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7:57 AM on 03.03.2015

Cold William and the Nifty Nine +1

Hey there. Feels like ages since I've posted anything in the c-blogs. Ever since I left the FNF stuff behind I feel like I've kinda disconnected from Destructoid and the community in general. 

Weird.

Anywho, I'm here today to talk about the nine (ten) Dtoider's who mean the most to me. This list of amazing people is in no particular order and I am definitely leaving quite a few people out (which sucks).

Hotel Company - Andy "look at my boner" Dixon, Jon "motherfucking" Bloodspray, FalseNipple & Jeniken

A few years back (circa 2011) I was pretty big into Battlefield 3. Back then I had a regular crew that I rolled with almost nightly. Any Dixon, Jon Bloodspray, Falsenipple and Jeniken were my relief from the every day nonsense we all deal with in this waking world (stolen from Occams). Like clockwork we would all end up online together (Xbox 360) to play hours and hours of Battlefield 3, often into the wee hours of the morning. 

These four people mean the world to me. When you spend over 700+ hours together online you form a pretty strong bond, a "Band of Brothers", if you will.

SuperMonk4Ever and GarethxxGod

GarethxxGod was the very first Dtoider that I ever played a game online with. I couldn't tell you what game it was, I want to say it was some Xbox Live arcade game, it's not really important in the grand scheme of things. What's important is that because of that one game, I made a couple of very good friends.

I found myself playing online with Gareth quite a bit and eventually I was introduced to Super "huehuehuehue"Monk4Ever (goddammit, Monk).

Outside of my Battelfield 3 group, these two were my constant online pals. We played everything together. If it had multiplayer or co-op, we were playing it with each other, typically until the sun started coming up. 

I don't really play online with Gareth any more, we still chat online every now and then though through Facebook. Monk on the other hand, just won't leave me the fuck alone. =)

Funktastic

I'm what you might call a compulsive collector of video games and video game memorabilia. My exploits have been catalogued here in the C-blogs for years.

It all started off innocently enough. I would buy something at a garage sale or flea market, you know, a thing here and a thing there. That all changed when I was introduced to the amazing, Funktastic or as I like to call him "Why do you have all that cool stuff and can I have it all please?!"

As my collection grew I found myself getting closer and closer with Funk. We were DM'ing each other with the new stuff we'd found. Eventually we were texting and making trades. We became more than just collecting buddies, we were definitely friends. 

We've both slowed down over the years. Funk had an unfortunate incident happen that took him out of the game for a bit, I just kinda grew tired of it all. We still chat and talk though. Our friendship is definitely more than just collecting. Oh and Funk, if you're reading this, my daughter says "hi" and wanted you to know that she still has the Princess Peach plush you sent her.  =)

Occams Electric Toothbrush & SteezyXL


Sometimes you meet people and you have an instant connection to them. For whatever reason you find yourself chatting and getting closer to certain people. Occams and Steezy are definitely two of those people. 

What is there to say about Occams that hasn't been said already? He's our very own resplendent black grandmother who has an unhealthy obsession with Lisa Frank, religious artifacts and the generally weird. But that's what make Occams so amazing. He's unlike anyone you'll probably ever meet. He is a kind soul, someone who would go out of his way for a friend without thinking twice. If you ever have the chance to talk with Occams, do it. He's simply a fascinating person, and I'm proud to call him my friend.

Steezy is the polar opposite of Occams. Steezy is more subdued and quiet. I started interacting with Steezy on the FP of Destructoid. Eventually I found myself playing games online with him. Although we don't really game much together any more I still talk with Steezy via social media. I've had the pleasure and honor of watching him grow as a person. One day I'll make it out West to meet and hang out with Steezy. I owe him a hug or two or three (I've lost count over the years). 

Scield

Last but certainly not least we have Scield. Over the past couple years, Scield has definitely gone from someone I know online to someone I most definitely call a friend. I've had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with Scield and I find myself texting him or talking with him via social media numerous times a week.

Scield is an awesome fella, day in and day out he is out there putting his life on the line to keep all of us safe. Now if there was some magical way that I could get him to move out of Florida and up to Chicago so we could hang out all the time......

So there you have it. Ten people who mean the absolute world to me. If I ever give up gaming for good, I'd like to think that everyone listed here would still be in my life in some way, and that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

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8:26 PM on 01.26.2015

Community playdate manager no more

That’s right, after almost two years of bringing all of you the latest and greatest Team Fortress 2sday and Friday Night Fights posts, I’m calling it quits.

This has nothing to do with Destructoid, this is completely for personal reasons. I’ve actually been talking about doing this for a while, it’s hard to break away though, especially when you are surrounded by so many amazing individuals (I’m talking about you, TF2 and FNF crowd. Oh, and Andy).

My wife and I are expecting another child, this in and of itself isn’t the sole reason for me stepping down, the new baby plus the fact that my wife has to return back to Europe after the baby is born is really the main reason. I’ll be taking care of our new kid as well as our ten-year old daughter while my wife is gone, all while still working full time (thankfully I work from home).

I want to personally say thank you to Andy Dixon for giving me this opportunity and for all of the help and support you’ve given during my time with Destructoid. I honestly could not have done this without you.

I’ll still be around, I’m not leaving the site for good, I’ll just be a normal community member, commenting on all the various stories posted, partaking in the fun that is the forums and maybe even blogging a bit here and there, although that may be easier said than done, especially over the next few months with the new baby.

You may still hear me on Radio Destructoid every now and then, I believe I still have an open invite to be a regular, so that’s pretty rad.

Anywho, thanks everyone for being awesome, for putting up with my stupid 80’s lyrics in my posts and for not yelling at me too much when I completely botched one of the posts up.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some amiibo to go buy and hoard away...

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5:35 PM on 10.09.2014

Fangs for the Memories: His name was Jason

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

Halloween is, without a doubt, my favorite time of the year. Since I can remember, I’ve always been a huge fan of horror movies, and things that were meant to scare you. Maybe it’s because I spent most of my childhood up North. I could always tell when Halloween was getting close. The leaves on the trees were changing colors and the wind blew a little cooler.

Now, my contribution isn’t going to be about any specific video game that scared me; no, I’ve decided to go another route. I’m going to talk about the one movie that caused so much mental damage to me that I didn’t sleep in my own bed for months, and to this day, still causes me to feel uneasy after watching it.

