Hello, Destructoid community!
This is my introduction post!
I first caught wind of the awesome site that is Destructoid in December, and it has quickly become my favourite website. For four years I went to IGN for my gaming needs, loving most of all Matt Casamassina and Mark Bozon on the Nintendo channel. After they both left and started working for Apple, a company that apparently prohibits them from even keeping blogs or appearing on gaming podcasts, I started losing interest in IGN. However, I kept a blog there, and finally, after like 3 years, some people were reading it. They have a great little community there (Chad Concelmo started off there you know) and though I wanted to try starting a blog here, I decided I'd reach my 100th post first, which, coincidentally, I got in right before blogs.IGN was abolished in favour of the facebook-like my.IGN.
Now I'm starting my blog here, and I'm hoping it won't take 3 years to get noticed again. I've already posted my first post, a monthly musing about game difficulty which you should totally read and fap to (is that the correct terminology?). And, um, HELLO!
See, I never did a proper introduction post on my old IGN blog, I don't really know what to say.
My name is Dillon. I like video games!
Heh, you know what? There's this thing one of my friends did on facebook that's like, 'The 30-day Gaming Challenge' where it asks you to pick a game or something from a game for thirty different questions. It seems like a good way of introducing my gaming tastes, so I'll just do the whole thing here (because facebook is dumb).
Very first video game? Pokémon Red was my first real video game, I believe. I totally caught all 152 pokémon (including a Mew and a Missingno.)!
Your favourite character? Travis Touchdown from No More Heroes. Travis is, to me, the ultimate video game character because not only is he a nerd, loser, and badass all somehow mixed into one and totally hilarious, he's also a direct metaphor for gamers in general. Impatient action gamers, no less: He got way angrier than I did when someone else defeated a boss for him.
A game that is underrated? Little King's Story. Not so much underrated as underappreciated, Little King's Story is my favourite game of the last 2 years on any console, and the fact that it sold so poorly that the developer Cing went bankrupt is truly depressing.
Your guilty pleasure game? Uh, The House of the Dead: Overkill, I guess. That game is so, so over the top and yet so incredibly funny and so replayable and enjoyable. And I love when that guy yells "GOREGASM".
Game character you feel you are most like? I suppose it would be cheating to choose my character from Fallout 3 or something hm? I don't know, maybe... Sumio Mondo from Flower, Sun, and Rain. Sumio, like Travis Touchdown, is a metaphor for the gamer, only he's far calmer and more patient than Travis. The entire game is about getting distracted from the task at hand, regardless of the urgency of it, to help people with their stupid irrelevant problems. It's kind of like feeling the need to do all the sidequests in a game, however dull, except to get the point across you have to do them, and as they continue, and as the plot itself becomes more and more convoluted, Sumio gets more and more annoyed as you do. It's kind of brilliant, and Sumio is a fairly good representation of myself as a gamer.
Most annoying character? Kratos from God of War. I bought the God of War Collection and was quite surprised by how not fun I found those games to be. Somewhat less surprising however was how much I hated Kratos. On the upside, he's a recognizable and iconic video game character, not like many of the uncreative and forgettable "middle-aged males with brown hair and stubble" that are so common today. However, I also find him to be little more than an obnoxious asshole.
Favourite game couple? This is a hard one. I'm tempted to say Warden Clement Darling and his mother in House of the Dead: Overkill. Yes. I'll go with that.
Best soundtrack? The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. There's something about the atmosphere and feeling that the N64 Legend of Zelda games give off with their soundtracks, among other things, that just makes me shiver every time I turn them on nowadays. It's nostalgia because I played those games as a kid, but I also think it's something more than that. When I played Chrono Trigger for the first time recently the soundtrack evoked a similar feeling, so I guess they "just don't make 'em like they used to". Ocarina of Time, Chrono Trigger, and Majora's Mask are my favourite examples of game music, but my very favourite is Majora's Mask.
Saddest game scene? Hmm. The ending of Killer7 almost made me cry even though I had no idea what had just happened. That's more impressive than anything else but I'll give it this one.
Best Gameplay? The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. This is definitely the most fun I've ever had with a game. The world is huge and beautiful and fun to explore, there are so many things to do and see, every new encounter is fun and surprising... From sneaking up on pigs at the start of the game to the final boss fight, there is nothing I didn't enjoy about this game.
Gaming system of choice? Wii. A lot of people rag on the Wii, but frankly it's the system that got me back into gaming. Sure I love all the first-party stuff, but it's the wealth of lesser known 'niche' 3rd party games, as well as all the old games I've discovered through it's backwards compatibility (having never owned a Gamecube), virtual console, and the 'Wii-makes', that are among my favourite games of all time.
A game everyone should play? Shadow of the Colossus. It's a beautiful game that truly accentuates the idea that games can be art, but at the same time it's very fun and polished and far easier to enjoy and appreciate than most 'art-games'.
A game you've played more than five times? I really don't replay games very often – I'm not sure there are any games with proper story modes that are more than a couple hours long that I've played through more than five times. I guess I'll just cheat and say Super Smash Bros. on the N64, because I played that game a million times.
Current gaming wallpaper? Right now it's Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective. Possibly my favourite game of the year so far.
A game you're playing right now? Portal 2. It's pretty awesome.
Game with the best cut scenes? Killer7.
Favourite antagonist? GLaDOS from Portal. The story of Portal is told entirely through GLaDOS, and is incredibly successful because of it. GLaDOS is such a fantastic and funny antagonist. However, I don't think she's nearly as awesome in Portal 2.
Favourite protagonist? Special Agent Francis York Morgan from Deadly Premonition. I like my protagonists a little bit idiosyncratic, a little bit quirky... York is full-fledged crazy, and in all the best ways.
A game setting you wish you lived in? Lospass Island from Flower, Sun, and Rain, perhaps. It's a tropical island paradise! And also the entire island and everyone on it is completely insane.
Favourite genre? While I've observed that I'm quite fond of that most rare of imaginary genres, the Pikmin-style faux-RTS, I'd say my most favourite genre would have to be the Zelda-style faux-RPG action-adventure thing.
Game with the best story? Killer7. The story is so convoluted and abstract, and yet at the same time so incredibly realized, engaging and fully engrossing. It's a surreal masterpiece.
A game sequel which disappointed you? More often than not I prefer the original game in a series to its sequels. Particularly when the original game is so creative and original, I find sequels often fail to live up to the original, especially where story and writing are concerned, but also in terms of recreating the original thrill of the once-new gameplay. Still, I forget this sometimes and I often get excited about sequels more than original games, because I have a precedent. For example, I got absurdly excited about No More Heroes 2, and found that it, though still pretty awesome in a few ways, blatantly failed to live up to the original No More Heroes in most ways.
Game you think had the best graphics or art style? I've made the observation that my top three favourite games are all cel-shaded. Is it a coincidence? Well, yes, but I love cel-shaded graphics and I also think they're three of the most beautiful and visually interesting games I've played. I would easily consider Ōkami to be the best-looking game ever made. Each frame looks like it could be a painting, the design of the world and enemies is fantastic... I recently got the official Ōkami artbook and I don't think it would be an exaggeration to say that it's literally the greatest thing ever printed to paper... well that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it's pretty fucking amazing nonetheless.
Favourite classic game? Since my first console was the Nintendo 64, I'll take classic game to mean SNES generation and earlier that I would've therefore had to go back and discover rather recently on the Virtual Console or something. And it's tough because I'm really not much of a retro gamer. I guess I have to go with Harvest Moon. Honestly I'm not a fan of the 2D Marios or Zeldas or what-have-you so it's Harvest Moon or Chrono Trigger, both of which I enjoyed immensely but never finished. Harvest Moon is just so addictive and pretty and... and I'll never forget when those gnomes stole my gardening tools.
A game you plan on playing? The Last Guardian is the upcoming game I'm most excited about. Considering Team ICO's pedigree, and considering the trailer and the concept, and considering the amount of time and money they've had for it... I can't imagine this not being one of the best games ever made.
Best voice acting? Oh, I don't know. I guess I'll just say No More Heroes again. I mean, Portal 2 for example has some undeniably fantastic voice acting. But my favourite voice acting has to be No More Heroes. Or House of the Dead: Overkill. Or, heh, Deadly Premonition.
Most epic scene ever? Uh! I don't know! Like! The final colossus in Shadow of the Colossus? Or that scene in Killer7 I linked earlier? Or the final boss in Deadly Premonition? :p
Favourite game developer? Grasshopper Manufacture! There's a reason why half my answers are Suda games. It's because, for me, in terms of their presentational aspects – story, characters, setting, etc – they're in a league of their own. They're crazy, they're unique, they're surreal, they're hilarious... They come to mind first when answering questions such as these. Even Flower, Sun, and Rain, a game that most understandably would consider mediocre is still far more memorable than the vast majority of games in these aspects.
A game you thought you wouldn't like, but ended up loving? Fallout 3 is my favourite game of this console generation, and I almost didn't buy it. The praise it was getting and the scope were intriguing, and I wrote it on my Christmas list, only to later scratch it off and write Oblivion instead. It just seemed that it was trying to make its major selling point the fairly realistic gory violence that I was supposed to perceive as funny or appealing. Apparently I scratched it off my list too late though, because I got the game for Christmas, and, well, I ended up loving it. Not only was it brimming with genuinely interesting characters and quests and locations in a huge and detailed world like I never thought was possible, but I also found myself emotionally connected to my character like no other game because by allowing me to make my own decisions and giving me choice on a scale I'd never seen before, and by having me play through key stages of my childhood, I felt I WAS that character. And that's a prospect I would've gotten excited about.
Your favourite game of all time? My favourite game of all time is Ōkami. As I've said, the Zelda style of gameplay is my favourite style of gameplay, and Ōkami, with similar gameplay manages to equal Zelda in a lot of ways and surpass it in others all the while being bold and unique and totally beautiful and charming in a way Zelda sequels could never be. The Wind Waker is a bit more fun than Ōkami in my opinion and it's presentational aspects are certainly nothing to scoff at either, but Ōkamis push it over the top.
Finally! That took way longer than I anticipated. What's left? Hmm. Ah! My header is totally my 15 favourite games of all-time. See?: