and box art got me excited. This looked so ambitious. Like, damn, I get to wreak havoc as a giant Plankton, and I get to take down the monster of SpongeBob in a plane. Well, that’s all the advertising showed. But the concept was so badass, and when I saw more of the game, I mean, this looks like Battle for Bikini Bottom. This is gonna be great. I [ __ ] hated this game back in the day. If asked what my least favorite game of all time was, this was my immediate response. I mean, first off, this game looks ugly as hell. It uses some assets from previous games, but the animation is atrocious here. This is how SpongeBob talks throughout the whole game. They started to stretch his lips randomly. Then they tried to do these different art styles, and it’s [ __ ] nasty. The first level is a racing segment. You’re not racing anybody in particular. You’re just trying to get to the end. This goes on for five minutes. Then we have a platforming segment that goes on for 30 damn minutes and is one of the most grueling experiences I had as a kid. It just goes on and on and on. They just keep having you do the same thing over and over again. “Hey, fight this enemy. Then fight the same enemy again and again and again.” This stage feels like it never ends. It’s so basic and simple, yet it takes forever to get through because they have you do something and then repeat it three more times. And for a licensed kids’ game like this, I could look the other way if they at least put you in a cool location from the property, like The Fairly OddParents game. No, we’re in this hot rod world that has nothing to do with SpongeBob. It’s not interesting to explore. It doesn’t feel like I’m in the show. Nothing is satisfying here. Doesn’t help the controls are way floatier and less responsive than Battle for Bikini Bottom. They aren’t bad, but they don’t feel as tactile. They went for goofier animations, which I guess fit the property, but damn, it doesn’t feel great. And the rest of the game has the same problems throughout. There are eight more stages, and none of them feel the greatest to control. They all go on for far too long. This game genuinely frustrated the hell out of me back then. In a space now difficult, it’s like it loves to waste your time repeating gameplay that already wasn’t great, to begin with. When it’s all said and done, Creature from the Krusty Krab has a few platforming stages, a few vehicle-based ones, and a level based around destroying Bikini Bottom as a giant Plankton, which is the best part of the game, which doesn’t mean it also isn’t way too [ __ ] long. It’s a damn mini-game collection where the mini-games are artificially lengthened to 30 minutes long a piece, and there are like five unique ones. Bummed me out because the concept here is pretty damn good. Hopping between three characters’ dreams with them all eventually colliding. But instead of taking advantage of the idea, it feels like the developers used it as an excuse to half-ass everything and create a game where it’s just a hodgepodge of random [ __ ]. And the cherry on top of everything was after I beat everything as a kid, the GameCube version’s ending has no audio. I remember saying, “Screw it, I’ll give the cutscene some sound.” This isn’t the worst game out there, but it genuinely upset me. This was such a huge step back from previous SpongeBob games, and that hurt 10 times more considering how there were some decent ideas here. But none of that mattered because it’s obvious this was rushed and unpolished. I’ll just meet the Wii’s launch in 2006. Nintendo approached THQ about a SpongeBob game for the platform. So if they went to the developer of Breaking the Rules to do it, why? I liked Breaking the Rules, but I wouldn’t trust my firstborn with it. Well, this developer was quite busy at the time because they also put out a sequel to Breaking the Rules in 2004, The Fairly OddParents: Shadow Showdown. Another one I own, but to be honest, this just didn’t leave the same impression the prior game did for me, which is unfortunate because I can tell this is a superior title. It’s more fleshed out and polished, but I just wasn’t as into this as the first one. And the story was more original compared to Breaking the Rules, which was more each level based on an episode. But I kind of like that. I didn’t want fan fiction. Who the hell are these characters? Somebody’s favorite? Well, one of the last GameCube games I got from my parents was a Nickelodeon-based, but still published by THQ, that being Cars: The Video Game. Suddenly, all those family vacations are making sense. I liked the movie well enough, but it wasn’t on the same level as the other Pixar films. I mean, it was two damn hours long, and for what? A race car that learns there’s more to life than the big time? Honey, that isn’t a film’s plot. That’s a haiku. Well, it is when it comes to the game. I wouldn’t say I played it more so used it. I don’t think I completed a single thing here. I just liked driving around the world. A distinct memory of mine was my mom coming in to watch me play this game and commenting how games’ graphics have gotten crazy lately. To Cars: The Video Game. I mean, sure, if you’ve never seen orange juice before, it’s gonna catch you off guard. And yep, this was my Gorg GameCube collection. For a while there, I picked up a few more titles later down the line, but these made up the main lineup for me. Didn’t think this would be a sob story, now did you? Okay, so I hold the memories I experienced with these games close to my heart, but even I have to stand back and ask, what the hell was going on here? I went through deep into my comfort zone with this library, picking games that look familiar rather than good. But most of these games