June 10, 2016

20 for 20: My Favorite Pokemon

It wasn't easy picking my top 20 Pokemon, you know. I could have made an entire list out of generation two Pokemon alone! In the end, I three main factors determined my picks:

1. Nostalgia
2. Design
3. Usage
I added a few Pokemon on the list that served me well in battle, but my list mostly consists of designs I've always liked from older generations that make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. So then, let's begin!

June 3, 2016

E3 2016, as Predicted by Amiibo

Every June when E3 rolls around, we gamers start getting really excited. Our hearts swell with anticipation and our minds race with the possibilities of what might be. It's a great time for every gamer because no matter what you play there's something new for you to be excited about.

June 1, 2016

Xbox Live Trials Could Have Changed Gaming for the Better

The year was 2006, about six months after the launch of the Xbox 360. I had gotten mine just in time for summer and was looking for something to play. None of the launch games really caught my eye, though the newly-released Ovlivion was on my list of games to get. Before that, though, I hooked up my system, logged into Xbox Live, and checked out the new and improved Xbox Live Arcade. Microsoft had dabbled with downloadable arcade games on the original Xbox, even before Nintendo's Virtual Console was a thing. At this point, though, XBLA only had a few games including some of the arcade titles from the original Xbox, a free copy of Hexic, and Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved. I'd heard some good things about Geometry Wars leading up to the 360's launch and had a passing interest in it. When I navigated to the game page, I was met with a surprise: I could try the game for free. I could try all the games for free.

May 26, 2016

Kirby: Planet Robobot's Soundtrack Finally Gives My Favorite Kirby Games Some Love

Kirby: Planet Robobot came out recently in Japan, and I wanted to share how fucking awesome the sondtrack is. Why is it awesome, you ask? Because it's got so many great rearrangements of music from classic Kirby games that done't usually get any love. My favorite ones! I'm talking Dreamland 2, and 3, as well as Crystal Shards. They're all represented here, and it's glorious. I honestly kind of wish they'd gone all out and just filled the game with classic tunes because the new stuff, in my opinion, is mostly forgettable like the last two main-series games. But I'd say a good chunk of the music is a trip down nostalgia lane. Let's listen together, shall we?

April 17, 2016

The Platinum Demo has me worried about FFXV

About a year ago, Square-Enix released the first public demo of Final Fantasy 15 packaged along with Final Fantasy Typo HD. I bought Typo just so I could play it, and it was worth every penny. Episode Duscae, as it was called, was a demo in the classic sense. It excised a chunk of the main game that showed off nearly all of the systems coming to the final release. It was glorious. Perfect! Everything I'd hoped Final Fantasy XV would be after ten years of waiting. It raised my hype through the roof and left me chomping at the bit for more. 

The new Platinum Demo achieved none of those things. In fact, it might have undone them. Whereas Episode Duscae confirmed to me that Final Fantasy XV was going to be the amazing game I hoped it would be, the Platinum Demo has cast doubt on my eager anticipation. There's a few problems with it, starting with the fact that they'd make this objectively inferior taste of Final Fantasy XV the only taste available to the general public. 

April 14, 2016

Introducing Battle of Fate: Heroes of Championia

From the makers of makers of Puzzle Matcher Adventure and the publisher of Groovin' Hooves: Funky Bovine 2 comes a brand new competitive experience like any other: 

Battle of Fate Heroes of Championia

Battle of Fate is an exciting new multiplyer online tactical strategy class-based shooter role-playing competitive arena esports battle simulator, and your new favorite game. Here are just some of the exciting features awaiting you in Battle of Fate:

April 5, 2016

Seven of My Favorite Corny Game Themes

There's a lot of video game music out there, but every so often we get some lyrical themes. Sometimes these are awesome (like in Portal or Metal Gear) but other times they're incredibly cheesy or goofy. Deep down inside, though, we all know that's the best kind. The recently released Xenoblade Chronicles X is like a Mecca for this kind of music, with many of the games songs being so corny they're awesome. That got me thinking of other cheesy game themes, so I've compiled this list with some of my favorites.

Oh, and sorry about the weird formatting. I don't really want to attempt changing it.

The Xbox One Makes Me Want to Give Up on Video Games

I've been trying to express my feelings on the Xbox One for quite some time, and I've gone through maybe three or four different iterations. None of them felt right. My goal was not to sound like a whiny bitch, but you know what? Fuck that. I'm going to be a whiny bitch because that's what the Xbox One deserves. See, the Xbox One is a piece of shit. It's the worst console I've ever owned, and probably the worst ever made. Worse than the 3DO or the Virtual Boy or even the Gizmondo, which I'm pretty sure was a scam. Every time I try to play the Xbox One I'm filled with rage followed by a profound sadness. It's almost like the five stages of grief, where I start out in disbelief that a video game system can be so much of a hassle, then I'm pleading with the forces that be to make the damn thing work how I want it to, then I finally accept that it just sucks and give up. I used to own an Xbox and an Xbox 360. I loved them! I want to love the Xbox One too, but I just can’t.

April 1, 2016

A History of I04's April Fool Lies That Came True

Big-name websites have it rough for April Fools' Day. Sure they can make some silly gags, but it always has to clearly be a joke. On my dinky little blog that nobody reads, though, I can outright lie about things to trick everybody and I'll never get in trouble for it. Over the years, I have passed off many a fraudulent article as the truth. A lot of the time I ended up totally tricking my friends into believing these, which of course lead to disappointment that they weren't real. As it turns out, I guess I'm some sort of psychic because over the years many of my prank posts turned out to eventually be true. 

March 25, 2016

Over & Under: Bomberman Hero

Over and Under is a series where I highlight my favorite video game soundtracks that are overlooked or underrated. In this installment, I’ll be looking at the one-of-a-kind soundtrack of Bomberman Hero.

The soundtrack for Bomberman Hero feels like the culmination of Jun Chikuma’s body of work. She had been composing music for Bomerman since the original game’s NES release in 1985, and Bomberman Hero would be one of her final games before she moved on to other projects. Released in 1998, Bomberman Hero was a radical departure for the series and was obviously developed as a response to the boom in 3D platformers that was brought about by Super Mario 64. Bomberman could jump in this game, for one, and the game had no multiplayer component whatsoever.

March 11, 2016

How to Avoid Raptor Claws: A Guide to Handheld Gaming Grips

You're having a good old time playing your favorite handheld game and then it happens: you realize your hands have contorted into a pretzeld nightmare. Raptor claws. I, too, used to game in pain until I realized there was a better way. So let me help you get a handle on the situation. The answer, my friends, is molded plastic. But there are many varieties of such plastic and many handhelds. You want to avoid crippling hand pain but don't know where to start? Luckily for you, I'm crazy and have money to blow. I have spent years acquiring a collection of handhelds and grips, perhaps in preparation for this day. So here it is, the event hundreds of dollars in the making. Find your preferred handheld below and get ready to board the train to grip town!

January 28, 2016

Review Redux: Pac-Man Championship Edition DX

Here's a review from way back in 2010, with the crazy convoluted review system I came up with at the time.

January 27, 2016

The Installation 04 BOOTY Awards 2015

What a dang year that was, huh? I mean really, 2015 was one for the history books. It was just 12 months of one excellent game being released after another. When I started the BOOTY awards, I used to pick my top three games. Some years, I even struggled to come up with that many. A few years back, I bumped it up to five because the quality of games was really beginning to increase. But 2015? I'm not sure if I can even even pick just five games because there were so many good ones. Will I? Won't I? Find out within, after a million other awards!

January 22, 2016

Game Critique Redux: Super Meat Boy

In December 2010, one of my all-time favorite games was released. I remember hearing little murmurs here and there about this game earlier that year. It was another one of those New Grounds flash games that was about to make it to the big time. I mostly dismissed it, but the game stayed in the back of my mind, if only because of its weirdness. Finally, towards the end of October it released, and at the promotional price of $10, no less. So I thought "What the hell, why not give it a try?" and I downloaded the demo. I nearly passed it up because I thought it would be too difficult for me to enjoy. I've never been more wrong. And so a game I almost didn't give a chance ended up becoming my Game of the Year pick for 2010. I am, of course, talking about Super Meat Boy.

January 19, 2016

Review Redux: SteamWorld Dig

These days, I typically avoid anything with "dig" in the title because that implies that the game has some sort of crafting component. Show me a guy with an axe and you basically show me the door. I saw SteamWorld Dig on the 3DS eShop last year and completely ignored it. In the interim, I actually read what the game was about and became pretty interested. When I heard there would be a cross-buy version for the PS4 and Vita, I jumped right on it and got a PS+ discount to boot!

April Fools 2014 Redux: Samurai Jack is back!

Well, folks, it took about ten years of trying but old Genndy finally did it. He finally got a movie studio to buy into the idea of a Samurai Jack film for reals. Sony seems very pleased to have the man on board and already has him slated to direct a sequel to Hotel Transylvania as well as the upcoming Popeye animated film and Tartakovsky's own film tentitively titled Can You Imagine? which he will write and direct. After dropping hints about the possibility of a Samurai Jack film in 2012, it looks like Sony has decided to go through with it and is reportedly fast tracking it to a late 2015 or early 2016 release.

Genndy, however, is a busy man. So he's brought on fellow Samurai Jack alumnus Randy Myers to co-direct the movie that will be written by Tartakovsky and Paul Rudish. The film is tentatively titled "Samurai Jack: Back to the Past" and will star Phil LaMarr back as Jack with Greg Baldwin replacing Mako as the voice of Aku, once again taking over his role as he did with Uncle Iroh. Music will be handled by series composer James L. Venable. Although the plot is vague at this point, the Sony Pictures Animation press release notes that "Jack's journey will finally conclude as he manages to get back to the past and face off against the mighty Aku."

Plans for the film were apparently finalized after the recent resurgence in interest for the show. The comic book launched by IDW last November has been selling better than expected, and despite airing at 4am, the Toonami ratings for Samurai Jack reruns remain surprisingly solid, thanks in part to the show trending on Twitter every weekend.

I couldn't be happier about this! I've been waiting for ten years... and so has Genndy. He's had an ending written for about as long as the show's been off the air. Personally, I hope it connects back to "Jack and the Creatures" where Jack finally finds a portal but is blocked by an unstoppable warrior who says he can't use it yet. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

If you want some more tidbits, be sure to read the Sony Pictures Animation press release on their website.

(Even though this was a joke, it basically came true!)

January 18, 2016

Review Redux: Infamous Second Son

The transition from Xbox to PlayStaion has been weird. It’s a transition I think many of my fellow gamers have made. For me, as the last generation went on, I found myself finding the PlayStation exclusive games more and more appealing. So when I got a PS4 I almost felt obligated to jump right in to the system’s biggest franchises. Second Son is basically the first big release since the launch of the system in November 2013. Needless to say that most of us would buy anything at that point. I got my copy having seen a few bits of gameplay but not really knowing what to expect. It was Killzone, you see, that blew me away at the console’s announcement event. The first seconds of the game are off putting, but then everything changes.

Best Eps Redux: Space Dandy Season 1

Space Dandy is a pretty wild and crazy anime, but I think the show is at its best when it's more quiet and contemplative. Of course, that doesn't mean that the situations that Space Dandy gets into are any less ridiculous from episode to episode. If you've never seen Space Dandy, then count this as my list of personally recommended episodes.

Worth Watching Redux: Kill la Kill

When I set out to watch some anime, I usually give the first episode a go and see if it grabs me. Kill la Kill here was the talk of last anime season, with tons of memes and discussions all over the internet. I like to watch shows on my own time if I can help it, so I'm not really one to go for the weekly stream from Japan. But recently I noticed the entire series of Kill la Kill was on Netflix already, waiting to be streamed at my leisure. How could I resist? The show is from Hiroyuki Inaishi, one of the anime world's craziest minds, so I fully expected the new series from the creator and director of Gurren Lagann and Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt to be totally nuts. Last time, Inaishi took to parodying mecha anime and this time he was taking on magical girl. That's literally all I knew going in to it. I wasn't expecting to be blown away.

January 17, 2016

Review Redux: Shovel Knight

The year was 198X. A small but dedicated development team was creating the ultimate NES game that drew from the most popular titles of the time while introducing some innovative new mechanics. Mere weeks away from shipping, the team came into work and their game was gone. Not a trace of it was found. No concept art, no music tracks, no design documents, no computer files. Nothing. Fast forward to 2013. New development studio Yacht Club Games asks for $75,000 to create a game called Shovel Knight. But Yacht Club held a dark secret. They didn't use the money to create Shovel Knight; they used the money to build a time machine. And with that time machine, they traveled back in time to 198X and stole the development materials for Shovel Knight, modified it to run on modern platforms, and took all the credit.

January 16, 2016

Worth Watching Redux: Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated.

It's been a long time coming, but Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc is the logical conclusion to Scooby Doo. I honestly don't think there's anywhere to go from here but down. See, Mystery Inc isn't like other iterations of the Doo. The original series was fun for what it was, but incredibly shallow with one dimensional characters and predictable plots. My favorite versions of Scooby were from the 80s and 90s, where Scooby and the gang would often have to take down actual supernatural forces. I always really liked the film trilogy staring Scooby, Shaggy, and Scrappy from the late 1980s and the first few revival films of the 1990s starting with Zombie Island. Unfortunately, after Cyber Chase in the early 2000s, the supernatural aspect was dropped again when the cartoon show was revived. Fast forward a decade and now we've got Mystery Inc, a complete reboot of everything Scooby Doo.

Impressions Redux: Hyper Light Drifter

When was the last time you played a game that didn't hold your hand? You're probably going to say Demon's Souls. But even Demon's Souls had tutorials. While I'm sure the final version of Hyper Light Drifter will have some sort of instructions on how to play the game, the Kickstarter alpha version does not.