12 Games That Can Help You Survive a Breakup
Are you lying on the floor right now, crying into your $8 IKEA rug while Damien Rice warbles on your iPod? Trust me, you pathetic, nose-blowing mess: We've all been there. Let me guess: He/she ripped out your heart, right? You tried to love, you gave it everything you had -- and I'm talking everything -- but the whole goddamn thing blew up in your face like an experiment gone wrong in Dr. Isaac Kleiner's laboratory?
Our advice: Pull yourself together, you wimp. [Insert sound of us slapping you across the face with a pair of white gloves HERE.] Weeping into cheap carpeting and listening to oh-poor-me music is the long way around the pain. What you need is a big, unhealthy dose of escapism. And nothing provides an escape more effectively than videogames.
Steep yourself in any one of the following 12 videogames for three days straight. If you don't feel better in 72 hours, feel free to go back to wallowing in your fetid pool of self-pity, and seek real advice from a trained professional. (Legal disclaimer: Dr. Crispy is not a real doctor. He is what's known as a "fake doctor." His advice, and his hygiene, are generally really terrible.)
Problem: "I'm lonely, and I really miss those daily phone calls from him/her where we really just chatted about nothing at all."
Solution: Any BioWare game. Mass Effect, Jade Empire or either of the Knights of the Old Republic games feature enough inane chatter to keep your ears preoccupied for the next 25 years.
Problem: "He/she made the best vegetarian chili I have ever tasted."
Solution: Personal Trainer: Cooking (2008). Did you know that your DS can teach you how to cook? It can! And it doesn't call you a "Donut" like Gordon Ramsay does when he "teaches" people how to cook on the television show "Hell's Kitchen." (Donut = worst insult ever.)
Problem: "I really just need to get away from civilization for a while, maybe build some fires, and get back to nature."
Solution: Far Cry 2 (2008). This game will put you in touch with your inner survivor in a big way. Alone, in the African veldt, with nothing but weeds and tigers all around, you can hole up for the night in a tiny hut with a creepy friend who will also sell you a semi-automatic rifle, should you be in the market for one.
Problem: "I really just want to see half-naked men rolling around together."
Solution: UFC 2009 Undisputed (2009). In motion, this game doesn't look so bad. But any static screenshot from the game inevitably elicits the response, "Why don't you two get a Zipcar and drive to Vermont and get married already?"
Problem: "I really just want to see half-naked women rolling around together."
Solution: Rumble Roses (2007). With countless sexually explicit grapples, a variety of outfits in which to dress your Roses and a very sophisticated boobs-physics engine, this game isn't a game; it's thinly disguised pornography. And the thin disguise it's wearing is of the lacey variety.
Problem: "I want to start a new career as an underground street racer. (Let's see how she likes those apples.)"
Solution: Midnight Club: Los Angeles (2008). Make the scene as the up-and-coming king of the L.A. street racing circuit. The game lets you create your own races, which means that if your ex lives in L.A., you can actually make a race that has you going by her virtual bungalow at 3 a.m. Suggestion: Burn a few donuts out front. Nothing says "F*** you" better than circular skid marks.
Problem: "I'm ready to rejoin the real world and start talking to actual people."
Solution: Left 4 Dead (2008). Have your buddy/buddies meet you online, and pretend that each time you see the Witch, it's your ex. Make jokes, like "The Witch is crying because 'Cagney & Lacey' went off the air." Or, "The Witch is crying because the Bon-Ton shut down." You'll feel better, trust me.
Problem: "I'll lose so much weight and start looking so fine, that judgmental harpy/jackass will wish she/he never made jokes about my multiple chins."
Solution: Wii Fit (2008). You don't need your ex to tell you you're fat. You can spend $89.99 on Wii Fit and have it tell you you're fat. (It's OK; Wii Fit tells everyone they are fat. Except for adolescent girls and Shigeru Miyamoto.) Use Wii Fit's relatively cushy exercise regimes to slim yourself down to I'm-single shape again.
Problem: "This space suit? It's a metaphor for our relationship, and how you never let me really be myself, you control-freak jerk."
Solution: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (2008). Underneath Samus Aran's bubble-shoulder space suit is a smart, sexy, strong, resourceful woman, just waiting to be let out. Unfortunately, over the years, Nintendo hasn't let her out, in a literal sense, very often. They keep her, and her threatening sexuality, all bound up inside that high-tech armor. (Though we have gotten glimpses of her before [in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and in her bikini in very tiny, pixilated, 8-bit form].)
Problem: "Right now, all I really want to do is blow shit up, cause property damage, and shoot a shit-ton of zombies."
Solution: Double Feature: House of the Dead: Overkill (2008) and Mercenaries 2: World in Flames (2008). Nothing says "emotional catharsis" quite like this pair of games. Scratch your itchy trigger finger with Overkill. Then, for more heartless, large-scale murder, try sending airstrikes into the fictional Rastafarian Pirate encampment. Feeling better already, are we?
Problem: "Looking back over the last [insert time period HERE], I was more of your mom than I was your girlfriend."
Solution: Prince of Persia (2008) Did you do his laundry for him? Cut up his vegetables? Remind him that he had a dentist appointment on Tuesday? Then this game was absolutely made for you. Playing as the very capable Elika, the Prince is basically a failure-prone, oops-making mess here. Which is where Elika comes in. The Prince gets all the glory, but Elika's the one who clearly wears the pants in this relationship. Even her fashion choices are more masculine than his (i.e., she wears 100-percent fewer Jackie O.-style scarves than he does).
Problem: "I've decided to join the military. And when I'm dead and mangled, and my corpse is being shipped back to my parents in a shoebox, maybe you'll cry as hard as you made me cry when you completely tore down what we had together."
Solution: Call of Duty: World At War (2008). Instead of joining the real military, where you actually can get killed/mangled, try this war sim from Activision. For added realism, between levels, take out your ex's photo and talk to it like it's alive, before heading back out into "The Shit." Say something like this: "Sarge has ordered me to go out on another mission from which I may never return. I just want you to know that, even though you told me you hated me and that I should get all of my nerd-junk out of your apartment or else you are going to throw it on the street, I will love you until the end of time."