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SeymourDuncan17's blog

25 more video game tracks you should devour with your earholes
8:45 AM on 06.22.2014
Seymour liked this year's Big 3 conferences
2:32 PM on 06.11.2014
10 things you will regret reading about Seymour
10:46 AM on 05.06.2014
A quick Animal Crossing-related life hack
10:32 PM on 01.15.2014
Thank You Gen 7: Bioshock 2
7:43 PM on 12.29.2013
Seymour's Fact-Checked 2013 GOTY Awkwards
2:04 AM on 12.25.2013





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Just a guy who loves video games and music. Also artist on the rise!... maybe!



Wanna talk? I'm friendly. Wanna play? Shore. ESPECIALLY ROCK BAND BECAUSE I LOVE ROCKING OUT WITH MY COCK OUT!!!!!!





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For quite some time, I've pondered which waste of time do I prefer: music or video games? Fingers clawing down my face, leaving trails of blood and sickly yellow fingernails. Nasty, nasty marks that will never go away. I can't just relax and enjoy myself, I need answers.

This latest blog probably isn't going to help much. Call it a spontaneous vomit of digital bullplop from a total lack of an understanding of self, because that is exactly what this is. You might get a kick out of it, but I take no pleasure in redoing what I've already fucking done. It's a vent, pure and simple. (Probably) Nothing to be taken from it, hardly anything for me to gain.

Enjoy, if you're an awful person.


"Kakariko Village" - Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds



Kakariko Village has seen it's rounds in the Zelda universe. This very same track can be found in not only A Link to the Past, but Ocarina of Time.

This be the hottest version, though, as far as I'm concerned. Sometimes, when an older track is updated with clearer instruments and more polish, a little bit or even much of it's charm is lost in the process. Not in this case, guy(s). It's still such a beautiful melody, and it's spirit has increased tenfold. Definitely getting a Paper Mario: Sticker Star vibe from it.


"Midboss" - Shin Megami Tensei IV



The most badass/intense collaboration of keys, drums, bass and guitar you will ever hear. That's a guarantee from somebody who knows what they're goddamn talking about. I'm a Dream Theater fan!

Initiating a hard blow on an enemy at any of this track's various crescendos is one hell of a thing to experience. Some of this game's best moments were so easily implanted into my brain.†

It's barely audible, but that guitar gets super wankery around 14 and 51 seconds in. And I love it. Naming a more hype boss theme is pretty complicated. Naming a more hype RPG is even more complicated. I would love to see this game sell twice the amount of copies it did during it's prime. Like most other JRPG's, it has a slow start, but once it gets going it's incredibly hard to put down. Take it from me, the mustachioed strongman with the opinions about video games.


"Space Is Everything" - TxK



Oh bloody hell! YouTube doesn't have this? Well, it will eventually. It consumes all. Except decent Simpsons clips and sometimes more obscure music releases like this.†

Don't worry, though. Here's a Soundcloud link for your face.

The Vita got it's most killer exclusive since Persona 4: Golden with TxK, a re-imagining of Tempest 2000 from the very man responsible. Which should sound awesome to anyone who's played even a few spare minutes of any Tempest iteration. It's one of my favorite retro titles, and TxK does it justice and then some.†

The soundtrack is also pretty nifty. I can't help but murmur along to "Space.. is everything." as I'm staring, wide-eyed, down into my screen like I'm on some sort of transcendent high. I'm not even usually a fan of techno/dance tracks. I haven't been this enraptured with any track of it's kind since my last "Rhythm of the Night" binge. Ah, the 90's.


"Octodad (Nobody Suspects A Thing - Berry Gordy Mix)" - Octodad: Dadliest Catch



No game has given me quite as much pure happiness as Octodad: Dadliest Catch has given me. Even if only 60 to 70 percent of it's very short hour and a half to two hour length truly nails what makes the Octodad concept so great, it's first several levels along with it's several variants of the main theme are just that infectious.†

There's definitely something to appreciate in a main hook sung that low and on point. Especially when it's about an inconspicuous octopus, posing as a human being.. and that nobody suspects a thing (except for the marine biologists, who know a fish when they see one). That's truly baffling.


"Axis Chemical Factory" - Batman NES



I tried so hard to think of some especially great soundtracks from way back when that weren't also Nintendo or Square IP's... or Castlevania (yeah, I was picky). Then I remembered Batman games before Arkham were a thing. I mean, I haven't actually played Batman for the NES, but I wagered it had some sweet music. I was right.†

What would've been a pretty solid track otherwise is made all the better by it's hyperactive percussion and bass. It's impressive how much work composers put into music that would've likely become mere background noise for most players. Hell, that's still the case today, but it's especially interesting given the unconventional means of making music for the Atari/NES/SNES generations.


"Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)" - Stick It To The Man



For those who had viewed my original "25 video game tracks..." blog, you'll know I included a few choice licensed tracks. Not technically "video game tracks", but when they're as good as they sometimes are, it's hard not to feature them.†

In fact, for a long time, this has been a Top 10 track for me. The simple genius of that "what condition my condition was in" hook, the backwards fades on that intro, the sick lickage layered in the background, it's a brilliant song. And how can you not picture this face along to it all? Unless you've never seen The Big Lebowski, in which case... you've lost me.†

The fact that Stick It To The Man has this on repeat on it's start-up menu, with some pretty nice and strangely appropriate 2D on 3D animation going on in the background, has it up for best start-up menu of all time.


"The Crystal Spire" - Darksiders II



The Crystal Spire was around the time Darksiders II was starting to improve from it's lackluster middle sections. But, that was until after that Earth section, which was like Halo: CE's infamous Library level, only without any of the satisfying gunplay.†

Yeah. You shoot things for about 45 minutes to an hour in Darksiders II.†

Senses dulled, you would forgive me for not taking notice of this lovely track until just recently. It combines snappy synth strikes, hearts, piano, backing choruses, and more in a way I've never heard before. It's kind of fucking gorgeous, and I only wish I could clearly express my fondness for excellent orchestrated pieces beyond that. It's rare that they grab my attention like this.†


"Night Desert" - Kirby: Mass Attack



What started out as Bad Nightmare, then changed to Kirby Collecting, ended with a rendition of Air Ride's Sky Sands.†

It's that hard to choose a favorite from Mass Attack. I was about ready to just feature 10 of my favorite game soundtracks, one of them being Mass Attack. I feel sorry for just singling Night Desert out, but I did the best could. Check them ALL out, because you're ambitious like that.†

Whereas Zelda's Kakariko Village sounded so much better with "proper" instrumentation, sometimes it works the other way around with more conventional tracks being compressed into works like Night Desert. All it's best bits stick out more, and there's quite a charm to hearing any sort of vocals in songs like this. Even if the quality is considerably worse.†


"Shadow World" - Persona 4: Golden



Just like with the Mario tracks from last time, I'm featuring not one, not two... but THREE amazing tracks from within the Persona franchise!

Even though I haven't beaten even half of Persona 4 (to be fair, it's easily a 50+ hour experience), it's the JRPG I compare to all others. ATLUS really has an eye, ear and feel for quality. Persona 4: Golden hits it on all fronts, and I've never even once skipped the pre-game intro because of Shadow World. It's friendly, incredibly upbeat nature makes me smile everytime I hear it. My heart, swooned with joy.†

Seriously. DAT HARMONICA. Anybody have one I can use to totally butcher those sick licks?

"Oh? You need a new theme tune for your re-release of Persona 4? After all that work on the original soundtrack? ... Hang on, I got dis." - Shoji Meguro†


"Unbreakable Tie" - Persona 2: Innocent Sin



Don't think I've ever heard such a long post-chorus before a second verse.†

Still, what an excellent mix of several styles of music. The chorus has a power metal thing going on, while the verses are something of a forgotten track off the original Sonic Adventure coupled with... hip-hop vocals (actually, this probably could've been one of Knuckles' tracks)? Sure! It's pretty hard to surprise me with music these days. †

Anyway. Have you SEEN the accompanying animation for this track? It's a fantastic way to waste the next couple minutes. If only the actual game were up to par (though, I probably should give it a second chance).†


"Master of Shadow" - Persona 3



Across both Persona 3 and 4, this is probably my favorite of the battle themes.†

The intro always gets me, but the breakdown is what sells it as a whole. During battle, it's your moment of clarity before the intensity starts back up. I distinctly remember most of my decisions being made during those precious seconds. It's not always beating you in the face, and that's a welcome change of pace from most other boss tracks I've heard.†

It took me long enough to warm up to Persona 3's soundtrack, as someone who first started with Persona 4: Golden. They're almost completely different, yet clearly of the same composer. God, I love this Shoji gentleman.†


"Orphan Wolf Legend" - Asura's Wrath



Of course it hard to start with a pick slide! Cheesy guitar and Old Western whistle melodies. This song absolutely oozes charm. Somebody get me a shot of whiskey and a valiant steed of pure, glossed metal.†

Far be it from me to expect anything less from such a (with all due respect) stupid game, but it was still so different from everything else on the soundtrack that it stuck with me and I had to look it up immediately after hearing it.


"Simian Acres" - Blast Corps



What other Rareware IP does this remind me of? Ack! It's at the tip of my tongue, but... oh, nevermind.†

Speaking of which, why does nobody ever talk about Blast Corps when they talk about Rareware titles that need to make a comeback? I guess we've had our share of destruction-based titles since then, but despite it being one of the best-selling N64 games of all time and one of the highest-ranked games on Metacritic, nobody ever talks about it.†

Listen to the music, and cry along with me.†


"Radio Ga Ga" - Grand Theft Auto V



The second and last of the licensed tracks.†

On the morning Rockstar was to release it's character trailers for GTAV, I was at the edge of my office chair hours in advance. Michael's was easily my favorite, as not only was it a nice surprise to hear more Queen from a GTA soundtrack, but it fit so well against the trailer's many edits. It was an exciting trailer, and I will always remember my first watch.†

Nevermind the song itself. It's a fucking classic, thanks in no small part to Mercury's, as always, spirited, powerful vocals and that infectious as hell bassline.†


"Threes is the Bee's Knees" - Threes



When you set out to create the only song you'll hear throughout the entirety of a game, you don't want it to stick out too much lest you annoy your player during longer sessions. You want it to bleed into the background.†

In that way, this track succeeds. It's smooth and goes well with all that heavy thinking. But, you dig a bit deeper and you realize it's actually a pretty well-layered track. The accordion is a nice touch, those bass chords that pop up a couple times hit me right in my pleasure center, etc. There's a lot to get out of it during it's whopping 7 minutes of playtime.†

Here's a link because YouTube doesn't have everything.†


"Staff Roll" - Super Mario 3D World



Can you imagine another Mario Galaxy with music like this and those brilliant Wii U visuals? HNNNNNNNNNNNNG!†

Jazz has always interested me, but never hooked me in enough to become someone that sought out jazz albums or anything like that. But, mixing in jazz with Mario melodies really brings out the fun and soul of your better modern Mario titles. Jazz is about raw expression and high spirits, which is very Mario. All warm and fuzzy, yet loud and exciting.†

It's something I can't help but snap along to and that wind down towards the end into the climax gets me everytime. It's a beautiful rendition.


