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So I'm sitting here trying to think of how to begin this blog, thinking to myself "how could I possibly convey the feelings I get when I play Castle of Illusion? Should I go the old tired route of saying 'oh, it's Disney magic!' Should I talk about how much "fun" it is? Should I be writing what is essentially a review of it?" I don't know about you, but I'd rather not have to write any of those things. None of them could possibly convey what Castle of Illusion means to me.

Here's a little background information on Castle of Illusion for those of you who may have heard the name but don't know the game. Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse is a platformer developed by Sega for the Sega Genesis, Master System, Game Gear, and Sega Saturn. It was developed around the same time as another well-known Genesis classic, the first Sonic the Hedgehog; and it predated other platformers based on Disney properties such as Aladdin and the Lion King.

"If you're not going to talk about the game, then what are you going to talk about?" you might ask. I'm going to talk about my history with this game and the emotional ties I have to it. Some of you may have seen me talk about this before in a previous blog. I'm going to go into a bit more depth this time around.

Castle of Illusion may very well be the first video game I've ever played. I can't be entirely sure. But some of my earliest memories are of playing this game. Along with the second and third Sonic the Hedgehog games, I played Castle of Illusion on a daily basis. I think it was only when I got a Nintendo 64 one Christmas morning that my dedication to the Genesis began to taper off.

One day I was told that my grandmother on my mother's side was not my biological grandmother. My biological grandmother had died before I was born. Apparently it was only a few short weeks before I was born. My grandfather went to wake her up one morning and she wouldn't open her eyes. I can't imagine the pain my mother must have gone through at that time.

Over the years I was given bits and pieces of information on this grandmother I never knew. How she was a wonderful mother. How she would have loved my brother and I. How she would have taken us out for ice cream. And how she loved Castle of Illusion.

Apparently, the copy of Castle of Illusion that my family owned came from her. She used to sit down and play it for hours on end. She loved it. Just like me. We could have played it together. What I wouldn't give to have played through it with her just once. Suddenly, the way I saw Castle of Illusion began to change.

Castle of Illusion was no longer just a "fun" game full of "Disney magic". It was my one physical connection to this grandmother I had never known. A kind of connection I didn't share, and to this day don't share with any other family members. I have no family members who love the kinds of games I love. My dad loves RTS games. My brother prefers multiplayer games such as DOTA 2. My mom loves to play hidden object games. None are my cup of tea. Only my grandmother and I saw the true magic in Castle of Illusion. You have no idea of how important that is to me.

Since I discovered this connection and dwelled on it, the way I've enjoyed Castle of Illusion has evolved. No longer am I having fun just for myself. I'm having fun for two. I feel not only my own joy upon infiltrating the Castle of Illusion, defeating the Masters of Illusion, and saving Minnie, but my grandmother's as well. 

Now when I play Castle of Illusion-taking in the scenery, listening to the music, and seeing the raw imagination laid out on the canvas that is the game engine-it almost brings tears to my eyes. Heck, just writing this blog nearly kickstarted the waterworks. That's not something any old game can do to me. Let alone a platformer. In fact, I've never "cried" while playing a game (and believe me, I've tried), so bringing tears to my eyes is one of the highest honors when it comes to noting games that have impacted me.

So why is Castle of Illusion my favorite game ever? I must answer that with another question: "How can it not be my favorite game of all time?" To say that any other game is my favorite game of all time would be like saying that some other game has managed to elicit more raw emotion from me than Castle of Illusion. And that's not true. Nothing has. And nothing ever will.

But to answer the above question more directly: It's not Castle of Illusion that makes Castle of Illusion my favorite game of all time. Castle of Illusion is my bridge between worlds. Through that bridge, I have been able to form a bond with a woman that I dearly wish I had known. Played games with. Laughed with. Loved. And for that, it is undoubtedly my favorite game of all time.

Photo Photo Photo

10:37 AM on 08.23.2014

Hey everyone! I don't know if any of you knew this, but I just got a job this past week as a security guard at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza! It's a nice little pizza place for kids. It has these animatronic animals: Freddy, Bonnie, Chica, and Foxy. 

The one little catch is that I have the night shift, and Freddy and his pals get a little antsy at night. Like in a murderous sort of way. But it's all good now! I made it through the first week! Even got a little overtime! I know my way around the shift! So I thought I'd document this momentous occasion! I'll cash that check and snap some pictures!

Umm...okay. There's obviously some sort of mistake here. I went to cash the check and instead of dollars I was given "Freddy Fun Bux". This is clearly not legal tender. It's like they didn't even try to conceal the fact that they were ripping me off. They could have at least colored the damn thing green!

Anywho, I stopped by Freddy Fazbear's Pizza on my way home from the bank. I figured there might be someone there who I could complain to. Or I thought at least the guard on Sundays could give me the rundown on what the deal is here. But no one answered when I hit the button on the intercom outside, so I just headed home.

