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10:36 PM on 01.18.2011

The Monk Behind the Headset...

I have gotten to know a lot of you in the past few months. Playing games with tons of amazing people from the community, you people feel like my second family. Video games have been in my life as far back as I can remember, I wouldn't be the same person if it wasn't for video games. So, I figured it might be appropriate to let you guys know more about me, while trying to connect it to video games as close as I can. This is my life so far, born and raised on video games.


As one of my friends said, me, as "french stewart meets drew carey with giant nostril".

Well, for all those that don't know, my name is Andrew. I was born in Florida and raised for the majority of my (current) life. I wasn't born in the best health however; born with a few problems such as Asthma, trouble with my speech and my brain having trouble depicting depth (background, foreground and such) and a really slow reaction time. For a while, I took special classes to help develop my motor skills. However, at the rate I was going, it would take a few good years at least to be semi-normal. One suggestion my doctor gave my parents was... video games. I remember my first time ever playing games when I was four. I walked into my parents room and saw my dad sitting on the bed. I asked him what he was doing and he gave me the controller. My very first game was the original Super Mario Bros. for the NES. After that day, I have been a gamer since. Slowly between taking my special classes, I was able to easier develop my skills within a couple years.


Me, with my Guitar Hero II signed shirt and weird room... yes, that is flowers on the wallpaper.

Life in my neighborhood was... not the best to be said. I lived in a decent street, but the area just over my back fence was festered with crime, murder and gangs. I never did get involved in any of that, thank goodness, thanks to meeting friends through gaming. Going into middle school was a frightening experience, especially if there was a fight every morning before school started (I am not exaggerating). Well, due to a busy work schedule, I had to stay after school for an extra hour. So, I would bring my Game Boy along with me, this is how I met my childhood friend Travis. We spent so many hours playing Advanced Wars, we even played it on field trips. I met even more, playing Pokemon (Blue version FTW) and soon more gamers slowly came. Without games, I might have fallen into the wrong crowd of people and went on a different path.

Around the age of fifteen, the gangs in my area were getting out of control and we couldn't afford to live there anymore. Leaving my whole family and best friends wasn't an easy thing to do. However, we moved, to the great (and boring as hell... actually, scratch the great part) state of Tennessee. I was depressed for a couple months, not having any family members or friends here. Shortly however, I met my best friends through, you guessed it, gaming. My brother, Eric, and I played a lot of Mario Cart on the DS after we got it for Christmas. Well, on the bus ride to school, we pulled out our DS and were asked by a gentlemen named Allen to join him and his friends in some Mario Cart. We played Mario Cart, yelling and cursing loudly as we rode to school, not wanting to ever get off of that bus. That is, until some asshole stole it, but nevertheless I had made my best friends.


[i] From left to right: My brother Eric, Simon and myself beating the shit out of each other in MKvsDCU

Oh, and for people that have always wondered where my gamertag/name come from, it is my most popular cartoon character. I haven't been the most creative kid, but I loved doodling and making up stories. I have been drawing since I was five, Super Monk being my first character. He obtained his powers from a radioactive doughnut and gained super strength and can leap a building in one fart. Why do I bring this up? I parodied a lot of video games and had characters pop in from time to time. I haven't drawn anything in a while... I really need to.


A parody of God of War, Super Monk of a dead Superior Blob

And this leads to my current life, gaming leading me to you all. I may have not had the most exciting or great life but I wanted to share with you all who I am. I am so proud to be part of this community. You all have no idea how lucky I feel to even know you guys. Thanks for being here and taking me through some crazy nights. But what will gaming do for me in the future? Who knows, maybe presidency? No...

And now, something you will wish you have never, ever seen...


Me, playing Rock Band... in a wig and bikini....   read


5:03 PM on 01.03.2011

I'm here to kick ass and I'm all out of kick ass- Contest



Well, Duke Nukem Forever is a real thing. Many lucky gamers were surprised that there was a demo also with this announcement last year at Pax. However, those of us that couldn't go, we just watched. Well now that will soon change. I have got my hands on an extra code for access to the Duke Nukem Forever demo thanks to a friend and I'm passing the savings to yooouuuuu! Welcome to a little contest I like to call "I'm here to kick ass and I'm all out of kick ass".

Now, to be entered all you have to do is leave your own kick ass phrase in the comments. Think of it as a phrase you would say before you unload your hot... lead, yeah lead, into the enemies. The contest will run on until Sunday, January 9th at 11:59pm est. I will update me blog with the winner's name and PM that person with instructions and the code. Good luck you all!

