04 Jan 2010 [ Prev | Next ]

Strongbad on Video Games

Watch this short, humorous tour through the history of computer games, featuring Strongbad from Homesterrunner.com.

After the video ends, click on the pictures of each of the games -- play each for about 5 minutes, then choose 2 to play for another 10 minutes or so.

Leave a comment with answers to the following questions:

  1. Which two do you choose to play, and why?
  2. To what extent are the Strongbad games spoofs, and to what extent are they nostalgic tributes?
  3. How does your answer to #2 affect what you gained from the experience?
  4. What question do you have after watching this animation and playing these games?

Which did you choose, and why? To what extent are these games spoofs, and to what extent are they tributes? Refer to specific details to support your answer.



I choose to play both Secret Collect and StrongBadZone over the other two games: Rhinofeeder and Thy Dungeonman. I found Secret Collect frustrating and fun at the same time because as the levels progressed, it became more difficult to collect the secret in the allotted time. However, I wanted to keep playing to beat that level and prove to myself that I could find the correct and fastest way to the secret. I chose to keep playing StrongBadZone because there was more skill involved than just feeding the rhino, which got too repetitive. StongBadZone’s graphics were overly simple, but it was fun to destroy the face.

The Stongbad games are spoofs to the extent of making fun of the graphics of older systems. Let’s face it; the graphics were horrible. However, the games are also nostalgic because we can remember playing them and enjoying them. There was a point when that was all that we had, and we did not think about the graphics being bad in that moment.

My answer to the previous question affected what I gained from the experience because if I just would have watched the video and not played the games, I would have not fully realized how much fun simple can be sometimes. I would have just commented that the whole video was a spoof, been thankful for today’s games, and moved on.

After watching this animation and playing these games, I can only raise one question. If we get bored with simple games (Koster) and stop playing it after it teaches us everything it has to offer, then why after ten plus years will I find enjoyment and fun in Pong again?

I chose to play Rhinofeeder first because after playing it for 5 minutes, I found it to be a fairly easy game, and I like to win. It was simple and I thought it was comical how the storyline was set up. I also chose Thy Dungeonman because it was a little more challenging. It took me a long time to figure out even the first few steps, and I still have not found all of the right answers.
These games are definitely spoofs because of their non-serious nature. In Rhinofeeder, the fact that a rhino comes charging at you if you do not feed it in time is quite a comical storyline, making it a spoof. Thy Dungeonman also takes on a comical nature in the language used. The way the text reads is meant to make fun of how other games use language that would have been spoken when dungeons really did exist. Both of the games’ graphics are very archaic and this also makes them spoofs.
The two games that I chose could also be considered nostalgic tributes though just because they are using the same basis for themselves as old games that have been cherished throughout the years. They keep the same basic concepts, which make them tributes to some degree.
I personally thought that they were more of spoofs than anything. I am not really familiar with the original games that they are based upon, just because of my age, so to me it was just something simple and fun to play. So my experience was an entertaining one, rather than one that took me back to when I was younger playing the original games because I never had.
The question that I had after watching and playing these games was about time. When exactly were these original games put out for the public to play? I don’t believe it was too long ago, so to see the jump that videogames have made in such a short amount of time is amazing to me. It is like what Johnson was talking about when he mentioned radio and television. The advancement of videogames simulates that exact improvement of technology. It’s hard to imagine what the future of videogames will be like based on their past history.

I chose to play Rhinofeeder and Strongbadzone. I choser Rhinofeeder because it is funny and is not realistic at all. It reminded me, the graphics, of a Nintendo game. Takesd me back to my youth when my brother and I played Nintendo until we couldn't see straight. I chose Strongbadzone due to its graphics. It was as if I were playing an arcade game from the 80s. The audio and graphics were 3-D like.
Strongbad's games have a definite nostalgic quality to them. They look like games from the 80s and 90s. They are so basic looking and do not have much to offer in the lines of action. Very simple.
The reason they are spoofs are because Strongbad is in them and the language he uses is humerous. They are also spoofs because I think on Rhinofeeder he states that it is a super-photo-realistic game. It is mocking other games by their graphics and quality.
I feel that the games I played were nothing more than nostalgic.They were re-creations of games I used to play when I was young. They were really simple, mind numbing boring games. At the time they were fun. Now my tastes have altered, I want realism.
The only question I have is, were we really entertained by these type of games at one time?

I played StrongBadZone and Rhinofeeder. StrongBadZone was very nostalgic for me because the lame "3-D" effects reminded me of the original Star Fox game for the Super Nintendo. I thought it was so exciting at that time to have a game that wasn't 2-D! My fond memories of Star Fox probably caused me to enjoy StrongBadZone more than it should ever be enjoyed.. ever. Rhinofeeder was also slightly nostalgic. It reminded me of Frogger and how you had to dodge the cars whenever the snakes popped up onto the screen in Rhinofeeder. Not only are these games nostalgic, but they also mock the very industry that StrongBad was giving a sort of history on in the first place. Rhinofeeder has crappy 2-D, pixelated graphics and yet StrongBad touts them as photorealistic in the video.. a claim that the company who created the original Frogger game was likely to have made back in the day. Also, calling the graphics in StrongBadZone "3-D" is a stretch.. especially nowadays with 3-D innovations like James Cameron's Avatar.. in it's fully 3-D (provided you have a 3-D capable TV) videogame tie-in!

