Equinox (1994 - SNES)
The fact that I devoted an entire shrine to this game should make it quite obvious that I feel really highly about it. I have a full review here, but it's old and probably sucks. If you love adventure, action, and puzzle games, it's hard to think of too many better choices to try than Equinox. Lots of dungeon rooms to solve, great graphics and music, decent boss fights, and an eerie atmosphere that's unlike anything else. There are only a few problems that drag it down a little: Some are annoying glitches, but my shrine details how to get around them. Another is the lack of shadows that makes the jumps a little tricky. The third is that by the last dungeon, the game seems to be running a little low on ideas as most puzzles are things you've seen before. But the final boss fight can be really tough, which helps make up for that. Just remember that great adventure games do not always have "Zelda" in their titles.
Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams (2001 - Xbox)
Sometimes I think I'm the only person on the planet who finds Survival Horror games hilarious. It's not as though the game doesn't try to be scary, but the ridiculous voice acting in some scenes and the even-more-ridiculous puzzles in certain situations (like an elevator saying you're too heavy to ride it if you have a photograph in your pocket) kind of break the mood. Not to mention that I keep hearing about how scary Pyramid Head is, but when the first major fight with him involves him trying to hit you with a gigantic sword that's so big and heavy he can barely walk with it, let alone swing it, I'm not exactly sure why I shouldn't laugh at that. But you know what the Number 1 worst problem with this game is? That obnoxious noise filter that makes the entire game look incredibly blurry, even when you're inside a building with the lights on! For a game like this, I can live with the fog. I can even live with the overall monochrome color schemes. But that bleepin' noise layer gave me eyestrain and made it so difficult to tell what I was looking at half the times, that I couldn't possibly be scared of anything.
Thankfully, after you've beaten the game, you get an option in your menu to turn off the stupid-ass noise layer and suddenly everything looks a lot clearer. Now I could see why the settings might be creepy enough to scare someone, but I really wish I had that option to turn it off to begin with. As far as the gameplay goes, some of the puzzles are okay, but there is an awful lot of walking along hallways and checking doors (most of which are locked and can't be opened), so it gets a little repetitive. There's also this awful boat-rowing scene that I feel obligated to mention, but once you know the trick to it, you can get through it in less than a minute, so that should be reassuring to anyone planning to replay the game, as I have been doing for the multiple endings.
This is Spinal Tap (1984 - DVD)
This rock "mockumentary" about a fictitious heavy metal band from England apparently hit so close to home for some real life rock stars that they couldn't figure out what was so funny about it. For the rest of us, the sheer absurdity of the rock lifestyle that's poked and prodded in this largely unscripted romp is what will keep you amused and laughing. Rob Reiner's tale begins with the band Spinal Tap, who has their roots in 60's Flower Child hippie rock, finding worldwide success in heavy metal. After that, they begin to lose popularity on a steep incline as things go from bad to worse from one concert to the next. The absolute funniest moment occurs when the dimensions of a drawing for a stage prop of Stonehenge are misinterpreted and it ends up being only 18" high. Somehow, this information is kept from the band members until they go to perform the Stonehenge song live on stage, and as Michael McKean's character David St. Hubbins puts it, "I think that the problem may have been, that there was a Stonehenge monument on the stage that was in danger of being crushed by a dwarf".
Despite how (intentionally) ridiculous their song lyrics are, the performances are so top-notch that people were fooled into thinking that Spinal Tap was a real band. Other incidents, such as Nigel being upset over the size of his sandwich bread, amplifiers that "go to 11", and the band getting lost backstage are funny, but perfectly believable (as similar things have been known to happen in the real world.)
Arrested Development, Season Three (2005 - DVD)
Season 3 is short, but is a thrilling conclusion to this great, overlooked series. This set includes my all-time favorite episode, "Mr. F", which culminates in a scene that parodies Godzilla in which Tobias, dressed in a giant mole costume, battles a jetpack-clad George-Michael Bluth. If you only ever watch one episode of Arrested Development make it that one (and then you'll probably want to see more). This season also introduces the classic character, Bob Loblaw, whose name sounds like "Bob Blah-Blah", which leads to some really hilarious pronunciation jokes, such as "Bob Loblaw's Law Blog", which sounds like, "Bob Blah Blah Blah Blah".
There are also great moments including a Banana Stand feud, Buster in a fake coma, a house full of Saddam Husseins, and a fantastic season finale. The only thing I wasn't too fond of was the whole "Dying Tobias" storyline, but even that had its moments and it was wrapped up pretty quickly. All in all, an awesome end to an awesome show, and it's amazing how much good stuff was crammed into the last few episodes. I wish the series could have gone on longer, but at least the story was resolved. (Here's hoping that rumored movie gets made sooner than later.)
Seinfeld, Season 8 (1996 - DVD)
Sometimes, it's hard for me to tell if I like this show more than Arrested Development or not. They're similar in many ways, mostly in the way both shows tend to start off with a bunch of unrelated plot threads that somehow all get woven together by the end of the episode, which (as I said about AD) can impress you even if you don't outright laugh at it, and yet they're different in many ways, too. But Seinfeld's jokes are great and the personalities of the show's hopeless cast of characters are always fun to watch.
With that said, I only have a couple of reservations, the first being that sometimes this season leaps the boundaries of reality maybe a little too much. I don't have a problem with shows getting goofy and unrealistic for the sake of comedy, but I shouldn't be wondering how on earth a funeral is being held for a person who didn't exist. Or why Elaine doesn't just go to pick up her food at the Chinese restaurant instead of forming an elaborate scheme to make it look like she lives in the janitor's closet in the apartment across the street to have it delivered to her (okay, that last one does sound hilarious in print, I admit). Also, the George Steinbrenner stuff is just really, really hoaky, even for this show. I was actually glad when George Costanza was fired from that job at the end of this season because I was getting worn out on that whole scenario (although George making his office desk into a bed was pretty darn funny).