WARNING: THIS PERSON HAS A TERRIBLE SENSE OF HUMOR, OFTEN TRYING TO BE FUNNY AND FAILING HARD, IS EASILY AMUSED, AND HAS A TENDANCY TO CLING TO OLD MEMES/JOKES. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
This is basically my game collection (minus N64, SNES, Xbox 1, and Game Boy games):
See more of my puny, meager collection (in image sizes that can be read) at: http://s22.photobucket.com/albums/b331/MPHtails/My%20Collection/
Well, if your lazy and don't want to read the whole sidebar, I'll save you some time and tell you that all you need to know about me is in this image:
That aside, lets do some lists, because I enjoy lists.
Honorable Mentions:Zombies ate my Neighbors , Super Mario World
12.Sonic 3 & Knuckles
6.River City Ransom
5.Tecmo Super Bowl (NES)
4.Jet Grind Radio
2.NiGHTS into Dreams
I'm a really slow player. I rarely blast through games, regardless of genre or my own skill of it. Final Fantasy VII, for example, took me 8 years, 4 new files, 2 memory cards, and two copies to beat, even with a strategy guide.
Also, I cant frigging beat Chrono Trigger because my PS2 wont read the damn disc, same with Popful mail. This pisses me off.
UPDATE 4/24/08: I HAS CT FOR SNES. COMMENCING OWNAGE NOW.
UPDATE 5/3/08: I R WINRAR. Now to do the same with Popful Mail
As far as favorite bands go, I like more or less any song that catches my ear, regardless of genre or even quality (something thats also with every type of entertainment, I tend to enjoy lesser things). So, lets list, but with less numbers this time:
Smash mouth I reguard as my favorite band currently, but thats quite a changing area.
Red Hot Chilli Peppers
and some others that I forgot.
As far as individual songs go, some of the ones that I favor due to memories or just general enjoyability are:
Fallen Horses- Smash Mouth
Waste- Smash Mouth
Then the Morning Comes- Smash Mouth
Eye of the Tiger- Survivor
16 bit vs PS3- Prinz Pi
Geto Highlites- Coolio
Flagpole Sitta- Harvey Danger
Last Dinosaur- the pillows
Little Busters- the pillows
Scar Tissue- Red Hot Chilli Peppers
And of course, the rock prayer:
IN the name of the [Bohemian] Rhapsody, the Freebird, and the Holy Diver, May we all ascend the Stairway to Heaven.
Of course, theres more, but i just feel like stopping there.
Movies, well, theres Rocky III, IV and Balboa , Spaceballs, Snakes on a plane, Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller, the View Askewniverse movies and the like, but my all time favorite is BASEketball. SO many underrated one liners.
Television, lets see. Red vs Blue, House, WWE Raw (yes, imma rasslin guy yee haw), Chappelle's Show, like over nine thousand 80's and 90's toons, Saved by the Bell, Fresh Prince, Psyche, Full House (i was raised on it, so it dosen't count), Simpsons, KING OF THE HILL, Shin Chan, FLCL, and such, but as far as favorites go it's gotta be Mystery Science Theater 3000. Dont let anyone tell you different, Red Zone Cuba is the best episode, even if it's not Final Sacrifice with ZAP ROWSDOWER.
My Systems, let me show you them.
-Dreamcast (ITS STILL THINKING)
I like more under the radar.cult games like Earthbound, Popful Mail, Mr. Bones, and such, but usually due to their rarity they are a little pricy and thus I haven't played a truckload of them. I used to be a huge Sonic nut (even going so far as to read./collect the Archie Sonic comics even far after i stopped enjoying them), but thats since waned considerably. Though forever loyal to Sega in my heart (and, to a lesser extent, Nintendo), I can't survive on Shmups alone, and therefore branched myself out to accept all makes and models of vidja games and vidja game accessorries.
Well, if I think of anyting more, I'll be sure to add it so noone will ever read it.
