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1:09 AM on 08.18.2008

Instant Replay: Two Fighters Enter. One Fighter Leaves.

It is no secret that I am a fighting game enthusiast. Whenever I hear of a new fighting game, I am intensely scouring the internet for any news, reading gaming magazines, listening carefully for tidbits of information that may come my way. I look into the types of characters it will have, if it will be 2D or 3D, Weapons based, what the mechanics are, and when it will come out. There are quite a lot of reasons fighting games hold a lot of replay value to me. Reasons that EVERYONE should look into fighting games more often.

Just about anyone can get into a fighting game, really. There is literally a character for everyone. The veteran wandering warrior who lives only for the fight, never backing down from any challenge. The big and burly wrestler who laugh at your feeble attempts at attack while he tosses you like the trash you are. The quick and nimble fighter who has already hit you 4 times while you're still swinging at where he/she was 2 seconds ago. The oddball freak with attacks that defy logic, making you wonder what the hell just happened while you are on the ground. No matter who you are, you will gravitate to your type. There is always a choice. There is always someone who doesn't let you down. Someone who is stronger than the rest. Someone who you can take the to the top.

That someone doesn't come without a learning curve, however. Randomly swinging your fist around is good and all, but wouldn't it feel better to actually connect with a sweet combo? That is where the sweat and tears come in. Truly, it takes dedication to learn all of your characters normal moves, specials, combos, cancel techniques, throws, and taunts. NEVER forget the taunt. It is an important tool that will let your opponent know they just got rocked. Once all is said and done, you should be standing tall with a large arsenal of moves to use and strike out with at any given moment. You are at the top of your game. You will crush anything that tries to oppose you. And you know what? You feel good for your hard work. So what is next but to try to knock the next guy off of his high horse? That's where we get into competitive play.

There is nothing quite like fighting your friends one on one in a game of Street Fighter, Super Smash Bros., Mortal Kombat, King of Fighters, Tekken, Dead or Alive, or any of the other well known titles that pit you and another person against each other. The reason that there generally HAS to be a fighting game of some sort at or near launch of consoles is there needs to be something there for you invite friends over and beat the hell out of each other. Nothing quite compares to passing around the controller after an incredibly close shave with victory/defeat, and just waiting to get your turn to see how the next match turns out. You can keep coming back to it match after match. It never really gets old.

Well, maybe it does, just a little. Ever feel you might be a little TOO good? Finding yourself having to handicap your character just to give others a chance at beating you? This is where we step into the elite crowd of fighting gamers. Here you will find those that have stepped their game up to unimaginable levels of total domination. Once you have a look here, you will think twice about taking what skills you have and placing it in front of these guys. If you are lucky, they will shred it quietly with and hand it back to you with quiet dignity. Here is where it is key. Do you give up, and run away with your tail in between your legs? Or do you step up your own game to compete? If you think you are good enough, this will keep you coming back time after time. In order to be the best. That no one ever was. To catch them is my real test... AHEM. Excuse that. Anyway, fighting games are just a combination of these elements that will keep me (and quite a few other people) coming back, no matter the game. Forever re-playable, fighters will keep on into the future as a necessary gaming element. I would dearly hate the world that does not allow me to Hadoken the next guy into oblivion. Thanks for reading.

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7:42 PM on 07.26.2008

Beating the Dead Horse: Remember When These Were Fresh?

We all love our sequels. Who could possibly get enough Grand Theft Auto, Halo, Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Grand Turismo, just to name a few? These are games that are constantly refreshing and reinventing, pushing the envelope of what the (insert cash cow here) name means. But sometimes, it goes just a little too far. There IS a limit to how many sequels and rehashes that can be shoved down our throat without us just becoming numb to it all together. No longer do we feel that excitement, that joy, that comes with seeing a new number or subtitle with our gaming franchise. Love can only carry you so far. Where love fails, sales will continue to drive production, new numbers, and subtitles.

