Men who look at goat simulators?

SSB vs. Yakuza 4

Men who look at goat simulators?

Men who stare at goat simulators?

It’s been a good, long while since I’ve been throughly addicted to a game.  I first caught a glimpse of Yakuza 4 during a youtube browsing session, when I stumbled onto the madness of the Two Best Friends, and they were starting a playthrough of Yakuza 4.  I started the first episode and before I knew it I ran through the entire playthrough.  I was so impressed with the game that I later sought it out and bought it.  For 12 bucks at the GameStop by my house.

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The Ryu Ga Gotoku series (Yakuza’s original name) is a best-seller in Japan, and it’s not difficult to see why.  The game takes pride in its presentation and storytelling.  The series revolves around sometimes-Yakuza patriarch, sometimes-orphanage caretaker, sometimes-host, sometimes-taxi driver Kazuma Kiryu and his wacky adventures with his friends and foster daughter through the red light district of Kamuro-cho, Tokyo.  Kamurocho is based on the real life district of Kabuki-cho, which from all accounts is pretty damn seedy.  For longevity’s sake I’m not gonna run down the entire series lore, you can go to Wikipedia for it.

You kick people in the head.

You kick people in the head.

In Yakuza 4, you control Kiryu, loan shark Shun Akiyama, death row inmate Taiga Saejima, and dirty cop Masayoshi Tanimura.  The story is told through their perspectives at different times, and it all comes together in an explosive finale that’ll leave you breathless.  Each character has their own fighting style and is an expression of the character’s personality.  Kiryu’s fighting style is a mix of karate and street fighting, so he’s good at most situations (and since he’s the series protagonist, he starts pretty damn strong from the get-go). Akiyama’s fighting style is reminiscent of taekwondo, so he relies on good footwork and speed to string together attack combos.  Saejima’s got strength for days, so he relies on a lot of grappling and throws to do damage.  Tanimura uses a lot of parrying and counters to get the job done.  The game’s combat seems to be a homage to Shenmue and Streets of Rage, and many people consider it to be the spiritual successor of the former.

What the game truly excels in is the presentation.  When you play the game, you’re sucked into Kamurocho, and there’s no end to the things you can do.  You can:

  • eat ramen
  • play pachinko
  • play arcade games
  • eat ice cream
  • go on dates with hostesses
  • get a massage
  • fight in tournaments for money
  • shoot pool
  • throw darts
  • sing Karaoke
  • …..and lots lots more.

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The game somehow blends this all together into a single, cohesive experience that just seems totally immersive.  Everything you do has a purpose, and doesn’t seem like a waste of time, though you could seriously just ditch the main plot and just dick around all day with the side quests (JUST LIKE SHENMUE).

Tanimura with some kids.

Tanimura with some kids.

The story, which is told through a mix of in-game cutscenes and FMV’s, is chock full of twists and turns that it’ll keep you guessing to the bitter end.  And like I said, the finale is explosive.  Almost reminds me of Sleeping Dogs, but for some reason, I really like Yakuza 4 a helluva lot more.  Sleeping dogs did let you do stuff….just not to the extent that Yakuza 4 did.  The presentation’s better.

Soooo, is it worth the buy?  HELL YES.  The game’s pretty old now though, so you’ll probably have to get it used.  And as if to rub salt in the wound, Yakuza 5′s been out in Japan already, and there’s no sign of a localized release ever.

Maybe it’s for the best.

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E.T.’s Home Found in New Mexico

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via Yahoo

In September 1983, it was reported a mass burial of unsold Atari consoles and video games occurred in a New Mexico landfill. The game most associated with this event was the much-maligned Atari 2600 E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. For over three decades many believed this to be an urban legend. However today, April 26, 2014, this burial was uncovered.

Based on the critically acclaimed 1982 movie of the same name, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial game is reported to have only sold 1.5 million copies despite a production of approximately 5 million copies. To make matters worse, many consumers returned the game citing general dissatisfaction with repetitive gameplay and poor graphics. Many observers have cited this game as one of the direct causes of the North American video game crash of 1983. To this day the game is regarded as one of the worst, if not the worst video game ever made.

Nonetheless a year ago Alamogordo, New Mexico officials approved an evacuation of the landfill. Then 2 weeks ago Microsoft’s Xbox Entertainment Studios and a documentary team began putting the plans in motion. Finally this morning was the moment of truth. Lo and behold, the landfill was indeed found and suddenly I have a craving for some Reese’s Pieces.

