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Last week, I brought forward the Gardevoir experience. It was short doujin story with Pokemon acting like people and how people have a mid-life crisis. My favorite part was a Typhlosion who was a community cop who wore a fancy cop hat and used flame wheel on ne'er do wells. Also, a Kirlia cosplayed as trainer Green from Pokemon FireRed/LeafGreen, so there's that.

That's been around for a long while. This week it's about I'm Dating a Team Magma Grunt. It's decidedly less spectacular in concept since it takes place within Pokemon's established continuity (i.e. Pokemon aren't talking and doing office jobs). But it does act like a epilogue of sorts of Omega Ruby through the perspective of a unique couple. The conceit is also humorous because male trainer Brendan first meets his girlfriend after doing something we've all done in Pokemon games: wipe a Team Magma grunt on the first turn. He beats her so hard, she collapses in tears at her incompetence, actually remarking about how she'll always be a grunt because she gets beaten on the first turn before she even gets a chance. Brendan however, feels sorry about making a girl cry. So some time later, they become a couple despite Brendan's history of beating the confidence out of eco-terrorist organizations.

While Pokemon take a bit of a back seat, this series of 4koma doujins is still good because it capitalizes off of ORAS emphasis on presentation and story. Magma Leader Maxie isn't some weirdo extremist who wanted to increase Hoenn's landmass. Maxie acts like a father figure towards everyone in his organization.He legitimately had the best interests in mind for helping Pokemon and people grow on newly reclaimed land (Hoenn has a lot of water, 7/10). He simply got carried away with the whole summon an ancient beast capable of drying out the Earth bit. But in this epilogue of sorts, we see Maxie as we saw him in the end of ORAS and how it should be expanded upon. Not just Maxie but Team Magma as a whole has reformed into a more reputable organization. When he catches wind that one of his grunts is dating the boy who singlehanded changed the direction of his organization, he gives his blessing as if he was the grunt's father. We also see moments for Tabitha and especially Courtney to stand out. Especially Courtney who goes to great lengths to foster her love of Maxie.

Also, if it's not immediately apparent, Brendan is, at best, 14-years-old. He is most likely 12. Magma Grunt is most likely 18-years-old, and 16 would be a stretch. There's quite an age difference which is even brought up when she gets wrapped up in meeting Brendan's parents, especially Norman. But the entire doujin, which doesn't have an ambitious arc but rather a series of vignettes, displays some really cute and charming moments between the genuine love of hard luck girl and the boy born with a legendary destiny. I particularly liked when they run into a pair of Aqua grunts and the female really lets Magma Grunt have it with her past mistakes (of almost drying out the world). The male Aqua grunt isn't nearly as cruel but fails to hold back his partner's verbal abuse. The Magma Grunt can't even start a Pokemon fight to regain her honor since her fire/ground Pokemon would obviously lose against any Team Aqua Pokemon. Brendan steps in to defend her honor however, and bets that they take back what they said about Leader Maxie to his champion status if he beats them with a fire/ground-type in one turn. First, the Aqua grunt has no idea she's fighting the current Hoenn champ. Second, it's implied that Brendan spared no mercy and crushes her with Primal Groudon.

I'm meanwhile recovering from a wicked cold. Fortunately it wasn't measles since I live in the current outbreak areas because I've long been vaccinated. But it sucks how feeling this shitty completely sucks the equilibrium out of my pace. Go to class one day, call out of work the next, stay home from class the next, but go to work after that, all while swinging between 40% to 70% operating capacity. At least working last night seemed to numb my symptoms because it got really busy. Disneyland closed early due to press reveals of the new 60th diamond anniversary. Apparently very ambitious sky projections, fireworks, parades, and a new World of Color set. Everyone is also getting celebratory 60th anniversary special nametags that we'll get to wear year round. But this was Disneyland. In California Adventure, we got slammed with the overflow of guests who got kicked out of Disneyland. All that work really numbed my symptoms as I sweated to keep up. But as soon as my supervisors took pity on me and gave me lighter work, I felt all my soreness and congestion hit me all at once.

This sickness is really making it hard for my to enjoy Pikmin 3.

Lastly, it's probably best to address how well the community has been doing lately. This resurgence was so good, it inspired me to give the Fapcast another shot. Personally I attribute it to Dreamweaver coming on the team and breaking down the social barriers with his fetish and porn blogs, which got the community in a talking mood so long as nothing was off-limits. There's also the issue of TheBadger, who's riled up the community with his poisonous bile and shitposting. Over on the forums in community discourse, there's been a lot of talk of what TheBadger really represents in the grand scheme of the community. There's a lot of obvious pushback against such a disdainful personality. Other more uncommon opinions, like Defenstrator, believes his obvious antagonism unites the community of disparate thoughts against a common enemy. Others dislike that he's most likely just cheap click-bait, giving some random shitposter a soapbox that will attract clicks because who hates a good old fashion Internet shitstorm. Joyful Insanity in particular, questions his worth in the long run. What makes TheBadger different from your average run-of-the-mill shitposter? Nothing except the elevation he's been afforded by Holmes. TheBadger right now is a big meme that's injected itself into the community zeitgeist with parody accounts, counter-opinions with huggy baby circle jerks as some forums goers would put it, meme posts imitation his Q&A, and op-eds about TheBadger and the nature of his negativity.

