Zendikar Rising Notable Cards: Gruul Edition

Introduction

And now, let’s talk about Zendikar Rising Notable Cards: Gruul Edition. We finally got back into the rhythm (somewhat) of posting gaming content on the page here. As mentioned in the last article, school started back up. With the added pressure of Covid-19 this year, it’s been a bit more hectic than usual.

Honestly, I feel good about being able to get things posted only a week into the school year. Hopefully, I’m able to keep that momentum going forward. As you no doubt know, it hasn’t always been easy for me to juggle school and the web page. Seeing as how school is my actual job, that generally takes precedence.

And I’m pretty good at juggling. I will have to practice more.

Well, I’m making a commitment to keep posting at least once (and hopefully twice) a week. I would like to keep the 3 times a week, but that might only happen on comics weeks. Speaking of comics, I know it is severely late, but I’m hoping to make next week comics week. For now, let’s look at some Zendikar Rising Notable Cards: Gruul edition. I promise I won’t give you the spiel again this time. I’m getting sick of writing it. You’ll figure it out. If not, check out one of my other notable cards articles for the skinny.

Red (Is Red Broken in this Set?)

Honorable Mention (Grotag Night-Runner): Hey, look, it’s a sh*tty Goblin Guide. That’s what I thought when I first saw this card. There’s not a ton in this set for me in red, but that’s not surprising. I have never been much of a red player and I probably never will.

Leyline Tyrant – Either I texted Chris or he texted me about this card. I don’t remember how the conversation started. It was probably him. He is our resident dragon whisperer. However it started, I think my main comment was, “Uh, that feels broken.” I admit that I haven’t been paying much attention, but there hasn’t been much hullabaloo about the card, so I clearly was wrong on that. It still seems like a fun and dumb card.

Valakut Exploration: You are about to recognize a pattern. We’ve been talking about patterns in my Geometry class. That has nothing to do with MTG other than I’ve never been one to shy away from non sequitur. The pattern here is that when I first saw this card, I immediately Googled, “breaking valakut exploration”. I found some ideas and I might play around with them on xMage. Again, seems like a dumb and fun card.

Green (The Land Serves Me!)

Honorable Mention (Lotus Cobra): Yes, the subtitle is from a completely different game. A game that I, yet again, swore off from playing a few weeks ago. However, it’s immediately what I thought of when I considered the theme of the cards I picked. I more or less picked this one because it is a staple in my terrible Gx cube decks that I always draft.

Skyclave Pick-Axe – I thought this was neat, because I’ve never seen Landfall on a weapon before. I might be wrong. I mean, there’s over 25 years of MTG history, after all, and I’m often surprised to see a card that’s an established part of that history but just never got played before. So, if there is another weapon out there with Landfall, don’t @ me.

Scute Swarm – I played against a deck in MTGA that abused this card and ended up with something like 40+ tokens. I still could have won if I had drawn any of my mass removal spells. Alas, as is my luck, I did not and the deck ran me over while I held my removal spell in hand, unable to cast it due to drawing it too late. The main point is that they want to bring MTGA to mobile. How are phones going to handle 40 tokens on the field at once? I’m all for it. I’m just skeptical.

The Verdict (Zendikar Rising Notable Cards: Gruul Edition are also underwhelming)

Sure, there are some fun and potentially broken cards in red. However, aside from them, I haven’t been terribly impressed with the set so far. I think Chris is just right and they need to take a break from familiar settings at this point. Sure, there have been some new planes in recent sets, but we’ve gone back to Ravnica (again), Innistrad (again), and Zendikar (again). Heck, we even got another Theros set. I’m excited for new settings to explore.

Zendikar Rising Notable Cards: Esper Edition

Introduction

Well, we are finally getting around to our Zendikar Rising Notable Cards: Esper Edition. Apologies that it’s arriving a bit late. I’m back in school and the beginning of this school year has kicked my butt. You should be happy that I’m back to gaming after all that football the last two articles. Heck, I was only able to recently resume my workout routine and that’s just because we have remote Wednesdays at my school. We’ll see if it persists to Friday.

I mean, heck, I was just finally starting to see some definition in these muscles. Don’t want to lose that!

So, yesterday, I was outed to a colleague that I play Magic: the Gathering. I have installed it on my work laptop. I probably shouldn’t be saying that, but there you have it. Well, we had a Zoom meeting yesterday and I was playing some MTGA. Wow, this entire paragraph could get me reprimanded. Oh well, in too deep now. No going back. Long story short, she saw me playing the game and playfully acted shocked at my audacity. That has nothing to do with the set. I just thought it was a humorous story.

Before I get onto Zendikar Rising Notable Cards: Esper Edition, let me remind you that these aren’t necessarily the best cards. You might not even consider them good. Hell, some of the cards might offend you personally. But, it’s my page. I’m going to pick the cards the way that I want to pick them.

White (It’s my party and I’ll be the fun police if I want to)

Honorable Mention (Practiced Tactics): The new party mechanic is mostly here, I assume, to prepare for the Dungeons and Dragons crossover set that is coming next year. Whatever the reason, I think it is a neat idea with much utility. I’m just glad that I mostly play on MTGA and don’t have to manually keep track of my party.

Journey to Oblivion – I wish that they had given this flash. It’s still good if you can discount it, but I just love the imagined look on my opponent’s face when I cast a flash spell that exiles. Oh well, guess we can’t have it all.

Tazri, Beacon of Unity – Chris and I were texting the other day and I said something about fancying myself a Commander player. Now, mind you, I haven’t played a single game of Commander and only a few games against him of Tiny Leader. Still, I’m intrigued by the format and hope to get a playgroup together when this pandemic is over.

Blue (Tatsumaki Senpukyaku)

(Dis?)Honorable Mention – If you get the reference in the header, then you will understand the theme of my blue choices. This card intrigues me. I’m not sure if it is a misprint or they are just messing with us. If you don’t kick it, it does nothing. I mean, it adds to the number of enchantments you control for spells that rely on that. But, there’s better ways to achieve that. What a dumb card.

Into the Roil – This article is coming so late this time that I’ve actually had a chance to play and play against some of the cards. I haven’t played this one specifically. However I have it in the stupid ramp deck that I grabbed to complete a quest in MTGA. It’s just a “fun” effect and the kicker draws you a card!

Jace, Mirror Mage: Chris texted me this card early in the spoilers. I texted back, “That’s going to be broken af in Legacy”. I’m pretty sure I was wrong about that. Hey, I’ve never claimed to be a professional at any of this. If I’m right, though, I’ll take all the credit and this paragraph will disappear from the article faster than you can say, “SAD!”

Black (The Orzhov have taken over)

Zof Consumption – Chris and I were just texting. I noticed something over the last few expansions and I wanted to make sure it wasn’t just me. I won’t tell you how the conversation started. It is definitely not safe for work. Maybe not safe for any environment. In any case, lifelink is becoming more and more a part of black’s color identity. I first noticed it with Vito, the Rose Thorn or whatever. That’s only because it is an annoying card to play against.

Ghastly Gloomhunter – While the earlier card isn’t strictly lifelink, that’s where our conversation ended. That these cards don’t have lifelink, but they have an effect very much like it. This card has lifelink and more and more black cards are coming out with that keyword. I don’t know why that bothers me. I do know that this card has a stupid name. That’s really the main reason I picked it. I want a job naming cards.

Nighthawk Scavenger – Chris texted me this one, too with the message, “It’s kind of like Tarmogoyf.” I texted back, “But it dies to lightning bolt.” We both got a good laugh from that because his friend who is more competitive than we ever are said the same thing. I guess you had to be there.

