(The Nerd enters, wearing some black sunglasses.)
The Nerd: I'm back. And so is Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Expendables 2. I can't wait to see that.
The Nerd: In the 80's and 90's, nobody kicked as much ass and coined as many catchphrases as he did. And now that he's coming back to do a little more acting, I think it's an appropriate time... to look at some NES games based on his movies. NES, a console so influential in the side-scrolling action genre. Now pair that with one of the biggest action movie stars and... you have a match made in heaven. How could you go wrong? (nervously gives a dorky smile) Uh, I don't know. (Chuckles) Uh, take this game for example: Total Recall.
I remember my first time playing it as a kid. It was a Friday night, my homework was all done, my mom took me to the video store, I rented this game, I took it home, man I played it, and it just (angrily) FUCKIN' PISSED ME OFF (teeth clenching) AND RUINED MY WHOLE GODDAMN WEEKEND!
The Nerd: Total Recall. (puts "Total Recall" in the Nintoaster) Total fucking shit. (turns on the Nintoaster) The concept is quite simple. You're Arnold trying to make your way to the end of the stage while defending yourself with this short little stubby punch. That's all you get. I do like how everybody you punch flies off the screen. (The enemies literally fly off the TV screen as the Nerd is playing, surprising him)
The Nerd: You know what I hate? You'll be running past an alleyway, and some random asshead pulls you in. Now you gotta fight these bastards half your height that moon-jump all over the place. Get back here, you fucknut! Then there's this part with these mysterious holes, with... things coming out. Now I know what we're all thinking of. (The Nerd tries to hold it in, but can't help himself) Glory holes! Alright?!
The Nerd: You go into your apartment where you fight your wife. Yeah, remember that scene in the movie with Sharon Stone? Man, that was some domestic violence right there. You get the gun and finish her off with bullets. Which seem to take no more damage than your fists. Next, this jackass starts shooting an infinite stream of bullets that force you to stay down. Also, he seems immune to gunfire. That doesn't help the situation. (The Nerd continues trying to shoot him, but to no avail.) (sarcastically) Great, I like what they did here! Good one!
The Nerd: Well, I found out he can't die. You're supposed to run for the door. If you can gun down your wife fast enough, you can potentially do it before this cockface shows up.
The Nerd: Come to think of it, I just realized you're playing an NES game where you shoot your wife. I can see that going over well with the parents. (Does voice impressions of a mother and son) "Hey, son, what are you playing?" "I'm playing Nintendo!" "Oh, that's nice." "Yeah, I just shot my wife!" (Makes a shocked face.)
The Nerd: You know what? This X-ray stage... is awesome. And I do appreciate how they've tried to follow the movie. With a cerebral plot like Total Recall, that's not such an easy adaptation to make.
The Nerd: There's so many scenes from that movie that left an impression on me since I was a kid. It was one of the first R-rated movies I've ever seen. I remember the alien with the three tits, and the guy coming out of the stomach, and the eyeballs popping out on the surface of Mars, and Arnold trying to rip that tracking device out through his nose! If you're expecting to see any of that in the game... then you're just out of your mind.
The Nerd: Why are there balls on chains falling in the alleys? Why are you beating up on homeless people? Why are the dogs hanging on me like a turd stuck to a poodle's ass?! Get it off!
The Nerd: The best part in the game is when you go into a movie theater, and watch the movie that the game is based on. It's just a credit crawl for all the game designers to laugh in your face. I miss Fred Fuchs. (pronounced "fucks") Wouldn't that be a better game if you just go into a theater and watch the movie instead?
The Nerd: I've already talked about the Terminator games, and they suffered the same fate. The first Terminator had some of the worst controls in existence. The only way to fire the gun is to crouch into this gun mode and jumping around requires extreme accuracy. The second game was a monotonous button masher where enemies take a thousand punches. And there were platforms you can't jump on, like some kind of prank!
(goes over to his NES game collection)
The Nerd: I'm still holding out for that awesome 8-bit Schwarzenegger game. Next, I'm gonna try Last Action Hero. Because they can't all be bad. Right?
The Nerd: It uses cutscenes with images taken from the movie, but they look like garbage. The contrast is so intense, you can't even tell what you're looking at. What is this? A dead fish? A porcupine's back? Oh, it's the top of some guy's head. Damn, it looks like the NES just vomited all over your TV screen. How does it look this bad? I know this is only 8-bit, but I've seen much better. Even with Total Recall, Arnold's face on the title screen actually looks like him. Hell, even the E.T. game on Atari 2600 actually looks like E.T.! On the title screen at least, but, God, I-I can't talk about that game.
The Nerd: Anyway, back to Last Action Hero. The in-game graphics are even worse. (looks at the in-game player character) Who is that? Is that supposed to be Arnold Schwarzenegger? It looks nothing like him! It looked way better in Total Recall. Not a perfect resemblance, but for 8-bit, it's a Hell of a lot better than this shit. I wish I could say more about the gameplay, but there's nothing to say. You run around and beat people up. That's it. There's nothing wrong with simplicity if it's done well, but this ain't no Double Dragon. This is bottom-of-the-barrel button-mashing trash.
The Nerd: The hit detection is lousy and there's zero strategy. When you come up to an enemy, you just have to tap buttons and pray for the best. It's almost impossible to kill someone without taking some damage yourself, and if you don't move fast enough, another enemy re-spawns in its place immediately, so you have to keep moving! Don't even stop! It's better to run through somebody and take a hit, rather than put up a fight and take several hits. Look at these guys! They keep coming! Whoever programmed this game, you can go eat a bowl of fuck. I think it was made by the Assholians from the planet Ass.
The Nerd: You know what else I hate? When you pause the game, the music doesn't stop. Seems trivial, but that's really a pet peeve of mine. I'm really starting to appreciate the Total Recall game. At least it had more variety. Sure, the stages look different and it's nice that they all come from the movie and not from some lunatic's imagination. They even included the Hamlet dream scene. But that's not real variety, it's just a change in the look and design and not in the way the game is actually played. End of story, Last Action Hero sucks a dick.
(Appears drinking Rolling Rock)
The Nerd: (groans) This is not going well at all. We gotta find a good Schwarzenegger game, or else this is gonna be a great stain on the pages of gaming history. Ah, Conan. (Ko-nan) Or Conan. (Ko-nen) Whichever you prefer. This one, I don't know... how they could fuck up.
(The Nerd inserts Conan in the Nintoaster and is angry at first, but then looks shocked.)
The Nerd: Oh, that's how. Make it look like shit and give it the most inexcusably God-awful controls that gaming technology could allow. I can't even explain how broken the controls feel. All I can say is, it's bad, as in Dark Castle bad. You don't have any idea. You're looking at it, but you haven't experienced it unless you pick up a controller yourself. Trust me, you don't want to. This will make you so angry you're gonna wanna punch a Siberian tiger in the fucking balls!
The Nerd: Wanna know the basics? Check this out. A and B both attack. That's fine, but to jump, you press Up. That's pretty shitty already, but that's not all. What do you think happens when you press Down? Take a guess. You think duck? (chuckles slightly) No. It jumps.
The Nerd: (angrily) You press Down to jump. Whoever came up with that idea is a real cocksucker. Sucks cock.
The Nerd: Who presses Down to jump? Down should be for ducking, and this is not an ordinary jump either, it's a forward jump. Anyone with common sense would do this by pressing Up and Right, but not in this game. You can't even attack while you're in mid-air.
The Nerd: To pick up a weapon, you have to press Down and A, but you can't press them both at the same time. You have to hit A slightly before you press Down, or else Down makes you jump forward. I can't help but press Down by accident because of my natural instincts. It wouldn't be so bad if Down didn't make you jump away from the weapon which is the complete opposite of what you're trying to do.
The Nerd: The hit detection... is even worse than Last Action Hero. It only hits if they're as close to you as possible. You don't get much range when you're trying to stab the skeletons in the dick with the sword. It's as if the sword is going through them. Maybe the sword is imaginary and you're only hitting them with your fists? I dunno.
The Nerd: Within five minutes or less, you come to a dead end; a boss that you can't kill. Great. Using the sword doesn't work, because you can't get close enough without instantly dying. The fireballs would be great theoretically, because it's a projectile weapon, but there's no feasible spot to throw them. You can't throw them while jumping, and if you stand still, you're too low to hit the boss. Imagine having bought this game for $50 and getting stuck in the first five minutes!
The Nerd: Thanks to the Internet, I was able to find that you're supposed to kill the boss with a pitchfork. You get the pitchfork from a devil, a devil that only appears if you get the sword and cut down a hanging skeleton which I assumed was there for decoration. Fuck you and your cryptic bullshit! In true Dragon's Lair fashion, the first stage is a mindfuck.
The Nerd: The devil isn't that easy to kill either. He keeps teleporting all over the place and the rest of the enemies keep respawning so you end up wasting all your energy trying to keep these fuckers off your back!
The Nerd: You know what's really annoying? The following stages are more straightforward. Why put the cryptic stage in the beginning? To prevent kids from being able to play the rest of the game?
The Nerd: Who'd wanna play it anyway? I'd rather have a Sasquatch sit its ass on my face and shoot diarrhea down my throat! I'm dead fucking serious. What a shitload of fuck. What were they thinking?
(drinks Rolling Rock)
The Nerd: And you know what the worst part about it is? I don't think it's really supposed to be based off the Conan the Barbarian movie. Just the character. So it's not really a Schwarzenegger game... and I just wasted my fucking time. I might as well play Commando. Has nothing to do with the Schwarzenegger movie, but at least the game is good. It's hard as shit, but it's a hundred times more playable than any of these other disasters.
The Nerd: All right, one last game, one last chance for the Schwarzenegger NES library to redeem itself: Predator. How could this be bad? It's fucking Predator. You look at the cover and think "Yeah! This game's gonna be awesome!" This is a real man's game. This game will turn you into a sexual tyrannosaur. Like me.
(puts the game in, and turns the system on)
The Nerd: (looks at Arnold in-game wearing pink) Is he wearing pink? Why'd they put him in pink?! Did they see the movie?! He doesn't wear pink in the movie! That's not an appropriate army color! I don't know. Maybe he's in pink to stand out from the dull graphics. The graphics are as ugly and dirty as this game's mom. This game sucks so bad the enemy soldiers commit suicide.
The Nerd: In addition to the enemy soldiers, you must also face scorpions which you can stand on and they take you for a ride. But only the green scorpions. What, you thought you could ride on a red scorpion? What are you, crazy? (Arnold gets hurt by the red scorpion)
The Nerd: (sarcastically) Wow, they sure followed the movie pretty closely. You know the plot: A special forces team led by Alan "Dutch" Schaefer dressed in hot pink go on a mission to rescue hostages in Central America. They are hunted by piranha balloons, plants that spit fireballs, Lolos or Shy Guys, chickens with skull masks, giant bacteria, Metroids, and birds that crap blood. Now I know two NES games with birds that crap blood, the other being Day Dreamin' Davey.
The Nerd: What about the predator? Well, yeah. Just about every stage boss is a predator. You kill more predators in this game than the predator kills people in the movie. If that's all you do is hunt down predators, then the predator isn't really a predator: It's prey. And doesn't he look familiar? He looks just like the Ninja Turtles in the first Turtles game. Anyway, he's the easiest boss in the history of gaming. You go over here and just keep attacking him. He'll never come and hit you, not once. Keep doing that, and that's it. Did they even test this shitty game before they released it?
The Nerd: This is another one of those games where the music doesn't stop when you pause. Even worse, if you press any button while paused other than Start, you will self-destruct. (Arnold commits suicide by exploding)
The Nerd: This can be handy if you find yourself stuck somewhere due to faulty game design, like here. I'm stuck in the damn rocks! So, rather than working out the bugs, they decide to include a suicide button. This is dangerous because whenever the game's paused, you have to be careful not to push the wrong button. Don't pause it and then pass it to your buddy whose thumb accidentally touches the A or B button, and kills off your last life faster than you can say "Oops!" Another major inconvenience is that every time you die you have to make sure to pick Continue. If you pick Start, your game is forever lost, and you have to go all the way back to the beginning. And sooner or later, when you keep playing this long enough, you're gonna make a mistake. It doesn't help that they put the cursor on Start by default. And you can't select by pressing the D-Pad, you have to use the Select button, which is right next to the Start button, increasing your risk of fucking it up. That is some sadistic bullshit.
The Nerd: You can't duck and punch, and that's just great because most of the enemies are down on the ground. You can get a gun, it's immediately at the start of the game but it's easy to miss because it's up in a tree. It's called MC.Gun (pronounced mic-gun) or MC. Gun (pronounced em-cee gun), like MC Hammer but this is MC.Gun.
The Nerd: Wanna hear some horseshit? When you finish the level, the gun is gone so you can't keep it from one stage to the next. Once you have the gun, you better not walk into a fist, or else you go back to punching. Of course, the game has to be as obnoxious as possible by putting these fists in areas that are hard to get around. Oh, no, no, no, no, no! (barely gets past the fist) Good.
The Nerd: The grenades are the kind of weapon you do not want to get, but they're necessary in breaking through obstructed paths. If you don't calculate these bomb blasts perfectly, you end up building your own death trap. Look, I just created a hole. If I fall down there, I die. But I need to blow away that one last piece so I can go forward. What makes this more difficult is that you can't be near a grenade when it explodes because it hurts you. Come on, come on, come on. (trying to blow up an obstacle) Come on, come on! (blows himself up) NO! This game blows ass, sucks duck cunt, fucking shit-munching bunch of pile of... poop.
The Nerd: These stages are designed with no rhyme or reason. Doesn't it look like I can go in this door? Well, I can't. This house is just part of the background. You can never tell what's background and what's not. Right here, I can fall through the grass just because it's a darker green. Couldn't they just make it black like the background so it actually looks like a hole?
The Nerd: There's no clear indication what you can step on and what you can't. Gotta get away from the grenade! Fuck! I didn't know I would go through this platform! You're kidding me! You can fall through the walls? That's like if you could fall through the staircase in your own house. Look, the bird got stuck. This game is so messed up, even the enemies can't play it.
The Nerd: The layouts of these stages make no sense. There's a laser gun. I can't get it because there's rocks around it so I need the grenade first. But the grenade is all the way near the final door, so why would I backtrack to get a gun when I'll lose it after I go through the door anyway? Come on, you fucking grenades! All you can do is keep throwing them and hoping they stick to the rocks.
(spends some time trying to blow up an obstacle)
The Nerd: Come on, come on, come on, you piece of shit!
(eventually blows up the last piece of the obstacle)
The Nerd: (Sighs) Finally!
(drinks Rolling Rock and notices something entirely different with the game. The Nerd spits his drink out in surprise)
The Nerd: You gotta be kidding me. All of a sudden it looks like I'm playing a completely different game. Arnold is much bigger now and would you believe they call this section of the game "Big Mode"? How creative. So now he's wearing green? Oh, maybe because pink wouldn't stand out as much from the purple background? As if this game has standards all of a sudden.
The Nerd: Watch out for the bubbles. How could bubbles kill you? Maybe when you're so masculine, little sissy things like bubbles become your kryptonite. And guess what? You can't pause during Big Mode. If you could pause in the rest of the game, why not now? Did a completely different person program this part?
The Nerd: Why does there need to be platforms when you can jump as high as the top of the screen? Why are you always moving even when you're crouching? Why do you shoot little Atari pellets? You can upgrade the gun with these power-ups that appear when you shoot things, but they're hard to get, because they go right, and once they're off the screen, they're out of existence. This forces you to wait for projectiles to come as close as possible so that the power-ups don't appear all the way to the right of the screen and you end up losing them. Why do they go right? Everything else goes left!
The Nerd: At the end of Big Mode, you fight a predator, then the game goes back to normal. Every five levels or so, you'll have to play another Big Mode, each with a different colored background. Yay.
The Nerd: Jumping blocks is always fun. Every muscle in your body tenses when you jump. (Grunts and tenses his muscles) I don't wanna overshoot it. I don't wanna overshoot it. I'm just trying to be careful-- (Exclaims in frustration)
Oh, no! I gotta bomb all this shit? And avoid projectiles at the same time? This is some intense shit. Come on. Almost there! Almost there! Come on! (gets killed) Fuck! Alright! Come on! Come on, come on, come on!
(apparently he forgot about what he said earlier, so he picks Start)
The Nerd: Oops. I hit Start? I hit Start... I gotta go all the way back to the beginning. (The Nerd then shakes the controller in anger and then screams)
- FUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCKFUCK -
(strangles himself with the controller) FUUUUUUCK!!!
(drinks more Rolling Rock)
The Nerd: That's it, I'm seeing red! I'm gonna beat this fucker right now!
The Nerd: Oh my God, I'm so fucking mad, I could take a chainsaw to a fucking baby's neck right now! I could kick a baby pony!
The Nerd: Out of my way, I'm gonna fuck you up! Fucking game, I'm gonna fucking kill it! (Grunts) Your mother, your father, your uncle, your uncle! (Growls angrily) Yeah! Yeah, I'm at the final boss! And... and it's a... big predator head that looks like Casey Jones from the Ninja Turtles.
The Nerd: Come on, fuck-fuck-fuck-fuck-fuck-fuck - shit! (Grunts) Shoot the bastard, come on! You stop shooting that shit at me, I'm gonna fucking kill you! I'm gonna fucking kill you! See, I'm not playing around. I'm not FUCKING AROUND HERE! (Growls) I'M NOT FUCKING AROUND!
(eventually defeats the first phase of the boss)
The Nerd: Ooh, the mask is off now. Now it's serious. Now it's fucking - (Grunts) - fucking fuck time! Oh, my God, I gotta fucking win before I have a heart attack!
(defeats the boss)
The Nerd: (shocked and happy) I did it! I did it, I won! I beat "Predator"! Oh, man! (holds his chest) (Exclaims) Boy. (sighs and sees end message) "Congratulations. You have survived."
(The Nerd frowns and sighs through his nose)
The Nerd: Barely!
(The Nerd throws down the controller)