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I'm an avid gamer from Baltimore, MD currently residing in the middle of nowhere (South Carolina) while I take care of my terminally ill father. Did I mention that the house is haunted? Yeah, it's crazy nonsense. Outside of gaming, I'm a sissy vegan and I obsess over the paranormal, horror films, terrible music and spastically shouting amalgamated curse words.

My favorite console of all time is the Sega Dreamcast.

My top 10 games of all time are..

1) Metroid (NES)
2) The Legend of Zelda (NES)
3) Bioshock (360)
4) Final Fantasy Tactics (PSone)
5) Street Fighter Alpha 3 (PSone)
6) Contra (NES)
7) The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)
8) Chrono Trigger (SNES)
9) Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PSone)
10) Jet Set Radio (Dreamcast)

I'm mostly in to RPGs, old school platformers & critically panned games. I'm also a trophy and achievement whore, forum lurker, am an overall collector and an 8/16-bit junkie.

My main complaints about the gaming industry is the current lack of couch co-op featured in recent titles and disc-locked DLC. I also think that being a "gamer" went from being a secret society of outcasts when video games weren't cool, to becoming a group of overly-opinionated elitists.

I'd love to break in to the gaming industry as a journalist as I already obsess over reading and writing reviews, guides, the random rant or anecdote. Now I just have to wait patiently for that to actually happen while I work as hard as possible to achieve that goal. This is me begging for a journalism job. *waves hands frantically* I'm willing to relocate! That's the end of my cheap plug.
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Xbox LIVE:amgfail
PSN ID:PepperedSnoot
WOW ID:Abigorč
WOW Realm:Uldaman-US
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I'm sure plenty of you have your copies of Borderlands 2 in hand and I'd love to know what you think of it so far.

I attended the midnight release, picked up the ultimate loot chest edition and hardcover collectors edition guide, came home and immediate jumped in to the game. I'm about 7 hours in and am so ass-deep in side-quests that I forgot what was going on in the main quest.

I was so determined to start off with Salvador but the midnight release party I attended had the game available to play, and after seeing how awesome Axton's sabre turret was, I picked him instead. I'm leveling up with the Guerilla skill tree, couch bro-opping the game with my girlfriend and her Siren. Being able to lock down bosses with Phaselock and handle massive groups with the Sabre Turret has made for some really intense firefights and some amazing fun overall.

What class did you pick, what made you pick it and how are you liking it so far?

I easily sank 250+ hours in to the original Borderlands over 4 playthroughs across both the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, so my expectations with Borderlands 2 was obviously high. To me, Borderlands 2 is Borderlands with a shitload more Borderlands thrown in to the mix.. and that is in no way a bad thing. Certain annoyances with the original have been fixed and I'm really loving the badass token upgrade system, skin customization and overall humor found in the game itself.

As for the loot chest case.. not so much. The loot chest is made of cheap plastic and was poorly put together. Ours doesn't even shut all the way and it looks like the lid is about 1/8" to far to the side, so you can look right inside of it without even opening the top. The goodies inside were definitely worth it, especially the art book, Marcus bobble head and stickers for my pussy wagon (1998 Toyota Camry).

If the last 7 hours are any indication of the amount of fun I'm going to be having for the remainder of my playthroughs, this should easily top the list of 2012 releases and be my game of the year. I know it's way too early to tell, especially since I've only seen a fraction of what Borderlands 2 has to offer (and Assassin's Creed 3 & Dishonored haven't released yet), but it's quite similar to the original game and I haven't been able to put it down since I got home shortly after midnight.

If anyone out there is possibly interested in so bro-op fun, add me to PSN and just mention you're from D-toid. PSN ID is PepperedSnoot.

So I'm late to the party and was unaware that the Youtube BB Code no longer works here, so this is going to be a boring looking post shamelessly plugging my soothing voice. This is my first Let's Play for Slender and I apologize in advance for my annoying voice and constant 80's rock singing. Enjoy!

Also a fair warning.. there is cursing in this video, so it's probably NSFW.

I'd love to know what you think, good or bad, so here is the direct link to the video. I'm currently working on re-editing it since I failed with Sony Vegas Pro 11 and didn't select the tiny intro video with the Friday the 13th NES music. Once I get it updated, I'll change the link here so everything is streamlined correctly.


