Wildcat’s Ten Favorite PS3 Games

The Playstation 3 is my most recent console purchase, and thus far I have had little regret in getting one. There have been a few games that have simply knocked me off my feet in multiple ways. I am not a big fan of some of the “features” this generation has wrought: DRM, DLC, console updating, and abusing the concept of regenerating health. Ultimately though, the games still shine through the concerns, and I’m happy to have played these amazing titles.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Square-Enix/Eidos Monteral)

Color me a bit surprised that I’m hailing the latest Deus Ex the best PS3 game I’ve played thus far, but I really do think it deserves the acclaim. The gameplay is sensational, with the excellent Deus Ex playstyle being updated beautifully. The game’s plot is intriguing and multifaceted, the characters are mostly endearing and fascinating (damn you Sarif), and the level design is splendid. Even the bosses, the one harp most people have had with the game, didn’t really faze me too much. In fact, I really liked three of them (even if one of those had me reeling and restarting it twenty times XD ). So, on the whole, this is my favorite PS3 experience I’ve had the pleasure of playing so far.

Red Dead Redemption (Rockstar/Rockstar San Diego)

Red Dead Redemption is marvelous, it truly is. It makes a GTA style game maintain its enjoyment long after the sandbox thrill wears off. The controls are responsive and rarely wonk (wow, that’s actually a word), the characters and storyline are quite engaging, and the atmosphere is very well done. Having my save erased has been a little detrimental to my overall feelings towards it; it’s such a big game that replaying it to its fullest is a mammoth task I haven’t felt up to revisiting. Still, I treasure the mostly complete first go and have continued to enjoy dabbling in its world in subsequent replays.

Dead Space 2 (EA/Visceral)

Deus Ex is mucking up a lot of things; now I need to rewrite my 2011 Looking Back. XD So, I’m going to copy my comments from there for the purposes of expressing my joys with Dead Space 2. It’s a little longer than the other entries, but I think you can handle it.

Dead Space 2 is the closest any game has gotten to toppling Resident Evil 4 from its 3D action perch, and it was a wonderful, wonderful experience all the way through.  The game improves itself from its prequel on every single level. The gameplay is stellar and features tighter controls, the enemies are more varied and even crazier than the first, the characters exhibit tons of personality and likability (even the twisted ones), the storyline is compelling and not so reliant on Issac to solve any little problem that comes up (the major issue with the first game’s plot), and the level design takes you to some very memorable setpieces, among the best in any game I’ve played (I’ll not forget the daycare any time soon). Not only that, but the terror this series has resurrected into the forefront showcases that a game can do survival horror AND be an action game at the same time.

Batman: Arkham Asylum (Eidos/Warner Bros. Int./Rocksteady)

It’s a really close call between Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. It’s almost razor-thin. What makes me feel more committed to Asylum is the Metroid-style progression. It’s wonderfully implemented here, and I don’t think any game (save Metroid Prime) has as brilliantly duplicated the concept in three dimensions. That’s my sole reason for plopping it ahead of Arkham City. Both have amazing gameplay, stellar voice work and are unbelievably fun.

Batman: Arkham City (Warner Bros. Int./Rocksteady)

See above for my reasoning for Arkham City being below Arkham Asylum. Otherwise, the expanded world, the inclusion of Catwoman, meeting up with more of Batman’s villain roster, and the tightened controls and gameplay make it (arguably) the better game. Both are really stunning examples of software, though, and you can’t go wrong with either of them!

Portal 2 (Valve)

Portal 2 lacked the innovative wow of its predecessor, but is overall the better of the two. The puzzles are cleverer, the humor is on a grander scale, and the diversity of locales gives the game some much needed visual spice. GLaDOS, Wheatley and Cave Johnson make the storyline sing, too. I haven’t tried out the multiplayer, but I would really like to someday!

Bioshock (Take 2/Irrational Games)

I’m not too keen on FPS games, but Bioshock dials into that special zone that manages to click the right switches in my brain to make me happy. Its plasmid variety gave the player plenty of options in terms of combat, and plucky players could manipulate the powers just right to create delightful combo strings. The story was phenomenal, and the art style of this game is perfectly implemented. It’s one of the better FPS games I’ve played, no question.

Rayman Origins (UBI Soft)

Michel Ancel’s return to his Rayman franchise was a glorious one. The animation quality, quirky levels and snappy music all combined to make one hell of a stupendous platformer. It’s a bit tough at times and the controls do on occasion seem out of control, but the overall game is really wondrous.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Sony/Naughty Dog)

Nathan Drake’s adventures initially put me off; before trying out this game, I felt total apathy for the series, and they didn’t appeal to me from what I had heard. Luckily, Grace wanted to give it a go, and once I watched her play through a bit of it, I gave it a try. I’m glad I did! It’s a beautifully well-made game that, despite some platforming problems and a few pacing issues, really won me over.

