Category: Video Gaming


My guilty pleasure game is Rocket Knight Adventures for the Sega Genesis. It’s a guilty pleasure because it’s a great game that few people even know exists, and when you try to explain it to them, you tend to get some pretty strange looks. The basic premise of the game is jet-pack wearing, beam-projecting sword wielding, armored possum who takes on an evil army of pigs in order to save a kidnapped princess (although at least she’s not in another castle). As I said, it’s entirely odd, but the game play is entirely solid.

In addition to the game play, I love Rocket Knight Adventures for its artistic styling. The setting is a semi-futuristic medieval type kingdom set in world that is side scrolling but still feels expansive. Each level have its own vibe including a castle, a water level, a lava level and a run-down city level. Although 16-bit graphics are somewhat limited, the levels are stunning all the same.

More information regarding the beautiful, opossum-based craziness can be found here.

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One of my favorite games that I consider to be underrated is The Legend of Dragoon for the PlayStation. Most people have never heard of it, and those that have tend to be split between positive and negative opinions. LoD is an RPG with a few twists. Primarily, there is no default attack, but instead each character has a series of “additions” that serve as attacks. The addition is the default method of attack and requires regular button pressing as two boxes converge onscreen. The addition system puts an interesting spin on the whole game, and it is the primary reason why some dislike the game.

Beyond the game mechanics, LoD has a rich story that is divided into four parts to coincide with the four discs that are required to hold the game. Although almost all RPG cliches are present, they are represented rather elegantly and there is enough fresh material to generate a unique setting. The characters are interesting, except for Dart who happens to be the main character and cannot be removed from the party. However, the other characters are all very colorful (and color coded), and most of them have interesting plot twists.

The Legend of Dragoon is a great RPG and often underrated. If you like RPGs and you have some time to kill (like 30-40 hours), go find a copy of LoD and give it a try.

Because I play so many games, I encounter a large number and wide variety of game characters. However, I would have to say that my favorite character is one that has been with me for a long time. The character to whom I am referring was in fact introduced in my first video game, Sonic 2. That’s right, I am an avid fan of Sonic the Hedgehogs two-tailed companion, Miles “Tails” Prower.

Although continually playing second fiddle to the blue blur, this orange fox is highly intelligent and highly capable. When Sonic is in need, Tails flies in to save the day, literally and figuratively. Tails sometimes just carries Sonic directly, but when necessary he breaks out the Tornado, which is awesome in and of itself.

But I digress. The other major reason I love Tails is the possibility of Super Tails that exists in the combination of Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles. After arduously collecting not just the seven chaos emeralds but also the seven additional super emeralds, Tails transforms from his usual self into a flying Juggernaut of destruction. More on Super Tails can be found in my Salute to Super Tails.

My first game, at least the first that I owned and clearly remember, was Sonic the Hedgehog 2. I remember it clearly because it came packaged with the first console I purchased, my second gen Sega Genesis. Of course, I was five at the time and lacking in hand-eye coordination, so I was pretty terrible when it actually playing the game. My first time, I died half way through the first level, and continued to die for some time. I recall that it took me months to reach level 3. Ah, the good old days. Anyway, I still have Sonic 2 and the Genesis in my collection, and to this day, I have not beaten the game. The best I’ve done is to reach the final boss and then die repeatedly.

Day 1 – Your very first video game.
Day 2 – Your favorite character.
Day 3 – An underrated game.
Day 4 – Your guilty pleasure game.
Day 5 – Game character you feel you are most like (or wish you were).
Day 6 – Most annoying character.
Day 7 – Favorite game couple.
Day 8 –  Best soundtrack.
Day 9 – Saddest game scene.
Day 10 – Best gameplay.
Day 11 – Gaming system of choice.
Day 12 – A game everyone should play.
Day 13 – A game you’ve played more than five times.
Day 14 – Current (or most recent) gaming wallpaper.
Day 15 – Post a screenshot from the game you’re playing right now.
Day 16 – Game with the best cut scenes.
Day 17 – Favorite antagonist.
Day 18 – Favorite protagonist.
Day 19 – Picture of a game setting you wish you lived in.
Day 20 – Favorite genre.
Day 21 – Game with the best story.
Day 22 – A game sequel which disappointed you.
Day 23 – Game you think had the best graphics or art style.
Day 24 – Favorite classic game.
Day 25 – A game you plan on playing.
Day 26 – Best voice acting.
Day 27 – Most epic scene ever.
Day 28 – Favorite game developer.
Day 29 – A game you thought you wouldn’t like, but ended up loving.
Day 30 – Your favorite game of all time.

From my friend’s Daily Musings.

There is little doubt that Fire Emblem is one of my favorite game series of all times. However, when it came to the console versions, I was very slow in completing even the Path of Radiance. For some reason, it was hard to find time to sit and play Fire Emblem on a console when it consumed so much time and mental energy. It has been more than five years since its release, but I did finally sit and finish Path of Radiance.

I initially resisted this installment of the series because it departed rather notably from the GameBoy Advance iterations to which I had become accustomed. However, the changes were largely irrelevant to the actual game play, so a little learning brought be back up to speed. Interestingly enough, these deviations from the North American versions were actually closer to the original Japanese games.

After adapting to the changes, it is easy to get swept up in Path of Radiance because of the characters. The main protagonist, Ike, is young and idealistic and for once in the history of gaming, is not a complete idiot. The rest of the characters are part of Ike’s mercenary band or later join his army. Like Fire Emblems before, there are familiar character archetypes that don’t disappoint. My favorites have always been the knight and the mage.

Like other Fire emblem games, these characters become embroiled in a war with a deeper, darker evil lurking somewhere in the shadows. This time, however, the main characters are not the nobles whose kingdom is under attack, but the band of mercenaries protecting the noble whose king is under attack. The story is robust and massive as befits the Fire Emblem series, and is bolstered by the improved abilities of the console over portable systems.

The story takes place between game levels that are just as massive and beautifully rendered in 3D. With the better graphics, it becomes easier to manage troops over expansive level maps and helps in assessing the status of the battlefield.

The troops in Path of Radiance are slightly different than those in previous iterations of the series as the classes more closely resemble the classes in the older Japanese versions. However, the slight retooling is easy to learn and some of the new units are quite useful. The units still use the same weapons triangle for swords, lances and axes, but the magic users now have wind, fire and thunder magic although still in a triangle. In addition to the changes in weapons usage, units now have skills that can have an incredible impact in combat. Some units are self healing, others deal more damage and many have other outstanding abilities. Also, there is the ability to give “bonus experience” to your units in between battles, which is a very good way to keep the slow-growing, ever-useful healers alive.

As with every other Fire Emblem game, I kept every single character alive till the end. It’s hard and often frustrating, but it feels like a real accomplishment. In all, I loved the Path of Radiance, even though it took me forever to finish. Now, I’ll be moving on to Radiant Dawn and possibly be playing the Sacred Stones again.

A Salute to Super Tails

This is Miles “Tails” Prower, the oft maligned sidekick of Sonic the Hedgehog. I have long had an affinity for Tails as he is geeky and orange. However, Tails is also much more; he can become super tails. Although it takes as much to get Super Tails as it does Hyper Sonic, the results are worth it…and devastating to your enemies.

Yes, this is Super Tails complete with a quartet of Super Flickies to crush your enemies. In addition to the Flikies, Super Tails is significantly faster than ordinary Tails, but doesn’t jump any higher (which doesn’t really matter because Tails can still fly. )

To get Super Tails, you must be playing Sonic 3 connected to Sonic & Knuckles and complete all 14 special stages for the complete collection of super emeralds. After that, all you need is to collect 50 rings, double jump and watch your enemies be destroyed.

There are 35 characters in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but in the end, all players seem to find a few characters that suit them best. My best characters are Fox, Marth, Ike and Pit. What it comes down to it, I just need a fast character with a weapon.  Speed seems to be the more dominant factor as I seem to be proficient with both ranged and melee weapons. As much as I like to throw things, hitting someone with a sword can be just as satisfying.

I’ve gotten particularly good with Fox over time because I have been playing with him since the original iteration of the series. However, I have been playing him less in Brawl due to his decreased weight. I love using fox’s blaster, and although I used to be better, can still lay down long stints of fire. The other thing I like best about Fox is his aerial attacks as I tend to fight in the air…a lot. There have been many matches where I spend more time in the air than on the ground.

After playing Fox for a long time, I decided to use another character towards the run of Melee. That character was Marth, the one and only. Marth’s aerial attacks are great, and his speed made the transition from Fox easy. Marth had the added bonus of the tip for making serious smash attacks. However, one of Marth’s best attributes is his down special: counter. Marth can counter anything (except final smashes), takes no damage from the attack and makes a powerful counterattack.

Brawl brought back Marth in force and also gave us a slew of odd characters. My favorite of this new group was pit. Fast and armed, Pit gave me everything I needed in a character including a projectile weapon and a reflector. Add in the fact that he can fly, and Pit is one odd and awesome package. Learning to aim his arrows is a bit difficult but really throws the other players off during a game.

Master Chief

I finished Dragon Age: Origins Awakening yesterday, and it was weird. The entire game was odd, but the ending especially as it came on quickly and proceeded to explain everything in the game in about five minutes. Although it was nice to have everything explained, it was a little difficult to absorb that much information at once.

Anyway, the story was completely odd, but the new abilities are completely awesome. I imported my arcane warrior and turned him into a battlemage which allowed me to basically decimate everything in the game. Now I just need to go back and complete all of the side quests.