Top Ten Things I’m Ashamed of as a Gamer

Ashamed Feature

I consider myself to be a pretty successful and happy guy: beautiful wife and kids, satisfying and challenging career, great friends and family.  From where I stand, I’ve got it all where it counts.  I also enjoy one of the greatest hobbies known to Man: Vidya Gaymez!  I’ve been gaming for almost 25 years now (damn, it hurt writing that), so I’ve played A LOT of video games.  I also play nearly ever genre in the medium, so I’ve a ton of gaming experience under my belt.  As a gamer, I like to think I’ve accomplished a lot.  I’ve beaten many games, unlocked a bunch of Achievements and Platinum Trophies, and I’ve done some cool things that have blown the socks off onlookers.  For example, I used to be able to beat the first two circuits in Super Punch Out!! completely blindfolded.  You could get some serious street cred doing that in a room full of middle schoolers back in the day.

However, where gaming is concerned, I have a few skeletons in my closet.  For every pointless gaming accomplishment I’ve achieved, I feel I’ve just as many pointless things to be ashamed of.  Things like not completing certain games, or missing out on certain things, or just not understanding why people like something I don’t.  So I decided to lay out my dirty laundry for all to see in hopes that maybe there are some people out there who feel/think just like me.  The following are the Top Ten Things I’m Ashamed of as a Gamer!

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10.) l’ve Never Beaten Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson

This is mostly because I’m lazy.  I guess I could beat Tyson if I actually sat down and tried, but I just never do.  It’s weird because Punch Out!! is one of those games I pop in every few months or so.  I’ve had plenty of opportunities to show Tyson where the mat is.  But, instead, I usually get to him, get beat, say, “I tried,” and then turn off my NES and watch porn or eat a sandwich or something.  I just don’t have the desire to figure out his pattern, and I don’t know why.

Why I’m Ashamed:
I should care.  I should care I haven’t actually beaten Punch Out!!, a game I love and constantly play.  I should be able to say I’ve taken down one of the NES’s toughest and most unfair bosses.  But I can’t say that.  And I’m ashamed of my ineptitude and my apathy.

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9.) l’ve Never Gotten All the Chaos Emeralds in Any Sonic Game

Chaos Emeralds

I’m not really that big of a Sonic fan, but I’ve played and completed a lot of his games.  Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is one of my favorites.  But, as much as I’ve played Sonic games, I’ve never once gotten all the Chaos Emeralds.  People who know me know I’m pretty damn good at video games.  They also know I collect everything in games. But for some reason I couldn’t care less about getting the Chaos Emeralds.  I think it’s because getting them requires you to play some weird mini-game that’s nothing like the actual game or even fun for that matter.

Why I’m Ashamed:
I haven’t gotten to see the true endings to some of the Sonic games I’ve beaten.  That bugs me a little.  But it doesn’t bug me enough to actually try and get them.  I hate those stupid mini-games!

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8.) I Think Ocarina of Time is Just Okay.

Ocarina of Time

OOT is good.  In fact, it’s a very good and enjoyable game.  I like it.  I’ve even played through and beat it twice: Once on the N64 when it first came out and the other on the 3DS.  I had fun.  But… I’ve had more fun while playing video games, especially Zelda games.  A Link to the Past is my favorite Zelda game and one of my favorite games of all time.  Even when I was a kid I loved LTTP.  So when OOT came out – the proper console follow up to one of my favorite games – it really didn’t live up to my expectations.  I didn’t like the jump to 3D, the muted colors weren’t very pleasing, and… I got nothing.  I can’t explain why I don’t think OOT is one of the best things in the world.  I just know that it isn’t for me.  But it is good.

Why I’m Ashamed:
I just feel like I’m missing something.  Why the hell does everybody think this game is so great?  I’m just not getting it, and that’s probably my fault.

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7.) I Can’t Stand First Person Shooters

First Person Shooter

Can’t stand ’em.  Not even a little bit.  I did play me some Doom when if first came out, but I never really liked it.  I used to begrudgingly play Halo with a bunch of guys in college, and the last FPS I played was Modern Warfare. So I’ve at least tried them.  I just don’t like them.  It has nothing to do with some philosophical belief I have, nor is my dislike of FPSs a way to try and sound cool and different by subverting the dominate gaming paradigm.  It pretty much has everything to do with me sucking at them and me not giving a shit about getting better.  Also, most of the value in FPSs is found in online multiplayer, and I don’t do online multiplayer.

