Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Thought to Chew: Why I Enjoyed Paper Mario: Sticker Star

A while back, I posted an article regarding why I love Super Paper Mario, frequently regarded as the black sheep of the series. Then, of course, there was the other one: Paper Mario: Sticker Star. I think that at one point I foreshadowed doing this, but I didn't look at the post, but with the Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, which looks absolutely amazing, I decided to knock it off my bucket list.
At some point, in the hazy months of 2013, when the blog was unsurprisingly underdeveloped (even though it still is), I started a tiny review which I never finished. You can find it in the terrible "Video Game Reviews (Kinda Defunct)" section which I won't link to because it's absolutely awful. It was extremely half-baked, but one of the few things I wrote was as follows: "Everybody's all like 'This game sucks. Set on fire,' which I just don't get. It may suffer in comparison to Thousand Year Door, and may not be as original as the first in the series, but when you push the legacy of its family aside, it's a great game. Those games are amazing, but they overshadow Sticker Star and makes it look like dirt." Even though I hate practically everything I wrote two years ago, it carries some semblance of what  I still think.
 You see, back in the heydays of the 2000s, Paper Mario was a completely fresh and innovative concept. Take Mario, flatten him out, and change the environments into paper. Yes, I know, it's a complete shocker. I'm willing to bet you had no freaking idea based on the title, but as I say at least twenty times per post, I digress. They were built up similarly to Super Mario RPG, frequently heralded as one of the best Mario games, and for good reason. Typically, taking video game franchises and making spin-offs resulted in disasters. Whoever wanted to learn how to use a crossbow with Link or talk to Pikachu, a creature who is inevitably so braindead that the voice detection is about as bad as subway announcements? Okay, so admittedly crossbow lessons with the hero of Hyrule would be pretty awesome, but with a plastic stick? Ehhhh, no thanks.
Mario, however, pulled it off, and while this can be partially attributed to the fact that it was made by the jolly folks at Squaresoft, the entirety of the franchise simply clicked into the new style. Paper Mario is essentially a sequel but made of paper, so it was a complete success, and the first two installments are frequently handled with the highest of regards. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

A Thought to Chew: Why Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer will be Amazing

Animal Crossing has been a surprisingly common fixture in my blog. Seriously, IT'S BEEN FREAKING EVERYWHERE. (The worst part is that 75% of those posts are from the earlier days of this blog. Oooh, goosebumps all around.) Even worse, they've all been centered on the same game: Animal Crossing: New Leaf, which in all fairness has probably been the greatest entry, but still. Something is surprisingly mesmerizing about doing things that you could literally be doing outside in the comfort of your own living room, chatting with the villagers, and freaking out when they reappear downtown. Seriously, Hazel still gives me nightmares.
But I'll save the mesmerizing nature of AC:NL for another time. The fifth entry to the Animal Crossing series is the one which I will masticate today (get your head out of the gutter, "masticate" is completely different), and it's by far the most interesting entry in the series.
One of the focal points of Animal Crossing is, well, DECORATING! YEAH! As dull as it sounds, designing your house, as well as your utopia, is one of the major proponents to why Animal Crossing works. It pushes forth an otaku viewpoint of collecting for collection's sake (see the great PBS Idea Channel video if you haven't already) and it works. Maybe it has to do with my extremely compulsive desire to complete things. In my opinion, they pretty much nailed this aspect of the game. You collect fish, bugs, fossils, deep-sea creatures, clothes, furniture, and cash money. There is no reward beyond internal efficacy, the nice, fuzzy feeling on the inside. Unlike other games where you might get an overwhelming feeling of frustration, you instead get an odd sense of pride. Sure, the game acknowledges your achievements with badges and equipment (or, in the case of the first game, a gigantic golden statue that would make Orwell take a run for his money), but the feeling of "YEAH!" is much greater than the actual reward in-game.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tumblr Repost #3: Two Sexy Cat Games

The third of my four Tumblr posts was a bizarre tribute to "sexy cat games" for National Cat Day, which was apparently October 29th. As per most entries, the absurdity relies on our neighbors to the East and their bizarre games whilst taking repeated jabs at their odd albeit eccentrically impressive culture.
It's also probably the best of the Tumblr posts despite the fact that it's one of the most risqué things I've written besides my, err, fanfiction how-to guide, but that stone is probably best left unturned for the better of society.
What I find particularly odd about the entry is the abrupt, random ending to it. I guess I just assumed nobody would read it anyway or that getting deep into it would result in my death. (It's most likely a combination of the two.)
Anyway, here it is.
As someone who has been to the mystical land of Japan, I can safely say that they love cats. Don’t believe me? Here’s a quick list to prove it:
-They have a cat that runs a train station.
They also have several video games involving cats. Unfortunately, a select few decided to take the creepy route, hence this list was created. So, to celebrate National Cat Day, I apologize.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

His First Post: Long Arms

A while back, I teased about making a series on Youtube creator's first videos, and after what I can only assume is months, it's finally happening. I decided to ask my good-ish buddy Marc about his first video, as he alluded to it in the interview from last June (PLUG! PLUG! PLUG!), and a few exchanges later, I managed to get ahold of his earliest two videos, both of which were.... interesting, to say the least. (I'm not harshing your buzz, Marc, m'kay? I think we can both agree it was a rough time.) Also, sorry in advance for a lack of photos. Sure, it looks more like a college dissertation without pretty pictures everywhere, but hey, at least it's an AWESOME college dissertation, so stop complaining, my presumably angry readers!
[insert smooth segue into Marc's response]

My early moments into video creation stretch back several years. Lemme lay down some context, yo.

The year was 2008. One of the very few content creators I watched was The Angry Video Game Nerd. He was very much so an early inspiration, maybe not so much in characterization and personality, but more in the development of how the videos came along and transpired. He made the videos funny and entertaining, and that to me meant a lot. Being an entertainer alongside riffing on games that were generally considered to be awful was something undone and unseen at the time, and I think if you were to ask just about anybody they would say that James is the father of the modern video game reviewer. He had several years of uninterrupted stardom in his genre of filmmaking in the early days of YouTube, which was once again, a marvel.

Then came along the Nostalgia Critic. He had originally done a series of collaborations with the AVGN, ultimately leading up to a feigned slow motion battle royale between the two of them… and also a fellow called Captain S… but nobody cares about him anymore. Anyways, that was how I first saw the Nostalgia Critic and came across his website, ThatGuyWithTheGlasses (with the website domain now officially being registered as Channel Awesome).

Originally starting a YouTube channel, but then deciding to pull the plug on it due to several instances of copyright infringement (something that scarily mimics recent developments of YouTube), Doug Walker started his own website as a way to post his creations, and eventually added on additional content creators of different sorts, people who would review movies, comic books, anime, video games, music; you name it and it was probably on that website.

Seeing all of the nurturing talent on there struck some sort of inspiration I had never felt before. I was a freshman in college at the time, stranded in a dorm room with no kind of equipment or experience necessary to do anything in regards to content creation just quite yet. It wouldn’t be until the summer of 2009 when I was home from school (and had access to a camera and a computer that miraculously had Sony Vegas on it) that I would attempt at trying to make my own videos.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Identifying Fake Paintings in AC:NL

I have a confession.
I love Animal Crossing:New Leaf, save the fact that I hardly ever play it.
The game is absolutely perfect in practically every sense imaginable, but for some reason, my mind thinks with such a tangential scope that I can't seem to focus on one single th-OH LOOK A SHOE!
Being a pretty big art buff, I love the fact that the game finally chose to make the counterfeit paintings that Crazy Redd sells easier to tell apart. So, for the heck of it, here's a look at all of the paintings that can be counterfeits and the way to tell them apart, because for some reason I decided it would be a good idea even though I'm willing to bet I was completely wrong.
(To Bidoof Crossing: Sorry for stealing all your images. I'm too lazy to take my own.)

Part I: The Boring Ones
The first few to bring up are the ones that are exceptionally boring. This can mean flipping an image as well as a variety of bogus changes that make it fairly uninteresting and uninspired. (IT ALSO MEANS THAT EFFING B-TARD FOOLED ME LIKE 20 TIMES BECAUSE IT PRACTICALLY LOOKS THE EXACT SAME. EFF YOU REDD, I HOPE YOU DIE IN A GASOLINE FIRE.)
For example, the one on the left is simply flipped. I also bought one of them, so I pray to the gods of Animal Crossing that Redd steps in a puddle with his socks on for proper vengeance because that guy's gotta pay. Seriously.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Tumblr Repost #2: The Two Times Pepsiman Showed Up in Video Games

Due to the frequent stagnation of the blog, I've decided to continue to dodge my intentions and do a second repost from the abandoned Tumblr disaster of '14. For some background on the Tumblr, click here. (It also has the first post which involved undergarments.) This is also one of the lists that I'm not a very big fan of if not for the fact that, to me, it feels like garbage. While the formula is intact, with poorly-made puns and a subject matter that was surely belched from a purgatory-esque dimension, the whole thing was just painul (in my opinion).
Now, after thoroughly making you think the post was complete crap, here it is!
PepsimanBeing a North Carolinian, one of the few things we have pride in is Pepsi. Now, I’m not gonna get dragged into a Coke vs. Pepsi hissyfit, but it’s fair to say that Pepsi is one of the more important soda brands.
It’s also probably the mot beloved American soda brand in Japan!
In fact, the Japanese made a handful of games about Pepsi using their mascot, the creatively-named Pepsiman. Who could forget him?
Uh….. a lot of people.
To paint you a picture, imagine if Slenderman (that dumb egg in a suit that everybody is scared of for some unknown reason this is a run-on sentence I apologize) was covered in aluminum foil and got a job as a Pepsi salesman. That’s what he is.
Anyway, Pepsiman was apparently popular enough to appear in two video games (of course, only in Japan folks!), so here they are.