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Twitter: @TheDustinThomas

Greetings and salutations.

TheDustinThomas here, you probably don't know me, but I write things here on Destructoid from time to time. Occasionally I get on the front page:

The Most Inexplicably-Often Rented Games At Blockbuster

The Top 10 Videogame Pro Wrestlers

A Retrospective of Pro Wrestling Videogames from the Perspective of a Pro Wrestler

I'm also the host of a pretty sexy gaming podcast that I do with a couple buddies of mine. You can download and subscribe to it here. You should totally do that.

All of my games writing you can find on DToid, but I also write about other things on my personal blog. Here's my top 5 most read blogs:

Let Me Tell You About My $250 T-Shirts

Tempting of the Doon

5 Ways Getting in Shape Has Messed with my Head

Tim Lambesis: A Fan's Struggle to Understand

Why I Already Dislike Planet Fitness

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.

I have a huge, manly beard.

God comes first in my life above all else. I'm a leader at my church, as well as the head of our media department.

I've been a metalhead pretty much my entire life.

I'm also a die hard fan of The Simpsons.

Other miscellaneous fact.

-Dustin
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Xbox LIVE:TheDust34
PSN ID:TheDust34
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I really need to get back into the swing of writing again. I honestly just haven't felt like it recently. But I thought to myself "I like writing top 5 lists, they're easy to write, and there are topics aplenty." So my goal is to write at least one top 5 list a week, and if I miss a week, don't cry about it. My goal when it came to writing on the CBlogs was that I always wanted to write something interesting, but that took a lot more time and research, and I just didn't feel up to it. Top 5 lists are fun for me, so I think this will be good for me, and hopefully will keep me motivated to keep writing. And what better way to get this new venture underway than by ranking my favorite videogame consoles of all-time? Let's get started!

5. Xbox 360



Despite the Red Ring of Death, the atrocious Xbox One launch, and my complete and utter indifference to the original Xbox, somehow Microsoft managed to make my favorite (home) system of the last generation. Let me preface by saying that I don't really care about having apps on my gaming console, even though I spend more time on my Xbox 360 using apps than I do gaming, I can get all of those apps in several different ways. I'll also say that when it comes to console exclusive games, I think the PS3 far exceeds the 360 with games like Metal Gear Solid 43D Dot Game HeroesHot Shots Golf: Out of BoundsThe Last of Us, the Uncharted series, and other classic Sony exclusive franchises. So how did the Xbox 360 get the victory? Simply put, it was cheaper, and all of my friends bought a 360 first, so I got it so I could play games with them.

I'll also admit that the Achievement system on the 360 sucked me in, and caused me to play a lot of games I never would have, as well as causing me to play games long after I had stopped having fun with them.

4. Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)



It was really hard for me to choose between the SNES and the original PlayStation here, but ultimately the SNES won because my all-time favorite game, Super Mario World, is on it. You may be asking "But if you were debating between the SNES and PSone for number 4, then why wouldn't the PSone be number 5?" Because this is my list, so shut up.

In addition to all the classic Nintendo titles like Super Mario WorldDonkey Kong CountrySuper MetroidLink to the Past, and Super Mario RPG, there are tons of amazing third-party titles like NBA JamFinal Fantasy II and III (yes, I know they're actually IV and VI), Zombies Ate My NeighborsChrono Trigger, and the list goes on. I feel the SNES is the (near) pinnacle of Nintendo's home console machines. That's not to say that I don't love the N64, GameCube, Wii, or Wii U, but they haven't reached the caliber of titles again since the SNES.

3. Nintendo DS



The Nintendo DS was the first handheld system I ever owned, and it's home to some of the best games I've played in the past ten years. Normally when you think of handheld systems, you think of games that are more bite-sized and are smaller versions of their home console counterparts, but the Nintendo DS has some legitimately huge (and great) games. The dual screen design seemed like a weird gimmick to me at first, but once developers finally figured out how to use it properly, it lead to games like Picross 3DKirby's Canvas Curse, and Elite Beat Agents that used the touch screen to its full potential. And thanks to the first versions of the console being backward-compatible, it gave me the opportunity to revisit all the handhelds titles I had missed out on up to that point (which was all of them).

It also became a hotbed for JRPGs and Metroid-style games (one of my favorite types of games): Bowser's Inside StoryRadiant Historia, a port of Chrono Trigger, as well as three CastleVania titles that are all outstanding, just to name a few of each. It was host to a lot of story-based titles as well, like the Professor Layton series, Phoenix Wright, and 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors. It's safe to say that I probably spent more time playing my Nintendo DS than I did my Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii. The DS was my go-to console of the last generation.

2. PlayStation 2 (PS2)



There's a reason the PS2 is the best selling console of all-time, and it's because the system is full of amazing games at every turn...the ability to play DVDs was also a pretty big deal, I guess. The PS2 gave developers the power they needed to create groundbreaking titles like Grand Theft Auto III (and Vice City and San Andreas), a superior port of Resident Evil 4, and Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3.

It also brought titles like Devil May Cry and God of War, which set a new standard for action games, like it or not. It's really easy to forget just how many other great series began on the PS2: Splinter CellJak and DaxterRatchet and ClankSly Cooper. Then you have games that just go beyond words like Shadow of the Colossus and Okami. The survival horror genre ran rampant, but games like Silent Hill 2 and 3 and the Fatal Frame series set the bar high for all future horror games.

I don't play many sports games, but the PS2 allowed EA and other companies to bring sports games to a new level of realism. Without the PS2, games wouldn't be where they are now, as I believe it was the first console to show people that games are no longer a niche market and anyone can be a gamer.

1. Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)



Yes, it's kind of a generic answer, but it was the first console I ever owned, or even played for that matter. To this day, nothing reminds me of my childhood more than firing up an NES with a classic like Mega Man or DuckTales. Back when there weren't several games being released every week, back when you couldn't go to the internet to get a walkthrough, back when games didn't hold your freaking hand at all times, the NES ruled the world. While the Atari 2600 certainly has its place in history, the Nintendo Entertainment System is the reason videogames exist today. It showed us that you didn't have to go to arcades to have legitimate gaming experiences, and while Super Mario Bros. doesn't seem like anything special by the standards of today, at the time, that game was huge, and it only got better from there.

There is no shortage of classics, all-time greats, and hidden gems on the NES. There's a laundry list of games I could spit out right now that are required playing for any gamer. The controller was simple, yet perfect, the VCR design was a bit odd compared to its Japanese originator, but at the time, videogames weren't on people's minds, so the design made it look much more high-tech. Best part about it? You can still find 30 year old NES systems that work great today, and I have a feeling you won't be able to say that for some systems of the recent generations.

The NES was a landmark piece of hardware, and while some games don't hold up, a lot of them still do. Also, they made a Hollywood movie with legitimate Hollywood actors to promote Super Mario Bros. 3, and that hasn't been done since.

Thanks for reading.

-Dustin

Don't forget you can follow me on Twitter @TheDustinThomas, and if you like my writing you may enjoy my podcast, The Error Machine Podcast.








I'm just following the crowd here. Also, I like to write list-based blogs, so shut up and stop judging me. Anyway, I'm no one super special here on DToid (I'm only moderately to semi-special), but I do love this community, and I like the idea of letting everyone in on some personal stuff for those who are interested. So, here it goes.

1. I spent 10 years as a professional wrestler.

Okay, so this is probably the one thing that most DToiders know about me if you've read any of my blogs in the past. I just recently retired due to life happening, also, extreme back pain. I was blessed enough to step in the ring with some childhood heroes, as well as some of the best wrestlers in the world today. Without question, my favorite moment of my career was wrestling Tatanka back in 2007, dude was completely awesome. At one point in time, my future looked promising, but then some backstage stuff happened and I became disillusioned with the wrestling business and sort of lost interest. I no longer enjoyed traveling all the time when I could be sitting on the couch playing videogames with my wife. So really, it was life, back pain, and loss of interest in the lifestyle that caused me to make the decision.

Fun fact, I once had a street fight match and used my Powerglove as a weapon. No one in the crowd understood it.

Anyway, like I said, I retired recently (October to be exact), and it was probably the best match of my career against my best friend. Here it is if you wanna take a gander.



2. I work at my church.

If you asked me three years ago where I thought I would be today, the answer would not have been "working at a church." I'm the head of media for Faith Chapel Ministries based out of Bethel, Ohio. We're a prophetic ministry, although a lot of people probably know it better if I referred to it as a 'charismatic' church. I'm not here to debate religion with anyone, because this is a videogame site, but I'll just say that I have reasons for believing what I believe, and I'm thankful for the path I've taken to get to where I am. Don't believe in God? That's cool, bro, I still love you.

3. I have a podcast.

Yeah, this is a cheap way to plug my podcast, but shut up, this is my blog! It's called the Error Machine Podcast, and while it's centered around videogames, most of the time it's just my two best friends and I making fun of each other. We have a second show we do every week that's not limited to games, and it's more free-form. We're not huge or anything, but everyone that has listened to it and reached out to me says they really enjoy it. Here's our most recent episode...

