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How Sony is screwing Player Two on the PlayStation 3


Nov 05
// Nick Chester
It sounds great in theory, but having a significant other who is also a gamer isn't always as great as you'd think.Sure, it's helpful that my wife understands my job, my hobby, and my obsession. When work (or pleasure) calls ...
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Capcom USA on Dead Rising Wii: 'The TGS build was mostly just a tech demo'


Oct 19
// Jonathan Holmes
Have you read any the hands-on impressions of upcoming 360 to Wii port of Dead Rising? If so, you know that things are looking pretty grim. It doesn't matter if you are generally Wii-skeptical like our Editor-in-Chief Nick Ch...
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Five easy ways Nintendo of America can start making up with their core audience


Sep 17
// Jonathan Holmes
The "big news" from this year's E3 wasn't the announcement of any new exciting game. It wasn't the first sightings of any new, up-and-coming console. It was the news that Nintendo, or more specifically, Nintendo of ...
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Give me in-game retries, or give me death


Aug 22
// Anthony Burch
This will likely sound completely random and irrelevant, but something occurred to me today as I was playing Galaga Legions (a proper review is coming soon) that I thought might be somewhat common amongst the shmup fan commu...
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The three big WUTs of Nintendo Power's Castlevania Judgment announcement


Jun 28
// Jonathan Holmes
Last Thursday, our own Brad Nicholson broke the rumor that a new Castlevania fighting game titled Castlevania Judgment was announced in the latest issue of Nintendo Power, with pics to prove it courtesy of JeuxFrance. This mo...
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Jaffe responds to NoE's 'geeks and otaku' claim


Jun 13
// Dale North
Yesterday, many Destructoid readers were upset to hear Nintendo of Europe's Laurent Fischer (that's a dude!) thoughts on the Wii storage limit problem, as he feels that only "geeks and otaku" desire additional memor...
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Rockstar wants to f**k casual gaming right in its ear


May 05
// Jim Sterling
Rockstar Games' Vice President of creativity and Grand Theft Auto writer Dan Houser has very vocally attacked the "casual gaming" craze currently gripping the games industry. He didn't feel the need to be particular...
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Undeniable failure: An open letter to Microsoft on the Xbox 360 Dpad


Mar 18
// Topher Cantler
Following our controller episode of RetroforceGO!, I have received a surprising number of emails and messages regarding the Xbox 360 Dpad and the countless mods, DIY fixes, and third-party alternatives that exist to solve the...

