Series Ranked: Star Wars Lightsaber Duels

I would love to do a series ranked on the actual Star Wars movies, but my opinion of which I like better than others always changes each time I watch them all, so it is kind of impossible to do. So instead, I will rank all the lightsabers duels from worst to best, as that is more clear cut.

#13

Luke Skywalker Vs Darth Vader

The Empire Strikes Back

Dagobah

lukevaderdag

This isn’t a real fight, but a quick test of Yoda’s that I still don’t understand 25 years later. But I just put it in to be thorough. Their sabers clash twice and it’s over.

#12

Obi-Wan Kenobi Vs Darth Vader

A New Hope

Death Star

star-wars-episode-iv-obi-wan-kenobi-vs-darth-vader

The first duel to ever take place on film between two Jedi. An amazing feat for the 70’s, but it really is rather dull. But given that it is the first, it is excusable. These two have clearly gotten rusty in the past 20 years.

#11

Obi-Wan Kenobi Vs General Grievous

Revenge of the Sith

Utapau

obigriev

This is a different type of fight due to Greivous being more droid than man. This actually benefits him as he is able to do nifty things real people can’t. But this proves no match for actual training it seems, as the whole scene is very short and really shows off Obi-Wan’s skills.

#10

Qui-Gon Jinn Vs Darth Maul

The Phantom Menace

Tatooine

quimaul

This is the first fight made after the original trilogy and it does not disappoint. It is an intense fight that showcases both duelers superb abilities. The only reason it is this low on the list is because it is sadly, very short.

#9

Luke Skywalker Vs Darth Vader

The Empire Strikes Back

Bespin

lukebespin

The second saber duel in the original trilogy is a vast improvement over the first. They show off force aided combat for the first time, even if it looks a little silly at times, but it is cool to watch nonetheless. I very much like how Vader is toying with Luke at first, but Luke seems to improve the more he fights, thus Vader had to put some effort in to beat him.

#8

Mace Windu and co. Vs Darth Sidious

Revenge of the Sith

Coruscant

Coruscant_Duel

At long last we get to see what Palpatine and Mace can do. It’s pretty awesome, but probably could have been better. Sidious kills 3 people who don’t even fight back…this could have been choreographed much better. Windu then shows off why he is called the most powerful Jedi with a saber, beating him almost easily. Some nice use of the dark side makes this a very important scene as well.

#7

Luke Skywalker Vs Darth Vader

Return of the Jedi

Death Star

lukevaderjed

This is an intense duel between father and son, aided with great music accompaniment. While not that thrilling of a fight, the emotion behind it makes it very good, as well as Luke calling upon the dark side to win, but not giving into it.

#6

Fin/Rey Vs Kylo Ren

The Force Awakens

Starkiller Base

rey kylo

This is a good fight. It gives us some nice action, though it is not nearly as exciting as the prequel fights. Though since none of the combatants are trained nearly as well as the Jedis of the past, and really, not at all for two of them, it makes sense. Kylo demonstrates his training by easily defeating Fin. Rey demonstrates how ungodly powerful she is by using both light and dark force. A cool use of scenery and lighting really add to the scene too.

#5

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker Followed By Yoda Vs Darth Tyranus

Attack of the Clones

Geonosis

YodaDooku

This is technically two fights, but since they are back to back and against the same Sith Lord, I’m throwing them in as one. When Obi-Wan and Anakin fight him, they get completely destroyed. There’s a cool light trick in the dark that is fun to watch, but otherwise is nothing that spectacular. And then Yoda comes along and fulfills everything I ever dreamed of. He easily overpowers Tyranus’ force powers and then proceeds to do some of the most amazing stunts in history, forcing Tyranus to retreat. Just awesome.

#4

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker

Vs Darth Tyranus

Revenge of the Sith

Invisible Hand

Dookuepisodeiii

This rematch is much more thrilling and shows Anakin favor the dark side considerably.

#3

Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi Vs Darth Maul

The Phantom Menace

Naboo

maul2

This is an amazing fight. Darth Maul, with his double-sided lightsaber pulls off some crazy stunts. The two Jedi do all they can to defend against him and it makes some amazing entertainment. Things really kick up a notch when Obi-Wan takes him alone, showing off what a great Jedi he will eventually become.

#2

Yoda Vs Darth Sidious

Revenge of the Sith

Coruscant

yodapalp

The most powerful Jedi faces off with the most powerful Sith, another thing I wanted to see my whole life, and it did not disappoint. A great saber battle gives way to a match in force powers with fun use of scenery. Yoda seems to be the stronger of the two, but due to some bad luck the Republic falls and all the Jedi die.

#1

Obi-Wan Kenobi Vs Darth Vader

Revenge of the Sith

Mustafar

obiani

Damn…just damn. This is by far and away the most amazing duel ever. Great setting, great choreography, great mood, high stakes. It’s all there. The fact that they use the exact same fighting style showing off how much Vader learned from Obi-Wan is so cool. They are essentially equally matched, but Obi-Wan keeps a “cooler” head and comes out victorious.

 

And there you have it! I hope there will be plenty of more saber battles in the future, which is why I desperately wish they move away from the spin offs taking place between 3 and 4 and do something more with Jedi.

Either way, I absolutely love every Star Wars movie and can’t wait for The Last Jedi!

star-war-fea

 

 

 

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Dear Developers-Linear Video Games ARE Still Fun

Aside from all the negative attention EA is receiving for their whole Star Wars Battlefront 2 mess, they have also recently been accused of shutting down Visceral Games and moving their Star Wars project to another company because of the linearity of the game. Whether this is true, I seriously doubt it, but they have been recently saying, among other developers, that one, people don’t like linear games as much, and two, consumers want to spend a very, very long time on each game.

I assure you, that I, and many people I know still love linear games. They are just as good as non-linear games, if not better. Admittedly, the world does seem to be so obsessed with “open world” styled games, but I personally don’t understand why. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like them, but to have every game be like that is just ridiculous.

There is something to be said for games that just have you follow a path or two and not have to worry about where to go next or getting lost and all the joys that come with massive games.