Dead Space (EA/Visceral)

Despite my misgivings for the original Dead Space in comparison to its superior sequel, at present it is worthy of a spot on my favorite games list. It still delivers a tense nightmare of a world to poke around in, and it has the better boss fights!

Contenders:

Pac Man Championship Edition DX (Namco Bandai)

Mirror’s Edge (EA/DICE)

Resident Evil 5 (Capcom)

Super Street Fighter IV (Capcom)

Wildcat’s Favorite Gaming Soundtracks (2012)

A little bit ago I revised my Top 100 tunes in gaming, and had the thought of deciphering my overall favorite soundtracks as well. I’ve decided to select 50 games to represent the best of the best in terms of gaming music, and here they are. There are no limits on this one, so you’ll see a few franchises well represented here. The Top 15 will be at the top, including links to the individual playlists. The remaining selections will be below and merely listed. All are in alphabetical order. I hope you all like these soundtracks as much as I do!

TOP 15:

Age of Mythology (PC, Microsoft/Ensemble Studios, Stephen Rippy/Kevin McCullan)

Batman (NES, Sunsoft, Naoki Kodaka/Nobuyuki Hara)

Beyond Good & Evil (Multi, UBI Soft, Christophe Héral)

Body Harvest (N64, Midway/DMA Design, Stuart Ross/Allan Walker)

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (DS, Konami, Michiru Yamane/Yuko Koshiro)

Chrono Trigger (SNES, Square-Enix, Yasunori Mitsuda/Nobuo Uemetsu)

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of a Cursed King (PS2, Square-Enix/Level-5, Koichi Sugiyama)

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (DS, CiNG/Nintendo, Yuhki Mori/Satoshi Okubo)

Mega Man 3 (NES, Capcom, Yasuaki Fujita)

Metroid (NES, Nintendo, Hirokazu “Hip” Tanaka)

Okami (PS2, Capcom, Masami Ueda, Hiroshi Yamaguchi, Hiroyuki Hamada, Rei Kondo and Akari Groves)

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (PS2, Atlus, Shoji Meguro)

Skies of Arcadia (DC, Sega/Overworks, Yutaka Minobe/Takayuki Maeda)

Super Mario 64 (N64, Nintendo, Koji Kondo)

Super Metroid (SNES, Nintendo, Kenji Yamamoto/Minako Hamano)

The Rest:

Age of Empires III (PC, Microsoft/Ensemble Studios, Stephen Rippy/Kevin McCullan)
Banjo-Kazooie (N64, Rare/Nintendo, Grant Kirkhope)
A Boy and his Blob (Wii, Majesco/Wayforward, Daniel Sadowski)
Castlevania (NES, Konami, Kinuyo Yamashita)
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS1, Konami, Michiru Yamane)
Contra (NES, Konami, Hidenori Maezawa, Kyouhei Sada, KONAMI KuKeiHa Club)
Deus Ex (PC, Ion Storm/Eidos, Alexander Brandon, Dan Gardopée, Michiel van den Bos, Reeves Gabrels)
Dragon Quest IX (DS, Square-Enix/Level-5, Koichi Sugiyama)
Final Fantasy III (SNES, Square-Enix, Nobuo Uemetsu)
Fire Emblem (GBA, Nintendo/Intelligent Systems, Yuka Tsujiyoko)
Goldeneye 007 (N64, Rare/Nintendo, Graeme Norgate)
Heroes of Might and Magic IV (PC, New World Computing/3DO, Paul Romero, Rob King, Steve Baca, Paul James)
King of Fighters Evolution (NeoGeo, SNK Playmore, NeoGeo Music Performance Group)
Kirby’s Adventure (NES, HAL Labs/Nintendo, Hirokazu Andō/Jun Ishikawa)
Kirby’s Epic Yarn (Wii, HAL Labs/Feel Good/Nintendo, Tomoya Tomita, Hirokazu Andō, Jun Ishikawa)
The Last Blade 2 (NeoGeo, SNK Playmore, NeoGeo Music Performance Group)
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64, Nintendo, Koji Kondo)
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (GC, Nintendo, Koji Kondo, Toru Minegishi, Asuka Ota)
Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals (DS, Neverland/Square-Enix/Natsume, Yasunori Shiono, Tomoko Morita, Yukio Nakajima)
Metroid Prime (GC, Nintendo/Retro Studios, Kenji Yamamoto)
Monster Tale (DS, Majesco/Dreamrift, Ian Stocker)
Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Wii, Vanillaware/Ignition, Hitoshi Sakimoto, Masaharu Iwata, Mitsuhiro Kaneda, Noriyuki Kamikura, Kimihiro Abe, Yoshimi Kudo, Azusa Chiba)
Ogre Battle 64 (N64, Square-Enix/Quest, Hayato Matsuo, Masaharu Iwata, Hitoshi Sakimoto)
Power Blade (NES, Taito/Natsume, Kinuyo Yamashita)
Rayman Origins (Multi, UBI Soft, Christophe Héral/Billy Martin)
Red Dead Redemption (PS3/Xbox 360, Rockstar/Rockstar San Diego, Bill Elm/Woody Jackson)
Secret of Mana (SNES, Square-Enix, Hiroki Kikuta)
Shadow Hearts: From the New World (PS2, Nautilus/Aruze/XSEED, Yoshitaka Hirota/Tomoko Imoto)
Sid Meier’s Pirates! (PC, Firaxis/Take 2, Mark Cromer/Michael Curran)
Silent Hill 3 (PS2, Konami, Akira Yamaoka)
Super Mario Galaxy (Wii, Nintendo, Koji Kondo/Mahito Yokota)
Tales of Symphonia (GC, Namco Bandai, Motoi Sakuraba/Shusaku Uchiyama)
Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii, Monolith Soft/Nintendo, Yoko Shinomura, ACE+, Yasunori Mitsuda, Manami Kiyota)
Zoda’s Revenge: Startropics II (NES, Nintendo, Y. Hirai/T. Kumegawa)

