The Birth of Mega Man

Looking across my bookshelves and boxes of video game comics, you can find a near-equal amount of art books dedicated to my electronic obsession.  These books serve two functions in my apartment (other than looking pretty): provide a source of reference for my wife’s art and to serve as a sort of history book for my favorite games.  And the best of these tomes of video game knowledge come from Udon Comics.

On top of their numerous video game comics, the Ontario-based studio has published several art books dedicated to many different series.  Not content to simply provide the usual concept and promotional art from video games, Udon will fill these books with creator interviews, unreleased images, and even some new material for rabid fans.  During a recent re-reading of Mega Man: Official Complete Works, I discovered a rare comic that I somehow missed on my previous scouring: an official origin story for the Blue Bomber drawn by Keiji Inafune! Continue reading The Birth of Mega Man

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Different Games for Different Moods

Video games have all kinds of effects on me. Some help me unwind at the end of the day; others totally stress me out. Some are easy, while others are so difficult I end up rage quitting. But this is why I love games — there are so many different genres, I always manage to find a game that suits my mood.

Weekend Morning Games

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The Wolf Among Us

Specifically, I have weekend morning games. These are extremely special to me, because they are easy to play. Sometimes that’s exactly what I want. My favorites for weekend mornings are the episodic TellTale games, such as The Wolf Among Us, and dating sims. Immersing myself in the dramatic world of Fables or just goofing around with Chrono Days — that’s how I like to burn a morning while I have a pastry and some coffee on the couch.

Games With Rewarding Combat

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DmC: Devil May Cry

I also have games that require quick skills and concentration, and I love those for how rewarding it is to get them right. It’s all about the gameplay style — and for me, that’s hack and slash combat. I like beat ’em up combat as well — it’s so similar — but hack and slash is my favorite because it feels much faster paced and looks so glamorous.

Devil May Cry is my favorite here. The series offers a challenging combat style, but it’s the only one that I have had so much fun with, I actually replay missions over and over to improve my score. And then I go on to play the more challenging modes you unlock after beating the game once. I may not be the most skilled player, but it’s a gameplay style I find really rewarding to practice. That’s why Devil May Cry has become my go-to series for when I feel energetic about my gaming.

When I’m Stressed or Tired…

When I’m feeling stressed or tired, indie games are a much better fit. I love playing little offbeat platformers or just burning up toys in Little Inferno. The less skill required, the better — I’m more interested in an unusual atmosphere that sparks my imagination. It’s actually been a while since I dug into these types of games, partly because my PC burned out on me. (I used to get all my indie games on Steam…) I will have to remedy that soon!

Immersive Games

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Mass Effect

And then there are the games I like to play when I really want to game: RPGs and adventure games. They’re my favorites for their immersive worlds, epic storytelling, and compelling characters.These are my go-to games when I have lots of time to immerse myself in another world. I find myself replaying my favorites over and over — games like Mass Effect and Skyrim. I can’t get enough of those, and I have to admit, I’m pretty particular about them. While I have enjoyed exploring the rich worlds of Red Dead Redemption, Assassin’s Creed, GTA V, and Tales of Xillia, at the end of the day, I have only a handful of absolute favorite RPGs and adventure games that I just can’t get out of my head. Those are the games that really make me a gamer, and without them, I probably wouldn’t have the job that I have now or be blogging here today!

— Ashley

Play on, ye marathoners. Play on! (And tell me, how the hell do you do it?)

Image by Flickr user Ben Andreas Harding
Image by Flickr user Ben Andreas Harding

I don’t know how you do it — you wonderful gamers who can play and play and play with nary a break (except for snacks and the calls of nature, that is). What be yer secret? she said in a pirate accent for no good reason. How do you sit for so long, immersed in as virtual world doing virtual things? No sarcasm there, I’m serious. Marathoning games is something I want to do, but simply can’t. Or won’t. Or something.

I’ve come to realize that my gaming attention span lasts about two hours. I can sit comfortably doing this, that, and the other in any given game for about two hours before I need a break. And as far as I can remember, it’s been a habit for a long time.

