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    Nintendoid does what Nintendon't.

    Hey, you! Yes, you.

    Are you tired of playing Smash Bros. by your lonesome?

    Are you tired of having nobody to hunt monsters with?

    Are you tired of seeing that your friends are online, but having no way to contact them?

    Are you tired of waiting around in an empty lobby, praying that your friends notice you?

    Are you tired of not being able to shout at your friend for hitting you with a Blue Shell?

    Well worry no more, because we've got the solution!
    With this one simple trick you can improve your matchmaking instantly! Doctors hate this clever 23-year-old, who discovered a revolutionary new online multiplayer technique! 
    Click here to find out how!

    So, what is this about?

    Basically, all of this arose out of my frustration with Nintendo's online functionality. We have amazing games like Mario Kart 8 and Smash Bros. to play online, and the netcode generally holds up very well. But Nintendo wouldn't be Nintendo if they didn't manage to fuck something up. In their infinite wisdom, they decided that you should not be able to send in-game messages to your friends, that you should not be allowed to invite your friends to join your game, that you should not be allowed to instantly join a friend's game, and that you should not be allowed to have voice-chat during gameplay.

    All of the above makes it waaaaay more difficult than it should be to play these games with your Destructoid buddies. And I don't know how it is for you guys, but I for one don't have any IRL friends who own a WiiU or 3DS, so if I can't get the online to work with 'toiders I've got nothing. Pair that with living in a different timezone from most of you, and at the end of the day I'm often stuck playing against CPUs or strangers. I wouldn't be surprised if many of you faced the same issue. And what with games like Splatoon on the horizon, I feel like we should get things into shape but soon.

    That's why I'm launching a new initiative, hopefully to make things a bit easier for everyone.
    Introducing: Nintendoid

    Here's how this works.
    Nintendoid is the name I gave the Google Group I just set up. Yes, I decided to hijack the name frontpage grumpyfaces have been using to deride Destructoid for all its Amiibo posts. Poetic justice or something like that.

    All a Google Group really is, is a mailing list. You sign up for the group, and then you will be allowed to post messages. Those messages will be e-mailed to every other member in the group, who can then respond (alternatively you can respond directly through your e-mail client). This means that as long as a member of the group checks his e-mail after you posted your "Hey, come join me!" on Nintendoid, they'll know you're available. Provided you keep an eye on your e-mail too, it should be easy enough to set up the match and have at it.
    Be sure to check your e-mail or the Group regularly when you're online, or you might miss out!

    It's definitely not foolproof though, so whenever you have a steady online buddy I recommend moving planning and chat to a more direct instant messaging service. Plus, I advise using Skype for in-game chatting (so please don't clog up everyone's mailbox with "gg man"), but depending on your internet connection I could see Skype calls interfering with some of the more intensive games. Still, you can use this group for invites, match-making, basically everything to avoid seeing your friends play Smash Bros. but having no way to join in.
    You can use it for the Friday Night Fights, or you can just post a shout-out whenever you happen to be online.

    Long story short, the idea is this:
    - The Nintendoid Group has a list of games on Nintendo systems that have (worthwhile) online multiplayer, plus a thread for 3DS Friend Codes and WiiU NNIDs.
    - Whenever you want to play one of these games with you favorite Destructoid friends, just post a shout-out in the right thread. Then all members will get an e-mail letting them know what's up. Hopefully at least some of them will have time to join you real quick!
    - Or if you have someone specific in mind, you can check their e-mail address and send it to them directly. Or, exchange contact info and get something going that way.
    Pro-tip: set up your e-mail client so that it sends Nintendoid e-mails to a seperate folder. Makes it easier to keep track of, and it won't clutter your inbox.

    Now that's all well and good, but there is one more thing we need to make Nintendoid work.

    You know it!

    Nintendoid will only work if we have a sizable number of people, so be sure to sign up!
    Just click this link to apply for the group. Leave your Destructoid username so I know who you are, and I'll add you in a jiffy. Be sure to invite any Dtoiders who may not be aware of it yet as well. Even if they only have Mario Kart or whatever, as long as they want to play it's alright in my book. The more the merrier, right?!
    The more members Nintendoid has, the better your odds that someone will see your post and jump online.

    So get on that! Or alternatively, leave questions and suggestions so we can make the whole process even easier. Because if Nintendo won't, Nintendoid will.
    Have fun, and hopefully I'll get to show you my Rosalina on the tracks, or my Luigi on the battlefield!


    It's been over a week now since this was announced, but holy hell am I still excited. All of the excitement, right in my pants.

    Trine 3 is happening! This year even!

    Man, I can't even tell you how excited I am. The Trine series is one of my favorites of all time. As far as indie games go they're incredibly high on my list and they even hold up to a lot of my favorite 'AAA games'.

    So in honor of this momentous occassion, I'm going to give a bunch of Trine-related stuff away over the next couple of weeks. I'm not gonna lie, it helps that these games are all on sale at the moment. But still!