still offered quality enough experiences. Most games, not [ __ ] I never said [ __ ] and I’m always going to look back at these fondly. Do I ever have to play them again? No, but I have so much respect for these games. They may not have been perfect, but they were integral to my childhood. I love playing these over and over again, just exploring the worlds I love to watch in movies and TV shows. But they helped to broaden my imagination in that way. It made me feel as if I was in my favorite cartoons, and that was something I wouldn’t trade for the world. I gotta shut the [ __ ] up sometimes. We’ve officially entered the intermission in my video gaming years. From 2006 to 2007, I was sort of just coasting along with what I had. That didn’t mean I wasn’t getting new games. Rather, I was getting them when I saw them at Big Lots or GameStop for like five bucks. Like Operation Krabby Patty and The SpongeBob Movie on PC. They weren’t anything to write home about, especially Operation Krabby Patty. Well, outside of the cutscenes. Nowhere am I gonna get that kind of money. Thank you. Remember the Bubble Cannon SpongeBob? They’re after me, mommy. I was at my cousin’s house playing his PlayStation 2. I recall he needed Speed: Most Wanted, which was fun. But I was drawn to Pac-Man World 2. So much so that when I told him I owned a PlayStation 1, he lent me the game, assuming it would work on the thing. But my cousin’s quality is going downhill. No matter how hard I tried, I wasn’t getting any use out of this damn PS1. And believe me, I tried. And in no time did I try harder than when I got my one and only PlayStation game as a gift. Now, you may be asking, what game might that be? Well, there’s only one SpongeBob game on it. SpongeBob SquarePants: Super Sponge. This was not only a birthday present, but one from a friend. And when you get a video game from somebody other than your parents, I mean, that’s a big deal. I remember seeing a friend have this game over at their house and wanted it. Considering I had a PS1, though asking for a game on that console in the mid-2000s, that’s a bit tricky. That’s like asking for not bubonic plague in 1350. So I don’t know where they found it, but after so many years, I think I finally know. Oh, the best way to describe this game is just kind of lame. I want to go as far as saying it’s really [ __ ] bad. I just say it’s really bad. There’s nothing to this. Other games I had as a kid when I pop them in again, I can’t wait to do certain things. They just left such an impact on me, even if the game itself wasn’t all too great, to begin with. Super Sponge, there’s not a single damn thing I want to re-experience. This is such a basic and bland 2D platformer that just doesn’t do anything interesting or unique or cool. I remember this was a last resort for me back then. Fine, I’ll eat my leg. Only popping when you genuinely have nothing better to do. It may not have frustrated me back then, but it just felt like a waste of time. And that was my PlayStation 1 library. Couldn’t live without it. Much like hell, I can’t live without arsenic. Would have gotten more use out of this thing if the damn PS2 game worked on it. Well, thankfully, I eventually found Pac-Man World 2 for the GameCube at a GameStop for five bucks. Finally, no need for my cousin anymore. This game just made me happy. I never got far in it, but that’s not what it was about. It was about the bouncy, jolly atmosphere. The controls were just plain fun to use, and it was simply well-designed. I always considered this to be a solid evolution of the original Pac-Man. If you had to turn this into a big 3D platforming world, this is how you do it. I can pop this in whenever and have a grand old time. And because of that, I do question why I never got far here. I only ever played a bit past the first boss. I think a good chunk of my memories came from playing it over at my cousin’s. Then when I got it for myself, I think most of the satisfaction came from finally owning it rather than, “Oh yeah, this is all I’m gonna [ __ ] do from now on.” With that being said, I will always have a soft spot for Pac-Man World 2. Whatever this game would do, you know I’d support it, damn it. Now, something I had always wanted to dabble in was the fabled game trade. Your friend has a game you want, you have a game your friend wants, and you agree to swap games. I wanted this so bad. I practically begged one of my friends to do it. He owned Mario Kart: Double Dash, which we played a ton during sleepovers. I adored what I played, especially the battle mode. I was desperate to own that myself, but he refused to trade it with me or even let me buy it from him because he didn’t want any of my games. Why? But one game he was willing to part with for a crisp ten dollars was Super Mario Sunshine. You know, I was excited before realizing one of the games he owned at the time was Nicktoons: Battle for Volcano Island. Why did he want to get rid of this one? Maybe it’s because Mario Sunshine is a bit of an acquired taste, like mine or benzene. I wanted this because I loved the Mario games on the NES and my Game Boy. Oh, I recall trying out a Super Mario game on Nintendo 64. I liked. I’m pretty tired of not having any actual video games for my GameCube. Hell, even Pac-Man World 2. Nowadays, if you bring up how you like that game, then why even bother? Just say you were born in 1997. That’s just as effective. It’s like you’d only care about the games I owned if you were a genuine child in that era. I was ready to experience a real game. Mario Sunshine was another I didn’t get too far in, but I still loved what I played. Much like Pac-Man World 2, I never got far here. But I still have fond memories of the time I spent with it.

