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Captain of the Zanarkand Abes's blog

Will New Super Mario Bros. 2 become the third black sheep?
2:03 PM on 08.25.2012
I'm Really Digging Mole Mania!
7:33 PM on 08.14.2012
Here it is - My Top 10 Favorite Sonic Characters
9:49 PM on 07.28.2012
Rumor: Nintendo negotiating with Microsoft over ownership of Banjo Kazooie
9:31 PM on 07.22.2012
Why toddler murder is A-Ok!
11:38 PM on 06.25.2012
Treating Metal Gear
6:25 PM on 02.29.2012





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Community Discussion: Blog by Captain of the Zanarkand Abes | Captain of the Zanarkand Abes's ProfileDestructoid
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My Top 10 Favorite Games of All Time:

1) Paper Mario & Paper Mario: TTYD
2) Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
3) Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
4) Super Mario World
5) Sonic The Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles
6) Pokemon Soul Silver
7) The Simpson's Hit & Run
8) Jet Set Radio
9) The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
10) Every Fucking Gradius Game

Special Mention: Mega Man 10
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The way I see it, people usually welcome a new Mario game with open arms, no questions asked. they play it, they love it, and they continue to play it as much as they want. But sometimes for whatever reason, people will begin attacking a new Mario game that plays different from the rest of the games. The two notable examples of this are Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario Sunshine. In my opinion, those two games are really fun and are easily make it in my top 10 Mario games. But again, despite the fact that critics loved the 2 games and have sold well enough, the gaming community (AKA the internet) would not care, or even worse openly hate the game. With New Super Mario Bros. 2 out, people are already questioning the game, but this time people are criticizing how similar it is to the other games over how it is different. Before the game is out, people begin to wonder whether or not the Mario series is becoming stale.



First things first, I was quite surprised how fun and addictive NSMB2 was, the coin collecting gimmick was pretty damn fun and I feel as though there's a lot more going on with the level design in this game compared to its "new" predecessors. The level design doesn't feel as empty as the other "new" games. I'm gonna be quite honest, I hated the first NSMB game for the DS, It felt bland, uninspired and insultingly easy. NSMBWii was a step in the right direction (and by step in the right direction I mean the Koopalings are back!), it was a much more rounded game with very fun multiplayer and a better difficulty. Now with NSMB2 I think it was yet another step in the right direction believe it or not. For starters it's about time we had a flying power up again, getting your P meter up to speed rewards you with flight and secret areas filled with rewards. The Mega Mushroom is used the right way as a really rare item to help you increase your score and giving you many more coins along the way, you never feel cheap using it. The level design doesn't feel as empty as the other "new" games and there's much more obstacles and alternate paths to take. Other than that the only criticisms I have is that the music is a copy and paste of NSMBWii and the difficulty took a drop this time around. also the coin collecting gimmick isn't fleshed out fully enough, You can easily clear the game without going coin crazy. maybe there should be a toll on the map like how many coins are needed to advance to the next level or have item houses that act as shops so you can buy the items you want. Instead of it being a game where there's coin collecting, how about a game where it's ALL ABOUT coin collecting.



I consider NSMB2 the best of the "new" series despite it's title being very contradictory. But I don't think that's how the game is gonna go down. I think people will instantly call the game out for it not being as "innovative" as others. The NSMB series has never been innovating to begin with. The only thing that was close was the simultaneous 4 player in NSMBWii. I think in the future NSMB2 will become the third black sheep in the series, the other two being Super Mario Bros 2 and Super Mario Sunshine (Why is it always the twos!). Super Mario Bros. 2 is a black sheep because it was originally supposed to be another game, "Doki Doki Panic" and for having different game play elements. There's also a Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2 that has very hard levels and plays more like a traditional Mario game.

Then you got Super Mario Sunshine introducing the water pack, FLUDD. FLUDD gives a new twist to the game allowing Mario to pull off new jumping tricks and it allows him to hover. Super Mario Sunshine is also the only Mario game to attempt full on voice acting, which sounded awkward (plus how can you hate a game that has yoshi's you can ride on). NSMB2 may not be as loved as much either. It may be doing well in review scores and sales, but I think it's reputation will live up to standards lower than what it was meant to be. People will call it out for being unoriginal and tiresome. I just don't get why it takes only two Mario games in 1 year for people to call the series out for being stale or going old, because I don't think it's stale. It's still providing a lot of very fun and imaginative game play, and New Super Mario Bros. 2 is proof of that.








