Hi there. How's it going? So, uh..nice weather we're having here huh? Yea, real nice weather there...
Look, I hate these intro things, you hate them, hell we ALL hate them, so why don’t we just skip to the good stuff shall we?
I've been on Destructoid for almost seven years now, joined waaaaay back in February, 2007 and have been pretty active with the community since. I started my time here as a front page lurker, eventually tried my hand at being an active member of the forums (oh dear god the forums..shiver) and then eventually found a home right here in the good ole CBlogs. Hell, some of you may even know me by my former name "ChillyBilly".
For those of you not familiar with me, let me briefly tell you a bit about myself. I'm what you might call...a collector. No, no that's not right.. what was it that Funktastic called me...? Oh, a hoarder! That's it; I'm a hoarder of video games and video game stuff. If its video game related, I have to have it. Posters, t-shirts, coasters, key chains, games, consoles, handhelds, postcards, stickers, Slurpee cups (yes, even Slurpee cups), I just have to have it. There was a time when I was pretty active on the Cblogs sharing my various Hauls for all of Destructoid to see (the links to the right should still work - if you're so inclined). I've slowed down a bit however, made a big move to a new state, started a new job and decided to focus my energy (and money) elsewhere for the time being. I still game and I still pick up the occasional gaming related item, but it's nothing like it was a couple years ago.
Oh! I've also been one of the guys who’s been writing the Xbox 360 Friday Night Fights posts for the past two years too! Yea, so that's kinda what led me to helping out Andy with the front page FNF stuff.
I love this community and I love when we all come together to play games on a Friday night, or Monday night, or Tuesday night, or Wednesday night or... well hell, I guess every night.
So I guess that's me. I'll do my best to make you proud, I'm always open to suggestions on different ways to get more people involved with the various community playdates here on Destructoid, and i'd love to hear some of your ideas on how we can make the Destructoid Friday Night Fights one of the main reason why people come to the site.
I know I'm no Andy Dixon, but don't let that stop you from yelling at me when I forget to add your game to the front page. I believe in consistency and I would hate to see Andy's good name tarnished by me doing a good job.
Thanks to the wonderful power of the Internet as well as the awesome fella that is Hamza I proudly present to you, "Bill".
A totally hot guy who is so freaking smart but is not geeky. Bill is witty and has a quick wicked sense of humor tinged with mild harmless sarcasm.
Quiet during the day but party animal on weekends, in a good way. He can have fun! Likes all kinds of sports, usually has mesmerizing bedroom eyes.
Bill is that hot guy in homeroom who doesn't know he's hot, which is why he's so dang hot.
If you are lucky enough to be friends with a "Bill", then consider yourself set for life. Bill is a loyal friend who will stick by you through thick and thin even if you are annoying the heck out of him or making him mad.
He is a peacemaker, calm, a "go to" guy but he can party it up with the best of them. He is accepting and non-judgmental, and kind-hearted to everybody. Bill is just awesome in every single way. Chicks dig him, guys are good friends with him, everybody loves Bill.
"Who's that guy in homeroom that's real smart, funny, and hot even though he doesn't think he's hot?"
"Girl, that is a Bill. You gotta stand in line like the rest of us chicks until it's your turn - he in deeemand. I best hook up wid dat awesome hottie fo sho."
The most amazing guy ever.
Seriously sweet, hilarious, so loving his girlfriend has no idea what to do with herself. He's the best person she's ever had the pleasure of being close to. He may be a bit jealous at times but it doesn't matter because he's got a ton of really good qualities.
Bill likes long relationships and is very good at knowing how to keep his girl. He makes you feel confident and able to be yourself around him. He has the ability to calm others. Super silly (: but always my favorite.
Example of Bill's awesomeness:
[b]A group of friends is arguing in the hallway when Bill walks in.
The arguing stops.[/b]
one who which is drop dead sexy has a massive penis and will punch anyone out who pisses him off. also bill has ill skillz in everything. Most people know him as a balla.
"Hey bill whats up? - Bill what are you doing tonight?"