    Here's how it's going down. Over a period of five weeks, I'm going to give increasingly great gifts away, as follows:
    Week #1: Trine Enchanted Edition
    WINNER: RenaudB90
    Congrats my lovely French-speaking Spider-man, your comment on sticking a shiv in your problems while wooing the ladies with leather gear tickled my funny bone.
    Week #2: Shadowgrounds and Shadowgrounds: Survivor
    Week #3: Trine 2: Complete Story
    Week #4: Trine Complete Pack (= Trine Enchanted Edition, Trine 2: Complete Story)
    Week #5: Frozenbyte Pack (= Trine Enchanted Edition, Trine 2: Complete Story, Shadowgrounds, Shadowgrounds: Survivor)
    Week #?: Trine 3 (this contest will be put up the week of Trine 3's release)

    The rules are very simple. Each week I'm going to ask you to answer a Trine-related question. Except today, when it's a Shadowgrounds-related question.

    The funniest, most thoughtful, or most original answer wins! You guys know how I think by now, so give me something I'll enjoy and the games could be yours!
    I will also allow, nay encourage, entering for a game you already own provided you have someone in mind to give it to. Same goes for entering in multiple weeks. So the winner of Week #1 is still eligible to participate in the following weeks, even in Week #4 and 5, but you're going to have to impress me. 

    Outside of answering the contest question, there is only one condition: no freeloaders.
    I'm giving these games away out of love for Frozenbyte and the Dtoid community, so the very least you could do is be part of the Dtoid community. That goes double for Week #?. Don't worry too much though, if you're a regular around here I'll probably know you. I made a list of 99 Dtoiders off the top of my head, I'm pretty sure I'll manage. 

    And with that out of the way, this week we've got Shadowgrounds and Shadowgrounds: Survivor.

    While Trine is pretty well known around these parts, you would be forgiven for not knowing anything about Shadowgrounds. So why would you want to win it, right? Let me give you a quick rundown on what this game is about. It's a huge shame that people are missing out on this little diamond in the rough.

    Shadowgrounds is one of the best top-down twin-stick shooters I've ever played. It's also one of the better Aliens games (that isn't actually an Aliens game). This game puts you as a former soldier on an alien planet, trying to escape as xenomorphs-in-everything-but-name swarm your base. What's interesting is that Shadowgrounds takes a more serious approach than most top-down shooters would. The game actually takes the time to build atmosphere, has the graphics to pull it off (in particular it has a great lighting engine), has a plot albeit not a particularly good one, and it treats the aliens as a legitimate threat rather than cannon fodder. It's a cool take on the genre that worked really well for me.

    Of course, being more serious doesn't mean the game isn't still fun. At the end of the day you're still going around the base shooting the shit out of a bunch of aliens. You get shotguns, flamethrowers, all the good stuff. You also get to upgrade your weapons as the game goes on, so you might end up with a ricocheting sniper rifle or exploding shotgun shells. The game will also throw huge bosses at you during regular intervals to mix things up, and they'll provide ample opportunity to take your upgraded flamethrower for a spin. 

    Last but not least, you know I can't bring myself to skip the music.
    The music here was one of the first game projects the incredible Ari Pulkkinen ever did, before he hit it big with Trine. However, despite sharing the same composer, the music in Shadowgrounds couldn't be further removed from Trine if it tried. Expect guitars, quality riffs and general epicness here. You're going to be kicking alien ass, and the music will let you know it! Fun fact about the music: the guitarist who performed on the Shadowgrounds soundtrack is none other than Amen, lead guitarist of the Heavy Metal/Hard Rock band Lordi. I've talked before about how Lordi is my favorite band ever, so seeing their little touches in this game is super neat! 

    - For example, the title of this song references an early Lordi song: 'Pet the Destroyer'.

    Basically, if you're a fan of twin-stick shooters, Aliens, or kickin' rad tunes, you should check out the Shadowgrounds series. I personally like the original much better than Survivor, but both are worth playing. And that's why you should enter this week's contest!

    Well, now that we've got that cleared up, let's start Week #2, for Shadowgrounds and Shadowgrounds: Survivor.
    Here is the question:

    Your town just got swarmed by Xenomorph-like aliens. What do you do?

    Remember, give me the funniest, most creative thing you can think of, and by this time next week you could be jamming out to Amen's guitar. And play two cool games I suppose.


    Some time ago, before bbain went Super Saiyan, there was a jukebox. And in this jukebox, there was music. Great music. Music from a wide range of different themes. Everything from music inspired by westerns to the music that plays during a final boss fight could be found in this jukebox. All from video games, and all collected here on the Destructoid Cblogs. But now the artist formerly known as bbain has bigger and better things to do, and the jukebox stands silent. It waits patiently, longing for the day when it can once again assault your ears with sweetness.

    I say, no more. The show must go on, the jukebox must play. And I’m just the man marsupial absence of light to do it. So let me get my quarters, and let’s see what this baby’s got.

    Credit where it is due

    It may seem like a strange choice, but I’m going to start my take on bbain’s series at the very end. I want to take a look at what is usually the most underrated piece of music of a game. Namely, the Credits theme.

    I’ve mentioned before how the Credits theme is actually the sexiest piece of music out of the entire game. But be honest with me, how often have you taken note of the credits music? I'm willing to bet it's not going to be a lot. I can’t blame you either. We lead busy lives, and we play video games for fun. Watching a list of names scroll by usually isn’t fun, so we either zone out, go to the bathroom, or skip the whole thing altogether. And most games let you; at least from the second playthrough onwards very few games make you sit through the entire thing, or they take careful note to distract you in all sorts of ways. But take it from your pal Shade, you're missing out.

    Contrary to popular belief, video game credits can be worthwhile. In particular, the music tends to be fantastic. It's easy to see why: the story is resolved, there are no hardships left. The bad guy is dead, and peace returns. All that’s left is celebration. And that’s exactly what the credits theme tends to convey. It's the composer putting in their best efforts to give you a round of applause through music. It's your victory lap, and it should make you feel happy that you managed to beat what hopefully was a great game. In short, there’s no reason not to love the Credits Theme. But because credits are so often skipped or forgotten, the Credits Theme never quite gets the love it deserves.

    Below, I'm going to take the first steps to remedy that injustice. Here are some of my favorite Credits Themes in video games.

    "End" - Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies

    I chose to start with this one, because if perfectly embodies what I'm talking about here. Just listen to that saxophone, this is like the chillest music ever. You've captured all the murderers, so now it's time to sit back and relax. Take special note of the part from 4:00 and 4:30 onwards, where the already chill song becomes even chiller.
    Also compare Ghost Trick (beware, spoilers), which captures much the same feel. And for more saxophone goodness, don't forget to check out Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze!

    "ENDING - To Each Future" - Pokémon Black & White

    In contrast to Ace Attorney above which went with a chill theme to bid you farewell, the composer for these Pokémon credits went the 'epic' route. Rather than letting you sit back and relax, what this music seems to be saying is "My god, you're so awesome for beating Ghetsis!"

    If I had to choose a favorite out of all Credits themes, chances are this would be it. This was also the first Credits theme that really jumped out at me as being amazing, and it was the one that got me to pay more attention to these songs. Fortunately, it seems like I'm not alone. Everywhere I go people online seem to agree that the Credits theme of Pokémon Black & White is something else. And it's not just us: even Nintendo recognizes how great this theme is, as they incorporated it in N’s Castle Medley in the new Smash Bros. When your Credits Theme makes it into Smash Bros., you know you’ve won at composing.

    "Want you gone" - Portal 2

    Whaaaat? No "Still Alive"? 
    Nope, no Still Alive. Don't get me wrong, that's a good song too. I just think it has been done to death by now. Don't even try to deny it. At the other end of the spectrum though, it seems like "Want you gone" never quite got the recognition it deserves. There's a lot to this song, actually. On the one hand the melody is about as happy as you would expect from a credits song. On the other hand, the lyrics here very dark. I also find it interesting how Valve decided to spell out Glados' origin story in a song of all things. It works really well for me at least. And as always, the Ellen McClain/Jonathan Coulton team nails it.

    "Popular Potpourri" - VVVVVV

    We've had Ace Attorney with chill, Pokémon with cool, Portal with...something, and now we have VVVVVV with yet another different direction. This one is just all celebration. This is some of the happiest music I've ever heard. It makes you want to dance like a moron and embarrass yourself without a care in the world. Party hard, my 8-bit friends.
    In the same vein, here is the massively underrated Wario Land: Shake It!

    "Credits" - Metroid Prime
    "Credits" - Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
    "Credits" - Metroid Prime 3: Corruption

    Sure, not the most original titles there on Retro Studio's part. This is actually a common theme for many Credits themes; it's usually a variation of "Ending", "Credits" or sometimes "Staff Roll". Perhaps that's part of the reason they're so overlooked?

    At any rate, there's just something about Metroid Prime's credits. On the one hand they're as celebratory as one would hope, but there's something ominous beneath the surface too. Something that tells you the story isn't quite over yet, and many hardships still lie ahead. Corruption's theme is probably the one with the best sense of closure, which is only fitting considering that's where the Prime series finally ended.

    Metroid Prime 1's Credits theme also takes the honor of being the first one to make the jump into Smash Bros, even before Pokémon.

    If you're looking for something a bit like these Metroid Prime songs, try Shin Megami Tensei IV.

    And that’s it! I hope I gave all of you a new appreciation for the all-too-common staff roll. As we have seen, there are many ways to make Credits themes memorable. Be it chill, happy, cool, mysterious or just plain weird, there's a lot of good stuff out there accompanying the names of our favorite dev peoples. So next time, hold off on hitting that skip button for a while.

