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November 26, 2014. Nine o’clock.
It has been almost a week now.
For almost a week I have been on the verge of madness, deprived of my most basic needs. For almost a week, I have been forced to watch as everyone on the internet participates in what can only be described as a collective orgy of shared enthusiasm. For five long days, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U has been released.
And I still don’t have it.
The 3DS version is no longer enough to sate my hunger, as my desire for the main course grows stronger with each passing day. The lack of sustenance is making my head ache, and my body grows weak. My mind is cruelly torturing me with dreams of Ice Climbers being in the game. But I must not give in to my delusions.
This whole thing started when Nintendo, for some reason, decided not to release Super Smash Bros. on my country at the same time as North America. As of this writing, there’s still no sign of an oasis, no store has the game available yet. Desperation is setting in. We already have to contend with inflated prices, why must we wait an eternity to satisfy our most basic needs? Why, oh why, must we be made to suffer? What have we done to anger the God of Smashing?
The only thing that keeps me going is the prospective of, one day, finally playing Super Smash Bros. for Wii U… and touching that sexy, sexy GameCube controller.
Ah, the GameCube. The console I never had. Being a huge fan of the Nintendo 64, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a GameCube and enjoy all the new, shiny games for it. I was content with the Nintendo 64 as I got it rather late in its life cycle, but I still eyed the GameCube every chance I got, reading about all of its games in the gaming magazines I used to buy. Unfortunately, it was never meant to be, as my lack of funds at the time had me choosing the PlayStation 2, a console that was easier to… acquire games for.
Choosing the PlayStation 2 was not a bad decision. It broadened my gaming comfort zone and gave me some amazing games (some of them are among my all-time favorites) that I wouldn’t have been able to play on Nintendo’s console. At the same time, I can’t help but feel a little sad when I see all the other amazing games that were released for the GameCube.
Getting the Smash bundle with the GameCube controller makes me tremendously excited to try out all the games I missed. As I wait for it with the anguish of a dying man, I have been researching the GC’s entire library in order to make a list of games I want to play.
Besides the fantastic flagship Nintendo titles (which I have played a part of thanks to the Wii and a PS2-to-GC controller adapter that never worked very well), I’m also looking at third-party and obscure gems that were released for it.
One of these games I’m most excited to try out is Super Monkey Ball 2. I was skeptical about it at first, but I had a chance to play it and boy, the game really is very fun and addicting! It’s fast-paced, challenging and the physics and controls feel just right. It’s one of those games that are very easy to learn, but hard to master, and that even when you lose you have some fun. Sure, you could try to just roll the ball slowly to your destination to win the stage, but what’s the point in that? The really fun thing to do is to roll the ball as fast as you can, trying to make some crazy maneuvers to get to the goal! Is the goal across a huge gap or a few levels below it? Pretty sure there’s a way to get there without following the main path!
I have noticed that the GameCube also has some very interesting and quirky games in its library. There’s the very-unique-for-its-time Animal Crossing, which I’m still amazed was localized, the adorable tale of a domestic little robot that is Chibi-Robo, the absolute bizarre mating/evolution game Cubivore, and Odama and Doshin the Giant, which I will confess I’m not too interested in. All of these and others are available in English, but there’s one quirky game that was never localized. Giftpia. I never even heard about this game before my research, but apparently it’s made by the same developers of Chibi-Robo and it’s a weird mixture of Animal Crossing and the puzzle/exploration elements of Zelda. I recommend reading this article about it, unless you don’t want to be sad like me that you’re never going to play this game.
There are also the third party titles that weren’t exclusive to the GameCube, but that I never had, like the TimeSplitters and Viewtiful Joe games. I already had a chance to try TimeSplitters 2 and I love it! Sandbox style missions were you can complete multiple different objectives? Check! Expansive multiplayer content with tons of fun characters, weapons and stages? Check! Diverse challenges with gameplay variations, including one were you have to survive against a horde of zombies? Check! Map creator? Check!! This is like the Super Smash Brothers of FPS games!
Anyway, looks like talking about the GameCube has made me rather lively. It seems I won’t die after all! Hooray!
I still want my Smash bundle, though.
