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Aidan129 Blog

And I Come Back to You Now, at the Turn of the Tide

How long would GameSpot last without Aidan-sensei?

One year, apparently, for it has been exactly one year and one day since my grandiose exit from these hallowed grounds. And on this, the practically one-year anniversary of my exit, it was revealed to me (via smoke signal) that a GameSpot in its current state--and without Aidan-sensei--is not a GameSpot worth having on the Internet! And so, the Unions were forever cast asunder in favor of that lame looking GameCrib show. And turnips. Who doesn't love turnips?

...Well, in all honesty, I don't love turnips. Though as an added disclaimer, I should note that I don't think I've ever had one because I'm afraid of them.

Anyway, with the death of all unions at hand, I figured there was no time like the present to remind you that when I made my exit last August, I did not get consumed by an otherworldly void (much to the chargrin of many). It was to save my favorite union from the fate that all others soon shall suffer. And I'm happy to say that the Catz Clan will endure long after its original incarnation here on GS is obliterated.

So....... if you're looking for a new place to hang out and talk about video games and turnips... and perhaps most importantly, hang out with the likes of ME.... and COURTNEY... and plenty of other old GameSpot members... then I kindly invite you to place your mouse cursor on the link below and click on it.

CATZ CLAN SANCTUARY

The Catz Clan is unlike any other message board I've ever been on. The friendships forged there are exceptional, and I've known most of the people there for almost 5 years. We are beyond a simple message board. When you join the Catz Clan, you are joining a family. There's so much more to it than just the message board, too. We game together all the time, talk on Skype until the wee hours of the morning... one day, we're all going to meet in person. I cannot stress this enough--family is the biggest component of the Catz Clan. We've had plenty of new members over this past year, but the only ones that lasted were the ones who took a personal interest in the family dynamic. If you're not willing to invest yourself in the community, then it's probably not the place for you.

That being said, there IS more to the Catz Clan than a bunch of people who love and tolerate each other having a moderate amount of fun. We have more stupid forum games than you could possibly imagine. We have blogs. We have achievements. We have an excellent video game trivia section that doesn't get nearly enough love and attention. We have Aidan Chronicles. There's Animal Crossing Night, Monster Hunter Night, Halo Night, Skype Night....... I think we talk about Skyrim? Maybe? We even have freaking levels, just like GameSpot, only I made them all, so they're 10x cooler. I also talk about Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 4 on Blu-Ray with great amounts of frequency. So if none of that entices you to join me and my merry band of idiots, nothing will.

Since I'm here, and since most of you will probably NOT be lured to the Catz Clan (because you like to live in squalor and misery, which is ALSO offered in the Catz Clan), I'll end this blog with a brief summary of all the exciting things that have happened in the one year and one day.

1. I have played a LOT of crappy games this year. Really. 2013 is not shaping up to be a stellar year of video gaming for me. The Last Story, Paper Mario: Sticker Star, SimCity... ugh, the list just goes on and on. At least I was able to play The Last of Us, which was absolutely incredible.

2. I got a haircut.

3. Oh! Oh! Somebody called me FOUR-EYES today. REALLY :x

4. I got a promotion at Kroger. The amount of money I am making is ludicrous.

5. Courtney is pregnant. Again.... and Lexie just turned 4 years old, if you can believe THAT.

6. I saw a mud crab the other day. HORRIBLE CREATURE. I hope to never see another.

7. There is no #7.

So, I sincerely hope to see you at the CATZ CLAN SANCTUARY. CLICK IT. CLICK IT.

Loose Ends

In years past, my GameSpot anniversary is what I liked to call A BIG DEAL. There were vlogs and celebrations and tuna references. This year, however, my fourth anniversary (on October 28) came and went without much in the way of fanfare, mostly due to the fact that my presence on GameSpot has been almost ZERO since August. However, I came back the other day to rate a few games and matastig begged and pleaded for me to come back and post blogs like in the good old days.

And after many months of being away, I'm pleased to see all of my favorite glitches are still here, and that the site is as slow-moving as ever. :D I bet if I went onto the message boards, I would get BONK'd right off the bat! Am I right? :lol: Anyway, this is NOT a return to the good old days, matastig. This is the last blog I will ever write on this site, and the only reason I'm doing it (to be honest) is to drum up some excitement for the new Catz Clan Sanctuary, which has established itself quite nicely in a new home away from GameSpot :P

But in the spirit of the GOOD OLD DAYS, in addition to tying up some loose ends, I will share some exciting anecdotes about the life and times of Aidan McKenzie, make a broccoli reference, and boast about the greatness of my Level 100 Goldeen, which is (of course) in the top percentile of all Goldeens.

First and foremost, I went to CHICAGO last week and was able to have one of the greatest experiences of my life (outside of the bedroom). I had the privilege and honor of witnessing the extraordinary LEGEND OF ZELDA: SYMPHONY OF THE GODDESSES at the legendary Chicago Theater.


We had some truly amazing seats. I paid dearly for them (as they were the most expensive seats in the house), but boy was it worth it. The concert was beyond amazing! And I have to admit, I might have even gotten a little emotional when they got to the Wind Waker movement of the show, and the conductor brought out *THE* Wind Waker to conduct that portion of the show. I love Wind Waker, and hearing its music brought to life on stage by an orchestra, with the titular item being used to conduct said orchestra... it was beyond amazing.

There were also a ton of great (and some not-so-great) cosplayers there.

ALSO: Somebody vomited on the floor.

I also had a chance to get out there and take some great shots of Chicago itself. What a great city! And WINDY.

My photography career is also coming along rather nicely. I've been hired by the local library to produce an entire calendar for them to sell. They've loved everything I've done so far, and just gave me the last few details they wanted to include in that beast, so now I can go off and actually get it made. Pretty nice. :cool: If you want one, I'd be more than happy to sell one to you at full price! :D


In the realm of video games, I just recently finished off Borderlands 2. It's a great game... well, it's actually the same game as the first Borderlands, but like, with different characters and locations. Which isn't such a bad thing considering how good the first game is. My only beef with it is that the missions are SO LONG. If you can't get through any given mission in one sitting, it's back to the VERY beginning the next time you play, which really, REALLY sucks if you don't have time to sit and play for hours on end.

Since I was threatening to NOT get a Wii-U right away, Satoru Iwata had Reggie brick my Wii last month. It sounds like one of those really old dot matrix printers whenever it tries (and fails) to read a disc :lol: And thus, my hand was forced and I had to preorder a Wii-U. I'm sure it will collect just as much dust as the Wii did.

HALO 4. I AM READY. After years of playing Reach, I am pleased to announce that my skill level has finally increased from HORRIBLE to BAD. I'm almost bordering on mediocre now! :D I LIVE FOR MEDIOCRITY!



Here is a random picture of my new shoes.

Anyway, I think that's about it for me. Forever. I'm done with this place. I might check in every now and then to rate some games and keep track of my collection, but never again will you see my smiling emoticons on the message boards or commenting on your blogs. I have moved to the Catz Clan Sanctuary, and things there are all sugar and rainbows.

The best thing is... well, for one, I'm in charge. :cool: Well, Courtney is in charge, but I'm second banana (even though she doesn't actually do anything). We have levels and titles, just like GS. If you want to continue blogging, we have blogs there, too. We have an achievement system. We have sigs and avatars (which are MUCH bigger than the ones here). We have all of your old favorite GameSpot users, too, like Courtney and TwilightLullaby, VideoGamerNerd, Kylts, DrAwesome, stalpno, GreenFire. And even some users that are universally loathed, such as Out-Of-Ammo and Dragon66116! We even have a burping contest going on right now, which is perhaps one of the more bizzare things I've seen.

ALSO: We have Donkey Kong Country emoticons. And Kirby ones. And My Little Pony emoticons, if that floats your boat.

ALSO ALSO: You can type the word F*** and not have to censor it. Which I like. Because, I am a frequent user of that word.

