Whether you’re a casual gamer, or someone who goes hard in the paint on a daily basis through the Playstation Network, there are always two games that every person who ever held a controller will remember. Those two beacons are the one you’re really good at and the one that you suck at, and the cast and director of Pixels recount the ones that stumped them in our exclusive video below.
Pixels makes a big deal about the games that Adam Sandler’s character, Sam Brenner, was really good at, and the ones that he was terrible at. After all, his character did participate in an Arcade Championship during his childhood years, so the eventual outcome of that event makes him think long and hard over the years about his rather unfortunate lack of Donkey Kong skills. In real life, though, Sandler was stymied by another one of the film’s boss characters. He said:
I never got great at Pac Man, I never got great at Defender. [With] Missile Command I wasn’t the best, guys could beat me.
The one game Adam Sandler credits himself with being a champion at is Pong, and he went on to recall how he was the guy to beat back in his home town. Co-star and compatriot Kevin James has a similarly limited range, and has problems playing anything other than his favorite arcade game. He readily admitted:
I was good at [Superbug], and I sucked at every other game except Tetris.
For those of you wondering what Superbug is, you’re not alone, as it was a game that didn’t really take off. Still, only a true gamer would champion that one game that stuck with them, no matter how obscure, and the history lesson below is dedicated to James’ undying fandom to this classic game.
Not everyone was focused on classic games though, as Pixels co-star Josh Gad has a more modern nuisance when it comes to gaming mastery. He said:
I suck at the Arkham Asylum games…I’m terrible with directions.
Though Gad did represent the classics by mentioning the classic Nintendo game Contra as his old school Achilles Heel, it’s the Arkham games that really confound him. This lead him to coin a term "tourist game," which aptly describes any game that confuses the gamer so much that they feel like a tourist in the confines of the play space. The best part about that was that Josh Gad proceeded to expand on how a Ben Affleck film about Batman getting lost in Gotham City would be an interesting idea. Rocksteady Games, if you want to press your luck and bring the Dark Knight back for one more ride, consider yourselves pitched.
Much like Adam Sandler before them, both director Chris Columbus and Michelle Monaghan have found themselves on the losing end of the games that comprise of the film’s various bosses. Monaghan found Centipede especially taxing as it supposedly gave her a lot of anxiety. Looking at how the old school games were programmed, particularly a game like Centipede, where it’s about stopping an enemy before it can advance, it’s no surprise that a bit of urgency and panic would creep into the standard game play. But perhaps the most interesting gaming foe was that of Columbus, who served as the director of Pixels, as well as many of the other 80’s films that this one takes its cues from. His downfall was rather telling when it came to the film’s final battle:
I always wanted to master Donkey Kong, but I kinda sucked at Donkey Kong.
Only someone who had spent all that time trying to defeat the mighty Kong would go all out and build a practical set to simulate the true gaming experience. We’ll have more on that later on in the week, but for now we’ll leave you with a reminder that you can see Pixels in theaters this Friday. And keep your browser tuned to Cinema Blend, as we’ll have more information from the cast of Pixels coming your way.