The Nerd: Remember back when I first warned you about the horrors of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on NES? Well, there were a few other games I mentioned there.
The Nerd from his Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde review: They're just, y'know, rare, obscure games like, y'know, McKids, or, uh, Taxman, or whatever...
The Nerd: What the hell is Taxman? I didn't even know what the hell I was talking about! I had too much to drink. What I meant to say was Wall Street Kid, a game about the stock market. Who would ever wanna play a game like that? But it so just happens by some fucking coincidence there actually is a game called Taxman for the Apple II computer. I've heard that there's nothing much to this game, it's just a Pac-Man clone. I figured that probably means that it's a game that's very similar to Pac-Man. I was wrong. By "clone", they meant "an exact copy." It's Pac-Man. Have you played Pac-Man? Then you've played Taxman without even knowing it. But that's not what I'm here to talk about. I'm here to talk about something that I feared since the beginning.
The Nerd from his Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Review: Those little Tiger, like, electronic wrist games, those are better than Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
The Nerd: Have we gotten to that point now? Is it time to scrape the bottom of the toilet bowl of the whole video game industry? Yeah, it's time to talk about TIGER Games.
(The Nerd is playing some Tiger Electronic Games)
The Nerd: Since the advent of video games, the idea of portable games was a novel concept, like the Nintendo Game & Watch series. Everybody liked the idea of being able to bring a game with you wherever you go. There were many examples, but none so common as the Tiger handheld games.
The Nerd: They used the most primitive technology possible. The graphics, if you can even call them graphics, work like this: The background is a fixed image that's printed onto the console. In front of that is a clear screen, kinda like an animation cel, with a bunch of static images that represent all the characters and objects. When the game plays, these images light up individually to simulate the illusion of movement. It's sorta like a calculator or a digital watch. (Plays Castlevania II: Simon's Quest on a Tiger handheld console) I can't think of a more crude way to make a video game. Of course, you don't need technology to make a good game, but these were all ungodly.
The Nerd: But that didn't stop these games from flooding the market. They were everywhere! And everybody bought them! Everybody I knew had at least one of these things! On the school bus, people were playing them! At lunch time, everybody was swapping them around and playing each other's games! It was like chicken pox: We all got it.
The Nerd: It was the cheapest option for a handheld game. You could find them at any store, they were convenient for birthday presents, and each one was its own individual game; you didn't need to get any other game cartridges to play on them, and all you needed was 2 AA batteries. The Game Boy, on the other hand, was more expensive, needed 4 AA batteries, and you'd still need to buy games for it. Tiger was like the poverty version. For a lot of us, it was either this (points to a Tiger game console), or nothing. And nobody minded. These things brainwashed us.
The Nerd: They had colorful artwork that looked way better than the shit that came on inside the screen. It somehow gave you the impression that you were holding an arcade machine in your hands. The commercials made them look awesome, but really they were garbage. These games were so mass-produced, it was like a swarm of mosquitoes sucking our blood, and we all got bit.
The Nerd: The most shameless part of it is that these games tried to be more than what they were. With this kind of technology, they could have stuck to Solitaire or Video Poker. But no, they took it all the way and adapted action-adventure games. They took Konami games, Capcom games, Sega games like Altered Beast, Shinobi and Sonic the Hedgehog; any video game franchise ended up butchered on one of these things. Any licensed product; movies, TV shows, this Tiger got its claws on everything.
(The Nerd plays "The Flintstones" Tiger game)
The Nerd: When you adapt a well-known game, everybody knows what the real game is supposed to be like. You have something to compare it to; the difference is night and day. But, hey, the idea of playing Mega Man 2 on the go? Why not?
(The Nerd plays "Mega Man 2," the Tiger version, and realizes that Mega Man is using a gun)
The Nerd: Mega Man using a gun instead of his arm cannon? Sure! I guess somebody just looked at the atrocious cover to the original Mega Man and thought, "Okay, he's got a gun! Put it in the game!" And how about running out of ammo? (Mega Man runs out of ammo) Have you ever wanted to play a Mega Man game where you can run out of ammo? Well, this is it.
The Nerd: Street Fighter II.
(The Nerd playing "Street Fighter II", the Tiger version)
The Nerd: Really? (Shows clips from each respective version of "Street Fighter II") First you have the arcade, then you have the home console versions, then you have the Game Boy version, and then at the very bottom you have the Tiger version. The only thing less than that will be using your imagination. Or playing the board game. (Takes out the Street Fighter board game) But even THAT was better.
The Nerd: How about TV shows like Dinosaurs? Listen to that awful music. (The Nerd is playing the "Dinosaurs" Tiger game) You'd rather listen to the "I'M DA BABY! GOTTA LOVE ME!" Remember that shit?
The Nerd: How about Full House? That's right, FULL HOUSE, the Tiger game. You play as Michelle, I think, going around slapping high-fives while fighting against inanimate objects. Apparently, everything in the Tanner household came alive and is trying to kill you. Personally, I prefer the Super Nintendo version of Full House: Tournament Fighter. (Footage from "Full House: Tournament Fighter" for SNES)
The Nerd: For games that are so basic, you'd think they'd be easy to pick up and play, but many of them, I can't even figure out what you're supposed to do. I just mash buttons and wait for something to happen. A game this simple should not need an instruction manual. Some of them, I wonder if they're defective. In the Bowling game, I haven't even been able to hit one pin. The ball goes straight for the pins, then it disappears.
(The Nerd throws the ball and the ball disappears.)
The Nerd: What is happening?!
The Nerd: The controls, a lot of times, are counter-intuitive. Anybody who's played a video game knows that the D-Pad controls your movement, and the buttons perform actions. With Tiger games, anything goes. In Castlevania II, the whip is Up or Down on the D-Pad; while the buttons on the right are jump up, jump right, and the sword, which is actually a throwing dagger, by the way. (Simon throws some daggers at a skeleton)
The Nerd: Chip 'N Dale's Rescue Rangers had Jump and Pick on the left, and on the right, to move, it's just one big button that says "Forward." Every one of these games had some kinda quirky control when they should have just emulated what's on an NES controller.
The Nerd: Half of these games, the controls barely work at all because they're so fragile and don't age well. Another thing I hate about them is that they're hard to record. It's almost impossible to see the objects on the screen without careful lighting, and the glare makes it even worse. So, there's nothing good about these games.
The Nerd: (opening a Game Boy box) In 1989, the Nintendo Game Boy hit the scene. It revolutionized portable gaming. Yeah, the games were black and white, there's no backlight, and the screen was still hard to see, but the games were like real games. It was closer to having a mobile NES. You'd think this would be the Tiger killer, but no. Other game companies like Konami released a lot of their own games on handheld devices like this. But most of them died out when Game Boy became popular.
The Nerd: Tiger, on the other hand, continued well into the 90s. In fact, I remember these things being more common in the 90s than ever! They were pouring obsolete games into stores, and we were still buying them! They wouldn't die off! They were like cockroaches! By giving people a cheap alternative, they managed to coexist with the Game Boy. Yeah, this Tiger sure rose up to the challenge of its rivals, had the guts, got the glory, went the distance, now it's not gonna stop! It's LITERALLY a survivor.
The Nerd: There's a difference between something that's old-school and something that's outdated. Old school is like Atari 2600: The games are primitive, but they're still fun to play. You can always go back to them.
The Nerd: Outdated is something you never want to go back to. Tiger games are so outdated, they were never in-dated! They were a fad, like Pogs! If they were an experiment in the 70s and they only made a few of them, then I could accept that. But, no, they milked these things for all that they're worth!
The Nerd: You thought LJN was the grand champion, the almighty shitty game factory? Tiger put LJN to shame! Yeah, LJN laid down turd after turd after turd, but Tiger was like a machine gun ass, shitting out turturturturturturturtu-t-turd! These are the worst games I've ever had the honor of playing, if you even count them as video games! People have discussions like: "Are video games art?", or something like that. Well, I have a better one: "Are Tiger games video games?" These are a caveman's version of video games! These were a step back in human evolution! These are the most desperate attempt at entertainment! You could save up for a Game Boy, or just go (Imitating the Tiger handheld sounds) eh-eh-eh-eh-eh. Yeah, well, (while simulating hand-jerking and alternatively flashing the middle finger) eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh! J-Just, what the hell - T-These things, how'd they waste so much plastic to make these things? It brought the game industry down as low as it could go! It's proof that Jesus died in vain and legally changed His middle name to "Fucking"! The only thing I could think of to use these things for is to wipe your ass with it! You might as well save that toilet paper - it's worth a whole lot more!
(drinks Rolling Rock)
The Nerd: But I'm not done, am I? Oh no. I've actually gotten to this point. It's time... to talk about... the Wrist Games. (The Nerd is holding a Tiger Wrist Game, pinching his nose as if he's holding a turd, then he groans disgustedly)
(The Nerd is playing the "Double Dragon" wrist game. It looks so god-awful that the Nerd gets even more frustrated)
The Nerd: What... the... ASS. Talk about desperate. I'd have more fun setting the time on a digital watch. This is shits for the birds.
The Nerd: Now check this out: Batman Returns, the wrist game. Oh, boy... (The Nerd tries to open it) Wait, I can't get it open. Good. God, I hate this shit! You know... You know what's bullshit?
(The Bullshit Man appears playing the "You Know What's Bullshit?!" theme music while the Nerd looks in shock)
Bullshit Man: YOU KNOW WHAT'S BUUUUUUUUULLSHIT?! (gives the Nerd a pair of scissors) Packaging that you need scissors to open! Even with the scissors, it's still a pain in the ass. Why's this plastic so fucking strong? This stuff is bulletproof. Nobody wants this shit, so why do they do it? They use it on everything! This kind of packaging should be outlawed! Why does it still exist? I especially "love" when you buy scissors and you need scissors to open the scissors. What fuckin' idiots think this is a good idea? They don't care. By the time you're having this problem, you already bought it.
Bullshit Man: Packaging like this is bullshit.
(The Bullshit Man leaves)
The Nerd: Thanks, Bullshit Man. (looks at the Tiger wrist game and sighs)
(The Nerd is playing "Batman Returns" the wrist game)
The Nerd: (sarcastically) Wow, look at how "bad-ass" this game is. Yeah, this is the hot shit right here. You'd be so cool going around wearing this thing. Yeah, you'd be walking around school, and you got this on and everybody else is talking about what the new hot game system is gonna be. (Scoffs) Nintendo 64? The bit wars? (Chuckles then initially in a high-pitched voice, then getting angrier and louder each time) 64 bits, 32 bits, 16 bits, 8 bits, 4 bits, 2 BITS, 1 BIT, HALF BIT, QUARTER BIT, (Screams) THE WRIST GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAME!!!
The Nerd: And you thought that was it for Tiger, huh? Handheld games, wrist games, Tiger (computerized voice) Pokémon walkie-talkies?! YEAH! (normal voice) That's not enough? Well, how about... (brings out the Tiger Game.com) A WHOLE... FUCKING... TIGER... GAME CONSOLE?!
The Nerd: In 1997, this was Tiger's belated answer to the Game Boy. You'd think it was called the Game-Dot-Com, but it's actually the Game.com.
Game.com bootup voice: GAME.COM ACTIVE.
The Nerd: This thing tried to be hip and cutting-edge. It had a stylus pen, making it the first touch-screen game console; and PDA features, like a phone book, a calendar, a calculator, and a built-in Solitaire game. You could even connect a dial-up modem to it to access the Internet, text-only.
I don't believe it myself. Imagine reading your e-mail on this thing. And you'd have to hook it up to a modem, so you couldn't leave your house anyway. WHY NOT JUST USE A COMPUTER?!
The Nerd: It was supported by cartridge games. The game included with the system was a mediocre puzzle game called Lights Out, where the object is to turn out all the lights. Beyond that, it was a bunch of shitty ports like Mortal Kombat Trilogy. (Scrolling through the character selection screen) I don't see Scorpion or Sub-Zero. Trust me, they're not there. There's Rain and Reptile. How could you have a Mortal Kombat game without Scorpion or Sub-Zero? And who'd want to play this on a crappy black-and-white portable console anyway?
Then there's Duke Nukem. (Duke Nukem 3D) At least the voice sounds pretty good.
Duke Nukem: (digitized voice) Damn! That's the second time those alien bastards shot up my ride!
The Nerd: Then there's a Batman & Robin game.
The Nerd: Every time Batman gets hit, it sounds like he just got done taking a big dump.
Batman: Ah! Ah! Ah!
The Nerd: Then there's The Lost World: Jurassic Park. (Dinosaur roars and runs at the truck) Isn't it always fun to dodge things that come from behind?
The Nerd: Then there's Resident Evil 2. (Game starts) The same thing happens to me when I try to play the real Resident Evil 2. You get about 3 seconds to figure out the control and a zombie latches himself onto you and kills you. (He gets killed) Great! Why'd they have to start you right next to the zombie? Can't I get a chance? Turning yourself around is like waiting for a minute hand on a clock. (Dies again) Ugh! (He presses random buttons, and finally kills the zombie) Finally, I got him!
The Nerd: So that's the Game.com. Needless to say, it flopped, especially with Nintendo dominating the portable gaming market. So, hey, why not just follow whatever Nintendo's doing?! That mentality is what brought us, what I think, so far, is the worst video game console I have ever played: (flashes the R-Zone to the viewers) The R-Zone.
The Nerd: This is basically a shitty version of the Virtual Boy. Yes, I said that, as if the Virtual Boy isn't already shitty enough! Just look at it! What planet did this thing come from?
The Nerd: Here's how it works: You take the game cartridge, you slide it into the system, then the screen lights up. Then, you strap the thing on your head. And that's one thing that I have to give it credit for; is that they actually thought to have a head strap.
The Nerd: Anyway, the image gets projected right here; there's supposed to be a piece of reflective plastic here, it's missing, but you could use almost anything. So you put it there, and then, it projects the game right there! And keep in mind, this was portable, so you'd be going around in public like, "Hey guys! How ya doing? I'm just playing a game here!" (The Nerd mimics a guy having trouble playing the R-Zone)
The Nerd: Just when you thought the most sorry, pathetic excuse for a video game was the Tiger Wrist Games, oh, no. Imagine playing one of these... up close to your eye, in red and black!
(The Nerd is playing "Batman Forever" on the R-Zone)
The Nerd: GOOD LORD! You thought I was kidding, but it's true. This actually happened. Unlike the Virtual Boy, which causes eye strain and headaches within minutes, this thing does it immediately.
The Nerd: Having it over one eye meant having to go cross-eyed to look at it, or cover the other eye. By the way, the game itself sucks just as much as the other Tiger games. (The Nerd tries turning around, but can't) Thought you could turn around? Yeah, right.
The Nerd: I love how the advertisements always show a kid playing it. Look at his expression. He's horrified, and in the commercial, the kid's screaming in agony!
Rodger Parsons (Pokémon Narrator): You'd better not blink.
Rodger Parsons (Pokémon Narrator): "Indy 500" roars into the R-Zone!
The Nerd: Was this thing intended as a torture device? What made them think this was a good idea? They did it because Nintendo did it. It couldn't have been a coincidence; both systems came out in '95. Tiger saw what Nintendo was doing and thought, "That's the new hot ticket! See, red and black video games that you play close to your eye!" If it was blue and black, I'm sure it would've been the same thing.
The Nerd: The original idea of the Virtual Boy, so I thought, was to emulate virtual reality, to make you feel like you're really there. Well, the R-Zone got as far away from that idea as possible. It's so far removed from common sense that it's baffling. What were they thinking with this shitload of fuck? I know what I'm thinking: I might carve a giraffe out of wood and decorate it with Christmas lights so I can put it up in an albatross nest.
The Nerd: Did you expect me to say that? Probably not, neither would you expect this crazy idea of a video game! Case closed. It sucks.
(The Nerd drinks some more Rolling Rock while the rock version of the Angry Video Game Nerd theme plays)