ALSO ALSO ALSO: In case you're not a fan of dear, sweet baby kittens, rest assured, we NEVER talk about cats. In fact, I don't think that has happened one time. *shrug*

So, as I conclude this blog, I hope to see you there. I know that I probably won't, because for some reason, you all like to suffer here in squalor and misery, but you won't see my ass here ever again.

Downward Thrust

I'm Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite cake on the Citadel.

My birthday was this past weekend!!!!!!!!! :D I turned 19 :| It is hard to believe that when I first joined GameSpot all those years ago, I was an adorablelittle15 year old. So youthful. So radiant. So often mistaken for a girl. So much has changed since then, and we are not about to review any of it, because I don't feel like typing a long and introspective blog right now :P Besides, I have an exciting rant coming up! :D So just take a moment to celebrate the day that your beloved Aidan-kun was unceremoniously spawned from a fetid bog in Michigan :oops:



Since Slyfur complained she didn't get a car in my last blog, here's a... mobile snail for her..... :| That's my private chopper, btw.


And finally, I must issue a retraction. In my exciting "Game of the Year" blog last month, I proudly proclaimed that The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was my game of the year. I praised the characters, the gameplay, the story, the music, and just about everything else about the game. I was about halfway through the game at that point, and felt that I had a good impression of what the game was all about.

And then, this Monday, I had the misfortune of completing the game. The game that GameSpot gave a 7.5. I was upset at the time, but in retrospect, that 7.5 was about on the mark. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword tanks at the end. It tanks BADLY. It takes all of that promise from the opening hours and squanders it, delivering one of the most tedious, tiresome, disappointing, and in places, flat-out BAD Zelda experiences known to exist. As a result, I can no longer consider Skyward Sword as my 2011 game of the year, and by default, the award goes to Skyrim, as I had predicted all along.

So what, exactly, prompted this unfortunate turn of events? (Spoilers ahead, btw.)

From the outset, Skyrward Sword was treading thin ice. It has a grand total of three areas for Link to explore, and none of them are very large. And to say that Link can explore these areas is being generous. You are only granted access to them as is dictated necessary by the plot, and deviation from that inexorable march through the story is virtual impossible. For the first third of Skyward Sword, none of this is really a problem. The game's strong narrative constantly takes you to from one new area to the next and allows you to traverse some of Skyward Sword's excellently crafted dungeons. You're always doing something different and new, and of course, the brilliant swordplay makes the early hours of Skyward Sword the perfect 10 that I had previously granted the game.

Then you reach the middle of the game. As is the case with all Zelda games, the story begins to fade at this point, as Link is in the middle of his quest to collect some generic trinkets. In Twilight Princess, it was mirror shards. In Ocarina of Time, it was those sage medallions. In A Link to the Past, it was the maidens. In Skyward Sword, Link is looking to power up his sword with blessings from the three goddesses. Whatever the case, the narrative is always on hold at this point, until Link completes that portion of his quest. And this is when things started to go downhill for Skyward Sword. In the other games, Link is still visiting new areas... the Spirit Temple, Snowpeak, Turtle Rock, The Earth Temple... the list goes on in on. However, since Skyward Sword only has three areas for Link to explore, he is thusly forced to go back and revisit them again. In fact,Link even gets to revist the exact same temples that he had previously cleared! Things aren't exactly bad at this point... a little tedious in places, but there is still enough variety to keep things interesting.

That changes in a hurry once you get the Master Sword.

In most other Zelda games, once Link is done traversing Hyrule's myriad dungeons, the plot returns and Link is off to go kick Ganondorf's ass. Or, in the case of Wind Waker, collect the triforce shards, and THEN go kick Ganondorf's ass in one of the best final boss battles of all time. Skyward Sword *should* have ended at this point. Link should have marched off to that final dungeon, fought his way through to the end, and ultimately, put Demise in his place. It would have made for a 35-40 hour game, which is nothing to sneeze at. Sure, that's nowhere near as long as Twilight Princess, but that doesn't matter. It would have made for a satisfactory conclusion to Skyward Sword.

Alas, Nintendo sends you on a quest to retrieve The Song of the Hero before you can open that final dungeon. The journey to retrieve the Song of the Hero essentially amounts to six or seven hours of fetch quests, backtracking, battling the Imprisoned, and more fetch quests--and on top of all of that, your annoying chatty companion, Fi, chooses this trying time to assert herself as the worst chatty companion that Link has ever had. Fi holds your hand and coddles you for the duration of Link's journey, but it is here, and the end of all things, that Fi becomes a nightmare.

You come upon a locked door. Fi calculates there is a 90% chance you need to go through that door, and suggests that you find a key. You find a key. Fi calculates there is an 85% chance the key will open the locked door that you just passed. Let me tell you something... if can't figure out that a key will open the locked door that you just passed five minutes earlier... in a ZELDA game (at the END of the game, no less)... you have bigger problems than a locked door, my friend. The level of hand-holding at this point in the game is ridiculous. Fi is relentless with her calculations and observations, and you're going to hear them whether you want to or not. At least Navi knew when the shut the hell up.


Master, according to my calculations, there is an 85% chance that swinging your rightarm while holding the Wii Remote will cause your sword to move, as well. This could prove useful when you wish to defeat an enemy.

So, you're traversing the same three areas over. And over. And over again, doing nothing but fetch quests. You're collecting spirit shards. You're collecting tadpoles... underwater. You're collecting all of your equipment after getting mugged by bokoblins. Fi is constantly hounding you with her calculations and blatantly obvious observations. This is one of the most tedious, tiresome sequence of events to ever find its way intoa Zelda game. This is not enjoyable. In fact, I hate to say it, but this portion of the game is just flat-out bad. It has NO redeeming qualities whatsoever.

Once it is over, you are granted access to the final dungeon and the fateful confrontations with Ghirahim and Demise, all of which return to the level of excellence that graced the earlier portions of the game. The credits roll, give you a nice, satisfying ending... and yet, you're still left with a very bad taste in your mouth. I think that Nintendo clearly needs to consider hiring me to consult on the next Zelda game, since they clearly have no concept of what makes for a good Zelda game anymore.

I did like that last cut scene, though. Zelda is asking Link if he wants to live on the surface, and he's about to be all like "HELL NO, I'm going back up to the sky!"And then his bird flies away without him :lol:

....Well, I could go on about how the game usually registered my forward thrusts as a vertical spin attack. And about how much I hated Fi. But I think that's enough ranting for now. So.... rant over. Skyward Sword has been stripped of its Game of the Year honors and its score has been reduced to a 7.0.Skyrim, despite its glitches, assumes the title of 2011 Game of the Year.

BYE :x

Vroom, Vroom

It's that time of year again. And no, I don't mean it's time for my yearly bath. It's only January. I'm saving that for like... August or something, when I might actually be dirty enough to require bathing. This, friends, is my third annual North American International Auto Show blog, or in other words, the blog where I show off pictures of some pretty sweet rides that I don't know anything about.

But first, I should like to remind you that a certain somepony's birthday is coming up. And I'm not talking about AlmightyMax or YoshiKoopa.Or mario-nin-freak. I'm talking about the IMPORTANT one. The one on January 29. You still have a few shopping days left. Just saying. Anyway, onto the cars!


Ahh, the Renaissance Center. General Motors world headquarters. Downtown Detroit.


First up, because I don't actually know what that blue car is in the first pic, is an image of the sound system I want to have installed in the back of my Pontiac G5. I don't think that would actually fit in the truck of my car, but I'm willing to make some modifications. This thing was BEAST. Man, with the bass turned up on that, I could probably level a building.


