Monday, March 31, 2014

"Splashy Fish" Review

Hello! As I said earlier, I am great with timing. If I give a date, I mean it; that's the deadline, period.
Oh, hell. I'm late again, aren't I?
Anyway, because this is belated, I'm going to try to do the one that was supposed to be done today tommorow, which is going to be, err. exciting? Hopefully the quality is still there, I don't know. I couldn't update a couple days ago because I was on "vacation", so for the love of God, let this pass just this one time.
Splashy Fish is one of the thousands of responses to the removal of Flappy Bird. If you are unfamiliar with that, (who the heck are you?) let me hive a rundown, thirty second explanation for you:
"Flappy Bird was a free app which I can only assume was a cult classic. Prior to its removal from the app store, it was a game in which you controlled perhaps the most shitty bird in the universe, tapping to avoid pipes and plummet towards the ground like an anvil in a cartoon. Even the slightest touch will send our 'hero' plummeting to the ground to an untimely demise. The game was removed because of the creator's assumed 'hate mail', which is just a way of getting publicity because he was practically making more than the president of the US in like ten minutes."
As such, many copycats took the chance to make the big money with parodies of the game. They ranged from practically the exact same to ones with slight palette changes, such as the horrifying-as-all-hell "Wrecking Ball" Miley Cyrus Flappy Bird. Among these titles was Splashy Fish, heralded by fans as the most accurate to the original because of physics. Me, never have played the original, assumed this was true and bought the game, so now I guess it's time for the reviewing. Um, yay?
There's not a story, so I guess it's time for my Shakespearean writing magic to kick in:
"It was the day of the tournament. Jerry was thrown into the ocean, bereft of skills as he swam between the dreaded pipes, the objects that would lead to his murder. His fins were broken, and he struggled to move across the seemingly endless hell he was thrust into, praying to the fish gods that it would soon end."
Thank you, I'd like to accept my Newberry Medal now.
The gameplay consists of tapping our hero to avoid pipes. That's it. I would make a joke, but the only way to make this game explainable is with itself. It's just that, okay? 
Length: 5/10. Like other "endless games", there is no accurate measurement of length. All that exists is the endless marathon of our aquatic athlete, waiting to die in the hands of his obstacles. 
Difficulty: 5/10. Difficulty? I laugh at you. There is no difficulty. Cry in the corner of your room, cry as the lies of the thousands have told you, time and time again, of the horrors of this game, and I shall laugh at your despair!
Really, though, I don't get why everybody thinks this game is hard, let alone frustrating. Maybe it's the pressure, I don't know. The main problem is the physics, which in real life would cause all of us to become human pancakes. The gravity is freaking intense. Either way, though, it's really nor hard. Tap here, tap there, conglaturations, a winner is you, this story is happy end, you WIN.
Story: 0/10. No story. I guess you could consider my beautiful, award-winning dramatic reading, though.
Characters: 2/10. So there's a fish...... That's it.
Graphics: 8/10. While I may not agree with everything else about the game, I'm a sucker for those classic pixels. While the graphics might as well be a copy-and-paste rip-off of Mario games, darn do I love them.                                   Music: 0/10. While I would usually give games a N/A for not having music, Splashy Fish could've at least done something. I get it; they followed the footsteps of Flappy Bird, which had no music, but the silence with the occasional "blub blub" and "pyeeeeo" when you lose.... it's just too empty.                              Fun: 7/10. Despite my angry review of this game, I have to admit that it's pretty fun. Yes, there is no reward, and yes, it can be quite monotonous, but it has that undeniable charm; it throws you into the game wih no hesitation, and when you lose you get no punishment. It's just straightforward, even more so than a Mario or NES game.
In conclusion, the game is fun, but don't expect much from it. It's basic, it's mediocre, it gets a 27 out of 80 or 33.75% out of 100. (I'll start doing that from now on to spare the eyesore of "blah out of 80".)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Personal List: 6 Things to Love about Pokemon X

While we may have trekked across countless regions, the Kalos remains one of my favorites. It remains, in my opinion, one of the freshest titles to appear in recent history. As such, here are six reasons I think that Pokemon X is one of the best yet.
(This also applies to Y, but I'm just saying X because it's the one I have.)

