That they gave me. But I opened it, and there was no game inside. I can’t believe they would sell it to me like that.
“Gimme another round! And be quicker about it than the last time, or so help me I’ll—”
After he slurred his last word, the man speaking fell face first into a bowl of carrot soup. But the greasy soup could not constrain him; his face slipped out of the bowl and hit the table with a thud. Everyone sitting at the bar stopped what they were doing to look at the man in the soup. You could hear people breathing and nothing else.
“I think you’ve had enough,” said the bartender.
He lifted up the dipsomaniac’s head and wiped the pool of sunset sierra liquid from underneath his chin.
“Hmph!” was all the dipsomaniac said.
“You’ve come here every night for the last week, reeking of defeat. What the hell is going on?”
“I’ll tell you,” said the man with the soup-stained face, “I let the boss get away.”
“Your boss got away?”
“Nah, I let the final boss escape. I’m a video game hero; I beat bad guys for a living. That’s my one job and I failed miserably. I mean,” he said as he flicked the empty shot glass with his pinky finger, “how would you feel about that?”
“That’s rough, man. But don’t look too down. Also It’s not really business-smart for me to say this, but,” he said as he snatched away the shot glass, “this isn’t the solution.”
The soup-stained man mumbled something inaudible. His eyes were downcast because he lived in a world that now always seemed overcast. He was silent for two minutes before the bartender said something.
“Hey, don’t video games usually have “continue” buttons or whatever? Can’t you get back up after failing and try again?”
The soup stained man’s eyes grew wide, and he sat bolt upright as if Zeus’ lightning had stunned him awake.
He slicked back his hair with a little greasy soup, tugged on his coat until the wrinkles disappeared and rushed out the door. He only rushed back in for a second to throw a couple of gold coins on the bar before he bounced.
The bartender shook his head as he looked at the other patrons.
“Geez… Can you believe that guy? These are the heroes we have nowadays. They sure don’t make ’em like they used to. I’ll tell you that much.”
The stairs told a story about the family living there with each creaky step that Sandra took. The staircase could fill volumes with details about its occupying family’s life. It saw laughter strong enough to hurt one’s sides, as well as tears of sorrow and joy. Each step Sandra took was deliberate and firm enough to startle a nearby centipede, which scurried into a corner before disappearing. Her steps were firm enough that any person, not just insects, should have been aware of her approach, yet Ryan hadn’t noticed.
Sandra reached the top of the stairs when, from across the hallway, a hot, white light almost seared her eyes. The light came from behind a crack in a nearby door. Though squinting, Sandra relied on the light to guide her on the path to the door. Meanwhile, flickering images from somewhere behind the door cast ten-foot-tall shadows with giant jaws and towering teeth. Out of the corner of her eyes, she saw these monstrous images and got giant goosebumps, but she pressed forward, focusing on the door. She took a deep breath, pulled the door knob, covered her eyes for a moment and entered the room.
She smelled funky gym socks, heard strange sounds that sounded like explosions, saw a dusty calculator and several dog-eared paperbacks of Plato’s dialogues. Then she looked deep into the source of the white light: it was a T.V.., and Ryan was playing video games.
“Ok dinner’s ready in ten,” she said. “Hey, wait a minute. Aren’t you supposed to be studying?”
Ryan said, “Uh, well, I was talking to this really old guy named Socrates, and I realized all I know is how little I know. So I decided, as a starting point, to learn more about my video games.”
Sandra tilted her head, raised her eyebrow and rubbed her chin in response to Ryan’s comment.
“Well,” she said, “that’s fine as long as it came from Socrates. You can keep playing before dinner and some more afterwards.”
Then she walked out the door with a smirk on her face. When she had closed the door behind her, Ryan snickered to himself.
“Pfft! She thinks I actually talked to a dead ancient Greek dude.”
Meanwhile, as Sandra closed the door behind her, she laughed to herself.
“Haha he actually thinks I bought his story about speaking to Socrates. But I’m glad he’s reading.”
I put the shiny, new case on the table, and it stared back at me, teasing me. I had no idea what to expect until I opened the game, experienced it and judged it wisely. I started by ripping open the lifeless, clear plastic and tossed it aside, for I was only interested in the contents of the case.
I opened the case and a golden disc nearly blinded me. The disc reflected my face, and I didn’t like the decadence that I saw, didn’t like how it filled the windows to my soul and didn’t like how the glittering gold seemed like dirt I couldn’t wash off. I decided then and there to break down the game and review the experience for you.
I picked the disc up and, using my hands, warped it until a crack in its little world formed. A little piece of the world then broke away, falling to the ground. For some variety, I warped the disc up and a mountain formed for less than a second before a second piece fell away. After these two chunks disappeared, I decided I knew enough to write my review, even though I hadn’t finished the experience.
Overall, I’d say it was a solid game — albeit rough around the edges by the end — and well made.
What do you think the future of video games is and why? Where do you see yourself in that future?
I used to strut around town, thinking I knew everything about video games. Then I bumped into Socrates. He questioned me until I realized I knew almost nothing about games. Since then, I’ve committed to playing them nonstop, and I’ve learned so much!
The two henchmen were so small that they could barely reach the knob of their boss’s door. One had to hop on the other’s head and, while shaking, managed to knock on the door. The butler took two minutes to answer because he could not hear the tender tapping at first. The butler then ushered them into a room with a fireplace and a large chair, facing away from them, that cast a monstrous shadow over the henchmen. Their knees trembled, their fangs chattered and they turned white before they started stuttering.
“Argh! What do you want?”
The boss opened his massive jaw and blasted a huge fireball from behind the chair.
One of the henchmen scampered behind the other one. This hidden henchman, shaking, peered out from behind cover only to duck its head again after seeing the fire had not subsided.
“W-we came to give our report.”
“Did you take care of Mario and Luigi once and for all?”
“N-n-n no sir. They got away with all the coins.”
A second fireball, which dwarfed the first and seemed to go supernova, scorched the ceiling. For a second, the fireball also illuminated the mantelpiece above the fireplace — where a row of milky white skulls sat like ducks in a row. The fire dissipated, but a small puddle of liquid had already appeared behind the henchmen taking cover, who now steeled himself for an attack.
“Where are they now?”, the boss demanded.
“We don’t know.”
“Do you think you can find them?”
“We don’t know.”
“How many gold coins did they get away with?”
“We don’t know.”
From behind the chair, the boss let out a thunderous roar. It shook the china in the cabinet until it fell to the ground and shattered. Then he issued his decree:
“Come back when they’re dead. Then I shall have another trophy to place atop my fireplace.”
“Y-y-y yes boss!”
They trembled all the way as they walked towards the door and stumbled out into the night. Soon a lightbulb went off in one of the henchmen’s heads, and he shared his idea with his friend.
“Hey, wait a minute. We don’t have to do this or take that from him. I mean, we could just take the gold coins I stashed in my pocket and run.”
“I don’t know… You heard what he said. I don’t want to end up on his mantelpiece because we didn’t finish this.”
“Oh, come on. He can’t tell us henchmen apart, and if we don’t use these coins then Mario will probably just steal and waste them. Look at these coins: they’re practically begging for us to spend them.”
“Alright, but we better start running now and never look back.”
As they dashed away into the night, they dropped some glittering gold that showed everyone their path.