Personally? I feel no need to participate in a function that will ultimately be self-destructive. Is this discourse? Most of TheBadger's responses to his questions belittled, demeaned, or flat out ridiculing most of the time without providing a serviceable answer. The Forums have come to the conclusion that TheBadger can't be someone who actively works for Destructoid because it'd either take a lot of balls or an awful lot of psychopathic disposition to not feel anything when calling your own bread and butter a bunch of kids. Robert Summa's already told Lemon Buster he isn't TheBadger, despite his history and tone really matching TheBadger's. As Joyful put it, who is TheBadger? Just another shitposter when it comes down to it. And in that sense Badger is truthful about his intentions. He is literally anybody, or nobody. Just another shitposter looking to ruffle the feathers.

But mock Brittany Vincent and you no longer have even a molecule of my time or respect.

Also, Young Link's focus special in Hyrule Warriors is Skullkid casually dropping the moon and him and Fierce Deity Link cutting it in half along with everything in his way holy shit.

* - Dustin includes Singularity on his top 5 hidden gems

* - Joyful Sanity thinks critically about the whole Badger storm front and how it affects the community

* - How accurate is Skyrim: Vinland Saga edition

A - Professor PK uses his flaws to teach others how to finish games

M - ShadeofWombat counters TheBadger, his immortal enemy

P - PStoid records did. Was recording. Had recorded.

M - AMA: Dictator edition

A - Kodu something, something, Capcom Resident Evil

C - Win Johnny's stuff! Help him become a monk

S - Troy's story of entering APEX

V - Infamous Backlog: Infinite Second Son

L - Bardley's Banjo fanfic is quite interesting!

L - Turians, also known in latin as doorians, but doorians aren't female

F - So many forest animals, so little time


~Striderhoang

FPotD

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Starting next week, I should be getting the Sunday recaps out a little earlier. There's actually a good reason for this, too, and it will also allow me to blog more frequently:

My asshole roommate finally moved out.

I could write a huge rant on the guy but I'll just leave it at the fact he was a tremendous source of stress for me and I'm glad he's finally gone. Okay, that and he was an unrepentant, occasionally belligerant alcoholic that chewed tobacco. What was once the carpet in his room now looks like something out of Silent Hill. I wanted to move in there for the closet space but, ugh, not now. I'll wait until the landlord has it renovated.

Seriously, its gross, he even left chewed tobacco and sunflower seeds on the carpet. I know rednecks with more class than this guy had.

That aside, being alone at home again is pretty great, though. I can once again do many things alone that I would feel incredibly self-conscious about were someone else here. I can sing out loud again, leave doors in the apartment wide open and shut all the blinds so I can walk around naked!

Something about me time:

If I know for sure no one will walk in on me I am a bit of a nudist. As much as I like clothes, if I know I'm alone, not going outside for a while and the temperature is comfortable I don't see a point in wearing much or anything. I could go a few days without clothes, honestly.

Might have to get an apron for cooking, though, and there are other exceptions. Nudity keeps me from running the washer and dryer so there are some other benefits.

Speaking of naked things, I got Metal Gear Solid 3D Snake Eater off the Nintendo eShop to go with MGS3 HD on my Vita. I also grabbed MGS2 HD along with Peace Walker, Resogun and Fez. This is all related because of Naked Snake, a scantly clad Eva and a naked Raiden. I think the humans in Resogun might be naked and the guy in Fez totally is naked aside from the hat.

I should have gotten The 3rd Birthday to go with my other Parasite Eve games, as Aya loses clothes as she takes damage. Weird that never happens to guys in games, though.

I also pre-ordered Majora's Mask 3D. Redeads are naked in that! So's the final boss, and that's when you realize Nintendo got a pair of breasts past the ESRB and on the cover of a game! Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate got preordered, too. All the monsters in that are naked. One might argue that is monster porn if you are into that kind of thing. I'm not, but i won't judge you... at least not out loud.

My ultimate goal in Freedom Wars? To reduce my sentence to zero so my character and her android mistress can wear a bikini! That's naked enough, I guess. I'll take it.

Moving on, I have a small announcement. The recap team and I are going to try to do monthly recaps again. It has been tried before and apparently hasn't been successful in prior attempts, but I'm hoping we can get it off the ground and make it a regular thing this year. I think it would be a great chance to get some extra visibility for the c-blogs out on the front page.

The criteria for Topsauce is mostly at the discretion of the recapper of the day, so this is a chance for the rest of the team to chime in and catch those blogs that might of slipped through he cracks and give them an honorable mention.  Additionally it makes doing 2015's end-of-year recaps easier to do and lets Andy and Occams see if there's anything FP-worthy that they might have missed.

Now, take it all off for Sunday recaps! I did.

* - Gardevoir.

* - That's a penis.

* - Gearbox, don't do it! Bad Gearbox!

S - Terry doesn't finish Paper Mario and the Thousand Year Door. Too bad, there's a nudist resort behind that door.

A - Kodu wants APB Reloaded for PS4.

$ - Ninja Gaiden 3 for Wii U is 7 clams at Walmart. That's cray.

R - Lord Spencer reviews one of Blizzard's most beloved and neglected IPs - The Lost Vikings.

T - DatGameSweat prefers GTA V as is was originally born - nude with no remastering or first-person mode.

D - People are running exploits to level up in Destiny. They should be stripped of thier levels, gear and clothes!

? - I don't know what this was trying to say, but it has Living Colour's "Cult of Personality" in it.

L - The dystopian future of Amiibo.

No fails!

FPotD

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The year is 2015: Dtoid is in scrambles. Eggs are delicious. People constantly debate what kind of comic book designation to label Dtoid now. Renaissance? Post-revival? Destructoid NOW! Not New 52, that's for sure.

Aw. I made myself sad.

Hiatus, smiatus! Drumming up a new episode with Strider, Phil, and guest Fenriff! The community has been busy in a renaissance of activity. 2015 is the year baby!

- Facebook page
- twitter handle
- Get the episode right on our site
- Get it on iTunes
- Get our RSS feed

Missed out last episode? Not that there's any continuity. Here's episode 17, Return of Pony Pals! Or maybe episode 1, XCOM or bust!

Photo









I finally did it. I finally beat one of my favorite games of last generation (yes, really: expect a blog about that one day)! The final boss is also ridiculously cheap, or ridiculously easy, depending on whether or not you decide to do the easy way to defeat him. While I won't spoil who it is (even though, if you played the game, you'd know without even making it there because they talk about him), if you stagger the second (and hardest) part of the three-part final boss, then manage to get your Saboteur to Poison him, then you can literally just set everyone to a medic and just relax for the rest of the fight. Now, I'm not saying to put the controller down and eat a sandwich, as there's a chance that he can Silence a character and prevent the use of healing spells, or even insta-kill anyone on your team, including the leader for an instant game over... but you don't even need to damage him: the poison will take care of it, so just stay alive. Hey, after forcing me to retry the boss several time for two hours after hours of grinding fights to make it there, I'm okay with this.

I remember when I first got the game: immediately after class in high school, I bought Final Fantasy XIII and couldn't contain my excitement: we all know how gorgeous the series looked on the PS1 and PS2, so when it came time to see the capabilities on the 7th generation consoles, I had to see what it would look like. And you know what? It was one of the greatest looking games ever, and it still holds up today. Now that it's over, I have this to say: the back half of the game, supposefully the "better" half, is the lesser half to me: other than having one of the coolest cinematics I've seen (the intro to Chapter 12 for those curious, when Lightning and crew crash a motorcycle race) and a pretty cool ending, it was virtually all filler. I mean, you're just grinding fights at this point, and I pushed on solely because I needed to see the ending myself. If I replay this game (and I might actually do so!), I'll probably just stop before the grindy bits. I really liked the pacing of the first half, and most of the melodrama happens in the beginnings than the ending when everyone's gung-ho about taking down the final boss.

Speaking of being so gung-ho, I wanna say that I started Final Fantasy XIII-2, but I didn't do much gaming this week: as you guys probably saw, not only am I writing this recap, as well as doing my homework in the real world for my classes, but I also wrote not only a blog asking for possible help with "Comments of the Week", but also a mock-up prototype to show people how it would look once more! I gotta say, it was kinda cool to be the one to bring this feature back, and I hope it continues to stay as well! It takes a lot more effort to do than I realized (it really did take me several hours to put together), and there's some faults with design I had with it (my original edit had asterisks and horizontal lines to divide comments, but it was removed for the front page... for the better?), but overall, it was fun! I think with a team though, it would be easier and cut down the burden between contributors since, if we do the Google Drive idea Bill Platt suggested, we can all work on one document... for better or for worse.

Speaking of things being better or for worse, I also might be having laptop troubles that's making it longer to do anything than it should, as well as causing me frustration (it essentially doubles the amount of time it takes to do things, and I can no longer effectively multi-task), so if any of you tech savants wanna assist me with my problems, scroll to the comments afterwards: I need some help! Basically, my laptop is super slow on the web, to the point that it goes from 7 bps (it used to be like 10-12) to down to 2.5 bps and less, and it's frustrating to someone who relies on the web like a lifeline. I'm told several things like perhaps it's overheating or my wireless... thingy needs to be replaced, but whatever the case, I need some assistance!

