Having gotten my hands on a Playstation 3 only in the last year, I find myself playing a lot of sequels to games that I have never played. The latest is Little Big Planet 2. A whimsical 2D platformer, LBP2 gives players control of Sackboy, a comical little creature made of burlap that can be dressed up in a diverse array of costumes. The game draws on quite a few classic video game influences, from Mario and Sonic to Gradius and even World of Goo. It has a goofy sense of humor that I imagine appeals to children, but like World of Goo, it also has a subtle darkness to it that at times gets downright creepy.
I didn't have any bright ideas for what to pair with LBP2, but fortunately my father kindly sent a bottle of Russian River's Blind Pig IPA my way. Blind Pig is a deep golden ale with a rocky white head that left lacing all the way down the glass. It smells strongly of piney, citrusy hops and just a touch of honeyed malt. It tastes strongly of grapefruit, with a light touch of graininess and a hint of caramel.
While not the most wacky or original pairing I've come up with, I did really enjoy this one. LBP2 and Blind Pig are both fun, well-crafted products that are a pleasure to consume. Having them together made me happy.
Sometimes being under the influence causes us to do things that we later regret. While my more juvenile readers get their minds out of the gutter, I'll explain that the other night, while drinking whiskey, I took it upon myself to edit my Gamefly queue. I still can't explain the impulse that caused me to order Deadliest Catch: Seas of Chaos, but I did, and it's currently on its way. I think I thought it would be funny. And it might be, but I'm going to need to come up with something great to pair with it. Suggestions are welcome.
My good friends Sarah and Gilad were kind enough to give me their Atari, along with a couple dozen games. I'll have fun coming up with pairings for these. I have something great in mind for E.T., which is commonly considered the worst game of all time.
While watching me play Ninja Gaiden Sigma, a friend commented that he rarely sees me getting so angry when playing video games. His observation was accurate. I'll yell at the TV a lot no matter what game I'm playing, but I find this one to be particularly frustrating. It may be the only reboot of a classic series that is harder than its NES counterpart. The game stars Ryu, a ninja who kills a lot of people for some reason. The original Ninja Gaiden was applauded for its cut-scenes that added depth to its narrative. Ninja Gaiden Sigma (which I'm playing on Playstation 3), is a step backwards from this. I have no idea what is going on or why I'm doing the things I'm doing.
Ninja-fighting is awesome, and Ninja Gaiden Sigma can be pretty fun at times. Dicing up enemy soldiers with katanas gives me some satisfaction, but it never takes me long before I start dying. And while I respect the game's developers for giving gamers some old-school punishment, sitting through 5 minutes of load screens every time I die makes things get boring fast. Fortunately, the good lord gave us a delicious cure for boredom called beer.
I chose to drink Ayinger's Oktober Fest - Märzen while playing Ninja Gaiden Sigma. Getting my ass kicked over and over makes me thirsty, and I thought a reasonably light lager would be appropriately refreshing. The beer is deeply golden in color. It as an aroma of fresh bread and toast with subtle notes of almonds and golden raisins. It is amazingly smooth. Pleasantly malty, it has a subtle sweetness with faint traces of iron. Every beer I've ever had from Ayinger has been the best beer I've ever had in its respective style. Their Oktoberfest is no exception. I think that it went great with Ninja Gaiden Sigma, but probably just because I like it so much. So let that be a lesson to us all. If you force yourself to play a shitty game in order to drink booze with it so you can write about it on the internet, drink booze that you like a lot so that the experience isn't entirely terrible.