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, June 27, 2006

Oh, Fuck Yes

In the past week, Grandma's excruciating boredom has been once again defeated with the help of Grandma's friends at Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. First, Evan over at Microsoft gave Grandma the necessary code to get another year of XBox Live Gold assuring that her Gamertag, "OGHC" will continue to rock the XBox 360 in style. This is after Evan gave Grandma all of the codes to acquire full versions of the entire XBox Live Arcade Library (those of you with XBox 360's have probably seen Grandma in Bankshot Billiards 2 quite a bit lately.) Second, Jessica at Nintendo sent Grandma a brand new DS Lite and some games, including her current addiction, New Super Mario Brothers. Third, Jennifer at Sony sent Grandma a big ass package that included a gleaming new PSP and a shitload of games.

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!!"
"What, really?!"
"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.

Holy SHIT.

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."

Game on!


  • At 12:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jesus christ, dude. That's a fuckload of games!

  • At 8:01 AM, Blogger Zodiak said…

    Is that the full Sony PSP game library? It looks like it. I wanted to get Brain Age along with Super Mario (just as long as I can play as Luigi).

    Now, lets just wait for that PS3 in the mail ;)

  • At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great haul for OGHC! Glad to see she is getting the love she deserves. Let us know what she thinks of that DS Lite. I am personally hoping that Nintendo will see the wisdom of including Grandma in their new DS Lite ad campaign, to up the increased demographic representation even a little further than THIS does.

  • At 10:47 AM, Blogger Mogwai said…


    This is Mogwai, the dude that lives in Japan. If your grandma would be interested, I have some Japanese gaming goodies that she may dig but I would need an address to send them to. Trust me, I am not stalking her or anything, that would be a tad hard to do from across an ocean. :)

    Anywho, drop me a line at this address:

    neoeccentric AT hotmail DOT com

    Either way, how I see it is I should not be the only dude that gets to see cool Japanese gaming gadgets and toys. Let me know if you or her would be interested, I am swimming in stuff that I could pop into a box for her that she may get a kick out of.

    BTW you guys may have gone to E3 but are you going to TGS? If so, let me know and I will meet you somewhere. :)


  • At 12:47 PM, Blogger Chrissylas said…

    Oh..my..god.. that is amazing as hell. You guys rock and even though I'm swimming in envy it is great to see Grandma pick up some sweet new toys. Keep it up Grandma and let us know how it's going!

    -And I thought *I* had a great day yesterday!

  • At 3:54 PM, Blogger Brinstar said…

    Congratulations on your one year anniversary of this blog!

  • At 6:10 PM, Blogger DY357LX said…

    New Super Mario Bros hits UK stores THIS Friday!

    For once I have the cash stashed away and ready!

  • At 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Holy crapness! JACKPOT! ::does victory dance:: That's all kinds of fantastic. And isn't the DS Lite just a beautiful little piece of work? The normal DS seemed to unwieldy to me, but the Lite... oh man. I cannot remember the last time I was so enamored with an electronic trinket (as if my latest string of comics about it wasn't any indication... ::laugh::) Hearty congratulations!

    Hope everything's going great with you guys - life approaching beta is approaching the speed of madness! - and it's always a joy to read about what you've been up to. Take care, be well, and as always - GAME ON!


  • At 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Glad to hear about scoring a PSP!

    I came here to pass something along though. The Penny Arcade forum is going on about it:

    The Chromehounds demo is out in the UK. To get it you must register for a new Xbox Live account with region 'UK'.

    You can fake nearly everything else, but you need a valid city and postal code. I used London, N1 1AA. You also need a new email address to sign up.

    I haven't tried it, but I guess for Japan you could use Shibuya-ku, TOKYO 150-2345.

    (I took five semesters of Japanese, so if the Japanese signup process is too difficult, let me know and I'll make a walkthrough.)

  • At 10:17 AM, Blogger Collin said…

    Awesome! I too have been feeling the "nothing to play" lately so I traded in about 13 XBox games and picked up a DS Lite and the game "Kirby Canvas Curse". It's pretty good. You should check it out. Although with that many games to go through, I'm betting it won't be any time soon.

  • At 5:09 PM, Blogger HandOverFist said…

    Lumines...you need to get Lumines. That's all I'm saying. You wont regret it. I also reccomend you play Daxter and Lemmings first on your PSP. Just some suggestions seeing how you have such a wide selection to pick from. But you should trade in a few of the lesser ones for Lumines. It's like crack.

  • At 7:47 PM, Blogger Paweł said…

    Wow, that's nice. I wonder have a brand new DS lite, eh.

    All the best from Poland ;-D

  • At 1:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is fantastic news! The funny thing is, I just posted Barb a letter yesterday where I said "I'm sorry you're bored after E3, I hope 'Dead Rising' is a good game and you can start enjoying gaming again." Boy do I feel silly now - there's enough to be playing there for another few months at least! I am so so pleased for you.

    I was especially pleased to see that in your gigantic PSP package you got 'Medievil: Resurrection' and 'Daxter' - these are two very good games in my opinion. And if you liked the other Ape Escape games, then 'Ape Escape: On The Loose' is a nice piece of nostalgia (ignore the voice acting, it will hurt you.) But damn, you WILL miss having a right analog stick when you play that game (if you're used to playing the PSone/PS2 versions like I am.) I have to agree with HandOverFist, though - you should get 'Lumines'. It's worth it.

    And you also got a DS Lite! Wow. I want one of those too. The guy at my local EB Games let me try out his DS and Brain Training while he was busy dealing with a customer, and I was instantly hooked and whimpering "I want one, I want one, I want one!" However, affording one is out of the question, at least for now. I'm so happy you're enjoying the Super Mario Brothers - is it really like the old one back on the NES system? Damn I miss that... the beepy music, bumping the bad guys off the platforms from underneath, catching the mushrooms before they ran away... Oh, and I was really pleased to hear that the Wii controller options will be varied to suit people like Grandma and me who can't move that way, cause I'd hate to be left out.

    And not to forget Microsoft! I don't have any of my systems linked up online (because they might be my consoles, but it is Dad's computer and modem and even though he's wrapped around my little finger, fucking with them is Signing One's Own Death Certificate) but I live in hope for the day I can get online for some game just to see the "OGHC" gamertag and realise "My GOD, I'm playing against Grandma Barb! COOL! ...ah shit, she killed me already." (That is how it would go, haha.)

    The Big Three have been very, VERY nice to Grandma, and I honestly have to say I can't think of a single gamer who deserves it more. Game on, Grandma Barb!

  • At 9:38 AM, Blogger Unknown said…

    "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."...."- good lord. there are tears in my eyes. that's just the sweetest thing i ever heard. your grams must be in heaven. that is so fucking cool.

  • At 6:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hi. this is cool. grandma playing games n getting pspz n nintendo dsz ... ur granny mst b livin in gamin haven. congratz .... keep dis blog up. it rocks man, it simply jst rocks!

  • At 7:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    wow! an old lady plays games and blogs about it. this alone entitles her to free games and xbox live gold?

    perhaps i missed something and could get filled in?

  • At 4:09 PM, Anonymous gih said…

    Wow! that's a cool gadget.

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