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12:54 PM on 01.22.2009

Games That I Never Seem to Finish: Requesting Destructoid Community Input

If I were to post a list of the games I've completed, it would be 1/50 of the size of a list of the games I've played. I too suffer from gamer ADHD, and I'm asking you, Destructoid, what game I should play first. The games in question are listed below.

- Final Fantasy VII -

As I wrote in a previous blog post, Final Fantasy VII is a game that has been haunting me since I was only six years old. Since this game and I have a long term history and that the only Final Fantasy that I've ever finished was the Gameboy Advance remake of Final Fantasy 1, I'd like to be able to check this bad boy off of my list.

- Metroid Prime -

I remember getting lost on my two playthroughs of this game, not sure where I was or where I was supposed to be. This is one that I'd love to see through to completion.

- Rogue Galaxy -

I picked this up in the used game section of Blockbuster for about ten dollars. I'm a huge fan of Level 5 as a developer, and I know little about the games plot or what will eventually come from all of it. I do know that the main character isn't a total cliched prick and that the game is beautiful. It's also been called "what Final Fantasy XII" should have been, and I'd like to see for myself.

- Pikmin -

Shigeru Miyamoto never fails to please when he comes up with a new game concept. Even the WiiSeries of games has been somewhat enjoyable. Pikmin is yet another Gamecube game that haunts me with its existence, knowing that I left the tiny spaceman to die on the familiar planet. Plus, the Pikmin may be the cutest plants in existence.

- Super Mario World -

A childhood favorite, I'd like to crush Bowser and save Princess Peach. What more can I say? It's Mario!

- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask -

I still believe that this game has the potential to be my favorite Zelda of all time, taking the throne from the Wind Waker. I haven't played it in years and going back to it with a different perspective might be what it takes to finally complete it.

There you have it Destructoid, I'll do a tallying system similar to what ThePhil did yesterday, and I'll play these games in the order that you decide.   read

9:09 PM on 01.19.2009

Gaming Haul: The Holy Shit

Today me and my Dad hit the town, on the prowl for video games. We only went to two places, the closing Circuit City and the corporate shitfest that is Gamestop. Circuit City had things that were normally $60 marked down to $55, and every Playstation 2 game was $20 a piece. Even shit like Wall-E: The Game and Dance Party: Boogie Nights Edition. Needless to say, as a gamer looking for discounts, I had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Luckily I found what appeared to be the one good gaming deal in the store, Blue Dragon for $10.

Next stop, Gamestop. I was browsing through the Playstation 2 games again when something caught my eye. It was Disgaea 2. I checked underneath it to see if there was another copy, and to my surprise I found Disgaea 1 sitting there. Hot stuff.

I'm so happy that I've actually begun to vomit sparkles.   read

1:46 AM on 01.14.2009

My Life as a Gamer: I've Spent Ten Years Chasing the Man in Black

On my last blog I received a comment telling me to re-write the experiences I've had as a gamer in about fifteen years. He felt that my blog wasn't relatable enough to the Destructoid community. I'd ask that today you try to look past my age, and instead look back on a similar gaming experience in your life. Mostly though, I'm deathly afraid that you'll ignore me because I'm not as experienced as you are.

Before you run away at the sight of that all to familiar image, I'll have you know that this isn't a Final Fantasy VII fap-fest. I'm an admitted Final Fantasy fanatic; I've played every game at some time during my life. The tragic twist on this love affair of mine is that the only Final Fantasy I've ever managed to finish is the original; remade for the Gameboy Advance. The only other one I've come close to completing is Final Fantasy IX; which I quit right before the final boss. After a certain number of failed playthroughs I began to question what was driving me to come back time after time; fighting the same battles and experiencing the events within.

The answer lies within the very essence of Final Fantasy itself. Inside each of the games respected worlds lies familiarity. Familiar places, familiar people, and a consistency that the real world doesn't allow. As with any other video game, the Final Fantasy series serves as an escape from reality into a world much more exciting and interesting than our own. When I was younger I had a real fear of Sephiroth and Kuja. The motives behind their actions proving to be a challenging thing for a seven year old to wrap his head around. To me they were not only the "bad guys"; they were also the very essence of what I was afraid of. The unknown.

He might be a "trap", but he's one of the scariest villains in video game history.