So this is interesting. I just found this hanging on the wall at the bottom of my stairs a moment ago. I'd think it suspicious and call 911 if I wasn't a sane man with a dick. Might as well head on over to the basement.

Another note on my basement door. And it's a sexier one! This just gets better and better! There's no way that following its instructions can backfire!

So I get to my freezer and there's a note on it that says "open for sexz". I'd happily open it if Chica weren't CLEARLY peeking out from inside the freezer. If you can even call it peeking. I mean come on. I know you're no Solid Snake, but you can try a little harder than that. And beyond that, it's against my nature as a decent human being to obey the orders of anyone who tacks 'z's onto the end of words in an effort to sound cool or appealing.

Wait a minute...wait, wait, wait. If Chica is here...OH GOD. FREDDY AND HIS GANG ARE AFTER ME! I'VE GOT TO GET TO MY ROOM!

Alright, I made it back to my room. But not before grabbing two of those notes Chica put up around the house. Purely for the sake of research of course. I'm sure those notes contain valuable information on the anatomy of a female animatronic duck. I would have grabbed the one on the freezer in the basement, but I'd rather keep my hands. Particularly my dominant one. For science.

Anyways, I have a security system in my home. I mean why wouldn't I? I'm an underpaid security guard. So let's take a look at the camera...

OH SHIT! FOXY'S COMING FOR MY BOOTY! I knew that IF Freddy and his Gang would ever follow me home, Foxy would only enter through a window with curtains you can part. Well, only one such set of curtains exist in my home. I thought I was ready. 

I even put up a damn "Out of Order" sign! I thought Foxy might read it and go "Oh, this window is out of order. I can't go through it. And beyond that, it's immoral to break into people's homes and rip their innards out with a pirate hook." Damn you Foxy and your above-average IQ!

Well, let's see if Foxy's coming. I'll take a peek out my bedroom door.


Man, that's awesome. So for the past hour or so I've been holed up in my room looking up strategies for dealing with Foxy. And the other guys in Freddy's gang. But mostly Foxy. He has the best fan-art. I mean look at that shit. God damn. That's one fox you'd be an idiot to try to hide from.

Anyways, I thought I had all of these guys' behaviors down, but apparently not. Their AI is set to max when they're in "break into the security guard's home, thereby violating his privacy, and scare the bejeezus out of him" mode.

Hey is it just me or do I see something out of the corner of my eye?

Oh, great. It's the greatest stalker of them all, Bonnie. Case in point, right outside of that window is part of the freaking roof. What kind of 400 pound robot climbs up on a flimsy little roof just to peek in through a single white male's blinds? Apparently this one does. 

Better close those blinds. It'd be pretty uncomfortable if Bonnie watched me while I "research" those Chica pictures from before.

There we go! Now where'd I put those pictures? It'd be nice to have one good final research session before Freddy rips out my internal organs and flays me with them.

Uh oh. Power outage. I guess I can understand, what with Foxy banging on my wooden bedroom door-that is in no way, shape, or form hooked up to electricity-for a while; running the AC full throttle for the past twenty-four hours; and keeping those blinds closed. Makes total sense.

And now I'm fucked.

Freddy you beautiful bastard. You beautiful, predictable bastard. I missed seeing that mug right before 6 AM. Right before ripping victory from your paws. You think you have me beat, huh? Well, it's almost-SHIT IT'S ONLY 12:45!!! I can't make it to six AM!

Please, Freddy, play the long jingle! Give me forty-five seconds to come up with a plan! Or better yet, why not play something other than that same old tired jingle? Why not play "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida"? That'd give me a solid seventeen minutes to cheese my way out of this!

Wait a minute...that's it!

Ha ha! I'll just cheese my way out of this by setting the clock on my security camera forward to 6 AM! That ought to fool you! If not, I'll have no choice but to burst into tears and sully your already disgustingly dirty fur!

Oh good, I'm alive. I can probably get out of the little ball I curled up into and stand up now. I could probably do with a change of pants, too. And I'm going to need some new carpet. And a few air fresheners wouldn't hurt.

I'm pretty sure I'm starting to hallucinate. I mean, I don't remember much about that Sonic RPG no one played, but I'm pretty sure that Sonic didn't have the head of a horrific bear with a cute little hat. Of course, we're talking about the company that thought up "Were-Sonic", so maybe it did happen.

Okay, no, I AM hallucinating. I just replayed Twilight Princess recently, and Link sure as hell wasn't replaced by Freddy Fazbear. And the triforce was almost certainly not a pepperoni pizza. 

I've got the strangest sinking feeling right now.

Ah, yep. I'm dead.

Five Nights at Freddy's sure is an odd bird. Beyond being a fun horror game (in the same vein as Paper's Please, where it's all about managing a bunch of things efficiently and consistently), it's spawned quite a following. 

There's been more fan-art than you can shake a stick at. People have poured personalities into these characters that they don't necessarily have in the game (see: Chica/Foxy). There have been theories about what happened before the events of the game and about the animatronics themselves.

