Friday, October 11, 2013

Game Trade Horror Story

At random times in my childhood, my mom would take up the issue of videogame violence, and I would find myself bribing my "cool" aunt to buy Resident Evil 2 for me.

One of those times was a random weekend afternoon when she walked into the room to find me playing Mortal Kombat 2 on the Sega Genesis. Being the showoff I was, I had just pulled off Kitana's fan decapitation. My brother, frustrated as always, threw controller 2 toward the Genesis.

I guess my mom attributed his violent outburst to losing to Mortal Kombat. But that was just how my little brother was. He had a short fuse. He'd cut his dress pants with scissors if he didn't want to go to church, he would rip the Sega Genesis from it's power supply to keep NBA jam from saving his losing record, and on multiple occasions hit me in the head with a metal trash can for just generally being better than him at everything.

So soon, we found ourselves wandering into a super shady used electronic store with Mortal Kombat 2, Evander Holyfield's Real Deal Boxing, and Killer Instinct. We traded in three awesome fighting games of the generation for something like $35.

This was one of those stores where the owner sat behind the counter smoking cigars, with a sweat stained white t-shirt on, always reading some sort of magazine that had nothing to do with electronics. There were 300 copies of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 with the "Not For Resale" banner on the cartridge hanging on the wall.

My father was sent with us to filter what was too violent and what wasn't. He was being a hard-ass about it, but I knew the way to his heart.

I saw Timothy Dalton with a pistol and the classic "007" logo. My old man loves James Bond like most guys do. He shrugged his shoulders and said, "Ehh, that's clean violence. I don't think your mom would care."

He then vetoed games like Toe Jam & Earl for being "too weird" and Zombies Ate My Neighbors because although it looked cartoony, my mom has a weird thing about zombies and demons.

I ended up walking out of the store with James Bond 007: The Duel and Brett Hull Hockey. (which was far inferior to NHL 94, which I already had)

Now the Duel wasn't the worst game I'd ever played. It was a fairly standard action plat-former that was sort of a cross between the level design of Mega Man and the action and A.I. of Contra.

I became pretty good at the game, because when you don't have adult income, you have to force yourself to love mediocre games that you purchased.

Even as I faked a smile while saving ladies in nice dresses in the middle of a jungle, I couldn't help but think that I had lost out in this trade. Even as I killed jaws in his weird Mech and saw the ending sequence, I just wish I could kill villages with giant dinosaurs or steal the soul of Johnny Cage.

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