Quantcast
Community Discussion: Blog by segastardust | segastardust's ProfileDestructoid
segastardust's Profile - Destructoid




Game database:   #ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ         ALL     Xbox One     PS4     360     PS3     WiiU     Wii     PC     3DS     DS     PS Vita     PSP     iOS     Android




click to hide banner header
About
For as long as I can remember, I've been a gamer. I was born in the 80s and grew up during the 90s. I was first introduced into gaming by my father when I played video games with him on our family's DOS PC. Some of those old titles included Commander Keen, Duke Nukem, Jazz Jackrabbit, Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Wing Commander.

What really cemented my identity as a gamer was when he bought my brothers and I a SEGA Genesis for Christmas in '95, that was the day I was introduced to Sonic the Hedgehog.

From that day I've been fascinated with all facets of gaming and the culture that surrounds it. And despite starting out as a notorious SEGA fanboy (a habit I admittedly haven't entirely shook) I now spend my free time playing a wide assortment of genres across a variety of consoles.
Player Profile
Xbox LIVE:TAFKAP3121
PSN ID:TAFKAP3121
Steam ID:TAFKAP3121
Origin ID:TAFKAP3121
Wii U code:TAFKAP3121
Apple ID:TAFKAP3121
Follow me:
segastardust's sites
Badges
Following (3)  


There comes a time where, as a consumer, I feel it's necessary to put up or shut up. Among gaming circles throughout the internet it's become a widely adopted philosophy to vote with your dollars to see the change you want in the industry, to show financial support for enjoyable and innovative ideas. For example, I adamantly refused to pay for cable television until the provider in my area offered the chance to pay only for the channels I wanted. When I received a flyer in my mailbox advertising just such a service, I felt the need to put my money where my mouth was and pony up the dough. I wasn't actually shopping around for cable providers at the time but it was a service I had always wanted nonetheless.


During Christmas I found myself in a similar scenario. While I had intended on supporting Ouya since it's inception a year and a half ago, I had been unable to pledge my support due to owning an SD television. Everything about the product and Ouya's philosophies regarding indie development, game distribution and a low-barrier open platform deserved my support but I was unwilling to upgrade my television to do so. However, my father gave me the gift of a brand-spanking new 42" HDTV and I felt it was once again time to put up or shut up and I found myself purchasing an Ouya the very next day. I was planning on writing this blog shortly after but I've been (surprisingly) too busy actually playing the damn thing to find the time. I didn't want to write a hardware review for the device until I was convinced I had played all the top-shelf games available for the console. Now that I feel I have, I'd like to share my experience with the Ouya.


The hardware itself is rather unassuming. Looking about as small as a Rubix Cube, the Ouya will have no trouble finding a place among your home entertainment system. The console sports a Tegra 3 chipset, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage (16GB in the most recent revision). Most commentators have lamented Ouya's implementation of the Tegra 3 over it's successor, but the inexpensive chipset allows for a small price point and significant performance for your dollar. Much has been said about the Ouya's controller, and while I can't say I've experienced any of it's well documented shortcomings, I do feel like I should point out that a firmware update was released the day I hooked up my console that supposedly addresses these issues. Installation is about as simple as a modern-day console can get and setup is similarly a breeze. In no time you'll be browsing the Dicover store and trying out new software.


Likely, the Ouya's greatest standout feature is the implementation of the Apogee software model across the entire platform. Everything is free to try and while it may seem like such a small point, it's particularly empowering once you realize that all of these developers have to prove themselves to you before they can see a dime of your hard earned cash. In practice, you'll find yourself trying out games you probably wouldn't have otherwise and skipping titles that you may have thought would've been a good buy in a more traditional retail environment. The console already has a wide variety of games (almost 700 different games at the time of writing this article) covering a wide variety of genres and while Ouya suffers from one of the worst good:bad ratios in hardware history, it's small selection of standout titles really shine on the platform.

A common misconception regarding the console is that it's library consists almost entirely of mobile ports. While a few of the Ouya's titles were originally released on iOS and Android devices, the bulk of the Discover store's selection is much different than you would expect. In fact, the selection is wide and diverse enough that I believe there would be a little something for every type of gamer. Whether or not the Ouya (or any microconsole for that matter) is a good fit for you will depend entirely on what kind of experience you're looking for. The games available for the Ouya right now are largely proportionate to the size and cost of the console itself. I'm of the opinion that a console like Ouya would greatly complement anyone's console collection.








It's no secret that the internet can be an overtly negative place to hang out sometimes and when it comes to bloggers and journalists, there's certainly no shortage of the angry critic. While several internet personalities are quite talented at implementing their perceived rage when approaching a review or retrospective I see no point in trying to do something that has been done before on countless prior occasions. Instead, I'd like to try things a little differently and speak up for the underdogs out there. For Your Re-Consideration is a series of overviews that highlights the brighter aspects of games, hardware and other things in nerd culture that seem to be the whipping boys in their respective fandoms. To be clear, these articles are not meant to be unbiased critiques, many of the negative attributes surrounding these subjects are well-known popular opinion. Instead, this is just an encouragement to give something another look.


The original ObsCure has become something of a cult classic amongst my fellow gamer friends. While the series has never enjoyed any sort of wide spread acclaim the first entry in this little known franchise seems to be regarded as an interesting experiment in the Survival Horror genre, an interesting experiment that deserved a second attempt by series' studio Hydravision Entertainment. I'm a huge fan of Survival Horror and Obscure had been recommended to me by my friends at least a dozen times before but whenever I asked about the game's sequel everyone I knew seemed to hold it in low regard. It's a shame really, because ObsCure: The Aftermath is one of the finest examples of Survival Horror I've seen on the Wii.

The atmosphere in ObsCure 2 is reminiscent of other classic horror titles

This game really seems to be a celebration of what made the horror genre so fun and unique in the mid 90s. Keeping the game's tone in the realm of the ridiculous, ObsCure 2 seems to have found the inspiration for it's plot in teen slasher films. You'll control a whole cast of college-age stereotypes as they fight desperately to survive when the school's populace is infected by a parasitic black flower. What makes ObsCure 2 unique today is it's strict adherence to Survival Horror conventions. You'll have severely limited supplies, infrequent save points, threatening enemies and restricted cameras that feel like they're right out of a PSX game.

A big part of the game's appeal to me is just how well Hydravision utilized the Wii remote. The motions used make sense and feel very responsive. Firearms are used in conjunction with the pointer and reloading is done by shaking the Nunchuk. Melee attacks are accomplished by swinging the Wii remote and surprisingly enough the game can differentiate between vertical and horizontal swings. All other motions are contextual but they're all very well implemented without any of them feeling gimmicky. It's a shame that more developers couldn't competently apply motion controls to their games like this during the Wii's heyday but it's always refreshing to see when somebody out there seemingly "gets it".



Also worth noting is ObsCure 2's environments. All levels are logically laid out with traditional Adventure puzzles impeding your progress. Thankfully all puzzles are relatively logic based and can be figured out pretty easily if you're paying attention. The game's cast each have separate special abilities that you'll need to utilize to advance in certain situations. During some of ObsCure 2's more clever puzzles you'll need to take advantage of two specific characters' abilities simultaneously in tandem to progress. This interesting dichotomy stands out as being unique in the genre and allows for some really stand out co-op moments without ever devolving the experience into a 2-player shooter.

Co-op is especially well implemented

That's right, the game features 2-player drop-in, drop-out co-op. Normally such a statement would be a death sentence for a horror game but ObsCure 2 manages to present a multiplayer experience without sacrificing good scares. And the title has it's fair share of good scares, really building up tension with it's moody atmosphere and excellent sound design. Often you'll be given a preview of the horrors you'll face much later by hearing monsters shambling around elsewhere in the building. Finally, the story is just plain silly fun. Much like a Resident Evil title the cause of this nightmare is absolutely ludicrous but played with enough sincerity to keep the game from slipping into parody.

The supposed disappearance of Survival Horror in our industry is easy to understand. The very things that make these games nerve racking are the common complaints associated with this title. Combat is difficult, supplies are limited and one or two enemies can feel over-powered enough to defeat you in an instant. But taken for what it is and given the opportunity ObsCure: The Aftermath has the potential to be a really captivating game. I was glued to my television start-to-finish and I suspect many other fans of 90s horror games will have a similar experience if they show it a little Re-Consideration.

ObsCure: The Aftermath is available on PS2, PSP, PC & Wii. This overview was written after having completed the game on Wii.








It's no secret that the internet can be an overtly negative place to hang out sometimes and when it comes to bloggers and journalists, there's certainly no shortage of the angry critic. While several internet personalities are quite talented at implementing their perceived rage when approaching a review or retrospective I see no point in trying to do something that has been done before on countless prior occasions. Instead, I'd like to try things a little differently and speak up for the underdogs out there. For Your Re-Consideration is a series of overviews that highlights the brighter aspects of games, hardware and other things in nerd culture that seem to be the whipping boys in their respective fandoms. To be clear, these articles are not meant to be unbiased critiques, many of the negative attributes surrounding these subjects are well-known popular opinion. Instead, this is just an encouragement to give something another look.


I wasn't planning on talking about another Sonic title so early in this series but since I've been playing Sonic Unleashed again for the umpteenth time and I decided now would be the perfect time to talk about my absolute favourite title in my absolute favourite game series. Sonic Unleashed is, for a myriad of reasons, a game that noticeably divided the Sonic community right down the middle. Fans were divided much like the dual nature of the game itself with many fans saying it was, at long last, Sonic's return to his former glory. Others had decided it was further evidence that SEGA had lost it's way or simply didn't know what to do with the brand anymore. However, in spite of all that's been said of the game before I think Sonic Unleashed is simply misunderstood.


To understand my story with this particular game we're going to have to go all the way back to March of 2008 when a large assortment of materials for the latest installment of Sonic the Hedgehog were "leaked" online. Fans have since speculated that SEGA purposely left the back door to their corporate FTP server open for us to find these images and hype the game up for them, but that's neither here nor there. Key amongst these resources was a single gameplay trailer and soon after it's discovery every Sonic message board lit up like wildfire. Rumors were flying left right and center regarding the mysterious new entry in the series but we wouldn't get the real scoop until E3 and that's when the proverbial shit hit the fan.

The 2008 E3 Trailer for Sonic Unleashed

After having seen the E3 previews I was sold, I must have watched that trailer on continuous loop for at least an hour and in the following months SEGA revealed more and more details about the game accompanied by a slew of gameplay trailers showing off the new zones and game mechanics. Unfortunately for SEGA many didn't share my enthusiasm. Questions were raised regarding Sonic's new form, the Werehog, and why the decision to give the game two separate gameplay styles was made. The game's lead designer and then head of Sonic Team Yoshihisa Hashimoto explained that it was his intention to give the game a proper tempo. Instead of giving the player all speed, all the time he would instead complement Sonic's traditional running gameplay with it's antithesis. And if Sonic's game design was built around the use of his legs, then the Werehog's play style would be built around the use of Sonic's arms. Hashimoto believed that the variety introduced into the game by this initiative would keep players from feeling fatigued and capable of playing longer sessions. Looking back at the original Sonic the Hedgehog on Genesis it's easy to see where he got this philosophy. After all, even that title was split between fast zones the player could dash through without stopping and zones that forced the player to slow down and carefully traverse the environment at a deliberate pace. Yoshihisa Hashimoto's departure from Sonic Team is a loss SEGA cannot overestimate, possibly their biggest since losing Tom Kalinske. It's obvious the young designer understood the franchise better than most and it's his influence on the series that led to success stories like Generations and Colors.



What's immediately apparant from booting up Sonic Unleashed is the level of quality shown in the game's presentation, in what's probably SEGA's most earnest attempt to revitalize the brand to date they spared no expense. Sonic Unleashed began development as Sonic Adventure 3 and was even released as Sonic World Adventure in Japan. This time Sonic is on a globetrotting adventure visiting continents based on real world locales. Sonic Team put a lot of care and attention into the design of these new zones and the effect is stunning. All of the places Sonic visits feel like living, breathing cities that mesh well with Sonic's already established aesthetic design. It all has the effect of really fleshing out Sonic's world, moreso than any previous effort, it's a more concentrated effort that put's Sonic's world on par with the Mushroom Kingdom.


You have an entire planet to save and Robotnik's ambitions have finally been realized with the construction of Eggmanland. The stakes have never been higher and there's a real sense of urgency to the entire matter. When I played Sonic Unleashed for the first time in 2008 I was completely blown away by just how fast Sonic could go and how easy it was to maneuver through each act. It was the first time I was really impressed by a game this generation. Sonic's skillset has been completely reworked with with the intention of allowing the player to play through his stages without stopping. New moves like drifting and wall jumping can be utilized throughout the game's levels to maintain your momentum. On the flipside you have the Werehog, the subject of much debate since Sonic Unleashed's unveiling. The Werehog's levels play much more like a traditional platformer in the same vein as Crash Bandicoot or Donkey Kong Country. You'll climb, swing, jump, fight and even solve rudimentary puzzles. It's all very good and I don't understand why it's the cause of such scorn. I can't help but think that a radical change like the Werehog would have been better received in the 90s.

While we wait for the reveal of a new Sonic title from SEGA maybe it's time to give Sonic Unleashed some Re-Consideration. I think everybody would be surprised at just how enjoyable the game is when judged on it's own merits.

Sonic Unleashed is available in stores everywhere for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii and PS2. Sonic Unleashed can also be found on Xbox Live Games on Demand. This overview was written after having replayed the game again on Wii.








It is no secret to anybody that one of Nintendo's biggest problem with the Wii U currently is their marketing (or lack of marketing) for the device. By their own admission they've been unsuccessful in advertising their new flagship console to the public. I've had an idea bouncing around in my skull for the past couple days that I've decided to share with the community here at Destructoid. What if, after a 30 second TV spot that shows nothing but Wii U software the commercial ended with


It would effectively let the public know that this is an entirely new console without the need to rebrand the Wii U, It would play the nostalgia card that Nintendo has been so fond of using lately and it may be the correct slogan to let the core gamers know that the big N is serious. Anyways, it was just an idea. Thoughts?








Call of Duty has become something of a phenomenon in the Gaming industry. The series' is almost consistently winning awards, breaking sales records and being released to widespread and critical acclaim. Admittedly, I missed Modern Warfare and the original Black Ops when they made a splash earlier this generation because I haven't been interested in first person shooters since their earliest incarnations on DOS PCs. However, I wasn't content to be on the outside looking in and with the purchase of my shiny new Wii U I decided to finally take the plunge and see just what all the hullabaloo surrounding the series was and I've walked away from the experience with mixed feelings.


Today's blog is going to differ from my regular format because this game requires no introduction to the vast majority of the gaming public. Chances are you've already chosen a firm stance in regards to the Call of Duty franchise and my words won't sway you either way. Nevertheless, I felt the need to organize my thoughts online in hopes of starting a dialogue about Black Ops 2.

"Are you looking at me?"

The first thing that leads me to scratch my head in confusion is the game's plot. Some people may accuse me of wanting too much from what should essentially be videogame junk food but I don't think it's asking too much for a game's story to at least be enjoyable. Instead Black Ops 2 does everything in it's power to deliver a very basic revenge story in the most convoluted fashion imaginable. The game feels the need to shift perspective between characters and settings to the point of disorienting the player. The game's antagonist sees an unrealistic rise to power and his character suffers from an extreme lack of motivation. Menendez's lofty goal's seem entirely disproportionate to his reasons for having them in the first place.

Black Ops 2 really delivers some thrilling set-pieces

I was really glad that the developers aimed to have a smooth running game. Black Ops 2 seemingly runs at a consistent 60fps and that really complements the action on screen. Another positive note for me was just how much diversity there was to be found in the gameplay. The game delivers one action-packed arcade sequence after another. You'll operate such a wide variety of futuristic military technology and it really helps to keep the core experience from becoming stale. However, my lack of ability did hamper my experience and even on the easiest difficulty I found myself dying frequently. I couldn't help but think that the action would be much better framed and that the opposition would be much more manageable if the easiest difficulty level was played on-rails.

I'd like to stress that I still had a lot of fun with this game. It's certainly not my favourite game on Wii U but I certainly don't regret my purchase. Call of Duty is obviously competently made and I can concede that any gripe I have with the game may simply stem from the fact that I'm not part of the series' target audience. Regardless it's a franchise I'd like to maybe revisit in the future. I'd also like to hear from you guys, is there anything keeping you from getting the most out of Call of Duty? Let me know in the comments below.








A few short weeks ago tragedy struck as my PS3 met the same fate my Xbox 360 did a year prior. The aging console (a model 1 80gb unit from 2008) that had been plagued with inexplicable freezing and lock-ups for months finally gave out under the pressure and called it quits. Similarly to my 360 a year prior, it's warranty was well past expired and I simply could not afford to pay for the console's repairs. Admittedly I was initially upset but I decided to collect the deceased console's accessories, controllers and 50+ games and sell them to my local independent game retailers in town to raise funds for a new console. Perhaps against my better judgment I decided my recent income was enough to supplement the cost of a new Wii U ZombiU Deluxe Bundle.

Go big, or go home.

I was initially very excited. It was the first time I had bought a new console in some time and I had forgotten how palpable the thrill of unwrapping a new console was. The promise of something incredible was just around the corner and I hooked up the new hardware while anticipating what would come next. I played the software that came with it and I purchased some more titles from Amazon and Nintendo's eShop. However, while shopping I noticed a distinct lack of quantity in the Wii U's software library. In fact, unless I was mistaken, the game selection hadn't grown at all since the console's release last year.

I remember hearing about these titles during the consoles launch last year.

Nevertheless, I continued to play and I found the Wii U to be a great deal of fun. The gamepad made a lot more sense to me in practice than it did during Nintendo's E3 presentations. The console's social features were well implemented and easy to use. In fact, I found the whole experience to be a little intoxicating and the hours quickly melted away as I continued to play more and more. However, I couldn't help but be a little curious about what was coming next for Nintendo's new hardware. As it turns out, not a whole lot.

There's more coming... we swear!

I took to the internet and read as many Wii U related news stories I could find and what I discovered was upsetting to say the least. The Wii was suffering from a slow release calender in it's last few years but that was to be expected to some degree. After all, Nintendo was gearing up to release it's next flagship console. But for the Wii U to be echoing the same performance after less than a year is just disappointing. I have no doubt that Nintendo will release a handful of great quality titles for the Wii U during it's lifetime that will make the hardware worth owning, I just hope 3rd parties don't give up too quickly due to Nintendo's slow start. Unfortunately, every news story posted recently about the Wii U reads to the contrary.

Left and right developers and publishers can be heard saying that they're reluctant to release software for the console because they view the market for Wii U software as too small or risky. And during this release drought Nintendo themselves have been MIA, unwilling to comment on what the future holds for the Wii U. I know this situation can be turned around and I know that Nintendo is just the company to do it, I just hope that Nintendo doesn't find their footing too late for the console to be home to some great 3rd party content. Do I have buyer's remorse? Not yet, I can't find myself crying foul after so little time with the system thus far. But I understand how Nintendo's customers may feel spurned in light of recent revelations. Still, I want more games.