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DanMazkin's blog

8:45 PM on 12.07.2009

T-Shirt Design: The SNES is blatantly better than the MegaDrive

Ey guys, in between playing Dead Space (yeah finally, but fuck me what an awesome game) and raging hard over AvP getting RC'd in Oz, I've been trying to get more of my design work done before I leave this rock of a country. So while I may not be quite up there with the likes of SuitCoatAvenger, I still thought that I'd share what I've been working on lately.


While I normally wouldn't go posting just any of my work up in a c-blog, I figured that this one would be worth sharing as its not just a gaming related shirt, its a personal statement about our beliefs, ideals, and the way we've been brought up in todays society. Ok ok, it might be me whoring my work out just a little bit, but I mostly just wanna see if you guys dig what I've been doin :D

Cheers!   read

9:35 AM on 07.31.2009

Duck Hunt is 2 player?? AKA: I Are Pissed.

"-And You Are??"
"I Are Pissed!!!??"

Greetings fellow Destructoidians. I am here, drinking scotch, with my fellow brothers in god damned australian
arms Puppy Lix, and our good friend Julian "Is That Really Your Penis" Bell. He is an electrician, works on the
rigs, and owns the n64 and NES we are currently playing.



This man sucks at goldeneye! he just got the 'lemming award' and the 'mostly harmless' award hahaha.
although he was blooorging halfway through the match so fuck it.


FUCK puppy licks. He's drunk, and a child molestor (trust me, i know). But now we've got the tough choice of
what to play, Cruisin USA (N64) or Battletoads (NES). Both highly acclaimed games of both amazing writing,
character development and plot, but the choice, as hard as it is, must be made.

OMFG, Puppylicks just carried a gun into the room. Julian owns guns you see. It's a Rifle, No 4 MK1 Leansield
Rifle, ie, the fucking gun from COD 2.. Now I'm kind of scared, drunk guys with guns, good times, good times.
(for your information, we are responsible adults with gun licenses and the ammo is locked away somewhere
separate and all that, honest ossifer.

also, DUCK HUNT!!! In the process of playing the ultimate drinking game (pay attention DrunkCast, its where one
person shoots the ducks, the other person controls the ducks with the 2nd controller, and someone has top
drink for each duck hit/missed), I discoverd the mind blowing fact that DuckHunt is 2 player. When anyone is
shooting, the 2nd player can control the direction of the duck trying to fly away..... NOW I've been playing this
game since about 1991. 18 EFFIN YEARS, and only now does a feature of the game that seems so damn
obvious become known to me. Sorry, its just blowing my mind right now, worlds are shattered, suns have
been blotted out, balls have imploded. I'm just so surprised that I just discovered something new about what is
probably the second videogame i EVER PLAYED. Damn.

Anyways. Its late. Guys, good night, and by that, i mean, I've spent too much time typing this, and Dominos is
here. And I'm hungry
This is Daaaan Maaazzzzkiiinnnnn, and Pucky Lips, and Julian "Is that really your Penis" Bell.   read

9:24 PM on 07.22.2009

Developers don't care about the little people, aka, people with SD TV's.

Owning a "next gen" console and a HD TV seems to be a necessity nowadays. Most people seem to think that you can't enjoy new games unless they're in HD, and that's how I've been enjoying the majority the games that I've played on X360 thanks to my brother being kind enough to let me play his 360 on his (effin huge) TV. Not too long ago though I finally bought myself an Xbox of my own, but as I'm currently trying to save as much cash as possible I've just been too tight to fork over the cash for a shiny new HD TV, SO, my Xbox sits quite happily next to my crappy little CRT TV in my lounge room.

Now I believe that solid gameplay can trump shiny graphics every time and that you can enjoy most games on a SD TV just as much as you can on a HD TV. The only issue I have is when developers let the idea of having such high resolutions to play with go to their heads, and in the process of making everything so sharp, neat and tiny in HD, they completely fuck their game for everyone who hasn't bought a HD TV.

Dead Rising was the first and most notorious culprit of this blatant "Definitionism", with menu text so small that it was near impossible to read what your mission objectives were. Of course, there wasn't much of an objective other than KILL ZOMBIES so it didn't stop me from playing the game, but it was still shitting me. Also, there was a widescreen alignment issue which cut off nearly a 1/4 of the UI on some screens, so those awesome tips that you get during the loading screens meant shit because you'd only get the first or second step. THANK CAPCOM! But it's not just them, there's a lot more games out there who are just as guilty as Capcom and Dead Rising.

Far Cry 2 was a culprit of this, yet not through any negligence or lack of thought by the developers. The menus and UI were all surprisingly very nice and clear, even on a SD TV. My issue was with the environments and graphics being almost TOO good (I know, how fucking picky can I be), as I found it near impossible to spot enemies in the environment, even when standing close enough to them to hear them fart. Running through the African bush only to have the screen start flashing red with gunfire coming from random unknown bush ninjas was how I spent the majority of my time in that game. I really did try to give it a good shot though, Rev Anthony's praise of the game had me inspired to see its beauty, but when I would scan the area to see if there are any enemies all I got was 300 beautiful bullets in the ass from all directions. I raged, and I quit.

Another game worth mentioning is Burnout Paradise. A game that requires the twitch reflexes of a cokefiend to take corners correctly becomes nearly impossible when you can only make out a corner by the time you've already passed it. You may as well be simulating an 80 year old geriatric behind the wheel of a Lambo. Of course you could just use you MiniMap to help you navigate, but guess what, you can barely make that god damn thing out either! Now, at least Criterion clued onto this as they had apparently made changes to the game in one of their major updates to optimize it for SD TVs, so while I didn't rage quit this one out of frustration in the end, it still gets an mention for being so Definitionist in the first place.

NOW, time to mention the game that I love and fucking hate so much at the same time. It's possibly the worst example of a game just not being designed for SD in any way. That game, is Battlefield: Bad Company.

I effin love the multiplayer in this game. I played the shit out of it on my bro's HD TV and would usually come out on top most games. Then I got my own Xbox, and then things started to suck. Bad. It suffers a bit of what I mentioned with FarCry 2 where you can't make out enemies until they're killing your ass, but it gets so much worse than that when you're dealing with it online. Its one thing to have a dumb-ass AI character you can't see start spraying bullets in your direction, its a whole other story when some 12 yr old kid from Oregon fucks your ass with a single headshot before you even knew there was someone else on the map.
Ok, so itís hard to make out your enemies, you can get used to it right? Yeah sure, but there's also the slight issue of almost all the text in the game being basically unreadable. The score ladder between matches: Almost illegible. The text to log the current kills in the match: Complete blurry garbage. You can be charging through in a tank firing off rounds into a building, then sit there wondering if that blue smudge on the top of your screens meant you hit someone or not, coz god knows you can't actually see if you've hit them!
All these elements made it frustrating to the point of quitting the game completely, BUT what really pissed me off with Bad Company, the one that broke the camels back, was the forced letterbox. Quite simply, they designed their game and their UI to work only in widescreen, so rather than simply reposition the UI for an SD TV, what do they do? They scale the widescreen down to fit on your small ass SD TV and slap black bar on the top and bottom. It's lazy, itís frustrating, and I'd expect more from two of the top developers and publishers around today.

To sum up my frustration here, the fact is that these weren't bad games, in fact, from what I played of them they all seemed like great games, But thatís the problem. Because I lack the fund to buy the expensive hardware I'd need to enjoy these games at their highest visual quality, the gameplay itself is hampered, and so is my experience and my ability to enjoy the game for what it is. If I wanted to deal with a situation like that, I would've just become a PC gamer again....

