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Destructoid Originals

Sup Holmes photo
Sup Holmes

Owlboy lead almost made Ducktales Remastered, wants to make Breath of Fire


Get to know the people who make great videogames
Apr 26
// Jonathan Holmes
[Sup Holmes is a weekly talk show for people that make great videogames. It airs live every Sunday at 4pm EST on YouTube, and can be found in Podcast form on Libsyn and iTunes.] A couple weeks ago on Sup ...

Nintendo, your work isn't done on Mario Kart 8

Apr 25 // Chris Carter
New crossovers: The sky really is the limit for new franchises. While I initially wanted a full-on "Mario Kart All-Stars" for the next game, I soon realized after playing the Animal Crossing pack that Nintendo could just keep supporting 8, and it would be more than good enough. With a real online infrastructure and a visual style gorgeous enough to withstand the test of time, we don't have to wait years until a new console iteration. Keep the crossovers coming. Samus, Fox McCloud, Kirby (with his Warpstar) -- all of them would fit perfectly into the Mario Kart universe, and I can see some really ingenious tracks down the road due to Nintendo's rich history as a character factory. One request is to just go all-out for the new characters though -- no "half Mario half new" -- just go all-new. Just inject F-Zero into the game already: We've seen the Mute City and Big Blue homages, but really, with F-Zero considered by many to be the definitive racing experience over Mario Kart, that's a huge market ready to be tapped. I'm not even talking about a "Pack" here -- more like a full-on expansion in 2016 featuring cast members from F-Zero, at least 10 tracks from the series, and extra elements like new characters and planets. Use that as a barometer for gauging interest in a new F-Zero game. Miyamoto himself said last year that "the struggle is that I don't really have a good idea for what's new that we could bring to F-Zero that would really turn it into a great game again." I have an idea -- fans already like what you've done with the franchise in Mario Kart 8, so think about expanding on it. A real battle mode: Finally, we come to my one big problem with Mario Kart 8 -- a lack of a real battle mode. No, that sorry excuse of "racing with balloons" doesn't cut it. I want real, tiered arenas that are all-new. Although I loved the core game as a racer, it really loses a lot of its spark due to the fact that so many fans grew up only playing the battle minigame. It cuts down on the replay value for fans as well, as I remember plenty of Mario Kart marathons that would have ended after a few hours if it wasn't for someone suggesting that we play "just a bit more" within the confines of the arena. I'm hopeful for these additions because Nintendo has shown it knows how to to DLC right. For $12 right now, you'll net seven characters (Villager counts as two!), eight vehicles, and 16 tracks. For reference, the game shipped with 32 courses. While I wouldn't trust a lot of publishers with this charge, Nintendo has the opportunity to really make Mario Kart 8 one of the longest-lasting games in the series, as the company has proven that it knows exactly what it's doing.
More Mario Kart 8 photo
More crossovers and a real battle mode
When Nintendo announced its DLC plans for Mario Kart 8, there was a combination of collective groans and cheers across the internet. The latter group was on the right side of history, it seems. When the first DLC Pack dr...

Smash Bros.  photo
Smash Bros.

Mewtwo vs. Lucario: A beginner's guide to Smash Bros.


The creator of Catlateral Damage runs down the basics
Apr 22
// Jonathan Holmes
Educating yourself on how to play Super Smash Bros. isn't always easy. Those who know the most about Smash don't always use words that you can find in a dictionary when discussing the game. If you go to the experts for ...

Pac-Man to show up in unexpected places this year, let's guess where

Apr 22 // Jed Whitaker
Mario Kart 8 Pac-Man is no stranger to Mario Kart games having been in all three iterations made for arcades, and with Pac's recent appearance in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS / Wii U, having him as a racer in Mario Kart 8 just makes sense. Running for president as a Republican This one is a no-brainer -- just think about it. What do Pac-Man and the Republican party have in common? They are mostly men, 35 years of age or older, greedy, don't play well with other races, and are deeply rooted in religion. Pac-Man isn't the typical white male that leads the party, but perhaps a recognizable yellow face could give Republicans the push they need to take the White House in 2016. Dark Souls II The Souls series and Pac-Man actually have a lot in common; in both, you play as a lone hero traversing dark mazes filled with spooky ghosts in a world where the only sure thing is death. Perhaps the original maze from Pac-Man will be reworked in a 3D space, much like that beer commercial, and released as free DLC for Dark Souls II. Pac-Man would of course be a grotesque version of himself that guards the end of the maze.  Pellets, Please Gritty, dark, realistic games are all the rage these days, so perhaps Bandai Namco Entertainment will give Pac-Man the reboot he deserves. Pac-Land has fallen on tough times and Pac-Man must sneak into the neighboring country of Arstotzka to find work and food, all while dealing with terrorists and extreme hunger. Pellets, Please could be the smash hit to bring Pac-Man into the two thousand teens. RuPaul's Drag Race Everyone's favorite feminist already told us that Ms. Pac-Man is just Pac-Man with a bow on his head, so Pac-Man decides to own it and joins RuPaul's Drag Race. Pac, Ms. Pac-Man if you're nasty, will take the other divas by storm. Mama Pac will be a ruthless, z-snapping glamazon that makes up for her size with an over-the-top personality. Drag and gays are so in right now to the point where people are trying to make laws against them, which is what happens when anything gets popular with the kids. Playgirl Pac-Man has always been a sex icon. He's known for running around in the nude in his early, drug-filled days; even now the dude doesn't wear pants, baring it all is a constant in his life. Plus, PlayGirl is a great publication to reach parts of the population that are rarely marketed to in gaming: women, and non-straight men. A bit of trivia for ya: the history of PlayGirl kind of falls in place with the history of Ms. Pac-Man, as they were both made as an answer to their male-oriented versions.  An Adam Sandler movie I'm just foolin', there is no way that Pac-Man would ever have a large role in an Adam Sandler film, right? 
Pac-Man's midlife crisis photo
35th anniversary, midlife crisis
This year is the 35th anniversary of Pac-Man, a fact that will surely make your dad feel old. At a recent event in Las Vegas, Bandai Namco Entertainment said to look for Pac-Man to "show up in unexpected places this year." I've thought long and hard about where those places could be and compiled my best guesses below. Feel free to post yours in the comments!

Game News Haikus photo
Game News Haikus

Game News Haikus: Guitar Hero Live, Star Wars Battlefront, emotional reviews, and more


Zen distilled stories
Apr 21
// Darren Nakamura
The biggest story last week was Mortal Kombat X's handling of downloadable content. Warner Bros. should relinquish itself of its greed and earthly possessions. That is the first step on the path to Enlightenment. In this ser...
Activision photo
Activision

Does Activision still have selling power for Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk?


In your mind, obviously
Apr 20
// Chris Carter
It's no secret that I'm a Tony Hawk guy. I'd enjoyed nearly every entry in the series outside of the boring Proving Ground and the iffy Ride subseries, and that rumor of a new fully-fledged game has me all hot ...

How to make Ryu an interesting character in Super Smash Bros.

