Top 100 SNES Review: #64 – Pocky and Rocky (1992)

What Just Happened?

P & R is weird and hectic. Come for the colorful, far-east imagination, stay to see the bizarre, then leave as soon as possible.

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Pocky and Rocky transversing the mountainside.

Sydlexia’s Ranking: #64/100
Developer: Natsume
My Rating: cropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-star

It’s almost been 6 months since I’ve seen a Tanooki (Super Mario Bros. 3 Review).

Over that period of time, I’ve lived in another state for 2 months, wrote 50 blog posts, had someone squat in my subleased apartment using old Virginia common law, taught myself guitar posting videos on instagram, and reengaged with the Viola. Will Pocky and Rocky serve as a guide post for the future, making such an impact as to recall events in between?

Probably not. This game is a bit of mindless fun, but nothing really pulls you in.

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Top 100 SNES Game: #52 – Gradius III (1991)

Anxiety Attack With a Large Coffee.

How much stimulus can the human mind handle? Exactly enough to juggle and dodge 1300 sprites of doom. 

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A Gradius III and Double Dragon cross over?

Sydlexia’s Ranking: #52/100
Developer: Konami
My Rating: cropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-star

One theory for general anxiety disorder is that it’s due to some lowering of neuron-firing threshold. The entire nervous system is more excitable, and it takes very little stimulus to get widespread action potentials promulgating through your central nervous system.

If you don’t have this problem, Gradius III will surely give it to you: one-hit death, complicated bosses, tricky navigation, a hundred projectiles. While some might view beating the game as an accomplishment, I believe getting through it without increased cortisol levels more of a feat.

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Top 100 NES Review: #31 – Dr. Mario (1990)

The Antibiotic Resistance Crisis.

The rise of drug-resistant staph, pneumonia, and tuberculosis has its roots in this Mario-themed, puzzle game.

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Dr. Mario after completing his residency at Mushroom Kingdom Health Systems.

Sydlexia’s Ranking: #31/100
Developer:  Nintendo
My Rating: smooth-starsmooth-starsmooth-starsmooth-star

There is a healthcare crisis in this country right now and as we look at ways to manage costs, it is important to be self-reflective and address instances of abuse and waste.

Look no further than Dr. Mario. His clinical practice guidelines consist of nothing more than the over prescription of antibiotics. Not only does this not make sense (after all, the diagnosis is a viral infection that won’t respond to this type of treatment), he runs the risk of creating new strains of diseases that will be resistant to the very antibiotics he continues to dispense.

While the ethics of Dr. Mario’s decisions come into question, his puzzle adventure game does test the mind and makes one believe they too can practice medicine.

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Top 100 Book Review: The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway (1926)

Resignation, Cynicism and Meh.

Heralded for being interesting due to its lack of traditional story-telling and relying on the craft of writing — I just don’t see it. 

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My Rating: smooth-star

This was one of those books that had me running to the internet to reconcile my experience. What did I miss?

The answer that I found was nothing: my interpretation of the book was on solid ground as it was supposed to lack conflict, background, and intrigue. Hemingway was ushering in this new style of writing, a representation of the “Lost Generation” complete with the cynicism that their dreams would never be realized. His grand accomplishment was to eschew traditional story elements while still fulfilling the reader’s desire to continue to read.

I can’t help but think this is another example of avant-garde projection, propping up a frail and barebones narrative, ecstatically claiming how unique it is.

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Top 100 SNES Review: #12 – Secret of Mana (1993)

Reality of Teamwork.

Like a group project in college where two people do all the work and the rest are worthless, Secret of Mana is a reminder that you can still get things done on your own. 

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Louise, Bear and Diego.

Sydlexia’s Ranking: #12/100
Developer: Square
My Rating: smooth-starsmooth-starsmooth-starsmooth-star

Early games gave you only four letters for the protagonist’s name, and in keeping with the spirit of the role playing genre, I wanted to insert myself into the story as much as possible. Thus began Bear — short for Barrett, but far more intimidating (my Spanish, intimidation name is Oso Peligroso, but I only use that when I’m really in a bind).

Secret of Mana was another chance for me to live out my fantasies of being a youthful adventurer that leaves his small town to end up saving the world, so Bear was naturally the only name that made sense. This time I did not have to go it alone though: I had Diego (played by the really-real human Tanner) and Louise (played by an algorithm of 0s and 1s).  How would the three of us fare?

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Top 100 SNES Review: #60 – Super Double Dragons (1992)

The Knife!

An electric-blue, phallic symbol of power is all that matters in this beat-em up adventure.

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A cyclone of samurai swords is nothing in comparison to the throwing knife.

Sydlexia’s Ranking: #60/100
Developer: Technos
My Rating: smooth-starsmooth-starsmooth-star

The Lee brothers are at it again. The last time I got familiar with Billy and Jimmy, they taught me that life is not fair. In this reincarnation, they really don’t teach me much of anything: there is no plot, no story, no instructions. You are just dropped off in a world of baddies, smashing your way without a care in the world…

JUST WATCH OUT FOR THAT KNIFE. 

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Top 100 Movies Review: #4 – Gone with the Wind (1939)

The Epic & False Historical.

A combustable mixture of Classic Hollywood with Southern Glorification, Gone with the Wind provides insight into the Lost Cause narrative. 

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American Film Institutes Ranking: #4/100
Awards: Nominated for thirteen (13) winning eight, including Best Picture, Director and Actress.
My Rating: smooth-starsmooth-starsmooth-star

This movie has a lot of angles to consider. It requires an ability to shape shift, consider all the different frames of reference, and sift through what you find.

It needs to be blasted for being a racist, vile attempt at creating lament for an unjust society, falling into the category of propaganda. It’s cultural significance also cannot be denied; across all releases, it is estimated to have sold 200 million tickets in the US and Canada. This view of Southern Gentility was a widely-accepted technique used by many Southerners to help reinterpret and redefine their society, however false the narrative. Then, you have the actual story of Scarlet O’Hara, a 1930s feminist-infused protagonist dropped anachronistically into an earlier time.

This leaves this Hollywood Golden Age film, with the symphonic music, gorgeous sets, and memorable cinematography, held in abeyance: what place should it hold now?

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