P.S. Thankyou EA and thankyou Dice. I wasn't quite aware that my television was so small and inadequate already, so I appreciate not only the kind reminder, but your sterling efforts to give me EVEN LESS SCREEN AREA TO DISPLAY WITH THAN BEFORE! IF I WANTED TO PLAY GAMES ON A FUCKING SCREEN THAT SIZE I'D GO GRAB MY PSP AND HOLD IT AS FAR AWAY FROM MY FACE AS MY ARMS WOULD ALLOW ME!! YOU CHEAP, LAZY BAS.... OH FUCK THIS*

*Dan got so frustrated with trying to access Destructoid on a 15" CRT monitor that he rage quit the internet


8:17 PM on 05.07.2009

DNF - The Chair Story - If true, this has blown my effin mind - EDIT!

It's a long read, but fuck me, its worth it, trust me.
The Chair Story

It might just be a conspiracy theory, but I've read and heard enough to almost convince me of most of it.

You know whats sad, I'm not really shocked by the whole "chair" part of the story. I'm not sure if I really believe that part at all. BUT, the idea that DNF was this entire time, not actually being made at all, continues to blow my feeble mind.

That everyone for the past 10 years has been thinking that DNF development was a joke, and it just so happens that it is a joke, but the joke is on us. They've been following their plan perfectly for all these years to create a legend that is the longest developed game ever, and they've followed it perfectly.

In short, we've all been had.

Ok, I've calmed down, did a little more research, and now this has been brought to my attention, originally posted on the 3D Realms forum by the writer of the original article.
3dRealms Forum

"The Chair Story is fiction... just my attempt to have fun playing on the theories that DNF is some vast conspiracy.

Or... is it?"

So, its a great story, but apparently not much else. I honestly did freak out a bit there, but in my defense, normally I'd dismiss a story as wild as this immediately, but when the story comes from someone so close to the source then it adds a little more weight to it.

I guess if the story is fake, then my final point still stands: we were had.... or at least I was >_>   read

6:58 PM on 09.28.2008

SingStar Disney: Is Chad aware of this??

(disclaimer: I'm aware that this may be old news, but this is the first I've heard of it so far so I'll post anyway on the odd chance that you Yanks aren't aware of it yet)

In light of the recent Retroforce Go podcasts where the team mention their love for both SingStar and Disney songs, I found this product due for release that I'm surprised hasn't been brought up by Chad Concelmo yet...

I figure that if Mr Chad Concelmo didn't mention it then there's a chance that he is not aware of it, and Chad not being aware of a Disney based SingStar game seems like a crime in itself. I think it's only a Pal release so far, but importing's always an option hey.
Details are as below.

"SingStar Singalong With Disney will include the following tracks, with more to be confirmed very soon.
Aladdin: A Whole New World

The Jungle Book: The Bare Necessities

Toy Story: You Got A Friend In Me

The Little Mermaid: Under The Sea

Pinocchio: When You Wish Upon A Star

Songs will be made available in local languages across PAL territories"

5 out of 5 dolphins?   read

10:17 PM on 09.14.2008

Attention Aussie Dtoiders, Make the Choice: Rock Band or GH World Tour??

Like a lot of people who are fans of Guitar Hero, the second I heard about Rock Band I started looking forward to it more than any other game on the release schedule, and just like a lot of Australian gamers, I've been getting more and more pissed at the constant delays and complete lack of any information regarding the games long overdue release in my country. I've always been locked into the idea of getting Rock Band, there's never been any doubt in my mind about it, its just been a matter of "when its released, i'll buy it", but now things are changing. Now I find myself considering the possibility of Guitar Hero World Tour, and it's fucking annoying me.

The annoying thing is that if you were to ask me which game I felt was superior between Rock Band or Guitar Hero WT, I'd say Rock Band. I just feel that Harmonix are more committed to producing quality games by providing actual support for their titles, and I feel that the main reason they are so committed is because they try to make the game the best experience possible for those who own it, while Activision seem more inclined to just pump out whatever they can just so they can make as much money from it as possible.

Ofcourse, the problem is that Guitar Hero World Tour actually has an Australian release date in December, while Rock Band still only has a massive question mark. I really want to hold out for the better game, but whats the point of holding out when it might not ever come! GH looks like it'll provide the same experience, and although it might not be as good an experience as Rock Band, I'm sure it's better than nothing.

