hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts


MeanderBot's blog

2 hour ago - 6:21 PM on 10.09.2015

I made this. Want one? [IMG]HTTPS://[/IMG]


12:54 AM on 10.01.2015

FYI for people disappointed by THPS 5: Olli Olli is on sale for $3.33 on the eShop


2:30 PM on 09.23.2015

Plague Knight is pretty rad [Img][/img]


5:26 PM on 09.18.2015

Your daily reminder that Eternal Darkness was pretty swell [IMG][/IMG]


1:26 PM on 09.14.2015

Where's my Geno Amiibo, Nintendo? [IMG][/img]


6:37 PM on 09.11.2015

Don't Quote me on that [img][/img]


4:23 PM on 09.01.2015

Drew a preeeeeeety sweet thing for the August edition of Cblog Recaps. Keep an eye out for it!


10:28 PM on 08.30.2015

I think, for my first try, I drew a pretty damn good Ryu, if I do say so myself [img][/img]


10:37 AM on 08.11.2015

Challengers Wanted: Toad Up

When choosing a particular character strength, I usually lean toward agility and speed over straight up power or strength.  This is probably due to my own real life characteristics, but I also just find it to be a more interesting approach in general.  Stealth is more appealing than rushing through guns blazing, being an artful dodger more appealing than being a tank who is only good at taking damage.  So it’s no wonder that in racing games I tend to go with handling and acceleration over top speed.  And since the only racing games I usually bother with begin with “Mario”, that means that I’m always repping Toad.

Why Toad over the other lightweight racers?  It really began in Super Mario Bros. 2.  It was Toad’s first role as a player character, and at the time I was super excited to play as a new character in a mario game.  But I really grew to appreciate the speed that he had.  The rare moment when I needed to play as a different character, it would be almost excruciating with how slow the other characters were.  This preference lived to this day, where I played Toad (for the most part) in Super Mario 3D World.

So playing as Toad in my early NES days led me to just generally liking the little guy, and became my automatic choice once Mario Kart started making the rounds.  Yoshi was cool, but I had just gotten my fill from him in Super Mario World.  Seeing Toad as a racer was comforting to me, and I had just associated quickness with him since playing SMB 2.  And so he became, for the most part, my man of choice for playing Mario Kart.  With the occasional substitution by Dry Bones.  Because skeletal turtles are pretty rad.

Favoring acceleration over max speed does seem like the easy way.  It could be argued that it requires less skill because it gives more chances to make up from crashing or making other mistakes.  But I would say it’s the harder choice to make.  To require to drive with finesse, and to make ground by making skillful and risky tight turns instead of being able to drive quickly in a straight line.  And that’s why the man with the spotted cap will always be my racer of choice. 

Also, shouting “HEHRRO” as loudly and high pitched as I can is fucking hilarious and will absolutely never get old.


11:58 PM on 08.03.2015

Better With Age: Yoshi's Island

2D platformers have always been close to my heart.  They are what I grew up with, and is the closest thing to a comfort food that I’ll ever have in video games.  The modern resurgence in sprite based 2D platformers has inspired nothing less than absolute joy in me, as well as a burning, intense hatred for my rapidly shrinking amount of free time.  Like many people, I have a gold standard to measure such things against.  A game that I think is so great, still to this day, that should it ever be surpassed, I will collapse to my knees, paralyzed by happy sobs while silently making grateful prayers.  That game is Yoshi’s Island.

There are so many aspects to this game that I am fond of, but the one that is immediately apparent is the art direction.  In the era of burgeoning polygonal graphics, it is a love note to what great sprite art can be.  And held against many games of its era, and I would argue many modern games, it is still a thing of beauty.  The game has an aesthetic reminiscent of watercolor paintings, which is brought to live by a very bright and vivid color palette.  Every sprite looks painstakingly created with care and thought.  And befitting of Nintendo games, the whole game just looks so HAPPY.  It’s pretty amazing when just looking at a game makes you happy, rather than only when you’re playing.


But the gameplay is hardly a slouch, either.  It is my lowly opinion that Yoshi Island has some of the best level design and mechanics of most any 2D platformer ever.  While most levels are more of the ho hum left-to-right fare, the levels aren't as flat as previous Mario games.  A course may slowly build up, suddenly drop down or go back and forth between the two. It makes the game feel less artificial and much more dynamic.  And the more complex levels, such as the cave and castle levels, become a puzzle to solve instead of just a dangerous obstacles to overcome.  


And the way levels work in the egg throwing mechanic is brilliant.  To help with collecting various objects, to open up the way to progress through the level, to conquer certain enemies.  When done with great skill, it adds another layer to the feeling of satisfaction some players feel when they can quickly and expertly run through a level.  Being able to make perfect egg throws while effortlessly weaving around a level's pitfalls is gratifying to a ridiculous degree.

One thing that can be said for Mario games is that the bosses often lack challenge.  But Yoshi’s Island is a very striking exception to that rule.  Mundane mooks are given inspired twists, taking place in special environments such as on a moon or inside the boss itself.  Sometimes it involves using eggs in clever ways, or by allowing a player to quickly vanquish a boss through proficient egg use.  And it was the last time I could say that the last boss in a Mario game was memorable.  The rogue gallery in this game is among the best in the series.


I cannot say enough good things about this game, but I'm going to stop here for the sake of berevity.  It is absolutely one of the defining moments in my vast and varied history.  And while that may color what I see to some degree, I’m positive that what I’m overlooking are trifling missteps.  It would take a lot of effort to find something glaringly wrong in this game.  To this day I believe this game is the classic it was once it was released, and I will make every possible effort for it to be continually at hand for my immediate enjoyment.


12:11 PM on 03.15.2015

How Earthbound Makes Me Feel Heroic

I'm fairly emotional man. It doesn't take much for me to start tearing up during a moving moment.  But aside from obvious trite, like pets being reunited with returing masters, what really gets the water works going is scenes of heroism.  

Bravery and courage shown in times of ever increasing peril, and all that jazz.  I think that I'm such a schmuck for that sort of thing because I still have that niave desire to, at some point to some degree, be heroic.  I think a lot of us do; it's why we play video games and read books and watch movies.  We want to identify with the hero and be part of a righteous force that saves the day.  Something that Earthbound nails perfectly.

If you've seen the scene, you know exactly what I'm talking about.  If not, it's in the ending so I'll try to be descreet, or you can just turn back now.  Look it up if you're curious, but really you should just play the game.  The way the game sets it up nonchalantly is genius.  It seems so insignificant at the time and it is quickly forgotten.  The video game world's best brick joke.  In a dire moment, when all seems lost, when every resource seems exhausted and it's not enough, what will be the final straw?  What will be the final death stroke to the great evil?  YOU will be.

It was almost like Itoi knew the exact recipe for pulling my heart strings.  To make this moment the most powerful moment in gaming history I've ever experienced.  A moment that is still powerful to this day, if not moreso.  A moment that blew my ten year old mind, and makes me well up just thinking about it to this day.  A moment that tauht me an important lesson: when times are bleak, when pleas for help get absorbed by the darkness, just keep praying.


9:54 AM on 02.22.2015

How Metro 2033 Reminded Me Why I Love Shooters

I grew up with first person shooters.  I'm old enough to have had access to Wolfenstein 3D as a young child.  I played the shareware version to exhaustion, running alongside the walls while mashing the space bar looking for secrets.  But it was Doom, and later Duke Nukem, that really solidified my love for first person shooters.  And while I adored the more fantastic settings of demonic and alien invasions, what I loved most about these games were the weapons.

The keystone of a great FPS, in my opinion, is fun weapons.  Doom had a few of these.  The plasma rifle was always a blast to use when I could spare the sparse ammo.  But this is where Duke Nukem excelled.  Past the pistol and shotgun, Duke had a wide arsenal of unique weapons that became a standard to which I judged future games.

But, alas, after the golden age of the 90s, first person shooters seemed to become more mundane.  As computers became more powerful, the simulation shooter became a genre, stealing market share from my beloved arcade shooter, which was suffering enough from the proliferation of WW2 shooters.  Occasionally I would be introduced to something to sate my appetite: Time Splitters, Perfect Dark.  But it took a special game to get me excited for a first person shooter.

Metro 2033 is a special game.

Before this game came out, I must admit I was interested.  Science fiction themed, spiritual successor to STALKER.  All good points.  But the second I saw the commercial for this game, peddling that damnable exclusive DLC of a light machine SHOTGUN, I knew this game needed to be part of my life.  And it didn't disappoint.  Despite still having the regular machine guns, shotguns and pistols, they all had unique designs and almost reinvented each weapon.  It was enough to make me abandon my typically stealthy playing style.  How the hell hadn't anyone thought of a machine shotgun before?  WHY ISN'T IT IN EVERY GAME?  Because it ridiculous, that's why.  But everything can benefit from being a little bit ridiculous.  And what's more ridiculous than belt fed automatic shotguns and silenced revolvers?

(PSST!  Did you like this comic?  Perhaps consider purchasing a print here!  You'll be supporting me and I'll have more incentive to make more comics!)


Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -