Monday, December 4, 2017

Mega Man X1 - 8 Coming to Consoles and PC in 2018

On top of the Mega Man 11 news, Capcom has also announced that Mega Man X1 - X8 will be coming to PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC in 2018.

While the classic series is typically what is mostly talked about today, the X series marked the first time Mega Man evolved past it's "simple" platforming roots, and took full advantage of the SNES' new hardware. Taking place in the far future after the classic series, X is a much darker take on the Mega Man story as a whole. With the introduction of dashing and wall jumping, X was a much faster paced game than the originals, and it would eventually go on to spin off two sequel series as well (those being the Zero and ZX series).

Although the X series is different, the classic Mega Man charm is still there, and is a series well worth playing if you're into action platforming games. They can get quite challenging at times, but with a little practice you can master them in no time. Of course not all of the games are always held in the highest regards (especially when they jumped into 3D with X7), but they are all still fun to play.
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Mega Man 11 - Announced! (Trailer)

Well the Capcom-Unity live stream is over, and now I have some big news to share with all of you. Mega Man 11 has been announced, and you can now check out the trailer below!

Although not too much is known about the game at the moment, it is set to be released in 2018, releasing for all major consoles (and PC), uses a 2.5D hand drawn style, and is the first Mega Man game to really take the series into the next generation. It's been quite some time since we've had a new game, but now it is finally happening!

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Sonic Forces - Review


Sonic The Hedgehog. It's a series that has always been special to me, and something I've been playing since I was a little kid. I can still remember the first time I played Sonic 1 over at my cousin's house, I can picture myself watching the cartoons every morning before heading off to school, and the Christmas I got a Dream Cast and Sonic Adventure continues to be one of my favorite memories. Then when I got older, I got my start online thanks to Sonic Adventure 2 and it's official Chao BBS. It's been a long ride, and a part of me still gets excited when I get the chance to pick up a brand new game in this series. Sadly, it's been quite some time since Sonic returned to his "standard" 3D games. While Sonic Boom attempted to be a new series, and Lost World went down a more platform based path, we haven't really seen a normal Sonic 3D action game since 2011's Sonic Generations. So when Sonic Forces was announced at Sonic's birthday event in 2016 it was easy to see why they would be excited. "Finally we're getting the follow up to Generations we've been waiting for!" That's the thought many fans had that day... But how do they feel now? Roughly a year and a half after the announcement, and Sonic Forces has finally been released! But how is it? Well...

The Story:

The story of Sonic Forces is a familiar one, yet also very different. The evil Dr. Eggman has once again decided to try to take over the world, and he launches an attack. Of course, being the hero he is, Sonic quickly jumps into action to stop him, but things quickly go south. Rather than taking down Eggman like he always does, Sonic comes face to face with multiple enemies from his past (including Shadow for some reason), and is then beaten by a newcomer named "Infinite." Sonic is then thought to have been killed, Tails falls into a depression, and a resistance army built up by Sonic's remaining friends forms to take on Eggman in Sonic's place. Characters such as Knuckles, Silver, Rouge, and even the Team Chaotix members are there fighting the good fight, but they're also joined by a new character -- the player's avatar. This whole set up of forming a resistance to fight an Eggman who has already "won" is pretty similar to Sonic SATAM (the cartoon) as well as what was seen in the Sonic Comics (which continued the cartoon's story), but it doesn't really evolve too much from there.


Rather than taking the time to fully develop a story, Sonic Forces moves at a crazy fast pace. Cutscenes are quick, short, and to the point, and even the introduction of Classic Sonic (Sonic from another dimension) sorta just happens out of nowhere. He appears, he fights, and that's about it. While there are discussions between stages, these too don't really amount to much. Once again, they are short and to the point, and simply give you a reason "to do it to it." (Yes, another SATAM reference.)

The Gameplay:

Sonic Forces is the return to the Sonic Unleashed/Colors/Generations style, but with four different play styles mixed in. The game uses a mix of both 2D and 3D style gameplay, and has different character sets for each style as well.


