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SloganYams Blog

Blog 400: Thanks for the Memories, GameSpot!

Alas, here we are. My 400th GS blog, and, for the most part, my last.

Don't fret, childrens, you can still keep up with my writings on video games and other such things on my website...

Wizard Dojo

Hell, you can even revisit my old site, as I do still plan on updating it every here and there.

SloganYams

Or you can check out my YouTube channels: SloganYams, Wizard Dojo and DoctorRoscottnik (I promise I'll start posting more videos on the new channels).

Anyway, I'm not just here to advertise my stuff (not this time, anyway). I'm here to bid (mostly) farewell to GameSpot. I know, I've said this at least twice in the past, but back then I had reasons to come back. Now? Not so much.

Most of my favorite users have moved on. Pierst179 (those were the numbers he used, right?) has moved on from GS and now writes his own blog, NintendoBound (check it out). I haven't heard from BrunoFMenedes (please tell me I spelled that right), UglyPinkMoose, and most of my other once-regular commenters for some time. And ShadowOfSonic left GS some time ago. Only Dylan417 and Ezioprez9709 remain. And I hope they'll keep in touch through my aforementioned sites. It would be sad to lose all contact with the people I've shared my thoughts and opinions with for close to six years.

As I've stated before, when I write something really big for my site, such as my hopefully-not-too-far-off list of favorite video games, I will still post a link here. But my days of regularly blogging here on GS ended some time ago, and I don't see a reason to continue writing full blogs here. I will still leave a comment or like a review written by one of my friends here and there, and I will check my GS messages when I can. But as far as being a regular member of the GS community goes, I'm done.

This site simply isn't what it was a few years ago, and neither is its community. I have many fond memories of all the times I gave well-informed opinions here, and all the times I gave less-than well-informed ones. I remember the compliments, the backlash, all of it. Though my presence here was ultimately started just to help get more attention to my other goings-on in the internet, my GS friends helped make my presence here a little something more. I will remember it all fondly.

Thank you so much for the memories. I wish you all Happy Holidays, and may all your futures be bright.

See you around.

Ranking the Pixar Films, Top 10 Wii U Games, The Peanuts Movie, DKC, Winding Down on GS.

This is my 399th blog here on GS, and I admit my time here is coming to an end. My next blog, the big 4-0-0. will probably be my last "regular" blog here (not that I've really been blogging regularly here for a while now). I still expect to drop by from time to time, thumbing up the reviews of people on my friends list, maybe leaving a comment on their blogs here and there, and checking my private messages. But after blog 400, don't expect me to be writing anything here, with the exceptions of when I end up writing my list of all-time favorite video games (which I plan to do soon), which I will put on my site, but that seems like something I should link here when the day comes. The only other exceptions would be if I make like a favorite movies list or something. But don't expect me to write here or link to my site as often as I once did. So thanks to all my friends here, most of whom have already gone...

Anyway, let's lighten things up a little bit. You may be aware that Toy Story recently turned 20, so I not only wrote a review of it, but I also wrote a countdown of all fifteen of Pixar's currently-released films in preparation for The Good Dinosaur. It's a little lengthy but I hope you enjoy it. Boy was it a hard list to rank.

Also, Donkey Kong Country 2 recently turned 20 as well! I have an ongoing list of blogs and reviews I'm writing as a means to celebrate. So far I've written reviews for DKC and, of course, one for DKC2, with a DKC3 review on the way. I've also written a list of the top 5 Animal Buddies from the series, and hope to do a couple more DKC themed top 5s before the end of November.

On top of that, I also recently wrote my own list of the top 10 best Wii U games (so far). So enjoy that as well.

And finally, I just have to say that The Peanuts Movie is freaking awesome! I haven't reviewed it yet, but I will soon. It's amazing to see a movie so simple but sweet these days. It's one of my favorite films of the year. Charles Schulz would be proud.

Thanks for reading! And stay tuned for my (mostly) farewell blog soon. :(

It's my Birthday! + Super Mario Maker, Mario Reviews and YouTube Stuff

It's my birthday, mortal fools! Throw money and cakes as you worship me!

