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About
Hey, I'm Gary, but you can call me garison. I enjoy playing videogames, collecting videogames, reading about videogames, and writing about videogames.

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PlayStation 3: garison25
Xbox 360: garison25

gdcolwell@gmail.com

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Follow me on Twitter.

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... MY FAVOURITE GAMES ...
In alphabetical order.

Braid
Bit.Trip Beat
Bit.Trip Core
Chibi-Robo
Ico
Ikaruga
Machinarium
Mother 3
PixelJunk Shooter
Pop'n Music series
Professor Layton and the Curious Villiage
Rhythm Heaven
Shadow of the Colossus
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3: FES
Super Mario Galaxy
Zelda: Wind Waker

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In theory, a videogame is really just a computer program made up of electronic signals, creating light that moves in different patterns on a television screen. 

BUT. With that said, I've always been a big fan of both box art & packaging that comes with the videogame. The colourful box art, the instruction booklets, even the promotional pamphlets that come tucked into the box of a videogame you buy in the store. With Games Organized Neatly I wanted to highlight the visual beauty of physical videogame products. 

I hope you guys enjoy this series if photos. I had a lot of fun putting this project together.

Which one is your favourite? 


"Game Boy Pocket"


"Wind Waker"


"Final Fantasy VI"


"Drill Dozer"


"Oracle of Seasons/Ages"


"Mother 3"


"Persona 3"


"Ocarina of Time" 


"Team ICO"


"Zero Escape"


"Chibi-Robo"


"Animal Crossing New Leaf"


"Wii U"


"Luigi's Mansion"


"Persona 4"


"Gitaroo Man"


"PlayStation"


"Pikmin"










I've been playing videogames for the vast majority of my life, and some of my most fondest memories involve gaming in some capacity or other. 

Today, I want to share a simple story with you guys about one of my favoruite moments I've had while playing games. 

There's nothing exciting about this story, it doesn't involve a funny punchline ending or any exciting adventures, but it really means a lot to me & I feel like I'd like to share it with you guys. 

About four years ago (I was like 16) my very good friend Alex and I were hanging out at my place. He was staying over for the night & we were both really into the Persona series at the time. I believe that Persona 4 like just came out or something so I was playing that, and Alex was watching me play. He looked a little bored so I suggested he go grab the other TV & the PS2 & he could play P3 while I played P4. So he set up the TV right beside mine, and powered on the PS2. 

We seriously sat there all night, barely talking to each other, engrossed in our games. TV beside TV. Friend beside friend. Just enjoying each other's company, and it was perfect. 

This memory really sticks out to me, and I'm not even entirely sure why. When people think of games that "bring people together" you usually think of something like Mario Kart or Rock Band or Call of Duty. You know, a traditional multiplayer game. But when I think back to that night with Alex & I gaming together, we were both engrossed in our own worlds. But we were still gaming together, bonding together & strengthening our [s]social link[/s] relationship. It was the perfect multiplayer experience.

As we got a bit older, Alex moved away to attend university so we don't have much time to hang out anymore on account of him being in a different province and all. But I'll always remember that night, and I hope he does too.
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With the month of October in full swing and Halloween just around the bend, I thought I'd remind the you guys about the old story of the cursed Majora's Mask cartridge...

*holds flashlight under face and grins menacingly*


{ Artwork by WintersKnight }

Many, many years ago (September of 2010 to be exact), there was a dude who was out garage sailing, on the hunt for old N64 games to play on a system he got from a friend.

After finding a few classics from a few different places for a good price, he runs into a creepy, cataract eyed old man selling some effed up looking paintings on his front lawn. The old man runs into the house and comes out with a plain grey, unlabeled N64 cartridge with nothing but "Majora" markered on the front of it & the old man gives the kid the game free of charge.

Thinking "well that's pretty weird", the kid brings the game home, and after popping it into his console, quickly realizes that this is no ordinary copy of Majora's Mask.

The game has only one save file, simply named "Ben". The old man told him that the game was previously owned by a kid named Ben, so thinking nothing of it he deletes the file and starts one of his own, and names it "Link".

He starts playing his new file, and everything is mostly normal, minus a few weird glitches, non playable characters sometimes calling him Link, and other times calling him Ben. Thinking it was just a weird glitch or something, he mostly ignores it.

After getting closer to the end of the first temple, he realizes that he might not have enough time to finish before the end of the third day. So he does the Fourth Day glitch and everything gets pretty crazy from there.

All of a sudden he is whisked away into a terrifying, alternate version of Termina (Majora's Mask's version of Hyrule for people who haven't played the game).

Missing textures, reversed music, and a population-less town square occupy the game's Clock Town rather than the happy cheerfulness of the normal version of the game. Check out the video embedded below to get a better idea of exactly what the game plays like.



---

I don't want to share exactly what happens in the rest of the story here, because frankly I don't think I could convey how effed up it really is in my own words. I highly recommend you head over to where the ghost story was originally shared here and read it yourself. It's a long read, but totally worth it.

Every once in a while I like to go back and read it. Especially at this time of year, as the world's natural color fades to grey, the leaves fall off the trees, and everything is just a little creepier looking.

What do you guys think? Is the tale of the haunted Majora's Mask game really true? Or just an elaborate hoax? I know I like to think of it as real, if only just to add a little extra mystery to one of Nintendo's riskiest (& most abstract) games they've ever released. And especially with everyone wanting a MM remake on the 3DS, I think this is the perfect time to start talking about the classic game again.
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The fact that E3 exists really amazes me.

The fact that our society has such an excess of "needs" that we can warrant and justify to ourselves that a convention of E3's size and sheer magnitude can exist for the sole purpose of videogames is kind of hilarious to me. Over 45,000 people flew in to LA last year from all over the world just so that they could pile into a packed convention center, play some games, stare at some booth babes, and then blog about it.

It's fucking awesome.

I had two big events that I would look forward to as a kid: Christmas, and E3. I remember my brother and I would count down the days until Nintendo's big E3 press conference (because really, who really cares about what Sony and MS have to show off :P), like literally drawing "X"s on my calendar with a big red Sharpie, getting more and more excited as the conference would get closer.

We didn't have internet access at our house until just a couple years ago, so the only way we got to the see whole "news" side of the gaming industry was through my Nintendo Power subscription and Morgan Webb & Adam Sessler on X-Play. And G4 has always had really good coverage of E3. They would have on show demos with the developers as guests, and lots of cool features and funny videos and stuff. My mom was even cool enough to let me skip out on school a couple times to let me stay home and keep up with all the hubbub going on on TV.

When I think about it, E3 is an escape. It's easy to just lose yourself in the excitement of it all. Watching the (almost celebrity like) game developers get up on their stages and talk about the things that they've been working their butts off on for the last year is exciting! Remember when Nintendo showed off the first trailer for Twilight Princess? I do! EXCITING! (I took the liberty of embedding said video for your trailer watching pleasure below.)



Moral of the story is, kids: E3 is just as exciting for me now as it was when I was a kid. I can't wait to see what Project Cafe is actually going to be like. I can't wait to see the hilariously bad jokes Jack Tretton is going to make regarding the PR fiasco some people like to refer to as "PSN".

And most of all, I can't wait to see Cammie Dunnaway make a complete ass out of herself on that stage, pretending that she knows shit all about videogames.









Professor Layton and the Unwound Future is a fun, addictive videogame with an extremely creative gameplay premise behind it and a story that completely draws the player in and holds him there.

I've been a fan of the series ever since Curious Village was released back in 2008. I love everything about the games. From the cool European setting, to the hand drawn environments, to the stylized character designs. Unwound Future doesn't disappoint at all.

I don't think I would say it's better than the previous two games, because the game is pretty much is just the same a chapter based puzzle game for the DS starring a detective and his assistant in which they act gentlemanly and help people solve mysteries. 

And that's no problem at all. Because the game accomplishes that goal perfectly. The story feels like it's always moving ahead. The puzzles are designed so that they seem hard at first, but once you think about it for a while the answer is apparent. There's kind of that "aha!" moment ya know? And if you can't get a puzzle right away, it get's stored so you can go
Professor Layton and the Unwound Future is a fun, addictive videogame with an extremely creative gameplay premise behind it and a story that completely draws the player in and holds him there.

I've been a fan of the series ever since Curious Village was released back in 2008. I love everything about the games. From the cool European setting, to the hand drawn environments, to the stylized character designs. Unwound Future doesn't disappoint at all.

I don't think I would say it's better than the previous two games, because the game is pretty much is just the same thing: a chapter based puzzle game for the DS starring a detective and his assistant in which they act gentlemanly and help people solve mysteries. 

And that's no problem at all. Because the game accomplishes that goal perfectly. The story feels like it's always moving ahead. The puzzles are designed so that they seem hard at first, but once you think about it for a while the answer is apparent. There's kind of that "aha!" moment ya know? And if you can't get a puzzle right away, it get's stored so you can go back and complete it later. 

I'm damn ready for the 3DS to come out, but it looks like there's a bit of life left in the DS yet. Bottom line is, Professor Layton and the Unwound Future is fucking awesome and you should play it.

TL;DR version: Play the damn game already!










Let's just play pretend for a bit... let's just pretend that we live in an alternate universe. An alternate universe where the current state of the videogames industry was dramatically altered.

Let's pretend that the three big game console makers, Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft decided to never come out with the PS3, Wii, or 360. What if the main three home consoles were - in 2010 - still the PS2, GameCube, and Xbox? How would the industry be different? Would videogames be as popular as they are now? What kind of games would be coming out right now? There really is no way that we could know for sure what it would be like, and it doesn't really matter anyway. But it really is fun to think about and guess what our favourite interactive entertainment medium would be like under said circumstances.

Think back to some of everyone's favourite games of last generation. Shadow of the Colossus, Zelda: Wind Waker, Final Fantasy XII, Resident Evil 4. All these games are absolute masterpieces, and if developers could make amazing games like these back then, imagine if they were still using the same hardware now. They would have the process of making videogames on last-gen systems perfected. I imagine there would be some unbelievably creative and different games being released now.

I would imagine that the cost of making games would be much cheaper as well. There were a lot of really cool, underrated, weird games last generation. The cult favourites like Rez on the PS2, Chibi-Robo on the GameCube, the Katamari games, Gitaroo Man, and of course the Persona series. Due to the lower cost of developing games, publishers could invest more money into smaller developer studios to create some really cool new gameplay ideas that just couldn't be possible on the 360, and PS3 because of how expensive they are to develop for.

(That last paragraph actually doesn't really apply at all if you think about the cool stuff coming out via digital distribution on Xbox LIVE Arcade, WiiWare, and the PlayStation network. Some of my favourite games have only been released as downloads. Braid, Machinarium, and of course the Bit.Trip games are all amazing.)

I hate to say it, but if Nintendo never did release the Wii, they probably wouldn't be doing as well as they are now. When it comes to sales, the GameCube is considered Nintendo's worst console of all time, and the system put a black spot on many gamer's minds. Since there wasn't nearly as many GameCubes sold as PS2s, Nintendo really did "lose" last generation, but I honestly have to say that the GameCube was my favourite system.

Nintendo made some truly spectacular games for the GameCube: Super Mario Sunshine, both the Pikmin games, Mario Kart: Double Dash, both the Metroid Prime games, and of course Zelda: Wind Waker. What if Nintendo never came out with the Wii and spent so much time and money focusing on minigame collections? All the money they used to make Wii Play, Wii Fit, Wii Sports, and Wii Music could have went to making actual games... Twilight Princess could have been released earlier because they wouldn't have held it for the extra year to coincide with the Wii's release.

But of course there would be negatives to the whole situation of the PS3, Wii, and 360 never being released; beautiful games only possible on the PS3 and 360 would cease to exist in their current form. Games like Uncharted 2, The Last Guardian (if it's ever released that is), and Metal Gear Solid 4 would be but fractions of what they are now. Online gaming would also be pretty much nothing in comparison to what it is now with Xbox LIVE, and none of those funky downloadable games would be around either.

I don't know, it really is crazy to think about how different things would be if history was different. It sure is fun to think about though.
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