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GTAV remains probably my favorite GTA ever. It's the first GTA that has it all. Not just a good story, not just a wonderful open world, not just a plethora of content to delve into, but incredibly solid mechanics as well. It's been interesting seeing R* evolve from GTAIV to GTAV. Everything, from that to Red Dead Redemption to Max Payne 3 (the shooting is practically ripped wholesale from MP3), was leading up to what is rightly considered by some to be their opus.
I wonder if we'll see that happen with Naughty Dog's Uncharted 4: A Thief's End? Combining what the developer has all but nailed with Uncharted and the freedom in combat and powerhouse storytelling of The Last Of Us. Also, Crash and/or Jak will be relegated to clothing unlockables, so they'll be there too.
Right now, though, we're at the PC port of GTAV. What comes with it besides stupidly awesome graphics potential? Well, modding support for one thing! Also, a handy dandy video editor. As somebody who's been in the machinima scene (by "scene", I mean my room in my old apartment with a crappy handicam) for years and is still interested in the medium, this is particularly exciting.
I've spent a couple hours with it by now and it is, no surprise, pretty damn nice.
So, what can you create?
Not literally anything, but if you set your mind to something cool or fancy rather than anything especially ambitious, I'm 95% sure you can do it!
I'm honestly surprised that they've allowed access to the radio tracks for optional audio additions. Not every track, mind you, which is likely because of re-licensing issues, but more than enough for sure. Unfortunately, though, The Next Episode is not one of them. Same goes for I Want It That Way. Dangnabbit!
In about 20 minutes, I was able to conjure this cute little test project:
When I discovered you could animate from camera to camera, I knew I'd be able to eventually pull off some real neat stuff. I mean, I'm no director... but, I suppose that's what Director's Mode is for!
No, it's not. That was a stupid thing to say.
I decided to get slightly more inspired with my second piece by using the video editor's Director Mode, which allows you to use specific characters from across almost the entire campaign and more! Me? I chose an Altruist member. Because naturally.
You casually unlock more characters to pick from as you get further into the game, which is a nice way to entice people to keep returning to this specific facet of the video editor. Not only that, but you can actually free roam with whatever character you choose! You can't take your weapons with you (though characters can have weapons according to their personalities), but you can at least get some quick laughs by playing as Jimmy frollicking around on a scooter like we know he would given the chance.
I have just one more so far, which is easily the most comprehensive of the bunch.
This was where I started to fiddle with all that I could. Camera effects, tasty transitions, multiple music tracks, combining more than one recorded clip, etc. What resulted was something I think is pretty respectable. Not anywhere near as quality as that first video by 8-Bit Bastard, but I'd proudly set it alongside the rest of my better works (of which, there are very few).
As far as the actual game goes, the port is damn solid. Even with my poopy notebook, with everything turned down to the lowest they'll go (minus resolution) it runs @45-60 fps and with visual quality akin to the original PS3/360 release. That is way way better than I thought I'd be able to handle it. I didn't even think I could run it at all!
I don't see me playing the game a third time, though. Not this version. For sure, though, when I get a better computer. To me, I'll gladly take the PS4/Xbone's up in visuals and a clear 30 fps over going from that to PS3/360 quality and a somewhat smooth 60 fps. A big part of the charm of GTA is it's open world and I'll take whatever I can to make it look more beautiful without sacrificing too much of the performance.
Haven't dabbled at all in Online as I'm not a fan of general online play unless it's co-op or a Nintendo title (Mario Kart 8 is a fantastic online game, especially without any mics and those humble Mii avatars).
I can see myself getting a lot out of this. Even if I never ever beat another campaign mission, these 60 bucks will, before long, have been worth it.
Do you have any videos you've made with the video editor? Show them to me! NOW!
Today's Nintendo Direct won't broadcast until the very latest hour possible, being 5pm my time. That's practically several days away. I could take so many naps before then. I could eat so many meats and play so much Playstation 2. Which I will do, but still.
Is today anymore special than normal, though? Why am I so excited? It's April fucking Fools. This is the perfect chance for them to announce something like so totally fake, but then they're like NOPE REAL PLEASE UNDERSTAND AND GET EXCITED! Everyone collectively poops their pants and wanks one out real quick.
Nintendo has presented on April Fools before. But, that was just a "mini" Direct that happened to fall on the usual days Nintendo decides to do these Directs. Today may also happen to fall on one of said usual days, but THIS IS REALER THAN THAT ONE BEFORE! This is going to be a hardcore as fuck presentation, not some dainty "mini" Direct.
Who knows what they might cook up?
Zelda Wii U has been delayed, many of the Wii U's other bigger announced titles either don't have a solid 2015 release date or are missing in action, and Devil's Third looks like crap. After the Wii U's amazing 2014 run, Nintendo must still have some tricks up their sleeves. All that momentum can't just magically dissipate immediately into 2015, right?
We have Splatoon and Yoshi's Wolly World and that's about it. Two games I don't have a terrible amount of interest in. Therefore, Nintendo MUST have more to show me! What about that new working title Starfox? That could be officially announced and released this year. They've been supposedly developing it for quite some time.
And what about those "leaks"? Should we even get into those? I'm a wild speculator and have a habit of getting my hopes up. Same goes for you cheeky nympths.
But, a new Paper Mario would get me reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally excited.
Well, fuck that too. We can ignore these "leaks", but that doesn't mean I can't personally hope for more than what we've gotten before during these Directs. If you've only ever payed especially close attention to the more exciting Directs, remember that many of them don't announce much or even anything at all. I do have my wishes, though, that I'm holding close because nobody else has told me they might happen. Yet.
Pokemon SoulSilver and HeartGold on the Wii U Virtual Console? *orgasm*
ZombiU getting a sequel? 95% not happenin', but that would be pretty fucking cool.
A Midna amiibo? 99.999% not happenin', because Nintendo hates me.
A Wii U shop app for Nintendo apparel/toys/accesories? Meager possibility, but I would absolutely love that.
ATLUS is supposedly going to be featured in some form. They retwattered news of today's Direct, afterall. With that, we could see some news of the upcoming Devil Survivor 2: Break Record, the rumored Attack on Titan localization, or maybe Persona 5 will be announced for Wii U.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Hah. Heh.
We'd see remakes of the first two mainline SMT titles before that. Compiled in a convenient bundle on 3DS for 20 dollars, physical release and all. Which would also be fucking awesome.
If there is, yet again, no more information on SMT x FE, I'm well-prepared with the following gif in response:
Because, boy howdy, am I tired of waiting.
What are you personally hoping for? How disappointing will it be? What am I doing with my life?
No longer do have I an opportunity to just talk about video game music. With Spotify now having released on both the PS3 and PS4, I can finally talk a little bit about that music that you here in those un-video gamey things like movies, TV shows, commercials, and your phone.
Not so subtle dig at mobile gaming. I'm such a stinker.
God, I love this fucking album.
You know I love talking about video game music. As are gameplay mechanics, cutscenes, the art, UI, etc. music is one of the many tools in the toolbox of a developer in order to create the experience they want to. Whether it's love, freedom, sadness, anger, whatever. Music (or general sound design), when implemented just right, can accentuate these emotions and you feel far more than you would have otherwise.
More conventional expressions of music are real great too. I mean, just because you're not jumping over lava pits or defeating a rambunctious boss to The Tubes' "She's A Beauty", doesn't mean it's not an excellent song. Sometimes people even turn off a game's soundtrack in favor of music such as this. Why? I think they just like pretending they know better.
But, I get it. We're all like that sometimes. I've even gone through the trouble of creating 5 short playlists themed around 5 Playstation hits that I happen to enjoy like everyone else does for whenever you or I get in an especially self-important mood.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Whenever I played Inquisition, a lot of my time was spent exploring every inch that I could of the wonderfully-crafted locales. Not just for the sidequests or collectables, but to simply lose myself and take in the sights. You need to relax, grind some materials, and hunt some wildlife? I think you might also need this playlist.
Ghost B.C. - "Ghuleh / Zombie Queen" (It does eventually ramp up, but even then it's largely appropriate.)
College and Electric Youth - "A Real Hero" (Don't tell me this isn't your ideal hero song.)
Borderlands 2 + The Pre-Sequel
A lot of the Borderlands franchise takes place within barren environments. Deserts, icy tundras, swamps, etc. Fighting around these parts is not a heavy metal ride. It's concentrated, therapeutic, slightly edgy. The following playlist encompasses that perfectly, if I do say so myself. Lots of echoing acoustics, mellow distortion, with added spice here or there.
Caveman - "Today" (Sadly, not on YouTube. Easily my favorite of the bunch at the moment.)
Boy Dylan - "The Man In Me" (I don't know. I can somehow imagine this along to a cute, humorous trailer for The Handsome Collection or something.)
Dr. John - "Right Place Wrong Time" (Pretty damn funky compared to everything else here, but it somehow fits with your usual Borderlands action.)
You know exactly what to expect from this one. Whearas Borderlands combat takes up a beer and a cozy backseat, Diablo is frantic, demonic, and generally epic. This calls for intensity. Balls to the wall, ass to mouth, eyes to your unrelenting foes, with weapon in hand and a frightening battle call (yes, all at the same time). Grow some hair, 'cause it's time to get heavy!
David Lee Roth - "Just A Gigolo / I Ain't Got Nobody" (I'm just being a dick here, but I do find the idea of playing Diablo along to this kind of hilarious.)
There's not a terrible amount of video games quite as obnoxiously cute and upbeat as LittleBigPlanet. If a kitten were a video game, it'd be something like this. Heck, the characters of LBP3 would make for a fine line of pet playthings. Everything is so damn happy. I'm in such a good mood now, because of this playlist. Thank you, me!
Prince - "Partyman" (Not the original, but it gets the point across. Get the real deal on Spotify!)
Eiffel 65 - "My Console" (The song's basically a glorified Playstation ad!)
Pharrell Williams - "Happy" (Because, well, duh!)
inFAMOUS: Second Son + First Light
Nothing too incredibly ambitious here. I went all 90's for this one, the Seatle music scene both an inspiration for Delsin and Fetch's characters and the game's soundtrack. The ambient echoes during the casual strolls through the open world hit me so well in my pleasure center. Hopefully this last little playlist compliments them just fine.
Signing off! What games are you finding yourself playing on your Playstations? Any music you like to chug along to whilst doing so?
We are nearing the end of March. Both you and I are wondering why the heck I'm writing this now rather than at least a couple months back. Well, I have a very simple answer for that: "........."
Can I have some time to think, please?!
I... have no real good reason.
On the upside, it gave me an opportunity to perfectly structure in a whole category that I wouldn't have otherwise been able to fit in and realize that there actually isn't that much I've been looking forward to. That's great for my backlog, which I've continued neglecting like a bad memory. Literally dozens, maybe hundreds, of games long and I'm not getting any younger.
Oh and the Hadron Collider still scares the fuck out of me. Will we all be at the mercy of an ever-expanding black hole that swallows all on Earth and some distance beyond in a matter of a days, all in the name of scientific curiosity? Maybe, and I have a life to live! I have a legacy to keep! I've never tried English chocolate! But, most importantly, I've got video games to play!
Persona 4: Golden
As much as I may praise my adoration for the Shin Megami Tensei franchise of games (and you'll see a lot throughout this blog), I have yet to finish any but SMTIV. Just about every single one is a very long experience and I haven't been doing well with sticking with games that aren't even a third their length(s). I've never had a patient bone in my slightly chunky body, but, lately, I've been trying to change that.
A short while ago, I asked myself "It's never not awkward when I talk to myself, but don't you think you should at least try to finish a few of these considering how much you've enjoyed them thus far?". "Sure, me.", I said back. "That makes a lot of sense.".
When I first played Golden, my first time with any SMT game, I was in love with everything about it. I had not been so obsessed over a video game probably since GTA: San Andreas. The colors, the story and characters, the gameplay, the soundtrack... oh god, the soundtrack.
That I only managed to clock in 18-20 hours when I've easily made it almost 60 for both SMTIV and Persona 3: FES is very peculiar. But, when I return, I'll finally be able to talk at length about it with fellow fans. Something I've wanted to do for so long. That I've mananged to somehow avoid spoilers despite my many Google searches and being apart of the largest SMT fan group on Facebook is also surprising.
Final Fantasy IX
This is one I'm actually playing right now! So far, it's splendid. One of those "motherfuckin' adventure" games. Every setting thus far has captivated me in some way, the characters are (despite some occasionally dull writing) lovable, it rewards exploration, and the soundtrack is excellent.
I should've featured this one in my previous music blog.
There's a loooooot of story, though. Normally, I wouldn't sit through so much text unless it were especially awesome, but the world and what joy there is to be had with the characters are pulling me along just fine so far. Just hit the hidden city of Cleyra, so I probably still have a very long journey ahead of me.
The reliance on potions and Pheonix Downs is also a little questionable. But, generally, I'm really enjoying it. Heck, I may just finish it to see how Vivi's character turns out. The little guy definitely needs some love.
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey
As I mentioned within the parenthesis above, there's going to be a lot of SMT stuff here.
More than Nocturne or even FES or Golden, I'm excited to start up and (hopefully) finish Strange Journey. Several times, I've had it mentioned by reputable folks as the SMTIV before SMTIV. That it could've very well been a numbered sequel considering it's size, scale, and quality. Since becoming aware of it, it's always seemed the most tantalizing of the PS2/DS era, though I've laxed on it in favor of the more widely-appreciated titles.
I'm absolutely giddy in anticipation for it's boss fights (is it any wonder why the franchise houses many of my most favorite enemy designs?), the soundtrack, the dreadful atmosphere, all of it!
I have almost no idea what to expect from Killer7, which isn't common for me. Whenever there's a game I want, typically, I at least have a rough idea of how it's going to play. With Killer7, it's totally up in the air. I bought it "because it's Suda", who hasn't always provided me with awesome experiences but, rather, memorable ones. Had I finished the original No More Heroes instead of venturing forth with (the vastly superior) No More Heroes 2, I probably would be looking back on it fondly despite it's wonkyness.
I think it's a... shooter? I've also heard it's on-rails? But, to what extent? How thrilling!
And what's up with that art and the crazy characters? Suda. That's what's up with them.
Alien: Isolation (Nightmare Mode)
While I may have beaten and greatly enjoyed Alien: Isolation once already on Hard, it's semi-recent (and free) "Nightmare" update has me interested in giving it a second playthrough way sooner than I had intended.
The supplies density on Hard, while scarce, still wasn't as scarce as I would have liked. Flamethrower fuel was in a surprising abundance and, at times, I was (given my status) wasting supplies for grenades and health packs just to be able to pick up more of those same supplies. There's only so much that can be done to keep the xeno at bay and repeat strategies, often times, don't work within a single section, but all that extra shit I had packin' definitely softened some of the welcomed tension.
Would be nice if the more supplies you had, the slower you became.
Speaking of the xeno, it's even more creepy stalky on Nightmare. Brokenly so? I wouldn't put it past the developers to do as such as it was already about as hard as I'd imagine it could be, but we'll have to see. Perhaps it's heightened senses will make the backtracking and walking sections a little more exciting.
I say "contender", but there's no chance that I won't at least enjoy Persona 5 on some level. Worst case scenario, it has an excellent soundtrack (if the music from the latest trailer is any indication), it's tried something new for once since Persona 3, and the main protagonist shall prove to be great doujin fodder.
Best case scenario? It's the most brilliant JRPG ever.
I love that it's still turn-based. That was probably my biggest worry considering the rise of action RPG gameplay. You'd think developers had suddenly decided that turn-based combat was inherently flawed or something. As much as I wouldn't have blamed ATLUS for pulling such a stunt, I'm very glad they didn't. To add to that, while the characters do feel formulaic (docile protag, dudebro partner, angsty female, animal companion), their "Dark Hour" alter egos might lift them up from average to some of the franchise's best.
And the new visual style and more dynamic presentation? There's so much greatness to digest from it and it might not even come out this year! But, oh, please do. Be my guest.
Another one that may not release this year, but I hope it does. Actually, I'm paranoid it won't even release at all despite it's recent coverage. It just... feels like one of those games. It's already gone through a reworking since it's origins as a PS3 PS Move title, so who knows what the future holds.
As is, though, I'm hoping for this to be the Heavy Rain that we all thought we'd get. Ya know, with actors who spoke with natural accents, a story that wasn't filled with plotholes, and from the minds of folks that aren't obnoxious in their self-importance. It's similarity to Quantic Dream's Indigo Prophecy and Heavy Rain is uncanny, right down to the 3D exploration, QTE's, and it's focus on pure graphical prowess and storytelling.
Contrary to popular opinion around some circles of the gaming community, I don't mind a game like this every now and then and I hope Until Dawn does it right.
Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition
When this was announced alongside DmC: Devil May Cry's Definitive Edition, I was pleasantly surprised, casually interested, and very happy for those much bigger fans of the franchise than I. After it's latest trailer, though, I'm incredibly psyched to play it.
Between you and me, I think Devil May Cry only got good once DMC3 released. 1's "soft" lock was 100x more egregious than DmC's and it's fixed camera angles did not lend well to the fast-paced action gameplay. 2 fixed some of that, but was outstandingly dull otherwise. 3? 3 was fucking awesome. There's no argument to be had there. It's awesome. And DmC I quite liked. But, I have zero opinions of 4.
5 playable characters is what's getting my attention, nevermind the great-looking combat. That's some insane variety/replayability! The more tasteful characterization, coming off of some recent time with DmC, helps a bunch as well.
Persona 4: Dancing All Night!
If you told fans of Shin Megami Tensei around the time Persona 3 was achieving it's success that we'd eventually come around to playing a rhythm game based around it's music with franchise characters dancing around like J-pop idols, they'd probably slap you across the noggin, think about it for a second, and then throw you money because that's an amazing idea.
While I'm more of a fan of Persona 3's darker and more mellow soundtrack, Persona 4's is definitely excellent in it's own right and more suitable for a poppy rhythm game. These are some of the only sorts of games I'm especially good at and I could see myself pouring many hours into it. Changing outfits, perfecting my scores, ogling at the overbearing adorableness, etc.
The official soundtrack remixes, too. I am going to absolutely salivate over them.
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
Uncharted 1 and 2 are easily amongst my favorite games of the last generation, with Uncharted 3 still nestled somewhere snug within "games I would play again". They continuously have made me feel like the badass treasure hunter I needed to be in order to find myself out of all of these wonderful and spectacular scenarios set across the globe, in places I wish I could be in right this moment.
I've also always gotten a real kick out of the characterization of Drake and Sully, in particular. Bosum buddies, teacher and pupil, always providing great banter. Excellent performances all-around as well and I'm deeply interested in seeing how they evolve both the characters and performances after the insane levels of success The Last Of Us has garnered.
In both gameplay and story, they've supposedly taken cues from their previous efforts in order to push what it means to be an Uncharted game. No doubt the most ambitious entry to come and, like it or not, it's going to be something special.
Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
Say what you will about Gearbox, but they have got it nailed down to a science with Borderlands at this point. A science I can most assuredly get behind.
I loved the original Borderlands, but since Borderlands 2, it hasn't been easy to go back. It's objectively better in so many respects and I found myself pouring well over 100 hours into it over the course of just one short month and that's with going to college 3-4 days a week. After then, I accumulated another 50+ in just the DLC. And I beat the campaign three times.
Being able to now conveniently play it and The Pre-Sequel on my nice television and in 1080p/60fps is going to be pure heaven. I'm not sure if I'd ever stop.
While all you raspcallions are busy playing Bloodborne, probably even idling it next to you as you read this, I've told myself that it's something I could probably hold off on for another couple months or so. It really does pain me, but I've been trying my best to prioritize my gaming habits and my backlog + Borderlands are just slightly above Bloodborne's excellency.
Guess if I had been able to finish a single Souls game, I'd be that much more excited to play it RIGHT NOW, but, as it stands, I simply respect the franchise a great deal.
It's game design is brilliant, it's art is fantastic, and it's approach to storytelling is refreshing, but my frustration with the difficulty (which is all on me) has always resulted in me putting it down in favor of something more my level. I love a good challenge, but I usually save that for repeat playthroughs. The Last Of Us? Soared majestically through that on Grounded. Call of Duty 4? It was tough, but I did eventually concur Veteran. The Souls games? They're Very Hard/Dante Must Die/Impossible/Fuck You Fuck You Fuck You by default.
Bloodborne, though, I could see myself finishing with it's focus on more offensive tactics. I've heard some claim it's more challenging, some say it's less so, but, either way, perhaps the switch up in gameplay will push me forward to it's end. I really hope so.