A year and a half has gone buy since I purchased my 3DS at launch. After all this time playing all my ambassador games, I thought it'd be a good idea to Finally get eshop points. After wasting them already on the Mario Land Trilogy, I pondered on what to get next and frankly, not a lot of the games peaked my interest aside from DK94' which I already own. Then it hit me - Mole Mania![b]



Never hearing of or playing the game ever, I thought that it'd be worth the purchase. My eyes were glued to the screen as I cleared each world very quickly, awaiting more puzzle based challenging goodness. The game was worked on by Shigeru Miyamoto for the Gameboy. It was about a Mole named Muddy Mole who has to traverse across elaborate puzzle worlds to rescue his wife and kids from an evil farmer named Jinbe. Although there are very few cut scenes in the game, I find them quite funny, sometimes laughing out loud, from how the main villain kidnaps the family to how Muddy reunites with one of his kids.



the game is so much fun to play, pretty much you have to grab objects like a big black ball and somehow roll them over towards the gate to the next screen. You have to use your digging skills to solve each puzzle. It sounds easy, but it really isn't. Your very much restricted in how you move any object in the game. If an object's against the wall, you can't push from the other side. enemies can be a hindrance because of how they are placed in the game, so it's important to take out as many enemies as possible. Also different objects can only be moved in certain ways, you can push weights but you cant pull them, same applies to pipes, which can change the direction of where the black ball is moving. Something that screws me over the most is moving barrels, if put into holes, they can block your path underground sometimes separating me and where I need to go. You can also roll cabbages and place them into holes, rolling 5 cabbages into holes can give you a heart piece, which I feel is kind of pointless because there are healing areas in the game that can fully heal you. Regardless rolling in all the cabbages is required for getting 100 points.



One thing I really appreciate in the game is how fast you learn the controls, putting many video game tutorials to shame. You just look at all the quick explanations of the basic controls in sign posts that are all put in the first area of the game. Another thing I love is the catchy 8 bit tunes that go along with the game. It never gets too repetitive or boring.That's really all there is to say about the game. it's pretty damn good and worth your time and money. It's a virtual console game that should be getting a lot more attention. If anything It made me want Muddy Mole to be in the next Smash Bros. or get a sequel. Mole Mania gets a definite thumbs up from me.









Oh yes, It just happened! I feel like I'm playing with fire with this list. Sonic characters whether you like them or not are one of the many factors as to why sonic fell from grace. many gamers thought they were either annoying, useless, or downright boring to play as. Many of which do nothing but stand in the background with there annoying voices looking as though there all high and mighty and important and shit. I'm gonna name some characters that I actually do like though, many of the choices and placements you'll find odd. Dive on in on a somewhat controversial list...

#10 Silver The Hedgehog

Lower those pitch forks and torches, like you I used to hate this character with a burning passion and just looking at him made me sick debuting in the godawful Sonic 06 game. That annoying voice, how he felt like a pussified shadow clone, being in Sonic 06. But why do I like him now. Sonic Generations is the answer. First things first, He has a new Voice actor that makes him sound better. the other thing is his boss battle, of all his rival battles, he has the funnest one, he flies, throws junkyard shit at you and when you beat him up he gets run over by that giant ball of garbage (sorry for the spoiler). Of course that doesnt fully forgive him for still feeling useless but its a good start.

#9 Knuckles The Echidna

Heres a character that alot of people seem to like, a treasure hunting, powerful, friend/rival to sonic, with an important role to boot. debuting in Sonic The Hedgehog 3, Knuckles is the guardian of the master emerald and is a very fun ally/rival to sonic being the polar opposite of him in every single way. Now I know what your thinking, why the hells he very low on the list, for reasons that's why. I feel as though such a promising character like him is also filled with flaws, first off, Why is he such a dumbass, I can understand being tricked by eggman being an honest mistake but on a multiple amount of times, good lord, just look at eggmans face, he just screams untrusting. another thing is his 3D outings, Treasure hunting sounds like fun, but it is presented in a very boring and repetitive manner it makes me groan every time I enter his levels, why is he trusted to be the guardian of the master emerald anyway? Despite the flaws he was my first favorite sonic character and still holds a special place in the sonic verse, also Knuckles wore an Indiana Jones hat at one point so that officially makes him a badass. ONWARD TO THE NEXT CONTROVERSIAL CHARACTER PLACEMENT!

#8 Vector The Crocodile

Yes! Vector The Crocodile/Alligator/Whatever Fuck You! This character is Filled with pure concentrated genius, an alligator wearing headphones, chain necklace and a highly annoying voice. He debuted in the 32X game, Knuckles Chaotix. He is a leader of a detective agency that doesn't do jack squat and is money obsessed. Why do I like him, There is no good reason, there's something beautifully trollish about this character, Come to think of it, does Sonic even know this guy?

#7 Amy Rose

Amy Rose comes in 7th place, Now for the reason as to why I chose her. I like Amy because SHE GETS SHIT DONE! Debuting in Sonic CD, Amy is awesome because everywhere she goes she carries a giant hammer that she uses to kill people with, we need to see more of that hammer. In my mind she acts as an anti princess peach, Where as Mario travels so many miles to rescue Princess Peach, Amy runs after Sonic as Sonic runs in fear. in Sonic X she acts as a fucking war monger. It's reasons like these that she makes it onto my list.

