Sort of Game of the Year 2010 Special Awards Part 2

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Didn't read the first part of my mandatory awards blog? Can't be bothered to click on the "My Blog" tab and scroll down for a bit? You can read it here, you lazy bum. For everyone else, here are the rest of the awards:

Most Goodest Writing - Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)

Nolan North by Nolan Northwest

Granted, I haven't quite finished the game yet, so there's always the chance that the writers might jump the shark as far as the plot's concerned (there are already yeti-monsters, after all), but so far Uncharted 2's "cinematic" presentation owes as much to its solid writing as the realistic graphics and crazy camera angles. There are just a lot of nice little touches with the exchanges between characters, like when I made protagonist Nathan Drake jump into a rooftop pool only for him to start playing "Marco Polo," much to the distaste of his female companion. Then I got a trophy for it.

Runner up - Sam and Max: The Devil's Playhouse (PC) The Sam and Max series have always had great writing, and the latest season is no different. The highlight of the writing for me was when Sam turned all "bad cop" at the start of episode 3 and had to interrogate several informants - from a rat to a giant gorilla. It wasn't so much the interrogation that was interesting, but the addition of a "Noir" button that let Sam go off on several hilarious tangents.

Best Boss Fights - Gunstar Heroes (VC)

Everyone should play this game.

Picking a favourite boss from Gunstar Heroes is like picking which of my children I love the most. In the end I have to go with the kid that can transform into a gun, a tiger, a giant enemy crab, and four other forms. Yep, the giant robotic Seven Force (pictured above) would have to be the battle I enjoyed the most and one of my favourite boss fights of all time, but I feel obligated to give some credit to Gunstar Heroes massive range of awesome bosses, among them and a massive lobster-shaped mech, a disembodied face named Melon Bread, and M. Bison wearing a jetpack.

Runner up - Monster Hunter Tri (Wii)Because the whole game was pretty much nothing but boss fights. Insanely difficult boss fights that often took half-an-hour to complete.

Best Value - Little King's Story (Wii)

They won't look cutesy when they're wearing black and attending each others' funerals

More a personal award than anything; I picked Little King's Story up for about $10 when my local GAME store was having a sale (in retrospect it was probably a closing down sale) and was not disappointed at all. There's a massive amount of depth here and despite its cutesy graphics, the game gets incredibly dark at times (I don't want to spoil the mindscrew ending, but there's a mindscrew ending).Even if it's for a much higher price than I paid for it, I encourage all of you to pick Little King's Story up. Its developers will thank you (if their company didn't go bankrupt).

Runner up - The Orange Box (PC)Yeah, this compilation of Valve-produced shooters is pretty good value, but it would've been better if I didn't already own Portal and actually cared about Half-Life in the slightest.

Fastest Game - F-Zero GX (GC)

I bought a Gamecube game? WHAAAAAT?

I don't have anything interesting to say about F-Zero GX other than that its insanely fast, so please enjoy this cheesy rock ballad about Captain Falcon from the game's credits.

Runner up - Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 (WiiWare) Sorry Sonic, but it looks like this time... YOU'RE TOO SLOW!

Game I Won't Get Around To Playing Until This Year - Recettear, Gish, Super Meat Boy and a bazillion other PC games (PC)

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Thanks to Steam sales, I now have a tonne of games I can't actually play due to me being a Mac user. I swear I'll get around to installing Boot Camp, but not right now. It's not like I don't have enough other games from Steam sales I could be playing.

Runner up - Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour (GC) If by this year you mean never. Can you say "impulse buy"?

Best Game I Can't Remember Playing - Gargoyle's Quest (GB)

Something like that

So there was this game... and it was about gargoyles and stuff. It was sort of a platformer but also sort of an RPG... with gargoyles. I think Capcom made it. Probably. Oh wait, that might've been DuckTales. Didn't I buy them both at the same time?

Runner up: Bit.Trip Beat At least I remembered the proper spelling.

Well that's those awards over and done with, but as I said before, I wanted to use these awards blogs to show off all the games I played over the last year so you know what I have to work with when I do my inevitable top 5 games of the year. So here's everything else I played with some random, inconsequential awards:

Most Unforgiving Game:Etrian Odyssey (DS)

Best Villain:That one guy who clawed his face off at the end (spoilers, y'know?) - Phoenix Wright: Justice for All (DS)

Best Level: Love Lab - Rhythm Paradise (DS)

Worst Level: The Samba de Amigo table from Sonic Pinball Party (GBA)

Flat-out Worst Game: Columns Crown (GBA)

Best Licensed Game: DuckTales (GB) - but not as good as the NES one.