A song, the tune taken from Lynyrd Skynyrd's "The Ballad of Curtis Lowe"
Well I used to walk the aisles searching for the next big game
some simple flavor of the week that all was similar to play
but then one day i came upon the legendary man we know
as the finest player across the land, his name is Sanshiro
Segata was an Asian with hair as black as night
If Sega Saturn you did not Shiro then he would set you right
He could make grown men explode with just a flick of his wrist
So If you refused his advice you would no longer exist
Play me a game Segata, Sanshiro
From NiGHTS to Burning Rangers, only classics you did know
Sony and Nintendo fans, those people took their risk
but Segata's Saturn was the finest system to ever spin a disc
He guided me swiftly to the Sega side
He showed me such a heaven I thought that I had died
As I bought my game he left my side, but there he left to me
A world of games to last
Untill the end of eternity
Play me a game Segata, Sanshiro
From NiGHTS to Burning Rangers, only classics you did know
Sony and Nintendo fans, those people took their risk
cause Segata's Saturn was the finest system to ever spin a disc
On the day segata died, oh it was one dark day
They lauched at missile at Service Games, and who could save the day
Segata jumped from up above and caught the missile's way
Took it into outer space, but oh the price he had to pay
Play me a game Segata, Sanshiro
I know you're up above us guiding our controls
Even though time marches on your legend still rings true
Cause Segata youre the only player who could ever save us fools
Have you ever had to wait for the better part of a decade to play a game? I have. Back in my early days, I was the proud player of both a SNES and a Genesis. However, there was a problem. Whenever I played the Sega, I would get a twitch. Never happened with the SNES, but happened no matter what game when I held the 3-buttoned controller.
Therefore, I was banned from Segaland. My grandparents gave my Genesis away, and then proceeded to block me off from the Saturn. I had a SNES (and then added a N64), so normally it would be just fine. However, perusing the magazine rack for video game mags, I decided to get the newest issue of Tips & Tricks for it's strategy guide of Mario 64 so I could look it over while waiting the long wait until christmas.
I read that over and over and over again. but soon that just started to make the anticipation even more unbearable. So I decided to look at the other cover feature, which was a guide for a game I couldn't play due to it's Saturn-exclusivity. That strategy guide was for NiGHTs into Dreams, a great game that some may consider the crown jewel of Sonic Team's achievements. It wasn't an extensive guide, but what info was there sparked off an immense interest in the game that I never got rid of.
I proceeded to, over the proceeding years, beg and plead for a Saturn to no effect. They weren't sure I had outgrown my Sega-based illness, and therefore weren't going to spend the money on a system they weren't sure my body could handle.
The years go by, and the Dreamcast comes out. I have some games to trade into Babbages, but I was too young to have my own ID card. Therefore, whoever was with me had to trade them in for me. In this, I saw my oppertunity to put the new plan into motion. While they were figuring everything out at the counter, I slinked off to the demo Kiosk and played a good half-hour of Sonic Adventure and NFL2k.
When they finally got everything straightened away, they came over and got me, I got some games, and we went home. On the way home, I mentioned how I had played a somewhat nice amount of time on a Sega and had no side effects. They had already got me my big present for that year, a PSX, so I knew not to try for one then. This gave me time to build it up. over the next few months, I started dropping more and more aggressive hints until I reached an agreement in August where we would rent a Dreamcast and test it out. If it went well, I could get one at Christmas.
Needless to say, in that year's December, I was casting my dreams. I had broken through that wall, so I figured I'd set the next part into motion. I played that system for hours on end for days on end with no problems, and made sure to make that fact known amongst my grandparents. After a while, I started to campaign for a Saturn. This is where the second problem came in. They didn't trust the internet for shopping purposes, and Saturns weren't exactly plentiful in Wal-Mart in 2001.
So the gears once again grinded to a halt, and my plan had failed. I put that on the backburner and focused on enjoying the Dreamcast, which wasn't exactly a hard feat. Then, browsing the world wide web, I came upon information of an old anime Sonic movie. Being the huge Sonic fanby I was/am, I decided I needed that, and I needed it hard. I went to every movie place i could find, and none of them had a tape (or a DVD, though we didn't have a DVD player yet so that didn't matter) of it. Upon relaying this to my grandmother, after some negotiation/arguing, I was allowed to buy one off Amazon.com.
