Look here, kid. I'm Nicky Austin and I'm about to rock your world. and by rock your world, I mean I'm about to weird you out at some point with my odd brand of humor, but what the hell, that's what Destructoid's for, right?
My favorite games (in no order, because this is the thunderdome, motherfucker.)
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
Super Mario Galaxy & Super Mario Galaxy 2
Donkey Kong Country
Resident Evil 4
and more to come in the future!
Favorite bands (because I like music, obviously)
Ling Tosite Sigure
Between the Buried and Me
Fall Out Boy
If you want to know more about me, you can get to know me on Twitter, Wii U, and whatever else! just come talk to me!
Steam: Yosemite Ham
Contact is a GBA turned DS game by the rad dudes at Grasshopper Manufacture. The same guys who gave us the excellent Killer 7 and No More Heroes. It was a mostly overlooked action JRPG that came out in 2006 to little fanfare as critics called it fairly average, not to mention it's poor sales in Japan with the release of Mother 3 around the same time.
In fact it was so overlooked, I had no idea it even existed until I saw it for six bucks at a local game store while hanging out with a friend. Even though I knew little about the game, the cool artstyle and the box's promise of monkeys and cosmic terrorists flipped a switch in my head that pretty much conducted an override on my brain and slamming six dollars on that counter to pick it up.
Let that be a tip to those in business. Put "monkeys and cosmic terrorists" in anything and this guy will buy it without even thinking.
Contact is certainly a unique game, using the dual screens in a way I don't think I've ever seen. The top screen has the professor and his pet cat thing Mochi providing support to the main character, Terry, controlled by you. This support mainly consists of giving hints and tutorials pertaining to the gameplay. The professor also loves puns. Really bad puns. Puns that he'll always be sure to tell you every five minutes. All this cool stuff on the top screen is presented in a nice, minimalist pixel-art package.
The bottom screen, however, is a completely different story. This screen is presented in a really nice detailed pixel-art format with many pre-rendered backgrounds. On this screen, you will control Terry, a boy who was plucked from his hometown when the cosmic terrorists (CosmoNOTs) attacked the professor's ship. Terry fights enemies ranging from plant snakey things to air force pilots that ran out of funds to buy planes so they run around acting like planes instead. I couldn't make that up if I tried. Terry fights these enemies to retrieve five cores for The Professor to get his ship back up and running so they can finally go home.
The contrasting art style between the top and bottom screens is easily one of the best things about this game. It really drives home the feeling that the professor and Terry are from two totally different worlds. It's an excellent design move that really hooked me into the game. I have a hard time imagining how this would work on the GBA though, since that was where this game was originally going to go. I guess we'll never know.
There is a really cool costume system in the game in which you can outfit Terry with different outfits that each have a perk. One such costume is the Chef costume which you can use to convert defeated foes into ingredients for food. Speaking of food, there is a pretty in depth cooking system in which you can combine things like water and tropical fruit to make fruit juice and meat and spices to make kebabs and shit. Cooking's cool.
Although these are all super rad things, they really aren't the meat and potatoes of the whole thing. As per usual, if a game's gameplay isn't very good, the entire game just kinda falls flat.
Unfortunately, this game kinda falls flat.
Contact is an Action-JRPG. So instead of the usual turn based combat, you just go right up to your opponents and start fighting. In Contact, you click in and out of battle stance with the B button after you choose your opponent and you just kinda... watch the battle happen, and you can use Techs to do special moves for extra damage. You can also change the direction of where your strikes hit and walk around a bit, albeit awkwardly. This system sounds pretty alright until you get in a situation where there's multiple enemies ganging up on you. The aiming and hit detection is BALLS when there's too many dudes hitting you and makes the game needlessly difficult. This wouldn't be too huge of a problem if this only happened a few times, but it happens pretty frequently and just dampens the entire experience for me.
I wanted to absolutely love this game and tell everyone to pick it up, but I just can't recommend it on the graphics and presentation alone, as much as I want to. This game reminded me so much of the Mother series and all the quirks and jokes that go along with games like that, but the difference between Contact and say, Mother 3 is that Mother 3 has a really intuitive, fair, and all-out fun combat system that makes you actually excited to beat up some pigmasks. Contact's combat just feels like a chore.
Ahhhh violence. What a beautiful thing! It's the thing we as humans find most eye catching and entertaining. Every time a fight breaks out in a school or bar, we immediately run to the location the tussle is taking place and cheer. We always root for brutality in these situations because it's something we as humans don't see very often. It's exciting because we don't know the true horror. All we know is the silly, vapid version of violence we see in movies and games.
