Friday, December 2, 2011

Super Mario 3D Land: My Newest Adventure in the Mushroom Kingdom

I much like my dear turd Timo recently purchased a 3DS. Unlike him though I bought the red Super Mario 3D Land bundle and not the Zelda Ocarina of Time Bundle. The following is my short review of the game.

It was pretty good. I mean it is Mario. It doesn't reinvent the wheel because it doesn't need to. It certainly isn't the best Mario game ever made (see Mario Bros. 3) but it isn't the worst either (see Mario 2 Japanese version).

-Tanuki suit is back and despite its lack of real flight capabilities it is still awesome.
-Graphics and Music are great, especially for a handheld. Seeing as this is my first 3DS game I was impressed.
-Good level design with some fun throw backs to classic Mario Games/

-TOO EASY. Veteran Mario players will have no problem besting this game. It took me about 4 or 5 days to beat the game as both Mario and Luigi, get every star coin, and hit the top of the flag pole on every level.

The ease of the game could ruin it for some people but it didn't really bother me. I don't expect extreme difficulty from Mario. It is a game that is probably best suited for a first time Mario player or a younger kid, but I still think most Mario fans would enjoy it. I'd say at least pick it up used in a couple months or so if you don't feel like paying full price for such a short game.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I bit the bullet. I bought a 3DS.

There I was... standing in the Nintendo aisle at Best Buy... It was Black Friday.

It was my duty as an American. I had to buy it. The bargain was too great. Plus, I could purchase a special edition. I have in my hands a special Legend of Zelda 3DS. It's very, very cool.

I feel a little bit guilty, but it was the first sunlight I had tasted since the release of Skyrim and Saints Row: the Third. I was feeling saucy. I haven't posted in quite a while, but let me tell you that I don't regret this purchase a single bit anymore.

I can play Ocarina of Time while a take a poopoo.

God bless America.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Day the Dorks Disappeared

It is here. Skyrim is out. Millions of pale kids across the world are becoming even paler. For those of you with loved ones who enjoy magic, dragons, and role playing games. Stay strong, in about a month your friends and family will start talking about other stuff and we can return to our normal lives.

Thursday, November 10, 2011



Dragons are like super awesome and they breathe fire and fly and can burn houses and eat people and stuff and they aren’t in any other video games ever made ever. This is revolutionary.

This doesn’t count cause that is a robot dragon and everybody knows robots break when you pour water on them cause they suck. Also Mega Man is pink and pink is for little pussys who don’t play SKYRIM

This doesn’t count because he is purple and looks like he wants to touch you in inappropriate places also because its not SKYRIM and SKYRIM IS THE GREATEATS EVAR.


Magic is awesome! Have you ever been like: “aw man, I wish I could set something on fire?” well in SKYRIM you can learn magic and set things on fire and be a wizards! Harry Potter was a wizard, and he got lots of girlfriends and Hippogriffs. So if you play SKYRIM you will also get girlfriends and Hippogriffs. (you could use magic in Oblivion, but it doesn’t count because all anybody ever did was use charm spells to grope people’s boobies and giggle to themselves. Tee hee.)


As we all know here at Use Blogs Wisely, the only important thing about a video game is how good it looks. Nothing else matters about it. If you had to look at your girlfriend or look at SKYRIM, you would choose SKYRIM every single time because it looks better than her. The graphics look better than a clothes- less Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alyson Hannigan making out while they cook bacon for you. At a circus. And circuses are fun.



Monday, November 7, 2011

Things I Learned From Nes (That I Should've Known Were Wrong)

Video Games teach us things. Old video games taught me most of what I know. Most of what I know is illogical.

Super Mario Bros. 3
- Racoons can fly.

- If you run out of money or ammo human hearts will do the job just fine.

Silver Surfer
- Pumpkins can kill super heroes.
- So can everything else.

Mike Tyson's Punchout
- Size doesn't matter. :(

Bible Adventures
- Noah single handedly captured all the animals for the ark and carried them to the ship.

Maniac Mansion
- Aliens drink Pepsi.
- Emptying your pool will cause a nuclear explosion.

Bubble Bobble
- Bubbles can support a persons weight as long as they jump up and down quickly.

Mega Man
- Scissors beats electricity. Yeah try sticking a pair of scissors in an outlet and see if you beat it.

The Legend of Zelda
- Ladders are for crossing rivers.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Why My Girlfriend Never Worries About Other Women

I am bored, and I feel this blog needs an update, and since I don't feel very creative I have decided to share the contents of my current collection of games with you fine readers.

This is not a complete list as quite a few of my cartridge based games are at home do to a lack of storage space in a dorm room.

Atari 2600
Magnavox Odyssey 2
NES(Top Loader)
Gamecube(both Silver and Black)
Sega Genesis (With a power base converter for Master System Games)
Sega Saturn
Xbox 360 Slim

Hand Helds:
Original Gameboy
Game Boy Pocket
Game Boy Color
Virutal Boy
Game Boy Advance SP
Nintendo 3DS
Sega GameGear
Sega Nomad



1943 (in box)
A Boy and His Blog: Trouble in Blobolonia
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Adventure Island (in box)
Adventure Island II
Adventures of Lolo
Bandai Golf Challenge Pebble Beach
Batman Returns
Batman Revenge of the Joker
Battle Toads
Bible Adventures
Big Birds Hide & Speak
Bill and Ted's Excellent Video Game Adventure (This game is most unexcellent)
Bionic Commando
Bubble Bobble
Captain Skyhawk
Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
Chip N' Dale Rescue Rangers
Clash at Demonhead
Clu Clu Land
Darkwing Duck
Dick Tracy
Dig Dug II
Disney Adventures in the Magic Kingdom
Double Dragon
Double Dragon II: The Revenge
Double Dragon III: The Rosetta Stone
Dr. Chaos (In box)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Dragon Warrior
Dragon Warrior II
Duck Tales
Duck Tales 2
Excite Bike
Exodus Journey to the Promised Land
Final Fantasy
Flying Warriors (In box)
Friday the 13th
Ghostbusters II
Ghosts 'N Goblins
Ikari Warriors
Joust (In box)
Kid Icarus
King of Kings the Early Years
Kirby's Adventure
Kung Fu
Life Force
Maniac Mansion
Master Chu and the Drunkard Hu
Mega Man
Mega Man 2
Mega Man 3(WOOOOO!)
Mega Man 4
Mega Man 5
Mega Man 6
Mega Man Ultra
Mermaids of Atlantis The Riddle of The Magic Bubble
Mickey Mousecapade
Mike Tyson's Punch Out
Milon's Secret Castle
Monster Party
Mr. Gimmick (Reproduction)
Muppet Adventure Chaos at the Carnival
Nes Open Tournament Golf
Ninja Gaiden
Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos
Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom
Pac-Man (Tengen)
River City Ransom
Silver Surfer
Smash TV (in box)
Solomon's Key
Street Fighter 2010
Super C
Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt
Super Mario Bros. 2
Super Mario Bros. 3 (in and out of box)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project
Tetris (not the good Tengen Version)
The Legend of Zelda
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
The Three Stooges
Thrilla's Surfari (in box)
Tiny Toon Adventures
Top Gun
Top Gun The Second Mission
Trolls on Treasure Island
Wally Bear and the No Gang
Where's Waldo
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Wrecking Crew
Yo Noid

The Adventures of Dr. Franken
Batman Forever
Chrono Trigger
Contra III: The Alien Wars
Donkey Kong Country
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble
Earthworm Jim
Final Fantasy III(IV, in box)
Gradius III
Kirby's Dream Land 3
Lester the Unlikely
Mario Paint
Mega Man 7
Mega Man X
Mega Man X2
Mega Man X3
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
Mortal Kombat II
Mortal Kombat III
NBA Jam Tournament Edition
Super Castlevania IV
Super Empire Strikes Back (in box)
Super Mario Kart
Super Mario RPG
Super Mario World
Super Punch-Out!!
Super Street Fighter II
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time
Tetris Attack
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Ultimate Mortal Kombat III
Zombies Ate My Neighbors

