There was an event held not too long ago called Summer Games Done Quick 2013 or SGDQ2013 for short. A collection of speedrunners gathered in Denver to raise money for Doctors without Borders by completing games as fast as they possibly could. I tried to watch most of these speedruns (only missing TWO new World Records runs – just my luck) and I had this weird urge swell up inside me.
I had to try and speedrun a game.
Now, I really don’t know why people attempt speedruns. The beauty of games usually lies in the rich, deep experience that one can gain from playing. However, others take pride in abusing glitches and finding time-cutting routes to complete a game shorter than normally intended. That’s fine: before I started, I loved watching speedruns. Something about a person finding exploits and generally breaking a game is a treat to watch. But before SGDQ2013, I really didn’t have a reason to even entertain the idea of myself attempting a speedrun.
One day, I looked on my shelf and my eyes fell on one game in particular. That game was Donkey Kong 64.
A.K.A. the game that had to be played with an Expansion Pak to fix one game-breaking bug.
Growing up, I loved the old Rare platformers for the N64. Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie are some of my favourite games of all-time and although I had less experience with DK64 than the aforementioned titles, I thought, “what the hell, let’s give this a shot,” and popped it into the console. There was really only one problem.
I had no clue how to bend this game to my will. I didn’t know of any exploits, glitches, or routes that I could use to my advantage. Luckily, we have this wonderful thing called, and let me check my spelling here, “the Internet”. I hopped online and looked for anything that could help me. Lo and behold, there were tutorials at my fingertips and both in video form.
If you want to try and speedrun DK64, I highly recommend those videos. They were done by speedrunner Cfox7. He’s been playing and speedrunning DK64 for quite awhile and, as to be expected, he has done some very good runs of this game in the past. If you search his YouTube page, not only can you find an amazing Any% run in 45:11 but you can also see a 101% run done in less than 7 hours (that time has since been beaten). I watched both of them and if you want to see someone completely kick a games’ ass, I suggest that you do the same.
Alternatively, if you want to see a game destroyed, watch this video of Chad snapping a PS1 game disc in half. Your call.
Following along with Cfox’s beginners guide, I learned a gaggle of tips and tricks that helped me start speedrunning this game. The great thing about the guide – other than the fact that it helped my run out immensely – is that I learned so much about a game that I had played off and on for 13 years. Even if you don’t want to watch the whole video, at least look at the “trick” Cfox performs at 1:11:06. It’s astonishing what shoddy shape the developers of this game left this game in. I’m not saying that the game is bad because DK64 is another one of my favourites but it’s clear that it’s not exactly the most well-polished title on the N64 if you watch a speedrun. I mean, just by playing this game I learned how bad the camera was. It’s utterly infuriating.
After watching and following along, I felt that I was ready to make my first run at this game. That proved to be an unwise decision. I can’t count how many times I had to pause the game (and my timer) to watch the video again while saying to myself, “Wait, how do I do this again?” I may not be an expert speedrunner but I’ve learned one thing that I’ll share: if you’re going to speedrun a game, make sure you have every trick practiced or else you’re going to be super-boned.
My first run was bad. As I said before, learning tricks is difficult. Runners like Cfox make it look easy but it’s much more of a challenge to perform when you’re playing. It’s one of those “It’s harder than it looks” sort of situations. A speedrun takes a lot of time and even more effort. This was especially true when I got to the section of the game where you need to free Chunky. Allow me to explain.
While attempting the run, you need to free all the Kongs in order fight the final boss and beat the game. You unlock Chunky, the last Kong that needs to be freed, in the third level. As Lanky, you’re supposed to climb a steep incline to reach a switch and free the big gorilla. However, whilst speedrunning, you don’t have Lanky’s move that allows him to go up these steep inclines. Therefore, you need to jump up and hit the switch without the aid of that move. This trick saves a lot of time and I should know... because I couldn’t get it.
This is what the move normally looks like in case you were wondering. Yeah, Lanky is the token "wacky" character
What I did was something that nobody should do when trying to run a game: abandon the trick and give up. My run at that point was going pretty well (for a beginner anyway). I thought that I had mastered every trick and was proud of myself for getting this far into the game. However, once I got to the Lanky section, the trick that looked so easy suddenly became impossible. I almost climbed all the way up only to slide back down to square one.
I became frustrated and the reason I did so was because I didn’t practice. I was so cocky and confident that I would pull it off on the first try that when I started to fail over and over again, I threw my hands in the air and stormed off. Lucky enough for me, there are enough coins to buy the required move to reach the switch. In a normal run, this would be a death sentence: it takes way too much time to collect the necessary amount of coins and buy the move from Cranky. But since this was my run and since it was already going south, I decided to buy the move.
Perhaps my first mistake was timing my first run. If I had to do my first run over again, I would’ve probably practiced every trick before even trying to time my run. But I stuck my air in the nose and thought I was better than I actually was. Pride goeth before a fall and whatnot.
Having bought the move, hit the switch, freed Chunky, and done everything else required, I entered the boss’ door to complete the next part of the run. Each boss you defeat gives you a key. If you’re playing the game normally, you need 8 keys to beat the game. In an Any% run, you only need two: the one you get from the Level 3 boss and Key 8 which is behind a locked door. The boss that held the third key was my next destination.
Mad Jack isn’t a challenging boss unless you’re trying to do a speedrun. He goes from joke to annoying as fast as a Ferrari goes from 0 to 100 mph. I struggled quite a bit. A boss that I am used to destroying was handing me my ass, laughing maniacally in the background (thanks Grant Kirkhope).
Maniacal laugh. MANIACAL LAUGH!
The problem with this boss is there is a certain strategy that you need to use in order to beat him in the fastest time possible. To do this strat, you need to be near the boss. If you’re too close to the Mad Jack, he’ll hit you with a fireball attack and send you falling down which forces you to start a phase with him all over again. In order to beat the boss, you are required to hit five switches.
I hope this boss gets thrown into an incinerator a la Toy Story 3. No one would cry.
During my first run of the boss, I was getting kicked around. I was getting hit with fireballs, falling off the raised platforms, and missing the switches that I was supposed to hit. Murphy’s Law was in full effect as I could do nothing but watch my timer slowly ticked onwards towards infinity. But then, just as it was looking grim, I delivered the final blow and the boss was defeated! The only problem is that when I delivered my final blow, so did Mad Jack. In a cruel twist of fate, the boss managed to hit the killing blow at the exact same time I did. While he fell to his death, I was stuck suspended in mid-air. The good news was my health had been replenished. The bad news was that I couldn’t move at all. I had to quit the level which fortunately brings you back to a little area where you can easily reach the boss again. Unfortunately, I had to fight Mad Jack once more. My second fight was much more successful (but not by much).
With key in grasp, I set out to complete the final portions of the run. The finish was in sight and I was going to cross it like the champion I was. That’s when I spent 30 minutes trying to get into the last level. To get in the final level of the game you need to make a tricky jump followed by another tricky jump followed by ANOTHER tricky jump. I tried and failed to make these jumps for what felt like forever until I was in the final level. Even at this stage in the game, you can still massively screw up and end the run which I was careful not to do. Before doing the final tricks, I made sure I to watch Cfox’s tutorial once more. Even though my run was a complete mess, I still didn’t want to screw up. One sweaty controller later and I acquired the final key.
The final boss of this game is exactly like Mad Jack: not hard when playing normally, extremely maddening when doing a speedrun. K. Rool (spoilers: King K. Rool is the boss of a Rare developed DK game) has 5phases. I don’t know of any other boss in any other game I’ve played that has that many different parts. The stupidest thing is that nearly every boss in DK 64 is like that: multiple phases that do nothing but waste time. But that’s a rant for another time.
Seeing as how K. Rool has a stupid amount of phases, you can probably guess what the tensest moment of the run is. Hint: it’s the one where you fight a giant lizard wearing a crown and boxing gloves.
The show stopper! The icon! The main event!
The thing with the K. Rool boss fight is if you happen to die you start from the beginning of the fight. So to say that it’s imperative that you don’t die is quite the understatement. There were a few hairy moments but I managed to beat the boss and end my run with an atrocious time of 2:00:11 and that’s just a rough estimate. But I was happy because I managed to beat a game that would take 12 hours to beat in just 2 hours.
Of course you don’t get better at a speedrun unless you practice and play the game a number of times. After this 2 hour speedrun, I tried to replicate it the next day. I won’t go into too much detail about that run (or the one after it) but it was bad. Like, really bad. I screwed up in Hideout Helm and died at the final boss fight which wastes a gigantic amount of time.
I’ve played this game using these glitches and exploits around 25 times now and each and every time, I’ve beaten the game quicker and quicker. I’m still using a beginner’s strategies but the point is that I’m having a fun time beating this game and seeing how speedy I can be while doing so. I clocked in my most recent run in at 1:02:44 which, while not great, is a huge improvement over my first run. The best part is that I’m learning how to perform the tricks and it’s taking me less and less time to execute them properly.
Even though I’ve just started and even though I suck, I really enjoy speedrunning and that’s why I’m going to spend this section trying to convince you to do the same thing I did. Namely, find a game in your library, see if there are any speedrunning tutorials, and go for it.
It doesn’t matter how bad you are at the game you choose; you get better. Trust me: you get loads better. If you’re passionate enough, you can turn speedrunning into a hobby, running through a game over and over again competing against others and yourself. That’s what speedrunning is all about: improving upon yourself to the point where you are enthralled by the entire process. You become so committed to bettering your times that it becomes addicting.
It feels great to beat and improve upon your times. Also, obligatory uplifting photo.
I am hooked on speedrunning. I spend what hours I have in my day to not only speedrun DK 64 but watch other speedrunners. Just yesterday, I saw a runner named Stelzig break the world record in Super Mario Sunshine by a full 2 minutes. It was fun and I was captivated the entire time. All because I watched one marathon and decided to take a crack at speedrunning. The point is this: try to speedrun a game. If you don’t like it then at least you tried. But if you do attempt one, maybe you'll get the same feeling I did and perhaps you will act on that feeling.
As for me, maybe with more time, practice, and knowledge of how the game works, I could become the best DK 64 speedrunner ever!
Howdy everyone and welcome to a quick, short, but oh-so-sweet blog done by me, SierraFoxtrot.
It's one of my favourite times of the year: March Madness. The time where big upsets happen and legends are made. Of course, about 95% of you don't know what the hell March Madness is or even pay attention to college basketball and that's fine. But what if I gave you a reason to watch? A way that doesn't involve me stripping naked and storming the court.
At the 24-hour marathon, I was lucky enough to receive a free code to SGC. Unfortunately, due to the fact that I am dirt broke, I will be giving this code away. My loss is your gain. Yeah, now I got your attention.
In order to get the code, all you have to do is this: compete in my March Madness tournament and win. Sounds simple, right? Are you interested? Good, here are the rules and instructions:
2. Use an image editing program like Paint or Photoshop to fill out your selections. I've already done most of the heavy lifting.
3. Once finished, save your file, upload it to imgur.com and then send the attached image to me. You can do this one of three ways: either send me a PM on ScrewAttack bracket (subject line should ideally be "March Madness"), send me a tweet with your bracket, or put a comment in the box below with your bracket.
4. You must get your bracket to me by 12:00:00 EST (noon EST) by March 21st. If you miss the deadline, you miss your shot.
5. Sit back and enjoy March Madness. I'll be keeping track of the score throughout the tournament and updating it frequently.
Speaking of the score let me now explain the rules:
You may only enter once.
You may not create multiple brackets. Only one bracket per participant.
You must submit your bracket to me by 12:00:00 (12 noon Eastern) on March 21st. If it is any later than that, you will not be able to participate.
As stated in the Official SGC rules, if you are under the age of 13, you must be accompanied by an adult.
If you are already heading to SGC, you can paticipate. You won't receive the code (and instead gain bragging rights) and the person with the next highest point total will receive the code instead.
Allow me to now explain how I will be scoring your bracket.
In the NCAA Men's Basketball March Madness Tournament, there are 63 games played over the course of 23 days with the Championship game taking place on April 8th. Here is how I will be scoring each round.
(if favourite wins)
(if underdog wins)
(Lower Seed - Higher Seed)
(Lower Seed - Higher Seed) or 2 (whichever's greater)
(Lower Seed - Higher Seed) or 4 (whichever's greater)
(Lower Seed - Higher Seed) or 8 (whichever's greater)
I know that table up there seems awfully confusing so let me simplify it for you by giving you a clear example.
One of the match-ups right now is Oklahoma State vs. Oregon or a 5-seed vs. a 12-seed. Suppose that you pick Oregon to win and they do. In the first three rounds plus the Sweet Sixteen, you would receive a score of 7 for correctly guessing since you picked the underdog over the favourite. In every other round however, you would receive the maximum total since 12-5 is only 7. It's much harder on me than it is on you so don't worry about it; I'm the one who really has to pay attention to the scoring system anyway.
That's pretty much it. As you can see, I've also included a tie-breaker section on the file you need to download. If it happens that two people have identical scores heading into the Championship game and correctly predict the National Champions, then the tie-breaker will determine who gets the code. If you win, you can expect your code on April 9th giving you about a month and a half to get ready for SGC.
For those of you wondering why I didn't open up a group on ESPN or Yahoo! Sports, I did it for two reasons: one, this is a way everyone can participate without having to sign up for some website. Two, I don't really think it's that hard to edit in your picks with Paint. It's rather simple actually.
I hope that everyone reading this participates. Even though I can't go to SGC doesn't mean you should miss out on the greatest party ever. Who knows? With some skills and a plethora of luck, you could be down in Dallas, living it up. Oh, and if you do get the code, tell Dylan Toomey I said "Hello".
