Santa Ride! 2 for the PC

Santa Ride! 2 is probably the worst Christmas-themed game I’ve ever played, unless maybe you count Die Hard Trilogy, of which 2/3 does happen to take place on Christmas. Did you know that every time John McClane kills someone, an angel gets its wings? That reminds me that I’ll have to talk about Die Hard Trilogy later on. Santa Ride! is essentially a modification of developer Invictus’s Cross Racing Championship off-road racing game for the PC. There’s not much to it. Race Santa’s Sleigh, or “sledge” as it is called here, around a simple track, collecting presents for points and extra time, accompanied by festive music. A surprising amount of physics allow you to drift the Santa’s Sledge directly into the presents for extra bonus. However, for this sequel, they managed to totally dick up the physics to the point of it not being fun any more. Turning is just way too stiff, and that makes me flacid. For extra bonus from me, enjoy Santa Ride! 2 whilst watching the Dirty Harry parody Sledge Hammer!

I feel like Dropo, the laziest man on Mars…


Santa Ride! for the PC

Santa Ride! is probably the best Christmas-themed game I’ve ever played, unless maybe you count Die Hard Trilogy, of which 2/3 does happen to take place on Christmas. Did you know that every time John McClane kills someone, an angel gets its wings? That reminds me that I’ll have to talk about Die Hard Trilogy later on. Santa Ride! is essentially a modification of developer Invictus’s Cross Racing Championship off-road racing game for the PC. There’s not much to it. Race Santa’s Sleigh, or “sledge” as it is called here, around a simple track, collecting presents for points and extra time, accompanied by festive music. A surprising amount of physics allow you to drift the Santa’s Sledge directly into the presents for extra bonus. For extra bonus from me, enjoy Santa Ride! whilst watching the Dirty Harry parody Sledge Hammer!

Christmas Countdown Preliminaries

Before we go off willy-nilly and attempt to chronicle the entirety of yule-tide game-tivities, let’s take a moment to prepare ourselves. Diving head-first into the freezing lake of Christmas cheer can shock the yule right out of your log. So, I’ve prepare some recommendations to help get you in the mood. I hesitate to call this a Buyers Guide as you won’t be buying this stuff for anyone but yourself, but sometimes the Magic-Self Lamp needs a little rubbin’.

God, what a recockulous paragraph. I guess that’s what happens when you write solely to amuse yourself.

Samual Adams Winter Classics Variety Pack

As a general rule, I’m not the biggest fan of Samuel Adams. His brews are just a notch above Budweiser in my opinion, which puts them slightly above the piss-water in the bottom of the toilet and into the realm of the blue-tinged water that drips from the inside rim of the bowl. Come Christmas time, Samuel redeems himself with a pack of holiday inspired beers that will warm the Grinchiest heart. I’m funny that way, in that individual quality isn’t as important as variety, and the Sam Adams pack contains 6 different flavors to tempt your palate and kill your brain cells:

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Boston Lager

Sam’s trademark brew doesn’t really deserve inclusion in this pack, but has somehow snuck in. At least there are only two. Save these for the end of the night, when everything tastes the same.

Winter Lager

Made from real Winter extract, this hearty brew is basically a thicker version of the Boston Lager.

Cream Stout

A new addition to this annual pack, Cream Stout will make you wish it were a Guinness.

Old Fezziwig Ale

“Ale brewed with cinnamon, ginger, and orange”. Any beer named after a character from A Christmas Carol is okay by me. It sure does make me wish there were a porter named after Frank Cross. It’s my personal fav.

Holiday Porter

After coming strong with Old Fezziwig, Sam takes the conservative naming route with their porter. It really steams my piss that they can just say the word Christmas on the damn thing. You can’t fool me Sam. I just noticed that “this heavy porter finishes with traditional English Fuggles and East Kent Goldings.” Somehow my Eastern Goldings have ended up at the bottom of this bottle, not unlike how the rest of me will eventually.

Cranberry Lambic

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Cranberry beer–wha-huh?! The oddness of a cranberry based brew is only eclipsed by the inclusion of Lamb into the mix. Because, we are all a little like lambs, you know? Still, I can’t help but think that turkey would have been the better meat choice.