[embed]190738:35125[/embed]   read


2:35 PM on 11.15.2010

Thanks Rock Band 3 Community...

So, Rock Band 3, it's a game. I love the Rock Band series dearly, it's the only game series I have spent hundreds of dollars on and have spent the most hours on. The newest installment is a step up (in almost every area) than the previous installments. So after playing and beating all the road challenges, I figured it was time to jump into the online quickplay. You wanna know what I found there? A big mess of "Rush to choose your songs" and a bunch of assholes. So let me tell you why I will never touch online quickplay ever again.



1. Race

So when you get your band all together and go choose a song, it's a race to choose your songs. I prefered the Rock Band 2 way of quickplay where you took turns choosing your song. This new way of choosing to makes a mess of a setlist that usually stretches between 6-12 songs. Yeah, I am not going to sit through a setlist of that many songs.



2. Keyboard Compatible Songs

Yeah, you see that little symbol next to my name that looks like tire tracks? Yeah, that means I'm playing a keyboard. Apparently this doesn't go through the thick skulls of some people as they just choose their death metal and DLC that doesn't have keyboard. I know I can play bass or guitar on the keyboard, but with setlists that are so long, there is mostly songs that don't have keyboard in them. Due to this, I have to sit through songs until a song with keyboard finally comes up. This has me yelling or just quitting and then the whole process repeats itself.

3. Assholes

Yes, I know your song isn't first, deal with it. Man you suck, you're already failing... wait a minute. You're failing on purpose! Yeah, this has happened to me many times before. Some asshole won't want to play a song and the will try to fail as fast as they can to move onto the next one. This infuriates me more than the other two reasons to the point where I will quit and rage hard. Just thinking about it pisses me off...
If you wanna play some Rock Band 3 with me, invite me! Otherwise, the online quickly portion of Rock Band 3 will get no more loving from me.   read


3:58 PM on 10.29.2010

Review- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II


You shock an android to freeze it in it's tracks as soon as it de-cloaks in front of you, stunning it. You force push it over the ledge and then quickly turn to force grip an ice ball coming at you. You then throw it at two storm troopers, freezing them. Force pushing them, you shatter them across the floor into little shards. You turn to the final enemy in front of you, the hulking freezing robot. You grab another ice ball it shoots at you and throw it back, freezing the robot in its' tracks. You then quickly dash at it and release the fury of your dual lightsabers at it. Before a few seconds, the robot is weak and a QTE event plays out. You jump up and fall, cutting the bots' arm off, freezing itself. You quickly charge a force push and blast it into a million pieces. 

I may not be the best describer in the world, but I know when I feel like a bad ass. The Force Unleashed II may not be able to compete with Reach, Rock Band 3, or even Black Ops but that doesn't mean it isn't a great adventure. Don't get me wrong, the game has flaws, the 4.5 hour long campaign and unbelievable story are the major ones. However, isn't the   read


12:03 AM on 10.22.2010

My Worst Enemy... (Short Blog)


I have been killed by this enemy more times than I would like to think. I shudder with fear every time my eyes lay upon this enemy. I can't even do anything to kill this enemy. This enemy I am talking about isn't even alive. This enemy, is a saw blade. These objects of frustration of made multiple appearances in platflormers that I have played this year. Mostly on Limbo and Super Meat Boy. 



These menaces have always kept me on my toes. Making me react with the up most reflexes and timing skills. Remember those sequences in Limbo where you were riding on a sliding box that was on course to a saw blade? Yeah, I can remember myself feeling so intense that my palms started to sweat as I timed my jumps. While the saw blades weren't the only enemy, they were the ones that appeared the most and made me react with fear. 



Have you ever loved a game so much, but hate it at the same time. I have neve   read


10:23 PM on 10.01.2010

Random Blog: Shout-out to my homies! (Short Blog)

So yes... if you haven't seen me on here, that's not just you. I don't often write blogs because well... I am not very good at it. Hell, I started this blog off topic even, fuck my ass.... here goes my shout-outs to my FNF crew.

