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7:43 AM on 02.11.2010

Hey Capcom versus fans!

hey guys quick post today. Im trying to gather more friends for Tatsu vs Capcom friendlies. If you want a friend to fight with consistently, post your wii friend code and VS friend code below. Im doing this because anonymous people online are dicks (and never accept rival requests) T_T. my VS code is 1806-3603-7918. my wii code is under my blog info.   read

3:55 PM on 01.10.2010

I fight for the Underdogs: a love note to the bottom tier

I love fighting games. If I had to pick a single genre to play exclusively for the rest of my days, I would choose fighting games in an instant. To me, the Fighting genre is one of he the purest "game" genres. They contain something that as an art, only games can do: inspire competition. The adrenaline rush of two (or more) warriors fighting each other to the end is pure ecstacy to me.

Fighters bring us gamers together, be it online or on the couch. They ask us to push our minds and skills to the limits, not to beat the game, but to beat the hardest opponent of all, other human beings. But my favorite aspect of any Fighter is the characters. These guys and girls (and bears, robots, vampires, etc) are what make the genre shine. When you choose a character to play as, you don't just choose a play style, you choose a sepreate entity to place yourself inside. They add the personality and pizzaz to the game that makes it worth playing.

But, as anyone familiar with the genre knows, a perfectly balanced cast is almost impossible to come by. Either some characters are too weak, or others are too strong. As a result, the community often creates a tier list, be it officially or unconsciously. Tier lists are controversial amongst gamers. Are they accurate, do they matter, is it too early in the meta game? But tha is not what I wish to discuss. I wish to declare my love for a certain part of the tiers. Not the top, or middle. No, the very bottom.

Over the years, I have always gone by a simple rule of thub regarding what characters I main in a game. Main who you like the most. Unfortunately for myself, I have a habit of choosing some of the worst characters in the game. At first, I was saddened by such revelations. But I ever abandoned these characters. How could I? Why would I forgoe them in favor for a character with whom I do not or cannot connect with? So I stayed, and I have come to love the underdogs of Gaming. here are some of the more notrious underdogs that i have mained over the years, for whom I have undying love.

Servbot. You're the greatest helper Tron Bonne could ask for. You cook, you clean, you grow to 100X your size and beat people with squeaky hammers. You are the only person I know who in a 3 on 3 battle against Wolverine, Akuma and Sentinal, would play with a paper airplane. That's manly. What you lack in power, you make up in sheer cuteness my friend of friends.

Bowser. I've played with you ever since melee my green friend. How could I resist the chance, nay, the HONOR of playing as the one true Koopa king? Our dance of turtley death was more beautiful than any proffesional ballet. But, you were slow, and heavy. Other characters could easily gimp you, and you have faced the embrace of death far to many times. But I stayed, and I loved every second of it. hen braw came around, and can you imagine how suprised I was to find tha you had improved since our last little encounter! true, you were still slow and heavy, but you had been working out since melee, and it showed. You may be upper low tier, but you're top tier in my heart.

Ganondorf. The king of all evil. My relationship with you almost borders upon masochisic. I knew you a little in melee, but we were aquantances at best, nothing more. But the Brawl came, and I was hooked. The way you kicked, the way you punched, the way you violently strangled the enemy, it was ecstacy. We've never been seperated since. You and i've grown old and wise over time and we know ever trick in the book between the both of us. But you were clunky to play as, and many of your most powerful moves, were flashier than they were useful. Shiek, Falco, Metaknight and more have given us our fair share of grief, but we've perservered. I may not be able to improve you, but I guess I'll just have to pick up the slack for the both of us. It may hurt when we lose, but nothing's better than whe we win.

Johny Cage. you're an asshole. but your my kind of asshole.

Last but not least, is Dan the man Hibiki. I have known since day one that we were meant for each other, and you hold a special place in my list. You are a joke, lets not lie. You were capcom's slap in the face to SNK, a mockery of the Art of Fighting. Your Gadouken is tiny and the Koryuken lacks punch, but you pull them off with such confidence and style that I can't help but love them. In your pink gi and pony tail, you are the epitome of fighting manliness, and put both Ryu and Ken to shame. I'm not the only one who like you either, after all, Blanka's your best friend! But most of all, what I love about you is your love for the fight. When you win, it is not some minor event, nay, it is the most exciting this to ever happen in your eyes (and under your mighty eyebrows)! Your tears of joy le all who see them know just how moved you are by your victory (or loss, or tie). And you are the oly warrior with the cojones to give your own enemy a signed picture of yourself. Because we all know it will be worth a lot in the future.   read

12:24 PM on 12.24.2009

Love/Hate: Scripted Final Bosses

Ah yes, the Final Boss. The gaming equivalent of a final exam, the final Boss is meant to put all the skills that you aquired throughout the game to the test. Some are Hard as Hell, and some are easy, but for the most part they function the same, as basically a steroid infused version of every boss from before.

