Email Adventure #1: JULY 29, 2008

Unless they are sent to Q&A, I normally try to keep email conversations private. When someone lays the smackdown to me on a public forum, blog, or website, that's a different story. On the public internet, the door swings both ways, and if you push, you have to expect the possibility of that door swinging back and smashing you in the nose. However, occasionally, I get an email that blows those doors wide open:

"I saw your article for the top 25 most over rated games, and I would like to calmly ask, WHY THE HELL IS YOSHI STORY UP THERE?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!? You say it's the easiest game, but did you play it when you were 3, 4, and 5?!?! NO! It's not a game for your age, so TAKE IT DOWN. it is the most innocent game ever made, which is good considering all the other dirty games out there, SO TAKE IT DOWN, YOU LITTLE POOP!" - tominsky6ofus

I have said time and time again on this site that when you are new to the internet, it is customary to lurk around a website and (if it has one) its forum so you can get an idea of what you're up against before you go shooting your mouth off. Since tominsky6ofus (is that pronounced like "six of us" or "6 oafus"?) failed to do his obligatory lurking, he has overlooked the fact that every one of his arguments has already been thoroughly debunked by this community, time and time again, not least of which was in last year's review of Rescue Rangers 2. Of course, since Mr. Oafus couldn't figure out why Yoshi's Story was on my list, despite that I clearly said why, the possibility exists that he cannot read.

#1. Saying a game is for kids is the same as saying a game is bad. There is no point in complaining to someone about saying a game is too easy, because your argument basically amounts to, "I'm admitting this game is bad, but I just don't want YOU to say it's bad." Yoshi's Story, (and I bought it new) is an extremely expensive gift for a 3-5 year old. There are toys for that age group that cost considerably less and give the same amount of mental stimulation as Yoshi's Story. The game was not sold for cheaper just because it was meant for kids, and I have never known of any game that was.

#2. If Yoshi's Story was meant for kids, Nintendo certainly did not say so before it was released. It was touted as a sequel to Yoshi's Island - a game that had something for gamers of all ages and skill levels - and the whole "BUT IT'S FOR LITTLE KIDS" argument was Nintendo's (and their apologists') way of backpedaling when the complaints about how easy it was came rolling in. Everyone who paid good money for Yoshi's Story was entitled to a game at least as good as Yoshi's Island. What we got was something not even half as good. In fact, if you only play through 1/4 of Yoshi's Island, you will have had a far better gaming experience than playing all of Yoshi's Story.

#3. When *I* was a little kid, *I* didn't shy away from difficult games. I couldn't beat the 2nd loop of Moon Patrol when I was 8. I can now. Moral: That game had something for me both as a child and as an adult. Saying that a game like Yoshi's Story was meant for me when I was that age is just as much of an insult as saying it's meant for me as an adult.

#4. How is Yoshi's Story "the most innocent game ever made"? Because it's overflowing with sickeningly sweet cuteness? There have been plenty of games like that. Kingsley's Adventure, Little Nemo the Dream Master, Kickle Cubicle, Kid Dracula, the Lemmings games, etc. How do you measure that one is more innocent than the other? Did one eventually murder someone or get arrested for shoplifting? We're talking about a game whose protagonist swallows its enemies and poops them out as eggs. How is that more innocent than games in which you don't kill anything at all? If you're going to use something like "innocence" to judge how good a game is instead of challenge or level design then you might as well use anything. Dateline 2008: Mr. Oafus declares Ikari Warriors a great game for most use of the color grey.

#5. The main reason the "for kids" argument holds no water is that I have never once seen anyone who uses it, in my decade+ time on the internet, ever defend a challenging game from criticism by saying, "But it's meant for adults! Of course it's challenging!" In fact, people like Mr. Oafus are the ones most likely to play a challenging game, not be able to beat it on their first try, and declare that the game sucks.

#6. Why is it that whenever someone makes a kneejerk, hostile, yet baseless and idiotic defense of a game, it's always some mega-popular game that got critical acclaim and everyone knows about it? Why, of all things, would you defend Yoshi's Story, when there are so many unheard-of, unappreciated legitimately great games you'd be better off spending your time with like Zanac, Might & Magic, Equinox, The Magic of Scheherazade, Little Ninja Brothers, Over Horizon, and outstanding games like Alundra 2 that got an undeserved poor reception from "professional" critics? Maybe it's because games like those are aimed at people who have the intelligence to learn them and beat them, whereas games like Yoshi's Story are aimed at the lowest rung on the evolutionary ladder, so that's what comes to their aid.

Further suggested reading on this subject:

  • Rescue Rangers Review by Crawl
  • Reviewing Films for Kids by Qwipster

    Comments from the RAU Gallery:
    Jack: Whine, whine, whine, blah, blah, blah. Another day, another N64 kiddie.
    Lukyan: I'd like to know how it's possible that N64 kiddies even still exist. Shouldn't they be extinct by now?
    Talon: The worst part is that the N64 is an underrated system with some legitimately great games like Goldeneye, Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Super Mario 64, and Ogre Battle 64, but it's the whiners who can't accept that the system and its games had flaws that make me feel embarrassed to defend it.
    Jack: Scratch that. I'm beginning to feel embarrassed about being on the internet, period. Someone remind me why I stay.
    Robin: Funny you should say that, Jack. I was reading through old posts in Port Saiid the other day, and I was thinking about Citizen James at the same time, and it gave me an idea...
    Lukyan: I think I can see where this is going.
    Talon: Cool. Yet another idea we've ripped off of our sister site.
    Jack: Hey, it's all in the family.
    Robin: Allright then, here goes...

    Minerva K Red's Greatest Hits

    (If you'd like to set this to music, click above.)

    Jack: Yup. That's pretty much why I stick around.
    Lukyan: I hope that when I run for president in the next election I'm elected BAH the peephole.
    Talon: Nice use of Electric Light Orchestra there.
    Robin: Thanks, guys, I'm glad you liked it. I'll do another one with a different forum member the next time we get an antagonistic email.
    Lukyan: Beef chimichanga.




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