I love it all. These-dare I call them-"exaggerations" that expand the game beyond its physical boundaries and draw more and more people in. It brings people together. Whether it be in the comments of Youtube videos or in streams, I've seen so much support for the people who play this game. People giving tips and tricks, trying to help a player understand the AI, or just encouraging a player in general. This game brings out a sense of community. Rather than watching just to see someone get scared, a lot of people are watching to support someone and see them win.

Anyways, I got a little off-track there. As others are paying tribute to Five Nights at Freddy's in various ways (such as fan-art), I thought of this blog as a unique way for me to pay tribute to it. It sure was fun to make, so I hope you enjoyed reading this silly little epilogue I concocted for Five Nights at Freddy's. It's a great little horror game. I totally recommend buying it. You can pick it up on Steam or Desura for $5.

One last thing before I end this. I know the signs in that Foxy camera image I have are nigh-impossible to read. Well, I took a picture of a picture on a PSP with a PS Vita (I used a Vita because it takes grainy pictures, perfect for a horror game). I kind of expected that to happen. Here are versions of the pictures that are legible:

That's it! Thanks for reading!

Photo Photo

I'm going to make a prediction. Feel free to tell me if I'm wrong. You either:

a) Generally enjoy Kingdom Hearts as a series, in which case your favorite Kingdom Hearts game is: Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts 2, Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, or Kingdom Hearts 3D.

b) Dislike Kingdom Hearts, in which case you have no "favorite".

I think I'd be correct at least 80% of the time. Just take a look at this poll that I totally didn't steal from GameFAQs.

It's pretty clear where the love is. Look at the size of Kingdom Hearts II's e-peen as compared to that of Re: Chain of Memories, Re:Coded, and 358/Days. Kingdom Hearts II is definitely the one attracting all the ladies (and men). 

Okay, so this is just one graph. And from GameFAQs of all places. But I'd say it's a pretty accurate one. Well, while I do love Kingdom Hearts II and those other ones that people like so much, I'm afraid they're simply not my favorites. Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories is. Y'know. That game in the title of the blog. The blog that you're reading. Right now.

So some of you might be going, "hey, Marche, you have shit taste. What looks fun about that stuff in the image up there?" Yeah, you kind of have a point.

Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories seems on the outside like a Kingdom Hearts nightmare. You're going back through the same locations as in the first game. You'll fight your way through Olympus Coliseum for what feels like the thousandth time. You'll fight Genie Jafar. Again. And the fight will play out like it did in the first game. Again. And as if that weren't bad enough, it's not like the story is hugely important. You can jump straight from the first Kingdom Hearts into the second without much confusion. Heck, that's what I did back when Kingdom Hearts II first released.

So why even bother? What is it about Re: Chain of Memories that even makes it worth looking at?


Wait a minute, that's not right...


Yes, that's right. Cards. Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories has cards. Lots of them. And they alone make the game worth playing. They make the game fun. Allow me to explain. In case you didn't know, Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories (and Chain of Memories) really diverged from the traditional Kingdom Hearts gameplay. And hot damn is the gameplay it has fun.

I'm not going to bother to explain the intricacies of the card-based battle system, because that would take paragraphs upon paragraphs of me droning on about it (I actually just erased six paragraphs of me droning on about it once I realized that it would be boring to read), but it is addictive as hell. It actually makes fighting Large Body #234984 fun.

I will say that it's a battle system that allows for a lot of strategy. Between creating your own deck of cards to battle with, setting up/using sleights (essentially setting up combos in-battle, which may trigger an ability based on which cards you used), and performing card breaks (interrupting an enemy's attack by using a card valued higher than theirs, or by using a card with a value of 0), and recharging your deck, you really have to plan out your attacks in advance if you want to get the upper hand. ESPECIALLY in boss battles. (Let me tell you, some of the later boss battles are HARD.)

I think this is wonderful, because you can get through quite a few other Kingdom Hearts games without any strategy whatsoever. Just attack and heal. Attack and heal. Attack and heal. Maybe use an item if you're low on MP and throw in an offensive spell or two. Where's the thought behind that? There's not a lot. Granted, higher difficulties in other Kingdom Hearts games may require a bit more thought, but I was largely able to get through those in the same manner.

A few other things to note. Take a look at that! In this Kingdom Hearts you actually get to choose what you want when you level up! No more leveling up and going "oh look, the game decided for me that I would get more health". No, no, no. You choose. And you have to choose wisely. How you level up plays a large part in battles. With more health you can survive longer. With more CP you can have more cards in your deck. With sleights you can pull off greater abilities. They're all important. 

Which you deem more important than the others is up to you. Not the game. For once you grow with Sora. He doesn't grow for you.

What's next? Oh, look! It's everybody's favorite character to ship with Sora, Riku! And what's this? You're playing as him!

Yes, that's right. You get to play as Riku once you finish Sora's story. You might think "so what? I got to play as Riku in Kingdom Hearts 3D. And who would want to go through the game again as him?" as you flip through some Kingdom Hearts hentai. Let me tell you something. Re: Chain of Memories handled Riku brilliantly. Re: Chain of Memories beats the ever-loving shit out of Riku's Kingdom Hearts 3D appearance.

