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  1. Xeno

    Real Talk: Evo Moment #37

    It has said that this moment has shifted gaming competition to a higher level. Some have said that this moment has not only helped put EVO on the map as one of the top gaming competitions in the world, but help revitalize the fighting game community that was supposedly dying. A moment was shared and viewed multiple times on all social media platforms. A moment that had articles and books written about it, and a documentary of it’s impact. A moment that placed one of fighting games greatest players into god like status. This is EVO moment #37 Since the dawn of gaming, competition has been created among other participants in a lab room of a university school. At that time, you could only compete in video games if you were within the region and had access to the school grounds to enter, meaning only educators, staff, and students were allowed to compete. However, in 1972 a new competition was created. The SpaceWars Olympics. Officially dubbed as the first video game tournament, Space Wars show that gaming isn't just for fun, but also a form of competitive sport much like you would find in Chess. Since then, gaming competition has slowly become a popular form of drawing a crowd towards popular games such as Donkey Kong or Pac-Man. In the 1990, Nintendo created the Nintendo World Tournament, consisting of games such as Super Mario Bros., Rad Racer, and Tetris. Nearly every genre has a tournament, except fighting games. Fighting games were a bit complex going up in gaming history. Games like Activision's Boxing and Data East's Karate Champs were good examples of fighting games to enjoy, but hardly consider tournament worthy appreciation. This is until 1991 when Capcom released their super popular fighting game, Street Fighter II in the arcades. Upon the release, many companies follow suit on the fighting game genre, including Midway's Mortal Kombat, SNK's King of Fighter, and Sega's Virtua Fighter. 5 years following the release of one of the most popular fighting game of all time, EVO would soon be born at Sunnyvale, California. The tournament began with only 40 competitors in Super Street Fighter II Turbo and Street Fighter Alpha 2, but would grow massive over the years, switching venues from California to Las Vegas. Although EVO was a popular competition to attend to with popular games such as Tekken and Marvel vs Capcom 2 added to the list of games to compete in, it had its slump in the mid 2000's. With the newer generation consoles released, fighting games had a hard time breaking out alongside its newer technology. Games such as Guilty Gear and Tekken have held down the fort of interest to newer generations while Mortal Kombat and King of Fighters have attempted to do something new. EVO was also suffering from this as few games on their list have caused any interest in spectators' eyes including one particular game. But the mechanic from that game and those involved would turn the world upside. On August 1st, 2004, Evo set their bracket for the finals of the tournaments, however, the feel of competition and enjoyment were hinder on that day thanks to Soul Calibur II finals, as two friends were in collusion by playing as characters they don’t normally play as, and jokily play the finals as a Saturday evening hangout. The mood would all change in the Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike tournament. While 3rd strike is considered to be one of the most polished fighting games coming out of Capcom Circuit, the game isn’t considered popular due to the parry mechanic. Players must predict and time the attack an opponent throws and press forward to parry the attack, allowing players to knock an attack away and leave their opponent open for a counter attack. If a player successfully parries an attack, the player gets a golden opportunity to unleash a devastating counter. However, if a player fails it can spell disastrous and at the mercy of their opponent. It’s a high risk, yet high reward mechanic that can change the fate of the game in an instant. Justin Wong and Diago Umehara were set in the loser’s finals, where the winner of this match will get a chance to meet Kenji Obata in the grand finals. Despite never playing against each other in past Street Fighter games, Justin Wong Chun-li’s turtling and calm demeanor was a perfect test towards Diago Ken’s aggressive nature. At the start of the final round in the first game, it seemed that Justin Wong's strategy was working against Diago, chipping away Diago’s life bar, keeping the pace in his way and striking Diago at open opportunity. Diago was able to keep the pressure with only 20% of life left, but Justin was able to escape. After failing to hit Justin with two ex hadoukens, which sacrificed one energy bar off his and a trade hit between the two knock Diago’s life bar down to 5%, it seem Justin Wong have the match set, holding a well 40% life on his bar and two super attack stored on his meter, meaning a single special attack can chip away Diago’s life even if he blocks it all and result in an automatic victory for Justin. With no other option left, Diago decided to go for the gamble. Justin uses Chun-li’s super attack, the Houyoku-sen, a close range attack with a series of kicks that ends with a high kick, powerful enough to defeat Diago. Just as Justin unleashes his super, the unthinkable has happened. Diago timed the kicks perfectly, parrying each attack as if he is strumming the strings of a guitar to the tune of one of the most difficult songs man has ever created and matched the tempo. After parrying Chun-li’s final attack, Diago countered with a series of attacks before finishing it with Ken’s super attack, Shippuu Jinraikyaku. The crowd who bare witness his moment has gone wild, howling and roaring in excitement and rave. Shouting that this is the greatest moment in fighting game history. Diago would go on to win the set and take on Kenji Obata who he would eventually fall to in the grand finals and take second place. In just a small auditorium room with just a camcorder, television, console, and arcade stick, Evo moment #37 has changed the landscape of fighting game tournaments. In Justin Wong’s words, it helped “saved” the fighting game community, reinvigorating the industry into being more active with fighting games and soon have more people be involved in fighting games as either a competitor or as an organizer. Moment #37 was also a challenge on the download version of Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike online edition, allowing players and fans of the genre and series to recreate the moment that brought fighting games back on the market. Evo would see a 5 year hiatus, but would eventually return in 2009 in Las Vegas. The spirit of fighting games along with several amazing sequels released by Capcom, Namco, and Arc System brought back iconic players such as Diago and Justin Wong, both meeting in the grand finals of Street Fighter IV where Diago would once again triumph over Justin Wong. Afterwards, both Diago and Justin won't see another championship ever again in the Street Fighter circuit. Justin would however go on to win one more championship in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. The two would meet once more 10 years later in a rematch of Street Fighter III, where the recreation of Moment #37 has happened again. However, Justin Wong would have enough life left to win the match against Diago, avenging the loss he suffered 10 years ago. The impact that EVO Moment #37 left brought in the technical aspect of fighting games and that anything is possible with a gamble payoff. Players from around the world has gotten more involved in fighting games than there were when in 90's and earlier 2000's and games such as Killer Instinct and Smash Bros would get an opportunity to shine thanks to the likes of the mechanics the game offers and the dynamics of a player's skill set. Nearly each year, players and fans are hoping for an EVO moment, radiating similar feeling just like what has occur 16 years ago. However, when most people think of a moment that change video game, a moment that exaggerate the passion and love for fighting games, a moment that blew up the internet and shown what fighting games can do in a tournament like capacity, This is the moment that will easily come to mind and forever be branded as fighting games greatest moment of all time.