Cheapest Character: Saki from Tatsunoko vs. Capcom (Wii) - Beamspam? Check. Grenade spam? Check. Giant anti-air laser? Of course.

Most disappointing Game: A Shadow's Tale/Lost in Shadow (Wii)

Game That Most Deserves a Sequel: Mole Mania (GB)

Most Effective Use of a Gay Skeleton: Puyo Pop Fever (GC)

Obscurest Indie Game: Jolly Rover (PC)

Super Smash Bros. Melee Memorial Prize for Best Announcer: Soul Calibur II (GC)

Best Title: And Yet it Moves (PC)

Best Game To Play When You're Stuck On a Toilet In Thailand After Finding Out You're Allergic To Every National Dish: Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (DS)

Best Professor Layton Game Without Professor Layton: Puzzle Agent (PC)

Scariest Game: Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth (DS) - Two words: Proto. Badger.

Best Sequel: Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)

Loyalest Dog: The one from Torchlight (PC) - Suck it, Koromaru!

Best Game That Sounds Like The Title Of A Pornographic Film: World of Goo (PC)

Best Port: Cave Story (WiiWare)

Most Surprisingly Good Game: Street Fighter IV (iPhone)

Best Victory Fanfare: Peggle (iPhone)

Best Game Developed In Iraq For The Commodore Amiga Only To Be Cancelled and Released On The iPhone Fifteen Years Later: Babylonian Twins: The Quest for Peace in Ancient Iraq (iPhone)

I think that's everything. So yeah, I played a few games this year.

Sort of Game of the Year 2010 Special Awards Part 1

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Though you wouldn't know it by looking at my "Now Playing" list (that hasn't be updated since February), I've actually been playing a lot of games throughout 2010. Now it's 2011, I think it's time to tell everyone exactly what I've been playing - through a completely unnecessary awards ceremony with categories I thought of off the top of my head, of course! Like last year's awards, the games on here don't necessarily need to have been released last year, just that I obtained and played them at some point in 2010. Some of the categories are also the same, such as:

Prettiest Game - Odin Sphere (PS2)

Velvet's costume is also very pretty.

Yeah, I did just get a PS3, but I wanted to give this award to a game that didn't necessarily need the most powerful graphics to look amazing both artistically and stylistically. Assuming they aren't the same thing. Anyway, I gave it to Odin Sphere for having some of the most gorgeous hand-drawn sprites of any game I've played (obviously I haven't played any games by the same developer). They're detailed, well-animated, and the actual environments look very pretty as well.

Runner up - Machinarium (PC) Also sporting a hand-drawn stile (can I write that word yet? Nope, guess not), Machinarium's steampunk world looks outstanding. Also, it's part of the second Humble Indie Bundle, so you really have no excuse not to play it.

Best Character: Pankraz (Dragon Quest V - DS)

He's too sexy for his shirt.

Pankraz was the greatest dad I could've ever asked for. He attacked twice per turn, slapped the royal family and never ever wore a shirt. It's such a shame he ended up being SPOILERed by SPOILER.

Runner up - Sazh (Final Fantasy XIII - PS3) I hate most of Final Fantasy XIII's cast, but to me Sazh stood out as not just one of the most memorable characters in the game, but in the entire series. He was funny, relatable, handy in battle and actually had a decent backstory. But he had a stupid outfit so he only gets second place.

Worst version of a Great Game - The Australian Version of Left 4 Dead 2 (PC)

Something you definitely won't be seeing in the Australian version

A shining example of censorship at its absolute worst, the Australian version of Valve's co-op zombie-shooting extravaganza didn't just cut out the blood, guts and corpses to meet an MA 15+ rating, it turned the game into a glitchy mess. Bullets clip through objects and zombies disappear for no reason whatsover... it's kind of an awful game. And I bought it!

Runner up - The PS3 version of Bayonetta Hang on, I just need some time to load this comment..................

..........................

Sexiest Character - Chihiro Fushimi (Persona 3 - PS2)

Doing a Google image search for this one may have scarred me for life

Didn't you just read that? Bayonetta already won an award! I try not to repeat games (trust me, I've got a lot to go through) so I'm giving the sexiest character spot to my Persona 3 main character's current girlfriend, Chihiro. Because sometimes all you need are glasses and a mutual interest in shojo manga.

Runner up - Zero (Mega Man Zero Collection - DS) What? I never said they had to be female! They could be man...robot...things......er, moving right along...

Biggest Timesink - Pokemon HeartGold (DS)

Hoose a Pokemon?

I SUNK 200 HOURS INTO THIS GAME! I HAD TO FORCE MYSELF TO STOP! AND I CAN'T WAIT FOR BLACK AND WHITE TO COME OUT SO I CAN DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN!

Runner up - Pix'n Love Rush (iPhone) Listening to music? I can do it while playing Pix'n Love Rush. Catching up on podcasts? I can do it while playing Pix'n Love Rush. It's the only game I've ever unlocked every achievement in.

Worst Character(s) - The Complete Cast of Mario Kart Wii (Wii)

CONGRATULATIONS! WE HATE YOU TOO!

I don't know what happened here. Either I got sick of these characters in between Mario Kart instalments or they just won't shut up nowadays. Every jump gets a "woohoo!", every item thrown gets a "weehee!" and every tiny snippit of dialogue gets me closer to throwing the Wii Wheel through my screen. Theoretically, of course. Like I'd ever use that plastic piece of

Runner up - Zack and Wiki (Zack and Wiki - Wii) Also seemingly designed with the purpose of being irritatingly cutesy were Zack and Wiki, the titular characters of a game I honestly tried to like and couldn't, due to the fact that I wanted to strangle everyone who opened their mouth.

Best Soundtrack - Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers

He doesn't even have a plant on his head! What an affront to humanity!

You're probably all thinking the same thing right now, but bear with me. This soundtrack is easily one of my favourite Final Fantasy scores and my personal favourite OST of the year. It's all about variation, with a weird mix of clasical (typo intended for dumbass formatting reasons), country, metal, techno, hip-hop, surf rock, big band musicand a myriad of other genres, all pulled off surprisingly well.Even if you wouldn't play the game in a million years (and I don't blame you), at least give the soundtrack a listen.

Runner up - VVVVVV (PC) Some of the best chiptune-sy stuff this side of YMCK.

Best Game I Hated - Counter-Strike Source (PC)

Graphics!

I just couldn't get into it at all. There's definitely a good game here, but there's also absolutely nothing to ease new players in, so I was straight up against people that had been playing Counter-Strike for potentially over a decade. Being in a situation like that, I died a lot and hated the game because of it. Taking a few steps only to be shot in the head and forced to sit out for the rest of the round does not make for a fun game.

Runner up - Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2) I'm sure it was an excellent game back when it was first released, but the ugly graphics combined with the clunky controls and horrible aiming made me give up on it too soon. I did spend well over an hour listening to the in-game radio stations, though.

Best Use of Motion Controls - WarioWare Twisted! (GBA)

Insert obscure reference to Round the Twist here.

Remember when Nintendo used to implement motion controls really well? It wasn't on the Wii - it was in WarioWare Twisted! Like any good WarioWare game, the games are fun and (almost) all make use of the incredibly responsive gyrometer in the cartridge in creative ways. So can we all get over motion controls seeing as though they were perfected about six years ago?

Runner up - No More Heroes (Wii) Charging your beam katana. That's all.

Anyway, it's getting late and the battery on my laptop is running out, so I'll leave the awards at that for today. I'll be back next entry with about thirty more winners. Yay?

Obligatory Late Christmas-Related Blog

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Despite not being the most active member of GameSpot (and that's an understatement) I felt obligated to at least mention what I got for Christmas this year - a shiny slim PS3 with Uncharted 2, Final Fantasy XIII and the best, in no way broken version of Bayonetta.

My PS3 ID thingy is P_Grif, in case anyone else here has bought a PS3 since I decided to apparently leave Gamespot for good. It's not that I really want to play online multiplayer with any of you at the moment, it's just thatmy friends list is a little barren and adding people on PSN is a whole lot easier than inputting a sixteen digit code (I assume, having not actually added anyone yet). Besides, the only PS3 game I have with any online multiplayer is Uncharted 2, and I haven't really played much of it yet.

On an barely related note, I quite like what GameSpot have done with the Raptr integration while I was away (especially since I already have a Raptr account). Now I can view all my achievements and stuff that rarely syncs because Raptr doesn't really like working with the Mac version of Steam.

Also, a friend got me a preowned copy of Dragon Quest V for Christmas. It's a good game and you should all buy it or something.

The GameBlender Holiday Gift Guide 2010

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In case you didn't know, this is a sort of "Buyer's Guide" where I explain not what the best games to buy this Christmas are, but what their boxes look like. Because some people need to know these sort of things. So what exactly drove me to briefly return to GameSpot and revisit my old Holiday Gift Guide? I didn't do it for myself. I didn't do it for you. I did out of the need to explain to my parents what Bayonetta's box art looked like. This time around I tried to improve the image quality a bit, so the boxes aren't quite as intentionally poorly drawn and the writing is actually legible this time (by which I mean it's all in Comic Sans). Once again, if your friends and families need any last minute gift ideas, feel free to print these out and explain to them exactly why Professor Layton is in a DeLorean.

If you're reading this on my profile page, you might want to switch to My Blog or just view each image individually due to GameSpot's weird image formatting and tendency to cut parts out. Anyway, time to let everyone's favourite leggy witch start off this Christmas special...

Fry me to the moon and let me pray among the stars...

DIDDY, YEAH!

Wright moved close, grabbing his hip and pulling Miles up against him.

hadouken etc

JIGAWATTS etc

Who let the fighters out? Who? Who? Who?

For some reason GameSpot isn't letting me insert my Super Mario Galaxy 2 box art so here's a link. It's probably because the combined awesomeness of an Italian plumber and a dinosaur flying through space would cause most web browsers to crash.

Merry Christmas?

Surprise and Reprise

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Oh hey, I'm back but only briefly.

I figured that since Christmas was coming up (though you wouldn't know it from looking at all the presents I haven't bought yet) I'd do a second version of a blog I posted last year that ended up being inexplicably popular. Think of it as an early Christmas present. One you neither asked for or wanted in the slightest. After that I might get around to doing a "Sort of Best of 2010" blog with all the games I've played this year and haven't told anyone about. And then I'm done with Gamespot, I swear!

Never More (or I'M LEAVING GAMESPOT, for want of an attention-grabbing title)

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Oh hey, Gamespot. We haven't talked in a while.

I've taken a break from being inactive to state the obvious - I won't be active here any more. I'm going to make this a farewell post and I'm going to make it brief (no I'm not). For maximum emotional impact, read this blog post while listening to Persona 4's ending theme.

"So why have I been away from GameSpot for so long," you ask, barely remembering who this GameBlender fellow is. The answer is that I'm an adult now, and as an adult it's hard for me to juggle my studies, work, GameSpot and having an attractive girlfriend (one of these may not exist). I have my hands full with writing assignments for my Journalism degree, writing articles for NintendoEverything.com, and writing job applications for positions I never seem to get. I also sunk almost 200 hours into Pokemon HeartGold. Yeah. You tend to forget about things when you're busy breeding an elite team of Farfetch'ds.Seriously, I return from my hiatus to find a new emblem calling me a "grandfathered critic?"

Though the users were really why I stuck with GameSpot for almost three years, I kind of got sick of reading the same old blogs every day. Do I really need to read every user's most anticipated games, or billions of pointlesslists? Who really cares about how much you like the Phoenix Wright series? I also still can't write the word "c.lass"

Anyway, it was a fun three years. Even if no-one read any of my work in the first year and I've been absent for the last six months it's been a fun three years. Yes, I'm writing articles for actual gaming sites now, but all the comments you guys gave me were worth more than all the diggs in the world. Your feedback made me feel like I was doing more than just ranting about how great Persona 4 and Advance Wars are. I really enjoyed writing blogs here, as no matter what website I write for, I'm never going to be able to make another Scrooge McBlog or repeatedly post pictures of Neku from The World Ends With You screaming.

SERIOUSLY, ITS THE LAST TIME. FOR REAL.

So I'd like to thank everyone who read this blog or just entertained me over the last three years. In particular, these few users:

Aidan129 and Courtney817 - You two are some of the friendliest users on the whole site. Aidan in particular could always make me laugh, especially when you brought the banana-feasting Ziggy Norris to the small screen in "The Aidan Chronicles." It wasn't all laughs, though - I learned a lot about responsibility after you two had your first child, Lexie, who I'm sure will grow up into a fine young woman. Also, happy first birthday.

