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Ultimate way to get into med school if you're an average student

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Alexander99, Apr 27, 2004.

  1. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    OK. So it occurred to me that there's a way you can greatly increase your chances of getting into med schools (including good ones) with somewhat average numbers (let's say 3.5 GPA, 30 MCAT). Here's how you do it:

    Instead of spending your time doing time-consuming yet pointless extracirriculars, you do tons of research (shoot for 3+ primary author publications). Then, you apply to all the med schools you'd want to get into through the MD/PhD programs. From what I hear, they're primarily interested in your abilities as a researcher and secondarily in your abilities to make a good physician. For example, one person told me during their MD/PhD interviews, they didn't even ask him why he wanted to be a doctor but proceeded to immediately question him about research. Once you get in, you drop out of the MD/PhD program and join the regular MD program.

    I wonder if anyone has used this strategy? From what I hear, even if your'e not the best student, if you have great research experience, you can still get into med schools through the MD/PhD programs more easily than if you just apply regular MD. The best part is, they'll pay for your first two years of med school as long as you haven't dropped out of the program.
     
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  3. jedirampage

    jedirampage Senior Member
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    At most schools, once you drop, if you haven't completed both degrees, you owe them the money for alll the expenses they paid for so there's no advantage there. And while research is very important, they also look very closely at numbers (particularly at teh more "elite" schools). While for MD admissions you could have average GPA and MCAT for matriculants, for MD/PhD in most cases you need AT LEAST significantly above average in one of these stats. If you are an "average" applicant, it is not going to be an easier road then the MD application path.
     
  4. Trekkie963

    Trekkie963 Senior Member
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    I definitely know people of questionable intelligence who have gotten into "competitive" MD/PhD programs, so who knows...maybe this would work.
     
  5. Lion-O

    Lion-O Sight beyond sight.
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    As I read your post, I was at first very skeptical. But after finishing it, I really think you may be on to something. I say this because I met a guy who did exactly what you described. At one school, my student host's roommate got into MD/PhD, decided he didn't like it, and dropped the PhD. It's interesting that they don't make you commit to both simultaneously.
     
  6. rackd8ball

    rackd8ball Member
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    for so many reasons, thats the dumbest idea ive ever heard.
     
  7. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    Yeah. I heard at UCI (from the same guy that interviewed at several MD/PhD programs this year), a student interviewer was bitter because she was the only student (out of 7) that had stuck with the program in her class. The rest had dropped out and switched to regular MD. You'd think the schools would put a stipulation that if you drop out of the program, you drop out of the school completely.

    This makes sense because the first 2 years for an MD/PhD is the same as regular MDs anyway. This means they're basically pretending to be MD/PhDs but in reality, they were regular MDs all along if they drop out before the beginning of the third year.

    By the way, nice signature.
     
  8. MrTee

    MrTee Senior Member
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    This is completely OT, but Bad Dudes was the worst nintendo game ever. Funny quotes though!
     
  9. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    No way. There were way worse games. What about Gyromite? That game that came with R.O.B. the robot? I think it was one of the only games that used that robot and it was completely pointless. It's kinda sad when you think about it. I think the robot was supposed to make the child playing the game feel like a friend was playing with them.

    What do you think were the best games for the NES? I think Super Mario Bros. and Legend of Zelda are definately the best. Mike Tyson's Punchout was pretty cool too.

    I also liked how they tried to get creative with the titles. One game, made while the Cold War was still going on, was entitled: "Rush-N-Attack." Sounds a bit like "Russian Attack," doesn't it? Man, talking about the Nintendo brings back memories.
     
  10. TheRussian

    TheRussian Life Size Mirror
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    The MD/PhD route is a very difficult one. From what I have heard, most do not complete it so it is not so uncommon to drop either the MD or the PhD.

    However, I don't really thing that MD/PhD is less competitive. Relatively few schools have the MSTP program and most of the classes are no more than 5 people, Wash U is an exception with a class size of 25. Of a few hundred candidates they end up offering maybe 12 to 15 acceptances for the year. That is about 5%. This number is comprable to most med schools.

    Also consider the fact that the MD/PhD pool is going to be more competitive because the applicants that generally apply to these programs tend to be the top students. (Of course there are exceptions but in general that is the case)
     
  11. Lion-O

    Lion-O Sight beyond sight.
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    Ah, the thread has changed, but I like this topic better anyway :). I was into "Silk Worm" if you've heard of that. But you nailed the obvious classics. Good memories of Contra, and TMNT: The Arcade Game.

    As for the dis on Bad Dudes--you are way too harsh! It really gave you a sense of being a burly guy who could whoop up. Plus it had 2 player co-op, which was sweet.