I briefly shared the story of how I acquired my first Final Fantasy here, but for the sake of ease of use I'll reiterate here. When I was nearly seven years old, I had achieved a solid A+ on my report card. True to her word, my mother took me to the nearby Target to pick out a brand new game for my Playstation. I have a vague memory of seeing Cloud's spiky blond hair behind the display case, the Shinra tower looming ominously over his head. I told her that was the one I wanted, and she went to go fetch the cashier. I remember the look on his face when he realized how young I was, and he told her that the game in question might be too much for a seven year old, that it would go straight over my head. He was, of course, right, but I begged and pleaded with her until she caved and laid down the twenty dollars to purchase me the game.

Despite being somewhat cliched, I still love the cast of FF7, pre-whoring

My reading skills not quite up to the caliber of the Final Fantasy, she would sit with me and read me the text boxes. I naturally progressed very slowly due to my lack of reading skills, and my desire to understand the games plot. Slowly, over time, my reading comprehension skills grew to the point where I could play and read Final Fantasy VII without the assistance of my mother, much to her delight. This marked a strange phase for me though, where I would run from every random encounter so that I could get to the next plot point faster. It wasn't about fighting monsters, it was about reading my interactive book. Unfortunately, this halted my progress near the end of Disc One when I was so massively underleveled that it was proving impossible to progress.

I know everyone in this picture by name.

Nearly ten years later I have yet to complete Final Fantasy VII. I'm fear that I will fall back into old habits and reach the end, delete my save, and start the journey over again. Maybe I feel like the game will lose its appeal, the magic that drew me into it in the first place, if I do finally take that step and finish it. Avoidance is something we're all guilty of, whether it be within games or in the real world. If I do ever catch the man in black, I guarantee you that Destructoid will be the first to know. Until that day I'll enjoy Final Fantasy for everything it's worth.   read

3:22 PM on 12.31.2008

My Life as a Gamer: How Games Made Me Who I Am

I'll warn you that this blog is epically long compared to what I usually write, and that it really isn't that well constructed. Prepare to be bored.

As far back as I can remember, I've had a controller in my hand. My father used to do that trick where he'd give me a controller that wasn't plugged in and make me think I was playing. We'd "play" NBA Jam together, and I would always win. Fast forward a few years to when I can process things in my brain and move my hands at the same time. The Super Nintendo was finally mine to enjoy. There was a problem though; the games I loved were fucking hard. At age five I was getting skull fucked* by my favorite video games, their challenge thrown at my face like so many piles of scalding hot man love.

The games in question? The first one that comes to mind Sunset Riders, a Contra clone set in the wild west with a different kind of extreme action. It featured chases on horseback, pseudo-firstperson shoot outs, and inventive fun bosses. I never actually beat it as a child, until I accidentally game across a debug menu that gave my shaky hands unlimited credits and plenty of bullets. I was finally able to see that sonofabitch game through to completion and wipe the smug smile off of the final boss, (who you have to kill twice by the way, only the second time he's a superhero.) I can honestly say it was one of the happiest moments of my life.

The second game that comes to mind is the original Star Fox. This is the one that totally defeated my little five year old mind. I only ever manged to get to the third level once. Once! I was absolutely abysmal at Star Fox. Looking back, I didn't realize how bad I was, because the only thing that really mattered to me was that I was having fun. I feel like this is something I've lost as my gaming "career" has progressed. It's not so much about the fun anymore, it's about how much the game can Wow! me.

The last game that really comes to my mind is Donkey Kong Country. Dear God, this game was crack to me. The only one I ever made significant progress in, and the game that sparked my love for action platformers. It's a game that gave me wondrous dreams of riding on the back of a gorilla through a strange South American jungle, searching for treasure, and being free from the tyranny of my, *ahem*, drunk parents. These games together helped to spark my love for video games, and instill in me patience, persistence, and a conviction to finish what I started.

Let's go forward a little bit farther now, to my sixth Christmas. Santa had heard my wishes and received my letters, and I woke up to find a Playstation under my tree. I swear to you that I was cuter than the N64 kid by a million miles. This system changed my life. showed me a whole new world of graphics, and introduced me to games with substance. Let's dive in, shall we?

One of the first games I played on my Playstation was Spyro the Dragon. At first I didn't understand how to control it, but it didn't frustrate me. I just enjoyed the fact that I could explore this new beautiful world. The worlds weren't the typical fire, ice, water, lightning montage I'd seen before. Instead there was the incredibly inventive "dream world" and the "magic realm". It helped to change what I expected out of the average video game, and made me into an elitist six year old prick. Hell, one of my fondest memories was watching my Dad discover rumble and drop the controller out of fear.

