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12:13 PM on 10.17.2014

On StrategyWiki

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time guide

Something about October always brings me back to this blog.  And today I'd like to talk about something near and dear to my heart.  I know I'm not well known here these days, but those who remember me probably remember how dedicated I am to the video game walkthrough wiki site StrategyWiki.org.

StrategyWiki is one of the longest running independent video game wikis around.  I've poured a tremendous amount of my personal time into it, adding a plethora of retrogaming guides.  It's safe to say that StrategyWiki is almost like a second home to me.  I would certain consider it my life's work.

The truth is, however, that there is a growing amount of competition coming from more commercial entities with much bigger pockets than StrategyWiki's.  I don't begrudge that fact, it's the way the world works.  But I've decided to try to spread the word about the site and drum up some interest in it.

Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen guide

There's no doubt that there are lots of places to get video game walkthroughs and guides from.  The oldest of them is probably GameFaqs.  The problem with GF is that it's based on such an old Web 1.0 model.  Say you find a mistake in guide.  What can you do to fix it?  You can email the author, wait for the author to get around to reading it, and then bother to update his guide, resubmit it to GF, and wait for the resubmission to be posted.  What if you find a mistake in a StrategyWiki guide?  Click Edit, fix the mistake, and save.  That's it.

There are a number of other wiki sites as well.  I'm sure everyone here is familiar with Wikia.  I'm not sure people are as familiar with the droves of people who try to leave Wikia when they get tired of them, and the problems they encounter taking their content with them.  Wikia is rather draconian about enforcing their style on member wikis, and if you ever want to do anything differently, good luck.  StrategyWiki has none of that.  Other than some standards that are applied to every guide so that navigation is easy for users, anything you want to put in your guide is fair game.

There are other commercial wiki sites, but the problem with them is that they own all of your work.  Whatever you create, it belongs to them, and they will make money off of your efforts.  StrategyWiki's philosophy is, and has always been, that the information belongs to the public.  Yes there are ads on the site, but what money they generate is put right back into the maintanence and development of the site, in order to keep it free.

Street Fighter IV moves anyone?

I realize there are a lot of games for which StrategyWiki doesn't have a complete guide or any coverage of, but that where people like you come in.  If you're passionate about a game, any game at all, you can create a guide for it.  There is no paid staff of guide writers, no one is directed to write a guide for a game they don't care about.  Guides are only created for games that contributors wish to write about.

It has always been my hope that more passionate gamers would join the site and contribute guides for games that need them.  I have always hoped to see the kind of collaboration and appreciation of each other's work that Wikipedia enjoys.  StrategyWiki will continue to be a home for information about games that can't be found anywhere else on the internet, and gamers like you can help build that collection of information, no matter how popular or unpopular a game is, and no matter how old or new a game is.  And there are always people around to help, myself included.

StrategyWiki is pretty basic compared to its competition.  It contains no more features than the site which inspired it, Wikipedia.  But I like to think that's what makes it so good at what it was intended to do: sharing knowledge.  But it's only as good as its best contributors.  I'm hoping that I might be able to intrigue some of you to become its newest members.  Please give it some thought.  Thanks very much for reading.

  read


3:36 PM on 10.25.2013

NES emulator Voxel Engine

So... For some reason I felt funny about posting this here.  I haven't been a very active member of the community lately (primarily due to having a baby...), but then I was like, "If this community doesn't appreciate this, no one will."

So... here, I'll just let the video speak for itself.  No TL-DR here.  I'll be happy to answer questions if any of you have some.  Enjoy.

  read


1:48 PM on 10.24.2011

NARP-age to occur in less than two weeks!



That's right, all you mid-atlantic peeps, get ready for the latest and greatest NARP to occur since... well, the last NARP. It's November 4th, 5th, and 6th. Responses are flowing in, and it looks like this is going to be a very well attended NARP. Folks from every corner of the north-east are gonna make it, and if you're in the area, you should too.

As a host, there's nothing I want more than for people to have a good time, have plenty to eat, and have plenty of games to play. There's a lot of things that I can directly impact to make the party great. But one thing that makes a great NARP that I have no control over is attendance. Simply put: the more D-toiders under one roof, the more awesome it is. Why? Because D-toiders are simply the coolest of the cool when it comes to the video game community. All of the NARPs that I've ever attended have proven that over and over again. So if you're part of this community, and you live in the area, you owe it to yourself to be at the NARP, if only for one day if not the whole weekend.

Since the D-toid community grows continuously, here are some tips for new NARPers who want to get in on this shindig:

1) First and foremost, I can't stress this enough, subscribe to the dtoidbaltimoredc google group (http://groups.google.com/group/dtoidbaltimoredc) to get every juicy detail about everything we do as a group, from NARPs to MAGFest and beyond. Hell, subscribe even if you're NOT coming to the NARP.
2) Come prepared: Comfy sleep locations are limited (although considerably expanded since the last NARP thanks to my moved-in gf's added furniture), so pack a sleeping bag and pillow just in case. Toothbrush and towel not required but highly recommended. Also, if you have any pet allergies, it's probably a good idea to pack some kind of anti-histamine...
3) Bring cool shit! Be it beverages you like to drink, or games you love to play, or that rare copy of Virtual Boy Space Invaders that I want to buy from you! There will be no less than seven TVs up and running, but you're welcome to bring your own TV/monitors and accompanying systems. I'm low on cool Xbox 360 and PS3 games, but I've got a plethora of everything from any generation before then. Extra food is also always welcome.
4) Just have fun. I guarantee that if this is the first time you come, you will be leaving with about 7 to 10 new friends that you didn't have before.

That's about all I can think of. Any other details that you need can be gotten directly from me, or through the google group. Hope to catch you there!   read


12:52 PM on 05.16.2011

Spring BaltiNARP 2011 host personal highlights

Another Baltimore/DC(/VA/NJ/NY/PA/DE) NARP has come and gone. Speaking for myself personally, it was a fantastic time from start to finish. For the sake of those who could not make it, here are a collection of 42 candid shots taken throughout the event (I'm the one in the "I'd Hit That" t-shirt). I'm not the greatest photographer... My fondest memories of the weekend include:

* Tino introducing me to the magic that is the recreation of the first Castlevania in Harmony of Dispair on XBLA
* Eeking out the rare win every now and then against Topher in Puzzle Fighter.
* Topher trying to get the Bearcow in the most frustrating level of Everybody ♥s Katamari until 5 in the morning, (only to do it the next day on the PS3)
* Watching my Street Fighter tournament-attending coworker duke it out against Nick in SSF4
* Watching my gf discover the joys of Pac-Man Vs. on the GameCube (and screaming every time she got caught)
* Changston's ridiculously delicious taco dinner (and equally delicious scrambled eggs breakfast)
* The surprise gifts given to Topher in honor of the first season anniversary of his incredible animated series, The Journalism Show. (FYI, they were homemade hand-puppets of Takayuki and Akiko)
* Cooking Mama competition... 'nuff said.
* Dong Dong Never Die is a hit!
* Driving to pick up pizza at 11pm - the only time the entire night when the sky opened up and the rain just poured down.
* Tetris Battle Gaiden very late into Saturday evening
* Tino can sleep through anything...

Hope you can make it to the next one!   read


1:40 PM on 11.22.2010

BaltiNARP 2010 2: Host's personal highlights



After much anticipation, and a general smooth execution, the second Baltimore/DC NARP has come and gone. Most everyone has written to confirm that they had a great time, and I personally thought this NARP was a step up from the last one. Kudos to Dyganth's heroic efforts to procure a Kinect on Saturday morning for everyone else's entertainment. Here's a rundown of my personal highlights from the weekend. Pardon the liberal use of first names rather than handles.

* Discovering pictures of Hito in the actual ThinkGeek catalog.
* Trolling Tino about how much better Nick Chester is than him at Pac-Man CE DX... and just about everything else.
* Seeing Dance Central for the first time (Bloody's videos)
* Coming upstairs and finding Scott playing Moon Patrol on the Atari.
* Playing SSF4 with Nick and Hito, and laughing at Tino and Mark for playing the same exact game on their iPhone just to unlock Dee Jay.
* Watching Tino play through Super Meat Boy (and watching all the deaths on the replays)
* Changston exploring my neighbor's xmas decorations, temporarily losing Changston at the grocery store, and tasting the ramen he made for everyone that night.
* Nick Chester's rendition of "Mama Said Knock You Out"
* Watching players attempt to get through World 1-1 on the hacked Super Mario Bros. levels.
* Taking on Topher in Super Puzzle Fighter and eeking out a win or two while watching Changston play ParaPara Paradise out of the corner of my eye.
* Playing the Family Guy PS2 game until 3:30 in the morning for no good apparent reason.
* Tino discovering Special Project Y (or S.P.Y.) in MAME
* Me discovering Encore of the Night on Tino's iPhone (as well as Bug Panic on Topher's)
* Changston's chocolate chip pancakes.
* Watching Jon absolutely crush all on-comers in Soul Calibur IV unless they were Yoda.   read