  2. Hey everyone! And welcome to another edition of TODAY IN GAMING HISTORY!!! This time we take a look at one of the most defining companies from Japan, Capcom. Today marks the 41 year anniversary that Capcom was established, responsible for creating some of our childhood games today which includes Mega Man, Street Fighter, Resident Evil, and those amazing Disney games from the NES. While Capcom started in 1979, it took them 5 years to create their first game called Vulgus, a vertical shooter game. Although it was Capcom’s first, it didn’t really capture the attention Capcom would imagine and later create another vertical shooter game called 1942, focusing on fighter planes and power ups to take down enemy fighters and huge bosses as well. A year later Capcom would release their most difficult game to date, Ghosts n Goblins. An adventure game of the classical knight in shiny armor rescuing the princess from Satan, the game is notorious for its difficulty and for the ending as getting the true ending of the game requires players to complete the game twice. Around the same year, the NES was released and Capcom began shipping arcade ports of their popular arcades to the NES starting with 1942. 2 years later, Street Fighter was released in the arcades. Although it wasn’t the Street Fighter game that we knew today, this marks the start of a franchise that would soon explode years later. Ryu and Ken were designed as a young fighter, with Ryu having red hair instead of black, white headband, and shoes. Street Fighter was also quite broken as the damage base is random. Around the same year Street Fighter was released in the Arcade, Mega Man would debut on the NES and became a huge success. The Blue Bomber changed the ideal of platforming with shooting dynamics and the ideal of using defeat bosses power ups to use against other bosses, requiring players to use a distinct strategy of their own to know who is weaker to what and who to go for first. Mega Man was a huge success when the franchise began to release a series of sequels, spin-offs, and sports games surrounding the name Mega Man, each with their own background story, hero, side characters, and gameplay style. Final Fight would make their arcade debut on 1989, becoming Capcom’s first attempt at a Beat ‘em up game, and brought in popular characters such as Mike Hagger, a professional wrestler turned Mayor of Metro City, Cody, a hot headed fighter, Guy, a ninja who were converses, Hugo, and everyone’s favorite transgender, Poison. The game was a huge success and spawned 2 sequels and 2 spin off games. By 1991, Capcom hit gold with their greatest game of all time, Street Fighter 2. Street Fighter 2 was the first to truly usher in the fighting game era, with returning characters Ryu, Ken, and Sagat alongside popular characters such as Chun-li, Guile, Bison, and many more. The game was fluent, quick, and fun. Street Fighter was the first to bring in the fighting game community as well as the first to have multiple editions of the popular series, making the game more faster, adding super attacks, and bringing more characters. Street Fighter is also credited for influencing the fighting gaming industry, as games such as Mortal Kombat, King of Fighters, and Tekken all were created to challenge Street Fighter, but instead created an identity of their own and have a fan base that is still going strong today. Street Fighter’s popularity was soaring so high that it created its own animated movie called “Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie”, and it’s Hollywood film Street Fighter: The Movie, which the former was great and the latter was not. It didn’t deter Street Fighter as the franchise would have several sequels down the road, including the release of Street Fighter Alpha series, Street Fighter III, Street Fighter EX, Street Fighter IV, and Street Fighter V As the years go by, Capcom would continue to create popular mega hit games and sequels as well with games such as Disney’s Aladdin and Alien vs Predator. By 1994, Capcom would bring out their prototype, X-Men: Children of the Atom. The game uses popular characters from the mega hit marvel comic book series X-Men, and has them battle out in a fighting game aspect. The game was popular enough to get a sequel in the form of Marvel Super Heroes, focusing on characters from the Marvel Comic Book series such as Captain America, Spider-Man, Iron Man, and the return of Wolverine, and added in the infinity stones to their gameplay. In 1996, Capcom released their newest title in their list of franchise games, Biohazard or better known to us as Resident Evil. Focusing on the zombie survival aspect, players take control of either Jill Valentine or Chris Redfield as members of the S.T.A.R.S organization to investigate an outbreak inside the mansion house just miles away from Racoon City. The game was scary at the time and nerve wrecking as the mansion is filled with zombies and monsters with a shocking twist near the end. Resident Evil became an instant classic, creating Resident Evil 2 with popular character Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield, Resident Evil 3 Nemesis that brought back Jill Valentine and introduce us to our nightmare fuel in dark places known as Nemesis, and Resident Evil: Code Veronica having us play as Claire Redfield once more, just to name a few of the series of games Resident Evil has put out. Along with the release of Resident Evil on home consoles came one of the first of many vs titles Capcom has ever put out. After creating popular superhero fighting games, Capcom has decided to create their first tag team crossover game with Marvel’s X-Men characters and Street Fighter characters. X-Men vs Street Fighter was the first of many crossover games Capcom would create over time. It brought us a fantasy booking of who would win in a fight between Ryu and Wolverine, Bison and Magneto, and Zangief and Juggernaut. Their sequel, Marvel Super Heroes vs Street Fighter a year later, changed the roster of Marvel heroes and villains and some changes with the Street Fighter Roster. In 1998 however, the franchise began to kick off with one of their many popular releases and well known franchises today, Marvel vs Capcom. The idea of having Marvel heroes such as Wolverine, Hulk, Captain America, and Spider Man team up with characters such as Ryu, Chun-li, Mega Man, and Morrigan was phenomenal. Marvel vs Capcom was not only fast paced and exciting, but helped introduce fans of the Capcom series and Marvel Comics new characters they may have never heard of at all, including Captain Commando, Strider, Morrigan, Colossus, and War Machine. Things would only get better for the series as two years later Marvel vs Capcom 2 was released on the arcades and home port, bringing in a chaotic atmosphere of insane 3 v 3 gameplay, a stack full of rosters from a wide variety of games and comic book series, 4 original characters, and a killer soundtrack. Marvel vs Capcom would go on to have 3 more releases, with Marvel vs Capcom Infinite being their latest release. Alongside Marvel Vs Capcom, Capcom would also release a number of crossover games such as SNK vs Capcom, Tekken X Street Fighter, and Tatsunoko vs Street Fighter, while getting involved in other projects such as Namco X Capcom and Project X Zone. In 2001 Capcom would continue their stride by releasing a triple set of games that would become a major hit. First was Onimusha, a twist of zombie survival in the feudal era of Japan. Players would assume the role of a samurai as they battle their way to thwart an evil overlord whose goal is to consume this land in chaos. It should have over 1 million copies and was the first PS2. Capcom would later release Devil may Cry and it’s new gameplay mechanic, a hack and slash adventure, focusing on Dante as the son of Sparta and holding the devil power within him to defeat demonic foes. In the Fall, Phoenix takes the case as one of the many series of the franchise that would be released on the Gameboy Advance, focusing on story and courtroom battle as the defendant lawyer of a major case in each arc. All three franchises would get a series of releases down the road. In 2004, the Monster Hunter series was born, bringing in the aspect of adventure roleplaying game and the opportunity to play with friends as the object of the game is to slay or capture monsters for better armor and better weapons. The game would have sequels for various consoles and their latest release, Monster Hunter World, would be awarded as Roleplaying game of the year. 2 years later in 2006, Capcom release Dead Rising, a twist of zombie horror survival, having players use Frank West to kill a horde of zombies trapped inside a mall with a variety of objects in the mall, such as baseball bats, golf clubs, manikins, axes, saws, and many more. It also centers around government involvement in evolution and a terrorist attack at the center mall towards the US. Dead Rising would have 3 more releases after it’s initial run. Capcom has also been involved in the Esports competition, having their games such as Street FIghter III: Third Strike, Street Fighter II, Street Fighter IV, Street Fighter V, and Marvel vs Capcom 2 and Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 were featured in the EVO circuit, as well as creating the Capcom Pro Tour in 2014. Although major games such as Street Fighter and Resident Evil still get a load of attention today, it’s not to say that fans of the popular company solely focus on the games that were stated above, as Capcom has released a major ton of games over the course of their 41 year tenure. Games such as Power Stone, Rival Schools, Viewtiful Joe, Dino Crisis, the Breath of Fire series, Darkstalkers, Puzzle Fighters, Shantae, Okami, and many many more games were released under their name. Some were able to get one more sequel before being forgotten, while others live on through other developers or a set of remixes and remakes. Capcom isn’t perfect so to say, games fans of certain franchise series do get shafted every now and then, with either poor gameplay mechanics, poor story, poor roster, poor design, or poor business practices. Yet, when we hear the word Capcom, we immediately strike to the first game that comes to our mind, either recent or popular franchise. Whether it was a game we enjoy playing with friends and strangers, or hours spent on perfecting our skills for future tournaments. Whether it is the retro of games from the past, or the anticipation of new news of a future game released from Capcom. Capcom feels like a symbol of variety we need in our lifetime. A chance to fight out our frustrations in fighting games, explore the horrors of an undead infested city, venture on a land searching for the creatures we need to apprehend, or being able to get a one up against a line of bosses using their partners powers against them. For over 41 years, Capcom has been able to bring joy to the gaming community and will still do so for another set of years.
  3. Hey everyone! And welcome back to another article of TODAY IN GAMING HISTORY!!!!! Today marks the 35 year anniversary of Gradius released in Japanese arcade. Gradius took a spin of space shooting games, focusing on Horizontal shooting, upgrades, and a twist on bullet storm gaming. Games would be created with Gradius mechanics and Gradius itself would soon have several sequels down the road. Today marks the 21 year anniversary of what is known as the worst superhero and Nintendo 64 game of all time, Superman 64. Based off the popular animated series on the WB network, now the CW, and comic book hero, Superman 64 was a repetitive boring and broken game that was marked as the worst game to ever come out of the N64 lineup and out of the Warner Brothers studio. Sadly, the Man of Steel himself would never be in great superhero games unless he is teamed up with his fellow Justice League members. And today marks the 5 year anniversary of Splatoon. The adorable looking inklings became one of Nintendo's original games since the release of Pikman back in 2002. It was Nintendo's first attempt at a multiplayer shooter game with a kid friendly twist. And has been nominated and won numerous awards, including best shooter, beating out Call of Duty and Star Wars Battlefield, on a console that had the weakest sales among the three. Splatoon would later have a sequel on the Nintendo Switch, but it's introduction to the Nintendo family was well received and still popular to this day.
