Old Cartoons and Their Video Games: Part #1

MAY ISSUE: POST #31

After video games, cartoons are my next passion. Or animated media in general. I think animation is so imaginative and creative, and there are so many different styles and unique artists out there to look out for. I remember growing up with all the old Cartoon Network shows, and I still love them to death today. I personally am starting to collect VHS tapes, and I would love to own some cartoons on VHS one day as well. Then, oh boy, I could have a proper nostalgic evening.

Therefore, today’s post will be about cartoons that aired around the 90s and the video games that were produced along with them. Whether they were good or not, well that’s another question, but it’s still so much fun to be able to step into the shoes of your favourite characters.

I could probably make a series of posts called ‘A Blast from the Past!’ I mean, I’d enjoy it for sure, and I’d hope that you would enjoy reading too. But anyway, enough of my ideas, let’s get onto this post in particular.

SpongeBob SquarePants

SpongeBob definitely has a lot of video games that you can collect if you so wish. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that Spongebob’s first appearance in a video game was in Nicktoons Racingand after that he started to appear in his own games such as SpongeBob SquarePants: Legend of the Lost Spatula, SBSP: SuperSponge, SBSP: Revenge of the Flying Dutchman, SBSP: Battle for Bikini Bottom, SBSP: Lights, Camera, Pants! and much more.

The most recent release, which I own and have earned 100% trophies for is called SpongeBob HeroPants, and it’s safe to say, that the video games have slightly decreased in quality. While the gameplay was fun for a while and it is a nice light-hearted title, I really thought the graphics could’ve been a tad more up to scratch. Plus there were a few bugs. Whether there’ll be more video game releases in the future, I don’t know. But I’d love to see a modern SpongeBob game with a lot of love put into it.

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SpongeBob SquarePants: The Movie 

The Simpsons 

The Simpsons has many great (and not so great) video games and old retro arcade titles, and I for one would collect them all. It’s not surprising that the longest-running American sitcom and animated program has had many video games over the years. To be honest, I really love the look of one of the earliest games, imaginatively called The Simpsons, which was a beat ’em up Arcade game ported to the Commodore 64 and MS-DOS. I’m just going to leave a couple pictures here for you to drool over.

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The other first few games mainly featured Bart, with Bart vs. the Space Mutants, Bart’s House of Weirdness, Bart Simpson’s Escape from Camp Deadly, Bart vs. the World, Bart vs. the Juggernauts and quite a lot more leading up to the late 90s. After that, we were blessed with releases such as Krusty’s Fun House, The Itchy & Scratchy Game, The Simpsons Road Rage, The Simpsons: Hit & Run and The Simpsons Game.  Unfortunately, the most recent game we have is only on IOS, although Tapped Out isn’t bad at all. I would love to see an HD release or remake of some of the PS2 titles, or a new game altogether. I’m sure they could conjure up something really amazing if they went the right way about it. I’ll pray every night onto my pillow until the day comes.

 

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The Simpsons: Skateboarding

 

Rugrats

The next set of games is actually from a series which I don’t remember much of, which is crazy. I know I watched it a little growing up, but I don’t have many memories of it, which is a shame. I really want to watch it properly at some point though, because it would still have that nostalgic feeling attached to it.

There were surprisingly a lot of video games based on the series, on a number of different consoles. The first game was called Rugrats: Search for Reptar which was released on the PS1. Games that followed included Rugrats: Scavenger Hunt, Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, Rugrats Totally Angelica, Rugrats Go Wild, Rugrats: Royal Ransom and Rugrats: Time Travelers. 

Of course, the Rugrats have been in other games too such as Nicktoons Racing and Nickelodeon Party Blast. I do own the disc of one Rugrats game on PS1, but apart from that, I don’t have much knowledge of the series. But, that’s all about to change in due time. Soon, I’m going to be a master of old cartoons and the Rugrats. I will have power.

 

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Rugrats: Studio Tour (I know, this picture is terrifying.)

The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

I love this show so much. I actually only started watching it a few years ago, but better late than never right? You have to love a show that has a kid who’s a genius, with some stupid friends to contrast with him perfectly.

A personal goal of mine is to own more Jimmy Neutron games, and frankly, there aren’t actually too many, so it shouldn’t take too long. The video games released include The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius: Attack of the Twonkies, TAOJNBG: Jet Fusion, Jimmy Neutron vs. Jimmy Negatron and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. Jimmy Neutron has of course also starred in a lot of Nickelodeon games too, such as Nickelodeon Party Blast, Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots and Nicktoons: Freeze Frame Frenzy. Of course, those three titles feature a lot of great Nickelodeon shows and characters, including the aforementioned SpongeBobThere’s also the game Nicktoons Unite! which I personally own on PS2 and can’t wait to beat, since it seems really fun. You can’t go wrong with starting up games like this every now and then, it really makes a difference from other modern games released recently, and I think that’s a good thing. Plus, who doesn’t love some good ol’ nostalgia?

 

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Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

 

 

The Powerpuff Girls

Last but not least on this list, is the great show that is The Powerpuff Girls. I don’t own any games based on The Powerpuff Girls series, and it makes me pretty darn sad. But, hopefully, soon I can pick some up.

The first game to come out was The Powerpuff Girls: Bad Mojo Jojo, and the next game was TPG: Paint the Townsville, which were both of the Game Boy Colour. Games after that included TPG: Battle HIM, TPG: Mojo Jojo A-Go-Go, and TPG: HIM and Seek. On console, there were the titles TPG: Chemical X-traction and TPG: Relish Rampage. Again, I don’t own any of these games and I’m not really sure how they were received, but coming from someone who loved Cartoon Network and who wants to own every game on this list, I don’t think you could go wrong.

 

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The Powerpuff Girls: Mojo Jojo A-Go-Go

 

So there we have it! I really do enjoy experiencing a blast from the past, and I think now, I’m going to go ahead and play some retro video games to end my day.

What was your favourite video game based on a cartoon? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

 

The Beaten Diaries #12: The Voices Behind Uncharted 4

MAY ISSUE: POST #29

The second game that I beat in 2017 was Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. In my opinion, it was a good addition to the series, but not my absolute favourite. The graphics were stunning and, of course, the voice acting was still as great as ever.

A few posts ago I wrote about the first Uncharted game as I beat that near the end of 2016 in preparation for the fourth (and don’t worry, I’ve beaten the second and third before too). The charm of Nate and all the other characters (especially Nate) has stuck with me for a long time. Those characters are hardly forgettable, and any game from the Uncharted series is a joy to play (if you enjoy the genre that is. And gaming in general. But who doesn’t love gaming?)

Uncharted 4 follows the events of Uncharted 3, and Drake has finally managed to settle down with his wife Elena (yes, I squealed when I realised that they had gotten married). However, while Drake is missing the life of adventure, excitement and nearly getting killed, his ‘supposed to be deceased brother’ shows up at the door, explaining that he needs to find some treasure and so off they trot to do that. I must mention that the game has a lot of cool parts in it though, like playing Crash Bandicoot in-game with Elena and being able to play as Drake and his brother, Sam, as kids. The game took me nearly 20 hours to beat because I like to take risks and I was playing on hard mode.

This post, however, is going to be about the voice actors (who were the motion capture actors too, which is exciting). I haven’t written a post about voice actors yet, and it’s about time I did. So let’s get to it.

Nolan North

Born: October 31st, 1970 (oooh, spooky!)
Links: Twitter

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Nolan North is one of my favourite voice actors ever, and not just because he voices Nathan Drake (and does an exquisite job of it), no, it’s because he voices so many great characters and has an awesome history of voice acting.

First, he majored in journalism and then worked as a reporter for almost a year before moving on to pursue comedy and acting, although, obviously, in the end, he stuck with voice-acting. His voice has appeared in animated shows such as The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Ben 10, Regular Show, DreamWorks Dragons, Clarence, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness and Rick and Morty. Even if it’s just additional voices, he has quite the resume.

The main work I want o to talk about his is voice performance work in video games. He has provided his voice and talent for games such as EverQuest II, Guild Wars, Gun, Saints Row, Yakuza, Assassin’s Creed, Final Fantasy XIII and XIV and, of course, the Uncharted series. To be honest, it has gotten to the point where I’m playing a game and I’m like ‘is that Nolan North?’ because I hear him all the time. Even when it isn’t him. His voice is just something I remember (I’m getting creepier by the day).

Emily Rose

Born: February 2nd, 1981

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Now moving onto my next favourite character (although a lot of them are my favourites). Emly Rose voices Elena Fisher in the Uncharted series, but also has taken part in other notable works too, but mainly in television.

She graduated with a degree in Acting from UCLA, and then graduated again, but with a degree in Theater Arts, so she’s already worked harder than I ever have.. She’s appeared in many television series including ER, Two and a Half Men, Ghost Whisperer, Graceland, and Haven (as the main role).

I personally really think that she fits the voice of Elena perfectly. Elena is strong yet gentle, and you can tell that she and Nate fit together like two peas in a pod.

Richard McGonagle

Born: October 22nd, 1946

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Richard McGonagle has one of those filmography lists on Wikipedia that makes it almost impossible to choose what to showcase. He has been in so much stuff that it’s ridiculous (or, more so, a blessing). In the Uncharted series, he voices Victor Sullivan, one of Drake’s closest friends and the guy who also acts as his father figure. I’m so happy that he appeared in all of the games, I honestly love him to bits (along with Drake. I love everyone, okay.)

He has appeared in TV shows and cartoons such as Animaniacs, Chowder, The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, Regular Show, Pinky and the Brain and also in an episode of Seinfeld.

Again, he captures the role of Sully perfectly and I can imagine the way he acts and talks in my head pretty easily. And also, he looks adorable. Yes, I just called an old man adorable.

Troy Baker

Born: April 1st, 1976 (what a joke)
Links: Twitter

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I’m actually pretty excited to write about Troy Baker too since he voiced a few of my favourite characters from other games (Booker DeWitt) as well as Drake’s brother, Sam, in Uncharted. He’s also done a lot of voices for anime so a lot of you anime loving readers will be happy as well.

Speaking of anime though, he has provided voices in Fullmetal Alchemist, Peach Girl, Naruto, One Peace, BLeach, Code Geass, Soul Eater and one of my favourites, Eden of the East. So, you know, not many popular anime shows at all.

In terms of other animation, he has taken part in Regular Show (which keep popping up, if you haven’t noticed), Generator Rex, Monster High, and Clarence, and as for video games, well, there’s a long list here, and I mean a long ass list. I mean, even his twitter bio says “don’t worry, I think I’m in too many games, too.” Why yes, Troy Baker, yes you are. I don’t even know what to mention really, but I’ll try my best. He’s been in Tales of Vesperia, Persona 4, Prototype, Darksiers, Final Fantasy XIIIXIII-2  and Lightning Returns (wait, he voiced Snow?! Well,blow me down.)Fable III, Catherine (he did Vincent too?! Wow, I really need to observe better), Saints Row: The Third and IV, Binary Domain, Diablo III, Skylanders, Tales from the Borderlands, The Last of Us and finally, God of War, which I’m sure you’re all very exted to hear me mention.

But my word, seriously, who wouldn’t hire him after all of that? It’s inhumane.

Warren Kole

Born: September 23rd, 1977

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Warren Kole studied acting at Boston University which lead to his start in performing in local theater productions. His film debut was A Love Song for Bobby Long, next to some pretty highly acclaimed actors and actresses.

Now, his list isn’t as long as Troy Baker’s (in fact, I don’t think anyone’s is) but he has been in a few films and television shows, including The Avengers, CSI: Miami, Cold Case, Rizzoli & Isles and Stalker. He clearly likes to act in crime dramas.

He voiced Rafe in Uncharted 4 and for that being his only voice-acting role, I think he did a great job. Considering that Rafe is a bitter and mean guy, I think it would be very hard to provide a voice for him, and Warren Kole provides it for us really well.

Laura Bailey

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Laura Bailey felt inspired early on in her life, making her attend a theatre program in Texas, where she participated in many productions. Someone spotted her during one of these performances and invited her to audition for Dragon Ball Z, where she got the role as KidTrunks. Afer working at Funimation for a while, she moved onto some other shows and has built up a pretty decent resume.

Since Dragon Ball Z, she has provided voices for other anime, such as Fruits Basket, Fullmetal Alchemist, Gunslinger Girl, School Rumble, Naruto, Shin-Chan, K-On! and Soul Eater. She’s also taken part in a few more animated shows such as Monster High, Winx Club, Ultimate Spider-Man and, of course, Regular Show. Why is Regular Show so popular among the Uncharted crew? Well, it is a great show so I can’t blame them for taking part.

In terms of video games, she’s had a great time with those too, voicing for creations such as BloodRayne, Klonoa, League of Legends, Nier, Valkyria Chronicles, Street Fighter IV, and Tales of Vesperia and Persona 4, much like Troy Baker. And, also, much to my surprise, she voiced Serah Faron, the partner of Snow in Final Fantasy XIII etc. AND Catherine in CatherineAND Lady Comstock in Bioshock InfiniteHonestly, the list goes on (just take a look back to Troy Baker for a moment. Small world). 

And finally, even though she only appeared in the multiplayer mode in Uncharted 4, I thought I’d include her anyway since she’s definitely a main role in the series.

Claudia Black

Born: 11th October 1972

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One of the main things I read about Claudia Black is that she has lived for extensive periods in Australia, New Zealand, Spain, the UK (woo!), Canada and the USA- and that’s really darn awesome.

OF course, the work she has done over her life is awesome too, as she has been in films, television and, of course, video games, which are the best. She has been in TV shows such as A Country Practice, City Life, Farscape, Stargate SG-1 and Rick and Morty.

Apart from voicing the badass Chloe Frazer in the Uncharted series, she has also taken part in Crysis, Dragon Age: Origins and Inquisition (Morrigan, yay!), Mass Effect 2 and 3Destiny, Rage, and Gears of War 3 and 4.

I actually really like her voice and even though I didn’t like the character Chloe too much, to begin with, I warmed up to her. I really can’t way to try out Uncharted: The Lost Legacy one day, because who doesn’t want to play as two badass females from Naughty Dog? I know I want to.

And there we have it! Those are some of the main voice actors in the Uncharted series, and I was very happy to finally write a post about the people who talk in video games, because they’re really important too.

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

 

The Beaten Diaries #11: The Evolution of Lara Croft

MAY ISSUE: POST #28

I am so excited to be writing a post on Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider games. I love her so much and, of course, the games as well. As a character though, she is definitely the one that has inspired me the most. I always wanted to be strong and badass like her (and that is still my goal, to be honest. At the moment, I’m as weak and wimpy as you can get).

On Christmas day 2016, I received a PS4, and along with it Uncharted 4 and Rise of the Tomb Raider. I personally started up Rise of the Tomb Raider first, and I was absolutely blown away by the graphics. I have no idea how long the game took me to beat (darn the games that don’t have a time counter) but I did get around 67% done overall, obtaining 30% trophies in the process (which actually, isn’t that great. I must go back and get more).

Rise of the Tomb Raider is an action-adventure video game which was developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix. Released in 2015, it follows the story of Lara (naturally) who uncovers an ancient mystery (unsurprisingly) which places her against the Trinity, a mean mean organisation. She knows that she must reach the secrets in the Lost City before her rivals, and sets out instantaneously to Siberia. I really wish I was her most of the time. I want to pack up my stuff and go uncover some secrets and explore some tombs in a random place in the world, but alas, it’s not meant to be for 22-year-old me (but I can still hope and do some push-ups in the meantime.)

So, who exactly is Lara Croft and what was she like when it all started? 

Lara Croft is the main protagonist for the whole series of Tomb Raider (lucky for us) and she is presented as a very intelligent, athletic woman who specialises in archaeology. She’s also British, and she makes me proud to be British too.

Lara in Tomb Raider (1996)

The first game saw Lara as, well, an intelligent and athletic woman, but also as a woman with ginormous boobs. You just have to mention those, to be honest, and I apologise. The difference between the promotional art and the in-game model is quite amusingly different, as she only consisted of 540 polygons in-game (probably most of those went into her boobs too.) Actually, it’s said that she looked like that because she had a rather disproportionate body, which explains a lot. I’m kind of glad they sorted that out with recent releases. But, with that being said, I like the old look of Lara Croft, and she had quite the impact (I mean, have you seen those old magazine spreads?)

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Lara in Tomb Raider II-Tomb Raider Chronicles (1997-2000)

Of course, there wasn’t too much change over the next couple of years (Tomb Raider II and Tomb Raider III), apart from some tiny fashion changes (which was inevitable since she had to wash her original clothes at some point). She definitely still had a lot of sex appeal during this time, however, I for one just love those retro sunglasses. Can I please have a pair and not look like a lunatic?

Then, the next two games came along, and by golly, they made her curvy. If you think a figure-eight is curvy, then think again. She was even curvier than before somehow. And well, she looked a tad strange in my opinion, but I still love her no matter what they do to her body. She still is the same powerful woman who I grew up loving.

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Lara in Tomb Raider Angel of Darkness-Tomb Raider Anniversary (2003-2007)

And then came the PS2 era, where they actually made her look remotely human. This is definitely my favourite era in terms of my favourite games (as for style, I’m a sucker for those retro boobs and sunglasses). Although, in Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness she did in fact, look dark, with some gloomy lipstick and eyeliner. She looked fairly like her promotional image too, which was a ‘finally, thank goodness for that‘ moment.

Once Tomb Raider Legend came, Lara definitely looked more natural but thankfully, still as robust as ever. And the same goes for Anniversary, with another slight wardrobe change, she came back to us wielding her guns and her ponytail flying about nonchalantly.

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Tomb Raider: Underworld (2008)

If you thought that the original 500 polygons was impressive, how about I tell you that she had 32,816 polygons in this game? Oh yeah. I’m not joking. That’s actually quite amazing in terms of video game development over the years. But anyway, she, therefore, looked pretty darn detailed in this title. The only complaint I have is that I wish I didn’t get so lost during the first chapters of the game.

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Tomb Raider-Rise of the Tomb Raider (2013-2015)

And here we go, the most realistic and the most human that Lara Croft has ever been. She is looking, to be honest, impressive looking now. I almost feel as if I’m in the same room with her (I can dream). The reboot in 2013 began the use of motion capture with the games, which explains all of the feelings I just mentioned. Then we have Rise of the Tomb Raider, where, obviously, the graphics exceed them all. I’m not just talking about Lara Croft herself though, because the whole game looks spectacular.

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Of course I missed out a couple of games, such as Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, and also the comics and the Tomb Raider movies. But I’ll write about those at a later date. This post was a simple timeline of the progression of Lara Croft, and I for one can’t wait to see what’s in store for her in the future, and what weird and wonderful expeditions she’s going to take part in.

Finally, I will ask the demanding question, what is your favourite Tomb Raider game? Are you excited for Shadow of the Tomb Raider? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

Expensive Games for the Rich (i.e. not me)

MAY ISSUE: POST #26

Oh, here we go, I apologise in advance. Let’s take a look at the stuff we can’t afford and wallow in sadness. Actually, it’s probably not as sad as it is funny. How some of these video games became so expensive and how some of them are actually sold in the end too beats me. Some people must desperately want some of these games. I’m guessing because it’s either very special to them, they own a museum or they want to brag to every nerd on the planet.

This post is to show off the games that you can buy if you have a thousand pounds of loose change in your pocket, and just to say, I’m using the ‘worldwide’ option on eBay (which is very useful actually). Also, because I am merely looking at eBay, some of these prices may not be exactly accurate, but they’re definitely a good estimate.

So let’s take a look at what we can waste thousands of coins on.

Stadium Events 

Released: December 23rd, 1986 (JP)
Developer: Human Entertainment
Publisher: NES
Selling For: Approx. £1000, I believe. Although it has been sold for 
upwards of 10,000/20,000 dollars before, since it's less rare in Europe.

This game is basically a sports fitness game, where you can take part in events such as the long jump, triple jump and, of course, the 100M dash. You can play with friends, or you can try and beat the computer. When you defeat an opponent, you receive a medal or a trophy, so that’s nice. I like awards. Apparently, this game is the rarest licensed NES game available in North America, hence why it’s so expensive, so I don’t think I’ll be adding this to my collection anytime soon. Especially since I don’t even own a NES to begin with. Although I must admit, the graphics of this game look pretty neat for a game back then, and I bet the sound effects are just as charming too.

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Final Fantasy 

Released: December 18th, 1987 (JP)
Developer: Square
Publisher: Square/Nintendo
Selling For: Nearly £4000 (new and sealed)

Of course, we all know the Final Fantasy series, but did you know that you would have to pay nearly £4000 for a new and sealed copy on the NES? I didn’t know that until now. The game follows the story of four young people called the Light Warriors, who each carry one of the earth’s four elements which have been unfortunately darkened by evil. So, they must all go and restore the light and defeat the evil. ‘Dadadada da da da dada!’ Of course, just because this version is super expensive doesn’t mean you can’t play the game. I personally have it on PSP, but it’s always a shame when you can’t try out games on their original consoles. There’s always some magic when you do that.

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Super Mario 64

Released: June 23rd, 1996 (JP)
Developer: Nintendo EAD
Publisher: Nintendo
Selling For: Approx. £500  (new and sealed)

If you want to snag Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64 sealed, then you’ll be looking to pay around £500 pounds for it. I personally grew up playing this on the DS, and I do still own it too, however, I don’t think I’ll be splashing out £500 for a boxed copy on the N64. But it is pretty neat, and I would understand anyone who would pay that for it. It’s not too expensive for what it is, but it’s still a lot more than us people have to spare. This game obviously features Mario, who has to obviously rescue Peach from Bowser. We know the story, to be honest, but this game in particular really did impress us all with its 3D design. Even to this day, it holds up pretty well. (But don’t ask me why I selected this image. I just had to.)

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Tetris

Released: June 14th, 1989 (JP)
Developer: Bullet-Proof Software
Publisher: Nintendo
Selling For: Approx. £1000 (new and sealed)

Oop, another game for around a thousand pounds coming through! If you want a copy of Tetris sealed, for the original Gameboy, then you’ll have to sell a lot of your furniture. To be honest, I haven’t played too much of Tetris and because of that, frankly, I’m terrible at it. However, my husband loves it, and it’s quite saddening that I won’t be able to get him the sealed version anytime soon. Or ever. I don’t think he minds though since I think breaking into it would be a legitimate crime. Tetris itself was originally created by Alexey Pajitnov, and this was the portable version of his idea. The fun of the game is to stack the shapes and stack the blocks until you make a complete row and the blocks disappear. It’s, of course, one of the most widely-known and addicting puzzle games to date.