Festive Beverage Container

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Now that you’ve got all these beers, what are you going to drink them out of? Beer just tastes better when drank from the hallowed out skull of Old Saint Nick. Good luck finding one of these. I found mine at the Goodwill for 3 dollars. If you can afford it, this guy on eBay sells replicas of the Wally World Moose Cups from National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, perfect for snarfing eggnog into.

Playmobil Advent Calendar

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I first learned of this thing from Matt over at, where his Christmas countdown is now in its 6th glorious year and just keeps getting better. My shitty shit can’t hold a Taper of Sacrafice to Matt’s incredible volume of comedy gold.

What better way to keep track of when you should put down the Orange Box and switch to the Pink and Gold one. Things have gone a bit bat-shit crazy in Playmobil-land this year. Rather than sticking with a traditional Christmas theme, what we have here is a Unicorn Princess Advent Calendar.

Christ is the LORD!

Thank god I have a four year old daughter to blame for buying this stuff. I can’t imagine what the clerk was thinking when I walked in by myself and demanded that they
give me the last one in the store that had been placed on hold by someone far less hairy.

Mother’s Holiday Striped Shortbread

Baking Christmas cookies is a lot of damn work. Like anything good, it’s mostly worth it, but sometimes the most I want to do is tear open a hermetically sealed package of processed sugar and shovel whatever is in there straight into my mouth, just like mom used to do. I’ve written about the glories of Mother’s Holiday Striped Shortbread before, so allow me to summarize (ie. cut and paste) my thoughts here:

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I’ll admit that I am a bit of a cookie fanatic. Since I have grown up, my love of candy has waned. A Snickers just doesn’t look as appealing as a frosty mug of beer at this point in my life. Childhood seemed like nothing else but a constant pursuit of candy. Starting with Halloween, the cavalcade of chocolatey confections continued through the rest of the year. Perhaps it’s the fact that I can go to the store at any moment and buy myself a King Size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup that has dulled the allure of such an action. As with anything, I suppose, candy lost it’s magic when it became instantly available at any moment and not just an occasional triumph over my parents will. However, such a thing could not be said of my desire for cookies. “C” is for cookie and that’s good enough for me. (But don’t get me started on cake…)

My favorite cookies that my Grandma used to hand out were
Fudge-Stripes shortbread. Being from the Philippines, my Grandmother could put together some tremendous home made goods, but, nothing like store bought preservatives got my hands trembling with delight and sugar withdrawals. Grandmas are cool like that, always pleasing the kids, even at the expense of themselves sometimes. Thanks for the cookies, Grandma. And the Matchbox cars.

Now, I’ve always been partial to the Fudge-Stripes put out by the Keebler Elves, but this year the entire team of Elves have been one-upped by a single Mother. It’s not that Mother has three kids and is divorced, it’s just that there is only one of her, but she is one goddamn cookie making son of a bitch. The Elves were sitting pretty on a mountain of Double-Stuffed E. L. Fudge cookies, and that mountain, my friends, has tumbled. Chaka, when the walls fell. Out of nowhere, Mother has come and dethroned The King.

Okay, so all she did was use white fudge instead of dark, but that’s not all. Red and green colored stripes help round out the festive motif. Another nice touch is complete coverage with the white fudge leaving no cookie area unfudged. It’s like your very own snow covered hilltop stained with the blood of sinners and Vulcans.

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The technique of choice for eating Fudge-Stripes was to stick my finger through the hole in the middle and eat my way to the center until there was nothing left but a thin ring of cookie. It’s too bad that as my fingers have gotten larger, the hole in the center of Fudge-Stripes hasn’t kept pace. I’m forced to fall back on my pinky and, still, the cookie barely makes it to the first knuckle. By the way, it’s best to eat the remaining Ring O’ Cookie straight off of your finger. Pulling the ring off would result in a chocolate smear on your whole finger and explaining to your mailman why you’re sitting there with your brown-stained finger in the air could be a challenge. Well, you’ll no longer have to feel awkward in front of your mailman, at least during the holiday season. Introducing Mother’s Holiday Fudge-Striped Cookies! Better get some while they last.

Mother is watching.