Apr 19 // Patrick Hancock
Sprite GIFs used are all from the Street Fighter Wiki. Give him an EX meter and EX moves So, let's assume Ryu has his Hadoken, Shoryuken, Tatsumaki Senpukyaku, and some fourth move like a counter or his Joudan Sokutogeri. What would make Ryu unique isn't so much his actual set of moves, but what he can do with them. Give Ryu an EX meter, similar to Little Mac's KO meter, and allow him to build it up and use it. It could build just like it does in Street Fighter IV, by connecting with attacks or getting attacked. Spending this meter can work in a few ways. One would be double-tapping the B button to use an EX move instantly. Double-tapping is weird and I'm not sure it would work in Super Smash Bros., but it's an idea. Another option is to allow Ryu to consume an EX bar to make his next move an EX move. For example: when there's at least one bar of EX glowing, Ryu can hold B to drain it and store it, similar to how many characters store a charged up move. Then, the next special move Ryu executes will be an EX version of that move, with different properties.  If Nintendo really wants to get fancy, it could even work with Capcom to include Street Fighter V's mechanic of spending an entire EX meter to make a character "super-charged" until he is knocked down.  Art by DeviantArt user kupbot Make Ryu's alternate costumes like Bowser Jr.'s Whether Nintendo meant to or not, they set a precedent with Bowser Jr. and his alternate costumes. Ryu is a perfect candidate for this method of alternate costume since there are plenty of Shotokans for Nintendo to choose from. Since each character has seven alternate costumes, here is what I've come up with for Ryu's alternate costumes: Ken, Akuma, Dan, Sean, Gouken, Sakura, and Evil Ryu. Let's be honest, Ryu is boring. He's the "guy on the box." Sure, he's recognizable, but most people tend to gravitate to someone else in Street Fighter. He's a wonderful beginning character and incredibly important to the franchise, but I will be way more willing to use Ryu if I can actually play as Sean or Dan. Sure, it may only be an aesthetic change, but to some, aesthetics really matter. Speaking of which... Give Ryu custom moves from other Shotokans While it is incredibly disconcerting that Mewtwo does not have custom moves at the moment, I am still holding out hope that DLC characters will eventually come with or get their own custom moves. Considering it's one of the biggest new features in this entry of Smash Bros., it only makes sense to do so. Assuming Ryu does get some customs, why not take them from the characters that make up his alternate costumes? Here's some basic ideas: Hadoken custom move ideas: Dan's wimpy Gadoken Gouken's angled Hadoken Sean's basketball (I really like Sean, okay?) Fireball multi-hit Shakunetsu Hadouken Tatsu custom move ideas:Note: This is assuming Ryu's basic Tatsu moves him horizontally  Dan's multi-hit Dankukyaku Stationary Tatsu Vertical Rising Tatsu Shoryuken custom move ideas: Ken's fiery Shoryuken Sean's Dragon Smash The multi-hitting Shoryureppa Since the fourth move could be a multitude of things, I'll just stop here. I think the point is clear: there are a ton of variants on these moves, and it would be a shame to see them go to waste! Two different Final Smashes Luckily, Street Fighter's Ultras convert directly to Super Smash Bros.'s Final Smash. So why not give Ryu two of them? Everyone already expects the Shinku Hadoken to be his Final Smash, but what if, by hitting B and a direction, he could execute a different one? He could have the Shin Shoryuken or even the Shinku Tatsumaki Senpukyaku.  I honestly have no idea if this would be possible, but it sure would be cool! The bottom line is, Ryu is possibly going to be in Super Smash Bros., but without going the extra distance, he'll be a character not many people will be interested in playing. If Nintendo and Mr. Sakurai give Ryu the same care and attention I know they are capable of giving, Ryu could be a favorite character for many players. Roy on the other hand...
Ryu in Smash done right photo
Listen up, Nintendo!
Street Fighter's Ryu is currently rumored to be coming to Nintendo's newest entry into the Super Smash Bros. series, thanks to some hidden files in the most recent update to the game. It makes a lot of sense; Capcom...

Captain of my own destiny: Micro-goals and player liberty

Apr 19 // Anna Anthropy
Every level of Captain Toad is a dense little 3D dollhouse. (In fact, you start to wonder why it wasn't released on the 3DS, where I wouldn't have had to constantly flick my attention between the TV and the thing I was holding.) The player's job is to steer Captain Toad -- or later Captain Toadette instead, once she's submitted herself to being rescued by the character who isn't femme-presenting -- through these little dollhouses. It's refreshing to see Nintendo finally catch up with more progressive developers, who allow playable women characters in their games, but only after male characters (or micropayments) have "unlocked" them. I'm not actually sure the game ever awards Toadette the rank of full Captain. Captain Toad or (Ensign? Admiral?) Toadette move through each dollhouse, avoiding (or occasionally vegetabling) threats, discovering new ways to get around the place, and ultimately attaining the shining Star at the end. That's the point of each little dollhouse, its ultimate goal. But there are "micro-goals" too: three special coins hidden in each little house. They're sealed, like plucky detectives in Nancy Drew novels, behind breakable walls, or tucked into secret nooks or out-of-the-way paths. Their purpose is to encourage (and reward) more thoroughly exploring each dollhouse, turning it over and over on your touch screen to peek into every part of it you can see. That's a legitimate way of playing the game -- call it a "deep" rather than "wide" play style -- and is legitimately rewarding to a certain type of player. That's not usually how I play these games, though. Playing Captain Toad, I was more interested in just seeing as much as possible - the wide rather than deep style of play. I wanted to see all the dollhouses. I wanted to see lots of neat, new things in succession, and not to be stuck on any one for too long. (Certainly the fact that I wouldn't be able to play the game once I'd left my friend's house made me reluctant to linger.) But this style of play is legit too. A design that incorporates both simple unlock-the-next-level goals and extra, optional micro-goals is, theoretically, one that accommodates both styles of play. If I want to see new things, I prioritize the overarching goal that will get me to the next level. If I want to feel like I'm really plumbing the depths of each individual level, I prioritize the micro-goals. But more realistically, my play style -- and probably most players' -- incorporates elements of both: going for a challenge coin when I see how to do so, but not replaying the same level over and over until I've gotten all three. Where the design fails in this case is when it turns out these optional micro-goals aren't optional after all, and that you can only see so much of the game without prioritizing them. My friend was way more challenge-coin-oriented, but even so, the available levels eventually petered out. "Did you unlock any more?" he asked me. I had seen a level or two later than he had. After a point, Captain Toad explicitly enforces the "deep, not wide" style of play where it teases that it will accommodate both kinds of play. And it's not the only Mario (or "Mario universe?" "Mario galaxy?") game to be structured this way: this is the way they're designing them these days. I also bailed on Super Mario 3D Land before seeing the end because it wanted me to replay past levels and harvest more hidden coins. Maybe the hope was that after playing "wide" for long enough, I'd develop enough of an investment in the game to play "deep" when I was forced to. Nope. I stopped playing. Oh, I stuck on for a few more levels, a few more tollbooths. But then I got tired of these forced intermissions between the stuff I wanted to be doing -- seeing new stuff -- to do stuff I was bored of: retreading old territory. I was up to the challenge of the new stages. I was capable, ready, and excited to do more. But the game was unwilling to let me, and I got bored, and I gave up. Surely that's not the outcome the developers were hoping for: player gets bored, gives up? I think it's a failure when additional goals are used to narrow, rather than broaden, the player's experience. One of the games I've been spending a lot of time with lately, Alto's Adventure, a snowboarding game for the iPad, has a few different levels of overlapping goals: get as far as possible in a single run (survive), get as many points as possible on a single run (perform tricks), complete the current "missions" the game has given you (perform specific tasks). Some of the missions are long-term: perform 10 backflips using a character who has a difficult time gaining air. Some of them are really specific: smash a rock during a chase scene. While I'm playing for the overarching goal of travelling as far as possible, these extra goals give me opportunities to explore wider aspects of the game systems. I might have never attempted a triple-backflip if the game hadn't suggested I try it, in addition to my already-established goal of getting farther, seeing more. And not all games need extra layers of goals: Monument Valley doesn't need "missions" to distract from its sparse vignettes. But when extra challenges are deployed, it should be in the service of expanding the player's experience of the game, rather than forcing it. Maybe if you're a garden fungus, the only way up the ladder to the rank of Captain is doing whatever authority tells you without question. Maybe Toadette is the real brains here.
Captain Toad photo
Where playground meets obstacle course
A friend of mine got a good deal on a Wii U recently. That meant that I finally got a chance to play Captain Toad. It's really humbling to know that people at Nintendo have also played Monument Valley. I played through a bunc...

Sup Holmes photo
Sup Holmes

The Matrix Online, internet fury, and being an empathic robot with Eric Ford


Get to know the people who make great videogames
Apr 19
// Jonathan Holmes
[Sup Holmes is a weekly talk show for people that make great videogames. It airs live every Sunday at 4pm EST on YouTube, and can be found in Podcast form on Libsyn and iTunes.] Eric Ford was working in g...

