I be a young Canadian gamer, initially unable to experience the wonders of older games beyond that of the Nintendo 64, but I am learning to love the fantastic world of the old school. I keep to myself, mostly because I'm so bloody lazy, but believe me when I have a good thing I will show it off. Though I rarely have a case to show off, you'll see it when it comes up.
As for favourite games, I'll attempt to rattle a few off of my rice paper like mind:
Banjo-Kazooie/Tooie Okami Portal Beyond Good & Evil Sam & Max Ico Shadow of the Colossus Psychonauts Metal Gear Solid series
I couldn't find anything better. I'm looking for a better one right now. ;_;
I think I'd like to start off by saying that going to Destructoid after it was credited with a story shown on Attack of the Show (I was naive, forgive me) is still, to this day, one of the best things I have ever done.
I've never been a fantastic writer, and I am especially terrible at speaking. I have never really had any talents, mainly because I chose not to practice or develop any necessary skills. But with the advent of Destructoid coming into my life, some of that has begun to change. My writing has vastly improved compared to where it was before and I have begun to dabble in the arts much more then I had. Articles and podcasts on Destructoid have encouraged me to look below the meager surface and search for greater meaning in all forms of media. And after searching for this meaning and trying to decipher it for myself, I feel that I have gained something greater then anything that could have been taught to me in school.
I have never really been a huge part of the community, namely because I am not clever by any means and I don't participate in Friday Night Fights for whatever reason (I'm working on changing that). But I can look at this community of thousands and say to myself 'I am extremely proud to belong to this fantastic group of people'. I've seen the way that these people help others out of their despair, celebrate together, create astounding projects, and most importantly, game together.
For my photography class, strangely enough, my class was charged with the task of making Christmas (or holiday, however it is that you roll) cards out of linoleum sheets that would be used later as stamps of sorts. It was an assignment that was easy enough, but myself and my friend had trouble coming up with a design that we liked. Eventually it hit me that I wanted to do something in the style of Mr. Destructoid, and so I got to work. The idea of a Christmas themed Mr. Destructoid also influenced my friends design. So without further ado, I present to you, on your left, Reindeertoid, and on your right, Santatoid.
Reindeertoid is the creation of my friend, while Santatoid is my own design. I think I got pretty ripped off when it came to my linoleum sheet, seeing as how I had to glue it to a piece of unusually thick wood making it was difficult to produce an adequate print of my image. But I'm just whining now.
Now here's a close up of my friend's Reindeertoid:
Here's a close-up of Santatoid:
I wanted to ink and scan in my original drawing of Santatoid, it's a much better drawing then it is a linoleum print, but I'm too tired and/or lazy to do so. Perhaps I will be able to fit it in around my insane gaming schedule during the holiday break.
I had finally dragged my sorry corpse to the SkyTrain station. After boarding a train I seated myself in the area of the train car that had the lowest population of crazy people, which was about two. For the most part it was quite boring. It mostly consisted of me on the twisting and whirring train trying to keep my ass on the seat and my face off the floor. That was until, in the train car in front of me, a strangely dressed lady stepped on to the train and was standing in just a way that I could see her through the windows between the two train cars. After a little bit of deliberation I had determined that the woman was cosplaying as Link of The Legend of Zelda fame and promptly looked away uninterested, knowing that I was going to see at least three other people dressed similarly. So my boredom continued for a while before I took another lazy glance to the train cart ahead of mine and saw something that was nigh unbelievable.
Shifting from foot to foot and getting stared at by just about everyone in the train cart in front of mine was another lady who had her entire head and neck painted the most impeccable shade of blue, sporting something that I now presume to be a bald cap with molding attached to it to resemble the sculpted skin that the Asarisí of Mass Effect have. At this point in time I was overcome with great joy. Not only was I looking at a great costume, something I greatly appreciate, but it also marked the point which I somehow instinctively knew that this evening was going to be, to put it lightly, simply amazing.
Before the actual show began they played a bunch of game related fan videos on the large projector, which I think was a nice touch and a welcome alternative to trying to writhe my way through the massive crowds of approximately three thousand people. But finally the show was beginning after a short wait. And what a beginning it was.
To start of the show they had a huge rose tinted retro montage. To say it was glorious is a rather dubbed down way to describe it. Jack Wall, the co-creator, executive producer and conductor of Video Games Live as well as composer for games like Mass Effect and Jade Empire, was conducting the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra through a beautiful rendition of a classical song (not game related) that escapes my memory with a synced video of dozens of retro games from Super Mario to Kid Chameleon. Once all of the gamers in the audience were properly energized from a retro induced high, the host and co-creator of Video Games Live, as well as the co-host of Reviews on the Run and the Electric Playground, Tommy Tallarico came out on stage and introduced everyone and the show itself. From there it quickly descended into a dizzying amount of awesome.
From Metal Gear Solid to Civilization to Mario, they played a myriad and varied range of music with absolutely stellar videos synced to the live music. I am having problems communicating how I exactly feel about all the music and videos they played, but I think one can sum it up as totally fucking ecstatic. But Vancouver was also the premiere of their Need for Speed: Undercover section of the show, so we had a special treat. One of the bands that have a song in the game, Splitting Adam, played their song along with the orchestra, and it was admittedly pleasant. Along with that the Vancouver version of Video Games Live had a bunch of audio guys from EA Burnaby come down and play a DJ remix of the SSX Tricky theme and it was apparently the Canadian premiere of the Metroid section of the concert.
And through all this presentation of gameís musical might, there were interactive sections in which people were called up from the audience to play games on stage for prizes while the orchestra played along. The first game was interactive Space Invaders. The goal was to beat the first level of Space Invaders. The prize was an incredible table top arcade machine preloaded with over five thousand games. You may say thatís too easy but hereís the catch: the guy was only given a stick with a big button on it. The way he had to move his ship around was he actually had to run back and forth across the stage. To say the least, he didnít beat the level before the allotted time; he lost all of his lives before the two minutes is up. But Iíll be damned if it wasnít awesome.
But in the end of it all, it was quite amazing to see something made by gamers for gamers that seemed to contain everything I loved about games in a two hour event. It contained the obvious passion that the creators had for games and game music while facilitating the great interactivity that comes along with the medium. I walked away in a sort of blissful haze, wowed by the level of professionalism and the sheer scale of the event. The only real complaint that I could level at this event was that the lighting seemed to be done by someone having a seizure on the lighting board. I know this is quite normal and I understand what effect theyíre trying to get at but it didnít help that I was sitting on the ground level directly parallel to group of main lights. Getting a strobed in the face isnít fun, let me tell you. That and I was really hoping that they would play Beyond Good and Evil, but we canít have everything.
Maybe I'm just playing the role of slowpoke here (I wrote parts of this blog during school just to keep myself from falling asleep so I figured I may as well finish it off and try my hand at a large blog), but I can say with the utmost certainty that I will be returning to Video Games Live concerts whenever I get the chance and I hope that anyone that even remotely likes games or music get out and see this fantastic spectacle.
Long blog is long.
Note: None of the pictures of VGL are mine, the security at the Orpheum would have ripped my arms off before letting me take a camera in and the pictures taken by the staff aren't up yet.
So, I come home from an average (read: pretty lousy) day of school to find a small average box awaiting me inside. Now it isn't highly unusual for me to receive strange boxes from all over the globe, seeing as how I order plenty of stuff and have myriads of friends sending me strange things which I don't know how they get through customs, so I wasn't surprised to have a box come in unannounced.
But upon viewing the big white slab of paper taped to the top of the box I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it had come to my house all the way from Miami, Florida care of the Destructoid office. And as such, I of course hastily retrieved the necessary supplies needed to open the well taped box and started on my way to freeing the contents.
Here are some shitty pictures of the unboxing. I really need to fix the lighting in my house.
Blurry Saturday Night Fever Optimus Prime approves of this offering.
And finally it's hallowed place on my shelf of glory/shame.
Fish eyed because the lighting sucks/I suck at cropping properly sometimes.
<3 Destructoid4Ever. Well, until ModernMethod gets bought out by CNET. ;)
Cheap Ass Gamer and the game trading site Goozex have teamed up to give away a 80 GB PS3 and a copy of LittleBigPlanet in a new contest, as well as combine their wicked money saving abilities to rescue you from debt.
All you have to do to enter the contest is either sign up for a new Goozex account with the coupon code CAG, or post your current user name and a comfirmation that you are indeed a Goozex member already in this thread over at the CAG forums. If you sign up for a new Goozex account with the coupon code CAG you will also receive 100 (The equivalent of $5) free Goozex points and a trade credit! That's a deal if I've ever seen one.
The contest ends October 27 with the winner being announced on the 28th. The contest is open to the USA, Canada and Bermuda.