  4. Hey everyone and welcome to this day in gaming where we take a look at games from the past and their significance on the gaming universe. So with that said, it's time for THIS DAY IN GAMING HISTORY!!! Today marks the 20 year anniversary of Street Fighter EX 2 released on the PS1. The game was praised by fans and critics of the Street Fighter EX series and one of Akira's best released game under the Street Fighter partnership. A step up on the graphics and visual and robust gameplay thou some lackluster originality and new features, Street Fighter EX 2 is still highly regarded as one of the best in the ill forgotten 3D era of Street Fighter games. Today marks the 10 year anniversary of Modnation Racers and Blur. Blur is released on multiple consoles and focus on arcade like racing using manufactured cars from companies like Ford or Toyota. They emphasize on speed and powerups to win the race. Meanwhile Modnation Racers is for the PS3 only, and allow players to customize their character, cart, and racetrack to their creativity and liking, sort of like LittleBigPlanet but without sack boy ruining the fun of racing. It holds a story mode and is consider to be one of the toughest racing game on the market for it's tough A.I and ridiculous challenges in the story mode. And today marks the 4 year anniversary of Pokemon Go beta testing. The popular AR game was created in an opportunity to play off the mobile phone and encourage people to travel outside and play. While the game is a major hit, it does have controversial moments regarding the safety and the players awareness of their surroundings, so much so that the developers of the game has issue a warning to always pay attention off the phone and don't play while driving. And that'll do it for today. Be sure to come back for more THIS DAY IN GAMING HISTORY!!!!!!!
  5. With the release of Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath around the corner, Netherrealm has shown that a fighting game story can continue after hours of completing the cinematic specuatal a player journey through, with wild predictions of what will happen after the ending. This marks the first time a fighting game continues the story via DLC, since fighting games would release a new game with a story intact. The truth is we needed a DLC story mode for these games in the first place, as it captures the hardcore and casual fanbase who enjoys these games from the characters or story presented and wanted to know more of what is going on. A new antagonist to defeat, returning and new characters to be introduced, and a possibility of shifting the story to what was something minor or frustrating at first to something huge and major can keep the game more relevant before the next installment of the series. Here are 5 games that are in need of an extra story mode DLC. 5.) Dead or Alive 6 While Dead or Alive 6 focuses a lot on the costumes, the story, while lackluster, was okay and the ending centering around what the newest character NiCO was plotting with Helena left on a cliffhanger. Still, Dead or Alive 6 does have potential, especially since DOA has brought in special guest characters from other franchises, mostly the King of Fighter games. A crossover between DOA and KOF would help the franchise a lot, since it would allow popular characters such as Kyo, Iroi, and Terry Bogard to cross over to the DOA world, and more female characters such as King, Yuri, Leona, and Athena would help represent the female character fan-base. The idea of using the Orochi bloodline is perfect since characters like Hayabusa, having experience fighting demons and monsters outside of his participation in the Dead or Alive tournament. If DOA could keep their DLC to something affordable compared to the costume packages they release monthly, and have a good story, DOA could put themselves back on the map. 4.) Blazblue Of all the anime fighting games out there, none are more frustrating to look forward to than the Blazblue games, one that had an amazing run with their first three games, before toppling over with more releases that didn’t make sense, since several characters were from other source of media, media that the western players may not be able to obtain. Newer characters were released and while some had amazing game-play, the story was a mess and confusing, with some character’s personalities stripped or altered, and some having poor purpose for being in the story after the second release. An ending to the Blazblue series is possibly needed, and while another Blazblue release could help with the series, a DLC sounds better since the game already has a large list of characters in their fighting games, and adding in more characters could spell confusion or disaster for the story. We need a climax for the series and one that could be for affordable pricing could help end the series once and for all, before a possible reboot is in call for, just like how Guilty Gear creators have done with their game. 3.) Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid The Power Rangers story was great. Take one of the Rangers greatest threat name Drakkon who wanted ultimate power off the morphing grid, seemly kill off several characters in the Power Rangers universe, bring in characters from all Power Rangers media source, including the recent Power Rangers Movie, and you have yourself one huge battle for not just the world, but the entire dimension. Power Rangers could do another story mode for their game, one that can consist of a new villain wanting to take over the world. Characters like Emperor Grumm, Trakeena, Astronema, or our favorite Lord Zedd could serve as the main villain of the DLC and this could bring in more characters from other Power Ranger series, including Lost Galaxy, Jungle Fury, Dino Charge, or the recent series Beast Morphers and Dino Fury. The more fan favorites popping in, the more thrilling the game and story can be. 2.) Skullgirls Although it has been years since Skullgirls has had an update to their DLC with new characters, the story is still something that is absent from the game, since the story can be done based on each character, similar to what Blazblue and Guilty Gear has done with their game. However, a linear story mode, similar to what top level games has done, is helpful as we get a chance to know what happen to each characters and what the main story is all about, and how the game would properly end, instead of a knock off 4th wall breaking with two girls playing Skullgirls, and a figure representing one of the characters in the game appears playing as their mother. It’s great that Skullgirls has a good story, a great guessing to how things went, and a dedicated fan-base, but going from the start to finish, with a theory as to how the story actually ends, could boost this game and sales, and a possible call for another sequel. 1.) Street Fighter V Street Fighter V did release a story mode for DLC, but the truth is, Capcom didn’t need to do that in the first place. Instead of a story mode, we were treated with a single character story which only involved the characters having 1 or 2 fights and is very very short, a blasphemy to what Street Fighter is all about. Although Street Fighter has left a satisfying end, with an anticipating new story centering around Gil, Street Fighter instead has brought in characters for DLC. It’s great that we received new characters, but the thought of a continuing story would have been better, especially since characters like Urien and Gil would later be released and playable to the public. Even characters such as Seth or Poison would have been perfect for the new storyline, focusing on Seth looking for revenge on a character who is long gone, or a Poison starting up her own wrestling promotion with a former M.A.D. Gear Gang member. Street Fighter V would have been the perfect catalyst for future DLC characters or sequel, setting up the bridge for a sequel down the line.