This has been a brief look at Bill. A.K.A - ChillyBilly
It looks like it's that time of year again! What time, you ask? Why it's "adopt my avatar to take with you to PAX because I have too much stuff going on in my life right now to get there myself time", that's what time it is!
For years my avatar has been attending PAX, hiding in the shadows, protecting the innocent from the scum and evil of society. With my utility, er I mean...with my belt full of neat things, I am the avatar PAX deserves..no wait, I am the avatar PAX needs but..hmmm... I am the avatar PAX didn't know it needed and technically doesn't really need but would probably appreciate if it knew I was there!
Look at my avatar's manly physique:
Chest, chiseled. Face, bearded. Background, moody and dark. Sky, green? Or is that blue, it's kind of like a blue/green combo or something. Hell I don't know what color that is, teal maybe.
Anyway, Chest, chiseled, Face bearded, Muscles, muscly. I am the pinnacle of perfection and the strongest of the strong. My mind as sharp as tacks and my other features are just as sharp and sometimes tacky.
I will protect you as you wade through line after line, trying to score as much swag as you can. I will let no harm come to you as you approach the food area and pay $7.00 for a bottle of water and $9.00 for a slice of pizza. And I will protect you as you Street Pass with other's who may also be Street Passing because that seems like something people would do at a convention focused mainly around video games.
In closing, if you need protection from the seedy, under-worldly and often creepy people that may cross your path then you owe it to yourself to take my avatar with you.
I have sworn many, many times that I would slow my collecting down to focus on other things. I've also said that because I literally have no more room in my place to hoard all of this stuff and I think I may have to actually get a storage unit somewhere until I move to a bigger place.
As seen in my last Haul Blog, my intentions of slowing down have, let's just say, not been fully realized. I try though, I really do.
Occams has slowly become my go to guy for harder to find gems and games. It seems like at least once a week I get a DM from him asking if I am interested in X, Y or Z game. The thing is, nine times out of ten I AM interested in what he has, and that's not helping my situation any.
In this episode I will highlight some of the gems that Occams has found for me. Oh and there's a bunch of other stuff as well.
As usual, I will start with the older stuff and then move on to the newer games/swag/items.
First up we have:
Wildfire Electronic Pinball Now I already have one of these in the box but the actual game has several scratches on it, this one however (the one pictured above) looks brand new and doesn't appear to have ever been played (although I'm sure it has been).
Anyone who know's me knows that I love old school, classic consoles. I'm not talking NES/Atari stuff, I'm talking about those weirdo, obscure consoles from the 70's early 80's. Kind of like this one!
Unisonic Tournament 2000. I found this little fella sitting on a shelf in a Goodwill that I frequent, I'm not sure why I didn't take a picture of the box as well but rest assured It had one.
So that's pretty much it for the "older" stuff. Time to move on to the PS1 & PS2 games!
As a young gamer (in the 90's) I absolutely LOVED anything put out by Working Designs, that's why I was overjoyed when I stumbled upon this gem:
Alundra - I remember playing this when It initially released and am happy to finally have it back in my collection.
Hey, remember that whole thing about Occams always finding games for me?
.//Hack Rebirth, Reminisce and Redemption, all courtesy of Occams. dot Hack Infection was found at a used CD store I believe.
Shadow Hearts Covenant (Another Occams find) and Shadow Hearts From the New World
Wild Arms 3, 4 & 5 - also courtesy of Occams.
See what I mean? Here I am, trying my best to slow my collecting down and what does Occams do? He finds these awesome games that he KNOWS I HAVE TO HAVE! =)
Here are some Non-Occams finds:
Atelier Iris Eternal Mana as well as 2 & 3
Hey look! Some Atlus games!
Baroque, Magna Carta, Shin Megami Tensei Nocturn and ChoroQ
Here we have; Fatal Frame, the hard to find Jurassic Park Operation Genesis, Working Designs Growlanser Generations and Dragon Quest VIII
Grand Theft Auto III, Ghost Recon, X2 Wolverines Revenge, Tekken Tag Tournament, Soul Calibur II and Gran Turismo 4 - these were all found as a bundle at Goodwill. I love Goodwill bundle games, they're always so cheap.