A little back story: When I was a little kid, we’re talking between five and nine, my dad used to bowl in a league in our small town. This league was always going on during the fall season, which meant when he got home (Friday nights) I would wake up and watch a late night horror movie with him. Now, these movies, they were nothing to really be afraid of. Not to date myself or anything, but we’re talking about the late 70s / early 80s. The late night horror movies usually consisted of some universal monster such as Frankenstein or Dracula, or some cheesy sci-fi flick from the 50s. These were always in black and white, and there was never any sort of gore. These were “G” rated, if you will, not even enough to scare a little tyke like me; they did, however, draw me into their dark worlds, hooking me on the macabre stories.

Tommy Jarvis was close to me in age, maybe that's why this movie resonated so strongly with me.

Fast forward to 1984. I vividly remember sitting on our couch in the living room; it was a small room, enough for a couch, a La-Z-Boy chair, and a couple of TV dinner tables. It was definitely cramped, which didn’t help late at night when the lights were off. Anyway, there I was, sitting on the couch watching TV. It had to be the weekend, because there is no way I would have been allowed to stay up as late as it was by myself, especially at that age. The TV was on some random channel (this was before we had cable) and I couldn’t tell you what I was watching, and then it happened, the movie trailer that made me scared to walk down the tiny hallway leading to my room.

“Jason is back! (ch-ch-ch-ha-ha-ha). Three times before, you have felt the terror” – holy, mother of god, what in the hell is this? “Known the madness, lived the horror.” This is about where I started sinking lower into the couch, my heart beating faster. “But this is the one you’ve been screaming for.” No, no I haven’t been screaming for anything, not yet anyway. Oh god. “Because Friday, April 13th, will be Jason’s unlucky day.”

Everything about that movie trailer (Friday the 13th, the Final Chapter) just screamed “No” to me. My heart was pounding, and every little sound I heard in the house had me on edge. I was literally scared for my life, but I also remember feeling excited. I wanted to see what that movie was all about. Who was Jason? Why was he wearing a hockey mask? This was the first time I had ever heard of “Jason” or “Friday the 13th.” Up until this point, my horror movie knowledge was basically giant, mutated spiders from the 50s and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. This was horror, and horror I knew, or so I thought.

Yea. No thanks. I'm only 10 and clearly not ready for this.

Fast forward a few weeks. My fear of “Friday the 13th” at this point had passed. I had seen the trailer numerous times since the first time I watched it and I was basically “over it.” I had returned to sleeping in my own room (yes, the trailer literally scared me into sleeping in my parents room for a bit) and I had all but forgotten it; that was until my aunt came into the picture.

I was at my grandma’s house for the weekend, which was pretty typical when I was young. I spent, what feels like now, every weekend at my grandparents’ house. I was very close to my cousins and they were always there with me. This weekend, though, was different, as I was all alone. I don’t remember the specifics, but I’m not sure where my cousins were. All I remember is that I was bored to tears, and listening to my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles talk wasn’t going to cut it. That’s about when my Aunt Joanie asked, “Do you want to go see a movie?” “Yes!” I remember yelling. Movies were one of my favorite things ever as a kid, and any chance I had to go to the theaters I took!

The theater we were going to was located in the Livonia mall, a mall, which no longer stands. I had no idea what we were going to see; hell, I didn’t care, as long as I could get out of that house for a little bit. I was fine with whatever or so I thought. I remember walking through the mall to the theater entrance. I remember smelling the popcorn filling the air around me. I remember my aunt saying, “One adult and one child for Friday the 13th please.” Whoa, wait a minute, “Friday the 13th, as in the ‘Jason’ movie, Friday the 13th?” Now I, as a wee ten-year old, had no goddamn reason to be in that theater. My aunt obviously wanted to see the movie and I was the perfect movie date, whether I wanted to be there or not.

Jason, what a pain in the neck. Amirite?

The minute the movie opened I was scared out of my mind. I didn’t want to be there at all, and all I wanted to do was leave. I couldn’t though. I was ten. Where was I going to go? I was stuck, and Jason was on a rampage, hell-bent on killing teenagers as well as my childhood. When the movie was over, I was a fucking wreck. I clearly remember crying several times, while peeking through my fingers at the screen. Fuck this movie and fuck my aunt for thinking I was old enough for it.

Thankfully, being a child, my attention span was fairly short. Not long after leaving the theater I had forgotten about what I had just watched. My cousins were finally at my grandparents’ house and we were outside playing. All was right in the world or so I thought. Later that night, when I was finally home and getting ready for bed, I remember a feeling of dread coming over me. When the lights finally went out, I was back in the theater with Jason, his machete and hockey mask, glowing in the moonlight. The bushes outside of my window were clearly his fingernails, trying to remove the screen so that he could get to me. Car lights hitting my wall did nothing to help the situation, as I could hear something under my bed, trying to escape.

That was it, I was done. Nope, not gonna happen, I am not sleeping in my room tonight, fuck this. I walked out into the living room, “Can I sleep in your room tonight?” I asked my parents, “Yes.” Phew, crisis averted. I spent the next three months sleeping on my parents’ floor. Three. Goddamn. Months. All because of a movie, all because my aunt thought it would be a brilliant idea to take a child to one of the most horrific movies of the year.

I was so goddamn scared in the theaters, that I had my eyes covered for the last 30 minutes.

Years later, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (FT13 PT IV) still gives me chills. It’s not a “scary” movie, mind you, I mean, to some it may be sure, but if you’ve grown up on horror movies, FT13 PT IV is pretty tame. I think my time as a child, the memories I have surrounding that movie is what gives me that creeping feeling whenever I re-watch that movie. The Friday the 13th movies are some of my favorite horror films ever, and I can safely say that I owe my love for all things horror to my aunt, who at the time had no idea how much damage she was causing, or how much influence one low budget horror movie would have on her nephew.

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4:37 PM on 08.18.2014

I'm not going to PAX, because I suck. Adopt my avatar, please.

Happy Monday! (it's Monday, right?)

It's that time of year again, "PAX avatar adoption" time! As usual, I will not be attending PAX this year. I believe this makes.....every year now that I've missed PAX. Yea, that sounds about right, I have never been to PAX. Ever.

I have been fortunate enough though to attend the past five PAX events "virtually" thanks to the awesome people of Destructoid, and I am hoping this year continues that wonderful tradition of me sucking and not being able to go to PAX myself.

I am here today, to give you five solid reasons why you, yes you, the reader should take my avatar to PAX with you.

Number 1 - I'm pet friendly.

True story - I love all animals, and if you take my avatar to PAX with you, you may just see how much animals love me. Fun fact: if you show my avatar to a small puppy at or around the PAX event, you will make a friend for life.

Number 2 - I'll help your dear, beloved grandmother across the street.

I love helping people, and if you give me the chance, I will help you. Have a grandmother or grandfather who needs help crossing the street? I'll help. Need your grass cut? Yea, I'll probably do that too, because I'm a swell guy who likes to help.

Number 3 - I can grow a pretty wicked beard.

I know my current avatar may not show it, but I can grow a pretty wicked beard. Did you know, that by taking my avatar to PAX with you, you can also grow a pretty wicked beard. Careful not to spill any Kool-Aid on your beard though, especially the strawberry kind, it stains.

Number 4 - I'll help tutor you and your friends in school.

Let's face it, school can be tough. From time to time we all need a little help. If you take my avatar to PAX with you, I will help you with math, science, social studies, psychology, biochemical engineering..you name it! My avatar is a genius when it comes to this school stuff, and you'll be a smarter person just by having it with you!

Number 5 - I will protect you with my life.

"Cons" and big events like PAX can be pretty scary, especially if this is your first time. Take it from me. The first time my avatar was taken to PAX, it was scared silly. The noises, the people, the lines, the $10.00 hamburgers and $8.00 waters! It was madness! If you take my avatar to PAX with you, I promise to ensure your safety. And isn't the piece of mind of knowing that you'll be safe all weekend worth it? I know it would be to me.

I hope this blogged has helped to guide you to a final decision on whether or not to take my avatar to PAX with you. From helping when in need, to growing facial hair, my avatar can do it all.

Thank you.   read


10:52 AM on 06.08.2014

Hey there, it's been a while...

Happy Sunday!

I figure it's been long enough since my last real blog post. Not exactly sure where this is going to go yet, just going to kinda start writing and see where we end up...

So, how 'bout that Destructoid huh? Site sure has seen some changes over the past few months, some sad moments indeed, I hate seeing people I admire leaving or being asked to leave, unfortunately that's the way business works, only so much to go around at any given time. 

I see a lot of people blogging about how the site has changed over the years, how the community doesn't seem as strong as it once was. I guess I can kinda see that, maybe my perception is a bit skewed though, as I still talk to a lot of the former staff members daily, to me it doesn't seem like they're gone. Has some of the soul left the site? Eh, I don't know, I guess that's a matter of opinion. Chris is doing a bang up job as the reviews editor and everyone else is really pulling their own to pump out as much info as possible.

Personally, I'd love to be a bit more involved, now, don't get me wrong, I love posting the TF2sdays and Friday Night Fight posts, but with my work schedule I literally had time for nothing else. I'm hoping that will change soon though, as of Friday, this past week, I am officially unemployed, by choice mind you. This should leave me plenty of time to be a bit more involved with the community, which was my goal from the get go. I would love nothing more than to see the community return to the glory that it was once was. 


Shit like this right here is why I stick around and do everything I can for the site/community.

Hmm, let's see, what else is there.....

Oh, so I'll be moving back to the great city of Chicago in a couple of months, that's pretty exciting. I think I've spent as much time as I care to spend here in Florida, it's been almost 30 years now and it's time for a new chapter in my life. I'll miss certain parts of Florida, my lifelong friends, things like that, but I feel like i've outgrown and outlived my time here.

My plan, once I get to Chicago and all settled in, is to start blogging more, start writing for the front page more and just generally be more involved. I would love to start collecting again and posting haul blogs, I miss those days. I miss the people who were really involved in the collecting scene here on Dtoid, damn there were some amazing hauls shown off, definitely motivated me to really focus on my collection. 

I guess that's it then, not sure what I was expecting to get out by writing this, just felt like I needed to say hi. 

Oh, I want to take a minute to thank everyone here in the community, all of the Sony, Xbox, Nintendo FNF crowd, Nihil and his weekly Hump Day Havok posts, Shadow and the entire TF2 gang, Smurfee for always being late with his Nintendo hostings, everyone who still blogs here in the community section, all of you are the reason why I stick around.

Til the next time!   read


11:11 AM on 12.30.2013

Dtoid GOTY 2013: Bill Platt's picks

2013 was a pretty great year to be a gamer. The indie scene absolutely exploded, we had two brand new consoles launch, and there were more solid, quality titles to play than I had time for.

I did however have time to play some of them, and I've listed my Top Ten of 2013 below. These are not in order of my favorite to least, I just like to have everything in alphabetical order. The collector in my would have it no other way.

Now, on to the show!

Animal Crossing: New Leaf


I am admittedly not the biggest Animal Crossing player. I'd only ever played it less than a handful of times on the Gamecube and Wii, so as you can imagine I didn't have super high hopes of spending much time with New Leaf when it launched.

Boy, was I wrong. What happened next was a three week binge on nothing but Animal Crossing. I had to catch every bug, catch every fish, find all the fossils and make friends with everyone. I had to be the best mayor Animal Crossing had ever seen! 

I haven't sunk as many hours into any game this year as I have for Animal Crossing, and this is why it made my list. Well, that and it's just fun as hell to play.


Fire Emblem: Awakening


I'm not sure what I can say about Fire Emblem that others haven't said before. In a nutshell, it's amazing. I felt like I had been missing something in my gaming life, I needed a game to challenge me, a game to make me want to care about it's characters in a meaningful way, a game that made me regret decisions made and really think about consequences of actions. Fire Emblem: Awakening did that, and then some.

Without a doubt the most addicting game I played all year. I stopped playing everything until I was finished with Awakenings story, I had to see it through, no matter how many tears were shed or how many loved ones lost. Simply, superb. 


Lego City: Undercover


When I initially heard about Lego City: Undercover I was skeptical. People were saying it was basically, Grand Theft Auto but with Legos. You see, I've never been a fan of "open world games". I get distracted, lost, bored. I need linearity with my games. When I finally saw the trailer however, my mind was made. I had to have this game and I had to have it now!

Everything about Lego City: Undercover is just fantastic. The story is fairly cliche', you're a do good cop going after a bad guy. Basic stuff, it's everything in between though that makes Undercover such a special game. The writing is witty and fun, the missions are a blast and the unlockable characters and vehicles are just icing on the cake. There really is no other Lego game that does it better, well, other than....


Lego Marvel Superheroes


The only thing better than one amazing Lego game is two, and with Lego Marvel Superheroes, you have arguably the best Lego game to date, and a game that will be very tough to beat. Lego Marvel Superheroes is everything I've ever wanted out of a "superhero" game. Smart and funny writing, solid gameplay and more characters to unlock then you can shake a stick at. No really, you literally can not shake a stick at how many playable characters there are, I've tried, and I failed.

Everything about Heroes is top notch, the game looks beautiful, the character models are spot on with their comic book counterparts, the action is always goofy and full of laughs. Oh and did I mention replayability and hidden secrets galore? Because yea, there's also that.


Little Inferno
 
Probably my biggest surprise of the year. Little Inferno was purchased as just "something to play", I never intended on falling in love with it. After my first initial play through though, it had me, and I was not expecting this tiny little fireplace simulator to tug at my heart the way it did.

Little Inferno seems simple and silly at first glance, that's just the icing on the cake, the real story is in the middle, in between all those combos and ashes, right where the cake is always the warmest. There's a deep story here, a sad story, and adult story, a story that didn't' leave me feeling particularly happy. It did however touch me, it made me feel and care about its little world, its little people and my little neighbor, even though we had never met.


SteamWorld Dig
 

Little Inferno wasn't the only game to sneak up on me and take me totally by surprise, just as Inferno did before it, SteamWorld Dig took me by the hands and wouldn't let me go. I had no initial thoughts or expectations going in, I simply bought it because it looked fun, like something I would enjoy. What I ended up with however was one of my favorite games of the year.

How deep does the mine go? What could possibly be down there? What was my uncle searching for? I had to know, I had to keep digging. I kept finding old relics on my journey, I was being upgraded, but for what? Why is all of this fantastic stuff down here? Must keep digging, must go deeper, must keep playing.


Super Mario 3D World


Look, I make no excuses when it comes to being a Nintendo fanboy. I love Nintendo, I love the house that Mario built. Nintendo games have this certain, charm about them. You know going in, that you're going to have a smile on your face. You know that you're going to play a game that has been polished, and then polished one last time, just in case. 

Super Mario 3D World is the definition of a polished game. From the varying worlds, characters, level design and gameplay, everything about 3D World is platforming perfection. I could literally go on and on as to why 3D World is the best game of the year, but I'm pretty sure you already knew that. Wait, you did know that, right?


The Wonderful 101


Take a dash of insanity, sprinkle in some craziness, add a pinch of humor and voila, you now have The Wonderful 101. It's no secret that Nintendo is in dire need of help from 3rd party companies, Nintendo's own internal studios can only put out so much, enter Platinum Games. There are a lot of mixed feelings regarding The Wonderful 101, some people say it doesn't play well, the controls don't work, it's too hard or it doesn't make sense. I can understand these complaints, it's definitely not a perfect game, it is however an amazing journey through a bat-shit insane filled world with boss fights unlike anything you've seen before.

Once the controls click though, when you hit that moment when you finally "get it", everything changes. I'm not going to lie, the game is challenging, the camera can be a bit wonky at times, and you will possibly swear a whole lot, if you stick with it though, you will end up playing one of the most unique and simply fun games of all of 2013.


The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds


Two Zelda games made my list this year, the first was the phenomenal Link Between Worlds. I remember playing A Link to the Past when it first released, It was simply put, amazing. You can imagine then, my excitement when we first found out that we would be diving back into that world and that story.

A Link Between Worlds brings with it some very big changes to the Zelda formula. You can now rent items, go to any dungeon at any time, no longer are you constrained to follow a predetermined path, you can now make your own path. I have to wonder if this new "openness" found in ALBW will be present in the new Zelda game for the Wii U, it seems that the camp is decidedly split at this point. I for one welcome it, as I have not had nearly as much fun roaming the lands of Hyrule as I did in ALBW.


The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD


I had only ever played Wind Waker once before, it was on my Wii, a friend had loaned it to me. You see, when the GameCube was out I wasn't gaming, I had taken a break and was doing other things at the time, so when I found out that there would be an HD release of Wind Waker, I knew that it was finally time to jump back in and finish what I had barely started.

I remembered the game looking pretty fantastic when I had initially played it, I was not prepared however with just how different and amazing the game would look in HD. The entire world felt alive, the cel shading is absolutely gorgeous, it makes me wonder why more games aren't made in this fashion. Oh, and the gameplay and story? Yea, top notch, I can now see and understand why Wind Waker is such an admired and adored game.

Honorable Mentions: Luigis Mansion: Dark Moon and Tearaway.

So that's it I guess. 2013 was filled with an awful lot of Nintendo games for me. I swear that I do own other consoles, no really, I do!  Dragons Crown was a lot of fun, Tearaway is amazing, Y's Memories of Celceta is pretty great in it's own right and I even sort of enjoyed Bioshock Infinite, just clearly not as much as everyone else seems to...

Anyway, I can't wait to see what 2014 brings, the Wii U seems to finally be hitting it's stride, the Xbox One and PS4 have some simply amazing looking games coming and the 3DS is going to continue to be my go to system, hell even the Vita gave me reason to finally take the plunge.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy New Year! See you in 2014!   read


12:19 PM on 08.10.2013

An Intro to Me: Your New Community Playdate Manager!

Hello,

Hi there. How's it going? So, uh..nice weather we're having here huh?  Yea, real nice weather there...

Look, I hate these intro things, you hate them, hell we ALL hate them, so why don’t we just skip to the good stuff shall we?

I've been on Destructoid for almost seven years now, joined waaaaay back in February, 2007 and have been pretty active with the community since. I started my time here as a front page lurker, eventually tried my hand at being an active member of the forums (oh dear god the forums..shiver) and then eventually found a home right here in the good ole CBlogs.  Hell, some of you may even know me by my former name "ChillyBilly".

For those of you not familiar with me, let me briefly tell you a bit about myself. I'm what you might call...a collector. No, no that's not right.. what was it that Funktastic called me...? Oh, a hoarder! That's it; I'm a hoarder of video games and video game stuff.  If its video game related, I have to have it. Posters, t-shirts, coasters, key chains, games, consoles, handhelds, postcards, stickers, Slurpee cups (yes, even Slurpee cups), I just have to have it. There was a time when I was pretty active on the Cblogs sharing my various Hauls for all of Destructoid to see (the links to the right should still work - if you're so inclined). I've slowed down a bit however, made a big move to a new state, started a new job and decided to focus my energy (and money) elsewhere for the time being. I still game and I still pick up the occasional gaming related item, but it's nothing like it was a couple years ago.

Oh! I've also been one of the guys who’s been writing the Xbox 360 Friday Night Fights posts for the past two years too! Yea, so that's kinda what led me to helping out Andy with the front page FNF stuff.

I love this community and I love when we all come together to play games on a Friday night, or Monday night, or Tuesday night, or Wednesday night or... well hell, I guess every night.

So I guess that's me. I'll do my best to make you proud, I'm always open to suggestions on different ways to get more people involved with the various community playdates here on Destructoid, and i'd love to hear some of your ideas on how we can make the Destructoid Friday Night Fights one of the main reason why people come to the site.

I know I'm no Andy Dixon, but don't let that stop you from yelling at me when I forget to add your game to the front page. I believe in consistency and I would hate to see Andy's good name tarnished by me doing a good job.

Thank you and goodnight.
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12:13 AM on 12.28.2012

ChillyBilly - A.K.A "Bill"

Thanks to the wonderful power of the Internet as well as the awesome fella that is Hamza I proudly present to you, "Bill".

Bill

A totally hot guy who is so freaking smart but is not geeky. Bill is witty and has a quick wicked sense of humor tinged with mild harmless sarcasm.

Quiet during the day but party animal on weekends, in a good way. He can have fun! Likes all kinds of sports, usually has mesmerizing bedroom eyes.

Bill is that hot guy in homeroom who doesn't know he's hot, which is why he's so dang hot.

If you are lucky enough to be friends with a "Bill", then consider yourself set for life. Bill is a loyal friend who will stick by you through thick and thin even if you are annoying the heck out of him or making him mad.

He is a peacemaker, calm, a "go to" guy but he can party it up with the best of them. He is accepting and non-judgmental, and kind-hearted to everybody. Bill is just awesome in every single way. Chicks dig him, guys are good friends with him, everybody loves Bill.


"Who's that guy in homeroom that's real smart, funny, and hot even though he doesn't think he's hot?"

"Girl, that is a Bill. You gotta stand in line like the rest of us chicks until it's your turn - he in deeemand. I best hook up wid dat awesome hottie fo sho."

The most amazing guy ever.

Seriously sweet, hilarious, so loving his girlfriend has no idea what to do with herself. He's the best person she's ever had the pleasure of being close to. He may be a bit jealous at times but it doesn't matter because he's got a ton of really good qualities.

Bill likes long relationships and is very good at knowing how to keep his girl. He makes you feel confident and able to be yourself around him. He has the ability to calm others. Super silly (: but always my favorite.

Example of Bill's awesomeness:

[b]A group of friends is arguing in the hallway when Bill walks in.

The arguing stops.[/b]

one who which is drop dead sexy has a massive penis and will punch anyone out who pisses him off. also bill has ill skillz in everything. Most people know him as a balla.

"Hey bill whats up? - Bill what are you doing tonight?"

This has been a brief look at Bill. A.K.A - ChillyBilly



(Source: http://m.urbandictionary.com/#define?term=Bill) <---- Truth.   read


3:05 PM on 08.14.2012

My Avatar Is The Hero PAX Deserves, But Not The One It Needs Right Now.



It looks like it's that time of year again! What time, you ask? Why it's "adopt my avatar to take with you to PAX because I have too much stuff going on in my life right now to get there myself time", that's what time it is!

For years my avatar has been attending PAX, hiding in the shadows, protecting the innocent from the scum and evil of society. With my utility, er I mean...with my belt full of neat things, I am the avatar PAX deserves..no wait, I am the avatar PAX needs but..hmmm... I am the avatar PAX didn't know it needed and technically doesn't really need but would probably appreciate if it knew I was there!

Look at my avatar's manly physique:



Chest, chiseled. Face, bearded. Background, moody and dark. Sky, green? Or is that blue, it's kind of like a blue/green combo or something. Hell I don't know what color that is, teal maybe.

Anyway, Chest, chiseled, Face bearded, Muscles, muscly. I am the pinnacle of perfection and the strongest of the strong. My mind as sharp as tacks and my other features are just as sharp and sometimes tacky.

I will protect you as you wade through line after line, trying to score as much swag as you can. I will let no harm come to you as you approach the food area and pay $7.00 for a bottle of water and $9.00 for a slice of pizza. And I will protect you as you Street Pass with other's who may also be Street Passing because that seems like something people would do at a convention focused mainly around video games.

In closing, if you need protection from the seedy, under-worldly and often creepy people that may cross your path then you owe it to yourself to take my avatar with you.

Thank you and goodnight.


*Picture unrelated.



*Picture totally related.   read


10:36 AM on 04.11.2012

Another ChillyBilly Haul: Occams the Enabler

I have sworn many, many times that I would slow my collecting down to focus on other things. I've also said that because I literally have no more room in my place to hoard all of this stuff and I think I may have to actually get a storage unit somewhere until I move to a bigger place.

As seen in my last Haul Blog, my intentions of slowing down have, let's just say, not been fully realized. I try though, I really do.

Enter OccamsElectricToothbrush, or as I like to call him; "My Enabler".

Occams has slowly become my go to guy for harder to find gems and games. It seems like at least once a week I get a DM from him asking if I am interested in X, Y or Z game. The thing is, nine times out of ten I AM interested in what he has, and that's not helping my situation any.

In this episode I will highlight some of the gems that Occams has found for me. Oh and there's a bunch of other stuff as well.

______________________________________________________________________________________

As usual, I will start with the older stuff and then move on to the newer games/swag/items.