A good analogy for the situation is that its like being torn between two beautiful women and having to make a choice. Do you:
A: Give up on waiting and go for the busty, hot and available chick who would be great fun to be with initially, but she does seem pretty superficial and you suspect that she could probably drive you crazy after a few months,
B: Hold out for the amazing girl with who you've had so many good times with in the past, and you know that she'll provide a meaningful and much more fulfilling relationship than anyone else, but right now she just keeps toying with you by not giving you a straight answer, where you can't get a fucking yes or no so there's every possibility that all of this holding out could lead to nothing and then you're left standing there with your dick in your hand wondering why you wasted all of your time.

So, like most guys in this kind of position, I've got no idea on what to do. Do I go for the instant gratification with the possibility of being let down, or do I hold out for the better option and risk the chance of waiting for nothing?

Oh, and EA, Fuck you.   read

2:16 AM on 07.28.2008

Hype, Games and Us.

Hype is a funny thing. I've been thinking about it a bit lately, and if you check out some of my previous blogs then you'd see how it's taken a hold of me before, so I figured that I'd lay out some of my opinions on the this affliction that plagues us all from time to time.

Hype can either provide us with tremendous joy at a games release or immense dissapointment when a game doesn't live up to expetations. We're all effected by it at some time or another no matter what kind of games we play, be them old school, new school, shooters, fighters, blockbusters or indie titles. I guess you could say that we've all at some point been emotionally manipulated by the companies who's job it is to make and promote these games (makes you feel all dirty like your brain's been molested, doesn't it).

Often the hype seems unstoppable as it starts to grow, but it tends to fade a lot more quickly then it builds, as we can see with examples like Halo 3, GTA4 and MGS4. The hype for these games built up into such a frenzy at the time of their launch, and although today no one is going to argue that they're still great games (well, some people probably will), it seems to me that these titles have just dropped off the gamers radar lately. We've stopped hailing them as the video game experiences of the century and now that our eyes are no longer clouded by the hype, we can finally see for the first time that these games, as good as they are, can be just as flawed as other recent releases which just didn't recieve the same amount of hype at the time.

Although hype tends to help good games appear almost godly leading up to a launch, it can also push games that turn out to be just god damn awfull.
Kane and Lynch had some tremendous hype leading up to it's launch. We were told that it would be the most mature, intruging and psycologicaly twisted experience that we would ever have with a video game, and all the media that they showed us made us really believe it. It was going to be a disturbing masterpiece akin to great films like "Heat", and the multiplayer was going to offer an amazing new team/every-man-for-himself mechanic that we couldn't wait to see....then it finally got released, and after the terrible review scores hit the gaming public, some of them would argue against the reviewers, yet most gamers were pretty damn dissapointed, and not surprisingly that dissapointment quickly turned to hate. Gertsmann-gate didn't help Kane and Lynch's image either, but the odd thing was that despite the games reputation having turned to shit, it still sold fairly well. Ok, it wasn't exactly multi platinum well, but well enough for the devs to call it a success, and that's all thanks to the hype.

After everything that I've just written, it might seem that hype is a terrible force that only manipulates us into spending more money, yet while it definitely does do that, I'll admit that I believe hype is a good thing for all of us... in the right circumstances ofcourse.

Let me explain. To me, Hype equals excitement. The more hype a game gets, the more excited we get ot play it, and the more excited we are to play a game, the memorable an experience first playing the game will be, and then that moment is something they we'll always have.

Sure, the excitement might not be 100% warranted, yet whether the 'hype produced excitement' can be called authentic or not, its still real excitement none the less and it still effects you in the same way. For example, if GTAIV had signifigantly less hype on its release, then people would've still enjoyed playing it for the first time, but because it did have the hype behind it, most peoples first experience with it was mind blowing, and although you could say this experience had been manufactured for us by the promoters, the feelings, as fleeting as they were, were still real. Right now halo 3 has definitely moved on from my top games list, but I still remember with fondness the first night I played it with my friends untill 4 in the morning, and as much as I enjoyed the gameplay, I remember that it just felt so good to just be finally playing the game that I had been looking forward to for so long, and that feeling was thanks to the Hype.

