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11:28 PM on 02.02.2009

A quick tribute to the Badass of the Month

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

Shi-ro!

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   read


8:56 PM on 07.10.2008

A Cast of Thousands: NiGHTS

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 didn't.

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.   read


1:43 AM on 07.06.2008

A Cast of Thousands: The Tecmo Bills.

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.   read


6:30 PM on 06.04.2008

The Start of the Affair: How fanboyism led me down the path of the RPG (and revived my interest in games)

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.   read


5:29 PM on 06.03.2008

What you lose when you lose the arcade

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.   read


7:47 PM on 04.17.2008

A quick question to the RPG experts

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?   read


3:46 AM on 04.14.2008

Well, it's officially over.

THats right ladies and gents, though most people have by now stopped checking, the Super Smash Bros Dojo has posted it's final update. It's more or less a collection of interesting factoids and kinda useful trivia. I say, a fitting end to the ride we all took from May 22 of 2007 to Today, Monday, April 14th, 2008.

Man, remember when they announced the Subspace Emissarry? Sonic in Brawl? The whole Knuckle Joe thing? The anticipation each night for a possible new character, new stage, new surprise AT appearance? That was the highlight of the Brawl experience for me, though that's not to say I haven't enjoyed the heck out of Brawl like I know many of you have also. But the sense of community that these updates brought was awesome, and I figured I'd give them a little send off.

Thanks for keeping us on our toes, Sakurai.   read


9:54 PM on 04.03.2008

That poor, poor X button.

Why in the hell do gamemakers decide it's a good idea to put in button mashing segments in their games? It wears down the controller faster, it tires your arm faster and it can get fusterating in large doses.

What game motivated me to post this, you ask? Incredible Crisis.

It's a story-based minigame collection (think Feel the Magic for the DS (better comparisons would be appreciated.).) for the PSX. The game is about members of a family that have to get through this crazy hectic day of theirs.

So, I started my game, and it's pretty fun. It starts off with a Parappa knock off dance thing, until the end in where you slam the X button to fill up the meter to spin around like the finishing move from Michael Jackson's Moonwalker. Not much bashing, but some. Then, a huge boulder comes in and suddenly your Indiana Jones running down the hall from the giant rock and now...IT'S MASHING TIME. You have to wait until the rectangle turns red than mash until you make it to the door. Three times (the second and third halls incude obstacles) and your in the elevator.

WHat do you do there, you ask? POUND THE SHIT OUT OF THE X BUTTON TO FILL UP A METER, all the while dodging shit falling from the sky. Of course, the meter has a quick as shit emptying rate, so you have to beat the loving hell out of that button for 4 minutes almost straight. Then is a nice single-pressing game in which you have to balance yourself to stay on the flagpole and not fall to a gory demise. Of course, once you complete it, you do anyway, so meh.

The second chapter is mash free until the final part, in which you have to find a location on a woman's back to rub using only her directions (i.e. " A Little Left".) When you do find the spot (given with a quite sexy "ooh, there"), you gotta rapid fire your thumb so you can fill up the pleasure bar to the max before you have to find the spot again.

Third chapter gives you a one game padding before it's back to beating the button liek a redheaded stepchild. This is where I stopped for the night.

I may not have the best stamina (which is evident in how I cant pound a button over and over in a rapid fashion for like 45 minutes), but it seems a bit excessive, don't you think? I don't want to stop my game while I'm having some nice fun to put my mashing arm in ice to rest it for the next couple innings, and I don't want to completely wear the (arguably) most important button on the controller out just for one game. I know the odds of wearing the button to the point of unresponsiveness over the course of this one game is quite small, and that these things are designed to be able to take quite a beating over a number of years, but man. At some point it becomes overkill.   read


9:06 PM on 03.27.2008

Why I need EDS' Free Points

Twas once a time, around April of twenty-ought-seven, when I was carefree. I had the world by the globes, and I wasn't about to let go anytime soon. At least, thats what I thought. Not yet having Xbox Live at the time, I popped in the latest OXM demo disc and booted up the demo for Monster Madness, a game that I was waiting for since I found out that it shared similarities with another game, one a bit older and a definite top tenner, Zombies ate my Neighbors. I played around with it a little bit, getting used to the somewhat wonky control scheme,and I'll say I had a bit of fun. I decided to play it again to see if, since I was better working my joysticks, I could do better (and therefore get more fun out of the game).

