March Madness! NES Style!

Just giving you guys a heads up!  I’ve decided to hold a “NCAA Final Four” inspired tournament featuring all of the well loved NES classics!  This will be a large project for me to undertake.  Which will involve quite a few elements, like brackets, actual revisited gameplay (possible videos and commentary) and even a poll section for you guys to participate!

Considering that this will a larger project, it may or may not span past March.  But I’m not too worried about it.  I’m VERY excited about doing this and I hope everyone will come over to make their comments!!

Already, I have the bracket established and HOW the tournament will proceed.  HOWEVER, I want you guys to make the FINAL decision!  Here is the breakdown!

Two THIRD PARTY (i.e. Capcom, Natsume, Squaresoft)  games will compete against each other using a weighted grading system, with a one-hour power hour gaming session for each title and a voting poll.  This will then happen for another two games.  The winners of those will be voted on BY YOU to compete against ONE NINTENDO made FIRST PARTY TITLE.  Which will compete in the same fashion as the first two matches play out!

 

Let me know WHAT YOU GUYS THINK??  Doesn’t that sound pretty cool?!

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BAD DADDY! – Heihachi

Heihachi Mishima, Tekken series.

When it comes to dear ol’ dads, Heihachi isn’t winning any annual awards. CEO of the Mishima Zaibatsu corporation, master martial artist, father to Kazuya Mishima and grandfather to Jin Kazama. (All of whom were taught in the same art as their father.)

When we first meet his son Kazuya, he’s fighting in the “King of the Iron Fist Tournament”, to remove his father from power in the company.
Defeated and powerless Heihachi exacts a vendetta on his own son in a second tournament and captures him.

As a way to ensure his position is never challenged again; Heihachi carries his unconscious son to the peak of an active volcano and drops him in. Yup…hot mag-ma, Dr Evil much?!

 

 

Needless to say, he’s made other attempts at being a better role model. He took in his grandson and raised his pet grizzly bear and trained it to fight like him. (I’m dead serious, his name’s Kuma.) Which he failed, because well…he’s evil. Badass, but evil.

That and everyone in the tournament hates him. Including a teenage school girl Ling, whom he promised to build an amusement park for her. Only to build in his image and likeness. What..A…d*ck!! (See video below)

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Trash it or Recycle: Filler Content

Most gamers look at these things as simply more things that they can do in a game.  Others view it as a means to expand the game to unnecessary lengths.  When we play, many titles are littered with side quest/tasks/missions, collectables, one-dimensional characters and side stories that don’t pertain to the narrative.

I feel it’s overused, personally.  We play further to get the better gear, equipment and really try to improve our characters progression.  Years ago, this was throttled fairly well, many games balanced progression from having someone being OP’d (overpowered) and from gaining mindless junk.

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Love or hate Fallout 4, how much of this was storyline-related? – SOURCE

Now we are given tasks that do help us get to where we’re going, but there seems to be so much unnecessary content.  Take “The Witcher” games; as you progress in the story, little by little, you are given access to various quests based upon your level.  Some are under you level and you can clearly see that, in the menu.

But if complete them, which can range from being pretty lengthy to a 5-minute hike, you are rewarded with paltry amounts of gold and only 1 XP; should you be well above the level.  Each title does this, why?

Getting the collectibles can be fun and enjoyable, but is now bordering on tedium.  EVERY game has them now, with the inclusion of trophies and achievements.  It pretty much become a forced feature, as all games HAVE to include a trophy/achievement set.  (Don’t get me wrong, I like trophies/achievements, for the most part)

I look at it much like eating a desert.  Was the content enjoyable, bland or just some much that ruined the dish or made it too rich?  Take this whoopee pie, for example.

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SOURCE

The cake layers are most likely going to taste pretty good, suffice they aren’t burnt or overdone.  (If they did, you would not have an overall good quality game!  Which would ruin the experience.)  Is the filling inside, marshmallow, frosting, Kool Whip or Elmer’s glue.  Depending on those factors, is how that filler or filling is going to cater to your enjoyment.  Now that is food for thought

Filler also really needs to stop being the distraction from the true purpose of the gaming experience.  Look at Metal Gear Solid V, if you just played the story and listened to the tapes; you probably got a better experience out of it than most of us.  When I played, I searched every nook and cranny, completed every mission and compiled resources.  For what?!  Bragging rights, mostly.  (which is getting kind of old)

Some do get it right; Borderlands is a prime example.  Much of the content remains fresh, with hilarious voice-overs, level-balanced loot and multiple characters that do have unique play styles.  It was a good balance, which never felt old to me.

So, what do you guys think?  Is it getting old or do you like it?

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Into the Depths of a Video Game Character – Hayabusa

***POSSIBLE SPOILS FOR NINJA GAIDEN GAMES***

Today, we’re gonna talk about Hayabusa!

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Damn!!  You shaw is pretty!  – SOURCE

OK, not that one!

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THIS ONE!!  – SOURCE

Sorry, bike enthusiasts, I’m not a rider, nor will you ever see me get a crotch rocket.   Despite the fact that my has promised me many long nights, in the bed if I did so.

Ryu Hayabusa, has been for a long time a fan favorite of those who’ve followed the series Ninja Gaiden.  Back in the NES days, this dude was the naive wall bouncing kid who seemed to be always getting played by the bad guys!  Shit, the first time, he saw Irene with those long creamy legs, blue eyes and blond hair.  He was DUUUURRRRRRRRRR…..

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I don’t care what I gotta do, as long I get to look at you ALL THE TIME.   – SOURCE

Sufficed to say, shit happens and he ends up disappointed in more ways than one.  After much running, jumping, dodging fucking avian creatures and punching Jason Vorhees in the face.  He ends up whooping the demons ass, the bad guys asses and his own ass.  (Huh?!)  Which is a LOT of ass-kicking!

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FYI – This was held in Lewisboro, New York – #1 safest town in America  – SOURCE

Regardless, poor Ryu isn’t given the greatest send off by the end of the NES days.  Years later, we don’t see him until Tecmo thought they’d figured out the physics of boobs.   Here, Ryu becomes a protector of his clan, by looking out for his lady-friend ninja girls. Otherwise, he just kicking ass and taking names in Dead or Alive, while dodging fist, feet and big breasts from knocking him out!

Tecmo finally took Ryu serious again and gave him his own show again!  No bullshit was pulled from Ryu.  Gone was ability to be wrapped around every girl finger.  Instead, he ends pulling the strings and has them doing work FOR HIM.

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Tecmo you’ve got problems!  –  SOURCE

This Ninpo carryin’, Dragon sword weildin’, bad muthaf*cka doesn’t play.  Ninja clans, evil organizations and the demons never stood a chance.  Throughout the second Ninja Gaiden Trilogy, he takes on some of the hardest boss fights in gaming.   I’m not shitting you here…You want a challenge, play them on anything more than Normal…you’ll see!

Here are some nice demos of why he’s the most bad ass ninja, period.

Sayonara, bad guys!!!!

 

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Tuesday Feature: “Does this go in the Garbage or the Recycle Bin? – XP and Leveling up!

As a new feature for Tuesday, I’ll be going over things seen in video games of the past and current.  Things that WERE great, should be added or just plain taken out of games.  The purpose of this is purely thought provoking and I hope you enjoy it!

Back in the day, pen and paper games ruled the terms “leveling” and gaining “experience”.  Once games caught onto how “rad” this concept was, fantasy games began featuring them on a standard basis.  Which is ultimately where the modern-day fantasy RPG (Role-playing game) came in.

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Ahhhhh….the memories!     CRED

Both of these concepts gave new depths to the games we played, by allowing new abilities and tweaks to the gameplay, through progression.  Which is great, as you get to truly see your characters grow as you play.  What made it great then, was that every action you performed was tracked numerically and you were able to be aware of any character progression.

In RPG games, it worked so damn well, that everyone wanted to get onto the xp and level-up bandwagon.  Why not?  Leveling up, getting loads of experience and reaching greater heights in progression can be addictive.  It is, REALLY addictive and pretty fuckin’ fun.  But at what rate has it become too much?  Why does it have to be included in the development of a title?  But is this the addiction talking?

Borderlands, CoD, Battlefield, Dynasty Warriors, Online Fighting games, Far Cry, the list goes on.  There aren’t many  current non-RPG AAA games that carry some sort of XP system.  Is it really necessary?!  Do we HAVE to get the endless progression points to be able to really get joy out of our gameplay?

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Dew check….Doritos…check.  Rinse/Repeat 100 times.  DIABETES                  CREDIT

Personally, I feel it’s saturated beyond belief, it doesn’t need to be trashed from triple AAA games.  It just needs to be executed well!!

Rachet & Clank is a perfect example of the blend.  The game is all about blowing shit up, and that objective NEVER changes!  Gaining levels gives you not just more powerful guns, it evolves them!  Which feels nice and rewarding!

Honestly, you have Call of Duty, Battlefield and all other shooters, that reward you xp for everything.  It’s one thing, to make a headshot from 200+ meters, but simply killing people is just a way to make shit addictive.  However, one thing I did love were the side objectives, like say killing 3 in a row with a knife; that’s cool and requires a little skill.    The little tasks are just gameplay, which

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What can I say, earning XP here felt like an accomplishment!!  – CREDIT

What I’m getting at is, that we need to stop chasing numbers and grinding.  WE ALL HATE GRINDING!  But gaining XP for everything, jumping through hoops to gain a level or two, just isn’t worth it people.

There games that would be nothing if you took away the grind from them.  Would you miss them? Truly?

We all grind not because we want to, but because we have to, in order to progress.

What does that statement remind you of….

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Yup…..work.     CREDIT

Games aren’t work, they’re entertainment!

 

Sunday’s New Weekly Feature!! Into the depths of a Videogame Character – TONY CIPRIONI

On Sundays now, I’ll be doing as a feature for this day, introducing you to a character that some of you may or may not be familiar with, in videogames.  You won’t see any of the big shots here, that is unless I decide to do something unique with them.  To be honest, Link, Mario, Sonic, Cloud and Ryu are just too much of a household name.  I thought, maybe I’d intro you guys to characters that may provoke to try out their title or at least go look em’ up.

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Image – www.gamespot.com

Tony Ciprioni, known from the Grand Theft Auto series, main protagonist in GTA Liberty City Stories.

Deeply rooted in the Liberty City Italian mafia, Tony is originally introduced to us through the eyes of Claude.

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God, I love Liberty City, it’s a place where I feel totally comfortable brandishing my AK-47

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Here, he’s the guy you take jobs from as Claude is making friends with the Italians, in order to get back Catalina, the betraying bitch that left Claude for dead during a bank heist.

Here is where we learn, that the tough-guy Italian Lieutenant is actually a mama’s boy who doesn’t know to put his foot down.  (I get it, respect for your elders and all, but we all have our limits)  But after you’ve finished your missions with him, that’s the last we hear of Tony.

That is, until the game Liberty City Stories is released on the PSP.  (I’d get into how this game wowed me, when I played this on the handheld, to say the least; it was a good experience.)

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Okay, we ALL know that if you see an ice cream truck roll around your neighborhood.  They are NOT just selling ice cream! – IMAGE CREDIT

Here, we learn about Tony’s story BEFORE GTA III, when he comes home to Liberty City.  This is where we learn that he establishes his position in the mafia, makes his political connections and gets himself in more than enough trouble.

 

Right off the bat, you find out that Tony is a hot-head, but he’s a likable one.  Honestly, this guy really has to get his feet wet and finds himself in a bad situation with the Don’s girl.  From having to ice one of friends in a fine Italian suit to having to fend off a ship FULL of chainsaw wielding maniacs.  Tony’s had it rough…let’s not forget that his mom even put out a hit on him!

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Don’t worry!  This won’t hurt a bit!!  –  IMAGE CRED (Japanese)

Playing as him was fun, both the guys who voiced him in both games do a great job of making him a him a more malleable mafioso than others.  Having another run through the PS2’s Liberty City was great and I had fun experiencing his character throughout the game.

Overall, I felt bad for the guy as, he’s made out to be a terrible son.  Whose got to constantly prove himself to his mom, the Don and to the woman who won’t just leave him alone!  The guy literally kills for those around him and I kind of pity that.  If this was reality, would I, NO!  Let’s be honest, Tony may have been trying to hard, but at least he did it HIS WAY!