    I’d say we’re done here. Although not really, because there are many, many, more that I didn't have room for. Who could forget Final Fantasy VI, Super Mario World, Metal Gear Solid, Wind Waker, and so many others? And surely there are even more I haven't even heard yet. So sound of in the comments, which credits themes bring the their composers? Which are best of the best?

    I'd love to hear it. But for now:

    Show’s over folks, roll credits.
    And not just any credits. Let’s roll the BEST credits:

    "End Credits Theme" - God Hand


    What with Strider specifically asking me to blog more often, I felt like it was time to get off my lazy butt and start getting back in the game. Do I even have the time for this? Good lord no, but I’m doing it anyway. In fact, this blog is the test run of what I hope I can turn into a series over the course of the year! Usually I only blogged when something new and exciting came up, but I’d like to try my hand at a more steady stream of laidback blogs. Will this work? Probably no; only time will tell. So what’s this all going to be about? Well, it’s about the thing I love most about videogames. I don’t solely play videogames for this one reason, but it’s definitely the big one.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I like exploration. No, I love exploration.
    Exploration across prairies, in streets, in trenches, in grasslands, in frozen tundras, through deserts, on the sea, in the air, I love every act of exploration that can occur upon this earth.

    Violence can be fun, and so can strategizing. In fact, videogames are fun in many ways. But to me, nothing beats the feeling of being transported to a new world with all sorts of amazing new things to see and do. The feeling of looking to an unfamiliar horizon and going “Ooh, I wonder what's over there?” before heading off in that general direction and no doubt being distracted by something cool halfway there. The feeling of seeing a tower off in the distance and wondering whether you can climb it. The feeling of checking to see whether there is an edge to the sea or not.

    It's that feeling this series is devoted to. But don’t think that I'm restricting myself to big open-world sandbox games here. A well-made 2D Platformer can give you much the same feeling, and cleverly hidden secrets can give you just as much incentive to explore as any far-off castle. It's all fair game, as long as you make me want to explore every nook and cranny of your world, and you’ll let me. Invisible walls will earn you a slap in the face, but may not be unforgivable if you have something to make up for them.

    Today, let’s explore the world of Xenoblade Chronicles.

    It was kind of inevitable that Xenoblade would be the first entry in the series. It is far and away my favorite world in all of gaming. Besides, that Japanese Nintendo Direct on Xenoblade Chronicles X from a few weeks ago has me mad hype for the series again. Not like I ever quit being mad hype, but still.

    The first thing you would notice when you're off to start exploring the world of Xenoblade is that it's a fundamentally different world from anything you’ve ever seen. It's not round like Earth, it's not flat like Earth before Jesus was born, or anything in between. It's actually made up entirely of the bodies of two giants locked in combat. One is the biological Bionis, and the other is the mechanical Mechonis. And that’s when you know; you're going to want to see all of it. I remember when Xenoblade was first announced, this premise alone completely sold me on this game. I mean, how is walking around on giant fighting gargantuans not the coolest thing you’ve ever heard? Hell, you even get to explore their insides, and walk across their swords! But premise alone only gets you so far. You still need to deliver on your promise to make me want to see all that your world has to offer. Did Xenoblade do that? Why of course it did, silly!

    My favorite thing about the world of Xenoblade is that even on the underpowered Wii, every single area looks gorgeous. This game is the shining example that good art direction beats good graphics any day of the week. From the first steps you take all the way until the last, there will be something to gaze at. Sometimes it's a huge landscape, sometimes it's a beautiful waterfall, and sometimes you have an amazing view of the opposing giant. It tends to get even better at night. Remember how in James Cameron’s Avatar the bioluminescence was far and away the best thing about the entire movie? Well Monolith Soft took that idea and ran with it. When you first enter the Satorl Marsh, it seems like a drab, uninteresting place. Nobody likes a swamp, it’s like nature’s sewer level. But then night falls, and that’s when the lights go on:

    Apart from that, the areas are amazingly huge. Come to think of it, much like in America most things in Xenoblade are big. The cities, the lakes, the animals, everything provides a very distinct sense of scale and awe. As a result, more so than in most other games, Xenoblade makes you feel like you’re exploring a connected world. Nature is very much on the forefront when you’re walking around on the Bionis. In fact, watching gigantic creatures walk by in the distance is one of the main attractions of the entire game! Now your first instinct might be to run up to them for a fight. But no, you’ll quickly find out that these guys are way out of your league. They’re not here for you to kill (yet). They’re here for you to gaze at, to bring the world to life.

    Another thing that I really love is how all of the areas you visit make sense in some peculiar way. For example, the snowy mountain range Valak is located on the Bionis’ chest. Thing is, the Bionis usually faces away from the sun, so his chest is almost always shielded from the heat. Ergo, snow. At the other end of the spectrum, we’ve got a lush rainforest on his back, which is where the sun does get to. Most of the areas you visit have a similar quality, so that if you think about it there’s some logic behind it. It’s only some logic, mind you, but it’s still a nice little detail.