6. Team Flare

Our goons in question are one of the, err, quirkiest we've seen in a while. Sure, they want to do the typical evil stuff, but most importantly, they wanna look good while they do it. As such, they sport some shades, slim cut suits, and a rather questionable hairstyle. Even when they engage in battle, they try to pose with class. Do they succeed though? No. Still, it adds a touch of humor; we've been through so many henchman, but never have they been this, well, engaged in trendsetting . And that's why I love them.

5. Graphics Schmaphics
One of the great things about the Nintendo 3DS is its ability to handle amazing graphics, and Pokemon X is no exception. Most Pokemon games have that pixelated feel to them; not terrible but stiff and a little unrealistic. Pokemon X, however, changes that tradition with amazing 3D visuals that would make even Jesus Christ make a double-take. My only problem is that the graphics make it hard to look at the other games, namely Black and White, because while their animation is fluid, it also feel kind of rough. It's a minor complaint, but it keeps the visuals from ranking higher on the list.
4. The Kalos Region
It's quite easy to tell that the Kalos region has a striking resemblance to France. Even the games creator's admit that France was a huge influence, but the Parisian creativity really shines. The most obvious example is Lumiose City, with it's huge Eiffel Tower-esque gym.
Other than that, the towns are really awesome (for the most part). There are towns bordering the ocean, towns with monorails, and one of my favorites, one that delves in the idea of magic and fairy tales with beautifully lush greenery. All these little touches helps enhance the breathtaking awe of the game.
3. The Pokedex
One sad component of the game is that it only introduced 69 new Pokemon (or something along that line), but all these Pokemon help enhance the vast Pokeverse. While many Pokemon return and get some badass Mega-Evolutions, the new ones really steal the show; the ghostly sword Honedge, the mysterious and sad Espurr, the skiddish Gogoat...... They really enhance the game's potential. Not to mention that many think there are more to come from the mysetrious item that a character gives you and the leaked Event Pokemon. Fingers crossed tha we've seen less than half of the new Pokemon...

2. The Multiplayer
There is no way to talk about Pokemon than without multiplayer. The game manages to make it even better; you can exchange friend codes with others (the best way is from exchange groups on Facebook) and duke it out with them, trade with them, message them...... oh, the fun times. The game even made it more accessible; the bottom shows other players worldwide, if your friends are currently playing, and you can easily click their icons to battle and trade. There's even the massively cool Friend Safari in the post-game, and when your friend is playing at the sae time you go to the safari, you can catch a third Pokemon and they all have special abilities. Best of all, they have two flawless stats!
1. Wonder Trade
Call me crazy, but I have spent hours Wonder-Trading, and it's the dearest thing about the game to my heart. It's simple; trade a random Pokemon, get a random Pokemon.
I finally have a use for my Espurr army!
While you usually get garbage, on the rare occasion, you walk out with something awesome. My brother go a shiny Gulpin from a stranger who I assume must be colorblind.
Even when you get crap, though, you want to keep trading because of the sheer randomness.. you don't know what you can get and darn, you just want to get something for the bragging rights. That's why it's my number one.

Well, because of the shortness of this list, I thought I would add a couple of things I hated about the game just for the kicks of it.
The Hex Girl Ghost
So you are just walking around Lumiose, running in and out of the buildings when you stumble onto an elevator and arrive on an abandoned floor. You are then confronted with some creep who floats over to you, saying you "aren't the one." Sure, Pokemon has messed around with ghosts in their games a lot, but this takes the cake for "Creepiest Ghost in Pokemon Gaming." You can even find her again in the Hotel Richisme, where she leans against the wall, wanting to "hear the elevator". Furthermore, if you look it up, you find all sorts of, err, charming illustrations.... This is truly one of those Oh-crap-I-wet-my-pants-playing-a-video-game moments.
There have been many rivals in the Pokemon game, but Tierno has to take the cake for "worst character design in Pokemon". I can only imagine what GameFreak was thinking:
"So.... we have these two chicks and a guy with hair like Bieber.... I think our next brilliant choice is to take a Snorlax and make his head a bloody pineapple."
In the world of bad characters, Tierno is tied between Big the Cat and Lubba, the boxer-donning blimp-sized Luma from Galaxy 2. Oddly, it seems all of them are really obese.... As thus, I shall forever call them the "Not-so-Dynamic Duo Trio."