Buck Bumble
Donkey Kong 64
Kirby 64 The Crystal Shards
Mario Kart 64
Mario Party
Mario Party 2
Mario Party 3
Mega Man 64
Perfect Dark
Pokemon Puzzle League
Pokemon Snap
Pokemon Stadium
Pokemon Stadium 2
Starfox 64
Super Mario 64
Super Smash Bros.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Backyard Baseball
Enter The Matrix
Mario Kart Double Dash
Mario Party
Mega Man Anniversary Collection
Sonic Adventure 2: Battle
Sonic Adventure DX
Sonic Mega Collection
Super Mario Sunshine
The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker

Animal Crossing City Folk
Donkey Kong Country Returns
Kirby's Epic Yarn
Mario Kart Wii
Metroid Prime 3
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Nights Journey of Dreams
Pokemon Battle Revolution
Sonic and the Secret Rings
Super Mario Galaxy
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess
Wii Play
Wii Sports
Wii Sports Resort

Sega Genesis:
These games are at home and I cannot remember what I have

Sega Saturn:
Bug Too!
Mortal Kombat Trilogy
Nights Into Dreams
Street Fighter the Movie
X-Men Children of the Atom

Playstation 1:

Atlantis the Lost Empire
Colony Wars Vengeance
Crash Bandicoot
Crash Bandicoot 2 Cortex Strikes Back
Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped
Crash Bash
Crash Team Racing
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Jet Moto 3
Mega Man 8
Mega Man X4
Monster's, Inc. Scream Team
Pac-Man World
Spyro the Dragon
Spyro the Dragon 2 Ripto's Rage
Spyro the Dragon 3 Year of the Dragon
Star Wars Episode 1 Jedi Power Battles
Tai Fu Wrath of the Tiger
Twisted Metal 4
Twisted Metal III

Playstation 2:

Dragon Ball Z Budokai
Dragon Ball Z Budokai 2
Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3
God of War
Grand Theft Auto III
Grand Theft Auto Vice City
Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance
Mortal Kombat Deception
Onimusha 2 Samurai's Destiny
Onimusha 3 Demon Siege
Onimusha Warlords
Twisted Metal: Black


Big Bumpin'
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds
Halo 2
Pocket Bike Racer
Sneak King
Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith
The Matrix Path of Neo

Xbox 360:

Batman Arkham City
Battlefield 2 Modern Combat
Bionic Commando
Dead Rising
Fable II
Fable III
Guitar Hero II
Guitar Hero III
Guitar Hero Metallica
Guitar Hero Van Halen
Guitar Hero World Tour
Halo 3
Halo 3: ODST
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
Halo Reach
Kameo Elements of Power
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2
Marvel Vs. Capcom 3
Mortal Kombat
Perfect Dark Zero
Rock Band
Rock Band 2
Sonic Unleashed
Transformers War for Cybertron

Exodus Journey to the Promised Land
Kirby's Dream Land
Kirby's Dream Land 2
Mega Man II
Mega Man IV
Pokemon Gold
Pokemon Pinball
Pokemon Puzzle Challenge
Pokemon Yellow
Street Fighter II
Super Mario Land
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fall of the Foot Clan
The Legend of Zelda Links Awakening DX
The Legend of Zelda Oracle of Ages
The Legend of Zelda Oracle of Seasons

Gameboy Advance:
Donkey Kong Country
The Legend of Zelda the Minish Cap
Pokemon Emerald
Pokemon Leaf Green
Pokemon Ruby
Pokemon Sapphire

Chrono Trigger
Mario Kart DS
New Super Mario Bros.
Pokemon Black
Pokemon Heart Gold
Pokemon Platinum
Super Mario 64 DS

The Legend of Zelda the Ocarina of Time
Mario Kart 7
Sonic Generations
Super Mario 3D Land

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bragging Rights: My Top 5 NES Achievements

As I have made abundantly clear on this blog before, I like to play NES games.  Like all NES gamers i have eventually tried my hand at some of the hardest games on the system, and here is my list of what i believe were some of the most difficult games, or challenges, that i have managed to conquer. 

5. Bible Adventures: Baby Moses.

Unlike the other games on this list the difficulty in beating this game is not based on genuine fair challenge, but instead is based instead on how dreadful the game is.  It is both mind numbingly dull, with music that is worthy of my last post, and has some of the sloppiest control I have ever encountered in my life. If you play this game you will constantly find yourself sliding off of platforms, and if that doesn't make you give up then you will probably quit when you realize that the only fun thing about the game is the novelty of owning it.  I am really not even proud of this one.  Playing this game is a waste of time.

4. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
The black sheep of the Zelda family, and one of my favorite (I have only played the first 4 games as of yet), is definitely one of the more challenging games on the NES.  Even if you are a seasoned professional of the Zelda series you will most likely be thrown for a loop when you begin this game, because unlike other games in the series this one is a side scroller.  This deviation in play style is the main cause of difficulty, because it catches you off guard.  Killing some enemies requires a great deal more skill than in the original Zelda, as you have to worry about low and high blocking and attacking. Mastery of this style of fighting becomes important very early in the game as you will encounter darknuts that are constantly moving their shields up and down and stabbing at different heights.  If you can adjust to this combat style though, and deal with starting at the beginning room every time you run out of lives, this game is definitely worth playing.  Unlike some of the forthcoming games on this list, Zelda II manages to balance out its extreme difficulty with a degree of fun that makes you want to keep playing, and for the most part keeps you from feeling too frustrated. (Death mountain is probably the exception to this idea, and is one of the main reasons this game is on the list.)

3. Mega Man 3
This game is a little bit different than the other ones on the list, because the achievement this time is not just beating the game, something I can do with ease. This time my accomplishment is beating a large portion of the game with one hand. And you are probably asking yourself "why would someone do that?" The answer is simple, I was bored. I don't know if it is something that I should be proud of, but it did leave me with a sense of satisfaction to destroy those vile robot masters with one hand tied behind my back. If anyone has a favorite game they want to add some extra challenge to I recommend they give this method a whirl.

2. Castlevania
Now we are getting serious.  Anyone who has played this game knows it does not f%#k around.

Right from the onset players will notice that Castlevania not only has some pretty limiting and hard to master jumping controls, but it is also full to the brim with enemies that come at you in seemingly endless packs. This alone would be enough to make most players want to stop, but right around the 3rd or 4th area of the game, the real trouble becomes abundantly clear as you come across your first death pits. The awkward jumping would be enough trouble here, but Konami decided it needed to be even harder, so every time you get hit anywhere near a pit you are almost guaranteed to fly backwards into said pit.

For awhile this is all still very manageable challenge, highly frustrating make you want to rip your hair out manageable, but manageable none the less, and then you make it to level 5 (in particular the last screen before the boss). It is at this point that the amount of enemies in the game seems to really get out of control, and the amount of hits each one of these enemies takes, even with your most powerful weapon, is more than twice as many hits as it takes for them to kill you. This, while extremely infuriating, isn't the worst part. The worst part is that in order to beat death (the boss of this stage, and probably the hardest one in the game), you basically have to finish all of the levels in stage 5 without dying once to make sure you have the triple shot and the holy water. If you can manage that then you should be able to make your way through the last stage, and defeat Dracula, and then you can be cool (read a giant loser) like me.

1. Ninja Gaiden
Here it is. Not only the hardest NES game I have ever finished, but simply the hardest game I have ever beaten in my life. Take everything I said about enemies and being knocked back in Castlevania and multiply it by 10 and you will have a basic understanding of why this game is difficult. Add to that the fact that any enemy that is anywhere near the edge of the screen, and I mean if one stray pixel is even slightly close the edge, then the enemy will instantly respawn after you kill them. Oh yeah and most of the time when an enemy is touching the side of the screen they are right on the edge of a pit, so you can expect to fall into about a million pits if you are going to attempt to beat this game.

Unlike Castlevania, when you play this game you pretty much spend the whole time thinking that it cannot be beaten. There is almost no difficulty curve, the entire game is impossibly hard, and you are at a constant level of frustration the whole time you play, with one exception. The last stage of this game, all the way up to the last boss takes the already seemingly insurmountable difficulty and quadruples it. Each level takes about 20 deaths and that many minutes to beat, and every time you die even once on any of the 3 forms of the boss (which are definitely not easy) your ass gets sent all the way back to stage 6-1. Nothing compares to the frustration you feel when you make it through all the levels after hours of work only to be sent back after fighting the boss for about 30 seconds. The only emotion of equal intensity is the excitement and glee that you feel when you finally manage to overcome this evil sadistic tortuous game.

