The Professional Gamer - August 16, 2013

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week's installment of the Professional Gamer.  After our 16-bit nostalgia show last week, I decided to steal the Super Nintendo from my parents' basement, and play through the best RPG of that era.  Read on to find out more.


This week I rewatched a fabulous old movie: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.  The "Man with No Name" trilogy, as it is typically known, are my favorite westerns.  Which is amusing, since Fistful of Dollars, is based on the Kurasawa movie Yojimbo, which, in turn, was styled as a Japanese western.  On this viewing, I payed close attention to the opening scene, where no one talks for 10 minutes.  The composition of a number of shots and the pacing of the actions in this scene are amazingly effective to pull the viewing into the story and build suspense.  Some of the overdubing is lackluster, with speech that doesn't match the actors.  However, this is a minor fault in an otherwise spectacular film.


This week, as I mentioned in the introduction, I hooked up my Super Nintendo and played my favorite classic era RPG: Super Mario RPG.  This game had such a great sense of humor and self-aware commentary.  Playing through again as an adult, I am surprised by how easy the game seems now.  My recollection of the game was that it was significantly more challenging.  My guess is simply my greater degree of familiarity with the RPG genre.  I had never really played Final Fantasy or any of the other console RPG's before I rented SM:RPG as a child.  This time, everything seems to be going much better.


Having finished another great sci-fi novel last week, I'm back into the non-fiction section.  This week, I started reading The High Cost of Free Parking.  Bear with me, this is a book about the problems of having too much free parking available everywhere.  I originally heard about the book on the CBC program Ideas.  If you were to ask me why I find this book interesting, I don't think I could provide a satisfactory answer.  I don't know why I'm reading it, but I am.  I find the author's argument to be compelling, especially his critique of current zoning and parking requirement ordinances.  If you have an interest in how we have ended up in our suburban sprawl in the US, I recommend listening to the Ideas story first, and then having a look at The High Cost of Free Parking.

That's all for this week.  Join me again next Friday for another weekly update of the Professional Gamer.