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4:39 PM on 09.07.2013

[Retrophile TV] • Season 4 Kickstarter: Help improve my Retro Gaming webseries.

Hello, Communitoid!

It's been awhile since I've last posted anything on the ol' Cblog, but I feel that this is something post-worthy. I've recently started my first ever Kickstarter in an attempt to improve my ongoing YouTube retro gaming series, [Retrophile TV]. What started out as something lame and terrible has turned into something tolerable and almost watchable. With your pledges, you can take my little pet project into the realm of limitless badassery.

...Or, y'know, something that's more professional than what it is now.

I'm asking to raise $250. That's it. I'm not throwing out some crazy numbers for a giant money-grab because I know all I need to snag is a better microphone & a pop filter.

If you haven't seen any of my work, take a quick look at my latest episode: Pieces (SNES)

If you enjoyed the video, you can check out more of my work over on YouTube, or you can make a pledge to the Kickstarter project now.

Savant ♥'s Destructoid. Thanks for the support!   read

9:23 PM on 06.05.2013

[Retrophile TV] exposes some of Milon's dirty little Secrets

[Retrophile TV] (Season 2/Episode 8)
Milon's Secret Castle (NES)
Hudson Soft, 1986

Hey there, Communitoid!

Savant here with another new episode of [Retrophile TV]. This time, I'll be tackling a childhood favorite of mine: Milon's Secret Castle for the NES! This game is unforgiving in the fact that it doesn't give you much direction to go on, but expects you to understand everything about it right away.

That can be a bit disheartening and turn off a lot of players. Don't worry, watch this episode, and you'll already have a great understanding of some of the secrets hidden inside this castle.

Like what you see? Check out the YouTube channel for more.   read

9:15 PM on 05.29.2013

Get more Retro in your life: Shaq Fu & Zombies Ate My Neighbors [Retrophile TV]

Hey there, Destructoid!

Savant here with two new & very special episodes of [Retrophile TV]. This time, I'm joined by a few of my close friends to play some competitive Shaq Fu (SNES) matches and enjoy some Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES) co-op.

Like what you see? Subscribe to the YouTube channel!

Shaq Fu (SNES) VS.

Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES) Co-Op

12:36 PM on 05.22.2013

Get your retro fix: Cyborg Justice (GEN) & Mystery Quest (NES) - [Retrophile TV]

Good news, everyone! New episodes of [Retrophile TV] are here!

Two new episodes of my ongoing retro-gaming series are here. Today, I take on a first-time, blind playthrough of the futuristic Genesis beat-'em-up Cyborg Justice and a frustrating romp back into my childhood with the obscure action-adventure/platformer Mystery Quest for the NES.

I like what I see! Where can I see more?

You can check out all my videos over at the Retrophile TV YouTube channel. If you really dig the channel, why not subscribe & tell your friends?

Feel free to post any feedback either in the comments here on Dtoid or on the videos themselves on YT. Either way, I'll be sure to read it.

New episodes next week: Shaq Fu (SNES Vs.), Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES Co-Op)


3:25 PM on 05.08.2013

Love old-school games? You should be watching [Retrophile TV]

O HAI, Destructoid!

Remember ol' Savant? It's been a long, long time since I've posted anything of worth here on Destructoid, but I feel that this community truly is the perfect place to share my love of 8- & 16-bit gaming. Back in November of 2012, I got the notion to start streaming myself playing some impromptu NES, SNES, Genesis, and TG-16 games while commentating over them. On a whim, I threw together a Twitch.TV channel and called it "RetrophileTV" and began recording some episodes.

Why "Retrophile TV"?

I'm not quite sure, actually. It was honestly the first thing that popped into my head and it just sorta fit. "Retrophile", obviously, means the obsessive, undying love of all things retro. In this case, it pertains to old-school gaming. Kinda self-explanatory, right?

Who are you, and why should I care?

My name's Mike, also known as "Savant" here on Destructoid. I was a former editor who wrote for Dtoid a few years back doing a weekly feature entiteld "Miniboss Monday" that gained a small bit of popularity at the time. I have always been an adamant supporter of old games and pride myself on my vast knowledge of the strange & obscure. So much so, I used to run a daily trivia challenge in the Destructoid site chatroom. 

