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12:46 AM on 07.03.2010

Why are Japanese games a dying breed?

Listening to a podcast from a bunch of former 1up staff, I heard one them discuss their experience of being interviewed by the equivalent of the Japanese PBS and was posed this same question to them while viewing Child of Eden at E3 this year, and it got me to thinking, while it is certainly true that US and European made games seem to have been the dominant games this genre, what is it that has knocked Japanese games from the dominance they once held over the past few console generations. it was their conclusion that it was that western taste has gotten tired of Japanese weirdness because the game play innovation has not dried up, i think it is just more than that i think it is a lot of subtle things that add up to Japanese games decline in the West, and i believe it is affecting not only games but anime and manga sales as well.

While I will concede that there is a giant culture difference between the West and Japan, but the same can be said of the US and Europe, so what could have had the same effect in both markets to move them away from most Japanese titles aside from Mario, and the rest of the Nintendo clan, and cultural differences can attribute to be a big part of that. So what do I mean when I mention cultural differences? I am sure you can imagine as gamers about what is meant when I mention cultural differences, but for those of you who are not accustomed to Japanese games I will spell it out. Hyper sexualized ladies that wear outfits that would make a stripper blush, male protagonists that look and dress like girls, wielding weapons in a superhuman style, and almost all of the characters spouting the flamboyant flair that most Drag Queens would kill for.

What I think has had the biggest impact to the market for Japanese games has been, what I wouldcall the stagnation of the tried and true story line that always seems to come out of Japan in their RPGs, as well as the cultural differences between our different cultures and that is starting to cross over to almost every game that gets released out of Japan, that is especially prevalent in JRPGs boy or girl and his friends goes out to save the world/village/each other, and along the way discovers their inner strength between his comrades/family, and ultimately saving that that they sought to save. While not bad all on its own every JRPG I have played save a couple has this kind of story line, and I know I am not alone in this. Western RPG's always seem to have a more dynamic adult oriented story, and usually star adults instead of kids as well as tried and true conventions used in western fantasy and Sci-Fi to those of us in the west

This is why i feel that Japanese games are enduring some hardship right now, which is a shame as there have been a lot of great game play innovations from Japanese games that have been overlooked as these issues have scared many gamers off. i look forward to this being cleared up in the future as i know that i count myself amongst the many looking for a revival of what made Japanese games great, great story lines, and amazing game play.

back of the blog:

finished Transformers War for Cybertron on hard. this game is totally worth it, will be playing more multiplayer after i finish this blog up.

was going to go see The Last Airbender till i read a lot of reviews, saw Toy Story 3 in 3d, it was totally worth it.

Wanna get Crackdown 2, but it may have to wait.... wanna play either Darksiders or continue to work on Mario galaxy 2 first. choices choices   read


4:32 AM on 12.22.2009

Happy Birthday to me... and my year in games

That is right today is December 22 2009 and I am officially 32 years old, life has been really busy so keeping up with making posts on my blog has proven tiring to nigh impossible to be honest, sadly it seems like it almost takes a month to get a review to the quality I demand of it anymore, and same goes for my top 20 lists of games, and while normally I do something big and formal for my games of the year i don't have the energy nor the time to make it properly like I would like to do, so i am going to break from format this year, and maybe forever, and instead talk about the games that really stood out to me as a gamer this year and a few of my disappointments.

On the 360 front the games that kept me hooked included Batman:Arkham Asylum this was a genuine surprise not only in quality but in cost, I was able to get it at launch for $40 and to be honest I felt it was easily the most fun, interesting, and well places uses of my time in a single player game that I played at all this year; Dragon Age Origins, was hands down the best RPG I played this year, I haven't been this immersed in a RPG since Fallout 3 though something tells me it may not have the longevity with me that Fallout 3 and it's expansions did. Speaking of expansions GTA 4 had some excellent DLC this year with ballad of gay Tony and the lost and the damned, and Borderlands is my current addiction

Wii wise, Metroid Prime Trilogy, which includes all three classic Metroid Prime games on one disc, including one game that had already been previously released on the Wii kept me quite entertained until Batman came and stole it's thunder from my attention; New Super Mario Bros. Wii, classic Mario game play and my other current addiction but playing this game makes me realize what I missed in the original on the DS and this new incarnation on the Wii, the ability to fly. when it comes to Mario games exploration is one of the keys to game play, and without flight a lot of that is taken away, that said i am hooked like a fish and will be playing this well into the new year, at least until mass effect 2 comes out: sadly in the flood of game that came out this year i also purchased Mad World but wasn’t terribly impressed by it, as well as House of the Dead Overkill, which is a must own title on the Wii, and Muramasa the demon blade which has sadly gotten lost in the shuffle at this minute and I haven’t gotten around to yet.

PSP had a largely quiet year this year in my opinion but there were a couple games that stood out to me, Disgaea 2 Dark Hero Days, this PSP remake of the PS2 original was one of the highlights for the system this year, and seems to have been overlooked by many looking for game of the year nods on portable systems; Shin Megami Tensei Persona is another example of a great game remade for the PSP that I felt got overlooked by many other reviewers, still a fun and functional remake of the original PS1 game, re-crafted to be more familiar to the fans of the more recent entries of the Persona series

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's inside story, another great title in the Mario & Luigi series has me hooked though to be honest I keep tossing between this Scribblenauts, Harry Hatsworth, Pokemon Platinum, and Shin Megami Tensi Devil Survivor for playtime dominance on my DS this year and all make it hard to just shut up and say that one was really superior to another

Biggest disappointment this year for me was Modern Warfare 2, seriously i fell asleep playing this snooze fest and I am not dumb enough to play this on line, i mean how much fun can you have getting killed as soon as you spawn for hours upon hours on end. close second was Brutal Legend, i really enjoyed the single player mode of this title but it ended too soon and the broken rts elements ultimately ruin this game that was full of so much promise, still it is extremely funny and worth a rental, [Prototype] looked so awesome, sadly was repetitive, and frustrating. And last but not least Left 4 Dead 2: I like the characters in this version more and it is more to love but the lack of help from the AI in single player is frustrating and annoying and leaves me not wanting to play it offline

in case you were wondering what about the PC and PS3, don’t own them so i cant state for the games on those 2 platforms, and i think it would be best not too

as for next year goals, a new PC, so i can play games on it and maybe a PS3 finally, but time will tell, and maybe a Gamefly subscription to sublet costs, and coming soon to this blog I am half done rewriting my top 20 Genesis games, and in the middle of a review so keep your eyes peeled!   read


5:14 AM on 10.14.2009

My Top 20 SNES games

#20. Super Mario World 2 Yoshi's Island, I’m not sure as to weather to say that this game has or had an amazing graphical look as Yoshi’s Island’s look is unique, this game features artwork that strongly resembled what one would expect to be the artwork of a young child, which is sad as the art style is as much as a breath of fresh air in this era of 3dgraphics as it was in an era of 2dgraphics.

#19. Donkey Kong Country, the first fully 3d rendered game on the home consoles, and best of the series in my opinion. This was also a rebirth for the Donkey Kong series as there was a long hiatus between the Donkey Kong Games on the NES and the Donkey Kong Country on the SNES. Fun and inventive levels as well as a million and a half secrets for you to find, kept gamers coming back for more and helps make Donkey Kong Country as one of the greatest games on the Super Nintendo. Donkey Kong Country is currently available on Nintendo’s Virtual Console if you wish to enjoy this classic too.

#18. SimCity, The original simulation game where you take on the role as mayor of a city, you get to choose between either a scenario city or create your own city, and try to make it as big as possible. Hours of fun (or mind numbing boredom depending on your point of view) was waiting to be had discovering what made a city work and discovering the best strategy to make your city grow as large as you could. I even got my mom addicted to the point that when we traveled to a large town that she would start to make comparisons and as a personal side bonus for me Detroit was one of the scenarios in the game. . SimCity is currently available on Nintendo’s Virtual Console if you wish to enjoy this classic simulation game.

#17. Actraiser is a god game much in the style of Poplous, and SimCity that is blended with side scrolling action sequences much in the vein of the Iron Sword games on the NES. This game had excellent pacing that could easily hold the most easily distracted person focus and enjoy it. Actraiser is currently available on Nintendo’s Virtual Console if you wish to enjoy this classic too.

#16. Tetris & Dr. Mario, What this game boiled down too was the fact that the 2 of the biggest puzzle games ever were now in one package with head to head multiplayer that used both games as a part of the competition. This was a puzzle game players dream as both of these classics on one pack and is something that has never happened again since sadly, come on I would love to see this on the Virtual Console but I doubt that will happen as I think Nintendo has lost the license to the Tetris franchise.

#15. Rock N' Roll Racing, the first game that I ever noticed to feature a recognizable licensed soundtrack, from Metal bands like Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple, and the game it’s self wasn’t bad at all, game play wise I want you to think RC Pro am with missiles, and other weapons, all from the good folks at Blizzard!

#14, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV; Turtles in Time, A vastly improved port of the arcade game that was released as an early title for the SNES, that included extra bosses, extra levels and one of the most memorable boss fights in gaming history (in my opinion at least) we could play this for hours with my friends and no one would notice the passage of time, about the only thing that was really missing was the ability to play as all 4 Turtle Titans at one time, but that was a common flaw of many of the side scrolling brawlers of the time.

#13. Castlevania IV, Is easily one of the best games in the Castlevania series, as this was the first to feature full 360 directional use of your whip, so you could use it for offense or defense far more effectively than you had ever done before. Some have argued that this was the best looking Castlevania in the series; I beg to differ, though I will concede that no other 2d Castlevania ever successfully captured the look and feel of Super Castlevania. . Castlevania IV is currently available on Nintendo’s Virtual Console if you wish to enjoy this classic tale of man vs. vampire.

#12. Killer Instinct, this was one of the first fully 3d fighting games, though still fought in 2 dimensions the characters and backgrounds were all 3d models, and on top of that killing your buddies was never more fun and this was the first fighting game where you could pull off some seriously huge combos every fighting franchise that came after had to start keeping track of all of the combos you could pull off, including...

#11. Super Street Fighter 2, The final version of the Granddaddy of the entire fighting game genre to be released on the SNES. I know this came out on other systems but the SNES Version was the definitive version, as the basic control pad lent it’s self to the game play. But why I put this version of the game on the list is that you had 4 new characters and a new combo system (though no where near as grandiose as Killer Instinct) on top of the classic street fighter game play we all know and love. Super Street Fighter 2 is currently available on Nintendo’s Virtual Console if you wish to enjoy the best fighting experience on the SNES in my opinion.

#10. Super Mario Kart, The first and considered by many to be the best kart racing game to ever be released, is highlighted by tight controls, and inventive stages, and innovative multiplayer battle mode. This was the best racing game on the SNES, and several of the stages are still some of the best designed in the series, many hours were spent by me and my friends to see who was the best at every multiplayer mode.

#9. The legend of Zelda: a link to the past is in my opinion the best game of the entire series, and that says a lot as almost every Legend of Zelda game is usually one of the premier titles on any platform Nintendo puts it on. What sets A link to the past apart from the other games in the Legend of Zelda series is that it was really the first Zelda game to feature a deep story, offer many more new tools, 2 huge worlds to explore, awe inspiring bosses, and incredible pacing and game play, and these are only a few of the many reasons why this game set what many of us deem to be the hallmarks of the series. The legend of Zelda: a link to the past is currently available on Nintendo’s Virtual Console if you wish to enjoy Link’s best adventure.

#8. Secret of Mana, One of the first action RPGs, and the best reason to own a SNES multitap as is also the first multiplayer RPG. The look and setting is unique, so unique that it’s settings and backdrops that you enter, have only been met in recent years by some other RPG’s like Kingdom Hearts and the Persona series of RPGs. as a sample of settings lets just say killing Santa Claus was the highlight of my day in this game. This game also featured the first noticeably androgynous character in RPGs but the fact that the Sprite was a total Badass made it forgivable. Secret of Mana is currently available on Nintendo’s Virtual Console if you wish to enjoy this fun multiplayer RPG.

