Old Grandma Hardcore

This blog is the chronicle of my experiences with Grandma, the video-game playing queen of her age-bracket and weight class. She will beat any PS2, XBox, GameCube, etc., console game put in front of her, just like she always has. These are her stories. She is absolutely real. She lives in Cleveland.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Grandma Pauses Between Growlanser Games To Kill Monsters In Baltimore

Growlanser Generations is a conglomerate of two games, Growlanser II & III, respectively. She finished the first disc last night, watching the credits scroll by, giving audible props out to Victor Ireland as his name appeared.

Word.

She decided to focus on The Suffering: Ties That Bind during her Growlanser intermission. In Grandma's opinion, The Suffering TTB is "one FUCKED up game." With all the injected flashback sequences, flickering lights and creepy religious folk standing around watching Baltimore pay for taking the Browns from Cleveland; their punishment embodied by crazy monsters killing everyone in grotesque displays of cruelty, one might just assume they've fallen into a David Fincher community theater production of "A Streetcar Named Desire."

In the interest of interacting with the game's environment, Grandma takes it upon herself to kill stray dogs and smash television sets whenever they appear. She "accidentally" murdered a character meant to guide her through an area. When asked why, Grandma only replies "...he was in my way..." The audio is fairly excellent so far, although for some reason Mr. Boogey from "A Nightmare Before Christmas" makes an appearance sometimes in the form of the big fat monster dude threatening to rape and kill his now ghost/flashback/guardian angel/hallucination wife.

But I won't ruin it for you.

The great thing about The Suffering TTB is the ability to switch between third person and first person shooting perspective, somewhat like Ghost Recon, although it would be nice if they had some sort of third option as a fixed view area angle much like Resident Evil, for it seems that the camera control is the only thing difficult for Grandma. Remember, it is the strain on constant camera movement that causes Grandma to perform sub par on FPS games.

I'll give updates as they come!

14 Comments:

  • At 12:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was wondering how Grandma was doing with The Suffering!

    It's good to see her cycle her games fluidly like that, otherwise I think she might get overwhelmed!

    Take care guys!

     
  • At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Katie Lynette said…

    I tried to play the game but I got too pissed off because of the camera. I ended up watching my brother play it all the way through a few times. It is a great game, is't just that the camera control sucks.

     
  • At 2:11 PM, Anonymous citizenmuse said…

    I own the original "The Suffering" for PS2 and thought, although it was a good game to play through, that it wasnt really as scary as some people make it out to be. I dont know whether TTB is on PS2 or not, but if so I would probly get it when the price comes down, being the cheap bastard that I am. Honestly, the scariest moments I've had playing survival horror games are these two instances:

    1. The first time I played RE2 on PS1 about 8 years ago, when your in the police station interrogation room with the big window. After getting whatever cliche RE item it is at the back end of the room and the licker breaks through on your way out, I simultaneously paused the game, dropped the controller, and proceeded to shit my pants haha.

    2. During Fatal Frame 2 (Tim and Grandma, you should remember this) in some wooden stairwell-like room in one of the houses, this crazy broken-neck bitch starts crawling down the stairs invertedly and backwards... I proceed to run back down to the floor, and all of a sudden her limp undead body falls DIRECTLY in front of me out of knowhere! Needless to say, it wasnt the most joyous experience in my life.

    I would love to here other readers' all-time scary moments in games.

     
  • At 2:45 PM, Anonymous Nikki Bess said…

    After clicking on the link to _Grandma's Boy_ to find out why it made you squirm, I wanted to leave a few thoughts.

    Although I sometimes hesitate to admit it in mixed company, watching Adam Sandler flicks (Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison, especially) is a guilty pleasure I share as well.

    But I don't think even the most adamantly anti-Adam-Sandler factions could argue that he seems to genuinely love older folks, in a respectful, funny, realistic way.

    In Happy Gilmore, audiences are introduced to Happy's grandmother when, wearing a Gene Simmons mask, she opens her door to her orphaned grandson, but the scene is not played just for laughs. Although it _is_ funny, that scene primarily serves to show just how much Grandma loves Happy, and that affection sets up just how desperate Happy is to be able to return some small measure of that care by trying to save her house.

    In The Wedding Singer, Sandler's character Robbie teaches an older woman named Rose how to sing a song for her fiftieth (I think) wedding anniversary. Though Rose does exhibit some typical grandmotherly characteristics -- such as her exhortations for Robbie to try the meatballs she's made (which culminates in a hysterical meatball-squishing climax) -- she also talks about sex, love, and marriage to Robbie. At first, like Robbie, the viewer is a little uncomfortable with a little old lady talking sex, but that scene challenges Robbie and the audience to break out of the stereotypical mindsets we have of older folks: they were us, once, and -- God willing -- we will be them someday. Will we see ourselves as old then? Probably not. We'll just be the same people we always have been, and will be as prone to talk sex, video games, or whatever else comes to mind as we always were.

    I think Hollywood too often characterizes older people as either useless nursing-home denizens, or as wisened old sages that always sit around pondering the big truths of the universe. As is with all of us, the truth is a conglomeration of all these things.

    Some older people, unfortunately, are in nursing homes, but that doesn't make them any less the people they always have been. Some, like my 93-year-old Gram, are still independently tooling around in their own houses (cooking, cleaning, gardening, everything) with better memories and more energy than their 60-year-younger grandkids. Some are kicking virtual ass and taking names, like your Grandma. Some, like my 88-year old godmother, are setting up battered women's shelters in their communitites. Do they sometimes ponder the big truths of the universe? Yep. Do they sometimes goof off, tell tall tales, and act like wackos? Sure.

    When I visit your blog, I don't ever think that you started it to make fun of your grandma, nor is that the reason why I visit. It seems to me that, if anything, you -- like your readers -- are instead laughing _with_ her. I nearly laughed myself silly at your grandma's experiences with Psychonauts, a game whose last level made me so frustrated I thought I was going to burst a capillary. I laugh with her, because I can relate to her experience, and because, in her, I see a woman I hope to still be at her age: feisty, fun, and full of life. In short, the same one I hope I am now, just older.

    I think of your blog as a sort of Sandler-esque celebration of your grandma: how much fun she is, how much fun you have with her, and how much genuine affection you both have for the other. If, in that process, you alter the way people view older age, well, that's just an added bonus.

    Reading your blog just reminds me of all the reasons I love my own Gram. Keep up the gaming, the hilarious recaps, and tell your Grandma everyone at my house thinks she's the bomb!

    Note to your grandma: Sly 3 is fun, but I didn't like it as much as the second one, because the missions are too diffuse: what's supposed to be a mission for one character often actually turns out to be a mission for someone else. Also, the powers you gain for Sly are spaced oddly, so you don't get to use cool stuff -- like the slow-motion Thief Reflexes -- as effectively as you did in the second game. On the plus side, Bently moves faster in this iteration, and the levels aren't as physically ginormous, so it's a little easier to travel from mission to mission. I'll be interested to read her assessments. I'm going to check out Fatal Frame II (if I can ever find a copy of that game that I can afford) on her recommendation.

    Sorry for the long post; I've been reading for a while, and this is all the stuff I've been storing up in my faulty memory banks. :o)

     
  • At 6:00 PM, Blogger CtrlAltDelete said…

    nikki bess-

    I hear what you're saying. Sandler does tend to portray the elderly as more complex figures than as the average joe tends to personify them. My fear in that post, is that I was guilty, as Sandler tends to be as well, of using the contrast of Grandma's character to the typical granny to get some laughs. You're right, I write of Grandma to show her as an interesting person, but the slip of the obvious joke was somewhat present at first. I don't want to use Grandma for anything. It's a matter of trust between us. For that reason I set up some rules:

    1. Don't lie. If she doesn't like a game, hasn't played a game, or isn't particularly good at a game, don't say she is to gain street cred or cater to fans of the game. If I were ever to say Grandma dug Oddworld Abe's Oddyssy, I would be lying. If someone ever challenges Grandma to play it, we're both stuck in a tight spot that could otherwise be avoided. As David Mamet says, always tell the truth, it's the easiest thing to remember.

    2. Don't push gaming on Grandma. If Grandma doesn't want to play for weeks at a time for whatever reason (although I don't see that happening), don't pressure her to buy new games or rent so I have something fresh to post. It's not worth it. I let Grandma choose the games she wants, she has her own fan-based loyalties to some companies, rather than loyalties present of the money or gift giving kind. I don't want to change that.

    3. If someone asks for an interview or a press-release, make sure Grandma is alright with it. This seems like a given, but people wonder sometimes if I'm at the helm getting her 'gigs' and telling her when to pick up the phone. I don't think Grandma and I would talk much if it worked like that. We argue about her perception of certain games sometimes "Come on, you LIKED Mario Paint..." "No I didn't, it fucking SUCKED." etc.,... but I try to disclose the disagreement in memory. It's easier than putting words in her mouth.

    4. Don't interject too much of myself in the site. The website is "Old Grandma Hardcore," not "Tim and his Amazing Grandma." It shouldn't be about me. Maybe one day I'll put up a pathetic excuse for a blog about me, but this site is about Grandma, I'd like to keep it that way. I'm in most of the stories in one way or another, but that's only because I'm there with her. In a narration, the person telling the story should never be the main character.


    Watching Adam Sandler movies and seeing him direct a flick about a man and his Grandma made me realize I would have to follow these rules to the letter if I was to avoid the Sandler temptation of "wouldn't it be funny if..." Maybe the stories would be funnier or more interesting if Grandma died her hair black, wore an eyepatch and travelled the globe going to Halo tournaments screaming obscenities in the respective language of her enemies, but it just isn't so.

    Sandler is a fiction writer, so he can pull off the hypotheticals based on the strength of the joke as given to a test screening, etc.,. and like you, I like most of his movies, I have no beef with the man. My problem is trying too hard to emulate his comedy with an existing, very real person, and I feel I had that temptation when I started the blog. Seeing the trailer for "Grandma's Boy" was just another moment of blogger existentialism, is all. I just had to ...restate my goals, I guess!

    It's awesome that you have a good relationship with your Grandma. Many people who don't get along or don't get their Grandparents usually come to be that way because the elderly in their family has succumbed to an uneditable routine. Sometimes all it takes is a little shake up of new things to enjoy and you might discover a completely new person you didn't realize existed. The routine, I think, is what makes the elderly stereotyped as much as they are, at least in this country, but perhaps that isn't an exclusive problem of the retired, it covers the defense mechanisms of the anxious everywhere who fear change or fall into a rigid pattern of comfortable repetition. Grandma has found gaming to be somewhat a release from that system, ironically enough. If she didn't have video games to occupy her time, she would of course do something else, at least until the next good game comes out.

    Also, never ever apologize for a long post. Long posts are just fine :)

     
  • At 6:30 PM, Blogger HandOverFist said…

    wow damn you guys gotta let up on the typing...

     
  • At 7:13 PM, Blogger CtrlAltDelete said…

    wachoo talkin' bout? :)

     
  • At 8:11 PM, Blogger Master Yoshi said…

    I also have a great relationship with my Grandparents on both sides of my family. On my moms side they are very reserved and proper, but they both have a great sense of humour and have a thirst for knowledge. They're in their 80's and they still play tennis! My Grandma on my dads side is not your typical Granny. She goes to dances, swears, drinks occasionally, and has a lust for life that most 20 year olds don't have! She's had four husbands die on her, and she's still smiling...amazing!

    I love your site because of your honesty...keep it up dude!

    Say hi to your Grandma for me will ya?

     
  • At 8:31 PM, Blogger CtrlAltDelete said…

    master yoshi-

    You know I will :) Besides! She reads all the comments and e-mails as well, so she knows!

     
  • At 11:51 PM, Anonymous Raverzel said…

    Two questions, which I'm sure have been addressed before but I can't find:

    1) When are we seeing more OGHC videos?
    2) When are we getting more merchandise?

    Hopefully, the answer to both questions is, "Sooner than you expect!" :)

     
  • At 7:09 AM, Blogger CtrlAltDelete said…

    raverzel-

    1) As soon as I make sure it's alright for the folks that provide the hosting for the videos (GamerGod, you guys ROCK!!) to take on more, I'll put some more up.

    2) Tomorrow! Maybe... :) I don't know, it's becoming harder to convert some of the artwork into vector than I had anticipated. SOME of the artwork. If I go with CafePress, I don't need to worry about that as much but folks tell me the shirts are poor quality, so I'm looking for another vendor.

     
  • At 11:46 AM, Blogger W.Churchill said…

    I've been very happy with Cafepress. Either way you end up going, I'm saving all my nickels for some OGHC merchandise

     
  • At 8:05 AM, Anonymous blackroseowl said…

    I love those rules that you've put down for yourself regarding the use of the blog as related to Grandma. You obviously have a lot of respect for her and you want to represent her as accurately and honestly as possible.

    Out of curiosity, you mentioned that she wasn't into Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee. Was it because of the controls (something I had a lot of difficulty with too) or did she just not get into the game itself? I must admit, the humour in it was right up my alley. I laughed a lot at the little messages that would go by on the screens behind you like "A little hard work never killed anybody... important." Mwaha.

     
  • At 1:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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