Soon after, the tape arrived, and I had convinced my grandmother that internet commerce wasn't such a bad deal. A few months later, I came across that old magazine. Remembering the problems that had prevented me from owning the Saturn, I realized they were all gone. I saved up my money, and, in November 2003, I had finally achieved a Sega Saturn, and a day later, I finally had the game that haunted my dreams for the better part of a year, NiGHTs into Dreams. I tore open the box when it came, and was all set to plop it into my newest Sega when my grandmother so kindly reminded me of my homeworkian duties.
After the worst math and english assignments ever, I finally pushed the power button and picked up the controller. I had been waiting for this for around 7 years, and I had the most astronomical of expectations for it. It never corssed my mind that it might not be that good of a game. THat it might not reach the bar I had set for it.
And you know what?
It easily surpassed that bar and I was hooked. I played it every day for a solid half-year, trying my best to find new ways to improve my score. I easily achieved all A-ranks, but still I wanted more. I soon after bought the Christmas NiGHTs "demo" (read: bonus) disc and have since 2004 played it every year at christmas time. Of course, that's not the only time I run through the game during the year. Every time I hook up the old girl I run through it a few times. It never gets old or boring no matter how much I play it. It was my favorite game ever for a long time after, and to this day is only topped by the seminal Cave Story.
I have not tried the new one for the Wii yet, if just because I don't trust the Sega of today to make a game of this calibur. When I do finally get over that fear, no matter how bad they screwed it up, I can always come back to this and reminice or at least get a taste of the days I missed. The days when, even if they couldn't properly make or promote a system, they could at least make a damn great game.
So, if I was to only make one A Cast of Thousands blog post, it would definately be NiGHTs. The character itself, to most people, may not exactly be worthy of it, but to me it is. Not only because the game is phenominal, but because of how much I fawned over that game for that length of time without even knowing if I liked it and having it deliver in the greatest way. Therefore, the character means more to me than it would to most other people, and means more to me than any other character who has been in a game.
No, you're not reading that wrong. The first thing that came to my mind for this month's monthly musings was a football team. A team of sprites modeled after real people even. But if that's what you think, you've obviously never set foot onto the 8-bit gridiron of Tecmo Super Bowl.
Sure, it's 11 images modeled after real people, but have you ever seen a super bowl team score 3 touchdowns and a field goal in the last quarter of a Super Bowl? Also, I must remind you that quarters are five minutes long, and even then they go in double time. So one real world second is two or three Tecmo seconds.
You could call it simply bad play, the player falling apart in the end. When fumbles and INTs are as random as they are in this game, I don't think 3 straight fumbles are any player error.
You could call it using a bad team, but the Giants in his game are stacked. If you were to simulate 100 seasons of Tecmo, I guarantee NY would be in the playoffs all but maybe 10 times, would be in the second round most of those times ,and even go to the superbowl more than 25 of those times. So it's basically the top two teams.
So, what is the cause of this, then? Basically when they were making this it was in the midst of Buffalo's 4 consecutive Super Bowl streak (which they lost all 4 of, by the way). So, they decided that the Bills would be the top team. Then they proceeded to have the computer that governed the events in the game to cheat as heavily as it could for them. Therefore, things like the above could easily happen, to anyone from a rookie to a vet.
And this isn't just in the big games, oh no. Many a perfect season has been lost to the Bills, in just as spectacular of fashions. You ask any player who aruins their seasons the most, and the answer is likely to be the team with the programming to be able to overcome almost any odds.
And for this, I must salute the most feared enemy in any game. Sure, that boss might be scary, but once you beat him most of the time either he's done or you have his pattern down. The Bills? You face them at most 3 times a season and rarely more than once, even for teams in the other conference. They are a boss that comes back, more unpredictable than the last time. You can never truly figure them out, they have no pattern. If you ever enter season mode, they are right there, ready and waiting to ruin your Super Bowl run.
And all you can do is pray. Pray that the retro gods shine upon you as you hope to god that sack doesn't produce the 5th fumble of the first quarter and the third to go back for a TD. Offer a virgin in sacrifice as you hope against hope that this time when they throw to a receiver that's covered by 5 of your guys that no miracle catch happens again. And finally commit seppuku when they score that game winning field goal off the 9th INT of the game in the closing seconds of the Super Bowl.
There's no way to defend against their shenanigans because you're playing by the Nintendo's rules, and since the game is so in love with them, it's pretty much their rules. And that is why gaming's greatest villains, the NES version of Tecmo Super Bowl's Buffalo Bills, are the subject of my cast of thousands monthly musing.
Now, playing games for as long as I have, you're going to come across games of all genres. Smash Bros. didn't lead me to play my first RPG (Mario RPG), beat my first RPG (Pokemon), or even enjoy my first RPG or anything like that. What it did lead me to was the first RPG that totally captured me in a way that made me want so much more. It led me not to play an RPG, but to play one that taught me how to love it's kind. That being said, the rest of the article is now a formality and obvious to most of you where this path will end up, but let me confirm your suspicions.
I played the first Smash Bros. on the N64 back in 1999, and quickly became obsessed with it's ease of play and the whole icon vs icon thing,which more or less is the entire basis of Smash being more than the sum of it's parts. But playing through and unlocking characters, I came across one I never heard of before called Ness. Along with a lot of players, I wondered where he came from, but soon learned his origins as a ROG character in Earthbound and never gave him a second thought (mostly because I sucked playing as him).
Time passed, and Melee came. This time with more characters, but also this Ness fellow again. I once again kind of ignored him. Time passed, I moved on to other games, and went on with life in general. I never really cared about him, his game, or anything until early 2006. I finally wound up getting enough free time and curiosity that I decided to look up Earthbound on google and see if it was worth my time, seeing as how I had recently gotten a PSP and put it to good use during seminar period in school. I figured a long game like RPGs tend to be would be a perfect fit, but didn't want to start up a game I would never finish, especially after the troubles I had with Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VII.
Anyway, I googled it and it led me to the big fansite called Starmen.net. I took a look around and, after seeing all the fan arts and fan "events" and general hubbub about the game and the passion they felt for the game and figured it would at least be worthy of a not-download and give it the try these people said it deserved.
For a few weeks i was hooked, enjoying the humor and somewhat differing fighting style it had. I was trucking through it until I got stuck in Threed. I set it aside to come back to later after playing something else to clear my perspective. It worked, and after a couple of weeks I resumed my path though the game, this time not stopping until the credits rolled.
I set it aside and went on to other not-roms, but soon after I felt a twinge of need to play it again. I was focusing on a few other titles, so I set it to the backseat, but after a while It grew to a head and I knew a trip to eBay was in my future.
After a failure or two, I finally scored a SNES cart of the game in January 2007 and waited the two weeks for it to arrive. As soon as I got home from school that day and opened the package, The SNES was emitting a red light and an awesome gaming experience. Halfway through, I felt that just playing it again would not be enough. I needed more of not necessarily this game, but more games of this ilk, this quality, this length. One name came to mind: Lunar.
I figured while I was going for a Sega CD game, I should probably get a Sega CD and see what else there was. I scored one, but it was destroyed in a flood, so I got another one. It came with a Genesis, one that worked better than the one I had, so I sold that off and used the cash to buy Disc only copies of both Silver Star and Eternal Blue, along with a similar copy of this anime inspired action/rpg game I once heard good things of called Popful Mail. Eternal Blue came first, so in my unknowingness of which was the sequel, I popped it in. I was soon treated to the start of a wonderful game, but that was soon stopped as my interests moved toward the internet as it does so often.
You see, my main two entertainment sources out here in the sticks of mid-Michigan are Video games and the internet. It's easy to tire of one and move almost exclusively to the other for a period.
But that did not last long as I decided to stop with the occasional round of NBA Jam and pop in Popful. As soon as I played through the first few screens I was back to the controller for the next month almost solid, working my way slowly through each area, each boss, each wonderful moment of the game. Even though by now it was nothing that hadn't been done before gameplay wise, it just felt like such a breath of fresh air, in part because of the high quality of the game, in part because it provided me with a blend of the RPG I still kinda yearned for but didn't quite want wholesale at the moment with the gameplay of a weapon-based platformer, which is a variation of my favorite genre into a smoothie I never wanted to reach the end of. (of course, I still havent because the disc is screwey, so I guess I got my wish.)
Soon I got stuck in that, but we also moved so I got a fresh look at games I hadn't touched in a while during the packing and unpacking phases of the move. I came across my Lunar discs and decided to finish Eternal Blue come hell or high water. Over the summer I progressed and progressed, but once again I stopped before the end, though this time because I finally got Xbol Live at home and Halo 3 was coming up.
I spent some quality time online with the newly reborn 360 of mine up until early 2008. I had a preorder for Brawl, and my excitement forced me to find things to bide my time. Two weeks before Brawl was to be released (the real time, not any of the delayed times), I figured now is as good a time as ever to polish off this wonderful game I just kept putting on hold. I added the challenge of being done by March 7th (giving me a good week and a half of time. Also, I wanted some time to practice with Melee before the big release, but it turned out I lost my disc). It turned out to be the best week and a half of gaming I had in a while. By the time I was listening to the post-game outtakes, I had discovered a true love for the Role Playing Game, and spent a little bit of money and time with them through April and Aay after the Brawl of March fizzled fast. I chose this time to finally get and finish Chrono Trigger proper (read: SNES), Start Mother 3, the Dreamcast game Evolution, and Lunar 1 (though I found the PS1 remake at a comic shop local to here, so I played that version), and buy Vay.
Though I am once again on hiatus from Role Playing and taking a break with Brawl, Dr. Mario, and the odd Xbox game, I have developed a real endearment for the genre as you may tell by the huge departure I took from the main point of this post gushing over Lunar. Sorry for the rambling, but thats how the story is told.
I was at the local pizza place over the weekend, and after filling up on delicious jalapeno pepperoni, I headed back to the arcade room. I looked through the 5 machines there, and after messing around for a game or two, went to the Metal Slug machine. I played to the second level. I'm working my way through when a pack of 10 year olds start watching me and cheering me on. I beat the level on one life, a feat I've never done in any MS level before, and they told me I was "Uber Leet" and left. I then proceeded to die quickly into level 3 and then left myself.
This is why I wish there were arcades still around. You can't gather around someone's TV in their house (unless you're at a party), you can't watch in groups someone online (except in Halo 3, but eh), and it's not even necessarily the being the center of the attention as it is bing in the group and cheering the player on. I never got to truly experience this due to my Arcade machine experiences being limited to NBA Jam and Bubble Bobble at Pizza Hut, but it's something that just doesn't get to happen with the way gaming's headed. Even then, it's not all that often you see people paying attention to people not on the DDR machine. I guess thats because people want to play their own game instead of watching someone else move their joystick as opposed to watching someone move their body, but eh. I'd rather watch someone plow through Smash TV than some guy do flips while 100%ing MAX300 or whatever the hot Bemani Jam is these days.
I am more or less getting prepared to take my second trek into the world Lunar by playing the first game in the series, Lunar: Silver Star (Yeah, I played Eternal Blue first, wanna fight about it?. The story begins here:
Around a month ago on my birthday of March 28th, I had the incredible luck of finding a copy of Silver Star Story Complete (a.k.a the Playstation remake) in the wild for 50 bucks (not to mention a copy of Shining Force 3 for 10 bucks that I am currently selling on eBay after finding that I really didn't care for it [/shameless plug]). Not able to pass that up at all, I grabbed it, if just to have it.
However, the problem I have is this: I also have the game for the Sega CD, though as a Disc Only copy (as EB was). I looked up the major differences between the games and they seem to be quite the bit differentiated. The question is this: Should I play the original SCD version and just keep the original unchanged storyline, or should I go with the technically upgraded and better animated remake and have a changed storyline?