Maybe a year later with several platformers under my belt, I was in a Target with my mother. We were browsing the video game section, and we decided to ask the clerk if there was a good game we should try out. He reccomended Final Fantasy VII (The Greatest Hits Edition), and seeing that spiky haired mynx on the game cover with his giant ass sword was enough to make me beg her to buy it for me. I had no idea what I was in for, of course. This game was my very first RPG, and considering the fact that it was text heavy meant that it was hard for me to understand the story. I had to have my Mother come in and read it for me whenever she could, until I slowly started to comprehend the words on my own. In a way Final Fantasy VII taught me how to read, but more importantly than that, it gave me a gigantic world to explore full of characters that I cared about. I think this game is what really set my passion for video games on fire.

On my eighth Christmas all I got was an N64 (I'm an only child by the way), and I was privileged enough to play Banjo Kazooie. To me, it was the perfect evolution of Donkey Kong Country that I had loved as a child, and it had a more complex story. It was like a combination of Final Fantasy VII and Donkey Kong; or so it seemed at the time. This and Banjo Tooie are two of my favorite games of all time, and they ended up being the games I invested most of my childhood into. Nostalgia always wins.

Even farther in the future, and I have a PS2 and an Xbox. This time around I'm absorbed in the online component of Halo 2. Some might even say obsessed. The first couple years of middle school were hard on me, and I spent my time with my imaginary and real friends playing Halo 2, trying to get away from the pre-teen bullshit. For the most part, I had a good stable of online buddies to fuck around with in the Halo-Verse. Amazingly enough I found normal people to play with, and by spending online time with them and interacting with them, I learned more social skills than I would have if I'd been hanging around with the drunk fucks at my middle school.

Video Games have shaped me as a person. I've learned patience, persistence, reading comprehension, and some basic social skills all thanks to the games I played growing up. We're all here because we love them, some of us more than others. They understand us better than our families ever did, in ways that only we could understand. They share epically written tales of despair and hope or lighthearted adventures with mustached plumbers. They let us hang out and talk to Santa Claus, go sledding with Jesus while fighting off robots with a make-shift bazooka, save the world from maniacal villains, and live out our repressed fantasies. They inspire us to check websites like DToid daily for any sort of game related news, make fantastic games like BonerQuest, and feel a strong enough connection with our fellow gamers that we can get together without knowing one another and have the time of our lives. I've never played a game through to completion without taking something from it, whether it be a new outlook on the world, an undying love for cutscenes, or an unhealthy fascination with old men.

I know that most of you have memories like the ones I've shared here today, and I'd encourage you to share them in the comments. I'm proud to be a gamer, and I wouldn't trade my hobby for anything. For the record I've always been an only child, and I've always shared my Christmas gifts with my father. We've never been ridiculously loaded.

*As I've said a thousand times, I curse because it makes me feel manly   read

7:44 PM on 12.25.2008

A friend of mine did this half-decent pencil sketch of Ash. He isn't creepy at all.

Merry Christmas motherfuckers.   read

8:44 PM on 12.18.2008

Hey Destructoid's C-Blogs: I'm Krow

This is actually my third account on this loverly site, my two previous ones failing simply because they never had proper introduction posts. I suppose I should start by saying I love video games, which should be fairly obvious to you considering that I took the time to lurk and post on this site for six months now. I only recently turned sixteen, and I live in Colorado. It's alright, I'm not afraid of butt-pirates*.

The first video game console I ever owned was a Super Nintendo. Man, those were the days. I still remember when I was six years old, and my parents bought me a Playstation for Christmas. That would turn out to be one of the happiest and one of the saddest days of my life, seeing as how my mother decided it would be a great idea to give our SNES to the neighbors, as they didn't have a game console. It took a long time for my rage to subside. By the way, did anyone ever play Jurassic Park for the SNES? That game was fucking* sweet.

I've got to say, I like this place so far. The community seems intelligent from the outside, there's plenty of retro gamers, and not everyone gives off the impression that if I met them in real life they'd smell like a three week old ham sandwich. All in all, I'm happy to be here and I hope we can be friends. Hah, internet friends, I mean. I don't want to have to send any of you to jail for statutory rape.

*You people.

*I curse because it makes me feel like a man. I'm a man, right?   read

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