Opinion: Why people who whine about review scores are wankers

Mar 18 // Jim Sterling
Destructoid is a Web site that prides itself on brutally honest review scores, and while it has to be said that a fair few of our readers respect that commitment to integrity, all over the Internet I read complaint after dismaying complaint attacking us for our work. It should come as no surprise that two of our most recent reviews -- Patapon and Condemned 2 -- have proven the inspiration for this article, as the "controversies" surrounding both have reached nigh unprecedented levels of stupidity. Let me tell you a little bit about them. In the case of Condemned 2, my colleague Reverend Anthony was, shall we say, merciless in his scathing opinions. He wrote an excellent review which very clearly explained his perception of the game and discussed everything he felt was wrong about the title. He rated it a 3, a score which perfectly reflected his writing. He was attacked for it. Almost exclusively on the basis of the score, his review was called "bad" by people who hadn't even played the game. There were those who accused Anthony of pretending he hated the game for hits, which is about the most ludicrous assumption I ever heard. Nobody who disliked the opinion could seem to grasp the idea that Anthony just didn't like Condemned 2 and rated it accordingly. They had to accuse him of ulterior agendas, they had to insult his ability as a writer, they had to failingly attempt to discredit the entire Web site -- anything to escape dealing with the fact that one man wrote something bad about a videogame they liked.Patapon was perhaps even more ridiculous, a review which caused outrage even though it gave the game an above average score. The reaction from some of the Dtoid members was laughable enough, but outside of the site, a few of the comments were even worse. There were people who were legitimately stunned by the review, unable to comprehend a difference of opinion, and those who suggested the game needed a higher rating purely because it was "innovative" and that anybody who would dare give Patapon an above average score now "hated innovation."The Patapon "controversy" pretty much highlights the hypocrisy of the gaming community. People poke fun at IGN and its ilk for sticking to the "seven point scale," where they don't rate a game truly from 1 - 10. Seven is considered "terrible" and eight to nine is "good." People mock this scale and the silly amount of high scores it produces, yet when Destructoid introduces and uses a true ten point scale, where ten is near perfect and one is truly terrible, we are instantly shat upon. On a true ten point scale, Patapon's 6.5 marks it out as above average -- good, but flawed. That's exactly what Patapon is, a good but flawed game. But hypocritical gamers contest it because it opposes their personal opinion of the game, and this threatens their frail egos. The lesson we have learned here is that it's great to have a ten point scale, unless it contradicts your own petty little view of a game. If you have ever mocked the "seven to ten" scale and had a problem with our reviews, you're a lying bastard. End of. It's simply astounding, the depths of idiocy some people will sink to in order to complain about a review. I actually read someone complaining that Super Smash Brothers got a 9.5 instead of a 10 in Edge magazine. This was also before the game was released. Let that sink in for a moment -- someone complained because a game they hadn't played yet was deemed NEARLY perfect instead of COMPLETELY perfect. Since when did the games industry become an episode of that Sweet Sixteen show? Must so many gamers really act like spoiled brats? It's become almost epidemic, ever since people went insane because GameSpot (ironic) gave Twilight Princess an 8.9 instead of a 9.0. It seems you can't review a high profile game honestly without incurring the wrath of a lynch mob of angry geeks. Of course, these are the same pricks who threw a tantrum over Aaron giving Halo 3 an 8.5 -- why am I still surprised at their imbecility?  When I read people whining about review scores, I see a bunch of excuse makers. They cannot handle the idea that someone could hate a game that they enjoy, so they make up reasons as to why the game scored below their expectations -- the reviewer sucks at the game, the reviewer is after hits (which they ironically provide anyway with their crying), the reviewer doesn't matter so hey, let's ignore it (which again, they ironically do not do). In truth, there's no difference between these butthurt readers and the Julian Eggebrechts making excuses for Lair, or the Jeff Minters pulling a hissy fit because Space Giraffe didn't sell.And maybe I'm "whining" too, but that's fine because I'm a gamer and that's apparently what we do now. However, when I see such blatant hypocrisy, it makes me really disappointed in our "culture." When I see someone demanding a higher score for a game, that's someone essentially begging to be lied to. They WANT everyone to be like CNET, just pleasing whomever they can in lieu of providing honest commentary. Seriously, do you want to be lied to? With some of you, it sounds like this is the case.If you want honesty in your games media, then prepare to hear some things you don't like. And if you don't like them, that's fine. Nobody is asking you to enjoy our opinions -- what we ask for, and we once tried politely, is for you to be constructive in your disagreement, and to take the opinions of reviewers as simply that -- opinions. Don't quibble over the difference between a 0.5 point discrepancy, that's retarded. Don't make excuses for a bad review, that's pathetic. Just explain why YOU enjoyed the game, and be happy that you DO enjoy it. Is that really so hard? Must you resort to telling us how "furious" you are? Why are you furious? What was actually so enraging about a gamer's opinion being different from yours?Obviously, the group of people (and this isn't aimed at everyone) I address in this article is made up of mewling spastics, so let me make it very clear -- it is fine if you don't like a review, just stop being fucking RETARDED about it. I don't know how much more plain I can make it. The point is, people are different, we have to accept that. I never much agreed with Nex's review of Call of Duty 4, myself. I think he'd given the online perk system more heat than it was due, and I informed him of this -- intelligently and with some class and respect. What I didn't do was say he was a crap writer and demand a "better" reviewer who would "give it a higher score." I didn't hurl stupid accusations, like the person who implied Nex's review had negative points in it because he was a "Halo fanboy," which is hilarious in its own right. Sometimes I think a game gets more praise than it deserves, sometimes I think a game is unfairly rated -- what can ya do? Get personally offended? Are you that sensitive? So there you go. If you actually want some honesty, then actually learn what a review is -- it's someone's opinion of a videogame. Stop treating it like its your sole emotional crutch and stop getting so angry, as if you've been insulted personally. Decide what you actually want from your games media -- you either want a real ten point scale where all the numbers are used, or you want everything to score an eight. You either want to hear what someone really thinks about a title, or you want to be lied to. Either you want Jeff Gerstmann, or you want CNET. I'm almost on CNET's side sometimes, when I think about the way some of you react to real honesty. Considering the stupid bullshit we've had to read regarding real videogame reviews, accepting cash for a glowing appraisal suddenly doesn't seem so bad. So, if you were one of the bitches who acted like morons over Condemned 2, Patapon or anything else, don't ever complain if you one day see us accepting a check from EIDOS.You waived the moral high ground on that one.
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Nobody likes being disagreed with, and nobody enjoys having something that they like besmirched. However, when it comes to differences of opinion, there is a marked difference between debating the issue and becoming a stupid,...

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Wii hardware 'surprisingly stable,' nunchuk's manliness not so much


Dec 30
// Jonathan Holmes
Wii-a-phobia continues to run rampant amongst the hardcore gaming community. There is a new hate-rant about the Wii written almost every day, and not just by random members of the Internet, but often by paid journalists as we...
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Sessler's Soapbox: Play with your damn kids!


Nov 29
// Nick Chester
In the latest edition of Adam Sessler's soapbox, the X-Play host laments the lack of parents who actually take the time to play (and understand) videogames with their children. He references the recent study that indicated th...

Real men play Gradius

Mar 09 // Aaron Linde
[embed]28920:47407:0[/embed] Take a look at that video -- it's likely that you've seen it before. What you're watching is a dude playing not one, but two ships simultaneously in Treasure's most notoriously difficult game, Ikaruga. Watching this guy play is like poetry; each motion is precise, guided, informed. You can tell that this is a fellow who knows exactly what's about to come and has studied the game longer than we'd perhaps care to imagine. Some will be quick to point out that a key part of the player's performance is memorization, and this is true, but how does it make this any less impressive than, say, mastery of a particularly difficult piece on a piano? I'd offer some grand gesture of hyperbole and suggest that videos like these are like crack or porn to me, but it's simply not enough. No, my attraction to this sort of feat is akin to that of a man addicted to some sort of carcinogenic hybrid of porn and crack, one that if revisited often enough can cause instant death by heart-explosion. I love shmups, so much so that it boggles my mind that I suck at them as much as I do. Seriously, I'm terrible. But something keeps me returning to the genre despite my repeated failings to perform well in it; some element of gameplay that goes beyond playing a game simply for the sake of completing it. For the record, of my current stock of oft-played shmup titles (including Ikaruga, Gradius V, Castle Shikigami 2 and Mars Matrix), I've beaten only one. I've died so many times in Ikaruga's Stage 3 that I've lost count of the hours invested in just that single level, but it never fails to be fun. As Tycho of Penny-Arcade mentioned in a recent post, some people like to win games while others like to play them. If my chronic beatings at the hands of these games and my consistent return to them are any indication, I'm most certainly in that second category. Here's one way of putting it, though it borders a little too closely to that screwy new games journalism way of seeing things for my own comfort: shmups are about as close to purity as games are bound to get, and the opportunity for mastery that they offer is something that I sincerely believe to be exclusive to the genre. Kicking the everloving shit out of a shmup is a completely different sort of experience than pwning n00bs in Halo 2 and, I'd wager, one that marks and sets aside the truly "hardcore" from the rest of us. Of course, s'just my opinion. But I'll be sure to explain myself in just a moment. Those of you who keep up with ol' Linde know that I have a boner for any game that "rewards expert play," and I'll take a moment to explain that before I take you deeper into this convoluted nest of lunacy. Some genres like RPGs, first-person shooters, and most platforming titles offer a fairly simple goal for their respective schemes of gameplay: get from point A to point B while negotiating obstacles along the way. There's nothing wrong with that. It's a solid foundation for any game. To shake it up, however, some games like God Hand, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat and Devil May Cry 3 incorporate systems that push you to play with as much finesse as possible; such games encourage a deep understanding of the systems in play, or at least enough to play well as opposed to just completing the task at hand. These games -- with the exception of Jungle Beat -- are also considered to be fairly difficult and, in the case of God Hand, prohibitively so. Most if not all of Dead Rising's negative PR was focused solely on its somewhat unforgiving save system, a system that often had gamers restarting from Day One rather than reload a save from an hour or two of gameplay back; there were lots of complaints. I, on the other hand, loved it for the same reason that I love shmups. Take Gradius V, for example. I've been playing that game 4-5 times a week for the last two months and I have yet to actually beat it without using the slew of continues the game grants you for logging a great deal of playtime -- that's my goal, to complete the game as the game originally intended me to. It's an overwhelming challenge and sometimes gets me hurling controllers across the room, but it's a very compelling experience, trying to best a game like Gradius; refining technique and reflex to a point by which you might pass through an entire stage virtually unharmed. It's