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FEATURED VOXPOP Master_Craig
Welcome Home - PAX AUS 2014
By Master_Craig
Posted on 11/18/14
Last night I returned home from PAX AUS 2014. Long story short, it wasn't perfect, but it was quite possibly the best weekend I've had this year. It was a lot of fun. If you'd like to continue reading, the long story is just below. Buckle up. This is gonna be...

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I feel so old.
Posted on Monday, June 20 2011 @ 03:22:08 Eastern

The year 2011 is turning out to be dedicated to making gamers everywhere feel old.

My favorite game in the world is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Nintendo just released a remake of the game yesterday as of writing. Reading some of Nintendo's Iwata Asks segments on the game, I've come to realize, that I feel really old. I'm only 22. I was a 90's kid. And I feel old because of this game.

Let's think about it. Ocarina of Time, lovingly referred to back in its day (feeling older) as Zelda 64, came out thirteen years ago. Think about that. Thirteen whole years. This game's history has seen two generational transitions of consoles, and various generations of handheld gaming. Everyone reading who played this game when it came out... do you feel old? Older than you actually are?

It's hard to believe my favorite game ever has been around that long. And Zelda isn't the only game to make me feel old.

The Halo franchise is ten years old this year. Halo, the game that saved the Xbox, that set the standards for dual-analog FPS and armored teabagging. It's been around a decade now. That game is getting a facelift, too.

Alice: Madness Returns, is the first sequel to American McGee's Alice, one of my favorite PC games. And its been eleven years since the original game captured the minds of gamers, Caroll fans, and Hot Topic 'Goths' everywhere.

Of course, Duke Nukem Forever has finally come out after fourteen years. But its out now. I remember when it was announced. I didn't really care at the time, I was into other games. But still, I remember. And now after fourteen years of "when its done" and endless jokes on the irony of the game's title, it's finally out. It may suck, but its here.

Pokémon came out in 1996. 1998 if you're only counting the US debut. Five 'generations' of the game later, the franchise is fifteen years old now. That's four or five years older than the series' own protagonists. Fifteen years later, and I was there for all of it. I was there for the initial surge of the game's popularity, exploding more with the anime, getting out of control with kids everywhere, myself among them, scrambling for merchandise, trading cards, the movie... dying down during junior high and most of high school, and then rising in popularity again at the end of high school, going on to college.

I've been browsing Game Revolution since I was ten years old. Twelve years, I've been a Game Revolutionary. I remember the old homepage fondly, even though I'd skip everything on it and go straight to the cheats section, where I'd find my own personal Holy Bible, also known as Marshmallow's walkthrough of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

The walkthrough for a thirteen year old game.

So... does anyone else feel old?



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Calling the Kettle Black
Posted on Wednesday, April 29 2009 @ 14:22:35 Eastern

Fanboys.

We all know them. We all hate them. Bane of Gaming, you might say. And bane of pretty much anything else pertaining to popular culture. Films, Movies, Music, Literature, etc. There are fanboys for everything. And they're often known to be annoying little ***** who won't shut up about why their idolized media of choice is better than anything else regardless of proper reasoning, and are also known to deny their being a fanboy if you accuse them of being such.

You all hate them, and you swear to yourself you'd never be one.

But what if I told you... you are one?

Like it or not, you're a fanboy for something. We all are. I am. You are. Your other gamer friends are.

We can't help it. Its only human nature to follow something we strongly agree with or have had in our lives for a long time.

I love Nintendo. The games they make, the series they hold, with their endearing characters. I used to be such a hardcore Nintendo fanboy that I would refuse to own any game system that wasn't Nintendo (Save for a PC of course). I would say the Xbox and PS2 sucked without hesitation, or reason for saying so. I'm a lot better now, though. I own an Xbox 360, and I'm perfectly okay with peoples' personal choice of consoles.

But if I said I'm not a fanboy anymore, I'd be telling a cold, cold lie. I branch out to other systems now, yeah, but I still love Nintendo, and in fact know more about the company and its history than any healthy person should.

