Thursday, March 29, 2012

Real Advice From Mr. T #1

"Remember, when you're putting down one mother, you're putting down mothers all over the world!"

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Worst Wrestlers Ever: Dale Wolfe

Call them ham 'n eggers, call them jobbers, or call them "wimpy guys," like we did when we were kids. Just don't call them winners.

The world of '80s and '90s pro wrestling was filled with matches in which accomplished superstars would pound the crap out of losers. In The Worst Wrestlers Ever, we shine the spotlight on the grapplers who just plain weren't any good.

First up: Dale Wolfe.

Famed for his permanent look of confusion and his poorly cut mullet, Dale Wolfe was one of the most prolific wrestlers of the WWF in the Hulk Hogan era. Too bad he never won. A respectful but fiesty competitor, Wolfe would often lose his cool after being slapped by the likes of Mr. Perfect or Ravishing Rick Rude.

Wolfe's defining moment came when he attempted to one-up the Hulkster by taking down the hated Sid Justice just prior to the highly anticipated Wrestlemania showdown between Hogan and Justice. (Assumedly. There was no on-screen reason given for the match between Sid and Dale.) Wolfe didn't get a single move or punch in before being decimated by Sid. After the match, while he was being stretchered out, Sid clotheslined him back to the floor, and that was pretty much the last time anybody ever saw Dale Wolfe.

                                   "I'd like to see what Mama Shango looks like."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Throwing the Controller: Eggplant Wizard

In Throwing the Controller, we look back at the most infuriating enemies, levels and screwovers in NES history.

Eggplant Wizard, one of the most notorious enemies from Kid Icarus, is also one of the few NES characters to have of honor of being prominently featured on the classic Captain N: The Game Master cartoon, where he teamed up with King Hippo as Mother Brain's most-trusted flunkies.

It's easy to see why Eggplant Wizard was chosen for the show, because he's the target of burning hatred of Kid Icarus players everywhere. His eggplant throwing attack is one of the most infuriating things that can happen to you on the NES and makes him one of the best reasons to throw your controller.

That's a classy cloak, though.
The Wizard shows up in the labyrinth areas of Kid Icarus, usually just before the boss room. He throws normal-sized eggplants (his children, maybe!?) around the room with the reckless abandon of a self-loathing vegetable. If one touches you -- and, because the trajectory of the vegetaprojectiles is random, so they're tough to dodge -- Kid Icarus turns into a eggplant with human legs and can't do anything other than jump until you go all the way back to the beginning of the labyrinth to visit the eggplant-removal surgeon. Seriously.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Badass Box Art of the Week: Clash at Demonhead

Sometimes video game box art is so completely badass that it demands you purchase the game even though you may have never heard of the title or even play video games at all! Only these boxes have earned the right to be honored with the title of Badass Box Art of the Week!

When I was a kid I didn't know a single person that owned this game. In fact, I don't even remember seeing this on store shelves. Now this could be because it was shoved aside in favor of major releases like Super Mario Bros. 3, but more likely it was because store owners were so terrified by the imagery presented on the cover of this box that they kept the game locked securely in a doomsday bunker. Now imagine you are shown three game boxes and you have to choose one game to buy. Remember, these games run like $50 and you are ten years old so this is a major investment.

What kid in their right mind is going to chose a game featuring a shifty eyed mouse cop or a flying plumber squirrel over a game that shows an intergalactic badass rescuing a super hot space babe from horrific interplanetary demon creatures!?


Special Recognition: Least Misleading NES Box Art: Where's Waldo?

The entire game is the box art! Why buy the game when you can simply play the box?


Monday, March 12, 2012

Top 5 Most Misleading NES Box Art: #1: Mega Man

Could there be any other choice? This "State-of-the-Art" airbrushed nightmare is legendary for its insanity.

For one thing, it turns Mega Man from a cute blue robot to a grumpy, bow-legged old man in the bizarre skin-tight-in-some-spots-and-puffy-in-others clothing that seems to have only ever been in fashion on the covers of NES games. This unsettling character is placed into an environment that can only be described as a neon horrorscape, completely separate from the actual game's non-threatening future-industrial look. Are those Corn Pops floating in the solid purple ground? Who can say. Thinking about it too hard is like looking into the many eyes of Cthulhu. Madness is guaranteed.

When you throw in the fact that Mega Man's fanciful cannon arm has been replaced by a realistic-looking, high-caliber handgun from the streets of Baltimore, it becomes clear that it's entirely possible that whoever Capcom commissioned to create this cover art never even saw the game and instead used the opportunity to expose the innocent children of the '80s to the twisted landscape of his inner psyche.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Top 5 Most Misleading NES Box Art: #2: Ikari III: The Rescue

This is usually what we like to see in NES box art. Action, explosions, colorful legwear that's skin-tight on the legs but puffy where it counts. But when you study it closely, the cracks start to show. Obviously, Red Pants Man and Blue Pants Man are 1P and 2P. So who's the guy comforting the helpless woman in the background? Don't expect to see those characters in the game.

Also, who bodyslams somebody during a knife fight? At first, we thought maybe the knife guy is who is getting rescued... with a gorilla press slam. Because they're clearly not trying to rescue the girl. But given that the other Ikari Warrior is kicking knifeman's twin brother in the face, this seems unlikely.

Let's take a look at some gameplay footage.

As you can see, this game is chock full of melee attacks. You can punch. You can do a spinning roundhouse kick. But you can't front kick. And there is absolutely no picking anyone up and holding them above your head. Especially if they have a knife.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Badass Box Art of the Week: The Ultimate Stuntman

Sometimes video game box art is so completely badass that it demands you purchase the game even though you may have never heard of the title or even play video games at all! Only these boxes have earned the right to be honored with the title of Badass Box Art of the Week!

How many elements of badassery can you cram onto one video game box? A quick study of The Ultimate Stuntman will give you a pretty damn good idea. Red 1980s Ferrari, check! Super badass Dolph Lundgren lookalike, check! Ferocious mutant octopus creature, check! Ultra-threatening bird of prey soaring majestically over an explosion, double check!!

Does it even matter how good the game play is? Nope! What matters is, playing this game will undoubtedly give you ultra-shredded six-pack abs and a thirst for danger that will remain unquenched for eternity.


Friday, March 2, 2012

This Is a Real Comic Book Character: Night Nurse

Linda Carter, a very enthusiastic nurse with a fascination for heroes like Spider-Man, Daredevil and Dr. Strange, took on the identity of Night Nurse after she realized that super heroes get the crap beaten out of them regularly and their significant others are probably tired of administering first aid.

"Go to the room on the right" is Night Nurse's catchphrase, for real.

Formerly known as Student Nurse, she has never been seen with a diploma, but is assumed to have graduated from medical school at some point. The super heroes she treats rarely broach this topic, likely because beggars can't be choosers.

When she began her nursing career, Night Nurse was faced with a terrible choice: get dumped by her boyfriend, business magnate Marshall Michaels, or give up nursing forever. She chose to continue helping the needy, but the break-up left a scar on her heart that would not be healed for several years.

Fortunately, during a team-up with Dr. Strange to discover the cure for cancer, the two medical professionals found themselves slowly falling for one another. Although their relationship later hit a rough patch, the two maintain a high level of mutual respect.

Most super heroes have nothing but good things to say about Night Nurse's medical skills, with the notable exception of Elektra, who complained about the care that was being provided to Daredevil. However, it should be noted that Elektra does not have a background in medicine and is the jealous type.

Howard's getting an eyeful.

Night Nurse has no known super powers other than a true love of medical science. It's believed that she donned a skin-tight costume to fit in with her clientele and put her patients more at ease.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Can I Walk on That? #4: Werewolf: The Last Warrior

Top 5 Most Misleading NES Box Art: #3: Ghost Lion

This box art is amazing. Look at those skin-tight green pants, the off-puttingly photo-realistic face, that feathered hair and the loose tank top borrowed from Sting in the Robocop video we posted the other day. (Also I'd bet that her strapless blue bra was added in later after someone in upper management saw this and decided it was too incredible for the eyes of children!)

This art makes you think you're going to play as a badass '80s glam rock groupie or maybe a performer in a spectacular Vegas show. And look how tall she is! Those mountains don't even reach the top of her boots!

Instead, Ghost Lion is just a Dragon Warrior ripoff in which you play as a normal-sized, adolescent Maude Flanders lookalike named Maria whose parents were lost forever after riding what looks to be a log flume. 

The box art makes the Maria look pretty capable, right? She could hold her own in a fight, especially if it was against critics of Def Leppard's Hysteria album. In the game, though, Maria is just such a pansy. She has "Courage Points" instead of hit points, she wears a headband she bought at Claire's in the mall, she visits the town of Bread (where they can't afford to buy bread!), and even when you try to get her to use her spear, a crazy tribal woman named Moja jumps out of it and does all the work for her.

Unfortunately, the legendary white ghost lion is not your partner and you can't make him do tricks. He is the final boss and after you beat him, he turns into an old man and gives Maria a necklace. Creepy. Then you wake up and realize it was all a dream!

Or was it?

Yes, it was.

Or was it.