July 16, 2013

Had a Rather Crappy Day? Here's a Couple of Stress Relievers that I Highly-Recommend!

Salve Omni!

I don't know about the rest of you, but lately, stress has been a permanent part of my daily routine. I have a motto..."When in doubt, consult your favorite things." Unless some of your "favorite things" include serial killing and maiming small neighborhood animals. NOT GOOD!

Most of the time, I will pop in a Britcom, sitcom or movie to lift my spirits, but there are those days when TV shows just won't do. In these extreme cases, I recommend, Ladies and Gentlemen, that you break out your gaming devices!!!!

Though I love my modern gaming systems, I also find it necessary to keep it old-school. Through childhood, and semi-adulthood, I have managed to hold on to my beloved Nintendo Entertainment System, which I still play regularly. One of my favorite forms of stress relief, is the game, Super Dodge Ball. Created by CSG Imagesoft, Inc. in 1989, and licensed by Nintendo of America, this old-school, 8-bit bundle-of-fun is awesome!

The object of the game -- you have a team and you select your players. You can play the following as a single player: world cup play (I highly recommend this one!!!) or bean ball. Or, you can play the following with two players: versus play, or bean ball (a free-for-all type of game). As you can tell from the bolded letters, the world cup play is the best option for stress relief. Your team plays dodge ball against eight rival teams from around the world. When you win a match, you travel to the next country to play the rival team on their turf, and so on, without losing a match, until you win the game. It's pretty cool to hear the 8-bit music and see the scenery change as you move from country to country (I will admit, some of the foreign team member's names do seem a little stereotypical). Oh, and when you, your teammate(s), and your opponent(s) run out of "life" (which is gauged by bars) from being hit too many times with the ball...you die!!! The first team to eliminate all of their rival teammates wins the match! It can be a bit frustrating, though; if you lose a match, there is no save function, so you have to start the entire game over from the very beginning. However, the game is straightforward and fairly easy to play, and it gives you a chance to really release your pent-up aggressions while feeling like a badass when you've killed everyone on the rival teams and won the world cup.

One suggestion...play the game, Super Dodge Ball while listening to tracks from the album, Super Dodge Ball: Around the World, which was written as a project by a group of OC Remix artists. I tend to mute out the original 8-bit music while playing through the world cup play, kicking butt while listening to tracks from this album. You can check it out at http://atw.ocremix.org/bios.php.

There is yet another gem that I play on my Xbox 360 (OK, it's technically my husband's Xbox 360, but what's his is mine!) I am referring to the 2011 Mortal Kombat videogame. This is the go-
to videogame for us here at home to play together. It is best to play the two-player versus, because you and your opponent get to choose a character (or the same character, if you're bold), and fight to the death. I usually rock at playing as my favorite character Jade (why, oh why was Tanya left out of this one?), but lately, I've been mixing it up a bit to keep it fresh...and hilarious! In my last post, I mentioned that robots give me the creeps. Well, they do! But for some strange reason, I find it funny, and creepy to play as the robot characters. My favorite robot character is Sektor. He is made of red metal, with little wire dreadlocks growing out of the back of his robot cranium. I think the creep factor is lessened here by the hilarity of his character. The way he talks and moves, especially his kicking style, is too funny. You will just have to play the game as Sektor to see what I am talking about. And make sure you've had a few glasses of wine too. I won't spoil the game for you, but this is a must-have in your gaming collection for stress relief! What is not awesome about this game? You get to fight others in a very gory and bloody survival of the fittest (or whoever's best at memorizing all of the different fight codes and fatalities). Once these are mastered, the possibilities are endless...depending on your choice of character, you can bite, stomp, rip the head off of your opponent, stab, throw fireballs, freeze...you name it! And it's all bloody good fun!

There are many more videogames that I like to play, but Super Dodge Ball and Mortal Kombat are what I recommend to get you through the worst of times. Both games take about 15 minutes maximum to complete a game or match, which make them both ideal to get in a "quick game" before or after work, or before going to that annoying social gathering where you know the lovely individuals who tend to get under your skin will be present.

My advice...for extreme cases of stress, play two rounds or more.