Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Do you remember? #1

What should become of this blog?

I'm in school right now, looking through my RSS-feeds when I found this blog once again.

Oh god, I haven't done enough for it. A post about Rayman, a compilation album and some video footage of a game everyone already knew about.

But I knew that I wasn't going to get up on my ass and write some more. Oh no, I'm too lazy for that. Besides, I can't come up with any quality content and not have Boomies go on my ass from my shitty spelling (don't worry, it's good that someone does it <3).

What I'm more worried about is if this blog should be done as it is, a couple of good articles and nothing more, or should it be more active? Would this post kick the other writers in the butt and get 'em to write more? I'm most certain I won't (now that I think about it, this might've started my blogin' senses, might post some stuff later on).

I know that the rest of the posters are more talented at writing then I am, and I would like to preserve that talent for more writing. Or something man I don't know. In the mean time, I'm going to enjoy waiting for the Sniper/Spy/Duel Payload/Hats update for TF2.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Disgaea 2 review reactions

"It is honestly the dumbest thing I have ever read. I get bored playing "real" RPG's fairly quickly, and I also generally dislike Anime and the style. Disgaea is one of the games that I can look back and go like "Man, that game was freaking awesome" and when I describe it to someone who doesn't know what it is, they say "Holy crap that sounds insane".

I have never seen such a big example of close-mindedness when it comes to games, which is odd considering his bible (DnD) is all about just having an open mind and being as creative as possible. It's pretty sad to see how he criticizes the game for not creating the main character, considering how the only RPG's I can think of that let you do that are done by the same three companies (Bethesda, Bioware, and Black Isle).

Also, to criticize the art style the way he did was just stupid. I've played Baldur's Gate and the like, and I didn't exactly cream my pants at the art style. Ugh, people like that guy just annoy me. How did his review get a big star next to it?" - Weeping_Ninja

"Disgaea is probably a pretty avergae RPG at best ........................ Lucky for it it is a SRPG ............. A different genere all together .................. What an idiot ................... And the guy obviously has no clue how the game plays ................. How can grinding be the ONLY way past point x when you could level up equipment in the IW ???" - Coryney

"Seeing this topic and its responses bring joy into my heart." - Someone by the name of Sunladis finaly gets it.

"seems to be a fallout fanboi. name is vaultdweller14, refers to the greatness of black isle and then bashes bethesda.

sounds like yet another digruntled one after fallout 3" - SanchoEx

"20 bucks says VaultDweller14 is just some racist computer nerd >_>" - fuzzylittlbunny

I guess I was just way too accurate.

There were a few others like a handful of blog posts calling me a racist and a SA goon calling it a "genuinely good troll" but I can`t find those now.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Good Old Games

Nearly everyone reading this will most likely agree with this statement: the use of monochrome BROWN & BLOOM graphics is probably the most annoying popular trend of modern videogames. The SECOND most annoying one, however, doesn't get criticized nearly as much, even though the way things are heading right now, it might just become a massive hurdle for the constant improvement of gaming as a whole. In fact, the majority of the gaming public actively promotes it. By now, you probably know what I'm talking about: nostalgia.

In this case, nostalgia is the unique and near-orgasmic pleasure that some gamers get from being reminded of their childhoods. It's got nothing to do with the time they spent outside playing hopscotch, kicking puppies or whatever it is that normal, well adjusted children do at a very young age (I DON'T FUCKING KNOW EITHER, SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME WITH THIS ONE). HELL no. It's always related to the time they spent in front of their TVs (or PC monitors, assuming they were truly hardcore) jumping on koopas, blasting away robot masters or watching a sprite-based strip show.

The Wii is a perfect example of this. Most owners of Nintendo's latest "innovative" creation are either children, nostalgia-obsessed neckbeard-bearers or a mix of the two (children who try to come off as OLDSKOOL gamers - fake, glued-on neckbeards are optional, although they certainly help a great deal), and developers are visibly taking advantage of that. Most Wii games that aren't shovelware like WiiFit and the timeless classic Party Babyz seem to be based around, or at least partially fueled by, nostalgia. You have the Wii virtual console, one of the system's main selling points and basically a way to play old games after selling your old systems without feeling guilty. After all, you wouldn't steal a car. WOULD YOU?!

There's Super Paper Mario, a game where your invincibility sprite is a gigantic 8-bit Mario, ripped straight from the old NES game. This might seem like a cop-out to avoid animating something new, but to the average nostlagic gamer, it's all about the beautiful symbolism. It represents the long-gone days of true gaming when we, as children, and even our beloved video game protagonists felt truly *invincible*. Young, innocent and untouched by life's hardships. Nintendo fans don't view these decisions as mere laziness: they think of it as proof that *Nintendo loves them*.

It's not just SPM; Every Mario game since the original trilogy has been filled with pointless and irrelevant masturbatory tributes to its past successes. The "Mario turns into an 8-bit sprite" concept, for instance, was used in nearly every Mario RPG to date - only in those games (which, coincidentally, Nintendo had very little to do with), it was just a clever little easter egg and not an integral part of the gameplay. Even games that mix "old school" elements with actual creativity and attempt to bring old franchises to modern standards, like the superlative Bionic Commando: Rearmed and the Super Smash Bros. series, suffer from certain Nostalgia-related flaws.

Mario Galaxy, while certainly a very polished and well done game, still suffers from this. As soon as it was announced, I predicted it would turn out to be be "Mario 64 in space". Guess what? I was right. After boasting about Mario 128, the next step for the Mario series, nay, for GAMING ITSELF for years on end and attempting to start a pointless rivalry with Pokemon creator and co-worker Satoshi Tajiri, Shigeru Miyamoto released a game that, while admittedly fun and filled with clever level design ideas, is STILL just Mario 64 all over again. Despite the game's galaxy theme which might suggest an open-ended environment, you are still bound to a hub area which leads to a number of enclosed environments. You still have to collect 120 stars. You still get to play nostalgic bonus stages like in Super Mario Sunshine, complete with 8-bit Mario screenshots in the background and some remixes of old Mario songs which sound like something an Ocremix user crapped out while going through a particularly bad hangover. The original tracks in the game are nothing short of brilliant, so why didn't Nintendo's music team put a little bit more effort into their work instead of resorting to nostalgia-based filler?

Don't get me wrong - Super Mario Galaxy is a GREAT GAME. Though honestly, it could've been so much more if it weren't for Nintendo's tendency to latch on to nostalgia. Same goes for the latest major Zelda game, Twilight Princess, which is basically a fanservice game aimed at people who simply wanted to play yet another Ocarina of Time. While being a flawed game in the end, Wind Waker was a great addition to the Zelda series and certainly a step in a new and interesting direction. Sadly, most of the gaming public didn't think of it as a step in the *right* direction, so the only followup s to Wind Waker were minor and not particularly noteworthy portable releases.

Megaman 9 is nostalgia in game form and it was met with ridiculous amounts of praise. Capcom treated the entire project like a joke; nothing more than a parody of their older games, complete with badly drawn and painfully cheesy cover art and *an option to turn on NES-style graphical glitches*. Instead of being annoyed by the fact that the latest entry in their favorite series was turned into a parody of NES gaming as a whole, Megaman fans treated it like a labor of love aimed at hardcore gamers. Street Fighter 4 looks more like Street Fighter 2: 3D Mix than a real sequel to the incredibly awesome Street Fighter 3 - the only original characters are throwaways from some of Capcom's worst character designers. Most new franchises are mediocre, and whenever a competent developer tries to take an old series or genres to a new and interesting direction while taking advantage of current-gen systems, old fans bitch and whine. Every time someone buys a copy of a Bethesda RPG or The World Ends With You, Gary Gygax's corpse sheds a small tear of blood, for true role playing has finally been slaughtered by money-hungry developers and their urge to ruin the once-sacred role-playing genre with blasphemous, newfangled bullshit.

To this day, I still haven't managed to figure out how the mind of the average nostalgic gamer works. The original Super Mario Bros. was the second video game I ever played, and I loved the hell out of it. I still think it was a competent platformer for its time, but I don't really want to play it again. I certainly don't want to PAY for it again, and I don't want to see screenshots of it or hear its music in any of my recent Mario games. Commander Keen and the first two Duke Nukem games were some of my first PC games ever and I played them for hours back in the day. Looking back at them, they weren't even good for their time: they were clunky, the scrolling was painful to look at and the gameplay was extremely simplistic, even compared to some 80s NES games. Wanting to return to those times just because taking advantage of modern hardware originally led to a lot of generic brown & bloom FPS games is like if humanity stopped using fire altogether after finding out that touching it hurts. Every console generation so far has had its ups and downs, and there is really no reason to try and go back to the gaming stone age. I'm certainly looking forward to future game releases, and I really hope nostalgic hardcore wannabes aren't a large enough demographic to significantly stagnate the industry.

It's time for gaming to move on, so drop that NES controller, take off that diaper and try to support the tiny bit of creativity and innovation we're actually getting right now.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


My good friend "VaultDweller14" from Gamefaqs (who totally isn't just me in an alt account) asked me very nicely to post his review of Nippon Ichi's Disgaea 2 on this wonderful blog. After skimming through it I came to the conclusion that it was, in fact, the most accurate and eye-opening review of a Japanese RPG ever written. So, enjoy:

Disgaea 2: A perfect summary of everything that's wrong with the RPG industry.

Take the timeless, innovative work of Gary Gygax, run it through the dreaded Japanese Pop Culture Filter, add a hint of blasphemy to the mix and you get the Japanese RPG, a decidedly... strange genre. While other, truly talented developers such as Black Isle always tried their best to innovate role-playing games as a medium, Japanese developers like Nippon Ichi are desperately trying to stagnate everything in order to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Enter Disgaea 2, the latest Animé-style Japanophile favorite. Hell-bent on sexualizing children, spouting cliches and wasting the player's time in the most obnoxious manner possible while eliminating everything that made RPGs a fun method of escapism back in the day, Cursed Memories is part of the massive cancerous lump that has grown on top of the once-glorious RPG genre thanks to profit-loving Asian developers. But enough rambling; on to the sincere review.

Let's start with the most important part: The presence (or lack thereof) of actual role-playing. In Nippon Ichi's strange minds, the concept of role-playing equates to watching an anime while playing around with some menus every once in a while. Now, the main appeal of RPGs is PLAYING the ROLE of a character in a story; projecting yourself into an intriguing fantasy world as a way of escaping real life. Strangely enough for a game calling itself an RPG, Disgaea never greeted me with a deep and involving character creation screen. In fact, THERE WAS NO CHARACTER CREATION AT ALL. Instead, I was forced to play as a preset character known as Adell, an effeminate anime child with a disproportionately large head and nightmarishly huge eyes. Adell's home village was cursed to be slowly demonized by an evil overlord known as Zenon and it's up to Adell the demon hunter to track him down and save his village. All with the help of Rozalin, Zenon's large-breasted daughter who is constantly trying to murder Adell. I could literally come up with a better, less offensive story by running Planescape: Torment's script through about 6 different languages in Babel Fish, then back to English.

As if the lack of role-playing weren't horrible enough, the actual gameplay somehow manages to be even more annoying. Since NIS took the role-playing out of role-playing games, you'd think they at least left the game part in, right? WRONG! You start off in Adell's home village, which is filled with two-dimensional animé villagers. Great, I thought, a game where I can mercilessly murder countless people and pillage their corpses for items, but only after doing their heavily entertaining side quests. To my surprise, I couldn't actually hurt any of them; I tried every single button on my poorly designed PS2 controller (let's be fair here - nothing beats classic PC controls), but all it did was spawn a moronic dialogue box.

However, I soon found out that that not being able to kill Generic Tutorial NPC #96219874 was actually a good thing, to some extent - the game's battle system is nothing short of a steaming pile of manure. Just like every Japanese RPG out there, the game's combat equates to one single thing: HOURS UPON HOURS OF ENDLESS GRINDING. Did a fairly powerful boss enemy come up? Is there no logical, strategic way of destroying the badly drawn creature? Did you finally realize the fact that Disgaea 2 offers you no NPC dialogue choices, so there is really no possible way of recruiting powerful NPCs to aid you on your generic quest without having to use the awful peon creation screen? No worries, Nippon Ichi has just the thing: grinding. Simply go back and kill the same generic penguin enemy (wow, so wacky! NIS are true masters of surrealism) over and over again until you can finally move on. This isn't just an alternative; it's the only way of moving the extremely linear and predictable story. Even sub-standard Western RPGs such as Bethesda's Morrowind and Oblivion seem like awe-inspiring works of art compared to Disgaea's gameplay.

Lastly we have the graphics. What can I say about them - they're *anime*. Anyone who's ever sat through a full episode of Slayers without wincing at the highly disproportionate artwork will love every part of Disgaea's unique art style, right down to the tiniest low-res pixel. There is no hint of realism to be seen: the attack animations are composed of the same wacky, over the top drivel that the average Wapanese nerd drools over. The low-res textures could be easily replicated by a trained orangutan with a copy of MS Paint. With no arms.

What can I say? Disgaea 2 is a horrible game. I honestly wouldn't recommend it to anyone; there are countless superior RPGs out there. If hours of grinding is your kind of thing, I assume that you haven't actually played a true RPG to this point. Do yourself a favor and pick up Fallout, you won't regret it.

Reviewer's Score: 1/10

And now, a horse piloting a giant robot.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

2008 - The Album

2008 was a good year, don't you think?

We had good games this year, filled with gameplay-driven joy, graphics that proved how advanced technology has taken us and music that pleased our ears like there's no tomorrow.

So, I created this album, this tribute, this soundtrack of the year.
I tried to make it cover as much of the year as possible. And if you can't find a track representing an event you cared about, it probably wasn't worth caring about in the first place (except Dead Space, sorry guys).


1/21. Valve - Left 4 Dead Main Theme
2/21. Chris Geehan & Dan Byrne McCullough - Make Your Mind Up
3/21. The Ink Spots - I Don't Want To Set The World
4/21. ?BIDEO GAME IDORT? - you'd think martin galway would have been pissed but it was the early 90's and i'm sure he didn't care
5/21. Baaba Maal - Far Cry 2 Theme
6/21. Takeharu Ishimoto - Calling
7/21. Linkin Park - Session
8/21. Metamorphosis Jazz Band - Minuki's Theme ~ Child of Sorcery
9/21. RealFaction - Simple Sight (inatrumental)
10/21. Shawn Phase - Santa is Dead
11/21. Prope - Let's Tap Main Theme
12/21. Frank Klepacki - Hell March 3
13/21. Roy Brown - Butcher Pete
14/21. Simon Viklund - Heat Wave
15/21. Team Megamix - Radiant Emerald Zone
16/21. Rhymes With Stomach - Rainbow Road
17/21. Kyle Gabler - Ode To The Bridge Builder
18/21. MegaDriver - MetalHog (Sonic 1 & 2)
19/21. Matt Ulemen (?) - The Age Of Reckoning Has Arrived
20/21. Jun Ishikawa, Dan Miyakawa (?) - Masked Dedede Battle
21/21. Brian Eno - Spore Menu Theme


1/21. Studio Pixel - Cave Story BETA Theme
2/21. Tanguy Ukulele Orchestra - Megaman 9 Title
3/21. Masafumi Takada - Pleather for Breakfast
4/21. XOC - Vegetable Valley 2
5/21. The Go! Team - Get It Together
6/21. Jason "Shyboy" Arnold of Hyonogaja - Shall Never Surrender
7/21. Robin Beanland, Grant Kirkhope, Dave Clynick - Spiral Mountain
8/21. Planetboom - SuperSonic
9/21. Philip Glass - Pruit Igoe
10/21. Tomoya Tomita - Trailer Funk
11/21. Isvaffel - Jeesus Voittaa
12/21. Nobuko Toda & Jackie Presti - Love Theme
13/21. Wojahn Brothers - Oh No You Didn't
14/21. Tomoya Ohtani (?) - Spagonia Day
15/21. Shoko Sakai - Open Sesame!
16/21. Asuka Ohta, Ryo Nagamatsu - DK's Snowboard Cross
17/21. Alcorus - Shine
18/21. Michael Hunter - Soviet Connection
19/21. Noriyuki Iwadare - Gyakuten Saiban 3 - Special Blend Mix
20/21. HAL Laboratory (?) - Endpoint (Vs. Master Hand)
21/21. Toru Minegishi - K.K. Soul

Thanks, anyone who helped me with anything. I love you, bros <3

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Oh, Rayman. How I love thee. Everyone has atleast one or two nostalgic game that they will never forget, Rayman is one of those games.

The story in Rayman was nothing, really. It was something about a villian called Mister Dark, that kidnapped all the Platoons in the world, which is some kind of AWESOME FORCE OF NATURE THAT KEEPS THE WORLD TOGETHER, and Rayman stepped up to the challenge yadda yadda yadda.

The gameplay however is simple 2D platforming. You control Rayman, jumping around and throwing his fist. Literally.

Aside for some permanent abilities and temporary powerups you could find in the game, it doesn't get more complex than that. And that is for the best.

What made Rayman unique is the design. As you can see above, Rayman has no limbs. In Raymans world, noone has limbs. It looks really good together with the drawn graphics, and if anything, it's all very imagintive.

That's my main love with this game, the design. Everything looks like it's straight from a cartoon, and the sound effects are all cartoon sounds. The music is very fitting for wherever the game takes you, and it all fits like a glove. And while you admire everything you see and hear, is the gameplay good, even through it's simplictic sidescrolling action?

It is. Even through it's not complex, it's fun. And hard. Gosh, was it hard. Fortunally, I can now play it with reasonable gaming skills, and its difficulty is just right.

And hey, if I chicken out and activate the "99 Lives" cheat again, I'll still be having fun, like the good old days.

Oh Rayman, how I love thee.