Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Top 7 Most Ridiculous Rhythm Game Stages

I love story-based rhythm games. They're kooky, crazy, and incredibly fun. They're also pretty short, probably taking an hour to beat depending on your skill. This is just a few of the ridiculous stages the genre throws at you.

#7: Rhythm Heaven - Munchy Monk 2

We're starting with a relatively tame one. A monk eating dumplings while his mustache grows ids tame, right?

#6: Space Channel 5 - Michael Jackson dance-off

To save the galaxy's broadcast stations from the evil villainous Blank, Ulala must save Space Michael Jackson in a dance-off with television aliens. Yep.

#5: Elite Beat Agents - Survivor

A Duke Nukem-styled character tries to destroy the zombie menace. Alright, it's strange for a rhythm game, but not too far-off. Then you realize that he's using peanuts as ammo. Let's rock.

#4: Gitaroo Man - Mojo King Bee

Battling a man dressed as a bee with a guitar isn't normal. In Gitaroo Man it is.

#3: Parappa the Rapper - Bathroom Rap

It gets even weirder in Cool mode, where he has to chase a toilet while rapping in a psychedelic tunnel. Seriously, what?

#2: UmJammer Lammy - Baby Baby!

Clearly the most logical way to deal with unruly children is to play them like a guitar. Not to mention the creepy caterpillar nurse.

#1: Gitaroo Man - Sambone Trio

A kid and his robotic jukebox dog battle against techno-skeletons by using Spanish guitarra skills. My personal favorite stage in this game, mostly due to how ridiculous it gets.

These stages are the main reason why I want to see story-based rhythm games make a comeback. They're absurd and novel, and just plain fun once you get over the weird.


Hey, look, it's a name you're not used to seeing! I hang out with Paleo and the others at Negative World, and I was attracted by the freedom this site provides, which led me to become a contributor.

I was born October 1st, 1990 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I lived there until the age of 10, when my family moved to Orlando, Florida in the States because of my dad's job. Then, at the age of 19 (last year), after finishing high school and taking a gap year, I moved back to Argentina to study what we call Social Communication here in the University of Belgrano (And part of me missed this country. I kind of never wanted to move in the first place). Anyway, it truly was less hectic than it sounds.
But I doubt you care about any of that. I'm not going to talk about my life on the site - I'm going to talk about video games! Maybe other entertainment mediums too, but mostly video games. My gaming life didn't start off on the right foot; I was a Sega kid. My first system was a Genesis. I played the hell out of Sonic 1, Tiny Toons, Lion King, Ristar, Sonic 2, and more. It was a good time, but I never owned a classic NES or SNES. All the games I love from those systems (I honestly believe my life wouldn't be the same if I played one of my favorite games of all-time, Super Metroid, as a kid), I played many years later.

However, I never got a Sega Saturn, or a Dreamcast. My brother bought me a Nintendo 64 for my birthday and I never looked back. Super Mario 64 was cool, but what really sealed the deal for me was Banjo Kazooie. I had never played anything that amazing in my life. That's what made me a believer in Nintendo.

Well, no, it wasn't. At least not entirely. It helped tremendously, but here's what sold my soul to Nintendo: I got a Game Boy soon after its launch. You know where this is going - I got Pokemon Red. My life was changed forever. The anime and the trading cards helped, but the games were always, even as a kid, what truly made me love the franchise. To this day, Pokemon is my favorite gaming franchise; I played through Pokemon Black/White in its entirety twice and I plan on starting a third playthrough soon.

Since the Nintendo 64 I've owned every Nintendo system to come out (except the 3DS, I don't think it's worth it yet. I'll buy it when Star Fox 64 comes out, though), plus a PS2 and a PS3. My favorite gaming franchises are Pokemon, Metroid, and classic Sonic at the very top, then I also enjoy Star Fox, Mario, Zelda, Jak & Daxter, Donkey Kong Country, Sly Cooper, Pikmin, and many more. Like I said, mostly Nintendo ones.

