Tag Archives: video games

GAMES: Ain’t No Party Like a Mario Party

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Recently at The Cave, we’ve been hooked on Mario Party 7.  Mario Party is a long-running series from Nintendo that takes the Mario universe and throws it all onto a board game.  Players move across a game board, earn coins, and collect stars while competing against each other in many different mini-games.  Whoever has the most stars at the end wins, and it’s always a wild ride right down to the last turn.  They say Mario Party ruins friendships, and that’s what makes it so fun.

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Photo credit: Moby Games

Mario Party is about crushing your friends’ hopes and dreams through any means necessary.  Not many games at The Cave can get as heated as Mario Party 7 or any other game in the series, and we all become much different people as we go from 1st place to last and back again.  All it takes is a couple stolen stars to bring out the worst in someone.  But overall, first place or last, everyone is most certainly having a great time whenever we’re all sitting on the couch with controllers in our hands.

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GAMES: Shadow of the Colossus

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You find yourself in a forbidden land, and the girl you love lay comatose in an ancient temple.  A mysterious beam of light tells you that you must bring down the sixteen skyscraper-sized beasts that populate the region in order to wake her.  You hop on your trusty horse, Agro, and get to work.

Shadow of the Colossus for Playstation 2 is a fairly simple game.  There’s one objective–kill the designated colossus.  The challenge is in scaling the giant beasts and finding the hidden weak points on their bodies as they struggle to shake you off.  These bosses are living, breathing puzzles, and each requires a different way of thinking to defeat.  The game is absolutely fantastic at conveying the difference in size between you and your opponent as you cling to their fur hundreds of yards in the air.

This was a game Brandon decided to play from start to finish, and it was one of the few games that we all sat and watched the entire time.  Whether you’re playing or not, you definitely feel the tension that each colossus presents the player with.  It’s easy to call Shadow of the Colossus a classic of post-2000’s gaming, and it is certainly a gem in our collection.

GAMES: Building a Console Arcade

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Dark rooms.  Stained floors.  The faint smell of nachos and teenage shame.  These are all things that come to mind when thinking of the classic American arcade.  At The Cave, we’ve tried to put together an arcade of our own with a large collection of gaming consoles, accessories, and CRT televisions.

We have legacy systems such as the Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Nintendo 64, and Sega Dreamcast.  We also have a pair of Playstation 2 systems, a Nintendo Gamecube, and a pair of Microsoft Xbox systems for the approaching-legacy division.  We have a total of four Xbox 360 systems and a Nintendo Wii serving as our more modern era collection.  Games for these systems are beginning to approach 250 in number.  As for televisions, we have 4 CRT televisions and an HDTV.

The beauty of our unconventional arcade is that it is a combination of all of our collections.  All of our tastes in games come together in the collection, allowing whoever stops by to experience what we feel is the best in gaming.  From the weird and wacky Katamari Damacy to the party classic Rock Band, you will certainly find a game to love among the stacks of cases.  And though the smell of nachos is replaced by the smell of grass on a lawnmower, the spirit of the classic American arcade is alive and well in the games half of The Cave.

GAMES: In With The New(er)

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Seth playing Super Monkey Ball 2.

Although The Cave has around 250 games across 10 systems, it’s not uncommon to hear one of us say “there’s nothing to play.”  It’s a strange phenomenon that I believe is brought on by simply having too large of a library to choose from.  To ease this exhaustion, we periodically buy a new game or two.  Since we have mostly legacy systems, these games tend to be relatively inexpensive.

Recently, I ordered Super Monkey Ball 2 for Gamecube as a response to my copy of Super Monkey Ball 1 being completely scratched and unreadable, and it’s become a big hit with everyone at The Cave.  It’s great for challenging yourself to complete solo levels as fast as possible, or for cramming everyone on the couch for some 4-player party games.  It’s a game that’s as frustrating as it is rewarding.

In a time not so far away, Super Monkey Ball 2’s case will be put on the shelf, and the fatique of “there’s nothing to play” will set in once more.  The beauty of having older game systems is that there is such a large catalog of older games that none of us have played, so we are able to experience games that are sometimes decades old as completely new experiences.  It’s not necessarily a case of “in with the new” as much as it is “in with the newer.”

GAMES: Salty Smash Bros.

Salty (sawl-tee) – adj.  To be upset, angry, or agitated as a result of being embarrassed or beaten in competition.

“Yeah, I beat him like 10 times in a row.  Dude was so salty he stormed out of the room.”

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If there’s one game that could define the gaming aspect of The Cave, though it’s probably as hated as it is loved, it’s Super Smash Bros. Project M.  Project M is a community-developed modification to Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Nintendo Wii, and it adds in gameplay mechanics and additional characters from the revered Smash Bros. Melee.

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Salt has become a much-used adage between Seth, Brandon, Robert, and me.  It has been driven into our culture through match after match of Project M and other Smash variants, where there must be a winner and a loser.  After a few matches of friendly competition, saltiness starts to become quite apparent through complaints of the game glitches, the opponent using unfair tactics, choosing not to give a friendly taunt before a round begins, and many other ways.

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There was a time when The Cave had a presence at weekly Project M tournaments held in Houma, and though those days seem to be over, competition lives on between Seth and me.  The game has almost become second nature to play while waiting for the 7:00PM lifting time, even though the matches may end before then as a result of one of us succumbing to saltiness.  I think that as long as the cave exists, Project M will be on one of the TV screens.