Here we are.
An array of snacks from Fami cover the coffee table. Everything from eclairs to cheese dip to some good old fashioned Cosmic Brownies, along with the main dish of two boxes of chili cheese fries. Everything is set.
As soon as Karina and I met back up, we sped back to my apartment on the sky rail and got everything we might need for the greatest gaming marathon the world has ever seen. We have absolutely everything ready to be as comfortable and awake as possible to experience Genesis Crush under the scientifically-determined-to-be-optimal conditions. Every single aspect is ideal.
“Just don’t forget, I have work in the morning so I can’t stay up late,” Karina says.
“Every aspect except for one…”
“Nothing. I’m just really excited to veg out in front of the TV with you,” I say.”
“And I’m really glad I could stay over here at your place,” Karina says. “It’s so much fun hanging out with you, and it’s so much closer to everything than my Dad’s house. I’d love to live in downtown Atlanta…”
Where is this coming from? “Yeah, any time. Though if you stay too long I’m going to start charging rent!”
“How much is that?”
“Uh, I don’t know, a thousand dollars a month.” That’s nearly my entire share of the rent and utilities already, actually.
“Well, I guess I’d better start saving up then!”
I like having my own apartment to myself, to be honest. And it’s getting pretty crowded here already, what with me and also me, and then me as well.
“I’m just glad I got you those rocket boots, more than anything,” Karina says. “It’s gonna be so exciting to take you out to the park and teach you everything I know. I am a most excellent teacher.”
“I’m seriously only going along with this to appease you, I hope you know.”
“Yeah, and that’s why you’re so sweet. So, tomorrow after work?”
“Not… more Genesis Crush?”
Karina winks, doing her best R8PR imitation. “Ah, but there’s a twist for patient people. Guess who has absolutely nothing on her calendar the next three days afterwards?”
“Not me? I have work for some ungodly reason.”
“Uh… Oh. Well.”
“But I’ll call out sick.”
It’s a plan. A Genesis Crush plan. Assuming everything goes well, that means we could play almost the entire interval between the evening of May 5 and the entire weekend gauntlet of May 6th through May 8th. Discounting (minimal) sleep, bathroom breaks, and running over to Fami, that adds to about fifty-five to sixty possible gameplay hours. That sounds absolutely perfect.
With everything else set, I walk over to the Nintendo Playstation and untangle the controller cords so I can bring the controllers over to the couch. These things have an almost magical energy to them with their ability to knot themselves in seemingly impossible ways. A new scientific law will someday be established with the groundwork laid by video game controller cords, I can just feel it.
Obviously this isn’t certain yet since I haven’t even opened the box, but from everything I have read or seen about Genesis Crush, the game is just radically original, a pioneering entry in the realm of video games you can play with your friends together. I find it amazing how Genesis Crush does multiplayer. It’s this big world where you run around the city and fight monsters and can romance over a dozen different in-game characters, but you aren’t restricted to any set path, and neither is your Player 2. It’s an independent split-screen experience and every player gets to play however they want, go wherever they want.
Multiplayer games have attempted things like this before, but only recently have they reached the processing power and coding prowess to be able to have fully-asymmetrical gameplay on one TV screen, intersecting only when players want to fight a really tough boss together, or fight each other I guess. The game allows for up to eight players at once, but with the size of this TV I bought at the thrift store it’s already a bit fuzzy at just two. Also I have no other friends.
Beat’em up games are already famous for their couch co-op capabilities, but when you add in city building simulation and RPG elements, it just feels like this could be the best video game of all-time. Except for Earthbound, but you know what I mean.
I unbox the game, slam the cartridge into the open slot, and sit down on the couch next to Karina. I hand her one of the controllers– the backup controller whose control stick isn’t quite as sturdy, of course.
“Why am I always player 2?”
“Because I’m always player 1.”
She whines but accepts this incontrovertible fact of logic.
I take a look at the Genesis Crush cartridge, depicting blocky 3D anime characters making silly poses and holding their weapons in the air. This is gonna be something special.
“Let’s do this,” I say.
“I’m ready,” Karina says.
Knock knock knock.
I’m taken out of the heat of the moment. “Did you order pizza?” I ask. Karina shakes her head and points to the snacks piled up on the coffee table.
With a grumble I get up from my still-new-but-already-shitty couch and open the door.
There’s three robots standing there in an orderly line.
Oh, geez, what is this.
“If I may,” the robot in front begins with its synthetic chirping. “I must apologize for the lateness of the hour, but I have been alerted that you have a copy of Genesis Crush and obtained it from the K-Store flash sale earlier this afternoon. If you are willing to part with this sold-out item, I am, through my owner, willing to pay up to thirty dollars for the game.”
A robot behind it chimes, “My owner says thirty-five!”
The third, “Fifty!”
I shut the door.
“Let’s never go outside again,” I say as I plop down on the couch and scoot closer to Karina.
“What the heck was that?”
“Robots who want to buy the game off me.”
“And they’re just… standing there?”
More knocking at the door.
“It would… seem that way.” I get back up and answer the door once again.
There are now seven robots.
“Please, let me make a request,” one of the new robots says. “If I could just have your attention for–”
“Hey Karina, can you… look up what the heck is going on?” I ask. She pulls out her portable PC and begins searching around the internet for answers. The knocking continues, at least once every five minutes. It’s always more robots.
I realize this is unfortunately going to be the start of a very stupid series of events.
We never actually get around to playing Genesis Crush.