Also, I'm a pretty damn funny guy at times, and I seriously have some of the worst Charlie Brown luck. Combining those two things results in some hilarious reactions to inconceivable gaming misfortune.

Sounds legit. Where can I watch Retrophile TV?

All episodes of Retrphile TV are viewable on this YouTube Channel. You should definitely subscribe to it. I hear all the cool kids are doing it these days. If you'd like to watch an episode be recorded live, follow RetrophileTV on Twitch.

Can I request a game for a future episode?

Abso-freakin'-lutely! If you've got any requeusts for games you'd like to see featured on future episodes or would like to provide any private feedback, simply send an e-mail to [email protected].

Well, there ya have it. Check out some episodes and let me know what you guys think. If you really dig the channel and want to help a guy out, subscribe & share the channel with your friends, your enemies, and your grandmother. Don't worry, she's a hardcore gamer, too.   read

8:56 AM on 06.06.2011

Diablo II Hardcore is still addicting after 10+ years

It has been a very, very long time since I've last had a chance to write a blog on Destructoid, so I find it only fitting that I reemerge writing about something that I haven't had a chance to play in many years and have recently rediscovered; Diablo II Hardcore.

What is "Hardcore?"

For the uninitiated, Hardcore (HC) is an optional mode of play in which the player's character is given a single life. If you die, your character becomes a ghost. You lose everything and are no longer allowed to use that character. This is also referred to as "permadeath."

So, what makes HC so great in Diablo II?

Diablo II, by itself, is actually a pretty mindless game that you can play fairly care-free. Point, click, kill, loot, repeat. If you should happen to die, you lose half your gold, respawn in town, and can reclaim your corpse. (Experience penalties are incurred in later levels/difficulties, as well.) No big deal, though, right? Just a minor inconvenience.

Hardcore, however, completely changes Diablo II and your mindset when approaching the game. Suddenly, every choice you make on the battlefield has purpose, and every single stat & skill point is placed with careful planning for the future, because, hell, your life depends on it. In Softcore (non-HC), you probably wouldn't think twice about charging balls-first into the face of a Lightning Enchanted unique monster. "GONNA GET 'DAT LOOT!", you say with reckless abandon. In Hardcore, however, a Lightning Enchanted monster will evoke great hesitation, caution, and even a subtle feeling of fear when you realize that this fight could very well kill you, and it's only a single encounter.

Kinda makes you think, doesn't it?

But, I'm too young to die! Hardcore sounds scary!

"Man up, Nancy! It'll put hair on your chest!" Truth be told, Hardcore really isn't for everybody. If you can't get over the fact that you will die at some point, you should probably stick with Softcore. However, if you're feeling a little adventurous, saucy, or kinky and want to take a sip of the Hardcore Kool-Aid™, I can't recommend it enough. Like drinking a perfectly poured pint of Guinness, it's something that everyone should try once.

After playing Hardcore for awhile, you really begin to feel a genuine sense of accomplishment for not getting your ass handed to you (yet) by the endless hordes of Hell and their tomfoolery. Every level up, every boss kill, and every set/unique item found becomes that much more satisfying and addictive.

Why are you playing this, anyway? There's plenty of other great games out right now!

Destructoid community member and Outer Heaven compatriot DrunkPunk and I were discussing how great it would be to get a group of people together to play Diablo II Hardcore as a team. Fast-foward to present day, and we've got close to eight people on board, many of which are virgins to HC. This is also a great way to shake off the rust and kill time until Diablo III's launch (whenever that is.)

Oh, and that reminds me, if you're planning on getting into Hardcore yourself, try to round up a group of trusted friends to play with on a regular basis in private rooms. The public HC community has its fair share of griefing douchebags who just love collecting people's ears. This will also keep you and your friends alive a lot longer, as there is strength in numbers.

Summary. Closing. STFUAJPG.

So, class, what've you learned today? You've learned that Hardcore fundamentally changes Diablo II and that it's challenge can be both soul-crushing and rewarding at the same time. You've also learned that a game that's 10+ years old still has a few tricks up its sleeve and can still kick all kinds of ass.

