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2:55 PM on 12.11.2009

Ranking the series: The Legend of Zelda

Hey, guess what comes out today?! A NEW ZELDA GAME! Woo hoo!

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks for the Nintendo DS hits stores today and I really can’t wait to dive into Link’s newest adventure. While some people had trouble falling in love with the last Zelda game on the DS, Phantom Hourglass, I personally adored it. I felt the touch-screen controls worked brilliantly, and it really made things that were starting to feel old-fashioned in Zelda games (i.e. throwing the boomerang) seem fresh and exciting.

So, in honor of Spirit Tracks’ release, I thought it would be fun to rank all the games in the Zelda series, from my least favorite to my most favorite. Yeah, this is going to cause a lot of controversy, but, hey, what’s a good list without a little Internet arguing, right?

Keep in mind that when talking about The Legend of Zelda series “least favorite” translates into “the game is still a 10 out of 10 and amazing, but even in a bakery full of delicious cakes, there has to be some cakes that are slightly less delicious than the chocolate mousse one sitting on the top shelf.”

Make sense? Here we go!

13. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (Game Boy Color)
12. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (Game Boy Color)
11. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (NES)
10. The Legend of Zelda (NES)
9. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures (GameCube)
8. The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (Game Boy Advance)
7. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (Nintendo 64)
6. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii)
5. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GameCube)
4. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Game Boy)
3. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (Nintendo DS)
2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Nintendo 64)
1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)

What do you think? Do you agree with my choices? Which ranking do you disagree with the most? What is your list of favorite Zelda games (it's harder to rank them than you think)? Are you excited about playing The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks?



12:07 PM on 12.08.2009

The ten best (worst?) Disney villains EVER!

The Princess and the Frog -- Disney’s glorious return to classic, 2D (musical!) animation -- comes out this week (December 11th). To celebrate, I thought it would be fun to make a list of the Top Ten best Disney villains ever. Yup, this is what I did. I have no shame.

Villains in Disney movies are arguably more important than the main heroes (or heroines) that drive the story. As much as I love Aladdin and Ariel, what kind of movie would Aladdin and The Little Mermaid be without Jafar and Ursula? When new Disney movies come out, people are dying (pun intended) to know whether the movie’s antagonist will join the ranks of the all-time classic villains.

Will evil voodoo priest Dr. Facilier from The Princess and the Frog be a memorable villain? (From what I hear, the answer is a resounding yes!) I guess we’ll all find out this Friday. We all will find out, right? You all plan to go and support this movie so more 2D Disney movies are made, right? RIGHT?

Here are my picks for the ten best Disney villains ... EVER!


10. The Hunter (Bambi)

The Hunter is barely seen and has a ridiculously small part in Bambi. But (SPOILER!), he is responsible for shooting poor Bambi’s mom in the face. I actually get teary-eyed every time I think of that tragic scene. It is one of the saddest and most shocking moments in any movie.

The Hunter is a giant asshole.


9. Stromboli (Pinocchio)

Pinocchio is one of the most underrated Disney movies of all time -- it is an absolute masterpiece. And Stromboli is totally underappreciated as the film’s main villain. But think about it. He kidnaps Pinocchio, forces him to star in his puppet show, locks him in a cage, abuses him, and threatens to turn the sad wooden hero into firewood. SO CREEPY!


8. Hades (Hercules)

To this day, no other villain has made me laugh more. James Woods’ performance as Hades in Hercules is completely classic.


7. Si & Am (Lady and the Tramp)

I had a Siamese cat in college named Oscar and he was the sweetest, cutest cat ever. Si & Am -- the two Siamese cats from Lady and the Tramp -- are not. They are creepy, unbelievably mean, and kind of a little awesome for it. Also, “We are Siamese if you please ...


6. Cruella de Vil (101 Dalmations)

What a bitch! Seriously. Not only is Cruella de Vil crazy-looking, she actually kills little puppies and uses their skin to make fur coats. She kills puppies and uses their skin to make fur coats! Out of control.