#7. Final Fantasy 2, The fact that a Final Fantasy game makes the list should come to no one's surprise, This was the series first venture into the 16 bit era, and featured one of the best stories in the Final Fantasy series, and fans of this game since have had much to rejoice about as it has not only had a 3d remake as Final Fantasy IV (as it was the 4th game in the series but was labeled as 2nd game in the series as it was the second game in the series released in the USA) for the DS, and has had a follow up was recently released on the Wii as DLC featuring the offspring of the heroes of the this original game

#6. Super Mario RPG - Legend of the Seven Stars, Mario's first RPG, and first foray into 3d rendering, brought to us by the fine folks at Squaresoft. This was a most interesting project as unlike many of squares other RPGs at the time this was a turn based RPG menu as most were used to but you had action and platforming elements as well like the need to time your attacks for more damage. this also introduced many new characters to the Mario Universe like Geno and Mallo whom I suspect are owned by Square as we have never seen them in anything else Mario since, not even a guest spot on Mario Kart. Super Mario RPG - Legend of the Seven Stars is currently available on Nintendo’s Virtual Console if you wish to enjoy Mario’s first RPG.

#5. Super Metroid, The best Metroid game ever released. So what makes it so great? there are too many things to count, amazing exploration, some completely lonely moments, and simply enormous bosses so impressive that the boss fights in this game are still being copied in modern games to this day and I don’t just mean 2d games, what don’t believe me look at the first Gears of War and the fight with the Corpser, direct rip off of the battle with the ugly fellow in red pictured below, and that is only scratching the surface! Super Metroid is currently available on Nintendo’s Virtual Console if you wish to enjoy this amazing game; it is well worth the purchase.
Super Metroid's god i dont remember this boss's name boss

#4. Super Mario All Stars, this was a graphical remake of all of the original NES Super Mario Bros. games, and included the never before released in the US Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels which were released in Japan as Super Mario Bros. 2. This is the only Super Mario Bros game compilation that has ever been released sadly as a re-release would be really cool right now on the Virtual Console, maybe in time for the release of Super Mario Galaxy 2. One can hope cant he?

#3. Super Mario World, One of the best Mario Games ever made, and to sweeten the deal, Nintendo gave you a copy of the game when you bought a SNES. What made this game outstanding was the fact that this was the biggest Mario game released, and if I am not mistaken the biggest ever released in the series, with the most levels, with more secrets, and power-ups then ever before or since. While you didn’t need a warp zone you could easily beat the game in a few hours or spend the days discovering the wonders of Dinosaur Island to rescue Peach, like witnessing the changes that happened to the island as you progressed, and the hidden levels like Star Road or the challenge levels which could change the season of the game from summer to fall and even the appearance of some enemies. Super Mario World is currently available on Nintendo’s Virtual Console if you wish to enjoy this must own part of any gamers diet.

#2. Final Fantasy 3, was my first RPG, technically speaking as it was the first one I enjoyed, and in my mind the best in the Final Fantasy series. So why else does this deserve this ranking in my list? Final Fantasy 3 as it was released in the USA (is actually the 6th game in the series) was the only game in the Final Fantasy series to star a female lead character until Final Fantasy X2, and the upcoming XIII, and not only her but all of the characters were great and memorable Characters, The Soundtrack was Epic, the game was properly paced, and featured the truly greatest villain of the Final Fantasy series, Kefka. While Seperoth may have killed a main character in Final Fantasy 7, he wasn’t the first to do so in the series; <> In Final Fantasy 6 Kefka poisoned a city’s water supply and killed everyone in a city, and then successfully brought about the apocalypse wiping out almost everyone in two worlds just to satiate his power lust. To be honest I feel that in my opinion this was the last game in the series that really had a complete and lasting storyline, as well as set the standard for quality in the series that gamers have come to expect, though in my opinion was the peak of the series.

#1. Chrono Trigger, if you know me you had to know that this one had to be my number one, 10+ endings over 60 hours of game play, one of the best storylines in any RPG that not only spanned many unique locals and time eras that when it was originally released was an unheard of concept, but featured character design by the creator of the Dragon Ball animated series, Akira Toriyama, and featured one of the most memorable game soundtracks of all time. Other reasons to love this game include no random battles as you can actually see your enemies on screen to avoid fights if you want too, and speaking of main characters dying, major party members die off, and a major enemy early on can be converted to an ally and actually can become a team leader. The rest of the party is representative from different time periods each with a different and unique development. On top of that the game was recently remade for the DS so now all of you can experience it for your self, and as a testament to this games greatness the remake is on average one of Metacritic’s highest rated games for the DS with a 92 out of 100



Honorable mentions

Fatal Fury 2: One of the best fighters on the SNES

Goof Troop: surprisingly good game form Disney and Capcom especially since I didn’t like the TV show it is based on

Final Fight 1-3: the final fight games are the best


Mortal Kombat 2: of all the versions of this game that was released this was hands down the best version of the game

Demons Crest: a surprisingly good platformer with RPG elements and a dark story. It is definitely worth your time

Populous: Peter Molinoux's first game is the best! it was tough to leave this game off my list

Pilotwings: the best console flight based game

Secret of Evermore: a Great RPG from Square that was overshadowed by the simultaneous release of Chrono Trigger

Spiderman and Venom in Maximum Carnage: me and my buddies would play this for hours...   read


11:57 PM on 09.04.2009

My top 20 NES games of all time

My top 20 NES games of all time:

While many consider the Nintendo Entertainment System their first home console, or the NES as most of you know it, it was not my first console that title can only go to the Atari 2600, but it was the one I desired the most in my younger years. Enclosed in this document are 20 prime examples of why I wanted this console above all others, and some interesting personal tidbits about each of them.

#20. Battletoads, this blatant TMNT rip off was Rare Software’s first real Blip on the radar for most gamers, and it is difficult as nails; I could never get past the rocket slide part in the third level, though it never stopped me or my brother from trying or from getting a kick out of the toad’s wacky cartoon based animations

#19. Pac-Man (Tengen Version), the Best version of Pac-Man to come out in the 8bit generation of gaming on the home consoles, this was the game that was my first entry into gaming now finally nearly perfected for the home consoles. As most of the other versions of Pac-Man were no where near as authentic as they needed to be, including the version released by Nintendo. My mom made it a point to share her love of this game with me, and while I may not have shared her enthusiasm for Pac-Man, I still enjoyed love this classic among classics

#18. Donkey Kong Classics, Two classic games Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr combined on one pack. If Donkey Kong is Perfection, then so must also Donkey Kong Jr. be. At least in my mind anyway because I spent so much cash on both in the arcades back in the day.