Final Fantasy X, X-2, Ace Combat 5, Burnout Revenge, Rainbow Six Lockdown and Prince of Persian Warrior Within - another Goodwill bundle
Prince of Persia Sands of Time, Manhunt 2, Medal of Honor Frontline, 007 Everything or Nothing, True Crime Streets of L.A. and Mercenaries - the last of the Goodwill bundles for the PS2
I can thank Funktastic for these next few, he talked me in to going back to the store to pick up Grandia Extreme, while I was there I also found Grandia II and Grandia III
Here we have Viewtiful Joe 1 & 2 - one day I will get around to playing these games.
Zone of the Enders and Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3
Everyone loves Katamari! Right? Well if not you can still enjoy these pics of Katamari Damacy and We Love Katamari.
And last, but not least for the PS2 games we have the crème de la crème - Metal Gear Solid - Subsistence Limited Edition. I literally walked in to my local Gamestop one day and bought this, one of the guys I know who works there had it behind the counter for me. For you collectors out there, you don't want to know how much I paid for it (psst..it was under 25 bucks).
Well that's enough of the PS2 hogging all the limelight, it's time for the PSP to take it's turn on the catwalk!
Here we have; Patapon 2, the tough to find Monster Kingdom Jewel Summoner, Blade Dancer, Legend of Heroes III, Me & My Katamari, PoPoLoCrois and Maverick Hunter X
Next up is; Final Fantasy Tactics, Harvest Moon Boy & Girl, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Patapon and Shin Megami Tensei Persona
And finally we have; Shin Megami Tensei Persona 2 Innocent Sin & Hakuoki Demon of the Fleeting Blossom
Moving on to some PS3 goodies we have;
The Sly Collection & Resistance 3
Aliens vs Predator
InFamous 2 Hero Edition
Uncharted 3 Collectors Edition
Here's a neat little thing that I saved from dumpster hell:
Twisted Metal in-store Sweet Tooth Ice-Cream truck display
Oh and then this thing I stumbled upong
PlayStation 2 in-store display light. It lights up, that's pretty much all it does.
I think that just about does it for this haul blog, I do have a couple more things to share though before I go.
If there's one thing that I absolutely love to collect it has to be art books. You know who else loves to collect art books? Occams Electric Toothbrush. Know what else Occams likes?
I love these "10 things" posts, maybe this will turn in to like, an annual thing or something.
As like the others before me this blog will be a list of things (10 to be exact) that have to do with me, hopefully they will be both informative and interesting.
On with the show!
10. I'm 38 years old and I still skateboard.
Now, here's the thing. I'm a realist, I know what my body can and can't do. You won't see me on any half-pipes, dropping in on a foot of vert, those days are long, long gone. What you will see though is a fella pushing 40 cruising around the neighborhood on his skateboard, at peace with himself and totally in the moment.
My foot, my board.
Seriously, I've been skating since I was 12, it's a passion, it's my "thing", it's my "like riding a bike", something that I will do until I am unable to and something that I will never feel foreign with. True story; when I was a teen a few buddies and myself built a ditch ramp (mini half-pipe) in the woods behind my house, for a little over a year that ramp was the underground ramp that you HAD to skate if you were from the Central Florida area. We had amateurs, posers and pros skating that ramp, it will always be one of my favorite memories.
9. I am a huge Cure fanatic
Or as I like to call myself, a Figurehead (because I reject the "Curehead" label). I have everything that they have ever recorded, from LP's to mini discs, to CD's, VHS, DVD and BLu-Rays. I have seen The Cure six times live, which may not seem like a lot, until you realize that they hardly ever come over here to the States. My favorite album of all time is Disintegration, it also happens to be, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest albums ever made. It is absolutely perfect from the opening instrumentals to the finishing note.
8. I have been legally dead.
Here's another true story, one that I am more than proud to claim.