Special thanks to:
My lack of ability at sports for making this all possible.

Willtacular and Chris Ratsabout for their support during my attempts to beat Ninja Gaiden.

Kyle Davidson for deriving too much enjoyment from Baby Moses and providing incentive to keep playing that piece of crap.

My girlfriend Celia for putting up with my geeky need to spend hours trying to master games that are over 20 years old.

My older siblings for playing NES and inspiring me to do the same.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sorry For The Silence

Hey I know we haven't been posting on here lately. This is mostly due to the fact that it is the summer and we like to chillax during the summer. Understand just how lazy we are that writing our insignificant thoughts about our primary interests is too much work for us.

Sadly, this post is not me getting back to writing, it is me saying that I will be getting back to writing for this blog sometime in the near future (once I get back to school where I actually have the internet). This post is just me updating all 5 of you about what journeys in the world of gaming I have taken this summer, and thus let you know what topics you could potentially be reading about in the near future.

My First (nonpokemon)RPG: Chrono Trigger
I have never given RPGs a chance. I only ever played one final fantasy game on a playstation demo disc as a kid, and thought it was boring. This lead to me abstaining from the genre. This changed when the collector in me couldn't help but purchase Chrono Trigger at a used game store. I played it, I loved it, I'll write more about it on another day.

As a kid I never played any of the Zelda games, and as a collector of games I have acquired a lot of them. Last summer I decided to change this first fact and play through them all in the order that I would have had I had a chance to play them when they were released. I am currently on Ocarina of Time, or as it is more commonly called TEH GREATEST GAME EVAR MADE!!1!11!!!!! I will most likely write about my feelings on all the games I have played so far once I finish OoT.

My other time spent gaming has largely been in the norm for me, so whatever else I write about will have to come as a surprise. I'll update you adoring fans soon.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

It's Offical

Our friends suck.

This past weekend, ProtoScott and myself got the opportunity to play some head-to-head Mortal Kombat (basically, all of them). The event was meant to be a gathering of old fans and newcomers, however the turnout was disappointingly limited and ended up being primarily a long series of battles between ProtoScott and myself. Regardless, it was a fun time overall. It was an especially good opportunity to recap and replay the Mortal Kombat games as a series.

Mortal Kombat (1993 SNES port)

Started a gaming phenomenon that captured hearts of gamers with its brutal moves and captivating characters. Unfortunately, we played the SNES port (no gore = snore). It was an experience, to say the least, going back to the roots of the games. As a fighting game, it contains no outstanding mechanics; our newcomer friends were not amused. If you're going to play a fighting game on the SNES, just play Street Fighter II (or another MK game).

ProtoScott's comment: Kano's censored heart rip fatality is hilarious.

ProtoScott's memory: I remember spending a lot of time trying to get the stage fatality on the pit.

H.A. Timo's comment: Sonya is tier 1.

H.A. Timo's memory: Sonya is tier 1.

Mortal Kombat II (1993 SNES port)

This toasty installment is considered by many to be the defining game in the series. It greatly expanded upon the characters and concepts created in the first game. The graphics are more crisp, the stages are darker, and the special moves are even cooler. Unfortunately, our saibot friends (see what I did there) were not very good competition for the fury that was ProtoScott and myself.

ProtoScott's comment: Ow wha? (Foul ball????)

ProtoScott's memory: Kitana's picture

H.A. Timo's comment: I really love this game; I was lucky enough recently to find and purchase a copy of the game with the box and manual included. Sick nasty!

H.A. Timo's memory: the deadpool stage really defines the game for me.

Ultimate Mortal Kombat III (1995 SNES port)

We would've played vanilla MKIII for the sake of completion, but this game is just superior. The most notable aspect of this game is the addition of a run button that gives the attacker an advantage over a defender. There are lots of cool characters, and the plot really takes off. A darn fun game, but the series really takes a turn for the goofy (especially manifest in the fatalities).

ProtoScott's comment: Smoke's "end of the world" fatality is lame

ProtoScott's memory:  in certain fatalities, the arms get left hanging in the air when the torso gets ripped off.

H.A. Timo's comment: Stryker is a cool dude who doesn't afraid of anything.

H.A. Timo's memory: the robots

Mortal Kombat Trilogy (1996 Sega Saturn version)

THIS GAME IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!! (Timo says)

Absolutely the best of the classic Mortal Kombats. (ProtoScott says)

The game includes every character from the first three games and uses the fast-paced fighting mechanics from MKIII (sort of the Mortal Kombat Armageddon for its time, if that parallel helps anyone). What more is there to say? Definitely a cool game.

ProtoScott's comment: way too hard, even playing as Shao Kahn.

ProtoScott's memory: some nice comebacks against Timo

H.A. Timo's comment: Rayden rules.

H.A. Timo's memory: a couple of my siblings got this for me when I was 11 for Christmas. It was a tight gift.

Mortal Kombat Gold (Dreamcast 1999)

An updated version of MK4, the first 3D Mortal Kombat game. It introduced a lot of lame characters, but also brought back lots of old classics (like Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, and Sonya). It plays a lot like the 2D games, and is kind of an awkward bridge between the newer generation of MK and the original. Fun game, but punishes noobs.

ProtoScott's comment: Fujin is the only new character I found interesting.

ProtoScott's memory: rented it once (MK4 on N64)

H.A. Timo's comment: there's weapons, that's pretty cool.

H.A. Timo's memory: never really played it until now: fun game.

Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (2002, PS2)

Oh yeah, this game's a fun one. This game marks the real beginning of the 3D era. It's certainly not as smooth to control as the original trilogy, but it introduces some new features. Each character has the usual special attacks, but they also can switch between two different fighting styles and a weapon. The fighting styles are a neat feature, but combos are hard to learn and remember. Fights between beginners usually consist of lots of jabs and special moves.

ProtoScott's comment: this is the game that got me back into the MK series. Got it through the best video game trade ever (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance).

ProtoScott's memory: the fateful day when I unlocked "Cooking with Scorpion" in the Krypt.

H.A. Timo's comments: Mokap!

H.A. Timo's memory: my best friend in elementary school rented it once and we played it for a whole day; it was amazing, and we even beat the arcade ladder together.

Mortal Kombat: Deception (2004, Xbox)

Probably the first MK game to tell its story within the realm of gameplay. As an effective sequel, Deception takes the concepts from MKDA and improves upon them. The game includes new features like chess kombat and puzzle kombat. It's a great game, yet again, but not very easy for beginners to pick up. Also of note, it features some of the most forgettable new characters. You folks remember Dairou? I don't think so.

ProtoScott's comment:Shredder-Sub-Zero rules!

ProtoScott's memory: Playing chess kombat late into the night.

H.A. Timo's comments: Noob-Smoke is top-tier.

H.A. Timo's memory: playing against my brother (he played Kobra, I played Noob-Smoke).

Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (2006, Xbox)

We didn't play the game that night. It's a bad game. It really is. The character roster consists of every MK character up to that point (excluding Khameleon, who is on the wii version), which sounds good on paper; however, the quality and variety of each character is limited by the memory that is taken up by all of these characters. Of note in this title is the Kreate-a-Fighter mode which is fun to mess around with. Mechanically, the game was executed poorly.

ProtoScott's comment: Kreate-a-Fatality ruined MK

ProtoScott's memory: watching Timo write about the game just now

H.A. Timo's comment: awful game, but I think it's a lot of fun

H.A. Timo's memory: messing with Kreate-a-Fighter with willtacular

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (2008, Xbox 360)

Somehow, this odd-sounding combination works. It's easy to pick up for nubs, and the characters look very cool (especially bats and supes!). Really, its not gameplay that draws us in; it's all about the characters. Overall, it's a novelty experience. Fun to pit the different DC heroes against each other. Most players ignore playing as any MK characters.

