You may notice that most of those blogs are somehow related to pro wrestling. Why? Because I spent 10 years as a professional wrestler before retiring in October 2013 due to back injuries. I actually wasn't too bad.
A bit about me? Well, obviously I love to write. It's not a paying gig yet, but I'm certainly trying to make that happen.
I'm a happily married man, and my wife is smokin' hot.
This week's episode, our topic discussion time is used to talk about something that all gamers have memories of: staying up all night, in caffeine-induced hazes, and gaming. Here's just a few of the topics:
My personal anecdotes about staying up just trying out new fatalities I copies out of old GamePro magazines, hand-written on notebook paper, of course.
Luke ruminates on when he stayed awake for 24 consecutive hours playing FFVII before losing it all because he didn't have a memory card.
Chris at one point in time won 3rd place in the world at Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, but it came at the price of his health...and sanity.
We also discuss just how we stayed awake during those late night...
Nintendo has always loved doling out themed versions of their handheld consoles, and with the recent announcement of the Kirby-themed 2DS (pictured above), it got me thinking about all the cool designs that they could come up with. Yeah, it's a bunch of crap that the new Kirby game isn't included, but what can you do? I just recently upgraded to a 3DS XL with the Yoshi version, and while not having Yoshi's New Island included was a bit of a bummer, it wasn't a deal breaker.
Nintendo has been going crazy with the themed-3DS' in the past year, to the point that it's pretty much a given that any time Nintendo releases a new title in one of their first-party franchises, it'll be getting it's own 3DS. Mario & Luigi, Zelda, Pokemon, Yoshi, Animal Crossing, Kirby, and the list will certainly continue.
So here's some characters and franchises--not necessarily limited to Nintendo franchises--that I would love to see get their own 3DS.
When I picture this one, I actually think it would be cooler not to have the lovable giant ape on the console at all. In this case, I think a minimalist approach would be the way to go. I like the idea of a yellow 3DS with just the titular character's trademark tie being featured.
The original Nintendo DS had three different 2D Castlevania games, and all three of them are some of my favorites on the system. It's been too long since we've had a 2D Castlevania. No, I'm not forgetting about Mirror of Fate, I just want a new Castlevania that's more akin to the Metroid-style and not Lords of Shadow (even though I do like the LoS series). Since the protagonists usually change from game to game, the only acceptable character to feature on the system is the one constant from the beginning: Dracula.
Out of all of the games and franchises I'm listing in this blog, this is the one that seems the most likely to someday see the light of day. I sat here for a long time trying to think of a good analogy of the Metroid series as it pertains to Nintendo. I feel like Nintendo looks at Metroid as the least popular cheerleader. She's still popular, but not enough to get asked out to prom. Surely, there will eventually be a Metroid game released on the 3DS, right? Give us a sequel to Metroid Fusion, or hey, give a Zero Mission-style upgrade to Super Metroid. Wait, nevermind, you got Super Metroid right the first time, please disregard what I just said.
Capcom may have given up on the Mega Man franchise, but the fans haven't. How great would a light blue 3DS featuring the Blue Bomber be? Even though Mega Man Legends 3 has been cancelled, Nintendo could save it by including some, if not all, of the NES Mega Man games available on the eShop on the SD card. Other than Pokemon, I think a Mega Man 3DS would be the highest selling bundle Nintendo could release.
I'm actually kind of baffled that Nintendo hasn't already done this one. They published Lego City Undercover, and the Lego games are quite profitable, so Nintendo must have seen something in Undercover to warrant them publishing. Considering how huge Lego and its game counterparts have become, I wouldn't be surprised if this one happens eventually.
I'll take any and every excuse to write about Blargg. If they announced a Blargg 3DS, I would kick that Yoshi 3DS to the curb--meaning I would sell it on eBay--and pre-order it immediately. An orange-red system, showing only Blargg's eyes creeping up from the bottom of the system in its closed state, only to see that ridiculous cross-eyed...thing when you open it. Nintendo would have to stop trying at that point, because they wouldn't be able to make anything better. I'm not just talking about systems, I mean everything. Games, consoles, the whole kitten-kaboodle. Shut down everything, because they would reach the zenith of the industry at that point.
So how about you guys? Any particular character or series you would like to see get their own 3DS?
Initially, this blog was titled "The X Most Unappreciated Mario Characters." It didn't take long before I realized that it was basically just me talking about why Blargg is so awesome (by the way, Blargg is awesome). I've been going through a bad spell of writer's block recently, I just couldn't come up with any good topics, and unappreciated Mario characters seemed like a very basic idea just to get me out of my funk. But, the more I wrote, the more I hated it, so I decided to hit the big DELETE key and start back at square one. I looked up from my screen to see some old wrestling footage on the tube. Even though I've retired from the wrestling business, I found in that moment that writing about wrestling is usually my best stuff, and the WWE Network has been a Godsend for someone like me. I've been watching so much 80s and 90s wrestling it's ridiculous.
