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8:51 AM on 05.29.2008

BEHOLD, the Destructoid Metroid Painting!!

As promised in my last blog, after getting enough feedback, I set forth to paint the epic Destructoid Metroid, also known awkwardly as the Metstructroid.

...Okay, so it's really more of a half-painting, half-collage thing, and probably not at all what a lot of you were expecting, but here it is, in all its glory:



Awesome, ain't it?

And to give you an idea, here's some snapshots I took of the whole process of creating the thing:



Step 1: I used a 4.5x6-inch piece of watercolor paper leftover from my horrible online watercolor class and just slathered paint on it. In all honesty, when I create something like this, I only have a vague idea of what I want the final product to look like and the rest is a "hey what if I do THIS?!" kind of process. I plan very little.



Step 2: Like I said, it's part collage. Those red bits are index cards sliced up. Whenever I finish painting something and I still have paint leftover on the pallette, instead of letting it dry up, I find something blank to paint all over, for later use.



Step 3: More collaging! This time a webby-thing cut from an old Biology vocabulary sheet, as you can see.



Step 4: The Metstructroid himself was drawn on a piece of green construction paper and glued on before I started actually painting him. I did the third eye/nuclei differently from the eyes (which were glued on later as pieces of red construction paper) so that you can see that the Metrstructroid is a translucent kind of guy, like the Metroids themselves.



Step the fifth: And voila! I wanted to make him stand out more on the paper, so to try to make the background less "noisy" I threw white paint all over the place, and his eyes, mouth, and uhh, unibrow I suppose you'd call it, are all glued on. I left the mouth and unibrow white, again, to make him stand out more.

And that's how you make an epic masterpiece without any Photoshop or computer dickery involved. What say you, Dtoiders?

-Brett   read


1:17 PM on 05.26.2008

Destructoid plus Metroid equals...what now?

So for the past month or two I've been on a huge Metroid kick, playing and beating the Prime games, as well as Fusion and Prime Pinball.

I was sitting here watching the paint dry on the inside of a graduation card I'm decorating for a friend, when the idea hit me to combine the infamous green noggin of Mr. Destructoid with a Metroid.

The results? I couldn't decide, I did multiple sketches, but I don't know which one I want to do an actual painting of. So that's where you lovely folks come in! Take a look at my sketches, tell me what you like, what you hate, make suggestions, et cetera, and I will eventually come to a nice final design to do a real painting of.

Take a look:



Yeah, I'm thinking of calling it "Mr. Destructroid," but that does sound really weird. If anyone can come up with a decent name too, then by all means, share.

(If only I were as good as ceark...)   read


8:33 PM on 05.24.2008

My relationship with Square-Enix.



This morning, after 23 awesome hours, I beat the World Ends With You. Okay, I confess, I had to switch to Easy mode on the final boss battle after it killed me multiple times because I had two useless pins equipped plus my level dropped down, but I beat it nevertheless and it is one of the best effing DS games ever that every DS-owner should go out and buy because I said so.

But something hit me once the credits started rolling: This is only the second Square game I’ve ever beaten! Yes, I know they’re Square-Enix/Squeenix now, but I don’t know who these Enix people are and the portion of my brain that still thinks it’s the late 90’s keeps referring to them as Squaresoft, but bear with me here.

The only other Square game I’ve ever beaten is Kingdom Hearts 2, which is pretty bad considering just how many Square games I’ve owned and/or played in my lifetime.



I went over the list in my head: SaGa Frontier (the first Playstation game I bought with my own money as a kid, before I even had a memory card, stupid me), Final Fantasy IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, XII, and Tactics, Chrono Trigger, Brave Fencer Musashi, Samurai Legend Musashi, Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, and probably some others that have slipped my mind.

I never beat a single one of those. I feel like a loser.



I don’t know what it is about those games. It’s certainly not because they suck, everything of theirs I play is pretty amazing! I mean, it is partially because I’ve never beaten a traditional JRPG and probably never will finish one to save my life, but then…why did I never finish Chain of Memories? I know I was close to the end! Same goes for Brave Fencer Musashi, and that was one of my favorite damn Playstation games ever! And FFXII, I’ve put over 50 hours into it and still haven’t finished it, mostly because I keep buying other games for my Wii and can’t be buggered to constantly unplug one system to play the other. Also possibly because I bought FFVI at the same time on the GBA and playing two Final Fantasy games at the same time is a horrible, horrible idea…

So it seems that Square-Enix and I have a bizarre relationship. I know now that with the exception of something truly unique like the World Ends With You, I can never finish any of their games. Is this some kind of curse? I’ve been well aware of this fact for some time now, actually, and yet I can’t stop buying their games. What is wrong with me? Is there some sort of cure?

