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Cblogs of 09/04/14 & 09/05/14 + Shadeisms
9:25 PM on 09.06.2014
Cblog Recaps of 09/03/14 and GUNVOLTISMS
3:25 PM on 09.04.2014
C Blogs of 09/02/14 + Wrenchisms
12:31 PM on 09.03.2014
Cblogs of 8/30/14 - Second Verse: Same as the First!
8:18 AM on 08.31.2014
Cblogs of 08/29/14 and Shin Megami Bbainisms
2:53 AM on 08.30.2014
Cblogs of 08/28/14 + Shulk in Smash Bros HOLY SHIIIIIIIIIIT-isms
1:01 PM on 08.29.2014

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Following (27)  

A lot of blogs on Thursday and Friday, but I don't have a lot of Shadeisms for you. I could talk about the whole Gamersgate thing, but there are few things out there that I hate more than internet drama, let alone internet vigilantism.

Beyond wanting to keep my distance from as much of the currently ongoing "discussion" as I possibly can, I have a lot of other things on my mind too. I'm a chronic overthinker so in all likelihood I'm making a big fuss over nothing, but the moment you can get my brain to accept that fact I'm giving you the biggest fucking trophy made of Nutella and bacon.

* - Gajknight does the smart thing and ignores any and all controversy to give us a neat retrospective of Michael Jackon's Moonwalker instead.

* -<3

* -There's really something amazing about video games that they can make you feel bad about decisions that only affect polygons and AI.

* - eDiZZtr0ya (do me a favor and choose a username that's easier to type?) lists all the goods that come of video games.

* - Nekrosys must be a certified carpenter, what with all those nails he's hitting square on the head. Seriously though, as much as I dislike getting into internet drama, this is probably the best opinion piece on the whole thing.

* - serchinnho discusses his intricate relationship to fighting games.

* - I'm always sad to see people go, and the circumstances in this case certainly don't make it any better.

P -This is the first I've seen of the You've Been Played Podcast on Dtoid, but apparently they're up to episode 32 already.

A - Sometimes the simplest metaphores are all you need to get a point across.

A - And sometimes this happens, I don't really get the point mangledenglish is making.

A - Meanwhile Fengor wants to go full Switzerland and not choose any sides.

A - Noir Trilby wonders whatever happened to us.

P - The only thing you need to know about Radio Dtoid episode 44 is that it features "exploding cum murder".

A - Again, what are you even trying to say here?

A - mrplow8 argues that we should not take literally that which might as well be hyperbole.

A - Ambrose Karella takes us all the way back to the beginning of First Person Shooters.

C - Nanashi is taking a leave of absense for what sounds like personal reasons. All the best to ya man.

F - Xbox FNF + Scields wants to STFUAJPD(estiny).

C - Hoffman taking the new Cblog editor for a spin.

F - PS FNF + Disillusioned KymikoLoco

T - Tonich shows that Papers Please makes a terrible person out of all of us.

$ - New releases and UK games for cheap.

V - Chi-Guy thinks Bayonetta 2 may be a pretty big milestone. Personally I just think it looks fucking awesome.

T - Much like most anyone else, sonic429 isn't happy with current Sonic games. He's got a wishlist though.

? - Is ctrain crawling back to Nintendo? Honestly I have no clue.

L - Retrofraction knows his priorities. Video games aren't the biggest problem we're facing today. Green energy is.

V - The Fatal Frame LP continues.

F - Since this is about GamersGate I'm promptly ignoring it. Not much substance here either.

- ShadeOfLight
May you always find water and shade


Smash Bros. 3DS is still a month away. A full month. I've been looking for things to preoccupy myself with until that day comes, particularly with games. And so I saw a review last week of a game called Azure Striker Gunvolt and came away with one fact:  Keiji Inafune is behind the game.

I saw Gunvolt being previewed multiple times but it never occurred to me that it'd become a game worth buying. So on a whim, after hearing about its blaster/Flashfield mechanics, I gave it a shot. And after beating it after 8 hours, I still want to play more to perfect runs and beat time scores.