Why I’m Ashamed:
I practically have nothing to talk about, gaming-wise, with most people around me.  I’m into JRPGs, Platformers, and portable gaming.  While everyone talks about the latest COD, I kind of just sit there and twiddle my thumbs.  I can only imagine how my colleagues at work would look at me if I tried to bring up my sweet fusions in Shin Megami Tensei IV.  Considering I’m not into sports or reality shows either, the only things I can make small talk about are parenting and work.  And, let’s be honest, who wants to talk to THAT guy?

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6.) I’m a Hopeless Nintendo Fanboy

Nintendo Fanboy

In this post-Modern Warfare world, being a full-grown male who still excitedly anticipates the next Mario game makes me stand out a little.  And it’s not just Mario.  If Nintendo releases anything, I have to have it!  I’ve been a Nintendo Fanboy for over 20 years.  I was there when the NES first arrived on our shores.  I was there during the 16-Bit Console Wars, and I proudly fought under the Nintendo banner.  I was there when Nintendo fell from grace, lagging behind Sony and Microsoft.  I was there for Nintendo’s second coming and rise to glory with the Wii.  And I am still here during Nintendo’s struggle with the Wii U.  And I will be here until Nintendo or I no longer exist.

Why I’m Ashamed:
Pretty much for the same reason as the previous entry.  Most people I interact with during a normal day don’t own Nintendo consoles, so I don’t have anyone to share my fanboyism with.  Also, Nintendo has the stigma of being very kiddy.  Sometimes I feel a little childish playing their games.

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5.) l Will NEVER Beat R-Type on TurboGraFX-16

Fuck R-Type

Fuck R-Type.  R-Type on the TG-16 can burn in hell.  It’s so freaking unfair, and it makes me want to puke.  I’ve never gotten so angry by playing a video game until I popped in this hu-card.  I can get to level 7 without getting touched!  But then there’s this part where I die and get respawned halfway in the level.  Respawning takes away all your power ups, and a ridiculous amount of enemies come at you from behind, your most vulnerable place in any old-school shmup.  It’s ass, and I hate it.  For my health and the safety of everybody around me, I put R-Type away for good.  I have solemnly accepted defeat.

Why I’m Ashamed:
Because fuck R-Type!  Video games don’t beat me!  I beat video games!  I’ve beaten Ghost n’ Goblins, Contra, Milon’s Secret Castle, Devil May Cry 3 on Dante Must Die mode, Blaster Master, Fester’s Quest, Sword of Vermillion, Ninja Gaiden on NES, and a ton of other games people consider to be really hard.  Name a difficult console game, and I’ve most likely beaten it without using cheats or codes (except Battletoads.  Don’t name Battletoads).  I love having those bragging rights.  So it KILLS me that there’s a game out there that has beaten me.  It hurts more that I’m going to let it because I don’t want to die from hypertension.  Also, because fuck R-Type!

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4.) l’ve Never Beaten Toe Jam & Earl

TJ&Earl

I never got around to it.  I used to play the hell out of Toejam & Earl with a buddy when I was younger.  It was our “weekend thing” for a while.  I don’t recall how far we got in the game.  The only thing I remember is how much freaking fun we had playing it.  I bought it when it was released on the Wii’s Virtual console some years back.  I tried playing it, but there was no use.  Without a friend to play it with, the game’s just a bunch of walking.  And, yes, that’s exactly about as much fun as it sounds.  Because it’s nearly impossible for me to hang with a friend long enough to play through a 20-year-old game nowadays, I’ve pretty much given up on ever beating this game.

Why I’m Ashamed:
TJ&E is one of my most nostalgic games, and I always think about it when I sit down to write for my blog.  It sucks that a game I loved so much as a kid will most likely forever go unfinished.  I might never get to see these funky aliens get back home, and that gets me right in the feels.  I know I could just check Youtube for the ending, but I can never bring myself to do it.  I need to be the one to bring these boys back home in order to feel complete!  Maybe one day…

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3.) l’ve Never Beaten Kid Chameleon… Without Cheating

Kid Chameleon

Kid Chameleon is awesome!  The controls may be a little too slippery, it may be a little too hard for its own good, and the levels may be a little too incomprehensible and hard to follow, but man is this game fun!  And long!  I really felt like I was in another world when playing this game.  It just kept going and going!  And it never felt like the same game twice because I’d always find an alternate exit in a level that would take me to a level I’d have never seen before.  So when I finally got to the next-to-last level, you know I was pumped (I think the level’s called “Marathon”).  I remember getting to it with only 1 life left, pausing the game, and then walking out of my room to gain my composure.  Man, remember when video games were serious business?  Anyway, while I stepped out, my step brother jumped off the top bunk, landed next to the Genesis, and… you know what happened.  The cartridge moved and the game messed up.  I looked in disbelief as my brother profusely apologized (he had been rooting me on the whole time).  After that day, I never played Kid Chameleon with the intent to beat it again.