Red0584, stalpno and ebbderelict - One of the things I like most about GameSpot is that the age of users varies so much. Whether they're young'uns like Red and stalpno or old enough to know what the heck an Intellivision is like ebbderelict, there's always a range of different views on display. Red, thanks for commenting on this blog so much. Stalpno, thanks for actually getting some of my obscure Australian references. And ebbderelict, I admire your commitment to seemingly playing nothing but PS2 games.

AK_the_Twilight, pspitus, TissueShoe - I always looked up to you three as reviewers. Even though I know both AK_the_Twilight and pspitus have left the League of Reviewers (or in the case of pspitus, left GameSpot completely) I hope you guys keep writing, because you have some real talent. Of course, I probably wouldn't know either of you if TissueShoe hadn't started the League of Reviewers in the first place. Thanks for leading the union into a "golden-age of reviews," ready for me to screw up once I took over as leader (but more on that in a paragraph or so).

Bluegreen17, kbaily, Pierst179 - I know I complained about mediocre user content earlier, but I was a regular reader of your blogs. They were always entertaining, informative, and relevant and I probably would've given up on GameSpot a long time ago if it wasn't for you guys consistently pumping out great stuff. Keep it up.

Images help break up the pace of a blog. You should try it sometime.

I'd also like to give a massive apology to everyone in the League of Reviewers. I know activity has dropped significantly over the last few months, to the point where some of the union's best reviewers have resigned (no, I'm not referring to myself). I'm sorry about causing the league to turn into a ghost town by not turning over my power as leader until it was too late. Most of the officers have left the union, if not the entire website so unless a bunch of fresh-faced newcomers want to step up and take control, I think it's time to pronounce the League of Reviewers officially dead. Sorry, Tissueshoe.

I should also thank all the other unions that invited me into their ranks: The Nearly Off Topic Union (which I don't recall ever actually being on-topic), Under the Radar for helping me discover a lot of obscure games I'd never heard of before, and the Suikoden Union and RPG Realms. Sorry guys, but I still haven't played Suikoden.

If for some reason you want to stay in contact despite the fact I completely avoided you for half a year, I now have a Twitter account. I'm also still updating my Backloggery account fairly regularly.

So that's it for me. Thanks again and goodbye!

Thank-a you so much-a for-a playing my game!

Actually, I'll still stick around to see how the All-Time Greatest Game Villain contest works out. I have a feeling that the Sephiroth fangirls are going to come out on top.

Edit: Looks like I was wrong about Sephiroth. Hooray for Bub and Bob...er...RAAM...

Weekly Report: Back with a Vengeance. Also News.

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NEWS

Looks pretty good for the iPhone but no Dan?

Street Fighter IV hits the iPod/iPhone - The iPod doesn't really seem like the ideal platform for playing Street Fighter but lo and behold, Capcom have apparently managed to create an "uncompromised" version to run on the media device. The graphics are obviously scaled back, and the controls have been simplified and mapped to the touch screen. I'm not sure how well the touch controls will work but who knows - they might be better than using a d-pad! It's not going to appease those who are used to playing their brawlers on fight sticks, though. Capcom did manage to make a perfectly decent version of Resident Evil 4 for the same platform, so I have faith that this port of Street Fighter will turn out fairly well, even if it does only have eight playable characters (thankfully, Blanka is one of them).

Nintendo wins lawsuit against distributor of R4 devices - Nintendo of Australia seem to have gone lawsuit-happy all of a sudden - first with their $1.5 million victory against a Queensland man who uploaded a copy of New Super Mario Bros Wii to the internet and now this. Personally, I think it's about time someone took action against the R4 cartridges. It's not difficult to get your hands on one - I know five year old kids who own R4 devices! Not that I have one myself, though I have been tempted by the prospect of playing import games without the massive costs... Anyway, the company distributing the devices, RSJ IT Solutions, to cease selling the chip and pay damages of $520,000.

The Weekly Report is back! - Which you probably already knew. Basically, I'll be doing this the same way as I used to. News, new releases, what I'm playing, clip of the week, challenges (I'm still looking for where I left the dance mat, honestly), game deals, anticipated games and possibly more to come.

NEW RELEASES

OBJECTION! was a bit cooler but I won't hold that against Edgeworth.

Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth (DS) - Which I will buy the moment I actually see a copy in stores. I played through the demo and it seems to mix up the traditional Ace Attorney gameplay a little bit by working more like a traditional point and click adventure game. The main hook seems to be linking together various ideas in Edgeworth's head to form logical conclusions, though it seems to have the same "searching for contradictions" thing as Phoenix did, though out of the courtroom this time. It definitely seems to be worth it if you're a fan of the Ace Attorney series, as it's full of cameos. Everyone from Manfred Von Karma to Mike Meekins makes an appearance.

Aliens vs Predator (PC, 360, PS3) - Gamespot don't seem to like it, but I've read positive reviews from other websites. The ability to play as an Alien or Predator (or Marine, I guess) sounds cool, but by all accounts the main campaign mode is really short. And while the multiplayer is supposed to be pretty interesting in its own right, it doesn't seem like the kind of thing people will still be playing a few months from now.

Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days (PSP) - Meh, I can't stand Nippon Ichi games. It's not that they're slow, ugly and archaic (which they are), but because Nippon Ichi translates as "Japan's No. 1", which is an incredibly big headed and pretentious statement to make.

GAME PROGRESS

How I feel playing Cornelius' epilogue.

Odin Sphere - I'm up to Cornelius' epilogue, which is not a very fun place to be. From what I gather, it's one of the hardest parts of the game and I'm not even halfway through it yet! I could be grinding for some time... I also changed the dialogue from Japanese to English. The English voice acting is actually pretty good and the lines are cheesy but sometimes unintentionally hilarious (Cornelius: "I have..... A MAGIC SWORD!")

Zak and Wiki - Just when I think I'm able to tolerate the game, I die and have to start from the beginning of the stage. Don't let anyone ever tell you Zack and Wiki is a kids' game. If you buy it for your children, you will make them cry.

Sonic Pinball Party - Incredibly fun but also incredibly hard, especially if you're trying the Samba de Amigo stage. I can't even get on the leaderboards. I want to keep trying it again, but I just can't stand having Vamos a Carnaval constantly looping in the background.

CLIP OF THE WEEK

Cost Sega bout a billion dollars.

I'm not entirely sure what this guy is saying, but I have a sudden urge to play Shenmue. Or maybe just some Space Hurrr.

In case you missed it: I wrote a lot of stuff. Most notably these editorials which you probably didn't read.

Top 5 Love Themes

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I feel this is a fitting blog post for Valentine's Day. For those of you at home with no-one to take out to dinner or to go with to see crappy rip offs of Love Actually (or alternatively, Love Actually), here's some nice music to make your day. I picked out songs from video games that were all referred to as the "Love Theme" of their respective games. I thought this would be a common term, but as it turns out, not too many games have romantic interludes - hence why this list only has five entries.

#5 - And Fallin' Love - Mother

This is an interesting piece because the scene it plays in isn't particularly romantic, at least by modern standards. Just a young boy and a young girl falling in love by dancing with their walking animations and various text boxes. Still, it has a certain charm to it, especially at the end of the scene. I'm not entirely sure what happens if you say "no" to her (MOTHER's a hard game - I never got that far) but I really want to find out.

#4 - Metal Gear Solid 4 Love Theme - Metal Gear Solid 4 (But actually Smash Bros.)

I picked the Brawl version because while it isn't particularly romantic, it does have a nice pace to it. The actual Metal Gear Solid 4 versionis nice, and if I'd actually played the game I'm sure I'd pick it over the Brawl one but as it stands, the vocals remind me too much of the backing to the Fugitive Hunter theme music, a terrible song which will never be referred to here ever again.

#3 - Theme of Love - Final Fantasy IV

Like with MOTHER, looking back on the relationship between Cecil and Rosa in Final Fantasy IV, I can see that it's kind of shallow. Neither character was particularly well developed, but it was an early RPG and so that's to be expected. But still, the music is great! It's a beautiful sounding song, which is probably why it's been arranged so many times.

#2 - Mother 3 Love Theme - Mother 3

Yeah, I know. Again with the Mother. I can't help it that this Love Theme, which I guess is technically Mother 3's main theme is so good. It reprises many times throughout the game (again, I linked to the Smash Bros. version because it shows a Love Theme medley of sorts). At the start of the game, the more upbeat version of the song plays, whereas later on in the game when various spoilerific events occur, this version plays.

#1 - The Love Theme from The Godfather - The Godfather

What? There was a Godfather game! Happy Pointless Day, everyone!

102nd Blog Bonanza!

