Keyboard Geniuses is our weekly glance at a few intriguing, witty, or otherwise notable posts from the Gameological discussion threads. Comments have been excerpted and edited here for grammar, length, and/or clarity. You can follow the links to see the full threads.
Bowser’s Unending Bitterness
In a To The Bitter End column, Anthony John Agnello revisited the final moments of Super Mario RPG: The Legend Of The Seven Stars, more commonly known as that Mario game with the unwieldy title. Anthony broke down what the game’s ending implies about the constant conflict of Mario’s world by showing that despite Bowser’s constant meddling, The Mushroom Kingdom is a pretty chipper spot full of magic and whimsy. As Newton Gimmick pointed out, not even Mario RPG’s big bad, Smithy, is immune that Kingdom’s charm:
Even Smithy attends the parade at the end. The magic of the Mushroom Kingdom has ensnared him. He’s blessed (or perhaps cursed) to live forever in the endless cycle of triumph and defeat that all villains must endure. The key to being a happy villain in the Mushroom Kingdom is to enjoy the temporary victories, and take the inevitable Mario beatdown in stride. Booster Gold found happiness that way.
Flying Turtle built on Anthony’s reading of the Mushroom Kingdom as a harmonious place and came up with a novel theory explaining Bowser’s continuing struggle:
I like to think that the only real conflict between Mario and Bowser happened in Super Mario Bros. and that the subsequent “rescue the princess” games are the Mushroom Kingdom’s equivalent of Civil War re-enactments. Sometimes they make a weekend of it with baseball/soccer/tennis/go-kart racing, because why not?
Rise Of The Robo-Games
Jason Reich dropped in to give us a guide to the best board games available on the iPad. According to Jason, the American games that I love, like Monopoly, are widely hated by the inner-circle of board game enthusiasts. They even call them “Ameritrash.” Harumph! Fyodor Douchetoevsky also took issue with the phrase but clarified its meaning a bit:
Board game snobs use Ameritrash to describe theme heavy games with slapdash mechanics (such as Arkham Horror), whereas Eurogames are mechanically solid but thematically dry (like Carcassonne). Monopoly and Risk are just referred to as trash by board game snobs, by and large.
It’s also worth noting that Ameritrash is more a term of endearment at this point than an insult. And that the coolest games combine both theme and mechanics that fit that theme, without a lot of superfluous stuff.
Speaking of Monopoly, forget everything you think you know about it. Derek Kupper is about to blow your mind, because you and the whole world have been doing it wrong:
One of the things about Monopoly—95 percent of people don’t play by the actual rules. The two biggest ones that are played “wrong” are: Free Parking doesn’t get you any money—it’s just a spot a blank spot to land on. And any property that is not purchased when you land on it is immediately put up for auction. Anyone can bid, even the player that landed on it. Playing like that makes a much more cutthroat and aggressive game.
If you wanted another reason to hate Monopoly, you’re in luck, because Nattyish linked us to a silly comic starring angry dinosaurs yelling about the game:
Ah, dinosaurs. Nature’s finest philosophers.
For this week’s Q&A, we dished on which protagonists we hated the most. (I didn’t pitch in because hating The Walking Dead’s Lee for being voiced by that Hulu guy seemed a little harsh.) Aurora Boreanaz’s first pick got jacked by Anthony John Agnello, so he voiced his concerns with another bloke:
My Honorable Mention would go to your character in Diablo. I really frigging hated the storyline there. I spend all of this time hunting down the king’s son who freaked out after stabbing himself in the forehead with a dark gem and becoming the manifestation of a demon prince. So what do I do after finally defeating him? Stab myself in the face with that same gem? Screw that.
So in Diablo II you’re hunting down your character from Diablo, who has (surprise, surprise) not been able to control the gem and turned into Diablo again.
I love the forehead-stabbing imagery there. Anyhow, maybe you’ve forgotten about Daxter, of Jack And Daxter quasi-fame. Well, Dikachu hasn’t, and he dika-chu-choo-choosed him for an answer:
Let us not forget Daxter from the Jak & Daxter series. That little bastard always has some semi-clever quip ready to go. And when you die, he hovers over your face yelling insults. God, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to physically force myself not to throw the controller right between his eyes.
Ending on a hateful note. I like that! Well, folks, that’s it. Thanks, as always, for reading and commenting. And yes, we will see you next week—same comment cat time, same comment cat…channel?