    And for the worst game, my vote goes to DynoWarz. It was one of those games your parents bought you and you had to play it (it's all we had for a long while). But, my god, what a crappy game.
     
  12. MrTee

    MrTee Senior Member
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    Yeah I guess you're right, gyromite sucked worse than bad dudes. I guess I remember that the graphics were a bit jerky. Double dragon on NES was pretty weak compared to the arcade too. Other ****ty ones were tag team and john elways quarterback. My fave game was definitely baseball stars, it was the best game for that system in my opinion. Ninja gaiden was pretty sweet too...if I had an xbox I'd get that for sure, and I liked contra and tecmo bowl too. The good old days of video games....
     
  13. VCMM414

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    Actually at some schools MD/PhD students are required to take additional grad classes and participate in extra journal clubs on top of their normal MD courseload. At some other schools MD/PhD candidates are required to take "grad equivalent" classes of some MD classes (biochem or genetics would be prime examples). So, not quite the same courseload, but close enough.
     
  14. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    Man. You must be my long lost twin brother. I must have played Baseball Stars every day for well over a year during junior high. I'd remember making the ultimate team that had every player with every stat maxed out. That got boring though so I'd actually recreate my favorite real-life team (the A's) and make it so that each player had attributes that were realistic. Suffice to say, Jose Canseco had 98 homeruns in a 150 game season one time. I can still hear the music from the game if I think about it.

    Tecmo bowl was cool but it wasn't realistic. I mean, if you played as the Raiders and used Bo Jackson, you could basically get a touchdown everytime he touched the ball. Contra was classic. Ninja Gaiden was cool but really hard--did you ever beat that game?

    What were the hardest games to beat? I could beat most games but some were just impossible. Ninja Gaiden was unbeatable for me. I had Bayou Billy and got pretty far but couldn't beat that one either.

    I think games nowadays tend to be too easy. When's the last time you've played a game you just couldn't beat?
     
  15. southbelle

    southbelle Senior Member
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    This is pretty bad advice. First, most people with 3.5/30's with decent EC's get into medical school. Check the MSAR. So there isn't any need to find a way to get in the back door.

    Second, besides having the research creddentials to do md/ph, these programs tend to look for higher numbers than the regular md programs. For most medical schools a 3.5/30 is very competitive. At many md/phd programs it isn't.
     
  16. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
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    So, two things I want to address.

    First, what others are saying about MD/PhD being more competitive is true. You will need a hot publication record (ALOT of invested time and energy) to get in with those kinds of numbers to a MSTP (URM aside). However, considering you have the numbers to get in (not that much higher than 3.5/30...), there's nothing stopping you from joining a MD/PhD program and dropping out of it. In the case of some failed applicants, I think it would be easier for them to enter MD/PhD programs, because all they have for good extracirriculars is research. It is true that MD/PhD interviews are all about research, and I know a good number of MD/PhD students (nothing stellar about them) with no other significant pre-med ECs. But, unless you're really interested in all that research, you could easily be investing all that time and energy into other things that would make you strong for medical school.

    So I guess my point is, don't discount yourself for MD/PhD too easily if you do have the research, but don't plan to do it this way. I think it would end up being more work and you'll be miserable at the bench if you don't want to be there.

    This is untrue for all MSTPs (NIH-funded programs). The NIGMS forbids it. If you drop, you don't have to repay. We call it the "Two and Screw". However, for non-MSTP MD/PhD programs, you would be required to pay back the tuition. I've never heard of people being forced to pay back their stipends.
     
  17. SaltySqueegee

    SaltySqueegee El Rey de Salsa
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    That's all... only three publications??? not evening considering the quality of said publications, this is one of the funniest notions I've ever heard of. The fact is, research does not always produce the results you want; with that you may find yourself with three quasi-****ty communications in the back section of a no-named journal and a few poster presentations at the local JC.

    But seriously, it is not just that easy. Time and effort does not equate to publications (correlated, but definately not causal).
     
  18. rgporter

    rgporter Senior Member
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    Plus a lot of schools have official cuttoffs and you're not allowed to apply with lower stats.
    But why drop out once accepted. Seven years of school but it's payed for and you get a stipend, not a bad setup.
     
  19. Indebt4Life

    Indebt4Life Chilling like a Villain
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    I think that the OP is up to something. I have also heard of individuals doing this exact switchero move and I don't think that it is fair. AAMC should do something about it. When you send a strong letter of intent to a school, it is bad form to get accepted to that school and then decline. And that's just a LOI. Making a commitment to something like a dual degree program should not be taken lightly and there should be consequences that follow.
     
