hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts


Tyler Jones's blog

1:10 PM on 10.01.2009

Let's tell Treasure that we want Radiant Silvergun on XBLA (shortblog)

Topher's previous campaign to get Cave to release their games to western audiences may very likely have influenced them to make the recent title Mushihime-Sama Something Something Something region free.

After this inspiring success, I propose we tell Treasure how much we want Radian Silvergun on XBLA.

[email protected]

According to Wikipedia, Treasure has "hinted" as to this possibility already, but we need to make it a sure thing.

Go go go!   read

5:04 PM on 09.30.2009

Shopping for a 360 arcade stick, need your input.

I like my 360. I'm a big retro gamer, and a while ago I bought a special controller to facilitate the playing of classic games as well as the then-newly released Street Fighter IV. I got the MadCatz SFIV fighter pad and for the most part had few complaints. The buttons were a nice size and felt very responsive. The d-pad was not great, but still far better than using a standard 360 controller. It didn't bother me for a while that the dead zone in the middle of the d-pad was kinda huge and the diagonals were a little too hard to hit.

However, times have changed and I now demand a much greater deal of accuracy. My interests have veered towards much more hardcore playing of shmups (DEAR GOD Ikaruga has taken over my psyche), fighters, and other classic games so I'm ready to invest in a quality arcade stick and could use a little input from you guys.

My first option is the Hori Fighting Stick EX2. I like the simple look of this, and the prices I find fall between $50 and $60. This is my most appealing option, though the smallish size and lack of a fourth column of buttons are a minor stumbling block. Most of the simple games that I'd use a stick like this for wouldn't require more than 6 buttons, but in SFIV I really like to have two buttons mapped to PPP and KKK. This isn't too huge a point now as I don't actually own SFIV (I rented it when it came out), but I may very well get Super SFIV in the future.

Sadly, other sticks with extra buttons seem to come with a significantly increased price tag.

This MadCatz stick is $80 and has some pretty bad reviews, mostly complaining of a defective stick. The only silver lining on this would be that all reports say it's quite easy to modify. I can't say I know anything about modding a stick or where to get replacement parts, and modding may turn out to be a fun project, I'd really rather just get a controller that works out of the box.

Hori's Real Arcade Pro EX is around $130 also has the extra buttons I crave, but reviews are iffy in regards to their quality. Once again modding is recommended and once again I'm not sure if I want to go that far.

The next step up is the Tournament Edition Fightstick, costing around $150. I'd feel pretty comfortable writing this off as too expensive unless it's honestly the best choice out there. Reviews are quite good, but is $150 really necessary for a quality stick?

I'd really like to hear what the rest of the Dtoiders have to say on the subject. What is your experience with these? What are your recommendations?   read

10:42 AM on 07.05.2009

Review: Kamen no Maid Guy: Boyoyon Battle Royale (PSP)

The word "Boyoyon" in the title is the sound effect for bouncing breasts. Do I have your attention?

Kamen no Maid Guy is an extremely entertaining anime about two maid/bodyguards Kogarashi (top) and Fubuki (bottom left) assigned to protect two heirs to a great fortune, Naeka (center) and Kosuke Fujiwara (not pictured), from those who would steal their inheritance. Naeka is a busty high school girl and kendo star, and Fujiwara is an overweight otaku.

The problem is that Naeka doesn't want any bodyguards intruding on her life, and Kogarashi is a masked, giant, dagger-toothed, musclebound, superpowered social imbecile. Fubuki (bottom left), the other maid carries a nail studded bat along with the title "Maid Guy Tamer." Hilarity ensues.

Rivals eventually appear in the form of Elizabeth K. Strawberryfield (right), a wealthy child prodigy transfer student at Naeka's school, and her own to maid/ninjas Shizuka and Tsurara (bottom right). Apparently Naeka's eternally youthful grandmother Arashi (top left) the maid master figures in somewhere later.

I only saw the first two episodes, but the show endeared itself to me enough to make me shell out the money for an import special edition game for a handheld that I didn't even own at the time. It was worth it, as it came with a maid guy badge, a t-shirt depicting Kogarashi, and the fine PSP strap that I mentioned in my last article.

Play is divided into three main parts: Adventure, Battle, and Mini Game.

Adventure is pretty self explanatory. Characters talk, and I skip due to the moonspeak. The real draw of this is the Super Tayunism Engine, essentially meaning that the breasts of the female characters bounce a lot while they talk. You can even adjust the affect up or down in the settings.

After a while characters figure out a reason to fight, and battle mode starts. It tries to be a pretty simple fighting engine, and succeeds a little too well.

Liz about to get hit with an octopus thrown by Kogarashi. Naeka watches from the background.

All you can really do is attack, jump, and grab and throw items. Each stage has two planes, like Top Hunter, and parts of the rear plane are dangerous and explode if you land on them. In the background will be another character who throws items and maid guy badges onto the play area. Items mostly fall into the category of thrown objects or melee weapons, and hitting with any item rewards you with a close up anime graphic of your opponent reacting to whatever item hits them. This is made more interesting with the addition of items like breast enhancement potions, signs that change your opponent's clothing into a swimuit, octopi with naughty tentacles, crows, and onsen signs. Yes, this is a total fanservice game. Aside from the image, most items have the same basic effect of dizzying the opponent for a few seconds so you can get in a few good hits. You also don't have health; instead you battle to collect the maid guy badges and try to beat the badges out of your opponent. First to ten initiates a mini game.

There are three mini games, and success means you defeat your opponent and move on. Failure returns you to the battle until someone wins. There are three mini games when you win the battle, and one different one if you lose. If your opponent gets 10 badges first, you must fight an RPG battle with an alternate fantasy version of your characters. I can't understand what all the battle options are, but I think the gist is that it's an argument or shouting match and you need to find the right choice that makes your opponent go away before they deal too much damage to you. It basically comes down to luck for me. If they win, it's game over. If you win, your opponent retreats and you fight another battle.

There are also three different games for when you win the battle. In one, your opponent is tied up and hanging from the ceiling, and you need to feed them as much of Neaka's nasty cooking as possibly in the allotted time. The second game has you shrunk down to a tiny size, and you're climbing all over your opponent's body using a spray bottle of disinfectant to kill germs swarming over her. The last one has you choosing locations throughout town to attempt to take an embarassing picture of your opponent. I don't care for the last one because it just comes down to luck, and failure earns you a pretty terrifying picture of a dude in his underwear.

So overall it's an amusing game based on an awesome show. It of course has the staples of other ecchi games in that there's a gallery that you can go to to view all the naughty images that you've encountered in the game, but there's nothing pornographic, and I don't think there's ever any actual nudity. But man, some crazy stuff happens.

I shouldn't need to tell you whether or not to look into this game. After this long rambling review, you should have a pretty good idea if this kind of game is up your alley.   read

10:37 AM on 07.04.2009

The PSP, two weeks later.

Just a little while ago, I purchased a PSP 3000. Now I'm not sure if this was wise, as I already own and LOVE a DSlite, and own more DS games on it than I've had time to play (The World Ends With You and Knights in the Nightmare are looking at me from my shelf, all alone). However, I had been lured into getting the PSP Kamen no Maid Guy: Boyoyon Battle Royale special edition at the last con I went to, and wanted to actually play it.

Now it's been a couple of weeks, and I've gotten a few more games and given the handheld a little more love. Just not as much as the DS.

First, I really like being able to transfer music and stuff to the PSP, and this awesome, awesome wallpaper greets me every time I turn the thing on.

However, the addition this stuff is a mixed blessing, as it means more menus and updates. I liked the DS for being able to just turn it on and play. I'd really like to get an emulator on here and also check out the homebrew scene, but it seems that's pretty tricky with the 3000 model. I guess I'll have to wait on that for now.

The best feature of the PSP has got to be the screen. I knew that the PSP graphics were supposed to be better than the DS, but I didn't anticipate how nice and crisp everything looked. It's a really, really slick looking device.