We gamers have faced many final bosses throughout our gaming experience, be it Bowser or Sephiroth or O2. But every now and again, the game throws us for a loop.

You've gotten to the end of the game, you're clearly fighting the boss, but something's wrong. Cutscenes are sprouting up mid battle, the boss WON'T die, or only takes massive damage from that previously useless plot based item, or sometimes, you, the player, cannot die. This is strange, what is going on? Well chances are, you've entered a scripted final Boss.

Wait, this isn't what I wanted! this is terrible right? well, not entirely... (spoilers below)

In a nut shell, scripted boss battles are fights where the gameplay takes a back seat to the story. As stated above, his can take many forms, whether the battle is full of cuscenes, is unwinnable/ unlosable, or if a deus ex machina ends up winning the battle for you. On the one hand, this kind of final boss can make a game feel very anticlimactic. After all, you were ready for the final battle, the batle royal, the climax of the game, but instead it pisses that experience away all for the sake of story? It's just downright dissapointing.

One great example of this is the final boss of Final Fantasy X (spoilers!). You had just beaten Jecht, one of the hardest bosses in the game, excluding bonus bosses, and you were ready to take on Yu Yevon, the man/ it/thing responsible for all of Sin's destruction! You knew Jecht was only going to be the second to last boss, so Yu Yevon's fight had enough buildup to make he final battle truly epic! But then yo get there and... Yu yevon is some wierd jellyfish thing. A minor dissapointment, but you push on, in the hopes that he will be a challenging opponent! But all he does is summon your own Aeons against you. An interesting twist! but you soon discover, that these aeons have the same hp value as they did with you, which makes them pitifully easy to take out. And to top it all off, your entire party has auto life cast upon them for the duration of the battle. So all you do is slaughter your Aeons for a few minutes, and then finish of Yu Yevon. No dialogue, or final speech or anything, he just dies.

Now don;t get me wrong, FFX is a great game (one of my personal favorites!) but that final boss was a pathetic attempt at drama. In retrospect, one realizes that Jecht was the REAL final boss, but at the time, I considered Yu Yevon to be the big finale, after all, HE was the true Villain of the game. HE was the guy pulling the strings and causing all that harm! Why woud he be such a pushover? Jecht, while a great boss in general, only served the story as a way to get Tidus' daddy issues out of the way before the end. After that battle was over, you still felt like there was more that needed doing (Via actual gameplay, not in the story)

Despite how badly it can be done, scripted final bosses can be done in a very good, satisfying way. One can see the logic behind them after all: games are an interactive medium, so rather than seeing the end via a cutscene, why don;t you inerct with it? Even whe done badly, this kind of gameplay is a sign of developers trying to use the medium in a way that only video games can do.

A game that uses this idea well is Moher 3, with it's final Boss against (MASSIVE SPOIERS) the Masked Man aka. Claus.

What made this work was, you had jus previously beaten (in a sense) Porky, he Villain of the game. The main threat in the game wwas now gone. Sure the final needle hasn't been pulled, and you need to defeat the masked man, but you'ive fought the masked man before and won. The stress, from a gameplay standpoint, is relieved. However, plot based stress is still alive and kicking. With this in mind, The final Battle versus Claus is scripted. You can die, but you cannot "defeat" the Masked man. You cannot even fight him, just sit there and survive as long as possible. Now, on its own, that would be boring and inticlmactic, but throughout the battle, there are short bits of dialogue from Lucas' mother, Hinawa, as well as actions from Lucas' father, Flint. This dialogue and action alongside the gmeplay creates a new anicipation for the player. Tension is built up via this dialogue and your slowly waning hp and pp. You want it to end, and so does Lucas. This creates empathy for the character of Lucas in this situation, thus creating more immersion into the scene.

In the end, the masked man goes back to being Claus and commits suicide, all within the normal battle screen. his suceeds in being more immersive than a simple cutscene or normal boss battle, because you're not LOOKING at Lucas coming to terms with his brother, you ARE Lucas. It forces you to put yourself into the situation, because you are making all the actions, not some cutscene.

In he end, made one of the most immersive moments in gaming that I have ever experienced. As I played it, I remember attacking Claus by accident (by this point, the game let me attack again). Lucas attacked claus, and I got this bit of text, paraphrased "Lucas attacked the Masked man. Lucas knelt down and wanted to cry". By that point, I no longer wanted to fight. I too wanted to cry and lord knows I did just that. That kind of immersion came from a battle where all you needed to do was keep healing yourself until it's over.

In he end, making a good scripted boss battle is just like writing a good cutscene. sometimes it's pulled off, sometimes it isn't, but when it is, (shiver) it WORKS.   read

8:07 PM on 11.18.2009

Art? But of course!

Hey Destructoid! Macarratti here to blatantly exploit myself and shamelessly show off my artwork! Hooray!

This is all part of a series for my college portfolio, and it revolves around the theme of "Movies that should be made/ re-made" and it contains a number of video game movies. Godzilla's there because I feel like it.

Comment and critique below!


5:45 AM on 09.28.2009

"Do it with Fury!" #2: Godzilla

Ah yes. If I was going to start this thing off, I wanted to start it off on a good note! Now for those who don't know me (and that's about 99% of you guys) I am a HUGE Godzilla fan. I just love the big G, I was practically raised on him. With that in mind, I have always considered the games based upon him to be somewhat lackluster.

And now for History class. Godzilla first arrived in 1954 in the Ishiro Honda film, Gojira. In it, Godzilla was depicted as he (almost) always is: a mindless killing machine on a rampage through Tokyo japan. While this basic premise sounds old and tired today, this was new at the time, and this film wasn't treated like some B horror film. The aftermath of Godzilla's raids were frighteningly reminiscent of the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This is hardly a coincidence since Godzilla himself was born of Nuclear radiation. He is a walking Allegory for nuclear war, something which has stayed with him in one form or another throughout the years.

Godzilla has already had numerous games, on numerous consoles from the NES to the Wii, but almost none have captured the true feeling of Goji himself. From sidescrolling beat-em up, to real time strategy game, to fighting game, godzilla is no stranger to numerous genres in the industry, but many of those games, if not all, fell short of the behemoth.

Firstly, and maybe most importantly, the aesthetics of the game. If the tone and look of the game is pinned down early on, the gameplay mechanics should follow suit in a natural and organic manner. Godzilla is a spectacle, no matter what medium he is in. When you look at a game he is in, you should be amazed. To illustrate what I'm trying to say, take a look at the next two images:

Now, which one has a more powerful atmosphere and hits the viewer harder? If you picked the second one, or can't tell the difference, then I feel very sorry for you. I'm not saying the game should have the same style as that first picture, but it should have the same level of attentuion and respect that it has. Perhaps the visual style should emphasise the sillhouette of Godzilla, rather than concentrating on all the details. This could help suspend the disbelief of the gamer by masking the limitations of whatever gaming system this game would be on, while also keeping the mood of the game consistant. Imagine, a person's eye view, looking up between the skyscrapers, and seeing the massive sillhouette of godzilla against the sunset, with only the glow of his fins and eyes breaking his form. Such a visual would look good in both night and day sections of the game, while more realistic shading would make daytime godzilla look... a little dopey.

Another smaller issue is the style of the big G himself. One thing that has become saddeningly common is the style and colorization of Godzilla in all recent games. Rather than update Godzilla's ever changing look, his most recent games choose to only use his more "American Friendly" look from "Godzilla vs Megaguirus" back near the turn of the century. Now, I'm not knocking his look in that film, but that is the one and ONLY time godzilla has ever been green. The look like the one in "Godzilla Unleashed" above is used because it plays into Western pop-culture's view of godzilla. A big, bright, green dinosaur. Sorry, but that's got to stop. Godzilla is Charcoal grey, and has mammilian traits, along with his more prominant reptilian traits. That color scheme and visual look, I personally believe, will allow godzilla to be taken more seriously than the green and [color=indigo]purple[/color] dinosaur. But, like i said before, it's an overall minor issue.

The plot. This one should actually be pretty simple, since this game would most likely be a reboot to the story. I think it should start all over and set the story in 1954 japan, with an overarching allegory regarding nuclear war, or even just war in general. Now, such a theme is fairly popular in games today, with many a war game or shooter having the undertones of "war is hell". however, what will make this different, I believe, is that you, the player, will be able to see the story from the part of the japanese citizen, as well as godzilla. It's simple and will feel natural to any die-hard Godzilla fan, as well as most nnewcomers I believe. I won't go into specifics on the plot, but that's because it's flexible enough for others to work with and extrapolate upon. This is just a basic feel I want to see in the game.

