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Alex Barbatsis's blog

2:39 AM on 10.11.2011

Integration: Who Needs Games?

I don’t understand when people say their Wii just gathers dust in the corner. I use my Wii everyday. I always am fumbling for the Wiimote after setting it down in some foreign corner. “Now why is this in the laundry basket?” After the search party celebrates, I adjust my Wii Senor Bar and turn the console on. Familiar musical tones drawl through the room as I click away at the menu. Did you see that Instant Netflix just added the Invisible Man? Claude Raines, classic. I got about half way through it before I had to leave for work, but guess what!? I could continue to watch it on my 3DS! Radical! At least there’s something to do on that system in addition to unwrapping all those gifts. I can’t wait to watch some 3D trailers and take 3D pictures that I can share with my friends (is that possible?). I just leave my Spot Pass on because it has to be that way and its fun. Street Passing is cool too! I learned that this guy, Jared, his favorite game is the eShop. I didn’t realize there was anything there even! You learn something every day. Let me check it out right now for some cool apps. I think I’ll get Mario Clock and Animal Crossing Calculator so I can do easy math and know the time wherever I go, all in one handy device. At only $1.99 apiece, even Nook cannot deny that deal! Now, the real question is do I get My Notebook: Red or My Notebook: Green? Also, does anybody know how to print off my Ambassador certificate? I really want to show my parents but I ran out of paper for my Gameboy Printer.

When was the last time I played a game on either of those bad boys? Oh yeah, Super Mario RPG! I also just downloaded Mario Party 2 because hootenannies on the Western board are the greatest thing since sliced bread. I haven’t played it yet because I have yet to find where to plug a Gamecube controller in the system. But who needs games? Films, photos, weather, and global polls are a much better focus for a games console. And no, I do not wear cologne or perfume, but thanks for asking Nintendo. Are you looking for gift ideas? My birthday is just around the corner (January 24th). You don’t have to get me anything, but if you really want to, I heard about this game that sounds really cool called The Last Story. But that’s just a game, and I want you guys to focus on the important stuff, like what I’m going to have to plug into my system next to maybe think about playing a game. (Will the frakennub have Pokedex support?)

*yeah, I use my Wii for Netflix, but thats only because I don’t have a PS3 or Xbox 360 or a HD tv.   read

11:08 PM on 07.05.2011

Trenched Contest RESULTS!!!!

So here are the contest RESLUTS (way better than results) as well as my thought process behind the winners.

First, the haiku about a Dtoid editor.
Right off the bat, Manasteel88 had this very strong haiku, but tell me if you can see something wrong….

“Jonathon Holmes, huh?
Why do you love your wii so much?
Why not me sweetie?”

JonathAn Holmes is weeping into his Wii because of your misspelling.
The winner is NEKOBUN! His ode to Sterling

“Oh my, Jim Sterling
Let me rattle your Dry Bones
'neath that flesh beanbag”

Well done sir! Very sexy stuff going on there. Very sexy...

Now, the second contest, which was to draw a dtoid community member as an animal.
Here are the three entries received.

Manasteel88's picture of Wry Guy:

Caiters' pic of Corduroy Turtle:

Jack Earl's pic of Sonic9jct:

Now, maybe I’m being super fickle, but I expected to see community members as animals. Now, Sonic9jct’s avatar is already an animal, so technically this is a drawing of Sonic9jct as a cyborg, adding the Mr. Destructoid robot body and all. While clearly being the best drawing, I cannot award victory to Jack Earl. Should have made him a dog or something. (I’M FICKLE!!!!)

So it’s between Manasteel88 and Caiters. It would have been a clear win for Caiters if she would have wrote “Shit” instead of “S#!%” (I fucking love swearing).
So, here’s a point by point pros and cons list for both entries.

-Good use of avatar as monkey face
-Same color sky as in Frogbun picture (see gallery), makes Dtoid zoo seem plausible.
-Bark too smooth on tree.
-No sunglasses on sun.
-Weird hemorrhoids on monkey tail.
-Is Wry Monkey about to eat that banana? Why isn’t it semi peeled?

-Turtle has a cute face
-Multiple colors
-A lot of colons
-Is the face on the top of the head? On the back of the neck?
-aforementioned self censorship
-Tail on the “u” in the sentence “blowing s#!% up” is too long. Also, p is cut off, making is say “Blowing s#!% 41”
-No background image. Is this turtle existing solely amongst words?

Well, they both had 4 cons, but Caiters had 3 pros and Manasteel88 had 2.


You got so close in both cases Manasteel88, but you blew it at the finish line. Go wash your mouth out with soap.