#17. StarTropics, is another underrated game from Nintendo’s 8bit era that I feel needs a sequel much as many think of Kid Icaris deserves one. StarTropics is an action adventure that is as clever as it is challenging, and reminded me of Legend of Zelda, with the arsenal of Ness from Earthbound, and played more like Legend of Gaea on the SNES. I would spend hours on this game killing snakes with a yo-yo, figure the physics of that one but I still find plenty to enjoy in this game and hope that somewhere down the line Nintendo will see fit to visit C island again

#16. Mega Man 2, Many consider Mega Man 2 the pinnacle of what all mega man games should be measured by, while I beg to differ, there is no doubt that this is one of the greatest games ever made, and easily has some of the most memorable music of the entire 8 bit generation. To be honest the real reason why Mega Man’s second adventure slipped this far though is because I played and enjoyed his third and fourth adventures first.

#15. Gradius, The Side Scrolling shooter that made me pay attention to the genre. Well this and Life Force, but I like Gradius better like the system, then again I did have the pattern memorized at one point…… cant beat it without loosing a life any more like I used to sadly, and even though there were other good shooters out there like R*type, Gradius was the one I always returned too.

#14, Contra, the most fun with a friend or a brother that you could have on the NES, sadly my mom wouldn’t let me have it originally as she thought it too violent I think, but eventually she broke down and I got to enjoy this gem, any one who played this game back in the day will tell you that this was as close as many would get to getting to have balls to the walls fast paced action, and in some cases still is.

#13. Metroid, Samus Aran's First game appearance, sadly another game that like other games on this list I didn’t get the point of until much later in my life, but I played it and loved it, while spending many hours exploring the caverns of the game world. Just trying to find power-ups to see what crazy effects they would have on me, had the toughest time with Ridley, and is it me or was beating Kraid harder than In any other game he has appeared in?

#12. River City Ransom, one of the best side scrolling beat‘em ups in history and, hilariously fun too boot, what made this fun was there were many different ways to approach the game, which required patience, and persistence to access the multiple endings. My mom didn’t appreciate the violence, but what she did like the fact that my brother and could play it together and seemed to get the most of it, even chuckled when my bro accidentally figured how to beat me up when we were trying to work together

#11. Metal Gear, Snake's First appearance and the precursor for the rest of the Metal Gear series, featuring a far less convoluted storyline. I could never figure out what to do you know just kept dying over and over again, it wasn’t until I had a friend show me how to play that I could really appreciate Metal Gear for what it was, a stealth game, not the regular run and gun game I was used to at the time.

#10. Mega Man 3, My Favorite Mega Man Game, this was my first real exposure to the series, and I loved every minute of it. There was this cheat that if someone manning the second controller just so you could jump out of pits, and I can remember my brother sitting there and holding the button as I rolled through the whole game. Thanks for helping Dave! Couldn’t have done it with out you or your patience!

#9. Dr. Mario, Mario’s first Puzzle game, and the second game that really hooked my mom, it was this game that earned me the nickname the comeback kid, as I could always find a way out of an seemingly impossible situations. This game still remains a family favorite, and we still have family tournaments with this one

#8. Tetris, this was the game that made my mom not regret purchasing the NES, her personal favorite on the NES, but it was also mine. I can remember the hours me and my mom would sit there and try to beat each others score, she always won, though that has changed has we have gotten older, but we still like to play from time to time but just for fun.

#7. Final Fantasy, The RPG that changed the way most people think about Console Role Playing Games..... But not me, to be honest it wasn’t until Final Fantasy 6 (3 in the USA) that I was really attracted to the genre, and it was because of Final Fantasy 6 that I decided to go back to check this game. More to the point, it would be the first time I would do this with games, and I do have to say that I was deeply impressed. So impressed that I bought my friends copy that lent it to me

#6. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game, All right let me level with you folks, at the time that this game was released the arcade was still a viable gaming arena, this was my favorite, so when it came home I had to have it, somewhat lame extra stages and all.

#5. Tecmo Super Bowl, OMG my Detroit Lions are a good team here!! This was one of the main games that helped me survive when I had broken my back, and was in a body cast for 6 months, an injury I suffered while playing Football. Tecmo Super Bowl in my opinion is still one of the best football games ever made, blending the enjoyable arcade style with a near full roster of players for each team, a level of realism that was almost unheard of at that time on a console let alone on the NES.

#4. Castlevania, what always set this game if not the series apart was the setting, dark and foreboding while fighting classic villains of lore, and celluloid. I always surprise my self when I play this game when I find something new that I have missed before or forgot about, even now as an adult. The game play was always great, and there was always a feeling of accomplishment when you completed a stage of your journey to rid the world of the accursed Vampire Dracula

#3. The Legend of Zelda, an amazing game, though at a younger age I could never figure out the point. So it should come as no surprise then that I still haven’t beat it. Though I did sit by and watch my best friend sit down and play through the whole game a few years ago... probably the closest I will get. For now that is someday I will just shut up and do it. still I would spend hours playing around in the over world map for giggles, especially at the local Sears store there in Flint Township in the Genesee Valley Mall, didn’t really matter that I could only play 15 minutes or so I played it a lot, and loved every minute of it. see then beating a game wasn’t everything, especially for those of us born in the Atari Generation, as there usually was never an ending, so a game with no ending wasn't a bother to me, and at the time I thought there wasn’t a ending, now I know better but I still remember just fiddling around in the game for hours, and killing the weird creatures not really accomplishing anything but having the time of my life doing it.

#2. Super Mario Bros. 3, I can remember playing this game to death with my little bro when I was young to the point that the music really bugged my mom, of course it didn’t help that my favorite movies were Transformers the Movie, and The Wizard, and my desire to play anything Nintendo at that age was a driving force in my life at that time, wait who am I kidding the drive to play any game seems to be there now.......

