Friday, January 15, 2010

The first of many video games that I will shove down the throat of you, the reader.

I'm going to kick this bitch off with one of the most ridiculous/horrible video games of all time. Chances are (if you're not a weirdo virgin or one of my friends - or both, which is sort of likely) that you've never heard of this game. Poor you.

A quote from Wiki: "They specialize in gory tricks,exposing frauds, and performing clever pranks, and have become associated with Las Vegas, atheism, scientific skepticism, and libertarianism." I know what you're thinking... Stephen Hawking and Julia Roberts made a video game?!?!?! But you are wrong. Actually, I kind of can't think of any evidence that supports your argument at all (although I wish I could). You should think a little before you just blurt out the first thing that comes across your mind. No, sirs and sir... umm... esses(?), I'm talking about the greatest magic duo to grace a stage since a wild animal ate Roy Horn's effeminate yet manly little face... an event which I consider to have been very magical indeed.

Best known for their (almost) nightly act in Vegas, their numerous televised and live comedy/magic specials and their supremely excellent show "Penn & Teller's 'Bullshit!'" (sometimes referred to as "The Show That MythBusters Totally Ripped Off!"), their names rarely come up during your average discussion about video games, assuming that there is such a thing. Which I am. But contrary to what I said in my last/first post, the truth can sometimes be much more interesting than fiction. In 1995, Penn Jillette (I won't even bother to make the most obvious and crappy joke ever... but you might want to read on just in case) and Raymond Teller created a video game in conjunction with Absolute Entertainment (of "A Boy & His Blob" fame) that gaspingly straddled the tightrope stretched between wretchedness and genius. "Penn & Teller's Smoke & Mirrors" was an unreleased torture hour (read "month" - you'll see what I mean in the unlikely event that you ever play this game) of awesomely crappy gaming madness. Had Absolute Entertainment not gone out of business before its release, this game would have definitely become one of the most massive cult-classic video games of all time. Formatted for the Sega CD/3DO, which were themselves relatively unpopular consoles in America, this game is a mess of mini-games, more used as a conduit for a snarky punch-line than actual gaming entertainment (not complaining, by the way), and one genuinely disappointing main game. As far as I can tell, there is no way to complete the main game, and nothing much seems to happen throughout. I'm not really selling this all that well, am I? Okay then. The highlight of the game. DESERT BUS.

To quote the game itself, "Desert Bus is the first in our line of what we like to call 'VeriSimulators': Games stupifyingly like reality." If the pun is lost on you because your vocabulary isn't quite the awe-inspiring tome that mine is, you should probably grab a dictionary and check out the word "verisimilitude", lest you miss one of the only puns that will ever have been worth vocalizing. Since you won't likely be playing this game any time soon/ever, here's a bit of what you're missing. Tuscon, desert, desert, desert, jerk the wheel to the left, desert, desert, desert, repeat for 800 miles doing 45 maximum, Las Vegas. That's it. Seriously. I hear it takes eight hours, and if my girlfriend doesn't come home soon, I'll probably be checking my facts after I finish writing this. Oh come on, it's no more pathetic than writing a blog about video games on a Friday night. You knew what you were signing up for. Anyway, here's a taste.

See? Totally worth your worthless time. The game includes a faulty starter and Triple-A towing services absolutely free of charge - as the only way to play this game is to steal it on the Internet. Speaking of which, for the few who are interested, here are some links to get you on your way to Penn & Tellertown:

If you have troubles with any of the links, or with figuring out what to do with the files you unwittingly downloaded as a result of clicking on them, just post a comment and I'll help you out. Also, you'll have to cut and paste the BIOS files link... it's sort of not kosher to disseminate BIOS files for any specific copyrighted system, so direct links are a no-no. And you should download them, as the emulator will not play anything but Genesis and 32X games if you don't. Read the readme too. It gets a bit complicated.

Also, if you enjoyed this post, kindly visit the following link and thank these guys for not letting this game get lost in the depths of Unreleased Video Game Purgatory. It's a real place. Unbelievers will forever burn in the pits of La Brea.

Play this game. Do it. Why? Because Penn Jillette is the best a man can get. Oh man, you knew it was coming.

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