Friday, December 18, 2009


Still not gritty enough for the major studios? Hmm...or perhaps this war journal is simply TOO gritty.

If the commercials for 'Avatar' have shown me anything, it's that people love watching mind blowing, awesome near disasters. Perhaps a more 'modern war camera shaking while the heroes run towards the viewer' approach is necessary.


Dear...OH MY GOD! RUN!

I know you're reading this at home, but I don't care! RUN RUN RUN!!!

My God, they're coming at me from all sides! Lunging up and and down the aisles, crying, whining, and asking a never ending supply of ridiculous questions!

I do my best to race down the aisles safely, with return cart in hand, but with each aisle there's another parent thrusting their newborn children face first into oncoming traffic.

I narrowly avoid another stroller, and begin to wonder how 'intentionally' these strollers are being blindly thrusted forward. All I'm saying is that they DO sell life insurance policies for toddlers. It's a possibility.

Racing down the appropriate aisles, with the PA system blaring out automated orders, as enemy fire (and by fire, I again mean stupid questions) flies by my head, narrowly missing by inches. All I have to do to make it to my section is get around...a lady...

To say that her ass was huge, would not convey the orbiting monstrosity that laid before me. Sure enough, she was bending all the way over, and taking up enough space to fit two full grown men with her posterior alone. I crept, like a trooper crawling by barbed wire, knowing that even the slightest touch would be...awkward and weird, to say the least.

Barely making it by with my life, I nearly smack face first into a...person. A person of a...gender, of some sort, I suppose.

"How may I assist you...uh...misssssst..."

The 'thing' mercifully cuts me off. I hear them talk, but still have no clue what gender to associate with them. They're roughly 16-17, with black feathery hair, a slim figure, a high pitched voice, and a vaguely masculine face. My gut said 'guy', but their hands were the most feminine I've seen on a grown human being, male or female.

I quickly excuse myself, knowing that the slightest misspoken word could end with their emo friends (mix of men and women, so no help there) stomping the ever living sh*t out of me with their Hot Topic boots.

I can only pray that either way, that person never winds up in prison.

A bossy, yet friendly mom casually stops to ask me a question, and I gladly...I mean 'quickly' avert my eyes from her chest. The initial glance revealed that 'they' were not only huge and all but exposed to the world, but also covered in a giant, black 'bird-like' tattoo.

Did I mention that her large, 'biker' husband was about eight feet away?

They also had an adorable daughter in the cart, who was wearing...DAMN IT! Caught a glimpse of the mom's chest again, bad Max! It doesn't help that her tattoo makes it stand out even further, which was probably her intention, but at the same time I didn't think her Hells Angel husband would think the same way.

The buxom mom proves to be my savior, by asking if we have a product up in overstock.

"Oh! Overstock UP THERE? Ah, allow me to look UP THERE to see if there's anything..."

Barely avoiding a metal bat to the head (if 70's biker movies have taught me anything), I avoid a few more lunging strollers, and reach another mom, this time with a cheerful teenage daughter.

They ask a few questions about the fashion accessories, and all goes well, right up until I notice the daughter's stomach.

It's the same problem all over again, only this time with a twist. Despite being 13-14ish, I swear to God, that girl was pregnant. She was even doing the lifetime original movie thing, wearing about three layers and a flannel shirt, as if to cover it...but no, that round belly usually meant only one thing.

I stayed cool. Perhaps I was wrong. After all, everything else seemed to be normal...bizarrely normal. Did the mom not know? How the hell could she not know? If I was the girl's father, I sure the hell would have said something!

Or perhaps they didn't think much of it. I could just imagine...

"Okay honey, you can have the fashion design play set, but no more toys until after you have your illegitimate child, and we go on Springer. Then you can get the Barbie nail salon."

I feared for my life as never before, knowing that a single question or comment would be the end of me. All I needed was a distraction.

Ah! A man over here needs help, perhaps I can help this Hasidic Jewish man instead. He was obviously Hasidic/Orthodox Jewish in appearance, although that didn't mean...

"Oi, these prices are so high! How could they charge so much?"

Oh no.

"Are they any cheaper, discount items on sale?"

I bit my lip.

"These discount toys aren't crumby are they? I want to get a good deal on this."

Why must you test me, oh Lord?

Nearly collapsing from the encounter into uncontrollable (yet very guilty) fits of laughter, I mercifully got called away to the manager's office. The woman in HR showed me a paper that everyone had to sign.


Oh no.

"You see, we need our employees to agree not to say or write anything on the internet..."

I've been made.

"...that might cast the company in a negative or embarrassing light."

I'm screwed.

"That also goes for comments that may cast the customers in a negative or embarrassing light."

Game over, man! GAME OVER!

"Just sign here."

With the best poker face I could muster, I took the pen, and signed my scrawl.

Lord protect us all...

(Squad Sgt Max went missing in action shortly before this letter was aired, although evidence suggests he suffered a vicious attack from a giant giraffe-like creature wearing a red shirt)

Friday, December 11, 2009


Hmm...I can only conclude that the lack of offers from the major media outlets is a result of my journal being far too light and cheerful. No, they obviously want something a little darker, and grittier.


*distant sounds of helicopters in background*

I can't believe I'm back in Saigon...and by Saigon, I mean Toys R Saigon. They swore it was the closest Toys R Us to Freehold, New Jersey and I was too blinded by loyalty to question it.

Retail is war. Worse yet, it's the only form of war where you're required to be polite to the enemy.

Oh yes, retail is war...and war is HELL!

And hell is PURGATORY!

And purgatory is a LONG WORD!

The screams of the kids still echo through my mind, their cries of 'Zuzu Pets' still haunting my soul to its core. The only thing more haunting is what I knew they'd do in order to get one. I shudder at the thought.

Every now and then a rookie asks me a question, as if I'm in charge, not knowing that I was just as clueless as they were as to the purpose of our mission, or the best course of action. I try not to get attached to the rookies. Most of them won't last even a single day out here in the thick of the action.

They just canceled our leave, unexpectedly. The automated announcement over the loud speaker that told us we were closed were quickly followed up by the voice of the assistant manager, assuring the customers that the message was in error, and we would be open for several hours yet.

The groans, curses, and death threats that followed from the staff are all a part of working retail, and every associate goes a little insane from it all.

Last night my mind broke at around 10:30, resulting in my development of a new skateboarding trick: you ride at top speed towards a long metal pole (like a lamp post), leap up into the air, spread your legs wide, and then pass straight through the metal pole, groin first. I call it the 'Kobayashi Maru'. Or better yet, the 'Ko-BOOYAH-shi Maru'.

My insanity is more low key compared to some of the others. Some hoot, some holler, some hit on co-workers less than half their age (I'm looking at you, Kathy), and one guy even ran past me yesterday, hunched over and grabbing at his groin, while not making a single sound.

Others are merely mutinous, resulting in a fair bit of anarchy. Every day I find more and more hidden piles of toys. You could blame it on the customers, but I saw the same items earlier in the day in the 'return carts', waiting to be put back on the shelves. Someone might just have to frag their asses.

And by frag I mean...actually, I just mean frag. No analogies here.

Last night I stumbled upon another pile of returned goods, stuffed towards the back of a shelf. With a low grumble I yanked it out, and found it was a Zuzu pet playset.


Any moment a hundred screaming, raving customers would be lunging for my throat, and clawing at the box in my hands. By the time they'd be finished, I'd be little more than a shred of meat stuck to a pile of bones.

For all purposes, I was holding a live grenade, with the pin already pulled out, and making cute hamster noises.

In a crazed rush I lunged towards the front, hopped on a skateboard, and unsuccessfully performed the Ko-BOOYAH-shi Maru on a six foot stack of 'Hungry, Hungry Hippos'.

The resulting distraction allowed me to ditch the dreaded robotic hamster playset on the front counter.

I'd survived. Another day down, and fourteen to go...

Seasonal Sales Associate, Robert "Maxcat" Freeman

(Robert Freeman died three days later, in a skateboarding related tragedy. His family has asked that all donations be forwarded to Will Shatner)

Friday, December 04, 2009

For those that don't know, I've started working a part time job at Toys R Us this Christmas season. This, along with a few personally relevant Penny Arcade comics, have led me to start a war journal of my time in retail.

Due to intense budget needs (related to my intense greed) I'm pitching the journal to several different producers and TV channels, starting with the History Channel:


My dearest Isabelle,

It's been several weeks since the fighting started, and I now find myself in pitched battle with the people I recently called brother: the customers.

Not to long ago I would've happily walked amongst their kind, but now I count each damn one of them as my mortal nemesis, to either be quickly destroyed, or assisted with as little effort as possible, whichever is more convenient for me at the time.

Even as I write, I can hear the distant screams of small children, each afflicted with the harshest punishment that God could ever inflict upon one of his creations:

Not immediately receiving the toy they want, the second they demand it.

Their screams will haunt me to my dying day, and I can only hope our sons, Ezekiel, Abraham, Solomon, Moses, and Jesus Von Christenmier will never know the same pain.

This morning I was assigned to deliver a message to the front lines. Come hell or high water, I had to track down one General 'Cindy', and deliver a life or death message regarding Zu Zu pets.

My journey was slightly delayed by the appearance of a striking southern belle, who was specifically striking a coworker of mine when I approached. She wailed on and on about Superman toys, not knowing that Superman hasn't been popular since he died, marking him as the Michael Jackson of superheroes.

Nothing could calm the young beauty, as she emitted cries of 'overstock' and 'check the back room'. My fellow brother in arms feebly did his best to help the hysterical woman, as I resigned myself back to my mission.

The darkest moment during my travels was when I came upon a fallen display. The poor sap once consisted of an even pile of scooters in boxes, but now its body was little more than a jumbled mess. A nearby comrade stopped by, and confirmed my fears.


The Docs had to literally pull the poor soul apart, and then reassemble him as best they could. As far as I know he survived, but I couldn't stay behind to make sure. I had a message to deliver.

It was then that I realized the comrade who stopped to help me was none other than General 'Cindy'. The strain of war had destroyed all pomp and grandeur that once existed in her position. Now she was indecipherable from the rest of us grunts, apart from the nametag with the word 'Manager' upon it.

In response to my orders, she gave me back an additional message to memorize and destroy, regarding the Star Wars Lego sale.

Having committed its contents to memory, I discarded the message in the safest and surest manner possible: by stuffing it in a cigar box and tossing it into the center of the road.

Well, I have to go now, my love. May the Lord keep you in his loving arms, and not arbitrarily kill you on a whim.

Your loving husband,

Private Robert 'Sales Associate' Freeman

(Private Robert Freeman would survive the dreaded battle of Black Friday, and later perish from a ferocious toddler attack at the battle of Barbie's Dream Mansion.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

100th Post


Go me?

Okay, the delay has been from the fact that I keep trying to come up with something special for the 100th post, but damn it, I keep coming up empty. It's just too hard to top 'Inglorious Potters'. Why the hell did that have to be the 99th post?

Until I get the 'Wayback Machine' fully working, I'm just going to have to go with a typical Shakespearean resolution: the Apocalypse.


Now, I'm not saying that '2012' is a bad movie, it's just an unfortunate movie. It's like saying that a Nascar event was a success because the fans loved the crash that crippled three men.

To give you an idea of the level we're working with, they build giant, futuristic ships to sail through the apocalypse in. One plot point is that they're steering towards Mount Everest, which rises high above the water why didn't they just hide on top of the mountain, instead of building the giant ships? You'd think that would've been easier.

Oh, and needless to say, the little dog lives. As far as I'm aware, every dog on the planet survived, if the director has any say.

2012 is all about the ridiculous spectacle that could only derive from a hackneyed director, dull plot, mediocre actors, a two and a half hour run time, and a $250 million dollar budget. Independence Day seems subtle and nuanced by comparison. Seriously, 2012's John Cusack will make you honestly wonder why Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum didn't both take home gold on Oscar night.

But I digress. For my 100th post, I am going to present several 'alternate' apocalypse movies that are just as good as 2012, only with a tiny fraction of the budget. In fact, all these movie ideas combined only come out to about half of 2012's explosive budget, run 90 minutes tops, and make just as much scientific sense.

All Hollywood producers are asked to post their offers in the comments section of the blog:


A small girl in Ohio skips rope in a playground...

Across the planet, a man raises his arm towards a box on the top of a bookshelf. It's just out of reach...

In Canada, a teenage track and field athlete is preparing for the long jump event...

In England, a docks worker is ready to leave the ship and go to port. There's a two foot gap between his ship and the pier....

In the White House, the President of the United States sees a giant cockroach...

What will happen to the world when EVERYONE JUMPS AT THE SAME TIME?!!!

Beware world, the A-hop-alypse has begun...

Now, I'm pretty sure that idea is worth a $2 million contract right there, but just in case:


In 2010, a young scientist presented the world with his findings, and announced that the world would come to a sudden an abrupt end on December 9th, 2012.

They called him crazy.

Then, at exactly 12:01 am, on December 9th of the year 2012...nothing happened.

He was crazy.


Scientists couldn't believe it. Religious leaders couldn't accept it. Politicians were powerless to confront it.

The sun, unchanged for all human history, suddenly outstretched itself in opposite directions, as if extending two impossibly long arms.