Modern Sonic -

The first type of gameplay seen in Forces is that of "Modern Sonic's." These stages are fully 3D, and feature Sonic running through them at crazy high speeds. You collect rings that keep you alive (as if you get hit you'll lose your rings, and getting hit without at least one will kill you), you collect wisps from Sonic Colors to build up your boost, and you use boost to run at super sonic speeds and destroy every enemy in your sight. Sonic also has the ability to side step, grind on rails, switch which rails he is grinding on (by using the side step), and use an attack known as the "homing attack." Like in past games, the homing attack locks onto an enemy, has Sonic fly toward and bounce off of said enemy, and then slightly launches him into the air to either continue his attack, or do whatever else you feel like. For example, homing attack from enemy to enemy can allow you to cross gaps, but you can also instantly drop to the ground below you, or use your air boost to fly forward at higher speeds. It's really no different from what we've seen in the past, and it's Sonic's main way of attacking (outside of running enemies over with the boost). Although these stages are 3D, there are sections where it will change to a 2D side view as well. The transition happens almost instantly, but the game normally takes control of the character to avoid confusing you with the control change. On top of this, hidden red rings are placed throughout the stage for you to find as well, and there are often multiple paths to take as you make your way towards the finish line.


Classic Sonic -

Just like with Modern Sonic, the same rules of rings, collecting red rings, and taking multiple paths still apply; however, unlike Modern, Classic Sonic's stages are fully 2D. These stages are made to mirror the style from the original 2D Sonic games, and as such the modern Sonic moves and attacks have been removed as well. Rather than homing attack to kill enemies, simply jumping on them, or using the spin dash is your main way of taking them out. Classic Sonic can also jump and instantly spin dash the moment he lands, but this can also be the death of you if you don't watch out. This can sometimes be a problem for those used to holding the jump button for long periods of time, but once you get used to how it controls it can really help you out.

The Avatar -

Your Avatar is the most unique part of this game, and it's gameplay is different based on what race you choose, and what weapon your character is holding. The game allows you to choose from multiple animal types (hedgehog, cat, dog, wolf, rabbit, etc), and each type has their own abilities. For example, the hedgehog can pick up rings it's dropped from being hit, but the cat will always keep at least one ring as long as it has two or more. This means you'll need to choose an avatar with the skills that suit your styles the best, and then choose a weapon type as well. Weapons are unlocked by completing different missions or challenges from a checklist, and they too provide you with different skills. For example, the starting weapon has a flame thrower attack, and allows you to use the rocket wisp to shoot yourself upward, while a lighting based weapon (they are called "Wispons" here) will attack with a giant whip and allow you to shoot through the air following paths of rings or paths of enemies (similar to the Light Speed Dash from past Sonic games). Of course you have to pick up a Wisp to use these abilities like these, but they are always placed around the stages and easy to find.


As for how the avatar plays... It's a mix of Modern Sonic, and something all it's own. Homing attack was replaced with a graphing hook that allows you to lock onto an enemy and pull yourself towards it, but your main way of attacking is your weapon. Avatar's wont be boosting around and homing attack at high speeds like Sonic, and they are often left open to enemy attacks while they are in the air. Of course Avatar's also have access to their own style of shortcuts (which come in the form of floating objects you can swing from), and this comes more into play in the final style of gameplay Forces has to offer.

Team Gameplay -

In an almost Sonic Heroes style of gameplay, the fourth and final stage type you'll come across are the team stages. Here you play as both Modern Sonic and the Avatar to race through fully 3D stages. While one character will take the lead, you'll be able to switch between the two at a moment's notice to advance through the stages and overcome obstacles. Sonic will allow you to dash boost through multiple enemies, Avatar will let you swing from the floating ball things mentioned above, Sonic will quickly homing attack from enemy to enemy, and the Avatar will make use of wisp powers to access areas Sonic normally cannot. It's basically both character's stage types mixed into a single stage, and it actually works pretty well. There are also times where you'll do a team boost, but this just amounts to button mashing and watching a scene play out without much input from you the player. You'll see the two characters speed along destroying everything in their way, and sometimes get to move left and right as you pick up rings for some extra points.


Challenges -

To go along with everything listed above, Sonic Forces has a checklist of challenges for you to complete. These range from things as simple as equipping a piece of gear to your Avatar, to completing a stage with an S rank. Doing such challenges will in return unlock new clothing and accessories for your Avatar, and completing one of the daily challenges you get, you guessed it, each day will give you a score boost for a limited time. This makes getting S ranks in stages much easier, but the bonus only lasts for so long. Although these challenges may not amount to too much, they do give you a reason to replay previously beaten levels.

