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.
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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.-

Series Ranked: Sonic The Hedgehog

Sonic has been in the spotlight a lot the past few months, and especially now with the recent release of Sonic Mania, and for the first time in a long while, all the buzz about the speedster seems to be very positive. Sonic Mania is even being called by many to be the best Sonic game ever made…quite an impressive feat that no one thought would ever be said in modern times.

To celebrate Sonic’s good fortune, I am here to assemble a list of all Sonic’s games, from worst to best. And by all of them, I mean just the ones I own. There are an awful lot of Sonic games, I mean an awful lot, and I probably don’t even have half of them. I will not be including spin off games like the fantastic Sonic Spinball or Sonic and Sega’s All Star Racing. It’s about his main line games today…for the most part.

#22

Sonic The Hedgehog (PlayStation 3, 2006)

Times Beaten-1

 

This game had so much potential. New type of storyline, three awesome hedgehogs with their own campaigns, plus playable minor characters and beautiful level designs. But no…it turned out to be a disaster thanks to the development having been rushed, thus we all got stuck with an unfinished product. When you weren’t waiting for the game to load, you were getting game over after game over due to bugs and glitches, such as springs not bouncing you far enough and many other unavoidable death traps. I only beat this game on sheer luck of no glitches happening within a level. I always say, that if the developers were able to put the right amount of time into the game, it would have been one of Sonic’s finest games, not one of the worst.

#21

Sonic The Hedgehog (GameGear, 1991)

Times Beaten-1

 

This is basically a dumb downed, but different version of the original genesis game. It is very short, but fun. Not much else to say.

#20

Sonic Gems Collection (GameCube, 2005)

Sonic Gems Collection

This is a compilation of some of the crappier Sonic games. It comes with Sonic CD, Sonic The Fighters, Sonic R and a bunch of games on GameGear… Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball, Sonic The Hedgehog: Triple Trouble, Sonic Drift 2, Tails’ Skypatrol, and Tails Adventure. Though it’s not fair of me to say they are crappy. I only played 2 of them. I beat Sonic the Fighters which is pretty bad and I didn’t ever have time to beat Sonic CD in one sitting and the stage select is terrible, only allowing you to play part of a stage. Gems technically shouldn’t be on this list, but since I didn’t play most of the games here, I figured I’d throw it in as one, instead of listing them separately.

#19

Sonic Adventure DX: Director’s Cut (GameCube, 2003)

Times Beaten-0

 

This is an updated version of Sega’s ambitious, first 3D Sonic game. It isn’t very good, but it’s a somewhat well put together game. The variety of playable characters makes it diverse and interesting. Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and that robot whose name I can’t remember have fine campaigns, but Amy walks unbearably slow, making her story miserable, and the last character, Biggs the Cat is just awful beyond description. Each level you just fish. I think fishing in real life is one of the most boring things a person could do, but it is much worse in a not so good game playing as a fat, retarded cat. I quit the game at this point, because I couldn’t catch the fish in the second or third level, and as far as I know, there is no trick, just wait and hope it bites…just like real fishing!

The coolest feature of this game is the Chao Garden, where you can raise little blue alien things and level them and evolve them into cooler little blue alien things. I never dabbled in this though, so I don’t know too much about it.

#18

Sonic and the Secret Rings (Wii, 2007)

Times Beaten-1

 

This is another not so good game. Sonic had it rough in the beginning of this generation of consoles it would seem. But it was still an okay game I suppose. It is certainly playable in any case. It was also very different from previous games, so it had that sort of intrigue going for it. The best part about it is a very, very fun multiplayer party game that could rival the Mario Party series.

#17

Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis, 1996)

Times Beaten-1?

 

This was certainly a change of pace for the Sonic series. As the name implies, you are in a very ugly, confusing, 3D world. It is sometimes hard to land on enemies when you are trying to kill them, but besides that, it’s very fun, but not great.

#16

Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood (DS, 2008)

Times Beaten-1

 

Sonic tries his hand at an RPG game, and I’ve gotta say, it’s not bad. I mean, it’s nothing spectacular, but you get a whole slew of playable characters, an interesting story, and  good use of the DS touchscreen to use special attacks. And I guess this would be sort of considered a spin off game now that I think about it. Oh well.

