It Wasn't A Man, It Was Pac-Man!!
"Get in the habit of pushing the joystick full throttle before each wave starts? Hmmm.. makes sense."
Find out what the title references to, and read an incredible article from September 1982's Christian Century magazine that likens Pac-man's plight to that of the everyday Christian (and I always thought it was a metaphor about drug abuse and letting go of dead relatives).
On wit' it:
SEMIFINALS, 'BUCKNER & GARCIA' BRACKET:
PAC MAN v. STAR TREK: Let's face it, Star Trek is the UAB of this tournament. No one's really sure how it got this far, but the clock has finally struck midnight (and any other cornball Cinderella references you can come up with). Winner: Pac Man
CENTIPEDE v. NARC: I remember walking into an arcade once as a kid and seeing 15, that's FIFTEEN Centipede machines. This in an arcade that probably only had about 50 machines all together. But despite its enormous popularity, NARC made you scratch your head more than any other game. Why motorcycle helmets? Do junkies really throw their needles at you? What is that clown doing to that poor lady? Genius. Winner: NARC
SEMIFINALS, 'ENTER YOUR INITIALS' BRACKET:
DIG DUG v. MOON PATROL: I love the music to Moon Patrol. It doesn't fit the game really at all. Kind of jazzy and finger-snappin', much more appropriate for scatting over than background for being shot at by flying saucers. And as annoying as that repetitive Dig Dug music is, it irritates you just enough to make you want to play again, just to shut it up. Winner: Dig Dug
JOURNEY v. TAPPER: Alright, enough is enough. There is a limit to how much time I can spend helping Neal Schon and Ross Valory defeat 'evil aliens' or 'maniac turnstiles' or whatever the hell they're fighting in this game. I must say that I would rather listen to the midi versions of all their music over the real deal any day of the week. Did I mention that the controls for Tapper consist of an actual Budweiser beer tap and that's it? Winner: Tapper
SEMIFINALS, 'BILLY MITCHELL' BRACKET:
GALAGA v. TEMPEST: Woo-wee, what a barnburner. Getting your fighter captured and turning your meek little one ship into a two-ship tandem death machine is still one of the greatest things in the history of video games, but c'mon, Tempest was stressed-out nightmare fuel. Winner: Tempest
TRON v. ROBOTRON: The battle o' the trons. Instead of analyzing either of these games, I'd like to point out that the movie 'Tron' starred The Scarecrow, Lacey Underall and The Dude. Winner: Robotron
SEMIFINALS, 'SUPERZAPPER RECHARGE' BRACKET:
STAR WARS v. DEFENDER: As someone else pointed out, Star Wars was exceedingly difficult for a game with invisible spaceships shooting sparklers at you (or Kurt Vonnegut drawings of assholes, depending on how you look at it). Also damn impossibly difficult was Defender with all it's buttons and hyperspace and rescuing falling civilians and what not. Despite Star Wars being the only video game I know of with the voice of Alec Guiness... Winner: Defender
MORTAL KOMBAT v. CRAZY CLIMBER: Here's where I gotta say 'screw my personal preferences' and go with what's right. It's probably a tight race between Crazy Climber and Venture for which game actually took most of my pre-teen money. And even though I never figured out how to get past the second guy because I didn't bother to learn the secret stick and button codes to get the guy to rip his opponents spine out, it is still one kickass game even to just watch. Winner: Mortal Kombat
Alright, Sixteen has been reduced to the Elite Eight. Now before we move onward, here's a picture of Pac Man world record holder Billy Mitchell accepting the award of 'Gamer of the Century' from the president of Namco and his harem of 'Pac-bitches':
Alright, here goes:
PAC MAN v. NARC: This is tough. On one hand, you've got originality and on the other total 'blood n' guts' realism for the first time ever. There is not one way that these two games are similar at all. As much as NARC makes me laugh and is fun as hell to play, gotta go with the King. Winner: Pac Man
DIG DUG v. TAPPER: Even though on its own merits, it's still a fun game to play, being about beer only gets you so far (although it does take you most of the way in my book. Really, you can walk there from where it drops you off.). Sure, Dig Dug's a little too cutesy, makes absolutely no sense and the music can grow irritating and tiresome. You know what? To hell with it, beer rules. Winner: Tapper
TEMPEST v. ROBOTRON: I gotta go strictly on addictability at this point. Tempest is hardcore, it's kickass and an all time great, but Robotron has all these ingredients and more. Winner: Robotron
DEFENDER v. MORTAL KOMBAT: Both games that I can't play to save my life, but enjoyed watching because of the incredible 'look' that they both have. As much as I'd love to go with Defender, I just can't give those heavy metal douchebags that learned to play it so well any more props than I already have. Winner: Mortal Kombat
So there you have it, a Final Four of PAC MAN, TAPPER, ROBOTRON 2084 AND MORTAL KOMBAT. We'll see how it plays out tomorrow.
In the meantime, feel free to make your case for 'Rainbow Kids' or 'Mr. Do's Wild Ride' in the comments.