Street Fighter.
Now don't get me wrong. I LOVE my Street Fighter to death. It is one of my favorite series of all time, bar none. I'm sure we are all psyched to see Street Fighter 4, no denying. You know why? Because we haven't seen it IN NINE YEARS. This series lost a lot of fans somewhere between Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo and SUPER Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix WITH SPINNING RIMS Deluxe Edition Hyper Aniversary Collection 10th Redux the 7th Addon Old Generation All Stars Collector's Set Special Crazy Ultra Evolution 2006 the Movie Zero New and Improved Taste Extra Flavor Remake. Think that's a bit overblown? Well, I do too, but i'm not too far off. I originally killed off hopes of ever seeing a Street Fighter 4, seeing as how Capcom left this incredibly fun, influental franchise for bigger and better things. (Like Megaman Sequels.) This is a case of too little, too often. All of the semi-sequels added few updates and characters. By the time Street Fighter 3 came out, no one was really caring save the hardcore. I am all for seeing Street Fighter 4 being a monster hit. Heres hoping they don't beat this horse anymore then they have to.

Quick! What version of Street Fighter is this? Yeah, I can't tell either.

Speaking of the Blue Bomber, he is another one that should probably take a good long break. Seriously. When you have this many titles under your belt, you have probably permiated the gaming consciousness enough so you will NEVER be forgotten. I have to say, not many can say they have 120+ titles under their belt. Think about that for a second. Can you imagine your favorite band coming out with that many albums? How about that many books in a series? A movie that spawns more than 100 sequels? As much as we care about you Megaman, sometimes enough is enough. Slow it down to a trickle, and I will start buying more often. I stopped after estimating how much I could spend trying to collect all of the Megaman games. I do say I would have to resort to selling organs, robbery, scams, holding Santa hostage, finding the Philosopher's Stone, and collecting the bounty on Osama Bin Laden. Needless to say, only 3/6 of these are viable options. I'll let you guess which ones. Please, Capcom. I am fiending to play Megaman 9 as much as the next guy, but if you can just stop for a moment to re-imagine this awesome character and series, I just might not have to go on a terrorist hunt. Then again, If they keep pumping out this kind of box art, all is forgiven.

"Mario Party."
Ahh, back in the glorious days of the N64, this was THE party game to bust out. The addictive mix of skill, luck, and punching your friend in the arm to make him lose a minigame all came together to form a collective pool of fun. Remember when everybody had to have a party game? Crash Bandicoot, Sonic, even Pac-Man got in on the action. Lucky for us, Mario Party can only be imitated, never duplicated. Except by Nintendo, of course. We have seen at least one every year since it's release, each time a little bit of the joy is sucked out. From recycled mini-games to more and more randomness being injected to determine the winner, we are losing a great party franchise to the Stale Monster. I'm sure the designers could use a break, and so could we. Perhaps we can revisit the series with a new bounce after a year or two.

Really. What more needs to be said about this picture?

"Dynasty Warriors."
Speaking of the Stale Monster, he gets his his bullets here. He makes them from distilled Dynasty Warriors. This is putting out the same exact game with surface differences. As much as I hate to say it, it shares similarities with Street Fighter in the update catagory. But at least Street Fighter isn't as pretentious as to put a number in front of the remakes and expecting you to belive it is a full fledged sequel. Tell me which screenshots are from which Dynasty Warriors.

1. Dynasty Warriors 4.
2. Dynasty Warriors 2.
3. Dynasty Warriors 3.
4. Dynasty Warriors 5.

If you guessed all of those correctly, I salute you. I can't tell them appart myself. With minor graphical updates, few new mechanics, these should really be called Dynasty Warriors 1.22phonedin. After slaughtering your 1 millionth brainless peon with your overpowered super character based of a chinese legend, a little of the magic is lost when you realize you've been doing the same thing for the last 4 titles. I'm sure Koei needs the money, but so do I. I'll keep mine until I see a genuine update, thank you very much.

Let me just say I don't hate these games. Not one bit. I just wish that the companies that make them would take a break once in a while to re-examine what would make this franchise better. I'm not talking about roster updates and minor tweaks. I'm talking about inovation, new mechanics, making us look at this or that franchise in a different light. Yes, I understand why we see more Megaman then some of us see the sun rise. Money talks, and it is saying people want to see more of these titles. Keep running these titles into the ground with re-release after re-release, however, and we might not have any more buyers who want to pay for the same thing 143 times. I for one would hate to see Street Fighter go back into the grave because the sequel couldn't come up with anything new. Trust me, make me wait. I'll buy anything if you tease me long enough.

