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Writer, editor, software engineer and community manager looking for work.
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Waited until the last second on this one, but I was able to make it today! If you watch the lighting, you can see the daylight fading away in each cut.

Much love for all you dtoiders who make doing things like this so fun and exciting. While I'm nervous about potentially having a job at dtoid, knowing that the video is being watched by the dtoid army takes away all of the stress.

PS, I promised Steamtoid that if I get the job I'll post nude pics. I wonder if that will help or hurt my chances... hmm.

Wish me luck!










Hey Dtoiders! We have some epic entries so far for my World Cup contest, mixing the beauty of video games and vuvuzelas into what may be the greatest works of art since Picasso. Sadly, today is the finals for the World Cup and also the last day to submit your entries for the contest!

Feel free to submit submit into the late hours of the night, but come tomorrow morning the contest will be closed! So far, I don't think we have enough international submissions to justify a big prize, but you never know what might happen in these final hours.



Here are the rules from my previous post:

Contest 1: Photoshop a vuvuzela into a screenshot of a dramatic or otherwise hilarious video game moment.

* First Place: Dragon Age: Origins
* Second Place: Jade Empire

Contest 2: Use a drawing program (like Paint), or hand-draw your favorite video game character with a vuvuzela. Bonus points for creativity, multiple characters, and context!

* First Place: Mass Effect 2
* Second Place: Mass Effect

How to submit: Just leave your image in the comments below, tweet it to me @bluexy, or if your prefer anonymity mail it to rory[at]gamerant[dot]com!

Bonus Rules:

* US Only Shipping - Sorry internationals, boxes are expensive to ship. Still, feel free to join in on the hilarity! If there's enough international participation, I'll add a bonus prize via Steam. I mean it, I'll spend $30 for a prize if you submit, internationals!
* One Prize Per Contestant - Feel free to enter for both contests as many times as you like, though!
* Contests Ends July 11 - After the World Cup is over, so is the contest! May be extended another week depending on participation.
* Rules Subject to Change - I know I'm forgetting something, but that covers the important bits I believe.

So get your entries in and win a great BioWare game! If you want to check out the competition visit my last blog will all of the previous entries in the comments: Clicky.

It's still anyone's game! BRING ON THE VUVUZELAS!










Hey Dtoiders, I'm super excited about the World Cup. So to commemorate the ridiculousness of the whole thing, I'm throwing a contest! I'll give you the details in just a moment, but first: What can you win?

Prizes for this glorious soccer contest include PC copies of Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect 2, Jade Empire and Mass Effect! That's right, BioWare games! It has nothing to do with the World Cup, but that shouldn't stop you from entering!

Now here are the details you've been waiting for. What do you have to do to win one of these excellent games?



Contest 1: Photoshop a vuvuzela into a screenshot of a dramatic or otherwise hilarious video game moment.

* First Place: Dragon Age: Origins
* Second Place: Jade Empire

Contest 2: Use a drawing program (like Paint), or hand-draw your favorite video game character with a vuvuzela. Bonus points for creativity, multiple characters, and context!

* First Place: Mass Effect 2
* Second Place: Mass Effect

How to submit: Just leave your image in the comments below, tweet it to me @bluexy, or if your prefer anonymity mail it to rory[at]gamerant[dot]com!

Bonus Rules:

* US Only Shipping - Sorry internationals, boxes are expensive to ship. Still, feel free to join in on the hilarity! If there's enough international participation, I'll add a bonus prize via Steam. I mean it, I'll spend $30 for a prize if you submit internationals!
* One Prize Per Contestant - Feel free to enter for both contests as many times as you like, though!
* Contests Ends July 11 - After the World Cup is over, so is the contest! May be extended another week depending on participation.
* Rules Subject to Change - I know I'm forgetting something, but that covers the important bits I believe.

There you have it, Dtoiders! Looking forward to some amazing submissions!

Feel free to follow me on twitter, where I'll be updating everyone on the latest submissions @bluexy.

Note: Yes, I'm also running this contest on the site I edit/write for, but this is my personal contest. There is no expectation/requirement that you visit the other site. I'm just trying to give away my own stuff for free, in a fun way. Destructoid has always been my home and I couldn't not make the contest available here.
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bluexy
10:10 PM on 01.01.2010



Good news, everyone! There were so many amazing games in 2009 that it's practically impossible to make a top 10, or a list of awards that accurately captures just how incredible these games really are. Instead of revisiting games like Uncharted 2, Borderlands, or Batman: Arkham Asylum, I wanted to share with you some of my favorites that never received the attention they deserved.


Machinarium (PC)

If you take any enjoyment from adventure games then you have to play Machinarium. You'll be introduced to the robot world of Machinarium one step at a time, and every step will blow you away. From beautifully created backgrounds and sprite-work, to the small quirks each robot in the city has, the richness in detail will pull you in and you'll find yourself spending more time than you should exploring each scene with your eyes. You'll tromp through the game only looking forward, but it's when the game ends that you'll wonder about what's really going on in the city. So hopefully you'll play it again, much like I did.


Little King's Story (Wii)

It's an obsession of mine to build in video games. I've spent hours in ActRaiser maxing the population of every area, burning forests and destroying rocks so my people might grow another crop. Endless hours moving my buildings around in Dark Cloud 2 so I could get all of the little bonuses. So when Little King's Story starts off in what's basically a barn, but teases images of a giant castle, my eyes widened and I never looked back. It's reminiscent of Pikmin with human soldiers, and though it's never complicated it's still very strategic. The kingdom must be built, a barn is not fit for a king.


Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride (DS)

Dragon Quest's infamous amounts of grinding has always kept me away from the series. After the first moments of the Heavenly Bride though, I couldn't put my DS down. You live the protagonist's life, experience his pain, his love, and fight a billion monsters along the way. While Heavenly Bride is completely average in regards to its mechanics, you can't help but care about what will happen next.


Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box (DS)

Diabolical Box is in essence the exact same game as the original, with new puzzles, new characters, and a delightful story that will draw you in and never let you go. While playing the first game I spent the majority of my time searching out each individual puzzle, but with the sequel I just couldn't slow myself down from solving the larger mystery. I anxiously await the multiple sequels (and movie) coming down the pipeline from Japan, but hope they'll continue to create larger conflicts and characters that grow in a similar way to the Harry Potter books.


League of Legends (PC)

This Defense-of-the-Ancients style multiplayer game snuck up on me. When I tried playing DotA on Warcraft 3 I hated it. If you could join a game without being kicked for being a noob, or having to download a map, you'd still end up being punished by obsessive min/max-ers and their inate knowledge of what item would create an unfair advantage 5 minutes into the game. Demigod cut it down to a small list of characters and a few unhelful items, but was relatively unimpressive. League of Legends brings back the large list of characters, though each has more personality, but with their matchmaking service and the combat dynamics they've created made DotA accessible even to a noob like myself. Oh, it's free!


Plants vs. Zombies (PC)

Pure. Addicting. Fun. Zombies with safety cones on their heads, attacking a house that's protected by cute projectile firing plants. SO AWESOME! I've played through Plants vs. Zombies at least four times now, and it's still amazingly fun. It's so simple but so engrossing that every person on Earth, and those astronaut dudes too, should have this game installed on their computer. Or with the upcoming iPhone release, on your phone as well. We don't want zombies on the lawn. :3 <3<3<3 SUNFLOWER!

These are just a few of my favorites of the year, a year that had so many great games! Again, I can't really disagree with Destructoid or any other gaming site's "Top 10 Games of the Year" though I could never pick which is better than which. If you've got some spare cash and haven't tried some of these out, I can't recommend these more.

So have a happy New Year everyone! Will 2010 be better than 2009? I can't see how, but if it even gets close we're pretty fucking lucky!
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bluexy
10:14 PM on 10.23.2009



It's a rule. You can't be a boss without henchmen. Boss, by definition is a supervisor who exercises control over workers. I looked it up, IN THE BIBLE (Wikipedia)! Deities and gods need their zealots; dictators are much less intimidating without their armies; bullies wouldn't sock you in the gut without their retarded pals there to laugh it up; drug lords probably won't murder you, they'll send their cartel to do it for them (probably). In real life henchmen serve a purpose, at least to a certain extent.

In video games it's a different story. In video games, henchmen are there for the learning curve, they're there for buildup to a climax, they're there to extend gameplay. In video games, henchmen are completely goddamn worthless.




Look at these clowns. In Batman: Arkham Asylum what must be a billion of these completely sane hoodlums are transferred to Arkham due to a fire in the local Blackgate Prison. Naturally, five minutes into the game every single one of the bastards are released onto the grounds. They then spend the rest of the game standing in small circles with their gang members, maybe playing hacky sack, waiting for Batman to show up so they can get the shit beaten out of them. They're never remotely difficult, even on the harder difficulty, but they do fulfill my fantasy of punching a clown in the face. I guess they can't be all bad.

These are henchmen, and almost every game has them or something similar. Mario has goombas, Dragon Quest has slimes, Bioshock has splicers, Kung Fu had the guys with pink hair and also midgets. They all serve some sort of purpose initially, whether it's to teach you how to jump or kick, provide a mascot, or randomly scare the bejesus out of you. Why though, after serving that purpose, do they continue to enter the game over, and over, and over, and over? There are reasons, of course, some of them listed above. And those reason are acceptable to an extent. Things can be better though, oh yes, they can be better.