  6. The Year 2000. What is known as one of the greatest years in video game history. 20 years ago many big names were coming out in the arcades and home console and a major gaming system would release their second console. It’s what is to be known as the last hooray for the 5th generation as the 6th generation is slowly creeping around the corner. I find it very memorable since few of the games I grew up with came from the year 2000 and they have stuck around me since then, getting small reboots here and there, and having a slight farewell once 2001 arrive, and on this blog, we’re gonna take a look at the best years of 2000, in my retrospect of course. When you think of the year 2000, one of the easiest moments to think about is the arrival of the Playstation 2. Sony’s second console, it was pretty much the prototype of what would be the norm of today. While the Dreamcast was able to experiment on online browsing and gaming, as well as portable interactive memory cards, the Playstation continued with their trend of making awesome gaming and the idea of online gaming and expanding it 10 times better. It was more powerful, meaning games like the Metal Gear Solid series and Final Fantasy series look more crisp and cinematic. It stores more data, giving games like the Grand Theft Auto series and Shadow of Colossal were more open world and holding stronger music. And it plays DVD’s, a gimmick that allows non-gamers to go with the cheaper route since DVD’s were becoming a hit sensation at the time. The PS2 didn’t have great releases at the time with the exception of SSX, Midnight Club, and TimeSplitters, but nothing major at all, but that didn’t stop people from purchasing a PS2 due to it’s gimmick. A year later with releases such as Devil May Cry, Metal Gear Solid 2, and Final Fantasy X, and soon the Sony Playstation 2 would rocket themselves into stratosphere of greatness, becoming one of the most iconic video game consoles of all time since the Nintendo Entertainment System. Although the Playstation 2 had a rough start, the Dreamcast didn’t have it easy either as well. Released only a year later and hearing the news of Sony making an even more powerful console that would easily topple the beloved video game company once more since the release of the Sega Saturn and the first Sony Playstation, Sega really needed to prove that their console was the greatest and why fans should pay more attention to them rather than the upcoming PS2. Sega went all out with their releases. We’ve seen Sega Dreamcast release no more than 8 hit games. It’s not all the time we get a console that can release major hit games, especially if you are Nintendo at that time. Skies of Arcadia, Crazy Taxi, Space Channel 5, Resident Evil: Code Veronica, Jet Set Radio, Dead or Alive 2 even Marvel vs Freaken Capcom 2. When your console releases amazing games like this, you sure know you have a winner. Even Shenmue, a game that sadly couldn’t save Sega from financial obscurity, was widely regarded as one of the greatest games Sega has ever put out and one of Yu Suzuki’s greatest work. Hell, it even got fans to break the record for fastest $1 million pledge for a crowdfunded game in nearly 2 hours. That’s just how amazing Sega can be when they allow their creators to have the freedom to make games. Sure, Sega would fall under a year later due to a lack of interest and upgrades to keep up with the PS2, but just for one year we were stuffed with amazing games that would forever continue on in other 6th generation consoles and so on. While the 6th generation is gearing up for an amazing era, the 5th generation is still in tact, still bringing out amazing games that we can enjoy until the next set of consoles arrive, unless you already own a Dreamcast.The Playstation brought out games such as Spiderman and Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2. Square Enix had the time of their year, release 4 RPG games on the same year (Vagrant Story, Chrono Cross, Parasite Eve II, and Final Fantasy IX), and Mega Man Legends 2 were release alongside with a spin off game cal The Misadventures of Tron Bonne. Nintendo on the other hand released Mario Party 2, which is widely regarded as the best in the series. Pokemon Stadium allows us to use our game files from Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow, and play time on the television screen without the need of a cable link in full color, although you do need to own your own game and cartridge as well. Perfect Dark, and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, which has given us creepy night terrors unlike anything we have seen in 2000. Handheld games were treated nicely with Wario Land 3 and Bust-a-Move Millennium and computer games were a sneeze, releasing games such as The Sims, Diablo II, Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2, Deus Ex, and Counter Strike. IGDA, the International Game Design Association, was formed, Microsoft would acquire Bungie which would bring us the Halo series, THQ would acquire Volition which would bring us the Saint’s Row series, and UbiSoft would acquire Red Storm Entertainment which would bring us the Rainbow Six Series. The year 2000 was more of a love note from the 5th generation, thanking us for all the excitement that they have given us for the past 5 years and a hello note from the 6th generation that is coming to be. We gave time to look back at what we got from the three major companies as a year later one company would fall off the console wars and new one rises. It’s an event that we’ll never forget and one we ought to celebrate with joy and nostalgia to our hearts content.
  7. We finish off Black Cosplay Appreciation Month with a cosplayer of mix race and a plus size participant. Facing discrimination and negative attitude from the fan base and commissioners, this cosplay show resistance towards the hate and rejection and continue to show her creative side and her love for cosplaying and the geek culture centering around being a cosplayer. You can follow Redd on Facebook at Ju Smith or on Instagram at Lajazziredd. Here is her story: "By day, I'm a data scientist that helps fortune 50 companies decide what information to capture and how to use that information. I've worked on everything from creating social media personas, writing for web, sem/seo, digital & mobile app analytics, digital reputation management to training/teaching and including humanity in algorithims, predictive analytics & strategy. By night, I'm a casual cosplayer who creates costumes and pushes the message that: cosplay is art in motion, and each of us has a place in this community. The message is so important- especially for intersectional cosplayers (like me for example: black & asian, plus sized & disabled). Technically, my journey started back in 2002 when my mom & I spent about 80 hours creating my first costume (15th Century, empire waist tea dress for a History project) because my size and proportions made buying a dress impossible. It's really funny to think about how many costumes we created between 2002-2013 that I never counted toward my "cosplay" time because I didn't "know" that was the name for what I did. Officially, in 2013, my friend introduced me to cosplay after realizing that I made the dress she wanted to buy in her size. A few months later, I brought 2 River Song costumes to Wizard World Chicago and spent hours explaining to people how I got my fabric just right, free handed my patterns, and how I made them in general. As a plus sized cosplayer, making my entire costume is usually my only option. Most people who take commissions won't take mine (either because I'm too big or my waist/hip difference is too large for them to accommodate), and buying clothes for costumes is even harder than buying clothes for everyday- which is already really hard. As a black & asian cosplayer, race is always a part of the discussion. Either by racial slurs, the micro aggression of "mixed jasmine," being told what characters I cannot cosplay or some weird combination of them. As a disabled cosplayer, the logistics of everything always has to be planned. I'm a part time wheelchair user, so accessibility of getting around is always top of mind. Creating costumes that can easily be adapted to include my wheelchair or a scooter makes the creation process so much harder. Once I add in the anxiety & PTSD, some days I'm fighting against feeling overwhelmed. In general, I know that every con I attend, I will be subjected to hate- race based, size based, able body based, etc. Some moments are really hard because of the sheer volume of hearing it and seeing how many people in our community feel that way. I get asked a lot on how I am so resilient despite the negativity. I don't talk about it often, but I get at least 1 death threat or "go kill yourself" at every con because of my size, race or non able bodied status. But the truth is... I'm so incredibly thankful to every person in my support circle and my family who helped me develop a strong and positive view of myself. I love me, and I hope that can be seen in my cosplay, my support circle reminds me that others love me too, I'm never actually alone- even when I feel that way. , and they hold me accountable. Please find your tribe. Honestly... It's so amazing when I see us rally around us and showing how we can carve out our own space within this community I think cosplaying while continue to improve on inclusivity & diversity. I think that technology is going to change the way many of us build costumes, envision characters, and cosplay in general. I hope we get to a future where each of us finds our own safe space within the cosplay community."
  8. When people grow up, they feel that adulthood takes over, that play time is over and it's time to get series about life (careers, homes, food, relationship). What little time we have for play is replace with the need to improve ourselves and the need to be secure in the future. But study shows that play is essential for adults, activities and hobbies can help improve one's mental health as well as psychical too. What better what to keep a strong mental health than cosplaying. This is Blade, a cosplayer who enjoys cosplaying, not just for the representation, but for the fun and like minded individuals. You can find Blade on Facebook under Michael Osborne and follow him on Instagram at Mxo24. Here is his story: "I work at an airport and work I went to my first comic con and saw a lot of people in cosplay and wanted to be part of it. However there weren't a lot of black heroes to present. So I researched and tried Luke cage which was normal and eventually stepped up as blade as my to go guy. Cosplaying feels like your present you artwork to a gallery and meeting like minded individuals. I had hoped to find a girlfriend from socializing there (lol). Every time I see people in cosplay, I cant help but try to improve it more each year. I don't know when I'll stop but I having fun! People thinking I'm acting like a kid or thinking it's unethical. I was scared of what my family would think but they were okay with and knew I was a responsible man. I hope to make an armor-based hero or futuristic samurai. I hope to win a cosplay competition.."
  9. There are many reasons as to why people would get involve in cosplaying. Yet, those who cosplay for the greater good such as lifting the spirits of sick children in the hospital or getting involve in a charity event is more the ever so special. Today, we meet Jamarri, a cosplayer who has done the latter of the two and since then has been cosplaying for all his life up to this day. You can find Jamarri on Facebook at JuiceManCosplay and on Instagram at juiceman_cosplay. Here is his story: "I'm a print designer by trade; currently working for SEIU 1199 New England, the Healthcare Employees Union as their Communication Specialist - I handle all outgoing communications to members as well as maintaining our website and social media content I've been attending cons since 2011, but decided to cosplay as Insomniac Spiderman for the first time in 2017 at a local con. I met up with a friend who introduced me to his friend who was looking for cosplayers to photograph and/or join a charity group called 'The Band of Heroes'. I dived head first into cosplaying then and haven't looked back. Being a person of color, we get a lot of backlash for cosplaying characters who aren't POC. There's also the skill gap being sort of new to it all; crafting with foam and sewing are something I'm working on now. I enjoy cosplaying and attending cons as an escape from everyday life; but would love to partner up with a company or two in the future!"