#15

Sonic and the Black Knight (Wii, 2009)

Times Beaten-1

 

If you ever wondered what all your favorite Sonic characters looked like clad in medieval armor and equipped with matching weapons, then this is the game for you. You even get to play as a bunch of them! It actually is pretty fun thanks to it’s unique qualities. There are a lot of awesome animated cut scenes as well. It has the same control scheme as The Secret Rings, but a bit easier to use. I would recommend this to anyone who hasn’t played it.

#14

Sonic Unleashed (Wii, 2008)

Times Beaten-1

 

You know, making this list has made me realize one thing. Sega really has gone all out in creating new ways to play Sonic, and I must give them huge respect for that. Most of their games are entirely different and completely unique, and whether they are good or not, it is fun just to experience something new.

Sonic Unleashed is no exception, and this one is literally split down the middle between good and bad. The game has two main gameplay styles. The first is running, mostly side scrolling, high speed sections as normal Sonic that are amazing and incredibly fun. It might be the best Sonic gameplay up to the point of this release. It’s that good. Then you turn into a werehog and punch the crap out of things. This kills the flow of the game and is a bit boring and repetitive. Not a bad game overall, though nothing remarkable.

#13

Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode I

(Wii, PlayStation 3, 2010)

Times Beaten-Once for each console

 

When they announced a continuation of the Genesis titles, picking up where Sonic 3 & Knuckles left off, it was some of the greatest news I have ever heard in my life. When I played it, it was a major disappointment. It did not have the feel of the old games at all. The controls and handling weren’t the same, and the game seemed to lack the speed and fun of the games it was trying to impersonate. And it was shorter than most of them. A total regression, though it was still enjoyable overall.

#12

Sonic Rush (DS, 2005)

Times Beaten-1

 

This was Sonic’s first adventure on DS and what a thrill it was. Lots of great, high speed, side scrolling action and a new character to play as. Lot of fun, with great music. This is the way Sonic should be.

#11

Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode II (PlayStation 3, 2012)

Times Beaten-1

 

Sega seemed to put a lot more effort into this game than episode 1. It is way better, and we had our old buddy Tails tailing us again. It was a bit longer of a game I believe too, and if you had both episodes, you unlocked a short campaign where you play as Metal Sonic. A very enjoyable game, though it’s feel and control scheme was still that of Episode I.

#10

Sonic: Lost World (Wii U, 2013)

Times Beaten-1

 

This game was sort of reminiscent of Super Mario Galaxy for you could jump and walk around all sorts of floating lands and the like. It had a nice mix of 3D and 2D gameplay and both styles are fun. There are some very funny moments in the story; one line made me laugh hysterically. The game is a bit too easy, but quite enjoyable nonetheless. Yet another unique experience for the blue blur.

#9

Sonic Colors (Wii, 2010)

Times Beaten-1

 

When this came out, it was the first undisputed good 3D Sonic game to come out in years. Sticking to mostly 2D gameplay with plenty of speed parts and slower platforming parts, it is a joy to play from beginning to end. The Wisp power ups are diverse and fun to use, and the whole carnival in space setting is quite awesome.

#8

Sonic The Hedgehog Chaos (GameGear, 1993)

Times Beaten-0

 

Okay, this one might not really deserve to be this high up. I haven’t played it in 20 years. My cousin had it and I used to play it all the time. I don’t remember if I beat it ever, I don’t think so. But I remember loving it. Every level was so much fun. This was the best handheld Sonic game I ever played and still is. I think…

#7

Sonic Generations (3DS, 2011)

Times Beaten-1

 

The modern handheld Sonic meets up with old school Sonic to save the world. You get to race through levels of old, as well as levels from more recent handheld games. It is a lot of fun, taking the best of both genres and mashing them into one incredible game.

#6

Sonic Generations (PlayStation 3, 2011)

Times Beaten-1

I know this is technically the same game, but it is not at all. The story is the same. Modern Sonic and old Sonic team up. But this time it is the modern Sonic from home consoles and you play through different levels than the 3DS version, taking them from console Sonic games and different Genesis games instead. It is a truly great game that plays and feels like the Genesis games when playing as old Sonic, something Sonic 4 failed miserably at. The 3D Sonic levels are remastered and some of the most fun you’ll ever have playing a 3D Sonic game.