#1. Super Mario Bros. / Duck Hunt, the game that came with the system was also the game was that easily the reason to own the system. Why you ask? Super Mario Bros. alone was a system selling game back in the day as it was a launch title for the NES, and that came shortly after a brief stint in the Arcades. but for me it was the only game I really wanted to play, sure I had an Atari 2600, but I wanted a NES, I really wanted Super Mario Brothers, I wanted it so bad I could taste it, I would go to friends houses just so I could play Super Mario Brothers. I can remember my parents buying Mario Bros. for the Atari 2600, and that keeping me pacified until I got my brother to talk them into getting an NES as a reward for a surgery, not really realizing that it was going to be my real savior for when I broke my back playing football a few years later simplicity of sitting there an. As for Duck Hunt how can you beat the simplicity of shooting ducks for hours on end? I still recall making my family crack up with laughter as I was playing while doing an Elmer Fudd impression, too bad that every one else in the house was a better shot than me.

Honorable mentions

Each of the following titles are excellent games and I had a hard time leaving them off of the list, but there are only 20 spots, and too many great games on this console to just have 20 in all honesty, so here are some other great games that deserve some recognition, if not a spot on a revised listing in the future.

[b][i]Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: the Manhattan project
R.C. Pro Am
Ninja Gaiden Series
Mega Man 1,4,5,6
The Punisher
Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link
Crystalis
Double Dragon series
Super Mario 2
Tiny Toon Adventures
Ultima Exadus
Castlevania 2 and 3
Dragon Warrior 1 - 3[/i][/b]   read


2:27 PM on 08.30.2009

My 2 cents: on Sexisum & Maturity level in gaming

Personally i think that there is still an attitude in this country that the demographic for games is adolescent boys, i know i enjoy a good romp with comic looking character as it suspends me from the real world and still sets it's self apart, the real irony there is the industry as a hole is striving to make them more realistic, and yet still keep this balance, which is in my opinion the only real thing Nintendo has always done right with all of it's characters, slightly improving the look of its games while making games that are fun that clearly separate the bounds of the real world and the virtual one, every where else though those lines are blurring, and this is where the debate really stems from, people are worried that that fine line is braking and that all these games that look as good as an animated feature, or a movie in their own right. realistically i see the sex i games debate to be the sex in media debate, and if the general public still believes that the market is for adolescent boys (as it had been not 10 years ago) than all the studies in the world (recent study showing gamins target demographic is 30 year olds, and women) won't make a difference in the public mind.

so why do publishers, whom should know better who their target market is, continue to publish for a demographic that is not their primary audience any more?

simple, we still buy it.

regardless of a gamers sex, age, or level of experience, we buy it, i recently played 2 games that i The only non-sexist Heroine left?didn't feel objectified women, those being Mirrors Edge, and Metroid Prime Trilogy. sad to say they aren't doing to well in sales, or did to well in sales in Mirror's Edge's case, especially in comparison to the testosterone fest that is Gears of War 2, and the up coming Modern Warfare 2 (which is poised to break every record out there in sales) just to make a point. what concerns me is that with Team Ninja (renown for making games that do nothing but objectify women) making the next Metroid, are we going to loose one of gaming's few non objectified women, then again i think that point is moot after Zero Suit Samus appeared and i can recall everyone's fervor (at least on the internet) for that. but i digress, the only games that seem to break the sexist/racist/"mature" trends are the games aimed at everyone to enjoy the Mario Kart's and Wii Sport's of the world which are constantly in the top 5 in sales despite being out for years already.

point being that i think things are starting to turn around as more people get into gaming, as the market grows and demand continues to spike, the market will demand less sexist games and more mature content in the context that it is intend to stimulate an adults mind not amplify it with all the sex drugs and gore that it can. so far the Video game industry has progressed as the movie industry did from just bathing beauty movies, to King King, Citizen Kane, and Gone with the Wind.

it is only a matter of time so keep your voices heard and eventually they will respond!   read


9:27 PM on 05.14.2009

Review: Civilization Revolution (Xbox 360)

Review: Civilization Revolution (Xbox 360)

I was turned on to Civilization series thanks to some friends at a LAN party that recommended it, and we made a night of it. Since then I have been an avid fan of the series, but knowing how much Civilization 4 could tax my computer, I was a little more than concerned when I heard that they were going to take another attempt at making the game on the consoles.

Story :

You select one of histories greatest leaders at the start of time, and as the leader of a fledgling nation, the success and survival of your nation all depends on your leadership and guidance. Are you up to the task, or will your fledgling country crumble under another leader’s iron fist, technology, cunning, or culture?


Graphics:

One of the first things you will notice is that this is all beautifully rendered in 3d and at least on the surface runs smoothly, but like its PC counterpart will start to get sluggish when a whole lot of units are on the screen at one moment. Despite this common error with the series as a whole, this is definitely a large step up for the series graphically, even if it is not going to be as beautiful as some of the other Strategy games on the Xbox 360


Music & Sound Effects:

Musically Civilization Revolution is not going to be winning any awards, but is engaging and enough to keep you going. I was rather disappointed to see that the music from some of the other games in the series did not make it over, and that also goes for the voice acting, now instead of talking in the native tongues of their native land, all of your advisers and rival leaders now speak Simish like the natives of the Sims games do, and while I really miss Leonard Nemoy’s Dulcet Tones when an technology is discovered like was present in Civilization 4, and at least one expansion I can live with out it here.


Control & Game Play:

This game is easy to pick up and play, I found my self diving right in and easily figuring things out with out much difficulty at all, selecting what to research, where to place your troops, and generally playing the game is very intuitive. As with most good games this is easy to pick up and play, but difficult to master. Some things are fixed like the deals and trading screen with your neighbors is now much easier to accomplish, as is visiting the tech tree, though changing countries policies is much more difficult now. A nice new touch is that you can now form armies, that increase troop strength and allow for new strategies to be employed, and takes the importance of stacking units and tosses it out the window a bit which is a good thing. One of the most important things that I think is included in this version is the fact that many units are a little more balanced, instead of the Pikeman actually having a good chance of taking out a Tank it is a lot more balanced, so while the Pikeman unit can take down a Tank, it is less likely, and is in fact far more rare than it used to be.