#6 Perfect Chaos

This one I have no fear of putting on my list. Perfect Chaos A.K.A the greatest one time villain for the sonicverse. Chaos is a monstrous water snake that destroys shit...THAT'S IT! Chaos made it's debut in Sonic Adventure. It also provides back story to the origins of the Chaos Emeralds and the Master Emerald. Eggman being Eggman breaks this beast free from imprisonment and uses its power to take over the world and crush Sonic. Perfect Chaos - keeping it short and sweet.

#5 Tails

Tails is little helper with a heart of gold, Yet the little bastard keeps stealing dem air bubbles! Debuting in Sonic 2, Tails is like Sonic, except not only is he as fast but he can fly really fast as well, which pretty much makes him more powerful than Sonic I guess. He's a Techno genius at that too. Sonic and Tails together are like the Batman and Robin of video games,They work really well together and their relationship is still very uh, you know what I mean........wink.

#4 Shadow The Hedgehog

HHHNNNNNNNNNNNGGHHH! This guy right here is a buffet of manliness! alright, alright I remember as a kid I used to like the character of shadow because playing as him was the very first time I played a villainous role in a video game. then by middle school I acted all cynical like and said I hated him, now I like him more than ever just because of how much of a douchebag he is. I already admitted that his self entitled game is my greatest guilty pleasure of a game. all I'm saying is that a gun toting hedgehog that rides a motorcycle and mildly swears should definitely warrant a sequel (yes, I'm that much of a horrible person).

#3 Sonic The Hedgehog

AH HA! I GOT YOU! You thought he was #1, you thought wrong. I truly do believe 2 more characters deserve a higher ranking than him, but goddammit, what can I say, Sonic's awesome! He's one of the few video game characters that challenged Mario and touched his level of fun gaming quality. He's got teh attitude, he's got teh speed. He changed the world of gaming. His classic games continue to be played to this day and his recent outings are jumping back to good old quality fun. My reasons for liking Sonic are pretty much the reason why everyone else does so moving on...

#2 Doctor Eggman

Doctor Eggman/Robotnik/Whatever Fuck You! If he's #2 on sonic characters, he's probably on my top 5 villains list of all time.I can't even describe why Eggman is awesome he just is. I'll say he probably aged the best as a sonic character. Unlike most villains, He works on his own by capturing tiny animals and robotizing them and serves as a the boss of the stage in every goddamn level. I'll say the greatest example of him as a villain is near the ending of Sonic Generations, I respected him on a whole new level afterwards. What can I say, Eggmans a boss! On to My #1 Sonic Character...

PRINCESS ELISE!!!

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSS-I kid

#1 Metal Sonic

Metal Sonic takes #1...your not surprised are you? Metal is just a really damn great sonic character with so much personality (ironic considering he's a robot) But if it weren't for Sonic 4 Episode 2 and Metal, He probably wouldn't take my #1 spot, So what made him become my favorite character just because of 1 game. One thing that makes a great villain in my mind: Persistence. Eggman has it, Bowser has it, Dr wily, Ganondorf, Liquid snake, Pac Man ghosts, they all share one thing in common and it's them constantly giving there all trying to take you out even after defeat and metal sonic certainly shows it in the game. THAT is why I love Metal Sonic as a villain, and as my all time favorite sonic character. Well. I hope you have a few remaining brain cells left for enduring this list. GET OUT!

P.S yes I know Blaze The Cat is missing, good solid sonic character, apparently I like trolls over good actual characters








http://www.zeldainformer.com/news/comments/rumor-nintendo-attempting-to-negotiate-its-way-into-ownership-of-banjo-and

Ok, this rumor sounds to good to be true, but apparently and for awhile now, Nintendo is in deep talks with Microsoft over buying Rare back, mainly over the ownership of Banjo Kazooie. I cant help but feel that Nintendo would actually go out of there way to get them back. Rare is nothing but dead weight under Microsofts care (Viva Pinata looks fun though), And even though Rare is not the same as it used to be, I feel as though Nintendo would whip them into shape. A new traditional Banjo Kazooie for Wii U/3DS would do wonders. But a rumors a rumor, Can't a guy make believe dammit! What do you guys think?








Thousands, if not dozens of people have asked me this thought provoking question, well, it just is.











Hey All! In case you haven't noticed, I am a huge fan of the Metal Gear Series. Pretty much every damn thing about it is awesome to me such as the game play, characters and stories, boss battles, etc. Metal Gear has been going strong for 25 years and still not showing signs of slowing down, well maybe there are some things about the series that even I think needs to be fixed. So I shall be conducting an little analysis on some problems plaguing the franchise so here go.

1) Weak enemies



Not so bright guards have been around since the original Metal Gear, back then it was understandable, today in 2012, they still show flaws.while each game the enemy does get smarter, It still feels like they don't have human like senses. Flaws like how they can't see far and thinking it was "nothing", or hearing a loud noise yet they still cant hear it, It's really the field of vision that rubs me the wrong way with the guards in MGS. I think MGS4 was the game that came the closest to making the guards even at times have super human like senses, how they actually can see far off, hearing a little can get knocked over and they respond, that's what I want to see more of. Also one personal quip I have, If you were to tranquilize a guard and they'd wake up later, I don't think they would just get back to doing there usual thing, If I were them I'd worry about how I got knocked out and have a tranq dart in my neck. If anything they should commence something like caution mode.

2) Really lengthy Cutscenes/Dialogue



The MGS franchise is notorious for having very,very,very lengthy cutscenes. Now don't get me wrong, I love the cutscenes in the MGS games actually, the deaths of bosses in MGS, the mindfuck ending in MGS2, the confrontation with The Boss in MGS3, and the grand finale in MGS4, many of the story elements are quite charming in their own way and really memorable. But on the other hand, you've got the hour long cutscenes where you hear nothing but 1 character not shutting the fuck up and giving you very abysmal advice that a 3 year old can even understand. once again MGS4 does something right by having the codec conversations be done during game play (ironically the one MGS game where the codec is useless yet looks it's best). You also got Miller in Peace Walker for as bad ass as he is he cannot shut the hell up. tutorial this and Fulton recovery that. theres always one character in each game that sucks up a good amount of time like rose from mgs2 or meryl from mgs4. I dunno but now that the mgs story is kind of finished I hope to see less cutscenes and dumb advice in the future and only get straight to the important parts.

3)Clunky Controls



This one I'm kind of light on but I can sometimes see as problem. MGS games can have hard times trying to get the controls for each console/handheld down. The is popping up more with it's more recent outings like Peace Walker and Snake Eater 3D.You just need that second analog to maintain your camera and use the real buttons for much more comfortable playing instead of relying on a dpad (especially when the dpad and analog is on the same side of the handheld). It's also kind of hard to play the twin snakes on a nintendo gamecube controller with that awkward Z button and having to press the pause and A button at the same time just to use the codec. But I think this is a problem that can overcome itself now that 3DS and Vita are getting 2 analog sticks. (especially when the 2nd analog comes to the inevitable 3DS rerelease).

4) Over Reliance on Camouflage/Lack of Traditional Stealth



Now When I first saw the camouflage system introduced in MGS3 go to use for the first time, I was excited, I loved the idea of blending in with the environment. MGS4 took it a step further by making the Octocamo do automatic camouflage without the need to change camo. I'd go as far as to say the Octocamo was THE main feature in the game and the single greatest gaming design idea in a long time. But something was missing. What about sneaking the old fashion way? Traditional stealth required more strategy and thinking like hiding behind a crate or under a truck, hanging off a ledge or making noise to draw attention. Maybe go back to disguising yourself as an enemy soldier. Hell the cardboard box is pretty much useless now that you've got camouflage. I think there needs to be more situations that revolve quick thinking and not require that you use camouflage to practically turn invisible to the naked eye. One more thing, wouldn't it be more realistic if you change camouflage during times where it's safe instead of manually doing it during an alert phase or a firefight?

5) Overpowered CQC (Close Quarters Combat)



Along with the Camouflage system debuted the CQC system. CQC is an easier way of disarming an enemy soldier. you can interrogate them, choke them, slit their throats,flip them over, search them for items, use as hostages during alert phases. CQC I am A Okay with. But then CQC was starting to become too overpowered to the point when you play Peace Walker you can practically flip over every guard nearby no matter how many there are and instantly KO them. a simple solution, just downplay the CQC in future games.

6) Make a new Story Arc/Reimagining



As you know by now, the MGS Saga has kinda concluded with MGS4. The Main Villain is dead, the Patriots are overthrown, all questions have been answered and a LOT of people have died (okay, okay not a LOT). So.....why are we still in this story arc. I know Peace Walker and maybe Revengaence could be used to fill in a few cracks but Why don't we just start anew? If things were my way, I would either take the series into the far off future where machines rule and new characters and new story elements are put to use or I would do a Re imagining where I would use some of the same characters and themes and put them into a new universe like snake, Big Boss and Ocelot. It seems like we dwindled in this story arc for to long, the only thing left to expect would be MSX remakes.

So those were my 2 cents on how I would treat the franchises problems. But just to note, some of theses are really just nitpicks, nothing game breaking or anything. So, how would you do things differently, do you agree/disagree with my choices?