• LurchenGamer

      My Top Ten Underrated Gems

      1 year ago

      One year. A lot of things can happen in one year. It's been twelve long months since I last stepped foot into this website. So, what exactly happened? I lost the will to write. My passion was simply not there. To be honest, I did not have passion in pretty much anything that I did. That was very apparent with my lackluster grades in college, which forced me to relocate to a different school in an attempt to recuperate my GPA. So, what has made me come back all of a sudden? Well, I'd like to thank g1 Woodyman for posting about TMoFG 6, which made me want to go back on the site. I finally have got the itch to write again.

      So, what to write about? That was the question I was faced with, and it was a rather peculiar one. Mostly because I had altogether stopped playing video games during my time away from the site, pending the occasional RPG or Visual Novel game. I want to start playing games at a more frequent pace, start getting back into the hobby which helped define me throughout High School. This had me digging through my collection and stumbling upon some games I reminisce about. Several of these games, however, are not very popular or appreciated at all, sadly. That, honestly, is sad. 

      The ten titles I will be discussing today are not "classics" or even "perfect", whatever those terms may indicate. However, I can assure you that these titles have a lot of "play" and "enjoyment" to them, and I know exactly what these terms mean. Our genres will be vast, ranging from puzzle, RPG, shooters, beat-em-ups, and platformers. The only criteria to make it on the list was simple: Only a single game per franchise, I had to find at least 6-10 hours of enjoyment out of the game, and I had to believe that these games are criminally forgotten abound the vast mediocrity of their respective system's libraries. Do remember, this is my opinion solely on the topic, but I will be glad to hear your opinions on games you felt should also be appreciated for their entertainment they presented to you. So, without further ado, please listen to the soothing sounds of the Hotline Miami soundtrack whilst breezing through my Top Ten Underrated Gems. 

      Number ten: Ty The Tasmanian Tiger (PS2, Xbox, Gamecube)

      In a console filled to the brim with great platformers (i.e. Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter), one platformer was going to have to fall under the notion of "mediocre" compared to the others. This is not to suggest that our friendly Tiger from Down Under did not recieve his fair share of attention. After all, he DID get a couple of sequels, neither of which were quite as good as the original. But... where did Ty run off to? We still remember the great Naughty Dog platformers of the PS2 era, but several seemed to have bid farewell to Ty, which is honestly sad. The game is a blast. The story is quirky, filled to the brim with lame jokes and a very cartoony feel to the game as a whole. The platforming is solid, if not great. The game has a lot of character to it, which, quite honestly, is necessary if you expect to make it in this genre. The game can be found for super cheap at your local game store, going for only about 5-8 US Dollars. For the countless hours I put into this title, a mere Mr. Lincoln is a small price to pay.

      Number Nine: Brutal Legend (PS3, Xbox 360)

      Alas, we have a victim of the classic "It's boring in the beginning, so I quit it" motif. You know what Brutal Legend is in the first couple of hours. F**king boring. Oh god, the countless collection quests get so damn old. Get past those initial few hours though, and you have a very solid experience. The game itself is not remarkable, but it is an enjoyable mashup of a platformer, open-world, and beat-em-up. You know what really distinguishes this game from the pack, in my honest opinion? Two things: The voice acting and soundtrack. Jack Black and Ozzy Osbourne are two of the voice actors who provide great performances in this game, really nailing the zany feel of the game to a T. If you are a fan of Hard Rock and Metal, by George, this game is for you. Judas Priest, Ozzy, Motley Crue, Kiss, Megadeth, Anthrax, and Def Leppard highlight the very impressive 75 bands that grace us with 107 tracks. If not just for the music alone, give Brutal Legend a little bit of time. Perhaps not the best of Schafer's creations, but it is a solid addition to his already fantastic resume.

      Number Eight: Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction (PS2, Xbox, Gamecube)

      Absolutely brutal, unadultered carnage. Sometimes, I simply want to kill things. However, despite the fact that I live in America, I do not own a gun, and I have zero indication of becoming a murderer anytime soon. Alas, what am I to do? Play an open-world Sandbox game, of course! There are a lot of good ones to choose from. You have Grand Theft Auto, Saints Row, Far Cry, Red Dead Redemption, the list is massive. You know what my favorite sandbox game is, though? Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. I know, weird, right? A game that is a movie licensed game is actually good? What's going on here? Hulk takes a spot on the list because we all need a stress reliever in our lives. I, personally, would prefer not Hulking out in real life, and simply controlling a large green monster who wreaks havoc on [INSERT RANDOM UNFORTUNATE CITY WHICH IS PROBABLY NEW YORK CITY IN REALITY BECAUSE NYC IS DESTROYED IN EVERY SUPERHERO MOVIE]. 

      Number Seven: Mace: The Dark Age (N64, Arcade)

      Me and fighting games do not normally get along very well. I have always rather enjoyed games which give me time to think out my moves (i.e. Puzzle/RPG). However, if I was to play a fighter, I am a HUGE fan of the Soul Calibur series of games. 3-D fighters as I like to call them have always had a special appeal to me as a gamer, this is, in part, thanks to Mace: The Dark Age. I can fondly recall the first three video games that I ever played: Majora's Mask, Super Mario 64 and Mace: The Dark Age. Of the three, I spent the majority of my time on Mace. It is just simply a LOT of fun. It boasts an impressive cast of characters, not in quanity, but in quality. As a fighter, it is not the most challenging one out there. You do NOT see them playing Mace at EVO. Honestly though, if you are just looking for a game to play with your friends and they already tried to rip your throat out for stealing their only two stars in a bullshit game on Chance Time in Mario Party (not that this happened to me...), pop in Mace and give it a spin. It truly is one of the last good games that Midway made. 

      Number Six: 007: Nightfire (PS2 and pretty much every console from this generation)

      We are all aware of the beauty of a game known as Goldeneye. However, many gamers are under the false pretense that Goldeneye is the only good Bond game ever made. Haha, no, not even close. In fact, Nightfire comes damn close to actually surpassing the Golden Boy as king of the Bond games. The story is simply better, the controls are also better, and quite honestly the multiplayer falls JUST short of surpassing the N64 classic. The game lasts a good 8-10 hours, depending on your skill level. The game can have ramps in difficulty, but it is nothing absymally hard. Car Chases, shoot outs, women, suave tuxedos. All are mantras of the Bond name. You can find all of these, plus some zany antics on the moon, in Nightfire. As a title which is generally in the bargain bin of gamestores, this will make a fine addition to your Generation Six collection.

      Number Five: Illusion of Gaia (SNES)

      I have a small, minor statement that I would like to make. I do not like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (the whole world gasps in awe as an idiot online makes such a bold and foolish statement). Perhaps I shouldn't say I "dislike" it, more that it fell flat in my expectations. Why is this, you may ask? Because of Illusion of Gaia. I found this beauty at a used game store for around five bucks. I had no idea what to expect, as I was just then getting into building my SNES collection. I was amazed by this game. You see, this was my first real venture into the world of the Super Nintendo. Comparing this to A Link to the Past, they are VERY similar games. The combat is close, both have dungeon crawling RPG elements involved in them,  and both games boast impressive visuals and soundtracks. So, why Gaia over Zelda? The characters. I am a HUGE proponent of Story over Gameplay (i.e. I enjoy games like Heavy Rain over a game like Left 4 Dead), and I never got attached to the story of Link to the Past. However, I was immediately hooked when I played Illusion of Gaia. Now, before you get all up in arms about Zelda Master Race talks, do note: I LOVE The Legend of Zelda. I own the majority of the games in the series and have played through the majority of them to near completion. The point I am trying to make is Illusion of Gaia is near the quality of A Link to the Past, and it does not recieve quite the attention it deserves as being a classic on the SNES. Perhaps one of the ten best RPGS on the SNES, Illusion of Gaia has, to this day, remained a classic in my books. 

      Number Four: Gun-Nac (NES)

      Gosh dang it Japan, you sure are weird. And I love you for it. I mean, take a look at this box art. What exactly is even going on? A Spaceship is flying past two Robotic Rabbits and a Random Octupus (Octupi, maybe?) whilst being chased by missles and other ships. Oh yes, the game is actually this weird, I promise you. Probably even stranger, once you delve into some of the obscure and rather random bosses that you will face throughout the game. It is a vertical shooter, honestly nearing the difficulty of games like Ikaruga at points. It is wild, crazy, and a complete "Why, Japan?" experience. Now, buyer beware, the game fetches a pretty penny. I managed to stumble upon mine honestly as a friend was trading off some of his NES games for some PS3 titles. So, about three or four PS3 games for his collection, which just happened to include: Gun-Nac, Duck Tales 2, Chip and Dales: Rescue Rangers 2, all three Mario and both Zelda games seemed like a fair trade. To be fair, I had no idea the value of these games at the time, but he seemed happy enough with the games he got. At least check out a ROM of the game if you get the chance, because it is a very fun game. 