When I was a teen I worked alongside my father doing construction (family business), we were building a hotel for a golf course in Michigan, the weather was miserable, cold and rainy. All week it rained but since we had enough of the roofing and siding done we could work indoors, now we weren't far enough along to where no water couldn't get in, we were still working on concrete, as none of the interior stuff had been started yet. At the end of every day it was my job to roll up all of the extension cords, this was obviously because I was a glorified gopher (go for this, go for that) and I had to do all the shit work.
Long story short, one of the extension cords I was rolling up was sitting in a puddle of water, it also had a pretty nasty cut in to it which was exposing the inner workings. I'm pretty sure you can see where this is going. I grabbed the cord and then woke up in the hospital, hands, arms and part of my back burnt.
It wasn't until a few days later that I was told I flat lined and had to be resuscitated. Pretty neat huh.
7. Adam West picked me up and placed me in to the drivers seat of the original Batmobile.
This happened back in the 80's when we still lived in Detroit. Every year there was a huge auto show in Detroit at the Pontiac Silverdome that my dad would take me to. It had everything, tanks, concept cars, motorcycles, psuedo-famous people, and the creme of the crop, Monster Trucks!
During one of our last visits before we moved to Orlando the original Batmobile from the 60's Batman show was on display, Adam West was there signing autographs, I don't remember exactly why he put me in the car, but I do remember him picking me up and placing me in the drivers seat, I had a picture somewhere of me sitting in the seat with him kneeling outside but I haven't seen it in years. I would love to find that photo.
6. I caught a five foot long shark off the coast of Cocoa Beach.
One of the advantages of living in Florida, as well as having a dad obsessed with fishing, is that you have plenty of opportunities to catch fish. For a while we had a 24 foot Bayliner boat that we would take out of Port Canaveral (near Coca Beach). My dad used to shadow the tourist fishing boats because they would chum the water, meaning that all we had to do was throw out our lines and wait for the chum to take effect. We caught plenty of fish, Blues, Snappers, Amberjacks and yes, sharks.
Not gonna lie here, my dad hooked the shark, he got it on the line and he started fighting it, he DID however hand me the line after about five minutes so that I could bring in whatever the hell was at the end of it. Turns out it was a five foot Hammerhead. Took me well over an hour to bring in and eventually my dad had to step in to gaff him and get him aboard. It was a very proud moment for me, one because I caught a big ass fish and two because I could tell how proud of me my dad was.
5. I had a piece of metal lodged in my eye.
One thing about working construction, there's never a dull moment. I'll keep this one short, was working construction with my dad, cutting metal studs without safety glasses (cause I was a teenager and invincible), something "hit" my face, later in the day I couldn't stop rubbing my right eye. Later that night my dad took me to the emergency room, turns out I had a piece of metal embedded in my eye. Three layers of eye skin and one syringe later it was out.
I now have a noticeable black dot in my eye from where the metal was. Neat.
4. I'm a huge comic book nerd.
I've been reading and collecting comic books since before I can remember. Nowadays most of the stuff I read is all digital because it's just easier for me. My favorite titles are anything Batman, Groo the Wanderer, Usagi Yojimbo and Cerberus the Aardvark.
3. I collect more games than I actually play.
Most of you probably know this by now, I love to collect video games. I also love to play videogames. These days however my love for video gaming has turned more in to collecting than actual playing. For every one new game I play I "collect" 10 more.
As of this blog my collection stands at 1283 games, 34 handhelds and 31 consoles. Out of that 1283 I guarantee that I haven't played anywhere near half. It's become a sort of obsession, if I see a deal or a game that belongs to a series that I like or want I have to buy it. I actually have to purposefully go out of my way to avoid thrift stores, used CD stores etc because I know that I have a hard time controlling myself.
2. I'm a stay at home dad.
I bet you're wondering, how the hell can a stay at home dad afford to buy games all the time? Well, truth is I have a steady flow of income coming in. I don't have set hours, I don't have a boss. I work when and if I want. My fiancee teaches at a college here in Chicago and I take care of our daughter.
I don't think I could ever go back to a 9-5 job again, although sometimes I miss the structure of it all.
1. I love the Destructoid community.
Ask any Dtoider, who "knows" me, how much I love this community and I bet they will all say the same thing; "a lot!". If there's someone in need, I'll help out. If someone on staff needs someone to do the shit grunt work, I help out.
On my 3DS spotpass, when someone get's my Mii the message is "Destructoid.com". I absolutely love this site and I love this community. I know that I can and have been vocal before, in a not so positive light, but it's only because I want to see this community continue to grow and flourish.
Destructoid was my first online community and it will be my last. The friends that I have made here will stay with me forever, even if our friendships fade.
So anway, that's me in ten bullet points. I want to thank Bbain for getting this going with his "10 things" blog, I absolutely love reading all of these.
NANO ASSAULT Format: Nintendo 3DS Developer: Shin’en Games Publisher: Majesco Entertainment Released Nov. 2011 Players: 1, plus online leaderboards MSRP: $19.99 USD
Welcome to the first installment of “ChillyBilly’s Hidden Gems”, a new blog series that I hope will continue (I say hope because I know how lazy I can be with blogging) on a semi weekly basis. The goal for Hidden Gems is to highlight games that don’t/didn’t receive all the fanfare of your typical AAA game.
Also, these blogs won’t necessarily be “reviews”, think of them more as my impressions of the game(s), there won’t be any scoring or anything like that.
This week we take a look at a SHMUP that not only delivers the bullet hell goodness, but also delivers some visuals that are some of the best on the 3DS to date.
Nano Assault is the third game in a series that started back in 2005 on the original Nintendo DS. For those not familiar with the series here’s a little background; Nanostray and Nanostray 2 were what some people would consider Bullet hell games, hardcore fans of SHMUPS were not disappointed with either game as both pushed the DS hardware in ways that few companies were able to, with fast paced shooting, incredible music and some serious thumb-aching action, the Nano series quickly gained a cult following and are still regarded as two of the best shooters that the DS has to offer. There’s a good chance that you’ve never heard of the series though as both Nanostray (released 2005) and Nanostray 2 (released 2008) saw limited releases here in the States.
Nanostray 1 & 2
Fast forward three years.
2011 saw the release of the third game in the “Nano” series with Nano Assault Trailer Here for the Nintendo 3DS. Announced during E3 (2010) Nano Assault promised to bring a game that seriously pushed the 3DS hardware in a way that no other company had before. From all intents and purposes, it does just that.
Now, there’s not much to the story when it comes to Nano Assault, basically, you’re part of a scientific team tasked with stopping the deadly Nanostray Virus from spreading, the only way to succeed in your task is to be shrunk down to a microscopic level and take the fight right to the virus itself.
That pink glob thing there, that's where you're headed.
After a short (very short) opening scene which briefly explains what the hell is going on, you are quickly thrust in to an alien world filled with viruses of all shapes and sizes, and take my word for it, none of them are happy to see you or your Nanite Ship flying around. After a brief tutorial you are quickly thrust in to action.
The game controls from an overheard type of view, you control your Nanite Ship with the circle pad and use the X, Y, B, A buttons for firing (each button shoots in a particular direction, pushing two buttons at the same time will allow you to shoot at angles).
The first thing that you’ll probably notice once you’re “injected” in to the Nanostray Virus is how amazing the world around you looks. Seriously, Shin’en games were able to pull off some amazing graphics which all run at a smooth 60FPS.
These pictures don't do any favors for this amazing looking game
If you’ve ever played either of the Super Mario Galaxy games then you’ll be right at home withNano Assault, what that means is, the “cells” that you maneuver around are typically spherical in shape, basically what you’re doing is flying your ship around the surface of these cells, trying to destroy various infections (monters) in order to “clean” the cell and remove any trace of the Nanostray Virus. See below for a picture of what I mean.
You'll be traversing around these spherical shaped cells trying to clear them of viruses
Other than the overhead view and spherical worlds, you will be tasked with piloting your Nanite Ship from a third person / on rails view as well, these levels take a bit to get used to as the 3D effect can really make your head spin especially if you use the gyroscope inside the 3DS to help control your ship. Oh yea, I guess I forgot to mention that part, if you REALLY want to fry your brain, Nano Assault allows you to use the 3DS gyroscope to maneuver through the levels. With the 3D effect cranked to the max, flying with the gyro controls on can definitely be a nauseating, but fun experience.
The game offers 32 levels of seriously challenging fun. The nice thing about Nano Assault is that it will adjust its difficulty level based on how well you are progressing though the game. If you find yourself dying a lot on a certain level, the game will recognize that and adjust itself accordingly. This is a nice feature for someone like me who loves SHMUPS but often finds myself struggling with dodging the ridiculous amount of bullets thrown my way.
Throughout the 32 levels there are a total of 10 boss battles and the game itself can be completed in 3-4 hours (main story mode), which may seem short but Shin’en has packed in enough stuff to keep you playing well in to the night.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what the game has to offer via the story mode:
32 Levels 10 Boss battles Multiple weapon upgrades
Other than the main story, Shin’en was gracious enough to throw in a “Boss Battle” mode as well as an “Arcade” mode.
The “Boss Battle” mode gives you the opportunity to fight each of the 10 bosses, back to back. With only as many lives as you’ve collected throughout your single player play-through, this can be quite the challenge, since some of the boss fights are ridiculously tough.
The “Arcade” mode of Nano Assault lets you choose to play though any of the 32 levels in whatever order you want. Each level in Arcade mode has a specific challenge with it. The challenges are all different, some will have you completing a level without using any secondary weapons, and others will ask you to reach a specific score. Trust me; it’s definitely enough to keep you playing once you’ve finished the main story.
A view of one of the Arcade Mode screens
So let’s do a quick break down here, with Nano Assault you can play through the main story, play different “boss battles” or play in the “arcade mode” while trying to reach specific goals. Not bad for a modestly priced game.
But wait! There’s more!
If the main story, boss battles and arcade mode weren’t enough, Nano Assault has also included a “Nanopedia” and Jukebox for you to play with.
The Nanopedia is basically an encyclopedia with all the various viruses and bosses from the game, here you can zoom in for a closer look at each virus as well as check out what makes each virus tick (how many points they are worth, shield rating etc).
The Jukebox is basically what it sounds like, a jukebox that allows you to play tracks from the game.
Both the Nanopedia and Jukebox use what’s called Nano Coins as currency, the more Nano Coins you have the more stuff you can “buy” and unlock. Now before you start to ho and hum about “buying” stuff in the game let me just say this, the Nano Coins are basically 3DS Play Coins which you convert in the game. Nintendo 3DS Play Coins are earned by taking your3DS out and about with you while you’re walking around. For every 100 steps you take you earn one Play Coin. I had enough Play Coins saved up to buy all the Nanopedia entries as well as Jukebox songs, all totally worth it by the way.
Oh! Speaking of the Jukebox, Nano Assault has some fantastic music. If you’re a fan of electronic music with heavy synths and thumping beats you will love playing through Nano Assault, trust me, you’ll want to get some headphones for this one to truly enjoy the awesome soundtrack.
Finally, on top of everything listed above, Nano Assault has online leader boards for those of you who love to compete with others. There really isn’t much to the leader boards; they’re pretty much how they sound. They’re just leader boards with scores for the various modes in the game.
There are dozens of different enemy types that you'll encounter throughout the game
If there’s one thing that the Nintendo 3DS could use more of it would be SHMUPS. Am I right or what? No really, am I right? Because I honestly believe that we can never have enough SHMUPS in our lives. Luckily for us Shin’en] shares this sentiment and released a fantastic shooter in Nano Assault. For the paltry asking price ($19.99 USD as of this posting, oh and that’s the “new” price, not used) you really can’t go wrong.
With a solid main story, boss battles, arcade modes, a jukebox, Nanopedia and leader boards to compare scores with others around the world, Nano Assault should be a must have for any 3DS owner looking for something with a challenge as well as something to show your friends who may think that the 3DS can’t deliver high quality graphics.
I hope you have enjoyed this first installment of ChillyBilly’s Hidden Gems and if you pick up Nano Assault I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.