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10:10 AM on 08.03.2011

Mother 3, improvement on perfection



With the exception of Chrono Trigger, I can't think of another JRPG I have played as well rounded, creative, and just plain as well designed as Mother 3. What is it about the world of Mother that just charms us as players? I'd like to think it's the variety and the overall unbridled imagination of the entire series. Back in 94, Earthbound was praised as being a departure from the usual premises and settings normally established by it's JRPG brethren. Now I love Earthbound, but when I played Mother 3, I felt as if the series had taken another departure from expectation, and moved the world of Mother into a much more hybrid premise, by infusing classic RPG fantasy with the previously established spirit of Earthbound. Mother 3, to me, took everything Earthbound did and refined it into a beautiful new experience.

What is good game design? Well I think the definition can change depending on each individual. Good game design to me can come in many forms with the variety of mechanics and styles of translation developers can use to speak with their audience. Overall, when it comes to RPG's, if the game can engage me, rip me into it's world, and really make me care about the experience for the entirety of the time I'm playing it, then I constitute that as a damn well designed game. With that said. what exactly did Mother 3 refine from what many believe was an already be perfect game to begin with?

First of all, in my experience, there was far less grinding. When I played Earthbound, I felt as if I needed to stop between every town and level up for a few hours because some of the enemies in the next town or path always seemed to beat the ever loving bejesus out of me. Like Chrono Trigger, Mother 3 felt like I was always at a good level when I encountered enemies. I most always felt confident that the battlefield was fair and level. There were only a few times I felt the need to grind, and one of those times was when I was fighting the first boss of the game. JRPG design, to me, should feel like a seamless experience inviting new and different change ups and rewards to give fresh content to the player, to further develop engagement. It should not expect a player to push a dead car up a hill only to reward when the battle is over, or when gravity inevitably takes the reigns on the other way down.

Mother 3, not only balanced out the grind and kept the game from stagnating due specifically to grinding, but it also kept the player and the game moving into fresh new areas with crisp ideas. It felt as if the developers inherently knew just when one portion of the game would start to become a chore for the player and decided to stay 10 steps away at all times from becoming dry and motionless. I Loved every section of Mother 3 because of this.

The developers used different game mechanics to preserve the game's initial charm. One being to play as a different character in a different scenario, to help tell an overall arching story while further defining each character on their own through their specific sections of the game. Another would be by giving the player something different to do such as giving them simply a different task not seen prior or even later in the game, like getting a job fixing claymen at a factory, facing the threat of a chimera running loose in a lab, and testing your skills as a thief. Lastly, seeing what impact certain events of the story had on the characters and the world I was currently immersed in kept me extremely interested. It was like the seeing how Hyrule completely changed when you traveled through time, but only this time you could see the smaller changes in each NPC and location that effectively lead up to the bigger changes. There were many more game mechanics and ideas used, but I just wanted to point out the ones that effected me most.

Earthbound still holds a special place in my heart, and it really is no surprise to me that a franchise would refine itself with a new release. The thing that really blew me away though overall was how well the series improved with this installment. Mother 3 has become my favorite JRPG of all time because of what the developers have done. They took perfection and improved upon it, marginally. It's rare to see a developer pull that off. Kudos!

  read


4:28 PM on 10.28.2009

Fond regards for Super Mario Bros. 2



This write up will evidently become lost in a sea of write ups praising Super Mario Bros. 2, hell, the conception already has. Nothing will most likely set this apart as a definitive read about the game. With all of that said, I really only just want to write about my love for the game. I'm not even going to go into the history. Most of you probably already know it. It has already been touched on multiple times and has become quite a tried old subject. I would very much like to skip it, and just jump straight into text fucking Super Mario Bros. 2

The first time I ever seen Super Mario Bros. 2 was on a commercial that aired way back in the late 80s(link). With a bit of luck and a brand new VCR, after taping some Saturday morning cartoons, that small little piece of Xanadu was mine to keep. I watched that commercial over and over again. It somehow triggered euphoria for me each and every time I watched it, even a bit to this day. Super Mario Bros. 2. simply looked INCREDIBLE!!!

The graphics were such a big step up from the original, so much that I was floored and amazed that the NES could output such power and wonder. The enemies looked extraordinarily rad, strange, and unique. There were 3 headed snakes, small masked birds, and MY GOD, A MOUSE WITH SUNGLASSES, A MOUSE WITH SUNGLASSES!!!! Could This game get any better looking? Not only were the graphics almost at par comparative at the time to Crysis, well for me personally; not only was there a MOUSE WITH GODDAMN SUNGLASSES, but Mario, yes the one and only Mario, could finally pick up items. MARIO COULD PICK UP ITEMS!!! GOOD LORD IT WAS AMAZING!

I had never fathomed that such a thing could ever happen, that Mario, Super Mario of the Super Mario Bros, could pick up items. It was such a genius, well maybe just creative, game mechanic at the time. I had never played, seen, or read about anything remotely like this at any point in my life. I was set at playing this game. I wasn't even concerned about owning it then, I just wanted to play this, this, immaculate, unspoiled, sinless, spotless, stainless gift from the video game gods. I told my mom, I wrote it on my Christmas list, I checked the rent shops, and I put the word out to my friends in school that I was looking to play this game. I was making it known.



The day finally came, I was at my cousin's house and our local rental shop finally had Super Mario Bros. 2 in. I stood by the shelf just staring at the box for a good 2 and a half minutes fantasizing about all of the fun I would experience. Ok, that's a lie, I did that for Super Mario Bros. 3. It just sounds better though. In reality my aunt picked the game up on her way back from getting some groceries and threw it at us like she would a steak at a pack of blood thirsty wolves. We ripped the game out of it's plastic imprisonment and rammed the cart into the machine as fast as we could.

The title screen hit us like a ton of bricks, this was it, Super Mario Bros. 2 in all of it's splendor. Just as the initial shock of playing this game hit us, we were then punched in the guts by a character selection screen. HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!! Not only could we play as MARIO, but we could play as LUIGI, TOAD, or even PRINCESS TOADSTOOL!!! Yes, the very same princess you rescued in the original game.

I forgot who went first or who we played as initially, but what did matter was that at that exact moment in time, we were both playing the greatest video game in the world, at least that's what it felt like. I was personally overwhelmed and boggled by the sheer unique beauty of it all. The environments were so different from the original. Green hills that once would only be seen or detailed as simple background art were now fully developed platforms, logs rolled down waterfalls in crisp, fluid, sprite based animation, and heads of plants waved as if wind were blowing by. The little things, that most would take for granite in today's world really made an enormous impression on me. Compared to Super Mario Bros. , Super Mario Bros. 2 was a massive, giant, enormous step up for the series.

The enemies were unbelievable creative. There were cloaked masked creatures named shy guys that very much resembled Jason Voorhees, other breeds of those very same with guns as mouths, tiny squinty eyed birds with magic carpets, and for God's sake, a transsexual gender confused dinosaur that not only spit eggs out of it's mouth, but guarded doors made out of the heads of a one time existing race of giant birds. What more could you want from a video game? Super Mario Bros 2. embodied and defined fantasy.



The game played a bit differently as well. It was all still based on completing each level, but the game added a bit more depth into it then the original had. There were now more stops along the way, such as castles, rooms, outdoor housing and caves, vertical platforming, varied boss battles, and well, overall more areas to be had. There were also a few different paths to take to finish some of the levels as well. Speaking of, the levels weren't even timed. Super Mario Bros 2. gave us a bit more to explore the the original.

Super Mario Bros 2. somehow was given the title of black sheep as time moved on. I'm pretty sure it was given that title because of it's history and just by how different it was. Imagine if there was no Doki Doki Panic, only Super Mario Bros 2. (U.S), Now try to look back at it without thinking of the history. Super Mario Bros. 2. was a great, unique, imaginative, and creative game. This is hard to say, but personally, I believe it had much more character and personality then the original. It was also a great stepping point for Super Mario Bros. 3 as well, both graphically and by design.

The original Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2. looked and played very much like the original. It was more so an extension of the first game then as a sequel. The U.S. Version of Super Mario Bros. 2. substituted as such. It evolved and moved the series into what it would evidently become. Without 2, we wouldn't of had the others. I may go so far as to say that the franchise could have died with the NES, much like the original Donkey Kong games, Balloon Fight, and Ice Climbers.

Conclusively, If you haven't played Super Mario Bros. 2., you're probably young and aren't reading this, but if you seriously have not, boot it up sometime and try it out. If not for the entertainment, then for an understanding of how far video games have come. Super Mario Bros. 2. was and still is a ravishingly beautiful, creative, and fun experience. Maybe my retro goggles are a bit foggy, but I still find it that way. Super Mario Bros. 2.: it has a mouse with sunglasses.   read


6:17 AM on 10.23.2009

Fallout 3, a gateway into the west



How's it been Destructoid? I feel as if it has been ages since I last wrote anything here. I even tried my best yesterday, but drastically failed. I'm placing most of my absence on Fallout 3. Say goodbye to everything you hold onto as a life when you start; Fallout 3 is a monster. When I ran out of missions and found myself scavenging every last bottle cap and nuka cola in the game, I knew its was time for me personally to back the fuck away.

At first I was quite reluctant of the game when it came to purchasing or even playing Fallout 3. 'Gray gun games' usually are not my taste. I'd consider myself more of a JRPG nut. I personally look for games that engross me into the worlds presented. RPG's have always been known to deliver on this more often personally then any other genre; simply beautiful escapism. With that in my mind I borrowed my friends copy of the game and gave it a go. Fallout 3 opened my eyes a bit wider and cultured my taste in RPG's to a degree. Unlike the JRPG's I have played in the past, Fallout 3 gave me something I have been looking for, for years; freedom. Freedom to take on my own role as a character.

So many times have I played as the quiet, sterile, protagonist with only very few choices to define my character in game. I grew tired of conversational choices that all led to the same outcome, the assistance of characters I never really liked or asked to be with to help me on my way, or having to fight in the same repetitive manner and style for the lapse of an entire game. All of this, in hopes of somehow 'saving the world'. Fallout 3 is no magical virgin born son, it still has many flaws and cliches.You end up still saving, well really helping, the world; the game only has 3 main branches of what moral figure your character can become (evil, neutral, or good), and the radio can get damn repetitive, more so three dog then the music. I can't speak for any other western RPG besides this, but as my first, I found it to be quite a refreshing experience.

Unenthusiastically I inserted Fallout 3 into my Ex bawks. The opening popped up and I watched the intro video, I rolled my eyes. I recall muttered and sighing to myself "Ehhhhh, I probably won't be playing this very long". I took a deep breath and tried to change my frame of mind so that I could give this game a fair shot. I created my character, fixed my opening stats, and started. The first thing I noticed were the dialog choices. Each of them reflected a different personality, they were all quite varied, and each changed the result I was given from each NPC. I couldn't believe how many of my childhood 'friends' were major assholes. I guess the vault will do that to folk. I Picked a fight with some kid and it all turned out to be quite fun.



After completing most of the understated and somewhat tasteful tutorial level, the first thing that gave me a nod to freedom was the option to kill, manipulate, steal from, or argue with the overseer to complete my mission of escape. Depending on what I did with the overseer, his daughter would treat me differently and overall give my game experience a personal and to some extent a dynamic individual feel contrast of other Fallout 3 players. Finding someone else who chose to make exactly the same choices as myself in the game would have been a difficult task.

Exiting the vault, I then noticed how gloriously massive the world beyond looked. The capitol wasteland was my world, my playground. A playground filled with radioactive materials, assholes, and despair. Though not made up of the best elements for a playground, it was mine, all mine! My first priority was to set up camp. I headed towards Megaton. Once there I was given option after option through dialog with local NPCs to cultivate my character and personality a bit more on what I eventually wanted to become not only overall, but one on one with each NPC.

In Megaton, I was given an option to either disarm or activate a bomb centered in the middle of town. Depending on what I chose I was given a place to stay and call home for the rest of the game as well as a reputation. This choice and many of the choices like this kept me coming back to the game. After setting up a place to live out in the wasteland, I felt a great urge to explore the rest of the world and find as many of these situations as I could. Combined with moments and choices as big as the choice to save or ruin Megaton and the smaller portions of freedom given in dialog, as well as the ability to carry out missions in almost anyway you felt inclined to engrossed and engaged me into the world of Fallout 3 and the role I played.

I found that the intended mission payoffs in Fallout 3, such as the games ending and the closure brought by some of the missions, stood inferior to the moments made in the missions themselves. My motivation was solely to enjoy each mission and savor every bit of interaction I had within it. I wouldn't call the missions in Fallout 3 deep or anything, but hell, they weren't shallow. Like I said a little earlier, I could carry out most missions in pretty much anyway I felt. I found myself talking through most of mine. My charisma and speech skills were maxed out and I used the option as liberally as I could. What I'm trying to get at essentially is that I was generally motivated by the experiences themselves rather then the rewards given for each mission.