ProtoScott's comment: Shazaam! Captain Marvel FTW

ProtoScott and H.A. Timo's joint memory: late night, round three, specks of health each, Batman (ProtoScott) vs. Superman (Timo). Trick batarang for the Batman victory before Supes can get heat vision off.

H.A. Timo's comment: hmmmm... Shazaam?

Mortal Kombat (2011, Xbox 360)

I'm really tired of writing about these games, but this one is worth the effort. This game takes everything that was great about the classic MK games and multiplies it by nine. It features a hardy roster of classic characters who each have unique moves and play-styles. The fatalities have been taken to the next level, and the old hyperviolence of the original fatalities have been resurrected in the form of the new x-ray attacks. Players can unleash brutal mini-combos called x-ray moves on their opponents that zoom in on the damage each hit causes. By far, this game is the most satisfying fighting game to play: great (easy to learn, difficult to master) controls, beautiful visuals, and presents the most captivating story of any fighting game yet made. Play it.

ProtoScott's comment: I make this look easy.

ProtoScott's memory: I already look fondly upon beating Shao Kahn in story mode.

H.A. Timo's comment: Police brutality, comin' up!

H.A. Timo's memory: Playing online tag-team mode with willtacular.

Coming soon...

Our response to the Mortal Kombat movies. Both of them.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Round 1


The other night, ProtoScott and myself got a chance to play some head-to-head Mortal Kombat 9. For such a carnal, competitive game, I think we both found it to be a wonderful bonding experience.

This post is in anticipation of an upcoming update that will be in the works soon. I hope to chronicle the power of gaming in building friendships and creating cherished memories. I will be housesitting for my parents this next weekend; thus, many wonderful folks will come visit me to play some video games. This time, the gathering will be Mortal Kombat themed. Spines will be ripped, heads will be removed, limbs will be chopped, and warm feelings of camaraderie will be nurtured. Ideally, the evening will end in friendship.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sound Test: The Epic Fail Edition

As the 6 readers of this blog that aren't writers of this blog know, our most consistent feature is our monthly Sound Test where we (Timo, and one time me) pick some of our favorite video game music in order to share our favorite tunes with you. Timo and I were recently discussing this segment and came up with an idea for a fun little twist, we are also going to start sharing some of our least favorite songs with you. I don't know if this will be as regular an occurrence as the normal Sound Test blogs, but it should be fun none the less, so lets get started by cranking up the volume and listening to 2 of my least favorite pieces of 8 bit diarrhea.


First up on the plate we have the over world music from Friday the 13th on the NES. Unfortunately, this song is such an affront to the ears that no one has taken the time to give it its own youtube video, so we will have to make due with this video that compiles all the songs in the game. The song we are after is the first one in the video so don't worry about scrolling to look for it. That 4 second looped pathetic excuse for music is the main song in the game. This is the song that you will be listening to for over 70% of your play time. I guarantee you that if you play this game for more than an hour (which would be amazing the quality of this song pretty accurately reflects the quality of the game) you will forever have this piece of putrid garbage burned into your brain. I swear sometimes at night I can't sleep because every time I lay in a quiet room all I can hear is DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH, and I know that it is impossible for you to interpret the text that I just wrote as music since it has no indication of pitch or rhythm, but I don't care because this piece of crap loop isn't music. In fact I honestly believe that my text interpretation of it is more satisfying to listen to, because listening to nothing is infinitely more satisfying than subjecting your ears to the vomit inducing vileness that is the Friday the 13th over world music.

Now my next pick for the worst of the worst that video game music has to offer may surprise some of you, Mega Man 2 Dr. Wily's music. Now don't freak out I am not talking about the balls to walls Stage 1-2 music, obviously that song is beastly and one of the best pieces of music that the NES ever gave us. I am talking about the insult that is the next song you will hear in Wily's Castle. Just listen to this garbage. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!!! You are all pumped on the edge of your seat full of adrenaline from the face melting power of the first song in Wily's castle, and then the game is like C-C-C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER! I can't even imagine what they were thinking with this one.

"Well gee that last song was awesome, I guess since we can't write anything better than that we should just try our best to produce the most mind numbing thing we can. I got it we will just take a boring 6 second piece of ass, and then sequence it higher and higher 9 million times!"

I will never be able to fully impart on you people how much I hate this song. Whenever I put the Mega Man II OST on to listen to while I walk to class I feel super pumped, and then this disgusting joke of a song comes on and I just wanna lay down in the middle of the street and let a bus run me over.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Sometimes I find myself all alone in the Xbox dashboard, with no friends online and no desire to play the games I currently own all by myself. Usually, this just means I must wallow in slightly pathetic misery until I turn my Xbox off and find something else to do. However, if the planets are correctly aligned and somewhere in the world a child enters the contra code on an NES controller, I happily realize that I have microsoft points with which to buy an Xbox Live Arcade game. When it comes to these precious points, I am often stingy on what I should spend them on. I download a bunch of free demos, play them, and then buy whichever game sparks my interest. This is not what happened recently. I downloaded the demo for a game called Super Meat Boy, thinking it had a strange title and cover, and by the time the introduction movie had finished I knew that I would be purchasing this gem of a game.

The story is an archetype of video games: A bad guy snatches your girl and it is up to you to stop him. In this specific case, you are a boy with no skin who loves a girl who happens to be made of bandages, and the bad guy is a fetus in a jar wearing a tuxedo with a knack for flipping you off

But the brilliance of this game is not in the story; it is in the gameplay. Super Meat Boy is a platformer, and unlike scores of games that have come out recently, it is hard. Like, really hard, and this difficulty is a wonderful thing.The controls in Super Meat Boy are of a dream-like quality. Each and every death you face (and you will face thousands) feels like it is entirely your fault, which slightly enhances your focus, and eventually your rage. While most games give you a brief delay between deaths, SMB puts you right back in the action (at the beginning of a level, checkpoints are for n00bs) almost instantly, leading you to try again and again until your iron reflexes and quick wit eventually overcome buzzsaws, lazers, rockets, fire-slugs, and some flying enemies that look like poop.

For an arcade game, Super Meat Boy also has incredible depth. Scattered throughout the levels are hidden bandages, which unlock new characters if you can manage to get the bandage (which is always placed in a challenging spot) and then go on to complete the level. These unlockable characters all control differently (yet still sublimely) and have different abilities, such as double-jumping and rewinding time, which causes each character to bring a different feel to the game. Also included in a few levels are hidden warp zones, which are levels done in an 8-bit style that pay homage to classic games. All in all there are around 340ish levels in the main game, along with free DLC levels that get updated regularly (you don’t even have to download them, it’s magical). The bottom line is, this is a fantastic platformer that feels like an old game with all the bells and whistles of a new one. If you own an Xbox 360 (or a PC) and like platformers, you need this game. Period.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Four-Player Split Screen Blues

As many of you know (because I wrote about it awhile ago and soooo many people read our blog), I don’t own any newer consoles.  This is going to change very soon however, as I will be purchasing an Xbox 360 within the week.  This is not really important to the overall agenda of this particular post though. 

The other day, willtacular and ProtoScott came over and played Halo: Reach alongside my girlfriend and myself.  I have not played any Halo game in about a 2 years and my girlfriend has never played one.  Needless to say, the two of us were severely outranked. 

I own a decently large TV (50-something inches) so playing high definition games looks reeeal good.  Sadly, we were cursed with the four-player split screen curse. BUM-BUM-BUUUUUUUM!!!! I know, it’s scary: one screen, four players, and one couch.  There was a lot of squinting going on, but there is always a silver lining.

The four-player split screen may have its many downsides.  First, it is nearly impossible to see anyone else on your screen, making any form of distance shooting nearly impossible.  Secondly, it’s terribly easy to mix up which screen you are playing on.  This leads to many hilarious outbursts, such as, “Why isn’t my controller working?!” and, “I can’t make my guy shoot!!”  The split-screen leads to a lot of anger, plain and simple.  No one enjoys not being able to see anything besides their own gun.  No one likes constantly squinting at the screen trying to see if anyone is twenty feet in front of them.  It is an evil thing.