Wildcat’s 100 Favorite Game Tunes (2012)

Last year, I put up 100 tracks from gaming that I absolutely loved. However, as the year has rolled by, I think that I’ve cooled off on some of those songs and fell in love with others I had omitted. With that in mind, I feel that it’s a good time to revisit that idea and update the list. This year’s edition will increase the Top choices to ten. I will continue to operate under the rules set last year by keeping the list diversified through not picking all of, say, Mega Man 3′s soundtrack. Only two tracks per game will be allowed. Youtube clips are provided so you can sample the music, however, I can not constantly update this page with new links as Youtube users or copyright owners shut clips down! I’ve done quite a few Song Highlights on these tunes if you’d like to dig through and read why I like some of these songs. Enjoy!

TOP 10


Mega Man 3, Protoman’s Whistle Concert, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uikEuigprFE


Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Midna’s Lament, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7GWf3e_I3w


Chrono Trigger, Memories of Green, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sr9-OcPLO3M


Beyond Good & Evil, Home Sweet Home, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTdcJWDNsao


Castlevania, Wicked Child, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7PFm7mrdVY

rdr1
Red Dead Redemption, Far Away,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IkvAb6THQY

Okami, Shinshu Plains (1 and 2), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yKG-Qu4WvM

Silent Hill 3, You’re Not Here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz3ufaZCoVw

Secret of Mana, Into the Thick of It, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3N9lrq-rks

Skies of Arcadia, Lower Valua, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlJxG1FmMOU

