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I just posted Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 reviews. I've had them since last year, but I never got around to posting them on Gamespot. Anyway, I figured I might as well, especially since it has been a while since I did a Gamespot review (over two years!) and because Black 2 and White 2 were the only mainline Pokemon games I hadn't reviewed.

So, for anyone who is interested, here's my review. It's a year old, so excuse some immaturities and tics in my writing compared to now.

Pokemon Black 2

Pokemon White 2

Now onwards to X and Y reviews.

And now I'm 22

It's my birthday! And now I'm 22. I feel absolutely ancient. Wizened. Older than Gandalf. Born in the Stone Age.

But yay. 22. Twenty two.

Yes, it's true

Okay, so first off, let me say, my time away from this place did me wonders. My productivity levels shot up by a factor of, like, seventeen. I actually got sh*t done. It was beautiful, brilliant, liberating. It was wonderful.

Unfortunately, it seems like I love you f*cks. No, not just the ones who left this site with me and went to a better place (to which you are all still invited, by the way, because that's where the bulk of my posting is), but also all the ones left behind. All you lovely, pixel obsessed, Metascore counting, F5 pounding, foilage king declaring retards, I love you all, apparently. It's like an addiction. Like cocaine. Like alcohol. Except at least cocaine and alcohol addictions are exusable. What f*cking reason do I have to be addicted to this place?

But I am. That's what matters. So I'm back. After a full month away, I'm back in action. Except there's a caveat (of course there's a caveat, there's always a caveat): I shall no longer use or be posting from this account.

Why, you ask. Good question, really. I mean, charizard1605's a legend. Like, the one true sheep on the forum. Like, the name commands respect, people sit up and take notice. Hell, it basically means I can do with the forum whatever I want to.

And that's why it's so boring. I'm nearly Level 50 on this account that I've had for seven years now, and I have a post count of over 40000. I've sort of become the de facto Sheep King on System Wars, and people just either agree with me or disagree with me based on who I am without even seeing what I am saying. It's boring.

So, a fresh start. I'm back with a new account. Yes, I'll tell you who the new account is. 'But doesn't that defeat the purpose?' you ask. Of course it doesn't, most people still won't know, only like 50 of you read my blog anyway. So, the new account I shall be posting on, is DropsofJupiter. Be nice and say hi to him. He's kind of a swell guy.

It's nice being Level 5. I can't even post new topics on System Wars right now. It's just fun.

Anyway, I'll be seeing you all around. Just not as charizard. Time to retire the legend. And time to make a new one, while we're at it.

For the final time, charizard1605 out.

I'm leaving Gamespot

I'm slowly phasing myself out of Gamespot. So far, I have continued to stick around because of the quality of the posters on this website, but off late, they share my sentiment that this place has gone down the gutter, and they're all joining me in leaving this place too. By the middle of February, my posting on Gamespot should have ceased completely.

Now, as for PUSH, I will continue to come around and administrate it. If anything comes up, please PM me, because I have set it up so that I will be notified of new PMs to my Gamespot inbox. Any problem on the union, I'll be more than happy to check out.

As before, if you want to stay in touch with me, please add me on Xbox Live, Steam, or PSN. My ID on all three is Pramath1605, and I'll be more than happy to try and keep in touch with you.

Also, as for my posting activities, I have relocated them to a new forum. If you want to, feel free to join us there. You'll find lots of familiar faces there.

Once again, I will continue posting over the next one month, albeit at a subdued rate. In any case, take care, all of you, and I hope you manage to find a way to keep in touch. Cheers.

So I did a cover of Carly Rae Jepsen's Call me Maybe

I made a bet on PUSH: I'd score an A- or an A on my next Science Fiction and the Environment paper, or I would do a cover of Carly Rae Jepsen's Call Me Maybe.

I lost the bet. Obviously. By ONE FRIGGIN POINT. Seriously, I scored an 89/100. B+. BY ONE POINT.

Anyway, that's not the point. The point is I lost. And thus, I must suffer.

Although I must say, I did have a lot of fun doing this.

Without further ado, let me present to you: me singing Call Me Maybe.

Starting Over on PSN and XBL

It's kind of an open secret that I never did have a single XBL or PSN ID for my unified online persona on their online communities. The reasons for this are multiple fold: I did not feel like I would ever need a single account. Playing Xbox games across a number of machines (my brother's, my friend's, my roommate's, and finally my own), I made multiple Gamertags, and was least concerned with building ONE online persona where my friends, achievements, and games would be tracked; I honestly didn't care. Also, I felt, a bit like Nintendo (the company I happen to be so devoted to :P) that it wasn't needed :P That it was a fad which would die out soon.

On the PS3 side, I never owned a PS3. My brother did. My PS3 game playing was all done on his profile, and again, I never bothered to make myself a PSN ID because I couldn't be bothered to make one.

Well, it's about time that changed.

I decided recently to have one unified account on both systems. On Xbox, I would continue with the account that was native to my own machine, and on PSN, I would make a new one with the same name. This means losing all the achievements I earned across multiple profiles on XBL, and it means starting from zero on PSN, but since none of this ever mattered to me, I am okay with it.

So, I'm going to have an XBL and PSN to share with everyone from now on, and it will be the same as my Steam ID: Pramath1605. If you have any of these systems, be sure to add me!

Speaking of starting over, I got my grubby paws on Uncharted 3, and I'm incredibly excited to play it. Uncharted 2 was one of my favorite games of 2009, so that I should like Uncharted 3 seems like a no brainer. I'm currently undergoing an Uncharted marathon, having just finished Uncharted: Drake's Fortune last night. I started Among Thieves then too, and I'm currently still on Chapter 2. I hope to finish it soon, because I'm getting impatient about starting Uncharted 3 now.

On the Xbox side of things, I'm finally going to play Halo: Reach, I think. Halo died for me with 3 and ODST, but people keep telling me to play Reach, so... well, it can't hurt, can it? My Xbox remains my multiplat machine though, with the PS3 being retained for the exclusives.

Finally, on PC, I'm playing SimCity 3000 and Portal, while I'm still playing kid Icarus: Uprising and Mario Kart 7 on the 3DS.

Hope you're all having a good summer!

The Sophomore Slump Exists

(posting in third person suspended for a rare moment of honest communication with everyone)

At the end of my freshman year here at college, I was coming off what I called the 'far and away the best year of my life.' It was so much fun, in more ways than one. The joys of exploring a new culture, and of being fully and truly independent for the first time in my life aside, there was just so much fun to be had. Yes, it was a tumultous time, and there was a lot of turbulence, but it wasfun, and I ended up growing a lot as a person. I made so many friends.

I was convinced my second year would be bigger, better, more epic.

Except that it wasn't. My sophomore year sucked. I'm in my final six weeks- so far, everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong. My grades plummeted, stress came in from all directions, my health suffered, my social life entered a period of unnecesary unpredictability, and pretty much every single thing went wrong. Everything. Like right now, I hate this place. It's like as good as the first year here was, the second year is bad, but twice as much. It was more epic all right, but in an altogether different direction. It makes me have half a mind to not return here, and just give up on it all. I hate this place right now. I hate everything right now. I don't feel like doing anything and I don't care.

I mean... wow, this year sucked. Sophomore year sucks. The sophomore slump exists, and I know it, because I suffered through it just now.

Sorry for unloading this on you all. Just thought I'd like to talk to all of you, and I don't know what I hoped to accomplish... maybe I'll feel better by talking to you about this?

So I just bought a second 3DS...

From Gamestop.

For my brother.

Because it was $20 cheaper, and this would be the best time to buy one. Also because I am clinically insane.

Seriously. What. The. F*ck.

It's an aqua blue 3DS. Bought online, so no tax charged.

My head hurts at the sheer stupidity of this. Also because I haven't slept in over fifty hours.

What's the moral of the story? Don't let me go without sleep for this long. I do stupid things.