Here we have some sort of Lexus. I don't know what kind (possibly an LFA), but it's their attempt at making a sports car. I think they succeeded :lol: Using the vast amounts of money available to me, I got this beast for DrAwesomeMD. I hope he enjoys it more than that FF13-themed Segway I got for him last year :P


I'm a big fan of the Mustang, and here we have the Boss 302. And Courtney's cousin in that orange Aeropostale shirt in the background.Because he was upset that he didn't get anything last year, this car is most certainly for GreenFire.TwilightLullaby gets Cousin Ryan, because she needs a man in her life. I'll skip the obvious joke about riding Cousin Ryan for now. :D


Winning the "WHAT IS THIS? I DON'T EVEN--" category is... this... thing. It's some sort of Kia Smart Car. I think. And it comes with a bike.


Since they come as a set, I will give it away to a set--Sirra, MrJenkins, and Wetty can fight over who gets what, but clearly, this strange group of people deserve this strange group of vehicles....... :|


Here we have a wicked Hot Wheels Camaro... The color on this thing was just amazing. And since he likes his toys (even if you don't play with them and just stick them on a pedestal), I have no choice but to bestow upon Dragon66116 this amazing vehicle.


Here we have the Honda NSX concept car. It's sleek. Stylish.Awesome. Since I don't know anybody with those qualities here on GS, this car will go undistributed.


Here's another Boss 302. You're looking at my next car. I WANT ONE OF THESE SO BAD. Alas, clocking in at $40,000, I don't think I'll be getting one any time soon :cry:


Here on the opposite end of the awesome spectrum,we have the Chevy EN-V. It's apparently an environmentally friendly smart car that can drive itself. It's so cultured full of that ridiculous "styIe" that only AlmightyMax can properly appreciate this... "vehicle" for what it is.


It's an Audi. And it's a really sweet shade of blue. That's all I know.


This is the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, a pretty sleek little car. Ammo?


The Subaru BRZ. Hmm... since YoshiKoopa's birthday is coming up... You're not having a bad winter in MN, are you? I don't think this thing will handle in the snow :lol:


*SLUG* WHITE ONE! :x Here we have the VW E-Bugster. That really strange looking "C" on the front bumper is some sort of reflective material, I think. It looks kinda weird in the pic, but on the car itself it looked nice. ANYWAY, since she already drives aBug in Aidan Chronicles, Ican *TOTALLY* see TwilightLullaby driving around her new man, Cousin Ryan,in this thing.


This beast of a truck is some sort of Toyota. I know how much HurricaneAlex loves his F-150, but this thing is built like tank, and his neighbor will have a hard time stealing sandbags out of the back of it. Also, it has a REALLY sweet paint job. And it's DC. My shoes are DC (uninteresting fact for the day).


Winner of the "COOLEST DISPLAY RUINED BY AN OLDGUY IN A HIDEOUS SWEATER" award. He would not move :x Actually, he smelled like he dropped a deuce in his pants, if you know what I mean, so that position he has assumed on the car could very well be............ YEAH. Moving on!


Here we have.... uh... well... it's a car. And it's orange.


And finally, we have the Kia Optima Hybrid. It was inspired by a basketball, a theme that carries through to the interior. There are like, basketball courts for floor mats and stuff :lol: This fine vehicle is for Koopa_Shell, even though he is never here, I just know he would want a car like this. Then again, he might one the version inspired by the score board, and not the basketball itself....


It has been ages since I've advertisedAidan Chronicles here, mostly because the plot is now so intermingled between episodes that it's almost impossible sit down and watch it without knowledge of what has happened in the previous episodes. Alas, the newest episode, "In the Beginning," somewhat bucks this trend.

Once, a long time ago, somebody left a comment on my blog that suggested the story of how I met Courtney would make for a nice little movie or something. I actually kept that thought in mind, and it has transformed into this episode ofAidan Chronicles. So this is... a MOSTLY true story. :lol:

If you haven't seen Aidan Chronicles before, I must warn you that there is always the possibility of strong language, sexual situations, and crude humor. If you are not fond of such things, do not watch. It's also 39 minutes and 143 MB if you're concerned about such things. I can't tell short stories. I'm sorry :P

"In the Beginning"

If you're interested in more Aidan Chronicles, visit this threadfor the complete list of episodes.

2011 Game of the Year

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METROID PRIME • 4.1
Samus lands on a planet. Why? Who knows. What's she doing once she goes there? Who knows?

DATE BEATEN: QUIT DUE TO CRAPPINESS
DO NOT WANT. This is supposedly a great game. But for some reason, I loathed it with a burning passion. I played the Wii version, so maybe the GameCube version was better? I can't say that I plan on finding out. But things started out bad, and went downhill in a hurry. First and foremost, the game committed a horrible act—it failed to probably explain a key function in the gameplay. Switching visors is a vital part of this game. Both the in game tutorial and the instruction manual indicate that to switch visors, you push and hold minus. That's it. In fact, you must also move the cursor to the top third of the screen to switch visors—though there is no way to know that since the game doesn't tell you and there aren't any visual clues while holding minus to let you know. So after struggling with THAT for far too long, I finally started making some progress in the game—though every time I thought I was getting somewhere, I hit a brick wall because I didn't have THIS upgrade or THAT upgrade. Well? Where DO I go then? I dunno. Game doesn't tell you that. So I was all like… F*** THIS. And that's Metroid Prime.

THE LAST REMNANT • 5.9
The Last Remnant has all the ingredients for a good game. It has a great story, an interesting battle system, an excellent soundtrack, great graphics, and tons of stuff to do. But none of that matters, because the leveling system in this game is flawed beyond comprehension.

DATE BEATEN: February 6
TIME PLAYED: 105 hours
ACHIEVEMENTS: 19/22 • 580/1000 G• 86% complete

FATAL FLAW: The game actively encourages you to fight lots of battles. Instead of gaining a level after defeating so many enemies, you get random stat increases after every battle. In theory, that's okay, but enemies level up as you do—and if you get a lot of bad stat increases, you can find yourself horribly outgunned later in the game. That's exactly what happened to me when I first played the game two years ago. The key to beating the game is actually avoiding ALL battles except required ones, and level grinding in an area (that happens to be DLC) where the enemies leave you with good stats. It's ridiculous.

LEGO STAR WARS III • 6.3
The Force is not with this one. The levels aren't that interesting and far too often, it's not obvious what you need to do to proceed. Also, the camera stinks. And the Clone Wars aren't nearly as good as the movies.

DATE BEATEN: April 22
TIME PLAYED: 22 hours
ACHIEVEMENTS: 42/48 • 720/1000 G • 88% complete

PILOTWINGS RESORT • 7.0
So you fly around this island and stuff—wait, no. There is no "stuff." You just fly around some island.

DATE BEATEN: June 18
TIME PLAYED: 7 hours

DRAGON AGE 2 • 7.2
You are the Champion of Kirkwall. And only Kirkwall. Unlike many other heroes, who have accomplished many great deeds to save the entire world, you, friend, are the Champion of one measly city. Though you did go into a cave that one time. It was scary. And that is why you are only the Champion of Kirkwall.

DATE BEATEN: March 22 and July 15
TIME PLAYED: 72 hours
ACHIEVEMENTS: 65/65 • 1370/1370 G • 100% complete

RINSE AND REPEAT. While the combat moves a lot faster than Dragon Age: Origins, it still comes down to button mashing. That was fine in the first game, when you were driven forward by an intricate plot filled with twists and turns through many various locations. This time around, almost all of the action takes place in one spot. It's fun for a little while, but visiting the same 4 places over and over and over again… well… I think that might be a little tiresome. Don't you?
DRAGON AGE? For a game with "DRAGON" in its title there were certainly not a lot of them in this game… Just saying. I guess "Generic Bandit Age" isn't as marketable.
A GREAT DEAL OF RESPECT: I command a great deal of respect. The Arishok told me so. So treat me accordingly, with the respect I deserve.

METROID: OTHER M • 7.4
This time Samus goes on an adventure, and I actually knew why she was doing it.

DATE BEATEN: September 21
TIME PLAYED: 16:00

SECOND CHANCES. After my horrid experience with Metroid Prime, I was hesitant to try Other M—but it turned out to be a decent enough game. Yes, the story was lame, and yes, Adam was even more lame for not giving Samus permission to use the Varia suit the FIRST time she ran through that lava tunnel. Still, I'm in no hurry to play another Metroid. Sorry, Samus. I don't care how tight your Zero Suit is.

GOD OF WAR: CHAINS OF OLYMPUS • 7.6
Hear me, Athena! The Gods have wronged Kratos again, so he's gonna like, go and kill stuff.

DATE BEATEN: September 18
TIME PLAYED: 6:41
TROPHIES: 19/36

LEGO PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN • 8.0
Grab ye a grog, ya salty sea dogs, and set yerself down for a high seas adventure, filled with little plastic blocks. And booty. Lots of booty! But even more little plastic blocks.

DATE BEATEN: June 4
TIME PLAYED: 28 hours
ACHIEVEMENTS: 40/40 • 1000/1000 G • 100% completed

ARRRGH! With Lego Star Wars III slumbering for eternity in Davy Jones' locker, it was up to Lego Pirates to restore me faith in the series—and that it did, lad. That it did. No parlay required—though I would have been disinclined to acquiesce those demands. Arrgh, Lego Pirates be a mighty fine game—fun and charming like the movies, and gorgeous to look at, too, which is unusual for a Lego game. Why is this game so good? Sea turtles.

3D DOT GAME HEROES • 8.0
Long ago, Prince Darkness "Ganon" stole one of the Triforce with Power. Princess Zelda had one of the Triforce with Wisdom… wait a minute, wrong game. I was confused there for a second… But you get the idea.

DATE BEATEN: May 22
TIME PLAYED: 22:20
TROPHIES: 29/51 • 42% complete

IT'S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE… I'm surprised Nintendo didn't sue for copyright infringement :lol: 3D Dot Game Heroes is so similar to the first Zelda game that it's not even funny.

GOD OF WAR: GHOST OF SPARTA • 8.1
Hear me again, Athena! Kratos knows that his brother yet lives. HE IS COMING.

DATE BEATEN: September 28
TIME PLAYED: 7:46
TROPHIES: 29/36

SUPER SCRIBBLENAUTS • 8.2
Maxwell returns. And he brings with him the awesomeness of adjectives.

DATE BEATEN: January 9

BEST THING TO SUMMON: Giant Angry Robotic Pregnant Vampire Muffin. Watch in delight as is it leeches the life from your enemies… and then gives birth to little baby muffins upon expiry.

RED DEAD REDEMPTION: UNDEAD NIGHTMARE • 8.3
Be warned, stranger. The dead have risen, and they're hungry for brains. Then again, you don't look like you've got much to worry about, friend. It's a sad day when a zombie hungry for brains passes you by, isn't it?
DATE BEATEN: April 10
WTF DLC? I wouldn't normally count DLC as a game beaten, but Undead Nightmare has more content than some games, so I don't have any problem counting it on this list. And neither do you.

BASTION • 8.5
The Kid woke up in a daze. Somethin' wasn't quite right. Ahh, looks like the Calamity happened during the night, and the Kid somehow managed to sleep through the whole thing. Looks like he's gonna have to save the world now. And I'm going to narrate the whole entire thing as he does it.
DATE BEATEN: August 6
TIME PLAYED: 14:00
ACHIEVEMENTS: 12/12 • 200/200 G • 100% completed

THEN THE KID SCRATCHED HIS NOSE. There is a narrator for this whole game. WHOLE GAME. I wasn't sure how I felt about it at first, but something about that dude's voice just makes you want to listen to him tell the story—and the fact that the story was pretty damn good also helped. Bastion is a fairly standard hack and slash RPG, but it's a ton of fun—and when combined with that narration and the graphics, and that oh-so-incredible soundtrack, you have a game that is certainly worth playing.

UNCHARTED: DRAKE'S FORTUNE • 8.6
Nathan Drake sets out to find the fabled city of El Dorado. What could go wrong?

DATE BEATEN: July 29
TIME PLAYED: 10:09
TROPHIES: 26/48 • 47% complete

UNCHARTED 3: DRAKE'S DECEPTION • 8.7
Nathan Drake sets out to find the fabled city of Ubar. What could go wrong? Well, that would be EVERYTHING.

DATE BEATEN: November 10
TIME PLAYED: 10:38

WHAT COULD GO WRONG? Everything. I liked this game. A lot. Otherwise it wouldn't have gotten an 8.7. It is easily the best looking game that I have ever played, it sounds great, plays great. So what's wrong? I don't think that the story is all that it was cracked up to be. To me, the story seemed like little more than a conveyance to get Drake from one over-the-top situation to the next. Granted, that was the case in the previous Uncharted games, but in this case… well, I think the game was TOO over the top for its own good. Each of the set-pieces were amazing in their own right. The cruise ship is pure brilliance—and it would have made an awesome climax. Alas, it takes place in the middle of the game, and afterwards, Nate just dries himself off and gets onto the plot conveyor so he can get himself into another over-the-top pickle. It just didn't sit well with me, I guess.

SUPER MARIO 3D LAND • 8.8
Believe it or not, Bowser has kidnapped Princess Peach. Dude, that NEVER happens…

DATE BEATEN: November 27
TIME PLAYED: 7:04

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: OCARINA OF TIME 3D • 8.9
Apparently, Link didn't have it in him. Ganondorf got him. He failed. Didn't save Hyrule. Let Zelda die. Well, at least according to Nintendo.

DATE BEATEN: August 31
TIME PLAYED: 30:36

HALO 3 • 9.1
Something about a Flood. And an Elite is apparently fighting with me and I don't know why. And more Flood. I really wish I had played the first two Halo games before tackling this one.

DATE BEATEN: April 4
TIME PLAYED: 15 hours
ACHIEVEMENTS: 13/79 • 540/1750 G • 16% complete

MARIO KART 7 • 9.1
First place… third lap… blue shell… lightning bolt…. red shell… green shell… sixth place.

DATE BEATEN: December 4
TIME PLAYED: 19:18

LET'S A GO! The blue shells are worse than ever. The computer is more wicked than usual. And green shells seem to lob you from out of nowhere with amazing frequency. Yet, somehow Mario Kart 7 is still really good. All of the new courses (except for Neo Bowser City :x) are a ton of fun, the online is great, and the swimming/gliding is actually a lot of fun. As is always the case with Mario Kart, the positives outweigh the negatives.
FAVORITE NEW TRACK: Piranha Plant Slide

HALO: REACH • 9.5
I am Noble 6. I am a Spartan. The best of the best. Grunts fear me. Elites with fuel rod guns? Not so much.

DATE BEATEN: June 11 and October 30
TIME PLAYED: 285 hours
ACHIEVEMENTS: 54/69 • 1245/1700 G • 78% complete

LEGENDARY. Normally, I wouldn't mention a game that I beat last year in this blog, but since I managed to beat Reach twice this year—both times on Legendary, I figured it was worth a mention. Also, after spending 285 hours with the game, it has become not only my most played game of 2011, but my most played game of all time.
A MONUMENT TO ALL YOURS SINS. Not only did I beat the game on Legendary twice, the second time I did it all by my lonesome. It took me 28 hours, I died hundreds of times, and was probably the most cowardly Spartan in history (if there was a way to avoid a battle, ooh yeah, I avoided it). But I did it, making this my biggest achievement of the year.

RED DEAD REDEMPTION • 9.6
I don't rightly know why I didn't play this game sooner, friend. I reckon I was not finding the setting appealing to my refined palate, but the moment Uncle Sam recruited me to track down that scoundrel, Bill Williamson, I hopped into the saddle and had me a mighty fine adventure.