Anyway, that's enough of my ramblings. Like I said, I like the writing freedom this site offers, and the editors are really cool guys, so I'm sold. You'll see me write, um, stuff in the future. Mostly Reviews and News. I like those. And the occasional feature. Smell ya later!

I included random pictures of things I like in this piece.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Minecraft is Awesome: Giant Minecraft World!

Since Paleo recently discovered the joys of Minecraft I thought I'd share these series of videos from the Video Games Awesome/Awesome Video Games people.

This is the fourth one of these they've done and it shows a lot of the extremely creative stuff that people can do in Minecraft. In this one they make a 1/16th scale environment complete with a giant NES and SNES.

Also I'd like to welcome GelatinousEncore to our little group.

Jamie Pogue's Pokemon Mural

Recently a buddy of mine named Jamie wanted to do a special project. He posted it over at Negative World and I put in a request to be chose. The requirements were to post your top-six favorite Pokemon as well as suggest a theme for the photo and he would do a cartoon-ish digital painting about it. I came at him quick, with one of the first, if not the first, requests and it turns out he ended up choosing me! I was elated! Psyched! Eager to see what was going to come of this.

So I told him my favorite Pokemon were Dragonite, Mew, Bulbasaur, Politoed, Haunter, and Magmortar. Ever since the first Pokemon game, I've always had this weird fondness of Cinnabar Island. In fact, my current Simisear in Pokemon White is nicknamed Cinnabar. So I told Jamie to paint me and those Pokemon with Cinnabar Island in the background, at that point in the old games where you've just finished that part and you end up returning to your hometown for the final gym. It was always a favorite of mine. The sample is below but you can download the full resolution version here.

After weeks of working... Jamie finished his work and it is wonderful. I had to post it to the PK Gaming community and give this man props. You can hire him to do all sorts of projects if you like, but no matter what, you owe it to yourself to check out this great Philadelphia artist.

The Website of Jamie Pogue

Jamie also was a key artist in IGN's Week of Zelda Art special. He did three of them, which thumbs are posted below. For full versions visit Jamie's page or IGN.com.

Evil Eagle



Pretty damn great eh?

Wii 2 Specs leaked?

Interesting if true.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Negative World Podcast

Well, I've been thinking over the past couple of weeks, and I've decided that PK Gaming is going to stop the podcast for now, and instead, plug the podcast of our good friends over at Negative World, since we're pretty much related to the place due to most of the active editors here are from there, including me.

The latest podcast was their 10th episode, and it has been a blast participating in it. I have been on four of the episodes, DrFinkelstein has been on two, and Mr. Saturn has been on one. That's part of the reason I wanted to start plugging it, since PK Gaming editors are part of the podcast anyway.

Here is a link to the 10th podcast, you can listen to it directly there, or download it:

Negative World Topic

I'll be changing the podcasts page to feature the Negative World podcast with a link to their blogger and a link to subscribe.

I'm not sure if we'll ever do the PK Gaming podcast again, so I'm suspending it until further notice. The Negative World podcast just seems to be the place for us right now, so I'll be plugging that from now on and posting when they have a new episode up.

So yeah... take a listen.

Friday, May 27, 2011

My New Addiction: Minecraft

I'm probably the last person to buy minecraft, but boy, have I fallen in love with it. I understand why people like it so much now. I first bought it a couple weeks ago when my friend Tyler mentioned he was going to start playing it, so I joined him and a few other friends on a multiplayer survival server to see what it was all about... and I had a ton of fun. Unfortunately the server went down a few times, and I didn't take any screenshots, but still- Minecraft is fun. Just trying to gather materials to survive in the world is one of the aspects of the game I find exhilarating. Another thing I love about it is how every world you start is randomly generated, and exploring that world, finding different biomes and formations.

The game runs pretty well on my netbook, but I can only set the render distance to normal and the graphics to fast. Sometimes my netbook reboots itself as well when I multitask too much... but I'll get more into that later, I'll probably get a desktop sometime over the summer so I can continue to play PC games.


Yeah... Minecraft... it's awesome. If you haven't bought it yet, do so now.