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So that’s a short list of games that are a bit too expensive for my liking. However, there are still games for around the £100-£200 mark, which is expensive but are obtainable in time if you want to save up. However, most of the time, these prices are for boxed and new versions of games, so if you’re happy with owning just the discs or cartridges, then you’re probably going to save a lot of money. But, as a collector myself, I understand the frustration.

I personally feel like this post was a little lacking, but nevermind, I’ll definitely make another part in the near future if any readers are interested. I’m sure there are hundreds of games that are expensive to get, whether that’s sealed and new or preowned.

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

5 Indie Developers You Need to Check Out!

MAY ISSUE: POST #25

I always want to give independent game companies all the respect that I have. Indie projects are usually made by a small team or group of people, without much financial support from an outside source (like robbing a bank). This means that a game can take many, many years and can be extremely challenging to complete. Of course, during recent years, there has been the ‘indie movement’, which means that a lot more indie titles are being released on systems such as PlayStation and Xbox and, of course, Steam.

This post is an insight to some indie developers that I know of. Some of their games are pretty popular already, while others, maybe not so much. It really must be a ‘trial and error’ and ‘hit and miss’ sort of thing with these sorts of teams and games. They could put so much work into a game and then not really get much recognition for it. Which is really sad, in my opinion. These teams probably need all the feedback they can get, so they can grow larger and flourish and release more of their creativity into the harsh world.

So, without any further ado, I’m going to share with you some indie developers. I hope you’ve got socks on because I’m about to attempt to blow them off.

Amanita Design

Website | Twitter

You may have heard of the little point and click adventure game called Machinarium or the game series Samorost, or even Botanicula. All of these games were released by the company Amanita Designwhich is a small studio based in the Czech Republic. The company was founded in 2003 by Jakub Dvorsky and has won many awards for its releases (which is highly deserved, to be honest).

Machinarium was the first full-length game released by the company, and I think that the beautiful and dark style of the game is unique and total a must-see. You can’t miss out on following the story of a little robot who wants to save his girlfriend who has, unfortunately (I mean, very, unfortunately) been kidnapped.

Recently they have released a title called Chuchel which is a comedy adventure game and needs lots of love. I can’t wait to try this game out sometime soon. Plus, the special edition on Steam is called the ‘Cherry Edition’ and I don’t think I would want to skip the opportunity to own an edition with that sort of adorable title.

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Fishing Cactus Games

Website | Twitter

The company Fishing Cactus Games (which is by far the most awesome company name) is a Belgian independent video game company created back in 2009. They have more than 15 years experience developing games, as the team was first working inside a big AAA studio at first, but after working there for a while and experiencing a series of unfortunate events, they decided to build up their own studio, and I’m very thankful that they did.

This is definitely one of my favourite indie developers, mainly because I played the crap out of their current only released title, a typing action adventure game called Epistory: Typing ChroniclesIt’s absolutely beautiful, and I find it such a joy to play. Fortunately, there is another game due to be released this year called Shift Quantum, which appears to be a cyber-noir puzzle platformer where you do a lot of, you guessed it, shifting. I really can’t wait, and I really can’t wait for what else is in store for the future.

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Ink Stains Games

Website | Instagram

This particular company, founded in 2015, is a Russian indie development team that successfully kickstarted and launched their first project, a top-down shooter called 12 is Better Than 6 back in 2015. They also have a turn-based RPG coming up called Stoneshard, which looks promising, in my opinion.

12 is Better Than 6 revolves around the story of an escaped slave making his way from Mexico to Texas in the year 1873, and you have to kill lots and lots of people (because killing is fun. In video games that is). The gameplay is challenging and the style is extremely distinctive and cool. The gameplay is what made the game addicting to me personally, as it’s one of those titles that makes you say ‘just one more try!’ after you die, and trust me, you die a lot (or I did anyway, you’ll probably be more skilled than myself).

I’m really looking forward to what else this game company has for us in the future, and I think keeping up with them and supporting them on Kickstarter is the right thing to do.

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Texel Raptor

I’m not just mentioning this team because of my love for theme park simulators. I promise. Although, that is the only kind of game they’re working on at the moment, but ssshh, I’d support them no matter what they’d do.

Texel Raptor is a development team based in Canada and Germany (how they communicate across seas is beyond me) founded back in 2014. Their current only release is none other than ParkitectOh man, I want it so badly, it’s insane. I feel like my childhood obsession with theme park simulation games would come back with a vengeance, but a good vengeance.

I actually find it surprising that a game of this quality is not only the first game of an indie development team but also, a game of an independent development team. Granted, it seems like it’s been in early access for a long time, but that’s what’s great about it, I think. Because they’re actually listening to our feedback and criticisms, and that’s what’s going to make the game brilliant when it’s out of early access. To be honest, if they keep working hard like this, they can take all my money for all I care.

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SMAC Games

Website | Twitter

I like indie teams that are made of only a couple of people, and this is one of them. SMAC Games is an indie team which consists of two brothers originally from Cape Town and now based in North London. I do wonder if there is any sibling rivalry, but even so, their first game Tokyo 42 looks incredible. The style especially. It’s been on my wishlist for a long time, and the fact that it’s also come to PS4 and Xbox One is awesome.

Tokyo 42 is a hyper-stylish isometric open-world shooter, and you really don’t see those every day. You dive into the world of assassins in the beautiful world of micro Tokyo, and as someone who loves Japan to pieces, this went on my wishlist straightaway.

With a game with a style such as this, I can’t wait to see what else they’re thinking of creating in the future. I recommend you keep an eye out too! Also, is it possible to live in this sort of world? Please tell me it’s possible.

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Please comment down below some indie games that you enjoy! I’d love to try out lots more. 

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

Artist Spotlight #6: Chad King

MAY ISSUE: POST #24

One of my favourite series on the PS3 is definitely the BioShock series. I’ve already mentioned it on my blog a few times, and for good reason. It’s a fantastic series with a great atmosphere and a very (very) complex and detailed story that I really must buckle down and study sometime.

I know that some people didn’t like BioShock Infinite so much, but I did. Maybe it wasn’t as good as the first game, but you can’t really compare it either. It has a completely different setting, where you’re above the clouds instead of below the sea. It’s basically a BioShock game where you finally see the sun and burn your eyeballs.

The one thing I definitely love about BioShock Infinite though is the style and the artwork that goes with it. Come on, the whole city- apart from all the violence and bad stuff- would be so peaceful to stroll around in. This also means that, yes, another item on my wishlist is the BioShock Infinite art book. Even if you didn’t like the game, you can’t deny that owning a copy would be a blessing.

Thus, one of the artists that I researched and looked into was senior artist Chad King, and that’s who I’m going to be showcasing today.

Name: Chad King
Links: Website Blogspot 
All artwork owned by Chad King. Images gathered from his website and 
Blogspot.

Chad King studied illustration at the Ringling College of Art and Design and was first hired to work as a texture artist on the video game Superman Returns in 2006. After being hired by Irrational Games, (I thank them for making such a good decision) he then began to produce lots more content. First I want to first talk about BioShock Infinite in particular, while the sun is beaming at my face from my window and I can hardly see what I’m typing.

So BioShock Infinite is the third game in the BioShock series, and it follows the story of Booker DeWitt in the city of Columbia in the year of 1912. He has been told to find a woman named Elizabeth, who has been unfortunately sealed away for quite some time. The game has a lot of chaos and philosophical concepts, which makes it pretty darn interesting if you ask me. But anyway, I’ll save that sort of talk for another post, let’s see Chad King’s art for this game in particular.