Here is the corrected text:

It was just plain fun to control using Flood to clean up all the sludge. It was so satisfying jumping about and running around. It felt good, and thankfully I didn’t get far enough in here to realize why Mario’s Sunshine has an acquired taste. Yeah, that’s not great, but this proved to me I was missing out on a ton with the lifestyle I chose for myself. There’s a world beyond licensed games, you know, and if it’s half the quality of Super Mario Sunshine, well, that’s a world worth living in. And I think the game I didn’t have that sounded the most appealing to me was Grand Theft Auto. The concept of being able to do whatever you want in this giant realistic city boggled my mind. I viewed this as the game to end all games. Why would you play anything else? I don’t know. It wasn’t meant. I’m not even sure what my parents’ stance on M-rated games was because I was too goddamn scared to ask. I knew this stuff wasn’t for me. I knew I couldn’t buy these myself without the cashier [ __ ] exploding. I don’t know. I didn’t want to risk it. I never asked for anything like this because I just always assumed the answer would have been no. This is why one day at GameStop, I picked up two used GameCube games. One specifically to scratch that GTA itch, The Simpsons: Hit and Run, ready to eat for it. Thank God I’m nine. While Road Rage copied Crazy Taxi, Hit, and Run copied GTA. It’s pretty wild how all Simpsons games that were released in this generation were blatant rip-offs of other titles. Then to make Hit and Run a bad game, they made Simpson’s Skateboarding. But this was an excellent time, especially if you were a fan of the show. Though I think you can get a lot out of this one on its own. I loved [ __ ] around in this game. It was a great blend of GTA and traditional 3D platformers, and the story missions were fun. But things would always end up right back where they started. The reason I bought this game in the first place. Now you may be asking, what was the other game I bought at GameStop? I am too. Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup. It was the cheapest game available. I watched three of the movies, sure. I popped it in once. I don’t even think I got past the main menu. That was my GameCube library by the year 2007. I could tell my current roster of game consoles was losing its luster. During one of the fabled Mario Kart Double Dash sleepovers, one of my friends whipped out their Nintendo DS with Cars: The Video Game in tow. I was awestruck at the size of the game cards and how the visuals were far more advanced than anything I saw on the GBA. This was the fanciest game system I had ever seen. It looked so premium with its two screens, touch input, and 3D visuals. The games came in a plastic case. You could choke on the cartridges. You couldn’t do that in Genesis, damn it. Soon after, everywhere I looked, everybody had a DS. Kids using PictoChat, sending messages, raising dogs, and doing all kinds of things I thought weren’t even remotely possible on the go. For my 10th birthday in June of 2007, I got a white Nintendo DS Lite and Nintendogs: Labs and Friends. I remember this is one of those birthday gifts you knew you were getting before you got it. I went to the store with my parents and pointed out the exact things I wanted. My mind had taken away from some excitement, but at least we didn’t have a situation on our hands. He said he wanted a DS. The Nintendo DS Lite was the first game system I owned and I truly felt passionate about it. At the moment, I the GBA and GameCube, I loved these things to death, but at the time, they were just the game systems I happened to own. The DS, I actively sought out. I wanted this thing, damn it. And oddly enough, I think PictoChat had a lot to do with that. To be honest, I didn’t use this to send messages to other DS users, but that’s not why I wanted to use it. I used it to create crude flipbook animations, and that’s the story I’m sticking to. But Nintendogs was the true standout here, and honestly, I couldn’t think of a better way to show off the handheld. A bubble blower toy. If you know, you know, right? I wasn’t very imaginative here and only had two dogs, both based on the dogs my family already had. Both were black labs, so I may not have pushed Nintendogs to the limits of what it could do, but that’s not the point of these types of games. These were my e-dogs, and I raised them how I wanted to, damn it. Wrong. This was such a magical and addicting game back then, and nowadays there’s not much reason to go back. It just doesn’t feel like there’s enough content to keep me engaged outside of a quick nostalgia trip here and there. But hey, that’s no problem, because I think Nintendogs did its job and then some. During its prime, it earned a well-deserved rest. That’s code for “I never need to play this ever again.” But damn, what an introduction. I was in love with the DS. It was so cool. I just had to get something else for it. Oh my God, something. It was a summer afternoon. We were in a Walmart with my grandpa, and I walked through the video game section, noticing something frankly unbelievable. Nintendo DS browser. Holy shh, that’s a web page. I can surf the web on my DS for only the exact amount of money I had in my wallet at that exact moment. After saving up for months, well, this must be destiny because I have exactly that. Yeah, I immediately bought this, but could you blame me? I always wanted a laptop to be able to use the computer wherever I please. So I was begging my parents for a netbook. I saw those were damn cheap, but turns out I didn’t need to beg for that. All I needed was my DS and a good sense of humor. I did not understand the concept of Wi-Fi back then. Hell, we