Rookie of the Year: The Newlywed Game

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  • Rookie of the YearThe following is the first in a series of journal entries chronicling the author’s descent into gaming degeneracy — from getting his first television in years to trying to figure out why the @$@”$)@ you need two goddamn directional pads just to walk down a fucking hallway.

    I got up a whole hour early Tuesday morning so I could play Fable II before work.

    Now that might not sound like very much to you, but consider two absolutely crucial bits of information:

    1. Getting me out of bed early, on any day of the week, is a monumental achievement nearly on the scale of discovering fire.

    2. Until just two days before, I hadn’t even owned a TV in years, let alone a next-gen gaming console.

    Indeed, I am a world class n00b, one who has only had a television sporadically for the last decade-plus, and whose total next-gen gaming experience before this week could be measured in seconds. I was an NES and Genesis guy from way back, and in the next couple weeks I’ll dust off my Wii – once I get it out of storage at my parents’ house – but that, aside from my well-documented iOS love, a beat I cover with periodic enthusiasm for Unwinnable, is just about it. 

    But the more time I spend hanging out with the members of Team Unwinnable, the more I want to join in on the geekery. So to christen a brand new apartment, I picked up a Samsung LED and an Xbox 360, closed my eyes … and hit the power button.

    Here are the highlights and lowlights of a still ongoing Week 1:

    • So yeah, Fable II. I’m loving it. It’s a total ripoff of The Legend of Zelda, which is exactly what I wanted, plus it looks amazing and has an evil streak; somehow I ended up leading unsuspecting villagers into a temple and spinning a giant wheel that determined how they’d instantly be killed. I’ve been trying to lead a good life ever since, but my wife is from the same village and in-between telling me how much she loves me, she’ll call me a murderer and swear she’ll never forgive me for it.

    Which is either a glitch in the game or a genius attempt at realism.

    • I picked up a used copy of Gears of War at a Gamestop for $4.99. That’s a dollar for every minute of gameplay so far. I can’t turn it on for more than 30 seconds at a time without having to rip it out of my Xbox in anger and frustration. I appreciate that games have evolved and become more complex — but why the @$@”$)@ do you need two goddamn directional pads just to walk down a fucking hallway?

    I’ll be returning to that theme in future posts, you can bet on it.

    • I also picked up Left 4 Dead 2 on the advice of Team Unwinnable. I haven’t played it yet, but flipping through the booklet I realized it’s the same game my dearly deported former roommate played 24/7 until he was thrown out of the country. Long story – you can read it in the Times – but the point is I’m now officially a degenerate.

    • I would add a few more bullet points to round this out, but I’m typing this on my phone as I walk home, and once I get there, my entire existence is dedicated to saving Albion — and taking odd jobs so I can afford my dream home in a gorgeous, sun-soaked hamlet where everyone loves and loathes me, in equal measure and concurrently.

    I’m beginning to wonder if I should just kill my wife and start over somewhere else.

    I’ll keep you posted.


    Matt Marrone doesn’t have Internet yet at his new place. But once he gets it, watch out Xbox Live! You won’t know what hit you. And neither will he. Follow him on Twitter @thebigm.

    Games, Rookie of the Year