That, apparently, as not a wise decision. For but a few minutes into the game, my screen suddenly went blank. Not paying too much attention to the apparent problem, I turned off the system and back on again. I loaded the disc and then the demo again. But a scant 120 ticks later and I once again stared into blackness. At this point I got worried, afraid even. I glanced away from the dark confines of the glassy square to my 360, only to find my fears confirmed. Crimson in the pattern of a circle, but not a complete circle, oh no. One sector was dark. The demon of the Xbox had descended upon my house that day and spread a pox on my box. I turned it off, and switched to a regular game disc, hoping that it may have just been a glitch inthe unfinished game code on the disc. But such luck was not to be, My box was scratched off the list of the healthy, now one of the infected.
I slowly unhooked the system, packing it back in it's original box. I grabbed the phone, dialed the number, and ordered a coffin from Microsoft. I then went over, matched Red, yellow, and white wires to their holes, and turned on my Dreamcast, NES disc in tray, for a rousing game of Not Tecmo Super Bowl to take my mind off what had happened.

The coffin never came, but I had pushed the 360 to the back of my mind until July, when we moved. I happily filled those months with Sega based goodness, but the day came to pack everything into boxes and ship out. We moved everything over in a weeklong process of shifting and moving, finding things we'd lost many moons ago. As the clutter left and we finalized our settlement, we re-discovered a green and white cube. I pulled it out from the rubble and set it by my bed. It was night, so I hadn't the time to hook it up, but come morn, I'd be sure to test it out in a small hope that time heals all wounds.

I awoke to a sunny day. I stretched, walked to the bathroom and did my morning duties. I emerged refreshed, and ready to discover the fate my system had been tagged with. I removed it from it's cardboard resting place, placed it on the dresser. Once again matched wires with holes using a color coding system, and inserted the power wire into my power strip. I hit the button. The images appeared. It arrived at the main menu, and I looked for a disc to put in. Not having unpacked any yet, I remembered that Hexic HD was preinstalled on my machine, having gotten the Pro bundle of the system. I booted it up, and played. I played and played. I enjoyed myself there, almost forgetting that I was testing this out for a problem. An hour later, I declared it well enough to play arcade games. But what about discs? Could it handle reading the information contained thereupon and still function well?

I went through box after box, looking for a game to play. I came across my Smackdown 2007 disc, and I decided it was good enough. In goes the disc, on goes the game, and I get ready. Another hour later, and I was glad. Glad, because the demon had been defeated, the pox had been lifted, and I was now in a position to aquire Xbox Live. The world was once again mine, or at least the world of Xbox live was. And that was good enough for me. I sit here today typing this story in happiness, as I am currently keeping that very same Xbox warm for my next game of Team Fortress 2.

tl;dr: I want the Boston song pack for Rock Band but have no points.

Also, for my pic, the Xbox:
  read


1:11 PM on 03.21.2008

A lighter shade of Jade or just need a Sequelitis shot?

So, It's september. I'm watching G4's midnight launch special for Halo 3, getting crazy excited for it. I fall asleep, and wake up in time to get to the mall at 9:30 and pick up my Legendary Edition. I go home and play for 18 hours. The next day I finish the game. A month later I'm playing Uno and Castlevania on XBLA.

Now it's December. I call around to see if anyone has any Rock Band bundles in stock. Since my car was down, I force mom to scramble and get me to the mall and pick it up. It's christmas and I finally open the box and play the crap out of the drums. It's late january, I'm playing Lunar: Eternal Blue.

