This is a guest post by CJ of One Hour Empire
It's absolutely no shock to anyone reading this that I like old video games. This is because I am writing with what can at least be reasonably presumed to be full sentences on the internet, but have no interest in keeping you updated on the libertarian truths that will undermine the Zionic World Order or sharing my theories on the latest episode of ABC's hit show LOST. That being said, the Web 2.0 Bill of Rights (The basic human dignities that anyone can edit!) dictate that I need to talk about old videogames right about now, possibly even by linking to an etsy account where someone puts their 43,000 dollar BFA to work selling NES Controller Belts.
Quit while you're ahead, guy.
There's also some sort of unspoken internet rule where by and large we are required to solely remember the good times (in the enjoyable-memories-with-friends sense) that the Nintendo Entertainment System (controller pictured b/w some thirty-something's Casual Friday crotch) provided. This is a feeling mostly engendered by Nintendo's formidable and ingenious marketing division, whom used the company's considerable brand name recognition to get themselves through the Good Times (in the Maude-spin-off-about-a-destitute-black-family sense) before the Wii. And that's good enough in a way. At the risk of sounding like someone who lives in a house of 2600 cartridges and carefully tucks his beard into his shirt before sitting down for a nice froth, most video games in this day and age are too much of a hassle. I've spent enough of my (theoretical) adult life avoiding the military that I don't especially need to pay sixty dollars for the privilege of being surrounded by virtual bald men and casual homophobia.
But problem with the best of the 8-bit era being a common cultural cornerstone is that it really doesn't stand up to introspection. Pop-Intellectuals of the eighties bonded over idle speculation towards Morrissey's sexuality and a mutual fear of the Tag Team of Terror in Reagan and Thatcher, we just have the fact that Hitler's head blows up if you beat Bionic Commando as the common knowledge we use to share and grow. There's nothing more to be said about Super Mario Bros. and no matter how many ostensibly humorous Top [multiple of five] lists you slam out about the copious drug references or the negligibility of Mario's plumbing license, you are just simply incapable of saying anything new or funny about the game.
But that's ok, because it turns out there is a rich bounty out there, just beyond your nose. I love Mega Man 2 as much as you love Mega Man 2, but we can move on. There's a wide range of games even just for the NES that are just ripe for a humor harvest. For example, have you ever considered the concept of sending an American marine to conquer a tiny island or bulking up mechanic of American Sammy's semi-justifiably forgotten action game Amagon to be a response to American foreign policy of the eighties? If not, congratulations! You are more tolerable than I am. But if you've never heard of Amagon, it's a solid C list game that you can pretty much pirate entirely guilt free because it will never see the light of day again. There's a rich bounty of all sorts of mediocre crap out there that is by and large forgotten, and some of it is even secretly worth your time.
Japan's rich bounty: Dio's Holy Diver and Portopia Serial Murder Mystery
The reason I picked on an American Sammy game is because the absolutely inscrutable publisher bonds the common link between the four people who submitted to Come On, Let's Go this week. Between American Sammy (To quote Drinky, "Who did they think they were fooling?") Taxan, Irem, and a cornucopia of other mostly forgotten names forged from the gibberish of two languages, we forged a proud legacy of burning through fly by night FortuneCity rom sites and giving just about anything a fair chance. Partly out of nostalgia, but mostly out of the fact that my financial situation hasn't improved that much since my teens, I continue to plow away at any given romset, digging up interesting nuggets where I can. Sometimes, I can even eke something interesting out of the whole ordeal.