Honestly, getting used to using Flashfield as my main weapon as opposed to a general buster cannon was weird at first. I wanted to mash my fire button and lay it on those cool bosses like Carrera the avarice or Merak the slothful. Instead, you tag enemies with your gun with bolts, which act like lightning rods. Your Flashfield then homes in on tagged foes, whether you tagged three different enemies or tagged an enemy three times. Chris mentions in his review that he found the Prevasion mechanic a bit of an unnecessary crutch. But there are some bosses who have unfairly difficult attack patterns and a few are downright impossible bullet hells unless you make use of Prevasion. Even with Prevasion, some a small percentage of bosses have attacks that bypass the safety of Prevasion, so I think Prevasion helps in aspects like speed runs and low health dangers. Plus, getting hit once even with Prevasion knocks down your score anyways, which will make score hogs restart regardless of their Prevasion. The instant EP charge mechanic he mentioned is also necessary to keep the game feeling fast paced. If I was forced to wait for a bar to recharge, that would've kill the pace of the game dead in the water.

I might still go back to check this out again.

I went in expecting Mega Man and came away with something quite honestly better. The style of the combat was fierce with the cut scene-esque preroll on super moves, the combat was fast, and everything worked together well to create a worthy Mega Man-like package. My only complaints are to progression. First, leveling up doesn't do much but increase HP/EP pools and unlock new special skills, but you unlock very few offensive skills and way more useless support skills. Secondly, gear crafting has a huge curve to it, which is responsible for letting you carve out a unique playstyle. I can use a bolt that only holds 2 or 3 tags compared to a possible 5 or 8 but also carry a pendant that increases the DPS of Flashfield proportionately to energy consumption. But all this is locked away behind a somewhat clumsy item synth menu and challenge screen. Some items you need are behind RNG while others are behind challenges that you can't attempt until you beat a stage, in which case you replay it to beat those challenges and obtain high value items for crafting. I spent a fair bit of time replaying missions to grind when I wished I could've taken some challenges on while playing it for the first time to keep pace with the story. You feel pigeonholed at first until you start grinding some items out because additional items don't unlock until you craft pre-requisite gear first.

I also found and bought Simpsons Hit-And-Run due to my Simpsons high last week but it is much more mediocre then I remember. The voice acting is great but the gameplay is much more linear than I remember. Spingfield is less a sprawling metropolis and more of a small country town that was built linearly. It's not exactly a straight line but it is like Final Fantasy XIII while you're travelling down a pipe without much deviation. Its a bit of a let down that I can't cut through alleyways to go from the Kwik-E-Mart to City Hall then to the Power Plant. Instead Springfield is divided into mission areas for each member of the Simpsons to explore. For example, the Kwik-e-Mart is near the Simpsons house in Homer's area but Bart can explore downtown and the civic center. The races are also reminiscent of classic unfair CPU races, like rubber banding but less stretching and more constantly at 60 MPH.

Still, the jokes and references are all there like buying Stonecutters Homer or driving in Marge's Canyonero. Its touches like that that make me sad I passed over The Simpons Game that released a long time ago and I've been hunting down a decent copy since last week. I can find it for $30 at Gamestop without a box or I can get it on Amazon for everything I want but at $40. I'm determined to find it at $30 with everything in it but it's not gonna be easy. Personally I think its worth $20 but then again, it might be in low print which is why it held its price for so long. But I hear that despite it being a pedestrian platformer, the value it has to big Simpsons fans for its jokes and humor is worth it.

Also, its been weeks after the fact but Legend of Korra finished up its third season and it must've been my favorite yet. It's only gotten better and improving from a shaky first season. The first season was plagued with teen drama and shippers. The second season shaked things up by introducing the spirit realm, upping the stakes, and a very enjoyable flashback to the first Avatar with the introduction of Wan to the mythos. The third season is much more grounded in reality, seeing a rebirth of a nation and dealing with a group who are much like terrorists than a radical activist group or an evil spirit. The third season found its characters peaked, at their most likable. Mako started as a gloomy guy only characterized as a person to be fawned over by the girls. Now, he's a hardened beat cop, providing the perspective of a lawman in most problems and acting like a detective. Asami is much more likable as Korra's best friend and confidant than Mako's girlfriend. And Bolin is still Bolin but that's ok.

I can't believe there's going to be a fourth season but we have to considering how it ended spoilers!!!

