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5:21 PM on 09.19.2013

Independent Retailers Are Getting Shafted

For those who don't know, for the past 5 years I've worked in an independently owned video game store called G.A.M.E.S. (Games Are My Entertainment Source). Recently, Take Two Interactive has decided to forbid independent retailers from getting their games ahead of release date, which means we can't do midnight releases. When a video game store cannot do midnight releases, it hurts their credibility.

To help bring this to light, I briefly spoke about this on the The Core (That new Dtoid show in beta), and I'm extremely grateful for the time I was given, but I want to get this message to as many people as I can with Destructoid.

I doubt Take Two will listen to a small independent store like us, but I'm hoping that we can band together and bring this issue to the front page and Destructoid can do what it does best, and get to the bottom of this barrel of bullshit.

Below is an email I had my boss write up for Niero to see if he's interested in covering it, and I figured I would also share it with all of you.

I apologize in advance for the wall of text, but I'm leaving the email unedited, so here's a picture to last you through it.

"I have always had some issues with my supplier processing orders.

Initially it was on major releases for systems I had to have an attachment rate. 1 system with a $2 mark up required me to bring in 3 assorted games they expected not to sell enough of, and a few accessories, or the like there of. I always had the option to opt out of the systems. We all know there's slim to no pickings on profits, and that systems are sometimes just too slim in stock for the first little bit.

In recent years I've had to watch as companies began getting exclusive content. Okay, I get it, purchasing a thousand times the product as me probably gets you a little bonus to provide to your customers. This has progressively gotten worse, where only the big box stores are getting in game content that is not even purchasable and sometimes has an unfair effect on gameplay. Again, I can handle this, so sales will suffer a bit, and I can handle the fact there's a cut in their price compared to mine even.

What's a bit bothersome - is a while back a game was released, and it was slated for North America, Xenoblade Chronicles. So, it still didn't have the hype in our neck of the woods, but a customer asked us to pre-order it for him. We, being the ever vigilant source for games around town tell him it shouldn't be a problem. We check with our supplier, and what does he tell us? The game was exclusively released in the United States and us Canadians were getting shafted on the whole deal. One would think that was the entire issue, but it wasn't. Not only was that the case, but that it would be semi-exclusive to a single retailer? How is that even remotely fair. When you include that and the fact the same company was removing competitors codes from new copies of games, you have to wonder what the world is coming to. We eventually got our release, but not before it got brought up from the U.S. companies into Canada to be sold. I recall that being grey marketing, and it's taking advantage of a flawed system.

What's bothering me now though is the street date violations. My supplier warns me that breaking it can result in fines, penalties of all sorts and either not ever receiving product, or never receiving it early again. So when Grand Theft Auto V came out and my supplier told me a week or so to the release date that I wouldn't be receiving until the day of release, I was baffled. I questioned it more recently, and their response was that Take Two Interactive Software had asked them not to release to the independent stores for fear of breaking street date. So who after all of this broke the street date? It wasn't the independent businesses that did it. It was Amazon. They're not the first to do it either.

The concept that anyone who wants to sell video games can't compete because the big box stores have the market monopolized to themselves has never arisen to us, until now. We can't get the price breaks, the content, and sometimes we can't even get it shipped, but worse than that, now we can't even get the game.

When do we get our retribution?

Thanks for listening to my plea and rant.

A Livid Gamer
Owner of G.A.M.E.S."

Glad we got through that, but I had to edit one URL out, but just google "Xenoblade Chronicles Not Coming To Canada" and you'll find links to certain big box retailers in Canada being allowed to get them in stock, while the independents get screwed.
So with all this said, I pray to the goddesses Din, Farore and Nayru that everyone helps shed some light on this, and maybe even share a few stories of their own of similiar problems in the past.   read

3:56 AM on 09.13.2013

Super Nintendo Vs. Genesis

Oh, we're going there, together.

As a 25 year old who had access to most consoles out there during his youth, and grew up to be working at a retro video game store for 5+ years and counting, this is a very passionate subject for me. There are wars in real life, in politics, in peoples own personal lives, but none of those matter. The only war that matters is the 16-bit war, because even after 24 years since it started, it's still not over. 

You'd have thought this would have been talked to death after 2 decades, but within the retro gaming community, this is a fire no one can contain. Now I'm not here to say that I have the absolute conclusive answer, but I do feel I have more experience with both consoles than anyone else I've seen talk about this matter (including many Youtube celebrities in the retro gaming community). 

It seems in every discussion, everyone remembers most of the great SNES titles, but struggle to think of amazing Genesis titles aside from Sonic, Phantasy Star, and Shinobi. Their lack of experience with the Genesis harshly sways their favour on this matter. This isn't to say that if they had played more amazing titles on the Genesis that it would automatically sway that favour to Sega, but it would definitely make the decision more of a fair fight. Everyone respects the Genesis, but they don't seem to actually know why.

So with all that said, I give you my rundown on the greatest war to ever war into wartown.

We all know the Super Nintendo has much more graphical power and superior audio compared to the Genesis, but the one advantage the Genesis has is it's processor. It's CPU is clocked in at 7.6 MHz, which is more than twice that of the Super Nintendo's 3.6 MHz. This is important to note. Having a faster processor means you can have more things happening at once, and at faster speeds without having to worry about slowdown as much, which is obviously why Sonic exists. While most people just give the SNES an easy victory because of it's superior graphical power and audio, this is a compromise for having a much weaker CPU. Plus when it came to producing bass guitar or drum tracks, then Genesis had a much stronger tone than the SNES in this regard thanks to it's "twang".
Winner: TIE

This is where it gets real tough. The Super Nintendo controller is the most influential controller to this day, and for good reason. The extra face button placement, the shoulder buttons, the comfort and stability, the SNES controller really was the full package back then. Now I'm a fan of the original Genesis controller, due to it's shape. Gone are the stabbing corners of the NES and SMS style controller, and now it's actually formed with ergonomics in mind. I feel the real challenge here is the 6 button Sega Genesis controller. I personally think it uses the best directional pad ever made. Not to mention having 6 face buttons, which for a fighting game fanatic that I was back then, made a big difference for me. So it comes down to influence vs. preference, and considering that current gen consoles still have a SNES controller build to them, well history speaks for itself.
Winner: SNES

Getting this out of the way right now, the SNES looks like a shitty box that was designed by someone who still drives a fucking station wagon. Very unappealing, as are the cartridges. The Genesis on the other hand looks sleek and futuristic with it's black case, and "High Definition Graphics" written above the cartridge slot, and a big "16-Bit" right on it, telling you you're experiencing the future of video games.
Winner: Genesis

Now for the main event

Old picture of my main game room.

This is the hardest part, because the library of games defines a console. You could be the most powerful console on the block, but if your games are shit, then you're shit.
There's only one way to really settle this, a game off. I'm going to list all the good SNES/Genesis games that comes to mind, but with a few rules.
1) Only exclusives, or
2) If multiplatform, must have differences (Such as Aladdin, Jurassic Park, or TMNT IV, etc)

Super Nintendo (44)
Act Raiser, Act Raiser 2, Axelay, Batman Returns, Breath of Fire, Breath of Fire II, Chrono Trigger, Contra III: The Alien Wars, Demon's Crest, Donkey Kong Country, 
Donkey Kong Country 2, Donkey Kong Country 3, Earthbound, F-Zero, Final Fantasy II, Final Fantasy III, Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, Gradius III, Illusion of Gaia, Killer Instinct, Kirby's Dreamland 3, Kirby Superstar, Mega Man X, Mega Man X2, Mega Man X3, Pilotwings, Pocky & Rocky, Secret of Evermore, Secret of Mana, Shadowrun, Sparkster, Starfox, Sunset Riders, Super Castlevania IV, Super Mario Kart, Super Mario RPG, Super Mario World, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, Super Metroid, Super Punch-Out, Super Smash TV, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time, The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past, Wild Guns

Genesis (88)
Aladdin, Alien Soldier, Alien Storm, Alisia Dragoon, Altered Beast, Beyond Oasis, Castle of Illusion, Castlevania Bloodlines, Comix Zone, Contra: Hard Corps, Crusader of Centy
Darius 2, Decap Attack, Desert Strike, Dinosaurs For Hire, Dragon's Fury, Dynamite Headdy, Earthworm Jim, Earthworm Jim 2, Elemental Master, Fatal Labyrinth, Golden Axe
Golden Axe 2, Golden Axe 3, Grind Stormer, Gunstar Heroes, Jungle Strike, Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park: Rampage Edition, Kid Chameleon, Landstalker, Light Crusader, Lightening Force, McDonald's Treasure Land Adventure, Moonwalker, Musha, Mutant League Football, Mutant League Hockey, Outrun, Phantasy Star II, Phantasy Star IV, Phelios, Pier Solar, Quickshot, Ranger X, Rings of Power, Ristar, Road Rash, Road Rash II, Road Rash 3, Rocket Knight Adventures, Shadow Dancer, Shadowrun, Shining Force, Shining Force 2, Shining in the Darkness, Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master, Sonic & Knuckles, Sonic Spinball, Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2, Splatterhouse 2, Splatterhouse 3, Streets of Rage, Streets of Rage 2, Streets of Rage 3, Strider, Super Hang-On, Sword of Vermilion, Taz-Mania, Taz In Escape From Mars, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Hyperstone Hiest, The Revenge of Shinobi, Thunder Force, Thunder Force 2, Thunder Force 3, Toejam & Earl, Toejam & Earl in Panic on Funkatron, Truxton, Urban Strike, Vectorman, Vectorman 2, Virtua Racing, Wonder Boy In Monster World, World of Illusion, X-Men 2: Clone Wars

WHEW. I cheated and looked at my SNES/Genesis collection after getting to 30 or so for each console, but I believe a point has been made. The Genesis has a lot of great games on it, and while they all might not of A+ quality, they're still good games, and I find that's what it was like back in the 16-bit era. With the Genesis, you were always getting good games, but with the SNES, you always had to wait longer, but you generally got a longer experience with the game. So it's more games which take less time, or less games that take more time. 

At the end of the day, both consoles are on equal footing. That was the best thing about the 16-bit war. If you went with SNES, you were a winner. If you went with Genesis, you were a winner. Your console had clear advantages over the competition, and the industry truly thrived on it. This is why most older gamers claim this was the best era in video games, and why some youngers gamers are more attracted to the retro consoles. Nowadays, consoles are so similiar, and play similiar (aside from Nintendo, of course) that the console war of this generation doesn't really seem like a war at all, just a mild teenage arguement.

Sigh, I want the 90s back.

2:31 PM on 08.03.2012

"Gamer"s Do Not Exist Anymore

I remember a time when being a gamer just labeled you as such, a "Gamer". Then came along the divider for girls, "Girl Gamer". Don't forget the casual crowd, forcing the term "Gamer" to be divided into "Casual" and "Core".

Well it appears there's been another divider introduced into the equation. "Gaymer", a gay gamer. This is a serious thing, and these "Gaymers" are trying to get their own convention about it to. The GaymerCon is a convention that celebrates gaming, which is good, but singles out the LGBT community, which is bad. I'm not saying LGBT people are bad, but act of singling out a specific group of people is bad. Instead of having a convention centered around one community, have one centered around all communities, otherwise you end up reinforcing a barrier you're trying to break down, and that's stupid.

I understand that some people feel like other conventions like E3, Gamescom, PAX, etc. are centered around straight males, but they're not, you only feel that way. You're putting up that mental barrier that you feel left out, that you're not getting specific attention, when that's the farthest from the truth. There are always games being displayed that target all kinds of gamers, straight, gay, girl, guy, young, old, black, white, asian, whatever. No matter what race, sex, sexuality, you are, no matter what preferences you have, you will find games you'll enjoy at these conventions.

Now if the GaymerCon goes through, why not have a BlackGameCon, where it's centered around black gamers? Lord knows the vast majority of protagonists are white, so that means blacks are being left out, and not getting specific attention towards them, so they should benefit from having their own convention, right? If you disagree, yet think GaymerCon is a good idea, than you're a racist muddafukka.

Seriously though, between Cores, Casuals, Girls, Gaymers, this is getting retarded. When someone says to me "I'm a gamer", I'll now have to ask them to be more specific about it, because "Gamer" is no longer good enough, it's just too broad of a term, and doesn't mean shit anymore.

I am a white-male-hetero-bearded-tattooed-core gamer, that wishes he was just a gamer.

But seriously, where's my convention based around straight white dudes with tattoos and beards that play video games...
...Oh wait   read

2:34 PM on 07.03.2012

Speaking of Grapes, I mean Rape.

There needs to be a mainstream AAA video game that has tons of rape. Rape doesn't have to be the focus, but it needs to consistent throughout the game.
I'm being serious when I say this.

When religion and Hell was unheard of in mainstream video games, it took DOOM to break ground, to take the heat of protests and bannings, to carry the flag against censorship, and for freedom of speech.
When sexism and nudity was unheard of in mainstream video games, we got Duke Nukem, the most sexist, offensive, idiotically masculine meathead to date.

While these games were never focused around the censorship barriers they were smashing, having those consistent themes made other developers feel it was OK to follow suit, further expanding what is allowed in this medium, because for some reason, everything is not allowed. We have movies, novels, comics, and music about rape, whether it's realistic or not, and it's alright. Yet rape in a video game? You'll be scoffed at.

The only way to fix this problem? Make a game where rape is a consistent thing that happens in the experience. While there's been the very rare occurrence, (Silent Hill 2, anyone?) there still needs to be that flag bearer title. Developers have tried to make obscure games with rape, but they're mistake is making it the focus of the game, and the mainstream folks just aren't ready for that.

I look forward to a time when people stop being fucking idiots by treating fictional ideals as real problems.   read

11:58 AM on 07.01.2012

My Piece On The Current Bullcrap.

So DESTRUCTOID fires Ryan Perez because he voiced his opinion on Felicia Day on Twitter. Yet every chance they get, they make fun of Bobby Kotick and Michael Patcher. I'm not even going to single out Jim Sterling doing this, because we all know Bobby and Michael are brainless tards.

So Destructoid, the most opinionated gaming site on the net, has fired someone for having a negative opinion against someone, because the victim was a girl. That's the only difference between her, Bobby and Michael.

So much for equal rights, eh? Fuck your white knight horse shit.
I expected better from Dtoid management, a lot better.   read

4:30 PM on 02.13.2012

Nobi The Nord: Welcome Home!

I have decided to do a specific playthrough of Skyrim. Expert difficulty, no increasing health or magicka, no compass, no map, no quest tracker. Oh, and perma-death! This is the story of Nobi the Nord as he moves to Skyrim to be with his fellow man.

So there I was at last, home for the first time in my life. I had finally made my way to the land of Skyrim. I was knocked out, bound, and on my way to execution. Best welcoming party I've ever had, and what seemed to be the last...

I woke up on a carriage with three other individuals, all with the same fate as I. One man was even gagged, I guess he was a talker. One of the fellows introduced himself and told me the gagged man had brought honour back to the Nords. If I cared for politics, I may have been slightly happy.

We arrived in a town called Helgen, and were lined up for attendance. Unsurprisingly, I wasn't on the list. However, I was to share the same fate, most likely because I have the same Nordic blood as my acquaintances. I escaped Morrowind to embrace my culture with my own kin, to escape the constant hatred from the Dunmer, and I now get to share the same chopping block with my fellow man, because of hatred from the Imperial.
I knew I should have taken that left at Albuquerque!

As the leader of this group of Imperials trash talks the gagged Nord, I noticed he accused him of killing the king with his voice. So it seems Moon Sugar and Skooma are legal here, and consumed daily because he seemed quite serious about such a ridiculous thing. Just as things get rolling, a monstrous scream is heard in the distance. Sounds bigger than anything I've heard before.
They bring forth the first victim,and read off our last rites until the victim tells them to shut it and hurry up. The man had guts, and we were about to see them. He seemed content to die thinking his dead ancestors were going to be smiling while witnissing his execution. Maybe he was trying to get into the executioner's head. Turned out it was the executioner getting into his head as he cleaved it off in one swing of his axe.

"Next, the Nord in the rags!"
Oh shit, that's me! Once again that scream echoes throughout the small village, noticably louder, revealing that it was getting closer. As my ears heard the scream, the wierdest thought crossed my mind. The words "Ohhh yeahhh!" ran through my mind, almost replacing the sound of the scream. It only served as a three second distraction however, as I was brought up to the chopping block.
Forced onto my knees, then stomped onto the block, all I could do is look up at the man that would end my life. No name, no race, no voice, no personality. Just a random person with an axe. If I could, I'd at least punch him in the nuts to give him true reason to end my life. As I was about to close my eyes after I saw the axe raise, I saw this beast fly out from behind the mountain. It flew right up to us and landed on top of the tower just behind the executioner. We all felt the ground shake as it landed, making the big man fall down, luckily missing me with that axe.

"Dragon!" a woman yelled.

