Tuesday, April 23, 2013

April 23 - T


"If a game could be considered ageless, it's Tetris"
Tetris - This game needs no introduction.  It's won "Greatest Game of All Time" by Electronic Gaming Monthly and came in second place in IGN's "100 Greatest Video Games of All Time."  According to Wikipedia, it's sold over 100,000,000 copies... and that's only including sales for cell phones since 2005!  Also, according to Wikipedia, playing Tetris for 30 minutes a day boosts general cognitive functions such as "critical thinking, reasoning, language and processing" and increases cerebral cortex thickness.

To me this is more than just a game.  It's a representation of life... or more specifically, the things we aspire toward in life.  While you're playing the game, you're surviving, dodging obstacles, organizing the crap as it flies toward you as best you can.  In the end, you'll die.  There is no 'beating the game'.  But if you aspire to do more than just survive, you might just get the high score. 
It's not about being perfect.  You can't be perfect.  The game pieces (S and Z particularly) and the algorithm of how they're distributed prevents perfection!  It's about screwing up and continuing on!  It's about making that massive, ugly hole in the tower, hearing your friend say, "Ah, you're screwed now!  It's over!" and then not throwing the controller down but gritting your teeth and focusing and getting through it!  It's about practicing, until you're so used to the pieces flying down at chaotic speeds that you're no longer intimidated to be in the thick of it... You need it to feel alive!
I think any one who's ever tried to stuff a drum set, two amps, guitars, PA systems, bags full of cords, mics, and mic stands into the back of a Chevy Suburban, has reflexively whistled the Tetris theme while doing it!
{For your listening pleasure: NES version - Theme A Theme B  ~  Theme C  (I prefer C) }
I don't just mention Tetris arbitrarily, however.  [shameless nerdy bragging to follow]
I feel it needs to be stated that I have never met a person who can score higher than me in any version of this game.  I don't have a lot of things I can brag about.  But until someone comes and shuts me up, I will brag about this!  If you have a problem with this, all I can say is - Don't hate the player! :)
*Oh, by the way.  Here's a free online version if you want to play it right now!*

Special Mentions: Threads of Fate - Squaresoft action rpg with a great soundtrack
Terranigma - the rare finale to the Soul Blazer trilogy
Twisted Metal - Part racing, part demolition derby with destructible environments!
Turok - Awesome dinosaur hunting games!
Toejam and Earl - Wacky sort of nonsensical game for the Genesis


Tool - I heard of them first in high school.  I loved their dark, heavy sound and unique music videos.  Tool was one of my first experiences with progressive, abstract music.  I've never seen Tool perform but in SoS we opened for a Tool cover band (twice) called Eulogy and they were awesome.  Their front man is just as creepy as Maynard.  See for yourself here. (Not the best quality video... a moron was running lights)

Special Mentions: Three Days Grace, Third Eye Blind, Tonic, Toadies, Tenacious D, Trivium