In the days that followed, the people of the world began to swear that a face was beginning to form upon the sun, although no one could discern what it felt.

Then suddenly, without warning, the sun's new appendages stretched towards the Earth, yet instead of burning the world to a crisp, they merely hung in the air above the planet, each emitting a silvery glow at the end, as if the sun were holding a giant metallic object in each hand...

Without warning, the continent sized raisins began to fall.

This summer, the sun is bringing two scoops of annihilation for humanity...

Those three movies alone will make my career. I better make one that'll win awards though...


Panic erupts in the streets. There is no warning or preparation. What caused this madness? Why did it have to happen? No one can say. All we know is:

Every woman on Earth, over the age of 18, has mysteriously lost all their clothes. More perplexingly, each of them have also become surrounded by full length mirrors, and each take at least a two full minutes to realize that anything has happened.

Starring: Salma Hayek, Megan Fox, Jennifer Lopez, Katie Featherston, Kate Beckinsale, Dolly Parton (yeah, I know she's 63, but I don't care), Emma Watson, Vickie Eng, Miley Cyrus (filming to begin 11/24/2010), and many more!

This summer, we...uh...the world is...oh f*ck it, just come and see the movie, guys. You know you're going to.

I know what you're thinking. Max, you're setting yourself up for an Orson Welles-like situation, where you'll never be able to top yourself. Well, I was going to save this, but here's the final Pitch to be made last, just to round out the career:


The scene opens with a scientist urgently making his way into the oval office. The president is startled, and secret service agents rush in, but not before the young scientist can speak.

"Mr. President, I'm sorry for the intrusion, but the world is headed towards catastrophe!"

The president sent the secret service agents out of the room, and allowed the young man to continue,

"If my calculations are correct, sir, the moon has dropped out of Earth's rotation, and is now hurtling directly towards us!"

The president looks thoughtfully out the window, as if wondering what to do. With a slight cough, he addresses the young man for the first time,

"So it is true. Several other leading scientists have told me the same thing, but no one can say why, or exactly what will happen."

Proudly, but with some fear, the young scientist sifted through his notes, and handed a bunch to the president, while softly speaking,

"I believe I know what will happen, sir. The moon is going to crush and flatten in space, before reaching us, spinning outwards as it flies, but always snapping back to its basic round shape, with the surface curling at the edges, and large mountains forming along its surface."

The president urged the young scientist to continue, who barely eked out,

"When it hits the Earth, it's going to surround most of it, as if wet and spongy, before the rubble slowly drifts away in a single mass, and falls towards the sun."

The president hammered his fist upon the table, in furious rage.

"So that's it then? There's nothing we can do before it lands on our heads?"

The young scientist gave a slight cough, to interrupt.

"Not exactly on our heads, sir. My research shows that the mass of the moon will directly seek our our ocular organs when it hits."

The president could barely find the courage to stammer out,

"So you mean..."

"Yes sir...the moon will hit our eyes like a big pizza pie."

This summer...that's AMOREGEDDON!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


*In the middle of the forbidden forest, Draco, Goyle, Harry and Ron are hanging out, shortly after the end of the 7th book*

DRACO: "Well, no hard feelings, Potter. I guess alls well that ends..."

*Harry 'Avada Kedavra's' Goyle*

DRACO: "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! I switched sides! You'll be killed..."

HARRY: "Nah, more likely chewed out. He did try to kill us earlier after all. Anyway that deal was for you, and it's a good deal. Weaken the Dark Lord's power by being the wand's master? Enable us to kill the Dark Lord. That's a good deal. You like that deal, Ron?"

RON: "I'd take that deal."

HARRY: "Yeah, that's a good deal. Now scalp Goyle."

DRACO: "What? Why?!"

HARRY: "It's sort of a 'thing' I'm starting. Anyway, when you leave here, avoid Azkaban, and rejoin high society Draco...I bet you're going to keep that dark mark covered...ain't ya?"

DRACO: *shudders*

HARRY: "Yeah, that's what I thought, and Ron and I don't like that, do we?"

*Ron finishes scalping Goyle*

RON: "Not one bit.

*Harry leans forward, towards Draco's ear, and begins to whisper*

HARRY: "You see if it were up to me, you'd proudly display that Dark Mark every day for the rest of your wand suckin' life...but I'm aware that ain't practical, so..."

*Harry draws a huge magical bowie knife*

HARRY: "So I'm going to give you a little something you can't take off..."

*And ten minutes later, after branding Draco, burying Goyle's body next to the Dursley family's, and peeking in on Hermoine while she's taking a shower, they all lived happily ever after*


Friday, October 02, 2009


Challenge #22: Change a dirty diaper

Okay, I've dodged it long enough. It's time to take little Jacob (that's little in the ironic sense, like Mafia guys named 'Tiny') to the changing room, under the careful guidance of Pat.

Luckily, the scope and magnitude of the diaper changing isn't nearly as catastrophic as Nicky's. I mean, good lord...I'm amazed Nicky's body could contain that much. Jake is a bit better, but yeah, it isn't pretty. It didn't help that he kept trying to kick his way out of my grasp. GOOD LORD that kid's strong!

Anyway, after popping my arm back into its socket, I cleaned the kid up (again, not the least bit of shame or empathy from the kid himself...he could at least pretend to be sorry), and put on a new diaper.

Honestly, the hardest part was getting him back IN to his jumper. I tried wrestling with him and his outfit a bit, but he countered the move into a hurricana suplex. I considered grabbing a folding chair to help even the odds, but I was pretty sure the ref (Jenny) wouldn't have approved. Pat had to tag in to take over at that point.

Still, I survived the diaper changing. Some other relatives weren't so lucky (we remember you fondly, Steve).

CHALLENGE #23: Early to bed...

I've never been one to go to bed early, but you know how the saying goes 'Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise'.

A week later, there isn't any additional money in my wallet.

Am I any wiser? I'm posting on a blog on the I'm going to venture a 'no'.

What about my health? Not only did I get sick, but I caught the flu, right about the same time the swine flu was getting everywhere. Hmm.

So, 'Early to bed, and early to rise, gives you Swine Flu'. Yeah, I guess that's nowhere as catchy.

CHALLENGE #24: Eat a large plate of pickled beets.

Yeah, there's a few more food challenges. I decide to brave the food that kids cartoons have warned me about for decades...

Those fricking liars! Grouchy bear from the care bears was dead right! Lionheart doesn't know what the hell he's talking about! (oh, and curse you Amber, for subjecting me to 'girly' kids cartoons throughout my youth)

Pickled beets are delicious! I could really go for a large plate of them right now! Once again, I feel like I got off easy. Let's make the next one a hard one.

CHALLENGE #25: Give self the worst brainfreeze possible

This one took a few test starts, sort of like the 'go a day without intentionally scratching' challenge. I swear, I did my best to down slurpees as quickly as possible (the only way a true geek would achieve the brain freeze), but nothing happened of note. Oh sure, there was a chill or two, but nothing that bad.

I took several weeks, when I was drinking a slurpee for fun, not even thinking about the challenge...when it happened.

My brain sqeezed shut like a vice. I didn't go for a warm drink, oh no, that'd be cheating. All I could do was ride out the wave, like a sarcastic careless teen on Baywatch, only there weren't any porn stars to save me.

A few minutes later and the agony crescendoed into a manageable state, and I dragged myself from the floor of my car. Can you believe Slurpees created an advertising campaign out of brain freezes? That's like trying to sell a snack bar through crotch punches!

Oh well, I'll just top the Slurpee off with some rubber bands.

CHALLENGE# 26: Chew on rubber bands, as if they were gum

Alright, let's clean these boys off...yeah, I don't see how this could go wrong.

I can't even begin to describe how disgusting that was.

Nicky's 'uh-oh' takes second.

I'm going to crawl back onto the floor of my car now.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Max Freeman

Patriot, Visionary, and Inventor of Ham

In honor of Max Freeman's birthday, we will be taking a break from the challenges to list the author of this blog's greatest accomplishments, year by year, each coincidentally occurring upon his birthday.


Moments after being born, a Doctor smacked Max several times on the bottom. Regardless, the young spy refused to tell him anything.


Began walking and talking, inventing both.


Successfully brought down a very small portion of the Berlin Wall, for round about 2 minutes.


Led one lightsaber wielding action figure to victory in the battle of 'kill all the other action figures'.


Drank his first and last beer.


Ended slavery in Texas, forcing his family to flee to the northeast.


Successfully infiltrated the school system, using the cover name 'Robert'.


Invented ham.


Played as the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots at superbowl XX, leading them to a glorious 846-10 loss.


Successfully pre-venged the death of his grandson.


Endorses Michael Dukakis' presidential campaign.


Uses the force to choke Michael Dukakis to death.


Invents pork roll. Literally dozens are thrilled.


Max ends the Gulf war through the power of song. UN officials estimate deaths in the mid 10,000's.


Listens to his first Aerosmith song. Doesn't care for it.


Scientifically proves, using 'Freeman's theorem' that the Dallas Cowboys are the most awesome thing on Earth.


Creates masterful plan to solve all of America's agriculture problems, and would've gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those meddling kids.


Freeman's theorem is officially disproved.


Travels back in time, to take year off before college.


Invents the ham, pork roll, and ketchup sandwich. No one notices until 2006.


Achieves the record for longest time spent trying to get a specific girl in the sack. Surrenders after 11 months, 26 days of trying.


Partied like it was the year it was.


Discovers internet porn. Is not heard from again until 2001.


Changes control of the Senate from 'Republican' to 'Democrat' by slapping it.


Invents a new word (Collinguinistical) and spends year trying to think up a definition that isn't dirty. Eventually settles upon: 'somewhat nifty'.


Personally ends the Phnom Penh riots by doing what no one else could: pronouncing its name correctly.


Sets the 'wayback' machine for 1806.


Successfully finds Lewis and Clark, and leads them back home, only to find that all his Superman jokes just go over their heads. Is inconsolable until 1808.


Weren't you listening? I said he was inconsolable!


Bamboozles the Colonies into repatriating back to England, and celebrates by stomping on a bunch of butterflies.


Set wayback machine for 2006.


Realizes he missed a year. Declares 'Fuck it'.


Not much really. Mostly bummed around on the internet, updating his blog. He did kill a few vampires...but otherwise, pretty much a normal year.


Fails to break world record for 'longest time spent trying to get a girl into the sack'. Regardless, he doesn't seem to mind that much.


Ends war on terror through use of hypnosis. The subsequent 'clucking like a chicken' and 'naked in front of the audience' epidemics expected to be cured within the year.

MAX FREEMAN: Hero, Revolutionary, and fictional Charles Dickens character.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Still 30

I'm not quite 31 yet, and needless to say, I'm going down kicking and screaming.

Anyone, on to more challenges, and this week they're mostly food related:

CHALLENGE #18: Eat a plate of Buffalo Wings

This challenge downright baffles my sister, Amber. She asks, her voice filled with honest confusion, "What don't you like about Buffalo Wings?"

First of all, I have absolutely nothing against honey BBQ wing, Asian style wings, or plain. No, my problem is with the 'buffalo' variety only. Why? Why wouldn't I?

The plate arrives, and Amber assures me they're 'typical' buffalo wings, neither better nor worse than average. I take a bite, and immediately, the sour and oily sauce assaults my tongue like the winner of a 30 second UFC match.

It isn't...awful, I guess, but overpowering, and with a terrible texture that no meat was meant to have. Worse yet, they never cook them enough, always bringing them out lukewarm.

Also, what the hell's with the blue cheese, celery, and carrots? What does that have to do with anything? Am I really supposed to mix blue cheese with the sour vinegar sauce? Somehow, I'm not convinced. Perhaps it's a religious obligation, or just for the Feng Shui of the plate.

Anyway, I eat them, and they're not disgusting, but Lord, I can't understand why people pay out the nose for undercooked, vinegar soaked chicken legs and wings. To me, they're a slap to the face. Some might be light and well executed slaps to the face, but I still don't see why anyone pays for them.

CHALLENGE #19: Down a shot of Piracetam

There's a fight going on online, between the 'pill' and 'drink' Piracetam factions. For those who don't know, Piracetam is a nutritional supplement that, unlike all other nutritional supplements, actually works. It increases blood flow to the brain without all the troubling financial and legal issues of crystal Meth. I highly recommend it.

The disagreement online is regarding the proper way to take it: by pill or mixed with water. Either technically works fine, and no better than the other way, but whereas I've always taken it by pill, some people complain that there's no reason to go through the trouble of encapsulating (your $10 word for the day) them, and it's just a pointless hassle.

Why encapsulate ($20 and counting)? The pill users counter: "It tastes terrible!"

The way they describe it, you'd think it was a mixture of pickle juice, sewage, diet Red Bull, and Piracetam (yes, it loops).

I made myself a batch mixed with water, and Amber directed me to the sink. I could always just toss it, but there's a special rung of hell reserved for people who waste good drugs. Since I might be rapping on the gates shortly...


Oh, you fricking whiners. That wasn't bad at all! I'm honestly disappointed. I guess if all you consume is Doritos and Mountain Dew, then yes it'd seem unbearable. As a person with a variety of tastes and culinary ($5 word, and we're up to $25) experiences, it wasn't bad at all. It's nothing like wasabi, or...

CHALLENGE #20: Eat some olives

That's what I get for ordering a salad in an Italian restaurant.

I force a smile and put a black olive in my mouth.



I pray for rescue, but to no avail. I consider dialing 911, but I don't want to open my mouth, fearing I might not be able to keep it down.

Do people seriously eat this willingly? Even pay money for this?! I pity the Romans, who had little else, because it went neck and neck with the wasabi. I down a few more, chewing along the way, or else it doesn't really count.

I swear to God, you do not want to know the images that went through my head. The nicest and most family friendly of them is a purple squid, delivered to my tongue raw.

How could olive oil, a rather innocuous ($35) and subtle liquid come from something so vile, so unholy, and so...olivey?

A pox upon olive growers, people who order olives on pizzas, and anyone who serves them the only way they could possibly be worse: without the pits removed.


This is it!

The moment has come for me to reveal the WORST JOKE EVER!

CHALLENGE #21: Recall 101 times the worst joke ever was used

Someone farts.

That's it.

That's the worst joke ever. It occurs in movies, TV shows, books, and even video games on a nearly neverending basis, yet the joke never changes.

I know it started with Blazing Saddles, a favorite movie from my childhood, but I don't really blame them. Mel Brooks was bound to hit the joke eventually, and didn't reuse it often in most of hit movies.

No, I blame 'The Lion King'. That's the moment it became a 'kid-friendly' joke, and suddenly, we have every other joke in each kid movie be a fart joke. You know, Walt Disney himself hated kids shows/movies that were willing to do 'anything' for a laugh. He believed in clean wholesome humor, and never resorted to anything like a fart joke.

So if the dead eventually rise, I have a word of advice to Michael Eisner: start running. In fact, start running now.

With that floodgate opened, the fart jokes filled both the TV and airwaves, and the world was never quite the same. as a challenge, I'm going to recount 101 fart jokes, counting movies, TV, books, and videogames. Feel free to stop reading if you get too depressed to continue. I certainly understand...

1. Lion King
2. Blazing Saddles
3. George of the Jungle
4. Toy Story 2
5. Austin Powers 1
6. Austin Powers 2
7. Austin Powers 3
8. Master of Disguise
9. In Living Color
10. Scary Movie
11. Not Another Teen Movie
12. Star Wars Episode I
13. Wild Cats
14. Family Dog
15. Police Academy 5
16. Family Guy
17. Robin Hood Men in Tights
18. Who’s Line is it Anyway
19. Freakizoid (but more tasteful than most)
20. Curse of Fatal Death
21. That’s My Bush
22. Southpark
23. Ren and Stimpy
24. Naked Gun
25. Hot Shots 2
26. Road Trip
27. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
28. Chappelle Show
29. Lust in the Dust
30. Mystery Men
31. Who’s Your Caddy
32. Brain Donors
33. American Dad
34. Jerky Boyz the Movie
35. Tom Goes to the Mayor
36. Brak Show
37. Monty Python
38. Shrek
39. Robot Chicken
40. Dumb and Dumber
41. Muppets take Manhattan
42. MST3K the Movie
43. MST3K the TV show
44. Futurama
45. Simpsons
46. Catcher in the Rye
47. Canterbury Tales
48. Kids in the Hall
49. Liar Liar
50. Private Parts
51. Metalocalypse
52. Aqua Teen Hunger Force
53. Nutty Professor (Eddie Murphy remake)
54. Spawn (movie)
55. Shrek 2
56. Shaun of the Dead
57. Duckman
58. MXC
59. Powerpuff Girls (TV show)
60. Red Dwarf
61. Salute Your Shorts
62. Airplane
63. 3rd Rock from the Sun
64. Sealab 2021
65. Gladiator
66. Swimming to Cambodia
67. Goonies
68. Fairy God Parents
69. The Mask
70. Little Shop of Horrors (original, deleted ending)
71. Southpark Movie
72. Duece Bigelow
73. Venture Brothers
74. Assy McGee
75. Shin Chan
76. Waiting for Guffman
77. Daily Show
78. Mythbusters
79. Flesh Gordon 2
80. Scary Movie 3
81. Dogma
82. Toxic Avenger
83. Beavis and Butthead show
84. Toxic Avenger 4
85. Beavis and Butthead do America (movie)
86. Help
87. Pee Wee’s Playhouse
88. Abe’s Odyssey
89. Abe’s Exodus
90. Much’s Odyssey
91. Booger Man
92. Sam and Max (game)
93. Fable
94. Fable 2
95. Ace Ventura 2
96. Back to School
97. Howard Stern Show
98. Good Eats
99. Jiminy Glick
100. WWF/WWE
101. G Force (seriously Eisner, I wouldn't even stop to pack before running)

Friday, August 14, 2009

We interrupt your normally scheduled blog to inform you that Rifftrax, with the cast of MST3K is going to be doing a live show, broadcast across theaters around the country on August 20th, at 8pm!

Specifically, they'll be riffing 'Plan 9 From Outer Space'!

That's next Thursday at 8pm, and they're even going to be at the AMC 24 in Hamilton, NJ, which is where I'm going. Go to for more details. See you there!


Don't have that much time this week, so the worst joke in the history of mankind will continue to wait (suffer! ^_^) in lieu of some shorter, yet no less significant challenges:


I'll be the first to admit, I have a high threshold for boredom. Sit me in the corner, and as long as I have a pen and some paper, I'll be as happy as a clam at a filter feeding competition.

Of course, if I'm filing, my mind can't wander, and must stay focused on the task at hand. This is the main reason my normal filing method can be summed up as 'piles'. I have 'this pile' and 'that pile', and of course, 'that pile over there'. It's all very scientific.

So for this challenge, I buckled down and did nothing but file for as long as possible in a row. Thanks to a lull at work, I had the chance to sort all their invoices into alphabetical order and then put them into the corresponding file.

20 minutes later, I was ready to call amnesty international. No human being should have to file for any length of time. It's literally sorting papers, then re-sorting them, putting them into cabinets in a very precise order, where they will never ever be looked at again.

Forget waterboarding, the CIA needs to investigate the 'alphabetizing, filing, and creating dividers for company subdivisions' torture. Those terrorists will never know what hit them!

About 40 minutes in, my brain shut off, and my limbs and spine more or less just operated on their own. At the 60 minute mark, I pulled the fire alarm and jumped out the window. Or something like that. It's hard to tell when your brain's shut off.


With all that flailing around in the office and fire marshall hubaloo, I was definitely ready for a break, and what could be more relaxing than staying still for an hour?

Of course, I was staying ABSOLUTELY still for an entire hour. No scratching, turning, shifting, or looking around. No TV, radio, or similar distractions either. Nothing besides motionlessness, and silence.

The novelty wears off surprisingly quick. After about 10 minutes, I started to kill time by playing the movie 'Clue' in my head, scene for scene. Then the itches started.

Paraplegics never get enough sympathy, especially in regards to 'itches'. Those unfortunate enough to not even be able to speak leave others wondering what they really want.


Eventually I got to the end credits of Clue, and fought off the near insanity of complete motionlessness, and then scratched away with the ferocity of a madman...leading me to the next challenge.


It starts small, like an overhead echo in a deep cavern. Pretty soon it's rising to a peak, and it's impossible to ignore. Eventually it consumes your every ounce of attention, turning into a deafening roar.

You scratch. You scratch as quickly and as frequently as your limbs will allow. Then you have to try again the next day.

This is the first of the challenges that I actually outright failed, at least in my first few attempts. Of course, no matter what, I caught myself reflexively scratching without even thinking, but that didn't count, as I couldn't find a way to avoid it.

Regardless, I could not intentionally scratch for an entire day, no matter how much it...ITCH! *SCRATCH SCRATCH SCRATCH*

Sigh...regardless, the next day, I could not OH MY GOD IT'S SO BAD I CAN'T EVEN THINK STRAIGHT! *SCRATCH SCRATCH SCRATCH*


With the utmost intestinal fortitude, I somehow managed to eventually, after many many tries, go a full 24 hours without scratching.

There was pain.

Theer was burning.

There was (as far as I can tell) an invisible burning corkscrew digging into my knee.

Nevertheless, I somehow managed it, and I'm honestly not sure if it was worse than the wasabi or not.

I took shelter with my family, whom I knew would never intentionally hurt me.

Yeah, somehow I forgot about Amber.

With a grin that would've made the Marquis De Sade break into a cold sweat, she led me to Nicky, who had a particularly amused expression upon his face.


Picture this: it's a warm summer day in July. The toddlers in the family were playing in the pool, equipped with waterproof diapers. The inevitable occurs, and suddenly we're at the kitchen counter with adorable little Nicky.

The smell is everywhere.

Jenny casually pops off his diaper.


The water has...dear God...I can't even go into it.

How much does this kid freakin' eat?! You'd think he was consuming his own weight each day in fruit!

Throughout it all, Nicky is as pleased as can be, as if he'd achieved something spectacular. My God kid, you could at least feel sorry for us. But no, he's just happy to be a part of it all.

With mechanical rhythm and a stomach much stronger than my own, Jenny effortlessly disposes of the 'waste', cleans the boy off, powders him up, and slips him into a new suit, as I hold his legs up, and desperately wish I was back filing.

There's another torture for you, black ops. Get with the program. Simulated drowning is out. Paper pushing and diaper changing are in.

Friday, July 31, 2009


This week's post is filled to the brim with suspense! What's the most boring state/country/meal/joke in the world? Where to begin?!

CHALLENGE #11: Research the most boring state in America

This one is a little difficult to remain impartial on. I mean, what qualifies something as being boring or interesting? In a week's time, I'm going to Washington D.C. for several days to check out all the museums. For kids, that's a nightmare of a school trip, but for me, it's bliss.

The most impartial way is to find the state that has the least amount of tourism, compared to its overall population.

Oh sure, it's easy to scoff at Rhode Island and Delaware, but compared to their size, they've got a decent amount of tourism. Maine has an incredible amount, and interestingly enough, there isn't enough law enforcement to go around, so each town has to literally fend for itself (now there's a 'Mad Max' style movie waiting to happen). Farming states? Not that boring, as there are plenty of festivals and at least one big city in each. Wyoming? Cool history. No, the battle comes down to 3 states...

South Dakota

Despite having Mount Rushmore and numerous tourist attractions, people only 'grudgingly' seem to show up. North Dakota is a party a minute extravaganza compared to South Dakota, which literally only seems to exist because of Mount Rushmore, and mining operations. Still, it's more interesting than...


Aside from Alaska (an interesting state, in a 'we all might die' sort of way) Nebraska is our emptiest state, and they simply have no excuse. This state is EMPTY. Well, empty aside from Omaha, which is Nebraska's way of holding onto 'culture' in the same way a man might dangle on the edge of a cliff from his fingertips. Boring, depressing, and ungodly empty. There's only one state worse. Our most boring state is...



That's it. That and gem mining. I tried searching for quite a while, but unless you're interested in something that's dug out of the ground, Idaho literally has NOTHING to offer us. That, and a very odd shape. What's the story behind that?

Oh well, let's take a break with the worst meal I've ever paid good money for.

CHALLENGE #12: Order the worst item at the worst restaurant you know

Have I mentioned that P.F. Chang's is garbage? They literally scoop up garbage at a landfill, and drop it on your plate.

Oddly enough, I can't entirely put them at fault, as I've tried 'Asian Fusion' in other places, and it's always garbage. Deluxe, high priced garbage, efficiently served by a very professional staff. What the f*ck?

For those that aren't aware, 'Asian Fusion' is a mix between Chinese, Thai, California, and the fourth circle of hell (the 'culinary' level, right between the 'dentistry' and 'traffic' floors).

They had quite a few dreadful abominations to choose from, but after a helpful instructional lesson from my waitress on 'how to pour liquids onto food', I decided the vegetarian dish, cooked in coconut milk looked like my best bet. Don't get me wrong, the description sounded fine, but it seems like something they'd screw up, and screwing up something I normally like is a far more efficient kick to the scrotum.

I was not disappointed. How the hell can they serve this food? How the hell can it be cooked in coconut milk and not taste like coconut milk? How the hell did they screw up broccoli? Since when is asparagus an Asian vegetable?!!!

Sigh...oh well, with that dish (which Gordon Ramsey would have force fed the restaurant's head chef, while screaming) out of the way, we go on to boring countries.

Challenge #13: Research the most boring country in the world

Not that far a stretch from our most boring states, only with far more to choose from. Instead of literally going over all of them, I decided to just look up topics on 'the most boring country in the world' on the net. Don't worry, I didn't just take a vote, that'd be cheating. Instead, I got quite a few names that kept coming up. After quite a bit of mind-meltingly tedious research, I separated the mostly boring (Andorra, Belarus, Taiwan) from the AMAZINGLY boring.

So without further ado, from least to most boring, here are the most boring countries in the world:


Don't get me wrong, Sweden's an incredibly beautiful country, with a lot of fun architecture, and it's far more temperate then its neighbors.