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Looks like I was so caught up in playing Odin Sphere that I forgot that I passed an important milestone - my 100th blog post! Now I need to do some kind of impromptu celebration, but what? A list of my favourite blogs I've wriiten? Nah, too egocentric. A list of people who've most inspired me with my writing? Nah, not egocentric enough. Reading back through my ancient posts here I've found that there are a number of topics that I bring up a lot. More times than is really necessary. Therefore, this 102nd celebratory blog will be about: The Top 10 Topics I Mention More Than I Should

#10 - Spyro The Dragon

I can't help but beat a dead franchise.

Mentioned in: 6 blogs

By the way, Spyro the Dragon was the first game I ever owned. If you weren't aware of that fact by now, well....you are. I've played through the first 3 Spyro games more times than most, and they're the rare instances of games I've actually completed. Though I bring up Spyro a lot, I rarely mention any game in the series after the first three Insomniac developed ones (anyone who's played a recent Spyro game probably knows why). The original ones have great graphics (well, for the time), gameplay that still holds up (hence why I played through them as recently as two months ago) and music that was so good I dedicated an entire blog to it - even if it was just an excuse to somehow tie The Amanda Show into it somehow.

#9 - Problems With My Computer and/or Internet

Not mine.

Mentioned in: 7 blogs

If I haven't posted anything in a while this was always my default excuse. While my new laptop hasn't had any issues so far, my old one was complete and utter garbage, often crashing for no reason, especially when I'm trying to write something. My internet is frequently capped, which makes it really difficult to write anything at all as it reverts back to dial-up speed. It annoys me, and so I write about it to vent my frustration. In fact, it's capped at the moment.

#8 - DuckTales

Life is like a hurricane....

Mentioned in: 8 blogs

I shouldn't have any DuckTales nostalgia at all. It was before my time, yet I see myself constantly referencing the exploits of Scrooge McDuck in these blogs. Maybe it's because they have such good music. Anytime I have any post about game music, the soundtrack to the DuckTales NES game always shows up, and the cartoon's theme song often shows up in random links, for no reason asides from the fact that I like it. Of course, this doesn't explain the Scrooge McBlog.

#7 - Punch-Out!!

And waiting...

Mentioned in: 10 blogs

I love me some Punch-Out!! Whether it's the NES game, the Wii game or the arcade game (actually, scratch the last one), I seem to bring up Punch-Out!! whenever I feel like it. And judging from the fact that I played it for 30 minutes, gave it plenty of awards in my obligatory Game of the Year blogs and mentioned the Wii version any time I wrote about my most anticipated games, I always feel like it. Does that make me a racist person?

#6 - The World Ends With You

It's never the last time.

Mentioned in: 10 blogs

Meet my friend, screaming Neku. My copy of The World Ends With You sadly broke, and so this picture is used whenever I want to vent my anger at the game corrupting and EB Games having such a short warranty period. Which is any time I bring the game up.

#5 - The Ace Attorney Series

The guy who looked like Cyclops came in, threw your theory out the window after downing his last cup. Yeah.

Mentioned in: 13 blogs

I recently posted 4 blogs about Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney within 24 hours. And within those 24 hours I also beat the game. That's how much I like it. And if you don't feel the same way, you can bet that I'll try and force my love of the Ace Attorney series on you before you can shout "OBJECTION!"

#4 - Advance Wars

But there's no Advance Wars musical. Yet.

Mentioned in: 16 blogs

Another series I really like is Advance Wars. Of course, if you've read this blog for long enough you probably already knew that. If you've only ever read one post you probably already know that, because I've been talking about it non-stop since I was introduced to the series. Whether it's talking about gaming on public transport, catchy music or the most annoying character of 2009, Advance Wars is another topic that always comes up.

#3 - Kingdom Hearts

I re-watched Lilo and Stich recently. Wanted to fit that in somewhere.

Mentioned in: 21 blogs

I don't even like the Kingdom Hearts games that much - sure, they're decent games but there's no way I could write 21 blogs of nothing but gushing praise. That's why most times I bring up the series it's to discuss the parts of the game I don't really care for. Yeah, I'm a negative person, but who wouldn't complain about Aerith and Princess Jasmine's horrible voices, awkward cutscenes (again, involving Scrooge McDuck) or Goofy's surprise death and resurrection. To be fair, I did also offer a number of ways that the Kingdom Hearts series can improve, most of which involved my lack of artistic skill.

#2 - Australia

Decent country, terrible film.

