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Well, what is there to say about me? I'm kinda like your average gamer: I like to play games, I like to talk about games, and I hope to work in the video game industry one day. I also hope to write a couple of visual novels (I'm writing out the story as a novel at the moment, but I'll probably get down to it one of these days) but I should probably get my life together first.

I do tend to enjoy videogames more than the average gamer would though: videogames have been my life for as long as I remember so it's as much a part of me as my personality. I can't imagine giving this up.

I have a wide variety of taste when it comes to games as I try to keep an open mind about everything that comes out: just because I play mainstream games Halo and Call of Duty doesn't mean I can't enjoy the underrated ones like Anarchy Reigns, Fire Emblem, and the like. I'm willing to give anything a fair shot... provided that I actually get a chance to play it.

If you want to know more about me, you can check out my contribution to the "10 things about ourselves" blog, that Mr. Andy Dixon asked us all to write as well as any other personal blogs here:

"10 Thing about Me!"

"Top 10 Favorite Videogames!

"Most Life-Changing Game"

"Top 10 Fetishes"

I am also writing blogs about videogame themed doujinshi (yes, really). I'm just starting, so there aren't many written yet, but the few that are written can be seen here. If you enjoy these, feel free to message me on any recommendations, suggestions, or if one of the images I've chosen is too naughty. :P

Part 1: Monster Hunter and Kid Icarus: Uprising

Part 2: Demons Souls and Darkstalker

Part 3: Blazblue

Part 4: Super Mario Brothers

Part 5: iDOLM@STER
Following (10)  

Due to the size (this is the longest I've ever written[/i]), I decided to separate this into two pieces so I don't overwhelm anybody with a huge load of text, pun intended due to the nature of this blog.

Videogames are almost essentially my life, as I assume it to be a good chunk of yours. For me, however, videogames are such a huge part of me that I can't even imagine what my life would be like if I never picked up a controller and started stomping on Goombas and chewing on 'shrooms. Videogames are on my mind even when I'm not playing, from me accessing articles and reading reviews to fraternizing on forums. Every now and then I would somehow relate my English paper with a videogame, and once or twice I've had a brief stint where I wrote a couple of embarassing fanfictions. One day, I hope to be developing, directing, writing, or all of the above, my own videogame, but that's a distant dream.

Now, I'm not saying I don't watch TV, or purchase a couple of anime DVDs every once in a while, but, point reiterated, I'm a huge fan of videogames, so it should be of no surprise to anyone that a lot of my porn search terms relate to videogames. For all my life, I guess I've always been more (though not completely) attracted to girls from animes and videogames than I do real ones, and as thus, most of the time when I need my fix, I type in the word "hentai" more often than I do "porn". However, I never really find "anime" hentai entertaining: the art style are often too crude for my taste, and the animations are seemingly low-budget and hardly, if ever, enticing. In fact, I get pretty turned off watching these types of adult content that I barely sit through the whole thing.

This actually happened to me once, but with my pants off

So, instead, I turn my attention more towards stationary images, but, while good in quality, are typically only good for poster pin-ups. That leaves me with my favorite type of adult-age appropriate content: hentai mangas. Hentai mangas fascincate me more because it has the same artistic quality that one sees in single illustrations, but they usually form a narrative. Sure, a lot of the time it's mainly your typical "people have sex" type scenarios, and the narrative feels like a string of sexual acts done in sometimes rapid succession, but sometimes there's a bit of heart in the story, and it can be sometimes endearing to experience. For this reason, I have adopted perusing translated hentai mangas as a tertiary hobby: sometimes I read so many that I actually have to take a break and wait for the next "wave" of them to appear.

This brings me to my blog, where I combine my two favorite hobbies and talk about my favorite hentai mangas based on videogames! I've read a bunch of these already (again, it's a hobby), but a lot of them are typically "I love you, let's have sex" or "let's rape these girls until they start going crazy" type scenarios; sometimes the girls they feature only vaguely resembles like some bad cosplay! However, the ones I've chosen for this blog are the ones that I find to be, even just a bit, more than the average gathering, and ones that I highly enjoy: in no particular order, these are my favorite hentai mangas based on videogames!

Now, perhap disappointingly, I don't intend to show anything graphic or start talking about how detailed a certain body part look because I want to keep this as safe for work as possible, despite the subject matter. I will also not provide any links. Otherwise, if there's something that should be editted out, I will do so. Also, some of these actually contain spoilers for their respective games, and I will alert you of them.

Monhan no Erohon 9 (Monster Hunter)
Cover image not safe for work

I'll be honest: as much as I love the idea of the Monster Hunter series (the premise of gathering fellow hunters, hitting up the village to stock up on supplies before heading out to a designated hunting area to take down one of these gigantic beasts is the stuff of many fantasy dreams), I unforunately haven't played many of them: I could've, but a lot of times I would be hunting by myself due to lack of equipment, so I never wanted to invest in a solo experience; even now the 3DS game requires a Wii U to connect online, which mean, like when I didn't PS3 when I had a PSP and I wanted to adhoc, I still have to hunt alone.

That means I never played any of the games, and if there's another entry with online capabilities that I can access to, then I'll readily dive in. I'm assuming that there's no narrative between games, or if there is, then it's a loose one, so I'm not worried about missing any plot point; evidently, that doesn't really apply to the set of Monster Hunter doujinshi (hentai manga, in the context of this blog) out there. There's a particular series that are numbered (I think going on 15 at the time of writing?) that are linked together, with a brief summary of previous issues, though it generally seems like an oversaturated series of sex, using either different character in the same scenarios, or the same characters in a different one.

So why did I pick this one? Because I found the story a bit... touching, pun intended. Alright, first of all, I actually bought this issue (don't ask how much, I'm still "embarassed" at how much I spent) and it feels about as heavy as a regular graphic novel paperback for a reason: it's about 50 or so pages. However, while 40 of those pages are elicit content, the 10 remaining are dedicated to telling a different kind of plot, and I have to think that it might actually be a sequel to one of the older issues (I only read a couple of entries): the plot, plain and simple, is about a Monster Hunter who ran into a fellow hunter whom he raped before, and now wants to rape again. I know, I know, sounds like any other porn material, right?

At first, you don't succeed...

Here's the slight twist: before he could take advantage of her, two other guys comes in (pun unintended) and plan to rape this same woman by tricking her into going to a hunt with them, where they'll trap her in a desolate area. Not wanting his prize to be claimed by these "scumbags," the "hero" (I don't recall a name being given so we'll stick to calling him that) wants to tag along with in order to keep a close watch on her, but there's a problem: his armor is too familiar, as it is the same one he wore when he first raped the heroine, so he can't go with them unless he changes... and all that he has on him is a boar's head and a loincloth. Mmm... now there's something for the ladies...