There's a bunch of other stuff that I probably forgot to mention, so if you disagree, feel free to fight over it in the comments section (like anybody even does that). Until next time, I suppose!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

"Me Want Bamboo 2" Review

Lately, I've been messing around with my iPod Touch. Don't get me wrong, Nintendo tops iOS devices everyday (by the way, tell this asshole I said he's a complete imbecile.), but the iPT (I'll just call it that; it's a lot easier to type..) allows for pictures. Being a person unarmed with video game recording equipment, I often use images online, but the iPT allows you to take snapshots and easily download them onto your computer. THAT'S AWESOME. Anyway, we should, oh, I don't know, start talking about this game.
The iPT has an ever-expanding library of games. Some are amazing, some are infuriating, some are, err, terrible. Among them are basic yet addictive titles; the ever-so-popular Temple Run and click-a-thon Cookie Clicker.
Anyway, the game serves as a two-dimensional endless runner. You take control of a panda who is determined to.... actually, I don't know! The game has less of a story than Temple Run; you aren't Indiana Jones-ing, your'e just kind of running forward. Along the way you can collect power-ups, such as the bubble (which grants you invincibility until you are hit by an enemy), the fat panda (tentative title; it makes the panda bigger than Jigglypuff in SSBB), the binoculars (which zooms out the screen), Save Me Bamboo (which does, as it states, save you), and good ol' bamboo. These regular chutes give the panda in question a, umm, fart rocket?
You get a bunch of levels to choose from; you start with a post-apocalyptic, floating Great Wall of China an can pay to unlock a canyon, city, savanna, etc. You get an array of characters; you start with a bland panda and are given the choice of others with aesthetic and/or strengths/weaknesses. The best is General Tso; not only does he got the armor that brings all the girls to the yard (yeah right, it's better than yours; damn right, it's better than yours), but he's also completely invulnerable. He has the audacity to walk into a freaking elephant without a second thought. Respect.
The goal is to beat your score, get coins, buy stuff, get gems, buy more stuff, and compete with others worldwide for a top score of the week. It doesn't get anymore complicated than that. Really.
Let's dive into the scoreboard, shall we?

Gameplay: 8/10. Everything is really straightforward. Yet somehow it holds up; it's addictive. You can play it for anywhere from five minutes while taking a jizz (though that's kinda icky) to twenty minutes on the couch.
Length: 7/10. It's hard to say a longevity for Me Want Bamboo 2. On one hand, it is really shallow and short, but on the other it's completely infinite. I have to agree with the latter; like Temple Run (I said that a lot, didn't I?), it never ends until you die, so it's on you if the round was to short.
Difficulty: 7/10. It starts off pretty easy; jump here, jump there, avoid this, get that. But it gets progressively harder as you pass the 50,000 mark. The solid ground gets narrower/shorter and you will probably spend more time with your fart rocket than grounded. It gets more challenging yet also frantic and fun.
Story: Not applicable. It has no story and shouldn't be judged on that.
Characters: 7/10. The character selection is pretty small but also fun to mess with. Again, General Tso is the obvious best, but Bruce can do triple jumps and those other guys.... well I guess they are okay as well, I don't use them.
Graphics: 8/10. Like most games in the game market, the graphics are clean-cut and eye candy. That's not to say they are on Super Mario 3D World level of freaking awesome, but the pixel count is hardly noticeable unless you thought it was a good idea to shove it next to your eye with Gorilla Glue.
Music: Music?! Who the hell plays an app for the music?
Fun: 10/10. The game is just a blast to play. It's addictive I daresay more-so than Candy Crush. Sure, I've never played Candy Crush and it looks, well, really freaking stupid, but this is a game that I play every time my iPT is in my hands.