I aim to get a PS3 some time in the future, after Team Ico’s new project and God of War 3 are released probably, and man, both those Final Fantasy XIII titles look shweet, but I know that those too would sit unfinished should I buy them…what am I to do?

I can’t be the only one with this problem, can I?

Also, go play the World Ends With You. NOW.   read


10:40 PM on 05.19.2008

If you love it, change it: Sin and Punishment



If you were to ask me what my favorite development company was, Id say Treasure without hesitation. Theyve put out a lot of simply stunning games, and among them is my favorite N64/VC title ever, Sin and Punishment.

But like all things, the game is far from perfect. Rumors are going about that another Sin and Punishment might possibly be one of the two new Wii games that Treasure is working on, and if so, here are some things that they could do to make an excellent game even better:



-STORY-

While Treasure is known more for gameplay than for story, their attempt at an epic story for Sin and Punishment was awful. Even after reading the Wikipedia page for the game, I still dont quite get what the hell was going on. You can see the potential for awesomeness, but the way the cut scenes are in the game, you dont know who the characters are or why theyre doing what theyre doing, who the enemies are, or what the hell a Ruffian is.

On the subject of cut scenes, while it was admirable of Treasure to put voice acting in an N64 game, it was pretty atrocious voice acting. Like many other games, they need much better voice actors.

Also, 2007 was last year. If they do a sequel or a remake, theyre going to pretty much have to fast-forward more to the future or else itll just be stupid.



-CONTROLS-

Saki and Airan were tough, considering how much running and gunning they did, but man, dodging obstacles and attacks from left to right, they were a bit sluggish. I know you could double-tap the control pad to get them to roll to the side, but quicker dodging skills in general would be nice. Same goes for jumping, as any platforming portions of the game had me throwing the characters directly into pits or fires.



-GAMEPLAY-

And finally, the most important thing. One of the things that made Sin and Punishment so great was its unique twist on the rail-shooter. However, there are plenty of things they couldve done to improve it.

For one thing, while it never really got old, having the exact same gun for the entire game could really be a deal-breaker. More weapons with unique features, such as homing lasers, missiles, or some crazy combination weapons like what you see in Gunstar Heroes, another great Treasure title, wouldve been awesome. Or, if nothing else, perhaps some chargeable special attack that you can unleash in tight spots to clear the screen of enemies. I really couldve used something like that in the later levels of the game.

And remember how cool it was when Saki turned into that Evangelion-looking thing? How awesome would it have been to spend more time with him in that form? And with different attacks? I can picture some epic city-smashing levels with huge bosses to fight, and it would be amazing.

Also, more gameplay in general would be nice. While I know Treasures games have never been very lengthy, it would be nice if the game took longer than like, an hour or less to beat. Extra modes and other bonus stuff could greatly extend the replay value of the game as well. And possibly some real multiplayer, as opposed to the weird I control where Saki runs while you aim and shoot kind of thing they did.

That pretty much concludes my article. Im keeping my fingers crossed that one of the two Wii games that Treasure is apparently doing is at least in some way involved with Sin and Punishment. What do you guys think?   read


11:28 AM on 05.13.2008

My personal "Do Want" list (edited with moar content!)

Sorry the first version of this post was a facepalm-worthy piece of crap. If it still gets bad comments, I'll be more than happy to take it down again and umm, go make some more art or something.

Basically compiling a list for myself of all the games I want. Obviously, theres a number of these that arent even out yet, especially in the Wiiware. Feel free to make suggestions, or make fun of me while my wallet weeps.

