Dark Arcanine blogged
May 6, 12 7:34pm

Winning the fiftieth round of Articles of Excellence, Insanity Prevails marks the milestone with his review of Final Fantasy XII. Describing it as one of those games others seem to like but you can't pinpoint why, he explores a game featuring lacklustre elements to explain why it doesn't rank high in the Final Fantasy series.

 Final Fantasy XII     Score: 2.0/5
 Genre: Fantasy RPG

  I gave FFXII a lot of my time but it got to the point that I was forcing myself onward in the hope that things would improve.

quote Insanity Prevails
Sometimes I seem to come across a game that seems to do a lot horribly wrong and yet garners the praise of critics and gamers alike, which leaves me in a peculiar situation where I'm struggling to understand how people can see the positives. It doesn't help that the Final Fantasy series is essentially seen as one of most iconic in the realm of JRPGs. Yet, I cannot bring myself to like this game. While the failings are few, they are significant enough to ruin the experience and make me wish I had picked up a different title instead.


However, while character portrayal through the voice acting is well done, the story feels a little basic and too familiar to really grab my attention. Maybe the gameplay was distracting me for all the wrong reasons but I found it hard to really give too much attention to the plot events that were running along. Something about empires invading and a rebellion and political struggles and a bunch of loveable rogues getting caught up in something that's much more than they expected. It's not exactly bad but we've been here so often and FFXII offers nothing to make it stand out. Character development doesn't seem especially strong here either, which may impact on things, but the pacing is also a factor that might have made me not care at all.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Apr 21, 12 7:36pm

Solid Snake 4Life has won the forty-ninth round of Articles of Excellence with his review for Metal Gear Solid HD Collection. Describing it as a dream collection they discuss its value for both veterans and newcomers alike, providing a comprehensive experience of a great series.

 Metal Gear Solid HD Collection     Score: 5.0/5
 Genre: Action Shooter

 Unique from any other series in gaming, Metal Gear Solid truly is the pinnacle of the stealth genre.

quote Solid Snake 4Life
Move over The Orange Box, Konami has now released the best deal available to us gamers in the form of the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection. Containing Sons of Liberty, Snake Eater, and Peace Walker all for $40, this collection is a dream come true for fans of the series, and it's never been a better time for newcomers to find out just what all the hype surrounding Metal Gear is all about. Rather than covering the games chronologically I'm going run through them in the order that they were originally released.


Snake Tales gives us some non canon stories to play through although they are basically here so that Snake can hang around the Big Shell and fight some of the games big baddies. These tales are told using text and; no disrespect intended, obviously were non penned by Kojima himself. Yet given the nature of the main game, this simpler approach to storytelling is actually a welcome change of pace, as it gives the fantastic gameplay more time to shine. With five missions and each mission lasting around an hour, these side tales actually end up lasting about as long as the main game if you were to take all the plot elements out. And besides for the codec and cut-scenes the Snake Tales share all the strengths and weaknesses of the original.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Apr 6, 12 9:44pm

The forty-eighth round of Articles of Excellence saw a nice spread of votes, but a victor emerged in the form of Hell Fire and his review of Valkyria Chronicles. Describing it as a delightful strategy-heavy RPG, they portray it as a near-perfect title only slightly brought down by balancing issues.

 Valkyria Chronicles     Score: 4.2/5
 Genre: Strategy RPG

 So there you have it; the beast named Valkyria Chronicles. This game is a must play for SRPG enthusiasts and definitely worth picking up if anything in the review sparked your interest.

quote Hell Fire
I’ve always liked my Strategy Role Playing Games (SRPGs) and in my experience, few have disappointed. There’s just something about the pre-battle planning and the (sometimes overly) lengthy battles revs me up as the console light turns green. Final Fantasy Tactics, Fire Emblem and Suikoden Tactics are a few beasts that have managed to steal many hours away from my life. Valkyria Chronicles however, is the new beast in the jungle. The combination of its amazing story telling and large scale war scenarios put it up there with some of the past greats. I, unfortunately, have a tendency to miss out on masterpieces such as this on their release dates, not due to ignorance, but because “there’s always something else to play”. If you are an enthusiast of the SRPG genre and haven’t touched this yet, then it pains me to say that you and I are alike. As a past Valkyria Chronicles virgin, let me be your sponsor and support you through your journey to the local gaming store (pfft, or eBay) and into the world of: planting your ass on the couch, losing your social life, gaining ten kilos and having fun kicking ass!

Good old Welkin, a creepy crawly, insect enthusiast (yes, that’s right) who seems more interested in those eight legged freaks than getting pimp on. All was quiet on the Eastern front, when all of a sudden; a group of soldiers cross the border and attack the small town of Bruhl. Welkin decides he should probably put his beetle collection away and help the town guards (commanded by Alicia) defend against the small invasion. Luckily, Welkin knows how to handle a gun, and helps save the day, unless of course, you are incapable of completing the first mission (which would be a grand ol’ way of embarrassing yourself among the cooler nerds). From there he Welkin enlists in the Gallian militia, becomes Lieutenant of his squad and helps defend the country of Gallia from the mighty opposing Empire.

For a game so focused on strategic gameplay, Sega clearly put a lot of thought into the narrative. Its unique method of comic book like storytelling and meaningful cut scenes make for some absolutely awesome moments that easily rival most JRPGs acclaimed for their plot lines. There’s plenty of mystery, twists and turns to keep the player motivated, and with a cast of outstanding characters who are incredibly well constructed, this game gets two thumbs up in the story department. While most of your squad have little to no personality at all, the main characters who accompany Welkin (such as Rosie, Alicia and Isaru) drive the story magnificently, and their development as individual characters throughout the game is something lacking in many RPGs of this generation. A rich story with deep, memorable characters is not something that I expected when buying the game, but it turns out that they are in fact one of the games strongest areas.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Mar 22, 12 7:57pm

Finally saved from the horror of a Resident Evil spiral, Lukas has won the forty-seventh round of Articles of Excellence for his review of Kingdom Hearts. Revisiting a childhood favourite, he looks back upon the golden game which has worn over time to expose some silver and a need for a little polishing.

 Kingdom Hearts     Score: 3.5/5
 Genre: Fantasy RPG

 Add the awesome soundtrack and mostly excellent graphics, and you've got yourself a game that's technically mediocre, but emotionally pretty good.

quote Lukas
Everybody has a favorite from their childhoods, whether it's Space Invaders, Pitfall, Super Mario Brothers, Sonic The Hedgehog, Earthworm Jim, Ocarina Of Time or Banjo-Kazooie... and Kingdom Hearts was my absolute favorite game as a kid. Even if I didn't know what to do and I had to resort to Gamefaqs to pass a bit or two, it was still a game I loved dearly. All the Disney characters, all the Disney worlds, and the fun combat – it just clicked and really kicked ass at doing so. Eventually, you revisit a childhood memory and find yourself analyzing it with a more adult mind (well, as adult as a near-20 year old can get), like why did you love it so much and was it as good as it was? Honestly, unless your old favorite was something like Metal Gear Solid or Super Mario Brothers 3, *bleep* no it wasn't! You realize that some screws were actually loose that were too small for your 7 year old eyes to see, but somehow, your 20 year old eyes can see them, and oh boy, Kingdom Hearts is quite an example of this. Still a fun game, no doubt about that, but come on, it's no masterpiece.

The basic idea of the story is that three teenagers from an island are seperated across the universe when the world's about to get destroyed. But amidst the chaos, Riku disappears into the darkness, Sora gets the Keyblade out of it and Kairi just disappears in Sora's arms. Meanwhile, King Mickey suddenly leaves the Disney Castle on a mission, leaving a note for Goofy and Donald, which tells them to look for the wielder of the Keyblade because he/she's important to save the world. Goofy and Donald meet up with Sora and they travel the universe to slay the evil Heartless and the even more evil Disney villains (from big boss Maleficent, to grunts like Captain Hook and Jafar) before they destroy the universe.

There are a few things that really stand out – for one thing, it's not so much about the original story as it is about Disney fanservice. You basically relive parts of a bunch of movies like Tarzan, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid, except there are Heartless in them causing trouble. Honestly speaking, this is when the story is at its best – fanservice done right, if you ask me. It's fun going through these worlds, interacting with various Disney characters. In fact, just seeing them is awesome, like “man what are we/they going to do?” However, the game has an original story going on, and while the allies are stuck in their own stories, the villains sure as hell aren't, and...
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Mar 8, 12 7:31pm

Because our resident reviewers aren't done just yet, Aevers has taken out the forty-sixth round of Articles of Excellence with her review of Resident Evil. Taking us back to the original days of the series, she describes it as a solid title in the survival horror genre, with only some action and voice acting holding it back.

 Resident Evil     Score: 4.0/5
 Genre: Action Shooter

 The action segments aren't that good and any attempt at drama is lampshaded by campy voice acting, but everything else is pretty good - whether it's actually good, like the atmosphere, level designs and the survival elements; or really corny, like the voice acting and dialogue.

quote Aevers
Remember when Resident Evil was about surviving against the undead, as opposed to just blowing their heads off? Remember when Resident Evil was about exploring and solving puzzles, as opposed to just killing zombies? Remember when Resident Evil actually made you conserve your items, as opposed to being allowed to go all guns blazing? Remember when Resident Evil was the video game equivalent of a B-grade horror movie, as opposed to an action movie?

Pepperidge Farm remembers. It also remembers that while it was far from the first survival horror game ever made, it was the game that got the genre on the map in the first place. In fact, it even coined the term “survival horror”, and throughout the game, you'll know what they mean – a haunting atmosphere, limited items around the place, limited space in your character's inventory packs, zombie dogs jumping through windows to attack you and, above all else, just the feeling that you could be dead at any moment is the definition of survival horror. Maybe not the best example of it – the series got better with each installment until the fourth one, in which they changed it up – but it's a pretty good example of it.

A series of bizarre murders have occurred in Raccoon City, so it's up to the Special Tactics And Rescue Service or STARS to investigate. After getting attacked by a pack of dogs, Chris, Jill, Barry and Wasker hide out inside a seemingly safe mansion, but they find more than they bargained for inside. Zombies eating other STARS members and Wesker suddenly disappearing... something's up with this mansion. I want to say that this leads to an excellent story or at least a good one, but it ends up feeling more like a B-grade horror movie, with extremely corny dialogue (“you were almost a Jill sandwich” is poetry at its finest) and overactive voice acting. It's laughably bad, and whatever drama or tension it was meant to convey is lampshaded by campy voice acting, but I guess if you have the case of the blues, this should cheer you up. In saying that, the story has a few changes depending on who you play is (Chris or Jill), and it's a neat little touch to make you want to play it again.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Feb 21, 12 11:05pm

One after the other, Gryzor has taken out another win for the forty-fifth round of Articles of Excellence with his review of Resident Evil 5. Much less of a fan of this title than the fourth, describing it as having a number of flaws such as plot and controls while forgetting it's part of the survival horror genre.

 Resident Evil 5     Score: 1.5/5
 Genre: Action Shooter

 I never got into Resident Evil and even I feel like an old school survival horror fanboy, that's how much this game blows.

quote Gryzor
If I were to compare Resident Evil games to metal albums, I'd say that Resident Evil 4 is Sons Of Northern Darkness, and that Resident Evil 5 is All Shall Fall (both albums by Immortal). What do I mean? Well, Sons Of Northern Darkness is Immortal's most accessible album, just like how Resident Evil 4 is the most accessible Resident Evil game, but yet it never feels wrong to enjoy it. However, All Shall Fall is a shameless disgrace to the Immortal name, despite following in Sons Of Northen Darkness's footsteps, and the same could be said about Resident Evil 5. Resident Evil 4 was fun, but I don't want Capcom to go down this road again, especially if they're going to further ditch everything that gave Resident Evil its identity in the first place, not even bother to work on the controls, and insert co-op because shit, co-op is the only way a game can work nowadays.

It's been a long time since the events of the first Resident Evil game - so long in fact, that Chris Redfield took up weightlifting in his spare time and he's now *bleep*ing huge! He could give Marcus Fenix a run for his money! But seriously, he's assigned a mission in Africa, alongside some chick named Sheva, to chase down some guy named Irving, who has a biological weapon that he's planning on selling to the black market, and it turns people into zombies. Somewhere along the line, Chris finds pictures of Jill Valentine, his partner from the first game who he assumed had died, but nevertheless, he hopes to find her. Unlike Resident Evil 4, the story isn't deceptively simple; it's just simple, and pretty boring to boot. It does an adequate enough job to keep the game moving, but unlike Resident Evil 4, nothing really grabs you, and it just changes its mind every so often - one minute, you're chasing Irving down; the next, you're looking for Jill Valentine. Like it matters - there isn't much in the way of development and the only cutscenes worth shit are the ones you'd find in an action movie. When there is plot and character development, it's minimal enough to give you something to work with, but that's all - otherwise, meh.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Feb 6, 12 8:12pm

Stepping away from passively viewing to violently shooting, the forty-forth round of Articles of Excellence has been taken out by Gryzor with his review for Resident Evil 4. Taking the middle ground he describes it as an okay game, sporting some needed improvements yet also missing some of the better elements from previous titles.

 Resident Evil 4     Score: 3.6/5
 Genre: Action Shooter

 Resident Evil 4 is far from the masterpiece or disasterpiece people would make it out to be.

quote Gryzor
Hold on a minute, THIS is the game that changed Resident Evil? Many would say for the worst, but I say it's for the better, and that the PS1 Resident Evil games were mediocre. I'm sorry fanboys, but I will never see the early games your way because I found them generally irritating to play, despite excellent survival mechanics. Resident Evil 4 is both a natural evolution for the series and a bit of watering down of the old formula. How so? Well, while it's easier to play and no longer plagued by atrocious camera angles (were they on purpose or did they just *bleep* up), the survival element (which was the only thing I liked about the older games, funny enough) felt less prevalent, like newer gamers couldn't handle it or something, although it was at least given a facelift to go with it.

Story: One thing I found impressive with its story is that it's deceptively simple. At first, it's about Leon, the guy from Resident Evil 2, having to rescue Ashley Graham (the president's daughter) from a cult located in a small Spanish village, but then you start to learn more about their motives, and it just "clicks" after a while. Memos that are scattered across the village and the various cutscenes that are given careful attention manage to captivate you for the duration of the game, especially as it gets more into the cult and into the "zombies", as you'll be wondering what's going on (in a good way) and what's about to happen. It's a bit tricky to explain without spoiling the story, so I'll stop praising it here and give it the one bit of criticism I have for it - it has moments which border on cheesy. Not quite on par with the older games (oh god, not even close), but one of the characters' accents and some of his writing feels like there's an actor behind it, which detracts from the story when everybody else's voices and writing actually feels convincing enough to breathe life into these characters. Ah well.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Jan 22, 12 6:54pm

Taking a departure from the usual win by a video game, the forty-third round has been won with a DVD review for The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Vol.1 by Insanity Prevails. Describing it as a complete package, taking something as simple and overdone as a high school drama but giving it enough magic to make it a standout show and something worth taking the time to watch.

 The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Vol.1     Score: 4.9/5
 Genre: Anime

 The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is one of those series that I cannot recommend enough. It takes the normal premise of a high school drama and then changes things up with more than enough flair to hook the viewer and keep them there until the end.

quote Insanity Prevails
Imagine what it would be like to be able to bend the world to your will; where whatever you want to exist does and events unfold as you desire. Now imagine if that power was investing into a single eccentric girl with boundless enthusiasm for the strange but who was blissfully unaware she had such power. It's a nonstop rollar-coaster ride into the bizarre and Kyon's along for the ride, whether he likes it or not. Such is the premise of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, a story where the weirdness of the world is all around and it seems the only one unaware of it all is Haruhi herself.

The DVD starts off with an episode that would typically be placed after episode 11 chronologically, showcasing the members of the SOS Brigade making their own movie. Here we get hints at the personalities of each of the brigade's members as well as a peek at a few secondary characters, with the episode leaving a proper view of Haruhi and Kyon until the end. For first time viewers it might be hard to understand the significance of this episode and it will be with hindsight that a lot of things make sense here. However, it does give us an idea of the kinds of crazy antics that can and will happen for the rest of the series and certainly serves as a more unique opening episode. After that the remaining three episodes sit properly in chronological order and we get the events as they appear in order, making following the story a lot easier than the original broadcast order (though Haruhi enthusiasts can obtain the original broadcast order by buying the special editions).

When the main stars of the show Kyon and Haruhi are introduced to us in a more traditional sense in the second episode we easily establish Kyon as the sensible realistic guy and Haruhi as the eccentric crazy girl. Their class introductions showcase this perfectly, as Kyon delivers a normal speech about looking forward to the year ahead, promptly followed by Haruhi declaring she has no interest in normal human beings. Events begin when Kyon attempts talking with Haruhi, not knowing of her infamous antics at her old school.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Jan 7, 12 7:39pm

The new year has been rung in, with the forty-second round of Articles of Excellence won by Dark Arcanine with his review for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. He describes it as a game that is well worth the amount of time it spent in development, making fantastic use of MotionPlus while offering a game that's fun and addictive with an engrossing atmosphere.

 The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword     Score: 4.9/5
 Genre: Action Adventure

 So there you have it; Skyward Sword is one highly enjoyable, stuffed-to-the-brim package of great game design and fun to be had.

quote Dark Arcanine
More often than not pre-game hype results in sighs, groans and a lot of post-game hang-ups. For Skyward Sword, there is no denying that this game received its fair share of hype before hitting our shelves. We marvelled at the sound of the MotionPlus controls scheme (and the worry of another Other M crept upon me) and wondered just how great the game could be after spending no less than five years in development, including a good several months of polishing. Skyward Sword marks a celebration of a big 25 years for the Zelda series, so did being in development for the life of the console do the development team and the Wii justice, or did hype kill the Loftwing?

This story mixes things up a little bit: Princess Zelda is not royalty. That’s right, she’s actually Link’s childhood best friend and instead of living in Hyrule, we’re up in a city in the clouds called Skyloft. A boy like any other studying at the Knight Academy, Link alongside his unique red Loftwing dreams of becoming a senior knight of Skyloft. Yet everything goes Kikwi-shaped when Zelda is lost to the clouds, and the task to save her befalls Link. Acquiring the legendary Goddess Sword and a new companion named Fi who resides in said blade, Link sets off below the clouds to the surface world to begin his adventure and discover his true destiny.

In another world ravaged by evil, Link’s exploration of the unknown surface world sees him piece history and legendary powers together in the search for Zelda, as he and those around him come to discover their parts in an epic story of heroism spanning space and time. Twists and turns abound within the story of Skyward Sword, which is closely intertwined with other aspects of the game (explained below). It’s a charming story with a lot of character and beautiful settings to boot. It never feels dragged out or bulked out for the sake of it, and you’ll find yourself completely engrossed in the world of Skyward Sword from beginning to end.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Dec 23, 11 6:43pm

Getting an early Christmas present this year, Insanity Prevails has been gifted the forty-first round of Articles of Excellence with his review for Gundemonium Recollection. A "bullet hell" title - which is a sub-genre of the standard shoot 'em up for the curious out there - he describes it as a title that may be hard for newcomers or stock standard for returning gamers, but can be a fun title with an interesting theme to it.