How so? Think back if you will to Kingdom Hearts 3D (assuming you've played it). Think back to playing as Sora. Then as Riku. What's the difference? The differences are relatively minor. Yes, Riku fights a bit differently than Sora, he might have an exclusive ability or two, and you can set up his abilities differently from Sora, but when you get right down to it, he's a clone. You're essentially playing as Sora with a new skin. And a deeper voice.

On the other hand, playing as Riku in Re: Chain of Memories is an entirely different experience from playing as Sora.

Unlike with Sora, you can't upgrade CP or get sleights. You can upgrade your attack power or darkness points. The reason you can't change your CP is because you can't change Riku's deck. Your cards are set up for you. They'll change as your progress through the story, but gone are the days of carefully choosing cards yourself. As for sleights, you have some set sleights you can use in Dark Mode.

Darkness points are used for Dark Mode. Perform card breaks in battle or take enough damage and you'll eventually activate Dark Mode. How long you're in it for depends on how many darkness points you have. Dark mode is like Riku's limit break. He gets the ability to use three powerful sleights, as well as to just wreck shit in general. Take damage in Dark mode and you'll revert back to your normal form quicker.

So, you get the idea. Riku is a whole different monster from Sora.

"Still," you might say. "That's all well and good, but why should I have to go through the whole game again? I mean, for god's sake, going through Agrabah for the umpteenth time was bad enough".

For one thing, it's not the same story. Riku undergoes his own journey. He goes through the different Disney worlds in a totally different order from Sora. And he has his own obstacles to overcome. See that guy up there? His name's Zexion. You don't get to fight him as Sora. Riku and Riku alone has to take him on. There's at least one other boss like this that I can remember.

"But that's just like Kingdom Hearts 3D!" you cry as you hug your official Kingdom Hearts 3D Riku body pillow (TM). Calm yourself. 

Here's where the beauty of playing as Riku kicks in.

Playing as Riku does not mean you have to sink another 30 hours into the game. Riku's story flies by. Riku levels up quickly and cuts down enemies like he's the Raiden of Kingdom Hearts. You'll be shocked at how fast you're moving once you start playing it. If you wish, you can whip through his story in an afternoon or two. It's much more fast paced than Sora's story. One more difference between the two to throw on the pile.

[IOU one seamless transition into some conclusion paragraphs - <3 Marche100]

So why do I love Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories? It dared to be different. It dared to have a battle system that would be alien to Kingdom Hearts fans. One that they might shun and pass by without a second thought (as seems to have become the case). But you know what? That battle system works. It REALLY works. It's a blast. I'm honestly saddened that we'll never get another Kingdom Hearts game with this Re: Chain of Memories' battle system.

Beyond that, there's plenty of customization with both your deck and Sora and Riku them selves. And Square-Enix outdid their selves with how they handled Riku. Rather than taking the easy way out and making him a Sora clone, they made playing as him a  unique experience. One that didn't overstay its welcome and incorporated bits of his character into the gameplay.

You know, because Riku has darkness in his heart...or something. So Dark mode. Yeah. Hey, cut me some slack. The word "darkness" gets tossed around so much in the Kingdom Hearts games that it's hard to remember how darkness ties into everything.

That's why I love Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories. I encourage anyone who hasn't played it yet to give it a chance, or anyone who has dropped it to try picking it up again. Once you understand what you're doing, it's a wonderful experience. One that's solidified it as my favorite Kingdom Hearts game.

Note: I know I was egging on Riku's Kingdom Hearts 3D appearance a lot in this blog, but don't get the wrong idea. I love Kingdom Hearts 3D too. I just think that Re: Chain of Memories handled playing as him in a far more interesting, fun, and unique manner.


So I'm the last person on Earth to play Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. I bought it a little over a month ago and just recently got around to playing it. You know what? I love it. A lot. More than a lot. I've been through the game three times already. I've already planned a fourth and fifth run. I won't shut up about it on the forums. I'm going for the freaking platinum trophy.

Guys, this is perplexing. I'm going to tell you why. Needless to say, this blog will at some point contain spoilers about Metal Gear Rising. Right up to the final boss. You have been warned.

STOP THE PRESSES. Marche is a year late to the Metal Gear Rising shindig!

So there are a few reasons why Metal Gear Rising has shocked me. For one thing, I NEVER replay games right after beating them. NEVER. This is the first game where I have EVER had multiple runs back-to-back. Secondly, I'm not a huge fan of action games. Sure, I've played Viewtiful Joe, I've dabbled in Bayonetta, and I've played some Devil May Cry, but none of them really wowed me. At least, not nearly to the extent that Metal Gear Rising has.

As someone who's not a massive action game fan (or who's good at action games in the first place), I'm not going to pretend like I know all of the intricacies of what makes an action game good or enjoyable. But I'm going to try to find out just what makes Metal Gear Rising rise above every other game I've ever played. I'll try to decode what makes it so special that I want to play it over and over again.

