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10:49 AM on 06.07.2013

Why I Love Remember Me (but I want it to fail)


Remember Me hit the market a few days ago to less-than-glowing reviews, prompting ever so cynical would-be consumers to brush off the game with cute little quips like, "No, I will not remember you!" I am here to encourage this line of thinking. Do not buy this game. Just don't. If you see it on the shelf and you're curious, just walk away. Got it? Good.

That being said, I highly recommend this game. Whether you rent it or buy it somewhere down the line when the developers and publishers won't see any money from it, I think there's a lot in this game that is worth appreciating.

Yet I want it to fail... what gives?

First of all, I want to sell you on the game before I explain my devious machinations. For those of you who don't know, the game is set in a world stylized similarly to Blade Runner and Total Recall where memories are a drug, and if you can control memories, you can control the world. You play as Nilin, a Memory Hunter who can remix memories.

Although the majority of the game is a rather sub-par beat 'em up, the scenarios in which you remix memories are phenomenal, if only slightly undercooked. Yes, the feature is not used nearly enough, and when it is used, there's hardly a challenge involved. But the ingenuity of the mechanic left me too much in awe to care. And some of the things you have to do really tear at your moral core.

The aesthetics are also very commendable for a AAA game. Neo-Paris, the game's setting, is stunning to look at. The glitchy orchestral soundtrack creates a skewed sense of deixis as you begin to mistrust your surroundings and yourself. Some reviewers may say the world is a little to eccentric for its own good, but frankly it captures a distinct vibe that meshes 80s VHS culture with modern ideals of advancing technology.

Even the combat, generally agreed upon as the weak point, is brimming with individuality. Although I dreaded encounters, I lost no interest in mixing up my combos to their best effect. Overall, it's a style-over-substance game. It's worth a playthrough for any game aficionado.

But I want this game to sink deeper than the Titanic. I want Capcom to label the game a failure, and I want Dontnod to abandon any hope of a sequel. Does that seem a little harsh? Perhaps. But let me explain.

This game needs to be a cult classic. I firmly believe that that is the only market for it. Consider Conker's Bad Fur Day. Throw away your nostalgic biases for a moment, and let's get one thing clear. That game controls more or less like tar. Same with Killer7. Yet I consider both of them to be two of the best games ever made. Many of you probably agree with me.

The whole idea of cult classics is that they don't tend to fit our normal conceptions of "good," yet we grant forgiveness because of certain key elements. For Conker, it is the sheer audacity. For Killer7, it is the outrageous thematic presentation. For Remember Me, it is the remixes and the aesthetics.

If the game enjoys mainstream success, it will continue to be held to mainstream ideals of quality. The poor reviews will keep coming in to the extent where it will be banished to that "Land of Misfit Games that no one really takes seriously years from now." For a game crafted in such a way that it feels like an awesome B movie, I think it deserves a better fate than that.

Sure, it's possible that the game can be successful and ALSO become a cult classic. Perhaps I'm exaggerating the mediocre scores a bit. But there's one other factor that encouraged me to write this: If the game succeeds, there is the possibility of a sequel. The prospect of that would make me very excited. But I don't want it.

I want this game to be like Firefly, where people see it in retrospect and wish there was more, knowing they'll never get it. It's like a martyr; killed off with much potential so that for years to come we can point to it and say "games should be more like that." I think that is a fate more befitting this game. Remembered, in memoriam.

Let's kill this game... just to revive it again.   read

12:42 PM on 03.18.2013

Facebook Responds to GoW:A Leonidas DLC

Meet Leonidas. He's a GameStop exclusive multiplayer character for God of War Ascension. His design is based off the character's model in 300, who is in turn loosely based off the very real person, Leonidas. He also happens to be wearing very little clothing.

The God of War Facebook page shared this image. When I saw it, the first thought that ran through my head was how the enlightened individuals of Facebook were going to ravage the image as homosexual propaganda. Not only did they fail to disappoint, but some of the things added to the conversation were really... creative.

So, I thought I'd share some of my favorite comments from the thread. Enjoy!

General Observations:

“Dude doesn't look like he can lift.” (4 likes)

“Is Gerald Butler going to do his voice?” (4 likes)

“He lloks like a Stripper xD.... a bad ass Spartan Stripper hahahahaha” (4 likes)

“Dafuq, is he real or animation. Anyway, hail king Leonidas!”

“this is sparda!!” (Somebody's mixing up their hack 'n' slash games)

“Iliked the single player i didn't like the ending and wht if i want the king leonidas and I'm from LatAm??”

“I thought Mars was the god of war...” (1 like... uh...)

“Nice diaper, Leo.” (2 likes)

“he is leonidas?”

“Goddamn he has a big package...” (2 likes)

“Why did they add him to this game? 300 came out 6 years ago”

“I feel bad for the graphic artist that has to make nipples look realistic” (2 likes)

“Why play a game with a fool who is suicidal lmmf@0 get gears of war” (1 like)

“I have that same outfit....i'm piss off :(“

These guys (mostly) dig it:

“about time we see more half-nacked male warriors!! getting tired of sexy fighting chixx!” (1 like)

“I already own him, unlike all you virgins!”

“yeah I mean check out that mad real!!! codpiece and hot man thigh lol have fun with that.”

“I'm leaving Xbox..... (jaw drop)” (1 like)

What the homophobes have to say:

“jesus, it's like they want to pornographiy him” (1 like)

“I think that's the gayest thing I've ever seen.” (Gayer than actual gay people?)

“This is Pretty gay” (4 likes)

“Love GOW But This Pic Looks Like A Gay Porno Version Of 300 Cover” (4 likes)

“God of Gay” (8 likes)

“Balls of steel”

“God of S&M”

“King Gayness”

“Really wish I would stop getting random post like this. I didn't see a video game I saw a f****t.” (1 like)

“this post has led me to unlik the god of war page. thanks” (This guy's name is Byron Sneed. I think you can imagine his voice)

“I am so sick of how videogames objectify men into nothing more than sex symbols! ::rolls eyes:: seriously though, this picture alone should shut up the people who claim games only objectify women, its a two way street.” (1 like)

And the rebuttal:

“So if this is gay, are scantily clad women lesbians?” (1 like)

“Came to see what this post was about and I look at all the comments....and not ONE intelligent or even something remarkably close to it has been said on this post. Just alot of "gay this, f*g that, this sucked".” (11 likes—thank you)

The admin chimes in: “Champions, we kindly request you halt the inappropriate comments. This is neither the page nor place. This is Spartan attire, authentic to the movie 300 which our King Leonidas is based off of. Please show some respect to this thread. That is all. Thank you” (11 likes—thank you again!)

But Wait:

“God of War:The homo erotic adventures of kratos!” (15 likes... oh...)

