Life » Culture

Fiz - 4.19.06

Plug and play

Video games have gotten so advanced --- you can practically count the skull shards when you shoot a zombie's head off in Resident Evil 4. Sometimes we miss the good old days when games were innocent and rendered in eight bits or less.

Thank Pong, then, for Power Games. Somewhat-sketchy company Games RR ( compiles all your favorite '80s video games onto a device that looks like a penguin (told you, sketchy) and plugs directly into your TV. The low-grade version costs $31.95 and features 111 classics including arcade greats Super Mario Bros., Pac-Man, and Galaga, plus obscure titles like Elevator Action and something called Milk Nuts. For $10 more you can get the super happy fun mega version with a whopping 236 games, the vast majority of which we've never heard of.

We're not entirely convinced the whole thing is legal (it strikes us odd that a company like, say, Nintendo would so willingly license a juggernaut property like Mario), but that's really the Feds' concern. You can just sit back and relive your misspent, Fruit Roll-Up-laced youth by going to town on Commodore 64 ports like Lode Runner.

Our main complaint: No Space Taxi, undoubtedly the best Commodore game, in which we spent endless afternoons intentionally flying our cars into the ever-demanding passengers. Maybe the good old days weren't so innocent after all...

--- Eric Rezsnyak

The goods to being bad

I am having one of those murky days when the heart turns cold and the mind is bathed in darkness. Days when schadenfreude is the only pleasure to be found and the soul seeks to be...evil! (Supply your own maniacal cackle here.)

Thankfully, So You've Decided to be Evil ( offers tips on choosing a lair and hiring henchmen. I go with the Amusement Park and the Undead, respectively, because I've always wanted to take zombies on a roller coaster. Call me wacky! These helpful fashionistas also describe the various clothing options available from classic black to brain-in-a-jar to wearing the skin of another human. OK, we've officially crossed whatever fine line separates evil from fashion faux pas.

Perhaps I'm more the bumper-sticker type, so I cruise over to the Homepage for Evil ( where the "Campus Crusade for Cthulhu" just cries out abomination to me. That'll look so groovy on the Cryptmobile. Huh --- I didn't realize that the Elder Gods had sued Microsoft for "look-and-feel" infringement.

But I'm losing focus here. To get back on track, I swing past for some important advice: "I will never utter the sentence 'Before I kill you, you should know...'" and "My stronghold will have ventilation ducts that are too small to crawl through." Just because my goal is world domination does not mean that I can't accept a smidge of advice.

Lastly, I require a role model and I know of the perfect one: Doctor Steel ( Just because you want to build a giant laser to etch your name on the moon doesn't mean you can't have a certain panache, and Doctor Steel has style to spare. He even brings out Big Bird's inner henchmen. (Ohh, you'll have to dig hard for that picture, my little ninnies!)

Mwa ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Oooo-weee, that felt good. I'm better now.

--- Craig Brownlie