Fun fact: My real name is Sam.
Sad fact: I am not as cool as Jetstream Sam.
Uplifting Fact: I'm not as dead as Jetstream Sam.

Well, let's start off with the story and the characters. I bought Metal Gear Rising because it's a part of the Metal Gear chronology and I was (and still technically am) playing through the whole Metal Gear franchise. Minus a few games. That, and I was interested in seeing what all the fuss was about. 

Well I'm going to say right off the bat that the story is absolutely not what makes Metal Gear Rising so special. It's the most throwaway story I've seen in the whole Metal Gear franchise. I couldn't care less about why Raiden is going to x and fighting y. This is interesting, because much of my enjoyment of other Metal Gear games comes from their stories.

The characters are different. Primarily the villains. Like any other Metal Gear game, the villains really shine. I'll never forget Jetstream Sam and his brilliant set of teeth. Or Mistral with her arm...pole...thing. Or Monsoon's ability to become a royal pain in the a-I mean-split apart. Or how Senator Armstrong played college ball (y'know). Oh, and I guess Raiden's suddenly became a badass too. And he can rock a ton of costumes.

So we've got memorable characters. They're fun in their own little ways. That's a start. What next?

Why couldn't I do this in Metal Gear Solid 2? You know. When I had to fight 20 of these fucking things. When it mattered.

Oh. Right. That. So, this game has incredible set-pieces right off the bat. That Metal Gear Ray fight is unforgettable. I imagine the impact wouldn't be as great if you weren't already a Metal Gear fan prior to playing Revengeance, but it's still hella cool. Let's not forget other memorable scenes, like the fight against your first helicopter, the fight in a japanese garden, running up the side of a skyscraper, the first fight against a GRAD, every other boss fight in the game, and so on.

Say what you will about flashy set-pieces, but I love them. I know some people take issue about how some games like Uncharted are built around them, but I don't care. I love it all the same. It's all stupid fun. Speaking of stupid fun...

That poor man probably has a family. A family in dire need of slicing up. BAM.

You knew this was coming. Blade mode is a blast. Hacking, slicing, dicing, chopping, cutting...I can't get enough of it. As many others have said before me, the cutting system is more complex than meets the e-AH, WHO CARES ABOUT THAT? IT'S FUCKING AWESOME! From the very first cut to the last cut, it never loses its luster. It never gets old. The joy of cutting your enemies into hundreds of parts remains no matter how much you do it.

And you know, I wonder why that is? I don't think it has anything to do with blood and guts. I derive just as much joy from chopping up machinery as a cyborg. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that cutting up an enemy in blade mode is practically equivalent to victory. Each cut I make both asserts my power and reinforces the fact that I'm victorious (at least, to some degree). Maybe I'm overthinking it. 

Or maybe not. Let's take a look at the only other example I can think of. One thing that never gets old no matter how much you do it. Objecting in Ace Attorney games. As any Ace Attorney fan knows, objecting is always a blast. You always get a sort of rush from doing it. It doesn't matter if you're playing a case for the first time or the five-hundredth time. Each objection feels good every single time. Without fail. Perhaps that's because when you object, you feel a sense of victory. You're triumphing over the lies presented before you. In a sense, each objection is its own battle and has its own victory.

Perhaps I'm onto something. Perhaps not. But I don't want to get over-analytical here. Point is that blade mode is awesome one-hundred percent of the time. That's certainly a part of why I've found Metal Gear Rising so fun and replayable. (I'd be insane to say it's not.)

Note: I do not endorse Kotaku by using this gif. Kotaku can go fuck with Senator Armstrong for all I care.

I'm Senator Steven Armstrong, and I approve this message.

So now I've touched on the characters, set pieces, and how the blade mode mechanic never gets old. All of that contributes to this next section, which I dedicate to our lord and savior, Senator Armstrong. He's pretty well a god among senators.

So Senator Armstrong is definitely a part of why I love this game and find it so replayable. Hell, you could argue that I'm replaying the game JUST to get to the senator. This guy is a joy in so many ways. He has great one-liners. His design is fantastic (he looks so much like a generic, stereotypical politican, and yet at the same time he has his own unique, memorable look). He has muscles that even Tubby would admire. Hell, even his mannerisms are great (I particularly like when he pushes up his glasses after Raiden beats the shit out of his chest, as if nothing happened).

The fight with him is awesome, too. The true fight, I mean. He's fast, powerful, and has some nice, flashy fire attacks. You're practically fighting a walking tank (Metal Gear Armstrong?). The blade mode sequences are the most complex blade mode sequences in the game. Quite befitting of a final fight. And who can forget my favorite part? The final blade mode sequence, where you slice up his chest, Raiden proclaims "We're done here!", and rips Armstrong's heart right out of his chest! That sequence never gets old, just like blade mode itself never gets old.

What a great character. What a great fight. What a great finisher. What's left for us to talk about? A few more things.