Garethxxgod

My first real Destructoid friend, I just jumped into one of his FNF games one night and bam... we pretty much connect instantly. I enjoy playing with him anytime and will always be one of my greatest friends on here... even if his chuckle does sound creepy at times. You are the PB to my J, the Robin to my Batman, and the fuck to my ass... wait... that didn't come out right.
Games we've played: Halo: Reach, Dead Rising 2, Splinter Cell: Conviction and Left 4 Dead

SteezyXL

Ah, young Steezy, my pupil, hopefully he can rise up to my greatness one day... In all seriousness though, he is another great friend that I am fortunate enough to have. That, and he makes me look good in some Halo: Reach matches too. Here's to you Steezy, keep on fighting towards the top.
Games we've played: Halo: Reach

Corduroy Turtle

....Moving on
Games we've played: Halo: Reach

MrAndyDixon

And here we end up at MrAndyDixon, Mr. Boner himself. It's odd how we met. I kept hearing that I sound exactly like him, so I was excited when he finally jumped into a party with me. It is true... we do sound alike, except I don't say boners every time I breath. He is an amazingly fun person to just chat with. If everything is serious, Andy here will change that quickly. I guess you could say just thinking about him gives me... a boner. YEEEAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!


Im sorry if i am forgetting anyone, but you guys... make me look forward to the end of every week now and I cross my fingers and hope that you guys are on when I randomly play as well. Thanks for the fun times so far, I hope they don't end anytime soon.

Editors Note:Sorry about the big pictures being big....   read


2:32 AM on 06.18.2010

Review: Protect Me Knight


Xbox LIVE Indie Game
240 MS Points

I have never really payed attention to the indie game marketplace on Xbox Live. However, for some reason I looked the other day and noticed an interesting looking game. Thus, I downloaded the trial for Protect Me Knight and fell in love with it immediately. It's retro style and gameplay hooked me from it's intro and I couldn't put it down.

Protect Me Knight is basically a defense game where up to four players (No online play sadly) have a princess in the middle that needs protecting. You have a choice between four different characters, a mage, amazonian, knight and ninja. Each character has different attacks and abilities. The knight is the basic all around melee guy, able to spin in circles and throw an axe across the field that bounces off enemies. The ninja attacks viciously fast, lays bombs that look like the princess, and can turn invisible when he blocks. The mage's attacks aren't too strong, but her fire ball can have devastating effects as it spreads. The amazonian is another vicious attacker and she throws a boomerang that can twirl around her as long as you keep moving.



Every enemy you slay grants you heart points, in which you can level up your character, level up a barricade, or use a devastating attack that will grant you some breathing room. This adds another surprising level in depth into the game that make you want to advance and see what new move you can unlock or see what your max ability looks like. This kept my friends playing as well, all making different choices as we went along,

This game is meant to be played with three or four players, that seems pretty obvious once you get past the first few stages. The game throws a relentless amount of orcs, minotaurs, dragons, blimps, centipedes, and armored lizards at you. There were many times where the screen was literally filled with enemies and we couldn't move.



So, if you are looking for a good old retro game that you can enjoy with some friends on a couch, this is an excellent indie game. Especially at only 240 microsoft banana dollars, you can't really go wrong with it. If I had to say which game is my favorite indie game, i would have to say Protect Me Knight. Yes, even over I Made a Game With Zombies In It.   read


3:37 PM on 04.06.2010

E For Effort: The Wii



There are a lot of mixed emotions when people think of the Wii. Some call it a steaming pile of sh*t, some love it more than any of the other current gen consoles, and some say it is a dust collector but they still enjoy it. I rest on the latter, my Wii is sitting in the living room, behind the HD television. I currently own nine games for the system, most of them my parents bought with the mini games in them. Every three months or so, I might turn it on for a bit and play some Mario Cart Wii or Pokemon Puzzle Challenge. After about a half an hour or so though, I get tired of it and turn it off. Do I dislike the Wii? Yes. Do I dislike the way it plays? Again, yes. Do I dislike most of the games on the console? Most definite, yes. Do I dislike and/or hate Nintendo for creating the Wii? No I don't. Now that I have your attention, hopefully you will read on to figure out why.

Nintendo's products used to be easy to play and have reliable games and systems that the "hardcore" gamer could enjoy. From my very first game, which was the Super Mario World on SNES, I have played almost every first party game they have to offer. Then back in the year 2005 (yeah, who can remember that far back?), the Nintendo Revolution was revealed. They didn't show us anything but the little white console that would be called the Wii at E3 2006. I remember when I watched them demonstrate the Wii and when they showed videos of people playing them. My first thought was, "How the hell am I supposed to play games on something that looks like a remote?!". Then, "Wow... that really looks different and new! I cannot wait to get my hands on it!".