Enough longwinded blogging. Thanks for reading.

(P.S. Interesting totally unrelated note. I've been stuck at rank 666 for a while. PLEASE COMMENT. It's creeping me out. O_o; )   read

6:40 PM on 07.18.2008

My favorite "You have GOT to be kidding me" moments in gaming.

I consider myself a well rounded gamer, playing just across all faces of gaming. Racing, Fighting, Action/Adventure, Strategy, Sports, RPG, FPS, Random ACRONYM, and just about all of the sub genres that could come of it. One aspect of gaming I love is a challange. After getting down the basics, slap me on Hard mode, Expert, Dante Must Die, Legendary, Professional, God mode, anything that will give my reflexes and brain a good work out. But sometimes, there are just things that make me laugh, simply because what they are asking are ridiculously difficult, or are just amazing feats in and of themelves. These are the things that make me glad i'm a gamer.

(not listed in order of difficulty/most impressive)

"EVO moment 37."
This is from Street Fighter 3: Third Strike. After reading that title, if you've already seen, skip ahead. If not, listen closely: this moment is godly. Justin Wong (Chun-li) vs. Daigo (Ken) EVO 2004 Semi-Finals. Daigo is totally on the ropes here, Justin giving him a ton of trouble. At the last moment, Daigo makes a comeback that has to be seen to be belived. If your wondering why he didn't just block, he couldn't have. He would have taken minimal damage and lost the match. So his only choice? SPLIT second blocking with forward (parry). A difficult feat upon itself with a one or two hits, but Daigo takes it to the extreme. See for yourself.


"Devil May Cry 3. Dante Must Die Mode. Vergil 1, 2, and 3."
So you can beat any of the lesser demons with no trouble, eh? Wait till you fight Vergil. He LOVES to put you in your place. When I first got to him, I was feeling pretty cocky, having beat two bosses before hand. I thought I was prepared. Was I wrong. You see, he learns a few new tricks when you pick Dante Must Die. Because he follows that motto to a T. He has magically summoned swords that give him a slicing barrier while he attacks you. When the swords point at you, treat it as ceartain death. It is if you don't dodge/block correctly. Vergil 2? Your second encounter. In addition to his katana, he gets flash greaves and gauntlets. AND a devil trigger. Good luck with that. Vergil 3? Last time you face him. He makes it count. This time, he has your fathers sword, Force Edge. He uses both it and his katana at the same time. If he devil triggers and hits you with Helm Splitter, your dead. No questions asked. Fun indeed.

"Through the Fire and Flames on Expert."
I have "Just OK" Guitar Hero skills. I can do most songs on hard, about half on expert. It feels great dominating a song where you couldn't get past half the notes a week before. I figure with enough practice, you can master any song in Guitar Hero. But one will always elude me. When I first seen what it takes to play this song, I just laughed at the beastly shredding it would require to get past the freaking intro. I'm sorry, Guitar Hero. Your just asking a bit too much with this one. They call it "Through the Fire and Flames" because thats where your hands will be from moving at that speed.


"Drakengard Final Boss."
Probably one of Square Enix's lesser known titles, Drakengard has you hacking and slashing your way through hundreds of enemies on screen either on foot or on dragon. The game takes a while to complete 100%, requiring you to slaughter literaly thousands of enemies to power up 64 weapons, beat levels within ceartain restrictions, and complete all story paths. However, one final phase still eludes me. The FINAL final boss. Now the strange thing is, after hours upon hours of just slaughtering things, the final boss asks you only this. Press Square and Triangle. You can't attack. The only thing you can do is match her attacks with your own. Black and White. Miss one ring or mismatch one, failure. Sound simple? It isn't. Having had this game for 4 years, I STILL cannot beat it. It's THAT fun. If you get it, you unlock a stage which has you fighting F-15 Tomcats in the "real" world on dragon-back. You unlock an F-15 yourself as your reward. But forget me ever getting it. I've given it up as impossible. Watch the fun.


"Halo on Legendary."
Halo is a fun, fun game. Even more so when you get a challange from your enemies. Just be forewarned: When they say you will die in Legendary, you WILL die. Make no mistake. Plasma shots that can kill you in two hits. Super accurate snipers that will shoot your pinky off if you so much as show it. Grunts that actually know how to fight back before they panic. Flood that will suffocate you with relentless attacks. It's not unbeatable, but it will push your skills to the limit. Expect the Chief to eat a lot of dirt sandwiches, soul crush soda, and for desert, humiliation pie.

"Speed Runs."
I usually think of Speed Runs in terms of racing. Shaving down seconds off the clock, looking for that ever elusive perfect run. The same can be applied for many other video games though. There are are LOT of titles out there that people are breaking down for runs. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night in 34 min. Contra in 10 min. Final Fantasy tactics in 4 hr 45 min. Metroid in 18 min. The list goes on and on. These are the video game equivalent of burning up the track. Check some out for yourself on youtube or check out this for the current list of games. Impressive stuff.


"Yiazmat. FFXII."
Final Fantasy bosses have a good reputation as being some of the most memorable. Sephiroth, Kefeka, Sin, Zeromus, to name a few. Secret bosses are even better. Ruby and Emerald Weapon, the various incarnations of Ultima Weapon, the elemental dragons of FFVI, Ozma, Nemesis, each are tough and are proud acomplishments to have beaten. However, Yiazmat has to take the cake here. The boss has status inflicting attacks, automatic kill attacks, and the ability to regenerate all of his hp if if you leave him alone too long. Doesn't sound too bad? It is when you have FIFTY MILLION HP. Yeah. That number is correct. After so long, he will put up a shield that will reduce the max damge you can do from 9999 to 6999, making the fight even longer and tougher. It takes hours to beat the dude, and hats off if you do.

"Beating Ninja Gaiden (Xbox) on anything but normal."
Hard doesn't even begin to describe this game. When you get owned by the first boss, don't lose hope. Keep it going. Second boss? No, he doesn't even begin to compare. Laugh and keep going. As you slowly transform from helpless baby to Ninja Blender, Gather all of your hopes, dreams, ideals, and goals. Puff them up to massive size. Now. Go fight the Chapter 7 boss, Alma. Hand them over to her. She will completely and utterly annihilate them. She is fast, powerful, and dodges everything you throw at her, and laughs at your feeble attempts at competence. Except she doesn't laugh with her voice. She laughs at you with pain delivered directly to your very soul. As you can tell, I had a very fun time beating her. Took me 3 hours. I don't like to think of myself as a noob to action games, but she was really making me wonder. If your into self abuse, pick this game up. Not to say it's not fun. Just really really tough.

"At the cost of blood, sweat, and tears. LOTS and LOTS of tears."

Well, I would post more, but i'm lazy. If you guys have any moments. Feel free to share. I might do more in the future. Thanks for reading.   read

12:05 AM on 07.16.2008

A cast of Thousands: Dante

Way back in 2001, a little game was released by Capcom named Devil May Cry. I just so happened to be patrolling the local blockbuster for new releases when I spotted this little gem. Guy with a sword? Check. Shotgun? Check. Made by Capcom? Sold.Little did I know this game would lead to countless hours of demon slaying fun. Not only did it have one of the best combat systems i've ever played, it had the most bad ass demon slayer ever born. He slices, he dices, all while spitting out some of the coolest dialouge in gaming. The man has no fear, and isn't afraid to make you a fool. I mean, just look here:

This just screams "I'm going to hurt you so hard you'll be eating dirt and begging for seconds." But, just in case you don't belive me, I am going to break down why he is the best demon hunter around. Here are my top five reasons to love Dante:

1. "The man is very near immortal."
Dante is half-demon himself. Because of this, he can take more punishment then any normal human being. He has taken countless pointy objects through the chest. He's been nearly burned alive, electrocuted, and had a motocycle thrown against him. He has been shot in the FORHEAD POINT BLANK. At this he merely smiles. Then proceeds to make you wish you were never born.


2. "He is a master of many weapons."
He can use guns, swords, numchuku, scythes, lasers, gauntlets, you name it, he can wield it. He has a Shoryuken. He can even kill you with an electic guitar solo. Literally. I'm not kidding. He WIELDS A GUITAR. However, the coolest weapon he has so far is Pandora's Box. Check for yourself.


3."Style is his middle and last name."
If it isn't done with flash, it isn't worth doing. He has caught bullet's with his teeth, taken down demons the size of buildings, surfed missiles, and used a motorcycle as numchuku. Ladies lust after him. Men want to be him. Enough said.


4."He has the best family EVER."
His father? Only one of the most powerful demons to ever exist. He was so powerful, he sealed off his own power in the demon world, and closed the gate. His legacy still lives 1000 years later. He is legend. Yet we cannot forget his twin brother, Vergil. The man is just as amazing as Dante himself. When Devil May Cry 3 was released, he nearly stole the show with his icy cool demeanor, scornful taunts, and smooth battle style. It's not often you can look at your overpowered, jacked up demon destruction machine, look at the final boss, and say "I wanna be THAT guy."


5."When it just isn't enough, go Demon."
Getting piled on by worthless demons? Devil Trigger. Boss being a cheap bastard? Devil Trigger. Someone going through the 10 items or less lane with a full cart? Devil Trigger. We are all familiar with the idea of powering up to defeat our gaming foes. But when you are already an unstoppable force of annihilation? Not many do better than Dante. Not only does he get a speed boost an major powerup, his look changes all together. Every devil may cry game has given us a different devil trigger, but i'm partial to Devil May Cry 3's overall design.

There you have it. If you aren't seriously considering marrying Dante THIS INSTANT, you have no soul. Thanks for reading.   read

6:17 PM on 07.12.2008

What is a Gamer?

I'm sure we have all asked ourselves this at one time or another. As i've watched the gaming industry through gaming magazines, TV, and the internet, i've seen the term grow to encompass a much larger crowd than I ever thought possible. I remember when gamer was like a secret handshake in school. Something that you didn't quite mention to just anybody. In some groups, you had to hide it. Anyone remember when the idea was you "grew" out of gaming? I do. Sadly, to some people, this idea still exists, but it is not as prevailant as it once was. As we age and mature, so does our fun little hobby, sometimes at a scary rate. As we all develop different ideas and goals, this one term connects us all.

Although it was a bit lonely to be the "only" Gamer around growing up, I wore the term like a badge of honor. It was almost like a secret club that I belonged to. I could do things no one else could. I can wear a cape and fly high into the sky. I was the worlds toughest fighter, living only to fight the good fight. I've single handly destroyed an entire alien army. I am an ace pilot. I saved the world from the plauge of Zeromus, from all consuming evil, even from fate itself. I've also destroyed the world, became that evil, twisted fate in my favor. The greatest thing about this though, is that more and more people have done this, too. They are part of my club. It's only recently that we have connected, have come together, to form a collective, to have a brand: Gamer. It is one of the best things to be known as nowadays.

However, I am a bit conflicted on how many people the term has come to describe. The secretary playing bejewled. Mom having fun with Wii Sports. The guy who plays nothing but Madden and Halo. All these people are technically Gamers, but they don't sample across the board, the entire spectrum of gaming. They probably wouldn't describe themselves as Gamers. I don't think they should be called as such. However, I am under the impression that we are only Gamers because we condsider ourselves to be. I belive anyone who enjoys playing and is into it enough to call themselves, Gamer, should be. I think anyone who can call themselves that has the willingness to grow and experience a wider variety of games. Who knows? Maybe your little sister enjoying her Wii might grow up to develop the next evolution in gaming. I know how a lot of us started out:

So let all these Casual Gamers grow to fill our shoes. If they want to be known as Gamers, let them.

So what is a Gamer? Is it what we play that defines us? Does how long we play raise or lower our status? Are Hardcore and Casual the only way to describe us? I think it is a conglomerate of all these things that make us who we are. But one thing we all have in common: our love of games. Now and hopefully forever.