The Verdict (Zendikar Rising Notable Cards: Esper Edition are underwhelming)

Other than Jace, there isn’t much to get excited about. And, Jace might not even be all that exciting. I mean, there are some neat drafting strategies. Maybe I’ll mess around on xMage some once the set releases there. Because I’m mostly trash at drafting and I’m not sure how popular sealed is on MTGA, that’s the place that I can do my trash drafting without losing much in the way of resources. I think Chris was right when he said that Zendikar just isn’t that exciting anymore. We’ve been back three (!) times now and maybe the setting is just getting old.

Completely Ignorant 2020 NFC Preview

Introduction

Yes, in spite of the fact that this 2020 NFC preview is being written after the conclusion of the first week of games, it is still completely ignorant. How can that be possible? Well, I didn’t watch a single game this weekend. Sure, I texted with Chris and checked out a few scores and highlights, but I’ve already forgotten most of that.

Besides, as KG told us, “Anything is possible!”

In my AFC Preview, I said that I hadn’t missed sports. It turns out that’s not entirely true. Between listening to Sal’s podcast last Friday and texting a few times with Chris, I’ve come to the conclusion that I sort of missed football. Obviously not enough to watch any games or get this article out in a timely manner. Nevertheless, I will display my ignorance and finish writing this up. On to the 2020 NFC preview!

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys – Both Sal and his buddy were high on the Cowboys during their NFC preview. Of course, theirs actually came before the season. Then again, they are getting paid to do theirs. I’m actually paying money to do this. Think of that next time you’re concerned with the quality of the page.

New York Giants – I said in my AFC preview that it’s a shame there are no professional football teams in New York. My beloved(?) Steelers then went out and tried their hardest to make the Giants look like one in the first game. Like Bobby Boucher’s mom said, “Foosball is the debil.”

Philadelphia Eagles – I don’t have anything to say about Philly. Well, that’s not true. I have two things to say about Philly, but only one is even remotely related to their football team. One, living in Massachusetts, when I used to tell people that I’m from Pennsylvania, they’d almost universally pose Philly as their guess. Two, I have a friend who was absolutely distraught that they lost to Washington.

Washingon Football Team – I don’t have to write *redacted* anymore. Sponsors, most notably FedEx, finally pressured Dan Snyder to join the 18th century and retire the racist nickname. Snyder, of course, dicked it up an named the team as you see. Yes, that’s the official name of the team this year. I’m kind of happy that he inadvertently gave the team some European flavor by naming it similar to actual futbol teams. Hey, you take the small victories against these pricks.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals – Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, and Kyler Murray. Poor Larry Fitzgerald played with stiff after stiff and had to drag the corpse of Kurt Warner along just to make it to a Super Bowl. Now that he’s an old guy, he gets Kyler Murray. Sometimes life just isn’t fair, true believers.

Los Angeles Rams – The Rams went from the hot new thing to hot garbage in almost record time. Even in a league that wants to be known for parity, this team boomeranged back into obscurity quickly enough to give us all whiplash.

San Francisco 49ers – Earlier this year, as I was planning (well, not really, and it might even make me sound worse that I planned these disastrous articles) this article, I had to look up who lost to the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. I was a few seconds away from having to Google both teams in the Super Bowl. Football just isn’t a priority anymore. Man, this whole section just revealed me as a fraud.

Seattle Seahawks – Speaking of frauds…not really, I just usually use those awkward moments as opportunities to segue into something less uncomfortable. I suppose I have by moving onto Seattle. Then again, all I have to say about Seattle is that I’m a Sounders fan and they won the MLS title last year. Go Seahawks!

NFC North

Chicago Bears – I know the name of an actual player on the Bears. Mitch Trubisky. Also, I know Khalil Mack is still on the team. So, that’s two players. Slowly digging my way out from under the pile of awkward.

Detroit Lions – So, I had my yearly, “Matt Stafford is still starting for the Lions?” realization. Seriously, it’s tradition like Halloween or Christmas at this year. I just hope that when it isn’t happening all the time, I will give it the proper somber remembrance it deserves.

Green Bay Packers – Somehow, Green Bay went 13-3 last year with little to no fanfare. Every time I hear that statistic, I am shocked anew. Seriously, if you had asked me what Green Bay’s record was, I’d have said 9-7. You might be able to talk me into 10-6. But, 13-3? That’s wild, Man.

Minnesota Vikings – Kirk Cousins in their quarterback. Hey, actual football knowledge! But, I’m about to sabotage even that much. I only know who their quarterback is because of some random dude I started following on Instagram when I first tried to promote the page that way. So, I guess I’m saying I don’t have much hope for the Vikes this year.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons – Atlanta is one of the weirdest teams in recent history. They have a great QB, a great WR, a serviceable RB usually, and a defense that should allow them to contend. They were just in the Super Bowl a few years ago. And yet, they usually stink on ice. Now that I’ve said that, they’ll probably win the Super Bowl this year.

Carolina Panthers – Cam is with the Pats this year. That is literally the extent of my Panthers knowledge. That can’t be good in a division that has Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and now Tom Brady. Okay, I felt sorry for the Panthers, so I looked up their QB. Teddy B. I mean, he’s not bad, but I certainly wouldn’t put him in the same tier as those other guys.

New Orleans Saints – Some people are picking them to win the Super Bowl. I’m not falling into that trap again. This team is snake bitten. They’ll be great in the regular season and then some voodoo curse will knock them out of the NFC Championship. I suppose that’s fitting for a team from New Orleans.

The Verdict (The 2020 NFC Preview doesn’t have me as excited for the season as the AFC)

It’s two weeks late, but the 2 Guys Gaming Completely Ignorant 2020 NFC Preview is finally here. I will say that the NFC doesn’t have me as interested as the AFC. Sure, it’ll be neat to see what Tom Terrific does in Tampa. And, that might be the only story line I care about over there in the NFC. Oh, watching the Cowboys crash and burn and hearing Sad Sal every week might be cool.

Note: All teams and the single logo used on this web page are the property of the NFL. They are used without consent (written or otherwise), but only in good fun. If you’re feeling litigious, please refrain from throwing your vast legal resources at this small page that caters to my kids, Chris (Hi Chris!) and about 25 Russian bots (Hi Sergei!).

Completely Ignorant 2020 AFC Preview

Introduction

Welcome to our completely ignorant 2020 AFC preview. This year’s edition is not just a clever (?) gimmick. A couple of days ago, Chris texted me, “I forgot that the season started yesterday.” I replied, “I actually forgot that the NFL existed until I saw people whining on the internet about kneeling.”

Chris hit right at my weak spot and said, “I’m just happy to see Mahomes picking up where he left off.”

That isn’t an exaggeration. My friend Craig often said, “I’m worried that people will realize just how much they haven’t missed due to this pandemic.” One of those things that I haven’t missed is sports. I thought that I might have a problem with no sports, but I haven’t watched a single NBA, MLB, or NHL game since they returned. I did keep an eye on the MLS tournament, but couldn’t tell you who won or who they beat.

Therefore, without further ado (and armed with limited information), join me for my completely ignorant 2020 AFC preview. Oh, it’s also the first Sunday of the season and one game has already been played. By the time I have posted both this and the NFC preview, week 1 will most certainly be completely done.

AFC East

Buffalo Bills – The Bills became my darling team last year. I even had delusions of them possibly knocking the Pats off of their perch as the best team in the division. That didn’t happen and then they laid an egg in the playoffs against the Texans. Maybe this year is the year.

Miami Dolphins – I have nothing to say about the Dolphins. I suppose, that simply by virtue of mathematics, there have to be teams with losing records. It just feels like a league that promotes parity as much as the NFL does shouldn’t have teams that are as bad as the Dolphins have been for the last decade or so.

New England Patriots – This is usually where I say, “Eff the Pats”. It’s not that I don’t still believe that. It’s just that they’re much less offensive without the Golden Boy under center. Cam Newton taking over pushes the needle even more. This season is going to be confusing.

New York Jets – It’s a shame there are no professional football teams in New York right now.

AFC West

Denver Broncos – I mean, one of these teams has to finish second in the division behind KC. With Von Miller out, it’s hard to think of Denver as anything other than also rans.

Kansas City Chiefs – The Chefs have my current man crush on the team. They made two epic comebacks in the playoffs last year against the Texans and the 49ers (another true story that will cement my status as completely ignorant is that I had to look up who the Chefs played in the Super Bowl in January) to win the Super Bowl and there’s really no reason that they can’t repeat this year. You might say, “What about a Mahome’s inj–” to which I’d reply, “You shut your whore mouth.”

Las Vegas Raiders – I think I might have had a running gag last year about the Raiders moving to Vegas. Well, they finally did. Remember when I said that they had an ineptitude all their own? Well, instead of using Vegas (like the Golden Knights and giving the Scrabble friendly abbreviation VGK), they’re going with Las Vegas. Remember when these guys were the bad boys of football? If you do, you’re probably old like me and right in the intended demographic for this page.

Los Angeles (Why not San Diego?) Chargers – The Chargers are the worst run franchise in the NFL. That’s saying something with the Raiders being in the same division and quite inept themselves. The only news I care about related to the Chargers is if Phillip Rivers had another kid. Two more and he has a starting XI.

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens – I genuinely like Lamar Jackson. So much that I actually found myself rooting for the Ravens. Like I said earlier about the Patriots, this NFL is quite a strange experience for me.

Cincinnati Bengals – I was going to make an Andy Dalton joke. Not wanting to look too ignorant, I Googled Andy Dalton and then the Bengals and saw that Joe Burrow is the quarterback there. If not this year, then soon, I might finally be able to stop feeling sorry for the Bungles and hating them again like every Steelers fan should.

Cleveland Browns – I really want Baker Mayfield to be a good quarterback. Like, really, really want that to happen. He’s not, but I won’t give up the dream. I think I’m just bored of the Steelers-Ravens rivalry being the only storyline in this boring division.

Pittsburgh Steelers – Speaking of the Steelers, I have several times over the last couple of years turned my back on my childhood team. Like I say, I’m just bored of them. Plus, Ben Roethlisberger’s name got dragged into the Stormy Daniels affair and reinforced that the guy is a douche.

AFC South

Houston Texans – I really wanted the Texans to lose to Buffalo. That didn’t happen. Then, I wanted them to beat New England. That did happen. Then, Tom Brady wen to Tampa Bay. That was unexpected. I don’t know. They’ll probably win the division again.

Indianapolis Colts – Last year, Andrew Luck made the decision to protect himself and his mental health by retiring from football. The always supportive NFL fans gave him the benefit of the doubt and allowed him to retire into quiet solitude. Just kidding, they treated him like a leper and called him all sorts of names. Never change, mad sports nerds.

Jacksonville Jaguars – My wife and I have been watching “The Good Place”. I tried to get her to watch it several times. She finally did and she really likes it. What does this have to do with the Jaguars? Well, one of the characters is from Jacksonville and obsessed with Blake Bortles. And, you all know my history with Blake Bortles.

Tennessee Titans – I have a Facebook friend who is a huge fan of the Titans. She’s from Texas and liked them since they were the Oilers and moved. Other than that, I’m an advocate of getting rid of the AFC South.

The Verdict (2020 AFC Preview Wrap Up)

I’m not at all excited for the AFC season. I wasn’t to begin with, but thought that by writing this 2020 AFC Preview that it might make me more excited. Other than Mahomes, there isn’t much here for me to care about. Maybe the anthem protests will persist and I can have fun trolling mad sports nerds on social media.

Note: All teams and the single logo used on this web page are the property of the NFL. They are used without consent (written or otherwise), but only in good fun. If you’re feeling litigious, please refrain from throwing your vast legal resources at this small page that caters to my kids, Chris (Hi Chris!) and about 25 Russian bots (Hi Sergei!).

High Score episode 6

Introduction

We have arrived at High Score episode 6. The last episode of the first season. I say first season because I remain hopeful that there will at least be a second season. More on the episode later, of course, but let’s talk about why there should be at least one more season for a bit. Naturally, the first reason is because the show was very good. Honestly, do you need another reason? Fine, way to make me do my job.

Except this isn’t my job. It’s my hobby. And I might not even be all that good at it.

Aside from the fact that the series was entertaining and I’d like to continue to be entertained by nostalgia, they stopped with the advent of the 3D era. The last game they talk about is DOOM. That game came out when I was in high school. I’m not going to go into how long ago that was, but I often talk about being an old man gamer, so you can do the math. No mention of the N64 or Sony vs. Microsoft. Granted, that wasn’t as exciting as Nintendo vs. Sega, but it bears mentioning at the least.

Heck, they only gave passing mention to some of the greatest games of the era and missed the boat on others, like Metroid. Maybe there will be a special episode or season 3? That’s probably asking too much.

Into…the 3rd dimension! (On Game Boy?)

We start our journey on the Game Boy. Yes, that Game Boy. The very same one that you remember (or probably don’t unless you are old like me) from your childhood. The green and black monochrome dot matrix screen. 8 bit graphics and midi sound effects. Also, like I mentioned in a previous article about episode 3, it had one of the best Final Fantasy games in the series.

Speaking of Tetris, this was actually my introduction to the game.

Well, this company was attempting to show that you could do 3D graphics on current technology. I’m not sure why they chose the Game Boy. Hey, I was watching while working out. So, some of the details are missing. The point is that they got a working demo on the Game Boy.

They so impressed Nintendo with their work that they offered them a job to bring a similar experience to the SNES. I may be missing critical information. However, the overarching theme is there. Argonaut begat Game Boy 3D which begat the SNES and Pilotwings. In turn, Pilotwings begat Wolfenstein that begat…

Can you play DOOM on this thing?

The majority of the episode revolved around DOOM. I even got a bit of a nerdgasm when they revealed that they talked to the man, John Romero, for pretty much the whole segment. You young nerds might not know. But, for us oldbies, John Romero is a legend.

Some of y’all have grown up with consistent broadband internet on which to embarrass your friends and enemies. Not so for us. We had to “dial in” on a “phone line” and were excited when the speed increased almost two fold from 33.6k to 56k. None of us knew what those numbers meant, but we knew that 56 > 33.6.

And, we liked it! Yep, really leaning into that old man demo with a relevant cultural image here.

Aside from ushering in the age of online gaming, DOOM and id Software helped to popularize other trends like shareware. They gave you part of hte game for free, got you hooked, and then made you pay for the rest. No, they’re really not doing much for the old video games as a proxy for drugs narrative.

But, on a more positive note, they did open the code of the game. I know I’ve talked about this before. But, if you’ve ever played DOOM or its various clones or even World of Warcraft, you know that the games can be modded. (Can’t forget about my favorite recent moddable game, Minecraft.) Having that sort of control over a game gives it infinite replay value.

Heck, entire new games have been developed as mods to existing games.

The Verdict (High Score episode 6 is an awesome conclusion to the season)

Yes, you can tell from that subtitle that I’m tipping my hand yet again. I want another season of this show. I mean, who wouldn’t? Other than episode two, which was a bit slow (and I now understand that might have been a by design), the show was solid from beginning to end. Sure, High Score episode 6 ended it with DOOM, which is right in my wheelhouse. Nevertheless, if you are an oldbie nerd like me, you will enjoy this series. If you haven’t already.

High Score episode 5

Introduction

For some reason, I forgot the topic for High Score episode 5. I guess there’s just a lot on my mind with the start of school. When I saw the teaser at the end of episode 4, I was excited. Then, it just left my mind completely. And, so it was when the episode started, I said, “Oh yeah!”

Once upon a time, there were these things called “arcades”. They were kind of like stores. Except they didn’t sell anything. You traded your bill money for quarters, which you then put into a machine that let you play a video game. “Okay, Grandpa, why are you telling us this?” Well, the subject of High score episode 5 was fighting games. During the height of the fighting game renaissance, I spent an obscene amount of time and money in these “arcades”.

Yes, much of it was due to Mortal Kombat. More on that later.

Street Fighter – “That old grey mare…”

I can’t remember if I used the old grey mare metaphor in one of the other articles. I know I was considering it for the Atari article, but went with Grandpa instead. Even if I have, it is apt in this case. Many these days say that Street Fighter sure ain’t what she used to be. But, let’s focus on the positive.

Like Final Fantasy, Street Fighter got its inspiration from anime. When they talked to the artist for the game, he mentioned how anime is not viewed as art. Or, it wasn’t. He wanted to help people see the potential of the art form. Apparently, he and his contemporaries succeeded. At least in my case. I certainly consider anime to be an art form. Then again, I’m easily impressed by any creative process.

Seriously, though, if you can’t appreciate the beauty of this picture, then there’s no hope for your soul.

Takahiro Nagano – “Living the Dream”

One side note before moving on. I forgot to mention in the previous section, mainly because my notes only said “Chun Li – Madden” and I couldn’t figure out what that meant. What it meant is that they put a female character into Street Fighter II (and then expanded the female roster with future editions) similar to adding different skin tones to Madden. Gaming is supposed to be inclusive, mad nerds.

Now, for Takahiro Nagano. His life mirrored mine in many ways. I mean, other than winning a gaming championship and starting his own esports team, we are basically kindred spirits. He found himself in a dead end job that he didn’t find much inspiration from. So, really, when you think about it, I’m basically him. Another note from this section is “training montage”, a reference to the introduction to his esports team, which took on the form of the old 80s training montages a la Karate Kid or Rocky. I got a good chuckle out of it.

Since we have so much in common, I will give a shout out to my brother from another mother. Link. <–Green “Link” that isn’t trying to save Zelda.

Night Trap – “Where’s the Naked Ladies?”

I’m doing these out of order, but that’s intentional. Always save the best for last. I’m not sure if you will agree with my assessment, but I have good reason for it and you can’t change my mind! I remember Night Trap. I might have even had a friend who bought the game. See, it was supposed to be this risque horror game, but production issues caused it to be neutered beyond belief into a not quite campy enough imitation.

That didn’t stop Congress from trying to neuter the game and the industry further. As games started to become more “realistic” and feature more violent content, folks like Tipper Gore and Joe Lieberman (If you don’t know him, say his name like Droopy the dog. If you don’t know Droopy the dog, Google him, then say Joe Lieberman’s name like him. Then, Google Joe Lieberman and have a good laugh.) got their panties in a bunch. And that, boys and girls, is why we have ratings on our video games today.

Never ones to pass up an opportunity to (a) star f**k and (b) look like complete idiots in the face of advancing technology, think the Facebook hearings but with Nintendo execs instead of the Zuck.

Mortal Kombat – “Or, should I say, ‘MORTAL KOMBAT!'”

So, I said I was saving the best for last. Similar to Street Fighter, you might say that Mortal Kombat hasn’t been good since (insert your favorite version here) and that’s fine. Up until recently, I might have even agreed with you. However, Mortal Kombat 11 is a ton of fun and I wasted many an hour over the last year trying to collect as much as I could in the game.

MK also helped to usher in the “video games are warping our kids’ brains” era. But, I come here to praise John Tobias (who is interviewed for the series!) and Ed Boon. Given the limited resources that they were working with at the time, they made a game that has been with me for over 25 years and has been passed on to my kids.

And, it was able to survive whatever the hell this is.

The Verdict

High Score episode 5 has come a long way from the low of episode 2. I regained my faith in the series and even had it boosted by the Sega episode and this one. The entire series is an amazing walk down memory lane. In addition, we have met some new faces along the way. I’m feeling a bit melancholy that there’s only one episode left, but it should pave the way for some actual factual retro content that’s been promised for weeks now.