Then, the Wii launched November 19th, 2006, and I didn't get one for on full year. In that full year, almost everyone of my friends was able to nab one of the damned Houdini console. I went over there to play it, and was at first amazed with what it could do. My brother, was less excited about it, and started to bash it after watching it in play. The first game I played was Wii Sports, of course, and I had fun playing it with my friend. Soon after that, the wave of shovel ware started to flood into the market. Which brings me to my first point, the Nintendo seal of quality means nothing to me anymore.



Remember that little stamp there? Yeah, it usually meant that the game was a one most people would enjoy.Then the Wii came out, and every little game that came out had that little seal of approval on it, when really the game was shit. Remember Carnival Games and Ninjabread Man? Yeah, those were disasters that were allowed to be on the white dust collector. There is less shovelware these days, thankfully, but I still can't get into the first party games as well. For instance, Super Mario Galaxy, I just couldn't keep playing it. I loved Super Mario 64 and played the hell out of it but I couldn't enjoy Galaxy. There are some shines of light though through the dark clouds, such as Super Mario Cart Will, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mad World, and No More Heroes. I have fully enjoyed these games, along with games from the virtual console. There is also games to look forward into the future, the main one that comes to mind is Epic Mickey. Are the some of the games bad? Yes. Are all of them? No.



The most bothersome part of the Wii to me though, is what you spend most of your time playing with, the Wiimote. Call me old fashioned but I prefer a controller that feels sturdy, one that doesn't feel awkward, and one where I don't have to where a fucking strap on my wrist to prevent accidents. I love the feeling of definite control from two analog sticks, shoulder buttons, a controller that has a bit of weight, and a nice layout of buttons. I don't experience any of these qualities with the Wiimote or Nunchuck. Do I like the contoller of the Wii? No. Is it bad? No, it fits the games that are on the Wii.

Nintendo is... experimenting with their audience. They are trying to reach out to everyone, with the Wii pertaining to people that aren't familiar with our favorite entertainment and the sales show, they are reaching them. However, they are also locking out a lot of their original hardcore audience with the Wii. These are the reasons why I dislike the Wii, but I Nintendo still has my faith and I will come to them when something catches my eye. Thanks for reading, I now leave you with one of my favorite Mario videos, Super Mario Brothers- Frustration.

[embed]170154:28856[/embed]   read


1:06 PM on 03.02.2010

Researching Your Games: You're Doing It Wrong

To me, buying a sixty dollar game is a pretty big investment to me, especially when it is a pre-order/new release. However, this is because of my lack of funds right now, so it might be different to other folks. I get frustrated with some of these people that get upset with a game that is not what they expected or the quality of the content isn't what they assumed the product would be. You know what I say to these people? STFUJPG

The one particular game that stands out to me is Brutal Legend, one of my favorite games of last year.
Now, I can see people going in thinking it was going to be a straight up hack and slash game...



However, it actually turned out more like an RTS type...



Now, I research the hell out of games that I am excited for. So I knew what I was getting into when I picked
Brutal Legend up. I was excited to see other people on my friends list later that day also start to play it. The day after that however, they went back to playing Halo or Call of Duty. I was curious, so I asked what they thought of Brutal Legend. Their response: "Man, it sucks! I thought it was going to be a slasher but it's actually a gay RTS!". I heard many colleges give a similar answer over and over again. However, some of the blame is also on the marketing department for Brutal Legend.

There are also some otherr games where the same thing has happened such as Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Mirror's Edge, and Overlord. So I guess the point of this blog is... don't waste your hard earned money on games you are not fully informed on! Oh, there is also this thing called "renting" that I use, you should try it too!   read


7:36 PM on 01.22.2009

Sketch/Segment Ideas

Alright, well, me and my brother are in a media productions class. In this class, we make a weekly show about announcments, news, and sketches. Well, we have the ability to create any kind of skit or segment for this show for our school, as long as it is PG-13 rated. We only have a couple ideas for now, and they are ideas already thought up from the guys at Mega 64, the Merchant and Snake. We are palnning to go around the lunchroom, during lunch of course, and just randomly ask "what are ya buying?" and other lines while they wait in line. We want to have segments/sketches that apply to games, technology, music, or movies. Do you guys have any ideas for me? Oh, and here are the vides of the merchant and snake. ;P

[embed]118930:17151[/embed]

[embed]118930:17152[/embed]   read


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