hard, but dying over and over doesn't make it any less fun. Nowadays there are virtually no games that are, for the most part, impossible to finish in a single session. Completing a game comes down to how much time you've got on hand rather than skill. As much as I love Okami, it serves as a good example as to what I'm speaking about; it's not a difficult game, and having played more than 30 hours of the game, I've yet to die. Not even once. But as I understand it, I'm still another 20-25 hours away from beating Okami -- what matters is just how much time I'm willing to commit. In essence, gameplay like this, no matter how beautiful or technically flawless that it might be, has virtually nothing to do with skill. It's like reading a Dickens novel; all you have to do is put in the time. Can you name any games on your shelf that you simply cannot beat yet? Though I'm sure we've all got our impenetrable fortresses here and there, these games haven't occured with the frequency that they did in the NES and SNES days. It's not about skill anymore, and games that require the player to work hard and become good at the game before progressing beyond a certain point are few and far between in the current generation.  Shmups and games like God Hand aren't interested in holding your hand and gently nudging you forward; if you fail, pick yourself up and try again, and keep trying until you win. There's something to be said for that, rare though it may be. Earlier I mentioned that shmups are based on gameplay that is somehow more pure than other games, and no, I wasn't high when I wrote that, honest. Here's my reasoning: gaming, in its infancy, was a pastime built on things like hand-eye coordination, reflexes, and a quick instinct -- more to the point, games like Space Invaders, Galaga, and Defender were foundational in building the arcade industry. They are, in a sense, boiled-down gameplay experiences that rival Super Mario Bros. in their simplicity as well as enjoyability.  Where other genres have evolved to meet an expanding and changing market, shmups remain virtually unchanged. They've got their gimmicks and power-up systems -- hell, some have even incorporated storylines, as silly or underdeveloped as they may be -- but the only thing that has been truly ramped up since shmups' earlier incarnations is the difficulty. To do what the guy playing perfect 2-player games of Ikaruga does takes a lot of practice and an unparalleled degree of focus. In recent years, shmups have become ball-bustingly difficult exercises that show you just how much that you've declined in your old age -- and by you, I mean me. But it's not hopeless. With a bit of practice and some daily play, one can recover the edge that they haven't had since they were 12, when gaming was simpler and victory was determined by skill rather than available time. [embed]28920:47409:0[/embed] I respect gamers who hone their skills in FPS titles and online multiplayer matches, but not in the same way that I respect hardcore shmup players or, in some cases, fighter players. They've conquered single-player campaigns that may take weeks for the layperson to complete and understand the mechanics of the game in a way that few of us ever take the time to achieve. It's about making a complicated, unforgiving and ruthless system of bullets, ships, and obstacles your bitch. Gradius V might never call you a n00b and teabag your corpse mere moments after slaying you with an energy sword, but it never makes mistakes, either. Shmups are crazy hard, and they'll be crazy hard every time you pick them up. To win, you must exceed your current capabilities and try harder, refining every movement and button-press into an elegant orchestration of mind and body. It's a competitive experience, but not in the way that most of us are familiar or perhaps comfortable with. It's about constantly improving yourself, as opposed to simply being better than some late-night crew on a public server. It's a solitary but ultimately rewarding experience, and if you're so desperate to compare your skills to others, you can always post on scoreboards.  There's a shmup fan in all of us. I had renewed faith in the gaming community when Geometry Wars developed such an intense following, but we seemed to have come to a full stop since its release; copies of R-Type Final go untouched and unplayed, and what few shmups are released in the US are quickly relegated to the bargain bins. Japan has a huge supply of great shmups on hand; we must demand them. We must kill, bite, scrape and scratch for them. We're missing out on one of the fundamental joys of our trade because nobody's clamoring for it. I beg of you, Dtoid readers: clamor. Playing a good shmup is like returning to Mecca, even if Mecca chews you up and spits you out -- it's like coming home. Be hardcore. Play a shmup.
Real men play Gradius photo
What does it mean to be hardcore?
[This month Destructoid celebrates 7 friggin' years of whatever it is we do! Here's the most popular article of this weekend, back in 2007, and easily one of my favorite story headlines of all time. Check our Golden Archi...

