|So while looking (in vain) for Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits vol 2 (I found #1 at least), in the 8th store I went to I gave in to a little fatigue and took time out to play the GameCube demo set up with Luigi's Magical Mystery Mansion or whatever it's called.|
Bleh. First of all, Luigi skimpers along like he's got something prickly lodged way, way up where the sun don't shine. And if you press one button, he calls out "Mario?" in that really silly yet annoying voice they've given him. Why? What's the purpose of shouting? Why did Mario get himself lodged somewhere in an abandoned, haunted mansion?
Why are there constant cinematic scenes that I can't skip? Why is there this octagenarian Poindexter rip-off giving me his vaccuum cleaner? Why won't he stop talking? Why can't I skip his dialogue? Why does he speak in some sort of incoherent cartoon babble instead of actually having real dialogue recorded?
So I guess the whole deal is you point your sucker at these slow, silly looking floating things and they make a funny noise and a powerup item appears and you pick it up and they go away. I actually didn't have to use the sucker in the "training" bit, I could just wobble the stick around and hit them with my flashlight and *bing*, they'd drop their load and run. This might sound fun but you have to realize that they were moving at about 0.1 mph and looked about as threatening as Bambi. I started to feel sorry for them.
The best thing is how you aim the apparently useless sucker: it's backwards! Yes, to aim up, you press down! To aim left, you press right! Brilliant! Extends the gameplay! The tutorial realizes that this is super new and innovative, since it tells you to remember to steer backwards every five seconds. Which only makes it more annoying.
It's sappy and insulting to the intelligence. Obviously the sort of game aimed at kids, who are generally too trusting to be insulted, at least at first. As if on cue, a kid comes up beside me, looking at the game. I'm about dead from boredom in the tutorial (I'd resorted to just steering around while aiming in a fixed direction and not even using the sucker, which worked just as well as anything and added a bit of challenge in having to maneuver myself so as to get the ghost on the correct side of my character) so the joy of having someone to hand the controller off to brought kindness to my hardened heart.
Wanna play kid?
He's playing shy. Dad's backing him up. Shit now I gotta stand here and play the game for him.
"How do you play this game?"
Halleluiah! The bright cartoony graphics have suckered him in.
You just [wait I can't explain the stupid backwards aiming to him... let's see here...] uh hold this button to suck up the ghosts.
Great, he's taken the controller. Oops, fingering the wrong button. Uh no, this is the button [shoves his finger over gently].
Haha! The oddly contoured GC controller has his hands trapped! I can make my getaway!
"Is a GameCube like a Nintendo 64?"
Ahh hell, dad took the opportunity to fire off a poser while his kid was occupied. Uhm well it's Nintendo's next console, after the Nintendo 64. Yeah, that's right, it's their "next generation" thing.
Dad realizes he's been given the answer to his question, but doesn't understand it. The resulting helpless confusion has stunned him and caused his gaze to wander. I make my break.
Yeah I left that kid in harm's way. But that's how it goes in Fred Meyer's home electronics department. He knew the risks when he walked in through the metal detectors. Walking out through them I get that familiar feeling of being a criminal somehow without actually enjoying the benefits of a successful crime.