Excluding any non-applicable score parts, the game gets a 47 out of 60.  It's one of the best apps available, and it's completely free, so I recommend you go get it. Like right now.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Personal List: My Top 8 Hardest Super Mario Galaxy Stars

Let me be completely down-to-earth honest. Super Mario Galaxy was my first 3-D Mario game. Heck, the first Mario game I played was Super Mario Bros. 3 ADVANCE. I have no NES, SNES, N64, or even GameCube. I was thrown into the world of gaming with my brother's Game Boy Advance SP with nothing else. The first time I even played the original Super Mario Bros. was 2010, and that was with Super Mario All-Stars on the Wii.
As such, I had no experience with the frolicking. I grew up with sidescrolling Mario and didn't even know Super Mario 64 existed. All I knew was that Super Mario Galaxy was a BLAST. Even most Wii games and Wii U games can't live up to its graphics, gameplay, and amazing orchestral arrangements. It truly was a gem to define a generation.
But with that were some of the most painful levels I have ever played. Here are ten that still drive me to a state of insanity. Keep in mind that I omitted surfing, ball, and bubble levels, I didn't use the same galaxy for two stars, and stars from Super Mario Galaxy 2.
8. Dino Piranha Speed Run
So it isn't exactly that hard, I know. The problem comes in the fact that when I tried this for the first time, the short two and a half minutes I had to reach and defeat that blasted Piranha was anger-inducing. Dash across a bajilion planetoids, spin the living hell out of his rubbery tail, and grab the star. Simple on paper but hard for a newbie to execute.
Nowadays I can do this level blind-folded but I won't foret the first few rounds.

7. Bunnies in the Snow
The first few times you had to chase these cute bunnies down were cute and charismatic. The last mission to do so, however, is mind-bendingly evil. With two and a half minutes on the clock (this game loves that time, mind you), you chase down three stupid bunnies as you burn down snowmen, hit buttons, and break your Wii Remote. It shouldn't be hard, but the fact that there is snow everywhere leads to some fun back-and-forth running. I can't explain how many times I was duped by a trio of mocking bunny rabbits.
6. Purple Coins in the Desert
Let it be said that the only thing I hate more than desert levels are water levels. However, I found a lot of the water levels to be quite fun, ranging from Beach Bowl to Bonefin. (Oddly, they all seemed to all start with B: Beach Bowl, Bonefin, Buoy Base...) The main level isn't exactly difficult, and the purple coins level shouldn't be that hard either, but the annoying, ear-deafening music and quicksand turned it into a snoozefest. I would waste thirty minutes, only to drown in sand and try all over again.
5. Dreadnought's Garbage Dump
I have to agree with this level's title; it's a bunch of trash. You are tasked with throwing bombs at crates because this lazy pile of gears is simply too lazy. In addition, he gives you thirty seconds even though you agreed to help him do his chores. Does it add difficulty? Yes. Does it add fun? Everything but. Thankfully, this level didn't follow other similar levels and kill you if you failed, but the reward of one star is hardly even worth it.

4. Purple Coins on the Puzzle Cube
There are so many brutal purple coins levels, among them this little pain-fest from Gusty Garden Galaxy. Granted, there are more than 100 coins, but the mad-dash to collect 100 and then run all the way back to the starting point was pretty stressful. It's hard to say why this one is brutal in my opinion, perhaps because it was the first timed Purple Coin Challenge I ever did, but this one is the Devil.

3. Bouldergeist's Daredevil Run
I was at a HUGE dilemma. A HUGE one. (Type font jokes. They're dumb.) I had to decide between the fight with Bouldergeist or the 30-second crap-fest that is the Purple Coin challenge. While the Purple Coin one is probably the more difficult, I find Bouldergeist to simply be more challenging. You have one life and have to avoid getting thwacked by Mr. Jerk-Stone over here. It's hard to simply state how infuriating this challenge is, but another frustrating thing is that it comes so early in the game. This is what I expect after kicking some King Koopa butt, not after a freaking swim lesson with penguins! The transition from hotcakes to rage was suprising enough to throw me way off guard and fail time and time again. After dying twenty times, you are gonna wish that this abomination would implode into a bag of rocks that you could beat his bleeding corpse with.
2. Luigi's Purple Coins
Often cited as one of the most intense Mario levels in history, I have to agree. You take a three minute long trek to collect 100 coins around Luigi's, err, body. Sounds easy, right? NO. After falling into the bogs of hell, fallen through platforms, and twisted into oblivion, the star will pop up. BACK AT THE STARTING POINT. SO you best hope you made a clear trail or else your journey will be pretty rocky. I suppose it doesn't matter if you have to start all the way back at the beginning, right? It's not like you poured your blood, sweat, and tears into this level... Except for the fact that you totally did. It's okay, just lock the door and cry in the corner for a while. It might take some time.
1. A Very Sticky Situation
Where to even begin here? You've collected twenty stars and have been having a blast. Bee suit? No problem. Surfing lessons? Please. Rolling around? No issues?
Whuzzat? A Hungry Luma appears! Shoot him in the mouth a couple of times and he flies off, imploding into a new galaxy. That's when all heck breaks loose.
You hardly put your feet down for a minute, and the whole time you are on huge wads of gum, flying around, all the while avoiding cannonballs, spikes, and being careful not to set our Italian hero's rump ablaze. The most evil part? Towards the end stretch, you have to fly across four fire pillars. Time it too late and you're gonna be flying into a wormhole. When you are about to launch though, you die because Mario just barely touches his past obstacle, sending him falling down into the wild blue yonder. Cheap, Nintendo. That was just cheap.

...And I guess that's it. I hope you enjoyed! I will see you in about seven days, give or take. Until then, I guess!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

INTERVIEW: ElectricMudkip Talks Music and Mudkip

1/3/16 NOTE: This was the first of many interviews that I've done over the year or so. As such, there is some slight editing to the format to suit the standards.
None of the answers were edited, obviously, but some of the introduction, for example, is fixed up. Minty Fresh, yo. (I'll probably delete that, actually.)
Ryan Bath is a man of great talent when it comes to music. Under the moniker of ElectricMudkip, his remixes, largely of the Pokemon series, have amassed over 1,00,000 2,000,000 views on Youtube (quite frankly more than I'll ever get, might I add) and 5,000 13,000 subscribers.
And so, I decided he would be the lucky person to be my first interviewee.
Without further ado: ElectricMudkip!

What kinds of video games did you grow up with and how did they influence you?
I played a LOT of GameBoy Advance games when I first obtained my GameBoy SP back at the start of my childhood. The games that ended up being the most influential to me I believe were Pokemon Sapphire/Emerald (no surprise there, eh?), the first Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, and, actually, Kirby's Nightmare in Dreamland. I think these particular games influenced me both as a person and as a small-time remixer the most because not only was the music in each game so seemingly inspired to me with their unique melodies and harmonies, but also, considering I played them at such a young age, over-time they taught me a lot about all the cheesy stuff you're supposed to learn with real friends: friendship, and courage, and all that silly stuff. Well, okay. Maybe Kirby didn't teach me any of that specifically; but Mystery Dungeon sure did, with its story and all. And Sapphire/Emerald really got me caring for my digital Poke-buddies, so there's that.
How did you get your interest in music? And why do you make mostly Pokemon remixes?
I've always had a slight interest in music as stated above, but what really piqued my interest to start up what I do today was other people's remixes on YouTube. Their efforts made me realize that I could potentially be doing the same thing with some hard work involved; so I hopped to it, and ended up getting really caught into the whole ordeal. Well, it wasn't quite as straight-forward as that, and I hit many bumps on the road along the way, but you get the point. I focus mainly on Pokemon remixes most of the time for a similar reason as to why I started making remixes in general, but I focus on Pokemon remixes also because Pokemon has always been a huge part of my life ever since I got into the series, and I've always enjoyed its wide array of music from each generation, so what better way to acknowledge that than remix some tracks from the series, right? Haha.
What do you dream of doing in the future?
The future's freaky. I'm honestly not sure if I'll be able to pursue a career in what I'm presently doing now as just a hobby, but you never know I guess--it's indeed, as of right now, the dreamiest of a dream jobs. I don't even care the specifics of said dream job--I could be a video game music composer, an EDM producer, anything of that kind of sort, and I would be content.
Do you have any long-term goals?
I definitely want my work to sound a whole lot more professional in pretty much every way, shape and form, and that's all gonna have to come through practice. I'm sure that's something a lot of aspiring remixers/music producers want, though. Besides that… I guess I just want to be able to make something someday that I can personally be 100% proud of, in every respect, and not just in certain ways. This sort of ties into the first long-term goal in a sense, but at the same time it's a much more personal milestone I want to reach as even if I do objectively become a much stronger producer, my standards may still be above what I can be happy with, so what I want is to one day pass said standards, or at least match them. The day I pass my standards though might be the day I can never improve any further, however, so there's that.
Let's get serious for a minute: what do you think of the "I herd you liek Mudkips" phenomenon?
Do I love me some serious questions. Also lol I've written so much right now. My hands hurt. Aaaahhhh!

