Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Chris Houlihan's Room in Link to the Past

Who doesn't love a good Easter Egg in a video game? This is one of my favorites due to the sure oddity of it and the length you have to go to find it. Basically Chris Houlihan won a contest in Nintendo Power to get his own room in the next Zelda game which was A Link to the Past. After winning this contest it seemed to most that he was lost among Nintendo's designers but now we all understand what happened.

This Easter Egg was very elusive for years only few knew about this room but thanks to the internet it has become more known. To find this room there are different methods but they all require the Pegasus boots and a good amount of luck. To get in here you need to gain enough speed to jump into it, not too much not too little or you'll go in another one. Once inside, there are 45 blue rupees and a sign stating "My name is Chris Houlihan. This is my top secret room. Keep it between us, OK?" Nintendo Power has since done contests but none of them allowed you to win a room like this one. The Chris Houlihan room is one of the more unique and jealous enducing Easter eggs of all time. His name now lives in infamy.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day (And 300 Followers)

Memorial Day is dedicated to the men and women who gave their lives for this country. My respect and gratitude is beyond comprehensible and there are some great stories and video games spawned from what they have done in the past. It's going to be a beautiful day and I will be spending it with some family and friends and hope you guys will be doing the same. It's a good time to relax enjoy good food and the company around you to remember what has happened before your time. Here are two of my favorite war movies.

The film is based on the book Heart of Darkness and is just a brilliant piece of film. If you get some free time read up on the filming of this movie and how it was "cursed". There is actually a documentary made on it in 1991 entitled' 'Heart of Darkness: A Filmmakers Apocalypse'. Everything that could have gone wrong basically did. First off there were several times that they went over their budget. Then Marlon Brando showed up severely obese causing them to shoot the scenes with him in the dark. It was shot during monsoon season which caused their sets to be destroyed several times. Martin Sheen had a heart-attack due to the fact that he was drinking heavily.  But despite all of this somehow the film worked out in favor of  Francis Ford Coppola.

If you have seen this film or know anything about it your mind will probably be drawn to the iconic opening scene. The gruesome depiction of D-Day would have been enough for everyone to remember it if the film had ended right there. This story is very different than Apocalypse Now. It tells more of a story about the bond that men form when they are fighting for the same cause. It's something that those who have not served really can't comprehend but I think it's a feeling stronger than love. All of the supporting cast around Hanks does a superb job as well. The raw emotion in this film is the best depiction of a war that I have ever seen and just the raw effect on the human psyche. If you have not seen this film yet please take the time to watch it. It reminds me of Apocalypse Now only because of the amount of high brow actors in it.

I want to thank everyone who follows my blog, sorry I don't have time for a longer post but I hope you enjoy your holiday and on top of the movies I hope you guys take the time to enjoy a few video games inspired from the wars of our past. I want you to explore the world outside of CoD because there are some really good shooters available on all platforms. I am predominantly an RPG gamer but I love a good FPS. Oh and here's a little present for all of you that have followed me.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Massively Multiplayer (And Addicting)

In the Spring of 2005 I was coming down from my love of Halo 2 and was looking for a fix outside of the consoles I had been worshiping since I could stand on my own. I had just bought my own personal desktop and set it up in my room and had opened my mind to PC gaming. I was enthralled by the world of PC Gaming (which I still am) and needed to pick a good game. I chose World of Warcraft and spent the next five or so years building characters with friends (real life and those internet ones). It was the most positive game experience of my life to date and it's hard for me to find something similar to this date.

Since the past year or so I have gotten off World of Warcraft but I still love it. It just wasn't the same for me and I am too busy lately for it. But what I'm writing this for is to ask you guys what MMO you have fallen in love with or are still playing. I'm looking to try a new one this summer since I have more free time. I love just about all PC games and am willing to try some of the suggested ones. WoW will always be my staple for PC gaming and I'm sure I'll be dragged in every time an expansion comes out ;)

It was never a bad addiction like console gamers or people who don't understand WoW but it just made me happy to be there and there's no comparing it. It's easy to make fun of something you don't understand but I will always love MMO's (along with FPS, RPG, RTS etc.). But World of Warcraft just showed me a world that taught me how amazing gaming could be. I never did anything bad because I shouldn't have been playing WoW and did instead. Well that's my two cents, what's yours?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A TributeTo Difficult Video Game Moments

Now I could spend my whole day talking about NES games because truly back then the gaming industry wasn't catering to casual players and wanted everything for the most part to be a challenge. The fact that they did this makes these games still viable today. I don't want to make a NES list only so in this intro I will give a head-nod to the fact that NES had the hardest games I have ever picked up in my entire life (Battletoads, Punch out, TMNT bomb defuse underwater, Ninja Gaiden, etc.) . So I'm just going to make a short list of games that make me red in the face and still would to this day.