How can one game be so good and so bad at the same time?

Five internet points and a cookie for anyone who managed to guess which game I was talking about before they even entered the blog...

Skyward Sword logo

Okay, it's been two months since the game released, which means the honeymoon period is now over. It's been one month since I've been playing the game, which means I've had enough time to go through it exhaustively. And you know what I realized? Skyward Sword is maddening. It's a game riddled with contradictions. It's a title that displays brilliance that can put the best of the best to absolute and utter shame, a game so good and so progressive that it hints at the series' past, when every Zelda game used to be a trendsetter. And simultaneously, Skyward Sword is a game of baby steps, a regressive game desperately clinging to archaic conventions that would have been out of place ten years ago, and certainly have no place being in a modern, AAA blockbuster game like this one.

It is a game that I love beyond measure, and loathe and have nothing but contempt for. A game that I respect for being forward thinking, but hate for being so reluctant to take strides forward. It manages to move Zelda into modernity- but only just.

You know, if I continue this way, I'll only keep on rambling, and I'll end up making about as much sense as Skyward Sword did. So, here's a list of the pros and the cons, the reason why I adore and loathe Skyward Sword so much.


  • Excellent level design.Seriously, from the first dungeon itself, Skyward Sword exhibits the best level design in the series. Until now, A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess have been regarded as the series hallmarks for outstanding level design. Skyward Sword spanks every single one of them, and puts them to shame. Its first dungeons are on par with the later dungeons in all three games, and by the end, Skyward Sword has some of the most mind bogglingly beautiful and intricate level designs ever. The dungeons in this game are masterpieces, and in an era of linear corridor shooters, they stand out as the series' (and therefore the industry's) best.
  • Excellent characterization.The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker have been held in high esteem for their incredible characterization that makes you care about the world you are in and the people that inhabit it.Skyward Sword joins their ranks, with some of the best characterization in the series.
    Now, let's be clear here. Skyward Sword doesnottreat all its characters equal. Some of them, like Groose, Ghirahim and most of all Zelda, have been crafted so lovingly that you'll feel a deep sense of connection to them all when all is said and done. On the other hand, most of the other characters are unidimensional caricatures, and just exist to serve Link's progression.
  • The graphics, music and the presentation.Skyward Sword is a beautiful game. The artstyIe is breathtaking, and the game evokes The Wind Waker, which might just be one of the most beautiful games of all time. The music in the game is similarly beautiful. The game features some of the strongest and best, most memorable tracks of the series, and in a series renowned for its music, that is a big deal. Ballad of the Goddess, Romance, Staff Roll, Skyloft... all of these are songs thatwillstay with you for a very, very long time. The fact that the game features some of the best writing in the series only helps.
    Together, these two elements come together to create a Zelda game that is almost uncharacteristically cinematic, the most cinematic game in the series. For all of Twilight Princess's mainstream trappings, it was outdone in this very crucial regard by Skyward Sword, the unlikeliest of usurpers.
  • The story is best in the series.Especially for series fans, Skyward Sword comes together beautifully in the end, and I contest that there was a singke Zelda fan unmoved at the end as everything falls into place and you finally realize thatthisis the culmination of twenty five years of game epics. It might not be a Bioshock or an Uncharted, but Skyward Sword's story was great.
  • The controls were great... when they worked.I'm currently playing The Wind Waker again, after Skyward Sword It's impossible to adjust to it, no matter what. I'm into the second dungeon, and I've flung my controller three times across already, as I attempted to make Link swing his sword by slashing the controller. There is something naturally intuitive about Skyward Sword's motion controls, which makes it impossible to go back to a regular gamepad for a Zelda game. Skyward Sword might have spoiled me permanently.


