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In what is the coolest jobs I've ever had, I write about toys for a living. All day, nothing but toys. It's amazing. When I'm not writing at work I'm writing at home, either working on my screenplay or my children's novel. When I'm not doing any of that I try to get in some video game time. I'm currently rocking Nintendo only consoles because dammit, I love Nintendo. More than Nintendo, I love platform games. Even though my favorite game isn't a platformer (The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker), it is my favorite genre of games.

Follow me on twitter at www.twitter.com/thekillerbees and add me to your 3DS Friends List (1633-4277-3240 and let me know so I can add you to mine.) I'd love to meet some people who want play some Kid Icarus, Resident Evil: Revelations and Mario Kart 7.



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Destructoid lost a great man this week. Tony Ponce served us all well as the Mega Man ambassador while championing pro-Nintendo causes (something thatís rare on this website). He dazzled us with his amazing observations on gaming, his wit, his charm and his ability to find those gaming related videos that make us all laugh. Tony Ponce will be missed. Itís just a shame he died while watching ďMake Way for DLC,Ē though we commend his zombie corpse for keeping up the contributions to this site for as long as it could.

It may not be clear how things will change without Tony, but soon enough that change will come. Tony has gone to a better place. That place is called the unemployment line. Though crackedbat was unable to meet him in person, crackedbat hopes someday he will get the chance to shake Tony Ponceís hand right before Tony gives crackedbat a handjob in exchange for some money for cocaine. Enough time will eventually pass when Tony willl wake up one morning in the gutter, his arm tingling from the Krokodil, and slowly crawl his way back to Destructoid.com headquaters begging for his old job back. Only by then Modern Method will have been bought out by Rupert Murdoch and turned into gay hook-up site for Islamo-Fascist terrorists.

Thatís the is inevitable future of Destructoid.com without the presence of Tony Ponce. That is unless it is able to replace him with someone as smart, witty, strong, sexy and fully capable of being the man Tony Ponce pretended to be. That someone is of course crackedbat. See crackedbat is ripe and ready for his shot to take Destructoid from the 8,087th most popular site on the internet to the 8,085th most popular site. †And crackedbat has five good reasons why he is the ideal man to take over the well grooved seat Tony Ponce has left behind.

#5 - crackedbat Loves Mega Man

If Tony Ponce is the worldís biggest Mega Man fan, crackedbat is certainly number two. In fact ďnumber twoĒ was his nickname in high school, given to him by his parents who always referred to him as a ďgiant number two.Ē crackedbat has played all five Mega Man games: Mega Man 2, Mega Man 3, Mega Man 9, Mega Man 10 and Mega Man X. He has also nearly beaten one of them, which is a lot because those games are fucking difficult.
crackedbatís favorite thing about the Mega Man franchise (besides this much needed rest Capcom has graciously put the series on) is all the great Robot Masters. Robot Masters like Strike Man, Top Man, Pump Man and Splash Woman have captivated crackedbat, inspiring him to write some of the greatest Robot Master-slash-fic 4chan.com has ever seen. If you have a moment, read his genre changing epic ďTop Man Becomes Bottom Man.Ē It will give you a whole new look at the corporate tax rate in Peru.

#4 - crackedbat Knows What The Readers Want

Itís the question that website staff will ask themselves every day: what do our readers want? crackedbat knows. After doing a wide variety of experiments and research studies, crackedbat has found the one thing all readers want: they want to not read. Why spend time writing some important and well thought out article when you just post ten pictures of cats and call it a day? Hell thatís all Buzzfeed.com does, and that website is in the top 200.
Even comments on stories donít require any effort beyond a sentence and a picture, as proven by these results:

crackedbat has studied this out well. If heís brought aboard the R.M.S. Tistructoid, heíll bring the Buzzfeed style of article ďwritingĒ with him and all the journalistic integrity that comes with a website like that.

#3 - cracbat doesnt need an editar

Lets fase it: the internet is home to sum of the wurst writing evar created. With txting and twitter, the riden word has ben beaten and broken down in to a nuthin but a pile of letters. But not all hop is lost. crackerbat is a rider by trade. He writes all day about kewl things like toys n stuff,,, and its like awwsome. And he dose it all w/o the help of an editar; and it really shows!

#2 - crackedbat Only Likes To Do Lists of Fours.

So there you have it, the reasons why crackedbat is the perfect candidate to replace Tony Ponce. To see more of his work visit Familywatchdog.us. If youíre not totally impressed, crackedbat understands. But if you donít hire him, be warned:

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On my game shelf right now sits a copy of Shin Megami Tensei 4. It is my first forray into a mainline entry in the series. I bought it not only for the sweet deal that came with buying it and Fire Emblem Awakening, but also the fact that there arenít many mature games available for the 3DS, and even fewer with giant dick monster. So it sits on my shelf next to my copy of Infinite Space, one of the lesser known games from P* that graced the DS a few years back.

Both of these are small, niche games. They appeal to only a small segment of gamers. Small, niche appeal is something that Atlus Games is known for. Its niche fanbase is something that Atlus has built up over its decades in the business. The Atlus Faithful is something many other small developers would kill for.

Atlus got to be the big fish in the tiny pond because it catered to its fans and it worked within its limits. None of its games are million sellers. Its games rarely, if ever, make the top 10 titles outside of Japan. You wonít see a Persona or a Etrian Odyssey title on any best selling games of the year list anytime soon. Yet even without having a superstar franchise, Atlus thrives. It thrives in Japan and its niche fanbase in the US turns out every release with cash in hand for the next Altus masterpiece. Atlus knows how to cater to its niche audience, and that is what I fear will be lost with its acquisition by SEGA Corp.

Technically, Atlus is now run by SEGA Dream, which is owned by SEGA Corp., which is owned by SEGA Sammy Holdings. The confusion over who actually owned the company caused way more uproar than it warranted, but now the truth it out. We know that SEGA owns Atlus. We know that SEGA Sammy has plans for the Atlus IPs that extend beyond video games. We know that SEGA is looking a different devices for Atlus to spread onto. Technically, SEGA wants to ďfurther facilitation of revenue growth for the PC Online Game Business and Content Business for Smart Devices operated by SEGA and SEGA Networks Co., Ltd. by exploiting acquired prominent IPs.Ē

Iím not about to go on an anti-mobile gaming tirade, but as one of those niche gamers who Atlus caters to I worry about losing that. I worry about a F2P mobile game being developed in lieu of a handheld or console title. It seems more and more companies are trying to expand their audiences at the expense of those who got them where they are. I can understand that thinking. Many gamers are spoiled and they want the very best every goddamn time. Giving the very best can be expensive so developers have to do everything they can to make their games profitable. Itís a vicious cycle of snark and hate. I donít want Atlus to go down that road. Games like Shin Megami Tensei and Etrian Odyssey shouldnít have to worry about finding an expanded audience if they want to continue to exist because they exist just fine as they are. As an RPG fan, who loves biting into a hearty adventure with a ragtag group of heroes, I donít want to see those titles go down the road that so many others have. People said that SEGA is better than Capcom or EA or Square-Enix, and thatís true, but a Atlus on its own would have been the best, if improbable, outcome of this situation.

And this isn't me being worried about the lack of localization. SEGA knows exactly what types of games Atlus releases and SEGA knows about the Atlus faithful. I have no worries that the US will miss out on Atlus games because we still have Atlus USA. I know that SEGA is chided for its decision to not localize Valkyria Chronicles 3, but really it should be chided by its decision to make the game for the PSP.

In SEGA and SEGA Sammyís defense, there are some benefits. With SEGA Sammy Holdings flipping the bill for Atlus, we might actually see a PS3 or PS4 Persona game. With SEGAís great relationship with Nintendo, we can assume the much anticipated SMTxFE title will still happen. But things are changing, and people are resistant to change. This move could be an unexpected benefit, or we could watch as Atlus goes down the road of Hudson Soft. I donít like watching things I love die and thatís why I am worried about this acquisition.

