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I'm Reece from England. I'm a newly-recruited News Writer for gaming site Explosion.com, and its all thanks to this here website and blog! I love it here, I love this community and I love to write. I'm always willing to read your blogs here too, so maybe we can be friends!

You can catch more of my work right here.
- Explosion.com
- GamerSyndrome
- Zelda Universe

Recent feature: Happy Birthday, Shigeru Miyamoto! Here Are His Best Moments and Quotes

I've been into gaming since I was about 4 years old, playing the Game Boy, PlayStation 1 and Sega Mega Drive (Genesis to you Americans! Damn you, stealing the better names). Having these systems around during my youth lead to the greatest and most-anticipated Christmas ever - the year I got my N64!

Ever since then I've been playing any and every game I can get my filthy mitts on, no matter what system or genre. I currently have a Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3 and a 3DS. Come on Vita, get more games so I can buy you too!

My favourite games are Resident Evil 2, Zelda: The Wind Waker, Streets of Rage 2, Left 4 Dead, Final Fantasy VII and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter at the handle @ReeceH92. If you do follow me, send me a PM on here so I know you're from Destructoid and I'll follow you back too if you like! I will be more active on there as I get more followers and won't just spam news stories, and I'd be happy to chat any of you. I'd appreciate it as I'm new there and the majority of my followers currently consist of sexbots. If they were real ladies at least I could pass myself off as some kind of Twitter pimp.

My promoted article:
- Collaboration: Nintendo and an old friend

Posts I'm proud of/had the most fun with:
- I Boiled A Broken Xbox 360 Game
- Resident Evil and Me - Part 2: Why REmake is the Scariest in the Series
- Top 10 Gaming Web Series
Following (8)  

Yeah yeah, so yesterday was Mr. Shigeru Miyamoto’s birthday. Whoop-dee-doo, big deal. Today we’re celebrating what really matters: Mr. Andy Dixon’s birthday! How do I know it’s his birthday? Some good old-fashioned stalking, of course. It was necessary in order to bring the man a different kind of stalkers.

To celebrate, we’ll be exploring video games for the thing that the man loves most: boners. While you may be initially disappointed to learn that there are no images or videos of close-up wood here, you can still get aroused with some imagination – think of this as the Dtoid C-blog equivalent of 50 Shades of Grey.

While I may not be as experienced as the erectile expert himself, I’d like to think that our lovable M Randy Dixon would approve of this list. And yes, I couldn’t think of enough in time to make this a Top 5. Sue me.

3: The Perverted Boat Ride – Resident Evil 4

When Leon is seeking transport to the island where Ashley is being held captive, he yet again meets with Ada, the seductive spy who is waiting for him in a boat. Don’t think we can’t see you checking the lady out, buddy. He even gets a sneaky look-in up her skirt! But hey, after surviving Raccoon City, chainsaw-wielding Ganados and Ashley’s anti-boner whining, the guy deserves a break.

2: The Big Boner – Shadows of the Damned

Do I really need to say anything about this one? “TASTE MY BIG BONER!” exclaims Garcia Hotspur. Better do as the man says.

[Skip to 1:45]

1: Meryl’s Seduction – Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes

Never has the code-name “Solid Snake” been so appropriate. In this Twin Snakes scene, our hero is faced a suddenly-seductive Meryl, who has fallen under control of Psycho Mantis. You may think that Snake remains so still and motionless as a form of professional caution, being the trained soldier that he is. Think again. He’s just too focused on battling the bulge. Rest assured, Snake’s Gear is Solid as Metal right now (good God, I’m a comedic genius).

[Skip to 2:40]

Happy Birthday!

Once again, Happy Boneday Andy! In all seriousness, thanks for all you do at Destructoid, whenever (or if) you read this. Super congratulations on your baby boy and have a kick-ass vacation, man (I used an American word, just for you). May you continue to manage the community, keep us behaved and read dumb blogs like this forever.

Real talk, folks: if anyone else has any other contributions (a game moment with YouTube video), feel free to post it in the comments! Add your own witty description too if you like, but I can easily do that for you. Perhaps we can make this a collaborative list for when Andy gets back from his holiday. As always, thanks for reading!

[Sorry for the lack of images - with the new redesign I've become a C-blog noob once again! I have "upload photos" but clicking it doesn't work. Is it disabled right now or can anyone help me out? Thanks!]

Hey Destructoid! It's been a little while since I posted here. I like what you've done with the place, the new design's pretty nice.

