So About my Best Games Ever Survey...

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It's finished!

The survey part, that is. I've tallied up all the lists and know what this list of top 50 games will look like. But it will take a little bit of time for me to write this list as I'm in a busy part of this semester and have other things going on (not to mention a few movie reviews to catch up on). So yes, the survey is done, but give me a little bit of time and hopefully you'll be seeing the final list in not too long. :)

Oh yes, and as for my own list (which I promised to make around the same time as the fan-voted list), I'm still going to do that, but I may have to go the Smash Bros. Wii U route and do it a bit later after the other list. It all just depends on when I can decide on my list. This has proven even more difficult than I thought. I'm still deciding whether I should list my top 20 or 30 games (I'm actually leaning towards 20. While listing 30 games may mean more games make the cut, I can't help but feel I might just be slapping random numbers to random games at that point. Just how does one dictate their 27th favorite video game, anyway?). I actually think I know 18 of the games I'll be picking, but boy trying to narrow down all the great games I've played is difficult.

So yeah, there's some stuff to look forward to from me. Also, I'm in the process of getting my new website set up, so hopefully you'll be seeing something from that in not too long as well.

Thoughts on the Smash Bros. Nintendo Direct

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Well, the Smash Bros. Nintendo Direct went pretty much how I thought it would, but managed to throw in a good surprise or two.

One of the big surprises was the different release dates. Now, Sakurai hinted that this might be the case a while back, but I still assumed both games would be released simultaneously. I don't have too much of a problem with the different dates (Smash Bros. 3DS will be released in Summer, the Wii U version in Winter 2014) as it shows they're taking their time with the game(s) instead of rushing them both out. But it is a little bit of a bummer that Wii U owners have to wait that much longer to play the system's most anticipated game.

I've heard some people say they were disappointed that only one new character was announced, but honestly, I kind of thought that's what was going to happen anyway. Nintendo was already revealing a lot of other information on the game, it would be pretty out-of-character for the company to also spoil the new characters all at once.

The new character reveal was Greninja, who I think is a surprising and welcome addition to the series. I know most people wanted Mewtwo back, but when it comes to Pokemon, I feel there's so much for them to work with that I kind of always want to see something new from the series. And I don't think anyone saw him coming, so that's always a fun type of new character.

Aside from Greninja, four returning characters were revealed: Yoshi (an obvious choice who strangely wasn't announced sooner), Shiek, Zero Suit Samus and Charizard. The latter three were once part of "transforming" characters in the series, but now are completely separate characters. While the whole transforming aspect was fun, I think this is for the best, as now these characters seem less like novelties and more like solid members of the roster.

Perhaps my favorite part of the Nintendo Direct was when Sakurai discussed the games' online modes, which basically addressed every issue I had with Brawl's online modes. No longer will players be anonymous, instead they'll use their Nintendo Network IDs when playing online. Players will now be penalized for things like joining a game only to just stand there doing nothing (this was a serious problem in Brawl after a while) and ganging up on particular players.

More importantly were the adjustments to the online modes themselves. Playing online with friends still brings the usual customizations, but when playing against the world you now have two play modes: For Fun and For Glory.

For Fun provides players with access to every stage (except Final Destination), every item, and only a player's wins are recorded. While For Glory is tailor-made for the "hardcore" crowd. No items, only Final Destination (more accurately, "Final Destination-ized" versions of the stages to provide some variety), and losses are counted as well as wins. So basically it has something for everyone.

Another big reveal was the ability to customize the characters. Naturally, these customizations are only available in local play and when playing online with your friends. From what little you could gather from the clips, it looks like you can alter the power and speed of moves, as well as a character's durability (DK is shown performing an attack unfazed from his opponent fighting back). This could have a lot of potential.

The 3DS version will also be getting a mode unique to itself titled Smash Run, which is inspired by the "City Mode" from Kirby's Air Ride in which players fight through a dungeon-like stage to gather power-ups before facing off against each other. Let's hope the Wii U version gets some unique modes as well.

Aside from that, we got some good looks at some of the stages in the games, as well as items, Final Smashes and Assist Trophies. No, maybe we didn't get one new character reveal after another. But we did get a lot of revealing info about the game. Frankly, I was very much satisfied with the Nintendo Direct. It showed that the game is looking to not only add some new ideas to the series, but also address its predecessors' shortcomings as well. The gap between releases is a little bit of a sting, but nothing the sheer joy of the games themselves can rectify.

Frozen is the Highest-Grossing Animated Film Ever!

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Disney announced today that Frozen has usurped Pixar’s Toy Story 3 as the highest-grossing animated film in history! It’s now also in the top 10 highest-grossing films of all time! While people expected a film under the Disney banner to be successful, I don’t think anyone quite saw this coming (at least, not if we were judging by the questionable marketing campaign).

Yet here it is. Frozen, a film that isn’t a sequel, an original screenplay (it’s “inspired” by Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen, but hardly an adaptation), stars two female characters, and tells a meaningful story. A stark contrast to the majority of movies that hold box office records.

Congratulations Frozen! I can’t think of a more deserving movie.

GBA Games Coming to Wii U April 3rd!

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Well over a year after it was announced Gameboy Advance games were coming to the Wii U Virtual Console, it's FINALLY happening!

For the first time in forever (heh, Frozen), we finally got information on the lineup of GBA games joining the Wii U's Virtual Console. Starting on April 3rd we get the first batch of GBA games, which includes the much-beloved Advanced Wars, The Metroid classic, Metroid Fusion, and one of my all-time favorite handheld games, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga!

Following that, April will see a great lineup of other GBA games. April 10th will see the return of both Kirby & the Amazing Mirror and WarioWare, Inc. A week after that, April 17th, will see two additional games, F-Zero: Maximum Velocity and Golden Sun. And then on April 24th, the Virtual Console will FINALLY see the long-overdue return of Yoshi's Island, which, for reasons I'm not sure, will be its GBA remake, as opposed to the SNES original. But hey, we're finally getting Yoshi's Island back!

So it looks like a strong lineup of GBA titles. Let's just hope we don't have to wait another year for those N64 and Nintendo DS games.

The Incredibles 2 is Real!!

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This past Tuesday, Disney announced that Pixar is finally developing a sequel to The Incredibles.

Now, I know many people have been complaining about Pixar's recent obsession with sequels, but the difference here is that this is the one Pixar movie that not only warranted a sequel, but also the one Pixar sequel people have been asking for for a decade.

Plus, its been announced that Brad Bird is back as writer (and let's pray as director as well), which eases any concerns. After all, The Incredibles was Brad Bird's creation, and he has stated that he would only do a sequel if he felt he could do it justice. And since it's confirmed he's behind it and Disney didn't wrestle it away from him is a very good sign.

I don't know about you, but I'm actually more excited for Incredibles 2 than all of Pixar's other in-production movies put together. The Incredibles is my favorite Pixar movie (with Toy Story 2 in second place), and is now probably tied with Frozen as my favorite American animated feature. I've wanted a sequel for years now, and the fact that it's actually happening, and with the right pieces in place (again, Brad Bird!)...I don't think I'm even half as excited for any other movie on the horizon.

Oh yeah, Cars 3 was also announced. But whatevs.

Dark Souls 2 Impressions

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So after beating Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, and then beating it on hard mode for a complete 200%, I decided to jump right into Dark Souls 2. Because apparently I'm insane.

Simply put, if you liked Demon Souls or Dark Souls, you'll love Dark Souls 2. It retains the tight control, dark, lonely atmosphere, excellent soundwork and brutal difficulty of its predecessors. It admittedly doesn't feel too different from Dark Souls, but tat's not really a bad thing. IT tweaks its design just enough to give it its own identity. Its layout of enemies and traps will always keep you on your toes, prepared for the worst but hoping for the best.

I'm not too far into the game yet, but I have poured a good number of hours (and deaths) into it, and its another great entry in its series. Between Dark Souls 2 and DKCTF, 2014 looks to not only be on a good start in competing with 2013 in gaming quality, but also proves that difficult games still have a place in today's gaming world.

Big News Everyone!

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I'm sure some of you are wondering (but not really) about what happened to my long-promised video reviews. Well, as you know I was going to post them to a second YouTube channel. But plans change. In early February, I received a notice from Google claiming that I can no longer make money off of my videos (with zero explanation as to why, making Google my new archenemy), and this effects any YouTube channel connected to my account.

So again, plans change.

My brother, who helps manage my current website, has been planning on updating my website for some time now. But I thought of another idea instead... A BRAND NEW WEBSITE!

Yes, that's right, I soon plan on starting a brand new site, with a new name and everything. My current plan is for this new site to emphasize video games and animated films. I will continue to write reviews (hopefully of a more consistent quality and flow), and will try to post some game related videos here. This time around, I hope (hope!) to also have user accounts for the site, so that other people can join in as well.

In case you're wondering what will become of my current site. It will stick around. I'll still update it, but I have a feeling the new site will end up taking priority, as I hope it will also be a means to make some more money (my current site has only provided so much). But sloganyams.com will still be here to stay.

Of course, maybe I can also start up a new bank account and make a whole new YouTube channel to compliment the site. But with how Google has been lately who knows if that will help.

So yeah, I hope you'll continue reading (and watching) my nonsense. Hopefully this new site will take off. I'll keep you all posted.