Anyway, he tags along, and just as the hero suspects, the dastardly duo proceeds with the raping... but instead of joining in, the hero saves the girl by disabling them and leaving them to rot. Since he doesn't want to rape her now, most likely the dup ruining his mood, the hero decides to do it another day, and invites her to another hunt. She agrees, and the plan is set into motion... but like most plans, it doesn't go smoothly, and the hero finds himself... enjoying his hunts together with the girl, and fails to rape her. He keeps saying that he's going to do it, but again and again, he couldn't go through with it. Was he falling in love? Was the story going to end with a romantic tryst of love?

Does this answer that question?

Well, eventually, the guy works up the courage to rape her, and even does it in the armor he wore the first time he raped her. And, like your typical hentai, she lets herself get raped, and the guy takes it as a sign that she truly wanted it to happen, and acts accordingly. However, in what surprised me, she says that she doesn't really want it, and that she's only allowing him to do what he wants because she's heartbroken: turns out, she was falling for the guy as well, and she is sand and disappointed that this was only what he wanted. I don't really recall what happened right afterwards, you can assume what I had my mind occupied with, but I think it must've ended up with them admitting their feelings to one another.

After the hot, steamy action, you see the hero carrying the heroine on his back. Dazed and sleepy, the heroine wakes up and the hero, in that typical love clich'e where "the guy can't outright admit that he likes the girl", makes excuses to why he's carrying her: he doesn't want to wait for her to wake up because it would be an inconvenience. However, he says that, if she wants to, he wouldn't mind if she accompanies him while he go on hunts for material gathering, and wordlessly, she just snuggles up to him, smiling. Unforunately, they don't end up together, but you could see the influence she had on him at the end: after leaving the village, the hero teams up with his buddy to go on hunts, only this time, he traded his long sword for a lance, which is the same weapon type that the heroine uses. He makes excuses that he's only doing this because lance-users are more compatible with other Hunters, but I think there's more to it than that.

Anyway, while it doesn't necessarily use the Monster Hunter universe to tell its story, although there are references to the game like cooking foods, weaponry, monsters, and armor, I still found it to be above average when it comes to adult comics, and I really liked the simple, yet effective, story they had going on.

The Last Decision (Kid Icarus: Uprising)
Cover art is actually unrelated to the game
[Note: Spoilers for the game!]

Speaking of porn plots, as much as I would've enjoyed a Palutena x Pit storyline (there actually is one, but it's untranslated and I assume, by the pictures, that it's your typical "let's have sex" scenario)... what I like about this doujinshi is that it actually incorporates a bit of the actual story of the videogame, particularly the ending, and gives it a different context to the situation: just like at the end of the game, Pit takes on the head honcho of the evil things happening in the world, Hades, in a spectacular fight. However, just when things might be lost for the young lad, out of nowhere Medusa, the villian of previous games who is thought to be the main antagonist of this game, joins in the fight, saving Pit in the nick of time.

However, in the game proper, it's implied that Medusa only saved Pit because she believed that he is their best shot at taking down Hades, and that she contributes to his fight because she doesn't want to be Hades' puppet anymore (much like Megatron in Michael Bay's Transformers 3: Dark Side of the Moon, which features a different kind of explosions). Of course, in this perverse version of the tale, the doujinshi shows that somewhere during the story, Pit loses power to his wings and, being imprisoned, resides in Medusa's realm. To be honest, I tried to "catch up" with the story by searching for it online, but I was unable to find the translated version of the tale. Anyway, I assume she tells him that she harbors feelings towards the plucky young lad, telling him how jealous she is of Palutena that she has someone to depend on, and, of course, proceeds to have sex with him.

Yes, they start doing it, and it still seems like your typical "let's have sex" scenario, but I liked how the author/writer changes the context of her appearance at the end of the game with this "what if" scenario: now, instead of Medusa saving Pit in order to benefit herself with the fall of Hades, she fell in love with the angelic hero and is now risking her life to save him, just as Pit does for her. I would kind of compare this to the way Dead Rising 2: Off the Record provided a different context for story: even though they do essentially the same thing, in DR2 proper, Chuck Greene is investigating the conspiracy to clear his name, whereas in DR2: Off the Record, Frank West is merely trying to reach the heights of fame and fortune once again. 

Art's a little awkward and funny looking, but that didn't ruin the scene to me

And like the ending of both aforementioned games, the ending is also different as a result: in the actual videogame, Pit takes down Hades with a powerful force, and he soars through the sky triumphant of his recent victory of the big baddie before reporting back to Palutena to continue to be her servant. In the doujinshi, while he's still successful in his battle with Hades, Medusa and Pit both fall in battle, and Palutena is unable to resurrect either of them... at least, not as who they once were. With her magic, she restores Dark Pit's flying abilities so he could take over Pit's duty while he and Medusa, both now mortal and human, spend the rest of their lives together... and most likely as a couple, considering that they slept with each other previously, despite their age difference (the ending has Medusa waking Pit up for breakfast, and you see him gorging on food while Medusa watches with a smile, kind of like a mother/son type thing).

Like I said earlier, I felt like this blog was going to be too big for anyone to read, so I'll be posting part 2 on another day. Besides, I only have 4 doujinshi in particular I want to talk about, and this is a good a place to cut it in half (this paragraph is actually an edit): not only are these the two that I liked but not as much as the others, they also kind of light in tone, and even have a happish ending to them. In the next two doujinshi, the next entry is pretty dark (though not the worst I've seen) and neither of them ends on a happy note, but I really loved their stories, so I can't wait to post about it! Anyway, until then, fellow Dtoiders!
Photo Photo Photo

Nah, I ain't bitter because Telltale's The Walking Dead: 400 Days won Destructoid's DLC of the Year. And no, I ain't not sour that it didn't even make it to the top three choices of the community poll. After all, we each have our own opinion, and we should respect that, so again: no, I ain't holding no grudges that Mass Effect 3's Citadel isn't getting the love and recognition I think it deserved (that's a triple negative by the way... take that as you will).

No, what I am obsessed about is how little I described why I love this piece of downloadable content... no way is the short comment I posted on that link gonna cut it. That brings us to this blog post, which is not about why I believe Citadel is DLC of the year to you all, but rather, why Citadel is not only DLC of the year to me, but also the best damn DLC I ever had the fortune to played, even if it was a bit pricey at 15 dollars.

However, I must warn you that, in order for me to go on why I love this DLC, I have to spoil not only Mass Effect in general, in both the series and Citadel DLC, but I might also have to spoil an anime called Angel Beats! a bit. If it sounds unrelated, I can see why it may seem that way, but stick with me and I'll explain it all in detail; I promise it'll not only come together, but is essential to the blog.

Anyway, I recommend vacating this blog if you don't want anything spoiled. For those who continuing on, whether you played Mass Effect, seen Angel Beats!, experienced one and don't intend to experience the other, or simply just don't give a fuck... well, I'll get started.

Beautiful Pain

I got into Angel Beats! out of a combination of curiosity and prestige: not only did the anime have gorgeous visuals, interesting characters, and an emotionally gripping plot, it is also an original animation written by Jun Maeda. For those of you who don't know, Jun Maeda is a writer of a company called Key who is involved and credited with critically acclaimed visual novels such as Air, Kanon, and Clannad, which have spawned anime adaptations that are among my list of favorite animes. These animes are famous for their emotional plots, making you feel for the characters and wanting to know their backstories as well as their eventual fates.

This prompted me, out of obligation even, to check out the first episode, and I'm glad I did: it was amazingly good, dreamlike in essence, and honestly my favorite single anime episode out of all I've seen ever, bar frickin' none. Most animes I enjoy are because of how well it builds up a story or twist typical anime tropes, like Puella Magi Madoka Magica, but never before did a single episode resonated with me so well, and while I didn't like all the episodes, the anime is still one of my personal favorites. I even imported the first Blu-Ray volume, which costs way too much money (if you're still with me, I have to mention all this; it will come into play very soon), just to have it on disc in case the anime didn't localize.

However, as much as it feels like I'm praising it, one dreadfully unforunate criticism of Angel Beats!, which seems to be the general consensus amongst fans, is that the anime is too short: clocking in at 13 episodes, it's not as short as, say, FLCL and Devil May Cry, but for an anime that features about a dozen characters, and whose main hook is investing you into them, it's woefully too inadequet to delve into everyone's backstories, meaning that some characters have to take a backseat to others. Not only that, near the end of the anime, almost all the characters are gone, and in the final episode only four of the dozen or so remain. That didn't stop the ending from being so bittersweet, as it still brings tears to my eyes when I think of it.

Rain Over Me

I only imported the first volume of Angel Beats because getting them all was mad expensive: I think it was 80 bucks, USD, for a single volume containing two episodes. Yes, two episodes per $80 volume, and this is a half season anime: 12 episodes into six discs equals out to over $900, and don't even get me started on shipping... so yeah, I only bought the one volume. However much I liked the anime, there was no way I was gonna spend that much, especially if it does localize into the U.S. and sell for cheaper (in fact, Amazon now lists it for 40 bucks, which has all the episodes for half of what I paid for that one volume). However, one thing stuck out to me: if there was 13 episodes, and the second-to-last volume had episode 11 and 12, would episode 13 be released by itself?

Nope: the final volume of the anime contained episode 13 and a special, 20 or so minute OVA (original video animation, which is typically used to say "special episode" or short movie). Now, anyone's initial presumption of this new "OVA" is that it's probably going to be an epilogue of the series, especially since it's meant to be seen after the tear-jerking conclusion that's very open to interpretation, so fans, like me, assumed that this will answer any questions we may have lingering around. Yeah, the director of the anime didn't do that... in fact, it did something I didn't even expect: the OVA takes place not after the series, but right in the middle of it. That's like serving the last part of dessert, like the remains of a chocolate-filled waffle cone of a Nestle Drumstick, right after appetizers but before the main course.

And it was genius.

See, as I said earlier, Angel Beats, like other works written by Jun Maeda, focuses on two things: emotion and characters. Around the halfway point of the anime, things start a very serious turn, and it eventually escalades into something borderline depressing; the anime practically ends with the main character ending up all alone. This is where the magic of the oddly placed OVA works its wonder: by taking place before all the serious stuff goes down, and during a time that most characters are still around (characters drop from the series as it continues forward), the OVA is emotional in a completely different way: it wasn't meant to make us cry because it was so dark and depressing... it was meant to make us cry because it gave us the chance to see the characters that we became invested in so full of life one final time, in glorious celebration. Sound... familiar?

With You, Friends

This is why Mass Effect 3: Citadel resonated so much to me: just like the special OVA episode of Angel Beats, Citadel tales place before the final events of the game, but is still recommended that you play it afterwards because it doesn't serve as the epilogue to the series (which many of us would have wanted with the... severely mixed opinions about Mass Effect 3's ending), but rather, the "farewell" to the series I've come to enjoy and the characters I know and love. Although, chronologically, it's not the end of the game, Citadel is the last thing you're supposed to play, and thank goodness: I always love to end things with a bang.

Despite both series having some serious plotlines go down a dark path, from Angel Beats! main characters getting massacred to Mass Effect's issues with the Genophage, these special episodes, Citadel and episode "14" of Angel Beats!, are a light-hearted romp, absurd in tone and plot: the latter is about a group of kids trying to create chaos by "acting out" in class with "high tension", or less suffer their leader's wrath by being forced to starve for a week, while the former is about chasing down a clone of the legandary Commander Shepard who's trying to kill you and take your glory. Mass Effect 3's Citadel is not only the funniest part of the series, but it's a chance for developers to really poke fun at the community and themselves.

Lots of fandom, from memes being used to self-references of gameplay mechanics, are used in abundance in Citadel. When your clone claims to be a better Shepard than you and you respond "Conrad Verner is a better Shepard than you!", you can tell the developers had fun writing this. When your clone traps you in an airlock and walks away saying your signature, conversation ending line ("I should go"), the look on your version of Shepard's is priceless, and the resulting jokes from your teammates are great (paraphrasing: "Why didn't you tell me it sound weird of me to say that?" - Shepard; "I thought that was something all humans say when they leave the room." - Wrex). When someone says "too bad you can't bring everyone on a mission with you" and Spehard says "why not?" and invites the whole Mass Effect 3 Squad along, it was such a tongue-in-cheek moment.

Hell Yeah, Fucking Right!

Although, in actuality, you don't get to roll with them side-by-side, each separating to cover different entrances and routes, but at least you can see them as you make your way through the level. But seeing isn't as cool as listening: the banter between these groups of people are frickin' hilarious. The team divides into two groups, Team Hammerhead and Team Mako, named after the controversial vehicles of the series, which creates a budding rivalry: get ready to hear them bragging about their accuracy and head count while criticizing others for theirs. The developers even pokes fun at their gameplay mechanic once more: when you are asked to only take two Squadmates with you in the final fight, you select them like normal... but before you deploy, the rest of your squad looks at you with pleading eyes. "What?" Shepard will ask. "It's just... I kinda wanted to go," James would reply. Sorry, buddy, but Wrex is taking his spot back.

Wait, wait, wait, hold up... did I just say motherfuckin' Wrex!? Yes, Wrex, my favorite Krogan in the series, is back not as some important cameo role, but as a temporary Squadmate! When I first played through the series, the only two characters I used in the first game were Garrus and Wrex, and while I substituted him for Grunt in Mass Effect 2, and James Vega (who I kind of liked, but ain't no Krogan) in the sequel, it felt so good to me to finally get the original group back together. Speaking of getting the group back together, this DLC not only reunites me with my Mass Effect 1 homie, but it also allowed me to get better acquainted with my Mass Effect 2 Squadmates. I tell you, even the scenes where we're just chilling together, like playing arcade games with Jacob or watching a romance movie with Tali, brought along sentimental feelings.