Wii
1. Endless Ocean - I've had a playlist on iTunes made for this game since it came out, I just...haven't gotten it yet.
2. Metal Slug Anthology - It's every Metal Slug game ever, pretty much, definitely do want!
3. Sonic and the Secret Rings - MAYBE. I'm not sure yet. My friend is wanting to loan it to me...
4. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption - This will be my next Wii purchase I know for sure, I'm just trying to beat Metroid Prime 2 first...
House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return - I own HotD2 on the Dreamcast, but my lightgun is fuckered, and I have a Perfect Shot which I've only used with Ghost Squad. More lightgun games pls?
5. Bully: Scholarship Edition - Missed the PS2 version but would love to give it a shot.
6. Deadly Creatures - A game that lets you play as a scorpion and tarantula? WIN.
7. Sam and Max Season 1 - I hear this is pretty much perfect. Definitely looking into it.
8. Sonic Unleashed - Please please PLEASE don't suck.

Wiiware
1. LostWinds - Pretty much the best Wiiware title released now.
2. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life As A King - Final Fantasy and I have a bizarre relationship that I just don't have the heart to end.
3. Strongbads Cool Game For Attractive People - It's Strong Bad! What's not to like?
4. Alien Crush - Pinball! With aliens! Must have!
5. Eternitys Child - Showing support for Luc Bernard, yes.
6. Gyrostarr - It's like F-Zero meets Star Fox or something, and I love both.
7. Last Flight - I just remember seeing that one screenshot for it when it was announced...
8. Animales de la Muerte - Cute zombie zoo animals on the loose must be shot to pieces by children! YES!!

DS
1. Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword - Played the demo on the Nintendo channel and loved it.
2. Mario Kart DS - Because apparently everyone with a DS owns it.
3. Contact - Made from Grasshopper, with some input from Suda51 if I remember correctly, and I do love Suda51.
4. Trace Memory - Y'know, I can't tell you why...
5. Professor Layton and the Curious Village - Same as Trace Memory. I guess the animation and British accents?
6. Pokmon Diamond - My friend has Pearl, so yeah.
7. Metroid Prime Hunters - I'm still on a Metroid kick, so yes.
8. Metroid Pinball - Same as above.
9. Tetris DS - It's TETRIS, dammit. On the DS!
10. Hotel Dusk: Room 215 - It just looks interesting...
11. Asteroids Extreme - Not out yet, but it looks like a lot of crazy fun.

Other Systems
1. Metroid Zero Mission - I've got Fusion, I can't force myself to go back and play the first 2. Metroid, so yeah.
3. Drilldozer - It's $10 new at Target, so why not?
4. Sonic Advance - Friend had it, played it, loved it, wish he hadn't sold it.
5. God Hand - A beat 'em up by Clover? YES.
6. Silent Hill 2 - I have 3, so yes.
7. Super Mario Sunshine - One of my favorite Gamecube games, so yes.   read


9:37 AM on 05.09.2008

Custom Ikaruga Gamecube Cover!

If you read one of my previous blogs, youd know that I was depressed and annoyed over the fact that anyone with an Xbox 360 could get their hands on Ikaruga for a mere 8 bucks or so, while I kicked myself for selling my Gamecube copy to a friend 5 years back when my Gamecube broke, before anyone had any idea about the Wii.

Well, that friend is an asshole and refused to sell back that which is rightfully mine, so another couple friends of mine banned together and actually ordered a copy off of eBay for me, as a late birthday gift. I got it just the other day, and its amazing how much I remembered from playing it 5 years ago, how intimately familiar I still was with it.

There was just one problem: The game did not come in its proper case, nor did it have an instruction manual. All I got was the disc itself in a green CD case. That bugged me a little, but I was just happy to have a copy to play. Ever tenacious, my friends got a free Gamecube disc case from the manager of the only cool Gamestop weve ever been in. It was formerly the case for Sonic Riders, heh.

But still, no cover? What was I to do? Well, I made my own:



(Click here for larger version)

Oh yeah, I totally fucked up, multiple times, but I dont think its too shabby. Plus, this is the first piece of art Ive done for myself since finishing up a horrible online watercolor painting class, the first thing Ive painted in a long time that wasnt a landscape or goddamn still-life, so thats nice.

Heres a lousy pic of it in the case, pardon my horrible bedspread:



I still wish I had an instruction booklet, and I wish I could get back my Airflow Gamecube controller, but for now, Im just having fun struggling to make it more than 30 seconds into the third level of one of the greatest videogames ever.

Well, whaddya think?   read


2:24 PM on 05.08.2008

So I went to Chuck E. Cheese's last night.