The students of San Romero High have been turned in to zombies and it’s up to cheerleader Juliet Starling to crack some undead skulls in SUDA 51′s zombie beat-em-up for the Xbox 360 and PS3, Lollipop Chainsaw. With a short campaign, questionable humor and a slightly simplistic combat system, is it worth the purchase or should you head over to Gamefly and give it a rental instead? Let’s find out.

Rewind, if you will, back to the glory days of the arcade. Taking your $5 bill up to the change machine, stuffing the handful of tokens in your pocket and pumping one after another in to your favorite cabinet until there was nothing left but a few balls of lint. Combine that feeling with magical rainbows, Streets of Rage, a sarcastic talking head, Tony Basil's “Mickey”, Evil Dead and enough gore to make George Romero happy and you pretty much have Lollipop Chainsaw defined perfectly.

The entire story of Lollipop centers around San Romero High cheerleader Juliet Starling, her zombie slaying family and her boyfriend Nick; or his head at least. It’s her eighteenth birthday and she heads off to the park to meet Nick and introduce him to her parents for the first time, but Nick ends up being bitten while saving Juliet from a zombie. Juliet, being the overly affectionate girlfriend that she is, removes his head “with magic” and proceeds to carry him around on her belt for the remainder of the game so he can look up her skirt and make various one-liner jokes.

"You're getting a C-, bitch!"

The conversations between the two can be downright hilarious, with Juliet playing the ditsy cheerleader and Nick being the overly-sarcastic voice of reason, but it's a role reversal of sorts with the male character being the one treated like an object rather than a love interest. The voice acting is also pretty cheesy and it just adds to the charm. Lollipop Chainsaw never once takes itself seriously and feels like a great port of your favorite B-movies if they mated with the cast of My Little Pony and injected themselves with bull shark testosterone or the “rage” virus from 28 Days Later. The entire game is probably equivalent to watching a Troma film while high on bath salts.

The dialogue is always over the top and my girlfriend and I would periodically look at each other with that “did they really just say that?” look, but it’s not like that’s a bad thing. We’re both mature adults with a fondness for campy films and zombies and we knew exactly what we were getting ourselves in to. Sometimes the jokes were hilarious and sometimes they missed the mark, but more often than not my inner 10-year old would chuckle as Nick shouted "If I had a neck, I'd be shitting all over these people!" or the camera took advantage of up-skirts or cleavage shots to further set the campy mood.

Moving in another direction, combat is pretty simple in Lollipop using your pom-pom attacks to weaken the enemies before switching to your chainsaw attacks to decapitate them in an explosion of happiness and rainbows. While this might sound pretty basic, mashing buttons will only get you killed on anything above the easy difficulty setting since Juliet can easily become overwhelmed. Without the ability to block, she has to rely on quick dodge reflexes to avoid incoming attacks and leap-frog over the hordes to gain better a better attacking position.

Pom-pom attacks stagger while the chainsaw goes for the head. That's where the pudding is, after all.

Killing enemies adds to Juliet’s sparkle meter that, when triggered, allows you to enter “sparkle hunting mode” to the tune of Toni Basil’s “Mickey” blaring in the background. Forget the fact that you can instantly decapitate weaker enemies in sparkle mode to wrack up coins, because the only reason you need to fill it is to mow down zombies to Mickey over and over again.

You can then use the collected coins at various kiosks to purchase physical upgrades like health and damage, better combo moves, additional costumes, concept art and background music. There is a metric shit-ton of stuff to unlock and that only adds to the replay value of Lollipop Chainsaw, which is fantabulous since the campaign only lasts around 5 or 6 hours.

The highlight of the game comes in the form of some of the most outlandish, flamboyant boss fights in the history of gaming. One boss, Zed, screams through a microphone and throws his words at Juliet while another starts as a rock star on a flaming motorcycle but ends up as a giant robot elephant that rollerblades around the room with a chain gun. What in the shit is going on here? This is why I love Suda 51 games! Every boss is brilliantly executed and satisfying to play with none ever coming across as cheap. Just like the old days, you learn the patterns and you exploit them, except now you cut them to pieces as a half-naked cheerleader with a head on her belt.

If Rick James wore a diaper, looked like Papa Shango and had a bunch of half naked women flying around with him on a space ship, he would be Josey James.

Lollipop consists of a tutorial level, 5 chapters and the final boss fight. Each chapter lasts around an hour and generally consists of mass amounts of zombie genocide, collecting stuff and completing a few quick-time events. Usually you’ll find yourself at a dead end that opens up after you’ve killed a certain amount of zombies, but the monotony of the ordeal is broken up with various mini-games that can be hit or miss. For instance, Chapter 4 has a Pong room where you lure zombies in to the path of the ball while another chapter has Juliet manning a harvest combine, mowing down hundreds of zombies as Dead or Alive's "You Spin Me Right Round" plays in the background.

Speaking of which, the zombie slaying soundtrack of Lollipop Chainsaw is very eclectic and worked really well for each of the chapters. I’m a huge fan of Mindless Self Indulgence and The Left Rights and hearing Little Jimmy Urine’s voice as Zed, as well as his musical influence on the boss stages, was awesome. His collaboration with SUDA 51 just makes sense, with both of them being completely off the wall artistically. Lollipop also includes tracks from Arch Enemy, Five Finger Death Punch, Children of Bodom, Skrillex & Dragonforce.

My main complaint with Lollipop lies in its wonky camera in tight spaces, which has been a common trend as long as 3D gaming has been around. There were a few times where the camera just wouldn’t adjust back to a stable position and taking my finger off the dodge button to swing it back around with the right analog stick was enough time to end up in an undead gang-bang, but it was really only a problem in tight spaces. Still, it was never fun to chase the high score only to have a group of zombies run a train on me because I couldn't see what in the hell was going on.

The Verdict

Overall, Lollipop Chainsaw is a very typical Suda 51 release and that is in no way a bad thing. I'm always excited for new Suda games because I know that they'll be unlike any game I have ever played before and, most likely, will never play anything like them again. Lollipop's in your face, “fuck the norm” punk rock attitude is exactly what I’ve come to expect from SUDA 51 and I never lost interest during my runs through the game. It combined everything I loved about the arcade and classic horror films from the 70's and 80's. The important thing to remember is that Lollipop Chainsaw is, at heart, a throwback to classic arcade beat-em-ups and horror films. Sure, the campaign may only clock in around 5-6 hours, but there are worldwide leader boards for high-score addicts, tons of costumes to unlock, various upgrades to purchase and collectables to find by replaying the game over and over again. I know it's been out for a few months now, but Lollipop Chainsaw is a special kind of game that will always have a home in my collection. It’s easily a game I can pick up 10 years from now and have just as much fun as I did today, just like Jet Set Radio, Contra or Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out. It’s just that good.
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I'm a fan of free games, but I guess it's hard to call PS Plus games free when theoretically I'm paying to have that service. Still though, it's relatively cheap and the quality of free games lately have been pretty damn good!

Now that I have your attention..

If you're currently a Plus subscriber or are considering the option, right now you can download free copies of InFamous 2, Little Big Planet 2, Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One & Borderlands with 50% off all DLC. You can also download free copies of the indie arcade titles Bloodrayne: Betrayal, Outland (which is deliciously sexy), Renegade Ops & Pac-Man DX.

Usually once per month Sony switches things up and adds new freebies to the mix. Sometimes they even offer pretty good deals on downloadable titles with a discount or an early release. For instance, right now you can pick up Jet Set Radio for $8.99 and play it 6 days before it's released to the rest of North America.

Yesterday, the Playstation store updated and Playstation Plus subscribers can download two old-school beat-em-ups in the form of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Double Dragon: Neon (a re-boot of the classic Double Dragon). I can assure you that SPvTW is a fantastic game in the vein of River City Ransom and RPG-style level ups, but I have my doubts about Double Dragon: Neon. It's in the process of installing as we speak, but it looks pretty terrible from what I've seen so far. Once I give it a few beatings - or it makes me want to pour salt in my eyes, whichever comes first - I'll toss up a review, but for now a free game is a free game.

Has anyone played Jet Set Radio HD or Double Dragon: Neon yet? If so, what are your thoughts?

