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.


  • At 9:58 AM, Blogger braeck said…

    Just wanted to throw in a Happy birthday, game on! ^^

  • At 12:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Happy Birthday Grandma, I see you on the PS3 often now playing golf or Ratchet and Clank. GAME ON!

  • At 1:13 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    Happy birthday! May there be many more to come! GAME ON!

  • At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Lynn said…

    Happy birthday Grandma <3. Game on!

  • At 6:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Happy Birthday, but no mention about "Heavy Rain" ?


  • At 8:14 PM, Blogger Jess said…

    Happy Birthday! That's awesome about Bioshock! I am counting down the days myself!

  • At 10:14 PM, Anonymous Rathe989 said…

    Happy Birthday Grandma!

  • At 10:30 PM, Blogger UnconventionalMummy said…

    Happy Birthday Grandma !
    Game ON ...

  • At 7:00 AM, Anonymous KJ said…

    Happy Birthday!

  • At 11:41 AM, Blogger Rachel said…

    Happy Birthday, Grandma! My husband's birthday was yesterday, too.

    I just tried sending you a friend request on the 360, but your list is either still full, or got filled up again. Haha. I did friend request you on Facebook though. =]

    Game on!

  • At 5:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Happy Birthday! All the best from your biggest fan in New Zealand. :D Game on!

  • At 8:38 PM, Anonymous Heiko said…

    Happy birthday you amazing lady!

  • At 7:58 AM, Blogger Unknown said…

    Happy birthday Grandma! If you ever need help beating Spec Ops on MW2, I'd be more than happy to help you out! Sent ya a friend request too btw!

  • At 10:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Will Grandma be coming to PAX East or PAX Prime this year?

  • At 2:19 AM, Anonymous gih said…

    how nice it's Grandma's bday. I love to party with grandma. :-)

  • At 2:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Happy Birthday, Grandma! Can't wait to hear about those games.

    Great to see a new post up.

  • At 1:06 AM, Anonymous vangie said…

    wow, too old for you grandma, that's great for ya.

  • At 1:12 AM, Anonymous dennis said…

    haha, yeah, that's cool grandma, I hope I can reach that age of yours.

  • At 1:14 AM, Anonymous gih said…

    Yeah, but not too old, 74 y.o but still kicking. :-)

  • At 10:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Happy birthday!

  • At 6:08 PM, Blogger Ambience-Studios said…

    has she played either unchartd yet or bayonetta they are fun as hell i just beat uncharted 2.

  • At 2:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Happy b day GG wats ur psn add me i am rooshandark8

  • At 4:45 PM, Blogger Blog de Silvia y Gus said…

    Happy Bday granma, how many year?
    I'm 41 and let me tell you that you are my hero. I want to be just like you when I grow up. Keep playing granma

  • At 4:09 AM, Blogger Unknown said…

    Our grandmothers have the same birthday, dude. That's... kind of awesome. I think the first console mine has played was the Wii, though. And she was born in '42. Still, she's a wonderful lady much like your own grandmother. I bet both of them would throw down to defend their kin, and that kicks ass.

  • At 3:08 PM, Anonymous Brandy Z said…

    HAPPY BELATED BDAY :-) I have been hooked on Dragon Age lately, have you tried that out yet?

  • At 7:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Happy (belated) Birthday, Grandma! I've followed you for a few years now.

    What Wii games does Grandma play? I'm half her age, yet know of no female gamer between us in age!

    I've commented a couple times before, but I don't know if I signed them. I live on my Wii, as I am bedridden due to health issues.

    0947 2396 1571 6881

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  • At 2:38 AM, Anonymous Tink said…

    happy bday to you.. a good game would be a nice gift to her.. :)

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    happy bday to you.. a good game would be a nice gift to her.. :)

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