They have a king, but it's been rated as the most democratic country in the world. They have a lot of great technology, but depend heavily on profits from natural resources. They're famous for being neutral in politics, but have a lot of military and police power. They believe in free trade, but the unions control everything. Black is white. Night is day. Etc, etc...

Sweden is simply a mess of contradictions. Perhaps that's what drives so many of them nuts, and drives them to dark depravity, and rampant folk dancing. Still, they're not that boring, at least not when compared to...


It's like Antarctica, only without the charm.

Very empty, with fishing being the only real industry and source of income for the few poor inhabitants. There are a lot Inuits there, who are amazing survivors, considering they manage to survive in such a climate, and that since there's virtually no firewood, most of the fish they catch is eaten raw.

The country would be more boring if it were not so cold and menacing. Almost as boring as...

8. Luxembourg

An incredibly rich and tiny country. Overall, they have very little freedom, but compensate by getting drunk as often as humanly possible. On average, each citizen drinks 2.8 gallons of pure alcohol. That's not 2.8 gallons of booze, but PURE booze, when you separate everything out that isn't alcohol itself. Still, the country manages to be efficient, regardless.

Luxembourg is generally dull in practice, but in a very unique and interesting way, making them the Rube Goldberg of countries.


The world pretty much runs with or without Switzerland. If the entire country disappeared tomorrow, Sci-fi style, we'd all just shrug and move on.

Switzerland is best known as the way-station between several other important countries. They're also RIDICULOUSLY democratic, to the point that the public can veto any law that the government creates, with a simple majority vote. Regardless, military service is compulsory for all citizens, making them almost as contradictory as Sweden.

It makes sense though, when you think about it. Being famously neutral, Switzerland has to be able to protect itself, so a strong military is required. Of course, like all other laws, the compulsory military service can be abolished by a simple majority vote, it just hasn't yet (last try only got 23% of the vote).

The country is very beautiful, and also has a large amount of economic freedom, most of the electricity comes from hydro-power, there's plenty of sports and skiing, and you're not reading this anymore, because it's incredibly boring in a pleasant sort of way, so I can write anything now. Clown penis, huge stonking tits, Godzilla is attacking the city, rain keeps falling on my head, Alton Brown/Gordon Ramsey deathmatch 2009, and several butcher's aprons.

Let's move on.


A highly scientific country that invented the Rubiks cube and Paprika. You know your country's exciting when those facts feature prominently on your country's wiki page. It's pretty much just Sweden and Switzerland, only less interesting, and slightly more communist. Nice architecture though.


Man, nothing's more boring than northern Europe, apparently. Holland's a jumbled, ridiculously wet country, with very little self identity. The citizens seem to identify far more with the individual cities in which they live, and Holland seems to merely exist as a way of holding them all together (the Nebraska of Europe).

The cities inside Holland are all fairly interesting, and each have an individual wiki page at least twice as long as Holland's own (Amsterdam being the largest wiki among them, obviously). Still, the country as a whole is damn boring.


There was a time I believed this was the most boring country in the world, and Lord, it's close. They're an annoyingly successful socialist state, in both science and industry, with both personal/economic freedom and socialist values.

That sound you hear is the United States grinding its teeth. Yup, Bulgaria shows how Communism is done right, and that drives the Capitalist nations (who are all currently going through an economic shift that can best be described as 'falling down three flights of stairs') absolutely nuts...that is, if they give a f*ck. We generally don't. Overall, Bulgaria is very boring, with almost nothing to define it, other than its perplexedly upbeat, easy going, and socialist atmosphere.


Yet another annoyingly free and successful country. They're doing a lot better now that they've weeded out the old Soviet influences and corruption. Finland's an incredibly beautiful country...but you can pretty much just re-read any of the Nordic country's entries and you'll get the gist. Nothing unique to see here.


Ah, it's nice to finally get out of Europe, and into the dull and peaceful...South Pacific nation?

Brunei is a curious anomaly, being primarily an oil producing country (much like many middle east nations), but relatively free and stable regardless. They're an island nation right above Australia, and where actually part of the British empire all the way up until 1986.

What's really amazing is that there's really nothing else to say about it. The entire nation is more or less nothing more than one large city, filled with business transactions, and absolutely nothing else of interest.

It takes a lot of work to be an island nation right next to Australia, India, and Singapore, and still be this boring. In fact, only one nation does it better...


Just when you thought we were out of Europe, here comes Denmark, the most boring country in the world.

They're yet another incredibly free and successful country, and despite being the descendants of the Vikings, they're not violent or wild at all. They must've gotten it all out of their system, apparently.

Virtually nothing ever happens in Denmark, ever, and yet they're statistically the happiest country in the world. I literally almost fell asleep at the computer, despite all the hot blonde girls inhabiting the country, and all the interesting . It's not just the country itself that's boring, but the culture. It's literally considered very 'rude' to be different, or try to excel too much.

Yes, everyone's expected to not only act a certain way, but perform no better than a certain level. Nothing ever changes, and nothing of any true importance is produced. You just live each day like the your numerous pastries and dumplings...make love to your gorgeous blond spouse (who has no personality whatsoever) very boring games with your equally blond and personality-less kids...go to sleep...repeat...and...

My God. This is how it happens.

Imagine the Vikings, raiding everywhere and gaining everything in the world you could possibly want. Imagine holding onto it, and never really losing it. Every day is peaceful and wonderful, as long as absolutely nothing ever changes, and nothing of any real importance ever happens.

Denmark is trapped. Poor bastards. They never even saw it coming.

I almost got trapped too, just reading about it. I nearly nodded off at the computer, and when I snapped to attention, I was about to purchase a one way ticket to Denmark, a blond wig, and a pair of wooden shoes.

Lord help us all.

The worst joke in the world will have to wait until next time. The icy, rigid allure of Denmark is still haunting my soul...

Friday, July 17, 2009


Not really. More like checkers.

Challenge #7: Follow competitive curling

Canadians are just so fricking polite that it makes you want to scream. Take curling, for example. It's bad manners to be loud, or to celebrate too openly (lest you hurt your opponent's feelings), and best of all, you're supposed to call your own fouls.

That's right, if someone breaks the rules, the only person who can call them on it is themselves. There are no referees, just a loose 'honor' system.

Best of all, when people began getting really good at the game...they changed the rules, to make it harder, so no one had too much of an advantage.

Can you imagine any of that happening in an American sport? Then again, sliding rocks down the ice while teammates with brooms sweep in front of it (if you weren't familiar with 'curling', I just described the sport in full).

Watching it wasn't too first. Then it just kept going. Apparently, the average game can take around 2 hours to complete! That's a lot of fricking sweeping! It was quite a bit of watching too.

It's similar to Bocce, if you're familiar with that. Basically, you're trying to get your stones closer to the target than your opponents, and can knock his stones out of the way with the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Whoa! What happened? An hour just passed, and I've got qwerty face (keyboard imprint on face). I think it's just better for all involved if I just leave the rules as: throw rocks, sweep, and drink beer.

Boring? Oh my, yes. Painfully boring? No more than baseball. Take of that what you will. ^_^

Challenge #8: sleep on the floor

In an attempt to go the more 'uncomfortable' route than 'boring' or 'painful' ones, I simply slid out of bed onto the floor one night, and went to sleep. No pillow and no blankets.

It'd be a stretch to call it 'acceptable', but hey, I did get some sleep...and a hell of a stiff back in the morning. Oh well, sure beats a cold shower.

Challenge #9: Research the history of vice presidents


I mean...DAMN!

I expected a completely droll snooze-fest, but instead I was treated to a detailed history of more violence, political maneuvering, sex, and conspiracy than I ever possibly imagined.

It's true, the early vice presidents were all highly controversial figures, who not only held a fairly good amount of political power, but regularly got into gun duels, fistfights, and...well, let's face it, who didn't bang Abigail Adams back then?

How could this be? The answer lies in the fact that originally, vice presidents weren't nominated. They were simply the next runner up in the election. Imagine if John McCain was Obama's vice president, or Al Gore was George W. Bush's.

As you can imagine, things got a little tense, with one (Aaron Burr) going as far as shooting a man dead in a duel, and it certainly wasn't the first he'd fought. Even when the political parties began to take root, and elected their own vice presidents, the beautiful chaos rolled on for quite some time.

All this glorious vice-presidential carnage came to an abrupt halt with William Wheeler.

Let me set the stage: it's 1874, and due to political maneuverings, presidential hopeful Rutherford B. Hayes has allowed the New York delegation to pick any person they wished for the position of Vice President.

This created a problem, because the delegation couldn't think of anyone they could all agree upon for the job. Then one of the members jokingly said, "Why not Wheeler?"

Everyone laughed. Even Wheeler.

Wheeler was by no means a born politician. He was more in it for the comfortable lifestyle and nice parties. He had virtually no political aspirations whatsoever, and probably only got involved in politics because it beat being a lawyer full time.

The next morning, they surprised him with the nomination.

This man literally did NOTHING as vice president. He did even less than nothing, in fact, because he not only performed no noteworthy actions as VP, but he also made the position a joke. Suddenly, the position of vice president was little more than a paycheck for someone in the party that had nothing better to do with their time.

From that point on, vice presidents were almost meaningless, except perhaps as a test to see their chances as a presidential nominee...right up to Dick Cheyney. Whether he was shooting elderly friends in the face, selling America out to Haliburton (which he was financially intertwined with, coincidentally), or merely telling us to go fuck ourselves, he certainly made the position of vice president a far more interesting one.

God bless you Dick, wherever you are (Fox news, probably).

Challenge #10: eat 3 bugs

What's the big deal?

Compared to the ingredients of hot dogs and breakfast sausage, bugs seem rather tame. At least I know what the ingredients are: 1 bug. Insect/vermin content: 1 per serving.

I draw the line at a worm. I dissected one of those in grade school, and I have no desire to go any further. Ditto for any insect with stingers and such.

I started with one of the various bugs near my house, called a box elder beetle. At our house we call them 'dumb bugs', due to their complete lack of survival instincts. You can literally slowly lower your foot down upon them. They also seem to forget that they can fly. Finally, they can only survive in trees, so if you find them in or on the house, it means they're lost.

Ewwwwwwwww...that was nasty! Yuck! No wonder they don't need a survival instinct. They taste terrible! It took me quite a while to get the taste out of my mouth from that one.

The fly I tried next wasn't as bad. It wasn't great, but it wasn't bad. Truth be told, it didn't taste much like anything.

The final choice was an ant, and believe it or not, those little guys pack a lot of flavor. I'm not saying I'd chow down on them, but if I had to eat a bug on a regular basis, that'd definitely be the one.

I remember being asked when I was a kid: if I'd eat a bowl full of bugs for $10,000. Now I know the answer for sure: I'd do it for $200. Hell, I'd do it just to avoid eating more wasabi! ^_^

What? This is all for science! Science and experimentation. Remember, you can't really be sure if you'll like something until you actually try it.

Next time: boring states, even more boring countries, a meal more disgusting than a bowl full of bugs, and the worst joke ever

Thursday, July 09, 2009


Ever see her weird thumb? If not, go check now.

Isn't that weird? Regardless, it only makes her hotter. Why? Because now she seems more accessible. Now guys can imagine her crying about her weird thumb, and we console her, assuring her that she's gorgeous, and it makes her so happy, and then we have sex.

Only if we're not already in committed relationships, of course. ^_^

Anyway, I'm going to take a moment and defend Transformers 2. People keep saying it has virtually no plot, and it's all about robots fighting and Megan Fox running in slow motion.

That's all very true...and I'm trying to see what the problem is. That's pretty much all the movie's main selling points.

Yes, there are numerous plot incredible number in fact, including why the Autobots never seem to be around when they're needed, why Sam doesn't tell anyone about the shard of the cube, why Megan Fox doesn't have a bikini scene, and the complete lack of dinobots.

Regardless, there are some things I'm going to defend as not being plot holes:

Why/how did the Decepticons get their agent into Sam's college, when doing so would take months to arrange, and they only found out about the shard the day before? She's a shapeshifter, so I'm assuming she killed a real girl and took her identity. It'd be a LOT easier than the alternative.

Why could the shard bring Megatron and Jetfire back to life, but not Optimus? Jetfire was just hibernating, and Megatron was re-assembled first. The Decepticons simply have an AWESOME doctor, and Rachett is a really crappy one. Of course, they had to kill a fellow Decepticon to do it too, and the autobots wouldn't do that. In other words, those Decepticons were just 'mostly dead', and Optimus was 'dead dead'.

The Autobots were hunting and killing hiding Decepticons, giving them no chance to surrender. Isn't that really dark/unethical? Yup, but this is war, kid, it ain't pretty. Also, that Decepticon at the beginning caused the chemical spill, so they weren't exactly innocent.

Now that those are out of the way, let's move on to a few new plot holes, that I noticed with the repeat viewing:

1. Why is there a tiger in Egypt? Did it escape from the zoo? Tigers are from central and east Asia. It might as well have been a kangaroo.

