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Nintendo DS Bonanza!

No experience is more hellish than being trapped on a long plane flight, buffetted on all sides by wailing infants and smelly old people, wedged into a sardine can of a seat, and having nothing to entertain you other than a book. Everybody knows that reading is for losers, so next time you go on a trip, be sure to bring along your trusty Nintendo DS. Just remember that not all games are created equal. Read on to find out which games are better than getting a proctological exam while off-roading, and which games are not.

Elite Beat Agents

It’s hard to review this game without spewing forth a wide assortment of highly inappropriate and offensive adjectives, nouns, and/or verbs (to say nothing of conjunctions and adverbs!!!) This game got incredible reviews, so despite my better judgment I walked into the neighborhood Gamestop and acquiesced my very own copy. I regret that day. The worst $30 I ever spent. Right before the third level my balls ran away and hitchhiked to Canada. =(

Brolo’s Official Score: 20.5% (Makes me feel like this guy.)

Contra 4

If you don’t know what Contra is then you either your eyes point backward and look out your ass, or you came to the wrong website by accident and you need to hit the back button, now, before I say something truly vile and insensitive that causes your head to explode like a gremlin in a microwave. Well, since you know what Contra is, then you know what Contra 4 is, because it’s the same frakkin’ game. The only differences are that it has two screens and you can swap weapons and there’s a grappling hook and you can choose from four racially-hued heroes who play exactly the same way and there’s a bunch of unlockable stuff; but when it really comes down to the meat and potatoes, this is the same game I played on NES before I was potty-trained, and it is not worth $30 in 2008. Somebody please explain the whole retro-fetish thing, because I just don’t get it :…….(

Brolo’s Official Score: 63.837% (OK I admit it: Contra is still pretty fun.)

Nanostray 2

I’m a huge shmup fan. When I was a kid, I used to spend hours on the Raiden D/X cabinet at my local pizzeria every Sunday, but as I got older, good shmups became harder and harder to find. By an act of divine miracle, a Jet Fighters machine recently appeared at a nearby taco shop, and that has driven up my burrito intake by 229%, which brings me up to 3.8 burritos per 12-hour period. When I can’t make it to the land of horchata and tamarindo, I satisfy my urges with Nanostray 2, a very competent and satisfying shooter with some interesting mechanics. It’s no 19XX, but it’s still radsauce. I can’t wait until I own a house so I can fill it with every shmup arcade every created.

Brolo’s Official Score: 84.48%
(I love palindromes. Is it called a palindrome when it’s just numbers?)


Have you always wanted to pretend you’re a stuffed animal and then chase around other people who are dressed as stuffed animals? No? Me neither. The tiny little piece of my manhood that remained after my time with Elite Beat Agents disappeared entirely during the panda-hunt. And my dreams are filled with serial-killer clowns that ride around on the shoulders of fuzzy anthromorphs.

Brolo’s Official Score: -2.29%

Brain Age

It’s not so much a game as it is a tool for making you feel inadequate. Just leave it to Japan to make a game that quantifies your intelligence according to a series of really obnoxious mini games. And may God help those pathetic souls who have been misled into thinking these brain games will make you smarter. There’s a hell of a lot more to intelligence than doing quick arithmetic and counting the syllables in words and crying (which seems to be an integral part of the game, at least for me). This game offends me on, literally, hundreds of levels, not the least of which is the smug, Andross-inspired avatar that laughs at my mild dyslexia. Prick.

Brolo’s Official Brain Age: 57
(Warning: A DS cartridge will easily clog your toilet. Trust me.)

Puzzle Quest

This game ROCKS! The designer of Puzzle Quest OD’ed on an assortment of over-the-counter medications, picked up Bejewelled in one hand and Dragon Warrior in the other, and woke up four days later with a truly insane idea scrawled on the back of a cocktail napkin, next to the cure for cancer. That may or may not be true, but the game mechanics behind Puzzle Quest are bizarre enough to make that anecdote believable. Here’s the game in a nutshell: It’s an RPG, with a map, inventory, item creation, mounts, 4 character classes, dozens of trainable spells, tons of different enemies…and every battle plays out like a puzzle game. Battles consist of you and your opponent taking turns matching gems on a Bejewelled-style board to either accrue mana or deal damage. On your turn you can also cast an assortment of spells that range from healing and buffs to direct damage and changing colors on the board. It sounds crazy and complicated, but it’s one of the most enjoyable RPG’s I have EVER played. (Then again, I’m not really an RPG guy, so take that with a delicious little grain of salt, preferably on a potato chip.) And, IMHO, it’s the best handheld game ever created, bar none. I love this game. If you own a DS, BUY IT!

Brolo’s Official Score: 100.00001% (Everything I could want from a portable game.)

What I’m listening to: Arch Enemy

Imagine if your car has chainsaws instead of wheels, but instead of being a car it's actually a tyrannosaurus rex. Just cover your face while listening: if you’re not careful it’ll get shredded right off your skull.

BTW, this guy is my new hero:

Guitarist of megalomaniacal speed seeks audience who won't combust.




The Manly Gamer

"Let me live deep while I live; let me know the rich juices of red meat and stinging wine on my palate, the hot embrace of warm arms, the mad exultation of battle when the blue blades flame and crimson, and I am content." - Conan

Life is what you make of it.
I am Brolo, and I make fun of it.