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I know that’s a lot of his work in a row, but look how amazing these are! Especially the first two. They have so much detail and really good tones and the composition of the first one almost makes my heart melt (because I took photography in school at one point and I’m all about that composition). The rest of the concepts are really cool, and it’s nice to see the ideas that went into the game before it was released.

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Next up, we have the images from the Welcome Center Hotel folder on his website! And can I just say, why can’t building and management games have this style? Like, imagine a hotel management game like this. I think it would blow everyone’s minds away. It certainly would blow my mind away. And blow my socks off. Honestly, though, these buildings look so pretty floating there like that, and I don’t say that every day.

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Sadly we’re coming to the end, but let’s see some of his personal work because personal work is the best and you can’t go wrong. The last one there is so sweet. I want it framed. Can I please have it framed? People would come into my room and say ‘aww’ all the time, and that’s exactly what I want out of life.

And I’m sorry, this. This. This is the best artwork I have seen in a long time. It’s the kid and the bird from Up, but I think something is slightly different about them. Hm. Maybe not. This is exactly how I remember them. I’m sure of it.

Coincidentally, each time I do one of these posts it makes me want to pick up drawing again. Perhaps I should. I’ll keep you updated with my thoughts somewhere on the internet, no doubt. The internet is the best place for random and useless thoughts, and that’s my wise phrase for the day!

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

Music Spotlight #6: Darren Korb

MAY ISSUE: POST #23

To be honest, I’m going to jump straight in and say that the composer for Bastion is an outright genius. Even though I actually played it first a few years ago, the music has stuck with me ever since then. I never forgot it, and so, I picked the game up again a few days ago and beat it. It’s not a very long game if you aim to beat the story only, but it’s still really worth putting your time into.

If you’ve played Bastion before, you’ll know what I mean when I say that the music is absolutely perfect. Unfortunately, I haven’t played the developers other games yet, but I’m sure the music for those games is fantastic too.

So, who is the composer for BastionWell, his name is Darren Korb, alongside Bastion, he did indeed work on the sound and music for Supergiant’s other games, called Transistor and Pyre.

Name: Darren Korb
Nationality: American
Born: November 5th, 1983
Links: Twitter
Thank you to the YouTube channels for providing us with the music!

Darren Korb is a songwriter and composer for the indie developer Supergiant Games. He attended New York University for music production and music business, and after that, before joining the indie team, he had worked on a few small television and film projects. The co-founder of Supergiant Games is Darren Korb’s childhood friend, so that’s rather sweet, isn’t it? I wish a childhood friend of mine would come to me and ask if I wanted to take part in whatever they were doing. Although, to be honest, I have no idea what my childhood friends are doing right now. Maybe one of them is in jail. If so, perhaps I should be careful what I wish for.

Anyway, moving on. The music for Bastion is phenomenal, really. Kotaku even agrees with me, having stated that it was ‘one of the best video game soundtracks of 2011’. Darren Korb himself describes it as ‘acoustic frontier trip-hop’ which is a very intriguing sounding mix of words if you ask me. You sure don’t hear that every day. Why don’t we have a listen?

This makes me feel like some old dude with a hat ready for a pistol fight. Or, actually, it reminds me of Borderlands a lot, and that’s a good thing because the soundtrack for Borderlands is also one of my favouries. But to be honest, I won’t sit here and compare this game’s soundtrack to any other, because it really is unique on its own and it fits the game like a glove (if that makes any sense). It’s such a beautiful mix of sounds and instruments, and I really can’t get over it.

Now, this is the song I had on my iPod years ago (actually, I had the extended version on my iPod), because I loved it just that much. I still do. A lot of this music gives me goosebumps, and that doesn’t happen too often with video game soundtracks.

Speaking of goosebumps. This. This. It’s such a calm song and so so beautiful. I was trying to think of a better word to describe it, but unfortunately, beautiful is the only word I can think of. It’s extremely beautiful. Yes. Beautiful.

And then there’s this version. To be honest, it creeps me out. You have been warned. Please never have this on repeat, you will go crazy. I think I’m shuddering.

I honestly think the score should stop giving me goosebumps before my skin decides to leave me. Seriously, it’s clear that Darren Korb worked so hard on this and that he is extremely talented. The soundtrack is full of songs that you can’t forget.

Don’t ask me how, but I sang along with this one sometimes. With doo -doo-doos or something- yes, I’m an embarrassing human. But again, this is what I mean when I say that the soundtrack is easy to remember. There are certain parts of this particular piece that stick with me and will suddenly pop into my head when I’m not asking for it.

Even though I still yet to play Transistor and Pyre, I think it’s only fair in a music spotlight to show music from as many different works as possible. So let’s have a listen to a few.

I personally like this one. It sounds pretty nice, as if you were to relax on a beach or something on a bright day. It also makes me want to dance around with a hula skirt (never ask me what I imagine doing while listening to most music. I’m probably a strange human).

I was quickly listening through Pyre‘s songs and by golly, it’s amazing. These songs already make me feel like the game is full of emotions, and I haven’t even played it yet. I don’t know if I’m ready. To be honest, I’m never ready, and with music like this? Oh boy, I’ll probably need some tissues. Or lots of moral support.

And there we have it! Did you enjoy all that music? I know I certainly did. If you have any appreciation for video game scores, I recommend that you go listen to the full soundtracks for all three games as soon as possible. And, also, give the composer some love. In this day and age, we need to share around all the love we can (I don’t even know what I’m saying. Have a good day everybody!)

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

Games, Mental Health and Haul Satisfaction

MAY ISSUE: POST #23

It’s been a while since I’ve done a haul, even though I pick up games pretty cheap quite often (way too often in all honesty. Blame my depression, it wants things).

Actually, talking about depression, and considering that it is mental health awareness week and all that, I thought I would quickly send out a message of support to all of those struggling like I am. I have social anxiety, which has also caused some spouts of depression, naturally. It’s hard, and I know that it’s hard for lots of other people too. You’re not alone.

Video gaming has helped me a lot through some of my worst moments. Rarely making it worse, sometimes making it better. Let me cuddle up with a handheld and I’ll feel comforted, or let me play some PS2 and I’ll be distracted. Recently, this blog has been an outlet for me too, and collecting, writing about games and researching them has become just as fun as playing them. What I’m trying to say is, video games are important. For a lot of people. So, ha, I laugh right in the faces of anyone who thinks they’re dumb. But no, really, if you’re someone who thinks that gaming to make you feel better is stupid, then you’re wrong. Anything that makes you feel better is a good thing (apart from murder. Well, murder in games, yes, murder in real life, not so much).

So anyway, I also have some stuff to show you. I found and bought myself some things today, and I’m telling myself that it’s okay. It makes me happy, and it’s okay.

Pretty randomly, my Dad and I decided to venture to our closest city and have a day out since I was having a bad morning. I always tend to look around charity shops and game shops, and it keeps my mind off things. There’s also this one shop, that sells games for a multitude of different systems, however, it’s pretty expensive and even tries to sell retro titles for retail price, and I always try to stay clear from that kind of price tag, believe me. I’m a huge cheapskate. A game for over a pound? Too expensive. When I see a £40 retail price tag, I straight out faint.

Of course, I’m joking (mostly), if I could I would support a lot of game developers and buy their games for the retail price all the time. I wholeheartedly wish I could. But until I have more money to spare, it’s preowned stuff for now and scouring those bins (not rubbish bins, I promise).

I know you want me to get a move on to what I actually got though. So, get this, I was glancing around this antique shop, (and honestly, if you haven’t before, you should) and I saw a sign ‘CDs/DVDs/GAMES!! £1 SALE’ and I jumped up those stairs like a rocket. I think all my Dad saw was a gust of wind. And then I saw it in all its glory. There were boxes of DVDs, games, CDs, books- you name it. So I started doing what I do best. Practically making a mess of things.

