Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (Playstation 4)

It was back-and-forth throughout the entirety of our match, but at long last Plants emerged the victors. Cue the post-game trash talking while everyone awaits the start of the next round. Most of the players sound as if they are still in elementary school.

A particularly high-pitched voice giggles and taunts, “Hey Zombies! You guys are losers!” He continues on in this way until a deeper, older voice finally chimes in.

“Look at your stats, kid. You didn’t even take anyone down. You suck.”

The high-pitched voice stammers for a moment, searching for words. “Uh. Um. Uh. Whatever. You’re the one who sucks!” He laughs nervously and waits, but there is no response. He tries again, “I said you’re the one who sucks!” Still no response. He gets infuriated. “Hey! Loser! Loooo-ser! Loser, are you there? Loooooser!”

The next round begins, and the high-pitched voice continues to expel mockery, clearly hoping for his opponent to take the bait. But his voice is the only thing heard, drowning out everything else. “Hey loser! You’re a loooooo-ser! A loooooo-ser!” he sings.

I press the triangle button on my Playstation controller and select “Mute All.” Ah, that’s better.

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale (Playstation 3/Playstation Vita)

Run for your lives! The city is in peril! A monstrous robotic menace has appeared on the horizon and is threatening to level everything in sight. Please, don’t destroy Chunky Burger! Citizens are scrambling left and right, unsure of what to do and where to go. All hope seems lost. But wait! Something equally as enormous has arrived on the scene and is quickly moving toward that metallic beast. Why, it’s Chop Chop Master Onion! With fire in his eyes, our hero enters into fierce battle with the foe. Cheers go up from the onlookers. The invader may be formidable, but Chop Chop is showing a level of determination and fortitude few knew the old master was capable of. Will his tenacity be enough to save us?!

PaRappa the Rapper (Playstation)

What a horrible day to have a diarrhea attack! Not only is Chop Chop Master Onion stuck at the back of the line to use the restroom, but now that little upstart who outrapped him earlier has returned and is trying to take cuts. Chop Chop attempts to plead his case to PaRappa: “I need to go just as bad as you. What I had this morning I don’t even want to say to you!” But PaRappa won’t back down. Apparently his stomach is on the fritz, too, and he’s desperate to get to the toilet first. The only thing to do is rap to decide who gets to make use of the facilities first. Chop Chop puts on a fine performance: “Kick! Punch! Turn and Chop the door!” But PaRappa follows up each of Chop Chop’s lines with perfect timing, besting the old master’s flow. When the battle finally ends, PaRappa steps forward to challenge the next person in line while poor Chop Chop descends into diarrhea hell.

Chulip (Playstation 2)

On my way to Turtle Bath I stop and chat with a smiling officer at the police box. He admits he’s bored out of his mind because there’s nothing to do, but at least the streets are safe. I bid him adieu and continue my walk to the bathhouse. A living statue of a lion is manning the counter. Outsiders might think that sounds bonkers, but here in Long Life Town, he’s actually one of our more normal residents. I hand over 200 yen and start to open the door to the bath area. The lion yells at me for forgetting to take my clothes off. Whoops! I duck behind a changing screen, strip down, then make a quick dash for the bath area. After rinsing off, I submerge my body in the warmth of the tub. Aaaah, this is the life. Feeling refreshed, I dry off, change back into my clothes, and make my way for the exit. The lion remarks that my bathing technique is all wrong and chalks it up to the foolishness of kids nowadays. Oh well. The sun has set, the streets are dark, and it’s after curfew, so I decide it’s time to go home. I spot the policeman I had spoken with earlier, but something about him seems different… When I walk over to say hello his eyes suddenly flash like spotlights and he begins firing his gun at me! Oh no! I guess he’s not bored any longer!

The Godfather II (Playstation 3)

My wife hands me a FedEx envelope and says, “This arrived for you today.” I always enjoy when companies are kind enough to send me press copies of games because it often means I have the chance to try out titles I wouldn’t normally pay any mind to. This is definitely the case here as I open up the package and find The Godfather II inside. The game has been so far off my radar that I didn’t even know it was in development, let alone being released. Obviously something so violent and mature isn’t appropriate to play in front of my toddler son, so I wait until after he’s asleep then pop the disc in my Playstation 3. I sometimes wonder why these types of games are so popular, but after a couple hours of playing the answer is clear to see. A very cinematic presentation, a fun combat system, an excellent map, plenty of depth in building your own “family” of mobsters, and too much more to mention would probably be like mafioso nirvana for anyone into the genre. In a nutshell, it’s good fun. However, even though I’m enjoying the game, a small voice in the back of my head is becoming progressively louder and keeps repeating one word over and over: “Peggle, Peggle, Peggle.” I’m sorry, Godfather II. You’ve earned my respect and I’m sure plenty of other gamers will deservedly love you, but I’ve got to put in something a little more my speed. Don’t despair, though, for now that I’ve tasted the fascinating world of organized crime I may be back before you know it. Until then, it’s time for Peggle.