October 30th, Halloween Racer for the Gameboy Color

Halloween has many traditions. The dressing up in costumes. The giving away of candy. Bobbing for apples. Pumpkin carving. Paying homage to Gorto. Now you can add one more holiday ritual to your already full plate of terror and merriment (terriment?): a race to the death. Halloween Racer for the Gameboy Color let’s you take Halloween and racing with you wherever you go. While the objective is as simple as winning the race, the ultimate test of Halloween Racer comes before the race begins. It is here that Halloween Racer’s true menace is revealed: the character selection screen.

Racer #1 – A Ghostly Suit of Armor Riding a Floating Triangle

A Halloween staple, the Ghostly Suit of Armor Riding a Floating Triangle (GSARFT), finds himself in a race in which he simply doesn’t belong. GSARFT doesn’t remember entering a race, signing a release form, or even what he ate for breakfast that morning. His companion, the aforementioned Floating Triangle, however, is a completely different story. A complete mute, the only language Floating Triangle knows is the language of speed, but she speaks with the eloquence of Garrison Keillor and the fervor of Gilbert Gottfried. She guides her witless friend GSARFT around the race track and keeps her silent vigil, never once asking for anything in return. We can all learn a little something from Floating Triangle.

Racer #2 – Scarecrow John

Scarecrow John is a bitter, bitter man. Just two consonants and one vowel away from being the life of the party, the guy everyone wants to hang out with: Scarecrow Joe. John is a ball of rage, wrapped in a layer of contempt, surrounded by a torrent of misanthropy, encased in a steel cage of slightly dick-ish. Rather than drive an interesting vehicle of some sort, Scarecrow John floats above the earth on apparent “magic legs”, like a hay filled Lt. Dan. I was tempted to suggest that Scarecrow John rides a futuristic hoverboard, but ever since Robert Zemekis duped us into thinking they were real in that The Making of Back to the Future featurette, I’ve been half a Scarecrow John myself. Thank god the news was broken by good Christian Kirk Cameron in his own The Making of Back to the Future featurette, not to be confused with the first The Making of Back to the Future featurette. Kirk later when on to star as Buck Williams in the Left Behind movie series, god bless him. Buck Williams, coincidentally, has the same name as the guy who played Forward for the Portland Trailblazers during the 80s and often practiced at my local gym. I mention this because one of Buck’s teammates was Kiki Vandewheghe, and I really like saying Kiki Vandewheghe.

Racer #3 – Just Witch

Our third racer is Just Witch. Just Witch is your pretty standard witch on a broom. There is nothing funny about Just Witch. She is perfectly ordinary. Does she ride a mop? Nope. Standard broom. In her navy blue jumpsuit, she races competitively, yet fairly, never daring to cheat or even trash talk her opponents. Upon being victorious, Just Witch is the picture of sportmanship, neither bragging or being overly modest. Were she to lose a race, Just Witch will gracefully admit defeat, whilst congratulating the winner on their fine racing skills. Just Witch annoys the piss out of me.

Halloween Racer plays out on a number of different venues that all look pretty much the same except for a change in background picture. If you remember playing Turbo on your Colecovision, you’ll know what you in for with Halloween Racer. Not since Turbo have I experienced such a sensation of sitting absolutely still and sliding back and forth avoiding obstacles while the road scrolls by underneath me as if on a conveyor belt. The obstacles you are tasked to dodge are the scariest things on a conveyor belt since Speedy Gonzales played an Easter trick on Daffy Duck at his south of the border chocolate bunny sweatshop.

Spiders webs litter the ground, tornadoes tear up the asphalt, and snails slowly inch their way across. That’s right, snails. Conveniently forgetting the fact that every single one of it’s racers floats above the ground, Halloween Racer makes you dodge those snails, or pay dearly.

A quick search reveals that snails and Halloween are connected in ways far greater than I imagined.