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I pre-ordered the super deluxe loot chest edition of Borderlands 2 and the hardcover collectors edition guide, so needless to say I've been saving my money before my debit card melts on the 18th of this month. With little to no extra funds to throw around, I've been playing some pretty fantastic indie titles that are either extremely cheap or, best of all, free.

If you're in the same boat and you need that gaming fix, here are 5 games that are either completely free or extremely cheap.

#1 - McPixel

After watching some Let's Play vids of McPixel on YouTube and winning a free Desura code in PhilK's recent contest, I finally had a chance to sit down and participate in some amazing retro mini-game mayhem that usually starts with me kicking everyone in the balls. McPixel puts the titular hero in various mini-game scenarios that require you to defuse bombs within 20 seconds or risk blowing yourself up and trying again later.

The chiptunes soundtrack is pretty fantastic and the system requirements are fairly non-existant, so McPixel should run on anything you own. There is a Windows, Mac OS & Linux version for download as well as a mobile version confirmed in the future. McPixel is the only game in history to be sponsored by torrent site The Pirate Bay and over the last weekend it was offered for free with voluntary donations, raising over $7,000.00 and selling over 3,000 copies. It has also been officially Greenlit by Steam.

Since then, SOS has discounted the full price of McPixel on their official website to $7.43, but if you're interested in picking it up on the cheap, it's on sale through the Desura client for $0.99.

#2 - Super Hexagon

Super Hexagon is a flash-based nut punch from the maker of VVVVVV that mixes the sounds of Bit.Trip and the gameplay of Tempest. I've played a lot of Dark Souls in my time, but I can say that Super Hexagon is the hardest game I've played since QWOP and not in the sense that QWOP was difficult due to the controls.

Using the arrow keys, you move your little triangle in a circle, avoiding the incoming walls that build around you while thumping electronic music plays in the background. It's a simple concept that will kill you over and over again, considering that most players won't last longer than 10 seconds.

Super Hexagon is available in the web-based Flash format, as well as the App Store for the iPhone and iPad. The Flash version is obviously free, but Apple versions started out at $0.99.

#3 - Slender: The Eight Pages

Perhaps you've seen Tobuscus scream like a girl or maybe watched PewDiePie do pretty much the same thing, but if you haven't played Slender you owe it to yourself to react in a similar manner. Not the prettiest game in the world, Slender is a first person exploration horror game that drops you in the middle of a forest in search of 8 pages scattered about 10 different landmarks. Armed with only a flashlight (I almost typed fleshlight, but that would have been a different game altogether), you slowly make your way around the forest while constantly being pursued by the Slenderman, a creepy pasta invention of a tall, thin man in a suit without a face.

Looking at the Slenderman in still images, he looks pretty ridiculous, but once you're in the zone and hunting down that 5th or 6th page you can't help but ignore your surroundings until you turn around and he's standing in your face. It's not as scary as Amnesia but still worthy enough to give a run through since you don't have to drop any money down on it.

Slender: The Eight Pages is available as a free download at the official website but does have higher system requirements than anything else on this list. I have a gaming PC that ran Slender perfectly fine at the highest setting but when I played it on my laptop and it's whopping 2GB RAM and factory graphics card, it ran like crap even on the lowest setting.

#4 - Abobo's Big Adventure

Released on January 11, 2012, Abobo's Big Adventure is the ultimate tribute to the NES. ABA stars the titular villain from Double Dragon and places him in rage inducing re-boots of classic NES games like Punch-Out, Pro Wrestling & Megaman. Plowing through the levels usually consists of killing everything in your path to fill Abobo's RAGE meter and unleash the most devastating attacks.

Growing up in the NES generation, playing ABA was a blast from the past and one of the best retro titles I've ever seen. It's one thing to pander to gamers by creating an 8-bit tribute, but you can really tell that the developers behind Abobo's Big Adventure really loved the NES and paid homage to the many timeless classics with lots and lots of TLC.

Abobo's Big Adventure is free and played in its Flash-based format.

#5 - Happy Wheels

Yet another free Flash-based game, Happy Wheels is essentially the gore-obsessed sibling to Little Big Planet if it were being controlled by Jigsaw from the Saw films. Filled with thousands of levels created by other players, you'll select your character and figure out how to get from point A to point B or trigger a certain event selected by the level's creator. It's easier to just watch a video of Happy Wheels rather than try to explain it.

If you're interested in checking it out, head on over to their website and get used to exploding on mines, throwing your child off the back of your bike and pogo sticking around while getting stabbed in the ass.

So there you have it - 5 games that won't break the bank and offer hours of fun.. if your idea of fun is dying repeatedly or seeing things die and explode. Hopefully it is. I know there are loads of other options and these are just some of the more popular titles, but if you're new to the indie gaming scene and want a good starting point, I highly recommend checking out both the Steam and Desura clients. Tons of indie games have been released over the years and both clients are constantly running sales.
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Growing up a nerd in the ghetto, it's obvious that I was going to get in to more than my fair share of altercations. As I laid there, arms up in the blocking position, I thought about what my heroes did in my favorite video games and I knew that I could duplicate their strategies and come out alive.

First off, as long as I was wearing a suit of armor, no matter how hard I was hit, I could still fight in my underwear like Arthur from Ghosts n' Goblins. Thankfully, the sight of a short, pudgy kid in his underwear was usually enough to scare my opponent long enough for me to run in the opposite direction. Hopefully I remember to shut the barn door so the pig doesn't poke its head out. Shut up, it's happened to you and you know it.

If I were ever attacked by a stray dog, Resident Evil taught me that if I waggled my analog stick fast enough that I could break free and stab it repeatedly with a knife. Call of Duty taught me that I could click my analog stick in to snap its neck since doing it myself was too much to ask of a reclusive white kid. I'm a weakling, after all, but the only analog stick that I have probably wouldn't work after clicking it in, so this is a one-time thing.

I can also escape death with the Final Attack + Phoenix materia combination! Not only will this prevent my demise, but summoning a giant, flaming bird will no doubt score me major cool points with the lady folk and I'll probably end up in the local paper as some sort of devilish summoner. Actually, that will probably get me burned at the stake. I guess I'll just take one of those rings from Sonic the Hedgehog and wear it somewhere where nobody can see it.

If my superhero sense is on its A-game, I can counter any attack when I see squiggles appear over my enemies head. Unfortunately, hallucinations are never a good thing, so getting punched in the mouth should be the least of my worries. I'm also not bulletproof - neither were Batman's parents. Count it! - so I need to know when to talk about fight club and when to run away. If real life were like Dead or Alive, I'd be screwed since I can't counter for shit in that game. I'd be like Bass, sitting back spamming an elbow attack over and over again until Hayabusa throws me in to the air and explodes in to that manly cloud of fluttering leaves before driving my face down in to the ground.

If Punch-Out taught me anything, it's that I can always start round two with full health by spamming the select button. All I need is an older, black friend to do the hand-job motion behind me with his mouth open and then chase me around on his bike while I wear my pink sweatsuit and it's game on! Fat people will always have band-aids on their abdomen, so pull their pants down and start swinging.

Ice Climber taught me that a bi-ped polar bear wearing speedo will drop like a rock with one hit of a sledgehammer. I'm still waiting to find one of these elusive beasts to test the theory of evolution as it's been about 22 years since the game came out. This tactic also applies to throwing salt at walking vegetables, kicking a dead turtle's corpse at a living one and, of course, shooting zombies in the head (unless we're talking about Operation Raccoon City).

Hiding in a box doesn't really work as well as you'd hope. Chances are you'll get shipped somewhere you didn't want to go, get urinated on by a canine or have your disguise kicked off before being shot at point blank by the business end of an automatic weapon. You're honestly better off shooting the fire extinguisher or just snapping necks when no one is looking.

And finally, if this plan goes awry and you draw the attention of the police, Grand Theft Auto IV proves that you can just go home and that somehow works like whipping out a pack of Mentos. The cops will understand that you made a mistake, forgive you and go back about their business.

So the next time you get in to some sort of Rumble in the Bronx, hit up your mental checklist of how self defense works in video games and apply that logic to real life. Trust me, it'll work. If all else fails, summon a Pokemon and run like hell.

If you've got some other ideas, let me hear them. It's our duty, as gamers, to teach self defense to the next generation of gamers so they don't have to go through what we did.