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I've changed accounts. You can find me here.

http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Zulu
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I opened up a new dtoid account mainly to change my name to something simple. I would have asked a mod to change it, but since I'm pretty much still a noob on this site I thought I didn't have much to lose changing accounts anyways. I'm posting this blog 2 days after I created a draft to help aid my efforts in avoiding massive fail. Thanks, my new name is Zulu and here is a link to my new permanent account.

http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Zulu










Sin And Punishment is a game developed by the highly acclaimed developer Treasure. Unlike many other Treasure games, Sin And Punishment was only released in Asia. Because of it's limited run and high import demand, it has become a very rare sought after game over the years. Seven years after it's initial release Nintendo has finally released it worldwide onto the virtual console as an import title.



So what exactly is the concept of Sin And Punishment? The game is an on rails 3D shooter fashioned in the style of over the top arcade experience. Your main objectives pretty much are to shoot up everything in sight, survive, as well as to study and to adapt to different situations, patterns, enemies, and bosses.

The entire game is themed around a futuristic setting of japan with subtle overtones of magic, spirituality, and the urgency of a potential apocalypse. This theme really does work well for this type of game. In combination with the theme and the story, both elements help meld meaning and reasoning into your every move.





With exception to the horrible voice acting, and some of the messy character models, the presentation is astounding for an N64 game. So much detail has been put into all of the environments that you encounter throughout this game. They are all very rich in both color and texture and overall they really are quite pleasant to look at despite this game being released in the year 2000 for a now primitive 64 bit console. For the time, these graphics pretty much were mind blowing for the system. Although they aren't as advanced as some of the expansion pack games, graphically Sin and Punishment holds up very well in comparison to later more advanced 64 titles.

As For the music, it really does fit well. Although I may not be a huge fan of the 64's midi chip interpretation of the electric guitar, the songs themselves hold a very arcadish character to them, whiling simultaneously enveloping you into the whole atmosphere of the game. Overall the songs are easily forgettable though. When I'm actually playing, I really find myself appreciating the music, but shortly afterwards I can't remember a single note. The only thing I can grasp onto afterwards with the music however is the memory of the general feel and vibe it brought to me.





Sin and punishment definitely has a story to keep you going in this game. Like I said earlier, the story here really helps provide reasoning and meaning for your actions. As fitting as the story is in all aspects of this game, it really does not translate well if you are only taking it in context with the game itself. I'm not sure if my opinion on this would change if I was able to read the native Japanese text in the game's cut scenes, but as far as solely being reliant on the English voice overs, the story really seems to be very hard to follow when exclusively following it through the game. After reading the manual though, you'll find a great deal of insight into what is really going on in this mad mad world. Reading the back story in the manual will really help put rails on your comprehension of the actual in game plot.

Backstory taken from a translation of the manual:

It's the dawn of a new century, mankind has succeeded in maintaining peace and has prospered like never before. However, from this newfound prosperity has come a population explosion. This increase in mouths to feed has caused a strain on the food supplies of the world. Shortages of food became critical in all regions of the world. Mankind needed a new food source, one that could breed even under the most abnormal conditions; and so scientists began creating a "New Species" of life. After some time, the scientists succeeded in creating this "New Species" of life, and Hokkaido (The north-most Japanese Island) was chosen as the huge nesting pasture. The humans who succeeded in obtaining the new source of food expected their new found prosperity to continue again.

However...

From the midst of the "New Species" came mutated beasts which suddenly began to devour their human hunters. The attacking hoards which formed a loose group henceforth became know as "Ruffians", they travelled south through the Japanese Islands and gained control over all of north-east Japan. In Tokyo the Ruffian began invading in front of the very eyes of the city's inhabitants, large-scale riots of confused citizens occurred frequently. This situation led to dispatch of an international peace organization called the "Armed Volunteers", but they began to use their military force to suppress the people of Japan.

As expected, the future of Japan has become again... bleak. And possibly so has the future of humanity. On the other hand, a mysterious rumour began to circulate among the people of Tokyo, where the battle for the survival of mankind is being lost day by day.

The rumour...

The arrival and appearance of an organization of citizens which call themselves the "Saviour Group"...

The "Saviour Group" were formed from a group of people who recovered from illness, injury & sorrow due to the miracles of a mysterious holy woman called "Achi". The "Savour Group" is a self-defense organization of Japanese citizens who support themselves by hunting Ruffian, they oppose the Armed Volunteers who they consider hypocritical masses.

Exhausted and wounded people began to gather to the holy woman Achi one after another, and ask for "salvation".

However, her "salvation" was not without a price. In compensation the healed must "fight" in the name of the holy woman. Many weak people became involved in many unnecessary disputes, and began following a path to despair...





