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The extent of my hardcoreness would we that I still have my PSX, controller, memory card and Final Fantasy VIII locked up for a rainy day. Other than that I still have my Dreamcast just for Shenmue and Seaman. I'll goto my grave saying Indigo Prophecy and Dreamfall; The Longest Journey are two of the best games of all time.

Top 5 Games:
1) Final Fantasy VIII
2) Indigo Prophecy
3) Shenmue I & II
4) Dreamfall; The Longest Journey
5) Rock Band/Guitar Hero series

Top 5 Books:
1) The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx
2) The Dirt by Motley Crue
3) Blue Rage; Black Redemption by Stanley Williams
4) Walk This Way by Aerosmith
5) Tommyland by Tommy Lee

Other than that I absolutely love long walks on the beach, drinking beer, and killen. Oh and Motley Crue FTW! Nikki Sixx is the man!
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I haven't seen too much discussion about the game yet which has surprised me as MMA has really taken off in the past few years and this game is damn good, damn frustrating but damn good. As fun as the game is it does have it's flaws however first lets delve into the good things about it.


PROS
- The roster is fantastic. You have everyone from Brock Lesnar to BJ Penn. There;s something so satisfying about knocking out Tito Ortiz with Rampage.

-Classic Bouts are great addition for any MMA fan. Reproducing Rampage first round knockout of Liddell and GSP making Hughes tap in the second round with an arm bar. Lots of fun matches to replay the the production on it is nice, you get a breif rundown of the fight's history by (the ever so hott) Rachel Leah.

-The TV presentation is fantastic. The introductions are nice, the commentary is solid and the recaps between rounds is spot on.

-Career feels like you're in the UFC. You are going to get your shit packed more than once unless you're on beginner, even then you still might have it packed a time or two. You MUST spar, I made the mistake of just training my cardio, strength and speed and once I got past the no names my ass was grass.

-It's not a button masher, you can only get so far by button mashing... you need to learn the timing and everything if you want to really get anywhere.

-Dude, it's UFC. There hasn't been a decent (if any) MMA game in years.

CONS
-IT'S FUCKING HARD! The learning curve is fucking steep! Even if you have the fight in the bag you can get caught and lose.

-If you're on your back, just put the controller down, odds are you're gonna lose.

-No Randy Couture. They were able to get Tito Ortiz's punkass but not Randy Couture? I call shennagians


That's really about it for the cons. This game will suck you in. I've spent a rather lengthy amount of time with the game in the past day and a half and I've still have awhile to go, haven't even had a title fight in career yet. Once I'm unspsended from X-Box Live (apparently having "911 WAS AN INSIDE JOB" as your motto is offensive.) I plan on trying a few online fights.

Here's some filler since we all enjoy pictures...
Photo








I love Indigo Prophecy, that's been well established. I lvoe it so much I bought a PS3 JUST for Heavy Rain. Until now there hasn't been much info and even less gameplay video., well that has changed.

Embedding doesn't seem to like me today, here's the links, sorry.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycoxWUXPJ3Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XyE4dfed_A
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpkA9NVpxac

I'll be damned if I can understand 99% of what he's saying but the footage speaks for itself. It looks like everything I wanted, take what working with IP and give it a new story (that hopefully doesn't goto shit in the last 1/3 of the game) with gorgeous graphics. I really hope we get an English walk through at E3 and a post E3 demo. Now if you'll excuse me I need to empty my drool cup.








So awhile ago I borrowed my buddy Halo 3 because his two boys LOVE Halo. Lately my buddies I game with have been play Halo 3 again when CoD4 gets boring so I decided it was time to get my copy back. I was horrified to see it covered in minor and major scratches and I cannot afford to take it in to get it resurfaced.But then a light bulb went off and I remembered something my friend showed me in Junior High to take scratches out of music CDs and I figured I didn't have much to lose.

With the instructions running through my head I went into my bthroom and grabbed my toothpaste, Windex and a lighter. Put a decent amount of toothpaste smeared around it and let it sit for a moment and then got it all off with the Windex and a soft paper towel. To ensure it's all off you run a lighter around the bottom and throw her in and it's as good as new... at least whenever I do it.

I don't recommend it, but I'll be damned if it doesn't work. If you have a game that's scratched to fuck and no where near by that resurfaces, you don't have much to lose.

As always, here is some filler...

Wood Filler is not recommended for procedure detailed above.








If anyone read my blog yesterday about my trip to Play N Trade, they know I've put together a "Retro Corner." I decided to run out today and add a few more games to my collection, but this time I hit a place called Discland, let me show you what I found and why I needed a change of pants...

Not Pictured: the kick ass Sweet Tea from McDonald's
If you can't tell from my shitty camera phone picture those are SMB3, Legend of Zelda, Legend of Zelda : A Link to the Past, Super Punch-Out, WWF WrestleMania: The Arcade Game, Killer Instinct, Pilotwings, Fear Effect and THPS2. Not a bad haul for under 30 minutes if I don't say so myself. Add to that the fact I ordered Excitebike, Saturday Night Slam Masters, Ninja Gaiden (complete) and Rock'n Roll Racing (also complete) I'd say I have my gaming quota filled for awhile.

Now to what I've been working on these past few days...

By no means the best setup ever but I sure like it, just a regular TV with 4 systems; Playstation, Dreamcast, X-Box and Retro-Duo. But the beautiful thing about it? It's right next to my mini-fride filled with important beverages like Monster and beer. And for those keeping track, those are FFVIII figures, Squall, Rinoa and Seifer are all on top of the TV.

Now if you'll excise me, I have some gaming to do...








It started with some simple spring cleaning of my entertainment center. I just needed to get my PSX and Dreamcast somewhere in it rather that sitting out in the open prone to being knocked down and making me cry. Then I saw my old TV upstairs and knew what to do. Bring that baby down and set up a corner to immerse myself in PSX and Dreamcast goodness. But I couldn't leave well enough alone and decided to start working on a retro corner, once it's done I'll post pics. However I couldn't leave well enough alone and decided to go a little more retro which lead me to Play N Trade again, see my purchases won't you?

To anyone who read about my last trip to PnT will know I picked up a sealed copy of Chrono Cross. After reading the numerous "Chrono Trigger was better." I did some research and Retrowear had an amazing look at the game which sold me on it. So that was number one on my list. I put my trades on the counter and before they began pricing them out I told them I want the Final Fantasy Chronicles they had, happly he gave me the sealed one for the same price as the opened copy. Then I went for the second item on my list, the Retro-Duo system. To keep it truely retro I should have picked up a SNES and NES but they didn't have a NES in stock, oh well we'll just say I'm going for a modern retro theme since my "old" tv is a widescreen HDTV. I had enough left to pick up 2 games so I chose a classic in Mega Man 2 and Super Star Wars. I haven't played either game in ages but I can still remember exactly where I was the first time I played each of the games.

I am beginning to fall more and more in love with that stroe. I'm going back next weekend to for sure get Pilot Wings and Donkey Kong Country. Then I'm going to head to a few other stores and see if I can find any other gems.








The Games That Define Me - When I Fell in Love

In this series I am going to talk about the games that have defined me as a gamer. They might be worldwide hits, overlooked gems and anywhere in between. I am going to solely focus on games from the current gen back to the days of the Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo 64 and Sony Playstation. For me to consider a game to define me as a gamer it must do a few things. First and most important of all whenever I talk about it I must be able to reflect upon it as if it was just yesterday.Secondly it must have brought something new to the world of gaming for me. Lastly it must be a game I could find rather easily today. I will also do my best to keep this as spoiler-free as possible just in case someone hasn't played these games.

The third entry in this series will be the game that truly started my love affair with games. Before this game I'd play them in my spare time, but this is the first game that actually made me make time to play, thus changing how I look at gaming to this day. I give to you what is easily my favorite game of all time; Final Fantasy VIII.


Final Fantasy VIII was released on February 11th, 1999 by Squaresoft. I really wish I could say I got this game on day one but I didn't. I didn't get it until later that year when I was walking around a Circuit CIty needing a new game. I remember seeing it on the shelf and noticing it was four discs, I decided to grab it and goto my mom saying "It's four discs long! It'll lost me awhile!" Oh, how right I was.

Ah, love in a box.

The game puts you in the shoes of Squall Lionheart, a 17 year old loner student at a military academy. Not exactly the most original idea anymore, hell it probably wasn't back when it first came out, but that didn't matter to me then nor does it now.

Emo before it was cool. Okay, it never was cool but Squall is still like the other side of the pillow.

The beginning of the game shows you training with your “partner,” Seifer Almasy. Withen the first minute or two you realize Seifer is a total douchebag cutting you between the eyes with his gunblade thus leaving Squall with his trademark scar.

Don’t let the pretty clouds fool you, Seifer is a complete asshole.

