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11:52 PM on 11.03.2013

But wait, there's more!

I spoil things a lot for myself. I use guides for games, I look up summaries on Wikipedia, I am online while I am in game. Itís rare that Iím surprised in a game, since I have usually read what happens next. Playing without a guide is more stressful, in my experience, but I think there are a few instances where it was just so much more rewarding. The specific instance Iím thinking about right now was in†Cave Story.

Cave Story!

††††††††††† Cave Story†was released in 2004, and itís 2013 now. It was originally a freeware PC game and has since been ported to Linux, AROS, MorphOS, AmigaOS 4, Mac OS X, PSP, Xbox, Dreamcast, GP2X, GP2X Wiz, and the TI graphic calculator. For official ports, thereís a port on DSiware, an enhanced port was released for Wiiware, and it was enhanced and released as†Cave Story+†on Steam.†Cave Story†was also remade as†Cave Story 3D†for the 3DS. The point Iím trying to make is that you've probably played†Cave Story†before.
††††††††††† But, for those of you who havenít played†Cave Story, Iíll give you a short explanation.†Cave Story†a freeware platformer (often incorrectly called a Metroidvania) made by Daisuke Amaya (alias ďPixelĒ). He made it all by himself over the course of five years, which is impressive since everything is fantastic. The sprites, the writing, the music, the gameplay; everything is fantastic. Anyway,†Cave Story†is a story about a robot in a cave. You wake up with amnesia and start wandering around. As the game goes on, you find out that you are on a floating island, which is populated by a race of bunny/cat people, the Mimiga. On the island is a special red flower; when the Mimiga eat them, they turn into a nigh-unstoppable monster. Thereís also a ďDemon CrownĒ hidden on the island, a crown that gives its wearer incredible magical power. Shortly before the game starts, there was a human expedition to the island. Unfortunately, the doctor of their group (since itís good to have a doctor if youíre going to a mysterious island) betrayed the group, took the crown, and now has plans on world domination.

There's really so much more to it, though

††††††††††† I didn't know much about†Cave Story†when I played it first, since I hadn't spoiled it. I had heard it was great, and that it was sad. Eventually you commandeer a dragon with Kazuma, and escape from the island. This isn't just a cop-out ending; itís set up that youíre looking for a dragon in order to escape the island. Eventually you find one, melancholy music plays, and the credits roll. This seemed like the ending to me. It was a sad ending; the music was sad, and the Doctor keeps the demon crown and will eventually wage war on the earth. If you didn't know what to expect, this was the clear ending. Still, even though I knew it had ended, I decided to do a funny (as in out-of-the-ordinary) thing; I kept playing. I loved this game so much, I didn't want it to end. I donít know what I was expecting really; I was just messing around a little in a game I enjoyed. I tried telling Kazuma that I wasn't ready to go, and then I went through the door next to him. There was a new area, complete with mysterious, melancholy music. It was clear this was just an Easter egg; after all, the game was over. Maybe Pixel just let you explore another small screen or something. I couldn't go to the right (the direction levels normally progress). I was going to quit the game, but then I decided one more crazy idea; I tried going up.
††††††††††† I fired up my booster 0.8, started shooting my machine gun that let me hover, and something amazing happened; the game kept going.†

Oh right, you can hover with the machine gun

This was honestly one of the most magical moments in my gaming career. I went up, and the screen scrolled with me. This was one of the most exciting parts of the game for me. I kind of knew what to expect for a lot of the game; Iím not saying it was predictable, but the characters tell you to go here and do this. At this point, I had no idea what to expect. All I knew what that I was going up. I had discovered a secret area, and I wanted to know what was at the end. I thought maybe it would just be a small alcove or something, but something amazing happened: the game kept going. The area went on and on, and I began to wonder if it was really a secret area at all. Turns out, I hadn't actually beaten the game. There were still a few more zones left, and several final bosses. I had fallen for Pixelís tricks; I thought his bad ending was the real ending. However, since I enjoyed†Cave Story†so much, it didn't matter. Even though I had fallen for his false ending, I kept going.
††††††††††† There are other aspects of†Cave Story†that are better off not spoiled. If you play without a guide, you will get the bad ending. Not the one where you escape the island; this is something I donít want to spoil. Suffice to say, you will get the bad ending your first time around, but itíll be worth it, since the bad ending is still great, and the game is short enough to play again with a guide. I've been trying to stop spoiling things for myself if I plan on playing them eventually.

What about you? Have there ever been instances where you thought a game was done, and you discovered a huge amount of content you hadn't touched?   read

3:53 AM on 10.14.2013

An Explanation of Cookie Clicker

Itís been three weeks since I started playing. When Iím not playing, I have it idling in the background. I canít remember the last time I was this obsessed with a game. Iím talking, of course, about†Cookie Clicker.

Gaze upon the face of madness and despair!
† † † † † †Thereís an SMBC video from a few years ago,†MMO.†The characters get obsessed with the latest MMO, where you click a button and numbers go up. Itís an MMO ďstripped of all the bells and whistles.Ē It's the most addictive game ever made; once you start playing it, it's impossible to stop, and you play until you die of exhaustion at your computer. Itís a funny video; we all watch it and know that will never happen. However, this is the most accurate summary of†Cookie Clicker†Iíve ever seen.