Strangely, the four-player split screen has its upsides. If you enjoy video games for their social aspect, the split-screen can only lend to the level of joy.  It forces you to interact with the person sitting beside you; sometime even to the point of looking on their screen to figure out where they are if they are being attacked.  If you are playing against the person next to you, you might as well give them a shove or a punch in the face in an attempt to distract them.

The split screen boosts the communal feeling of gaming, which is important for many gamers.  There is something to be said about being able to play someone on the other side of the world through the online multiplayer format, but this will never replace the joy that is found in a group of people sitting on one couch trying to invade a base together.   

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sound Test 6

It's a little too soon to do another of these, but I've been plagued by this song for days now. It is truly a magnificent piece of music.

It is somewhat timely that I dwell on this work. The Mortal Kombat series is making a comeback this month with its newest installment; thus, it is the perfect time to look back on the series. Often, the special music of the Mortal Kombat games comes from the fleshy uppercuts and the tortured screams of the fighters. Truly, the sound of an uppercut connecting to my opponent is considered music to my ears (reinforced by a recent visit to a local arcade that just so happens to contain a UMK3 machine ). However, the actual soundtrack of the games is worth a visit.

This month, I'm going to look at this tune. All I can say at first is: wow, what a piece! The song somehow combines an ominous tone with a sense of urgency. It propels the kombatants to fight for their deepest ideals. You cannot avoid this battle, but you deeply wish that you could. The fighters are arrayed against each other with absolute resolution: they are also at their strongest. The arpeggios express a vicious clash between irreconcilable parties. They clash on a battlefield that grants maximum strength and power: a holy place. What a truly magnificent theme! I dare to admit that I get goosebumps upon listening to this moving work.

Excuse me, I have gotten insufferably (nauseatingly) emotional about a piece of music from a video game. But please, listen to this with the same sort of reverence that you would a sacred hymn. I would like you good folks to really get involved in this tune: make it enter your very souls. It represents the struggles that you face every day. You are a kombatant, a warrior. Take pride in that, and keep listening for cool tunes!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Ecco the Dolphin is an awful awful game.

When you look back on the games you played as a child, no doubt you think of them with great fondness and nostalgia, as these cartridges and discs from the past were a part of your beloved childhood. Sadly, I’ve found that occasionally when you return to these games to give them another run they are abominations that you should have destroyed when you had the chance, yet the innocence of youth blinded you. Such is the case with Ecco the Dolphin: The Tides of Time.

Before I get to a play-through, allow me to ask you a question. You decide to make a game about an evil vortex alien queen that comes to earth in order to destroy it. The only way for the hero to destroy this dastardly villain is to travel through time and gain powers and abilities that will allow him to defeat the evil queen in the present. Seems like a good enough story for a 16 bit game, right? Now, who would YOU pick to be the epic hero on a quest such as this? A man clad in green who wields a sword? An anime-looking hero with spiky hair and a headband with some sort of flying talking critter as a sidekick? Nah, those ideas suck. Better go with a DOLPHIN WHO CAN ONLY SWIM FAST. Best idea ever, right? Wrong. Yet this is the exact plot premise (as far as I can tell) of The Tides of Time.

Maybe this awful story could be forgiven if the game had some sort of coherent, enjoyable gameplay, however, the gameplay flat out sucks. Not once in the game is anything told to you, which led to childhood Will swimming around really fast and jumping out of the water to do flips in the first level and thinking the game was awesome. I will still maintain that this is the best part of the game. But in order to truly understand it’s horridity- a word I just made up, you have to play the game. Since you probably don’t have a Sega genesis lying around with a copy of it, I will do the dirty work for you and try to put into words the frustration and awful gameplay that abounds in ETDTTOT.

Level 1:

I just turned on the game and I already have a complaint. The main theme for this game is dark, mysterious, and by all means awesome, but does this really belong in a game where you play as a dolphin? Also, on the demo that plays if you don’t hit start, Ecco gets hurt. N00b.

I start off by swimming really fast and doing flips so that I can at least get minimal enjoyment out of this disgusting romp through the deep blue. After doing a bit more exploring, a dolphin comes up and I cant swim past him until he tells me the sea is filled with teleport rings. Cool dude. I pass by him, swim through a ring (Hey! That dolphin just told me there were rings! How convenient!) and the level ends. At least I wish it did. Instead it goes to a long, boring, racing game perspective and you have to swim and jump through a bunch of rings. Level 1 done. How exciting.

Level 2: Crystal Springs

Password: CDEXZXEB

Now the fun really begins; this level just flat out sucks. I start out next to a dolphin who tells me to follow him. Once we arrive at a completely random spot, he asks if I can feel the energy pulling. No, I can’t. Now, from past experience I know I need to knock the crystals scattered throughout the level down and bring them to this spot, however they REFUSE to move, and will eventually just go when they feel like. After I bring them all to this spot, I can move on to the next level. It’s 1:55. Lets see how long this takes. By the way, your only clue that this is how to beat the level is that the dolphin now says “Do It” when you speak to him. What a helpful guy. Okay it took until 2:02, far too long for somebody who knows exactly what to do.

Level 3: Fault Zone

Password: IOFPADZA

This level is pointless. Rocks fall down, then a dolphin comes and tells you you cant breathe underwater anymore. Oh awesome, lets make a game that takes place in water where every few seconds you have to come up to breathe! This is a perfect example of why I don’t like realism in video games. Ah well, level finished.

Level 4: Two Tides

Password: WZGOYUYA

This level starts off with some dolphin buddies sayin’ they are scared. Cool. Once again I’m going to blitz through this level because I know exactly what to do, but the point here is that if you didn’t know, you’d be stuck and rage would force you to quit. Basically, there are bubbles that push you away from places, and you have to scare a turtle and hide behind his shell to get through them. Because a turtle shell can get past raging tides and a dolphin swimming as fast as it can can’t. great idea programmers. When you reach the end, a freaky dolphin from the future comes and takes you to its time because you have to sing with “an old friend.” So to be clear, you have to go to the distant future to see a friend you made a long time ago in the past. What a wonderful plot.

Level 5

Well, no level screen came up, but I am going to count this as a level. Okay, the freaky looking dolphin told me to use the water tubes to find my friend. It’s 2:18. When I figure out how to beat this level, I will write more. Now it is 2:32 and I figured it out. One crystal eats some rocks that lets you shoot another crystal that says “The Glyph that is a door is now open” apparently crystals are called glyphs now. You swim through the broken crystal (quickly, there is a time limit) to dash into another crystal and quickly run back through the other crystal and now you can shoot the crystal blocking the exit! All this with no hints (and yes i talked to every dolphin in the level. They just told me I look funny. Jerks.) What a great game.

Level 6: Skyway

Password: AYYLXRCB

Uh, you shoot four crystals. How original.

Level 7: Sky Tides

Password: KLSKFQCB

Wasn’t I supposed to find a friend two levels ago? Ah well. This level is similar in style to a space shooter, as in, the screen is constantly scrolling from top to bottom. You have to stay in the tunnels of water or you fall out and die. Within two seconds you have to move right or left. There is no possible way to know that the first time playing through. Great design. Many times, you have to switch tubes by swimming with enough force from one to reach the one beside it. After quite a few tries, i make it through.

Level 8: Tube of Medusa

Password: AOPPSKYA

I’ve never made it this far. The music is pretty darn cool in this stage. It is similar in style to the last level, but now the screen does not constantly move…okay I was about to say I was starting to dig this level, when a GIANT jellyfish came, attacked me, and I fell out of the tube and am back at level six. I’m done.

Obviously, I have no idea how much of the game this represents, and maybe after this it gets to be really cool (though I doubt it). The average person will never know. The cryptic puzzles, unnecessarily frustrating level layouts, a bad story, and controls that are somewhat difficult to execute lead to a game that shouldn’t be played by you, your friends, your family, or even your enemies. Because I played it as a kid, I feel a nostalgic connection to this game, one that might even cause me to power through the pain and complete it someday. You, however, are living in ignorance to its crappiness, and I hope you remain that way.

