Uesugi-dono / Member

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Uesugi-dono Blog

Coming to Terms: We Were Scrubs

I started a firestorm on the Gamespot boards. My question was simple: Did anyone remember Gentleman Rules? 160 posts of flame later and I realize a programmer named Sirlin actually wrote a guide for the honorless pubes who will willfully spam and cheese their way to 'victory.' Sirlin's guide actually mocks players who use variety in their attacks, calling us all Scrubs. So I and the group of elites who pounded away hundreds of dollars one quarter at a time... we're scrubs... a term that means newb/skilless/and joke all wrapped in one.

Scrubs.

F**k these b**tards. Chivalry is dead, huh? Playing for fun is scrubbish? We should all 'play to win' and act like we get paid for every match otherwise we're unworthy to lap at the rectum of the Almighty Daigo. Fine. FINE. For player matches I will always have honor, but for ranked matches I'm going to start ramping up Akuma and Seth. I'm going to start training to rain fireball spammy death on every m***erf***er I cross. Blocking with a sliver of life? Tough boyo, them's your generation's rules.

Jesus I hate kids today. What a bunch of pussnannies. "Why are there so many school shootings?" "Why is there so much domestic violence?" "Why are there so many teen pregnancies?"

Don't ask me. I'm just a scrub.

Lost in the Dark Hour

This Christmas my daughter, presently 4 years old, "bought" me Persona 3 FES. That is to say I saw it cheap, had heard the hype, and bought it for myself for her to give to me.

I bought the first Persona... and hated it. I never took to the card system or reliving Golgo 13's 1st person dungeons. Naturally I didn't expect a whole lot out of this one. P3 is a sidetracker, that is to say its put everything else on hold. I never would have thought I'd be drawn in by a 'Emo kid saves the world' type game but I am literally obsessed with this game. I'm only about 25 hours into it and I read that I can expect to pour over 100 in the FIRST part of it then 30 more in the second part. That puts a major hold on the other games I was playing, not to mention I'm now chafing to play Persona 4.

It's now at the point that I'm ditching sleep to play this game!

Uesugi-dono's Top 20 Best Games Ever List

Here's my ground rules:

1) They must be games that I have played to completion.

2) Only one game from a series can be represented.

3) In order to qualify they must have compelled an obsession to play and in some way moved me with by story, gameplay, or visuals.

4) I will apply my original gamespot rating to each entry.

20- Rocky: Legends - Some people will scratch their heads about this one making the list but look: Rocky was just the most fun boxing game I've ever played. The characters were varied enough to really allow you to find your favorites and the career mode was really spectacular. The only real complaints about it was that you could only do the career with 4 characters and once you won your title (except for Rocky) it was over and you couldn't defend it. They would do well to update this one because for all the pomp and fluff of Fight Night, it was Rocky that went the distance. 10.0

19- Kengo: Master of Bushido - This game was the first to really kind of throw you into a sword master's life. That kind of immersion completely captured my imagination. Being able to train and challenge rival dojos gave a real sense of 'ownership' to your character. Kengo was short though, it really needed a lot more depth. When 'Legend of the Nine' came out I was so excited, until I played it. I'm still waiting for the true sequel to one of the Playstation's greatest underappreciated gems. 9.5

18- Way of the Samurai 2 - Similar to Kengo, Way of the Samurai and its superior sequel thrust you into your own samurai-western drama, albiet a really short one. This was compensated by the wide variety of paths you could travel with your own decisions, giving you a real sense of immersion in the story. I list WotS 2 because its story was better than its predecessor, although both were equally enrapturing. 8.5

17- Golgo 13: The Top Secret Episode - This was perhaps the very first game I ever played that pulled me deep into the story. I must have played this game all the way through at least 4 times. It was also the first game I had sex in, which was important for a 15 year old! While its sequel The Mafat Conspiracy was actually slightly better in every aspect, Golgo 13 itself remains the better of the two because of its revolutionary nature at the time. I'll always have fond memories of this title... it took my 8-bit virginity! 10.0

16- Test Drive: Eve of Destruction - Boy, talk about your sleeper hit! This was a rental based solely on its two player capacity and it ended up being one of my most played console games ever. I've played this, start to finish, no less than 6 times. The career mode is a blast! Buying and fixing up cars, especially painting them with the EXCELLENT paint tool, was just as habit-forming as trying to win the race. With a kick-ass soundtrack to back it up this was the best racing game ever. 10.0

15- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City - Yea, I know, have my head checked right? Vice City, all the way down at number 15? Whilst this was obviously the best in series, and while the series itself is groundshaking, this is just where the series happens to fall on my list. Vice beat out its predecessor and its two sequels primarily because of setting and story. Tommy Vercetti was an extremely likable character and who could deny that racing around fictional Miami on a crotch-rocket was perhaps more fun than should be allowed? Sure San Andreas gave us MUCH more freedom, and sure GTA IV gave us MUCH more realism, but Vice City earned its place and Rockstar will have to do something really amazing to unseat it. 9.5

14- Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater - Metal Gear is one of the greatest game series ever made and none of them were better than this one... Snake Eater... the story of the original Snake. Although each game (except for 2) was exceptional in their own right, Snake Eater pushed it above and beyond with its excellent Bond-like feel. Having to worry about food and injuries really put you in the experience and that theme song... it will never leave my head! 10.0

13- Final Fantasy VII - The second greatest RPG ever made and the best of the Final Fantasy series. VII threw us so deep into the fight against Shinra that those of us who put 120+ hours into it will never forget it, no matter how long we live. Although I followed the obvious story line and chose Aeris as the love interest I always wanted to play through it again and choose who I really loved, Tifa... or even Barrett! But I could never bring myself to do it because the story was PERFECT. Simply perfect. 10.0

12- Smackdown vs Raw 2006 - This one made the list because I love CAW wrestlers. My friends and I ran a fantasy season complete with our own fantasy roster and all the drama needed for professional wrestling. 2006 marked the pinnacle of the SvR series as the CAW took a terrible turn after this one. 2006 makes it this high on the list not because of killer gameplay or great graphics, but because we invested SO many hours into creating and WATCHING these wrestlers perform. Yes, I said watching... we never played ourselves because that wouldn't be fair! It broke my heart when 2007 failed... then 2008 and finally 2009. I guess nothing gold can stay. 9.5

11- Uncharted Waters - Koei is one of the best companies in the industry and this title stayed fresh year after year, giving you sandbox freedom a decade before the term sandbox hit the media. Starting out as a small trader, keeping handwritten logs of goods prices at various ports, scribbling down hidden coordinates, and gambling away much needed supply money on tavern games of poker (still the best video poker game I've ever played) kept me on the edge of my seat near constantly. But once I realized that I had the money to buy the ships and guns needed to become a pirate? This game had it all. I would sell my car for a current version of it! 10.0

10- Vandal Hearts - Turn-based strategy hit a plateau with Vandal Hearts. With an outstanding story, buckets of blood, and enough hidden goodies to keep you playing over and over VH was the game to beat. Many will argue that Final Fantasy Tactics or Ogre Battle did it, and they'd be close, but VH stood out in my opinion because of the attachment I formed to the characters and their plight. Too bad the sequel was terrible, but as for Vandal Hearts it brought me back a total of three times after I first beat it to play again aand again. 10.0

9- Sid Meier's Pirates! - The replay value on this gem cannot be overstated. From its 8-bit incarnation to its superb new update Pirates! is one of the best games ever made. Period. 9.5

8- Baseball Stars - Only time can move this game so far down the list. Hands down the greatest baseball game ever, Baseball Stars gave you enough customization to keep you vested in your team. The ONLY flaw this game has was a weak battery in the cartridge. Of course the arcade version took away all your customization and so did its console sequel, but the original will live forever as the best sports game I've ever played. 10.0

7- The Mark of Kri - From art to concept to gameplay The Mark of Kri was a masterpiece, far outstripping its descendent God of War, which borrowed heavily from its influence. haha, maybe that's reaching but why not? GoW entheusiasts think EVERY game is a GoW clone, right? Seriously, MoK deserves to be here, one of the very best console games ever devised. 10.0

6- Valkyria Chronicles - Now it's getting tough. Valkyria Chronicles is the ONLY modern generation game to make this list and that should say alot; HD graphics and multi-player cannot make a game alone. Fear not, Valkyria deserves its place, and maybe should even be higher. It probably will be with more time. Combining a revolutionary art style, revolutionary gameplay, and a story that will move you to tears on more than one occasion let it be know that anyone who missed out on this game missed one of the best games ever made from any genre. Packed with replayability and gripping in its story, you WILL feel attached to these characters and feel their plight. This one is worth buying a PS3 for. 10.0

5- Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares - These last 5 are going to be really hard for me. That said number 5 is MOO II. The best space-related game ever made. Not in my opinion, it just is. Disagree if you want, that doesn't change it! In all seriousness MOO II had it all; exploration, colonization, war both planetary and stellar and oodles of customization. I probably logged at least 6 months of my life playing MOO II, at least. Its predecessor was equally good but MOO II added tons to it. Too bad about MOO III being such a suck-fest, but if they'd just go back to formula I would lose at least 6 more months of my life. 10.0

4- Nobunaga's Ambition - Koei started it all with this one. Nobunaga's Ambition pulled me in not just to the game itself, but into Japan; into Japanese culture, into Japanese language, and into Japanese history. It was shocking to discover just how much I actually learned about Sengoku (The Warring States Period) in Japan from this game. My best friend and I played this one more than perhaps any other game. Recently NA: Rise to Power came out and now NA: The Iron Triangle is released, but both abandon the multiplayer component to offer a real time component. This is a real shame but single player maintains its charm. 10.0

3- Suikoden - The best RPG ever was Suikoden/Suikoden II. From its large scope to its epic story it was the grandest of all, better even than Final Fantasy. I and II were practically equal in their appeal, both having amazing stories and such a variety of mini-games and characters as to be incredible. You'll never forget these stories. Not ever. 10.0

2- Street Fighter Alpha 3 - There's no dispute that Street Fighter is the greatest series of fighting games ever and the series itself never got any better than SFA3. The largest cast of characters, the best overall move set, SFA3 was the best of the best. The yardstick by which all other competitive fighting games are measured. 10.0

1- Civilization III - The crown goes to the game series with the greatest level of replayability ever, and amongst those none have better customization and balance than Civ III. Hats off to Sid Meier because Civilization is truly an enduring masterpiece. All told I wouldn't be surprised to learn that I'd spent a year or more of my live hunched over my computer playing Civilization, wrapped tightly in the human drama that I had created. 10.0

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Conan- Don't believe the hype. Conan is a fantastic game, despite any similarities to God of War.

Blackthorne- Best. Platformer. Ever.

Blitz: The League II- If you love violence and you love football... here it is.

Garou: Mark of the Wolves- Street Fighter's little cousin. This one was just as good, but poorly marketed.

Gun- Grand Theft Horse. Just needed to be bigger with more things to do.

The Last Guy- This one was amazing, but simple. A great time consumer.

Mirror's Edge- Truly underappreciated, this game kicks butt!

Okami- If I'd finished this one I would have added it. A work of art.

Rise of the Argonauts- Another underappreciated gem. It got panned because of its best feature: the dialogue tree. It's Mass Effect, only linear... with a spear.

Saint's Row- Pure. Simple. Fun.

Yakuza- There might not be a better sleeper game out there. Yakuza flew in under all the radar but it remains one of the best little fighters there is.

(Johnny) Wii hardly knew ye.

Ok, so the decision has finally been made to divest ourselves from the Wii. (This decision is personally motivated by my desire for Valkyria Chronicles)

The Wii was our first, and believe me like a Teenage Years girlfriend we loved it INTENSELY for a few months. It was pure and simple and beautiful and was full of neat new tricks. Then, we began to desire something not quite as kiddie and we moved on to the High School Slut of game consoles; The Xbox 360. You know her, everyone has had her. And she's lots of fun even if she is a mental case. (RROD) Ultimately we delved into a more sophisticated love, the PS3 who is more like the girl in her late 20's. It took longer to get her and she may not have started out as exciting as the Slut or been an novel as the Teen but she's comfortable, reliable, and intensely satisfying. This is the kind of girl you settle down with. (but that doesn't mean I wanna stop playing with the 360! lol)

The time has come to say goodbye to the Wii. We haven't even thought about her in months. We enjoyed our time with her and we learned alot of things... namely that controller input, no matter how novel, simply cannot make up for quality games.

Au revoir, Wii. Time for you to be someone else's first. Shh, just don't tell them you're not a virgin!

Mass Effect: Revelation

Im almost done with Mass Effect: Revalation (The prequel) and I'm having some problems both as a fan and as a writer. Drew Karpyshyn (the author) is an imbecile. First I point to the problems with Mass Effect's story overall and believability. This whole thing is truly written by a 14 year old intellect. How convienient that a galaxy-wide government is run in a completely-human familiar way. How nifty that no individual species speaks any other language other than english. That culture is identical across the board except for a scant few body-language indicators. Not one alien culture seems the least bit alien. AT ALL. In fact they're all western, they don't even have the kind of cultural difference you'd find in say, Asia... or Africa, the Middle East... anywhere! These are ALIEN cultures and this writer has completely LOST the opportunity to explore ANYTHING. And he can't speak english. Twice in this book he's talked about the retort of firearms. The RETORT. And just now I read "We sent a team to the sight of the attack." I want to throw this book through the window and never play the game, that's how offended I am by this, this MORON. The story is infantile. Saren is a hollow villian, completely predictable in every aspect. Karpyshyn tries, repeatedly, to provide surprise in his narrative but fails miserably. I feel like an 8th grade english reading teacher forced to evaluate the work of an egotistical, and untalented, adolescent. In almost 300 pages the author has failed to compel me to give two s**ts about any of the characters or situations, failed to pique any interest in any of the alien cultures, failed to even keep me awake as i try to read this tripe. This guy is a NYTimes bestseller!! I can run circles around this failure!!! I'll still attempt the game based on Bioware's reputation but the fact that this sac is behind the story... and KOTOR, and the Darth Bane novels completely befuddles me!! I have SO little faith in the storyline of Mass Effect (or KOTOR or Darth Bane) if this nimrod was behind it. He's like George Lucas, a completely anomoly based on a fluke of success. I am rampantly disappointed. I really think about reconsidering playing Mass Effect based on this piece of crap. I like the customization and the idea of the moral choices, THAT'S why I'll play, but I expect nothing from the overall story save an adolescent and unbelievable hollow tale. In fact it will be supremely difficult to divorce the mental image of people in rubber suits playing the aliens as hollow as their characters are. Suck.

ShoooRYUUUU KEN!!

Thinking about Street Fighter tonight. Bored as ass sitting at work. Of course the next SF fix is still a ways off. Specifically thats the overhyped Street Fighter IV and the much more alluring Super Street Fighter II HD Remix.

Yep, I'm on record as fully expecting the HD rehash to FAR outweigh the new 2 1/2 D fighter. The more I see of SF IV the less excited I am. Especially the absence of the Alpha fighters and the inclusion of El F**got, Fatqueer, Able-to-OD-on-Steroids, and Electro Firep**sy. I want to get my hands on the Lord Homo who started f***ing up Street Fighter beginning with SF III. What the hell is going on with these characters?? Gill anyone?? A two-tone homoerotic Dali nightmare come to life. Him, and almost all of the other SF III cast, belong in Guilty Gear or some other such game with ridiculous characters. I like my SF to be at least a little bit believable. This is also my problem with Fatqueer. He's ridiculous. Ok, I can give a pass to Able and even Electro Firep**sy (Viper is it?) can meld into SF IV but Tekken is where El Fuente belongs. Why do we need a lucha libre in SF when we can't even get a grown up version of Sakura? Pandering to the Great American Epidemic again I see. God I want to work for the ICE. Those people do good work.

So mark me down as anticipating SF II HD Remix much much more. Sure I still have to give up the Alpha characters, Sakura included, but at least I get Fei Long, Cammy, Dee Jay, and T Hawk and I get them all with Udon sprites... Udon being the comics company that made the most incredible comic series of SF ever. I'm eager to DESTROY people online with that game, and oh I plan to. I'll be taking the govenors OFF for online play, no more adjusting for people who can't hang for fear of them not playing... I'll have new victims around every corner. I'll be ramping up every skill I have and you can find me on the leaderboards, Bucky. God help Blanka and anyone whose screenname has "taco" or "gonzalez" or some other such s**t in it.

Kakatte koi!!

Further Reflection on the PS3

Well, fresh off of the PS3 praise-a-thon I did a few weeks ago, now I've got an update. The PS3 is dead. Well, ok, not dead, but not fully functional either. Specifically it faisl to recognize any disc inserted into the unit. From what I've read it's a bad laser, a problem thats endemic to the 40g model. A PS3 RROD if you will. In slang I guess you could say it's 'bricked.' Sony is replacing it, fully under warranty of course. I'm a little disappointed, it will take a couple of weeks. I guess my brand new copy of MGS IV is going to have to wait. Good thing I've still got Elite-chan to fall back on.

Election '08

A long time ago I predicted that Obama would never have a chance to win, based on his race and the fact that Bible Belt America just cannot accept a mulatto as President, regardless of his views, his politics, or his actions.

Wow, how nice to realize that the Bible Belt has lost much of it's influence. Obama is NOT my first choice. I voted for Edwards because he represented the change this country needs; against lobbys, against corporations, against the old money. I'm not excited about Obama based on his vague notions of change, but I will come out to vote for him. In Tennessee I may be the only one!

Congratulations Obama. Despite my uneasiness about your crazy preacher I'll support you, even if only because of a lack of other choices. But if you really want to win you'd better tap Edwards as your running mate. You need someone who knows exactly WHAT change we can really believe in.

Guitar Hero: Metallica

Ah Metallica. Once the greatest band ever. In the grand days of the past, before the dark times... before Lars went bats**t.

Metallica began it's slow death with Load. (some would argue The Black Album). Reload was Re-gurgitation. I bought both of them out of loyalty to the band, to the memory of what once was, and for the singles off of the albums that sold the rest of the garbage they started putting out. Then came St. Anger.

I didn't buy St. Anger.

I'm angry about St. Anger. So was Jason Newstead obviously as he left the band before it and refused to take part in it anymore.

Now the announcement: Snare Hero. May as well call it that. If this game really is in the works then either Lars is dead or unaware, or Activision is giving complete control to Herr Ulrich and Metallica will come to own GH. I'm almost positive the snare drum will be turned up so much (like St Anger) that you won't even be able to hear vocals or guitar. (like St Anger)

I'm hopeful, but I'm more hopeful that Lars will get dissentary and die, Jason will return to the band, and James will fall off the wagon and lose Jesus. Then maybe Metallica will rock once again.

Street Fighter IV

First, I'll say I am OLD SCHOOL. That is a hard-core SF from way back in the day. In all sincere honesty, I am the second greatest Street Fighter in the world according to my knowledge. I've never met the best... but I can always hope. That said I am eagerly awaiting SFIV with a little trepidation. It looks crappy. I hate the over CGI'd look. I much prefer the smooth, clean anime look of the Alpha series. However, I welcome the greatest game series in history back to the world stage and with it... multiplayer. For 17 years now I've struggled to find SF fight partners. Sure, there are about 3 people I know personally that will voluntarily play with me. I destroy one (practically every match), dominate the other (he holds steady at 20%), and the third, my longest fight partner, can usually hang with me and take about 45% of the matches. This means in order to get to play PVP I usually have to 'throw' matches and give lots of 'breaks' to my opponents. This not only affects the natural outcome of the match, but it brings my skill level down. Multiplayer will finally allow me to go head to head with other masters around the world, and with ranked matches I can finally test myself against others and take my rightful place, wherever that is be it #1, #2, or #735.

In my opinion setting Street Fighter IV between II and III is not the wisest idea. Firstly III sucked. It didn't suck because of gameplay, although the changes made were not in the least desirable, it sucked because of Gill, Twelve, Necro... ridiculous characters. Like someone took the idea of Blanka, a borderline ridiculous character, and just went hog-wild with it. Not only that but others like Elena and Dudley just plain sucked. Makoto and Sean were the only two new fighters worth a damn and Makoto was largely wasted. SFIV looks to suffer from (lack of) characters as well. With only the World Warriors confirmed (Ryu/Ken/Chun-li/Dhalsim/Zangief/Guile/Honda/Blanka/Sagat/Vega/Bison/Balrog) plus four new fighters; La Fa-gueta Geese-Howard-on-Steroids, The Blob, and Flaming Electropussi (real names forgotten due to lack of care) this title takes a step backwards. Is anyone excited about a masked mexican wrestler who plays like R. Mika? Or a huge fat guy with a long braid? Or Flaming Electropussi? Geese-on-Steroids looks to be the only serious offering among the new fighters. IV has a LOT to live up to. Where are The New Challengers? Where are Fei-Long, Cammy, T. Hawk, and others? What about popular Alpha characters?

SFIV aside, clearly Capcom has a story to tell even if it's out of order, what they SHOULD work on is Street Fighter Online. Imagine this;

A SF game built with Alpha graphics where you can download, through the marketplace, character packs. Start with The World Warriors. Then offer The New Challengers pack, The Alpha pack, SF III and IV packs. SF I pack! Offer characters from other games like The Marvel Pack, Fatal Fury pack, Samurai Shodown pack, Mark of the Garou pack, Art of Fighting pack. Offer stages and fight styles. And also host tournaments and ranked matches where the winner can get free downloads or free characters. Offer special characters like Dark Ken, Evil Ryu, and Super Bison. Offer characters with their original Japanese names. Street Fighter Online should be like an official MUGEN, axe the 1 player storyline and focus on the fighting. Ranked online multiplayer matches to determine who the best fighter regionally and in the world is. Tournaments, titles even. Capcom has proven that they love to repackage and resell, well Street Fighter Online would be great for them, not that I have lots of money to spend but I know I would drop a TON of money on it.

Well, I can always dream can't I? Of course I'll wait for SFIV and keep the hope alive that it won't be like SF III. All the while dreaming of Street Fighter Online and smoking fools left and right. Who knows? Maybe I'll finally meet the world's best. Maybe, just maybe, he's me.