      Number Three: The World Ends With You (Nintendo DS)

      For some reason, I never was the biggest fan of portable gaming growing up. Sure, I, like the majority of children my age, did partake in the wide world of Pokemon, but that is about where my portable expertise starts to wane. This is, of course, until recently. I decided to dust off the old Nintendo DS and give some of the classics a whirl. I got to play Professor Layton (the first one) and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. I also wanted to check out some of the obscure titles the system had to offer. This is where I stumbled upon two games, both of which are Number Three and Two on my countdown. The first was The World Ends With You. I honestly did not have that high of expectations going into this game. Sure, it has the color, visuals, yadda yadda, but I had been burned by the zany Japan feel of a game before. Thankfully, however, The World Ends With You did manage to keep my attention very well. Once you get past the slightly unorthodox control scheme, a very good experience is awaiting you. This is, in my honest opinion, one of the top ten games on the Nintendo DS. One of the other games that is in my Top Ten is...

      Number Two: 999 & Virtue's Last Reward (DS, 3DS, Vita)

                                        

      Okay, that was an obvious joke, and I apologize for the blatant obviousness of the joke. That aside, the game we are actually talking about is this:

      So, let's talk honest here for a second. I really like visual novels. Yes, we are talking the slightly perverse games out there. I frequently dabble with titles like If My Heart Had Wings and Katawa Shoujo. So, yes, I do enjoy these type of games, but I also quite enjoy regular visual novels that are NOT romance stories. One of the finest VNs out there happens to be 999: 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors. How to describe this game... Ah, I got it! Okay, so imagine a movie like Saw that does not completely suck balls like those films did. Now, imagine instead of stupid death traps, the psychopath who kidnaps you forces you to solve puzzles to get out. The beauty of this game lies in the fact that it manages to weave a well told story without bogging itself down with exposistion, which a lot of VNs tend to do. The characters are also full of, well, character, as a good VN should have. Just as good if not better is the 2012 High Definition sequel to the game Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward. Finally, I have a reason to own a PS Vita that is not slaving through my fourth play of Persona 4: The Golden999 is a perfect game to pick up for your collection if you happen to love VNs or you love the puzzle solving-type games like Layton/Phoenix Wright. The game can be challenging at times, so keep that in mind. This brings us to our number one, which is...

      Number One: Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne (PS2)

      Alas, I will be revealing a deep dark secret to the Persona fans of the world. Atlus has made other games that are not Persona. WHAT?!?!??! I know, quite shocking. Even more shocking is the fact that some of the Atlus games out there are as good if not better than Persona. Enter in NocturneNocturne is the oft-forgotten cherry on top of the PS2 RPG sundae. Sadly, this game gets slightly buried behind the Personas and Final Fantasy titles on the PS2 (Not X-2 though, that one sucked), despite being, in many regards, a superior game. What Nocturne does right is nail the dark and depressing feeling that a post-apocalyptic game should have. I mean, spoiler alert, but the world freaking ends in the first thirty minutes of the game! What else does Nocturne nail? Well, pretty much what most Atlus RPGs are known for: fantastic soundtracks, great turn-based gameplay. unique characters, and ball-busting difficulty. No, trust me, you will die a LOT in this game. Nocturne is the perfect game for those of you that are looking for another PS2 RPG to add to the collection. I can also recommend the Devil Summoner and Digital Devil Saga games if you are looking for other damn hard PS2 RPGs. 

      I think it should come to little or no surprise to those of you who have read my previous blogs that an Atlus game was number one on this list. I really love that company, and do believe they are the current kings of RPGs. I hope that this list has given you some new ideas for games to check out in the near future. That was the whole point of this blog: I wanted to inspire you all to go and check some games you may have forgotten about or were unaware of altogether. What are some games you wish would get some more time in the sun? Leave a comment below! Hopefully I can get back to a more frequent writing schedule, probably every two weeks an article will go up. I will be participating in TMoFG 6, despite just hearing about it the other day. This has been the LurchenGamer, I hope that you enjoyed the blog. Have a great day!

       

       

       

    • LurchenGamer

      What Makes a Game a "Classic"?

      2 years ago

      Hello there, g1s. I am finally coming back to writing articles full-time on the site. After a fairly long hiatus (it's been like, 6-8 months, I believe?), I will be back to writing articles every two weeks. So, what are we going to be talking about this week? Let's talk about the term "Classic". The technical term "Classic" means to be judged over a period of time and marked with the highest of regards amongst its kind. So, in laymen's terms, it means that the piece of art, movie, or whatever is considered to be one of the best of the best. We are talking the Citizen Kane of movies, the To Kill a Mockingbird of literature, the I Love Lucy of American Television, and the Mona Lisa of art. It's the type of thing that you could talk about the subject and an outsider would immediately think of the piece of art as a "Classic". However, we hear this term "Classic" all the time. "Yeah man, that game was a classic! You got to check it out." What exactly does this term mean? I feel that it is a term that is up for debate, first of all. Before we start our discussion, do note that something one person may consider to be a classic can be hated by others. For example, I've had discussions with people about Anime, where they said the hated the movie Spirited Away. With that in mind, let's talk about the major points that make a game a "classic". So, sit back, listen to a classic video game score, and enjoy the blog!

       

      Classic Games Withhold the Test of Time

      I am sure that you all have heard of the term "Nostalgia Blindness" before. That might not be the exact name of the term, but it's fairly close. What this means is that you BELIEVE a game is great simply because you remember growing up with it. A good example for me would be Goldeneye 64

      Oh, Goldeneye?, I used to love you. Then I realized just how wonky your controls truly were.

      While, yes, one can admit that Goldeneye was very influential on the First-Person Shooter genre (a genre which, at least for me, is going downhill fast), to admit that the game has "Withheld the test of time" is you putting your Nostalgia Blinders on. The game was fun when it first came out, but the controls are janky, and graphics are average, and the multiplayer is nowhere near as fun as it used to be. 

      So, we had an example of a game that has aged poorly. What exactly is an example of a game that has aged well and withheld the test of time. I would like you all to harken back to the Super Nintendo for this example. 

      The game manages to hit all the chords exactly right, and remains a great game to this day.

       

      While I have never exactly been the biggest fan of the Final Fantasy games, I do recognize just how well that Final Fantasy III has aged. For a game that is going on 25 years old, the game still looks, sounds, and plays extremely well. I do believe that one thing some people may be thinking is "Are you saying that if a game looks bad now that it is not a classic?". No, that is not what I mean. What I mean by this category is that you can very easily pick the game up, play it for hours still, and not get frustrated with the graphics, gameplay, or story. I can sit and play the majority of the SNES RPGs for hours at a time, since they (for the most part) have aged remarkably well. I TRIED to sit through just a few hours of Goldeneye 64 with some friends who played the game with me when we were younger, and we simply had to turn it off in around 30 minutes. So, do not let your nostalgia blinders prevent you from seeing what is actually a classic game, and what was just "good memories" for you back in the day.

      Classic Games Have Easily Recognizable Characters

      Whenever a person tells me a game or movie is a "classic", I ask them to name me a few of the characters from the game. While yes, this example does not work for, say, Pong (I name Paddle, Paddle, Black Screen, and White Pixel myself), I feel that this example does make since. Take, for example, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (or really whatever your favorite Zelda game from the past is, as they all have aged well except Zelda II: The Adventure of Link)

      I can even remember the name of that jerk who wouldn't allow you to cross in the early game. Screw you Mido, I can cross if I want to!

      I can name Link, Zelda, Ganon, Navi, the names of several of the bosses in the game, and several of the side characters in the game. Sure, you can remember the names of characters in BAD games as well if you choose, but the point is that characters from good games tend to be easily more recognizable for you then bad games. We all know that the Bubsy's of the world are out there, but good luck naming a bunch of them. Still, I guarantee you can rattle off the Link's, Mario's, Jill Valentine's, and Solid Snake's of the world. 