But there's no better way of getting reacquainted than throwing a frickin' party (as Grunt can attest)! Arguably the best part of the DLC, all of your Squadmates throughout the game, besides Legion (which is unfair considering that I feel he always get shafted in the series), are back, in one way or another, for one last hurrah to get drunk, get crazy, and get stupid. You'll see them do push-up competitions, converse ways to booby trap Shepard's apartment, watch Grunt deny outside partygoers entry (this one being my second favorite moment involving Grunt; I think you know which is my favorite), and even see characters trying to hook up with others; you might even get a one night stand yourself (though not with yourself, which would be cool since this DLC is about a clone... damn, what a missed opportunity)! The morning after is also wonderfully funny: seeing the results of an awesome party with people with hangovers crashing on the couch and washing themselves in the shower is a nice touch.

Night of Your Life

But the best touch of them all is everyone gathering together for a group photo at the end. It brings tears to my eyes to see us all huddle up one last time, knowing that this might be the last time we see any of them. With the series moving out of the Shepard trilogy, there's a good chance that newcomers will take over as Squadmates, and older character are presumably only lucky to appear as cameo, if even. That may be a shame, but it might be for the better: we may have invested in these characters, but that doesn't mean we can't invest in others, and care about them. Still, I won't forget these people, and that still image of us huddling around the camera will burn brightly in my mind until then.
Photo Photo Photo

Ding ding ding! Once you hear that bell, you immediately divert your attention away from the drink in your hands and look towards the source, where you see the bartender cup their hands around their mouths. "Last call!" they would say, and the crowd would boo them for putting an end to their fun. Not satisfied with the drink in your hand, since it's almost empty and you haven't had enough, you approach the counter to order another couple of shots for your friends, perhaps even an entire bottle of the stuff when... all of a sudden, you bump into someone else. Before you apologize, however, you black out: one second you struggling for the words to say, the next you're on the ground struggling to get up.

The next time you come back to the bar, you're a bit iffy: who was the guy that knocked you out, and will they be here again? Your friends don't know who hit you, and everyone was so busy asking if you're okay that they didn't see the guy walking away. So now, you're paranoid, and you start eyeing the people at the counter, wondering who it could be. You don't know for sure who it is, but you now know one thing: you're now going to keep an eye out for people who you just don't want to mess with at a bar.

This didn't happen to me or anyone I know personally, but I was joking about how I wouldn't want to mess with a certain videogame character at a bar, and then I thought: who else scares the hell of me should I face them? So now, I present to you, my list of the top 5 people I wouldn't want to get into a bar fight with! My only requirements must be that they: a) are able to physically fight, b) are the sort of people who would traverse a tavern, and c) are human "enough".

Ready to see if any of your characters made it? Read on!

Warning: Spoilers for videogames may follow in order to make my case of the list. While I'll try to keep it at a minimum, some spoilers are necessary. You have been warned once and I'm too lazy to do it again.

Number 5: Bo Rai Cho (Mortal Kombat series)
The big-bellied boozer!

Let's start with his attire. Obviously, he's not wearing that get-up because he's trying to hit on the ladies with that sexy beard and ponytail... he's probably dabbles in martial arts, and anytime you sees an old martial artist drinking, that could only mean one of two things: either he's about to have an emotional breakdown, or he knows the drunken fist. And considering that his girth probably isn't all booze, meaning that he probably overeats to avoiding feeling bad about himself, I'm inclined to believe it's the latter.

Speaking of his weight, not only does it provide ample body armor against my fists, but if I somehow hit hard enough to penetrate through all that flab and fat, I'm probably going to hit hard enough to make him blow chucks, and trust me, I'm sure he's got plenty of fluids in the tank. Chances are, he's going to recover faster than I would, now that he got the alcohol out of his system before it disgested, and I'm probably busy puking up my own stomach at the moment from the smell, he's going to want to fight for real. You may think I have the upper hand, because he can't do the drunken fist without being drunk, but his body is actually fat enough to cause earthquakes when he walks (straight from his move list), tripping me up if I try to make my escape.

And if he does win against me, as a character from Mortal Kombat, he's probably going to crush me to death with that belly roll of his, or he's going to light his farts on fire and burn me alive... Neither of which is worth it, considering if I do happen to win, it'd be against the bar's regular (and obligatory) fat guy, and that's pretty much a defeat in itself.

Number 4: Frank West (Dead Rising series)
The Frankfurter of the West!

Speaking of people with rising death tolls, let's talk about a guy who managed to survive a zombie-infested mall by using whatever he finds lying around to beat them to death with. Frank West is a photographer who, upon hearing about a big scoop doing down in Willamette Mall, goes in with nothing but his camera. Once he arrives and finds that zombies, out of all things, are rampaging throughout the building, Frank West doesn't cower in fear: he'll pick up a weapon, any weapon, whether it's as conventional as a pistol, as flashy as katana, or as unorthodox as a mannquin (they do a surprising amount of damage!), and not only charge head first into a horde of zombies and crazy psychopaths, but will even go out of way to save survivors.

Of course, at a mall, there are tons of things that regular average joes can find and use kill zombies with (since sporting goods stores stock firearms and Asian stores has more sharp blades than you could carry) but what sets this guy apart from the rest is that not only is Frank West badass enough to not only punches zombies in the face, but he can actually rip their guts out with his bare hands! Hell, he wouldn't wash his hands and still use them to chomb down a baguette in seconds flat! You wouldn't want to mess with this guy at a bar with tons of stools lying around; don't be surprised if he swings a jukebox at you!

Did I mention that he can shrug off being stabbed in the chest, bitten in the jugular, and shot in the face with a sniper rifle just by consuming alcohol... which a bar would be, no doubt, be full of?

Plus, there's that obligatory "he's covered wars, you know" meme that precedes him.

Number 3: Bigby (Fables/ The Wolf Among Us)
The Bigby Bad Wolf!

Although, if we're talking about how one's reputation precedes them, then look no further than a badass version of the popular fairy tale antagonist "The Big Bad Wolf": Bigby is a man who lived for centuries because of his werewolf-like powers that he can summon when sufficiently angry enough. While he definitely isn't as powerful as the big green entity known as The Hulk, Bigby isn't some chump: he knows how to fight and hit hard in his regular, albeit assumably super-powered, human form, and his transformation is probably more deadly than becoming Super Saiyan.

Probably the only character to actually fight in a bar (depending on what you consider "fighting") in his game, Bigby showed the player ignorant of his comic book appearances in Fable (that I have not read, actually) just how powerful this guy is: he is brutal in his attacks, quick enough to avoid devastating damage and dish some out of his own, and smart enough to know how to use the enviroment against him. Not only that, at the end of the fight against Grendel, players controlling Bigby has the option to spare him mercy... or rip out his arm to make sure he learns never to mess with you again. Plus, he has the gall to return to the counter after messing up the bar and demand a drink like a true badass (though I may have ruined that image when I tried to pay for my drink and I already gave money away to a hooker).