And I made this anthro Dragonair skin for myself, check it out:

Senor Boligrafo is Ink by the way.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Songs that should be in Rock Band: Go for a Soda

This song is fairly unknown... I think. I heard it on American Dad one day and looked it up because I liked the chorus for it. It's pretty catchy. I had never even heard of Kim Mitchell before looking this up... huh...

Anyway, that's the song for this week...


What? You were expecting more?

Well... I should write more... but... I have... an addiction... so I'm not in a very good mood to write at this moment.

More on that later this week.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Five Games You Could Play May 21st, aka Rapture Day

Yes another group has predicted the coming of The Rapture, when Jesus will come back to Earth and bring about the end of the world. Or something like that, I forget. Well so far they are batting .000 as far as these kind of predictions are concerned and I have no real confidence that this one will come true either. So I thought what five games would be a great way to celebrate yet another Not End of the World with five games that deal with The End of World? Especially since the events after an apocalyptic event are very common story ground for games. I mean I came up with 5 but there are tons more out there.

Warning: There could be some spoilers.

Top 5 Games to Play About the End of the World

Crystalis - In 1997, Nuclear War happened. In the preceding 100 years mankind has risen from the ashes, forsaken technology and gone back to the ways of magic. What also rises is the evil Dragonian Empire who wish to subjugate the new world and are using magic and technology to accomplish it. As the hero, it is your mission to help the resistance and stop Dragonia's attempt at another Apocalyptic event.

Final Fantasy III/VI - One of the few games that I can remember where your character(s) experience the Apocalypse first hand. This time at the hands of the power mad clown, Kefka. I don't think I need to describe FF3/6's plot past this as it is up to your group to stop Kefka's further ambitions for destruction.

Fallout franchise -
While not a franchise I am familiar with, I do know that it involves life after a Nuclear War and dealing with all the mutants and stuff that go with it.

Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon - As Seto, you search through a post-apocalyptic Japan in search of more people and a mysterious girl you meet early on. As you go you will learn why the people of the world vanished seemingly into thin-air and fight ghost pants. Ghost pants that laugh at you. Stupid ghost pants.

God of War III -
This is the only game in this list that differs from the norm. Typically you play as character reacting to events after the Apocalypse but in God of War III Kratos single-handedly brings on the end by brutally murdering most of the Olympians who have wronged him which in turn destroys the balance of whatever aspect of order that God presided over.

Now as I said this is a shortlist of games in a plot idea that is very common in gaming. So enjoy Rapture Day and if it turns out I was wrong, well, I'll see you in hell.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Games I want on the Virtual Console, Vol. 1

So... I've been pretty obsessed with digital distribution lately, especially considering Nintendo's Virtual Console*, so I thought I would cook up a new article series about games that have yet to show their face on the service.
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island is a game published by Nintendo that still hasn't shown it's face on the Virtual Console. I honestly thought it would've shown up by now, at least before Yoshi's Story did, but nope. I have owned this game both back when I had an SNES as a kid and the port to the GBA as a teenager, but I'm craving to play it again, and this time I won't be able to fall back to my bad habit of selling games if I get it on the Virtual Console. Yoshi's Island is a cutesy game, but its looks doesn't detract from its excellent gameplay and the 'just right' challenge of difficulty.
Terranigma actually never came out here in the states or Canada, but it would be an excellent game to release on the virtual console so those of us in North America can enjoy it. I watched a review of it on 16-bit gems and it piqued my interest. I feel like I should play more Action RPGs, and this one would probably satisfy my curiosity for the genre.
Another action RPG, but a little more well-known, though not by much. Secret of Evermore is Secret of Mana's less popular little brother. This was also reviewed by 16-bit gems, but that's not why I became curious about it. I first saw this game in a retro game shop and the cover art on the cartridge really interested me. As I read up about the story, my curiosity only grew more. I hope that square enix will decide to release this gem on the VC eventually.
Treasure is no stranger to putting up their games on the virtual console, even import games like Alien Soldier and Sin & Punishment (though that was partly Nintendo's doing). This, however, was one of the few N64 games they worked on, and it's a bit of a cult classic. I've watched gameplay on youtube of this game and I would love to play it. It would also add to the lacking variety of N64 games on the Virtual Console right now...
You know this was coming. I've played Earthbound, most everyone here at PK Gaming has. I do not own a cartridge or anything, so I had to play it on *gasp*, an emulator. I wouldn't mind actually owning it on the Virtual Console though. Again, Roo explains why Nintendo might not have put it up on the VC just yet in his review. Though... I'm not buying the explanation really, I think Nintendo is just holding out on us. Why else would they keep Yoshi's Island back for this long? I'm suspecting that they're afraid they'll run out of games to release in the future so they're spacing them out very sparingly... but the Wii has already had a great run and its successor is just over the horizon... so what are they waiting for? Do they just want to keep those other unreleased VC games for the launch of the successor? *shrugs* Who knows.

