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Name's Josh. I'm 25, play pretty much any kind of game, and have since I was old enough to hold a controller.
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6:40 PM on 09.15.2014

I have decided to move my weekly piece to Mondays now that games are starting to get released again. If last week's piece has taught me anything it's that you do not want to release something that you want people to pay attention to on the same day as one of the biggest releases of the year.

Well friends, Destiny is here. The long awaited return by Bungie has been released and it's actually very solid. Unfortunately, Destiny's unique mix of game styles places it in such a unique category that it can be hard to decide just how good or lacking it is. I've played all through the story, tried out the different modes (with the exception of the raid) and put in a solid 15-20 hours in the game, so let's talk about it.

I should first point out that the experience I've had with Destiny has been, for the most part, a pleasant one. I enjoyed going through the story missions and experiencing the new planets as they came along. I didn't even hate Peter Dinklage's performance as much as so many others seem to have. I find him to fill a nice role as a not quite human level AI but not full robot either. Not every companion AI needs to feel like a human. The problem with Destiny is in its strange new mix of genres that it embodies.

Destiny is a combination of FPS, ARPG, and MMO styles of play. Unfortunately, it fails to stand out in any of these categories. If you look at it as primarily a FPS title then you have to notice the lack of emphasis on story in the story mode or the lack of anything really new or unique in the multiplayer modes. The universe that Destiny takes place in is full of potential and could be home to incredibly interesting stories, and yet none of that is given its chance to shine in the game. There isn't quite enough variety in the missions themselves either. Occasionally you'll find yourself in the seat of a weaponized vehicle but they are always one seaters and as far as I saw there are only two types in the entire game, with one not appearing until the last planet. Enemy types and environments change with each planet, which is one thing the game certainly has going for it. It constantly gives you new settings to look forward to and new enemies and fight off.

If you look at it as an ARPG then there's a severe lack of stats to build up or abilities to gain access to on any one character. Each class has three stats; one that lowers the cooldown of their special ability, one that lowers the cooldown on their grenade, and one that lowers the cooldown on their melee ability. Each character class does have its own talent tree to go through but many of the things you'll unlock in the tree are variations on other things you unlock or are just changes in your armor, recovery, or agility. As a warlock your tree has three different types of grenades that work differently, but only one can be used at a time. Similarly you can change how your special ability works, but that will be used so rarely that it doesn't feel as badass or important as it could. Your melee ability is probably the least interesting of the three because it's simply an extra effect that will happen when you melee an enemy. Maybe you'll steal life from the enemy or maybe you'll gain a speed boost, but from a gameplay perspective you're still just punching the enemy.

So do you treat Destiny as an MMO primarily then? If so then you'll have to note the lack of variety the game offers or its major lack of social features. There are three classes to choose from in Destiny, each with some unique features, but regardless of who you pick or what race you choose to play as, you'll still be playing through the exact same content as anyone else. There are no separate paths you can level through. It has been said multiple times, even by Destiny's Executive Producer, that the game evolves as you go through it, becoming a new experience altogether when you reach max level. I don't find this to be a fair statement at all.

One of the most important things to consider when making any kind of MMO experience is a way to keep people playing it. This is something that, currently, Destiny lacks. To say that the “real game begins at max level” is incredibly silly, because you know what you have to do as a max level character in Destiny? The exact same things that you've been doing the entire game. You can do heroic strikes, which in my experience have been exactly the same as they were originally, just balanced around higher level characters. You can do PvP, which you could have been doing the entire time. You can run around doing patrol missions on the planets, which you can do while leveling and also net you next to nothing for doing them.

There will be a single raid for max level Destiny players to go through when it opens, if those players have managed to accumulate powerful enough gear by then and can find 5 other people willing to run the raid with them in a game that has no real social features to speak of. Gathering the gear is a chore in and of itself. It doesn't really require you to go out of your way to do anything challenging, it just requires you to spend a lot of time doing the same things you've been doing.

You can acquire gear in a few ways at max level: it can randomly drop from enemies, you can receive it as a reward for completing a strike, as a chance reward when playing PvP, or by purchasing it from factions. Buying gear from factions is actually the only reliable way to get GOOD gear and it requires a solid amount of grinding to get. The gear you get from strikes or enemy drops or even PvP (regardless of whether or not you win) isn't guaranteed and it definitely isn't guaranteed to be good. After one heroic strike I was given a Rare quality chest piece that was only level 16 and actually had worse stats than the level 14 chest piece I had been using for hours. To get gear from factions you first need to build up that faction's reputation, which is a relatively slow process.

Building up Vanguard rep requires you to either do Vanguard (PvE) bounties or doing Patrol (repeatable) missions on one of the planets. Of the two, only bounties provide a substantial reward in terms of reputation. Patrol missions don't even seem like they were thought out particularly well. If you are a level 20 and you go do a Patrol mission on Mars (the highest level planet) you will get the same boost in reputation as if you did a Patrol mission on Earth (the lowest level planet.) So why bother dealing with the higher level enemies? A solid question. Obviously, that leaves bounties as the preferred way to gather rep, as one bounty is worth at least 5x as much rep as one Patrol mission. Unfortunately, you can only hold 5 separate bounties, regardless of whether the bounties you hold are for PvE, PvP, or a mix of the two. Also, after doing your bounties the robot who gives them to you will run out and you'll have to wait for the substantial restock timer that he has on him.

Once you've reached the rank required to buy max level gear from a faction you then need to have a special type of currency to purchase those items. For the 2 main factions those are Vanguard marks and Crucible marks respectively. Not only do you get an incredibly small amount of these for doing max level activities such as heroic strikes, you can only get a certain amount each week. If one heroic strike nets you 3 marks, and it costs 65 marks to get one piece of gear, and you can only get 100 marks a week, that adds up to me having a bad time.

Bungie also seems to hope that players in Destiny will build a community with one another, but it fails to give players the tools to do so. The only way to interact with other players you meet in game is to invite them into a fire team. There is no optional proximity chat or anything that would allow you to meet others who may want to join you for a raid. If you wish to do a strike mission, which requires 3 players, then the game will find you the players you need. Raiding however, which requires 6 people, has no such feature. You have to gather that group yourself, in a game that doesn't have any features that allow for you to do that.

Now, I've had quite a lot of negative things to say about Destiny, but it has in no way been to just talk shit about the game. I believe that Destiny has a TON of potential and has the capacity and the devs behind it to make something truly unique and special, but it will require some serious work to make the game into what it deserves to be. Bungie has crafted a lovely core game that makes you want to keep playing it, now they just need to make it fun to continue to do so.


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10:26 AM on 09.09.2014


The Post That Makes Everyone Hate Me


There are a few things that the gaming community can usually band together to agree on with their hatred. Terrible DLC, Aliens: Colonial Marines, and the way that SquareEnix and Capcom treat their franchises. I'm only going to talk about those last two today. Now, I'm by no means here to defend the companies as a whole, or even to say that the decisions I'm speaking for are necessarily good. Both have made plenty of stupid decisions, as anyone has, and even I can't justify a lot of them. I just felt that SOMEONE needs to take on the role of devil's advocate every now and then, and by god I'll take one for the team if no one else will.


Square is an entity that has made many people's favorite games at one point or another. Square alone can be the reason that people have a hard time agreeing on the elusive (read: nonexistant) “golden age of JRPGs”. Some swear by Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI (like myself!), some stand beside FF VII and FF Tactics, others may fight alongside FF X or Kingdom Hearts.

These days however it seems Square can accomplish nothing but to piss people off. There are plenty of reasonable examples of this, such as their declaration of Tomb Raider being a flop and FF All The Bravest, but one of the biggest sources of hatred is the direction they take with their main franchise; Final Fantasy. Final Fantasy is one of, if not THE, biggest JRPG series in the world. It's a series with so many fans and so many unique takes on the JPRG formula that there is no widely accepted “best” Final Fantasy.

Therein lies Final Fantasy's biggest strength, and the reason that they can now be working on its fifteenth iteration: it constantly tries to evolve and try new things. Every single Final Fantasy entry tries something new and is very obviously different from its predecessor, even among the direct sequels! X-2, for all the hate it gets, has a sizable fan base and manages to vary drastically from its origins. Likewise each entry in the XIII saga makes very notable changes from the others in an attempt to constantly experiment with new mechanics.

There have always been people who will bitch about Final Fantasy's push for something new. People complain about the draw system in VIII, the linearity in X, the combat of XII, and a combination of things about XIII. Here's the thing though, those aren't all the same people. The fact that there is a huge number of people who think that VIII was the best FF and that those are not the same people who think that XII was the best shows that clearly every iteration is very personal and up to you individually to either be on board with or not.

XIII may have had a lot of systems you may not like, but you can't sit there and tell me that it didn't really try to experiment with some pretty radical changes. The battle system is like nothing else and it really twists a lot of what you'd expect into something new. Telling people that the game plays itself is a pretty extreme exaggeration at best.

You can hate Lightning with all of your heart and soul, but at the end of the day the fact that she starred in three games in a row proves that there is a sizable number of people out there who do like her. People like to assume that it's just XIII's creator who obviously has a hard on for her, but one guy doesn't get to convince an entire company that a character is worth more canon games than almost any other Final Fantasy character ever, barring FFVII characters.

Recently Square said that the future of the console market may hinge on the success of Final Fantasy XV. A lot of people took that as either being conceited or an obvious message that they should just give up and remake Final Fantasy VII. Here's the thing though, we're talking about a Japanese company making one of Japan's biggest franchises trying to release that huge franchise onto a new piece of hardware that a very small number of people own in Japan. You think Final Fantasy is big here? Imagine in its company of origin! XIII sold over a million copies in Japan on the very first day. Lightning Returns sold more copies in Japan during its first week of sales than Super Mario 3D World!

If SquareEnix can't sell PS4s with their biggest franchise then how likely do you think they'll be to continue making games for the new generation? It's the same situation with their current announcement to bring Type-0 to PS4 rather than PSP/Vita, another decision that brought a lot of hate and prompted such mind blowing reactions as 'I refuse to buy this game unless it also comes to my Vita'. A game that barely made it out of Japan at all! By putting Type-0 HD on the new hardware they can further incentivize people to pick up that new hardware either now or when FFXV comes out.

“But XV itself is a system seller!” you may be shouting. Yes, but you can't rely on people to pay that much money to play a single game. If you tell someone who likes Halo “Hey, the Xbone is getting Halo 5!” they may go “Oh snap, I may need to upgrade to an Xbone!” But if you tell them “The Xbone is getting Halo 5 AND Destiny; the new game from the company that originally made Halo!” They now have a lot more of a reason to move to that new hardware.


Capcom is another publisher that gets a lot of hatred, and honestly a lot of it really is reasonable. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that their numerable releases of Street Fighter IV or their on disc DLC characters are okay, because they're absolutely not. What I am going to talk about is a franchise that you and I both love and you seem to think that Capcom hates: Mega Man!

Like most of you, I love me some Mega Man. The X games are what its all about for me, but I can respect the original games as well. People's love for Mega Man seems to have made them convinced that the lack of official Mega Man games in recent years means that Capcom OBVIOUSLY hates their franchise, their fans, and money in general. Let's look at this from a reasonable perspective though.

Do you know how many official Mega Man games there are? A LOT. If you count any official game branded as part of the Mega Man franchise there are over 30 games. 10 of which are part of the original Mega Man formula, and 8 of which are part of the X series, which is an evolution of that original formula. No one at Capcom hates Mega Man and no one is there sitting in a board room tapping their fingers going “Yessssss YESSSSS, let the hate flow through you!” as their bank account dries up.

There are no lack of Mega Man games, not even in recent times. Mega Man 10 came out in 2010 and, while there have been no official releases since then, Capcom has done nothing to deter people from expanding on the blue bomber's catalogue on their own. Even other companies that have a spot for Mega Man have been allowed to make use of him. Just look at Project X Zone or Super Smash Bros.

You know what makes a great game? When someone has a genuinely interesting idea and the heart to make that idea a reality. Let me put this another way; do you really want Capcom to put together a Mega Man game solely as a cash-in just because people are asking for one? That's how you get garbage cash-ins. Someone had the idea and the heart to put together Street Fighter X Mega Man and not only did Capcom do nothing to stop it, they helped bring it attention! And that's hardly the only worth while Mega Man fan game out there.

Recently Mighty No. 9 has been getting a lot of press, and for good reason! I would argue that the existence of MN9 is proof of my argument. MN9 exists because someone (the man who brought us so many great Mega Man games nonetheless!) had a genuinely interesting idea for a Mega Man style of game and had the heart to make it a reality. If Keiji Inafune just wanted to continue the Mega Man formula and make some money off of clamoring fans he could have made Mighty No. 9 ages ago as a much simpler and less unique experience. He still would have made a ton of money, but now you; the fans, get to spend that same money on something that was made because someone genuinely wanted to make it, and not because a board room assigned it to them for some easy money.

As I mentioned at the beginning, this piece is not necessarily intended to defend these companies per se. I'd love to see more Mega Man and I'd love to see Square make more varied games the way they used to. This piece has just been to offer a differing opinion that I rarely, if ever, see in the places where these companies are talked about. You may now feel free to spew all of the pent up frustrations that I've stirred up over the course of this piece in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

D-toid Bonus Mission! If any of you are going to be playing Destiny on PS4 then feel free to add me on PSN. Just be sure to let me know who you are!

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For the majority of you who don't really know me, there is a specific way that I play most video games. I generally play games one at a time and all the way through. I love to sit down and play a game for hours at a time. That being said, there are some games that allow me to become so engrossed that I will play them for untold hours without even realizing it. I want to talk about one such game today.

A game that pulls me in so much that hours pass by without me even having stopped to eat is a game that I consider to be a success. Probably the first time that I really thought to myself “Wow, how long have I been playing this?” was the first time I played Persona 3. The only prior experience I had with Shin Megami Tensei games was with Nocturne on the PS2, until I watched a video on Youtube about Persona 4 and decided I should give that series a try as well. At that point in time I had just gotten a launch Vita but P4G hadn't been released yet, so I decided to download and play the PSP version of Persona 3.

Everything about that game pulled me into it further. The music, the characters, the battles; all of them combined to make an experience that I just couldn't put down. When P4G finally came to the Vita I got to experience the game that would come to control my life. Persona 4 took everything great about Persona 3 and made it better. The music was unbelievably catchy, the characters were fleshed out and meaningful, the battle system was as deep and fun as ever, and living the life of the protagonist became exactly that. When I sat down to play Persona 4 I'm pretty sure that each time I turned on my Vita I played it for a longer span of time than I have ever played another video game.

P4 is about a 70 hour long game, and I played through the entirety of it over the course of about 5 or 6 days on normal difficulty. If you're someone who's somehow never played a Persona game before then here's what they are: Dungeon Crawling, Time Management, Role Playing, Social Sims. You play as a young Japanese man whom you name (Kenpachi Ramasama for myself) and live the life of that character every day for a year. You go to school, make friends, live life to the fullest, all while managing your time so that you can also make forays into the game's dungeons to do battle and collect and fuse Personas.

Determining exactly why the Persona titles resonate so well with me requires a bit of delving into my personal life, which I'll avoid doing too much of as I'm sure that's not really something everyone's interested in reading about. Nevertheless, getting to live the life of someone who gets to make so many real friends, form so many bonds, and still manage to live an exciting, unique, and meaningful life is an experience unlike any other for me. When I finally finished Persona 4 I was left emotionally shattered.

For a week I had spent more time in the life of the protagonist, making his decisions and hanging out with his friends, than I had spent in actual life. I'd wake up each day, get on the internet for a bit, start playing P4G, and likely wouldn't stop until it was time to eat or head to bed. Having to say goodbye to the people I had spent that time with broke me, and seeing the final cutscene of each character saying their goodbyes is one of the only times, perhaps THE only time, I've ever had my eyes start watering from a video game.

It doesn't take a lot for me to enjoy a game. I've very rarely felt buyer's remorse for a title because I can generally enjoy each game for what it is or at least appreciate what it was trying to accomplish. The other side of having such an easy time enjoying games is that it becomes rare for a game to move from “enjoyable” to that feeling of “Oh my god, what a game” that I get when I played Persona 4. I recently sat down to replay Persona 3 purely out of boredom and after enjoying it I was reminded of how much more I loved Persona 4 and immediately began replaying it as well as soon as 3 was finished. The fact that I was able to fall in love with it all over again, when it hasn't even been THAT long since I last played it, was such a great feeling.

The Persona games aren't really games that I'd recommend to everyone, and I could see a number of people not being able to get into them, but there will never be a time that Persona 4 doesn't have a spot in my heart. I'll always have memories of hanging out with my bro Yosuke, teaching Kanji that it's okay to be different, and helping my girl Naoto learn to love herself for who she is.

Each character is so well fleshed out and memorable and provides a different take on the kinds of troubles that people face in society. The lessons that they learn as they face their true selves and have to come to grips with their fears and inner pain are lessons that everyone can learn from and many can relate to. Your team of persona users really feel like you work so well together as a team BECAUSE you're friends, where as P3's team had a habit of feeling like you were friendly with each other because you were on a team, if that makes sense.

I was sad when I saw Agro go down in Shadow of the Colossus, I was moved by Journey, but nothing hit me as hard as saying goodbye to the fine folks of Inaba. It goes without saying that I am unbelievably hyped for the upcoming release of Persona 5, but it has a lot to live up to.

If you have any game that's special to you in some way, whether that be because it's just incredibly fun, because of the memories associated with it, or because it has some deeper meaning to you, then by all means feel free to share your thoughts below!

Every day really is great at your Junes. Thanks for reading.

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12:09 PM on 08.28.2014

I have an unrealistic dream I'd like to share with everyone. It's not a dream of personal goals and it's not a dream of the future of video games. My dream is that one day the gaming community can learn to put aside the hate. A dream that everyone can just be reasonable human beings to each other. Hate is something that gets spread around like wildfire all over our lives. I'm only speaking specifically about the gaming community because it's a place that I feel I belong, because it centers around my dearest hobby.

Internet comments have long been infamous as a place where you can see the most vile, disrespectful, or just plain mean thoughts ever thought. There are successful people on the internet, whether they create content for Youtube or for written formats, who feel the need to avoid their own comment sections, and that is a damn shame. I can't speak for others who create content, but for myself part of the joy of writing something is getting to see all of the people who reply or converse with each other about what I've written, whether they agree or disagree. I find people's opinions fascinating when they're presented reasonably. As I'm just some schmuck who does this once a week as a hobby I generally don't get huge influxes of people to my content, so it's rare that I have to worry about someone rude, but the things I have seen on professionally written pieces is just shameful.

There are people, quite a number of them in fact, who seem to feel that their opinion on any particular matter is the most important and precious thing in the world. Now, it's only natural to want people to agree with you. It's also understandable to be disappointed when someone feels completely the opposite of you, but you will never be in a situation where it is impossible for you to reply in a reasonable manner. I am by no means a religious man. I do my best to live by a pretty simple creed: Try not to be too much of an asshole.

I've dealt with depression and the kind of anger that makes you pace around your room flailing while arguing with yourself. Truth be told I get fired up pretty easily. If I allow myself to get annoyed I then move from annoyed to angry and from angry to stressed. I don't like to be stressed. There are so many times when I'll read what someone has to say and have to literally step away from the computer so I can just forget about it and move on. Even if you feel that the other person is the worst kind of human being and needs to be told how things really are, just take a breath. No one ever changed the world in the comments section of Youtube. If you honestly think that what you have to say needs to be said then all the more reason for you to present it as reasonably as possible.

There was an article on another site about Anita Sarkeesian being driven from her home on account of abuse and death threats. Now, I'm not the biggest fan of many of her arguments. I think she has a solid goal but I don't necessarily agree in a lot of her reasoning. That being said, there is nothing this woman could say on the internet regarding video games that could possibly warrant her life being threatened. Nothing. In the comments of this article there was the expected amount of disagreements and strongly worded opinions, but as I scrolled through them it became more than that.

The arguments and the hate in this comment section began going beyond Sarkeesian and her videos to just plain hate for each other. I legitimately saw comments decrying the acts as immature that received responses complaining that calling those acts immature was part of the problem because obviously it went far beyond being immature and that calling the acts immature was equating them to the acts of a spoiled child. I saw comments that spoke of how hate in general needed to stop being so prevalent on the internet that received responses of how they were part of the problem because they didn't specifically acknowledge female abuse needing to be stopped.

Another recent (though considerably less controversial) article I noticed was one by Tony Ponce, a former editor at Destructoid, who took to the community blogs to share his idea on the possibility of a female Link taking center stage in a future Legend of Zelda title. I can understand where the guy is coming from, I'd love to see a good female character in any title, though I didn't necessarily agree with or follow all of his reasoning or the comparisons he drew to other franchises. Hell, over the couple of years that I've been visiting Destructoid there have been plenty of times that I flat out disagreed with Tony. That being said, the amount of unnecessary hate flowing in that comments section was far more than I expected in a community blog. Now, I'm sure that old Ponce de Leon can handle some agitated internet haters, this ain't his first rodeo, but should he have to? Especially in a piece that was written as a community piece and therefore wasn't necessarily endorsed by Destructoid itself?

Regardless of how you think the best way to introduce a female protagonist into the series would be, do you know who gets hurt if they decide to just gender swap Link or to just make Zelda playable or any number of other possibilities? Literally no one. No one's life will be worse off. The game won't be ruined because of a gender change and you won't suddenly be incapable of enjoying a game that has every other feature that you loved about the previous entries. So why get so worked up about it that you need to resort to insults towards a writer or the site he's writing on?

Now, I'm not asking you to keep your opinions to yourself. That would be stupid. I encourage each and every one of you to speak your minds and share your thoughts on any given situation, but you can do it without being an asshole. I know you can. I believe in you. That's all I can think of to say for now, I hope this has come out as something relatively coherent. Thanks for reading.
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9:18 AM on 08.26.2014

This “You Should Try” is for a game that many of you have likely heard of before but I doubt as many have actually played it. If the name Mother 3 only manages to ring a bell then you probably heard about it from people begging Nintendo to release it outside of Japan. If you're wondering “Why would you recommend I play the third game in a series I've never heard of before?” then allow me to explain just what Mother is.

Mother is a series of JRPGs that were released in Japan, with the first being on the Famicom (NES). The devs originally planned to bring it to the states, but by the time the translation was done the SNES was already out and they worried that an NES game wouldn't bring in enough sales to justify the marketing and whatnot. Mother 2, however, did make it to the states, under a name you've surely heard of: Earthbound! If you're somehow not familiar with Earthbound either (shame on you!) then the best I can say in a few words is that it is a SNES JRPG set in a setting not unlike America, starring children who come together to save the world from an evil alien who plots destruction.

Mother 3 is the Game Boy Advance sequel to Earthbound, though its ties to its predecessor are hard to see early on. It's not necessary that you play Earthbound prior to playing Mother 3, but it will without a doubt give you a deeper appreciation for the latter. From the outset, Mother 3 appears strikingly similar to Earthbound in just about every way. Its visual style is the same, akin to that of an old comic strip, it's still a JRPG set in a familiar looking setting, and it keeps the charming writing and punny enemy names. There is only one major aspect of the gameplay that sets it apart from its predecessor.

The combat in Mother 3, like in Earthbound, is your typical turn based rpg with four party members. What sets this installment apart is its implementation of a brilliant new aspect to its combat: a rhythm system! Each character has four commands: their basic attack, their special abilities, their items, and the ability to defend. The basic attack in this game really shines through, as it is where you'll get to enjoy the rhythmic combat that this game offers. Every enemy has battle music playing behind it, but unlike many JRPGs there are a ton of different battle themes. When you make the decision to do a basic attack you immediately do a base amount of damage based upon your strength and weapon, but then if you press A with the beat of the music you can continue to string together multiple smaller attacks, up to a combo of sixteen!

This rhythmic combat takes the basic idea of JRPG combat and adds a very unique layer of fun. Some battle tunes you may pick right up on, while others may be more difficult to keep time with. Relatively early in the game you can acquire an item that allows you to recall any enemy you've faced thus far and practice battling against it, without fear of it fighting back. This allows you to practice the different beats as they present themselves in the game, as each enemy will have the same battle theme every time you face it. It's also a great excuse to listen to the amazing soundtrack featured in this game.

While the gameplay does manage to bring a new element of fun to the typical JRPG formula, it's the story and characters that really make this game worth telling you about. Mother 3 is a game about loss. Loss of life, loss of innocence. This is a story far deeper than you would expect given its charm, humor, and visuals. Mother 3 isn't the story of any one individual. The primary protagonist is a young boy by the name of Lucas, but there are many more characters you'll come to know and explore the relatively small world with before you even begin Lucas' journey.

It's difficult to go into any details of the story without spoiling SOMETHING for you, so I'll do my best to give you the most baseline synopsis possible. Lucas is a young boy who lives in Tazmily Village, a lovely peaceful town reminiscent of that of an old American western. Events beyond anyone in the town's control force him into an adventure to discover the true reason behind a number of changes that have swept over his home in just a few years.

There are themes present in this game that really manage to make you stop and think about society in general. There are so many underlying themes and metaphors in this game that reading interviews with its creator, Shigesato Itoi, is in many ways just as fascinating as playing the game itself. The experience really shines a light on subjects such as humans' constant desire for more than they have, as well as the depths someone will sink to no longer be considered an outcast.

If you're looking for a game that is capable of both charming your pants off with sights like a small frog driving a frog sized car as well as pulling your emotional strings with one of the most real and heartrending reactions to death ever presented in a video game, then Mother 3 is exactly what you need. I don't know that another game exists that so perfectly mixes funny lovable moments with such depth and loss, but if one does then I'd love to hear of it.

As I mentioned previously, Mother 3 is unavailable outside of Japan officially, but there are always ways around these things. If you'd like to experience this fantastic game then you can find the English fan translation HERE. Also, if you're one of those people who enjoys having access to a good guide while playing through a game, then there is a masterfully done fan guide available HERE. You can either view the online version for free, or purchase a physical or PDF copy. I generally try to avoid guides while I'm playing games, but this one was great to look through after I had finished the game and would make a great collector's item. 

I hope at least some of you will take this opportunity to experience this fantastic piece of art. As usual, thanks for reading!
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Hey all! I felt like doing something silly, so I made up stupid awards for stupid things. Have fun!

1 – Biggest Badass

Asura, Asura's Wrath

Asura is a badass. He's strong, he's angry, and he's voiced by Liam O'Brien. He also punches a boss so hard that his six arms explode and then has to fight the next boss with no arms. If you don't think that's badass then get off of my blog.

2 – Sickest Burn

Yukari, Persona 3

Junpei Iori, self proclaimed “Ace Detective,” gets a hard dose of reality when Yukari hits him with the burn of the century. “More like Stupei, Ace Defective!” Someone call the burn unit!

3 – Best Persona Waifu

Naoto, Persona 4

You can go eat steak with your Chie, go study for finals with your Mitsuru, I'll be solving crimes with the real deal. Naoto is everything needed in a waifu. She's cute, unsure of herself, and fiercely dedicated. Shout out to my boy Gajknight for having the right taste.

4 – Best Reference to Homosexuality

Skalen Burdon, Witcher 2: “My favorite type of magic – lesbomancy.”

I don't think there's really anything I need to say about this one. It's my favorite type of magic too, Skalen.

5 – Best Suplex

Sabin, Final Fantasy VI

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax seems to think it's home to the “Ultra Suplex Hold.” These guys need to go train for a week in the mountains with Sabin and learn the ways of Blitz; maybe then they'll have the strength needed to suplex an undead train into oblivion!

6 – Best Sex Scene

Ride to Hell: Retribution

Have you and your significant other ever been SO turned on that you just couldn't even be bothered to remove your clothes before getting down to business? The guys at Eutechnyx feel you bro. They wanna make your struggle known to the world.

7 – Best Dating Sim

Hatoful Boyfriend

Only hardcore bird watchers need apply here. Or those who have ever wondered what would happen if the entire world were taken over by talking pigeons and you were the only human female left alive. Because let's face it, your biggest problem at that point is probably “Well, which of these birds am I gonna date?”

8 – Best/Worst Emotional Break Down

Zero, X4: “What...what am I fighting for?!”

If you thought that Zero was just a badass reploid who couldn't show emotion then X4 is here to set the record straight. I don't know who the voice actor was for Zero, but this performance... it's so real. So heartbreaking. So hilarious.

I hope you enjoyed these totally-legit-except-not-at-all awards.
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