† † † † † †ďBut what is†Cookie Clicker?Ē you may be asking.†Cookie Clicker†is a game where you watch numbers go up. You start off with zero cookies. Manually clicking gets you some cookies; then you can use those cookies you got to buy upgrades which generate cookies automatically. With those cookies, you can buy more upgrades (and more powerful upgrades), and you will eventually unlock achievements. If you donít play†Cookie Clicker, you may be wondering what the fuss is about. That hardly sounds addicting at all; in fact, it sounds really boring and easy to leave. The appeal is kind of hard to explain.
† † † † † †Logically, I know†Cookie Clicker†is boring. I donít even like playing it. However, itís insanely addictive. I keep checking back on it to see if I have enough cookies for the next upgrade. ďJust oneÖ moreÖ turnÖĒ is how people describe Civilization; ďjust oneÖ moreÖ upgradeÖĒ is an accurate summary of†Cookie Clicker.
Cookie Clicker†also has a lot in common with RPGs (specifically JRPGs).

† † † † ††I know, it doesnít look like one at all, but hear me out. In most RPGs, your character starts off dealing low amounts of damage against rats. You start leveling up, and eventually you deal high amounts of damage against dragons. This gives the player a false sense of accomplishment; your character used to have a lot of low numbers for health, attack, defense, etc. Now you have high numbers; those are much more impressive. Despite the fact that their accomplishments take no skill, and only give the appearance of accomplishments, the player feels rewarded. In†Cookie Clicker, you start off with low numbers, then eventually get high numbers. The player feels rewarded, even though the high numbers really donít mean anything.

Look how impressive these numbers are!
† † † † † †They really donít mean anything, either. This is another point where†Cookie Clicker†is similar to RPGs. In†Generic RPG, you start off dealing 10 damage per hit to enemies with 100 hit points. You move on to dealing 100 damage per hit to enemies with 1,000 hit points, then at endgame youíre dealing 1,000 damage per hit to enemies with 10,000 hit points. The larger numbers really donít mean anything; the game mechanics are slightly more complicated than my simplistic explanation, but thatís essentially how they work on a base level. High numbers at the end are pretty much the same as low numbers at the beginning; however, the higher numbers make the players feel like they have accomplished something. The high numbers in†Cookie Clickerís late game are the same as the low numbers in†Cookie Clickerís early game. Right now Iím saving up for my 74[sup]th[/sup]†Antimatter Condenser, which costs roughly 1 trillion cookies. A little while ago, I was saving up for a Time Machine which cost roughly 1 billion cookies. The cost is different, but the amount of time waited was pretty much the same.
† † † † † †Why, then, do I keep playing? Why do I keep playing†Cookie Clicker†when I know how simplistic the design is? Just because I recognize the hooks doesnít mean Iím not affected by them. I hate†Cookie Clicker, and I need to beat it, because otherwise†that meansCookie Clicker†won!†Itís also theoretically low maintenance; you can have it running in another tab and just go about your merry way. Of course, I (and most everyone else who plays) checks back on it every thirty seconds or so, but thatís our fault; the game doesnít punish you for idling. It just rewards you much more for interaction.
† † † † † †That's another thing†Cookie Clicker†does well; it rewards you for interaction. Gold cookies will come up on your screen periodically. Clicking these gets you a bonus of either a lot of cookies, a temporary production multiplier, or a more drastic click multiplier (where you get many more cookies for clicking). These are the most effective ways to get cookies, and one of the more devious aspects of†Cookie Clicker. Sure, you can leave it running in the background, but then you won't get any golden cookies.†Cookie Clicker†is far too benign to punish you for looking away; however, the incentives for keeping it open are far too great to ignore. I have two monitors, which is useful for†Cookie Clicker, since it means I can have the game open at all times.
† † † † † †I honestly think Cookie Clicker is a work of art. If games are art (haha it's that discussion again), Cookie Clicker is my nomination for masterpiece. No other game is this pointless, this obviously pointless, and this addicting. There are many addicting pointless games, yes, but Cookie Clicker is so obviously pointless and you don't even care. So go on. Try it. Maybe just a few clicks. You won't get addicted... right?
Just a few clicks...   read

12:20 AM on 10.04.2013

Bad Final Boss Fights

Imagine youíre at a fine restaurant. Your food is delicious, the service is impeccable, and your dining companions provide great conversation. Everything is perfect, and then when the waiter gives you the bill, he spits in your face. Would that ruin the experience for you? Itís a small thing, really; it had no effect on the rest of your meal, which you greatly enjoyed. Besides, itís not the destination that matters, itís the journey. However, an unpleasant occurrence at the end of an event can ruin that event entirely. This is what itís like when a good game has a bad final boss; a bad conclusion ruins the entire game. I guess this has spoilers for Scurge: Hive and Arc the Lad: Twilight of Spirits, since I'm talking about their final bosses.
††††††††††† I recently played through Scurge: Hive.