Sorry, no "Rules of Nature". It's not in my nature to repost songs that we've all heard a thousand times over.

Hey, look! My favorite Metal Gear Rising track! Anyways, the soundtrack is most definitely awesome and a part of why I find Metal Gear Rising so special. But let's go a little bit deeper than that, shall we? 

I always find music to be a sort of spiritual experience. Metal Gear Rising provides a rather unique experience in that regard. At least, with the bosses. I chose that particular video of "A Stranger I Remain" up there for a reason. You hear the instrumental version of a boss's song when you first enter the ring. The vocals come in later during the battle, after you've taken off so much health (with a few exceptions).

I find this to be a rather interesting way of handling the boss music. You get acquainted with the tune during the first phase or two of the boss. You think "oh, this is pretty good". Then WHAM. Vocals come in as the fight heats up. This triggers a reaction in the player (or at least in me), where it gets the player even more pumped up.

I love how well coordinated that is. I can't think of another game off the top of my head that does something like that (that I know of). Many games don't have the opportunity, having instrumental soundtracks. Others may have vocals, but they work differently. 

Take Sephiroth's theme, for instance. It's got that famous chorus section. But that chorus doesn't kick in when you deal so much damage to Sephiroth. No, you could hear it before you even took your first turn if you sat there long enough. It doesn't have the same effect. It doesn't have nearly the same impact that Metal Gear Rising's style has. At least, I don't think it does.

Other languages sold separately.

My, we got a bit analytical in here. Let's end with something not-so-serious, shall we? I'm talking costumes. I don't usually care about costumes in games. At all. But how can you say no to a playthrough as mariachi Raiden, scourge of Desperado (complete with the infinite blade mode wig)? And how can we live without a playthrough with Raiden in Desperado attire, cranking the irony (and the fashion) up a notch?

These are important things, people. Trust me.

There's your new wallpaper. You're welcome.

So what did you just read? I dunno. I kind of don't know what I just wrote. Call it what you will. Part journey to understand why I love this game enough to play it over and over again, part me just gushing about Metal Gear Rising, part analysis about video game music and why certain things in games feel good...I dunno. Make of it what you will.

I'll just be over here playing more Metal Gear Rising. And cutting and cutting and cutting and cutting and cutting and cutting and cutting and cutting and cutting and cutting and cutting and cutting and cutting and cutting and cutting and cutting...

I'm fashionably late to the party. As always. Let's cut right to the chase, shall we?

1. I occasionally forget to put 0s and 9s after my 1s.

It's an honest mistake. It happens to the best of us! Right? RIGHT?!

2. I'm apparently pretty damn young. At least, compared to most people around here.

I'm 1 years old. If there's anyone younger than me around here, I certainly don't know about it. We've got people here on Destructoid who are parents. Grizzled veterans of life. Old codgers. Wrinkly old men. And here I am. Still wearing diapers, as it were. Most people in college still wear diapers. Right? Sure. Of course they do. Anyways, as I'm the youngest here, I think I'm clearly the one with the most wisdom. So if you have any pressing questions, I suggest you bring them to me posthaste. The sooner you bring me your questions, the sooner I can direct you to a "let me Google that for you" link.

Oh, and there's some dickbag in the forums named Firion who likes to go on about how I'm in preschool. If you see him, make fun of his weabooness (there's a good word to add to Chrome's dictionary) for me. 

3. I have many unpopular preferences/opinions (when it comes to video games).

I'm Mr. Unpopular apparently. I've noticed over the years that I have a plethora of unpopular preferences/opinions. Whether it be liking games that are generally disliked or hailing some games as the best of a series that most don't like as much. So much so that I started making a list of this stuff! Here are a few unpopular preferences/opinions of mine! 

I know none of you reading this blog care about what games I like or how I feel about certain games but too bad! Not that you can't just scroll past this part, but-hey, WAIT!

- I liked Virtue's Last Reward more than 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors.
- Metal Gear Solid 1 is my least favorite numbered Metal Gear Solid.
- Zelda: Twilight Princess is my favorite Zelda.
- Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs was awesome.
- My favorite Final Fantasy is FF5.
- Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney is criminally underrated. Seriously.
- Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories is my favorite Kingdom Hearts.
- Bastion sucked (I've seen recently that I'm not alone in this, which is nice to know).
- Final Fantasy IX is overrated (I call this the Earthbound Effect, where a game that was once underrated has become overrated as word of mouth has made it popular).
- Trauma Center 2 is so underrated. This one isn't so much an unpopular opinion as one that no one else has because I'm the only person who knows about this game's existence. ;_;

That's just a small sampling of my many unpopular preferences/opinions. I'm so special. Look at me go.

4. I've beaten the Ace Attorney games more times than I can count.

If you know me, you know I'm a massive Ace Attorney fan. I love these games to death. I pretty well play through them yearly. Keep in mind that these are visual novel-like games that easily run up to 20-30 hours in length. Yeah, to set aside that much time every year or two for these games, they pretty well have to have an incredibly large place in my heart.