5. Scar (The Lion King)

Scar is as devious as he is amazing. Never mind the fact that he is voiced by the incomparable Jeremy Irons. Scar is such an ass to hero Simba (worst uncle EVER!) and he pushes his own brother into a pack of stampeding wildebeests, killing him. And then he blames everything on his own nephew -- a nephew he then tries to murder! God, he is a dick.


4. Ursula (The Little Mermaid)

Ursula is evil, don’t get me wrong, but what I love about her the most is her look. I just adore the fact that she is an octopus -- the way her eight tentacles slither and crawl around her throughout the entire movie is ridiculously cool and super creepy. Ursula also excels as Vanessa, the human form she takes when she tries to seduce Prince Eric.


3. Jafar (Aladdin)

For a skinny, weak vizier to the Sultan of Agrabah, Jafar is a badass. He does whatever he can do destroy Aladdin and marry Jasmine. And while that would normally make me hate him, he does it with such style and ... badass-ness that I can’t help but admire the guy. Plus, the red genie he turns into at the end of Aladdin is the best final form of any Disney villain since ...


2. Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)

Out of all the Disney villains, Maleficent may be the most “classic.” As just mentioned, her final villain form is ridiculously amazing. She turns into a huge, towering dragon that really is one of the coolest things of all time. Maleficent also just looks cool, with her horned headpiece and magical staff/raven accessory. There is a reason she is the primary villain in PlayStation 2 classic Kingdom Hearts.


1. Gaston (Beauty and the Beast)

Although Disney villains are awesome, most of them are given less than exciting songs (if any song at all). That is completely not the case with Gaston -- his rousing, hilarious theme may be the best song in masterpiece Beauty and the Beast (“And every last inch of me’s covered with hair!” is the best line from any Disney song).

But even looking past that, Gaston is still the greatest villain of all time. He is smarmy, ruthless, rude, vicious, and heartless all at the same time. He is such a cocky bastard ... but I love him for it. Gaston will always be Disney’s biggest douchebag. He has moments that will make you laugh, and others that will genuinely terrify you.


So, what do you think? Do you agree with my picks? Who are your favorite Disney villains of all time? THERE ARE SO MANY GOOD ONES!

And remember to go see The Princess and the Frog this Friday (12/11)! Let’s all support this wonderful movie and make sure the era of classic Disney 2D animation never comes to an end.   read

11:59 AM on 10.29.2009

Last night's episode of South Park

First of all, it was an episode about slaughtering dolphins. It was brutal to watch when the Japanese would spear the poor dolphins in the face, but it was absolutely hilarious. I loved it.

But, let’s get to the point of this post.

The dolphin trainer at the very beginning of the episode was named Chad.

Um ... yeah.

Let’s just pretend that Trey Parker and Matt Stone read Destructoid. (Who knows? They probably do!).

I was so happy last night. <3

Well, I was happy until I saw this:


11:38 AM on 10.06.2009

The first five minutes of The Princess and the Frog

I haven’t hidden my excitement for Disney’s upcoming hand-drawn 2D animated feature The Princess and the Frog. As anyone who knows me can tell you, I adore all Disney movies and am ecstatic that Disney (under the new leadership of my hero John Lasseter) decided to bring back the classic hand-drawn animated movies that made the mega-company famous in the first place. Choosing to also reunite the same animation/directing teams from the Little Mermaid/Beauty & the Beast/Aladdin trilogy of amazingness didn’t hurt either.

So, just today the first five minutes of The Princess and the Frog was released on YouTube.

Even though some of the footage is obviously still unfinished, I have to say I am excited. Really excited.

The clip is so beautiful, so rich, so wonderfully nostalgic that I am going to have a lot of trouble waiting until the film’s December 11th release date to see the entire thing.

Check out the opening sequence below:


What do you think? Pretty gorgeous, huh? How nice is it to see a brand new, hand-drawn animated movie from Disney? And the hint of one of the songs sounds absolutely beautiful. I can’t wait to buy the soundtrack and listen to it over and over again in my Jeep until I get strange looks from people at stoplights.