I don't even know whose side these guys are on:

“there obviously are a ton of you here on this thread that took the short bus to school with all the other fuckin' retards. lol” (1 like)

“To all with the homo comments.... he actually looks ready to kill any homo bitch ass persians like you so back off or suffer lmao”

Then it becomes a discussion of platforms:

“you are a fuckin homo . X Box is a joke , what are you playing ? = Halo > What are you looking forward to ? = Halo. Your Graphics and Quality of games for X - Box Suck. You lost the Blu Ray War. Also why don't they call it X Box 2 ? That's because they are afraid if they don't call it the 720 they will lose customers to PS 4” (3 likes)

But after that we get the most adorable argument in favor of exclusive ports:

“Stop actin a fool and get on that xbox platform ya bunch of goons!!!”

After that it gets poetic:

Let's start this!
Show this petty officer who's the hardest!
The biggest mistake that you've ever made
I'll toss you like a frag grenade
I'll stomp you in the face
With my sandals enraged
And tonight we shall rhyme in the shade
Your puny fans are fat nerds on computers
Jerking off to games gives themselves First Person Shooters
Your armor's hard but my abs are harder
You're in my hood now chief


Him. Whiteys?


Loins ?”
(1 like)

And then it just gets incomprehensible:

“This game sucked. 3 WAS %)x BETTER. WAY TO LET US DOWN!!”

“Stuff blah blah things blah blah”

This gets added to the conversation: “grid 2 this is best”
But then he clarifies: “mayby for may dont sure”

“You are all made in Japan and Gay” (2 likes)

And the last word goes to...

“I'm Egypt”


3:21 PM on 02.13.2013

Behold! The TRUE Future of Gaming!

Recently, a national poll showed 67% of Republicans believe videogames are more violent than guns. Here is my response.

The room smells like sweat, blood, and a little like diarrhea too. Just like every other E3 event I’ve ever attended. Oh well. It’s only a slightly better smell than war. In the trenches you have all those scents combined with the pervading fume of decay. So yeah, this is definitely an improvement.

Shigeru Miyamoto III takes the stage. He speaks Japanese and flails his arms around for a little bit. Some giant pink and blue blobs join him, but nobody really gets it. Nintendo of America President Vernon Price walks onstage and pats Miyamoto on the back. He whispers something in his ear, then the odd critters exit.

Price clasps his hands together and stares at the audience for a full 3 minutes. No one realizes it at first, but he’s having an impromptu staring contest with some guy in the third row. Price blinks first and gets mad. He orders the guards standing by to take the man out back and give him a “consolation prize.”

After this, he begins the presentation. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he begins, “as you all know, today is the 20th anniversary of the Jacques Todson Protocol. To honor this political achievement, we have prepared a small audio-visual presentation for you.” The cuffs secure around our wrists, and the short film begins.

A distorted trumpet fanfare plays, and the Department of Defense logo appears. A man in a monkey suit sits behind a desk. He has a big bushy moustache. “Twenty years ago, the military functioned very differently than it does today. Soldiers used guns and grenades. Countries launched atomic weapons to raze each other to the ground.”

He sets some little green army men figurines on the desk in front of him. The camera zooms in on his hands and he awkwardly plays with the toys, making “Pew-Pew” and “Kaboom” noises with his mouth. The shot lasts too long.

It pans back, and the man starts again. “Then everything changed. Moral guardian and social defender Jacques Todson held a press conference at the United Nations.”

The video cuts to a clip of that conference. Jacques Todson stands in the center of a large circular room. He’s balding and has teeth like a muskrat. “For many years, we have all committed to a huge logical fallacy. Video gamers would have you believe that games don’t kill people, guns do. Well, I have devoted the last twelve years of my life to researching this phenomenon, and I have come up with a startling revelation.”

“Think back on every murder you have ever seen, whether in real life, film, or what have you. Focus on the ones you perceived to have been acted upon with a firearm. What you’ll find is that it was actually a video game that did it.”

My mind turns over and I remember how my father killed my mother. He shot her in the neck—or so it seemed. But upon recalling the events, it actually turned out that he snapped a Gears of War disc in half and thrashed her jugular with it.

“What this means is that guns are actually entirely non-lethal. In fact, with this new information coming to light, it means that guns are useless. Every war in the history of man has been entirely misappropriated. If we really want to fight wars properly, then we need to use proper weapons. Therefore, I call to all nations to dispose of your automatics, your semi-automatics, your submachines, and your pistols. Your gatlings, your bazookas, your carbines, and your rifles.

“Instead, let’s focus on the holistic fact that guns don’t kill people. Games do. Restock your ammunition supplies with Animal Crossing, Custom Robo, Terranigma, and Voodoo Vince. This is the future of armed conflict. We will not be able to achieve world peace until we are first able to kill each other the right way.”

The audience cheers and the suit returns. He adjusts his tie and licks his moustache. “After that famous speech the UN passed a resolution called the Jacques Todson Protocol. All guns were dumped into the Pacific Ocean on this very day, and every country rushed to recreate all the major wars of history. Since they weren’t fought properly the first time through, they needed a rematch to determine the real winner.

“Turns out Britain won the American Revolution and the Confederacy won the US Civil War. But France still won the French Revolution!

“As we move forward into this next chapter of world history, remember to be a responsible game owner!” The audience cheers some more. None of them even notice the man in the suit break down and cry just as the video fades out. The arm cuffs release.

Loud feedback blares from the speakers, jarring us all back into our surroundings. Vernon Price’s voice filters through the sound. “Very important chapter in our history. Thank you. Now we can start the actual presentation!”

Naked women march onstage holding cases for upcoming releases. Price gestures up to the jumbo screen and a trailer starts to play for a never-before-seen game.

A man with brown hair, a muscular jawline, and 5 ‘o’ clock shadow jumps across building tops and shoots some terrorists (since guns still exist in game universes). There’s a bit of dialogue; the man says something along the lines of “It’s bomb disarming time,” and then goes off to disarm a bomb by means of an extensive quick time event. The title shows up at the end: Harbinger.

Harbinger of what?

Price invites the development team to join him onstage. They all look the same. Fat, ginger, short, pimply. One of them steps up to the microphone. He snorts his nose and gulps the resulting mucus just loud enough for all of us to hear.

Then he begins, “Harbinger was developed over the course of three years with a budget of seventy million dollars. None of us have seen our families since we started production, but we’re proud to boast that the game has a twenty-hour campaign, online multiplayer that supports up to fifty players at once, DLC support, and alternate endings that depend on player decisions.”

The room is silent. Someone makes a cricket noise with their mouth.

The developers converse among themselves, then another of the little pudgy men steps up to speak. “The game disc also has razor edges.”

The crowd goes wild. They scream and jump in their seats. The man next to me climbs onto the armrest and beats his hands against his chest.

Price pushes them offstage and shouts, “Now watch this!” He runs around the semi-circle of naked women surrounding him and grabs all their breasts in turn. The crowd is fervid by now. The man next to me is tearing the hair from his chest and swallowing it. Confetti rains from the ceiling.

This is the spectacle part of the program. The big wigs use it to fuel the blood lust of the crowd so they’ll go out to the kiosks and buy the games on display to do a little casual killing if they feel so inclined. It’s also the part of the event where I tend to walk out.

I can’t say I’m better than them. I just don’t feed into murder parties like this. I started playing video games when I was eight years old, long before the Jacques Todson Protocol. Had someone told me at the time that by choosing to play video games I was also choosing to be a cold-blooded killer, I might have thrown my controllers away and chosen to be a productive member of society. But my path in life was set before me and I could not deviate from it.

Sometimes I think back to those times and I’m nostalgic for them. But they were so much more complex. Now that we have all become enlightened, we don’t have to concern ourselves with the psychology of a murderer. We don’t have to worry about the contributing factors to their disturbed mental states. Before, we used to say that those people were desensitized to violence, or that they had long-ignored mental health problems. Those are pansy issues. It’s so much easier now that we can say without a doubt that violence and gaming go hand in hand. No evidence or proof is needed. It’s common knowledge!

Outside the expo, I’m confronted by protesters. They shout at me, “Stricter game control!” They don’t understand. I just use my games for self-defense. Of course, everyone is a perceived threat, so I use them often. But the point still stands.

The original post can be found at my blog here.   read

11:32 AM on 01.10.2013

Sorry, Pokemon fans: I've got dibs on Froakie

Since Pokemon X and Y was just announced a few days ago and fan art has already appeared in spades, one thing became very clear to me: if I didn't lay down my claim of starter Pokemon, somebody else clearly would and at release I would be left cold and alone without my obvious top choice. Yes, we've all heard the desperate calls of his name by now; the masses cheering him on while those other degenerate Pokemon watch with jealousy from the sidelines.

You know who I'm talking about. It's that bouncing badass, that springy slimer, that amphibious allspice, Froakie.

And I've got dibs, mother fuckers.

So why Froakie? I'm glad you asked.

He's a water type.

Water types are clearly the best. Let's look at some famous water types, shall we? Squirtle, Psyduck, Poliwhirl, Totodile, Mudkip, Kyogre, Suicune, Slowpoke, Cloyster, Lapras, Pelipper, and who can forget: MOTHER FUCKING MAGIKARP.

Get out of here with that Charizard shit. Pikachu? More like... I pick... but not-choo! Boom, roasted.

Let's be clear on one thing. Every living thing needs water to survive. At any given moment, water types could suck that water right out of your body and leave you a withered wretch. But they are noble warriors indeed, and shan't kill.

They could flood the Earth and populate it with ONLY water types. The only reason they do not do this is because they appreciate the value of biodiversity. This is the brotherhood Froakie is being introduced to.

Honor: exclusive to water types.

Frogs fucking rock.

Remember Ang Lee's Hulk? Remember why it sucked so much? You may be thinking, “Oh, bad writing, too long, stupid actors,” yeah, yeah, you think you're an art critic. But you're wrong. The instant the movie became bad was when that frog exploded in the gamma chamber. Just you try and tell me otherwise.

Because frogs, more than any other animal, connect with us as humans. They are disciplined, fascinatingly shaped, and they're adaptive enough to claim both sea and land as their home. They are everything we humans wish we could be—but we aren't.

They eat bugs. Bugs are pests that carry disease. Point awarded to frogs!

Consider Kermit the Frog: the perfect specimen. He is a balanced individual. A natural-born leader. Talented and friendly. The Muppets all look up to him. Yet he is aware of his personal flaws. He's the man, but not The Man, mostly because he's a frog.

But you don't mess with a frog. Many of them secrete toxins over their skin to deter and poison predators. Indeed, they represent the perfect balance of water and earth: on one hand, there is the calm, cool demeanor of Kermit the Frog. On the other is the rough and rocky road of peril.

The yin. The yang. The Froakie.

Japan makes frogs twice as cool.

I mean, have you watched Sergeant Frog? That shit's hilarious. It's basically like Invader Zim, but not so disturbing, and also more anime, and with alien frogs. Instantly cooler.

And don't forget “For the Frog the Bell Tolls.” That game was so rad, the Link's Awakening developers thought, damn that's what we want, and ended up making one of the best Zelda games. But the game that started it all was just as incredible, if not more.

And does anybody remember Ribbot from Animal Crossing? I would harass my neighbors to make them move out JUST so I could get a slight chance of getting that metamorphic mech to show up in my town.

The possibilities of 3D.

Because let's be honest, you've always wanted to see a frog's tongue lunge at you in 3D.

The other starter Pokemon are just lame.

Fennekin's design is bland, and Chespin looks like a chump. “Ooh, look at my hat, isn't it cool? Myeh myeh,” NO IT'S NOT CHESPIN, GET OVER YOURSELF. FUCK.

Compare Froakie's design, which screams class. He looks like he's got little bifocals on his precious little nose! And his hair's like a powdered wig!

And who has the best possibilities for evolutions? What's Fennekin going to turn into, a Rapidash? No thanks. And Chespin? A capybara? Okay, that might be pretty sweet, but the point is this: who doesn't want to see a ten-foot tall muscle-bound lissamphibian? That delectable creature would be wise beyond his years and powerful beyond ANY LIVING THING.

In return for calling dibs, here's what I expect.

A mustache. All I ask, is that in one of the evolutions, good old Froakie grows a mustache. Bushy and well-kept. Nintendo, use Frogfucius as an inspiration, and we're good to go.

Like this.

So there. Start picking at the leftovers, vultures, because Froakie is officially MINE.

Now I just need to buy a 3DS...

Check the gallery for more cool frog pics!   read

9:42 AM on 12.21.2012

KataMarathon for Child's Play!

Update: Link to the stream

Hey guys, I'll try to be succinct so you can get on with your day. Basically, a few buddies and I are going to play through all the console releases of Katamari games (Katamari Damacy, We <3 Katamari, Beautiful Katamari, and Katamari Forever) to benefit Child's Play. We're starting the stream today (Dec. 21) at noon from this youtube channel.

The ChipIn widget can be found here.

This will be going on until Sunday (Dec. 23) at noon, so you have 48 hours to check in and/or donate!   read

6:36 PM on 12.10.2012

Why Games Should Be Accessible and Why Your Analogies Suck.

If you plan on leaving a comment, please be reasonable. I'm willing to see other points of view, but if you are rude, then I have nothing to say to you.

Jim recently put out a new episode of the Jimquisition explaining that dumbing down games is a bad practice, but inserting balances so that less-skilled gamers can experience everything they paid for is a good thing.

And people seem to hate this opinion. To the point where they've taken to writing blog-length posts on that article that very few people are probably going to read. Is anyone going to read this? Who knows. But at least since I know it's going to be blog length I'm putting it in the goddamn blogs.

Now that my passive-aggressive portion is done with, I'll move on, starting with a real-life example.

My sister doesn't play video games. Why? Because she sucks at them. That's not to say she dislikes video games. She loves to watch people play them, but she is completely incapable of comprehending first-person games (an ex-boyfriend of hers tried to get her to play Skyrim and she couldn't even complete the opening sequence). You know what her favorite video game is? Fable II.

I know what you are probably thinking: But that's a baby game! Molyneux sucks! And believe me, I agree, to a point. I think they dumbed it down a bit too much, but I think they had the right idea, just not executed very well. My sister is perfectly content to stand around hacking balverines for 15 minutes, dying over and over again because she thinks it's fun to get through to the end of the game because she loves the world, the plot, and the characters. By the end, her character has hardly enough experience to get any second tier upgrades and looks like a tree with all her scars. Personally, I would play differently to avoid getting scars and upgrade myself. But here's the thing: without this system in place, my sister would have missed out on what became her favorite game of all time.

Now what if this was Fable II's easy mode? And what if the normal mode had an actual death mechanic? Just some food for thought.

I saw some complaints in the comments section focused on one thing: That the setting of Dark Souls is entirely built on how dangerous it is. Making it any easier would make it not at all enjoyable, or ruin the integrity or... something.

From here, people have tried to compare it to adult books, saying that they shouldn't be dumbed down for readers who just can't understand. First of all, comparing two different mediums of entertainment is not a good practice to begin with. Different industries, different rules. If you want to use an analogy like this, use it to help a valid point that you've already made, but don't make it the crux of your argument. Secondly, and I'm playing along with your book analogies here, what's wrong with adapting a pre-existing work to make it more accessible? As long as the original still exists, you can reach for that if you want to challenge your mind.

But then I guess by that logic, everyone should familiarize themselves with Old English to be able to read Beowulf, since certain eccentricities of the language will be lost in translation. Or maybe Braille shouldn't have been invented. Since blind people can't read, they don't deserve to read. See how far these analogies can take you? The huge difference between books/movies and games that can't be ignored is that books and movies are like big open fields. You may not like spending your time in them--you may not understand spending your time in them--but they are open and available. Video games are like fields with brick walls all over the place. Some people may not be able to get over the walls and they can't see past them. But here's the thing: If you're able to get over those walls and you like what you see, wouldn't you want other people to see it to? Or are you really so elitist that you have to preserve your perfect paradise for yourself? This isn't survival of the fittest. It's entertainment.

Furthermore, if I'm reading a book and can't understand it because I lack the vocabulary, then I can pick up a dictionary, work it out, and come back later. I can't just say "olly olly oxen-free" and make my hand-eye coordination any better. Consumers are smarter than we give them credit for. My sister won't bother to play any first person shooters because she doesn't understand how to move and look around at the same time. It's impossible to make everything accessible to everyone all the time.

You don't deserve the endgame because you toiled through tough bosses. You deserve it because you paid for it. You may deserve a BETTER endgame for working harder... Dishonored is a good example of this... but for people who want the mainstream media to take games seriously, you should probably know that they won't be taken seriously if the average player can't get through them.

Personally, I've been playing Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed recently, and that game is HARD. It's so hard I'm not sure if I'll even be able to complete the campaign... and yeah, I know how to drift and all that jazz. Really, I could care less if I'm not able to finish the game. But what DOES bother me, is that I likely won't be able to get all the characters unless I unlock them through DLC. I read a good argument in this matter: Since it's an IP with so many all-star characters, there should be systems in place to unlock them that don't require the player to go through hell and back. A lot of families are buying this game, and probably won't be able to unlock all the characters. Compare this to the Smash Bros games, in which unlocking characters can be quick and hard--like completing tough Events--or long, but easy--leaving a Versus match up for 24 hours or so.

We need to take into account the people who aren't casual players by choice, but by simple lack of skill.

Dumbing down a difficult game is bad, but OPTIONAL easy modes are nothing to be afraid of. Checks and balances for difficulty outside the normal range of gameplay are fair ways of giving less-skilled players all the content they paid for. Think about how you'd feel if you or a friend bought a $60 you/he/she couldn't get through. And understand the cold hard truth of it all: Being better at a video game doesn't make you a better person than anyone.

If I missed anything, I'll update later. Feel free to disagree, but for Christ's sake, be civil about it. People seem to be really tense around here with all the Game of the Year business going on, and I just want to be reasonable.   read

6:35 PM on 12.09.2012

The Best Ad Campaign Ever? Dikembe Mutombo's 4 1/2 Weeks to Save the World

I'll be short and sweet with this.

Old Spice is a nice brand that we all like because it makes us smell good and occasionally shocks and stupefies its audience with advertisements that are surrealistic and surprisingly well-written. Their newest outing stars an 8-bit incarnation of professional basketball player Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo as he tries to save the world before the expiration date the Mayans left for us.

You can play it here.

The writing at times may hinge too much on RANDOM! GOOFY! WOAH! And I'm still not sure what the target audience necessarily is. But I think there's a little bit for everyone.

The music is great. The gameplay is polished. The look is classic. The voice acting is top-of-the-line. The writing for the most part is hilarious when paired with the voice acting. The only thing that may be considered a flaw is that each new level (as they are released week by week) seems to be getting easier than the last.

But if you want a free high octane thrill ride that is clearly a labor of love, play it right goddamn now.

For friendshiiiiiiiiiip...   read

12:18 PM on 11.16.2012

Roll Call: Those Who Missed the Wii U Preorder Boat

Anyone who follows my comments on this site can probably tell that I am in desperate love with Nintendo. And like that girl you had a crush on all 4 years of high school who was WAY out of your league, no matter how many times Nintendo puts out questionable policies and occasional sub-par games, I forgive them and continue to love them.

I was born into a Nintendo family. SEGA was never even mentioned under our roof. I didn't find out till much later was a Genesis even was because my older siblings had a strict policy to not talk about it. So I grew up with a Super Nintendo, N64, Gamecube, Gameboy Advance SP, and DS. My brother eventually bought a PS2 and that quickly became a personal favorite of mine, but once the Wii was announced (then called the Revolution, naturally) I felt all those same feelings as when I ripped into that Christmas gift-wrap to find a new Gamecube... so I did the only logical thing and lined up outside Best Buy the night before it came out with a piggy bank filled with $200 in bills and about 70 or so in quarters. I pissed off no less than 50 people waiting behind me while they counted those quarters, but it was worth it: I had my Wii.

In reflection, I realize how lucky I must have been. I didn't have a pre-order. And by walking around stores in the following days I noticed that the Nintendo shelves were void of any Wii games or consoles. And that was all before the days when online shopping became the norm.

I don't have the money for a Wii U. Fortunately, as a college student, I'm still at that age where my parents are willing to grant one Christmas present to their children, and my brother and I are willing to share a Wii U as a joint present. Since most people predict that after the initial shipment of Wii U's there won't be a steady supply of the consoles until well after Christmas, our only real chance is to try and pick one up on launch day.

But we don't have a pre-order. 6 years ago that didn't matter. These days? Well, it's all up in the air. Some people say it's hopeless to wait outside the stores for half a day since, chances are, all the consoles may already be spoken for in pre-orders. Others think that Nintendo will learn from their initial Wii supply and demand problems and stock ungodly amounts of the console. Me personally? I don't try to get too much in my head about it. So what's my edge here?

I've got a team, and I've got a plan. Today I'm going around to all the stores in my city (which are all packed fairly close together): Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, Kmart, Toys R Us... I'm staying away from GameStop cause that will be a certified battleground. I'm going to check if the managers have an idea of how many shipments they're getting and if they're all spoken for. I'll run their responses through a complicated algorithm to determine where our best shots are.

Then tomorrow night the team moves in. First, it's me: The Heavy. I've got the card with the funds for the purchase and I'll be stationed outside the store with the highest chance of success. If it's no good for me, I've got at least two other guys stationed at other stores. One with an equivalent cash amount, and one who's placeholding at a less-likely store.

Overall, I've placed our probability of success at 25%. But that's more than enough for a sappy Nintendo romantic like myself.

So... anybody else gonna try the camping method without a pre-order? Suggestions, questions? Feel free to share!   read

2:31 PM on 11.02.2012

Why Wreck-It Ralph is an important movie

So I saw Wreck-It Ralph. Being someone who grew up in the SNES era and later became fascinated with the NES era, it was kind of a necessity to see it, much how the sheer amount of video game references in Scott Pilgrim drove me in. And I fell in love with that despite having only read the first installment of the series. Certainly, Wreck-It Ralph has already drawn comparisons to Scott Pilgrim, in addition to Toy Story, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and others. Are these fair comparisons? And does this movie stack up against these other “classics?”

Before I can answer, allow me the opportunity to climb to the top of Mount Everest with the world's largest PA system so I can shout “YES” into a microphone loud enough for the whole planet to hear. Yes, this movie is like others, but it could definitely shake a stick at any of those other movies I named. It would be easy to look at Wreck-It Ralph externally—as many already have—and label it as a simple Disney cash-in on the growing video game industry. Once you get inside the theater, though, the level of love and detail in this movie is comparable to any Pixar movie, perhaps even better than some. I'll go ahead and say that I think the endearing short “Paperman” that plays before the film proper, in its 5 minute run, was more emotionally satisfying than Up. Up's problem was that it told a beautiful story in its first 5 minutes then fell into a wholly average, but pretty, kid's movie. I'm not trying to denounce anyone's opinion who liked the movie, but I think it succeeded as well as it did because it had a clear Pixar label on it. Wreck-It Ralph, though many of its choices were influenced by Pixar, has the stigma of being a sole Disney effort. Since the purpose of this writing is to convince you to go see the movie, I encourage you to look past the Disney label if it bothers you—and if it's any indication of the film's worth, other reviewers have mistakenly confused it for a Pixar movie.

It may be the context of my seeing the movie that has so profoundly engorged me with awe towards it. I saw its midnight premiere, and it's kind of hard to not thoroughly enjoy those. Generally, the people who go to midnight premieres are people who want nothing more than to be there and are somewhat predisposed to enjoy the hell out of themselves. So yes, the audience whooped and cheered and laughed at everything—EVERYTHING—and when it was all over, here are just a few overheard snippets from my fellow movie-goers:
“Pretty much a perfect movie.”
“No point in finding anything wrong with it.”
“People who don't like this have no heart.”
“How could anyone give this a bad review?”
And I can't disagree with any of those sentiments. I myself was quoted on the way out of the building saying “This may be one of the most important movies ever made.” I gave myself the night to think about this, let the impression stew, not sharing any opinion until I could consider every angle. So here it is, every angle I could think to examine, and every argument I can muster for why this is one of the most important movies ever made.

In case you are unfamiliar with the concept, I will do my best to bring you up to speed. Wreck-It Ralph is the villain of the arcade game Fix-It Felix Jr, who is tired of being the bad guy. He abandons his game in order to get a medal that will earn him the respect of the other guys in his own game. However, his medal is stolen by a little girl named Vanellope in a Mario Kart-esque racing game (complete with an area similar to Rainbow Road), and they must work together to win the big race and get it back. Those are about the most basic terms I can break the movie into, but there is so much more that you just have to see.

Most features for children focus on two main characters and perhaps one subplot, but this movie is an absolute marvel in plotting. Ralph's story is self-driven and separate from Vanellope's, which could have easily been its own movie, but the two interweave themselves spectacularly at a certain point of the movie. It's been noted that the movie has a “typical” rise-fall-rise structure, which is true, but this should not be considered a flaw. The general problem of this story structure is that the “fall” comes across as contrived in most movies, and is simply a way to add tension to movies where it would otherwise make more sense to just have the protagonist achieve their damn goal and get us out of the movie 10 minutes faster. But every factor that contributes to the “fall” in this context is done with such sincerity, it evokes not impatience, but legitimate compassion because it asks the question “What do you have to take away from these characters to really break them? And then how do you go about taking that away?” It also helps that the argument the villain makes that leads to this spot of intrigue is actually a very convincing point, making Ralph's motives and subsequent decisions absolutely justifiable.

The reason we can appreciate all of these little things is because the exposition itself should be considered a masterpiece in screenwriting. Sure, the film opens with a monologue where Ralph lays (mostly) all of it on the line, yet there is something stilted about his speech, as if he's not speaking to the audience—then of course we discover he's NOT referring to us, but to his villain support group. Natural incorporation of initial given circumstances: Check. The next piece of exposition is in fact a major plot point that seems, at first, nothing more than technical jargon in-universe. This term is later described, and finally fully-fledged, like another whole story. But the impressive part is that this all happens naturally and mostly behind the scenes.

One note I'll make is at first, you may be surprised at how mundane Ralph's “problem” seems to be. I know I was. Not being accepted is not a small problem, but the way in which Ralph's frustration comes to light is mostly just sad: he wasn't invited to Fix-It Felix's 30th anniversary in the arcade. What does this say about Ralph and the rest of the movie? A whole lot more than most other animated films do. Most characters in these kinds of movies go through some sort of life-changing event that sends them on a hero's journey of sorts... but Ralph? Ralph's just mad he doesn't get cake (a clever nod to Bowser's continual problem). So what does he do? Blasts cyborg bugs, flies space ships, builds go-karts, initiates prison breaks, and more. What this does is highlight the absolute determinism in Ralph, his utter desperation, which is in many ways shared and overshadowed by Vanellope later. And this makes the dynamic between the two characters one of the most enjoyable and pure friendships in cinema.

And let me say in no uncertain terms that, even though I absolutely despise the majority of child characters in fiction (they're all baiting too much for sympathy without doing anything to earn it), Vanellope is adorable, endearing, feisty, and hilarious. And yes, she says childish things, but she's a child after all. Though her backstory prepared her to be independent, once Ralph enters the picture he becomes a father figure, a best friend, or, if you'd prefer this analogy, the Sully to her Boo. And Ralph is the perfect character for her to foil for.

Both characters are suited well by top of the line voice acting. John C. Reilly as Ralph does a remarkable job at retaining just enough of his awkward charm while bringing an intense subsidiary melancholy to the character. Sarah Silverman's work on Vanellope has so much heart to it, and those I was with commented that this is probably her best voice acting job yet. You'll probably see a lot of Ken in Jack McBrayer's portrayal of Felix, but there's a much more heavily romanticized side to him. And of course, Jane Lynch is nothing but fabulous. These are just the leads, but truly everyone does a wonderful job.

And what of the characters they portray? Nothing short of excellent. Ralph is especially a fantastic protagonist, not because he wants to stop being a villain and become a hero, but because he becomes fixated (almost obsessed) with having physical proof that he isn't a bad person as people seem to think. It's deeper than it seems on the surface. Vanellope, as I mentioned, is also incredible, though these two glow especially in their interactions. The “fall” scene is absolutely heartbreaking because of the utter desperation each character shows. Felix may come across at first as a typical goody-good, perfect hero, but later on we see that he has a distinct lack of understanding for the other side, and even has some apparent frustration that he can only fix things (a superb counterbalance that these two are matched together because they are programmed that way, and that for this reason Felix even refers to Ralph as “brother”). Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch, the hard-boiled leader from the in-universe game Hero's Duty), has the quirk of always being on a hunt of some sort as a way to cope with her past. She has a will-they won't-they attraction with Felix that raises some interesting questions about how these video game characters, literally composites of code, can break out of their programming and find romance. The rest of the cast is great too, from big ham King Candy down to the one-off characters like Tapper or (crowd favorite) Beard Papa.

These are some of the most charming characters in animated history, due to both the acting and the writing. I've heard some complaints about the writing, calling it “typical Disney fare” or “too childish.” Well, yes, there are plenty of jokes that hinge on mocking and imitation which can understandably be appropriated as “childish.” Huh. Almost as if it's a kids movie, you know? Seriously though—they make “duty” jokes and the second half of the movie is almost entirely candy puns, but if you don't laugh at those then the child inside of you is probably dead and gone. Most people will laugh at the word “duty” in a group of friends, and yet call it cheap when it's used in a movie. And some of the puns may illicit groans, but that in itself is a funny thing. There's an improvisational comedy game called 185 where the whole point is to make crappy puns that make the audience collectively groan. It's not necessarily the pun itself that is funny, it's the recognition of the word play and following realization that everyone else in the audience is groaning that makes it funny. I respect Wreck-It Ralph for not being afraid to write their characters like this. That's what I call committed writing.

With all of this greatness, can there possibly be room for any more? Of course, silly reader! Wreck-It Ralph is a gift that keeps on giving. The visuals and the soundtrack are no exception. The term visual feast gets tossed around a lot, but hardly is it more appropriate than in this movie where 75% of the movie is looking at a world that literally is a candy buffet. When you're not looking at a chocolate and candy cane atmosphere, you'll also get the gritty dark and neon world of Hero's Duty, and the minimalistic (but cute) world of Fix-It Felix Jr, among dozens of little flashes that show the 8-bit representations of the games you're watching. There's a tumblr called moviebarcode that condenses all the frames of a movie into a small little rectangle so you can get an idea of the film's color scheme—I'd like to see a bar code of Wreck-It Ralph for all of its aesthetically fulfilling contrasts. And of course the score harkens back to the 8-bit days with electronic instrumentation scored into little “themes” as if for levels. And the credits song for Wreck-It Ralph is perfectly 80s in its sound.

It's all of these little things that come together in a perfect harmony that really attest to the excruciating detail in the film. It's been noted by several reviewers (as it was with Scott Pilgrim before it) that it would take many, many viewings (of which I am already planning more) to catch every little reference or allusion in the background. The movie had so much affection put into it that it practically oozes the stuff—and that alone puts this movie on a shelf with some of the best Pixars. They make the viewer be attentive, but not straining, to absorb everything it has to offer. And that is what really makes you think while you watch it. I know I thought a lot.

I thought about the nature of video games, video game movies, and popular culture in general. You see, even though retro gaming has certainly had its resurgence in the past couple of years, I found it strange for awhile that Scott Pilgrim and Wreck-It Ralph would root themselves in that specific branch of gaming while Call of Duty and God of War are the hip new things. For Scott Pilgrim, despite its acclaim, it wasn't enough, and failed to bring in a large audience. Wreck-It Ralph has a bit of a leg up. It's Disney, it has a world inspired by Halo, and it generally has a broader appeal. I thought about why this is and I think for the most part, it's because it perfectly matched material with target audience. It's perfectly tailored for kids because even though they may not “get” some of the more obscure characters, they can follow the story and focus on those that they do know—Bowser casually sipping coffee, Sonic delivering a PSA, and Pac Man wobba-wobbaing around Felix's penthouse are all going to draw their attention. Meanwhile, their parents, who were kids when these games were popular, have the added parental bonus of picking up on all the smaller stuff. I think those two age groups are best suited, but I think it has a pretty universal appeal for the sake of just telling a very good story with characters deserving of instant classic status. I think it may alienate some teenagers, who may have “cooler things to do,” but even they get shoutouts to their age group: good ol' Skrillex shows up as a cyber DJ, and later you can catch a glimpse of Leroy Jenkins graffiti.

So the video game aesthetic is clearly a good choice as it establishes an audience, but the setting accomplishes something even more than that. It's widely accepted as fact that video game movies are lame. From the Super Mario Bros movie to Street Fighter to Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li, all have been met with derision and disregard, even if some later achieved cult status. Many called Scott Pilgrim the first great video game movie despite not being based on a video game, but now we have this to take the throne. Though it is not based on any preexisting game, one might consider it as such since there is a Fit-It Felix game that was released before the movie (and is a lot of fun!). What I'm getting at is it's not a format that (until this release) was explicitly tackled in the mainstream media with any kind of success. But with Wreck-It Ralph we have something good that presents all the potential of video game movies.

The video game movie format does something new: it completely recasts tropes that we've become accustomed to over the years. It doesn't have to deal with a messy backstory for Sergeant Calhoun because they pass it off as just being in her programming. In another movie her depressing backstory would be seen as “Oh, they just wanted to make us feel sympathy for her.” But in this one, it's not even a real event that happened—it's a memory that was programmed into her. And it's not the memory that shapes her character. The memory is the programmer's excuse for the character. This is why her flashbacks are so hyperbolized. It's simultaneously humorous, explanatory, and gives her character some depth. It should come as no surprise that a video game movie could rewrite tropes like this, because that's what video games did when they first came out. It was a completely new medium with new things to say and new ways to say them. With this movie, a whole new spectrum of explanations and plot devices is now available to filmmakers based on the way that video games and movies function separately. For example, final confrontations in movies and games are different. In a game, defeating the bad guy is a heavily personal experience as you fight the guy who has single-handedly oppressed you. In a movie there's a distinct separation. But in Wreck-It Ralph as soon as the villain identifies himself as “the final boss” I know I for one clicked into personal mode. This villain became Bowser, Eggman, Wily, and Ganon, and it was on. It hit a personal chord with me. It's rather impossible to not appreciate that.

Other themes arise all over the place... themes of acceptance, destiny, even possible suggestions of disability-as-a-superpower with Vanellope's glitch. It's all something that you should explore for yourself with an open mind, ready to let out your inner child. At its worst it's a frenetic, high octane thrill ride with breathtaking visuals, a nostalgic soundtrack, stunning detail work, pitch-perfect characters, and a great sense of humor. At its best its an emotionally driven work of art that redefines what a movie can be.

I stand by what I said. This is one of the most important movies ever made.   read

2:51 PM on 07.20.2012

Clearing my mind

I apologize if anyone finds the timing of this blog inappropriate, but I felt I needed to address the Colorado shooting. If you don't want to read a blog about this I don't blame you. It's a video game site, after all. For those of you who choose to continue, I firstly hope you will trust that I am not trying to exploit the situation just to get people to click on the link. Second, this will be a lengthy post. I just need to get this out of my head.

I don't know everything that happened. No one does and it's possible that not every detail will reach us. I have to say, when I woke yesterday morning, the world didn't feel any different, though I guess it never does in these kinds of situations. My biggest concern was "I hope my roommate doesn't think my Mario bedsheets are childish." Even as I walked through my college's dining hall and saw the news report about a shooting at a Batman midnight premiere, I was more concerned about what classes I was going to select. That's not to say it wasn't distressing, but it didn't seem directly relevant at the time.

I went home with my brother and he turned on the TV--he hadn't yet heard what had happened and when he heard the news story he was shocked. I decided I should get up to date on the situation too and sat down. We watched for thirty minutes, learning horrifying detail after horrifying detail. And then they mentioned the six year old girl who had been killed. At that moment my thoughts did not go to that girl, but rather to the two young nieces that I have. One of them cannot pronounce my name and just calls me CaCa, and despite the unfortunate implications of the nickname, it's adorable to hear every time--the other is perhaps the most eloquent three-year-old this world has ever known. In that moment I imagined that it was not that six year old girl who had died, but these two precious children close to my heart.

I heard my brother choke up and I knew he was thinking something similar. "What if it had been them?" But for me it was more real. As if reality suddenly changed, and they were there, and they were gone. I visualized gruesome things and tried to shake it away--it wasn't real, just my mind being ridiculous. I know I can't possibly imagine what those families are feeling right now--but in that moment it really felt like they were gone. There's one of those cynical sayings, something along the lines of "you don't care about something until it happens to you." I guess it's true. Sad, but true.

It's not the "right" reaction to have, and I realize that; I do. Just like I also sympathize for Christopher Nolan in this situation. My heart should belong to the victims and only the victims, but to think that this man who only wanted to create something worthwhile and meaningful, not only to comic book fans but himself and the public at large, now has a work that is tarnished by the actions of one disturbed individual... it's terrible. I have to wonder how he's getting by with the knowledge that his passion project is now labeled as the movie associated with a shooting. Last night should have been earth-shattering in a good way. Instead it destroyed the worlds of innocent people.

I guess all this goes to show is that people don't know their own feelings. Yeah, you can identify a general sense of "I feel happy, I feel spunky, I feel hungry" but there aren't exact words to describe how opinions form. You can say it's ethics, you can say it's "just because it's right." But how many of us claim to feel one way until we discover the exact opposite is true? "Sunshine of Your Love" is a classic rock song. Growing up, I always accepted that classic rock was not to be questioned or disliked, so I sat through "Sunshine of Your Love" on car rides up and down the highway. I hate that song. I hate it so much. But it wasn't until someone else said it was bad that I realized it was okay to not like it.

It took a six year old girl to show me that I do care about these people in Colorado I have never met, despite my nonchalant attitude earlier in the day. Sitting in front of the TV was depressing. Scrolling through facebook was even worse--some people apparently see fit to make jokes about this. I needed to share my thoughts and I thought I would do so with the online community I know best. Because maybe it will help reconnect my thoughts. I guess I've just been feeling the "wrong" emotions all day, and now I want to feel something right.

So I think I can speak on behalf of Destructoid as well as myself when I say that my heart goes out to all the families of the deceased and injured. May they rest in peace.   read

7:16 PM on 05.15.2012

Hype: The reason I bought an Xbox 360

What you have to understand about me is that for the three unfortunate years I spent in middle school, I was absolutely, positively, whole-heartedly, obsessively, and depressingly attached to the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. Of course, the only actual games from the series I had played at this point in time were Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic and the Secret Rings, Sonic the Fighters, and Sonic R. I still hold those games dear to my heart, but some of them I've realized are actually shit bubbles (I love them nonetheless). Back then, however, I put these games on a pedestal above many others. I loved the characters (yes, even the annoying friends) and the fast-paced gameplay. I was one of those people who shipped Sonic and Amy ferociously and would cry watching montages of the two together with "You're Beautiful" playing in the background. At school I wrote a serialized comic strip called, aptly enough, "Sonic the Comic." I also spent over $100 to get a set of 2-inch Sonic figurines that were probably worth closer to $20. I used these figurines to make a web-series called "Sonic's World" which surprisingly got a decent amount of views, and more surprisingly are not so bad upon looking back (if you can ignore my prepubescent shrill voice and horribly contrived jokes).

If you want to watch the videos, here's the link. It's good for a chuckle.

Now that you understand the sick dramatic irony of my situation, I think it goes without saying that when one of my friends mentioned a Sonic game had been released exclusively for the 360 I was both ecstatic and horrified at the same time. After all, it was great there was a new Sonic game to get my grubby hands on, but I was 11, had spent all my money on buying a Wii on day one, and always imagined I just wasn't ready to handle whatever the 360 had to give me.

But I needed Sonic. It was like an addiction--no, more than an addiction. I hopped from video to video until I had absorbed almost everything there was to know about the game without actually having a controller in my hands. I did read the comments, which were by and large very harsh but who was I to believe them? They just didn't get it. They weren't Sonic fans like I was. My excitement grew exponentially with every new thing I discovered. I started asking my friends if I could borrow their Xbox-es. I really did only intend to borrow it just to play this one game and then give it back, but looking back... yeah, that wasn't my brightest idea.

One of my friends straight up told me to just buy an Xbox 360 and get the game. I hadn't really even considered the idea... I didn't have the money and I certainly didn't think my parents would be willing to shell out that much for my hobby... but once the idea was in my head I couldn't get rid of it. I started scanning stores for used 360's every time I visited one. I finally found one for $180, which I could meet my mom halfway on. Of course, I got the warning that I would really have to make the most out of this system to make it a worthwhile purchase. This wasn't going to be just a one-game deal.

But I hadn't even considered any other games. As far as I was concerned, this might be the last game I ever played. Just based on all the things I had seen and heard, how could it be anything less than perfect? Would I need to justify the asking price with other games, when this could quite possibly be the only one I would need for the rest of my life? When I told my friends I had bought one I heard echoes of "The Orange Box" and "Halo" and "Call of Duty 4" and "Bioshock." BORING was all I could think. I had what I needed. I was ready to go.

And then I played it. Or rather, my friend who mentioned the game to me in the first place played it. That sniveling bastard started the game up without me and played through the opening scenes. We had a big argument when I came back about "How could you do this to me?" and "You're a guest here, this isn't your home" and blah blah blah... It's funny to think that there was a point in my life when one of my best friendships hung in the balance because of Sonic 2006. Not my proudest moment.

Anyway, I sat down and played the game. I had expected the abundant loading screens because of admonishing YouTube users. I had expected the glitches because I had read reviews. All of that stuff was inconvenient, yes, but because I saw it all coming I was able to write it off. But what no words or opinions can express to the nearest degree with littlest margin of error is the level of just how un-fun something can be.

Many people (myself included) enjoy bad movies. Some (also including myself) find bad movies more entertaining than good movies. I think the reason we're able to appreciate it for its total lack of quality is because we've seen enough good movies, and we've seen enough of the tropes and methods that work in these movies, that when we are faced with a bad movie, we get a kick out of identifying the individual aspects that work together to make the movie not work together. It helps when the filmmakers take the production very seriously--The Room, for instance--Tommy Wiseau really believed he was making a poignant piece. Each element of the movie therefore, was crafted with a specific purpose and idea behind it. This attention to dysfunctional detail is commendable, and makes it all the more fun for the viewers.

This is where the bad differs from the mediocre. Watching a mediocre movie or playing a mediocre game is like watching an Olympic runner celebrate his victory too early, just to get passed by the harder-working guy in second place right at the end. You want to say "Focus!" The runner clearly knows what he is doing! After all, he's in the Olympics, and leading at first place at that. But his hubris gets to him and there's nothing anyone can do about it. The same goes with mediocre entertainment. You can see where it's going and its heart may be in the right place, but it just won't get there and it ultimately hurts to watch.

Take this feeling and ramp it up to eleven to imagine my disappointment at Sonic 2006. I wanted so desperately to like it... I tricked myself to think I did... I depressed myself to think I did... I wanted to hold onto the idea that this game was everything I thought it might be. Maybe it was guilt, considering $240 total had been dumped into GameStop just for me to play this one game. Maybe I felt a small amount of betrayal. But when I ultimately admitted to myself that I just didn't like it, I felt a lot better about myself. I was able to kick my sudden buyer's remorse and experience more games to, as my mom put it, "justify the purchase."

And you know what? Even though that game did put me into a brief, but shockingly deep depression, I'm glad I played it and I'm glad I put out the money for it. My stubbornness pushed me into a folly, but I picked myself back up and--Oh my!--I still had a fully-functional HD console with plenty of other games to try out. I did end up getting all those other games my friend had suggested, and loving them. Over the years I've enjoyed some excellent experiences on my 360, including Bioshock, Oblivion, Deadly Premonition, Alan Wake, Prototype, Halo 3, Fallout, and so much more.

So yeah. Sonic 2006 is about as big as failures get. But without it, I wouldn't be the person I am today. Because when I accepted Sonic 2006 was a bad game, I started to adopt the motto "You win some, you lose some." Is it always worth it to risk it for the hypothetical biscuit? Perhaps not, but even if you don't necessarily win, you can always take your failure and make your own silver lining out of it.   read

7:50 PM on 02.11.2012

The REAL Best Video Game Endings of All Time

Wow guys, I can't tell you how embarrassed I am that you guys had to read this clearly misinformed list of the best game endings ever.

However, as a representative of Guiness, I'm here to tell you all that I've just been delivered the REAL list of the best video game endings of all time. That last one? Someone got drunk and threw some titles on there. Guiness is a beer company after all. But here I am, completely sober, typing in complete sentences. Giving you the list.

10. Super Mario Bros 2
Everyone here at Guiness could agree on this one because we could all relate, since we are all middle-aged Italian men who dream about mushrooms and shit. It was all a dream?! GAH! That means it's just like Inception! Inception was the shit! You can play a drinking game with Inception. Every time you see someone's totem you just shotgun a can of Guiness.

9. Helicopter
I cry every time I play it. Such a tragic tale, full of dramatic irony.

8. Super Smash Bros Melee
Because we've all wanted to know what it was like to beat the ever-living fuck out of Michael Jackson's glove.

7. Indigo Prophecy
This guy's such a Casanova he fucked a cop who was trying to arrest him earlier. Oh and did I mention that he was a fucking zombie while he did it? And he knocked her up? Lucas is the kind of man every person wants to be (yeah, even women).

6. Flower
Pretty colors.

5. Citizen Kane
It was his sled! Never would have guessed it!

4. Ghostbusters
Conglaturation indeed.

3. Scribblenauts

2. Super Scribblenauts


So yeah, sorry about the mix-up earlier, but I think now you'll be much more content with this list. This is Guiness, signing off.   read

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