#5

Sonic The Hedgehog (Genesis, 1991)

Times Beaten-Around 5-10

The game that started it all. It was an amazing game when it first came out, and still is today. This is some of the finest platforming you will ever come by, as well as some of the best music.

#4

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (Genesis, 1992)

Times Beaten-Around 10

This I believe is the first Genesis game I ever played. It took everything amazing about the first game and simply made it better, adding a few multiplayer modes, a new character, better graphics and the ever so helpful Super Spin Dash. A true classic right here.

#3

Sonic The Hedgehog 3 (Genesis, 1994)

Times Beaten-Around 10

This took everything amazing about the second game and made it better even further. A true masterpiece.

#2

Sonic & Knuckles (Genesis, 1994)

Times Beaten-2 or 3

As a very young child, I probably played this one the most, but could never come close to beating it. I finally did for the first time probably as an early teenager. This game had the most fun and creative levels, some of the best music, the best cover art, best boss fights and the best addition ever, Knuckles. He has different abilities than Sonic and Tails, which makes for some more fun gameplay. He is way cooler than Sonic and Tails and was my favorite character in the franchise until Shadow came along, which ironically, I always wanted to see a black Sonic ever since I saw the cover art of this game.

This game coincides with Sonic 3, for they were meant to be one game, but was much too big. So instead they made Sonic &  Knuckles the coolest cartridge ever and made it so you can connect Sonic 2 & 3 into the top to allow you to play Knuckles in those games. This game also had a very good storyline for a completely nonverbal game.

 

And the best Sonic game is…

#1

Sonic Adventure 2 Battle (GameCube, 2002)

Times Beaten-Hard To Say

 

This game is incredible. A good story told out through 2 campaigns with 3 playable characters in each campaign, each with unique missions to complete. On top of that was the fact that each level had 5 Sonic Emblems to earn by completing various challenges, which gave huge replay value to the game.

A whole slew of awesome upgrades to each character enhanced the gameplay a lot, as well as the new, intriguing characters added to the game. The gameplay is a lot of fun for each character as you travel through amazingly designed stages with awesome music. Each character even has their own style of music for each of their levels.

There is some fun multiplayer too, though nothing mind blowing.

The most time consuming thing is the Chao Garderns. Unlike the first game, I put hours upon hours into growing my Chaos. It is so addictive. I never got bored of replaying the levels to find power-ups for the lil’ buggers. When you beefed them up enough, there are countless events they can participate in against other very strong Chaos. It’s fun. I couldn’t stop playing this game. But eventually a busier lifestyle and new systems and games to play forced me to put a stop to it. If I didn’t have a massive backlog of games, you can bet I would go back to this game.

The reason I say “hard to say” next to Times Beaten is because I’ve played through each level countless times, though only did the full story mode twice.

 

And that’s it! I have a handful of Sonic games in my aforementioned backlog, so I will update this list as I get to them. Who knows what the future will hold for Sonic, but for right now, it looks pretty good.

sonic forces

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Top 10 DS Games

A while back I listed my top 10 3DS games, so now I’m going to back up and give some love to its predecessor. I bought my DS very late in its lifespan. In fact, to my great annoyance, they announced the 3DS a few months after I bought it. So I don’t have all that many games for it, but  I still managed to nab 36 games for the handheld system, but only played 24 of them. The rest I will get to some day. So of those 24 I have played, which are my 10 favorite? I will also be listing the developer and year they were made.

#10

the_legend_of_zelda_phantom_hourglass_game_cover The Legend Of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

Nintendo

2007

 

While this is one of my least favorite Zelda games, it is still pretty fun. It makes good use of the touch/dual screen capabilities, which makes for some unique gameplay.