I actually got a little misty-eyed watching this clip. It made me feel like a kid again.

I am so happy right now.   read

12:57 PM on 09.09.2009

The Heart of Destructoid: A song for the community

PAX is always such an amazing experience for me.

I have always had such an immense respect and admiration for the Destructoid community, and finally getting to meet the people I love so much is an altogether overwhelming and emotional experience.

After this weekend I really wanted to put all of you in my pocket, take you back to Los Angeles with me, and pull you out whenever I was feeling blue (Which, if my sad feelings writing this post are an indication, is right about now. Where is my pocket keener when I need him?!)

So, first, a few thank yous.

Thank you to all the people that gave me gifts while at PAX. While I still don’t feel like I deserve anything, it doesn’t change the fact that I am completely honored and touched that you all went out of your way to bring me presents that you knew would make me happy.

And, trust me when I tell you this: I love my gifts. From the singing dolphin to the beautiful Destructoid comic sketches; from the Japanese Chrono Trigger poster to the freakin’ PAL PlayStation 2 that will allow me to play SingStar Disney. Everything I received has found a special place in my heart. You guys are too amazing for words.

I also want to say thanks to all my fellow Destructoid editors. It is an absolute honor to write on the same site as you guys, and for the ones that showed up at PAX, it was great having a drink with you.

And, finally, thanks to everyone that is part of Destructoid in one way or another. This Web site has completely changed my life and I really can’t find the words to express my gratitude and adoration for every person that has ever written for, read, or even clicked on

I want to put babies in each and every one of you.

Okay, now I am done being really gay. Let’s get to the main point of this post: Musical theater! ;)

This year at PAX, during the Destructoid panel, I decided to create the ultimate love letter to the community. As we all know, Destructoid prides itself as being a site where the community is key. Obviously, I agree with this sentiment. So much so that I recruited a bunch of Dtoid editors and community members to help me deliver a musical surprise ending.

Here is the result.

Actually, before you watch, just know two things:

1. I have not watched this video. I get to the 30 second mark, become horribly embarrassed and then turn it off. Hopefully the quality is okay.

2. This was created 100% because I love all of you. What better way to express your love of an online community than with a super gay musical number set to the tune of “Belle” from Beauty & the Beast?!

Okay, go ahead and watch. Just don’t make fun of me too much!


Thanks to everyone involved in the performance of the song.

And, most of all, thanks to the Destructoid community. Without you guys, my life would not nearly be as interesting.

I <3 you all more than words.   read

2:04 PM on 07.31.2009

Disney's next animated classic

Although I am the biggest Pixar fan of all time, I don’t consider Toy Story, WALL-E, and Up to be Disney movies. I know they technically are, but I will always look at them as straight-up Pixar movies that happen to have a fancy, CG Cinderella’s castle logo at the beginning.

But when Disney bought Pixar, my hero John Lasseter made a vow that he would bring back the classic 2D animated movies that made Walt Disney famous in the first place.

Even better, he rehired the same filmmaking teams that made the The Little Mermaid/Beauty & the Beast/Aladdin string of hits.

As much I am looking forward to the first of these “classic 2D animated movies” -- the gorgeous Princess and the Frog coming out this fall -- Disney just released some additional concept footage for its next piece of feature animation, Rapunzel.

Check out a few of my favorite images:

Seriously. I am not ready for this movie. It looks absolutely breathtaking.

If rumors are true, and Alan Menken -- the musical genius who composed the songs for The Little Mermaid and Aladdin (among many others) -- is writing the music for Rapunzel, I actually may have a heart attack and die from happiness.

You can check out all the jaw-dropping concept images right here (click on the “more” button to scroll through them all).

I am not ready for this. Is classic Disney back? Only time (and a princess and a frog) will tell. :)   read

3:16 PM on 05.14.2009


Hey, everyone!

Have I told you lately that I love you?
Have I told you there's no one else above you?


Sorry about that.

For this year’s E3 I am putting together a rather fun predictions post. I don’t want to give anything away and ruin the surprise, but as I was putting everything together I realized I would love to get the community involved as much as possible! THAT’S YOU!

