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Marioland's blog

12:01 PM on 05.06.2011

Quickblog: Dear gamers, multiple game disks are fine. Get over it.

Dear gamers,

Videogames are our beloved medum. We all know that they basically are programs that need to be contained somewhere in order to excecute them everytime we have that characteristic itch on our fingers.

Now, here's the thing. Which one of you criticised a game before the current gen consoles about the media the game was in?

The latest rage about L.A. Noire going around the internet for being in multiple disks on 360 and that "it's better played on the PS3" makes my eyes roll over. Seriously people. Haven't you learn that gamers should not care about the containing media but the game itself?

It's like saying, "yeah, Mortal Kombat on SNES was better than Mortal Kombat on Genesis because the SNES cartridges had higher capacity" Overlooking completely each version's merits and weaknesses.

Also, does anybody remember a multiple disk game that sucked because of the.. multiple disks? Lost Odyssey was awesome on 360. I can't remember anybody complaining about disk swapping on Final Fantasy 7 or Final Fantasy 8, Parasite Eve 2 etc.

Besides, multiple game disks use to separate the different chapters of games. For example, Final Fantasies on PSX used to give the player a shock right before the disk's ending, concluding the "chapter", giving the gamers the time they need to think of what they just saw. It was a clear separation of chapters.

What if Final Fantasy 7 had Aeris' death somewhere in the middle of the game without a pause for the gamers to stomach the loss? It would have been a "meh, she died" event right next to other events and wouldn't be that memorable if the gamers wouldn't have the time to think about it. The next events would take over quickly and the gamers would mourn her death as they mourn for an outgoing fart.

So, don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing Blu-Ray and its capacity - It's fine by me. The problem is that gamers need to stop thinking about things that don't matter. What if L.A. Noire turns out to be a monstrocity? Will the single-discness it save it?

So, open that lid and throw in the second disc, gamers. Your couch and snacks won't go anywhere for the few seconds you're up, changing the disk...

Wow, last minute thought: I don't remember a game spun in more than one cartridges! Let's go back to the cart era! YAY FUN!


11:32 AM on 02.13.2011

One man's trash is another man's SEGA

It wasn't too long ago when I tweeted @Dtoid with an impressive picture of a stack of five Sega Megadrives along with six gamegears towering on top. They were all on their way to a nearby landfill but our lucky fellow Dtoider Cubilone noticed them in the trash bins and collected them.

The consoles inside were intact, in their initial plastic and paper wrappings, all the manuals and warranty papers are still white. The only thing showing their long stay in a warehouse, was a thick layer of dust which was cleaned off, revealing some almost perfect original packages, albeit some minor dents and rips.

As my friend contacted me to inform me about his findings, he showed me all the nice pictures. My heart skipped a beat. I (still) am a Sega fan and a sucker for their classic (or not so) consoles. I felt rage for the heartless toy-store owner who rejected such treasure like it's common trash.

As expected, these gorgeous consoles will be sold on e-bay (except for a Mega Drive and a Game Gear given as a gift to me from my friend) but before that, we had to check for their integrity. You know, see if the cables, the manuals and all are in there and nobody took a cable or a controller. Since Cubi had no idea what Sega packages included (he grew up only playing Nintendo, that ignorant fool) This is where I came in. We managed to have several vids of the inspection (I can't say unboxing since I haven't stripped the consoles from inside the box).


we start talking in English at 1.05 so so skip ahead.

I also attempted to play some games on the consoles that were destined for me, succesfully. So, don't worry, the other consoles are stil.... *virgin*. Both consoles are working perfectly which is a good sign that all of them are working too.


Tried the Gamegear with its included cartridge - 4-in-1


Tried a Sega Mega Drive with the worst Sonic game for the console. A console where Sonic reached his full glory. *sigh*
So it's Sonic 3D.

The auctions will be up in a few days. We are trying to determine how much a never-before used Game Gears and Mega Drives are sold. (if you have ideas, tell me in the comments) For the ones who are interested, I'll make a new post or follow me @Azureleeonardo where I'll tweet the links of the auctions.