Congrats again to nekobun and Caiters. I will be DMing you soon with the codes!


7:55 PM on 06.29.2011

Win Trenched on XBLA (Contest)

Soooo I recently won a couple of codes for Double Fine’s Trenched for Xbox Live Arcade from the Dtoid live show Saturday Morning Hangover on Justin TV. This game looks awesome, with guys standing in tanks blowing stuff up and whatnot. I can’t wait to play it.
Exceeeeeept I don’t own an Xbox 360…..CONTEST TIME!!!

So I have two codes and there will be two ways to win them.

WAY #1
Write a sexually tinged haiku about a Destructoid editor (A Haiku is a poem composed of three lines. 1st line 5 syllables, 2nd line 7 syllables, 3rd line 5 syllables, But you know this already probably)

Here’s an example to get those creative “juices” flowing.

Conrad Zimmerman
Love that thick, bushy mustache
Wrap it around me.

OH BOY THAT’S NICE! Nothing too crude, subtly is the key to boners and victory.

WAY #2

Draw a picture of a Dtoid community member as an animal. Here is Gobun as a frog.

It's that simple!!!

Submit your creations in the comments below by JULY 3RD and you can celebrate the USA's 235 birthday in style.


11:19 AM on 06.15.2011

Video Game Dance Club + Me (Video)

I was in a Funny or Die video that was all about a cool club, except this cool club happened to play video game music. I don't really get why it's funny because it was just thee coolest dance club I've ever been to. (and I live in HOLLYWOOD CALIFORNIA USA people!) You can check me out dancing to a sweet sweet Secret of Mana track about halfway through the vid. I'm the one in the bow tie. Yeah, bow tie. I was easily the classiest guy there. Cause I always got my Dtoid swag on!


Let me know what you guys think of my oh so smooth moves. Peace out babies.   read

1:01 PM on 06.09.2011

E3: Same Old Song

So I snuck into E3 a day early this year.
I work downtown LA right near the convention center. I thought I’d check out E3 for a little bit, so I walked on over. This was on Monday, June 6th. After checking out the lobby and seeing security guards in the front, I walked around to the loading area. Behold, a giant dock with open service doors. Don’t mind if I do. Strolled right in like a bawse. (Guys, if you ever want to sneak into places, walk with confidence and walk towards a big group of people. Everyone will get sheep mentality and no one will stop you. Feel free to say high to them too.)

Not my picture. I broke my camera at the Dtoid Pre3 party and my cell phone battery ran out from playing too much Milli Vanilli on Pandora at work. Use your imaginiminatciones y'all!

Now, I was a day early, so everyone was still setting up. The Sony booth was dark, I didn’t even look for the Kinectathon bs, and Nintendo’s area, which was enormous, had curtains blocking the openings and guards in front of those. There was a lot of loading palates and bubble wrap everywhere, so there weren’t many games to try out. Sure, an MMO here and some weird PC driving game there, but not much to choose from. Except Capcom, which was fully functional and had no one around to stop me. I played a bunch of there new games, but I got the same feeling from them all. Street Fighter x Tekken felt a lot like SSF4, Dead Rising 2: Off the Record was Dead Rising 2, and Resident Evil Revelations was a classic style RE game. Not that it was bad; it was just nothing ground breaking. I got the same old song feeling from that day.
Who would know the entirety of E3 would be the same old song.

I'm pals with this guy. No real relation to the subject at hand.

Come on everyone, the PS Vita is a mash up of a PSP and a DS. And didn't they announce it a while ago as the NGP? So what's new about it now? The name only Chad Concelmo likes and a price ($249 does seem like a good deal though). The Wii U is an HD Wii with a tablet. More Kinect BS, HD remakes, and a bunch of sequels (when was the last time so many 3 games came out? Serious Sam 3, Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3, Sims 3, Gears of War 3, Resistance 3, Uncharted 3, Ninja Gaiden 3! Holy crap has the industry run out of ideas or just wants to cash in on old properties? Yeah, both I know. Also, special recognition has to be given to the sequel Two Worlds II, which I find super funny for no real reason.)

You know that stupid Direct TV commercial where the dude is walking around his house and watching aliens fight while he keeps pausing it and going to another room to watch it. Its supposed to represent being able to watch one show on you DVR from anywhere in your home. Well, unless you have a mansion that you use a golf cart to get around, who cares? I feel the same way about Wii U. Now I get if your house has one TV and 39 sisters who all love to watch The Little Chocolatiers after school, but who really wants to play an HD Zelda on an iPad? That’s like watching Lord of the Rings on an iPhone. Same with the Vita. Maybe the touch screen capabilities will be cool and bring new dimensions to games (probably not), but not with games that are Tranfarred (or whatever they’re calling it). You can’t “transfar” the touch screen controls, so your basically playing HD games on a tiny screen. Same with Wii motion controls for the controller thing, right?