2:22 PM on 11.17.2010

You busy this weekend? Cuz it's NARP time.



Picture is unrelated. Just... why would you make a Pikachu themed fighting stick? Worst cross-over ever... or is it? COMING SOON: CAPCOM VS. POKEMON!!!

Just a few days left for me to prepare for my second time the Baltimore/DC NARP host. I'm making a list, and checking it twice. There's systems to set up, food to be purchased, and quite a bit of cleaning to do ;)

Hosting a NARP is something I consider a privilege; a way to give back to a community that gives me so much. I'm involved (at various levels) with a number of websites, but I don't even go this far for my own website. There's something different about Destructoid. I don't know precisely what it is, and I can put it into words for you, but if you're on here reading this, I think you probably know what I'm talking about.

In a few days, people will be coming to my home expecting to have a great time. It's the kind of thing where, if that happens, it's because of each and every person that attended. But if it doesn't happen, I take it as a personal failure. That's why I will be doing my utmost to ensure that everything goes smoothly, that people can play all of the games that they'd like to play, and that everyone has enough to eat and drink.

I live by myself at the moment. I have over six consoles, and two PCs capable of emulating many more of them. But I can only play them one at a time. When I think about a NARP, I think about every single one of my gaming devices in use simultaneously. And that's a great feeling, to be able to share that with everyone.

At no time will there ever be a moment when I think to myself, "Man, there's so many people, I hope no one else shows up." I want as many people there as I can pack in to my humble abode. At no time will I ever say to myself, "Man, this has been going on for so long, when are they going home??" Frankly, I never want it to end, and it's only because of the realities of real life and needing to wake up for work on Monday that I think anyone ever leaves.

So if you're in the area, (and by that, I mean a reasonable 3 hour drive), you should consider coming. The Baltimore is home to many of Destructoid's key members, and they will be there. It will be impossible for you to have a bad time. Hope you can make it. See the original announcement for more details. You won't see that joystick at the NARP, but I do plan on having quite a few relics that I have lying around up and running.

P.S. Extra breakfast pancakes for you if you bring a pretty single lady for me to meet!   read


2:50 PM on 04.21.2010

BaltimoreDC NARP Countdown: 2 days

2 more days to go until the guests will be arriving for the MD/VA/DC (+ PA) NARP, and the house is still in a bit of upheaval. But I'm working on it. The big thing is that I will be having maids over tomorrow to clean up the house from top to bottom before anyone arrives. People who I've shared this with have often asked me why I don't have the maids over AFTER the party. Well, the truth is I have neglected some of the upkeep in certain areas of the house, primarily downstairs, and it really is in need of some TLC. Cleaning up after the party will be easier if the house is starting from a good point.

Tonight will be mainly about cleaning off many surfaces, like the kitchen table, the coffee table in the living room, etc. It's amazing how much clutter I have. But I am positive I will be able to stash it all away during the party.

The next task will be to do a superficial test of all the systems, make sure they work, count up all of the controllers, etc. I managed to find my second GBA SP, and charged both of them up, so they are good to go for the Zelda: Four Swords fest.

There's been a lot of Bomberman talk in the email thread lately. I would honestly love to provide everyone with the opportunity to play 10 player Bomberman on the Saturn, but I neither have the multitaps or enough controllers on my own to make that a possibility. I only had one chance in my life to play it with 10 people, and it was the most Bomberman fun I've ever had in my life. It gets quite literally insane.

I haven't really gotten any responses to my recently posed questions, so I won't ask anything specific here, but if you have any comments or suggestions for the party, please share them. Thanks.   read


2:32 PM on 04.20.2010

BaltimoreDC NARP Countdown: 3 days

Three days to go, and the preparation is well underway. I figured today I'd talk about what I will definitely be setting up around the house as far as game stations go. For those of you who checked out my [url=http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Procyon/my-game-room-89717.phtml]game room post[url], that is but a sample of what to expect (although the ferrets have sadly passed away and the cage has since been removed from the room, so... no more stinky ferret pee smell.)

In the living room, the Xbox 360 and BlindsideDork's PS3 will be set up on the 46" flat screen.

In the office, I will connect the Dreamcast to a 22" widescreen VGA monitor.

Somewhere in the kitchen, probably on the dining table, I will set up a GameCube on a 27" TV for the proposed Zelda: Four Swords play through and other GameCube/GBA friendly games like Vs. Pac-Man.

On the opposite side of the kitchen on one of the counters somewhere, I will set up an Atari computer on a 13" TV, just for nostalgia's sake.

Downstairs in the basement (by the pool table), we will have a Saturn and a PS2 available to be played on another 27" TV.

Also in the basement, the Wii will be set up connected to the 34" HDTV tube.

Basically, if you can't find something to play on, I can't help you. Again, people are also welcome to bring their laptops and use the wi-fi.

Anyone got any useful suggestions?   read


4:05 PM on 04.19.2010

BaltimoreDC NARP Countdown: 4 days

So I'm pretty psyched to be hosting the next BaltimoreDC NARP. I figured I'd "vent" my excitement by blogging about it in some fashion each day until the NARP arrives. The topic of today's post will be: Why did I want to host a NARP?

Let's face it; for those of you who have attended a NARP, it's a pretty big undertaking, right? You got tons of people coming, some of which you know well, and some of which you don't. You need a fairly ample supply of food around for some quick grill meal making, let alone a seemingly infinite supply of snacks on hand nearly all the time. You need a space big enough to comfortably house people who will be crashing and staying over. And you need a fairly good number of systems set up for play. So the decision to be a NARP host can be a little daunting.

In considering whether I had the stones to step up to the task, and whether I could even come close to doing as good a job as my predecessor Hitogoroshi, I thought about where I live, which is basically bumblefuck northern Baltimore county. To many of the local Baltimorians, this is a bit of a hike in an out of the way area. But when I thought about all the people who would be driving from DC and VA, I realized the distance for them to my place wouldn't really be that much farther than it was to get to Hito's place.

2009 was a rough year for me personally, and in anticipation of 2010 being much better, I wanted some way to celebrate, and with a group of people who would appreciate the style I like to celebrate in as much as me. I have been to few parties that have been more fun for me to attend than the previous NARPs, so this seemed like a good decision. When talk sprang up about having a NARP at the beach in Ocean City, I wanted to provide people with an opportunity to attend a "traditional" NARP that wouldn't come with a lot of financial obligation. So I made the choice to volunteer my place and host the next NARP.

I hope to see as many of you there as possible. There was some confusion about the date, and I'm sorry that Agent Moo got kind of screwed out of coming as a result (although there's still a chance he can make it.) I'm excited and the preparations are well underway. At the moment there are at least six planned TVs/monitors to be set up, with more possible.

For those who will be coming: What are you most looking forward to?   read


10:07 PM on 11.17.2009

Can there ever be another "Mario"?



*** FWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH ***

There, that was me blowing off the dust on this blog that I haven't used in like... forever.

So I saw some kids playing the New Super Mario Bros. game on a Wii at a Best Buy, and I overheard some older kids who were passingg by scoff and remark, "who cares, it's just another Mario game," and the young punks shuffled off to go smoke crack or something, I dunno... but it got me thinking.

Do we live in a day and age where it's no longer possible for new cartoon-ish mascots to appear and shoulder an entire franchise on their own the way that Mario, Sonic, and a slew of impersonators once did in the later 80s and early 90s? The youngest ones that I can think of today are Ratchet and Clank, and to a lesser degree, Jak and Daxter, and they're both pushing 7 years old now. Blinx the Time Cat certainly didn't make it that long.

It seems like long ago, franchises were developed around personalities, whereas now they are developed around concepts. We are in an age where the majority of video games aspire to achieve a hyper-realism, looking realer than real, and the characters that occupy those spaces aren't really characters, they are purely avatars for the player to project themselves on to.

When we were young, it was fun to pretend we were Mario, or Link, or Sonic. These days, it seems like the only chance kids get to do that when it comes to video games is through TV license games like Spongebob or Naruto. There doesn't seem to be a market anymore for developers who want to establish their own creations. I'm not suggesting that the following examples were the best that video games ever had to offer, but that means no more Kirbys, no more Crash Bandicoots, no more Earthworm Jims, no more Bonks, no more Ryus and Kens, no more Spyros, no more Sly Coopers, and no more Bubsy the Bobcats (although I can live without him...)

Has that era of gaming completely vanished? Is it poised to make a come back? Ever?   read


4:40 PM on 12.02.2008

SSF2THDR Guide: Opinions wanted

The challenge of putting a game guide together on a wiki is how to present information in a concise enough way to give players all the information that they want or need, without overwhelming them. At StrategyWiki, we have also been dealing with the challenge of presenting information about a series of games such a Street Fighter II in a way that cuts down on the amount of redundant information that gets presented. To deal with that, we've incorporated nearly every version of SF2 into one Table of Contents. Each game has their own move lists, but each character page references the moves from each version of the game, so there's a lot of cross population of information.



With the release of SSF2THDR, it seemed only natural to bump the number of SF2 games covered by one, and treat it like any other version created, rather than start anew with a brand new guide. But the question remains: is this in fact the best way to present this information? A lot of people will have a variety of opinions about this, and no one way can truly be considered the "right" way, but I wonder if we've come as close as we can. I know that some people are going to like it, and some people are going to hate it, but the most important question is can everyone understand it.



I'd like to solicit opinions from the Destructoid community on the choice of layout that we have built the SSF2THDR guide upon. I'd really like to know what your opinions are concerning the ease of ability to understand and navigate around the guide for both hardcore players, and potential novices. You can go directly to the guide and start browsing around, or have a look at the snapshots that I provided. How would you improve upon it? What, if anything, really needs to change? Of course, if you see a mistake, by all means, feel free to fix it. It is a wiki after all. Thanks in advance, and feel free to ask me questions if you have any.

  read


12:37 PM on 08.29.2008

I'm back, and I need to take a (GP2X) Wiz...

Well, I've been away for a while, wallowing in my own sorrows (see my previous post) but I think I'm ready to come back and focus on what's most important in life: video games and talking about them with other video game lovers. Cuz let's face it, my social life has always taken a back seat to my love of games. Why should one measly failed marriage change that? (Don't worry, I'm not bitter... much.)

Today my thoughts are focused on one thing: the GP2X Wiz. Historically speaking, it's extremely rare for me to buy the same product twice unless it a "junior" model of an existing console. I bought the Atari 2600 jr., the top-loading NES, the SNES jr., the PSOne, and the PS2 Slim. And I bought a handful of GBA models, but they were limited editions. If I end up purchasing this GP2X Wiz, it will literally be my fourth GP2X purchase. So what the hell am I talking about? Feast your eyes on:



Now, the only thing that's really attracting me to this model is the 533MHz clock rating on the ARM processor. That's over double the original speed, which means that the stuttering SNES emulation on my white F200 model should be a thing of the past. Can't say I'm fond of turning the right hand buttons into a second d-pad, but I don't think it will matter too much in the long run. As long as I can Shoryuken with ease on the left side, I'll make due. The built in rechargeable battery is a nice touch as well.

I know there are a couple of Pandora fans out there, but despite all of the supposed "progress" being made to that system, it's still vaporware as far as I'm concerned, and I am highly unconvinced that it will live up to all of it's supposed promises. It easy to claim that the device will have everything under the sun and the kitchen sink, and that the battery will last a bajillion hours, but somehow, I just don't think so.

So I will probably break down and invest in one of these and replace the two I already have at home (and really need to sell... any takers?) I will try to jump back on my usual style of blog, posting about my continuous chronological adventures with Famicom games that I write strategy guides for on StrategyWiki. That is of course, if people are still interested in hearing about them. I know some of my write ups have been hit or miss. But it's fun to share some of the uncovered gems that I come across on occasion with all of you.

Update: Irony of ironies, I did end up taking a leak right after I wrote this post ^_^;   read





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