What's up? I'm D-Sane. I like to play video games. When I'm not gaming, I like to watch terrible movies and laugh at them, usually while drinking. I also like to spend a weekend or two watching the entire series of TV shows that I like. I work as a tech assistant to a real estate agent in Austin, TX.
I write rap songs about super heroes. I haven't done it in a while though, but every time I listen to this song, I think "I should really post that song on Destructoid." For some reason, I never did, until today.
With the release of Megaman 9, I have come to realize why I love this series of games so much. I love that you can know everything there is to know about the mechanics of the game and still get your ass kicked by new level and enemy design. This, coupled with the fact that I listened to my Megaman song about 50 times today made me realize that I should finally get around to posting it here.
I produced the music and wrote and recorded the lyrics back in December of 2006. I've written a whole series of songs about super heroes (though none of the others are video game heroes) and I had plans to shoot music videos for each one, but they have fallen through due to the fact that I'm really busy with working and drinking all the time. Other heroes I've given the D-Sane treatment to include Spider-Man, Batman, Thundercats, Spawn, etc. If you want to hear any of those songs, let me know and I'll link you up. In the mean time, enjoy this song about Megaman.
I arrived at my obsession with the Metal Gear Solid franchise in a roundabout fashion. Unlike most people who play this game series, I never owned an original Playstation so I didn't get started with this game series at the same time as most people. One of my friends had the a PS1 and I wasn't too impressed with the games. He'd always rant and rave about Metal Gear Solid and I just assumed he was crazy. I was a Nintendo kid, so I was too busy playing Mario 64 and the like. I mean, at the time, they didn't even really have stealth combat games. It was just shooters and action games, so I didn't really know what to think of this Metal Gear Solid business.
However, when the PS2 came out, I temporarily jumped ship from Nintendo in favor of playing Grand Theft Auto 3. I had heard so many great things that I sold all my video games and consoles (I had a Sega Genesis smuggled in there somewhere) to buy a PS2 and GTA3. But even with the backwards compatability of the system, I never got around to playing Metal Gear Solid. I never even heard people talking about MGS2 or MGS3. Eventually I got sick of the PS2 and sold it in favor of going back to the N64, specifically so I could play Mario 64 (well before the days of the Wii Virtual Console).
More recently, right before the PS3 came out, I spent a year working at a local used CD/DVD/video game store where one of my co-workers was also obsessed with Metal Gear Solid. I didn't see the reason, really. At the time, the original game, used, was worth more than the PS1 system. Then one day at work, that co-worker hooked up a PS1 and played the game through to the end. It was pretty interesting, but it didn't latch its teeth into my psyche quite yet. I suppose I would have liked it more had I played it rather than watched the co-worker.
When Super Smash Bros. Brawl came out on the Wii, everyone made such a huge deal about Snake being a playable character. I didn't really care too much though. Mario and Link and link were my boys -- Nintendo kid to the end, or so I thought. Through the course of the game, I unlocked Snake as a playable character and he instantly became my favorite, surpassing even Link. This was based entirely on what I had seen in the Brawl game, not on any pre-concieved attraction to playing as the character (similarly, one of my friends has never played Fire Emblem, but he loves playing as Marth).
Last month, a month before Metal Gear Solid 4 comes out, I stopped back into that store that I used to work at. The same co-worker was still there and I mentioned how I loved playing as Snake on Brawl. He told me that if I loved Snake so much, he'd cut me a deal on a used copy of Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes for Game Cube. I figured, what the hell, I might as well. I took the game home, popped it in, and spent the next 6 hours playing it. I knew then that I was hooked. I knew that the cutscenes and the storyline were all specifically designed to keep the player playing, but this knowledge didn't phase me. I had Metal Gear Solid Mania.
In the last 4 weeks, I have spent every waking hour that I wasn't working playing some form of Metal Gear Solid game. I even went so far as to re-buy a PS2 specifically to play MGS2 and MGS3. I have it so bad that yesterday when I got home from work, I played MGS3 for 12 hours straight, sacrificing the needs to sleep, eat, and use the restroom just so I could beat it. I stayed up til 6 am and I missed a day of work today just so that I could finish MGS3. I figure what better way to spend the day after that than writing up a blog about how much you love the franchise. If that's not obsession, I don't know what is.