Okay, okay, all I did was pull a few boxes around and about. But I was enthralled. I had to see what was under each box, in case some sort of hidden gem was there. I was in my own world almost, really excited and feeling like a kid again.

I actually believe that a bunch of these games came from a closed down game shop that was down the street from the antique place. I mean, it would make a lot of sense. It made me happy to see the games all still there for me to browse through. But of course, I also had a sneaky browse through some trays of magazines and books, and sure enough, I found a bunch of game magazines from 1994-1995 for 50p each. I grabbed 6 of them.

Also, a note. I am aiming to have a video game magazine collection in the future, and I’m really happy to have found some in the wild. Just this morning I posted about that on Instagram. Coincidence much? I think it’s fate.

In the end, I picked up 6 magazines and two PS1 games, and since all games were a pound no matter what they were, I got both games for £1 each. Everything accumulated to £5 overall, and I am super happy, as a novice video game collector and all.

And finally, here are a couple of pictures of said stuff!

Yes! Silent Hill! For a pound! It’s pretty frustrating actually because I got the game digitally last month, but no matter. This is incredible, as it goes for nearly £20 at my local preowned media store. And also, I’ve always wanted to own the Broken Sword games, and I love the genre to bits. Now I just need to go back and see if they had the first one tucked away anywhere.

I’m serious though, with all those boxes, I’m probably going back tomorrow. Sales cure my mental health issues.

So, what about you? Does anything to do with video games contribute to your mental health? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

The Famicom and Five Obscure Games

MAY ISSUE: POST #22

I know every now and then some blog posts seem to turn into my current wishlist, but recently I have been really wanting a Famicom. Since I understand Japanese to an intermediate level and have been playing games on and off in Japanese for a while, I suddenly want to invest in one and get some older Japanese titles.

I’m also aiming to be more retro. I want to be retro-y.

So, what is the Famicom? Well, it’s a Family Computer basically. Released in 1983, this cute little box was manufactured by Nintendo and released only in Japan. Funnily enough, it was actually Nintendo’s first console. The Famicom is slightly different from the NES though, which is a similar console released over in America and here in Europe.

There was also an add-on called the Famicom Disk System, released in 1986, with release titles such as Super Mario Bros.The Legend of Zelda and also Baseball, Tennis, and Soccer, for all your sporting needs.

But I’m sure you’re all eager to learn about some games for this system. In particular, some intriguing weird and wonderful ones that you may never have heard of. So let’s take a look.

Doki! Doki! Yuenchi: Crazy Land Daisakusen

I love games that have amusement parks in them, whether that be an action game or a building/park management game. I had never heard of this game though, until today! This game follows a kid with a helmet (all the armour you’ll ever need) who wants to save his girlfriend from some mysterious force inside an amusement park. He kicks balls at his enemies to attack, which seems legit enough. The game was developed by KID and published by VAP in Japan in 1981, and come on, look how adorable these two are. To be honest, I really do want to try this game- looking at the gameplay, it looks fairly entertaining. Although I have no idea what’s flying on the left side there. Is that a butterfly? A bird? And where’s the rest of the boys arm? Maybe the answer is within the game. Sneaky.

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Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa

This is an interesting title that I stumbled upon. Released on the Famicom Disk System originally in 1988 and then on the Famicom in 1993, this game from Konami features a baby called Upa, who uses a rattle to attack enemies. Because, you know, that is genuinely what babies would do if attacked. I think. This baby isn’t just any ordinary baby though, Upa is the prince of a magical kingdom (naturally), and when that magical kingdom’s citizens get taken over by an evil demon, Upa is, rather generously, given a rattle in order to save them all. Whether this game is good or not I have no idea, but it looks colourful and I like the little pig in the picture.

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Chaos World

So, imagine that the king of your kingdom has a daughter and that that daughter is sick. But, alongside that, there are also monsters terrorising the world. The king asks you, and only you, to investigate and conquer the world, which seems simple enough, right? Well, if you play Chaos World, you’ll find out. I just told you the plot of the game, and it doesn’t seem too bad to me, it merely has a good vs. evil plot. This game is also one of the few Famicom games that has a day/night cycle. Again, I’m not sure how good this game is, but developed by Natsume (think Harvest Moon and Rune Factory) and released in 1991, I’m sure it’s something to try out.

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Joy Mech Fight

You can’t have a list of old games like this without a fighting game. Joy Mech Fight or Joy Mecha Fight is, what I’m guessing, a joyful game released in 1993. The plot is about these spectacular robots created by two scientists, however, one of the scientists turns bad and steals seven of the robots and appears on TV broadcasting that he wants to take over the world. One particular robot is called to the laboratory by the other doctor, to help defeat the sudden evil. The graphics of this game is definitely the most interesting part, since the robots arms, head, legs- you name it- aren’t attached. Yep, they’re all floating around separately. You might think that’s horrific, but actually, it’s kind of adorable.

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Tashiro Masashi no Princess ga Ippai

This is a little game I found which reminds me of the ‘princess in distress’ storyline of the oh-so-famous Mario series. This game, however, doesn’t involve a plumber, but a cool dude with sunglasses. The game was released in 1989 and focuses on the story of Masashi Tashiro who has to rescue, not one, not two, but four princesses in distress. I don’t know how Mario would feel if he had to save four Peaches, but anyway. It is actually one of the first games to have multiple endings, and there is only one chance to succeed here, as there are four bad endings and only one good ending, which seems delightful. I wonder what the bad endings entail, to be honest, I hope it’s nothing too dramatic.

The interesting thing about this game is that Tashiro Masashi is a real person, and was a member of the band Rats & Star. However, he was put in jail for a number of reasons, so, I think the game made a reappearance for the occassion.

To be honest, I like this box art though.

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I don’t know if that means we’re finishing this post on a happy note, but ah well, Famicom games are neat and there were some rather crazy and imaginative ideas back then.

Let me know what Famicom games you think are weird and wonderful!

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

 

The Beaten Diaries #10: Roles in Final Fantasy

MAY ISSUE: POST #21

I hope you were all anticipating my next post because I’m hoping that all the effort I’m putting into typing this up on a Sunday pays off (I can dream). I’m joking though, I enjoy writing these posts no matter what day of the week it is. It brings me joy to know that one or two people could read this and think, ‘that was a decent piece of writing’, and I thank you.

So anyway, I hope you all had a good weekend and are ready to read my next Beaten Diaries entry! This post, in particular, is showcasing a game from an incredibly popular series, because yes, I do beat mainstream games as well as the weird ones that no one knows about.

The series I am talking about today is, of course, Final Fantasy, and the game, in particular, is Final Fantasy XIII-2 (or 13-2, for those of you who aren’t Romans).

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Now I’m not a human who is able to put hours and hours into many games. I’d say a game is fairly lucky if I interact with it for more than 30 hours. But I was so determined to beat a Final Fantasy game (because I hadn’t yet and that was a true criminal offense) that I cleared this title in almost 50 hours. That’s a lot for lil ol’ me. I beat it on normal difficulty, and I have no idea what trophy percentage I finished with because my husband, coincidentally, within the last week, platinumed the game for us (as we share a PSN account). I’m glad that he did the rest of the work. I would’ve needed at least another three years before being able to pick the game back up again. I burn out easily, okay. 

But anyway, I’m one of those people who really likes Final Fantasy XIII, and XIII-2 wasn’t quite as fun for me. There was something about it that didn’t make me feel as intrigued by the characters and the story, and the lack of those cutscenes with beautiful graphics disappointed me. Also, the roles confused me, and I didn’t know what paradigms were best and what roles were good to level up with. So, for you right now, I’m going to write an insight to each role, and perhaps it’ll help you if you want to actually progress in the game successfully (unlike me, for the most part).

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Commando

In general, the commando is a soldier who has been specially trained to carry out strong, surprise attacks. This role mainly lets you perform strong and powerful attacks to deal heavy damage to a target. This is especially useful when the opponent is staggered. The main characters in the game, Noel Kreiss and Serah Farron both start out with the Commando role, but only Noel specialises in it in the end so you can use him to bash enemies whenever you so wish.

Synergist

The term synergist and synergy involves enhancing the effectiveness of an active agent, whatever that means. The main function of the synergist is to cast positive statuses onto allies, and curing the negative ones, basically saving you and buffing you up, which I wish could be a thing in real life. During Final Fantasy XIII-2 Serah and Noel only learn the defensive enhancements, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other means of boosting your offensive capabilities later in the game.

Saboteur

According to an online dictionary I’m perusing, the definition of saboteur is ‘one that practices sabotage’, so this is clearly my favourite role already. As a saboteur, you inflict a range of harmful statuses onto your targets, such as poison, deshell, curse, pain, fog, and chaos, so it all sounds marvelous to me. So much damage to do, so little time.

Ravager

For some reason, I always misread this as ‘savage’, or ‘scavenger’. But anyway, the term ravaging means to be violently destructive or to have a harming effect, probably whilst shouting and screaming. When you take on this role, you mainly build up the enemies gauge whilst using elemental attacks. The idea is to use a range of different elemental, physical and magical attacks until a weakness is found, and then once a weakness is found, you spam that over and over.

Sentinel

A sentinel is a soldier whose job is to stand, guard and keep watch, so already this appeals to me a lot. I like the idea of observing rather than fighting and not getting hurt and putting up shields. But anyway, the sentinel role is to protect team members from oncoming attacks whilst also increasing defense. They can also perform counterattacks, which is handy as well.

Medic

This role is kind of self-explanatory. Healing, and healing and lots of healing and feeling better and ready to go. The role of the medic is to help the team to recover, whether that be HP or negative status effects. It’s pretty nice to have a medic instead of going through thousands of potions, although it gives you a heart attack when you’re suddenly down to 1HP and you really don’t want to die. The medic needs a strong heart.

But yes! That’s it. So that’s just an insight into the roles you play as in Final Fantasty 13-2. To be honest, I understand them a lot better now than when I was playing the game, so that’s useful. But I do like the game and would play it again in the future, so I recommend that you check it out.

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

LDG

Video Game Character Profiles: Letter C

MAY ISSUE: POST #20

If you’re following this series, you’ll miraculously already know that the next letter in the list is the letter C, since this comes after the letter B, and I know my alphabet pretty well. These posts are always interesting to me because I have to sit here prior to writing and think up lots of games and the characters and see which names start with the letter I’m on. It’s a little bit frustrating sometimes because my brain decides to focus on the wrong letter instead and I suddenly know every single protagonist ever whose name begins with Z or Q or something.

But anyway, this is post three out of, what I’m guessing, is going to be twenty-six. I hope you enjoy!

Cactuar
Game (Series): Final FantasyCactuar-FFIX
Species: Little cacti with appendages

All I can say is that the Catuar is very very pointy, and with an attack such as ‘1000 Needles’, I wouldn’t want to hug one anytime soon, which is unfortunate since I find them pretty cute. They are a recurring enemy and also summon in the series, its debut appearance being in Final Fantasy VI. This little cactus has pretty stiff arms and legs, and you can probably tell that by the image above. Even the mouth looks a little stiff. I wonder how that feels. If I was a qualified doctor (and I’m not even an unqualified doctor), then I’d recommend some vigorous stretching.

Cammy
Game (Series): Street Fighter
Codename: Killer Bee
CammyrenderRace: Human
Sex: Female
Born: January 6th 1974
Voice actor(s): Various

I really like how strong and determined Cammy looks, honestly, part of me wishes I could prance around with those kinds of muscles. Although, I’m not too sure about the fringe. If you can call that a fringe. She must use a lot of hairspray for that. Anyway, she first appeared in Super Street Fighter II and is the second female fighter in the series. Originally a deadly assassin and now working for the British (woohoo, British!) government, she is forceful yet polite, and I really like her beret.

Catherine
Game (Series): CatherineCatherineMain.png 
Sex: Female 
Voice actor: Laura Bailey, 
Miyuki Sawashiro

Well, I suppose you can’t have one of these posts without having at least one bad person. To be honest, I liked this Catherine more than the other Katherine, so it’s too bad she was kind of evil. I’m not revealing exactly what she is because of spoilers, but from the get-go, you can tell that she’s up to something. She’s cheerful and bubbly and accentuates freedom, and completely represents what the main character, Vincent, wants in a woman. Although, she is emotionally and physically abusive too, so that’s a downside. Frankly, she’s cute but she freaks me out.

Cheep Cheep
Game (Series): MarioCheep_Cheep,_New_Super_Mario_Bros._U.png
Species: Fish (with wings?)

I didn’t even know that these things had a name for the longest time, and I want to apologise to them (or maybe not, since they’re an annoying underwater enemy). Basically serving as bowsers minions, the Cheep Cheeps (heh, that’s fun to say) swims and hops out of the water, coming after you if you get too close, so don’t do that. I like their style, however, and I’m glad fish don’t have wings in real life.

Chocobo
Game (Series): Final FantasyFFIX-Chocobo.png
Species: Bird

Just a heads up, there’s definitely quite a bit of Final Fantasy in this post. But I mean, I can’t miss out the series mascot, the Chocobo. They’re amazing and adorable and come in all sorts of colours (I want to collect them all). They are basically the equivalent of a horse, as you can ride them, or leave them be in the fields. They are large birds with three-toed feet and big wings and can apparently understand the human language. So why we can’t have them in real life, I have no idea. I demand real-life Chocobos.

Chris Redfield
Game (Series): Resident EvilChriswr0.png
Race: Caucasian/American
Sex: Male
Voice actor(s): A lot

All I can think of when I see Chris is the time when I was playing Resident Evil 5 with my husband and we constantly made our characters shout ‘Chris! Chris! Sheva! Go! Help! Chris!’ or whatever. Frankly, it was hilarious. Chris is a Special Operations Unit Captain of the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (boy, that’s a mouthful), alongside Jill Valentine. He is a protective character, taking care of his younger sister Claire, and is known to use a variety of weapons, including his hands, during combat. I don’t know too much about Resident Evil, but I’m glad to see that he’s still alive.

Chun Li
Game (Series): Street FighterChunrender.png
Race: Chinese
Sex: Female
Born: March 1st 1968
Voice actor(s): Various

And the list of badass female fighters with incredible thighs continues, although now I’m introducing the first female fighter in the Street Fighter series. Chun Li is an expert martial artist and Interpol officer, who is seeking revenge because of her Dad’s death. She is a dedicated character, highly disciplined and great friends with the aforementioned Cammy. I just, can’t get over how awesome these girl characters look. They look so strong and I want them to teach me how to kick properly without my leg looking like a piece of spaghetti.

Cindy Aurum
Game (Series): Final Fantasy XVCindy_Aurum_Render_FFXV
Race: Human
Sex: Female
Voice actor: Yu Shimamura, 
Erin Matthews

Final Fantasy yet again, I’m afraid (and this still isn’t the last one. There’s no getting rid of this series. Which is ironic, considering that its Final Fantasy). This character is cute though, but sometimes uncomfortably cute. She’s the head mechanic of the Hammerhead garage in Final Fantasy XV. She’s also the granddaughter of Cid, (another ‘C’ character, unsurprisingly) who himself has an engineering background. I wish I could be as enthusiastic about my work as she is. She has an incredible passion for cars and technology and is extremely optimistic despite having a rough childhood, oh, and she’s also not interested in dating, so she receives a multitude of points from me, for just being herself.