Anyway, I picked up Super Mario Maker when it was released last week, and I've barely been able to put it down since. Despite a couple of missteps in searching for stages and just a couple of limitations (such as bosses and a lack of checkpoints) the game has wildly exceeded even my expectations, which were already pretty high. I've been playing the 100 Mario challenge non-stop, played hundreds of player-made levels, and have so far created seven levels of my own. If you own Mario Maker and want to check out my stages, here are their ID numbers (and names).

1: Great Scarier Reef

F27B-0000-001C-C0D7

2: Mega Man on a Mission

2C78-0000-0031-45D4

3: Showdown in the Clouds

5A4E-0000-0033-B42F

4: Bowser Jr’s Wild Ride

E32C-0000-0034-1DF4

5: The Tingle Zone

C190-0000-0035-E891

6: Weighted Companion P-Switch

63AE-0000-003A-1ED5

7: Banjo-Kazooie Inspiration

7C63-0000-0040-89A7

Please be sure to star my stages so I can upload more and more! I have so many ideas that I want to do!

Anyway, seeing as Super Mario Bros. recently turned 30, I decided to dedicate my site to the Mario series for the rest of September. I have a few more Mario-related stuff on the way, but currently I've written reviews for arguably Mario's three most famous game: Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World. Here they are.

Super Mario Bros. Review.

Super Mario Bros. 3 Review

Super Mario World Review

And finally, I've recently started up two new YouTube channels. One is named after my website "Wizard Dojo" and the other is titled "Doctor Roscottnik." The former currently just has a couple of Smash Bros. videos on it, and the latter currently has nothing. But I plan on doing some fun stuff on these channels, so if anyone's interested you can keep an eye on them. I DEFINITELY plan on at least showing off my Super Mario Maker levels and reviewing other people's levels on one of them. And hopefully I can do something a little more extravagant as well.

More importantly, I was wondering if anyone would like to create channel art that I can use for these channels. I'd like these channels to feel a bit legit, so I'd like to use some kind of unique channel art instead of just taking a photo from google images (like my current Howl's Moving Castle pic). But I lack the skills to make such channel art. So if anyone can whip something up that includes some video game characters or something that reflects the stuff I tend to talk about, that would be great. I would of course give the creator of the channel art full credit. For that matter, my website could use a banner as well.

Oh, and it's important to remember that YouTube demands the pictures used for channel art to be 2560 x 1440px in size.

Thanks for reading! I hope to hear from you guys in the future as my days blogging on GS are winding down to a close. You can always keep in touch with me on my website if need be. Or there's YouTube. And of course, I hope to see some of you around in Super Mario Maker. Cheers!

Crash Bandicoot and The Misadventures of Tron Bonne

Holy Playstation nostalgia, Batman!

I've dabbled in the Playstation Store from time to time, but for some reason, I only recently started downloading classic, old school games off of it. I guess I have The Misadventures of Tron Bonne to thank for that. One of my favorite Playstation games of all time (and one of the rarest) was recently put on the Playstation Network, so I purchased it and loving every minute of it. Those early 3D games have mostly suffered from aging, but whenever you find the ones that have eluded the decay of time, it's something wonderful. Tron Bonne is still so much fun, and it got me interested in revisiting other Playstation classics (and hopefully discovering some I haven't experienced before). After Tron Bonne (and Mega Man 8, which is so much better than it gets credit for), I decided to visit an old friend in Crash Bandicoot, the Playstation brand's original mascot (whether Sony wants to admit it or not, they do have mascots).

I purchased the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy, and thankfully, two of the three hold up quite well.

The original Crash Bandicoot has suffered from some downright head-scratching design decisions, which have only been magnified with age. But Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back is still a blast. I remember at age seven I knew it was a big leap forward (I may not have been able to articulate why it was so much better than the first, but I knew it was). It was the first time I really noticed what a major improvement a sequel could be (the Mario and Mega Man sequels were around before I was, so as a kid they never really seemed like sequels to me). Today, Crash 2 holds up swimmingly.

But Crash Bandicoot: Warped was always the best of the bunch. It still is. I obsessed over the game as a kid, and it's still a whole lot of fun.

On the downside, playing through Naughty Dog's Crash Bandicoot trilogy has only reminded me how far the series has fallen since then. The next few sequels after Naughty Dog were playable, but nothing to brag about. Then in 2007 the whole series got an overhaul with new reworked character designs (always a red flag), and after one sequel for the series' "new direction" in 2008, Crash has been MIA ever since. I still hope (blindly, I suppose) that one day, Naughty Dog can have another go at the series. What they've done with Jak & Daxter, Uncharted and The Last of Us is great and all, but seeing them go back to the series that made Naughty Dog, well, Naughty Dog, would just be too good.

And, well, you knew this was coming, but here are some links to my site (sorry). I wrote a review for each of the three classic Crash Bandicoot titles, as well as some personal memories of The Misadventures of Tron Bonne (with a review coming soon). Enjoy.

Crash Bandicoot review.

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back review.

Crash Bandicoot: Warped review.

The Misadventures of Tron Bonne Memories.

More on Inside Out Plus Some E3 Stuff and Things

I recently saw Inside Out a second time, and I have to say I honestly think it might oust The Incredibles as my favorite Pixar film. I previously wrote a review of it giving it a score of a 9.0 (what an idiot I was). But I have since done something I'm normally against doing and altered that review and upped it to a perfect 10.

Simply put, Inside Out is a beautiful film, and arguably the most profound one that Pixar has made. It's deep understanding of children's emotions coupled with its wild imagination (which is often pretty surreal) make it the closest thing Pixar has made to a Miyazaki film. I simply don't have enough good things to say about Inside Out. Pixar has truly outdone themselves.

Now about E3.

I've currently written two blogs on my site (yeah, more links) about E3. One is about why Nintendo's E3 presentation, while uneventful, wasn't anywhere near as bad as Nintendo fans are making it out to be. The other is a list of my top 5 favorite games from E3 2015.

Personally, I found this year's E3 to be an okay show. Weaker than the last few years for sure, but far from the disaster everyone acts like it was. I'd give both Sony and Nintendo's conferences a B+ for showing quality games but lacking any meaningful surprises, and Microsoft a solid B for similar reasons, but the majority of games didn't excite me as much as the other two (this was your chance for Banjo-Kazooie 3!).

I unfortunately was only able to watch Square-Enix's press conference between all the third-parties, and I'd grade them a C+. Maybe a B-. Kingdom Hearts 3 could be fun, but I've honestly lost a great deal of interest once I found out all those handheld spinoffs are necessary to the story. Kingdom Hearts 2 was already kind of convoluted on its own accord, but I haven't even played any of the handheld titles, so I shudder to think how lost I would be playing Kingdom Hearts 3 (why can't developers just make the main numbered entries integral parts to their stories?). Still, if it has a Frozen level I could be swayed.

I was flabbergasted to find so many people were unenthusiastic about The Last Guardian's return. They claim "nothing has changed" since its PS3 version was shown in 2009 to now. After so many years of demanding where the game went, people do nothing but complain as soon as it returns. I swear, gamers just thrive of negativity and pessimism. It's like their source of power or something. I do have a little bit of concern about how much control the player has in the game, as I don't want to merely press a button or two to activate predetermined events. But I'm not about to pass all kinds of judgement at this point. Team Ico has made two wonderful games, with Shadow of the Colossus in particular being an all-time great in my book. The Last Guardian could end up in the same boat.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the rest of the 2015 gaming year, and 2016 looks promising already. I do hope that next year, should I be able to make a triumphant return to E3 (I was unable to attend this year), that everyone will pull out all the stops for a great show.

In closing, has everyone seen Jurassic World yet? I don't know about you, but it kind of restored my faith in the blockbuster. It really has the heart of Spielberg's best blockbuster films (even if he himself didn't direct it). Aside from the masterpiece that is Inside Out (seriously people, see it!), I'll still say Jurassic World is my favorite film of the year.

Random Musings (AKA Too Much Fire Emblem. 7.8/10)

Some thoughts on things and stuff.

Super Smash Bros:Okay, so Roy's return is official. Because apparently there aren't enough Fire Emblem characters already. I know some people will use the tired "Mario and Pokemon have more characters" argument, but those series actually deserve to have that many characters. Mario IS Nintendo, and Pokemon is iconic, not to mention both of those series have more to work with than any other. It makes sense for them to have that many characters. Does Fire Emblem really need more than two? Not to mention that now, three of them are practically the same. What's the point? It's just lazy character selection at this point. The otaku will no doubt eat it up, because it doesn't matter how generic the character may be, so long as it looks like an anime pretty boy they'll be all over it. I suppose I should be happy that it's not another Kid Icarus character at least.

Ryu's inclusion actually looks really cool though. He's far from my favorite Street Fighter character, but at least he makes sense. In fact, it now actually seems weird that he's DLC, since he probably fits in the game more than a number of characters who made it at launch. Hopefully we can get more unique characters like this in the future and less Marth clones.

E3:E3 is upon us! Sadly, this will be the first year I won't be able to attend since I first started going in 2009, which is a huge downer (hopefully I can return next year), but I'm looking forward to it nonetheless. I'll be gearing up and watching the presentations with great anticipation (provided leaks don't spoil everything. Damn those leaks!). My body is ready.

Jurassic World:I know I brought it up already, but Jurassic World is simply awesome. Best non-animated blockbuster since Guardians of the Galaxy for sure. I had so much fun.

Inside Out:Pixar's Inside Out is officially released next weekend, and I am dead serious in saying my anticipation for seeing it again rivals some of my most hyped movies when I was seeing them for the first time. It's just so good (I should have given it a better rating in my review). I know the year's only halfway through, but I'm honest in saying I'll be surprised if 2015 comes to a close and Inside Out isn't still my favorite movie of the year.

The Angry Video Game Nerd:I've been watching a lot of The Angry Video Game Nerd lately, and although I've watched it every here and there for years now, I feel like I've been missing out on this show. Now, I admit, the relentless bathroom humor is not to my liking, but the reviews themselves can actually be insightful. I like that James Rolfe turns video game reviews into entertainment by becoming a character and often telling a story through and around the review. Again, not all of the humor is pleasant, but the reviews themselves are surprisingly good. A lot of people compare the Angry Video Game Nerd to the Nostalgia Critic, but I feel that's unfair, since the AVGN is actually funny and does more than just shout at everything (though there is that too). The Nostalgia Critic just comes off as irritating and obnoxiously opinionated, whereas the AVGN seems more constructive underneath the character.

That's all for now, only a few more blogs left to go here on GS. I'll try to make the most of them. But remember, you can always find me on my own site. Wizarddojo.com Take care!

I Really Hope That Smash Leak Isn't True + Jurassic World

So it looks like there's been a possible leak for new characters in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS. The two characters are Street Fighter's Ryu and a returning Roy. I couldn't be more disappointed if this ends up being true.

Look, I love Street Fighter, but hasn't Ryu stolen Mega Man's thunder enough the past few years? The Blue Bomber used to be Capcom's mascot, until they decided the far more generic Ryu should take that role. Now he could show up in Smash as the fresh new character, while there aren't enough people who play as Mega Man as it is. Not to mention adding a fighting game character into a fighting game just seems redundant. While It's interesting to see a third-party represented with two characters in Smash, I wish it could have been someone else. I wouldn't have minded Chun-Li if it needed to be a Street Fighter character.

However, if Roy's returning, that's just a load of bull. What, there aren't enough Fire Emblem characters in Smash 4? Scratch that, there aren't enough generic anime pretty boys with swords in Smash 4? And if he's just a Marth clone again I'll be POed. Seriously, can't we just get one more Donkey Kong character? I don't think that's asking for too much. Dixie deserved to be there a lot more than any Lucina, Palutena or Dark Pit ever did.

Also, am I the only one a little disheartened that Nintendo games seem to be getting leaked more often these days? They were the one company, the one, that seemed like they could keep a secret until an official announcement. I'd hate to see them lose that.

Anyway, let's move on to something less disappointing. JURASSIC WORLD!

Where to begin... Jurassic World was probably the best non-animated blockbuster since Guardians of the Galaxy (strangely, that also starred Chris Pratt). It had plenty of nostalgia for the first movie without relying on it (it also wisely never mentioned Jurassic Parks 2 and 3), it had great action scenes, as well as suspense and horror, and it somehow made the ridiculous idea of the bioengineered dinosaur work. Best of all, it actually had characters you could care about, as it gave you time to know who they are as people.

With the exception of Inside Out (which I now feel I UNDERRATED in my review), Jurassic World might actually be my favorite film of 2015 so far. No joke.

I'll be Leaving GameSpot Soon (For Reals This Time!)

I know, we've been through this before. I was originally "leaving" GS back in 2012. And then again in like 2013 I think. Both times I ended up staying here for one reason or another. But GameSpot simply isn't the same site it was a few years ago. All the fun features the user profiles used to have are gone, and despite GS claiming they'll bring back/fix some of it, it all remains barren over a year later. The official GS reviews just aren't interesting anymore either (yes, I miss Tom McShae. Anyone who loves Mario Galaxy 2 and hates Bioshock Infinite as much as that dude is okay in my book). Many of the people I'd regularly talk to/comment with are long gone (we all all miss you, ShadowOfSonic), and even the great Pierst seems to have left GS behind (but you can still read his stuff on his fantastic blog, NintendoBound). Simply put, the GS today isn't the GS it was when I first made my profile over five years ago.

Now, I'm close to reaching the 400 blog milestone here on GameSpot, so I will stick around and reach that number. I know, most of my "blogs" here have more or less been links to my sites, but this profile was only ever meant to be an extension of my blogs anyway. I'll try to make my last few here meaningful though.

Of course, I will still drop by from time to time, so feel free to send me private messages or the like. I might even comment on something here and there (eh, maybe). I just won't be blogging here anymore or doing any noteworthy contributions. If you want, you can even send me suggestions for a game or movie to review or something. Or just suggest something for me to talk about regarding those subjects. I'll happily write about that kind of stuff on my website if I can.

So, as I get to my last few blogs here on GS, remember that you can still read my musings, articles, opinions, and other crap on my new(ish) website.

Wizarddojo.com

My door is always open to you, my GS friends. So feel free to leave comments and stuff on my site as well (I also greatly appreciate follows and likes!). Also, my old website, sloganyams.com, is still active. And I promise I'll still update it from time to time as well...

So yes, my friends. We are approaching the last days of SloganYams here on GS. Thanks for all the comments, complaints, support and backlash you've given me these last five years. I hope you continue to do so on my website. But if not, it's been a fun ride. Thanks!

Avengers 2 and Yooka-Laylee

Some quick opinions.

Avengers: Age of Ultron:I saw The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and although it was overall enjoyable, I found it to be weaker than the first one. I know I'll be hated by nerds everywhere for this, but I was never sold on Ultron as the villain. James Spader's performance was great, but the character had a very underwhelming buildup, and he kind of fell too far into the "machines > humans" cliche. One thing I loved about the first Avengers was that it reused a villain, meaning that it could just get to the Avengers without needing to introduce a new bad guy. I can't help but feel Avengers 2 would have benefitted if Ultron was at least mentioned in a past film. It also didn't flow as well as the first one. The original Avengers was two and a half hours, but it was enough fun throughout that you either didn't notice or didn't care. But Age of Ultron can feel slow at times. There's also just way too many characters, and some previously established character relationships feel randomly retconned.

Of course, this is only going by one viewing, and comparing it to a movie I've seen multiple times over the last three years. Maybe if I watch it again my opinion will grow, but for now I feel that it was a fun, action packed movie that falls flat when compared to its predecessor.

Yooka-Laylee:Although the announcement that the "spiritual successors" to Banjo and Kazooie would be the less inviting pairing of a chameleon and a bat, once I saw more of it I was sold. I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but Yooka-Laylee is actually the first Kickstarter project I've backed (if the Toejam and Earl Kickstarter is still up I'll totally donate to that!). It looks like everything that Nuts & Bolts should have been. I was willing to pay as soon as I saw the footage, but once I learned that the score will be composed by both Grant Kirkhope and none other than David Wise (my favorite gaming composer) my money magically disappeared from my wallet and went straight to Kickstarter!