Saturday Morning Gaming: Returning with Better Tools
Remember Smash TV? This was one of the most diabolical arcade games ever. A twin-stick shooter that was kind of a Running Man gameshow. Get in there, start shooting hordes of enemies, win big money and big prizes, get temporary boosts to your guns or speed or whatever, and die every 30-45 seconds. It was designed to get you to just keep dropping quarters in there. And since it was one of the rare two-player games, you could grab your best bud, put your twenty into the token machine, and both of you would be not only fighting the game, but competing with each other.
Absolutely addictive. I have no idea how it was legal.
The sequel, Total Carnage, had a “collect all the keys and go to THE PLEASUREDOME!” teaser in the game and the developers figured “nobody is ever going to get all of those keys… we don’t have to make a Pleasuredome.”
Well, of course, there were players who *DID* get that amount and they screamed bloody murder about not getting it so the developers sent out an update. (Seriously, it’s a crazy story. The version that I heard is that a guy who owned an arcade got obsessed with getting the keys and proved that it was impossible.)
Well, that gameplay is something that I realized I missed. But games like Smash TV and Total Carnage have this weird sense of urgency built into them from the fact that you get only 3 lives for a quarter/token. Having unlimited virtual tokens makes the game less fun. But, man, I missed that sort of gameplay.
All the way back in 2012, I got Binding of Isaac. It was a twin-stick shooter that I refused to use a controller for. I have a PC for a reason!, I told myself.
I was an idiot.
Anyway, I wasn’t very good at the game. I could get to the final boss if I was having a good run, but the final boss killed me every single time. So, instead, I focused on the various unlocking achievements and got a good handful of those and the game fell off my radar because, hey, I couldn’t beat it and I had done pretty much everything that the keyboard allowed me to do.
Having discovered the joys of the controller for PC games, I thought “maybe I should play that again?” and HOLY COW I BEAT IT. Like, not on the first try or anything, but I went from being “dang, I suck at this” to “huh, this game isn’t as hard as I remember”.
The stuff that was impossible on keyboard became easy. Well, maybe not *EASY*, but achievable.
And so now I’m just checking to see if there’s a Smash TV out there… you know, maybe as a collection of games or something.
So… what are you playing?
(Featured Image is a screenshot of Smash TV lifted off of Wikipedia.)