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LONG BLOG

Extra Life: The Good, The Bad and The Awesome

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Sorry guys, I had intended to post this blog yesterday, but sleep happened. I want to thank you all once again for everything you did this month to help hospitals in need. I'm not sure if this will cure cancer like some of the Destructoid live streamers were saying, but at the very least it will all go to help reduce some of the costs that running a hospital entails.

That saves money on the patient and provides them a better quality of care. For that, I thank you all.

Thankfully this is the last post I'll make on Extra Life for this month. I have one last fundraiser event I have to do at my local Farm & Ranch, but when that's done I'll finally be able to get in to the Halloween spirit. I'll be able to resume weekly musings and things of the like. In saying that, I guess I'll do my final wrap up for what was the Extra Life event.

What went right

We raised $6,397.16. Add the $525 from G3 and we have raised $6,922.16 in total for different children's hospitals across the world.

That is a very very good thing.

In a year that was quite a bit harder on all of us, we topped the year before us. I need to emphasize that this is a very very good thing.

Everybody at Destructoid worked extremely hard on stream to entertain you all. Since I don't have any streaming software, I couldn't do the same however DimmuJed was gaming hard with Gears of War 3, Bubble Bobble and a bunch of other games. We were all exhausted by the end of it, but we can certainly say this community did an awesome thing.

We also were able to procure a lot of sponsorship for this event. I had failed to get a proper line of communication with Monkey Paw Games open before the G3 event, but afterwards Ray over there really came through and gave us a ton of codes. Destructoid received 10 codes for what they were doing and I received 6 codes to give amongst the community.

I went to a lot of companies I respect (as that's the only way I could justify begging for codes) and asked for any extra codes that I could. Only 3 companies got back to me and of those, 2 gave me something to help raise funds. Those 2 companies that did give me games gave me more than they should. As I said, Monkey Paw gave a lot. They gave out 16 game codes. The Behemoth gave out 5 game codes. That is a lot of games to give some guy. Without them, I probably wouldn't have been able to garner as much attention as I got during these two events.

Destructoid however had $10,000 in prizes to hand out and that's simply amazing. THQ, Square, and many more companies came through and this was really cool of the games industry to do for us. They helped us raise this money.

Extra Life as a whole raised $1,108,224 as of their front page before this went live. I would say that was a really successful event.

What I didn't do right

I personally handled these events in a really sloppy manner. I had just learned about the G3 event maybe 2 days prior to when I set up the original page. That left a day to gather other fundraisers and then the event happened. There wasn't enough time to really get a foothold on raising funds.

After scrambling so hard for the first event, I kinda let Destructoid take control of the second. They did their job well and raised $5,699.71 for Oakland. However, about 8 hours in to this I started to realize that these donations weren't trickling down as I thought they would. The way Destructoid had to run the event was to reward those that donated to their funds all the $10,000 in prizes. Extra Life makes it so only the people raising the funds can access the emails of the donors regardless of whether they are Team Leader or not. I'm sure this is for security purposes, but it's really hard to reward donators spread amongst a team.

Unfortunately, I had seen Destructoid pushing on the stream their donation page only and so we had 3 hospitals hours in at $1 and one hospital sitting on $2,500. I had to shift gears and interrupt my 24 hours of gaming to bring in any donations on the stream that I could, but eventually we only raised $687.45 for everybody else. Subtract the fact that one of the donors was playing for Oakland as well and we have only $568.45 split among 8 different hospitals. Subtract what the fundraisers themselves gave and the Destructoid Community only raised $283.

I should have been more active all around trying to push donations for the others. I had the most experience with the event after G3 and I should have relayed to the moderation team that all the other participants would have raised the totals for Destructoid as a whole. I could have done a lot more prep work and I didn't. I could have captured that huge donation stream in the beginning that raised $1,000 in an hour, but I wasn't focused.

This was a failure on my part.

Five of the 9 participants in this event did not raise their goal of $100 for charity. That's not to say we didn't have a successful event, we definitely did and I can't thank you all enough. I failed to get more support for the other 9 participants in this. I didn't have anything that could counter the huge raffle that Jesse was organizing and in the end, I didn't get my guys to their goal. My goal was to get as much money as we could for hospitals all around the world and I came up short this go round. Next year, I will do better.

I honestly want to thank all of those that did donate to us. It was huge.



What I did

Lest we all forget, Extra Life is a 24 hour gaming marathon. When I wasn't begging people for funds, I was gaming. I got a lot done because of that. A week before the event, I asked you all to choose from a list of games to play and you all did. Seeing the shameful display I made for all the online games of G3, I chose to stick to what I do best; single player. I made a list of games from my backlog to play through and I did.

These are my results.



Game 1: Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Status: 1/4 of the game completed

On Sunday we had our NostalJourney for SMRPG and because of all the time I spent on fundraiser stuff and stuff at work, I wasn't able to complete the game. So my main goal was to get as far as I could on Saturday. I had 24 hours and I had a list of games to beat, but I did what I could.

In total, I went from Marrymore to the battle with the Axem Rangers on top of the Volcano. I saved a town, received my kiss from Bowser and Booster and even reunited a son with his family. All in all, I would say I had a good run through. I probably would have done a lot more if only the pixelation weren't so bad on my HD screen.

My eyes bled.


In all seriousness, I beat 9 bosses (and some sub-bosses) and traveled across a 1/4 of the world before I finally lost to the Axem Rangers. At that point, I turned off the SNES and booted up my next game. I had a ton of stuff to say about it for the podcast, but you'll have to forgive me as I was too sleep deprived to remember much. I hope that I came off well.



Game 2: Nier
Status: Finished

Nier is a huge favorite among the Destructoid community and it was the #1 choice from you guys to have me finish. So I did, and what an ending I got. In that final stretch I found shocking twists and betrayals, learned that my eyepatch was merely cosmetic, and understood what the real hype was behind the New Game+. Holy cow, I need to play through the game again.

Overall, I think it's pretty much safe to say that Nier is one of the most beautiful games that has come out this generation. Not in graphics, but in effect. The soundtrack is gorgeous and so is the world itself. Pair that with the creative direction that they have for characters, objectives and angles, and there aren't too many other games better directed than Nier this generation.

Though, I guess I haven't quite beat it. Those of you that voted probably knew that since you chose two games that don't have a true ending through the first playthrough. You are a group of crafty people, you know?

Also, apparently I capitalized my characters name and that totally screwed with me at the end of the game. Way to make me look up gamefaqs to figure out what you wanted me to do, Cavia! Apparently Kaine wasn't the answer. Still an awesome game.

Achievements:




Game 3: Rapid Angel
Status: 4 Levels Completed

After I beat Nier, I needed to flush out my brain with something simple. I decided to run through a few of the Monkey Paw games I owned. Rapid Angel is a quirky little Japanese game. I was only really able to make it past the train part before I died, but it's one of those games that is unusual in all extents of the word. It's a fully voiced platformer that has a simple doujin quality to it.

I think that's the best way to describe it. It's quirky, it's not pretty and it has a fun sense to it. The characters you come across are utterly bizarre. At one point you fight a guy that has crab claws for hands. He then proceeds to attack you by shooting those crab claws at you. You don't find this type of stuff in AAA games.

So I made it through past the Train with the blonde. I personally like the dark haired girl with her long range projectiles, but I did ok with the blonde. At one point, I died at a boss because I just wasn't really paying attention to the fact that my sword was 3 pixels smaller than his sword. So I had to replay the battle. Before the fight, there is a dialog tree where you get to choose a response. Only being brought up with English and terrible Spanish skills, I just chose at random.

The first option I decided on had me begging in a hilariously sarcastic manner to the boss. The second one had me insult the guy. When I chose the second option, two guys that I hadn't fought before appeared. Consequence in a platformer? I'm impressed!

Overall, you won't gain much by passing on Rapid Angel. Its one of those games you pick up when you want a change of pace. It's a crazy quirky game that will entertain. Rapid Angel isn't good or bad, its weird and that's what works about it. I know it works best without a Japanese guide to help you with the text in the game.



Game 4: 999: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors
Status: Finished

So I read through 999 to completion. Of course I received an ending that didn't explain a thing. I feel like I accomplished nothing. Apparently there is a minimum of 3 playthroughs that must be achieved for a true understanding of the game. This is obvious as my ending was what I could only assume was the worst ending in the game. The worst that could happened, happened and I didn't even get any information about Zero.

I didn't have this issue with Phoenix Wright!

The game is good. The first puzzle is bs and way harder than all the other puzzles, but it's still a good game. Even better is the fact that Aksys did a top notch job testing this. I saw no typos. None. In a game with this much text and this many different dialog options, that's impressive.

It's not flawless however as I kept initiating a bug that wouldn't let me skip ahead. If you press right on the directional pad, it enables you to bump the text up instead of loading each letter one by one. At times, that bump would deactivate in the middle of the game. Saving the game and continuing on would change that, but it seemed that I had to move out of the game itself to the save system to reactivate it. It's a minor grievance though.

I bought this game because Aksys was pushing 100% of the purchase to the Japanese earthquake relief effort and I'm overly satisfied with my purchase.



Game 5: Galaxy Fight
Status: I lost

Remember when fighters were balls hard back in the arcade days? No gradual difficulty curve, no placating the opponents. Just straight up tough guys all the way through to the tough guy that is tougher than they are. Galaxy Fight's single player game is just like that.

They don't screw around with you.

So I went absolutely nowhere in the game. Played 8 matches against the ninja and he destroyed me with my diverse onslaught of guys I don't know how to play with. It was pathetic. I bet its a blast 2 player. Not single player though. It is extremely challenging as a single player game. Fighting game fans take note.

I was also able to give away 3 codes from Monkey Paw to some random donators so that made me feel
better about my playthrough.



Game 6: Catherine
Status: 3/4 of the game completed

Ckarasu (AKA: Best Contest Creator in the Cblogs (sorry meteorscrap)) gave me his copy of Catherine and Shadow Hearts 3 along with a pair of soundtracks. So I got my Catherine on with the soundtrack to Prinny. It didn't really work together, but it was still awesome.

So Catherine is indeed a game. One part dating sim, one part block climbing puzzler and one part weird as nothing else on the market. I for one love these games that combine two unlikely game mechanics and throw in something weird on top of it. I like Rock of Ages for the same reason I like Catherine. This was an experiment that actually works.

The story is as good as I was hoping, Vincent as a character however is letting me down. He's used bowel movements as an excuse to get out of a tricky situation twice. In one instance the movement itself was the end of the scene. No resolution, just a "Phew! Glad I got out of that situation." It has great ideas, but the execution isn't as strong as it can be.

Also, I can understand the need for a difficulty reduction. I still think it's wussing out, but the game play is so tight that you can make stupid errors fairly easily. I played on easy and at the end of my playthrough I was just dropping lives like they meant nothing. It was pretty bad, though I was pretty tired.

It's a good game so far, the twists are right on the money. I want to know who Steve is. It's bugging me. As soon as I'm done with this post, I'll find out.

For those that want to know, I'm pursuing a Katherine route. I always play the good guy on my first playthrough even though Vincent is not a good guy and Katherine doesn't really seem to be in to the relationship.



I've probably played 24 hours of gaming before, but never for a good cause and never with such a great amount of support like I got from the community. I've played 36 hours of my life for charity between these two events and I can't thank you all for supporting me. I want to thank everybody who signed up to be a part of this.

Once again, without your support we wouldn't have been able to raise this large amount of money for children's hospitals across the world. I am damn proud to be a member of this community.

The donation pages are still up until November 1st so if you have been waiting on a pay check or something else, please by all means still donate.

Please Donate to these Hospitals:

Bristol's Royal Hospital For Children
Sacred Heart's Children's Hospital Washington
New Orleans Children's Hospital
Nationwide Children's Hospital of Ohio
Children's Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan
Primary Children's Medical Center Salt Lake City
Connecticut Children's Medical Center
UC Davis Children's Hospital
Rhode Island Hasbro Children's Hospital
Oklahoma Children's Hospital Foundation
Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland

You can choose to donate any amount you want Anonymously.
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About manasteel88one of us since 2:10 AM on 01.09.2008



Front Paged:
E for Effort: Mass Effect 1+2
E3 2010 Recap
Changes: Fatherhood
Technical Difficulties: What A Difference Time Makes
A True Opponent Stands Before Me
P2 Press Start: Chip n' Dale Rescue Rangers
10 Games Captain America Would Play
Looking Out for the Little Guy
Special Little Places: Mississippi Memories

Front Paged on Flixist:
The Dichotomy of a Dark Knight
Not Understanding Your Audience
A True Classic: Superman Returns

Articles I wrote that I liked:
That One Mook: Gafgarion
My first playthrough of Resident Evil 2
Love/Hate: Operation Darkness
EVO 2010
Recettear Preview
Teh Bias: Nippon Ichi Software, Dood!
More Than Just Noise: Haunted by Final Fantasy
2010: Year in review and some other musings
Obligatory Destructoid Community Rocks Post
Groundhog Day: Stuck in a Book
A story from the Wasteland
PowerUp 2011
E3 2011: MS, Sony, Ninty, and AWARDS
Freedom: Jetpacks
Handhelds: East vs West
Labor Day: Player 2
Online Passes: Nickles and Dimes
2011: Year in Review and Top 10 XBL Indies
Depression
Limitations



Twinfinite stuff I wrote that I liked:
Comics:
Before Watchmen: It's Not the End of the World
Retrospection: The X-Men vs The Avengers
DC Kills Again
Lists:
10 Reliable XBLIG Devs You Should Know
10 Disney Classics that Need Remastering
5 Best Moments from EVO 2013
5 Reasons Why the PS2 Was So Successful
5 Ways to Add Flavor to PS Allstars
Editorials:
Did We Really Need to Break Lara Croft?
Father's Day: Bass Armstrong
Why Do We Need Final Fantasy 7 HD?
Wormlight: A Group of No Name Losers
You Can't Fix Bad Parenting
You Don't Deserve Forgiveness
A Forgotten Hero
Future Diary: The Trial of the Father
Silver Haired Devils: Sephiroth, Magneto, Griffith
Sony Made Art Out of Ads
Celebrate the Ridiculousness of Games
The Graying of Gaming
What is Your Deserted Island Game?
An Opinion on How Value is Underappreciated in Gaming
Lazy Brain Games Legacy
Arkham Knight's Knightfall
Next-Gen Gamers: Kinect Party
Interviews:
An Interview with Adam Spragg
An Interview with Miguel Sternberg
An Interview with Nekros Lead Designer
An Interview with Divekick's Adam Heart
An Interview with The Behemoth's Ian Moreno
An Interview with Firebase Studios
An Interview with Lazy Brain Games: Part 1 / Part 2
An Interview with Fun Infused Games
Nonsense:
Should I Be Happy Sonic is Selling Me Insurance
Is the $99 Xbox Worth It?
These Games Don't Belong on Steam?
Quest for Sexy Seaside Beachball: Part 1 / Part 2


Comics in Games
Comics in Games: Games in Comics
Comics in Games: The Original Batman
Comics in Games: Fantastic Four
Comics in Games: Fantastic Four Deleted Scenes
Comics in Games: Superman
Comics in Games: The Best of Marvel 1994

Comics in Crossover Games
- Spider-man and Captain America in Dr. Doom's Revenge!
- Spider-man the Video Game
- Spider-man and the X-men in Arcade's Revenge
- Marvel Super Heroes: War of the Gems
- Iron Man and X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal
- Marvel Brothel
- Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe
- Marvel Trading Card Game
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold


It Came From The Quarter Bin

- 1st Edition
- Promised Vengeance
- Sarah's Story Remembered
- First Strike! Extra!
- Fluffie Kiss
- 2112
- The Holiday Spirit
- Days of GLX-Mas Past



Games Created:
Dariaia
Twinfinite Pirate Kart


RetroforceGO Videos



My Greatest Failure

"We constantly have to revisit 'Why would Donkey Kong do this?' or 'Why would this environment be like this?' And then we start thinking: 'We're making a game about a gorilla wearing a tie.'"
-Michael Kelbaugh of Retro Studios on Donkey Kong Country Returns



"I have to say it's kinda scary how much you know about this game."
-Nicolau Chaud creator of Marvel Brothel
Xbox LIVE:manasteel88
PSN ID:manasteel88
Mii code:7373 3222 0438 9008


 

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