 Gundemonium Recollection     Score: 3.5/5
 Genre: Bullet Hell Shooter

 So my final thoughts? It's a fun game that throws up some interesting scenarios and a wonderful setting.

quote Insanity Prevails
Bullet hell shooters are relatively rare from Western developers but Japan - especially their indie scene - certainly has no shortage of them. While we may be waiting forever for the ever popular Touhou to find an actual release over here, Rockin' Android have seen fit to pick up a different set of games to tempt English speaking audiences with. Gundemonium Recollection is the first of these games.

The setting provides us with an interesting alternate 18th century world where alchemy has allowed mankind to progress further (aka welcome to steampunk). But this power comes from a dark source and the world becomes victim to a demonic army pouring out. When an artificial being designed to counter them is subsequently captured and turned against humanity, the Rosenkreuz Foundation step in.

While the back story is nice, you might be hard pressed to fully take in the story during the game. Other than the blurb in the manual, the rest of the story progression is handled purely in text blurbs that crop up in intermission screens that appear between levels and these more tend to be "something happened, go there now" sort of thing. I found it hard to really get involved in the plot, leaving me to focus entirely on the action.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Dec 8, 11 7:52pm

The fortieth round of Articles of Excellence has seen the much talked about Xenoblade Chronicles as the winning review written by Hell Fire. Describing it as a fantastic JRPG with just a few niggles of small note, with a story that goes without saying as unique and enjoyable gameplay experience to be had.

 Xenoblade Chronicles     Score: 4.7/5
 Genre: Fantasy RPG

 To put it simply, it is the best JRPG this generation, on any platform.

quote Hell Fire
It goes without saying that if a game manages to steal one hundred and twenty hours of your life, then the developers must have done something right. Xenoblade Chronicles is one such game that blew all of my expectations out the window and showed me that there’s still hope for the JRPG genre in a world that is falling victim to Western RPG and Call of Duty addiction. Tetsuya Takahashi is the genius behind this masterpiece. He’s kind of like the Bill Gates of the RPG industry; everything he touches just turns to gold. Xenogears and Xenosaga (director), Final Fantasy IV to VII and Chrono Trigger (Art and Graphics) just to name a few absolute gems. His most recent piece of work, Xenoblade Chronicles, can easily be thrown in the same league as these classics that are often regarded as the best RPGs ever produced. In the end, Xenoblade Chronicles uses the dream formula (seen in the above games), as its base while presenting many unique qualities that will no doubt make it a classic in the future. It’s just a shame Xenoblade never received a North American release, which is not only financial suicide, but also one of the cruelest things you could do to a country. The people have paid their taxes. Do something about it Mr. President!

I can assure you that you’ve never heard this one before. The story is set on two giant gods; Bionis and Mechonis (as shown in the image below), who stopped functioning after a seemingly never-ending battle with one another. Shortly later, there was life. These civilians began to build colonies on the exterior of these gods and all seemed well until the residents of Mechonis (the machines) waged war on Bionis (home to biological life forms). It seemed like all was lost for Bionis, until a young hero, Dunban, harnessed the power of an ancient sword, the Monado, and drove the machines back to their world (or god). A few years later, the game commences. You are put into the shoes of Shulk, a young weapons researcher from Colony 9, who has been tasked to learn the secrets of the Monado. From only a few hours into the game, the action really starts picking up and never stops. It’s much like Speed without the bus, or the bomb. The plot is full of betrayal, friendship, death, romance, twists, turns and all that other stuff that you would come to expect in a decent narrative. It is pulled off exceptionally well too, and while not as deep as Xenogears (which is often regarded as the deepest and most philosophical RPG ever), still raises a few questions at the end. It’s not all sugar and rainbows however (but it is close). The illogical outcome and lack of realistic decisions in a couple of scenes made me want to tear my hair out. Add this to some overly cheesy enemy dialogue, along the lines of: “You can’t catch meeeee. I’m too powerful!” and the smooth flowing narrative is suddenly disrupted. But let’s be honest. 90% of games these days have these issues. I’m just being picky because everything else is so damn perfect.

The characters compliment the story very well. While the main character, Shulk, often tries too hard to show that he has a completely pure heart, he is rarely annoying and definitely tolerable. His sidekick, Reyn, may seem annoying at first (particularly his voice), but actually grows into a likable character. Then there’s the war hero Dunban, who is the essence of cool (think Auron from FFX), a hot healer who is the voice of reason, a hilarious Nopon (another species) who is there for comic value (very successful comic value), a surprising member of a royal family, and finally a product of a massive plot twist which you probably won’t see coming. Each of these characters are well fleshed out and will grow as you journey through the game. Great characters to drive a great story; now there’s a formula for success. Why don’t RPG developers try this one more often?
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Nov 23, 11 7:51pm

Seeing out the thirty-ninth round of Articles of Excellence with his final win, Monterey Jack topped the votes with his review of Resident Evil 4. A game hindered by movement and not knowing what it wants, he describes it as an okay game but one that despite some good moments, ultimately falls short from being a hassle to play through.

We will miss you James.

 Resident Evil 4     Score: 2.7/5
 Genre: Action Shooter

 Resident Evil 4 really isn't too bad. The action can be pretty intense and the story is quite intruiging. It's just that the controls don't work well with the action.

quote Monterey Jack
Resident Evil 4 is known by many things; the best game of 2005, one of the best games made in the sixth generation, the best game for the Gamecube and maybe even PS2. To Resident Evil purists and myself, it's known as the best way to screw everything up! Now, the purists would go on about how it's not scary and not about survival, but that's not the issue – the issue is that it doesn't know whether it wants to be a survival horror game or an action game. It tries to be an action game because you'll be fighting heaps of zombies, but it tries to be a survival horror because there are limited supplies and the controls aren't really meant for combat. It's really not bad – in fact, it's almost a good game, but the controls, man... the controls...

After the incident at Raccoon City in Resident Evil 2, Leon is sent to rescue the president's daughter, Ashley Graham, from a cult in Spain. This cult is planning to infect some pretty big people with some sort of mind control virus that makes them like zombies, except they're still alive. As you progress through the game, you'll find some paper or memos, which explains a bit more of the story, but it's the cutscenes that'll garner your interest as they set up parts of the game perfectly. Really, it keeps you on the edge of your seat as you wonder what'll be right around the corner... I mean, with a concept like that, you'd really be curious to know what this cult is up to!
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Nov 8, 11 7:23pm

The thirty-eighth round of Articles of Excellence has been taken out by Polarity with his review of Shadows of the Damned. A game of ups and downs, he describes it as not a title worthy of high demand for those looking for a good horror game, but throws up a couple of decent elements including combat and humour.

 Shadows of the Damned     Score: 3.2/5
 Genre: Action Adventure

 Shadows Of The Damned is not a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination.

quote Polarity
If you were to ask me what my favorite movie is, I'd often say Shaun Of The Dead. That movie combines zombies with humor, and said humor is *bleep*ing hilarious! So I'd say that it's about time we got a video game that successfully combines humor with horror. The result is Shadows Of The Damned, a game where you have to face down the undead while your companion/gun tells sex jokes. A little crass, but the timing is often impeccable, making each joke hilarious, and because of that, the game itself is actually quite enjoyable to play through.

Garcia Hotspur has to save his girlfriend from the lord of the underworld, Flemming. The cutscenes that take place serve as either a tour of the underworld, or a vehicle for sex jokes.... the dreaded sex jokes – or so I thought at first. After the likes of Bulletstorm and Ar Tonelico Qoga though, it's.. actually quite a surprise to hear jokes that have consideration for timing and set up. Because of that, Shadows Of The Damned's jokes are funny! That's excellent, because aside from a few books you'll find here and there, the story doesn't go too far beyond the damsel-in-distress scenario.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Oct 24, 11 7:20pm

While the number three pops up on everyone's dial as sequels crawl out of the walls and seep across our floors, Lukas takes us back a step to the cupboard of slightly dusty shelves, Concluding the thirty-seventh round of Articles of Excellence, he's taken out the win with his review of God of War II, in what perhaps could be described as a case of The Emperor's New Clothes.

 God of War II     Score: 3.0/5
 Genre: Action Adventure

 Like the first game, God Of War 2 is an above average game in a great game's clothing.

quote Lukas
The first God Of War wasn't bad, but honestly, it felt unfinished in some aspects, like bosses, locations, weapons and all that other shit that makes other games good. It had its fun moments, but then it had its frustrating parts and boring segments, not to mention, even though it looked great, you were just in one dungeon for most of the game. Ah well, we got ourselves a sequel, and surely, it'll improve on everything, right? Yes... and no.

Kratos is the new God Of War. Ohh man this is going to be sick! So what adventures are we going on? Trouble brewing in Rhodes? On my way! Oh wait, what's this, Zeus is taking away my powers? Yes folks, Kratos is back to being human, and even worse, Zeus kills him – and no, this isn't some mid game twist I'm spoiling just to be a dick; this is in the first level! However, he's saved by the Titan, Gaia, and now has to seek the Sisters Of Fate so that he can change his fate to not get killed by Zeus.

Throughout the game, Kratos will mostly be trying to get to the Sisters Of Fate, so if you're one for wanting little subplots, don't bother. However, each scene helps move the story along, and... well, that's about it. I mean, you don't exactly play God Of War for its story, and that's a good thing, because once again, Kratos just drags it down. There's always something that keeps him from being the badass that the writers want him to be... like how he now has like no character or no hook, except smashing peoples' faces against hard books. Wow, what a badass!
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Oct 9, 11 6:08pm

Delving into a series where everybody knows your name (well, the name of the series), Insanity Prevails has won the thirty-sixth round of Articles of Excellence with his review of Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light. Following some changes to the formula, he describes the title as over-simplified and a cause for some frustrations, seeing it fall in the attempt to bring back some old school ways.

 Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light     Score: 1.9/5
 Genre: Fantasy RPG

 Overall I can't help but feel the game tries to simplify too much and hurts the gameplay as a result. Keeping things streamlined for a handheld game is one thing, but when you start taking out things that seem awfully vital then you're kinda going in the wrong direction.

quote Insanity Prevails
Final Fantasy is one of those names in the gaming industry that people just "know". While the series has had its fair share of fans and detractors, it nevertheless is commonly used as a sort of baseline by which JRPGs in general get measured by. The DS itself has been home to many games of the series, ranging from remakes, side games and those in the Crystal Chronicles subseries. 4 Heroes of Light takes the series in a more traditional direction in the hopes of showing what made JRPGs of yesteryear so great.

The story, while definitely clinging to classic fantasy, isn't particularly forceful about delivery. The four characters are the only survivors of a curse that sweeps through their village and must now seek refuge and find a way to undo the curse. But while there is enough story to justify the actions you're taking I never really felt particularly involved in it. The characters, while having nice personalities, just lack the depth for any real connection to happen and so ultimately it's really hard to care.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Sep 24, 11 6:19pm

Making an appearance and taking out the win, Crazyhand has topped the thirty-fifth round of Articles of Excellence with his review for Knights Contract. Failing to make a new fan, he describes it as a mediocre title, with a decent storyline being far from enough to take away attention from such issues as the quick time events.

 Knights Contract     Score: 2.2/5
 Genre: Action Fighting

 In many ways, it feels like Knights Contract aimed for a fine line between a niche audience and a blockbuster. Sadly, it's a game that has some of the worst quick time events and escort AI in gaming history. All in all, it's not even worth playing.

quote Crazyhand
This might've been alright for like Shenmue or Heavy Rain because some game designers are such greedy pricks (ie. Team Bondi) that they think they're too good for a 30 dollar price tag - *bleep* that bro, let's jack it up to a hundred dollars and add in some half assed "game" to our movie! ho ho, capitalism sure is fun! Granted, Knights Contract isn't some quick time event filled hunk of junk, but when they're there, good *bleep*ing gravy, do they ruin the game or what!? Not that it's all that good to begin with, but the one good thing about this game gets wrecked by those god forsaken quick time events...

Although my central issue is with the quick time events, I can't really let the story off with anything below a warning. At first, it seems rather intriguing - an immortal executor by the name of Heinrich teams up with a witch known as Gretchen, and there are two twists to this. First off, Gretchen was one of the witches that he has executed, and she was the one who cursed him with immortality. The second twist is that the other witches he had executed are planning on destroying the world, and Gretchen wants to stop them. You want to know what's even more shocking? It's actually being orchestrated by a man named Faust, who had originally made witches out to be these evil demons that had to be stopped, despite the fact that the black plague was caused by something else (oh yeah, gotta have the black plague in there somewhere to make it different from all the other medieval games), all so he could get all the pieces of the gem known as the Anima Del Monde, which will grant the user powers beyond their wildest dreams.

But then something happens a little after the halfway point - nothing. The story pretty much comes to a screeching half, only being progressed by Heinrich killing a few witches. It's not until the final boss that the story gets back on track, but it takes a while to get to that point, so be prepared for a complete standstill in storytelling. Quite a shame actually, because the story is actually pretty good and very well told. Aside from some voice acting (Gretchen in particular - *bleep*, could you be any less enthusiastic), the cutscenes managed to stay interesting due to the amount of depth there is. It was told in a way that actually made it less convoluted than I did, due to the length of the cutscenes and the writing, which managed to turn a potentially confusing story into one that's not only easy to follow, but easy to get absorbed in... until the aforementioned standstill. Seriously, that pissed me off.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Sep 9, 11 7:21pm

The thirty-fourth round was a killer (cue crowd moan?) with the winner of Articles of Excellence being Monterey Jack for his review of Killer 7. Describing it as a game with more under the hood than first appears, Killer 7 sets itself apart through an interesting storyline, decent gameplay and a nice set of graphics and sound to seal the deal. Yet it may not be a game for everyone...

 Killer 7     Score: 3.8/5
 Genre: Action Adventure

 In spite of every single flaw it has, it is a game that must be experienced at least once. With most games, you can already tell if you're going to enjoy it or not because everybody wants to copy each other and not offer much, if anything new, exciting or refreshing to the table – not this game.

quote Monterey Jack
When you make a game, you can go about it in three different ways. You can make what everybody else is making and hope for the best. You can make something that feels like what everybody else is making but clearly isn't. Better yet, you can make something completely different and off the wall. Killer7 falls under the middle category, because in the most basic sense, it feels like Resident Evil with it's “gotta stand still while aiming” mechanic and puzzles while in a horror setting, but then you tamper with the personalities – that being this game's main selling point – and then it really starts to feel like its own game.

Killer7 has quite possibly the weirdest story out there. It starts off rather sensibly, with world peace having been achieved. Unfortunately, for the world to work, there must be conflict, and this is where it starts getting weird. Enter a terrorist group known as the Heaven Smile, who are invisible mutants that can and will blow up. The thing about these buggers is that nobody can detect them. The Killer 7 is contacted to take them down. To make weird things even weirder, the Killer 7 are actually just split personalities that exist in the body of this guy named Garcian Smith, except these split personalities aren't just different in behaviour; they're also different in looks! This "squad" of killers is run by a decrepit old wheelchair bound man named Harman Smith... must be a rich *bleep*er to be able to hire somebody like Garcian... oh wait, Garcian is just a mental projection of Harman's seven personalities? Wow.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Aug 25, 11 7:11pm

The thirty-third round saw a solid round of voting with several reviewers being recognised. Taking out this round of Articles of Excellence is Dark Arcanine with his review of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. A remake of a classic Zelda title for the 3DS, he describes it as a great polished version of the original, positively noting new additions such as Master Quest and Sheikah Stones.

 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D     Score: 4.9/5
 Genre: Action Adventure

 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is a shining example of why the Zelda series continues to be such a popular franchise and deserves every bit of approbation it receives.

quote Dark Arcanine
A game with a nature reflected in its name, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is a game that has stood the test of time. It is an undisputable classic that has remained popular since initial release way back in 1998 on the Nintendo 64, seeing it re-released on both the Gamecube and the Wii. Now thirteen years down the track, it has been remastered for the 3DS, Nintendo’s newest platform. Following a rather poor set of launch titles for the 3DS, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D was the first game for the 3DS to promise any substance. Though with the transition into a new era of gaming and to a handheld console, the question arose of whether it could match the brilliance of the original, and whether it could offer a bit more in the process.

Something that hasn’t changed in the last thirteen years is the plot, and is something both veteran and new gamers alike will enjoy. Awoken by an energetic fairy named Navi, Link finds himself summoned by the Great Deku Tree, following a rather frightening nightmare. Although he manages to break the curse upon the old tree, it finds itself too weak to carry on, using its last breath to ask of Link one more thing. Sensing something special about the child he bequests Link with a task: to meet Princess Zelda of Hyrule Castle, and realise his destiny.

Link comes upon Zelda already awaiting his arrival, and she promptly goes into a lengthy explanation of the history of Hyrule. Outlining her concerns of the Gerudo King known as Ganondorf, she begs Link to believe her and stop Ganondorf from achieving his goals. To this end, she sends Link to find the Spiritual Stones and bring them to the Temple of Time. Yet things go from bad to worse, as Link returns to find Zelda fleeing with Ganondorf in pursuit, who stops for a moment to knock him out (like a good baddie should!). Recovering from the blow, Link recovers the Ocarina of Time tossed to him by the Princess, and makes his way to the Temple of Time. In a very “King Arthur” moment, you pull the mighty Master Sword out of the Pedestal of Time, setting into motion a number of events. Falling into a seven-year slumber (yes, Sleeping Beauty), we awake to find ourselves in a chamber with Rauru, a man calling himself one of the seven Sages of Hyrule, and it is by him Link takes upon himself the biggest task yet: to become the master of time, find the other sages and ultimately defeat Ganondorf to bring peace back to Hyrule.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Aug 10, 11 7:08pm

Taking out the thirty-second round of Articles of Excellence is a review for The Darkness by Polarity, a game that combines modern FPS elements with comic-style powers. Describing it as an overall great game he argues that the pros far outweigh the cons, with the story and gameplay providing an enjoyable first-person shooter experience.

 The Darkness     Score: 4.4/5
 Genre: First-Person Shooter

 After experiencing a very compelling story and top notch voice acting with a side helping of excellent gameplay, it's like “so what if it has these problems”, because they don't interfere with the fun, atmosphere and everything else!

quote Polarity
The Darkness may not have done much for most people... but for those it has affected, it stands out as one of the finest games this generation has to offer. At first, I didn't know what to make of it - a first person shooter with the ability to use special powers based on a comic book series. It doesn't necessarily scream "I'M DELICIOUS". However, once you start playing the game, you'll find yourself eating those words. In fact, you may find yourself falling in love with this game. If it's not the refreshingly good gameplay, it's the captivating and very well written story that will win you over. The Darkness is a game that knows exactly what it's doing, and does a very good job of doing what it does.

