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So it would appear today that the Astros are making some quick, temporary fixes to weaknesses on their roster with two free agents. Former Blue Jays outfielder Colby Rasmus has already been signed for $8M, and former Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong is likely to sign before long. Does this help the Astros in 2015? Probably. Let’s see. Remember, 2015 is not World Series or bust. It’s .500 or it’s okay; there’s always next year.

The trade with the Braves to bring Evan Gattis to Houston probably should have signaled the departure of soon-to-be free agent Dexter Fowler, who was traded to the Cubs. It made sense: he was one year from free agency, and was asking for $10.8M in his final year of arbitration. That’s a steep price to pay, and Gattis was going to be super cheap since he isn’t even arbitration-eligible yet. I didn’t really expect them to sign another outfielder though, and yet, here we are. So the outfield is probably going to look something like this:

LF: Evan Gattis
CF: Colby Rasmus
RF: George Springer

That’s not a bad outfield at all. It’s got 20-30 home run potential for each member, though the low batting average, high strikeout tendencies from Rasmus and Springer are troubling. Did we need Rasmus though? Well, here are the other options at their disposal (via the 40 man roster):

Robbie Grossman
L.J. Hoes
Jake Marisnick
Alex Presley
Domingo Santana

Marisnick is probably the best bet to get at bats, and was more than likely going to be the de facto starter in center (or right, depending on how they feel about Springer in center) before the signing. He’s still young though, and could definitely get time in the outfield during various injuries or if Rasmus flames out again. Of course, Jon Singleton could hit another roadblock at first and be forced back to AAA. In that case, it’s likely Gattis and his lead glove would head there, opening up left for Marisnick, who I find the most acceptable alternative in the fold.

Grossman and Presley were likely the backups, and neither of them are particularly that good. Their youth gives them at least one positive on their side (though you could say that about most Astros). As for Hoes and Santana, they performed so pitifully in 2014, I wouldn’t be surprised to see both of them in AAA to start the season.

Is it a perfect outfield? Certainly not. Rasmus and Springer strike out a ton and couldn’t hit .250 in 2014, and Gattis’ glove is a major issue. Still, there’s youth and power aplenty here, and Rasmus, though he had an awful 2014, had good seasons prior to that, and could find himself again here in Houston. And as I was writing this blog, that $4M+ became $8M for one year. $2.8M saved over Fowler, I guess, but that’s still a hefty chunk of change for our little payroll team.

Starting Pitcher:
While the deal for Ryan Vogelsong hasn’t yet been completed, it’s possible this becomes a reality. If so, what then? Well, unlike the Rasmus deal, I have less reservations towards it, as long as it’s only a one year deal (or perhaps a one year deal with an option). Vogelsong is an aging, back of the rotation starter, but I have a feeling that’s exactly who the Astros are trying to sign. The front of the rotation is actually pretty good right now, and while Collin McHugh, Dallas Keuchel, and Scott Feldman aren’t names that are setting the world on fire, they’re certainly not an embarrassment to our fair city. The back of the rotation, though? Problems.

SP4: Brett Oberholtzer
SP5: Brad Peacock

I like Obie. While everyone was gawking over Jared Cosart in 2013, I was pulling for him. It didn’t work out for anyone, as Obi struggled (it felt like he got sent down four times) and Cosart was traded to the Marlins. Peacock was even worse, if you can believe that. A couple offseason trades have gutted the options we had all (and by all, maybe it’s just me) hoped would be fighting for a rotation spot, as Nick Tropeano was traded to the Angels and Mike Foltynewicz (first try!) went to the Braves. At this point in time, the main competition for Peacock’s spot as #5 pitcher (I just say Peacock because I secretly hope Oberholtzer will win the Cy Young award) are Sam Deduno (a Twins castoff) and Dan Straily (a new acquisition from the Fowler trade who had a horrendous 2014). Based on that competition, it would seem likely that Peacock would start the season in the rotation. Horrifying. Then here comes Vogelsong. As long as the contract isn’t ridiculous (and I suspect it won’t be), this is a good stopgap signing, and I think it’ll most likely be money well spent.

Overall, the two signings aren’t terrible, and they’re not going to sink the franchise into oblivion (we miss you, Folty!). While I’m not 100% convinced we needed to sign Rasmus (I liked the Gattis/Marisnick/Springer outfield), Vogelsong should be a good innings eater in the back of the rotation (assumedly as a #4 starter), and bring a veteran presence to the rotation with Feldman (for whatever that’s worth). I’ll update this whenever more information about the Vogelsong signing comes around.

One more thing: Carlos Corporan was designated for assignment to make room for Rasmus. Hope you enjoy Arlington, Carlos. I’m rooting for you.

Now can someone explain to me why we needed to trade Tropeano for a backup catcher?

So I’ve been a fan of Jon Bois for a couple months now. His Breaking Madden and NBA Y2K series are some of the funniest stuff I’ve ever read, which I’ll link to right here.

Breaking Madden:

Anyway, I was thinking about it today and I had an idea. Not the same idea, mind you, but something in the same vein: taking a sports game where it was never meant to be taken. But games like NBA 2K13 and the Madden franchise are too sophisticated for me, so I had to go simpler. I had to go back. Back to when men were men and the best hitter on the planet was a tiny little Mexican guy. Yes, we’re playing Backyard Baseball 2003. And by we, I mean me. You aren’t playing it.

The sport of champions.

The sport of champions.

So what will this entail? Well, I won’t be breaking the game like Mr. Bois. It’s too impenetrable. No, instead I’ll be breaking records. In a fourteen game season, I will try to break as many real life single-season records as I possibly can. How will I do this? Two simple ways:

1) Pick the best players.
2) Play it on easy.

There aren’t many games easier on easy mode than the Backyard Sports franchise. I have won games by scores of 189-0 and 185-5 (the first game crashed under how awesome it was). I will be basically beating up on the crippled kids until a point where no normal person would have any fun playing it. No person except for me. I love curbstomping lesser beings into the dust, way past the point of it being exciting. I surely will not tire of winning games made for eight-year-olds.

Of course, I know some real life records are not breakable in-game just based on a fourteen game season. I can’t win 59 games. I can’t strike out 513 batters. I can’t be walked 232 times (the coms just can’t throw that many balls out of the strike zone). Still, I will attempt to break as many records as I possibly can, just to see if it can be done. I’m clearly the right man for the job: I’m nearly three times as qualified as the recommend aged player. Soon, I will begin this epic quest. Bud Selig’s got nothing on this league.

Pokémon is geared towards innocent kids, who just want to capture sentient creatures and force them to fight each other in a battle to the death faint. This is not for your eyes, kids. As we get older, some of us must shoulder the burden of having our entertainment ruined forever by looking past the veil into how nonsensical it all is. So that’s what this is: a talk about how Pokémon came to be. So first, we must go to the beginning.


And God said, “Let there be light,” and Game Freak said, “No, we’re making fairies.” And it was bad.

Ever since the original Pokémon games, it’s been common knowledge that all Pokémon have the DNA of Mew. After Sinnoh though, Arceus came into the picture. The G-O-D of everything. So, which is it? The fact that Mew was created game-wise before Arceus is irrelevant because of fossils (since they obviously existed long before the games begin), so for this discussion, I’m not going to be talking about Mew for awhile. This is because, if Mew is the progenitor of all Pokémon, what was it procreating with to create all these Pokémon? Mew has no gender, and unless the next games start circulating pictures of Mew with its legendary penis in a pint of ice cream, I think we’ll all be fine ignoring that history of the world. So, instead we’ll talk about two prevailing theories that I may have just made up: Arceus created all the Pokémon or humans created all the Pokémon. Of course, it could be a mix, which I’ll throw in as an aside later. Let’s start with the first one.

Arceus: The Original G-O-D

Known as the Alpha type, its Pokédex entries from Diamond and Pearl are, in order, “It is described in mythology as the Pokémon that shaped the universe with its 1,000 arms,” and “It is told in mythology that this Pokémon was born before the universe even existed.” Well, not only does that sound like a god, that sounds like the God. If it created the universe, odds are it created the things upon Earth, such as Pokémon and perhaps even people. Creating the universe also gives credence to the myth that Clefairy come from the Moon, since Arceus could have deemed it so if it had wanted to. It has godly powers, like the ability to change into any type via the plates, plus the Arceus-only move Judgement, which is pretty godly when you think about it. They say God made us in his image (which was a mistranslation, but move on, move on), so it stands to reason that perhaps Arceus did the same. It created various types of Pokémon, and since Arceus itself has powers, it bestowed all of these onto its creations. However, some things don’t add up, and that’s where the second theory comes in.

Humans: The Illuminati’s Paintbrush

If Arceus created all of the Pokémon, even accounting for evolution and mutations (like Carbink and Diancie), why are there creatures that look suspiciously like manmade objects? Why is there an ice cream Pokémon? Why is there a trash Pokémon? No, seriously, why?



With this theory, humans created Pokémon as a way to give people something to strive for in a dead-end world, plus it brings in tons of dat cash. This is the theory that I would subscribe to. It makes the most sense… which, I mean, it doesn’t, but don’t pretend like your idea makes sense. There are Pokémon research labs everywhere, and with the Ditto theory (that Dittos are failed Mew clones), it seems likely that humans found ways to create all of the Pokémon, so perhaps Mew’s DNA really is within all Pokémon. Well, I guess we aren’t really done talking about Mew. Whoops. I’ll get to that later. Also, here’s something that Pokémon creationism could never solve: stone evolutions. How could a stone be so powerful that it completely changes a Pokémon’s molecular structure, causing it to become a different creature while breaking the laws of conservation of mass at the same time? Let’s say Pokémon were created by humans, alright? Wouldn’t it make sense that the molecular structure of these creatures wasn’t entirely stable? Perhaps, even, that it was unstable enough that exposure to a radiating stone would cause a great change within in. That could even have been the intention all along. Nothing makes money quite like fresh, new things, and Eevee is a prime example. There are so many Eevees. Nothing on this Earth (that I know of: I’m no scientist) can do what an Eevee can do. Eevee’s molecular form is so unstable, anything can change it into a different creature: stone exposure, rock exposure, friendship… Okay, nothing will ever explain the power of friendship.


Wrong series. Get outta here.

That would also explain Mega Evolution, which makes a stone (plus a ring that you wear around your wrist because Japan doesn’t wear a lot of rings) transform a Pokémon temporarily into a much stronger beast, AKA steroids. There are just so many different Pokémon that do tremendous things and can be transformed easily with items. It would also explain the overarching Illuminati factor (that I love to push). The Illuminati created Pokémon in order to make lots and lots of money, and they made up the legends of legendary Pokémon in order to keep PETA-like groups off their backs. They control all of the Pokémarts and centers and, with their works on Ditto, it’s obviously they’re well-versed in clone technology, so it would explain why every Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny are the exact same thing over many continents. It could also explain why even the foremost researchers like Bill don’t know that there are many, many, many… many more Pokémon than are carved on his door. (EDIT: It would also also explain how HMs and TMs work, because you try putting a CD into an animal. It’s either a complete rewiring of their DNA, or all Pokémon are secretly made by EA and they just have day one DLC you have to pay for.) (EDIT 2: So yes, I know you don’t put the CD in the Pokémon, you put it on top of them… so that does? My friend suggested the CD is laced with protein strands, and that’s as good as anything.) There is one more thing for the Arceus theory, though…

Type Retcons

At certain times, Pokémon have changed types as they go from game to game. This is to make more sense out of a Pokémon when a new type comes in (Magnemite: Steel; Jigglypuff: Fairy), but what if it was something more? What if it was evolution? Not Pokémon evolution, but evolution… evolution. There were Pokémon, like Gardevoir and Jigglypuff, which had weaknesses to certain types (Dark and Fighting, respectively), so future generations gained an evolutionary trait to combat this weakness (Fairy).

In Conclusion

For my money, I like to think that it’s a combination of all three, in a way. In the beginning, Arceus created the world. It created the regions, it created the legendaries, and it created a bunch of Pokémon. Later, humans began to experiment on Pokémon using Mew DNA (there it is again) creating more than just Ditto, but a bunch of different Pokémon, including literally trash. They created items to capture Pokémon, to heal Pokémon, to power them up. They grew berries and other herbal remedies in a very hippy way. The Illuminati still controls the Pokémon creation and the cloning processes (because I don’t believe in any gaming reality without them), but legendaries do exist and keep balance. That’s why they can’t procreate: there can only be one to keep balance. And no, nothing will explain how Onix and Weedle can breed. Josh why. So, yes, this is way too deep for a game from the 1990s where I’m sure they never thought one second about any of this. It’s food for thought though, and I guess the only question we have left is



So it’s not 2013 anymore. Whoops. These are the top five old stages that I’d like to see return to the new Super Smash Bros. that’s coming out this year. To be specific, these are stages from the first two SSB games that were not in Brawl.


#5: Mushroom Kingdom


The original hidden stage, Mushroom Kingdom was always fun to play back when I was a kid. Sure, you could get pushed back until you couldn’t be seen and just die, and the middle platforms could always drop you to your death, but there’s a POW block. That’s pretty cool, right? We could bring back this stage and get rid of Mushroomy Kingdom, because the underground portion was awful.

#4: Great Bay


I think what’s cool about Great Bay (from Melee) is its uniqueness. It’s a smallish stage, yes, but it’s also got a turtle island that betrays you and sinks you to the murky depths of the ocean. Plus, Tingle’s just floating there, waiting to be destroyed so utterly. It’s no Pirate Ship, but it’s a lot more manageable than the behemoth they call Temple. Seriously, shorten that one up.

#3: Yoshi’s Island


No, wait, that one’s already in Brawl.


No, that one’s in Brawl too…


There it is.

Okay, there, that one. It isn’t really anything special, but it’s Yoshi. Yoshi is super and he is the character your world deserves. Yoshi’s Island is really Mario’s stage, and Yoshi’s Island is kind of lame. Now Yoshi’s Island, this one is cooler. It’s from Yoshi’s Story and is super-imposed over our favorite tree, the Super Happy Tree.

Seriously, Yoshi has more than one game. You don’t need to call every stage Yoshi’s Island.

#2: Saffron City


The strangest stage to be tournament (considering how Ness gets wrecked in that little drop between buildings), this stage is actually pretty cool. The main attraction is the garage thing where Pokemon come out of. Electrode blows you up, Porygon punches you with its face, and then you seek unneeded revenge on Chansey by knocking her smug helpful self out of the stage. Not only could they add more Pokemon, but they could get rid of the original Pokemon Stadium, since it’s really unnecessary. It’s literally Pokemon Stadium 2 with less stuff.

#1: Poke Floats


What are you doing, Seel?… Why are you watching, Wooper?

Wooper is really happy to see you. Here it is, the best stage we’re missing out on: Poke Float. Now, I dislike moving stages, since they’re too difficult to keep a grip on, but this stage wins points for being full of Pokemon. Sure, it would need some updating (probably) for some hopefully non-Gen V Pokemon, but that would just make it more awesome. I would love to play this stage again in the newest installment of Super Smash Bros. Just… keep Seel away from Venusaur.

Where’s Yoshi, Nintendo? Save Yoshi 2014.

Previously on MBTVGIEPP2: unnecessary sword fighting. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

#5: Penumbra: Requiem (Steam)


Technically this is cheating, since this is an expansion and not a full game. I didn’t even want to put this in the list at first since, after playing it, calling it a game would be a misnomer of the highest caliber. In the end though, I did add it, and we all suffer for it. This is the first – and final – expansion on the Penumbra series by Frictional Games. While I only played the second one (Penumbra: Black Plague), I thought it was acceptable and good segue into the superior Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Then there was this…



Penumbra: Requiem takes place immediately after the events of Black Plague where, spoilers obviously, you get smacked in the back of the head by a Tuurngait and pass out. When you come to, you wake up in the ultimate nightmare: this game. Through the three hours it takes to get through this… thing, you play a horror game exactly the way it was intended: by solving puzzles and having no enemies anywhere ever. Calling it horror in any sense is rather silly, though having to pay for the game must have been terrifying. After slogging through all of the puzzles, I finally came to some kind of machinery that was talking to me. Turns out it was the voice of Red, a guy who you kill in the first game. He wants you to join him, and while I was ignoring him, I pushed a button. That button, as it turns out, was to open the machinery, which was a furnace… which I walked inside and burned to death, ending the game.

What a twist.

What a twist.

I sat there staring at the screen for a good minute, unable to comprehend that they had just ended the game by having me walk into a furnace and dying. Yes, as it came to pass, by walking into the furnace, you died at the end of the second game, making this entire playthrough worthless. At this point, I decided that no, that wasn’t an acceptable ending, and I went back into the game to force it to give me a different ending. Well, there was a door behind me, so hey, why not? I walked through it. I was back on the ship I had been on during Black Plague, but there was no way out. Eventually the screen went white, ending the game… Really? Again?

After reading up on what had happened, I found out that this was an alternative ending where the ship was the very ship you sailed to Greenland in from the first game, which means that, by entering that door, my character decided to just turn around and go home, making the entire SERIES not happen. Two endings in one game, and they both were horrendous. Not even KOTOR 2 had an ending quite as bad as this. Burn, baby, burn.

#4: Obscure: The Aftermath (Wii)

Obscure- The Aftermath

You’ve heard about this one, huh? It feels like I’ve talked so much about it, just because it was bad in nearly every way. The whole game centers around a bunch of college students, although with their talks of a “Leafmore High,” it’s a tad confusing. A strange flower drug infects a bunch of people and everyone becomes zombie things. Let’s talk about the highlights: in co-op mode, you can bash your friends with melee weapons while they bleed and their characters say such touching phrases like, “Ugh, you’re such a boy!” Riveting. Well, we’re done with that. Let’s get to all the negatives.

Oh look, it's definitely not Leatherface.

Oh look, it’s definitely not Leatherface.

I know I’ve harped about this game before, but it deserves every criticism it gets. The camera is your worst enemy, constantly spinning around to face you when enemies approach. The combat’s alright, but severely hampered by the camera and weak weapons. On top of that, you have to hear every character you play moan and complain about every little thing. The dialogue would even make Barry from Resident Evil cringe. On the back of the box, it says “Six charismatic characters.” There has never been a bigger lie in the history of entertainment. EA couldn’t come up with a better lie. Every single person you meet and/or play as are selfish, shallow, dense, and bring nothing but misery to every conversation they participate in. And guess what? With the exception of the goth chick and the weird dude who both appeared in the first game, everyone dies. They were so charismatic that they all died. I may be one of those people who hates when games kill off the people you play as, but it was really a blessing in disguise here. If the monsters weren’t going to kill these guys, I would’ve had to.

Seen here heading to a dorm room to smoke weed, proving how indispensable they are to the world.

Seen here heading to a dorm room to smoke weed, proving how indispensable they are to the world.

Oh, and yes, there is a part where one of the characters is knocked unconscious by a crazy guy with a bag over his head and wielding a chainsaw, where he’s eventually killed by said crazy guy. I applaud the originality on display here. If this is number four, the bottom three will give you cancer.

#3: Superman 64 (N64)


I’m sorry, it’s terminal.

What is there that hasn’t been said about Superman 64? It makes everything that ever lived bad, whether that’s video games, or movie video games, or superheroes, or the civil rights movement. The graphics are ugly, even for the N64, the controls are unintuitive and basically broken, and the story is as bare-bones as it can be (at the very least, you could say it’s better than Penumbra: Requiem). You spend the first part of the game flying through rings, and when you fail the missions they threw in – yes, you will fail – you get to start all over. Aren’t you having fun yet?

Lex Luthor's most deadly maze.

Lex Luthor’s most deadly maze.

The combat is sticky and awful, meaning you’ll spend most of your time punching air. To save automobile drivers, you have to pick them up and, once they’re out of harm’s way, toss them across the map like you might toss this game. If you sit there thinking about how bad your life has become long enough, the demo starts playing, in which even the developers couldn’t play their own game. Superman misses a bunch of rings, skims the ocean, and then just floats under a bridge like he’s contemplating suicide. If the people who made the game can’t play it, there are some underlying problems that may need attention. Oh, and guess what? There’s actually a game after Sonic and the Lost Rings. You fly around bumping into walls, watching enemies phase through walls, get stuck in a room with no escape, and end up exploding because there doesn’t seem to be any way to defuse the bombs. I think Lex Luthor’s plan wasn’t to blow up Metropolis after all: I think his plan was to make a game so bad that Superman’s reputation would never recover. You’re a freaking genius, Luthor.

If a career criminal could get elected president, I truly believe anything is possible.

If a career criminal could get elected president, I truly believe anything is possible.

#2: Tony Hawk Ride (Wii)


It’s really hard to justify many things being worse than the infamous Superman 64, but I’ll try. I’ll give this to Supes: the game, no matter how horrible it is, is playable. It’s playable by the loosest definition alive, but it’s playable. The same can’t be said of Tony Hawk Ride, the game which decided to use a skateboard peripheral. It sure sounded exciting at the time, but the stupid thing just doesn’t work, at all. I should’ve known something was wrong when it took forever just to calibrate the board. Once inside the game, you have two modes: have the game play itself, or crash into the wall and fail. It’s your choice, really.

This is one of the various things you can't do in the game.

This is one of the various things you can’t do in the game.

No matter how long we played it, or who was playing it, the board just would not function, and there was no alternative. You killed skateboarding, Buzz Monkey. I hope you’re happy. I bet you’re not.

#1: E.T. (Atari 2600)


I think, deep inside, you knew this was coming. The pinnacle of terrible games, the Cleveland Spiders of our time, it’s E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. We’re all so ashamed. You thought there was plot? Hah, you’re a funny guy, guy. Well, here’s the plot: collect dots before Dick Tracy takes you to jail. See, this is what happens when you give one guy less than two months to make a game.

I want to die.

I want to die.

Those dots are Reeses Pieces, though you’d have to be god to known this. If the game wasn’t annoying enough, there are holes everywhere that you just fall into. Pick yourself back up, and you fall right back in. There are no redeeming factors to this game. It is a morbid curiosity that should’ve stayed buried. We’re all dead now. The cancer, remember?

Now, wasn’t that fun? But on a serious note, all of these games suck. Don’t attempt to play them, or you will die from the disappointment, and the cancer. Not all of the bad games I played could make this list, but I’m going to give them dishonorable mention here, lest they be forgotten: The Bigs (Wii), DDR: Hottest Party (Wii), Hide (Mac), Lone Survivor (Steam), Minority Report (Gamecube), Shark Tale (Gamecube), Star Fox Aventures (Gamecube), Towns (Steam – I’ll kill you, Josh)

Well, I think you know the deal by now. This time, instead of talking about the games I enjoyed playing, this section will be about the games that made me consider ritual suicide. No, we’re not talking about Mario Party.



No, this is about games that I’ve played that were just really, really bad. Now, before you proceed, I will warn you: there will be spoilers concerning these games (though I’m not sure why you would ever want to play these games). There are terrible games that I’ve never played before, therefore they can’t be included. There may be games here that you enjoy (two of these games got high rankings on Metacritic, for example). These are just opinions, so take them as such. Seriously though, they suck. [One final note: almost all of these games are on Nintendo consoles solely because I only played Nintendo consoles. If I had played lots of Xbox or Playstation games, I’m sure there would be some terrible games of those on this list.]

#10: Red Steel (Wii)


Red Steel was one of the launch titles for the Nintendo Wii, developed by Ubisoft. Ubisoft had been known for good games at the time, and continue to develop good games now, so there wasn’t much reason to doubt that they could harness the capabilities of the new Wiimote. The game ran into a problem, though: it tried doing that. The game itself was pretty boring: you’re an American in California marrying an Asian woman when a bunch of other Asians start shooting at you, insulting you as you shoot them all with your guns. You know, fun.


Wait, that isn’t a gun…

Something happens on your way to victory, though: you learn the ways of the katana. Now, if you’d played Killing Floor, you’d know that the katana is a great weapon, mostly for stunlocking Scrakes. Alas, there are no Scrakes here. Instead, you’re forced against your will into swordfights where you attempt to harness the power of terrible Wiimote controls. Spoiler alert: you don’t win this fight. The controls are particularly bad here, meaning there isn’t much else to do than to swing the Wiimote violently until your opponent dies. I only bought this game because it came with No More Heroes, so it wasn’t a complete loss. There was a sequel made, but that one wasn’t very good either. Bad move, Ubisoft.

#9: 1080 Snowboarding (N64)


And here’s one of those games. According to a web archive of Metacritic, this game got an 88 out of 100 (on the current site it has a more sensible 70/100). Why was this game good? I can’t say for certain. All I can say about this game is that you take damage while snowboarding, and if you take enough damage, you lose. It’s not a lot of fun when you’re racing with your friend and you lose because you fell too many times, especially considering the game seems to urge your boarder into falling over every time you try to do a trick. There are much better games out there than this one.

#8: Manhunt 2 (Wii)


As the previous games have proved, even the best companies have some not-so-great titles. This gory game comes straight from Rockstar, a company familiar with controversy. A particular controversy arose when it appeared on the Wii, when concerned parents feared that kids could practice strangling people with the Wiimote and nunchuck. If any of those parents can replicate a strangling with those controls, I will give them a hundred bucks. The controls are awful, with troubles arising not only from attempting to kill people, but from even such trivial things as standing up. There was a moment in the game where a couple of thugs knocked me down, and it was nigh-on impossible to get back up. Needless to say I died. On top of that, there was one more tiny problem.


Actual game footage.

See, Manhunt 2, like some horror games I’ve played, says that the best way to play the game is to have it on the lowest brightness setting. Having never encountered this before, I complied and turned it down to as dark as it could go. I continued to play the game like this until I entered a house to evade the police. I spent anywhere from thirty to sixty minutes exploring that house with no idea of what I was doing. At that point, I had no choice: I had to up the brightness setting. And what did I find? I had been running around in a circle the whole time, unable to see where I was going. Great idea, game. Turns out turning on the lights doesn’t make the game any more fun.

#7: Lux-Pain (DS)


This game is so unfortunate, as it could have been so much more. Being a visual-novel game, there wasn’t much in the way of gameplay, but the story itself had a really great, depressing premise. The main character had to destroy things known as the Silent, which latched onto people and created depressing and even suicidal thoughts. I enjoyed that part… and nothing else. For a game that was basically a book, they seemed to have spent no time actually translating it.


What’s wrong here? I’ll have to thing about it.

When your product basically does one thing, you’d think that you’d try hard on that one thing. Turns out this may not be the case, as these kinds of errors pop up everywhere, in every instance. Add on the fact that the “gameplay” involves tapping on circular things to defeat “bosses”, and you’ve got a game with a good premise, but an extremely disappointing product. This would’ve been better off as an anime.

#6: Resident Evil 2 (N64)


Here’s the big one. If there was ever a game I put here that I felt people would start screaming at me for, it would be this one. Resident Evil 2: the game with an 89/100 on Metacritic. A game people loved then and now. A game that showcased the awesomeness of horror games, and is much better than the horror-less action games that started with Resident Evil 4. Okay, I’m not actually sure anyone really thinks this. Let’s start from the top.

My brother was the one who bought RE2, since we heard that it was such a good game. It wasn’t long, however, before my brother was telling me how he couldn’t even get out of the first screen. Well that’s odd, I thought as I went to the game room and took the controller. The very first thing I did upon playing the game was walk straight into fire. Capcom, in all their infinite wisdom, flipped the controls. I was finally able to walk into the next screen, where they were generous enough to change the camera angle. In a move that may have been unprecedentedly stupid, the camera, which isn’t controllable, is differently angled every time you step out of a frame. The worst ones included a top-down view and one that was on the ground, obscuring your view as zombies came at you from that same angle. There are even screens that, once you run into that part of the game, flip the controls so you run right back where you came from. The controls, particularly the ones controlling the aiming of the gun, were awful, meaning it was more advantageous to run away rather than attempt to get your gun around to shooting something. Plus, this game commits a cardinal sin, a sin that no game should ever repeat.


Where is his beautiful blonde hair?!

In all their infinite wisdom, the developers decided what gamers really wanted was a limited number of saves. So now you only have a limited number of opportunities to save your game, meaning that you potentially will have to go long stretches of the game without a save opportunity. Even worse, the way you save is by putting typewriter tape into the aforementioned typewriter, so you must traverse past hordes of zombies to find a typewriter, then you must pull out a huge roll of tape that takes up precious inventory space just to save your game. With the exception of games without save functions, this is without a doubt the worst possible save structure in video game history. It seems like Capcom is punishing you for not being able to play their entire game without dying in one go. The entire game was just a big misstep on the way to the Resident Evil franchise’s best entry, Resident Evil 4.


As you were.

Previously on MTTVGIEP: Games. Now, let’s get back to the show. Today we shall delve from numbers 5-1. If you haven’t read the previous 5, I suggest you do. Or not, whatever.

#5: Super Mario Sunshine (Gamecube)


If the princess is on vacation, who runs the kingdom? Is it Daisy?

For some reason, this game seems like it flies under the radar despite critically positive reviews. Maybe it’s just because I don’t hear about people talking about it. They always talk about the old Super Mario World games, or Super Mario 64… perhaps New Super Mario Bros for the newer players. For me, however, my favorite Mario game I’ve ever played is Super Mario Sunshine. This game seems to prove that you can really drop Mario wherever you want and he’ll deliver. This game has greatness all around: a good story, an amazing place to run around in, and plenty of high-caliber levels. Running around Delfino Island and all of its connecting places was some of the best times I’ve ever had playing video games. In fact, if I could do one thing in real life that you do in video games, I’d Blooper surf like you do in Rico Harbor.


I get the feeling PETA would want to get involved.

Like all games, there are a couple flaws: the camera is pretty poor and the voice acting is grating, but that doesn’t really take away from the overall experience. Whether you’re hovering over a broken bridge in Bianco Hill or traversing a dangerous volcano to defeat the final boss, you’re guaranteed to have a good time on Delfino Island, even if the cops are always on you to clean up a mess you didn’t make.


Since when has Mario been translucent, you lazy sacks of fat?

#4: Timesplitters: Future Perfect (Gamecube)


It’s time to split!

With all the new shooters that come out yearly, what are they missing? A sense of humor perhaps, or a plot that you can truly get immersed in and care about what happens. Perhaps even that same plot moving throughout different points in time where you meet many quaint characters.


Characters with lots of personality.

Yes, the modern shooter is missing Timesplitters. Timesplitters is a shooter where you go to different points in time to stop an evil scientist from stealing the time crystals, which are currently needed in the future to stop the aforementioned Timesplitters. You are Hector Cortez, the only thing standing between salvation and destruction. What I’ve already mentioned is how fun this game is to play, with its great characters, settings, plot, and shooting action. But that’s not all! The multiplayer action is beautiful, with lots of fun times to be had with your friends killing bots and each other (I hope you play as the monkeys, for it is the only way). Deathmatch, virus, capture the bag: it all plays out wonderfully through a variety of excellent levels.


An important character for her role in the plot and nothing else.

I’d like to end this part with a small story. Can I? Oh, it’s my blog; of course I can! My brother and I were playing multiplayer Timesplitters one night, and we were trying to avoid killing each other. After the eighth time I killed him, this exchange happened:

CJ: That’s it! I’m tired of you killing me. You’d better watch your back.

Me: I can’t. This is a first person shooter.


#3: Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)


Obtained: Best console multiplayer ever. Lost: One TV.

What more can you say about this game? It’s pretty much THE best amalgamation of different game series to ever be created (suck on THAT, MvC) with some of the best fun to have with friends of all time. I’m not sure what more I could say about a game this good that nearly everyone has played, so let’s just say this: Yoshi is the bomb diggity.


If she was the princess while Peach was on vacation, she’d never finish greeting everyone.

#2: Luigi’s Mansion (Gamecube)


Always accept free mansions in contests you didn’t enter.

I’ve recently been replaying this game (as I’ve beaten the game several times before), and it’s at least proof to me that time has not clouded the awesomeness that is this game. Luigi, the forgotten brother of the Mario Bros, has won a mansion in a contest he didn’t enter, and decides to head up there after Mario goes missing. Turns out he was kidnapped (similarly to the critically-avoided ‘game’ Mario is Missing), and it’s up to Luigi to save the day using the technology created by one Professor E. Gadd.


Wait, wrong invention.

Similar in a darker way to Super Mario Sunshine, Luigi’s Mansion has a great number of rooms to traverse as you attempt to free Mario. While the puzzles are simple, they’re fun to implement, and there’s plenty of unique ghosts to suck up and riches to collect.


You know Weegie gots to get paid.

When you finally defeat King Boo and have a gallery full of ghost paintings, you know that, truly, Jackson Pollack’s got nothing on you. Still can’t catch those blue ghosts, though…

#1: Team Fortress 2 (Steam)


By the people, for the hats.

You knew this was coming. After playing 1,321 hours in this game, there really wasn’t anything else that could top the world’s greatest hat simulator (there’s even a game hidden behind the hats!). It’s not just the hats, of course: there really isn’t anything more fun than shooting a bunch of cocky strangers and saying silly, often-hilarious one-liners from the strangest mish-mash of characters in a shooter. After countless kills (well, the strange weapons count them…), the fact that this game is free gives no one an excuse not to play it.

Well, that’s the top ten. Remember, this was my personal top ten, so it’s all subjective to my personal opinions. Still, they’re all great games that warrant at least a couple hours of play. So, in conclusion-


Hi, I’m Daisy!

Get out of the blog, Daisy!

It’s been four months since I’ve made a blog post, huh? Well let’s change that! Today’s topic shall be video games, specifically my top ten video games I’ve ever played (where have I heard that before?). Here’s how it’ll go: 10-6 will be on this blog post, and the next post will have 5-1. Enough with that: let’s begin.

#10: Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam (Wii)


Ages 3+, apparently.

The first choice will be an odd choice to some. I know because Game Informer gave this game a 5/10. So how did it make the top 10? Well, I like it, so screw you. Seriously though, this is probably the most fun Tony Hawk games since the Pro Skater series, which I admittedly barely remember. It’s actually fun to ride downhill all the time, and there’s enough content and levels to keep a player interested for awhile. So, in conclusion, screw you.

#9: Slender (Mac)


Don’t look behind you.

Yes, it’s now called Slender: The Eight Pages now, but when I played it, it was just called Slender, and the new version apparently doesn’t have $20 mode, which is quite the sin. While the game isn’t actually that long (within ten minutes, you’ll either have all the pages or, most likely, be raped), it’s terrifying enough to be my favorite horror game of all time, just beating out Amnesia: The Dark Descent. With Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs and Slender: The Arrival coming out this year, we’ll have to see if either of these games can unseat Slender as the scariest game I’ve ever played.

#8: Portal 2 (Steam)


The original space program.

This one’s probably another interesting choice, since it’s mostly a puzzle game, and I hate puzzle games. However, this one destroys all other puzzle games (even its own predecessor) by actually making you feel good at completing things and not having every puzzle have some obscure solution. Plus, the dialogue is actually funny and the controls… control well. I’m starting to realize there aren’t a lot of words being written in this blog. Maybe the next one will be better. It’ll be the top 5 after all.

#7: Kirby Air Ride (Gamecube)


I want to eat you in the best possible way.

Here’s another pseudo-racing game that I had a lot of fun playing back in the day, but like another game that’s later in this countdown, this one was most fun with friends. My friends and I would hop in and start smashing everything in sight: trees, buildings, each other; nothing was safe from Kirby’s adorable wrath. We played this game several times, resetting it because we were bored. Top Ride and City Ride were the best of the three modes, so I guess it’s ironic that the least fun mode was Air Ride. If actually accomplishing something was too boring, we’d jump into Free Ride and plays Cops and Robbers. One person is a cop and the rest are the robbers, and the cops need to beat the crap out of the robbers until the explode, and since they’re pink squishy beings, you can slap them around the city with your big cart of destruction. For added excitement, jump onto the city rails and see who chickens out before you crash into each other going top speeds with your destructo-carts (spoiler: it’s neither. You can’t hop off the rails unless you’re at a station. Have fun dying!).

#6: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Steam)


Perpetuating racial stereotypes since 1997.

I had been wanting to play this game for a long time before I finally got it on Steam, but my mom refused to let me get the DS one, Chinatown Wars. I wonder why she wouldn’t let me buy it-

Oh. Right.

Okay, so maybe there’s a bit of violence. Let’s just pretend all of those pedestrians I ran over as I drove on the sidewalk were child molesters. I actually spent the first part of the game trying to not hit any cops, until one literally jumped in front of my car. I guess there’s truly no justice. But all in all, all that stuff is what makes the game fun. The over-the-top silliness that is jumping in a car and running over everything and everyone in your path. It’s a great game, and sure, I’m killing everybody in San Andreas, but at least I’m not actually killing people. It’s a video game, not a murder training simulator.

Next time, the top 5 shall be shown! Hopefully it’ll be better written than this one was.

I returned to Dark Cave to conquer it… that’s the end of that sentence. I burned through the Zubats and drowned all the Geodudes, but I did end up catching a Dunsparce (Jon). All of this led me to a giant rock blocking my path. Strength? You’ve gotta be kidding me. It’s like they don’t want me to get by this cave. Well forget you, cave! I think Mt. Moon is much better. I planned to just head back towards Violet City, but then that egg started hatching! I put the egg in my hands and watched in awe as the creature inside broke free. It was a… Togepi? Oh, well this is lame. Now Professor Elm has been stalking me and wants to see the new Togepi. Alright fine, let’s go back to New Bark.

I traversed back to New Bark and showed Elm the new Pokémon. Unfortunately he doesn’t want to keep him, so I’m stuck with him. Your name is Erenzu: now get in the box. I think Dahlia is happy is to return to the team. I decided to head down Route 32 so I could get to the next gym. More conversations with Joey:

Joey: Durrrrr, I saw a Pokémon!

Me: Well, did you catch it this time?

Joey: … No, it got away.

Me: You’re the worst trainer ever.

Joey: What about Dawn?

Me: … Second worst trainer ever.

We all knew that Dahlia’s time with the team would be short: bug Pokémon aren’t terrific, let’s just say that. So when I caught a Mareep (Sygnal) down Route 32, it was time to say goodbye to that Spinarak. We’ll remember you always… now get in the box.

Now I reach a tiny Pokémon Center near a cave. When I head in there, this older gentleman calls me over and asks if I want one of his rods. … Johto, I told you about this. I told you no more of the pedo crap, but you keep thrusting older men’s rods on me. Johto, you are the homosex… Eff it, let’s go fishing.

I sit there and fish forever, since fishing is boring as hell. But now something’s on the line. Something’s tugging on that old man’s rod! It’s a Magika-wait, who cares about a Magikarp? I caught it, I shoved it in the box. I was done with it before I even started that battle. Let’s stop fishing. Now I head to the entrance of the Union Cave. Alright cave, I’ve been to Dark Cave, and that sucked. You’d better not screw me over, or there will be hell to pay. I enter the cave, preparing myself for whatever waits inside.

            As I woke up this morning, I decided to see how Inferno was doing. I let him out of his pokéball, letting him stretch his legs. He was fine; that’s good. I went to the PC and attempted to get my new Gastly out of it, but I couldn’t access it. I asked the nurse what was going on and she told me that all their PCs got viruses, so they had to fix them before Pokémon could be transferred. Great; they really should start using Macs.

Eventually I got Shadow (Gastly) out of the computer to replace Caitlin, so now I was on my way to the gym: I was ready to defeat Falkner! I stormed into the joint and laid waste to his lackeys, sending them to sheer defeat. It was time for the leader. Falkner looked up as I approached and welcomed me into his sanctuary. This gym, like all the other gyms, had a proud history of using one type of Pokémon without any diversification. “Yes, all my Pokémon are weak to the same types. Why do you ask?” This’ll be fun. Falkner sent out his Pidgey, so I countered with Inferno.

His Pidgey attacked Inferno with a series of weak flying moves, but he clearly was outmatched by my fiery destroyer (patent pending), who burned that bird to a crisp with ember. That was an easy first victory for su-oh wait, what’s this? Inferno is glowing! That’s right saan, Inferno evolved into Quilava! That’s what’s up! That was enough for now though: Stallone would take the final battle versus Pidgeotto. This would be an epic battle, right? Rock Throw, dead. Oh, okay, maybe not. Victory is mine!


Two birds, one stone.

I walk out of the gym, triumphant with my first gym badge, when the professor gives me a call. He got tired of the egg and it’s now my job to take care of it. Oh… what a letdown. I decided to try and hatch the egg when I obtained it from his assistant, so I put Dahlia in the PC for a breather and took the egg. I tried to continue on my way, but a geisha confronts me and tells me to look after the egg. Ok… I planned to, lady. What do you think I’m gonna do, scramble it? Well, at least it’s a woman who’s being creepy to me now instead of a man.

I decided to head back to Elm for reasons I can no longer recall, but I caught some more Pokémon! They included Aeris (Pidgey), Fungo (Sentret), and Chrysalis (Caterpie). Out of three, I decided to put Aeris into the team. Sorry Blathers, maybe another time. So now I’m back in Violet City, and I can head off to Route 36… or not, because there’s a tree blocking the way. The thought of cutting the tree down hasn’t occurred to anyone, so I guess I’m just going down through Route 32.

Now I find myself in some mysterious ruins. I gaze about this site of ruin excavation, and I reason that, as a ten-year-old kid, I shouldn’t be running around here. As it turns out, I was wrong, because I not only can explore the ruins, I can frikken touch them and solve puzzles. Well, so much for look, don’t touch. I decided to try out the puzzle, and what do ya know, I solved it! A Kabuto, huh… wait, why is the floor shaking? Oh Arceus, there’s no more floor aaaaaaaaaaaa!

I fall down into a dark tunnel where an archaeologist greets me, saying I must’ve solved the puzzle. Are you insane? Your puzzle involves sending people falling into a dark tunnel. You have no regards for anyone’s safety. Forget this, I’m out of here. I caught myself an Unown, but I don’t know much about it. At this point, I’m not too interested in exploring it, so I just leave. I’ve got bigger fish to fry.


Specifically, this fish.

So now I return to Violet City. Since that creepy man gave me Flash, I reason I can get farther through Dark Cave without bumping into walls. I decided to rest in the Pokémon Center before heading out, so I checked on how Inferno was doing. He was pretty happy: loving the new evolution. I kicked back and relaxed, getting ready to explore the cave, and this day isn’t even half done.