I'm a fanboy. You're a fanboy too. What's your favorite game? Series? It's a safe bet that you are devoted to that game or series. Fanboy much? If you've ever dreamed of owning your favorite character's signature weapon or item, you're a fanboy too. I know I am (that $85 Master Sword replica at the mall will be mine!)

If you browse the web to discuss any of your favorite games with like-minded individuals and get frustrated when someone says they don't like that game... there's a hint of fanboyism too.

Now here's one you probably didn't even think about:

Are you an avid video gamer? Guess what? Fanboy.
Even if the rest of this post can be shot down, I can still tell you you're a fanboy for video games. Face it, you're on a website devoted to video games, video game reviews, video game news, and video game discussions. When someone puts the hate down on video games, you defend the industry with your life meter. If someone says video games are a waste of time and will lead you to prison or an early grave, you all get frustrated and go batshit crazy telling that person why they're wrong (with, or without proper reasoning).

Sound familiar?

Sounds like a fanboy to me.

There's nothing wrong. It's part of being human.

Just don't call someone a fanboy for loving something 'too much', when the truth is you're a fanboy yourself. Maybe not for the same thing, but you're a fanboy all the same.

That's the pot calling the kettle black. You fanboys.

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The Woes of the Platforming Heroes (REPOST)
Posted on Wednesday, April 1 2009 @ 12:26:20 Eastern

If any of this looks familiar, its because its a re-post of the original. I'm re-posting it because I accidentally deleted it. Thanks to Google's cached pages feature and the wonderful GR community (especially Duke for suggesting the Google cache), I was able to find it again and re-post.

It seems the most famous genre of gaming is the platformer. Years and years have gone by, and the biggest staple of gaming is the kind where the protagonist, rather than shooting and killing with amusingly excessive violence and gore, instead opt to jump on their foes and reach their goals with wacky powerups and wild leaps of faith from platform to platform.

Platforming has created some of gaming's most recognized heroes and mascots. Standing at the top of all of them is Super Mario, with Sonic the Hedgehog just below him. But I'm not here to talk about the ones that are still famous and successful (... debatable in Sonic's case) today. I'm here to being back a memory of an age gone by, when the mascots of platforming were still clever and plentiful.

Many platform heroes have risen and fallen throughout gaming. Some have fallen into total obscurity today, remembered only by the people who grew up with them, or downloaded them on their Wii (or PC if you're a game pirate... or a Gamtap subscriber).

Hopefully you all remember Earthworm Jim? The classic story of the earthworm who just happened to be right where a powerful super suit was about to fall from space, and then saved the lovely Princess What's Her Name from the evil Queen Pulsating, Bloated, Festering, Sweaty, Pus-filled, Malformed, Slug-for-a-Butt. There was a real hero of platforming, all but forgotten ever since his last game, the arguably fun Earthworm Jim 3D for the N64 and PC. The series had lost its touch by then, and ever since there has not been a single game for the super-powered annelid. Jim even had a cartoon show that was actually pretty clever for a 90's era WB children's cartoon, and even though the show had its own canon, it always seemed to me that it fit just fine with the games anyway.

Gex had a short reign. He had a few good games around in the N64/Playstation era, but despite the clever writing and zany worlds based on bad TV cliches, he never really got very much success, and hasn't been seen since Gex 3. And let's not mention the handheld Gameboy Gex games that accompanied console versions, beyond this sentence.

Bonk is an even older one. Originally a defining mascot for the Turbografx, the little guy was Hudson's answer to Mario and Sonic, and with some nice success, didn't really go anywhere after the 16-bit generation. He's been seen floating around in the Wii's Virtual Console though, which is at least a step above Jim and Gex, who have nothing now.

Crash Bandicoot had some great games starting out, and was at one time considered as a mascot for the Playstation to compete with Mario. A few spinoffs and lackluster sequels later, and he's falling into the pit of Platform Obscurity. Even with a new game out just now, the game doesn't appear as successful as its developers are hoping. Spyro the Dragon, another character once thought to be a possible Playstation mascot, is doing only slightly better. Hasn't had any complete spinoffs like Crash, but his games have never really changed at all since the first game of jumping, gliding, and breathing fire like any respectable dragon should. It seems only a matter of time before both these two fall out into nothing, maybe popping up here and there, and only purchased by game critics, a few nostalgia lovers, and the occasional mother that doesn't know their kid is actually more interested in dismembering random civilians than jumping around on platforms.

Banjo and Kazooie are not so much obscure, however. Despite having only two games, both were fantastic and everyone from the N64 era who played these games remember them oh-so fondly. Not a Nintendo mascot anymore, since Rare is now owned by Microsoft, the team of bear and bird are setting up for a new adventure on the Xbox 360. For this duo, there's still hope to make a mark, as long as Rare can make the game as memorable and original as the first two games. It's too bad Conker the Squirrel, Rare's other platformer hero, kinda fell out since his last game Conker's Bad Fur Day never even got a sequel, but instead a remake that didn't make a very big bang in today's gaming market.

There are many others who had made their marks in gaming, but are seldom found today. Some of the platform heroes have made small comebacks, but ultimately were just a tiny flash in the pan. It's kind of sad, but such is the industry of gaming.

Sonic the Hedgehog even, is starting to fall. the two Sonic Adventure games for the Dreamcast and later on Gamecube were good, but not great, and Sega has continued attempting to make 3-D Sonic games with little to no success. The blue-blurred hedgehog still does very well in the realm of his native 2-D sidescrollers, in the form of games such as Sonic Rush for the DS. Sonic is still successful enough for many to know and love the hedgehog, and his appearance in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Brawl can only help him from falling into the same path of obscurity that many others below him have.

So can we call take a moment to remember the fallen heroes? While I have only mentioned a handful, this was written with thoughts extending to all of them. I welcome you to mention any that I have not, maybe even explain their fall, and if they have appeared in anything recently.

Maybe someday, these characters will get another chance. Perhaps Gex will be picked up again, maybe Earthworm Jim will rise up once again and rescue Princess What's Her Name from the beautiful (by Insectikan standards) Queen Slug-For-A-Butt. Who knows? If such a time ever comes, I will be here, reaching out a hand to welcome them back.

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Stop saying 'Next Gen'
Posted on Saturday, March 7 2009 @ 07:57:28 Eastern

Okay this is a little personal gripe I've had for a while. Everyone keeps saying 'next generation' despite that its not 'next generation' anymore. The current lineup of consoles seem to have taken on that moniker since before they came out a good num...   read more...

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Pirates of the Gaming Sea
Posted on Tuesday, June 17 2008 @ 21:29:25 Eastern

Piracy. It happens, we're all aware of it. Some people take a game that costs money, and uploads it to the Internet for all to download illegally and play for free. Lots of people have uploaded games, even more have downloaded them. I'm sure many of ...   read more...

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Why do Superman games suck?
Posted on Friday, April 18 2008 @ 17:33:37 Eastern

It seems that Superman is destined to have terrible videogames based on him. Lots of games created for him, very few being worthy of mention, but often for the wrong reasons (Superman 64 anyone?).

So why do Superman games suck, I ask? I ha...   read more...

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PokéMMO
Posted on Monday, March 3 2008 @ 05:56:49 Eastern

This is a little bit different from my usual blogging of meaningful stuff and parodies. For this blog, I'm going to write down my ideas for a massively multiplayer online rendition of Pokémon.

NOTE: This is NOT an actual game that i...   read more...

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Fondest Memories
Posted on Thursday, December 20 2007 @ 17:32:33 Eastern

I was recently playing Super Mario Galaxy at a Gamestop the other day, since I don\'t yet have the game for myself. Playing it was really fun. I would have kept playing it all day if it wasn\'t for my conscience kicking in telling me to let other peo...   read more...

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A greatest threat never known
Posted on Tuesday, November 27 2007 @ 01:07:57 Eastern

For many years past and present, a terrible force has been lurking. Hiding within the cold confines of the Earth's polar ends. Yet no one has ever suspected it. No one has ever considered it. But this makes this threat all the more to be feared.read more...

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A Trend in the Gaming Industry
Posted on Saturday, November 17 2007 @ 05:49:25 Eastern

I've been thinking a lot about our great industry of video computer gaming lately, in how this industry progressed from what it was to what it is today, and what it may possibly be in the future.

In going over a most simplified version of ...   read more...

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