That again is a double edged sword, as it immediately gets smudged and nasty as soon as you touch it. More on this later.

As far as game selection, I only have four games, but can't profess to liking them as much as my DS games. Here are some mini reviews:

Ape Escape Academy:
It's an Ape Escape themed mini game collection. Nothing terribly special to see here. The mini games are a mixed bag: some good, some nearly unplayable (the karate one comes to mind).

Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles:
Easily the best PSP game I own. Rondo of Blood is a great game, and I'm really happy to be able to play it for several reasons. First, I love the old school linear Castlevanias as much as I love the newer exploration based games. Second, I'd never be able to play the Turbo CD version. Third, it leads into Symphony of the Night, one of the best games ever. Better yet, it contains both the original 16 bit (ish) Turbo CD version along with the new version, made 3D (BC: Rearmed Style). It's a great game with a lot of replay value, as there are lots of secrets and each stage has two branching paths.

Kamen no Maid Guy: Boyoyon Battle Royale:
This is a very strange game based on a very funny anime that I saw at Anime Weekend Atlanta last year (any other Dtoiders going this year?). First, it came with some sweet extras: a shirt, a pin, and a PSP strap/cleaner.

See it there? It's got some semi-nude anime ladies on it, but I'm never taking it off my PSP ever. Remember how I said I'd get back to the smudging issue? Well the other side of this strap is actually a screen cleaning cloth! It's amazingly convenient. I don't know if they make other straps with the same function, but if they do I couldn't recommend it highly enough.
The actual game is decent, but too strange to describe here. Expect a full review later.

Me & My Katamari:
I thought this game was an entirely adequate entry in the Katamari series. It's a little odd to control, as you use the d-pad and buttons as you would the two sticks on the PS2 controller, and the spacing is a little different, but it's totally playable. The King is particularly funny in this one, though.

Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters:
I've not played a lot, but I'm not terribly impressed. I haven't played other R&C games, except for a demo of Secret Agent Clank, but they strike me as relatively plain 3D action romps. I don't dislike it; I actually like the character Clank a lot, but it doesn't do much for me.

My PSP Do Want list:
Megaman: Powered Up
Parappa the Rapper
Final Fantasy Tactics
Mobile Light Force
Maverick Hunter X
Ultimate Ghosts n' Goblins
Darkstalkers (stylistically my favorite series ever, but I still don't own any games TT_TT)

There are also tons of import retro collections that I want to look into, especially the Parodius one. Also, the import To-Love-Ru game.

So it's pretty cool, but I still think the DS overall has better games. What do you guys think?   read

2:04 PM on 05.17.2009

My collection of retro game collections.

I wonder if it's a problem that almost all of the games that I've been buying recently are just retro collections.

Just kidding, I could buy nothing but these and be totally happy.

There are actually still several others that I'm still looking for. I want to find Megaman X Collection, Samurai Shodown Anthology, and I wonder if there's another SNK Arcade Classics, as the first is titled Vol. 1. I know there's a Fatal Fury collection, but I don't care much for that series. I also saw a Midway arcade collection at a GameStop recently and almost got it before I remembered that Midway arcade games blow.

Do the rest of you like to get these? Am I missing any other good ones?   read

1:57 PM on 05.06.2009

Crafts for great justice: amigurumi.

It was a few weeks ago that I decided that I wanted to learn to make amigurumi. To do this, I first needed to familiarize myself with the manly art of crochet. It turned out to be a difficult craft to learn on my own (I had only books and internet sites) but I stuck with it and have a few things to show for it.

My first video game amigurumi is this Q*Bert. His one leg is skewed a bit, but it was an early attempt.

Then came this Kirby ball. I decided it would be easier to start with just a ball, the way he looks in Canvas Curse. I really like how it turned out.

Then Kirby of course needs a villain, so enter Meta Knight! Again in ball form. The mask gave me a bit of trouble. I'm going to do full versions of Kirby and Meta Knight in the future.

And just finished today is this Boo from Mario World.

I'd love to hear what you guys think.