The Water Temple in my favorite game Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, just a confusing place with hard battles and plenty of anger to build up as you wander aimlessly through it. I recently played through this game and still spent days in this place refusing to look up any guide and fighting my way in circles.

The underwater Weapon named the Emerald Weapon in Final Fantasy 7. With the timer on and one bad ass boss I hated this battle. Breeding Chocobos to get the Knight of the Round Materia was also a pain. I have not done this since I was an adolescent but I remember how hard and how angry it made me.

The final boss in Half Life took me weeks of playing to actual get the strategy down to beat this guy. Between jumping all around the room and evading his glowing balls this boss battle was a true challenge but worth it because this game is still amazing.

C'Thun was a raid  boss in World of Warcraft and by far the hardest boss I fought in the game in my years of playing it. This was a vanilla 40 man raid of the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj and his battle and this was before Naxx or The Burning Crusade for those who are new to the game. It's hard to describe how hard his phases were and just how worthwhile you felt after downing him.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Albums That You (May Not) Have Heard

Well in this post I will attempt to show you music not all of you have heard from different genres, I'm not saying you will love it, just telling you it may be different than what you are used to. Music and gaming are not only my two favorite things but a better pairing than bacon and eggs (or mac and cheese or pb&j). But sometimes I like to shut the console off close my computer screen and sit outside enjoying the weather around me while taking in the music. Lately I've been trying genres I haven't dug too deeply into. I'll show the three most listened to albums of the past few weeks. One again, remember music like all of life's great treasures is subjective so feel free to tell me what you enjoy too.

TV On The Radio - Nine Types of Light
 TV on the Radio released Nine Types of Light about a month ago and just weeks after the release their bass player died from Lung Cancer. This band is very hit and miss for people so I'll let you preview this one. I have seen them live three times now and they are just an amazing group of musicians. I know this type of music probably isn't for everyone but I love all of their music and hope you guys do too.

MF Doom - MM Food
MF Doom will forever be the rapper that opened my eyes to how talented and amazing hip hop was. I can single handily attribute him to the taste of music I hold today. This is probably my favorite album by him but really all of them are perfect. He goes by several other names (Madvillain, King Geedorah, DOOM, Viktor Vaughn, Metal Face) and really epitomizes rap.

LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening
LCD Soundsystem recently did their final show and it was one of the most amazing things I had the pleasure of witnessing. If you have not listened to them before this album is a good jumping off point. James Murphy is extremely talented and I would probably name this as the best or one of the best albums to be released in 2010.

Honorable mention: Tyler the Creator - Goblin, I love rap and this guy has got a very unique style and I love his music. But part of me keeps myself from loving him entirely.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Video Game Soundtracks

Music in video games tends to be overlooked on the surface. But once you hear it outside of the game and you feel that emotional trip it sends you on you know someone has done something right. Once you find the appreciation for video game music it changes the way games impress you. To pick a favorite would be ludicrous but I am going to name ones that when I hear the sound I am transported to a time alone in my room gripping a controller tightly hoping to anticipate what comes next.

Final Fantasy has the most amazing soundtrack to me and Mario at a close second. There isn't a note you could play from either of those franchises that doesn't make me nostalgic. But if I had to choose my favorite single game it would be Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

But the question remains, what is your favorite soundtrack? Or even favorite song from any video game? I'm looking forward to reading your responses.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Arcade Games For The Fighter In Us

The arcade, a recluse from society with no one to judge you and only a few other desperate souls around you that you could impress. Today I want to discuss the fighters for I left a good amount out of yesterdays discussion. There are a ridiculous amount of arcade games so I am just going to skim the surface on ones that make me nostalgia hard. I know I am going to miss some that you loved so please feel free to add ones in the comments that I missed. I love arcade and wish there were a bigger market for them today. So I'll stop my rambling and start talking fighters.

Moral Kombat, test your might. This franchise is still around today but the arcade was my introduction to it and left an impression on me and opened my eyes to fighters. It was revolutionary at its time and even looked down upon for its gore but it was a staple for my arcade visits.

While Mortal Kombat left an impression Street Fighter is a game that I still love today and will play if I come across it. The second one was also available on the SNES but when I was on vacation I would play this in the arcade and never bought the cartridge version.

Tekken 3 had graphics that made me fall back in my chair at the time and between Tekken 3 and Tekken Tag I spent a lifetime of quarters on these two. I would always fight my brother and there isn't a character in this franchise I don't enjoy playing.

Soul Calibur was a game that revitalized the fighter at a time it seemed to be slumping. I loved this franchise and hope to see more of it. I loved the weapons that this game used and the way that this was new to fighters also the graphics were stunning for anything of its time.

Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, what a beautiful game and elegant way of putting two different worlds together. The amount of characters to choose from was monumental and left you pleased no matter what box you were going to land on. I loved the third one that came out recently but it wasn't quite on the level that this one was. This game took the most of my life by far and I still love playing this fighter.

Honorable Mention: Virtual Fighter, Super Smash Melee (I think of this as mainly GCube), and X-Men Vs. Street Fighter

Also, hit 250 subscribers so thank you all for reading this and here's a present for you, last time I gave you a plain old cake so here's an ice cream cake. THANK YOU ALL :D

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Top Five SNES Games

Ah, The Super Nintendo Entertainment System sends me down a spiral of nostalgia that is not rivaled by any other memory I can fathom. The innovative games really set the course for gaming and recently I broke mine out and started playing. Here is the list of my top five games on the SNES, mainly based on how fun it was to replay after fifteen years of absence.

5. Super Mario World 
What could Nintendo have possibly done after Super Mario Brothers 3? Possibly being one of the greatest games of all time many were left to wonder what they would have done. This game passed the test with flying colors by adding Yoshi adding a whole new dynamic of play. The graphics changed made it feel like a new game and made it deeper than SMB3 with all the bonus levels and re-playable levels.

4. Super Metroid
The level design of this game still holds up and its story is one of the best I have ever played in a side scroller. Samus' power ups and new weapon system is still very amazing and with the crazy boss battles this game held up with the passing of time, this was a game I was not sure of and it is absolutely awesome still. The map system added a new phase to the game and honestly this game shoots the NES one out of the water.

3. Final Fantasy III
This game really set the pace at which the Final Fantasy series would accelerate at over in the United States after the wide success of this game. The story still holds up and the way that the game progresses each individual story is rivaled by few other games even in modern days. Even the battle system did not bore me. I didn't want to be biased with Final Fantasy because it's one of my favorite series but this one is still great and should be played by all gamers.

2. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to The Past
I already spent the above paragraph praising the Final Fantasy series when in all honestly I could spend the rest of my life playing the Legend of Zelda series. If Ocarina of Time had never been released (please, no) this probably would be the single greatest Zelda game of all time. Similar to the way Super Metroid surpasses its NES predecessor this one built on the old one in so many ways. The world was substantial and the game seemed to never end, but only in retrospect. At the time I never minded spending all this time on my game. With all the side missions and hidden places this game is one of the best ever.

1. Chrono Trigger
As we write this I am playing this game for the second time through this year, I really can't say enough about this game and the different style of RPG it introduced but I will attempt to do so. The battle system for starters was new and a very nice change of pace from the usual random encounters. It has its roots in other RPGs because the people that worked on this game were developers from both Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. The character development is from some of the people who would go on to develop Dragon Ball Z. Chrono is one of my favorite characters and I reccomened this game to anyone. Honestly I recommend all the games on this list to anyone who enjoys a good time.

Well, that's all for now. Hope you enjoyed the list. There are others I wish I could of added but I wanted to narrow it down to just five of them. Enjoy!

Back on My Grind

Wow it's been a while. Got very caught up with personal stuff and am very happy to be back. In this post I am going to discuss a few things that have happened in my absence.

 A whole lot of this game happened and also I started my job cooking a lot. Portal 2 was great, I won't go all nuts but it was pretty darn perfect. I have been leveling new characters in World of Warcraft and trying to get all the achievements I can on TF2. Tomorrow I will be making another top five list so I hope you all enjoy that. This is all for now. Later!