Forever blowing bubbles...
Bases Loaded
-By Queen Sarah Tomase-
-Presented by DMG
-So, where DO you insert coin?!-
-Presented 09/16/2006-

You will have to excuse Sarah for taking two months to complete this installment of SSU.  She gets distracted easily.  Blame the wonderful band Spoon or chalk it up to the following handheld games: Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy IV, Riviera, and even Pokémon Emerald.

Looking at that list, you have probably recognized something:
that I love Role Playing Games! (RPGS)  And you would be almost correct in making that assumption.  Truly, I love handheld RPGs.  Firm is my belief that handheld RPGs take precedence above console RPGs for the simple fact that I can play a game and watch bad television programming simultaneously.

Recently, I have welcomed
the summer’s drought of quality DS titles with open arms.  My wallet thanks Nintendo, but alas, this fall’s list of new DS games is unbelievably enticing.

The DS games I am most anticipating to own by year end*:
  • Clubhouse Games
  • Final Fantasy III
  • Yoshi’s Island 2
  • Bubble Bobble Revolution
  • Rainbow Island Revolution
  • Castlevania Portrait of Ruin
  • Harvest Moon DS
  • Contact

While waiting, though, I have picked up
some used games for my Gamecube and NES, including F-Zero, P.N. 03, and Ikaruga.  I would also like to take a moment to blatantly brag, having cleared over eight hundred and forty lines in an endless game of Tetris DS. God that game is addictive.  Tetris really is one of those games.  You know what I am talking about.  Games like Super Mario Bros. 3 that you just plain and simple never get tired of playing.

There is a certain quality to a game that
makes it stand out over normal, average games.  You will never sell these games.  They are your favorites, your old standbys, even if they are not that old.  These are the games you will never regret purchasing, the games you can justify spending whatever amount it was you did originally fork over to own them.  Simply put: these games are pure fun layered with fun, injected with fun like a cream doughnut, encased with fun, dunked, coated, and sprinkled with microscopic sprinkles of fun.

Before I tell you the games
of which I am referring to in the above paragraph, let us cover all the bases.  Yes, all three of them.  Now, you are probably thinking I am a whack job^, so I insist you read on.

There are three types of games.
  No, do not argue with me.  The sooner you admit I am right the better off you will be.  Genres aside, there are only three types of video games. What are these categories?

#1 Money Wasters –
These are the games you bought but just never get around to actually playing.  Instead of realizing there are only twenty four hours in a day, you continue to anticipate playing these games, perhaps past the first boss, dungeon, or level.  Far too often you put games from this category into your handheld or console to play for an hour, maybe two, and then you are distracted yet again by better games, games in category #3.  This is a vicious cycle that can only lead to a lighter wallet and an incomplete feeling deep inside.

#2 Regret Purchases –
Games that suck terribly belong in this category.  For example: Darkened Skye.  This game is focused entirely around skittles.  Yes, the candy.  I pity anyone who saw the falsely advertised box art and was deceived by its ruse.  These are the sort of games you discover too late are a waste of your precious time and hard earned money, money that could have been spent on a game in category #3, or a new mp3 player.  It does not hurt as much when you buy a game that is three or more years old for $5 or $10 and it turns out to be a disappointment.  However, this is rarely the case.  Normally you discover a game is no fun only shortly after it's release, after you have been roped into paying full price.  You can play these games for a few hours and maybe even have a bit of fun, but you soon learn better as you find yourself utterly bored.  In fact, you are even more bored than you were before you turned on your system to play this game.  Furthermore, you are frustrated, because you just dropped however amount of money you spent on a game that makes you want to injure whoever spawned the concept for such a horrific playable piece of dung disguised as a video game.  You do not feel compelled to play this game aside from the guilt of spending money on it.  For that reason alone you will attempt to like it.  You will try and convince yourself you did not waste your money or your time on this game. 

#3 The kind laced with fun.

I highly recommend trying to purchase games in the third category.

One game that, for me, fits into both
categories #1 and #2 is The Movies.  I suppose this just was not my type of game after all.  Harvest Moon: Another Wonderful Life takes the cake for category #2 as I found myself in a world I got lost in, playing a game whose characters seem bland and uninspiring.  I in turn was inspired to play a different game, a better game, a game from category #3.  Harvest Moon 64 was twenty times more enticing.

Ah, yes, category #3.
  These are the games that make you want to keep playing, the games that encourage you not to be discouraged by the games in category #2.  You spend more hours playing these games than you could have ever imagined.

For me, these games include:
  • Diablo II (PC)
  • Unreal Tournament 2004 (PC)
  • Tetris (GB or DS)
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (GBA)
  • Bubble Bobble (NES)
  • Banjo Kazooie (N64)
  • Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (GB)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracina of Time (N64)
  • Pokémon Red (GB)
  • Mario Kart (N64 or DS)
  • Dr. Mario (NES)

These are games I would gladly have paid double for
if I had known -when purchasing them- just how many hours I would put into playing them.  It would be great to know how many hours of play you would actually put into a game before buying it?  But alas, the world does not work quite like that. 

Renting games is an option, one might suggest.
  That really is not an option for a lot of people, including myself.  I go to college full time while working a steady part time job all year long.  I hardly ever have two days in a row where I am not doing either and have the time or interest to play a game nonstop for hours on end.  This is where my love for handheld gaming comes in.  An hour here, three hours there, I can find.  I can simply whip out my handheld gaming machine whenever I want, without having to vie for the television.

I suppose that circles back
to all the GBA RPGs I’ve been playing recently.  So I guess the only thing I have left to say is that I do in fact have proof over the last installment of SSU’s editorial note, proof I indeed kicked Phil’s butt in Mario Kart DS:
She also owned the game for almost a month before I did.
Sarah Tomase

*I also want Final Fantasy V Advance as well.
^Editor's Note: Yes, she is crazy. Believe this.
†Editor's Note: This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA; but the PGHA (Philip's General Health Association) wholeheartedly concurs.

-Editorial by Sarah Tomase-
-Property of