Fallout 3 was refreshing for me simply because of the sheer amount of choice given. I've read and have heard about the backlash fans have had over the changes Bethesda made to the series. Fallout 3 has hit the mainstream. Take that as either good or bad, it's up to you. Personally I don't feel that it is such a bad thing. For the large amount of the new broadened audience Fallout 3 expanded and sold to, out of many of us new to the fallout universe a few, like myself, will look back at the franchise's roots and play the original games. If open choice is catered more in the original games, and I've heard they were, then count me and many others in as a newcomers both to the world of Western RPGs as well as the Fallout universe.

Summary
Reluctantly I gave Fallout 3 a chance. I loved the freedom it gave me to make my own choices to become the type of character I wanted to play as. Intended payoffs in the game didn't feel rewarding to me, instead, moment in the missions did. I acknowledge that Fallout 3 was made for mass appeal. It's not necessarily a bad thing because a handful of folks, like myself, will go back and play the originals and support western RPGs in the future.   read


2:04 PM on 03.23.2009

Eulogy for a grave keeper

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I want to apologize before I get started, writing this will be quite difficult for me emotionally. I hope you will all understand if I lose my composure or even my composition from time to time. I'm going to try my best. Dampe was very close to me and his death really cut me deep. In a span of 7 years, I lost a man that I looked up to. He wasn't just a grave keeper, or even just a friend to me, he was my mentor. Dampe, taught me about life, love, and happiness. I learned the most heartwarming alive lessons about life from a man who lived his in a cold and desolate graveyard. Dampe was truly a character. A monk in grave keepers clothes.

Dampe was a great man, a simple man, a man overlooked by many. Most seen Dampe as just a simple grave keeper, but most never took the time to see the man behind the shovel. Dampe may not have looked it, but he was a rich man. No, not in wealth, but in spirit. Dampe had a deep understanding of life, death, and of the human spirit. As a grave keeper, Dampe witnessed the harsh and grim truths of death on a daily basis. I can't even imagine what Dampe must have felt like. Very rarely do we give conscience thought upon our own death, or even the meaning of death. Ignorance is simply comforting. Dampe decided not to take that luxury. He could have changed occupations, but he stayed. He knew the benefits of facing death.

To look at life as if you could die at any moment, was to look at life with the grave keeper's view. He once asked me "Do you want me to dig here? 10 Rupees for one hole", on the surface it seemed like a simple question, but as I got to know Dampe over the months I spent in Kakariko village, I learned that it was much much more significant. Dampe was a philosopher. "Do you want me to dig here?", what I didn't get at the time was that he was trying to tell me that in life you have to put your shovel down sometime and dig for something of true worthand value to you. Something that you could give your life purpose, happiness; a reason to wake up and feel alive every morning. "10 Rupees for one hole", what was Dampe trying to say here? He was trying to say that not only did I have to put effort into finding purpose and happiness, but sacrifice was and will always be an essential part of the dig.

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Dampe knew deep within his heart that material possessions, money, titles, or even success would ever make a person happy. He knew that finding purpose and happiness with an attitude set with perpetual gratitude for the gift of life was key. As he lived he was thankful for every breath he was allowed to take. Dampe treasured everything the Golden Goddesses gave him, especially relationships. Hell, that's why Dampe started the Heart-Pounding Gravedigging Tour. He knew the importance and happiness of connecting with others emotionally. Dampe would let anyone take the tour, he would never discriminate. With his shovel in hand and his ears at full attention, Dampe would let you be the grave keeper, if only for a few minutes. He let you call the shots, dig here, dig there, move this tomb. I'm sure he found much joy, much, much, mu.......sorry. it's just, just, it's just that I remember it so vividly. Dampe, I, I, I miss ya, I really do. Sorry about that everyone. I'm, I'm sure he found much joy in the excitement expressed by the many that took his Heart-Pounding Gravedigging Tour.

It only seemed like yesterday that I met him. I was running around Kakariko village and I stumbled into the town's graveyard; it was nightfall. I seen a strange looking man hobbling around the graves with a shovel. I'm not going to lie, I was scared. I thought he may have been a grave robber. Eventually I got the nerve to talk to him. The first thing Dampe ever said to me was "Hey Kid! Don't mess around with the graves! I'm Dampe the Gravekeeper! My face may be scary, but I'm not a bad guy..." Dampe had a tendency to use exclamation points in his speech. Like I said, the man lived vibrantly. After I met Dampe, I would stop and visit him every chance I could. We would spend time talking about heart pieces, women, death, and life. Dampe was a great friend and mentor. I still regret my 7 year absence, only because I could not have been there for him in his last days. Thinking about it just...just....it just really pains me.

I know I'm not the only one who was close to the man, most of you here reading this were probably close to Dampe as well. He touched many of our hearts. Moved us and motivated us in ways we alone never would. Dampe, was more then just a grave keeper, he was a beautiful human being, a life giver. What the reaper took, Dampe gave back. His compassionate, heartwarming actions and words will forever be buried deep within us all. *Sniff* Dampe may have departed physically, but he is still very much alive. His spirit still burns. We have a responsibility to uphold to our kindred grave keeper. Keep his flame burning. Give back, be fervent with gratitude just as Dampe would have been. Rest in Peace Dampe. We love you.

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6:08 PM on 03.07.2009

Charles Barkley Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden is sexual chocolate

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Ya know, fuck our usual protagonists. Metro sexual pretty boys and emotional brooding introverts have gone the way of cliche. Would you really depend on these types of characters to save the world from impending destruction? I think not. If I had to pick someone to stand behind in such a dire time, I would want to support a real man, a man's man, a man like, like, like.... CHARLES BARKLEY! I could definitely see myself supporting a man like Sir Charles. A bullshit free, tough son of a bitch, with some heavy feet and a heavier tongue. Come to think of it, it's a very rare thing to witness a main RPG protagonist these days with that type of personality. I think it's safe to say that Square won't be licensing Charles's name anytime soon.

Charles Barkley Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa fucked me tenderly. It told me that I was beautiful, it whispered in my ear as it tenderly held itself close to my body, and it was sincere, as it excited me like no other game has before. Shut up and Jam: Gaiden in a word was spectacular! My past however, enhanced the experience to a biased and personally pleasurable level. For I was once a basketball junkie. Back in the mid 90's, I would play basketball at school, at the church I grew up at, at the park, and anywhere really that I could play. I would dream about playing basketball, I would read about all of the players, I'd watch the games, and collect the cards. At a time, basketball was my life.