Watching those larger-than-life, Herculean-esque masses of humanity, and then staring at the failed blog in front of me, I knew then what needed to be done. Each Koopaling (or Koopa Kid, if you prefer) has a distinct personality and unique traits, much like the wrestling days of old. So I went through and compared each Koopaling to his or her pro wrestling doppelganger. Let us begin...
Larry Koopa & Shane McMahon
Out of all the Koopalings, Larry was the hardest one for me to find a counterpart to. There wasn't any wrestler that immediately stuck out like the rest, so I actually had to do some research (i.e. the Mario wiki). What I found is that in the Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 official guide, Larry is pointed to as being Bowser's favorite, So naturally, I took that to mean that he's the closest of all the original Koopa kids to being a son to Bowser. Who better to compare him to than the son of the King Koopa of wrestling, Shane McMahon?
Morton Koopa & Vader
Morton is the enforcer of the Koopalings, the muscle. He also has a star on his face, making him look a lot like Paul Stanley of KISS, but since I'm comparing the Koopalings to pro wrestlers and not untalented singers of overrated bands, I'm going to go with one of the most powerful and intimidating wrestlers of all-time: Vader. Vader was an absolute brute, and even though his WWE career was nothing to write home about, during his days in WCW and Japan (and Boy Meets World) he was one of the most dominant wrestlers in the game. Morton's has his star, Vader has his mask. Morton shakes the room, Vader shakes the ring. IT'S MORTON TIME!
Lemmy Koopa & Eugene
I'll be honest, I'm a little scared to write anything here. The Eugene gimmick was that of a person with a mental handicap, and while the man playing the role, Nick Dinsmore, did a masterful job portraying the character, it's still a tough thing to write about without sounding insensitive. I tried to find pictures of each character and let them do the talking for me...and that's exactly what I'm going to do. So, yeah, Lemmy and Eugene. The end.
Wendy O. Koopa & "Sensational" Sherri
This one wasn't even close. The moment I started comparing the kids to wrestlers, "Sensational" Sherri was the only possible choice for Wendy. For you younger wrestling fans who may not know Sherri, she was the heel valet. Think about any female that managed heels in wrestling history, and they don't hold a candle to Sherri, and as far as I'm concerned, Wendy O. Koopa is the first lady when it comes to Mario enemies. I don't care how many female antagonists have appeared in Mario games, whether it be the standard platformers or the RPGs, Wendy takes the cake.
Ludwig Von Koopa & The Genius
Ludwig Von is the brains of the Koopaling gang, so two wrestlers immediately came to mind: "The Genius" Lanny Poffo, and Harvard graduate Chris Nowinski. The Genius won out for several reasons: 1) Nowinski's entire character depth consisted of "I went to Harvard, therefore, I'm smarter than you." 2) The Genius was more entertaining. 3) The Genius is Randy Savage's brother. And 4) The Genius didn't just tell you how smart he was, he would show you. He would read poems before matches, showing off his arrogance, and I believe Ludwig would be the type to not only boast about his superiority, but prove it as well.
Iggy Koopa & Vergil
Iggy is a dork. Vergil is also a dork. Next.
Roy Koopa & Jesse "The Body" Ventura
That comparison photo pretty much says it all, doesn't it? Roy, much like Jesse Ventura, is the perfect blend of style and machismo. Like his brother Morton, Roy is a powerhouse, but he's about more than just showing off his muscles. When Roy brings the hammer down, he does it with pizzazz. I could easily see Roy Koopa fighting alongside Schwarzenegger in a future Predator film.
Bowser Jr. & Erik Watts
For lack of a better phrase, I'm going to have to go a little "insider baseball" on you here. While Erik Watts had a respectable career, it would not have happened if it weren't for his father. "Cowboy" Bill Watts is an old-timer, and at one point in time was the booker for WCW, and he pushed his son, Erik, to the top, even though he had no right to be there, and fans didn't care about him whatsoever. That's what I think of when I think of Bowser Jr. No one likes him, and the only reason he's had his 15 minutes is because his daddy is calling the shots.
I enjoyed writing this article so much, I think I may try it again with a different set of game characters. Any suggestions?
Hey...thanks for reading. You're awesome.
P.S. I do a podcast with a couple buddies. Our latest episode was about pro wrestling videogames, so why not give it a listen?
Hello everybody, in case you didn't see my post a couple weeks ago, some buddies of mine and I started a podcast.
Nothing big, just something we're doing for fun. This past week we recorded what is already our most popular (i.e. most listened to) episode. It's all about pro wrestling, seeing as my cohorts and I are all big wrestling fans. Give it a listen if you wish, you can hear stories about not only my pro career, but some of our old backyard wrestling stories as well. You can download the episode here, or go ahead and subscribe on iTunes.
Anyway, as a follow-up to our pro wrestling discussion, this weeks episode we will be discussing pro wrestling videogames, and we just wanted to get some comments or questions from some people. What's your favorite? Least favorite? Why? How do you feel about modern wrestling games compared to classic ones? Who was your go-to character?
Just comment below and we will discuss when we record tomorrow night.
I've kind of always had a fascination with strategy guides. I don't know why or when this weird obsession started. I'll buy guides for games I don't own or even have any intention of playing, I don't give a crap. For the most part, I don't even use them when I am playing that particular game, at least not my first time through. If I miss something, then I'll go in with the guide in-hand.
These days, there are only two major players in the strategy guide market: Prima and BradyGames. Walk into any big games retailer and I guarantee those are the only companies with guides on the shelves. Sure, it's easier (and much cheaper) to just go to GameFAQS or watch a walkthrough on YouTube, but there's just something about having a nice, hefty book in my lap that takes me back to the days when gaming magazines were as coveted as gold for their "Tips & Tricks" sections.
Almost every child of the late 80s and early 90s has memories of shuffling through the pages of Nintendo Power, GamePro, or EGM--among many others--and having that 'Eureka!' moment when all mysteries about a certain cryptic game were revealed.
The first strategy guide I remember wasn't actually a guide at all, at least not in terms of how we think of them today.
That's a guide book. There are no pictures, just text, and yes, you basically read it like you would a typical book. It's a novel, and it's amazing. Finally, we can all figure out how to get past that goomba in World 1-1.
When I was around nine years old, my family got our first computer. My father instantly became hooked on PC adventure games, specifically the King's Quest series. The first one he played was King's Quest V (with the sun-poisoned King Graham and his annoying hooter), and while it didn't have a typical strategy guide, it did have a hint book. It was a bit odd, so I'll explain it as best I can. The hint book came packaged with the game, and includes pages upon pages of questions that all went a little something like "What do I do with..." and "Where should I go from..." The answers, however, weren't just given to you. They were hidden away in a text box, and the only way to see the answers was to hold the included red visor to your face like Cyclops. At the time, that absolutely blew my mind.
After his King's Quest adventures, my dad moved to two PC games that are burned into my memory: The 7th Guest, and its sequel, The 11th Hour. These were the first real strategy guides I remember ever seeing. My dad wouldn't let me play it because he didn't want me to accidentally mess up his save file, also, I was 9 and this was a mature-rated game, but he let me look over the strategy guides as much as I wanted, and I would pore over them for hours at a time. I probably knew more about the game from reading the guide and looking at the pictures than my dad did from playing it.
When I was 12, Resident Evil 2 was released. I've written before about my passion for the series, so I won't go into it, but that passion began with Resident Evil 2. But, being that young caused RE2 to be very opaque for me. I had no idea where to go or what to do, I had to get a strategy guide, otherwise I would be stuck forever. So my dad took me to the local CompUSA and I purchased the Resident Evil 2 guide with probably the worst cover of all-time:
That doesn't look like a zombie, that looks like an elderly man with leprosy. But take notice of that yellow bar at the top. Even though the guide was made by Prima, it was completely unauthorized. You wouldn't see something like that in stores these days. The funny thing about this, though, is that unauthorized guides were usually the best ones. The RE2 guide pictured above was terrible, but then I found this one by VersusBooks:
It was so much more detailed. Every area had very elaborate maps and sketches, as well as pointing out where all the items were, much like how a typical guide is today. Not only were VersusBooks guides incredibly detailed, but they had awesome little facts strewn about. In their Metal Gear Solid guide, they devoted a half-page to talking about the Eskimo Olympics that Vulcan Raven mentions during your battle. It was so awesome.
I originally intended for this blog to be a history lesson about strategy guides. But, after hours of research, I turned up almost nothing, at least nothing concrete. However, I'm convinced that VersusBooks became BradyGames based on the quality of the guides. I could be wrong, and if anyone has any information on this, please comment and shed some light on the situation.
What would be classified as the first real strategy guide? Nintendo Power's guide for Super Mario Bros. 3, perhaps? Or one of their other Player's Guides? I'm not sure where it begins. It's about as vague as videogames themselves. People have long debated about what the first real videogame is.
A lot of people will argue that guides are pointless in the age of GameFAQS and YouTube, and to a degree, they have a point. I've used those outlets before in order to find something or learn the best strategy for defeating a really hard boss, but it's just not the same. Like I mentioned earlier, having the guide in my lap, looking at the pictures, reading the character bios, the bestiaries, and having all these minute extra nuggets of information, makes it worth it to me to spend an extra few bucks. It reminds me of my childhood still today, having this bit of knowledge and telling my friends about it. It's just like being on the playground.