Korra survives the Red Lotus' mercury poisoning attempt but in the ending she's still in a wheelchair after two weeks of rehabilitation, depressed at the sorry physical state she's in. The newly cemented Air Nation announces itself to no longer detach themselves from wordly matters and instead travel the world acting as peace keepers but despite the announcement and the reveal of Jinora becoming an Airbending master, a single tear still strangely leaves Korra's face in a sad way, not a happy way. A strong hypothesis for what's happening and been bubbling is that Korra knew very early that she was the avatar and it became her drive. Every villain she's crossed has threatened her position as the avatar, from Amon taking away her bending to Vaatu and Unalaq becoming a dark avatar. While Korra takes pride in being the avatar its also her only identity. With her body questionably weakened and the Air Nation rising as the new peace keepers (peace being something the avatar is supposed to be in charge of) Korra may have lost her reason for living and we need to see how this all pans out in season 4.

End spoilers. Hopefully you didn't read that but it is why I'm looking forward to a fourth season, even if it won't be televised. Being relegated to web showing on Nick is weird but at least I won't ever miss it again.

Also, in case you didn't know, Zelda Williams voices a metalbender named Kuvira.

Kuvira saved Korra's dad from falling to his death.

Zelda Williams voices a character who saves someone's father.

* - Nobody cares about scandal or misogyny at PAX. Well, maybe in the back of their head of PAX is about fun

* - Bosses are the best

* - Should we bite the hand that feeds if that hand belonged to Hitler? Mecha-Hitler?

* - The highest concentration of Jem image macros since Ebaums World

A - Open a fresh can of hate. Now 20% less fat!

A - Getting to the heart of the rage matter in rage inducing games

C - What do you listen to while doing stuff?

C - Herz is bummed because of Bum Town being so full, all the bumminess is spilling out into his yard

I - Noxer's beginning or something. The start! The first!


V - Unpro bro on the RE joe

No wait, that's not how it ended

C - The story of a few plucky game devs came together to call everyone a dick

? - Humans vs robots I guess

F - How does I shot scandal


Photo Photo

I never bought a PS3. It wasn't a question of brand loyalty, or comparing technical specs, or any of the mindless things people seem to argue about when it comes to buying systems. It was a simple result of two things. One – Money, I only had so much of it. Two – The 360 had Bioshock (the first game of that generation that I felt sold the idea that I actually needed a new system). It was cheaper and had Bioshock, case closed. But I did miss some of those exclusives. Demon Souls, Metal Gear 4, and of course The Last of Us. Not enough to go out and buy another system, but man, some of those games...

Well, I just so happened to scratch one of those titles off my list this past weekend.

Me and my girlfriend were recruited by a pair of our friends to house sit for them as they went to PAX (lucky bastards). So we spent the weekend with their delightful tropical bird Mango, who regaled us with songs and squawks, and the occasional freak-out when she would think she saw a hawk out the window.  A goddamn ninja cat that got into the basement roof and haunted us like a Xenomorph banging around in the air ducts all weekend, only coming out to eat and provide real life “cat scares” to us so we could feel like living horror movie cliches.  Chewie, a gigantic white rabbit that was rescued from a illegal breeding farm and was once destined to end up as meat (I don't know if her name is a Star Wars reference, or a dark joke). And of course, their serious fucking entertainment set-up. Multiple consoles, surround sound, and a projector screen – our friends do not fuck around when it comes to nerding out. 

Being laid up as I am with my busted foot, I basically turned on the Last of Us on Friday and didn't come up for air until Monday. It was fantastic. Reminded me of the old days when we used to rent games and frantically try to squeeze everything we could out of them before dropping them back into a metal chute at midnight hoping to avoid yet another late fee.   

This is all old news to everyone, but The Last of Us is a terrific game. Stunningly beautiful, easily one of the best looking games of the last generation (could probably pass for a PS4 game if people didn't know better). Incredibly harsh, unrelentingly dark in both its narrative (filled with regret, shame, and moral compromise) and game mechanics (filled with neck shiving, face pummeling, and scissor-bat murder). All capped off by an ending that refuses to bend to committee notes or player expectations, that goes for the jugular and forces the characters to go on and live with the consequences of their actions rather than tying things up with a neat little bow. I was speechless.

Honestly, I didn't expect to love The Last of Us. Zombies as a thing reached critical mass a long time ago. We shuffled and bit our way into a total melt-down years back, the control rods bent and the concrete they poured over the slag vaporized and poisoned the water table, rendering the genre barren and lifeless. And I've had enough with tough “don't need no emotion to survive” badass protagonists. I'm tired of games, movies, and books that tell us again and again that if you want to matter when the stakes are down you need to be some kind of sociopathic violence king, who can pop off jawbones and cracks spines like some kind of bone marrow John Henry. I had this notion that I was going to play this game, enjoy the purdy graphics, get my jollies at the ultra-violence, and kind of put up with the rest of it.

