Name: Mike "Savant" Ferry
Location: Bethlehem, PA
Zodiac Sign: Virgo
I am a former Associate Editor of Destructoid who became INTERNET FAMOUS (er, not really...) for my weekly column entitled "Miniboss Monday." You might've heard of it. It was kind of a big deal. Anyway, I've since moved on to becoming a lurker and playing my fair share of games in the meantime. Oh, and I wear a kilt, love retro video games, and drink a lot of beer. That pretty much sums me up.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 RetrophileTV@gmail.com.
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.
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.