Hello ladies and gents. If you clicked the link, it means that you are now reading the first installment of my multiple part series entitled “Off the Shelf” where I take random games from my games library and then do a review for all of you to see. It’s unoriginal and uninspired. In other words, it’s right up my alley. Self-deprecation aside, this series is (hopefully) going to get me back into a habit of releasing blogs and/or content regularly. So what game is the first to get reviewed?
It’s Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue team for the Nintendo DS. This game was developed by Chunsoft who also developed the subsequent sequels to this game as well as 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors which was also released on the Nintendo DS. Mystery Dungeon was released in 2006 during the third generation of Pokémon games and was released after Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald. The game received mixed reviews; some review scored the game as high as 8/8.5 out of 10 while most reviews scored the game in the low 6’s and 7’s. But you came here to read what I think of the game so let’s not waste anymore time. The very first Off the Shelf begins now.
WHAT KIND OF GAME IS POKéMON MYSTERY DUNGEON?
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon is a rogue-like dungeon crawler. In this game, you don’t collect Gym badges and take on the Elite Four to ultimately become the greatest Pokémon trainer in the region. Instead, you start off as a low-level Pokémon rescuing other Pokémon from mysterious dungeon scattered throughout a cryptic region with a partner of you choosing. There are still RPG elements like leveling up, type effectiveness, move sets, and the like but they are done differently (more on that later). Throughout the game, you’ll explore numerous dungeons, make plenty of friends, and discover the reason behind your transformation into a Pokémon while fighting a lot of tough battles along the way.
WHAT'S THE PLOT?
One day, your character wakes up as a Pokémon in a strange land. You do not know how your character got there or how your character was transformed into a Pokémon. Your character is found by their eventual partner on your rescue team who explains that this land has been ravaged by earthquakes among other natural disasters. After rescuing a Caterpie, your character and their partner decide to form a rescue team and help out Pokémon in need. As said earlier, over the course of the game you find out what caused your character’s transformation and what is causing all of these natural disasters.
Basically they made a game based on one episode of the anime where Ash transforms into a Pikachu. Also, Ash transforming into a Pikachu was a thing that happened.
As far as how good the story gets, don’t expect an award-winning plot. The Pokémon franchise isn’t exactly known for its deep, complex storylines and Mystery Dungeon keeps that tradition alive. The story is used to introduce new areas and scenarios in the game rather than creating a strong narrative. There are some good moments but the majority of the events that happen in the game aren’t anything special.
One thing to note about the story of this game is that after the big climax (SPOILER: you save the world), the story keeps going. There is an entire secondary story to be played out. Just something to note as it’s one of few games I’ve played that does this.
HOW'S THE GAMEPLAY?
As stated above, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon is not a RPG but rather a rouge-like dungeon crawler with randomly generated floors. You don’t start out at your Mom’s house on a quest to become the greatest Pokémon trainer who ever lived. Instead, your goal in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon is to save other Pokémon and the world from total destruction.
The controls for Pokémon Mystery Dungeon are simple: you use the Control Pad to move (pressing R if you want to move diagonally), the A button for a basic attack (which will damage all types of Pokémon), and B to move fast (useful when you’re stuck in a long corridor). You can also set a move of your choice to the L button and when you want to attack, you can press L + A button to use the move that you selected.
The goal when you enter a dungeon depends on whether you’ve gotten a job from a client or you’re trying to complete the story. Either way, the main objective is to find the stairs that lead to the next floor of the dungeon. Along the way, you’ll have to fight hostile Pokémon and you may pick up an item or two.
Aside from the beginning of the game where you’re forced into a dungeon immediately, you can go to the town square to do a variety of things that will help you prepare for your foray into the unknown. While in the town square, you can buy, sell, or store items in addition to linking moves, buying Friend Areas, and searching for missions to go on. Let’s explain move linking and Friend Areas really quickly:
For the first time in a Pokémon game, spin-off or otherwise, Pokémon can link moves and use two in the same turn.
By talking to Wigglytuff in the town square, you can purchase Friend Areas. When you're out exploring dungeons, sometimes defeated Pokémon will offer to join your team. If you accept, that Pokémon will join you for the rest of the mission and will head to their designated Friend Area when the mission is over.
If you choose not to use the various shops around town, you needn’t worry. You can still find a variety of items in dungeons themselves. In fact, going into dungeons is the only way to find Gummi’s. These are very important items in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. When you give Gummi’s to other Pokémon in your party, their I.Q. will go up a level and they will learn new tactics that they can use in battle or when navigating a dungeon with you. However, you have to feed the correct Gummi’s to Pokémon otherwise their I.Q. might not go up. The game tells you which Gummi’s a Pokémon will prefer so don’t worry about massively screwing up.
This makes Pokémon smarter. Now if only we had something like this in real life for people like me.
For the sake of time, this is where I will end off. There are other features in the game but I would be prattling on forever if I went through each and every single one.
What I like
So now that everyone knows a little bit about the game, let’s highlight what I liked and didn’t like about this Pokémon spin-off. Before we get on with the hate-fest that lies below, let’s highlight what Pokémon Mystery Dungeon does correctly.
Weather elements were added into the Pokémon games around this time (Gen III) and they had an effect on battle. Fighting a wild Pokémon in the desert? Expect a sandstorm to start brewing. Is it hailing outside? Be ready for you and your Pokémon to be pelted with ice. In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, weather works in the almost same way. Sunlight still powers up Fire-type moves and reduces the number of turns it takes to use Solarbeam. If it’s snowing, Ice-type Pokémon get a boost in speed. Really, weather isn’t a huge feature but it’s one that adds some variety and a small bit of difficulty and that makes it a good implemented feature in my eyes.
Admittedly, there isn’t a huge transition from RPG to rogue-like but there are still some differences. Obviously, random encounters still do take place but they happen differently. Instead of walking through tall grass and fighting Pokémon, they occupy the same space as you do. If you happen to stumble into one (either awake or sleeping) you can either attack it yourself, have your partner attack it, or run away (although running away really doesn’t guarantee that you’ll escape). The battle system takes a bit getting used to but it works really well. You still are mashing a button to select a move but if the battle system didn’t work, this game would fail.
What I don't like
Settle in and get comfortable everyone. It was hard coming up with things that I liked about this game but it was no task to list off the things I get hated. This section is going to be long and unforgiving.
Boss fights in this game suck. If you haven’t played a game before then yes; you can struggle and possibly game over. However, if you are in any way capable of pressing buttons and navigating a virtual world with the use of a D-Pad, all it takes to beat a boss is a tiny bit of preparation and spamming special moves over and over again. The bosses are honestly some of the worst parts of this game. There isn’t really any actual challenge to them. It’s a major problem too because most of the bosses are legendary Pokémon. In the main series, Zapdos, Moltres, Groudon, and Rayquaza are insanely difficult to catch let alone beat. In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, they are a mild inconvenience.
Initially, I thought the boss fights were really well done and fit in well with the story of the game. After I had beaten Mystery Dungeon, I changed my opinion. While the boss fights do fit in with the story of the game, they really weren’t all that well done. Like I said, boss fights consist of you mashing that A button (while holding down the L button) to use your most damaging moves and maybe taking a turn to heal if necessary. I don’t know if I should have expected more from a rouge-like but the bosses, which starting out were fun and challenging, left me feeling like I was completing a Saturday afternoon chore.
See that button that has the big capital "A" on it? Just press that button and you'll beat every boss in the game. Sounds fun!
I don’t know about anyone else, but I get frustrated when a damaging move misses due to confusion, paralysis, or something else. I get even more frustrated when a move misses when my Pokémon is fully capable of hitting its target and simply doesn’t. The latter happened far too frequently in this game. No joke: I once missed three times in a row with the move Ember. Ember. A move that has a 100% chance to hit opposing Pokémon missed three times consecutively. Of course, Ember could be completely overhauled like other moves in this game. Ember could only hit 90% of the time for all I know. But the point is this: a move that hits 9 times out of 10 shouldn’t miss often. It did and on more than one occasion.
I already outlined how Friend Areas work. You approach Wigglytuff with cash in hand and spend money unlocking a new place for recruits to hang out should they want to join your rescue team. Since we’re in the “What I Don’t Like” section of the review, you can probably ascertain where I’m going with this.
Friend Areas are very crucial towards building your rescue team. Your rescue team is unlike any other in the region as most rescue teams have a maximum of 3 team members. It isn’t that important to build a gigantic rescue team but it is encouraged. It makes some sense I suppose: the more Pokémon you have in your rescue team, the more prepared you are to tackle dungeons with different times of Pokémon. However, actually getting Pokémon to join your rescue team is trial and error and more often than not results in you not recruiting a Pokémon onto your team. Unless you’re trying to recruit low-level Pokémon, you have to be very high-leveled OR have an extremely rare item in order to recruit Pokémon that would actually be useful. Don’t get your hopes up about recruiting a high-level Gyrados onto your team: it’s nearly impossible. Speaking of levels...
One of the more frustrating things about Pokémon games and RPG’s in general is grinding. Everyone hates it because it pads out game time and sucks the fun you were previously having. Level-grinding in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon is no exception and it actually may be worse than the level-grinding you would do in a regular Pokémon game. Here’s the situation I was in: using a guide (yes, I used a online walkthrough, sue me), I saw that the next dungeon I had to venture to was filled with level 30 Water-type Pokémon. Being the Pokémaster that I am, I decided to bring a Breloom, a Magneton, and another Grass-type (probably a Tangela because I seem to be the only person who likes that Pokémon) into that dungeon. The problem was trying to get those Pokémon to a level where they could evolve. I would have to engage an obscene amount of Pokémon in battle to even have a hope of getting my Magnemite up to a level where it could then evolve. It just wasn’t worth it.
An old phrase comes to mind...
A.I. stands for Artificial Intelligence. The way A.I. is used in games to produce a fantasy that NPC’s are intelligent, thinking beings interacting with the player instead of just lines of script and code. Chunsoft apparently missed the memo because Pokémon Mystery Dungeon’s A.I. is atrocious and that’s probably putting it lightly.
A.I. partners are supposed to help you on your adventure during the course of this game but they always felt like a hindrance. Actually, I take that back. They felt like that free-loading friend. You know the one: the guy who you always invite over to a party, gets blackout drunk, and then leaves without offering to clean up. He brings his own beer and doesn’t even recycle it.
Do you want them to use a specific move at a crucial point in a fight? Growl! Do you need for them to run away from a fight at low health? #YOLO. The only time they do what you want them to do is if you tell them. This is also known as the OPPOSITE of what A.I. is supposed to do. Through every fight and encounter, I’ve always had to make sure what moves my A.I. partner was going to use.
I'll be honest: this section of the review sounds pretty harsh and it saddens me. The game really isn't that bad to play and it is an enormous time sucker which depending on your preference, can be either seen as a positive or negative.
The thing that angers me however is how all of these problems could have been fixed and fixed rather quickly. It's like nobody play-tested this game at all to see how bad the A.I. truly was. I'm not joking when I say that some of your partners are missing extra chromosomes. Remember that Magnemite partner I mentioned earlier? He actually voluntarily hovered over a lava pit while walking through a volcanic dungeon. This immediately set him on fire which is the only logical thing to happen when something stands over a boiling pit of magma. One would assume that the A.I. would be smart enough to NOT stand over something that could potentially harm them but we all know that saying about assuming right?
Anyway, that wraps up the gameplay portion of the review. I'll have more on what I think later on down below.
IS THE MUSIC CATCHY?
You can judge for yourself. Personally, I’d describe the music as either adventurous or foreboding depending on which dungeon you head into. For example, in the Great Canyon dungeon, the music seems very uplifting and has a sense of adventure and discovery. In stark contrast, the music in Magma Cavern makes you feel uneasy almost as if there was danger around every corner. Again, the feel and mood of the music changes based on which dungeon you enter. I don’t want to say that I like the music in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon because I really don’t feel that way. There are tracks that get stuck in your head but none are that memorable. The music does it job would be the best way to put into words how I feel about the tunes. My personal favourite track is Sky Tower music which is the perfect arrangement to close the game.
WHERE CAN I PICK THIS UP?
I got this game for free because it was a Christmas gift. If you want to go to the trouble of purchasing this game, it’s not going to deplete you funds. You could buy the game new for $40 but if you buy used from Amazon.com, you can purchase the game for around $7-$10. The lowest price I could find on Ebay.com was $1. Even if you never play the game, $1 for a game that will sit on your shelf and add to your game collection is a nice deal.
CLOSING THOUGHTS AND FINAL OPINIONS
Man, this game was a chore to play through. It’s very long and extremely unrewarding. You can’t even evolve your character or any other Pokémon in your party until after the main game and I’ve already detailed how insanely patient you’d have to be in order to fully play through the second campaign. There were times where I did not want to play anymore because it just wasn’t any fun. I’d be going to the same dungeon doing the exact same thing I’d done previously to get money or an item. Would that classify as tedious?
To say that this game has its bright spots is being generous. Sure, the early parts of the game are fun and quick but when you’re in the late game and trying to finish up, it becomes a downright nightmare to play. Alright, perhaps I’m being a tad overdramatic. It isn’t difficult to beat Mystery Dungeon but the amount of time that you need to sink into completing the game really isn’t worth it. As I said above, I barely played through the second campaign because the number of levels I would need to gain with some Pokémon would take forever and half a day.
Even if you forced me at gunpoint , I wouldn’t think of playing this game once more. I’d gladly die rather than play this game again. Okay, that’s being overdramatic. While I would save my life, I wouldn’t enjoy playing this game again. If you have to absolutely get it, do so only because you need a game on your shelf and not because you have to play it.
In my opinion, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team is best left unexplored.
Thanks for reading the first installment of Off the Shelf. It really means a lot to me that you read all of that or at the very least, looked at all the pretty pictures. I'm going to be writing another issue of Off the Shelf but I need your help! By using the link provided, go and vote which game I should review next!
Editor's Note: Need to learn more about Mario Party 6 before tonight's epic After Dark showdown? Don't worry. g1 Sierrafoxtrot has you covered!
Hello everyone and welcome to another wonderful (at least if you ask me) blog done by yours truly, SierraFoxtrot. You can hit that big blue button above my name to subscribe to me. It’s like the e-version of stalking except there are no lawsuits and it’s not as questionable.
Mario Party 6, the third Mario Party on the GameCube, is honestly one of my favourites and a vast improvement over 5. The mini-games are better and easier to understand, the capsule system is fixed to the point where it’s enjoyable, and the boards are innovative instead of just “advance spaces to collect star.” As always, we’re going to go over a couple of things in this blog:
New Features In Mario Party 6
Recommended Boards to Play On
Orbs and What They Do
Okay, I’m not good at transitions so let’s just get going.
New Features In Mario Party 6
As you can imagine, there are some new features in Mario Party 6 that weren’t in previous Mario Party games. OR ARE THEY?!
The big feature in Mario Party 6 is the day/night mechanic. This is the exact same thing from Mario Party 2’s Horror Land board. The only difference is instead of the effects of day/night on one board, it’s on all of them.
Now, one would think that recycling something from an earlier Mario Party game would be stupid but it’s actually pretty smart. All of the boards have something interesting happening during both time cycles. Different paths will open up, mini-games are affected, and the contrast between day and night is noticeable every time.
Capsules return from Mario Party 5 but are now called Orbs. We’ll get to Orbs a little later on but trust me; the capsule system is improved for the better. It’s less confusing and easier to use.
One of the big features of Mario Party 6 is the microphone. Now, the microphone only comes into play during 1 vs. 3 mini-games but it is something that is fun and interesting to use... for about 5 minutes. While using a microphone sounds like a blast initially, you quickly find out that your friends can completely screw you over in these Mic Mini-games. Any of the opposing players can shout a command to screw up the player using the microphone. You also have to be clear and articulate when using it otherwise it won’t register your commands. For those two reasons; I don’t recommend you use it.
To shake up the end game a little, the Coin Star is taken out in favour of the Orb Star. Collecting coins is still important but using Orbs as often as you can is more important as it will get you a Star after the game is done.
One thing to quickly mention before we move on is that a Bowser Revolution can only happen if it is picked on the roulette wheel during the Last Five Turns Event.
Now that we’ve explained what’s new, what boards should you play on?
Recommended Boards to Play On
Faire Square is the best of the boards that’s immediately available. The main feature of this board is the center area. During the day, Stars cost 20 coins as per usual. But at night, the price of a Star changes depending on a dice roll. See, the night time host Twila will hit a block and whatever number she rolls is how much a Star costs. This changes the game immensely. Sometimes, Stars will cost as little as 10 coins meaning that if a player is dirt poor, they can easily buy a Star. Other times, the price of a Star will skyrocket costing 40 coins (the highest that Twila can roll). Night time can either help or hinder your chances of grabbing the lead. The other interesting feature of this board is how many Stars you can buy. Normally, when you reach a Star space, you only get one. But in Faire Square, you can buy up to 5 Stars, assuming that you have the coins. You can get crazy games on Faire Square and I even remember playing a game where every player had at least 10 stars. The other reason why I recommend Faire Square is for the ? spaces. Crazy things happen when you land on these spaces and none of them are good for you unless you have a good amount of luck. Sometimes, you’ll gamble your coins and other times, you’ll gamble your Stars. Games on Faire Square always end up being absolutely nuts.
Clockwork Castle is another board I recommend playing on but it will cost you 100 Stars to unlock it. If you have the time, collect that amount because it’s well worth it. This board puts a twist on the classic Mario Party formula of getting to a Star space first. On this board, you chase D.K. to get a Star. You can use various Warp Pipes scattered throughout the board to catch up to him. The unique thing about this board is that after all four players have rolled; D.K. himself will roll a dice block either making him further away from you or closer to you depending on where you are. Sometimes it’s in your best interest to roll low so that D.K. can catch up to you on his roll where, if you have 20 coins, he’ll automatically give you a Star. The real fun begins at night time though as D.K. turns into Bowser who the players have to run away from. Again, you can use Warp Pipes to escape from Bowser because if he catches you, you’ll lose a Star. You want to roll high (unless you’re right behind Bowser) because Bowser will always roll two Dice Blocks (he very rarely rolls only one). You need to use Warp Pipes and dice rolls effectively if you hope to win on this board.
Alright, now it’s time to explain what Orbs do and why they are superior to capsules.
Orbs and What They Do
Like Mario Party 5, Mario Party 6 has items which can be thrown on spaces as well as used on players. The difference is that while Mario Party 5’s capsule system was confusing and broken, Mario Party 6 uses a much better system that’s easy to understand and use. The best part is that I don’t have to detail nearly every Orb: I merely have to explain what different coloured Orbs do.
The first thing that should be noted is that if you land a space where you put an Orb down, you receive 5 coins. This means that if you put an Orb down that effects coin count or Orb count and you land on it, you will just receive coins.
When a player gets a Green Orb, it means that they have to use it on themselves. You cannot throw a Green Orb on a space (unlike in Mario Party 5). The reason why you can’t throw a Green Orbs is because it effects your movement.
Red Orbs will effect an opponent’s movement. When a Red Orb is placed on a space, any opponent will trigger the effect of that orb when they pass or land on it. Once an opponent triggers the effect of the orb, it disappears.
Yellow Orbs will either affect an opponent’s coin count or Orb count. For the effects of the Orb to trigger, the opponent must land on the space: if they pass it, nothing happens.
Blue Orbs cannot be used unless an event happens. For example, if you have a Boo Away Orb and an opponent tries to steal coins or a Star with Boo, this Orb will automatically be used. If you want, you can throw Blue Orbs away.
Mini-games, every Mario Party has new ones. It’s time to find out which are my favourites. There are a lot of them, so be warned if this section goes on for long.
There are so many good mini-games in Mario Party 6 and it’s my personal belief that 6 has one of the strongest mini-game selections period. Yes, a bold statement considering how much love the originals get but let’s move on.
Granite Getaway’s premise is simple: there’s a giant boulder chasing you, run away. Very reminiscent of Indiana Jones, this mini-game couldn’t be simpler. There are ways to screw over the other players: you can force them into rocks which will slow them down or you can force them off of a bridge so that they’re out of the game completely. All in all, it’s a really fun, simple mini-game.
Circuit Maximus involves all four players running through a maze populated by Amps that they must avoid. If a player touches an Amp, they will be temporarily stunned before they will be able to continue. As players advance further in the maze, the more Amps there are making it harder to navigate. The first player to do a full lap, wins.
Daft Rafts is very similar to Platform Peril. Players are placed on floating logs and they must traverse the various platforms until they reach the end. As they progress, there will be obstacles in their way which the players must avoid. The first one to the stable platform at the end wins.
Tricky Tires is a race to the finish with multiple obstacles blocking the path. What makes this game so fun is how it controls. Instead of just using the control stick to move their vehicle, players must use both the control stick and the C stick to move the left and right tires respectively. Things can get tricky (see what I did there?) when someone doesn’t know how to operate their vehicle.
Lift Leapers finds out who is the best platformer. Players must ascend through 4 different levels to reach the end first. That’s it.
Snow Brawl is a 1 vs. 3 mini-game. The objective is to eliminate all the opposing players. You may think this is one-sided but think again. The one player will have help from either Ukiki’s or Shy Guys depending on the time of day. If you’re on a team, try and take out the one player as the game will immediately end when he/she is eliminated. The solo player will have to do most of the work but they can still win.
Conveyor Bolt is a really interesting mini-game. This is another one that changes depending on the time of day. If it’s daytime, the one player will try to eliminate the others while a conveyor belt is in operation. If it’s night time, the three players try to eliminate the one player.
Pixel Perfect is a 2 vs. 2 mini-game where the two teams try to match the tiles on the floor to the image at the top. The first team to match two pictures wins. Communication is key here as if you slip up, you’ve basically guaranteed a victory for your opponents.
In Jump the Gun, one person must hop along a path created by his/her teammate who is operating a Bullet Bill machine. If you’re the one the player operating the machine, try to make things easy for your partner. If you’re the player hopping on the Bullet Bills, try not to miss.
Clean Team is another 2 vs. 2 mini-game that requires strategy. The objective is to completely clean an apartment building that’s plagued by dirty windows. One player sprays and the other player wipes. Again, strategy is important here as you don’t want to be running into each other or blocking each other’s paths. The first team to clean all of their windows are the winners.
Insectiride is a Battle mini-game that is reminiscent of Day at the Races from Mario Party 2. Each player operates their own vehicle that resembles an insect. There are different command prompts for each insect and you must be fast if you want to beat your opponents. First to the finish line wins.
Wrasslin’ Rapids is another really fun Battle mini-game. Players start out on a raft and try to punch each other off. As more time goes by, the more dangerous the ride becomes. Nuts will fall from trees that can stun players. A train that’s carrying Shy Guys with cannons will open fire on players. The last player(s) standing wins.
Finally, let’s wrap this up by giving my thoughts on Mario Party 6 .
Mario Party 6 is personally one of my favourite Mario Party games and I think that it's way better than some people say it is. Is it as good as the first two? No, but it is way better than the ones that came after it. If you ask me, this is the last good Mario Party game before they all became okay. I had a blast with my friends and siblings playing this game mostly because the mini-games were so good and the boards had variety. Sure, there’s only a single board that doesn’t have a gimmick but all of the boards have a certain charm about them that I love. Overall, I think that this game is better than 5 and it comes close to being as good as 4.
Knowledge is power and now that you’ve studied up, you can enjoy Mario Party 6 to its fullest. Really give it a chance: it’s a very good game and a worthy edition to the Mario Party series. Until next time everyone.
Hello everyone and welcome, welcome, welcome to another blog done by yours truly, SierraFoxtrot.
Now, I know I don’t normally blog as much as other g1’s but there’s a good explanation for that! Mostly, it’s because I don’t have anything interesting to talk about or don’t have any good ideas for Top 10 lists. But that’s where you, my fellow g1’s, come into play.
You see, I’ve been trying to figure out how to make my blogs interesting and engaging. The thought process was long and hard (hehe), and now I think I’ve struck gold. It’s an idea so good that it can’t fail!
Here it is, are you ready for it? I call it: g1 Debates.
Ooh, it’s so exciting! Now, I know that most of you are curious to see how this will work, so let me lay it out for you. Each week, two g1’s will present their case for a certain topic. For example, the topic could be “Which is the better franchise: Silent Hill or Resident Evil?” After the topic has been revealed, I will select two g1’s to go head-to-head; one will argue for Silent Hill and one will argue for Resident Evil. When you are selected, I will send you a private message naming you one of the participants of the debate. You will then send your argument to me via a PM. And finally, I will put both opinions into a blog for the rest of the internet to see. The best part? The rest of the g1s will decide which argument was better! Of course, I will also be giving my opinion on which argument is better. But that doesn’t mean you will win of course; there are no winners or losers, just a really good debate.
Woo, that was a mouthful. So, are you interested? If so, great! If not, well, I honestly don’t why you’ve read up until this point.
To kick off the first week of g1 Debates, here is your topic:
Which music is better: Green Hill Zone or the Overworld theme from Super Mario Bros.?
If you’re interested, leave a comment below. If you’re selected, you have until Thursday January 20th to submit your argument to me in a PM.
Remember, keep it clean, keep it fair and keep it fun. That’s what this is all about; a good, clean, fun debate.
Until the 20th, this is Sierra Foxtrot, signing out.
So now that Comic Con has come and gone I thought to myself, "Myself, what kind of blog can I do this week that would be somewhat relevant? Of course, a generic Top Ten about the best superheroes ever! Surely everyone will agree with me and there won't be any arguments in the comments section! You're a genius in addition to being a sexy beast! I love you." And with that, we march onwards. One thing I want to say before I move on is I expect a lot of people to argue with me about these choices. That's fine and it's something I'm prepared for. If you could refrain from calling me an idiot or a synonym of that word or just not insult me period, that would be much appreciated.
Superheroes; they dominate our culture today. From the early days of comic books to television shows, to movies, and now award-winning video games, there is no escaping the superhero craze. For over 60 years, superheroes have been a part of our lives. Some of the most creative minds have dreamed up the most extraordinary men and women. Verbal wars have been waged over who the best superhero is and why. Now I'm here to answer that question. So sit back true believers as I count down the Top Ten Comic Book Superheroes.
Some rules for this list before we begin. For a hero to make the list, they have to have had their start in comics first. So that means that heroes like The Incredibles and Captain Hammer won't be a included. Superhero teams like Alpha Flight and The Avengers are allowed (but they won't be appearing on this list). With that said, let's get to some honorable mentions before we jump to #10.
These are the heroes that barely missed making the Top Ten. Even though they may be popular and powerful, they couldn't quite contend with some of the heroes that did make the cut.
Honoable Mention #1: Wonder Woman
A founder of the Justice League of America, Princess Diana of Themyscira was one the first female comic book characters done right. Granted powers from the Gods of Olympus, she is a force to be reckoned with in any fight. The character was created by William Moulton Marston to counteract all the prominent male comic book characters and provide some inspiration to female readers. Possessing great strength, divine wisdom, super speed, enhanced durability, flight, a lasso of truth, and the Braclets of Victory, Wonder Woman is Princess of the Amazons for a reason.
Why She Didn't Make the Top Ten
Wonder Woman is a very influencial heroine but the lack of major story arcs really hurts her. Outside of the Justice League, she hasn't been involved in anything major. Her rogues gallery, which does feature most Olympian gods, is very weak. Even though she is a founding member of the Justice League and a very important female character in comics, it's not enough to crack the Top Ten.
Honorable Mention #2: Deadpool
The Merc with a Mouth's rise to popularity has been almost meteoric. Known for constanly breaking the fourth wall, Deadpool is as dangerous as he is insane. A part of the Weapon X program to cure his inoperable brain tumor, the experiments performed on him drove him mad... in a good way. Deadpool often spouts off pop culture references, makes jokes that only the reader will get, and is completely random. Deadpool has the same healing factor as fellow Weapon X particpant Wolverine which helps him recover from wounds immensely fast. He can even regrow lost limbs. Deadpool has been known to team up with various heroes including the X-Men and Spider-Man with hilarious results. You would think that because Deadpool is insane, it would hurt him strategy wise, but you'd be wrong. When Deadpool went up against the powerhouse Rhino, Deadpool figured out that he could shot himself to shrink the villain.
Why He Didn't Make the Top Ten:
Deadpool is with some very tough competition. In the end, it came down to who had the better stories and who was more of an interesting character. Yes, Deadpool is an interesting character but some of his stories have been hit and miss. For that reason, Deadpool didn't crack the Top Ten.
Now that the honorable mentions are out of the way, let's finally get to the main attraction. Beginning with #10, we have a very familiar face...
#10: Green Latern (Hal Jordan)
When dying alien Abin Sur crash-landed on Earth, he entrusted one of the most powerful weapons in the known universe to a human. That human's name was Hal Jordan. A former Air Force pilot, Jordan quickly became one of the most revered and respected Green Lantern's ever. All of Jordan's powers are activated by his ring. In order for a person to obtain a Green Lantern ring and use it properly, they must have an iron will and no fear. Two of Hal's biggest qualities are his will and seemingly being unafraid of anything. Hal Jordan is one of the few people who isn't effected by Batman's scare tactics. With his ring, Jordan can construct any object he wishes with a single thought. He can also fly, make himself invisible, and heal himself all using his ring. There is a catch however: if Hal uses the ring too much, it will lose it's power and he will have to recharge it.
Jordan has faced powerful foes the likes of which the universe has never seen before. Battling against the likes of Sinestro, Larfleeze, Solomon Grundy, Starro, Cyborg Superman, perhaps the most dangerous of all, the Anti-Monitor, Jordan has prevailed time and time again.
Why He Makes the List:
Aside from being a member of the JLA, Hal has been to hell and back. Literally, Hal Jordan has died and was resurrected. In addition to that, Jordan has been involved in some of the most crucial events in the DC Universe. The thing that makes this version of the Green Lantern so endearing to readers is how he handles adviserity: he doesn't fear anyone or anything and that allows him to persevere in tough situations.
Why He Isn't Higher:
Hal Jordan isn't higher for one reason: the Parallax saga. Back when a villain known as Cyborg-Superman destroyed Hal's hometown of Coast City, Hal went mad and tried to rebuild it using his rings and the rings of other Lanterns that he had killed. By succumbing to fear, he became the host for a being known as Parallax which is composed entirely of fear. Hal then killed his longtime arch-nemesis Sinestro and all but one Guardian to try and rebuilld his lost city. You may not think that would be enough to deny him a higher spot, but there was a time where many thought that Hal Jordan would no longer be a superhero.
Story Arc You MUST Read:
Emerald Twilight and Zero Hour are tremendous but if you're looking for something more recent, give Blackest Night and Brightest Day a read. You won't regret it.
#9: The Punisher
Frank Castle is a man who's lost everything to crime. When his wife and kids were killed due to gang violence, Frank lost his humanity and became the Punisher, a sadistic vigilante who operates outside the boundries of the law in more than one way. While other heroes may try to bring criminals to justice, the Punisher simply kills them. He feels that the law is broken and the only way to truly get rid of crime is to completely eradicate it. A former Marine, Castle is extremely skilled in hand-to-hand combat. He can hold his own in fights with non-powered and super-powered beings alike. He even went toe-to-toe with Deadpool and would have killed him if other heroes had not intervened. Punisher is also skilled with every firearm available to him. Another thing that the Punisher is very good at doing is absorbing damage. Castle has a high pain threshold and has even had surgery without the need of anesthesia. He is also a master tactician, able to adjust his strategy on the fly to defeat his opponent.
One of the most recongizable symbols in comic book history belongs to the Punisher: his trademark skull. It warns criminals that the only two options when dealing with the Punisher is life or death. Due to his unstable nature, the Punisher rarely, if ever, makes alliances with other heroes and if he does, it's most likely that he's being kept in check.
Why He Makes the List:
The Punisher's brand of justice isn't exactly unique but it is brutal. The Punisher is known for being ruthless in his pursuit of criminals. One of the things that makes The Punisher so great is the fact that he is unlike any other hero out there in the Marvel Universe. The great thing about The Punisher character is the fact that he's arugably even more dangerous than the criminals he tries to kill. One could even argue that he is more of a villain because of his actions but that's what makes him so great: unlike any other hero out there, The Punisher toes the line between hero and villain so closely. It's amazing how one bad thing can drive a man completely over the edge. We've seen it countless times in comic books but the story of The Punisher is just different in a refreshing way. Sure, the motifs are similar: guy has a traumatic event happen to him and it changes him, but Frank's story is much different. Instead of trying to bring the bad guys to justice, he decides to kill them after the law abandoned him. It's great (depending on who you ask).
Why He Isn't Higher:
As said above, Frank can be argued as a villain of sorts. He kills because he was hurt a long time ago. He doesn't see the world in shades of grey; he sees the world in black and white which is a very bad thing for a hero. Not every criminal can change their ways but The Punisher doesn't give them a chance to. The Punisher sees the law as broken only doing what he does because nobody else will. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. This is a lesson Frank Castle never learned nor will he ever learn.
Story Arc You MUST Read:
Welcome Back, Frank, Army of One, and Confedercy of Dunces are all very good reads but if there is one that I would pick above the rest, it would be the classic What If? story The Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe. A story where we get to see what would happen if The Punisher's family wasn't killed by the mob, but by other superheroes.
#8: Fantastic Four
Everyone remembers this classic story right? While on a mission in space, Reed Richards, Susan Storm and her brother Johnny, and Ben Grimm were all exposed to harmful radiation that transformed them into superbeings. Reed could now stretch and contort his body into any shape or size. Sue could turn invisible and create forcefields. Johnny could control fire and fly. Ben was transformed into a craggy monster known as The Thing which makes him super strong. Together, they formed the first superhero family known as The Fantastic Four!
Even though there have been different members of the FF (such as She-Hulk and Inhuman Medusa), the original line-up is still the most fondly remembered. Combining their powers, very few evil-doers could stand up and fight against the mighty force of the FF.
Why They Made the List:
You might think it's a cop out to put a team of superheroes at #8 instead of just one but The Fantastic Four are special. The Fantastic Four are a family more than anything else and they've had their fair share of adversity throughout their history. There have also been so many memorable moments since their inception back in 1961. For instance, Reed and Sue's marriage was a ground-breaking event and it set the precident for future marriages in comics. Add this to the fact that they were the first ever full-time superhero team and you've got four people who set the bar very high for everyone else. In short, The Fantastic Four were saddled with experimenting with different events such as bankruptcy, marriage and child-birth in comics and they pulled them off flawlessly.
Why They Aren't Higher:
The Fantastic Four may be a great superhero team but they don't hold a candle to the likes of The Avengers and The Justice League. But I think that the major flaw of The Fantastic Four is that on their own, they're kind of uninteresting. The Thing has carved out a nice career solo but everyone else really can't support themselves. It doesn't really hinder the experience since the FF always reunite at some point but still, it's a flaw that I think holds them back.
Story Arc You MUST Read:
The Coming of Galactus is a classic. It may be old but it's still an epic story.
Weapon X. Death. Logan. These are just some of the names given to the self-proclaimed "best in the world at what he does" known simply by his codename, Wolverine. Always sporting something fashionable as well as always having a bad attitude, Wolverine started his career in style: trying to kill The Hulk. While that didn't quite pan out for him, he travelled around for some time eventually ending up becoming a part of the X-Men.
Wolverine has two things going for him: his Adamantium skeleton and his healing factor. Thanks to the experiments done to him as part of the Weapon X program, his entire body is covered in an unbreakable metal that slices through almost anything. Wolverine can also heal any injury thanks to his healing factor. It even slows down the aging process, making Wolverine appear like he is in his mid to late thirties when he is in fact over a hundred years old. Thanks to his mutant abilites, Wolverine can stay in combat for a very long time, which helped him when he tried to kill The Hulk.
Why He Makes the List:
Wolverine is one of, if not the most, popular of all the X-Men characters. Not only has been a member of the X-Men, but he has also joined The Avengers, and had even became the Horseman of Death for Apocolypse. Wolverine is a character that we all have come to love: a beer-drinking, womanizing, badass soldier. Above all else, he always does the right thing while kicking unholy amounts of ass.
Why He Isn't Higher:
Wolverine is a great character but he may be someone who you have a hard time relating to. I mean, are you a near-immortal mutant that can heal any injury? I didn't think so. The reason we like Wolverine is because he is someone we could never be or could never see ourselves being. For that reason, he isn't higher.
Story Arc You MUST Read:
Old Man Logan is a great one-shot that looks at what happens down the road when Wolverine gets older.
#6: The Hulk
What do you get when you cross a gamma bomb with a scientist with anger issues? The answer is simple: you get the behemoth known as The Hulk. When Bruce Banner transforms into The Hulk, he becomes a being of pure rage. The Hulk has also been known to be the strongest hero ever: he once lifted and supported a 150 billion ton mountain on his back.
The trademark of The Hulk is also is greatest strength. The Hulk has unlimited anger which makes him stronger. The more angry The Hulk gets, the more powerful he becomes. This has been the downfall of many opponents who've tried to best the Green Goliath one-on-one. This was one of the main reasons why The Hulk was part of the original Avengers: if you can't beat him, have him join you in hopes that he doesn't kill you.
Why He Makes the List:
The Hulk is a great example of having an inner demon. Everybody has one and in the case of The Hulk, it always shows up in some form or another. Bruce Banner can't escape it nor can he hide it. Everyone who has an inner demon or some sort of secret can relate to the plight of Bruce Banner and everyone who has anger issues can relate to The Hulk. There's also the fact that as much as The Hulk is hated by society, he always does the right thing.
Why He Isn't Higher:
Nearing the Top 5, we're getting to the cream of the crop and on any other list, The Hulk might not be higher but making the Top Ten is no small feat. The one thing that knocks him out of the Top 5 is the fact that The Hulk is simply too powerful. The rule that "the angerier The Hulk gets, the stronger The Hulk gets" is a rule that has helped him defeated countless opponents.
Story Arc You MUST Read:
Planet Hulk and World War Hulk are both essential reads if you're a fan. Pick 'em up and give 'em a read.
You'd be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't know who Superman is. Sent to Earth from the planet Krypton, he crash -landed in the backyard of Johnathon and Martha Kent and was raised in Smallville. His civilian alter-ego is Clark Kent, who nobody seems to realize looks exactly like Superman but with glasses. As Clark Kent, Supes works at the Daily Planet as a journalist alongside long-time love interest Lois Lane and photographer Jimmy Olsen.
Superman has a whole host of powers that can be used to defeat any and all opponents. In addtion to his super strength, super speed, flight, and heat vision, Superman also has x-ray vision, super hearing, microvision, and freeze breath. Oh, and, he's also immune to gunfire. First appearing in Action Comics #1 way back in 1938, Superman has been around for a very, very long time.
Why He Makes the List:
Are we even asking this question? He's Superman. To leave him off of this list would be heresy. Standing for truth, justice, and the American way, Superman being on this list, and in the Top 5, is very... uh.... justified.
Why He Isn't Higher:
The two main knocks against Superman is that he's too much of a goody-two-shoes and he is virtually indestructable. Considering that Superman has died before, I feel that the second reason isn't good enough a reason as to why he shouldn't be higher. However, the first knock I feel is a good reason why we can't put the Man of Steel any higher. We like heroes who have emotional problems and Superman just doesn't have those. Sure, he's the last son of a dying planet but he's made a nice life for himself. Besides, he's Superman.
Story Arc You MUST Read:
The Death of Superman sold like hotcakes and is very good, but I would have to go with the Alan Moore classic, "For the Man Who Has Everything". It shows Superman's darker side for a short time... and it's AWESOME!
#4: Iron Man
Thanks to some of his most recent movies, Iron Man has actually become a lot more popular than he used to be. His creation is one that most people are familiar with now: Tony Stark was kidnapped by terrorists and forced to build weapons of mass destruction all while pieces of shrapnal were slowly killing him. Instead, Tony Stark built a device that would keep his heart pumping. He also created power armor and escaped from his captors. Later on, when Tony came back to America, he decied to keep being Iron Man and start protecting people.
Iron Man has done many noteworthy things since his inception. He is one of the founding members of The Avengers (he was their leader before Captain America) and he also revealed his identity to the public. Tony Stark is also the head of Stark Industries and is a multi-billonaire. Since his source of income is so plentiful, Tony has created multiple Iron Man suits of armor over the years for different situaions. He also built his best friend James Rhodes some armor allowing him to become War Machine. Iron Man is also an engineering genius as he has built all of his Iron Man armors by himself with occassional aid from his butler Jarvis and his assistant, Pepper Potts.
Why He Makes the List:
You can't deny that Iron Man's popularity has been helped somewhat by his movie appearances. That being said, Iron Man is a staple in the Marvel Universe and has fought against very powerful oppoents. What's interesting about him is that the man piloting the armor is unremarkable: he has no powers (although he is insanely smart) and no superhuman qualities. The fact that he's able to best mutants, Gods, and even future dictators is a testament to how versatile, smart, and badass Tony Stark is. He's just a human with a heart condition but all he has to do is build a suit of armor and he can take you out.
Why He Isn't Higher:
Tony Stark has a terrible personality. He was once an alcoholic and has terrible ego issues. He once created a clone of Thor (which did not please the God of Thunder) that killed his longtime friend and fellow genius Bill Foster. He thinks of himself very highly and doesn't admit his mistakes. Even when Thor told him that cloning him was not okay, Iron Man shrugged it off like it was nothing and tried to make it work away. Although he is a genius, he sometimes misuses his smarts and it's one of the reasons why I'm keeping him out of the Top 3.
Story Arc You MUST Read:
Civil War brought out the best and worst in Iron Man. It features other famous heroes but it's all about Iron Man's initiative to make all superheroes secret identies known to the public.
Everyone knows the story of Batman: a young Bruce Wayne sees his parents gunned down by a criminal. He vows to dedicate his life to brining criminals to justice becoming the masked vigilante known as Batman. Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger back in the 27th issue of Detective Comics, Batman was an instant success and his popularity is as high as it's ever been.
Fighting against arguably the best rogues gallery in comics, Batman has a number of gadgets and tactics at his disposal to defeat his enemies. He is considered by Superman to be one of the most dangerous people on the planet. That's pretty high praise coming from a guy who's practically a god. Batman is a master of various forms of martial arts and he is also a master escape artist managing to find a way out of near-impossible situations. His utility belt, which he carries with him at all times, holds a variety of gadgets and weapons. His favourite is the Batarang which acts as a much deadlier boomerang. When it's in the hands of The Dark Knight, it becomes an extremely dangerous weapon. Bruce has also trained himself up to peak physical condition in order to keep up with more powerful beings.
Why He Makes the List:
Like Superman, leaving Batman off the list would just be wrong as he is one of the most popular heroes created. Having numerous movies, and T.V. shows helps but it's his stories that make him so popular. Batman is known for having some of the most gripping and engaging stories ever put on a comic page. His psyche is also a reason why he's makes the list. Batman is just as mysterious now as he was back then. Why does he keep on fighting the good fight when he knows he can't win? Because he's Batman, that's why!
Why He Isn't Higher:
Say what you want about Batman being too low but the reason why he isn't higher is because of his personality. He doesn't trust anybody and he makes it known. He even has contingency plans for any hero just in case they go rogue. Unlike Superman, Batman only sees the bad in people. He suspects everyone of something and only trusts those he knows can be trusted such as Alfred or a Robin. There's also a little known thing about Batman that not a lot of people realize: Batman's insane. Why is he insane? It's mostly because of his crusade: it's slowly killing him and any other person would stop. But not Batman, he keeps on going because he isn't determined to permantly end crime, he's obessesed with permantly ending crime.
Story Arc You MUST Read:
There are SO many to chose from. Both Batman: Year One and The Dark Knight Returns are excellent and both of them are written by Frank Miller, so pick them up if you haven't already.
Arguably Marvel's most popular hero, Spider-Man got his start in Amazing Fantasy #15 and has never looked back. He was an instant hit with the teenagers of that era (heck, all eras) who found that they could relate to Spider-Man more than they could with any other superhero. Spidey's comcs sold like hot cakes and he became the flagship character for Marvel Comics.
Spider-Man's powers are much different than those of other heroes. Aside from having super-strength, Spider-Man also has what's known as "Spider-Sense". This allows him to sense danger before it actually transpires. Peter's Spider-Sense has saved his life and the lives of others on countless occassions. Spider-Man also uses a pair of web-shooters which he designed and built himself. At one point in time, Spider-Man had the ability to shoot webs organically but this power was quickly retconned. In battle, Spider-Man usually tries to distract his foe by using quips and jokes to keep them off-balance.
Why He Makes the List:
Spider-Man is someone that teenagers of any era can relate to. He has problems like supporting his family, a terrible boss, and it seems that the whole world is out to get him. Spider-Man is also on here because of his morals. Spider-Man is a hero because of the famous line spoken by his dying Uncle Ben: "With great power, comes great responsibility." Spider-Man has lived by this rule his entire life. He could give up at any time and settle down but he has a responsibility to keep everyone safe because of the great power bestowed upon him. In short, Spider-Man is more real than most superheroes out there.
Why He Isn't Higher:
The one thing that Spider-Man can't conquer is his bad luck. It seems to be a rule in comics that Peter Parker can never be happy. His marriage to Mary Jane was erased, he still works as a photographer for the Daily Bugle, he's seen so many loved ones die over the years, and he still has to support his Aunt May who could keel over and die at any second. The other reason that Spider-Man can't be higher is due to the fact that some of his stories are just plain bad. Maximum Carnage and The Clone Wars are hated by fans and have been picked apart by professional reviewers as poorly written.
Story Arc You MUST Read:
Although I just said that Spider-Man stories suck, read The Night Gwen Stacy Died. It's probably the most famous Spider-Man comic and it's a very good one.
Alright, before we get to #1, let's do a quick recap.
#10: Green Lantern
#9: The Punisher
#8: Fantastic Four
#6: The Hulk
#4: Iron Man
NOW.... NUMBER 1!
As a young child, Matt Murdock was blinded by a radioactive waste when saving a strangers life. As a result, he lost his vision but heightened all his other senses. He could now hear, smell, touch, and taste like never before. Matt worked hard to make it into Columbia Law School where he got his degree alongside his best friend. Then, one fateful night, Matt went to go see his father "Battlin'" Jack Murdock, in a boxing match. When Jack refused to throw the fight in front of his son, he was murdered. After that night, Matt made his Daredevil costume and brought his father's killer to justice.
Ever since he was blinded by radioactive waste, Daredevil has been able to "see" by using his sense to form a radar. This radar allows him to see basic outlines and shapes. In addition to his sense, Daredevil also carries a modified billy club which he uses as a weapon. It's stronger than any punch and also has a 30-feet of aircraft cable that's attached to a grapnel. Daredevil is also an adept lawyer, opening up his own law firm. He has defended countless heroes and he has also prosecuted numerous criminals.
Why He's #1:
Here we go: it's time to justify why The Man without Fear is the undisputed #1. Really, it's all about what's happened to Daredevil over the years. Just like Spider-Man and Batman, enemies of Daredevil have tried and succeeded to kill his loved ones. His friends have been framed and he has even fallen under mind-control. Daredevil is a hero with many faults; maybe even more than someone like Spider-Man. He once tried to kill himself but decided against it to protect Hell's Kitchen. The other thing that I really like about Daredevil is his alter-ego Matt Murdock. Unlike the other heroes on this list, Daredevil's alter-ego also wages a war on crime as a lawyer. To sum it up, he helps in and out of costume and that's something that few heroes can even claim to do.
Story Arc You MUST Read:
While Daredevil: The Man Without Fear is a great retelling of his origin story, I would recommend Guardian Devil instead. It's a great arc that takes Daredevil down to his lowest and it stars a very unlikely villian.
Well, that's it. That's the Top Ten Comic Book Heroes. Did your favourite make it or was he/she left out? Also, let me know what you think in the comments below. Think that I'm a hack that should never write a list like this again? You're probably right.
Also, be on the lookout to the follow-up to this list, the Top Ten Comic Book Villains coming out about 2-3 weeks from now. Also, see that little blue button above my name? Well, if you click it, you'll also be subscribed to me so you can keep up with all of my wacky antics. Fun.
I don't know how to end this blog, so here's a picture of a cat doing something stupid.
Commercials are what I like to call a “necessary evil” in the way that they basically pay for the programs that we watch and enjoy. Most of them suck and are often song parodies of classic music that we always hear (thereby causing dead musicians everywhere to turn over in their graves) but sometimes there are commercials that really stand out.
These commercials that stand out are usually the ones that star celebrities and wouldn’t you know it: there are several video game commercials that actually star celebrities! With that in mind, join me as I count down the Top Ten Video Game Commercials starring Famous Celebrities... man, I gotta shorten these titles
A couple of rules before we kick this shindig off.
A celebrity is defined (by me) as the following: actor, sports figure, or musician
It doesn’t matter how long the celebrity is in the commercial; if they’re on-screen, it counts.
The celebrity does NOT have to be playing video games. They just have to market them to young, impressionable children in order to make the world a better place.
That’s it. ONWARD!
#10. Lionel Messi - FIFA 13
Let’s start off this list with someone that the majority of this community barely know! Those who are European or even remotely follow the sport known as soccer (I like to call it floppyball) will immediately recognize the person at the end of this commercial:
For those of you out of the loop, that handsome devil to the left is Lionel Messi, arguably the greatest striker (forward) playing soccer right now. To be blunt, he’s amazing at shooting a ball into a net.
But you may be wondering why this commercial makes the cut. A fair question that I shall answer with this: I think this commercial demonstrates the widespread popularity of the FIFA franchise and soccer in general. Sure, you may like other sports or no sports at all but the commercial showcases the passion that soccer fans have for the sport and game they love.
#9. Jack Black - Atari Pitfall
The Atari may not be the most popular system ever and sure, it looks like crap by today standards but back then, this is what a videogame looked like so shut up and accept it. Anyways, here we see a young Jack Black advertising the game Pitfall for the 2600
Jack seems really into the game and really, who could blame him? Pitfall is a classic. That’s... that’s all really. There’s not much to say about this at all. It’s just Jack Black before he became super awesome doing a video game commercial. Next number.
#8. Paul Rudd - Super Nintendo
Before he was starring in Judd Apatow stoner/romantic/bromantic/ comedies, Paul Rudd actually appeared in a commercial that showcased the Super Nintendo.
In the ad above, you can see Paul slam a cartridge into the Super Nintendo (by the way, I advise you that you don't do this) and then BAM! A flurry of lights, colours, explosions, and (possibly) orgasms, as the SNES floors Paul and he’s taken aback by the majesty and wonder that is the next-gen video game console from Nintendo.
No word on whether Leslie Mann was contacted for this commercial yet
#7. Tony Stark - Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
I will admit that I was a big fan of the original Black Ops. Say what you want but it had fun multi-player that I was somewhat decent at. It also had a pretty good commercial. So how would Activision top it? Why, invite Tony Stark, that’s how!
Before you jump in and say, “That’s Robert Downey Jr.,” that is incorrect. Robert Downey Jr. no longer exists. There is only Tony Stark. Anyway, it’s a tad alarming to see Tony outside of his Iron Man suit as he’s very vulnerable but since he’s super smart, I have full and complete faith in him to fly a jet.
You could also say that FPSRussia is a star in this commercial but you would be wrong again because I don’t consider some asshat from Georgia (the state, not the country) with a fake Russian accent to be a celebrity.
See, it's funny because he's from Russia and Russian are obbessed with guns!... Comedy is dead.
#6. The Cast of Robot Chicken - PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2
Seth Green is a huge nerd and he’s also the co-creator of one of the best animated shows on television at the moment. For those of you who don’t have TV’s or are living under a rock, I’m speaking of Robot Chicken. The cool thing is that RB has done not one, but TWO commercials for video games:
Obviously, we all know how The Force Unleashed II turned out (disappointing is an understatement) but the future of PSASBR is looking very bright. That being said, I still cannot play it due to the fact that possibly the greatest platformer character of all time was left out of the roster.
We miss Gex. Well, I miss you and that's all that counts!
#5. Kevin Butler - Every good Sony Commercial since 2007
What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the name “Kevin Butler”? The first thing should be “Fake Sony CEO” and if it wasn’t, then you obviously know too much about Kevin or as his much less awesome and memorable name (read: real name), Jerry Lambert. This guy was the spokesperson of Sony and every commercial he starred in was both captivating and funny. It’s really too bad they decided to sue the guy because now we won’t see any more commercials like this:
This is my favourite KB commercial. There are tons of others however.
Usually, I don’t like to question why one party is suing another party but in this case, I really have to wonder why Sony sued Kevin. I mean sure; he was in a Bridgestone commercial that advertised the Wii (along with 4 free winter tires!) but can’t we just let bygones be bygones? No? Well, whatever Sony. I’ll still probably play The Last of Us anyway but I’ll do it... under protest.
#4. Robin Williams - The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3DS
This was the game that was given an unfavorable review by a ScrewAttack staff member when it came out. LoZ:OoT is considered to be a “timeless classic” by gamers everywhere so in 2011, Nintendo decided to reboot the game with a shiny new coat of paint and release it on the their new handheld, the 3DS. A game like this needed an equally epic commercial, so this is what the marketing department at the Big N came up with:
That’s pretty awesome, right? Who knew that Robin Williams’ daughter was named after the titular character of a Nintendo franchise? It may only be 30 seconds long but it’s still a wonderfully done commercial and props to whoever did checked Robin Williams’ Wikipedia page to find out this information.
Robin Williams: The 8th, forgotten sage
#3. Michael Jackson, Joe Montana, Pat Riley, and Buster Douglas - Sega Genesis
We all know the slogan: Genesis does what Nintendon’t and credit them with a catch phrase but that alone wasn’t going to win the console war with the video game giant. That’s when they called in the big guns!
This commercial is absolutely packed with star power. There are three of the biggest sports icons of the 90's (Buster unfortunately couldn't maintain his popularity) and then you have Michael Jackson. The King of Pop and the guy who was originally supposed to compose the music for Sonic the Hedgehog 3. That's how you attack the competition: all in, every gun blazing. Bravo to one of the greatest video game commercials ever made.
#2. Fred Savage - The Wizard
I have a confession to make: I have never seen this movie. Maybe it’s because of the fact that I have no desire to actually sit down and watch what I know will be a terrible movie, but I digress. Before you say that I’m cheating, I’d like to point out that this “movie” is, in fact, a 100 minute commercial for the NES, the PowerGlove, and Super Mario Bros. 3.
While I could’ve put country music superstar Jenny Lewis as the big headline attraction (she is an attraction if you know what I mean!), I decided to go with Fred Savage, the teenage heartthrob all grown up. Again, I have no want or need to actually watch this movie. It’s so bad, he touched my breast!, Califfffornia, insert Wizard reference here, etc,. Let's just get to number 1, shall we?
#1. Mr. T, William Shatner, Aubrey Plaza, Ozzy Osbourne, and Verne Troyer - World of Warcraft
The subscribers count of the popular MMO may be dropping faster than a brick attached to an anvil but these commercials almost make me want to hop on to Battle.net and sign up for a free trial. Almost.
The great thing about these commercials is that the celebs here are older stars with the exception of Aubrey Plaza. Mr. T, Shatner, and Osbourne all flourish in their roles to make these commercials memorable and perhaps convince some poor sap to actually sign up and get sucked in to the World of Warcraft. These are undeniably some of the greatest commercials of our generation (which really is a sad statement) and thus, they are all #1.
So yeah, that's it. Ten of the greatest advertisements that advertised video games evur. If you feel that I left out your favourite commercial, feel free to angrily yell at me in the comment section below. Also, don't forget to subscribe so that you can feed my infinitly expanding ego!
That's all for now. I'll be trying to post more content more frequently than I have in these next couple of months. Sorry about the slackin' y'all.
In the world of video games, few have as much notoriety as Capcom. Founded way back on June 11th, 1983, Capcom has churned out quality title after quality title in the video game industry. Responsible for such classics as Mega Man, Ghosts and Goblins, Street Fighter 2, Final Fight, Resident Evil and many more, it seems that Capcom would be one of the more beloved developers/publishers in video games.
I don’t know when it started but already I’ve seen a disturbing trend of gamers taking issue with Capcom’s practices and their business strategy. Let me make myself perfectly clear: you have every right to complain, but that doesn't mean I will agree with you.
So why am I talking about Capcom? It’s because of the newest Top Ten done by ScrewAttack. You can view said Top Ten here, where Craig and Nick stand in front a camera for 6 minutes detailing what they think are Capcom’s biggest mistakes. Personally, I have problems with their list because of a few things:
Some of their reasons completely confound me
It seems like they’re trying to cash in on Capcom hate
I’m not going to sugar-coat anything: the last couple of Top Ten’s have outright sucked. Older Top Ten’s were entertaining to watch and it seems like they had a lot of work put into them. They were anywhere from 8-10 minutes long and they’d take up a good chunk of your time. But you never felt like that was an issue because it was clear that it was a well-scripted, well-researched, and entertaining video.
Newer Top Ten’s seem to cut corners and there is little to no effort put into them whatsoever. They’re short and leave a lot to be desired. The jokes are either forced or not funny. There seems to be less and less chemistry between Craig and Nick with every new Top Ten. It’s a disturbing trend.
I take issue with this new Top Ten and for each of entry on their list; I will answer with a rebuttal. If you don’t want to read massive walls of text or you feel that I’m being too harsh on ScrewAttack, you might want to bail out now. I’ve given you fair warning. Let’s start off here with the introduction:
Before the countdown even begins, Craig talks about the internet hating things. Quote:
"Because this is the internet and we love to talk about all the thing we don’t like and we all like to second-guess decisions we have no idea were made in the first place, we figured, hey, let’s talk about one of our favourite developers"
Two things: one, ScrewAttack never used to hop on the hate train and when they did, it was done so in a satirical manner. The recent feature “Reasons we hate (insert game here)” is done so in a satirical fashion and it’s not meant to be taken seriously. I believe this is the exact opposite. The main issue I have with this was said above; it feels like this video is designed to capitalize on the current disdain for Capcom. I can tell you right now that people will be singing Craig and Nick’s praises because being negative towards something is an extremely effective way to get traffic on the internet. Why do you think that the AVGN is so popular?
This guy is popular because of his negativity and really good camera work
The other thing to note is that ScrewAttack never did this kind of stuff before. They never ripped into a product and when they did, it was either in a review or as part of casual talk on SideScrollers. They were perfectly happy to refrain from joining in on bashing a game or a console unless it deserved it. Also, let’s keep something in mind; I’m not saying ScrewAttack can’t hate anything (and they may not hate Capcom) but it seems odd to bring Capcom up now when it would have been much more topical 6 months ago.
Let’s get to the actual countdown now before I go off on a tangent (those are saved for later).
#10. Destroying Survival Horror
In the first segment on the list, Craig and Nick take issue with the Resident Evil franchise. In the past, Resident Evil was a game where you would cautiously conserve ammunition and try to survive being held-up in a mansion crawling with zombies or a police station overrun with zombies. The guys specifically take issue with the franchise going from survival horror to a 3rd person action shooter. Quote:
"...From where we’re standing, every creative decision they’re making is seeking to undermine the genre they popularized!"
"So much so that it’s getting harder and harder these days to distinguish survival horror from general action game"
If you are going to explain why this is a mistake on Capcom’s part for this, please explain to me why Konami is allowed to do the exact same thing with Silent Hill. You could even argue that a game like Alan Wake isn’t a survival horror game and falls into the “3rd person action shooter” category (and I certainly do). Simply put, survival horror is a very niche market right now. Amnesia is the only example that I can think of (you could also count Slender as well) that has been a moderately successful survivor horror game.
Both of these franchises are not survival horror. It isn't only Capcom that's doing it.
Here’s the kicker though: ScrewAttack isn’t wrong. They’re completely right: Capcom “killed” survival horror when they released Resident Evil 4. But therein lies the problem; Resident Evil 4 was an amazing game and almost every video game critic gave it a positive review. Unlike previous entries of the franchise, the controls were responsive, you didn’t have to fight with the camera, and overall, it was an extremely fun experience. It wasn’t scary by any means but it was a damn fine game.
Notice how you can see your enemy instead of being locked into an uncomfortable camera position? Which game do you think still stands the test of time?
When Capcom saw this, what did you think they were going to do? Go back to survival horror when this action game sold 5.38 million copies worldwide? Of course not, they were going to change the formula of Resident Evil so that they could make as much money as possible a.k.a. a smart business decision that made them boatloads of money. They made the Resident Evil more accessible so that they wouldn’t have to rely on fans of survival horror to pick it up. Now, anybody could play Resident Evil, whether you were a fan of the old games or not. You can complain all you want about Capcom “killing” survival horror, but it was a smart move on their part and it looks like the future Resident Evil games won’t abandon the current formula anytime soon.
#9. The Inafune and Killian Depatures
The next point that Craig and Nick try to make is that because Keiji Inafune and Seth Killian leave Capcom, the company must be really poorly managed. For those of you that don’t know, Inafune was integral in the development of the Mega Man series and also worked on the Mega Man X series, Mega Man Legends series, Onimusha series and Dead Rising. Killian meanwhile was Capcom’s community manager up until June 16th, when he announced that he was leaving the company. But Craig and Nick know that Capcom is up to something fishy:
"When the creator of your flagship series just decides to quit and the man with the dream job title of ‘Fighting Game Overlord’ decides to on his own accord and go to Sony, something just doesn’t really seem right"
We’ll get to the first part of Craig’s statement later but for now, let’s focus on the second part of his sentence; specifically, the part where he feels that Inafune and Killian leaving of their own accord doesn’t seem normal. Well jeez, Destin and Jose leaving didn’t seem normal. They both loved their jobs so why did they both leave to work at other companies? Does that mean that ScrewAttack is mistreating their employees?!
No, it means that they got better jobs elsewhere. It means that when an employee leaves your company, it may be because he’s moving on to greener pastures. Maybe Inafune quit Capcom to focus on or create his own projects (like his studio, Comcept). Maybe Killian quit because he didn’t want to be working on the same game every year. Perhaps he left because the pay was better or they promised him more creative control. This is just a hunch. There are multiple possibilities. Solely blaming Capcom for the departure of Killian and Inafune is jumping to conclusions however true your assumptions might be.
These two were almost killed by Capcom. Thank God, the got out in time.
#8. Spelling Mistakes and Box Art Gaffes
This is where the video starts to go from critical to absurd. To me, this entry seems childish. It’s like that annoying grammar Nazi on the internet who has to analyze your sentence in order to make fun of you. This doesn’t even seem like a complaint; it feels like a failed attempt at humor. I know that I didn’t find it funny.
The irony is, a couple of entries later, cancelling is spelt canceling. Looks like Capcom’s not the only one who needs to use spell check.
Two L's guys. Thanks to another g1 for pointing this out.
#7. Street Fighter: The Movie
There’s not much to this entry. They just hold up the poster and move on to the next number. There’s not a lot to analyze here: it’s about 10 seconds of ragging on a moving that everyone knows is bad.
The pinnacle of modern cinema... or a really stupid video game movie. Like this is only one.
#6. Not porting over good games
Now we are getting into the meat of this list. This is where the arguments actually start making some sort of sense. Craig and Nick are about to explain why Capcom is making a mistake for not porting over Japan-only released like Monster Hunter G and Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney:
"Games like Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney, Monster Hunter G, they’ve gotten good reputations but even after all this time it seems like Japan has this stupid American mentality"
Again, the new Top Ten’s contain some horrible humor. This is an example of that.
"Look, we can’t get a sniff of these games over here in the States. All we’re asking for is a port or two but nope, doesn’t look like it’s going to happen to these games anytime soon... or ever!"
"These are some of your best games in recent years or so we’ve heard. Bring ‘em over!"
I’m going to look at both the Ace Attorney and Monster Hunter series sales figures here for a second as I feel that they are relevant to the point. I will only be looking at games in both series that were distributed to both Japan and North America so that I’m not influencing numbers. First, let’s take a look at how the Monster Hunter series has sold worldwide:
Monster Hunter (2004 for PS2) - Sold 0.5 million copies worldwide. 51% of sales came from Japan while 21% of sales came from North America
Monster Hunter Freedom (2005 for PSP) - Sold 1.3 million copies worldwide. 79.1% of sales came from Japan while 17.8% of sales came from North America
Monster Hunter Freedom 2 (2007 for PSP) - Sold 2.51 million copies worldwide. 69.9% of sales came from Japan while 14.1% of sales came from North America
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (2008 for PSP) - Sold 5.34 million copies worldwide. 77.2% of sales came from Japan while 8.2% of sales came from North America
Monster Hunter Tri (2009 for Wii) - Sold 2.06 million copies worldwide. 51.1 % of sales came from Japan while 27% of sales came from North America
Japan loves this game more. Deal with it.
Notice a pattern there? In each Monster Hunter game shipped worldwide, Japan accounted for over 50 percent of sales for every game while the North American audience barely accounted for anything. Tell me, if Capcom had just finished a new Monster Hunter game and they put you in charge of shipping them and they told you that you could only ship to one region, which would you choose: Japan or North America? I think the answer is clear. Now let’s look at Ace Attorney:
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (2005 for DS) - Sold 0.80 million copies worldwide. 48.3% of sales cam from Japan while 46.3% of sales came from North America
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All (2006 for DS) - Sold 0.44 million copies worldwide. 57.9% of sales came from Japan while 35.8% of sales came from North America
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations (2007 for DS) - Sold 0.53 million copies worldwide. 47.5% of sales came from Japan while 46.9% of sales came from North America
Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney (2007 for DS) - Sold 0.89 million copies worldwide. 71.4% of sales came from Japan while 25.2% of sales came from North America
Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth (2009 for DS) - Sold 0.62 million copies worldwide. 48.6% of sales came from Japan while 27.7% of sales came from North America
This one may be a little closer but the pattern is still the same: the success in terms of sales is still higher in Japan than North America when it comes to Ace Attorney. Let me elaborate a little further. In total, Ace Attorney games have sold 3.54 million copies worldwide. That’s a fairly large amount. Japan accounts for 2.09 million of those copies or 59% of sales all-time. On the other hand, North America accounts for 1.18 million of those copies or 33% of sales all-time. So let’s say that for the sake of argument that each Ace Attorney game costs 60 dollars US (Note: my math may be off here, so if you feel the need to correct the numbers, please do so).
If you add up the sales of the all the North America copies sold, it equates to about $70,800,000. That is a lot of money. Now let’s take a look at how much Japan makes. Again, let’s assume that every game in Japan costs 60 America dollars (which would be about 4,736.42 yen). If you add up the sales of all the Japan copies sold, it equates to about $164,985,296.67 after conversion to America dollars. For those of you wondering, that’s 2.3 times the amount that all Ace Attorney games have made in North America. Do I even need to add up the Monster Hunter totals?
Looking at the numbers for both Ace Attorney and Monster Hunter, it’s clear that the Japanese audience loves these games more than their North American counterparts. But you may be asking yourself “Sierra, wouldn’t Capcom be making more money by shipping these games to the U.S. instead of just focusing on the Japanese market?” and the answer is “perhaps”.
It’s all about demand. Capcom knows that the Japanese will buy Monster Hunter because of the number of copies each game has sold in Japan. It’s an established market: Capcom is guaranteed to make money selling Monster Hunter in Japan. They can cover the costs of making the game and shipping it. At the same time, it’s a risk in North America because the market is so small. Look at the number of copies sold for the most recent Monster Hunter game: would you ship copies to North America knowing that only 27% of your sales came from there? The same thing goes for Ace Attorney. So now my question is this: is it a mistake to ship a game to another territory knowing that you’ll be making little to no profit? Of course not, because that’s bad business.
But I have another gripe. The other reason I don’t like this entry is due to the fact that Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney might be coming over to North America. At TGS 2011, an English press release said that “English Names are TBD” which suggests that it could be coming to English-speaking localizations (such as, oh I don’t know, AMERICA!). Also, 7 weeks ago, a story broke that French retailers C’discount and La Fnac (don’t ask me how to pronounce ‘em) listed the game as “Coming soon” with a date of December 2012. Oh, by the way, at this year’s Tokyo Game Show, the one that ScrewAttack is covering, Level-5 announced that they’ll be showing off a couple of games. One of those games is Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney. So maybe, just maybe, we will see Phoenix Wright team up with Herschel Layton. It seems likely to me considering Capcom just announced that Ace Attorney 5 would be released in North America as well.
ScrewAttack neglected to mention that this game has a chance of coming State-side. How odd.
#5. Re-hashing old games
Aside from the very original joke, ScrewAttack brings up the point that Capcom is too busy re-hashing older games like Street Fighter 4 and Dead Rising 2 to work on new, original games. They cite games like Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition, MvC3: Ultimate Edition, Dead Rising: Off the Record, and Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition. The thing I don’t get is why this is a bad thing. Capcom did this all the time with every Street Fighter game without a number at the end of it. They were numerous versions of both Street Fighter 2 and Street Fighter 3 but Craig and Nick seem to be completely fine with those. Also, since you guys love 3rd Strike Online so much (considering you play it any chance you can get), why is that not on the list? It’s an odd exclusion.
The other little amusing point I want to bring up is that literally every other company does this. Fallout 3: Game of the Year edition, Batman: Arkham City – Game of the Year edition and any game that ends with “Game of the Year edition” is a re-hash. But it’s not okay for Capcom to do it for some reason.
#4. Shutting Down Clover Studios
Admittedly, this IS one of Capcom’s biggest mistakes and it’s a mistake that I bet they regret. Clover Studios was responsible for such great games as Viewtiful Joe, Okami, and God Hand. These games have earned critical praise and are said to be some of the best games of the previous generation. All of them were developed by Clover Studios and published by Capcom. The studio was shut down in 2007 and its surviving members are now a part of Platinum Studios who are responsible for games such as MadWorld, and Bayonetta as well as upcoming titles like Vanquish and Metal Gear Rising: Revengence.
But before we go and say that this was a bad idea, let’s look at it from the business side of things. Viewtiful Joe sold 0.62 copies worldwide, Okami sold 0.61 copies worldwide, and God Hand sold a measly 0.07 million copies worldwide. Not one of these games sold 1 million copies, not a single one. It doesn’t matter how much critical acclaim a game gets, what matters at the end of the day is money. It’s a business. Unfortunately, that’s the way it works sometime. I’m positive that Capcom regrets the decision but at the time, it was the right one.
Unfortunately, curb stomping dudes does not equal success.
#3. Street Fighter X Tekken On-Disc DLC
Next up, Craig and Nick discuss the on-disc DLC issue in Street Fighter X Tekken.
"Look, it’s no secret: businesses are in business to make money."
This is actually the only sentence I agree with in this video. We’re 3 ½ minutes by the way.
"It makes sense right? In Capcom’s effort to make said money, they put DLC on a game that you already bought! And that is the most aggravating thing in the history of the f**king world."
Yeah, I could see how that would get annoying. One thing that irritates gamers of today is DLC and there’s no bigger cul- Wait, this isn’t going to launch into some sort of food analogy right? Oh, please don’t let there be food analogy, please don’t let there be a food analogy, please don’t let there be a food analogy...
"Imagine if you bought a large pizza for $20 but it came with some extra toppings that you could add on if you wanted. Well, that’s a nice little bonus but OH WAIT! You’ve gotta pay another $5 to be allowed to put them on your pizza."
"Yeah, that’s essentially what Capcom’s doing with their games. Most recently Street Fighter X Tekken. You’re no longer paying for actual content; you’re paying to buy a code that allows you to unlock things you already have."
Dammit. I’m actually getting pretty tired of hearing gamers using food analogies to describe DLC because no restaurant in the entire world would employ the same business practices. Hell, the video game industry and restaurants aren’t even in the same scope! Why are there so many stupid comparisons? It’s ultimately pointless because you know that no restaurant would ever, ever do something as insane as what video game developers with on-disc DLC. STOP WITH THE GODDAMN ANALOGIES!
A pizza is NOT the same as DLC. Stop comparing the two.
While many gamers and game journalists agree that on-disc DLC is bad (Jim Sterling said that it would never be okay and Michael Pachter went as far as saying gamers were entitled to hack their games because of it) you don’t need a food analogy to sum it up for us. Just say that’s it bad because it locks content that you already have on the disc. So basically, cut out Nick’s part because that part is unnecessary. You don’t need to treat us like idiots. We know. Also, I don’t know if either of you have been to a pizza place, but that’s usually how it works: you have to pay to put extra toppings on a pizza, usually at a fee of $3 to $5 depending on the topping. DLC is completely different. Don’t even act like they are similar.
#2. THEY CANCELLED MEGA MAN! RABBLE, RABBLE, RABBLE!!
Oh boy, the very thing that I was dreading. I knew that eventually, Craig and Nick would launch into a tirade claiming that Capcom were idiots because they neglected Mega Man. Let’s get this over with:
"To go back for a moment to the creator of Capcom’s mascot quitting: yeah, Capcom hasn’t made a Mega Man game since!"
Capcom’s mascot? Craig, it isn’t 1993 anymore, Mega Man hasn’t been Capcom’s mascot for the longest of times. Here’s another thing I’m getting sick of seeing: blind Mega Man worship. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate the series, but it’s not the early 90’s anymore; Mega Man just isn’t that popular today. I could tell you that the video game world is better off without Mega Man but then I’d have a thousand angry people telling me that I’m gay and I don’t know what I’m talking about because I grew up in this generation. To be direct to the point, Mega Man is a relic and wouldn’t sell in this day and age: stop blindly worshipping him and stop blaming Capcom for not releasing the exact same game again.
ScrewAttack logic: Capcom puts Mega Man in a game, complains that they're trying to cancel him.
"Here’s the thing: at the time of Inafune’s departure, Capcom still had Mega Man Universe AND Mega Man Legends 3 in the works which were infamously cancelled not long afterwards. What?"
Yeah, that’s my question too. Not why were these games cancelled, more like what was Capcom supposed to do? Inafune clearly had his hand in BOTH projects and with his departure, it must have been hard to make game without its creators influence. Honestly, how well do you think these games would have fared? Do you really think that Capcom would make a profit on a downloadable title or a game on a system that, at the time, was doing poorly? The answer is no and solely blaming Capcom for the cancellation of both games is foolish. Inafune’s departure had to have had some influence as well. Add that to the fact that the most recent Mega Man game, Mega Man 10, didn’t do as well as expected and it was all but inevitable that the games were cancelled. But let’s continue:
"This means that Capcom has essentially revealed no major plans for one of their biggest franchises for reasons totally unknown to fans."
Again, it could be that the creator of Mega Man now works at his own company. It could be that the most recent Mega Man game didn’t sell well. It could be because nobody wants to play a Mega Man game anymore. It could be a combination of these three.
Also, when you have to rely on Ryu and Sir Arthur to promote your game, you aren't a very good mascot.
"It comes across as what some people in the business like to call trolling."
Oh dear God, NO!
Sigh. Remember when I said that recent Top Ten’s have been of poor quality? This is one of the reasons why. Guys, it isn’t funny. Making the sound of a baboon having sex at the top of your lungs isn’t funny, it’s annoying. You started this crap back in another Top Ten. It wasn’t funny then and it sure as hell isn’t funny now. It doesn’t add any comedic value to the video at all.
There’s no recap for the list so that means it’s time for number 1. What is, in Craig and Nick’s mind, Capcom’s biggest mistake?
#1. No longer making Disney games
This is a little surprising. Yes, Capcom used to make some really cool Disney games but is it really a mistake that they stopped?
"Pretend for just one second it’s the 90’s. You are in the middle of what will be called the “Golden Age” of licensed games. You know, when they didn’t suck. And you know what? A lot of those actually came from Capcom."
Okay, so it looks like it IS a mistake that Capcom stopped making games based off existing Disney franchises. I don’t see why as the company clearly has grown and expanded since the early 90’s. Really, there’s no reason to be making Disney games anymore when you could just focus on your own IP’s.
"And the best of Capcom’s licensed games in our eyes were based on Disney franchises. Chip ’n’ Dale, Darkwing Duck, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Magical Quest, DuckTales for God’s sake, all of them are considered classics or if they’re not, they’re underrated."
This is very true. Most of these games are really good and are games that are still fun to play. But again, Capcom has moved on to creating their own IP’s instead of using existing ones like Darkwing Duck and Aladdin.
True story: this was the first game I ever beat. That Cave of Wonders level man.
"Look, we really have no idea Capcom stopped making Disney games or why the deal ran out and to be honest, we don’t really care because we’re on the internet and it’s our job to complain about things we know nothing about! But we still want them to make a comeback."
I’d just like to point out that Craig has started his sentences with the word “look” three times now. It makes me question whether or not there was an actual script that was being read from. Again, it just seems sloppy.
Anyways, the main issue I have with this quote is something that I’ve already said: ScrewAttack, or Craig to probably be more specific, thinks it’s their job to point out all the things we hate. I don’t like that. It’s really a disturbing trend that I’ve noticed over the course of the last couple of months.
ScrewAttack has always been about acceptance for me no matter whom you are or no matter what you say. You job isn’t to complain about things you don’t like, your job to is to be entertaining and interacting with your community whether you like something or you don’t. In my opinion, you did not do that with this video. Saying that because you’re on the internet, you’re obligated to hate something is completely rubbish and everybody here knows it. It’s a cop out. Stop with that ridiculous notion.
As to why Capcom is no longer making Disney games, the answer is simple: Disney Interactive. You see, Disney Interactive is now the publisher for most games that are based on Disney franchises today. Of course, there are developers like Avalanche Studios (responsible for Rampage 2: World Tour and MK Trilogy) and Junction Points Studios (responsible for Epic Mickey) that are responsible for making the games which Disney Interactive then publish. Capcom is probably never going to make another Disney game again because there are 6 different studios doing exactly that.
"In an ideal world, Capcom revives quality movie and T.V. games like they revived the fighting genre and inspires other developers to do the same. "
You’ve spent your entire time this video questioning Capcom’s decisions and now you’re saying the need to bring licensed games back to their previous quality. To me, that doesn’t make sense. What you’re essentially saying is, “Jeez Capcom, you’ve really made some horrible decisions these past couple of years. By the way, do you think you can decide make some more awesome Disney games? That’s a decision we won’t question at all!”
"Yeah, but that’s not going to happen"
"Yeah the future’s going to suck"
ONLY 90'S KIDS WILL GET THIS, AMIRITE?! As if there weren’t enough problems with this video, the final ten seconds are used to insult the current generation. I may not have examples this time, but I’m pretty sure the 90’s era of gaming wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops.
That’s it. That’s the newest Top Ten in all its glory. I honestly cannot believe that something like that was made. To be fair, it’s somewhat topical. Loads of gamers today are complaining that Capcom have gone downhill in recent years. That being said, I still didn’t like this list: the quality was poor, I never once thought a joke was funny, and there seemed to be no research put into it. It was like ScrewAttack saw the most common complaints against Capcom and decided to list them off.
Before you go and say that I hate Craig or Nick or ScrewAttack, allow me to tell you that’s completely false. I made this for two reasons. One of my reasons was to criticise this video. I believe that as a g1, I am allowed to criticise something from ScrewAttack if I don’t like it or if it isn’t of high quality (which is what ScrewAttack should be striving for). I believe that this video wasn’t ScrewAttack’s best effort and therefore, I disliked it. One thing I will not do is stay quiet when I don’t like something. I will speak my mind. The result is what you see above.
The second reason I made this is because I’m sick and tired of seeing the anti-Capcom circle jerk (also known as an “echo chamber”). It’s gotten fairly annoying to see everyone make a post about how Capcom has devolved into a shitty company and how they’ve “lost faith” in them. I see thousands of people do this. Someone will post something like “Does anyone else feel like Capcom isn’t what they used to be?” and they’ll immediately get a response agreeing with them or joining in on the hate train. Don’t believe me? Look at the like/dislike bar of the Top Ten. It’s almost all green. Look at the comments. Nearly everyone is agreeing or adding reasons to the list. But there was one comment that struck my eye. It was, at the very least, a little insightful:
"‘Complaining about things we know nothing about’ is half of what ScrewAttack does these days. I like a lot of their videos but if you’re going to gripe about something then at least try to look up the reason behind it."
Oh, I’m sorry, it wasn’t this one. It was the reply below it:
"Whatever bitch... f**k capcom"
See what I mean? It’s hard to escape it.
Right so I’m fairly certain everyone is going to pop in and spend 5 minutes saying what an idiot I am down in the comments section. Take your time, I will read all of them. That being said, if you want to see my next project, click the subscribe button (or the unsubscribe button as I’m sure there will be some of those). I have a couple of upcoming blogs I’m sure you’ll enjoy including my Top 10 Comic Book Villains. It’s going to take some time to complete that one but I’m sure that the community will enjoy it. To end this blog I just want to say that if you liked the last Top Ten, you are entitled to your opinion. If you think that Capcom has gone downhill in recent years, you are entitled to your opinion. Don’t treat your opinion or the opinions of others as fact and certainly don’t treat my opinion as fact.
My favourite Christmas song. GOOD LUCK GETTING IT OUT OF YOUR HEAD NOW!!
Sup g1’s? It’s SierraFoxtrot comin’ at ya from the winter wonderland known as Canada. This blog is going to be a little bit shorter than usual with less visuals since imgur decided this was the day where you couldn't upload images. Don't worry, I've already taken what is most dear to everyone working at imgur and I'm sure the issue will get fixed soon... or else.
I have a very special community announcement to make.
So, ‘tis the season to be jolly and to give onto others but since I’m flat broke and can’t get you that pony that you’ve been asking for all year, I decided to do something a little bit differently.
Around this time of year, various e-celebrities will have themed episodes of your favourite YouTube shows. The Nostalgia Critic does Disneycember, Brentalfloss has the “12 days of Brentmas”, and there are various others that I can’t name right now because I’m delirious a.k.a. really tired.
Here’s what I want to do: I want to review your favourite T.V. show. I’m serious: this is my Christmas gift to all of you lovely people. How am I going to do this? I’m glad you asked...
Basically, here’s what I want out of you. After you’re done reading this huge block of text, go down into the comment section and name your favourite T.V. show. Then, write about a paragraph of why you like that show and why I should review it. Make it as in-depth as you want.
One lucky user, chosen at random, will have their favourite television show reviewed by yours truly. I know: it’s everything you’ve dreamed about and more! Hey, I’m here to serve you, you adorable rascal.
Also, your favourite T.V. show can be ANYTHING. It can be animated or live-action, a comedy or a drama, made for kids or adults only. Hell, if your favourite show is a porno, the more power to you. Nothing is off-limits. This includes MLP. Again, NOTHING IS OFF-LIMITS!
I’m going to regret saying that.
Anywho, that’s it. Go crazy but think long and hard (hehe, like a penis) about what your favourite television show is before you comment. If yours is picked, great and if it isn’t, better luck next year.
That’s it. Now to do the one thing that makes all this cheery holiday bullcrap bearable.
What’s crackin’ ladies and gents? ‘Tis I, SierraFoxtrot, here to bring you another Mario Party scouting report. Here’s some music to set the mood:
It’s been a long while since we’ve seen the crew duke it out in a good, ol’ fashioned game of Mario Party. A lot of things have changed in the past 3 months but one thing we can all count on is a crazy game and Sam winning (probably). With 94(!) new mini-games to play, what’s in store for the crew and the g1 community? Let’s find out!
Again, as a refresher course, here’s what we’re covering in this scouting report:
New Features in Mario Party 8
Candy and its effects
With that done, let’s get started.
NEW FEATURES IN MARIO PARTY 8
One of the big new features in Mario Party 8 is motion controls. Not every mini-game utilizes them but you will still be wiggling your arm often throughout your playthroughs of this game. You use motion controls to hit your dice block, throw darts, select which candy to buy, and whole assortment of other things. In short, you’re not going to be using motion controls for everything but for the majority of the time, you will be moving your arm so keep that in mind.
There are no new bonus stars to report. Mario Party 8 uses the same system as Mario Party 7 where 3 bonus stars are awarded to the players out of a possible six. They are as follows:
Mini-Game Star: awarded to the player who won the most coins during mini-games
Green Star: awarded to the player who landed on the most ? spaces
Candy Star: awarded to the player who consumed the most candy
Shopping Star: awarded to the player who spent the most coins at in-game shops
Running Star: awarded to the player who travelled the most spaces
Red Star: awarded to the player who landed on the most red spaces
As you can see, these are the exact same bonus stars handed out at the end of Mario Party 7. Thought I’d just give you guys a quick refresher.
There is a new host in Mario Party 8. Yeah, that’s all I got. He’s not even that good of a host.
WHAT ARE YOU?!
There are two new playable characters. Hammer Bros. finally joins the cast of characters as well as Blooper. I’m not exactly sure how he got invited but okay, sure. Why not? I mean, the lack of feet might hurt his chances. I’m just saying.
Only one can drive a go-kart and play baseball. I'll let you guess which.
The last new feature to talk about is the Lucky Space. This is the big game-changer in Mario Party 8 as whoever lands on this space can get a free star meaning whoever is lucky enough to land on this space can get back in the game with one roll. However, there are two downsides to this space. The first disadvantage of this space is that you still have to roll and traverse spaces to get your free star. Getting that star can take up to three turns if you have horrible luck. The other disadvantage of this space is that there are some boards that will kick you off the path to a free star and put you back at start. If you land on this space get your free star and get it quickly.
This is a blessing but don't dwadle and get that free star quickly!
Now for the section that everyone bitches about in the comments: the recommended boards!
I’m going to do Recommended Boards a little differently this time. First, I’m going to explain why I suggest the board. Second, I will explain the drawbacks of the board. Finally, I will explain what the ? spaces on the board do. I will also bold text what I think is the best ? space to land on in the board. In addition, I’ve also added a disclaimer for each board indicating whether or not Star Steals are present as I know that something the crew (and probably everyone) loves to see.
King Boo's Haunted Hideaway
Star Steals: Yes
King Boo’s Haunted Hideaway is one of the few boards in Mario Party 8 where you can steal stars, coins, and candy from other players without having to use an item in order to do so. But that’s not the reason why I recommend the board.
The reason why I recommend King Boo’s Haunted Hideaway is the way the board is designed. At the beginning of the game, King Boo will taunt the players to come and find him inside his mansion. The catch is, there are three rooms in which King Boo can be hiding and if you pick the wrong room, you’re sent all the way back to the start of the board. When somebody eventually finds King Boo and buys a star from him, he will kick everyone out of the mansion and send them back to the start. He then rearranges the entire board. That means that while playing on this board the path to the star will change after someone gets a star.
Another cool feature of this board is the lack of sight the player has when entering the mansion. Players will never know which path is the correct path because they will not be able to see past certain rooms. This gives a distinct advantage to players who roll last because they can see the layout of the mansion better than those who have gone before them.
There are a couple of downsides to this board however. The first big drawback is that stars only cost ten coins. A major letdown considering this board is the most creative in Mario Party 8. The other disappointment is that it’s sometimes too easy to navigate through the mansion. More often than not (on my playthroughs at least), King Boo is way too easy to find. Maybe it’s because the board itself isn’t very large but it still sucks to have your rival find King Boo successfully every single time. That being said, I do recommend this board. There are some epic dick moves that can be pulled off on this board.
? spaces in front of Piranha Plants will cause the player that landed on it to lose ten coins
? spaces in front of mirrors will transport the player who landed on it to another player's space
? spaces in front of the character Mowz will let the player steal Stars, coins, or candy
? spaces in front of chests will either give the player 20 coins or summon Red Boos who will take away coins.
Koopa's Tycoon Town
Star Steals: Yes
This board is reminiscent of Windmillville from Mario Party 7 and while not an exact copy, is still similar in many ways. It also, in a way, resembles the board game Monopoly.
First, there is no star space in Koopa’s Tycoon Town. Instead, players invest money into hotels which increase in value (a.k.a. worth more stars) depending on how many coins are invested into the hotels. The best part about this board is that you can “steal” stars from your opponents by investing more money in a hotel thereby giving their stars to you.
The big drawback to this board is there is a limit to how many coins can be invested into a hotel. This means that if a player invests 100 coins into a hotel, another player cannot steal the hotel away from them. Still, there’s no greater satisfaction than stealing three stars away from your opponent.
? spaces at the front of the board will make a Koopa Cab appear which will take the player who landed on the ? space to one of the hotels
? spaces in front of alleys will cause the character Bandit to appear. He will then steal coins from opponents hotels and give them to the player.
? space in front of the shop (middle of the board) begins a mini-game where the player can win coins.
? spaces in front of the construction sit cause the crane to rain down coins on the player.
Shy Guy's Perplex Express
Star Steals: No
Much like Pagoda Peak in Mario Party 7, Shy Guy’s Perplex Express is the linear board in Mario Party 8 with a little twist.
Think of Shy Guy’s Perplex Express like a race track: all four players start at the caboose of the train. They then have to move throughout all of the different cabins to reach the conductor of the train, Shy Guy, who will then offer the player a Star for 20 coins. The players then exit the train and make their way back to the caboose. Essentially, it’s a giant loop making it very linear but not quite as linear as Pagoda Peak or another board in Mario Party 8, Goomba’s Booty Boardwalk.
Out of all the boards I’ve suggested so far, this is the most traditional. It follows the Mario Party formula of “Collect 20 coins, get to Star Space, buy Star, repeat”. If you want an experience that emulates the earlier Mario Party games, this is your best bet.
That being said, there are some drawbacks to this board. First, there are no Star steals spaces on this board. You can still steal Stars but you have to do it with the aid of Duelo candy. Second, the board’s Lucky Space is extremely short meaning that getting a free star is as easy as landing on a Lucky Space. Trust me, I’ve seen this completely break the game before and that is a major reason why I suggest you pick this board if you don’t like the other two.
? space in front of the character Holly Koopa will let the player trade their candy for coins
? space in front of the chef's heat vent will suck the player up on the cabin roof (vice versa if the player is already on the roof)
1 ? space on the roof will make the Shy Guy conductor to appear. He will then ask the player to find a theif. If the player is successful, they will recieve coins.
1 ? space on the roof will send the player back to start and take away five coins
All other ? spaces on the roof will make Magikoopa appear and take the front car and put it a the back of the train
I know that’s a lot to absorb but those are the three boards that I find to be the most fun and also the best boards in Mario Party 8. Of course, everyone is going to go crazy anyway and make their own suggestions anyway. C’est la vie.
Now it’s time to explain candy and what kind of effect it has on the player who consumes it.
CANDY AND ITS EFFECTS
As you may have already guessed, candy is the Mario Party 8 version of items that first appeared all the way back in Mario Party 2. What’s interesting to note here is that Mario Party 8 ditches the orb system and goes back and simplifies the item system. However, like the orb system, the candy is color-coded. There are four types of candy: Red candy, Green candy, Yellow candy, and Blue candy. I’m going to explain what each colored candy does and give an example of a candy that is in the color group.
Red candy affects the players dice block. For example, if a player were to purchase or pick up the Twice Candy, that means when they eat it, they can roll two dice blocks instead of one.
Green candy will affect the player before they roll the dice. This can mean either one of two things: either the player can move to another spot on the board or they can steal coins from opponents. An example of a candy that is in the Green color group is the Vampire Candy which allows the player who ate it to steal coins from every opponent.
Yellow candy will affect the player while they move. Again, like Green candy, this can mean a variety of things but it’s mostly stealing coins or candy. Take the Bitsized Candy for example: when a player eats this candy, they will transform into an 8-bit version of themselves and collect three coins for every space they travel.
Blue candy will trigger special events such as Star Steals or massive loss of coins. The best example of Blue candy is the Duelo Candy which allows the player who ate it to roll two dice blocks and Duel the first player they run into. Oddly enough, two of the Blue candies are only present on one board which has to be unlocked.
That’s it for this section. Shorter than most but I really didn’t feel like going in-depth here. Besides, you’ll probably figure out what each candy does the hard way.
One more thing to do before we get to the end: my favourite mini-games in Mario Party 8.
As usual, I’m going to list my favourite mini-games that I like to play. Keep in mind, these may not be the best mini-games; these are just the mini-games I enjoy playing the most.
This is another kart-racing mini-game which was first seen in Mario Party 7. In my opinion, this is probably the mini-game that is the most fun if you know what you’re doing. It’s a straight-up, two lap race to declare who the best kart-racer is.
Sick and Twisted
Sick and Twisted is an upgraded version of Platform Peril. It’s a fairly standard race to the finish line except that players are on elevated platforms which rotate both clockwise and counter-clockwise while being shot by Bullet Bills. This game is prime for completely screwing someone over and the utmost caution must be used when traversing the different platforms or else it’s a long way down.
Shake It Up
...You know why this was picked.
Thrash 'n' Crash
This mini-game involves skateboards so already it gets major points. Being a 1-vs.-3 mini-game, the objective is for the one player to eliminate all three players. The three players must, of course, survive a set amount of time. The cool thing about this game is how the one player goes about eliminating the players. Using a crosshair, the one player activates traps. It’s a fun mini-game. It may be a bit one-sided as a skilled skateboarder can completely out-maneuver every obstacle in their way.
Contrary to the title, this mini-game does not involve two teams of two playing football. Instead, the two teams of two much grab footballs and bring them back to their goal. You can punch and kick the opposing team members to steal footballs from them. The first team to bring five footballs back to their goal wins.
This duel mini-game may remind you of the hit indie game Fez. The aim of the game is to be the first player to reach the top of the tower. The catch is that you will sometimes have to rotate the tower in order to progress further.
That’s it. Truthfully, the mini-games of Mario Party 8 are fun but the selection really isn’t that great.
Finally, it’s time for my overall thoughts on Mario Party 8.
Mario Party 8 really isn’t anything special and it’s a shame because this was one of Hudson Soft’s last games before they were bought by Konami and essentially shut down. There are motion controls but they really don’t change the game at all. Mario Party is one of those games that are great when friends are over but you’ll never touch when you’re at home by yourself.
If you haven’t heard by now, Mario Party After Dark is going to feature former staff member Jose (known as Jose El Mexicano to some) who used to run the feature “Jose Puntos”, a tips and tricks series for several shooters. He will be playing as Hammer Bros because pretty much every other character was taken.
I also realize that this may be one of the last Mario Party Scouting Report’s that I do considering that the next After Dark will feature Mario Party 9 (and I can’t wait for that). If they decide to stop doing After Dark then this series will probably stop as well. However, if the crew decide that After Dark will loop back around and they decide to start all over again, then I’ll likely do a Scouting Report on the first Mario Party.
With that, we’ve come to the end. I hope that everyone enjoys their day on Friday as not one, but two epic battles will be fought. Mark your calendars folks because if the past After Dark’s have been any indication, we’re in for a doozy.