SMITE - Nemesis Screenshot 1

Bye Bye Beta! Hi-Rez Studios unleashes SMITE

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It’s official. The SMITE is officially no longer in Beta as of March 25, 2014. In commemoration of this, every account level 10+ received 600 Gems for retweeting the announcement (If you have an old account, log back in and check that out!) as well as a $200K tournament going down . The tournament begins tomorrow, March 28 and runs through March 30. Check that out at their official Twtich page here.

If you haven’t played, now’s the best time to jump on board. As a former WoW addict, I have refused to play anything like it the past few years. I was introduced to SMITE in December and have been hooked. SMITE is basically an awesome MOBA with different options for gameplay that ranges from 5v5 Arenas to Conquests with specific team objectives. The characters are gods and their abilities are generally based off the the mythology behind them.
SMITE - Nemesis Screenshot 1
In SMITE, you have a level playing field for everybody. Everyone starts off with the same amount of Gold that can be used to purchase items throughout that specific game. Of course, you earn more gold over time and when you slay an opposing team’s god or titans. The whole idea makes it easy for you to get a quick game in rather than sitting for hours waiting on a raid and fighting for gear. Generally arenas last between 15-20 minutes and conquests run about 25-45 depending.

It’s awesome to see all the new gods that are being added as well as the updated environments. I urge you if you haven’t played or haven’t played it in a few years, check it out!

Feel free to add me to make you feel better about yourselves ;). Username is Eriiiicka

 

 

robocop 3 nes

8 Bit Nostalgia : Robocop 3′s Title Screen Theme

You know the future's bright when little girls are brandishing submachine guns.

You know the future’s bright when little girls are brandishing submachine guns.

I was in 4th grade when someone gave Robocop 3 to me.  I don’t remember who it was now, but man, this game was fun.  I sure as hell didn’t know any better, but I played the hell out of this game.  When I beat the game, I actually wrote into our calendar “Robocop 3 beaten by J.J.”  The hypest moment of the day.

The game hasn’t aged very well, and now I can see just how bad it was.  Everything about the game screamed mediocre.  The color palette, the controls, the presentation, damn near everything about the game was just….mediocre.  Well, when the source material was the worst Robocop movie in the trilogy, you can’t really expect much from the game.

Except for the music.  Ocean games were usually based on movie franchises, and they weren’t that good.  Except for the music.  They knew how to make music.

This song is my absolute favorite track from the NES era.  It’s the intro theme for the NES version of Robocop 3.  The intro starts out slow, then builds momentum and starts hitting you with a deep bassline, and everything else starts falling into place.  I kid you not when I say that I would never, ever skip this intro when I would play this game.  I would let it run until it ended, and then press START.

I honestly thought that I was the only person in the whole wide world that loved this song.  I was wrong.

Jeroen Tel, the song’s composer, is still active to this very day.  He’s the one that got the song playing on stage at that chiptune concert.  Every time I hear that song, I’m always whisked back to a time when the only responsibility I had was to do my damn homework.  Fox 6 kids actually had awesome programming, and the closest we got to gambling was POGS.  I didn’t have to worry about filing taxes, getting my car fixed, getting my ass kicked in the boxing ring, or running a half marathon.

It was a simple, fun time.  And I think that’s the power that chiptune music has over us NES kids.  It brings us back to that time, over and over again.

 

 

 

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My Favorite NES Soundtrack

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via ChuchMag

The very first console I ever owned was a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). I was 4 1/2 years old then and the 1980’s were coming to an end. But my lifelong affection for the sights and sounds of this 8-bit machine were only beginning.

Now before I even had an NES to call my own, I had already been exposed to the console thanks to my cousins. Whenever I would go to their house I’d watch them play Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda. Because of that, the “Overworld” and “Underground” themes were as much as lullabies to me as say “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” or “Hush, Little Baby”.

But it wasn’t until a year into playing the NES did my taste in games begin to really progress. And so at this point in my life, I would frequent the local Blockbuster nearly every Friday evening and rent a new game. One of those games was Mega Man 2.

Mega Man 2 is without a doubt one of the most enjoyable, addicting, and frustrating games I’ve ever played. I can recall staying up all night Friday to play, writing down the code after defeating a boss on my college ruled line paper, and finally going to bed around 1 a.m. On Saturday I’d wake up around 10 a.m., watch some Fox Kids, and begin the cycle all over again until I had to return the game Sunday (dat 2 nights, 3 days policy doe).

What made Mega Man 2 such a special game, however, was not only the exceptional non-linear gameplay, but also the soundtrack. From the moment you turn on the game (after 3 rounds of blowing into the cartridge), the opening title screen music immediately takes you into the year 200X. It begins as this hauntingly melodic piece until 43 seconds in when that synthesizer slide strikes and the tempo is suddenly turned up to 11.

Then there’s the moment you select what stage you want to play. The boss select theme itself is simply unforgettable and maybe my favorite 8 seconds in all of 8-bit.

