Ridge Racer 6 (XBox 360)

I make the first turn on my favorite course, Airport Lap. It’s sunset and the sky is adorned with a beautiful orange hue. My car drifts through the curve and I power ahead. “Whoa-ho-ho! Nitrous ready!” The game’s announcer is extremely excited. “Watch out! Someone just fired off some nitrous!” A rival car speeds up behind me from the left. It’s time to take action. I use a can of nitrous and regain the lead. “Woo hoo! Nitrous!” Turn after turn, drift after drift, “nitrous” is the only thing the announcer is concerned with. As the race progresses, planes come and go all around the course, but I’m too focused to take much notice. I speed past the finish line with the help of my last bit of “crazy” nitrous. “Ha! Ha! You did it! First place!” How I love that nitrous-obsessed announcer.

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Chu Chu Rocket (Game Boy Advance)

The flow of mice is almost dizzying. The screen is filled with them. Unfortunately, there are also hungry cats in the mix, devouring as many mice as they can. Place arrows to manage the traffic of mice and cats. Up, Down, Left, Right. Mice my way, cats towards my opponents. All’s fair in Chu Chu Rocket.  The time’s almost up. Mouse mania: It’s a flood of them! Get into my ship! Five, four, three, two, one. Blast off! My rocket ascends toward the heavens. Victory is claimed and the little world of Chu Chu Rocket is slipped back into my pocket until next time.

Gotcha Force (Gamecube)

A massive airship darkens the sky above while a fierce, dual sword-wielding menace embroidered with a massive skull on its chest unleashes a direct assault toward my mech. Thankfully, my robotic warrior is equipped to handle just such an attack. Armed with a formidable chainsaw and a machine gun-like laser cannon, my mech dashes just out of reach of its pursuer before doubling back with a damaging counterattack. In the blink of an eye the challenger falls, but another quickly takes its place and brings forth a volley of projectiles. The battle is certainly epic, but a nearby soccer ball towers above the action as a reminder of the scale of the combatants. Nevertheless, the size of the fighters does not equate to the intensity of the combat, and the war rages on.

Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds (Playstation 3)

It’s all down to this putt. If I sink it, I claim victory over my opponent and can move on to the next set of challenges. But if I miss, all my efforts are for naught and I’ll have to start over from square one. I’m kicking myself because I blew it: I botched a few easy shots and misjudged a couple simple putts, basically giving the competition a free pass on almost half of the holes. As I’m gauging the putt distance, a family of ducks float nearby in a small pond and a chorus of insects and birds chirp their symphony. I finally make my move and the ball inches toward the hole, as if in slow motion. After what seems like an eternity, it finally drops into the cup. My muscles ease up and the elation that comes with a close victory courses through my veins!