The Power Of Nostalgia…I Don’t Get

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…

 

 

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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

Top 10 Game Boy Games

I’ve shown my 10 favorites games for the 3DS and DS, but now let’s take it back to the granddaddy of handheld systems, the Nintendo Game Boy. You remember it, right? That ugly gray, massive brick that took four AA batteries with the diarrhea colored graphics?

Despite its primitiveness, it still was home to many classic games that are still very fun to play even today, over 2 decades later. But which 10 are the best? Let’s find out!

I only have 19 Game Boy games, and only have played 16 of them. I don’t know, that’s just the way it goes. But of those 16, here are my 10 favorite. The developers and release year for each game will also be listed.

#10

 

gb_kid_icarus_myths_and_monsters_p_7s9lumKid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters

TOSE/Nintendo

1991

 

The sequel to Kid Icarus for NES, it had all the fun of the first game, but was way down scaled, making it a shorter and much easier game than the first.

#9

KDL2_BoxartKirby’s Dreamland 2

HAL Labs/Nintendo

1995

 

I still remember the first time I played this game. I loved the first game, but this took it up so many levels. With more powers and neat little friends to ride around on, the game was just so much better in every way.

#8

WarioLandBoxArtSuper Mario Land 3: Wario Land

Nintendo

1994

 

It’s not every day someone can say they stole not only the spotlight from Mario, but also the reins. Wario became such a popular villain, that he got his own Mario-esque platformer that was so good it rivaled Mario’s own games. It really is hard to say which is better, as far as Game Boy games are concerned.

#7

Super_Mario_Land_2_box_artSuper Mario Land 2

Nintendo

1992

 

After careful consideration, I found this game to be just a bit better than it’s sequel. This is the game that conceived Wario, which was awesome enough, but the fun, different power ups and unique worlds and levels are what really make this game shine.

#6

Donkey_Kong_Land_2_CoverartDonkey Kong Land 2

Rare Ltd./Nintendo

1996

 

What do you get when you take one of the best games ever made and slap it on Game Boy? An inferior, smaller version of course…that you can play anywhere! This is a much shorter version of the SNES game, but is still a whole lot of fun.

#5

Donkey_Kong_Land_III_CoverartDonkey Kong Land 3

Rare Ltd./Nintendo

1997

 

Again, this is just a smaller scaled version of it’s SNES counterpart, but there were some differences as well, which is why it is higher than it’s prequel.

#4

wario-land-2Wario Land 2

Nintendo

1998

 

I played the fudge out of this game when I was a kid. Having started his own franchise now, he also adopted a more unique style of gameplay, thus distancing himself from his cousin. What we got was a clever, unique and unbelievably fun platformer that I found very hard to put down, even after beating it over and over again.

#3

Donkey_Kong_Land_CoverartDonkey Kong Land

Rare Ltd./Nintendo

1995

 

This game is amazing. It is the only game in the trilogy that is completely unique from the SNES versions, but obviously it still borrows heavily from Donkey Kong Country. Besides an annoying and terrifying way to save, this is a wonderful platformer.

#2

red-bluePokemon Red/Blue

Game Freak/Nintendo

1998

 

This was a game changer. The release of these two games literally shook the world and changed the lives of every youth on the planet. Cards and a TV show followed and Pokemon continues to be one of the most popular…things…ever created, and it all started here. The ability to walk around a huge world and catch 150 creatures and use them to fight with an enormous variety of moves was what made this game so appealing. Well that and you could link your Game Boy with a friends to trade Pokemon or battle. It was just such an amazing time to be alive and still brings warm feelings to my heart…sniff…

#1

Metroid_II_US_boxartMetroid II: Return of Samus

Nintendo

1991

 

Here it is, the best game on Game Boy, as far as I am concerned anyway. This game blew my mind. I didn’t even have to play it to love it. I used to just stare at the cover art because Samus just looks so cool there. But once I played it, I could not believe what an amazing game this is. It destroyed the first game on NES in every way possible. A bigger, much less confusing world jam packed with enemies and secrets, better graphics, new power ups, amazingly better gameplay, etc… I was just so amazed how good this was for a simple Game Boy game. It still impresses me to this day. I can’t wait to get my hands on the remake that just came out.

Well there you have it. The top 10 Game Boy games! I would recommend trying these out if you get the opportunity to!

 

 

 

 

 

Nintendo Switch Is Officially The Best Console Of All Time

The title says it all. After last night’s direct, my mind was completely blown. It was just showing game after amazing game. Many surprises were included, such as Doom being announced. The Switch is getting many ports nowadays, many of them several year old games, but this is a good sign, for it just means third parties are testing the waters with their big name games that could easily be ported to the system. But they all have exclusive content to boot!

But some brand new third party games are coming to the Switch as well, and that is wonderful, more than welcome news!

And to think, you can play this all on the go too! It’s just phenomenal!

But Super Mario Odyssey really steals the show. This looks to be the best game ever made. Hands down.

The direct also showed some amazing titles for the 3DS as well.

And all the games shown are coming out this year or early next year. They really are killing it with the lineup. Very exciting stuff.

The Future Of Super Smash Bros

I have been hearing a lot lately about how people would very much like to see some “Super Smash Bros For Switch Deluxe” something or other, this title being an updated version of Smash for Wii U and 3DS combined, but with some bonus material as well, much in the same manner they did with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Pokken Tournament DX.

Well, I’ve got a better idea. How about a brand new Smash game? Doesn’t that sound better? Sure the other one would likely come out a whole lot quicker, but why spend the resources? A brand new game, fitted just for Switch makes a whole lot more sense to me. And this time, without the limitations of the 3DS holding it back, it could be a truly perfect game, as good as it can be for both home and handheld play. That is what I want. Not a remake.

But while we are on the subject, let’s talk a bit about the series and what I hate about it. Well…hate might be a strong word.

Let’s get this straight. I love the series…all 5 games are incredible and I still play all of them regularly. The matches are the best part about this. Local multiplayer and even yourself fighting against 3 computers for the sheer fun of it is truly something incredible.

I love the varying stages and the creative and different ways to play on each one. I love the huge cast of characters, and yes, I am including clones as well. I realize they are just a generous bonus from the developers and not “taking the place of another character” as so many outraged people claim. It’s nice to see a clone character rather than them being just a costume. Anyway, playing four player with random characters on random stages has brought me thousands of hours of enjoyment.

But then we get to the more single player stuff. I can not stand it anymore. The multi-man challenges, the homerun contest, the target challenges, classic mode, adventure mode, all-star mode. Dear God I am so sick of them all!

I can’t sit there and beat all these modes with every character in the game another time. We’ve already done it 5 times, and with an ever growing list of characters, it becomes more tedious and annoying.

TrophyIf they are insistent on leaving these, then at least allow us to use a large group of characters at once, or stop giving out trophies for beating it with each one. If you give no reward that people want, then only those who want to do it for fun can have at it. The rest of us who want to collect everything shouldn’t have to suffer through such repetitive and tedious things.

So here are my wishes for the next Smash installment. Drop all that crap. We don’t need it. Developers should spend all their time on characters and stages. Obviously, most of their time is already spent on this I would imagine, but without everything else, they can give us some more. Include every stage and character that has already been in each game and then add a bunch more. I know that is a lot of content and very unrealistic, but who cares? This is my dream! This is all I care about, as many characters and stages to use them on as possible. Oh and maybe some more unique costumes instead of just recolors would be nice too, like what Project M did. Though they do generally base the recolors off a other costumes, so that is something at least.

Luigi_Palette_(SSBM)

But if they really need to keep some single player stuff, keep the event matches. They are actually really fun to play, so I wouldn’t mind that.

Oh, and what happened to unlocking stages and characters? In the Wii U version, you started with nearly everything. Unlocking characters in Brawl and especially Melee made everything so satisfying and fun, and you felt so accomplished after getting them all. And yes, I know if they take out all the fluffy crap like Classic Mode, how will you ever unlock characters? And I simply say, they will think of something, whether it be the event matches, or doing something specific in battles with specific characters or what not. It could easily be done.

Make the adventure unlocking characters, not collecting hundreds of trophies from repeating the same tasks over and over again. Keep trophies for sure, but good God, we don’t need classic anymore. Or custom moves…those have to go. That was the worst. They forced us to beat modes with the same characters over and over again, praying that we would get all their move sets, only doing so after getting the same ones 50 times before getting that damned last one. That was the most tedious chore of them all.

And this game shouldn’t be a chore. It should just be what makes the game so fun. All out  fighting and trying to win for no other purpose than to have fun. 5 stock matches with no time limit for me, all day, everyday!

Super-Smash-Bros.-