You can keep up on these and my other stuff at my dA page.   read

5:53 PM on 04.13.2009

So I still don't like Bioshock.

In my last post I seemed to have stepped on a few toes by calling Bioshock overrated. I specifically called it one of the most overrated games ever and I stand by this (placing it alongside Halo and Gears of War). Actually, I'm willing to go a little further and say that it was not a very good FPS at all.

There were many great things in Bioshock, but none of them had anything to do with the gameplay. The graphics were great, the atmosphere was nice, and the overall world was well realized, but the immersion was destroyed whenever I had to engage in the action FPS bits.

When using plasmids, there felt like too much lag between hitting the trigger and actially launching your attack due to the obvious necessity of watching your hand pull back and then point forward. In an FPS this is inexcusable, and guns weren't much better.

Bioshock also had too few enemies, and those it had fell victim to enemy inflation. Early in the game a headshot killed or seriously injured any basic human enemy. However, as the game progresses the same enemies keep appearing and instead of getting interesting new abilities or staying easy to kill they get more and more hit points until it takes several bullets to the face to fell any regular Joe bad guy, and this seems lazy on the developers part. Also, the enemy reactions to being hit seemed quite stiff, if they even reacted at all (some of the crazier ones don't).

Ultimately it feels like style over substance, and I hate that. I could easily make a list of FPSs that play much better, and I'd choose them any day over Bioshock.   read

8:43 PM on 04.12.2009

Why I will never again fall victim to the hype machine.

Some gamers have taken an automatic negative attitude towards all upcoming games, and I'm closer than ever to understanding why. I've been disappointed too many times in the past to be able to muster much enthusiasm for new games.

The tipping point for me was undoubtedly Mirror's Edge. Like a large proportion of other gamers, I was quite enamored with the demo and quite underwhelmed by the final product. I had the game preordered, waited patiently for the release day, and when it came the 'nice' people at GameStop had just run out of the messenger bags that were supposed to come free. So that day I not only picked up a lame (short) game for full retail price, but learned that GameStop actually doesn't have any obligation to give you your promised preorder bonus.

I seem to also remember getting worked up about Marvel Nemesis, one of the few games that I was glad to sell back to GameStop for a pittance.

I have not yet plunged fully into an inky black pessimism towards the game industry as a whole, but try to maintain a careful indifference to upcoming games, even games that I think I'll like.

This of course doesn't mean that I don't want to hear any game related news. I like to hear about new games, but not why X new game is going to rock so hard it will outshine the second coming. No game can live up to that kind of hype.

For example, I was interested when DToid alerted me to Henry Hatsworth, and equally interested when RetroforceGo delivered their verdict (that it's awesome), but I never for a moment maintained anything resembling anticipation for its release.

Perhaps a little of this attitude could be a good thing around here. I for one have seen too much hype leading up to the RE5 release, and there's currently way way too much hype for Bioshock 2, the sequel to one of the most overrated games ever.   read

4:13 PM on 04.02.2009

Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection: an in depth review like I promised.

Okay, I promised a more in depth review and here it is in all its glory. Be warned, this is my longest post yet.

First the game itself. There are some serious aesthetic flaws with the menu system. I have created this helpful diagram:

The block of space at the top isn't used at all, the games list needs to be taller, and the space below uses a lot of space to tell you very little. What's worst is the game cartridge on the right. What it should show is the art on the game cartridge, but this isn't what you get. That would be too obvious. What it shows is the game itself booting up. This means that before you can see anything relating to the game, you have to sit for several seconds while the Sega logo shows up and then fades. Most gamers will scroll so fast through the games looking only at the titles that the box on the right will only ever show that same identical Sega logo. The menu is awful, so let's move on to the games.