 

#9

NewSuperMarioBrothers

New Super Mario Bros

Nintendo

2006

 

When they announced that for the first time in over a decade, Mario was going back to the side scrolling formula, I nearly crapped my pants. Super Mario Bros 3 and Super Mario World are two of my all time favorite games, and are much better than the two 3D Mario games that were out at the time. I was never more excited for a game at that point in my life. Until they announced the title. I very much dislike the title, and when I finally played the game, I was severely disappointed. I was expecting a sequel to Super Mario World, but instead got a major regression of the series, so that it is merely a vastly updated version of the original Super Mario Bros. Despite my disappointment, it is still quite a solid platformer.

#8

Sonic_Rush_Coverart Sonic Rush

Dimps Corporation/Sega

2005

 

Well, well, well, here is an instance where Sonic beats his ultimate rival. I first played this in the prime of bad 3D Sonic games, and I hadn’t played a handheld Sonic since the Gamegear, so I didn’t really know what to expect. But what I found was quite a pleasant surprise. This is a great platformer that really takes advantage of what made the Genesis games so fun, while giving them major updates.

#7

kirby mass attaclKirby Mass Attack

HAL Labs/Nintendo

2011

 

This really put a spin on the Kirby franchise, utilizing the DS’ capabilities in clever ways to deliver a brand new adventure for the lil’ pink puffball, and it worked very well.

#6

MarioLuigiPartnersTimeBoxMario & Luigi: Partners in Time

Alphadream Corporation/Nintendo

2005

 

To anyone who wanted to see Mario and Luigi team up with their newborn selves outside of a sports team or racing track finally got their wish with this game, and it did not disappoint. Hilarious storyline, fantastic and creative gameplay using both generations of brothers, it’s all here and it is wonderful.

#5

kh recodedKingdom Hearts Re:coded

Square Enix

2011

 

The handheld games in this series are always trying out unique forms of gameplay and this one was no exception. It isn’t the best game in the series…far from it, but it is a really fun game nonetheless with a unique leveling system (if you can call it that) and it was the first game to actually advance the story past Kingdom Hearts II, which was the latest game, storywise, for half a decade.

#4

heartgold-soulsilverPokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver

Game Freak/Nintendo

2010

Okay, okay, so this is technically two games, but since they are nearly the same game, I put them together.This duo is a remake of Gold and Silver, the first sequels in the Pokemon franchise. They also happened to be the last two games I played in the series, though I never owned them. I quickly lost interest in Pokemon after only owning and loving Red/Blue. I felt the series should have stayed with just 150 Pokemon and stopped following it soon after Gold and Silver came out. But then I decided, like 20 years later, to get back into it, and what a better place to start then with these two games? And boy was I glad I did!

These games are just like the Red and Blue versions I cherished so much…except better. More Pokemon are better, I soon found out. I love catching them all, and have put around 300-400 hours into both games collectively, catching all the Pokemon available to me, which is much more than the original Gold and Silver, since they added hundreds of Pokemon from the games that came out between the originals and these remakes. Because of these two, I am a Pokemon fan once more!

#3

spirit_tracks_box_artThe Legend Of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

Nintendo

2011

 

This game took the same mechanics and formula as Phantom Hourglass and managed to produce an immensely better game. Everything about it was so fun, especially riding around in a train. I very much enjoyed the story as well.

#2

kh 358Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days

h.a.n.d. Inc./Square Enix

2009

 

This turned the series into a mission based game, where you play as Sora’s Nobody, Roxas, carrying out missions for Organization XIII. It actually works pretty well for the setting and incredible storyline. It doesn’t advance the series at all, but instead bridges quite a few gaps, seeing as the game starts soon after Sora becomes a heartless in the first game, continues on during Chain of Memories and finally ends right when you wake up as Roxas in Kingdom Hearts II, thus finally answering that “wtf is going on?” question we all had the first time we played the second game. The game is also really, really fun, so thumbs up to that!

#1

BowsersinsidestorycoverMario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story

Alphadream Corporation/Nintendo

2009

 

Ironically, this is the first game I played on my DS, so I guess it was all downhill after that. This game is just amazing. It is so creative, so entertaining, so unique, so unbelievably fun, that it completely destroys every other game on this list. Not only is this my favorite DS game, but it is one of my favorite games of all time. It’s that good.

Spider Man Trilogy VS The Amazing Spider Man Would Be Trilogy

I’m just going to go out and say it. Sam Raimi’s trilogy is certainly far better than the two Amazing Spider Man movies. It would seem that most of the world is in agreement with that as well.

But what makes it all that much better? Well, I am just going to talk about 2 things that really bug me.

But before I get to that, let’s take a look at the main character. I find this to be interesting, for I feel Toby McGuire played a better Peter Parker, while Andrew Garfield was the better costumed hero.

Both did good jobs at their alter-egos, but Garfield really nailed the humor and sarcasm Spider Man is known for, while McGuire’s seemed to lack that severely, while Garfield’s Peter was far to “hip” and not at all nerdy. You didn’t feel bad for him. When he became Spider Man, it was like, oh okay.

But when McGuire becomes Spider Man, you are so happy that something good happened to him, because for the 10 minutes of the movie he does not have powers, he is being crapped on by everyone he meets.pparker3

So we’ll put them at a tie for main character. So what about their love interests? Both Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) and Mary Jane, (Kirsten Dunst) do great jobs at being those characters and giving them their own personalities.

This was what I immediately hated about The Amazing Spider Man. Gwen and Peter are classmates that seem to barely know each other beyond “that kid in my class,” but they have like two conversations and instantly fall head over heels, deeply, madly in love. Yes, it’s implied Peter has had a crush on her already, but their coupling happens so instantaneously that it is very unbelievable that it put me off from their relationship. The lack of character development for both of them also puts a disinterest in their personal love affairs too. I don’t know, just going from less than acquaintances to destined lovers in minutes is just a bit farfetched.

In Sam Raimi’s trilogy, it becomes immediately clear that Peter has wanted Mary Jane, his next door neighbor, for his entire life, and she has hardly spared a glance for him. She was the exact opposite of him. He knew he didn’t have a shot at her at all. When he gets his powers, he becomes a little more confident, but still fails to make a move.

So instead, Pete’s best friend dates her instead. Eventually she falls for Spider Man, which gives Peter the confidence to move forward as himself. When he finally can have her, he shuts her down to protect her. The second movie is a roller coaster of emotion. he basically gives up his whole life to be Spider Man, truly a noble act, but when he can bear it no longer, he gives it up, only to have Mary Jane say no. He returns as Spider Man when Mary Jane realizes she made a mistake and tells him she wants to be with him.

Again, Peter stays away to protect her. This is so powerful because both at this point know that they love each other so deeply, and neither of them truly understands why they won’t allow themselves to be with the other. They are constantly struggling with themselves, so by the time they end up together, in the last scene of the movie, you are about as happy as they are.

So in otherwords, McGuire and Mary Jane take two full movies to finally come together, while Garfield and Gwen take two scenes.

My final reason for today why Sam Raimi’s is so much better is the whole way Uncle Ben died.

uncle-ben-has-died-so-many-times.png

In Amazing, Ben and Peter have a huge fight, one worse I think than in Raimi’s movies, peter fightso that’s a plus. But the circumstances leading up to Ben’s murder are pretty lame and would not impose as much guilt on Garfield, thus the viewer does not feel as much sorrow or whatever for Peter either, or really, the entire situation.

Allow me to explain what I mean. In both movies, Peter has a run in with the criminal who kills Uncle Ben moments before he does that heinous act. Peter has a chance to stop them, and doesn’t, thus Peter always believes it is his fault.

So in Amazing, Peter goes to a store to buy a little thing of milk for himself. He is short two cents and tries to take it from that “leave a penny, take a penny thing.” The clerk is a real d-bag and gives him a hard time, saying he can’t just take money without leaving any in return or something. It doesn’t really make sense. But the clerk says it’s “store policy,” and an angered Peter leaves the milk behind and shuffles off, just as the criminal enters the store. He robs the register and even gives the milk to Peter, thus technically making him a shoplifter. When the robber takes off, the clerk yells to Peter to go and catch him. The clerk gets mad when he doesn’t and Peter says it’s not his policy.

This is what ticks me off. Why is the clerk so mad and expectant of Peter? He doesn’t know he has powers. Why would anyone expect some random person to go chase down a criminal. The only person who is aware that he could easily stop the criminal is Peter himself. And because he didn’t have enough money to buy the milk, he took it out on the store clerk.

