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To some I am Tony Mays, to others, M'Lord. You? You can just call me tehtonym. I'm from the middle of nowhere, Illinois. I occasionally write for the wicked cool www.clgamer.com, whom you should already be subscribed to. I am also editor-in-chief at www.real-life-sucks.com, the internet's best game, film, tv, anime and other assorted nerdery webstop since 1875. Prove me wrong, I dare ya.
I also run a little T-shirt company, www.popdeadthreads.com. I'm always looking for fresh designs, so if you dream of being a T-shirt designer, let me know!
I have a bachelor's degree in bullshit, which has provided me approximately $0.00 USD. I could have bought a small island with that money, but nooooo, I decided to be "responsible." Never doing that again.
I live a ridiculous life, one that seems to like throwing new and exciting adventures my way. Good or bad, I don't argue; my philosophy is "if it makes for a good story, the experience was worth it!"
So yeah, that's about it. I'll be posting some of articles from Real Life Sucks here on the good ole Dtoid for shits and giggles. If you like my work, let me know. If not, I implore you to give me some suggestions on improving it. If you have some interesting blogs and want to branch out, we would be happy to have you!
*Note* I'm super tired right now, so I'm not going to worry about formatting and embedding the youtube videos. I'll do it later! Or, if you want to read it in all its sexy formatted glory, chug on over to http://real-life-sucks.com/?p=887 .
Boss battles can be hit or miss, and unfortunately this generation has seen plenty of misses. Some of my favorite bosses of all time are living out their retirements stuffed in SNES cartridges or PS1 discs, collecting dust in the twilight of their lives. Compiling this Top 9 has been surprisingly taxing, so let's just get right into it!
9. Strider - Half Life 2
Ok, Striders are technically sub-bosses, but I loved my first encounter so much I had to include it. The atmosphere is great. All hope is lost. This gigantic bug-looking thing is running rampant, obliterating anything and everything it feels needs to die, and no one knows how to stop it. Gordon Freeman saunters in, crowbar in hand and plan in mind. Once he knows the Strider's tactics, Gordon gets to work. Do work, indeed. Skip to the 6:45 mark to see the fight.
8. Scarecrow - DC Universe Online
DC Universe Online is a surprisingly good game. I've never been big on World of Warcraft, so I chomp at the bit every time a developer releases a new, unique (ish) MMO. DCUO plays like an action game, as opposed to the archetypal MMO, like WoW. It's fresher and sleeker than similar superhero MMOs, and is set in a universe with a gargantuan amount of personality. The best parts of the game are its boss battles, and scarecrow's is one of the best. Possibly taking inspiration from Arkham Asylum, DCUO makes every encounter with Scarecrow excitingly trippy and creepy. Skip to the 4:00 mark to see the battle, or watch the whole video to see his entire instance.
7. Skagzilla - Borderlands
If you haven't played Borderlands yet, you need to. Borderlands is a First Person Shooter with RPG sensibilities. Seriously, it's a great game. There are plenty of memorable bosses in Borderlands, but Skagzilla stands out as the best. He's big, he's mean, and he can absorb bullets like no other. Everything about the battle is just cool.
Giant desert arena: Check. Giant monster: Check. Home Run Derby: Check? When using the special shotgun, "Sledge's Shotgun," players can send the skag flying. My buddies and I used to get together and have home run derbies for hours with him. It's just good fun.
6. Akantor - Monster Hunter Freedom Unite
I've logged more hours in MHFU than any other single game in recent memory. Picking a single boss was a pain in the ass, because every battle is a boss battle. No, seriously, every Monster Hunter game is a boss rush. Akantor makes the list because defeating one is a huge achievement. Few monster hunters even see one of these fabled beasts, and even fewer defeat one. Hell, even getting the quest is a pain in the ass; I think it took me 70-80 hours to unlock it. God knows how many attempts were made to kill one. Definitely a huge accomplishment! Note the video below was made by seasoned veterans. You don't want to know how long my first Akantor kill took.
5. Maero - Saints Row 2
Ok, let's keep this short and civil. The Saints Row series is not just a GTA clone, no arguing necessary. They're wacky, they're brutal, and most importantly, they're fun as hell. If you don't like them... well, there's a special place in hell for you.
