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3:10 PM on 11.17.2008

Dreamtoid: Digtastik's Dreamland

I'll be starting a new dream series detailing the ridiculous subconscious meanderings of a middle aged gaming fanatic.

Destructoid is a great community with quite a few very strong personalities. I have get my daily dose of chuckles from the cblogs, podcasts, and forums. Even though I haven't met most of the people that I interact with here, these interactions have become a part of my daily grind just the same. As much time as I spend here, it is only natural then that my brain would continue to sift through these daily ramblings as my body rests. I happen to be one of those people that remember the contents of my dreams; I've yet to decide if this is a good thing.

What I do know is that I have a head full of Destructoid. Over the past few months, I have had a handful Destructoid related dreams surface. At first, I thought it was a bit strange and more than a little bit obsessive. I hesitantly confessed to my retro gaming partner in crime, Craineum, that I was having Destructoid dreams. His first response was to just utter the single word, "Issues."

He was only half joking I imagine(pot vs kettle), but after I told him about that first dream, he eventually stopped laughing and said "Cblog."

It's taken a bit convincing, but in a few days I'll begin posting rundowns of my first few Destructoid dreams. I envision this being a kind of dream analysis series. I'll document the contents of the dreams and a breakdown of what I believe they were all about. After the first few, we'll just have to see if they continue.

I suspect that I'll catch a bit of abuse for these posts, but when you get to be our age, you've really lost all sense of shame.

Absolutely No Shame

So get ready for some high adventure/misadventure tales from the depths of Digtastik's Dreamland. The first one stars a couple of well known RetroforceGO! members, an elderly woman, and a little guy we all know and love as Mega Man - and no, it has nothing to do with Craineum's progeny.   read

4:50 PM on 11.13.2008

Nametoid: What You Meant To Say Was...

A few weeks ago Craineum and I were yammering on about all things dtoid and we found ourselves fumbling over our fellow community members' names. Is it bleh-man or blay-man? Pendleton or peendleton? You get the picture.. Hell, we get to hear our favorite podcast hosts stumble over our names all the time. No one is immune to this - join the facebook group, Mr. J<*FSHLAFFISHMANAFART*H@#. You're not alone. The solution?

Well, Phonics of course!

We discussed prefixing listener comments with a helpful pronunciation key so the podcast hosts might be able to untie their tongues. Good idea. After further thought, we figured it might be kind of cool or useful or just plain fun to have a repository for this stuff. So there you have the supposed purpose of this blog. Add your name/pronunciation to the list if you want.

Let me just go ahead and get this party started:

dĭg-tăs'tĭk   read

9:53 AM on 06.18.2008

Delusional Fanboys - Castlevania 2 Simon's Quest

I've been playing a bunch of my childhood games again lately. Simon's Quest is one of these games. When I was 15, I thought this game was amazing. I played and played and played. Playing through the game now, I say to myself "Self, WTF were you thinking? This game sucks monkey balls." From the horrid engrish to the lousy time lapse dynamic to the "squat by in this random spot to proceed" BS - what made this game worth it? The 1st game rocked, but like Link's Adventure, this follow up was a completely different game. So just what made the game stick for me?

Nintendo Power is what made this game. Admit it, no of us would have ever made it through this piece of shit game without the help of this wonderful magazine and the pay-per-call hint lines. I know I made a few calls to various game expert hotlines. I tried my damnedest not to, but I can deifinitely remember making my way through those hotline menus.

So be honest with yourself... I loved the game. I still own the game. I've recently played the game. I have to ask though, was this really a good game? Or are we all just trying to delude ourselves in hopes of preserving those precious childhood memories?

A shiny turd is still just a turd. Me, I AM a delusional fanboy.   read

12:58 PM on 06.17.2008

The Bittersweet Taste of FFVI

I've taken it upon myself to play through the Final Fantasy series main canon this year. Here it is June and I've just completed Final Fantasy VI. I never played it on my SNES - I
was in my early 20s when this game hit the states

partying more often than I was sitting at home playing games that required that much of a commitment. Other than VII, I think this is probably the most hyped up entry
in the series. It didn't live up to the hype for me - I greatly enjoyed it, but it's far from my favorite.

The reasons that this game falls short for me apply to many more rpgs than this one, but since FFVI is so fresh in my mind, it catches all of the abuse(sorry guys). I'm not going to say this game sucks, because I did enjoy it, I just didn't enjoy every aspect of it. I always read about how great this game is, but it's rare that I find folks willing to say they dislike anything about it. So, here are the things that I bitched about in my gaming circle while playing through this game.


This was by far the easiest RPG I have ever played. In most games of this genre, gameplay is made rather linear by letting you think you can go wherever you want, but then handing you your ass in one fell swoop when you enter an area you weren't really prepared for. There were only 2 instances in this game, that made me kick back and consider grinding a bit or rethinking some strategy. I'm not even counting the lack of difficulty once acquiring dual cast ultima.

Kefka who? I didn't even break a sweat in the final battle - everyone knows that you normally have one character dedicated to nothing but healing for the entire duration of most final battles. I didn't come close having a stressful sweaty final battle - and this with characters in the early 40s. I fully anticipated the final boss to kick my ass. Not so here.

No Class

Character classes were completely lost, since every character in the game could become proficient in magic regardless of their supposed class and armed equpiment. Maybe that's the old school D&D junkie in me, but when every character in your party can cast devastating magic spells when fully armed AND using two-handed weapons, there's no real need for any other skills. Sure the developers gave each character a unique skill, but were they really necessary? I rarely used them.

Weight of the World

The inventory I finished the game with was ridiculous. I see very few games these days that even recognize such a thing as encumbrance. If my party is carrying to much shit, there should be a penalty somewhere. I didn't even have to sell off stuff to make room for more important/better stuff. Sure, it would have made sorting through my inventory easier,
but since I didn't have to do it, I didn't.

Crowded House

Probably my biggest gripe, was the lack of a main character to build and identify with. Was there a main character? I don't know - the game splits your party up too early and too often for my taste. I never found a character that I felt was mine. I kept a core party of Edgar, Celes, Terra, and Sabin when I was allowed but there were how many more characters there that Ididn't give 2 shits about. Not only could I have not cared any less for the extra characters, but it's like the developers were offended by that. They actually make you go find everybody at one point in the game! These characters were pointless, and now I have to go find them again? Hell, I was happy to be rid of them! Requiring me to form 3 parties for the assault on Kefka's tower seemed like a cheap way of making sure I tried differing play dynamics. If I hadn't had to track everyone down to complete the game, this would have been a much shorter game.

All in all I enjoyed it, but there were definitely things that could be improved. I may be over doing it by playing the entries this series all so close to one another, but I'm at least having a good time doing it.   read

9:30 AM on 06.16.2008

Bargain Hunter - Quest for the Past

Hopefully we all learn from our mistakes in life; I certainly have. Most recently I've learned two important lessons - 1) I wish I had held on to all of my old systems and carts 2) I've become cheap. These things combined have made me a bargain hunter.
For the last ten years, I've been lurking on Ebay, hitting pawn shops, Goodwill centers, and flea markets in pursuit of that next big score.

I've of course purchased a replacement NES and SNES along with some of my favorite carts like this one

Great condition with box and manual for $5. Ebay is great for the anxious completist in me since, if you're willing to pay the price you can get just about anything you want. You just have to weed out the shipping rapists.

Used game shops of the independent variety tend to hide some great finds. There's this shop,Console Concepts Gaming Center, that I need to hit where cart prices range from $5 - $60. Check their AWESOME PICS and start drooling. I snagged a copy of this piece of crap
for $1 at a small place in a local mall during a big sale. Now they only sell poker supplies.

Most recently I've decided to play through the Final Fantasy series(except for the online BS - not interested). I'd played through the first 3 on the GBA/DS and was on the hunt for IV-VI. Amazon had IV and V Advance for $20 each, but they also had the FF anthology and chronicles for $15-$20. Since that included FFIV,V, VI and Chrono Trigger, I was all over it. Unfortunately, 2 days after placing the order I heard the latest RetroforceGo! wherein those versions were panned as the worst or the re-releases. I canceled the order and bought the GBA versions of IV and V. Good choice since I was then able to play them whenever and wherever I wanted to.

- Yes, I could have found an SNES copy, but I was digging the mobile aspect of the re-releases so that's what I hunted for. Amazon had it used and new from various sellers from $25 up. Walmart had it for $30. I wanted it for less. I searched and searched; I'd just about given up hope when I found a copy at Circuit City. All of their GBA games were on an endcap in one big box. Buried in that box was what I'd been looking for at the nice acceptable price of $17. Gets better; since all of the GBA games were on clearance it rang up at the register for $6. SCORE! (Thanks Freddy!)

On to the big daddy of the FF series. You know the one. Yeah, that one that people seem to want to charge so much for just about everywhere you find it listed.
I lost my copy of it back in '98, but with minimal effort I've found my best score of the year. Craigslist - I failed to mention this resource. The listing was for a rev1 PS2 with 5 ps2 games and 7 ps1 games. The games included FFVII, FFVIII, FFIX, FFX, and Kingdom Hearts. All complete and in perfect working condition. It seemed to good to be true. The score - $100!!! Suck it. I was all over that deal like a fat cat on a bb.

So what good finds have you made lately? Me, I have some more hunting to do.   read

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