Design:

What I really love about this game is that you can win through various different means. Like if you want to be a true pacifist you can win by the United Nations electing you the winner, or by winning the space race to get to Alpha Centauri (a reference to another Sid Meier game), or economically, outpacing your foes financially. Or you can take the path of War conquer them all with excessive force and an iron fist. While this game may be easy to pick up and play, the game hardly suffers from lack of depth, more nations, and leaders with their own strategies and strengths you will often find that will lead you to victory. If there is a down side it is that this is a turn based strategy, fortunately the turns move very fast for a turn based strategy game, and that this version can be completed much quicker than its siblings on the PC, what used to take all night to complete one game. Though as a side note you should know that Xbox Live play is a lot of fun, but should only be tried once you beat the game on its highest setting

Civilization Revolution:

Pros:

Good graphics

Simplified but fun Game play

Great Multiplayer

Can be played in a few hours now



Cons:

Can experience some slow down

No Nemoy….. :(

More variety could have been nice in the Voice acting

This game is addictive fun, I feel that Civilization Revolution is a must own game, especially for the strategy fans out there. This game will easily fill the strategy game fix every gamer has been looking for, even for those jaded gamers that feel that the Strategy Genre is dead. be sure to check it out: Big Thumbs Up[url]   read


4:13 AM on 04.17.2009

Dragonball Evolution: the aftermath

well this week i decided to go to a movie... and so i chose Dragonball Evolution, strictly due to the fact that the trailers had made the Movie seem like a complete flop, but then i saw a clip from the movie that made me curious, so i figured i got nothing better to do, and it is only 6 bucks, what the hell i will do it, worse case scenario it is a train wreck, best case it try to be 100% faithful.

well i went and i must say the movie is actually not bad, it never takes it's self seriously, and while it is missing some of the support charicters like Krillin, Tien, Chou Su, Puar, Ox King, Oolong, and Yajirobe, which were not really missed (even though Krillin was my favorite charicter in the sereis), personally i wished that they had left out Bulma, and Yamcha as their acting was horrible. Goku and Chi Chi do a great job of carrying the movie, playing out alot like the part of DBZ where Gohan tries wooing Videll. The best part of this movie, and most of its best moments came when Master Roshii (Played by Chow Yun Fat) is on screen, and his performance is show stealing, he clearly had the time of his life playing this role, and it shows on film it was almost the type of performance we have come to expect out of Jackie Chan in recent years.

all in all if you are looking for a fun movie to see, give it a shot, you could do a whole lot worse, just don't expect much for sticking to the cannon of the cartoon.   read


8:52 PM on 04.09.2009

My Top 50 RPG's

My Top 50 RPG's


#50. Ogre Battle, The Predecessor to Ogre Battle 64, and the originator of the battle style Strategy RPG, one of the main features was that you actually set and plotted a course for your troops and had to take into account not only the distance, but how long it would take for them to move to a destination, the terrain, and whether moving your troops was a good idea, like if they could not get to an area on time to make a difference, or if the losses would be acceptable if you made the move.



#49. Kingdom Hearts, Squaresoft's second attempt at blending universes this time though it was aimed more at Final Fantasy & Disney fans.... as long as you can suspend enough disbelief from the stories of classic Disney movies than you will have plenty to love here, though I would have like to see them travel to some of the Final Fantasy Worlds

#48.Balders Gate, One of the PC RPG experiences that helped to redefine what the PC RPG stood for, this game is so deep and layered that there is almost always something new to learn about the game and it’s play system every time you play it. be sure to play it if you can find a copy in the bargain bin so check it out

#47.Marvel Ultimate Alliance, what happens when you mix all of the great qualities that made you love the Xmen Legends series with many of the more popular heroes that make up Marvel’s Universe, and tighten up the game play? Greatness, and hours of multiplayer hack and slash fun.

#46. .(Dot) Hack (Infection , Mutation , Outbreak , Quarantine), A unique experience, you play in a RPG about an MMO, that doesn’t have any online what so ever, and to be honest I fully enjoyed my self, I just wish that they could have shrunk it to one or two volumes instead of four. You play as a new user to an MMO, and find that there may be more going on than simply going online to complete quests.


#45. Ultima Exodus, This game was awesome for the NES, I love this game, not only did I feel that it was deeper than much of the RPG competition on the NES, but it had many multiple classes for you to chooses your party from beyond what other games of it’s like did


[i]
#44. Final Fantasy X[/i], easily one of the best stories in the series, not to mention some of the best graphics on the PS2, and some of the best (and worst) characters (and lets not get started with the bad voice acting) in the series as well, if you haven’t played it by now you should.

#43.Tales of Symphonia, The First truly good Gamecube only RPG, what made this game special was not only that it had a great story and characters but it was also a JRPG that allowed you to have your friends join in on the fun, should they want to

#42. Ogre Battle 64, so that I don’t take up 2 pages, Ogre Battle 64 played almost exactly like the original. Just know that if you can find it buy it. One of the few hardcore strategy games to appear on the N64, Ogre battle 64 is a difficult and consuming strategy RPG that will eat away many of your hours, and is nigh impossible to find.

#41. Paper Mario, Mario's First RPG since the Super Mario RPG on the SNES, sporting a flat 2D style with the game often takes pokes fun at the concept that Mario is made of paper, too bad it took Nintendo till the end of the N64's Life cycle to release this Gem

#40. Vagrant Story, A cult favorite game for most of the RPG Fans, what sets this game apart is a unique presentation, since it blends a Comic Book look with the feel within the trappings of a Square RPG and it worked quite well.



#39. Phantasy Star Collection, Just because Phantasy Stars 1, 2, and 3 are all together in all their classic glory in this GBA port, separately they are amazing games, but compiled together you get to see the grand scale of the 3 games as they play off one another as one grand over-arching story, and that is how I first experienced the games anyway

#38. Persona, Another Shin Megami Tensei Game with all of the stylized beauty we have come to expect from the series and one of the first RPG’s to get released on the PS1, what made it unique was the whole having to choose a god aspect of the game, and then trying to plant him as the Supreme Being.

#37. Chrono Cross, The Sequel to Chrono Trigger, I Never did beat this game because the second disk of my copy was bad.... and by the time I got it back from being repaired, I had moved on to other RPG's, though some day I would like to finish it, as what I played I loved.