DATE BEATEN: February 27
PLAY TIME: 69 hours
ACHIEVEMENTS: 47/95 • 920/1500 G • 49% complete

CHANGE OF HEART: As many of you know, my original rating for this game was a much maligned 8.8. I had some issues with the controls (and still do), I wasn't too keen on the music, I found the multiplayer somewhat lacking (there really isn't much to do, honestly), and I think I had a few other quibbles. But in retrospect, those problems were minor. Red Dead Redemption is an excellent game. The gameplay, the story, the characters, and especially the setting I was so leery about… it all combines to make a truly stunning game that is worthy of a bit more than that "lowly" 8.8.
"DASTARDLY": This was my favorite achievement of 2011. Kidnap a woman, tie her to the train tracks, and let nature take its gruesome course.

THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM • 10
I used to be an adventurer like you. Then I took an arrow in the knee. Now I'm stuck on guard duty while my cousin is out fighting dragons.

DATE BEATEN: N/A
TIME PLAYED: 148 hours
ACHIEVEMENTS: 45/50 • 840/1000 G • 90% complete

I SAW A MUD CRAB THE OTHER DAY. Well, well, well… What have we here? Skyrim has earned the 10 that I said it would get all those months ago. It is everything that I dreamed it would be and then some. It is a fantastically amazing game. I could go on for pages about the adventures I've had… and at some point, I will regale you with the story of how I really, really wanted to get back to Riften… but there were guards. And bounty hunters. And dragons. And Thalmor Justiciars. And Delphine. And Forsworn. And over-encumberement… if that's even a word.
HORRIBLE CREATURE. Skyrim is NOT my game of the year. No. There was a horrible creature in this game, and it was not a mud crab. It was that horrible, horrible Daedric Prince of Glitches. I listed a boatload of Skyrim glitches that I had encountered a few blogs ago. At that time, they were nothing but fun little aberrations that did not detract from my enjoyment of the game. That has changed. The number of quests I have been unable to complete due to glitches has grown by leaps and bounds. People I need to talk to don't acknowledge me. The Orc I needed to speak with to initiate a Daedric quest got killed before my very eyes. The map marker pointed to the WRONG place for the entirety of the last civil war quest. As much as I love Skyrim—and don't get me wrong, I DO love it—these glitches have detracted just enough love to deny the illustrious GotY award.
GLITCHES. I hope to never see another. Hahahahaha…
FAVORITE MOMENTS: Becoming a cannibal was certainly something. Assassinating Glerda the Kind to initiate the Dark Brotherhood quests was also a hoot. Right in front of the children. They cheered at her death. And the guards afterwards: "Didn't I see you coming out of that orphanage?" :lol: The wedding was also enjoyable. I wore my good clothes.

2011 GAME OF THE YEAR

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: SKYWARD SWORD • 10
After Princess Zelda is abducted by a mysterious beast, Link must embark upon a dangerous journey to a mysterious land to get her back. If only it were that simple…

DATE BEATEN: N/A
TIME PLAYED: 30 hours

SURPRISE! How is this possible? For months, Skyrim seemed like such a lock for GotY! How could Skyward Sword (a lowly 7.5 in GS's eyes) possibly dethrone the game I had been hyping for the entire year? The fun swordplay doesn't hurt, but for me, the thing that tipped the scale in Skyward Sword's favor was the moment that Groose set foot upon this strange new world called "the surface" and proclaimed it "Grooseland" :lol: Skyward Sword is filled with amazing characters. Fi, Groose, Zelda, Batreaux, Ghirahim… these are memorable, fully fleshed out people. They're charming and funny, and over the course of the game, you actually come to care about them. The same cannot be said for the denizens of Skyrim. Combined with a surprisingly good story, an excellent soundtrack, great dungeons, and… oh yeah… some of the MOST EPIC boss fights you will ever see in a game… all of that combines to make Skyward Sword something that is truly special. And something that is worthy of the title GAME OF THE YEAR.
NOT TO BE OUTDONE. And it even has a game-ending glitch, just like Skyrim.
I NEED PAPER! I was thrilled to see that toilet in the Knight Academy. I was even more thrilled when somebody inside needed some paper. So what did YOU do with that love note? :lol:

Crazy Chocobo

Welcome to my FINAL BLOG. Well, of 2011. Though I could get hit by a bus tomorrow. You never know. So this could really be it. I mean, if Link can get get smoked, I guess it can happen to any of us. In case you didn't know, Nintendo released their official timeline for The Legend of Zelda in their "Hyrule Historia" book, and one of its three branches is based off a timeline where Link just didn't have it him. The young cricket flat-out failed to stop Ganondorf and evil prevailed. Good news for Ganondorf, I guess. An odd choice, to say the least, but I guess Nintendo can do whatever the hell it wants. They usually do. And you're gonna live with it (and like it), cuz Reggie said so :x

Also, Hyrule Historia? DO WANT.


I want to (very quickly) go over a few things before I get to the point of this blog (there is one, believe it or not). Christmas was good. I got plenty of clothes, Solatorobo (RPG on DS), a Blu-ray player since my DVD player died and I'm anal about using my PS3 and 360 to play movies. I also got plenty of cash and gift cards. Not a bad haul, by any means.

I also found this RELIC while I was digging through the junk room for some box my mom wanted. This box (is not the one Mommy wanted) but... it was still quite a find. Microsoft Windows 3.1 :lol: Just think, this thing is older than I am :lol:

Also, I put together a pretty nice little calendar using some of the pictures I took over the last year. I gave one to Courtney and my Mommy and a few other people for Christmas. It turned out really nice! :D One of these years, I'm hoping to actually sell it. I guess that's probably a good thing since photographer is my chosen profession :lol:


Random pic of my gaming lair.


DVD/video game collection


My collection of video game soundtracks.


And speaking of soundtracks, that brings us to my 2011 OST OF THE YEAR AWARDS! :D As you well know, 2011 was a VERY good year for gaming. Skyrim. Skyward Sword. Uncharted 3. Mario Kart 7. Dragon Age 2. The number of great games was staggering... which meant that the number of great original soundtracks was also staggering. Last year, I lumped the OST of the Year awards in with the Game of the Year awards, but since I didn't actually play half of the games nominated in the music category this year, I thought I'd do a separate blog entry devoted to music.

Sadly, I must start off with a rather dubious honor, and that is the unfortunate... SHAME OF THE YEAR. It wasn't a very hard choice, either. While I'm not counting the Final Fantasy 13-2 OST in this year's awards (since I haven't heard the whole thing yet), I have heard bits and pieces of the OST. A lot of it's great, and you can expect to see it on the 2012 OST of the Year blog. But... one track in particular... not so great. In fact, this one song is easily the worst song of the year, and quite possibly, one of the worst pieces of music of all time.

I give you Final Fantasy 13-2's "CRAZY CHOCOBO" :| The fact that it is very heavy, screaming metal isn't exactly working in its favor to begin with, but the fact that it takes the beloved chocobo theme and reduces it to... ...well, s***... that's adding insult to injury. This song is so bad... ugh... I don't even... aghdfldg;a.adogh;g

Onto the good!


#5 -The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

You're probably not surprised to see Skyrim on here. I've only been talking about how AWESOME the game is since last December. The game, of course, was everything I dreamed it would be and then some, and the soundtrack followed suit. Much like Oblivion, it's not the most bombastic soundtrack; in fact, Jeremy Soule delivers a rather atmospheric and soothing bit of music, with only fleeting moments of terror. And it's absolutely perfect for a visit to the frosty tundras of Skyrim.

DragonbornFar HorizonsAncient Stones


#4 - Catherine

I haven't played Catherine, though it is certainly on my to-do list. I guess the game is really, really different, which isn't surprising upon hearing it's magnificent soundtrack. Shoji Meguro, the man responsible for the Persona soundtracks, provides a similar vibe here, and while most of that is decent, it's Meguro's takes on some cIassical music that makes this OST special. As great as some of these cIassics are in their original forms (likethe William Tell Overture or Beethoven's Symphony #5), Meguro takes those cIassics and transforms them into something more contemporary. And awesome, earning Catherine the #4 place on the countdown.