  • Awful world design:For a game with level design as great as Skyward Sword's, it sure sucks at crafting a game world. Fragmented, splintered, disjointed, lacking any sort of cohesion, SKyward Sword lacks an overworld and forces upon the player a linear progression that takes away any and all sense of freedom thateveryZelda title has afforded so far. Simply put, you go where the game wants you to go, and nowhere else... and if the game wants you to revisit an old location, tough luck if you don't like it, because you don't have a choice. No overworld means that the sense of scale and scope, that feeling of adventure, is cut down immeasurably, a fact that is furthered by more baffling esign choices such as there being only one true town in the game, there being no day and night system, and more.
  • Broken pacing:It takes four hours and forty five minutes to enter the first dungeon in Skyward Sword, assuming you have not strayed from the path to do some questiing and adventuring of your own (not that you can, the game won't let you). Within those first five hours, the game forces endless tutorials upon you, sets the stage up for its story, builds its characters... and then proceeds to repeat all of that over the next four hours...
    Seriously, Skyward Sword's first five hours are nothing but the same tutorial and set up sections repeatedfive times.You'll be taught to fly, and then thrust into a race to ensure you know how to fly. You'll be forced to learn the dowsing ability, and then be sent onthree dowsing quests, not counting the main dowsing quest you're on anyway,to ensure you know how to do that. You'll be told about Skyloft, it's history, its citizens, Zelda, and your relation to all of them. And then you'll be told again. And again. And again. And again. Stop it already. I get it, I'm not dyslexic, and I have an attention span of more than five seconds, and excellent retention. Stop insulting my intelligence.
  • Awful graphics and bland music:For as good as the artstyIe is, on a technical level, the game's visuals suffer. The game is ambitious, but it is a victim of the system it is on. Jagged ends and blurry textures abound, and the game can look lovingly beautiful and eye bleedingly bad both at the same time, characterizing the overall dichotomy that permeates the entire game.
    Oh, and remember how I said the music is the best in the series? Skyward Sword also holds the distinction for having some of the blandest tracks in the series. WTF, Nintendo?
  • Tutorials:The first time I find a Jelly Blob, the game told me that I found a Jelly Blob, and then proceeded to describe it in excruciating detail. It then proceeded to open my menu screen for me, and show me exactly where I could find it in my inventory. I sat there, braced. Every Zelda game has awful first time tutorials, but they go away with time.
    Well, except for in Skyward Sword. I quit the game, and next time I played, I found another Jelly Blob. And then the game went through theexact same process.Again.
    Every time I quit the game and restarted, it would do this. Every. Single. Time.
    And this isn't even mentioning Fi, who probably thinks that I'm a five year old with an attention deficit, going by how she takes it upon herself to explain that a locked door is in fact, locked and cannot be opened without a key every time I approach a locked door. Yeah, no sh*t Sherlock. How about actually helping me when I'm confronted by this weird ass monster I can't for the life of me figure out how to defeat? No, then you just sit there and watch stoically, possibly laughing at my misery in your head, you sadistiv, sadistiv robotic thing.
  • THE CONTROLS SUCK:This cannot be stressed enough. I love Skyward Sword's swordfighting controls. They nailed them. I can never play a Zelda game if I can't swing my sword again (or I think I can't, I know I will anyway). But damn it, the controls suck for everything else, and they feel tacked on and redundant.
    For instance, flying. What in the world had Nintendo's designers beenonwhen they came up with the controls for flying? Or swimming? Seriously? I mean WTF? And don't even get me with the fact that youliterally have to control Link's fall every time he dives.Or the fact that you have to flail the Wiimote wildly to jump up vines. Or to throw or roll a bomb or a projectile. Or to shake free of webs. Or to balance yourself on a tightrope.
    I could go on. Point is, the controlssuck.Beyond swordfighting, where they shine, there is nothing in this game that motion controls were requiredfor.

Skyward Sword is a game of dichotomies. It's a game that's progressive and regressive at the same time. It's a game that finally drags Zelda screaming, crying, clawing and scratching, into the 21st century, but a game that prides itself on its past. As a celebration of the 25th anniversary for the series, Skyward Sword is the best and worst thing Nintendo could have done.

What about you guys? Did you have a similar experience when you played this mindf*ck of a masterpiece?