  10. Cosplaying can sometimes bring a vibrant ray of energy from those who always wanted to get involve. It's the opportunity to finally become that character you always watched on the screen or in art form and bring them to life. For Mandygirlsmiles, it's something that she loves and enjoys and something that has help bring her creativity and attitude to life. You can follow her on Instagram at Mandygirlsmiles and on Facebook at Amanda Whitley. Here's her story: " Hello My name is Amanda. I am 34 yrs old from NYC. I work as a scheduling coordinator for a hospice. I am a proud mama to an 11 year old girl who also cosplays. I love all things nerdy obscure and different. My face cosplays so far is Squirrel girl, my Hellgirl, my peach raider, and cannabis ivy lol. I've always been a fan of costumes (Halloween is my fave) My love for geek culture drives me too. I wanted to meet like minded individuals. I also had a wish to expand my creativity. I enjoy cosplay I've never looked back! I am not a stickler for accuracy, more so the art of bringing these characters to life. Sometimes I can get over ambitious and become overwhelmed. But when I complete a cosplay I feel complete and proud. I can be a procrastinator but when I have an idea in my head I must execute it. Last year I started embracing using my own hair in my cosplays. I was hesitant at first, being me and my hair haven't always had the best relationship. I was overwhelmed with the love and look forward to rocking my fro as much as possible. Proudly shining through with my Afro Latina roots :) I see cosplay being more accepting. Soon I hope it becomes totally colorblind. We are all nerds once and for all. I wish the hate and cosplay snobs disappear. COSPLAY IS FOR ALL Two I hope to continue to grow in my crafting and armor work."
  11. To kick off our inaugural Appreciation Month, we take a look at nelld_it_cosplay. A hero to our country and a hero to the kids in hospitals and in honorary to a child of his own. Be sure to follow him on Facebook and Instagram under nelld_it_cosplay and on Twitter @nelld_it81. Here's his story. "I am a 38 year old army veteran. I currently work in the nuclear industry. I’m married and have 4 kids. I’m currently studying computer engineering and in my free time I enjoy gaming, comics, and movies. A friend of mine does hospital visits to the children’s hospital dressed as super heroes and pass out toys. So back 2013 he asked me if I’d be interested in doing it. My wife and I had lost a child at 3 months the year before, so when he asked me I agreed to go as a way to honor his memory. One of the challenges I am faced with is balancing work, family, school, and cosplay. There were times where I’ve been con crunching to get a cosplay ready and study and also take finals. I have also faced people telling me the characters I cosplay aren’t black like Thor, Star Lord, and The Punisher. In the future there will probably be a lot more technology incorporated with in the design of a cosplay."
  12. Every February, the US celebrates Black History Month, a dedication to those who push the boundaries of civil rights and equality in all forms of political, entertainment, education, invention, crafts, and physical feats. Many people will remember the likes of Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, to athletes such as Jackie Robinson, Jessie Owens, Muhammad Ali, to musicians such as Ray Charles, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald and many many more important people. We always have someone to look up to and not only give thanks to their contributions, but also inspiration and dedication to their believes of what they love doing and what they believe in. Yet for this month, we look into something that is part of the crafts and something that centers are geek culture, cosplaying. For this month, we look at four (or more) cosplayers who explain in their own words what got them involve in cosplaying, the struggles of being a cosplayer either by their own personal problems or challenges by hecklers, and their take about cosplaying in the future. While I and many others who helped out accept all cosplayers of all color, gender, size, disabilities, and sexual orientation, we take a look at those of colored cosplayers and celebration their contributions and many others who enjoy participating in this amazing hobby that brought joys and wonders to those who have interest in cosplaying or has aspiration of being a cosplayer. For all those involve, we say thanks!
  13. Only a few days away from the milestone year of 2020. Now last post I talked about the worst moments of gaming. Well it's time to turn a 180 and focus on the best moments of gaming. What could make things better than Government intervention and a terrible TOS policy? Let's find out. 10 E3 press conference shines While E3 did had a slump due to Sony's absence and a poor opening to the weekend, E3 did have some shiny moments, including some that went balls to the wall. With Sony away, Microsoft and Nintendo had the opportunity to display what they have in store without certain trailers being repeated. Games such as Cyberpunk 2077 and Smash Bros getting a huge ovation for one actor or character involved, and new announcements were made which included a new console coming out by Microsoft. Devolver continues their weird presentation as a yearly movie for 30 minutes. But Square Enix took the cake with their numerous announcements including Final Fantasy VII remake trailer and gameplay, Avengers release, Dragon Quest spin offs and several HD remixes. While Sony no showing E3 may have hurt the convention weekend, it gave us an opportunity to see what other companies were capable of if we never noticed it and how dedicated and passionate they have for gaming. Hopefully in 2020, E3 would become bigger. 9 EA releases a Good Star Wars game Sure, we'll always pick on EA, poking fun at the company for making below par games, killing off our favorite game or franchise, and being named worst company of the year in two straight occasions, but every now and then there's a diamond in the rough that we underlook At E3, EA has revealed their latest Star Wars Trailer which is an action adventure game. EA didn't have a strong mark when it comes to their Star War games with their last release being disastrous and afterward cancelling on a Star Wars project right afterward. Still, like the rebels in Star Wars and ever last Jedi, there were some hope that this game is the one and slowly started to pick up fan fare. Days after release and it's a mega hit! Star Wars:Fallen Order have felt like a Star War games fans wanted it all this time, being able to have an adventure like a Jedi, using Jedi powers, fighting for the resistance, and even exploring different words. That's basically Star Wars in a nutshell. Sure, it was the company that helped brought out another mega hit Apex Legend, but still EA had their paw prints on it and like a Jedi master, they're able to give hope and preservation that we the pupils wanted to have for a long long time. For that, Thanks EA. Hopefully the Force would continue to be with you. 8 Shanghai Dragons wins their first game Nothing beats the satisfaction of 'The First'. Your first kill in a shooting game. Your first victory at a tournament bracket. Your first championship win. The feeling of winning it all after all the hard work and dedicated you put make that first everlasting satisfying. Especially when you've never been considered a contender in the first place. The Shanghai Dragons were shamefully honored as the first, and at this point, the only team to never win a single game at the Overwatch league. Now that's Cleveland Brown league standards. Each time when it felt they were getting that first victory, especially in a tiebreaker match, they just fall short to capitalize a win. Few have hope for the team, many have considered them the worst of all time. It would take a lot to turn this lowly team around in the next season. Shanghai would get a new team, new coaching staff, and a new hope only to lose their first two games during the first stage of the second season. However, things shockingly change in their third game of the new season. On February 23rd, The Shanghai Dragons would win their first game of the Overwatch League against the Boston Uprising, winning the series 3-1. It was a shocking moment and a monumental day, fans were crying out of joy, teams from all over the league congratulation the Dragons on winning their first game, including the Uprising themselves. But what came afterward was unexpected. Shanghai would reach the stage 2 playoffs, losing to the eventual winner of the stage, the San Francisco Shock, and would return as the huge underdog of stage 3, beating out New York Excelsiors, Vancouver Titans, and the San Francisco Shock to win the stage 3 finals. Shanghai would make it to the play-in playoffs for a wild card spot to the Grand Finals tournament, but would be eliminated from contention. Shanghai really turned things around in 2019, and had fans believed in the hype. Even I, a strong NYXL fan, have believed in the hype and slowly became a Dragons fan after their first victory and know how great this team can be. For that, the Dragons will always rise! 7 Great revival games 2019 has showed that even games from the past do deserve to make a comeback ever now and then, and these games proved how much we enjoyed a good ol remake. In this year alone we have seen classical games from the Playstation 1 era getting a remake. Games such as Resident Evil 2, Crash Team Racing, Final Fantasy VIII has an opportunity to reintroduce themselves to the masses, bringing back nostalgia to gamers who played them in past consoles while opening up a new fan base to their genre. Link’s Awakening change the art direction and landscape of the Zelda games, making one of the most beautiful design games Nintendo has ever produced. And games such as Ni No Kuni and Catherine from the last generation of consoles and even WOW Classic, has continued the excitement of classic gaming turning into modern sensation. Since the hype of old games getting the HD remix is still fresh in the minds of all gamers today, several companies have announced remakes of classical hit games which includes Resident Evil 3. Hopefully more companies would follow the trend and all old games to get one last hooray before the new generation of gaming comes around in 2020. 