* - Christmas is almost here. You know what that means, right? Presents! And you’re the one giving them! Just kidding, maybe you will receive one, too. But there are no guarantees it won’t be a horrible game. Go sign up for this fun community activity!
P - TheDustinThomas & Friends brings us another episode of their Error Machine Podcast, where they talk about Super Smash Bros., Super Smash Bros., Super Smash Bros. and other games, too, including a Wii U RPG that… has a Madea-like character? Gotta listen to it to find out!
Persona Q is finally here and sitting in my 3DS as we speak! I also picked up Freedom Wars last Friday over Pokémon Omega Ruby since I just felt like trying something new. I tried to push myself into rushing through Pokémon X to get to Omega Ruby but it was becoming increasingly clear that I was not in a Pokémon kind of mood of late.
Since I had been replaying Persona 3 recently, I decided to start on the Persona 3 side of Persona Q's adventure. It turns out that PQ starts almost exactly at the point I stopped in P3P, so I can just act like this part of the story (except I was doing the female path in P3P). Just a happy little accident, I guess.
As expected, Persona Q drops a lengthy story setup on you, so plan to have a half hour open to you if you wish to save your game. While being reunited with the Persona kids is cool and all, I do appreciate how Etrian Odyssey is more to-the-point on its premise, which is "There is a dungeon, explore it because reasons." Were it not Elizabeth explaining things in her weird, aloof fashion that the Velvet Room brought us to a illusionary Yasogami High for a reason, I might have slapped whoever else explained it.
I'd post images from my game, but Nintendo has turned Miiverse image posting on and off at points today. Hopefully it comes back online - maybe NOA and Atlus USA don't want the maps posted? The NA Etrian Odyssey pages never have the option, either.
Or its Mara. Doesn't explain EO, but it explains SMT games and Persona.
Anyway, I'm having a blast with Freedom Wars. It's pretty much everything I've wanted from Monster Hunter - more verticality, the ability to target and strafe, a realized world with a story and lore, a strong single player campaign, lots of character customization and being able to latch onto the giant robots, ride them and visibly hack off their limbs and weapons.
The Thorn is a device that allows you to grapple on to surfaces and enemies and also drtermines your class role (tank, healer, crowd control/DPS). I use the Healing Thorn mostly because I like to horde medkits to donate to the New York Panopticon for the Greater Good!
Usually I'm more of a ranged attacker in games like this and prefer rifles or bows, but in this game I find myself wanting to latch onto the giant robots and saw their arms off or rescue all the eggheads they capture and trap inside them. After there's nothing left to chop off I support heal, revive allies or help finish the robot off with my massive gatling gun.
I made my character rather tiny so watching her ride the robots and carry a gun five times her size is also funny. I call her Ripley Aran and my favorite outfits look like Samus' Zero suit or a Team Star Fox getup.
Speaking of custom characters, after losing my memory and being sentenced to a million years of battling robots and rival panopticons at the start of the game, I was allowed to create my own android assistant. I thought that was an awesome consolation prize, so I made her really pretty and tall.
Then Percy Propa, the Vault Bear of the game, informed me my android lady owns me, can tack more years onto my sentence, will be with me at all times and I found she deems everything I do illegal.
I don't think the propaganda bear realized that such restrictions excite some people. Guess it's called Freedom Wars because "Build a Mistress Workshop" was too kinky though I must admit I found myself very motivated to earn my entitlements. I'm now a Code-5 Sinner and earned the right to customize and name my android. Her name is Crimson and she dresses the part now.
I haven't bought the entitlement to stray more than 20 meters from Crimson yet, though... because I don't want to. I want her near, adding years to my sentence if I move too far. That and I blow all the entitlement credits on new outfits for us to wear and also weapon/manufacturing entitlements first before other things.
Crimson never thanks me for all my hard work, the goods I produce, the nerdy citizens I rescue or the robots I destroy for the Greater Good, but she's really good at giving orders and keeping me on task. She even watches me sleep!
There are a couple jarring things about the game despite the strong mission design, excellent graphics and lore/world-building. First off, the camera is just as bad as Monster Hunter, Phantasy Star and other games of this type. That you can latch onto large robots and be flung off them makes it more disorienting at times. Secondly, even with strong lore and production values, the script seems to forget critical plot points. Not as quickly as a David Cage game, though, because actual gameplay will happen for an couple hours before that plot point is forgotten.
