Archive for the 'Video Games' 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’

10
Aug
11

I’ve also been thinking about the Live-Action Mario Brothers movie.

You can turn the Super Mario Bros. movie into something that looks incredibly faithful to the games, but still have nearly the exact same dialogue. Continue reading ‘I’ve also been thinking about the Live-Action Mario Brothers movie.’

10
Aug
11

I’ve been thinking about this whole Capcom Thing…

Out of all of the things I’ve heard, one thing that strikes me is the people who are of the opinion that companies don’t make games for fans; they make them for customers/companies don’t owe you anything, so they have the right to not release anything.

Continue reading ‘I’ve been thinking about this whole Capcom Thing…’

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.

02
Mar
11

Webcomic Recommendations: Kyoji’s First Two

So, I’ve decided that I should some of the amazing web-comics that I’ve read over the years, plus a few new ones, because, goodness help me, I lover being bound to a running series that I can get updates on. For a while, I’d base what day it currently was off of three things: classes, work, which web comic uploaded.

First off, I’m going to start off with the two first webcomics I ever started reading:

The illustrious, famous, and hilarious 8-Bit Theatre. Running from 2001 to 2010, this webcomic is supposed to be a straight translation of the original Final Fantasy, but various hilarious things happen, including appearances of characters from other Final Fantasy games, digs at the conventions of the original game itself, and a tight woven together continuity (there’s a joke stated in the very first few episodes that become’s true towards the end of the comics run). Even the writing is fantastically well done, which isn’t a surprise in hindsight; Brian Clevinger is the creator of the Atomic Robo comic book series. If you’re a fan of Final Fantasy, metaphysical hi-jinks (what happens when comic strip characters are aware of their actions from every panel in a strip? They form an army), ridiculous violence, and a total disregard for Dwarves, this webcomic is for you.

The Second Webcomic is one that’s more of a Main Comic and it’s influenced side comics.

That’s right, Bob and George; a ridiculous “retelling” of the first 6 Megaman games. Originally started as a hand drawn comic until the creator finally had to admit that he couldn’t draw worth a damn, then shifting to a sprite comic (allegedly the first sprite comic), it ran from 2000 to 2007. Aside from the hilariousness of all of the characters dying around each of the comics anniversaries (but it’s okay, because, since they’re robots, they can just be rebuilt), it’s one of the few sprite comics full of dozens of recolours that actually manages to be good. The titular Bob and George are characters from the comic’s original hand drawn strips that ended up in the Megaman Universe. But this is a different Megaman Universe to what we’re use to. In this one, most of the Robot Masters are ridiculously incompetent, as is Megaman and most of the good guys. Dr. Light accidentally programmed him to have the Prime Objective of being an Idiot and a Secondary Objective of being a Hero of Justice. Most of the recollections of the original games are grossly inaccurate due to Author intervention (this being a comic where the Author has a self insert character who does nothing but try to keep order, but ends up being a pain in the ass sometimes), Time Travel Shenanigans (which are essentially the most hated thing in the entire comic, due the to absolute bullshit time travel causes, like George being the main bad-guy of Mega Man 5) and the speculation of the event known in the comic as “The Cataclysm”, which boils down to the explanation as to why the original MegaMan characters aren’t around in MegaMan X by saying that Zero activated early and killed everyone. NOw, for the longest time, Bob and George also hosted several sub comics, some relating to Megaman, others not at all. As of this writing, the only one that’s still actually updating and being linked to from Bob and George’s front-page is MSPaint Masterpieces.

 

MSPaint Masterpieces, unlike Bob and George, has been epicially re-telling the original Megaman games. While it started out as generic Webcomic silliness, it progressively to more and more serious in nature and deeper in tone. By the end of the retelling of the first game, the armies of the world are outside of Wily’s Castle and Megaman is nearly crap metal. To be honest, there are times when this comic is more serious and grave in nature that the famous Rockman MegaMix manga. It’s, quite honestly, the best balance for a silly comic like Bobo and George.

 

Tomorrow, I’ll be talking about the Webcomics that I’ve read, but not longer keep up with anymore.

09
Sep
09

09/09/09 – Sweet Dreams

10 years ago today, one of the greatest gaming consoles ever made its debut. The Sega Dreamcast was a fine system for its time, innovative and comparable to any other system of its generation (PS2, GC, and XB). There are several reasons why the Dreamcast ultimately failed and forced Sega to restructure itself. The most notable causes include the release of the PS2, Sega’s mishandling of the Saturn and the late Genesis add-ons, and the chronic delays of just about every major high profile title that was due to the system (including Resident Evil: Code Veronica, a Star Trek title, and of course, Shenmue I and II). Despite these horrid blots on the system’s past, it has managed to remain dear in the hearts of many gamers – especially Dreamcast owners.

There are few “retro” systems that see regular play nowadays. As awesome as Goldeneye64 was back in the day, the number of people openly raving about how often they still boot it up has dwindled considerably. I personally have not yet met a Dreamcast owner that does NOT at some point hook this gem up and play something. I would if certainly have my own up and running if it could actually run – my disc motor is busted ;(. The Dreamcast had a superb line up of classic games that deserve to be played even now: Soul Calibur, Chu Chu Rocket, Shenmue, Sonic Adventure, NFL 2k1, NBA 2k1, Ready 2 Rumble Boxing, Power Stone 2, Crazy Taxi…

Sure, several of those titles have managed to live on on other consoles. Others have thrived on other consoles. There are even a few that are available online on services like GameTap and XBL. But, it’s just not the same. I want my DC controller in my hands. After all, Microsoft ripped of its XB controller design from the DC – don’t lie to yourself, it’s true, I distinctly remember the designers admitting the inspiration in an issue of EGM. Many things about online gaming we take for granted today, Sega was toying with through the DC – hell, Sega had online gaming on its Genesis. No, if we are to live our lives with no Dreamcast 2, then we at least deserve to get roms through the Wii Virtual Console, XBL, and the PSN Store. We deserve to see DC franchises revived on the current-gen consoles, re-imagined and updated.

Damnit… We deserve Shenmue 3!

Today, fly your flags at half-mast and honor the Dream…

01
Sep
09

Game Review – Batman: Arkhum Asylum

First, let me say that if you have not yet added this title to your collection, or, at the very least, you have not yet played the game or the demo, SHAME ON YOU!

“Why,” you may ask?

Because this game is really, really fun. Because the story is engaging from beginning to end. Because Joker is amusing every time he gets on the PA system. Because Harley Quinn is quite fine in her new uniform…

Why should you play this game?

Because you get to BE Batman.

I wrote a quickie review last week on A Tokin 4 Your Thoughts; read it for the short, to-the-point assessment of the game. If you want my final thoughts on the overall experience, read on, my friends: Continue reading ‘Game Review – Batman: Arkhum Asylum’