Tournament of Hotties: Soulcalibur- Round 2 (Winners Revealed!)

I was requested to do this one, so here goes. My experience with Soulcalibur is very limited. I played Soulcalibur II for GameCube quite extensively, and played Soulcalibur III on PS2 for a few hours, and that was all like 15 years ago, so I don’t remember much, but I’ll do my best. I do remember there being flying skirts, big, bouncing boobs, and a lot of revealing outfits, so that’s a formula I can work with in any case. Alright, let’s see how these weapon-wielding wonders stack up!

Check out round 1 part 1 and 2, and then let’s see which of these hotties are the hottest of the hot!

 

Bout #1

Sophitia

VS

Ivy

We’ve got an innocent-looking yet sexy blonde versus the dirty and delightful, bdsm practicing Ivy! Let’s check them out.

Phew! That tiny skirt is too much!

There is nothing tiny about Ivy though, except for her clothes…

While Sophitia teases us with that little skirt and light dress that shows off her chest, Ivy shows us everything while managing to be legal somehow.

Here’s some more food for thought.

 

Victor

soul calibur ivy 25

Ivy

 

 

Bout #2

Cassandra

VS

Talim

Next is the pretty and proper, yet most likely wild Cassandra facing off against the also beautiful and less reserved, yet probably not as wild Talim. I don’t know what they really are like though, but they are both hot, that’s for sure!

Talim with her dark hair and darker skin is like the opposite of Cassandra’s shining blond hair and pale skin.

Victor

 

soul calibur talim 24

Talim

 

Bout #3

Tira

VS

Elysium

 

The terrifying Tira would be more scary than hot if she didn’t show off so much of her incredible body. But actually she’s got a pretty face underneath all her make-up (if that is make-up) and her silly blue hair.

Then angelic Elysium just haphazardly throws a practically see-through sheet over her in the morning and calls it a day.

And it’s hot.

Turns out Elysium doesn’t get much love out there in the world, so I had to reuse some pics.

 

Victor

soul calibur tira 24

Tira

 

Bout#4

Natsu

VS

Viola

The spicy sexy blond Natsu in her skin tight garb is first. Let’s check her out!

 

Now let’s check out the sexy fortune teller lady. She seems to really know how to handle balls…

 

Victor

soul calibur viola 32

Viola

That’s it for round 2! We’ve got out four semi-finalists!

Tournament of Hotties: Soulcalibur- Round 1, Part 2 (Winners Revealed!)

I was requested to do this one, so here goes. My experience with Soulcalibur is very limited. I played Soulcalibur II for GameCube quite extensively, and played Soulcalibur III on PS2 for a few hours, and that was all like 15 years ago, so I don’t remember much, but I’ll do my best. I do remember there being flying skirts, big, bouncing boobs, and a lot of revealing outfits, so that’s a formula I can work with in any case. Alright, let’s see how these weapon-wielding wonders stack up!

Check out part 1 here

Now let’s get to the final hotties in the Soulcalibur roster!!

Round 5

Setsuka

VS

Tira

 

Setsuka, while not appearing to be Japanese at all, is rocking that old Japan style, but with a sexy twist, and she wears it well.

 

 

Tira looks like she’s the daughter of the Joker and Poison Ivy. I’m not entirely sure if that’s a good or bad thing, cuz she’s kind of creepy. But that also means she’s got a really kinky, wild side. And she likes to show off some skin, so woohoo.

Victor

soul calibur tira 12

Tira

 

Round 6

Hilde

VS

Eysium

 

 

Hilde typically chooses to wear armor, which is probably a good thing, since all she does is fight. Unfortunately in a tournament based solely on looks, that’s not so great. When she doffs her armor, however, she’s wearing slightly form fitting clothing that shows off her great body a bit. Works out much better for her than the whole Joan of Arc thing.

 

From what I’ve read, Eysium isn’t a real person, but just takes the form of a woman, and a gorgeous one at that. She only bothers to cover her perfect body with a flimsy sheet. Nice.

Victor

soul calibur eysium 12

Eysium

 

Round 7

 

Leixia

VS

Natsu

 

Leixia is the clone…I mean daughter of Xianghua. They look and dress practically the same. Leixia just looks younger and cuter, which would make sense…

 

I thought for a second this was the Natsu from Fairy Tail. Fortunately this woman is much better looking.

Victor

soul calibur natsu 12

Natsu

 

Round 8

We’ve got ourselves a threesome for this round!

 

Phyrra

VS

Viola

VS

KOS-MOS

Phyrra appears to be the daughter of either Cassandra or Sophitia, and I’m going to guess the former. The father? Judging by her evil side, I’d say Nightmare is the daddy. I knew those girls were wild.

 

Viola really pulls of the sexy fortune-teller look, which I didn’t even know was a thing.

 

This last woman was a guest character in one of the games, but I decided to include her anyway.

KOS-MOS is like some crazy robot chick with revealing robot armor stuff. I mean, that’s cool. And scary. And hot.

Victor

soul calibur viola 12

Viola

That’s it for round 1! See you in round 2!

The Top 10 Video Game Series Soundtracks

As a musician, music is an enormous part of my life. Even without an instrument, listening to music is one of my favorite things to do. As is playing video games. So it stands to reason that music in video games is something I love as well, and fortunately, many games have incredible music. And lots of times, the music in an entire series of video games has consistently amazing soundtracks.

So today, I am going to name what are likely my top 10 favorite series with the best music. Heck, I’ll even throw in my favorite track from each series.

#10

Metroid

metroid music

What initially fascinated me about the music in Metroid as a child was how atmospheric it all was. Not only does it nail the underground space theme, but also always felt foreboding and tense, and yet at the same time, flippin’ awesome. For instance, the boss music in pretty much every game is so intense and frightening. 

And the incredible part is every game manages to achieve this musical nirvana, and I can’t tell you how much that enhances the typically incredible gameplay.

My Favorite Track: “Ridley’s Lair”

What makes this track special, aside from being awesome, is it’s intensity and urgency. It takes place in the area before you finally confront the bastard who stole your Metroid pal. Samus pretty much gets fully powered-up in this area, so you get to run around annihilating the many enemies, while avoiding deadly lava all over the place, and traversing the tricky terrain by mainly Screw Attacking through everything.

This part is intense and a lot of fun, and the music increases every thing tenfold.

#9

WarCraft

warcraft music

So I’m already kind of cheating on this one. The music is very good in this series, but not that much, with the exception of one game…or two I guess. And that is WarCraft II. Holy crap is that music good. It sounds fully orchestrated, but I don’t believe it is.

The music itself is very intense and powerful, and there are more than a few long tracks, perfect for building up your army to go slaughter another. This generally takes a long while, but I always find myself getting lost in the music, so that time seems to fly by while I mindlessly collect resources and build up my base.

Favorite Track: “Disco Song”

This isn’t technically a real song in the game. To get it to play, you have to enter a cheat, which might simply be “disco.” I can’t remember, it’s been like 20 years since I’ve played this game. But the music has stuck with me all these years!

#8

The Legend of Zelda

legend of zelda music

Music has always been a key part in the Zelda series in some shape or form. Every game has an epic, powerful soundtrack filled with killer songs that fit perfectly into the world or area in which they are played over. Not to mention, the songs also portray some heavy emotion, thus amplifying the mood or scenario of whatever is going on at the time. 

Favorite Track: “Midna’s Lament”

This song is played at a tense and urgent, very bleak situation. The track is so beautiful, yet so solemn, reflecting not only the dire need to help out Midna, but also fits in perfectly with the Twilight setting and graphical appearance.

#7

Donkey Kong

dk music

The Donkey Kong series always has amazing music, but none quite compare to the Donkey Kong Country series for Super Nintendo. To be even more specific, DKC2 has one of the most amazing soundtracks of all time. Each track in the series fits the area you are playing in, while also being so stinking good.

Favorite Track: “Kaptain K. Rool Theme”

In a long list of close second’s this one comes out on top. It’s one of the games that makes playing a very hard boss fun, cuz you’re too busy rocking to the music to pay attention to what you’re doing. I can hear all the sound effects in my head just from listening to this.

Fun fact- this song is stuck in my head about 2-3 hours a day.

#6

Mega Man X

mega man x music

This whole series has pretty great music, but just like Donkey Kong, the trilogy on SNES takes the cake. There isn’t anything atmospheric or anything to these songs. They kind of relate to their levels however. There are a lot of Mavericks to kill in this series, and each of their stages has it’s own track, which is pretty amazing to think about.

Favorite Track: “Boomer Kuwanger”

 

It’s been a very long time since I’ve played these games, so most of the music eludes me today. I mean, it’s hard to keep track of several dozen songs after all, but this one has always stuck with me. It’s very powerful and emotional, and gets me so pumped.