To say you don’t like linear games is like saying you don’t like platformers, which is entirely possible if you were born in the last 15 years or so and are one of those people who think because the game doesn’t look and play realistically, it is crap. But should developers really be catering to that audience? Definitely not. They have no idea what a game can be or should be, they are just a bunch of dumb kids and should not be considered gamers.

gow gpThe God of War games are linear and they are some of the best games on their respective consoles. But I bet the new one coming out is going to be open world…oh boy! But this is excusable since it is a reboot, but imagine if God of War 3 was suddenly open world? It would be stupid. Those games are just intense action and it is fun. Many linear games are just as fun. Open world games are much slower moving and you spend an awful lot of time just walking around and looking for stuff. That is why many of them are over 100 hours long.

You could have just as much content in a game with a more condensed world and beat it in 30 hours. So is really adding extra walking time that much better?

Final Fantasy 13 is a game that gets much hate, and I’m pretty sure it is because of the Thundara_FFXIIIlinearity of the game. Big deal. It’s still fun. Just because there is no overworld to explore while constantly getting attacked by enemies trying to find the next town or a cave to explore to look for an item doesn’t make it a bad game. The true core is still there, and that is simply being an RPG set in a fantasy world.

And believe it or not, games don’t need DLC. Put extra effort in development and just pull the plug when it is released. Games typically are better when there is no DLC coming out 3 weeks after the game is released. Some DLC is nice, but most of it is just overpriced garbage that we don’t need. If companies actually did it right and didn’t just use it as a way to make some extra cash, then it would be actually pretty cool. But we live in a greedy, crappy world, so that will never happen.

And a lot of games now focus so much on online play, and how much they can cram into that, leaving single player modes very empty feeling. During the PS2/Xbox/GameCube era, I feel like games had much more girth to them. You got to unlock all sorts of stuff, play through a lengthy campaign that wasn’t obnoxiously long and have a great time doing it.

Now it feels like you get a slimmed down game so the devs can put more effort into the multiplayer, then instead of unlocking things, you have to purchase it later so you can pay the devs to continue to support the online aspects of the game.

Trouble with that is the majority of the gaming world still prefers playing by themselves. People suck. We have to spend all day with people. When we play games, we want to be left alone in a fake world void of other humans.

And really, if you have ever played multiplayer games with people, then you know they are a gathering of the biggest idiots on the planet. 10 year olds fighting with 30 year olds, people swearing in place of using actually grammar… it’s a mess. The gaming community certainly is one of the darker stains on the world, that is for sure. So why continue to go a route that supports such vulgar crap? Give us some solid stuff to play by ourselves. We are the majority of the market after all!

And this, ironically, brings me to the next thing developers have been saying. They claim people want to spend hundreds of hours on a single game. Gone are the days where people play a game and then move on.

This is not the case, I assure. I have a back log of over 300 games, so trust me, I don’t want to spend more than a reasonable amount of time on a game. And I assume that goes for anyone but those “gamers” who do nothing but play online Call of Duty and other online shooters. But I am not saying spending a long time on a game is a bad thing either…for it is not.

But this subject amuses me. Didn’t I just say that I wish they gave us longer single player experiences? Yes, well more valuable experiences, not necessarily longer anyhow.

But anyway, these devs are trying to keep us playing games by constantly coming out with new DLC to play. Trouble is, it’s not free and 99% of it isn’t worth buying. And again, this is really only appealing to people who play nothing but the online aspects.

cod2Speaking of Call of Duty, those games were phenomenal back in the day, when they were nothing but a single player campaign and maybe local multiplayer or whatever. The newer games are still fun, but they don’t come close to what they used to be, because all the effort goes into the online multiplayer.

So why do your original, loyal fans get shafted in favor of these people who like to do nothing but spend countless hours playing against each other? Why can’t they instead make exclusive online shooters, which fortunately seems to be a growing phenomenon, so they don’t in fact screw us single players over.

Another thing devs seem to be so worried about is replay value. How is this an issue if you are not letting us ever stop playing the game!?!?!? So they keep on adding more stuff that we can use on another playthrough and this and that, which is nice, but again, it costs a whole lot more money to do this, especially considering all of this DLC would have been included in the game 12 years ago! This is a big reason linear games are so seemingly unpopular. It is the same thing each play through…

And bottom line is, you really don’t need all this extra fluff in a game to make someone replay it. It could be the most linear game ever, but if the gameplay is fun, I am going to replay it for the sake of just having fun. I don’t need to play it for 200 hours, with new stuff added every 20 of those hours. If the gameplay isn’t all that great, it is going to be a dull, miserable 200 hours. I would much rather play a 5 hour game that is a whole lot of fun 10 times over. And big deal if I don’t replay it immediately. If it is 5 or 10 years down the line, then that means the devs did something right.

Trouble is, they won’t make extra money on it in the months following the games release, which is the whole issue here, so to their company, they did not do something right.

I’m all about trying something new, but don’t let the things from the past that actually worked be forgotten.

 

The Hate for Dragon Ball Super Is Laughable…Nostalgia To Blame?

This is really a continuation off of my last post…Nostalgia Prevents Progression.

I originally was going to make this a quick example, but found I had quite a bit to say about it…so here goes.

 Dragon Ball Super is amazing…to me anyway. It had a bit of a slow start, but has since picked up to be even better than Z.

But I see a lot more hate for the show than love, which is ridiculous. But nostalgia has struck again it seems.

The first thing I noticed about DBS is that it feels just like DBZ, as if the show never stopped. There are some minor differences of course, the way each series was different, but the core is still there- Goku beating the crap out of people. And actually a lot of the humor in the show is reminiscent of Dragon Ball.

But here is where I get a laugh about things. The biggest complaints about Z were inconsistent power levels, slow moving episodes with too much powering up, too much filler and much of the cast being left in the dust due to being unable to keep up with Goku and Vegeta.

In Super, the stories and fights are much more condensed, wrapping things up in a quarter of the time it took for Z. Instead of a villain being the main focus for 3 or more seasons, they keep it down to one. This hurts the story telling a bit, since there is less time to spread it out, but that doesn’t mean the stories are bad. The Black Saga had a great story and was well told.

So in other words, the show moves much faster and it feels like a lot more has happened in it, despite being like half as long as Z. And there are no lengthy power ups that I can recall. Though, really, there weren’t many in Z either if I’m being honest. It’s more building anticipation than anything.