P.S. I tried looking through google images to find some pictures of this game i could post. Understandably, there aren't very many, so you'll have to use your imagination. Just imagine mediocrity.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Don't Drink and Game

When you are a kid parents seem to constantly be warning you about the dangers of things like alcohol and videogames. Well, we here at Use Blogs Wisely say to hell with our parent’s warnings. If they hate drinking and gaming then we are gonna put the two together. SuperTylerRPG and I are setting out to see what all the fuss is about in a little something we are calling “Don’t Drink and Game.”

Obviously if one is going to undergo an experiment that involves video games there is no better series to use than the one, the only, the original, the classic, the beloved SUPER MARIO BROS. For our purposes we will focus on only the original 3 on the NES. To make things a tad more fun and video game themed SuperTyler will only consume drinks that are based off of the Super Mario Bros. franchise. The main beverage will be The Bowser (Basically a Tequila Sunrise: Orange Juice, Grenadine, and LOTS of Tequila) and the shots will be Super Mario Shots (Tequila, Grenadine, and any blue liqueur).

Official Rules for drinking
The Bowser will be drunken at Tyler’s leisure
The shots are to be consumed at the beginning of each game, and when Tyler reaches worlds 4 and 8 of each game.
The rules for the shot are subject to change as ProtoScott sees fit to punish Tyler with more alcohol.

Getting Started: Mario 1

In order to best understand the effect that alcohol actually has on Tyler we first let him begin play with no alcohol in his system. This is what ‘dem dere scientist call’ “The Control”. Not surprisingly as SuperTylerRPG is a lover of the NES he has, like about a million other people, played these early levels of the games dozens if not hundreds of times. This being the case he flies through Worlds 1 and 2 (Proclaiming loudly “No warps for this bitch!” in Level 1-2), and virtually encounters no trouble until he dies twice in Level 3-3. This proves to be a fluke though and he quickly regroups and fights his way through the third castle. All this progress takes him a total of about 10 minutes, not a record speed but better than the average girl (HA SEXISM!). It is at this point that we decide Tyler has had it easy for long enough and he is ordered to do his first shot.

At first there is no change in Tyler at all (who would have thought that alcohol doesn’t take effect immediately!) Eventually, Tyler does seem to act a bit looser. This actually seems to work to his advantage. Tyler has never beaten the first super Mario bros. game, and after many attempts and failures a gamer will begin to psyche himself out. This would normally be the case for Tyler, but the slight buzz he is feeling seems to be counteracting his nerves, and actually making him perform better than one would expect so late into the game. Obviously he isn’t performing perfectly and by world 8, after he has consumed his second shot of the night, he uses a hell of a lot of continues, but he never loses hope and after just over an hour of play time (and one disturbing burped version of the Mario theme) Tyler finally conquers Bowser and saves his beautiful 8-bit princess. Time to see how he fares against a giant toad…

One victory shot and 15 minutes of blowing in the Mario 2 Cartridge later it is time to move on.
The drunken antics continue with Super Mario USA.
No better way to start than with a celebratory “got the game to work” shot! Now as I am sure all of you reading know (all 8 of you) Mario 2 is drastically different from the original game, this, in conjunction with the fact that Tyler now has the alcohol of 1 Bowser, 3 shots, and 1 double shot in his system proves to be too much for Tyler to handle. Almost right off the bat he is performing noticeably worse than he was in Mario 1, by world 1-2 he has already died 3 times. 30 minutes into the game he had only completed 2 worlds. that should say it all.
Considering how poorly he was performing on the first 2 worlds of the game I can only imagine how funny it would have been to watch him play the later worlds, and I say “would have been” because our friend Mr. Bitch Boy (he told me not to call him that) quit on Level 3-2. So as much as I wish I could write more about Tyler’s adventures in this game I can’t. As punishment he is ordered to force down a normal shot and a double shot.

At this point Tyler has been drinking for a little under 2.5 hours and has had 1.5 Bowsers, 4 Super Mario Shots, and 2 Double Shots. He is a few shots past tipsy. Just drunk enough for us to move on to the main event.
Super Mario Bros. 3
Since by this game SuperT is at his most drunken state, and it is essentially the main point of the night I thought it would be better to give a sort of time line of memorable moments so as to get a better feel for what it was like to actually be there.

10:30 It begins
10:35 Tyler Has beaten 3 levels and gotten the first flute despite his previous screams of “No warps for this bitch!”
10:37 Some wasted minutes as Tyler tries to remember how to get the second flute (Hint: Watch the Wizard.)
10:45 Tyler beats the first castle. (15 minutes. Not bad for someone who probably couldn’t handle a 5th grade math question at this point.)
10:45:30 Tyler pulls his hat over his eyes in an attempt to beat level 2-1 without his eyes.
10:47 Stupidest moment of the night.
Proto: ”You’ve beaten this one before right?”
Tyler: “Yeah. Wait do you mean this game? No.”
10:51 Tyler reaches the level that pissed me off the most as a kid. Sadly, even in a drunken state he handles that stupid sun of a bitch (get it) better than I did.
11:00 Tyler has beaten the 2nd fortress.
11:05 Tyler dies 6 times on level 3-2
11:15 Tyler begins to repeat stories he has already told me in the last half hour. Did you know his grandparents have a guide that tells you what items are in all the toad huts?
11:20 Nothing exciting happens.
11:35 Tyler Beats 3rd fortress and does a celebratory shot. Take that liver!
11:39 The alcohol finally hits Tyler’s bladder.
11:40 Peeing.
11:41 Still peeing.
11:42 Tyler exits the restroom and resumes playing
11:43 In the ultimate display of pathetic Tyler resorts to using a star power up to beat a hammer bro. He is a shell of the man he was at the beginning of this experiment
11:44 Tyler has begun to shy away from being social blaming those around for his troubles. “STOP TALKING! It makes me lose focus.”
11:47 We must redefine what the ultimate display of pathetic is. Tyler dies, in the black end part of the level.
11:52 Tyler recovers and reaches the 4th fortress.
11:57 5 minutes later Tyler finally beats the 4th fortress.
12:02 The first appearance of the Tanuki Suit. F(#k yeah!
12:10 Tyler beats the castle that leads to the sky part of World 5. He then decides to go back and beat a castle that he previously skipped. This forces us to sit and watch him beat the castle that leads to the sky part of World 5 all over again. I guess he didn’t know.
12:18 Tyler walks into a pit because he honestly thinks it is the right way to go. Sigh.
12:20 Tyler just seems really l6992565 ---------Tyler wrote that. Like I was saying. Tyler Just seems really unfocused, and is like a little kid who dies in the same spot over and over again because they aren’t bothering to pay attention to what they are doing wrong.
12:23 Tyler uses his first continue and is ordered to take a shot as punishment.
12:28 Tyler uses a Pwing and loses it immediately. (I really wish I could remember how this happened unfortunately I didn’t make note of the cause)
12:29 Tyler skips level before the fortress with the weird diaper power up and quickly dies at the 5th fortress.
12:30 Warps for this bitch! Tyler used a flute to get to world 8 because apparently he can’t wait to get to the even harder levels.
12:31 Tyler dies on first level of world 8
12:32 Twice.
12:32:30 Thrice.
12:33 Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
12:33:30 Tyler gets frustrated and tries to use the weird diaper power to skip the first level. I guess no one has ever told him that you can’t skip the tank fortress levels like that.
12:34 Tyler beats the first tank fortress level. Apparently it wasn’t any fun.
12:36 Tyler actually gets to the boss at the end of the boat fortress level. And somehow he dies.
12:39 Tyler uses the “swim under the boats” strategy to get to the end of the level again. And dies again.
12:41 After using his 3rd continue Tyler beats the boat fortress. 2 down.
12:42 Tyler dies 2 seconds into the air fortress level.
12:44 Tyler makes his smartest decision in hours and uses the P-wing on the air fortress.
12:50 Tyler shows real signs of weariness but beats Level 8-1
12:55 Tyler makes it to the mini castle of world 8
12:58 Tyler officially quits. So close to the end. He is a beaten pathetic man.

Conclusion: Inconclusive. While it is true that Tyler showed some signs of decreasing skill, this mostly took place during Mario 2, which could be attributed to the fact that Mario 2 is such a drastically different game. While he did also show some signs of decline during Mario 3, we must keep in mind that at that point he has been playing for several hours and it was very late at night which could have made anyone start to struggle a bit. In order to truly find out the effects of alcohol on Tyler’s gaming skills we will have to tri and force him (see what I did there?) to undergo this drunken torture again. Perhaps with a game that he can’t beat in one sitting, one that takes place in a legendary land full of secrets and dungeons.

SuperTyler RPG’s Comments:

Hey there boys and girls (please tell me we have some lady readers). So, yeah, this article happened. For anyone wondering, yes, I am over 21 and allowed to consume alcohol within the United States of America, and I was the only one partaking in said alcoholic beverages. Ok? Cool? Alright. As I read through this article I realize that, as it goes on, I gradually remember less and less of it. That just goes to show you the state I was in that night. Needless to say, I got drunk and played some games. Also, I had fun. I’m not really sure where to go with this little comment section, so I’ll just riff some of my memories and see where it goes.

I found some drink recipes on a great site ( and tweaked a few to my specific budgetary needs. As I drank, I did notice that I got less frustrated in the beginning. This being my first time beating SMB1 in one sitting, you can imagine my joy. Apparently, as the night went on I got a little short with my guests, and for that I apologize. It was a lot of fun however and it sounds like I provided a ton of comedy. We are planning on doing more of these, and I’m also concocting some drink ideas of my own. If you’re smart, you’ll check out and also continue reading this blog right here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sound Test 5 - Grab Bag

Well, darn it all, I almost wish I had made this blog solely about video game music. I could write forever about the subject, but alas, Christmas comes but once a month.

This month, I'm going to explore some tunes from various games. First on the docket is Magic of the Scheherazade (by Culture Brain, 1989). This is obscure NES game is just as difficult to play as it is to spell; anyone who tells you otherwise is blinded by the brilliant sheen of rosy nostalgia. However, the music is excellent and like most games of the time only lasts a few minutes altogether.

Next up is a game that easily sits somewhere in my top ten list of favorite games (perhaps I'll compile some sort of ranking sometime). Of course I'm talking about Final Fantasy Tactics [developed by Squaresoft and released in Japan in June 1997 and in the United States in January 1998 (thanks, wiggerpedia!)]. Featuring a tactical grid-based battle system and a masculine protagonist, Final Fantasy Tactics is a fundamentally different sort of game from the other games in the Final Fantasy series. Most noteworthy, the legendary Nobuo Uematsu did not compose the music for the game. Don't let that influence your perception of the soundtrack because that would be a mistake. (this link goes to a youtube channel that has the entire game soundtrack in one easy package, in case that track tickles your fancy you can listen to some other ones)

Alright, we've gone through a few nice tunes now, now for one that doesn't always bring up nice memories. It's just what we need to see! Star Wolf!

I'll refrain from posting more Star Fox music (and quotes: I may need medical help) for the sake of finishing this post. Last off is a little bit different from any of these other tracks. Some video games feature sound tracks that don't include any original tracks. Popular (or unpopular) music is used to supplement the gameplay aurally rather than new compositions. The Tony Hawk Pro Skater series is one such example. I used to play Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 on the Playstation with my brothers all the time. To me, Guerrilla Radio by Rage Against the Machine is the de facto theme of the game. Man, that song is sick. (disclaimer: that link sends you to an actual video which also happens not to play through the entire song, but is cut to highlight the awesome tricks.)

It's been a nice ride, but now it's time to get back into some games. Keep playing, and more importantly: keep listening for cool tunes!

Friday, March 4, 2011

What I've Been Up To Lately

I'm feeling particularly verbose today. Also, this blog hasn't been updated in almost a month. It's the perfect storm.

Here are some of the games I've been playing lately:

Dragon Quest IX
This game is awesome. It takes a lot of the best elements from the Dragon Quest series (called Dragon Warrior in the United States until recently), and adds several new ones. Most importantly, the class system from Dragon Quest III (often considered to be the best Dragon Quest game... by me) is brought back, but more importantly it is improved upon. Even more importantly, it's on the DS so I can game on campus. Even more more importantly, it is about a year old now so I was able to pick it up at a used game store for a fair price.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3
That's right, the third installment is here! It's gonna take you for a wild ride!
Lame jokes aside, this game is kickin' rad. I can't offer a fair compare-and-contrast report on it, as I never actually played any of the other games in the series. However, I can say that as a player new to the franchise, this game in particular was very easy to learn but not skimpy on advanced maneuvers. Thus, it caters to both the casual and hardcore without losing too much appeal either way. The art style is phenomenal, combining arcade graphics with comic book texture. The characters are fun and flashy, the combat is fast-paced, and the music is hot (Capcom hits it out of the park once again).

Pokemon Emerald
Our friend Will finally sold his copy of this game to me about half a year ago when he was binging on classic games and was strapped for cash. I mainly have been playing it lightly to brush up a little on my Pokemon raising technique (in anticipation of the impending release of the fifth generation of Pokemon games); playing any Pokemon game helps jog my brain into coming up with cool teams and combinations. I just took a jaunt through the Elite Four again with the team that I raised over the Summer (a grass-heavy setup that I went with as a test of patience and skill; Slaking pretty much carried me through the tough parts). Wallace is a piece of dookie. That is all.

Final Fantasy Tactics
I pull this gem out every little while. It certainly makes my top ten list of favorite games (don't ask me to rank games too much, it gets messy). This time, I ran it on my laptop with an emulator (usually I don't play roms legally, but I actually own the real game so I'm completely safe from the law). I won't talk about the game itself too much, because I'd love for everyone to give it a try (like a lot of my favs, it's not everyone's particular cup of tea). The reason I'm running it on an emulator is because FFT has spawned a healthy hacking community; thus, I'm playing the game with a rebalancing hack that redefines the gameplay without mucking too much with the core mechanics (for the folks playing along at home, have you guessed why I'm single?). It's definitely changing up the game experience, which is welcome considering that between my elder brother and me we've probably beaten the game upwards of six times straight through.

With so many great new games slated to come out this year, this is just a transitory period. A new game will come out and I'll end up playing that exclusively for at least a week. After that, it gets put into the rotation with all the other games in my repertoire. Over the years I've amassed a great library of games that I can go back to; I'm never bored. What a fine hobby we gamers have.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sound Test 4

For this month’s sound test Timo has graciously allowed me the opportunity to share some of my musical memories with you fine readers. Since last month Timo focused on one of his favorite series that got started in the 6th generation of consoles, I thought I would do the same and talk about the Onimusha trilogy on the Playstation 2. Now much like Splinter Cell a lot of the music in these games is more for ambiance than listening, but like Splinter Cell there are exceptions, and it is those songs, the main themes of the characters, and games themselves that I will be focusing on. Yeah you know you like that sentence ending in a preposition.

Like all logical and good things in life we will begin at the beginning, Onimusha Warlords. The first game in the Onimusha series is both intense and eerie at the same time. Some might even call it intensely eerie. This concept can be perfectly summed up in this awesome track. That song puts me on the edge of my seat just thinking about all the demons I (playing as the bad ass samurai Samanoske Akechi) have had to slice through trying to beat this game.
Other noteworthy songs
Samanoske's theme: This song is awesome and represents the best character in the series but it seemed to obvious of a choice, and doesn’t do as good a job of summing up the feel of the game.
Kaede's theme: This is probably the best song in the game. But you play as a girl when it plays so it doesn’t count.

The second game in the series Onimusha 2: Samurai’s Destiny carries on the aura of the first game really well, but adds a little be more grandness and emotion to the story. I did not play this game as much as a child due to the fact that that the main character switches from the awesome Samanoske to the less awesome Jubei. One would think that would make it harder to find a song that really captured the spirit of the game but luckily this little diddy here is so awesome that it spans pretty much every emotion and feeling a person can get from playing a game and shocked back memories that have long been buried in my mind. If you like that song play Onimusha 2 because it is that song in video game form.

The last game we will be talking about is Onimusha 3: Demon Siege. You would think that since this game already achieved 150% bad assery by not only returning Samanoske to the game, but also by adding a character (Jacques) that is based off of Jean Reno, the composer might just be a douche and let up on the music. Not so. However, rather than give you another track that is all about the tone of the game (I am sure you get the point by now) I thought I’d give you just the overall best Playstation 2 boss battle music(in my opinion). Since this game has 2 main playable characters, and since I am sure that last tune got you all on edge ready to mess some people up, here is a beautiful and calming track from the Jacques side of things.