Also, hentai blog? Yeah, sorry, but doesn't look likely this week. :(
Trust me, you're not the only one heartbroken. T-T

Anyway, how did I not talk about last week's Girl Meets World the previous recap!? Alright, short background, Girl Meets World is the sequel set 13 years or so after Boy Meets World, which is one of my favorite childhood TV shows. While it's mostly its own series, the show attempts to appeal to the fans of the older show with references and nods, and last episode had me squealing! Not only does one of the main character Shawn Hunter (reprised by Rider Strong) return for his role, but they also made some cool developments with it! See, Shawn is the troubled character, with his past of people leaving him, and now that he sees that Maya in Girl Meets World is the same way, he attempts to help her out. As hinted in the holiday episode that her best friend Riley (the lead of the new show) has "bigger plans" than to simply have Shawn and Maya bond, it's revealed that she wants Shawn to be Maya's father! The best way to do that, of course, is to have Shawn meet Maya's mother, and from there, it was just all feels: Shawn confronts Maya's mom for choosing to work over missing Maya's birthday... but when he finds out that she had to work extra shifts to pay off a locket that Maya wanted since the first few episodes of the season, I admit that I had to pause the TV and go "whoa".

This episode also pays homage to the original series as well, starting with Shawn's relationship with a girl named Angela. First, the sad news to a fan like me: it's revealed that they drifted apart from one another, and since they were dating for like half of Boy Meets World, it was kinda depressing. Normally, I'd be okay with it as it wasn't the first sitcom breakup feels like a cop out (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air's Will Smith and Lisa to name one), but it bothers me because one of the problems of their relationship was that Angela was afraid of ending up like her mother who left her father. I felt like they betrayed Angela's character because she had that very emotional scene where she's told she is nothing like her mother, only for her to apparently end up doing so. However, there is some good things to the episode though: not only do they reference how Shawn met Angela (Shawn went through Angela's purse one day and fell in love with her personality and character), but they also did it again in one of the most adorable ways ever.

Overall, it was a very feel-good episode.

Okay, this week saw the season premiere of Justified, which I mentioned last time. First off, if you're NOT watching Justifed, you're missing out on a great show. I mean, if you're even the slightest bit curious, just check out the first episode. If you don't even have time to check out the whole thing (it's an hour long with commercials so about roughly 40 minutes or so), then just watch the first 5 minutes. Yes, it really does get that good that fast.

Justified is a TV series (based off a short story called Fire in the Hole by the departed Elmore Leonard) about a U.S. Marshall named Raylan Givens who gets transferred from the lovely Miami, Florida to the down and dirty town of Harlan County, Kentucky, and he is quite possibly one of my favorite protagonist in a TV series ever. Seriously, what other character is this smooth, suave, and badass? He has some of the funniest one-liners and witty remarks, and if talk is cheap, then he has smart thinking and a quick trigger finger to back it up. I mean, check this out!

So awesome.

He's not perfect though, which also makes him a lot more likable. There's plenty of times where he could've been killed and had to either be saved by someone else, or coincidence just happens to luck out that time. He also has a pretty mean temper for people he clearly dislikes, but he does it with that "quiet" anger that makes him feel very intimidating despite not getting all up in someone's face like most brutes would. Regardless, Raylan Given steals the spotlight in every scene.

Anyway, without spoiling too much of the season premiere, it starts off with a reminder of what this season is about, and alludes to what fans have been anxious to see: Raylan Givens is able to go back to Miami and be with his child, but he doesn't want to go until he books the other main character, the "antagonist" Boyd Crowder (portrayed by the excellent Walter Goggins). For those who may not watch the series, Boyd is the "antagonist" who has been there from Season 1, but feels almost like a character in a separate show because he's off doing his own thing, only occassionally bumping into Raylan. Since this season is the last, I'm hoping that that these two will finally have a showdown with one another... though obviously for the finale.

Anyway, the season premiere may not have had awesome shootouts or anything, but it still entertained me with the characters alone, which is honestly the best part of the show anyway. The episode sprinkles in some cool moments like quick small hick town bank heist that shows how effective Boyd is at what he does, and scenes that makes us remember why Raylan is still the coolest character on the show: what he did to an officer in Mexico after he refused to help him was pretty rad, and the part where he stopped a fleeing drug dealer was hilarious. Unforunately, one of the minor but delightfully recurring character of the show dies in the premiere, and it's kinda sad to see him go so soon. Speaking of deaths, is it just me, or did the talk between Raylan and Arlo foreshadows Raylan's demise? Seriously, you do NOT write a conversation like that unless you're trying to insinuate something. DON'T FUCK WITH ME, WRITERS!

I'm not gonna lie, one thing that always worries me when I'm at the end of videogames and movies is whether or not my favorite character's gonna make it or not. While some animes and videogames just kill off characters (Attack on Titans and supposefully Danganronpa), some series like to save that for the finale, and I'm usually holding my breath waiting to see if characters are gonna kick the bucket; I get way too attach to them.

Anyway, not a bad start to the season, but I would've preferred something more solid and memorable since it is the last season premiere. It also worries me slightly that, at least to my knowledge, the last episode or so haven't been shot yet, if not written... but hey, we'll see.

* - OpiumHerz "shuts the fuck up and just plays" (#STFUAJPG) an awesome Playstation 2 gem called .hack//G.U., a three-part series that spans the adventures of Haseo, a PKK (Player Killer Killer) in the MMO "The World" who has to uncover the secrets behind a mysterious Kite look-alike.

* - After dropping his singles like dolla bills at strip clubs, Alphadeus releases his full album for "Songs for Gamers: Volume III", an album dedicated to the members of the Dtoid community, for free! Tracks include "A Knight and his Synth", "Science!", "Think of the Kids" and more!

* - Shameless promotion: The Scholarly Gamer, Fenriff, and yours truly, have come up with Band of Bloggers, where the community decides to pick one game a month for all of us, including YOU, to play and blog about, and next month's all about that apocalypse! Will it be Fallout 3, Metro 2033, Dead Island, or what?

* - SeymourDuncan17 gots a fever, and the only prescription are conventions! After visiting last year's Alamo City's Comic Con, Seymour wants to see more (see what I did there?) so he heads on down to PAX South, complete with pictures! I'll leave it to you to say whether that's better than meaty fajitas.

* - Forgotten Bastion hasn't forgotten (...) how disappointingly disjointed he found Resident Evil 6 to be, and after playing through the Resident Evil Remake Remastered, he wonders if Capcom will wise up and get things back to the way Resident Evil games are truly supposed to be.

P - They've been off-air for over a year because they were hibernating in space, but podcast hosts Panzadolphin56 and GlowBear are back with episode 26 of Scary Granules!



V- What time is it? Charlietime! Charlietime has a video of what his hopes and dreams for Borderlands 3 are. While I'm not against videos, I would prefer people would talk about the content on the blog (this ain't a Youtube channel!) to supplement.

A - Mr. Hoffmann, after being inspired to host an "Art Challenge" upon seeing something similar on another site, decides to make this month's theme all about the villains. Click here to see Barubary from Breath of Fire 2, Na-Krul from Diablo, and more here, then click on the link to see the rest!

C - CynricCyning writes why Ys: Book I and are one of his favorite games, but I think a little might be lost in the ramble: there's a lot of reasons why people dislike the games, but not much telling us why he likes them.

C - Trioptical's New Years Resolution (did anyone actually make one?) is to watch more eSports after gaining an interest watching it on ESPN last year. While not a bad blog, I kind of wanted to know why the interest, and what exactly does he mean by presentation: does he like the spectacle of the sport event like announcers, or simply games that look fun to watch?



- Dreamweaver

FPotD

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Last Saturday morning, I woke up feeling less than 100%. That's normal for me in the kind of weather Cincinnati has around this time of year. My head was hurting a little bit, and I was congested, but I still went through my regular Saturday routine. I woke up at 5:30, made breakfast, sat down at my kitchen table, posted my Friday recap, then headed off to the gym around 7:30. Some people may ask why I went to the gym when I wasn't feeling well? Two reasons: 1) Working out usually makes me feel better, and 2) a little sickness isn't going to stop me from pretending I'm C.T. Fletcher.

Pictured: Me.

Anyway, I was about halfway through my workout and suddenly I lost all motivation. Normally I would just force myself to finish, but that day I was just done. I went home and as soon as I walked in the door, I laid on the couch and felt like I was going to pass out. For the next 24 hours I was basically a zombie. I was in and out of consciousness, every time I tried sitting up, I would just stare at the ground. It was like the weight of my own head was too much for me to carry. I wound up not eating for a very long time, and even when I started to feel it hungry, I just couldn't eat. I had never felt that sick in my life.

Then, without explanation, I woke up the next morning feeling 100%. It was really weird, but that wasn't the end of it. Between morning and evening church services, I sat down to play some videogames, and when I went to reach for my laptop, I felt something tweak in my back. For the next two days, I could barely walk. Every thing I did that wasn't standing straight up and laying flat was agony. Thank the good Dude upstairs for ibuprofen. And if you're wondering, I'm doing completely fine now, thank you for your concern.

Yesterday morning, I put on my Macho Man t-shirt, and I was immediately instilled with a confidence unlike any other. I knew that something special was going to happen. And something special did happen. I've already burned through every game I received from Christmas, and no other current games sounded much fun. I made my way into the retro room and scanned the shelves. I wanted something that was fairly short and I had never beaten before.

As soon as I locked eyes with it, I knew that today was the day I was going to take it down. It's a game we're all familiar with, and it's infamous for having some of the worst box art in videogame history. But on the plus side, it's a fantastic game, and the first entry of a long-running franchise. That game: Mega Man.

One of the greatest shames of my gaming life was the fact that I had never beaten an NES Mega Man game. Well, I'm proud to announce to you today that I can finally put that shame behind me. After a little over an hour of memorizing disappearing block patterns, playing paper-rock-scissors, and purposefully dying to restart certain stages with the fully allotted amount of lives.