First of all, let me say that I actually laughed out loud a few times while watching this video, like when Strongbad said girls would try to make out with the screen. I can honestly say that I've never had the urge to make out with the screen over a videogame character... I really enjoyed watching this video, because it allowed me to appreciate how far games have gone.
Now down to business:
I chose to play Rhinofeeder first and then Dungeonman. Like Jeremy, Rhinofeeder reminded me of Nintendo. As for Dungeonman, I played a few text-based games in EL 236, Writing for the Internet, so it was interesting to try a spoofed version.
Even though both of these games were clearly spoofs, they had a nostalgic value to them, because they remind us of just how ridiculous the graphics for video games used to be and also remind us of how frustrating video games used to be. Playing these games brought back memories for me of playing the original Mario on my parents old NES.
Question: Even though graphics have progressed over the ages, why do we keep going back to these games. For example, with the Nintendo Wii, you can download the original NES and Super NES games. Is it just because these games are classics, or is it because there's something about those games that our new technology can never touch?

I picked Rhinofeeder over Secret Collect even though it is the same basic concept because everything important to the game is delivered visually and because of the SNES style graphics. In Secret Collect, the timer is at the top of the screen away from the action, but in Rhinofeeder you can see when the Rhino is getting mad.

I chose to play Thy Dungeonman because it reminded me of the Aperture Science website made by Valve for the game Portal ( http://aperturescience.com/ ) and because I remember trying to make an adventure game myself when i was very young. It was a blatant rip off of Wizardy for the NES and you couldn't really make any choices but nevertheless, I taught myself the BASIC programming language on a play laptop that could only display four lines at once to try and emulate something I liked.

The games are spoofs of the graphics and bad translations and terms used by older games such as the single pixel and the word "mans" in Secret Collect. They are tributes because they portray the most common goals older games asked you to achieve.

What i have gained from playing these games is that present day games have advanced not just graphically but have become more complex, requiring the player to think and analyze more. This "can" make games more fun but not necessarily. The original Legend of Zelda is still a challenging and rewarding game and it is not 3D or overly complex.

My only question is: will our present day classics be viewed with as much regard as the original Metroid or Mario?

I chose to play both StrongBadZone and secrect collect. I played these two games because they seemed the most simple to me at first and these two games were the first and the last games described in the short video. Secrect Collecter was fun and easy at first but as the game moved on it became more difficult and frustrating to complete. I felt like StrongBadZone was easy as well but it did begin to frustrate me as that game moved along too. I agree with what Susan said about the Strongbad games are spoofs because they are making fun of the oler sytems. All of these games are nostalgic because as kids we can all relate to these types of games and playing them when we were younger. When we were younger that was the best technology there was and we enjoyed those games.
I gained from my experience that these games can still be somewhat fun even though they are older and out of date. At first I didn't really want to play any of these games because they were all older and didn't look that much fun. After playing the games I sat around longer and continued to play and try to beat some of the games.

Keith, I found it interesting that you did not want to play these games at first but could not stop after trying them. I had the same reaction, but why were we ever apprehensive about these games in the first place? I have no problem playing simple games like tic tac toe without hesitation? There's only 4 lines to that! Maybe we are too spoiled in our variety and quality of games today.

I chose to play Rhinofeeder and Dungeonman. I chose Rhinofeeder because Strongbad reminded me of Mario, the snakes reminded me of the little mushroom guys that bite ya, and well I dont know what the rhino reminded me of, but it seemed like a simple game. But like any game it takes some getting used to and you can't exactly do that well when you have a HUNGRY rhino a ways away and you have to cross snakes while carrying food. Man o man. I was a little surprised that I didn't die when the snake got me the first time. I think I was thinking on the path of mario and those darn mushrooms KILL. But yes, and for Dungeonman, I chose that one because when we used them in Writing for the Internet I had so much fun. Got plenty frustrated but I still had a lot of fun with them, and even more fun building one of our own. It's really great to have something that's so old and outdated, and so simple, be so much fun! I LOVE text games! PLus, the fact that I love typing really helped add to the joy! :) These games being spoofs are obvious, but them being nostalgic I think is also there. These games, no matter what they are, or what game it is, you always want to get to the bottom of it. Sure you may get a bit frustrated along the way, and want to quit, but the dyer need to finish it and find out what happens at the end is always there. And this can be a bit nostalgic. I don't think the games being this way ruins my experience, I think everything with the game can only help you, you can only gain with games. No matter how many times you lose, youre going to remember what NOT to do from previous losses, so it helps.
Question: First of all, people are incredibly creative I only WISH I could be so creative. Also, to have so much go into one game, so much time and effort, what will they come up with next. I mean we started out simple, but now we have the Wii where we only use a little remote and our own body motions. Who knows what will be next!

Sure you may get a bit frustrated along the way, and want to quit, but the dyer need to finish it and find out what happens at the end is always there.

Exactly, but did you ever play Contra for the NES? It's more than a bit frustrating and insanely difficult.

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