didn’t even have it. So this was useless. I played it all the time. I was desperate for it to work. I would pop it in just praying for something to magically happen. Fiddling around with the settings constantly. I mean, it was kind of cool to have an interface like this on the DS. It at least sort of felt like I had a computer on the go. That didn’t work, but still. Yeah, I was pretty damn bummed about this. One of the first full-priced games I bought myself, a goddamn web browser I was never able to use. I can’t wait to tear into this one on my deathbed. Thankfully, a few months later, I rectified that poor choice with just a choice. My next DS game was Looney Tunes: Duck Amuck. All right, so I think I remember seeing this advertised alongside this big Looney Tunes console game in 2007, Acme Arsenal. Strange how this uses the same somewhat darker style when this is anything but. Back in the day, I was a connoisseur of classic animation, specifically the old Warner Brothers stuff. Yet the TV channel Boomerang, which would play all the content of Cartoon Network was too cool to air anymore. Why listen? I will never act like a lot of this stuff was all too great, but I always had a soft spot for retro media like this. It was always really comforting. I loved the history behind it all, and the Boomerang TV channel itself was so reliable. It played the same damn things over and over again, had no commercials, yet played the same game you’re watching Boomerang spots constantly in place of ad breaks. And because it was more of a specialty channel available on certain cable packages, and my dad constantly swapped providers to get a better deal, I’d have access to Boomerang, and then I wouldn’t, and then a year later I’d get it again, and lo and behold, it’s playing the same old [ __ ] I loved it. But my favorite programming on there was the classic Looney Tunes shorts. I adored these, and well, that Acme Arsenal game looked kind of cool, I guess. It felt like it was trying too hard to be cool like it’s Foghorn Leghorn with a [ __ ] gun. Well, it’s about damn time, Duck Amuck wasn’t trying to be that. Rather, it was a faithful adaptation of the shorts, specifically the one it’s named after, where an artist is [ __ ] around with the duck. And quite frankly, this might be one of the most ingenious licensed games of all time. Just look at this box art. It’s like, “Oh, you get to be that artist with the DS stylus. That’s such a great idea.” Well, listen, props to the developer WayForward for making this in the first place. It’s such a cool concept, and it’s chock full of voice acting and great animation that this genuinely feels like you’re interacting with a Looney Tunes short. But this novelty only goes so far when the game itself is just a shallow mini-game collection. And now, to be fair, it’s not like this doesn’t make sense as a mini-game collection. You’re an artist putting Daffy Duck in silly scenarios and messing around with him. I don’t think RTS was the right move, but it just doesn’t make this a super compelling title outside of the well-executed premise. As a kid, though, this was a cute time. I remember I showed this to my three-year-old cousin who loved it. He would beg me to play the Duck game again. I think that shows how this game did what it set out to do, and it was one I appreciated. Now, Duck Amuck was a game I recall getting at a GameStop one day on a whim, something I just wanted at that moment. But the next DS title I got around this time was one of the first games my eyes were glued to from reveal to release. Jeez, Scott, you exclaim. What game might that be? I’ll give you a hint. Who gives a [ __ ]? The Simpsons game. This was a pretty hyped-up release at the time. I mean, the title itself ignores the dozens of other Simpsons games, asserting this is The Simpsons game. And I have brown hair and glasses. EA put so much behind this one. I remember checking out the website multiple times a week, watching the new trailers. Most of the levels were parodies of other video games, so they released trailers for each of them as if they were actual standalone games. And I loved that. Plus, the game itself looked gorgeous. The cell shading helped it stand out, especially compared to something like Hit and Run, which looked fine, but this, it was like you were transported into the show. And on top of that, many of the cutscenes were animated in 2D, just like the series. This was damn cool at the time. I was so pumped. Definitely. Yeah, but 2007 was a big year for The Simpsons franchise, with the movie releasing that summer. I made it so much easier to ask for the worst version of the game. Yeah, the only console I own that this released on at the time was the DS. It felt like this game was taunting you if you bought it on any platform other than the Xbox 360, with each one getting different box art. I liked this, but it makes this one seem like the serious one, with the others being just a flat-out joke. Well, the DS version is a 2D platformer, though it retains full video cutscenes, which was awesome to have on a handheld. I remember watching these things at restaurants while waiting for our food. While you remember being socially acceptable. The cutscenes in the DS game were weird, though. They were mostly the same, though they used the 3D models from the console game, which are both just video files, so why do this? It’s not like the DS version can’t run the regular cutscenes. But hey, there’s like an entire episode’s worth of video content here, which was so damn cool. The game itself, I mean, I beat it back then, though I don’t remember thinking it was all too special outside of the presentation. You just beat up enemies, use your character’s unique abilities to