Furthermore, the actual stage music is incredible. Each stage theme reflects its respective boss perfects. For example, Flashman’s music compliments the blinking lights of the stage while Heatman’s theme captures the hectic pace one has to endure as they hop their way through the level. Then there’s the beauty that is Dr Wily’s stage theme:

The Mega Man 2 soundtrack is an instant chiptune classic. And it’s an integral element that makes Mega Man 2 truly an 8-bit masterpiece. On a personal note, it was one of the first times in my life where melodies really had an effect on me. To this day, melody is the most important factor in determining what songs I enjoy. And that’s all thanks to the NES.

 

Honorable soundtrack mentions (and totally underrated Action/RPG games):

Crystalis

 

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3

Thank you PlayStation 4

FACT: I don’t own a PlayStation 4. Francis and Ferris do. I don’t. Now before you say that I’m 200-and-late on next-gen consoles, hear me out for a second! I am a big proponent of the PS4. I love what it can do and what it will be capable of doing. I will own one when the time is right. However, I would like to remind you guys about a little something…

PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3

During the typical console cycle, content improves as the cycle progresses because developers learn how to maximize game output using console hardware. The PlayStation 3/XBOX 360 cycle is currently over 8 years with (give or take) a couple years left. However, the latest and greatest content has only recently released only. Titles such as The Last of Us, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Beyond: Two Souls represent the zenith of PS3 game development.

Even though PS4 released last holiday season, it’s a great time to own a PS3!
- HD remakes of classics are still pouring onto PlayStation Network
- Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns completes the next-gen story
- The entire Bioshock franchise!
- South Park: The Stick of Truth provides a fun JRPG-style experience
- The Walking Dead Game: Season 2 leads an army of exciting PSN content
- Persona 5… WOO!
- Not to mention PS3 ports of PS4 titles Watch Dogs, Rayman Legends, Thief, The Evil Within, Wolfenstein, Destiny

PS4 did all of us PS3 gamers a favor: MASSIVE PRICE DROPS! If you go into your local GameStop, most of the the games you’d want to play but never bought are under $20 used. I’m not even kidding. So rejoice, PS3 owners! Your backlog of games has just increased tenfold! Better get started now…

THE VERDICT: As of now, I highly recommend not to ditch your PS3. No need to upgrade your console (and TV if you don’t have HDMI inputs like I do) just yet. But if you want to, we totally understand.

So, thank you PlayStation 4. You’re the gift that will keep on giving. Happy Valentine’s Day. Game on dudes!

peach

The Peach Complex.

 

peach
Shigeru Miyamoto
, must have been in some kind of F’d up relationship with his girlfriend. He must have gotten his heart broken and decided to make a game based on his relationship to help men around the world relate and cope. Think about it! Princess Peach is the eternal cock-tease right? and we all know the drill: Peach gets knabbed by the forever horny Bowser and you, as Mario have to drop everything and claim countless lives just to get her ungrateful ass home. Peach makes absolutely no provisions to defend herself from her persistent captor, knowing all along that we’ll clean up all her shit. To make things worse she gets your awkward brother Luigi involved and now shes dragging your family in this shit. YOUR FAM BRO!


That’s rough. Try as you might to keep her safe, it’s never enough. It’s like shes constantly throwing  challenges your way to test manhood and heart. “yeah, you saved me last week but, what have you done for me lately?”

chicks…am I right?

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Of course I supported “Mighty No. 9″. Why wouldn’t I?!

For many of us gamers, Mega Man has a special place in our collective hearts.  Some more than others.  Admittedly, I didn’t start playing with the Blue Bomber until the X series.  That shit was the tits.

However, the blue bomber’s been gettin’ the shaft from Capcom as of late, and after his creator Keiji Inafune bounced from Capcom, he formed his own indie studio and made a bunch of games (Hyperdimension Neptunia, a game franchise Ferris refuses to let me buy), and he got a kickstarter going to help resurrect the Blue Bomber in a brand new franchise.

Mighty No. 9 kickstarter

The outpouring of support as soon as the announcement was insane, and Inafune-sensei has already reached his initial goal to get the game off the ground.  Now it’s a matter of whether or not it’ll reach its stretch goals, of a console release.

I found this picture on tumblr, and it’s pretty dope.  With no new Mega Man games on the horizon, it seems that the torch has indeed been passed on to Beck, Mighty No. 9′s titular new character.

mega man mister 9

 

I couldn’t be prouder of Inafune-sensei.  Not only is he realizing his dream of resurrecting Mega Man, he’s doing it with the collective geek spirit of everyone around the world.  Fucking briliant.

And before you ask, I contributed to the kickstarter as well.