Join me as I explore some methods for removing henchmen from all future video games:

Replace them with: Puzzles! The soon to be released Ratchet and Clank game is splitting the game into what's said to be two different styles of gameplay. Ratchet's sections will be combat-centric action orgies, while Clank's bits will be filled with delicious puzzles! There's no doubt the game will be a lot of fun, but I believe a lot of that will be due to their mixture of gameplay styles (and 50% removal of henchmen!).

Replace them with: Story & Lore! Mass Effect is still one of my favorite games for current generation, but it's still filled with exorbinant amounts of henchbots! They fill uncharted planets and none of them matter a damn bit. In fact, it's almost preferrable to go to a planet and read it's description instead! What Mass Effect did so well is create unique and interesting bits of lore and hid them around the universe. So why not remove the henchmen and instead have a rock that used to be a dinosaur that died when it swallowed a bone from a nuclear blast that occurred a million years previously.

Replace them with: Nothing! Shadow of the Colossus had 16 bosses, a little bonus interactive story, and nothing else. It was a huge empty landscape with some fruit trees, lizards, a temple and a bridge. And it was amazing. The lack of henchmen and other distractions likely made us adore the Colossi even more, if that were possible.

Replace them with: MORE BOSSES! The multiple Mega Man series' have always been some of my favorites. The levels are well designed, tricky to play through, and the bosses are always exciting to fight. Say though, they take away about 10% of the henchmen, hell, 25%, and use that development time to make even more bosses. Hell, Mega Man Bluexy will be a game entirely composed of robot bosses, and they'll each be so impeccably designed that you can make it into a fighting game as well.



I'm not saying that the above replacements are perfect, but it's difficult to argue that any game needs more henchmen than necessary. Most games would be just as enjoyable, if not moreso, without repetitive henchmen sequences at all. So please do me a favor current and future game developers, tone down the cronies, there's better alternatives. Well, you can keep midget henchmen, those are always a tall order of awesome (that pun hurt real bad).
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bluexy
9:31 PM on 10.22.2009



It's the latest game to take Destructoid's community by storm. Demon's Souls has captured the hearts of retro gamers and modern action gamers alike. Stuffed full of swords, sorcery, huge bad guys and their larger bosses, Demon's Souls is unrelenting. The game will grab you by a sensitive area and never let go. You'll die over and over, throw your controller against the wall in frustration, and then find yourself thinking about strategies during the night. Extraordinary settings, realistic (and deadly) combat, and some great innovation piled on top of a level of challenge you've never encountered before will keep you playing for hours on end.

Not me though. I give up.



My experience started like most others': Charging into a crowd swinging your sword/axe/dagger like a motherfucker. Then quickly realizing that kind of exuberant play just won't cut it in Demon's Souls. I switched to a shield bearing class and cautiously approached every corner and doorway as if Nosferatu, Megatron, and Jared from those goddamn Subway commercials was waiting for me. It was tedious, it was slow, and it was probably going to give me a heart attack if I drank anymore coffee. At that point I didn't know why I kept going.

Truthfully, I was considering just returning my rental as I walked in to the gateway leading to the first boss. I walked out with renewed hope. That big blob with all those bastard shield blobs protecting it? Ya I trounced on that son of a bitch. And wow did it feel good. Bloodstains covered the floor from other fallen players who likely caught a thrown spear as they tried to munch on some healing herbs. Me though, I ran circles around that guy, got him stuck behind a pillar and mowed through his little bodyguards. I even let the poor, doomed thing wander around after I'd finished the little guys off. Stalking him around the room made it all the sweeter.

The game began anew the second day. Each of the 5 new areas were patiently trekked through as I wrote each separate challenge to my memory. Another boss fell before me, but I wasn't the same. Or perhaps the problem was that it was the same. I pushed on and encountered another boss, and couldn't conquer it. Then another boss I couldn't beat, and another. My third day, now into the work week, was spent studying online. Searching through FAQs and walkthroughs I researched methods to destroy the bosses I had lost to before. Tonight I dined on demon soup.

I didn't play that night, or the next night either. I haven't put the disk back into my Playstation 3 in a week now, and I won't be likely be playing it again.

No, at some point after my research I actually stopped to think about my experience with Demon's Souls. I just wasn't having any fun. Certainly though, I felt compelled to continue, to defeat the all the challenges ahead of me. To take in the beauty behind the desolute and broken world. I find it akin to hiking a tall mountain. It's almost more enjoyable after the hike is done and you're with friends drinking a beer, reminiscing about what a pain in the ass hiking that mountain was.

So I weighed that in my head, and found that I didn't want gaming to become a hike, a marathon. I couldn't enjoy Demon's Souls despite what I might think about it when it was completed. That's no insult to Demon's Souls as a game, or those who do enjoy it though. It's akin to the movie Requiem for a Dream, which I think is a masterpiece. I'm still never going to watch it again because it's practically torture.

Do I have to give up my hardcore gamer card? I give up. :)

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