I was wrong. The story in The Last of Us rises above the genre's expectations. Joel and Ellie have depth as characters and develop further as the game goes on. While Joel certainly fits the gruff tough guy stereotype, the game only glamourizes it to the extent that it makes him good at surviving – it openly questions if that survival is worth the cost, if “survival” is the most lofty and important concept to rise to. 

In an odd bit of coincidence, I stumbled on a critique from the Paris Review that was written just a few days ago. It basically accuses the game of being guilty of all the things I thought it would be, but was dead wrong. I was dead wrong and admitted this, this article is dead wrong but just keeps plowing ahead.

It's strange because I can actually grok some of the stuff the author is trying to say. I think there probably is some inherent narcissism to most zombie/apocalypse stories that we should look at. I think there are issues with the way we depict “heroes” in some genres (the guy who races to the bottom of the morality well first wins). Just The Last of Us is a sterling example of the genre done right, of those questions posed and addressed. The writer is asking the right questions to the wrong game.

* - Persona 4 seems to be the game that just keeps giving. Fenriff connected with it in a way he hasn't with any other game, and I know from years of hanging around these blogs that he's not the only one.

* - Dustin shows off his righteous collection of gaming ephemera.

* - Invisible walls, sudden death pits, fog that turns you around, there seems to be an endless number of ways for games to keep you where they want you.

* - Phil lets us in on some of the weird hipster games he's been playing lately. it's almost as if indie titles provided all of the gameplay (or better) of a AAA title at a fraction of the cost or something!

A - I'm sort of surprised nobody has pushed for a Legends of Dragoon re-make by now, I understand it has a decent cult following.

A - Del Toro is a huge gaming nerd, so I trust him to do right by the SH series. As far as other Hollywood figures getting involved with games, I think it's a case by case question.

S - I like this series, but it bugs me so much that he gets THE line wrong! It's just “for me, it was Tuesday”, no “just” in there!

A - Terry309 shares some of his favourite YouTube reviewers.

C - A good ol' fashion funny caption contest!

I - Obnoxers introduces himself and lays out a project/blog idea. Best of luck!

B - It's Retrofractions B-day!

R - The Ace Attorney series is so far down its own rabbit hole at this point that I don't even know anymore. TroyFullbuster is a fan, and most of his review concentrates on the subtle differences between different games in the series.

? - This blog just kind of bummed me out.

R - Swatting someone is just about one of the dumbest fucking things you can do.

F - You know, it's bad enough when people just puke up a YouTube embed without offering a blog or even a description. But if you're gonna do it (don't), at least don't mumble through the entire thing.

- Wrenchfarm

Photo Photo Photo

I knew this was a bad idea, but in the absence of any good ones, I decided to go for it."

So I started a new semester in school this week, and already I'm feeling overwhelmed: not only do I feel somewhat anxious that I'm getting lectures and assignments that I already feel completely lost in, but I'm even considering dropping the classes. They aren't academic courses, just electives like computer programming and digital animation, so there should be no real loss... however, since these are the classes that are the stepping stones to my future, it makes me feel like I should give up before I even get started: I've been comtemplating dropping out of college for a while now, and this isn't exactly the reinforcement I need. Despite all this, I might as well keep on trucking through: the courses are already paid for, and the deadline for refunds have already come and went... so hey, if I'm gonna drop out anyway, I might as well give it a shot since I only got something to gain and nothing to lose. Hopefully things will get easier, if only because I finally "get it" and everything clicks; that's what happened with the other classes I've had trouble with, so hey: let history repeat itself.

Unforunately, ever since I "lost" my creative spark a couple of weeks ago in a slump, I've been feeling really half-hearted lately: I can't seem to work on my personal projects, and it's frustrating trying to force it out. I want to keep writing since it gives me the nice feeling of working towards a goal... but I don't want to phone it in, and it's making me even more anxious because, even if I do manage to get something down, I just don't feel like it was worth the effort and time. I'm told that all writers need to take a break every now and then, and since I worked on my projects almost every day, I'm inclined to say that I might be feeling burned out. Ugh, all this "artificial" pressure is getting starting to get to me: I should try to relax and focus more on my "priorities", but when I don't write at least a couple of pages in my projects, I feel really stressed out... yet if I'm constantly working on it with a half a heart anyway, then I'm doing more harm than good! Anything you guys can say to give me a boost in my spirits, I'd really appreciate it: sorry to bring this over to the cblog recap, but I needed to get this out. 

