# Nicky Austin's blog

5:46 PM on 01.20.2013

### Having Fun and Good Times with Frog Fractions!

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.
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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.   read

11:44 PM on 01.17.2013

### The Fire Emblem: Awakening Demo Wants You To Be Buddies, And I Agree.

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.

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11:53 AM on 01.15.2013

### Happy (belated) Holidays And How New Super Mario Bros. U Ripped Me A New One.

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.

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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.

Fuck that. No. Let me revel in my victory.

So I'll get back to you, NSMBU.

Good show, Nintendo. Good show.

Now where the hell is Super Smash Bros?

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If you liked this blog or any of my others, why not give me a dang follow? I'll love you and smooch your bum tenderly if you do.

I fucking love you, Destructoid and if this laptop holds up, expect many more blogs on here from me to you.

6:50 PM on 09.03.2012

### Wait. I missed something here...

When people join the lovely community here at Destructoid, usually they introduce themselves and take some time to get accustomed to and make some friends here.

I somehow skipped that step. Whoops.

So yeah, I'm Nicky Austin, I am a senior in high school, and I would love to shake your hand.... lovingly.

Have a picture of me in a suit.

Obviously, I like video games and I like writing, so here I am on Destructoid writing blogs for fun and somewhat practice for school papers and possible careers. How that whole writing about video games for money thing will work out, I have no goddamn idea.

Some of my favorite dumb video games are Super Mario Galaxy, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Mother 3, God of War III, Viewtiful Joe, Superbrothers: Sword and Sorcery EP, and Counter-Strike. I have grown up with Nintendo, so naturally most of my favorites are Nintendo franchises or games that came out on a Nintendo console.

I am not one of those obnoxious peckerheads that run around pissing their corduroy overalls about every New Super Mario Bros. release. I try to be very open minded about games on other consoles and try find dumb shit to shove into my PS3 to enjoy, but every once in a while, I always come back to the Gamecube or the Wii and play some Wind Waker or Viewtiful Joe.

I am also a half-musician. I say that because I am in a band. I consider myself only half of a musician because I can't play any instruments. So, of course, I sing. However, I didn't come out of the womb singing "The Queen of The Midnight Aria" or some shit. I just worked really hard to be able to sing somewhat decently. I am in a band (kind of a post hardcore thingamajig) called Rise to Retribution. I'm the plump dude in the middle yelling frantically into a microphone.

And no, if I befriend you, I won't send you any Facebook invites to any dumb Knoxville hardcore shows.

So that is, basically, the only things you could want to know about me before wanting to message me or anything. Thanks for reading this post, if you did!

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Even though it totally looks like it, I am so not trying to plug myself or my projects. I just want to make myself more approachable to people on this wonderful website.

I intend on trying better to find things to talk about on here so I can keep being hip and happenin' around here.

12:13 AM on 07.29.2012

### One Piece Season 5 and Movie Coming to the United States

In middle school, I was a huge fan of anime. Like, a HUGE fan. I watched all the cool shonen shows (Dragon Ball Z, Bleach, Naruto, etc.) and obsessed over them for months and months. Since entering high school and approaching my senior year as we speak, one show has always stuck with me and it's one I still keep up with every week.

The name of this show is One Piece.

One Piece always had a rocky history with the United States, beginning with the bastardization of the show by Saturday morning juggernauts 4Kids Entertainment, and continuing with poor advertising and reputation of being "just another kid's show", but what most don't know is that within this show about a rubber pirate boy is a story of heartbreak, triumph, and dreams.

Funimation Entertainment, the rad dudes behind the localization of shows like Dragon Ball Z, Tenchi Muyo, Lupin the Third, Case Closed, and Yu Yu Hakusho, have since picked up One Piece and re-dubbed the series in English for all of us One Piece fans.

Anyways, I have some really cool news for you guys.

At this week's Otakon convention, Funimation announced the license of different shows and the biggest piece news is that they have finally garnered the rights to the classic movie Akira. Among the other announcements was the news that One Piece has been picked up for a fifth season.

This is particularly exciting for me as this is my favorite season of the show so far. It's full of action and really epic scenes, including a full out Marine vs Pirate battle royale.

The other piece of news is that they have also picked up the critically acclaimed movie One Piece: Strong World.