I think it can be somewhat overused at times, but it's kinda funny I suppose. I actually wasn't even thinking of the consequences when choosing to include the word "Mudkip" in my name at the time of creating my YouTube channel, but it hasn't been so bad to be honest when it comes to the "I herd you leik Mudkips" meme. I've gotten… MAYBE twenty-five comments in total in relation to it, so it could be worse haha.

So you think the best Pokemon is Mudkip, right?
Torchic's way better. Treeko's smug 'n ugly, though, so at least Mudkip wins that one.
… Fine, I was joking, but I had you, right?! c: Mudkip is too cute for words, like holy crap. He's sort of derpy looking, I think, and I find that kind of endearing. Swampert is a beast as well. All in all Mudkip's a killer Pokemon, and definitely one of my favourites. I'm sure I've used him in my Hoenn region adventures at least a gazillion times by now.

What exactly does "Electric Mudkip? mean?
Solid question!… I can't really provide a solid answer though, hah. I've always been not honestly the best at coming up with nick-names to go by on the web, and "ElectricMudkip" was more-or-less one of the first things that came to mind, so I decided to stick with it. I've come to interpret the "Electric" part as basically an indication that my Mudkip mascot guy that you see in every video of mine knows the move Thunderbolt, though, so I suppose that's the closest I can come to what the "Electric" part means. To add to this, the Mudkip could also be part Electric-type as well and not just Water-type, to spice it up or something.
What's the best region AND best Pokemon game (in your opinion)?
 Best region: a tie between Hoenn and Unova. I admit that I probably only chose Hoenn because of nostalgia, but I digress! Best game: objectively, I think Black and White coupled with its sequels were the most solid experiences as a whole, though X & Y has been a lot of fun. I just wish there was more to do in the post-game.
Do you consider yourself a "hardcore" gamer?
I actually don't; I'm more of a hardcore anime-watcher than game-player now a days haha. I've found that with my hobby I'm at my computer almost constantly and there's not a whole lot of computer games I'm into, so it's more convenient for me to watch anime when I'm just chilling instead of mucking around on a console or whatever. Having said all this, however, I play my 3DS consistently enough so there's a good amount of handheld games I still play (and not just Pokemon!).
Are you one of those trainers who grinds the living crap out of your Pokemon and constantly breeds them for IVs and EVs? And what about shinies?
I don't care about shiny Pokemon unless I randomly get one (got a shiny Fearow in generation four out of the blue, I love my Fearow to death), but I want to get more involved in the Pokemon meta-game. It's intriguing to me, and I love battling with real people. I have yet to start to get really into the whole debacle, as it's kind of intimidating and there's a LOT to prepare for, but I'm getting there. So to answer your question more clearly: I'm ALMOST one of those people. I will be eventually, once I figure out how it all works and stuff.
Lastly, the most important question of all: what do you think of dubstep?
WUB WUB WUUUUB!!! I love lots of sub-genres inside Electronic Dance Music's humongous library, and dubstep is of no exception. You can actually hear some dubstep influence in some of my own tracks, if you listen intently. To be fair though, I suppose I'm a little bit picky with my dubstep: the less melodic it is in nature, the more I'm likely to not really enjoy it. But in general I definitely don't mind the genre--it's one of those genre's that you need a lot of skill to make a track in properly, and I respect that.
Anyway, I would like to thank the Electric Mudkip for allowing me to interview him. Thank you so much, buddy.
These interviews should appear on the first Sunday of every given month. As such, on April 5th, my new interviewee (is that a word, even?) shall be......
(Drum roll sound effect)
Anyways, have a pleasant March! I shall see you next Sunday!