THE CASE FOR: We broke the world, you guys. There's goddamn wars everywhere, and people are starving for no good goddamn reason, all the systems are rigged some kinda goddamn way, and the climate is all goddamn messed up, and Lemmy is dead, and it's just bad, man, real bad.So for a lot of us, video games - particularly doing horrible things in video games - serve as a release for a lot of people. And it's always been this way. Before we were hurling Molotov cocktails at cars in Grand Theft Auto IV or driving backwards and crashing all the other cars in that racing game that came with my old Micron PC in 1999, we had Rampage.
And man, for the time it came out, and for what video games were capable of doing at the time, this game is effin' subversive. Really, who is your enemy in this game? The United States of America. America is the enemy. At the height of the Reagan years, all "morning in America" and shit, Rampage had you tearing entire cities down, heading straight for the skyscrapers where the business executives were carving up the country for themselves and cutting us little guys out of the deal. While most games had you as just army men or whatever, fighting against aliens or some sort of "safe" stand-in for the Ayatollah or whatever, Rampage used gigantic nuclear apes and lizards (and a Wolf Man in the arcade version) as an allegory for a hypothetical future in which the proletariat rose up against its trickle-down masters and tore the motherfucker down.
Or not, maybe I'm reading too much into all of this, who can say?
THE CASE AGAINST: For real, it's just doing one thing over and over, until you die forever. Just like capitalism, man.
PERSONAL MEMORY: I'm not gonna lie to you people, I'm not exactly what one might call a "deep" person. (No shit Sherlock, given an infinite canvas with which to express yourself in any way possible, you're typing about fuckin Rampage) I'm not sure if it was something in my upbringing or that I have at least a couple toes dipped into the immutable sea which is the autism spectrum, but whatever the opposite of the Soul of a Poet is, that's what I've got. You show me a good-ass painting, and instead of having my emotions stirred, I'm just thinking that whoever did that was a good-ass painter. I have my moments, like I catch at least an eighth of a feeling whenever I hear "The Rainbow Connection," or see that one episode of Tour of Duty, but for the most part, I'm like a friendly robot or some shit. So a Magical Moment rarely occurs to me when it happens, which makes it super special when I actually notice one.
Anyway - I'm pretty sure it was 1997, because me and my mom were in the shitty little house with the walls that would sweat in the winter, (almost ruined my god dang Lawrence Taylor poster) and I wasn't fully moved in yet -my brother came home from college one year for Christmas and HOOKED ME THE FUUUUCK UP, like he got me a used Sega Genesis with the NFL Prime Time '96, he got me this, he got me Hogan's Alley, and he gave me a case full of his old tapes that he had replaced with CDs. (And I still have all of it, and have treated the tapes with a lot more care than the other stuff, because that might have been on more of a "lending" basis than a "giving" one, even if it's been almost twenty years. (oh god, twenty years) Also, pretty sure the copy of Garage Days Re-Revisited is worth money now.) Anyway, somewhere after that, when he had gone home, but school hadn't started back up yet, I distinctly remember sitting there in my shitty little room with the sweaty walls and the soggy Lawrence Taylor poster, in front of my shitty little electric heater, playing Rampage while listening to the Metallica Ride the Lightning tape on my shitty little boombox, and for some reason, it just seemed like the most perfect moment in time. So all of my street peoples out there, the bootless and unhorsed, with cold little rooms and bad electronics, if you have a Nintendo, a copy of Rampage and a Ride the Lightning tape, you should hook that shit up. (Or use an emulator and an mp3 or whatever; I'm no format snob)
CURRENT RANKINGS AS OF August 29, 2016
1. Fallout: New Vegas (XBox 360, 2010)
2. Castlevania (NES, 1986)
3. Brütal Legend (XBox 360, 2009)
4. Mike Tyson’s Punch Out !! (NES, 1987)
5. Fallout 3 (XBox 360, 2008)
6. Fallout 2 (PC, 1998)
7. Fallout (PC, 1997)
8. Rampage (NES, 1986)
9. Fallout Shelter (Android, 2015)
10-10,000,000,000,000,000 - TBD
Release Date: 1986
Developer/Publisher: Data East
Cool Football Card I Have From That Year: 1986 Topps 1,000 Yard Club Walter Payton
Cool Movie From That Year: Transformers: The Movie
Cool Heavy Metal Album from That Year: Somewhere in Time by Iron Maiden