Before, all my features went here on the C-Blogs, but recently I've been hired on GamerSyndrome, and the majority of features and reviews are now posted there. Thankfully, my boss is awesome, and gave me permission to post articles on my blog a few weeks after the original's been posted.

Honestly, I'm not here to advertise myself. I wouldn't ask anyone to go elsewhere to read my content when Destructoid has an awesome news/features team and bloggers right here - that's the whole reason you're here! I only want to post these because I really value the community's feedback and I miss the discussions had here.

If anyone does want to check out my newest feature/review though, that's real nice of you! It'll be updated in the bio every so often. I'll continue to post my more personal stories/opinions here too (I have something I want to share "exclusively" next week in fact), but between my day job and journalism right now its hard to say how often, which is another reason why I want to post what I can here.

Anyways, on with the zombies.

Top 5 Most Innovative Zombie Games

Zombie-themed games are becoming tiresome in many eyes of gamers, with a collective undead groan at any announcement of a new zombie game. Sure, there’s more zombie twinstick games than there are undead walkers in Dead Rising, but I find this attitude funny considering how different most zombie games can be. From Dead Island’s gritty, overrun tropical locales to Lollipop Chainsaw’s delightfully insane blend of blood and rainbows, these beasts stand alone rather than group together in a generic pack.

Earlier this year we had Amy which, even 8 months later is still a contender for worst game of the year. The most tragic thing about this – aside from the appalling disaster that comprises the game itself – is that it had great potential with its own interesting spin on survival-horror games. A woman is infected and must stay within the vicinity of a young girl in order to prevent herself from becoming a zombie – the further and longer you spend away from the girl the more the infection spreads. Sadly, because Amy was so bad it’s likely that we won’t see this idea explored again.

While we all wait for the excellent-looking upcoming ZombiU, I present to you the following list. Unlike Amy, this list comprises five games that got it right; not only are they fun to play, they also tried something new and setnew standards for games that feature our brain-eating buddies. To clarify, this isn’t a list of the “best” or “scariest” zombie games – these are ranked simply based on how much innovation they brought to the table. These are the ones that truly stand out in the horde – rising like a Tank in No Mercy hospital or the Nemesis in Raccoon City.

5: House of the Dead

Year: 1997

Platform(s): Arcade, Sega Saturn, PC

Publisher: Sega

Back in the ‘90s, arcades were undoubtedly in their prime. The original House of the Dead shambled its way into arcades in 1997, and though just one year prior Resident Evil beat it to the punch of becoming one of the first great zombie games in the 3D generation, HotD was inspirational in its own right. It stood out from the other light-gun machines on display and put a gun directly in the players hands, rather than a controller. Speaking of Resident Evil, it’s no doubt thanks to House of the Dead that Capcom was inspired to make their own light-gun spin-offs.

It built upon the classic light-gun formula, established by predecessors Time Crisis and Virtua Cop, by offering outstanding visuals for its time, plenty of gore and branching paths that the player can take depending on their actions and decisions. Though the game was on-rails, this gave the player a greater level of interaction never before seen in arcades.

With the ever-rising popularity of home consoles and PC gaming, that old feeling of emptying your pennies into a relentless but addictive arcade machine has declined. House of the Dead lives on, however, shambling to our consoles still to this day with Wii’s and PS3’s excellent title Overkill.

Just try to forget the fact that the movie adaptation is Uwe Boll’s game-to-film debut and is considered one of the worst films of all time. That’s not important. What is important is that we get an Overkill sequel as soon as possible!

4: Zombies Ate My Neighbors

Year: 1993

Platform(s): SNES, Genesis, Virtual Console

Publisher: Konami

This game is a very under-rated gem on the SNES and Genesis. While co-op gameplay had of course been done before, it’s how Zombies Ate My Neighbors implemented it into the game. You and your buddy had to work together to survive, yet also compete against each other as scores and resources weren’t shared. Your partner may have your back this time, but who’s to say they aren’t plotting to rescue all the neighbours and claim all the bonuses themselves? You’ll constantly help each other out of a tight spot, but fight and race each other to grab the better weapon. You’ll congratulate each other on making it through a tough level, but seconds later boast when the total score screen is in your favour.

There just aren’t enough co-op games that implement that competitive edge – there’s the Four Swords series, but even comparing the two brings many differences. Also, tell me how many games you know with UFOs, giant ants, AND a gigantic baby boss.