Music will be simple. Get Akira Ifukube and Koh Ohtoni to do the soundtrack and it'll all be good. Akira Ifukube has been with Godzilla sincde the begining and is responsible for many of the franchise's classic tunes. Koh Ohtani, however, is the acclaimed creator of the soundtrack to "Shadow of the Colossus", and his style would easily suit Godzilla. Also, he has been involved with godzilla before, when he scored "Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidora: Giant monsters all out attack!!" back in 2004, so he isn't coming out of the blue here.

Now for the REAL nitty gritty. The gameplay. Now, one thing that should be established forst, is that I see this game as being a 3-d action/ adventure game, with the story being mission, or chapter based. This is because, as stated above, the story will move back and forth between Godzilla and the Japanese. Now I know what you're thinking, "But I want to be godzilla ALL THE TIME!!!". I'll admit, who doesn't? But in an a game like this, Godzilla would be mostly just fighting the japanese military (and maybe a monster? who knows). While this can easily be fun, it could also become tedious, so it would probably have to be broken up with "people sections".

However, that doesn't mean it won't have Godzilla in those sections too. You could control godzilla in the city at one point, then maybe control the human protagonist(s) in a vehicle as they try to escape the rampaging monster. That way, you get two different types of game (action/ driving) but all godzilla! And it doesn't have to be just escaping. Maybe you could control a soldier trying to stop godzilla with a tank or jet. Maybe gozilla will have underwater missions (he is aquatic). What I'm trying to say, is that this game should not limit itself with its own gameplay. If something feels like it would belong in the game, it should be in there.

The controls need not be complicated either. For vehicles it's just the classic Accelerate, stop and turn, and maybe an action button if needed. For the Big G however, I belive his parts of the game should be based upon strategy, in order to keep it from devolving into a mindless button masher. Maybe only a few attacks will be available, like a melee move and his breath. It seems simple, but if the two moves are made versitile enough, and if the levels are set up more like "puzzles" than simple " destroy point A to point B", then a rich and fullfilling game could be made.

But what's that? what's Godzilla without monsters to fight? Well, to be honest, he's still godzilla, for this game he may not need them. I invision this hypothetical game as being the first in a short series, and therefore would work as an origin story. Monster and such could be added in later games, since to many, they are the selling point of any new godzilla related media.

But if it must be, I would think that Mechagodzilla is the only monster that needs to be introduced at first. He would most likely be made by the humans, and could allow for further variations upon the gameplay. But as I said before, I think Goji can stand alone for this first one.

Well that's all I've got for now. This is my first real article, and it's probably loaded with typos, but I fuinally got it done! If you have any ideas for future topics to cover, let me know in the comments or PM me, and I may cover it!! (BTW, I'll be sure to credit you for the idea!) I just hope all you guys at Destructoid enjoy the fruit of my labor, and tune in as I continue to DO IT WITH FURY!!!   read

6:45 PM on 09.27.2009

"Do it with Fury!" #1: an introduction

Hello everybody, This is Macarratti comin' in loud and clear. I'm new here at Destructoid, although I've looked around here long enough to decide that this is where I wish to plant my roots and settle down. "Do it with Fury" is just a little something I wish to contribute here at Destructoid, and I'm fairly sure that it's something that hasn't been done before, so here's just a little introduction to me, and this soone to be series of articles.

( Ahem) For a long time I've wished to write a series of articles, based upon the general philosophy of "What if"?, especially regarding video games. Every gamer has felt it at one time, the feeling that certain ideas need to have a game made of them, or that a pre-existing idea could be done better. Whenever a game is anounced, we research, we theorize what will be in it, whether it's a little indie game or the next Mario. These articles are dedicated to that thought process, and to every gamer that wonder's "what if"?.

Now, so you know what to expect, each article will have an introduction to the topic, it's basic history, previous games based upon the property or idea, and the merits of making a game out of it. Then, I'll move on to basic story, gameplay mechanics, visual aestetics, etc. They will all be in-depth and treat the subject matter with the respect it deserves.

My philosophy is:
If something is going to be done, do it right, do it with love, but most of all, DO IT WITH FURY!!!!!

See you later Destructoid~ Macarratti   read

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