BTW excuse my crappy English or Greeklish :P I was too excited to be careful but I hope you enjoy the videos...

[edit: for some reason, the videos didn't appear. That was because of HTML5 embedding. Now it's working]   read

5:36 PM on 01.31.2011

Social gaming and why it isn't social

Socialization: It's something we do right from the beginning of our lives. It's a complex proceedure of getting involved with the ones around us. learning the rules of interpersonal interactions with other people. Almost everything in our lives are basically socialization. attitude, formality, smiling at someone, loving someone, giving something to someone, sharing something with someone... It's a whole complicated emotional network that takes "me" and transforms it into "us".

Basically the term "Social Network" doesn't even mean electronic friend services. A social network can be an extended area full of people who interact with each other. It's the friends of your friends you don't know about and it's your friends that your friends haven't been informed yet. Everybody is practically a nod of several social networks and when two people meet and become friends, they create a link between all those networks.

I know. It's quite complicated.

Electronic social networks such as Facebook and Myspace are tools of sharing stuff with other people of our choice, electronically. Mostly because they either are away or it's akward to share otherwise. For example, if I like a Youtube Video, it's highly inconvenient to make a huge recipient list on and share it away using e-mail. This also applies to links, pictures, animations etc. Even the short status updates are serving a purpose of socializing. It's like you are in a cafe with a bunch of friends and inform them that you are hungry or your goldfish died. They are the tools of doing socialization without the actual presence of people but broadcasting to them your emotions and ideas. So, a normally one should expect a Facebook newstream/wall to be full of messages, videos, ideas, emotions... A colorful and diverse stream of stuff to like, comment and interact with.

Thus, in such terms, "social gaming" isn't really social. I've been playing FarmVille for quite a while and I found out that it's a lonely-lonely game, that happens to tell everybody in preset messages when something special happens. The interaction with other players is being kept at minimum too. You can fertilize someone's crops and send them presents. Nothing out of a restricted path. The other player's farm can easily be some randomly generated farms with AI's deciding at random times to send you presents and/or fertilize your crops. That's far from social interaction as I know it.

Furthermore, the messages that are sent from such games, spoil the function of social network services. If Facebook's newstream gets full of messages about brown chickens, need of jewels and highscore announcements, the said service won't be a social network anymore. It'll to become Crapville. A platform for games that spams your wall and your newstream with repetitive messages from repetitive single player games. They don't carry socializing material in them. It's just the same repetitive messages over and over again.

So, social gaming as it is now, it's far from social. They're just some slow games that time manage their players and they are using their integration with a social network as a gimicky incentive to keep them hooked.

To conclude, social gaming needs to keep on, it has to become truely social. I don't know how this will be done and I'm currently out of ideas on the realization of it. But when someone talks about the "future" of social gaming, I know that it's crap promotion talking until someone actively finds the way.

5:49 PM on 01.08.2011

Game On 2.0 Expo had some really neat stuff

Here I am, fellow Dtoiders, writing from the distant land of gloom and economic crisis.

I haven't been writing blogs for so long because of some severe problems in my family. Nobody is dead thankfully but sometimes death is salvation for some. Enough with this stuff though. We are here to talk videogames, right? So, yesterday I had the chance to visits Game On 2.0 in Athens.

It was an awesome journey through the history of videogames. We got to see some rare stuff that we thought they were lost through time. We got to play old hits from Arcades and Atari 2600 to Halo 3 and Kinect sports. It was pure magic and I have photos to prove it!

Computer space! That's right fellas, they got TWO OF THEM with different panels. I never imagined I could get close to one and see it in personal. Really.

This cabinet is a piece of art. It makes you worry why people keep tredmills and ugly excersise stuff in their living rooms instead of getting arcade cabinets?

A Nintendo pong console? Oh don't act surprised... Head over to Bit Museum and see the guys playing that thing!