It's interesting how your perception of difficulty changes as you get older. As a kid, Mega Man was basically impossible, but after nearly a quarter of a century of gaming to my name, it actually wasn't too bad. By no means is it easy, but I never felt like I was doomed to never progress, I just needed some persistence.

I had to commemorate this momentous occasion in my life.

I felt so manly after I beat the game that I jumped out of my seat, fist-pumped, ate a 32oz steak, cloned two copies of my wife and had sex with all three before nursing an injured bald eagle back to health, setting it free and shooting a gun into the air while riding a Harley. Suck it, Russia! You're not getting to the moon before us! America, baby! Wooooooooo! BASEBALL AND APPLE PIE!

So there's another game I can take off the backlog. I'm still debating on what I should tackle next.

Perhaps I should just take them all down.

* - As a fellow collector who was once strapped for cash and considered giving it all up, I just want to say one thing to Leroy: Stay strong. Giving it up is not the answer.

* - Charlietime sings the praises of the 3DS, and speaks in ye olde English, double win.

A - There are at least 15 games to look forward to in '15. That is, of course, if this “toomanybiscuits” can be trusted.

P - The Fapcast has returned, but it's too late to ask questions now. Better luck next time, dingus!

A - Let's Plays are "toxic and exclusionary," said one guy ever. The Kodu calls out some nonsense going on at the Indiecade Expo.

F - Lassen Sie uns auf der Xbox kampfen.

F - Laten we vechten op de Playstation.

T - How can the MMO return to its market-dominating ways? Or can it at all?

P - Riobux makes a case for everyone to give Verbis Virtus. I'm going to play it simply because I love alliteration.

R - I've been wanting to play Papers, Please for so long! UpDownLeftRight's review only helped feed my fervor.

V - If there's one thing I appreciate on a man, it's a good beard. DimmuJed has a good beard. I give it 10/10 beards. He also talks about Puzzle & Dragons Z. But who cares about that when there's so much beard here?

R - Preposterous Whitey reviews the most adorable game this side of Bubble Bobble: Captain Toad Treasure Tracker.

V - Johnny Burns brings the UnPro Tips to Street Fighter IV. YOU CAN beat M. Bison on the hardest difficulty, you just gotta believe.

N - Major Rocks looks like a pretty sweet space shooter. It's on Kickstarter now, so take a moment to give it a gander.

S - Solar Pony Django brings us an unboxing of the latest swag from Loot Crate. I'm still debating if I should jump on the Loot Crate gimmick.

A - I'm labeling this one as art, because that's the only word that can be used to describe Brittany's incredible spoken word skills. Shine on, you crazy diamond!

 No fails this week. My hat goes off to you all. Go out and do something awesome for someone else today. It'll make you feel good, I promise. Now, here's a picture of a pro wrestler giving you a thumbs up.

-TheDustinThomas

FPotD

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Well, and that's that. I've been back in Europe for almost two weeks now, and life is starting to return to normal. I've had surprisingly little trouble adjusting to the European time zone; I just skipped sleep on the plane and made a point of staying awake until about 11PM EU time the day I came home. Was absolutely beat that night, but the next morning I was up and running like I'd never left. Consider that a pro-tip for if you ever need to travel to some far-off place.

Adjusting to life itself has been more difficult though. It's somehow very strange not living near the White House anymore, or being able to travel anywhere in the country in about two hours. And man, having to do things according to my parents' schedule is something I haven't done in years and definitely didn't have to consider in DC.

Other than some slight adjusting issues though, it's good to be home. In particular, it's great to have WiiU access again! I've been playing sooooo many games these past few weeks. All of them great ones to boot! Let's have a little roll call, shall we?



First of all, I missed the first DLC for Mario Kart 8 while I was gone. So the first thing I did was snatch that up good, and take my Rosalina for another spin. I have to say, those new tracks are fucking sweet. I really like the Mario Kart take on Mute City, and that music is just lovely. Mute City feels like a very fast track and is definitely a ton of fun. ExciteBike is nice too, just jumping all over the place. Hyrule Castle is just a 'good' track from a gameplay standard, but there's just something about driving a bike past the Master Sword that's hard not to love. Finally, Dragon Driftway might be my favorite of the bunch, and that's saying something. This is the only truly 'original' track in the DLC, what with it being inspired neither by guest Nintendo IPs or a returning track from previous Mario Kart games. Instead, they just have you drive through Gobblegut, the first boss from Super Mario Galaxy 2. It's easily the hardest track of the bunch, with many tight turns that you absolutely have to watch out for. It's a gorgeous course though, the music is lovely again, and the whole aesthetic just feels very inspired to me. Love it!

The returning tracks from previous games I'm obviously less excited for. But that's not to say that they aren't good. They most certainly are! Wario's Goldmine has been improved significantly, it's still fun driving all around a Yoshi-shaped island, and the other two courses round out the octotet quite well.

All in all, the DLC was easily worth its money, and made an already great game even more fun.



Second, there's Smash Bros. Of course, I played the everloving shit out of the 3DS version while I was out and away. In fact, I played it so much that I really had to get used to the WiiU controls again. Fortunately, the Luigi Gamecube controller that I bought in New York works like a charm, so it didn't take me long to get my feel back. I've been working on the many Challenges a little bit, and I think I can say that I'm making decent enough progress. I've even managed to complete the challenge where you have to score more than 8 kills in Cruel Melee with Lucina! That was a toughy, for sure.

Other than that, it's the same game I loved on 3DS, but now on the big screen. It looks amazing to boot, and I literally cannot gush enough about My Music. So many kick-ass songs in there, seriously. In addition, 8-player Smash is wonderful chaos. It's much less fun in Classic Mode though. Classic mode is fucking awful in the WiiU version. And what the fuck is Smash Tour even supposed to be? Other than that though, game's still great.

Fun fact about Smash Bros: since I started playing the WiiU version I found a new main. Okay, maybe not main per se, but definitely a worthy secondary. Before, I played Luigi as my main, and had Zero Suit Samus and Ganondorf as secondaries.
Now, a new one enters the fray: Jigglypuff. I shit you not. Honestly, I don't know why it took me this long to figure this character out. In many ways, she's similar to Luigi. Great jumping abilities, very useful air-moves, and a special that knocks foes out at 70% but leaves you wide open. I've started to get a feel for her now, and even though she's not replacing Luigi anytime soon she's fun to play around with. It's also incredibly satisfying to see people online underestimating you and then finding out the hard way that when you have more than 80% damage you stay the fuck away from Jigglypuff.

Fun times all around!



Third, I've got Hyrule Warriors. This game came out about a week after I left for the States, so it was about damn time that I finally got around to playing it. And holy balls is it fun. SO MUCH FUCKING FUN YOU GUYS.

I've never played Dynasty Warriors before, but this one hits all of my senstive spots. It's more than a little button-mashy to be sure, but in short bursts it's an absolute blast. In particular, I adore how much of a loveletter this game is to the Zelda series. I think Strider hit the nail on the head when he called it the Smash Bros of Zelda. You've got playable characters from everywhere and nowhere, the Wind Waker as a weapon for Zelda, Link's Amiibo gives you the Spinner, Lana can summon the Great Deku Tree, the Great Fairy hurls the Majora's Mask moon on people, Cucco's are a faction, Sheik plays elemental songs on his harp, Midna is playable in two different incarnations including the sexy midriff-exposing one, and there are an incredible amount of familiar enemies to fight. Finally, the music is great (this is a theme today, as it is pretty much every day), with a huge variety of remixes of well-known Zelda songs. I haven't found the soundtrack yet, but I will. Oh, I will.

My only complaint here is that the 'loveletter' thing mostly extents to Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword. That's sort of understandable, but I still feel like the other games should've gotten more representation. In particular, it's a crime against gaming that The Wind Waker only has a weapon type for Zelda and nothing else (unless you count some of Lana's attacks with the Deku Spear). Dragon Roost Island could've been a level, Medli could've been playable, same for Orca, and any Zelda mash-up that does not have the Ocean Theme is just doing it wrong. 
Even beyond Wind Waker, there are some questionable choices. Why is Wizzro a new character and not just Vaati? And for that matter, why is Cia not Veran, or at least Twinrova? It definitely feels that there could've been more to this, despite the many cool references that we already get.

So far, I've already managed to unlock every playable character and every weapon type for each character. That alone took a huge time investment, and then I still haven't seen a lot of what the game has to offer. Plus, there's the Majora's Mask DLC that's hitting next week, which will have playable Young Link + Fierce Diety Mask and Tingle (really, Nintendo? REALLY?).

My favorite character to play as so far is easily Ruto. She's a lot of fun to use, with her waterbender playing style. Summoning giant waves to instantly clear entire keeps also makes you feel like the biggest badass (who's still in touch with his feminine side). Besides, it's nice to be able to kick ass as her now, after spending so much of Ocarina of Time carrying her around. Apart from her, the DLC Twili Midna also scores high on my list. She can summon wallmasters to punch her enemies into submission, giant fuck-off cannons to blast the competition away, and giant wolves to kill fucking everything. Normal Midna is a lot of fun too, but Twili is where it's at. Also midriffs. Finally, I've taken a liking to Zelda with each of her three weapons. The Wind Waker in particular is great to use, because I'll be damned if I don't squeeze every last drop of Wind Waker out of this fucking game.



Finally, I've got Bayonetta 1 & 2. As someone who has always been a Nintendo gamer and thus never owned anything but Nintendo consoles and a gaming PC, there have definitely been games I missed out on. My biggest gaming regret, to this very day, is still Journey, followed by Shadow of the Colossus. However, Bayonetta was always high up there. A supposedly super wellmade combat system all sprinkled in tongue-in-cheek humor, over-the-top fight scenes, and based on mythology to boot? Sign me up! But up until about two weeks ago, I was never able to play it.

By now, I've got my hands on a Special Edition of Bayonetta 2, which also included a boxed (!) version of the original. I've finished the first one, and just started with the second.
My god, these games have already exceeded my expectations. They practically define fun. Everything, from the battles to Bayonetta's character, from the cutscenes (I love how Luka's past girlfriends are all named after Clover/Platinum characters, including Sylvia and 'Ammy') to the finishing moves, everything is just about perfect for making a fun game.

To be honest, I was a little worried about this one after playing The Wonderful 101. As much as people like that game because it's more of Platinum, I could never get a feel for it. It was too chaotic in my mind and I never felt truly in control of my 100 heroes. Bayonetta fixes all of that. Not once did I feel like I got hit because the game messed up. If I get hit, it's my fault. What's more, I actually felt myself getting better at the game as I went on, and going back to earlier levels to get Platinum trophies was actually very doable. Contrast that with Wonderful 101, and I didn't really feel there was much more to it than the stuff I was already doing in level 1. Which, for the record, didn't always work because how in the hell am I supposed to see that guy trying to punch me when he's being obscured by a 100 little dudes?

I absolutely adored Bayonetta 1 (IT HAS BAZOOKA TONFA THAT YOU CAN PUT ON YOUR LEGS), and I'm definitely jumping back in to the second one after I'm done here. Also, for the record, Jeanne cleans up nice with long hair. It's a shame that Hideki Kamiya is an ass man though. Need some belly buttons up in this business.



So yeah, good times all around! I've been having tons of fun with my WiiU again, and I'm sure I will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. And then, who knows what's next? Maybe Captain Toad or something? Or perhaps Splatoon, Zelda and Xenoblade will be here soon. Oh, but before then there's more Mario Kart and Hyrule Warriors DLC, plus Mewtwo should be here soon for Smash. Man, so much great stuff up in this thing.

Here's a call to arms for all of you with a WiiU: Hit me up if you want to race me in Mario Kart, fight me in Smash, or kick some angel ass in Bayonetta!

And with that, let's have some belated caps. I -ismed my heart out, so thanks if you've read the whole thing!


* - Redheadpeak talks about how he enjoys his games, and wonders how you enjoy yours. When you've got things like Bayonetta and Hyrule Warriors, it's hard NOT to enjoy them!

* - Dr. Light ate your Magicite still has the best username on Dtoid. Also, he documents his love for Earthbound in Miiverse posts. This blog deserves more love, guys.

* - Who would have thought that a glowing bear could be stealthy? Glowbear proves us all wrong with a great blog on stealth in games.

* - If Tharja and Rosalina were performing at a strip club you'd totally go see it, don't you fucking lie to me.

* - Following up on the Badger, Fenriff wonders about anonimity in the games industry. Seems to me anonimity is often just a cover to be abrasive, but why the fuck should you listen to ShadeOfLight?

* - Dreamweaver wants to bring Comments of the Week back. That's great, so help him already!


P - DustinThomas wants your questions Super Mario RPG for his podcast....which would've been nice if I had only posted these caps on time.

A - Scholarly Gamer hits upon a disturbing realization; he's grinding in everything he's doing. Except the sexy kind amirite?!

A - Zer0t0nin doesn't think 2014 was very good for games (which is obviously because he doesn't own a WiiU yet), but has a lot of games to look forward to this year (a lot of which on WiiU; told ya.)

A - For some reason someone thought that "government makes sure that game can't be sold" isn't censorship. Zyk sets him straight.

A - TheOSGVault takes a look at what makes GTA and COD sell.

A - As much as I don't like it, it looks like The Badger is here to stay. But The Defenestrator gets to ask him your questions, like "why are you not as sexy as The Wombat?".

A - Joe Jurado questions whether we've gone too far with HD Remakes.

A - Much like Spielerdad, I hate the cold. But a good old snow level, that I can get behind.

A - If you think about it like acefondu has, the Free-to-play model really is an odd beast.

S - Bardley continues his look at old game ads, focusing on SEGA this time. After all, it does what Nintendon't.



- This song is from a fashion game, and I love it. A MOTHERFUCKING FASHION GAME.






D - A game dev for Spark Rising shares some videos on what he's been up to. Things, and stuff.

N - There's a Star Wars Battle Pod games in the arcades, which is a thing you're going to want to see.

R - Kooram gives a glowing review of Primordia, as he damn well should. Such a great one.


F - Per request The Kodu takes a break from his usual stuff to tell us if Constantine is worth watching. It's not, but he did get me interested in that thing about lesbian ghosts.


C - Think you've got it bad with the Majora's Mask New 3DS? Apparently in the UK they're gone. Like, actually all gone.

V - I'm not entirely sure what this is for or about.

C - Again, I don't really get this blog.


F - Too serious to be funny, too stupid to be legit. I don't even know.


- Is that a Bayonetta homage in my Smash Bros WiiU?



- ShadeOfLight
May you always find water and shade

FPotD

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