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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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My next installment of Game That Define Me is taking much longer than expected, partly due to the fact that I am actually replaying it (I've lost count now how many times I have) and I am trying to cram as much info as possible into it, it's already 3 pages long so I might break it into chunks in order to avoid "TL;DR"

In this blog I am going to cover a subject very near and dear to my heart, wrestling games. This is something I was thinking about earlier and we've really come quite a way, however currently the genre seems to be standing still.

The Acclaim Games

WWF Warzone for the N64 was the game that I got for Christmas one year along with my N64 console. I remember fighting my brother for the big TV as he just got a Playstation and Gran Turismo... he won. SO I shuffled up to my room and hooked that sucker in and sat there until dinner playing. Since that was the first decent (back then it was awesome to me) wrestling game I loved it. The wrestlers looked so real and they all had more than 4 or 5 moves! AWESOME! A year or so later Acclaim released WWF Attitude, in what would become common place of their games it was basically Warzone with a more wrestlers and game modes. With all the new additions including entrances it kept me quite entertained. Me and my friends spent a lot of time on it until something better was introduced to us. Eventually Acclaim lost the rights to WWF games and moved on to the ECW. By the time EVE Hardcore Revolution came out, the engine was showing it's age, but it had the ECW wrestlers in it so I was able to look past it. Eventually they released ECW Anarcy Rulz... it sucked and I really don't want to dig up any more bad memories by commenting on it. During the PS2's lifespan they also released a series of games revolving around wrestling legends. While it was great wrestling with the likes of Stine and Macho Man again the game was just horrible and riddled with bugs, there was no denying it and it was next to impossible to have any fun with the games.

The THQ Era (aka THQ's Past Greatness)

I'll never forget the first time I saw WCW vs. nWo: Worl Tour. I was at my friends house and noticed he had this game which I hadn't tried yet so he turned it on and gave me the controller. The graphics may ahve sucked but the controls were spot on for what a wrestling game should be. I was staying there for the weekend and I think the only time that game wasn't on is when we were sleeping. Then WCW/nWo Revenge came out I picked up the bad boy ASAP. Much like WWF Attitude, WCW/nWo Revenge was bigger and better. Authentic WCW sets, more WCW wrestlers (as opposed to World Tours mix of WCW and Japan wrestlers) and weapons. I couldn't see how wrestling games could get any better. However with the WWF getting away from Acclaim, THQ got the rights to the WWF games, a partnership that is continued even today. WWF WrestleMania 2000 to me whats pretty much WCW/nWo Revenge only with a WWF spin to it... while it was nice to play as my favorite superstars, it was nothing really earth shattering to me. That would change however with THQ's last WWF game for the N64, WWF No Mercy. No Mercy (and still is in my opinion) the best wrestling game of all time. While from the exterior it looked like more of the same, I guess THQ follows the old saying "If it ain't broke don't fix it." However looks can be deceiving, this was the first time I really experienced a true story mode and backstage areas in a wrestling game. Any wrestling fan from the 90's knows how important a good story and fighting backstage is. This game alone is worth finding a N64 for... Revenge and WM2000 were both great and the same argument could be made for each of them, but No Mercy is the most polish of the games from that generation.

The SmackDown! Series

This series made me envy my brother for having a Playstation. The graphics were much better than the N640 games, but that goes without saying. When the SmackDown! series began it had a much more arcade feel to it which I loved. By this time I had done all there was to do with No Mercy, even with the Gameshark, it was time to move on. The PSX and PS2 SmackDown! games really all played the same with slight improvement as is the trend. However soon THQ decided to axe the RAW games for the original X-Box and combine them into the SmackDown! vs. RAW series we know today. To be perfectly honest the newest entries into the series don't hold my attention very long. I get them and within a month I've done all I can be bothered to do untill CoD4 comes calling again. I'm not sure what it is, I love the controls and the CAW system are fantastic, I just can't seemed to be real bothered with them anymore. Oh well, SDvsR 2010 will be coming out soon and I know I'll plop down another 60 bucks and play it to death for a month or two then trade it in... such is the life of most games I get.