  20. BioMedResearch

    BioMedResearch Senior Member
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    Dude this is ethically wrong. You are taking a spot from an individual who potentially could become an amazing research scientist and instead are leaving a void.

    This not only reflects poorly upon you as an indicive individual, it shows that when put in a position where you have to prove yourself you will take the short-cut to complete a task regardless of the harm that may be done.

    IMHO, So not cool! :smuggrin:
     
  21. Wahooali

    Wahooali The Real Sydney Bristow
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    Plus, the OP is incorrect that this is "the ultimate way to get into med school for the average student." Although it is true that there are fewer people vying for MD/PhD spots so your odds of acceptance improve, you have to take into account the people you are competing with for those spots. The number of applicants goes down, but the quality of those applicants tends to increase considerably statistically speaking (look at the stats, they are definitely higher than your "average student"). These are very driven, very hard-working individuals who have a passion for research. If you are just doing it as a loop-hole to get into med school, that is not cool, and will be reflected in your interview.
     
  22. SaltySqueegee

    SaltySqueegee El Rey de Salsa
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    Exactly my thoughts as well...

    No one likes half asses in this world, not even Jesus... ... :confused: ;)
     
  23. Daddysoy

    Daddysoy Senior Member
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    I know that at some schools (well, I only know of Tulane) that if you drop the phd part of the program, you thereby forfeit your MD portion, too, and you'd have to reapply to med school.... at least, thats what they told me at the interview
     
  24. thewebthsp

    thewebthsp Shoobeedoowap
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    Hopefully schools will try to detect this at the interview stage. It's a tricky situation because the end (dropping out of MD/PhD after 2 years) might have two different M.O.s, one of which is ethical (decided not happy with a research career), and one of which is not (used MD/PhD as a source of financial aid and "easier" admission). It might be considered ok to put the fact you dropped out of the MD/PhD on your transcript so that when you apply for residencies they can ask why. Hopefully a liar doesn't get away with the "two and screw" two times in a row, but who knows. Short of a polygraph there isn't a better I way I can think of. (The FBI, CIA and Energy Dept. just go straight to the polygraph to get a sense of their employee's intentions.)
     
  25. Lion-O

    Lion-O Sight beyond sight.
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    I couldn't beat Bayou Billy either. And I sucked at Master Blaster. Games back then were definitely a lot harder. There was no save feature; you just had to be skilled and willing to invest lots of time learning every nook and cranny. I think this gave more players bragging rights back then, but at the cost of intense frustration.

    However there is this game for the PS2 called Stuntman that I think is on par with the frustration factor of old NES games. If you want a challenge, try that. I think that game consumed my soul.
     
  26. agp4

    agp4 Senior Member
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    thewebthsp is totally right. I think you'll run into problems in the interview process. The interview for MD/PhD is not as easy as you might think. You will be drilled on your research, and at least in my case, there were a lot of questions about what you're going to do after you finish medical school/graduate school. I think the MD/PhD committees are getting wiser about these sorts of things, and I'd say that you'd have to be a good actor to get away with giving them the idea that you are genuinely interested in their program. From what I've seen this year, programs are willing to pick a student a little less qualified academically if they are confident that he will stick with the program. That, and I have no idea if you've done research before, but getting 3 first author publications is no piece of cake.

    That, and Ninja Gaiden was an awesome game. Did anyone actually manage to beat it though? I don't think I ever got past the 3rd stage.
     
  27. E.A. Poe

    E.A. Poe the man
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    MD/PhD is not an efficient backdoor into md programs, very few spots and very competitive.
     
  28. SaltySqueegee

    SaltySqueegee El Rey de Salsa
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    Damn! Now those were the days... Ninja Gaiden and Master Blaster... Oh beautiful Master Blaster, with upgraded weapons .... ooooohhhhhh drooool


    I have promised myself that once I have the time after my education that I will dedicate some time to play video games with my kids, and to make sure that I kick their butts!
     
  29. ImmunoANT

    ImmunoANT Senior Member
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    I just want to add one thing. Those MSTP committees are no fool either. Throughout my interviews, they asked me various questions, trying to discern if I truly like biomed research or just want MD/PhD for the heck of it. Because of the no-obligation rule from NIGMS, they have to be extra careful to weed out those shall-we-call pretenders.

    About publications, heh heh heh, as of now my publication number is ... alas... zero. One is coming up next month (FINALLY!!!). So for those MSTP-hopeful, you don't need to worry much about publication. As long as you have a very solid research fundation, can explain your projects clearly and sustain a scientific discussion with others, you should be fine. Anyway, zero publication but I did present a lot of posters at numerous meetings (both national and at NIH) though.
     