The Rest:
A Boy and his Blob (Wii), Forest, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC_u7bmVsSc
A Boy and his Blob (Wii), Plains, http://youtu.be/pfmiI9AttYc
Age of Empires III, A Hot Meal, http://youtu.be/jB1R5s3PVEM
Age of Mythology, Suture Self, http://youtu.be/KhvklZT0LMg
Age of Mythology, Chocolate Outline, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBpz9S6I07g
Batman (NES), Stage 1/5, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlGDKfgz4fA
Batman (NES), Stage 3, http://youtu.be/zERK-4IgQAg
Beyond Good & Evil, Hillyan Suite, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p48dpXQixgk
Bionic Commando (NES), Area 1, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hl5UCCBCXI
Bionic Commando (NES), Area 2, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIvcYCbWMfY
Blast Corps., Angel City, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2eRyyj_NCo
Blaster Master, Level 1, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUnwRFMo6D0
Blaster Master, Level 2, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIjIUyXrBJg
Body Harvest, Outdoors (Violin), http://youtu.be/pC41_–XeqQ
Body Harvest, Indoors (piano), http://youtu.be/wURLANzjDLk
Breath of Fire, Deep Forest, http://youtu.be/1iCbSLFrqrU
California Games (NES), Flying Disc, http://youtu.be/5iYMN2FKkoY
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest, Bloody Tears, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjazC45Qkww
Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, Jail of Jewel, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtRdjcXfXsc
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Dracula’s Castle, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgF0uBjCds0
Cave Story, On to Grasstown, http://youtu.be/VlmOhXoKmoQ
Chrono Trigger, Wind Scene (Yearning of Wind), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqZaFDA7PXY
Contra (NES), Level 3, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U58a-svZok8
Deus Ex, Hong Kong Streets 1, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzvw8uSWucM
Diablo, Tristram Village, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8jJJXgNLo4
Dragon Quest IX, Heaven’s Prayer, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myjd1MnZx5Y
Dragon Quest VIII, Strange World, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kN9Up_0zuUs
Dragon Quest VIII, Heavenly Flight, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taVdFgxvhRg
Ducktales, Transylvania, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UuHesrJROw
Final Fantasy, Temple of Fiends, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hW56QbT0lrM
Final Fantasy VI, Terra’s Theme, http://youtu.be/W7RPY-oiDAQ
Fire Emblem (7 in series order), Wind Across the Plains, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFWOvIrBCgc
F-Zero GX, Captain Falcon’s Theme, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-L0pW3Eol6k
Grandia II, Mirumu, http://youtu.be/ZG_oW5XH71Y
Heroes of Might and Magic IV, Swamp Lands, http://youtu.be/Cffc_s0eN5Q
Hotel Dusk: Room 215, The Last Sleep, http://youtu.be/BwdCg8Gqqfk
Jet Grind Radio, Magical Girl, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_h9f939bW3c
Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Butter Building, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfdJbaCfXjQ
Kirby’s Adventure, Ending, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OVKyjZs-nU
The Last Ninja, Stage 1, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiLvoMpLQFA
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Forest Temple, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4o3EMdYaKw
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Spirit Temple, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0PVz2pIEcw
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Kakariko Village, http://youtu.be/LdERRFGaUjY
Mario Kart 64, Credits, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYwZT3CvpMw
Mega Man 2, Air Man, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FINefcN9pPc
Mega Man 3, Snake Man, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EM-Fub7Oc_A
Mega Man 5, Wave Man, http://youtu.be/Nd2O6mbhCLU
Mega Man 6, Flame Man, http://youtu.be/qdWeTin2mho
Mega Man 6, Mr. X stages, http://youtu.be/uhJ7Ss-puVY
Metroid, Ending, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQeUkUp4uRc
Metroid Prime, Phendrana Drifts (second version), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbbUv1hz6mE
Metroid Prime, Tallon Overworld, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mziw3FQkZYg
Monster Tale, Ancient Ruins, http://youtu.be/iQ1D6UJW5Jg
M.U.L.E., Main Theme, http://youtu.be/VI2e-jwjhN4
Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Seifu Meigetsu A, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUF1lkbvoUs
Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Bosyoku Souzen A, http://youtu.be/c9qBwD4bxO8
Ogre Battle 64, Premonition, http://youtu.be/Rel-IOyQTX0
Ogre Battle 64, The Sensational World, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSnlp1YAUJ0
Okami, Reset, http://youtu.be/zpuGNH75pUc
Perfect Dark, Chicago – Stealth, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJbwLjKhVGw
Persona 4, Your Affection, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ChrBp1pEGM
Persona 4, The Almighty, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNVMKpk__HQ
Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations, The Dark Fragrance of Coffee, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxzTrWUajZg
Portal, Still Alive, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6ljFaKRTrI
Portal 2, Want You Gone, http://youtu.be/jBdRaGSI4jU
Power Blade, Level 4 – Tower, http://youtu.be/c-R6Zp3n608
Rayman Origins, Sea of Serendipity – Panic at the Port!, http://youtu.be/5UVPJxSmt54
Rayman Origins, Sea of Serendipity – Lums of the Water (“Glou Glou”), http://youtu.be/oNV2uakCtzs
Secret of Mana, A Wish, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLK8IrYrZxA
Shadow Hearts: From the New World, Dead Fingers Talk, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5clzlxOZQeU
Shadow Hearts: From the New World, Adios, http://youtu.be/-lkRjV7Zp-k
Silent Hill, Silent Hill, http://youtu.be/_EN-_1OGtUY
Silent Hill 2, Laura, http://youtu.be/6LB7LZZGpkw
Silent Hill 3, Breeze ~in monochrome light~, http://youtu.be/OneUwrYiGIw
Skies of Arcadia, Kingdom of Ixa’taka, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0F-hJjD3XAs
Sly 2: Band of Thieves, Dmitri’s Nightclub, http://youtu.be/RCX3tV7lSdk
Sonic CD, Sonic Boom, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJXKoubh9sQ
Super Ghouls and Ghosts, Ice Forest, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4URokdL-dfM
Super Mario 64, Koopa’s (Bowser’s) Road, http://youtu.be/0rygsWPCjNQ
Super Mario 64, Water Course Theme (Dire Dire Docks), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqcPSbkS9TQ
Super Mario Galaxy, Gusty Garden Galaxy, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-z2kxFCQ_mQ
Super Metroid, Maradia, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxobPQMNY_w
Super Metroid, Brinstar (Plant Overgrown), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ULlqfeNLWY
Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Bramble Blast, http://youtu.be/G3rnyqI7dFc
Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Metroid Theme, http://youtu.be/3MRznLSFGFQ
Tales of Symphonia, Like a Glint of Light, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFWadiZkA_8
Xenoblade Chronicles, Guar Plains, http://youtu.be/xweRl4LZlmo
Xenoblade Chronicles, Title Theme, http://youtu.be/nNR-wsFAfiU
Zoda’s Revenge: Startropics II, Dungeon Theme #2, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pF-30Dg9Xs4
Zoda’s Revenge: Startropics II, Dungeon Theme #6, http://youtu.be/22ATqffTkIk

 

Dropped from last year:
Banjo-Kazooie, Click Clock Wood (spring)
Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, Aquarius
Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, Hail from the Past
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Crystal Teardrops
Contra (NES), Level 1
Donkey Kong Country, Theme (Simian Segue)
Dragon Quest IX, I Won’t Lose
Grandia II, Carbo
Hotel Dusk: Room 215, Big Dreams
Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Outer Rings
Legend of Zelda, Death Mountain (Final Dungeon)
Mega Man 2, Wood Man
Mega Man 5, Charge Man
Persona 4, Reach out to the Truth
Resident Evil 4, Sorrow
Super Mario Galaxy 2, The Tico and the Hat
Super Mario RPG, And My Name’s Booster
Tales of Symphonia, Dry Trail

Modified on 12/26/2012, JF

Sacrificed – Avatars and Gametime That I’ve Lost

I recently listened to the latest Game On Girl short, where Rhonda discusses the loss of her Mass Effect 3 save data and the death of her avatar Smokey Shepard by a PS3 malfunction. It left her dispirited, and she’s trying to figure out what exactly she’s going to do next in terms of a Mass Effect replay. While listening, I remembered I’ve had a few similar situations happen to me. Not all of them were original characters, but that doesn’t make the heartbreak of losing hours and hours of playtime any less powerful.

Skies of Arcadia (DC)
Reason I Couldn’t Go On: Disc Loading Errors on Disc 2
Time Lost: Approx. 50 hours

Yes, Skies of Arcadia, one of my favorite games of all time, pulled a nasty trick on me. Sega accidentally manufactured several of their Dreamcast SoA discs (the second one in particular) with a small film stuck to the bottom. At some point, the film would mess up the ability to read the disc correctly, making it impossible to proceed without some drastic measures. A solution I’ve heard is to dip the disc in boiling water for a second or so, then pull it out and see if you can peel off the film. If it comes off, and you didn’t cook the disc for too long, it ought to work perfectly. However, I didn’t really feel like doing that myself. I was afraid it wouldn’t work! Vyse, Aika, Fina and company are by no means mine, but I bonded with them so much that they felt like they were good friends that I had to separate from involuntarily. I left a game I was adoring aside for a year or two until the Gamecube director’s cut came out, which I did beat. Another 60 or so hours had to go into it, but luckily I found Skies to be absolutely worth it.

Skyrim (PS3)
Reason I Couldn’t Go On: Afraid of a PS3 Malfunction/Death
Approx. Hours Lost: 120 or so

Man, Skyrim was such a gutwrenching decision to sell. I regret it to this day! Alas, I just can’t justify keeping a game that can corrupt my console. The more Grace and I played Skyrim, the weirder its programming seemed to fall apart from the seams. The patches fixed some issues yet created whole new problems arguably worse than before. When we both gave up on our characters, we could maybe play the game for 5 to 10 minutes at a time before it froze or sputtered to the point of being unplayable. Now, both of us put in dozens upon dozens of hours into our individual quests. I had developed Karah anew from Morrowind, adapting her descendant into her own and discovering new ideas on how to further craft her Black Blood original. When I play an Elder Scrolls game, I take on a mentality of the character, and try to live as them. Make decisions they would make, not what I would make, and so on. Abandoning her was a horrible necessity to keep my PS3 safe. I am praying Bethesda fixes the issues and gets a GotY edition out soon, because I want to return to the world and continue taking Karah in new directions.