cross a path or open one for your partner, then swap over to them, rinse, and repeat. It’s fine, just a little bland, honestly. I think I powered through it mostly just to unlock all the cutscenes and extra items to use in the Nintendog spoof exclusive to this version. I enjoyed it, but I never really need to play it again. Around Christmas time, I know seven, I recall a commercial for Mario games popping up on TV, probably for New Super Mario Brothers or maybe Mario Party DS. I’m not sure, but that got my mom to ask me, “Hey, would you want something like that?” Do I want something like that? Do pigs have organs, man? I was ready for a new Mario experience, and I was hearing all kinds of things about all the amazing Mario games on the DS. And on Christmas Eve, I was allowed to open up one present early. I saw one with a familiar shape, ripped it open, and laid my eyes on my mom’s gift for me, my next Mario game. My mom should do stand-up, okay? Well, this wasn’t disappointing by any means, but rather just a bit confusing. Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2. I think the giant mini Mario on the front made this one stick out to my mom, just simply looking for a Mario game. And while I would have probably preferred some of the other options at the time, and I’m thankful she picked this one for the opening alone, my word, this blew me away. Such a high-quality cutscene across both screens. This was incredible, and the game itself was pretty fun and addictive. I thought the level editor was cool. I always loved the inclusion of that in a game, though this was one of those that only made sense if you had a specific puzzle to create in mind, rather than your stupid-ass imagination coming to life. For that, I had Drawn to Life. This, oh boy, everything I always dreamed of right here. This is a very basic 2D platformer but with the added gimmick of you drawing your character, and designing numerous elements of the world. And this was awesome. Though your drawing of all of this was key to the plot. It wasn’t like you were making your own game, which kind of disappointed me. But that didn’t stop me from lying to my friends on the bus. I drew myself as the character and passed it to somebody, saying, “This is the game I made.” I then continued to lie and say, “There’s a power-up that can turn you into Super Sky.” I took the DS, quickly drew a mask and cape onto him, and gave it back. He then said, “Oh yeah, he’s faster now.” Uh, yeah. I wanted to reserve my place in hell early. Similar to The Simpsons game, there was another licensed DS title I had my eyes on, mainly because I didn’t have any of the home consoles it released on. And that was the 2007 SpongeBob game, Atlantis SquarePantis. Yeah, no more GameCube, just strictly Wii and PlayStation 2, alongside GBA and DS versions as well. To be honest, I was starting to get out of my SpongeBob game phase at the time, and maybe that’s because the show was starting to go downhill. The games were as well, I don’t know. But either way, I felt it was a tradition at this point. This was the new SpongeBob game I had to play it. So this was the final DS game I got that Christmas. I can’t say the premise of the title intrigued me. This was just a tie-in with a 40-minute TV special and a bad one at that. And I didn’t even like this episode. It was boring, the jokes meme as hell. It felt like it had to be a big episode and just let it meander on without any direction or substance. I had to have the game Atlantis SquarePantis. Yes, now you may be asking, what was the other game I bought at GameStop? I am too. Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup. It was the cheapest game available. I watched three of the movies, sure. I popped it in once. I don’t even think I got past the main menu. That was my GameCube library by the year 2007. I could tell my current roster of game consoles was losing its luster. During one of the fabled Mario Kart Double Dash sleepovers, one of my friends whipped out their Nintendo DS with Cars: The Video Game in tow. I was awestruck at the size of the game cards and how the visuals were far more advanced than anything I saw on the GBA. This was the fanciest game system I had ever seen. It looked so premium with its two screens, touch input, and 3D visuals. The games came in a plastic case. You could choke on the cartridges. You couldn’t do that in Genesis, damn it. Soon after, everywhere I looked, everybody had a DS. Kids using PictoChat, sending messages, raising dogs, and doing all kinds of things I thought weren’t even remotely possible on the go. For my 10th birthday in June of 2007, I got a white Nintendo DS Lite and Nintendogs:

Christmas of ’09, I opened up my one game-shaped gift to reveal, “Oh man, I wanted a game!” My parents just saw this for cheap and picked it up because that was the game party series’ shtick. Each title was generally around $19.99 brand new and preyed upon those who wanted another Wii Sports or Wii Play. I mean, just having an official Wii remote on the cover was enough to make this seem like another quality official title. I don’t blame them for picking this up; I blame society. I mean, to be fair, I don’t think this game is as bad as most reviews made it out to be. It’s not great, but it is as advertised. The controls work, and it’s quick to get into the games. I mean, you can get by with this. It’s fine for a night of harmless, mindless fun. Writing it as low as molluscum, I have to ask why. I played this a few times, but I knew it was a deal. I was very aware of what this game was, and while I thought it was okay, it was just kind of a filler game in the collection. But then we had my mom’s side of the family’s Christmas to go to, and there we had a system where