Download here. Subscribe here.

4. "TheDustinThomas" is a reference to Boy Meets World.



The Simpsons is by far my favorite show of all-time, but Boy Meets World comes in at a close second. TheDustinThomas came about when I was wrestling a random show in La Porte, Indiana for a buddy of mine. They asked for my gimmick name, and I didn't want to use the normal one I had been using, which was Muldoon. So I was trying to come up with one, and I remembered the episode of Boy Meets World where Cory joins the wrestling team, and his nickname was Cory "The Cory" Matthews. So I called myself Dustin "The Dustin" Thomas. I did it just as a joke to make my friends laugh, but it eventually caught on and I started wrestling under that name from then on.

5. I once ate so much pizza that I literally couldn't stand upright.

I spent most of my life being overweight, it wasn't until 2010 that I finally decided to take care of myself and started properly dieting. However, I still let the inner-fat kid shine through on occasion. One day, a bunch of friends and I went to a Cincinnati Reds game, and followed it up by going to Cici's Pizza (which is a pizza buffet for those of you who don't know). I don't know how much I ate, but if I had to guess, I would say I was somewhere in the area of 15 pieces of pizza, 10 breadsticks, and 3 helpings of dessert. By the end of it, my stomach was so full and I was in so much pain that I literally could not stand straight up. I felt like if I tried to, my stomach would rip open and I would die. So the only way to take care of it was to waddle to the restroom, hunched over, and force myself to throw up. Binge and purge, baby! Speaking of throwing up...

6. I used to have an eating and body image disorder.

Binging and purging was something I did consistently. That's right, I used to flirt with bulimia. It wasn't an everyday thing, but any time that I would allow myself to have a "cheat day" on my diet, I would go completely overboard, and then I would hate myself so much that I forced myself to throw up. It was all part of a bigger issue I had called body dysmorphic disorder. It's a body image disorder, and you can read all about it here. 

I had spent my entire life being overweight, and all I wanted was to be in shape. I wanted abs. That's all I wanted in the world. So when I finally had the abs I had long desired, I still wasn't satisfied, or rather, I was completely unsure of myself. I was constantly bugging my friends by saying "Do I look okay? Does it look like I've gained any weight? Should I eat this? Do you think I look any leaner? Are my arms getting smaller?" and so forth. I was constantly checking myself out in the mirror, not for vanity, but for confirmation that the old, fat Dustin wasn't coming back. I was working out 8 times in six days, and wasn't eating nearly enough. So I went from being unhappy about being overweight, to being unhappy about feeling too small, and in the professional wrestling business, I had to be lean but HUGE, and I couldn't get there because I never knew how to put on weight the right way. Luckily, I've gotten out of that, and I look better than ever, and to go along with that, I feel better than I ever have.



7. I've worked at almost every major retail chain.

Here's all of the retail chains I can think of off the top of my head: Best Buy, GameStop, Circuit City, Wal Mart, Sears, HH Gregg, Elder-Beerman/Bon Ton, Dick's Sporting Goods, Target, Blockbuster, GNC...and what's sad is that I know there are more, I just can't think of them because they all kind of run together in my head.

I went through a period of time in my life where I had no idea what I wanted to do with it, so I just jumped around from job to job, hoping to find something full-time and never did. Even though I liked some of them (Best Buy and Dick's Sporting Goods were both pleasant experiences), I wasn't able to make anything more out of them than part-time. Probably didn't help that I'm not a good salesperson (except when I worked at GameStop), or that I primarily worked in the receiving department. I've worked a lot of crappy retail jobs in my day, and I'm glad I don't have to do it anymore.

8. 3-time! 3-time! 3-time! College dropout.

When I graduated high school, I just went to college because I felt like I had to. I didn't know what I wanted to do, so I just went with exercise science simply because it was the only thing that interested me at the time. So, after one year and failing my math and nearly failing my history class--which is strange because I love history--I decided to take a year off. I had just started training in wrestling and my idiot brain told me "Just drop out for a year, in six months you'll be with the WWE!" Yeah, that didn't happen.


I didn't even know this was a Kanye album until I did a Google search for "College dropout."

So one year became four years. At that point I was going through a really rough time in my life, and I knew I needed something to take my mind off of everything, so the two things I decided to do was focus on getting in shape (as previously mentioned) and get back in college. This time I was going for radiology. It wasn't something I really wanted to do, but it would have been a great career. The problem was that only one school in my area offered radiology, and there was a waiting list of two years to get into the program after you get your basic curriculum classes out of the way. So I jumped around between majors a lot. I went from radiology to English, back to radiology, and then I again dropped out because I had become so frustrated with the waiting list. 