6 Year of Indie games It maybe very cliche with each year passing by, but by far this is one of the best years for Indie game. This year alone we have some of the best games people have put out for our entertainment and our awareness. Games that capture social knowledge of pain, struggle, and challenges such as Gris or Prism while other brings laughter and joy such as Cadence of Hyrule and Untitled Goose Game. It seems that each year, small developer team are given a chance to shine and show their imagination, creativity, skills, and passion for gaming. And compared to big title games in the industry that Capcom, Square Enix, and Naughty Dog put out, these small studios can prove they can hang with the big boys even with little budget they have. Especially when said game stole the show like... 5 The Disco Elysium award show Say what you will about the award show, but for one night, no company has ever done a sweep like this indie game has ever did. Disco Elysium is an indie roleplaying game developed by Za/Um studio, centering around you as a cop cracking cases within the city. During the award, the small company were going up against some of the most popular and strong contenders for some of the awards including Death Stranded, the Outer Worlds, and Control. Shockingly, Disco Elysium beat off top contenders and easily won best Indie game of the year, sweeping their nomination to a 4 out of 4 victory. The idea of an indie game beating out Triple A title games can be shocking for sure, and had it gone for Game of the Year, which is going on for IGN at this point, it might have won. While many would say that the award show is rigged, I highly go against it since of course this is fan voted, and the amount of fan support Disco Elysium had pretty much open the doors to those who have never heard of the game to get a chance and check it out. So here’s to an Indie company who has the best chance of pulling out the impossible and hope that the game itself and do more to give support to an indie studio. 4 oLarry return to esports competition After the tragic shooting during a Madden competition, oLarry received major hand injury that has altered his gaming prowess. With the possibility of never competing in a high level competition, oLarry took option B and decide to alter his games and controller to keep up with the competition. Within months, oLarry returned to Esports competition and joined the Cleveland Cavaliers Esports team in NBA2K series. oLarry controller has been modified to work with his disability and showed that anyone can make a return to gaming after such a tragedy. His inspiration and determination has lead him to win the inaugural best Esports moment award at the ESPN's ESPY awards. For sheer determination, grits, and guts to not only survive a horrific moment in gaming but push on through and make it big in Esports, oLarry gets a spot on this list for his efforts. Game on man. 3 Riot games massive announcements Riot games has always been known for one game and one game alone, League of Legends. As they celebrate their 10 year anniversary and being the top Esports games, Riot games lay a smackdown that we all might have never expected at all. It seems that MOBA games aren't the only genre Riot wanted to focus on, as news broke out that Riot games have been working on several other games at their studios, including a tactical shooting game and a fighting game. Riot has shaken the world with this earth trembling news and may soon shatter it once we hear more about it in the future. The secret was blown before announcement, but in either case it's a great chance for this one game studio wonder to expand and prove they can create more than just League of Legends 2 Hideo Kojima return to prominent status When Hideo Kojima left Konami, it brought a lot of backlash towards the company. One of Konami's greatest developers have been shafted and even blackballed from appearing the award show to collect his award, a game he is famous for creating! It also pull the plug of a promising return to the Silent Hill franchise and even created a Metal Gear Solid game entirely different than what we play, using the name to lure players over. That is until Kojima decided to create a game of his own with a team off his production studio. Each trailer release, we draw closer and closer to how wonderful the game looks and what it means. Strange babies, a deserted world with dark creatures, Norman Reedus in the game. So many has happening we gotten more and more engaged. While Death Stranded have mixed reviews, many have felt interested in trying out the game. Some may have called it the greatest game of 2019. The game has been nominated in several awards list for best adventure and even other categories as well and has proven once more how talented Kojima is even without a trademark company like Konami. And with the recent news of Kojima hinting a new title on the works, there are those who look closely to what Kojima has in store for us, especially with his blessed talents. Let us hope it for one of his masterpieces returning. Honorable Mention: Marvel extraordinary year Marvel has been known for making some of the most action pack blockbuster movies. While we would get one or two films, Marvel release 3 major films in 2019, all back to back to back critic acclaim favorites meanwhile 2 films from the past year enter the Academy Awards nomination. Let’s start off with Black Panther and Spider-Man: Enter the Spider-verse. Both films have received several nominations in the award show winning most of the awards, including Best Original Score and Costume Design for Black Panther, and Best Animated Film by Spider-Man: Enter the Spider-verse. Black Panther’s victory marked the first set of Academy awards Marvel Studios have won, meanwhile Spider-Man trumped out other major films like Isle of Dogs, Incredibles 2, and Ralph Breaks the Internet Meanwhile on the releases, Captain Marvel sets up the final series of the Marvel saga Avengers: Endgame. And while avoiding spoilers, the film has helped pave the way and shape the future of the Marvel timeline, with Spiderman: Far from Home film being to date one of the greatest Marvel Film of all time. And with the hype of Black Widow in 2020, Marvel Studios will continue to push forth even more extraordinary films that we fans crave for with our favorite set of heroes. One that Thanos cannot erase. 1 The rise of Mixer When Ninja left Twitch to join Mixer, it was a major news. Sure, Mixer has been for some time, however, with Twitch being the major star in video game streaming and other genres, there was no point in joining Mixer unless you already have an audience. Now that mentally is thrown away as Mixer is a breath of fresh air for those who either wanted to build up a community after floundering on Twitch, or want to escape from Twitch’s lucrative contract and/or policies. Sure it was a shock when Ninja joined Mixer, and by that time it felt like a mass exodus was about to occur. Streamers from Twitch felt either encourage or curious to move to Mixer with some trying out and done live streaming on the channel. For some, it was convincing enough to stay, while others felt moving to a new channel isn’t worth it at the moment for whatever reason they may have. They introduce certain features that made Twitch feel rather behind the times, and the environment was also different than Twitch itself, depending on who you ask about their experience. While Mixer has yet to hit mega star power, compare to Twitch, the streaming service seems to be accepted by everyone, even those within various communities, as they welcome Mixer users and willing to keep their members in the community as well, building up a streamer relationship for streamers. Twitch may still be going on, but for Mixer, it gives streamers a chance to go somewhere else should they feel threatened or uninterested on Twitch, and thus is my number one pick for the best moment in 2019 Got any of your favorite moments from 2019 that I missed? Be sure to let me know on the comment below
  14. In just a short few days we are about to hit a milestone. 2020. Another year to engage ourselves into the releases we all be dying to indulge ourselves in. Another decade of new generations, new innovations, and new companies rising. And another chance to promise ourselves we are going to complete said game or purchase said game only to once again procrastinate on it. But before we could move on it's time to look back at the past and see some not so great moments. We have to go through serious amount of BS in our lives but for this case there some stuff we as gamers have to endure to this point. So on this countdown we take a look at the top 10 worst gaming moments of 2019. 10 E3 Woes Before I continue, E3 is also on my best list so let's get the reason why it was the worst. This year's E3 feels a bit lack over the weekend as news broke out months prior to the event that Sony will not be participating in the weekend extravaganza. This left a huge hole in the gaming convention not just for its star power, but for the heavy gaming news that we fans and gamers wanted to hear. We wanted to know more about PlayStation exclusive and the Last of Us 2. We wanted to see Final Fantasy VII remake on the PS4. We wanted to know more about the next installment of the PlayStation family. We needed to wait each month for Sony’s State of Play announcements to see trailers of our favorite games and when they will be coming out. Even though it’s good, it does deprive those in attendance a chance to watch it on the grandest stage of all. But it isn't just Sony's absence that it feel flat as E3 kicked off on a flat note thanks to the presentation Google Stradia done. No news about what games would be involved, and if so, the games didn't really have any on air game play, just demos and how Google Stradia works. Google focus so much about how people can be able to play on any device and their offer that they don't consider the thought that games are the essential point of having a video game console or saving cloud, not just the game. EA has also dropped out and made their own press conference which is okay I guess. It seems that E3 is slowly fading away or feels like it with state of play or Nintendo news comes up which offers quick news in short amount of time about upcoming games and trailers besides the use of a full hour and a half to 2 hour presentation. Let's hope that in their 25 year anniversary, E3 can make a grand spectacle once again. 9 Anthem In 2018, EA dedicated most of their time talking about their newest game coming out call Anthem. They spent almost an hour talking about how the game was made, what was their purpose, their mission, and who gamers could expect when they purchase this game. Well, it seems that EA has once again gone under the trend of saying their promises but not keeping it. Let's talk about preorder debacle. EA set up a confusing timeline for when the game will have an early access and for who. It seems those who hold an account under the origin software program would get the game first, tossing the idea of same day release or early access right out of the window. It gives the insight that if you aren't a member of EA, you'll just have to wait for the game. But hey, the wait can give the suspense of the game more exciting, right?! Well not exactly. As stated by fellow Embr and TeamForge member, "...it's just the same missions over and over with no real difference between then. the javelin suit are the best thing about the game and are the reason I stuck around for so long. but once you have all of them you don't really have a reason to keep playing if they added something with some challenge and originality id happily go back to it but until then it's just going to gather dust on my shelf." @Scottish21#5104 It's just another poor concept that was over hyped yet under deliver. Maybe with future updates, the game would be great, as always games with poor performance do tend to get better down the line with updates but as far as it's release goes, it was shafted. 