Anyway, those are my first five games that I wish will make it to the Virtual Console sometime soon. I'll do another article about this again sometime soon once I think of more games. While waiting for that, why don't you readers tell me a game that you have been wanting on the virtual console?

*Comments about 'just play it on an emulator' will be ignored and eaten. I have been discussing this with people for quite a while and I feel that it may make a good debate topic in one of the upcoming podcasts, either here or on one of Negative World's podcasts.

A Little Wednesday WTF: Super Mario Bros. Anime

Yep a Mario anime. Not great but better than the movie we got.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Songs that should be in Rock Band: Take a Picture

I love this song. i always wanted to make a music video with it including some of my photography. The subject matter and how the song came to be is sort of strange, but I just love how it sounds. Filter first came onto the Rock Band scene with another hit song of theirs, 'Hey Man, Nice Shot' on the Rock Band 3 setlist. I feel that it's just a matter of time now until this song gets released on the music store.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Michelangelo's Pizza Taste Test

While not directly game related this does relate to something near and dear to my heart, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and pizza. In this James Rolfe (aka the AVGN) and his friends sample the various pizza toppings mentioned in the TMNT cartoon from the late '80s/early '90s. Not surprisingly most of these combinations are rather bad. I remember thinking only a turtle would like those combinations and it turns out I was right.

Some swearing is involved but not all that much really.

Also check out James' site, Cinemassacre.com. He does a lot more than just AVGN and a lot of it is rather entertaining.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Songs that should be in Rock Band: Lunatic Fringe

Whoa, sorry, I haven't been paying much attention to the blog lately. Final exams were given in the past few days, so I haven't had much time to write anything. I'll still keep this article series going though!

This is a song I heard a few times when I was little, but the keyboard in it just stuck in my mind, so when I heard it again on the radio as an adult, it brought back many happy memories of going to the beach with my mom and dad. There's a lot of songs that I remember because of hearing them on the radio during our beach trips, and this is just one of them. I really just want to play that keyboard part because it just sounds so awesome! Not the beginning... you'll know what part I'm describing about is around 2:15 of the video.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Zelda-Nation: Thursday Trailer Edition

June 19th people!

Sorry for the cop-out.

Also as bonus the 44 minute long preview video Nintendo released prior to OoT's release in Japan.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Five Wii games that probably won't make it to North America

It was gloomy this morning, so I'm feeling pessimistic today. So let's talk about some games that could really help out the Wii drought in North America, but they probably won't even make it here.


This game has actually been confirmed to be coming out in Europe. So you guys across the pond will be getting this. No word has been stated about it coming to North America though. It's an action RPG that is said to convey the feeling of freedom through large, expansive environments. The game scored a 36/40 in Famitsu magazine. You know how much I love exploration. If it doesn't release here, I may have to import it from Europe.

Captain Rainbow

Now I'm pretty sure this game will never make it to North America, and I don't think Nintendo has any plans to release it anywhere outside of Japan. It was developed by Skip Ltd., the same people that made Chibi-Robo and the Art Style games. The game is about a superhero named Captain Rainbow who has a T.V. show that is falling in the ratings, so to try to get them back up, he visits a place called Mimin Island, where wishes are said to come true. It scored a 31/40 in Famitsu magazine, but unfortunately, didn't sell well, which may be the reason it will never release here. The game features many minor Nintendo characters from the past, and that's the main reason I'd like to play this game.