SOS Missions -

Besides the challenges, SOS missions also give you a reason to replay stages. Once in awhile you'll receive a notification that a freedom fighter (okay, fine, they're called resistance members) is in trouble and needs saving. During these moments you must go back through the area they are stuck in, and save them. Not much more too it than that...

Extra Stages -

And finally you have the extra stages you can unlock by beating levels, and completing challenges. These are mini stages that often task you with overcoming some gimmick (such as platforms that vanish, or racing exploding boxes), and simply add some extras for you to complete. Of course finishing them also unlocks more things for your Avatar, so they are worth doing -- assuming you care about your Avatar that is.



The Good and the Bad:

Sonic Forces is not an easy game to judge, and honestly it's a game that many will either like for what it is, or flat out hate it. On one hand the game's music is pretty good, the voice acting is great, the Avatar system is interesting, and it has both Modern and Classic gameplay... But on the other, it also feels like a major down grade from 2011's Sonic Generations.

While the game is fun to play through, it is also extremely short with levels that end just as they start to become fun. One minute you'll be boosting through the first mob of enemies excited to see the stage ahead of you, and then the very next you'll be going down a water slide with little interaction until you reach the goal. Stages like these don't even feel like full stages, and feel more like a mini distraction -- except they're not. Sadly this sort of thing is seen throughout the entire game, with most of the levels following a very linear path with next to no alternate routes for you to take. Mix that in with the fact that all three characters have funky jumping physics (they drop like a rock), and that can also call for some very annoying platforming sections that cannot be bypassed. These issues are most apparent in the 2D sections of the levels, but 3D sections that ask you to homing attack enemies not directly in front of you can be problematic as well. Once you jump you cannot change the aim of your homing attack, and the lock on mechanic will not always target the enemy you want to hit (thankfully this is mostly seen only during the first boss). Although the game is very easy in general (even on the game's "hard" setting), it can be a bit challenging simply due to the clunky controls and physics -- when this really shouldn't be the case. The good news is these moments are mostly isolated to a few select sections of the game, and they are spaced out throughout the story. Yes, they are annoying, but they aren't constantly in your face. Sadly the fact that there are four types of game play styles also means some characters get the shaft (Classic Sonic), even though the stages and styles are pretty well spaced out in general. Sure, this is an issue that could've been fixed by giving each character ten or so stages of their own, but that didn't happen.


Overall Sonic Forces really is a mixed bag. This is not the grand adventure some of you may have been waiting for, and it's not a game that will live up to past games content wise. Instead it's a shorter and much simpler run through Sonic's world, that can be fun to play in short bursts, and great for speed runs. Rather than being a game you'll spend hours on doing everything, it's the type of game you'll sit down and knock out in a few hours, and come back to when you feel like it. In a way, that makes it more similar to Sonic's past 2D games, rather than his 3D outings. Yes, it would've been nice if it were something more, but it can still be enjoyed as is. On the flip side the game will be expanded with DLC, and Shadow's side story was already released at launch. This free episode pack added in a few stages for Shadow to play through, provided a bit more of background story, and unlocked the ability to play as Shadow in all Modern Sonic stages. While it isn't much, it's still nice to finally be able to play as Shadow again. Let's just hope these free updates continue, because Shadow wasn't the only thing missing from the final game... But let's avoid talking about that due to spoilers...
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Thursday, November 2, 2017

.hack//GU Last Recode - Launch Trailer

It's finally back. .hack//GU Last Recode is releasing tomorrow, and once again we get to log into The World. This collection not only contains all of .hack//GU (Volumes 1-3), but a brand new 4th volume has been added as well. It doesn't matter if you're a long time fan, or a newcomer, this is a game for everyone. Check out the brand new trailer below, and for more information on .hack, just click the ".hack" tag below to see our past posts.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

Well it's Halloween again, and once again the years fly on by! Of course I rarely do anything for Halloween (outside of celebrating my grandpa's birthday), but it seems like every year I end up spending the rest of the playing some sort of game -- and it's typically the same game! I guess it's just the dates they release on, but it almost never fails. So what is this game/series I'm talking about? Assassin's Creed of course.