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October 22nd, Pinball Quest for the NES

Pinball. It’s not quite a video game, it’s not quite a sport. Pinball Quest for the NES. It’s not quite a pinball game, it’s not quite an RPG. It’s something….different. I’m not sure how, but Pinball Quest made it’s way to my cellphone and since I’m too damn busy to play games anymore, the only gaming I get is when I’m sitting on the Great White Throne in my bathroom. And so it was that I met Pinball Quest. POP!POP! VIVA!GOLF and CIRCUS are the three main tables to choose from. You’d think that a circus would warrant an exclamation point, especially after it’s used with such abandon on the other two tables, but you would be wrong. It’s a somber circus; the kind with sad clowns. All these things meant nothing to me. I was there for one thing, and one thing only: RPG MODE. Like some obscene cross between The Legend of Zelda and Balls of Steel, RPG MODE has you battling skeletons, witches and warlocks with your giant, steel ball of justice. You can purchase additional bumpers and upgraded paddles from the Devil himself. Yup, Old Scratch has found himself dealing in used pinball machine parts. I guess the soul trade is not what it used to be since the end of the Inquisition.

The first stage takes place in a forest where Pinball Quest throws you into a graveyard to battle it out with a series of juvenile delinquent headstones. The dead get no eternal rest in Pinball Quest, so you must destroy their headstones and piss on their bones. All of sudden, I’m Ol’ Dirty Bastard, cuz the first level is basic and easily mastered. It’s after this level that you have your first meeting with Beelzebub, and his appearance foreshadows an even greater evil just around the corner. For all I know, this is Satan’s last appearance in Pinball Quest, because I could not, for the life of me, get past this second level. See, if the ball happens slip past your flippers, it falls all the way to Level 1 where you must battle all the way back to the top. Now, it’s bad enough that the flippers react like they are underwater, but you’ve also got to contend with a warlock throwing magical rings that paralyze them, as well. These damn flippers are so slow, I hesitate to call them flippers, at all. They’re more like gentle touchers. I guess it doesn’t make much difference when the physics call for the ball to increase it’s velocity and angle by 300% at random intervals.

What the hell does all of this have to do with Halloween? Take a look down below…

October 18th, Halloween The New Nightmare for the PC

I kind of blew my wad on Drac’s Night Out. What could possibly top a game that combines my two favorite things: booby traps and sports apparel? So, it’s with reluctance that we take a look at Halloween The New Nightmare for the PC. Essentially what appears to be a Quake mod, Halloween The New Nightmare is so terrible, I barely have the strength to make fun of it. Of course, we’re here to celebrate Halloween games, not disparage them. There must be something of redeeming value in Halloween The New Nightmare. It doesn’t appear to be based on any movie or license I’ve ever heard of, but I’m too tired to do any actual research on Halloween The New Nightmare. As far as I’ve seen, Halloween The New Nightmare was released sometime between 2004 and 2007. Every time I find it mentioned on a different web page, the date has changed. You run around blocky corridors, firing blocky weapons at blocky enemies, and picking up slightly less blocky, yet still pretty damn blocky power-ups. Perhaps Halloween The New Nightmare is based on the Lego license.

I think I’ve got something. Halloween The New Nightmare has some pretty cool music and some seriously hellish sound design. I’ve taken the liberty of changing the names of some of the choice sound files to the names of some of the default Windows XP sounds. Simply download them here:

Windows XP Startup.wav

Windows XP Shutdown.wav

Windows XP Error.wav

Windows XP Ding.wav

Windows XP Critical Stop.wav

Change the underscores to spaces and place them in your friend or co-worker’s “C:\Windows\Media” folder on Halloween and wait for the fun to begin.

October 17th, Drac’s Night Out for the NES

Going into this, I had certain expectations about the games that I would be covering. There were certain games I knew I had to talk about. There were characters that I knew would come up one way or another. Frankenstein, the Mummy, Wolf-Man and Dracula were sure to make appearances, not because they are such iconic characters as much as a ton of movies, and thereby crappy licensed games, feature them. Dracula alone could probably fill the entire month himself, with an astounding 9 games being based solely on the early 90s Francis Ford Coppola directed biopic. Mobygames‘ list of games that feature Dracula currently stands at 55. Shifty-five games! As part of my presidential platform, I vow to increase educational spending, put an end to bi-partisan bickering, lower health care costs, reduce taxes, and extend the Halloween season to 55 days.

Now, I’m an old-skool Bela Legosi Dracula fan and cheesy horror flick buff, but nothing could prepare me for the wondrous recockulousness that I stumbled upon on a random emulation web site. This particular game is not contained within Mobygames extensive library, and probably for good reason. There are barely any words capable of describing how I feel about Drac’s Night Out for the original NES, so I’ll make up a new one: euphrapturedise! Never before have two seemingly unconnected things come together in such an orgy of pertinence!

Okay…I need to slow down…my heart is pounding…that last sentence makes no sense. The hyperbole is flowing like Mountain Dew Game Fuel.

Deep breath…


Let me think… Is there any way in which Drac’s Night Out could be improved?




I’ve come to the conclusion that Drac’s Night Out COULD be better, but only if Count Dracula were to be replaced with Count Duckula.

What’s the point of all this nonsense? Ol’ Drac awakens one night (Though it’s not expressly stated, I think it’s strongly inferred, mostly by me, that it is Halloween night.) to find that his Transylvanian castle has been invaded by delicious mortals hell-bent on destroying him once and for all. Not only that, they tracked mud on his new BETTAN LINJE rug from IKEA. Dr. Acula must use the various Goonies-esque booby traps that litter his castle to immobilize the humans, whom he can subsequently pierce the necks of and drink their precious Game Fuel-esque fluids, vampire-esquely. Let the humans touch you, and it’s game over. It’s a bit disconcerting when an immortal, blood sucking, hypnotist like Dracula can be easily overcome by an 80 year old Transylvanian woman in a head scarf, but, as we learned earlier, video game character head gear can be deceptively cunning. Besides traps, Dracula has one more weapon of justice with which to beat back the human hordes. Take a look at the title screen and see if you notice anything out of place.

Now look again.

Still not clear?

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What could this possibly mean? I did a double-take. Twice. If the Microsmiths had somehow managed to shoe horn an early 90s shoe fad into a game based on a 19th century vampire, they would be the most powerful force in game design the world has ever known. Then again, how could they go wrong? I mean, I love Reebok Pumps. I love Dracula. This is the game I’ve been waiting my entire life for.

The Reebok power-up lets Dracula run faster, jump higher, and look sexier than ever before. Not since the Bubble Bobble Red Shoe has a pair of footwear changed the course of a battle to the death so swiftly. Witness the power of the Pump as I execute a double-kill on a poor, unsuspecting Grandmother and her boy toy Renaldo. White men can jump, indeed, and the whiter they are, the higher they’ll go.

Unfortunately, while 10 foot jumps are possible with The Pumps, 8 foot falls are, apparently, not. My mind was blown after this one. This COUNTdown could end right now and I’d be totally satisfied. However, my curiosity got the better of me and I had to know more about Drac’s Night Out. One Google search later, and I was staring in the face of another cross promotion that sent even more shivers down my spine.

October 16th, Jack Bros. for the Virtual Boy

Who would’ve thought that the Virtual Boy would save Halloween. We have, not one, but two frightening games to review BS about for the Virtual Boy. This means that the Old Boy has a greater percentage of Halloween games than any other console in existence! We heart you Virtual Boy.
Jack Bros. for the Virtual Boy, just based on the name alone, is ripe for ridicule. However, we here at the kentdog blog, like to think that we take the high road when it comes to these kinds of things. We could talk about how the gameplay is rudimentary and boring, how the dialogue is poorly translated, and how we only played it for about two minutes. Sure, Jack Bros., is all of those things, but it is also so much more. Most of the games we’ve covered so far have had fairly obscure connections to Halloween. Monsters and ghosts are pretty standard video game fare. From Doom to Super Mario Bros., a lot of games feature macabre creatures that get translated into plastic masks and find their way to the seasonal aisle of your local Walgreens to hang between Spongebob Squarepants and a Power Ranger. It’s a rare game that fully embraces Halloween. The Halloween section of Bully was over before we had a chance to enjoy it. In an era where it’s nearly impossible to come across a broadcast of Garfield’s Halloween Special, Jack Bros. will now and forever hold a special place in my Hallowed heart.

Following Japanese Halloween tradition, the intro to Jack Bros. is long and agonizing, but it sets the stage for an epic journey rivaled only by The Adventures of Milo & Otis.