3: Left 4 Dead

Year: 2008

Platform(s): PC, Xbox 360

Publisher: Valve

As with the previous entry, Left 4 Dead emphasises co-op. But instead of light-hearted bickering and fun, you will literally depend on your comrades. See, co-operation in Left 4 Dead isn’t optional, or a nice addition – even in single-player you’re never alone, because you simply wouldn’t last five minutes. That said, it is highly recommended that you play the game with friends or gamers online to really get the most fun out of the game.

Each level you face will have you killing hundreds of flesh-cravers – and you’re just one soldier out of a quad-team, your three partners also killing similar amounts while watching your back. Even with four survivors it can be easy to be overpowered without the right co-ordination, which makes Left 4 Dead’s horde the most threatening. And the zombies aren’t even the real problem; the “Special Infected” are evolved mutations, and all it takes is one pounce from a Hunter or binding of a Smoker’s tongue to leave you potentially done for. If you’ve faltered from the group or felt it was a good strategy to run away, distancing yourself from your only source of help, you have no choice but to be killed.

Similarly, if you don’t save your partner in time before they meet their demise, you’ve just increased your ever-looming death by 25%. You must use ammo wisely and explosives even more selectively if you want to survive. With its demanding emphasis on communication, requirement of strategy and “oh sh*t” moments when a Tank comes to screw you all over, L4D is perhaps one of the most phenomenal multiplayer games I’ve played.

2: Plants Vs. Zombies

Year: 2009

Platform(s): PC, XBLA, PSN, DS, iOS, Android, PS Vita

Publisher: Pop Cap

RTS and tower defence games. Both very taxing types of games that require a strategic mind from a dedicated gamer. And yet Pop Cap hybridised these genres to not only make one of the most addictive games of the decade, but make it accessible to everyone. You won’t catch your little brother investing hours into Defense Grid, or your Grandmother firing on all fronts in Starcraft, but you’ll find that everyone in your family is infected with the Plants Vs. Zombies virus.

Plants vs. Zombies is a tower defence game, whereby the object therein is to defend your house against a hungry horde of zombies by using the garden as your defensive ground. By planting various seeds in strategic locations, you can produce plants with different abilities to fight off the undead.

The garden has an invisible grid of 5 or 6 rows on which you can place your plants. If the zombies overpower your plants and one reaches your house, its game over. While the concept may appear simple and easy, the game is merely easing you into an easy-to-play yet hard-to-master level of complexity. The depth of the game stems (pun intended) from the large variety of both plants and zombies.

Hosting addictive gameplay, endless replayability, unlockable rewards, various game modes, excellent sound and unique art design, PvZ is one of those rare games with deep and engaging gameplay that can be appreciated and enjoyed by anyone.

1: Resident Evil (Remake)

Year: 2002

Platform(s): Nintendo GameCube

Publisher: Capcom

The Resident Evil series has offered so much to the survival-horror genre that many of the franchise’s games could have spread across this list like the T-Virus. RE1 stands as arguably the birth survival-horror games itself, and RE4 revolutionised how we play third-person horror shooters. But for the sake of fairness I will begrudgingly list only one game in the series, one that isn’t talked about as much as it should be and yet deserves a place in the list as much as any other RE game: the GameCube remake.

Did you ever play Resident Evil Remake? There is a good chance you haven’t – the fact it was a GameCube exclusive is enough to enforce that prediction. I absolutely love the original, its charm, camp voice acting and timeless quotes make for a phenomenal start to the series, but this reboot is better than I could have imagined. And though even the “Jill-sandwich” line is now gone, this moodier take on the original is, at least what I feel, what Capcom wanted the series to be all along.

There are many new advances here that this instalment offers: defence weapons, new bosses, ground-breaking graphics and sound design… zombies and other monsters can even break down doors this time, a shock to any fan of the classic games as going through a door often meant you were safe from whatever was out to get you in a previous room. But there’s one inclusion, one defining factor that makes Remake a pure genius horror experience: Crimson Heads.

Simply killing a zombie in Remake can have dire consequences. Naturally, the extremely limited ammunition is a factor – any rounds that are wasted on them are rounds that won’t later save your life in times of danger. But it goes beyond that. If you kill a zombie, they will later reincarnate as the terrifying Crimson Heads. Not only does this mean more ammo goes to waste, but these evolved versions are faster and more vicious than ever before.

Because of the danger that these creatures presented, I spent a lot of the time staring at the map, as unlike recent games, this was an essential tool. I couldn’t simply run to my destination, as that kind of thinking would get me killed. Taking to account my current health, ammunition and empty inventory slots, I would plan which route would be best. I’d consider all the different paths to take, sometimes noting down what dangers lie in each room and weighing up the advantages of each route.