That said, If you own a copy of Diablo II that's been collecting dust or is buried in the bottom of a box in your closet somewhere, I greatly suggest digging it out, booting it up, and getting some friends together for some fun-filled evenings of Hardcore.

Good luck, have fun, and, most importantly, don't die.


12:59 PM on 06.26.2008

A simple message from the Internets to Blizzard

Stay awhile, and listen.   read

8:46 AM on 04.30.2008

Get me an ambulance named after an 8-bit console! STAT!

(Photo taken outside The Spectrum in Philadelphia, PA)

I can just imagine the ice Climbers come out the back to bring the stretcher, Dr. Mario is present for on-site care, and the dude from Excitebike is driving.   read

7:41 AM on 04.11.2008

I've recently discovered eBay. No, really!

It's been quite the week. As of late, I have recently spent more time scouring eBay and bidding on things more than I ever thought I would. Within the course of just a few days, I have bought the following (with a bit of patience) dirt cheap;

Dark Cloud (PS2)
Dark Cloud 2 (PS2)
Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete (PS1)
Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete (PS1)
Vagrant Story (PS1)
Final Fantasy Anthology (PS1)
Final Fantasy Chronicles (PS1)
Final Fantasy Origins (PS1)

Notice something? Yep, they're all older RPGs. For whatever reason, I'm on such an RPG kick with the old PS1/PS2. All of these games listed above I have found on eBay for a lot less than I ever thought possible. If I would have bought them all retail when they first came out, I'd be paying close to $350+. However, I paid only a third of that price in total.

Now, I'm sure this isn't any new revelation or some well-kept secret of the Innernets, but I will say that my overall shopping experience has been very, very good with eBay. If I were to buy these games used today at a local GameStop or GameCrazy, I'd probably get shafted pretty badly; both on price and condition. All the games I have listed above came complete and in near-mint state.

I think my eBaying is pretty much done with now, as I've much to play. How about the rest of you? What have you bought off of eBay?   read

11:23 AM on 03.12.2008

WANTED: Culdcept SAGA Players of the Communitoid!

(VISIT THE FORUM POST - Click this!)

Yeah, I know. Some of you out there right now are simply groaning at some of us here. "Please, shut up about Culdcept. You're ruining my SMASH." Well, too bad. :) This might've been something better suited for the forums, but I figured I'd begin here first and foremost.

Basically, this is a recruiting blog o' sorts. I am looking to get together a small list of folks here on Destructoid that own, love, and play Culdcept SAGA on Xbox LIVE. As of right now, we know of 6 people that play;

Savant - x MikeZilla x
Dale North - DaleNorth
CronosBlade - CronosBlade
CJPKiller - cjpkiller
Conrad - SenorRoachypops
Hitogoroshi - Hitogoroshi(and some numbers?)

We've got a few matches together already and they've been nothing short of a blast. However, if someone ain't around, I'd like to get more people together or possibly start setting up a small Blind Book tourney if we get enough folks.

So, if you own Culdcept SAGA and have an Xbox Live account, please let us know! We'd be more than happy to get some matches together. Leave your gamertag in the comments and I will update the list accordingly. :)   read

10:43 AM on 03.10.2008

Castle Crashers Toys - A Review

As you folks may or may not know, I recently bought a set of these little guys over at The Behemoth's online store. They used to be exclusive to the lucky few of us who get the chance to go to Cons, but as of the previous holiday, they're available online to the masses -- which is a good thing considering how undeniably awesome the knights are.

But is the full set worth $60 (or $20 per knight?) Read on, my good friends, and I'll explain my personal thoughts about the little guys (and include a few pictures along the way.)

As pictured above, you can see the Castle Crashers all encased in their respective plastic casings and atop their mighty display pedestals/weapon holders. This isn't how they come shipped, mind you. The way you'll actually receive the little knights is inside these plastic cases filled with packing peanuts and a tiny white box which has the knight, the pedestal and their weapons wrapped in plastic. It takes a few moments to get everything sorted out, but that's more a gripe of mine than anything else.