Wait, what? A dragon? Those things are only creatures of legend, they're a myth, pure fiction, and flat-out do not, and cannot exist. As the executioner got back to his feet, the creature blasted this force from it's mouth that rattled my bones. At that moment, I was a believer. A believer of getting my ass to safety! I noticed the clouds started swirling above the dragon and it sure felt like it was an apocalypse, but considering my situation six seconds prior, it's definitely an upgrade.
As I was about to gather my thoughts and try to make a run for it, it shouted again. This time with enough force to knock me to the ground and knock my vision out of focus. My entire line of thought was scrambled until I was helped to my feet by the Nord I talked to on the carriage. He rushed me inside of a guard tower since my vision was still blurry.

The gagged man was also in this tower, just without the gag anymore. When asked if the legends were true, about dragons, his response was swift and blunt.

"Legends don't burn down villages"

It roared again from the outside of the tower, we were sitting ducks if we stayed here. We started making our way up the stairs when we came across fallen rocks blocking the stairs. Just before we started to move them, the dragon smashed it's head through the wall and breathed fire right at the punctured area, roasting an already crushed soldier. It quickly flew off the tower, thankfully. The heat being that close to the flame was enough to smelt ore, I swear!

The passageway up was now completely unpassable, but there was an open roof to the house next door, and thanks to the dragon, a big hole in the wall. This wasn't the time for second thoughts, so I just leaped down into the lower building. As I ran across the floor I felt the pressure of the dragon fly just about twenty feet over my head. It's making sure my adrenaline is at full, that's for sure. I noticed the floor had given out at the other side of the house, so I dropped down quickly and looked around for my next course of action.

Just ahead of me were two guards, one of them calling for his son to come closer. The boy listened, and just as he made it around the adjescent house, the dragon landed about 10 feet infront of the father and let loose another breath of fire. Luckily the father had dodged behind the house just in time. The dragon flew off yet again but there was no time to let out a sigh of relief just yet, I was still in a burning town. The father ordered an older man to keep the boy safe, and for me to stick by his side if I wanted to get out of here.

As we ran through the town, the dragon continued to fly over it, and everytime I was in it's shadow, I felt the coldest chill shoot right up my spine. We took to an alley between the village wall and a house. The father ordered me to stay close to the wall, so I hugged that wall tighter than a girl hugs her teddy bear. Just before we passed the house, we feel a huge thud as the dragon lands ontop of the house we're using for cover and flames the pathway between the next house and the one we're at, before flying off again.

We take the heated passage to get into the next house. I could feel the still burning embers beneath every step. As we come out of the house, 3 mages are trying to hit the dragons with fireballs. While I appreciate their effort, this is a fire breathing creature of legend, and you're trying to fight fire with fire? Had no time to stop and think though, they were provoking it, so I better use it to my advantage. The father and I kept running through town, falling victim to that chilling shadow again as it flies over us while we run. We stop for a brief moment when we come across someone this father doesn't like. Thankfully they realize quickly that their political idiocy will kill us all right now, and just part ways. I follow the father as he's kept me alive for the past 40 seconds.

We enter a keep and take a second to catch our breath. He cuts my bonds and allows me free loot of an equipment chest. Finally I can start to defend myself! While it may just be a longsword, chest piece and boots, it felt like my skin was steel and that I was all mighty. At least, until I'm reminded of that flying, fire-breathing, man-eating, killing machine again, then I'm reminded I'm just a useless Rogue. We unlock a gate and continue forward, hoping to find any kind of safe exit.

We come across two fellow Nords catching their breath. I run up to see if they're ok, and one of them yells out "Imperial dogs!" as they draw their swords. It was clear there was no reasoning with these buffoons, and instead of band together, they'd rather die by steel. After taking two hits, I lose that sense of invincibility I had. i work in the shadows with a small blade, not in the open with a giant sword. Thankfully my buddy is quite adept at that kind of fighting and was able to kill one quickly. When I knocked the other down to her knees, I tried to reason with her, but my buddy was having none of that, as he drove his sword through her back and laid her to rest.

We make haste continuing through the keep. As we come across a long walkway, we notice two more people on the other side, but before we can run over there, the ceiling and part of the wall cave in between us just as we hear a faint roar from the dragon. Luckily the debris missed to door to the left, so we still had a route to take. My friend put it accurately.

"Damn. That dragon doesn't give up easily"

Luck is not with me at all today as two more bloodthirsty bastards are behind the door. My ally charges in while I flank the one using a two-handed axe. Using my superior agility, I easily step in for an attack, and roll out before he can swing a hit. He's finished with another sword through the back from my comrade. He is proving himself much more useful than I. With one down, I quickly run over to flank the second enemy. Using a move I've seen effective twice now, with the enemy not paying attention to me, I place my arm around his neck to choke him as I stab him through the spine with my longsword. While I never kill in the open, this is a pretty damn good time to be making exceptions.

Just beyond the fight was an old store room, and after a quick search through some barrels, we find a handful of potions. While they won't help against that dragon, it's definitely welcome in case we run into more gung-ho adversaries. We come through the other side of the collapse and start heading deeper into the keep when we hear swords clashing.

"The torture chamber" explained my friend. "I wish we didn't need these".

Sentiments aside, seemed like there was fighting down there. He charged in to help his allies while I stayed in the shadows and surveyed the scene. I snuck into what seemed to be an officer's cell and found a cheap, but sturdy iron shield. Without hesistation and ignoring the sound of combat behind me, I rush for the shield and equipped it. That feeling of invincibility had started to come back again. While I turned around to check up on the brawl, it seemed my friend and his ally had won it. Turned out the other man was a torturer, and had no idea there was a dragon attacking the village. He dismissed the idea at first, but after second thought accepted it as he heard weird noises echoing from further down the halls.
When told to join us, he promptly said "You have no authority over me, boy" in a smug tone. Even being told the dragon is destroying the town, he refused to join us. His assistant however was obviously a much more clever man as he decided it was best to join us. Before leaving the room, buddy noticed a celler with some useful things in it.

"I lost the key to that ages ago" said the torturer, with apathy.

Being the rogue that I am, I was quickly able to pick the lock and retrieve some mage gear and gold. "Sure, take all my things" replied the torturer, I should have said "OK" and taken his life, but I was too concerned for my own life, and wanted out of here. As we ventured further through the torture chamber, bodies of my own kin lay all over the floor, mostly skeleton remains. I did my best to avoid stepping on any stray fingers or toes. At the end of the room, the wall looked blown apart, leading into a natural cave formation. Torches were set up around corners, so this was not part of some recent demolition test.

The cave opens up to a large naturally formed room with a river flowing across. Three more boneheads come charging in with swords and axes, with two more across the river with bows taking pot shots. The man wielding the big 2 handed axe of course wants a piece of me. I try to go toe-to-toe with him, but I'm just not able to take that kind of beating. I'm forced to run back, drink two potions and continue to run from him while dodging arrows until my buddy and the assistant are able to help me. Unfortunately the assistant falls in battle, but not before he kills one of the Nords attacking us. My buddy is able to kill the other two slashing away. We regroup quickly before charging in to take down the pair using bows.
And by charging in, I mean I distract them while hiding behind a pillar, and he shoots them with his bow. Whatever keeps me alive! One of the archer falls eventually, so I run up and take his bow and start providing some real use, up-close to the archer. The archer pulls out his sword and shield, and it appears that I've dropped my sword somewhere, fantastic! I grab a mace off the dead archer and uppercut my foe with it's blunt-but-spiky end.
With this fight over, we continue until coming across a drawn bridge. Luckily the lever is on our side, so my buddy switches the lever to unlock an ever bigger cavernous entry. As we enter this cave, the room starts to shake and we hear the dragon fly by once again, as it drops something big onto the drawbridge, completely destroying it.

"Well, no going back now" my friend states. No shit.
We follow the flowing river hoping it'll lead to exit, but it comes to an end for us when we cannot fit into the small passageway. To our right, the cave continues a dry trail. It zigs and zags until we come to an opening filled with spider silk all over the place. Oh, look at that, giant spiders hanging from the ceiling, with giant fangs, and bodies, oh crap. I run behind my walking meatshield as I pull out my bow. Together we are able to kill the giant spiders.

"What next, giant snakes?" he questions.
"Snakes, I hate snakes" I reply, as we venture forth.

We are reunited with our stream of water, and follow it religiously hoping it leads to the outside world, the one without dragons, that is. With my buddy leading point, he stops.

"Hold up, see that bear just ahead?"

A bear? Giant dragons, spiders, and now bears.

"We might be able to just sneak by"

Now he understands! He gets me, he truly gets me!

"Nice and slow, just watch your step" he advises.
"Don't worry, I'm a master of stealth" I reply confidently.
"Or if you're feeling lucky, take this bow. It'll take her by suprise" he offers.
"You're out of your mind!" I whisper back.

As we sneak our way past the bear, a cold breeze flows through the tunnel, and as we come around a corner we noticed snow coming from an opening. This is it, we're free! We full out run to the safe, cold air of Skyrim. As we venture out into the blinding bright world once again, "Wait!" says my buddy as he takes cover by a rock, so I instinctively dive behind the rock as well. We see the dragon roar across the sky again before flying way off into the distance.

"Looks like he's gone for good this time. But I don't think we should stick around to see if he comes back."

This is clearly the most intelligent person I've met all damn day. He advises me to head to Riverwood. He has an uncle there who could help us out. We split up as we part ways to Riverwood, but before he goes he says "I couldn't have made it without your help today".
"I know, it was all me" I replied, before taking off into the wilds of Skyrim.

After five minutes of walking, a thought crossed my mind. "Where the hell is Riverwood?"   read

12:16 AM on 01.09.2012

Ozzblog Backlog: January 1-7

With New Years just passing, one of my resolutions was to put the biggest dent into my backlog. I'm hoping to beat last years record of 66 completed games, except this time in just unbeaten games rather than ones I've perfected over the years. Figured I might as well keep track of a weekly progress, so here we go!

3 weeks in the first week is a pretty solid start, if I can keep this up all year I may finish my backlog.

Game: A.R.E.S. Extinction Agenda
Platform: Steam
Date: January 4th

Take Megaman, only have 5 stages, and instead of pixel greatness, toss in really crisp flash animations, and you have A.R.E.S.
Basic side scrolling shooter with unlockable weapons earned after boss fights. Some of the hidden items like increased Max HP take some really tricky acrobatics to get to, but most of the game is pretty simple. I highly, highly recommend grabbing a controller for this though. With mouse/keyboard it works, but just feels awkward. When I bought my wired 360 controller and tried this game again, it just felt good, it felt proper. Can't say much for the story or audio because it's totally forgetable. Something about robots wanting to destroy humans and start a new circle of life on Earth, I dunno.

Game: Alien Breed 2: Assault
Platform: Steam
Date: January 5th

A twin-stick shooter heavily influenced by the Alien franchise, and from the minds of Worms. Seems promising, right?

Well, it is. The game may be short with only 5 stages (Few more if you hop into co-op), but each stage takes about an hour as long as you're not rushing things. There are only 5 weapons in the game, rifle, shotgun, flamethrower, chaingun, and rocket launcher, and while you can upgrade them, upgrades generally don't help all that much, sadly. This doesn't stop the game from being really fun though, as long as you enjoy pounding aliens in the face with lead and flame.

Game: Cthulu Saves The World
Platform: Steam
Date: January 5th

While you can't improve upon perfection, you sure can approach it from a different angle with the same mechanics.

I'm not even sure where to start with this game, everything is just so damn good. A retro 8-bit style RPG akin to Dragon Quest (Or back then, known as Dragon Warrior), 16-bit soundtrack, well-written humour throughout the whole game, everything just comes together and fits perfectly and feels so god damn good playing it. The only complaint I could see anybody having is that it's not a long RPG. Only takes about 4-5 hours to run through on Normal, but with unlockable modes and harder difficulties, you'll definitely be sinking in a lot more than 5 hours into this game.   read

8:28 AM on 10.03.2011

Steamtoid Challenge: Week 5

For those new to the Steamtoid Challenge, check out what it's all about right here. With that out of the way, let's get started.

First! There are rules to be followed!
1) Must have a Steam account!
2) Must join the Destructoid group on Steam
3) Must join Dtoid's chatroom (AKA Steamtoid)

Now onto the challenge.
Best Video Game Porn Parody
Deadline: Monday, October 10th, 2011

Doesn't matter what video game it's about. Could be funny, awkward, epic, or just fucked up, it's all good!
Can be a simple rename of a franchise, or a picture either drawn, photoshopped, made with Lego, whatever!
Submissions can be sent by PM, commenting here, or by finding me through other means.
Prizes are given out on Mondays, because Mondays need less suck!

My body is ready   read

2:34 PM on 09.26.2011

Steamtoid Challenge: Week 4

For those new to the Steamtoid Challenge, check out what it's all about right here. With that out of the way, let's get started.

First! There are rules to be followed!
1) Must have a Steam account!
2) Must join the Destructoid group on Steam
3) Must join Dtoid's chatroom (AKA Steamtoid)

Now onto the challenge.
Best Gaming Haiku
Deadline: Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Doesn't matter what video game it's about, doesn't matter the context. Could be funny, awkward, epic, or just fucked up, it's all good! Stick to the 5-7-5 format of Haiku. Know the risks of coming up with a clever haiku that is only funny to those who've played a certain game (Not everyone will get a Persona haiku, for example).
Submissions can be sent by PM, commenting here, or by finding me through other means.
Prizes are given out on Mondays, because Mondays need less suck!
Bouncing in the sky
Sending the enemies down
The Balloon Fighter

This week's winner is: Telephis
The sword is pulled free
The green hero masters time
He feels - HEY LISTEN   read

12:06 AM on 09.20.2011

Steamtoid Challenge: Week 3

For those new to the Steamtoid Challenge, check out what it's all about right here. With that out of the way, let's get started.

First! There are rules to be followed!
1) Must have a Steam account!
2) Must join the Destructoid group on Steam
3) Must join Dtoid's chatroom (AKA Steamtoid)
(Seriously guys, it's a good community with some rough edges, but this is helping promoting the PC community, so take part! )

Now onto the challenge.
Best Caption
Deadline: Monday, September 26th, 2011

All you have to do is come up with the best caption for the above image. Whether it's hilarious, crude, or just disgusting morbid and wrong (Or all of the above!), anything's game!
Submissions can be sent by PM, commenting here, or by finding me through other means.
Prizes are given out on Mondays, because Mondays need less suck!

This week's winner is: Aurain
"Tarvu's masturbation fetishes are getting out of hand."
Indeed they are, indeed they are.   read

12:17 PM on 09.12.2011

Steamtoid Challenge: Week 2

For those new to the Steamtoid Challenge, check out what it's all about right here. With that out of the way, let's get started.

First! There are rules to be followed!
1) Must have a Steam account!
2) Must join the Destructoid group on Steam
3) Must join Dtoid's chatroom (AKA Steamtoid)

Now onto the challenge.
Best Steam Screenshot
Deadline: Monday, September 19th, 2011

Doesn't matter what game your playing, doesn't matter the context. Could be funny, awkward, epic, or just fucked up, it's all good! I chose Steam screenshot over any screenshot because it stops peeps from stealing other players screenshots and claiming as their own. This way I can see your screenshot in your Steam profile.
Submissions can be sent by PM, commenting here, or by finding me through other means.
Prizes are given out on Mondays, because Mondays need less suck!

20 foot mutated spiders? Bitch, I got a knife!

This week's winner is: FranksPickle!

Now that's the face of a winner coming off of a DOMination! Seriously, look at that face.

Bitches say they dominatin' me. Say whaaaaaaa? Nuh-uh girlfriend.   read

1:50 PM on 09.08.2011

Steamtoid Challenge: Week 1

I've decided to host a weekly challenge to fellow Steamtoid users (Even new ones!) and give out a prize to whoever does it better than everyone else (including Batman). The prize will be $5 worth of anything from Steam, and maybe extra goodies depending on what I have. If there's nothing the winner wants for $5, they can "Bank" it for later use, or if they win again and claim $10 worth of goodies, and so forth.

However! There are rules to be followed!
1) Must have a Steam account!
2) Must join the Destructoid group on Steam
3) Must join Dtoid's chatroom (AKA Steamtoid)

Simple, really. Now unto the first week's challenge.
What would Destructoid's Uncle look like?
Deadline: Monday, September 12th, 2011!

Picture can be anything. Drawn, photoshopped, or just Googled, it's all good!
Submissions can be sent by PM, commenting here, or by finding me through other means.
Prizes are given out on Mondays, because Mondays need less suck!

Do I have to talk dirty to you? Come on! Open up for daddy! I'm gonna shove a load into you! Here we go! Come on, it's nice and easy. Aaah! Come on, here we go! Ah! Take that! Take that! Come on! You don't want the crowbar, do you? Come on! OPEN UP! UUGGHH! I'm gonna shove my load into you whether you like it or not!

This week's winner is: Max!

Clearly this man knows Mr. Destructoid's history very very well. From the greasy gut, to the noose, and even his favourite game!

Second place: Mollygos!

This entry was just too good not to share. Another great image of what it's like to be in the family tree. While there may be no prize for the runner-up, there will always be cocks!   read

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