It's been over a year since I've blogged here. Sorry about that. Over the last couple of years I've had less and less access to a stable and working computer and in all honesty while I had a ton of ideas for blogs the passion just wasn't there and the timing was all wrong. Now however seems perfect and I'll tell you why.
Recently Destructoid posted an article about the 20th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. The Movie in which John Leguizamo told us some fond memories about filming of the movie and how it was a pioneer in video game movie adaptions. As I was growing up I absolutely adored this movie. Unlike most however I actually didn't grow up with a Nintendo console in my house. I sometimes think that for this reason alone I enjoyed the Super Mario Bros. Movie as the sting of a completely different take from the games is why most adult Mario fans now seem to hate this film. Ultimately I'm sure it's just a case of personal preference but in defense of the film....what would you have preferred? A straight adaption? Don't you think the movie we got was already bat-shit insane as it is? That's what I love about it!
For anyone who knows me from back when I posted here quite frequently about 3 years ago I used to run a little kiosk within a busy complex selling trading cards and other nerdy junk. It didn't really pan out because this stuff is so niche and I used to sell it way before I knew about eBay/Amazon but for a while I used to also collect & sell both MOC (Mint On Card) and Loose action figures. Having such a huge love for the Super Mario Bros. Movie I also decided to get my hands on the complete set (minus one piece) and I wanted to share some pics cause it's the 20th anniversary and I love this movie! So hopefully you dig it too.
Note: before I get on with this I actually have DOUBLES of everything here. That means that I have two versions of this entire set (minus one piece) both MOC and Loose. So nothing was opened that wasn't already!
Recreating The Dancing Scene[/i]
Thanks for'to checking out my blog. Have a nice day! Yipe wah yahoooooooo!
So a few weeks ago I saw this game on the PlayStation Network called Closure. Usually when I'm drawn to a game it has alot to do with the presentation. I'd say most of today's games try to be as colorful and as visually appealing as they can possibly be and even some games incorporate art style into the game. Closure actually uses it's starkness to it's advantage to not only create seemingly bare environments which can be illuminated by light but to use it in a way that bends and breaks the structure of traditional platformers.
Starting up the game you let the music hit you, it's powerful and epic and gets you in the mood for a journey through dark and possibly treacherous locals. Then you jump in. The world is presented in such a way through it's music that you get an oddly eerie feeling. Perhaps it's the combination of the images and the music composition but it reminds me of the Twilight Zone I'm ever waiting for a recording of Rod Serling to inform me as to what's going on. The music then contrasts to sparse droplets of sound and it's then through barely lit pathways you begin to understand Closure's world. Light is your saving grace and that glowing orb in your hand is what's keeping you from dying.....then you drop it. You fall through the floor, the level resets and all that hard work is lost. You come across an impassible wall between you and your goal. While light keeps you alive, it's absence also removes obstacles. You notice that the door across the barrier has been lit enough to jump onto and exit and now that the wall's no longer lit it, no longer exists. You sail through the air landing upon the other side exiting through the door.
These are some of the neat feelings I felt when I played Closure for the first time. These little touches along with the white on black, unique level design and artwork for each 3 areas (known as The Factory, Hospital & Carnival respectively) really make Closure feel like a unique undertaking. Having been a flash game on Newgrounds you can tell care was taken to polish the game for full game release. Each area has a different play style from the last and while the game sometimes feels like it takes it easy on you in some levels, it actually takes precision and several attempts to master some of the harder parts of the game. One such instance trying to retrieve a key underwater. Falling into water for the first time the music sluggishly continues on in a lower distorted tone driving home the point of being submerged, you notice the door keys sink while in water and light orbs float to the surface so it's required to find a way to keep both yourself and the key inside the light while these 2 adversaries of buoyancy conspire to see you lose your key or worse get caught in a pocket of dark space.
Closure's biggest strengths however is that it's a puzzle game that accounts more for finding solutions than relying on skill alone and how players who think outside of the box can manipulate it's world and find easier ways to accomplish what seems like tougher goals when approached from only one angle. I'm not really sure ultimately what makes me really enjoy Closure. It's one of the few downloadable games that I've been compelled to chip away at. Half the fun I guess is at first figuring out the path, learning what's required to get through the level and fiddling with ways both proven and experimental to reach my goal. Every new level is a new awaited experience for the next time I can play as I'll get to dig deeper on what my possible path will be. I don't need to be the fastest, I just need to think and most of the time it comes easy and others it takes patience, trial and error. However another interesting factor for me is the symbolism presented within. It seems like there's a story to be told with Closure though not entirely prevalent to the experience where a creature entering these 3 different worlds as 3 different people. Finding out will be half the fun. At the end of the day though I'm hooked. I've finished 2 out of the 3 doors and I'm working on the 3rd. Waiting to lose patience, to get oh so close and to figure it out only to do it all over again the next time I need a little Closure in my life.
Thanks to everyone whose written about themselves because honestly reading some of your stuff has kind of allayed my fears that I am not a total weirdo about somethings...though I still wear the weirdo badge with pride. So thanks for doing these and bringing this back...I haven't had a reason to write in a long time..........it's been 6 months!
WARNING: THIS IS PICTURE HEAVY CAUSE I LOVE MYSELF AND PICTURES HHHNNNNNGGGGGG.
You're probably thinking this was Halloween...nope this was boredom and borrowed work clothes....
10. This isn't the first online community I've been apart of...
From around 2003 till about 2006-07 I used to frequent the site www.thedilly.com which was a website based around college aged kids talking about whatever and later on when their partnership split into 2 communities I'd occassionally visit the few people I liked over at www.votemeoff.com. They were basically like forums, so when I say I've "been there, done that" in regards to foruming it really is true. All I know is that neither site is around now. Most of the pictures here are from that time.
9. I'm a fat lazy procrastinator....
This one should be obvious. I started writing this on I think Wednesday and I'm posting it today. Remember Retro Fight Nights? Remember when that didn't happen? You now know why. Don't get me wrong, I get things done but I'm really terrible at time management and getting myself properly motivated...even with stuff I know I'll enjoy. I think I'll sum this up with one of my favourite lines from "The Simpsons"......I'll do it this afternoon!
8. I used to make stupid pictures in Paint...
like these...maybe now that I have a PC again I'll try and do some more with Dtoid in mind.
7. I once spent an entire Ozzfest by myself....even though I had friends with me.....
It was actually the second time we'd went and the first we'd managed to not get lost...not so lucky the second time around. I even unintentionally met up with a co-worker at the concert (she and I shared a love for....Cradle Of Filth...shut up) but I ended up losing my friends and hooked up with this other group of people and got really really high. Ironically my 2 friends who managed to stay together also got high and after the concert started wandering up and down the long entrance road to DTE Energy Center. Our ride picked me up and we found them wandering. I literally had not seen them since early in the show. HIJINX!
Carl, Rick & Myself meet Dani Filth from Cradle Of Filth...again..shut the fuck up.
6. I hermit...
I used to be intensely shy through grade school and into high school and I'm sure being bullied didn't help my self esteem and social skills. I still prefer being alone or the company of a few people to a huge crowd. I try harder now to be more sociable but anyone whose talked to me on Xbox LIVE knows how clumsy and awkward I come off when I talk to people. I do appreciate the friends I've made here though, thanks guys for just being around even if it was just taking my mind off of how shitty things are.
5. I met my best friend and had the best summer of my life because I wanted to play his N64...
I used to make friends with kids so I could play the game systems I didn't have. Sometimes this would come back and bite me in the ass in people "pretending" to be my friend only to lock their doors as I arrived. Either way I stopped doing it during the PS1/N64 era as I started making money and buying my own systems but my fondest memories involving video games comes at making friends with my buddy Rich because I wanted to check out the Nintendo 64. I'd already gotten a PlayStation and thus began a friendship of console swapping and game sharing. We literally spent a summer watching him play Final Fantasy VII like it was some episodic soap opera. We also both played through GoldenEye's campaign and competitively against one another. It's a tradition we still somewhat share today as I occassionally bring my (formerly Marcus') PS3 over to his house to show him some cool games. We started playing through the Telltale Back To The Future game recently cause we're both huge fans.
4. My passion is music...though I barely share it with people...I should probably do that...
Former teen metal head (since mellowed) I've been singing and playing guitar since around 1996 though I rarely talk about it. It's part procrastination partly because I'm shy damn it about sharing what I consider my "baby" for criticism. Actually I have played in several bands and actually done a little touring and played with some bands that achieved a modicum of success in this area. Even came over to the states to play a few times, that was fun. In all the things I do, music is the one thing I'm absolutely sure of. I don't care what level of success I have at it (I'm not that great honestly) I just want to be involved in it in some way. So I've been looking to find a program that is more music focused as the ones locally encompass music, vocals which are fine but acting as well...which I have no interest in
Anyways, do me a huge favor. I hate being a shill but I honestly found the only demo (the rest got wiped when my computer died) of some of my scrapped recordings and I wanted to share. It's mostly metal-y stuff but there's some softer music in there too, my favourite is the song at the 4:30 mark. Tell me what you think! Honestly...please...listen? This is the only way I can express myself that I don't completely and utterly fail at!
Some of you knew this from Twitter. This is that lifestyle where people tie each other up and do all sorts of consensual nastiness to one another. I'm just glad to see it's becoming less taboo every year. I got invited to a Munch once and it was probably the most nerve wracking thing I've ever done as I went alone. Everyone was really nice and polite though if gathering in large groups to talk about sex and sexing each other in sexy ways is not your thing then this isn't for you.Though I do enjoy the subject as I think it better helps understand who we are as people. A podcast about sex and sexy people needs to happen already.
1. I have a tattoo...
Peer pressure is a terrible thing. Especially when you're in a Clique. I wasn't sure if I was the last but getting a tattoo became a right of passage with the group of friends I had at the time. My friend Sean is forever tattooed with a Grizzly Bear surrounded by flames bursting out of his top right shoulder blade. I however went the less painful (and less expensive) route of a smaller tattoo on my right arm. It's a ying yang as you can see and I always liked the "there's a little bit of good in someone mostly evil and a little bit of evil in someone mostly good" philosophy of the ying yang.
So yeah thanks for reading to whomever made it this far have a smiley face for your trouble.
I've wanted to just write up a rambling about some of the new video games I've picked up lately because I had money, it was burning a hole in my pocket and now I have more games I can play and further avoid some of the ones I have lesser interest in playing (I'm looking at you Deadly Premonition, Bully: Scholarship Edition & BFBC2) that and some stellar titles have and are coming out so essentially playing catch up on some of these is nice. You'll notice that both Duke Nukem Forever and Kameo have longer paragraphs than the others by virtue of me beating the games.
Shadows Of The Damned
I'd convinced myself it was a game I didn't need in my life, not because I wasn't interested but it was other games and a lack of funding that kept me away. I made the mistake of checking YouTube which much like Stevil and probably lots of us has been the cause of lots of game purchases. I didn't really get a feel for it's narrative style from YouTube but the look of the game was definitely up my alley. Having actually played it now I'm in love with Shadows Of The Damned. Such a wonderful game with a lot of hilarious wit and I'm told if I like the reason why beverages heal you I'll love what strawberries do. It's literally the game I'm jumping to after Dead Space 2. MY BIG BONAR indeed.
I initially stayed away from Dante's Inferno for one reason. It's existence is negated by the existence of the God Of War series. Yes, it does want to cash in on the non-God Of War crowd over on the Xbox 360. So is it a clone? That'd be like asking First Person Shooter games to stop using guns or to stop aiming down sights. There's just things you can expect from a genre. That said though I still do think Kratos is more bad ass and that Dante looks like a downright pussy for being all on the fence about "absolving" people. Kratos wouldn't give a fuck. At the end of the day the game was cheap and it does look like alot of fun as I've always wanted to play as a Templar from crusades. In all seriousness though sometime down the road I'm gonna write a blog about why seemingly bad or flawed characters leave a bad taste in our mouths.