Fighting Maero, the leader of rival gang "The Brotherhood," is a unique experience in GTA style sandbox games. It's like a demolition derby showdown, except everyone has a vehicle but you. Also, Maero drives a monster truck. Shit just got real.
4. Adam - Dead Rising
Psychotic clown: Check. Chainsaws: Check. Fire breath: Check. Tons of gore: Check. Zombies: double check. It's everything a man could ask for.
Alan Wake is a consistently underrated game. It absolutely dripped with personality and atmosphere, yet it was written off because it wasn't Call of Duty, Halo, or GTA. I liked nearly everything about the game, from the soundtrack to the character design, which says a lot. I hate a lot of things. I mean a LOT. Anyway, the battle during "Defend The Stage" is so epic it hurts. Alan has to fight off hordes of enemies while the bumbling-yet-lovable Barry tries to get the stage's lights to turn on. The best part? The killer song that plays throughout the whole showdown, which, by the way, is "Children of the Elder Gods" by Old Gods of Asgard.
The whole game isn't this balls to the wall, but it keeps a good pace throughout. Fans of story-driven third person shooters should fucking love this game.
2. Gates of Hell - Last Remnant
Last Remnant is one of my favorite RPGs in recent memory, and it too is sadly underrated. I won't bore you with the details here, instead look out for my review. Gates of Hell is, depending on how you've played the rest of the game, one of the hardest battles. It is the final battle before switching disks, so its difficulty is understandable. Those that like to grind before a boss, such as myself and our very own Ricky Chaney, will be in for an ass whoopin'. To put it simply, Gates of Hell scales with your battle rank, which is sort of like your party's level. This fucker took a week of our lives. A WEEK!
It's a long and intense battle, accompanied by an equally intense song. It's so intense that it may just turn up next week in my Top 9 RPG Themes. Check out both videos. Pro-tip: it's long, so get comfy.
Finally we're at #1, my favorite boss battle from this entire generation! Are you excited? I know I am! Buckle up kids, you're about to see some serious shit.
1. Garl Vinland / Maiden Astraea - Demons Souls
I could write a full length novel about Demons souls. Hell, I could write a full length novel that only details why I love it. For the sake of keeping this list under 20,000 words, I'm going to keep it short.
If you haven't heard of Demons Souls, you should probably crawl out from underneath your rock, buy a tv, a ps3, and a copy of the game. It's one of the hardest, darkest, and most rewarding RPGs I've ever played... and I've played a lot of RPGs. It drips character and atmosphere from every single pore. Seriously, GO BUY IT NOW!
Now that's out of my system, let's get to the battle. It takes place in the Valley of Defilement, a dumping ground for all the world's filthiest and most evil demons. Oh, and aborted fetuses. After killing all the trash enemies, the player will notice a waterfall of amniotic fluid that ends in a pool of dead and possessed babies/fetuses that will attack on sight. Pretty fucked up, right?
It gets worse. The demon you're tasked with killing, Maiden Astraea, is guarded by her lover, Garl Vinland, who has vowed to give his life to protect her, and their "home." The two beg you to leave them, as they've hurt no one and want to live peacefully in their cozy baby juices. When Garl is dead, the maiden will guilt trip you and commit suicide. If Garl is bypassed, the maiden will beg for her life. Once she's dead, Garl will instead commit suicide. It's all very fucked up, and it causes the player to question their morals, which is quite a feat. Hell, I never think twice about my actions in games with actual morality systems. Powerful stuff!
The track that plays during this whole shebang is beautiful and haunting. It ties everything together quite nicely. My weak words can't really do the battle any justice, so go buy that damn ps3 already! You could just watch the video instead, I guess, but I definitely recommend the former.
Well, thatís that. This list took waaaaaaaaaaaaaay longer to cobble together than I expected. I could write a top 30 SNES boss battles in a heartbeat. Címon games industry, get your shit together!
Your favorite didn't make the list? Let us know in the comments!
Dragon Age 2 (360)
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Released: March 8, 2011
Bioware's 2009 epic Dragon Age: Origins was a fantastic game, even if there were a few niggling problems with it. Bioware ramped up the production value on Dragon Age 2, and the result is a seamless RPG epic. The combat in DA2 is a lot more fluid and polished, which lends it an action game feel, whereas Origins played like a single player MMO. The inclusion of a named character and Mass Effect style conversation wheel greatly improve players' immersion, much to the surprise of those scared of change.
From a technical standpoint, Dragon Age 2 greatly improves on the foundation laid by Origins. It looks prettier, runs smoother, and provides deeper character interactions. Unfortunately, Bioware still hasn't crafted a perfect game, but would expecting that be reasonable anyway?
Customization - I've always loved being able to customize characters in games. DA2's options aren't as robust as Origins', but each of my characters are completely unique.
Length - Dragon Age 2 has a ton of content. In my first semi-rushed playthrough, I racked up nearly 32 hours of playtime. Some of the quests are a bit repetitive, but I never felt like Bioware was recycling quests to pad the game's length.
Impactful Choices - Nearly every choice the player makes impacts the story in a meaningful way. Sure, some choices won't change the way the game ends, but Bioware definitely paid attention to the small details.
Characters - Dragon Age 2 features a cast of memorable characters. Some will be remembered for having balls of steel, others for being whiny, misanthropic twats. You'll love some, and you'll hate some. 9 times out of 10, players are expected to hate the bad guys, just because they're the bad guys, but in Dragon Age 2, you'll love to hate someone in your party. You will always have at least one party member that insists on butting heads with you, and that helps keep the game fresh.
Story - Most games introduce the big bad early, forcing players to watch him/her commit a crime so heinous they instinctively know this is the final boss . Bioware throws a wrench in the works by keeping players guessing as to who the true antagonist is, and it works to their favor. I found myself simply enjoying what was happening, instead of rushing through the narrative to exact my revenge on Doctor BadGuy. The final reveal comes late, and isn't a big surprise if you think about it, but who says every game needs a ludicrous plot twist?
One moment involving Hawke's mother stands out as one of the most powerful scenes in gaming. I won't spoil it, but it was powerful enough to make the battle that follows oh so gratifying. Really powerful stuff.
Graphics - Dragon Age 2's graphics are a double edged sword. One one hand it looks better than its predecessor, but it doesn't hold up to other AAA titles. Your mileage may vary.
Graphics - Again, Dragon Age 2 looks better than Origins, but it can't keep up with other AAA titles. I don't care much about graphics, but I figured I should include this for those that do. It isn't ugly by any means, but some of the game's textures look outdated.
Emotion - Most of the voice acting is solid, but the actors falter during a few super emotional scenes,; male Hawke is particularly guilty. Nicholas Boulton's performance isn't bad, per se, but he can't seem to nail sorrow or outrage. He manages to destroy players' immersion at the worst times.
Scale - A good 75% of Dragon Age 2 takes place inside the city of Kirkwall. Players travel to a few other, more exotic locations. It's slightly disappointing to spend so much time in Kirkwall, but it makes sense in the context of the story. I was apprehensive going in, but it's honestly a minor quibble. Trust me, there's plenty to do in Kirkwall, so you'll never be bored.
Recurring Characters - One of my favorite RPG characters from recent memory is Allistair, from Origins. Unfortunately, he only makes a small appearance here. Most major characters from Origins have a small part in DA2, but not enough to satiate those that loved Origins. References are cool and all, but I would have liked to see more of my team from Origins.
The Ending - The ending is actually pretty great, but it feels all too similar to the ending of Origins. Let's just leave it at that.
Dragon Age 2 is a great game. It improves upon Dragon Age: Origins' formula, and provides a metric fuckton of lore. Combat is fun and provides a decent challenge on the harder difficulties, and most of the cast are fleshed out well. Some players won't enjoy dealing with Kirkwall's politics for a good portion of the game, and others will. It's a must-have for RPG fans, and would make a decent introduction for newcomers. Dragon Age 2 is one of those games that is hard to review, so my advice to you, dear reader, is to give the game a rent and decide for yourself. If you like it, run out and buy that shit up! If you don't, don't expect a refund from RLS!
8 - Great It might not be among the very best games available, but it's worth a play. It may have a few flaws holding it back from perfection, but most RPG fans should eat it up.