After a few years of my parents deterring me from trying to join my school's basketball team, and the realization that I was one white son of a bitch, my love for the game eventually subsided. I put it on a shelf I labeled childhood. It sat comfortably next to a box full of NES games and year books. 12 years later I reopened that box, after hearing about the amazing concept of an RPG starring Charles Barkley. My present life seized to exist. I had to play it.

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My heart pounding like a b-ball rhythmically hitting the hardwood, I searched and searched. I found trailers, articles, screen shots, and the game itself. I downloaded the game and booted it up. The game was so beautiful, I almost cried. I finally came into the realization that the two things I have loved most in my life merged, basketball and RPGs. I thought I'd never see the day, but here I was witnessing such glorious beauty. I swear I heard a choir of angels sing.

Charles Barkley Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa was just more then a dishy concoction of my favorite things, but it was damn genius. The game keeps a self aware state throughout, poking fun at both itself and the player. It seems to take some of the most insignificant and silly ideas ever conceived from the game of basketball and weave them into an exquisite grand and thoroughly epic storyline. A story woven with a glorious tapestry of odd humor, self aware genre cliches, basketball, and overall, personality! I have never played a game like this in my entire life.

You are Charles Barkley and basketball has been made illegal thanks to a tragic accident you were responsible for called the chaos dunk. Millions of people died that day, including your wife. The Great B-Ball Purge of 2041 was made official and basketball no longer was. In a world without basketball, you live your life everyday in regret, raising a motherless son. With stained hands and a now meaningless life, you have to struggle each day to find hope and piece together your past. Accused of yet another chaos dunk, you won't have that time. As Charles, you will have to face your past and find redemption.

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The gameplay, although not as genius as the concept, is surprisingly good too. The world is easy to navigate, the equipment and items you use are simple to remember, exchange, and equip, and the main and side pursuits are refreshing to the game. It's a well paced game. Very rarely did I find myself bored playing it. Since it was such an eccentrically written story, I always wanted to see what was next. Battling was quite fun as well. It seemed to take a Super Mario RPG approach by throwing in small button games into the attacks. Get them down right, and you'll do more damage. The menu selection was quite fluid and easy to use, and most importantly, all of the battles seemed well balanced and fair.

Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden was a joy to play both as an RPG enthusiast and as a basketball fan. If I were only a fan of one, I'd still enjoy the game. As a fan of both though, I felt as if I had jumped the shark of my life. There's nowhere to go now or nothing else to play that will excite me as much as Charles Barkley Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa has. Charles Barkley Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa is a true masterpiece in my eyes. If you haven't played Charles Barkley Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa, I highly suggest it.

Download   read


6:37 PM on 02.27.2009

My magic bean has grown tall for Majora's Mask

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What can I say about the Legend of Zelda that hasn't been said before? The series has very rarely ever let me down. Every Zelda title I have ever purchased has at least lived up to it's price. The series has helped inspire and just hands down elevate the world of video games. From kids dressing up as Link for Halloween to those nerdy mutha fuckas babbling about it's genius design or it's "bah bah bad ovverratted gaynezz", the Legend of Zelda is quite the uhhhh....legend (laugh).

With all of that said, the Legend of Zelda rarely departs from it's formula. The series manages to keep itself somewhat fresh with each new installment with updated graphics and gameplay mechanics (Ex. "Wow mom, I can finally swing a sword pressing the A button on horseback. I mean, using a bow with a C button was neato, but this is totally well, gollyriffic."). I'm not saying this is horrible, at least Nintendo tries to change up a few things up. Essentially though, we are all just playing the same game over and over. Then again, that is why most of us have stuck to the series.

The two Zelda titles I believe that have brought a great deal of change are also the two that are often labeled as the black sheep (excluding the cd-i game) of the Zelda family. Link's Adventure and Majora's Mask. Now Link's Adventure, although it was different, to be frank, it lost most of it's original charm by transitioning itself into more of a platformer. Personally, I've never been one to get into it. I've tried and tried, but it's just not my game. Majora's Mask however is very much my game. It is different just as Link's Adventure was, but it still retains that charm. I've never understood why so many folks haven't played this game.

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What exactly do I love about Majora's Mask? I love the depth, the spirit, and the moments it gave me. Majora's Mask differentiates itself from the other titles by blowing life into the characters around you. They all live out their life one day at a time, doing things on an hourly basis, taking life as it comes, living. Playing our role as pretty much Bill Murray here, we can look deeper within the characters surrounding us, see their stories, and really make a connection that makes us say "Hey, maybe this world is truly worth saving".

How many times have we saved the world in video games? Have we ever really felt joy saving it, or was our joy merely just for the excitement of completion? Well, if video games are supposed to be experiences, I cherish anything that will make me hold on a little closer and care a little bit more. Majora's Mask does that for me.

Although the characters and their own stories are what excites me most about Majora's Mask, the game itself still retains most of the Zelda formula. There are still dungeons, only 4 though; tools, enemies, special items, and bosses. You will need to acquire something in each dungeon to progress, there are secrets, shops, and events scattered all over the world, and it's up to you to explore and save Hyrul----oops, Termina, yes Termina.

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The formula has a twist to it though. Time manipulation. This is the thing I've heard most people complain about. "There's not enough time", ya know, fuck that, FUCK THAT!!! There is enough time, there is always enough time. Once you learn how to prioritize your journey and play the song of time backwards, you'll have no problems with the time limit in this game whatsoever. Majora's Mask, much like every other Zelda game, was put together very well, with the player in mind. You really have to try to run out of time or get yourself stuck.

I guess this blog can sum itself up in one simple message. PLAY MAJORA'S MASK!!! You loved Ocarina of Time, you loved a Link to the Past, and you loved the original, now try this game out. Most fans whine and whine about every Zelda game being essentially the same, now here's one that once broke that mold, and most of you dicks never even gave it a fighting chance or played it. Hate it if you must, just play the goddamn game. Thank you, and goodnight.   read


9:40 AM on 11.06.2008

A late introduction

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I'm not really that new to Destructoid, but I thought it'd be best If I introduced myself here in the Cblogs, although I have on the forums. I'm sorry this is so late. I should have written something like this a long time ago. Procrastination: one alluring seductress .

Well, back around 2007 I lurked good ol' Dtoid every now and then for news. I eventually joined in 2008 as Alpha 87655320875. I eventually dropped the account because of the long ass screen name, and now I'm here as Zulu. I joined because this site has character. Joystiq, Kotaku, and all of those other gaming blogs are all fine and dandy. They all lack one thing though, eyebrows. If I'm going to read something, I want it to be entertaining. Dtoid does this, and with panache. Video game news is often taken a little too seriously. It's good to see a site with some gahonas to take a more down to earth bullshit free approach.

