Friday, July 29, 2011

Crossing the Streams of Oppression

I hurt so many with my playing.
The sad truth about most of the Ghostbusters video game adaptations is that they are bad, and you FEEL bad while playing them. There was this one time where I got highly intoxicated at a friend’s house and fell asleep in his mother’s china cabinet, my face covered in wet potted plant soil and my pants blissfully missing. When her wheelchair-bound father finally pulled my twitching body from the cabinet’s cold, wooden embrace, I was told I spent most of the night playing the NES version of Ghostbusters.

I still haven’t forgiven myself. I probably never will.

Another sad truth – one of the saddest truths in video game history – is that all but a measly two Ghostbusters games leave out good ol’ Winston Zeddemore – and one was only released on PAL territories. If you live in America, your only chance to see the oft-forgotten fourth ‘Buster in action is 2008’s Atari adaptation of the franchise for next gen consoles (and also the Wii).

On the NES? No.
Poor Winston is one of the most under-appreciated characters in comedic cinema history. As the last Ghostbuster to join the fray against the demons and demigods trashing the semi-innocents of New York City, most viewers see Winston as “the token black guy,” but his appeal – and his merit as a paranormal investigator – go far beyond his genetics. Mr. Zeddemore represents what would happen if the viewer were clad in a silly jumpsuit with an unlicensed nuclear accelerator strapped to his or her back: While the other three ‘Busters are trying to find ways to take down the ancient evils roaming beneath the city streets, Winston is cashing his paycheck, paying his rent, and praying to the Almighty that he gets out alive and home in time for a beer with his wife. Also, Winston has a really rockin’ mustache, which is indeed the truest measure of a man’s character. So thumbs up to you, Winston Zeddemore, and thank you for all you've done to protect the living from the wrath of the evil dead. Hopefully the days of your video game oppression are finally over.

In the meantime, I’m going to go petition Sega to re-release the Genesis/Mega Drive version of Ghostbusters with Winston as a playable character. Then not only would bustin’ make me feel good, it would make me feel progressive. Yes we can, Sega. YES WE CAN.

Also Peter looks like a rapist and Egon looks like Billy from the Power Rangers.

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