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Good joke: ex-ESA says don't cut and run


Feb 08
// Papa Niero
Next-Gen is running a feature on the ex-ESA president's speech at D.I.C.E. that criticized publishers to stick up for their games, litigate to the bitter end for them, and take more responsibility for the content they c...
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Nintendo fails to deliver region-free Wii; WiiKey corrects their mistake


Feb 02
// Papa Niero
There is nothing more annoying for a Japanese video game enthusiast than region locking. We have the same 60 Hz televisions, the games can work perfectly on our consoles, but there is a "feature" that prevents us ...
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Idiots live on the Internet


A girl gamer's rant
Jan 24
// Faith
Today there was a popular article being shared about a female gamer with problems fitting into the online community and after reading her article, I feel that she doesn’t understand how the online world works. Ever...
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EGM reveals Guitar Hero 80s Edition; Winger still sucks


Jan 14
// Earnest Cavalli
The latest issue of EGM reveals the next step for Red Octane, the developers behind every geek's rock and roll dream machine Guitar Hero. Apparently during the new year, they will be releasing an expansion pack of sorts t...
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Rant -- EA announces UEFA Champions League game


Jan 12
// Joseph Leray
Disclaimer - The game is called football, since you play it with your feet. Anyone who disagrees can go get bent. Pictured above is who I hope is Jan Vinegoor of Hesselink, who has the best name in football and awesome goals...
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A plea to end the war. No, not that one.


Jan 06
// Aaron Linde
Fanboys: they walk amongst us. They're in our schools. At the workplace. Even at your neighborhood grocery. In fact, odds are that someone you know might be a fanboy -- a friend or family member. They are amongst you! Pan...
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Top 5 pet peeves with my PlayStation 3


Jan 03
// Papa Niero
Last week I walked into a store and bought a PlayStation 3 after making a few phone calls. No fortune spent on eBay, no beating anyone up with a bat. It wasn't exactly just sitting on the floor, but it was easy enough to...
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Rechargable Wiimote dock coming + manufacturers are lazier than teamsters!


Dec 20
// Earnest Cavalli
Engadget brings us a story about an item called the Wii PowerStation that is essentially a recharger dock for the Wiimote. Since it normally runs on batteries, one must replace those batteries at some point with much gnashing...
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Second Life ... now with more rape!


Dec 18
// Papa Niero
If you heard Podtoid 10 you know how we feel about Second Life, and rarely we post about it unless it is to trash it ... and this is one of those cases. The glorified chat program posing as a video game has apparently stoope...
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EGM gives Elebits a 4, eats kittens for breakfast


Dec 16
// Aaron Linde
Now that you've all had a chance to hate us over a certain recently-posted review, I thought I'd show some similar love for our brothers-in-arms over at EGM, who recently gave Elebits -- currently, my favorite reason ...
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The 360's "shooter fetish"


Nov 25
// Ishaan
All right, me buckos. Following that crazy spree of news posts, it's time for some original content. Now, due to time constraints (and late-evening laziness starting to creep into my bones), I won't be doing one of my...






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