Sadly, my Vita's right stick has some lint or something in it and the camera goes haywire now, so I've set the control scheme to "Hunter" AKA "The Claw." Glad the option is there, because Mist... I mean, Crimson is worth it. I'll suffer for her - at least til I figure out how to fix the analog stick.
On to the recaps!
No topsauce today, but have some ice cream!
One of the best things about being the Saturday recapper is that I get to talk a bit about some of the Friday releases before the other recappers, and that includes the recently released Super Smash Brothers for Wi U! While the wait was painfully long, I gotta say, it was well worth it: the very first thing I did after popping that smooth disc in the console, after changing some of the settings, was sampling the much anticipated 8-Player Smash. Picking my pretty Palutena and one of my favorite Brawl stage Bridge of Eldrin, 8-Player Smash was a truly the hectic experience I didn't know how badly I loved it until I got to play it... and it certainly helped that my younger brother and my cousin wanted to give it a go! We did a couple of free-for-all timed matches, but it felt like two hours flew by quick when you're laughing about who killed who or the antics that transpire: for example, my cousin was Falco, and he was so far behind the match that they gave him a free Final Smash to use. However, while that could be a comeback, we were playing on Melee's Yoshi's Island, and he accidentally, but hilariously, drove into the center hole of the stage... and yes, that Landmaster DOES fit through it!
I was slightly disappointed that only some of the stages are selectable though. While that, in itself, isn't a big deal, it's that the stages that I really wanted to be available for 8-Player Smash, such as the Punch-Out Ring and Wii Fit Studios, aren't able to be chosen even in its Omega version. It's not a complete dealbreaker, as 4-Player Smash still exists, but it's a little less exciting, even if it's better for balance. I suppose you could say that I'm spoiled on the number of players, and I guess I kinda am: even in Call of Duty or Halo do I always opt to play Ground War and Big Team Battles, respectively, as I live for the chaos and spectacle of the match... and hey, having more people to place below me makes me feel better not placing first! Still, I imagine I'll get a lot of mileage in this game mode regardless, and I'm sure this game will probably stay inside my Wii U for a damn good while with its beautiful HD graphics and a blissfully blistering 60 framerate making it a wonderful showcase of what the Wii U can do! Man, Nintendo has been killing it lately, what with Mario Kart 8, Bayonetta 2, and the upcoming Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker!
Speaking of, I think an interview stated that the Toad people are genderless and not related, which effectively renders all my Toadette incest hentai kaput :(.
Super Smash Brothers for Wii U was the only real gaming I did this week, as I spent the week doing some kind of room renovation. However, whilst cleaning around, I did manage to dig up something of a blast of a past, and that was my DVD copy of the first four episodes of .hack//Legend of the Twilight. .hack was a series that I wanted to be into, even though it's pretty much non-existent nowadays, but not owning a PS2 to play through the original four games was a damn shame (here's hoping for an HD remake of them!). Because of that, the aforementioned anime was my first real exposure to the series, as I was kinda too young to understand .hack//Sign, and I remember loving it enough to actually wake up in the middle of the night to watch it. See, the anime only aired on Cartoon Network at, like, 4 in a Saturday morning, so I would wake up at 3:55 to catch it, and I did it a dozen or so times for its 12 episode run. The nostalgia overwhelmingly seeping into me, I popped it into my console to rewatch the anime, but it definitely doesn't look like it aged well... but then again, I was pretty young when I first saw it, so chances are it was always a bad anime and I never noticed. Still, it was a decent enough trip to the past, and I've been thinking of getting the other two discs off eBay or something to finish the rest of the memory.
Also, this is probably one of the earliest exposure to brother-sister incest: I even recalled saying when I was younger "why would it be weird for them to kiss? They're family!"
Anyway, reminding me that there was another series also prompted me to actually watch .hack//Quantum, which I bought for real cheap once but never watched it because I didn't think it would be all that great. To be fair, that was a pretty accurate assessment: the art style looks great, and and some scenes and imagery looked cool to watch, but there were a couple of problems I had with it. First of all, the CG models look pretty nice, but they look so awkwardly animated that they really stands out from the drawn visuals because of how jarring the difference is. My main problem, however, is that there's almost no payoff to the plot: without spoiling much of anything, there didn't really feel like there was a final confrontation, there was no spectacular action scenes considering how things went down in the story, they brought up a conspiracy angle and yet nothing springs from it, and worse yet, it ends on a pretty bland note with hints of a sequel. Again, the anime looked great, and there was some admittedly nice presentation sprinkled throughout the adventure (the flashback cuts reminds me of the "Self Help" episode of AMC's The Walking Dead!), but looks aren't everything, and I was left pretty underwhelmed by the time the credits rolled.
Anyway, to all you importers out there, wasn't there a .hack fighting game made by CyberConnect 2? How is it, if anyone could answer?
For the final tidbit from my childhood, I watched a lot of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, and I was kind of a fan of the series in general. I did kinda, sorta drift in and out of each series, as I felt it was getting too "same-y", but I loved the overall cheesiness and choreographed fights enough to catch an episode here and there. Well, yesterday was seemingly the last episode of the most recent American release, Super MegaForce, and I decided on a whim to watch it. Normally, I didn't like the newer episodes because of all the CG they were using, being a fan of practical effects, but I figured that I'd give it a shot.
While it was underwhelming for a finale, I didn't think it wasted my time because it wasn't too bad, actually! From last week's episode, things started getting real when the aliens finally invaded Earth on a larger scale, and this week started with the older Power Rangers helping civilians in time of need while the Super MegaForce team felt helpless wandering around the city looking at the chaos without their powers. It was a pretty epic feeling for a kid's show, and after an admittedly lackluster fight against the big bad general came my favorite part of the episode when all the Power Rangers gathered in one spot to fight a horde of minions! Sure, it was a short scene and only a handful of Rangers get their turn in the spotlight (probably because it was presumably filmed in one day), but it was such a fanboy moment to me, especially when the original Green/ White Ranger revealed himself, that I'm nerding out!
I need to see if there's a Dynasty Warriors-styled Power Rangers games!
Anyway, for the final bit of my recaps, Thankgiving is coming up soon, and in case I don't say it later, I wanna wish you guys a nice time with your family, and hope you eat and drink merrily!
A - Rowdy Rhod, after wondering why people knock the story in the excellent Bayonetta 2, writes a blog about the context of a narrative in videogames by first talking about the differences between games old and new, and also how they can be praised or faulted depending on the type of game it is.
R - N0signal writes a rather lengthy review of the PS4 version of The Evil Within, which he opts to call by its Japanese-yet-English title Psycho Break... but he gives you the score upfront because he warns that his review is full of spoilers. Unforunately, that means I can't read it. Still, here's my tagline: is The Evil Within good underneath, or is the title referring to the case?
R - TheKodu reviews a nifty little app called Toca Lab, an educational videogame in which you try to collect cute representations of the actual elements of the periodic table with bunsen burners and liquid nitrogen! Is this app worth experimenting on, or does it need to go back to the lab?
T - Pedrovay2003 has been a fan of the Super Smash Brothers series since the very beginning, and decides after trying it at his girlfriend's house, what his impressions are. Read what he thinks about the graphics compared to Brawl, the 8-Player Smash mode, and character roster changes.
T - After the release of Halo: Master Chief Collection, Forgotten Bastion takes a look back at Halo: Reach. While he may not have been crazy about the story as his friends were, its the Legendary gameplay that has him coming back for more: find out why he thinks the hardest difficulty is the best way to play!
A - Reinhold Hoffmann gives us a brief update on what the deviantArt group of his website Game-Art-HQ.com is doing by showcasing some artwork from some talented artists! The theme's Nintendo, and he has some examples of popular characters like Rosalina and Lucina as well as characters I never heard of like Juno from Jet Set Gemini!
? - Sylveria Shini talks to us about the IDGA Blacklist, which is effectively a third-party tool that blocks Twitter users and anyone who follows them. At the time of reading, IDGA have pulled their support for the tool. Anyway, I guess it's related to GamersGate, but while I don't automatically file them under Failtoid, I don't like reading them either.