#36. Suikoden 3, makes this list because of a great story told from the point of view of 3 characters rather than just one, and you get to choose which one to make the hero, this game is an amazing game that I enjoyed immensely

#35. Xenogears, much has been made about the similarities between this game and the Anime, Evangelion since they were released in Japan at almost the same time, and feature oddly similar stories, still this is a lot of fun to play and if you can find a copy it’s recommended that you should check this out


[i]
#34. Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga[/i], I would say that Luigi is the star of this game more than Mario, especially since the game features an interesting sense of humor, and Luigi has always had more of a sense of humor than Mario, the game is odd and kooky and fun all at the same time yet retains the feel of what makes a Mario game a Mario game.


#33. Golden Sun, Camelot made a game that is still one of the most beautiful games released on the GBA, and a highly engaging RPG on its own merits the game was meant to be part one of a series of games, sadly we have only seen 2 of those games, and the third game doesn’t appear to be coming any time soon

#32. Diablo, The Original Dungeon Crawling Hack, and Slash RPG absolutely has to make the list, I just like the additions brought to the series in its sequel better especially the ability to run from point to point, and the skill tree system, still you can not slight the greatness of this Classic.

#31. Mass Effect, is an interesting take on the RPG from the creators of “Knights of the old Republic”, retaining a sci-fi setting and classic feel of the Bioware style RPG that most have come to expect, but taking a more cinematic approach to the game to make it feel like more a movie, or a interactive choose your own story book, but this game has a more infamous standing within my group of friends, thanks to all of the media focus about the sex scene in it, one night one of my friends got drunk and started shouting “Push the Sex Button” for the entire night…… to say the least it has quickly become a rallying cry for my friends

#30. Dragon Quest VIII, How this game got overlooked by the mainstream RPG fan here in the USA is well beyond me, great characterization, far deeper story than I expected with some nice twists will keep you locked deep into this game for a long time to come.



#29. Phantasy Star Online, is the original MMORPG (especially for the console). The game it’s self can be played fully online or played offline by your self and with friends. And what was better this version was free to play online (that changed with Version 2 that is why the 2nd version is not on my list). You haven't lived until you are dungeon crawling with Germans at 3 in the morning, discussing current politics while killing the bosses.

#28. Phantom Brave, from the people that brought you Disgaea, Phantom Brave is a strategy RPG in the same mold but what sets this one apart is the fact that the movement grid is gone replaced buy a movement area, a radius of area on the map that your characters can move in

#27. Secret of Mana, this game was full out action multiplayer RPG Goodness, one of the first RPG’s to allow more than one player at a time to play, if not the first. The first time I played it I thought it and this surreal look that I didn’t like but I found also strangely compelling, and I found my self really enjoying my self. Besides how many other games before or since allowed you to beat up Santa?

#26. Dragon Quest, a blast from the past, it is nice to know that the old style of game play has not changed established in the original game in the series hasn’t changed much since the NES days, even in it’s more modern incarnations.
[i]
#25. Final Fantasy[/i], The first game in the Final Fantasy Series, and the savior of Squaresoft for without it Square would not have been around to produce the rest of the series. To be honest I tired it because I loved Final Fantasy 3(6) and I borrowed my friends copy for the NES just to see where the series came from



#24. . Neverwinter Nights, Think Baldur's Gate except fully realized in 3d! Add in a quest editor so you can create your own role playing adventures and share them with your friends either online or over a LAN. Another amazing game on the PC and a must own for D&D fans, even if the quest editor is a little broken

#23. Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 1 & 2, I can’t believe I almost forgot this game.... shame on me; this game breaks Cliché’s that are common with most JRPG’s, like staring adults rather than children. With a compelling story and interesting characters this game has a completely unique feel even though many fans of the Shin Megami Tensei series consider this game to be too easy by comparison to the rest of the series.

#22. Shenmue, it took me a while to get started into this game, but when I started I couldn't stop playing it. Shenmue uses a different setting, story, and even play mechanics to convey its tale of revenge, just be warned that you need to be patient to enjoy this game and love it or hate it you get to thank this game for the return of context sensitive sections in games.
[i]
#21. Baldurs Gate 2[/i], This Game features a Barbarian who talks to his pet rat do I need to give you any other reason to play this game? In all honesty this is my favorite D&D based game, oh and another great game from the folks at Bioware.

#20. Paper Mario 2: the Thousand Year Door, is The Sequel to the much loved Paper Mario for the 64, Paper Mario Returns on the Gamecube to save the princess from Aliens. The Thousand Year Door took the paper gimmick to new levels allowing Mario’s paper form to open up new game play gimmicks.


[i]
#19. Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne[/i], if you can find this game then you must play; I think that the easiest way to classify this game would be to call it a evil version of Pokemon, with demons, very pretty people, and much steeper learning curve, much much steeper. This game is hard, crazy hard, but the rewards are great and totally worth it, and the special guest is a lot of fun too.... Now where is that yellow rat I have wanted to kill for way too long
[i]
#18. Disgaea~Hour of Darkness[/i], sporting a retro SNES, early PS1 look, Disgaea easily has one of the best storylines of ay game on the PS2, which is not only kooky and weird, but funny, and charming as well, and can now be enjoyed on the PSP and DS as well.

#17. Final Fantasy Tactics, the first tactical rendition of the popular Final Fantasy series, and make by the creator of Tactics Ogre, this was many peoples first foray into the strategy RPG genre, and unlocking the game’s hidden guest stars was an extra cool bonus.

#16. Super Mario RPG, Mario's first RPG, and first foray into 3d rendering, and believe it or not the first Mario game to have a story, brought to us by the fine folks at Squaresoft, this was also the first time you could play as Bowser which was always cool, but that wasn’t what made this game really cool, a cool cast an action based RPG using much of Mario’s core game play gimmicks as the RPG’s battle system with the tried and true results.

#15, Pokemon Red/Blue, I got hooked on this game while watching my former Boy Scout troop. Up until my boys let me play it I had no desire to look at, let alone play this game, due to the lame anime, and kiddy look. Needless to say I was hooked instantly, I had to go get a Gameboy again, and for renewing my love of the Gameboy it grabs a spot on the list



#14. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4, The follow up to the highly successful Persona 3, took a new direction from the 3rd game and moved the setting to the country, and involving a new cast of characters while refining the game play that made the 3rd game such a hit making this probably the last truly great RPG released on the PS2.

