Monday, June 30, 2008

A true test of marriage: Lost Odyssey

This particular blog was Sal's idea. Dan's comments on the original article are in italics.

Sal: Dan loves video games. Quite frankly, it’s unhealthy. But, I love him and I knew what I was signing up for when I agreed to marry him. As a result, I’ve watched (and played) a few video games in my day. If the title exists for Wii, Xbox 360, Gamecube, Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Sega, Playstation or any incarnation of the previously listed, it is highly likely that I have watched either Dan, my brother or one of their friends play it.

Dan: I do love video games, and I partially based my decision to choose Sallie as my wife on who she kept around her. Matt, Pershing, Lacy, John…well honestly I could just name all of her friends here or I can just state that all of her friends play games. Essentially I knew my future wife wouldn’t destroy my love of zombie hunting or tomb raiding. It was already too ingrained in her life.

Sal: Some games are fun to watch. Pretty much anything involving zombies is good. I enjoyed Dead Rising as a viewer immensely. It possessed a creativity with weaponry that is rarely found in games. If you can pick it up, it can be a weapon. That’s real life. If I were on the defending end of a zombie attack in a suburban mall, I’d definitely pick up the gumball dispenser and whack a zombie in its rotting little face. It’s a game that I had no interest in playing, but eventually gave in to because it looked like fun. It is.

Dan: The previous paragraph has only confirmed I made the right choice for wife.

Sal: Another game that falls into that category is Team Fortress 2, part of the Orange Box set, which also includes Half-Life 2, Episode 1, Episode 2 and Portal. Out of that set, I’ve played Team Fortress and Portal, both of which are fun for different reasons. Team Fortress is fun because all the characters are tough, but cute, because they’re cell-shaded (think: Zelda: The Wind Waker). You get to run around shooting people and you get to pick your accessories. I’m a girl, get over it. Portal is fun because there is some shooting, but it’s mostly a puzzle-solving game, which I’m always down for.

Dan: Within my first couple months of marriage, I got to watch my wife choose the character “Heavy,” who has a large chain-gun. She held down the trigger, sprayed bullets at the advancing enemy, and then gleefully laughed as said enemy turned into a cartooned, bloody mess on the ground. I’m so in love.

Sal: I’ve even enjoyed watching Dan and his friends play Rainbow Six. (I have an undeniable lust for violence).

Dan: Marshall, Rob and I not only think that it’s important to save the world from terrorism, but also to not forget to do it in the most entertaining way.

Sal: However, there is one game that I almost immediately disliked as a spectator. What could it be, you ask? LOST ODYSSEY.

This particular game is for the Xbox 360. There are a variety of reasons that I can't stand this game. At first, I thought the characters were OK. I was fairly impressed by the voice acting, and I thought the dialogue was actually funny. However, after a few hours of game play, Kaim, the main character of the game, has to deal with the supposed death of his wife, where he runs into his estranged daughter, granddaughter and grandson. At this point, they go to the wife’s funeral and the player is subjected about 45 minutes of sobbing and ridiculously repetitive tasks. At this point, the game is completely NOT FUN to watch. Which for me meant it was time to bust out the liquor.

This funeral takes place on the second of four discs. That means that there are two more discs worth of game play to deal with, which is equal to about 20 hours. You’ll have to make a couple of beer runs, you’ve been warned. It got to the point where Dan treated playing Lost Odyssey like going to a minimum-wage job. He hated it. The only reason he signed on every day was to finish what he started. Needless to say, we were both happy when it was over and he sold that junk to some unsuspecting gamer on eBay for $40.

Dan: What can I say? After disk 1, I hated playing, but being the goal-oriented person I am, I had to finish. Needless to say, I, too, did hit the liquor, if only to numb the pain. Sallie stuck with me and truly showed that she believes in our vows. I was definitely sick and very close to death, but she merely sat on the couch, calmly asking, “Where’s the next save point?” I’ll tell you… it’s in my heart.