Cars (XBox 360)

A birthday gift from Daddy for a car-obsessed toddler: Cars for the Xbox 360! My son hops into my lap and soon we’re racing around the town of Radiator Springs as Lightning McQueen. Okay, what to do first? We drive around aimlessly for a few minutes then finally stumble upon a racing event. Apparently this stuffy British car ventured over to “our side of the pond” to race the great Lightning McQueen. Well, we’re about to give you what for, buddy. The race begins and we speed off… but my son quickly loses interest after the first lap and climbs out of my lap, making his way over to play with his toy cars. “Hey, don’t you want to sit with Daddy and play the game?” Apparently not. I power off the 360, head over to where my son is sitting, plop down next to him, and we push around the toy cars together. “Vrooom vroom!” He’s right. This is more fun.

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Engacho! (WonderSwan)

I need to reach the goal, but there are some disgusting enemies blocking my way. And by “disgusting” I mean seriously disgusting. If I’m not careful, I could be on the receiving end of mucous, stinky armpit hair, or poop. The problem is that each time I move, they move. I’ve got to be smart and plan each step out ahead of time. I’m methodically inching my way toward where I want to be, but a flying butt is making its way towards me. Finally I’m in what seems to be the home stretch, but I make a wrong move and become trapped. The butt corners me and before I know it I’m covered in… well, you don’t want to know.

Tetris Attack (Game Boy)

Our favorite thrift store on a Saturday afternoon is, as always, a complete zoo. After circling the parking lot for about five minutes, we finally find a spot and soon we’re inside the store. My son and I head over to the electronics counter and scour the wall of goodies. There is only one clerk on duty and she’s busy showing a man a chainsaw. He’s taking forever to look at it and I’m starting to feel impatient. Finally he decides not to buy it, hands it back to the clerk, and she turns to me. I ask her to show me a basket filled with old games and proceed to dig my way through it, looking for anything interesting. When all seems lost, I finally come across a very clean copy of Tetris Attack and I decide to buy it. My wife, meanwhile, has found an amazing play rug as well as a Thomas the Tank Engine kids chair. We make our way home with our treasures and before long I’m on Yoshi’s Island, moving blocks around to make them disappear before they reach the top of the screen. Why would someone part with this? At least this charming little cartridge has gone to a good home!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (XBox 360)

Somehow, Takai Takai’s turtle is stuck at the top of the screen. All I can see are his legs prancing back and forth. Meanwhile, balloontrip, nocturnedelight, and I are busy battling the Foot Clan soldiers on a bridge. Shredder’s boys are pulling out all the stops and my poor turtle is getting clobbered. I can’t help but laugh at Takai Takai’s turtle and I inquire as to what in the world he’s doing. “I’ve got to conserve my energy,” he answers. I ask him how he managed to get his turtle up there and if I can somehow escape the action with him. Unfortunately, it seems there’s only room  for one turtle. Left with nothing to do except fight, I turn back to the Foot Clan soldiers and do my best to let them taste the sting of my nunchucks. Before long, though, my last life is exhausted and it’s Game Over for me.

Ridge Racers 2 (PSP)

It never fails that when I ride the trolley to work I end up sitting near some weirdo. Today is no different. But thankfully I have my PSP with me and before long I’m swept away into the fast-paced world of Ridge Racers 2. My car is drifting through a particularly difficult curve, but soon I pull out ahead of the other racers thanks to a blast of nitrous. Overhead a plane is making its descent toward the runway and for a moment I lose focus and slam into a wall. “You just crashed!” exclaims the announcer. Thanks, I hadn’t noticed. Just as I finish the race (in third place thanks to my careless driving) the trolley pulls into my stop and I hop off and make my way to work.

Soul Calibur IV (XBox 360)

Incense smoke fills the air of the temple and makes it hard to concentrate upon the battle at hand. Mitsurugi is looking more peeved than ever, and before him stands the strangest combatant he’s ever laid eyes upon. His foe is only half his size, has green skin, and yields an odd sword of light. What the hell is this weird little goblin? Outside the temple soldiers on horseback ride down the hillside toward war, but Mitsurugi doesn’t notice. He’s too focused on just how the heck he’s going to chop this bizarre creature down to size… er, so to speak.

Peggle (XBox 360)

I told my wife I thought she’d like Peggle and persuaded her to give it a try. That was about five hours ago. She’s still playing. Our son has been asleep since before I handed her the controller, and I don’t know how much longer I can stay awake, either. I take a look at the clock and notice it’s almost 3:00 am. Thankfully I don’t have to work tomorrow and it’s so fun to see my wife completely enthralled with a game. She’s doing much better than I had, too, and is breezing through all the stages. But sleep is calling, and I think it’s about time I head upstairs and climb into bed. Goodnight, my sweet Peggle addict!