Final Fantasy (NES)
Reason I Couldn’t Go On: Cartridge Save Battery Formatted
Hours Lost: Probably 30

This was the very first experience of losing save data I had. I was about 14 or so when I finally got Final Fantasy for the NES, so I wanted to give the progenitor to the mighty franchise a playthrough. While the characters were templates and I couldn’t alter them at all, I gave their blank slates mild personalities so that I could relate to them a little better. I marched my way all the way through the game over a couple of weeks, knocking on Chaos’ door. I lost the fight, but I knew I could give him his comeuppance next time, so I shut off the NES and went off to do something else. The next time I turned the game on…the save was MIA. I don’t know if I failed to hold Reset when I shut it off or if the battery simply died, but my progress was erased either way. To be honest, I’ve never touched the game again. I sold it off out of frustration a few years back (yet I don’t remember doing that…). I may buy the game on the Virtual Console. At least that way I can back it up!

Red Dead Redemption (PS3)
Reason I Couldn’t Go On: Accidental Save Overwrite by Grace
Approx. Hours Lost: 60 or 70?

It happens to us all at some point, I have to imagine. It’s so easy to overlook what save slot you’re using, write over something you didn’t mean to, and then realize the mistake the next time you start it up. Well, when you’re in a relationship with someone who also likes games, that chance doubles. I’ve done it to Grace with Persona 4, she did it to me with Red Dead Redemption. Both of us had made considerable progress in our respective games. I don’t know how Grace feels about P4, since she did beat it from an earlier save of mine, but RDR still hurts me. I had done everything save beat one or two side quests and beat the game with John. I did all the ambient quests, I earned the majority of the game’s goodies, and I had the thrill of seeing the entire scope of the game’s wide country and knew it well. Alas, Grace mistakenly wrote over my file, and I was grounded back to square one. It’s a massive game, and to properly conquer it again would be such a commitment that I haven’t felt like trying again yet. John may not be my character, but he acted the way I wanted him to, and losing him stung. It still does.

Pool of Radiance (C64)
Reason I Couldn’t Go On: Accidental Formatting of a Key Gameplay Disc
Hours Lost: 30 or more

Pool of Radiance, along with The Bard’s Tale games, gave me my first taste of Western RPG philosophies, and I devoted a lot of time into throwing my pre-Black Blood designs into them. I learned a lot about gameplay design from them both! Unfortunately, I made a fatal error of judgment regarding Pool of Radiance. I had finally gotten a decent party together, and was making the most progress in the Slums that I had yet accomplished. The game had several discs of data to pull its wealth of gaming from, and often asked to switch them around to continue doing something. Well, somehow or another I pulled out a key disc without realizing that the disc drive was still reading it, and the disc became corrupted. Being ignorant of what formatting exactly meant, I attempted to do that when prompted, which made that disc useless. My questing had to cease in Pool of Radiance, and it was a big loss for me. I tried to get back into it through a PC compilation, but it sped up the combat so much that it wasn’t the same game for me. *sigh*

The Bard’s Tale (series)
Reason I Couldn’t Go On: The Commodore 64 died
Hours Lost: In total, 40+ Hours

Black Blood owes everything to The Bard’s Tale. It’s where my crazy idea of a fantasy-based universe came from. I really enjoyed the games, finding the latter two more intriguing. I spent a lot of time fiddling around with my party, recruiting a couple of high level allies from the prior owner’s character discs, and having them teach my rookies the ropes. I never got very far. Alas, my Commodore 64 kicked the bucket in 2005, not long after I moved to our current living establishment. I still have the discs as mementos, but I doubt I’ll ever revisit the worlds of Skara Brae and The Realm any time soon.

So, those are a sampling of some of my losses in gaming. Have any of you experienced anything as drastic as Rhonda or I? Feel free to comment!

Stripping Away Silence: E3 2012 – Are We “Mature” Enough Yet?

Welcome to the first of my editorials on E3 2012. One thing I’ve noticed this year is the overabundance of “mature” games that proliferated many of the conferences this year. By “mature” I mean insanely profane, saturated with blood, or pulling the nudity card. In terms of violence, Jeremy Parish also touches on this over at 1UP. I certainly agree with some of his points. However, I wanted to flesh out my own thoughts on this notable increase in violence, profanity and nudity and make an attempt to figure out how exactly I feel about this focus. Due to the amount of clips and the subject matter, I’ll force a jump. There be some violence/sex/language advisories, that there be! (more…)

Song Highlights – Red Dead Redemption, Final Fantasy VI, Resident Evil 2, Monster Tale

Red Dead Redemption – Triggernometry (PS3/Xbox 360, Rockstar, Bill Elm and Woody Jackson)

This is a pulsing, riveting song that smacked me sideways when I listened to it out-of-game.  Definitely one of the best songs from a stellar soundtrack.

Final Fantasy VI – Terra (SNES, Square-Enix, Nobuo Uematsu)

Have I gone this long without giving Uematsu any sort of props?  *facepalm*  Well, I’m remedying that now with what song struck me the most from my playtime in FF6 thus far (man, more games I need to finish…).  A wonderful overworld theme, that’s for sure.

