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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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Greetings everybody, and a good Good Friday to you.

I wanted to get this episode of my Hall of Game series up before the recent WrestleMania, but it just didn't work out that way, what with the hectic Easter week and all.

Anyway, let me know what you think about this episode. There doesn't seem to be as much humor as past episodes, but there's a lot more information about the game. I'm still in the "feeling it out" process of these videos, so let me know what you like, what you don't like, etc.

If you like what you see, go ahead and subscribe here.

And don't forget there's a new episode of the Error Machine Podcast that just went up.

Thanks for watching!

-Dustin









While Dustin is off portraying the Messiah, the rest of Error Machine bring you a new episode of the podcast featuring discussions about WrestleMania 31, Bloodborne, Destiny, Velocity 2X, and much more.

They also get into New Releases and a little bit of news.

Don't forget you can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes & Stitcher Radio. You can check out our YouTube page under the name Error Machine, and you can also find us on Facebook now.

Twitter:
@TheDustinThomas
@BygJuce
@FakeChrisCramer
@Snedegascar

And hey, don't forget to check out the latest episode of Attract Mode, where we bring you part 2 of Smash Tag. Plus there'll be a new episode of the Hall of Game coming up tomorrow.

Thanks a million!

-Dustin









You all can thank Occams for this topic. He asked "What games have you finished out of spite" on a recent episode of my podcast. And that caused a light bulb to turn on above my head and I decided to write this list that you are currently reading. We all have those games that we wind up completing long after we've stopped enjoying ourselves. For me, it's usually because it's the newest entry in a series of games I've enjoyed. But, as you can see from this list, perhaps I need to spare myself the pain and break the cycle.

 

(Dis)honorable Mention


Borderlands The Pre-Sequel

I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed...

 

5. Gears of War: Judgment

Oh, Gears of War. No games got more play time last generation than the Gears of War series did for me. Between the broken yet tolerable multiplayer, incredibly satisfying shooting, fantastic co-op gameplay, and the best version of wave-based battles in all of gaming, it's no wonder why the Gearsgames are system sellers for Microsoft (the next Gears will likely prompt me to finally pull the trigger on an Xbox One). Gears 3's Horde Mode is some of the most fun I've ever had, it didn't matter if I was playing a pickup game or playing with friends, I sunk hundreds of hours and played thousands of waves of Horde.

So what's the best way to build on that momentum? By omitting everything great from the next game, of course. I'm not going to sit here and pretend I know anything about game design, and yes, I understand that this is more or less a side story and was developed by People Can Fly rather than being a strictly Epic joint, but how can you get rid of so many things that have been in the game from the beginning? Why can't I plant grenades on walls anymore? That's how I got the majority of my kills because I suck at multiplayer. They got rid of the Locust for competitive multiplayer, now pitting COG Team Red versus COG Team Blue, and turned it into a class-based team. The Horde mode is completely removed, and in its place is the less than thrilling Overrun. Judgment is so far detached from what drew me in to the series, and I haven't even spoken about the campaign yet.

The campaign is balls. Marcus Fenix isn't exactly breaking the mold as far as videogame characters go, but he's the face of the franchise. In Judgment, they replaced him with the series' most unlikable character, Baird. They cut the campaign up into smaller chunks, which is good in theory, but totally immersion-breaking in practice. The only redeeming qualities about the campaign are the sections that are set up much like a Horde wave, and the optional difficulty spikes, which briefly put you at a disadvantage for the opportunity to obtain a better ranking when the section ends.

But despite all the negatives, I still found some enjoyment in Judgment, it just doesn't stack up to the rest of the series.

 

4. Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

I love Professor Layton, and I've played enough Phoenix Wright to consider myself a fan. I was so stoked when I first heard about this crossover, and knew that I would be there on day one when it came to North America. Then I started playing, and I was on board and totally captivated for the first 5 hours. I really liked the story and where it was going. Being a Christian that believes in an omnipotent, omnipresent being that's responsible for the creation of all things, I found the Storyteller to be a particularly fascinating character.

Then I started playing the witch trials in Labyrinthia. And I continued to play them because they seemingly go on forever. That's when I realized that maybe I wasn't quite the Phoenix Wright fan that I thought I was. But I continued to press on just to get to the next Layton sequence, which would then be cut short by an insane amount of reading which would inevitably lead to another tedious witch trial.

Thirty hours later, I finally reached the conclusion. That's probably the longest I ever continued to play a game after I had lost interest. It was technically a Professor Layton game (though I felt he got the short end of the stick), so I felt like I had to finish it. Never again.