It's Jackie Estacado's 21st birthday! What does he get from his uncle, Paulie? A job - that is, to whack some guy. Oh yeah, Jackie, our main protagonist, is a mobster. However, it turns out to be a set up as the mobsters driving him basically suicide bomb themselves, ensuring that Jackie doesn't get to live past 21. But then, in a dramatic turn of events, he's alive without a scratch... physically, anyway, although mentally speaking, he has a few screws loose, as he starts hearing dark voices. Eventually, he learns that he has control of an entity known as The Darkness, and from there, it turns into an intriguing tale of romance, revenge and even the paranormal, although if I was to spoil anything beyond what I said, I'd just ruin the game for you guys. There is never a dull moment. Whether it's from the pacing to the dialogue, it's a roller coaster ride, full of bullets and F-bombs to accentuate the fact that a life of crime is not pretty, especially if you're trying to get out of it, and even more so when you have dark powers. To put it simply, this story is excellent.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Jul 26, 11 6:35pm

The thirty-first round of Articles of Excellence saw a return to number one for Dark Moor with her winning review of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. Despite describing it as a great game which fixes the problems of the previous title, she also discusses the new faults of the sequel including a seemingly rushed ending and backwards sense of difficulty progression.

 The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings     Score: 4.2/5
 Genre: Fantasy RPG

 The Witcher 2 feels like it tiptoed a number of steps forward, but then took many steps to the side. Just about every minor problem from the first game was fixed up here, but unfortunately, the few problems that exist manages to bring the game down quite a significant amount.

quote Dark Moor
In the past, I had reviewed The Witcher, and yes, I did seem fangirly in that review, but it was a very well designed game with the only issues being that it takes lengthy periods of time to load and a few quests every now and again were pretty lame. Regardless, I had very, very high hopes for the sequel, certainly more than I had for Duke Nukem Forever (although kudos to Gearbox for letting us finally play it), and when it finally arrived at my doorstep, I rushed to my computer to install it, and while waiting, I grabbed a box full of Coke cans because goddammit, I want to play the hell out of this game - and you know what, this game is *bleep*ing awesome. It, however, seems to have a few problems that just leaves me gobsmacked, especially the menu's interface, but more on that later. Right now, let's just get on with the review!

So what kind of adventure are we going on for this game? Well, what happens is that Geralt is accused of killing a lot of kings and is then thrown into the slammer. He manages to escape, and is out to clear his name, but to do that, he must uncover a series of conspiracies while trying to regain his memories (yeah... he still has amnesia). Once again, the direction that the story goes depends heavily on the decisions that you make throughout - no two playthroughs are the same unless you make the exact same choices on a subsequent playthrough. Even the smallest choices can make big impacts, especially early on. Killing certain folks obviously means you don't see them again, but if you spare their lives, you may meet them again, and their insistence on living will make an impact on the story. Same for... really, anything within the confides of this game, like how you interact with everyone. What keeps things interesting is that it's not always between good and evil; it can simply be between two things. I really love this in a game - when the choices you make ACTUALLY make an IMPACT on the story, instead of just changing the dialogue.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Jul 11, 11 8:29pm

With another ten rounds done and dusted, the thirtieth round of Articles of Excellence has seen a two-in-a-row win for Dark Arcanine with his review of Pokémon Black Version. Despite some pre-purchase concerns and niggles he describes it as an overall great game, including a more mature and developed plot and impressive graphics despite original expectations of a 3DS release.

 Pokémon Black Version     Score: 4.5/5
 Genre: RPG

 With a story boasting a new sense of depth and maturity, the gameplay experiencing the usual slight improvements, a bucket load of content round every corner, and gorgeous environments supported by an impressive graphics update providing a whole new perception of what constitutes 3D gaming, Pokemon Black has managed to impress.

quote Dark Arcanine
Pokemon Black, alongside Pokemon White, sees the fifth generation of main titles into fruition and into a new decade. Unlike with the fourth generation, where I scoured the dark recesses of the internet for every scrap of information I could find, I took a comparatively relaxed view on Pokemon Black and purchased it with very little knowledge of what to expect. Despite my original anticipation that it would be released on the 3DS, I eagerly plugged the cartridge in wondering not just how far they’d pushed the Nintendo DS, but also the Pokemon franchise itself.

One thing that will never change is the basic premise of Pokemon. You still get to pick your starter Pokemon, while being asked to complete a Pokedex by filling it with information about all the Pokemon you meet while on your adventure; you still travel around the world, collecting Gym badges and becoming the number one trainer; and you still have an evil organisation, who you have to prevent carrying out acts of evil. What’s different about this generation is the new sense of maturity and the quality of the content which encompass the aforementioned premise.

The plot, for example, is the most detailed and engaging to-date. Following the hard decision of your name and gender (I know, I always forget mine too), you venture out from Nuvema Town into the new region known as Unova, with your two (yes, two) childhood friends Cheren and Bianca at your side. These two, unlike previous friends and rivals, are given the royal treatment; their characters appear much more often and, as a result, are far better developed. While Cheren is the whizz kid with an unhealthy focus on becoming the strongest trainer, Bianca is a laidback and quiet girl who just wants to have fun and make friends, with the two characters seemingly representing two halves of your typically non-speaking neutral character.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Jun 26, 11 6:34pm

The twenty-ninth round of Articles of Excellence continues the indie flavour, with Dark Arcanine winning the round with his review of Trine. He describes it as an overall great game with an engaging atmosphere and enjoyable puzzles, though it does create a want for more content and a longer lifespan in the process.

 Trine     Score: 4.0/5
 Genre: Side-scrolling Action Platformer and Puzzle

 So with a decent plot, engrossing atmosphere and highly enjoyable puzzle system, Trine proves itself a winner amongst the ever growing sea of indie titles.

quote Dark Arcanine
Developed by Frozenbyte, Trine is an indie side-scrolling puzzle game. Nothing new, I hear you say? Well, the difference between Trine and a lot of other indie titles (coughZenoClashcough), is that it’s actually a good game on multiple levels, and not just relying on one element or, even worse, a mere empty husk. Set in the good old medieval world of knights and castles, Trine sees you playing through its 15 levels with an unlikely trio of heroes: a bold and rather brash knight, an acrobatic and sneaky thief, and an eccentric lady-loving wizard. Boasting puzzles, platforming and fighting, Trine successfully combines a multitude of genres to produce an indie title that is actually worthy of attention, allowing it to standout amongst the ever growing crowd.

Upon starting your game, you find yourself participating in three short tutorials, effectively introducing you to each of the three characters. Upon all three characters having show off their personal skills and reaching the same spot, the plot starts to unfold. Each places their hand on a three-sided magical artefact known as the Trine. Feeling an unquestionable magical power, the three find themselves bound together, their souls entwined and their paths merged into one exciting quest. In an attempt to free themselves from one another, as well as saving the kingdom on the side from an army of the undead, the fateful trio set out into a once beautiful world, now ravaged by the forces of evil.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Jun 11, 11 2:57pm

With the twenty-eighth round finished, Monterey Jack has ceased his winning streak to hand over the round to Dark Moor for her review of Capsized. She describes it as having a solid core, but also as having a short lifespan and features that seem added on for the sake of it.

 Capsized     Score: 3.8/5
 Genre: Side-scrolling Action Platformer

 Capsized is a good game, but it could use some work. The presentation is fantastic, and the game itself is a rather exciting romp. However, it's too short, and the additional modes are tacked on at best, stopping this game from being the masterpiece it could've been.

quote Dark Moor
Crash landing on a far away planet is never fun. What usually happens is that you end up stranded in a wasteland or a series of dark caves and space stations, not to mention alien food! From classics like Doom and Metroid, to even newer games like Bulletstorm, this is a theme that is common, but far from overused, and remains fresh as a result. So... why not have one more game like this? Capsized is a game that takes its cues from games like Contra, Metroid and other such run and gun games, but does so in a way that makes it quite refreshing and well worth your time and money.

There isn't exactly a story to look forward to or anything in this game. Basically, you, an unnamed astronaut, and your crew of other unnamed astronauts crash land on a planet, and now you have to fight through alien hordes while rescuing crew members and finding a way to get off the planet. The astronauts are completely silent, outside of a few grunts and moans every now and again, and the only text is in the menu and a few tutorial segments here and there. It's not a problem, but it always feels like something could've been done. With that said, thanks to the gameplay, it's not going to matter too much.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
May 27, 11 7:05pm

Proving it's not an impossible task - and forcing me to finally learn how to spell the name in the process - Monterey Jack has sealed his big hat-trick, with a three in-a-row win streak thanks to his review of TRINITY: Souls of Zill O'll. Aside from the soundtrack and combat, he describes it as a mediocre title in need of a good trim (length of the game, that is) and a much better plot.

We would also like to acknowledge the sad news of the passing of Vergil Ties, who has long been a regular of this contest and will be missed by us all.

 TRINITY: Souls of Zill O'll     Score: 2.8/5
 Genre: Fantasy RPG

 If every cutscene was given voice acting and the game trimmed out 2/5ths of itself, Trinity: Souls Of Zill O'll would be a pretty good dungeon crawler. Sadly, that isn't the case.

quote Monterey Jack
Alright Koei/Omega Force, let's see what you guys got here... ah, I see, a dungeon crawler with some RPG elements. Not bad. I mean, at least it isn't a rehash of Dynasty Warriors. Sure, half the stuff I see here is soo 2004, but I guess I'll let it slide, because it seems like a concept that'll work out for you guys, and I hope some outdated crap doesn't hurt the experience. Hopefully, it won't get snubbed in favor of Dragon Age 2, your arch rival. Perhaps your Japanese dungeon crawler will outdo Bioware's American dungeon crawler on the grounds that people will be too sceptical to purchase Dragon Age 2, and buy this game out of curiosity. Games that come out of nowhere tend to be pretty good, eh?

Yeah, that's what I thought until I actually decided to play through the game. The end result is an above average game that's too *bleep*ing long for its own good, with too much fat that needs to be cut out before it can be considered good or even great. It's got a few more screws loose, but it's also done a few things exceptionally well. I bet you're all wondering what sucks and what rocks, or probably even what this game is. Well, sit down and pay attention. You might learn something.

One day, Emperor Balor receives a prophecy, telling him that he will be slain by his own grandson. This has him go after his daughter and son. The son, Prince Lugh, was actually raising a family in secrecy... until he's figured out, and he gets slain, but his wife and two kids manage to escape. Perhaps Balor ought to use this prophecy to not be such a douche? You know, instead of being all paranoid and shit by killing everyone that shares his blood? Anyway, flash forward a couple of decades, and one of those kids grows up to be a fighter at the arena. This kid is called Areus, and he's a half elf. If Tales Of Symphonia taught me anything, it's that whenever half elves are involved, so is prejudice, and later on in the game, it's used in an effort to turn friends against each other, but I'm getting about 10 or 12 hours ahead of myself here. So yeah, Areus fights at the arena in the town of Liberdam, but he's encouraged to become an adventurer. Basically, he reports to Adventurer's Guilds to start doing some quests that involve slaying monsters, recovering treasures and escorting people through the many dungeons laid out in the world of Vyashion. He eventually meets with two people - big bloke Dagda, and token chick Selene - and together, they go out to save the world from the big bad Dyneskal army... oh, and Areus wants to avenge his family by killing Emperor Balor. Yeah, that becomes his main motivation to really do anything in this game.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
May 12, 11 7:15pm

With a second win in-a-row, Monterey Jack has taken out the twenty-sixth round with his review of Vanquish. Despite describing it as having a poor plot, small campaign and an absent multiplayer (if you're insistent on that sort of thing), overall he describes it as a good game with gameplay, visual and audio elements combining to make an engaging title that breaks away a little from the typical mould.

 Vanquish     Score: 4.3/5
 Genre: Action Shooter

 Vanquish is a pretty good game with a pretty shitty story.

quote Monterey Jack
So yeah, Vanquish pretty much kicks ass. No need to really pussyfoot around the obvious with this game, mostly because it never pussyfoots around during gameplay. It never gives you anything more than scenarios where you have to shoot down a bunch of robots, perhaps except quick time events, but they're not overdone or bullshit, so they're not worth expanding on. Anyway, if you haven't already got this game, shit, I'll go and convince you to go and get it.

Basically, Russia attacks San Francisco with powerful advanced technologies, and now it's up to Sam Gideon's badass new ARS suit and some American soldiers to take Russia down before it's too late - whether that refers to America's unconditional surrender or the takeover/destruction of Ameirca, that's up to both sides. That's all there is to it - cutscenes either just go along the lines of "aww shit, more *bleep*ing things shooting at us" or is basically Sam destroying some big robot. I mean, they try to cram in some other shit, but it's so thinly spread that it doesn't even matter. Then again, a shooter is like toast, and the story is like vegimite - spread it thinly, or it'll taste like shit.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Apr 27, 11 6:58pm

The big twenty-five saw the round receive an equably big number of votes, putting several people in with a chance. A new face brings new success however, as Monterey Jack took out the round with his review of Atelier Rorona: Alchemist of Arland. Despite presenting an interesting alchemy system and a decent soundtrack, he describes it as overall a rather average RPG, let down by the other, less impressive aspects. Perhaps the chemistry wasn't quite right?

 Atelier Rorona: Alchemist of Arland     Score: 3.0/5
 Genre: Fantasy RPG

 Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist Of Arland is an okay game, really. It just lacks the punch that a good game usually has.

quote Monterey Jack
Atelier Rorona marks the beginning of the Arland arc that Gust had started up. But unlike the Iris or Mana Khemia arcs, this arc has a pretty lame beginning. The games aren't exactly complicated in design, but they're at least fun to go through; Atelier Rorona is just *bleep*ing boring, and it eventually gets to the point where you just want to finish it and then trade it in for an RPG that isn't just slightly above average, like White Knight Chronicles. I mean, Jesus, there are many things I could've bought with thirty bucks, like a few DVDs, the first season of the Pokemon anime, or a pre-owned copy of Grand Theft Auto IV... but nope, I spent it on a mediocre RPG instead. Oh joy.

In the beginning, a town lived very simple lives, sort of like medieval times, but then suddenly, a traveller shows them the art of alchemy. The town was impressed, and wanted in on it. Alchemy was here to stay... or was it? Years later, the alchemy shop ends up in debt due to the laziness of the shopkeeper and poor reputation, and the king's advisors suggested that he shut down the shop and open up a factory. The king, however, has a heart and suggested that the shopkeeping alchemist should complete a series of assignments to prove her worth. As the shopkeeper is a lazy bitch, she gets her student to do it for her. No impending doom, no wars, no “the king is really satan” sort of thing going on – just some wholesome shopkeeping woes.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Apr 12, 11 7:14pm

Seeing out the twenty-fourth round of Articles of Excellence, Dark Moor has taken out another win with her review of Super Meat Boy. Although it may not have much going for it plot-wise, it makes up for it with fun gameplay with difficulty to make you... think, and a catchy soundtrack to boot. If you're a fan of difficulty and achievements, this could be the platformer for you.

 Super Meat Boy     Score: 4.5/5
 Genre: Platformer

 Super Meat Boy is a great platformer. It has tough but fair and balanced difficulty backed up by simple yet effective gameplay and a bloody awesome soundtrack.

quote Dark Moor
Beginning life as a game on Newgrounds, Meat Boy enjoyed a decent amount of success, though it was criticised for having slippery controls. But either way, it was popular enough to entice the creators to try and make a full game out of it, available for download on Xbox Live and Steam (and Wiiware... oh wait, that version got canned.. whoops). Well, some time later, for under fifteen dollars, you can sign your life away to play a simple little platformer... that goes from manageable to STOP IT DADDY IT HURTS difficult. It will consume your soul, and the only way you're getting it back is by beating the game...

There isn't much in the way of a story... Meat Boy's girlfriend, Bandage Girl, gets kidnapped by Dr Fetus, and Meat Boy has to rescue her. Nice. Grade A story right there, folks! It's told in cutscenes that occur when you enter a world, and before and after the boss level, but as you should expect, it's nothing deep or meaningful; just simple old school storytelling of "for me to know and you to find out". There are references towards other video games, most notably Super Mario Brothers (if you're not sure, it's in the title and the concept of the minus levels), which gives the story a bit of flavor, but overall, it's nothing overly special.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Mar 28, 11 6:37pm

Several people scored votes in the twenty-third round of Articles of Excellence, with Dark Moor acquiring the most for her review of the point-and-click game, The Whispered World. Although she's full of praise for some aspects such as the beautiful graphics, the overall opinion is hacked down by such negative aspects as the voice acting and the puzzle-solving, with the combination resulting in a case of gaming irritation.

 The Whispered World     Score: 1.7/5
 Genre: Puzzle Adventure

 The Whispered World is not absolutely terrible, but too many puzzles requiring dumb luck and generally not being accomplishing in any way, plus the irritating and nearly story destroying voice acting just hurt this game to the point of no return.

quote Dark Moor
When you think of adventure games, what's the first thing to come to your mind? Zelda? Maniac Mansion? Shadowgate? Myst? Obviously, the best examples are in the point and click subgenre - with no disrespect towards Zelda, which opts for d-pads/analogue sticks for movement rather than pointing and clicking - and you'd be a bloody fool for not agreeing that the best adventure games are point and click ones. Most of them have well thought out puzzles and some pretty clever storylines and dialogue. They're surprisingly enjoyable, but I don't feel the need to spend hours typing up why that is. Unfortunately, there was a decline for a good few years due to the popularity of first person shooters, but with the rise of Flash and the DS, it got back on its feet. I would say good thing because we'd never experience this game, but then I'd be lying... I mean, I love some of the modern point and click adventure games like the Sam And Max and Tales Of Monkey Island games, and I'm grateful that this style is getting more popular, but that doesn't change the fact that The Whispered World is just really mediocre, bordering on absolute garbage at times...

So our main hero, Sadwick, has recurring nightmares of the apocalypse that he causes... I suppose thoughts of the world ending stem from the fact that he's a down and out circus clown that's one step away from pulling to trigger and ending it all. Coincidently, there's a prophecy stating that Sadwick will end the world. Come on, the lad is clearly depressed. Don't make him feel worse about himself! But I suppose whatever motivates him to actually save the world will do. Oh, and he has to save the king from an illness by finding the Whispered Stone, lest the realm be taken over by Asgil, the kingdom's opposing race... What gives the story its legs are the characters and the writing. The writing can be pretty witty, although sometimes annoying due to Sadwick's extremely pessimistic outlook on like (his dialogue can get tiresome after a while, let's just say), and also due to an imperfect German-to-English translation; what could be a gutbuster ends up being amusing, as the dialogue can feel stilted and often fairly awkward, but then there are some very well written moments to balance that out. Overall, the story - at least, if it was presented as a book - ends up very compelling, if a bit on the crappy side due to mistranslation.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Mar 13, 11 5:34pm

Our twenty-second round saw some even voting across a couple of reviews. Taking out the win this time is Gamecube Guru with his review of Vectorman. Describing it as a well-made side-scrolling title with enjoyable gameplay and the potential for a franchise that was never realised, his healthy scoring of the game reflects the lucky nature of the fact it found its way into a video game collection release.

 Vectorman     Score: 4.5/5
 Genre: Action Platformer

 Vectorman is a very well made game. In fact, it's a near masterpiece as far as sidescrolling games are concerned.

quote Gamecube Guru
Vectorman is a pretty damn good game, there's no doubt about it. The only people who hate on it are graphics whores and people who suck at it. Unfortunately, like Comix Zone, had it not been for some compilation discs that have been released throughout the years, nobody except for hardcore Sega Genesis fans would've heard of it and bought it because 3D gaming consoles were on the way, and everyone was like "oh mate gotta get an N64 or PS1 or Saturn". Thank god for these various Genesis collections, or it'd be pretty hard to experience such an awesome game.