Resident Evil 2 – Escape from Laboratory (N64/PS1, Capcom, Masami Ueda, Shun Nishigaki, Shusaku Uchiyama)

Tense, tense stuff to dash through a self-destructing Umbrella zombie lab to.  An incredible tune, that this is.

Monster Tale – Ancient Ruins (DS, Majesco/Dreamrift, Ian Stocker)

Monster Tale is a charming little game, and its soundtrack stands tall as one of the best for the DS.  Ancient Ruins happens to be my favorite of the bunch, and gives a good impression of how solid Stocker’s work was.

Wildcat’s 100 Favorite Game Tunes (2011)

Kurt Kalata over at Hardcore Gaming 101 is running a poll to determine what video gaming tunage is most liked among the forum and blog there, and I decided to participate and compile my favorites.  I’ve done quite a few Song Highlights on these tunes, and will be doing plenty more in the near future spotlighting them and providing some explanation, but here’s my list (with Youtube links to sample the song – hopefully they all work!):

TOP 5


Mega Man 3, Protoman’s Whistle Concert, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uikEuigprFE


Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Midna’s Lament, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7GWf3e_I3w


Chrono Trigger, Memories of Green, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sr9-OcPLO3M


Beyond Good & Evil, Home Sweet Home, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTdcJWDNsao


Castlevania, Wicked Child, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7PFm7mrdVY

The Rest:
A Boy and his Blob (Wii), Forest, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SC_u7bmVsSc
A Boy and his Blob (Wii), Plains, http://youtu.be/pfmiI9AttYc
Age of Mythology, Suture Self, http://youtu.be/KhvklZT0LMg
Age of Mythology, Chocolate Outline, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBpz9S6I07g
Banjo-Kazooie, Click Clock Wood (spring), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXoaTcf_3vo
Batman (NES), Stage 1/5, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlGDKfgz4fA
Batman (NES), Stage 3, http://youtu.be/zERK-4IgQAg
Beyond Good & Evil, Hillyan Suite, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p48dpXQixgk
Bionic Commando (NES), Area 1, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hl5UCCBCXI
Bionic Commando (NES), Area 2, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIvcYCbWMfY
Blaster Master, Level 1, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUnwRFMo6D0
Blaster Master, Level 2, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIjIUyXrBJg
Body Harvest, Outdoors (Violin), http://youtu.be/pC41_–XeqQ
Body Harvest, Indoors (piano), http://youtu.be/wURLANzjDLk
Breath of Fire, Deep Forest, http://youtu.be/1iCbSLFrqrU
California Games (NES), Flying Disc, http://youtu.be/5iYMN2FKkoY
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest, Bloody Tears, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjazC45Qkww
Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, Aquarius, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MORo75YOHWs
Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, Hail from the Past, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fg1PDaOnU2Q
Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, Jail of Jewel, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtRdjcXfXsc
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Dracula’s Castle, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgF0uBjCds0
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Crystal Teardrops, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWwJEQt90qk
Chrono Trigger, Wind Scene (Yearning of Wind), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqZaFDA7PXY
Contra (NES), Level 1, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UqXbEwqwF8
Contra (NES), Level 3, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U58a-svZok8
Deus Ex, Hong Kong Streets 1, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzvw8uSWucM
Diablo, Tristram Village, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8jJJXgNLo4
Donkey Kong Country, Theme (Simian Segue), http://youtu.be/nLT1-5laF0A
Dragon Quest IX, Heaven’s Prayer, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myjd1MnZx5Y
Dragon Quest IX, I Won’t Lose, http://youtu.be/aycArJW4klo
Dragon Quest VIII, Strange World, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kN9Up_0zuUs
Dragon Quest VIII, Heavenly Flight, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taVdFgxvhRg
Ducktales, Transylvania, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UuHesrJROw
Fire Emblem (7 in series order), Wind Across the Plains, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFWOvIrBCgc
F-Zero GX, Captain Falcon’s Theme, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-L0pW3Eol6k
Grandia II, Carbo, http://youtu.be/1XqprRUVSJo
Grandia II, Mirumu, http://youtu.be/ZG_oW5XH71Y
Hotel Dusk: Room 215, Big Dreams, http://youtu.be/cgy5_a9fx4g
Hotel Dusk: Room 215, The Last Sleep, http://youtu.be/BwdCg8Gqqfk
Jet Grind Radio, Magical Girl, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_h9f939bW3c
Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Outer Rings, http://youtu.be/y3DAHtoitXY
Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Butter Building, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfdJbaCfXjQ
Kirby’s Adventure, Ending, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OVKyjZs-nU
The Last Ninja, Stage 1, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiLvoMpLQFA
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Forest Temple, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4o3EMdYaKw
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Spirit Temple, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0PVz2pIEcw
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Kakariko Village, http://youtu.be/LdERRFGaUjY
Legend of Zelda, Death Mountain (Final Dungeon), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_NPA7caCsc
Mario Kart 64, Credits, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYwZT3CvpMw
Mega Man 2, Air Man, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FINefcN9pPc
Mega Man 2, Wood Man, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbK2uCp4-sQ
Mega Man 3, Snake Man, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EM-Fub7Oc_A
Mega Man 5, Wave Man, http://youtu.be/Nd2O6mbhCLU
Mega Man 5, Charge Man, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PEukLWNKsg
Mega Man 6, Flame Man, http://youtu.be/qdWeTin2mho
Mega Man 6, Mr. X stages, http://youtu.be/uhJ7Ss-puVY
Metroid, Ending, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQeUkUp4uRc
Metroid Prime, Phendrana Drifts (second version), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbbUv1hz6mE
Metroid Prime, Tallon Overworld, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mziw3FQkZYg
Monster Tale, Ancient Ruins, http://youtu.be/iQ1D6UJW5Jg
MULE, Main Theme, http://youtu.be/VI2e-jwjhN4
Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Seifu Meigetsu A, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUF1lkbvoUs
Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Bosyoku Souzen A, http://youtu.be/c9qBwD4bxO8
Ogre Battle 64, Premonition, http://youtu.be/Rel-IOyQTX0
Ogre Battle 64, The Sensational World, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSnlp1YAUJ0
Okami, Shinshu Plains (1 and 2), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yKG-Qu4WvM
Okami, Hanasaki Valley, http://youtu.be/EtKh1Uac2Og
Perfect Dark, Chicago – Stealth, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJbwLjKhVGw
Persona 4, Your Affection, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ChrBp1pEGM
Persona 4, The Almighty, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNVMKpk__HQ
Persona 4, Reach out to the Truth, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzFl6sWHmXI
Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations, The Dark Fragrance of Coffee, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxzTrWUajZg
Portal, Still Alive, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6ljFaKRTrI
Red Dead Redemption, Far Away, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IkvAb6THQY
Resident Evil 4, Sorrow (end credits), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0k4kGkH6Bk
Secret of Mana, A Wish, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLK8IrYrZxA
Secret of Mana, Into the Thick of It, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3N9lrq-rks
Shadow Hearts: From the New World, Dead Fingers Talk, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5clzlxOZQeU
Shadow Hearts: From the New World, Adios, http://youtu.be/-lkRjV7Zp-k
Skies of Arcadia, Kingdom of Ixa’taka, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0F-hJjD3XAs
Skies of Arcadia, Lower Valua, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlJxG1FmMOU
Silent Hill 3, You’re Not Here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz3ufaZCoVw
Sonic CD, Sonic Boom, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJXKoubh9sQ
Super Ghouls and Ghosts, Ice Forest, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4URokdL-dfM
Super Mario 64, Koopa’s (Bowser’s) Road, http://youtu.be/0rygsWPCjNQ
Super Mario 64, Water Course Theme (Dire Dire Docks), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqcPSbkS9TQ
Super Mario Galaxy, Gusty Garden Galaxy, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-z2kxFCQ_mQ
Super Mario Galaxy 2, The Tico and the Hat, http://youtu.be/Xev0rnBJIzA
Super Mario RPG, And My Name’s Booster, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJoGF1oLd0o
Super Metroid, Maradia, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxobPQMNY_w
Super Metroid, Brinstar (Plant Overgrown), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ULlqfeNLWY
Tales of Symphonia, Like a Glint of Light, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFWadiZkA_8
Tales of Symphonia, Dry Trail, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvnAkAQK82E
Zoda’s Revenge: Startropics II, Dungeon Theme #2, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pF-30Dg9Xs4
Zoda’s Revenge: Startropics II, Dungeon Theme #6, http://youtu.be/22ATqffTkIk

Awesome Enemy Encounters – Cougars (Red Dead Redemption) and Mother Brain (Super Metroid)

There be some spoilerin’ in this here post, so beware me hardies. (more…)

Awesome Enemy Encounters – Edgar Ross and Phanto

Warning – Spoilers aplenty await for Red Dead Redemption – it’s a brilliant narrative, so I advise holding off reading this until you’ve played the game.
(more…)

Song Highlights: Red Dead Redemption, Jet Grind Radio, Silent Hill 3, Animal Crossing

Some tunes with vocals today.  There’s some spoilers ahead! (more…)

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