Yesterday Joshua Derocher (great gay porn name by the way) published a piece about his experience with customers shopping for video games. I fully agree with everything he said and shared by own experiences in the comment section. But as I thought about those two examples, and really I just chose two out of many, I got to thinking about what itís like with the shoe on the other foot. Itís easy for us to point out the mistakes of consumers who donít educate themselves on gaming even in the slightest bit. From learning the difference between the Wii U and the Wii to calling every goddamn system a ďNintendo,Ē consumers never seem stop surprising us with their amazing absence of knowledge. But what about when we, the ďeducatedĒ gamer is the one doing the shopping. We know exactly what weíre looking for and probably know everything there is to know about that game. So we donít need a knowledgeable retailer to show us around. Unfortunately for those confused customers, the person selling them a game or system isnít always the best suited to help them make this expensive decision. As a game consumer for more than two decades, here are a few observations Iíve made about gaming retail employees that Iíd like to share with you.

Product Knowledge Is Not Required To Work There

Be it Gamestop, Target, Best Buy or the little momínípop shop I used to frequent, knowing what youíre selling clearly isnít a requisite for working there. As a Nintendo fan, Iíve become used to the fact that if Iím buying a game that isnít made by Nintendo the employees will know nothing about it. Trying to reserve a game like Hometown Story for the 3DS brings up a blank stare from the cashier as he asks me several questions about a game he hasnít heard of. When Solatorobo was released, I wasnít able to reserve it because the Gamestop employee couldnít find it in their system (I finally found it in that Pre-Order book they have and it was squared away). No More Heroes, Chocobo Dungeon, Silent Hill Shattered Memories (ďThereís a Silent Hill game for the Wii?Ē) and MadWorld are just a few of the games Iíve purchased that the employees knew nothing about.
Those incidents were fine. I knew what I was looking for because Iím ďgame smart.Ē However, this lack of product knowledge almost proved disastrous for one customer I came across during a trip to Target. I was there getting my copy of Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2, but had to wait until the one employee in the electronics department could help me out. I waited and listened as he helped a woman pick out a video game system. Her son wanted the PSP and the Target employee was pushing her towards the PSPGo. I listened as the employee explained to her the PSPGo could play all the PSP games they were selling, in other words all of the PSP UMD titles. If you didnít know (and clearly no one in this conversation did), the PSPGo is a download only system. Being the busy body I am, I had to interject and explain to both of them the facts about the PSPGo. The customer ended up going with a cheaper PSP 3000 and I got my DQMJ2.
I used to work at Sears in the electronics department. Part of keeping that job was staying up to date on all the newest technologies. We did sell some video games, but the bread and butter of our department was televisions and overpriced connection cables. Once every few months we had to update our knowledge and learn about the newest television technologies coming out in the future. Why isnít this a part of the job for game retailers?

The People Selling Games Are Just As Big Of Fanboys As Those Buying

People hate fanboys. Iíve been told this is true many times and that Nintendo fanboys like myself are the worst because we whine and cry and are blind to the yadda-yadda-yadda. Fanboys are the worst, and the best because theyíre the people pumping their hard earned cash into this industry. Itís fine if youíre a fanboy in your own home and on your own computer where you can go online and shake your tiny fists of rage.
Itís not exactly okay when the fanboy is the one selling you a game, especially if the customer is not up-to-date on the latest in video games. Because you can be your favorite gameís biggest cheerleader, but just because you like it doesnít mean others will. When a parent says their kid likes action games, that doesnít necessarily mean they want Call of Duty. When the kid says heís really into role-playing games, you may want to think twice about trying to sell them on Mass Effect 3. And for Christ sake just because you were able to look past all the faults of a game like Resident Evil 6 doesnít mean others will be able to do the same.
Perhaps this ties back into my first point. If the game store employee isnít up to date on all the games out there (because he doesnít visit Destructoid.com, the best non-porn website on the internet) they will no doubt default to what they know. So when pushed, theyíll direct a customer to a game they like. But if that game is Resident Evil 6 or Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir, a game the employee really enjoyed, do you think that employee would be honest enough to detail all the faults with the video game when recommending it?

They Pretend To Be Your Friend, Yet Know Nothing About You

I donít shop at places to meet new friends. I have plenty of friend. But working retail means you have to act like youíre buddy-buddy with those who frequent your store. I get this. I used to work retail (still work customer service) so I know all about being friendly with people. The problem is many game store employees, and this one specifically is limited to Gamestop, try to go too far with that buddy-buddy shit. Many who I have come across in the past really go out of their way to show weíre buds yet eventually fail in a spectacular way.
I donít know how this works, but I believe there is something at Gamestop that shows my past purchases through my Rewards Points card. There have been several occasions where an employee has asked me ďHey, how did you like {insert game name here}? I was thinking of picking that up.Ē Thatís fine, Iím cool with that. Iíll talk about all the games Iíve played for hours, whether they were good or bad. But if youíre going to peek at my customer history, you should probably take a second longer to look at the list. Because right after that little diddy, the employee will 95% of the time follow up with, ďSo do you want to reserve the upcoming {insert XBox 360 or Playstation 3 game here}?Ē Had he actually taken five seconds to look at my purchase history, he would have seen that I have never ever bought a videogame that wasnít on a Nintendo platform. NEVER. Then again, Iím sure if he did see that, he wouldnít be able to name a single Nintendo game beyond Mario, Zelda or Pokemon that was up for pre-order.
Of course this problem pretty much goes back to my other two points. When you try and get buddy-buddy with me and ask me about games, Iím going to bring up some pretty ďobscureĒ shit that 99% of the time will be met with a blank stare. I donít want to talk about Call of Duty, I have no interest in the latest Madden and Assassinís Creed just isnít my jam. But if that is where the conversation leads, and it does from time to time, I am able to talk about those titles because I know my general shit even if I havenít played the game. But donít feel you have to go that extra mile to show weíre buds because the second we start getting specific about my interests you are going to fail at it. Also asking me what my name is, even though I shop there once a week, isnít helping the ďweíre totally budsĒ facade.
(On a side note, I will say the games I most get recommended to pre-order are Call of Duty and Madden. Iím starting to think those ďI only play Call of Duty/MaddenĒ gamers we joke about are now the ones selling me my games.)

We, as game consumers, are in the minority. Obviously we know our shit because for many of us, especially around my age or younger, weíve grown up in the information era. We get that anything we ever wanted to know, be it which PS3 games are 3D or how to pleasure a woman, is available with just a few keystrokes.
But the others, the older generations or those who donít give two shits, have to rely on the kindness of strangers. They have to be able to walk into a game store and trust that theyíre getting the right answers to their questions. I know there are many game store employees who will do just that. But there will come a time when a customer will come across an employee who really doesnít know what theyíre talking about; and if one us ďgame smartĒ people are witness to this event we have two choices: We can keep quiet or we can use our knowledge to help others. I encourage you to always speak up if you ever see someone in this situation. From my experience the customer will be grateful. Besides, whatís the point of spending all day on game websites if we donít use our powers for good?
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4:56 PM on 08.18.2013

Imagine if you will, itís November and Call of Duty has just been released. You get it home and get ready to play with your brother or sister when you find out that in order to play co-op you need to buy the special Call of Duty Co-Op Controller for $29.99. Suddenly your already pricey first-person shooter just got 50% more expensive. That would be ridiculous, right? Gamers wouldnít stand for that. Weíd be up in arms about something as simple and basic as local co-op being restricted behind a pointless pay wall.

So why isnít there more uproar about Disney Infinity doing this?