And when you think you have the perfect plan, an impenetrable strategy in the path you have chosen, something new will come along when you least expect it. You’ll run through the same empty corridor dozens of times with nothing happening, but then this time ten zombies will smash and slide through the windows making that once safe path an extremely hazardous route. And you’ll be stuck in the middle of it, unprepared for this new fiasco that’s torn a hole in your plan. And if you’re enough of a pansy like I was, you’ll restart the GameCube with deep breaths, and start planning all over again.

This depth of strategy and these shake-ups that constantly threaten your survival, testing your instincts in a new unexpected situation, make for perhaps the purest survival-horror game I’ve ever played. Resident Evil wasn’t always about punching boulders and teleporting psychopaths, you know.

Original article from Gamersyndrome.com

As the dedicated, die-hard Banjo fan I often claim to be, it pains to me admit that I never finished Banjo-Tooie when I was young, and my prior experience with this spectacular sequel is brief. I played the original religiously back in the day. The N64 kid on YouTube? That’s the US version of myself when receiving my N64, Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie at Christmas. It stands as one my all-time favourite games – and if there’s a game that was even better than Super Mario 64 in my memory, you know that we’re talking serious.

I’ll just come out and say already that Banjo-Tooie truly lives up to the original. Even with euphoric nostalgia glazing over my eyes when I think of the original, threatening to create bias in my mind, I am happy to say that Tooie is better than I could have anticipated. Better than I could have dreamed.

Two years after defeating rhyme-obsessed witch Gruntilda, Banjo and Kazooie are relaxing at home and playing cards with their homies. Meanwhile, faithful thug Klungo is outside attempting to salvage Grunty’s corpse from beneath the boulder that crushed her in the first game. His efforts in vain, Gruntilda’s witch sisters Mingella and Blobbelda arrive and assist by using by using their magic to lift the rock. Now a living skeleton, evil emerges once more as Grunty is determined to evoke revenge on our heroes. She plans on using her sisters’ dastardly “Hag 1” machine to absorb their life force, returning her to her hideous former self. Investigating the tremors from the witches’ arrival that have disturbed their deceitful game of poker, Mumbo Jumbo is spotted by the villains and dashes back to Banjo’s house to warn the bear and bird.

A deadly bolt is cast from the wicked ensemble, destroying our heroes' home and the group manages to escape just in time... all except mole mate Bottles, who has now met a most unfortunate demise and a new vessel in his now-ghostly form. At the destruction of their humble abode, the ruined state of Spiral Mountain and the death of their friend, Banjo and Kazooie are ready for some revenge of their own.

This game is everything a sequel should be: more ambitious, more innovative and more challenging. Allow me to break down those points, starting with “ambition”. Tooie’s worlds are gigantic compared to the original. Of course, this applies to the game’s length. I spent over 30 hours playing Banjo-Tooie, easily double the time it takes me to complete Kazooie with a 100% score.

Levels are also cleverly interconnected, meaning tasks in the lead-up to earning a Jiggy isn’t restricted to a single area. A thirsty dino in Terrydactyland will beg you for water, which you’ll send by making it rain in Cloud Cuckooland. You'll free a UFO from Glitter Gulch Mine in order to later ride it for a mini-game in WitchyWorld. With bigger playgrounds also comes new warp points, which are very handy since you’ll completing tasks all across the worlds to earn Jiggies.

You’ll find yourself going back to previous worlds after gaining a new move or ability in order to retrieve a previously-inaccessible Jiggy. There is a sense of excitement when finding one of Jamjars’ silos, which are this game’s answer to Bottle’s molehills in Kazooie. You really feel that you can achieve what was not possible before, and curiosity to the extension of the new move’s usage develops.

There are 24 new moves to learn, including new projectile eggs (fire, ice, grenade and clockwork), and new shoes. On top of the moves from B-K that are available from the start, this may sound overwhelming – is this a platformer or a spin-off of Tekken? However, instead two dozen new attacks to remember, many of these additions improve your platforming abilities with such subtlety that it will come naturally. Some are simple as allowing Banjo to climb ledges or Kazooie to leap higher – but bring a great sense of usefulness with their simplicity.

So how does Banjo-Tooie “innovate”? The game emphasises exploration, and this extends to the use of moves. Figuring out what technique to use in each situation gives that retro feeling of “ohhh, THAT’S what I’m supposed to do!”, accompanied with a proud sense of achievement. In this sense, Tooie can be considered a puzzle game almost as much as it is a platformer.