Games Lost in the Shuffle

I didn't touch on a lot of games, and that's for a good reason, I don't have much to say about them for various reasons... but I will do a quick rundown
WCW & EA Games: WCW teamed with EA for two games; WCW Mayhem and WCW Backstage Assault. Both are horrible. WCW Backstage Assault is one of the worst games I have ever played, and if I can find a copy for my PSX I will buy it and add it to my collection, or smash it with a hammer and set the remains on fire.
WWF/E on the Gamecube: These games weren't horrible, I remember playing them, the Day of Reckoning series is actually quite fantastic and introuced a few features that are now in the SDvsR series.
UFC Games: To be honest, I never played the UFC game for the PS2, nor the Pride FC game for it. However I still own the original UFC game for the Dreamcast and it is a great for blowing off some steam. I played a few matches on it while I was download the demo for UFC 2009 Undisputed, wow have things changed for the better.

*sits down, downloads Ultor Exposed, lights cigarette, finishes Ultor Exposed*

In the amount of time it took you to read that, you could have finished Ultor Exposed. It's only about three or four missions long and it doesn't really have an ending, you don't feel like the story is over, I looked at my map and went "Fuck. No more?"

I loved Saint's Row 2, still do, but skip this, the cars are nice but not worth the ten bucks. Googling Tara Patrick will keep you busy loger than the Ultor Exposed DLC will.

I've been on a bit of a retro kick as of lates so I decided to hit up my local Play & Trade to see what I can't find and I decided to pick up Saint's Row 2 (already beat it and sold it but the DLC is out now.) another copy of The Darkness since I have no idea where my copy went. Then I hit the main reason I decided to go there rather than the EB Games down the street from them, the retro section.

I snagged a copy of Tony Hawk Pro Skater for the Dreamcast for a whopping dollar and then I found two games so epic I grabbed them both at the same time...

Yes, that is Shaq-Fu. Yes, I wasted a dollar on it. No, I will not smash it and set it on fire. Chrono Cross was a pure nerd purchase. It's still sealed and everything. I've never played it but I've herd lot of good things about it. I'm a little unsure because the only RPG I ever really got into was FFVIII but, we'll see what happens.

So does the fact that I purchased Chrono Cross balance out the fact that also bought Shaq-FU?

The Games That Define Me

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.

To follow up my first entry about The Darkness, I decided to write about a game that is my second favorite game of all time. A game that narrowly edges out Shenmue for the Dreamcast and is just beat out by Final Fantasy VIII, look for both of those soon. Today I am going to write about Indigo Prophecy.

Indigo Prophecy was released here in the states on September, 26th 2005 by Quantic Dream, thus beginning my appreciation for a game with a great story.

A few weeks prior to release I was looking around Gamespot if anything new news has came out about Shenmue III, and I saw this game on the side and the box art immeditaly grabbed my attention. After clicking it, looking at some videos, screen shots and posts I decided this game must be mine. The next day I preordered it and counted the days until it's release; a first for me.

I waited kinda like this... But I don't look as good in my underwear and my room is much messier.

Finally! September, 26th! EB Games, here I come! I wasted no time popping this bad boy in as soon as I retuned home and boy was it worth the wait. Even the tutorial was new to me. Having David Cage with his funny voice guiding me through the tutorial and how the controls worked was awesome to me. After you get the hang of the controls your plopped in a dirty bathroom in the shoes of Lucas Kane. Now there was no time to get your bearings as to where you were, oh no... you just KILLED A MAN! FOR NO DAMN REASON!

Yes, this game start with you killing someone whom you've never met before, for reasons you don't know and all you can do is hide the body in a stall, mop up the blood, throw the knife in the trash can and walk out of the diner past the cop like nothing happened. Sounds like just another Friday night to me...
Finally! Those years as a high school janitor pays off!

After you help Lucas avoid being thrown in jail for the rest of his life, the game throws a curve ball right at your face and you meet the other two main characters of the game; police sergeant Tyler Miles and police lieutenant Carla Valenti. They are two of New York's finest and are incharge of investigating what and happened that fateful night, why, and to bring the culprit to justice. You guide Tyler and Carla through the case while keeping Lucas one step ahead of them.
"You better be investigating the murder, Tyler!"

Soon it becomes clear that the events in the bathroom were just a precurser of things to come, the fate of the world soon is placed square in the hands of Lucas, Carla and Tyler. Due to my fear of spoiling an amazing game I refuse to go into much more of the main story, however covering up and investigating the murder isn't the only thing you will have to worry about. You will undoubtly notice the Mental Heath Meter on screen. Everything you do effects it, if Lucas has a drink, it will change. If Tyler spends time with his girlfriend it will change, if Carla does something significant in the investigation it will change. Sound quite simple, however there are many times when something may increase Lucas' mental health while reducing Tyler or Carla's at the same time, if someone’s mental health gets to low... game over.
Go home and have some vodka, just leave the aspirin alone. Or wash down some aspirin with the vodka, who am I to tell you how to live your life?