Maybe Iím just not hearing it. Reviews for it have started to come out and many signs point to the game being great. The Toy Box mode gets to the bulk of attention for its limitless potential and several reviewers have spoken highly of the Play Set modes. Iíve seen several 9s and 8.5s, but this isnít a complaint about reviewer scores. I have to wonder for a game like this should the price of the game be taken into greater consideration when we review these products.

Of the reviews Iíve read and listened to they have pointed out that the game can get expensive but fail to truly detail that even the most basic feature of video games, co-op, is pretty much locked away until you spend more money on additional figures. This $75 game suddenly becomes $105 if you want to be able to play through all the Play Sets in co-op. This is because developers Avalanche Software limited Play Sets to only the characters who are featured in that particular IP. Yes, you can play co-op in the Toy Box mode with any characters you want and Iím sure thatís where many people are going to get the most out of Disney Infinity, but the 25 or so hours spent in the Play Sets is also a big part of this game. Itís where you unlock most of the exciting tools for the Toy Box mode and Iíve read playing through the Play Sets is a much more enjoyable experience when done in co-op.

Itís like Skylanders on speed. Yes, there are portions of Skylanders that are hidden behind the paywall of additional figures, but you can still beat the game from beginning to end with co-op using only the toys that came with the starter pack.

Maybe Iím making too much of this and Iím sure people who are excited about the game wonít care, but I feel as though this pricing scheme is reprehensible. Itís not completely unexpected given this is a Disney game and Iím sure Disney would try to corner the market on air if it could make a buck, but at what point do we take a stand against money grubbing developers/publishers that will use any tactic they can to drain our wallets dry? I know the price of the game doesnít affect its quality, but would it kill the people who are getting this game and possibly more for free to think about the real world cost of this game when theyíre gushing about it?

8:55 PM on 08.04.2013

When you sit down with crackedbat to play video games, you best prepare yourself. You see, gaming with crackedbat will no doubt be one of the best experiences youíll ever have. For starters, heís pretty amazing. Heís funny, handsome and an expert with sleight of hand magic tricks. He also loves to refer to himself in the third person, a trait that sets him above the rest of his peers. So when if youíre ready to roll with crackedbat through the magical and mysterious worlds that video games offer society, just let him know. Be warned though: all future gaming sessions will pale in comparison to the day youíll have with crackedbat.

With a full time job and full time pre- and post-work activities, crackedbat usually can only game on the weekends when he can really dedicate himself to it. When you come over to his palatial apartment youíll no doubt be stunned by his 60Ē 1080p HD 3D Sony television, complete with integrated Netflix and Hulu. That is what youíll be playing on. After youíve found your spot on the couch and grabbed your controller, it is time to go... online to peruse your favorite video game website. Of course that is Destructoid.com, where you and crackedbat will click on every story link, ignore the text and jump straight to the comment sections. The first thing youíll do is switch the comment view to ďBest.Ē From there, you read the very first comment, and no matter what it is youíll reply to it. That way you know people will read what you and crackedbat have to say; because what crackedbat has to say is very important. After you and crackedbat have edited down your comment to perfection, you wait on the page until someone with half a brain comes along and up-votes the comment. With that settled, you visit the next story and comment there as well, making sure to comment in every story that has 25 or more comments. The name of this game is getting your opinion out there, because on the internet every opinion is important no matter how stupid, redundant, trollish and just plain wrong it is. You and crackedbat get bonus points if youíre the first to comment on a story because those are the most likely to get up-voted and replied to.

Wishin' and hopin' and thinkin' and prayin'

With your first round of comments finished, you check to see if anyone has replied to the both of you. Someone did. In a comment about the Wii U someone has replied to your pro-Nintendo post with an anti-Nintendo post. Now is where the real game begins. You reply to the anti-Nintendo poster with something inflammatory; you donít think, you just type. They respond. You respond. They respond. You respond by calling the Vita a terrible system even though you donít own one and you never intend to. In this response you also refer to Sony as a terrible company because they couldnít manage to sell you on a system you wrote off before it even came out, and use any negative press about it to bolster your argument. The game continues until you can convince them they are wrong and crackedbat and yourself are right. If you canít convince them, you pretend to be the bigger man by typing some variation of ďagree to disagree.Ē crackedbat counts that as a victory.

With the Destructoid.com comment section defeated, you finally move on to the real game: gonintendo.com comment sections. Fighting with people who donít like Nintendo in generally is easy; fighting with scorned Nintendo fans is an artform. The arguments start off easy and stupid: complaints about Nintendoís advertising. You and crackedbat jump right into the throes of it as you defend Nintendo with every keystroke. Because if you two wonít defend this multi-billion dollar company from seven people in a chat room, then who will? The fight begins with everyone pretending to be advertising experts who know whatís best for this multi-billion dollar company with an award winning advertising agency at its disposal. You jump from Nintendo Advertising to Nintendo not releasing Mario Kart 8 in 2013, another hotbed topic. This is where you and crackedbat will copy and paste all the games that Nintendo is publishing this holiday season even though everyone on that website already knows about them. One commenter claims he didnít know about a particular game. Heís full of shit but you donít call him on it. Eventually the comment thread is closed and you and crackedbat move on to your next target.

Unfortunately the next comment thread is about Metroid. Two comments in someone posts about Metroid: Other M, a game so reviled the website has instituted a policy prohibiting people from talking about it. Threat of being banned doesnít work. †Like the Battle of Minas Tirith, only consisting of overweight people arguing online, the comment section war erupts. This fight is over quickly though as the thread is closed. Nobody ends up being banned. There are no victors. crackedbat has grown tired of this game and that 60Ē television is singing his name. So the both of you once again pick up your controllers and turn the television on.

Pictured: The worst thing ever in the history of mankind... apparently.

Time for a break from all this gaming. crackedbat switches on the Netflix and two of you watch three episodes of Scrubs. You check the listing to see if Netflix has any movies worth watching. They donít, having replaced them all with seasons of Storage Wars and Ax Men.

Break is over, time to get back to gaming. Television goes off and the two of you go back to the internet to see if there are any new comments to your posts. You reply to the worthwhile ones with crackedbat dropping a little liberal propaganda in there. crackedbat reminds you that a lot of new games were released this week, which means there are going to be reviews all over the internet. Time for a little co-op as the two of you search for any and all reviews, repeating one of three comments:

A) If crackedbat doesnít like a popular game even though he hasnít played it, and the game gets a poor review, you post ďThatís a fair scoreĒ while remembering to call out anyone who disagrees with you, always referring to them as a ďfanboi.Ē
B) If crackedbat likes a game that is given a poor score, you complain the reviewer ďJust doesnít like NintendoĒ and call the website stupid.
C) If any game that isnít a Nintendo title or indie gets a 9.5 or 10, you question the integrity of the website; hopefully garnering enough idiotic like-minded replies that the reviews editor and the website owner have to post in the comment sections themselves defending the site. Their comments go over the websiteís review policy while assuring everyone they didnít give the game a 10 because it was heavily advertised on its site.†

Flawless victory!!!

Co-op complete. You and crackedbat have traveled across the internet and ensured that everybody knows exactly what crackedbat thinks about a certain topic because his opinion is too damned important for people to be left wondering.

Congratulations, your day of gaming with crackedbat is complete. To celebrate your victories, he pops in his copy of Animal Crossing: New Leaf and spends two minutes finding all the fossils and checking rocks for money and minerals. With that out of the way, itís time to rest up for another incredible day of gaming with crackedbat. However, if you do want a little extra time of gaming with crackedbat there is some post game content you can play. The two of you jump back to Destructoid.com where you find the latest Bloggers Wanted post asking what gaming with you is like. Instead of doing the effective thing like commenting Ė

Blogging With crackedbat

Here is my 3DS Friend Code: 1633-4277-3240.
Add me and find out what itís like.

Ė the two of you spend two hours writing a sarcastic blog that mocks yourself and the internet gaming community.
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