Magnavox oddysey. It sucked. But it's officially the first domestic gaming console.

A ZX Spectrum with some sort of contruption to play ROMS. I guess it doesn't count as piracy since all the tapes must have been demagnetized by now...

It's a fucking Famicom.

A Dreamcast Hello Kitty edition running Soul Calibur. Is it awesome or just wrong? (tell me in the comments :P)

This is the most sexist pinball table ever.

Planet of Zoom? Who goes there? :P

The original Pacman cabinet. Some of your daddys had their first WAKAWAKAWAKAs on one of those.

Remember the time when Mario was called Jumpman and was a carpenter? Me neither. I wasn't born yet. But, I have played the game in it's pure original form and here's the proof!

Isn't it beautiful? Just that cabinet... I want it... so much... (the Empire Strikes Back game with vector graphics is also one of the gratest Star Wars games ever!)

Concept art from... Donkey Kong! wow. They really kept those...

Part from the non-playable collection they had. Sadly we didn't get to play PCE portable or Sega Nomad. They also had some cartridges cracked open for us to see.

Well, that's all folks. My camera decided to die at that point because it's crappy.

They also had some rare stuff like the Super Mario All Stars + World playable, Tomb Raider, the 10-player Bomberman for Sega Saturn, a ton of Atari games and controllers, Nintendo's arcade versions of Super Mario Bros. and Excitebike, Super smash Bros Brawl, Game and Watch, Wii games, PS2 games, Sony Move, Kinect, Rockband and some silly virtual reality sphere that didn't make sense. It was truely a shame that they didn't have any arcade (besides Daytona USA) or at least a DDR machine.

Most important, despite of all the family difficulties, I smiled. I felt happy after many days of gloom. I snapped out of it. I laughed with my friends. I played like a child that found out its long-lost toys. I found out how much I love video games and the importance to have true friends.

So, I think I need to recollect and start anew, building up that games collection I'm dreaming....   read

5:15 PM on 11.13.2010

Xbox Live finally in Greece! Launch event and Greek Southpark-like cartoon.

So yeah. After years of bitching, crying over Paypal and Google checkout to accept my debit card and suffering the "I'm sorry but your location is too lame for our content" messages, Microsoft FINALLY brought Xbox Live services to Greece. Hurray!

Starting from last Wednesday, we officially have our own Xbox Live server, complete with a marketplace (whose content is entirely and fully available to the gamers of the country) and all the online gaming going on with minimal lag and awesome.

Of course, we don't have ANY other service such as Netflix, due to legal complications. Facebook and Twitter will be added at a later date once they get properly translated. It's nice to see the Gold subcriptions being sold to stores (even though the price is high at 49.99euros). The points are available too but only in 2400 and 800 point cards. I guess it's better to buy it directly from the Dashboard.

So, since I am a Journalist (almost), I went to the Press Release Party of Microsoft Hellas. I wasn't nearly as impressive as the ones you've got there, but I went anyway. For Journalism.

Here are some random photos.

Also, for thanking the greek gamers, they made a folklore outfit for the male avatars (called Tsolias) and a scarf with Greece's national colors for the female avatars. Which is kinda cool and hilarious. You're going to recognize a greek player just from the ridiculous outfit of the avatar in avatar-based games.

So, happy Marioland is happy. Now it's time to renew that gold subscription and download some stuff.

On a side note, we have had so much progress in Greece, we got our very own Southpark-like cartoon.

It's called "DON'T take from the ones who don't have" and it's focused around Menippos, an ancient cynicist philosopher, Haros, the god of death who also took the souls from purgatorium to Hades with his boat - with a fare and Hermes who's job was to lead the souls to Haros.

So, Menippos died, Hermes did his job, Haros did his job too. Before going to Hades, Haros asked his payment for taking Menippos to the other side. Menippos, having nothing but his clothes said "don't take from the ones who don't have" and continued to lurk on with the living for 3000+ years, due to a little stupid bureaucratic complication.

Nowadays, that the old gods got retired, Haros and Hermes had problem with retirement. The tax office won't allow them to retire due to Menippos missing fare. So, they get on the impossible task to find him a legit way for him to get money and pay them. It's funny because Greece isn't a sane place. People as well as gods tend to be a little bit crazy. The cartoon is perfect! I've been having so much fun watching it!

So, yeah. Too much progress on a country to the brisk of economic destruction. I guess those things are available now, but who is going to buy since the money are limited. I am still practically jobless at my 24 with some serious education on my back. Well, at least I have games...   read

4:56 PM on 04.27.2010

A message to Anthony

I am not really good to whatever this cblog post might be: a message, a confession or simply a note to a person that I know only from reading his texts and watching his crazy videos.

It's not one hour ago when I opened up the site and see that smiling strawberry with the vibrant yellow "yes" slapped all over the site, puzzling me for what marketing fad this may be. I had to scroll down to see Anthony's goodbye post, reading it until the end causing my eyes water a bit and see the conclusion to find out what's going on.

All I want to say to Anthony is "thank you" with all my heart. He, along with Jim Sterling, has impacted me not only as a gamer that got informed by his posts, but as a person from the ground up, giving me that essential ideas for my brain to process and enchanting my views and perceptions over our much loved industry of videogames.

Realizing my dream - being a gaming journalist at my country- all my editorials tend to have that Burtch essence because I got affected by his views. I didn't copy him though - it's impossible! But he gave me all the material to process and make out my own views on the industry and communicate them to the readers of Greece. In his own conscience, I loved the indie gaming scene, a scene yet untouched by the majority of the press here.

So, I look forward for Anthony, to take his ideas for games that go deep in our minds and souls while they are awesome at the same time, while I feel that an essential element of my everyday life - essentially Anthony's writings- are going to be so missed from our dearly beloved Destructoid.

So, dear Anthony Burtch. Best wishes for your new life as a member of Gearbox and as a Husband. I'll still follow you from afar, but this time through the games that have your name in their credits. I salute you as one of my personal best videogame journalists and I really wish I would meet you in personal one day. I would also like to send you a gift for your wedding but, there's not much gaming things that a guy that used to work in the biggest gaming sites don't have.

BTW if you ever DARE to visit Greece (honeymoon in a scenic Greek island maybe?), please contact me.

You rule!

P.S. Please make a last episode of HAWP with your crazy sister acting unfittingly during your wedding :P
I can't stop thinking of her face stuffed with wedding cupcakes :P

p.s.2 I am currently playing Sleep is Death for review. It's kinda hard to be the storyteller   read

5:20 AM on 03.17.2010

Happy Birthday Destructoid - A community as colorful as distant

That's actually me sitting on a throne with a pacman t-shirt thinking. What else can I do for you Destructoid?

Well, I've been around Destructoid for a year? Maybe more. Two? I've stopped counting for a long time now.
Destructoid was proposed to me by a close and dear Friend. "Look" he said "they talk videogames and they are craaaaazy!" What's not to love to destructoid's editors who are completely insane?

By the time I was checking the news regularly, I made an account. I didn't know there was an option to write a little blog. I haven't even bother to look at the other Cblogs. What a fool I was...

So I discovered the Cblogs, later I discovered the forum but I never write there because I am afraid of too big community discussion boards. So, Cblogs offered to me the chance to express myself, be in the rankings of Dtoid's army and interact with other people that are crazy enough with videogames.

Even though I am in Greece, a country that many of you may know it for the islands, sun and the recent economic crisis the country comes trough (maybe Julia's porno movie too), I feel the vibrance of this community so strong and so vivid. But I feel like I miss the most of the fun by the simple fact that many of you are from the other side of the earth. Having heavy REM's as you re taking your beauty rest. I am far away to participate on some discussions. I don't buy games from Best Buy, Netflix is an unknown service to me, hell, even Xbox Live has forgotten my little country.

