[16 pages, digest, $? written by Pasquale Barilla, illustrated by Mechelle B. >>> pat.barilla (at) gmail.com +++ mechellebee (at) gmail.com ]
First of all, this zine has a really neat handmade feel - it's bound with stitching like from a sewing machine. There's a cool red cover and cream interior pages with brown ink.
The zine begins with some statistics and history. We learn that Super Mario Bros. was the greatest selling game of all time (but has recently been eclipsed by Wii Sports). SMB has sold roughly 38 million copies.
Then some history about Atari and how they had no quality control which led to the bulk of their games being shit (the nadir of which no doubt was ET.) There was a huge videogame crash until Nintendo reversed this with the introduction of their 'Nintendo Seal of Quality'. These games were played through before being released.
The rest of the zine is about Super Mario Bros. 2 - not the US version but the Japanese version - which was so sadistically hard that it was referred to as 'Soul Crusher', 'The Drinker of Tears' and 'The Lost Lives'. One night Pasquale and Mechelle and their friends played this game, dying often then passing the controller to the next optimistic masochist.
'We died an average 22.34 times per level.
We used 147 Continues.
We lost approximately 715 lives.'
The game may have caused some violent hair loss, but the story does have a happy ending. That night brought these housemates closer than ever.
[Send your comix or zine for review! >>> Stratu/Blackguard, PO Box 93, Paddington NSW 2021, AUSTRALIA]