 

3. Flower

Flower is the first game I played where I legitimately felt cheated out of my money. For every other game on this list, I can understand why some people felt about the game the way they did. I understood the criticisms and couldn't disagree, but with Flower, I have no idea why people love this game with the amount of fervor that they do.

When I say this next sentence, keep in mind that I've yet to play Journey, but I have played Flowand Flower, and hated both of them. So, just based on the Thatgamecompany games that I've played, I think they're one of the most overrated developers out there today. Honestly, I'm waiting to play Journey until I can get it for free, because I disliked Flower that much and don't want to risk any more money.

I disliked Flower for the same reasons I disliked Proteus: I found there to be no substance to the game. A game that can be "beaten" in 45 minutes for $15 whose gameplay is basically that plastic bag scene from American Beauty yet features exactly zero Kevin Spacey? I'm still scratching my head on just what it is that people see in Flower.

 

2. Assassin's Creed III

"Oh, it can't be that bad" I told myself as I read the reviews for Assassin's Creed III. How could it be? ACII was great, Brotherhood was my favorite so far, and Revelations may have been unnecessary but was still mostly enjoyable for me. "These reviewers are overreacting!" I mean, this is Revolutionary America, that's a great idea for a backdrop. Some of America's founding fathers like George Washington and Benjamin Franklin are featured characters, that sounds so good!

Then I fired up the game and it is so not good. I wasn't there, but I can't imagine that the Revolutionary War was this boring. My biggest gripe is that you spend so much time running around a world full of nothing. In Brotherhood, I would often forego the fast travel system because I loved traversing the rooftops and landscapes of Venice. In Assassin's Creed III, the fast travel was cumbersome and the world completely unimaginative. Where I found Altair and Ezio to be characters I grew to like, Connor is barely a character at all. I love the idea of a Native American protagonist, but Connor has the personality of a 2x4.

And unlike most people, who found the naval combat to be one of the few redeeming qualities to the game, I hated those sections with a fiery passion, and that's the reason I skipped Black Flag. The only thing that drove me to finish ACIII was seeing the Desmond story to the bitter end, and bitter it was, indeed.

 

1. Resident Evil 6

Prior to 2012, the idea of not picking up a Resident Evil game on launch day was completely foreign to me. Operation Raccoon City was so abysmal that it dashed all hope that I had for Resident Evil 6, and this is coming from someone that legitimately loves RE5 (in co-op mode, at least). Resident Evil is one of my all-time favorite series, and several entries in the franchise would make it into my top games of all-time list. I've probably written about RE more than I've written about any other games. What I'm trying to convey to you here is that I'm a bit of a Resident Evil superfan. Or, at least, I was.

There were RE spin-off games before Operation Raccoon City, and I always knew better than to compare them to the main entries, but I just couldn't shake the feeling that ORC was a death knell for the series. Pre-release trailers for RE6 did give me a little bit of hope, channeling the relentless pursuit of series icon Nemesis in the form of the Ustanak, but that wasn't enough to make us overlook all the things the game does wrong. Resident Evil 6 does its absolute best to imitate Gears of War and fails miserably.

I come to Resident Evil for survival horror/action, not a run-of-the-mill third-person-shooter. I'm all for taking the series in new directions, but it was just taken too far. Why do characters now have stamina meters? And karate moves? Why are there (bad) car chases sequences? Why are there stealth sections? Why are there swimming sections? Why am I in a war-torn European town? Why doesn't Chris Redfield leave the B.S.A.A. and compete in the Mr. Olympia contest? He's certainly been juicing enough.

Why is this game 30 hours long? And why did I play every minute of it?

Thanks for reading, hopefully it wasn't as infuriating for you to read as it was for me to write.

Don't forget that you can follow me on Twitter, subscribe to my podcast, and subscribe to myYouTube channel. And here's the latest episode of the Error Machine Podcast for you to enjoy.

 

-Dustin









The latest edition of Error Machine's Attract Mode has arrived for your viewing pleasure.

Humiliated by defeat, Chris and Erik's road to redemption begins. Though the training will be tough, will it be enough to take out the newest champions of Smash Tag?

In this episode, you'll see myself have my Dolph Ziggler moment, we pay homage to the Sylvester Stallone classic, Over the Top, Chris and Erik half train/half eat cupcakes, I give a Royal Rumble lesson, and we show off our best daytime soap opera chops.

If you want to subscribe, that'd be cool, and you can do that here (or just by clicking on the subscribe button in the video when it pops up.

And don't forget we also have a podcast that you can subscribe to. 

Thanks for watching,

-Dustin









Hi everyone, I'm on a Cal Ripken-like streak of consecutive days with a post.