2. Remember the scene where wheelie shows the points on the map, where the hidden old robots are? They say 'there's one in Washington DC'. Actually, there wasn't. The closest were ones in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

3. Why is the film from the 1930's in full color?

4. Why is Egypt so empty? Africa is one of the most crowded places in the world. Where is everybody?!

5. Why is every person in Egypt either a dirt poor farmer or soldier? I'll answer this one: Michael Bay is racist. Look at the RC twins and tell me otherwise. Seriously though, that's just how he envisions all African people, but you'd think that the Egyptian Pyramids would have more of a tourist trade. People living in ruins? I google image searched Egypt Pyramids and got this picture:

I don't think Michael Bay has any clue what Egypt really looks like.

6. Why did Megatron shrink? I know they rebuilt him, but did they really need to rebuild him smaller? In the first movie he was HUGE! Now he's barely larger than Starscream.

7. Where the hell are all the Autobots going?! Yes, I know that isn't a 'new' complaint, but seriously! Every five minutes, half the cast disappears! Where the hell is Bumblebee when Sam/Optimus needs them? Where did the RC twins go at the end (to the scrap heap, hopefully)?

8. Megan Fox, in a downright bizarre film flub, appears clothed in all of her scenes.

I cannot stress the last point enough.

Friday, June 19, 2009


More or less.

Anyway, we move on to challenge #4:


You know, it wasn't that bad.

Don't worry, I'm not becoming one of those Ayn Rand nuts...on that note, did you know her real name was Alisa Zinov'yevnamakel'andevanabillybofanafifofana Rosenbaum? It was something like that. No wonder she changed it.

Atlas shrugged is more or less the ultimate 'sulk in the corner' for intellectuals. Remember those kids who swore they'd run away from home or die because their parents didn't buy them a new toy or pony? That's Atlas Shrugged in a nutshell.

The best part of the book is actually the most famous (or infamous in some circles). It's actually the speech towards the end of the book that lasts over 50 pages. If it were really spoken, it would literally last over 3 hours, and most of it is repetition.

That aside, if you skim it, you'll find a thoughtful sermon on self reliance, personal responsibility, character, and inner strength. It praises free thought, free enterprise, and justice, while condemning censorship, socialism, and undeserved mercy.

When Ayn says 'live free or die', it's not just a credo, but a threat.

Especially at this stage in history, it's difficult to scoff at her claims that most of society's problems come from people expecting everything to be given to them for free, without receiving any personal responsibility for their own actions, or bettering society as a whole in any significant way. With the recent market meltdown, there's something to be said for this opinion.

So why am I not bowing down and worshiping Ayn Rand right now? Her solutions won't work. Critics made great auditors, but poor engineers. Throughout the ending, her solution is for society to give total control over to intellectuals, and for all military forces to disband. All in all, her solution falls somewhere between Libertarian and laughable.

Regardless, her personal credo, of only taking what you earn, giving no charity or mercy (as by definition, neither is earned), taking pride in yourself, and demanding the right to live free and follow your own path in life, is highly commendable.

Some other noteworthy parts of the book include a terrible train accident that results from the willful negligence of politicians, businessmen, and taxpayers (after Katrina, it's hard to scoff). What really makes the scene interesting (and again, infamous) is that Ayn Rand examines every person within the train, and shows that they each, in some way, were partly responsible for the crash. Overall, they all think 'the problems of society are not my own, so I won't be bothered by them', and then all die in the crash.

Finally, the name of the book gets its own name from another noteworthy scene, where one character tries to convince another intellectual/entrepreneur that they must abandon the abusive and neglectful politicians and businessmen that depend on them for the ideas, products and services they provide.

The female protagonist said that the ultimate metaphor for their plight was Atlas, who struggled and suffered eternally, while carrying the world on his shoulders. She asks: "What would you tell Atlas to do?" and the man says "I have no idea! What could you possibly tell him to do?" and she simply responds "To shrug."

In other words, to toss the world off his shoulders. If they aren't going to give anything back, or do any work themselves, then supporting them is not only torture, but morally and ethically wrong. It's a selfless hero eternally suffering, so that the weak, lazy and greedy can get all the reward, without working for it.

Not a bad book at all...but long. REALLY REALLY long and repetitive.

There, I just saved you 1,000 pages of reading.


With all that intellectual self indulgence, I realized that I probably needed to be taken down a peg or two, so it's off to the 'hot or not' website. The website name pretty much explains what it is. You post your picture, and anonymous people rate you from 1 to 10.

I decided to use my basic picture, against the black background. Overall, it's my good side, but you still get a good shot of the humongous nose, ears, glasses, bald spot (around temples), and a peak of double chin.

I braced myself for the worst...

Huh. I actually didn't rate bad at all. Perhaps it's because the majority of women on the site are teenyboppers who like older men, or cougars looking for a younger fella. I've found, throughout my life, that I seem to appeal mainly to women furthest away from my age. When working at the mall, I got hit on a little by the shoppers, but only the teenage girls and elderly women.

Hell, one of the teenage Jewish girls, roughly 1/3 my size (who swore she was 18, but I didn't believe her) even asked me out, while 'more or less' sitting on my lap.

I said no...but it took me a second to think about it. What? Hey, I was single for a long time, so sue me. At least I didn't consider going out with one of the grannies. ^_^

Anyway, I've darted around the issue long enough. Here's the breakdown of my 'rating'

My average rating was 7.6 (not bad at all)

15% rated me 1-2

10% rated me 3-4

50% rated me 5-6

25% rated me 7-8

No one rated me 9-10 (not a huge surprise)

Unbelievably, I was rated more attractive than 73% of the guys on the site.

Now, you fellow math nerds might realize that the numbers result in an average closer to 5.2, rather than 7.6, but that's because the site takes into account how people vote overall. In other words, if they know you only give 1-5, or only give 7-10, then they weigh your ratings differently, so the ratings you give more or less come out to a range of 1-10, no matter how you actually vote.

Basically, it seems that I mainly appeal to women who normally don't like the guys on the site. Most of the other guys are yeah, I definitely think it's the 'older guy' factor. Teenage girls just don't like teenage guys. Can you blame them?

So don't give up hope, fellow geeks! Just look for younger women. Just keep it about 18. No fair chasing jailbait (I'm looking at you, Jenny).


Okay, I have to admit, I've gotten off easy for the last two challenges. It's time to really buckle down and do something harsh. I decided to eat a spoonful of wasabi. For those uninitiated, wasabi is a VERY spicy garnish for sushi. Real wasabi is rare and expensive, which is why at normal places they use horseradish. Pure horseradish, colored green.

For personal safety, I decided that I didn't have to actually swallow it all, but had to take a heaping spoonful and put it in my mouth, as if I were eating pudding.

Why? Because I know a guy who did. He'd never eaten at a Japanese place before, and asked what the green stuff was. One of his 'friends' (I'm using the term loosely here) jokingly said it was green pudding. Since there was green ice cream (pistachio) and green sweet dumplings, it wasn't that much of a stretch.

So he took a spoonful, and before anyone could say anything, shoved it in his mouth.

So I went to the Japanese buffet, got a nice heaping spoonful, and while no one was looking, did the same.

Our results were similar.


It was in every corner of my mouth.

It was in my throat.

I could feel it in my nose.

Hell, I could feel it in my EARS.

Soda didn't help, and neither did wiping it off. All that could save me was a frenzied rush to the men's room, past bewildered waiters and waitresses. There, I properly hosed down and scrubbed off the inside of my mouth. Regardless, I was almost sick with agony.

That's it.

I'm completing these challenges to the end, no matter what.

There's no way that spoonful of wasabi is going to be for nothing!

NEXT WEEK: History, agony, bugs, and fiendish thingies!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Sorry, lost track of time again.

I was busy watching the new Star Trek movie. For a month and a half. Honest.

Oh well, it's time to go back at it, with what's quite possibly my strangest idea yet! Okay, perhaps it's impossible to be stranger than the train trip one, or the Nerd RPG, but damn it, I'm going to try!

It struck me one day at the gym, while I was waiting for the shower to heat up (I swear, it takes about a full minute to go from ice cold to 'sorta cold'), when I realized how much effort I give each day, just to feel comfortable.

I'm not talking about avoiding significant pain, injury or misery, I'm just talking about those little annoyances and inconveniences that I refuse to live with, or deal with directly.

Why am I spending so much time recoiling away from it? Why not embrace it, just to see how bad it really is?

So I stepped into the shower while it was still ice cold.

ICE cold.

I cannot overemphasize the COLDNESS of the water. The fact I had just finished working out, driving my body heat up, turned the gym shower into a miniature sauna. It was all I could do not to scream, and get the authorities involved.

I tried again the next day, this time in my own home, where I'm free to scream like a little girl as I please. Once more the next day, and I confirmed my suspicions...

It sucks.

Hot water RULES! There's no doubt about it, and I don't plan to voluntarily take a cold shower again...still, it wasn't the nightmarish scenario that sitcoms and commercials want us to believe.

It was at that moment, that I realized the first challenge was done.


Perhaps it was the ice cold water freezing highly necessary regions of my brain, but I decided to make an official personal challenge out of it all. It was time to stop avoiding unpleasantness, just for the sake of knowing that 'yes, I've done that, and it sucks'.

Now, this isn't an over macho test of fortitude or will. No, none of these tasks are meant to be a measure of anything, except perhaps stupidity, insanity, or (hopefully I fall into this category) open mindedness.

I won't be doing anything obviously dangerous or illegal here, and it can't be anything that I'd do anyway. Some of them might not seem like a big deal to you, but trust me, it's downright terrible to me.

On a side note, my sister Amber seems a bit suspiciously 'eager' to help me think up challenges. I guess that's what I get for asking my little sister to help come up with unpleasant things for me to do.

How high will it go? Who knows? Let's just get on with it!


Every once and a while, I'm asked a question about plants, or agriculture. Hey, I work at a garden supply store/wholesaler, it happens. Of course, what not everyone knows is that I'm the computer geek at a garden supply store.

My usual reply to plant/gardening questions is as follows:

"If you show me the plant in question, I will promises here...probably be able to tell you if it's real or fake. Maybe."

I know NOTHING about plants. Literally NOTHING.

Oh sure, I know the basics, but when someone actually says the word 'photosynthesis', my mind envisions the plant making food from sunlight with miniature cartoony gears, and helpful elves. The science behind agriculture merely baffles me.

So it was time to force myself to sit down and read about it.

I checked out a basic book on agriculture, and was surprised with what I found. I won't bore you with all the details, but plants are seriously twisted life forms.

For example, although plants absorb sunlight and carbon dioxide through their leaves, they eat and drink through their roots. I know it might not seem weird to you, but the thought of plants actually 'eating' through their roots makes them seem more like an awesome Spore creature than anything else.

I learned why crop rotation is important, and how the loss of fossil fuels is going to make feeding everyone a lot more difficult, since you need it to make most commercial fertilizer that isn't waste based. I'd be lying if I said it was an exciting read, but honestly, it wasn't nearly as boring as I imagines. Hopefully all the challenges will be this easy.


God damn you, Amber.

Okay, it's not fair if I went to a Buffet I was already familiar with. No, this has to be an unknown buffet, filled with mystery, danger, and nearly unlimited lukewarm food.

I settled on a Chinese Buffet near the Monmouth mall. Amber dives into the crab legs like a wolf among lambs, leaving me to sample...well, everything. To make this physically possible, I decided to only take a little bit from each item, and to skip the basic 'filler' items that every restaurant has, like rice, soup, salad, fruit, and generic non-Asian desserts.

My first plate was a collection of assorted sea food and deep fried chicken. All in all, it was fairly innocuous, with nothing really being that bad or good. The second plate was where things started to go wrong. There was more seafood and main courses, but everything was overcooked, lukewarm, and drowned in sauce.

How the hell can something be overcooked and lukewarm?! Honestly!

I decided to take a break from the generic bland stuff and went for the dessert table. An absolutely delicious crab rangoon set me up for the following dish: a red bean dumpling.

This dumpling was nothing short of an atrocity. If possible, I would've called UN sanctions against this dumpling. The insides were burnt and terrible in ways I can hardly describe. During any normal day I would've passed over this questionable 'delight', but no, this was a challenge.

I swear to God, it's the closest I've ever come to actually eating a shit sandwich.

I tried to fight the taste off with sushi, but this wasn't normal sushi. Oh no, this was buffet sushi, which used crab spelled with a 'K', that arrived in tubs from Wisconsin. It wasn't all 'bad' per se, but my stomach was beginning to feel like something was seriously out of control, and the magical stomach elves that help digest food(if my knowledge of human anatomy is correct) all went on strike, leaving me to my fate.

That fate was the raw seafood table.

Now there's an important difference between sushi and raw fish. If these creatures had eyes, they'd be staring at me. With some reluctance, I filled my plate with the last of the food the buffet had to offer.

If I ever figure out how to move pictures from my cell phone to the internet, I'll post the picture of the food that nearly claimed my life.

First up was a clam. I wasn't sure if it was truly raw or merely steamed and then chilled, but besides being rubbery, it wasn't so bad.

Next up was the miniature octopus, with all the tentacles and everything. By this time, my stomach elves were not only on strike, but also chanting 'union' and burning the factory down. I decided to just take a bite of the head. It was really salty, and reminded me of escargot (I've only eaten it once, and it tastes exactly like you'd expect: salty slugs).