Resident Evil: Revelations 2
I actually played through the first episode of Revelations 2 when it released, to give myself an idea of whether the full retail package was going to be worth it. For 5 bucks, I got what was the best Resident Evil experience I had gotten since RE4, as well as a pretty fun and extensive Raid Mode.
It faithfully brought back the tension and darkness of the older RE's while retaining a more RE4-focused approach to combat design which RE5, RE6, and even occasionally the original Revelations seemed to carelessly butcher with little worthwhile upsides. Though, what I found in Revelations 2's first episode was exactly what I had been looking for the franchise to return to for so long: controls and enemy encounters that worked solidly in tangent and supply scarcity that forced me to act while on the edge of my seat.
This return to form, I hope is carried on throughout it's entire 6 episode campaign. If it can do that, perhaps there's hope for this franchise yet.
There are so many swell looking indie games releasing these days, that it's impossible to keep track of them all. If it weren't for PS+, I'd be completely skipping out on quite a few that I'd likely really enjoy.
While Grow Home doesn't seem to be blowing minds on any level, it looks to lovingly bring back that mascot adventure charm of so many 90's titles that some now attempt to tackle with very mixed results. Thankfully, though, it has received generally very positive feedback and our former chungus-in-chief Jim Sterling's YouTube looksee of it convinced me I needed it in my life as well.
Cute, funny, bright, innocently fun. Something to break up how I will be spending most of my video game playing this year.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D
Whenever Zelda has failed to impress me, I always try to give it a second chance because I adore the franchise's concepts and lore so much. If I could imagine the perfect video game, it'd probably be a lot like a Zelda game. Sprawling overworlds and perilous dungeons, a huge arsenal of exciting tools and weapons, expressive characters, vibrant motifs, charming music, I could go on.
At it's best, I can think of no better way to be spending an afternoon. Thing is, it's so rarely been at it's best for me. Minus Twilight Princess and Wind Waker, my impressions have been all over the place and that goes especially for Majora's Mask. I've gone at length about why I couldn't enjoy it, but, basically, it was a nasty combination of dull and confusing. Lots of running around, waiting, running around... more running...
I don't think I fought a single enemy during my time with it nor was I captivated with it's characters outside that brief moment with The Happy Mask Salesman. It's visuals haven't aged too well either.
This all brings me 'round to the recent 3DS update. It looks wonderful, some of it's encounters have been altered, and it's progression has been updated to feel much less vague or arbitrary. I already know I love Majora's Mask's art and mechanics, it's just how it was all put together in the original release that turned me off from continuing too far past it's beginning sections.
I wouldn't be surprised to find Majora's Mask as suddenly my new favorite Zelda game. At the same time, more than any other game on this list, I'm concerned about how I will take it. It's times like these that remind me that, as a critic, going into a game can be very exciting in so many ways beyond what can be gathered from it's surface level merit. I have a point of reference, a game I could very possibly love or still hate...
Please. Please be awesome.
So, how have y'all been enjoying 2015 in gaming so far? What are some games you're looking forward to?
Man. It's getting harder and harder to fit in these titles.
Drop the bass!
Welcome to a third edition of this series of blogs, which have consistently remained some of my most-loved works. I'm glad somebody around this foul meat closet called Destructoid is able to successfully school you chumps in bloody awesome video game music! Life simply does not exist without the sounds that it makes. Unless you're deaf.
For this iteration, I tried to be as varied and far-reaching as I possibly could be while not going overboard and without doing extensive research on the many MANY games I have yet to play. As a result, I feel this has been my best music blog yet and I haven't even begun to write the captions! I won't put a dollar amount on the chance as I do not wish to sink into a crippling gambling addiction, but I predict you will also love it.
If only because I promise to send you cookies if you do.
Armed and Dangerous - Bagpipe Theme
Probably half the reason this is on here is because I feel dreadfully sorry for Armed and Dangerous. It wasn't a game that I loved, I haven't even played it since the early 00's, but I did really like it. Though, not many have even so much as played the thing as evidenced by it's lack of relevance in my many Interwebz searches.
It's soundtrack has almost no pressence on YouTube, making it even hard to feature here. But, of the three songs I could find, this one's my favorite. In the context of the game's lackluster legacy, it's like an uplifting though somber eulogy. Slow and echoing percussion, bagpipes ringing out, flutes and bells providing the backup, it's all very pretty and... so sad. These are the feelings that I feel when I think about Armed and Dangerous. It's like I am the only one who still utters that name and even I don't have an Xbox that will play the copy that I still own after all these years.
May the world be forgiven for giving you so little in return for your unique, Monty Python-esque take on the third-person shooter genre. You had all the makings of a cult classic, but I suppose only so many can be salvaged from falling into a deep obscurity. RIP, you poor, poor bastard.
Super Smash Bros 3DS/Wii U - "Airman Stage"
You can tell just from the soundtrack that whoever is involved with these games must really care about what they're doing. Fanservice doesn't get much better than Super Smash Bros.
I have no trouble just using the 3DS version of the latest iteration as a Nintendo music compilation CD of sorts. Heck, it was even intended to work as such (granted, amidst it's many other features). Just go to the music player, accumulate a few favorites if you want, flip a switch or two, go into Sleep Mode, enjoy. It's so wonderful. Adding to it is that most, if not all, the tracks are faithfully recreated using modern tech and instruments while still being given a fresh spin.
I can no longer go back to many of the original recordings without feeling just a tad underwhelmed now. Just listen to that righteous guitar and mighty synth on Airman Stage! It's a goshdanged masterpiece. One of those songs that is just as good on it's second loop as it was on it's first.
Nintendo has been really knocking it out of the park with their music lately. Between Smash Bros, Super Mario 3D World, and Mario Kart 8, my anticipation for what they have in store next is higher than mine for how the next Persona soundtrack ends up and that means a lot coming from me.
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories - "Hell Frozen Rain"
A franchise laden with more ambience and noise than conventional music, Silent Hill does boast it's share of vocal tracks as well. Probably most famously is Silent Hill 4's Room Of Angel, a brilliant song that I.. am not featuring. Too easy! Instead, here's something from an even more underrated Silent Hill game: Shattered Memories.
Same composer, same vocalist, entirely different sound. One of those songs I'd describe as "drifting". Everything plays so firmly entwined with one another, there's hardly ever a break, and the beat is both steady and easy. It doesn't change much, but it's varied enough and solid as hell nonetheless. Something that I could relax to while still taking note of some standout elements throughout.
From what I've heard from her, I also really enjoy the vocalist. A lovely, soulful voice that does a lot to make the songs she's featured in more than they are.
No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle - "N.M.H. Outer Rim Remix"
Originally, I had chosen to use the music from the Man the Meat mini-game. It was the one I was most familiar with and I love both the mini-game and manning meat, but it felt just a tad silly singling out that one considering the dozens of other more interesting tracks that likely don't get quite as much attention.
Some artists manage it flawlessly and with little trouble, but let's not understate the talent required to successfully blend multiple genres within a single song (let alone across multiple songs). In what reminds me of something heard from the band Phish, not only do we have elements of blues and psychedelic rock, but heavy metal as well. The technicality on display is confident and impressive, yet often subtle. Crazy solos and chuggy note rhythms seemlessly bleed from light chords and saxes, making this a deliciously well-rounded track.
GTAIII - "See Through You"
Near the cusp of a new millenium, GTAIII made a canonball splash and changed literally everything about everything. Black became white, planes drove and cars flew, your grandparents retroactively did not exist, and video games finally became fun!
Now they all suck again and I eat myself to sleep in a dark room, playing old vinyls of Otis Redding.
In GTAIII, like every other GTA, were these really nice radio stations that spanned from electronica to pop to reggae and also some people that talked a lot (Fernando was my favorite). But, unlike most GTA's, a lot of GTAIII's radio music was actually completely original. Including "See Through You" by phony band Frankie Fame. They certainly had me fooled! Almost this entire time, I thought this "Frankie Fame" was a real band that faded into obscurity, somehow, shortly after being featured in one of the most popular video games of all time.
That's how legit this sounds. A standout and catchy guitar riff, the bubbly yet sexy vocals, the bass, the overall production value, every little touch suits 90's alternative rock perfectly. Nothing about it screams satirical or fake, it sounds astoundingly genuine. I mean, 2000/2001 wasn't too far off from the 90's so I suppose that made it easier to get into that zone, but it's still impressive that something which could've easily been a classic for it's time was simply made to fill slots within some fake radio station.
Destiny - "Cabal Stomp"
Oh, boy. Destiny is in your 'toid feed again and we're gonna talk about it!
You wanna talk about why it was so tremendously disappointing? I bet you do, but no. You wanna talk about Destructoid's unending coverage of a game literally nobody cares about? I bet you fucking do, but it's not that either. Instead, can we just talk about something happy for once in regards to Destiny? Like, let's at least admit the game has one hell of a soundtrack.
No particular track stands out, for me, on said soundtrack quite like Cabal Stomp. The slow, heavy, menacing rhythm capsulizing the Cabal's intimidating visage, it served as a perfect companion piece to the gameplay during that first fight on Mars.
It takes a lot for me to play in awe of the synergy of combat, music, challenge, visuals, everything. Everything was aligned perfectly during this moment and it's one of the many reasons I actually look back on Destiny's campaign with fondness, some formulaic elements and terribly lacking story aside.
VVVVVV - "Presenting VVVVVV"
Whenever I have to say "VVVVVV" in real-life conversation, I clinch my cheeks just a bit. Sometimes, I end up saying something like "VVVv-.. vfvvffFUCK..." because I'm not only having to repeat "V" quickly in succession, but I'm simultaneously having to keep track of how many V's I'm blurting out.
Frustrating. Am I the only one? Or do I need some speech classes?
No. You're weird.
Anyway. Writing at such a slow tempo and with such simplistic instrumentation, it's easy for a track like this to end up sounding boring. Thankfully, through to it's very end, new elements, lines, and melodies are introduced to keep things interesting and those "V" whispers make for some... stimulating percussion. Soft stimulation, though. I don't have a boner or anything. But, now that I've thought about having a boner, I have one.
Dammit. Where's the ice water?
Final Fantasy IX - "Ice Cavern"
Maybe we can find some here!
Casual Status Confirmed: Of the many FF's out there, I have only played the numbered sequels since first playing X around when that came out. And I haven't finished a single one. Want to, but haven't.
That I just barely missed Final Fantasy IX is tragic. I can't tell you how many times I've read or have been directly told that it was easily the best of the bunch. I have it on my Vita to play soon enough as I've been trying to delve into my backlog of JRPG's lately, but, until then, I wanted to at least give it's soundtrack some credit. I just knew I'd find some really awesome stuff within it's whopping 4+ hours of music. I've always held Final Fantasy in high regards when it came to it's soundtracks and art direction, even when the games themselves were piss poor.
Going through it's soundtrack, I was pretty consistently impressed, but it was so hard to nail down a favorite. While that is a sign of a great soundtrack, naturally, I couldn't pick all of them. So, I finally decided to go with one that seemed to stand out from the rest. The most interesting one. That one is Ice Cavern.
Within seconds, the marimba began tingling the pleasure sector of my brain. Then jutting chords happen for some reason and there's now a flute. Then back to the marimba. Triangle solos? This is too good. Now we have cymbals that come in for a few measures, to just suddenly stop. I was smiling almost the entire way through.
Thinking about it, the marimba is such an underrated instrument. Much like a piano, amazing things can be done with it given the right talent and lots of sticks with big balls on the end of them. A quick search of "marimba" on YouTube will bring up some awesome results. Beautiful, beautiful stuff. Of course, Ice Cavern isn't quite beautiful. It's just really interesting.
Syndicate - "Syndicate (Skrillex)"
EA's Syndicate reboot and dubstep, all in one post?!
As far as I'm concerned, there can exist good dubstep. As long as the track doesn't rely too heavily on predictable patterns and goes easy enough on the warped drops and simply uses them to mix up the composition here or there, I think the genre has it's merits. Some artists can do some really neat, catchy things with sampling.
Don't get me wrong. There's a lot of crappy dubstep (or "brostep", as some may refer to this stuff as not real "dubstep") that people somehow find totally awesome which makes me feel like an old guy telling this generation of teens and young adults to get off his proverbial lawn, but I do find some of it worthwhile. In fact, I think Skrillex's Bangarang EP is, for the most part, pretty damn awesome and his rendition of this track from Syndicate is all-around nice as well. Those bass rides in-between the wubs in that first chorus... you know like 'em.
Well, maybe you don't. So, if you're not into this sort of thing, check out the other remixes and see about those. They're much more in line with conventional electronica and are just as good.
Dragon Age: Inquisition - "I Am The One"
For a while, I was so obsessed with this song that I attempted to tab it out myself and cover it. That is something I don't even normally have the patience for with songs that most beginners could figure out within minutes. But, I loved the song so much and I wanted to feel every one of those beautiful notes and chords ring through the callouses on my fingers as I quietly butchered it with my terrible singing voice.
Origins has it's own version of this wonderful song and it's definitely great in it's own right, but acoustics (and clear English) speak to me so much more. The soft guitar harmonizing with the vocals every step of the way is precious and the reverb implies the performer's (as a character) importance in not just the present but future. Forgotten tales brought to us through the words and music of a bard which bring hope, inspire others to take up the responsibility of protecting their family and home, spread messages, or provide harmless entertainment.
This track encompasses that classic role with style and grace, as well as concision.
Killer7 - "(｀曲´)"
Apparently, "(｀曲´)" means "song" or "tune" in Japanese. Well, heh, it ain't wrong. That is exactly what we got here. Probably the least offensive track name of all time. It also looks like an angry man with his hands clawed to hs sides.
A couple or so months ago, I had been exposed to Shadows of the Damned. Missteps aside, that was such a fun game that I needed to complete my Suda collection which had, before then, consisted of just Lollipop Chainsaw and Black Knight Sword. I bought not only both NMH's, but Killer Is Dead and Killer7. I had to actually hunt down both NMH's between a couple GameStops and Killer7 took me to my local antique gaming shop. That, in hindsight, meager work paid off and they are now all mine!