The game starts with you, as Squall waking up in the infirmary, having you woud tended to. Then you meet your teacher Quistis Trepe. She walks you back to class, where she informs everyone that a SeeD test will be hld that day and informing Seifer publicly to be more “careful” whilst sparring. After class is dismissed Quistis pulls you aside and informs you that she’ll be assisting you in your test, and to meet her outside of Balamb Gardan. As you’re leaving class a you girl named Selphie Tilmitt runs into you, she is new in school and infroms you she’s already passed her SeeD test at her previous Garden then ask you to show her around Balamb. If I had to wrap of Selphie, I’d say she’s like you annoying younger sister, very playful and childish. After showing Selphie around you finally meet up with Quistis heading to the Fire Cavern to complete your SeeD Test and gaining Ifirit as a Guardian Force.

She looks the same age as Squall and the others, how the hell is she a teacher?

Soon after that you are sent on your final SeeD exam, with Seifer as your squad leader. Atleast this time you won’t have to deal with him alone as the third member of your party is another SeeD candidate named Zell Dincht. Zell is a rather interesting character, firstly because his weapon in the game are basically brass knuckles, and if you’re just using brass knuckles to fight some of the enemies in this game you’re a bad ass. Secondly he’s a lot more outspoken and dosen’t hide how he feels about something, quite the opposite of Squall. Lastly he’s also used for comic relief, with him him being given the name “Chicken-wuss” by Seifer, him always missing out on hot dogs in the cafeteria and his animation at times during conversations, Zell is normally used to lighten the mood a bit.

I want gloves with knuckle dusters on them!

Once Squall, Zell and Seifer are all BFF it’s off to Dollet to help secure a communications tower. Except you’re not supposed to worry about it. You three are to just secure a part of the city, after doing that you all stand around bored and Seifer takes off to the comm tower and unfortunately Squall and Zell have to chase after him. As soon as you get there you are reintroduced to Selphie who is charged with delivering Seifer a message and she joins up with your group for the time being. Once you get to the top of the tower you find yourself in another battle, actually two battles in one. Once you receive the orders it’s time to pull out and head back to Balamb Garden and to become an official SeeD.

Even today I still love that scene, I remember like it was yesterday, back when I first saw that I turned around and told my brother “See that? That’s what games are going to look like in a few years!” Little did I know how right I’d be. For some reason, that one moment has always stuck with me, it was the moment that really made me love this game and change how I viewed games. After that day when I got home from school I wouldn’t bother looking what was on TV, I’d pop in this game and hide in my room playing as long as I could often neglecting my school work.

I seriously have this cutscene saved my my computer and PS3.

After the party you are outside when Quistis comes out and gives Squall one last order. He is to accompany her to through the training grounds to where a lot of the students hang out after curfew. Once you are out there she informs you that she is no longer and instructor and simply just a SeeD now like Squall and the others. This is when she explains how she became an instructor at 17 and now the staff seems to think she lacks the skills required and begins questioning wither or not they are right. Squall decides he’s herd enough and heads off to bed.

Once you wake up you are informed that you have a new mission and that You, Zell and Selphie are all to head to Timber for your next mission. Once you board the train to your next mission however something strange happens resulting in Squall, Zell and Selphie to be knocked unconscious. You’re suddenly in what seems to be a dream world controlling three new characters; Laguna Loire, Kiros Seagill and Ward Zabac. The three of them are Galbadian army soliders and at this point in time you have no idea as to why you have taken control of them, nor what their role in the overall story is.

Way to go dumbass. Hey, who are you anyways? GET OUT OF HERE!

You’re soon woken by an announcement that you have reached Timber and you meet up the Forest Owls, they are the a small resistance faction fighting against the Galbadian Army’s occupation of Timber. The Forest Owls are headed by a familiar face, the girl from the party! Come to find out her name is Rinoa Heartilly, She explains she was at the party to talk to the headmaster of Balamb Garden in an attempt to aqquire the SeeD’s help freeing Timber from the Galbadian forces. However there is no time for chit-chat as you quickly get briefed for the first mission assisting the resistance.

You’re first mission is to switch out a train car holding the Galbadian Dictator, Vinzer Deling. However soon as the switcharoo has been completed and you confront Deling you learn he is simply body double. Once you defeat the impostor you learn why the communication tower in Dollet was worth protecting, the real Vinzer Deling is going to make an announcement using the tower. With that said, you and your party realize that you must waste no time getting to the television station. However it seems that your good friend Seifer has beaten you there. As you and your party watch President Deling give his announcement Seifer runs in headlong with Quistis chasing after him. As he takes President Deling hostage Quistis asks Squall to come help. When you show up Seifer takes the president away and has we are introduced to Sorceress Edea for the first time. Edea plays mind games with Seifer while she has Squall and the others frozen. When everyone comes back around Edea, Seifer and the President are no where to be seen.