The AC series is something I'll play to kill time during Thanksgiving too, but with a lot of the games releasing in October, I end up having it for Halloween as well. In one case though, things were a bit different, and a (somewhat) funny story came out of it.

You see Assassin's Creed II was finally coming out in just a few weeks, and I couldn't wait. To get myself ready for the next chapter I decided to spend some time with the original game. It was my first year in college at the time, and I remember my mom's friend stopping by with her young kids. I didn't think much about it, but as soon as they looked in my room and saw me riding a horse, they flipped. The problem? The moment they started walking in here I had already left the horse, and had a knife jabbed through some guard's neck. I paused the game instantly, and sat there looking at the kids as they eagerly waited for me to unpause so they could see what I was playing... Yeah, that wasn't easy to do.

I don't remember how I managed to pull it off (maybe I shut the TV off and unpaused?) But afterwords the kids stayed in my room and watched me play. I had to do my best to avoid killing people, but they were excited to see me riding around again. I’m not sure how long they stayed watching me, but they seemed to really like the game (or at least what I was able to show them). Of course I didn’t tell them the name of the game, or tell their parents what one it was.

That wouldn’t be the first, or the last, time I had to hide the game from them, but it was the only time in Halloween. When AC2 came out a month later it happened again, but oh well.

Anyway that’s just one of the stories Halloween reminds me of — at least gaming related stories. It’s a fond memory now, and it’s something I think back to as I’ve been playing Origins. I’m sure those kids are grown up now... Maybe they can finally play it for themselves?
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"You Have My Game" - Short Story/Creepypasta(?)

Well for Halloween I wanted to do something different, and it also kept me from making a post yesterday. I wasn't really sure if I should be posting this or not, but after going over it a few times I figured there would be no harm done. Everyone likes a "scary story" from time to time, and hopefully this is one you've never heard before. Actually, I'm 100% sure you haven't. While I'm not allowed to go into the details of the origins of this story, let's just say I've been given full permission to post it, and I was asked that it not be shared outside of Netto's Game Room unless linked to the original source (being this post).

So anyway, I hope you guys enjoy. It might be a bit amateurish (yes, I'm apparently allowed to call it that as well) , but maybe some of you will like it? Just keep in mind that there may be some disturbing moments in this, but the language is clean (unless I overlooked something somehow). Well, once again, hope you guys enjoy!

You Have My Game 
© 2017


When I was seventeen me and my family packed up our belongings and moved to a small town in Texas. I wasn't thrilled about leaving everything behind, but as someone still in high school I had no choice. Saying goodbye to all my friends was hard, but knowing I could contact them online at any given time was comforting. "Hey man, see ya later! Get on the group chat when you can! Send a text when you get there!" Maybe these weren't their exact words, but it is close enough. At that time social media was still in it's early days, with websites now long forgotten as the kings, instant messaging programs were popular, and even basic cell phones had the ability to text. Thanks to this, you never really felt alone. I told myself that I would keep in contact with them and everything would stay the same, but I knew deep down that this was a lie. We would eventually grow apart, and I would just have to accept that. Besides, in just a year most of us would be going away to college anyway.

My new house was nice. There were two floors, and I was able to pick out which room I wanted. As an only child I didn't have to worry about fighting for it, and my parents were fine with either option. So I chose the room with a window overlooking the back yard, and began setting up my stuff. We wouldn't have internet for awhile sadly, so I was unable to join that group chat my friends had asked me to, but I did make sure to text each and every single one to know that I had made it. They were happy I was okay, but I couldn't help but feel strange as I read their messages. Maybe they seemed too happy?

Starting a new school wasn't easy, and I wasn't motivated to make new friends. I wouldn't be there for more than a year, so I focused on doing whatever I needed for college. I studied hard, spent less time talking to my friends online, cut out playing video games, and I even began looking for outside work. Anything I could put on an application to look good was fine, as long as it didn't take up too much time; I couldn't fall behind on my studies. I'm not fully sure why I became so dedicated to my school work, but if I had to guess... I wanted to show the others. Show them that one day I would become something more. You see, despite ignoring my new "classmates," they didn't ignore me.