Yes, last night, to celebrate a friends late birthday, we traveled to the magical place known as Chuck E. Cheeses, home of giant rats, pizza, and arcade games. It was my first time in one of those places since I was like, 11, and it was surely a surreal feeling.

There was no guy in a rat suit, thankfully, but there was a giant animatronic Chuck E. who stood next to a little stage, randomly waving his arms, blinking, and trying to dance or talk. There were also three little screens up towards the ceiling where a weird, ATHF-style Flash cartoon played in between music videos of guys in animal costumes playing basketball with normal humans to the tune of Its A Beautiful Morning. The employees there seemed pretty miserable, except for when theyd wander over and play the basketball game, in which case theyd come to life and actually speak and stuff, before eventually going back to vacuuming and being pissy.

The pizza was pretty good, as were the breadsticks, though a bit expensive. But thats not the point of the blog. In the arcade, there were some particularly interesting games, but we only got the chance to play two.

The first being Mario Kart Arcade GP 2. Wait, what?



I knew they released a Mario Kart arcade game, our local theater had it a couple of years back, but a sequel? Really? I never heard of this.

Two-player racing didnt work, as evidenced by the machine eating two tokens, so my friend did one race and I did another, both in a Waluigi circuit as Donkey Kong. The first thing we noticed was the announcer. Ive never played a Mario Kart with an announcer, and it was TERRIBLE. DONKEY KONG! Shot an ITEM! Did it MISS?! LUIGI! Is falling! BEHIND! According to Wikipedia, its from some Japanese voice actor who is apparently quite popular. Well, I guess that kind of makes sense.

What also makes sense is the fact that one of the new playable characters isA TAMAGOTCHI. Yes. Tamagotchi. It was interesting enough that this one and the last one had Pac Man characters in them, but why the fuck is there a Tamagotchi?

The other game, in my opinion, was far more entertaining, but just as effed up: Lets Go Jungle!: Lost on the Island of Spice.



Our cabinet did not look like that, unfortunately. There was nothing to sit in. The game is a rail shooter from Sega, probably put together by the same guys responsible for the House of the Dead games and Ghost Squad. The guns were mounted to the front of the cabinet, fully automatic, with no need to reload. You play as those two ridiculously looking teenagers, the girl having a strange British accent that doesnt fit at all and the guy having a true Pinocchio nose. The first level had us in the back of a mad Jeep being driven by uhh, no one, and we were shooting at giant insects. It was surprisingly a hell of a lot fun, and Id love to check it out again, especially since we only made it five seconds into the second level before giant leeches killed us.

Really, thats the reason I love arcades, is because you can walk in there and see a game cabinet that youve NEVER heard of before, and it happens far more often than just walking through Gamestop looking for something to buy. There was another lightgun game I wanted to try called Johnny Nero: Action Hero.



Looks sweet, eh? God I love arcades   read


9:30 AM on 04.16.2008

Xyanide, or, why I hate myself and people who own Ikaruga

I almost wish I had an Xbox 360. I almost wish I didnt buy a Wii. I REALLY wish I had a time machine. And its all because of Ikaruga.

See, I got the game the very week it came out on the Gamecube, as a birthday gift I specifically asked for. Around the same time, I also bought a beautiful, amazing, and VERY useful Airflow controller as well. Did anyone else have one of those? They were wonderful things, controllers with fans built into the holey handles designed to keep your hands from getting hopelessly sweaty during hardcore gaming sessions, and I got it SPECIFICALLY for Ikaruga. Okay, it was flawed, any time it rumbled, the fan would go off, so I eventually just turned that off and kept the fan on the highest setting at all times, but it was nice, and I cant find any pictures of them online, so you probably dont believe me. Dammit.

And then my Gamecube coughed up a lung and died. So I traded it in to Gamestop and got an Xbox, but, being a stupid 9th grader, I also got rid of all of my games, controllers, and memory cards. Even the Airflow. Everything went to Gamestop EXCEPT for Ikaruga, which I sold to a friend from school.

Heres where I wish I could have a time machine, to stop myself. Oh, if only I had the foresight to know Id be getting a completely backwards-compatible Wii!

In the years that passed, theres been an Ikaruga-sized hole in my heart, a longing to go back and play that wonderful game. And then I see its been released on XBLA. I hate every single one of you who downloaded it, just so you know, because I CANT.

So I tried to fill that hole, and just the other day I went out and bought an Xbox game called Xyanide, 5 bucks at Blockbuster.



No, its not Ikaruga, but its still pretty good. It didnt come with the instruction manual (damn you Blockbuster!), so I dont really know anything about the subtleties of the weapons and such, but I can tell you that even on the second-lowest setting (because I refuse to play as Novice until I get the pride kicked out of me), it certainly provides its share of bullet hell moments.

Plus, its the first shmup Ive ever played that has CINEMATICS. Theyre not great, mind you, but theyre still pretty cool. The story is that your warship was supposed to be transporting this witch that just looks like a pale little girl to someplace that looks like a huge void. An asteroid made up of a substance called Xyanide crashes into the ship shes on, and impales her, infusing her with the stuff, which happens to have the wonderful ability of materializing her thoughts. So she attempts a daring getaway, creating and sending lots of ships to destroy you.

While Ive never played Geometry Wars, all the reviews I see compare it to that, since you control the ship with the left stick and shoot in all directions with the right stick. Things get freaking hectic and I die a lot.

As I said, its not Ikaruga, and I plan on calling up that friend I sold my Gamecube copy to in the hopes that after 5 years he still has it, so I can buy it back from him. But still, if youre a fan of space shooters, you should at least give Xyanide a shot, especially since its pretty damn cheap.

Now excuse me while I go weep about the loss of my beautiful Airflow controllerbut at least I know Treasure is developing two completely new 3D games for the Wii. Heres hoping for a Sin & Punishment sequel, eh?   read


11:32 AM on 03.16.2008

Thanks Brawl, both my Gamecube controllers are messed up now!

Yes yes, another Brawl blog, Im sorry. If it makes you angry then go read someone elses C-blog, I wont mind.

So, either thanks to Brawl, or thanks to my own idiocy, both of my Gamecube controllers are messed up. Granted, theyre both third-party, so I really shouldnt be too terribly surprised, but I learned quickly after purchasing the game that the Gamestop-brand white piece of crap controllers joystick was messed up. My cursor for the character/level select stuff always travels down screen on its own, and when Im actually fighting, whoever I picked sometimes cant decide whether they want to be standing or ducking, or Ill just be standing still and tap A and theyll do their down-A attack.

I cast it aside and switched to my Mad Catz controller, which I liked more to begin with, and it worked fine for days up until I was in the middle of going through Classic Mode on Hard with Sonic, when the A button started getting STUCK. So I paused the game, switched BACK to the white Gamestop controller, and stuck with it, even through 4 hours of online matches (Das Inchworm totally kicked my ass so hard I was wearing it for a hat) until it just got too bad yesterday.

So now, after wrestling for 15 minutes with the thing trying to come up with a working custom control setup, Im using my Classic Controller, thus sapping the battery life from my Wii remote. But I cant be the only one, can I? Are any other Dtoiders using something OTHER than the tried and true Gamecube controller?

Also, Ive set up a Flickr folder for my Brawl Snapshots. Only 11 shots in there right now, but hey, Im sure itll grow soon   read


4:24 PM on 03.11.2008

Brawl Spectator Mode Shenanigans

So, like everyone else, I picked up Brawl on midnight Saturday night. Or Sunday morning. Whatever, time never made much sense to me. Ive been playing the hell out of it and enjoying every moment of it.

I tried the online deal yesterday with my friend, and he and I had many epic brawls before tiring out and exchanging levels wed made and pictures we took, which is incredibly fun and highly recommended.

After he logged off though, I decided to give Spectator mode a try. Its actually kind of neat. I lost a lot of coins because no one knows how to play as Bowser or Falco it seems, but I also got lucky and managed to nab back most of my lost coins on a few close matches that were a lot of fun to watch.

And then the game offers me a Bonus Chance, that is, the opportunity to make a shit ton more coins than your normally would win upon placing a bet. So I agreed, the line up was Snake versus Snake versus Captain Falcon versus Falco. I put my coins on Captain Falcon.

And then the battle began, and I wanted to hurl something at my TV.

