Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The PK 27 -- Game No. 13

Sometimes nostalgia is a beautiful thing, like when it elicits all manner of vivid memories otherwise inhumed deep beneath the surface of a depressingly mundane daily grind; at others, it simply revitalizes that which should have remained dead and buried.

With movies, Tim Burton's interpretation of Batman comes to mind. I understand the rationale behind so many people's undying adulation of all things Burton, Bats, Jesters, and Elfman, yet that does nothing to deflect the obvious: the 1989 incarnation of Bruce Wayne's shadowy alter ego has aged horribly. It's just not that fun to watch, especially given Nicholson's hammy performance (not hammy in a positive way, just hammy), to say nothing of the absurd costume designs and piss-poor use of one Billy Dee Williams.

Hey, listen. Listen, baby. I know you want me to like the Burton Batman, I do, just as I know how much you want to like it as well, but you can't deny the stupidity of the Batdance, which -incidentally- epitomizes everything that's wrong with the 1989 blockbuster.

With comics, the phrase 'aged horribly' applies to Rob Liefeld's career, be it his art, writing, or any disastrous concoction of the two. As a sage once said, Liefeld's "a grilled-cheese sandwich without bread," and whatever that's supposed to mean, I couldn't tell you, but what it should mean is that there's as little substance as there is style within his work, unless you hold a favorable opinion of gargantuan legs, virtually nonexistent feet, exaggerated musculature, snarling faces, and huge tits on all characters, be they men or women. Have I mentioned that each of those characters had to be equipped with forty-six inefficient melee weapons and short-range firearms? If not, I just did.

I wouldn't know if Rob's a nice guy personally, as I've never met him; but if we're talking about the quality of his work, then it's safe to assume that anyone past the age of fourteen (or not trapped within the folds of a never-ending 1992 time loop) is less than impressed with his productions, and for good reason.

Speaking of 1992 alongside things that have aged poorly, why not get to the thirteenth game of the PK 27, yeah? Back then, the notion of a digitized voice providing play-by-play commentary was, well, if not revolutionary, certainly noteworthy, as was a camera zooming in on the immediate action; Joe Montana II: Sports Talk Football (Sega Genesis, 1992) had both in spades. I won't lie: Sports Talk Football wowed me with its presentation and like many players, I was initially keen to forgive its flaws, of which there were many. Poor controls, choppy animation, next-to-useless defensive maneuvers, superfluous offensive plays (in practice, more akin to selecting a Hail Mary followed by...Hail Mary!), worthless computer AI (at times you could, literally, waltz from one end zone to the other with little difficulty) and more plagued this mess of a title, but hey, I didn't care about that shit in 1992. That a cartridge could verbally inform me that the ball had been dumped at the twenty was all it took to pop a boner, and that's what really mattered.

But no longer!* You've failed me for the last time, 1992! You too, 1989, and especially you, Nostalgia. What are you looking at, Hamburger Helper?

* Okay, so erections still compel me, but you know what I mean.

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