So, I lost count of how many times I beat them a while back. But it's gotten to the point where the cartridges have just about stopped working. The first Phoenix Wright game I have is a bitch to get started up. I've been shocked the past 2-3 times I've gone through it that it's held out this long. The second Phoenix Wright game is now so overused that it not only has problems starting up, but occasionally randomly freezes. That's fun to deal with!

Here's a fun fact: Back in middle school, the Ace Attorney games inspired me to proudly declare that I wanted to become an attorney. That went on for about a year. Heh. If only the judicial system was as simple and fun as it is in Ace Attorney.

Another fun fact (and an embarrassing one at that): Also back in middle school, we had a mock trial once. This was back a little while after I had my first exposure to Ace Attorney. My side had a perfect opportunity to make an objection, but no one on my side was willing to take it (perhaps they were a bit shy). I took the reigns, promptly rose from my seat and slammed my desk in Phoenix Wright style. Yeah. I actually did that. Thank god I didn't point my finger. I know I considered it. Suffice to say, that was a bit embarrassing. At least the others on my side didn't seem to care on the side. They were just excited that we had made a valid objection.

5. This is thing number five, which I've set aside for intermission!

6. I'm a drawer. No, not the furniture. A person who draws.

I'm a person who has loved to draw all his life. I drew the beautiful pieces you can see in this blog.

As well as a shit ton of magnificent Steins;Gate drawings.

But more importantly, I want to point out my greatest works. King Zelos, a fellow on the forums who apparently fancies himself as royalty, recently got a bunch of us to dig up old things around our house and post about them. Well, I dug up some stuff and found some of the best damn comic books you could ever lay eyes on. Just look at some of this stuff.

Planet Man? Look at that originality! Look at that art direction! This is moving me to tears, guys! If it doesn't move you to tears, you have no soul.

B-Boy, the boy who uses a basketball to fight monsters?! This is an instant classic! Better than Superman! Bigger than Superman!

The Adventures of Megaman and Link?! Man, look at those characters I came up with and clearly did not steal from anyone else! Look at the second image, with a decapitated Samus in the center-left panel! That's true art! This should be in the National Gallery of Art front and center! It would make grown men weep! I should copyright this before someone else steals my ideas/characters!

Such are the glorious fruits of my young mind. I should draw more comics. Can't let this sheer genius go to waste. 

7. I make stuff with RPG Maker. Lots of stuff.

I'm not even going to bother pulling out the "RPG MAKER, BLEGH!" and "Shut the hell up" card this time. Oh wait...I JUST DID!

Anyways, I've been using RPG Maker since I was in seventh grade. That'd be...about six years. I'm going to say it's seven years, though, because seven sounds more impressive than six. I've made RPGs out the wazoo since I started using the program. Many have gone unfinished. MANY. Very few have seen completion in any form. I suppose that's my curse.

So if you weren't living under a rock a few weeks ago, you'll notice that I made this little thing called Destructoid Story. A visual novel. That's made with the latest version of RPG Maker. That's something I did in fact complete. Yay, me. *confetti*

And then I almost immediately came up with a concept for another RPG that will no doubt be in development hell for some time. Yay, me. *hellish confetti*

If you want to see some information about the game I'm working on, I made a thread wayyy over here about it. It's a dungeon crawler inspired by Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Persona 3, Catherine, and Dark Souls (a bit). Yeah. It's pretty crazy. (No it's not. It's not crazy at all, is it?)

8. I used to write horrible fanfiction.

Firion likes to joke on the forums that I'm the best fanfiction writer around. Well, he's half right. I used to be a fanfiction writer. And not just any fanfiction writer. The worst fanfiction writer around. I once said that I would never, ever share my awful fanfiction with you good people. I would never willingly unleash the untold horrors within upon your pure, innocent souls. 

Well, I decided just now to corrupt your minds with my garbage.

So here's a link to my old account. Full of all the Kingdom Hearts fanfiction you can handle. Not that it's all Kingdom Hearts fanfiction, but the majority of it is. And boy is it awful fanfiction. Avoid clicking on that link at all costs.

Here's another link to a Kingdom Hearts piece I wrote (and didn't finish) late last year. It's on another forum I frequented for quite a while (yes, my name is different over there, as I went through various name changes for fun. No creating multiple accounts for me, unlike some people over here.) It's considerably better than that crap on, although it suffers from commasplosions and lack of proofreading.

Of course, I don't know why I'm bothering to include links at all. You'd have to be insane to want to read that shit. (I'm looking at you, Lion.)

9. I used to make horrible Gmod/sprite comics.

Yes, as if half of the stuff I've shared/shown in this blog wasn't embarrassing enough, I'm going to share even more of my creative genius with you all. Many years ago, I made sprite comics! Pretty bad ones. I also made many comics with Garry's Mod, wherein I posed models from Half-Life 2, took screenshots, and added text bubbles.