The Last Story

It pains me to say it, but I really don't think this will be coming over here, no matter how much we clamor for it. One of the big things about this game is that the music was composed by Nobuo Uematsu, the main composer for the Final Fantasy series. This is another action RPG that has some pretty striking visuals for... uh... I dread saying this... for a Wii game. I know, I know, calm down fellow Nintendo fans. Anyway, the game scored a 38/40 in Famitsu magazine. I hope Nintendo decides to prove me wrong and release it here.

Earth Seeker

It seems like I'm the only one that has really been keeping up with this game, there hasn't even been a wikipedia page on it yet! Is it really that unpopular? It has yet to come out in Japan, but will release there on June 23rd. This is... you guessed it, another action RPG. Check out the trailer above, it's pretty colorful and the character designs are a bit strange, but I love the enemy design and the look of the world. The game is developed by a company called Crafts & Meister... I've never heard of them. One destructoid article suggested that XSEED should pick this up to publish in North America... it seems like one of the games they're known for publishing.

Pandora's Tower

This is another game that has yet to come out, but will be releasing in Japan very soon, on May 26th that is. I don't have much to say about this game because I haven't kept up with it as much, but from what I can tell by the trailer, it seems to be a sort of God of War-style action game. So far I'm pretty indifferent to it. I'll just wait and see what happens, but it wouldn't hurt if they decided to bring it over here. I'd buy it, just sayin'.

Well, those are five games that I think might not make it over here to North America. All but one of them are Nintendo-published, and it saddens me to think that the non-Nintendo-published one is the most likely one to make it over here. I feel like Nintendo may not care if we have these games or not, because they know that if they are brought over here, they will have lackluster sales because there's not enough interest in them, especially since they are all original IPs, and I find that very disturbing. Original IPs are what keeps video games interesting. Sure, I love playing the latest Mario, Zelda, Metroid or whatever established Nintendo franchise there is... but sometimes... I crave something different, and that's what all of these games are.

So tell me, what are your thoughts on these games? Do you think they'll ever make it over here? Do you care?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Songs that should be in Rock Band: Hunger Strike

I say again, I wish I was a teenager in the 90's. Temple of the Dog was a band that was concieved by the lead singer of Soundgarden, Chris Cornell, as a tribute to his friend that died of a heroin overdose. There was only one album, but it had some pretty good songs on it. In this one, Eddie Vedder is actually providing lead vocals while Chris Cornell sings backing vocals. This is another one of those songs I thought of because of Rock Band 3's inclusion of harmonies. I think it would be awesome to play sing this song with one of my friends. I think I'd have to sing Eddie Vedder's part though, I have a lot of trouble emulating Chris Cornell.

Top 5 Movie Games

Well it is that magical time of year again. The time of year where bloated special FX and spectacle dominates the movie scene. Yes it is the Summer Blockbuster season, which starts in May and usually goes till August.

This summer we have a glut of super-hero movies, the last Harry Potter film, a new Pixar film, another Transformers movie that will probably disappoint and who knows what else. And with this comes video games based on said movies, which are almost invariably rushed and released to coincide with the movie as a cash-in rather than a game that can stand on its own. It is an unfortunate reality that we all have to live with that have plagued games since the earliest days, whether it was the disaster known as E.T. the video game for the Atari 2600, the games that the masters of licensed crap LJN released for the NES or modern day disasters like Iron Man, these games typically only sell because of the name and little else.

But despite this overall bleak view of games based off movie, there is still many good to great movie based video games that are more than a licensed cash-in. And while these are my favorites, there are more out there.

Top 5 Movie Games

5. Batman Returns - SNES

A 2D Final Fight styled beat-um up from Konami, this game had you more or less following the path of the movie as you bashed your way through The Penguin,, his army of clowns and dealing with the mysterious Catwoman. The games has 3 game styles, the standard Final Fight-style stages, 2D platforming stages and 3D-ish driving stages. The best part of the Final Fight-style stages has you kicking the crap out of the clowns, not to mention throwing them into the background to bash against the walls. The 2D platforming is basically the same controls but enemies die in one hit and you have do some kinda clunky platforming. The 3D-ish driving stages usually have you surviving a horde of motorcycles and a boss fight. Not much to say as you just control and shoot. Despite the iffier modes, the overall package is fantastic.

4. Little Nemo: The Dream Master - NES

As you may recall from my retro review of Little Nemo, this is a game based off a movie. Now not very many people knew this because to be honest, how many people actually saw Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland? This game benefited, like many on this list actually, from not really following the movie's story and being its own game. So instead you go into many dream themed environments to rescue King Morpheous from the Nightmare King and save Slumberland. And considering it was made by Capcom who had an almost impeccable 8-bit line-up you really can't go wrong with this great platformer.

3. Aladdin - SNES/Genesis

While I am kind of cheating with this one as the Aladdin games for the SNES and Genesis are very different games. The SNES one, made by Capcom, is more or less a straight-up platformer that focuses on Aladdin's nature as an acrobatic thief to traverse the levels. The Genesis one, made by Virgin Interactive, is a hack and slash with beautifully drawn character sprites and is easily the more well-known of the two. Both games pretty much follow the plot with some amusingly similar plot deviation. While both are good, I prefer the Super NES one for the overall package and also that I feel it is more akin to how Aladdin would actually traverse his world. But preferences will differ.

2. Batman: The Video Game - NES

Yes I have two on here. But I especially picked this one because as far as I know it may very well be the first good movie based game ever. While not following the movie's plot from what I can tell, there are references to the movie in cutscenes but the seem thrown in to give the game a semblance of relation to the movie. The game goes through 5 stages, which barely have anything to do with the movie and Batman plays very little like the movie version of him. Instead of being a walking tank (though he is) Batman, along with his punch, relies also on a gun with 3 attack options and a very useful wall jumping ability, necessary to get through some of the more difficult parts of the game. The game is short but very hard and will kill you many times especially in the later levels. Also the music rocks.

1. Goldeneye 007 - N64

Goldeneye is important for a couple reasons, one being the best movie game of all time and also for bringing a great console only FPS experience to the consoles. What is amazing is that this game was given a lot of time to mature as it was released 3 years after the movie it was based on which given the a nature of movie-based games is almost entirely unheard of. What Rare gave us was a game that followed the plot reasonably well while expanding the narrative quite a bit. Though I'm pretty sure what most people remember is the multiplayer. Many hours were lost playing deathmatch on this game and is typically what people remember the most. It was such a nostalgic game that Activision gave Wii owners an exclusive update of the game, which while different from the N64 game, plucked on the old nostalgia heart strings for many of us.

Honorable Mentions: Spider-Man 2 (GCN, XBox, PS2), Journey to Silus (NES) (it was meant to be a Terminator based game and it shows), Lion King (SNES/Genesis)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Gaming on a Budget: 3D Dot Game Heroes & Muramasa: The Demon Blade

3D Dot Game Heroes
Price New: $15.03

Yes I know I already covered the Atlus sale from 2 weeks back but these two games feature fairly atypical graphical styles and are just plain fun games. Get 3D Dot Game Heroes if you are interested in a classic Zelda style game with 3D retro graphics with plenty of in-jokes for those in the know. Get Muramasa if you just like a good hack 'n' slash with RPG elements and a hand-drawn art style that is a increasingly rare thing nowadays.

Muramasa: The Demon Blade
Price New: $12.83

And a bonus new game:

Portal 2 (PS3, 360, PC)
Price New: $34.99 (PS3/360), $29.99 (PC)

I can't recommend this game enough. Portal 2 expands on everything the first Portal offered and makes them better. Not only that is hilarious. And us PS3/PC folks can play it cross platform which is pretty damned neat. I don't know how long this particular sale will last so get it now.