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Poe's blog

2:18 AM on 10.09.2010

iPhone Game Kerplinkus Equals Funtimes

Hello, organisms. Having recently found this neat iPhone-focused gaming blog and realizing it had been 36357324 years since I had bothered to check the iTunes App Store for potential funtimes, I did a bit of browsing and bought snazzy games Pix'n Love Rush and Bit Trip Beat: iPhone Jamboree.

"Unfortunately," Poe said with a sharp bite of palpable frustration, "I realized after purchasing these games that my 1st gen iPod Touch was catastrophically obsolete and could not run them." I had been labouring under the wrong and sillypants assumption that the App Store was a fair and unprejudiced place where iPod Touches and iPhones of all generations and operating systems could play together in harmony, but of course technology isn't fond of working that way.

Luckily, that pair of games cost 2 dollars in total, so I was able to do some more scouring to find a nice little piece of fun that my pathetic and emotionally stunted iPod could actually play. Behold, the fruits of my quest:

Kerplinkus caught my eye immediately because it was placed in a section called "Retro Games" which contains ports of old games and new games that look like old games, and 2) it is quite pretty. Contrary to what the game's title might suggest, Kerplinkus has nothing to do with Kerplunk or Plinko. It is actually one of those rascally games that at first seems to be beating that dead horse known as the falling-block puzzle genre but is secretly a basket full of good times.

You destroy those pretty blocks by moving a block directly underneath a falling same-coloured block and letting them collide. You can make great big explody chains by setting up a bunch of same-colour blocks side by side as long as one of the blocks in the chain is in the path of its falling brethren. On my first round I wasn't terribly enthralled, but the game eventually wrapped its pixelly, rainbow-hued tendrils around me and wouldn't let go.

I'm not aware of how popular this game is, but its App Store page has no reviews and searching for "Kerplinkus" on Destructoid turned up nothing. Also, I managed to reach the game's top 100 leaderboard on my third try (#34), so either the game isn't being played by a lot of people or iPhone gamers are rubbish. It is 2 dollars and has shapes and colours, so there is no reason why this game should end up drooping in obscurity.

Here is an introductory movie:

...and here is a link to the store page for cool dudes only:   read

6:15 PM on 08.20.2010

Today is a Day to Write a Blog I Have Decided

The toothpick came out clean and the cows came back home so it is time for me to write a blog.

I downloaded the angsty hate-pustule known as Castlevania the Third back in October of last year, and I still can't beat it. I managed to beat the original Castlevania just fine and the only thing that prevented me from beating Castlevania II was not knowing the game's arcane and ridiculous secrets that could only be found in a walkthrough. Castlevania the Third reaches near Zelda II-ian levels of difficulty for me, and if I respect myself I think I will stop trying to beat it like I did with Zelda II so many years ago. Not only are the bosses vicious meany poopheads, the electricity has gone out four separate times while I was playing which meant I had to start over from the beginning. OMG WHY IS LIFE SO HARD.

Back in that Steam sale that happened whenever it happened, I bought Shatter which is a brilliant game that I played and then beat and then played again because it was that brilliant. Games that are centered around beating a high score don't hold much appeal for me but, like the Bit Trip games, Shatter is very nice to look at and the music makes the good chemicals run through my brain. Speaking of Bit Trip, I wonder if anyone has compared the two of these games at all because it seems to me Bit Trip Beat did much the same thing with Pong that Shatter did with Arkanoid. I had a dream last night where I ate in the same restaurant as Alex Neuse or my old French teacher. They kind of look similar so I couldn't quite tell.

I heard from the Wikipedia that the UK had its own version of Law and Order so I definitely didn't torrent it and watch some. It's just like Law and Order Regular Type except with 100% moar british accents and bit more overcast. There is also one other major difference:

Court people wear these exotic headdresses that make them look olde tyme professional.

I visited my nice and good brother last week or sometime and we went out to a Japanese-Korean food distribution depot. I had something that came in a box and had raw fish and barbequed eel in it, and it was hella tasty. I like how my adult tongue can appreciate all sorts of different things compared to my childhood tongue which only ever wanted potato chips and kool-aid. While I was at my brother's house I took the opportunity to play Super Mario's in da Galaxy Part II which is definitely amazing and that one galaxy that was actually Whomp's Fortress got nostalgia all up my nose and in my eyes. I don't care for Super Mario 64 that much, but back in those old times when I was practically still a fetus I played the entrails out of that game and being able to revisit a place I saw a million times as a kid was really nice. They even kept the pink bob-ombs. And they made the woobly pink bob-omb sound that pink bob-ombs make.

I've never really understood yorkshire pudding. Yorkshire pudding isn't really pudding, it's the weird British definition of pudding which can mean all kinds of things. It's really just bread that is really fussy and easy to screw up. It has a fairly bland taste that is supposed to be mitigated by lots of gravy. I've had yorkshire pudding twice in my whole life and it was quite tasty but I don't know what the whole fuss is about. Both times I had it, the pudding was also served alongside regular bread, as if there is some secret consensus amongst a certain group of people that y-shire pudding is in some other astral plane beyond the food group that includes bread and is actually its own special food group to rule all other food groups.

Okay blogtime is over I had fun I hope you did too byeeee   read

10:21 PM on 06.22.2010

Skyward Sword's Impact on Zelda Fans and Why I Love Destructoid

That E3 festival that happened last week put the serious smiles on my face. Amongst announcements of Nintendo's shiny new handheld with 3D-o-vision and the announcement of a brand new Paper Mario which was honestly my favorite moment of the show, we got to see the brand new Zelda game. I am a huge Zelda fan, and thus I poured over every piece of footage I could find to get a proper picture of what to expect from it. From what we've all seen, I am only more curious and excited than I was back when we only had a single piece of concept art to pick apart. The art direction looks splendid, the demo music sounds upbeat and beautiful and the environments look much more tight and exciting than the sprawling-yet-sterile areas that are so common in Twilight Princess.

With this generally optimistic impression I went to a Zelda fansite I used to frequent to see what other people thought, and I was fucking traumatized. The kind of venom and vitriol I found there was more akin to a parent's reaction to finding out their friendly neighbor violently raped their only child, or a world-class gourmet's impressions of a double-down. The depth of misery coursing through these people's veins was palpable and terrifying. There was only one thing I could think of in the midst of this stinking pool of disappointment and contempt.

This seemed more poignant to me at that moment than ever before. Here I was, a long-time Zelda fan revelling in the thrill and excitement of the series' newest installment, and my Zelda-loving peers were having a literal e-aneurysm over it. What had they been witness to that I hadn't? Had I missed something important? Is life just a series of random, uncontrollable circumstances? Is there a God, and if so does he like chocolate chip cookies? So many mammoth questions were stirring in my head, and with these queries I dove into the heated discussion for the purposes of doing serious Zelda-related JOURNALISMS.

These ....... are quotes. I couldn't have made these up. These are things that were said by people who claim to be Zelda fans.

"Easily the biggest disappointment of the show so far."

"I hate those graphics. I can't believe they went back to cartoony. How can you take this seriously with adult link?"

"That ain't right, they really shouldn't be allowed to get away with this."

"I freaking hate this cell shaded BS."

"After 365 days of anticipation and excitement, I feel entirely pissed on."

"And isn't Link supposed to look cool? Look at him. Look at those baggy pants, the low detail, the boring face, and that terrible hair style. It looks like early gamecube era."

And THIS is the one that really got me:

"As far as the story goes, I'll pass judgment after I play it, but I agree that Aonuma's 'placing emphasis on fun over the story' comment is nothing but alarming."

Yes, it's a fucking tragedy that Nintendo would even think of making a game fun.

...and this brings me to the second half of this blog's title, why I love Destructoid. The dialogue I saw amongst Dtoiders during E3 was just fun to read. People were talking about how happy they were about some announcements, how excited they were, and having a communal laugh over some of the show's less brilliant points like the Kinect event and Konami's one mirrion troobs. I didn't see anyone be a sad panda, and if there were sad faces, they were all overpowered by the general atmosphere of delight. No one was rocking back and forth in their swivel chairs screaming THESE GAMES ARE LIKE A POISON TO ME AND I WOULD LIKE TO GET HIT BY AN AUTOMOBILE SO THAT THIS TERRIBLE ANGUISH WOULD JUST STOP KTHX. No one exclaimed that they felt cheated or betrayed or hungry at any of the announcements at E3.

It is so shocking to hang around a site whose motto is STFUAJPG to then step outside it for half a second and be overwhelmed by the degree of contempt and anger people have over videogames, the things they apparently like so much that they want to spend their free time talking about them on the internet. I don't understand. Why can't people be happy?


12:49 PM on 06.15.2010

My Impressions of Nintendo's E3 Conference


2:11 PM on 05.30.2010

I plaeyd a gaem w1th bab1es in it

I downloaded an antique and exotic videogame called Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa, which is one of the few Japan-only games that the Nintendos was nice enough to put up on the virtual console for us North Americans. They charge an extra dollar for it (even though there is next to no text that needs translating) but I bought it anyways because it has a baby in it and also there are giant cakes in the background sometimes.

Bio Miracle Somethingorother is a game about a baby who has a rattle that can make animals inflate to balloony proportions. The baby must traverse various fanciful worlds made of cake and technology in order to find fairies for some reason. It all sounds very cute and charming, but it ISN'T ACTUALLY. Underneath all the pastry and pink pixies, there lies a dark and sinister current. A current made of narcotics and negligence and infanticide and other bad things!

With my extensive knowledge of Spanish, I deciphered the mysterious heiroglyphs in the game's title and figured out that in English it meant "Baby's First Marijuana Cigarette" probably. Bokutte Upa is obviously the story of a baby who was given a joint by his irresponsible and/or negligent parents and is forced to traverse many bizarre drug-induced hallucinations while the effects of the puff wear off. Not only that, but it is possible for the baby to die (!!!!) which makes this the most offensive game of history. If you combined Grand Theft Auto and Edmund the end result would still not be as offensive as this game which is very offensive.

In addition to drug abuse, child neglect and infanticide, the game forces you to abuse animals by inflating them, using them as platforms, and then watching as they pop. Unable to convey his frustration and sadness, the baby unleases his negative feelings by hurting charming wildlife. It's sad. I haven't reached the end of the game yet but it will probably be very tragic and will make children cry out in pain and confusion. Also, health pickups are bottles of baby formula and I heard on the radio once that baby formula is not as good for babies as breast milk so that is terrible too.

In conclusion, it is alright I suppose. It also has a level where you advance by eating through a cake. If we're going to be honest, your money might be better spent getting 3 candy bars instead but if you happen to be a diabetic or have a peanut allergy this is a worthwhile purchase.

(If I can stray totally off topic for a bit, I think the 2 new legendary pokemon for Black and White are a bit lame. Unless the white one turns out to be the Marshmallow pokemon and the black one is really the Licorice pokemon I don't think I am going to like them very much.)   read

4:02 PM on 05.29.2010

I am a Conformist (Another Lovely List)

I noticed that many people were making lists on the c-blogs and when I see a lot of people doing something together it makes me feel quite insecure and out of the loop so I am going to make a list of my own and be one of the cool kids.

Top 5 Videogames of ever
1) Super Mario Bros. 3
2) The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
3) The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
4) Resident Evil 4
5) Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door

Top 5 Videogames I like but would not suggest to other people
1) Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
2) Megaman 8
3) Kirby's Dream Land 3
4) Super Mario Sunshine
5) Final Fantasy III DS

Top 5 Videogame Pastries
1) The Cake (Portal)
2) Chronoberry Pie (The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom)
3) Toy Time Galaxy (Super Mario Galaxy)
4) Firefly Tart (Little Big Adventure 2)
5) Gourmet Guy's Cake (Paper Mario)

Top 5 Mario Power-ups
1) Tanooki Suit (Super Mario Bros. 3)
2) Bee Suit (Super Mario Galaxy)
3) Penguin Suit (New Super Mario Bros. Wii)
4) Metal Cap (Super Mario 64)
5) Flying Cap (Super Mario 64)

Top 5 Zelda Items
1) Double Clawshot (Twilight Princess)
2) Ball & Chain (Twilight Princess)
3) Deku Leaf (Wind Waker)
4) Invisible Cape (A Link to the Past)
5) Boomerang (Link's Awakening)

Top 5 Pizza Toppings
1) Mozzarella (I mean really)
2) Pepperoni
3) Onions
4) Mushrooms
5) Sausage