Hey, at least this stuff isn't as bad as my old fanfiction.

So here's a link to that if you want to read some of that for whatever reason. My comics include such classics as Half-Life 3, The Adventures of Gamer, and MarioSonicZelda Adventures (whadda name!) 

10. I'm about to end your whole career.

Boom. Bam. Bop. Bada-bop boom pow.

(I'm not a rapper.)

Bonus. Look at this fucking gif.

Firion showed this to me the other day. Now try to pull your eyes away. You can't, can you? Heck, I don't know why I'm bothering to type all this. It's not like you can even read it. Now, the reason I wrote up this blog in the first place has come to fruition. I now have total control over your mind and body. My plot to take over Destructoid begins now. With you. Once I have control of the masses, nothing can stop me.

This is Marche100. Assuming direct control.
Photo Photo Photo

10:00 AM on 04.11.2014

As you may or may not recall, I made a blog a few weeks ago teasing Destructoid Story. I refused to say what it is exactly, but gave you a nice little trailer to build up a little bit of hype. In case you missed it, here it is again:

Well, the day of release is drawing nearer and nearer, so I figure that I ought to give you guys some more information.

So, what is Destructoid Story? Why don't I just have my good friend Snoop Lion tell you?

You heard the man. Destructoid Story is a visual novel. I know that some people were predicting that it was erotic fan fiction of some sort. So close, yet so far. The fan fiction thing is the close part. There's nothing erotic in this visual novel. Or isn't there...?

So, what am I using to make Destructoid Story? I've been using RPG Maker VX Ace. In other words, the newest version of RPG Maker. I've been pushing the program to its limits to make this thing (that trailer up there is in-VN footage of the opening). If you have some sort of grudge against RPG Maker/people who use RPG Maker, I suggest that you get over it and grow up. That's what I'm using. Deal with it.

You've probably noticed by now that there a good few people from Destructoid's community in this thing. Who's all in it? I'll tell you! This is a tentative list of people who will be appearing in the VN (or who I've already put in) in alphabetical order:

- Aaron "Mxy" Yost
- AboveUp
- Agidyne
- Benny Disco
- Brightside
- BrowneyeWinkin
- Char Aznable
- Dale North (mentioned, not seen)
- Everyday Legend
- Firion
- FlyByNight
- Gatsby (mentioned, not seen)
- Glowbear
- Gorilla Gravy
- Grunchk1n (mentioned, not seen)
- King Zelos
- Kir
- KymikoLoco
- Last Scion of the House of Blue Lions
- Occams' Electric Toothbrush
- Marche100 (hey, it's not like I'm not going to put myself in)
- Mr. Andy Dixon
- Niero Gonzalez (mentioned, not seen)
- Nihil
- Panzadolphin
- Philkensebben
- pkfire
- Pixielated
- Red Morgan
- Reinhold Hoffman
- Revuhlooshun
- Script
- Sephzilla
- Usedtabe
- Zodiac Eclipse 

That's tentative, but so far it's looking like the finalized list. Of course, there are other characters in the visual novel besides people from the community. Many other characters! But this is simply a list of those from the community who are in the VN.

If your name isn't on the list, I'm sorry. I've been trying to put in as many people as I can, but there are a few criteria I've been using: A) "Can I fit this person into the story without forcing it?" and B) "Do I think I can capture this person's personality or kinda-sorta make them into my own character?" 

So what's it about? Well, I'm not going to tell you much, even when it comes time for release. I'll just say this: It's about Firion, a girl who moves to a new high school, Destructoid High, on the east coast (the best coast). From there, who knows what will happen? 

Things do get pretty crazy, depending on what path you take. Speaking of which, there are going to be three main paths and three unique bad endings. The three main paths are as follows: Brightside's Path, Marche's Path, and Browneye's Path. Each one takes on a different genre. In fact, I would say that they tend to switch genres once or twice within their own paths. 

As for the unique bad endings, trust me when I say that you'll want to get them. I think my beta testers will attest to the fact that they're well worth seeing.

One last thing I want to mention here. I mentioned this in the forums a bit. In case you're wondering, this visual novel should take you around 8 hours to read (assuming you go through every path and get every unique bad ending). I hope that's satisfactory. This visual novel's got some meat on its bones, make no mistake.

One question remains (that I'm willing to answer): How far along am I and how long will it be until release? 

Well, let's see. Every bad ending is finished. Brightside and Browneye's paths are finished. I've just got my path yet to work on. After that, I just need to go over everything and polish it off and we'll be good to go. 

So...let's say that I'll release Destructoid Story in a week and a half to two weeks from now. Sound good? I hope so.

When I release, there will be a few things included with the VN. I'll have some flowcharts for your reference and there will be a message from me concerning how much this visual novel means to me on a personal level. I might also include a list of fun facts/obscure references, if I have the time.

That's all I've got. I hope that I've whet your appetite with these screenshots and information. I tried.

See you soon, Dtoid cowboy*.

* Line unapologetically stolen from Tom Fronczak.