I don't know if you guys have ever had to take care of a loved one while they're home sick, but it's a pretty terrible thing for all parties involved. My wife managed to come down with strep throat this week, and while I've never had it personally, I've heard it's approximately zero fun. I actually wound up taking a couple days off of work myself just so I could take care of her, because she was so out of it that she could literally do nothing for herself. The worst part for me is that, obviously, I wish I could do something to help her, but there really isn't much I could do outside of heeding to her every beck and call.
I even tried yelling at her, but that didn't make her feel better either.
I'm pretty lucky that I don't get sick very often, but I make up for it by being very powerfully sick when I am. For instance, around this time last year I caught a stomach bug and spent the majority of the day with black water coming out of a certain orifice in my body. Because of this, I had become severely dehydrated and very weak. I wound up having to go to the kitchen in the middle of the night because I was so thirsty, but I was so weak that I couldn't even make it back to the bedroom and wound up sleeping on the couch. My wife came downstairs and helped me back to bed, but before I did I had to go to the restroom. Everything for the next 30 second is still blank to me. The next thing I remember is waking up, bent over backwards over a hamper in our bathroom, with my wife over me screaming at me to wake up. Then the next thing I remember is sitting on the bathroom floor with no idea how I got there or how I got to a sitting up position. You know how sometimes you stand up too fast and the blood rushes to your head, causing you to become lightheaded and your vision become blurry for a moment (hopefully I'm not the only person this happens to, otherwise I should probably get that checked out), that happened to me for over a minute, to the point that my vision was completely gone.
In my haze, I started talking to God. "God, am I dying? Because if I am, I'm ready to go, but I really hope I'm not." Let this be a lesson to you guys, if you ever have diarrhea, drink a lot of water. That was the only time in my life I've been really dehydrated, and it was probably the scariest moment of my life outside of the first time I watched The Exorcist as a 9 year old because my dad said it would be fun and because he apparently hates me.
Anyway, my wife spent the last two days out of commission (she's fine now, by the way), which kind of turned out to be a blessing in disguise for me, because I got to do a lot of gaming during this time.
One of the reasons I've always chosen to wait to buy new systems is because there's always that lull after launch where there's not a whole lot to play. I picked up my PS4 a little over a month ago, which means I have a years worth of PS4 games to catch up on. First on the chopping block was Diablo III. This was actually my first time ever playing a Diablo game, and man did I love it. When the original Borderlands was released, I remember a lot of people comparing it to Diablo in a lot of ways, and I had no idea what they meant. Then I wound up playing Torchlight when it was ported to XBLA and basically playing it nonstop until I finished it. I've never been a PC gamer, so I got really excited when they announced a console port of Diablo III. With the recent release of the Ultimate Evil Edition, I was hoping there would be a good sale on it, but then I remembered "Oh yeah, I work at a game store, I should just take it home for a few days." So I did, and after two days I was a level 35 crusader who basically just told every demon in Hell to suck it whilst hitting them with a giant hammer.
Ever since Borderlands I've become a huge fan of the western RPG genre, if that's what we're calling it. I love leveling up, I love collecting new and better gear, and I love filling in every bit of that map, leaving no stone unturned. And why didn't anyone tell me there was an area in the game that looked like the Care Bears world and you mutilate ponies and sentient flowers? If I had known that I would have bought it day one. The only downside for me is that I love to play those games co-op, but I have no friends that have both a PS4 and Diablo III, nor do I have a second PS4 controller so my wife could play. But Diablo III is definitely something I want to return to.
The other thing I played this week while my lovely was passed out on the couch was Infamous: Second Son. In the two days I stayed home with her, I beat the game 100%. But that brings me to a question for you guys, and something I think I may write a future blog about. In the days of trophies and achievements, do you consider a game to be 100% complete when there are no missions left to do or when you've collected every achievement/trophy? I will concede that I only played Infamous on the good path, but I did every side mission, collected every blast shard, and upgraded every ability before moving on to the final confrontation with Augustine. Is that 100%? Just wanted some opinions from the community.
I've never been what I would call a "fan" of the Infamous series, but I don't dislike them. I played the original enough to unlock the second area of the game before calling it a day, and didn't play Infamous 2 or Festival of Blood (which I've heard is great). But Second Son, however, I loved. I would have liked a little more variety in the side missions, because there were only four or five different types of missions to do, but I still had a great time liberating Seattle. Whenever I play a game that give me a big area to play with plenty of missions to do, I always find up doing every side mission before doing anything with the story. It's a good thing in Infamous though, because if I didn't the game would have been about five hours long, it seemed as though there were only about 8 story missions. But I would say give Second Son a chance if you haven't already. It probably won't win any game of the year awards, but it's a solid open-world action game.
Also, what's the verdict on First Light? Worth playing?
My wife spent her two days of sickness doing nothing except moaning in pain and watching Saved by the Bell. Saved by the Bell was such a huge show for me as a kid, but as I've gotten older I've realized something: Kelly totally should have gone for Slater. He's dreamy, he's in good shape, and he comes from a military family, so you know he's loyal. Not to mention he's mysterious in a Jonathan Holmes sort of way, meaning you have no idea what race he is, but it's kind of sexy.
Lastly, I beat my pastor in a game of Super Tecmo Bowl on the last play of the game. You can't stop Joe Montana.
This time next week you'll probably hear some horror stories about me having to work Black Friday. Now let's recap your Friday.
There was no #GamerGate postings and no random people complaining that sometimes companies make both good and bad games, which means no fails this week. Good job!
It's that time of year again. The time when exams are starting to get close, but you haven't really dedicated yourself to them yet. Actually scratch that, it's that time of year when by all account I should definitely be preparing for my exams, but procrastination is making it difficult. Beyond that, it's insane to think that my semester in the US is almost coming to a close. My last classes are next week, after that is exam time, and that will be it! Four months, gone by before you know it.
It's kind of sad, really. After exams I'll have another month or so to hang out in DC, maybe visit New York for Christmas, but after that it's off home to the land of hookers and blow. What with all the wonderful friends I've made around here in Your Nation's Capital, that's gonna be rough.
Then again, there's no reason to get sad before I actually leave, so let's not.
Instead, let's talk music!
Normally, that statement would be followed up with me showering everybody with links to video game soundtracks. Today, I have something else: there's a new Lordi album out!
As I've said before, Lordi is pretty much the only thing I listen to besides soundtracks. I'm not sure what that says about my tastes, and frankly I don't care. I think people dressing up like monsters and rocking out about demons, ghosts, killer clowns and zombies is just good fun. And so should you.
That said, their new album "Scare Force One" (Lordi love themselves some puns) is a little dissappointing. Compared to the previous album "To Beast or not to Beast" (told ya) with which they caused lightning to strike twice, the new one is decidedly average. Most songs are good but not great, there's one on here that's actually bad, and only a few stand out among the vast library I amassed over the years. Even the stand-out ones wouldn't be top 5 material to me.
So let's try to break some of this down. I'd have to say that the best song on this album is either the titular Scare Force One, How to Slice a Whore (<- I'll get back to this one, because it's...something), or Sir, Mr. Presideath, Sir!. If I had to choose, I'd say probably the latter. It's the one that sounds the most like the Lordi I have grown to love, is hella catchy at points and actually has a deeper message than any song they have put out so far. Which to be fair isn't saying much. It's basically about not blindly following leaders and thinking for yourself every once in a while. It's actually pretty effective for a bunch of dudes in monster suits.
Like I said Scare Force One is pretty fun as well. It's about a giant killer airplane. No, really. Check the cover art above, that's pretty much it. It makes for a pretty cool song, although I swear they're saying "ERROR" instead of "AIR ROARS".
And then there's "How to Slice a Whore". Wow. This is by miles the darkest thing they've ever done. For a band that's all about monsters and death, Lordi tends to have a pretty good sense of humor in their songs. Usually, it's pretty easy not to take it too seriously. I mean, they made a song called "The Devil is a Loser". You kind of get where they're coming from here. But this one? Not so much. They're just straight-up talking about horribly mutilating women for cheating on their boyfriends. There is some colorful language in here, but they still stay just close enough to reality to make the lyrics have a very uneasy quality to them. In a sense it's much like the controversial Cop Killer by Body Count, and I wouldn't be surprised if this one gets banned all over the place.
Which makes it all the weirder that it's one of the better songs on here.
I don't normally do this, but: listener discretion advised for violence against women.
And then there's everything else. It's unremarkable, really. The rest of the songs are just Lordi being Lordi, for better or worse. She's a Demon is noticably worse than most anything else they've done, Nailed by the Hammer of Frankenstein has clever lyrics going for it but not much else, Monster is my Name takes a while to grow on you, Hell Sent in the Clowns goes pure silly and The United Rocking Dead is so bland I have no comment on it. I'm probably being too harsh on them, but I hate because I care. I know they can do better than this, so it's disappointing to see them fail to reach their potential.
I still had fun listening to this album, and if nothing else it got me back into my habit of rocking out to monsters. So you know what, let me stop being a big ol' sourpuss. Today's caps are hereby dedicated to my favorite Lordi songs. Let's go!
* - Despite the lack of pics, Terry makes some pretty true points; that gamers are split into these groups that hate each other's guts.
* - Riobux come out of an especially dark place to find a renewed love for video games in Zero Escape.
* - Drop what you're doing, this is the most awesome thing you're going to see all week. Gunblades are a thing. As are gun-katar and motherfucking GUN WARHAMMER.
A - Hoffman lists his favorite video game hotties. No Tharja, no sale.
A - sonic429 doesn't like racing games, except when he does. To be fair, if you could have just one racing game, wouldn't YOU go for Mario Kart or F-Zero too? Course you would.
A - One of TheKodu's old blogs took on a life of its own until it reached Anita herself. Now he responds.
C - FlanxLycanth has been doing things, both virtually and IRL.
M - I have never played Metal Gear Solid, but these vocal OST songs are pretty great.
L - Phoenix Wright gets topical as he defends Bill Cosby from...well, you know. Also see the comments for Elsa dropping a bucket of truth on us.
May you always find water and shade
This past week has seemingly been all about hidden gems. I downloaded Shovel Knight onto my 3DS because I wanted to include the Streetpass features over the Steam or Wii U version. I downloaded the demo of Pikmin 3 and loved it. Also, I rented Edge of Tomorrow and boy did that rock. There was also a Jollibee's restaurant near work I found at long last and that was... actually that was underwhelming. I ain't going back to that crock.
But I think it's funny Script had a little moment of paranoid fear and social anxiety due to his relative newness and filling in some big Wrench-sized boots. It's understandable but its hard to not be loved when you participate in discussion and community unless you're a very proactive troll concept account (Wasn't Stealth from 2 years ago one such member?).
Me on the other hand, I feel tenured. I could call you Assface PuddingsMcgee and barely summarize your cblog as a scroll of electronic parchment and will still sit back like a cigar chomping professor who kicks you in the face because you need to pass the class.
See, I had a reference in mind for all that!
Shovel Knight was a great nostalgic experience but you don't need me to tell you that, do you? I get a lot of ideas of what I want to play from the Game Grumps and Shovel Knight looked fun as hell. Of course, it's not necessarily feeding off nostalgia of any particular thing. It's the colors, the music, and the mechanics of it all. How Shovel Knight instantly reacts to you controller input, how narrow you attack range is, how the music is perfectly done to feel like you're back in a picture perfect period but improved! How its simultaneously difficult yet so enjoyable in its rigidity. It helps that characters, despite not being story driven, fully realized characters just exude so much personality in the way they fight and their short conversations and their design. Its in the details like how King Knight is obviously a huge blowhard. He talks big and has flashy moves but he's dead simple and not really as great as he thinks he is. Propeller Knight meanwhile is a hokey French cliche complete with rapier, rose, and falling tear upon defeat. I still can't believe Yacht Club Games is releasing additional free content thanks to meeting huge stretch goals. I mean, gender swapped campaign, local multiplayer, expanded episodes where you play as the first three members of the Order of No Quarter? Amazing. Nobody these days goes the distance like Shovel Knight does. And I still need to do New Game+!
I also still need to get back to Pokemon X. I actually left the additional post-game quest alone for the longest time and with Pokemon ORAS in just a few days, I should really get on that. Is it unreasonable to be excited for a new game of an old game that's been updated yet has had certain features stripped out in favor of parity? Well, I am going to catch a Beedrill and fucking Mega Evolve it into a terrifying beast with three stingers who will dole out the most powerful Pin Missiles ever. Not to mention the move tutors? Finally, I can teach my Pixilate Sylveon Hyper Voice and show those damn Substitute users what real damage is like for once.
Speaking of games really, my girlfriend's invited me to her house for Thanksgiving. And while I'll have to do something about some schedule conflicts (work doesn't consistently give me the days off I need for class for some reason), in the end I have enough wiggle room to call out of work in favor of class unless the schedule is winding down. Despite Thanksgiving being mostly about family (for Americans anyways. I mean, why would other countries celebrate our holiday of our landing on some Native American rock where we shared food than killed them with smallpox), our plan Thanksgiving will be mostly of gaming. I got a Wii U I haven't played together with her, and Smash Wii U is coming out this week, in time for Thanksgiving! I'm sure to be the life f the party, at least amongst the kids, with 8-player Smash and 4-player Mario. With Smash, between the gamepad and a few spare Wiimotes that my girlfriend's family has and our 3DSes, we'll be able to hit 6-players anyways. Meanwhile, who wouldn't want to player 4-player Mario 3D World?
But what I have still fresh in my mind as of these caps is Edge of Tomorrow. I didn't know anything about it before. All I knew is that it was some Tom Cruise vehicle and I'm not sure how much I should partake of the Cruise machine. The trailers were pretty bad at conveying just how the movie would work beyond Groundhog Day + guns. But months ago I heard on the Super Best Friends Cast that it is basically the most video gamey ass movie ever and it thrives off its built in respawning device. Yes, if you haven't heard that comparison, the core of the movie is less Groundhog Day and more Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare multiplayer. It's still Groundhog's Day of course, with Cruise's character predictably learning the set pattern and going through the motions as if he's already failed a CoD campaign mission dozens of times before. I won't spoil the sciency reasons why he has such a ridiculous power but know that Edge of Tomorrow (known as All You Need Is Kill in Japan) is greater than the sum of its parts.
Bill Murray of course gets sick of his time loop and tries to suicide his way out but you can get a feel he's more literally bored to death than broken emotionally. How would you feel if you died hundreds of times in a war on loop? Its funny a few times too since Cruise only loops when he dies, so he has to die somehow if he's otherwise incapacitated. But Cruise's character, who isn't a soldier, goes from fearful of his life to battle conditioned, jaded on death, and predictably Tom Cruise action hero in the span of the movie. Not only is there the classic respawn mechanic repurposed from a comedy movie, we also get all the Call of Duty gun porn and action, not to mention Edge of Tomorrow came out earlier this year. Let's not forget that the movie is adapted from a manga from 2004, and while the power suits were more armor than exoskeletons in the movie, it still beat Call of Duty to the punch.
There are so many things to really latch onto, regardless of your taste for either games or thriller action. Humorous but functional time loop, respawning, action packed weapons and exosuits, a strong female lead, a great male lead, great visual effects, great dialog and humor jumping off a time looping phenomena (we've had this conversation many times before). I heartily recommend Edge of Tomorrow to anyone who likes either action movies or video games. It even works for both sides of the video game perspective. If you love CoD and shooters, it's a great send up to their gameplay and mechanics. If you hate CoD, it's still a humorous satire of their seemingly manufactured violence and action. If you've grown tired of the classic monster closet game design in shooters, you may chuckle to see Tom Cruise non-nonchalantly aim his arm mounted machine gun in the direction of hostile aliens like its nothing since he's done it dozens of times before.
Oh, and you were wondering about Jollibee's? I think it's a "Filipino" chain that's made its way here. There isn't any real Filipino food though. It's mostly fried chicken, rice dishes, and pasta. The only problem is that that's pretty much all there is. There's no meaningful variety. I was excited because before when I had seen it, the fried chicken looked good. Then I actually set foot in one and that's all that really looks good.
* - Dusty likes being a collector but that doesn't mean he doesn't run into shit
M - Hoffy Bike remembers the Dreamcast fondly like all Americans
A - Kooram liked DmC and spits on Sephzilla
P - Radio Destructoid is looking for guests to make fun of!
A - [jackthompsongifaboutvideogameviolence.gif]
A - Spykes is thankful for a lot of things but they're all games and none of them are spikes