"25.3oN 91.7oE" - Risk of Rain



An uplifting track, to say the least. Euphoric, even. Quite odd, given Risk of Rain's extreme difficulty.†

I could listen to it all day. Gets me in a very good mood. Makes me sigh, and then I'm at total peace. The synth and guitar work so incredibly well in tandem. Almost like they're dancing together in a deep blue space, infinite discovery awaiting them. Nothing to hold them back, except the limits of their curiosity. But, with so many wonders of the universe to see, how could they ever stop?

Fucking gorgeous.†




"Sneaking on a Date" - Bully



Bully doesn't play it straight when it comes to video game soundtracks. Contrasting grim melodies with quirky undertones, surf rock elements, or, in the case of Sneaking on a Date, even classic blues. it's probably one of gaming's most interesting.†

Personally, I've always loved 40's/50's/60's blues. The haughty guitar and soulful horn sections make me wish I had the yelping chops to sing along with it. But, it's still fun to falsetto your own stupid lyrics. Probably something about kissing a girl you really don't want to, but you end up falling for her anyway. Oh, no! I'm almost glad my teenage years are far behind me.†


"Main Theme (Reprise)" - Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon



If you want epic melodrama, look no further than this track.†

"Epic" is, really, the best way to describe this one. This rendition of the main theme is at a much slower pace, but it's filled with plenty more subtlety and implied sense of scale with how much more each note rings out into the next. It's a much more interesting track, to me. How it builds up to the original's melody, playing those first couple notes several times to almost bring you up just to keep you on the edge of your seat.†

When it finally hits, it's like sexual release.†


"Lake Side" - Stunt Race FX



What a weird little game Stunt Race FX was.†

It was one of the few SNES titles that featured fully-rendered 3D graphics. It also sported a fairly impressive physics engine (for it's time) that gave each vehicle a satisfying weight when gliding or turning. It also featured cars with eyeballs, not unlike those unnerving Chevron vehicles.†

Really, it was a very primitive game. But, it was ambitious. It tried so hard to be cutting edge, and it succeeded in being a pretty fun game at worst. You can't hear this music or watch the gameplay and not smile. Seriously. I dare you to not smile. †


"The Goddess and the Forest" - Deadly Premonition



It was very very hard to not include Life is Beautiful for obvious reasons. But, I love a good arpeggiated acoustic track, possibly even more than smooth acoustic jazz.†

The vocals here are the standout element for me. The way they follow along to the instrumentation is very gentle and calm. Even with all that power behind each acoustic strike during that first bit, the vocals are just kinda cruising along. Clear as a crisp spring morning.†

For so few songs that play during the entirety of your Deadly Premonition adventure, they at least made each one distinct, memorable, and of very high quality. Lord knows that budget didn't go into graphics or animation, ain't that right Zach?


"The Wretched Automatons" - Nier



Nier is, quite possibly, the most interesting game I have ever played. Combining Zelda with action/RPG combat, switching perspectives, bullet hell, random stat-altering weapon/magic attachment drops in the form of various syllables, and so much more.†

I was glad that people had not been hyping up the soundtrack for nothing. It's fucking great.†

I love this track so goddamn much. The beautiful female vocals, with such an interesting melody, along with that dark talkbox-like effect that never seems to let up and the metal clanks of the percussion? It's captivating, and easily amongst my favorite video game tracks of all time.†


"The Wonderful Star's Walk is Wonderful" - Katamari Damacy



I've always been fascinated with how much an artist can do with a single underlying composition or melody.†

Throughout the entirety of this track, it keeps building on top of that first acoustic bit. Bringing in horns, bubble pops, synth, frantic distortion, various percussion effects, eventually breaking into that quirky fanfare section a couple times, etc. It's an odd, though very awesome track.†

I can never get enough of it. I feel I notice something new about it everytime I listen!


"Balance Slays the Demon" - Alan Wake's American Nightmare



Like The Poet and the Muse before it, Balance Slays the Demon held a significance to American Nightmare's story. Less so, given that no character directly references it's relation to the story, but... well, it's easier for you to just play the game(s) to understand.

Poets of the Fall, the real band behind The Old Gods of Asgard, totally channels Ozzy with this one. Heavy-hitting, cheesy, awesome, and metal as fuck. It blew me away on my first listen, me literally shouting "That was fucking awesome!!!" as I walked Wake's avatar off to more important things like saving the day and stuff.†

Why didn't Wake just bring a Walkman or something? I had to awkwardly shamble over to the radio several times before finally hearing what I wanted to hear. Jeez.†

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




This is the story of a man named Seymour.



He was a member of a community, rallying around a site called Destructoid. His Destructoid username was SeymourDuncan17.

SeymourDuncan17's pastime around Destructoid was conversing in the front page comments, occasionally breaking off into the site's subsections and even sometimes having a go at writing his very own blogs. His latest blog, he thought, would be about video game music! It would be quite the effort, but he figured it was a great excuse to gush his totally viable and sizably-educated opinions.