8.) Stradia poor launch Google is known as a major internet guru to this date. Not only are they the most popular search engine, but they go beyond servicing our needs such as Gmail and other apps like Google docs. They have their own laptop and smartphone line. And even done daring venture such as Google lens. So naturally, video games would be a great investment since video games are becoming more and more accessible everywhere. Well there's a reason why Google has trash most of their failed products after poor launches. Google Stradia has an interesting concept, allowing people to play their favorite games on all devices no matter how small the screens are. The concept was great on paper but the execution was poor. After getting so much hype following their announcement, Google has given less and less news about their newest program until E3 of 2019 and we all know how bad that press conference went, only giving features and prices of their packages. Google Stradia release did have mixed reviews but on and all it didn't hit the mark, failing to capture audience attention with their price or ideals. Non subscribers needed to pay more than subscribers and games cost way too much than physical copies. Along with that, the Stradia did have some connection issues from time to time, having game crash and rebooted only to have the game continue without not movement or interaction. Google Stradia do need time to build up their library, process, and of course games since their games actually cost more than the disc copies they were competing against. Hopefully 2020 Google can turn things around. 7.) Activation/Blizzard release 8% of employees Man. Activation/Blizzard has had one rough year. Along with something that will be on this list, they've remove Heroes of the Storm as an E-sport due to low view rate. Canceled their Starcraft FPS to focus more on Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4. And has been the target of media backlash, from fans to co-workers, and even the government themselves, but this started their snowball to their decent. On a cold February month, the company has released nearly 800 staff members from their company. Now, letting go employees is always bad, no one wants to experience that at all, but witnessing nearly a 1000 letting go is just brutal. It's all to help cost cutting measures as Bungie drop their partnership with the company to make Destiny on their own and a surprise mega hit from EA call Apex Legend. Even games such as Hearthstone and Overwatch could not be able to offset the cost cutting measures that the company needed making this one of the worst moments in company history. And with the rise of gaming demands, it can be pretty tough to be able to find another job that may have the same offering that Activation/Blizzard have, especially with most of these studios popping up either everywhere or mostly being a small studio with less than 50 people. Let’s hope for a better future in 2020. 6.) Last of Us 2 date pushed back. Getting a game pushed back is bad enough, but when you get the most anticipated video game of all time pushed but even further, then it pretty much sucks. The Last of Us is one of PlayStation mega hits, centering around survival during a post apocalyptic world, the game has an impact on storytelling and characters that brings you closer to them. After the trailer in 2018's E3 press conference, which strangely happened on a separate stage, fans are dying to know more about the sequel. We get it in a shocking trailer a year later with their initial release early 2020. They're main reason is of course to polish the game up and meet Naughty Dog standards way, which of course has it's intentional right to do so. Either way this does sting fans alike that this game gets a push back. There hasn’t been many games that has so much hype that the Last of Us 2 has created. Okay there are plenty of games, but when a game do get pushed we just have to await for the release and hope that whatever they needed to work on makes the waiting game worth it. 5.) The Extra Life Hack November 2nd. A day in which gamers from all over the world get a chance to help contribute to their local hospital and help sick children by gaming and donating to raise money and awareness. It's a great noble act from the Extra Life organization and gives gamers a chance to participate in a charity event for the first time. However, some scrooge figure it's a great idea to steal money from sick children. The donation page was flown for a certain amount of time due in part of an attempted hack on the server and attempt to not only collect the payment but also card information. This disgusting act of cyber crime halted the donation process for hours as participants game without getting a chance to raise a single dollar. The organization was able to resolve the problem and the event has gone on with the group refunding money to several donors as an apology for what has happened. While cyber hacking is nothing new, the thought of doing this to kids in need is very sickening and despicable, trying to make money at the expense of people's lives. Let's just hope that this mustache twirling fools gets the shaft before attempting to perform another dastardly act like this. 4.) Wai Chung suspension Well, it's two for two on Blizzard and this one is just damaging. Following a Hearthstone competition, Hearthstone veteran Ng "Blitzchung" Wai Chung was set to take a webcam interview to discuss his performance on that day's competition. During the protest that is going on between China and Hong Kong, Wai Chung don a gas mask and goggles and shot out liberate Hong Kong during the simulcast, having two shout caster chuckled in embarrassment before quickly ending the video. Blizzard was so upset at this event, that they immediately suspended both Wai Chung and the shout-caster for an entire year and even strip Wai Chung of his prize earning. This sparked outrage within the gaming community, calling Blizzard a supporter of China and even believed Wai Chung career was martyred for his beliefs of his country. Many people have even denounced Blizzard and demand a boycott of the gaming company, suspending their battle net subscription and even remove their games off their desktop or laptop. Blizzard notices their mistake and even have opened up Blizzcon 2019 talking about the events, returning the prize money to Wai Chung and dropping their suspension from 12 months to 6, citing that Wai Chung has violated Blizzard’s code of conduct and express political in a company that wants to focus more on gaming. This still angers people and felt that justice hadn't been served, just patched up. Moments like this can cause quite a heated debate on whether or not Blizzard did the right thing. One one hand, Blizzard acted too radical and too quickly with their policy, suspending Wai Chung and the shout-caster immediately without thinking twice as to what may happen or investigating the situation. On the other hand, Wai Chung knew what he was getting into and still went with it anyway, violating some people wanted to get away from. Gaming is a great way to ease the stress even from what the world news has been going on with loads of protest, political corruption, and disasters along the way, and he uses this to his advantage to add more news that really didn’t need to be necessary in the first place. Maybe a tweet would be less damaging than an interview. Even yours truly do feel conflicted on whether this was the right thing to do on both ends. Whichever the case may be, Blizzard just needed to find a way to defuse the situation, now that Wai Chung’s suspension is slowly winding down. 3) Desmond ‘Etika’ Amofah suicide It’s always terrible to deal with someone who has committed suicide. It always is. People with mental illness find it hard to get the answers that they want and even struggle to continue on with life when things don’t go as they see. To some extent, some would even try to call out for help out of hinted words or actions, but unless it can easily be picked up, it may be too late. Such case with this next entry on this list. Desmond ‘Etika’ Amofah is a creator content on YouTube, mostly focusing on Nintendo Games, and enjoyed gaming for most of his childhood. While he gain a following for his work and has inspired words which included his signature catchphrase "Take care of yourself. Have yourself a damn good one!", for one reason or another, he began to show troubling signs of attention. On one instant, Amofah began uploading pornography to his YouTube account and proceed to drop homophobic slurs to his Twitch account, both ended up being banned by their servers. A few months later he would tweet cryptic messages to the masses on his actions and some would quickly picked up on what is going on. Just days later after his final tweet and video posting, police officials in New York were able to recover his body from a nearby pier, confirming he was dead on sight. This shocking moment sparked tweets of sorry and dismay to this event and ironically enough raised awareness towards suicidal thoughts and actions in this world. For those who are involved in creating content almost on a daily basis, it can be tough keeping up with today's standards as well as dealing with the negative backlash that might be preceded by either fans, gamers, nerds, and worst of all trolls. However, the ideal of suicide is a big news, showing that people need help any time of the day to not only get through the day, but get through in life and keep on enjoying what they do. 2) Government attacking Video games It seems that video games cannot take a break when it comes to violent crimes here in America or even in the world. No matter how many times study show that violent video games aren’t the cause of what is going on, the government and officials still plug up their ears, close their eyes, and yell gibberish noises to block up all facts and walk away from it all. The only why this isn’t number 1 is because one, it’ll be too easy, and two that number 1 spot is deserving of another bad moment. In one weekend of a hot August summer, the US has suffered not one, not two, not three, but four massive shooting in