Little Fugue in G MinorThe StormBeethoven Symphony #5


#3 - Ni No Kuni

This RPG is due for release here in the US next year, and if the soundtrack is any indication, it's going to be magnificent. I'm only vaguely familiar with Joe Hisaishi's other works, though I know that his "Princess Mononoke" is brilliant. That brilliance transfers to Ni No Kuni. Very easily. In fact, this music is so good, it's hard to believe that it's video game music in places. It is grandiose and majestic on a scale that most movies cannot achieve. And downright beautiful

FieldMain ThemeTo the Decisive Battle


#2 - Bastion

For a little downloadable game that can be cleared in a few hours, this one came as an absolute surprise. Not only the game, which is pretty damn good, but Darren Kobb's soundtrack, which is nothing short of amazing. I'm nota musician and I'm terrible at describing musical things, so you'll just have to take my word (or listen to the YouTube videos) when I say Bastion is an absolute delight.This is one of the best OSTs you will hear this year, and its finale, "Setting Sail, Coming Home," is hands down the best vocal track of the year. It fits the game perfectly, and is nearly perfect itself.

Spike in the RailBynn the BreakerSetting Sail, Coming Home


#1 - The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Maybe the music disc that came packed with the game influenced by judgment. Maybe it was the Zelda fanboy in me. Or maybe it was Mahito Yokota, who can turn any music he touches into gold. Whatever it was, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword won me over with its music this year. Zelda and an orchestra is a perfect fit, and as a result, Skyward Sword delivers the finest Zelda soundtrack in years. Not every theme is a winner, but the scale of the soundtrack is a lot bigger than any of our other contenders, save Skyrim, and Skyward Sword's stirring themes and energetic music wins out every time.

Ballad of the GoddessThe SkyGirahim BattleThe ImprisonedStaff Roll

Next time... the Game of the Year shall be revealed! :shock:

Arrow in the Knee

I used to be an adventurer like you. But then I took an arrow in the knee. Now I'm stuck on guard duty while my cousin is out fighting dragons. But he'll take an arrow in the knee soon enough. It always happens. Every guard in Whiterun has taken at least one arrow in the knee. A bride was murdered at her own wedding in Solitude recently; the guards there did their best to valiantly pursue to killer, but those knees... those creaky knees... criminal scum got away.By the Nine, I'd give my firstborn son for a good knee. At least I don't have it as bad as Bob, over in Markarth. He took an arrow in both knees. Same arrow. Both knees. Stupid Foresworn.

YOU KNEW THIS BLOG WAS COMING. YOU THOUGHT YOU WOULD BE READY FOR IT. YOU WERE WRONG.

At long last, I will break my silence and talk about... SKYRIM. In case you didn't know, I was looking forward to playing this game. But it sucks. Worst game I've ever played. The graphics are too nice. There isn't enough to do. The load times aren't long enough. And there are not nearly enough glitches. Thank the Maker the patch that Bethesda released not too long ago made dragons fly backwards and eliminated all resistances. If only my file sizes would balloon to epic sizes and make the game unplayable after 80 hours...


My own, personal "Collector's Edition" of the game, since I wasn't about to pay $150 for the special edition Bethesda was offering. I sprung for the fancy guide and recently picked up the soundtrack, which is really nice...


...and signed by Jeremy Soule, the composer.

Actually, Skyrim is everything I hoped it would be and then some. I'm about 75-80 hours in. I'm a badass Redguard, equipped with an "Epic Ebony Greatsword" that's doing 110 damage. Those guards with their creaky knees don't stand much of a chance when I swing that beast. Neither did that silly Argonian who dared to challenge me outside of Dawnstar. My dude is just out there, minding his own business, enjoying the snow, with this snake-tongued Argonian comes out of nowhere and starts throwing punches. They did like no damage, and my blade very, very quickly liberated the Argonian's head from the rest of his body in a plume of blossoming gore. I've had an epic standoff with a pair of mammoths. I've been mauled by a saber-toothed tiger. I've been impaled by two giant spikes of ice after an unfortunate encounter with a Master Wizard. I've had a hagraven dispatch three thugs to"teach me a lesson." I've had two dragons attack me at the same time. I've had a Draugr Deathlord throw me across the entirety of an ancient crypt. I was captured by a warlock. I murdered a bride at her wedding and poisined the emperor of Tamriel. Or so I thought. I've been disarmed by a bandit chieftain, burned down a meadery, sacrificed my housecarl to Boethia, had the Dark Brotherhood put out a contract on ME... Oh. Yeah. And I took an arrow in the knee.

And by all accounts, I've barely scratched the surface.

Of course, there are the glitches. After 80 hours, I've seen more than a few, and I've documented some of my favorites.


...such as the hollow rock! There's nothing inside! ...What? Not impressed? I've got more.


Look. It's Whiterun! And... I'm... ...underneath it... :| This is one city that clearly does NOT have a seedy underside. But you're still not excited by my glitches? Oh, I've got MORE!


M'aiq the Liar saw a mud crab the other day. Horrible beast. M'aiq also saw half of a horse sticking out of the ground. M'aiq does not even have to lie about this tall tale...


STILL not satisfied? By a horse sticking out of the ground? Well, I've got MORE! :x


After traversing a long and winding cavern, I clear it out, only to discover that... the exit has somehow separated from the rest of the cave, and is now floating in a blue void of death. Yay. But that is not the best glitch. No. Not by a long shot...


Much like M'aiq's horse, half of poor Louis Latroush is stuck in the ground! Thankfully, three of his close friends are there to console him in his time of need.


...and surprisingly enough, all three of Louis's companions are, in fact... Louis himself. Quadruplets, you think? :lol:



Here's a picture of my PS3, just to make Dr. Awesome jealous.

  • In other news, I've been spending a lot of time with Mario Kart 7, too. It's a great game. I like most of the new tracks. The kart customization options are great. I don't give a s*** about there being ONLY 17 characters. I use Toad. I use ONLY Toad. There could have been 8 characters and I wouldn't have cared, as long as Toad was one of them. I *also* love how the game is apparently programmed to fire a blue shell at you at the end of the third lap, just inches from the finish line. I know the blue shell assault is nothing new, but now it is even MORE BS than ever since you are almost GUARANTEED to get a blue shell right on the finish line. STUPID NINTENDO. STUPID. Who thought blue shells were a good idea? WHO? :x How does that even help the poor sap in last place who fired it off, anyway? He's still in LAST PLACE after he fired it,isn't he? Yes. :x What good does it do? NONE. Stupid Nintendo. I need to have words with Shiggy :x
  • School is over until January. Good.
  • I should probably start Christmas shopping.
  • I saw a mud crab the other day. I hope to never see another.

And we shall conclude with a brief tribute to Super Smash Bros. Melee, which turned 10 years old last week. Ahh, such fond memories. SSBM was THE game that got me into gaming. I had been aware of Mario and Link before December 2001, but I didn't really care about them. So when my friend Alex insisted I come to his house and play this new "GameCube" thing he just got, I didn't want to have anything to do with it... I guess the lot of you should be glad I changed my mind, otherwise your lives would be drab and boring with me off posting on BasketweavingSpot.

COMING SOON... the 2011 YEAR IN REVIEW! :shock: What... oh what, could POSSIBLY be my 2011 game of the year? You'll never guess. In a million years. Never. Nope. Not gonna happen. :roll:

A Monument to All Your Sins

Ahh... one year ago today, I was on abeach in the Bahamas. Awesome as that might have been (and it was AWESOME), the trick-or-treating wasn't so hot down there. I totally missed out on all my candy :x That error was rectified this year, thank the Maker. We just got back not too long ago. Lexie was the trick-or-treater, not me. Though she got tired after like 10 minutes, so I had to carry her around. I guess it's all good, cuz I'll probably be the one eating most of her candy, anyway :P


Oh, Bahamas...

FIVE years ago today, not only did I go trick-or-treating, I also had the pleasure of playing for the first time one of my all-time favorite games: FINAL FANTASY 12. Ahh. It doesn't really seem like it's been 5 years :? Iwas acute little snot-nosed 13 year old, and I played FF12 like you wouldn't believe. I loved everything about it, except for maybe Vaan'shorribly disfigured abs. Seriously. What was up with them?

But FF12 has a lot of great memories for me. From the amazing soundtrack (Phon Coast!) to the epic 15-hour fight against Yiazmat (and his 50 million hit points :x), to Roblon and his hordes of undead minions. And that Level 99 monster in the Golmore Jungle. Ugh. I never did beat that bugger.


I know that TwilightLullaby finds them hot and sexy, but nobody else in their right mind could...

Also, THREE years ago, on October 28, a seemingly innocent event transpired that would forever change your world. I joined GameSpot! I was a cute, snot-nosed little 15 year old eager to get on the message boards and have some intelligent discussions about games. While I did, in fact, get on the boards, I have yet to actually have an intelligent discussion. I know that I went all out on my anniversary the past few years, but I'm not doing that this year. I went all-out on my combined Birthday/100th blog post and it's currently one of my least commented on blogs of the year. I don't want to waste all that time making a fancy video and blog if nobody's gonna watch/read it.

Still, it has been a pretty great 3 years. I've made a lot of great friends on here. Cory-chan. Michael. Jennifer :x.Jager.Even dearest Maxie. I'm not going to go on and on about how wonderful you guys are this year (because I don't have all night and you already know how much you all mean to me), but we've all had a lot of fun together.....a lot of great times (even when you piss me off SEVERELY on Halo Night).And I look forward to more of this in the future. Not the getting pissed off part, though I assume you guys will be more than willing to accommodate me on that, too.

*Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Break*


A MONUMENT TO ALL YOUR SINS - 150G
FOR ME!!!!!!!!!! Muahahahahaha!

In other news, I have done something legendary. After some incredible act of divine intervention,I somehow managed to beat Halo: Reach on Legendary, all by myself. Dr. Awesome and I beat the game together on Legendary earlier in the year, but this time it was ALL ME. The experience put hair on my chest (not really), turned me into a major league Halo gamer (not really), and has brought me respect and admiration from my peers (definitely not). I am now manly, just like NeonNinja (probably not). :P :lol:

In fact, it was probably the least manly solo Legendary run through Reach on record :lol: According to bungie.net, it took me 27 hours to beat the game on Legendary. I died 1005 times, including 205 times on The Pillar of Autumn and 128 times on Exodus (mostly due to the 2 chieftains hiding out in the control room at the very, very end :x... Fuel Rod Guy and Hammer Bro, how I hate thee :x)

When I started out, I didn't think it was possible for me to do this. Nobody thought I could do it. But I kept at it, and somehow cleared the game. There were times when things looked bleak. As I sprinted my way through the final area in the game, I came upon those 2 Hunters with only a few rounds in my DMR, 9 or 10 shots left in my shotgun, and 3 elites in hot pursuit. Things looked SO bleak that I thought I for sure that I would fail, but time and again, I somehow managed to overcome the Covenant, and before I knew it, it was not a matter of IF I beat it, but when. I also think that my creative usage of swear words helped immensely.

So, this goes into the books as one of my greatest gaming accomplishments of all time, right alongside the fall of Yiazmat in Final Fantasy 12 8)


I got a new camera back in August, but I don't think I've really shown off what I can do with it. So here are some nice new pics of the fall foliage here in Michigan taken with the new gear. And I'm throwing in some pictures from my trip to Chicago back in August, too, since I've been meaning to do that for months :lol:


I think this one was in Binder Park, MI, not Chicago :P

Anyway, that's enough blog for one day! LATERZ.

Shadow of the Colossal Cheese Wheel

Well look at this. I'm actually writing a blog for the first time in a month. I used to be a reasonably frequent blogger, but I guess that, over time, I've turned into a drab and boring individual whose days are filled with monotony, dust, and a pair of charmingwooden spoons I've come to know as Sal and Maureen. Also: sock puppets. Hence, I've not blogged in many moons. Actually, I think that my work on the Aidan Chronicles has taken away some of the time I used to spend on blogging. Alas, your're still not missing out on much.

I beat Shadow of the Colossus today. The PS3 version was every bit as excellent as the PS2 version, though my main gripes about the game remained. The controls are not that great, and I hate Agro with a burning passion. I cheered when he plunged to his timely demise at the bottom of that ravine this morning (and cried when he returned during the end credits), as the wretched equine has wronged me on many, MANY occasions :x :x From his love of standing directly beneath stomping colossi feet, to his insistance on running headfirst into walls at full gallop and then refusing to turn around, Agro is a horrid, horrid steed.

My favorite "incident" was while fighting #13, the giant flying colossus in the desert. Agro, of course, is integral to this battle, especially during the part where you have to chase down the colossus when its dragging its fins in the sand. Suffice to say, Agro was stupid on my first several attempts at reaching those fins, and when I finally DID catch up with the colossus, my aim was bad and I missed those fins completely. I thought I had a chance to hop right back on Agro and go at the colossus again really quick, but Agro was nowhere to be seen. Just when I started to call him... of course, he races across the bottom of the screen... ON HIS BACK... wedged between two of the colossi's fins :x EPONA FOREVER!

Anyway, I still love the game, and after I beat it this afternoon, I somehow found myself looking at some SotC artwork, which eventually led me to some concept art of several colossi that didn't make it into the final cut of the game. Also: I don't care if you've seen these before. It's new to me :x At least try to act all surprised like I just uncovered something amazing :x


Aberth, the giant spider. It apparently had 12 legs that needed to be struck with the sword before the body fell to the ground. I guess it got scrapped because it was too hard for Agro to navigate around all those legs.


Adar Flam was a giant Phoenix who would apparently be rendered inert by getting him to fall into the water. Don't know why this one was cut, cuz it seems like it would have been an awesome fight.


Dionin was a giant worm. There wasn't much information about him except that there (might) have been a weak point in its mouth? I dunno.


Kyos was another giant cut from the game. I guess he was cut cuz it was ultimately deemed too frustrating/time-consuming to get back on top of him if you fall off repeatedly (which apparently happened a lot).


Sirius was apparently another battle that relied heavily upon Agro. That alone is reason enough to scrap it :P


A cool looking dragon colossus called Avus; it wasn't entirely scrapped. I guess it got turned into the first flying battle (the one over the lake). This design is pretty wicked, though.


This thing looks like a giant fly or something :lol: I guess it's supposed to be a gargoyle. Apparently you had to duck into grass and stuff to get behind this guy, and then shoot him in the back with the bow.

These last two colossi are just fan art that I stumbled upon, but they are both REALLY cool. Shadow of the Colossus 2, please? After The Last Guardian?


There was some new Dragon Age DLC today 8) I'm not very far into it, but when I was playing, I happened to notice a skeleton in the bushes that apparently got killed by a giant block of cheese that had fallen from the sky. I mean, it HAD to have fallen from the sky cuz this was off the beaten path and all that.


Trust me, that looked much more cheese-like in game, but... I dunno. I guess I thought it was funny :lol: I mean, there's just a dead guy with a hunk of cheese on him in the middle of nowhere. What happened here?! Why isn't that cheese moldy? Where are that guy's hands and feet? Was he caught up in some sort of Orlesian cheese smuggling cartel? Inquiring minds want to know!



And since you were dying to know, here's (a crappy pic of) my Hawke. Along with Varric and Fenris. I ususally have Aveline or Isabela in the party with me, but they got benched cuz of this new Tellis chick who's required to be in the party. I like how all of the characters have new dialogue; in Mass Effect 2, I noticed that Shepard always had to go off on these DLC missions mostly by himself... or when he did have his squad with them, they had NO new dialogue. At all. Everyone has something new to say here in DA2, and that's kinda kewl.