To sum up my opinions on this, I guess hype will always be a part of gaming as long as there are big releases on the horizon, and while this can often push people away from certain titles (honestly, raise your hand if you've ever refused to play a game because no-one would shut the fuck up about it), for the people it does draw in, i feel that it can actually make the experience so much better even if just for a while. It is an evil produced by advertisers and promoters, but I think that it's one thats worth giving into from time to time.   read

2:37 AM on 07.16.2008

In regards to splitscreen in current games (or the lack thereof)

Dear Criterion, Dice, EA, Valve, Infinity Ward, and most other game developers.

Like most other gamers, I grew up on systems like the Nintendo and Super Nintendo. As these systems didn't have the fancy pants online capabilities that the newer consoles have, our only source of multiplayer was having 2 controllers and playing games with the people sitting right next to us on the couch.

For me, this was always with my brothers, and I remember the fun I used to have when all three of us would sit infront of the TV passing the controller around everytime somebody won a race or lost a fight. Everything about it, from the taunting and cheering, to the "OMFG did you just see that?!" moments were all so memorable because we were all sharing the experience together, and it's something that we can still enjoy to this day.

Now why would you want to take that away from us?

I don't know why you're taking splitscreen out of the games you're making, maybe its a cost thing, maybe you want the game to run at its full capacity by only ever using a single screen, or maybe you're mistakenly thinking that people don't care about splitscreen anymore since the introduction of Xbox live. Well, in any case, you're wrong.

Sure, games like Cod4, Bad Company and TF2 don't really work in a one on one local splitscreen scenario, I'll admit that, but Epic and Bungie have had the good sense to realize that maybe 2 people might want to play online without using 2 Xboxes and 2 Tvs. By having splitscreen as an option when playing online multiplayer, you give us the chance to make the experience physically social again (and I don't mean social in terms of the people you're playing against online). I'm talking about actually being able to invite your friends around so 2 or 3 or 4 of you can play together against other people on Live. Now if Halo 3 and Gears of War can do this, why can't you? You've been coding splitscreen into your games for years, so you obviously know how to do it, so why the hell are you stopping now?

Now the second part of my complaint/rant/whatever, is that not only are you choosing to not use splitscreen when it could be very usefull and appreciated in conjunction with online play, but you seem to be phasing it out all together in your newer games. In regards to shooters, this doesn't really matter, but why the fuck wouldn't you allow local splitscreen play in a game like Burnout Paradise?? If there are any kind of games that've always worked in a splitscreen format, its Racing games, yet you decide that the best option is to build an amazing multiplayer experience, and then limit it to only people who play online (and we all know how pleasant the average Xbox live user can be right?).

So. You want to provide the best multiplayer experience for your customers? Well how about you stop building more maps for the time being and start working on how to implement splitscreen in your games. Left 4 Dead seems to have the right idea, so follow suit, let people share the Console when playing together so that they can start sharing their gaming experiences like we used to again damn it!   read

2:22 AM on 07.02.2008

Rumoured "Minority Report" 360 interface

No doubt you've been hearing the rumours about the XBox Live Spring Update introducing a new 3d interface, and you've probably also heard that this interface will be designed by the people who designed the awesome 3d interactive interface that you see in Minority Report.

A new and innovative interface is something to be excited about, but unless it's implemented well by Microsoft and it is actually simple and convienient to use, then it's going to be nothing but a waste of time.

Thats what I was thinking, but then i remembered that Microsoft are also rumoured to be developing a Motion sensitive device to be used with the 360, and the possibility of it being used for the new interface is very interesting indeed! Just take a look at the system Johnny Lee developed with a simple Wii remote and his own software. If you can imagine a system like this being used with a new intuitive 3d interface on the 360, then you should be as intruiged about what Microsoft are planning as I am.

The UI in Minority report

Johnny Lee's Finger Tracking Mod
[embed]93375:12776[/embed]   read

10:31 PM on 06.12.2008

Is MGS4 worth $750 to you?

The Metal Gear Solid 4 hype train is running in overdrive, and it's fucking working like a charm on me right now.

You see, I've played all the games in the Solid series and loved every single one, with Snake Eater ranking as one of my favortie games of all time, and now that I'm faced with the 4th and possibly last game in the series I've come across a dilemma.
I don't own a PS3. I've never really seen the need for one, as I'm not a massive graphics whore, and the days of each system having a long list of exclusives are long gone. I figured that 95% of games will be out on both systems, so why not stick with just the 360. BUT, I need to play MGS4. I need to own it. I can't stop thinking about it. I even find myself humming the damn theme music in the shower.

It must be mine, yet is it worth paying the price of a PS3 just to play one game?? Would you fork over that much cash for it or would you just hold out?   read

4:50 AM on 06.05.2008

Why do I crave No More Heroes?

Just recently, I picked up a copy of No More Heroes for the Wii. At the moment I'm just past halfway through the game, and I have to say that what everyone told me about it was right. The game's fucking awesome, a real throwback to the beat'em ups I used to love while rolling everything related to geek culture into one insane package.
I'm having a blast playing it, but there's something wrong, something that keeps niggling at the back of my mind every time I swing the Wii-mote to perform a BeamKatana attack.

The complete lack of blood.

As you probably already know, the European version of NMH got censored so there's no fountains of blood, no dismemberment, no decapitations, and no splitting a man in half like a log (thanks Manhunt 2). After the initial disappointment of playing the game and turning someone into ash instead of lopping their head off, I tried to look at it objectively. I told myself "So what, the game play is still intact, the story hasn't changed, there's just no red stuff, no big deal", and although this is all true and I still love the game, I still feel slightly let down every time I play the game by the fact the the violence has been removed.

Why? Why should i care if there's violence in a game or not? I don't get it.

I thought about it for a while, and I realized that it feels like a lot of the games I grew up on didn't seem to just contain violence, but that the violence was a major feature of the game. In many instances, it was the only aspect that actually got me to play the game! Think of games like Mortal Kombat, Rise of the Triad (Ludicrous Gibs!), Eternal Champions, Splatterhouse, Carmageddon & Night Trap. Whether they were goods game or not... ok, most of them were not (admit it, nobody ever played Mortal Kombat for the gameplay), I often started playing them just because there was violence and gore, and to a kid at that time, that was fucking awesome.

Maybe it's this boom of gory games that I grew up playing that has given me an appetite for the violence in games I play now. Don't get me wrong, I'm not some maniac who plays Zelda wishing that I could mutilate my enemies with blood spraying from their wounds, and I don't buy games based on their level of gore either, but chances are that if theres a good game out there that gives you the ability to hack the limbs off people with various weapons and plenty of blood, then that games awesome factor is increased significantly for me.

Of course, my disappointment with No More Heroes might not be about the lack of violence, but more about the knowledge that I'm playing a neutered, bastardized version of the game you Americans are enjoying, but then again, tell me that being able to finish a combo by slicing a man in half vertically with a Light Saber and then see the blood spray from him Ninja Scroll style wouldn't be fucking awesome.

tldr: The violence being cut from No More Heroes is a pain in the ass, I'm going to get Ninja Gaiden II.


2:18 AM on 05.21.2008

Tonight, I enter my first GH3 tournament

Held at the Evelyn hotel in Melbourne tonight, the first Guitar Hero tournament I've heard about down here is on, so I'm entering it FOR THE WIN (literally). It should be good fun either way, but the main prize for winning the comp is a real Gibson SG, so wish me luck!

Now, I haven't really played GH3 that much, I was always a GH2 champ, but the competition is only for easy, medium and hard modes (the hard mode tournament wins you the Guitar), so hopefully playing in hard mode rather than expert will balance out my inexperience with the songs.


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