It's march 9th. In a line with about 30 other dudes and dudettes waiting our turn to play Smash Bros before we can buy it. I get back home with my copy about 2 AM. I play it all night. I finish the Subspace Emissarry the next day, and the 3rd day I do it again due to being impatient with the Spectator mode glitch. It's now March 21st, and I'm starting either Megaman Legends or Parasite Eve.

What do these three stories have in common? Each is a sequel (except rock band, but it's the natural evolution of the Karaoke Revolution and Guitar Hero series, so I'm counting it in), Each was hotly anticipated, each came and went in a short amount of time, Each left me playing old classics that captured me more/longer than the game I left for them. Is it really that these games aren't as good as the old ones? Are they good, but am I becoming a little jaded and choosing to pass them by seeking a superior, more time-worthy venture? Or am I just getting bored with the same old thing and going back in time to play something different?

I think it's just number 3, but I'm curious to see how many others here are burning their fuse with the hot new games quicker than usual. Just to see if I'm just getting bored with franchises or really am just jading up.   read


2:03 PM on 03.16.2008

Am I seriously the only Luigi user?

I mean, I've seen maybe one other Luigi whilst playing online, and I'm just wondering If I'm the only one to main Mr. Green. I may minor in Lucas and Donkey Kong, but seriously, I think Luigi is way underrated in the eyes of most. I have a lot of success with him, is it that most suck with him, most don't give him a chance/ignore him, or that people play better with others?

Also, apparently it's the birthday of D-Toid and it's owner. Happy birthday, then.   read


10:41 PM on 03.03.2008

Unfortunately, March 9th is almost here.

And Smash Bros. Brawl will soon be here.

Now, I'm not saying that I won't be in line 9:00 PM on the 8th for the midnight launch, I most definitely will. Nor am I saying that I fear I won't like the game and will feel let down for the year or so of intense anticipation that's been going, I'm certain it's an excellent title.

What I AM depressed about is that soon the game will be out, and the wait will be over. What's so bad about that, you ask? I remember back to as far as last May when I discovered they were doing daily updates, and ever since then I was one of those who stayed up all night to see the newest update before bed. The anticipation of seeing what every update brought, be it a new stage, a new character (veteran AND newcomer), or finding out how to recover. The explosions of the internets over the revelation of Sonic or the anger at having a whole week of controller updates. The building of anticipation and expectations. Wonders about new characters and their playing styles/moves.

I remember pre-ordering Halo 3, getting the collectors edition. Gradually, as the game came closer to release, the hype built and speculation and false spoilers ran rampant. I'm not that big of a Halo fan, but I got jammed right in the hype machine and upgraded to the Legendary edition. I watched that G4 launch day special. I was having a great time waiting for the game.

When I actually played the game, I played all day that day for 18 hours, played it heavily for a week, then traded between it and orange box, then waned rapidly. I still enjoy playing it (in fact, it's the only game i have every achievement in), and the game itself met my personal expectations, but the coming was better than the arrival. Looking at (and subsequently mocking) topics about how Master Chief will reveal her face, or some kind of implied homosexual super soldier X alien ending scene, or whatever. It was like hanging with friends trying to come up with the craziest scenarios. Same kind of thing with Brawl. It felt like hanging out with the dudes and dudettes, even with people I didn't know at all, when we were all going bonkers over this stage or shitting all over that character.

Of course, at launch the game will be the hottest thing ever. And, as with everything, it will cool over time until it just seems like the same old. The game won't suddenly stop being fun, but the collective orgasm will wear off, and everyone will move on, leaving all the great memories with it behind.

I've had a great time pouring over every major update and even some of the lesser ones. I know I'll have an absolute ball smashing faces online or in subspace. But, be it the fact that its so close and I really am just kind of in a funk because it's so close but I don't have it yet, or if it's because all the big secrets are now known, or what, but now that theres little much left but to play the game, the big part of the fun is over. That's not to say that I want another delay, because that won't help at all. But I just had such a good time getting here that a part of me dosen't want it to be over.

I'm rambling by now, so I'll just stop myself here.   read


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