As far as gaming goes, I got into it all with my father's Atari 2600. I believe pong was my first game, though my memories are still a little bit too fuzzy on the subject to recall if I am correct or not. The 2600 was great, but the thing that really got me hooked came around the Christmas of 1988. I received an NES. I played that damn system day and night. I rented games on the weekend, borrowed some from friends, and enjoyed every moment I had with it. I've been vidya gaming since I was a wee tyke. Peein my pants and shootin the core. Those were some hardcore days.

Off the top of my head my favorite games of all time and at the moment are Rock Band 2, Link's Awakening, Barkley: Shut Up 'n Jam Gaiden, Mega Man 2, GTA IV, Ikaruga, Mario bros 1, 2, and 3, and Persona 3.

I like to write about video games I love. I look at most of my write ups as embarrassing past love letters (some with nudes). Each game, character, or mechanic I write about has had an impact on me in some form or another. I write to return the favor, and to share. Video games are a fun. Anything that keeps that spirit is A-OK in my book.

I'm glad to be a part of this site. It has been a great place to reside my browser for the last million months. I hope to continue on, and get to know this place better. Since I've joined, I have had one hell of a time.   read


4:40 PM on 08.20.2008

Tingle: a constant in an intermittently mannered world.



Tingle. A name that often finds itself tangled in a spider web of slanderous opinions and oppressive observations. Very few opinions are ever supportive of the character behind the name. However, it is safe for me to say that the majority of these opinions are often regarded as negative. Tingle has frequently been named as a running joke in the video game community. He has been branded and tarnished with a galore of labels. Some ignorantly mark him as a "homosexual" (not that there's anything wrong with that), a "flake", a "man child", and others in a clear attempt at extremism, as a "pedophile".

Tingle is a very different character then what most people would have liked to seen or interact with in a video game. His lifestyle and questionable attire regularly stir up the opinions and emotions that reside deep within each of us. I don't want this article to take any root in as a moral lesson, but the straightforward truth in all of this is that most of the time it is very easy to base judgment on differences alone.

Admittedly, I did initially perceive Tingle in a very harsh light. The first time I met this character was in The Legend Of Zelda: Majora's Mask . I thought as the majority did. I labeled him as many things. I ignorantly passed judgment on the differences that I, myself, could not feel secure enough to hold onto as my own. I was 15 at the time, and I was still quite immature. Only later would I shamefully look at my past and find admiration and respect for this very different and disparate character.

When regarding Tingle, you may ask where my admiration and respect for this character has stemmed from? To put it frankly, Tingle has balls. Not just regular balls, but balls of steel. The kind of balls that you would only hear AC/DC reference to. Tingle is a character that has been rejected by many because of his bold individual differences. Not once though, did I ever see a flicker of regret in that poor NPC's eyes.



Tingle is a constant in an intermittently mannered world. The green spandex, the red shorts, and that merry glow on his face, all help showcase society what he's all about. Tingle is a 35 year old man who finds his joy in life as an enthusiast of forest fairies and rupees. You can often find him floating around underneath his red balloon, drawing or selling maps for his father, and deciphering triforce maps for high prices. As simple and as odd as his lifestyle sounds, he is living his dream, and it seems as if he has no intentions to ever stop living that dream. Many will sneer, snicker, and attempt to persecute him for his apparent differences, but inside Tingle knows deep within that those differences make him who he really is. Unlike the stone throwers, Tingle is not afraid to be his true self.

Aside from being a very distinct, unique, and passionate man, Tingle is an entrepreneur and business genius. He may have been working for his father when the land of Termina was still in a rocky time, but by the time waters flooded Hyrule, Tingle was turning a pretty good profit for himself. As the only person to decipher triforce maps, Tingle had a monopoly on the market. High prices would soon follow. 398 Rupees per chart, and 201 Rupees for the IN-credible Chart, a chart that layed out where each triforce chart was. As Link, you had your hands full by the time you started and finished excavating and having Tingle decipher the triforce charts. Not only did you have to save the world of Hyrule from the dark lord Ganondorf, sail an entire ocean forward and back, but you had to juggle a full time rupee hunting job as well.

Throughout the game, Tingle also sold you potions, shields, and other assorted items VIA the tingle tuner. If one thing is certain, Tingle sure knows how to squeeze out financial business growth within every opportunity given to him. At the very core of his existence, Tingle is a merchant in fairy's clothes. His bold business ventures may not be entirely motivated by greed or the aspiration of wealth, but by need. As explained in Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland, a result of a curse placed on him by Uncle Rupee, Tingle needs rupees to live. It may be easy to label him at first as a crook, but in all reality, he's just trying to survive.



Tingle may be a hero in the business world, but he is also one in the real world as well. In The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Ankle and Knuckle, brothers of Tingle, and David Jr, who is not related were introduced. All of them were saved by Tingle after their ship was sucked into a cyclone.

This really says a lot more about the character then what was only apparent on the surface. Tingle is a man with a beautiful heart. A heart so big, that he would risk his own existence just to save a few other human beings. An act as great as this really speaks volumes in account to ones compassion and personality. If I was ever in a similar situation, I really wouldn't be able to tell you 100% that I'd do the same. Not only is Tingle a hero in reference to his courageous past act of saving his brothers and their one friend, but he is also one in regards to the human race.

Tingle exemplifies what it is to exactly live this life that we all are experiencing now. From the womb to the grave, we all try to find happiness somewhere in between. Tingle has found his, and is quite often persecuted for it. Behind his fairy inspired apparel beats the rhythm of millions. The rhythm that beats in all of us, the rhythm of life. The pursuit of happiness is what drives us to keep living and moving forward one day at a time, as we all grow closer to stepping over the borders of death. If there is only one thing we can all learn from Tingle, it is that we must all quit taking life so seriously and have fun while our hearts our still beating.   read


6:18 PM on 08.13.2008

Aspiring hope for Grand Theft Auto



A few months ago I finished Grand Theft Auto IV. Overall, I really enjoyed the experience. It probably is the game I have played the most on my 360. I never followed the hype or promotion of this game, and initially, I really wasn't planning on buying it. I ended up purchasing it though, just to rekindle the old memories I had of raising hell in Grand Theft Auto III . I never finished GTA III, so I thought I'd do the same with IV. Do a couple missions here and there, throw in some codes, and for the rest of the time I'd just go insane, sandbox style.

My original intent eventually subsided. With Grand Theft Auto IV, I really became more interested in actually finishing and playing out the story, then just raising cane like I did in the previous Grand Theft Auto games. Rockstar definitely put out some effort into improving this franchise. Not only did they shift focus to the story and the missions, but they also polished up, added, and removed different game mechanics and elements to make the game much more enjoyable. Although Grand Theft Auto IV was definitely a step up both technologically and in depth from the other games in the series, it is still is not without it's faults.

Grand Theft Auto IV gave me great hope for the interactive future of stealing cars, killing people, and picking up sluts. I'd love to see this franchise improve and possibly even fairly earn that 10 spot from mass game reviews. I doubt that anyone at Rockstar will ever read this, but as for Grand Theft Auto V and the future of this series, here is what I'm hoping for.

Freedom to kill
One thing that really gave me friction in GTA IV was the fact that you had to 'play out' missions. 'Play out' as in actually waiting for the game to give you permission to annihilate your targeted enemies. When chasing down a goon or a civilian, I want the satisfaction, motivation, and the freedom of creativity to actually be able to wipe his or her guts out at anytime within the given mission.

By playing out these events, we become more aware of just being a video game player again. It seriously limits the role we play as Niko Bellic; a confused Serbian immigrant monster of a human being. I know that this implementation of 'playing out' missions may have been a move to help be more beneficial to the story line. Certainly, there must be a way around this shallow attempt to keep continuity. Please Rockstar, I want my 'murder simulator' to actually feel like one.

Rampage inspired annihilation
As much of a sandbox of immoral acts that the Grand Theft Auto series is known to be about, you'd think there'd eventually come the option to destroy buildings. I can kill thousands of people, steal their cars, steal their cash, and I can even kill good, honest, and right standing just cops for fun. Yet, I still can not blow up a single building without it being wrote in as a mission! With each new installment of this franchise, there needs to be more potential chaos mixed in.

Personally, I'd love to see destructible buildings. How else am I supposed to reenact 9/11, if I can't destroy a building in the process? As a matter of fact, how am I supposed to reenact it without a use of a plane as well? Rockstar, get on it, there should have been at least one flyable plane in GTA IV, but that's not the subject here, destruction is. How amazing would it be to actually fire a rocket into one of those goliath skyscrapers, only to see it and possibly other buildings around it crumble into a fiery inferno of massive destruction? 6 stars, without a doubt.



Branching off
When I first played GTA IV, I was under the impression that it was a much more interactive and nonlinear game then the previous titles. It is, but not by much. There are a few choices you can make to very minimally change the storyline. The concept was great, but after replaying the game again for the 2nd time, I learned that these opportunities for choice and branching out are very scarce. There are only about 1 or 2 somewhat major choices in the game that really help branch it out. The rest of the choices really only effect minor non important opportunities.

I'd like to see the story branch off a whole lot more in this series. Instead of having 2 alternate endings, why not 6 or 7? How about 9? Or maybe even 11 and a half? Putting more effort and thought into exploring this aspect can really add much much more replay value and depth to a game. Think of it as an interactive adventure novel. Every time you picked up the game you could have a fresh new and exciting experience.

An empire of crime
In Grand Theft Auto it seems as if you are always playing the role of a little errand boy. In future installments, why can't the tables turn? Start up a gang, a mafia, an empire of crime. Start from the bottom and work your way up to the top like good old Tony Montana. Recruit some members, negotiate with other leaders, take turf, and rule the city.

Instead of taking role as just another whipping boy for all of the other schmucks you usually work for in the city, why not become that big time schmuck? Send out some boys to take down a few guys, do some drive bys, rob some banks. It may sound like a completely different concept for a different game, but this idea could easily be implemented in as a side dish to the true heart and meat of what Grand Theft Auto has always been about. Adding something like this into the game could really freshen up the experience a whole lot. Why raise hell alone? There's power in numbers.

Wretched tools of destruction
Where have all the chainsaws gone? Out of all of the weapons in the series, I certainly prefer it over all of them. It is seriously one of the more twisted and inhumane weapons one could use. Grand Theft Auto needs more weapons like this. Twisted, sick, juvenile, wretched tools of destruction to entertain our own shunned immoral dark sides, guilty brought out in the safe havens of sandbox style video games.

Fireworks, tasers, and hell, maybe they could even bring the tank back for a matter of fact. Although there is pretty good array of weapons in GTA IV, it seems as if they took it easy on this one, and just threw in the standards. Glory be to Jesus, throw us a chainsaw here Rockstar and let the good times roll.



Criminally Smooth
Though GTA IV was overall a much more polished game then the previous titles, the character controls and movements are still lacking a bit in performance. The driving is perfect, but when controlling your character's movements, the controls can feel sort of sluggish at times. When I press the jump button it takes probably a whole second to execute the command.

I eventually got used to the controls, but honestly, I wasted too many failed missions as a result of the controls to not care. What they had going for them control wise in GTA IV was fine enough, but as a video game enthusiast I'd really like to see them tighten up the response times. It wouldn't hurt Rockstar to throw some more sweat and effort into perfecting the character controls.

Continuation of an outlaw
GTA IV was such a great experience. The game in all good conscience is like a movie that you just want to watch over and over again as if it was your first time watching it. Though like a movie that you've already seen before, it gets boring and stale after a while.

I'd love to see GTA V and future installments take the franchise to another level in terms of replay value. If only there was much more replay value in IV, I would probably still be playing it just as much as I had been a few short months back. Shooting pigeons, clearing jumps, and taking on neglected side quests only last for so long. Not to say that those ideas were bad or anything to extend the life of the game, but there needs to be a little bit more depth taken into consideration for the replay value of the single player campaign.

I have yet to play the online mode. I can't really take any clear standing on the topic of multiplayer, but it seems as if this is really where the replay value of GTA IV comes in. Hopefully, I can eventually get my 360 online again. Without it, I've found my copy of GTA IV collecting dust. Hopefully GTA V can help keep the single player experience a little bit fresher.

East coast transition
It seems as if Rockstar cut out a few things in transition from GTA: San Andreas to GTA IV. You can no longer buy property, get a hair cut, bulk up, raise skill levels, or even fly planes. To an extent I can see why they would cut out a lot of this, but deep down, as a gamer I would have liked to see IV keep a lot of these elements. In the back of my mind, I am always wondering if Rockstar will ever release another San Andreas. One that keeps the over the top feel and vibe that the last one provided.

