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9:07 PM on 05.11.2011  

Happy's Flea Market

Between planning my Sonic vs Mario birthday party, receiving awesome blog headers (thanks falsenipple!) deciding on if I should get bangs or not, interviewing with Google, and working my ass of in general at work, I’ve paused on my daily interaction with the ‘toid.

In particular, I’ve had an itch to post a blog and now I’m finally able to scratch.

Honestly I don’t have any kind of topic or thoughts about a particular game. Rather, I’d like to share with you my adventures at Happy’s Flea Market down in southern Virginia. I visited some friends down in Roanoke a few weeks back (no, not the lost colony…the city) and while I was there came across a huge sign that said HAPPY'S FLEA MARKET – 2 MILES. I couldn’t pass this up.

I don’t know if it’s the Walmart-esque smiley face or the missing “p” that scares me more

This place was filled with the most delightful people. I mean that in a both sarcastic and completely honest sense. On one hand there were creepy white boys giving me the southern glare, and on the other hand I had some great conversations with genuinely cheery people. It was a unique experience to say the least.

Anyway, the picture above does not do this place justice. It’s insanely HUGE on the inside. As in, I-got-lost-in-a-hallway-with-broken-lights-and-spiders-and-thought-I-was-in-the-Haunted-Mansion huge.

Eventually my sixth gaming sense lead me to an electronics store full of older games. I saw a case full of N64 games and my heart leapt at the thought that the owner may just be dumb enough to not double check the rarity on ebay. Sadly, I was wrong.

The good case: $25-$40 each :[

The crap case: ½ off (forever)

So I moved onto the SNES games, thinking that maybe I’d be in luck and find myself a Chrono Trigger or an Earthbound. Again, no luck.

There were 5 more rows of games labeled at $19.14, which left me with so many questions. Why all the same price? Why not .15 cents? WHY HAPPY, WHY?!

However, I did find a pretty sweet Poison cassette tape!

I'm having a lot of trouble trying to figure out which one is Bret Michaels

I moved onto other stores, each one worse as I walked deeper into the market. I eventually got to a toy shop with old action figures from my childhood and reminisced for a few minutes. Until I saw this thing:


I seriously considered buying it so I could send it to Occams because…well…it was creepy and reminded me of him, but I couldn’t bear to pick it up. So he sits there lonely and without batteries, for eternity I suppose.

Unless one of YOU wants to take a trip to Happy’s Flea Market.

I dare you.   read

9:42 AM on 04.21.2011  

Co-op Virginity

Before I begin, I just want to thank everyone at Destructoid who wished me, Supermonk, and Jesse luck in the Kmart E3 contest. Sadly none of us won -- my thoughts are here if anyone is interested.

Recently I was talking with my co-op buddy about Portal 2. I wish I had saved the transcript because it was pretty interesting, but essentially we ended up having a conversation much like being in a relationship...but with video games.

He asked which platform I bought Portal 2 for, and when I told him that in addition to Steam I got it for PS3 he recoiled -- he was never a big fan of the PS3. When I explained that the PS3 copy was for co-op I could picture his face drop through the chat window. “Why with someone else?” he essentially said. “We’re co-op buddies…right?”

I elaborated and said that because Ed (my boyfriend) and I share almost everything, including a Steam account, that we needed to consider another co-op option for Portal 2 and the PS3 fit the bill. He immediately brightened up and e-breathed a sigh of relief. “Oh, your boyfriend, I was worried it was someone else,” as if I were cheating on him with another co-op partner. He wanted to save his Portal 2 co-op virginity for me, and made me promise that I’d do the same for him – that after Ed I would "save" myself for him.

The concept of co-op virginity has never really popped into my head before. I’m familiar with “saving” myself for other means of entertainment, like promising a friend that I’ll go see a specific movie with them – but I’ve never really thought too hard about first time experiences with co-op games.

To be honest, I have had really bad first experiences with some co-op games. One of my friends took it too fast – he had been extremely experienced with the game before I met him, and I was all bright eyed and bushy-tailed wanting to soak everything in. He sped through as I was trying to read the background materials, get a feel for the characters, and understand the plot. It eventually got to the point where we had to stop playing – he was tired of waiting on me, and I was sick of him pushing me.

Then again, I’ve had some great first co-op experiences, especially when the other person is a “virgin” as well. And with some of my friends, it feels natural to play co-op with them even if it’s not their first time. Sometimes it’s worth waiting for the right partner before you play the game.

I think it’s funny that my happiness with a co-op game rides completely on the experiences and personalities of those I’m playing with. It is in fact a relationship of its own – there’s jealousy when the other person is playing with someone else instead of you, there’s longing with they’re busy with another game, and there’s happiness when you accomplish something together.

A good co-op game will provide entertainment; a fantastic co-op game will give you a relationship.


2:00 PM on 03.28.2011  

E3, Cait Style

This year Kmart is bringing three gaming bloggers with them to E3. I want to be one of those people.

I’ve been a gamer my entire life. I started with my parents teaching me how to hold a joystick for the Atari. From there I grew -- I would sneak onto the computer and play my dad's PC games like Wolfenstein 3D and Duke Nukem (shake it, baby). After receiving a Nintendo one Christmas I wanted nothing more than to have the latest consoles, and when I wasn't gaming I'd spend all my time discussing games with my friends. Playing video games isn't just a hobby for me; it's always been a lifestyle and one that I hold dear.

Lil’ Cait! (all the cool kids got Game Gears for Christmas ;] )

In college I took my life’s passion for playing video games and finally started to write about them with a linguistics study on gaming terminology and moved on to a 40 page undergraduate thesis about the art and aesthetic within video games. I dedicated my senior year assisting a professor with video game research in my university’s media lab. But I didn’t want to stop there, after I secured a full time job I began to dedicate my free time to writing for Gamelemon. Eventually I moved on to create my own site, C8-bit, but wanting to interact more with the gamer community I started a blog here on Destructoid. I realized that for me, writing was more important as a tool used to interact with the community rather than to gain an audience.

I did this because I'm a big people-person. My profession is recruiting, and I love it wholeheartedly. I talk with programmers every day to get a feel for what their interests are and align them to the right place. I feel that this skill would be extremely helpful if I go to E3 -- speaking with developers and interacting in a way that I feel most comfortable.

It's more than a dream for me to go to E3. It would be a goal I've had for years to interact with the gamer community up close and personal; to be on the front lines instead of the back end. I’d particularly be interested in what’s coming for gamers like me – those who enjoy console as well as PC gaming. Is the market going to continue to shift towards multiplayer, or will there be a safe haven for those who enjoy solo play? Will there be any new “true” RPGS or are they dying out? Is motion gaming here to stay or a novelty? Is it time for a new generation of consoles?

There are a lot of specific things I want to find out, too. I'm hopeful to hear mentions of GTA5, Fable IV, or the latest buzz on Fiv5. I’m also interested in seeing more of The Last Guardian, Skyward Sword, and Silent Hill: Downpour. I’d like to see where Blizzard is at with Diablo 3 and if they’re going to surprise us with their next-gen MMO (World of Diablo, anyone? Anyone?!). What kind of content is Bioware developing for Dragon Age 2, and what updates are coming for SWTOR? How is their progression with Mass Effect 3 coming along?

Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear

It would be a blast to go to E3 with Kmart. I’ve seen bits and pieces about what Kmart has been doing in the market, and I think it would be up my alley to represent them at E3. I like that they’re not just setting up deals – they’re implementing something that a lot of their competitors haven’t thought of yet. They’re creating a community for gamers to post their opinions, peer reviews, and have the chance to be a part of the scene as a whole. And I totally dig that.

I know I have the personality, aptitude, interest, and ambition for this opportunity. So, my fellow Destructoid peeps, wish me luck and (hopefully) I’ll be able to provide you some E3 coverage, Cait style!


4:10 PM on 03.11.2011  

Braid Breakup

When I start up a game for the first time I get all giddy inside, but sometimes the feeling lasts for only an hour or two. Shortly after, I begin to act like a total curmudgeon – for every likable aspect, I end up smothering it with twice the amount of negativity. My relationship with Braid fits this mold.

It started out beautiful. The music was delightful – in fact it was so charming that I’d let it run in the background while I was online. The art style was amazing and I often found myself staring at the detailed scenes before attempting to solve the puzzles. I thought it was neat how I could rewind time and erase my mistakes with ease. I adored the tiny suited man you play, Tim, and his story…at first.

After the first chapter my feelings began to change. I started noticing tiny flaws, which in turn grew into huge complaints. Instead of charming, the story turned convoluted and pretentious. I became sick of staring at Tim’s stupid smirk. Rewinding time became less of a novelty and more of a pain. I wanted to smack that dinosaur silly every time he stepped out of that castle and told me the princess was nowhere to be found.

The puzzles were getting harder, but not the kind of challenge I look forward to in puzzle games. Rather, they depended on my ability to understand how to manipulate the world around me and not my ability to use the specific skill at the time. I often had to seek advice from outside sources, and it eventually got to the point where I couldn’t complete a puzzle without receiving help first.

I felt like I had no choice but to abandon Braid.

Braid’s story focuses on Tim’s relationship with a princess as he struggles with what he did to her, and how he compromised his morals in the process. As I was going through the push and pull of Tim’s story, I found myself playing tug of war with my relationship with Braid -- and I eventually had to give up my end of the rope. Unfortunately I won’t ever know what happened to Tim or his princess, or even if he felt at peace with his decisions in the end. And part of me doesn’t care.

But I don’t want to adopt this attitude with the rest of my games – I want the giddiness to last, or at least the satisfaction to continue. Perhaps I need to be less critical and enjoy the good rather than let the frustration get to me. Maybe it’s time to reconcile and give Braid another chance.   read

9:25 AM on 02.22.2011  

Alan Wake (Bacon is Better)

The other day I remembered that I had Alan Wake hidden somewhere in the nethers of my incomplete game pile. It’s kind of silly that I took so long to pick it up again, because once I put the game in it only took another 5 minutes to beat (I had stopped playing right before that evil tornado bullshit). So now, I can breathe a sigh of relief and can finally put my thoughts on e-paper.

Let’s begin with the good.

I’m not sure if this makes any sense, but the story was interesting despite the plot being a bit convoluted. For example I enjoyed playing as Wake pre-Bright Falls in his apartment, listening to the radio show, reading the manuscript pages (although they were pretty horribly written), etc. It provided for a nice atmosphere.

I also liked how the game mirrored pop culture icons -- I think the shining achievement was the Night Springs TV show in the game (which of course pays tribute to the Twilight Zone).

“Quantum Suicide”

There were also a few startling moments that got to me – the trailer that gets picked up while you’re inside and you have to escape, a Taken storming out of a bathroom stall, bulldozer of death, etc. But they were few far in between to make the game thrilling for me. That brings me to…

The bad and the ugly

Trees. I used to love trees. But I don’t think I like them so much anymore. In fact, I’m thinking about burning down some forests in Minecraft to wipe my head clean of forests. I think there was a grand total of one chapter where you didn’t have to walk through a forest. It was a farm surrounded by trees.

The flashlight idea. At first, I thought it was cool and added a neat aspect to a game that I haven’t seen before. But after killing the 300th Taken I wanted to throw the effing thing over a mountain. It got so repetitive, so boring that I started running past the Taken just so I didn’t have to deal with it anymore.

The plot. I’m not going to spoiler anything here, but to me it seemed like they tried too hard to make something out of nothing. I mean I got it, I understood what it was going for, but it set the audience up for something that wasn’t there. I thought that maybe the DLC would cover the missing piece (which, in my opinion, is not what DLC should be used for), but when I read about it, it seemed to be a continuation of the same bullshit. Anyone who has played through the DLC please tell me if you found otherwise.

So in summary, if someone offered me a copy of Alan Wake or a fresh plate of hot crispy bacon, I’d go for the latter.   read

8:25 AM on 02.11.2011  

Lego RB Rocks Your Minifigs Off

Nothing beats drinking an entire bottle of wine and playing Lego Rock Band.