I am going to buy a PS3 for the sole purpose of playing MGS4 when it comes out next Thursday (well, I'll also play some GTA4 too since I can't play that on the Wii). I might even buy a PSP for the sole purpose of playing Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops so that I can continue the Naked Snake/Big Boss storyline. Sony and Konami have conspired with the devil to make me spend the most amount of money possible and strangely, I don't even mind it.
It's amazing to me how my Nintendo brand loyaltee was instantly shattered by these games. I mean, I still love Nintendo and all, but my love is more rational now. I won't hold Nintendo on a pedistal any more. I realize that Super Mario Galaxy can't even shake a stick at Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, which is kind of sad considering the 3 and a half year gap between their release dates (And even more sad because Twin Snakes is based on a game that came out around the same time as Mario 64). The weirdest thing to me about this whole process that I went through is that it took two Nintendo games to make me switch my brand loyaltee to Playstation.
I absolutely love the Super Mario Bros. games. Since Super Mario Bros. 1 right up until today, they've been innovative in their game play, level design, secrets, and many other aspects of a universally accepted great platforming adventure game series. They've brought us many memorable characters and their style has been emulated countless times.
And yet...I'm sick of the story. Save the princess, defeat Bowser. Save the princess, defeat Bowser. Enough!
Ok, true, Super Mario Bros. 2 deviated from the tired story by allowing the Peach to be a playable character and Bowser wasn't the main villan. But I'm willing to bet that no one counts that as a true Mario game anyway.
Ok, true, Super Mario Sunshine was just about cleaning up the island, but that game was just kinda stupid. To me, Mario just isn't cool unless he's shooting fire balls or flying (maybe someday he can do both at once?)
Of course when I'm writing this, I'm not including any of the games like Super Mario RPG, Super Paper Mario, any of the Mario Party or Mario sports games, Mario Paint, or anything else. Just the straight up adventure platformers.
Even despite those examples of deviance, the core elements of every Mario game remain the same: you travel to various worlds/lands, kill various enemies, collect coins and power ups, and eventually you finish the game and say "now what?" The games haven't ever relied too heavily on in-game dialogue or problem solving puzzles like the Zelda series. It's just shoot this guy with fireballs, jump over this pit, don't fall in that hot lava, avoid being eaten by this fish, etc. Mario basically acts as a cursor that you guide through mazes of death. Simple mazes of death, at that. Where's the character development? Where's the drama? Mario was the first character to be truly represented in 3D. Why is his psyche still relegated to the world of 1D?
Another thing I can't stand is the difficulty of the games. I don't know about you, but I've never beaten SMB 1 or SMB 2. They're just too hard for me. I love them to death and I can get pretty far in them, but towards the end, I just hit a brick wall. And that's not to say that as a kid I couldn't beat them but now they're easy -- no, I still can't beat them even to this day. The game over sound in Mario 1 is an all too familiar soundtrack to my life.
On the other hand, newer versions of Mario like Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy are just entirely too easy. On my first play through of Galaxy, I beat the game in 12 hours (which includes a lot of time where I was just screwing around, exploring the game). There was a time in Galaxy where I had 45 lives. What am I going to do with that many lives? Assuming there was a really hard part that I couldn't beat (there weren't any) I'd probably only play that part about 10 times before giving up, not 45 times.
In my opinion, the series hit its stride with respect to appropriate amount of difficulty with Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World. SMB 3 is difficult, but not unbeatable and certain parts are definitely not for the passive gamer. SMWorld is on par with this, while actually had more difficult levels and slightly more confusing overworld design, which confused and frustrated some gamers while at the same time challenged hardcore gamers to play on and explore.
My complaints to the series as a whole might not stand up across the board, but I believe that we've been rehashed the same old Mario games so many times that they're now too easy. The gamers are starting to anticipate the moves of the developers, rather than the developers being one step ahead of us, which is sad to me. I challenge Shigeru Miyamoto to incorporate some elements of the Zelda series into the Super Mario series. Make the games more action oriented. Make the games have complicated puzzles that we need a strategy guide to figure out. Make the games have more options rather than just "which level am I going to play now?" And for Christ sake, please give Mario some character development! Maybe he doesn't always want to be a good guy or save the princess. Maybe he'd rather clean sewers all day.