      Classic Games Have Easily Recognizable Scores

      You are walking down the street when a person next to you's phone goes off. It is playing Guile's Theme from Street Fighter II. You instantly recognize the theme, and tell the person that there ringtone is awesome. Lame example, I know, but the point is that the classic games have recognizable scores. I think the game that I immediately think of is the Silent Hill games. 

      Queue up unsettling images and nightmare inducing soundtracks...

      If you were to ask me what this game was fully about, I would have difficulty explaining it, since I am not a hardcore fan of the series. However, you start playing just a few minutes of it's score and I can instantly recognize it. Silent Hill's score is easily recognizable simply due to the fact that the music matches the ambiance that the game is setting. The game is dark, foggy, unnerving, and overall generally creepy. The use of the Russian instrument the Balalaika helps set the unnerving tone of the song. I feel that music is generally the overlooked quality in a Classic game. You always hear the age old argument of Gameplay vs Story. I feel that if a game has a crappy score that it has quite a few hurdles to overcome to be considered a classic. Even games as simple as Tetris have easily identifiable scores. As Duke Orsino said in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night "If music be the food of love, play on."

      Classic Games Helped Define Their Generation of Games

      Each generation of gaming has their "pinnacle", if you will, that help stand their generation out from others. For me, the breakdown looks like this:

      Generation 1: Pong

      Generation 2: Space Invaders  and Centipede (E.T., but for all the wrong reasons...)

      Generation 3: Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda (Along with other NES Classics)

      Generation 4: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Metroid, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Final Fantasy III (Many Classics in this Generation, too many to list)

      Generation 5: Super Mario 64Final Fantasy VII, The 2 Zelda titles, Silent Hill, Metal Gear Solid

      Generation 6: Grand Theft Auto III, Resident Evil 4, Halo, Super Smash Bros. Melee, PS2 RPGs

      Generation 7: Red Dead Redemption, Metal Gear Solid 4, The Last of Us

      For me, these are the games that pop into my head as the marquee titles for their respective generations. And the majority of these games have withheld the test of time. Now, is this to say that the game has to be the most famous game out there to be considered a "Classic", per say? No, definitely not. That would be extremely unfair to consoles that did not reach critical acclaim like the big dogs did. Also, several great games slip under the radar at first, only to be later as "Classics". Look at Earthbound and it's witty humor, for example. The game sold very poorly initially, only to go onto become a Cult Classic, fetching a pretty penny. What I mean by helping define a generation is that it was a game that held several key components that are easy to recognize nowadays in gaming. Zelda popularized the action-adventure genre, Mario jump-started the platformers, Silent Hill (and Resident Evil, technically) helped jump Survival Horror games into the forefront. A classic's main goal is to either define or create the genre, or to make several correct pushes in the right direction for advancing the genre.

      Classic Games Either Have a Sweeping Narrative or Addictive Gameplay

      Obviously games like the original Super Mario Bros. are not going to have "sweeping narratives" that entrance you in the story. I mean, it is your BARE BASIC story. Unlikely hero saves a Princess from a Fire-Breathing Dragon. Still, the gameplay is fluid, fun, and has aged well. It's one of those games that you can still pick up and play for years to come. How about the other side of the coin, though? A game better have an utterly fantastic story to make up for it's simply average gameplay. RPGs tend to fall into this category. Take Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 for example. Yes, I managed to weasel in a Persona reference into my blog, big shock. 

      I swear, if Mitsuru uses Marin Karin one more time when we have one hit till K.O. I will scream...

      I believe wholeheartedly that the gameplay is NOT great in this game. It gets fairly redundant. However, the story, a sweeping 70+ hour adventure that sucks you in, can make up for what it may lack in gameplay. I'm only using Persona 3 as a base example. Several games have excellent stories and mediocre gameplay but are considered, or are close to, classics. I often times feel that people put too much emphasis on gameplay over story. I can put up with a game with average gameplay if the story is good. On the flip side, however, several games do not have the luxury of a fantastic story, per say. Still, the simplicity and addictiveness of the gameplay can help push it forward. Pac-Man does not even HAVE a story (at least I don't think it does...), but it can be considered "classic". What I'm trying to get at is the game has to either excel in story or gameplay to push it forward as a classic.

      Classic Games Strike a Chord With Your Emotions, Either Joy or Sorrow

      If a person brings up your favorite game, certain emotions will begin to flow inside you, depending on the subject material of the game. It may be joy, as you recall finally beating the end boss in Banjo-Kazooie (Gruntilda). It may be sorrow, as you recall just how sad the ending to Shadow of the Colossus was (don't get me started on that ending, by the way). A classic should entice a variant of good emotion out of you, make you either happy or sad. Now, bad games can strike a chord with your emotions, but that is more of a sour, angered note. Trust me, Men in Black II: Alien Escape struck a chord with me, but it was not a note that I exactly enjoyed hearing...

      Classic Games, In the End, Are Subjective

      Plenty of people on the internet make it their life goal to bash things that you may like. Their reasoning for doing this is not exactly clear, but it made me think. What exactly DOES "classic" mean? Sure, the definition of Classic can be the Mario or Zelda games for some. Heck, some may have fell in love with games we are not even aware of and they view those as Classics. People online nowadays put way too much emphasis on what critics like IGN, Gametrailers, or heck, even Screwattack, have to say about the game. Recall that they are only one person reviewing this one game. Take everything a critic or a friend says with a grain of salt. You may love or hate things that they love or hate. A Classic, in the end, is whatever you make it out to be. It might be Mario Party 2, as that was the game you spent the most time with your friends on,or it could be Tecmo Bowl, as that was the game that you and your Dad played together all the time. Spend less time criticizing people for what they consider "Classics" and go out there and begin looking for your "Classic" game. 

      Thanks for reading, I hope that you enjoyed. I will be writing blogs every two weeks now on this site, so the next blog will go up near the tail-end of the month of July. Until then guys, keep on playing!

       

       

    • LurchenGamer

      Top Five Reasons I Disappeared From Screwattack

      2 years ago

      In the famous words of Mrs. Weasley in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, "WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!". Ah, it indeed has been awhile since I last showed up on this lovely website. The last time I was here was for the participation of the Titanium Man of Flash Gaming back in November, of which I placed third. The last blog I wrote was back in September. Ever since then, my life has really been game free. So, if you'd like to stay and listen, I'd like to tell you the five major reasons I left Screwattack for my long hiatus, and also tell you my plans for the future on this website. Well, here goes nothing...

      Number Five: College is HARD

      In September, right around the time I wrote my last blog, I began my Freshman year of Engineering School. Let me tell you what, Engineering is a really rough major to go into. Here was I thinking that "Oh yes, I'd love to become a Computer Programmer, that seems right up my alley!". Then the ugly truth peeked it's horrifying face at me. It reminded me that, to be good at Engineering, one must excel at the subject of math. Throughout High School, I managed to ace most of my classes with ease. The fine arts were a breeze, as it was truly the only subjects of which interested me (well, computers were interesting as well, obviously). The only subject of which I lacked the skills in was Math. Perhaps it was improper and idiotic planning on my part, but I slowly began to realize that maybe I was not prepared for the onslaught on Calculus theorems that were about to smack me right in the face. So, I had to hit the books. Hard. Estimated time studying: 5-19 hours a week. 

       

      Number Four: Magic Happened...

      For the longest time, I had two major hobbies: Video Games and Blog Writing. That was all until my Freshman year of college when I was introduced to the trading card game Magic: The Gathering. At first, I figured it was just a silly little card game that required mostly luck and little to no skill. Since I tended to be a fairly lucky person, I decided to try it out. Oh boy, did the beating I received at three consecutive tournaments hurt. In my first three tournaments, I held a record of four wins, twelve losses, and one draw. So, along with school work, I had to dedicate a large amount of effort to becoming better at this card game. My hard work paid off finally, as I recorded my first winning record (5 wins, 3 losses, 2 draws) at a large scale tournament near my hometown. Estimated time spent playing and testing Magic: 9-24 hours a week.

       

      Number Three: And Then Anime Happened as Well...

      I had never paid much attention to anime before my college life started. The only experience I actually had with the lifestyle was Naruto and Pokemon when I was little. My opinion towards anime began to slowly shift in a positive direction during the summer before my Freshman year in college, when I documented 81 hours into the game Persona 4: The Golden. Eventually, I decided to try and finish Naruto, as I had never actually finished the series when I was younger. I binged watched all 220 episodes and 60 of the sequel Shippudden in roughly two weeks of watching. That was a LOT of time spent in front of my computer monitor. I graduated onto bigger and better shows following my time spent on Naruto?. I found that my favorite genre of shows was categorized under the title "Slice of Life" or "Romance". I could easily sit down and plow through a 11-14 episode show like Anohana: The Flower We Saw that Day in one sitting (Which I did. Man, let me tell you what, I have never cried harder at anything in my entire life. Like, I was crying for three hours straight over an Anime...). I realized then that I was destined to become a hardcore fan of anime from that night forward. In only three months of watching anime, I have completed a total of 25 series, ranging from 12-24 episodes all the way to 100+ episode behemoths. Estimated time watching anime each week: 10-27 hours a week.

       

      Number Two: Gaming, and Gaming Websites, Became Boring.

      After completing TMoFG in November, I felt a huge void inside of my gaming soul. That tournament had taken a lot out of me as a gamer, and it was decided that I should take a hiatus from video games, as I was genuinely putting hours in participating in that event (I did enjoy the event, however). However, flash forward to two-three weeks later, and I could not find my gateway drug back into the world of gaming. I tried to watch some content from various gaming websites, but everything just seemed so lackluster to me that I stopped caring. My medicine back into the world, sadly, was the Steam Holiday Sale, where I splurged and bought roughly 20 titles. Slowly, I managed to begin caring a little more about gaming. I'm almost back to the way I was before with gaming, but it is most likely going to take a few great titles to push me past that middle point. Estimated time spent playing games (Now): 3-7 hours a week. 

       

      Number One: Depression is a B**ch

      I don't wish to go into much detail about this one, as this is a blog on a video game website, not a self help website. Nonetheless, college led to a few key events triggering in my life: My love of Magic, My love of Anime, and, the most ruthless, my hatred of crowds. I had never been much of a crowd type during high school, but I could manage to survive if I had a friend or two around. Sadly, that "friend or two" I had in High School was strangely absent. I found myself alone the majority of the time on campus. Even as I sit and type right now, I am going on almost a solid day of not leaving my dorm room for anything besides food and classes. They say that most anxiety-based disorders begin to appear around the age of 18. I developed a horrific social anxiety problem. I always felt that I was being stared at and looked down upon wherever I went. It did not help that I was alone almost everywhere I went. My depression got really, really bad. It got to the point that I had to reach out to my only two real friends on campus for help. Thankfully, I have begun the steps towards fixing my depression. It will be a long, rough road, but hopefully I will be able to face reality again one day. Like I said, I could go into great detail as to why exactly I felt this way, but I'd rather not. Estimated time wallowing in self pity: 9-12 hours a week. 

      So, if you somehow managed to finish this blog, good on ya, mate! I mostly had to write this blog as an attempt at trying to get back into writing. I plan on writing weekly blogs from here on out starting this Friday (2/21). Thank you g1s for taking the time to read this blog. 

    • LurchenGamer

      999: 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors Review

      2 years ago

      Hello there g1s! It certainly has been a long time since I have posted on this website. One of the major reasons of my lack of activity on the site was simply that I was SICK of video games. I had not played an actual video game in months, and it almost felt like my admiration of the hobby was quickly coming to a screeching halt. However, a thing I learned in High School was that, when you become tired of something, the best course of action is to step back and look at it from a different angle. Why exactly was I tired of games? Perhaps it was the fact that I felt the majority of games I had been playing were lacking of original content. In other words, it felt like each game was completely devoid of original ideas, so much so that it often was like I was playing the same game over and over again. So, I began researching games that I may have overlooked at some point. I wanted a game that was challenging but fair, had darker thematic elements, and also had a wonderful cast of characters. During my research, I discovered this beauty of a gem on the Nintendo DS.

      999: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors

      Now, I am certain that there are several of you out there that have heard of this game. I just recently, however, discovered it myself. 999 was developed by Chunsoft, the same company behind the Pokemon Rescue series, and was published by Aksys Games, whose major claim to fame was the Guilty Gear and the Blazblue fighting franchises. 999 was released on November 16, 2010 in North America, with a fairly lackluster port on the iOs arriving in English on March 17, 2014. The game received massive critical acclaim online, garnering an 82/100 composite score on Metacritic, as well as securing several end of the year awards. So, what exactly is the big deal about the game, those of you who have not played it may be asking? Well, I guess it's a great thing that we are going to be covering it in the review. Onto the story.

      Story

      With a game

    • LurchenGamer

      LurchenGamer's Top Five Anime Openings

      2 years ago

      Hello, g1s! Long time, no blog. Hopefully that will be different going forward. So, given that this is my first blog on the site in a long time, I thought it would be cool to do something new for a change - something that would be not actually talking about video games, but talking about one of my other huge passions, which is Anime. Anime has held a special place in my heart since I began to watch roughly 9 months ago. Sure, I may not be the most seasoned when it comes to the shows out there, but I have already finished roughly 60-80 shows in the time period that I have been watching. My favorite thing about Anime is not Character or Art Direction, it is the Opening, or Theme Song, if you will. A show can be utterly RUINED for me if I dislike the OP, which probably has prevented me from watching some very good shows recently. I thought it would be a great idea to share with you my personal top 5 favorite openings. Do note, as I have only been watching for roughly 9 months, there are probably several fantastic OPs that I missing, so I do apologize in advance if your favorite is not on the list.Furthermore, as I have only been watching Anime for a short period of time, most of the entries are fairly recent. I promise that I am attempting to work my way back to the classics. Also, do understand the genres I tend to prefer may alter the list as well. I tend to be a man that enjoys two styles of shows: Slice-of-Life and Dark/Dystopian Themed works. Yes, I know, weird combination there. So, with that being said, there will not be many Shounen works on here. I have watched minimal DBZ, have never touched Bleach, HunterxHunter, One Piece, etc... The only actual shounens I have major experience with are Yu Yu Hakusho (which I have only read the manga and not seen the anime yet) and Naruto, which I just recently finished the first half of, and have no intention of continuing. With all that covered, let us cover my top five Anime OPs. 

      Number Five: Anohana: We Still Don't Know the Name of the Flower We Saw That Day

      We start off with what is arguably one of the most emotional shows that I have ever watched. Anohana tells the story of a group of five friends who have grown apart since the death of their childhood friend, Menma. Menma died when they were all still very young, and the death proved to be traumatic to their friendships. However, the Ghost of Menma appears, and wants to unite her childhood friends back together again to help her fulfill a wish, and eventually pass on into heaven. The show is, to say the least, the textbook definition of a tearjerker. The opening proves that simplicity in an opening can truly be beautiful. All we truly see in the opening is the everyday life of these kids. And, unlike several shows of similar nature, the kids simply feel like, well, KIDS. It's a peek at their everyday life, which is a refreshing twist to an opening. Not to mention that it is ALSO refreshing to hear a slice of life OP sung by a Male for once. I would highly recommend this show to anyone who liked shows like Clannad or other various tearjerking Anime. The subtle and beautiful nature of the OP for Anohana is what warrants it the Number Five Spot on this list.

      Number Four: Watamote: No Matter How I Look At It, It's You Guy's Fault I'm Not Popular

       

      And thus we move from one depressing psuedo-comedy to the next. However, I can assure you that these two Anime's style of comedy is WAY different. Watamote focuses more on "Let's laugh at just how pathetic the Main Character is" than Anohana's "We have an occasional joke thrown in here to prevent you from drowning in your own tears". Watamote: Insert Ridiculous Long Title Here is a look at the definition of an Introvert. A hardcore, weird introvert. The type of person who does not say a word in public and even has trouble ordering food at a fast food restaurant. This show might not be for everyone: Either you absolutely love it or you despise it with all of your passion. It, personally, is one of my favorite Animes released in past 3-4 years. Part of the reason is just how awesome that OP is! The song is absolute genius, with part of the song covering her hatred towards people ignoring her and another part covering her trying to be cute and hide her awkwardness. The visual aspect of the opening does a very good job of showing a person suffering from social anxiety, with the chains restricting her forward movement, and so on. Not everyone will like this show, but I still will highly recommend it. It was really only outdone by a couple of shows in 2013, one of which we will get to later on this list. 

      Number Three: Angel Beats!

