Archive for the 'Top X' Category

03
Nov
11

My History with Pokemon: Top 5’s from 5 Gens: Jotho

Ah yes. Gold and Silver. In my opinion the BEST games in the series. Not until Black and White did I keep up with a Pokemon release like this. I memorized the Japanese names to the point to where I only started to learn all of the English ones when HeartGold/SoulSilver came out (which are the best Pokemon games to ever come out, period). I even had a bootleg strategy guide for the Japanese version and bought the very first issue of Pocket Games just to see all of the new 100. We all remember the first episode of Pokemon, where Ash sees a mysterious golden Legendary flying through the skies over a rainbow. That was our first glimpse at a Gen II Pokemon; the legendary Ho-Oh. Now, I know in recent years, people have tried to claim that all Ash saw was a Shiny Fearow and even one of the movies said that it was really just Mew (who decides to be a dick and just Transform into other Pokemon to screw with peoples heads), but the moment we found out that Ho-Oh was a REAL Pokemon, we realized that there was another Pokemon game on the way. In fact, once Togepi, Snubble, and Marril (the ever elusive “Pikablu” you tried to get by trading a Lvl 100 Pikachu to the dude in the Pewter City Gym) were revealed, it was like Heaven had opened. One of the best things about even the anime’s opening was that it surmised the whole feeling of Gold and Silver in one line “It’s a whole new place with a brand new attitude, but you still gotta catch ’em all, and be the best that you can be!”

Now, I can go on and on about how much I love Gen II, but I need to talk about my first starter and my favorites of this, the most amazing of all Generations, Gen II.

Continue reading ‘My History with Pokemon: Top 5’s from 5 Gens: Jotho’

09
Mar
11

My History with Pokemon: Top 5’s from 5 Generations – Gen 1

Ah, Pokemon. The big daddy of the Monster Battling genre. So big that people forget that it wasn’t the original video game to introduce the concept of catching monsters and training them to fight other monsters. Nevertheless, it did what Dragon Quest V did not; it turned this concept into it’s own unique sub genre of the Role Playing Game.

Now, the Fifth Generation of Pokemon games have been officially released in the United States. It’s been close to 13 years since I first played Pokemon Blue and in that time, I’ve had innumerable memories of the one Nintendo super franchise that rivals Mario in name recognition. I got Blue for my 11th birthday, but got to play it before I turned 11, meaning that I indeed started my Pokemon journey at 10 years old. And for those of you who know your Pokemon, you’d understand why that’s such an important memory for me.

One of the hallmarks of why Pokemon is so popular is that everyone can have their own favorite Pokemon (especially now, as the count is now up to 649 individual Pokemon), allowing a child to have a favorite Pokemon to train and befriend in the same manner that they did as Ash did with his Pikachu. Of course, I’m no exception and with each generation, I’ve had my favorites. As a follower of the old traditions of “With enough training, any Pokemon can beat any other Pokemon” and “Always use your favorites; Pokemon are your friends, not weapons”, I always use my favorites and never purposely EV train. This may get my Poke-dudes asses kicked by the legion of EV-Train ONLY people out there, but the trade off is knowing that I use my Pokemon because I enjoy them and not because they can mathematically outperform other Pokemon. As such, here’s the first of the list of my Top 5 Favorites from each Generation, plus my first Starter from each.

Generation 1 – Red, Blue, Yellow, Green

The originals. The glory days of Pokemon. The days of there only being 151 Pokemon. These were the times of Pokemon in it’s purest and rawest. As such, most people feel like, if the new Pokemon are too dissimilar to the original 151, they’re TERRIBLE. This was also the heyday of liking Pokemon because you thought they were cool, as apposed to today, we’re you have to like them for stats and the moves you can force them to have.

My Starter: Squirtle

I love turtles and I love this guy. Unlike the relationship between Ash and his Squirtle (Parole Officer and Ex-Con), me and my Squirtle were bros. Even though my starter in FireRed was Charmander, Squirtle is my A1 favorite starter of all-time. As embarrassing as it is to admit, I was one of those kids who got Squirtle because Blastoise was on the cover of Blue… But, thankfully, I was able to bro it up with my Squirtle. Favorite moment? Paying back Giovanni’s Kangaskhan in Silph Tower with my Blastoise for nearly taking out my team in the Rocket Hideout.

