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12:15 PM on 05.29.2013

DJ Hero, and how much I love it.

It is my firm belief that everyone remembers their first rhythm game. Mine was Guitar Hero 3, and every day Iíd try to play it, but because of my brothers ridiculing the face I made while playing (concentration is key) my Guitar Hero career came to an end. But this isnít about Guitar Hero, Rock Band, or any traditional games, because today, I am remembering quite possibly the greatest and most under-appreciated rhythm game of all time.

Oh this beauty. DJ Hero was a game developed by Freestyle Games and published by Activision in 2009, and it always piqued my interest. I saw fantastic reviews, but the price tag was too expensive for my young 15 year old self. But every time I saw it, I wanted to try it out. Around 2010, my father came home from Ottawa for March Break and let us do as we please. I went to the nearest rental place and looked at the Wii Games. There, I found DJ Hero with a 7 day rental for 12 dollars, and hopped on the chance. Setting it up was a breeze (every Wii peripheral had a nice place to put the remote) and after turning on the console I was greeted with an experience I would never forget.

DJ Grandmaster Flash let me through the tutorial, and while it was difficult, it was never that hard to grasp. Keep your fingers on the buttons, press accordingly, scratch the turntable when applicable, change roads with the crossfader, pressing the YEAHYEAHYEAHBOOIIIII button (yeah it was a button) and just having fun. That whole week was spent talking to my father and playing DJ Hero, enough to get me to the medium setting without much effort. The songs would get stuck in my head, and at night Iíd groove to the soundtrack while sleeping. When the time came for it to be returned I didnít play it for years, but still yearned for it almost like a dog and his treats.

Well, just last month I purchased DJ Hero second hand for 20 dollars at a pawn shop, and loved every single second of it (this time for PS3). Iíve tried every song on Medium and some on Hard and one on Expert, and I gotta say this game still holds up. Graphics are solid, gameplay is still fantastic, and the sequel is great as well, but to me not as good as the first.

However, the one thing that made DJ Hero stand out from the rest was itís soundtrack. 93 mixes, each utilizing the controller to the max, with plenty of Daft Punk and original mixes that would make your head spin. There is no song that isnít good, and even the one song I was skeptical of (Disco Inferno by 50 Cent VS Letís Dance by David Bowie) turned out to be one of my favorites. I bought the soundtrack and still have it on my iTunes to this day. But where DJ Hero has great songs, DJ Hero 2 seemed to not be as good in that regard. Kanye West vs Metallica? No thank you. It seemed to go for a more pop appeal, whereas the original had more timeless songs like Marvin Gaye and Gorillaz.

DJ Hero is my favorite rhythm game not because of itís innovation, but because it is a game that everyone can pick up and have a smile when they leave. Critics loved the franchise, and while Activision blames it for the fall of the Hero games, it still holds a place in my heart for being the one rhythm game that can still bring me a sense of joy and wonder, other than Elite Beat Agents.   read

8:23 AM on 01.10.2013

My Gaming Regret

One of the biggest regrets in my short lifespan was selling my Wii to pay for my very own Playstation 3.

Before others bash me for essentially saying the Wii is better than the Playstation 3 or Xbox 360, you need to understand who I am. Iím the type of person that enjoys a cartoony game more than realism. I hate realistic games, I live real life, and itís boring. Too much work, too many emotional issues. When I go home, I donít want to play more real life, I want to play to ESCAPE real life. And thatís what the Wii did for me. While the motion controls were sloppy at times, when used properly it worked. Does anyone remember the first time they shook the Wii Remote? I sure do, and it was magical!

I bought my Wii in 2007, and I played Wii Sports for 2 months. It got boring after a while, so I thought to myself Iíd save some money to buy more games. So I did. Super Smash Brothers Brawl with my friends is STILL my new yearís tradition. And Super Mario Galaxy is my favorite console game of all time. I played some other games, like Wii Sports Resort, and while not all were my cup of tea, I liked them enough. No More Heroes is still a game I miss.

As the Wii hit 2010, I played that bloody thing so much it broke, and I bought a new one from my uncle. It was magical, for one, because all my data was gone. A fresh slate for my Galaxy and Klonoa save files? Sign me up! I played those games to completion AGAIN. I even got extra remotes, and I loved playing New Mario Bros with my brothers, who had not as much fun as me, but still fun.

2011 was the year everything seemed to drop. Not that there were no good games; I played Skyward Sword a lot, but everything seemed amiss. So I played some games I missed. Kirbyís Epic Yarn, Sonic Colors, Twilight Princess, Little Kings Story, Klonoa, and Red Steel 2 are some examples. I liked them, but nothing caught my attention. World of Goo was amazing on Wiiware, but the backlog was beaten, and then came the shock to me.

It was July 2012, and the Wii U was on the horizon, giving me Nintendo excitement. I never played my Wii anymore, and our old family Playstation was sold so my brothers could buy 2 Xbox 360ís. My Wii was something I took everywhere. I had amassed the perfect library of games, like both Super Mario Galaxyís, Zelda titles, Metroid Other M (I liked it) and a myriad of third party games such as Klonoa, Rayman Origins, and much more. However, I missed my PlayStation 3, and I did the unthinkable: I sold my Wii for PlayStation 3 money.

I didnít look back, playing God of War, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and enjoying titles like Darksiders, and crying while playing Journey. But something struck at me while playing those gamesÖ nothing smacked my heart while playing. By that, I mean nothing really drove me to play it The Wii, while hugely underpowered, was special. Like that one cousin who may say weird things, but heís still the fun one.

Nintendo was my childhood, and I think they always will be, because they represent to me what gaming is all about: fun. Some games on PS3 are fun (nobody can look me in the eyes and tell me Uncharted or God of War isnít fun) but it brought along something I didnít expect: maturity. The Walking dead is now of the most mature games I think Iíve ever played, and while Dishonored was my game of the year, it made me question my sanity the more I played it. I play games to escape, and the gritty realism isnít cutting it anymore. I need magic.

My Wii U should be in my hands either Friday or Monday. If the magic is lost, I have no clue if I will be able to go back to games. I am growing older, of course, but I still feel the same way when I play Mario 64 as I did when I was a toddler. I canít wait for the next generation, but HD really isnít the captivation anymore. Nintendo needs video games to prove the potential of the Wii U.

Judging from last generation, I think they will do just fine.   read

7:41 PM on 12.26.2012

CollegeGuy46's Top 5 Games of the Year

Ah, the game of the year awards. It's always fun to read/watch people reveal what games they have played, and how it ranks among their favorites. As I played a few new games this year, I shall reveal my favorites on the best video gaming website: Destructoid!

Number 5: Kingdom Hearts 3D

Admittedly, this game is good. Great even. But compared to the gems below, it cannot compare. I honestly can't remember any other game besides KH to get 5. My credibillity is flying away with every word I say in this number.

Number 4: The Walking Dead

I'm the advocate of gameplay over graphics and story. If a game isn't fun to play for me, than it won't be played, simple as that. However, some games can over come their flaws in stellar storytelling, and Telltale's The Walking Dead is the coveted example of this.

The Walking Dead's characters really made me love this game. It had a ragtag group, with my favorite being Lee. Dave Fennoy did a phenomenal job as this character, and as much as I love Clementine, Lee sold the game on me.

Gameplay was.... average, but still engaging. The point and click interface from Strong Bad has been ditched in favor of a more unorthodox point and clicker, which I thoroughly enjoy. It made it a lot more interactive. However, it was still a slog at times to reach an interesting story thread, and if it were not for the characters, may have been bored. Choices made were interesting, and I was emotional at the ending. A phenomenal experience, but merely a good game.

Number 3: Journey

Journey was a game that intrigued me as to how I enjoyed it so much. It was a beautiful experience, and it was a joy to play through it, but I don't usually enjoy these "artsy" games. However, Journey is a game I wholly recommend.

It's one of those games you need to try for yourself, because it's impossible to recapture the feeling in words. You'll laugh, cry, and smile during this two hour adventure, and that is what makes the difference. It's a game that made me smile a lot, and it's incredible.

Number 2: Kid Icarus: Uprising

The infamous Kid Icarus grip is one of my favorite memories in gaming to date, despite being INCREDIBLY painful. I played for 9 hours before stopping, I laughed way too much, and the gameplay was incredible. My top handheld Game of the Year was unorthodox, but what would I expect from Masahiro Sakurai, one of the craziest devs working today.

Despite being an enjoyable game, Kid Icarus is also the only multiplayer game I enjoyed this year. Call of Duty is not my style, but since getting used to the accuracy the stylus can provide, I hope to see more games like this, perhaps on the Wii U!

Also, I find it incredibly odd that my favourite games require unorthodox ways to play. My favorite game of all time is The World Ends With You, so you know.

NUMBER 1: Dishonored

Gameplay will always trump story.

This is evidenced by my Game of the Year. Arguably, the plot in Dishonored is hocky. It's got problems. The funny thing is, I don't give a shit about that, because I had so much fun assassinating everything and sneaking around than I ever did this year. Dishonored was a game I picked up with NO prior knowledge, and I am certainly glad I did.

Dishonored is a game. Pure and simple. You can explore, finding different ways to do what you need. Arkane has given gamers a point A, and a point B, and a million ways to do it. The powers are fun to use. The style is impeccable, and everything about this game screams top notch. I love this game with every fiber, and if I get a tattoo anywhere, it will be the Outsider's mark. No clue why.

Thank you, and congratulations Arkane, for this gem.   read

11:31 PM on 12.25.2012

Wii U Hardware Problem!

So, today, I got my Wii U Deluxe. I was so happy, because I've been wanting one for so long. After reading all the instructions, charging my pad, hooking everything up, I held the GamePad in my hand, and pressed the power button on the console.

Blinking. Blue. Lights.

Ladies and Gentlemen, what we have hear is a console deficiency. Essentially, if your Wii U light is flickering blue, it's broken. The strange thing is, nobody told me anything about this. No major website said anything, and the only place I was able to find info about it was NeoGaf and GameFaqs.

I'm mad, essentially. Why was this problem not brought up?

Well, from what I've heard, you can call Nintendo. Just mention the flickering blue lights, and you can send it in for a new one. Luckily, mine didn't stop whenever I was partway through set-up, like others. Nintendo will fix it, and they will even pay shipping! 5/6 business days to a month are the waiting times I've heard.

As for me, I'm going to contact any store I can regarding the issue, to get a functional system in my hands.


Have a merry holidays!


So, after waiting 45 minutes on the phone with Nintendo of Canada, my Wii U is being shipped tomorrow morning. Thanks for all the comments, ladies and gentlemen. If it happens to you, they want the console and the HDMI cord. I asked about the Gamepad, however they didn't want me to send it. It wasn't synced to the console, so I see why.

Now I have to fly back to my house, and hopefully my Gamepad will be safe and sound!

Happy MMA Day! (Boxing)   read

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