In conclusion, here's to anticipation! It will be quite some time before we see the next installment in the Grand Theft Auto franchise. All we can do is cross our fingers and hope for the best. Rockstar yet has to really disappoint me in this series, and I am sure they will hold onto this effort of staying ahead of their standard for a long time. Grand Theft Auto is without a doubt the most popular, and probably the most controversial game franchise in this day and age we live in. As technology blooms and advances, so will games. Hopefully imagination and creativity will follow, especially for the Grand Theft Auto Franchise.   read


3:03 PM on 07.05.2008

Crisis Force - One Amazing Japanese Fami Shmup



Ahhh Crisis Force, what a beautiful game. Everything I love about video games is present here. It's a shmup, it's on the Famicom, and it's just one damn fun game to play overall. Whenever I feel the need to raise hell in Tokyo, I usually either bust out my army of deadly robot Godzilla clones, or I just take in hand good old Crisis Force. I never get sick of unleashing a lethal reign of bullets and lasers over and upon the city, destroying everything in my path. From buildings to giant air crafts, nothing stands in my way of total annihilation. Crisis Force is an amazing game that will help you finally live out those wild dreams of Tokyo destruction. Hopefully I can persuade you all to eventually try it out.

Crisis Force is a vertical shoot em up developed by one of my favorite companies, Konami. It was released back in 1991 for Japan only. The Japan only release was probably due to the fact that the N.E.S was becoming outdated and eclipsed by the new cutting edge 16 bit machines at the time; the PC engine, the Megadrive, and the Super Nintendo.

Crisis Force featured many staples of Konami's past shooters. Staples such as 2 player co op, the use of the Konami code, and the inclusion of many standard Konami power ups that you'd come to expect from one of their shooters. Although it did include many staples of past Konami shooters, Crisis Force was definitely not just another run of the mill shooter. The ability and concept of switching between three different ship configurations during play offered both depth and a refreshing change of pace to the formula. Crisis Force offered 7 different varied stages all balanced, blended, and beautifully orchestrated with obstructions, bosses, mini bosses, power ups, and a contrasting array of endless enemies.

You have to really hold onto your ass with this game; it is one fast paced bitch. Crisis Force demands alot of attention from you. Sometimes blinking just will not seem worth it in the midst of a heated battle. You will have to keep your eyes peeled and your thumb moving, because any wrong move can be a deadly one. Although there are 3 different difficulty modes to choose from, Crisis Force can honestly be one hell bent beast of a game to play.



The power ups are pretty standard in this game. There are two different gun upgrades. One of these upgrades will improve your basic straight forward shot in rate. The other upgrade will allow you to use a wave laser. Speed up icons also exist; picking these babies up will help add speed and enhanced maneuverability to your ship. Two other icons will grant you more power then the standard icons will, for both your shot and your speed. There are also small blue icons that will need to be collected in order to unlock their powerful ability.Once enough are collected, your ship will transform into one real bad mutha of a form. In this form your ship will take on invincibility combined with the most powerful shots in the entire game for a limited amount of time. In two player mode you can also merge ships together with your friend. One player will be assume responsibility for steering, while the other, for shooting. Once the Invisibility ends, your planes will split apart, and you will become separated once again.

The controls are fairly simple. Hold down the B button to discharge a steady stream of bullets. Hit the A button while you are letting off these bullets to release a bomb or special attack, these change depending on which ship configuration you are using at the time. When you are not firing, hit the A button to change your ship configuration. There are 3 in total. Your main ship form will fire pretty powerful shots exclusively straight. The second form will allow you to fire both straight and behind. Last we have the third ship form, this form will let you fire from the front and the two sides of your ship. You will need to use and master all three of these configurations throughout this game to survive.

There is a story to this game. Just like many other shooters though, it's just there to add some motivation to finish the game. It's very typical and cliche. In the year 199X, a force of robots have descended upon Tokyo in an attempt to destroy the city, and possibly the rest of the world. The nameless protagonists are a girl and a boy who both pilot red and blue fighter ships. The story is incredibly weak, bland, and sterile. I know this is a shooter and it doesn't really have to be strong in the story telling aspect, but as a whole it just doesn't even feel like shmup developers even try that often when it comes to story. This game is no exception.



The presentation for this game is absolutely amazing. This has to be visually one of the greatest looking games on the Famicom, if not, the best. Konami really pushed the limits of the hardware here, and you can really see it. From use of multiple layers of parallax scrolling, to destruction effects, to very detailed and defined tiles and sprites, and the simple manipulation of them all, Konami really did the impossible here. However, with all of this going on, there are occasional slowdowns. Slowdowns aren't really anything too uncommon with the N.E.S library. You may even look at them in a positive light, as a moment to finally wipe the sweat from your brow. Although I would prefer the game not to have these slowdowns, I don't really mind them too much as is.

You can see that Konami also put in about roughly the same amount of effort in towards the sound and the music here as they did for the graphics. The sound effects all seem to fit in pretty well. They're your usual Konami sounds, but they all work just as fine as they have in years past. The soundtrack however, is exceptionally well done. Alot of the songs you hear will stick in your head for days. Most of them make you look forward to hearing them in the stages they reside in. There's also an option to here each track in the options menu. Not every song is exceptional though, there are a couple of songs that just don't do the rest of the soundtrack justice. Although they aren't bad as stand alone songs, some just seem like filler in comparison to the other tracks.

Overall Crisis Force is a very impressive, outstanding, fun game that has, and will probably be overlooked as time keeps trudging forward. If not for the late release date and the exclusive regional release, this game could have been a well known legendary classic. Despite few bland exceptions, Crisis Force has all of the elements and chemistry to make up for one immaculate experience. Almost everything present here is at the top of it's game. It's hard to hate Crisis Force. Give it a try and see if you like it, chances are you probably will.

  read


12:51 PM on 06.30.2008

Capcom Knows Duck



When I was still a lad, there was this craze going on about making cartoons based on ducks. Back in the late 80's to the early 90's, mallards ruled the entertainment world. We had the pleasure of watching Count Duckula, Duck Tales, Darkwing Duck, The Mighty Ducks, and every now and then we would have the opportunity's to watch the old classics, staring either Donald Duck or Daffy Duck. I have no idea why my generation at the time was a target for duck related entertainment, but as time went by we all seemed to grow fond of it. I have yet to find one person in my age range that has never had at least one fond memory of any late 80's to early 90's 'duck shows'.

It must have been a growing market back then. It just seemed as if everyone was getting into the duck business for some reason another. Even Capcom, one of the biggest third party video game developers at the time, would go on to eventually contribute to this new wave of children's entertainment inspired by the Anatidae bird family. (Yes, I just pulled that out of Wikipedia.)

Capcom, in my opinion, made the definitive duck related games for the dominating system of that time; the time when ducks ruled the world. That system was the Nintendo Entertainment System. Capcom had the licensing from Disney. It was their job to create games based on Disney's hit shows and movies. With this license, Capcom would go on to make three of the greatest duck related games ever created. Three games that would be released at the peak of this new era in entertainment; the era of the duck.



The most notable and praised game they created due to their relationship with Disney was Duck Tales. Duck Tales, the show, starred Scrooge McDuck, a cheap stubborn wealthy old prune who traveled the world with his nephews and a few friends. They traveled on reasons to uncover lost and hidden treasures. Capcom's game basically took this premise and ran with it. From the Amazon to the Moon, you discovered treasure as the old cheapskate himself.

With your cane you could finally unleash that pent up old man rage you have been building up over the years. Pressing Jump and down would activate this cane mechanic. The cane acted in a 'pogo stick' fashion. It would allow you to hop up and down, break rocks, and it would also harm enemies. The cane could also be used in the form of a 'golf club'. You could hit rocks, and other objects to clear out paths, as well as enemies. The cane mechanic really helped establish a strong foundation for this game.

Duck Tales stood true to the show as well as to itself as a game. It didn't try too hard to be something that it wasn't. All it did was provide a fun interactive experience based on a popular TV show. I still find it fun to pick up after all these years. I regard this game as a true classic. Not only was it fun, but it starred ducks for duck sake!!!

After Capcom's Duck Tales made a hit, the company went on to make Duck Tales 2 in 1993. Duck Tales 2 provided new mechanics for the cane. Not only could you use the cane in 'pogo stick' fashion or 'golf club' fashion, but you could use it to drag blocks, flip switches, latch on to rings, and move rafts. The game also changed locations as well. Scrooge in Duck Tales 2, could travel to Niagara Falls, the Bermuda Triangle, Mu, Egypt and Scotland. New friends such as Webby and Gyro, who would help provide Scrooge with cane upgrades, would also accompany him on his adventure. Duck Tales 2 could have been just as big as the original, but due to the late release date of a system that was going out of date, Duck Tales 2 just would not have the chance to fairly prove itself.


The last game I'll bring up in the Capcom duck trilogy will be Darkwing Duck. Now I wasn't as big of a fan of this show as I was of Duck Tales, but it still was one of those shows that I watched on a regular basis as a kid. The game was somewhat of a hybrid between Mega Man and Duck Tales. In fact according to Wikipedia, this game was literally built off of the Mega Man 5 Engine. Darkwing Duck has the ability to shoot enemies, gain special guns, and spew out the "I am Darkwing Duck" phrase at the beginning of each stage.

The main mechanic in this game is hanging. Everywhere you go, you'll have to hang onto either ledges, switches, hooks, or mobile objects to make progress throughout this game. Although it wasn't anything new for 1992, the hanging mechanic was a pretty welcome addition to this game. Don't quote me on this, but to my recollection Taito introduced this mechanic in The Flintstones: Rescue of Dino and Hoppy a year earlier in 1991. Used mechanic or not, Darkwing Duck was, and still is a pretty damn fun game.

The duck trend was something that I nostalgically hold onto fondly. It was just a really different and odd concept at that time. Cartoon developers targeted us with ducks, of all things. Why ducks? In retrospect, I find it hilarious. Words really can not describe how ridiculous I find this now after all these years looking back on it. It makes me feel somewhat special to have been in that targeted demographic. Video games, cartoons, and yes, ducks made up my childhood. Capcom just helped merge those worlds together for me with the development of these three titles.

  read


6:43 PM on 06.21.2008

Castlevania: Maneuverability Of Ungodly Stiffness



[This is the start of a new line of articles I thought I'd try to write up every now and then. They are about taking on different perspectives to major infamous flaws in games. These perspectives may not be ones that I hold onto myself. I am simply writing about them to help broaden my opinions on certain games and franchises.]

In the creation of Castlevania franchise, I'm not sure if Konami was originally bucking for an action game. Action games usually are often heavily reliant on smooth controls. Castlevania on the other hand has some of the stiffest controls I have ever witnessed. I know that Konami in that same time period has made many great action games with silky smooth controls, so why would they care to burden Castlevania, a budding title with alot of potential, with these stiff ungodly controls?

You can look at this in two ways. One, if it's true that Konami was originally aiming for an action game, then they screwed up royally with the controls. Two, Konami went a different route and put a twist on the action formula. A twist that would rely more on memorization and pattern recognition then quick reflexes and maneuverability.



Taking an approach to this with perspective number two, I don't think that making an action reliant game was Konami's main initial vision for the Castlevania franchise. The controls were good enough for what this game was all about. To help further prove a point from this perspective, I will also bring in account Castlevania 2 and 3. Not once between the gaps of the development of these 3 games has Konami ever really changed the control scheme. They were either too damn lazy to change these controls, or they just kept them like they were because of a stance in this formula that bares heavy reliance on memorization.

To be able to get through Castlevania you have to really study what is going on just to progress. Unlike action games where you have the chance to finish the game in one sitting, Castlevania is different because you have to indeed learn and study the game. There is no way anybody can finish one of those 3 games in their first play through. This is what I like most about this title, and the 2 following it. They demand sacrifice from you.

This formula, no matter how frustrating it can be at times, is very very richly rewarding. Progressing anywhere can give you enough satisfaction to carry on. This balance between cradling two opposing emotions influenced by the design is what I admire most about the original Castlevania games. Just finishing one is almost orgasmic. I can see why people hate the controls, but when you look at these games from a different perspective, it is in truth, hard to see anything remotely wrong with them.



However, maybe Konami really did screw up. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was made by the same company, the controls were amazing, and it also relied on memorization and pattern recognition just like Castlevania. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles though still had that wider window of luck compared to Castlevania. By that I mean, because of the smooth controls and maneuverability that this game possessed, there was a better chance of finishing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in a first sitting then there was with Castlevania. Although to this day, I have never witnessed anybody who has been able to finish either one of these games on their first try. Both require a lot of practice, and both have very little room for error. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles though is a little more lenient with this then Castlevania because of the controls.

All in all despite either these controls being intentional or not, Castlevania will always be a classic. I could probably go on about this for days repeating myself, but I just wanted to point out a different perspective on Castlevania's notoriously stiff controls

Article inspired by Kawaiininjakat.
Select Images Credited To Retrowarp.com

*Minor Edit: To make a better comparison, I changed Contra With Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.   read


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