(The Nerd is holding a stuffed Donkey Kong doll)
The Nerd: This is one of the original stuffed Donkey Kongs from the early 1980s. Why does he have to have his hands like this?
(The doll's left hand's fingers make an "O" while the right hand's fingers make an "L")
The Nerd: Like, what's he trying to tell us? And look at his face, he knows it's funny. It's like: "Hey! Hey, you, you! Fuck you!" (Places the "L" hand into the "O" hand)
(The Angry Video Game Nerd Theme plays)
The Nerd: (in utter disgust) Oh boy, let’s talk about the Philips CD-i. Now, if you’re not familiar with the backstory, I’ll give you a quick little run-down. Nintendo was working in conjunction with Philips to produce a CD-based add-on for the Super NES, which never came through. Now Nintendo was also working with Sony on the same concept, and we all know what became of that: the PlayStation. (The Nerd holds up the PlayStation with both hands.)
The Nerd: But as for Philips, they too made their own game console, however they had permission to utilize some of the Nintendo franchises. Now what came to that was a shitty Mario game, ("Hotel Mario") and three shitty Zelda games: Link: The Faces of Evil, Zelda’s Adventure, and Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon... (The Nerd tries to open the awkward looking case for "Wand of Gamelon.") (awkwardly) Oh-kay...
The Nerd: These games are notorious for their legendary ass-suckage, which is hard to believe. How could there exist a bad Zelda game, let alone three of them, and on a console that’s not Nintendo? Well, if you haven’t heard of them, you might think you’re living under a rock, but let me tell you - it’s a rock worth living under. (The Nerd drinks a bottle of Rolling Rock.)
The Nerd: Before we begin, let’s talk about the console itself. To begin with, it barely fucking works. That’s a good start, right? I had to buy three. Yeah. Three CD-i's before I got one that’s functional. The first one wouldn’t read the discs. The second one, right here, had the same problems. I haven’t returned it yet just because I wanted to show you what it looks like.
The Nerd: So then, finally, I got this big beast. (The Nerd shows a gigantic CD-i console.) Look how huge it is. It looks like one of those old VCRs. It is the biggest video game console I’ve ever seen. Literally, you can fit two of these inside it. (The Nerd stacks the smaller CD-i console on top of the giant one) If you remember my Atari 5200 video where I commented how big it was, (cut to the CD-i and the Atari 5200 placed side-by-side) well, both consoles are ridiculously huge, but the CD-i (points to the CD-i) just barely wins.
The Nerd: But does it work? Yes, it does. But at first I thought the controller input was broken. I have four different controllers, and none of them worked, except for the wireless one which sucks so bad, it isn’t worth it. (He tosses the wireless controller away) Then I found out that there’s another input... on the back. So the one on the front is either broken or intended for the second player. This means that every time I want to swap a controller, I have to pull out the whole console. (The Nerd pulls out the CD-i console to swap controllers) (under his breath) Piece of dog shit. Fucking inhumanity to man. Fucking... piece of shit. (normal voice) That is a pain in the ass. Why couldn’t both be on the front? Seriously, I couldn’t even imagine what they were thinking.
The Nerd: Let’s talk about the controllers. 1 is your average, regular-ass controller. The next one looks like a spoon, I... really don’t understand it. And this one has this awkward joystick. It’s so stiff, it’s basically just a stick on top of a regular D-pad. Then you have the wireless one. This is the standard controller that comes with the system. But as I’ve said, it’s terrible. Your finger keeps slipping off the joystick and the buttons are too close. Imagine if you were trying to play Nintendo 64 and all the buttons were clustered around the joystick. For your average point-and-click game, it’s okay, but for an action game like Zelda, it is nearly impossible to use this controller. It’s all worth it just to play such classics as Stickybear Reading, Lamb Chop’s Play-Along!, Sailing, and The Flowers of Robert Mapplethorpe... Yeah, it had its share of educational games, some action games, but let’s cut the bullshit and get to the ones you want to hear about.
The Nerd: The Zelda games are pretty rare and kinda expensive. Zelda’s Adventure was over 180 U.S. dollars. ($186.25) Not counting the money I had refunded for the bad consoles, all this in total cost about 700 bucks ($700). I’ve been dying to do a CD-i review for a long time, and partly due to financial and technical difficulties, that’s what’s been holding me back. But before we get to the Zelda games, let’s start off with Hotel Mario. The price on this one, I gotta be honest, was zero ($0.00), because this one was a donation. Thanks, Casey! You might as well have sent me a turd wrapped in tinfoil!
The Nerd: As the game begins, you get a ridiculous cutscene.
Bowser: (chuckles evilly)
Mario: Nice of the princess to invite us over for a picnic, eh, Luigi?
Luigi: I hope she made lotsa spaghetti!
The Nerd: Reminds me of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, but way more cheesy. The game is not what you’d expect. I mean, with a title like Hotel Mario, I guess I really didn’t know what to expect... but not this.
The Nerd: All you do is run around and shut doors. Yeah. Seriously, the goal is to shut all the doors before the time runs out, then advance to the next stage. Couldn't they have come up with something better, like how about kill all the Goombas and Koopa Troopas? But shut doors? As much fun as that sounds, it’s even more fun when the doors keep opening again. Just when you think you’re about to shut the last door and beat the level, another door opens, and by the time you run all the way over there, another one opens.
The Nerd: Also, it seems that there’s always somebody in your way, like if I jump at the wrong time, I hit the Goomba on the top. (Mario dies) Even if I try to stomp an enemy, I end up bouncing up and getting my ass killed. (Mario dies) (Groans) Look here, I’m totally fucked. (Mario dies) Here I go, kicking ass. (Mario defeats a bunch of enemies, then ends up dying) Fuck, gotta watch the doors.
The Nerd: Speaking of doors, you can actually hide in the doors, which helps out sometimes. But these things with the arrows? Let’s talk about them. They’re elevators, or they can be stairwells, whatever. Where the arrow points makes sense - they go up, they go down. But the controls takes some time to get used to. By instinct, if I see a down arrow, I press down, but that’s not how it works. You have to hit up regardless of which elevator you’re on, and when you arrive at the other end, you’re in that hiding position, so you have to hit down to step out. So, often, you find yourself having to hit up on the down arrow, and when you go down to the up arrow, you press down. That’s fucking confusing.
Mario: Gotta be quick!
The Nerd: And the elevators don’t always go where you expect. No, it takes me to the other side where I get killed by the fucking caterpillar! (Mario dies from touching the Wiggler)
The Nerd: The game is actually more reminiscent of arcade games from the early ‘80s like Donkey Kong and Mario Bros. And for something like that, Hotel Mario actually isn’t too bad. It IS challenging, I’ll give it that, but the fact is, this was NOT the early ‘80s; this was 1994, and it was a next-generation console. Originally, they planned to release a sequel to Super Mario World titled Super Mario’s Wacky Worlds, but it was cancelled, and what we got was this. ("Hotel Mario") End of story.
The Nerd: Well, all the CD-i stuff is a shit sandwich that’s too big for one mouthful. So check in for Part 2, we’re gonna look at the Zelda games.