The job I ended up going with was what I thought would be a simple one. There was an old man -- one I'll be calling "Mr. A" from now on -- who lived alone and need someone to talk to. I didn't know much about him, but this sort of thing was pretty common. They don't want to leave their home and go to a full care facility (who could blame them?), and their families worry about them and want someone to check on them from time to time. The job was unpaid, of course, and the guy only lived a few blocks over from me, so it was actually perfect. I only had to visit once every few days, talk to him for a bit, help with whatever he needed, and then get out. It left me with plenty of time in the evening, and it would go right at the top of my resume.

Mr. A was a boring man. He didn't say much, or do much. Once I spent the entire visit watching some documentary about who knows what (I'm pretty sure I actually fell asleep), and another time he had me help clean his house. He didn't have any stories to share, and no matter what questions I asked him he refused to answer. His family posted the job at the volunteer agency I went through, but I didn't even know anything about them. No pictures on the walls of Mr. A's house, no letters in the mail, no phone calls, and seemingly no past. This was an old man who sat at home, and that was it. Apparently he still drove and he did his own shopping, but he didn't seem to have any hobbies. Eventually I started to wonder why I was even going there, but I guess I should've been thankful it was so easy. I would talk to him about what I was studying at school to kill time, but who knows if he was even listening. But then, things changed.

I'll be honest. The house creeped me out. It was old, poorly lit, and reminded me of a funeral home. There were rooms closed off and locked, and never once did Mr. A offer to show me what was inside. Sure I had no reason to ask him either, but after a few months of visiting him you would've thought he'd bring it up. And shockingly, he did. (Yes, the "never once" was a lie.)

It happened one Sunday afternoon when I was getting ready to leave for the day. Mr. A was sitting on the couch watching yet another documentary, and I was getting ready to take his trash with me on my way out. As I said goodbye and turned the door knob I had a funny feeling and looked back at him. Rather than seeing the boring old man I had come to know, there he sat with a smile on his face -- something I had never seen him do.

"Hey" he said (which was also out of character for him). "Can you do me a favor before you leave?"

It turned out he wanted me to toss some things from his son's old room -- the son I had never even heard about. After all this time he had never once mentioned family, and now here he was talking about it out of the blue. I had always imagined what it would be like if he actually spoke his mind, but now that it was happening I didn't know what to say. Instead I simply listened to his request, and made my way to the newly opened room down the hall.

There wasn't much in the old room, but there were some boxes piled up in the corner. Mr. A must've been packing things up on his own earlier, and now wanted me to finish the job of chucking them. Looking back I wish I would've, but curiosity got the better of me. Rather than throwing them away, I opened the boxes and began digging through them. I'm not sure what I expected to see, but I was quite surprised when I found nothing but ancient electronics! Everything from old storage devices (ones that were so large they would crush my desktop's tower), to wires, to even an old "iconic" PC. Although I didn't quite know the state laws, I was pretty sure the dump wouldn't take any of it. That's when I went to go tell Mr. A this, but then something else caught my eye.

It was small, square, flat, and gray in color. There was a slit in the bottom of it with electrical contacts inside. Although there was no picture, there was a small piece of paper taped to it with the name "Jim" written on it. I wasn't sure if Jim was Mr. A's son's name, but I was sure about what I was holding. Even though the design was slightly different and clearly home made, there was no doubt in my mind that I was holding a classic handheld video game.

"That's my son's!!!" Mr. A's voice startled me as he seemingly appeared out of nowhere. (Or maybe he was watching me the whole time?)

I felt a little bad about digging through his stuff, but that soon passed as Mr. A began to explain. According to him his son had dreams of "making those stupid games," and had spent a lot of time working with PCs. Eventually he "grew up" and got a real job, and left everything behind. Mr. A wouldn't tell me what he was doing now days, or why he gave up on his dream, but I didn't really care anyway. If anything I was more interested in the game itself, and the old man let me have it. (He was going to throw it out anyway.)

That night I did something I hadn't in years -- I dug out my old handheld device. I had it stored in a box in the basement, and stupid me also forgot to take the batteries out before putting it away. Thankfully I was able to scrape the hardened gunk off of the contacts and power the console on, but the "Jim" game did not work. I checked another old game I had stored in a separate box just to be sure, and it worked just fine -- I even played it for a few minutes with the use of a flashlight to see (as old screens did not light themselves up). This confirmed the hardware was good, but the game I had just gotten wasn't. "Oh well," I thought. Not like I expected much from an old homebrew anyway.