What I need are YES/NO questions about some of the most interesting rumors/topics surrounding the anticipated show. (Obviously the more creative, the better.)

And while funny questions are always welcome, I would love most of them to be serious and things that you are genuinely curious about.

For example:

-Even though Ubisoft announced there will be no Beyond Good & Evil at the show, will a playable version of Beyond Good & Evil 2 make a surprise appearance?

-Will Nintendo announce a sequel to Super Mario Galaxy during their press conference?

-Will Nintendo reveal official footage of the in-progress Pikmin 3 for the Wii?

-Will Nintendo shed some light on its long-rumored new Kid Icarus game?


Obviously you see where my curiosity lies.

YES/NO questions are preferable, but you can throw in some basic answer ones as well.

Such as:

-How many booth babes will take off their tops by the mere sight of Dale North?

I am also looking for an equal amount of Nintendo/Microsoft/Sony inquiries, so keep that in mind when coming up with your ideas.

This is going to be super fun and I am really excited, so POST AWAY! As I mentioned in my ballad earlier, I love all of you and thank everyone in advance for your, what I am sure will be, amazing ideas.



3:32 PM on 04.13.2009

Round One! Polar bear vs. stupid woman! FIGHT!

Remember Knut, the cutest German polar bear cub since God invented cute German polar bear cubs? Well, some crazy ass woman jumped in the water surrounding his pen at the Berlin Zoo this past weekend.

Yup. I’m not kidding. The woman jumped in to swim with the cute looking bear because she thought it was a good idea.

Guess what happened?


Here are some freaky (although secretly amazing) pictures of what went down.

"Oh look, it's Knut! HE'S SO CUTE!"



A crowd full of facepalms.

And here is video of kind zoo patrons trying to pull her bloody, mauled body out of the water.


Seriously? Did this really happen? Is there a woman out there this idiotic? I can understand if she fell in for some strange reason, but, no, the woman actually willingly jumped in because she loves Knut.


I guess the moral of the story is this: When at the zoo, DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE!   read

11:06 AM on 03.07.2009

Don't ask, don't tell

I can’t tell you how I got this, but it involved a tuna fish sandwich, four paraplegic prostitutes, the soundtrack to The Little Mermaid, David Faustino, a shirtless Chinese boy, and a handful of bruised old ladies.

It was all worth it, though. This game is freakin’ amazing.   read

12:30 PM on 02.23.2009

Swimming with dolphins: A journey in pictures

First off, I have to thank the Destructoid community for everything you are about to read. Without you guys this never would have happened, so … thank you from the bottom of my heart. <3

As some of you may know, I got to fulfill a lifelong dream of mine this past Saturday: swimming with dolphins.

A few months back a large handful of Destructoid community members chipped it to buy me a birthday present in the form of an Interactive Dolphin Program at Sea World in San Diego.

It was the greatest experience of my entire life.

But let’s start at the beginning.

Honestly, everything from the minute I woke up until I arrived at Sea World was a giant OMG blur. It goes without saying that I was in an extremely happy mood.

But don’t take my word for it. Let these pictures speak for themselves:










Boo, traffic.







And then I arrived.

The Dolphin Interactive Program.

Once I checked in I was placed in a group with five other people (more on something amazing relating to this later) and brought into a classroom.

Here, we learned a little about dolphins, including what they eat (rainbows!), where they live (an undersea kingdom!), and who is destined to be their king (me!). Seriously, though, the classroom portion was basically just a refresher course on what not to do when handling a dolphin: poke it in its eye, stick your hand in its mouth, or cover its blowhole. Thankfully, I was not planning on doing any of those three things.

Once the class was over, our group was led into a locker room, where I promptly changed into my wetsuit.

I wanted to run right into the GIANT TANK FULL OF DOLPHINS that was only a few feet away, but, sadly, I had to wait for the entire group to get ready.

Okay, now what I am about to tell you is super embarrassing. But we are all family and you would never laugh at me for this, right? Right?

As we walked to the ladder to descend into the GIANT TANK FULL OF DOLPHINS I actually stopped myself because I started feeling a little strange. The rest of the group was lowering themselves into the freezing cold water and I was just standing there like an idiot.

All of a sudden I realized what was happening: I was bawling like a four-year-old girl.

Oh, yeah. No joke. I was so emotional about getting in the water with the creatures I have been obsessed with since I was a little kid that I just lost it.

The trainer (Kelly) asked me if I was okay and I think I made up some lame excuse that something was stuck in my eye. But instead of saying that, it came out of my mouth sounding something like this: “Zi’m pine. I zust fink I *sniff* has zomethink *sniff* stick un my eyebz.”


Once I pulled myself together I threw caution to the wind and just hopped right into the water (screw you, ladder!). I saw the trainer do that as well and wanted to do anything I could to be like her.

The entire session lasted for about an hour, but I swear it is hard to remember the details. I was in such a haze of happiness that I could barely focus on anything.

As a group, we got to swim with the dolphins (a mother and daughter pair that were the cutest things I have ever seen), get pushed around the tank by the dolphins, feed the dolphins, train the dolphins, and pet the dolphins. I, naturally, reached out and tried to pet the amazingly smart creatures every time they passed by us -- all this to the chagrin of the trainer (sorry, Kelly!).

Sadly, I could not bring my camera with me so I was at the mercy of some of the Sea World employees to grab a few shots as I was in the tank. While I would have loved to have more shots of me swimming in the water with the dolphins, the employees did a great job of getting some pretty memorable pictures.

I won’t bore you will all of them, but here are a few of my favorites:

Um, yeah ... that's me and a dolphin.

The dolphin is making the Chad face. My God, could this day have been any more amazing?!

And now for some of the highlights (well, the ones I remember/were conscious for):

-I got to train the mother and daughter dolphins on my own once. Using a simple hand motion, I instructed them to swim to the other end of the tank and return to me “walking” on the water with their tails. Yup, doing that made me cry again. :/

-Every time you kissed the mother dolphin on the head it would make this ridiculously cute sound -- kind of like a baby laughing. It was amazing.

-One of the guys in my group contacted the Sea World people beforehand and had them put a note in a giant plastic bottle that the dolphins use for a toy. During the training, the dolphin brought the bottle to this guy’s girlfriend. She opened the bottle and read the note. THE NOTE ASKED HER TO MARRY HIM! There was even a ring attached! You better believe I cried after this happened! Note to whoever is going to propose to me someday: this is how it needs to happen.

I obviously don’t need to say that Saturday was the best day of my entire life. I truly feel like my life changed after the experience of swimming with the dolphins. Call me overdramatic, I don’t care. You can call me anything you want! I got to swim with dolphins and I am so freakin’ happy!

Thanks again to the people that made this happen. There aren’t enough smiley face emoticons to express my eternal gratitude. :)   read

1:13 PM on 02.11.2009

February 21st will be the greatest day of my life

Back in September, a group of Destructoid community members (a.k.a. the greatest human beings that have ever lived) pooled their hard-earned money to buy me a present. That present turned out to be a dolphin interaction program at Sea World. Basically, I was given the opportunity to study and swim with a bunch of dolphins for a few hours.

It goes without saying that I was eternally grateful for the incredibly nice gift (if I ever have forty children, they will all be named after you guys).

Unfortunately, due to a combination of a ridiculously busy schedule and the end of the dolphin swimming season, I never had a chance to redeem the amazing gift last year.

Well ... the new season is just starting ... and I just reserved a spot to -- man, I can’t believe I am actually typing this -- swim with dolphins.

So, it’s official: On February 21, 2009 I will finally get to experience something I have wanted to do my entire life.

I know this sounds so dramatic, but for people that know me this is obviously a huge deal. Like, I-may-die-of-a-heart-attack-once-I-get-to-touch-one-of-these majestic-beasts huge.

I will try to take as many pictures as possible once I make the drive down to San Diego in (OMG!) less than two weeks.

Thanks again to the people that contributed to the gift. I am so excited I don’t think I can even type anymore.

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D


2:26 PM on 02.02.2009

Puppy Bowl recap!

I am happy to report that last night’s Puppy Bowl V was the best Puppy Bowl of all time.

I was a little nervous on Saturday when I set my TiVO to record the show and noticed that is was only 2 hours rather than the traditional 4 (to mirror the length of the simultaneous airing of the Super Bowl).

But, honestly, the shorter runtime actually helped the show.

Things started off nicely with the classic Tail Gate party -- a group of dogs hanging out on lawn chairs and watching the Puppy Bowl on T.V.

After that, for the first time ever, a bird named Pepper the Parrot came out and “sang” the National Anthem. This was a little odd since the bird wasn’t really singing and just more or less opening its mouth in front of a prop microphone. The song that was playing did sound like a parrot singing, so who knows? Maybe Pepper just got stage fright and they had to use a taped track. Regardless, it was amazing.

The big event itself was, of course, the most incredible (and incredibly cute) thing ever. The puppies were adorable and it seemed like the writers had an extra fun time with the proceedings.

Here are some highlights:

-Since this was the Puppy Bowl’s 5th anniversary, multiple “Hall of Fame Moments” were shown throughout the event. They mostly focused on past MVPs (most valuable puppies) and great plays from the past. I loved how they were shown in muted color and mostly slow motion. It was a great addition and I loved each and every one.

-During the first half one puppy started biting the goal post and wouldn’t stop. It was amazing.

-The world-famous Kitty Half-Time show was, of course, awesome. I was a little disappointed with it last year, if only for the strange choice in music (it was something akin to easy listening). This year, though, the sassy techno-y music was back. As was the pink stage and colorful lights.

To make this Kitty Half-Time show even better, confetti fell down halfway through and most of the kittens freaked out. God, it was so funny.

-The referee (same guy they use every year) was, again, great. His delivery of each foul call was extra over-the-top, which was perfect. Honestly, though, that guy has my dream job and I hope the stars are aligned and I get to take his gig next year. Let’s hope my (multiple) letters to Animal Planet actually get read this year.

-Speaking of the referee, he made quite the scandalous call in the second half of the game. One of my favorite puppies Griffey (SO CUTE!) was wrestling with another puppy. When it got a little too rambunctious the ref gave Griffey an “Unnecessary Roughness” foul call. I was fine with that, but then seconds later the ref called the same foul and actually kicked him out of the game!

If I was there I would have been one of those fans that yelled and threw things at the referee. Griffey was being rough, but he shouldn’t have been kicked out of the game.


-In one of the most inspired, hilarious segments I have ever seen, near the end of the Puppy Bowl a “streaker” ran out and interrupted the game. The “streaker” was one of those crazy, shaved, skinny dogs with only some small tufts of fur on its head and tail. The producers of the show actually added a black bar near the “private region” of the streaker as he ran around the field causing mischief.

Before all the puppies got too riled up, the ref ran out, wrapped the nude offender in a t-shirt, and escorted him out of the stadium. It was so amazing.

-The MVP of the game was Madeline the Beagle.

Now, Madeline was cute, but I voted for the incredible Eli. Not only was Eli super cute, he seemed to perform the best in all the various plays. He also scored a few touchdowns!

Here are a few pics of Eli and his brother Moose:

While I was happy for Madeline, I felt Eli was robbed!

-By far the cutest thing of the entire show was anything involving puppy Schroeder. I really don’t think I can describe how jaw-droppingly cute Schroeder was.

Basically, Schroeder slept through everything.

I’m not kidding.

While all the puppies were playing with toys, Schroeder was sleeping. While the pups were tackling each other and wrestling, Schroeder was sleeping.

Here are a bunch of pictures of Schroeder at different points during the event:

It really was the cutest thing of all time.

All in all, the Puppy Bowl V delivered. It was the most entertaining, enjoyable, cutest Puppy Bowl yet. I am a little disappointed Eli or Schroeder didn’t take the MVP crown, but I was still happy with all the results.

I already can’t wait for Puppy Bowl VI.


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