People complain that there is too much talking during fights in Super. My response to this…Have you ever watched any of the other Dragon Ball series. This one is by far the least guilty, except for maybe Dragon Ball. Goku’s fight with Frieza stands out to me the most. I am pretty sure Bulma and King Kai have more air time during the fight than the two fighting.

 

Is this annoying? Usually, but from a production stand point, this is all understandable. It is a lot of time and effort to just make people fight for an entire episode and it could become rather dull and expensive, though it is hard to see how on the former. But most people don’t realize this. And the DB series usually take these moments to explain what’s going on, or else show the effects the battles are having elsewhere. So, to me, this isn’t really all that big of an issue.

Now for filler. Super does have filler, though not nearly as much as Z. And the filler is actually quite good, not to say that some of Z’s wasn’t, though most of it was awful and boring. In Super, the filler usually consists of quite a bit of action and/or comedy.

And really, filler is necessary, because it would be pretty dull to save the world from a villain one episode, and then be threatened by another the next. Super does a great job with the filler, it really does. So this is yet another improvement over Z.

Now on to the cast of characters dwindling relevance. Is this an issue in Super? Of course, but they have taken great strides to include a lot of the cast, even if it is just for a moment. We have gotten to see some of the old Z fighters participate in DBS for the first time since the early DBZ sagas, and it is more than welcome to me. This exclusion of characters is probably the most complained about thing from Z, and now that they actually made efforts to include them…guess what? People hate it, mainly because they complain about power scaling…another thing that was a huge issue in Z.

Yeah, in the Tournament of Power saga, there certainly is a ton of questionable means of powering up, but by now, this is nothing new and fans should be well beyond caring about that.

The power scaling went to crap way back on good old planet Namek. Like…seriously…none of that made sense, and it bothered me at first, but then I realized something very important…

WHO CARES?

The show would be extremely dull if there wasn’t power issues. It would eventually just come to one character killing someone else in one hit, next villain, same thing, next fight, same thing.

Like, I truly can’t wrap my head around how upset people get over this. Like, if everything in every movie and show made sense, they would all be boring and quite terrible for the most part. That is not why we watch shows. We watch them so reality floats away from us for a little bit, not so we can whine and criticize something every time it strays from reality and sense.

And finally, people complain about the show being too focused on Goku, and poorly written.

Seeing as Goku is the main character of the series and has been for like 30 years or whatever, how is anyone surprised by this? His personality is what drives the show. It is how he wins over the hearts of his enemies, and if they are evil enough, his personality drives him to improve constantly no matter the odds. That has been true since the first episode of Dragon Ball, and remains so today.

And the stories have never really been good, or really in depth I should say. It is a show about super powered beings pummeling each other. Someone threatens to destroy the world, and someone stops them. It has been done thousands of times in every show ever. What are they talking about, poor writing?

ITS AN ACTION SHOW!!! WATCH IT FOR THE ACTION!!

Which in my opinion…Super has the best in the series. People spend so much time trying to calculate power levels and judging the way they go about increasing them. What does it really matter, honestly? It is so cool to see these characters just fight it out, and the more transformations, the cooler it gets in my opinion. Dragon Ball is all about absurd transformations and always has been. It is what makes the show interesting.

But anyway, the whole point I am trying to make here is…

NOSTALGIA STRIKES AGAIN!!!

Dragon Ball Z is such a beloved show for anyone who grew up during the time it aired, that a new series continuing after it is nothing but an insult to it’s existence. Many of these people complaining about Super probably haven’t even seen Z in over 10 years and only have that nostalgic feeling…you know that happy, warm memory of their childhood self coming home from school and running to the TV to see what amazing adventure Goku and the others would take them on next, and a very vague memory of the actual show.

Yeah…I have those feelings…I love Z, but that doesn’t stop me from loving Super. They are essentially the same show. Nostalgia doesn’t make me blindly hate something for no reason. And I own every episode and movie of DB, DBZ and GT and watch them all at least every 3 years, so it’s not like I’m speaking from nostalgic memories.

But again, I feel like nostalgia is trying to prevent progress, in this case a series progressing forwards. And negative press will just likely prevent new things from coming out in the future, which is really a tragic shame.

But think what you will, nostalgically influenced or not. I for one am overjoyed that my favorite TV show has been revived into something new.

 

And really, why does it even have to be compared to other series it is related too? Who cares which is better? As long as you enjoy it. But those nostalgic feelings won’t allow any room for anything other than that one original, childhood memory. Even though the show took steps in remedying old fan complaints, it is nothing but trash, for it can never be able to take on the force that is nostalgia!

But okay, I feel like I am going on a rant or something. Nostalgia just really annoys me. I will end it here.

 

 

Nostalgia Prevents Progression

Ahh, nostalgia, how nice you are, yet how unbelievably stupid and annoying!!

Nostalgia is defined as a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.

So basically anytime you experienced something blissful for the first time, and more or less your entire childhood falls under this tyrannical word…nostalgia.

Do I have nostalgic feelings? Absolutely! But I have no problem thinking back to the things I am nostalgic about and realizing that maybe things weren’t so great.

But I seem to be in the minority. People hold on to their nostalgia for life. This is a serious problem, for I feel it prevents progression; I mean this in terms of media and life.

If you are always looking back in the past, always reminiscing about better days, then you will never learn to like anything again and will be forever miserable, for you will always be longing to find something that makes you feel the way that first time you felt whatever it was when you were a kid or whatever. Now add years of nostalgia on top of that happy memory and/or feeling, and your brain deludes you into thinking it was greater than it ever actually was. This effect increases over time, for your actual memory of the event or object or what have you fades, thus leaving only the feelings you had for that, resulting in a cozy little nest for nostalgia to settle in to.

This reminds me of heroin…that’s right, I am saying nostalgia is heroin. They say heroin addicts are constantly using, trying to achieve that first high they ever got from the drug, for that it was the greatest thing they have ever experienced and all theey want is to re-experience it. But they never do, and then they end up dead from an overdose.

Nostalgia is exactly the same, is it not? Though do not worry, I’m rather certain you can’t die from an overdose of nostalgia.

I fortunately/unfortunately have a brother who is like the most nostalgic person I know. He hates everything new because he has such strong feelings for all the things we had or experienced as little kids that he thinks everything else is complete and utter trash.