Before I post the topic time marks, just wanted to encourage you guys to check out the Error Machine YouTube page. We have a goal to get to 50 subscribers by the end of March, and 100 by the end of April, so if you're a fan of our videos, do us a solid and subscribe. If you watch our videos but don't subscribe, you're basically the same as the dude that created Napster, and I'll send Lars Ulrich after you, and no one wants to see that weird little man at their doorstep. Time marks after the video!

1:20 Luke ventures into chiptunes
4:15 Dustin finally started watching Breaking Bad
5:35 Dustin scolds Erik for skipping the gym
7:00 Bloodborne talk
8:45 Erik played Rogue Legacy/Killzone Mercenary
11:50 Dustin played The Order: 1886
15:50 The Nintendo fanboy despises Code Name S.T.E.A.M.
18:10 The weirdness of Kid Icarus Uprising
21:45 Splatoon hype
23:30 New releases
24:15 Dustin's beef with Borderlands: Handsome Collection
27:40 Is Mario Party 10 Nintendo's worst published game?
31:00 Overpriced Metal Slug 3
34:30 Ramifications of Kojima leaving Konami
42:15 Predator joins Mortal Kombat X
45:30 Questions
54:00 Outro

Thanks for reading/listening/watching.

-Dustin









There's a reason the Playstation 2 is the best selling videogame console of all-time (and by a rather wide margin), and it's because it was the first videogame console that felt like it was for everybody. The fact that it doubled as a DVD player certainly helped, and I would wager that it was probably the first DVD player that many of us owned, because it certainly was for me. The system did have a very weak launch lineup, so the DVD player may have been its saving grace, but after it was given the time to warm up and dig its heels in a bit, it wound up as one of the most beloved pieces of hardware in the world.

The PS2 was the first system I ever bought with my own money, so it holds a special place in my heart for that reason, among several others, which I'm going to talk about now.

 

Honorable Mentions

 

Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy

If memory serves me correctly, the original Jak may have been the first game in the era of memory cards that I ever beat in less than one day, I was just captivated by it. I didn't play it when it was originally released, but when I saw a preview on G4 for Jak II, that motivated me to go back and play the original.

While they went more of the Ratchet & Clank route for the subsequent titles, The Precursor Legacy had a greater emphasis on lightheartedness and platforming, and for those reasons it remains my favorite game in the series, and I would love nothing more than for Naughty Dog to return to Jak after the release of Uncharted 4. It likely won't happen, but a man can dream.

 

Guitar Hero II

I was obsessed with the Guitar Hero series for the better part of three years. I still hold the first three entries in the series in high esteem, though I think the series was never better than it was with Guitar Hero II. I was good at the games, too. Darn good. I took great satisfaction in knowing that I was undoubtedly better than my Error Machine cohort, Luke Roberts. For those of you who don't know, I'm not better than Luke at many games, but he had no chance against me when we were holding fake, plastic guitars.

GHII also had my favorite soundtrack of the series, with songs ranging from classics like "War Pigs" and "The Trooper" to modern rock with songs from Foo Fighters and Stone Temple Pilots to straight-up current-day metal with Lamb of God and The Sword. And I spent almost two weeks trying to beat "Free Bird" on expert before I finally managed to pull it off. That was a definite fist-pump moment for me in gaming if there ever was one.

 

5. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

If ever there were a game tailored specifically for a gamer like me, it's this one. I remember picking it up used for about $15 back when I worked at Blockbuster after hearing the glowing reviews. The Sands of Time rekindled the long dormant love I have for platformers, and I haven't looked back ever since.

While I didn't find the combat to be anything to write home about, it was still serviceable, and there were certainly some fun enemy encounters, but what made the game so memorable for me (and likely everyone else) were the time manipulation aspects and the way the story was told. The ability to rewind time was such a great tool for helping you get through those long, difficult platforming sections, enabling you to give it another go if your timing was off.

And since I'm pretty sure the spoiler grace period is over, I loved the way the prince would back the story up if you happened to die, saying things like "No no, that's not the way it happened." The reveal at the end was also a nice little touch that I appreciated. The game is still worth playing today if you've never tried it, and if you don't want to go back to the PS2, you can buy the Sands of Time trilogy on PS3.

 

4. God of War

God of War wastes no time getting the action started, a trend that has continued throughout the series. I'm not sure if this would be a compliment or an insult, but the opening Hydra sequence in this game is still probably my favorite thing in the entire God of War series. That's not to say that I don't love the other games, because I certainly do, and I even liked Ascension, as unnecessary as it was.

If there's anything negative I can say about God of War, it's that there aren't enough boss battles. Outside of the Hydra, there's only the temple guardian and the final sequence of battles with Ares. I was big into Greek mythology back then, and I was hoping I would have seen other characters like the Kraken, Apollo, or a chimera, all of which would appear in later games, but I didn't realize it was going to be a series at the time.

The combat is very satisfying, and I love mixing the Blades of Chaos combos with the magic abilities you gain on your quest. The game has a fixed camera, and for the most part you'll never have much to complain about, but sometimes it does get a bit annoying while confined in close quarters. Many people consider the sequel to be the high-water mark of the series, but I still prefer the original.

 

3. Shadow of the Colossus

Oh, Shadow of the Colossus, my only regret with you is that I waited so long to realize your majesty. Despite the love that this game commanded, I didn't play it until the Ico & Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection became free on Playstation Plus a couple of years ago. I decided to play Ico first, and I wound up playing for about an hour before I got stuck and gave up. That wasn't a great first impression, but I went ahead and started SotC anyway, and was absolutely hooked from the beginning. It became one of those games I wasn't allowed to play unless my wife was watching, and she fell in love with the game as hard as I did.

The word "epic" gets thrown around a lot in videogames, but if I was going to attach it to only one game, it would be Shadow of the Colossus. The fact that there are no enemies in the game outside of the titular colossi leads you to feeling so very insignificant while also making you feel like the world's only hope. While I'm not the kind of person to explore in a game without a good reason, it's a credit to Team Ico that they crafted an entire world that very few people are going to take the time to search through.

Taking down each colossus is a puzzle and sometimes requires you to think outside the box, and one wrong move could result in you doing several more minutes of setup for another golden opportunity. It can be frustrating, but the thrill of victory is much greater than the agony of defeat. Despite the fact that I knew the twist at the end, I couldn't help but feel a significant amount of rage after what happened to my equestrian companion near the end of the game.

 

2. Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence

I say this with zero hyperbole, I've never been more impatient about a game's launch than I was with Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. I consumed every single bit of coverage I could possibly find on that game and would constantly search for more. A single screenshot, an article that had one sentence from Hideo Kojima revealing more about the game, a small piece about a new character, anything, just hook it into my veins! On release day, I went to the local GameStop I had the game pre-ordered at as soon as they opened...and they didn't have the game yet. I sat at the Dayton Mall waiting for two hours before the UPS guy finally showed up. So, was the wait worth it?

To me, the answer is a resounding yes, and I played the game nonstop for several months straight. There were so many different ways to play the game, and I wanted to see every little thing it had to offer. Defeat the bosses by knocking them out rather than killing them? I did it. Killed The End before you're supposed to fight him? I did it. Cause The End to die of old age? Did it. Scared enemies with trapped animals? Yes, sir. Shot enemy radios so they couldn't call for back up? You better believe it.

A while down the road, they released the updated Subsistence version of the game, which gave you full control of the camera as well as the MSX versions of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. The game may have been too great of a change from the previous two MGS games, but I welcomed the camouflage and healing systems, immersion-breaking as they may be at times. Despite the recent announcement that series mastermind and all-around crazy person, Hideo Kojima, won't be involved in future installments after The Phantom Pain, I may be just as hyped for that game as I was for this one.

 

1. Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4 may not have been a PS2 exclusive, nor was it originally intended to be on the system at all, but it's the system that I played it on and was without question the game that saw the most play time on my Playstation 2. It was a game that Luke and I would spend every evening playing, and would trade the controller back and forth for hours on end, eventually turning every stone in the game. There was nothing in the game that we didn't get/find/do. Every unlockable, every shooting gallery trophy, S ranks with every character on every map in Mercenaries, you name it, and we did it.

Resident Evil 4, love it or hate it, changed the way we play survival horror games, giving us plentiful ammo (or adequate ammo, at least) while still giving us reasons to sweat. It finally got away from Raccoon City and the Umbrella corporation, though it certainly has its ties to those earlier titles. It's really quite amazing that the game turned out as well as it did when you consider just how many times the game changed. The fact that Devil May Cry originally began life as an early version of Resident Evil 4 is something that's still hard to wrap my head around, and even watching early footage of the more paranormal version of the game is hard to watch when you compare it to the finished product.

Even though a great deal of the game is an escort mission, it's a sin that can be easily forgiven after all the narrow escapes, white-knuckle enemy encounters, and various other memorable moments you find throughout Resident Evil 4.

There's my list. I know I didn't exactly break any new grounds or blow any minds, but it's my list, so deal with it.

Hey, thanks for reading. Here's all the other places you can find me on the internet.

Error Machine YouTube page
Error Machine Podcast
My Twitter

And in case you missed it, here's the latest episode of the Error Machine Podcast for your auditory euphoria.

-Dustin