Top 5 of my Videogame Achievements
1) Beating Yiazmat (Final Fantasy XII)
2) Finishing the Pit of 100 Trials (Paper Mario: TTYD)
3) Washing Gracie's Car Perfectly (Animal Crossing)
4) Finding all Pickups Without a Guide (Metroid Prime 2)
5) Completing the Game Without Dying (The Legend of Zelda)

Top 5 Genres I Wish I Liked Moar:
1) Shmups
2) Fightans
3) RTSes
4) Rhythm games
5) Dreamcast (This is a genre I have decided)

Top 5 Portrayals of Princess Toadstool
1) Super Mario Bros. 2
2) Paper Mario
3) Super Mario 64
4) Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door
5) Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

Top 5 Videogame Diets
1) The Raw Vegetable Diet (Ice Climber)
2) The Fruit-Ghost-Prescription Medication Diet (Pac-Man)
3) The Cough Medicine & Tomatoes Diet (Kirby's Adventure)
4) The Frogs & Frogs Alone Diet (Final Fantasy IX)
5) The Chicken-in-a-Wall Diet (Castlevania)

Top 7 1/2 Videogame Characters
1) Starman (Super Mario Bros.)
2) Luigi (Paper Mario: TTYD)
3) Salvatore (The Wind Waker)
4) GLaDOS (Portal)
5) Rosalina (Super Mario Galaxy)
6) Quina Quen (Final Fantasy IX)
7) Dancing Hills (Super Mario Bros. 3)
1/2) Waddle Dee

Top 10 Videogame Songs
1) "Reset" Instrumental Version (Okami)
2) The Forest Maze (Super Mario RPG)
3) Spirit Temple (Ocarina of Time)
4) Gusty Garden Galaxy (Super Mario Galaxy)
5) Kalamari Desert (Mario Kart 64)
6) Quick Man (Megaman 2)
7) Phon Coast (Final Fantasy XII)
8) Exploration (Bit Trip Core)
9) Baby Universe (We Lurv Katamari)
10) Mr Resetti's Theme (Animal Crossing)

And there you have it. I hope my list brought enough tweaks and innovations to the classic List formula to make it exciting and engaging.   read

7:22 AM on 05.22.2010

Dante's Inferno is things, also candy bars

I recently had a nice opportunity to visit my best friend in the distant land he has chosen to reside in, and as any proper pair of young male dorks we played lots of videogames. While my friend went out during the day to some activity called a "job", I poured over his exotic pile of PS3 games and chose to try Dante's Inferno. From what I heard on Dtoid, the game was full of lots of wildly offensive things which made me very excited.

As soon as I put in the disc for Dante's InfernoorshouldIsayGodofWar2.5amiriteetc.etc. I was alarmed at what seemed to be a narrative. I anxiously mashed some buttons and successfully skipped a few cutscenes until I was allowed to do some proper killings. The game won some points straight away for featuring Death as the first boss, since the original Castlevania had us believe for decades that Death was supposed to be a second-last boss. Right off the bat, conventions were being broken.

Unfortunately, after seizing Death's epic scythe and running around in a graveyard for some reason I found that the titular Inferno into which Dante was expected to descend into was quite unspectacular and unshocking. I don't know how video games have come to this point where I can witness a giant woman with blade-swinging fetuses coming out of her nipple and be completely unimpressed. In the game's defense, making a mockery of a classic poem and being blatantly offensive just to get attention was the only way for this game to stand out as something other than a God of War clone. Adding a touch of subtlety and nuance to the game's overall presentation in order to properly convey the depravity and vileness of Hell and having a bit of faith in your game's own gameplay really wouldn't have helped at all.

The only thing that really stunned me was that the game shows you Dante's bum at the end. For a game that was all about boobie-boobboob boobity-boobs whenever a woman appeared on screen, it was genuinely a surprise to see the male lead get a little naked. It also added a nice touch of comedy in what was quite a dry and cereal plot. Bums.

Speaking of dry and cereal, I met some Mormon missionaries who were just walking around in suits greeting random strangers and telling them about how great Mormon and the Gang are. Apparently Mormon and some engraved plates as well as Joseph Smith and DID YOU KNOW that there is a person alive today who is spoken to directly by Jesus or something? He lives in Utah, I asked. Since the missionaries were so polite I indulged their desire to say words and they ended up giving me The Book of Mormon, or rather A The Book of Mormon because in reality there are several copies of it. I read the first chapter but the characters weren't really that interesting so I'm putting it aside for now.

In other things, I bought an Oh Henry bar for the first time in several years on my way back home. I couldn't comprehend the amount of peanuts that were in that thing. There were so many of them I could actually legitimately kid myself into thinking I was eating something healthy. It's nice that Faceless Megacorporation is looking out for my well-being like that.


7:25 PM on 05.20.2010

My brain has some opinions on Bit Trip Runner

I have been doing some serious playings on Bit Trip Runner for the past 3 days, and it is quite enjoyable. I have been jumping, kicking, sliding and most importantly running like a crazy man and it has been a whole lot of fun.

When I first heard of Runner, I was immediately concerned. Clearly Gaijin Games was going insane by daring to make a Bit Trip game where you control Commander Video himself instead of an ambiguous blocky shape, and I got quite nauseous and dizzy when I heard there was going to be a "Non Trotski", whatever that is. However, once all the dust settled it became quite clear that Gaijin Games knew what they were doing all along and the world resumed spinning on its normal axis. Runner is certainly quite different from the epic synthaesthetic blobs that precede it, but it is also completely a Bit Trip game.

Instead of demanding that players sit down for 15 minutes to progress through the game, Runner has chopped itself into many small, digestible pieces which makes it much more accessible. Each of the game's 3 worlds is comprised of 11 one-to-two minute long levels and a boss battle, and the game's menu makes it quite easy to pick up and put down the game whenever one wants. However, this setup takes away most of the engrossing, trance-inducing feeling that the series had, since you're not carefully building up a single song over a long period of time. There is still a song-building element in the game, but it only lasts for the duration of each small level and is then reset when you procede to the next.

What Runner does carry on well is rhythmic, timing-based gameplay. Like Vib Ribbon, Canabalt, and probably some other games I haven't played, Runner's game is built entirely around timing moves precisely. The whole running part is done automatically so all one has to fret about is getting those jumps just right. His Royal Lord The Right Honourable King Video also has a few other moves at his disposal. He can kick, slide, and spring up with trampolines, and it's never unclear what obstacle demands which move. There is also a 5th maneuvre in the game, but it is introduced quite late in the game and comes off as redundant and unneccessary especially with the game's bonus levels.

Each level in Runner has a bonus level that can be accessed by catching all of a level's gold bars, and these extra stages are honestly the best part of the game (partly because they look like they came out of an Atari game). These stages are much harder than regular stages and only put to use Senor Video's jumping, sliding, and trampolining abilities. This is the main reason I like the bonus stages so much, because they keep things simple yet incredibly varied and challenging. The funny thing about these stages is that the only significant difference between them and the regular stylized stages is their appearance, lack of music, and difficulty, as if Gaijin Games only made them to point out how much more important good gameplay is to everything else in a game.

Above all of this stuff though, is the game's superb plot which, while open to interpretation, has been thouroughly analyzed and dissected by yours truly. The game is clearly about a man (represented by Emperor Video) who works through many menial jobs like miner and city construction worker (represented by the game's stage backgrounds) in order to get enough money (gold bars) to be able to fulfill his fondest dreams - going for exciting jungle field trips (represented by the pitfall-style bonus stages). Runner is clearly a tale of perseverance and determination, teaching us that you can achieve all that you want as long as you work hard and time your jumps correctly. You can try and outdo my interpretation, but it is basically indisputable because I have countless experiments and books I have read, you see.

The only major complaint I have for this game is that the 3-D perspective sometimes makes it hard to tell how close Captain Video is to an incoming obstacle. Other than that this game clearly deserves:

Cherry Pie A La Mode out of 10.

I suggest everyone to go get it because it is loads of fun and is also only 8 dollars (8 dollars!).   read

7:56 PM on 04.30.2010

My farewell to Podtoid

I just finished listening to Podtoid 148 this evening, because the not-torrent of the Super Mario Bros. movie was taking its sweet time getting all up on my computer. It was sad enough that Anthony and Aaron were leaving, but Topher too? ;-; It's as if I had dropped my ice cream cone on the sidewalk, and when I thought to myself, "oh, well that's quite unfortunate," someone came up and stepped in it too. I will probably go back to get another ice cream later, but it will not fully replace that ice cream that I dropped. Good-bye, ice cream.

Anyhoo, I made something stupid.

Merry Christmas.   read

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