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On Life’s Major Disappointments

alexbwFollowing a severely damaging loss by the Phillies on Halloween night, I couldn’t bring myself to feel much more than a long line of painful fucking disappointments. What’s the old saying? “When life gives you lemons…kill yourself.”

This all spawned from one deep and emotional conversation involving a childhood memory and a long strand of let-downs beginning with a toy maker 1994.

There was this guy called Robert B. Fuhrer, who did not have a very good name to be in the toy industry in the first place. If he was getting into this business, he should’ve changed his last name to FUNner or something–just so he didn’t sound like a fucking Nazi.

Anyway, this Nazi started his career in 1990* with an instant classic game called Crocodile Dentist. It became an instant classic when every douchebag kid would cry until they got it, only to find out that the game sucked ass.

If you don’t remember–or you had a shitty childhood–Crocodile Dentist consisted of players taking turns yanking out the teeth of a helpless plastic animal before his jaw snapped shut, pinching or dislocating your fingers.

Then, the Fuhrer turned around and said to an imaginary associate (for the purpose of this fake story), “You know what kids would love more than jamming their fingers into a heavy plastic trap?”

“No, what?” responded the imaginary toy-maker.

gator golf

HOLY SHIT!

“A golf game that throws the ball back at you!” Fuhrer screamed in his stupid face.

The imaginary toy-maker thought about this for a while, and soon responded, “Sounds like the greatest fucking idea I’ve ever heard in my entire fucking life,” which was an odd manner for an imaginary employee in the toy industry to conduct himself.

“But,” continued the fictitious man, “You’ve already done a Crocodile game…what did you have in mind for this one? A Hippo perhaps?” Because Hippos and mini golf merge so well together.

“No!” exclaimed the Fuhrer while shitting his pants,”Crocodiles! Crocodiles all around!”

And thus, Crocodile Golf was born–and then promptly changed to Gator Golf, because it sounded more bad-ass.

If you don’t remember Gator Golf…what’s wrong with you?

Look at how much fun those fucking kids are having! They’re even willing to trust an Alligator in a suit (something you should never ever do) just to play it!

Then, they talk their functionally retarded dad into playing it and he fucking misses. How?!

His son knows the score though…he basically screams, “Get out of my way, faggot! I’ll show you how men play golf!” What a great sport.

So how did Fuhrer contribute to my crippling depression? In the commercial, they raise the question: “What could be greater than golf with a gator?” A charming and praiseworthy rhyme, I must say.

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cocky little pricks

But the question is what bothers me so much. What could be greater than golf with a gator? I don’t know! And I fear that I’ll never know. Every moment of my life is an agonizing step backwards, forever chasing that ultimate high which I know I will never again achieve.

What could be greater than golf with a gator? Nothing. And when this is how you live your life, every day god is mocking you.

Alex G/

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*A fact that I made up.

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Enjoy Your Stay at Arkham Asylum

alexbwAfter a long period of waiting around for a decent Batman game to launch after the disappointing Batman Begins clusterfuck, fans of the Dark Knight are finally rewarded. I’ve played Batman games before, but it has always felt like a  typical action game featuring a central character wearing a Batman costume. Arkham Asylum created a lasting experience.

Let’s get a few things out of the way first…
–The graphics are phenomenal.
–The voice-over work is exceptional.
–The story plays out like a Batman mini-series rather than an actual film, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s more like the Animated Series that we all know and love.
–The controls are a little wonky, but once you train yourself to work past that, it flows seamlessly and effortlessly from then on.
–Sound effects are dark and often scary.

Whew…glad we got of that technical bullshit out of the way. I played through Arkham Asylum fairly quickly, but it wasn’t what I would call a “short game.” A short game can be completed by playing it 2 hours per day for about 3 days. A normal game should keep you busy for about a week…and a good game should create an addiction.

Arkham Asylum is a combination of Metal Gear Solid stealth and superhero game play. Most of the time, you’ll find yourself critically thinking out situations to eliminate all threats and remain completely unseen. Other times, you’re free to just leap into the middle of a room and kick some ass. The combination of these two seemingly incompatible game styles keeps the game interesting, flowing, and exciting.

The story, in case you didn’t know, is that the Joker gets loose in Arkham Asylum, releasing certain inmates that aid his plot to use a formula called TITAN to create a race of superhuman beasts. All of the villains in the game are used intuitively–by which I mean that at no point does a Batman nemesis simply “appear,” causing a “WTF?!” reaction. They all have a special place in the game…with the exception of Zsasz, but fuck it.

The environment is fairly “open,” but the story is linear…if that makes sense(?) You can go anywhere you like on the island to find extra trophies and solve (the Riddler’s) riddles, but there are no “side missions.” The game makes up for this by offering separate “Challenge Missions” where you can attempt high scores on various stealth or combat scenarios. Your Challenge Mode scores are then compared with others around the world.

Batman’s abilities and arsenal are updated throughout the game and through points earned by completing challenges, which has become a staple of any adventure game because it works. There are no distinct “BOSS FIGHTS” in the game, in my opinion. Every significant battle is played out through the game’s story. The game doesn’t really put you on hold for a “boss fight.”

Arkham Asylum isn’t perfect and it can often be frustrating (especially the virtually impossible Joker Challenges), but it will almost certainly be on your short list of top next generation games. The replay factor is extremely high, which is a plus for those who prefer to purchase games. It will not collect dust on the shelf for quite some time…

…but most importantly, it is the most immersive superhero game I’ve ever played. I loved Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, but this goes beyond the open world hero game. Arkham Asylum embraces the linear storyline and makes it its bitch. You will feel like you’re playing as the Batman, and not just controlling a character. You’ll have to think like Batman and move like Batman…and this game gives you every conceivable opportunity to do that.

If you haven’t played this game yet, you probably don’t like video games.

Alex G/

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