       

      At the rate that I am going, it will be impossible to tell if this is Top Five Anime OPs or Top Five Most Depressing Anime (Well, I have a new idea for a list now...). Anyway, before I start discussing this opening, I would like to mention that, even though the opening is beautiful, the best song in the show is My Song. I would recommend the English version done by AmaLee on Youtube, as it is fantastic. However, this theme proves that a mediocre show can have an awesome opening (shots fired!). Angel Beats! covers a guy who wakes up in what I guess can be described as a Purgatory of sorts? Furthermore, he must take alliances with a group of students at this school and do battle against Angel, a character who appears to be nothing more than a harmless girl. The plot thickens, backstories of how they are in this Purgatory are revealed, action happens, yadda, yadda, yadda. The show really shines at it's sad points, where they are telling their backstories, and the music. Besides that, sadly, the show is filled to the brim with awkward transitions, minor plotholes, and lack of major character development for several characters in the show. Despite it's flaws, I can solely recommend the show based on it's music and emotions alone. The OP is a type of song that you really don't even need to view the visuals. Just close your eyes and listen to the beautiful song playing. 

       

      Number Two: Attack on Titan OP TWO

       

      That's right, I believe the second OP is better than the first OP. Attack on Titan is arguably the biggest hit in Anime in the past 8-10 years. It has a huge fan following, and for good reason. The show is pretty damn epic. The story of Eren Jaeger and his comrades working together to mow down Titans and so on is pretty great. The OP manages to hit the nail on the head with the tone of the show, and overall the animation is just gorgeous. Not to mention just how catchy the tune actually is. I really cannot say much about this show that has not already been said. All praise goes out to it, watch it if you still haven't. I'm sure several of you expecting AOT to be my number one, as a newer Anime fan. Oh no, not even close. This one was a clear winner from the start. But before we reveal number one, let us look at some of the honorable mentions that barely missed my list. 

      Honorable #1: Naruto: We Are Fighting Dreamers

      My personal favorite Naruto opening. Not a huge fan of the show, but this OP is pretty great. 

      Honorable #2: Durarara!

      Sorry I couldn't get the actual video for this. It's pretty awesome, but the only Youtube video of it has it so sharing it is prohibited... Anyway, depending on the day, the DRRR! theme can easily be in my Top Five, but I just didn't include it today. You can interchange this with Number Three, depending on how I feel that day. 

      Honorable #3: School Rumble (Sentimental Generation)

      My personal favorite of all the "fluffy" popcorn junk that we eat up. I love to kick back, watch this show, and laugh. Fun fact: This was actually the first show I marathoned in one sitting. 

      Honorable #4: Hyouka OP 1

      It was REALLY hard leaving this off the list, but it barely missed my cut. The water drop thing that is going on in the opening is utterly gorgeous, and the song is very peaceful. As this show is in my Top Five favorite anime, it pained me to put it in Honorable Mention category, but it just missed the cut.

      Other OPs I Loved

      The First Deathnote OP, Toradora OP 2 (Silky Love), Donganronpa OP, Chihayafuru OP 1, Welcome to the NHK OP 1, Kokoro Connect OP 1, and the Kill la Kill OP 1. Anyways, on to my clear cut Number One.

      Number One: Mirai Nikki OP 1

      Now, here is a shocking revelation: I didn't even really like this show that much. It had quite a few plot holes, and several of the characters were very bland. Plus, the plot got near insanely confusing towards the end of the show. But two things cemented this show for me as a guilty pleasure: the character Gasai Yuno and this opening. The best way I can describe this show without spoiling anything is it is like The Hunger Games if all the contestants had diaries that foretold them dire information in the game. It is very graphic, warped, and all in all a fantastic time. The theme got me pumped to watch the show every time I turned it on. Whether it was the Color Palettes complementing each other nicely (Black/White on Blood Red), or just how great the song actually was, this song stands out to me as the greatest OP I have ever seen in any Anime. So, there you have. Mirai Nikki is my Number One favorite opening ever. 

      How about you all? What openings do you fancy quite a bit? Leave me a comment below and I'd love to check them out. Till I finish my next blog, this has been the LurchenGamer, signing out. 

    • LurchenGamer

      My Top Ten Hopes for "The Year of Persona"

      2 years ago

      Hello there g1s! You know what games I love to play? The Shin Megami Tensei: Persona games. I recently discovered Persona 4 over the Summer of 2013 and I've become completely enthralled with the series since then. So, one can presume how excited I was when I learned that FOUR titles in the Persona series were hitting the Japanese/American market in 2014/2015. With the bar set high from the previously released titles, my expectations for the four titles are through the roof. So, without further ado, here are my top ten hopes for the "Year of Persona"!

      Before we start, would you like to hear the fantastic Persona 3 soundtrack? Well, if you do, go ahead and click the video directly below and enjoy the music!

       

      Number 10: Funky Student Better Make an Appearance in Persona 4: Dancing All Night

       

      He knows the ways of the world, son!

      Oh, funky student. Though your time in this game might have been short, you will live on in the hearts of all Persona 4 fans. Though you have lived in dormancy since your rise to fame in P4, I believe it might be your time to shine in Dancing All Night! I mean, come on! It makes perfect sense! Atlus has already proved that there Afro Physics Engine is fantastic in Catherine, so it's time for Funky Student to receive his time in the sun, Son!
       

      Number Nine: Have ANY of the Persona 1 or Persona 2 Protagonists be DLC characters in Persona 4 Arena: Ultimax ?

       

      Bless the unfortunate souls of the forgotten. 

      You know what makes me really sad? Most fans of the Persona series have ignored the previous two iterations of the series. While I will admit that the first and second Persona games are far from perfect (they are VERY old school RPG), they are still fun games to play with very dark themes. However, since 2006 rolled around (Persona 3 was released), it seems that Atlus has almost forgotten about the first two games entirely (sure, Innocent Sin came to the states on the PSP, but that's about it...). Everybody geeks out over how fantastic  the two most recent iterations were. They, unfortunately, tend to forget just how good the original titles that started it all actually were. Here's to hoping that the original gems don't go forgotten inside the vault forever, guys. 
       

      Number Eight: Make Sure the Story of Persona Q is More Than Just Fan Service

       

      Get Hyped!

      Now, perhaps I should explain myself a little bit better here. I love the concept of combining the two most popular games in the series into one awesome, full-out chibi game. Both games have captured roughly 200-250 hours of my life this past year, and I can gladly say that it was time well spent. However, a looming dread popped into my head after my hype from Persona Q had died down a little. What if, I'm just saying here, that the story of Q is actually not great? What if the game is just a massive fan service project (which, technically, it is)? Now, I have faith in Atlus to deliver a fantastic game in Persona Q. I just hope that the story can live up to the glorious animation and gameplay (Which I have a feeling that it most likely will).
       

      Number Seven: The Inclusion of Both Persona 3 and Persona 4 soundtracks in Dancing All Night

       

      I just have to "shake my groove thing" to this song at least ONCE. Art credit to kathy_vicky from DeviantArt

      One cannot deny how great both of the recent soundtracks were. Persona 3 presented more of a blues meets Japanese rap soundtrack, whereas Persona 4 was more of a Poppy type soundtrack. Furthermore, both of the soundtracks match the core theme of their respective games very well. Now, I am about 100% certain that Dancing All Night will NOT feature the soundtrack from Persona 3, but one can dream. And so what if my dream happens to be Kanji dancing to the battle theme in Persona 3
       

      Yes... I had to reference the whole "Shake My Groove Thing" scene from The Anime. It's Just too Priceless not to reference.

       

      Number Six: SMALL Cameos by P3 and P4 Cast Members in Persona 5

       

      This was a FANTASTIC touch on the Persona 4 story. Including the location of the previous game was great. Although I'm sure that we were wanting more than just Chihiro and Mr. Edogawa to show up...

      Both of the previous iterations had their time in the sun, sure. And I know many a fan freaked out when they heard that Persona 5 might have ended up being Golden 2 Persona 4. Because, let's be honest, Atlus has driven Persona 4 down our throats for the past few years. I mean, I don't exactly mind this forcing of the franchise, as it is my favorite game of all time. However, I do understand most fans and their desire to break free into a fresh new story. Let's face it, the gang in Inaba has done all of the crime solving that they can do. We do NOT need another full length game based in either Inaba or Tatsumi Port Island. However, a nice subtle cameo, like the one in Persona 4, could be appreciated. I would love to just see how either group managed to fare following the journey that they both embarked on. Well, at least we WILL get to see the majority of the cast of each game duke it out in Persona 4 Arena 2. Seriously, Atlus not including Yukari and Junpei in the first kind of ticked me off, as they are actually my two favorite characters in the game. Anyway, on to the next point...
       

      Number Five: Revival of the Dark Storyline

       

      I mean, chained chairs. Horrible engrish. You can just feel the Japan oozing from this ad.