Experience Points .11: Rayman Origins

Apr 18 // Ben Davis
Dance Dance Ray-volution Rayman Origins is just about the happiest game I've ever played. Every little aspect of it seems to be built around the sole purpose of making players smile. For example, achieving almost any goal will cause Rayman and friends to break out in dance. Whether he completes a level or simply rescues a few Electoons, Rayman can't help but celebrate by busting a groove. Each of the characters have their own dance moves, but Rayman's got the best moves by far. He seems to really like disco, as much of his dancing takes inspiration from that. He also has this really weird dance whenever he rescues Electoons, where he sort of humps the air a few times while swinging his hands back and forth with a wild grin on his face. It makes me laugh every time. One of the funniest scenes in the game also revolves around dancing. When Rayman encounters the Magician in the Moody Clouds, the antagonist suddenly drops a funky beat. Of course, Rayman will take any opportunity to break into dance, so he busts out some of his sweet disco moves alongside the Magician. They look to be having fun dancing together before the bad guy runs away unexpectedly while Rayman is still too busy moving to the music. It was all just a clever ruse! And you have to admit, tricking someone into dancing so you can get away is probably one of the best escape plans ever. Musical Lums Rayman and friends aren't the only ones having a good time. If there's anything that will get players dancing along to the game, it has got to be the King Lums. Lums are the collectibles of Rayman Origins; they're these happy little yellow dudes who hover in the air and play musical notes when they're collected. They're everywhere. King Lums are a little bigger than your typical Lum, and they wear big gold crowns so they're hard to miss. Grabbing a King Lum will trigger a short, incredibly happy tune which causes all the other Lums to turn red and start dancing, meaning they're worth double points until the song ends. Gotta move fast and collect as many Lums as possible before the music stops! It's almost physically impossible for me to not dance at least a little bit after grabbing a King Lum. I always catch myself bobbing my head, moving my torso, or tapping my foot to the melody. I just can't help it; it's the happiest, catchiest music! Slap-happy friends Playing Rayman Origins with friends is a hilarious experience. Technically, everyone is cooperating to finish the level, but things can get competitive very quickly. You see, not only are players able to punch and slap enemies, but they can even beat their friends up as well. Smacking your friends doesn't cause damage, but it does make their characters yell out in ridiculously exaggerated pain, which is really funny to watch. It's pretty much an eventuality that every cooperative session of Rayman Origins will turn into a slap-fest at some point. It's difficult NOT to hit your friends, even if it's an accident, which will inevitably cause them to hit you right back. And thus the friendly fighting begins. Who will win in a slapping contest: Rayman or Globox? There's only one way to find out! In the belly of the beast The bosses in Rayman Origins are fantastic. There's a fat, googly-eyed bird; a thorny plant monster with a huge head; a giant, eel-like sea dragon; and a dragon chef suffering from severe heartburn. The ailing dragon chef, named El Stomacho, is definitely my favorite one. This boss's level is called "My Heartburn's for You," which is just about the best level name ever. He's so big that he swallows Rayman and friends whole, meaning the boss fight actually takes place inside his stomach. Rayman will have to avoid streams of flame and rising stomach acid as he waits for an opening to attack. This dude's heartburn is no joke! After each attack, there's a brief cutscene as the camera cuts outside to El Stomacho himself, who looks like he's about to barf with all of this activity upsetting his stomach. Finally, Rayman manages to escape back out the way he came, as he's launched out of the dragon's mouth along with a huge burst of flames. The massive dragon then shrinks down considerably to a tiny little lizard chef and breaks into dance with Rayman. In fact, all of the major bosses shrink down into these adorable little forms and start dancing after being defeated, and it always makes me happy. They weren't really bad guys after all! Treasures and tribulations Rayman Origins may seem like a fairly simple platformer at first, as most of the levels are straightforward and dying only brings Rayman back to the beginning of the room he's currently in. The main game isn't too difficult. The Tricky Treasure levels, however, are an entirely different story. Each world has a Tricky Treasure level which is unlocked after freeing a certain number of Electoons. As their name might suggest, these levels are seriously tricky! Each treasure level is a race to the finish where every action counts. Slip up even once, and it could be over very quickly. Rayman only has one shot at success, or else he has to start the entire level over from the beginning. Some of these levels are particularly brutal. I had to run a few of them over and over again until I knew every move I had to make by heart, to the point where I felt as though I could probably beat it again with my eyes closed. It was like Super Meat Boy levels of punishing platforming in this cute, cartoon-y Rayman game, and I loved it! Plus, the music for these levels is fantastic! I didn't even mind that the music was being repeated ad nauseum, because it was so upbeat and catchy. I'd often find myself humming along as I ran, only for the song to be cut short by some choice curse words whenever I died again. No country for old grannies I thought the Tricky Treasure levels were difficult enough, and then I came to the Land of the Livid Dead. Holy cow, you guys! The Land of the Livid Dead is a secret final area only accessible after beating every Tricky Treasure level and returning the crystal teeth to the old man in the Snoring Tree. It's a dark, gloomy underground graveyard full of thorny, eyeball-laden vines, pillars of flame, and angry grannies! That's right, angry grannies. The Land of the Livid Dead is populated by irate, undead grannies who won't hesitate to kick Rayman off their lawn. They're kind of the greatest thing ever. This area is an intense mega-marathon to the finish line. Luckily there are checkpoints, but even so, getting to the end is no easy feat. Once again, I got a sense of the crazy Super Meat Boy difficulty of the Tricky Treasure levels, and this quickly became my favorite area in the game. The level ends with a super ridiculous boss battle against a giant, hairy, many-eyed monster, who is busy painting her nails, singing a silly tune, and bathing in lava when Rayman interrupts her. She lets out a horrified scream (in a much deeper tone than her singing voice), and tries to shake Rayman off of her arms as her spiky bracelets slide around. She's such an unexpectedly bizarre final boss, and the perfect way to end such a great game. Oh, and I can't forget to mention the music from the Land of the Livid Dead, which is heavily inspired by Ennio Morricone's soundtracks to classic Spaghetti Western films such as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. It's my favorite music in the entire game (which is saying a lot, since all of the music is fantastic). Lucky for me, too, because I had to hear that music A LOT. [embed]290641:58221:0[/embed] Glou Glou I'll round this post out with another wonderful soundtrack selection. While it's not my personal favorite, the music from the Sea of Serendipity is definitely the most iconic music from Rayman Origins. The tracks "Lums of the Water" and "The Lums' Dream," both subtitled "Glou Glou," feature nonsensical vocals by the Lums. These peaceful, dreamy songs play while Rayman and friends are swimming around under the sea. It's impossible for me to listen to these tracks without smiling. They're beautiful and adorable, and they fit perfectly in the world of Rayman. Past Experience Points .01: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.02: Shadow of the Colossus.03: EarthBound.04: Catherine.05: Demon's Souls.06: No More Heroes.07: Paper Mario.08: Persona 4.09: Final Fantasy IX.10: Mega Man Legends  
Rayman Origins photo
Oo-na nee-na glou glou~
Experience Points is a series in which I highlight some of the most memorable things about a particular game. These can include anything from a specific scene or moment, a character, a weapon or item, a level or location, a p...

Botched Pokemon tattoo becomes newest beloved internet meme

Apr 17 // Steven Hansen
[Vaughn Pinpin, 2012] But that out-there "blackface Charmander" design wasn't the result of a handful of pills and a Smirnoff Ice. It was a crudely drawn recreation of work done in artist Vaughn Pinpin's Tim Burton x PKMN Project collection, in which Pinpin drew Charmander, all its evolutions, and about 70 other pocket monsters in this style. We covered them almost three years ago. They're all on Pinpin's Tumblr. And while reddit was busy making fanart of this assumed addled original creation as fast as it designs amiibo mock ups, credit to the original artist fell by the wayside. Even the reddit top comment, "Looks like a Tim Burton Pokémon," links to an Imgur upload of the original Charmander drawing that points to the URL of a site that seems to aggregate and talk about art. The reply to that reply, the "full list" is a low quality, not-full collage featuring 25 of Pinpin's drawings. Finally, the third nested reply, after being edited, includes a link to Pinpin's Tumblr. One website actually posted Pinpin's original work under the impression that it was fan art of the tattoo, which is a bit like saying The Beatles sounds like Oasis. Lack of credit on an internet where it can feel as if things just materialize is a big issue today for people who create things. Artwork is passed around (sometimes watermarks maliciously removed, or added by outside parties), jokes are stolen, and people expect (and get) an endless influx of free stimuli. In this case, it went beyond fans giggling over a meme, as some folks started making and selling products -- necklackes, t-shirts -- with the tattoo's likeness. Pinpin responded to the situation on Twitter: "I'm cool with you guys getting tats of my dang Burton PKMNs, but try not to profit over it please. That's not entrepreneurship, that's theft." That was about as close to positive as Pinpin got about the situation, saying, "This just in: dumb kids did a dumb thing and everyone's laughing about it in the cesspool that is reddit. This is news!" before following up with, "I think I feel better about the whole situation now. But I don't think I can laugh with reddit. It's sort of like laughing with the school bully when the joke was punching me in the face." We all carry varying degrees of guilt for this sort of thing. I take shiba pictures and animal gifs for a public good. I tweeted out a still from A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night last week without naming the film, director, actor, or cinematographer. While you enjoy the fun times with friends you have on the net, it's good to remember that some of the things you enjoy -- web comics that end up as images in comment threads, photo galleries that get linked to on Facebook -- come from people who worked hard to make them. Sometimes someone just took a picture of their dog at the right time. Still, crediting the source is always a good move.
Charmander tattoo photo
'My friend was drunk and on Xanax when he decided to tattoo a black face Charmander'
If there's one thing my grandfather fought for in World War II, it was the right to monetize memes. Of course, he was in the Italian army, the side that rightfully lost the war, because all your grandfathers were fighting aga...

This could be the Godzilla game fans have always wanted

Apr 15 // Jed Whitaker
Godzilla (PS3, PS4 [tested]) Developer: Bandai Namco EntertainmentPublisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment Release: July 14, 2015 Fans of the classic Godzilla movies will be pleased, as the development team at Bandai Namco Entertainment has focused on making the new game as close to the original films as possible, and it has mostly nailed it; the monsters feel huge and lumbering, the cities crumble and the fights are epic, camera angles mimic the look and feel of the original movies. Buildings exploding is especially on point, as it looks like the fake, firework-esque explosions from the original Japanese films. The presentation of Godzilla as a whole is really impressive. When I first laid hands-on with the PS4 version of the game I was confused. The left stick makes Godzilla walk forwards or backwards, but the right stick only rotates the camera. After investigating the cardboard instructions stuck to the demo television I was surprised to find that the shoulder buttons, L1 and R1, are used to turn Godzilla slowly left and right. At first I was perplexed. "What a stupid control scheme" I thought, then after smashing through a few buildings and starting a fight with Ghidorah it finally clicked. The turning mechanic mixed with the cinematic camera makes you feel like a giant fucking monster and it is the first Godzilla game I've played that achieves this. [embed]290478:58183:0[/embed] Godzilla isn't the only playable monster as every monster in the game is controllable, each with its own variation of the story. Radio communications by humans during the battles paint a story of destruction and desperation. Each stage has an objective, typically destroying specific buildings, but while doing so can lure up to two other monsters for battle where the game keeps a surprisingly solid 60 frames-per-second. Monsters include Mechagodzilla, Destroyah, Jet Jaguar, Mothra, Mothra Larva, Gigan, Biollante, Hedorah, and more. Even Space Godzilla made it in as one of the exclusives for the PS4 version. The game will be launching this July for PS4 at retail and PS3 via digital. The PS4 version isn't just a direct port of the PS3 game as it has more monsters, an exclusive multiplayer mode, and the ability to battle two monsters at once. Those who preorder the PS4 version will receive Hollywood Godzilla, or the Godzilla model from the recent film, as DLC. If you've been waiting for the defining Godzilla game, this might be the one.
Godzilla goes old school photo
Hail to the king, baby!
I've dabbled in Godzilla games since the NES game Godzilla: Monster of Monsters, a game that for some reason took place in space; Mothra and Godzilla fought monsters and literally kicked rocks in this fondly remembered title....

SEXY LAYTON photo
SEXY LAYTON

Sexy Layton and Sexy Luke react to going mobile


But what about the 3DS?
Apr 15
// Kyle MacGregor
The Japanese mobile game market is booming and studios are climbing aboard the money train. Take Level-5, for example. The next installments in the Professor Layton and Fantasy Life series are abandoning their homes on Ninte...

What would a Daredevil game 'look' like?

Apr 14 // Nic Rowen
Illustration by Reynan Sanchez From the darkness So the Batman games give us a great formula to follow for a third-person superhero action game, but Daredevil isn't Batman. He doesn't have the tools, the armored suit, or the resources to throw himself into the fray like the Dark Knight can. I'm picturing a more restrained affair -- a crawl through the shadows more focused on stealth and surprise than taking on massive scrums of 20 thugs at once. I would like to see a game that rewards patience and observation for Daredevil, a world that only reveals itself when you take the time to focus on it. I'm thinking of something like Joel's concentration ability from The Last of Us, but turned to the max. A black and white world with occasional splashes of color that resolves in increasing detail the quieter and calmer Matt is, allowing the sounds, smells, and feel of his environment to paint a picture for him. A world you can navigate and use to your advantage to get the drop on criminal scum, but one that can also turn against you. If you blow the element of surprise and end up in a scuffle, Daredevil's attention shifts to the most obvious threat. While the attackers you're trying to subdue come into greater focus to let you get your knife-deflecting, arm-breaking kung-fu on, the environment around you would slip away, evaporating into an impressionistic haze. Only the most obvious and loud elements of the environment (a subway car racing by, an industrial air conditioning unit clattering away) would be left to provide you an anchor point. Fighting on a rooftop would suddenly become a treacherous guessing game as you try to remember just how close you were to the ledge before you had to start dodging gunfire. Again, I'll admit that I don't know much about the comics, so I don't know how true the Netflix series is to the source materials, but I like the tone and the limitations it sets. I like that Matt is not all that superpowered, that a group of four or five thugs are a credible threat to him. I think a stealth-action game that grounded itself on that level would work well. Besides, it would be a great chance to bust out something similar to the Nemesis system from Shadow of Mordor. Daredevil doesn't have a supercomputer in his cowl or a genius hacker in his ear to solve crimes for him. He has to go with his gut and old-fashion legwork. A game that would let you target individual members of the underworld and threaten them into giving up their bosses would fit Daredevil's aesthetic. An open-world version of New York, where you play gangsters and criminals off each other to work your way up the food chain. By taking every criminal as a serious threat, there would be a real intimacy and sense of accomplishment when you manage to bring a mob boss or trigger-man to heel. So, my idea is to make an open-world game based on a complicated, always changing, sense-memory representation of New York, filled with individual criminals and characters that interact with each other in complex ways. When you get into a fight, the game becomes a frustrating, chaotic scramble. There might be a reason I don't make games. Murdock Mysteries (or Hell's Kitchen Noire) Matt Murdock is a complicated character defined by his paradoxical position as both a criminal defense lawyer and a brutal vigilante. I think it would be a shame to miss that element of his character in a videogame. I mean, we can safely ignore Bruce Wayne because who really wants to spend time as a billionaire playboy driving fast cars, explaining away suspicious bruises, sleeping through investment meetings, and flirting with supermodels? Actually, that sounds like an amazing idea and I immediately regret throwing shade on it. What if you had a game that focused on made Matt's identity as a lawyer? As an investigator and seeker of truth? I want to play “blind superhero L.A. Noire” if only as an excuse to say the phrase “blind superhero L.A. Noire.” It would be an interesting experience to arrive at a crime scene completely blind. A black screen as the door shuts behind you or the car engine slowly cools. As Foggy Nelson, Matt's lawyer sidekick, describes the scene and known facts of the crime, a picture slowly comes together piece by piece. As Matt uses his super senses to take in the environment around him, more details emerge that you can follow up on. The crime scene resolves based on not only the observations you make and questions you ask, but the way you interpret that data. Focus on the wrong elements and you may end up chasing down pointless leads and compromising your defense strategy (or worse yet, wind up defending a guilty man). Interviewing clients and cross examining witnesses could also take advantage of Matt's senses. Small clues like a tiny quiver in a person's speech, a slight nervous tapping of the foot, or an increase in perspiration could help guide your questions. But again, it would still be on you to determine what that data means – did his heart skip a beat when you asked your last question because you caught him in a lie, or is he scared of something else? If they don't answer your questions like you want them to, you can savagely beat them within an inch of their life later. Just like I always wanted to in L.A. Noire. Fuck it, let's just blind the player You want to know what it's like to live in Daredevil's world? Fine, just put out your eyes. Well, okay, maybe that's going a step too far. But if we're going to talk about completely unmarketable ideas, a sensory-deprivation based game like Deep Sea that encloses the player in darkness and makes them rely on their sense of hearing might be the truest expression of the Daredevil experience. If you've never heard (har) of it before, Deep Sea is an arcade game/art project of sorts made by Robin Arnott, one of the creative talents behind the mind-screwy Antichamber. To play it, you strap on a gas mask that has a pair of binaural headphones that provide excellent 3D sound, but no screen. You play the game blind. It simulates a deep-dive-gone-wrong experience, forcing you to listen for unseen terrors amidst the low rumbling noises of the unknown deep. You try to locate these creatures with echolocation and blindly fire at them hoping to hit your mark in the darkness. It's a game about vulnerability, isolation, and oppressive fear. Daredevil has mastered those forces. He's the man without fear. Could you learn to master them too? To be so confident and sure in your sense of hearing and touch that you could live in that world as well? Hell no! But it would be a great gimmick game to take to PAX and NARPS. I'm sure Marvel will see the wisdom in my decision and hand over the license immediately.
Daredevil ideas photo
Do we dare envision it?
I've been watching the Netflix Daredevil series and so far it's good. It's so good in fact, it's made me rethink my entire opinion on Daredevil -- which prior to this last week had been an exaggerated shrug with maybe a sarca...