#13. Lunar: Silver Star Story, Where do I Begin with Lunar, this was the first RPG to use Video to help convey a story, introduced a unique battle system, and had enduring characters, even the minor characters in Lunar were enduring, Engaging story, and amazing soundtrack, the whole game sucked you in and just never let go.

#12. Tactics Ogre: The Knights of Lodis, One of the hidden gems of the Gameboy Advance, and the sequel to the original fantasy based tactical RPG, and the first great strategy RPG on the GBA, this game has the distinction of being the game that got me interested in SRPG’s in the first place as I didn’t get into final fantasy tactics till much later

#11. Final Fantasy 4, Just re-released for the GBA and Remade for the DS in full 3D, this game help spark me into game collecting, when I found a copy for the SNES with Super Metroid at a garage sale for $5, and one of the RPG’s that helped to spark interest in the genre with an amazing story

#10. Skies of Arcadia / Skies of Arcadia Legends, I put both up here because they are the same game essentially, and I gave them the same score when I reviewed them. Excellent characters, amazing graphics, air navel battle system, and unique level design, and was the first RPG so show the characters facial expressions reacting to the comments of the other members of your party. Easily one of the best RPG's of it's time, and easily holds it's own against the Final Fantasy Series.



#9. Diablo 2, is the sequel to the Original Dungeon crawling Hack and Slash PC game. This game is 5 years old, but has held the test of time extremely well, and I am eagerly awaiting the third game in the series which hopes to see release soon



#8 The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, This game is about as close to playing a game of D & D as one can get, even more so than Neverwinter Nights, the life like graphics, and massive world, make you fell less like you are playing a game and more like you are actually living your created characters life! Do what you want to; be who you want to, but you must earn your way in the world of Tamriel to complete the daunting task of closing the gates to the demon world of Oblivion.



#7. Fallout 3, taking the post apocalyptic world setting from the original 2 games, and molding it in to the same engine that Oblivion used, along with allowing the player to choose how they wanted to fight weather in a targeting mode called the Vats, or as a First Person Shooter make no mistake about it this is a Grand RPG and if for nothing else.



#6. Grandia, Epic scale and beautiful graphics put this Saturn/PSX RPG in the list as well as great characters, and unique battle system that allowed its players to choose their spots on that battle field for tactical purposes and party survival



#5. Final Fantasy 7, The First fully 3d Final Fantasy, this game had some of the best cinematic scenes of its time. So what made Final Fantasy 7so great? After the SNES era we were all used to 2d and sprites in our games, and even most of the RPG’s released on the Playstation before this looked like SNES games ported over with some tweaks and the occasional 3d moment, but Final Fantasy 7 blew everyone away in not only look but by the sheer scope of the game. As a humongous fan of Final Fantasy 6 I had to play this so bad that I bought a Playstation the second I heard it was going to be on that platform. This game dropped in ranking simply because the ending was, in my opinion, the worst in the series. But even then it does not detract from the great game that Final Fantasy 7 is.



#4. Grandia 2, one of the best RPG's of last Generation, let alone on the Dreamcast, they butchered the PS2 remake of this game graphically so the Dreamcast version of this classic was the only really decent version released on US soil. Great characters, a dynamic storyline and unique fighting system that didn’t veer off from the standard set in the original helped make this game feel special, tied in with an amazing and dynamic ending and you will find yourself fully enamored with this game and the characters was well.



#3. Shin Megami Tensei Persona 3 (and FES), lets get one thing straight this game is absolutely not for everyone due to much of the subject matter, this game has adult imagery, and content, and that is what makes it stand out, much like the other games in the Shin Megami Tensei series it uses characters from most major world religions present and past, the Occult, and built a great and interesting story around that, on it’s own this game is a 60+ hour RPG, you add the extra content on the FES disk and you get another 30 hours of game play. This is one game that keeps you coming back time and time again to try to unlock all of the Social links and unlock all of the Potential Personas, this game might not only make you think but will keep you coming back for more multiple times.



#2. Final Fantasy 6, was my first RPG, technically speaking as it was the first one I enjoyed, and in my mind the best in the Final Fantasy series. So why else does this deserve this ranking in my list? 6 was the only game in the Final Fantasy series to star a female lead character until Final Fantasy X2, and not only her but all of the characters were great and memorable Characters, The Soundtrack was Epic, the game was properly paced, and featured the truly greatest villain of the Final Fantasy series, Kefka. While Seperoth may have killed a main character in Final Fantasy 7, he wasn’t the first to do so in the series, In Final Fantasy 6 Kefka poisoned a city’s water supply and killed everyone in a city, and then successfully brought about the apocalypse wiping out almost everyone in the world, and in the Esper World just to satiate his power lust. To be honest I feel that in my opinion this was the last game in the series that really had a complete and lasting storyline, as well as set the standard for quality in the series that we have come to expect.



#1. Chrono Trigger, if you know me you had to know that this one had to be my number one, 10+ endings over 60 hors of game play, one of the best storylines in any RPG that not only spanned many unique locals and time eras that when it was originally released was an unheard of concept, character design by the creator of Dragon Ball, and the character designer for Dragon Quest series, and one of the most memorable soundtracks of all time, all of which may be standard in many modern RPG’s now, but this is the first to do it and do it right. No random battles, you can actually see your enemies on screen, and avoid fights if you want too, and speaking of main characters dying, the party leader dies off and has to be resurrected, an major enemy early on can be converted to an ally, and becomes a team leader, and the rest of the party is represent different time periods. On top of that the game was recently remade for the DS so now all of you can experience it for your self, and as a testament to this games greatness the remake is on average one of Metacritic’s highest rated games for the DS with a 92 out of 100



5 games that can’t make the list because I haven’t played them yet

Suikoden 2

Dragon Quest 5

Final Fantasy 9

Lost Odyssey

Earthbound (mother 2)



Honorable Mentions

Shadow Hearts series

Suikoden 5

Atilier Iris series

Valkyrie Profile series   read





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