On a lighter side of news, like how they always gotta show a funny video after depressing, hard-hitting news, I've been playing Tales of Xillia 2 lately. I'm a huge Tales of fan, so naturally, I had to get the Collector's Edition first day: it took a huge chunk out of my wallet, but with the nifty figure, a nice looking compact mirror with a jewerly box, and an awesomely designed steelbook case, it helps mitigate the blow. I have mixed feelings about the artbook though: it looks and feels really wonderful, like something an adult would read to me when I was a child, but there's a distinct lack of sketches, which is always my favorite part of getting one of these. The game itself is rather rad; I can say that I barely want to put it down! Ludger is such an awesome protagnist to play as too: while I'm not too crazy that he is a silent character in a JRPG, I do like how expressive he has to be to compensate for that, so seeing his facial animations in skits really helps. I also love that he has not only dual swords and a hammer, but also dual-wielding pistols because it's about time the hero started packing heat in a fantasy!

Speaking of fantasies, I also recently bought the next volume of my favorite light novel Spice and Wolf that came out this week, and just from the synopsis does it sound like a real treat! For those of you who don't know, Spice and Wolf is a story about a travelling merchant who meets a wolf goddess who takes on the form of a human female, and they go on adventuring of trying to maximize profit with minimal loss. It's a rather unique take on the fantasy genre since it's all about getting money and selling products, and I encourage everyone to at least give it a shot, though I wouldn't expect anyone to jump at the chance: truth be told, the only reason I even gave it a shot was because Xbox Video was giving away the first episode of the second season of the anime for free. I'm glad I did though because I love this series so much that I bought all the volumes of the source material that is translated to English, and I look forward to every new release! I haven't been reading it though because I've been wrapped up in The Simpsons marathon FXX is having though. Ah... memories.

* - GlowBear must've heard the saying "not by the hair of my chinny-chin chin" when gobbling down some grubby pigs because here's a list of the "Top Chins in the History of Videogames!" Did your favorite chin make it in? Are you now feeling self-conscious when you see how your chin(s) stack up to theirs? That's okay: we can't have everything.

* - For most of us, the Steam library is the abyss of games that we might not ever want to look at... but for Jinx 01, it's a musuem of some fine artwork that you just can't take your eyes off! Check out his blog to see some examples of his creativity and how you can make your Steam library a lot more bearable!

A - Thinking about adventuring through some Sierra games? Then don't miss out on Segastardust's guide for beginners! He has tips that can save you hours of progress, so unless you're really a masochist for wasting time, be sure to check them out! Not listed: drinking Sierra Mist... but you probably already know not to do that. Ugh, that junk's nasty.

C - Reinhold Hoffmann's hosting another art contest on his website game-art-HQ.com, and the topic this time around is all about Horror and Halloween! Can you use your artist chops to conjure up something scary? Then free feel to represent Destructoid for a chance to win 50 bucks! Come on: that's a lot of hookers...

S - Pixielated's blogs of dreams are always such a treat to read through, and now you can have your dreams interpreted by this lovely Dtoider! All you gotta do is shoot Pixie an tweet at the Twitter account provided inside or comment down inside! Maybe Pixie can tell me why I have recurring nightmares of Santa in a tank top telling me I need to keep stroking Rudolph's red nose until sticky white snot comes out...

I - 16-Bit Blast Processing introduces himself to the community by telling us about his Youtube channel Cynical Bastards. Dropping the "A Journalistic Review" series, this channel has decided to tackle a new project called "Infinite Backlog" and provides a couple of examples at the end. Why don't you give it a look: can't be any worse than screaming Let's Play videos.

T - StriderHoang analyzes the newest Mega Evolution announced for the new Pokemon Omega Ruby/ Alpha Sapphire and tells us what does he think of each design, what does he think of the new tricks each one brings to the table, and how viable they might be in a competitive setting. I still can't stop laughing at Mega Slowbro's design: it reminds me of those cartoons when someone's naked and they slip on a barrel to hide themselves.

T - Derek Pietras is so excited at the idea of watching Link zip by on a motorcycle that he bought the Mario Kart 8 DLC in advance, and tells us why he believes Nintendo has the right idea for how DLC should be done. Nintendo may be behind in the times, but considering that Nintendo were kings of the older generations, that ain't such a bad thing...

V - Johnny Burnes reveals just a tiny piece of his commentary for Resident Evil: Dead Aim (because, let's be honest, that game is ripe for it) to pique your interest in his playthroughs. Whether you've played this before and want to revel in nostalgia, or simply just wanna check out an old gem that you have no intentions of ever playing, this guy's got ya covered!

C - Gamingnerd15 lets us know who his favorite sidekicks in videogames are. Now, it isn't my place to criticize blogs, but come on, I know you can do better! Either shoot off a couple of other sidekicks you're fond of (or hate: there's plenty of that here!) or really go into detail with the two you have. It's never too late to fix a blog, so mull on it a bit and really wow us!

Photo Photo Photo

So all the cool people are at PAX this weekend and I am very jealous! I really want to go to PAX again one year just to see everyone again, plus the convention was a lot of fun to explore. Getting to play unreleased games, talking to the devs, looking at all the cosplay, and sharing all of these memories with friends... it's such a magical experience!

While not at PAX, I spent my free time finishing up some Shin Megami Tensei games. I finally beat the first Digital Devil Saga, which I've been playing for the last few weeks. It was a good game, but probably my least favorite SMT game I've played so far (but basically, they've all been really good!). I felt like it had way more cheap deaths than previous games I've played, so a lot of my victories were based purely on luck. I could have spent more time grinding, and having everyone learn the moves that were useful for each particular boss battle, but grinding always manages to suck all of the fun out of a game for me. I refuse to do it if I can avoid it. For that reason, I never managed to beat a lot of the side quest bosses (like fly Beelzebub), but that's OK. At least I was able to beat the final boss with what I had. I still liked the characters a lot, and the game ended on a cliff hanger, so I'll probably pick up the sequel at some point.

I also finished Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army, which I actually started in December or January, but stopped playing it for some reason or other. Not sure why I stopped, as I actually really enjoyed it! It might be my favorite SMT series after Persona. Since they went with an action-based combat system over a turn-based one, the battles felt a LOT less cheap than some of the battles from other SMT games. If I get hit by an attack in Raidou Kuzunoha, it's because I failed to block or dodge, not because the game decided I got hit. Both combat systems are fine, but I found the action-based combat a lot less frustrating. 

I also felt a lot more of a connection with the demons in Raidou Kuzunoha than I did in other SMT games, since they walk around with you, battle alongside you, talk to you, help you perform certain actions, etc. Some demons I couldn't bring myself to fuse away or release, such as Mokoi and Thoth, because I grew to really like their personalities, even though they were weaker than the other demons in my party. And actually, I'm really glad I kept Thoth around, because he ended up being incredibly useful for the final boss fight! I realized during the fight that Thoth drains all magic elements, making him weak to physical attacks, but the last form of the final boss only uses magic attacks, so Thoth was essentially invincible! 

I'll probably pick up Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon next, since I enjoyed the first game so much. I plan on owning and beating all of the Shin Megami Tensei games released on the PS2, since they're apparently all fantastic. The only ones I have left to play are Devil Summoner 2 and Digital Devil Saga 2, so I've almost got them all!

Also, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is out in September and Persona Q is out in November, so I have some more SMT games to look forward to as well! I can't wait :D

* - Gray Time takes a moment to figure out what's going on with the term "Social Justice Warrior" these days. It feels like people are using the term "SJW" a bit too liberally lately.

S - Retrofraction begins a new series on video game/movie tie-ins, starting with After Burner, which was inspired by Top Gun.

S - TheDustinThomas counts down his top 5 handheld games of the last generation! The Nintendo DS was king.

S - Occam shares some of his favorite podcasts with us! Now you'll have plenty of lovely voices to hear through your headphones.

A - R. Hoffmann talks about some games he wishes had been released in English. There are several Japan-only games I wish I could play, too.

A - Dookysharpgun is worried about the new 3DS and what it might mean for current 3DS owners.

F - Friday Night Fights on Xbox + PAX time!

F - Friday Night Fights on Playstation + Corn's getting a PS4!

R - SeymourDuncan reviews InFamous: First Light, the DLC for Second Son.

T - Dreamweaver really, really likes Akiba's Trip!

T - Matt M discusses the weapons in Sniper Elite.

$ - August 29th UK releases and bargains!

V - A video about Fatal Frame.

C - Terry 309 is confused by the Adventure genre and what it says about a game.

No fails today! Huzzah!

- bbain

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So it looks like the leak was true, and I couldn't be happier!

If you know me a little on this site, and by now I hope that you do, you'll also know that I love me some Xenoblade. I think it's easily one of the best JRPGs ever made. It has some great characters and story, a fun and active combat system, a beautiful expansive world and a stellar soundtrack. I couldn't have wished for anything more from the developers who already made another one of my all-time favorite RPGs years ago with Baten Kaitos.

So image my excitement when I went online this morning and saw this:

Pants were creamed, squeals were heard, and random passersby were hugged to frankly uncomfortable degrees.
It was that good.  

For me, that trailer had a lot of cool stuff in it, which non-fans may or may not appreciate. In fact, I'll make a list.
1. The trailer opens up with a pan of Xenoblade's big draw: its amazing world. Specifically, this is a part of the Gaur Plains. Bowser being distracted by a butterfly is not unlike the player being distracted by all of the little things that there are to see on the Bionis.
2. About thirty seconds in, Shulk jumps out of hiding to attack Bowser. He uses one of his signature Arts ("Backslash!"), which does double damage if you hit a distracted enemy from behind.
3. At that very moment, the Gaur Plains Day Theme starts playing. Easily one of my favorite pieces from one of my favorite soundtracks.
4. "Shulk Foresees a Fight!" is pretty cool, since premonition is one of the Monado's main powers.
5. In fact, Shulk immediately uses this power, which has the exact same graphic effect as it did in Xenoblade.
6. As Link and Marth attack him, the Gaur Plains theme is back, but metalled up a bit. I like it!
7. At 1:00, the most wonderful thing happens as Shulk proclaims that "Now it's Shulk time!" This, of course, is a reference to the single most meme-worthy line from Xenoblade.

- It's Reyn time, baby!

8. As the actual gameplay footage starts, the music changes to You Will Know Our Names. In the game, this was reserved for unique semi-boss fights. It's a great song, and with a title like that it couldn't be more appropriate for Smash Bros. At the same time, Gaur Plains is confirmed as a stage.
9. During gameplay, we see Shulk making use of the Monado's powers to buff himself in various ways. That's not exactly with it did in Xenoblade, but it looks like it works. Similarly, he uses some of his other Arts, and can use his premonitions to counter folks. From the voice clips so far, it sounds like they got the original voice actor back to reprise the role.
10. In Xenoblade, any changes in armor would be reflected in-game, so that shot of Shulk in swimming trunks come straight from the game.
11. Immediately afterwards, Shulk summons two of the other party members to help out for his Final Smash. I hope that these two are not set in stone, and that the other characters can appear as well. As it stands, Dunban and Riki seem pretty random.
12. And finally, in the stinger Metal Face shows up, who is the main antagonist for the first part of the game. He also keeps his voiceactor.

All in all, Shulk looks amazing in this game and this trailer was pretty much perfect. Watch out Luigi and Zero Suit Samus, there's a new contender for Shade's main.

(In the mean time everything in DC is going swimmingly. Classes have just started and they're all fun although they take some getting used to. I also met this gorgeous French girl at one of our opening receptions and we hit it off really well; she's fun. But then when I got invited to have a drink at her place her boyfriend answered the door, and that was the end of that carefully laid-out plan. A huge shame though, I like her a lot)

* - Fenriff hits the nail squarely on the head; overblown hate on the internet needs to stop yesterday.

A - As far as sidekicks go, you could do a whole lot worse than Tails.

P - PStoid is recording this Labor weekend (which I have only found out this week is a thing that exists) so come and ask questions!

C - Reinhold Hoffmann knows the right questions to ask around here. Namely; what are you playing?

E - Go and adopt Brittany Vincent! You know you want to, if only to act out that creepy stepdaughter fantasy of yours.

I - Oscarno has already given us some great writing on video game music, but now it's time for him to take the next step and introduce himself properly.

V - Johnny Burnes plays through Fatal Frame to show that people still care about Fatal Frame.

- Born in a world of strife!

- ShadeOfLight
May you always find water and shade