HIGH SCHOOL DREAMS: Chuck Majors

Oh boy.

I get the appeal of dating a popular guy. A popular athlete…not so much.

Sports are far from my favorite thing.

That’s not strong enough: I hate sports.

When someone brings up basketball, all I have to contribute is, “I’m a fair-weather Gonzaga fan!”

I knew this guy’s name when he played for the team ten years ago!

I have a hard time relating to people who expend the same amount of emotional energy during March Madness that I do on an episode of “The 100.”

Charlotte no
Huh…this is a cute conversation they’re having…CHARLOTTE, NO!!

And that’s for college sports. I care about pro ball about as much as I care about Charlotte jumping off a cliff.

Yeah, whatever. Hope there are some acting lessons at the bottom.

Which brings us to today’s post.

Chuck

Chuck Majors

Stereotype: Jock/star athlete

If Emily’s description is any indication, dating Chuck is like winning the lottery.

Chuck Majors
Can’t you see why?

Early interactions with Chuck hinted at him being an idiot who took himself as seriously as Landon did. Chuck talks in the third person, has a constant highlight reel running through his head, and forgets what number comes after two.

You're joking...
You’re joking…

Just as I was gearing up for a terrible playthrough, Chuck revealed something shocking: he HATES basketball. He doesn’t want to be known as the basketball guy; sometimes, he just wants to be a guy.

Why does this sound so familiar?

What follows is the cheesiest, most fully realized story in the game. Essentially, the player character has to help Chuck stand up to his dad, follow his heart, chase his dream, [insert high school movie cliche here].

Also, for some reason, she has to join the cheerleading squad, headed by Chuck’s ex-girlfriend Chelsea. Chelsea is wonderful. I have a soft spot for the Ditzy Mean Girl in any story (some examples: Sharpay Evans, Kara Davies, Cordelia Chase). Some stories try to present characters as good and wholesome by covering up their snark. The Ditzy Mean Girl is blatantly awful and I love it.

Chelsea
They weren’t wrong.

I’m still trying to figure out why Chelsea is in this game. So the player character could get dirt on Chuck? To act as a rival? Purely for the cheerleading mini-game? She might be superfluous, but I don’t care.

Using the word “date” to describe the player character’s one-on-one interactions with other guys is a stretch. With Chuck, the term applies. He dresses up, brings flowers, buys gelato–perhaps it’s old-fashioned, but I find it refreshing. It’s helps, too, that his first date takes a turn for the weird.
First, Chuck spills gelato on his pants.
Then this comment is made:

What.
…what is this rated again?

Followed by the strangest mini-game I’ve ever played:

WHAT.
WHAT AM I PLAYING?

If the entire game was just Chuck’s storyline, I would be perfectly satisfied with that. There was just enough difficulty, depth, and intrigue to keep me engaged. Plus, I got to virtually express my disdain for sports:

Such catharsis.
Such catharsis.

At times it was too similar to “High School Musical,” and there were some hokey moments, but I’d rather be overwhelmed than underwhelmed (PETEY).

My only other quibbles:

  • Right at the point the player character decides to pursue Chuck, he disappears. For days. So far, this has tripped me up every time I’ve played. It turns out Chuck got lost in the maze and no one thought to go look for him. That’s Chuck’s biggest weakness: he randomly disappears at the worst times. At another point, the player character has to HIDE IN THE SCHOOL after-hours so she can catch Chuck practicing.
  • Chuck’s storyline takes FOREVER. There’s the “sneaking into the school” bit I mentioned, a quest for bubble bath, more sneaking, then a week until the big game. After Chuck wins the game, he asks the player character to prom…which is another week away. You get pretty sick of all the mini-games when you’ve been killing time for that long.

Other than the time factor, Chuck is my favorite guy so far. As the player character puts it, he’s cheesy, a little awkward, but very sweet.

Grade: A-

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