First off, I do not own the actual physical N64 cartridge of this game. I only own the Virtual Console version, so I will only be explaining the layout of the Virtual Console's best suited controller for this game. That controller would be the Classic controller, not the Gamecube controller. When I first initially bought this game I made the mistake of using the Gamecube controller, because most 64 games on the Wii are layed out better for that controller then the classic controller, but this game is clearly an exception.

To move your character in the only two directions possible, left and right, you will be using the D pad, or alternatively the Y and X buttons. You can also strafe by double tapping the directionally mapped out buttons. The right analog stick will move your on screen cross hair. Holding down the L button will provide you with a constant stream of firepower for distant enemies, while tapping it with close enemies nearby will discharge a slash attack with your sword. You may be questioning the choice of mapping these two actions to one button because of potential confusion or cheapening of gameplay, but here, that's not really the case at all. When you get to actually play the game, you'll thank God that they didn't go the route of mapping slashing to another button. Both actions blend together very nicely married to that one common L button.

As for the other buttons, A will change your cross hair between free roam targeting with raised power and Lock on targeting with weaker attacks. The whole addition of having this at your disposal throughout the game really adds to the depth and overall strategy. The R button is used for jumping,and tapped twice you can perform a double jump. The start button pauses the game while bringing up a small menu.

At first the controls can be a little awkward, but you have to realize that for an N64 game, it really did something different with the 64's controller back then. You'll eventually get used to it, but looking back at what the original button layout was and how it translated, I'd say it came out pretty well for a virtual console release.





What can I say? The game is fun, damn fun to be exact. Despite it's aged look, it really still holds up today in gameplay. Sitting down and playing this game today really excites me. It has that great unique hybrid feel of over the top arcade action with the serious overtones and highlights that we expect more from console games.

Graphically for an N64 game, it really does hold up well and it looks pretty pleasing to the old eyes. The story, the theme, the art style, and the music really all help transport you into this world Treasure has created. The game never gets old or repetitive because every level is pretty much a twist to something you've already done or it's a completely new experience.





Despite being a very solid title, the game is definitely not without faults. First off the voice acting is extremely horrible and in game phrases can get very repetitive and annoying extremely fast. Now some may argue that the voice acting may be so bad that it's good, and to an extent I can agree with that, but in account to the theme and the story of Sin And Punishment, the game is supposed to be presented with somewhat serious overtones. The voice acting really at the time and now is atrocious in its effort.

The character models are a train wreck of scrapped together polygons. You can tell what the characters are supposed to look like and you can still get the individual vibe of each character, but compared to numerous 64 titles these models aren't really up to snuff.





Hands down Sin and Punishment is really worth your money. Either buy it on the Virtual Console for 12 measly U.S. dollars or try to find it on Ebay. If you are a fan of 3d rail shooters, unique games, Treasure games, or if you just want something fun to play then this game is definitely for you. It brings so much to the table that you will enjoy. Just the overall mix and feel of a game that barely ever gets stale will keep you playing it until your death. You can play this game off and on casually as well as playing it to rack up a huge score, either way it's hard to deny that this game is fun and worthy of your time. If I had to give this game a grade then I'd definitely give it an A.



Select Images Credited To Platypuscomix.net











The concept of Mega man has always been the same since the franchise's inception into the gaming world. You get 8 robots to take down, you can pick any of those 8 robots to take on via the main menu. You beat their asses, take their powers, and you can use those stolen powers to easily destroy other robots more vulnerable to those stolen powers. The X series is really no different then the classic Mega man titles, with the exception of adding more elements to the gameplay. You still kill, steal, and destroy, but now you have more add ons, moves, and power ups to add to your already existing power.

In the X series, armor, heart capsules, and sub t's play an important role in making your journey through the game easier and much more enjoyable. To acquire these magnificent items you have to really search each level with a very OCD like attitude. Some of these items can either be simply placed in a very Miyamoto esq way by being rewarded for thinking outside of the game's usual patterns. On the other hand other items can be much more fiendishly hidden, some only to get by using different combinations of weapons, others make you think outside of the levels, and a few just require plain old luck.

Heart Capsules

As you progress through each level, you will eventually stumble into these babies. Their sole purpose of existence is to simply extend your life bar.

Sub T's

Sub Ts are basically 'energy reserves'. When your main life bar is filled to the brink with energy, you can pick up and store once nonessential energy packets into the Sub T's you have collected. You can use them to fill up your life when you are in dire need of energy. Sub Ts are a godsend in this game, especially near the end when you have to re battle all of the robots for a second time, as well as defeating the final bosses.

Armor

Throughout the game, a priority for you will be upgrading your armor. The new armor you collect will either give you new moves, new abilities, or improvements over your already existing abilities. Doctor Light from the classic Mega man series will provide you with these new upgrades Via holographic message capsules from the past.

Zero's Parts

These aren't really upgrades, but they are an integral part of the story. I don't want to spoil anything so I'll I will say is that your decision to collect these 3 parts or not will weigh in later on in the game. If you want to make the game easier on yourself then you'll probably want to collect the parts.




Ok, lets get this straight before I start going on about the story. Mega man to me has never been about the story, and honestly I don't know anybody who has followed or has ever really cared about a story in a Mega man game. To me Mega man has always been about shooting, stealing, and just being plain bad ass. Besides all that, if you do want a story, then it's there. Wikipedia explains the plot best.

"Six months after defeating Sigma, X assumes leadership of the Maverick Hunters. Despite Sigma's death, the Maverick Rebellion continues. X has tracked the remaining Mavericks to a Reploid factory, and launches a full assault. But this was not the end of the war.

"Three of the Maverick leaders, Serges, Agile, and Violen, form a group called the "X-Hunters" and gain control of the North Pole. In the time between Sigma's demise and their sudden uprising, Serges has collected the parts of Zero, who had died in the first conflict didn't salvage Zero's parts but created new ones, but still lacks Zero's original Control Chip. The X-Hunters contact the Maverick Hunters and taunt them with Zero's body, which they have split into three pieces, in order to lure out X, hoping to destroy him." - Wikipedia

For a story, this is as good as it gets or should really ever get for a Mega man game. It's not too complex to understand, it really doesn't seem to force you into it, it's just there to create a foundation and underlying meaning for the characters and the actions that take place in the game. I would go as far as relating it to the movie 'Shoot Em Up'. The entire movie is really just a balls to the wall A+ action movie, balanced out with a story just good enough to become a foundation and vehicle strong enough to support the showcased action. This is exactly what they did in Mega man X2, and it really does work for this type of game.

By the way, if you haven't seen Shoot Em Up, go to your nearest Blockbuster and pick it up. It's damn good.




The controls for this game, much like the previous Mega man titles before it are tight and responsive. If you screw up in this game, it is your own fault, not the controls, not the game, it is your own fault, period. To shoot in this game you simply press the Y button, to jump you use the B, the start button brings up the menu, and the A button is used for dashing, but personally I like to map dashing out to the R shoulder button, because rolling my thumb backwards to use it is kind of annoying. As for the default L and R buttons, they're just there for selecting weapons anyways, so mapping dash to R isn't going to kill you in the long haul.

Since Mega man 4, the franchise has allowed you to charge your gun, and X2 is no exception. You can hold down the Y button to charge up, and when you release the button you will unleash one enormous blast from your buster arm. Later on in the game when you acquire the armor upgrade for your arm you will be able to unleash 2 blasts as well as unlocking secondary blast based attacks for your stolen powers. The first blast will discharge when you take your finger off of the Y button, and the second will follow when and if you decide to hit the Y button again.

You can also dash jump by pressing the dash button and the jump button simultaneously or semi simultaneously (dash then jump). To beat this game you will need to master this technique because sometimes the regular jumps just won't cut the mustard. Wall grappling also throws itself into this game, and it really is a welcome comeback from the original X game. To wall grapple you jump on to a close by wall while holding the d pad in the correct direction of the wall while rapidly hitting the jump button. You can also slide down walls in this fashion by jumping and holding the d pad to the direction of the wall.


There really are too many great things about this game to hit on, but I'll try my best. First of all it's a Mega man game, that should explain a lot in the department of quality.

The levels and the bosses are designed very well. Very rarely does the task of taking on multiple levels and bosses get repetitive. Every level and every boss has a different feel and vibe from the last place you've been.

To reiterate what I touched on earlier, I just have to throw out another bone to the tight controls. When it comes to the first 3 Mega man X games, the controls and the general feel of being Mega man has always brought me a lot of enjoyment, so much that the controls really are my favorite part about the X franchise. Whenever I think about revisiting the old X classics it is always because of this total engrossing vibe that they bring me into. For an action based shooter platformer, there really are no controls better then the X series in my honest opinion.

The upgrades and new powers really are exciting and rewarding to gain as well. I just love gaining new abilities in this game, I can sit there for literally hours on end just messing around and trying new things out with the different gained powers. They are all totally varied, and they really do help keep the game fresh.




Well I can't really say anything is really bad per se, but I will say that the game doesn't live up to the original X game. The music in Mega man X was a lot more memorable, there really was no apparent update graphically from X besides using a new pseudo 3d effects chip, and to be brutally honest it is just the same old same old. Although X was a better overall game, X2 is still definitely worth purchasing or 'obtaining' if you were a fan of the first.




I know that it may seem like I've been blanketing all of X2 with the Mega man franchise as a whole, but I just cannot label or review X2 alone without referencing the entire franchises great evolution in quality. Mega man X2 was a solid sequel in the Mega man X franchise and even though it may just follow the same trail as the previous installment, it shouldn't be forgotten. The game was damn fun, and it brought a few things to the table that would help further the evolution of Mega man.











This is a follow up to my "Handsome Tom and Perfect Liz Leave Screwattack" Post.

If you'd like to hear Craig's side of the story stop by Screwattack.com and you'll find it. I'm only posting Tom's side, because he doesn't have a mega site up like Screwattack to make his voice heard. Here is his latest statement about the matter.

"ScrewAttack-

Craig’s statement on the podcast was insulting to tell the truth. We started ScrewAttack together, and both brought things to the table. I came in with my gaming collection, and my knowledge about video games, and Craig brought his knowledge of the Radio industry. In the beginning, all he was interested in doing was a podcast, and wanted it to be about gaming because of what I was bringing to the table. A friend of mine created the ScrewAttack webpage that everyone is so familiar with, and is also designing what ScrewAttack is about to become. We both put a lot of time, effort and ideas into making the site what it is today. Like Craig stated in the podcast he did go behind my back and register the company. I had asked him on several occasions to go and get it registered together. He would always say “No, let’s wait” and went ahead an did it anyway, without telling me.

I did give Craig 2 options, either I would be a part of the company
like agreed in the beginning and again at the beginning of the GT contract, or
I would be paid on PERFORMANCE *(not just a raise).
Let me give you an example:
(none of the following is not common knowledge)
ScrewAttack gets paid by views on GT, on the internet it’s called CPM (meaning per thousand views). I wanted to be paid like the Angry Video Game Nerd. He is paid a percent of his performance on GT.
Let me show you the number of views that anyone can look up….

Tom: 16,848,531
Craig: 10,469,958
Nerd: 18,398,149

I am a 1 1/2 million views away from the Nerd, and Craig is 8 million away.
How exactly was I not pulling my own weight? Not only did I perform on GT, I also performed consistently on ScrewAttack for 2 years. I did not ask for any of the merchandise money, nor any advertisement money, just the money that I deserved, based on my performance. Think about it… if I was really getting paid to do nothing, why would I leave? He says that we were friends, but why did he feel the need to insult me on the podcast?
I didn’t go in depth about any of my reasons for leaving in my announcement post, which Craig was apparently threatened enough by to delete. Insulting me for 25 minutes on a podcast is not the way to keep a friendship….especially when he keeps letting everyone know it’s business not personal.

I will not respond to any statement that Craig says after this post
about my involvement with ScrewAttack. I will also not insult him
or talk bad about anyone involved. That would not only be unprofessional
but would lower my standards as a person.
What’s next? Well, we have a new site we’re very excited about, TheGameHeroes.com. The teaser will be up early next week! Please email me and give me any feedback or if you want to contribute that would be awesome! Until the site is launched my email address will be: screwattacktom@gmail.com

Thanks for all your support
Handsome Tom"

Source














Yes, you heard me right. One of the founding fathers to one of the biggest video game entertainment sites has left the building. Handsome Tom, the raddest most bad assest person on the planet has left, as well as with his equally rad bad ass girlfriend (Liz) by his side. I seriously have no Idea what goes on behind the screwattack scenes, nor do I really care to speculate or exaggerate, but I will leave you "the big quote" from the man himself.

" Dear g1's

Perfect Liz, Ryu (official Screw-A-Dog) and myself are no longer a part of ScrewAttack. You might ask your self why. Long story short...Craig and I started this together and it was understood that we would be partners. After this did not happen I decided to leave. There are many details that have led up to this decision. If you want to contact us for any reason you can reach us here:

screwattacktom@gmail.com
p3rfectliz@aim.com

What's next for us? Well there are many cool and surprising things in the works. For the time being, until further notice, myself or Perfect Liz will post what we are doing on the forums at:

http://thehealingtouch.wordpress.com/

This will be my final post on the ScrewAttack forums. Thanks for all your support g1's, it was a great experience.

Handsome Tom"

Source









Today I stumbled across an epic epic internet find. A chain chomp hat knitted by the one and only Knitting Ninja.I have to give the knitja mad props, this is one nice tribute to my all time favorite enemy.

"I designed this hat on a whim, inspired by discussions with my geeky friends awhile ago, about how relatively simple it would be to design. In the last few days, I drew it up and knit it on the fly, taking notes as I went. The result is a Chomp that has happily broken free of its chain, only to latch itself onto an unsuspecting gamer’s head."- Knitting Ninja

I know what you're thinking, is it for sale? Unfortunately no it's not, but she does give directions on how to create one yourself.

Click here for original article/pictures