Okay okay, I know, these aren't boring games. Chess is one of the world's oldest games, played by people way way smarter than I am. Checkers is like Chess' uncultured cousin - easy to understand but much deeper than you expect. Reversi is a classic game of strategy and requires a good understanding of your opponent as well as the game. And Backgammon...well, I don't know how to play Backgammon so for all I know it involves space lasers and ancient incantations. I guess I'll find out.
I'd like to note that the chess and checker boards on the title screen very obviously have the wrong amount of squares on them. If this is the level of detail that they put into the rest of the game...well, we're in for a treat.
Let's do these in the order presented, shall we? That means that Chess is up first according to the startup screen. I know how to play Chess in the sense that I know how the pieces move, and I know that I'll never ever beat anybody except very young children who have never played the game before. Unfortunately, I am not up against a naive young person, I am playing against Sargon.
|Sargon has a very intimidating theme song|
I choose black because I've always heard that going second is an advantage. Actually I just forgot that black goes second and I like how the piece looks better. In either case, Sargon has the first move.
I let Sargon think for a while. And by a while I mean approximately fifteen minutes. Seriously, that's not an exaggeration, Sargon's first move takes fifteen minutes. Clearly level six is why they call Sargon the premier chess program, because it's doing some heavy duty pondering. This move better be really good for all this waiting. It better be mind blowing, like, the best first move I've ever seen. Not something that I would ever think to do as an amateur player, some sort of -
Yep, Sargon's first move is a pawn to the center of the board. Even I know that trying to establish control of the center of the board is a standard tactic. He should have just...done that. Instead of making me wait fifteen minutes in complete silence.
|Hey wait a minute those pieces are gray, not black. I want my money back|
|Haha with all that buildup you knew this was coming.|
I play a few rounds but it literally takes 30 minutes for 4 moves total so I give up on super difficult Sargon. I restart the game and try level 1 - which is much much more tolerable at a mere thirty seconds per move. This level 1 Sargon must have the mental capacity of a small child compared to his superior, but I'm still confident I'm going to lose.
So confident, in fact, that I am quickly destroyed without ever putting Sargon in check. I think I only took pawns, in fact, but you can see for yourself. I made a little animated gif with (almost) all of the moves leading to my defeat.
|This is depressing|
Okay we knew that was coming, but what about Reversi? I fancy myself to be rather good at Reversi, or Othello as it was known in my household. I mean, it's not any fun, but I can at least hold my own fairly well.
I play it safe anyhow and choose the easiest out of 3 difficulties. Everything seems like it's going well until suddenly I realize I pretty much have to give the computer all of the outer edge and corner pieces. Great. Really no reversing from this one, it's right there in black and white. Othello.
|Laurence Fishburne. That's my joke for Reversi, okay?|
|If you don't like the jokes then you try writing some, Jesus.|
11 to 53. That's one of my worst losses ever. Wow, just wow, I knew I sucked at board games but, just, wow.
Now that my self-confidence has skyrocketed downwards, I'm not sure what to do. I could just...stop playing these games, but that feels like a cop out. On the other hand, if I keep losing I might actually deflate entirely and have to be peeled off the couch.
I decide to press on with my righteous quest and give Checkers a try.
I set the computer on super ridiculously easy again because I'm not even going to pretend anymore. After a few moves it becomes apparent that I've been playing checkers wrong my whole life. See, I never knew that if there was a jump available to me, I have to take it. I end up putting myself in a really bad position and losing nearly my whole army. I get a king who I also manage to get destroyed via the power of forced jumps, and even though I get the computer's army down to two pieces I still lose.
|After this my Game Boy picked up a tire iron and beat me to death|
Auguhauhguahughg why do I suck so bad at these games? I swear to god I'm way better at these in real life. Maybe the digital setting is hampering my decision making ability? Or maybe I am some sort of psychological master that uses the weaknesses of my human opponents to achieve victory, a tactic that doesn't work on emotionless computers?
Or maybe...just maybe...I suck in real life too. People are just kind enough to let me win once in a while.
Uh oh. My whole reality is crumbling before my very eyes. All those times I gloated at Monopoly victories, all the times I dominated Risk from my stronghold in Australia, all the times that I won at Clubhouse Games and sent rude drawings to the loser...is it all a lie?
Well...I guess I'll play Backgammon before my entire ego shatters and I'm forced to retire early and take up gardening while mumbling constantly to myself.
|What's Link's favorite game? BACKGANON ahahahah|
I know I've played this game before...but I have no idea what's going on. I roll the dice and move my little pieces according to the numbers but I'm not sure what the end goal is. I end up getting one of my pieces, uh...captured, I guess. Then I have to move that one instead of any of the others. Then I get another one captured, and...you know what? Why am I even bothering?
|Why is there a 64 in the upper left? WHAT IS THIS?!|
I quit. No, seriously, I'm not even going to pretend that I have a chance of winning, because I don't even know the rules. I'm taking my pieces and going home.
What have we learned from this game? Well, I've learned that my entire life has been a deception. You may have learned that I have no patience for board games. And we've both learned that Sargon is a higher being never intended to run on a Game Boy.
I'm not even going to pretend I can make an accurate judgment about this game. I hate it, I hate the stupid noises it makes and I hate the little clock that turns while the computer is thinking. I hate the music and the graphics and if it were a real cartridge I would literally smash it with a hammer I hate it so much.
I'm not even going to end on a joke. Screw this game and everyone who worked on it. I hope that Sargon hacks their computers and makes them play chess until they die.
P.S. I don't hate you you're a very nice person and I bet that you make really good cookies and even if you don't you probably do a lot of really nice things all the time so good for you!