Tag Archives: Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: Earliest PC Games from Childhood

Also known as the games I played as a kid that endeared me forevermore to the puzzle genre. Sure, later, there came Nintendo and PlayStation, and with them the RPGs that dominated my life (I’m looking at you, Ocarina of Time, and FFIX). However, once upon a time, we only had one little computer in my home.

My father would play Solitaire (still does, in fact, though now there’s also Free Cell), but my brothers and I, we’d tackle the simple pixels of Rodents Revenge and Chip’s Challenge

Trap the cats. Eat (i.e. crush) the cheese. Don’t die more than three times.

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“Avatar: The Last Airbender” (of Fond Memories)

In honor and excitement of the upcoming final season of The Legend of Korra, this week’s Throwback Thursday will take a look at its parent show, Avatar: The Last Airbender.

I remember scouring the television every weekend, trying to find the latest episodes (or even re-runs) of this show during its prime. It was like a spiritual offspring of DBZ to me. It was a show that had fights and fancy powers, but it was so much more. The show, although a Nickelodeon show, had deeper meanings than those on the surface, and it delved into character development like no other on the channel! It introduced you to many characters and made you hate and love them all.

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Death Has a Number: Four Awesome Moments in Doom

Yes, I chose the number 4 for a reason.

I have many a fond memory of playing Doom as a kid. My brother and I would take turns with each half of the keyboard. One person would navigate while the other one would shoot. Eventually, we began playing proper co-op through a third-party launcher. Those were fun times.

A few months ago I re-played Doom and Doom II using a mod called Brutal Doom run through Zandronum. The mods introduce better rendering techniques, mouse control, tweaked weapons, and melee attacks. But while those additions are fun as hell (pun intended), they weren’t what ultimately made the game fun. It was Doom’s level design that kept me playing even after I’d messed around with all the mod content.

Let me share some of my favorite examples of smart level design in Doom.

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That Charizard Came From The Volcano! Snapshots of Pokémon Snap

A modern “Heart of Darkness” without the darkness, HAL Laboratory’s Pokémon Snap is one of the most fondly remembered video games of my childhood. I would intrepidly traverse sun-soaked beaches, Diglett-ridden tunnels and Mount Doom-esque volcanoes, all in the name of Pokémon photography. Waterfalls? No problem. Death by Electbuzz-electrocution? Bring it on, you ambiguous incest-product of a Pikachu and Entei.

Seriously. What the hell is it?

But Electabuzz was hardly the only pocket monster that you could snap improv-photographs of. The 1999 game featured 62 more Pokémon from the first generation of 151. I know, 63 Pokémon doesn’t seem like a lot nowadays. But back then, that was a lot of polygons.

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Laputa: Castle in the Sky, Crystals, and Robots #SquareEnix

“No matter how many weapons you have, no matter how great your technology might be, the world cannot live without love.”
-Sheeta, Laputa: Castle in the Sky

Greetings! It’s been a while I know; school’s started again and the weight of a thousand souls that have yet to pass on are keeping me busy. That, and I’m just the laziest boy on the face of the earth. But here I am again, and I thought I’d take some time to talk about a film that’s quite close to my heart and those of many others. If the title of the article didn’t give it away, it’s called, Laputa: Castle in the Sky.

"Yes, get me the Colonel. I need to kill Tyler Bauer for his attempts at humor."
“Yes, get me the General. I need Tyler Bauer killed for his sorry attempts at humor.”

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Warcraft III: Blizzard Lore, Days of Yore

Thursday has come ’round once again, so let’s hop into the TARDIS and travel to the halcyon days of seventh grade, where voices still cracked and recess was God. It was a time of peace, and a time of ball tag; a time of delicious cafeteria lunches, and a time when Warcraft lore made sense. Yes, you heard me: before Chris Metzen was paid to fuck up an entire fictional universe lost his mojo, the world of Warcraft was as grand and complex as even Middle-earth.

Blizzard’s 2003 strategy game Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne has a special place in my video game heart. Before playing this, I didn’t even know “interactive media” could even tell a story. But that’s what hooked me–the narrative was a sprawling adventure across a fantasy world that felt both familiar and new (I was 11 when I played it, so everything was new). Its central characters (excepting the humans) were thousands-of-years-old immortals with personalities that just oozed a vast eminence that hinted at a rich and complex history.

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Tenchi Muyo! (1992-2010): Where Bunnies Become Spaceships

You remember those days of elementary school, rushing home to catch Toonami on Cartoon Network before your father returned and caught you in front of the TV instead of doing homework? Oh, was that just my brothers and me? *looks around* Riiight.

Ahem, well, come along with me here, because one of those forbidden afternoon shows was Tenchi Muyo!, a journey into what my brother dubs “sci-fi at its very greatest.” Where else would you have adorable little fluffy cat-rabbits morphing into gigantic pointy spaceships? Continue reading Tenchi Muyo! (1992-2010): Where Bunnies Become Spaceships

Psycho (1960): “We All Go A Little Mad Sometimes”

It’s crazy how Thursdays of late have been creeping up on me. You might even say scary. What’s that? You did say scary? Scary movies? Horror movies? You want me to talk about horror movies!?!!? Well, if you insist.

The first movie that truly horrified me was Gore Verbinski’s The Ring (2002) (which is, unfortunately, a really underrated movie, by the way). After seeing the mangled face of a person killed by the vengeful spirit of Samara, my ten-year-old self became deathly paranoid of TVs. It was a strange, strangely “balanced” time in my life: during the day, the television would be switched on, and I’d be happily, mindlessly watching Dragon Ball Z or playing Xbox.

But once the night came ’round, and bedtime SCOFF, BEDTIMES with it, the TV was shut down. It’s blank, monolithic face seemed to expand in the dim light of my bedroom. I was, unmistakably, terrified, that Samara would crawl out of the TV and eat my face with 480p precision. I even recall getting my brother to watch VHS videos ahead of me, to make sure it wasn’t THE video.

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You Won’t: “Three Car Garage”

I was driving home today from my grandmother’s house, when I noticed the gas tank was nearly empty LIKE MY LIFE, so I stopped by the QuikTrip nearby my house to fill ‘er up. As I leaned on the side of my car, taking in the sweet, dank smell of gasoline fumes, my iPod began to play “Three Car Garage” by the band You Won’t. The song was released just over two years ago, and seeing as how I make the frakking 🙂 rules, I’m going to say it’s old enough to qualify for Throwback Thursday.

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