We're changing our review descriptions to be more emotional

Apr 14 // Chris Carter
Jonathan Holmes on reviews: We've chosen to revamp our scoring system at Destructoid. The general bent here is to steer away from the "product review"-style descriptions that make guesses about how the reader will enjoy a game ("Everyone on Earth will love this! I know, because I am some kind of wizard!") or attempt to make universally objective qualifiers ("We measured how much fun this game has with a fun scale and it weighed 100/100 fun points! That means it's perfect!") in the score descriptions, and instead describe the writer's personal relationship with the game. The exception to that are "The Best" and "The Worst," which are meant to reflect the writer's intense personal feelings, and not an attempt to state that a game is universally, objectively, absolutely the "best" or "worst" game of all time. We all know that it's not actually possible for a game to be the best or worst to everyone everywhere, right? RIGHT?!?! Destructoid's new review scale: 1/10 - The Worst - One of my least favorite games ever. Just thinking about it is upsetting. I am upset.2/10 - Painful - This game made me feel actively disgusted most of the time. Like a disease. It might not kill you, but anything is possible.3/10 - Insulting - I feel mocked by this game. It's engaging for just long enough to pull the rug out from under me and scream in my ear, "surprise! I suck!"4/10 - Disappointing - I feel sorry for this one. It came close to being passable, but dropped the ball too many times to prevent itself from being an embarrassment.5/10 -  Tolerable - Like a meal of lukewarm water with white bread. It filled my time and my belly, but lacks any discernible flavor or nutritional value. A game that left me no different than it found me. Just passing through. 6/10 - Amicable - A presentable but unmemorable time. Focusing on the bright spots helps, and I appreciate the effort, but I won't be playing this repeatedly.7/10 -  Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game.. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.8/10 -  Charming - Not perfect, but it's easy to ignore the rough spots when faced with so many engaging design decisions and entertaining moments. A memorable game that's hard not to like and recommend to others. 9/10 - Entrancing - It's like magic, guys. Time disappears when this game and I are together, and I never want it to end. I'm not sure if this is a love that will last forever, but if it is, you'll get no complaints from me. 10/10 - The Best - Is it legal to marry a videogame? Because I want to be with game every day for the rest of my life. It completes me. It is my soul mate.
New review descriptions photo
Once more, with feeling
I never understood people who try to put reviews in a box. They can be short, long, scored, unscored, or use a hybrid symbol system. Although there are merits to some of these discussions, there's no inherent "better" way, th...

Game News Haikus photo
Game News Haikus

Game News Haikus: EarthBound, The Last of Us, Mortal Kombat X, and more


Zen distilled stories
Apr 14
// Darren Nakamura
I wrote a thing about The Last of Us last week, and despite the use of measured language, there were accusations of extreme opinions on either side. Come on, people. That is not very zen. Find your nirvana. In this series, w...
Danganronpa photo
Danganronpa

Destructoid solves a murder: Danganronpa Edition


It's pun-ishment time!
Apr 13
// Mike Cosimano
From the beginning, this murder (and I've seen a lot of them over the course of my career) struck me as too simple. Kyle Hebert -- a voice actor you may recognize as the voice of Ryu from Street Fighter -- was found de...

Which low tier character will I waste my time on in Mortal Kombat X?

Apr 11 // Nic Rowen
When it comes to NetherRealm's fighters, I've been in top form. I took one look at Noob Saibot, the ninja-by-way-of-Darth-Vader, and decided to main him in Mortal Kombat 9. He was fiddly and awkward at close range, while being outclassed by more dynamic zoners at full screen where he was supposed (?) to dominate. Sure, his X-Ray move was undeniably dope, but when would you ever get a chance to use it when you were so busy eating Cyrax bombs and Kabal's aerial energy blasts? In Injustice, I mained Lex Luthor from day one and never looked back, even when facing ten game (and higher) losing streaks. Lex was a giant lug of a fighter with all the size and sluggishness of a grappler and none of the damage to back it up. He was a finesse character, based on set-ups and smart use of his hyper armor in a game where the most popular characters could evaporate half a health-bar with one combo and had moves specifically designed to ignore hyper armor. I doomed myself to living under Kryptonian tyranny and had only myself to blame. So which piece of deadweight will I pick up in Mortal Kombat X? Which character will I fall in love with early and stick by, despite it becoming increasingly apparent that they are absolute garbage? What kind of destructive co-dependent relationship will I get tangled up in this time? Quan Chi Quan Chi is a dark sorcerer shitbag that nobody likes, both in the fandom and in the series' narrative. He is a universally reviled toady, unsuccessfully scheming behind the back of whatever master he is currently serving like an incompetent, bald Starscream. The contrarian streak in me that identifies with underdogs finds these qualities strangely endearing (this is also why I'm doomed to fail). Quan has a couple of bizarre fighting styles that rely on the clever use of a summoned bat-demon or cheeky portals to force the opponent into mix-up situations and generally be an annoying jackass. He also has a variation that uses weird glyphs and symbols on the ground for a variety of effects, such as nullifying projectiles or pumping up his damage. Because that kind of gimmick couldn't possibly be a pain in the ass to try and use while Lui Kang pelts you with fireballs and bicycle-kicks right? Another trick-based finesse character that requires a lot of momentum to get going and can be shut down with a strong offense? Sounds like Lex all over again -- sign me up? I don't know, maybe I just have a thing for bald guys.   Jax MK 9's Jax had quite the character arc in the meta-game. He was one of the weakest members of the roster on release, but a few, possibly heavy handed, patches and buffs suddenly thrust him to the top of many tier lists. A real rags-to-riches story (or a great example of why fighting game players hate patches). Skilled Jax players could be a nightmare to deal with, hassling opponents from a distance with earthquakes and projectiles while utterly dominating up-close with powerful grabs and terrifying damage. Later patches toned him down a bit and in the end Jax retired as a respectable, but not spectacular kombatant. I'm not really interested in any of that. I honestly have no idea if Jax will be a ridiculously powerful demigod of command grabs in MK X, reduced back to his meek early MK 9 low tier hero status, or find some middle balance between the two extremes. I just think he looks awesome. Jax is a guy who pummels ninjas to death with a pair of robotic arms, which has been scientifically determined to be the coolest possible way to beat a ninja to death. He has a distinguished dash of salt and pepper in his beard, and the kind of preoccupation with cigars that I'm sure Freud would have something to say about. Or maybe not, considering he likes to alternatively snuff those cigars on his robotic fists, or the bloody neck-stump-turned-ashtray of his opponent. Jackson Briggs has it going on. If I can age half as gracefully (and cybernetically) as Jax, I'll die a happy man. I know it's an odd criteria, but if basing my fighting game character choices on aspirational life goals is wrong, I don't want to be right. Kotal Kahn Kotal Kahn is my wild card. He's a new character, so there's no telling if he'll be good or bad. On one hand, he was built with MK X's unique systems and play style in mind instead of being re-tooled to fit the mold. It's entirely possible he'll be an utter wrecking machine of sun-worshiping bad-assery. On the other, he hasn't had umpteen iterative appearances to figure out his place in the food chain, so maybe longtime favorites like Kung Lao will mop the floor with him using established fundamentals (such as -- hat throw, hat throw, hat throw, dive kick). This is all irrelevant. I've got my eye on Kotal because he looks like some kind of Aztec war-god, and that's pretty tough to beat aesthetically. Why would I want to throw a silly bladed hat at someone when I could fry them with divine sun beams, or cut their heart out with one of those cool wavy cult daggers? Kotal also as a variation where he carries around one of those crazy tribal swords that is basically a wooden board with a row of razor sharp sharks teeth inset along the edges, which seems like the worst thing mankind ever devised to cut another person in two with. It would be like being paddled by a frat brother and devoured by Jaws at the same time, two of my recurring nightmares condensed into one horrific device. I don't know how Quan, Jax, and Kotal will shake out. Going by my track record, the fact that I'm expressing any interest in them at all pretty much dooms them (so maybe you'll want to take this article as a cautionary tale and stay clear of them). Or maybe they'll turn out to be awesomely powerful specimens and I'll be retroactively accused of tier-whoring whenever I select them. It will be interesting to find out in a few months when people have had a chance to dig into MK X and test their might. Until then, I'd be interested to hear what characters you're excited about. Do you plan on sticking with the tried and true like Scorpion and Raiden? Will you embrace the next generation of fighters and take selfies with Cassie Cage and her crew? Or are you going to be that one freaky dude who mains Ferra/Torr from day one and beats everyone down Master Blaster style? At the end of the day, tier placement really doesn't mean much, what matters is your skill and enjoyment. As long as you're having fun and improving your game, any character is the right choice.
Low tier heroes photo
You do it to yourself, you do, and that's what really hurts
They say you should never marry for love, but I always do. Every single damn time. I guess you could call me a romantic. If you felt like being less charitable (and possibly more accurate), you could call me a scrub. I couldn...

Experience Points .10: Mega Man Legends

Apr 11 // Ben Davis
We're the Bonnes! We're pirates! I often find that my favorite villains are the comical ones who are prone to failure. They get in the hero's way, but they never seem to pose much of an actual threat. I almost wish I could help them out sometimes, or lose once just to make them feel better about themselves. The Bonne family from Mega Man Legends is a perfect example of this. They are pirates who fly around to various islands to steal money and treasure, yet they're consistently left penniless. Despite their lack of funds, however, they're still able to build a bunch of cool, powerful mechs somehow. The family consists of Tron, her older brother Teisel, her baby brother Bon, and a group of accident-prone minions called Servbots. And I love them all. Tron Bonne is probably one of the most likable villains you'll ever meet. She can be scary when she needs to be, and she's a terrific leader, but she definitely has a soft side. Before realizing that she's the bad guy, Mega Man saves Tron from being chased by an angry dog, and she starts crushing hard. This becomes pretty awkward once she finds out that Mega Man is the one who's responsible for disrupting their plans, as she's suddenly torn between her feelings for Mega Man and her plans to ransack the town. I always secretly hoped they'd end up together... Her brothers are pretty great too. Teisel looks really scary with his weird red eyes and spiky grey hair. He acts tough, but he's kind of a goofball. He also has by far the best maniacal laughter that I've ever heard. Bon, despite being the baby of the family, is actually the largest in size. He appears to be just a head attached to a mech suit, and the only thing he has learned to say is "babuu!" He's adorable, but he's also a force to be reckoned with. And then there's the Servbots. They are just the best! They're these cute little robots with yellow heads and blue bodies who are essentially the mascots of the Mega Man Legends games. They dutifully obey the Bonnes' orders, but they're quite weak unless they're piloting a mech. Mega Man can easily kick them around, sending them crying back to Tron in the hopes that she'll forgive their failure. The Servbots are just so adorable, though, that I honestly feel pretty bad about beating them up. It's okay, little guys! You'll get 'em next time! The Bonnes and the Servbots are by far the best things to come out of Mega Man Legends. It's no wonder Tron and her family got their very own spin-off title! Kick the can The most memorable parts of Mega Man Legends were often the little things. There were so many random, silly things Mega Man could do on Kattelox Island, which made me want to experiment and explore as much as possible. Street lamps could be climbed for no reason, it was possible to hitch rides on top of cars, vending machines could be kicked to dispense free sodas (or explode... oops). Almost everything could be interacted with in some way. The first thing to make me realize this was the solitary empty can lying on the ground in the middle of Apple Market. It's such an insignificant thing, just a piece of trash littering the area. But for some reason, it stuck out like a sore thumb and I had to investigate it. The only way to interact with the can was to kick it, sending it flying through the market with a satisfying metallic clink. I ended up kicking that thing up and down the market, just wasting time, wondering if I could hit people with it or get it to land in a trash can or in one of the stores. And then I managed to kick it behind the counter of the Jetlag Bakery. "Nice shot! Keep our streets clean! Put trash in its proper place!" That message made me laugh pretty hard. So I guess the bakery is the proper place for trash in this town? Not the trash cans lining the market, but the bakery. It also rewards Mega Man with 1000 zenny per can, so I spent even more time trying to earn money by kicking trash into the bakery. The poor baker probably hated me, I'm sure. Sorry, lady! The ancient robotic ruins The bulk of Mega Man Legends' gameplay takes place underground in areas known as ruins, since Mega Man Volnutt happens to be a professional digger. While some of the ruins are proper dungeons necessary for beating the game, there's also a huge network of optional sub-ruins that Mega Man could explore at his leisure. Underground, he can find treasure, materials for making new weapons, relics to donate to the museum, and other neat stuff. The sub-ruins are accessed through various locations on the island. Most of them are interconnected, but certain areas require specific abilities to reach, making it feel sort of like a Metroid-esque side quest. The ruins are also home to some really cool-looking enemies called Reaverbots. The Reaverbots come in all shapes and sizes with all sorts of abilities, but they each share a distinct aesthetic, with skeletal, robotic bodies usually accentuated by a characteristic red eye. I think they're some of the best designed enemies in the Mega Man franchise, and they really help to make the Legends games stand out visually from the rest. The sub-ruins were by far my favorite location in the game. I loved spending time underground, exploring every nook and cranny and fighting off all the Reaverbots in search of treasure and artifacts. The ruins are massive, with lots of hidden paths and dangerous enemies, so exploring them fully was no easy task. I've always had a penchant for archaeology and spelunking, so going on digs in Mega Man Legends always filled me with excitement. Would you like Stripe Fries with that? Mega Man Legends is full of fun side quests to occupy Mega Man's time between missions. Some of these quests involve preventing bombs from going off Downtown, finding a man's lost money, renovating a gang's secret hideout, donating artifacts to the local museum, helping a sick girl at the hospital, and more. There's actually an extra hidden location which players can only access after completing a certain side quest. At one point in the game, Mega Man can catch a news report about a bank robbery in progress. Heading to the Downtown area after the report, he can help the cops chase down the bank robbers, who turn out to be Servbots. After blowing up the truck and chasing off the Servbots, Mega Man will obtain a trunk of stolen money. Upon returning the trunk of money to the police inspector, a new restaurant will eventually open up Downtown called Stripe Burger. It's a burger joint which is run by Servbots! As it turns out, the Servbots weren't actually robbing the bank. They were just borrowing money in order to open up their new restaurant, and were mistaken for robbers by the cops. It seems the police force of Kattelox Island is guilty of racial profiling. For shame, officers! There's not really anything special to do or find in Stripe Burger, but I always enjoy giving the place a visit anyway. It makes me happy to see the Servbots living out their dreams, letting go of a life of crime and instead choosing to serve delicious burgers to the people of Kattelox with smiles on their faces. Those little guys definitely deserved a break, so it's nice to see things turn out so well for them. Dancing with Data The Servbots aren't the only cute characters in Mega Man Legends. There's also an adorable little mechanical monkey named Data, who is a companion to Mega Man. Data doesn't get much of a spotlight in the story, at least until the end of the game, but he's always there to help Mega Man when he needs it. Data is essentially the game's save point. Whenever Mega Man needs to save, all he has to do is find Data around town, in the support car, or on the Flutter and speak to him. He usually follows Mega Man around, so he's not hard to find. He'll also offer helpful tips in case Mega Man is lost or doesn't know what to do next. I like to think of Data as moral support. He's always doing this happy little monkey dance with a big smile on his face, no matter how dire the current situation might be. It's so comforting to see him there, dancing his butt off, right before I have to fight a difficult boss. It's like he's cheering me on. Thanks for the morale boost, Data! The Fast and the Furious: Kattelox Drift The coolest Mega Man upgrade has got to be the jet skates! Crafted out of a rollerboard and some old hoverjets, the jet skates allow Mega Man to zoom around the ground quickly and effortlessly, without even lifting his feet. They're basically like those weird roller shoes that have wheels tucked away underneath, only Mega Man doesn't look like an idiot wearing them because he's a robot (I'm probably just jealous of those kids that had roller shoes because I was never allowed to have them myself). There's even a mini-game which revolves entirely around the jet skates, which has Mega Man racing around town on a set course, trying to beat the time limits. It's a good way to earn money and perfect Mega Man's sweet skating skills. Gotta get those sick drifts down or he'll never reach the finish line in time! Man, I wish I had a pair of jet skates... Mega Man vs. the Theodore Bruno There are a few boss fights that immediately come to mind when thinking about Mega Man Legends. There's the Gesellschaft with its awesome music, Mega Man Juno with his classical theme, and Bon Bonne because, well, he's a badass baby! My favorite boss by far, though, is the Theodore Bruno. Mega Man finds the Bruno in Old City, a vacated area of Kattelox Island which is only inhabited by vicious, stray dogs. Upon entering a large warehouse, Mega Man unexpectedly runs into Tron Bonne, who he thought might have been killed after the Gesellschaft explosion. In a funny and heartwarming moment, Mega Man interrupts the Bonnes' pizza party to express his relief that Tron is still alive. Awww, he cares about her! Turns out the Bonnes had been hiding out in Old City ever since their last fight, and Tron had been hard at work building her masterpiece, the Theodore Bruno. This is their last attempt to show Mega Man they mean business, and it sure is an epic battle. The Bruno is so huge that it can easily decimate the warehouses and other buildings in the area, reducing them to rubble and depleting Mega Man's potential hiding spots, all while firing a barrage of bombs, missiles, and energy blasts. It can be tough dodging the projectiles, ducking behind buildings, and waiting for the perfect opportunity to return fire, but Mega Man will eventually emerge victorious, of course. Afterwards, Teisel finally admits defeat and promises to leave Mega Man and the island alone. Tron seems sad about this, wondering if she'll ever see Mega Man again (awww, she cares about him too!). But as they're walking away, Teisel whispers his new plan to her: they'll just wait until Mega Man finds the treasure himself, and then steal it from him instead. Brilliant! Past Experience Points .01: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.02: Shadow of the Colossus.03: EarthBound.04: Catherine.05: Demon's Souls.06: No More Heroes.07: Paper Mario.08: Persona 4.09: Final Fantasy IX
Mega Man Legends photo
In a world covered by endless water...
Experience Points is a series in which I highlight some of the most memorable things about a particular game. These can include anything from a specific scene or moment, a character, a weapon or item, a level or location, a p...

Obscure Video Games photo
Obscure Video Games

Obscure Video Games: Combat Queen


Am I buggin' you? I don't mean to bug you
Apr 11
// Obscure Video Games
Remember FMV games? Back in the '90s they were briefly the hot new thing. Games like Phantasmagoria and 7th Guest were considered cutting edge adventure games. Perhaps you even bought a CD-ROM drive for your computer just to ...

Won't somebody think of the children?

Apr 09 // Nic Rowen
[embed]290207:58107:0[/embed] Thankfully, I had a secret weapon to get MK off the black list in my home. Aside from being a nightmarish murder simulator, I knew that MK was also fucking ridiculous; a fact all those self-serious senators stumping on the public decency ticket always seemed to forget to mention. Despite all the media hubbub, my mom was, thankfully, still inclined to give me the benefit of the doubt and listen to reason. We struck a deal, I'd be allowed to rent the neutered, bloodless SNES version under the condition that she would watch as my brother and I played it. If she felt it was too violent for our sensibilities or somehow mentally damaging, she would banish it straight back to the Netherrealm of Blockbuster Video and the veto would stand. In the end she didn't watch for more than an hour before realizing that MK was just too stupid to be considered harmful. When you break it down, MK is a game about karate men fighting each other one-on-one to save the world from a four-armed claymation monster and his boss who looks suspiciously like Lo Pan from Big Trouble in Little China. Even the famed gore of the series, when not breathlessly described by a dour parental advocacy spokesperson, was too dumb and cheap looking to take seriously. The production values on those original fatalities were a joke, character sprites awkwardly sticking into and through each other at angles and depths that don't line up quite right. The obvious cost-cutting steps of re-purposing animations and sprites stole a certain degree of gravitas from the executions. MK 1 has the same disarming flimsiness of a student film effort about zombies. It's hard to take stumbling freshmen in thrift store clothes splattered with red food coloring seriously -- the effect is more slapstick than sinister. My brother and I were left alone to throw fireballs and exchange uppercuts with the understanding that we weren't to tell anyone we were allowed to play MK (because who wants to have to explain that to the other moms) and that any attempt to actually rip a sibling's heart out would result in a summary grounding. I thought it was a pretty fair compromise. I felt mature. I was proud that I was able to hold my ground and defend a piece of media I thought was being unfairly vilified. But more than that, I was gratified that my mom believed in my ability to separate fantasy from reality. To know my own boundaries and limits and be able to compartmentalize what was totally rad in a game, but horrific in real life. Which is why I feel like the biggest, shittiest hypocrite in the world when I worry about kids playing MK X. It makes me feel like a crusty old man shaking his fist at those damn kids for doing the exact same thing he did when he was younger. I want to be able to extend the same charity, the same vigorous defense I gave MK 1 to MK X of the difference between fantasy and reality. But holy shit, have you seen this game? It is CRAZY. The way bones snap and break during x-ray moves, how skin will peel and tear to reveal musculature and ligaments, the fully detailed models of organs and intestines that are ripped apart and strewn about during fatalities, it's just so -- ewww. You can't say the game is too silly to take seriously anymore. If anything, if I were a kid now trying to convince my mom to let me play MK X, I think I'd probably focus on how it would be a great way to study up on human anatomy for biology class. Now don't get me wrong, this isn't the twist ending where I say it turns out all those senators and other finger wagglers from back in the day were right all along. They were wrong (and hysterically stupid) then, and they're wrong now. I still don't think MK X is intrinsically harmful. I don't think that the kids who weasel their way into playing it (and I absolutely guarantee they will) and watch Scorpion cut Sub-Zero's face off to let his brains slide out on the pavement will turn into a generation into of serial face-slicers. But I also know I'd hesitate to let a nine-year-old play MK X, especially a nine-year-old I was in charge of raising and ensuring didn't turn into a complete sociopath. I also know I'd probably feel a certain brand of ugly judgmental smugness, a lofty “tsk, tsk,” over any parent or guardian who didn't. There is a disconnect there that I can recognize but have trouble explaining, even to myself. Because at its core, I don't think MK X is really all that different from MK 1. Ed Boon is honestly just making the same game he has been making for 20 years. I don't think he is a different person now, that over the past two decades he really has taken the villain's part and is trying to corrupt young minds. The tone and intention of the MK series hasn't really changed at all, it's still all about silly ninja-men killing each other in completely ludicrous ways. But the technology behind that intention HAS changed. With two decades of graphical advancement and a production budget that dwarfs the cost of anything imaginable in 1992, MK X has reached a point where the fatalities and violence really ARE as gory and disturbing as the moral hand-wringers always claimed. This is the source of that disconnect for me. I've always defended the MK series as campy fun under the guise of gritty violence, and I still absolutely believe that is true. While the fatalities are not as outwardly silly as Johnny Cage uppercutting a guy so hard three heads pop off, they still rely on a completely over-the-top kind of violence that goes so far it loops back to comedy. When Kano cuts open his opponent's ribcage mid-match, only for his victim to promptly stand back up and continue fighting like nothing happened, I think there is still a sort of winking-at-the-camera comedy there. “Don't worry, none of this is too serious.” But the joke isn't as plain to see anymore, and it's even more difficult to articulate to others. There is a small shitty part of me that worries that kids won't “get it.” Ironically, part of the technological advancement that has made MK X slightly uncomfortable compared to its predecessors also ensures that there has never been an easier time for kids to circumnavigate any attempts to keep that material away from them. I mean, not that any of those efforts have ever worked. When I was a kid trying to play MK in 1992, my back-up plan if mom did ban the game was to just sneak off to the arcade or go over to a friend's house who had slightly less strict parents and play it there. Now, thanks to downloads, YouTube clip reels, and streaming Let's Play series, kids won't even have to leave the house to sneak a peek at a few fatalities. And overall, it's probably for the best. You can't stop culture or technology. Games will get gorier and crazier, and kids will find their way to them younger and younger. If little Johnny is going to eventually see a bisected brainpan or a perforated liver in full anatomical exactitude, he might as well see it in MK X; a game that is ultimately stupid and non-hateful (and I mean that in the most affectionate sense). So won't somebody think of the children? Well I have, and it's complicated and uneasy and difficult, but at the end of the day the old tricks are probably still the best tricks. Kids will play MK X, and it's going to be a little fucked up. But with proper parental oversight and a good explanation of boundaries and the divide between fantasy and reality, it shouldn't be anymore harmful than watching a 16-bit Johnny Cage awkwardly stick his foot kinda, sorta, into another digitized sprite. With that off my chest and out of my brain, I can get back to feeding Quan Chi to a buzzsaw-hat -- guilt free.
MK X Gore photo
Decapitations for the YouTube generation
When I was a little boy, Mortal Kombat was a tough sell around my home. Like most pre-adolescents of the era, I was darkly attracted to the idea of ninjas and movie stars decapitating each other in bouts of gladiatorial comba...

Game News Haikus photo
Game News Haikus

Game News Haikus: Sexy Final Fantasy, amiibogeddon, Bloodborne trick, and more


Zen distilled stories
Apr 07
// Darren Nakamura
Nintendo took a big spot in last week's news, with the highs of the Nintendo Direct and the lows of the Wave 4 amiibo rollout. Does that give the company perfect balance, like a haiku? I'm not sure. In this series, we take a...

The Last of Us multiplayer DLC is not okay

Apr 06 // Darren Nakamura
Taking a look at the options, some of it isn't too offensive. New gestures for $2.50 apiece? Fine. New hats at $7 for a bundle? Sure. We can all lament the fact that this cosmetic content would have been free, perhaps locked behind a cheat code in years past, but I won't fault anybody for giving some extra money to wear a plague mask. I'm not about to pony up for any of it, but it doesn't affect me that some people are willing to. No, the more serious infraction here is in breaking one of the tenets of competitive multiplayer. Those who pay more should never have an advantage over those who don't. Unfortunately, that's exactly what the tactical weapons and survival skills bundles provide. Though it isn't utterly imbalanced with the premium content in play, the new guns and perks are often better than the base game counterparts. Not only that, but the loading screens are littered with advertisements, outlining just how great the new weapons and skills are. The Frontier Rifle sits in between the Semi-Auto Rifle and the Hunting Rifle in terms of damage and fire rate; it takes two shots to down where the Semi-Auto takes three and it has a better fire rate than the Hunting Rifle. There are benefits to the default weapons. The Hunting Rifle can one-hit a full health enemy with a headshot where the Frontier Rifle cannot. The Semi-Auto Rifle can get three shots off before the Frontier Rifle can get two. However, comparing only body shots, the Frontier Rifle beats out the Hunting Rifle in fire rate. Taking recoil and staggering of a face-to-face encounter into account, it is often easier to land two shots with the Frontier Rifle than to land three shots with the Semi-Auto. The Tactical Shotgun exists in a similar space as the Frontier Rifle. It isn't unequivocally better than the comparable base game weapons, but it enjoys some advantages. The most obvious benefit it has over the Shotgun and the Double Barrel is increased range, able to down in two shots from a range that either of the others would fumble to do anything worthwhile. Less apparent is that it can be equipped as a starting weapon where the other long shotguns are both "purchaseables," only attainable during a match after scoring enough points. Embedded in that purchase is the opportunity cost of not saving up for ammunition, weapon upgrades, or armor. However, the most egregious offender in the Tactical Weapons pack is the Crossbow. It's difficult to measure the advantage it gives because there is no other comparable weapon. It fires silently like the Bow but doesn't arc. Nominally, it can down in two shots, but it has a special ability that makes it absurdly powerful in some situations. After hitting an enemy with it, that enemy will bleed until he heals or is downed. This also lets the shooter see where the target is and what he's doing during that time period. In effect, it can be a delayed one-hit kill. If the target has no health kit, he's toast. If he has a health kit and he starts healing, the Crossbow user can see the opening and move in for a sidearm or melee kill. Even if the target isn't downed, it still takes him out of the fight for a brief period of time as he retreats and heals. All from a single, silent shot. The Risk Management Survival Skills pack is also difficult to compare, since it adds unique abilities to the mix. Still, aside from Lone Wolf (which rewards players for striking out away from teammates), the skills included are all pretty enticing to me. As a player who focuses more on support than kills, Lucky Break (get more ingredients and items from cache boxes) and Second Chance (cheaper armor after multiple deaths) both would fit my play style well. Jack of All Trades bundles other skills together for fewer loadout points than they would be piecemeal, which appeals to the deal-seeker in me. It skirts the edge of pay-to-win without crossing that line, but it still feels wrong. The downloadable weapons and skills are not unequivocally better than the standard ones, but having more options to choose from does allow for greater adaptation to variable combat conditions. Premium content in a competitive multiplayer title doesn't have to feel this slimy. The paragon of the idea is probably Team Fortress 2, which has been incredibly successful despite its wealth of purchasable weapons and items. On the surface, the two situations look similar; in both The Last of Us and Team Fortress 2, there are guns with functional changes that can be purchased for real money. In practice, there are several design differences that add up to keep TF2 feeling fair where TLoU does not. One thing that Team Fortress 2 does with its weapons that The Last of Us could is to make it possible to acquire them through play in addition to by purchase. A lot of the weapons and survival skills in the base game are unlocked by collecting parts through play; there's no reason the downloadable extras couldn't be included as unlockables or even as random drops. Less easy to translate are the specific game design elements that allow TF2 to get away with purchased weapons. TF2's large team size (compared to TLoU's four-player teams) allow for any discrepancy to be absorbed. If an overpowered weapon showed up in Valve's shooter, it would be on just one of twelve or sixteen opponents. Not only that, but the faster gameplay allows for quicker reaction; changing class or loadout in response to a particular weapon or tactic is much more tenable in TF2 than in TLoU. On that note, Team Fortress 2's class-based system still trumps any advantage a purchased weapon could afford. Sure, a Spy might get some equipment that lets him costume change more quickly, but he's still going to be beaten by a Pyro flame-checking his teammates. On top of all that, there's the immutable fact that Team Fortress 2 is a proper free-to-play title. It costs nothing to play, where The Last of Us potentially cost players $60 (or more for those who bought the original and upgraded on PS4). Adding free-to-play elements into a paid retail game would feel sleazy even if it didn't have measurable gameplay effects. To reiterate, I think The Last of Us has fantastic multiplayer. In a market full of "me too" shooters emulating Call of Duty or Gears of War, it does its own thing. The problem comes with the feeling that I need to spend extra money (on top of the money the game itself cost) just in order to compete. It isn't exactly pay-to-win, but it leans in that direction, and Naughty Dog does the game a disservice with this unnecessary cash grab.
The Last of Us DLC is bad photo
Where was the uproar about this?
[An earlier version of this piece had an inaccurate statistical description of one of the downloadable weapons. The offending paragraph has been updated for factual accuracy.] I know, I'm late to the party. Despite being inte...

PODTOID photo
PODTOID

Podtoid 289: Bloodborne Amiibo


これはパイプではありません。
Apr 06
// Kyle MacGregor
This week on Podtoid the cast welcomes special guest Darren Nakamura to discuss Bloodborne, the latest Nintendo news,  Assassin's Creed Chronicles, and the demise of PlayStation Home. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or listen via direct download.
Samus and Sagat photo
'Ah-merr-ica you're gettin' burger hungry'
[Samus and the burger by Evazhou] If you live in the Northeastern United States, you are well aware of the historical snowfall we endured this winter. Everyday existence in Boston this past February was like living inside of...

MLB 15 The Show photo
MLB 15 The Show

MLB 15 The Show's best improvement is revenge


A dish best served with a bat
Apr 03
// Kyle MacGregor
SCE San Diego Studio's MLB The Show series has a mode where players can live out fantasies of being a professional baseball player. In "Road to the Show" players can design their own avatars and take them on the long journey ...
Neverwinter Xbox One photo
Neverwinter Xbox One

Neverwinter is both a shallow MMO and a fun arcade-like romp on Xbox One


It's a net gain when the price is free
Apr 03
// Chris Carter
Back in 2013, Neverwinter hit the PC. No, it's not a continuation of Neverwinter Nights, that awesome RPG from BioWare. It's an MMO developed by Cryptic Studios that's light on the "massive" bit, but far more f...
Beard View: BOXBOY! photo
Beard View: BOXBOY!

Beard View: BOXBOY!


"I'm hella fly, I think that is what rappers say."
Apr 02
// Jed Whitaker
HAL Laboratory's BOXBOY! launched today for the Nintendo 3DS via the eshop for $4.99. I purchased BOXBOY! with my hard-earned human dollars to give you all a Beard View! You'll give it a watch, won't you? HAL has p...
Lovers photo
Lovers

Exclusive: Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime lets you Rollo on Orion


A walk through this beautiful co-op strategy shooter
Apr 02
// Jonathan Holmes
We first heard about Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime back in 2012, the day after Hotline Miami first turned the world on with its neosmile, and well before Microsoft's latest home console was anywhere on the h...






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