Continue reading Play on, ye marathoners. Play on! (And tell me, how the hell do you do it?)

At the Buzzer (06/26/14)

Episode 138: Having Relations — The gang tries to stop terrible relationship choices from happening in Headlines, then picks the top three celebrities on their F-it list in Buzzcut. Also, Chris reveals the origin of a crush, Michelle talks about how she has a thing for noses, and Shaun ponders the best gifts for someone who’s sick.

Headlines

Credits

Music:

  • “Main Theme (Rhythm Thief)” by Tomoya Ohtani
  • “Main Theme (Valkyria Chronicles)” by Hitoshi Sakimoto
  • “With Mila’s Divine Protection” by Noriyuki Iwadare
  • “Arkham City Main Theme” by Nick Arundel
  • “Night at the Octodrag” by Thee Jaguar Sharks

Production Assistance: Tony Robinson, Executive Producer

Announcer: Molly Robinson

More At the Buzzer

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Episode.34 – Thundah frum Daen Undah

Welcome to Episode 34, everyone! Joining Joshua this week is good friend, fellow fighting gamer and Australia-based friend, Tim Round. The duo discuss such things as working on the railroad all the livelong day, the release of the Amazon Fire phone, U.S./Australia relations by way of Podcast and punk rock, while all the while battling shoddy WiFi and time zones. Also, more discussion of Godzilla Night III and Joshua discusses his and wife Hannah’s upcoming, kaiju-related travel plans.
 


Show notes


“What’s in My Head?”

Shoutouts:

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Sticher

Adventures In Driving: How Driving In Games Is My Worst Nightmare

Being a gamer for the last few years has opened me up to experiencing fun gameplays, great storytelling, and the sheer glee of shooting and blowing shit up, as my wonderful friends would lovingly put it. I love being able to have a console or handheld waiting for me at home when there’s a game I really want to continue playing, or for those days when things haven’t gone right for me and I just need a few hours to be alone and forget my own reality for a little while.

Games that are broken up into missions are great for when you want to dive in and out of a game on your own time. Games like Saints Row: The Third and Saints Row 2 has some of the most fun missions I’ve played and adds some variety to the games without them ever being boring at all. Maybe the only missions I can probably do without are driving missions or any mission involving the use of operating any sort of vehicle.

Continue reading Adventures In Driving: How Driving In Games Is My Worst Nightmare

It Should Be Called Super WARIO Adventures

Origin stories for Nintendo characters tend to be rather ambiguous.  Mario and Luigi could be plumbers born and raised in Brooklyn, or two lost children from the Mushroom Kingdom.  Donkey Kong has been the son of Cranky Kong, the grandson of Cranky Kong, or just some angry ape that kidnaps Pauline.  And don’t even get me started on Link and his mixed up timeline.  Amidst all of this confusion, it seems that a certain Nintendo mainstay has yet to get a proper point of origin in the wide world of video games: Wario.

Making his first appearance in 1992 as the antagonist of Super Mario Land 2, Wario was already a full-grown villain with no major backstory.  He wasn’t the lizard tyrant of a deposed kingdom.  He wasn’t an invader from outer space.  Wario was just a greedy guy who wanted a castle so he took Mario’s.  That’s it.

After Mario knocked the baddie off his usurped throne and everything was returned to the status quo, Wario became a sort of selfish antihero.  For the 17 games that followed, Wario concocted plenty of get-rich-quick schemes to add more treasure to his hoard (normally involving quirky platformers or hyper-odd minigames).  Second only to his love for money is Wario’s contempt for his goody two-shoes counterpart.

In Wario’s mind, Mario has had it easy his entire life; getting the glory and riches for nothing and gloating about it all the way.  You wouldn’t necessarily hear Wario voice this opinion in video games, save for the occasional snide comment (and constant sneer).  The backstory of these two once-best friends was detailed in January 1993, through a comic in Nintendo Power. Continue reading It Should Be Called Super WARIO Adventures