What hurts me more, is that I'll probably never see any of you in person, share thoughts in personal or even participate to those crazy parties you're throwing at times. It's the same feeling of watching a sky full of colorful stars and never-ever be able to reach any of them.

I don't say it's Destructoid's fault, and I am not demanding to throw a party at Mykonos or something (even though you are invited :P) It's just life, and she's a bitch. I am still young and my future is not really clear. I may end up somewhere near the people I've been interacting with and party with them at last or be rich enough to buy airplane tickets with the same ease I buy tickets for the subway. Who knows.

Also, Destructoid motivated me a lot to get into the videogame journalism in my country - a place who is generally covered by assholes except for some really bright exceptions - and meet really interesting gamers and other journalists from other Greek sites who really know their stuff. I'm living my own dream.

So, destructoid, happy birthday. I wish your existance to meet the Playstation 130, Nintendo's Infinity, Microsoft's Xbox 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510582097494459
(I'll probably be either dead or really old by that day :P)

Did I say that I love you? <3   read

3:26 PM on 09.05.2009

Sigh... Gamers need to change, not the communities

A bit pessimistic view, I know, but I stumbled into this while watching the updates river that flow in the main page of Facebook

Of course I hid the names and pictures (i don't want anyone to get nasty personal messages in my conscience) but this is utterly pathetic. How is it even possible a simple thing such as posting a technical help page could spawn so much hate, irony and fanboys to go wild.

Changing gaming communities.... yeah sure, but it won't happen until we change the gamers. Just like in the greater society I guess....   read

1:49 PM on 08.25.2009

I love Destructoid and that's why

Dear Dtoid,

There are a lot of reasons why I love this place. It's kinda complicated, like, all the love relationships in life but I'll try and explain why I'm still here, Cblogging.

First of all, I met Dtoid through my friend Cubilone. A very special friend of mine and fellow gamer that likes to give a second thought about what happens in our beloved gaming industry. Just right beneath the surface of things that happen into the industry, without biased opinions.

Dtoid has just that. Even if there are some opinions I simply don't agree with, I still can see the point that every single author makes throughout their texts. All that, without loosing that special humor that Internet culture generated for years now.

I've found Anthony Burch. A handsome young man that throughout his texts and videos, I can find my own visions on how videogaming can be a more meaningful experience and be recognized as "art" because is a sense, video games are.

Anthony also inspired me to write my own editorials concerning all those stuff that games can and should be. He is the one who encouraged me to address all my concerns about the lack of social messages, discouragement, display of emotions, perception of beauty and the Hollywood-ness that games have noways without sounding like a strange geek with the special X-men power of being into humanitarian sciences.

Then, there's another favorite author named Jim Sterling. I just love the irony that spans on his writings. Not only I've found a voice that have given me ideas on how to discuss the video game controversy with older (and more stupid) people, but also He's the one that will have his soul eaten by the Tails Doll, just because he's a fan of Sonic and always drag us into hoping every time Sega decides to crap on the poor blue spiky thing.

In the Retroforce GO! That was dedicated to Sonic, Jim did the best Eggman voice incarnation I've ever heard. He's what Egoraptor is for Metal Gear series, just for Eggman.

Seriously, it was THAT EPIC!

The rest of the writers, well, it's not that they are of inferior quality or doesn't have enough originality and character in their writings or love them less. But, for me, those two people are the most influential to my own job contributing at a Greek gaming site. It's not just imitation, mind you, all of destructoid stuff is so original, they can't be imitated. it's something way better. It's influence. and it's different.

Then there's the community. I never posted at the forum because I have some sort of phobia in overcrowded forums, especially foreign ones, but I might do it at some point.

Otherwise, I love the fact that there are people who may enjoy videos like this:


and laugh on videos like this:


And give their opinions commenting whenever they can.
The only issue is that sometimes it frustrates me when they said that something is OLD instead of giving some thought in the actual text itself. I know it's not a pretty thing to talk about things over and over and over again, but some stuff have lots of sections waiting to be covered.