5 Stars (Best)
-Shining Force 2
This has so many improvements over the original, some of which were sorely needed. The talk button eliminates the need to open a menu to speak to any random villager, and the menus are organized sooooo much better. The graphics are also a little nicer, and it has great character design like the first.
-Shinobi III
The graphics in this game are surprisingly excellent considering how realistic they were trying to look. On older hardware it usually ended up looking pretty bad when they tried to do realistic characters. Stylized or deformed characters are usually the better way to go, lest you wind up with something like the Golden Axe. Shinobi III's graphics have aged really well, though. The action is superb; I really love characters with a lot of cool moves, and Shinobi has them.
4 Stars (Great)
-Comix Zone
This game has me a bit divided. First and most obvious is the awesome design and style of the game. You're jumping through the panels of a comic! It has a great fighting system as well, but the game is too hard! You only get one life and no continues, and I can't manage to get much farther than halfway through the second page. Am I just doing something wrong? Also, the title music is really out of place, and the opening cutscene music just sounds ugly.
-Golden Axe III
Head and shoulders better than the last two in the series. Something that really revitalized this game is the addition of two new characters, one of whom is a freaking panther man! Awesomeness! The graphics are a little better than the last two, the music is adequate, there are more fighting moves to do, and did I mention that the panther man can do a flash kick? Yeahhhhhh.
This game had me hoping for a lot after the cute opening, and it really delivered. There's a very interesting interview on the UCG disc with the creator, and he spoke about how they wanted to make a game with cool environments. Unlike the Sonic games, the point of this game was to move at a much slower pace through the levels and really get a feel for each unique stage. It does this well, and has a good grabbing mechanic.
-Shining Force
It took me a while to warm up to this game due to the really clunky menu system (WHY did the Genesis have to have only three buttons?) but the battles and characters really drew me in eventually. I don't know if anyone else does this, but I started to imagine all these relationships and conversations between the characters as the battle would take place. It would be like “Oh, so you decided to heal the guy over there and leave me to die? Just because my defense is 26 and his is 24 he needs it more? I guess I know where your loyalties lie. Thanks for nothing. You know I can shoot enemies two squares away right? Next time an enemy is just out of reach you'll wish I were there.”
-Space Harrier
I have extremely fond memories of playing this as a child in the arcades. It seemed so fast and looked sooooo cool back in the day, and it was a blast to play with a joystick. It's still great fun.
-Sonic & Knuckles
-Sonic The Hedgehog 2
-Sonic The Hedgehog 3
-Streets of Rage 2
Definitely better than the first game as well as the third, for some reason. I'm not a huge brawler fan, but I had a good deal of fun with this. There are a lot of different attacks to do and all the characters play differently enough to keep it interesting.
3 Stars (Good)
-Altered Beast
-Beyond Oasis
This is a fun little game, but it's too much of an obvious Zelda knock off for me to give it a higher score.
-Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
This is an okay action platformer, but I got stuck on the prison stage, and the first helicopter boss takes way too many hits.
-Phantasy Star IV
This game FINALLY lets you select which enemy each character should attack. In the earlier games I felt like I was throwing HP away watching my characters divide their attacks willy nilly, needlessly prolonging every encounter. Graphics finally look nice, battles are nice if a little unintuitive at first, characters are good, story is okay. Actually, the story is about as ridiculous as the rest. Still, it's the least bad Phantasy Star.
-Shining in the Darkness
I started out hating this game, but when I actually got out a sheet of graph paper and mapped out the dungeon as I went along it became much more enjoyable. It's still really clunky, but certainly decent. It also gets much better when the two other characters join your party, if you can stand it that long.
-Sonic Spinball
Pinball is okay. Sonic is okay. This game is just okay.
-Sonic The Hedgehog
I just recently went back and listened to the Sonic episode of RetroforceGo and realized that the first Sonic is really only okay compared to the rest of the series. Still, good music and visual style.
-Streets of Rage
-Streets of Rage 3
2 Stars (Not Good)
-Alien Storm
Hey, let's make a brawler where all the characters have guns, but can only use them at extreme close range! Game of the year, here we come. Actually, the first person bits are okay, but only because they remind me of better arcade rail shooters.
-Bonanza Bros.
I give this game points for original concept, but take them right back away for poor execution.
Meh, there are better puzzle games out there, and this one gets hard really fast.
-Decap Attack
I had high hopes for this game, as I've heard the name and I love sidescrolling action platformers, but they were dashed as soon as I saw the art of the mad scientist. If this game played a little better and looked like it weren't designed in MS Paint then it might get a higher score.
-Dynamite Headdy
My last post elicited a few suggestions that I give this game another chance. I did, and I still don't care for it. -Ristar is just a better game.
-Fatal Labyrinth
I was originally going to give this game a 1 before going for the achievement (get to level 5 of the dungeon). After suffering through five floors I realized this game has the necessary elements of other roguelikes, but it's still barely playable.
I was similarly going to give this a 1 before the achievement. I actually ended up having a bit of fun, but it wore itself out really quickly.
-Gain Ground
-Golden Axe
-Golden Axe II
Not much needs saying, as this is an awful lot like Golden Axe I without the little blue elves.
-Kid Chameleon
-Phantasy Star
The overworld sprites make me die a little inside. Otherwise an unremarkable RPG with unnecessary 3D first person dungeons.
-Phantasy Star II
I really don't see that much improvement over the first. It's still a chore navigating the menus and watching characters waffle about in combat.
-Sonic 3D Blast
The less said about this, the better.
This game and its sequel could have been much better if not for a certain terrible design choice: the sprites are way too big. If they zoomed out a bit it would have been much better. The camera is so close that it's really easy to run into enemies, and the close range negates most of the benefit of being able to shoot.
-VectorMan 2
1 Star (Bad)
-Alex Kidd
This game is the most painful to play in the entire collection. It's even more painful on the eyes.
-Ecco: The Tides of Time
The first Ecco at least went places without forcing you through those awful portal stages.
-Phantasy Star III
The RPG that does everything wrong.
-Super Thunder Blade
See review of Sonic 3D Blast. Just play Space Harrier instead.