In the future, pollution manages to screw the world over so much, that humanity had fled to other planets, leaving robots or "orbots" to clean up the mess. Unfortunately, a powerful robot known as Raster is attached to a nuclear missile, and influences the orbots to rebel and cause chaos. Our hero, Vectorman, comes back from delivering sludge to the sun - as he was at the sun at the time, he was unaffected - and now he has to stop Raster. What makes this kick ass is that it's one of the few environmental stories that doesn't seem so up its own ass. Like most action games, the story just sets you up, gives you a reason to kick ass and take names. Doesn't matter what the theme is; it takes a backseat to the gameplay, but what you see is at least interesting enough.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Feb 27, 11 2:29am

The twenty-first round of Articles of Excellence saw the winning position shift between multiple reviewers several times. Though one review came out on top in the end: Brutal Legend by Crazyhand. Describing it as an average game in some respects and giving it an okay score overall, the reasons you'll want to be getting it is if you're really into hack and slash games or a fan of the metal genre.

 Brutal Legend     Score: 3.5/5
 Genre: Action/Adventure

 Brutal Legend is an ambitious game by an ambitious creator, but too much ambition and not enough effort can only go so far.

quote Crazyhand
When you think about metal, you think about a bunch of dudes banging on their drums, randomly strumming their guitars, and screaming into the mic like dying hyenas. Although people have proved this ignorant stereotype wrong time and time again, who cares, ignorance for the win! Besides, that just means one less poser in the metal culture.. So here's a game that embelishes the culture - the music, and the positive stereotypes... I hate Metalocalypse because it glorifies the negative stereotypes associated with metal (that, and it's about as funny as Dane "MAYBE IF I YELL IT'LL BE FUNNY" Cook), whereas Brutal Legend brings out the fun loving side of metal! Grab a beer and enjoy!

Brutal Legend starts off with Eddie Riggs, the world's best roadie for the world's worst bands, wishing that he could go back to a time when metal was awesome. One night, during a freak accident with one of the props and electricity, Eddie sacrifices himself to save one of the dumbass tweens, and thanks to his belt buckle which is actually an amulet of the fire beast Ormageddon, he's transported to somewhere ripped right out of the stone ages. After some formalities, he learns of a plot by the Hair Metal army lead by Lionwhyte, who looks like a mash up of every hair metal band member at once... shit, he has so much hair, he can fly by flapping it! But yeah, Eddie has to stop him from reviving an evil monster god and has to take down the oppressive emperor known as Doviculus.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Feb 15, 11 3:17am

Twentieth round may be late in announcement, but it's no less exciting! Although it was originally a close race between three different reviewers, Insanity Prevails gained a clear lead and took the win with his review of The Path. Another Indie title making waves in the gaming world, The Path makes an interesting blend between gamer participation and experience. He describes it as an interesting creepy adventure title, but one with obvious flaws that might put off the less interested of participants.

 The Path     Score: 2.8/5
 Genre: Adventure

 I do want to say that the experience offered by The Path is unlike anything else, but the gameplay flaws aren't easily ignored.

quote Insanity Prevails
The indie scene has always been a source for finding the mot bizarre "out there" projects you could possibly think of. Tale of Tales is certainly known for fitting this aspect perfectly, and their The Path game is a fine example of this, to the point of raising the question of whether it's a game at all or more of an experience. I guess the best thing to do now though is to figure out whether it's worth your money or not.

I'll start with what The Path is. This is a dark twisted tale based loosely around the Little Red Riding Hood fairytale. Six girls are all tasked with taking some food and drink supplies to grandmother's house deep in the woods. That's about where the clear cut story elements end, because the rest of the story essentially boils down to a psychological mind*bleep* where it's up to you to figure out what the heck is going on.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Jan 29, 11 2:53am

That's right, they just couldn't help themselves! Seeing an unprecedented occurrence, and a bit of history made in Articles of Excellence, the nineteenth round saw a hat-trick win for the seemingly very popular indie title, Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale. This time our review is written by newcomer (to reviews at least!) Quierta, who also thoroughly enjoys it (surprise!). She too describes it as having a level of difficulty, but being rewarding in return. Perhaps this is a gentle nudge towards developers to say "we want more games about dungeon crawling AND shop keeping"?

 Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale     Score: 4.7/5
 Genre: Fantasy RPG

 For a game with so little backing and so small a concept, it certainly leaves a big impression.

quote Quierta
Recettear, at a first glance, is just a small indie game perhaps akin to the likes of the infamous Facebook game "Farmville" or whatever Zynga's managed to come up with recently. However, that is very much INCORRECT!

The overall plot of the game is rather simple. You play as Recette, a young girl who is currently living alone in her father's home. It seems that he's gone missing, apparently having partaken in some large adventure and never having returned. Much to her surprise she is one day visited by a fairy by the name of Tear. She instructs you that your father left you with a daunting debt which you will have to repay, or you will be thrown on the streets. A compromise is made - you will turn your home into an item shop, buy and sell items at a profit and slowly widdle away at the overly large debt your father has so kindly left on your lap.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Jan 14, 11 3:37am

Our eighteenth round saw a heated round of voting and a very interesting win. Switching between clear winner and neck-and-neck, the round ended out with a victory for Dark Moor and her Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale review. This follows Insanity Prevails' win with a review of the same game in the previous round! Though by the sound of it, this game deserves the spotlight twice in-a-row. Describing it as difficult, but in an enjoyable way, as well as highly addictive, she too describes it as a great game with evident originality.

 Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale     Score: 4.5/5
 Genre: Fantasy RPG

 Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is a very well constructed and original game that puts you in the perspective of a shopkeeper.

quote Dark Moor
You know how in most RPGs, you have to buy weapons, armor and items from a shop in order to stand a bit more of a chance against the forces of evil, right? You'd think that the shopkeepers would cut you some slack and give you a discount because you're saving the world from said forces of evil... nope. Shopkeepers can't play favorites here! And that's the case for this game, where you ARE a shopkeeper, needing to make sure that you earn as much money as possible without driving the customer away because you're demanding a thousand dollars for a piece of candy.

Recette has lived the easy life; she never had to work a day in her life and could spend the day sleeping, dreaming of sweets. Then one day, a fairy by the name of Tear comes by and asks Recette to pay quite a hefty amount of money. Why? Because Recette's father took out a hefty loan and left Recette with an enormous debt. At least Tear isn't a ruthless loan shark/Nazi, and she decided to let Recette work it off, paying it off week by week. Recette decides to work as a shopkeeper, with Tear helping her along the way. Throughout the game, I was expecting the story to become more deep and engrossing, but honestly, simple and lighthearted is a great alternative. The dialogue between the characters ranges from just plain light hearted to pretty hilarious. You can tell that the game doesn't take itself too seriously.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Dec 31, 10 9:56pm

Seventeenth round took place between Christmas and New Years Eve, though not everyone was busy as Insanity Prevails had multiple reviews in the running, with his one for Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale getting the clear win. Using an interesting combination of shop management and dungeon crawling, the indie title has a lot of fun on offer. In fact, he doesn't really have any complaints, and neither will you unless you're not fond of proper difficulty settings.

 Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale     Score: 4.7/5
 Genre: Fantasy RPG

 Recettear is a wonderful shop management slash dungeon crawler game that brings about a rare experience that I think anyone would just love, and with a low price attached to it then it is easy to go ahead and have some fun.

quote Insanity Prevails
This is my review of Recettear. It is a rather unique and awesome game. Go buy it now. End.

Well, I suppose I should explain things a bit better, but my abruptness should go some way to expressing the sheer love I have for this game. There truely are very few games quite like this, and fewer still done with the kind of addictive quality that demands you to play one more day. A shining example of what indepedent developers can pull off.

So then, what is Recettear? It is primarily a shop management game that reverses the usual RPG roles. This time you are the shop keeper happily ripping off adventurers risking their lives to venture into the most dangerous of dungeons. The game also throws in dungeon crawling areas that can help you in your playthrough. About the only comparison I can make is to Natsume's Harvest Moon Rune Factory games, but done so much better.

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Dark Arcanine blogged
Dec 17, 10 3:44am

The sixteenth round saw someone who isn't a regular reviewer come in with a hefty challenge and take out the win. Writing a review which measures on the longer side, Machienzo has achieved victory with his review for Fallout: New Vegas. Describing it as a step in the right direction and back towards Fallout 1 and Fallout 2, he praises it for the improvement of storyline and gameplay mechanics, the great attention to audio and a high level of replayability. Though sadly, the game does suffer quite noticeably from bugs.

 Fallout: New Vegas     Score: 4.3/5
 Genre: Sci-Fi RPG

 It needs to be said, that contrary to popular belief, New Vegas stands as its own. Despite the numerous connections and comparisons made between both Fallout 3 and New Vegas, the game has been specifically defined as a Spin-Off and NOT a sequel.

quote Machienzo
The game starts off within the setting of Nevada, more specifically the Mojave Wasteland, in the year 2281, 4 years after the events of Fallout 3, and 204 years after the great war of 2077. As such, it revolves around a post-apocalyptic Las Vegas, and focuses on many central themes to the series such as greed and war. The player controls a character known as “The Courier”, who themselves are developed directly by how the player chooses to proceed throughout the game. Everything from their gender, personality, skills and general socialisation is controlled by the player.

The story starts off with attempted assassination of The Courier, and the theft of an important package he was carrying which was meant to be delivered. The game begins with being buried alive after being ambushed by a gang, accompanied by a particularly dressed man. Afterwards, The Courier is dug up by a friendly robot called Victor, and nursed back to health by a small-town Doctor. From then on, they are left to set out into the wide world of the Mojave, and given the freedom to make critical story moral choices which will affect how the game and world develops.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Dec 2, 10 3:22am

Fifteenth round of Articles of Excellence saw a second short list of review, but with some very interesting voting. Neck-and-neck from start to finish, right at the end a review managed to get the one-up. That review is Dark Arcanine's review of Metroid: Other M. Giving it an alright score, he discusses how he enjoyed the more immersive combat system, decent plot, return-to-roots gameplay and a good look. Having said this, the game suffers from cut scene spam, fractured perspective switching and playing with a male-dominated Samus.

 Metroid: Other M     Score: 3.8/5
 Genre: Action Adventure

 In summarising Metroid: Other M, I’d have to call it an ambitious title. It wanted to achieve a lot, but lost in the process a lot of what made the previous titles so enjoyable.

quote Dark Arcanine
Metroid: Other M promised a lot when first announced. It tantalised the newer fans with the interesting concept of the ability to instantaneously swap between first and third-person. It wafted a familiar smell toward the veterans, promising a gameplay with a return to roots. With something to keep everyone happy, it looked to be a very strong release. Sadly this is not the case, as Metroid: Other M back flips on the previous Prime series efforts to present a game that lacks that something special and will ultimately end up collecting the dust on your shelf. So where did it go so wrong for our blonde heroine from outer space?

The plot starts out simple enough; Samus is cruising around in her ship when she receives a distress call. Alarmed by the name of signal, she has a flashback to when the baby Metroid saved her from Mother Brain. She answers the call and lands on the Bottle Ship. Once onboard, it’s clear that something is wrong as Samus runs into a Galactic Federation squadron led by her former commander, Adam Malkovich. As they split up and explore the ship, it becomes clear that this will not be an easy mission. With team mates disappearing, old enemies resurfacing, and a ship that was home to illegal experiments, it doesn’t take long before Samus becomes suspicious about why the Galatic Federation, along with other things, are onboard this ship. As the game progresses, Samus is faced with not only the challenge of finding out what happened, but also the coming to terms with her own past.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Nov 18, 10 2:48am

The fourteenth round saw a short list of reviews facing off for the win, though that's not to say it was any less exciting! With quite a split round of voting, the result was no less than a four-way tie. Emerging from the group to claim the prize, Vergil Ties and his review for The Bouncer. Giving the beat-'em-up title a low score, he discusses how it may have great graphics, but that it lacks anything decent in the way of more vital elements such as plot and gameplay.

 The Bouncer     Score: 1.0/5
 Genre: Action Adventure

 Dreamfactory were way too busy jacking it to the graphics to actually program a video game. The Bouncer is a colossal failure and a waste of 2+ hours.

quote Vergil Ties
The Bouncer is one of those titles that Square are – or ought to be – embarrassed with. It was a piece of shit through and through with a laughably crap story and lackluster gameplay that failed to titillate the senses. Now, this was back during the PS2's launch, which wasn't exactly its best time, and there was pressure to make it seem like the next big thing in gaming. The Bouncer was meant to showcase the PS2's power, and while it certainly had some nice graphics, the game was a piece of shit. Don't ask me why people like it, because then I'll have to explain how people can stomach about half the shit on MTV, and I'm not that *bleep*ing smart! But enough procrastination – let's dive into this putrid pile of piss that verifies the fact that graphics do not make a game!

Bare witness to a damsel in distress plot, as our main character, Sion, and his bouncer buddies, Volt and Kou, all have to rescue Sion's good friend, Dominique, from a solar energy corporation. There. That's your entire story.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Nov 4, 10 1:03am

The unlucky number thirteen sees our latest round off, and just after Halloween (plays X-Files tune in the background). Though the latest round of Articles of Excellence has been anything but unlucky for Dark Moor, who's achieved yet another win with their review of Resonance of Fate. If you don't mind graphics that won't get Avatar fans wetting their pants for a second time, Dark Moor praises the RPG for great gameplay and for stepping away from the typical structure you've come to expect from the genre.

 Resonance of Fate     Score: 4.5/5
 Genre: Fantasy RPG

 If you're getting sick of RPGs that follow the same formula set by Final Fantasy and don't mind average quality graphics, give this a spin. You won't be disappointed.

quote Dark Moor
Resonance Of Fate is a JRPG that actually manages to break the mould by presenting itself... a bit differently from its competition. You got your normal towns and townsfolk, and random encounters, but that's about all that stays traditional. The battle system, world map and characterization will surprise you with the execution and presentation, and believe me when I say... it's nothing to be afraid of.

I can't quite say that the story was that good. It starts off interesting, but then it evolves into a mess. Basically, the world is polluted and as a result, everybody flees to the Tower of Basel, which has some sort of purification shield. Unfortunately, it malfunctions and most of the tower is left polluted by poison. Let's skip to our heroes, Vashyron, Zephyr and Leanne - they're hunters who take down monsters for cash, and... I don't know, there's some philosophical stuff about existence and... you know what, I stopped paying attention in the second half, because it just hits you with a whole lot of stuff through some long winded speeches, but when it's delivered, it all feels like a barrage of scrunched up paper; not enough depth to actually mean anything significant. Rather, it's just confusing and awkward.

It's quite disappointing, because the first half was excellent. There wasn't much of a story to screw up; it was just three workmates who acted like best friends, and a fair amount of hilarity ensues throughout.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Oct 21, 10 2:31am

Round twelve of Articles of Excellence sees the snag of a two-in-a-row win for upcoming regular reviewer Polarity. Despite votes being spread among several worthy contenders, Polarity won it out with his Prince of Persia review. Describing it as a change of pace, Polarity gives it a decent score because even though it has some flaws, it still brings a solid meal to the table.

 Prince of Persia     Score: 4.0/5
 Genre: Action Adventure

 Prince Of Persia 08 isn't much like the Sands Of Time trilogy; rather, it focuses more on platforming and collect-a-thons, the latter of which, I thought was extinct long ago...

quote Polarity
Having gone through the Sands Of Time trilogy a few times in my short lifetime, to see a completely different prince starring in a game that's called Prince Of Persia was a little bit of a shock to my system, as he looked so different.... I suppose this is how the fans of the older games on DOS felt after seeing the redesigned Prince for the Sands Of Time trilogy. But in any case, with change, has to come lowered expectations - we can't expect the same sort of thing we got with the Sands Of Time trilogy, and in a way, we expected correctly. Prince Of Persia 08 isn't much like the Sands Of Time trilogy; rather, it focuses more on platforming and collect-a-thons, the latter of which, I thought was extinct long ago... I guess somebody at Ubisoft thought to bring them back. But does this change make the game worthy of the name "Prince Of Persia"? Yes, I think it does, but that doesn't excuse some of the problems found throughout.

The game starts with a different looking Prince - who isn't actually a prince, but nevertheless, we're never given a name for the guy, so... why not call him Prince - out in the desert, during a sandstorm looking for his donkey who has the King's ransom in stolen gold. He runs into Elika, who is fighting off two guards. After a bit, they enter the Temple Of Ahriman, which has an evil entity called Ahriman, and his legions of minions known as the Corrupted, sealed inside a room, though that doesn't last long, because Elika's father, the king, cuts down the Tree Of Life, setting Ahriman and his minions free, and corrupting the world around them.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Oct 6, 10 1:24am

Eleventh round over in Articles of Excellence and another winner is crowned. Unable to win the majority of votes last round, Polarity not only scored votes for multiple reviews but won with one too. Giving a kinder score to a game that also won two weeks ago, Polarity's review of Final Fantasy XIII describes a game that picks up the slack a bit, but still isn't hitting that high note they've come to expect from the series.

 Final Fantasy XIII     Score: 3.3/5
 Genre: Fantasy RPG

 Final Fantasy XIII had a rocky start with low difficulty and a convoluted storyline, but if you stay with it, you'll actually have a bit of fun with it, and feel a lot more challenged.

quote Polarity
Final Fantasy and myself haven't been getting along for years now. Since Final Fantasy X2, I just can't seem to see Final Fantasy in the same light I saw it in when I first played Final Fantasy VI on the Super Nintendo at the tender age of six, and continued on with the series as I grew up and started supporting Sony instead of Nintendo. Don't get me wrong, Final Fantasy X2 and XII had good intentions, but the storylines just weren't engrossing enough, and neither were the characters. But at the very least, they weren't terrible games; just lackluster in comparison to the rest of the series, as is this game right here, Final Fantasy XIII. It, too, has good intentions, but it doesn't quite meet those expectations. Now, this is a bit more like it, at the very least, but... I don't know, it just doesn't feel as good as it should've.

For instance, the storyline was a bit convoluted. It wasn't the easiest to follow if you weren't paying a lot of attention to the cutscenes. There is a lot of talk about L'Ci, Fal'Ci, the Sanctum (which is Final Fantasy XIII's equivalent of the government), and a bunch of other stuff that only makes sense if you pay attention to the cutscenes. There is quite a lot to take in within the first 25 hours before it decides to downplay the story almost completely, which makes the pacing seem extremely off.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Sep 21, 10 2:53am

Having retired from the position of running our much cherished Articles of Excellence contest, we've recently seen the return to participation of one of our long-running, high quality reviewers. Insanity Prevails has netted his latest win for his review of Scribblenauts on the Nintendo DS. Describing it as a game that went and did something refreshingly different with some flaws, he concludes it's worth the purchase, if only just.

 Scribblenauts     Score: 3.5/5
 Genre: Puzzle

 In all it somewhat leaves Scribblenauts as an odd title. I can't honestly say it is a great game because it has some glaring flaws that would get any other title lynched, but at the same time I find the sheer experience of creating almost whatever you want to be something all gamers should dabble in.

quote Insanity Prevails
Every so often we get a game idea that manages to break away from the otherwise endless stream of tried and tested formulae. These are the kinds of games that don't just present a unique feature or a fresh approach on an old idea but instead give us an entire experience unlike the rest. Scribblenauts concept is to allow the creative minds of the gamers to flourish by letting them create almost anything they want to complete the levels and it's an idea that excites any gamer. After all, who could resist that?

The overall point of the game is to collect the starites located in every level. While each stage already has a multitude of objects already in place, the real point of it all is to summon new objects to solve the problems and reach the goal. A simple tap of the book opens up the input screen where you can tap in (or literally write if you want, although it's a painfully slower process) words of stuff you want to summon to the level. You can then drag the objects around, attach them to things in some cases and use them. Finding the right combinations is the key.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Sep 6, 10 2:00am

With the ninth round of Articles of Excellence comes another win for reviewer Dark Moor. A clear winner this time, Dark Moor's review of Final Fantasy XIII from the very popular Final Fantasy series paints a picture quite dark, describing the game as pretty poor overall and a poor attempt at a game to appeal to Western World gamers, giving it a low final score.

 Final Fantasy XIII     Score: 1.5/5
 Genre: Fantasy RPG

 Boring story, hardly any gameplay, almost no immersion, devoid of customization, and overall, just a bad game!

quote Dark Moor
Final Fantasy is a series that started off as Square's original swansong, into an innovator in the RPG genre, and now into Square's cash cow with at least twenty two million spin off games for the DS, PSP and Wii. Of course, nothing in the series has managed to top the success of Final Fantasy VII, nor have any been as good as Final Fantasy VI (in my opinion, at least). It's quite unfortunate that Final Fantasy XIII doesn't do the series justice, either. In fact, it was pretty weak. It wasn't interesting, nor is it even that good.

There are two worlds - the floating Cocoon, and the underground Pulse. Both worlds have waged war against each other, and Cocoon have managed to push the beings of Pulse back to their side, but it's raised some tensions between the two worlds, pretty much to the point where Cocoon's government, the Sanctum, have encouraged its citizens to hate anything that is remotely related to Pulse, like the L'Cie and Fal'Cie, which becomes a problem when our heroes become L'Cie after destroying a Fal'Cie named Anima (which may spark a familiar feeling, to those who played Final Fantasy X) and have to...
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Aug 23, 10 12:37am

Eighth round has been announced for the Articles of Excellence contest with votes going left, right and center. Presenting a list consisting of many quality reviews, everyone picked something different as their favourite for the round. Though a winner emerged, Dark Moor and their White Knight Chronicles review on the PS3. Giving us the reasons for why it's a decent RPG to check out and something apart from the usual bunch with a good multiplayer component and a high degree of cusomisation available.

 White Knight Chronicles     Score: 4.0/5
 Genre: Fantasy RPG

 If you're sick of generic RPGs and you want something different in the genre, especially multiplayer that surprisingly works very well, give White Knight Chronicles a call.

quote Dark Moor
White Knight Chronicles is an interesting game. It, like Final Fantasy XII, has torn audiences apart. On one half, you have the people who hate it because they find the battle system too slow. On the other side of the fence, people praise it for its innovative battle system. Now, when it comes to Final Fantasy XII, I'm on no side. I liked the battle system, but the story and characters never peaked my interest, and ultimately, that's what keeps me playing an RPG. White Knight Chronicles's story, despite its simplistic nature, actually kept me coming back. Basically, when it comes to what side of the fence I'm on with White Knight Chronicles, I'm on the side with rainbows and butterflies.

The story revolves around a lad named Leonard. While delivering wine to a city that's under attack, he notices a princess, and within seconds, they're both together, inside a temple. He notices a suit of armor, and she chants a spell, which allows him to use the power of the armor. The armor transforms him into a giant, sword wielding mech warrior. Within a few more seconds, the princess is kidnapped, presumably because her kidnappers know that she can bring all of the suits of mechanical armor to life. Leonard, along with anybody who is willing to help, has to rescue her.
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Aug 8, 10 4:02am

With the seventh round in the Articles of Excellence contest we not only have another great winning review, but a change in management too. From now on, I will be running our beloved User Review contest. This round, Vergil Ties was the clear winner with his review for the Nintendo DS game, Infinite Space. Going into his review with expectations for another solid game from developer Platinum Games, Vergil Ties writes up a great review for the space-based RPG that despite generating some mixed feelings, makes for a good addition to the library for anyone looking for a meaty storyline and a decent handheld RPG.

 Infinite Space     Score: 4.0/5
 Genre: Adventure RPG

 Overall, Infinite Space is a reasonably good and unique strategy RPG game.

quote Vergil Ties
Platinum Games are starting to become an instant favorite of mine. Madworld was awesome, and Bayonetta was *bleep*ing mantastic! Here, I’m on my chair, thinking “they’re going for a hat trick, I can tell”. Enter Infinite Space, a game unlike the previously mentioned games. Instead of a beat em up (either with fists or with hair blades... go with it), they opted for an RPG of the more strategic variety. It’s not played out like Disgaea or Fire Emblem; it’s more like your typical RPG game, but with loads of strategy incorporated into the mix. Layers upon layers of gameplay build on to one another, managing for a hell of an experience. Some may not like the unforgiving nature of the game or the steep learning curve, but it’s one that opens itself up to satisfaction upon victory after getting the grasp of how it all works. In essence, this game is great!

Yuri is like many kids his age; he wants to go beyond the confides of his home and explore the galaxy around him. The only problem with this is that the planet's ruler is a petty bastard who forbids space travel. After seeing a ship crash near him and the pilot being a young girl named Nia, he and her build a ship to bypass the guards. Eventually, he's roped into some battles against space pirates alongside his mates (crew members).
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Dark Arcanine blogged
Jan 21, 10 8:35pm

My parents have been going on since I got back from England, which was the 23rd of December, about if I was going to get into University. Originally, during my time in high school, they suggested my grades would never be good enough. Then once I graduated high school, bringing us to more recent times, with a decent ATAR, they decided they needed something new to complain about. Naturally, they found it pretty quickly. When would acceptances come through and would their son receive one?

Originally, they figured it was going to be the 5th of January and who knows why. As if they would send it out just after all the celebrating of festivities and New Years. Anyway, they decided to change their estimated date to the 15th of January according to what they'd "heard". As such it came around and nothing still, I told them no one else had received conformation either but they didn't seem to entirely believe me. I said it'd come near the end of January, as en email had explained. So that seemed to satisfy them somewhat.

Today, the 21st of January, I signed into my email account to check out if anything interesting was going on, to see that there was something in my junk folder. I like to see what gets put into their because sometimes, they're really amusing. Turns out their was an email there from the head of a department at the University of Wollongong telling me I'd been accepted and that I had to confirm my enrollment within a week. Well you can imagine, I took a great deal of pleasure from showing my mother that email. And just now she phoned my father, who I imagine will have a heart attack or something from the amount of faith he put into me during my school years.

Oh and it's also amusing the order of which people have found out so far that I'm going. Mother, Mishtram, my two friends, cousin and wife, father. Yes, a Neoseeker member knew before everyone bar one person. That's how special he is. :D

So I got a letter through a little while ago, giving more details than just "congratulations, you got in". I got my first preference in the first round of student selections, so very pleased with that. Doing a Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies (Journalsim) course and I'm going to tag a teaching course onto that, which will only take a year after the original course. So all up I'm going to spend the next four years in University and get two qualifications out of it, pretty decent deal if you ask me.

So that's it for now really, everything else has been daily routine. Swimming every day, eating lots of delicious meat products etc. I am doing more stuff on GameGrep now that I've gotten into the swing of things again, which is pleasing.

Until next time then, congratulations to all the other Australians who received their acceptances.

musingsthoughts neoseeker related
Dark Arcanine blogged
Dec 29, 09 8:25pm

Yeah, I never made a single blog entry here about my six week holiday in England, so I deserved some coal in my stocking. Luckily there wasn't any, it's too hot here as it is. It was a decent holiday overall, it's a shame that only a small part of it was what I'd really wanted to experience the whole time. I doubt people even noticed I was gone though and that most of you are scratching your heads while thinking "Who is he then?".

I've been thinking a bit lately about people I respect. I don't respect many people to tell the truth, there really has to be at least one aspect about the person which is really outstanding in order for me to harbour admiration towards them. One such person I've recently come to really respect is a member of the popular video hosting site, YouTube. The member's account name is RayWilliamJohnson who I've been subscribing to for a few good months now. He puts out regular videos and I have to say, he's the main reason I check up on the site now and then just to see if he's done another yet. It's basically a show where he gives his thoughts on different videos found on the internet and does little sections such as his question of the day. It's rather impressive how many hits his videos get, which is a testament to their quality. I like the fact he's so funny and not just in an upfront way, he's intelligently funny. Well, except his Doin' Your Mom music video but hey, it's really funny. My point is, there's some people out there who are worth your time and today I'd like to point out such a person, Ray. I definitely recommend checking out his videos if you have the time.

Also talking about things on the internet, I'd like to take a minute to discuss Serebii. For regular site visitors, it's a treat when Christmas time comes around. The site likes to do an advent calender which is packed with stuff like crosswords, msn icons and wallpapers. I'm certainly a fan, I saved a fair few wallpapers to my computer this year for use in the coming one. So thank you Serebii for putting the time and effort into that.

And what of Neoseeker? Well, I'm still waiting on the ability to get a name change for consistent NeoPoints acquiring. I know many people don't want me to change my name but I've wanted it for long time now. Not that I'm ashamed of having a Pokemon username like many people seem to be, I just prefer another I use.

I also need to get back into my groove, which means more GameGrep again! As well as more reviews for which I already have several planned out.

If anyone is wondering, yes I did have a decent Christmas. If you'd like to know what I got, please feel free to check out my gallery where I uploaded photos of the better presents. There's also a few photos from my holiday and a couple of my dogs.

I also hope everyone has a good New Year's Eve lined up. Personally, I'm just going to hang out with a couple of mates and drink my ass off. Hopefully most of you will have a more fulfilling one at some nice venue with family or something of the like. Please feel free to share any plans in this blog entry. Or maybe your resolutions if you have any, I personally don't have any huge ones.

As for next year, I've achieved a score higher than I required, so I'll be going to University in early March I believe. Going to be doing a Journalism course and I don't care what job I get afterward, as long as it's something to do with writing I'll be happy. I'm also going to a concert on the 6th of February at what the net has described as the worst pub in Sydney so that'll be fun I'm sure.

That's about it guys, until next time.

musingsthoughts neoseeker related
Dark Arcanine blogged
Nov 9, 09 12:51am

Have to love using phrases in honourary fashion from Bill and Ted. :)

Tomorrow I'm going to the airport to catch a plane in the afternoon to arrive in England at the time of 5:00am! Going by myself for six weeks to stay with friends and family having just graduated school completely last Thursday.

Now I know some of you will be asking, why repeat the same stuff you have done in past blog entries? My answer is a simple one, to remind people that I'm going and that it starts tomorrow. I will be making blog entries here for you guys to read, so hopefully some of you will find it interesting.

So keep an eye out! I'm not sure when my first batch of photos will be up but expect them within my first week of being over there. After that I should be uploading more on a regular basis. I will try and make a blog entry after landing to give the story on the trip over there itself.

So yeah. If anyone needs to contact me for whatever reason, you can still send a PM. Just don't be worried if I don't reply straight away or even for a few days, I'm not sure how much computer access I will have and don't plan to use one much while over there either.

musingsthoughts england holiday
Dark Arcanine blogged
Oct 31, 09 11:04pm

I am not very fond of people who go Trick or Treating around my area. They like to do it around the time I want to eat. Okay, that's not so bad. Perhaps doing it in a country that doesn't care about the holiday? Getting there, but they can still hope for some candy. What about the fact I have people, every year, turn up in no costume with a plastic bag from the local Woolies asking for sweets? That's where I draw my line.

So what do I do? I make it more fun for myself. In years past, I invited my mates over. Got a load of water bombs filled up and some water-guns to boot. If a kid comes without a costume, soak them. I can't tell you how much fun it is sitting on a roof and bombing them with water, without showing you footage.

This year though, such fun tactics can't be had, as it's our HSC and we're not really doing anything until after. So what do I do? Simple, I just have to play some "oh so scary and heavy music", it keeps them away better than I originally could've hoped for.

I know, I sound like the Halloween version of the Grinch. Don't get me wrong, if I was in America with a costume, I'd love to join in such fun activities as begging for candy. As it is, I cannot stand kids with no costumes just trying to scab candy when no one does it anyway.

So what else is happening in the world of DA? Well I went to the hairdressers today to get my hair chemically straightened. The stuff smelled terrible and made me want to be sick, not to mention having to sit completely still. Though having said this, if it can dry straight for once I'll be happy. At the moment it doesn't have much volume, though I assume it's because it's just been done. Anyway, can't complain if you have your hair washed there three times, which can also be seen as three head massages.

Two exams to go, Modern History and Economics. After that I'm done and off to England shortly after.

I also finished reviewing the book series of Harry Potter, all seven can be found in my contributions. I plan to do the movies in the future, only done the sixth so far I believe.

And that's about it, until next time guys. :)

music musingsthoughts movies books neoseeker related halloween technical death metal england holiday harry potter
Dark Arcanine blogged
Oct 10, 09 1:37am

My theme of rant today is dates. There are some things in life I swear are just there to come off as strange coincidence. One of such factors in my life are dates. I mean, I was born on September 11th and people get weird over it when I mention it... come on, I have no relation to the event, date is irrelevant to discussion of my birthday. Furthermore, my plane for England on my holidays is leaving on the 9th of November... yeah that's right, the 9th of the 11th or 9/11 to put it short. It's stuff like this in life which makes you paranoid and wonder, I can tell you.

Currently halfway into the holidays. Not really holidays though since it's exams after and I've graduated school now. It's been alright, though I still don't seem to have much time on my hands which is strange.

Anyway I don't have much to say this time round. If you want to check something out, try Immerse in Infinity by Lost Soul, it's not half bad. I also downloaded the three albums of Gorod, good stuff.

gorod lost soul school dates holiday music musingsthoughts
Dark Arcanine blogged
Oct 1, 09 11:33pm

Today was the last official day of school ever as far as I'm concerned. We have our graduation ceremony and formal (prom) on tomorrow and then exams in roughly three weeks time. Now that it's here it feels slightly odd but still very satisfying, I could never explain in words how I hate the highs school education system or the general idea of going to school.

So now it's just a matter of study spam. I'm currently doing six hours worth a day. With no school on, I may take it up to eight or ten hours of studying. It sounds like a lot but it's not really, when you have your music on it's fairly enjoyable. I know a lot of people have problems with sound when trying to learn things, personally I remember things a whole lot better when I've got a nice, loud tune in the room.

There's an after-party on tomorrow also but I'm not bothering with it. I believe there is quite a large line which separates drinking for enjoyment and drinking for the sake of it. The party is going to be the second option, one of my best friends going is an example. Just yesterday he was saying how happy he was for drinking a 60% alcohol vodka in the morning... he's going to get alcohol poisoning or just go and kill himself in some way at this rate. He went drinking again that night by the way.

Not to mention the damage to themselves and others they tend to cause. Which is kind of funny, as we're supposed to be the more intelligent group of teenagers in the area. Although I must admit that the real bad stuff is usually caused by other schools, such as the gate crushers at one guy's eighteenth who tried to knife people. And having said this, I can see something similar happening at this party. I mean, for the last week people from other schools have been coming round to do damage to ours in whatever way they can.

So graduation ceremony. Three hours of speeches and acceptances and all the trimmings. My parents aren't going, so I have to get my friend's parents to take photos for me and a bus to the venue with the other years. I'm not too bothered by it but when you see the expression on the faces of your teachers and friends when you tell them, that makes you feel a bit down.

I also think the formal won't be as good as the one we had in year ten. My reasoning is the principal is coming to this one, so I can see it being stricter and a whole load more of boring. I like the choices we're getting for dinner though, they sound quite nice.

Not much new music yet to discuss. Necrophagist seem no closer to releasing their next album and Anterior are only just about to start recording, when their promised second album is supposed to be coming out in November I believe. All I have for now is Those Whom the Gods Detest by Nile which is an okay album but in comparison to some of their older stuff, it's not great.

And that's all, may blog this weekend to say what happened with tomorrow.

those whom the gods detest nile anterior necrophagist school music musingsthoughts
Dark Arcanine blogged
Sep 23, 09 7:55pm

I'm not sure if this news is worthy enough to be broadcast overseas. Everyone in Australia though is quite aware of the freak weather which started yesterday morning. Now I live near Wollongong in New South Wales. Here it started off as a relatively normal morning. On my way home in the late morning this wind came out of no where and I mean proper wind, the train station was shaking and creaking because of it. Then when I was at home the temeprature rose to 30 degrees celsius. Which isn't too hot but is still uncomfortable. The afternoon saw huge black clouds arrive on the wind, which rumbled a little until nightfall. Late evening the thunderstorm starts, with some cool looking lightning. Then through the later night it simply tipped down with rain, while still being quite hot.

So if that's bad enough, this morning I woke up to an orange glow, everything was glowing orange. Couldn't understand it until mum explained and I looked outside. In the early hours of the morning the dust storm had come through. It looked really cool and I've never seen that happen before. It also gave way to something else...

This week is my second last week of school, ever. I have exams after but those don't count really, they're not classes. So I'm really excited, as I bloody hate school with a passion through many reasons. Anyway, this week I haven't attended many classes. Monday I went to half, Tuesday half and today I went to none.... because of the dust storm and not me for a change.

It was broadcast that if you have health problems you shouldn't go outside today. Myself, being diagnosed as a terrible sufferer of asthma, am stuck inside for the day. Which is fine by me, though a little boring. Supposedly some people risk the possibility of death by such problems coupled with over exposure. Sounds like a pretty cool, futuristic dystopic way if you ask me....

I'm enjoying that Revocation album I blogged about. I obtained it through a leak nine days before release. In fact I got the leak a couple hours after it went up, so I was one of the very first people to get it (or at least can be determined by Last.FM stalking at any rate). It's good so again I recommend it.

So that's it for now, some weird weather and a new album. Next week I'm sure you'll enjoy reading since I have my formal. I'll try and take a camera to take a load of photos.

music musingsthoughts
Dark Arcanine blogged
Sep 20, 09 8:29pm

Revocation is a favourite band of mine, combining the sounds of old school thrash with a modern technical death metal sound. Together, it makes for an interesting mix which you don't see very often. The majority of bands which describe themselves as Tech Death/Thrash are in all honesty just Tech Death or not very good. Revocation is different though, showing how to do it right and with just three band members they're not to be snuffed at.

So the reason I'm making this blog post is because their new album Existence is Futile is about to come out and felt as a fan it's my duty to raise awareness of this. So far, I have some thoughts to put towards the new album, despite having yet listened to it from start to finish... because it hasn't leaked yet, they're doing a good job to stop the downloaders to be sure.

Firstly, the album artwork. Although it's cool, it's not overly original to have a scary death monster on the front. In comparison to their last piece, a dystopic future, it's a step down. Does this mean anything though?

As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't mean a single thing in terms of the album. At the moment there is three songs from their new album on their MySpace. These are The Brain Scramblers, Dismantle The Dictator and Anthem Of The Betrayed. I've listened through all three a few times each now and my conclusion is it's just as good as the stuff from their first album. It's catchy, it's powerful and most of all (on a personal level) it's enjoyable.

In all honesty, Revocation is one of those bands which should make it really big but just don't have their name circled around enough. I think after a couple more albums, if they stay steady and consistent, it's likely they will hit it big and start knocking it up with the big names. For now though, it's nice to see a fresh face pumping out top notch music.

Here's a profile of the album for you:

Release Date: September 29, 2009

1. Enter The Hall 02:27
2. Pestilence Reigns 04:33
3. Deathonomics 03:42
4. Existence Is Futile 04:50
5. The Brain Scramblers 03:11
6. Across Forests And Fjords 04:16
7. ReaniManiac 03:18
8. Dismantle The Dictator 03:57
9. Anthem Of The Betrayed 05:16
10. Leviathan Awaits 04:48
11. Tragedy Of Modern Ages 07:03

Total playing time: 47:21

Revocation's MySpace

revocation existence is futile technical death metal thrash album music musingsthoughts
Dark Arcanine blogged
Sep 19, 09 4:10am

Well, obviously there is a lot of types of comedy and everyone is different in their tastes. Lately though, there has been quite a large trend and therefore following of reality comedy. Especially when taking it to a point of controversy, it's almost as juicy to the audience as which celebrity just gave birth. It creates the "ooohs" and "omg!" of the comedy business.

Recently, there's been some hype from certain news reporters who think that this sort of stuff is going too far. My question is, at what point does comedy cross the line? It's not like these people are doing something super illegal, they're just making a laugh out of serious issues. I for one find this stuff really funny but then again, not everyone is me.

Also of recent, has been a lean in the trend down the specific path of terrorism. As it's an increasingly reported aspect of life, it seems almost natural for these comedians to jump on it and have a go. There is a YouTube series of some guys in England who do a reality take on what it'd be like to be living in England as terrorists. What can I say, other than the fact I watched an episode and it was pretty darn funny and interesting. Similarly, the show Double Take just yesterday aired a show with a musical video to the tune of Eye of the Tiger making a mockery of Al Qaeda.

Now people act like this is a huge deal, though I tend to disagree. Just because these people are causing problems, does it mean they don't have a sense of humour? Perhaps it's just a really dark sense of humour, or perhaps the exact same as you and I. I can't answer such things but at the end of the day, everyone loves a good laugh. Whether it causes controversy or not, if comedy achieves it's goal of being funny then don't bother complaining!

music musingsthoughts tv and shows
Dark Arcanine blogged
Sep 9, 09 3:39am

I pose the question, what is more of a bother. Spending a day of social isolation at school, or coming home and spending the night bored as your father insists on listening to old music, in his pajamas with socks on, picking up your $1200 guitar and treating it like it cost a fiver. I personally cannot pick between, although at least the school day was quiet.

In relation to the title, many people know that Behemoth released their new album Evangelion recently. So far, I've got around 360 plays for the album (songwise not full album!) which is still a fair amount for a short period of time. Anyway, not quite sure why I'm even mentioning that, though I do recommend giving it a listen.

Lately my love for the Harry Potter series has been rekindled. Whether it's in opposition to my little sister's obsession with the atrocity that is Twilight, or my general love of reading, I've yet to decide. Either way, reading through the series is proving a nice thing to do from 11 to 12 each night. In fact I've started to review them and so far I've reviewed the last two (yeah I know, nice order there Richie) but at least I'm reviewing the original next.

Not much else to say for now, except that this Friday it's my birthday and am turning eighteen. Although I don't have any control over the party, as is already proven by the fact my sister is having more friends over than me.... where is the fairness in that? My response was "it's our house and she can invite whoever she wants". It makes you wonder sometimes, if their claims of "it's always you wanting" are actually true, or if they're hugely hypocritical and just use the "I'm an adult" argument to get away with a lack of intelligence. Either way, I'm interested to see their new poorly constructed rebuttals after Friday.

So yeah it's a negative, sorry. Well for now, watch out in case I make another blog entry after the two vodka bottles I have stored for Saturday on top of whatever else is brought... no doubt it'll be humorously lighter.

music musingsthoughts books twilight harry potter behemoth party birthday
Dark Arcanine blogged
Aug 19, 09 2:28am

Well right now, he's studying Economics or as he likes to call it, Deathonomics. Which by the way if you don't know the reference, it's a song from the upcoming Revocation album which is like the end of October I think.

Anyway, this studying is for the Trial HSC. Now I'm not going to lie, I haven't been doing much study for it. For those of you not in Australia I'll explain once again. The HSC is your last exams before leaving school and the trials are to show you what they'll be like and help prepare (and also make up a huge amount of your marks lol).

So yeah, not much study. Haven't felt too bad either and, since the HSC will be easier than the trials my school sets, I'm feeling pretty confident. Especially when I make some good, solid notes for all courses. And I won't have to go in for most classes anymore, so plenty of free time to get things done for like... a month?

Speaking of a month, September the 11th is slowly getting closer. Which means my birthday and turning 18. Not sure what I think of it, not overly excited about the prospect but not upset or anything either.

Haven't "acquired" much music still. Though today I did download Behemoth's new album, haven't had the chance to listen yet. Friend showed me the first track on the train, sounded fine enough at the time.

So I'm suffering school at the moment but it'll be clear skies for a while, before a final blackened sky. Then is my six week trip to England but I should still be around during it.

And that's it for now.

behemoth revocation hsc england holiday music musingsthoughts
Dark Arcanine blogged
Aug 14, 09 2:40am

This forum needs some loving! And by this I mean, the Spyborgs game needs some loving. It is likely that it's not a very well known game yet on Neoseeker, which is why I felt it couldn't hurt to raise some awareness through my blog.

Now you must bare with me, because I don't know much myself. :O Though it is an Action game on the Wii, so I'll have the majority of Wii owners with me so far. Then consider what it's about, Spyborgs. Which obviously, is a combination of a spy and a cyborg. Futuristic sort of games are pretty interesting right?

If I still haven't got anyone interested yet, perhaps I should show off some screenshots and concept art:

There's also more screenshots and plenty of more concept art in my gallery so be sure to check it out if you're interested.

That's about it from me, I'm sure Spyborg fans could have done a better job. Instead, you got stuck with a guy who liked some pictures and wanted to do a good deed... so deal with it. Remember, check out the forum and don't be a stranger!

spyborgs concept art screenshots forum wii musingsthoughts neoseeker related gaming related
Dark Arcanine blogged
Jul 15, 09 2:57am

So guys, hope people actually bother to read my blog... which I don't think so for some reason... anyway point is this is a general note and entry so that everyone knows I'm going on a holiday for a week.

Where to you ask? The state above me funnily enough, Queensland. Essentially like where I live but amazingly it has even more Asians, more sand, more freaky deaky weather and probably not enough tea to satisfy me.

So anyway, I pretty much dislike national holidays. There's normally one thing which redeems it, while I spend the rest of it being overly analytical. In contrast, I can't wait to go to England for six weeks.

Getting to the point, what is going to make this one survivable? Well, my dad's boss gave us $1700 spending money for the week. So as long as I get money splashed on me each day, I should be content enough not to destroy the fun of the other lesser thinking members of my family.

$10 says I start before I get off the plane though.

So yeah, negative blog from me. :( Pretty down that Revocation's new album isn't due until October and the song I heard from it is pretty sweet which is annoying.

Oh, and expect a review of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban for the Gamecube when I get back.

music other musingsthoughts neoseeker related holiday queensland
Dark Arcanine blogged
Jun 27, 09 6:22pm

So in a couple of weeks time, I'll be having that couple of weeks off school before the next term. Sadly, half of it is going to be spent in Queensland. Now I have nothing against Queensland, it's just not my idea of a holiday. It's an all expenses paid thing, and my parents are taking myself and my sister along too. They asked me for my opinion, I said I didn't want to go and they get mad... I can see the social fairness in that.

On the other hand, there is a holiday I am looking forward to. From mid November to around mid/late December I'm going to be going back to England as my 18th birthday present. Now that is what I call a proper and fun holiday, I've been wanting to do it since I came out here (nine years).

And in preparation, I've been buying new clothes. I think the stuff bought totals to around $600? Now that's a lot of money for me, we're not overly well off and I'm used to just taking something decent looking during a sale. And now I have these proper clothes which I feel almost too scared to wear at all.

I'm also going to get a video camera (hopefully) so you guys may even see some videos of my trip. At the moment it's sort of organising who I'm going to be staying with and visiting.

So if anyone from Neoseeker wants to see me while I'm over in England let me know. I'll try and keep up a reasonable amount of blogging while there so everyone knows what's going on too.

With that future stuff discussed I think that's all I have to talk about for now.

Oh! And a congratulations to the new Loungin' Moderators. It's nice to see Lone (Lone! :D ) back and Chad who I've been suggesting for that forum for god knows how long... a year and a half at least? As for Darknet sorry I don't know you, I'm sure you're fine though. The current lineup is probably the one I've been most happy with since coming to the site, though I wouldn't mind seeing Enigma around again. Hopefully the forum will get better and I'll actually want to visit again, as for several months I've had nothing to say about it except hell hole, no offence to anyone it's just my personal view of things.

And that's it, so bye for now.

england holiday video camera clothes musingsthoughts neoseeker related
Dark Arcanine blogged
Jun 10, 09 4:18pm

So I couldn't think of an overly awesome title, leave me be. ;__; Anyway the relation of it to this is that in Australia it's currently going into winter. Now because of poor global warming who keeps copping all the blame around the place, today is actually cold for where I live. I'm barely dressed though since I'm inside in my warm house. :) Reasoning is that it's exams week and I had to do no less than THREE yesterday, yes three on one day. So now I have two days off to myself before a final one on Friday which is even funnier by the fact it will be the easiest.

So as you know I've been a little better with stuff lately. Managed to get back into GameGrep a bit as homework has died down. After exams I'm hoping things will be a bit better though I'll be making loads of notes because as soon as I go back it's trials blah blah. :(

So what am I doing at the moment? Well at the moment I'm watching a movie while eating and drinking all sorts of good stuff. Listening to some newly acquired music being Fleshgod Apocalypse and Anata. Also laughing at all the suckers at school today.

I've also done some work on the Pokemon Wiki with a couple of episode guides done. Feedback would be much appreciated if you have the time.

That's about it. I'll just leave this on the note I did add some new photos of myself to my gallery recently so if you're interested take a look and yeah.

music other musingsthoughts movies neoseeker related pokemon winter exams wiki gamegrep
Dark Arcanine blogged
Jun 4, 09 7:08pm

First I'd like to touch upon what has already been stated within the forums, just in case this doesn't reach some contributors due to playing the games or just generally contribute and don't visit the forums. This is on behalf of the CRS team, with Avalith having made the announcement:

quote Avalith
Hello everyone. This message applies to all cheat and code submissions. Due to the recent influx of a few certain types of submissions, the CRS team has decided that we will no longer be accepting cheats for anything that can be generated using a program, such as PokeSav for the Pokemon DS games or Wondermail codes for the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games. One minor change can render a completely new code, and thus a new submission, and it's a very easy way to abuse the system, so we've decided to blacklist these submissions so to speak.

Thanks for your understanding and keep those contributions coming!
Hopefully this make sense to you all and if not, you can feel free to PM me and ask as many questions as you like. Broken down into the simplest forum, the submitting of PokeSav and Wondermail codes can really be seen as "points whoring". NOT to be suggesting that everyone who submits these is looking for an easy way to increase their NeoPoints, as many will just be trying to help out others. Having said this, however, it is because of the millions of possibilities that this just isn't possible. Anyone can access these codes, all the submitter is doing is saving them a small amount of time which when you think about it, is not a sufficient submission. So please anyone who contributes these or plans to, do not do it anymore!

On the topic of Pokemon, there is also currently some contests being held which could use some more publicity. Even if you don't play or like Pokemon, it's a good chance for graphics artists to test out their skills and get their work put up in a forum. You have the Pokemon Soul Silver and General Pokemon Forum contests currently under way. For Pokemon Soul Silver Header/Footer questions feel free to contact me, for the General Pokemon Forum look into the organiser and new moderator Boo.


And then we come to my life, which seems to be the boring part which stops people commenting in my blog but well I'm going to do it anyway. I'm actually sick today, which considering all the rain and changing temperatures lately isn't surprising as it always happens to me. I'm currently working on a project for Extension English 1 which really sucks... it's going to cut into my Friday sleep in and everything.

Exams are next week, oh joy. My timetable must've been designed on purpose to make me want to rip my hair out, giving me no less than three exams on the one day. I've only ever had two before, so I'm not sure how I'll go with that but we'll see. Luckily it's going to be a long weekend, with three days, so I'll be able to dedicate a fair amount of time to my last minute studying.

I'm also in high anticipation of the new Pokemon remakes, Soul Silver and Heart Gold. Since the destruction of my Silver, I really look forward to a new make of it and something to do. It's likely to come out after I graduate during the gap between that and starting University so that'll be handy.

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of the Sky has also been given a date! It seems America is likely to be receiving it this Autumn, so everyone should make sure to save up for that. This game is an interesting development, being the first single release and third to the second generation. The original generation, Blue/Red Rescue Team did not see a third. It's a good signal that the PMD series is likely to become a lot larger and be a close second to the main.

On that note I hope the forum for it will soon pick up, if you have any interesting discussion to add or you haven't realised the forum exists yet please visit the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky Forum. I also hope to hold a Header/Footer Contest there soon to, so please keep watch for that and I'll be sure to blog about it at the time.

I'm so glad the discussion meant for my life has revolved back around to Neoseeker. :(

Anyway feel free to comment, if you have something urgent then turn to PM. Hopefully this blog has been useful for some of the Pokemon fans out there.

Until next time!

ds graphic design other musingsthoughts neoseeker related gaming related pokemon graphics contest crs school
Dark Arcanine blogged
May 25, 09 1:59am

In fact, not a lot of anything for a while now. I'm actually finding it a bit of a bother, as contributing around here is something I take an odd pleasure from.

So what is keeping me you ask? Well my HSC is within half a year from me now with my birthday even closer. I'm going to become a man, and then thrust into the workplace. So now it's finally dawning on me, perhaps it's time I give up that reliance on natural skills, and actually put in some effort.

Now only the Australian members are going to know what the HSC is, but I'm sure all of you can guess. It's the final exams which will determine your life, so call them what you will.

As we speak I'm currently working on a novel... well you could say that, I've been beasting the novel. What I'm currently doing is making up my journal. Yes, yes I know I should do it as I work. What do I say to that? Keeping a diary is a girl's thing, seriously. I'm going to stick by that statement and I feel as a guy I can't keep a diary/journal to save my life. I find it much easier to do my work, then go back and make up entries for each bit. I think it gives a better scope to work with in terms of my reflection on the work and I can get the journal out of the way with pretty fast.

Now this is another thing which isn't going to mean anything unless you're Australian. The work is for a course which is known as Extension English 2. It's a brilliant course, allowing those who really shine in English to show their stuff by designing their own project and spending a year working on it. Not many people take it at all, a lot drop it and you can't even take it without the right qualifications. This basically means you have to have done well with English in the past and need the approval of a couple of teachers... may deviate from school to school, but it's how mine's gone and done it anyway.

Actually, my school alone must make a large percentage of the total participating populace, bit of a joke but there you go. We have enough people doing it to make a class, which is ridiculous.

Anyway enough of my rambles. I've had a big glass of wine and I think it's what gave me the confidence to leave my work for a couple of minutes to get this up.

I'll note a couple of things quickly. I entered for that Demigod games, looking forward to seeing the winners. I'm very excited for Pokemon Soul Silver and have set up a Header/Footer Contest so if you're interested in testing out your graphics skills pop in. And I've been in a really big music download binge lately, which I'll blog about some other time.

So until then, later guys.

pokemon english music demigod school ds other musingsthoughts gaming related
Dark Arcanine blogged
Mar 16, 09 8:17pm

As some of you would know, whether it be from the thread or a past blog entry by me, I won the competition involving the Castlevania Wiki Contest. It was the holidays, it was something nice to do and help the site and I was getting a prize. Suffice to say, I saw it as a nice project to work on for a couple of weeks.

I guess some of you can see this blog entry as a confirmation that the prizes are indeed delivered and that the people of Neo aren't trying to swindle you or any other call sounding word with a similar definition, though who knows why you're thinking such things!

So today I got home with my mum since she saw me on the way home with my sister, yay for not having Periods 8+9 on Friday and my mum happening to go shopping and so pass me. Got home and she went to the mailbox with a strange expression on her face. I noticed a parcel and so took a look, to much delight I read "Neo Era Media" on it and knew exactly what it was.

I can tell you, I really love that bubble wrap... oh, you want to know about the actual prizes don't you? Hope you're sure because the bubble wrap is damn good...

The notebook is pretty snazzy. It's black my favourite colour of course and the details are indented which is a nice effect. Has pretty silver writing on the back too, can't go wrong with shiny things.

Then there's the laser cel, which definitely looks very cool. The art itself is quite detailed when you actually look at it for more than two second and is quite a busy piece when you study it for long enough. Otherwise it looks simply like two guys back to back with some stuff behind them when the stuff is quite interesting.

Since I won I haven't stopped working on the Wiki, partly because I enjoy working on that one quite a bit and also as sort of a continuous thank you for the prize. No Wiki Staff though! ;-;

Okay so here's my photos, yes they're probably similar to the ones tek did but there is also the packaging and my bed spread to check out. :) Arcanine is protecting my details, just in case you buggers have some super awesome graphics program to check them out.

(Thank you tek and everyone involved)

musingsthoughts books neoseeker related gaming related castlevania note book parcel laser cel contest
Dark Arcanine blogged
Mar 14, 09 1:45am

It's certainly been a little while since my last blog entry! Blame it on school and not me though. ;-; See we've had a lot of big things on recently and I have some very important exams soon.

So my topic for today is the NeoGallery, a recent addition to our Neoseeker. And my question to you is, do you check yours regularly to see who else has been in there? I seem to find myself looking every day just to check out who's been checking out my world.

On a personal level, I find being visited by all sorts of different people very interesting. It's one thing to see a name you know, another to see one you don't and an entirely different thing again when it's someone who makes you say "Wow, they really want to check out me?".

Perhaps I'm just nosy, or get far too curious for my own good. Perhaps you guys couldn't care less who checks out your pictures and photos. But if you do like me, perhaps share it here with me?

I think a visit from ar_cat has been my personal favourite.

samus pokemon sprite musingsthoughts neoseeker related
Dark Arcanine blogged
Feb 24, 09 2:10am

Everyone has their one show which is just special to them, mine is The Worst Witch... and not just because it's about a group of school girls. I've watched it since I was a little kid and I could watch more repeats of it than The Simpsons.

The Worst Witch began 16 October 1998 and so I've been watching it for over a decade now. It's based around a school set in a castle called Cackle's Academy. The storyline revolves around Mildred Hubble and her friends who get into all sorts of fun.

