1. Colossus: The Forbin Project – I came across the trailer and artwork for this film this week, and it pretty much has it all. Man creates super computer that can make itself smarter, super computer then makes itself smarter, super computer “enslaves” man to make sure man doesn’t kill himself. Kind of a grim tale, but it’s told in fabulous 1970’s style. Here’s the poster art:
Three fonts for the title, and it works! And don’t get me started on the illustrations. Also, “Practically Perfect” is a bold claim, Vincent Canby…
This one’s a little more art house but no less awesome. If anyone’s doing some early birthday shopping, I could use this on a white tank top.
Some beautiful shots from the movie. This is the future I want to live in, computer overlord or not:
And the trailer:
2. Police Quest – I’ve said before that I was a huge fan of Sierra games growing up. I probably spent too much time playing these graphic text adventures, but some of them instilled lifelong abilities. King’s Quest taught me that you’re usually probably never more than three-ish special items away from whatever you’re seeking, Leisure Suit Larry taught me that if you speak to a woman you’d better have something interesting to say (and use breath spray), but most importantly Police Quest taught me that if I wanted to save prostitutes and stop drug trafficking in my city I needed to follow the rules TO THE LETTER.
Police Quest was a straight-up police procedural game that was unique in that it strove for something more than high speed car chases and shootouts.
If you wanted to succeed, you needed to embrace the more mundane aspects of being a good cop as well as the exciting ones. Fail to check your tires before getting into your squad car, and you’d have a blowout on patrol. Miss a step when doing a routine pull-over and lose your case entirely (and the game). It sounds kind of awful, but I loved it. Stay disciplined and eventually you had a chance to catch the big fish, which involved dressing up in disguise and playing a poker game that I may have played way too much. Ultimately I brought down the Death Angel terrorizing Lytton and stopped ALL DRUGS from entering the city FOREVER.
Then the Death Angel escaped prison a few years later and Police Quest II started up.
This holds up as one of my most anticipated games of all time and the game itself really shows off the “sweet spot” Sierra had achieved between the cruder text-based interface of its games up to that point and the overpolished mouse-only interface that it would adopt soon after.
You can see the obvious graphic improvements, but PQ2 also shined in that it did away with the ultra-tedious aspects of the previous game while still maintaining a focus on following procedure. The mouse could be used but wasn’t necessary which was great because at that point, since Sierra games had basically taught me how to type, I was a keystroke machine. But not, like, in the sense that I was an actual keystroke machine like a typewriter. I just mean that I could type really fast.
The series continued after PQ2, and some of the games were fun but once Sonny Bonds, the main character of PQ1 and PQ2, was out of the picture I lost interest. Jim Walls, creator of the series, stayed on through Police Quest 3 and handed the reins over to Daryl F. Gates of the LAPD for the sequels after that, at which point the series sort of evolved into a SWAT tactical game. Not my cup of tea, but probably good.
Here’s a playthrough of PQ1. I’m not going to lie, it makes me really nostalgic just watching this. I might start a playthrough…after I beat Titanfall.
3. ALF PSA – Yeah, here’s ALF representing the Department of the Interior in 1989. While I don’t disagree with him at all, there are a couple of things that stick out to me. First, this PSA really seems to rely on your knowledge of what happened to Melmac. That’s going to narrow your reach all by itself. Second, he offers a “recent picture” of himself if you sign up. To replace the “older” picture from before?
4. Chef Boyardee – Well, Chef Boyardee using a bunch of kids singing “Hot Stuff” isn’t creepy at all. Not even when it features a young Candice Cameron. Nope, not at all.
5. The Gang – Speaking of creepy, how about these guys!
What gives, Hamburglar??