Strong World is an awesome animated film that chronicles an off-course journey by Luffy and pals to save one of their beloved crew mates, Nami.

In my opinion, this is one of the best anime films ever made, due to it being written by the author of the manga himself, Eiichiro Oda. It is really breathtaking to look at, and it's story is pretty simple and insane as well.

I've never been one to be obnoxiously excited for an anime series, and most anime fans annoy me in general, but I can't help but be giddy when it comes to One Piece. Forgive me, Destructoid.   read

10:31 PM on 07.27.2012

### How Mother 3 Broke My Heart

To preface this post, I will take the time to say that I have also reviewed the other games in this series: The NES game with the most heart, Mother, and the quirky SNES journey, Mother 2 / Earthbound.

Now, on with Mother 3.

March 9, 2008. Super Smash Bros. Brawl was released to the masses of Nintendo fans eager to beat each other up online via terrible internet server connections, and at the same time, unassuming gamers were introduced to a new character that seemed like a clone of the Ness we all know and love from Earthbound.

This boy's name was Lucas, and Lucas was in fact not a mere clone of Ness, but a deeper character. A character that suffered. A character that rose from his timid personality to save the small world he knows and loves.

The world of Mother 3.

Mother 3 is a Game Boy Advance RPG that came out in 2006, twelve years after Mother 2's story had concluded, and fans were waiting tirelessly for this one. Unlike it's predecessors, Mother 3 is kind of a mix of the modern times of the other Mother games and the fantasy we know in games like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. Mother 3 is also a lot more story driven, but I will get into that a little bit later.

Mother 3 plays an awful lot like Mother 2, it's totally fine with me though, because Mother 2's gameplay was damn near perfect. However, Mother 3 added the dash mechanic, and something else that ascended the gameplay into an upper echelon of pure, unadulterated fun.

What this game added was a combo system that works together with the game's immersive and toe-tapping tunes to make the gameplay just a little more fun and addictive. The player can combo by tapping the A button after selecting the fight command to the beat of the battle music to inflict up to 16 hits on the opponent and send them flying into oblivion. The game has many, many battle songs so you can work on your combos while you are leveling your characters up. This combo system is one of the many reasons why Mother 3 succeeds.

The music was also an incredible aspect of the game. The game's music has some of the coolest songs in the entire series, and for my money, some of the best music in all of video games. (see "Natural Killer Cyborg", "Strong One", and "Love Theme") The music also really nails the emotions of the tender, sad parts (there are many), pumps you up when you are battling a tough boss, and goes completely silent where it really counts.

Mother 3 is also one of the most beautiful 2D games of the past decade. The graphics are very colorful and pleasing to the eye, and the locales are all robust and very interesting to look at. The enemies are very cool looking, especially the pigmasks, chimeras, and the main villians. The main heroes are also nice to look at, and rightfully so, since you will be looking at them a lot for 20 or so hours.

There is one very important aspect of the game that I have neglected to talk about so far in this review. The story. In my opinion, the story of this game is one of the most well written, emotional, and all-around best told stories in all of video games.

The story of Mother 3 starts with the twins, Lucas and Claus playing with some dinosaur pals at their grandfather's house and their dear mother sending a letter to their father, Flint, in the faraway town of Tazmily. The story really starts rolling when the pigmask army starts a forest fire in the town of Tazmily, and the villagers work together to put it out and keep each other safe.

After that, the story keeps escalating on and on for a full 20 hours until it's heartbreaking conclusion, which you will have to play to find out. The main characters; Lucas, Boney, Duster, and Kumatora are all very likable and you really care for them as they go to save the world from the evil pigmasks.

The journey of our heroes is all well and good, but the story really shines through the quiet moments where you feel what the heroes feel. There were definitely some moments within the game's immense story that I was brought to tears.

Mother 3 is also the one game that broke my heart.

The game actually broke my heart twice.

The first time it broke my heart was with the incredibly beautiful, heart wrenching ending that nicely tied up the series as a whole (don't expect a Mother 4), and the second in the very fact that I'll never get to play it on the console it was meant for.

I really don't like to emulate much, but I made an exception for the Mother series, and Mother 3, over the course of it's incredible story, became one of, if not, my favorite game of all time. And it really leaves a hole in my heavy nerd heart that I will never get to play it on the console it was made for unless I learn Japanese.

Overall, my series of blogs on the Mother series has come to a close with one of my favorite games to ever exist, and by sharing my thoughts of these games with you all, I have become hopelessly addicted to blogging on this website, so if you liked these reviews and my other blogs, look forward to some more reviews and random musings here on Destructoid.

(All fan-art credit goes to Kurkoboltsi of deviantART)   read

2:27 PM on 07.13.2012

### One Obsessed Boy's Impressions of Mother 2/Earthbound

After Mother's awesomely heartfelt conclusion, I wrote my article on my impressions on the game and dove headfirst into Mother 2 (or Earthbound as others know it).

Earthbound had always eluded me and taunted me. I absolutely loved playing as Ness in Super Smash Bros. and always wanted to play through his quirky story. I thought I would never get to play until I finally uttered a passionate "Fuck it." and downloaded the ROM and played to my heart's content. After deciding to play through the first game first, I was prepared to go for it.

And I had no earthly idea what I was getting into.

The enormous story of Earthbound starts on a not-so-quiet night when our hero Ness is awoken by a meteorite crashing near his humble abode. After investigating with his buttmuncher of a neighbor, Pokey, they encounter a bee from the future named Buzz-Buzz, before getting hilariously smacked to death, his final breath is that of a prophecy. A prophecy of a boy named Ness and 2 other boys and a girl saving the world from the one called Giygas, the embodiment of Evil. And so begins the story of Earthbound.

Let's just get this out of the way, Earthbound is simply one of the best gaming experiences I have ever... well, experienced. This game does everything Mother did but better.

First, let's talk about the graphics. This is a Super Nintendo game, and a gorgeous one at that. The colors are so wonderfully bright especially in the town of Onett and the far away kingdom of Dalaam. The sprites all look wonderful, and boy, do some of these enemies look awesome. I really dig the dinosaurs in the Lost Underworld, the Starmen, and Master Belch, one of the funniest bosses in video game history.

The music is also one of the better OST's I've heard. The tunes composed by Hiroshi Kanazu, Keiichi Suzuki, and Hirokazu Tanaka are all wonderful and fit the mood of many key scenes. There are also clever nods to songs such as "Johnny B. Goode", "Good Morning, Good Morning" by The Beatles, and even the name of the series (Mother) is derived from the intense feelings Shigesato Itoi felt after hearing "Mother" by John Lennon.

Now, let's get down to the gameplay. As I said, this game does everything Mother did but better. Itoi ditched random encounters in favor of being able to see enemies on screen before engaging in battle a-la Chrono Trigger. On top of this, when you beat a dungeon and have to get out the way you came, the enemies of the dungeon run away from you, and if you surprise attack them, you could get an instant win, very nice!

The game also has one of the coolest in-game mechanics I have ever seen. The scrolling HP-meter. with this brilliant idea, when a boss kills you, you have a chance to still win. If you manage to dispatch the nefarious dude before your HP scrolls down to zero, the HP will stop scrolling when you win, and you therefore survive. This feature has saved my ass too many times to count, and I wish more RPG's would implement this.

The game is not without it's flaws, sadly. The game's one true flaw lies in the story. Story is a very important aspect to me when playing games, and while this game is one of the most fun I have ever played, aside from the beginning and the last two hours, the story is almost non-existent outside of updating the roster of your party.

I recommend this game to any and everyone out there that has even a smidgen of interest in this game. It is one of the SNES's crowning achievements on nearly every front, and impressed me immensely. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to play through Mother 3.   read

12:33 AM on 07.10.2012

### Next-Gen: A Generation of Choice

The next generation is almost here, folks. A new generation of a "war" between companies with tech to show off, and games to play on them, A new generation of fanboys singing the same praises about their favorite video game company they did 5-6 years ago.

And I'm saying that none of this really matters.

This new generation seems to be one of choice. The next generation will no longer be directly competitive, but one of 3 companies with different practices and different strategies. By that, I mean that now all 3 companies have slowly but surely changed in some degree.

Also, prepare for some really shitty mock-ups of what may be the next generation.

Let's take Microsoft for example. In the days of the original Xbox, they were very dedicated to the hardcore and had some real games to back it up. Hell, I almost bought an Xbox. This somewhat carried over to the Xbox 360 in it's first two or three years with some very interesting and impressive games at the time, games that spawned some of the best selling series this generation.

As of late, however, (Late, being the past two and a half years or so) Microsoft introduced the Kinect. This was a very promising piece of technology that wowed every single person watching that E3 conference at the time. However, that potential was sacrificed when Microsoft decided to use their Kinect to market to the casual market very strongly. This was very similar to Nintendo's Wii strategy... This was worse though.

Microsoft has then made some moves and such to suggest that they will go for a cheaper, more family friendly approach to their new console. This will make for some immense financial success, but I feel they may lose a bunch of fans as a result. Just as Nintendo did... But worse.

I feel Microsoft needs to find that precious middle-ground to win over everyone with this new product. They also need to revive or create some new software IP's to keep their exclusive line-up exciting, and not so boring and repetitive.

Nintendo, on the other hand is trying the opposite...

Nintendo's last generation with the Wii was very rocky. They went for a wider, more casual approach and definitely won a lot of families over, they however turned off many potential hardcore consumers. Nintendo fans were in the middle, though. The Nintendo-created games for the Wii were some of the best this generation, but there were too many terrible cash-grab games to make fanboys completely satisfied. I even bought a PS3 because of Nintendo's not so hot generation with the Wii.

Nintendo sees this though, so with the Wii U they are taking action. Nintendo plans to completely win over hardcore consumers with their new console, it will be powerful, it will be smart, and it will be online. Nintendo is sure to have a bit of a rocky start getting used to all this online, hardcore, HD stuff, but it will be worth it in my opinion.

Nintendo always brings innovation to the table with anything they work on, and I think with this new tablet controller, they will do some really rad stuff. However, Nintendo will effectively be doing a balancing act in this generation with both the hardcore and casual consumers. They, like Microsoft will have to find that sweet, sweet middle ground. Nintendo's just going about it the opposite way as Microsoft.

Sony, however, has been very consistent, but can they win over more consumers?

Sony has always been consistent in bringing hardcore games to the table for hardcore fans, and powerful hardware for those techies out there. They also like to sprinkle in some casual ideas along the way, like the Move and Wonderbook... yeah.

Sony has gone on record as saying that they don't want to be the cheapest or the fastest, but to be the best; in both hardware and software. This will definitely set them apart from Microsoft and Nintendo in the PlayStation 4 being an absolute beast, and presenting technology that is well worth it.

What Sony has to do in my opinion is to bring an idea that will win over some casual consumers, because they really need it with the financial trouble they have been in recently. Other than that, they are very good at bringing a lot of games to their customers very consistently.

So, all in all, all three of these companies are going about their respective console strategies very differently, and really, this generation is barely about which is more powerful and more capable, it will be about preference. The console "war" is almost a defunct idea. It will now be a matter of appeal rather than power, because these strategies are so vastly different. The new generation will be underway this holiday, and I can not be more excited to see how this all plays out.   read

3:07 PM on 07.04.2012

### The Idea of "Videogame Hipster" and the People that Keep Feeding It.

Today, that lovable hunk of a man, Jonathan Holmes raised the question of "Videogame Hipsters", This is my overly drawn out response.

On many occasion, I have been called a hipster on the subject of both music and video games. I listen to many underground bands, yes you got me there I guess, but I don't listen to this music because of how it makes me look, it's because it's the fucking music I like. So what if they have 47 albums and like 23 fans. If the music is good, I will listen to it regardless of who they are.

The same goes for video games. Unless you lived under a rock, everyone knows that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword came out within days of each other last year. This caused stupid debates between me and my friends over which game was better.

I've been a Zelda fan all of my life, and Skyward Sword looked amazing (and lived up to it), so obviously I said Skyward Sword will probably be the better game over Skyrim. Every single one of these guys were convinced that Skyrim was the greatest video game to ever exist, so instinctively they called me a hipster for the sole fact that I liked Skyward Sword better than Skyrim.

After both of the games had come out, no one's opinion changed. I actually do not like Skyrim very much. It just feels like Oblivion with dragons, and that still doesn't quite interest me. My friends still think Skyward Sword looks dumb. The thing that separates me from these friends is the fact that I played both and compared the games to each other.

There are a lot of games I don't really like that I get panned as a hipster for simply not liking. Games like Call of Duty and New Super Mario Bros. Do I care? No, No I do not.

So the moral of the story is, like what you like. No one can and should be able to tell you what you like and don't like. The very idea of Videogame Hipster or Hipster in general should be written off as complete bullshit.   read

1:55 AM on 07.03.2012

### One Curious Boy's Impressions of Mother

All my life, I've been an avid fan of Nintendo. Ever since owning a Nintendo 64 as a kid, I've always loved the worlds Nintendo let me take an adventure with. Whether it be in space with Fox, in Hyrule with Link, in the Mushroom Kingdom with Mario, or the wondrous world of Pokemon, Nintendo has never let me down... Well, almost never. That's for another blog post, though.

There has been one world of Nintendo's that escaped me. A world that is not unlike our own, but alas a world that Nintendo themselves have chosen to forget. Shigesato Itoi's world of Mother.

I decided after being bored with the games I own for my consoles and my steam account, that I would delve into Itoi's Mother trilogy, and I thought it was a good idea to sort of log my impressions of the 3 games on my blog, and hopefully the rest of Destructoid would like to read what I have to say.

Mother is an NES RPG released in 1989 that turned all of the fantasy RPG tropes on their head. Instead of knights in shining armor armed with swords of legend, we have a boy named Ninten that whacks his ridiculous enemies with a baseball bat. Instead of mana and mystical magic mumbo-jumbo, we have psychic children that can just make shit burst into flames. I absolutely adore this aspect of the game, the concept was undoubtedly fresh at the time, and it's still relatively fresh now.

The story is also pretty good as well. Ninten's story starts when he discovers his PSI powers as a result from an attack initiated by, what else, a lamp. After our hero dispatches of the baddie, he immediately sets off on an adventure to find out what exactly is going on, and collect the 8 melodies of his ancestors. He meets some very colorful characters in the sprites of Loid, the bullied nerd who specializes in rockets, Ana, A girl who wants to find her mother, and the very masculine Teddy, a gang leader who wants to avenge his parents. These characters will take you on their journey through the world of Mother and will leave you genuinely touched by their 8-bit personalities.

Overall, the gameplay is very fun and reminiscent of Dragon Quest. The battles are in first-person and the moves are turn based. The game is pretty enjoyable, except for one small thing...

The game's only real gripe is the sheer amount of grinding you must endure to advance in the game. The very beginning of the game can be punishing and very fluctuating in nature. You will constantly endure difficulty spikes and forced to grind. What makes this worse is that Loid and Ana start at level 1. (Teddy starts at level 18) Mother is even referred to by fans of the series as the grind-fest.

The game also has one of the most ridiculous random encounter rates I have ever seen. There are many times where you will be walking to a nearby town and take only one step between battles. It gets incredibly frustrating when you are low on health and desperately need a life-up cream.

In terms of pacing, the story is slightly intriguing at the beginning and kind of trails off near the middle, at this point all you're doing is getting your team together and grinding between cities to get Loid and Ana even close to Ninten's levels. At this point in the game, I started to get tired of it. The game then hits a continuous peak when you meet Teddy in Ellay.

What happens here is a series of challenges and plot twists. This results in a couple of party changes and genuine surprises. At a point in the game, Ninten and the gang actually befriend a monstrous robot capable of destroying most of the enemies. Seriously, this robot is kickass. Soon after, you have all 8 melodies you are able to face the final boss.

By the end of the credits after the very cinematic and emotional final boss, my jaw dropped. I couldn't have ever imagined feeling an emotional attachment to an NES game. Mother opened my eyes and absolutely impressed. After finishing this almost trial of a game, I decided to embark on a journey across all 3 games. Mother was a fantastic game, and I am glad to have played it.

If you would like to experience Mother, you'll have to emulate it, sadly. Unless you are of course, Japanese. The game is in English under the name Earthbound Zero on assorted NES roms.

This game is a real treat, and a refreshing and fun RPG for the NES. I really recommend playing it somehow. I hope my impressions/review swayed you to give it a try. Constructive criticism would be much appreciated and if you liked it, please let me know!   read