Friday, October 08, 2004

I think it's a pretty funny day today. So, without introduction, let's get right to it.

Woke up at like 7. Then again at 10 when Laura's alarm went off, then again at 10:40 or so. Laura was gone working out, so I got up, wandered out to my computer, and started working on the paper that was due at 4. Nothing noteworthy there.

In mid-paper, Laura came home and we ordered pizza. We tried that new Domino's Double Melt pizza, cause I really had to try a pizza with creative use of cheese one last time before they run out of places to put the cheese. It really wasn't that good, which really shouldn't have surprised me that much. The first half of this day went that way.

Anyway, finished pizza, finished paper, and it was time for a victory tour. I turned in the paper, went and picked up my paycheck, went comic book shopping (got a new Tales of the TMNT and found a collection of Teen Titans, if anyone cares), and set about to purchase a new video game. Bear in mind, I almost never buy video games new...I wait until people start to call them a classic and then I buy them used, about 9-10 months late. Today, however, I had my heart set on trying out a new concept.

I read Penny Arcade pretty much everyday, which is maybe a little weird coming from me, as it's a comic mainly about newly released games and, as mentioned above, I don't buy new games. After reading Tycho's review of Donkey Konga, however, I decided that was just goofy enough that I needed to try it. The concept is this: Songs play, and you have a pair of bongos in front of you. You drum along to the music with either the left bongo, the right bongo, both, or a clap. I quickly discovered that a clap could be replaced by smacking the side of a drum. The makers of this game are fortunate that this is the only violence in this story.

Donkey Konga is the worst video game I've ever played. It's tremendously simple in nature, which made it quickly enjoyable. You play songs well and get coins, and that was decently motivating, as you can buy alternate sounds for your bongos, extra levels, and mini games with those coins. For a little while, you need those coins. You'd sell your girlfriend for those coins. Or maybe only I would. But anyway.

It gets tedious WAY fast. There's maybe 4-5 songs in the game I liked...two I really liked, Whip It and The Impression That I Get. (It doesn't pay to mention the original bands for those songs here...all the songs are covered. Some of the covers are awful.) After that, you're forced to sift through the crap. There's a challenge mode where it randomly picks songs for you. Regardless of how much music you like, there's absolutely no chance it'll get through 3 songs without picking something out that'll make you wish you hadn't ever turned on your Gamecube. Finally, I played a song called "Diddy's Ditties," some messed up hybrid between Happy Birthday and Row Row Row Your Goddamn Boat. I beat it, on the first try, as a matter of fact I never once lost a level. Then I went and checked my coin balance. I had about half of what I needed to unlock a mini game. I went and checked the next level. It was Bingo. You know Bingo, the song about the dog that needs its name spelled over and over. The minigame wasn't worth chasing anymore. I turned off the Cube.

I think the developers knew the concept would get stale when they made the game. They added different bongos to use, and different bongos make different sounds. I unlocked the old school NES sounds, and the Quiz Show sounds, but when you're bored enough that you're using bongos that sound like Quiz Show buzzers to drum to the eternally long version of On The Road Again, you know you could've spent your $80 better buying fingernail clippers for the homeless.

I bought the game at Target at 3:30. By 5, it was back in the box. After a couple of other stops, at 6 I sold it to Gamers in West Des Moines....well, more truthfully, I traded it for Zelda: Four Swords and a down payment on the new Turtles game that'll come out sometime in the next two weeks. I lost about $25 in the process. I also had a couple of rather funny exchanges at the video game store, so, without further ado, back to back one act plays!

KL carries his HEAP OF CRAP into Gamestop. DUDE is behind the counter. KL drops his boxes on the counter.

KL: How much can you give me for this?
DUDE: Let me check...$27 total.
KL: Really? I just paid $80 for it two hours ago.
DUDE: Yeah, I don't know why our price is so low on this.
KL chuckles.
KL: I know why.

KL carries his HEAP OF CRAP into Gamers, and sets it down on the counter. GAMERS DUDE is behind the counter. OTHER DUDE is shopping.

KL: How much can you give me for this?
GAMERS DUDE: Let me check.
OTHER DUDE: How does that game work? What do you do? Do you just beat on the drums?
KL: Well, yeah, and at first the music is good, but then it starts to suck and before you know it you're trying to unlock minigames by drumming to Row Row Row Your Boat and thinking if anyone else walks into the apartment you'll never ever live it down. You realize your options are to resell it or dig a really deep dark hole it'll never get out of. I live on the second floor. So I had to resell it.
GAMERS DUDE: I can give you $30 for the game and $17 for the controller.
KL: I'll be happy just to have it out of my hands.
OTHER DUDE: Is it really that bad?
KL: I have an aversion to blood. That's the only thing keeping me from chasing down the game's developer with a pickaxe.
KL spots a bowling pin behind the counter.
KL: Can I borrow that?

Not a whole lot of noteworthy material would follow, so we'll wrap it up here.

Venting concludes. This has been KL Snow.

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