So, every so often, at his desk, he'd think of songs to include and in what ways he could talk about them. His potential audience was massive, but he knew, deep down, many wouldn't care to actually read whatever he would write, and it, no doubt, would be quickly forgotten by those that did. But, he insisted on continuing, pretending he was important like so many other introverted attention-seekers.

He'd type away, each stroke as dull as the last. But, in a way, Seymour was... happy. He figured things could be worse. Much worse. A day living, and healthy, is a day successful.

But then, one day, Seymour hit a block. He stared into his notebook screen, and not a single word had been typed for his most recent entry. He was perplexed that, even though he very much enjoyed this track, he couldn't quite articulate why. 'Why is it so good?', he'd ask. The words were floating about somewhere in his head, but they were blurry and shambled about in a nonsensical manner.

Dumbfounded, and having not moved a single muscle for several minutes, he finally came to a solution! He would playfully riff off of Stanley Parable's intro scene, where the music for this entry had been featured. Words then flowed like hot steam from a busted pipe, and by the time he was finished, he was satisfied and almost proud of his work. 'It all sort of came together, didn't it?', he said with a half-smile.

Seymour then stood up from his chair, walked out of his room, and took a leak.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


WELL. Months of work, finally put to rest and out there for people to read. I may continue doing blogs like this, but probably not for a long while. It's a hellova lot of words to keep up with, at the least.†

Give me some more music to listen to, and tell me I did a good job you asshole!








As they should've, the Big 3 delivered. We are now officially well into the next-generation of (console) gaming, and the games are beginning to show it.†

We have a very generous handful of new IP's, ambitious projects, and a newfound appreciation for the indie scene. For as much as I love my tried and true franchises like Mario or GTA, innovation is what keeps that momentum going. If it weren't for newcomers like Prey, The Darkness, Gears of War, Rock Band, or Dead Rising, many of my fondest Gen 7 memories simply wouldn't have been and I may have quickly fallen out of love with newer releases.†

This Summer (so soon!), we'll start to see next-gen truly come to life (at least for me). That much, E3 has shown me. Thanks for that, guys!




Jack Black's Dead Island 2: Shamblin' Boogaloo

Easily my favorite trailer of E3 so far. It doesn't blow your mind or make you cry, it's just a fucking good time.†

I wanted to know where the hell it was all going. This definitely had something to do with zombies, according to a quick pre-face. It's so vibrant and alive (not undead "alive")! But, very quickly, something throws you off. But, what makes this stand out is that it's tone doesn't suddenly change like what so many other trailers may've had happen. Well, it does change, but it tries very hard to fool you that it hasn't.†

It could've predictably contrasted a happy beginning with a change into something dark and depressing as the music shifts into something more moody, but it didn't. And it easily could've gone the way of Dead Island's other two reveal trailers where it's just always a bummer.

Instead, it casually follows a random joggin' hunk with a bumpy tune playing up what should be an awful situation. Around him, shit's going down, but it's still so colorful and happy! He doesn't want any of that drama. But, as we saw in the beginning, he's been bitten. This starts to bite him in that tight little arse of his as the song goes into it's post-chorus breakdown, and it's a glorious showing of CG zombification.†

The entire thing is damned glorious.†




Halo: The Master Chief Collection

I love Halo. Or, at least everything before 4 (still liked it, though). As far as I'm concerned, Master Chief's story ended with 3's non-Legendary ending. It was a perfect sign-off, and put John 117's fate up for discussion. Forever drifting across space in hypersleep, or something a little more exciting?†

The less you know, sometimes, the better.†

Rather than trickle out remasters of 2 and then 3, Microsoft just decided to hand you the entire original trilogy, with CE Anniversary, Halo 4, that Halo live-action series dealy, AND the Halo 5 beta. With respective multiplayer systems intact.†

All wrapped up in a trailer featuring a lovely contextualization, leading up to Halo 5's single player. Brilliantly done, Microsoft. You've gotten me to care about your system(s), once again.†




Zelda: Hyrule Warriors

Even though it seemed so obvious, I was worried my favorite Zelda character, Midna, wouldn't make it in. My luck isn't so great, ya know? Every dog I've ever had never lasted me longer than a year, Pokemon aren't real, and too much delicious meat will make you fat.†

Lo and behold, the Twilight Princess is totally playable. Now we just need Darunia, Tingle, and the KYEEEEEEEEEEEEH fish.†

Oh, Midna-senpai =o3o=






Grim Fandango

Another announcement I thought I'd never see happen was the eventual remaster of cult-classic adventure title Grim Fandango. And such a Tim Schafer way of revealing it. What a scamp.†

Throughout those 10 or so seconds in between the clear implication and the name drop, I was continuously chanting "Grim Fandango?! Grim Fandango?! Grim Fandango?!", and wouldn't ya know it... I was, yet again, responsible for what Sony, Disney and Schafer could never realistically do on their own. Message me for donation info.†

You're right, "Sally". Piracy is NOT nice, and is no longer my only option. All responsible gets a theoretical hug from me.




Crackdown

Who gets nostalgia for Crackdown? This guy does.†

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay before Saints Row IV, we had gruff superagents with black outlines doing all the vertical scaling and gun pumpin'. We also still had multiple gangs to fight, rocket launcher juggling, and a vehicle that transformed around your current skill level. All with this really super cool narrator with you every step of the way.†

That's the guy you hear in that trailer. He also played some guy in Modnation Racers. Super cool. I'm just happy to hear him again, really. Crackdown 3 happening is just a bonus. An awesome bonus, to be fair. Surely, it'll end up interesting me more than 2 did.†




Far Cry 4

The MS conference reminded us that Far Cry 4 was going to be a thing.

This new villain... is kind of crazy, just a taaaad passive aggressive, and he may or may not be pretending to be the good guy. He's basically Vaas, but I have a feeling that he won't be quite as memorable.†Let's at least hope the story is, generally speaking, less awful than it was in 3, yeah?†

Anyway. No more critical observation.†

The Sony conference, on the other hand, gave me exactly what I wanted to see from a game in the legacy of Far Cry 3: A gameplay demo. Stealth/action greatness with even more possibilities, a co-op friendly gyrocopter, a new and (seemingly) much more interesting region to explore, and elephants. Elephants that will wreck your shit.†

And here's the real bombshell: A co-op buddy can join in on the action without a second copy of the game! I assume there's more to it than simply entering a session via your friends list, but that's still awesome.†

It's not a drastic departure, but it doesn't need to be. A refined Far Cry 3 is all that I was asking for.†




Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

I fucking called this about 6 months ago:



I totally had Iwata and Miyamoto co-op at my front door with a bag of 20's and a quick thanks. You're welcome, cocks.†

Captain Toad's levels in 3D World were always a very pleasant break from the norm. Starting out simple, and eventually letting my imagination go wild with what they could do given an opportunity to flesh out the idea. And Captain Toad's quite an adorable underdog.†

There's even going to be at least one boss fight! I can't wait for this, and my royalties.†




Batman: Arkham Knight

For the longest time, I always thought that Spider-Man was my numero uno superhero.†

But, ever since the Dark Knight trilogy of movies got me back into Batman and I thought about it for more than a few seconds, I concluded that there was gonna be nobody that could top the caped crusader.†

As many will tell you, Batman is awesome because while he may have vast riches, he's still infinitely more relatable than most other superheroes. He's no mutant, he's not a strongman, and his origin story is so modest yet dark, that, given you had the access that he had, you might believe you'd end up the same way.

Coming recently off of Arkham City, I was ecstatic to see something from Rocksteady's latest come E3. Though, I still didn't think whatever they would show would be exciting enough to bring out my o-face and squee's of pure joy.†

The Batmobile looks incredibly fun from every facet. From how quick it is to summon, to how painless yet satisfying the driving seems, to how HYPE the tank mode is! Yes yes yes! Don't remind me that it's been pushed back until 2015.†




------------------------------------------------------------------------

There were many others I was super pumped to see like Uncharted 4, Bloodborne, and Phantom Dust, but there's so little to go on that I'd have to be stretching out this blog even more than I already have.†

Tell me about your personal favorites!









A Kirby for each thing. What a great header!

I don't regular the C-blogs quite like I did in 2012/2013, but I still take interest every now and again! Hell, I'm actually currently writing up something pretty ginormous that I hope you will all enjoy once it's finally finished. I'll scream if you don't (no really, I probably will).†

I remember when this last stream of "10 things about..." blogs cropped up from, seemingly, out of nowhere. I felt obligated to start one of my own, which I never finished. Same can be said for actually most of the blogs sitting in my editor. There's one in there about the Xbox One reveal in the style of Sterling's classic "Blatantly Better" series that never got finished, a RE: Revelations review that was dropped in favor of just reviewing Jill's butt, even an in-depth editorial on video game waifus (I think I might finish that one after my time with Persona 3 and 4).†

Well, I may just finish this one. And if I'm not the only one reading this, then that means I did! Enjoy?


10. I've had four active YouTube accounts over the past 7 years


The YouTube account I'm still using (and have been using since mid-2008) is HammettSHREDZ. But, before and in-between, there have been others. At one point, HammettSHREDZ and another account which I used for video game reviews were riding side by side.†

One of the two before HammettSHREDZ was where a couple guitar covers were uploaded, as well as a "review" of Battlefield: Bad Company that I've since purged from this world. Just to give you an idea of my idea of humor at that time, at one point during the... "review", I held up a triplet of Pop-Tarts like Poker cards whilst proclaiming "Cha-ching, motherfucka!".

.....

Everytime either one of my two friends who's had the (dis)pleasure of seeing that video brings it up, this is basically what's going on in my head:




9. I've played soccer, baseball, and even did a little karate



Baseball was my favorite sport growing up, and I passionately played it on occasion with my grandfather in his front yard or with my cousins. As far as soccer, I even played on a team for a short while before being diagnosed with a minor form of asthma. †

Karate was the one I "officially" stuck with for the longest. I got my yellow belt at around 6 or 7 in one institution, quit, came back several years later to another and got a couple stripes, then quit that one as well. I think I secretly wanted to be able to kick people's asses, but I would always realize quickly it wasn't all that interesting of a path to me.†

These days, any sort of sport (even "e-sports") bores me to no end. I can barely even be bothered to care for my local teams, even if it's thoroughly awesome that the Spurs are currently on such a brutal winning streak at the moment.†


8. I've broken my right wrist three times in the same spot


I might need one of these at some point.

At a very young age, some jerk pushed me off the edge of a playground castle, I fell to the sand below and broke my right wrist. Couple years later, it happened once more when I tried stopping a ball flying towards me at daycare.†

The worst and final case happened while rollerblading so goddamn fast that my brain didn't have the needed time to send a message down towards my legs to either stop myself or to bunny hop onto the sidewalk. I tripped and fell 7-8 feet forward onto my poor, already weathered wrist and commenced screaming.†

God, that was a scream if you'd ever heard one.

Now, considering the amount of guitar I play, how many hours a day I'm either on the computer or playing games, and... *ahem*... various other frivolous activities, you'd be surprised to hear how well off my wrist is to this day. I have my off-days with my guitar, but, beyond that, it's amazing I don't already have super arthritis.

I'm sure it'll happen someday, though. That's gonna suck.†


7. Most of my favorite games are... shooters



What plebeian nonsense is this?!

Yes, yes. I know I should be bored of shootyshootybangbang, but I'm kind of not. At the very least, if I were to list off some of my favorite games, I'd likely be naming quite a lot of shooters. Borderlands 2, Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition, Saints Row 2, Alan Wake, Bioshock 2, Dead Space 1/2, Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando, Left 4 Dead 2, etc.†

There's some genre variety if you look hard enough, though. Catherine, SMTIV, Super Mario Galaxy, Persona 4: Golden (hey, most of those are ATLUS games!), and while to call several off that first list just "shooters" would be doing them a great disservice, the fact still stands that I have a surprising fondness for GAWNZ.†

If I also told you I didn't like strategy games or MOBA's, you'd probably think I was rather mindless. Judge away!


6. I've watched The Simpsons every night for almost a year



It's easier than you might think. To me, The Simpsons is the epitome of good television. Some of the earliest fond TV memories are of comedy sitcoms, and it hasn't lost it's appeal in 2014.†

The Simpsons has had it's missteps in the later seasons, but I'm not of the consensus that it suddenly became unwatchable after S9-12. It's become more about filling time with thin punchlines and (in most recent years) montages as opposed to writing good stories and jokes relevant to said stories, but throughout most of it's 20+ seasons career, it's been pretty great.†

The content above it's very worst (see: S16) is, at the least, so digestible that it's great to study or fall asleep to. I've memorized so many of the earlier episodes and beyond that I don't really have to pay attention to them to enjoy them. Maybe that's the only reason I'm still consistently watching?†


5. When it comes to music, "If it's good, I'll listen."



There's not a single genre of music (outside Noise, though I find that stuff hard to classify as "music") that I won't listen to. At any given time, I might be listening to Billy Joel, and the next moment I'm jamming Bangarang. Either one of those songs is a masterpiece in my mind.†

If you've adopted any sort of real instrument(s), you might understand where I'm coming from. The more you play, the more you start to appreciate not only your chosen field(s), but others as well. So, naturally, I've found myself discovering the merit in just about any type of music you can name.†

Shit. As much as I hate to admit it, I've even enjoyed an exact two Justin Bieber songs. Don't be surprised to see this edited out later.†


4. This is on display in my room:



Pokeman band-aids I got well over a decade ago.†

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah.†


3. My gaming backlog is 246 games long, with more on the way



According to my current Backloggery, I have a lot of shit to get through. And those are just the "priority" titles. This is not counting any newer releases, upcoming releases, and games I just chose not to include for the time being.†

This... is actually less than I was expecting, actually.†

Wouldn't it be a real knee-slapper if by finishing this backlog of mine, I feel no sort of accomplishment? Rather, it reassures my crippling loneliness, breaks me into a hard sweat, and I realize how dreadfully pointless it all actually was? Haha!


2. My dentist was responsible for the worst day of my life



Before about a year and a half ago, the worst day of my life was what traumatized me into never ever drinking or smoking again. While that is a story worth telling, it's also a long one. And not the focus of this section of the blog. My true worst day story does still have to do with drugs, though. This time, it was under the caring supervision of my dentist.†

I only say "caring" because I'm sure it wasn't his intention to shoot me up with so much of whatever the hell he gave me for my tooth removal that I felt like I was on a bad shroom trip.†

It may've only lasted about 3 hours, but those were some fucking awful 3 hours. All I could see was a swirly blur of purple, yellow, black and green, all I felt was extreme depression and anxiety, and all I could stand to murmur was "I want to feel normal.". You'd think it'd be something that'd pass with time, the vivid memory of a bad high. But, I guess that, sadly, only seems to work with the good ones.†

Sigh.

Interestingly enough, the best day of my life had to do with drugs as well. You might think that I've led a pretty exciting life, but no. Not really, no.


1. The Internet is the reason I'm as socially well-adjusted as I am



From the time I was in high school to when I started going to college for a brief 6 months, it was about a 5-year span. In said span, I went from quiet, awkward and hardly self-aware, to one of the most talkative (and occasionally trouble-making) students in any of my courses and one very much aware of how stupid or plain wrong I could be.†

Not from parties, casual get-together's, classes, or anything like that. It was The Internet. Finding new friends over Xbox Live and chatting it up with them and others via a number of forums or Skype, skimming through hot e-topics that eventually led to me wanting to take part in intelligent discussion, and watching a stupid amount of YouTube content. All helped form what was a sludge of how I am today.†

A bit ironic, ain't it?

To think of where I'd be without The Internet is, actually, a little frightening. I've always considered myself a late bloomer in many respects, and, even still, I have a ways to go. But, as somebody who had originally been developing in what most would consider a "normal" environment, I simply wasn't where I needed to be until The Internet became a huge part of my day-to-day. †

It all may sound somewhat pathetic, but considering the results, I can't complain. My life is still waiting to really get going, but I can't wait until it does. I'm ready.









I've heard of these... "life hacks". Simple though genius ways to (sometimes drastically) improve your stupidly boring and generally pointless life.†

[Face it. We're all just dust in the wind.]

Well, my hyper quality "life hack" is especially handy for ignoring those heated forum/site discussions that always seem to bring out the worst in you. You're a nice guy, but sometimes people are just wrong on the Internet. I understand. Or maybe you just simply don't like all the bad stuff you see during a casual browse.†

An abused kitten intentionally drowned itself clenching his favorite toy mouse? Boy. Now I'm crying all over my pajamas.†



Now, you could use this if you're lazy (and actually want a way to make your day even worse), or you could use my far more complicated, though effective, step program.†

Play this through a separate tab, then click the speaker icon until it's on low (it's rather loud otherwise). Next, play this in another tab. Annnnnnd that's it! Around the clock Animal Crossing music that always somehow goes perfectly with the relaxing pitter patter of a minor rain storm.†

Do you dudes have any other video game-related life hacks? Better than mine?... hah! I'm a genius.










[Rather than do a general retrospective or Top 10 of the last 7-8 years of gaming, I decided to break each game down into their own little blog. Each of these games has made a huge impression on me as a gamer, so I have a lot to say about them. Confining all of them into a single blog would likely be far too long or not do them enough justice. So, here we are!]

Greenlighting a Bioshock 2, all the while still pertaining to Rapture, made by a totally different studio, was one of the most questionable things to happen in all of these last 7 or 8 years (nevermind impressions upon release). At the time, the thought was just as depressing as it was laughable. How could this "2K Marin" even think of accomplishing anything more than a so-so copycat?

Even just 2 or 3 years down the line, the original Bioshock was already a solidified classic. However, much of it's majesty was in experiencing Rapture for the very first time. Experiencing the cynicism, the oppression, the dangerous Splicers and iconic Big Daddies, the awesome Plasmids, it all came together to form such a unique package.

And we were about to do all that... again?

Oh and it has MP too? Because of course it does.†

This was supposed to be an underwhelming, gimmicky ("Remember the tension from the original? Remember those awesome Big Daddies? Well, now we're gonna empower the FUCK outta your PC by making him a Big Daddy! Doesn't that sound just great?!), shameful cash-in.



And, upon first impressions, that's exactly what I thought it was. Even if the gameplay was better and most of the events in-game were wholly new, the cynic in me couldn't help but notice a lot of parrot talk. Monkey see, monkey do. At least several major plot points and events were largely similar.†

1.) During your first steps, you're walking through dark corridors, taking in this "Rapture"
2.) You're very first Plasmid is the Shock Plasmid, you insert it, and the PC falls to his knees in pain
3.) You make direct contact with the main villain via a confined space with TV screens
4.) Enemy Splicers attempt to kill you while in said room, but the player manages to escape
5.) You eventually acquire the Incinerate Plasmid and are required to backtrack to a frozen obstacle

It may be all trivial nonsense in retrospect, but considering what I had expected of the game going in, this stuff stuck out to me like mud in a candy store.†

However, as the game went on, the cynic turned into the optimist and I started to notice some really fucking great design decisions.†



Imagine you're up against a particularly tough enemy like, say... a Big Daddy. In the original Bioshock, you had to keep switching between Plasmids that did damage overtime, distracted, or reflected attacks back at this Rapturian Spartan and weapons that did most of the work. Oh, and all the while dodging other incoming attacks.†

That's bullocks now, moyt. Presenting Bioshock 2's ingenious duel-wielding system! So, while you're delivering a quick shock or a flock of BEES(!), you can immediately follow through with a shotgun blast or machine gun fire.†

This (almost so simple) addition, in combination with keeping much of the other BS1 gameplay systems and other lovely advancements in gameplay and enemy variety is what, at least when it comes to gameplay, pulls Bioshock 2 leagues above the original. In fact, at it's best, it's just about the most fun I've ever had playing video games.

And it's fun not just because of the core gameplay, but because it, surprisingly, retains strategy and challenge.


"Come at me."

You'd think all these combat possibilities stacked upon nearly a dozen or more passive abilities would vastly overpower your Big Daddy. But, at least on Hard difficulty, you'd be thinking incorrectly. As, sometimes, no matter how much you prepare, careless thinking could easily lead to death or a vast waste of valuable supplies and ammo.†

Just when I thought I had braved through the thick of it, Spider Splicers and a Leadhead jump me and I'm down to no heath kits from 2 or 3. I was this close to death, because I wasn't prepared. Or how about when a Brute takes up your attention while a Leadhead fires upon you from an entirely different position? There goes at least 1 or 2 health kits right there. Something that could possibly be avoided or at least kept from getting worse with quick thinking.†

Even when things are easy, it's so fun that it must be criminal. And things will only go so easy during the more intense battles if you get creative. At this point, the fights may drastically tip into your favor, but it's hilariously awesome to watch everything play out.†

A Splicer makes it through an explosion and a Security Bot, only to walk through 2 of your Trap Rivets. A Brute trips the alarm, 2 Security Bots hone in, I toss a Mini-Turret, I shotgun him from the side, and the poor guy has no idea what to do! I guarantee you'll find yourself giddy with power.†

Or how about 2 Security Bots, 3 Mini-Turrets, an Incinerate pool, and my machine gun fire against a Rumbler Big Daddy?†



Do what you want! The simple thrill of a perfectly-executed Drill Dash or point-blank shotgun blast, or something more complicated. Whatever!

I've had some especially neat things happen. Like a Splicer dropping a bomb near his side after a lucky hit with my drill, which then froze him thanks to one of my passives, I jump away, then the bomb goes off and shatters him to pieces! Show me another FPS with gameplay/combat this varied and polished.†

And because it's so awesome, finding or upgrading a weapon/Plasmid isn't some casual "Oh, well, that's nice.". Reactions are usually more akin to something like:

"Tesla pack for my shotgun!!!!!!!"

A number of smaller things from the original have also been improved. Most notably is the hacking, which is not only now much less about overcoming a slightly annoying obstacle, but, in fact, pretty darn fun! On top of that, you'll be a lot more inclined to participate not only because it's a nice little reflex exercise, but, if you're particularly good, you'll also get a bonus item drop! I always hack anything I can find for extra supplies.

New enemies such as the Brute Splicers are like less aggressive, occasionally elemental Big Daddies and the Big Sisters... who are also elemental, but are just as tough as a Big Daddy and a whole lot more nimble. You also can't run away from them. They're nerve-racking fights, and if there was ever a point in the game where you needed to save (granted you've switched off those pesky Vita-Chambers), it's before these fights.†

To say nothing of the game's story, this is one of the best FPS's I've ever played. On a good day, I would even say it's the very best!



But, what about the story? The original Bioshock primarily focused on Adam and EVE, the two components of Rapture's "evolutionary" Plasmids and Tonics, and it's long-term effects on the body. Essentially, it turns you into a crazed, monster-like addict.

Bioshock 2, instead of reinforcing the concept of a crumbling Utopia, focuses on a more inner, revolutionary struggle for the perfection of the human body and mind led by credited psychiatrist Sofia Lamb. Rapture may've previously attempted to evolve it's people solely through the use of Plasmids and Tonics, but Sofia Lamb has a different solution.

Sofia spouts that while Andrew Ryan claims to have created a perfect society rid of the hindrances of law and religion, that the people of Rapture are still greatly under the influence of a single man. A leader. A "God". One that inspires greed, segregation, and so on. And that they also are hindered by a so-called "nature's bias".

Through unity and control of Rapture's Adam and EVE, Sofia hopes to lead (or, as she puts it, nurture) humanity into a new age. An age of harmony and free of sin itself. A truly perfect society.

Or, so she'd have you think.



What makes Bioshock 2's story so captivating is that Sofia's vision and ideals are even more, at their surface, easily sympathized with than with Andrew Ryan's "no law, no religion, just the man". Meanwhile, Sofia points fingers at Ryan's flaws and hypocrisy while justifying her own.†

She's a more ambitious Andrew Ryan within Ryan's very own already appropriately realized ambition of Rapture. So even though you can probably already guess there's something sinister going on behind all the flattery and damage control, you can't wait to see how it all plays out.†

And, after playing Infinite, I appreciate that Bioshock 2 didn't try to totally blow people's minds with convoluted twists. They, in Infinite, tried to 1-up "Would you kindly?", and, in my humble opinion, failed. Bioshock's twist worked as both a statement on gameplay design and a nice surprise. How Infinite played out was the former without that just as important latter.†

The canon introduced in Bioshock 2 may be tame in comparison, but, sometimes, a simpler story is what is needed.


Why, hello there neighbor!

I would delve into the things that I had a problem with in Bioshock 2, but that's not the point of this series of blogs. The point is to explain my first impressions, to then go into exactly why the game was so goddamned awesome. And that's way more fun than trying to find fault with an, overall, perfectly fine experience (although, the PC port is rather finicky).†

There's a lot to take away from Bioshock 2, and there are many other great things about it that I never touched upon for the sake of time/length (such as level design, the Litter Sisters, the ending, etc.). It's fun factor is untouched by any other in the genre, and while the story isn't quite as oppressive and atmospheric as the original classic, it's a story worth seeing through to the end nonetheless.†It succeeds where it counts, on top of providing the most insanely fun FPS combat around.

Fucking A. It is my favorite FPS of all time.
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Destructoid? A word, if you please.

What took place during yesterday's "Game of the Year" awards was just sickening. As I am typing, I am vomiting. Still vomiting. Eugh. It's everywhere.

Why did you choose X over Y? Also, Z wasn't even a nominee! WTF? Well, I probably don't have all (or even one) of the answers you want, fellow concerned community members. Because, most likely, I am not Hamza, Steven, Chris, or any other Dtoid staff member. Even better: I am a REAL gamer. I actually PLAY video games. Not like those jerks.†

So, here are some REAL awards from a REAL gamer just like you!†


Best Platinum Games Game - Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance



FUCK YOU DESTRUCTOID!!!!!1!!1!1!111

GAME OF THE CENTURY - The Last Of Us




Best Game I Haven't Played - Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance




Best DILF (Down(Loadable Content) I'd Like To Fuck) - The Stanley Parable HD Demo



Eight.†

Eight.†

Eight.

Eight.

Eight.

Eight.

Eight.

Eight.

Eight.

Eight.

Eight.†

Eight.


Most Awesome - Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon




Best - Super Mario 3D World




Stinkiest Piece of Shit - Bioshock Infinite




Best Indie Game - NOT Gone Home



Nope.


Best NCILF (New Character I'd Like To Fuck) - Tanooki Rosalina




Most Tolerable Non-Game - Beyond: Two Souls




Most Responsible For The Downfall Of Destructoid - Hamza Aziz



Fuck. This. Guy.
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