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.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Super Mario Galaxy is boring Grandma to death

If you've read us long enough you'll know that it happens once and awhile; sometimes there will be a game worshiped by many that Grandma just can't enjoy. It almost makes her feel bad to have to say she hates it. Almost.

But then she falls off another ledge because her fucking Wii-mote isn't cooperating and she comes back to her senses.

She's tried repositioning the sensor bar, sitting further away from the television, recalibrating the sensitivity, everything. With Super Paper Mario, everything came together nicely for the Wii.

But for whatever reason, Super Mario Galaxy, which has been called the must own Wii game and Game of the Year and all that just isn't fun to Grandma.

She thinks it's boring.

It's not that she hates the Wii style controller entirely, just its dependency. Think of all the reviews for Super Smash Brothers Brawl recently. Or even emails and comments made by some of you guys to Grandma recommending the game. It's alarming to think that one point that needs to be made in a review of what is being heralded as the best selling Nintendo game of all time is that one doesn't have to use the frustrating controller for which it was made.

"Use a GameCube controller and it's awesome" they say.

Grandma wishes she could have used a GameCube controller for SMG.

"I hate this fucking game. I feel so stupid playing it, it's a kid's game for fuck's sake and I can't.. get.. the fucking... CANNON to line up- GODDAMMIT!"

[vigorously shaking controller back and forth] "COME ON, DAMMIT! HIT THE BASTARD!"

"No sense talking to this guy.... I don't have any money to buy anything because collecting coins is a pain in the ass."

"Fuck this. I quit."

To her credit, she's said 'fuck this, I quit' many times while playing Super Mario Galaxy, but she keeps plugging away for some reason. There isn't a whole lot excitement about the current crop of games out there for Grandma right now, only for that which is to come.

It makes her worried about her poor Wii.

Super Paper Mario was the last game she played and really enjoyed for the system and she got into the plot; cared about the characters and had a generally good time with it. But she isn't apologetic about her hatred of SMG to its fans; it's just not a game for everyone, I suppose.

"I fucking HATE it. It's not the upside-down multi-dimensional aspect of it, hell Portal did that and it was brilliant. It's more of what it isn't, if that makes any sense. It isn't Mario 64. It isn't Super Paper Mario. It isn't Super Smash Brothers or even Super Mario RPG. You compare a game like Super Mario Galaxy to everything else I played just last year and it seems old already. And the weird part is I played a demo level at E3 in 2006 and I thought it would be a lot of fun. Oh well. Can't win them all, I guess. Goddamn, I can't wait for another good game to come out. There isn't shit out there."

So, in the past few months or so, she's bought more movies than games. Mostly on BlueRay, but she did take advantage of the HD-DVD firesale at BestBuy because.. well, the attachment for the 360 is only something like $40 now, and HD-DVD movies are cheap as hell. She knows it's a dead format, but what the hell- we're poor and we like movies.

It makes her sad that she and I talk more about the meaning of the ending to No Country For Old Men more than we talk about Super Mario Galaxy, for instance. She used to hate when the gaming magazines started reviewing DVD releases after the PS2 came out. "I subscribe to read about GAMES," she'd tell me. "Not about the different languages available on Pulp Fiction." And yet here we are in one of those gaming lulls where, honestly, what else can we do?

In a nutshell, Grandma's reviews of things she'd rather not review:

On HD-DVD...
American Gangster - "Not Ridley Scott's best, but it ain't bad."
King Kong - "Don't look at me, it came with the HD-DVD player."
Elizabeth: The Golden Age - "Sucked."
Zodiac: Two Disc Director's Cut - "Great movie. David Fincher is great."
Planet Earth: Complete Collection - "Great series, but we had to return it to BestBuy to get another copy because it came with scratched discs. HD-DVDs scratch really easily it turns out. And when they do, it won't even load up. You have to get a new one."
Ultimate Matrix Collection - "Pretty much the reason we got the player. used to be $100, then $90, then briefly during the firesale after the announcement that Toshiba gave up HD-DVD it was only $50. So you could get a player, all of the Matrix movies plus The Animatrix series for just $100. Awesome."
The Pianist - "Nothing like watching The Holocaust in high-def to make you feel like shit."

On BlueRay...
Weeds: Season One - "Hilarious!"
Weeds: Season Two - "Not as hilarious. More serious."
Letters From Iwo Jima - "Better than Flags of Our Fathers."
30 Days of Night - "Scary as fuck. I liked it."
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford - "Really well done movie. Pitt was great it in."
Kingdom of Heaven - "Better than Gladiator."
Blade Runner: Complete Collectors Edition - "Awesome, but I don't even know why you'd want the original narrated version."
I Am Legend - "Thought the effects were done much better in 30 Days of Night, actually. I wish they wouldn't use CGI for everything."
Ocean's Thirteen - "Great, but don't get it on BlueRay."
Ratatouille - "Loved it!"
28 Days Later - "We've already mentioned this before. Don't get it on BlueRay."
Black Hawk Down - "If you're going to play Call of Duty 4, you might as well know why the story is compelling."
Close Encounters of the Third Kind - "Only reason to get this in high-def is the great audio. Otherwise, there's not much they can do to make it look any better than it did before. Great movie, though."

Grandma knows what to do. She posted a video (she'd like to do more, by the way, she likes talking directly to yas') and at the moment she's doing a lot of baking. Which is great for me because I fucking love her cookies.

She's been scanning the gaming magazines for exciting new releases each month, waiting with the anticipation of a vulture watching a rabbit try to cross a highway. She's just ITCHING to get the same experience she had playing Call of Duty 4 or Orange Box or actually- what she REALLY wants is another horror game like Fatal Frame, Resident Evil or Silent Hill. She talks about that genre a lot, now. Condemned 2 came out recently, but it hasn't been received well and she wasn't exactly a huge fan of the first game. I know she won't buy it, but if she does end up renting it, it will be for achievement point whoring reasons only, I'm afraid.

Grandma's on the search for another awesome game to get into; to get her fix before GTA IV, FFXIII, RE5 and other ambiguous acronyms are released.

Me, I've been working my ass off. I like working. Working means more money, which means bills get paid and I can save for better equipment which means more work, more money, better equipment, and so on...

It ALSO means that we here at OGHC are proud to introduce the newest member of our little family.

But first some backstory for those of you who weren't with us in the beginning. When I first started writing about Grandma, people thought it was fake or at best a funny sort of hoax. So I had to take pictures of Grandma to prove she even existed. The moment she discovered the site existed was when I asked if I could take her picture to put it online. Of course, that's wasn't good enough for the folks who thought she wasn't real and I wanted to give at least audio of her doing her thing while she plays because I felt no matter how much I wrote, people wouldn't understand why I thought she was so awesome until they heard it and seen it themselves.

So we got a little ol' webcam from Staples. A Logitec something or other. It was choppy but it worked okay. Then, after we finally relented to those calling for us to put up a PayPal donation button to get some better equipment to show Grandma, you guys bought us the Sony Handycam that we've used for all the videos of Grandma on YouTube. It's suited us very well. I can't thank all of you enough for helping us get it with your donations back in the day.

While we didn't feel quite right taking such a gift, you can imagine how stupid I feel not being able to use it as often as I used to; giving you guys new videos of Grandma playing all her latest stuff as it happens. I felt like such an asshole recently because of that. Here are you folks who loved Grandma enough to want to see her and talk to her and gave us money to help me do that and here is me not doing all I can after work to do that. And Grandma likes to talk to you guys too! That's why she made the last video.

So, I needed to give something back. I figured, well- if we're going to do videos we might as well DO VIDEOS.

So I got THIS:

This is Panny. Panny is a Panasonic DVX-100B MiniDV 3CCD ProLine Camcorder. It's also the same model camera used by MTV whenever they filmed Grandma at our house or at E3 or at the press-junkets.

I use it for work shooting video for the newspaper's website when I can, so it still pays the bills. I'm a still photographer by trade, but everybody wants video now. Still, Panny is my camera; not the newspapers. So I can use it to shoot anything else I like as well. Porn, Nature Documentaries, Weddings, whatever! So why not use it in conjunction with a decent audio set-up to give y'all some kick ass videos of Grandma being Grandma?

Game on!


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