four different states!! Dozens of people were killed including the gunman in certain states, and hundreds of people were hospitalized from this tragic event during the weekend. While there were time to mourn the loss of those who were killed in the weekend, several lawmakers, politicians, and even task force has blamed violent video games once more for influencing these mass shootings and has called for action to regulate violent video games once and for all, having no connections whatsoever to the shooting since the shooting tragedy were targeted by those of race and beliefs. It’s just annoying to hear how easily avoidable these people feel when it comes to investigating and taking responsibility towards preventing mass murders such as these four events. No matter how many times scientists and representative has discussed about the connection between violent video games and real world violence, as well as out cry and anger from people in the United States against gun violence, it seems that they just don’t care, willing to put more lives on the line until they are able to get what they want. And let’s say this in a hypothetical world that we live in that video games were being found guilty and regulated as they expected and were able to get violent video games outlawed, yet Gun violence and mass shootings is still on the rise, what excuse would they have towards this? Would it be, “Welp! We’re sorry about that?” Well sorry isn’t going to help fix things up now would they. Unfortunately, things won’t change and so long as there are violent video games in this world, there is still something they’ll blame on to avoid getting on the negative shoulders of our politician and organization. Dishonorable Mention: Kyoto Animation Arson Attack Outside of Gaming I decided to give a special Dishonorable mention when it comes to pop culture world and nothing comes to my mind more than the Kyoto Animation Arson Attack in July. Suspect Shinji Aoba has started a massive fire at the studio headquarters, killing 36 people and hurting 39, making this one of the worst attacks in Japanese history since the aftermath of World War II. The suspect Shinji Aoba has had been reported for several criminal offenses including mental illness and revenge, for what has yet to be disclosed. This tragic event caused a major set back on awards and releases the company was set to have in 2019 and 2020, and some of their work were recovered. However, with the good gracious of several other animation studios and fans support, Kyoto Animation has returned to their normal daily life and even trained new future employees on sketching, animation, and movies, giving a better hope for Kyoto Animation in the future. Let’s us hope that Kyoto can shine through this painful moment. 1 Twitch shitty TOS I maybe under hot water for this and there may be a chance I would join Mixer following this post, but I feel that each year Twitch has a way to screw people over and more so those who were more in the innocence of streaming than the others. Twitch has been under fire over the past couple of months for punishing those who were cosplaying or involved in a scary moment during IRL streamer, stating that their conduct of performance deemed fowl and distasteful for viewers and that their violating the code of conduct Twitch has. Meanwhile other Twitch users such as Tfue, who uses racial slurs during his stream, Alinity, who abuses her cat, were instead overlooked, getting away with no reciprocation nor punishment for their actions at all, especially when their videos have gone viral including on social media such as Twitter and Facebook and articles such as Polygon and Kotaku. It seems money were important when it comes to such streamers since these streamers pop up large number of viewers and advertising revenue, but not all the time a streamer would play ball. Fornite sensation, Ninja, has left Twitch in the Summer to join up with Mixer, stating marketing and financial downfall with the major gaming streaming guru. And what did Twitch do in response to Ninja’s departure? Did they focus on small streamers to help build up a better gaming community? Did they decide to find someone that can be their next cornerstone of gaming? NOPE! They decided to stream pornography videos on Ninja’s old page. Class act folks. While I’ll always stream on twitch and many of you too, there is an odd feeling there’s a glass ceiling over our heads, waiting to be smacked hard when we reach a certain point and get slapped with a suspension for being ourselves, not some a-hole or a need of desperate attention through naughty attitude, but being able to game what we love and chatting with viewers about various topics. Twitch may need to revise their policies and even look over the loads of elephants in the room, otherwise, we may see another mass exodus that could eventually put Twitch out of business. See something that I missed, let me know in the comment section below. Be sure to Thumbs up this blog and stay tune as the Best of 2019 is coming around soon. Stay Awesome everyone.
  15. Xeno

    Video games award 2003

    Folks! Can you feel it? In just a short few hours we are going to have our annual games award show. A chance to acknowledge the best that video games has offered over the past 12 months. And while this year do have some strong contentions, not all the time do we feel that the games involved are worth it. Whether it's the categories, the games, or most of all the selected winners, there is always something that can cause a divisible remarks on whether the winner select was actually the right one, especially when you have to look back at the very first video games award. Not many award shows were dedicated to video games at that time. Most of it were done on gaming magazines or internet websites. G4 TV has done a video games award in 2003, but they call it the best of 2003, not so as an award show. But for the first time, video games were able to get their recognition on a cable network that slowly gaining its popularity. However, what we got is a showcase as to why we ought to leave it to critics and fans of said hobby, ones who knows a lot about video games and what makes them great, and not some group that has a single minded on what the network is all about. Let's see how they screwed things up. Looking at the list of awards it seems as if things look like another other award show you find on websites or magazines, especially up to this date. With awards such as Fighting Game of the Year, Action Game of the Year, and Shooting Game of the Year, along with the convenient Game of the Year award, it feels as if things would be properly set for a fun show. Except for some odd awards such as Best Game Based on a Movie award and Most Addictive Game of the Year. Saying that title really didn't age well folks when you think about it. The show presents the nominees for each award along with trailers and performances to keep the crowd entertained. And while I have yet to find the show nor their performance I will do my best to judge the show off the the winners of certain awards. For starters, things do look pretty well and accurate. Halo winning best PC game may a bit tough since it was against titles like Warcraft III and Command and Conquer: Zero hero. Showing how strong Halo is on PC with their online multiplayer and use for the popular show Red vs Blue. Jedi Knights of the Old Republic winning Fantasy game of the year was on the mark since Star Wars was at its peak at that time and Lucas arts games were making great games, also being able to roleplay as a Jedi sounds cool. Call of Duty winning Shooting game of the year gave us a precursor of the games popularity and what lies ahead of the series capability before it goes down the drain. Awards like Handheld and Performance of the year was able to acknowledge for the hard work that the men and women have done into making these games, well before some award shows were able to pick up these awards. Then...there are these awards. Best Animation of the Year gives a great excuse to award DOA Xtreme Volleyball with the award. Apparently, tits and ass outbeats anime and comic style any time of the day. The driving game of the year is given to Nascar. No disrespect to the racing genre but seeing this list makes the award feel very underwhelming, as racing wasn't really at its peak at this time. Best fighting game of the year award is given to a wrestling game. Yes. WWE Here comes the Pain trumped power house Soul Calibur II, SNK vs Capcom 2, Def Jam Vendetta, and Virtua Fighter 4 for the award. I wonder if the award has to do with the fact that WWE Raw was on Spike TV at that time. Although these awards would raise an eyebrow, nothing speaks controversy then the biggest award of all, Game of the Year award. Why? Ladies and Gentlemen, your game of the year is…..Madden 2004 ...Seriously. In what would become on of the most laughing and most questionable moment to this date, Madden 2004, a game that did not win Sports Game of the Year, mind you, was able to beat GTA Vice City, Legend of Zelda Windwaker, Star Wars, Socom, and yes, the game that beat the title for Sports Game of the Year, Tony Hawk Underground!! Won Game of the Year award. Why?! What makes this so special? Don't get me wrong, I don't think Madden is a bad game nor do I believe it was terrible to be included, but to overlook such popular games as what I have listed above feels like these people who run the award show has no idea on what gaming is all about. What makes it painful was the demographic mindset at that time and their motto. Spike TV was not a great place to host a video games award since the ideal of the channel was everything for Men, meaning that video gaming at that time wasn’t strongly manly at that time. While I can be wrong at this theory, the verdict stands that these people aren’t capable of selecting the right categories or winners at this show. To it's credit the award show did have categories that would go on to be reused to this date, including the best music and best actor. They were able to capture ideas that no magazines are willing to cover or haven’t covered at that time and even capture the thoughts and minds of the people who are involved. The award shows did improve over the years with Spike TV embrace video gaming fully in 2006. However the quality of the show varies, some saying it was good to meh, to others describing why it sucked. The award shows now have it's own premise location on sites like YouTube and Twitch and has never looked back to going on television network. While it has improved over the years, it comes with a great reminder that not all award shows are going to bat a 100% and there will be some missteps along the way, but be glad we wouldn't have to deal with a fumble like the 2003 yet again. I'm Xeno and you all have an awesome day.
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