Now on to my 5 favorites of this Generation.

Meowth. And not because of the show, either. I love cats and this motherfucker provided me with money after I became King of Kanto (i.e. beat all the other Trainers). Hilariously, in the early days of the franchise, they didn’t make that many toys in America, so a huge chunk of the toys were the Japanese ones just repackaged or just straight up imported (my mall’s EB Games was full of imported Japanese Pokemon toys). Unfortunately, I got the American packaged Talking Meowth. When I activated it, it wasn’t the Brooklyn accented Meowth that I was use to. I was the screeching Japanese version. Do you know know how scary it is to get a Meowth that would just scream all of this?

Farfetch’d. I really liked this guy. Even though he was an in-game only trade Pokemon, he was fun to use and just plain funny. I wasn’t until FireRed when I got to use my very own, personally owned Farfetch’d. And for whatever reason, this guy was a MONSTER in battle. Fun fact: Farfetch’d is based after an Asian saying about something being as odd as “a duck walking with a leek”, or (to Americanize that for you), something as far-fetched as a cow carrying a bottle of A1 Steak Sauce. If you still haven’t gotten the joke; it’s weird for a duck to be walking around with what you would cook it with. Incidentally, Farfetch’d are indeed eaten en-mass in the Pokemon world.

Hypno; the non-Alakazam Psychic Pokemon. Often ignored by most people in favour of the more popular Alakazam, I was guilty of ignoring this guy until he proved to be a heavy hitter. My Hypno turned out to be perfect for catching Snorlax by himself. Because of that, he’s a pretty unexpected opponent to go up against. And if my Seismic Toss knowing Pikachu is any indication, I really like having Pokemon that are more than means the eye.

Starting a trend of Pokemon with morbid backgrounds, Cubone is odd in the fact that one single incident defined their entire race. The Cubone in Lavender Town is the only one that’s really wearing the skull of it’s deceased mother. It’s mother was killed and it wore it’s mother’s skull to keep her close. How this carried over to the other Cubone everywhere is beyond me. Still though, this pint-sized pugilist is a powerhouse in his own right. He also shares that generic monster body that alot of Pokemon have. And, according to some theorists, Cubones are actually baby Kangaskhans.

This crazy lighting monster was one of my favorites right from when I first saw him in the anime, even though I couldn’t get him in Blue. He seemed like a cooler version of Pikachu; a real electric monster that could put the hurt on anyone he chose. I love both him and his Baby form, but goddamn if I don’t hate his evolved form from the 4th Gen. Hilariously, it wasn’t until his debut episode that I found out that Scyther was a real Pokemon. I had gotten the KFC collectible cards of Pokemon, and found the Scyther one. I was pissed, because I thought that they had thrown in a fake Pokemon.

Tomorrow will be the best Generation ever: Gold and Silver.

29
Oct
09

Top 10 Anime Live-Action Adaptions that MUST Happen

I’m sure that by now you all know that there is a Cowboy Bebop live-action movie in the works, and that Matrix star Keanu Reeves is attached to the project. Some of you may also know that Spider-Man himself, Tobey Maguire, is producing and possibly starring in an adaption of the eighties classic Robotech. Even Steven Spielberg wants to get in on the action; he has expressed interest in doing Ghost in the Shell, in 3D!

Well, while reflecting on how amazing these anime are and how awesome  live-action versions of them could be, I realized that there are quite a few more anime deserving of being brought to a wider audience via the big, silver screen. So, here is the fruit of much labor: the Top 10 Anime Live-Action Adaptions that MUST Happen.

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31
Jul
09

Top Video Game Themes: Honorable Mentions

Now that the Top 25 Video Game Themes have been revealed, I thought it would be fair to highlight some of the other entries and reader submissions that made an honest bid for inclusion on the list. Again, there were a lot of Final Fantasy tracks mentioned, but we all know there’s more to gaming than Final Fantasy. So again, you’ll have to wait for a FF-exclusive edition in the future for your full Nobuo Uematsu fix.

Anyways, below, you’ll a list a 15 tracks that definitely caught my ear, just as much as they did yours. The list is presented in no particular order, though songs from the same game/franchise are grouped together just to be neat. I highly encourage you to seek these cuts out, listen to them, “buy” ’em, put ’em on your iPods and iPhones and jam hard until your ears bleed. Well, maybe not until your ears bleed…

Honorable Mention

“Overworld” – The Legend of Zelda
“Zelda’s Lullaby” – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
“Main Theme/Overworld” – Final Fantasy VII
“Chocobo Theme” – Final Fantasy series
“Love Theme” – Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
“Eva’s Debriefing” – Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
“Cutman” – Megaman
“Dr. Wily (Stage 1-2)” – Megaman 2
“Go Straight Remix” – Streets of Rage 2
“Orc’s Theme” – Warcraft III
“Underground” – Super Mario Bros. 3
“Bike Theme” – Pokemon
“The Bank” – Mortal Kombat 3
“Brinstar” – Super Metroid
“Prologue” – Eternal Champions

27
Jul
09

Top 25 Video Game Themes

Last week, I put out a call for all you GONG readers out there to submit your favorite tunes from the video games we all know and adore. You responded (most all of you via Facebook), and I would like to say to express to each of you my thanks. Thank you for participating and for opening my ears to sounds even I had yet to hear.

The list of tracks submitted was long and full of great songs from great games, old school and new. And accordingly, this list – the Top 25 Video Game Themes – spans the whole spectrum. We’ve got music from the biggest franchises and the hottest games spanning nearly every genre. The list includes every style, from 8-bit wonders to full orchestrated masterpieces. Indeed, out of the top 10, 5 were a direct result of your submissions, so, again, thanks to everyone that submitted tracks because you helped me out on this one more than you know.

Before I reveal the list after the jump, I want to let you all know that you needed worry or be saddened if your submission didn’t make the cut. Decisions had to made and cuts needed to be had in order to make a fair list – which I hope I’ve done. Regardless, later this week, expect a list of the Honorable Mentions: the tracks that were in great contention for a spot on the final roster but just didn’t make the final cut. Also, I hope to do justice to one particular series that just dominated the submissions. Look for a Top X Final Fantasy Music devoted to just to the FF submissions, as well as an accompanying Top 5 Final Fantasy Games. Prepare for controversy…

Now, without any further time wastings… I present to you… GONG’s Top X…

Continue reading ‘Top 25 Video Game Themes’

21
Jul
09

Submit Your Fave Game Tracks For GONG TopX

So, I had a brilliant idea for a Top X list. It’s been a little while since I posted something good over here, but I don’t want this to be all up to me. I figure the best way to make this Top X the best it can be is to get you, the readers, involved!

The list in question: Best Video Game Music.

I’m talking individual tracks here if at all possible. I want you guys to submit to me right here the game music you just can’t out of your head. What 8-bit tunes fill your memories? What epic score gets your blood pumping or makes the hair on the back of neck rise?

Letting you know up front, tracks from the following are sure to be fighting for a spot on the list somewhere:

*Super Mario Bros.  *Metroid  *Zelda  *Final Fantasy  *Metal Gear  *Megaman  *Castlevainia

Don’t be bashful, submit as many songs/themes/games as you like. You may just see your picks on the list.

There are a few rules:

1) Song must be IN/APART OF the game. [no promo only/commercial only tracks]

2) No commercially released tracks unless they were specific to a particular game [ex. “Haze” by Korn is ok; “It’s Tricky” by RUN DMC isn’t]

3) A specific track is preferable, but if you can’t remember the name or the exact level/cutscene, give the name of the GAME, and as best a description of the level/cutscene as you can – someone may know the answer or I may discover another track [and the interwebs is vast…]

27
Jun
09

5 Misconceptions in Transformers ROTF

Now, I’m not talking about Mr. Devastator’s … “Constructicles”. I’m talking about the odd things that people have either missed or misinterpreted in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

Continue reading ‘5 Misconceptions in Transformers ROTF’