Home State: New York
Currently Residing In: Utah
Birthday: October 13th, 1985 (I'll always secretly consider the NES to have been a week-late birthday present to me from Nintendo.)
I'm a Mass Communication/Journalism graduate from the University of Utah, which I'm starting to question, since it was a tough field to get into even before the economy went down the toilet. I love writing; Not only do I consider it my passion, but I also believe it's an invaluable skill for this socially-connected age in which we live. Writing about video games brings me more joy than I can even describe in words, which is saying a lot, considering.
As far as video games go, I've been a gamer since I was two-and-a-half. I try to play whatever interests me, despite what other people think of those games. I suppose I consider myself to be "obsessed" with gaming, but not in the sense that all I want to do is beat games. I'm fascinated with the industry as a whole, and in some way, shape or form, I'd love to be a part of it professionally someday.
Metal Gear Solid Series (PS1, PS2, & PS3)
Fatal Frame Series (PS2, Xbox, Wii)
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES (PS2)
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (PS2)
Metroid Prime Trilogy (Wii)
Dead Space (PS3, Xbox 360)
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)
Anything Zelda-Related (Various Nintendo Platforms)
My most prized gaming-related possession: A factory-sealed copy of the original Famicom Disk System Zeruda no Densetsu (The Legend of Zelda).
Mario and I were tight back in the day, yo.
I've had a few articles promoted on the front page... Check them out if you want. (Thanks, Hamza! :D)
In 2009, the gaming world lost Captain Lou Albano, the wrestler-turned-actor who played Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show. It was really sad for me in particular, because I had met Albano a few times when I lived in New York. He always came to my elementary school to do fundraisers and hang out with the kids.
Last week, the other half of the most famous duo in gaming left us. Danny Wells, who portrayed Luigi alongside Albano, passed away at the age of 72. As one website points out, this passing ironically occurred during Nintendo's Year of Luigi.
As sad as these two deaths were/are, I found myself doing the same thing today as I did four years ago: I reminisced about the Super Show. I was absolutely obsessed with video games when I was a kid (not much has changed), and this half-hour TV program made me smile every time it came on. It only lasted for one season, but reruns were aired for years after its cancellation, and I watched them all; it didn't matter how many times I'd already seen a particular episode. Heck, I still have every one of them recorded on VHS tapes and stored in a closet in my basement.
The show consisted of a live-action segment, starring Albano and Wells, and an animated story, in which the two actors lent their voices for their cartoon counterparts. The live-action segments had absolutely nothing to do with the games or cartoons, and was kind of a mini-sitcom that detailed the lives of the two plumbers. And they actually were plumbers, for once!
A lot of celebrities would appear on the Super Show, since celebrities got the big ratings. Even Sgt. Slaughter, another wrestler that Albano had appeared with in the ring, made a guest appearance in one episode. I liked to watch wrestling when I was a kid, so that particular story was a real treat for me.
The jokes were corny, the acting wasn't all that good, and the laugh track was really obvious to even a child, but all of it put together felt like pure magic. It was Nintendo without having to actually sit down and play anything; a production that didn't cost the price of an NES game to enjoy. It gave me a reason to look forward to sitting down on the couch after school. I never got tired of seeing which guest would appear on the Super Show that day, and what antics and arguments the brothers would get into. Would Luigi cause Mario to become invisible, needing to rely on the magician, Blackstone, to restore him to normal? Would the famous wrestler, Captain Lou Albano, make an appearance, always conveniently when Mario wasn't in the room? I loved every second of the cheesiness.
Lou Albano and Danny Wells provided me with some of my fondest childhood memories. I'll never forget that time in my life, when I didn't have a care in the world, and Mario and Luigi were always there to greet me when I got home from school.
Once again, everybody, let's pour one out for our Super Mario Bros. And, as always, do The Mario.
This isn't going to be a long blog, but I wanted to let people know of my excitement anyway. Two of the Humble Bundle's games right now are DRM-free, even though they need to be downloaded through Steam.
Scribblenauts Unlimited can just be run, and as you can see from the picture above, it's completely aware that it doesn't need Steam. Arkham Asylum, however, tells you that you can't run it without Steam running. But if you go into your Binaries folder where the game is installed, make a shortcut to ShippingPC-BmGame.exe, and add " -nosteam" (without quotes) to the end of the Target field, the game will launch without Steam. Save data saves and loads perfectly as well, albeit in a completely separate folder than if you're launching the game through Steam.
This makes me really happy. I'm all for digital content as long as I'm completely unrestricted, and thanks to that random trick I found, I am. I bought the bundle strictly for Scribblenauts, since I knew it was DRM-free going into it, but Batman is an awesome surprise.
I've been holding off on Outlast since it's release, because it was only available through Steam. Well, that's no longer the case, as the game is now available DRM-free through GOG.com, A.K.A. the why-isn't-this-website-the-digital-distribution-standard-yet website, and directly through the Red Barrels website. If you buy it directly from Red Barrels, you get the DRM-free game, the soundtrack and a Steam key for a second copy of the game.
I've heard almost nothing but good things about Outlast, and with Halloween just around the corner, this is a perfect time to dive in. The game is currently on sale for $13.39, which is almost impulse-buy territory for me, especially since I haven't played a really good horror game in a while. After playing both Amnesia games, I'm all in when it comes to first-person horror.
For those of you who have read anything I've posted to Destructoid, you'll know that the title of this blog is completely out of character for me. I can't stand Apple, and I'm constantly talking about how much I can't stand going through Steam to play my PC games. So, what's going on? Have I lost my mind? Has Gabe Newell finally won me over?
No. Hell, no. However, something has recently come to my attention that makes me much more willing to deal with Steam. For the past couple weeks, I've been messing with turning my laptop into a Hackintosh -- running Mac on a Windows-based PC instead of the other way around. I got it to work for the most part (there are still bugs I need to work out), and the first thing I tried to do was download a couple Steam games to test them out. I was playing around with them, and I noticed something interesting about the ones I had tried: None of them needed Steam to be running in order to play them. Now, Steam games are occasionally like this, completely DRM-free, as the choice to implement Steam's DRM is up to the developer/publisher; The interesting part about this story, however, is that the games I tried through Mac OS X actually DO require Steam to be running if you play the Windows versions.
A few days ago, I logged into my Steam account and downloaded the Mac version of The Walking Dead, and I backed it up to a thumb drive. Last night, I went up to my old college library, where quite a few powerful Macs are set up for people to use. I plugged in my thumb drive and started playing The Walking Dead, just as if I had downloaded it right then and there. It played beautifully, too, just as well as the Windows version on my own PC, and this was all straight from a flash drive.
I did some research into this amazing discovery, and I came to find out that the Mac version of Steam doesn't contain the CEG component -- the part of Steam that handles all of its DRM. Some games still do require Steam to run somehow, like most games made by Valve themselves, but the vast majority apparently don't. I looked up some more games online, and the new Shadowrun Returns is another example of a game with DRM if you play it through Windows, but DRM-free if you play it through Mac.
From what I can tell, the majority of Mac Steam games are DRM-free, even the big-name ones.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm actually considering building some sort of unholy gaming rig just to play Steam games through Mac. I don't even know how to comprehend my own words here, as Apple and Steam are two things I generally really dislike. But it's really amazing to know that there's an official, non-hacked version of Steam out there that's almost -- almost -- as user-friendly as GOG.com. As much as this sickens me, if I'm ever going to get into PC gaming, I think it might just be Mac that makes me do it.
I've said -- more than once -- that one of the main differences between PC gamers and console gamers is that console gamers won't take the same restrictive shit that PC gamers seem to so often be just fine with. Well, if today's news isn't proof of that, then I don't know what is.
As I'm sure everyone is already aware, Microsoft is lifting all of its restrictive DRM from the Xbox One. No longer will you need an Internet connection to play what you paid for. No longer will a retail game be forever stuck to you, with only one transfer being allowed. No longer will you have to worry about playing your games in the future. Microsoft, arguably the biggest titan in the electronics industry, as been moved by the will of their potential customers, and it's a damned beautiful thing.
Microsoft is backpedaling. Everyone can see that, and I don't think they're even trying to hide it. I'm sure Microsoft still WANTS to restrict everyone, and some third-party publishers (*cough*EA*cough*) will probably hate the fact that DRM isn't going to be implemented, at least not on an operating system level. But the fact that the customers (or potential customers, anyway) got Microsoft -- MICRO-FUCKING-SOFT -- to do something like this is an ENORMOUS victory. Whether Microsoft likes it or not, the people with the money have spoken, and the chorus is like music to my ears.
Now, I'm not going to go out and immediately change my PS4 preorder to an Xbox One preorder; I'm still not a fan of how the Xbox One requires a Kinect, making it not only $100 more than the PS4, but also raises privacy concerns (and, if it breaks, the system itself becomes a paperweight). But I'll be paying MUCH closer attention to the console now. I've always liked the 360 more than the PS3, but the PS3's free online play always kept me coming back. That's not going to be an option pretty soon here, so it's all going to come down to exclusives and built-in features that the competition doesn't have. But, no matter what I go with in the future, one thing is certain: Game owners (yes, OWNERS) won a very important battle today.
Now, if only we could get rid of all the DRM in Steam.
It's appropriate that Sony's conference was after Microsoft's, because it seems like EVERYTHING they said and did was tailored specifically to counter everything Microsoft said to piss its former customers off.
No online requirements for retail games AT ALL.
No mention of forced motion controls or cameras watching you.
A cloud-based service that's COMPLETELY optional.
Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy XV.
A HUNDRED DOLLARS LESS than the Xbox One.
PlayStation Plus members get PS4 games at launch.
The only negatives I can think of here are a) the console looks like ass, just like the Xbox One, and b) the fact that Sony's going from free online play to charging. This indeed sucks, and I hate the fact that it happened, but at the very least, PlayStation Plus is a hell of a lot more worth paying for than Xbox LIVE Gold (which will still NOT be free on the Xbox One). At least I won't feel like I'm paying JUST to play online, like I did with the Xbox 360 whenever I had Gold, which wasn't often.
As far as I can tell, the PS4 has the freedom that the Xbox One and Steam don't offer, and it has the power and the usability that the Wii U lacks. It seems like this generation is going to be an EXTREMELY easy choice as far as non-handheld gaming systems go.