This is what your 39 sisters love to watch.

HD remakes are cool because they allow us to revisit some of our old favorites with new technology and better graphics, but they’re not new games. And don’t be fooled by people who say they’ve never played them, because even they have knowledge of the games events, controls, and maybe the endings. HD remakes are cool and all, but imagine if they just put every old movie on Blu Ray and didn’t make any more new films. That’s kinda how I feel about this year’s E3.

Maybe my expectations were too high? Maybe I expected to see a new Nintendo console and not a baby step up from a wii. Hd graphics mean little to me if there's not an interesting game behind it.
I expected some new exciting games. Sure, some of the games were exciting, but nothing is new.
I expected to be blown away by something. Last year it was DK country returns. I was going ape shit when that was annouced (how that turn out for me though). Nothing stellar is coming down the pipeline as of now. And I know that the Wii U has a long time before it comes out (prob not even before next E3), but it won't be revolution the Wii was. And does Nintendo really need all the ports from Microsoft and Sony's consoles?

Have we hit a wall? Is there nothing else that can be achieved beyond motion controls and HD visuals? Do I really want an iPad that can only play games (as far as we know)? Will cloud technology/transfarring really make things better?
Its the same old song, they’re just trying to say there’s a different meaning but I think they’re wrong. I, oh I….
(I hope at least Kraid get that reference, its not too obscure!)
[embed]203412:39250[/embed]   read

6:19 PM on 09.12.2010

Pax Memoir: The Found Weekend (horrible movie pun)

So here’s the bastard I adopted.

I didn’t know this guy, but I adopted his (her?) avatar for one reason; because it’s cute and it would totally get me laid. Well guess what? I DIDN’T GET LAID AT PAX!!! So thanks for nothing Sonic9jct! Anyway lets begin.

It’s 7:30 am in the airport, better get a pint. What’s with these new Sam Adam’s glasses? Its like there designed with a big bulb to prevent it slipping out of your drunk had. Well done Sam Adams.

Guncannon, Scotty G, Chad Concelmo and I found a carousel on the water front and took that bitch for a spin. It was actually pretty fast, though Guncannon fawned over the bench seats on it. We decided that the first sign you maybe getting old. Here’s the picture I took, it’s a Kubrickesque extreme closeup of Chad’s forehead (aka its hard to take pictures while moving up and down)

Did you here Duke Nukem was there? I had to wait so long though. It took like TEN MINUTES to get in. Press pass ftw.

Well shit, we better start eating some meat pies and get used to it. By the way, meat pies? Really Brits? You couldn’t find some damn fruit instead? There’s no apples in England? Really?

My camera phone must have really went to shit. Look at these assholes in this pizza box. Don’t you know all those late night carbs are gonna catch up with you quick. Brad Nicholson is weeping.

Speaking of carbs, BREAD BOWL CLAM CHOWDER. ScottyG and Cadtalfryn know what I’m talking about. Seriously, next Pax, go to Pike’s Place and get some bread bowl clam chowder. Simply the best.

So I took some video of Chad holding Sonic9jct, but it just disappeared of my camera. Man I am sick of this POS flipcam. Enjoy this horrible quality photo instead, Chad gives it his all and the Amazingness shines through.

Here’s our goldfish for the weekend, his name is Vaginaman. How’d we name him? I asked Kraid what his name should be. Kraid said Vagina and I said “ But he’s a man.” Done deal. (Please note his name is most certainly not Troy)

That blurry purple swirl is Tactix giving the magical goodbye speech. After I hugged everyone and left, I’m not gonna say I teared up, but something, probably dust, got in my eye.

Pax was such an amazing experience. I live a blessed life. I have a lot of fun times, but this was something beyond fun. Just experiencing new videogames with friends, hanging out, partying, going to new places (this was my first vacation in about four years), and the general dtoid love I felt from everyone was really special gift. Thank you all for the fantastic time I spent in Seattle <3

Fuck yeah carousel
Dtoid Panel
Whiskey Bar
Everything is Terrible 2

Not applicable

Can’t wait for next year!!!

Ps, Hotel Monaco had animal print robes. Zebra action!   read

7:58 PM on 09.02.2010

PAX Day Zero

Cutting to the chase. After a 7 am beer at LAX, I arrive in Seattle at 11 am. WOOOO first thing, drop off luggage and head to the Sheraton for my press pass. My first one ever!

Head to Red Lion for Dtoid meet up before heading to the Tap Room, a bar/restaurant . Chad Concelmo said the funniest thing ever to Dale North as he took a picture of a flower. Something along the lines of, “Oh, Dale’s doing his gay flower shit.” Maybe you had to be there, maybe not.

Tap Room, Chad and I immediately order beers, Div3rse gets some of the best looking/hilariously gimmicky cocktails of all time. Everyone else orders diet cokes, the waiter sighs. BTW, I asked him to surprise me with a refreshing beer, he brings me something that tastes like Miller Lite. Someone didn’t get any extra tip upon the 18% gratuity added for large parties.

Dale North and I chat up cameras. He like technical aspects, I like emotional resonance. We hit it off. Conrad Zimmerman tries to sway me on the delicacies of what degree a hamburger is cooked. He doesn’t sway me.

Chad, GunncannonD, ScottyGrayskull, and I go down to Pike’s Place, the place they throw the fish around, but that comes later. We walk along and I am in love with the length of the sales hallway and the round globe lights along the entire path. Gunncannon spots an aquarium, and we make our way.

Walking down the almost steep sidewalk, spices fill our nose, neon sisters battle over pancakes, and giant fingers point the way. Gunncannon uses his fantastic vision to find a Carousel, which the rest of us cannot and therefore believe him to be crazy. Walking along a boardwalk, we scoop the view. Clear water, mountain ridges, and an enormous snow covered rock. Mount Rainer, it turns out, takes our breath away and confounds our imaginations with it grander.

We walk into a building with a giant neon sign. “Carousel.” Ok, so Guncannon can spot things the rest of us miss, even if it’s glowing and huge. Inside lies a huge Carousel and AN ARCADE!!! AN ARCADE!!!! I hit the change machine and immediately start a game where you must bash small animals to near death. Chad is appalled, laughing the entire time. We play an Aliens light gun game that is hard because you have to shoot ammo boxes to reload. Its novel, but unfulfilling and rather cheap. After our loss, we find Gunncannon and Scotty have jammed a shark hunting game with Canadian coins. You’re safe for now Hamza.

We walk to the aquarium and along the way pass a horrendous Christopher Columbus statue. Imagine the Wheelers from Return to Oz with tits. Our price limit we set for the aquarium was $10. It was a special today, $15. Fuck you aquarium.

Back up at Pike’s Place, we get lost in the underground labyrinth that is chachkie heaven. Then an unbelievable find…

We make our way back to the fish market. We look for all of twenty seconds when the beard workers start chanting something. Then right in front of us, they throw a 10 pound trout over a Chinese lady’s head. I was so happy. Check one thing off my bucket list. Leaving Pike’s, another unimaginable discovery….

Chad is in heaven.

As we make our way back to hotels to rest up before Gameworks (yes the day isn’t even over yet!!!), we examine a water wall. A plaque at our feet tells the tail of a young boy who was taken by a water dragon. It seems we can rescue the boy by walking through. I immediately jump through the water wall, ganking my ankle a little bit. Everyone thought I fell in, and I almost did. It turns out they have a little walkway for people to use, but I really felt the need to save that boy.

Chad and Scotty depart for their hotels, Guncannon and I to ours, instant memories. And inside jokes abound. As I lay here in my zebra print robe (awesome hotel, bought to go get some free cocktails and sangria btw), we are resting up before the GAMEWORKS, where games certainly shall be worked. PAX hasn’t even begun, and I am already in heaven.   read

1:16 PM on 08.15.2010

All-Star Jamboree Podcast Preview and Kyle Gamgee's Birthday Party Documentary

Two things happened yesterday. One, Kyle Gamgee had an amazing birthday party. Two, I recorded the Ronathon All-Star Jamboree Podcast with Chad Concelmo, Colette Bennett, Stella Wong, and Brad Nicholson.

The Ronathon All Star Jamboree will be released this Thursday, August 19th as a 99 cent download, with everything going to Lv99Ron and his family. But to tide you over, here’s a little preview. It’s Colette Bennett’s house music debut: Song of Ages


Also, I made a documentary of Kyle’s Birthday party even though I couldn’t attend. How? Magic.


Kthxbuy.   read

8:05 PM on 08.12.2010

All-Star Podcast records Saturday (Chad, Colette, Stella, Brad N.)

Saturday, Phase 1 of Ronathon will commence. I will be hosting an all-star podcast with Colette Bennett, Stella Wong, Brad Nicholson, and Chad Concelmo, which will be made available as a 99 cent downloadable purchase with every damn cent going to Ronathon in support of Lv99Ron and his family.
If you don’t know, Ronathon is a multi-tiered fundraiser to help our friend Ron after his scary surgical ordeals. To get you caught up, check out his fantastic blog post about his experience: I’ve come to far to die now

We’ll be talking about the future of DLC, PAX advice, and a myriad of topics. Please leave me some questions and ideas for topics in the comments. This is very exciting and I’d love your help in making this the best podcast it can be. I have it on good authority that Lv99Ron has turned into a warrior due to this news, as this helpful photo reference shows.

Thanks everyone!   read

12:40 AM on 07.12.2010

Thursday, July 22nd aka THE night LA gets torn APARTS (PARTY INVITE!)

Their is a war going on. A war of good and evil. One man has made the noble decision to fight hypocrisy and tyranny in that have seeped into the darkest corners of LA.

This is the side of Good.

The rather charming Alex Barbatsis

These are the faces of Evil

The despicable Senor Doucheoisie and the horrible BeverylyNoelle

The battleground: My apartment. See the Google Group for details.

Armaments: Nerf or nuthin. (BYOnerf)

Save the Date: Thursday, July 22nd, 7 pm. See you on the battlefield.

We also may record a very special LAPD during the party.   read

6:28 PM on 07.07.2010

Sorry Scott (my first N64 memory)

The first thing I remember of the Nintendo 64 isn’t a game or even an experience I had. It’s a story I heard, a small bit of talk that was meant to amuse. In ways it does, but it also breaks my heart a little bit. A story about a boy we’ll call Scott (and no, Scott is not me).

Flashback, the N64 just came out. My older brother’s friends had lined up at Target to grab one as soon as the store opened. And I say grab because this particular Target store had not done a “first ten in line” or even a raffle. No, they opened the doors, first come first serve. After a hasty sprint and a tug of war match with an eleven year old, these brave young men had earned the right to purchase a Nintendo 64. What does one do in victory but celebrate?

I should introduce Scott. Scott was unliked, and maybe rightfully so for all I know. One time my brother was hosting a party when someone busted through the door with an urgent message to pour into the revelers’ ears.
“Scott found out about the party! We gotta get out of here!”
Within two minutes the house was empty and I was instructed to play dumb about the get-togethers existence. Three minutes later there was a knock on the door.
“Hey, I heard there was a party over here tonight.”
“No one’s been over here tonight.”
“Oh, did your hear anything from your brother about it.”
“Sorry Scott.”
This moment wasn’t a one-off for Scott. Which brings us back to the excitement of a new game console.

A party was held in the N64’s honor. Everyone was invited by the victors as a way to experience the next generation as well as flaunt their spoils. This time, everyone included Scott.
As everyone gathered round the television to watch this new world, they took turns running, jumping, and even flying in 3D. Eventually, the controller was either given to or grabbed by Scott. As he took control of the little plumber, the other teens in the room began to disappear to other parts of the house. To the kitchen for snacks, the family room the listen to music, the porch to smoke. Eventually Scott was exploring the game’s bold new frontier alone. Now, I’ve had several enjoyable experiences playing games by myself. The sheer fun to be had fighting your way through a hostile environment companionless as a knight, or a detective, or especially a plumber is something that has happened to all of us in hundreds of thousands vastly diverse ways. Maybe this was one of them for Scott, being unencumbered with a new system. To be able to freely play it without being pestered for the controller. Playing on and on with no one to bother you. After years of re-remembering and reviewing this story in my head, I wish he felt this way. But here he was, attached the system that leaped gaming into the future, that everyone was craving to see, to touch, to play. A platform that was built to be the ultimate party machine of its time. And no one wanted to share this experience with him. Because of him.

This rather brief story about a person I barely knew at a party I wasn’t at has not left me. We’ve all been in Scott’s shoes before. We can all empathize with him. Maybe I haven’t forgotten because I’ve been in his shoes several times, but its more likely its because of closed the door on hundreds of Scotts for reasons real, imagined, told, shared, bought, and sold. Sometimes you have to close that door to get what you want, and other times you have to close that door to lead a healthy life. Doors can be shut out of convenience, neglect, forgetting or millions of other reasons and emotions.
My door to Scott was barely open. The longest I ever talked to him was to tell him there was no party at my house or any house that night. If I could go back now and figure out something else to say, I’m not sure it would have changed at all.

Sorry Scott.   read

4:35 PM on 06.23.2010

How I Spent My Thursday (NES style)

[embed]177402:30988[/embed]   read

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