I still have not played Killer7, but I absolutely cannot wait. Until then, I'm gonna keep bouncing between several choice songs off it's soundtrack. Mostly this one and "Russian Roulette". I'm always tickled to hear any use of a theremin (one of the music world's most unconventional, yet super neat, music devices) and "(｀曲´)" uses one for it's entire fronting melody! Such a unique sound. Satisfyingly gloomy, with some backing ambience, rounded out with a simple, slow drum beat. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.
Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus - "Main Theme (8-bit)"
Tell me that isn't one of the most intense, awesome bit tracks you've ever heard.
Not only did Into the Nexus succeed as a proper return to form after several ho-hum experiments, but it graced you with this amazing piece upon completing it. You wanna talk about ending on a high note, this had me at the edge of my chair and clamoring for a YT rip. I even had to put a request out to someone who had already ripped the original theme. I needed it. Thankfully, they obliged and I was able to quickly enjoy this through the convenience of my personal computer.
This song is concerned with one thing only: pumping you the fuck up! Even the breakdown is poppy as hell and loaded with crazy vibrato. Those wacked out scales and sweeps, the tension-building lick rides, it's all so overwhelming and I love it.
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth - "Light the Fire Up in the Night (P3)"
You know I had to include a Persona track. I will keep including them until everyone here loves what I loves! I even almost included a track from Catherine just to show off even more of that based Meguro, but it barely missed the cut.
In my almost 20 hours with Shadow of the Labyrinth, this song has not gotten old. Not in the slightest. It's literally the only battle theme you hear outside the POE's or boss fights (at least so far), yet I'm always excited to hear it. I swear I'm not just a raving Meguro fanboy, I just happen to think his battle themes lend so well to the action!
Ah! Nevermind. I have to fangasm just a tad. Lotus Juice is such an excellent rapper. That subtle drum fill harmonizing his ".. next corner posin' for reporters." line gets me everytime. Also, "I keep it dazzle!" is just *muah* beautiful! *muah* *muah* Perfect! I assure you nothing was lost in translation there. Not one bit!
What a high-energy track. May very well be my favorite Persona battle theme.
Dark Souls - "Seath the Scaleless"
I wish I could play with you, Dark Souls. But, I really can't. I just can't. I can appreciate your splendid game design, your storytelling, and music, but I refuse to put myself through another death. You have taken my confidence, had it for a snack, and told me to "Fuck off, boy!" one too many times. So much abuse from a single video game.
And here's where all the jerks start clamoring that it's not that hard.
Naturally, I never made it to Seath the Scaleless. Whoever he is. Apparently, he's a dragon. That sounds nice. His music is pretty frightening, though. Like a real dragon would be.
Souls' soundtracks seem to have this reoccurring theme of really intimidating chorus liners. I thought the intro track to Demon's Souls sounded so odd, but somehow alluring. I don't know how they write that stuff, but they do it well. Seath the Scaleless' track is just as strangely quality. Borderline wankery, but there's still this cohesiveness that keeps it from feeling nothing but strange. There's a lot going on with it, but that only serves to make it more varied and interesting.
Guacamelee - "Forest Del Chivo (Living)"
Guacamelee's soundtrack definitely has it's own thing going. I think mixing Spanish instrumentation with electronica elements sounds so goddamned cool. I could listen to it all day, but the more I do, the more I wanna stop writing this blog and just play the game (I was so close to finishing it on my first few sessions)! If I wanna keep nursing through this damned backlog the way I need to be doing or even finish this here thing up, though, discipline is in order.
But, man. I really do wanna be playing it right now. One of the gaming market's most treasured titles of this past generation, and for good reason. It is an excellent Metroidvania with gorgeous visuals, lots of luchador spice, as well as a surprising amount of video game and le funneh meme references.
Nintendo 3DS System - "Mii Maker"
I'm not sure why I never thought of including a track from either the actual 3DS or Vita systems before now because I've always been surpremely impressed with how much effort they put into music that had no right to be as good as it was.
Before the Wii Shop Channel, I never thought it'd be possible to find such quality music hidden within a video game platform's settings or it's home screen or anything like that. No. For me, back in the day, it was either nothing, ambience, or just some cute jingles here or there. Now? We have set bars that I never knew needed setting, but here we are.
Makes me wanna customize stupid, ugly Mii's all day long. So pleasant sounding. That it's not only uplifting and, well, there at all, but technically impressive is really something else. I can never stare at a quiet console screen the same way anymore. Either I have to willingly turn off the music or I'm wondering where the heck the music is.
Omikron: The Nomad Soul - "New Angels of Promise"
Alright! I finally get to talk about this one.
If you aren't interested in playing this game after watching that video, sci-fi must not be your thing. Imagine The Fifth Element, but with a stupid plot and as a video game. That's sort of redundant, but that should give you a rough idea of Omikron. Really, the entire game is stupid. But, it's so gloriously stupid. From what I've played, I've had more fun with it than most games I've beaten in the past couple years. Just strolling about the open city is a blast.
If you weren't already aware, this was actually David Cage's first foray into video games. All the way from 1999. And, believe it or not, it's a video game! In fact, maybe too much video game. 3D exploration sections, 2D fighting sections, and first-person shooting somehow all mix, conexist, and make... this. Omikron, ladies and gentlemen.
Oh yeah. You can also watch David Bowie concerts. In the game. Like, honest-to-goodness David Bowie. He did some music for the game, including this theme track which I can't get enough of. The percussion is so damn good, Bowie's vocals are so infectious, the way the guitar and bass mesh during that verse hook warms my heart, etc. I have zero complaints.
Bowie actually rerecorded the song for his Hours album, which I can't say I prefer. Generally, it sounds a bit too cleaned up from the original cut and a lot of the awesome percussion has been downgraded. But, I could still take either one and be happy.
Jumping Flash! - "World 4-3"
This is another one of the games on this list I've yet to play, but someone had suggested I look it up when I was asking around for some swell video game music from the 80's-90's (I mostly stick to the easy pickins of that era like anything Rare or Nintendo).
I love how in literally every note of that melody, what sounds like a queefy little laser blast can be heard. It's cute, yet everything else about the track sounds so powerful. It's a nice contrast which keeps me replaying it over and over.
DmC: Devil May Cry - "Never Surrender"
Fuck. Here comes yet another can of worms I probably don't want being opened.
I'm ready to admit the original release of DmC had a lot of underwhelming elements when it came to it's mechanics, but it was still a very fun spectacle fighter and with amazing level design throughout most of the experience. Seriously. It's difficult to think back to the last time when a developer, making a game like DmC, had put this much care into just how you moved about the world and how lovely it all looked.
The soundtrack may also not be everyone's cup of tea, but I personally enjoyed that as well. "Never Surrender" being the first track you hear just before the gameplay begins, it was very effective at hyping me up to finally start some demon-killing. I'm not too sure about those depressive lyrics, but that pulsing bass is heavy as fuck. I could replay just that first part again and again, reminiscing the sync with that gnarly little scene where New Dante is flying through his trailer butt-naked trying to dress himself. That was great.
I'd love a good pounding from New Dante. Oomph.
Parappa the Rapper - "Instructor Mooselini's Car Rap"
Alright, let's be real here: this song sucks. A lot. Sucks like a vaccuum in the heart of a tornado.
The repetition alone...
... DRIVES me insane!
Ahahahahaha. But, really. This song sucks. But, I do love it. Somehow. It's bumpin', unbearably catchy, and the video above helps a great deal. Actually, if it weren't for Parappa's charming visuals, I probably wouldn't have included this.
Then again... I can't help but dance and sing along. Help me.
Super Crate Box - "Construction Yard"
If you own a Vita and don't own Super Crate Box, you are missing out on some of the most fun you can possibly get out of that little port machine. It's like the original Mario Bros arcade game, but with guns! Which is like Woah Dave, but without the hot potato mechanics.
Conveniently, the pause music is featured towards the end of the cut of "Construction Yard" provided by the artist's Bandcamp and I originally was going to feature that! I couldn't find it separately on YouTube or Bandcamp, so we're now here with something maybe even better. Two for the slot of one! It's like the Battletoads pause music, but boopier.
The higher-pitched notes harmonizing with the "bwaaaoooooh" effect of the chords makes for one quirky sound. Almost sort of gives the track a laid back sense of humor, which the game itself certainly does have. The octive bass rides also sound swell along to it all.
Hyrule Warriors - "Psychostorm"
Jesus, what an amazingly fun game. Nevermind Smash Bros, Nintendo in general know how to provide some real top-tier fanservice. I'd like to assume my fondness for Minda hasn't clouded my judgment, but take that for what you will. I think Hyrule Warriors is one of the best games of 2014.
As amazing as some of the soundtrack's remixes are, I don't think that's giving enough credit to the many completely original scores that are almost as (if not as) good. "Psychostorm", not only sporting an awesome name, in particular, brings about images of charging headstrong into a large, epic battle. That is totally Dynasty Warriors/Hyrule Warriors. In fact, that's all they are.
Heavy church organs, heavy bass, heavy percussion, heavy all-around. Much like my cat who's probably nearing a hearty 20 pounds, if not already passed. I do not know how she is still alive.
Metal Arms: Glitch in the System - "Clean Up/Unwelcome Home"
Another one of those games I really wish I were playing right now, listening to the soundtrack. Gah! Must control myself. I'm almost done!
Everything about this track, minus the percussion, suitably, sounds like it's being sampled from some sort of machine. Malfunctioning engies, radars, distorted fax machines... at least that's how my mind imagines this song playing out. I sometimes have fun that way, thinking up music videos for certain songs.
Also, it goes without saying, but this was totally the Podtoid theme for a good while. That simultaneously makes it much worse and much better.
Rayman Legends - "Mariachi Madness"
Everyone always seems to focus on the rhythm stages of Legends, all the while the rest of the soundtrack should be winning awards left and right. But, there is something special about said rhythm stages and their music. They stick out from the rest of the game, so we can't help but talk about them. At least it's not Castle Rock for the upteenth time, eh?
I've never been amibitious enough to tackle a genre-switch with any of my own covers I attempt. It's really hard to nail, let alone flawlessly. You have to have inside and out knowledge of not only the genre of the original, but the genre it's being switched up into. Yet, Rayman Legends does exactly that. Masterful and, honestly, can bring a tear to my eye. It's that good. I can't think of anything I would add to it, they thought of everything. This could be my favorite track off this entire list.
There's nothing much quite as wholesome as a good mariachi band. Perhaps barbershop quartets (hey, also a genre-switch cover!). Or bacon buffets.
Gauntlet III: The Final Quest (Amiga) - (mostly) EVERYTHING!
For the coup de grace, I've decided to do something a little different. I want you to listen to every one of these five tracks because they desperately require your ears!
Considering it's age, this soundtrack is bloody stupendous. Mindblowing, even. When I was frantically trying to search up soundtracks to include from this era, I never thought I'd be finding anything like this. It's technically marvelous, atmospheric, impressively varied, so many great things. This honestly could be reworked today, right down to every last detail and with zero changes, and still work perfectly. Possibly fitted to an Etrian Odyssey or non-Persona SMT soundtrack.
I could go on about each individual track, but that would take up way too much space. The whole thing is just awesome. I had no idea of it's existence until mere days ago and now it's one of my favorites. I only wish we could be graced with the entire ripped soundtrack as well as a proper loop of that last song.
As always, let me see some of your favorite video game tracks!
A short while ago, I was taken by Occams' blog about some of his totally radical statues. I wanted to show off too! ... but what, exactly? While I don't have but perhaps 1 or 2 things amidst all the crap in my room that comes anywhere close to that Occams level of raditude (seriously, dat SH nurse), I thought maybe I could at least do something a little different and detail sheer quantity.
Because I have a lot of crap.
That's my room. Well, the more exciting half of my room. That's where most of my crap calls home and where I have my personal time. Video games, masturbating, masturbating, thinking about life, masturbating, organizing my porn folders, video games, masturbating, etc.
You may be already able to tell (how can you not?), but just from looking at that first shelf you might be thinking how the hell am I going to fit anymore crap in that room of mine? I've already resorted to grouping collectables that don't belong with other collectables (OCD kickin' in) and propping up stuff on the carpet...
I have a line of owls, btw. It's like cocaine, but with less cocaine and more owls.
How many owls do you have? Probably none. I have 12.
I have too much crap.
Getting into amiibos was a bad idea as it forced me to rethink how I had arranged everything in my room. I mean, getting into picking up anything else for display is a bad idea at this point, but, nonetheless, those confounded amiibos were the tipping point.
Adding anything else bigger than a tube of chapstick means moving that there, opening up space for this thing, facing my Finn figure this way so that it now looks like he's staring down Noble Team, stacking my games within a different unit, it goes on. I love finding all sorts of rare/cool gaming/general nerd doodads (especially since discovering a local antique gaming shop), but my poor nerd cave is close to completely full. Building mounted shelves may have to be a thing in the near future. Where will it end?
Also, pardon the stream of dust shooting from Kirby's innocent little lovehole.
With all that said, how about we get on with the show, eh?
Above are a few of my somewhat old gaming mags I like to keep around. Weird I've kept the RE5 one unopened all this time, but it's probably better that way. Not because it holds more value in perfect condition, but fuck RE5. You stay where you are, you naughty boy. Sonic Unleashed, Dragon Age: Origins, Guitar Hero: Metallica... much less awful. So, I'm sorry you all must suffer for RE5's sins.
The Chaos Theory and Fallout 3 ones? I actually bought those second-hand from that antique gaming shop I mentioned several lines ago. Chaos Theory because it's one of my favorite games and Fallout 3 because, well, it's fucking Fallout 3.
I have more, of course. I used to be really into Xbox before recent years.
Speaking of Xbox and being into it and stuff, I was more specifically into Halo back in the day. Second only to all my Nintendo crap, I have a lot of Halo crap. Somewhere in this house is a framed Halo 3 picture (not just a poster, I'm talking a quality print) I got at Blockbuster. Thank you, Blockbuster, but I can't find that picture right now.
Remember the disappointment that came with this near life-sized helmet when we realized we couldn't wear it? I will never forget that pain. Midnight launch of Halo 3, got my Legendary Edtion, opened it up to try it on and be the Mastered Chief, exclaimed "It's no use!" and several people still in line let out an audible groan.
It's okay bros. It's still a quality display.
But, naturally, my favorite piece of Halo crap is the Noble Team statue that came with that awfully expensive Halo: Reach Legendary Edition. But, for $150 (?), you did get your money's worth. It's quite the display and some real awesome detail, but what I love about Reach's biggest bundle is that it's absolutely packed with tons of Halo lore memorabilia. Character notes/journals, security cam stills, a UNSC patch, etc.
Those are the kind of bundles I like. The kind of bundles that seem to have fallen out of style as of late. About 95-99 percent of those 150 bucks went towards physical goodies that the franchise's biggest fans would no doubt get a kick out of. Not golden weapon skins or priority access to online servers (I'm still peeved about that, EA). Same goes for the Dead Rising 2: Zombrex Edition I gots. A pen shaped like a syringe + bandaid, a 40-50 page artbook, a giant Zombrex ad, etc.
Still have the box it all came in (seen under the corner table in the first pic). Haven't opened it since the unboxing and didn't feel like breaking that streak just to show off it's contents, but, trust me, it's a lot.
My combat knife signed by Steve Downes (Master Chief) and Jen Taylor (Cortana) would be my favorite Halo thang if the knife weren't just something I happened to have on-hand when I was asked what I wanted them to sign at last year's Comic-Con.
The other signed crap I have is considerably more appropriate. Also see: awesome.
(Hey! I'm getting pretty good at these segways thus far.)
Here, is a slip of Dragonball Z Season 4 signed by Sean Schemmel. Known for voicing none other than Goku! Sadly, he didn't sign it in person, so not quite that awesome. But, still awesome. On the other hand, I had to purchase the entirity of DBZ on Blu-ray at one of PAX South's vendors in order to get it so it's at least valuable!
They also gave me one of the seasons for free. How nice. Still was outlandishly expensive.
Now, this is what I'm talkin' about! One of my favorite games signed by one of the most prolific and talented voice actors in the biz, Troy Baker.
Oh Troy-senpai <3
Planning on going back to Comic-Con this coming September so I'm hoping to gather up some more cool signed swag.
The only non-gaming crap I absolutely love collecting is Domo-kun crap. He's a popular corporate mascot in Japan or something. I don't know. I just think he's visually endearing. He's also been pretty good with keeping my PS2 safe from my cat.
It's been a while since I've found one (available in the US) I don't yet have. Sad times.
These three Gen 6 Pokemon plushies are all very recent gets. Of any of my collectables, these are probably the sorts I need to worry about the most. Not only are they huge, but they aren't exactly built to stand upright. I don't want any napping on my nice shelves, so I always have to do surgical repositioning of their limbs (lots of screaming is involved on both sides) to make them stand upright.
I may've even unintentionally given Chespin a vagina during his process.
Thankfully, my Mario plushies didn't need much work. They knew their place. Even if Magikoopa seems to be in a constant state of shock.
The last of my Mario plushies, a cute little Shyguy, stands right in the middle of my DS/3DS collection. On the most right is my Puppycat plushie, which is easily my favorite of my many plushies. It has a bell that really bells! It's also very firm, which makes it great for cuddling. It's the perfect plushie and, no, you can't have it.
Hanging in the middle are my PAX South Friday pass, a Miku Hatsune necklace/pendant, and a Companion Cube stocking that a local artist did two Christmases ago for that local gaming antique shop. It really is the place to be. They can hook you up with all sorts of crap.
Some more local treasures are these pixel cut-outs I got at Comic-Con. Leonardo Mega Man was too great to pass up. I could take or leave Joker, but Leonardo needed a combatant. Frustrating that they always seem to be fighting when I'm just trying to pick out a Blu-ray to watch.
Cyndaquil because he's easily a top 10 Pokemon.
Oh, fuck. More crap I managed to fill my crap heap up with thanks to Comic-Con! Mostly still local, sans the Master Chief Collection poster that was also signed by Downes and Taylor. I especially need to get that Link X Ganon one framed and hung.
You may've noticed this handsome Brute Splicer fella definitely looking handsome next to my Reach statue some pics ago. Another recent get and, once again, thanks to my local antique gaming shop. For it's quality, that it was only 20 bucks is a pretty splendid deal!
By now, I probably should mention that the name of said shop is called Game Over Videogames. I think they're only stationed in Texas, but they do have a site you can browse and order from. Love those retro gaming color schemes. They have Virtual Boys, ROB's, Atari's, even Odyssey's! I've been meaning to try and snatch up a Gameboy Micro from them for a while, if possible.
I do have a few things, beside games, that I've kept with me for a long time. Such as this Guitar Hero II Xplorer that is in deseperate need of a clean. If only I could get it properly synced up with the game, I'd be in heaven.
I think I got that Indigo League DVD collection a couple years ago, but my other Pokemon medias (there's more than what's shown) and THAT DERE KIRBEH are old as fuck. You probably won't ever find me trying to watch them again, but I do keep the VHS's around to stare at. Juuuuust in case, we still somehow have one of those DVD/VHS combo players in the other upstairs room.
If I had the patience, I'd try to find my VHS of Donkey Kong Country: The Legend of the Crystal Coconut I know I must still have. What a riot that show was. Seriously, actually watch that. The movie, in particular, had some genuinely great musicals.
Next to my SNES/N64 games and likely a handful of Pokemon cards, these posters are the oldest things in my collection. From all the way back in 2000, I got them at a little place practically hidden away in a dark corner inside one of our malls that, some years later, became the spot where I would buy my chains and saggy clothes because I thought I could pull off dressing "gangster" at one point in high school.
That was a weird phase. I was probably the only person who dressed that way that was also heavily into Smash Mouth. Thankfully, no pictures exist of me from that era. I swear I'm not lying!
It goes without saying that that little patch of good ol' American consumerism changed quite a bit since purchasing those posters. I wonder if it's even still there at all.
Oh yeah. And these. I also have these. 14 year-old Pokemon Bandaids.
MORE LIKE GOTTA PATCH 'EM ALL, AMIRITE?!
There are some games I'm proud to say that I own, like a week-1 copy of Xenoblade Chronicles and that wonderful, little, short-lived piece of RE pisstory that is "Revelaitons".
And, being a huge Shin Megami Tensei fan, I'm also proud to own a Voltron sword of physical copies of these:
And to close up, I give you my ultimate shame:
Tiger Electronics presents... Big the Cat fishing.
I'll see you all in Hell.