Oh, Fuck Yes
The Big Three War is being fought hard, ladies and gentleman. As usual, these gifts to Grandma come without strings attached; no promises are exchanged, it's just... "here ya go- you awesome hardcore granny, you!" Grandma and I are honest with you folks, you know that. No matter how well she's treated by the gaming companies of the world, she remains resolve in her ability to provide sincere and occasionally brutal reviews of whatever it is she plays. That being said, god DAMN that was pretty fucking cool!
Grandma's package from Nintendo came without warning. Usually a company will call to confirm the address or e-mail me to ask if Grandma's interested in trying a new game. Nintendo had already sent Grandma two DS units and a ton of games upon the release of Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day. We thought "well, that was nice of them!" Grandma played her DS with the games supplied, bought a couple of her own and quickly became a DS fan. Then, last week, she gets a package.
"What the fuck? I didn't order anything." Upon opening up the large envelope, all she could say was "oh, FUCK YES."
"What?" I asked.
"I got a fucking DS Lite!!"
"Yeah! Check this shit out!"
Grandma is now the proud owner of a little, white, DS Lite. Without knocking the old DS too much, let's just say she likes the brighter screens a lot better.
We had heard of such things, the guys over at Penny Arcade had got one; I'm pretty sure Kotaku got a package as well; but suddenly she had become one of "those people who get things from Nintendo." Grandma immediately called Jessica to say thank you for the surprise and while she was at it she grilled her a bit about the Nintendo Wii; asking all those questions she forgot to ask at E3. The news is this: they are still unsure if they will package a more traditional controller along with the nunchaku style controller; however: if one has difficulty with the new controller (as Grandma did at E3) then one CAN play using a traditional GameCube like thumbstick controller without missing anything in the game. They are also working to perfect the sensitivity of the controller so those with mobility issues (like Grandma) can use the new style controller comfortably. This was a huge relief for Grandma, who thought she was going to have to lay the smackdown on Nintendo this fall.
Also included with the DS Lite were three games: Big Brain Academy (which Grandma had already bought the previous day, but hell- we have three DS's in this house, we can ALWAYS use another copy); Magnetica, which Grandma says is "Zuma with a stylus"; and the icing on the cake, so to speak: New Super Mario Brothers, a side-scrolling Mario game exclusively for the DS that emulates the style and music of the original bad-ass. It's sweet as hell.
Only a few days and a few phone calls bragging to my brother Josh, (who wouldn't shut up about his brand new DS Lite he had while Grandma had none) ANOTHER package came; a package in the form of a mysterious box, too large to be a game sent from MTV or a t-shirt or something. It had Grandma's name and address, but no return address. It only read: "Los Angeles." Grandma was immediately pissed.
"What the fuck? I didn't order anything. I bet your goddamn mother ordered something from a catalog. She has to TELL me these things so I can write out the bills correctly!"
Grandma opened the box to find a letter on top from Jennifer. We had met Jennifer at the Sony event in Hollywood at the beginning of May. When she found out Grandma was really digging the new Ratchet and Clank and Loco Roco and that she didn't yet own a PSP, she mentioned in passing "oh, that'll be no problem, we can hook you up with a PSP and a few games." I don't remember the phrasing exactly because I was a bit tispy from the open bar they had going. I remember her meeting Grandma and I again at E3 when Grandma came out of the VIP booth after having her first go at the PS3. While her and I talked about the PS3 she mentioned "oh hey- tell your Grandma I've got a PSP for her, I'll send it out soon with a few games."
"Sweet! Thank you! She's wanted one for a while."
Notice that both times Jennifer said "a few games." Remember that.
Under the letter Grandma found the PSP box, complete with all the goodies, headphones, remote, strap, PSP, Memory Stick, the basic package. It was beautiful.
All she could say was "Oh, FUCK YES."
That was probably the moment she discovered why the box was so big. The "few games" Jennifer had mentioned before was actually about 20 games; almost the full SCEA PSP library.
The games are: Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror, Neopets PetPet Adventures: The Wand of Wishing, Twisted Metal: Head-on, Ape Escape Academy, Kingdom Paradise, The Con, Wipeout Pure, MLB 06: The Show, Gretzky NHL 06, Lemmings, Medieval Resurrection, Daxter, NBA 06, Ape Escape: On the Loose, SOCOM: US Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo, ATV Offroad Fury: Blazin Trails, Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee, Pursuit Force, World Tour Soccer 06, and a copy of the Loco Roco demo that Grandma loved so much at the Hollywood event ("she remembered!" Grandma said.)
So Grandma now has a DS Lite AND a PSP, as well as the full XBox Live Arcade Library to keep her company until DeadRising, Zelda Twilight Princess, and Final Fantasy XII come out (among others.) She's been playing FABLE in her off time recently, if that gives you any idea of the effects nostalgia has on boredom. "I thought Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion looked familiar..." she says, but more on that later.
The fact is: Grandma finds herself in the crossfire of a battle between friends. The Microsoft vs Sony vs Nintendo War to Grandma is fierce but irrelevant. She just wants to play. This is North vs South shit we're talking about here. Coke vs. Pepsi; The People vs. Larry Flynt; Brown vs. The Board of Education of Topeka; Smokers vs. Non Smokers; England vs. Germany... and Grandma feels like a bit of a war profiteer befriending all sides, and she's enjoying every second of it.
It makes no difference to Grandma. Her post E3 days of screaming out to no one in particular "god dammit there's nothing to PLAY!" are over. Thank you Microsoft! Thank you Nintendo! Thank you Sony! We've had our differences in the past, you and I; and no doubt Grandma will be cursing your names in the future for some reason, but there is no doubt you all know how to treat a grandmother. It has become the summer of handhelds and arcade games, and I have a TON of things to post about. To quote Grandma: "Oh FUCK YES."