Playstation… how I’ve missed you

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 15, 2011 by zombiepickle

For 23 days, the Sony Online System that powers everything holy about the PS3 and PSP, has been offline. It has affected around 77 million people around the world. It has been dark times for gamers… until today.

Happiness in its true formThe news came around midnight Saturday night. I was asleep so im just gonna pretend it happened around 9:30 am instead. But Sony has so far restored all of the online functions except for the Playstation Store as of right now. They have required all subscribers(paying or not) change their login passwords. But hey, who wants their information stolen? So, once again, gamers can unite online and talk trash and pwn nOObs. all is right in this crazy world once again. my only question left unanswered is what is Sony gonna do to make it up to us?

Your Severs Are Not Belong To Us

Posted in Uncategorized on March 1, 2011 by zombiepickle

So fellow gamers, i have been let down by one of the biggest gaming companies in the market. So i wrote them an email to share with them my feelings. Please read the following message…

Dear Activision & Treyarch

What the heck! I have been a long time lover of Call of Duty… and Black Ops was no exception. I had heard rumors of games failing out and booting the players for losing connection with the hosts, and granted that happened once in a while. No big deal. Then came the terrifying rumor of the servers not working and displaying an error code telling the user that there was no connection and to try again later. I thought to my self, “wow that certainly seems unlikely.” Then two days ago… the unthinkable happened. To me. There it was, staring me on the face. The server error.

Now not being one to jump to conclusions, i tried another 10 times. Same outcome. So Treyarch, you’ve lost another customer. Infinity ward has never had this problem with their COD games. but from the info ive gathered lately, your company seems not give that same attention to detail that they did. And now im left wondering what will happen to my beloved game franchise. The better of the two developers is gone, and the other can’t seem to get it together. So I hope You read these words carefully… cause you’ve caused a lot of hurt in this gamers heart, not to mention the others.

Sincerely,

ZombiePickle

P.s thats my gamertag on ps3 if you feel the need to apologize

Well that’s that. Have any of you had the same issue or had another incident like this occur to you? leave your story in the comments if so.

The most disturbing boss — ever!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 16, 2011 by zombiepickle

Hey Devin! What would you say is the most disturbing final boss you’ve ever faced?

No matter how advanced graphics become and how gruesomely detailed video game monsters are, I don’t think they will hold a candle to Giygas, the final boss from the SNES RPG Earthbound.

Earthbound is a quirky game. It takes the medieval swords and sorcery aspect used in many RPGs and updates it to a modern, Americanized setting. The main characters, all of whom are children, use baseball bats, frying pans, slingshots and other childish weaponry while magical abilities are replaced with psychic powers. The enemies encountered by players include piles of puke, hippies, aliens, zombies, evil trees and, in one case, a demonic circus tent.

Before I get into the final battle of Earthbound I need to disclose two things.

One, this post will contain spoilers. If you want to play the game for yourself, you may want to stop reading and find a copy of the game.

Two, good luck finding a copy of the game outside of emulation. Earthbound has one of the most fanatical and outspoken cult followings of any game released. Even online, Earthbound cartridges are hard to come by and often fetch insane prices.

Nintendo has publicly stated they won’t rerelease the game on the Wii’s Virtual Console due to concerns the game’s background music infringes on copyrights held in the U.S.

So, with that out of the way – first things first: I need to give a short history lesson.

Earthbound is actually the second game in a Mother series of RPGs in Japan. The first game was released on the NES and features many similarities to Earthbound. It focuses on a boy named Ninten and his adventure to defeat a race of alien invaders wreaking havoc on his hometown. During his adventure, he learns that his great-grandparents were kidnapped by the same aliens 80 years before and George, his great-grandfather, escaped back to Earth to study the aliens’ psychic abilities in the hope of using their power against them.

Ninten learns eight melodies and forms a lullaby with the help of Queen Mary, the ruler of a kingdom known as Magicant. As he sings, Queen Mary reveals herself to be his great-grandmother Maria and tells Ninten of how she loved Giygas, the aliens’ leader, as if he was her own child. Giygas was a destructive child and was only calmed when Maria sang the lullaby to him.

After learning the song, Ninten and his friends face Giygas on his spaceship. The children are no match for Giygas’ incredible psychic power and sing the lullaby in a last-ditch effort to calm him. The tactic works and Giygas calls back the invading force, promising Ninten that he would return. Giygas then left Earth.

Between the events of Mother and Earthbound, Giygas’ mind and body are destroyed by his immense power and he is sealed away inside a biomechanical brain known as the Devil’s Machine. Giygas, no longer able to think rationally, becomes the embodiment of evil itself and decides plunge the universe into a chaotic darkness.

The game’s main character, Ness, discovers a small, time-travelling alien named Buzz Buzz while investigating a crashed meteor near his hometown. Buzz Buzz escaped from the apocalyptic future initiated by Giygas to tell Ness that he is the only person capable of defeating Giygas.

Much of Earthbound is a strange and comedic adventure, but the tone game makes a sudden 180-degree turn near the end. After Ness learns the eight melodies of the planet, he falls into a deep coma and wanders his version of Magicant, created by his thoughts and memories. He eventually has to fight the evil portion of his subconscious mind and he awakens.

Ness and his friends then find Giygas, but are unable to reach him directly because he’s located in the Earth’s past. Ness and company have their souls transferred to robotic bodies, as their natural bodies wouldn’t survive time travel, and they are sent to the past.

Once they reach Giygas, Ness’ next-door neighbor Porky appears in a large biomechanical spider-mech and challenges Ness in front of the Devil’s Machine, claiming to be Giygas’ right-hand man. Before he’s defeated, Porky shuts the Devil’s Machine down and releases Giygas. Everyone is then engulfed in an alternate dimension created by Giygas’s fractured mind. Porky teleports away while Ness and his friends fight the “all-mighty idiot.” As the battle rages on, Porky taunts Ness, saying no one can help him and that he and his friends are destined to become a meal for Giygas.

Ness’ companion Paula begins to pray and ask for help from everyone they’ve met on their adventure. Soon, the entire Earth is praying for the safety of Ness and his friends, which causes significant damage to Giygas. The player lands the final blow against Giygas, whose prayers inflict massive amounts of damage (we’re talking amounts in the five digit range) and destroy Giygas. Porky uses a time traveling devise to escape, eventually arriving on Nowhere Island to cause havoc in Mother 3.

What makes Giygas so disturbing is the mindless dialog he randomly spouts during the game. The game’s producer lifted the text from a violent murder scene in a film he accidently walked in on while at a theater as a child. The music starts with an 8-bit inspired track which blends into an almost heavy metal tune before becoming a chaotic mess of music and sound.

Giygas’ image itself becomes quite unnerving as well. An abstract background showing what looks like a demonic face with two overgrown fangs represents Giygas. The image swirls, multiplies and becomes unstable as the battle progresses. In the final stage of the battle, the image contorts and shows what many fans claim to be a fetus.

If you’re curious to see about what I’m talking about:

(Giygas battle part one)

(Giygas battle part two)

I should also note the game was rated E by the ESRB…

When I played a rental copy of Earthbound on the SNES in 1995, I remember being shaken by intensity of the fight. I was 12 at the time and can attest that Giygas’ haunting visage visited me in my sleep for about a month after I beat the game.

Earthbound is probably one of the most memorable games I’ve ever played. While the Mother series as a whole is probably finished, a few of the elements from the series are seen in the games’ spiritual successor – Pokemon. The idea of a child going on world-wide adventure borrows from the Mother series and Mewtwo’s design appears heavily influenced on Giygas’ first appearance in Mother.

If you have a chance to play the game, check it out. It’s really one of a kind.

Written by Dave

Where is this crazy blue marble taking us?

Posted in Uncategorized on January 14, 2011 by zombiepickle

So upon reading through the internets today, I came to the realization that this world is crazy.

Everytime there is a tragic shooting or some sort of horrible incident lately, the media wants to portray that video games have some sort of role in what happened. It really makes me sad to think that these people who commit these horrible acts of their own free will, have to be tied in with the gaming world.

Take what happened in Arizona last week. That man was linked to having a strong connection with a video game by the media. Was it Call of Duty? Was It Doom? No… it was a game called Earth Empires. A text-based strategy  game that has no animation or visual aids.

So why on earth are we bringing it up?! Where is the sense in connecting the two entities? There is no correlation between the two in this case. He wasn’t exposed to violent imagery or anything of that sort. This just proves that the media always needs a scapegoat, and just because gaming has been a prime suspect for years, they automatically point the finger in that direction.

I’m truly saddened by the things that occurred on Saturday, and all those affected by this tragedy are not forgotten. But I Just Needed to voice my opinion about the Media Outlets and their constant prying.Thank you for taking the time to read my rant. I do feel a little better now.

 

Written By Devin

The Wii Bowling league kingpins

Posted in Uncategorized on January 2, 2011 by zombiepickle

 

I came across this score listing while I was on a photo assignment at the Young at Heart Senior Center in Rock Springs, Wyo. The senior center hosts a Wii Bowling league and as you can probably tell, some of them are very good.

Photo and post by Dave

Thirty years of hopping barrels in 2011

Posted in Uncategorized on December 30, 2010 by zombiepickle

This year, Nintendo celebrated the 25th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. The game was originally released in 1985 went on to sell more than 40 million copies by 2003. The company made a big deal out of this, releasing special red editions of the DSi and Wii. Nintendo has also re-released Super Mario All Stars, the SNES collection featuring ports of four NES Super Mario games with improved graphics, in a 25th anniversary package with a soundtrack CD and booklet detailing the game’s history.

Considering Mario is Nintendo’s mascot and is comparable Mickey Mouse, it’s not hard to see what the big deal is. However, 2011 will mark another major anniversary for Nintendo. An anniversary that is just as, if not more important than, Super Mario Bros’ release.

I’m talking about Donkey Kong.

In 1981, Nintendo, then a struggling newcomer to the world of arcade games, released Donkey Kong to a couple of bars in Seattle. One year after its initial release, the game would earn $180 million and make millionaires out of the two salesmen who sold the arcade machines on commission. The game’s runaway success caught the attention of MCA Universal, who filed a lawsuit against Nintendo for infringing on their copyright for King Kong. The suit ultimately failed when it was discovered Universal didn’t own a copyright on King Kong. Two more Donkey Kong games would be released in arcades, with ports of the first Donkey Kong appearing on the Atari 2600 and 7800, ColecoVision, Intellivision and the NES.

More recently, Donkey Kong has come to symbolize the world of competitive gaming through the 2007 documentary “The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.” The film revolves around a high school teacher, Steve Wiebe, and his attempt to earn the world high score from the world record holder Billy Mitchell. Mitchell is notable for setting a number of high scores on arcade games and being the first person to play a perfect game of Pac-Man, by eating every fruit, ghost and pellet without losing a single life until reaching the game’s kill-screen at stage 256.

While ports of the game are just fine, ports just don’t hold water to arcade versions. The Wii’s Virtual Console service has the NES port, but anyone who played the arcade version can see the NES game as a tame, domesticated house pet compared to its arcade counterpart.

The real Donkey Kong is a brutal beast whose hunger for quarters drives it to thrash players willing to take it on. Donkey Kong’s barrels fly down the girders at such a pace that Mario is forced to wait for an opening in the onslaught of barrels to climb a latter. Elevators move much faster that they do in the NES port and the arcade version features a stage not found in the NES port: the cement factory. At the cement factory, Mario is forced to navigate a series of conveyor belts while dodging piles of cement and hopping flames.

I think Nintendo should release the original arcade versions of Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr. and Donkey Kong 3 on either a special disk set or through as Virtual Arcade titles and allow gamers to play the games as they originally were created. However, Nintendo’s roots in the arcades are nothing but a distant and forgotten memory for most gamers. The Legend of Zelda will no doubt celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2011 with more fanfare than will be shown to Donkey Kong. Then again, Nintendo was strangely quiet about the Super Mario Bros. 25th Anniversary Collection until just before it was released, so perhaps something is in the works.

By the way, in case you’re wanting to take on the aging gorilla in its native arcade jungle, take a trip to Murray, Utah and stop by the Nickel Mania arcade at 6051 South State Street. There, situated between the Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong Jr. cabinets, sits the vicious, hungry beast that started it all.

Written by Dave

Twas A Dark And Stormy Night….

Posted in Uncategorized on December 17, 2010 by zombiepickle

Looking out the window, I notice a strange sight. Soaking wet and motionless, a figure stands beneath my window. As I wonder why the person is just standing there staring in my direction, a flash of lightning occurs, revealing a blood soaked and flesh torn face with lifeless eyes. Then another flash, and I see the others gathering behind her.

Zombies. They are everywhere nowadays. In comics, movies, tv shows, even video games. These strange beings have infected our imaginations for quite some time now. They strike fear into some, but intrigue into others. I for one am infatuated with them. Braaaaainnnnnns! Sorry. Back to the blog.

Some of my favorite incarnations of the zombie outbreaks have been the Book World War Z by Max Brooks(son of the legendary Mel Brooks). Such amazing story telling was brought to the documentary style of the book. Chilling stories, amazing visuals, sadness, and excitement.

Another good adaptation of the zombie outbreak is the Dlc for Rockstars Red Dead Redemption, Undead Nightmare. The way they introduced zombies into the wild west was just simply amazing. The people of Blackwater reacted so uniquely to the new inhabitants of their fair town, and the adventure from there out is cheeky and hilarious. Being able to lasso zombies and battle hordes of them as you burn down cemetaries is just the beginning. You also get to meet of cryptozoology’s most wanted members. And it was just simply amazing.

I don’t see zombies going anywhere anytime soon. The market is still going on strong, but even when it dies down, they will still keep on un-living in my heart. Feel free to leave you thoughts or comments. Until next time!

Written by Devin

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