Then, one more time, I gave it another shot and discovered a major that really interested me: Multimedia journalism. I thought "Hey, I'm already a good writer, and the multimedia stuff is stuff I actually want to learn." Best part was that I already had all the basic courses for it done, so I only had a year before I would be finished. But then I couldn't get financial aid for some dumb reason, and I took that to be a sign that maybe school isn't the right thing for me.

9. I once quit a job by leaving a cake on my boss' desk that said "I Quit" on it.

I've written about this on my personal blog, and it's one of the more popular things I've ever written, so if you want a ton of details about why I hated this job, you can read it here.

Long story short, I worked third shift at a 24 hour gym for nearly four years. In four years, I was never given a single cent of a raise, no paid time off, was not paid for overtime, and the list goes on. So when I was finally financially able to go without having a job for a bit until I found a new one, I decided that I was finally leaving that place. So I came in for a normal Friday shift, but before I did, I bought a cake and wrote "I Quit" on it, along with a very detailed note about how much I hated that place, and left it on my boss' desk for him to see in the morning. I did absolutely zero work that night, and I wish I could have been there to see the look on that evil man's face when he read that letter.

10. I've never eaten a hamburger in my life.



I grew up a very picky eater. Some of the foods I love now I would never have eaten as a kid. I pretty much subsisted on hot dogs, Little Debbie brownies, and Pepsi throughout my childhood and teenage years. But even though I've grown out of that, I still will not eat a hamburger. Let me rephrase that: I've taken a bite of hamburger, but never swallowed a bite. I just can't do it, I think ground beef is disgusting. I love steak, which is from the same animal, but I can't do burgers.

I remember one time as a kid, my mom made a pizza for us, and she put pieces of hamburger on it and told me it was sausage (another beef product I love). I took one bite, spit it out, pointed at it and said "That's not sausage" before putting the plate down and walking out. My mom had betrayed me...I eventually forgave her though.

So yeah, that's TheDustinThomas in a nutshell.








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Episode 13 of the Error Machine Podcast went up this week. In our topic discussion time, we thought the recent insane sale on PlayStation Plus, now would be a good time to compare all of the different console download services (sorry, none of us have a PC).

But before we do that, we talk about GAMES!

These games, in particular:










Then, during our news section, we talk about why AbleGamers is so awesome, as well as discussing the 25th birthday of the Game Boy before getting into our aforementioned topic.

Give it a listen and enjoy!

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Fresh off the heels of PAX East, the regular crew have reunited for another wonderful and exciting episode of the Error Machine Podcast.

If you haven't already, you can download the MP3 here.

Also, you can subscribe on iTunes here! (Do it, please).

If you're unfamiliar with the show, instead of talking about every game we've played, we choose one game a week for the aptly-titled "Game of the Week" section. This week, games include.









We also discuss the recently passed WrestleMania, and the unfortunate death of the Ultimate Warrior, as well as lamenting about how all of our heroes are dead.

Another thing that sets us apart from some other podcasts is we choose one topic for our "Topic Discussion" section. This week we talk about hype and how it pertains to games.



We also delve a little bit into the Nintendo vs. Sega war, which hyped games let us down, and so on.

We close it out as usual with some questions and an iTunes review. 

Also, hear us talk about Luke's new glasses and why he is the father of the year.
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Yo, everyone. So this weekend during Pax East, I'll be helping out with some of the podcasting going on from the show for the community. In the meantime, you can listen to my own personal podcast.

Download here!

Or be a dear and subscribe on iTunes here!

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...

I hope you guys enjoy.

-Dustin
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Hey there fellow DToiders. Some of you may know that I recently started a podcast with a couple buddies of mine. 

Episode 10 is now live. You can download the MP3 here.

Or you can subscribe on iTunes here. (<-- You should do that)

Anyway, every week we choose a specific topic to talk about during our middle segment. This week's episode we discuss pro wrestling videogames and our memories therein.

Here's some of the games and other things we discuss:



We lament about the passing of Gwar's Oderus Urungus.



Royal Rumble on SNES get's a good amount of love.



We spend wayyy too much time talking about the Thunder and Nitro rants.



We lose our minds over WCW/nWo Revenge.



Luke gives his glowing recommendation of Def Jam Vendetta.

These are just a handful of the topics we discuss.

Enjoy, and thanks for listening.

-Dustin
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