That would make an amazing set of curtains!

Thanks to Zell letting it slip to the president that everyone is from Balamb Garden the team decides it isn’t safe to go back to plan out their next move. Instead it is suggested they goto the nearest Garden, that would be Galbadia Garden. Thanks to Rinoa’s team everyone is able to get a ticket to ride the train there, much to Selphie’s delight as she loves trains. On the way to Galbadia’s garden Zell begins to beat himself up for letting it slip where everyone was from. With Squall being less and comforting to Zell, Rinoa jumps in and takes Squall to task, as she tends to do a lot. However while being berated by Rinoa, once again you slip into “Dream World” and once again, Laguna, Ward and Kiros are lost and have to find their way to safety. That “safety” comes in the form of a boat in the ocean, however you have a wave of enemies and a cliff standing in your way. After dispatching the enemies in your way (while listening to Laguna complain the tip of his nose itches) the group finds out that Ward has lost his voice, but before he can be worried about that Laguna, being the nice guy he is, throws his friends off the cliff into the water.

What’s that fatty? That’s what I thought, shut up.

Once everyone comes back around they arrive at Galbadia Garden where Quistis goes to explain this situation with the headmaster of the garden. When she comes back she lets everyone know that Seifer has already faced trail and the punishment has been carried out. The news shakes Rinoa to her core as she reveals that she she loved Seifer, she just didn’t know if he felt the same way. Everyone talking in the past tense takes an effect on Squall who wants revenge as Seifer was “one of them” and storms out of the room. Soon you are informed of a new mission, and to assit you in your mission is an elite sniper SeeD from Galbadia Garden named Irvine Kinneas.

Since when do snipers use a shotgun and wear a cowboy hat?

You all are to report to Deling City and meet with Galbadian Army General Caraway. Once you (finally) gain access to his mansion Rinoa becomes impatient waiting for him and runs off to complain, not before informing everyone that the general is her father. Once the general comes in he informs you that your mission is to assassinate Sorceress Edea. You are split into two teams each charged with a different part of the plan. Sniper Squad consists of Squall and Irvine who are in charge of killing the Sorceress, one way or another. The second squad consists of Zell, Selphie and headed by Quistis, they are to trap Sorceress Edea’s parade float under the arches to ensure Irvine a clear shot on it. Due to the Father-Daughter quarrel between Rinoa and General Caraway, Rinoa has been separated from everyone else for “her safety and the safety of the mission.” As Quistis and crew are about to take off Rinoa rushes in with a plan, however Quistis has no time for it and leaves her. But later, once everyone is getting into position, Quistis realizes she may have been a bit too hard on Rinoa so they run back to apologize because they have time before they are to trap the float. They just miss each other as Rinoa realizes that her father is going to lock her in his office. Rinoa gets out but now Quistis, Selphie and Zell are stuck in the office.

You women with your feelings… always making everything complicated!

Rinoa sneaks off to put her plan into action and is soon put under a spell by Edea. As She gives her speech to Deling City it soon becomes clear that she isn’t going to negotiate peace, as was originally intended, but to take over the whole damn world! She strikes down President Deling and decides to let some monsters loose in the city to spice things up, naturally they go right for Rinoa. Once again your back in control of Quistis, Zell and Selphie who find their way to the sewers frantically searching for a way to get back into position, but it’s too late and the parade has already started. With the festivities in full swing Squall and Irvine finally have a chance to get into position and save Rinoa. Soon enough the others make it out of the sewers just in time to trap the float to allow Irvine to take the shot. However due to a combination of him freaking out and Edea using magic to stop the bullet, Irvine’s shot misses meaning it’s up to Squall who charges the float. Once he arrives however he must get through her Lap Dog, or as he prefers to be called her knight, Seifer who is apparently still very much so alive. He might be alive but he has gotten rusty as he goes down easier than a two dollar whore on nickel night. Once Squall has taken care of Seifer, Rinoa and Irvine rejoin you for your first battle with Sorceress Edea, who puts up a bit more of a fight. Once she realizes she’s in a losing battle she decides to end the battle and leave Squall with a nice parting gift in the form of a big icicle through the chest…

This is where disc one ends and you are prompted to enter disc two. Being as this has already gotten much bigger than I have expected it to, this is where entry one comes to an end and I will begin working on entry two. I really hope you guys liked this first entry as I am putting as much time as I can into it while trying to avoid making it too long. Feedback would be appreciated and be on the look out for the second part soon.