Hey guys, I figured I'd throw up a quick update blog for everyone. I've started writing for clgamer.com, and I'm totally stoked about that! But, as we're still decently small, most of my text content is going to be clgamer exclusive. I know, not too many people are gonna care about that, but it's on the table, make of it what you will.
Also, I've started doing a podcast, and until clgamer gets its new sexy redesign finished, I'll be throwing it up here through PodBean. As a little added bonus, I'll be streaming a video of us podcasting, so if anyone is into that, I'll throw the link up in a blog every time I go live.
So yeah, that's the size of things. The podcast, "Turbo GamePod" will be up tonight, along with the live stream. I'm excited, and you should be too!
Nintendo's Wii is a bit of an enigma. Even though it is constantly the recipient of harsh criticism and boasts an extensive library of disappointing flops, there are still seventeen people in Oklahoma that own one. That being said, some games have seen more success than others. If Mario's face is on it, people will play it. Unfortunately, his face is no longer being lent to third party developers, thanks to the abortion that was Hotel Mario, and it's common knowledge that third party titles haven't been flying off the shelves. Which game is the worst though? If you guessed Wii-Fat, you'd be wrong. Close though.
According to statistics collected from the Nintendo Channel by Kotaku, Jillian Michaels' Fitness Ultimatum 2009 is the least played (and worst) game on the Wii. I don't disagree. Runners up for this prestigious title include M&Mís Kart Racing and Furu Furu Park, whatever that is. All three games share under three hours of play time per Wii. Honestly though, I don't know what's sadder: The fact that Jillian got a sequel, or that her game is only as popular as a $10 licensed Kart racer.
Who's the biggest loser now Jillian? WHO'S THE BIGGEST LOSER NOW!?
When the words "Video Game" are mentioned, most people's minds wander to images of the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3, and their respective handhelds/spin offs. That's understandable, but there are other mediums that support super awesome gaming experiences. Unfortunately, they are generally overlooked and are not received as true gaming. As someone that enjoys every incarnation and facet of gaming, I believe that we need to learn to fully appreciate gaming in all of its forms.
Part 1 of my new series "Where's The Love?" will take us on a trip through the wacky world of Flash Gaming. By the end of this article everyone in the known galaxy will be able to fully appreciate Flash Games, and the breath of fresh air they bring to our favorite past time. Those that don't will be shot. TWICE. Enjoy!
Our tale begins with the advent of Macromedia Flash millions of years ago on the planet Mars. Actually, that happened in 1996 on Earth, but the details don't matter. What does matter is that Macromedia acquired the rights to a program that sucked, turned it into Flash, and opened up tons of new possibilities for the internet. Websites like Newgrounds, AddictingGames and ArmorGames popped up, hosting tons of great "time wasters." Although fun, these time wasting games had (have?) really no depth, and exist solely to ensure that no one ever does anything productive. Flash Games progressed, becoming longer, incorporating more involving stories, and branching out to new genres.
Fast forward to today. While flash games haven't come close to the popularity of traditional gaming, they have made quite a name for themselves. Even big gaming websites have begun lovin' on some flash games. Here on Dtoid, Jay Pavlina's Super Mario Crossover has received multiple front page articles. That's pretty sweet if you ask me, and having sunk quite a large chunk of time into it, I understand why it's receiving so much attention. It is a shining example of how great Flash Gaming can be.
So, without further adieu, I present a list of Flash Games that are just as good as traditional games, and that prove that flash games are a viable gaming platform.
Looming is a weird game, to say the least. Here's the author's description:
This game is about two lovers named January and September. No, wait; it's about a group of people who don't believe in the sky. No, it's about a pantheon of scientific disciplines. Or maybe it's about an ancient beast who knew exactly when it was going to die, and how.
It's about a place. A place called Looming.
After reading that, I was almost certain it was going to be a crappy artsy fartsy game. You know, the kind that's more arts and farts than game. Luckily, I was wrong. Looming starts by delivering a cryptic message from the protagonist September to his love, January. As September, the player must uncover the secrets of this strange world called Looming. In its simplest form, Looming consists of walking around, solving puzzles and collecting information. This information is very creative, and begins to develop an intriguing mythos that compells the player to progress. Looming really shines in the creativity department.
It is also shines in the replayability department. There are 9 different endings to see, and tons of collecting to do. It is a hard game to describe, so I would suggest everyone try it out, and leave a comment letting me know what you think!
Pandemic II has a simple premise: Create a powerful disease, and kill the crap out of everyone in the world. Think of it as a version of Sim City that doesn't completely blow. Even with its simple graphics and point and click interface, this game is great. Watching the death toll rise as the governments of the world vainly try to create a vaccine is morbidly fascinating, and more importantly, fun as hell.
Pandemic II was a big deal when it came out. All of my friends wanted to be the first to beat it. I wasn't the first. Or the second. Or the third. Hell, I've never even beaten it, and not for lack of trying. I've spent a lot of time hoping to, but as far as I'm concerned, everyone that claims to have beaten it is a dirty rotten liar. It just can't be done! Madagascar is just too powerful!
Sonny is a turn based RPG that you can play forever. You are a zombie. With weapons. And magic. 'Nuff Said.
Seriously though, Sonny is a deep RPG. Sonny establishes itself early on as a thorough role playing adventuret. It features a robust leveling system, a wide variety of weapons/magic, a long story mode, and an infinite battle mode. This is one of those games that I would to see get a fleshed out console version. Speaking of flash games turned console games...
Everyone has played Alien Hominid, but it still needs to be mentioned. It really set the standard for action/shooter/wtfever flash games. I had never heard of a flash game being ported to a console before, so when it happened, I started to see them in a whole new light. They can be just as long and intense as a full fledged console game, and Alien Hominid really brought that thought to the forefront of many people's minds.
Really, a Tower Defense game? YES, REALLY, A TOWER DEFENSE GAME. Gem Craft has so much substance it isn't funny. It features a robust RPG element, a really kickass leveling system, cool graphics/soundtrack, innovative (at least for the time) gameplay, and a difficulty akin to God Of War 3's Titan mode. I have been playing the game on and off since launch, and have yet to beat it. Intending to only play it for a few minutes while on break almost always leads to a power hour (or more!) of pure, delicious Tower Defense GOODNESS!
My Pet Protector is the name of a game. A game that involves no pets. Or Protecting. But that doesn't matter, because it's freaking awesome. The story is pretty basic, but don't let that deter you from digging into it. An RPG that incorporates dungeon crawling, text adventure, turn based battles, and micro management? SIGN ME UP! There's so much to do in My Pet Protector that players shouldn't get bored until they've finished. I wish more console games incorporated different methods of play. I like being able to change it up every once in awhile, don't you?
Frontier is a turn based economy RPG... Well, that doesn't sound too fun, now does it? Well it is. There's plenty to do in Frontier. Amass riches, take over cities, upgrade your wagon/land cruiser, and become an outlaw... or an enforcer, but who wants to do that? This game should keep any RPG fan busy for awhile. It's not an educational game by any means, but someone studying economy might be able to bs their way through a report with it. If that doesn't prove a game's worth, nothing will.
I'm sure everyone has played a "tilty" game. You know, those games that involve shifting your weight to one side to get over obstacles, do flips, etc etc? Most of those are fun and all, but typically become boring after the first stage. Cyclomaniacs, on the other hand, is an outstanding take on the tilty game. Players can choose from approximately 32 billion racers and vehicles, and race on approximately 528 trillion different courses, in order to unlock achievements, stages and racers.
The action is extremely hectic and hilarious, and actually requires a decent bit of skill. The new PSN title Joe Danger reminds me of a toned down version of Cyclomaniacs. A handful of my acquaintances have been playing Cyclomaniacs for nearly a year, and still haven't tired of it. It really does offer a lot of fun.
On a side note, the sound track is awesome. I've been trying to figure out what the slower song is called, and have come up short. The only thing I know about it is that its featured on the Teen Mom commercials. +5 awesome to anyone that can point me to an MP3 of it!
This is by no means intended to be a definitive list of the best flash games out there. This article is just meant to show case some of the best to help solidify the flash medium as a viable gaming platform. There are tons of other great games floating about this giant series of tubes, and if anyone thinks I should add one to the list, leave it in the comments and I'll see what I can do!