First up we have:


Wildfire Electronic Pinball
Now I already have one of these in the box but the actual game has several scratches on it, this one however (the one pictured above) looks brand new and doesn't appear to have ever been played (although I'm sure it has been).

Anyone who know's me knows that I love old school, classic consoles. I'm not talking NES/Atari stuff, I'm talking about those weirdo, obscure consoles from the 70's early 80's. Kind of like this one!



Unisonic Tournament 2000. I found this little fella sitting on a shelf in a Goodwill that I frequent, I'm not sure why I didn't take a picture of the box as well but rest assured It had one.

So that's pretty much it for the "older" stuff. Time to move on to the PS1 & PS2 games!

As a young gamer (in the 90's) I absolutely LOVED anything put out by Working Designs, that's why I was overjoyed when I stumbled upon this gem:


Alundra - I remember playing this when It initially released and am happy to finally have it back in my collection.

Hey, remember that whole thing about Occams always finding games for me?


.//Hack Rebirth, Reminisce and Redemption, all courtesy of Occams. dot Hack Infection was found at a used CD store I believe.


Shadow Hearts Covenant (Another Occams find) and Shadow Hearts From the New World


Wild Arms 3, 4 & 5 - also courtesy of Occams.

See what I mean? Here I am, trying my best to slow my collecting down and what does Occams do? He finds these awesome games that he KNOWS I HAVE TO HAVE! =)

Here are some Non-Occams finds:


Atelier Iris Eternal Mana as well as 2 & 3

Hey look! Some Atlus games!

Baroque, Magna Carta, Shin Megami Tensei Nocturn and ChoroQ


Here we have; Fatal Frame, the hard to find Jurassic Park Operation Genesis, Working Designs Growlanser Generations and Dragon Quest VIII


Grand Theft Auto III, Ghost Recon, X2 Wolverines Revenge, Tekken Tag Tournament, Soul Calibur II and Gran Turismo 4 - these were all found as a bundle at Goodwill. I love Goodwill bundle games, they're always so cheap.


Final Fantasy X, X-2, Ace Combat 5, Burnout Revenge, Rainbow Six Lockdown and Prince of Persian Warrior Within - another Goodwill bundle


Prince of Persia Sands of Time, Manhunt 2, Medal of Honor Frontline, 007 Everything or Nothing, True Crime Streets of L.A. and Mercenaries - the last of the Goodwill bundles for the PS2


I can thank Funktastic for these next few, he talked me in to going back to the store to pick up Grandia Extreme, while I was there I also found Grandia II and Grandia III


Here we have Viewtiful Joe 1 & 2 - one day I will get around to playing these games.


Zone of the Enders and Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3


Everyone loves Katamari! Right? Well if not you can still enjoy these pics of Katamari Damacy and We Love Katamari.


And last, but not least for the PS2 games we have the crème de la crème - Metal Gear Solid - Subsistence Limited Edition. I literally walked in to my local Gamestop one day and bought this, one of the guys I know who works there had it behind the counter for me. For you collectors out there, you don't want to know how much I paid for it (psst..it was under 25 bucks).

Well that's enough of the PS2 hogging all the limelight, it's time for the PSP to take it's turn on the catwalk!


Here we have; Patapon 2, the tough to find Monster Kingdom Jewel Summoner, Blade Dancer, Legend of Heroes III, Me & My Katamari, PoPoLoCrois and Maverick Hunter X


Next up is; Final Fantasy Tactics, Harvest Moon Boy & Girl, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Patapon and Shin Megami Tensei Persona


And finally we have; Shin Megami Tensei Persona 2 Innocent Sin & Hakuoki Demon of the Fleeting Blossom

Moving on to some PS3 goodies we have;


The Sly Collection & Resistance 3


Aliens vs Predator


InFamous 2 Hero Edition


Uncharted 3 Collectors Edition

Here's a neat little thing that I saved from dumpster hell:

Twisted Metal in-store Sweet Tooth Ice-Cream truck display

Oh and then this thing I stumbled upong

PlayStation 2 in-store display light. It lights up, that's pretty much all it does.

I think that just about does it for this haul blog, I do have a couple more things to share though before I go.

If there's one thing that I absolutely love to collect it has to be art books. You know who else loves to collect art books? Occams Electric Toothbrush. Know what else Occams likes?

Warhammer stuff.



Warhammer Online Artbook (cover and inside art)



Warhammer Online Graphic Novel (hardbound edition - cover and inside art)

Oh, and while I was typing all of this up I had a knock at the door. Wonder who and what it could have been?

Another Occams package!

Hey look, it's a .//Hack Rebirth USB Hub!

Thanks for always looking out for me Occams, I really do appreciate all of your help.

And thank all of you for stopping by today, I hope your stay was a pleasant one.

Until next time!

Say What?!
ChillyBilly   read


8:44 PM on 04.02.2012

10 Things About Me - ChillyBilly


Yep, that's me.

I love these "10 things" posts, maybe this will turn in to like, an annual thing or something.

As like the others before me this blog will be a list of things (10 to be exact) that have to do with me, hopefully they will be both informative and interesting.

On with the show!

10. I'm 38 years old and I still skateboard.

Now, here's the thing. I'm a realist, I know what my body can and can't do. You won't see me on any half-pipes, dropping in on a foot of vert, those days are long, long gone. What you will see though is a fella pushing 40 cruising around the neighborhood on his skateboard, at peace with himself and totally in the moment.


My foot, my board.

Seriously, I've been skating since I was 12, it's a passion, it's my "thing", it's my "like riding a bike", something that I will do until I am unable to and something that I will never feel foreign with. True story; when I was a teen a few buddies and myself built a ditch ramp (mini half-pipe) in the woods behind my house, for a little over a year that ramp was the underground ramp that you HAD to skate if you were from the Central Florida area. We had amateurs, posers and pros skating that ramp, it will always be one of my favorite memories.

9. I am a huge Cure fanatic

Or as I like to call myself, a Figurehead (because I reject the "Curehead" label). I have everything that they have ever recorded, from LP's to mini discs, to CD's, VHS, DVD and BLu-Rays. I have seen The Cure six times live, which may not seem like a lot, until you realize that they hardly ever come over here to the States. My favorite album of all time is Disintegration, it also happens to be, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest albums ever made. It is absolutely perfect from the opening instrumentals to the finishing note.



8. I have been legally dead.

Here's another true story, one that I am more than proud to claim.

When I was a teen I worked alongside my father doing construction (family business), we were building a hotel for a golf course in Michigan, the weather was miserable, cold and rainy. All week it rained but since we had enough of the roofing and siding done we could work indoors, now we weren't far enough along to where no water couldn't get in, we were still working on concrete, as none of the interior stuff had been started yet. At the end of every day it was my job to roll up all of the extension cords, this was obviously because I was a glorified gopher (go for this, go for that) and I had to do all the shit work.

Long story short, one of the extension cords I was rolling up was sitting in a puddle of water, it also had a pretty nasty cut in to it which was exposing the inner workings. I'm pretty sure you can see where this is going. I grabbed the cord and then woke up in the hospital, hands, arms and part of my back burnt.

It wasn't until a few days later that I was told I flat lined and had to be resuscitated. Pretty neat huh.

7. Adam West picked me up and placed me in to the drivers seat of the original Batmobile.

This happened back in the 80's when we still lived in Detroit. Every year there was a huge auto show in Detroit at the Pontiac Silverdome that my dad would take me to. It had everything, tanks, concept cars, motorcycles, psuedo-famous people, and the creme of the crop, Monster Trucks!



During one of our last visits before we moved to Orlando the original Batmobile from the 60's Batman show was on display, Adam West was there signing autographs, I don't remember exactly why he put me in the car, but I do remember him picking me up and placing me in the drivers seat, I had a picture somewhere of me sitting in the seat with him kneeling outside but I haven't seen it in years. I would love to find that photo.

6. I caught a five foot long shark off the coast of Cocoa Beach.

One of the advantages of living in Florida, as well as having a dad obsessed with fishing, is that you have plenty of opportunities to catch fish. For a while we had a 24 foot Bayliner boat that we would take out of Port Canaveral (near Coca Beach). My dad used to shadow the tourist fishing boats because they would chum the water, meaning that all we had to do was throw out our lines and wait for the chum to take effect. We caught plenty of fish, Blues, Snappers, Amberjacks and yes, sharks.

Not gonna lie here, my dad hooked the shark, he got it on the line and he started fighting it, he DID however hand me the line after about five minutes so that I could bring in whatever the hell was at the end of it. Turns out it was a five foot Hammerhead. Took me well over an hour to bring in and eventually my dad had to step in to gaff him and get him aboard. It was a very proud moment for me, one because I caught a big ass fish and two because I could tell how proud of me my dad was.

5. I had a piece of metal lodged in my eye.

One thing about working construction, there's never a dull moment. I'll keep this one short, was working construction with my dad, cutting metal studs without safety glasses (cause I was a teenager and invincible), something "hit" my face, later in the day I couldn't stop rubbing my right eye. Later that night my dad took me to the emergency room, turns out I had a piece of metal embedded in my eye. Three layers of eye skin and one syringe later it was out.

I now have a noticeable black dot in my eye from where the metal was. Neat.

4. I'm a huge comic book nerd.

I've been reading and collecting comic books since before I can remember. Nowadays most of the stuff I read is all digital because it's just easier for me. My favorite titles are anything Batman, Groo the Wanderer, Usagi Yojimbo and Cerberus the Aardvark.



3. I collect more games than I actually play.

Most of you probably know this by now, I love to collect video games. I also love to play videogames. These days however my love for video gaming has turned more in to collecting than actual playing. For every one new game I play I "collect" 10 more.

As of this blog my collection stands at 1283 games, 34 handhelds and 31 consoles. Out of that 1283 I guarantee that I haven't played anywhere near half. It's become a sort of obsession, if I see a deal or a game that belongs to a series that I like or want I have to buy it. I actually have to purposefully go out of my way to avoid thrift stores, used CD stores etc because I know that I have a hard time controlling myself.

2. I'm a stay at home dad.

I bet you're wondering, how the hell can a stay at home dad afford to buy games all the time? Well, truth is I have a steady flow of income coming in. I don't have set hours, I don't have a boss. I work when and if I want. My fiancee teaches at a college here in Chicago and I take care of our daughter.

I don't think I could ever go back to a 9-5 job again, although sometimes I miss the structure of it all.

1. I love the Destructoid community.

Ask any Dtoider, who "knows" me, how much I love this community and I bet they will all say the same thing; "a lot!". If there's someone in need, I'll help out. If someone on staff needs someone to do the shit grunt work, I help out.

On my 3DS spotpass, when someone get's my Mii the message is "Destructoid.com". I absolutely love this site and I love this community. I know that I can and have been vocal before, in a not so positive light, but it's only because I want to see this community continue to grow and flourish.



Destructoid was my first online community and it will be my last. The friends that I have made here will stay with me forever, even if our friendships fade.

So anway, that's me in ten bullet points. I want to thank Bbain for getting this going with his "10 things" blog, I absolutely love reading all of these.

Say What?!
ChillyBilly   read


9:07 AM on 03.01.2012

ChillyBilly's Hidden Gems: NANO ASSAULT - Nintendo 3DS



NANO ASSAULT
Format: Nintendo 3DS
Developer: Shin’en Games
Publisher: Majesco Entertainment
Released Nov. 2011
Players: 1, plus online leaderboards
MSRP: $19.99 USD


Welcome to the first installment of “ChillyBilly’s Hidden Gems”, a new blog series that I hope will continue (I say hope because I know how lazy I can be with blogging) on a semi weekly basis. The goal for Hidden Gems is to highlight games that don’t/didn’t receive all the fanfare of your typical AAA game.

Also, these blogs won’t necessarily be “reviews”, think of them more as my impressions of the game(s), there won’t be any scoring or anything like that.

This week we take a look at a SHMUP that not only delivers the bullet hell goodness, but also delivers some visuals that are some of the best on the 3DS to date.

Nano Assault is the third game in a series that started back in 2005 on the original Nintendo DS. For those not familiar with the series here’s a little background; Nanostray and Nanostray 2 were what some people would consider Bullet hell games, hardcore fans of SHMUPS were not disappointed with either game as both pushed the DS hardware in ways that few companies were able to, with fast paced shooting, incredible music and some serious thumb-aching action, the Nano series quickly gained a cult following and are still regarded as two of the best shooters that the DS has to offer. There’s a good chance that you’ve never heard of the series though as both Nanostray (released 2005) and Nanostray 2 (released 2008) saw limited releases here in the States.


Nanostray 1 & 2

Fast forward three years.

2011 saw the release of the third game in the “Nano” series with Nano Assault Trailer Here for the Nintendo 3DS. Announced during E3 (2010) Nano Assault promised to bring a game that seriously pushed the 3DS hardware in a way that no other company had before. From all intents and purposes, it does just that.

Now, there’s not much to the story when it comes to Nano Assault, basically, you’re part of a scientific team tasked with stopping the deadly Nanostray Virus from spreading, the only way to succeed in your task is to be shrunk down to a microscopic level and take the fight right to the virus itself.


That pink glob thing there, that's where you're headed.

After a short (very short) opening scene which briefly explains what the hell is going on, you are quickly thrust in to an alien world filled with viruses of all shapes and sizes, and take my word for it, none of them are happy to see you or your Nanite Ship flying around. After a brief tutorial you are quickly thrust in to action.

The game controls from an overheard type of view, you control your Nanite Ship with the circle pad and use the X, Y, B, A buttons for firing (each button shoots in a particular direction, pushing two buttons at the same time will allow you to shoot at angles).

The first thing that you’ll probably notice once you’re “injected” in to the Nanostray Virus is how amazing the world around you looks. Seriously, Shin’en games were able to pull off some amazing graphics which all run at a smooth 60FPS.


These pictures don't do any favors for this amazing looking game

If you’ve ever played either of the Super Mario Galaxy games then you’ll be right at home withNano Assault, what that means is, the “cells” that you maneuver around are typically spherical in shape, basically what you’re doing is flying your ship around the surface of these cells, trying to destroy various infections (monters) in order to “clean” the cell and remove any trace of the Nanostray Virus. See below for a picture of what I mean.


You'll be traversing around these spherical shaped cells trying to clear them of viruses

Other than the overhead view and spherical worlds, you will be tasked with piloting your Nanite Ship from a third person / on rails view as well, these levels take a bit to get used to as the 3D effect can really make your head spin especially if you use the gyroscope inside the 3DS to help control your ship. Oh yea, I guess I forgot to mention that part, if you REALLY want to fry your brain, Nano Assault allows you to use the 3DS gyroscope to maneuver through the levels. With the 3D effect cranked to the max, flying with the gyro controls on can definitely be a nauseating, but fun experience.

The game offers 32 levels of seriously challenging fun. The nice thing about Nano Assault is that it will adjust its difficulty level based on how well you are progressing though the game. If you find yourself dying a lot on a certain level, the game will recognize that and adjust itself accordingly. This is a nice feature for someone like me who loves SHMUPS but often finds myself struggling with dodging the ridiculous amount of bullets thrown my way.



Throughout the 32 levels there are a total of 10 boss battles and the game itself can be completed in 3-4 hours (main story mode), which may seem short but Shin’en has packed in enough stuff to keep you playing well in to the night.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what the game has to offer via the story mode:

32 Levels
10 Boss battles
Multiple weapon upgrades

Other than the main story, Shin’en was gracious enough to throw in a “Boss Battle” mode as well as an “Arcade” mode.

The “Boss Battle” mode gives you the opportunity to fight each of the 10 bosses, back to back. With only as many lives as you’ve collected throughout your single player play-through, this can be quite the challenge, since some of the boss fights are ridiculously tough.

The “Arcade” mode of Nano Assault lets you choose to play though any of the 32 levels in whatever order you want. Each level in Arcade mode has a specific challenge with it. The challenges are all different, some will have you completing a level without using any secondary weapons, and others will ask you to reach a specific score. Trust me; it’s definitely enough to keep you playing once you’ve finished the main story.


A view of one of the Arcade Mode screens

So let’s do a quick break down here, with Nano Assault you can play through the main story, play different “boss battles” or play in the “arcade mode” while trying to reach specific goals. Not bad for a modestly priced game.

But wait! There’s more!

If the main story, boss battles and arcade mode weren’t enough, Nano Assault has also included a “Nanopedia” and Jukebox for you to play with.

The Nanopedia is basically an encyclopedia with all the various viruses and bosses from the game, here you can zoom in for a closer look at each virus as well as check out what makes each virus tick (how many points they are worth, shield rating etc).


Nanopedia

The Jukebox is basically what it sounds like, a jukebox that allows you to play tracks from the game.

Both the Nanopedia and Jukebox use what’s called Nano Coins as currency, the more Nano Coins you have the more stuff you can “buy” and unlock. Now before you start to ho and hum about “buying” stuff in the game let me just say this, the Nano Coins are basically 3DS Play Coins which you convert in the game. Nintendo 3DS Play Coins are earned by taking your3DS out and about with you while you’re walking around. For every 100 steps you take you earn one Play Coin. I had enough Play Coins saved up to buy all the Nanopedia entries as well as Jukebox songs, all totally worth it by the way.

Oh! Speaking of the Jukebox, Nano Assault has some fantastic music. If you’re a fan of electronic music with heavy synths and thumping beats you will love playing through Nano Assault, trust me, you’ll want to get some headphones for this one to truly enjoy the awesome soundtrack.

Soundtrack sample here

And here:

Finally, on top of everything listed above, Nano Assault has online leader boards for those of you who love to compete with others. There really isn’t much to the leader boards; they’re pretty much how they sound. They’re just leader boards with scores for the various modes in the game.


There are dozens of different enemy types that you'll encounter throughout the game

If there’s one thing that the Nintendo 3DS could use more of it would be SHMUPS. Am I right or what? No really, am I right? Because I honestly believe that we can never have enough SHMUPS in our lives. Luckily for us Shin’en] shares this sentiment and released a fantastic shooter in Nano Assault. For the paltry asking price ($19.99 USD as of this posting, oh and that’s the “new” price, not used) you really can’t go wrong.

With a solid main story, boss battles, arcade modes, a jukebox, Nanopedia and leader boards to compare scores with others around the world, Nano Assault should be a must have for any 3DS owner looking for something with a challenge as well as something to show your friends who may think that the 3DS can’t deliver high quality graphics.

I hope you have enjoyed this first installment of ChillyBilly’s Hidden Gems and if you pick up Nano Assault I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Say What?!
ChillyBilly   read


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