you’d draw names from a hat a month prior. You’d get one person you had to get a gift for, and who got my name? My cousin’s boyfriend. And you generally expect something around the $20 range, maybe at most a DS game, generally something like a console game. I’d only get those from my parents around my birthday, but from somebody who wasn’t even a blood relative? I assume I just opened it and said, “What the [ __ ]?” Yeah, a brand new game, and not just that, the game for that holiday. Let’s Get Fox. That was the craziest thing. At the time, I would have never guessed to get this at that moment from him, but I was very grateful. That was an awesome moment. New Super Mario Brothers Wii was so exciting to play. First thing I did when I ran home, and yeah, I had a blast with this. I never made it past the second world, but I loved it. I remember being disappointed the mega mushroom power-up from the DS game didn’t show up here. Of course, now I couldn’t care less about that thing, but back then, as a kid, it was just damn cool to be so big. Why couldn’t it be in the Wii one instead? We have the propeller suit, which was still pretty sweet. Mario games can always just create variants of flying power-ups, and it’s an easy crowd-pleaser. Since, for some reason, I just couldn’t beat world two, I tried to whip this game out for multiplayer whenever I could, since that was the big jaw-dropping feature. One problem, Scott was an only child and didn’t have many friends willing to play games like this with him. So, whenever my four-year-old cousin was around, boom, try to get him to play with me, even though he would throw a tantrum when he was player two on the Wii Remote and had no idea what he was doing. So, at the end of the day, I always felt like I didn’t get enough out of this game. Moving into 2010, around the springtime, Nintendo Power detailed a new title allowing you to create your very own games. That being WarioWare DIY. Hey, I liked WarioWare on the Wii, and I can create my little microgames. That sounds awesome. I always really wanted something like this, but it just felt like every game that promised to let your imagination go wild would end up being the most limiting thing imaginable. Oh my God, I can’t wait to make my level. I can make this work. The second I had enough cash, this was mine. One of my first DS games in a good long while, and oh my God, this was it. This was the game I was waiting for. Never before, never since, have I seen a game creation game so well done, thought out, and fun. So, WarioWare is a series about Wario and their friends making these games. That’s the whole point. That’s why they look like ass most of the time. So, not only does it make perfect sense to go in this direction, but the simplicity and short length of microgames make them ideal starting points for players to learn how game creation works. This ain’t some kind of level editor thing. You can create any kind of 2D game you can think of here, which does mean this isn’t something you just hop into and start making. There are extensive tutorials on how to design a game, but I think that’s a necessary hurdle to cross. This game helps you appreciate everything that goes into even the smallest microgames, and if you want the freedom to create whatever you want, you’re gonna have to earn the knowledge on how to do it. But once I got through the tutorials, this was my go-to DS game from there on out. Not only was it so damn cool to make my five-second-long games and make them whatever I want, not being held back by the limitations of games like Drawn to Life, but I could also play this as a typical WarioWare game. They had a bunch of pre-made microgames in here, all designed within DIY, so you could take these and edit them however you like or pop the hood open to get some inspiration for your next game. There’s a music maker and comic maker, you can upload your games online, and download others. This is perfect for what it is. I ended up downloading the companion title on the Wii Shop Channel, WarioWare DIY Showcase, where you can send your games to the console and play them on the big screen, which thankfully means I’d still have most of my creations. Thank you. Okay. Over that summer, I mostly stuck to playing the games I already owned, but with dabbling in new ones here and there. For my birthday, I asked for Wii Fit Plus, since that was only $20 by itself. You didn’t need to get the whole balance board bundle. And yeah, it was just Wii Fit with some added features and games, making the original completely irrelevant. Well, not completely. I liked the pet feature in the game. You could weigh them to get them in on the insults, and the added games, those were a blast. Excited for the obstacle course, since Nintendo advertised it as experiencing what Mario does on the daily. So, this is what it’s like to have facial hair. Another title I picked up later on with some gift cards was Scene It? Bright Lights! Big Screen! Oh boy, yeah, movie trivia that uses the same control scheme as Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? My [ __ ] Scott doesn’t like that gland. Not these days, I don’t care. Back then, I just thought if you’re making a trivia game on Wii, you gotta have the pointer controls. I mean, why wouldn’t you? Of course, now I realize this allows you to hide your answer from the other player, but back then, I didn’t care. I knew what side of history I was on. This was based on the board game series, which I liked back then, mostly just because it was played alongside a DVD. I hadn’t seen 80% of the movies they were talking about here. I just liked the gimmick, and Scene It on Wii replaces that gimmick with something far more practical and logical. Didn’t play this