There is a 4th game in the series, but it once again abandons Samanoske, and was not made by the creator of the series so as far as I am concerned the series, and this blog entry end here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Classic Arcade Gaming

   New technology is expensive.  I don't own an Xbox 360, PS3, or a Wii. The most recent console I have is a PSP, which I rarely use.  Sure, I'd love to have the realistic graphics that are seen in the games of these newer consoles, but my current budget doesn't have room to support this kind of spending.  Surrounding my television is a plethora of outdated gaming systems.  I own an original NES, SNES, N64, and a janky Playstation 2 for feeding my lust for Kingdom Hearts games.  I love these old systems for a number of reasons, but my heart truly belongs to another.
   Arcade cabinets are the medium through which games are truly meant to be played.  Standing in front of a large wooden box that houses a computer system that I will probably never fully comprehend and staring at a pane of glass provides a feeling that will forever beat out sitting on a couch ten feet away from a 46" TV.  The player is directly connected to the game that they are playing.  The action is happening inches away from your face.  It's a feeling to which there is no comparison.
   Of course, there are downsides to playing video games at an arcade.  Most arcades now focus either on games that supply the player with tickets, or new fashioned racing games like "The Fast and Furious 15: Drifting Into Oblivion".  But usually, tucked back in the corner where the carpet is completely worn down but still has the faint planetary pattern print, there are some classic games that supply hours of fun and adventure, and typically for only a quarter each play.  The titles of these games always vary, but I've found that most arcades that have come classic cabinets have some form of Pac-Man, be it an original, a Ms., or some hybrid that provides a collection of said games.  Alongside these, Galaga is typically a popular title, and also my personal favorite.  Unfortunately, working cabinets of many original games are very hard to come by, so some companies have released compilation cabinets with 50+ games on it, but hey, this is better than nothing, right?
   I recently visited the local arcade here in Bloomington, IN to see what types of classic games they had. I was pleasantly surprised, while still maintaining a level of sadness and longing.  This arcade (Great X Scape in the College Mall) had a minimal selection of games to begin with: a couple of dancing games, House of the Dead 4, a couple of newer fighting games, and air hockey.  The classic games were kept separate from these games and were actually outside of the establishment in the mall area.  They had a Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga compilation that is very popular in dying arcades and a Neo-Geo 4 game unit.  While this is a short list, it fortunately provided me with some fun.
   This is the sad state of arcades nowadays.  By bringing video games into the home, all desire to leave the couch and spend quarters for hours of gameplay has become "old school" and is therefore a burden.  In order to compete in the dying market, arcades are now forced to supply tacky cookie-cutter games in hopes of drawing in any type of player.  These new games also cost eight times the amount of old games.  Anyone who wants to play the classic games that literally established video games in popular culture has to get lucky in finding a quality arcade, find a port on a newer system, or scrounge up two grand and purchase their own cabinet.  These choices, to put it bluntly, suck.  No port of a game will ever come close to the experience or gameplay that an original cabinet provides, and as stated above, my financial limitations prevent me from purchasing anything so grandiose.
   For many players, arcades hold a special place in their heart.  These players have a favorite game and usually have their personal high score memorized (Galaga, 103,090... I know, pathetic).  It is a goal of mine to one day own a classic gaming cabinet, but I know that when that day comes I may have to settle for a newer compilation, as originals are both expensive to purchase and tricky to maintain.  Classic gaming will only die out when the players have all disappeared or forgotten the true nature of video games.

Monday, January 24, 2011

102 syllables on Nes

As I sat in class.
I wrote NES haiku.
They are crap. Enjoy.

The Problem

Push in. Push down. Push power
Blue flashing screen. S%!T!

My Oldest Enemies
Shadow Spark Magnet
Hard Top Gemini Needle
Snake Wiley Gamma

Crusty old Dpad.
Dirty scratched cracked grey plastic.
B button won’t work.

The Code

Big captial C.
Right Left Down Up A B Start.
Ten lives left to lose.

Do Not.
Get the cartridge wet.
Store in extreme temperatures.
Clean with alcohol.

The Solution
Pull out. Blow in cart.
Push in. Pull out. Blow in cart.
Push in. Yes! Success!

Sorry to SuperTylerRPG I know the crappy nature of these Haiku will offend you as a poet. I am also aware that Haiku do not really have to be 17 syllables and that that is just a misconception. I like them that way so don't be a cock.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sound Test 3

This month, we will be examining the musical stylings of one of my favorite game series: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell. The first game in the series came out in 2002 and was hailed as a breakthrough in lighting effects and stealth gameplay. To me, it was a breakthrough  in a lot of things. I loved the characters, the story, the music, and the mood of the game. For brevity's sake, let's talk about the music.

In most of the games, the music serves as ambiance. It rarely takes the forefront, and often doesn't even have any sort of real melody. In short, it generally couldn't get stuck in your head. However, there was one exception for me. Whenever Sam (the protagonist) was caught in scripted events where guards would pour in on his position, this rockin' tune got going. When you hear that riff, you know some hardcore business is going down. Sam Fisher doesn't mess around.

The second game's music is notable in that it was written by acclaimed composer Lalo Schifrin [most famous for writing the Mission Impossible theme (he also composed the soundtrack to the Rush Hour films)]. This guy knew what he was doing. He kept to the tradition of keeping the music in the background, but still put some flavor to it.

Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, often lauded as the best game in the series, arguably contains the best music of the games (reminds me of a little Capcom series in which the third game has the best music...). Amon Tobin, a famous Brazilian DJ, did the music for the game. As a house musician, Tobin was easily able to make the music part of the environment. He was in his element.

Here's a song from the fourth game. I don't want to talk about the game very much right now.

The fifth game is the most divergent from the series and takes the games in a new direction. The music was no exception. The music was done by Michael Nielson and Kaveh Cohen (who as far as I know are not famous for much else, but may become so in the near future; I really don't know); also of note here, Amon Tobin was asked back to do some tracks as well (he accepted and knocked it out of the park). Here, the music is more active and involved. Overall, it reflects the new style of the game and fits the gameplay as perfectly as the environmental music did in the previous games.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the musical adventures of Sam Fisher this month. Next month, ProtoScott will take a turn at Sound Test. In the meantime, keep your ears open for cool tunes!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Christmas Update

Well readers the holiday season is over, and I have just today gotten back to school and ended my holiday break. And since, like all good bloggers, I don't have the internet at home, I thought I would use my first hours back online to honor our most commercial season of the year and update all 5 of you followers on what I got for Christmas!

(Since this is a video game blog I will keep the list limited to things pertinent to that topic. Also I will be counting things that I bought with money others gave me.)


Super Nintendo Entertainment System (I know it is sad that I did not have one yet.)

Gameboy Pocket (A clear one. Just like I had when I was a young warthog.)

Virtual Boy (It is better than I thought it would be, and will hopefully yield more blog posts in the future)


For NES:
Ghostbusters 2
Where's Waldo
Exodus Journey to the Promise Land
(Don't worry my friends and family don't totally hate me. I bought 2 of those pieces of crap myself)

Kirby's Dream Land 3
Tetris Attack
Chrono Trigger
(Now that is a pretty serious leap in quality from the NES ones.)

For Sega Genesis:
Toy Story
(What can I say. I am a sucker for movie based Disney Sega games.)

For Gameboy:
Pokémon Yellow
Kirby's Dream Land 2
(Nothing like spending money on games that I can guarantee I already own as a boy.)

For Playstation:
Spyro the Dragon
Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage
(I already owned the 3rd one, and don't you just hate only owning one game in a series.)

For Xbox 360:
Bionic Commando
(A remake of an NES game I spent hours trying to unsuccessfully beat? Yes!)

For Virtual Boy:
Wario Land
(I wonder which of these I will play more?)

There you have it folks. I hope you enjoy sharing in the joy of my collecting, and maybe someday I will give a complete listing of my collection of video games, seeing as I am the most active collector of the blog. For now though, I wish you all a happy new year, and say god bless consumerism!