Last night was the first night this week that I didn't have to work late, and in which I had the chance to work from home the next morning -- so I took the drunken Rock Band route. And it was fantastic. (Although on a side note I did end up having nightmares last night about possessing cocaine...)

I haven't had the chance to pick up RB3 yet -- I'm still working through Lego and Beatles (although that seemed to drop off the edge of the planet) and even a bit of RB2 honestly. But I have to say -- Lego, despite some its really shitastic songs, is my favorite. The overall game features are easy to use, the avenues are neat, cut scenes are delightful, and MINIFIGS!

I love the octopus at 1:30 -- I was so hoping that he'd be our drummer but apparently there are no octopi allowed (this rule bites you in the ass later ;] )

Okay so I admit -- I've been drinking every time I play LRB. But that doesn't change the fact that it's a pretty adorable game that brings a feeling of nostalgia as well as some hilarity mixed in. I got it on the cheap during some goldbox deal on Amazon, and I think it's only like $15 bucks now. You can export the songs to any of the regular RB games, and vice versa into LRB -- although it will only import the family-friendly songs from RB which kinda blows. Regardless I think it's worth the $ if you're into Legos or just want to build up your tracks in RB. Rock on!

[embed]193795:36062[/embed]   read

2:55 PM on 01.27.2011  

Monday Night Combat

I’m going off to a far away land tomorrow. I had hoped by now I’d be finished with Alan Wake but I can’t trudge through it fast enough so that review will have to come at another time :]

Instead I’m going to talk about how effing badass Monday Night Combat is. It’s been out on XBLA for a while now and was just recently released for Steam. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, think Team Fortress 2 but a lot more fun and not as “hardcore”.

There’s a red team (the Hotshots), a blue team (the Icemen), and Bullseye the mascot.

Hit him up for monies, but do not try to take him out with a special move (unless you have a death wish).

Each team has a “Moneyball”. The goal is to take down the other team’s Moneyball by getting your robots into their base.

I personally like to refer to the Bouncers as “gorilla fuckfaces”

Your team’s robots spawn normally from an enclosed area in your base, unless the following happen:
1. It’s OVERTIME, and then both teams start spawning crazy shit like multiple Jackbots
2. You or your teammates manually spawn robots (for a cost -- $100)
3. Your Moneyball is down, and your robots spawn weaker

You want to avoid option #3 as much as possible, obviously. So how is this done?

Let’s start from the beginning. When starting a Crossfire match (playing against others online), you have a choice of 6 classes.

I prefer the assassin – she’s hot, quick, and fun to play (just like your mom!)

Gunners are the Tanks – they’re super powerful and have lots of health, but are very slow moving and huge so they make for easy targets. Tanks are also the…Tanks…but with fire. To be entirely honest, I confuse these two classes all the time and generally call the Gunners “Tanks” and the Tanks “Turtles”. The most important thing is that they’re both strong and can kick a ton of ass.

Assaults (or “Mr Perfect” as my friend likes to call them) are literally a class crafted by the gods – they have it all. You want firepower? You got it. You want to be able to move quickly and fly to avoid nearly any type of attack? No problem. If you basically want to look good while putting forth very little effort, you want to play Assault. Now if you want to be an asshole (or “Child Rapist” as that same friend calls them), you want Snipers. Snipers don’t actually do much real work in the game – their sole existence is to piss everyone else off enough to rage quit. However if you get good enough as a Sniper, you can actually tilt an entire game in your favor. But you have to be willing to live with the fact that you rape children for a living. ;]

Supports are the backbone of the game. They’re like the engineers of the board – they can hack into turrets, create their own turret anywhere on the board that heals (a “Firebase”), and spawn cooler bots than any other class. Oh, and they also heal everyone’s asses. They’re my other favorite class, second to Assassins. Assassins cloak and sneak around to surprise players with a huge knife in their head. They’re also really good at taking out the biggest bot – Jackbot XL.

Now that I’ve given you a rundown of the classes, let me describe those turret things I mentioned earlier. The thing that differentiates MNC from other lethal sports of the future are the turrets and robots. Robot’s jobs are simple – they spawn and attack anything in their path to the other team’s Moneyball. If there’s nothing in their path, they start attacking the ball and it drops (lawl). The only things in their path would be players, other robots, or turrets. All of the maps start each team out with a few turrets on each side of the Moneyball, however it is up to the rest of the team to build up the turrets in the base.

This is what happens when you fail to build and upgrade turrets

There are four different kinds of turrets, and honestly I have no idea what each of them does. I know one of them is for killing, one for slowing…and two more for killing? In my opinion, it’s best to leave the turret building to more experienced players (especially Supports as they’re the only ones who can hack and heal turrets) and focus on the upgrading.

You can upgrade the turrets in your base by getting money. You get money from hitting Bullseye, assisting with a kill, destroying robots and turrets, or just plain killing another player. In addition to upgrading turrets you use money to upgrade your skills (each class has 4 skills with three levels each), using the Annihilator, and buying juice.

She's drinking Spunky Cola…but you get the idea

Juice is what happens when you hit players/bots/the Moneyball enough times to build up that little pink bar at the bottom of the screen. Or alternatively, you can buy Juice for the low low price of $500! When you’re juiced, you regain all lost health, become Hulk-like, and smack the crap out of anything around you. It’s a good opportunity to take out most of the turrets in the other team’s base or just be a plain asshole and kill everyone.

The Annihilator is an extremely useful weapon on every map that can only be used once every 3 minutes or so. It’s generally in the dead center of the map and hard to get to – usually requires Mr Perfect’s jetpack or an activated launch pad. And it’s $250. But it is so worth it – it destroys every enemy bot on the screen (except for Jackbots) and damages players on the opposite team. Take it before anyone else does!

My Starbucks buzz is wearing off, so this ends my MNC explanation (reminder to self: never write after drinking 20 ounces of sugary fake coffee product).

My 360 is pretty much now an exclusive MNC playing machine, so if anyone here wants to play sometime shoot me a PM!   read

10:12 AM on 01.21.2011  

Sega Saturn and the Rolling Starts

Sounds like a good band name, no?

I’ve been meaning to post about this for like two weeks now but I got caught up creating my SWEET ASS Earthbound Sonnet for meteorscrap’s contest. Go check it out and enter if you haven’t already, a replica Master Sword is on the line here people!

Anyway, all this Sega Saturn talk over the past couple of weeks have made me want to relive my childhood -- but I’m too lazy to drag that shiz out and hook it up so I dug up some of my favorite game clips on youtube. I hope you all will enjoy them as much as I have :]




Oh em gee, when I watch this I get flashbacks to my nine year old self bouncing up and down on the floor singing with the AHHHHHHHs and getting my ass kicked by the AI. I couldn’t advance to the other stages but man I rocked that beginner level good and hard. I also have fond memories of creating my own mirror stages by driving backwards on the track :D

Does anyone have memories of playing this little gem?


Just soak in that awesome intro music – I’m not sure why, but Saturn games seemed to be chock full of slow jams on the menu screen. Most of my memories from this game revolve around the second level where you have to shoot at doors to escape the rabid dogs that eat your face off. I was too young and stupid to realize that I had to follow a door pattern to find the exit – so I don’t think I ever got past it. But it was fun to play in any case. I remember playing with my brother -- we used to make Scud and his sidekick dance to the music in the first level (up down up down woot woot!). I don’t think I appreciated this game enough as a kid.

Now for game I think I truly appreciated, even as a child. I am eternally grateful to my mother for not only gifting us the Saturn Christmas 1995 but also for buying us what is now one of my top 5 favorite games of all time: NiGHTS Into Dreams.


The music…ohhhh the music! I often blast the soundtrack to this game on my way to work on rainy days to keep myself in good spirits. I never realized this as a kid, but apparently you can breed the little Nightopians (Chao) at the bottom of the levels. I kind of want to break out the system just to try it.

Another game with great, interesting music was Darius Gaiden. It was totally weird, even for me as a 9 year old, but I loved shooting up flying robot fish while jamming to some freaky Japanese tunes.


Just look at how awesome that giant fish is at the end! AND THAT’S JUST THE FIRST LEVEL! They get stranger if you can believe it. Every time I enter a room I kind of want to screech “OOOOOOEEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” to imitate the level warping sound.

Clockwork Knight was also kind of freaky, but in a kiddy “zomg my toys have come to life and they’re attacking each other” kind of way.


This game was actually really creative for its time – I’d really enjoy playing a remake nowadays for the Wii or something. Funny enough, I don’t have any specific memories about this game. I don't even remember what the hell you were supposed to accomplish. I just remember it being a ton of fun.

Bug! was also enjoyable, especially for my immature nine year old self.


BUUUUUG JUUUUICE! I never really understood the plot of this game – you never really pay attention to those details as a kid (at least, I never did). I think he’s acting in a bug movie or something. Someone enlighten me on this. Anyway, that strange 3D level thing was also a telltale sign of a Saturn game – who could forget this niche Sonic game?


I seem to remember people hating on this game long ago, but I always thought it was really unique and interesting. I’d actually like to play through it as an adult, now that I (hopefully) have better reflexes. The 3D bonus chaos levels were super rad btw – much like Sonic 2’s but on crack.

There are so many more games I want to mention, but I feel I’ve shared enough, so here’s one last memory I want to share:


Batman Forever! I found out much later in college that this was also a pretty popular stand alone arcade game as well. In fact, my college had a contest going where they'd give away the Batman Forever arcade cab to the person who had the highest score. I totally thought I had it in the bag, until I realized I didn’t gain any actual skills from this game growing up...I at least had a blast beating the crap outta bad guys with my brother.

That’s it for now, folks. GAME OVER!   read

9:11 AM on 01.12.2011  

How I learned to stop worrying and love the Fable

There’s so much I want to talk about (like my recent addiction to Monday Night Combat) but I just beat Fable III and I feel an urge to complete the review that I started on c8-bit back when I first began playing. Spoilers galore downstairs so watch your step!

So, I’ll start off with continuing the good.

Orphans. There’s nothing more satisfying than buying out the entire orphanage, evicting the old bitties in Millfield, and replacing them with future criminals (thank you, Deathspank!).

The plot wasn’t terrible. It was predictable, it seemed rushed towards the end, but it was coherent and it didn’t suck. Also, I thought it was neato how the city changed during the rebellion and the darkness – it added something a little unique (for once).

I already mentioned this in my prior review, but words cannot express how happy I am that my character is a hot piece of ass and not some deformed gorilla.

Now for the bad and the ugly.

I’m not a historian by any means but the time line of this game makes absolutely no sense. Fable II took place in a medieval, maybe renaissance era at best. So I'm pretty curious how Albion managed to get to the industrial era a mere 50 years later. Also, since when do landscapes and buildings completely morph after a half a century of time has passed? It seriously looks like Fable III takes place 200+ years after Fable II, but whatever.

I already talked about the slap-in-the-face dumbed down weapon/magic system in my prior review, so I won’t rant here. But that won’t stop me from complaining about the lack of swords early on in the game. For some reason the game offers a bazillion hammers and virtually no swords save for a few crappy ones. The lack of customization is bad enough, and now I have to swing this heavy ass hammer throughout most of the game? Approximately 30 minutes before I finished the game I finally found decent sword that didn’t require me to kill villagers or do other evil tasks to boost its stats.

The money in this game drove me nuts, as it did in the last one. Yet again it’s INSANELY EASY to gain a ton of cash as long as you invest in real estate and shops. I bought out the entire map well before the rebellion, AND made it 0 rent for most of my properties (low on the rest), AND still managed to have over 6.5mil way before the deadline, which I think may have cut my game short (it went from day 291 to 1). So I probably missed out on some extra gameplay and those silly royal choices (which to be fair, were actually kind of fun). Speaking of making royal decisions…

WHY THE HELL IS REAVER STILL ALIVE? I’m queen, he’s a total asshole who tried to kill me, yet he sits in front of me for the last half of the game and has the balls to tell me what to do?! And I’m totally confused where he came from – is he the original Reaver? A descendant? A random person? Who knows!

And last but not least, my personal girly issues. Why does the game assume that you played a king in Fable II? Couldn’t it have simply read my save game? Or maybe it did, saw my hideous manly female character, and assumed it was a dude. Hm, I doubt it -- I forgot that Fable strives to be mediocre in every way. Also, I love how when I hug my orphan girl, my character calls her a "precious boy". Were they too lazy to record an alternate line where she says “girl” or is it just another glitch? And, most importantly, WHY CAN'T I MARRY BEN FINN?!

:deep breath:

Despite all of my complaints about Fable III, I enjoyed it and that's enough for me. I love it even though it's not really the RPG (or the droids) I'm looking for, even though it's restricting in a lot of ways, even though I can't marry the man I want...I love it because I feel comfortable settling, and I think that's okay sometimes.   read

9:15 AM on 01.03.2011  

And now, for something completely different

Seems like the cupcake battle has an even distribution of chocolate vs vanilla lovers. Personally, I adore chocolate, but there's nothing like a warm vanilla cupcake with light, whipped chocolate frosting...pure, delicious heaven.

Aaaaanyway, as I mentioned in my previous post I'd like to give you all a blast from the past. I'm not going to talk about the best games of 2010 because I think it's pretty obvious who won (Prison Break: The Conspiracy -- duh). So instead, I'm going to share a list I've been compiling for quite some time but never really showed anyone except for a few friends.

About this time last year, a bunch of blogs and game related sites were talking about the top 10 games of the decade. I thought it'd be fun to make my own list, but not just a boring "top whatever" list. I wanted real categories (with strippers! and hookers!) to put games under, because, well -- don't they deserve it?

So without further ado, here is my completely biased list of games that I feel were the best of the decade (2000-2009):

Best Puzzle Game: Portal

What's not to love about this game? You've got a companion cube, the promise of cake, a kick-ass gun that allows you to hop through portals, and the world's most psychotic AI: GLaDOS. The levels are amusing, and I adore GLaDOS's crazy ramblings while I attempt to solve the puzzles. I personally think the credits song also deserves to win a category of its own (but then again I also think Jonathan Coulton deserves a Grammy of some variety).

Best Cinematography/Artistic Design: Shadow of the Colossus

I'm not even sure if it's possible for a game to have true "Cinematography", but if it is then Shadow of the Colossus would win. The overall atmosphere, lighting, feel...everything about this game takes my breath away. In fact, this game is so beautiful that sometimes I spend hours just exploring the world and riding around on my faithful steed, Agro. Nobody can deny how cool the giant colossi are -- and how sad you feel when you kill one.

Best Shoot-Em-Up Game: Resident Evil 4

Maybe I should have filed this under "Best Stress Relief EVER" because damn I love me some zombie shootin'. RE4 has it all for a shooter -- insane replay value, zombies, an interesting plot, and an annoying sidekick! I don't think any video game greeting has had quite the run as "'ello strangah!" has. Now if they could only do something about that inventory system...

Most Addicting Game: Peggle

This game is so addicting that I bought it twice (well, thrice if you count Peggle Nights). Shoot a ball, it clink clinkity clinks against colored pegs, and finally falls into a pit. I could do this forever. Peggle is like the Tetris of the 00's, you can't get enough and before you know it you see pegs floating around and your brain is looping Ode to Joy . The quirky levels, silly characters, and endlessly frustrating game play makes this the most addicting in my book.

Best Cult Game: Katamari Damacy (& Sequels)

Katamari do I even begin to praise this game and every sequel that came after it? I can't really think of anything else to say besides ROYAL RAINBOW! The soundtracks to these games are absolutely amazing. In fact, and this is going to sound ridiculous, but a third of my senior thesis in college focused on the music from this game alone. I've found that anyone who has picked this game up falls in love; even my mother even finds this game completely adorable.

Most Nostalgic Game: Neverwinter Nights

Ah, NWN...this little gem kept me up until the wee hours of the night throughout high school. For a lot of gamers it was our first in-depth exposure to the D&D world and also a great outlet for creating custom levels that you could share with other friends. The plot, character builds, and graphics were amazing for the time, and Bioware has continued using the engine for many games since (including another classic that I should have mentioned somewhere on this list: Knights of the Old Republic). I find myself crawling back to this game every couple of years or so to feed my late night RPG cravings.

Best Game Overall: Mass Effect

No contest. EDIT: Alright, here is my explanation: This game (to me) is a beautiful blend of RPG and action with a great story, lots of history, and fantastic characters. I felt like if I didn't have a controller in my hand, that I was watching some kind of epic movie. That it hit some kind of peak in my brain -- that "this is it" feeling. ME2 improved quite a bit from the original (especially the combat system) but I can't really rank that here because it came out right at the beginning of 2010.

Honorable Mention: Indigo Prophecy (Fahrenheit)

Indigo Prophecy, created by French developer Quantic Dream, is truly one of a kind. This is the first video game I played that actually made me think hard about the decisions I made, about how they would affect the other characters and what the end results would be. This definitely would have been at the top of my list if it weren't for the rushed release date, resulting in one of those horrible "what the fresh hell just happened" endings..

So, now that you've had a full year to reflect on your own personal list, are your winners still the same? Do you have any categories of your own?

And if you're yearning for some "real" top 10 lists, here are a few:

Bit Rebels
AV Club
SF Gate   read

4:33 PM on 01.01.2011  

2011, now with cupcakes!

Happy 2011 all! I had a real first blog post planned out, but for some reason it didn't save my draft (or maybe I just can't find it). Thankfully, I was smart enough for once to save it to my other laptop so I should have it out by next week sometime. It's a blast from the past that I hope you all enjoy. :]

For now I'd just like to say thank you for all of your ridiculous, funny, and warm welcomes -- and feel free to enjoy a cupcake while reading my blog. It looks delicious, no?

I'm also going to add another game to my play list on the right: Alan Wake. It was recommended to me by a chick over at Kotaku that happens to have my exact opposite taste in games. I figured it's a good time to expand my gaming horizons -- what with the new year and all. Just don't expect me to start playing Gears of War any time soon. ;]

So far it feels like diet Silent Hill, but we'll see! Anyone else have thoughts that don't involve spoilers? If you haven't played AW, please discuss the following very important topic: Vanilla cupcakes w/chocolate frosting vs Chocolate cupcakes w/vanilla frosting.

GO!   read

9:12 AM on 12.29.2010  


Alright so thank you friends I guess (seriously how did all of you look at my profile so quickly?! You guys are like some kind of awesome gamer army) for telling me how to use this blog properly :] My name is Cait, lately I've been posting on the forums as Caiters. Don't ask why I made two separate user names. I'm not entirely sure why. (EDIT: Fixed user name for optimal radness).

I've been playing games forever yada yada pretty much same story as everyone here I assume. My best friend began blogging professionally on Wow Insider and suggested that I start getting my ideas out on e-paper just as a hobby. So that's why I started

So I guess here I can get a little more personal :]

I'm 24 years old and technically a yuppie in the DC metro area -- which is definitely a huge leap for me coming out of college (I feel so grown up!). I can afford more consoles and games, but working an office job has obviously left me less time for gaming so I finish things...extremely slow.

Right now I'm in the midst of Fable III, Plants vs Zombies (best 5 bucks I've ever spent holy crap), Peggle Nights, The Secret of Monkey Island, and some various other games I need to finish like Silent Hill: Homecoming and Harvest Moon: TOT. I'm hoping to get to Psychonauts soon -- I kind of fell in love with Tim Schafer after Brutal Legend.

I'm generally into RPGs, puzzle games, silly games, etc. I'd have to say my favorites are Earthbound (SNES), NiGHTS Into Dreams (Saturn), The Neverhood (PC), Ocarina of Time (N64), the Katamari series, most of Bioware's games (the Mass Effect series, Neverwinter Nights, KOTOR...)

I'm super excited for Dragon Age II and Mass Effect 3 -- although I'm really hoping they don't tard up DA2 after everything I've been reading about.

So, that's a little about me -- feel free to ask me questions, tell me lies, the boys are in the bathroom zipping up their flies...   read

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