I am referring to media, like movies. He swears all these movies we watched as children are so amazing and wonderful. While some of them are, a lot of them are not. I mean for little kids they are great, but as adults, they are annoying and impossible to sit through.

tmnt 2Now when I watch a movie that I absolutely loved from my childhood and come to find it’s terrible, I admit I feel disappointed that it wasn’t as good as I remember, but then I immediately get over it. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 was one of my favorite movies of all time when I was young. But I watched the movie about 10 years later, when I was an adult, and found it to be borderline terrible.

Now, I just accept this and move on. Big deal. My feelings on movies when I was 5 versus 25 are going to be different. But people like my brother- they just focus so much on their initial feelings from when we first saw the movie that I am not even sure they are actually watching it, but instead are wandering through some nostalgic wonderland, thinking off all the great times they had as kids and what not.

Now, we could just have differing opinions on things, but this happens on just about everything.

Another example is the SNES. We really only had this console growing up. It was an amazing console back in the 90’s and it certainly still is today. I still play mine, but I have no problems moving on to other consoles and games.

My brother, however, is so nostalgic over the SNES and its many fine games on it, that he won’t even entertain the thought of playing other games. Super Mario World, A Link to the Past, and Super Metroid are probably his 3 favorite games, and they are without a doubt three of the best games ever made. But he absolutely refuses to play any Mario, Zelda or Metroid games made afterwards, as if their very existence is an insult to his childhood. Even if he watches a trailer, he will watch the first 10 seconds and turn it off in disgust. If it isn’t a game for SNES, then it is no good, so he thinks.

But this is not entirely true. Another game we played as kids was the WarCraft, Diablo and StarCraft series, so he loves these games too.

blizzard franchises

Literally all he plays, 20 years later, is all our old SNES games and the Blizzard games for PC, disgusted by everything else out there, with a few exceptions.

He despises Nintendo now, because they dared to move on from the SNES and evolve, like all companies must do to survive.

-UPDATE-

I was talking with my cousin about Mario Odyssey, and my brother was listening in. He sarcastically said, “Yeah, throwing his hat is so cool. Remember when he did that in the old games?”

This just goes to show you how blinding nostalgia is. Really, that comment can be translated to, “How dare they progress and do something different.” I mean seriously, that is an unbelievably stupid thing to say and makes no sense whatsoever.

-END UPDATE-

Which brings me back to my fear of progression and lack there of. My brother is hardly alone in these blinding, nostalgic feelings. That is why so many companies are trying to force nostalgia into their products, to trick that little kid still living in all of us into purchasing whatever it is. This is not really a bad thing, but again, if we are so focused on the past, we can never truly experience something brand new, fresh and exciting. But most people are afraid of change and would rather feel something familiar when charting new territory, and I understand that, but how long must we be tethered to the past?

And anyway, bringing back old things makes them less special. Now that they are in the here and now, it makes the original lose some of it’s charm. But most people will disagree, because they still have that huge nostalgic feeling clouding their brain. Even if what they are reliving is exactly the same as when they first experienced, it will not be the same to them, swearing it is different, and that is simply because of the nostalgic feelings associated with the original.

And don’t dare try to remake or update anything so sacred. People will immediately hate it, just for being different, whether the product is good or not. Like the new Nintendo games, they are doing nothing but insulting their good memories and childhoods. How often do you hear “the original is the best” or something along those lines. The Halloween remake and Ghostbusters remake comes to mind when thinking about this. And they are just two in a very enormous list.

star wars

A perfect example is the Star Wars movies. The original trilogy came out to unbelievable praise and they are probably the most famous movies in history. Then the Special Editions came out, and for literally no reason that I can fathom, a lot of people hated them. That is because of nostalgia once again. LucasFilm dared to change such sacred movies. And really, all they did was more or less put in bigger explosions and add some more creatures. How is that a negative in anyway? Because it insults peoples nostalgic feelings, that’s how!

And then the prequels came out, and everyone hates them. The special editions were forgivable, because it was really the movies fans knew and loved. But now, they got a dose of something different. Most of the complaints about the prequels are completely ridiculous, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t understand why so many people hate them. Until I realized the cause was most likely nostalgia.

I spent my early childhood watching the crap out of the original trilogy. I loved them then and I still do. I love the prequels just as much, if not more. They gave me everything I wanted that the original three lacked. But I see so many people who hate them because they don’t give them the same feeling they got from when they first saw Star Wars. My brother has only seen the prequels once or twice when they first came out, and he hates them, and it’s all because of his nostalgic feelings for 4-6. He doesn’t even remember the movies anymore, but he hates them real bad. To me, if you can’t remember why you hate something, then you mustn’t actually hate it. But that’s what nostalgia wants you to think.

The prequels were a change in formula for the series, but still very much felt like Star Wars, which to me is perfect for when someone makes something new within an existing universe. As long as you are not left wondering where the heck you are, then I welcome all the new stuff.

But then we get to the more recent Episode 7: The Force Awakens. I remember watching the movie in complete awe from beginning to end. This is because first and foremost, I absolutely love Star Wars and have been wanting another trilogy since I first watched Return of the Jedi, but then secondly, because Disney filled the crap out of this movie with nostalgia. It took about an hour after the movie for my nostalgia to wear off and then I realized what a disappointing movie it is. They took hardly any risks with the movie, if any, and gave us Episode 4.1. And people love every minute of it.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love the movie, but it is by far the worst out of the 7. The point I am trying to make here is that progression failed here, because Disney was too worried about appealing to all the nostalgia ridden people who hated the prequels to actually make something new. And it paid off for them, which is what really scares me for the upcoming episode 8, which seems to be not a far cry off from Empire Strikes Back, but I will reserve judgement until I see the movie, of course.

And for the heck of it, I will throw in one more example of how nostalgia blinds people. I am going to mention that good ol’ rapper, Eminem.

He kind of owned the world back in the very late 90’s and early 00’s. His second major album, the Marshal Mathers LP was when he really took off. It reached diamond and I think it still holds the record for fastest selling album. You couldn’t go anywhere at that time without hearing his songs on the radio, the TV, or just people singing them.

eminemFast forward to today and he’s released a whole lot more albums and I think another should be coming out very soon. In any case, his talents as a rapper have increased rather substantially. He is a far, far better artist than he was 20 years ago. But guess what everyone’s favorite album is, (including my brother’s)? That’s right, the MM LP. Again, I am not saying that that album is nothing less than amazing, but most of his stuff after that has completely destroyed that album. But people hang on to that nostalgia of when they first heard of Eminem and that amazing feeling they got when they heard “My Name Is”and “The Real Slim Shady” for the first time. It doesn’t help matters that Eminem was so controversial and almost taboo that every kid who owned his album was looked up to as some kind of bad ass god. That will certainly swell the nostalgic feelings a bit.

But thank goodness Eminem only focuses on the music and getting better, otherwise, he would hold himself back to please all the nostalgic people who loved his early stuff so much. Thus progression would be thwarted. But this has indeed happened to many artists anyway.

And the best part is…even if someone made something exactly like the thing fans were nostalgic for, even if it was everything good about the original and more…it still would displease them. The creators would be accused of trying to change the original…like a remake, accusing them of being out of ideas. But if they do progress and make something new, better or not, they are lynched for changing and moving on from what has been held so beloved by people.

In other words…nostalgia can not be beat. It has a grip on too many people, and no one can take down something so overwhelmingly powerful.

But I shall conclude my thoughts now. I am not saying nostalgia is a bad thing. It can truly be wonderful. But don’t let that stop you from trying new things and adventuring forth in a world that could have so much more to offer, and who knows, maybe you’ll find something better? You just have to let go of pointless attachments to memories from years and years ago. If you do, they will still be there, but you will see and think more clearly and be more open to just about everything. There is always room to share in that brain of yours, and your heart…

 

 

My Top 10 Game Boy Advance Games

Welcome back to another of my top 10 games on some system. I already tackled 3DS, DS and Game Boy, so now I am going to list my top 10 Game Boy Advance games. I only own 20 and have actually played 18 of them. The other 2 I will eventually get to. So which of these are my favorites? Let’s find out!

#10

Fire Emblem TSSFire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

Intelligent Systems/ Nintendo

2005

 

This series poses such a problem for me. I really hate this genre of games, with the whole strategy and perma-death thing, but they are so stinking fun. I was addicted to this game for a long time.

#9

Mega_Man_Zero_cover Mega Man Zero

Inti Creates/ Capcom

2002

 

I refused to play this game for the longest time, just because I hated the art style so much. How did they turn Zero, who looked so awesome in the PS1 games, into this scrawny little girl?

But once I got over that, I regretted waiting to play it. The smooth, simultaneous buster and saber use I had always wished for in the X series was finally brought to reality! This is some of the finest gameplay in a sidescroller and actually has a pretty good story too.

#8

Mmzero2box Mega Man Zero 2

Inti Creates/ Capcom

2003

 

Not much to say other than that this takes everything from the first game and makes it better, while advancing the story.

#7

Mmzero3box Mega Man Zero 3

Inti Creates/ Capcom

2004

 

I know, I know, you are getting sick of seeing these games now. But remember, I don’t have too many games, and these are really excellent. Again the third installment is an improvement over the other 2.

#6

MMZ4_box Mega Man Zero 4

Inti Creates/ Capcom

2005

 

No surprise for the number six entry. It isn’t often to see a series get better with each game, but this one pulls it off. The stories conclusion is wonderful as well.

#5

golden sun Golden Sun

Camelot Software Planning/ Nintendo

2001

 

This is one of the best turn based RPG’s out there. People are always talking about the Final Fantasy series, but this game is easily better than all of those. It has some great gameplay mechanics and an awesome story, and wonderful level design. Tons of fun, it is.

#4

mlss Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga

Alphadream Corporation/ Nintendo

2003

 

Speaking of great turn based RPG’s, this is up there as one of the best. This was such a surprise when they announced it. I couldn’t wait to play it. When I finally did, I found they took all the great things from all the other Mario RPG’s and evolved them into a masterpiece. I was blown away by how good this game was, and seeing as all it’s sequels have made my other top 10 lists, it is a series that keeps going strong. In fact, they just released an updated version of this game for 3DS!

#3

minish-cap The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

Flagship/ Nintendo

2005

 

Nintendo proved  once again that handheld Zelda’s are just as incredible as the console games. A great story is at the heart of amazing gameplay that makes it truly a worthy title in the Zelda series.

#2

Metroid_Fusion_box Metroid: Fusion

Nintendo

2002

 

Just seeing this cover art brings me back to the first time I played it in real life. Like with Minish Cap, Nintendo proved Metroid is just as good on handhelds as consoles. This has excellent gameplay, and probably the best story in the series. It is also one of the more challenging games in the series too. Just awesome.

#1

Metroid_--_Zero_Mission_(box_art) Metroid: Zero Mission

Nintendo

2004

 

Damn. I mean damn. This game is so good. It is probably the best remake of all time. It takes Metroid to another level of awesome. This game really shows what the series is all about. Not only is this my favorite game on Game Boy Advance, but it’s probably up there in best games ever made.

Thanks for reading! If you have never played any of the games on this list, I highly recommend doing so. The Game Boy Advance is a great system, and these 10 games are gems among its great library.

gba plat

Series Ranked: Super Mario Bros

This past Friday marked the release of the amazing looking Super Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch, which is now one of the highest rated games of all time, joining The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

To celebrate this exciting occasion, I am going to rank all of the mainline Super Mario games. There are far too many spin offs to include all of them. Unfortunately, this means RPG, the original Mario Bros, Mario Maker and Yoshi’s Island will not be included in this list, but oh well.

I will rank them from worst to best.

#17

Super Mario Land

Game Boy, 1989

Times Beaten-1

The very first handheld Mario game turned out to be a very short adventure, taking no longer than 20 minutes to beat. It is still a fun little game however.

 

#16

Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels

Famicom, 1986 / SNES 1993

Times Beaten-0

Originally called Super Mario Bros 2, it was somehow never released outside of Japan. Most people didn’t play it until it was called the “Lost Levels” which was added in Super Mario All-Stars several years later. It is very similar to it’s prequel and takes off right where it left off, making this game very infamous for it’s difficulty. I never put too much time into it to really say much about it, for it was so similar to the first game.

#15

Super Mario Bros

NES, 1985

Times Beaten-2 or 3

This is probably the most famous game of all time, and forever will be so. To this day, it is a fun enough game, but I was never that huge a fan of it due to it’s stiff jumping mechanic and constantly having to replay through the same levels to get to the warp pipes so you can continue where you left off.

 

#14

Super Mario Land 2

Game Boy, 1992

Times Beaten-2 or 3

 

This game is quite unique and still a lot of fun to play. The level designs and nifty power ups, not to mention the introduction of Wario, make this a game to be remembered.

 

#13

Super Mario Bros 2

NES, 1988

Times Beaten-2

This game really took the series in a whole new direction. Suddenly instead of jumping oneverything, you were throwing radishes at them. It’s a really bizarre game, but a lot of fun. The fact that there is 4 playable characters, all with unique traits, make this a very ambitious game for the time.

#12

Super Mario 3D Land

3DS, 2011

Times Beaten-1

This was another twist for the beloved series, taking advantage of the 3D graphics to create a different adventure for Mario, combining elements from the side scrolling games with the 3D ones. While it is a fun game, I wished I was playing a regular 2D or 3D Mario most of the time.

#11

New Super Mario Bros

DS, 2006

Times Beaten-1

A return to the side scrolling age after a decade of being in 3D was a most exciting concept. The only bad thing was that this meant it would be facing up against the last 2D Mario, Super Mario World. And it didn’t even come close, having focused more on keeping faithful to the original NES game, but with a ton of new features added to it.

#10

Super Mario 64

N64, 1996

Times Beaten-2

This is also one of the most famous games ever made, responsible for ushering 3D games into the limelight in a good way. Though the game had a few flaws, it was still pretty amazing for the time. I never was too into it, however, for I felt it was far worse than some of the 2D games.

#9

New Super Mario Bros Wii

Wii, 2009

Times Beaten-4

While this game was a huge improvement over the DS game, it still sorely fell behind some other 2D Marios, making me realize they weren’t even trying to create these side-scrollers like they used to. The “New” series seemed to be something completely different, and while not as good as some of the classics, they are still solid games.

#8

New Super Mario Bros 2

3DS, 2012

Times Beaten-1

This game is a lot of fun, especially compared to the previous two on this list. It was so satisfying to just run like crazy, collecting absurd amounts of coins, through some of the best platforming seen in years.

#7

Super Mario Sunshine

GameCube, 2002

Times Beaten-3

This is probably the most unique Mario game around. Cleaning graffiti with a water pack that has all sorts of different settings, while traversing through beautiful landscapes…just awesome. There was plenty of platforming challenges scattered throughout the game as well, making this a fantastic game all around.

#6

New Super Mario Bros U

Wii U, 2012

Times Beaten-1

Now this is what I’ve been waiting for. Amazing platforming chock full of secrets and challenge, new power ups and other ideas, all scattered throughout a massive world. This was the game I have been waiting for ever since they announced the “new” line of platformers back on DS.

#5

Super Mario Bros 3

smb3

NES, 1988

Times Beaten-2

This game was more than anyone could ever have expected at the time of its release. It completely blew every other platformer out of the water, and still does to most even today. It was such a vast improvement over it’s prequels, it’s amazing to think they are in the same series. A huge world, tons of new content, and unique items will keep this one in the record books forever. It is funny I have only ever beat the game twice, for as a small child, I played this game constantly, just goofing around on the many great stages.

#4

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Wii, 2010

Times Beaten-1

The only reason this places lower than the first game is because this was not really the true game. The only reason this game exists is because there was so much that couldn’t fit into the first game, that Nintendo decided to just make another game to put it all in, which is great news for fans! It’s almost like the best DLC ever. So the whole central idea was not fresh at this point, but there were a ton of new ideas and planets to explore and items to grab that made this game stand out by itself.

#3

Super Mario Galaxy

Wii, 2007

Times Beaten-2

This game is a masterpiece. It is probably one of the very few games I can say I could literally not put down. I was so amazed by how good it was, that in only 3 days I got every star and unlocked Luigi, only to immediately beat the game with every star with him too. No other game has had me play so much at one time, and do it over again with no time in between. The game is so unique and incredible, that I long to play it again…(Curse you backlog!)

#2

Super Mario World

SNES, 1990

Times Beaten-At Least 20

This is probably the best platformer ever made, in my opinion. I spent my childhood uncovering every tiny little secret in this diverse, huge world. The game is so vast and just perfect. I absolutely love it and I can pick it up anytime and play through it, taking all the shortcuts to beat the game quickly, or slowly beat every level, and uncover all the secret paths and not stop until I beat Special Land and turn the world into that awesome weirdo place where the Koopas are Marios.

#1

Super Mario 3D World

Wii U, 2013

Times Beaten-1

Here it is, the best Mario game ever made. I was rather disappointed when they announced the next 3D Mario would be in the same 2D/3D combined style like Super Mario 3D Land, seeing that I wasn’t all that impressed with that game.

But the second I played it, I was proven wrong. The new items, particularly the cat, is amazing, the fact that you can play as a variety of characters, each with unique traits, is even more amazing, the humongous world to explore is creative and diverse, and the gameplay is just simply solid. This game delivered everything I could have wanted for this style of game, and I love it to death.

There is plenty to do in the game, giving it some nice replay value too. I had long given up hope that they would ever top Super Mario World, but it seems any game with “world” in the title is destined for greatness.

And there you have it. That is all the mainline games, ranked from worst to best. They are all very good, memorable games, and there are tons of spin off or other series with Mario that are just as good, if not better. It is safe to say that the gaming industry would not be the same without this little fella, so my hat’s off to him. I can’t wait to see where Odyssey fits in this list!

switch-super-mario-odyssey-press-7pd-1280x720

We Need A Dragon Ball Super Game

Many people are looking forward to the upcoming release of Dragon Ball FighterZ.

While this looks to be an awesome game, I think what we need now is a game dedicatedDBZ_Tenkaichi_3_Cover_2 to Dragon Ball Super. And if not dedicated to the series, then doing something like they did with Tenkaichi 3, where they covered most of Dragon Ball, Z and GT, not to mention the movies and then some. Tenkaichi 3 is by far my favorite Dragon Ball game. With fun gameplay and an unrivaled character roster, no game has come remotely close to it since it’s release.

Now imagine if they could take that game and just add DBS to it. It would be something amazing for sure. The series, in its 111 episodes that have aired so far, has introduced countless new characters and transformations. Heck, the Tournament of Power alone could make an amazing game.

dragon ball super goku transformations

The tragic thing about this is that we will never get a game like Tenkaichi 3 ever again, simply because games are much more condensed now, and take advantage of DLC to bulk it up. This is the case of FighterZ, as well as just about every other fighting game out there nowadays.

But we’ve played through the Z series dozens of times in our lifetime. Now it is time to make something new for a new, amazing show.

Though really, I suppose it would be more prudent to wait until the series finishes before making a DBS dedicated game. At least they are including some characters from the new series in the more recent games, so that’s a start.

Attention Musical Artists-Enough With the “Hidden” Songs Already!

Anyone who owns at least a few cds knows what I am talking about here. Those annoying and entirely pointless “hidden” songs that are usually stuck at the end of a regular song, but there’s like 7 minutes of nothing separating them. And some songs even have the nerve to have a regular song, nothing, a small something, nothing again, and then some more small little pieces of audio. And some just pointlessly have nothing at the end of these long spells of blankness, just to trick us.

I am writing this to beg these oh so clever artists to CUT IT OUT!!

It is entirely pointless. If you really want to add an extra song, then put it on it’s own separate track! But most of the time it is a short 1 minute song, or some other stupid audio of some kind. If that’s the case, then leave it off the album all together! If it is not important enough to you to place it on it’s own separate track, then it doesn’t need to be there at all! You are not giving us a special treat by hiding something at the end of a song. No one is going to just let it sit out for an obscenely long time with no music, waiting to hear that short little ditty you wanted to surprise us with.

And then there’s bands like Coheed and Cambria, who thought it would be funny to actually make tracks 12-22 on their second album a few seconds of nothing, and even naming them A Whole Lot of Nothing 1-10, or something like that, before giving us a song on track number 23. But this is almost tolerable, because you can just skip the tracks, and even if you don’t, they probably just equate to a minute which is still shorter than most gaps of nothing. But what makes it worth it, is we are treated to one of the best songs they’ve ever come out with at the end of the empty rainbow, and it’s like 9 minutes long to boot!

But still, wouldn’t it have just been better to just have it right there at track 12, instead of pointlessly putting it on 23?

And bands like the Bled do crap like having a short little song, then repeating the last 2 measures of the song for over 20 minutes before something new happens. I don’t know if this is worse or better. I remember the first time I listened to that song, I was driving home from work, and was just waiting for something to happen. At the time, I only had a 15 minute commute and it was still repeating that part by the time I got home. I fast forwarded it afterwards to discover that a song that could have been over in under 3 minutes was like over 32 minutes. Why? And is it better to hear the same thing over and over again, or nothing at all? When you are hearing something, it tricks you into thinking that something is coming, where as a whole lot of nothing means you know nothing is going to happen until the last minute. But come on, why? Is that really how you thank your fans who support you and buy your music?

I mean, all this is such a common thing that has persisted for decades. Enough is enough already. It’s not cool, it’s not surprising, it’s nothing but aggravating and extremely stupid.

According to my iTunes, I have 5321 songs, which I listen to on my iPod with shuffle. And I swear, like every 15-20 songs, I encounter one of these awesome songs. So now I either have to fast forward to the hidden audio, or skip the song. Both of which are extremely hard to do since they stopped making the wonderful iPod Classic, forcing me to buy the bullcrap, unnecessary, feature filled iPod touch, which is so unresponsive and precise, that it is impossible to really do anything you want it to on the first few tries.

And mind you, I am driving when I have to change the song. So you dumb bands are putting people at risk of getting into collisions and possibly killing ourselves or others while we struggle to fast forward through the unnecessary nothingness on our crappy idevices, all because you bands try to be so cool.

Next time you want to try it, think about how much blood will be on your hands if you do!

car-crash-accident-1024x576
Thanks bands…thanks Apple.

New York Drivers-FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!! MOVE OVER!!!!

I don’t mean to single out an entire state or anything, but holy crap New Yorkers!

I drive for close to 4 hours a day, and like anybody else, I get stuck in a lot of traffic, much of which is caused by slow drivers, which brings me to the point of this post.

You know when you are on a one way highway with 2 or mores lanes? You are cruising along, and then all of a sudden there’s a ton of traffic and you can’t get around it no matter how hard you try. Then you notice that the people in the right lane are driving slow, which is normal and that lane is meant for such slow people. But then you see in the left most lane, the “fast lane” as it is called, and that is moving just as slow, if not slower.

Say the speed limit is 60. Most of the time the people in the right are doing about that, occasionally as slow as 50. But then you have someone in the left lane and they will be doing 50 or 55, causing an enormous line of traffic, as now all lanes are being led by exceptionally slow drivers, leaving everyone else nowhere to go.

And note that I am not a fast driver. I do not speed obnoxiously like some people. But I honestly feel if you can’t do the speed limit, especially where I live, because they are so awfully slow as it is, then you should not be on the road.

But anyway, I see this predicament almost every single day, and it is usually caused by someone with a New York license plate. Now I am not saying all New Yorkers are like this. I’ve seen speed demons and good safe drivers from this state plenty of times. And I’ve seen people from other states driving slow in the left lane plenty of times as well. All I am saying is that I have noticed that 90% of the time this crawling traffic occurs, it is because a New York driver is just crawling along in the left lane.

traffic-jam-getty

And. They. Will. Not. Move. Over!!!

Most people will eventually move over, but the New York cars won’t move for anything. 200 cars can pass them on the right…they don’t care. An ambulance with it’s lights and sirens going comes up behind them…so what? A baby is in the road? The parents can always make another one…

They just do not move. And I am writing to say, friggin cut it out and get out of the lane. Just because you have nothing better to do than coast in the left lane, other people have places they need and want to be, and we don’t need you adding 10 minutes to our commutes. That’s 10 minutes of my life I will never get back, all because you don’t feel the need to at least do the speed limit.  And if this happens to me three times a week. That ends up being 26 hours a year that I have lost sitting behind slow people. Thanks a lot!

It is infuriating beyond words, but I guess that is all I have to say on the matter.

 

Series Ranked: Metroid

Back with yet another series ranked of a video game franchise, so soon after my Sonic The Hedgehog one. But I wanted to celebrate the recent release of Metroid: Samus Returns, and the announcement of Metroid Prime 4 back at e3 in June.

Metroid is probably my third favorite game franchise of all time. So it thrills me to compile this list. I will only be ranking the games I own, which is all of them except the brand new 3DS game, Federation Force, and Metroid Prime pinball. But I have played the latter and it is probably one of the best pinball games out there, so I would recommend it to anyone who is interested.

Well, anyway, here they are, all the Metroid games in my collection, ranked from worst to best.

 

#11

Metroid

NES, 1987

Times Beaten-2

The very first in the series is the worst, which makes perfect sense. For the time, the game was incredibly ambitious and really, really good. But it has aged extremely poorly. Every area looks the same, but just changes colors making it hard to navigate, you can’t duck, which is problematic, and when you die, which is often, you start with about 2 hits worth of health to attempt to progress, forcing you to painstakingly kill enemies in the hopes that you get more health without getting hit yourself. But once you manage to find Varia Suit and Wave Beam, it becomes much easier, though the first time I beat it, I failed to find either, so it was a long, hard road for me…

#10

Metroid Prime: Hunters

DS, 2006

Times Beaten-1

This game was more intended for multiplayer, which actually was very fun. The controls felt a bit awkward, but I think mostly because it was confusing playing it sort of backwards, being left handed. The campaign was not great either and their aren’t many abilities to collect in this game. Still decent fun overall, I suppose.

 

#9

Metroid: Other M

Wii, 2010

Times Beaten-1

This game is good, despite what the majority of the internet seems to think. It has many of the abilities you would want in a Metroid game, plus a lot of new additions and ideas in the game that make it stand apart from the rest of the games. That being said, there were a ton of very stupid decisions made as well, decisions that really hurt it and prevented it from being one of the best. Like really stupid…

I always say it’s a good video game, but a bad Nintendo game.

#8

Metroid II: Return of Samus

Game Boy, 1991

Times Beaten-Around 5

If you’ve read my Top 10 Game Boy games post, you’ll know that I find this to be the best game ever made for the legendary handheld. It was just so amazing for the time and is still great today. Tons of new items, a huge, less confusing world and the thrill of the hunt make this something great.

As a side note, from this game onward, I absolutely love them all. They are without a doubt, phenomenal games.

 

#7

Metroid Prime 2: Echoes

GameCube, 2004

Times Beaten-Around 3

This game really shook things up. For the first time, the developers didn’t just recycle all of Samus’ old tricks. They gave her a ton of new, amazing abilities, some awesome looking suits, and threw her in a deadly, atmospheric world with a deeper story. It is easily the hardest of the Prime trilogy as well, but also very rewarding. This game took a lot of risks, but I feel the beam ammo idea hurt it a lot. I usually just wind up using Power Beam for most of the game. Even so, this is nothing short of a great, exciting game.

#6

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption

Wii, 2007

Times Beaten-2

Again, they took a lot of risks with this game and gave us something completely new once again. As with all the Prime games, you get sucked into a gorgeous world, so detailed and amazing. The use of the Wii Remote makes the game a lot of fun, utilizing many different ways to use Samus’ various abilities. On top of all that, it is so, so, so, so, so much fun. The only bad thing about this game is that it is too easy. It is the only Metroid game I ever played that I didn’t die my first run through.

 

#5

Metroid: Fusion

Game Boy Advance, 2002

Times Beaten- Around 7

This was like a gift from the heavens when it came out. At long last, we got a sequel to Super Metroid, something I was waiting my whole life for, and it didn’t disappoint. They really changed up the Metroid formula for this game, introducing a whole slew of things never done before. It made for an interesting time, that’s for sure, and has one of the best stories in the whole series, with great music and sound effects to support the mood and atmosphere of the game. Aside from the first game, this is probably the hardest Metroid game too.

 

#4

Metroid: Zero Mission

Game Boy Advance, 2004

Times Beaten-At least 10

This is what I consider to be the best remake of all time, though it now looks to be rivaled by the new remake of Metroid II now. This took everything from Super Metroid and Fusion and created something truly magnificent. This game has a ton of new ideas mixed in with most of the old, making it something you can play over and over again.

 

#3

Super Metroid

SNES, 1994

Times Beaten-At least 70

This is a game everyone has heard of, as it is considered one of the best games ever made. And rightfully so, though it is just barely better than Zero Mission. It has some of the best gameplay ever created to date. The amount of content added to this over it’s prequel is astounding. The setting takes place on the same planet as the first game, but it comes to life in a way the NES could never hope to achieve. All the abilities are so fun to use, and there are a lot of them. I could go on and on about this game, but I will just stop here before I get too excited.

#2

Metroid Prime

GameCube, 2002

Times Beaten-Around 5

Released alongside Fusion, 2002 turned out to be the best year for Metroid fans. After an 8 year hiatus, not only did we get a side-scrolling sequel to Metroid 3, but we at long last got to see Samus in all her 3D glory, having skipped the N64 completely, with the exception of her appearance in Super Smash Bros.

It turns out, it was worth the wait. The world of Metroid turned out to be amazing, thanks to the graphical capabilities of the GameCube. Nearly every ability you could ask for was in this first-person-shooter, and it was all done to cater to the drastic new gameplay. Of course, there is tons of new content as well. It is just a great game that is only marginally better than Super Metroid. Like it’s really close between them.

Well that’s it for the Metroid games, but the #1 spot has to go to this amazing compilation.

#1

Metroid Prime Trilogy

Wii, 2009

I didn’t really want to buy this. I had all three games already. But yet, I found myself at GameStop the day it released, dropping 50 bucks on three games I already payed $50  each for. And I don’t regret it at all. These games are so good. 1 and 2 are updated with the motion controls used in the third game, and it just makes for a wonderful experience replaying them like that.

Now this game is like dirt cheap digitally, making it the best value out there. Three of the best games around for like $10? How could you go wrong? And that is why it is number 1 on this list.

 

 

And there you have it. Looking at the small number of games here, it is criminal that for such an old franchise, it sees such infrequent releases. It is one of the best franchises out there, yet it sees no love from Nintendo. It’s a darn shame. But I’ll take them as they come out, as long as they don’t say they are done with the franchise completely.

metroid samus-pose