Speaking of Mass Effect, I guess Mass Effect 3 will have multiplayer! :shock: The reaction has been mostly negative, and I've seen plenty of people saying that the game has just been ruined and that they will no longer be buying it :roll: From what I have gleaned, the multiplayer portion of the game was developed by BioWare Montreal, an entity separate from the group making the main game. NOTHING in the single-player campaign was sacrificed in order to include this multiplayer, and you can apparently complete the single-player campaign to its complete extent without even touching multi-player.So what, exactly is the problem? Swearing off a game because it has multi-player has got to be one of stupidest things I have ever heard.This would be different, of course, if... say, the campaign was cut down to 10 hours or intruded into the single-player game (that would REALLY suck for the person not in control of Shepard. Making all those decisions is half the fun of the game)... but it doesn't do any of that..... Some people... :roll:

Also, SKYRIM is in exactly ONE MONTH! SKYRIM! GAME OF THE YEAR!

SKYRIM!

*faints*

The Treacherous Queen

You know her as the Kingdom of Hyrule's benevolent princess, a fair maiden whose wisdom is so great, she holds in her possession the Triforce of Wisdom. But with this honor comes a terrible price... for there are others who seek the Triforce, and they are all of them willing to take extreme measures to claim the sacred golden triangles for themselves. For Princess Zelda, this often means incarceration, eternal slumber, fossilization, and in one most unfortunate incident, death. It would seem that Zelda is little more than a pawn in a war that has raged since the dawn of Hyrule... but is it possible that this unassuming princess is not a pawn, but a malevolent queen who lusts for the Triforce alongside Ganondorf himself? Join us in this episode of "E! True Hyrule Story," as we uncover the secrets of Hyrule's most treacherous queen.

It is a bold and daring accusation, but one that is supported with mountains of evidence. Zelda, the legendary princess of Hyrule, is a power hungry villain. While not overtly treacherous--she does like to maintain the guise of a gentle princess after all--actions speak louder than words, and over the course of the past twenty-five years, Zelda has proven herself to be not the savior of Hyrule, but its ultimate villain, all the while reveling in the praise and adoration of her 25-30 subjects, (and a plethora of creepy bearded men who seal themselves in caves and charge for door repairs).

As the Great King of Evil, Ganondorf Dragmire, has demonstrated on numerous occasions, the only way to obtain the complete Triforce is for the three pieces to converge in one spot. Ganondorf's preferred method is brute force--he will typically kidnap Zelda and then use her as lure to bait Link and the Triforce of Courage to his position. On the surface, it would seem that Zelda simply has poor security at her castle, and that Ganondorf is ultimately fully responsible for these continued attacks.

But why doesn't Zelda upgrade security? Certainly stationing a cadre of Gorons outside the gates would help deter any moblin army that Ganondorf commanded to attack--but as is seen in both Spirit Tracks and Ocarina of Time, there are only a handful of poorly armed, severely inept guards stationed on the castle grounds, and they are all of them easily evaded. Why? Zelda wishes to obtain the Triforce... Time and again, Zelda allows herself to be kidnapped to help facilitate these dark deeds. She has the Triforce of Wisdom, Ganondorf has the Triforce of Power, and when the two of them are together, Link is bound to show up with the Triforce of Courage. Battle is sure to follow...


LINK: How about lending me a hand, Princess?
ZELDA: I think I'll linger on the sidelines to see how things play out.

But is Zelda in league with Ganondorf? Or working to obtain the Triforce entirely for herself? It is difficult to say, but one thing is certain, her evil fortunes are forever bound to those of the Great King of Evil, Ganondorf Dragmire. Zelda often goes out of her way to hide her true identity from Ganondorf, assuming aliases such as Shiek and Tetra. All the while, she not-so-gently pushes an unwitting Link towards a fateful confrontation with Ganondorf, perhaps hoping the two will take each other out and allow her to easily claim the Triforce on her own. After a grueling battle against Ganondorf at the end of Ocarina of Time, Zelda has been known to shove an unsuspecting Link from the top of Ganon's Castle while the pair are attempting to escape--perhaps believing the Great King of Evil dead. With the broken bodies of both Link and Ganondorf at the bottom of the Tower, it would have been a simple act to walk down and claim both remaining pieces of the Triforce.


TETRA: Quit whining, kid. I'm taking you to see Ganondorf. (And then I'm going to stick an arrow in your ass.)


Strange bedfellows?

However, there have been occasions where Zelda's actions clearly favor an alliance with Ganondorf. During the final battle in Wind Waker, Zelda is an active participant in the battle, firing off a steady stream of Light Arrows to help incapacitate Ganondorf. On more than one occasion, however, those arrows missed their intended target, striking poor Link instead. And in an even more blatant case, Zelda openly engaged Link in combat in the form of Ganondorf's "puppet" near the end of Twilight Princess.


"Puppet" Zelda

Zelda is set to make her return this November in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. And while she looks more innocent than ever, we already know that her machinations to acquire the Triforce are in full force, as we have already seen her give herself over to the Ghirahim, no doubt as a part of her ploy to wrest the Triforce from her adversaries. Stay tuned.


This blog was inspired entirely by the event that accompanied Courtney's conclusion of Ocarina of Time 3D last week :lol: During the escape from Ganon's Tower at the very end of the game, Courtney took a wrong move on the way down, and caused Link to jump from one a platform. When he landed--directly in front of Zelda--the Princess kindly shoved him out of her way, sending Link careening to his apparent death :lol: In all reality, it cost the usual price for falling down a hole, a single heart and you had to restart the area over. But that all got me thinking about how Zelda is often a really shady character. During the final battle in Wind Waker, I did indeed get shot in the ass by Zelda's arrows, an act that resulted in a game over for me. So I started thinking that MAYBE, just maybe, Zelda isn't as nice as she wants everyone to think? :lol: I'll be watching her every move in Skyward Sword later this year, that's for sure. Well, assuming I can tear myself away from Skyrim. Though I've heard that Ganondorf is not in Skyward Sword, and that the Triforce has a reduced and very different role from previous games... so we'll see...

I've got just a few quick hits before I go. Chicago pictures will be in the next blog, I promise. This one is long enough as it is, and I don't want to get (many) tl;dr comments :P

  • The power was out for NO APPARENT REASON on Thursday and Friday here :x And if that wasn't bad enough, when it finally came back on, the Internet didn't come with it, so after 2 days without power, there was no Internet :x I tell you, I was REALLY roughing it there. Thankfully, I had the original Legend of Zelda to keep me occupied on the 3DS. Talk about more of Zelda's evil machinations--she keeps herself shielded behind a WALL OF FREAKING FIRE at the end of that game :P I've already beaten the game a few times, but it's been years since my last play through. I find that while I can GENERALLY remember where most everything is, I always get the two quests mixed up. Things I think should be in once place are actually in that spot in the second quest... I've also noticed that you can go through a dungeon without using all the keys, so I have like 10 keys in my possession now :lol:I started college on Thursday :x It's... well, it's school. But with no lunch break. At least I have Fridays off.
  • I've been playing Borderlands recently, going through most of the DLC (not doing that Moxie's Battlefield one, or whatever it's called). I have to admit, you get a LOT for your 800 Microsoft points with this DLC. The Mass Effect and Dragon Age DLC is always the same price and can generally be finished in one sitting. I spent 20 hours with the Secret Armory of General Knox. They weren't kidding when they said that Crawmerax thing was impossible. My weapons can't even scratch it :x Oh well. I didn't really want that achievement anyway.
  • Really, this is the calm before the storm. There are SO many games coming out starting this month... I'm gonna be broke. I've got the ICO Collection, God of War Origins, Uncharted 3, Skyrim, Super Mario 3D Land, Halo Anniversary, Mario Kart 7, Skyward Sword... and I'm probably going to play through both of those Kirby games that are coming out. Why can't these companies release games... you know... in August when I have nothing to play? :x
  • Happy Labor Day :P I hope you don't have to labor. I don't 8) And as you all know, even when I'm at work, I hardly ever do anything in the first place.
  • Currently listening to: Final Fantasy VII: Avent Children - Beyond the Wasteland.