  30. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
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    I'll be honest--I have no idea what I want to do with my career. Research? Medicine? Administration? Academic? Industry? Private Practice? Residency? The truth is nobody can be certain about this stuff coming into a MD/PhD program. Even if you think you know, your interests in both research, medicine, and life are probably going to change. So I don't like the idea that you have to your mind made up about this stuff. Sure, I sounded sure at the interviews, but was I really sure then? Am I sure now? The answer is no to both of those questions. This is why you can drop the program at any time without consequences.

    Repayment is a big deterrent to dropping out. This allows the program to do whatever they want to you and you'd have no recourse. This is why the NIGMS forbids it... It's very student unfriendly. Also, imagine if you got kicked out of the MD program as well... You'd be sunk. You'd probably lose both your career in medicine and research. I've never heard of this, and I wonder if Tulane is serious about it because part of that is that the medical school loses a gigantic investment in you as well.

    That being said, to join with the intention to deceive is just morally/ethically wrong. There's nothing to stop you of course if you actually learn and do well in your research and convince adcoms that this is what you really want, but I just hope that those considering this think about those who aren't purposefully trying to deceive the school and screw them over for their own gain.

    Just sorting out the MD/PhD fact and fiction as I see things...
     
  31. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    First of all, I wasn't suggesting that everyone go out and do what I'm posting about. It's just funny that more people haven't tried it if what I believe about the process is true. I agree it'd be immoral to get into the program with no intention of actually becoming a PhD just to get the money.

    I'm not convinced admissions committees are always keen enough to tell who are the actors and who are genuine. I know quite a few people that most people wouldn't like having to deal with on a person-to-person basis but they somehow got into med school. I'm sure they were acting like crazy during the interviews and it worked.

    I want some numbers. Several people say that you need higher numbers to get accepted to MD/PhD programs but is there any evidence of this? I would argue that as long as you have minimal stats (3.5, 30), it's all about the research experience you have so the numbers would be less competitive. Contrast this with regular MD applicants whose experiences are somewhat more subjective and numbers are highly important. So does anyone have any average GPA/MCATs for people accepted into MD/PhD programs?

    Finally, Master Blaster was cool but really impossible. I remember how when you got out of your car, the guy you controlled was about 4 pixels large and really couldn't survive very long.

    Ghosts n Goblins was another hard one (it's the first game I bought not counting Super Mario Bros which came with my system.) I found it hilarious how if you took 1 hit, your armor would fall off and you'd be in your loincloth and if you got hit again, you'd turn into a pile of bones.
     
  32. Trashino

    Trashino Member
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    As long as we're all not thinking past the admissions process into the reprecussions, people should apply md/phd everywhere not only to get in easier, but because the interviews are much nicer! Some places will pay for your entire trip (flight and all) to see them. Others will put you up in 4 star hotels and take you out bar-hopping on their tab. I went to one MD interview, and we got a free sandwich. One sandwich.
    I am, of course, being facetious.
     
  33. vhawk

    vhawk 2K Member
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    As far as the best Nintendo games, I think all of my faves have been mentioned, although Tecmo Bowl is getting shortchanged. But as far as the worst, I've got...7...words for you. "All your base, are belong to us."
     
  34. biodork444

    biodork444 Member
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    You can not just get into MD/Ph.D. programs because you have done a lot of research. They accept very few people into these programs and if I understand it correctly, which i think I do, a good friend of mine just applied MD/Ph.D., you have a better chance if you just apply for the MD, pretty much, regardless of your experience, just by plain numbers. SO...I think most people do it opposite of what you are saying people who want to be MD/Ph.D will apply MD and then can enter the joint degree program after their first two years. ALSO, at many schools, I can't say all...you have to be accepted into the MD program before they even consider you for a joint degree. After you are accepted MD, your application is just sent over to the graduate program of your choice. I think what you are saying here is wrong, not to mention unethical. It is just rude.
     
  35. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
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    Schools that post accepted student stats:
    http://www.bcm.tmc.edu/mstp/admissions_statistics.html - Baylor
    http://mstp.wustl.edu/admissions_FAQ.html - WashU
    http://www.med.cornell.edu/mdphd/student.html - Cornell

    Also, from the MD/PhD Program Directors Association:
    "The answer to this question varies among the MD-PhD programs. All of the medical schools will want to be as sure as possible that you can handle the load of work involved in doing medical school plus graduate school. MCAT scores and your college GPA provide one way of predicting how you will do, but only one way. Average MCAT and GPA scores for combined degree program applicants last year were about 31 and 3.5 respectively. Average numbers for those accepted varied from school to school. At one large program, the average numbers for matriculants were MCAT 36 and GPA 3.8, but the range was large. If you have concerns or questions, ask the schools you are considering. If you take the MCAT exam more than once, some schools will look only at
    your highest scores."
    From http://www.aamc.org/research/dbr/mdphd/applicantfaq.pdf

    You're right in that research experience can override somewhat mediocre numbers, but you have to be VERY successful. This will take a great deal of work and luck (and connections?) as an undergrad.
     
  36. pekq

    pekq Gunner
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    Rather that criticize the op's idea, we should come up with new ones for this cycle's applicants.

    If you are unethical :mad: you can always lie on your resume and be prepared to master the ways of the spin doctor.

    More ethically, take a year or two off and do research to beef up your app. That's probably the easiest way for the avg applicant. Also, try shadowing a doctor affiliated w/ or knows somebody at your top choice medical school and have him/her write you a letter as well as use their connection. It wouldn't hurt if the med school is named after your relative :laugh:

    Sorry, these aren't very good but I've never been much for backdoor methods.
     
  37. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    The websites definately tend to support the argument that MD/PhD students require just as good if not better numbers than regular MD ones. I wonder if this is true for the other schools though.
     
  38. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    I've seen that quote everywhere but I never figured out where it's from (I know it's from a video game.) Is it from an NES game, and if so, which one? Does the sentence sound like broke English due to translation problems or is it intentional?
     
  39. DoctorDoom

    DoctorDoom Witch King
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    Maybe the reason people haven't tried your cockamamie idea is because what you believe about the process has nothing to do with facts?
     
  40. Ghosts n Goblins was amazing. OK this makes up for the Michelle Branch comment.
     
  41. MrTee

    MrTee Senior Member
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    I think the game was called blaster master, not master blaster. It was one of my top games for a while. I never got thru it either...I think I got the the 8th level, I remember being able to hover and drive up walls and stuff. I wonder if you can download it and run it on a pc using an emulator?
     
  42. TXsongdoc08

    TXsongdoc08 Junior Member
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    Girl I know applied to several MD/PhD programs...didn't get in, but got into 7 or 8 good PhD programs.. She had a totally abrasive personality, but great grades, good test scores and some publications. This just goes to show that its not just grades and publications those MD/PhD programs are looking for. I think there are a lot of applicants out there that are truly dedicated to being a warm healthcare provider and a diligent researcher...at least when they apply, and I think the ad coms see this. I think the competition is way worse for MD/PhDs, they get fewer applicants, but they have way fewer spots.
    __________________________

    "The leg you wash tonight could be amputated tomorrow. (but at least the surgeon will say, what a clean leg!)"
     
  43. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    Haha. What's wrong with Michelle Branch? She can actually sing and writes her own songs. That's way more than you can say for almost every pop artist out there.
     
  44. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    I don't see why not. It's just a matter of finding and downloading the Blaster Master ROM. You know what'd be a hilarious contest? To lock up a bunch of us in a room to see who can beat that game first. I wonder if anyone could actually do it?
     
  45. BubbleBobble

    BubbleBobble Where's the "any" key?
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    Zero Wing! :D
     
  46. Lion-O

    Lion-O Sight beyond sight.
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    Technically this is a Sega Genesis game. I know it's not a big deal, but I just can't allow the NES's image to be tainted by that game.
     
  47. scota

    scota Senior Member
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    Kid Icarus and Mike Tyson's Punch Out were absolutely amazing NES games! I miss being a kid :sigh:....
     
  48. BubbleBobble

    BubbleBobble Where's the "any" key?
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    Ghosts n Goblins is really really hard. Has anyone ever played Section Z? Frickin' impossible game. You have to battle R-Type-style through hundreds of levels, and a single shot kills you and starts you over. And yes, there are lots of shots flying around.

    Second nominee: Hydlide. Maybe I just didn't know how to play the game then, but it was very frustrating. Attack monster...die. Use magic...die. Use item...die. *Move*...die. That got old *really* quick.

    Third nominee: Cobra Triangle. While I could imagine someone out there completing this unforgiving boat racing/shoot-em-up game, that someone was definitely not me.
     
  49. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    Pretty funny stuff. The person that did the translating for that game must have been the same person that writes the fortunes in fortune cookies.
     
  50. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    What I want to know is, how did we decide what games to buy back then? The internet wasn't even around and magazines that rated video games were pretty limited. Did we just buy games based on the back of the box or what?

    What's funny about the old school video games is that we swore each new video game had "great" graphics compared to the older ones. When I look back at what the games actually looked like though, I'm amazed at how generic they look.
     
  51. Which is why I don't bother with pop artists in general.
     

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