much, but then one fateful day at GameStop, I traded in a few of my titles to nab some in return. First up, Animal Crossing: City Folk. I knew this was one of Nintendo’s key titles, but man, I didn’t know what to do here. Honestly, I only played this one for about 20 minutes. I had no clue what I was doing. Relapsing, okay, damn it, one last time. And I had a good reason. SpongeBob’s Truth or Square. I picked this up used at GameStop, and why did I do that? Because this was developed by Heavy Iron Studios, the same people who made Battle for Bikini Bottom and the movie game. Oh my God, my childhood. Oh my God, my childhood. I was willing to hop back on the SpongeBob game train for this one. I mean, all I wanted from the last few was another title that impressed me like with what Heavy Iron did, and with Heavy Iron back, I was finally impressed again. Impressed by how they didn’t do that. Okay, so Truth or Square, much like Atlantis SquarePantis, was based on a TV special. I don’t like that. I think it’s cheap, especially considering this has like 2% in common with that episode. They’re largely different, though that’s probably a good thing, considering the special was about the gang getting stuck in the vents of the Krusty Krab. Oh boy, I can’t wait to use the C button on that. The game instead is about looking back at various memories throughout the show, which is a fun concept. Though there’s no real feeling of adventure here like in previous games, it’s just a handful of stages loosely based on old SpongeBob episodes. And most of them are aesthetically the same as what we saw in Battle for Bikini Bottom, which is pretty much what the whole game feels like. Though now we have way better character animation, all the music here is ripped directly from those old Heavy Iron titles or just stock music from the show. We have robots as the main enemies again. This game honestly feels like a soulless repeat of what came before. And that’s not even considering the gameplay. Now it’s just so bland. These levels are unbelievably straightforward. You just keep moving in one direction, defeat all the enemies, and hit all the switches. That’s it. The camera is a little too close and annoying now, and your move set isn’t nearly as fluid and versatile as previously. This isn’t a bad game. It’s far better than Creature from the Krusty Krab, Atlantis SquarePants, Globs of Doom, and all of those. It’s pretty high quality, all things considered. But I don’t think Bikini Bottom and the movie game could stand on their own as solid games. Well, this one kind of just feels like they said, “Fuck it, it’s for kids.” Yep, didn’t get far in this one. I kind of just wanted to try for old times’ sake, you know, back when I was 11. But 13-year-olds got a bigger fish to fry. I was too old for this SpongeBob junk and was ready for something bolder, bigger, and more mature. Damn, I’m 13 acting like I’m 14. Later that year, I picked up Wii Party, another Wii Series game. You know the drill. Was able to play this with my parents a bit, and they understood it fine enough. You know the best thing here was the hide and hunt mode, where you hide the Wii Remote somewhere in the actual living room with the others trying to find it as it’s playing sounds out of the speaker. One of the most clever uses of the controller, honestly. I love that so much. And the game overall, I’d like to find enough. Though being a party game, pretty much left it to be played exclusively with others, which, if you haven’t noticed, I barely draw anybody else. So why not a single-player game to keep me busy that I enjoyed? My Sims Kingdom. So why not My Sims Agents? 2009 was a prolific year for the My Sims franchise as they released three separate games, both on Wii and DS. A little bit of something for everyone. Bad games, good games, bad games. Agents is a pretty solid experience. I liked Kingdom at all and downplaying the creation elements and more so going for a linear single-player story where you’re trying to solve mysteries. I appreciate the quality here, but I didn’t play this as much as My Sims Kingdom. Man, I’m striking out hard with a lot of these games. It’s been a while since I’ve gotten something I played relentlessly. So later that Christmas, the streak continued. Yes, Jeopardy! for Wii. My parents loved the game show and this was heavily advertised alongside Wheel of Fortune that holiday season. See, the idea of playing Jeopardy! at home is fun until you play Jeopardy! at home. I also got Attack of the Movies 3D. Man, I don’t know. This was a random get here and it’s just a basic rail shooter, but it comes with four pairs of 3D glasses. Point one, yeah, this is fine. I didn’t ask for this, but it wasn’t anything horrible. It was just, why would I play this more than once? Moving into 2011, this was one of the last years I truly consider to be my childhood, even though I was a teenager at the time. I mean, is a 13-year-old a teenager or is it just an old-ass kid? By 2013, I had a job, I was saving my money and started collecting this garbage. So this was the end of an era in more ways than one. I was becoming envious of the other kids at school with Xbox 360s and PlayStation 3s, as everybody was talking about Call of Duty and not giving a damn about the Wii anymore. And I just couldn’t contribute anything to that conversation. But I damn well tried. Most of the games I picked up this year are multi-platform titles. First up, You Don’t Know Jack. And now we wait. I watched reviews of this game and thought it looked quirky and fun. A trivia game that mostly asks legitimate questions phrased in absurd ways. That generally poked fun at pop culture. God damn it. Okay, I was willing to look past it for this game because You Don’t Know Jack was unique. One of the coolest trivia games out there. Yeah, I said it. Keeping up with my multi-plat kick, you may have noticed I never owned a Guitar Hero or Rock Band title, which was huge around this time. To that, I say, yep. I tried a little bit of Band Hero at a friend’s place, but I think these sets just seemed too expensive. I didn’t bother to even ask. However, one day at Best Buy, I noticed a DJ Hero set on clearance for only 20 bucks. I mean, why not? I can get a Guitar Hero title now. Just felt like a massive box I needed to check. So I was happy to add this to the collection. As cool as the peripheral was, I only played this once or twice. I mean, it just didn’t interest me a whole lot. I’m sorry. I was adapting to the new climate. If I’m going to relate to my classmates, I’m gonna need to get into those newfangled first-person shooters. One Wii Zapper, please. One day at GameStop, I was about to buy a Wii Zapper and a used copy of The Conduit. Though my mom came in as the cashier was trying to get me to buy a used Wii Zapper instead, and she didn’t know any better and egged me on to do it. I didn’t want to use it because I wanted to get the game the new copy came bundled with. Yeah, so that was another trip to return this and get the one I wanted. But I probably could have just found Link’s Crossbow Training used for two bucks by itself at GameStop, which I definitely would have preferred because of the Wii Zapper, I did not like this thing. Oh wow, what the hell, Scott? What do you like? I like bitching. I would just play the included game without it, which was a blast. Link’s Crossbow Training is incredibly fun and short, but very addictive. The Conduit, I played for 30 minutes. I was busy. I was struggling with these first-person games, but to be fair, I wasn’t playing the right ones. On my 13th birthday, I decided to take the plunge and ask my parents for an M-rated game. Like the first attempt went well. Now I asked for Call of Duty: Black Ops, and I think they were okay with it, considering they heard so many young kids were playing it on their Xbox 360s. It wasn’t gonna stop me. The Wii version of Black Ops is still Black Ops at the end of the day. It sure is, Scott. It sure is. Yeah, I mean, this was serviceable. It gave me a Call of Duty experience, especially with a classic controller pro I picked up. But it was just too damn hard to get good here. Everybody else playing online was a thousand times better than me. I didn’t get far in the campaign. You know what? Fuck it. I’m going back to my roots, man. I caught wind of a new Wii Series game releasing, a sequel to Wii Play, also bundled with a Wii Remote. This one includes MotionPlus built in. You guys are mean. I enjoyed this one. Lots of fun ideas, though they didn’t leave the same impact as any of the other Wii titles. As much as I like these colorful, simple Nintendo games, I knew something still had to change. The Call of Duty was a bit too advanced for me at the moment. So I decided to wean myself on a non-Conduit Wii exclusive first-person shooter. That is a used copy of GoldenEye 007. And I officially discovered another of my all-time favorites. GoldenEye on Wii was phenomenal. Being designed specifically for the platform allowed it to take advantage of the lower-end system rather than just make it work like what Black Ops did. It felt perfect here. The first first-person shooter I ever got into and beat. And even afterward, I kept it as an online multiplayer game to play whenever. I seriously loved this game so much, I bought the DS version when I saw it used at GameStop. We all express love in different ways. And that’s a good place to end. I mean, I could keep going and going when I got my Nintendo 3DS, my Xbox 360, the rotten PlayStation 2 I found at a garage sale, and the Gun Stringer for Kinect. But those all occurred in what I’d consider to be my teenage years. Now when I had more power and choice as to what games I played. And while that freedom was pretty sweet, you just don’t have the same memories and connections to those games as you did when you were playing pure garbage and didn’t know it. My childhood game collection was not perfect whatsoever. If I knew what I did now, I could replace 90% of the games I owned. Not this one though. Negative reinforcement. But even if I could replace them, I wouldn’t. As lame as some of these games are, they helped form who I am today. They mean a lot to me, even if I did forget some of them. Even if I’ll never play them again. They remind me of a time when possibilities were endless. When I could look past the flaws of anything and still have a great time. Which is something that gets harder and harder to do with age. That’s why your childhood is important. You can’t take it for granted. And while we do all have to eventually grow up, it’s okay to look back and reminisce sometimes. Think about what you liked back then, why you liked it, what made you happy, what you played all the time. Because it can make you rediscover what makes you you. That’s why I’m proud of my childhood game collection. As stupid as these games could be, as basic as they were, they were mine. Much like my childhood itself. Everybody has different experiences. Just because I didn’t play many games over the years or own much more than just Nintendo consoles and licensed E-rated games, well, if I regurgitated your childhood right back to you, that would be plagiarism and boring. I mean, damn it, I just want to scream to the world, “Hey, all Scott here. I owned Cars: The Video Game, and I may get arrested for disruptive behavior, but at least I was me while doing it.” Which would not bode well for me in court.

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