It seems that every Halloween, due to the purchase of so many miniature Snickers bars, the fabric of the universe is torn asunder, thereby allowing fairies to enter our realm and gad about the house all day like Sandy Frank.

Three brothers from different mothers, all named Jack, but with different last names, have come together for their one night of human-style debauchery. The brillgenius of naming all three of your characters Jack quickly becomes apparent. When the player chooses one of the three as his avatar, you can refer to them by name in dialogue and cut-scenes and not have to lift a finger assigning variables or using arcane GOTO commands. Jack Bros., can you do no wrong?

Like a moose on a coke-induced rampage, or Cinderella, Jack soon realizes that it’s almost midnight and if he doesn’t high tail it home, he’ll be trapped in our dimension forever. You’ll guide Jack through a series of mazes on his way back to the land of the fairies.

I’ve just realized that there’s not a whole lot of scary in this game, and even less horror. In fact, it’s kind of cute.

I hate you Jack Bros.

October 15th, Frankenstein’s Monster for the Atari 2600

Let’s say that the most horrific creature ever created were about to be unleashed on a unsuspecting public. Someone must be notified and called into action. Frankenstein’s Monster, you see, is white. Not Caucasian, mind you, I’m talking about horribly horrific bento box white and if that’s not bad enough, he’s slowly beginning to turn green. Someone must stop this agonizing creep of color from infecting the entirety of the monster. The call goes out, and our hero prepares himself. Four-foot ghosts and six-foot spiders will need to be leaped and dodged, so some sturdy American blue jeans and steel-toed brown work boots should do the trick. What type of head-gear is appropriate for monster hunting? Mario and his red cap are inseparable. Master Chief doesn’t ever take that damn helmet off. The Belmonts would appear to buck the trend, oozing machismo as they gad about topless. On closer inspection, you’ll notice that each and every one of them suffers a family curse far worse than the oblivious one. Male pattern baldness. Always the ingenious types, those Belmont’s hair pieces double as head protection of the highest order. Such is the case with the hero of Frankenstein’s Monster. On the surface, his baby blue engineer’s cap would make a lot more sense on a box of margarine, but don’t be fooled, this head piece is 100% butter.

If the big guy does become full of green, not even a iron fedora can stop his awkward stomp towards the camera.

One of Frankenstein’s Monster’s uncredited contributions to the lexicon of today’s youth is the term “bat-shit crazy”. One look at the movie below is all you need to understand how this part of the game can’t possibly be labeled as anything but.

October 3rd: Ghost Hunters for the Atari 2600

I really love Ghosthunters. Those two guys, Jason and Grant really know how to hunt some ghosts. I really think that Steve is cute and Brian is such a goof-ball! Oh, yeah, Donna is really good, too. She has such great feelings (and nice hair). This Ghosthunters game is not what I was hoping for. It’s a bit of a confusion. First of all, you control a little white guy with a red coat who travels around a grid like the Pac-man. Only he doesn’t eat it. Sometime the cubes flash and if you go to the cube, some stuff really happens! Suddenly, it’s like another world as you drive a boxy car to the place that you already went too. That’s a double-travel! You do get a chance to catch some ghosts when your driving, by catching them in your vaccuum. This is a really silly part of the game, I think. Who ever heard of catching a ghost in a vaccuum? Oh! I forgot that at the start you can buy the vaccuum, but then, there is no instruction to start the game, only confusion. You can also buy some BAIT and TRAPS. TRAPS is almost like TAPS…haha. Ha. Anyway once the not TAPS van arrives to the building, Jason or maybe Grant (the look is the same) comes out to set the ghost TAPS (haha). Once it is done, the other guy comes out to face the other direction. A ghost flies around the building and when you push the button, some silly string comes from Jason and Grant. I don’t remember that on the show. Maybe it’s like an EVP or EMP. Anyways, push the button again to try and catch the ghosts. That’s about it.

I don’t likes this game, it is not like the show, there is no Steve (so cute!), and it is not very scary, too. Really. I did take some pictures of the game, and you know what? I found some Orbs! Clearly, there is a haunting in this game.


A large orb follows my box car.


Here is an orb near the building (not the ghost, silly!)


Three orbs over the city…I remember, I felt cold during the city parts.