    Unfortunately, Xenoblade never lets you explore the giants’ private parts, but my educated guess is that you’d find a big forest with an impressive tower in the middle. Possibly an oddly-shaped canyon if the Bionis turns out to be female. 

    - Possibly something like this if she’s incredibly horny.

    But all of the above is just nature. To be fair, the nature is easily the best, most beautiful part of Xenoblade. However, there’s more to a world than nature. Who live here, and are they worth meeting?

    There are a couple of races in this game, three biological and one mechanical.
    - First on bio's, there are the Homs. Humans, really. They live in settlements (Colonies) on the middle to lower part of the Bionis, say from about the lower back down to the feet. Their settlements tend to be pretty large and self-sufficient, so for a large part they keep to their own.

    - Next, there are the Nopon, who are small round furry creatures with an extra set of prehensile arm-
    like appendages. They live in a giant tree in Makna Forest, but a lot of them are the traveling sort. At the end of the day, you’ll find Nopon everywhere. They’re energetic little bastards, but they can still be quite a force to be reckoned with once they get serious.

    - The last of the Bio’s are the High Entia. They function a little like Elves usually would, in that they are more developed and more ‘cultured’ than the other races. They look much like humans, except that they have wings growing out of their heads. Pure-breed High Entia have big airworthy wings, while half-breeds have to make do with smaller Asterix-style ones. They live in a great city all the way at the head of the Bionis, on a floating island above the Eryth Sea. It’s sight to behold.

    - As for the robot dudes, they are the only mechanical race in the game. They're the Mechon, and they may or may not all be evil. For all intents and purposes they function just like humans, but they're a lot more durable. Practically all of them live on the Mechonis, so it will take you a little while before you get to meet them. They're well worth talking too though, and some of them give you some very important information over the course of the game.

    By this time, you might have noticed how many different locales I already mentioned. Well, there's an very good reason for that.

    If there's one thing that the world of Xenoblade has, it's variety. When you just start out the game you'd be forgiven for thinking that all you're going to be seeing is large grassy plains. Well you couldn't be more wrong, and before you know it you'll be exploring all sorts of different locales, each prettier than the last.

    You'll come across snowy mountain ranges, rocky valleys, incredible seas, lush forests, floating prisons, robotic bases, sprawling cities, and so much more. And again, most of the areas change dramatically at night, so it's almost like exploring every area twice. If I could decorate my room with just art from every seperate Xenoblade area, you bet your ass I would.  

    That, ladies and gentlemen, is what's over there in the world of Xenoblade Chronicles. It is one of the most imaginative worlds I have ever seen, and pretty to boot. It's a gigantic world that I nonetheless devoted hours to scour every inch of. It's a world I wouldn't mind living in, and a world I would pay mad cash for to ever visit.
    In a world of Battling Behemoths Frozen Forever, exploration is king.

    To round off these posts off, I'm going to pick two 'favorites' from the world I'm talking about. Here they are for Xenoblade:
    - Favorite thing ‘over there’: the fallen hand of the Mechonis that was cut off during the battle. It actually houses a town of its own, as well as a lovely beach.

    - Favorite song to explore by: Gaur Plains

    Man, I so need to revisit this game now. The wait for X is killing me.

    Well I don't know about you, but I certainly read a wonderful bit of news just now.

    Trine 3 is happening! This year even!

    Man, I can't even tell you how excited I am. The Trine series is one of my favorites of all time. As far as indie games go they're incredibly high on my list and they even hold up to a lot of my favorite 'AAA games'.

    I love the interplay between the three characters, where they can overcome obstacles by combining their strengths.

    I love the amazing art direction. The levels in Trine are easily more beautiful than any big budget title you can care to mention. And in contrast to, say, Final Fantasy XIII, Trine remembers to be a fun game that can stand on more than graphics alone.

    And perhaps most of all, I love the music. I think I can safely say that as far as the gameplay-to-soundtrack ratio goes, this game stands at number 1 for me. I have about 50 hours combined in Trine 1 and 2, but I listen to their soundtracks all the fucking time. Among all the soundtracks I have (which is to say about 30 GBs worth spread over almost 100 games) Ari Pulkkinen's masterwork is easily Top 5 for me. For reference, that's about where things like NieR and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze are.

    So in honor of this momentous occassion, I'm going to give a bunch of Trine-related stuff away over the next couple of weeks. I'm not gonna lie, it helps that these games are all on sale at the moment. But still!

    Here's how it's going down. Over the next five weeks, I'm going to give increasingly great gifts away, as follows:
    Week #1: Trine Enchanted Edition
    Week #2: Shadowgrounds and Shadowgrounds: Survivor
    Week #3: Trine 2: Complete Story
    Week #4: Trine Complete Pack (= Trine Enchanted Edition, Trine 2: Complete Story)
    Week #5: Frozenbyte Pack (= Trine Enchanted Edition, Trine 2: Complete Story, Shadowgrounds, Shadowgrounds: Survivor)
    Week #?: Trine 3 (this contest will be put up the week of Trine 3's release)

    The rules are very simple. Each week I'm going to ask you to answer a Trine-related question. The funniest, most thoughtful, or most original answer wins! You guys know how I think by now, so give me something I'll enjoy and the games could be yours!
    I will also allow, nay encourage, entering for a game you already own provided you have someone in mind to give it to. Same goes for entering in multiple weeks. So the winner of Week #1 is still eligible to participate in the following weeks, even in Week #4 and 5, but you're going to have to impress me. 

    Outside of answering the contest question, there is only one condition: no freeloaders.
    I'm giving these games away out of love for Frozenbyte and the Dtoid community, so the very least you could do is be part of the Dtoid community. That goes double for Week #?. Don't worry too much though, if you're a regular around here I'll probably know you. I made a list of 99 Dtoiders off the top of my head, I'm pretty sure I'll manage. 

    Well, now that the heavy stuff is out of the way, let's start Week #1 right away, for Trine Enchanted Edition.
    Here is the first question:

    If you could be a wizard, rogue or knight for one day, which would you choose and why?

    Just the other day, we were issued a challenge: "For Destructoid's ninth birthday, write something about the nine Dtoid members who left an impression on you."

    But as people quickly found out, that's harder than it sounds. Because seriously, how do you limit that much awesome to just nine? You can't! So, how to solve this predicament? If your name is Luckrequired, you dodge the question and list nobody. If your name is El Dango, you suck it up and pick nine people anyway. But there must be a better solution.

    And that's when it hit me. If I could make it to 99 Dtoiders who left an impression on me, I could get a lot more people in here while still fitting the theme! So, what if I did go all out and looked for 99 community members to list? Is such a thing even possible?

    It turns out that yes, listing 99 cool Dtoiders is possible. In fact, it was a lot easier than I thought! It only took me a couple hours of procrastinating at work to compile this list, and I barely had to search for anyone. Seriously, at least three quarters of the names here just came to me in a flash. The rest I came across within minutes and I immediately went "Oh shit, how could I forget them?!" If that's not a sign of how much this community means to me, I don't know what is. 

    I am even making the frankly rather dubious decision to keep the staff off of this list. Well, for the most part. This list is intended as a list of my favorite community members. A lot of the Destructoid staff are still community members at heart, but some have fully taken up the staff mantle and aren’t in the Cblogs as often as they should. The former are included in this list, the latter belong on a separate list on their own. What I’m saying is Andy Dixon is fair game, but Holmes gets his own staff appreciation. That’s not meant to be passive-aggressive, I swear. I'm just trying to keep this as ‘by the community, for the community’ as I can.

    Apart from about 20-ish people all the way at the bottom of this list, the names here are not listed in any particular order. They’re also not alphabetized to avoid people scrolling down to their own letter and ignoring everybody else. Have a look, and see if you're here! 

    So without further ado, an early happy 9th birthday, Destructoid. Here are 99 of your coolest members.


    99. The Unknown Dtoider
    This one’s for you. Yes, you. You, the guy or gal who only comments sometimes and hasn’t built up a solid name yet. You, the person who’s still anonymously lurking on our site and wishes they could join the party (you can!). You, the Dtoid regular who accidentally didn’t make this list because I had a brain fart or something. You, the forum-goer who is wildly respected on your home turf but isn’t really on my Cblogs radar. You, the old veteran who doesn’t visit the site often anymore. You, whoever you may be, who is reading this right now. Chances are I think you’re pretty damn great. This is your shout-out.

    98. Stevil

    97. Vxxyman

    96. CelicaCrazed

    95. Retrofraction

    94. My Landlord

    93. TroyFullbuster

    92. Lord Spencer

    91. The Angriest Carp

    90. Scrustle

    89. Cannibal Steven

    88. TheKodu

    - Likely the second most controversial name on this list, but I stand by it. I may not agree with you a lot, but you’re definitely a presence on this site. You keep us sharp. What's more, you put your weight behind what you believe in without slinging too much mud; I can respect that.


    86. Kaggen

    85. amxwolf

    84. The Gameslinger


    82. Crackity Jones

    Benny Disco
    - Please come back to us?

    80. Chimpomagee

    - Unfortunately you don't post a lot, but I still like you. You're basically Australian me, and therefore better in every way.

    79. Roberto Plankton

    78. Robo Panda Z

    77. Ooktar

    76. Arkane9

    75. BrownEyeWinkin

    74. Wolfy-Boey

    73. Cosmonstropolis    

    72. FlanxLycanth

    71. RenaudB90

    70. riobux

    69. Batthink

    68. Long John

    67. El Dango

    Code Name Crono

    65. 6.5 Chris Carter

    - I'm just messin', love ya Chris.

    64. Agent9

    63. The Scholarly Gamer
    - Please don't freeze to death up there. We still need you.

    62. Marche100

    61. NinjaPresident

    60. Chist

    59. Knutaf

    58. Corduroy Turtle

    - Your Fanart Flops probably takes the cake for funniest series on Destructoid.

    56. Terry 309

    55. KeithTheGeek

    54. Nanashi

    53. The Emolga Editorial

    52. Spielerdad

    51. Dr. Light ate your Magicite
    - Best username.

    50. Sotanaht

    49. Zer0t0nin

    48. Fenriff

    47. Reinhold Hoffman

    - Easily the best host of amazing fanart one could wish for.

    46. Nekrosys

    45. kingsharkboi

    44. Scarritt

    43. Morty

    42. My Enormous Hairy Downstairs Kitchen

    - Anyone remember this guy? I found him fascinating, wherever did he go?

    - Takes the Shade Award for Best Writer

    40. Luckrequired

    39. It's About To Get Gay In Here

    - I maintain that he needs to get his own Frontpage column. It’s way overdue.  

    38. ZombieOrwell

    - All Hail.


    36. pk fire

    35. RedHeadPeak

    34. Oscarno

    - I adore your indepth soundtrack blogs.

    33. UsurpMyProse

    32. Glowbear


    TheManChild / Phosis
    - And this is the controversial one. Your and Destructoid's relationship has been rocky at times, but you always came around and tried to fix it. You're also the one whose Recaps I took over, which has been a blast. I for one love having you back as Phosis, and I hope life's treating you as well as you deserve.


    28. CousinDupree

    Solar Pony Django

    26. SeymourDuncan17

    25. manasteel88

    24. Luna Sy

    23. Brittany Vincent



    - This is legit the coolest thing anybody ever made for me.

    20. Occam’s Electric Toothbrush

    - I have a feeling you're going to be on everybody's list. You know what they say, once you put a decoder ring on it, you're tied for life.

    19. OpiumHerz

    - Pretty chill for a German. Also one of the few people who can keep us loose cannons in check.

    18. Script

    - We totally need to Kart or Smash again sometime soon.

    - The Fetish Master

    16. TheDustinThomas
    - A salute to the beard.

    15. M R A Ndy Dixon

    - Boners.

    14. Pixielated

    - Lady of Metaphor

    Sir Davies
    - *insert Spanish joke here*

    Smurfee McGee
    - You're blue, da ba dee.

    11. Dreamweaver
    - You are the music-maker, you are the dreamer of dreams.

    10. Wrenchfarm
    - Two giant robots walked into a bar. Wrenchfarm came before even hearing the rest of the joke.

    And finally here they are, the Nine. From here on it will get tremendously sappy, you have been warned.

    Caim, you have written some stellar blogs over the years. As a fellow Nintendo-lover, I'd say you were doing Miyamoto's work with some of the in-depth analyses you have provided from time to time.

    As far as reasonable discussion goes, you're top of the line. While it's pretty rare to find actual discussion on a video game site, you managed to get people to talk on multiple occasions. That's something I've been trying to emulate, and I hope I'm succeeding.

    8. Last Scion of the House of Blue Lions
    Last Scion of the Blue Lion
    Old Lion

    Jesus Christ man, pick a name and stick with it!
    Apart from being all-round great, you're listed here because you're basically my success story. You're the first one I managed to introduce to our community and who went on to make a name for himself. And what a name it was!

    From the moment you were just a cub, you've been writing great blogs on the Souls series. Some of which made it to Topsauce and the Fapcast, which seemed to confuse you to no end. I also remember having long PM conversations with you about my Dark Souls adventures and some random other things.

    Eventually you jumped head-first into the community at large, and that's where you stayed. You even wrote the amazing Divine Comedy parody, which still hails as one of my favorite things ever to come out of Destructoid. It's been great, indeed inspiring, to watch you grow into the fierce majestic lion Bob you've become. 

    7. Rexwolf2
    An old veteran here, but no less important for it.

    You're one of the main reasons I joined this community in the first place. What I mean is when I wrote my first Cblogs I wasn't sure whether they were even worth posting. But you left encouraging messages, even though looking back those early posts of mine were pretty damn crappy.

    You showed me that the people here in the Cblogs and on Destructoid as a whole care about what you write. That your work is being read by people who come from much the same position as you do yourself. That's an important message to send to someone who has always had trouble finding likeminded people.

    Well, I found those likeminded people alright, but I haven't forgotten the people who were there at the beginning.

    6. Hyper Lemon Buster Cannon
    If you want, you can imagine me reading this to you in my Dutch voice. And hell, we'll do phone sex afterwards.

    You're a bundle of joy and energy around this site, and that's much appreciated. It seems like nothing ever gets you down, and you know just the right thing to say to people. Your stamp of approval is more encouraging than any fap, and your jokes often hit exactly the right spot to brighten the mood.

    You, and the person coming up after you, are one of my main motivators to keep writing happy things about video games. Because Destructoid is a happy place, and it's because it has people like you in it. And I'm not going to lie, having you tell me how sexy my Dutch voice is or how the ladies are going to be "all over" me makes me feel better and more confident than it probably should.

    Without a shadow of a doubt, you have MY stamp of approval.

    5. JoyfulSanity
    JS, you're in the same boat as HLBC above, so a lot of the same things apply here. I know you've had your sad times too, but whenever you're around here you bring the kind of fun and good spirits that we thrive on.

    Your blogs are always hilarious and a joy to read. You're not one for routine either, so we never quite know what you're going to be pulling out of your hat next. In particular, I love how you can run with Cblog fads like excitement or fetishes and still make it your own thing. And then you come out with a list of the sexiest Dtoiders and take it to a whole new level. In fact, I totally stole this idea of listing every Destructoid member from you. But where you just listed ‘everyone else’ as the sexiest Dtoider, I decided to go the extra mile.

    Apart from your writing, your comments have also left a lasting impression on me. They're some of the warmest and most encouraging things you can read on this site. I feel like whenever I do something right around here you're one of the first to tell me to keep up the good work. It's the reason why "being excited about video games" is still my go-to Blog theme.

    Also, Ys is brilliant.

    4. PhilKenSebben
    Every party needs its slut, and boy howdy have we got ours. You'll fuck anyone until they love you, no matter how long it takes. It's pretty much what you did to me.

    What I mean is I'm pretty sure you were one of the first people I interacted with off-site, mostly on Steam. Dropping a comment here and there is one thing, but you're the one who took me deeper in the ass community. Through giveaways, chats and random comments about how you always have a hole for me play with, you showed me what the "C" in "Cblogs" means. Basically, if the lion dude is my success story, I'm one of yours.

    In short, you're the best kind of town bicycle.

    3. Elsa
    What can I really say about Elsa that hasn't already been said? You're the one with the most thoughtful comments, the most level-headed one out of all of us, you drop truth nukes all over the place, and you're essentially the entire site's rolemodel.

    As for the influence you've had on me specifically, like the above wasn't enough yet, was that you helped me significantly improve my writing over the years. You showed me which of my thoughts needed extra consideration, which points weren't even worth making at all, and how to get points across more effectively. The best blog I've ever written for Destructoid was a direct recommendation from you, and I'm still thankful that you made me take the time to put all my effort into it. 

    Writing is a big part of my life both on Destructoid and IRL, and you continuously show us how it's done. Major props for that.

    2. StriderHoang
    This is a man who's got heart for the community. You want to talk about the best blogs on the site? Make, host and edit a Podcast for it! You want to give a shout-out to the highlights of the year? Pull the team together and make a giant Year in Review Recap! You see Andy and Occam's having their hands full? You step in right there with them! You remember that Community Trading Cards used to be a thing? You make new ones!

    And inbetween all of that, you write great blogs of your own, maintain a healthy IRL and get new Recappers acquainted with the whole process. You helped me with my first steps as the Thursday caps person, and you continue to make sure we don't go astray.

    Frankly, I don't know how you manage to do it all, but we're lucky to have you.

    1. bbain
    Well, Ben Davis bbain, here we are. Knowing you, you’re probably surprised to find yourself at the top of my list, but I can assure you that you deserved it. You were a huge inspiration to me here, in more ways than one.

    I remember that you and me joined at around the same time. I beat you by about a month at best. But I also remember that immediately after you joined, you took off like a rocket. You became an integrated part of the community while I was still figuring out how blogs worked, or at least that’s how it felt.

    You almost singlehandedly got me into the indie gaming scene. Your early blogs on your favorite freeware indie games never failed to give me a brand new experience to enjoy. It got me to pay much closer attention to the games less budget but more ideas. That’s a trend that has continued to this day; my Steam library is absolutely crammed with the indie games I may or may not have known about had you not opened my eyes to the many wonders they have to offer.

    I remember you joining the Recaps Team as the Friday capper. From that point on I posted most of my blogs on Fridays, because you always had nice things to say about them. It was around that time, when I saw you step up and do something for the Cblogs, that I decided that I could do it too. It wasn’t until about a year later that I earned my own place with the Recaps scallywags. I remember talking to you on one of our Fapcasts, and experiencing firsthand what a lovely person you are.

    And now here you are with a real name and a black-and-white photo, and you're still killing it. Your Top 10s are a joy to read, you get to review (non-freeware!) indie games, and your Experience Points fill some of the void that Chad Concelmo left behind. I mean Chad is irreplaceable, but dammit so are you. And be fair; Chad has his dolphins, you have your squids. It all works out.

    In my experience you were always an incredibly warm presence here; from the day you busted down the door with a big “Huzzah!” to the day you reached lvl. 36 and evolved into Ben Davis (Side note: you will always be bbain to me bb). I'm sure you’ll continue to be a warm presence here in the ages to come.

    Oh, and scarritt? You better treat my boy right or I'm coming for you.

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