Mentioned in: 22 blogs

In Australia! Much like Bandit Keith with his beloved USA, I can add the phrase "in Australia" to the end of anything. Aliens vs Predator was refused clasification............. in Australia! Trauma Centre 2 just came out............ in Australia! Actually that's a lie, we're still waiting for Trauma Centre 2.......... in Australia! I never thought of myself as a person with a great deal of national pride, but looking back at how much I bring up my home country, I might as well tie an Australian flag around my pet kangaroo as I go to throw a couple of shrimp on the barbie. The main downside of me being Australian isn't that I miss out on all the best games but that I constantly fill these blogs with obscure references which wouldn't make sense to anyone who wasn't an Australian kid growing up in the 90's. E.g. Round the Twist.

#1 - Persona 4

Favourite game at least until Persona 5 tops it.

Mentioned in 23 blogs

Yes, somehow I managed to mention Persona 4 more times than my actual country. But it is my favourite game of the last year, and possibly all time (if it can beat out Tetris Attack). It's also very long, so every time I had to give an update on what I was playing, it was probably Persona 4 for about six months straight. And so that's the topics I ended up talking about the most. And now I promise I won't bring them up ever again.

Spyro Internet Down Duck Tales Punch-Out The World Ends With You Ace Attorney Advance Wars Kingdom Hearts Australia Persona 4.

I may not be writing as many blogs on here as I used to. Firstly, I've been hired by Nintendoeverything.com to write editorials, reviews and such. So far I've only written one editorial and a review of Punch-Out, but my workload will probably expand in future. Secondly, university starts in a few weeks, and once I get settled there I'll have to get an inevitable part-time job. Regardless, I'll still keep writing things here, and I hope you keep reading them. And if you read them, click all the links and check all the alternate text on the images, well, that's even better. Cheers for 100 (and 2) blog posts!

And With That, Ponyo Is Denied Its Oscar

by on

Not that it hasn't anything to do with the rest of this blog. I just wanted to mention that one of my favourite movies of the last year wasn't even nominated for Best Animated Feature. Granted, there were a lot more high quality animated films last year than there have been for some time, but I'm still annoyed that Ponyo didn't make the cut.

A girl running on a tidal wave made of fish. What's not to love?

I'm also annoyed that no matter how little I pay for a game, it always finds a way to become even cheaper the next time I check. I bought Zack and Wiki little more than a week ago for $30, which I thought was a good deal. Now I'm seeing it everywhere for a mere $20. Advance Wars: Dual Strike, which I paid $20 for is now only $13 - cheaper than any other DS game I've ever seen (except for Guilty Gear: Dust Strikers which no-one seems to want). Even Punch-Out!!, which should never go down in price because:

  1. It's a Nintendo published game. I've still never seen Twilight Princess for less than $70.
  2. JB Hi-fi are the only major retailer in Australia that stock it, so it's not like there's any competition to force them to drop the price.

is now $30. Yes, Punch-Out just got reduced by 50 bucks. To be fair, I didn't actually pay for the game myself but I'm really feeling sorry for Santa's wallet right now. If anyone reading this is an Australian Wii owner who hasn't already bought the game - JB Hi-fi. Now. Even if it will be only $15 in a week.

Best pinball game since Pokemon Pinball.

I did manage to get my hands on a couple of old, but unused, Game Boy Advance games for only a few dollars each - Sonic Pinball Party, Columns Crown and Castlevania. As in the original NES Castlevania. I'm not going to bother doing up a whole "First Impressions" blog for them, as I've played all of them before anyway. Well, except for Columns Crown but it's pretty much just Columns. It's not quite as good as Dr. Mario, Tetris, Puzzle League, Puyo Puyo, Puzzle Fighter, Lumines, Puzzle Bobble, Chu Chu Rocket, Puzzle Quest, Bejeweled, World of Goo, or any other puzzle game I can't think of off the top of my head, but it's still playable.

Mediocre as puzzle games about jewels go.

Oh, and my Super Mario 64 DS card is seemingly dead. Every time I restart the game, all the data has been erased, so I can't exactly play through it unless it's all in one sitting. I think it's time to let it go (take it to EB Games and try to pass it off as a working copy). At least I still have the memories....

The music in the water levels....

The secret slide behind the stained glass window....

That damn vulture that kept trying to steal my hat!

Not my thumb. My DS is a lot more scratched than that one.

R.I.P. The DS Thumb-strap (2004-2010)