I love Destructoid. Actually my dream is to work for such a site someday. Well, that day will probably never come, but, I still have the right to dream, right?   read

6:24 AM on 08.23.2009

Abusing Ad at Destructoid (NVGR)


I found this on Dtoid today. I totally understand that the AD server (whoever this is) that provides Dtoid with ads, looks up our IP and sends us the corresponding advertisements for the country that we are accessing the site.

But this one is the real shit. The creators of this little ad have violated one basic rule of advertising online: It has sound. And an irritating one too!

Why do I have to listen to punches every four seconds? Can't I see Dtoid listening to my own music or complete silence? WHY OH WHY THEY PUT FUCKING AUDIO IN THOSE THINGS.

Please, if you are from that ad company, go back and mute this horrendous ad that hurt both the advertised site and the site that this piece of shit appears randomly. It's not difficult to supervise and change some of them. JUST DO IT!   read

4:14 PM on 08.04.2009

I suck at games: Rhythm is a sucker

Rocks bands, plastic organs, multicolored buttons that must be pressed in a "rhithmc" manner. I just suck at it.

The truth is that I never was fond of rhythm games in general, except for the ones like EBA and Rhythm Heaven. Otherwise, there's nothing for me in there.

The first time i saw the plastic guitar of the original Guitar Hero, I was like "COOOOOOL that looks easy". Alas, there is no way to make me push the right button at the right moment, especially when there's a lot going on on the screen (aka. the highest difficulties)

It' not that I can't remember buttons and corresponding actions assigned to them. Quite the contrary, In every game, there is a fucking action every time I press a button. In Super Mario for example, the A button makes Mario jump, in Half life 2, the E key makes your character pick up things etc. On the other side, In those rhythmic games, all you have to do is to follow on-screen instructions to press some colored buttons in order to listen to a f*cking song that I could simply buy on an online store and just listen to it on my MP3 player.

The worst is that I find that the actual rhythm of the song is irrelevant to what the game wants you to press. It makes me make mistakes and even panic trying to get thing back to normal.Alas, the game overs WAY too soon for me to get it right again. Sometimes, the sequence is so fucked up, that i can't even find the right keys to press. Just because they are doing the SAME FUCKING THING and I can't locate them since they serve no purpose different purpose, so to reach out to them. Especially with Beatmania, I can't even figure out what key to press next because of the mixed up layer.

I'm not saying that this kind of games are bad or anything. So many people who enjoy them can't be wrong. I also have friends who try hard to educate me so we can play together. Still, I suck in an unbelievable degree for all the above reasons and for every single other reason that I can't think of right now.

BTW despite of sucking unbelievably, I did the review of Rockband Unplugged on the gaming site I'm working. It was hell but I made it in time ;)

OH and I love karaoke! Lips and SingStar FTW. And, no. I won't post the video of me singing Madonna's Like A Virgin while drunk (unless Xbox Live comes to Greece)   read

11:29 AM on 07.26.2009

Europe's 1 vs 100 isn't for europeans

I've been spending quite a time ranting at Microsoft's terrible policies at Europe. Looks like the Redmond company really hate everyone who's not in UK or Netherlands.

I have mentioned that in Greece and several other countries, there isn't official Xbox Live at all so, we end up using UK or ireland accounts.

The latest shenanigan from Microsoft is that they IP locked 1 vs 100. In a kinda sneaky way too. A couple of days ago, I could play without problem and the game was descent enough for me to fill up my utterly empty evenings. Then, out of the blue, the service got updated and asked me to re-download the game.

Instead of a download, i got the following message: "this download can't continue. please try later"


I dug in some 360 related forums and found out that they probably locked away IP's that they are not from UK and netherlands. Isn't it fun? They haven't made a statement about this yet. It still remains ananswered why all the Europe has been excluded in a Europe-designed service?

way to go Microsoft   read

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