Let's play.   read

6:31 PM on 07.09.2008

Gaming has shaped a lot of who I am.

Today, I was playing some Street Fighter 2. Yes, crusty and old, but I love it. I got to thinking while playing. The games I have played in my life have influenced me a lot. In school, work, my social interaction, my ideals, and my goals. Growing up, I didn't have the "best" role models in my family. I was mostly quiet and kept to myself with my reading and games. But I don't think I left any more alienated because of it. Thinking back, I would say it made me a better person all around.

For example, one of my earliest heroes is Ryu from Street Fighter.

When I first beat Street Fighter 2, (DAMN YOU BISON!) it was a proud accomplishment I took away. I expected Ryu to be up there dancing about like the bad ass he was. But no. You see Sagat and Bison standing on the podium at number 3 and 2, repectively. Where is Ryu? He is walking down the path, into the sunset. No, it was not the victory he fought for. It was for the fight itself. I learned that victory is not the most important thing in this life. Bettering yourself is a worthy goal into itself. Defeat is motivation to get stronger. And if you suffer a knockdown, Dragon Punch your way back on to the path to life.

Another fond memory of mine is playing through Pokemon ever so long ago.

Who doesn't remember their first pokemon? Mine was my lovable squirtle. All the trials, the tribulations, the walking back 5 miles to a pokecenter cause I was too Scrooge Mcduck to buy antidotes. I learned with dedication, hard work, and just a little luck, you too, can become whatever you desire. And crush your jerk rival. That counts too.

One more while i'm at it. My first MMO, Final Fantasy 11.

This one made me realize what kind of connection we all share being gamers. The sense of community you get from an MMO cannot be described properly by me. It is just... joy and happy incarnate to be sharing adventures with good friends in an open, free world. This game helped me with my love of gaming. Up until this point in my life, I had considered giving up gaming. No one I knew loved gaming enough to talk seriously about it with me, my mom seen it as a waste of time, and I felt there was no one I could share the excitement and joy of gaming with. But when you are slaying your 100th rabbit, taking on a dragon with a friend and no idea what the hell you are doing, or just chatting it up with your group of friends, you just know: it doesn't get much better being a gamer.

Well, that was enough long talking for me. How about you guys? You feel as if gamings influenced you in your life? Could be negative or positive. I'm curious to hear.
I figure i'll write a more serious blog next time. Pizzakiller out.   read

2:28 AM on 07.09.2008

Hello good folks! Hope to make an impact.

Or at least as much as I can in my small area. A little bit about me:

I live in Montana. I am a hardcore gamer, manga/anime enthusiast (to put it softly,) and an avid reader. Totally out of shape, but i'm working on it with some Martial Arts practice. Seeing as I am back in Montana, I will head to the nearest Martial Arts studio and see what I can set up. Jeez, this is harder than I thought it would be. Well, let's get back to what I love to do. Gaming!

The reason I am making this blog is to show the world there are gamers out here in the Treasure State. It was always tough growing up in Montana, being the only one of my kind. Most of my friends hardly game, and if they do, it's casual. That is INCREDIBLY frustrating. Who am I supposed to talk to about learning how to tic throw in Street Fighter? Finishing Final Fantasy 3 (6)? The brilliance that is Disgaea? Smacking down the Covenant on Legendary? Fable? Star Wars: Kights of the Old Republic? Grand Turismo 3? Resident evil? Devil May Cry? I could go on and on. I thank Microsoft every day for Xbox Live. It's the only fun I get for multiplayer gaming. Without it, I would be stuck in my bubble of electronic entertainment.

I am hoping there are other people out there in Montana that are like me. Networking is not something that is easy to do here, unless you count the trees. They seem to encroach on our territory little by little... However, that does not mean I am adverse to making friends in other places. Heck, I even met my fomer roomates in an MMO! But that's another story =)

I hope to find an awesome community in destructoid, and as far as I can tell, it's pretty fine indeed. Hope to update soon. And I hope people will read... *cross fingers*   read

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