Back when weekends involved nothing more than GoldenEye and Mario Kart, I remember renting a Dreamcast after my stingy parents refused to upgrade my N64. One of the games that came in the box was the intriguing Ultimate Fighting Championship. As a group, my friends and I had a fair amount of experience with Tekken 3 and WWF War Zone, but UFC was unlike anything else. The standing combat was a less flamboyant Tekken, but the intricacy of the ground game eluded us almost entirely. If one player managed to pin the other to the floor, frantic button-mashing ensued, with the dominant fighter usually battering his opponent for a KO. It clearly had depth that rewarded skill and good timing, but ultimately I was too smitten with Soul Calibur to care.
It was human burger bar Elvis Presley who, in 1964, sang the immortal lines: "Viva Las Vegas turnin' day into night-time/ Turnin' night into daytime/ If you see it once/ You'll never be the same again." Apparently, American songwriter Doc Pomus wrote these lyrics having never been anywhere near Sin City. He knew enough to know better. With its signature sprawl of mega-resorts scattered through the arid desert basin of Nevada like toys across a sandpit, Vegas beggars belief.