It's kind of an adrenaline rush, isn't it, Seeing something truly extreme?
For example, let's take my high school. I am a senior (thank god almighty) and I've seen my fair share of fights in the halls and cafeterias of my rural high school. Rednecks are always wanting to pick fights with each other, and girls are feral beings when someone tries and takes their man. It just gets crazy twisted up in high school. Most of these fights mostly result in some pushing and then a teacher yelling "STOP!" and the entire thing disperses. It never gets REALLY serious. However, there was one lunch period that left us all a little scarred.
This kid wanted to get in school suspension so he picked a fight with this one guy. He really messed with the wrong guy. The stupid kid punches the tough guy a bunch and then the tough guy responds by slamming his head on the corner of the lunch table.
Over and over and over again.
There's blood everywhere, and the kid runs to the nurse's office, getting blood all over the floor. His face is all messed up, and the tough guy gets arrested. The students did not cheer that time. It was absolutely shocking to see so much blood come from a fellow classmate. The kid turned out ok, but it really bothered a bunch of the students at my school.
So what does this all have to do with videogames?
A lot, actually.
What kind of video games sell the most? The huge violent blockbuster shoot-em-up games. Games that let you just escape the world you inhabit and wreak havoc on a small polygonal world online with friends around the world. The key word there is 'escape'. Violence in video games is not something to be taken to heart at all, it's merely an exaggeration to please the consumer. Take that same consumer to Afghanistan and give him an M-16, he's a little hesitant to do some damage. It's a lot like the stuff you'd see in cartoons like Tom and Jerry. In Tom and Jerry, you'd see a cat with it's face flattened by a frying pan or thrown off a building. You didn't see any kids in the 50's mutilating their animals, did you?
I really don't think videogames are as influential into how a person acts as congressmen and southern baptist parents insist it is. It's just like any other medium of entertainment. All the violence contributes to is some eye catching entertainment. A bit of a visual aide to show players that what they're doing has some real affect on other things in the environment of the game. The only things videogames will really be shaping in young people are, at most, the things they will be more interested in as older people. Just like Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time got me into all the crazy games, movies, and comics I am absorbed in now as a 17-year-old teenager.
The people that do play violent games and respond with violence and hurt those around them already had way more serious problems, in my opinion. To play a game like God of War or Bioshock Infinite and respond to the entertainment those games provide by ruining other lives and killing is way more a testament to the parenting or social environment of the individual than it is a testament to how videogames and movies ruin the mental frames of our youth.
Violence in videogames are merely superficial to me. I don't really care whether or not a game throws gallons of virtual blood in my face as long as the story or gameplay is awesome. While I do think that young children should wait until at least like 12 to play the super violent stuff, I don't really think it affects them on a mental level.
People should remember that videogames are a form of entertainment and while they can shape interests of individuals, they certainly can't take someone's psyche and throw it to the dogs. Entertainment just doesn't have that power over anyone.
After much frustration with Sony's shitty stream and Gametrailers' slightly less shitty stream, I ended up sighing a defeated "fuck it" and read all about Sony's next black box that plays video activities on Destructoid.
So what I gather is that THIS box gives us a couple more pixels to look at, and in turn, more old men to look at uncomfortably. The number 4 also tells us we should have friends and that we should share how awful we are at Kunuk or whatever the hell it's called to these friends Sony says we should have. Also, a share button is on there for kicks because... sharing is... caring?
Now, I actually think the Playstation 4 looks pretty fuckin' dope. It's got good graphics, but not updated enough to phase out my Wii U (Thank god, I got scared there for a second). The controller looks really comfortable and nice to have in my fat hands. I just hope that touchpad doesn't only get used by developers to make me swipe to knife or any of the shit Vita owners have to go through with most of the Vita library.
The sharing aspect could be something I can get behind. I've always wanted to stream or capture video of my games (winkwinkiwannadoayoutubeshowwinkwink) easily, and this looks like a pretty fuckin' easy way to do it.
In fact, this whole sharing/social network/playing with friends business kind of reminds me of my precious Wii U and Miiverse, just a few steps further. We'll just have to see if that's how it pans out or not.
Oh! Let's talk about games now!
inFamous: Second Son looks cool and Killzone Shadow Fall looks... like Killzone. Diablo III doesn't interest me in any way, Destiny looks cool, the old man Quantic Dream showed me still creeps me out, Watch Dogs is on Wii U, and Square Enix will have a game at E3 that we won't play until 2017.
Now I want to see more, Sony. Impress me at E3, Sony. Sell me a god damned black box. I just want to see more inventive and crazy as shit games. I just want to see more.
So there I was. On my computer. I had just cried my eyes out over the end of Telltale's The Walking Dead, and I see someone in a YouTube comment mention this game. A surreal, hilarious flash game.
The game was called Frog Fractions.
I decided I needed a little pick-me-up after the emotional roller-coaster I had just endured. So I load this game up, right?
I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
Fuckin' art, man. What's with all the games I talk about having wonderful art?
The epic tale of Frog Fractions begins in a pond.
It's pretty dang simple. You play as a frog, and he's really fucking good at fractions. See, every time he catches a bug, be it fly, butterfly, dragonfly, a whole lotta flies, with his ridiculously long tongue (Seriously, Gene Simmons has some serious competition.) fractions pop up! Later on, the fractions become scientific notation, and even sometimes you encounter a typing segment. Oh, and you collect apples, but that's not too important.You can upgrade the fractions frog with a lock-on reticle, a static tongue, the ability to turn those pesky apples to durians, and even a turtle to ride.
So eventually I'm a frog on a turtle with a static tongue and I'm kinda bored. I'm moving around, catching durians, eating bugs, and scoring major points. I've unlocked all the upgrades so far, and I have no idea what to do.
Then I pressed down and everything changed.
I score a ridiculous amount of points and that turtle is then upgraded to a dragon.I spot a warp upgrade to the side. I use it and then go skyward, because fuck it, video games.
Oh. I'm in space now.
Ok, I'm fucking sold. Where else am I going?
Frog Fractions has now gone from a joke educational game to a space shooter in a matter of five minutes or so.
The Fraction Frog and his trusty dragon companion are now shootin', eatin', and educatin' through the depths of space when a boss appears. Nope, shit's dealt with.
Ain't nobody fucks with Frog Fractions. No one.
Protect ya neck.
Anyways, the frog has just killed a man! Duh, that's what happens when you shoot people out of goddamn space.
So now our friend has to go to court.
That's all I'll be telling you guys about Frog Fractions and it's absurdities. What I've put in this blog is only the tip of the hilarious iceberg the dudes at Twinbeard made. The game is great, it's a truly unique experience that will surprise you and have you laughing hysterically by it's end. It's only like a 30-40 minute game, anyways, so whaddya got to lose?
So what are you waiting for? Frog Fractions is completely free and browser based! So you don't even have to download this thing! One thing you should download though is the excellent soundtrack that totally made me all happy inside.
So yeah, Frog Fractions was the perfect pick-me-up.
Fire Emblem: Awakening, along with Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, Shin Megami Tensei 4, and Pokemon X/Y, is one of the most anticipated 3DS games this year. The beautiful asian bodybuilding superstars at Nintendo graced us with a demo today, and goddamn it, I've been waiting to get my hands on this. so let's begin, shall we?
Oh my sweet merciful baby christ, look at that art. If that art was a woman, I'd make love to it.
Fire Emblem: Awakening, while on my radar for a good long while, has mainly eluded me in terms of "spoilers" and info on the game, mainly before I picked up the demo all I knew was that Fire Emblem was coming out for 3DS and I was spending 40 bucks on it.
So obviously, it came as a surprise when I loaded the demo up and saw a character creation screen. Although the demo itself gives you literally no real customization other than stat buffs, I was still kind of taken aback by this choice. I'm pretty sure the other games didn't do this. It's been a while since I've given Path of Radiance a spin on the ol' Gamecube, so I dunno.
So as it turns out, there actually is a bit of story they added in the demo, rather than just some hand picked combat scenes, which I was expecting.
Y'know that dinky little avatar you half-created for this game? You actually kind of created a side character... I think.
A boy/girl with amnesia (you) suddenly wakes up in a field (stop me if you've heard this one.) to the curious faces of 3 shepherds in full body armor. (I know, right?) These three shepherds are Chrom, Lissa, and Frederick. These characters, at least from this demo, actually seem like pretty good, fleshed out characters. You also meet two more characters and a mysterious space butterfly man with a familiar name later on in the second mission of the demo.
Welcome to the own zone. Chrom's gonna tear you up, I feel bad for you son.
On the gameplay side of things, the game is similar to other Fire Emblem/Advance Wars style games. You move individual characters around a space on the playing field and attack, use items, cast spells, and whatever else. There is also a rock/paper/scissors mechanic present in different characters and how their attacks are effective against a certain enemy. It can get pretty deep, but it's wholly not very intimidating. This is coming from a guy that plays very, very little strategy games.
The new mechanic introduced in this game is a kind of buddy system where you can put two dudes or dudettes (I don't discriminate, dawg.) right next to each other for them to engage in an attack together, you can also put a character in the same space as another as a support. These pairings can also get stronger and produce more buffs if the bonds between the characters are strong. Kinda like Persona!
Fire Emblem: Awakening sports some killer graphics for the 3DS. Looks good, man.
Fire Emblem: Awakening is going to be a real treat, if this awesome demo is any indication. The graphics are really nice, the art-style is fantastic, the game plays and feels great, and the story seems like it will certainly heat up as the game goes on.
I was pretty pumped for Fire Emblem: Awakening before this demo came out, and having played it, I am beyond ecstatic to play the full product.
Fire Emblem: Awakening launches for the 3DS and 3DS eShop on February 4, 2013.
Hello Destructoid, it's such a great feeling to see your beautiful faces again.
I've recently received a laptop from ol' grammy grams, so obviously the first thing I do is write on my favorite website on planet earth made by humans with large dongs.
So allow me to tell you about my holiday.
On the final day of school before winter break, My pal Dylan and I proceeded to break school rules in the most beautiful way. We got a whole bunch of people in a computer lab instead of class and proceeded to have a 16-person LAN match of Counter-Strike 1.6.
A picture of the CS match in question. Not pictured: The single Indian tear rolling down my face.
After I made my French II final my bitch, I rested for the holidays.
Days came and went. Snow still didn't fall, because you know, fuckin' Tennessee.
The supposed end of the world extravaganza passed, and I drank a lot of eggnog and had tummy aches. The days right before Christmas were very peaceful and fun, and Christmas eve passed with a general feeling of content.
And then it happened.
I got a Wii U.
A big boy (me) and his brother with a magic box. Not pictured: The sinking realization that I'll have no friends to play with for a while. Shit.
I was so excited. This is the thing I've been most excited for since it was announced at E3 about two years ago. I had my fair share of doubts and skepticism, but it's here in my hands. It was an unbelievable feeling.
Obviously the first two big launch games I got were New Super Mario Bros. U and NintendoLand. (I'll talk about this one in another blog post) This was another thing I was a bit skeptical about, but slowly realized that these are two very good games that, while not entirely worth it, are good enough to tide me over until the next big Nintendo game blows my shit away.
The Wii U is a success when it comes to my family. It's being used every day by all members of the household, whether it be for Netflix and Hulu, some gaming, or for it's internet browser and Miiverse. Especially the Willem Dafoe Miiverse.
My favorite Dafoe picture in all of Miiverse. Not pictured: Me realizing Miiverse is possibly the greatest venue of creative comedy in recent memory. Gotdamn.
Hey, why not include a review-ish thing in here too?
New Super Mario Bros. U is the first Mario launch title in a long time, and while it's not exactly the next Super Mario Galaxy or Super Mario Sunshine, it's still an immensely satisfying and beautiful game.
The first thing many notice about the game is "HOLY BEAVER TITS, HD." and you'd be right. Holy beaver tits indeed. When I found out about a 2D Mario game issuing in an age of HD for Nintendo, I was a little disappointed, but it's easy to see how much work went into this game. The game is a 2D sidescroller and looks wonderful. There is an immense amount of detail put into all the environments and enemies.
The music is also great, although it's typical Mario music, I'm still happy with it. It's all the booty-bumpin', turtle-twerkin' goodness you're used to. I'm very satisfied with how this game looks and sounds.
The game is also dick-crushingly hard. Now, hold on for a second. I know this game is probably easy as shit for people that have grown up with the series, and while I have grown up with Mario, I started at Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. So I'm boss as fuck at the 3D Mario games, but the 2D ones never cease to tear my shit up. I'm just not very good at them.
With that said, the fact that I farmed lives like a motherfucker and stumbled my way to see this:
was an amazing feat for myself. I was so damn proud that I finished this motherfucker and smacked Bowser's buster ass to oblivion that I actually yelled "YES!" like a toddler that just ate a good fuckin' cookie.