So the criminal gets away and shoots Uncle Ben. The only satisfying thing about this is the childish reason Peter let the criminal get away. That could weigh heavy on someone’s mind for sure. But yeah…pretty lame.

uncle ben deadIn Raimi’s film, Peter wins a wrestling match to win $3000 but gets scammed and winds up only getting like $200 for basically being too strong. He’s trying to win the money to buy a car, but the man tells him he fails to see the part where that’s his problem. So he gets screwed and leaves all ticked, just as the criminal goes and robs the cash that Peter rightfully won and then some. Pete lets him pass to get away and the man says that you could have killed that guy. Peter says it’s not his problem. This is much better because Peter just proved that he was able to easily crush anyone in his path and the man knew it. He wasn’t just getting ticked at a random customer. Peter could have also easily stopped him without revealing his powers since he was face to face with the man. Garfield was in the middle of a street that would have attracted far too much attention.

In short, Garfield is mad because he didn’t have enough money, and McGuire was mad because he was screwed out of 3 grand. So yeah. Raimi’s is a lot better in that respect.

There are many other reasons why the older ones are better, but I could be here all day talking about it. The original trilogy is even more impressive because they were made before there were countless super hero movies. They were essentially a guinea pig and they were better than anyone expected. Even now, when the first movie is nearly 20 years old (wow!) they still hold up today.

spider-man-movies-netflix-770x481

 

And for the record, I do enjoy all of them, just some were very disappointing.  From worst to best I would rank them

The Amazing Spider Man 2

The Amazing Spider Man

Spider Man 3

Spider Man

Spider Man 2

 

 

Dragon Ball Xenoverse: One of the Most Overrated Games Ever

There are always a few games a year that everyone absolutely raves about, swearing they are the best games ever made and all that.

I never pay attention to reviews or fan feedback, because a lot of it is nitpicking or unworthy praise or something, so it is very rare that I will buy a game based off of just global praise alone. I like to be the judge of a game, simply by seeing if it looks fun. On those rare occasions when I do buy a game (on sale, of course) that the world united on praising, I have found that 99% of these games are quite mediocre, which makes me feel that I am looking for something much more different than the regular gaming community. But don’t get me wrong, some games can be overrated and still be amazing, The Last of Us, for example. I would give this game a 10/10, but for years I heard it was easily the best game ever made, which to me, it is far, far from that.

nappa getting punched

So where does Dragon Ball Xenoverse fit in to all this; as a great, yet overrated game, or a pile of mediocrity? For starters, know that I did not buy this game because the world was calling it “the best Dragon Ball game ever made!” I bought it because I absolutely love the Dragon Ball franchise and this was a new and exciting twist for the game.

And after playing it, here is my conclusion…

It is one of the worst Dragon Ball games I have ever played. It is not the worst, but probably in the top 5 worst ones. Like, I can’t see why anyone even likes this game. It is so boring and seems to go on forever. I was miserable practically the entire time I played it.

So why do I hate it so much? Where do I begin?

For starters, when I bought it, I got the game and season pass on sale for $20 on the PlayStation Store. So when I went to access the DLC, it wouldn’t work, or rather, it didn’t show up, claiming I never bought it. After literally 45 minutes of research on the internet, I found that the DLC was a major glitch, and then I had to look up how to install it, which involved a whole lot of messing around with settings and such on my PS4 and then re-downloading it.  I am not very tech savvy, so I would never have figured that out on my own, and I am willing to bet 95% of everyone else would not have either. So that’s a huge strike for me right there. But since it has nothing to do with the gameplay itself, then it’s sort of forgivable.

That is until we get to the actual game. For starters, it takes like 30 seconds to connect to the server to be able to even play the game. This is really great, since I only want to play single player.

connecting to server
Get used to looking at this…

You start out in some hub town place, which is far too big and your characters walk too slow. All the places you would want to visit regularly are all spaced out as far as possible from each other, so that it takes like 3 minutes of walking just to reach a destination. You are a super powered being! Why can’t you just have the option of quickly flying around!?

hub area
Ugh…Why can’t I fly?