The raw oyster was all that was left. The wobbly...disfigured...bizarre looking oyster. After taking a moment brace myself, and a few cheers from Amber, my own personal sadist, I swallowed it whole, in one go.

It felt like I just inhaled a snort of seawater. Besides the spray of salty air, I could also feel the damn oyster wobbling its way down towards my stomach. That'll teach those damn elves. Get back to work! No breaks!

My only distraction from my experience was the 'date' happening at the table next to ours. If you ever wondered who would set up a date at a Chinese Buffet, I saw her. She was the kind of woman who's idea of 'dressing up for the date' was wearing the sort of clothes we wear on any normal given day. She even brought a bottle of wine. To a Chinese Buffet. Classy.

Her date was equally sketchy, and as they attempted mid 40's desperation filled 'small talk', I took it as the best time to leave. I can only pray that the next challenge is a little easier.


God damn it.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Ah, there's nothing quite as invigorating as a Spring concert, especially when you know with absolute certainty that you can easily destroy 99% of the audience without even breaking a sweat.

It's welcome compensation, considering Amber and I were at least 8-10 years older than every other person there. After a short wait in line, where we enjoyed laughing at all the goth-punk kids that had to be dropped off by their mom, and laughed nearly to the point of tears when we saw the kids that had to bring their parents with them, we absconded inside, to stand in place for five hours.

For those that have not heard, it was a Dethklok 'Metalocalypse' concert, which provided a healthy blend of overweight teenage geeks, and miscellaneous headbangers that didn't know what the fuck was happening.

Oh, and jailbait. There was plenty of female jailbait in low rider jeans, low cut t-shirts, and short haircuts, including a particularly cute girl in front of us, that giggled and bounced for most of the concert. If you ever want a fourteen year old girlfriend, then this is the place to go. Me? I'm taken (and I don't like prison).

Anyway, after getting patted down for recording equipment, there wasn't much to do besides listen to the GOD AWFUL opening band, and watch the ironic moshing.

I'm not sure if this is typical, or merely a result of there being a geeky audience, but when it was clear that the normal headbangers weren't interesting in moshing to the opening band (there were two guys, but there's always two guys), a group of kids decided to mosh their own way. Here are some of their 'mosh' moves that they brought to the center of the pit:

1. Duck Duck Goose (the game eventually got so big that security broke it up)

2. Skipping

3. Thumb Wrestling (complete with mass of onlookers, cheering for their side)

4. Seeing how many people they can crowd surf towards the band in a minute

5. Snow-angels

6. The Robot

7. The Macarena

8. The Safety Dance

Without those wonderful crazy kids, we may not have lasted long enough to see the second band, Ministry of Pain, or MOP as I call them. These guys were actually a lot of fun, they knew how to play and sing, and they even let every member of the band sing at different times. Seriously, they were pretty damn good.

The lead singer through his shirt into the audience near the end, and accidentally got it stuck in the overhead lights. He didn't realize it at first, so when he asked 'who got my shirt' at the end of their act, everyone just pointed up.

Their talent made the third (yes, THIRD) opening band all the more painful to watch. They were better than the first band by a hair, but by now the audience was getting impatient, chanting for Dethklok, and shouting 'you suck' at the audience. Back to the ironic moshing.

There was only so long you could watch teenage girls bounce...I MEAN BANDS THAT SUCK. Yes, I meant there was only so long you could watch bands that suck.

Luckily, Brendan Small finally came on and proceeded to rock the ever living shit out of us all. Not only was he fantastic, but the people playing with him were actually teenagers from the 'School of Rock' school of music that a friend of his runs, and they were AWESOME! I couldn't believe how well the kids played. They often switched instruments, each being able to play at least two, and they played rings around the first and third opening band, and they were at least as good as the second.

They played a lot of great Dethklok tunes (including Thunderhorse, Mermaider, Taking it Easy, and Toki's Underwater Friends song), and some standard heavy metal, including a great version of 'You Could Be Mine' sung by a particularly pretty teenage girl. There were plenty of wolf whistles and cries of 'get naked' from the crowd (I swear I'm not responsible), although it probably doesn't reflect well for Axl Rose that they used a girl to sing his songs.

By now the REAL moshing had begun, and Amber huddled behind a hot teenage guy for protection (oh Amby, you jailbait chaser) as I helped protect the small, cute girl in front of me (I don't so much chase as let them come to me).

Although there were a lot of bumps, only one kid actually flew into me full force. I didn't see him coming, but he came to a sudden and abrupt stop after running into me, and then fell directly to the floor. He might as well have run into a wall. ^_^

After helping the poor kid up, I took note of a short Italian guy in the mosh pit. He was 5 ft 3 at most, but broad, about 18 or so, and wore a black baseball cap.

This guy RULED the mosh pit. Remember when I said I could beat up 99% of the audience? I call this guy 1%. If anyone started moshing towards him, he rushed towards them, colliding in the center of the pit, reflecting them away. I swear, this kid was invincible. After a few minutes, the mosh pit was cleared out, because no one wanted to go near him, not even the giant 6 ft 6 musclebound kid.

After playfully mussing up the giant kid's hair (I swear to God, he did), he stepped out at the request of his (or his friend's, it was difficult to tell) hot girlfriend. Bless you 1%, you're doing God's work: beating the shit out of teenagers.

We snuck out a little early, since we were both exhausted, but we both had an amazing time!

Rest assured, when asked the next day how the concert was, we both had the same answer for them:


Good times.

Friday, March 27, 2009


This week's post is either really really short, or really really long, depending on your point of view.

I've finally finished the silly RPG I've been working on: NERRRRRRRRRD!!!

It's a very light High School RPG, with nerd characters, insane bullies/teachers, no death (unless you're expelled, you'll always be back), and more geeky references than I want to admit knowing.

It's here:

I hope you like it! ^_^

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Rorschach's Journal

The city is afraid of me...

At least I think it is. It's either fear or hunger. It's hard to see in this fucking mask.

A comedian died in New York. Jerry Seinfeld. It's about damn time! Roast in hell you whiny, jailbait chasing hack!

Anyway, ANOTHER comedian happened to also die in New York. Yeah, and that was...bad...really really bad...

Listen, I know there's a lot going on right now, but I have to talk about Dr. Manhattan. I mean, what the hell?

I have to go over there later tonight to question them, and I just know that the first thing I'm going to see after walking through the door is a giant blue ass the size of an Imax screen.

What the hell am I supposed to say to that? Why has everyone else accepted this as normal? Did he think if he 'gradually' wore less clothes every week that no one would notice the change? I sure as hell noticed! One moment it was 'Smurf Baywatch', and the next I was standing in the middle of a blue sausage festival!

Night Owl understands...he knows everything...sigh...

Anyway, Night Owl understands. Last time he was over at their place he accidentally dropped his keys next to the great blue wonder. At first he started to lean over to pick them up, but then doubled back at the last second. I swear to God, his head almost bumped into IT.

Then Dr. Manhattan began to lean over to pick them up, and we panicked! Eventually Night Owl just kicked them over to the corner before picking them up himself.

Damn, I mean what's Blue Boy's deal? Is he showing off? Do clothes reduce his efficiency by 0.07%? Hell, I'm more than willing to work there part time to make up for it! Just put on some damn clothes!

Oh well, I guess I better start investigating the comedian's murder and the vast conspiracy revolving around it.

Right after I practice spelling my name.



Thundercat...come on, that wasn't even close! Get your head in the game!


Rorschach...there we go!


Mrs. Rorschach Night Owl


Sunday, February 08, 2009


With so many games, I'm going to edit this list in pieces over the month. Congratulations to Vinny for taking first place in the 'guess my favorite games' contest, and Garret for taking second! Vinny got a Casey Jones golf bag, filled with a few clubs and several medieval weapons. Garret got the mystery suitcase, containing a broken PS2, a copy of Zombies! the boardgame, a few bad DVDs, Star Wars episode 3, and a few pieces of colorful plastic.

100. Elebits

What the game lacks in depth and action, it makes up for with fun.

99. Blaster Master

No other game, in the history of video games, has needed a save or password feature more than this one. Otherwise it was way ahead of its time, mixing tank and overhead shooter action brilliantly.

98. Deus Ex

An incredibly deep game that can almost be seen as the precursor to Fallout 3. The story and gameplay is fantastic, with many ways of handling every situation, but there's something wrong with a game where you can shoot a normal man in the head with a sniper rifle, and he doesn't die (I'm looking at you too, 'Hitman' series).

97. Harvest Moon

A funny and enjoyable farming/dating sim that never fails to entertain.

96. Twisted Metal 2

The best of the series. Blowing up the world was never so much fun.

95. Final Fight

Great, brainless coin munching beat-em up fun. The second level boss still drives me to throw the controller against the wall.

94. Bad Mojo

Brilliantly conceived, if not masterfully executed 'cockroach' sim. Watch out for the cat!

93. Baldur's Gate 1&2

A fun series, but nowhere as good as they could of been. The first had many technology issues, and the second had a very slow story, especially at the beginning. I'd love to play it again, but if I play through that first dungeon one more time, I'm going to cry. The expansion pack for the second included far too many 'instant death' situations to make this list.

92. Mortal Kombat 2

Far from deep, and nowhere near balanced, but the second Mortal Kombat was really the pinnacle of the series. The first was just a little too limited to make the list, and after that, the 'run' button ruined the series.

91. Tecmo Bowl

The best sports game in the world for people who aren't into sports games. A very limited number of plays is made up for by amazingly complete rosters and addictive gameplay. A great example of a game doing the best with the technology they have.

90. Oddworld: Abe's Odyssey

The first Oddworld game was solid, with a highly imaginative and surprising world unfolding before the player. Some situations are more than a little unfair unless you have a cheat guide, but overall, it's a lot of fun.

89. Phoenix Wright 1 & 2

Just what courtroom drama needed: ridiculous anime characters for girls to write fanfics about. The series is not only hilarious and fun, but incredibly Japanese, in an over the top kind of way. The way the hero points and shouts OBJECTION you'd swear he was about to go Super-Sayan. The sequel's a bit better, but they're honestly both good. Harvey Birdman used the same system for his own game, which was a little bit inferior, but still good (it would've made the top 200 list).

88. Kingdom Hearts 1&2

An incredible story and experience, marred only by a lacking battle system. It isn't bad, just not as good as it could have been. It's not user friendly enough for kids, and not deep enough for adults. Both will love the storylines, lavish cutscenes and incredible soundtrack though. I never would've believed that Mickey could have looked bad-ass unless I'd seen him for myself, with a keyblade in each hand.

87. Adventures of Lolo 1&2

I really wish this series would get a revival. It was a delightful puzzle series, that was both challenging and fun. The first game had one of the best ending battles of all time, and the sequel had great co-op play.

86. Rampage World Tour

The re-make was a bit more fun, overall, or at least less repetitive. Both games were kind of repetitive though, but the insane zaniness, great multiplayer action, and delightfully offbeat theme more than make up for any drawbacks. Dibs on Ralph!

85. Gauntlet 1 & 2

In this case, the original was better than the re-make. Focus is less on secret grabbing and character development than your average action/adventure game. The original 2 gauntlet games were all about fun! The wizard does indeed need food badly.

84. Altered Beast

Few games grabbed my attention as a young teen more than this one, and for the life of me, I'm not sure why. Oh don't get me wrong, it definitely does deserve this position, as there's a lot of action and shape-changing fun, coupled with a new special form each level, but the levels are just far too short to warrant a higher rating. I think I was just a lot worse at it when I was young, and took much longer to fully transform. That being said, the dragon form is the best Lycanthrope in the histroy of everything.

83. Grand Theft Auto 3

The series peaked at this title and never quite recovered. The sequel had too many mediocre sub-quests (a killer remote controlled helicopter?), the fourth lacked a good story, and the less said about the most recent addition, with its 'playdate' subquests, the better. So pop this classic in, grab a hooker and go run over a cop! It's all in good fun.

82. Starship Titanic

A lesser known gem written by the late, great Douglas Adams. It's somewhat tedious and immense at times, but that's part of its charm. As far as I know, it's the last point and click game where you have to enter what your character directly says instead of choosing from a list of possible responses, and honestly, those games died out for a reason. Just grab a hint guide when stuck and enjoy the lavish atmosphere and hilarious robots, including a great cameo from John Cleese, as the space ship's self-destruct mechanism.

81. Bioshock

Another game that's not as enjoyable to play as it is to watch, but that's only because of how incredibly enjoyable it is to watch. The difficulty lags a bit behind expectations, simply because there really isn't a penalty for death. As Yahtzee put it (from Zero Punctuation) if there's no penalty for failure, then even the 'big daddies' cease to be frightening. It's definitely worth a play through though, from its originality alone.

80. Star Wars Arcade (old)

A lot of old school arcade fun, and the first arcade game I ever played (I needed a foot stool to reach). Blowing up the death star is always fun, no matter how you do it, and the digitized character voices are simply icing on the cake.

79. Dr. Mario

One of the best puzzle games ever made, marred only by the simplicity of its design. Then again, that's also what makes it so enjoyable.

78. Half life 2

Quite possibly the 'perfect' first person action/shooter game. It would've rated higher, but the story and atmosphere aren't quite as perfect as the game's overall design. In a way, the game might have been underachieving a bit, just to keep in line with what a first person action/shooter has to be. The pseudo-sequel Portal helped overcome this (more on this later).

77. Soul Calibur 2 (arcade)

A slightly above average fighting game that won our hearts with its conquest mode. Not only could you fight your friends, but you could wage wars with them across continents, even when you're not there. Best of all, the computer kept track of your fighting style, and would use it to crush other players. Now you can kick your friend's ass even when you're not playing with him. (I've been informed that Swords4100 apparently rules ^_^)

76. Punch Out

A fun and comical boxing game that honestly has more in common with puzzle games than other sports titles. The characters are all over the top stereotypes, but it's too harmless to be offensive. To this day, the measure of any true red blooded gamer is how far they can get (I can get to Mike Tyson/Mr. Dream, but I can't beat him).

75. Super Mario Brothers 1

The old classic title that still entertains us to this day. The play is a little repetitive, and the remakes with save functions are better, but in any case, playing this game is a real treat, and the first came I beat on my own, from start to finish (honestly, that last hammer brother was harder than King Koopa).

74. Contra

More proof that simplicity of design can trump complexity. The original Contra is a lot of fun, especially in two player mode, and holds up to this day. The giant, over the top bosses are still etched into my mind, especially that damn giant tank. The great series Metal Slug (another top 200 title) owes a lot to the original Contra.

73. Actraiser

Again, I defy you to find a more enjoyable God sim. The side scrolling action sequences are far from perfect, but the real focus is the town creation/RPG elements. It may surprise people that I rate this game higher than Simcity, but it's true.

72. Donkey Kong Country

Great graphics, animal mounts, plenty of secrets, and good old fashioned silly fun make this a must have for any true gamer. Followed by several mediocre sequels, and a delightful 'fake ending' that will send you diving for your controller.

71. Earthworm Jim 1&2

Narrowly edges out Donkey Kong Country, and in many ways it's very similar. The main focus is light, silly action, with a great variety in levels, abilities and offbeat humor. Jim's classic battle with Bob the Goldfish helps edge the game slightly ahead of DKC.

70. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time

Another game where its main feature is its nearly perfect design. The puzzles, story and voice acting are also great, and if it fails to reach any higher, it's simply because a lot of the game is a little 'gimmicky', playing almost solely off its main feature, the time manipulation. Assassin's Creed is less gimmicky, but of course, that game has its own flaws to deal with (it's another top 200 game). Still, this game is definitely worth a spot in every collection (the sequels...not so much).

69. Max Payne 1 & 2

I don't care what anyone says, I love this series. It's over the top action/noir, but in many ways it's subtle, and fully lives up to its noir roots. The sequel overplayed the hokey monologues and metaphors, but cleaned up the flaws in the system. Either game is definitely worth playing though, just for the pure gun filled bliss.

68. Mass Effect

Had the game ended halfway through, it would've been about 20 places closer to #1 in this list, with the main flaw being 'short length'. As it is, it feels like a FANTASTIC game packed in a very large box, filled with packing foam. You'll know when you reach the foam. You'll be done with a brilliant gunfight, move on to a deep and thoughtful conversation...only to face a never-ending maze that's exactly identical to the last three mazes you were in, with a guy at the end who's identical to the last one you spoke to). If it weren't for the mind numbing repetition (you'll walk through each level design at least 10 times each) it would've been a much better game. Despite some complaints, I like the elevator loading screens. It sure beats a bar filling up across the screen, especially if Tali's in the party (damn it, the only girl in the party I want is the only one I can't have).

67. Parappa the Rappa and Um Jamer Lami

It's a shame the series really never caught on with mainstream America, but the series is a lot of fun regardless. The levels are original, funny, and will all get you singing. Um Jamer Lami was just as good, if not better, but didn't get as much attention. Remember: kick, punch, it's all in the mind.

66. X-men arcade game

'X-X-X-X-X-X-X-X-men' (repeat 10,000 times). The only thing wrong with this action packed superhero game is the soundtrack. Oh, that and...who the hell is Dazzler? Why didn't they use Jubilee? Or Iceman? Or Jean Grey? Or anyone else?

65. Portal

Vicious black humor (the Kurt Vonnegut kind, not the UPN kind), zany teleportation antics, and you a computer AI that you'll love to hate. Be sure to stay for the end credits, and the legendary ending song, sung by the evil computer herself.

64. Star Wars Arcade (new)

Better than the original, with lightsaber mini-games, shootouts right from the movies (the older good ones), brilliant graphics, and wonderful sound. It's almost closer to an experience than a game, and I take it as more proof that Lucas, at heart, is first and foremost a tech/special effects guy. That's why the story is always so mediocre. It's just not his forte.

63. Earthbound

Ah, they just can't make these kind of games anymore. Let's all go out and get some baseball bats so we can beat the local bullies senseless! Good times.

62. Nightshade

If you've never played it, you cannot know how awesome this game is...okay, maybe it's just awesome to me, but it's the perfect blend of humor, action, point-and-click, superheroes, and trench-coatedness. The fact you have to 'earn' extra lives by escaping from traps the villain places you in (before leaving the room, of course) is beyond perfect.

61. Wii Sports

Wii tennis alone is responsible for more smack talking than any two professional sports combined.

60. Final Fantasy 1

I got a little frustrated with this game when I figured out some of the 'tricks' it uses (it's programmed ahead of time how often you receive status ailments, and the leader of the game secretly heals himself every time a member of the party dies), but it's still one of the best balanced and more challenging RPGs out there. This was before RPGs got piss easy. Eternal Sonata, Blue Dragon, Xenosage...whatever, it's all JRPG crap that always means the same thing: in 50-60 hours you'll have beaten this game, even if you have no arms or are 5. Oh, and 45 of those hours will be cut-scenes. Anyway, Fighter, Thief, Black Belt and Red Mage is still my team of choice (with thief being the best class in the game, since they allow you to virtually always choose your battles). The White and Black mage just hit the floor way too damn easily.

59. Super Mario World

This is Mario and Luigi at their 2D prime, and it's also living proof that anything immediately becomes at least twice as cool if you involve dinosaurs, and three times as cool if you get to ride them like a horse.

58. Castlevania 2

This game is really really creepy, made all the creepier as you gather the 'parts' of Dracula by the wonderful 8bit soundtrack, and the incredibly dark endings. The good ending is just okay, with the standard twist at the end (oh what a shock, Dracula isn't dead, who would've known), but unless you've memorized every possible action in the game, it's nearly impossible to get said ending, so you're generally left with the other ending, where you break the curse, but die in the process. Spooky. Also, Simon never looked cooler. It's a shame he trades his awesome red and black outfit for the standard brown next game.

57. Lufia 2

DEKAR IS THE MAN! That's all I have to say. Well, that and the combat system is solid, and the 'extra' bonus dungeon at the end is a lot of fun (if somewhat buggy).

56. Koudelka

The sequels/followup games in the 'Shadow Hearts' series were too JRPG (see above rant) for me. The original was delightfully bizarre with a deep story, interesting battle system, and twisted monsters. How can you not love the fact that the charming old couple tries to poison you early on? The resulting conversation between the two heroes is comic gold.

55. Guitar Hero 1 & 2

"Its more than a feeling...MORE THAN A FEELING! When I hear that old song they used to play...MORE THAN A FEELING! I begin dreaming...MORE THAN A FEELING! Till I see marianne walk away...I see my marianne walkin AWAY!"

If you play air guitar when this song comes on the radio, you're not alone.

54. Robot Arena 2

Another great game you've never heard of. It's admittedly a little buggy (it never got a patch because it came out at the end of the fighting robots craze), but the design feature allows you to freely design any robot to battle in an arena, ala Battlebots or Robot Wars. For the uninitiated, this is simulating real fights between robots actually designed by geeks to battle in arenas. Yes, it's geeky, but damn it's cool.

53. Parasite Eve

It's amazing how well this RPG holds up over time. In fact, it's probably the best 'modern' RPG of all time (by modern, I mean taking place in a modern, realistic setting). A perfect blend of RPG and survival horror. It's a shame the sequel was so terrible, or it might have made it as a series.

52. Knights of the Old Republic

The sequel was sparse, mainly because it was literally only half finished upon release, but the original is solid. Like other similar games, it does suffer a bit from 'first dungeon' syndrome (a giant, linear first level that takes several hours to beat, which makes starting new characters a chore), but you'll be having more than enough fun to make the journey worthwhile. Beware of grinding in the first half of the game. More levels at the beginning means less levels in Jedi later.

51. Fire Pro Wrestling Returns

One of my favorite wrestling games. It's not perfect, but it captures the essence of old school wrestling fun. It's refreshing to have a battle system not built upon button mashing or mini-games as well. No, this is about timing, and it's wonderful simple design makes it much better than any recent WWE game. The only drawback is 95% of the characters are Japanese, and the only Americans you get are the ones that fight in Japan, and it's kind of random. You get Bam Bam Bigelow, Bret Hart, Andre the Giant, many UFC fighters, and most of the WCW crowd, but no Hulk Hogan, Undertaker, Triple H, or Rock. Luckily, the character design system is great, so you can add whoever you please.

50. Shadowrun SNES

Not the Genesis or recent version. God no. No, this old classic is a shoot em up blast, and it's an RPG to boot. Yeah, the system isn't exactly balanced (you can literally make your character a cross between the Terminator, John Mclane, and Gandalf) and the spell invisibility makes the last part of the game a joke (which is why I don't use it), and decrypting was turned from a mini-RPG to minesweeper, but it's more than fun enough to get it into the top 50.

49. Lego Star Wars Complete series

Who knew that the Star Wars storyline worked well when silently played out with Lego people? Not challenging, but absolutely hilarious, and a lot of good natured fun. Lego Batman was also great, but a top 200 game, not 100.

48. Mega Man Legends 1, 2 and The Misadventures of Tron Bonne

Another series I wish would get a revival or re-release. These games were all great, not only for the fun gameplay, but funny story. The Bonne criminal family is fantastic, and the introduction of their leader, where he sits down to watch his favorite show, left me rolling in the aisles.

47. Monkey Island 1&2

Speaking of rolling in the aisles, Monkey Island is probably the best 'comedy' game series of all time. The first two were both great, although the great voice acting led the third in the trilogy (I don't count the fourth one, as the control system sucked) ahead in the ratings.

46. Katamari Damancy 1&2

Why don't they run? They have to be able to see it coming, right? Anyway, this game never gets old (although the king's expectations often seem a little out of whack, but are you really going to argue with him?)

45. Quest for Glory 1&2

I didn't like the third (although some people do), but the first two quest for glory games were a great split between traditional RPGs and King's Quest 'point and click' torture devices...I mean games. The character building system requires patience, but it's a refreshing change from a traditional 'level up' system.

44. Deja Vu

You think you're having a bad day? Our hero has no memory, was framed for murder, is constantly hunted by assassins, lives on a street riddled with muggers, and has an unconscious 300lb housewife tied up in his trunk. No wonder he punches women and shoots trespassers without provocation!

43. Resident Evil: The Director's Cut and Resident Evil 2

The game/system is showing it's age, but they're both still great...if you ignore the story, which I do. Unfortunately, the recent remake wasn't so good. I don't mind that the zombies come back to life, but did the system for destroying their bodies have to be so damn complicated?

42. Final Fantasy 4

Seriously, how the hell does Kain jump that high? When you defeat the enemy before he lands, is he doing the victory dance up in the air? I'd really like to know.

41. Super Mario Brothers 2

DAMN THAT FAT BUBBLE SPEWING FROG AND HIS ARMY OF TRANNY DINOSAURS!!! DAMN HIM STRAIGHT TO HELL!!! (on that note, might want to sit down for this news...)

40. Breath of Fire

None of the later games in the series came anywhere near the quality of the first. Yeah, BoF2 had a great system, especially when you get to build your own town, and the most likable cat girl in video game history (how can you not like a girl who walks around without pants on?), but the needless amount of tragedy in the plot, coupled with a bizarrely unwinnable battle with a macho jerk (that's effortlessly killed by the bad guy later), and the worst 'dragon' system of any Breath of Fire game keep it out of the top 100. The first game is solid though, especially with its highly entertaining character combination system.

39. Sam & Max Season 1 & 2

Sam & Max re-enter the videogaming world with admittedly repetitive gameplay made palatable by the introduction of incredibly original and imaginative settings/scenarios. Only portal has better black humor than this gem (again, the Dr. Strangelove kind, not the Bernie Mac kind).

38. Silent Hill 3

A bit more 'cheery' and 'fan-servicey' than the past games,but at least the main heroine keeps her clothes on. The combat's better than the first two games too. There's just as much emphasis on story as the other Silent Hill games, and although it's far less 'scary' than the first two, it's still an excellent game. Still, something's wrong if a Silent Hill Game isn't 'scary'.

37. Simpsons Hit and Run

What a gem! Grand Theft Auto 3 play style mixed with brilliant Simpson's humor. My favorite moment: after striking a random car, Homer practically sings 'I have no insurance!'

36. Super Mario Kart

The first Mario Kart was the best, in my opinion. This was before the special weapons got far too powerful and broken. For this game, you needed skill, which is something you wouldn't expect, given that the design is definitely more 'kiddie' than serious.

35. Ogre Battle

It just came back to the virtual console! Hoo ha! You'd have to be obsessive to find EVERYTHING, and it's difficult to get a good ending without following the game's bizarre alignment system (being powerful is evil?), but it's all worth it for the great combat and real time strategy. It's a perfect blend of RPG, turn based strategy and real time strategy. Bring on the dragons!

34. Sanitarium

Ah, I remember when games could afford to be this twisted. Even modern Silent Hill games are twisted in a very formulaic and 'corporate approved' sort of way. Back in the day, you could have a point and click game that included walls made of meat, deformed children serving a tree goddess, and lunatics screaming about the imaginary insects swarming around their heads. Good times.

33. Tetris

I'm still convinced this game was a Russian plot to waste American work hours. Dropping blocks to make lines never seems to get old.

32. Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic 3 & Sonic and Knuckles

Yeah, I listed them all together, but they're more or less all updates of the same game. It's a great game, regardless. Infinitely more fast paced than any Mario game of the time, and co-op mode in later games breathed new life into the series.

31. TMNT Arcade game (arcade)

The remakes and re-creations simply can't replicate the pure joy of joining up with three friends to take on Shredder and his goons, especially when you're in shouting distance. Be prepared for fistfights when the kid with full health grabs the pizza.

30. Super Punch Out

Again, less a sports game or fighting game than a puzzle game, but it's a good puzzle game, regardless. The re-make was a bit more polished than the original. It'll be interesting to see what they do in the latest update of this great series.

29. The Guardian Legend

The best game you've never heard of. With just a little tweaking, this could have easily been a Star Wars game, and a great one at that. Overhead adventure, lightsabers, and spaceship shooting stages to boot. It's probably the best blend of overhead shooter and Link-like adventure ever made.

28. Curse of Monkey Island

The third game in the series, the first to use voice actors, and the last that was any good. The gameplay is fun enough to stand on its own, but its the brilliant humor that makes it a classic.

27. Xmen Legends

The sequels and generic marvel remakes do no justice to the original, which was a ton of pure geeky fun. The ability to level up and advance the characters as you saw fit was a nice addition, since it allowed you to choose for yourself which four X-men you wanted in your team...okay, which three X-men to accompany Wolverine in your team.

26. Mega man 1 & 2

Despite all the re-makes and sequels, I keep coming back to the original two Megaman games. You can always tell if a game is truly great (Super Mario Bros) or merely great for its time (Duck Hunt) by measuring how many people still play the game, years later. I don't know about you, but I'm always ready for another chance to blow that smug Wiley straight to hell. For added fun, pretend he's Einstein. I'm not sure why that makes everything more hilarious, but it does.

25. Faxanadu

As we break into the top 25, we start with a game you've never heard of. The game was plagued with a terrible key system (as in lock/door keys), a pitifully easy final boss (a skull with legs?), and no reason to ever upgrade the first spell (ah Deluge, my trusty sidearm), but all that aside, it's a great adventure game that's honestly challenging, and filled with a lot of great hack and slash. It's also kind of funny how all the people are Elves, and all the monsters are called Dwarves. The game runs like a Middle Earth propaganda film.

24. Silent Hill 4

This game got some flack for its combat system, but I say ignore it, and focus on the brilliant atmosphere, the incredibly disturbing imagery, and wonderful characters. Yes, the 'go through the levels again' was a bit of a cop-out, but there's something truly ingenious about a game when you're more afraid of the 'save' room than the combat. Claustrophobic and ingenious, Silent Hill 4 is definitely worth finishing.

23. Resident Evil 4

Edges out Silent Hill 4 purely from improved combat. The first half hour is pure dynamite! Unfortunately, the rest of the game is somewhat lackluster in comparison, but it never stops being fun. The extra arcade-like combat missions, unlocked after the game is finished, adds a lot to the experience. It's definitely a must have, although the escort missions, with little Miss 'Walk Straight into Gunfire' are enough to keep it far from the top 10.

22. Legend of Zelda 1

Not as close to the top 10 as some would imagine...hell, it didn't even make the top 20. Zelda 1 was more groundbreaking than it was fun. Don't get me wrong, the game is fun, just not as fun as some suggest. It's repetitious, has virtually no plot, and several of the items are what I call 'Rafts', meaning they do nothing besides get you to the next level, or allow an item to do something that it should have done from the beginning.

21. Link's Awakening

The far improved story and excellent gameplay helps edge Link's Awakening (for the gameboy) slightly ahead of the original Legend of Zelda. I simply enjoyed playing it more, which goes to show how important plot and story are to a game.

20. Fallout 1 & 2

We start the top 20 with one of the most in-depth RPG/strategy series ever made. The games had some balance issues, and some of the skills were downright useless, but that hasn't kept a generation of gamers consistently coming back for more.

19. Bully

Quite possibly the best 'sandbox' game ever made, and definitely the best one Rockstar's ever created. Call it juvenile, or anti-social revelry, but you have to admit, beating up bullies, kissing the popular girls and becoming king of the school is always a great time. The system does have its limits, and competitive gamers will find it easy, but competitive gamers are paying $15 a month to play WoW, so how much can they know? ^_^

18. Fallout 3

Wow, did that ending suck. I want to go on about how great the combat system is, and how much fun you'll have creating characters and solving quests through many different means (similar to Deus Ex), but I can't get over how horrible the ending is. Basically, it involves the most pointless self-sacrifice since 'Volcano'. Your hero could have easily solved the situation with a BB gun, mutant friend...or hell, even a long stick. Don't get me wrong, I still love the game, but it fell from #6 all the way down to #18, just from the ending and lack of an after-game alone.

17. Wonder Boy 3: Dragon's Curse

I love the shape changing, replay-ability, and the fact it's one of the first and best open world 2D adventure games ever made...BUT WHY DID THEY FEEL THE NEED FOR THE RED STONES?!!! If you haven't played it, you can't know the frustration of having enough gold for items, but not enough 'red stones'. Fuck you pig man! Take the damn money and GIVE ME THAT SWORD!!!

16. Myst

Whew! There's a lot of pent up rage in the last two games. Myst is a nice interlude, as the game exudes tranquility. There's a lot of flowing water, untimed exploration, and little to no chance of death (if you grabbed the power lines or gave either of those maniacs the last pages, then you had it coming). Myst not only entertained us, but mystified us with beautiful atmosphere, great sound, and a masterfully unfolding plot. The sequels just weren't good enough to compare to the original.

15. Persona 3

Another great high school game, ala Bully, only this time we're in Japan, where you gain popularity by being a model student. Unfortunately, they didn't do that just because it's socially acceptable. No, that's the way it just is over there. The game isn't only a great RPG and above average (and far less yucky than average) dating SIM, but it's a great peek into Japanese culture, and the mindset of its teenagers. I've clocked in about 80 hours and I'm still not done. The sequel seems just as good, but it's still a little early to tell.

14. WWF Wrestlefest

Not the most advanced wrestling game ever made, but arguably the most fun. A simple system, combined with some button mashing, is made up by the surprising variety of characters. Better yet, not only do the characters have a wide variety of moves, but their appearances are dramatically different from each other, including body size and shape. Each character also has their own unique victory poses, and there's even a ring announcer to give the play by play of the match. Many more recent games have much better graphics, but no wrestling game captures the 'feel' and silly fun of pro-wrestling better than this one. Dibs on Jake the Snake!

13. Final Fantasy 6

The first true Epic RPG. Sure, FF4 came close, but only Final Fantasy 6 had the guts to end the world HALFWAY THROUGH THE GAME. The game also includes several storylines, deep characters, a great soundtrack, and THE most memorable villain in video game history. The combat was a bit cheesy at points, and level grinding was more or less required at the end of the game, but this game has a strong place in my heart, regardless.

12. Link to the Past

I can't even remember how many times I've beat this game. It's a perfect example of a game being much better than it needed to be. Every level was a delight, it was the first game to switch between two nearly identical worlds as a gameplay device, and just as the commercials claimed: just when you think your quest is find it's only begun. Beware the wrath of the chickens!

11. Silent Hill 1

Just short of the top 10, Silent Hill 1 had the best storyline of any videogame up to then, and I'd even go as far to claim that it truly started the survival horror genre (I'm sorry, but Resident Evil was not 'horror'). The 'fog', which was there because of the limits of the technology, actually greatly improved the overall feel, and the vast emptiness of the city trumps any of the modern action zombifests that have come out recently, Silent Hill 5 included.

10. Super Metroid

An often overlooked gem. Super Metroid is a lot better than any of the 'Prime' series, and perfected the side-scrolling action/adventure formula that made the series famous. In many ways it was the precursor to Castlevania Symphony of the Night (more on that later), and the storyline managed to be good without being oppressive, as it was in Metroid Fusion.

9. Disgea 1 & 2

The pinnacle of strategy games, for one important reason: it's entertaining. It combines the character development, team management, and turn based strategy with anime inspired comedy, all set in an incredibly unique and original world. If it has any weakness, it's the ridiculous depth of the game, which all but requires endless level grinding. I'd just play through the normal quests, and leave the bonus dungeons for the true fanatics (myself included).

8. River City Ransom

My mom didn't understand why I wanted this game rather than Super Mario Brothers 3, and at the time, neither did I. I can only claim it was the sheer AWESOMENESS of this game pulling me in, via Osmosis. Beat up school kids, eat burgers, learn super moves, throw garbage cans, whack people in the head with pipes, and steal the bad guy's girlfriend. What's not to love? You can even develop your character's skills, to make him any sort of fighter you like. The recent remake for the gameboy was even better, but for real fun, check out and get River City Rumble. It's a game so awesome, geeks made feature length movies parodying them. Now that's Watchmen awesome.

7. Psychonauts

Ah, the game that started it all. To answer the original question, Amber, Psychonauts is my 7th favorite game of all time, and why not? It's the best 3D action/adventure/exploration/collecting every flavored jelly bean sort of game ever made, the psychic powers are great, and the amount of hidden story is incredible (did you find the secret room in the disco party level?). Like all truly great stories, the depth is there if you want it to be. If not, then just play for the hilarious antics, inspired level designs, and thrilling action.

6. Dragon's Lair

Despite its flaws, I keep taking this game back, like an abused heroine on the Lifetime network. Put plainly, it's a videogame that's also a cartoon, with dinosaur and robot villains, and even includes a hot, nearly naked princess in it. All it needs is ninja turtles, and it'd be adolescent perfection! The many deaths of Dirk the Daring are still comic gold...and now I know the name of my band's (Ninja Robot Dinosaur) first album: 'The Many Deaths of Dirk the Daring'.

5. Legend of Zelda 2

Why don't people give this game the unconditional love it deserves? Why do they keep whining about Zelda 1 instead? Sure, the town segments were pointless, but the caverns and dungeons were pure bliss! It's a side scrolling action/adventure that easily tops all the other Zelda titles, especially that downright pathetic Twilight Princess. DOWNSTAB!!!

4. Silent Hill 2

Words can barely do this game justice. Do you know how incredible the storyline, atmosphere, characters and pacing of this game are? It more than makes up for the pathetic combat system. The voice acting made the game a legend, especially in Europe, where story still trumps gameplay. The main character is quite possibly the most flawed main character in video game history, and every aspect of the plot is drawn into question, including the main character's sanity (the letter he 'received' from his deceased wife eventually turns blank). As an added bonus, the conversation with Angela on the burning stairway is the most heartbreaking moment in gaming history (Aeris' death doesn't even come close). Okay, so the fights range from downright pathetic to murderously unfair, but who cares? Pyramid Head's chasing you! RUN FOR IT!!!

3. Planescapes: Torment

Very few games can really make you think about humanity, free will, belief, and choices even 1/10 as much as Torment can. Great voice acting, scenery, (mostly) open ended gameplay, an incredibly unique storyline, and dialog without equal, Torment is easily the best DnD based game ever made, and despite being firmly set in fantasy, the characters and storyline are strong enough to draw anyone in. Okay, so there's no reason to be a thief, there's virtually no armor for the main character, but the depth and entertainment value is nearly endless! If you've never played it, do so now!

2. Castlevania Symphony of the Night

The true start of the conversation. According to one reviewer, this game isn't as good as Crash Bandicoot 2.

Okay, I'd like to make an important statement: I am willing, as a rational thinking person, to judge your worth as a human being based solely on what you think of this game.

Furious action, swordplay, explosive magic, imaginative monsters, vampires, a fantastic soundtrack, wonderful character development, a level based character system, a sprawling castle to explore, open ended gameplay, shapeshifting, and 'second quest' is an upsidedown version of the castle!


1. Chrono Trigger

Okay, you could want it to be Chrono Trigger. Time travel has never been quite so thoughtful or fun. A balanced, intuitive and thoroughly enjoyable combat system compliments the fantastic storyline like peanut butter and jelly. Sometimes the game can be a little goofy, but it more than makes up for it by making those goofy character's very easy to like, and relate with. The characters in this story are delightfully human, wonderfully unique, and the storyline is both thrilling and thoroughly enjoyable.

Mention one word of the sequel, however, and I'll bury you next to that Crash Bandicoot 2 fan.