#5

Castlevania

richter_n_maria_8151

Hoo boy, talk about a series with incredible music! The later games have eerie, atmospheric music, but back in the early days, the music was pretty much just awesome, intense chip tunes.

Favorite Track: “Bloody Tears”

In a long list of amazing tracks, this one just barely pulls ahead from the rest. It’s so good! Killing hordes of monsters to this tune never gets old!

#4

Mega Man

mega man music

This series has some great music, but all pales in comparison to the NES titles. They are like actual structured songs rather than just a 20 second chip tune repeated over and over.

Favorite Track: “Wily Stage 1-2”

Picking out a song for me was impossible for this series, mainly because I’ve only played each of these games pretty much once, and well over a decade ago. But this song is probably the most well known and for good reason…

This is the perfect song for storming your enemy’s base. It gets me so pumped on top of being a very well put-together song. The rhythms and leads are so fantastic. It’s like listening to a real band trapped inside the NES.

#3

Sonic The Hedgehog

sonic dj

This entire series has fantastic music. It’s always so uplifting and catchy, and chances are there is some song from this series in my head. And while the Genesis games undoubtedly have the best overall, the incredible music has stuck around for pretty much every game since.

Favorite Track: “Live and Learn”

This is the song that plays during the epic final battle in Sonic Adventure 2. This song is so fantastic to be playing as a duo of shiny golden hedgehogs. The first time I ever fought the boss, I became so uplifted and empowered that I lost myself, feeling that I actually was Super Sonic. I beat the boss without getting hit a single time, and had no idea what I was doing the whole time. The music guided me through it.

I have played the boss like six times since, and can hardly beat him without dying now, let alone never getting hit. And what makes this worse, now I know what I’m doing. That first time was truly a bizarre and magical moment in my life.

#2

Kirby

kirby music

When I see people talk about the best video game music and all that, somehow no one ever seems to mention the Kirby series. Literally every single game delivers a jaw-dropping soundtrack. The songs are so technical and creative, and it’s almost more fun to listen to the music than play the actual games, which are almost all really, really fun.

Favorite Track: “King Dedede’s Theme”

It’s really tough to pick out the best of literally like over 100 amazing songs, but this one has to be my favorite. It’s so intense and gets you pumped to kick Dedede’s butt!

#1

Kingdom Hearts

kingdom hearts music

The Kingdom Hearts music takes video game music to places it’s never been before. Every song is carefully crafted and executed. The Disney songs capture the essence of those films, while being revamped to fit the situation or setting that they are played over.

The original tracks are simply beautiful, and filled with the powerful emotions that drive the series’ story.

Whether it’s battling enemies, characters having heart-to-hearts, or watching the sweet trademark opening videos to a Utada Hikaru song, there is an incredible track to go with it. In fact, I fell in love with this series the moment I turned the game on and the “Dearly Beloved” title theme started playing. If a song can grip you so fiercely in mere seconds that you become hopelessly devoted to an entire series, then the composer knows she’s done something right.

The fact that they made a rhythm game featuring most of the tracks from the series is truly a blessing to me.

Favorite Track: “Don’t Think Twice”

This song touches my very soul. It’s so powerful. It perfectly embodies all that the characters have gone through; defeats, heartaches, victories, connections, you can feel it all in these verses and music. And in a crazy convoluted series like this, that says a lot.

It basically says, “Yeah life has sucked for a long time, but everything is going to be okay.”

Simply hearing this song makes me want to play the entire series over again. And it would be worth it, just to hear this song at the end to wrap up the Xehanort arc.

 

So there you have it. Arguably my top 10 favorite music from series’ that I have played and loved most of my life with my favorite track from each one!

 

My Top 10 PlayStation 4 Games

I have barely played my PS4, and the PS5 is already out. That’s when you know your backlog is way too huge. I have 98 games for PS4, and have only played 26 of them. So I thought it time to have this console join all the other top 10 lists I’ve made so far. So from the small percentage of games I’ve played for it, here are my 10 favorite!

#10

the order 1886-listing-thumb-ps4-us-09un14

Ready At Dawn/ SCEA

2015

This is a fascinating take on the Knights of the Round table. The story and action is fantastic, and the weapons are creative and fun. It’s modern science meets steampunk style is unique and wonderful. Only problem is the Lycan encounters aren’t so great and the game is very short. But that hardly matters when everything else is so awesome.

#9

middle-earth shadow of mordor

Monolith Productions/ Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

2014

Using the action formula first seen in Batman: Arkham Asylum, Shadow of Mordor takes you on a journey of a ranger and elf, dead yet somehow not, while you absolutely massacre hundreds of orcs, gaining awesome abilities along the way. The sword combat is fluid and fun to watch, and there’s tons of finishers and whatnot so combat never gets boring. This is a near-perfect action game.

#8

resident evil 7

Capcom

2017

This game blew me away. The first person perspective makes everything much more immersive and tense, the story is great, the dlc is fun and different, and the gameplay is excellent. I especially love the escape room parts… so clever and fun!

#7

the last of us remastered-listing-thumb-01-en-01oct20

Naughty Dog/ SCEA

2014

Aside from the excellent action and stealth gameplay, the story is very excellent and emotional, so much so that my wife, who detests the fact that I play video games, sat and watched me play it every chance she could. Come, to think of it, my brother and cousin told me similar stories.

#6

god of war 4 cover

SCE Santa Monica/ Sony Interactive Entertainment

2018

While the new gameplay isn’t as good as the old style of God of War, it’s still nothing less than incredible. Combine this with the plethora of upgradeable armor, weapon runes and large skill trees, you’ve got yourself an excellent game. The story is marvelous as well.

#5

god of war iii remastered-screen-13-ps4-us-16jun15

Wholesale Algorithms/ SCEA

2015

GoW3 is by far the pinnacle of the series. The story, the weapons/magic, the excellent, flawless gameplay. Slap some smoother graphics and whatever else is involved with remastering it, and you’ve got yourself a better version of one of the best action games of all time.

#4

tomb raider definitive-edition-listing-thumb-01-ps4-us-23dec14

Nixxes Software/ Square Enix

2014

Wow. This game is amazing. Like. Wow. Fun weapons and tools to go with the incredible gameplay. The story is driving and interesting, and watching Laura change into the Croft we all know and love is a thing of beauty. She goes from a near helpless, terrified woman, to a confident, deadly badass, and it’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever witnessed.

#3

infamous SecondSon_04

Sucker Punch/ SCEA

2014

The story and gameplay are superb, simply put. This takes place away from the characters of the first two games, showing how the conduits affect other parts of the world.

The five powers are incredibly unique in this one and each is a blast to use. While I miss Cole and his storyline, there’s no denying this game serves up the best gameplay of them all, not to mention it’s own intriguing story.

#2

kingdom hearts 2.8 sora rikue

Square Enix

2017

Containing essentially a short film explaining some of the back story of major characters from the phone game, a remaster of Dream Drop Distance, and a brand new, albeit short adventure displaying KH beyond a PS2-ish engine for the first time ever, this is one wonderful and welcome pack. The two games are incredibly fun, and the new story elements, in true KH fashion, answer some questions, but leave you with tons more.

#1

kingdom hearts 3-review

Square Enix

2019

I have long believed video games overall have been more or less in a decline after the PS2/GameCube/Xbox era. I feel like we got a lot more out of games back then. KH3 reminded me of those glory days. In fact, seeing how long time has separated KH2 & 3, I was astounded how they managed to keep the feel of the series in that time. They literally just build upon the mechanics of KH2, and even bring in elements from all the other games, to leave us with some truly addicting gameplay. The story is as Kingdom Heartsy as ever, filling out the Xehanort saga, all the while subtly setting us up for a whole new arc. The DLC, Re: Mind makes everything even better. This is easily one of the best games I’ve played in over a decade.

Though it is pretty easy, even on proud mode, but that hardly takes away any of the fun!

And there you have it! My top 10 PS4 games as of right now! Hopefully time will allow me to explore the dozens of other games still waiting for me to play, and hopefully some of them are good enough to make it on this list!

 

My Top 10 Video Games Series

Over the past few years, I’ve been churning out top 10 games on most of the systems I’ve owned, then went outside the box to do other lists, such as the top 10 most occurring years, genres, and developers, to find which were my favorite of those…in a way.

Now I bring to you the top 10 series that most occurred during all those lists, just to find what ones continually impress the heck out of me enough to make the top 10.

And as a bonus, I will even attempt to write up my own personal top 10 list, and see how they compare. So let’s get to it!

*Note that I will be separating some series, such as Mega Man and Mega Man X, as well as the dozens of Mario series like Mario Kart, Mario & Luigi, and Paper Mario.*

As usual with these lists, there are an abundance of ties here…so much so that every game in a series (that I am aware of) will appear on this list, so dig in folks.

