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.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Happy Birthday, Grandma!

On February 1st, 1936, Grandma probably wasn't thinking about Final Fantasy XIII. She wasn't anticipating BioShock 2 or Mass Effect 2. She wasn't arguing the benefits of published strategy guides versus GameFAQs. Nor was she pondering Roosevelt's economic theory, now that I think about it.

Because she couldn't talk yet.

After Dead Space, Grandma was solid into Modern Warfare 2 for awhile. Her usual goal of beating the thing in Veteran mode seemed, to her, easier than CoD4. Achievement-wise, she did fairly well, less the special-ops missions. We played SpecOps together, on split screen. Regardless of how well she did in Veteran mode on the campaign mission, SpecOps humbled the holy hell out both of us. We still don't have them all. I have a feeling those are going to be our "I'm bored, what should we do?" standbys.

And in the meantime, Grandma was being Grandma- discussing the No Russian controversy with me on the way to the grocery store, or the legitimacy of certain YouTube videos she used to guide her through some of the more tricky parts. "I don't think they were really playing in Veteran," she'd say. "They'd be fucking DEAD."

But as great as a game as it is, it was quickly forgotten when she received Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time for Christmas. The dirty realism of Call of Duty was replaced by a hypersaturated, gorgeous platform epic. And yet again, the story of the Lombax was as touching as it was hilarious.

She played through it twice.

One aspect of the game, however, was the only thing she hated in the world for a couple weeks. Flying the goddamned ship.

You use one stick to fly the ship in Crack in Time, which would be fine if it was a StarFox kind of level, but it's not- the playing field is usually immense enough in boss fights where a second stick ala Crimson Skies would have seemed natural. Anytime she had to fly, I heard about it.

The Braid-like time puzzles were another point of frustration, but not because of their design, which was actually pretty cool, but rather because of the instruction Grandma used to bypass them- a printed out few pages of text from GameFAQs that she cursed and hurled around the room like so many unpaid bills.

I think she finally put the game away for good sometime last week.

It was then that we rediscovered all of Grandma's different time-killing golf games. We started with Hot Shots Golf on the PS3. We moved back to Tiger Woods 2008. Then we fired up the good ol' Xbox (which was rather dusty) and tried Outlaw Golf 2 again on Grandma's big screen.

And when we did, we were amazed at how spoiled we've become playing next-gen systems. It was hard to remember why we laughed at Dave Attell's commentary or battled for hours complaining about Ghost Balls. Grandma and I played for 18 holes and we couldn't make the fucking ball land right. The graphics seemed so poor that at times we couldn't make out where the hole was exactly. Not all older games can't hold up nowadays- in fact far from it- some are better. But my god, when one falls, it falls HARD.

I got Grandma Rapala's Tournament Fishing on the Wii for Christmas. As a joke.

Grandma noted the fishing in Twilight Princess was more realistic.

Bad games, good games, great games.. just another awesome month.

And now it's Grandma's birthday! We were able to surprise her this year. She was surprised.

She had been anguishing over this week. For the same reasons as you folks, I imagine. Mass Effect 2 or BioShock 2? Which one should she get first and when would she be able to afford it? How long would it take her to really play it and achieve everything to her liking and abilities because the game changer, Final Fantasy XIII is only about a month away now. As soon as that comes out, it won't matter what she's in the middle of, she'll want to start that. She has to schedule these things, you see.

So we got her both!

Kinda. Last night she received two gifts: a copy of Mass Effect 2 for her Xbox 360, and a piece of paper- a receipt from GameStop for a paid-in-full copy of BioShock 2 for her PS3 when it comes out on the 9th. She might even go to the midnight release, what the hell.

I don't need to tell you, she liked her gifts :)

Game on!

Also! Grandma's 360 bugged her to join Facebook and Twitter for no reason a few weeks ago. She was intrigued, so she did.

We just started them up, so if you want to follow me on Twitter, you can find me here, and if you want to friend Grandma on Facebook, you can find her here.

Her 360, PS3 and Wii friends lists are full, but she's noticed some names on there that haven't logged in for 20 months, so she's purging them. Go ahead and send her a friend request and she'll probably find a way.



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