Ounces of Bounces
Welcome to an infernal hell of boobs, beer, and Ballz.™
Boobs: There are folk who would go to great lengths for a mere glimpse at a girl’s gorgeous gourds, even going so far as to pay money for the privilege. In the days before easily-accessible internet porn, you had a handful of options if you wanted to drop some dollars for digital breasts on-demand: You could take the walk of shame into the back of a video store, dial up a 1-800 number and have something like a Girls Gone Wild tape delivered to you, or possibly even pay for a premium TV channel dedicated to “adult content.”
But of course, there was one more route you might elect to go: Adult-only video games. Yes, as early as the days of the Atari 2600,** there were games designed with that most explicit of content in mind. While I would contend that early such titles were made more with novelty factor in mind than arousal, they paved the way for the perverted pioneers to come, who would persist in pushing pixelated promiscuity past the point of “proof of concept” and into full-fledged porn. Advancing past the technical limitations imposed on the likes of Leisure Suit Larry and Lula, it was inevitable that games would eventually come to incorporate photography and full-motion video of real nude folk.
With a focus on the female form, The Guy Game would be among the games to take full advantage of this technology. What followed in the wake of its release came critical indifference, public repulsion, and perhaps most notably; legal repercussion. Today, we’ll be examining the contents of and circumstances behind one of the most infamous adult-oriented games in our industry’s history.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a review of a straight-up porn game, y’all. A game I’ve gone ahead and added additional censoring to, yes, but a porn game nonetheless. If you’re not of legal age to look at this garbage, please don’t?
** Possibly even earlier, perhaps courtesy of some primitive ASCII rendering on an old model of industrial computer or something.
Was This Their Intention? To Crash my Dimension?
“It’s Not Playin’ Around: It’s For REAL!”
Wholly immersive virtual art by @morkitten.
Nintendo as a hardware manufacturer is commonly associated with gimmickry — pairing [typically] underpowered consoles with novelty controllers or whatever other oddball peripheral have you. From the early days of the Nintendo Entertainment System’s “Robotic Operating Buddy” to the core design of the Nintendo Switch of today, Nintendo seems as committed as ever to setting their consoles apart from the competition in non-traditional ways. And in markets where there isn’t already existing competition, Nintendo dives in headfirst and sets the standards that latecomers will have to try and follow.
In the early 90s, there was a brief boom in the field of “virtual reality” technology. Though this fad would be short-lived, with public and corporate interest beginning to wane by 1994, Nintendo had already committed to plans to bring virtual reality into the consumer living room — potentially even on the go. In mid-1995, the Nintendo Virtual Boy was released to a public whose enthusiasm for VR was already exhausted, and only for the console to be discontinued within a year’s time. The Virtual Boy remains one of Nintendo’s most notable “failures” in the games industry, if not one of the most notorious flop consoles of all time.
Most folk who follow the games industry seem to have no difficulty pointing out “what went wrong” with the Virtual Boy; making it look like its issues should’ve been obvious, and that it never stood a fighting chance. But the stories behind failed games and consoles are rarely as cut-and-dry as they are made to seem. Look, I’m not gonna tell you “what you think you know about the Virtual Boy is wrong,” or claim that the console was some sort of secret success. But over the course of this article, I am going to try my best to give the console a fair shake, demonstrate its range as a games console, and to extol some of its several virtues.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Obviously, the illusion of 3D is a tricky thing to try and convey here. In recording gameplay footage for this article, I used an emulator which rendered the Virtual Boy’s dual displays as overlapping red and cyan layers, which may presumably work if you happen to have a pair of red-cyan-filtered glasses? But I’m stereoblind to begin with, and so I’m not really the best judge of this sort of thing. That said, anaglyph 3D animated GIFs in red-cyan are available to you if you click on any of the gameplay images below.
Get In! Get Out!
I cannot think of another major console which lent itself so naturally to first-person shooters as the Nintendo Wii. In spite of whatever technical shortcomings the hardware may have faced, you can’t take away how intuitive the Wiimote worked as an analog for a firearm. Unfortunately, the Wii is not remembered as much for forwarding my favorite genre as it is for enabling so much shovelware: For every gem like Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, there were two TV game show adaptations, three licensed kart racers, and a half dozen mini game compilations there to “balance things out.” Of course, as a purveyor of bad games, these shovelware games had their own appeal to me as well.
On occasion though, these two worlds would collide into one another, and leave fascinating bits of digital debris in their wake: Shovelware FPS titles. I was a connoisseur of the “Chicken Trilogy” (Chicken Blaster, Chicken Riot, and Chicken Shoot), prospector of the Mad Dog McCree Gunslinger Pack, and an unfortunate victim of Target: Terror. But there was one holy grail that had eluded me in the time before I ultimately bricked my original console — a game I had heard legends about, but was unable to track down and try for myself.
I’ve heard several folk put forward the claim that 2007’s Spy Games: Elevator Mission might possibly the worst game released for the Wii. That’s quite the claim, considering some of the competition for that dubious distinction. My assignment: To determine whether or not Elevator Mission is a contender for that title, and to try and figure out where the game went wrong.
The Mission Is Beyond Classified
I am the wrathful god of combat.
Aggressive art by @KawaiiMess.
Not all heroes wear capes. Some rush boldly into fiery infernos to save those trapped inside. Some stand by at hospitals to treat the weak and wounded. Some swear a lot, disobey direct military orders, flirt with starting all-out nuclear war, and subject their own countrymen to enhanced interrogation as part of “training exercises.” Some heroes are kind of assholes, aren’t they?
2009’s Rogue Warrior casts players in the role of one Richard Marcinko (or “Dick” for short): A special forces unit with a bloodlust and a blatant disregard for authority. He kills without remorse, barks at enemy combatants to “suck [his] hairy balls,” and generally comes across like kind of a monster, truth be told. Oh, and he’s based on an actual living person of the same name, who officially licensed his brand and likeness for use in this video game. Hey, as long as he’s happy with how he turned out!
On release, Rogue Warrior was accepted about as warmly as a knife to the gut. It’s earned itself a permanent spot on Wikipedia’s prestigious “List of video games notable for negative reception,” been slammed by just about every critic and commentator who’s ever reviewed it, and is seen as perhaps the biggest black mark in the publishing history of Bethesda Softworks. In other words, it’s a prime candidate for the Bad Game Hall of Fame, and today we will snoop ‘n’ poop our way through it to determine whether it is worthy of the distinction.
EDITOR’S NOTE: I generally try my best to avoid excessive swearing in my writing. Not for any “moral reason” or anything, mind you — it’s actually more a challenge to myself to try and clean up my filthy language a bit. But when it comes to talking about Rogue Warrior, cussing and cursing is kind of unavoidable. So, y’know; you’ve been warned.
In returning from our hiatus (after our previous webhost was shut down without warning) there are still elements of the new website that are under [re]construction. There will be articles in need of rewrites, design elements in need of tweaking, broken links to unbreak, and other such busywork. We ask for your continued patience in this time.
Thanks in advance!