Scurge: Hive!

I greatly enjoyed most of the game. For those who havenít played it, Scurge: Hive is an isometric Metroid: Fusion ripoff. Bounty hunter Jenosa Arma (yes, really) is sent to a planet where scientists were experimenting on an organism known as ďthe Source.Ē She gets infected, which is shown in game as an infection meter. The meter gradually increases until it reaches 100%, upon which it deals continuous damage to Jenosa, although the meter is reset at every save point. Enemies have a rock-paper-scissors type of element going; theyíre biological, mechanical, or energy based. Hitting them with the correct element deals extra damage, and hitting them with the wrong element heals them (or deals normal damage). Bosses also have elements, but canít be healed, so they boil down to using the element that theyíre weak against. The boss fights are really fun, though. Theyíre huge cybernetic monstrosities with names from Norse mythology and multiple health bars. This is kind of a long explanation of Scurge: Hive, but itís necessary to explain how the game works in order to explain why the final boss was so bad.

An example! Note the health bar at the bottom
††††††††††† The final boss is separated into three parts. Technically the first fight is against the labís security system, not against the Source, but you fight the Source right afterwards with no break, so itís functionally the same as a boss fight with three parts. The first part is great. Itís some sort of sphere monster that separates into three other sphere monsters: one biological, one mechanical, and one energy. Each one retreats into a hole in the wall and you have to guess which copy is the real boss. When you shoot a copy it disappears and releases enemies that are resistant to what the real one is weak against. Itís difficult yet enjoyable, and involves a large amount of switching your weapon type, which is a main theme of Scurge: Hive. However, this boss only has one health bar, so the player knows itís just a warm-up.
††††††††††† The real final boss of Scurge: Hive starts off very promising. You engage in typical pre-boss banter with the Source, who has assimilated most of the scientists. The Source reveals that it has been using Jenosa to help it get free from its containment. It has made a clone of Jenosa, which it plans to send out into the galaxy after it kills the original. Of course, Jenosa thinks differently, and you fight off against your clone.
††††††††††† Unfortunately, just like the game it ripped offósorry, drew inspiration fromó the final boss of Scurge: Hive is awful. The clone is protected by some sort of capsule in the middle of the room. You have to shoot two fleshly organ things on the side. When theyíre destroyed, the capsule comes down and the clone is revealed. The clone shoots balls of energy at you, and you need to dodge them and shoot the clone while the capsule is down. The biggest problem is that it goes against every precedent set by previous bosses. Fighting Jenosaís clone could be fun, but she just sits in the middle of the room. She only has one health bar, and she isnít weak against any element. All your shots do the same amount of damage: miniscule. Itís just a bunch of frantic dodging punctuated by the quick burst of attack. Unlike the previous bosses, this one takes a long time, and playing conservatively is not an option. On one attempt, I failed because my infection meter reached 100%. Even though I could still dodge the Sourceís attacks, the damage over time killed me. Thatís another problem with Scurge: Hive, and difficult boss fights in general: unskippable cutscenes. The confrontation between Jenosa and the Source is great the first time you see it. Itís not as great the tenth time.
††††††††††† The third part also sounds cool, but ends up feeling tacked on. Since Jenosa is infected by the Source, it tries to possess her and use her as its new host. The final boss fight takes place inside of Jenosaís mind. The background is solid white, and the Source is a blue jellyfish thing. The blue jellyfish drains your health but can't kill you, and it makes clones of you that can deal raw damage and actually can kill you. It's rather challenging, and you just finished a challenging final boss, and you start all over when you die.

Pictured: A blue jellyfish and Jenosa clones
††††††††††† Another enjoyable game ruined by its final boss is Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits. Itís a fairly generic (yet enjoyable) PS2 SRPG. It uses circles instead of a grid system, which is kind of cool, and the main characters (Kharg the human and Darc the deimos) start off not knowing each other, but with opposing goals (Kharg wants to destroy the deimos, Darc wants to destroy the humans). Their chapters alternate, and you gather up a group of party members, each who has been affected by the other party. Kharg's party has suffered due to members of Darc's party and vice-versa. It's an interesting system, because it sets itself up well. The player can see what's going on, and you know there will be explosive results when they finally meet. Of course, in the end they join forces against the real enemy. It has pretty good music and voice acting. It's nothing special, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
††††††††††† The first time I played it, my party was continuously annihilated by the final boss. I figured this was because I was underlevelled, or overused some characters to the detriment of the rest of my party. The second time I played it, I made sure to not overuse anyone, and I made sure my party members were all higher levels than my previous attempt. I was still destroyed. A trip to Gamefaqs revealed that tactics and levels didnít mean much. The only way to beat the bossís final form is by moving all your party members to either side of the screen (where his strongest attack canít hit), and to whittle away at his health with your long-range attacks.
††††††††††† Granted, an SRPG where you can grind generally doesnít have much strategy. After all, you can always just level grind until your characters demolish their foes However, there is always a semblance of strategy there. You make your own battle plan, choosing your characters, movement, and attacks. A final boss where there is only one viable battle plan abandons any pretense of strategy. Whatís more, itís really boring. Final boss fights, especially in RPGs and their variants, should be an epic confrontation. Youíre going all-out, using your ultimate attacks, weathering their blows, franticly healing, hoping your can kill the boss before he manages to finish off your party. I wasnít doing that; I was hiding on the sides of the room. I didnít feel like I was conquering my enemy; I felt like I was exploiting game mechanics. It was a hollow victory; I didnít feel like I deserved to win.
††††††††††† A bad final boss really does ruin an otherwise good game. A bad ending ruins your memories of anything good preceding it. I have no desire to replay these games either. I know that even though Iíll enjoy the game, the ending wonít be worth it.

I probably should write about Mass Effect 3, but I havenít played it.   read

7:16 AM on 09.13.2013

Thoughts on Okami

So Iíve been working my way through my backlog, and lamenting how long itís been since my most recent post, when I was struck by a burst of inspiration. I realized I could blog about various games as I went through them, starting with Okami (Wii version). Be forewarned, there are spoilers here.

††††††††††† Okami is one of those games that everyone has heard of, and that everyone knows is a good game, but no one has actually played. Itís a real shame, too, because it really is amazing. Okami can be accurately described as ďZelda in mythical JapanĒ but itís really so much more than that. Granted, Okami does play like a Zelda game, and it draws several obvious comparisons, but Okami isnít simply Zelda with a new coat of paint. It not only matches Zelda titles, but even surpasses them in several areas.
††††††††††† You play as Amaterasu, a wolf who is also the Sun Goddess. Prior to the events of Okami, Kamiki Village was terrorized by the demonic serpent Orochi. Each year, Orochi would demand the Kamiki Village feed him a maiden of his choosing. On the night of his hundredth sacrifice, the hero Nagi defeated Orochi and sealed Orochiís remains with his sword. 100 years have since passed, and someone has removed Nagiís sword, freeing Orochi, and starting the events of Okami.

††††††††††† The main characters in Okami are Amaterasu, who the player controls, and Issun, her sidekick. This draws more comparisons to Zelda. Amaterasu is the silent protagonist, and Issun is the framing device who rides her around. However, itís better done than Navi, Tatíl, Tetraís pendent, Ezlo, Midna, and any others Iím forgetting. Amaterasu is actually an effective silent protagonist. Unlike Link, it makes sense for Amaterasu to not talk. She is, after all, a wolf. She is a magical, intelligent wolf, capable of understanding human speech, and she can convey her reaction by nodding or shaking her head or falling asleep mid-conversation, but she is still physically incapable of speech. Thatís what Issun is for.
††††††††††† Issun is also better than any Zelda framing device, because he is a real character. Ezlo and Midna had some input in the storyline, but Navi was just there. Issun is a full-fleshed character. He has a background, hopes, dreams, and hilarious dialogue. Since Amaterasu canít talk, Issun does all the interactions. You donít really feel that youíre controlling a bland, silent protagonist, because Issun talks back. Like the sidekick characters in Zelda, he rides around on your character, and tells you your objectives. You donít feel like you control just Amaterasu; you feel like you control Amaterasu and Issun. Like Zelda sidekicks, he tells you where to go next. Unlike Zelda sidekicks, he engages in conversation, has an actual character, and is awesome.
††††††††††† God, Navi sucks so much.
††††††††††† The most obvious thing about Okami is that itís simply oozing with style. Itís a beautiful game, as you can plainly see.

The watercolor inspired art style is a marvel to behold; not even Wind Waker looked this stylish. It adds a different, otherworldly feel to the environment. The world itself is beautiful, and the people and monsters all feel unique. When making Wind Waker, Miyamoto wanted to make the player feel like they were playing a cartoon. With Okami, the player feels like theyíre playing a painting.
† † † † † † Iíve always enjoyed boss fights, and Okami does not fail to deliver on this front. The bosses in Okami are great. Most of them are quite different from each other, although there are a few rehashes. Orochi is incredibly fun; heís a giant snake dragon with eight heads with a garden and bell on his back. Each head has a different weakness, and you fight him by attacking his heads, then when theyíre down, jumping on his back and attacking his bell. The final boss is kind of strange, a little disappointing, but still pretty fun.

Pictured: Orochi

††††††††††† Of course, I would be remiss in writing about Okami without mentioning the Celestial Brush. You cast spells in Okami by painting them. You hold down B to bring up the painting screen, which puts a sepia tone over everything, then you hold down A to paint. Different shapes cast different spells. A straight line is a quick slash, which will be your most commonly used spell, as it cuts through objects, damages enemies, and opens chests. Other spells include drawing a circle on water to make a lily pad, or a swirl to create a gust of wind. This is probably my favorite magic system in any game; the player isnít just selecting spells from a menu, theyíre actually casting them. It also fits the theme of Okami wonderfully; everything looks like a painting, and the player themselves paints to use magic.
††††††††††† The Wiimote generally works as a paintbrush, although it can be finicky at times; there were several times when I failed to cast a spell because my painting wasnít precise enough. I hear the PS2 version, where you use an analog stick to control the brush, is more forgiving. The Wiimote causes a few other problems by nature of being a Wiimote; they just arenít very precise. Attacking is done by swinging the Wiimote, which is normally tolerable. However, there are some times when you need to attack at just the right time; one of the weapon types is based on combos and timing, and waggling just doesnít feel right.
††††††††††† I highly recommend Okami. Itís a joy to play, and thatís not a term I use frequently. You know how everyone always talks about how great Okami is? It turns out thereís a reason for that. 10/10.   read

1:52 PM on 12.23.2010

Happy Holidays: Pata-pata-pata-pon!

Is this a thing? I havenít seen any monthly-musings this month, but there was a prompt. Itís right here.


As gamers, we slowly grow more jaded as we grow more experienced. Games just arenít as enjoyable anymore, and many people (mistakenly) blame this on lack of creativity in the industry. This is not the case; we just notice problems that we have overlooked before. As one grows more familiar with video games as a medium, one becomes less prone to surprise and wonder. Very rarely does a game ever inspire that rarest of feelings, joy, and when it does, itís a magical experience.

Kittens also work.

One game that always has me smiling is Patapon 2. Specifically 2, because I donít have 1, and have only played the demo, although I really should buy it sometime.
I first discovered Patapon 2 in an airport, waiting for my taxi. I was downloading demos onto my PSP, and I saw the demo for Patapon 2. I decided to download it, because I vaguely recalled hearing good things about Patapon 1, something about a ďrhythm-based-RTS with no pausingĒ. After it finally downloaded, I started it up, not knowing what to expect. I was already grinning by the gameís title screen. A bunch of Patapons are all together, jumping and dancing and waving at the player, cheerful music in the background. An opening cutscene played, setting the scene, and then control finally shifted to me, the player. Something very peculiar happened then; instead of telling me to move my Patapons with the D-pad, the game showed me that my face buttons were drums, and that I needed to play various beats in order to control my army. From there led one of my most memorable experiences in gaming.
Patapon 2 is one of the sunniest, happiest games Iíve ever played. As I mentioned earlier, even the title screen had me grinning. Your Patapons are all jumping around, just waiting for you to hurry up and start playing, with catchy, upbeat music playing. When you start playing, you see that bright colors carry over to the main game as well. Backgrounds are mostly layers of color with vague details. Itís a minimalist approach, but it works.

Come on, just look at them!

The presentation is good, but part of what makes it such a happy game is by how it plays. You control your Patapons by drumming! Each button is a different drum; starting from triangle and going clockwise, theyíre chaka, pon, don, and pata. Different beats give different commands, such as advance, attack, defend, and so on. Itís fun because you end up making music as you play the game. If youíre on the beat enough times in a row, your Patapons go into fever mode, dealing more damage and getting new attacks. However, describing the gameplay doesnít really do it justice. Your Patapons chant your beat after you play it; in hero mode, they sing a song in the background. You actually feel like youíre making music, and not just hitting buttons in time, as opposed to some other rhythm games. Just... look at a video, for example.

Like this one

Patapon 2 can be grind heavy at times, but even that is whimsical. Throughout levels, you may unlock certain Patapons that go back to your base. Back at the base, these new Patapons let you play rhythm-based minigames in order to win resources. These include touching a lonely mountainís toes, helping a shy bell dance, or (my personal favorite), helping a dancing tree scratch his head.
Patapon 2 is one of my favorite games, because itís just so cheerful. Although it gets fairly dark near the end, your Patapons never stop singing and dancing, and there always seems to be hope. Patapon 2 doesnít try to make you think about morality, or the nature of good and evil; it simply wants to make you smile. And it certainly succeeds.   read

10:06 AM on 05.25.2010

Unboxing my Omnomnom pen holder

Hey everyone, it's your friendly neighborhood Lazerpig here. As you may or may not know (probably may not), I won a plush Sir Omnomom at the Monster Hunter Tri party. Well, was awarded. They said the winner, and then I said they mispronounced Lazerpig in the chat, and Rey liked my comment so he gave me an Omnomnom.

Right, enough backstory. Let's do this thing.

Also, I couldn't find a camera, so this are taken with my computer's camera.

Here's the package itself. Well, not the actual package, because no one cares about that, but here's the return address.

Looks promising

Here's the stuff I got.

Let's look at the stickers first.

There were three of them.

Let's get a closer look, shall we?

Now, onto the box.

Ooh, what could it be?

And here's the top.

Who is that good looking guy?

Alright, let's open it up now. Here's what's inside.

Still in its stasis field

And here it is without the plastic around it.

Now, only the meat of the package: the pen holder. Here it is in its stasis field.

And here it is, in all its pen holding glory.

Aww... how could anyone kill these?

Wait, why is it called a pen holder?

Oh, that's why.

Well, that's it for now, folks. This has been Lazerpig, unboxing some stuff.

Thoughts? Feedback?   read

8:44 PM on 04.25.2010

How I spent the Monster Hunter Tri party

So, I had a lot of fun at the sleepover, and I wasnít even there. I think I can say that my existence was validated, but Iím also fond of hyperbole.

First awesome thing that happened was when they were setting up the cameras so we could see the room. Rey set up the first camera, and asked the chat room what the shot should be called. I said it should be called the Lazerpig shot. He liked that idea. The first camera shot was called Lazerpig, and that made my night. And it had only just begun.

Later, they asked if there were any questions. I donít remember the subject, probably Monster Hunter Tri, but they didnít specify anything, so I took the opportunity; I asked who would win in a fight, Batman or Captain America. Rey read my question out loud, laughed, and they proceeded to discuss it for a bit, as did the chat room. It was generally agreed that Batman would win.

It doesn't matter what it is. Batman always wins

Also, how cool is Reyís hair? I wish I had hair like that.

Pictured: Rey's hair

On a side note, I first asked that question in my sophomore year of high school, and it was actually less on topic then it was last night. My chemistry teacher asked if there were any questions. Obviously, she meant about the upcoming test, but she didnít specify, so I decided to take the opportunity. She said she didnít know, and asked what I thought. I then explained how they were on about equal footing, but Batman would still win. The class was amused. Ah, good times, good times.

Later on, they said they were getting pizza, and asked what kind they should get. Many comments later, I said they should older pizza with smaller, mini pizzas as toppings. Captainpuppy remarked that that was amazing. Also, google confirms that these exist. I thought I was just being clever.

Now, if only those mini pizzas were topped with even smaller pizzas.

Then I recognized Alpha Deus. I doubt he knows who I am, but it was still cool seeing an account I recognized.

Then they were fighting some killer duck thing, and they asked for advice. I said to aim for the horn, and my comment was read. I was referring to that one meme, ďaim for the horn!Ē which came from an episode when Ashís pikachu beats a rhydon (which is immune to electrical attacks) by aiming at its horn.

For their third contest, I lost again (stupid laws of probability). When they announced the winner, I remarked that they mispronounced Lazerpig again. Rey found that funny, and said that I won an omnomnom pen-holder for my comment. Sure enough, I checked my email, and I had an email from Hamza saying that I won a Sir Om Nom Nom, and asking for my address. I got an e-mail from one the Destructoid staff!

I went to bed at around 4:00 am, Florida time. I wanted to stay up for all of it, but I realized that that was probably a bad idea, and my roommate was probably questioning my sanity already.

So, I had a great time. No real point Iím trying to make with this, just sharing with everyone, and, as we all know, sharing is caring. How about you guys? Were you there, in person or chatroom? Did you have a great time too?

Edit: Aw, looks like no one is going to comment. Oh well. I got two faps, which is more than any of my other posts, and one of them was by Hamza, which is awesome.


4:48 PM on 04.12.2010

Hello there, D-Toid

Oh, hello there D-Toid. It's me again, your good buddy Lazerpig, here to write my introductory blog post thing. This is actually my third post, after two explaining why I don't like Metroid games. I'm thinking about making that into a series; explaining why I don't like popular games in a well written, non-inflammatory fashion.

As it says in my bio, my first video game memory was playing Super Mario Brothers with some other kids who had my same baby sitter. It was fun. I ate Mexican food for the first time. I remember being pretty good, but I'm not sure how accurate this memory is, because I was 3, and I also remember thinking I was the red ghost in Pac-Man around the same age.

Right now I'm going to college in Boca Raton, Florida. Lot of botox, fake tans, and wankstas down here. I'm transferring to Champlain College in Vermont in the fall. A lot of people there go on to work in the video game industry, which is something I'd like to do. I'm looking forward to it.

Last time I measured, I was six feet, ten inches tall. I'll have to measure again one of these days, I'd really like to be an even seven feet.

I've been lurking on Destructoid a long time, ever since it was featured on Attack of the Show. Destructoid convinced me to buy Zack and Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure, which is quite possibly the best game ever made. Thanks D-Toid!

I named one of my cats Tango. After the cat in Megaman 5. That's probably one of the nerdiest things I've done.

So awesome...

Gaming stuff

As of right now, I've beaten somewhere around 151 games. Oddly enough, I regret nothing.

Some of my favorite games are

Fallout 1 and 2
Patapon 2
Zack and Wiki
Super Mario Galaxy
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages
Final Fantasy VI, Woolsey edition
Ratchet and Clank 2: Going Commando
Earthbound (I like it better than Mother 3, but that's probably just due to nostalgia)
The Boktai series
Both Golden Suns

The best day of my life was easily my tenth birthday, when I got my first game boy color. I had been begging my parents for a game boy for years, and I had actually given up; I didn't even bother asking this year. Imagine my surprise when I opened the box, and I got a lime green gameboy color, and Pokemon yellow edition. I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy just typing this... As it also says in my bio, the --> and A buttons have been heavily worn down from Super Mario Brothers Deluxe, and they barely register anymore, but I consider this a badge of honor.

You owe me a new game boy!

I think the GBA was the best system so far. Then maybe the DS, because it can play GBA games.

Not gaming (aka not important) stuff!
I like to draw, but I'm not very good. I don't let that stop me, though. I enjoy anime, dubbed of course. Afro Samurai is awesome, and so is Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. I liked Battle Tendency best. I actually have one of the Jojo DVDs, which I'm fairly proud of.

Destructoid, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Also, here's a drawing I did in public speaking. It's an octopus eating a muffin-chip muffin.

Do all posts need to have tags? I don't know what tag to put this under.


Pic unrelated.   read

7:30 PM on 03.18.2010

Why I don't like Metroid Fusion or Prime.

Iíll start with Fusion, because this one was sort of hit-or-miss for most Metroid fans. It wasnít the linearity that bothered me; I never did any of that sequence-breaking that makes the Metroid games so popular. Hell, I kind of liked it. The premise was good, Metroid meets Starcraft (although the idea of an alien species turning things into monsters is older, I always associate it with the Zerg). The story was interesting, and the levels were pretty fun; it's like they got a list of all the things I didn't like about other Metroids, and fixed... some of them.

No, my two main problems were this bitch

Stupid unbalanced Copy Samus

and this dick.


The parts with SA-X Samus were really just unfair; itís like the developers just boosted SA-X Samusís damage ratio to ludicrous amounts and called it a day, instead of actually trying to make things a legitimate challenge. The part where sheís chasing after you, and you have to escape (I think itís before Yakuza, but itís been a while since Iíve played), for example. I get that itís supposed to convey how strong Copy Samus is, but it just gets tiring after she keeps killing you over and over again. The boss fight was also bad; she still does a lot of damage, and youíre reduced to scurrying around, trying not to lose an entire tank of your health from one of her shots. Samus is supposed to be the deadliest force in the galaxy, a one woman army. The boss fight should have been epic; Samus coming face to face with her mutated, evil counterpart. Law versus chaos; technology versus the organic. The ultimate showdown between Samus and the abomination of the SA-X parasite, with the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance. And yet, there I was, scuttling around like a cockroach.

And the Omega Metroid. That was yet another tease. Even after the sub-par boss fight against Copy Samus, you still think there's hope for a great final boss. I mean, just look at his sprite! It's so cool! Yet... look at this video.


The first thing you may notice is the setup. Samus is sprinting back to her ship, heavily wounded after her battle with her copy, when she is suddenly ambushed by an omega metroid, the second most powerful type of metroid there is. Defeat looks inevitable, yet Samus rushes in bravely to try to destroy this monstrosity, only to be knocked back with ease by one swing of the creature's claws. Suddenly, help appears, in the unexpected form of Copy Samus. In an homage to Super Metroid, it heavily wounds the omega metroid, yet is quickly dispatched. It gives the rest of its life energy to Samus, knowing that only she would be able to destroy the most powerful form of its hated enemy, the metroid.

The second thing you notice that he only has one attack. That's right, this towering biological monstrosity has one attack, and is quite possibly the easiest boss in the game. Metroid Fusion ends, not with a bang, but a whimper.

And then there's Yakuza; making bosses this annoying should be a capital offense. Heís got that one attack where he grabs you and smashes you repeatedly against the ground, and then the goes up about one Samus-height (note to self: make Samus-height an official measurement), and then comes down again and picks you up before you have a chance to recover and smashes you again. Thatís not that bad in and of itself; even if itís an unfair boss, itís still tolerable if you can immediately try again after he inevitably wipes the floor with you. But no, you had to go through a long, tedious bit of getting to him again, which took about five minutes. This doesnít sound so bad, but you have to make that trek every time you die. And I died a lot.

Now, onto Metroid Prime. Prime started out good, damn good. The ambience was great; it was really creepy, the music was good, and finding out the story by scanning everything was pretty cool. The bosses were also awesome. Like that giant flower thing that was mutated by phazon; you know the one. It was awesome.

Yeah, this guy.

Or the rock golem guy.

This dude.

He was fun too. But there were several problems, the first of which was the space pirates. They were actually really cool enemies, all insectoid and reptilian and whatnotÖ awesome. Really fit the whole creepy mood the game gave off. But, whenever the space pirates popped up, the game became downright painful to play. The lights shut off, and playing in total darkness was just annoying; whatís the point of making such a huge, expansive environment if no one is going to see it? You were supposed to use the infrared or x-ray visor, but that was just really awkward and ugly. Also, the music, which normally was rather enjoyable, suddenly became painful; itís like the game composer was playing a cruel joke on all us.

Another big problem was the controls. Hereís how I fought most bosses: Hit left on the d-pad to bring up the scanner visor, hold down R, move the crosshair towards the enemy, oh crap itís attacking, hold down L, release R, dodge, hold down R, release L, move the crosshair again, hold down L, now itís locked on, release R, dodge while itís scanning, read the entry, repeat, only for attacking this time. Itís been a while, maybe I got some of the buttons wrong, but thatís pretty much how it went. Not to mention the doors that only opened whenever you killed all the enemies. Enemies, I might add, which respawned. For example, the room with the big tree and all the poison around it, had three chozo ghosts in it. So, every time I got lost, which was a lot in an exploration based game, I had to go through that room. And I had to fight those ghosts again. And again. And again. And those ghosts were annoying as hell. I actually got the lava beam, but then it said that I had to go find the nine artifacts to open a door, and I just couldnít face that prospect. I'm aware that this means I miss out on some of the best bosses, Meta-Ridley and Metroid Prime, but... I dunno.

Oddly enough, writing this entry makes me want to play those games again. Maybe one day I'll finally finish Metroid Prime. Maybe, one day, I'll be able to enjoy these games.

Author's not: Sorry about posting this again, but I worked hard on this, and I wanted it to show up on the recent blogs.   read

9:14 PM on 03.16.2010

I don't like Metroid games.

So, Iím starting my blog with a shocker; I donít like Metroid games. This probably isnít surprising to many of you, but only because you read the title. So that doesnít really count. But, you know, thatís sort of understandable; no genre is liked by everyone. What is odd is that I actually like Metroidvanias, justÖ not the Metroid ones. Iíve played Metroid Prime and Metroid II, and Iíve beaten Fusion, Zero Mission, and Super Metroid, so I think Iíve played enough to get the general feel of the series. Iím still not entirely sure why I like Metroidvanias (Iím specifically referring to the post Symphony of the Night Castlevanias, but the genreís pretty good too), but not Metroids, but I have some ideas.

The bosses in both series are great, though. That won't be coming up.

For starters, there arenít many enemies. I know this is part of the Metroid formula; part of it is about how alone youíre supposed to feel, so there arenít many enemies. Another part is about how itís supposed to feel like youíre exploring an alien environment, so the enemies arenít actively attacking you; theyíre more like animals, fitting into their natural environment until you disturb them. The problem is, I donít enjoy that. If I wanted to feel alone, in an alien environment with only alien fauna who couldnít care less about my presence for company, I would go down to the basement and be in the general proximity of my cats.

Heh. Because cats are jerks.

Except for this one. He's awesome.

Anyway, killing enemies is fun. Perhaps Iím comparing apple to oranges, because Castlevania has a different formula; youíre supposed to be storming the enemy castle, killing everything in sight, sending Draculaís minions back to the deepest depths of hell, and Metroidís formula is different, as Iíve already stated. ButÖ well, I like Castlevaniaís formula.
So, onto the next problem. The exploration, the bread-and-butter of Metroid games, isnít very fun. In Castlevanias, the background changes, as do the enemies. You know when youíre in the catacombs, in the clock tower, in some other, third area; each place has a certain feel to it. ThatísÖ kind of there in Metroid, but itís not very strong. In my opinion, anyway. Castlevania has widely varying areas; youíre exploring an entire castle, whether youíre going through the deepest depths of its dungeon, or climbing to the tops of spires, or going through that goddamn clock tower. Well, no game is perfect. Each area also has its own enemies, too. With the exception of the omni-present bats, no enemy particularly fits its area, but thatís okay; theyíre all incredibly different, and sometimes the enemy choices are just as integral to an area as the level design itself. When you see medusa heads, you know youíre in the clock tower; when you see killer fish and sea monsters, you know youíre in theÖ waterÖarea. Okay, that comparison didnít work out so well, but I stand by my previous statement.
Actually, now that I think about it, the downed spaceship in Super Metroid was kind of cool. But not much else was. With the exception of the fallen spaceship, and a few isolated incidences (that one desert-ish area right before Mother Brain) nothing really stood out. Youíve got a blue background, a red background, that weird bubbly background, and some others I canít remember. Enemy variety can help this, but thatís not what Metroid is about.

This environment is greenish-blue, and I'm trying to do that thing where people have commentary on their pictures

Thereís another problem, though, that Iím not really sure how to explain. Exploring in Castlevania just seems moreÖ natural, somehow. Itís usually at least somewhat clear where youíre supposed to go, even if it can be murky at times. Metroid is less so. Thereís quite a lot of wandering around wondering what the hell youíre supposed to do, and less kicking ass and taking names. The teleporters in Castlevania also make things more enjoyable; the castle is huge, so it helps to have a faster way to traverse it. Even if youíre backtracking all over the place, itís faster than it could be. The backtracking in Metroid, which is quite frequent, takes a really long time. And, as Iíve mentioned, I get lost a lot in these games, so I end up backtracking over the entire map, which is quite an ordeal.
So, thatís why I donít like Metroid in general. These rules mostly just apply to Zero Mission and Super Metroid, but Super Metroid is considered the best Metroid, and one of the best games ever, so I figure itís a good comparison. I have a list of reasons why I donít like the others, but as Iím writing this in Microsoft Word, it bumped up the length to five and a half pages, and itís still not quite done, so I decided to cover that in later posts.
Questions, comments, advice? Also, whoo! First post!

And would you guys classify this as commentary or rant? I'm kind of new at this.   read

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