You may have noticed that I included a Master System game and an Arcade game from the extras list while leaving some Genesis games without a review. Don't worry, I've got another post planned that will deal with some of what was left out and then some. Advance warning: it won't do Sega any favors.   read

9:54 PM on 03.30.2009

Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection: a review from a Nintendo kid.

I've been playing a lot of Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection recently. I was really excited getting this game, as I only had Nintendo consoles for my youngest years as a gamer. The only Sega console I own is the Dreamcast, so up until getting UCG my exposure to their previous consoles had been extremely minimal.

As a child of the SNES I will admit that at first I was really disappointed with what I saw. The colors in a lot of games were really garish. A quick check of the technical specs confirmed my suspicions: the Genesis had a much lower color palette than the SNES and it really showed. In the right hands this didn't need to be a handicap, though. I insist that graphics on any system aren't bad because of technical limitations, but instead are measured by how well designers work within these limitations. However, I still couldn't bring myself to appreciate the design in many of these games because it seemed the designers were trying to do too much with too little, or just simply didn't know what they were doing. I don't like to bash game designers too much because making games is hard work and an awesome job, but Alex Kidd and Decap Attack look like they were drawn in MS Paint by a six year old.

If you're a Sega kid, I'm really sorry to bash the console so much. Eventually I warmed up to many of the games. Here's my current ratings for all the Genesis games on the collection:

5 Stars
Shining Force 2
Shinobi III

4 Stars
Comix Zone
Golden Axe III
Shining Force
Sonic & Knuckles
Sonic The Hedgehog
Sonic The Hedgehog 2
Sonic The Hedgehog 4
Streets of Rage 2

3 Stars
Altered Beast
Beyond Oasis
Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
Shining in the Darkness
Sonic Spinball
Streets of Rage
Streets of Rage 3
VectorMan 2

2 Stars
Alien Storm
Bonanza Bros.
Decap Attack
Dynamite Headdy
Fatal Labyrinth
Gain Ground
Golden Axe
Golden Axe II
Kid Chameleon
Sonic 3D Blast

1 Star
Alex Kidd
Ecco: The Tides of Time
Super Thunder Blade

Not Rated (I actually haven't gotten to these yet)
Phantasy Star II
Phantasy Star III
Phantasy Star IV

My opinions on lots of these games changed the more I played them. I knew that Shinobi III was excellent from the start, but it took a while for me to appreciate Shining in the Darkness. I was ready to give it a one or two before getting out some graph paper and really sinking my teeth into the game. Then my perception of it improved, if only a bit.

I'm currently playing Phantasy Star (the first one), and I'm really not sure where I stand on it. The colors again are super garish; everyone in the future apparently loves wearing turquoise. So the overworld sprites hurt my eyes, and not being able to choose which enemy to attack in the battles is infuriating, and the music gets old fast, and venturing into a dungeon to find a cake shop to buy a cake that costs a thousand stinking mesetas to bribe your way into the governor's palace is pretty stupid. Actually, I'm not sure why I'm still playing it. I think I'll go and finish Shining Force II.   read

8:57 AM on 03.27.2009

A Musical Dilemma.

A short while ago, I was alerted to the fact that DragonForce was coming to my hometown of Asheville, NC (the land where little of interest happens). This is big news, as they're basically the band that got me into the brand of insane power metal that I now love so much. Additionally, they're coming to the Orange Peel, a venue that has been rated as one of the best in the country. As I saw Lordi there earlier, I can attest to its awesomeness. It's small, standing room only, and you feel like you're right on top of the band.

Needless to say, I purchased a ticket immediately. I was set to rock.

Then I was alerted to another, more earth shaking development.

I recieved another email alert from The Protomen detailing their progress on Act II (their long awaited second album) and their touring schedule. What do I spy but they're also coming to Asheville! This is really big.

If you are not familiar with The Protomen, I am incredibly sorry for you. Their CD is one of the few albums I own that I can listen to at any time and never tire of it. I listen to a lot of other video game cover bands, but The Protomen have easily created my favorite game related CD. Heck, it's easily my favorite CD I own. It is essentially a rock opera about MegaMan with original music (not based on any game soundtrack), but it's very dark and serious. It's not something I can describe too well; it must be experienced.

And guess what? They're playing the same night as DragonForce at a different venue.

Now, my first instinct is to totally blow off the DragonForce show and see The Protomen. I hear mixed reviews of how good DragonForce is live, but every report of The Protomen concerts describe them as the best thing ever, no joke.

Still, it hurts a little not seeing DragonForce...

Any thoughts?   read

8:41 AM on 03.26.2009

My first day on XBLA was rough.

As I endured three consecutive tests on Wednesday (college sucks like that) I decided to get myself as a present a 1 month XBLA gold card as well as a 1600 point card and relax for most of Thursday.

My games list had a lot of demos for which I'd been meaning to purchase the full games, so these decisions weren't easy. I knew I wanted a sidescrolling action-platformer, being my favorite genre, and heard high praise for Bionic Commando, so that was my first choice. I don't normally play many shmups, but I had the urge to try my hand at them again and checked the long list presented before me. I decided on Triggerheart Excelica because the demo was fun and it has panties.

I probably won't surprise many people by saying that these games are really hard. I had fun playing them, but wanted to try something a little less stressful.

Having said that, my next choice was pretty stupid. See, I've been getting really into fighting games recently but nobody I know will play them with me. I don't really know any other hardcore gamers, so I've been forced to play against only CPU opponents. I knew I wasn't great at fighters in general, but I had been playing a lot of SF2HD and thought I could at least hold my own. Also, this was my first time playing on XBLA since my free starter month ran out, and that was a long time ago and I didn't even use it much.

Short story: I think that I lost 15 games yesterday, with 0 wins.

I'm okay with this, as I got to compete directly against some pretty high level players (or at least they were way better than I was), but what got to me was that each game was conducted in utter silence.

I really need to make some Street Fighter buddies willing to at least make small talk or chat about strategy during a fight. I obviously have a lot to learn, and would like to at least have some people to talk to about how to improve one's game.

I later tried my hand at Rock Band 2. I have much more confidence in my expert drumming skills so I assumed this would go well, and I was mostly right. I had some good matches on Tug of War, and I think my win-loss record turned out about even.   read

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -