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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.
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I have a few new blog posts that are still in the planning stages but Microsoft's Xbox One reveal made me decide to visit the community earlier than planned to get a feel for the public's general consensus regarding the future of our industry. I've always used my blog as a way of organizing my most topical thoughts and the sense of foreboding dread I feel for the future of gaming has never been more at the forefront of my mind.



After the grand reveal of the Xbox One, the Internet's biggest personalities all wasted no time chiming in with their thoughts. The verdict is in and nobody is excited for what's coming next. I've been a gamer for almost two decades now and in that time I've seen dozens of console launches, no matter who the machine came from there was always something to be excited about. Admittedly the landscape for the console wars has changed since the mid-90s when there were significantly more than three machines to choose from, and with a current lack of competition Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo's underwhelming first step into the eighth generation is to be expected to some degree. They've become complacent and lazy, no longer seeing the need to win their audiences over. They expect us to follow blindly and wait for the games that will justify our investments.



When Nintendo unveiled the Wii U at E3 2011, I walked away underwhelmed. When Sony revealed the PS4 I was confused and Microsoft's Xbox One press conference has left me along with the majority of the gaming public a little angry. The gaming press, developers and publishers alike have been clamoring for a new generation for the past three years but the gamers seem perfectly content to stick with their current hardware. During the eve of the fifth generation I didn't know a single person who wasn't chomping at the bit to upgrade to a PlayStation, Saturn or N64. Fast forward to 2013 and gamers everywhere are filled with apathy towards their own favourite pastime. Why? Because the manufacturers are out in the wilderness shooting for the next big thing and Nintendo is aiming too low, Sony is aiming too high and Microsoft doesn't even know where to aim the business end of their rifle (at their head?). It's like they're all hunting deer and can't determine whether shooting at the birds or shooting at the fish would be the best way to bag a buck.


How do we make money again?

When did the idea of a dedicated device that connects to a display in order to play interactive entertainment become such a foreign concept? That's what we want! It may be funny now to watch these companies stumble around in mediocrity from one stupid idea to the next but what does this mean for us. We need to be very careful and very selective about how we spend our money in the coming year, more so than ever before.








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.








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 Ninja Gaiden series has become something of a hallmark in our industry for brutal difficulty. From the series' inception the Ninja Gaiden franchise has always been remarkably unforgiving in just how much room for error the player was allowed. This remained unchanged when Ninja Gaiden was given the reboot treatment in 2004 leading to a new trilogy for Ninja protagonist Ryu Hayabusa. The first two titles in this new trilogy were released to critical acclaim for their tight controls, insane difficulty and somewhat old-fashioned sensibilities but the third title has garnered much negative publicity through it's initial release and inevitable re-release. Despite this, Ninja Gaiden 3 has completely renewed my interest in the franchise and become one of my favourite action games of this generation.

Ninja Gaiden 3 is easily one the most violent games I've played in recent memory.

I'll admit that I wasn't entirely familiar with the series' lore when I decided to start playing Ninja Gaiden 3. I had only previously played the arcade original and Ninja Gaiden Black very briefly. But Ninja Gaiden 3 does an admirable job of getting players up to speed in a very unobtrusive opening tutorial. Before too long I was cutting enemies down to size and quickly traversing the environment with ease. Combat has a certain visceral thrill compounded by the title's new "Steel on Bone" mechanic that causes the game to slow when Ryu's sword penetrates an enemy and forces the player to rapidly tap the attack button while the DualShock 3 controller supplies force feedback. While not a game changer by any means it was a simple touch that made the otherwise repetitive nature of this style of gameplay more enjoyable to me for longer play sessions. Ryu is also equipped with a wide variety of combos making fights with enemy sword fodder more varied than is typical with action brawlers. All of this is accompanied by copious amounts of blood & gore, Ninja Gaiden 3 is easily one of the most violent games I've played this generation and it deserves a spot next to similarly bloody games like BulletStorm or Mortal Kombat.

Players are given a chance to learn more about Ryu as a character and the game does an admirable job of humanizing our protagonist and making us feel his struggle.

In Ninja Gaiden 3, Ryu is afflicted with a curse called the Grip of Death. Made possible by his killing sprees in previous titles, the curse has afflicted his right arm and is slowly killing Ryu. Now, our hero must save the world from almost certain destruction with his diseased hand slowing him down. Ninja Gaiden 3 has an underlying theme regarding the morality of Ryu's actions as an assassin and the game manages to convey this to player not only through the title's plot but through enemy reactions. When left to die NPCs will crawl away slowly, begging you for their lives and it had the surprising effect of causing me to hesitate (at least initially) before killing. It was a great implementation on the developer's part because it weaves the story's central theme into the gameplay.



While hacking & slashing your way through countless victims you'll visit a plethora of varied locales and witness some really over the top set pieces and enemies. Where Ninja Gaiden 3 sees it's greatest success is in it's ability to deliver a spectacle. The game revels in it's ability to throw the most impossible obstacles at Ryu only for him to dive head first into danger and dispatch the opposition with ease. Ninja Gaiden 3 has been heavily criticized for it's reduction of the series' trademark difficulty but this is another positive for me. Ninja Gaiden 3 was always at the perfect difficulty curve for me to enjoy it, beginning to end. The game always managed to keep me engaged and I was never bored during the entirety of the game's length. If you're in the market for some especially nail-biting, white-knuckle action perhaps you should give Ninja Gaiden 3 some Re-Consideration.

Ninja Gaiden 3 and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge are available in retail stores everywhere. This article was written after having played the game's original release on PS3. If you have any suggestions for another article, please leave it below in the comments and let me know what you think has been overlooked by our community.