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4:41 PM on 04.30.2009

Those About To Die: Devil Hawk (Gun.Smoke NES)

Gun.Smoke Is one of my vary favorite games for the NES. Just thinking about it makes me want to slide it into my Nintendo at home and play with myself.


Anyway... Like all games of it's generation, Hours of Gameplay was achieved by you sucking at the game, dying and trying again. It wasn't too tough to get through the first level (as long as you could find the WANTED poster). Walk through town, shoot Bandit Bill (when he's standing), The second level wasn't all that much tougher. Rocks, cactus, bad guys, Cutter: FUN!

The Comanche Village... the third level. Home of Devil Hawk. Shit gets real serious real fast. You'd better be packing the Shotgun, the Machine Gun or the Magnum. In this level, most of the baddies take 3 standard bullets to take down. You're not even going to make it through with out them. You've got enough cash too, so go ahead and spend the money on the Horse.

Even then you might not make it to the end.

There he is. He jumps around, he throws fieballs (sometimes 3, sometimes a spread of 5) and the low-level baddies are unrelenting. Do you play it safe and shotgun him from the side? Do you still have your magnum? You can take him head on if you dare, but he likes nothing more than to jump in close and spray you with fireballs while you're distracted by gunshots, arrows and enemies. If you can endure, You take home $25,000, the 2nd biggest prize in the game. You'll be able to buy back all the guns you lost. But first, time to put down the controller and shoot up the WANTED poster with your fingers.

Aww! I hate that bullet pattern. You don't even get him good in the face!

You think you're done? Ninja, FatMan Joe, and finally the Wingates themselves await. Each level from here on is another testament to your skill at the game. But the first real test, the entrance exam to awesome will forever be Devil Hawk at the end of the Comanche Village.   read

3:06 PM on 07.27.2008

DtoidLA E3 NARP - The Past is Old! (lots of pics)

We had a party. It was over a WEEK ago. In real life this was very recent, but in internet time, a week ago is a time long gone away, the only remnants being a possible internet sensation or the rare and immortal MEME. ("Immortal" internet time < 1 year) MamaDonna and I are calling it the E3 NARP, but only because it was the last day of E3.

Ugh, typing. Here's some pics.

Yes there was a giant slide. The giant slide got quite a reaction.

Everyone was watching the sliders. It was the main attraction that night.


a ROBOT appeared! (I giggled like a little girl for like, 5 minutes.)

I couldn't contain my (ahem) excitement!

More sliding

and plenty of Rock Band

but eventually people got tired of/on the slide.

Fun times were had by all.


5:46 PM on 07.10.2008

"Thank you for calling Destructoid, this is Kyle. How can I help you?"

It's finally happened. I felt it coming and today was the day.

I leave work last. I have about an hour to myself, and for the most part I am done with what work I did have for the day. So I come to Destructoid a lot of the time. I get so in the mindset that when the phone rings, bringing my attention back to work, I have had to think and remind myself what company is paying me for my time.

Today I answered too quickly.

"Thank you for calling Destruct-"



The customer seemed unphased, but I could barely keep from laughing at myself.


3:47 PM on 07.01.2008

A Cast of Thousands: Balthier and Fran

There they are. Just look at them. He's a Sky Pirate. She's a Viera. (Vieras are part rabbit, part great ass.) What's not to like?

Okay, so maybe I should go into greater detail.

I like Final Fantasy XII. Maybe you don't, but we can still be friends. My sister calls it "The List Game". I admit, lists of spells, items, techniques, gambits, hunts... there's a lot of lists. I like the way the game plays, I like all the things you can do/places to explore/creatures to find.

But that's not what this is about. This is about the characters. Final Fantasy XII is wonderfully voice-acted. You and I both know that in games, in Final Fantasy's this is not always the case. Fortunately, the different characters are brought to life through the talents of the voice actors and the not-terrible dialogue in the game.

Fran is a Viera and as such has a life-span far greater than that of Humes (humans). It has been 50 years since she left her people, and she is shamed for having done that. She no longer hears the voice of The Wood, and she is pained by that lack every day. She has chosen to ally herself with a man who has chosen for himself a new name and a new profession: Balthier, the Sky Pirate. In FFXII "pirate" isn't so much the rape/pillage type (although there is some pillage) but is more... a man without a country sworn to the allegiance of no one. Balthier has his own ship, has left his old life, and can come and go as he pleases. Fran travels with him, further ostracizing herself from the Viera who think little of Humes.

The character of Fran fascinates me. (No, it's not just the aforementioned great ass.) She's like the old Chinese guy in kung fu movies. She's seen a lot, and has a great calm about her. She speaks seldom and she chooses her words carefully, masterfully. During the cutscenes in the game, more than Ashe's hard choices, Basch's loyalty, Vaan's brashness, what I really crane my neck to hear is Fran's wisdom. Balthier is pretty easy going most of the time, but when Fran speaks, he backs her, and solemnly encourages others to do the same. Fran's choice of Balthier as a friend speaks more for him I feel than his action or his veiled past ever could.

I wish I could go more into the specifics of the story, but this blog is about the rare find and precious jewel that this slice of video game storytelling is to me.

It's about something else too...

I'm married to MamaDonna and we have 2 kids (online names TBD). I have learned and grown so much during my near 5 years of marriage and Donna and I have been to the far extremes of life and back, together. I was raised Mormon and Donna converted. We met at church. We were married in the Mormon Church, even sealed in the Mormon Temple. I admit, I've never felt comfortable in my own skin growing up, and I always struggled to fit the mold I was trying to occupy. Through our early married struggles and the resultant until-4am-conversations that you have about life, yourself, and each other I found myself changing. Bit by bit and piece by piece we started making our own decisions about what was okay for us between us. Just us. Not subscribing to someone else's ideas but discussing and determining what we wanted, and what we thought was okay. Eventually we decided to stop going to church, and I have to say that I feel more like myself now than I ever have in my life.

What does this have to do with Balthier and Fran?

Isn't it obvious?

They each have left their previous life behind and they are themselves with each other. No show, no masks, only truth and acceptance. I haven't beat the game yet (I'm at Ragnarok), but Donna and I haven't finished life yet either. I don't know what lies in store for us, or them. But I found in this piece of fiction, this wonderful art, two characters whose lives I identify with, who I am fascinated by, and who I love.


2:55 PM on 06.13.2008

[GM]Dave on being an adult gamer

Maybe you don't know who [GM]Dave is. Maybe you read his blog starting from the beginning. Maybe you don't stop reading for hours.

Anyways, here was his entry today. I luld.

[u]The Adult Gamer[/u]

Alternate Title: "Are you buying this for your son?"

As I'm sure most of you know, it's not easy being an adult gamer.

If we can even find time in our hectic schedules to sit down and play a game, people still act like we're doing something weird.

I don't know when I crossed that line into adulthood, but I'm sure I never saw a sign about leaving all your video games behind.

You'd think there'd be a sign, wouldn't you?

And yet, every time I mention video games to one of my non-gamer friends, they get this weird look on their face.

I'm sure you know the look. That kind of confused brow furrow like you just started speaking another language.

I've never really understood that.

It's not like I'm breaking out my pokemon cards and asking them to trade or anything.

And what if I did?

If another adult looks at me and asks me about baseball, I don't look at them like they're retarded.

Well... no more than I would usually.

Apparently, there was a memo sent out about what hobbies are appropriate for "grown ups".

I didn't get it.

I can buy a full outfit of camouflage clothing, grab a gun, walk into the woods, get drunk, and shoot an animal in the face.


Try to buy a copy of Call of Duty 4, sit in a nice comfy chair, and play it.

Not normal.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love a good, drunken face shooting as much as the next guy. Throw in some hookers and you've got one hell of a Saturday night.

But how exactly does me sitting on a couch and enjoying a game become the weirder of these two hobbies?

I remember one day I was talking to a guy I know. One of those friends of a friend.

When I mentioned going home to play some FFXI, he got that look on his face.

Yes, that look.

Maybe face shooting isn't that weird of a hobby.

Then, and this is the strangest part, he started calling me Mario.

As in Super Mario.

I mean, what the hell is that about?


That doesn't even make sense.

That's like hearing someone's going to go play baseball and calling him Tiger Woods.

(note: Tiger Woods does not play baseball)

So, I asked him what he does for fun.

[GM]Dave>> So, what do you do for fun?

See? I told you.

Guy>> Oh, I'm in to rock climbing.



And he thinks I'm strange for playing some video games.

How the hell does anyone consider rock climbing to be a normal hobby?

Do you know cliffs exist?

That's God telling you to turn your stupid ass around and walk in the other direction.

If you see a sheer rock face and think "Dude, I'm totally climbing that", then there's a good chance you probably have some form of brain damage.

The good news is that you probably don't need that helmet anymore.

Save your money.

I get that gaming isn't everyone's thing.

I accept that.

But that just means those other people aren't right.

They need to accept that.

It's like a compromise. We'll both agree that one of us likes games and one of us is retarded.

And damn, I like me some games.   read

3:03 PM on 05.28.2008

The tattoo is a lie.

That's insane.

That's commitment.

I don't have the stones for something like this, but I'm GLaD someone does.

Wicked awesome.   read

1:17 PM on 05.15.2008

Right Wing Conservative Radio Talk Show Host takes a call about video games

No, not Rush Limbaugh. Dr Laura (she comes on after Rush).

So a 44 year old woman married 21 years calls to get some advice on how to save her marriage and to complain about her husband who spends all of his time playing his "Computer Games"

Dr Laura asks if the man has a job.

It turns out that he does have a 9-5 job, and he makes a comfotable living for the both of them. After he gets home from work, he either eats dinner that's ready or makes something for himself and them he goes down into the basement to play on his computer until he goes to sleep aroung 11pm.

I'm laughing at this point from the lingo these two ladies are using, and I figure the man plays WoW.

"What is it like when the two of you do talk and interact?" asks Dr Laura. After some "err.."s and some "umm..."s she admit she nags him quite a bit.

This is where I was nicely surprised. Dr Laura told the caller that the Video Games were a symptom, not the problem. That they were an escape, and in all honesty one of the better ones the man could have chosen. He's not out in bars with his buddies, he's not having an affair, he's home.

Dr Laura explained that the woman was causing her husband to feel the need to escape. She'd stopped being his girlfriend, stopped being his lover, and had become only his nagging wife. "Give him something better to do than play video games. Make him a better offer, " urged Dr Laura.

"I'm supposed to compete with his Video Game?" asked the caller, incredulous.

"YES!" Was Dr Laura's emphatic reply. And to not expect him to give them up completely either. It's somthing he enjoys, and he does his job as provider apparently well, and he deserves a hobby or a passtime that is only his.

"Be his girlfriend again. Be his lover again. Show him that that is still you."


I think my favorite part of the whole thing is that the idea or the focus wha NOT to find something to blame but instead to find something to do. Dr Laura wasn't going to give in to this woman and join her Pity Party. Instead she was going to give the caller some genuine help, direction, guidance.

[Note: all quotes are what I remember. I'm sure I paraphrased. I couldn't get a transcript. Also, I think this was almost 2 weeks ago.]   read

1:07 PM on 03.24.2008

Destructoid Easter Egg

I hope everyone had a nice Easter Holiday. We sure did.

Donna had got the baskets o' candy done and she'd started up with the egg-coloring when she asked if I was going to be doing any of it at all. I quickly got into trying to make some awesome new colors and quickly realised that everything that can be done has been done with the dip-the-egg-in-the-color style Easter Eggs.

So I thought she was crazy when she recommended I do a Destructoid Easter Egg. I'm not artistically talented. I'm just not. I'll have an idea, but I have trouble interacting with media as a true interface for my ideas. (I suck at drawing, or playdough or photoshop or whatever) ((I'm an okay pumpkin-carver though, but not as good as others))

But I saw some of the extras that came with the egg coloring. some shiny things... The Dtoid robot is shiny, I thinks to myself...

It didn't turn out half bad. Not the best thing ever, probably could be out-done by anyone who tried, but I was pretty proud of it myself.

[side note: What was Donna doing while I was busying myself coloring easter eggs? She was looking at porn.

We had a really great Easter Weekend you guys, and I hope you all did too. :) ]   read

3:58 PM on 03.04.2008

Brawl - I want it

So, with a release date of 3-9-08, I can pick this up Sunday morning? I wasn't going to pre-order it, but I want a copy that day.

Any Los Angeles locations for midnight pickup?


Update: This would have been a better forum topic than a blog. I should know better.

So I checked the Gamestop in my area (El Monte) and they ware having that Gamestop tournament thing. The winner from this store will face other stores, etc until a winner is declared and some loot os doled out ($10,000 + other prizes)   read

11:56 AM on 02.25.2008

PLUG - Our Britini Martini is in need of some votes is hosting a little competition to help find G4's next female host or something.

Britini Martini is a friend of mine, who really, I met through Destructoid.

Anyway, she shows Dtoid some love (right on her chest) on her video that is too long. (Click the video to play it)

She's #7 right now, and the top 10 from GotCast all get a shot at this thing, and I just want to make sure she doesn't get passed up in the last few days.

Register and vote, if you please. :D   read

11:58 AM on 01.02.2008

Boob flash hilarity... Ladies? Navigation to comic is on the left.

Once again, I find my funnybone quite tickled. Also, I feel this comic is both good and true.

Let all who comment bare witness to the awesome, hypnotizing, fun-to-look-at power of boobs.   read

2:55 PM on 12.27.2007

Happy Gamers Day! - a poem by Becky "Aktrez" Young

'Twas the day after Christmas... And all through the house...
All the gamers were playing with controller and mouse.
The new games were stacked by the TV with care
In hopes that more gamers soon would be there

The n00blings were gathered 'round the new PS3
Beside the blue glow of the poor unused Wii
And Becky's DS had all the pink it could take
With a new Princess Peach and Strawberry Shortcake

When out in the den there arose such a clatter
I put down Uncharted to see what was the matter.
Away to the den I ran just like Sonic
I tripped over a box that had come from Harmonix.

The TV was giving off a warm friendly glow
And I heard a crowd cheering for what? I don't know
When where should my wondering eyes come to land
But a a drum, guitar, mic; an entire Rockband

As I jammed to the beat of the great sounds of rock
I heard the Big Daddy from the game Bioshock
And then someone put in Heavenly Sword
The game that deserves an Academy Award

I turned and picked up the mic in my hand
I was anxious to be the lead singer of the band
They watched and they cheered as I beat every song!
I'd beaten the entire game before long!

I glanced at the systems in front of me
And wondered how lucky I could possibly be.
I ran up to my laptop to blog while they played
And to wish all my friends a Happy Gamers Day!

- Becky "Aktrez" Young (Used with permission)

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