      Of all of the points that I am making, this is the one that I am the most certain will happen. Persona 4 was a fantastic game, just in case I hadn't made that clear enough already. However, one cannot deny that it was a departure from the norm for Atlus. This game was HAPPY. Well, at least as happy as Atlus is going to get. The game is sunshine, rainbows, and pretty unicorns compared to some of the other Shin Megami Tensei titles. The "odd one out", as I like to call Persona 4, was a great way to alleviate the curse that is the dark storyline. However, after having 2-3 years of bright, happy colors in Persona 4, I am totally ready for the departure into the dark that Persona 5 is bound to take us on. Five's plot will involve characters being restrained down by the hardships and rules of the modern-day society. With this type of plot, one can expect depressed characters and, most likely, a LOT of death. Bring it on, Atlus. I'm ready. I got my box of Kleenex ready to go.
       

      What I imagine I will look like halfway through Persona 5

       

      Number Four: A 3DS Bundle for Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth

       

      Yes, I know. This idea is simply awesome.

      As a gamer living on a budget (one can only balance college, gaming, and Magic: The Gathering so much before the wallet begins to cry), I have been unable to acquire a 3DS. I figured what would be better for all of those gamers who are simply buying a 3DS for this game than a bundle? It could include a carrying case for the 3DS (fully decked out in Persona Q goodness), custom skins for the 3DS itself, and throw in a soundtrack for the game while you're at it, why not? Basically, think like the Solid Gold Premium Edition of Persona 4 Golden, except that it would include a 3DS with it. Or, I guess, they could just make a limited edition bundle of the game like they did with Golden. Why is this one so high on the list? Despite myself being incredibly cheap, I rather enjoy pointless merchandise that only I can truly admire. 
       

      Number Three: A Sarcastic Analysis Character for Persona 5

       

      Artwork credit Ichiidori on DeviantArt

      Undeniably the single-handed most important character in the RPG franchise is not the main character, no. It happens to be the analysis character. I mean, I would be damned if I was expected to figure out that the weird Cop Gorilla with a key floating in its stomach (otherwise referred to as "Bribed Fuzz") was weak to Aji skills. But, thanks to Fuuka Yamagishi from Persona 3 and Rise Kujikawa from Persona 4, grinding through the somewhat tedious dungeons is much simpler. Sadly, both of these characters have one major thing in common. They both are the "adorable" type character (though Rise takes that to the next level). You know what would actually be hilarious? If we had a Sarcastic as hell deadpan boy/girl doing the analysis. Because we all love characters that are deadpan, am I right? 
       

      Just use the main character from Hyouka and we are GOLDEN.

       
       

      Number Two: Male/Female MC Choice in Persona 5

      To date, the Persona series has had three Female MCs. You have Maya, otherwise known as the girl with Heart-boobs, in Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, Arisato from Persona 3 Portable, and by TECHNICAL definition, Aigis WAS the MC in The Answer. After listening to a lot of the fans of the series, I tend to get the feeling that they appreciate female leads in games. Other fans are adamantly against it, believing that the MC should be male, by tradition. How about we meet in the middle here and just simply allow the player to choose between male or female. Obviously edit the experience between the two sexes, as to encourage players to replay the story as the opposite gender. It would make the fans happy, Atlus' pockets would be happy, and it would make the overall time spent playing the game much more enjoyable. 
       

      Number One: Make Me CARE About Social Links

      As much as I HATE to admit it, this is the only P4 social link I actually never started. Sorry Naoki...

      This is the big one for me. Atlus has never had difficulty crafting great characters, for the most part. Social Links are simply an excuse to hang out with these characters to boost your stats and make stronger personas. While that's all well and good, sometimes the sheer number of social links can make you forget about certain characters more than others (ex. Bebe in P3, Naoki and Ayane in P4). And what is your punishment for ignoring these characters outright? Oh, that's right, nothing! Besides, obviously, not being able to make stronger level persona in certain arcana. I simply did not care about 15-20% of the social links in P3 and P4. How can this be improved, you may ask? Well, you can start with the concept of making the characters notice you ignoring them. In real life, when one ignores their friend, their bond with said friend begins to weaken as a result. The same should happen in this game. If you have gone like 1-2 months game time without talking to your buddy on the basketball team, have him confront you and voice his displeasure in your behavior. The same should go with romantic bonds in the game. How can the MC actually get away with sleeping with one girl and that girl's best friend? What is my point in this rant? Make the characters dark. Make them people that are unstable and need a friend to support them in a rough patch. Make them human. Actually, on second thought, I have very few issues with the romance in the game. Let's keep the Pimp tactics of the MC strong! 
       
      Hey everybody, thanks for reading my blog! I hope to begin a venture I have been looking to get into for quite awhile, and that's anime reviews! I hope that you enjoyed this blog, and you should be expecting some to be hitting in the near future on my channel. 
       
    • LurchenGamer

      Top Ten Life Lesson That Games Have Taught Me

      2 years ago

      Hello g1s! Life is a complicated little thing, isn't it? It's always a series of confusing decisions that end up backfiring have the time in the end. One thing has helped me get through life peacefully, and that is video games. Video games have always been my retreat from what is bad in this world, a friend when I have no friends to go to. Along with being my crutch in the bad times, Gaming has managed to teach me several important lessons for the real world. So, without further ado, let us begin the countdown of the top ten important life lessons from gaming. Enjoy the lovely Red Dead Redemption soundtrack whilst you read, courtesy of Youtuber xXPraokXx.

      Number 10: NEVER Trust the Government

      Boy oh boy, Red Dead Redemption. This was a fantastic game, arguably one of the best games released during the 7th Generation. In the game you play as an Outlaw named John Marston, who is instructed to hunt down his old gang in order to get back to his family. Without going into great detail (a.k.a. Spoil anything), let's just say that the Government manages to screw Mr. Marston over royally. However, isn't this just how life actually is? It happens to be the Government screwing over the lower and middle-class citizens to fatten their own wallet. There were multiple things that RDR could have taught you, like old ties can be severed, but the major point I got out of the game was to NEVER trust the Government. Political rantings aside, let's get to the next spot on the list.

      Number 9: Greed Makes People Go to Extreme Lengths

      Uncharted is basically the Indiana Jones of Action-Adventure gaming. All three games for the PS3 were held in extremely high regard at the time of their release, and they will go down in history as arguably the most successful Naughty Dog game series of all time. Now, this spot might seem a little bit cheesy, but good God it had to be brought up. Have you seen the ridiculous lengths that both the villains and Nathan Drake, the protagonist, go to claim expensive treasures? We are talking climbing icy mountains with your bare hands, fighting Mountain Yetis, fighting Mayan Zombies, and running through caves full of spiders lengths here, folks. And for what, exactly? To discover untold riches. People in real life might not have to fight Mountain Yetis to attempt to become wealthy, but the game did bring up a solid point. People will go to any lengths if money is involved. Greed is an evil thing, a thing that turns people into completely different people. Backstabbing, murder, extortion, thievery, and racketeering all have one thing in common normally, and that's money. So, just remember folks, money is nice to have, but an over excessive amount of it can be bad, 'mkay?

      Number 8: A Chain is Only as Strong as it's Weakest Link

      Okay, I'll admit, I'm not the biggest fan of League of Legends or other games like it (see: Dota 2, Starcraft, etc...). However, I have partaken in a game or two of this RTS, and boy is it frustrating. The game itself is not that difficult to begin with. You just have to have above-average reflexes and half a brain to figure out how to play several of the base characters. Sometimes though, you have players that are REALLY BAD. Whether they are feeding or they just plain suck at the game, one bad player on a team can weaken your entire squad. It is very hard to win if you have a "feeder" or an AFK (Away from Computer) on your team. This proves a point, though, that any group of people is only as strong as it's weakest link. Take sports, for example. Let's say one of the starters gets hurt and you have nobody on the bench that is worth a damn. Most likely, your team is probably going to lose. A team can only be as strong as whoever the weakest one is, which proves that finding a balance amongst the team is a necessity. 

      Number 7: A True Hero Expects No Reward

      I often see people who do a good deed expect to get a reward of some sort in the end. They believe that because they helped someone out that they are entitled to some sort of either praise or a pat on the back of some sort. Well, the sad reality of this life is that often goods deeds go unrewarded. In video games, for example, look at poor Link from the Legend of Zelda series. Time after time, the various versions of Link go and either rescue Hyrule from oblivion or rescue Princess Zelda from the evil grasps of Ganon. And time after time Link simply accepts his minor praise and goes about his day, smashing beautiful pottery as any good Link would. A true hero, whether it be Link, Mario, Samus, or any of the other 10,000 selfless Nintendo protagonists, does the right thing out of the goodness of his heart, and not due to a certain reward that is up for grabs. 