Claptrap
Game (Series): Borderlands
Full name: Claptrap P. Claptrappington
ClaptrapTPS.jpgRace: Robot
Voice actor: David Eddings

I love love love Claptrap, and I want to applaud the voice actor for making him sound so perfect. Claptrap is a general purpose robot manufactured by Hyperion. He has a very enthusiastic personality, which you have to adore, and he has a great range of skills which prove to be fairly useful in the series. However, he is a tad cowardly, but that makes him funny and more charming, in a way. I remember the first time I heard him talk in Borderlands- aah, that’s a good memory. He has such a distinctive voice, and it will never leave my head as I lay down to sleep.

Cloud Strife
Game (Series): Final FantasyCloud-FFVIIArt.png
Race: Human
Sex: Male
Born: August 1986
Voice actor(s): Steve Burton,
Takahiro Sakurai

I know you’re groaning, but this is the last Final Fantasy mention I promise (for this post anyway). Cloud Strife is the main protagonist in Final Fantasy VII and appears in many spin-offs as well (lucky for him). In the beginning, he is known to be an arrogant and cocky swordsman, but he is in fact, hiding his true self. Cloud is genuinely a nice guy, who shows concern and cares about his friends. I like Cloud. I want Cloud to be my friend. Although I would probably tell him and a lot of other Final Fantasy characters to calm it down with the hair gel.

Crash Bandicoot
Game (Series): Crash BandicootCrash-bandicootps4.png
Species: Eastern Barred Bandicoot
Sex: Male
Voice actor(s): Various

Wow, something not Final Fantasy or Street Fighter?! What a miracle. The last character in this list is no other than Crash. Crash was captured and evolved by Doctor Neo Cortex, who becomes his enemy throughout the series. The developers of the game, Naughty Dog, once said that Crash is ‘goofy yet heroic’, and I can totally believe it. I like how he loves to fight but also loves to relax in the sun. It sounds like what I would be like if I were a video game character. He knows a few English words too, such as ‘whoa!’ and ‘boo-yah’, which is all you need to know to communicate effectively in my opinion. He’s just great. Crash for the win!

And there we have it! I had a lot of fun writing about each character, although I’m worried about the time when one of these letters is going to have over a thousand characters to write about. But we’ll see how it goes. I’m sure it’ll be okay. I’ll just have to do some finger stretches to make sure I don’t get cramp.

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

The Beaten Diaries #10: A Peek at the Weapons in Killzone

MAY ISSUE: POST #17

Writing something to do with this game may prove to be a little difficult, only because I have no idea what I’m going to talk about topic-wise. I played this game on a whim to give it a go back in 2016, and I wish I played the other two games before it. The game I’m talking about is Killzone 3. I actually really enjoyed this game, and I really should get the first Killzone on PS2 sometime soon.

Killzone 3 is a first-person shooter video game released back in 2011. Developed by Guerrilla Games, the game received positive reviews and was an acceptable fourth installment in the series. I don’t really remember the story though, to be honest. I’m not sure how it links to the other games either, but I’ll carry out some research and post a little about it now because I like to be nice and provide knowledge to you, the reader.

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So, in the game, the protagonist, Tomas Sevchenko, and Rico Velasquez try to escape the cruel and unforgiving world of Helghan, which served as a chemical depot for the governments of the ISA. The environment of this world caused humans to die or physically adapt, and the ones who did physically adapt (and who became non-human, the lucky sods) became part of the Helghast race. Also, their leader dies, so they don’t like that very much. The ISA forces are desperately trying to leave the planet because the Helghast are trying to kill them or something bad like that. So, I don’t blame them for trying to escape, to be honest. I’d probably try to escape if there was a whole race trying to shoot me.

I remember enjoying this game though, it’s just a shame that I don’t really remember the game. Maybe it’s because I didn’t play the other games in the series first, or maybe the game itself is at fault. I did see that a lot of fans say that the story sucks, but I guess opinions differ depending on the player.

The developers Guerrilla Games, developed all five of the Killzone games, and also Shellshock: Nam ’67 and none other than Horizon Zero Dawn (which I still haven’t played because money sucks). Which is pretty cool. I had no idea that those games were all by the same team. You learn something new every day.

Now, what on earth do I write the rest of this post about? War? Plantation taking over the world? The war between humans and plants? Well, since this is a post about a game with a lot of weapons, let’s take a look at the weapons and do a weapon encyclopedia. It’ll be fairly short, mainly because weapons aren’t my biggest interest. But I’m sure it will be a nice little insight.

Weaponry  in Killzone

M4 Revolver

M4_Revolver.jpg

This gun is a standard-issue sidearm for the ISA Marines and is designed to be reloaded quickly and used accurately in combat situations. The gun is powerful at short range but is pretty weak otherwise, and is fairly low in ammo capacity as well. The gun is also a little slow when it comes to reloading, so don’t expect accurate shots from long distances, however, it is good for closer ranged headshots. If you wanna suddenly kill some dudes with two bullets to the head in multiplayer, this isn’t a bad gun for it.

LS13 Shotgun

LS13_Shotgun.png

You really can’t go wrong with a shotgun. They’re pretty fun to use and blast people with (boy, I’m really sounding like a murderous psycho now). This particular shotgun, also nicknamed ‘Lucky Strike’, is one of the more efficient weapons you can equip yourself with. Even though the reload time is long, you can kill multiple times before needing to do so, as long as you use it at close-medium range, of course. In the game, this gun is used heavily by both the ISA and the Helghast, which is a shame, because frantically using a shotgun to try to shoot someone else who also has a shotgun can be fairly frustrating.

StA-62 Minigun 

Minigun_KZ3

Don’t miniguns just make you feel so powerful? I know they make me feel powerful. When this gun is mounted, the ammo is infinite, but when you (somehow) carry it with you, it has a maximum round capacity of 300. Which, I admit, I go through almost immediately because I’m having too much fun. It has a high fire rate and inflicts very high damage, so, you can basically shred everyone around you instantly. It does take a second or two to start up though, so try and be as tactical as possible I say. Also, you can’t really perform melee attacks while carrying it, which is too bad, I’d love to see a few enemies trying to kick each other under the weight of that gun.

VC32 Sniper Rifle

VC32_Sniper_Rifle.jpg

I can’t write a post like this without including a sniper rifle. The VC32 is a modified version of another rifle in the series, with changes to the scope and the power. This makes it, unsurprisingly, a deadly and accurate weapon, used majorly for long distance shooting. The downside is that if you want to be extremely accurate, then you most certainly have to use the scope, and you have to fire at the torso or head if you want the shot to be lethal. The rifle, therefore, has a slow rate of fire and a limited magazine capacity, which isn’t really much of a surprise. But if you’re someone who has an undeniable skill, then, by all means, hide away and shoot from as far away as possible.

StA-X6 Jetpack

Jetpack_KZ3

Last but not least, I just wanted to mention this jetpack. A very exciting jetpack. Yes, you heard me. A jetpack. I wish I had a jetpack. In the game, it’s useful in both multiplayer and singleplayer modes. You can boost and fly and then float down towards your enemies, and then use the attached heavy machine-gun to blast their heads off. I like it because you can fly. I recommend the jetpack.

-and I mean, look at these two pictures. You know you want one, too.

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812hPfGxWrL._SL1500_ (1)

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG