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Marioland's blog

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

4:55 PM on 06.15.2009

Untapped potential: Making games about Social things

OK, I admit it. This isn't a good title for such a subject for a monthly musing but what can I put on that's somewhat relevant? Ah nevermind...

Video games are becoming something like the new "movie industry". It's a new medium that combines all that cinema includes, making it interactive by the help of Technology. But, unlike cinema, there aren't a lot of games about social problems or have some views or solutions or even show some shocking aspects of our society.

Sure, this kind of entertainment is somewhat for the wealthy people, but so did the cinematograph but it's not 1802 anymore and things get to mature a but quicker since the info spreads around more easily. That doesn't change the fact that video games lag behind in terms of the variety of subjects that will get them into our consience as another art.

Let's get started with some games that *maybe* have some social sense in them. Let's get an example at Mirror's Edge.
Dice's first person parcour title was all about opposing to some regime that tried to control completely the flow of information in the fictional society in the game. They were like the all-seeing Big Brother that know anything that happens anywhere.
There were a lot of social movements showing in this game. Protests, people clashing with the police and then, some secret organisations that exchange info via Runners.

This game had the ideal background to be something like the dystopia that a post-modern society may be. Just because there is a large flow of information, someone will try to put a limit to it blocking content and monitoring people.
Mirror's edge focused on the Faith's story. It's not that it's bad to have a protagonist, but the game never reveals who does all that stuff and why. The police department look like new clan of Nazi employees not revealing why they are so obsessed about capturing Faith. We never learned why the gonverment wanted to regulate every single bit of information in the city and from what social group did Faith and her family came from. Everything was so quickly and simply explained, it threw away so much potential of the story and all the sociological interest this game would have.

Another game that tends to comment over sociological matter is... yes, GTA IV. To be precise, every GTA except some few that came out just because the croud wanted to kill people and jack cars.
Immigrants looking for a better life in America - a fake paradise of chances- is a serious problem in a society due to the criminal stuff that float around in such big communities. Also, bullying and gangs that are products of sub-cultures are tapped by GTA in some degree. Woman discrimination is also there in the Liberty city, and, hopefully, in the newest episode of GTAIV, the discrimination towards homosexuality.
But also, GTA series fail to show a complete image of those matters, even if there is a lot of room in a freeroaming game like that. It mostly stays at the sarcasm of matter that happens in modern and post-modern societies rather than revealing causes and excuses. But, still it's pretty close in sociological interest.

But still, something's missing. Trying to make things look cool in games mostly spoils all the other dimentsions of things. For example, medieval times were hard as hell. There wasn't anything like "honour of a knight". There were just owners of fields and farmers that lived like slaves by the strict rules of christianism. There weren't any magical spells or wizards or dragons. Even the Kings were nothing but some people who have enough money to build large cathedral churches.

Wild West was also a time that, in fact, it was borring and hard as hell. Not to mention 2nd world war that there were real change in the gonverment form in european countries, large social movement throughout natzi regime over europe. None of the games really showed the starving orphans of the war, neither the dirty cabarets in Germany where drag queens (men dressed like women) tried hard to keep their sexual preferrement secret in fear of excecution. Those were really dark times that, for some reasons, through games (and movies but mostly games) look interesting times full of fun and pownage.

I'm not asking for games to stop being fun or try to be some kind of documentaries. That would be a total mess. But, there are games that are as fun, as they have some clear messages to deliver. For example, COD Modern Warfare, had some strong anti-war messages and socking scenes about the beastry of a modern war. Just show the nuclear blast that happened in the game to anyone and they will be overwhelmed by the degree of destruction and shocked by the dead silence of that scene. Bioshock's utopian community that went nuts is also a great example of having really strong and true messages without being sacrificed in terms of fun and gameplay.

But none of them are complete. Since there is room for more social understandment for making stories and goals in videogames I can't understand why the creators keep ignoring them so much. Maybe unpleasant stuff turns gamers down and that's the turning point.

Ever been in XBL playing HALO3? You sure have been and hear all kinds of offensive stuff like "nigger fucker", "homo nigger", "go die u gay noob" and such. How is it even possible for people who are mostly young, to accept a video game that makes them think over some stuff in their society? How is it ever possible to make the majority of people think outside gamerscore, achievements and multiplayer deathmatches? It's a freaking circle. Things like today's games tend to sell because the croud asks for it. Be different, and your games sink in the hell of "games nobody played"

So what needs change? First of all, us. We need to be a bit of thinkers of what the media (not only videogames) transmit to us. IT's not all that hard if you give it some thought instead of leaving your braind in a couch next you when playing. Besides, games can be a way to make the brain actually work, not only in terms of memory and awareness, but also learn new things, receive and process messages about the world around us.

Besides, TV is the main braincell killer, right?

(next time I will refer to stereotypes, games favorite form of human.)   read

5:45 PM on 06.12.2009

Analyzing the industry's marketing shit: Percentage of console power usage

Yeah, pretty shitty subject for 1.46AM local time.

I have recently joined Playfire. It's a place where gamers gather, show off their game collection (aka. E-peens) and kinda resembles Myspace, in terms of social connection.

In a nutshell, it's another social networking site with gaming orientation, infested with annoying fanboys with their groups and forum wars. Even though I have encountered some great guys and some cool girls of gaming, I admit that this site is a fanboy lair.

I talked to some guys about the console wars, some where right on the spot with facts and logical claims that actually made sense about the consoles they love and support, while some ps3 fanboys annoyed me saying that no game actually reached ps3's full horsepower just because Kojima said it.

It's one of the latest industry's marketing fads. Some important person says that "we reached the 70% of the console" and the fanboys shit their pants. But, looking it at the actual impact this has to the games...


Since not every person who owns a current gen console is a programmer or a computer engeneer, how the fuck they supposed to know that he/she has a console with more power than Chuck Norris?
Why the all-important game creator (I'm looking at you Kojima) has to appear in the public to state a percentage of a console's horsepower usage of a game?

The hardware's potential is something that it's known to the programers at the time they get their first debug units and dev kits. It's not that the hardware will give them the power, or the potential to make a better program or, in our case, a game. It's the ways the developers find to get the best of their routines, making the program require less horsepower for each needed procedure.

So, look at the High Voltage's miracle with the Wii. They really had some good coders to nail those graphics to the weak - compared to the other consoles - Nintendo's wagglebox. Did you hear any of them stating that they reached the end? The answer is: No. Because here will be someone, who will try and find something even better.

So, stating that someone "reached the top" or "did this only by using the #% of the console" is like saying that either the programmers are slow in the top and made a needlessly heavy game, or they are not even trying to understand what the harware can do.

Besides, looking and playing a game won't reveal you how much of the console's CPU/GPU uses. Nor the games as they are today can show something different in all terms just because the console has a bazillion CPU's and they used "just the 20% of it"

So, the next time that someone from the industry states bullshit like that, have in mind that it's mostly a marketing trick. Even if it is true, it won't matter to you because besides some nifty textures and particles, you won't find anything groundbreaking into your game.

If there is to be a change in the videogame industry, it won't happen with bulky hardware (or motion controls). It needs something more: refreshing ideas, brighter minds and consumers who give a second critic thought to what the guys at the gaming industry say.   read

11:07 AM on 06.06.2009

Another Happy Birthday Tetris blogpost

I woke up today and as a normal human being, the first thing to do before washing my teeth was to fire up my pc to see what emails and shit I received from the random sites I participate. My brother was screaming on MSN as soon I loged in: OMFGDARWPDSLDFS! LOOK AT GOOGLE!

Yeah. Google homepage looked like this

and a simple mouse over was explaining WHY all this tetris/pixel galore: It was the 25th birthday of Tetris

Yeah, Tetris turns 25 today with all it's glorious communistic blockyness. Alexey Pajitnov, its creator, was at E3 and made some retrospective at some point that nobody listened.

And, boy, what a shitty day for an old game to have its birthday. It's just at the end of the annual E3 that makes too much noise about new titles, innovative technologies of super consoles with dreamy hardware. We completely fotget the true revolutioneers of the past that shaped the game industry to what it is today.

Tetris is the statement of simplicity and innovation. It's simple, yet engaging. Difficult to master and everybody knows how to play it!

Yeah everybody. Including moms, dads, grandparents and children. It's a simple game about putting falling blocks in the line to clear them out. Everybody can get into it and have fun.Thinkin that at first it was an experimental algorithm about random falling blocks.

Since its initial release, Tetris was a real multiplatform game. It's almost in every device that has a processor and use screen, Including MP3 players, PHotocopy machines, Scientific calculators, consoles, DVD players and recorders etc.

To complete the trivia of this tribute, the most selling version of tetris is that Original Game Boy cartridge that sold 33 million copies. That's really wow thinking that back then, videogames were a lot less mainstream entertainment option. Tetris also inspired a wide variety of other games like Lumines, Columns and Pyo-pop.

And that's that. It's the first post for a long time on destructoid and I believe that the birthday of Tetris is a proper opportunity to make it back to our beloved Dtoid.

Let's forget our super fantastic Xboxes and pee ess threez and weez and play some fucking TETRIS!   read

3:49 PM on 11.25.2008

Touch your girlfriend/boyfriend hero

Did this caption confused you? I don't know if this has been posted before. Apparently some developers -maybe the ones who invented the curious REZ vibrator- made a game that resembles a lot Guitar hero or DDR but instead of plastic guitars, plastic dancing mats and fake DJ decks, it uses a real, live girl (if you are a boy) or a real live boy (if you are a girl).

It is a bit hard to describe the whole game and the game controllers. instead I give you this video. I repeat, I don't know if this has been already on DTOID.


I really wonder. Is TWISTER that outdated already? Another question is; what would the homosexual couples do if in any chance want the game? would be there any gay and lesbian versions?
One thing is certain. The highest levels will be named "rape"

What do you think? Would you be buying this game for you and your non gaming girlfriend/boyfriend?

And one last thing. You want this game online or offline?   read

6:46 PM on 09.16.2008

Long cat is long and now has a song (NVGR)

long cat is long and now has a song.

Flash version @ newgrounds.   read

9:15 AM on 09.04.2008

Microsoft Points Trouble: Microsoft doesn't like money.

pursuing MS points. That's how my day has passed.

As well known, I finally got my own 360 and I am over the top happy about it. So, the next step is to connect to Xbox Live and enjoy all the content that MS offers.
It is well known that, despite the rest of the Europe, Greece does not have official support of XBL. Even tough its sales are great, Microsoft decided that we have to cheat the system, saying that we are in UK.
Not only that, but also the debit and credit card assigned to Greek Banks can not buy anything.

Frustrating to say the least, is the purchase of MS points. Since I can't add points through the marketplace at the Dashboard, I have to go through the Internet and try to find someone who sells prepaid cards so I can finally buy Braid and other goodies.

I first tried Google. It was amazing how many frauds there are. 2 out of 3 results were about "free MS points and how to get them". It looks like there are a lot of stupid guys that believe in this crap.

I Found It looked promising and I gave it a try, but it was out of stock.

I just couldn't buy anything on Ebay because my paypal account is a mess

Other online stores sell only US codes.

How am i supposed to get those fucking MS points? Any recommendations?
I got so dizzy that i'll go to get some sleep after i finish this post.

oh btw Here's a petition on bringing XBL in Greece. I am not an activist junkie or sth but someone has to do something about it...   read

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