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3:37 PM on 02.27.2009

Retro Roadtrip: Galaga

After inserting your quarter, you’re whisked off to the first level. Floating through space amongst rainbow-coloured stars, “PLAYER 1” flashing on the screen, you feel at peace with the universe.

You don’t get much time to enjoy the tranquility, though. Almost immediately, enemy squadrons wizz into view on screen, amassing in the centre to form one large machine of death. Controlled by a hive mind mentality, they throw everything they have at you with every intention of taking you down in the most effective way possible. With enemy fire coming down like rain, you’ll weave your way through to the endgame.

To help you get there, you’re armed with what appears to be a space-aged harpoon. While the weapon is effective enough, it unfortunately lacks any sort of rapid fire. Which is fine once you get into the game; I find I can get the job down with small bursts of two or three shots, and it adds an extra level of difficulty into the mix.

Galaga offers a few interesting and inventive game mechanics that help make the experience that much more fun. The first one, entitled “Challenging Stage”, appears every three levels as you progress through the game. It consists of small enemy formations doing a singular circuit around the screen, without firing, giving you a chance to shoot all of them down and rack up some excellent bonus points. After acquiring a predetermined set of points, you are rewarded with a free life (20 000 for the first, 60 000 for the second, etc.).

The dual-fighter is the second of these mechanics. It occurs when one of the topmost enemy fighters swoops down and extends a tractor beam that, if you get caught in, hijacks your fighter. The enemy fighter then returns to its position in the formation carrying your fighter in tow and leaving you with one life less than you started with.

It’s not all bad though. If you can manage to shoot down that fighter the next time it comes down to attack, you get your fighter back; not as an extra life, though. You perform what can only be compared to the Fusions from Dragon Ball Z, resulting in you piloting both fighters simultaneously! It adds an extra objective besides getting a new highscore, increasing the replayability dramatically.

While Galaga doesn’t support multi-player online (yet!), that doesn’t inhibit playing with a friend. All it takes is a simple challenge, and the two of you will be competing with each other for the highest score via the solid solo campaign for hours.

What Galaga means to you as a gamer is completely up to you. With a story that’s open to so many personal interpretations, accompanied by such identifiable characters like Unmanned-Insect-Destroying-Spaceship-Sprite No. 1, the possibilities are endless. I strongly recommend this to any gamer, of any culture. Especially those who need yet another reason to argue that games are art.   read

9:36 AM on 11.10.2008

Publishers/Developers Make Me Hate The World

After cruising the front page this morning, I got pretty annoyed with the news that was being reported. More and more cases of developers and publishers saying, “cool ad hominem bro” to gamer complaints and common sense are popping up with shocking frequency. A lot of these slaps-in-the-face come from to ever popular DLC.

Before I go on I'd like to admit that, while I'm not necessarily against DLC, I'll probably never buy any of it.

One of the headlines reported this morning by the lovable-dick-of-a-man, Jim Sterling, detailed a rather bullshit ridiculous proposition by Michael Capps (Epic Games). In an attempt to fight the second-hand market, he suggested that we actually have to download the final boss of a game. I couldn't believe I had actually read this—what was he thinking?

The idea of potentially having to halt gameplay just to download a boss is one of the most unappealing ideas I've ever heard. What happens after that, though? Is the unlock code only good once, to prevent it being sold second-hand? Does the new information sit on my hard drive, making it impossible to bring the game to a friend's place to enjoy the action without dragging my console along with it?

If not, what's stopping me from selling the code, along with the game, second-hand?

I wonder if these publishers realize that, if you destroy the second-hand market, gamers on the scene who want to experience an older game that's not being manufactured, lose that opportunity? Do they realize that without the second-hand market, half the new gamers out there wouldn't be introduced to these games, and as such never break into the new market to buy games from them?

If something like this ever came to fruition, an impatient bastard such as myself would never play games again (ok, maybe that's a little extreme). That goes double if, like Capp suggests, people who did buy second-hand should pay a fee to download the end boss.

I'd be pretty pissed, what about you?   read

7:54 AM on 11.08.2008


That's right, folks, it's a sad day indeed. The wonderful competition that could, couldn't. Bound to the fate of its predecessor. Sad, sad, sad..

When I first announced the competition, I thought I was getting a pretty decent response. I tried to ignore all those replies saying, “I'd grow a beard if I was old enough”. Which I tried to respond with by saying, it doesn't matter! It's just fun. I also had some women say they'd enter if they were men, so for fun I made an honorable mentions list (sorry for messaging you guys, I had to follow the list, after all). That was cool, a little added fun.

Then I had people say they weren't willing to shave for the competition. I can understand that, I guess. It wasn't the worst that happened, and certainly wasn't why this competition had to be canceled. Of course I'm talking about all the people that signed up but never posted their mug in the forum. I'm not sure what's up with that, we only had two.

I'd actually like to give out a special thank you to Gregory Hall and Lurfadur! You guys are awesome and I'd like to give you a gold star or something. Maybe we can go play Mario together or something. You guys are free to continue or quit, either way I announce you guys to be the winners.

Maybe we'll have better luck next year but for now, that's all, folks.

/guilt trip   read

4:28 PM on 11.06.2008

STFUAJGB Starts Tomorrow!

The end is almost here. And by end I mean the beginning, of STFU And Just Grow Beard(s). There's less than seven hours until the fun begins, and you can still get in on the action. All you have to do is send me a private message saying you want in, and then post a picture of your freshly shaven mug in the official contest thread. It's that easy!

Speaking of the official thread, it will be posted in the forums later tonight. After that, it's pretty much entirely painless to finish the competition. You just have to make it until December 15 and then be judged harshly by your fellow Dtoid memebers for your chance to win.