After the original came Weirdsister College, a spin-off series based upon the old cast as young adults in college. It only lasted a funny total of thirteen episodes and wasn't very good... explains a lot.

Then came the The New Worst Witch, a sequel series to the original. The protagonist girl Mildred Hubble is replaced by her cousin Henrietta Hubble (way cuter) and of course new friends and enemies. The teachers carry old and new staff with a very sad result in a new Miss Hardbroom.

Between the new and old there are some notable differences. The old one was more about lessons, both in literal and moral terms. The newer one is usually just some fault of Hetty and having to fix it. The older one also had more diversity when it came to plot writing. Though the new one is of course more realistic and a better flow due to past experience.

They also made it an easy transition to a point where you didn't care about the change in series. Everyone is the same, mostly just replaced actors. The only thing different is the time frame. Even minute details like both protagonists having special familiars.

There's also a lot of similarities to the Harry Potter season. It's to be expected but when you really look into it, the sheer amount is surprising. The Worst Witch actually started off as a book series too, long before Harry Potter as well so nice job mirroring someone elses work Rowling!

This show brings to mind a lot of nice memories for me. It's one of few things I have happy memories of from childhood. The English accents make me miss home. The storyline is interesting and somewhat cute I guess, but not to a point of being lame.

Anyway, come in and tell me what programs from your childhood were special to you. Don't be embarrassed, I just admitted I enjoyed pretending I was part of an all-girl world of magic and fantasy after all.

Oh and I found one decent picture of Hetty Hubble's actor, darn it's hard to find pictures for old children's shows.

musingsthoughts tv and shows books the worst witch television children england memories
Dark Arcanine blogged
Feb 23, 09 5:12am

A side to me that few, if any of you, would know about me. I enjoy a good part, a good outing or a good hanging out with mates. Despite the fact it seems I spend all my time on this site, as much as I love it, I have a life! ;-;

So anyway, this weekend I had a couple of mates over. It just consisted of blasting out music, fiddling with my sexy guitar and gaming it out until the birds sing the dawn into existence. This means missing the next day due to sleeping the whole time but it's a decent sacrifice.

Anyway last night was funny, just littered my room. So I took a photo, sorry it's missing a load of cans though one of the two friends knocked a load onto the floor (you can see his hand on the mouse). I made my mate listen to Sylosis because he hadn't yet. We followed this up with Cradle of Filth, Necrophagist, Brain Drill and all sorts of metal bands really.

I'll give $10 to anyone who can figure out the game that's on the computer screen. It's brilliant, everyone should play it.

Anyway I better run off again, 3000 words to write for a novel and the night is running out. Goodnight!

Oh and I love that computer! Had her since 2000 and she still serves me well.

pc music musingsthoughts gaming related sylosis brain drill necrophagist cradle of filth partying
Dark Arcanine blogged
Feb 16, 09 2:46am

You all know my life revolves around music. If not, you don't know me enough! Though look at my blog and you'll see that I do like my music quite a bit.

So what have I been doing lately in terms of music? Well thanks to my friend, we've really been getting into Technical Death Metal. What an excellent genre it is too, well depending on the band anyway. Currently we've discovered Necrophagist, Psycroptic and Brain Drill. My personal favourite is Necrophagist, we're both learning the song Stabwound and we're taking one of the two guitars each so we can play at the same time and whatnot. Of course he takes professional lessons and puts more effort in, so I let him do the trickier stuff. Funny actually, he ran out and bought a tabs book by them he's into them that much.

Lately though, I've really gotten into Sylosis... and not just because they're British, although it sure does help. They get into influences from quite a few genres, but you'd call them Epic Thrash Metal. Their sound is brilliant and I like the entire album of Conclusion of an Age. Funny band too when you look at them. The singer looks like your average English pub guy, the bassist has mad dreads and a guitarist has really young looks and is a bit hobo-ish.

I have been enjoying them so much, I even had to go to the Music Forum and make a thread which you can find here. Hopefully I can get more people into Sylosis, since they're pretty new on the block and are only just starting to make their way in the music industry... not helped by the fact it's impossible to find their CD in Australia...

So what of the old friends part you ask? Neoseeker has been odd lately for friends. Really old ones appearing again and others changing or disappearing. I really miss a few, wish they'd make some time to actually chat but I guess beggars can't be choosers.

Speaking of friends, Valentines Day sure was interesting. I had three cupid messages from that Neoseeker account. I've been interrogating people, but so far no luck in terms of finding out who are the culprits. All I can say is if you're the one who offered sex, you'd better be good at it.

That's it for now really, yeah. ^^

friends band sylosis guitar music musingsthoughts neoseeker related
Dark Arcanine blogged
Feb 12, 09 5:12am

Those of you kind enough to read my blog will know that earlier in the year I made an entry about joining GameGrep which I felt was a nice promotion for another part of our wonderful site. Today I want to spend some time talking about User Reviews. (This may become a series)

A User Review is simply a review of a game created by a member of our very own site. It's a way for us to get out all our thoughts on a specific game/movie/book and more. Which leads me on to my first point, variety.

People, in the majority, only seem to think you can submit reviews for games. Now this is a skewed idea as it isn't true! I mean, I myself recently did a review for an Australian movie called Gabriel. We have a movie and book sections too, try checking them out some time! Surely if you're not too big of a gamer but enjoy the TV/Movies forum, you'd want to review movies or for those of the Book forum books.

So what is your incentive for writing a review you ask? Well first and most importantly of all, it should be for yourself. It should be for self satisfaction and to tell everyone else what you really think of the object in question, whether it's worth them looking into it or not. Wouldn't you want to save someone from spending their hard earned money and getting something rubbish? Or putting it to something good they would not have thought of before?

My prime and favourite example would be my review of de Blob which I was very proud of. It's a game which people don't really seem to like based upon what they've heard/seen, but I completely disagree! I love the darn game, it's my favourite on my Wii. I wrote the review with a passion to show others that de Blob is a cool game which anyone would like to play, even taking it further to blog about de Blob (sorry for the lack of link it won't work, check out my blog if you would like to read it) in the hopes of inspiring a couple more potential customers.

How do you go about writing a review? It can seem a bit daunting at first, I admit I still read mine over several times once done and many times during typing. Not to mention checking it constantly until it's approved, I just hope I'm the only one with soft nerves. You have three sections which is the best thing to have a look at being Good, Bad and Summary. This can be done in a number of different ways but some people don't do it effectively.

I used to use the Good and Bad sections but I don't anymore. It's best to look at them as a sort of introduction to your review rather than using them as the review. People tend to use Good and Bad for their points and then use the summary as a conclusion which is... well tacky and poor really, no offence meant. What is a good way of using them is bullet points of aspects you found good or bad which you will then outline in the summary.

Your summary is best used as your actual review. Now you can make this look as professional as you like, the review system accepts the same coding you use in the Neoseeker forums so you make bolded sub headings or underline key terms, whatever tickles your fancy. Personally I enjoy using subheadings with simple coding just to give it some more structure and help break up the points better than just a wall of text.

Images and videos are another thing you can incorporate which only a few people actually do, sadly. Again this uses the exact same coding as the Neoseeker forums, so linking to screenshots or YouTube videos is as easy as 1 2 3. These are really nice to put in, as people may notice I enjoy doing with my own... a lot... Anyway, it allows people to see what you're describing and makes for much higher levels of interest from your audience.

Then of course we have our rating system, which can be anywhere from 1 to 5. This is a straight forward decide and click method which I hope you would not need me to help with, but make sure you give it a good amount of thought to make sure you benefit the community as best as possible. Being a very nice person doesn't mean you have to give out very high scores every time if it's not what you think it deserves.

Oh and one thing I like to stress is length. If you have the motivation to write a review, why why why would you submit one which is only a few paragraphs long!? Please, the longer the better is honestly a philosophy I would push upon all of you. Yes we can say that it's quality over quantity, but I think at least around 10,000 characters is needed to make a decent review. If someone would want to debate my statement you may, but whether it's a game/movie/book the diversity allows you to easily make that count with a little thought and effort.

So for those of you who don't get enough by doing good, perhaps I can tempt you with the prospect of NeoPoints. We offer 6 NeoPoints per review, which is a good amount if you ask me. One of the higher paying contributions to the site that's for sure!

If this is still not enough, perhaps you are one who enjoys challenges? Sadly, there is an awesome forum on our site which is largely overlooked. This is the User Reviews Critiques and Help Forum which we encourage all writers of reviews to join. You can share and discuss with like minded people, which I personally find enjoyable. It's a good place to see all the reviews which go into the site, so you can keep up to date with the latest reviews submitted.

One really brilliant thread in this forum is the Articles of Excellence Thread. This is run by Chad who does a great job by the way and does it out of his own time to try and make it more fun for those who make reviews and quite frankly it's disappointing by the fact that few people participate given how many members contribute reviews, his effort deserves better reward. Anyway, it consists of rounds which last for two weeks. He gathers up links to all of the reviews submitted within each two weeks and puts them in the first post. At the end, it's time for voting where people can vote on which they think is their favourite. Then a winner is picked and they receive a pat on the back through congratulations by other members and a guestbook signing or two if you're lucky.

So in conclusion we have self satisfaction, NeoPoints and competition. If that isn't enough, I'm not sure what else I can do other than offer favours or something... depending on what your flow is. Like with GameGrep, I'm willing to tutor anyone who is interested in doing reviews but isn't quite confident enough to start or you what more explanation or pointers. If not me then PM someone else who has a lot of experience like Chad, Insanity Prevails or Vermillion whom I'm sure wouldn't have a problem with helping you either as we'd love to see more people get involved and have our community grow.

So yeah reviews, get into them or do more depending on who you are. If you're interested in my stuff, look here.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

stan lee review de blob gamegrep musingsthoughts movies books neoseeker related pc hardware gaming related
Dark Arcanine blogged
Feb 7, 09 3:27pm

Now before I start I need to say one thing. I'm a male, therefore I pretty much hate every bit of reality TV you throw at me. One show which always gets my viewing pleasure, however, is the Biggest Loser. Now perhaps watching fat people work out doesn't exactly sound pleasurable, unless you're in front of the window eating ice cream, but my reasoning extended beyond such trifles. I liked the idea that they give a plinth for which people who became overweight and become healthy again which they very likely would not have, just dying on a street somewhere. I enjoy seeing real emotions, which aren't faked by some soap actor who pulls the same face every scene, yes I'm pointing my finger at you Bold and the Beautiful. Oh and I love temptation, you can't begin to imagine how much I drool and want as they bring out all this delicious fatty foods on a plate, especially since I have an inability when it comes to gaining weight.

So why have I suddenly lost faith in the show? What made me think wow, these people aren't nice at all. I have three words for you, Biggest Loser Club.

I came home about two weeks ago and heard the TV announce what was called the Biggest Loser Club. I thought yay, they've extended their hand to helping people out in all gyms or something. I was mistaken after hearing the rest of it. It was a promotion of a bar and milkshake range they'd created, suggesting that fat people should skip two meals a day and have one of their products and they'll lose weight in no time.

Nooooo way man, slow down! You're telling me that skipping on food makes me lose weight? Gosh, never would've thought about that myself. Effective slightly, healthy god no. So now they've got this advertisement showing on a very regular basis which promotes an unhealthy lifestyle to the unhealthy in a bid to get more money. There is already enough stupid milkshake and bar programs out there, does my hero need to sink so low? Must they shift from saving fat people to abusing fat people? If I owned the channel, I would ban the show from being aired and see them lose money and try and make sure it doesn't get shown anywhere else either.

I think what annoyed me most is the two people who were advertising the shake and bar combo was two contestants of last year. I watched their weight journey, both struggles and joys. They put in so much effort to get where they are and now they're willing to sell out and put their face on TV saying "Yeah, this stuff helps me keep my weight off blah blah". I'm just glad I didn't see the trainers doing it, or I would've really raged.

So yes, I've been emotional about reality TV, very un-male of me. I do, however, think it's rather justified in means and end. So now fat people are being used and abused for money, nothing new of course but something I didn't want to see furthered. I'll just stick to Hannah Montana or something.

musingsthoughts onyxia biggest loser biggest loser club fat weight television
Dark Arcanine blogged
Jan 30, 09 5:04am

That's right, I'm saying you the reader do not appreciate technology as much as you should. I had this revelation today and felt I need to share it with you.

What am I using right now... well for those of you not peeking through my bedroom window at night, it's a laptop. It's only been around a couple of decades, but that's long enough for most of us to have spent a lifetime with one. Now what came before that, ah yes, it was the computer. It's a fact that the large majority of people have or have access to a computer. Now think about it for a second how we use the computer and the laptop without giving a second thought to it.

Last year when I took my trip down to the state of Victoria, I was without computer access for a week. It was interesting, showed me that life I always wondered about how some people just don't use them. But then I thought about it and how the computer hasn't exactly been around that long. I thought about how it used to take up an entire room and how the functions were extremely basic, just like a typewriter with a screen.

How much do we really appreciate this great advancement? Do you contemplate it when you press a button and receive the world at your fingertips? Do you take into account that by the use of some buttons, you can have a conversation with anyone online in the world?

What about the mobile phone? Now this is one I've reverted on, personally I never have my mobile phone on and see little to no use to it. But this is not true for everyone of course. You have that teenage girl who lays on the bed for five hours chatting about boys and pointless things while giggling so much you'd think she's on drugs, or the business man who rudely answers his phone during a lunch or while doing something with the family. These people live off the phone and they don't give a second thought to it. They cannot contemplate running home to see who's called and how many notes their partner or children had to write down for them. They don't need to hire people to sit in the office with a phone at hand, they have one in their own hand. Do these people know of the time when telephones weren't using buttons but a ring which was run around to the wanted number? The telegraph system? The messenger boy? Could you imagine the world now if we all had our own messenger boy!?

There is then of course our video games. We've found a way to substitute life into technology to meet our adapting needs, isn't that great? Of course it is! We love it, it's what we've always known. We can turn the power on and go to a world entirely different to our own. Again a recent development, there is no historical evidence to suggest a Caveman played Wii Sports in his spare time.

So what is this mad man rambling on about? What I'm trying to convey to you, like I pondered myself, is that we should take the time to sit back and enjoy technology rather than live it. Appreciate what we have, rather than complaining we don't have the next model up. Think about the rapidly evolving world of technology, how can you sit there and think nothing more of it than being one more tool when it is in fact a marvel of modern human development?

The iPod deserves a special mention though. My father came into my room tonight and pressed the play button, surprised to see it turn on. He then fiddled with it, me watching on intently afraid he'd break it, when he was trying his hardest to figure out how to use it properly. I said "Dad, you use that round pad there with your finger". He gave me a funny look but tried it, shouting "Wow cool!". To me it was simple and ordinary, a daily practice. To him it was something wondrous, not experienced before and something interesting.

So tonight when you're praying, watching pron on the net or reading a book... I want you to take a moment and say thank you for technology, it's a wonderful thing.

musingsthoughts telephone computer ipod laptop technology
Dark Arcanine blogged
Jan 26, 09 11:25pm

So how did everyone do? How did you feel? Any comments at all?

I won zip and feel very down about it... been waiting for a name change for over a year now. It's sort of funny to see someone who's already had one too, makes you feel it's unfair when they had their chance.

My sulking aside, come in and share your stories!

musingsthoughts neoseeker related
Dark Arcanine blogged
Jan 24, 09 7:03am

If there's one game which is underrated on the Wii which I would highly suggest you play, it's de Blob. I simply cannot stress how much fun it is. It's cute, it's addictive and it's something a bit out of the ordinary.

There's someone who can explain how good it is better than me though, which is me. Please, I beg you to read this review and if you're not convinced after that, I promise not to find out where you live and hunt you down. Though I can't believe someone would not be interested!

What I find interesting is that it caters to both types of people, so no complaining from you people who obsess over non casual games and insult the Wii for a lack thereof. It is casual in the sense it's very laid back in appearance, but it's an enjoyable atmosphere which can make your afternoon a lot more enjoyable than sitting on the edge of your couch shouting "*bleep* you zombie just fall down and die.. aaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!11!1" when playing some action game. But then this game does also provide action, as you get to kill plenty of Inkies by squishing them to death into the ground. You also get to take on tanks, speed bikes, turrets and all sorts... still not convinced? If so, then I invite you to check out how challenging it actually is. Despite the laid back attitude, it does provide some good puzzles and challenges which do require you to think and put some proper effort into it.

If this is still not enough for you, then perhaps you're someone who likes funky colours? Someone who enjoys staring at a lava lamp for hours or standing like a fool in front of some neon light sign? If that's the case then again, you'll like this game. The main concept is to bring colour back to the world and you get to splash and mix it however you want. Yes painting may sound a bit dull but put it this way, a lot of you like Mario and he's a plumber. It's addictive as you paint the town red so to speak, with your screen pulling you in with the bright colours and the contrast with the bleak landscapes you're about to revive.

When it comes down to it, de Blob is an interesting game which doesn't receive due credit. Rent it out some time or borrow it from a friend, I promise you won't be disappointed. There's something for everyone, whether it be because you like a challenge, collecting things, unlocking bonus material, killing or just looking at bright colours. de Blob is something original, making good use of the Wii Remote and a good Wii game in general which deserves its time in the spotlight.

wii neoseeker related gaming related
Dark Arcanine blogged
Jan 20, 09 10:15pm

That's right, Uncle DA wants you to join GameGrep! It's one of the lesser known aspects of the Neoseeker community, so hopefully through this blog post perhaps I can manage to convince just one of you. If so, I'll be happy but make sure to tell me here so I know my self satisfaction is worthwhile!

GameGrep is the name of an extension of Neoseeker. It's a place where you'll find all the latest news about the Video Game Universe, pretty cool right? Ever wondered how you read those interesting pieces of news around the forums or found out a release date of the game you really want? I will bet you that 99% of the time with Neoseeker forums, they've come off GameGrep.

Now you're all familiar with NeoPoints, most of you will have contributed at least one thing since the start of your Neoseeker like. You will also know that once you get over 100, they display underneath your avatar. Quite a few people like to get just over 100 so they can have another thing displayed, but at least there's another 100 points worth of contributions to the site! Other people like me contribute a couple thousand or more, though you'll find most average around a couple of hundred. My point is that a lot of people do them and enjoy it.

Now if you've ever seen me posting around the forums, you would've noticed underneath my avatar the GameGrep points. Sadly this bit under the avatar is a whole lot more less common on Neoseeker, it just doesn't receive the attention it should. You'll also notice my GameGrep Points are around triple that of what my NeoPoints are. Does it mean they're easier to achieve? To some extent yes they are, is that an enticement for you?

Just by coming onto GameGrep and commenting, you're still contributing. In fact you can get +1 or +2 points, depending on some factors, every time you comment on a piece of news! So just by coming on and commenting, you can get that extra line displayed under your avatar.

What I really want to encourage though is posting bits of news. Now the set up isn't too different on GameGrep, actually this blog posting system contains some similar elements so you won't find yourself overly lost. There are lots of news sites around, so picking one won't be too difficult! Just post one bit of news a day, I promise it's worth it. You can make from I believe 3 points to around 10 just from posting one piece of news! But please remember it can only be around 2-3 days old!

