Posts Tagged ‘Video Games


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…


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’


The Hero of Art and Time

The Design Inspiration has this gallery of awsome artwork reimagining Link and the rest of The Legend of Zelda world. I must say, each piece is really good. There are several that would make great desktop wallpapers, posters, or prints.

My favorite is this:

If Nintendo were to ok a Zelda movie, this must be the onesheet.

If Nintendo were to ok a Zelda movie, this must be the onesheet.

Check out the link and pick out your favorites. Shout out to Kotaku for the links and such.


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


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’


Top 5 Nintendo franchises that need a kick in the butt

Recently, Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime asked Kotaku readers what Nintendo franchises they want to see re-worked and by what dev teams – in the same sort of vein as Project M (Team Ninja + Nintendo), aka Metroid: Other M. This got me thinking; I mean, Nintendo, far beyond any other major software maker, has defined just what video gaming is with their collection of mostly family-friendly franchises. For years Nintendo characters have headlined and starred in some of the most memorable, critically acclaimed, and nostalgic games.

We know Mario, Link, and Donkey Kong, but in recent years, Nintendo has managed to invent new franchises that have done so well, that they are quickly becoming household names in their own right (Pikmin, Wii Sports/Resort, and Cooking Mama come to mind here). So, to oblige Mr. Fils-Aime, I’m putting together my list of 5 Nintendo franchises that could use a swift kick in the rear end, whether by Nintendo proper, or by an outside team. Metroid is getting a face-lift; I think these IPs could benefit from the same:

Continue reading ‘Top 5 Nintendo franchises that need a kick in the butt’


Top X – 2009 VG Babes

G.O.N.G. is now official, for I have come to make it so. Witness the arrival of Zasalamel my fellow geeks, otaku, nerds, and gamers. I have come to bestow upon this fledgling e-zine its stamp of certified geekdom: the all powerful and mercilessly controversial “Top X” list.


Hey, you knew it was coming eventually. A geek-taku site just isn’t a geek-taku site without at least one of these things. I’m proud to bring G.O.N.G its first and hope more soon follow, so, without much more dallying, let’s get to the list:

Top 25 Video Game Vixens

Only a few “Top X” lists could be more difficult to formulate and more often discussed, chief of those being “Greatest Game Ever” and “Best Final Fantasy Ever.” I’ll leave those arguments for another day, perhaps in a list the whole G.O.N.G. family contributes to. Here, however, is my personal list of the sexiest pixilated/polygonal beauties to grace our TVs and monitors. If you disagree, fine – comment. If you agree, great – comment. Want to suggest a few changes? That’s what comments are for!

Lastly, my criteria for this list are rather simple: sex appeal, influence/legacy, recognition. The first is rather obvious (you won’t fine any bosses from God of War on here), but that doesn’t mean I’m so shallow that beauty is just skin deep – I’m not. The third point is also quiet self-explanatory. The second takes into account how important that character is to her franchise and gaming in general; this is honestly more of a tie breaker of sorts.

Now, the list:

25.  Ashe – Final Fantasy XII

The crown princess/queen of Dalmasca, this hottie (un)dresses the part. Seriously, Dalmasca is in the middle of a damn desert, so if I were her, I’d wear two strips of leather and call it a skirt too.

Continue reading ‘Top X – 2009 VG Babes’