Duke Nukem Forever
For some reason long after the demo hit Game Marketplace I still had this desire to play Duke Nukem Forever. I don't know if it was because it would be like watching a car crash in slow motion but I just had to check it out. Even when I first played that Demo I didn't totally hate it. I sung the praises of poop throwing and generally all the items you could interact with in game as a highlight. It still is the highlight of the game but I'd say Duke Nukem Forever is hardly the worst game of all time. Is it worth $60? Hell no. I payed half and walked away happy. If you let it sink to $15-20 you'll walk away more than happy provided you go into it with an open mind for Duke's jokes and overall attitude. I agree with Jim and SuperMonk4Ever that Duke needs to be made the butt of jokes in the next Duke game but for now I think atleast DNF is a solid game if somewhat broken at times. Ie. get used to a crap load of long wait times between levels and massive texture popping at the beginning of said levels, graphically this game would have been better received had it come out in 2007 instead of 2011. Also Duke is weak as fuck and if you haven't been interacting with the environment to obtain Ego (Duke's shield) you'll get destroyed. Besides these issues and you know ALIEN RAPE....it's a fun little FPS with alot of crude humor in it. Where else can you randomly draw a pair of boobs and dick on a white board with the words "Titty Fuckin" underneath it?
Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
I wasn't into fighting games when this came out though my brother did rent it once on the PS3. I bought it cause it was dirt cheap but deep down I bought it because I wanted to play as Superman again. I'll say it here I love Batman....but fuck Batman...Superman could break that guy in half. Superman is THE MAN motherfuckers. Too bad he don't get the respec he deserves...though I blame his last 3 films not living up to expectations and his last video game being GOD AWFUL. I am though happy to finally get to play as DC's alumni even if I don't know such simple facts as "Captain Marvel is just a young kid". Either way this game is cool, from Superman with love you son of a bitch.
Obscure Xbox 360 Exclusives
These honestly are two games I thought I'd never get ahold of myself without going to an outside source. I've honestly always been interested in the Xbox 360's Single Player exclusives for one big reason. They're usually pretty obscure or undersell in comparison to the PS3's. It's why alot of these games have some form of Co-Op Multiplayer because they know what alot of their customers want as much of those co-op experiences as possible where as Sony usually knows the strength of their games and unless they're a system selling title like the Uncharted series, usually leave the tacked on Co-Op mode out of the game. Sony's known for their stellar single player franchises, some of which have graduated out of necessity to multiplatform titles. It's also why the top 2 Xbox 360 exclusive franchises in Halo and Gears Of War are so heavily touted as Multiplayer titles because it seems that's what Microsoft puts above all else...getting you playing as many different kinds of experiences with friends and why you'll find some touting Xbox LIVE as "the place" to play Online Multiplayer based more on the pedigree of the name than anything else. Considering the heavy lean towards Multiplayer it's usually the unique exclusives that suffer under the weight of such heavy titles like Halo & Gears. Just ask Alan Wake which despite some fun DLC follow ups was still one of the most pirated games of last year. It didn't have Multiplayer...boo fucking hoo. It seems to me that it's reasons like this that while Xbox may be the place to get your multiplayer fix, PS3 is the more all around friendly for all genres when it comes to retail release games. Sure XBLA has a great lineup of all sorts of different genres that are exclusive to that system but those experiences are of the "bite size variety". I want the feel of a full retail release game with a different genre that isn't based heavily around multiplayer. I've come to accept though that being that I own a Xbox 360 I'm not going to get that but it doesn't mean such an experience doesn't exist as I present to you Kameo!
Kameo: Elements Of Power
Sometimes things happen and it's just sheer timing. Unless you've been an Xbox loyalist since day one there's a chance you've missed this amazing title. A game I'll say right now SHOULD BE touted alongside the Halo's and the Gear's as one of the best Xbox 360 titles ever when we jump to the next generation. I say to you if you love adventure and love what Nintendo has been doing for years you have NO EXCUSE not to play Kameo! It honestly is such a departure from what the Xbox 360 is known for. Developed by Rare as an Xbox 360 launch title as it was previously set to be on the Gamecube then the original Xbox you play as Kameo set out on a quest to free her elven family from the Troll King Thorn. Throughout the game you collect the elemental warriors from the Shadow Trolls guarding them. You can change at any time into 3 different warriors and combine their attacks to take out enemies and solve puzzles. That's just honestly a PR way of saying it but it's a ton of fun. Nowhere else can I play as a giant Ice Chewbacca that throws Ice spears. Can grab trolls and throw them into his spiked back then grab the trolls by the head and use them as clubs while I beat down other trolls and the icing on the said Ice Cake? You then toss them across the area with sheer delight. Another warrior that's a ton of fun is Pummel Weed who is essentially a boxing...you read that right a BOXING plant. He has gloves and he jukes, jives and jabs my favourite part using the Uprooter attack to go under locked gates and at your command spring upwards with a devastating uppercut. Little Mac is that you? Honestly I wish I could go on and on about all the varied Elemental Warriors and their attacks but there are 10 of them and all 10 feel very unique and have unique moves/attacks and areas of the different worlds to interact with. I'll say this my only complaint is some of the controls, especially with Deep Blue the underwater Elemental which as far as I know has inverted controls underwater that can't be changed which makes one of the boss fights (atleast for me) excruciatingly difficult. Everything else though is fantastic. Love adventure games like Zelda but want something that feels a little easier like a Mario game? Kameo is your jam. Our jam.
This game I first saw on the mighty YouTube. Sure I'd heard of it a while back but for whatever reason I wasn't all that curious. Actually I think it was more due to the fact that I thought I'd never find the game. It's a funny game, the shooting is fine but only half the spells work and the spell wheel isn't that great. I like it for it's style and the fact that this is essentially a teenage goth girl's wet dream...of a video game. "Taste fear as your soul burns away" Alicia cries and then a lightning bolt cracks the sky. Besides Alicia's way hotter than that Bayonetta chick. Sure Bayonetta as a game actually works....but I never found librarians attractive so Bullet Witch wins just cause the main character is hotter. Logic. In seriousness though guys...you get to fight a skeletal DRAGON ontop of a plane while giant Sentinel-squiddy like things from The Matrix in the form of giant eyeballs attack a plane and these fucked up creatures that twist in weird manners and make weird sounds...they're called Caterpillar people for some reason though I can kind of see it. Then you shoot soldier guys that have faces for skin and it's about demons and you get to shoot stuff. It's really neat guys. Just incase you thought I was lyin' here's a video for your EYE SOCKETS TO BELIEVE.
Do I really need to put too much effort into this? Wasn't it obvious? Dead Space 2 won by a landslide though I gotta throw out some love to the people who voted for stuff like Bullet Witch and Halo 3 just because damnit they may be 4 years old but they're games I should be playing. Alas the Dtoid Community has spoken and DEAD SPACE 2 IS THE WINNER!
Since most of you voted Dead Space 2 or didn't even leave me a quote and because of my work schedule I'm gonna crap out and not make anymore pictures, you'll understand won't you? I will however take knutaf's advice though. I've dug my heels into Kameo: Elements Of Power and am now reaching the end so once that game is conquered I shall be moving onto Dead Space 2.
There were things I didn't care much for in the first Dead Space...okay ONE thing really...backtracking. Sometimes it really killed the pace of the game and since everything looked the same it at times and there were long moments of nothingness though don't get the wrong impression, I totally loved my time with Dead Space. It brought something that was sorely lacking in gaming, atmosphere that reminded me of the ending of Alien. Almost all of you assured me though that Dead Space 2 is what a true sequel should be, improvements up the a-hole, which sounds good and this time, I'll use more than just the Plasma Cutter for the sake of cheevo whoring! Variety, she is the spice of life am I right?
Thanks again everyone for voting and providing your 2 cents. I'm probably done doing this for a while unless I decide to swamp my backlog some more hehe. Though for the rest of the year it's mainly Multiplayer experiences for me! Thanks again everyone and sorry this couldn't be as picture heavy as the last results blog.
Hey guys! How you been? Grrrrrreat? I thought so. So I did what you said. I played the game you guys suggested and boy...what a game Enslaved was. I'll type out some thoughts at the bottom of this about the game but since I had fun creating the blogs and hearing about what you guys wanted me to play I figured why not...let's do it again! You decided what VIDJA GAEM I play Next!
I won't lie everyone, after last time's experiment I'm a little nervous handing over complete control over to you guys. It's like being gassed at the dentist's and having Occams & Mr. Andy Dixon showing up, Occams looting your body for treasure he can add to his shrine of oddities while Andy touches you in inappropriate ways......there's a 50-50 chance it'll be a pleasurable experience. Yet again, here we are and I want YOU DA DESTRUCTOID COMMONITY to decided what I'm playing
I have one small stipulation this time however...since I liked the format I had last time with the pretty pictures with your pretty little quotes all over it I'd ask that you please do either the following. Let me know why I should be playing the game or why you loved it. It'll make for better quote pictures I promise! Well without further adieu here it is...with some brand spanking new games thrown into the mix....the list of games YOU can vote for. Thanks again everybody for participating, let's find out what you guys think I should be playin'
Games (I should add all these games are for the Xbox 360, if they have co-op in anyway feel free to join me! It makes games more fun!)
Dead Space 2 Assassin's Creed Brotherhood Dead Island(more co-op with StriderHoang please) Shadows Of The Damned(loving what I've played so far) Alice: Madness Returns Metro 2033 Half-Life 2: Episode 2 Kameo: Elements Of Power(one of my new favourite 360 exclusives) Bullet Witch Dante's Inferno Fable III Saints Row Saints Row 2 F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin Spider-Man: Web Of Shadows Halo 3 Clive Barker's Jericho
That's it folks, other than a few games I've omitted due to a lack of interest have at it! Pick something good okay guys ;) I'll get back to this in probably a couple of days or so and tally the votes, create pretty pictures and what not. And now the moment you've been waiting for (with baited breath I'm sure) my thoughts on Enslaved.
Enslaved is pretty average. There I said it. Average. I'll come out and say it right now, part of the reason I didn't enjoy it as much as I could have is absolutely mine and my brother's fault. He suggested to me Enslaved was "easy" on the Hardest difficulty. So for the first half of the game I was fighting tough battles with shitty hit detection with little health to show for it. Around halfway through the game I was so frustrated with how the game played I had to be fair to Enslaved and allow myself to enjoy it so I turned the difficulty down to Normal and went back at it...and yet still alot of the same problems persisted though thankfully the game became alot more manageable.
Still thought frequently I would hit bosses that I knew was supposed to deal damage yet got nothing and Monkey's controls were so unwieldy at times. I would play a little game called "Find The Pin Prick" in which to activate a certain thing I'd have to zero in on the exact spot I needed to be to activate it. By all means from a gameplay standpoint Enslaved is a really flawed game, it's only saving grace in that department is the platforming which at times was pretty inventive and pretty fluid provided you weren't going up or down.
Then that brings us to the "story". I have no real knowledge of the OTTW other than Dragon Ball so it was neat to see the parallels to that show versus this game. Monkey with a strip of material down his back like Goku's tail or even just a monkey tail in general. His cloud which was essentially the flying Nimbus (sorry only one person can ride this thing) and of course Pigsy (essentially Oolong). Let's just say though when it came down to it I really enjoyed the banter from Monkey and Pigsy and while I felt Monkey was definitely taken for a ride, he was a likable character to Pigsy's comedy relief. It's Trip that was the problem...the most unlikable character in the game.
If you haven't played the game I'll try and be as vague as possible as I'm talking about sections of the game that contain spoilers. Here's essentially my problem with Trip. I empathize with her situation, she all alone and with no one to protect her, "enslaves" Monkey so that he'll help her on her way back home. She needs him to survive. Still it does mean toting her around as quite the annoyance and I ended up disliking her for putting Monkey through all this crap to begin with. However we figure there will be a section of the game where Trip breaks down and admits to Monkey that what she did was "wrong" and gains some redemption as a character for essentially holding another person hostage for their own gain. The problem I have is that this revelation doesn't come until WAAAAAAAYYYYYY too late in the game. Hell I was worried it was never gonna show up but there's a scene earlier on after you reach the ended of Trip's village stage which would have been perfect for this scene to happen. There comes a point where Monkey as fulfilled his obligation and gotten Trip to her village. Something happens. That's when she should have said, "what I did was wrong, I'll let you go" to which Monkey being the dolt that he is would have gladly stayed by her side. Again though, it comes way too late for me to consider her a likable character, forcing Monkey on even further....but that's just me.
Again average game with a decent ending. It would have made for a better animated film rather than the sloppy video game we got. I'd give it a 6/10 if I had to score it. To be fair, average is better than just plain bad though, I could see the quality in the game and it's narrative but I wasn't as enthralled by it as some of you guys were. Different Stroke I suppose.