Then this isn't considering bonus points. GameGrep articles get ratings, determined by a couple of different things. Anyway, reaching certain levels means certain boosts in points. If you can do an interesting article, like my recent one about Characters sharing the same voice actor then you can rack up the points really fast! For that one I got some of the different milestones and my most recent one for it was a rating of 300 gaining me 20 points! In fact just by itself that article has easily made me around 60 points! Told you it was easy.

You also don't want to forget alternative sources as well. If you see a piece of news and you found it covered again on a different site not listed in the source of the article or in the alternate articles bit then add it on! You get +1 points so yes it's small but it all adds up.

Now if you become a GameGrep regular, you'll be likely to experience something really cool at one stage which contributing NeoPoints doesn't have the same ability to give. I myself have had one such experience.

Back in November I posted an article called Master Sword Becomes Reality! which is a really sweet article about this dad named Jerry Bennett who made a real life Master Sword from The Legend of Zelda series for her. Now look at the ratings, I believe it's the highest rated article ever on the site. This is fairly easy to explain.

Being popular it of course received a lot of viewers, getting quite a few rates. Then I googled the title, it was linked to on a couple of different sites as well. See you have to remember that the gaming news industry is like a spider web, we're all connected in some way or another. So people are just as likely to be linking to your articles as you are to theirs.

Now all the points I made off that aren't what I enjoyed, though they were certainly welcome. What really made me smile was when I signed on one day to find a PM from Jerry. That's right, he'd tracked down my article! He said thank you to me for covering it and was really happy about it. So by contributing to GameGrep, you can also help people of the bigger community. He also went on to talk in the article with the members leading to some interesting discussion, he certainly gained some quick popularity with the members. Yes I was a bit embarrassed when he asked how to pronounce Dark Arcanine, but hey we can't have everything now can we? I got to meet a proper sword maker and get thanked for covering their work, what more could I want?

I'm also a GameGrep Approver now. You could look at it as the CRS Team of GameGrep, with CRS covering the contributions to Neoseeker for NeoPoints if you didn't know already. It's an enjoyable job and something to hope you can aspire to.

So what is my short and simple point I'm trying to make? A lot of people on Neoseeker contribute for NeoPoints and help the site and community. What I'd like to suggest is maybe try GameGrep out some time. You'll get more points to display under your avatar, you'll get to meet interesting people and read interesting things and most of all, you'll be helping the community.

So hopefully I've reached at least one blogger, if so my mission has been a success. And if you are/not interested, just remember that you can spread the word and let your friends know too.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, if you have any questions just ask them here or send me a PM. I'm happy to tutor you if you like or answer as many questions as needed to get yourself going.

Oh and forgot to mention! A lot of you have been enjoying the Neoseeker Contests lately. Well watch out, because there's regular GameGrep contests too!

musingsthoughts neoseeker related gaming related
Dark Arcanine blogged
Jan 20, 09 9:39pm

Well last night I made that blog about how I'm excited about this Neo Raffle. I checked in this morning and oh no, someone's already beaten my bid for the name change.

Supposedly they can afford a name change, so must have alternate accounts. Well that's how the cookie crumbles, can't say I'm not a bit disappointed though. It makes you wonder how spamming Diamond Clans makes you more deserving than being a Moderator, GameGrep Approver and CRS Member doesn't it?

But still, it's all to do with luck and chance. I still want to kick myself though, because of the limits. If there hadn't been a cap on NeoPoints and GameGrep Points I would've been a lot better off and vastly less likely to lose. And yes, I do now want to kick myself for not buying tickets instead.

Anyway enough about this rant, what else has happened since last night? I found some old photos, I'll probably stick them in a blog post or Loungin' or something. Oh and tomorrow I'm going round my cousin's place to play around with our guitars. Only thing is he has like twenty more than I do!

To finish, I still hope everyone wins lots of nice things in the Neo Raffle. If I'd put all my points into just the bid I likely would've won. But yeah everyone have fun and I'm now going to go mope while I stay named Dark Arcanine.

musingsthoughts neoseeker related
Dark Arcanine blogged
Jan 20, 09 7:02am

I'm sure all of you know what it is, if you don't then you don't come on Neoseeker enough! The Neo Raffle's now up and people are slowly posting after contemplating how to spend their points.

I found myself with over 17000 points. Due in thanks to around 3100 from posts and 2000 from NeoPoints and GameGrep Points respectively. I thought that was great and would make it really easy and would win lots, I feel that's not the case.

I ended up only going for a couple of items and trying to determine which would be most popular to make the right amounts. I ended up going for a shirt, Shana's hair, Chad's profile and the name change offered by tekmosis in bidding.

I always wanted a Neo shirt, I'd love to parade it around wherever I go so it was the first thing I decided on. I passed over the name change 'cause I knew a lot of people would buy tickets. Then I saw Shana's hair and autograph offer. She has the most gorgeous hair and I would like her autograph so I went for that. Then my mate Chad's name popped up so I saw no harm in getting a couple of tickets. Then I noticed in auctions the name change from tekmosis. I figured why not and splashed out a lot of points on it to finish up. I've wanted one for a while now and would love one after winning the last one for a friend rather than myself.

I liked reading everything up for offer and who from. I want to give a special mention to tekmosis though who not only offered some cool stuff but quite a few things as well. Then some other people offered a large amount like Harvest Moon Girl and ZL.

So anyway, I'd love to hear what everyone's thoughts are concerning the raffle including what you want to win and anything of interest really. Hopefully I'll manage to win something and you will too.

Best of luck everyone.
Dark Arcanine blogged
Jan 17, 09 5:55pm

By god, isn't it just!? Yesterday tekmosis announced I won the Castlevania Wiki Contest. I'm chuffed to say the least.

It's nice getting awesome stuff, everyone likes that right? It'll be fun to return home one day and shout "OMFG PACKAGE!!!". In fact I haven't received any mail directly through my name in years so that's nice in itself.

I'm a bit disappointed I didn't enter more of them really, but I had a lot more work a while back which greatly put me off. I did send in for that Sins of a Solar Empire game but was unlucky sadly.

The funny thing is I plan to continue working on the Wiki despite the contest being over. I came to find it an interesting one to work with so might as well. It's got plenty of work to do still as well so no doubt I'll be satisfied for a long time.

Well anyway, I'll keep you guys up to date by making another blog post when the package arrives with some photos of the stuff. For now you can.... post some congratulations 'cause I got none. ;-;

musingsthoughts gaming related
Dark Arcanine blogged
Jan 5, 09 7:48am

For those of you who don't watch fantastic movies, the title is in reference to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure which is about two most excellent rockers on on their quest to find historical figures by traveling through time so they can pass their history exam. This is followed by Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey where they have to defeat the Grim Reaper, escape Hell and save the world along with their two babes.

Now you're asking yourselves, why is this person going on about movies which are as old and older than him? My answer would be, I first watched these at a young age and several times consecutively. These two movies were rather influential and are musically themed, which leads me to my theme of this blog.

And no before you ask, it's not about the fact I'd go gay for the dark haired one. I wanted to blog about my musical influences and how my taste has developed over time. I don't use the term change suggests moving from Object A to Object B due to a change it's no longer Object A, when in fact it's merely a development of Object A.

Before I do start, however, let me say a few things. I wear black clothing a lot, I used to have a long emo hair style, I have an expensive guitar I often sleep with and you won't see me without my black iPod and black headphones. Now to an outsider, they'd get the impression my musical taste is rather narrow, but that's far from the truth.

My excellent adventure started like many do, with parents. My dad, despite our poor relationship, has been quite influential in my life. As a young child he would have me constantly listening to Hard Rock. In fact by the age of three I was already singing along to bands like Guns N Roses and Bon Jovi. My musical library was dictated by my home listening and I knew little else.

Around the age of 7-8 my primary school in England held a disco. I went with my best friend Lana who I'd always crushed on. I can't remember much, but I do remember that it was my first taste of pop music. Though a lot of modern pop majorly sucks, along with me wanting to say several swear words, pop in the 90's was fantastic. It was actually catchy, enjoyable and the lyrics weren't constantly about some ho sleeping around and getting her heart broken.

My next major milestone appeared along the road around the age of thirteen. I'm now in high school, I've long lost contact with my old friends and crush... oh, and I now live in Australia. I met my new best friend Alex, more well known as Zanda. He introduced me to Weird Al and the idea of parodies in the music world. At that age, comedy means a great deal as you strive to socialise and stay happy given the new major obstacles. I also looked into other artists such as Outkast and Black Eyed Peas... oh, and Eminem.

Next on the journey is the year 2007, when I turned sixteen. I received my iPod, I was over the moon. Curiously my long lost crush sent a letter this year pouring her heart out. I replied but I never received one in return. Anyway, I began looking for music to put on it. My dad bought me an album of Aerosmith, igniting my passion for rock again. I added in all those childhood bands and more. Notable names including Whitesnake, Oasis, Poison and Black Sabbath. I would sit there cheerfully, feeling rather hardcore at my anti political music. Little did I know that my next social group would change me forever.

I met my two new best friends a little before the receiving of the iPod and quite frankly, found my music to be too unexciting for their tastes. Trying to introduce me to their stuff they continued to fail until they found one genre, Power Metal in early 2008. I fell in love with it, my first and always will be favourite band being DragonForce which will always be the biggest factor in my musical tastes ever. They were followed by Pyramaze, but I found myself wanting faster and harder music.

Then they managed to get me into a Heavy Metal band called Trivium. Now my musical tastes were really put to the test. I found myself liking bands such as Bullet for my Valentine and I haven't looked back since.

My tastes progressively got heavier, leading me into more obscure genres such as Blackened Death Metal, Tech Death and Extreme Metal. This lead me to such bands as Cradle of Filth, Sylosis and Parkway Drive.

This isn't to say I forgot my home, Power Metal... just found it mixed with other genres. This means bands like underground Agathodaimon, which is a sort of fuse between Power Metal and Blackened Death Metal. Then more normal Power Metal like Altaria and Symphony X, along with unknown bands like Thunderstone.

Then most recently, I've just been looking into anything that tickles my fancy. This includes extremely obscure Equilibrium, which is Blackened Folk Metal. Or Biffy Clyro, back to rock again!

Anyway, to get to my point, my musical tastes have become a lot more diverse in the last ten years. Though I still listen to all of it. I like and appreciate a large variety of genres and bands. A sub point to this would be you don't need to chuck out the old to let in the new.

So I hope you enjoyed the excellent adventure, the memories and the videos. No doubt I will blog about certain bands in the future but for now, I urge you all to go out there and try to expand your own musical tastes. You'll be so much better for it I promise.

music musingsthoughts
Dark Arcanine blogged
Dec 30, 08 5:48am

This will definitely be the last you hear out of me in terms of Christmas, except when next year comes around. Although in terms of Christmas spirit the day was just as disappointing as I'd expected, the present haul was pretty decent.

I then, through this, made a new discovery about the whole age rant I did in my first blog entry. Getting older leads to better presents from relatives, either that or I was very lucky. Rather than some cheap toy, I got some liqueur chocolates. Instead of some bad book, I received a $50 note. Instead of cheap little things, I was getting decent big things. So yes perhaps I got lucky, but I think it had something to do with maturing... not complaining!

My Christmas at home was also great too. I mean of course there was the compulsory clothing items, but they turned out to be wanted this year. I got these $100 pair of jeans which are black and tight, talk about sexy (I'll get pic up at some point). My two best friends kept calling them "the emo pants" and I only realised after a while what they meant, with the whole guys wearing smaller women's clothes thing. I said we could settle on the name "the semi emo pants" because yes they're tight but they came from the men section. There was then a new pair of swimming stuff, pajamas and a shirt so all good and no dreaded socks/underwear for a change.

Then there was the CD side of things, which proved more than welcome this year. I currently have a really awesome cousin called Danielle staying over from England and this was her first Christmas in summer (and is like seven years older if you're wondering). She bought me a couple of things, yay for being the old favourite cousin of yonder year, but my favourite had to be the Iron Maiden album. They're a good band so I was pleased, despite it not being something I'm more into but I guess it pays to stick to what you know. Especially since her comments toward my music include "wow this is fast, are they on speed?" or "this is far too heavy for my liking". Which is actually very funny, but I'll blog about music another day.

Following this, I received three movies from my parents. One is something from my childhood, the other two being movies I kept whining on about wanting to make them watch. The childhood one is Bill and Ted, don't know if you guys have seen it but I feel so sorry for you if you haven't seen either of the movies. The two movies I was worshiping were V for Vendetta and Gabriel. The first is an excellent tale of a dystopian England and the second is about the battle between the arch angels and the fallen in purgatory for control of the dead souls. The second one is an Australian movie with a low budget, and I will tell you now it's the only good movie ever to be affiliated with this country.

Then came my big present, my Wii! I haven't played with it too much yet but I do have another five weeks off school yet. I was worried about what I'd be like with the Wii Remote and nun chuck but I found myself doing pretty well. I like the features I've encountered so far and I honestly don't see why people are so rude about Nintendo's latest console. I played around with my friend's PS3 and it seemed just like the PS2 so I wasn't impressed.

With the Wii I got four games in total. These are Wii Sports, Wii Music, de Blob and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. There is quite a decent list of what I'd like to buy for it, top of it next would probably be Mario Kart Wii. Out of the four games I do have, de Blob is my favourite. No doubt a lot of Brawl fans will be raging at me for saying that, but I just can't help myself. In fact I loved it so much, I wrote a review for it.

The presents then got me thinking, I have to blog this to Neoseeker to share it with you guys. Then came the conundrum of putting my images up in this blog. At first I figured I'd use Photobucket but it wouldn't upload (and I figured out there's some security program newly installed on here being... well a tool in more than one sense) and so I decided to use the recent addition of the NeoGallery. I figured I might as well, why use somewhere else when I can use a spanking brand new feature on my favourite site? I've not done much yet but I applaud the uploading speed, from what I see it's a similar setup to the FanArt section which is interesting and works well. So all together, I've uploaded four photos for you. In order they are the Wii, the games for it, the movies and the album. So check out the photos below and feel free to comment here or PM me about something you found interesting, my friends in real life are useless when it comes to Christmas discussion. ;.;

P.S. Yes my family has a thing for wood, especially myself. :O

wii music other musingsthoughts movies
Dark Arcanine blogged
Dec 8, 08 6:46am

Yes, I recently read the blog entry (as usual) by my good friend Angie. While attempting to be comforting as she mentioned something about squidgy cheeks, I realised that I too have an oral tale to tell.

A couple of months back, I had the honour of finding out I might need braces. I thought fantastic, most people don't do braces. I managed to make myself feel better over time by reassuring myself that light blue braces would look incredibly sexy on me.

An x-ray later on revealed this wouldn't be my path, yet. They said I needed some teeth out, the baby ones having stayed in forever. I asked how many? The reply was eight.

The idea was to do two visits, ended up being the one. No gas, just a load of needles. The needle was darn big, no exaggeration. It made shots and blood sampling needles look tiny in comparison. It took a couple of hours before he finished, thankful I hadn't given him a mouthful like he just gave to me. I was left with a bleeding mouth for several hours, eating meals was terrible for weeks.

Good news? No more need for braces, or 99% sure anyway. It's all straightening out nicely, not to mention chicks dig gaps in teeth... yes, I tell myself that as well.

I didn't get cheeks like Angie though, so no smexy puffy pics for you... for now...

Anyway, enjoy the pics of the teeth!

kratos musingsthoughts
Dark Arcanine blogged
Dec 3, 08 4:18am

I figured I could start with Christmas, it does seem to be the topic of the month after all. Christmas for a lot of people is happiness. It's a time of giving, receiving and keeping a tally to make sure it's more of the first than the second.

Last year I found myself disappointed. I found that age has covered the Christmas spirit in a damp cloth, from which I'm receiving less and less until it dries up. Sure I still really get into Christmas. My house is covered in lights, the tree looks like a woman from a Port Kembla street and my room is done out with all the works.

All this still does not satisfy my hunger, as I find myself in a life which is slowly depreciating. The transition from childhood to adulthood is not one of merely physical change, as we as children always imagined. No doubt when you were younger you wanted to grow up to see an M15+ movie (though does that stop us sneaking in?) or getting to go on the big people's rides at a fun park. Then you get there, you suddenly realise there's a lot of mental and emotional baggage with it.

I no longer enjoy the celebrations I once did and then you suddenly gain a greater appreciation of what you never noticed before. As a child you never realise your parents more or less go without on Christmas, they buy each other a few small things and spend all their money on their children. This year my presents won't tally past five. I don't mind, they're things I want but it's not the same as when you're a kid and spend those first couple of hours ripping through the wrapping paper with twinkling eyes. The magic of Santa has long gone, now the idea of Christmas with the jolly fat man. When you're older you know all your presents, whether it's by choice or making the choice for them. There's no mystery and therefore no fun.

It's a similar thing with birthdays, I personally have always been quite saddened by them. My parents never have a party, it's a shock if they have a cake and a couple of presents. As a child they tried to make it the best time of my life. One year I remember my dad spent months constructing things from wood like swords and a boat to give me a pirate themed party. There was a treasure hunt, a walk-the-plank game and all sorts of little things that stimulate someone. The last two years I've not had a party, though this is deviating from the subject because the reason is no one came. My point is that what was organised was merely a small thing with some friends to a pizza place or bowling, it's not fun or imaginative like it used to be.

Or perhaps I muse too much? I know I still enjoy Easter, but can you really say chocolate has a depreciating value? A lot of people say that things like Christmas are ruined by commercialism, I believe they're ruined by age.

No doubt I will soon have another transition stage. I will begin going on parties to drink and not give a care to the world. I will settle down with my own family, give my kids the time of their life.

A little depressing? Sorry, but I'm like that a lot. Now what I plan to do with this blog you might enjoy a bit more. I feel that I'll use this now and then for just shooting blanks, to know that people are feeling what I am. At other times it'll hopefully have interesting thoughts such as views on feminism or backwards evolution.

Sadly today is a bad day, so I apologise for the somewhat gloomy outlook though if I've made just one person think then it is still entirely worth it. Yes the thoughts were of negative connotations, but perhaps they brought up one or more valid points for you.

Perhaps I should finish this first ever blog entry off with a little introduction. My name is Richard (please call me Richie) and I'm a 17 year old male. I live in New South Wales, Australia but my original birth place was a small town called Southampton in England. I plan to do journalism once I graduate and try out for University. Hopefully this is a viable option given my subjects. Speaking of which, my favourite subject is English. I'm currently taking Advanced English, Extension English and Extension English 2. In terms of journalism credentials I feel these are nicely complemented by Modern History, Economics and Business Studies. I am very much a music person, see me without my iPod around and you're probably in my shower because it's in as I speak... no I'm not in the shower right now thank you. I don't just listen but play, having a very beautiful $1200 guitar so I promise to take some proper pics some time. I'm self taught, having taken some lessons on and off. Perhaps I'll bore you with my hobbies some over time, I mean who wants to hear about a guy who likes to talk a walk along a beach at sunset right?

So this is my first ever entry, I'll try not to make all of them so long in the future but it's not something I can confidently promise. I hope this one hasn't but you off too much, it's more or less been a means of helping myself mentally. Anyway, I'd better get back to my Modern History assessment task so I can get into that journalism stuff later on so catch you next time.