      Number 6: You Should Be Willing to Fight For What You Believe In

      You know those games that you got halfway through and then all of a sudden you got Video Game ADD and stopped playing them? Well, here's mine folks. Bioshock Infinite is a beautiful game in both it's scale and execution. Though more beautiful in plot and graphics then physical gameplay, Infinite was one of the premier titles of 2013. A common trend among most of the characters that I found in the game was that they stood up for what they believe in. Whether it be Comstock and his ignorant views upon how his place was a place of purity or Daisy Fitzroy, who believed that her people deserved equal rights as well, our two leads were caught in the middle of a war. However, Fitzroy has all the right to stand up for what she believes in. If you never stand up in defense of your believes, things will never change. Think of the great leaders of the past: Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, the American Founding Fathers, and  Nelson Mandela, to name a few. If these leaders had not had the courage to stand up for their believes, things would be a lot different than they are now. On a side note, I really need to finish Bioshock Infinite... I'll be right back.

      Number 5: You Need a Friend/Friends to Help You Through the World

      And I beat it. Whew, that ending though, am I right? Man, Infinite was a great game. Anyways, what game are we talking about now? Oh... this one. Excuse me while I go cry my eyes out for a couple of hours. Yes, Shadow of the Colossus ranks up there as one of the most depressing games ever made. Going around killing giants to get back your girl in a lonely, desolate world can lead to several sad moments. Luckily for you, you have a friend to help you through this depressing journey! Good ol' Agro. Best friend that you can have. As long as you have her nothing can go wrong... well, THAT happened (not going to spoil it, just play the game or watch a walkthrough). Anyway, without friends, this life is a mighty cold and isolated one, just like the world of Shadow of the Colossus. Trust me when I say this, going long periods of time without any friends to help you is a mighty depressing feeling. 

       

      Number 4: No Matter What, Family Comes First 

      JASON! JASON! JASON! NO, JASON! Dammit kid, all you had to do was stay put while your Dad bought you that balloon, but no, you had to run off! Heavy Rain, despite it's sometimes HILARIOUS voice acting, is easily in my top five games of all time. It is a very dark game, a game that can really Colossus on depressing tone. It has several great points in the game, but none much stronger than the importance of family. Gosh dang, does Ethan go to extreme lengths to rescue his son. Families should take a page out of Ethan's book on how to recover as a father. Yes, he lost his son due to his mental disorder. But, unlike the previous Fathers in the game, he actually makes an effort to recover his son. Family has a different connotation for everyone. If you happen to have an awful family, insert in the people that you care about the most in this world. How far would you be willing to go to protect those people? Like Ethan in Heavy Rain, I'd be willing to go pretty far.

      Number 3: People are Not Always as They Seem

      The two major games I'd like to talk about are the original Bioshock and Heavy Rain once again. Let's talk about Atlas and Scott Shelby, shall we? Like I previously warned in the picture, this section has major spoilers, so go ahead and skip to the next number if you'd like. Well, Bioshock? threw you through a loop with the whole "Would you Kindly" thing, didn't they? Nothing like having the human version of Navi become the final end boss and betray you in the end and everything like that. How about that Scott Shelby, eh? Man, Quantic Dream messed with all of us when they had us play as the MURDERER for almost half the game. Both these games managed to execute the whole SURPRISE MOTHERF***ER thing to a T. They gave us characters that we could like, and then flip flop them in the end. What does this prove? People are not always as they seem. Just be very cautious with the friends that you make, because, you never know, they might end up being a murderer... Now, would you kindly go to number two?

      Number 2:  No Matter How Dark, Light Will Prevail in the End/ Look for the Silver Lining 

      This isn't just ONE game here, oh no. You could fit in the majority of games with a semi-dark storyline in here. Things may seem bad at the moment. It may seem that darkness will prevail over you and end up consuming you in the end. However, there will always be a Yin to balance out the Yang. This can really be summed up with a simple phrase: The Good Guy wins. Yes, this is not always the case. But just remember, you may have lost the battle, but the war still rages. Anyway, I am really not good at motivational speaking, but my point is that there generally is a silver lining on the back of every dark cloud. Look for the positives in life. It will go a long way. 

      Number 1: Learn to Accept Your Inner-Self

      And bam! Persona 4 tops a list. It seems I might like this series a little bit, judging by the fact that I've written FOUR blogs about it now. Despite how bright and colorful and "Japanese" the game may appear, veterans of the Persona series can tell you that the games are deeply rooted in Jungian Psychology. Persona 4 happens to deal with learning to accept the part of yourself that you don't want others to see. Call it your "Shadow", if you will. We ALL have sides of ourselves that we feel ashamed of; Sides that we do not the world to see. Learning to accept that side of yourself is an extremely difficult task to accomplish, one that I am still in the process of doing. However, life cannot move forward until you learn to accept yourself for who you are. By accepting it, you can beat the "Shadows" that might lurk inside you and become a better person as a result.

       

      Thanks everybody for reading. I apologize if this blog ended up sounding like a Preaching Sermon or a cheesy Self-Help book, but I just felt compelled to write this blog. Check in soon, as Summer is approaching rapidly and, in result, I will be more available to write for the website. See ya later, g1s!

       

       

       

    • LurchenGamer

      Top 5 Voice Actors in Gaming

      3 years ago

      Hello, g1s! Voice acting is an art form which is oft forgotten about these days. Many don't have a clue how difficult voice acting can be. To get an idea, I sat down with Barry Burton, from Resident Evil. Here's our interview...

      LG: So, Barry, how's it going?

      BB: What is this?

      LG: It's an interview Barry... What do you think it was? Anyways, welcome to the interview. Can you answer a question for me? What is your favorite weapon?

      BB: This weapon I found. It's really powerful, especially against living things.

      LG: Well, that tends to be the idea of a weapon. Hey, what do you got there in your pocket?

      BB: Here is a lockpick... I think it would come in handy if you, the master of unlocking, take it with you.

      LG: Thanks Barry... I'm sure it will come in handy... Anyways, I think we are done here...

      BB: JILL SANDWICH!!!! 

      LG: Yeah, we're done here, bye everyone...

      As you could clearly see, dialogue and voice acting can be hard to execute (FYI, all of Barry's lines are actually from the game... I know, sad). So, let's do a top five honoring those truly great voice actors, then we will deal with Mr. Burton here next week, when we count down the top ten worst voice acting performances in gaming (7.9.2013).

      Number Five: Charles Martinet

      Best known for: Mario, Luigi, Wario, Donkey Kong, and Waluigi

      To open up we have Nintendo's Mel Blanc, Charles Martinet. It's a me, Mario! This man has made millions upon millions by voicing almost the entire Mario universe (Thank god he didn't do Peach *shudder). Why does Mr. Martinet sneak onto my list at the Number Five spot? I mean, he doesn't do much besides sounding like an Italian stereotype, why is he here. Well, let me ask you something. If you were to ask a person to imitate a video game character, who, most likely, would they imitate. If you answered Bubsy, I seriously doubt your mental capacity. Of course it's Mario! For being perhaps the most well known on this list, Martinet takes my Number Five spot!

      Number Four: Steve Blum

      Best known for: Any damn game in the 21st century pretty much... Dark Star in No More Heroes, Ares in God of War

      Of course Blum is on this damn list! Steve Blum appears even if you don't want him to, in almost every game ever! Blum, for those of you that are not aware, holds the Guinness World Record for number of credited voice acting jobs, with 261. He has been in numerous games and animes. His most recent voiceover I've seen is the coin flipper in Bioshock: Infinite. Blum forces his way onto my list at the fourth spot, just like he forces himself into almost every game ever made.

      Number Three: Laura Bailey

      Best known for: Chun-Li in Street Fighter IV, Rise Kujikawa in Persona 4, Catherine in well... Catherine, and Lady Comstock in Bioshock:Infinite

      Let me get this out of the way, I LOVE LAURA BAILEY!!! She is a wonderful voice actor who has appeared in a lot of different games, including my favorite series of games, the Persona series (she also was the voice of Female MC in Persona 3 Portable). Along with numerous video game appearances, she is also known as the voice of Kid Trunks in Dragon Ball Z. Her voice might be sugary sweet, but most of her characters you would never want to double cross. I'm also proud to say her partner in crime takes the next spot...

      Number Two: Troy Baker

      Best known for: Booker Dewitt in Bioshock: Infinite, Joel in The Last of Us, Vincent Brooks in Catherine, and Kanji Tatsumi in Persona 4

      Ah yes, wherever you find Laura Bailey, you can generally find Baker, and vice versa. Baker is highly underrated as a voice actor. People did not begin recognizing how dynamic of a voice actor he was until this year, with the two breakout titles Infinite and The Last of Us. Also, Baker was bound to be on this list, since two of my favorite characters in gaming (Kanji and Eikichi from Persona 2: Innocent Sin), are both voiced by him. My hope is that he will be as highly regarded as the top person on my list is, as Baker definitely deserves it after his tremendous performances.

      Number One: Nolan North

      Best known for: Nathan Drake in Uncharted and Desmond Miles in Assassin's Creed

      Oh come on, if you knew me, you'd understand why Nolan is No.1! He is consistently superb in every voiceover he does. He brought tremendous life to the role of Nathan Drake. Was excellent as the Penguin in Arkham City. His voice made a mediocre JRPG like Resonance of Fate bearable! He might not have done anywhere close to the amount of work as say, Blum has, but every performance North has done is quality. Congrats, Drake!

      Hey everybody, thanks for reading! Who do you think are the best voice actors in gaming? Let me know in the comments below!

      BLOG NEWS: I will be doing a list of the top ten worst voiceovers in gaming on 7.9. Also, I will be updating on how my 15 games in 31 days challenge is going 7.8. This is the LurchenGamer signing off, stay pretty g1s!

    • LurchenGamer

      BS: Are Video Games too Easy Now?

      3 years ago

      Hello g1s! I've decided to start a new personal editorial dealing with topics in gaming that I, frankly, find to be BS! Today's topic, are video games too easy nowadays? I've heard this statement a LOT from core gamers, stating they are tired of the game holding their hands all the way through. I am here to say cut the crap! Obviously you are not looking in the right place if you are looking for a challenge. So, let's begin this editorial, shall we?

      BS: Gaming is Too Easy Nowadays

      Remember the term NES hard? We had games like Ghosts N' Goblins, Battletoads, and Zelda 2 unrelentingly kick our asses from start. It was very obvious some of the hardest titles in existence came out to the NES. Also, some very frustrating titles graced the NES' bigger brother, like Super Empire Strikes Back and Contra III: The Alien Wars. Around about 2005-2008, I began hearing something that "core gamers" were stating. They were saying that games were becoming too easy nowadays, and the challenge and appeal for gaming was running out. They were saying that games were all about going for point a to point b, with the game telling you exactly what to do. Let's take a look at the evolution of "difficulty" in games.


      Who can forget this classic level in Battletoads?


      NES HARD

      Any man or woman who says that there isn't a difficult game on this system is a bloody liar. Gamers who grew up around this system have their fair share of broken controllers due to the insane difficulty that some games presented them. However, are these games difficult due to legitimate difficulty or graphical limitations? I think a combination of both... Games couldn't  assist you like they do now simply due to the fact that less could be put on a cartridge than a bloody Blu-Ray disc. However, albeit there were graphical limitations, this does not excuse the fact that gaming back then was insanely difficult. But this article isn't focusing on the library of frustration that was the NES, it's to focus on the topic of gaming today.


      Some games on the NES library presented a fair challenge, like Ninja Gaiden. Others, like above, not so much...

      The "Devolution" of Difficulty

      Now, when people claim that games are holding your hands too much, I immediately think of linear games that tell you where to go, who to shoot, and when to do it (AKA COD). This picture of how games are too easy now is unfairly stapled on to this generation and the last. Sure, the games can tell you a little more about your damn objective, and sure, they can help you when you are in trouble, but what is the true cause of why games are "easier"? Well, you are on it right now! Yes, I fully believe the internet is the cause of this attitude towards how games are "easier" now. Think about it. If you were a child playing the NES/Genesis, and you are stuck on the hardest part of a certain game, how the hell were you supposed to get help? You didn't, you grinned and bared it, and gritted your way to the end, tooth and nail. Often, the endings never could fully satisfy you, but you yourself were satisfied to have, truly, beaten the game yourself. Now go forward to 2005-2008 time period. You are stuck on a level and have no idea how to beat it. What do you now? Hey look, Youtube has a walkthrough of the game, might as well watch what the walkthrough does and just copy and paste. Am I saying the internet is a bad thing? No, because many companies would be out of business if it wasn't for it. However, I feel the brunt of the blame on games lack of challenge should be shoved onto the internet.

      Behold the true culprit behind this crime!

      So, am I saying that there aren't games out there today that hold your hand? Oh no, I'm not saying that. However, games like this have been around since the PS1 time period, so why the sudden hate? This next section is going to talk about some games that came out during our present time period which could rival the NES in difficulty.
       

      Current "NES HARD" Titles

      Just because gaming has evolved into a slightly easier medium, there are still difficult titles out there to test your inner masochist. Behold a few of these titles which I have played! Ever played Catherine

      Amazing story and great characters presented in a very Japanese style only my people at Atlus could come up with, but what is this game at its core? It is a challenging puzzle game. Climbing up the tower of hell, hearing "EDGE!" every time the blocks connect, and seeing all of Vincent's suppressed thoughts can drive one crazy. Plus, no undo button on hard. You try to climb this bloody tower without making one mistake, because some floors require you to be perfect to finish it.The game, for me at least, is reminiscent of one of my favorite NES titles Solomon's Key

      Very similar in gameplay and difficulty level, but what's the key difference between the two? Catherine has a story I care about (I still love Solomon's Key, don't get me wrong). Is this it? No, it's not. Let's look at two more titles that rival NES hard. First up is Super Meat Boy. 

      This game is so cocky that it knows you will die, and shows you all of your deaths after you finish the level. Some of the smoothest yet challenging platforming out there, if Super Meat Boy was on the NES, it most likely would be on a lot of gamers "Top Ten Hardest NES games". Final game to bring up, then time for my wrap up. How about that Devil May Cry original trilogy? Specifically, 3. 

      Fast paced, shoot em up gameplay that presents more than enough of a challenge. I don't have much to say, because I just recently picked up the entire trilogy (for 10 bucks, not bad, eh?). But the first hour I've played is bloody difficult, if you ask me.

      Is this Label BS?

      In case you haven't been able to tell, this blog takes inspiration from Mythbusters. So, fact or fiction? True Shit or Bull shit? I'm calling Bull shit on this one. Sure, we have an overall easier gaming experience occasionally, but this concept that gaming as a whole is too easy is just absurd. The challenge is still out there, but you, the gamer, have to find it. Why not use this internet to your advantage and find yourself a challenging title for current gen if you are into that. This generations focus, if you ask me, is not about difficulty, it's about setting up and delivering an enticing story to keep the gamer interested, and prove that gaming is an artform. Speaking of which, on the next BS, we tackle the topic of gaming as an artform. Is claiming video games as an artform BS? Find out on 7.12.13. See all of you g1s later, bye!

       

    • LurchenGamer

      E3 Coverage on Youtube

      3 years ago

      Hey Guys!!! Long time, no see! It has been forever since I have posted on this site. I am looking to get back into top fives, along with reviews and continuing my History of Video Games blog. Nontheless, I am here to tell you all about the E3 coverage that my youtube channel (LurchenGamer) will be covering the press conferences at E3. I will also be doing the winners/losers of E3 as well. If you head to this link- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2qrM9bZvTw&feature=youtu.be- I am doing my pre-E3 coverage. I would like if you all could potentially check out this. Also, I will be covering the other major consoles during the week. Thank you all for reading. Expect some blogs to be hitting the page soon. LurchenGamer, signing off!

  • About Me

    The name is... The LurchenGamer. I have been a g1 on this fantastic website since 2009, in Version 4. I write blogs about top tens and various other topics. I tend to be busy a lot of the time, with my studies and extracurricular activities taking rank over my favorite hobby, writing. However, if you have any questions, ask me and I should be able to reply within a day or two. Personal Information Age: 19 From: Tennessee Actual Name: Kyle Occupation: Student studying Journalism, Worker of a Fine Culinary Restaurant Favorite Game of All Time: Persona 4 The Golden Favorite Movie: Forrest Gump Favorite Anime: Welcome to the NHK Favorite Book: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Hobbies: Writing, Video Games, Magic: The Gathering, being an Otaku THIRD PLACE: TMoFG 5

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