Right out of the gate, you'll notice the construction of the Castle Crashers is solid. These stout little guys are (fairly) poseable and look cool no matter what position you put them in. Now, what I mean by "fairly" is that their arms didn't really raise as far as I thought they would -- because their ginormous heads get in the way of their shoulders. No matter, you're still given enough play to pose them the way you want 'em. For those curious, the articulation points are in the neck, waist, arms, and hands. The hands might seem a bit rigid at first, but they'll become normal after a few movements.

Let's move on to the items the knights with. Each knight comes with their respective colored shield and four equally lethal weapons; a bloody sword, a bloody axe, a spiked mace, and, uh, a frozen fish. The weapons are really well done and look great. I'm not really a fan of the shields, as they don't seem to stay in the pose you want them to stay in, but just as before, that's more a gripe than anything else. All weapons can be placed in the pedestal that the knights come with for easy (and fashionable) storage, so no need to worry about losing 'em.

Speaking about the pedestal, I have one last issue -- there is a little nub in the middle of the stand that holds the knights in place (they have a small hole in their left foot) However, it just seems that this hole and nub don't like to fit together for some reason. It takes a bit of muscling, but you can get it to fit nice and snug. I just get a bit worried when placing the guys on the stand that I'm gonna break 'em. But, as said, they're constructed very well and have a good durable feel.

So, let me sum up all my mildly coherent ramblings into one paragrah. The Castle Crashers toys are by far my new favorite figures. Granted, I don't own that many to begin with, but, they've certainly exceeded my expectations in terms of quality. The pricetag might be a smidge high, but keep in mind that you're buying something that is (supposedly) a limited release and will also help The Behemoth pay their bills in the long run.

I highly recommend these figures to anyone who enjoys this sort of thing, They're a great addition to any collection and $60 for the full set isn't so bad, really.

Now let's just hope The Behemoth can release Castle Crashers sometime soon. :)   read

11:24 AM on 03.03.2008

My newfound addiction: Culdcept SAGA (X360)

Oh, hai Communitoid! Been awhile since I've been around, I know. My apologies for being a shadow in the mist. Rest assured, I'll be back to my old self again once things cool off in my life.

But, lend me your ear (or eye, as it were) for the moment, and let me blather about how insanely awesometastic Culdcept SAGA for the Xbox 360 turned out to be.

And by "turned out to be" I mean that I was rather surprised by it, since it came completely out of left field. Like most of you (some of you?) I downloaded the demo off XBL Marketplace, played it once or twice, and didn't think it was all that great. Then again, I had NO idea what the hell I was doing at that time. A few weeks past, and I randomly picked up the demo again and finally everything clicked once I read a review somewhere that said "Just think of it like Monopoly with a bunch of monsters for houses."

After playing the demo over and over, I was determined to rent the game to see if it would hold water (and be worth the psuedo-bargain pricetag of 40 bones.) Here's where my own plight begins -- I had it #1 in my GameFly GameQ -- but for whatever reason, GameFly flipped me the figurative bird and sent the #5 game in my queue (PGR4 for those curious.)

I called three rental joints around town -- none of them had the damn game to rent. What the hell? This game just came out in February! Disappointed, I realized I would have to wait for GameFly to come through.

But I'm a very impatient person, so I did what any gamer would do -- I bought the damn thing on a whim after seeing it at the mall. I was a bit worried that I might've blown my hard-earned $40, but after diving into the game headfirst for a good 8 hours over the past two days, I can delightfully report that the game is as addictive as[insert something REALLY addictive here]!

The game is rather time consuming, so don't be thinking you'll be blazing through encounters like Puzzle Quest. However, you can suspend your game in the middle, so no worries there. Nonetheless, once you get a handle on all the intricacies and complexities Culdcept SAGA has, you'll be hooked on building your Book (deck) and constantly begin thinking up new and interesting ways to make your opponent cry, curse, and complain.

All in all, the core mechanics of the game are really what drew me in. There's a steep learning curve here, but there is also a lot of rewarding fun to be had once you get over the hump. It's a shame that this game will fall through the cracks with so many gamers, but I figure I'd at least let'cha folks know how I feel.

If you've got a spare $40, I highly suggest giving this one a chance. It really is all its cracked up to be.

(Own this? Why not play me on Xbox Live? My 'tag is x Mikezilla x)   read

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