In fact, the only reason he isn't higher is because his immortality is wholly dependent on how popular his legend is (so I've been told, feel free to correct me on this). Despite the convenience of technology, which allows records of stories to be more permanent, children aren't going on the internet to look up fairy tales: we all know what they're looking up, and although it hasn't happened yet, it nevertheless begins the slow decline of his legend...

Number 2: Jack Cayman (Anarchy Reigns)
Jack, The Psychomaniac!

Let's be honest, if everyone on this list prior to him are sitting at the same bar, Jack Cayman is the last guy you want to mess with: Bo Rai Cho looks about as harmful as Barney from The Simpsons cartoon while Frank West seems too much like an average joe (especially in Dead Rising 2: Off the Record when he's balding and fat). While Bigby is, admittedly, pretty damn intimidating himself, especially being practically immortal, his biggest cause of fear is his transformation, and he isn't going to reveal that unless provoked. So, the big, burly, chainsaw-for-an-arm Chaser, who is essentially the equalivant of a U.S. Marshall (like Justified's Raylon Givens[/i]), takes the cake.

Let's talk about his chainsaw for a second: while the game never explains how he comes to have that equipped, we can pretty much assume that he lost his arm, which, given that he lives in a post apocalyptic world where giant monsters three times his size spring from underground in packs, means he probably knows how to use the damn thing. In fact, one of his executions involves impaling his chainsaw through the monster's brain (top that, Bigby!)! Adding to that, his chainsaw arm doesn't have one, but two blades, and although that's not really necesary (one blade is more than enough to slice off a limb, and if one blade can't cut through, I'm not sure why two of the same, exact type would), it shows just how serious he is about murdering you.

So why isn't he on top of this list? Well, like Bigby, he doesn't really do anything unless hired or provoked: from the title screen of Anarchy Reigns, you just see him at a bar chilling with a drink, using his cellphone to reply to some texts. Sure, he looks more intimidating than the other fighters in his game, from the stereotypical ninja, the Chinese sisters, and the old man in armor (only the pig eating bacon... yes, bacon, competes in "people you don't want to mess with"), but he's still a relatively nice guy: he was pretty nice to his daughter, even gave up smoking at her request, and he did spare the guy who "supposefully" murdered her (actually, I still don't know if he killed her since the only two pieces of evidence in the game contradict one another: Max himself says he didn't, but Stela's, Jack's daughter, profile said she was murdered by him).

Number 1: Trevor Philips (Grand Theft Auto V)
The Trevor of Terror! The King of the Phil!

You know what's scary about deranged killers? They don't often look the part, and can act out before you even realize what's happening. Thus, the winner of this list is Trevor Philips, for his crazy antics and even crazier personality. While he looks like your typical "angry stepfather", which means you probably want to avoid him anyway, Trevor is quite the psychopath when prompted, being even more dangerous than what Frank West has to face: Trevor kills indiscrimately, jack cars, and gets into more shootouts than rival gangs; his "rampages" are him just going off on people who makes fun of him! 

And that's just his daily activities! On occassions, he robs banks, tortures people not because it's necessary or because he was told, but because he wants to, and even rapes people and stuffed animals alike, the latter being penetrated by its eye hole (which actually brought back this disturbing memories of this one gory hentai image that I would rather not be reminded of... I suppose it's not the worst thing I've seen, but, I'll be honest, that may be because of my warped senses).

In fact, not only did the developers decide to introduce him to you properly by having his bare naked ass shown, but he also offs one of the main character of Grand Theft Auto IV just by smacking him with a beer bottle and stomping his head in; that alone makes him terrifying to fight in a bar with (and satisfies the requirement that he is able to physically fight, in case you thought I forget that tiny tidbit with my long winded explanation to his antics)!

And don't think you can snuff him out: whereas other characters on this list has a way to recover health, Trevor can not only recover by eating, drinking, or sleeping, but he can even turn invincible, making him invulnerable to any sort of damage. Even if you can take him out, the best healthcare in all of America is in Los Santos: he'll be back on his feet in hours no matter if he's shot in the face or blown to bits.

Honorable mention: Max Payne (Max Payne series)

There's no way I could resist putting Max Payne on the list. Although not a physical brawler in any real way, which wouldn't make him eligible for a list of bar fighters, he does have the advantage of being able to slow-motion dodge, and can actually weave between a hail of bullets. Health-wise, he can only take a few shots, and although he can dull the pain with painkillers, if he goes down, he needs to shoot someone to get back up: if anyone is smart enough to take cover, he's going down. That being said, his skills with a gun is amazing, and should I make a list about that, he would definitely rank high... 

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Hello there, fellow Dtoiders! I just wanted to whip up a quick blog to wish those who celebrate this jolly occasion a Merry Christmas and a happy holidays for the people who don't! I wanna say stay safe, be careful partying, and take this time to, in the words of T.I., "stop lookin' at what you ain't got, start being thankful for what you do got."

Yeah, yeah, not only is that not videogame-related, I just referenced a rapper most of you probably hate; hell, most of you probably hate rap in general (but I feel it would be inappropiate to start quoting songs from Brutal Legend or something). However the context, the words still ring true: appreciate what you have because who knows how long you'll have it? If you love your family, love your friends, and love your life, then take this time to just appreciate it while you're sitting by the fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa (or, in my case, in front of the air conditioner unit with an ice cold Coke in my hands because it's still frickin' hot in sunny frickin' Florida).

Anyway, y'all probably wondering: just who is this guy wishing everyone a merry Christmas? Truth be told, while I've been around Destructoid for a while, having blogs that date back to '09, I never really been here: as Zuckerhund put it, I'm the Gordan Freemans of this site: the silent reader, the guy who goes to Dtoid for the news and watch the comments; it's only recently, like maybe a couple of months ago, that I've been actively commenting on stories, and only a couple of days ago I started trekking the community blogs for blogs other than my own.

Well, whatever: better late than never, right? I got into this site because I love the staff's personality, but really, it's the community that makes it shine. While I plan to "formally" introduce myself (I say "formally" because, let's be honest, you can tell by the way I type that I'm anything but) after New Years, a real quick explanation for why I want to be a part of this community is because I ain't too close with many people; this goes for my family and friends, and I loved you guys (from reading the comments) so much that I just wanted to be a part of all this.

Yeah, you probably see me in the comments section, trying hard to get attention, but I'm thankful that you guys haven't shunned me (yet, at least... though, hopefully never) and I appreciate y'all putting up with me and letting me be a part of this. Who knows, maybe I'll be a person we recognize on a dime like Benny Disco, Occam's Electric Toothrbush, Sephzilla, and the rest of you (can't name you all).

Until then, that's enough about me: Merry Christmas, happy holidays, stay safe, don't dress up like Santa Claus and ask kids to sit on your lap, and definitely don't be a victim of the former.

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When Andy Dixon asked us what our favorite gaming moment of the year was, I said, in passing, that my favorite would probably be Anarchy Reign's multiplayer mode "Battle Royale", and for good reason. However, I felt that the little blurb I provided as my explanation to be sorely lacking, and now I must write a blog in order to fully explain why I loved playing Anarchy Reigns' multiplayer, particularly "Battle Royale".

For those who don't know, which I imagine to be a great deal of you considering that Anarchy Reigns was not only severely under the radar, as per usual with PlatinumGames (also didn't help that SEGA practically refused to give it some coverage), but that, when it finally did release in other countries, it was so heavily marked down that one would confuse it for a budget title despite being a full priced title in Japan... well, here's the gist of the game: set in a separate universe from their previous, Wii exclusive outing MadWorld, Anarchy Reigns once again stars Jack Cayman: a Chaser who, in this game, must track down a man named Maximillian, who is suspected to have killed Jack's daughter. To be honest, I never would've expressed as much interest in this game (despite being a fan of PlatinumGames), let alone take a chance on it first day, if it wasn't the "spiritual successor" of MadWorld, a game I've always wanted to see in the other consoles like No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise.

While we're talking about its relatively unknown status, I recall the time when I went to Gamestop on the Tuesday that the game came out and I asked the manager working the register that day about it. Now, I've known this guy for years because he always seems to be working whenever I go to this particular Gamestop (been the employee handling me for almost 8 years, actually), so I know that he's a pretty huge gamer. In fact, because he likes to converse with some of the other gamers about recent releases, a lot of customers go there, despite being in a dead part of town, just because he's so chill and relaxed about things. Anyway, despite all that, he has not even heard of Anarchy Reigns, and had to search it up in the system to see if it really existed. At first, I thought I wouldn't get a copy, but lo and behold, they had a couple to spare (I still imagine that I was the only one there who bought it just as I was the only person to buy Project Diva F: Hatsune Miku), and I wound up buying it on the sheer sake of being Jack Cayman, the "hero" from Madworld once again.

Of course, I wouldn't mind PLAYING with other characters...

And I'm glad I did, because, even though I kind of liked the campaign (way too repetitive and tedious for me to love it), the reason I love Anarchy Reigns' multiplayer is right there in the title of the game; anarchy, which is the perfect way to describe what happens when you let loose 16 players in an open enviroment, all trying to kill each other in a free-for-all. The mayhem that surrounds the game mode of Battle Royale are typically fast, frantic fun that requires players to not only keep their minds under control under pressure, but also forces them to either becomes one with the chaos inherent to the game, or risk becoming the last place loser in the scoreboard. And hey, even though I generally rank out near the bottom of the ranking (with only a couple of times where I almost come out on top), I still don't give up and quit because I simply enjoy the spectacle that happens throughout the match, and I'm very eager to jump right back in: it's fresh, it's different, and way out of the comfort zone I especially with shooters.

And getting out of a comfort zone is a good thing, because Battle Royale in Anarchy Reigns is a unique 16 player free-for-all brawler, where it's every player for themselves, and enemies are just around the corner. The thing about Battle Royale that I love most is the fact that it takes place in a giant map where not only 16 players must fight against each other, but also against the enemies that spawn, ranging from assault rifle wielding soldiers to giant monsters eager to tear you a new one. This means that even if you're not a part of the fighting taking place, you're almost never safe, especially since everyone is visible on the mini-map and if one player don't hunt you down first, the monsters trying to dismember you will. On the bright side, this goes for everyone else, and it can lead to some interesting opportunities: do you try to lure your would-be killer into the view of a bloodthristy creature, or should you lure the monster into a populated area and pick off anyone it mauls on? Or, even better, do you "unleash" the monster into the crowd, and then backstab anyone trying to take it down while they try to protect themselves?

Aside the monsters, there are a couple of items and weapons, not to mention pick-ups, that can help turn the tide of a fight, or give you the upper hand. Similar to MadWorld, in fact they share the exact same animation, players can use stop signs as either blunt instruments to smack someone with, or a sharp object to impale through their head, stunning them long enough for you to take full advantage of the charge time of your attack. You can also pick up cars and throws them at enemies like a bowling ball, or chuck a gas tank full of liquid nitrogen to freeze them in place, if you please. Not only that, there are also weapons you can find randomly, such as a rifle to snipe with or grenades to lob at mobs of enemies and players alike: my favorite is one that, upon activating it, teleports you and the first person you hit into an arena away from the other players to have your own little private duel in the form of a caged deathmatch!

This... is... survival of the fittest

But the real treat of Battle Royale, and the thing that trips even the most experienced of players up, are the random events that could disturb the already hectic chaos that runs throughout the map via player-driven actions. Once in a while, the game will force some silly event that typically threatens the lives of the players in its area of effect, the events including but not limited to an airstrike from fighter jets soaring above to tornados that'll sweep up any player it captures and spits them out in a random location. Sometimes, if the game feels sadistic enough, it could even spawn a boss-like enemy your way in the front of a giant mech or a giant kraken that'll require the work of several players to takedown. I especially love it when these "boss encounters" happen because I've seen moments where people immediately stop fighting each other to party up in a temporary alliance to fight the kraken... though it usually ends with them ganging up on the one person who gets the credit for killing it (as you win Battle Royale with points rather than kills, though kills give a big boost in points)!

Here's an example of how insanely awesome the game could be, true story: in one map, there are some times when a cargo plane is crashing towards the arena, and anyone caught in its blast radius will be instantly killed. So, naturally, you see people scrambling to get out of the area, especially since you lose points by dying, but some players like to stick it out and ensure that they kill their enemies while they're running away with their backs to them; it doesn't help that, when a player is close to dying, that their name is displayed red, which tempts other players to kill-steal (what's funny and horrifying at the same time is when you're the one with low health, and everyone is chasing you hoping to get the kill; I would compare it to being chased by hungry dobermans while having juicy steak tied around your neck). Anyway, since some players were so eager to fight in the crash zone, others with no choice as they don't want to be considered a coward, I decided, since I wanted to kill-steal, that I would stay here and fight as well until the end (since I was already in last place, so I had nothing to lose with potential to gain).

At least, that was the plan... shortly before the impending doom of a plane crashing into our area, someone with the "duel" item (I mentioned earlier) comes from behind me as I was fighting for a kill to challenge me into a private fight. As I said before, the "duel" item teleports the participants into a separate arena, meaning he saved my life by teleporting me out of the area right as the plane hit and everyone's name turned red (as I said, it's instant kill). Or course, this now means I was locked into a 1v1 deathmatch with him, and since he was the best player of the match whereas I was the last place loser because of my lack of skills... you could probably guessed what happens next. Still, though I did ended up dying anyway, it was a much more fun way to die (rather than being stubborn about getting a kill), and it makes the multiplayer even more unexpected, which makes it all the more awesome!