Story aside, the games controls are something that I grew quite fond of quickly. It's marketed as an "interactive film" and the controls reflect that. The left stick controls how you move either Lucas, Carla or Tyler while the right stick is reserved for everything from sitting down to climbing a fence. For example, in the beginning of the game, after Lucas is done in the bathroom he can walk to his booth in the diner and one direction will make you take a sip of your drink, one direction might have you look at your bill, and so on. Later in the game's more intense moments you will have to complete QTE events by pressing the buttons or moving the analog sticks (much like the game Simon.) While QTE might be common place now thanks to the God of War series and the past few Resident Evil games, the only other time I had encountered QTEs were in Shenmue.
See that chopper? You know what to do.

This game has become a yearly tradition for me. Every year when it gets really cold and the snow starts building I pop this game in, curl up under a blanket and drink some hot coco. It's very fitting as the tempature gets colder and colder in the game. This game is still up in my bedroom along with my X-Box and a few other beloved games.

Just a few more inches!

But this game did something besides change how I look at games. It changed my musical tastes. This game has a band in it whom I hadn't herd of at that point in time ,who have recently made quite a name for themselves with their latest album. Hell they've even about to go on tour with Motley Crue for the second time. That band is Theory of a Deadman.

The video does have a spoiler or two, watch at your own risk!
The game has four of their songs (Santa Monica, No Surprise, No Way Out and Say Goodbye) and after hearing them I immediately went out for got their first two CDs after hearing just those four songs. This might not be too groudbreaking with Guitar Hero and Rock Band being out, but for me to go buy rock music in 2005 when I was only listening to stuff like 2Pac, Tech N9ne and Immortal Technique was quite a change.

Indigo Prophecy has gotten mostly 8/10's all around and they are all well deserved. It has also sold over 800,000 copies world wide, not bad for a game that isn't a Halo or Madden, but that number should me buch higher in my opinion. The game has three different endings with a fair amount of debating as to which one was the "true ending." However I believe this game doesn't have a "true ending," it all depends on your actions in the game and I like it that way. There won't be a sequel, however there will be a successor...

To say I am excited for Heavy Rain would be an understatement, I bought my PS3 JUST for it... it's mostly collecting dust right now as I type this. After my 4th run on Indigo Prophecy I ordered a copy of Omikron: The Nomad Soul for the Dreamcast, however I haven't beaten it, it has a lot of issues that simply cannon be ignored, I own it just because I am a collector.

Thus ends another entry in "The Games That Defined Me" and I hope you all enjoied a game that holds a very special place in my collection. I really can't say enough about the game. It seems every other week my friends and I have a discussion about this game or Heavy Rain. You can get a used copy of the PS2 version for about 13 bucks at EB Games and even download it on the X-Box Live Marketplace for 1200 MSP along with a free theme and set of gamer pictures. If you appreciate a good story or are ooking for something different than whats out there now, you really cannot go wrong with this game.

The Games That Define Me

In this series I am going to talk about the games that ahve 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.

For my initial entry to the series I could easily start with a game like Shenmue, Final Fantasy VIII or WWF No Mercy. However, I am going to start it off with the current gen. When most people think of first person shooters they think of the Halo series right away, and I do not blame them. However I don't play most first person shooters for the story, that is a rule I started when I first got my hands on Halo 2's multiplayer. I am talking about a FPS I played strictly for the story, The Darkness.

The Darkness was released by Starbreeze Studios on June 25, 2007. Starbreeze Studio already had another of my favortie games under their belt, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay. The first thing I asked myself when I saw that was "Can it be as good as Riddick?" and the answer is "Yes, yes it can."

In The Darkness, you play Jackie Estacado who on the eve of his 21st birthday finds himself with a hit upon his head, however he soon gets a way to settle the score in the way of "Darkness Powers." There are various convential weapons in the game like guns, but the "Darkness Powers" really take center stage. Through the game you can summon "Darklings" who are some dirty little bastards who will run around attacking with anything from a baseball bat to a chaingun. But those are just one of the perks of your Darkness Powers. You also have tentacles that impale your enemies ripping out their heart, and my personal favorite "Creeping Dark" which looks like an eel from hell that you control that can sneak up on people killing them by eating their heart.
Who needs a monkey in armor? I want a Darkling!