With Spiral Mountain and Grunty’s Lair in ruins, a new over-world is introduced. Isle O’ Hags takes our heroes to the great outdoors with a massive land of connected islands, that’s just as much a joy to traverse and explore as the worlds it inhabits.

As with the prior instalment, the levels all have a specific theme. Before we faced watery depths in Clanker’s Cavern and ghouls in Mad Monster Mansion; now we have Witchyworld’s twisted and decrepit theme park, Terrydactyl’s land of dinosaurs and Hailfire Peaks’ duality of elements. Exploring these worlds sometimes feels like you’re in some vast RPG, if RPG’s had talking animals and objects spouting hilarious nonsense.

Transformations return, but this time they are performed by Mumbo’s rival female shaman, Humba Wumba. As memorable as ever, our anthropomorphic allies are metamorphosed into a T-Rex, a washing machine and a torpedo-firing submarine, amongst many more.

With his duty stolen from him, what is the role of Mumbo Jumbo this time around? Our skull-faced scallywag now takes on a more active performance as a playable character. After giving him a Glowbo (little creatures that have now replaced Mumbo Tokens) and requesting his help, you can control Mumbo and zap enemies with his magic staff. More importantly, he can also cast magic spells at specifically-placed Mumbo Pads, modifying the environment or allowing access to a new area for Banjo and Kazooie.

Finally, the “challenge”. The difficulty has been ramped up in comparison to Banjo-Kazooie, but players of the first game, after developing the platform skills required, will certainly appreciate it. That’s not to say newcomers should feel excluded, as the higher challenge is not bring frustration in any sense, nor does it stem from the player continuously dying. This time Rare have scrapped using lives and there isn’t even a Game Over screen any more. Even so, at times it’s easy to forget that this was primarily aimed at a children demographic.

Though I still suffered many deaths from falling and a fully-depleted life bar, as I mention it’s also mentally that the game will test you - solving the solutions to tasks and figuring out where to go and for what purpose.

Unfortunately, there is one case where Tooie’s difficulty and larger level design become its detriment. If there’s one negative thing to be said about this game, it can be summed up in two words: Grunty Industries. A level near the end of the game, I spent about an hour trying to figure out how to get inside the level. A huge factory stands in the centre of this level, where the majority of the world’s content lies. When I got inside the factory, I found its grey industrial environment comparatively dull after the six amazing levels before it. It took me yet another hour to get my first Jiggy, and many more to obtain the other collectibles. Sure, with enough Jiggies from the other worlds I could have easily skipped this one and moved onto the next, but following from my appraisal of the game’s fun exploring factor, that’s not exactly the spirit of a Banjo game.

After a boring and frustrating start, the level does eventually open up and I began to figure out what to do without continuously getting lost and confused. Many players may admire this level’s complexity, which on a few occasions does shine through. Had this been presented more forgivingly, it could have been a great level alongside the rest.

Thankfully, the game doesn’t end on a sour note, as the final world, Cloud Cuckooland, is perhaps my favourite in the entire game. The weirdness and imagination that runs through this level makes it by far the most amusing and memorable. The final boss was also a pleasure to battle through, again with just the amount of difficulty to cause me to die a number of times but addictively come back from each death readier than before. My heart was beating as not only did my health drop to a single honeycomb unit, the boss also came back for more when I thought I had already won. Rising as the victor and finishing the game’s story stands as one of my satisfying gaming moments.

Thanks to the HD re-paint, the game still holds up as the vibrant, colourful and wonderfully eccentric game it’s always been. With Rare’s iconic character design, seeing those classic goggly eyes again will please your very own retinas.

The game’s soundtrack is absolutely superb, which will come as no surprise to fans of the first game. On top of being instantly lovable, catchy tunes, each track embraces the theme of each setting and really emphasises its impact of absorbing the player. Mayahem Temple’s theme song incorporates chanting into its composition that brings out a sense of desolation from the jungle surrounding the temple, while Jolly Roger’s Lagoon welcomes you into its quaint little town with an upbeat and light-hearted jingle.

Another excellent attribute to the music, first established in the prior game, is the iconic sense of flow that Rare constructs within its soundtrack. The central melody will continue playing but the instruments will change as you enter different environments within a world; a calmer xylophone version of a track will play when you delve under water, or a slower, tension-inducing version upon entering a creepy cave.

Aside from one anomalous level, Banjo-Tooie is a complete joy from start-to-finish. There's still so much more to talk about: mini-games, boss battles, cheats, multi-player, Stop N' Swop... It’s difficult to describe the level of depth and ingenuity at play here to really do the game justice, and so I conclusively urge anyone with the MS points to spare to relive this 3D platforming classic. It stands as a prime example of a genre that has been mostly forgotten about this generation, and why this bear and bird more than deserve to stand beside (or indeed above) Mario in the hall of N64 greats.

Photo Photo Photo

5:48 PM on 09.06.2012

This is just a brief blog post about something I’ve been thinking about lately. Anyone who saw my previous post knows that I got myself a new and exciting job as a gaming News Writer (and while I’m on that, thanks for all the kind words!) At the same day I started this job, I also got a persistent virus. Typical, huh? More like typically awesome!

I’m not writing this to gain any sympathy at all (though if you have any to spare, I’ll suck it up like the parasite I am). I’m actually seeing a positive side in illness.

Sure, it sucks to feel how I have lately: weak, sniveling and coughing ‘til it hurts. But it also means I’ve had a week off from my other job as telesales operator. I can’t exactly talk through a headset all day when I’ve lost my voice, so I’ve stayed home for a week. I really needed a break from that, too... you think florists are happy, friendly, approachable people? You should hear the language and decibel-defying shouts of the women I sometimes have to deal with. You can imagine how thrilled I’ll be if I can ever write full-time.

Not only has this extra time allowed me to more efficiently gain practice and develop a routine for news writing, I’ve also finally got to play the games on my backlog shelf. And this new Xbox Live sale couldn’t have come at a better time. I'm not masochistic, I just love games!

Derwin has no thumbs to play games. Our hearts go out to the hard-working ducks suffering from flu.

Maybe it’s just me, but to any gamers like me who couldn’t easily bunk off during school days, didn’t you find sick days a little awesome? I’d willingly put up with a little pain and groggyness if it meant more time spent on my GameCube. It sure takes me back, and reminds me that I'm still just as child-like as ever.

It’s made me feel grateful that I have a hobby that I can truly invest hours into as well as enjoy from the comfort of my own home, with little physical effort. If I wasn’t a gamer and this was instead a blog for fishing or yoga enthusiasts, I’d be complaining to you all about how I was bored out of my mind right now.

It got our very own and brave Elsa through a long recovery process after surgery, so go read her inspiring and much better blog post on a similar topic if you haven’t already!

Poor Link's Grandma... if she had herself a Wii we'd surely see that heart-warming smile again!

Best of all though, I get to spend more time here with ma boiz and gurlz on da C-Blogs! While I’m still busy and wish I could read more of all the great stuff posted here and engage in even more discussions, I do have at least two more blog posts that should soon be ready to post over the next few days. Now that I’ll be balancing two jobs, gaming time and a girlfriend will surely make it difficult to post with such frequency for at least a short time in the near future, so I can feel grateful for that.

To you workers and students out there: next time you find yourself stuck in bed with a fever, remember how blessed you are!

[Oh, and the lack of images this post and the last may be lazy, but now I have an excuse - so sue me! Maybe I'll update later with something that feels relevant].
[Update: images added!]
Photo Photo

You know Destructoid, I don't say often enough how much I love you. I should have back when I registered as a member after a long time of lurking, or on your 6th Anniversary. Now seems as good as time as any, as just a couple of days ago I received the greatest job I could hope for: a News Writer position on gaming site Explosion.com.

Even back in my high school years this was my dream job. I'd convinced myself that's all it would ever be though: a dream. But since coming to Destructoid I decided to pursue journalism, even if it never became anything more than a hobby. Its coming here that made me realise how much I really love video games and their importance in my life, and how much I do enjoy writing and gaining your feedback.

I'm not exaggerating when I say I couldn't have done it without you. And by "you", I mean everyone involved in this site. The staff, who have served as my main inspirations and made me finally decide to get into the writing field. Dtoid's beloved Community Manager Andy, who featured my Collaboration article (which I still think I don't deserve!) and likely got my employer's interest. The creators of all the amazing video series on the site and the Podtoid crew, for entertaining me during hard times. And you, the community.

Seriously, this is the best community I've ever involved myself in. I've drifted from different sites over the years, and never before have I felt so compelled to stay somewhere for good until now. I can't count the number of comments with insightful and interesting responses throughout the articles, or that simply made me laugh out loud. And for every one of you who've fapped and commented on my blog posts, thank you! You've really kept my motivation high. I still have some way to go before I make this a full-time thing, but I now feel readier than ever.

This is, of course, far from goodbye. I'm here to stay and I will continue to post here, read your blogs and remain active around the site, in fact I intend to more than ever. I'll even stop neglecting you forum-goers and post there once in a while. This is simply a reminder that YOU are great.

11:20 AM on 08.12.2012

I love YouTube! Ironically, not for the reasons most people love it; RayWIlliamJohnson, Smosh and Fred can all go to hell. I’m also not talking about videos of cats or people falling over, although those are important to watch once in a while too. I go on YouTube every evening because of the fantastic shows that often surpass most of the garbage on TV in terms of quality – a lot of them about video games!

The fact that you’re reading this on Destructoid means that you’re already familiar with the fact that this website is host to many great gaming shows: The Destructoid Show, Jimquisition, Talking to Women About Video Games, Rev Rants, Hey Ash and many more. As much as I enjoy them all, I’ll be keeping them out of this list, as well as other brilliant but popular shows like The Angry Video Game Nerd, Pure Pwnage and Zero Punctuation. This way, hopefully by the end of the blog post you’ll find at least one new show that you’ll love and maybe subscribe to.

10: How To Annoy People

I’m not much of an online multiplayer guy, but I know as well as anyone how serious people take Call of Duty. Sometimes, way too seriously. If you’re no longer having fun and seeing the game as work, can you still really call it a game? Thankfully, CoD player Kevin is here to bring trolling justice to the angry Xbox headset warriors we all love to hate. Trapping them in corners, alerting the enemy to their position while remaining seemingly oblivious and friendly makes for a hilarious watch. I get bored with all of those Top 10 Headshots and Kill Montage videos, but this is one CoD-based series I can watch.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyXikjWJYps
Channel: http://www.youtube.com/show/howtoannoypeople?s=1

9: Video Game Music Choir

Got a favourite video game soundtrack? Of course you do, every gamer does. There’s so many amazing songs and themes in our games, and the Video Game Music Choir knows it. The name Video Game Music Choir is a pretty self-explanatory name – their a group that sings these aforementioned classic tunes. Their performances are very impressive, and its sometimes humourous to see a simple but memorable soundtrack become a fully orchestrated piece. Unfortunately at the time of writing, many of their previous videos are unavailable and set to “Private”. It seems their new videos are on a different channel, so they could possibly be arranging to move channel for whatever reason. At any rate here’s hoping this is a temporary decision, as believe me, there were some fantastic performances of the Super Smash Bros. Brawl theme, Sonic Adventure 2’s “Escape from the City” and The Sims’ “Let’s Go Shopping” song. For now though, enjoy the new video of the Katamari theme song!

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IK40KVWkMLA
Channel: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=FLZGJuQpUr-JYe_8CrJ2Eong&feature=plcp

8: The Next Game Boss

As someone who isn’t a frequent IGN visitor these days, I found this show interesting and enjoyable. Selected contestants of new indie developers compete to create the best game in a brief time period while also meeting specific conditions. It’s fascinating to see some of the creativity produced within these boundaries, and seeing the tension as the pressure continues to build. Just don’t scroll down to the comments... if there’s one community as bad as YouTube’s, its IGN’s. Put the two together, and you get irrelevant arguments from hormone-fueled teenage douchebags about Call of Duty and whether Naomi is “hotter” than Jessica Chobot. Poor IGN. But anyway, bring on Season 2!

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUijn7tGIUQ
Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/START?feature=watch

7: Did You Know Gaming

Think you know a lot about games? Sure, you wouldn’t be here otherwise. But do you really know a lot about games? I thought I knew all the facts until I watched videos on Did You Know Gaming’s new channel. Did you know that Ditto is a actually a failed clone of Mew? Did you know Starfox characters are hidden in the very Pause screen of Majora’s Mask? There’s some really interesting stuff regarding the franchises you love – Zelda, Pokemon, Final Fantasy and Starfox. There’s loads of facts you won’t have heard, from interesting development stories and decisions to hidden references and areas in the games. As I said, the channel is new and currently only covers the four franchises I mentioned, but if you crave more gaming knowledge for your noggin, check out the website in the meantime: http://didyouknowgaming.com/

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6o6VOBZRWPc
Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/DYKGaming?feature=watch

6: Pete’s Game Room

Ever seen Pete’s Game Room? It’s like a gaming paradise spanning almost every console and system ever, with masses of game libraries to accompany them. And there’s a guy who lives inside it. Here’s what’s nuts: the video below of the room tour is now over three years old, meaning Pete could now possess almost twice the amount of games. It’s not all about showing off a collection though. The man has extensive knowledge and experience with video games (obviously), and has many other individual system collections, reviews of obscure games, gaming collectibles and unboxings. He’s also a gaming podcast and live stream host, with a website too. Yep, this guy likes video games!

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFwEft8cMbQ
Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/PeteDorr

5: Fallout: Nuka Break

The Fallout series offers a fantastic and vast post-apocalyptic world where 1950’s culture has struggled to advance after a 200-year fallout. What better way to expand on such an excellent concept than expressing it through a web series? Nuka Break is not an official spin-off of the franchise, but it sure feels like it should be. The fact that this show was independently created makes it all the more impressive when you see the superb acting and story direction. The characters are original, but every detail is accurate to the games, from the weapons and costumes to the different society groups of vault dwellers, raiders and ghouls. This is how video game-based series and movies should be – taking notes, Mr. Boll?

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iq8swQ7kpg
Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/WaysideCreations

4: Rev3Games

Originally, this list was going to be “Top 10 YouTube Gamers”, and this place would have instead read “Anthony Carboni”. You may be familiar with this gentleman if you’ve watched The Destructoid Show where he sometimes makes appearances, and also works alongside Max and Tara in Casual Friday. He’s the host of many shows on the Rev3Games channel, including New Challenger, a show where reviewers are invited to review his review of a game; Random Encounter, a show about cool happenings in video game culture; and Bytejacker, an old but still interesting show on under-looked indie games. The channel also has reviews, interviews and opinions from Anthony, Max, Tara and many more.

Fun Fact: look for my name in the “Let’s Buy a Mech” episode of Random Encounter at 2:12!

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bi5SLEvFFRM
Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Rev3Games?feature=watch

3: Two Best Friends Play

Matt and Pat are one of the few reasons I tune into Machinima. They’re two gamers that take a hilarious spin on the “Let’s Play” formula by purposefully taking games too seriously, mocking terrible games (and each other), and exploiting great games by playing them poorly. The main series consists of ten to fifteen minute videos showing the highlights of playthroughs, rather than going the long-winded approach that many Let’s Play’s take with endless parts. But should you want more of this duo (and who wouldn’t?), you can catch full play-throughs on their personal channel. Below is my personal favourite Best Friends video, and one of my all-time favourites on YouTube.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubuQfss8MnY
Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheSw1tcher/featured

2: Game Grumps

Recognise those sexy male voices in the Did You Know Gaming videos? It’s the Internet’s very own Egoraptor and JonTron! What do you get when you put these two gentlemen in a room to play retro games? Hilarity, that’s what. The name is misleading, as both are far from grumpy. The laughter is contagious as they effortlessly create their own new Internet memes (Pause Balls!) while goofing around in Goof Troop, abuse the naming options in the innocent world of Pokemon and traverse Hyrule as the legendary “Groomp”.

Bonus: Also check out The JonTron Show, which I’ve recently started watching. It’s pretty good!

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hjp9YGId1MU
Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/GameGrumps?feature=g-user-u

1: Terry Garrett Plays Ocarina of Time

Okay, so this is the third “Let’s Play” series in a row... but hear me out! Like the previous two entries, it’s unlike any Let’s Play you’ve ever seen, and this one is sure to blow your mind. Terry Garrett is currently playing through classic game Ocarina of Time. Not too unusual... except he’s completely blind. And no, not blindfolded, not looking away from the screen – completely blind. Terry takes the number one spot in this list for the sheer brilliance, determination and genius he demonstrates in each of his videos. It started with a demonstration of how he can play the game starting from Inside the Deku Tree, using an elaborate audio setup on his chair to rely completely on the sound design. Its now become a complete play-through of the game and he has now conquered the Shadow Temple. It made me realise just how excellent the sound design is for this game - from Link’s footsteps across different terrain and enemy sounds to Navi’s prompts and the gentle stream of the Hyrule river, Terry can always identify where everything is and where he’s going.

He plays, records and edits the video himself, and has also played Abe's Odyssey and Bit.Trip Runner on his channel. I really think the guy deserves more views and subscribers and that more people deserve to see this incredible guy. If you have time for just one video, please make it this one! Using the Master Sword as his cane, he's getting closer and closer to being the first blind hero to smite Ganondorf.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmmqarQRSSE&feature=plcp
Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/MegaTgarrett/featured

And that wraps up my first ever Top 10 list! Wow, these are hard work, but damn fun. I’m considering publishing a Top 5 Non-Gaming list if people like this post. Please let me know, and tell me if you know a great series that should have been on this list, or even anything non-gaming. I wanna know about it! Thanks for reading. :)
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