The game didnt mess up, it wasnt lag or anything like that, but the fight was not a fight at allit was 2 minutes of IDIOCY. I dont think there were actual people playing, I think someone just handed 4 controllers over to some chimps that had been hit in the head a few times. All they did was jump up and down, taunt, jump some more, run around, and jump even more. And Captain Falcon broke his own shield, both Snakes killed themselves at one point, and I just wanted to cry. My Bonus Chance was wasted because some total retards got online to jump up and down on Final Destination and not actually, you know, FIGHT.

But then I wondered if any of mine and my friends fights were recorded, specifically the one where we both accidentally picked Snake and spent a good minute just getting in our boxes and shooting missiles at each other

Regardless, I went into Spectator mode expecting to see wonderful examples of wanton douchebaggery and instead I got some cool matches and a shining example of what happens when the brain leaks out from your ears.

Hopefully it wont happen again, but has anyone else encountered stuff like this?

Also, because Im looking to play online with more people than just my one friend, and because the With Anyone function is currently broken, I offer you all my friend code, and should you decide to add me, leave yours in the comments I suppose:

Friend Code: 4811-6615-2769

I go by Edge on there. No, not like the wrestler. Be my friend, plz?   read


4:18 PM on 02.11.2008

My first Half-Life experience. God bless Gordon Freeman.



The Brawl delay is actually somewhat of a good thing: It forces me to go out with what little money I have and try to find some decent, cheap games that I otherwise wouldnt really bother with under most other circumstances. This led me to making two purchases: P.N.03, and Half-Life 2.

As you can tell from the above picture and title of this C-blog, I will NOT be talking about P.N.03, though the delightful blandness, awkward controls, and lack of story warrant a completely different entry itself. But thats for another day!

No, Id like to admit that before today, I have never played a Half-Life game before, ever. Sure, one of my friends used to have both games, the PS2 port of the first game and Xbox port of HL2 (which is what I purchased today), but he never was too willing to show much to me. No, hed play for about 10 minutes, get frustrated, and then put another game in, leaving me befuddled and curious as ever. I knew the games got rave reviews, but never really got WHY they were so great

That is, until I stumbled upon Destructoid and saw the love this community gives Valve and all their games. After some reading up and such, I decided I really wanted to try out one of the games, to see for one thing what all the fuss is about, and for another thing to play a game thats actually GOOD science fiction and not some half-assed bullshit like Halo or the aforementioned P.N.03.

Im only two hours into Half-Life 2 on the Xbox, but my God, it is the greatest two hours Ive spent on anything in recent memory.

Im sure most of you people were already fans of the first game when HL2 came out and started playing the game with a huge gleeful grin on your face, but probably for separate reasons than my own. Oh yes, I was smiling, but not from nostalgic memories like a real fan wouldve been doing. The game booted up, and some mysterious old man was talking to me, speaking cryptically, and I had no clue what he was rambling about. One line latched onto my brain though: The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world. I knew I was in for an awesome experience.

Next thing I know Im getting off a train in a place called City 17. A hovering little robot thing zips up to me, snaps a picture, then flies off as I turn towards a huge screen overhead where a man (apparently a face familiar to those who played the first game) welcomes me to the city in a strange, haunting voice. Thoughts of the novel (and movie adaptation of) 1984 immediately spring to my mind as I stand in awe, watching and listening to this man before turning my attention to a guard with a gasmask and distorted voice harassing some poor guy. The thoughts continue lingering as I realize that everyone is in blue jumpsuits and the city certainly isnt as wonderful as the man on the screen was saying. I was instantly sucked in.

After a bit of dicking around and pissing off the guards and running into an old friend named Barney, the game suddenly goes from one science fiction title to another: before long Im running through a building being chased and shot at by those masked guys, being directed by citizens shouting over here! or get to the roof! Thats when Im instantly hit with the same feelings I had when I watched one of the greatest movies of recent years: Children of Men.

If you havent seen Children of Men, get off your ass and grab the DVD. Trust me, you wont regret it.

And then theres the teleporter mishap somewhat later on. Thats pure classic science fiction, and one of the greatest examples of keeping the narrative as part of the gameplay as opposed to using a cutscene. I loved that.

To keep this blog from being too long, Ill stop there. Just know that as a newcomer to this incredible science fiction universe, I now understand what all the hype is about and I am sucked in. Gah, if only I had a 360, PS3, or high-end PC so I could nab the Orange Box! And, you know, Id like to somehow find the original as well

And yes, Im aware the other versions of Half-Life 2 are superior to the Xbox version, since this one is crammed with a lot of load times, but honestly? It doesnt bother me. Those moments give me time to actually BREATHE and think back on what I had just accomplished and wonder just what the hell will be coming next!

(Gordon Freeman shouldve totally been in Brawl, crowbarring people left and right!)

-Brett   read


2:21 PM on 02.06.2008

The Trouble with Fire Pokmon



(NOTE: This only applies to Red/Blue/Green. I have not played the future games, so you'll have to educate me on how things are in them, as I am an idiot.)

I do not like Fire Pokmon. I never really have one on my team, and I've figured out specifically WHY.

And it's not just because picking Charmander at the beginning of the game makes the game itself slightly tougher, no. That's a pointless argument, because I ALWAYS pick Squirtle. ALWAYS.

The problem with Fire-type Pokmon is this:

While they do have a slightly higher attack stat than most other Pokmon it seems, there's just not a large number of Fire-types, at least in Red and Blue/Green. There may be more of them in the later games, but I know next to nothing about them and therefore am not an expert with those.
But seriously, in Fire Red, if you do not pick Charmander, like I didn't, and you want a Fire-type Pokmon, there's not a lot to choose from. There's Growlithe, Ponyta, and Moltres. And Flareon, should you choose to give your Eevee the Fire Stone (I didn't). That's four, count'em, FOUR Pokmon to choose from, not including the evolutions of Growlithe and Ponyta, since Arcanine requires a Fire Stone and I can't remember whether or not you can actually catch a Rapidash. If you have Blue/Leaf Green, Growlithe/Arcanine is replaced by Vulpix/Ninetales, and you have one extra choice, the immensely goofy-looking (but admittedly loveable) Magmar. So, including Charmander and everyone's evolutions, that gives you a whopping...ELEVEN fire-types. Eleven out of one hundred and fifty Pokmon. Laym.

Compare that the much larger number of Water and Grass-type Pokmon. No, I'm not going to count those, you can do that yourselves. Our firey friends are quite outnumbered.

And even if you do have one or two Fire-types on your team, that doesn't necessarily put you at a huge advantage...unless you have Moltres, but having ANY Legendary bird will put you at a nice advantage, and the same goes for Charizard if you did pick Charmander in the beginning.
Fire is only Super Effective against three other types: Bug, Grass, and Ice. Now granted, no single element dominates over all other elements, but of the three that Fire can destroy, it's kind of screwed.

For one thing, with only a few exceptions, none of the higher-level trainers actually use Bug-type Pokmon. They're like a novelty for kids. Once you pass about halfway through the game, the number of Bug Catchers just drops significantly you hardly trouble yourself with insects ever again, aside from the few exceptions. And, you know, while fighting a Weedle or Caterpie is like bullying a small child, fighting Kakuna and Metapod is like fighting a paraplegic with downs syndrome, there's nothing to brag about there, and I don't care what level it's at.

Now there ARE a lot of Grass-type Pokmon, but they are by no means helpless. Most of them, in fact, are dual-type, the majority of those paired up with Poison. And any seasoned trainer can tell you how quickly the Poison status ailment can seriously fuck you up. You also run across some Grass/Ground-types, like Venusaur. And hey look, Ground attacks are Super Effective against Fire! Unless, once again, you're using Moltres. And while I mentioned Poison, let us not forget the other status ailments that any good Grass-type loves to hit you with: Sleep and Paralysis! You're screwed if your Fire-type is slower than it's opponent, I'm afraid.

But wait, I hear some of you cry, what about the status ailment Burn? Well, we've already established that there aren't very many Fire-type Pokmon, so you're not at great risk. Honestly, I can count on one hand the number of times one of my Pokmon has burned, or been burned by, an enemy. I played a LOT of Pokmon as a kid, so out of possibly thousands of battles, a few occurances of a burn is pretty meek.

And Ice-types, well, there's a PRETTY GOOD chance that they also know at least one Water attack. And we all know what happens when water and fire meet, right kids? Exactly.

So there you have it: Fire-type Pokmon pretty much suck. Feel free to educate me if things are drastically different in the future titles, as I once owned Silver, but don't remember a single thing about it, and never really bothered after that...

-Brett   read





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