As far as locales on your "Tour de Vengeance" you get several places based on New York City including the subway complete with strangers I wouldn't look in the eyes, your Aunt's house, an orphanage and even a flashback to WWI. All are rather well detailed, before everything goes to hell at your Aunts I wanted to sit down and have some dinner there and the graffiti throughout the game was even made by a group of Swedish graffiti artists. However there are two places that really stole the show for me and are the main reason why I am so in love with this game.

Romance in my FPS?! NOOOOOO!!!!

This game did something that very few games have been able to accomplish with me, it made me care. Let me start from the beginning. In the game you have a girlfriend, Jenny. You end up at her new apartment curled up together watching some old movies on the TV with her falling sleep in your arms. It really is a tender and serene moment that really struck a nerve with me. I WANTED to sit there and watch the movie with her, I could have gotten up and left at any moment with the press of a button and I didn't. I didn't do it for the achievement you get, hell I didn't know that was an achievement until I got it, I stayed with her until she fell asleep because I WANTED to, the game made me actually care about her

Those three or four moment lead to a part of the game that actually made me sad. Once this moment happened I instantly knew how the FFVII fanboys felt when Aeris died. After failed attempts on your life, Mafia Don "Uncle" Paulie decides to do the next best thing, kill that which you love more than yourself. He and corrupt cops have you come to the orphanage where you and Jenny grew up and what happens next I really can't do justice with words so I'll just let the game do the talking...

After that all I could do is just put down the controller, hang my head and light a cigarette. Even now I get a little emotional watching that. I cared about her, I actually cared about someone in a game and they killed her! I want revenge, and revange is what I get... and that revenge is fucking sweet. But I will let you discover that for yourself if you haven't already.

Out of all the games I've played, the only time I've ever been emotionally invested in the story was FInal Fantasy VIII with Squall and Rinoa, but that's for another day. After compsing myself from Jenny's death I had to do a private chat with my buddy and tell him to go get the game. A few days later even he called me "Those bastards! You're right! You do care about her! I was pissed when they killed her, actually I'm STILL pissed about it!" The game still comes up and everytime I am in EB Games and I see a copy of it on the shelves I instantly smile but at the same time my heart drops a bit.

The Darkness got rather mixed reviews, however I believe it sold rather well; well enough that people including myself are waiting with baited breath for a sequel. But when it comes to a sequel the best we've gotten thus far is "We can't say Darkness and video game sequel in the same sentence, so Darkness. Wink. Sequel." at Comic Con '08. Hopefully now that the rerelease of Riddick is finished and out Starbreeze will announce The Darkness 2 at this year's E3, but I have a feeling they won't.

That wraps up the first entry in "The Games That Define Me" and I hope you all enjoied it. If you've played the game I'd love to hear your througths on the game, and if you haven't yet you really must track down a copy of it. After a quick look on EB Game's site you can snag the 360 version for under 15 and the PS3 version for under 20. If I was able to shell out 20 bucks for Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust then smash it with a hammer and burn it, you can easily scrape together some cash and go pick this gem up on the cheap.

After playing it more, I've had it with this game. The camera has really become too much to overcome even for someone who enjoys bad games. First during the Wild West Dreamscape (which itself was a chore to finish) and now the horror scene has put the final nail in this games coffin.

The prt in questions is where you must guide campers (IE big boobed bikini girls) to their cabin by lighting the way with your hair on fire. After failing it 13 times in a row (I counted)because of the AI's dimwitted path and your flaming head of hair going out I FINALLY passed it. I was releived so I paused it, kicked back and lit up a smoke. Unpaused it and I had to chase the Freddy Kruger wannabe to some island (or something) so I just ran ahead and jumped, I missed the boats and got ate by sharks. No biggie, it was my fault, so it loads up and I'm back at the same god forsaken helpless big boobed bikini girls! I suffered through it again (only dying 5 times, I counted again) and I run to the docks and jump SQUARE on the boats in the water. Guess what! I feel through! It loads again, I guided the girls AGAIN (only 3 deaths this time) jumped DIRECTLY on a boat and fell right through again.

I've had it with this game. I went as far as to e-mail Codemasters asking how the hell they could put this crap out. I'm not expecting a response but hopefully they'll realize between poor sales and e-mails from other games that they've ruined what could have been a rather enjoyable game and a rather legendary franchise. Because of this crap excuse of a game I am going to be boycotting Codemasters for awhile by not buying Fuel, GRID 2 and Damnation. Hell, I'm not even going to trade this game in, I don't want to risk any poor bastard subjecting themselves to this shit. Rather I plan on taking a hammer to the disc and burning the booklet and cover.

Just because the internet is serious business...