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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Buy or Not? The Binding of Isaac

  So, Team Meat, the creators that made Super Meat Boy, indie game phenomenon, came out with there next game, the Binding of Isaac, not to long after Meat Boy. This game has been out for some time now, and most of you now whether or not it is good or not, but I have to give my opinion on it.
  The Binding of Isaac is a very unique game, different than other games. You are in a randomly created dungeon, with randomly spawning items and enemies. You must go through the dungeon, without dying. Be careful, as you only have one life before you have to start over again. It may seem that it is a lost cause, but with the random dungeons and items, you are sure to have a new experience each time. If that isn't enough, there are challenges you can try and do, and also other characters, which can help you or put limitations on you. The possibilities are endless.
   Now the style. The Graphics are about the same as Meat Boy, but a little bit more cartoon-ish. The dungeons are set up in a way so similar to the Legend of Zelda, that I am pretty sure it was inspired from it. They even have a secret room in the game that says I AM ERROR, so I bet some Zelda elements are here. Dungeons are set up randomly as I said, but they do have rhyme and reason to them. The dungeons get longer as go through the different floors, and there always secret bombable walls that are on each floor. There is always a boss and a room with a special item in it.
  And the story. Boy, is the story is messed up. It's pretty infamous, but if you haven't heard it yet, let me inform you. Isaac is the main character who is young child, and he lives with his mom. One day, his mom thinks she hears a voice from God which tells her to go kill Isaac. Isaac then finds a basement under his room and runs away from his mom. Ya, pretty messed. Also, not sure if its a very good theme, but that's how it is.
  Now the game itself. You shoot out these blue projectiles, which are called tears, and use those to kill enemies. That is your only form of attack at the beginning of the game, but there are some rare updrages that you can get which changes your attack, like having air strikes. The items you get are almost all useful, and there are so many that it may take you days to find new ones. The more you find them, the more excited you get about discovering something new. If you ever get bored of the current items and enemies and bosses, there is an expansion pack that adds a whole lot more to the game. There is much more to the game, like some of the secrets. But you have to find those yourself.
  Fans of both retro games and modern games will love this game. The Binding of Isaac is a Buy.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Why The Legend of Zelda (NES) is Good

  So, to be honest here, I was having a hard time thinking of something to write about for this week. I couldn't decide on to review a game or talk about an old one. I asked a friend what I should do, and he said do one about Zelda. And since there was no new Zelda games to review that would be relevant, I decided to talk about the original Zelda. Next week I will do a review. Maybe.
   Alright, some basic stuff you need to know about the original Zelda if you didn't already. The Legend of Zelda was a game released in 1986 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was the first of it's kind, having a save system with files, a free-roam overworld, and the ability to switch between different items you collect. To beat the game, you must go to eight different dungeons and collect pieces of the Triforce, a magical object which gave the person who collected all pieces to have his own wish granted. Once collected all of them, you must go to Death Mountain to fight Ganon and collect the other three portions of the Triforce, and then save Zelda.
  Now that you got that info, let's get into the actual stuff. Why is this game good? Well, for starters, just read the third sentence of the second paragraph. That is pretty neat. With one game, you could have three people play and record their progress without interfering with another ones. It was pretty awesome. Then there is the game itself. As soon as you start, you are sent to an open screen, with a cave in front of you. You go in, get your sword, and then you are on your journey. You could go wherever your heart desired. It was very non-linear. There was some places you couldn't reach right off the bat, but you see that they are there, and you strive to go after them, giving you a great sense of exploration.
  Once you explore a bit, you come across a dungeon, which you then explore. Once you get going, you start to learn the trade of the game. You learn some tricks, like bombing walls, and the boomerang stuns enemies. The game becomes easier when you learn this, but at the same time, you come across harder dungeons, which make you push your limits. Then you come across dungeons that are too hard for you, so you go and explore some more.
   From here, you come across better gear and some more secrets. You find you can use the candle to burn trees, and the game becomes even more fun once you get good. The greatest aspect is obviously the exploration. the game isn't like Mario, forcing you to go one way. You can go wherever you want, and do whatever you want. The ability to complete the dungeons in any order improved on this greatly as well.
   The music was also amazing. Despite only having about four songs you would hear, they all added effect to the game. So the music, exploration, save files, and the best of all, replay-ability.
   After you beat the game, you are presented with the second quest, to beat the game with a difficulty rise. Dungeons have moved, secrets have changed, and enemies have gotten a lot harder. Now you get the play the whole game again, but what you have thought about the game has changed, and now you get to discover things again.
   A great game, and a perfect opening to one of the greatest game series of all time. I am not lying when I say this game is good, Game Informer put it at #1 best game of all time. If you haven't played this game, you should. And if you have, you know what I am talking about. The Legend of Zelda is a timely classic.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Top Ten Favorite Super Mario Galaxy Songs

  Over the week I was playing games with friends and writing some stories, which was really fun. But while doing it all, I was listening to the Super Mario Galaxy Soundtrack, because it is awesome. And I thought why not share my favorite songs from this game? I will list them from number ten to one, with links to a video on YouTube to listen to them.

  10. Battle Rock Galaxy
This is one of the first galaxies you come across in the game, and it definitely has one of the best sounding tracks. It keeps in all the feelings it should have; you being in space, taking over a fortress, and playing a Mario game. The drums emphasize the fortress part, the violin makes it feel spacey, and the whole sound put together makes it feel like Mario. A wonderful track.

  9. Mecha-Bowser
Wow, now this is a good song. It fits so well for its title, and not to mention an amazing battle too, climbing on the giant Mecha-Bowser! The track is so good, I don't really have good words to describe it other than it makes you want to fight this boss.

  8. Megaleg
Another boss. In fact the first boss. A good one at that too. The battle is similar, but the themes fit. This battle you are fighting a giant metallic rusty robot, and the other is a giant magnetic toy Bowser. Somehow, they fit the themes well even though they are very similar. The best part of the song is right before it loops, with the amazing melody that makes it feel like it is the final struggle, even for the first boss! I would place this one higher on the list, but the others just edge it out.

  7. The Star Festival
The very first song of the game you hear besides the title. The beginning of the game, and yet one of the best tracks. It fits the space theme and Mario theme well, and has that happy cheerful feel to it that makes you smile when you hear it. It has that feel of a new adventure, a new world to explore, and really sets the them for playing the game.

  6. Enter Bowser Junior
Rock on! This song does have that rockin' feel to it, is a great song to listen to. It fits the mischievous attitude of Bowser's kid well. (I notice I say all the songs fit there themes, which is one of the reasons this game is so awesome!) Bowser Junior is awesome and I wish you could here this song more, as most people, including me, just rapidly press A when getting text, so we don't have long to listen to this song. A shame.

  5. The Final Battle
Yup. The final showdown between you and your nemesis for the fate of the universe song. A pretty epic scenario, wouldn't you say. ;) While in the midst of the battle, you are at the end of your journey, and want a better way to end it with an awesome track and chorus backing you up. The battle can get tense, but this song is encouraging to keep going.

  4. Melty Molten Galaxy
The only good lava themed galaxy in the game, and a great piece to go with it. It has that lava feel, and like all songs the great space theme in it with the trumpet and synth. It is a fire song, but has a great motivation and triumph in the song saying you should keep going and never back down. It starts off slow, but when it gets to the end is when it really picks up.

  3. The Galaxy Reactor
The final leg of the game. You are at the end of the journey, and the treasure is in sight. But first you must overcome the great feat ahead of you. This song is incredibly well paced, making you want to get to the end. You are so close! This song has a greater epic feel than the final battle, and the trumpets in it gives that courage to you, followed the melody which says the quest is not yet done. A great combo; a wonderful piece.

  2. Gusty Garden Galaxy
Critically claimed one of the best Mario songs of all time, I am here to say I agree. Heck, I could say one of the best songs in gaming history. Man oh man, this song is great. Every instrument and note feels incredible. The song starts off feeling happy and frisky, having some adventuresome themes in there, the the trumpet solo comes in. Obviously the best time trumpets are used during this game. They give that epic exploration vibe, and gives you an awesome feel. Then when the melody come back, you get a new feel of what it is, and it sounds even greater. Peaceful, yet powerful. Exciting, yet charming. This song is one of a kind, but it is not my personnel favorite.

  1. Buoy Base Galaxy
This song. Probably the best song to come from a Wii game, and one of the best Mario songs of all time, even competing with the classics. This song has the most tremendous feel to it, that overpowers that of any other song on this list. Right when this song starts, you know you're in for a treat. If you are not a big fan of electric music, this probably won't apply to you. I The piano has that dark awesome harmony to hit, the drums gives that fortress feel to hit, like that of the Battle Rock Galaxy, and the trumpets has that adventurous theme. Then the the alien synth track comes in and gives it that space feel that can give you goosebumps, then they add another track to the song and it fits perfectly. This song has the right combination of everything. I could go on and on about this song, but I have run out of words to use it is that good. Simply marvelous.

Well, I hope you enjoy this little countdown thing for you, and enjoy the music! Comment on any of your favorite SMG tracks and even give your opinions about these songs. ;)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Pokemon Fire Red Experiences

  Ah, Pokemon Fire Red. Ye were my first video game I owned and ever beat. I beat two more times after that, not to include a Nuzlocke and Omega. But the first time I played the game, I had no clue what I was doing. And that led to some pretty memorable experiences. I would do something else for this week, but some of these can be quite comical.
  So, the journey begins in Pallet town, where I chose my first Pokemon, which happened to be Charmander. I thought it look like a cool Fire Dinosaur, and any 6 year old boy thinks that is cool. Little did I know that Charmander is the 'Hard" difficulty of starters. And after embarrassingly losing the battle to Gray, I went into the field and encountered my first Pokemon, a level 3 Rattata. It wiped out my Charmander. IN fact, my Charmander was already level 9 before I could make it to Viridian City. Then got the Pokedex and was on my way. Not much stuff happened except I caught no Pokemon and had a level 19 Charmeleon by Brock. Didn't actually catch a Pokemon until after I defeated him. I never used it though. In fact, I pretty much used my Charmander for everything. I got it to be a Charizard the time I beat Misty.
  And so on the game went, uneventful until I got to Lavender town. It didn't creep me out, but I spent a good 3 days accumulated time trying to get to the top of the tower. Literally, 44 hours of game time trying to get to the top of the tower, not knowing you were supposed to get the Silph Co. Then I spent the next 9 hours trying to get into Saffron City. After giving up on that too, I went to Celedon City. I got the next two Gym Badges and then surf, which was not an easy task, let me tell you. I didn't know how to get into Saffron City, so I went straight to Cinnabar Island to get the next gym badge. Yes, I got the seventh gym badge before the sixth.
  After realizing it was the seventh, I found out I was supposed to go to Saffron City, and since I matured 6 months to get this far, I figured out what to do. Then, I spent the next 5 accumulated days trying to solve the puzzle of Silph Co., and proudly gained the Master Ball. I didn't know what it really did, but I knew there was only one, so I was going to save it on something special. Next, forgetting that the eighth gym was in Viridian, I went to the Power Plant. I didn't have fun exploring it, as I was trying to get to the end, thinking there would be another Master Ball or a rare Pokemon. When I cam to Zapdos, I didn't know it was legendary, so I made it faint on the spot, without thinking. When I realized there was nothing after it, I thought it was only there to catch electric types. Next I went to Island 1, as I thought the gym was there.
  Again, uneventful stuff until I cam across Moltress. I knew this bird was legendary, but I got it confessed with Ho-Ho, from the first episode of the Anime. But I couldn't catch it. So one battle, when I was about to white out, I ran to make sure my party survived. I was such an idiot. then I went to Island 2, then to 3. This is when one of the best part comes in. I made it to the forest on this island, and I was exploring for rare items or something, when I came across which I thought to be the most rare thing ever. A level 40 Venomoth. No joke. I thought it was the rarest Pokemon ever. So I instantly used my Master Ball. Yep. And the best part is, right afterward I came across a Shiny Vileplume, and ran from it. No joke. I remember taking note that it had a weird color, but didn't think of it at the time. So that happened.
  Then I went back to Kanto and searched the Foam Islands for something, came across Articuno and made it faint, but this time it was accidental. But I was too dumb to think of saving before it and then turn off my game and retry. Finally, I found the eighth gym and defeated it. I finally went to Victory Road and to the Elite Four. I was having trouble with the though. Now at this time, I had realized Venomoth was not legendary. So I was trying to think how I could get a Pokemon which I thought was legendary in Victory Road. So I released my Venomoth, thinking I would get the Master Ball back. I was wrong. So I tried to defeat the Elite Four, but with just my Charizard. My level 93 Charizard. I got all the way to Lance, but was having troubles. But I finally beat him. I saved my game and was so thrilled to see the Champion. And it was Gary. And I couldn't defeat him. Oh, I forgot to mention I was a newb playing this, and I never used any items ever. Similar to my Max Elixer Syndrome talked about in an earlier post.
  Back to Pokemon. I was so stuck on Gary, I stopped playing for a month. I just got Pokemon Pearl, so I was playing that. But then I got invited to my friends house for play, and I brought my Pokemon Fire Red to see if he could help me. We took turns playing against the Champion to see if we could beat him. After 4 hours, my friend finally beat him. It was the greatest moment of my seven year old life, even thought I actually didn't beat him. It was fantastic. Then I tried getting into the Elite Cave at Cerulean City, and that took forever. I thought the Sapphire stone had something to do with the Unknown, but nope. I wasted a lot of time there too. But I finally got the stone and went into the cave. I didn't know what to find in there, but I thought it was going to be Dragonite or something. When I found out it was Mewtwo, I was stoked, as I loved Mewtwo from the Pokemon Movie. I spent two days at my Grandma's house trying to catch him. Sometimes I was so close, but yet so far. I had gotten his health down to 1HP, and wasted all his moves so he couldn't attack, but I didn't know about struggle, so he died there. Then there was the time I ran out of Pokeball's and the time I poisoned him to death. Then the final battle came. I had his health to 1HP, and I was chucking Ultra Ball's at him like crazy. Then I used my Timer Ball, but that didn't work. All I had left was two Pokeball's. And yes, you guessed it, I caught Mewtwo with a Pokeball. That was even more amazing then anything that happened before in this game. And after this, I felt complete. I didn't complete the Pokedex, but it was good enough for me.
  Despite all the really bad playing abilities, this became a all time favorite for me. I left out tons of other memories I could use that are terrible, but this is already a large enough post. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed!

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Hunger Games Video Game?

 Some friends and I were playing a lot the Hunger Games Minecraft Mini-Game, and me and the same friends watched the first two Hunger Games movies one night for fun. So I came to the idea that there is no Hunger Games Video Game. The closest we came to is the Minecraft Hunger Games Mini-Game, but it isn't exactly cannon. It's just a spin-off. I am talking about a full fledged game based on everything from the book. This seems likely to happen, as the Hunger Games premise is perfect for a game. You play as a kid, and your goal is to win the Hunger Games by either killing the other children or out-living the the competition. It doesn't seem hard, but it is. The pressure of making a game that is worthy enough of the best-selling books and top grossing movies is difficult. The most difficult part is what the game is about story wise.
   There are about three options to choose from when it comes to the story. The easiest but most risky option is to to make it a direct rip from the book/movie. Have it that you play as Katniss or Peeta, and you are forced to complete certain tasks based of what the did in the movie. If you play as Katniss, you would be faced with the same tasks that you were faced with in the story. There would be no free choice, and it would be more like completely small tasks than playing a game. There might be a multi-player option, but it is unlikely. If so, it would not be like the game, but more of a co-op. This is a very bad path to take as it be more boring than fun, and more of a ploy to get more money. Sadly, a lot of companies do this, and the sales are usually terrible.
   The next is a little similar to the first one, but is a lot safer. The Huger Games starring Katniss and Peeta was the 74th, so there are 73 other Hunger Games stories to tell through the game. There could be different stories if you wanted to be from another district if you want. This will most likely be in story form, similar to the first, but there might be multiple choice options, like if you want to run to the cornucopia or not. It would be more flexible than the first, but multi-player would be hard to implement in this style. Still possible, but it would be very different than the original style of game.
   Then there is the most intuitive and probably most profitable game style. It is the style that doesn't really have a story, but more gameplay. In this style, you would be able to customize your character, to choose your district, gender, skills, and all other facts that your character would need, like what they are allergic too and all the following. The age could work as a enemy difficulty system, but it could just be another customization, with difficulty being it's own thing. It is possible to not have a difficulty, but it would be best for the game. Next, you could choose your map to play, with a lot of options to choose from. Not just randomly made maps to play on, but possible the same maps Katniss and Peeta played on for their two games. That would be interesting to see. It would be very multi-player friendly, especially for online. Local multi-player would work as well, but you would be able to screen peek. But that happens for about all games, so not a huge problem.
  Now, this would be the best, as it will give the player a lot of options with experimenting on different characters and challenges. There could be achievements for beating the game with bad traits, beating it on the hardest difficulty, and shooting someone in the head with a boy. There could be lots of possibilities with it. It would let the player play longer, and entertain them a lot more. It would also be possible to take this style and include it with one of the other two, which could work well if using the second style of gameplay. The first wouldn't be as effective.
   A Hunger Games video game seems inevitable, and the creators don't want to create a trashy game. Hopefully they design it the third way. I would at least pay money for that. There are other ways to make the game, but these are the most likely. One strange way they could compliment it is by using the same style as the Hunger Games board game and you must survive in your district before the games, and hope you don't get reaped for the games. As long as the developers create an enriching and involving game, it is sure to be a success.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Minecraft is Earth After the Apocalypse? -Also, sorry. :(

   Hello everyone. Sorry it has been two weeks since I had posted anything. I thought I had posted something last weekend, but it turns out I never did. I just found this out today when I went to write my post for this weekend. I messed up. So I will post last weekends today and do this weekends tomorrow to make up for it. Again, sorry I was late, I had no idea I didn't post it.

  Well, here is a very interesting theory I have thought of. I was playing some Minecraft recently, and I was thinking some of the story-line behind it. I know it's just a sandbox game, with no real story, but the boss fight with the ender dragon and credits shows there is some kind of plot. I was trying to think of what the story might be. The largest factor of it is why are there no other people other than Steve. Although, there are NPC villages, but they are small farms, not civilizations, like cities today. So one logical inference would be that Minecraft is in a time where it is early on in the New World, where people were farmers in the West. But then you would eventually come into large settlements, which we do not.
   Also, there are monsters that roam the earth, like zombies, mutant spiders, and skeletons, not to mention creepers and endermen. How would these come to be? Why are they here? How come they keep coming? Well, the one thing I keep coming to is a Nuclear Apocalypse. Yes, Nuclear Warfare goes across the entire world, which destroys all human life, but those in farms, far away from large cities, which would be the primary target. And all the creatures would be the results of the nuclear radiation. The humans would become zombies. the spiders would become radioactive and grow exponentially. The skeletons would be another variation of the mutant humans, and the creepers would be animals which were transformed into messes. They are green and blow up, as they are the most radioactive.
   But there are missing holes. Why is Steve alive in the middle of where the nuclear explosions took place instead of at the villages? Who are the endermen, and why is there The End? Why can Steve go into the nether, but the humans before him couldn't? Why are there Strongholds and Abandoned Mine Shafts? There are answers to all of these. I will start with the easy ones.
   First, the Strongholds and Abandoned Mine Shafts. I guess I will include the Desert Temple and Jungle Temple in this one. Well, the Strongholds and Mine Shafts are underground, which protects them from the explosion, but if humans took shelter there, the radiation can pass through the ground reaching the humans. Also, they are torn down and old because no one has used them in a long time. The Jungle Temple's and Desert Temples would remain, as they would be in areas not used for population. The End Portal would also be in the Strongholds for purposes which I will explain soon. But now, the nether.
   Steve can go in the Nether, which is essentially Hell, by configuring the right Obsidian pattern and setting it on fire. So why can Steve do this? Well, it is magic, obviously. But the reason the humans before him couldn't do it is because they did not use or believe in magic, so it would be out of the question. Steve was able to enter it, as he did not know of the time before him, so he is like a new creature. Now the End.
   This is a pretty big problem. Why is there endermen and The End? Well, I have some answers, or at least speculations. The End Portal would be in the stronghold because the endermen found it to be a good spot to be the doorway into our world. But why would they come in our world? Well, they use our world as a resource for there world. That is why endermen pick up blocks and disappear. And the reason we would never see them before is because they were shy of coming with all the people on earth. Now they can come as there is less people. And the Ender Dragon is there leader, or "god", as you might say. The reason to kill him is unknown, but a good reason why is most likely because he will become in a "greater state of being," taking from the credits. This leads to the next thing. Why Steve is here.
   Well, taking from the credits, it says he is nature, he is the night and day, he is everything. So, taking from some of the text, we can assume he was formed from the earth, not born, but made. But after reading some of the text from the credits, leading to some more radical thinking. But I'll leave it at that. Maybe I will touch back on this topic later, who knows. Also, who knew there could be a story behind Minecraft? I sure didn't.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Conservative Gaming

  Have you ever been playing a game, take an RPG for example,, and you are in a tough spot, and you have an item that woul really help you out? But you only have one or two of said item, and you don't want to use it, for fear of needing it more later? This is something my friend and I call the Max Elixir Syndrome, due to us talking about max elixirs in Final Fantasy, but I will just call it conservative gaming.
  This discussion cam up between me and a few buddies I now online speed-running SMB3, and we started talking on the subject. Most of us were prone to this game-style. When I would play Pokemon, I would never use my revives, potions, antidotes, or anything, for fear of needing it greater later. Although, for some reason, I wasn't hesitant  on using the master ball, which I wasted on a Venomth. XD Anyways, I still suffer from conservative gaming, and often have a hard time with games for never using items. It now even grew into a phase where I never use magic in other games unless it is a boss battle. I have it really bad at Rogue Legacy.
  Now, some people who are conservative gamer's don't have it as bad as others. I don't have it that bad, like I use revives and potions in Pokemon if it is a gym leader, or elite four, but never use it otherwise. Actually, I have noticed this has effected my gameplay in a good way, as I have become better at video games. I have learned to not rely on items and magic. But this is bad, because if I want to play online multiplayer in games, I tend to lose due to me being conservative.
  So how do you guys play games? Are you conservative, or do you use your items frequently? Leave a comment!

Also, sorry for not posting last week, as I said, I was camping. Hope you guys enjoy this one. :D