It's a MadWorld

Another awesome thing I want to mention about Anarchy Reigns, which isn't exclusive to the game mode nor the multiplayer portion, is the pretty cool soundtrack within the disc; the fact that it also plays during the multiplayer is just icing on the cake. The music, produced by PlatinumGames themselves (I think), really hypes you up for the match at hand, and I enjoy getting psyched up during a match when one of my favorite tunes comes on. While the soundtrack isn't as vicious and rage-inducing like the previous game MadWorld, with only a few tracks dedicated to turning you into a bloodthristy maniac, it gives a different type of energy: instead of giving me the thoughts about shoving fireworks down people's throats or chainsawing their faces off, the music here gives me that fighting spirit, "down but not out" type vibe that's well suited for a brawler.

And not just brawlers: after buying the CD, I've been listening to it in a variety of games, such as first person shooters like Payday 2: whether the songs are making me a bit too gleeful shooting cops in the face, or hearing that I "gotta get the cash, gotta get the gold" whenever I'm cleaning a bank vault, the music just suits action games in general, and are worth a listen (though, bear in mind, most of it is rap music, which I myself enjoy, but it does not cater to everyones' taste... that being said, there's a bit of variety in the OST, and I think there might be something for everyone).

Out of the 32 tracks, these are some of my favorites of the bunch:

[Play for Keeps - Sick YG]

[Kill 'Em all - C. Wilkes (Ox)]

[My Town, My City - Skitz the Samurida]

[My Pride - Skitz the Samurida]

[Sound the Alarm - C. Wilkes (Ox)]

[Soon Enough - Sick YG]

All in all, Anarchy Reigns really stood out to me this year, and it instantly became one of those cult classics in my collection. I mean, it's not the best game I ever played, but it has its charm and appeal to me even with the singleplayer alone: outside the faults like cut-scenes that you could tell was made cheaply (though not all of them are like that) and underdeveloped characters that literally appear once in the campaign and are never heard from again, seeing a better fleshed out Jack Cayman and a dual-sided story really made it pretty interesting to me. But, again, it's really the multiplayer that really makes the game shine to me: you know how Battlefield 4 advertises those "Only in Battlefield" moments? Well, this game has plenty of those, and it seems to happen more often than not. Sure, there are some matches that seem just as routine as ever, especially if you play offline with bots, but seeing 15 other players duke it out in one area and everyone's trying to snatch a kill before the others, it's like dropping a slice of flesh into a fish tank of piranha and seeing them go.

It's just as bloody, and just as awesome to experience.

They Came From Underground
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I look at the 7th generation of consoles quite fondly not just because of the amazingly, jaw-dropping graphics to ever grace my television screen, or the awesome and creative IPs to be conjured up (even if a bit overdone at this point: here's looking at you Assassin's Creed), but because this is the first console generation I was finally able to connect online and play with others around the world. Don't get me wrong, I love huddling around the T.V. with my friends, either teaming up trying to take down the Cyclops in Gauntlet: Dark Legacy or yelling each not look to peek at another's screen during an intense game of Halo 2, but there's something about playing online that just feels... different, but great all the same.

Sure, online may be filled with screaming little kids, who clearly haven't hit puberty yet, and littered with far too many racial and homophobic slurs, but neverminding the negative aspects, it's still a way for players from all over to join in for some fun. Let's be honest: how many of us can set up a Big Team Battle or a Ground War sized match over a LAN network? I sure can't, and being able to hop online and let people fill the lobby is a great alternative. Yes, playing with strangers may not be as fun as playing with people you know, but it can be a decent substitute if you're willing to give it a shot.

Besides, it's not like everyone online is such a negative nancy: there can be some genuinely nice and playful people out there, and the fact that they don't know you personally makes discovering them all the more fun. It's like using a metal detector: you may find some broken, worthless shards of metal, but that doesn't mean every once in a while you won't find a shiny quarter or two in the sand... especially when you try using it while embarking on a magical Journey through a vast desert that contains enough sand to blanket an ocean.

Every Journey Begins With a Single Step...

[Taking that second trip...]

After the onslaught of shooters, from robbing banks in Payday 2, blowing up buildings to expose enemy snipers in Battlefield 4, or being chased across the map by a very angry German Spehard in Call of Duty: Ghosts (don't even try to turn around to shoot; he'd be on you faster than a shark to a bloody flesh wound, and can take three .44 magnum rounds to the face and still manage to get you), I felt like I needed a break from all the gunplay and needed a vacation... why not hit the beach? Well, when I stumbled onto my physical copy of Journey, I figured, hey, the desert is the next best thing, so I might as well pop it in and give it a go.

Before I talk about my most recent journey, I do want to say that I have beaten it before: even before I finally got my PS3, I bought the game on the first day it hit stores and borrowed a friend's PS3 so that I could experience what critics were raving about. However, this blog isn't about my opinion about this game, but rather, my experience playing this game with other people. See, in case you don't know, this game's multiplayer is unique in that, rather than pitting you against other players, the game dumps you in someone's game to do... well, whatever. You both could help each other, or you both could totally ignore each other and travel alone with no consequences. Either way, there's no voice chat to communicate through, and no ideal way to play with your friends; the game doesn't even let you know who you're even travelling with until the end of the game!

That means, essentially, you're going to be paired up with a stranger. Yes, I know, this is something that most people dread when playing a game online, and for the most part that assumption is founded (ever got griefed in the beginning stages of Dark Souls?), but like how we associate Call of Duty with little brats and whiny screamers, sometimes the right game can bring together the right type of people.

Note: if you HAVE NOT experienced this journey, then, as much as I hate to say it, please leave my blog right now: I wouldn't dream of spoiling some of the most memorable moments in this game because, quite simply, this is one of my favorite PS3 games ever, and if you haven't played it, then you simply must... though whether you like it or not, however, is an entirely different manner...)

So Happy Together...

[You Are (Not) Alone]

Booting up this game for the second time, this time on my very own PS3, I signed on to PSN and started playing through the game like normal. Since I already knew the controls and mechanics, I slogged through the tutorial and eagerly awaited to get to the meat of the game. Soon enough, I make it to the broken bridge stage and, having already known what to do, start repairing the bridge on my own. Just as I shudder to think about having to trek across the sand to get the last one (with barely a scarf to jump with), I saw, in a spectacular introduction, that the other traveller (another player) finished the bridge for us; he must've noticed me because he started to walk towards me... though that might be because I spammed my "voice" button like crazy trying to get his attention and he wants me to shut up.

Now more attached than a dog and his master, we decided to take this journey together as a unit rather than a pair of strangers: if one of us was lagging behind, the other would wait for him to catch up; if one of ours scarfs was diminishing in power, then the other would regenerate it with their shriek; if one of our screams didn't manage to light all the candles for the prayer, then the other would finish the rest. Of course, this journey wasn't all serious business: sometimes we'd make music by alternating chirps, or jump around in a silly manner (because, hey, what else are you going to do in a desert?). One of my most favorite part of my travel with this particular fellow was when we reached the sand sliding portion of the trip: we started to race each other to the end, zig-zagging past one another as to say "keep up", and tried to slide through the arches as though they were checkpoints in our little game; I didn't care that I missed a glyph, I was having too much fun!

But the best part was when the camera pivots to the right to get a good view of the sunset peeking through the crumbled buildings and giving the sand its glossy glow: I dunno whether it was scripted for us to have our controllers "locked" or not, but either way, the two of us, in close proximity to each other, just stared at the sunset and admired the view, not ruining it with a jump nor a chirp... until we plunged into the "underwater" portion of the game, at which point we started chirping like crazy as if plummeting to our doom. Not an off assumption, we kept going with the journey, seemingly staring in awe (and worry) when we saw those terrible beasts rip that poor scarf to pieces before eventually trying to avoid a permanent disfigurement ourselves. For the record I already knew they could do that, but still, it must've been quite a shock to my partner, who found out the hard way and was nearly rendered unable to jump. Eventually we reached the next prayer tablet... at which point I awakened to find that my partner must've logged off during the vision sequence because I was left standing there alone.

Prayer Will Live

[Once More, With Feeling...]

Pushing forward on my own, I started solving the puzzles, having already known what to do, until I saw the faint white glow of someone else's chirp: I found a new partner, or rather, he found me, jusging from the way he approached me. At first I thought he was "experienced" at the game as I was since he was able through the underwater section with his scarf seemingly intact, the luscious line of silk flowing behind him like Rapunzel's hair, but I couldn't tell because, like me, he has none of the embroideries you get upon beating the game (since I'm on a different PS3, I didn't get them). Either way, once again (though not begrudingly, mind you), we teamed up together to help one another get through the trials, ensuring that our scarf powers never went out.

I find that this particular player was more loyal than the other (though without experiencing much "adversity" with the player prior, the first section of the game being more on exploration than surviving, I couldn't say for sure) not just because we travelled closely, but because we'd also follow each other no matter where one went. While travelling through the harsh tundra of the summit, the cold being freezing enough to wither our scarfs, at first I thought he was hanging closely to me because either he knew that I knew when to take cover during the gust of wind, or he just wanted to power up his scarf with my regenerative aura: it isn't until I accidentally fell off the mountain, mistakenly thinking that that was the right way despite seeing the other player heading up the stairs, and saw him jump down to accompany me did I find this player to be quite alright; he even did the same thing when I mis-timed a gust of wind and flew off a straightforward bridge that he could've taken as a shortcut.

For that, I (somewhat) returned the favor for him: when we came to an open field with barely anything in sight, all of a sudden a Guardian erupts out of the snow like Shan Yu from the movie Mulan, heaven knows they're equally as threatening, and starts searching for us. We both knew to hide from his gaze by ducking underneath the hollow debris, but I was too far away at the time and he spotted me: rather than try to hide with my partner, hoping to break his gaze, I instead moved as far away as I could from my ally, ensuring that I alone took the hit and not the person I roped into my game, the guardian ripping the last remains of my tattered scarf. I still wondered if my partner appreciates my "sacrifice" as we kept moving through the blizzard.

If you've played through the game, then you know the last part of it is tremendously emotional and, although Journey is most likely meant as a solo experience, having a buddy you bonded with while travelling together doesn't disrupt the impact at all. See, by now, the cold winter is taking its toll on us: our characters are barely able to move; our jumps are limited in flight; our chirps so quiet you almost couldn't hear them in the cloudy white blizzard. But as we pressed on, every step forward taking longer than the last, we still stuck together, the faint glow of our bond warming us up; we even took turns chirping, as if to say "hey, hang in there"... or perhaps just letting the other person know we're still alive. Eventually, after long enough, we both succumbed to the weather: I saw him fell into the snow first, and I buried my face shortly after.

Breath Breath, Breath Breath

[Please don't wake me, from this dream, baby]

Then, in a flash of bright light, I was up and about, floating in the sky being passed by other scarf creatures that were heading towards the sun peeking past the mountains; I am also finally able to fly (since I completely lost my scarf back in the tundra) once again, now that they've given me a generously long scarf to goof around with. Things couldn't be greater: the view is majestic, the sand being substituted with gorgeous waterfall; the skies were blue and clear of any dangerous Guardians; and the top of the summit is finally within my grasp. As I floated forwards towards the path, I saw a familiar face waiting for me: the same partner I've had with me during the final part of the journey.

You couldn't imagine how cool it felt to see him again: the first time I played through the snow section, I was with someone else as well, and we had the same bond as I do with my recent partner. However, I assumed that before, since my partner and me got "separated" during the final blizzard storm, his body being nowhere in sight, that this final stretch of the journey had to be completed alone, but nope: here this guy was, his symbol being chanted loudly and proudly after he saw me gunning for him as fast as I could. As we made our way up, twirling around each other like a nymph as we raced one another by, I felt like it was a really nice way to reunite with one another. Finally, as we slid down the mountain slope to the final destination and walked through the crack of the mountain, our journey's end, we both kept chirping one after another (in, funny enough, almost the same way I did with my previous partner) as if to say goodbye.

Oddly enough, evidently I had three partners who accompanied me throughout my second journey: I was so surprised, and also trying to think back when this mysterious first guy arrived and vanished, that I forgot to check the PSN ID of the second person, so I have no idea who the second guy was. I did manage to snag the PSN ID off the third person to play with me, the one who finished the game with me, but I rather not say who it is. Doesn't matter, I mean, it's not like we're gonna encounter each other again (not only do I mainly play on my Xbox 360, I usually don't add people unless we had a good time with mics turned on), but it was still cool that thatgamecompany allows you to know who got paired up with you after ensuring that their identities are concealed until then. Weirdly, the first time I played, which I completed in two sitting, I ran into seven other players; how the hell did I not notice seven different symbols coming from my allies?

Anyway, while I'm sure that I could've had fun playing Journey with friends (actually, not really: my friends don't play games like that, and my friends were also talking throughout the entire ending the first time I played, ruining much of the emotional impact; the homophobic slurs they commentated with didn't help), sometimes playing with strangers isn't a bad thing. While it's hard for me to keep in touch with a lot of them, our budget, time, and taste in games varying much, I do manage to remember all the friends I made in all the games I have because of all the good times we had playing it, from my fellow robbers in Payday 2 to my Lost Planet 2 brethren. You could say that they started out as strangers and then they became friends, but that's not the point; the point is: if it wasn't for online gaming, which again, I only stumbled onto this generation (I'm not a PC player since my computer sucks)...

I never would've experienced what's it like to game with people you don't know, and how they could become the people you do.

To the Same Heights
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