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12:53 AM on 07.15.2008

Mega Man 9 music has already been covered. (And other thoughts)

And by a ukulele and voice band no less!

Tanguy Ukulele Orchestra whips up a neat version of the song heard at the very end of the
newest trailer.

Right here, yo.

Personally, I can't wait for a cooler remix of the main trailer song.


But speaking of Mega Man 9, I'm almost half expecting some large twist in the form of
"this is a really new game with crazy cooler updated visual things!" kind of thing. Is that
weird? I know it's just going to be straight up NES-style cool, but it still gets me thinking.

Ever since Kojima tricked us into thinking we'd play as Snake in MGS2 all the way up until we
started playing as Raiden, I've been wondering if any other game would provide a similar
thrill. Maybe I was hoping for something like that in the 4th game, like one that really messes
with the player.

I dunno.   read

1:06 PM on 07.14.2008

E3: Rock Band 2 Set list, FTW

I know I mentioned before how a retail Rock Band 2 was kind of pointless, considering
all the downloadable functions and so forth will be there, and while I still kind of belive that,
Rock Band 2 immediately wins the title of best rhythm game for one specific reason.

It has AC/DC.


Because the fucking VERY FIRST GUITAR designed for the original Guitar Hero, was, in it's
purpose, specifically built for you to pretend to be Angus Young.


Sure, it also has indie favs like Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr, with newer ones like Interpol
and Modest Mouse. And sure, it has the 2nd greatest Metallica song ever recorded
("Battery") And sure it has a stunning amount of random additions like Alanis Morissette's
"You Outta Know" and EYE OF THE FUCKING TIGER. And sure, it has THE Tenacious D song
to rule them all (Master Exploder)

...but it's all moot, when you think about it. Because Rock Band 2 finally accomplishes
what it should have from the very start: Put you in the tight school uniform of a tiny
Australian guitar god.

Rock Band 2, FTW.

It's just TOO BAD that they don't use the fucking Gibson SG anymore.

Set List (courtesy of IGN and Wikipedia)

"Peace Sells" Megadeth
"Testify" Rage Against the Machine
"We Got the Beat" The Go-Go's
"You Oughta Know" Alanis Morisette
"Tangled Up in Blue" Bob Dylan
"Bad Reputation" Joan Jett
"That's What You Get" Paramore
"The Trees" Rush
"Ace of Spades" Motorhead
"Chop Suey!" System of a Down
"Spirit in the Sky" Norman Greenbaum
"Ramblin' Man" The Allman Brothers
"Rebel Girl" Bikini Kill
"Eye of the Tiger" Survivor
"Panic Attack" Dream Theater
"Everlong" Foo Fighters
"One Step Closer" Linkin Park
"Lump" Presidents of the United States of America
"Come Out and Play (Keep 'Em Separated)" The Offspring
"Drain You" Nirvana
"Carry on Wayward Son" Kansas
"Souls of Black" Testament
"Livin' on a Prayer" Bon Jovi
"Round and Round" Ratt
"New Kid in School" The Donnas
"Today" Smashing Pumpkins
"Man in the Box" Alice in Chains
"Any Way You Want It" Journey
"Give It Away" Red Hot Chili Peppers
"White Wedding" Billy Idol
"Hello There" Cheap Trick
"Cool for Cats" Squeeze
"Psycho Killer" Talking Heads
"One Way or Another" Blondie
"De-luxe" Lush
"Pump It Up" Elvis Costello
"Master Exploder" Tenacious D
"PDA" Interpol
"My Own Worst Enemy" Lit
"Float On" Modest Mouse
"Aqualung" Jethro Tull
"Spoonman" Soundgarden
"Bodhisattva" Steely Dan
"I Was Wrong" Social Distortion
"American Woman" The Guess Who
"Hungry Like the Wolf" Duran Duran
"Alabama Getaway" The Grateful Dead
"Let There Be Rock" AC/DC
"Girl's Not Grey" AFI
"Almost Easy" Avenged Sevenfold
"Shooting Star" Bad Company
"So What'cha Want" Beastie Boys
"E-Pro" Beck
"Uncontrollable Urge" Devo
"Feel the Pain" Dinosaur Jr.
"Down with the Sickness" Disturbed
"Go Your Own Way" Fleetwood Mac
"Shackler's Revenge" Guns N' Roses
"Mountain Song" Jane's Addiction
"The Middle" Jimmy Eat World
"Painkiller" Judas Priest
"Pretend We're Dead" L7
"Our Truth" Lacuna Coil
"Colony of Birchmen" Mastodon
"Battery" Metallica
"Where'd You Go" Mighty Mighty Bosstones
"Kids in America" The Muffs
"Nine in the Afternoon" Panic at the Disco
"Alive" Pearl Jam
"Alex Chilton" The Replacements
"Give It All" Rise Against
"Lazy Eye" Silversun Pickups
"Teen Age Riot" Sonic Youth
"Rock'n Me" Steve Miller Band
"Pinball Wizard" The Who


"Visions" Abnormality
"Get Clean" Anarchy Club
"Night Lies" Bang Camaro
"Shoulder to the Plow" Breaking Wheel
"Neighborhood" The Libyans
"A Jagged Georgeous Winter" The Main Drag
"Conventional Love" Speck
"Supreme Girl" The Sterns
"Rob the Prez-O-Dent" That Handsome Devil   read

6:52 PM on 07.04.2008

A 4th 'O July D-Toid Tribute.


1:27 PM on 06.30.2008

ABOTU! The "Glowing Read Eyes" of Games. (Spoilers are welcome here)

(By the way, this blog is dedicated to Skribble for giving me a new substitute word for
"WTF", which is, in fact, ABOTU (pronounced, for no reason at all, AH-BOW-TWO! in a
snooty French accent.) So thanks for that.)

For a decent portion of my time, when I'm not playing games, making stupid comments on
the C-Blogs or masturbating, I work on a literary magazine for my college. Basically, a
dozen people and I receive terrible, terrible short fiction and poetry that people turn in. We
eat pizza and laugh while we degrade their hard work. It's pretty fun.

But then there is stuff that makes us angry by being misdirecting. One story we got was
actually starting to get good, with excellent pacing and a decent character, then...out of no
where...BOOM. Fucking Vampires are everywhere. And not in a jokey, [i]From Dusk 'Till
Dawn[/i], kind of way. No, this author was being completely serious about it. And right
before the turn, the main character's eyes start glowing a pulsating red, and thus, the term
was coined.

What are some games that have this "glowing red eye" deal? Have you ever went through
a game moving along one style, or thinking one thing, only to be tossed into another,
making you shout WTF!? or ABOTU?!! or something in the same vein?

I guess an example of this might be finding out the Colonel and Rose in MGS2 are AI
programs. But I can't think of one that changes the whole style of the game (be it
mechanics or otherwise) off the top of my head. I'm using the phrase in sort of a negative
sense, but it also applies to anything that makes a huge change.

Anyone else?   read

2:51 AM on 06.30.2008

Rock Band 2: Why Bother?

Rock Band 2 will be compatible with Rock Band 1 in the ways that are most
important. (Guitars, DLC, certain modes).

Which begs the question...why even release another retail disc? If your method for
downloading new songs is the same, then why the hell even bother with a sequel? Why not
just keep adding new tracks?

They say it's to "add new ways to play" and new features. Well, in the age where online
distribution is not only realized but important, then why not make those things downloadable
content? FPS and other genres release new play modes all the time, don't they?

So what is it? A new guitar? Drums? Can't you just buy a new stand-alone instrument
separately if the old one is giving you that much trouble? And shit, it's not like there aren't
tons of mods (both easy and difficult) to be found on the internet to help patch certain issues.

Of course they want more money. Le duh. It's quite possible to release just one Madden game
per console life-span now, with roster and feature updates happening every now and again,
the same way it's possible to keep Halo 3 alive for years and years. I'd like to see that,
just as I'd like to see them release one big overall Super Smash Bros. title that is
constantly updated (via a WORKING online service) with new nostalgic characters and levels.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, let's firebomb a Gamestop.   read

5:35 AM on 06.28.2008

How to win at Texas Hold 'em every single time. (NVGR)

Winning at poker is actually fairly easy once you use this proven method:

Whenever you have a clearly lower amount of chips than everyone else you are playing,
just say, out-loud,

"I'm going to Mighty Duck this."

That's it! You are surely guaranteed to win, at the very least, the next hand, and in some
instances, if done right, the entire game.

How is this possible? Easy.

D2: The Mighty Ducks is not only a classic example of an underdog sports movie, but
poker scientists, through experimentation, have found a scientific correlation between how
we play cards and how we interpret memories based on the themes of D2, creating
what's known as "The Emilio Theory". (Clear chip loser, or "The Mighty Duck", vs. Clear chip
winner or "Team Iceland")

NOTES: If you play within a time limit, it's best to use this phrase within the last 10-20
minutes of the game. And while it's been hypothesized that the same effect can be occurred
by uttering "There are Angels in my Outfield", or "I'm Going to Airbud this Shit", field
studies have found no similar outcome.   read

1:53 AM on 06.27.2008

"Over Nine THOUSAAAAND" Official Contest Comic Entry

Hand drawn with no Photoshop, and no shame.


5:44 PM on 06.24.2008

Cross Promotion Fighters: Hurt or Help?

So now, apparently, Kratos, of God of War is a rumored character in
Soul Calibur IV. In a game with Darth Vader, Yoda, and Darth Vader's Secret
Apprentice already included, this is another SWEET shot in the AWESOME arm. So then I
would assume that Marcus Fenix would be the in Xbox 360 version?

In a generation that gave us the Super Smash Bros. Brawl Nintendo-gasm with added
Sonic and Snake sprinkles, Mortal Kombat fighting DC Comics characters, and even way
back when with a Spartain in Dead or Alive 4, and Ryu of Ninja Gaiden fame
being it's own Halo 3 armor...

Does it help? Or does it hurt?

Seriously, I'm asking you. I'm not sure myself. I love playing as Sonic and Snake, two of
my favorite video game characters of all time, in a game that lets me bash the hell out of
characters from a few of my favorite franchises ever. But where does it go from here?
What's the next Super Smash Bros. going to be like? Just more characters? It's going
to be pretty hard to top that one, even if Classic Mega Man might show up.

The same goes with Soul Calibur IV. It's one thing to have Link and Spawn, two
additions that are ridiculous in their own right. But Vader? And who wants to play as his
apprentice that we've only seen in trailers? Blatant advertising, yes. But aren't all of these
the same way? This is product placement at it's most incredible. What's the next move? Big
Daddy in the next Tekken?

While it's fun to see all these guys, I still would buy a game with good mechanics and it's
own characters with their own interesting personalities and looks.

I'm not trying to take the piss out of these titles or anything. I just wanted to see what you
guys thought.   read

1:23 AM on 06.24.2008

Sonic turned 17 today.

Or yesterday...depending on when and where you read this.

I know you guys, (Sega) don't want to make a real Sonic game anymore. That's fine. I've
accepted that. Just please don't muck up Unleashed too much. Please? For me? For
everyone else?   read

1:31 PM on 06.23.2008

Zombies are becoming a boring copout.

Zombies and nerds (like us) have a long and rich history. They show up to eat us, and we
show up to eat up whatever it is they are promoting. (Zombie movies, games, internet
memes, etc...)

But don't get me wrong. I loved the classic zombie franchises of all mediums (...Of the
Dead series, Resident Evil, and so on) But it's become quite formulaic. A mysterious
virus/illness has broken out, turning people into zombies that eat other people that turn
them into zombies, and it's up to survivors to shoot/blow them up, preferably at a location
that represents Americana and consumer habits. I loved it, you loved it. It was fun! But to
me, i think it's getting stale.

We all complain about how Nazis and the Second World War are so done to death whenever
we see Call of Duty 5 screen shots, but I don't hear a lot of griping about [i]Left 4
Dead[/i], a game where, instead of Nazis, you shoot zombies. (Side note: Not
complaining about the game's mechanics...just the setting.)

Zombies are a narrative copout. Nazis were terrible people. Nazis in film, television and
games are comically evil. Zombies are almost worse because they don't even have a
Shindler's List style conscious-conflict. They don't even have working brains. They you. And they'll stop at nothing to eat you.

If you haven't already, take a film class. When you write your first short, there will almost
ALWAYS be someone in your class who will write a zombie movie. (That, and the Reservoir
Dogs/Pulp Fiction style gangster movie, but that's a different rant...) It's the same reason
so many terrible, terrible horror movies get released every year, and so many first
independent features are horror movies: They are so fucking easy to produce.

Most people will tell you that zombie media isn't about the zombie itself, but rather the gore
that said corpse inflicts. And while that might be true, even that gets old after a while.
I mean, how many times can you rip someone's arms off and eat their brains? Despite the
fact that technology is so fantastic these days, people don't seem to want to use it to
innovate the gore factor in the way they should.

Do I want zombie games to stop? Of course not, don't be a fucking dipbox.

All I want is for every 5 games that involve people running from zombies/viruses, I want
one completely different take on the whole genre. It doesn't even have to be completely
and mind-blowingly innovative. Just something...more interesting.

Stubbs the Zombie: Rebel Without a Pulse, is a great example of this. It puts you
in the place of the zombie, for once, letting you amass your own army to take out
humanity. It didn't reinvent the wheel, it just showed me the other side of the tire.

Zombies, don't get me wrong. I love you guys. It's just I'm tired of playing the same game
over again. It's a good game, and all. I'd just like to try something, a little different. That's

I want to hear from you guys. Am I alone in this?

(I'm also looking at you, ninjas, pirates, monkeys, robots, and every fucking variation.)

(And also, In case you were wondering and even if you weren't, here's the zombie film I
came up with, in said film class.)   read

2:19 AM on 06.18.2008

Sonic ISN'T JUST SPEED: Sonic Unleashed Concerns.

Yeah, in the new trailer for Sonic Unleashed, the titular hero is running fast. Sonic
normally runs fast, I suppose.

So him running fast in a 2D perspective suddenly marks a return to form? Silly rabbit.

It's FLOW, people! The classic Sonic games depended on fantastic level design to facilitate
flow...where the result was going fast.

Let me refer you to this great article from the online games magazine, The Gamer's

Issue #1: Dissecting a Hedgehog

I won't go into details much, because I actually would like you to read it, as it's an
interesting analysis on what makes Sonic playable and what is to be done in order to make
him playable again, but the key is not just being fast. You need to earn the right to be

Our very own Jim Sterling also wrote an interesting article on Sonic a while back, and while
I can't seem to find it, he also has snippets of it in his "Bargain Bin Laden: Sonic Advance"

Basically, he says that Sonic games now are all about pushing the "YAY WOOHOO" button in
order to win.

It feels, to me, that the Sonic Rush series is almost a parody of Sonic games, where
you almost EXCLUSIVELY hold right.

Sonic Adventure, while filled with numerous problems, still felt like they were
trying. It was the last instance where they were doing so. Every game post SA are
essentially like Sonic X licensed games. That's exactly what they've felt like. It's Naruto. It's
Dragon Ball Z. It's Street Fighter: The Movie: The Game. It's a rushed to market

Sega isn't all bad people. They still make quality games. (Outrun 2, Virtua Fighter 5,
Yakuza, and so on...), but please leave the poor hedgehog alone. Please dissolve Sonic
Team. Give Sonic up to another part of the company.

If it were up to me, i'd pull a Metroid Prime, and hand off the reigns to another
development team. My Suggestions:

-Maybe Insomniac as they produce excellent and charismatic platformers (Ratchet and
Clank) in an age where "excellent" and "platformers" haven't belonged in the same sentice
since Yoshi's Island.

- Maybe Q? Entertainment, makers of Rez and Luminies. Hell, we spoke of how
Sonic Unleashed looks like a rhythm game. Why not go the extra mile? Classic Sonic
married excellent music and psychedelic images beautifully, and that's Q?'s calling card!

- Shit, maybe Hal Labratory/Nintendo should take a crack at it, considering,
by default, Super Smash Bros. Brawl was the only good game to feature Sonic in
almost 10 years.


Yeah, I know I haven't played the game and have only seen footage. And it's clear that I'm
just venting over a cartoon character that was near and dear to my hearts. (As well as lots
of other hearts.) But this IS Sonic Team, who promised a reboot in 2006 and gave us
underage girls kissing oversized hedgehogs. The team who RUINED Nights.

Just saying.   read

3:01 AM on 06.17.2008

You Big Pussy: Crying over Games. (SPOILERS welcome))

You read the title right? Spoilers? Ok Good.

Metal Gear Solid 4 made me cry.

I wasn't balling or anything. But it yanked violently on my heart strings.

Playing (or was it watching?) the game, along with the last 3 in the series, built up such a
solid emotional tower from seeing and interacting with all these characters...especially
Snake and Otacon.

So seeing Hal so distraught, so emotionally strung up, as he was in the past, along with
Snake's tragic ways he delt with his own mortality while the world around him took a
nosedive...well that fucking sucks. Nobody wants to see their good friends suffer.

And that part near the end? Where you're pressing the triangle button as hard as you could
over and over, to the point of near torture ("And don't even think about using autofire or I'll
know!") while just above you, a split screen showed everyone else crossing the threshold of
chaos, all while climactic music rushes past you in the background? Jesus.

None of that made me cry. That was just the foreplay.

What really did it was when Otacon was talking to Sunny at the end, as she wondered
where the Legendary Hero was. "Resting" he said, barely holding back his tears.

Fuck, thats when i started to well up.

And yes, I'll make the Firefly/Serentiy comparason because it's just too damn good.
You're around all these characters, so you create an odd bond. Then to see them go to hell
in a handbasket, all at once? That's rough.

It makes me think on how videogames have grown over the years. Over our generation.
They are actually to the point of movies. Even better, some might say, because you, the
player, directly interact with it. Exciting times, these is.

Anybody else have this kind of experience? With this videogame or another? Am i just a
raging faggo-queer?   read

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