Originally, when I decided to continue on with this competition, I was too much of a cheap bastard to offer any prizes–and I still am–but now you have a chance to win a badge made by our very own Gregory Hall! That, along with some epic bragging rights, is pretty sweet.

So that's pretty much it: just watch for the thread to open, shave up, post a picture, and win. Easy.   read

10:40 AM on 11.03.2008

STFUAJGB Eligible Entrants List

So far I've had a decent response from people wanting to enter the competition, so to help keep track of who's doing what I'm posting a list that will be updated as new members sign up. If you're on the list, make sure to post your freshly shaved mug in the official competition thread on Friday, November 7. I'll post a link to the thread once it's up. If you haven't signed up already and want to participate, make sure to send me a private message before November 7.

And once again, just to refresh your memories, the official competition rules and updated FAQ. Let the beards begin!

Now without further delay, the eligible entrants..
Gregory Hall

With honorable mentions..

Last updated: 06/10/08 – If I missed you and you signed up, let me know ASAP.   read

2:10 PM on 11.01.2008

STFU And Just Grow Beard(s)

“You can't win if you don't try; so fucking try, you bastards.”
– unstoppablejuggernaut

By now we've all heard of unstoppablejuggernaut's misfortunes and the inevitable cancellation of the potentially epic BEARD-OFF. I—we, the Destructoid community—send our sympathy out to him, but I propose we do a little more than that. I propose we hold the competition anew, in his honur.

Under the new identity of STFU And Just Grow Beard(s), we shall rise, like a f*cking phoenix, we shall rise out of the ashes. All of unstoppablejuggernaut's original, official, competition rules will remain esentially intact. Some rules will be altered slightly and no prizes will be given out–this is for bragging rights. Rules will follow after the FAQ.

I know going through the process of signing up all over again doesn't sound appealing, but think of the beards we can accomplish together.

Q: “STFU And Just Grow Beard(s)”?
A: While it is entirely within the rules to grow multiple beards, neither I nor Destructoid, take responsibility for injuries that may occur.

Q: What qualifies as an eligible entry?
A: Almost anything counts, except just a mustache. You can grow a super sweet goatee, or an entire beard but if you only grow a 'stache then you're out.

Q: How do I sign up?
A: Simply send me a private message and you will be added to the list of eligible entrants.

Q: Why does the front page of Dtoid have to be in the picture?
A: This is to confirm the date and that you are, in fact, starting clean like everyone else.

Q: Does my ass-beard count? Just curious...
A: If you think you can take a picture of your ass, post it and avoid the banhammer, then by all means. But if you think you can get away with just an ass 'stache, you're wrong.

Q: What if I can't grow a full/epic beard?
A: That's ok, this competition is open to any type of beard, patchy or not. Anything goes beard-wise and you never know, the community may even pick you.

Q: What if all I have to take a picture of myself with is a crappy cellphone camera?
A: That's ok! As long as we can clearly see that you're clean shaven, with the Dtoid timestamp in the background.

1. Sign up before the end of the day Friday, November 7 and you're in.

2. Be clean shaved on November 7. Everyone starts clean to qualify.

3. Once you have shaved up all nice and spiffy proceed to and take a picture of yourself with the front page of Destructoid.

4. You must post your freshly shaved mug in the official competition thread** by the start date.

5. You can shave your neck if you need to for work. This competition is about sweetness, not fullness or size.


7. The community will decide who wins. I (CarlCastello***) have no control over this. Unless there is a tie, then I will consult unstoppablejuggernaut.

8. You must have your winning entry completed and posted in the finalists thread no later than midnight on the December 15.

9. All beards will be collected following the December 15 deadline and those that qualify will be posted on December 17 so that the community may cast votes and decide the winner.


11. The winner is based solely on amount of votes cast by the community.

12. The winners will be announced on December 19; emails will be sent out notifying them of how badass they are. The finalists will be posted to show the community who won.

13. If you have any questions, send me a private message. If I can't handle the question, I will consult unstoppablejuggernaut.

* The rules are subject to change upon input from unstoppablejuggernaut or valuable community input.
** Thread will be started upon approval from the community. I will not spam this competition unless it's wanted.
*** I will not be involved in the competition as I am already participating in a similar event that started November 1st.

Last updated: 04/10/08   read

9:42 PM on 10.22.2008

NVGR: A few fun Dtoid facts

It was pretty late one night when I decided to mess around with some technical stuff around the Destructoid website. I've been a member all of two weeks, so I'm not sure if anyone has been bored enough to bother with this. I just thought it was kind of interesting, seeing as how I'm a web designer.

Fun fact #1: Destructoid claims to be “Living the dream since March 16, 2006, ” but in reality, the first published article that appeared on the front page was posted March 4th, 2006. Which one is it, Abe? Better keep your story straight. Since then, the collective community has published 18,164+ front page headlines. Take a good look at that number.

Fun fact #1 B): That first published article was, in fact, about advertisement specifications. Those filthy money whores. You can read the article here.

Fun fact #2: Destructoid is invovled in some kind of government conspiracy that includes twisted fetishes and time warps. I came across more than one article with the timestamp "12:00 AM on 00.00.0000".

Fun fact #3: As I reported in this article first, you can quickly navigate the archived comments by directly editing the query string. That is, until the lovely Niero codes a "latest comments" link.
i.e., (where digit_here is the identification key for the topmost comment)

Fun fact #4: You can also use the method from #3 to navigate through the "All headlines" section. To see the earliest posts, input 18150+ (from the time of writing this).

Fun fact #5: I'm leaving out any cheat for the current gaming contest. I don't use cheats in video games, only real life.

Any one else know of any little tidbits?   read

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