#10 A lot

The following games had one game from their series’ appear on my list…

Joe & Mac

Super Mario Maker

Bayonetta

Xeno

Uncharted

Star Wars Battlefront

Dragon Ball Z

Call of Duty

Mega Man Legends

Transformers: War For…

No One Lives Forever

Darksiders

StarCraft

Shadow Warrior

Diablo

Red Faction

Banjo-Kazooie

Golden Axe

Golden Sun

Fire Emblem

Project X Zone

Mario Tennis

The Lord of the Rings

The Last Of Us

Tomb Raider

Whew that’s a bunch!

#9 A Good Number

The next franchises had two games in their respective series’ makes my lists.

RayMan

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Final Fantasy

Star Wars: Jedi Knight

Star Fox

Kid Icarus

Viewtiful Joe

Pokemon

Wario

#8 Just a Handful

These few had three games in their series’ make my lists.

Yoshi

Mario Kart

Castlevania

InFAMOUS

New Super Mario Bros

#7 Another Handful

These had four…

Paper Mario

Mega Man

Mario & Luigi

Mega Man Zero (That’s the entire series!)

Resident Evil

#6 A Trio

These two had 5 games from their series’.

Super Smash Bros

Kirby

God of War

#5 Two More

These appeared 6 times.

Mega Man X

Donkey Kong

#4 Metroid

Holy snowsers! We actually have a single game! Metroid has appeared seven times in my lists.

#3 Two Here

These two made my lists an amazing 8 times!

Sonic The Hedgehog

Kingdom Hearts

#2 Super Mario

This massive series, the ones that start with Super Mario and are his mainline games, made my lists 10 times!

And the most occurring series of them all…

#1 The Legend of Zelda

This wonderful, long-running series trumps them all, with 13 of it’s games making my lists.

And as promised, I bring to you my actual top 10 series. This was pretty tough to do, but I think I’ve got a somewhat true list going on here.

#10 God of War

god of war series

This series redefined action gameplay. I haven’t played the newest one yet, but the rest have all been phenomenal and brutal.

#9 Super Mario

super mario series

This again is only for the game that start with “Super Mario.” Every single one of these games is fantastic, which is pretty amazing to say, given how many there are.

#8 Mario & Luigi

mario and luigi series

Not only are these my favorite RPG’s, thanks to their superbly creative attacks, story, and settings, but they are also hilarious and bizarre.

#7 Donkey Kong

donkey kong series

This is largely thanks to the incredible Donkey Kong Country trilogy on SNES. Those are some of the best platformers to ever come into existence.

#6 InFamous

infamous series

This has some of the most addicting and diverse gameplay, with tons of awesome powers and abilities, great stories and characters, and the best exploration I can think of.

#5 Metroid

metroid timeline

These games are intense, with tons of action, items/power-ups, and exploration to keep you entertained for hours.

#4 Paper Mario

paper mario characters

There is something about this series. They’ve got a certain feel to them that I can’t explain. But I love the stories, the characters, the humor and the gameplay, which nowadays is changed up in every game.

#3 The Legend of Zelda

zelda series

This series always has some charming feel or vibe to them as well. Each of these games are very different, and yet the same, and they are all amazing, with tons of clever items, dungeons and characters to make each second entertaining.

#2 Super Smash Bros

ssb

This series was a dream come true when it originated. Ever since, each game has gotten bigger and better, now by far the most enormous games ever made, with dozens of characters from every notable franchise, and even less notable ones, all duking it out on stages pulled from video game history.

#1 Kingdom Hearts

kh timeline

This series just happens to have my favorite storyline, characters, music, combat, and gameplay of all time. I hit the lottery with this one.

And there you have it. My personal list is a bit different than my other list, but that’s okay, all these games are great and worth noting.

My Top Video Games: The Best of the Best

Over the past few years, I have been ranking the top 10 games on most of the systems I own. Now it is time to rank the game that I chose as number 1 game from each of these, to find out who the best of the best is! I’ve already talked about each game, so I will just attach a link to their respective original posts if you are interested in the games they beat out and such.

 

#15

Sonic & Knuckles

Sonic_&_Knuckles_cover

Sega Genesis

Sonic Team/ Sega

1994

 

 

#14

Metroid II: Return of Samus

Metroid_II_US_boxart

Game Boy

Nintendo

1991

 

#13

Mega Man X4

mmx4

PlayStation

Capcom

1997

 

#12

Transformers: War for Cybertron

War_for_Cybertron

 

PC

Activision/ High Moon Studios

2010

 

#11

inFAMOUS

Infamous-cover

 

PlayStation 3

SUCKER PUNCH/ SCEA

2009

 

#10

Super Mario Bros. 3

Super_Mario_Bros._3_coverart

 

NES

Nintendo

1990

 

#9

Metroid: Zero Mission

Metroid_--_Zero_Mission_(box_art)

Game Boy Advance

Nintendo

2004

 

#8

Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story

Bowsersinsidestorycover

DS

Alphadream Corporation/ Nintendo

2009

 

#7

Super Mario World

Super_Mario_World_Coverart

SNES

Nintendo

1991

 

#6

Super Mario 3D World

super_Mario_3D_World

 

Wii U

Nintendo

2013

 

#5

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

smash brawl

Wii

Game Arts/ Nintendo

2008

 

 

#4

Super Smash Bros. For 3DS

smash 3ds

3DS

Bandai Namco Games/ Nintendo

2014

 

#3

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

ocarina_of_time_box_art

N64

Nintendo

1998

#2

Kingdom Hearts II

kh2 cover

PlayStation 2

Square Enix

2006

 

 

#1

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door

paper mario tyd

GameCube

Intelligent Systems/ Nintendo

2004

 

 

And there you have it!

This isn’t a list of my favorite games of all time, but just my favorite game from each system.

All These Classic Mini Consoles With Pre-loaded Games Need To Stop!!!

Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of re-releasing old consoles in a miniature form for all the people who missed them. But most of them are quite pointless since you can get most of these games on every system for the last 2 generations, except for the upcoming Sega Genesis Classic. But even that, there have been so many Genesis collections that it is completely redundant.

Why not, instead, do these video game companies just release a dedicated mini console that has nothing preloaded on it at all? Instead just let it have an internet connection to something like the PlayStation Store or Nintendo eShop where games of that console can be purchased for cheap. Instead of being forced to have 20-30 games, why not give gamers a huge selection, ideally eventually getting the whole libraries of these systems on there. Yes, I know that is an unrealistic amount of work, but it’s better than releasing the same classic games over and over again on every new console, scamming people into buying them multiple times.

Imagine just buying a cheap NES Classic with no games. You plug it in, hook it up to the internet, search for a game you want, and bam! it is there. Now you have the liberty of searching for every game that ever came out on the system, and you have it forever. If these companies continued to support these mini consoles, then there would be no need to re-release these games every few years on different consoles.

It would be great to buy an SNES classic with nothing preloaded onto it, because I have almost every game on the classic. Instead of buying games I already own, I can search for the games I missed and play them on a dedicated SNES platform where I can digitally buy any SNES game ever made.

Right now I am at the mercy of what has been ported to Wii and Wii U, or else finding a very old copy on eBay or a very expensive copy.

Just think of these companies as physically re-releasing these consoles all over again, and now you have the ability to buy any and all the games you desire, on a system that is capable of running with today’s technology. And if possible, have it able to play all the old cartridges and disks from the original system, which would mean compromising the “mini” part to an extent, but oh well, that’s something we are not really worried about I would venture to say.

Nostalgia Prevents Progression

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

blizzard franchises

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

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

-UPDATE-

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

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

-END UPDATE-

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

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

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

star wars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Final Fantasy IX: This Is What I Missed

At long last, my Final Fantasy marathon ends here…for the time being anyway. And I have to say, it ended with a great game, bringing me back to my early days when I first played FF 8 and 7, as I described in my post about the first game.

After playing through this game, I have come to the conclusion that Final Fantasy didn’t truly become great games until the PlayStation. I really enjoyed 7-9. The more advanced system with it’s “powerful” hardware allowed for some great story telling visually with the beautiful cut scenes, and the bigger space spread out on multiple discs allowed for more in game story told through a much larger world as well.

FF9 was also void of any annoying things that plagued the series from 6 downward. There were only 2 cheap instant death encounters I met the whole game, and it was mainly due to overpowered counter attacks. For once, I could go through the whole game without wanting to pull my hair out.

Gone too are the obnoxious amounts of random encounters. Most games had you fighting endless amounts of battles for little experience. FF9 reversed that by having less battles with more experience, and that is just fine by me!

The skill system is great in this game as well. Each equipable item has skills attached to them that can teach one specific character something, or multiple people. This is truly great, for by the end of the game, all your characters know a vast amount of skills that you can equip to fit your needs at any time.

The story isn’t great, but it’s enjoyable enough, and there is great character development. The ending, however, is very weak and unnecessarily long for such a disappointing  payoff. But the character development sort of makes up for that though.

The only real complaints I have about the game is that the encounters take way too long to start…like over 10 seconds you have to wait before the battle begins. First it kind of loads, then you are forced to watch as the camera unnecessarily scrolls through your environment, as if the developers were so proud of the world they created. Then your party and the enemies magically fade in to existence and then finally the fight begins…which brings me to my second complaint.

The fighting seems so delayed. It is so slow moving. Sometimes you just are sitting there waiting for something to happen. Even when you have given each member something to do, everyone just kind of dances around for a while, then the enemies go, then one of your characters attack, then the enemy might go again after waiting, then wait some more for one of your guys to go. Honestly, if you tell all four of your characters to do something, it might take close to 2 minutes for your fourth character to finally go. By the time they do, the other 3 have already refilled the battle meter thing and have new commands already inputted. When that fourth character finally goes, you had forgotten what you told them to do and a lot of the time, the flow of the battle has shifted by then so that their attack or whatever is more or less useless.ff9 battle.jpg

But other than that, it is a fun game that I really enjoyed. Now I can finally understand why these games have some kind of following. It only took 9 games and 15 years.

As always, I will rank the games from best to worst. This time though, I will include 7 & 8, though it is a little unfair since I never beat them completely.

FFIX

FFVIII

FFVII

FFVI

FFII

FFIV

FFV

FFIV: The After Years

FF

Final Fantasy VI: One of the Greatest Games of All Time?

Continuing on with my marathon of Final Fantasy, I have just beaten number 6 and thought it also worthy to comment on.

For most of my life, I have heard that this is one of the best games of all time, and most people claim this one or Final Fantasy VII as the best in the series. Sure enough, if you look at best games of all time lists, FFVI will likely be at least in the top 20, and for best SNES game lists (as Final Fantasy 3), it will be in the top 5, if not the top 3.

So, you would think I would go into this game with incredibly high expectations. But don’t worry, I treated this like most any movie or game I play…meaning I went in with no expectations…well if anything, they were probably a little low judging by what I think of all the games prior.

What I found was that I was right in not expecting much. The game is mediocre, like the rest of them, and I certainly wouldn’t put it anywhere near “best games of anything.” And yeah, VII is way better. And VII isn’t even my favorite.

But that is not to say that this game was bad though. It was just okay. First let me mention what the game does well.

All the games prior to this one followed a basic format. Walk around on the world map, go to towns, then to some dungeon or cave or castle, fight stuff and kill something or find something, rinse and repeat. While this game does that as well, it doesn’t feel like it. All the environments are very varied and fun to traverse through. The environments just look great and don’t give the game a boring, repetitive feel like some of the others did. In terms of scenery and setting, yes this game is by far the best out of the first 6 games.

They also relaxed a bit on random encounters, making it bearable to walk around in this game. This is a huge plus for me. And what’s more, they even let up on the unbelievably annoying, and seemingly constant status effects. So, in other words, the gameplay is the best I’ve seen so far as well, well except for maybe FF4.

Honestly, through most of the game, it is pretty fun and a solid game overall. I like how the story dictated what characters you could use about half of the time, instead of just picking four of the 14 possible characters and just using them throughout the entire game like a lot of RPG’s do. The story itself started out interesting, but then it just kind of stopped halfway through the game and turned out to be not so great.

I like how every character could learn any spell by equipping the summons. That was a nice touch.

The best addition to this game is the fact that you keep all your experience if you die. You will start at the last time you saved like all the other games, but this time you kept all that hard earned experience, making it easier to ensure you aren’t always underleveled.

So yeah, not a terrible game. But here is what kind of ruined it for me. Instead of having annoying status effects all the time, this game loved putting in enemies that would counterattack after you killed them. This became quite annoying, as these counters were generally very strong. There is even one part where you only have one character in your party, and when you kill a certain enemy, it countered by casting a spell that turns you into stone. In other words, that’s an instant game over. That is just cheap and/or horrible game design! You shouldn’t be able to find yourself in that kind of situation! And towards the end of the game there are enemies that when killed, instantly kill one of your party members. Why? You just wind up running from them, because you typically fight two of them along with another enemy. It is not worth using the items or magic it cost to revive two characters that are guaranteed to die. This should not be in the game. It doesn’t bring any challenge to the game, it is just an annoying, cheap, unfair way of inconveniencing the player. But you can’t have a Final Fantasy game without those factors involved, it seems!

 

And speaking of death after battle, there is a spell that puts a timer on one of your characters, usually about 30 seconds. When it drops to 0, that person is dead. But you would think that when you defeated all the enemies in that battle that the counter would stop. But no, it doesn’t. After killing the enemies, the amount of gold, experience and any items you get all show up one at a time, and that counter is still going, so if you take too long to read your rewards or if the counter is very low at the end of the battle, you can count on having to revive the character after the battle.

Image result for final fantasy 6 death counter

Another issue with this game is the frame rate during battles. It just randomly slows down badly, often messing up my timing and so many times I’ve used the wrong attack or targeted the wrong thing because the game was too busy sucking to register my button inputs.

But all that is tolerable. What really killed me was the end of the game. As a child, in every RPG, I would switch out all the characters and level them all equally, only to find that towards the end, I was horribly underleveled and had to grind four characters to make them adequate enough to beat the game. So after falling into this trap a whole lot of times, I learned to just pick four characters from the get go, and things got a whole lot easier. It turns out, for FF6, I would have been better off playing this game as a child. For the last area of the game, without any warning or chance to back out and prepare, you have to choose 12 of the 14 characters and split them up into three groups. Most of the characters were within 5 levels of each other thanks to the story having you always using different characters, but most of the time I used the same 4, who were much, much, much stronger than the rest. So now I had to divide them up to carry my weaker members. But I didn’t know this was going to happen, so everyone had crappy gear, didn’t know many useful spells, and were slightly underleveled. I also never got a chance to buy a bunch of items to keep me alive.

So what did I have to do? I had to unequip all the characters I wasn’t using and equip the group I was using with the best possible stuff I had. Thank goodness I never sold any equipment, for some members were stuck with old crappy weapons, but this was better than having none at all.

To make matters worse, the strength of your enemies seemed to have tripled. These fights would have been easy with my A-Team, but now they were downright difficult. The game doesn’t give you enough magic points to use any offensive spells, you had to save it all for healing, and I barely had enough to do that. My saving grace throughout the whole game were 3 items that allowed you to equip two weapons and double attack on each round. So yeah, I beat the entire game more or less just using physical attacks. It was cool.

But anyway, after dying a bunch of times, they eventually all grew a few levels thanks to keeping your XP when you die. Once I finally reached the end of one section, I had to unequip all my weapons, armor, relics and summons, so that they would be available for the next group, then painstakingly equip it all on them. So I just kept moving on, fighting a bunch of bosses with my three underleveled/undergeared groups and somehow managed to eventually beat it. I progressed through the game fairly quickly and easily, but I was in the last area for around 4 hours before I conquered it. The worst part is there is a long boring scene before the last boss that you can’t skip. The first time I fought him, I didn’t know what I was doing, because all your characters might have to fight him, so I ended up fighting him with all completely unequipped characters and died immediately. Then I had to watch the long boring scene again, and lose to the boss again. After the second failure, I understood what was going on, and after once again watching the long boring scene, I went all out and beat him. By the end of it, I was sick of the game.

Image result for final fantasy 6 kefka

But they had one more great surprise for me at the end. A long…oh my God, how long…boring…seemingly never ending scene. I kid you not, between the ending and the credits, its over 20 minutes long. The credits are terrible even! Instead of the traditional scrolling text, they opted to just show an airship floating around through clouds while occasionally showing a name or two at time. I mean, it is so uninteresting AND SO F-ING LONGGGGG!

And the game suddenly becomes obsessed with this woman you never even see in the game having a baby. Like towards the end, you go into this town you’ve been to a couple times before, and she’s all the people can talk about all of a sudden. Who is she and why should I care? She isn’t important to the story. She doesn’t do anything useful at all. And then when you beat the game, like 3 minutes of the ending scene is dedicated to this woman. Who is she? Is it just supposed to be some weird happy ending, symbolizing that things live on and grow in the aftermath of chaos? It’s just stupid.

So the game is pretty good until the last dungeon. That is the point I am trying to make I suppose.

To rank them from best to worst, I would say

FF2

FF4

FF6

FF5

FF4: The After Years

FF