My brother and I threw down the gauntlet last night in what has been called the greatest battle since Captain Crunch and Count Chocula duked it out for America's heart. We decided on a fight to the finish, a gaming challenge so devious, so devastating that neither of us would ever recover entirely. That challenge? Buy each other the shittiest game humanly possible for under a buck. Each person would have to play the other's gifted game for a half an hour. Photographic proof would have to be taken, either through videos or Steam screenshots.
Folks, I scoured the sales for hours last night. I enlisted the help of fellow moderator and all around Steam scholar MB in finding a site that helped track the prices of games. I checked reviews. I had Metacritic pulled up in a tab, waiting for me to enter that next shitacular gem into its search field. By the agreed upon time of the ass crack of noon, I was a sweaty, highly caffeinated mess, snapping at strangers, snarling at the sunlight filtering in through my window, and wondering not if I was going to win, but if I was going to survive.
Noon. A wet, dreary day. Fat, low hanging thunderclouds rolling over the mountains. Birds chirping carefree, unaware of the horrors that were about to be unleashed as brother met brother in a virtual battle of bad taste.
We greeted each other online as gentlemen, him with a cautious greeting, me with a virtual tip of my cap. Our digital daggers sheathed for a moment, we took a minute to discuss the details... and do some bullshitting about the day's sales, but that's besides the point. Soon, our polite veneers wore off and we agreed the time was nigh. Cue the music.
War and Fruit and Fish
I sent my game first, but only by moments. The lone bullet in my gun (damn, there's a lot of not-so-sublte phallic imagery in this blog)? Fish Fillets 2.
Fish. Motherfucking. Fillets. The sequel.
Sure. I could've been gentle and gone with something like Legendary, which was mediocre, but still had some shiny graphics. Sure, I could've picked a connect 3 puzzler, of which there are roughly 20,000. But this was not a battle I was taking lightly. There would be no brotherly love shown. No fraternal mercy. I was aiming for a gut shot, something nice and painful and drawn out.
His response was swift and brutal. When that Steam incoming game message came up, I swallowed what spit (and Diet Pepsi) I had left, and I clicked that button with as little trembling in my finger as possible (I really had a lot of caffeine this morning. Damn you, sale on two liters of Pepsi!).
Gut shot? I should've expected it. No. He went for the nut shot. And that Amish-bearded bastard, he succeeded.
The game I'd have to play was Flora's Fruit Farm.
While my brother dealt with the pain of his wounding by cowardly running to pay bills and deal with real life stuff, I had no such escape. I decided to end my torture quickly and installed Flora's Fruit Farm. I thought I might have time to prepare, to wash my face with water, to to stare at myself in the mirror and try to psych myself up. But holy hell, my friends, those 50 mbs downloaded fast. I rolled my shoulders, grabbed my mouse, and dove into that apple-scented level of citrus-infused hell.
Immediately, I was greeted with... well, no audio whatsoever. At first, I thought I'd managed to mute my game, but nope. It appears as though the audio in that game is just flat-ass busted, as with just about everything about that game. I shuddered through naming my character, opting for the always classy MC Herpes as my handle for this siege upon good taste and fun. Then, I was greeted by the game's hazing phase, a brutal tutorial that made me sit through an insufferable ten minutes of handholding while glossing over the game's "deeper" points. Mind you, this is a game called Flora's Fruit Farm, so it's not exactly rife with complex ideas or gameplay.
By this point, my loyal pug and sometime video game companion was cheering me on by snoring heartily next to me on his chaise lounger (let's face it, all furniture belongs to the dogs). Revitalized by his resolve and window-rattling log-cutting, I decided to forego the rest of the tutorial and brave the game on my own.
At its heart, Flora's Fruit Farm is a watered-down Root Beer Tapper. You grow a tree, from which a handful of fruit grow. You cut down said fruit, drop them off at a stand, and then give the fruit to customers who stand around getting all antsy about buying apples and mangoes and shit. That's it. That's the entire game in a nutshell. There's a day/night cycle, you unlock more fruit to grow and sell, and there are a handful of different environments to unlock.
I wouldn't wish it on anyone. That's a buck you could spend at Taco Bell. It's a buck you could spend on some gummy worms at the dollar store. It's also a buck you could probably tuck away and use to save towards something, but who the fuck saves anymore?
In any case, I survived. Barely. I'm a lesser man now, having been broken and refitted together poorly. I suppose I'll go drown my sorrows in Odin Sphere or SMT: Raidou versus King Abaddon or Kentucky Route Zero. They won't be able to wash away the stain upon my soul, but God willing, they'll ease the suffering.
The Enemy's Take
Here's my brother's video on Fish Fillets 2. He may have wounded me to the core, but it's worth a look anyways.
I don't think there was a winner here today, folks. Mutually assured brotherly destruction is a terrifying concept.