Human Reviews: Part One
by Peaches

My Father for the NES
Year Released: 1989
Compatible with: Rampage, Startropics, Bubble Bobble

While many will point out the fact that my father was never popular with developers, and that his inital release was way too short before being replaced by his updated version, Get Remarried and Have More Kids, I truly feel that he has had the most influence on my view of video games, which turns out to have had a major imapct on my life, even as a casual gamer.

Let's start with Rampage. This is a game where you became either a King Kong ripoff or a Godzilla ripoff and punched buildings until they fell down, eating people in the meantime. It is one of my all-time favorties. I am pretty sure I played this in co-op mode with my father (Godzilla AND King Kong!), but beyond that, I can't remember. Would it have been as much fun without my Daddy by my side? Probably. But this is proof that my father had good taste in video games. And who knows, if I was raised on A Boy and His Blob instead, I might not be making love to my Xbox today (then again, my experience with A Boy and His Blob is another story).

Startropics was probably the only game where a fat island cheiftan gives you a pink yo-yo to defeat an evil alien warlord. No, this isn't a Saturday morning Mario clone, this is a true epic adventure that would make Link quake in his clanky metal boots. I would alternate watching my father beat the game and struggling against the first level myself. It was okay though, I mostly liked walking up to the islanders and pressing 'A' to read what they said to me. One girl even asked if you thought she was hotter than her friend. Tee-hee! And in my lovable naiveity, I would often ask him if he didn't wish the game was easier, to which he would reply he liked the challenge. Ah, I was so cute back then. My own little brother would ask me the same question years later (annoying brat). It was even a few years when I realized that the protagonist, my father, and me all shared a first name, Mike. I was too young to understand the story, but I still feel as if this was a shared experience, like going to the movies with a good friend and together you both learn that Darth Vader was really on Earth all along.

But we bonded most over Bubble Bobble. We rented that game so many times I'm beginning to wonder why we never bought it. Not only did Bubble Bobble feature a co-op mode, but one player could actually come back into the game after running out of lives by stealing one from the other player, the game announcing your return to the land of the living with a high-pitched SCHWING! sound. "Don't bother Captain Vegetable," Dad would say, referring to the vegetable items featured throughout the game. I think I probably died on purpose just so I could beg him for more lives and hear that SCHWING! sound.

Sadly, my father now has another family and a new job, which I guess means he's forgotten all about video games (he hasn't forgotten me, though, I still get a phone call now and then). But the old-school, classic Father, from the days before fancy 3-D graphics and third wives, will always be fondly remembered.


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