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About
Holy crap, I know no one reads my blog... but really... I have been gone for a loooooooong time, and I am back for good. Srsly. I am BACK... (I really never left). I have now "grown up" and moved on to bigger and better things in the life of a gamer. For instance, I am now a full-fledged 360 ADDICT, with little to no Wii influence at all besides my losing 2" off my waistline thanks to Wii Fit (I know, I was surprised too) and my friends and I playing Boom Blox and Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

I am now 17 and am still living in Pennsylvania. I am an avid VGXpo attendee (the only video game conference in Philly) and have been to New York Comic-Con twice now. I have "grown up" in every sense of the term (Besides the little WWE fan inside of me, go Edge!!!). Anywho, my new favorite game is either Skate 2 or Guitar Hero: World Tour... for now. I now actually have G4, and watch it almost religiously. Attack of the Show and X-Play are new favorites on my list.
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With only 5 days to go or so until the release of SSBB in the US, I am doing a series of countdowns regarding different parts of the game. The first countdown regarded the top 3 newcomers to Super Smash. Well, this one is about the top 3 stages of Brawl. To be eligible, the stage must be new/made for Brawl. So Melee throwback stages are out of the question. Here we go:

#3: Pictochat
Pictochat gets my #3 spot because of its spontaneity. The fact that floors and hazards are drawn without you really knowing what to expect is pretty cool. I think that this stage will be one of the most remembered or linked to Brawl. I plan on using it a good amount. It also has cool music like the Wii Sports theme, Cow Racing from Wii Play, etc.

#2: Smashville
Remember Animal Crossing for the GCN? Well, this level was made just for you AC fans out there. The one thing about this level that I love is that depending on the time you play, the background will be different, (at night it is dark, etc.) and at 8:00 on Saturdays, KK Rider shows up to play a song or two. As an Animal Crossing fan, I love that concept, and the layout is simple, and I like simplest stages.

#1: (tie) Frigate Orpheon and Mario Bros.
Yes, #1 is a tie. Frigate Orpheon comes from the Metroid Prime series and is a very cool stage. What makes the stage awesome is that at points, the stage rotates 180 degrees, sending you down to another platform-heavy area. The small size works well with me, too. The music is awesome with the Meta Ridley boss theme and the Parasite Queen boss theme.

Mario Bros. is the ultimate stage. The concept of Smash goes right out the window, and you are all sent to an equal playing field and told to throw those pesky creatures at your enemies. The Mario. Bros. classic medley is some of the greatest music in Brawl. I will play both of these levels the most.
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Pictures of the stages can be found HERE

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To save this post from completely going to waste, here is the Extras tour from the guys at WiiFolder.com









These vids are advanced techniques for Super Smash Bros. Yes, they are long, but they teach you a lot. They are made with Melee, but most of the techniques are transferred over to Brawl. I think that any budding Brawl master wannabe would want to watch these three videos. I just did for the first time last night and totally destroyed some of my friends on Melee thanks to wavedashing. GO! WATCH!

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


This is just another part of my Brawl Final Countdown, expect a Top 3 new stages countdown tomorrow.










Genesis v. Sephiroth. Fanboy crying commence. This video makes me extremely happy. As a fan of Final Fantasy and a big-time PSP owner, watching this trailer makes me want Crisis Core so badly. I know that none of these scenes will be in the game, but it just probably makes every Final Fantasy fanboy cry out at the action-packed scenes of fighting bliss.



This video, meanwhile shows the basic combat of the game, which looks a lot different than some of the other games in the series. If combat is improved, so will the game.

So it looks like Crisis Core will be a good game. It has a great storyline, returning characters, and great graphics. I am looking forward to buying this game, and all the PSP-owning FF fans out there should be too.








Okay, so with Super Smash Brothers Brawl coming out in only 8 DAYS and counting, I have a series of countdowns to show my favorite parts of the game. The series will consist of top 3s of whatever the hell I think of posting about regarding Brawl. I will do enough of these to lead up until the release of the game at midnight on the 9th. From then, I will have my first impressions up Sunday night or Monday the 10th, and my full, in-depth, possibly two post worthy review up in the next week or so after the release.

Anywho, back to the countdown.

With a new installation in the Super Smash series, there are bound to be newcomers to join the fight. That holds true for Brawl, too. The complete list of newcomers is impressive, with the ranks of Meta Knight, Lucario, Ike, Pikmin and Olimar, Snake, and Sonic joining the brawl, there are bound to be new fans of the series due to the inclusion of these newcomers.

I myself have my favorites and I am sure that all of your opinions may differ. The rankings are in order of the amount of time I will play as them against friends and online.

#3: Pit



Being the hero in the world of Kid Icarus is tough, and joining a massive, universe wide fight is not that easy either. Pit, aided by the Sacred Bow of Palutena and Palutena herself (in the form of his Final Smash), is a formidable character in the hands of the player that knows how to use him. The arrows Pit's bow unleashes shoot out like beams of light. Players can control the curves of their trajectories, too. The reason I will play as Pit is his recovery time. Since he has wings, it only makes sense that he has a great recovery time. You can recover easily with him, period. That alone makes him unique.

#2: Pikmin and Olimar



The reason I will play as the Pikmin and Olimar is that they are just so unique. Each colored Pikmin that you pluck out of the ground as Capt. Olimar has its own special ability. For instance, the red Pikmin has a higher attack power and is immune to fire. His special smashes are unique like his character. His Up smash is a tether recovery that works extremely well and his Down smash is a Pikmin call to order sort of thing. It rounds up all of the Pikmin that you have plucked (and are not dead) and gets you back to fighting with them over again. I like the uniqueness.

#1: Sonic



SONIC. Just a mention of his name and Brawl in the same sentence and I become overwhelmed with happiness. The thing I like about Sonic is that he is fast. I am the type of tournament player that blinds people with speed and combos, and Sonic will be the newcomer that I will play the most as. His attacks are spectacular (spin dash, spring jump, homing attack), his stage looks awesome (dont even mention the awesome music), and he just has one of the greatest final smashes of them all... SUPER FREAKING SONIC. Point proven, Sonic is the best.

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So there you have it, the top three newcomers in SSB: Brawl. Up next: Top 3 Stages.
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Every month there is one great game, and that is my game of the month, so, these are the nominees for my Game of the Month for February 2008. One per major console.

Nominees:
Sins of a Solar Empire (PC)

Sins of a Solar Empire is a really fun strategy game. As one of the few games on this list that I do not own, but have played with a friend, I found this game really addictive. Sins is a space-bound game. The playing field is a 2D web of 3D planets and other 3D celestial objects clustered around one or more stars which looks great on a high end PC like my friend's. The sheer brilliance in HUD design, the huge scale of the game, and the amount of fun in multiplayer makes this game worthy of the PC nomination.

Patapon (PSP)

Patapon was just bought by me yesterday, and I cannot put it down. It will keep me busy until Brawl comes out for the Wii. But anywho, Patapon is a highly addictive rhythm game. The reason it got the PSP nomination is fourfold. One, the songs will get stuck in your head, in a way. Two, you feel like you are playing a cartoon because the graphics are THAT good for the PSP. Three, the simple gameplay mechanics are great. And four, I put this game down for 10 minutes and I was fighting the urge to pick it back up. It is the best game to come out for the PSP in my opinion. And at 20 USD, it is a bargain.

Devil May Cry 4 (PS3)

DMC4 has everything that fans expect of the game over the top fight sequences, tons of replayability and an experience with an excellent production value. I have become that fan. DMC4 is fun and action-packed, and I would recommend it to anyone who owns a PS3 right now. Even if the story focuses less on Dante and more on Nero, it is still a great game in the series, and definitely better than DMC3 and DMC2.

Lost Odyssey (360)

Lost Odyssey proves that a good turn-based RPG still is alive and well. Lost Odyssey creates several memorable characters and a somber setting that should please those sick of JRPGs that seem made for little kids. I'm not the biggest RPG fan, but I was impressed with the game overall. Its not as good as Mass Effect, but its a decent addition to anyone's 360 library.

Regarding the Wii nominee...

This was a very bad month for the Wii, so I had to resort to a Virtual Console game, which in my process, counts. So...

Harvest Moon (Wii (Virtual Console))

I simply LOVE this game. One of my childhood favorites. What makes this edition's re-release on the Virtual Console especially compelling is its simplicity and its value. It's the first Harvest Moon game, so it's a great entry into the series that's more accessible to get into than some of the most recent, more complicated franchise installments. Farming is fun.

Expect my verdict anytime next week. Discuss freely now.








No doubt, there really is one game being released to XBLA, and that game also is my pick. I would not have made this pick if the game was not good, so here it goes.

TRIGGER HEART EXELICA is my XBLA pick of this week. Please do not yell at me for making my pick of the week the only game being released, but THE is a great game. I have played the original Dreamcast game, (yes I own a Dreamcast), and it is damn fine. So, is this XBLA port.

The game involves playing 1 of 2 anthropomorphic fighters to battle against 5 stages of enemy ships. Exelica specializes in wide area attacks, while Crueltear uses concentrated front shots. Players can fire anchors to catch enemy ships, then use the caught unit as a shield or throw it to inflict more damage.

It is a shoot-em-up, and I love shooters, so it gets my pick. I really enjoy this game, and is a great buy.

I really think that February is one of the best months of XBLA in a long time, in my opinion.

Trigger Heart Exelica Xbox page:

http://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/t/triggerheartxboxlivearcade/