When you finally are able to start a mission, it brings you to the character select screen. Aside from having a very tiny selection of characters compared to previous Dragon Ball games, I have another annoying observation. There needs to be a confirm button after selecting your characters! Typically, you get to pick your character and then 2 others to fight along side you. But so many times I end up choosing the wrong character and then it goes into the match immediately. There should be a “Use These Characters?” box that allows you to pick yes or no. And I usually end up picking the wrong character because the selection thing moves so stinking slow that I always end up pressing the select button before the right character is lit up.

Now that we finally get in the game with the right characters, it turns out to not be worth the trouble at all.

The gameplay is so boring. All you do is throw punches, which send your opponents flying, then you have to chase after them, and repeat over and over again, until you discover a combo that doesn’t send them flying away. So you just do this combo over and over until your energy is charged up, then unleash your special attack to do a decent bit of damage. This is okay in the early parts of the game, but eventually the opponents have so much health that it becomes a very dull chore. I’d rather dust every house on my street then sit through this game again!

dbx gp

But the fights aren’t that easy! So there’s a lot of frustration mixed up in that dull wearing down of health!

For starters, let’s talk about blocking. It’s atrocious. Your character has to come to a complete stop for like 2 whole seconds before you can block. That might not seem like much, but when you’re in a high speed match against 2 or 3 opponents, it’s a friggin’ eternity. But the computer players, they can block whenever they desire. It’s so lovely to watch them do things you can’t.

And speaking of doing things you can’t, some enemies just use their ultimate attacks like 5 times in a row, over and over again. SS Trunks and SS Vegeta seem to do this the most often, though I’ve since learned that this is a special Saiyan ability or something, that for a limited time they can spam the hell out of attacks that will kill you if hit by two of them. Saiyan ability or not, this should not be in the game. That gives them an enormous advantage and messes up the balance of the game.

Another thing the computers seem quite adept at doing is hitting you with beam attacks. Unless you add the beam attack in the middle of a combo, you will most likely miss 8 out of 10 attempts. But the computers will hit 7 out of 10 and this is because they can somehow change direction mid attack. They can bullseye you with a Kamehameha Wave like it’s their business, because they change direction right as they fire it. But as the player, that is the worst, most useless attack in the game, for you will always miss. And no, you can’t change any direction while shooting it.

Dragon-Ball-Xenoverse-07

And on top of that, they do not flinch when you punch them while they are charging up to do an energy attack, but one punch of a small ki blast will knock you out if you are doing the same.

And speaking of ki blasts, you have the ability to shoot many quick ki blasts at a time, and oh my God, this is the most annoying thing in the world! You can shoot these all day at the computers, and if they hit them, which seems to be a 50/50 chance, it won’t have much effect usually, but man if you get hit, they will stop you dead in your tracks. And the computers use this constantly. I mean CONSTANTLY!!! It would be easier to push through a speeding train in real life than get through these ki blasts.

And you know what else they use constantly? There are abilities that, if you have enough energy, will blow away all nearby opponents in one way or another. So if you manage to make it past the barrage of ki blasts, it’s only so you can then get blown away by these special attacks. And then you start all over with the ki blasts. So annoying. They overuse this ability like crazy!

But chances are you will never even get to this point, because you will never be facing your opponent. You can lock on to someone, and you would think that they would automatically direct their punches at that person. Nope. You always have to manually turn your character to face your opponent, which is really awkward, especially when you are getting attacked by multiple enemies and can’t see anything. It’s annoying and stupid. Countless times I found myself punching at air because my opponent was behind me.

This is the last complaint, though I probably have more that I can’t think of right now, and it is simply that the difficulty increases way too fast. The first few missions are simple. You could win with your eyes closed, but then all of a sudden, it’s like you are playing against pros, and you haven’t even fully learned the controls yet. And it just gets harder and harder from there.

Bottom line, the game is boring and frustrating and is definitely not the best DB game ever made! It is not even a good game! I’ll stick with the Budakai and Tenkaichi trilogies. They are much, much, much better.

It warms my soul however, to hear that nobody really likes the sequel, for it is EXACTLY THE SAME GAME! What A-hole developers! God dang it!