Why I’m Ashamed:
Because I’m a quitter.  I shouldn’t let disappointment rule my life.  I need to just sack up and take Kid Chameleon down.  But I just can’t find the time.  When I got to the game’s end years ago, I’m pretty sure it took me hours.  I’m lucky if I get a couple hours a week for dedicated console gaming now, and I refuse to play on emulation.  I have to beat it on the Genesis for it to count!  I’ll beat it someday.  I have to prove to myself that I am not a quitter.

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2.) I Should Have Accepted Sega into My Life Sooner

Accepting

Because I was a Nintendo fanboy in my formative years, I was forced to take sides during the 16-bit Console Wars.  It was stupid, obviously.  But that’s just how it was.  You were either Team Mario or Team Sonic.  There were rarely any kids that liked both because owning two consoles was nigh unheard of.  Since I was an SNES kid, I missed out on a lot of what the Genesis had to offer.  It wasn’t until my mother and I moved in with her boyfriend that I got to really sit down with the Genesis.  I remember my new step brother and I glaring at one another as I settled into his room, setting up my already yellowing SNES.  We leered at each others’ consoles disdainfully… for about 2 seconds.  Then we realized we had both consoles in our room, high-fived (seriously), and dug into each other’s games library.  And, let me tell you, I immediately became a Genesis fan.  Don’t get me wrong: The SNES is my favorite.  But the Genesis is right up there with it.  It was when I first played Mega Bomberman that I knew choosing sides was a terrible mistake.  I should have accepted Sega into my life a long time ago.

Why I’m Ashamed:
I realize how susceptible I and many others are to peer pressure and corporate marketing.  There was absolutely no reason to choose sides.  The only reason we did was because of Sega’s aggressive ad campaigns and our own jealousy.  We knew we couldn’t have what the others were enjoying, so it was demonized.  The whole Console Wars thing is such a poignant allegory for so many things in our lives.  But I’m going to stop talking before I get preachy.

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1.) l’ve Never Beaten Maniac Mansion

Maniac Mansion

Maniac Mansion is another very nostalgic game from my childhood.  A buddy and I used to rent this game every Friday.  Back then, we were barely old enough to read, which was a major blocker considering the game’s full of text.  So it became my mission to improve my reading skills in order to play this game.  I began taking reading very seriously in school, and I finally got good enough to understand the game and laugh at it.  It sucks that my buddy and I never beat it.  It feels like another part of my life is incomplete because I never finished this game.

Why I’m Ashamed:
I owe so much to this game for fostering and facilitating my love for reading and writing, and for helping me to appreciate all things weird and campy.  Not having beaten this game seems downright disrespectful.  I need to hunker down soon and give this game the respect it deserves!  Dr. Fred Edison, I’M COMING FOR YOU!

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Thanks for Your Playing!  Do any of you feel the same way I do about any of these things?  What are you guys ashamed of when it comes to your gaming experiences?  Let me know in the comments!  Next week, we’ll take a look at the Things I’m Proud of as a Gamer.  Until then, kick ass and chew bubblegum!

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6 thoughts on “Top Ten Things I’m Ashamed of as a Gamer

  1. Happened upon this on a tag search. I have been playing games for a long time but have not played a lot of the ones mentioned here (I never owned a Sega system for one thing). I DID beat maniac mansion when I was younger though, several times. Too bad you always had to take Dave with you, who was useless.

    I actually JUST beat Ocarina of Time, which would of gone on my shame list otherwise. It didn’t blow me away, but it was alright.

  2. Found this blog while poking around for worthwhile reading on retro gaming. Love it!

    And amen to so much of this list (especially #’s 7, 6, and 2)! I did, though, manage to make it through Maniac Mansion. It turned me into a die-hard LucasArts fan for life. There has been none higher!

  3. Thank you! I just really dislike first person shooters. I don’t understand the hype (I also don’t play online multiplayer games, so that could be a reason). I wasn’t really impressed with OOT either. Great list!

  4. I’m glad I found your blog, because I just read a few posts and I feel like I can relate to you, gaming-wise. I too am a hopeless Nintendo fanboy although I hate admitting it. And like you none of my friends or co-workers are on team Nintendo. I too hate FPS’s (mostly). BioShock really blew me away and I adore Metroid Prime so I can’t say I’m 100% against them. Also, I too don’t see Ocarina of Time as the masterpiece others do. It is, like you said, very good. But it’s only about my 4th or 5th favorite in the series. Wind Waker to me is THE masterpiece of the series, along with Link to the Past and Link’s Awakening. Oh, and I’ve also never beat Mike Tyson. Maybe one day… In any event, keep up the good writing!

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