The next day was the fallout. After school I logged into the group chat to talk to my friends about Jim, and instead found myself in the middle of what I'd call an attack. I guess they didn't notice I was there, but let's just say they held nothing back. My so called "friends" couldn't stand me, and I had caught them sharing their true feelings. What followed wasn't pretty, and it ended with me smashing my phone against the wall. Not like anyone was going to call me anyway... I left the group chat as well, and deactivated my account. Good riddance. I'd just make new friends in college. Just as I was about to get off my PC and cover up the hole in the wall, I suddenly felt like checking my email. Not sure why (who was going to email me?), but that's when I saw.

"You have my game," the email was titled. I thought it was strange, but I instantly my mind jumped to the game Mr. A gave me the day before. It must have been from his son, but when I opened the email there was nothing inside. The email only had a title, and it didn't tell me anything about what he wanted. Did he want the game back? That's fine, he could have it. When I went to reply to the email however, I noticed something strange. The email had actually come from myself -- or rather, he had used my email as his own.

Considering "Jim," or whatever his name was (was "Jim" the game's name? I still didn't know), was skilled when it came to programming, it wasn't too surprising to see he knew how to do this. I couldn't do it myself, but I was sure some program existed to mask your email address. What was odd though, was why he did it in the first place. If he wanted the game back why didn't he just say so? Why did he hide his address? And how did he know? Did his dad tell him? I guess that was obvious, but it was still strange to me. Mr. A, a man who never talked about his family, was suddenly telling his son he gave his game away to me? The very same game he was going to throw away? It didn't add up. Deciding I should just ask Mr. A myself, I headed over to his house right after eating dinner. Monday wasn't when I was scheduled to stop by again, but I wanted to get to the bottom of this. I didn't need strange emails to distract me from my studies.

Mr. A wasn't happy. For a man who never showed emotion, he had quite the violent side to him. As soon as I mentioned his son and the game he had given me, he flipped. "WHO TOLD YOU TO GO IN THAT ROOM!? YOU STOLE FROM ME!? I'M CALLING THE COPS YOU ----! GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!" Okay, maybe his words weren't as nice as that, but you get the point. Apparently he never asked me to go into that back room, and he never gave me the game -- which I ended up keeping. I wasn't giving it back to someone so far gone. It was really quite sad, and I was kicking myself for not realizing it sooner. So I went back to the agency that had assigned me there, and let them know what had happened. They instantly took me off the job, thanked me for all my help, and said they'd let me know when something else opened up. I'm assuming the old man was put in a nursing home after, but I never saw him again.

The emails never stopped. Each day I'd get a new one, and each time it was the same. "You have my game" as the title, and no message inside. I even tried changing my email address, but somehow the guy found it each time. I guess it wasn't hurting anything, but a feeling of dread would constantly rush over me each time I saw it. I didn't like the idea of being stalked, and I had no idea how he was doing it. All my virus scans came up clean, and when I went back to the agency to learn about the old man's family, my request for information was denied. (I should've asked the day I turned him in for being nuts...) Nothing I tried turned up any information about this guy, and even my searches online came up empty. According to the internet, Mr. A had no son... Of course this was a lie. He did have a son, and now he was hiding himself from me. If he had the tools to mess with my email, I was sure erasing his online info would be a cake walk as well.

A week or so later I woke up sick. I could hardly get out of bed, and spent most of the day in the bathroom trying to keep down whatever I ate the day before. School was out of the question, and I couldn't even get myself to get on the PC. I hadn't checked my email in a few days, but by that time I didn't see much of a point. I already knew what was sitting in my inbox, and I no longer cared. He could spam me all he wanted, and it wouldn't change a thing. So instead I lied in bed, and let my mind wonder as I faded in and out of consciousness. Until I heard the back door slam shut. At first I thought I was dreaming, but when I looked out the window I could see something on my front step. I couldn't make out what it was, but I assumed it was some sort of package. So I dragged myself out of bed, walked down stairs, and opened my back door. What awaited me was something I had never imagined.

Whatever I was keeping down before, didn't stay down. On my back step was something so horrific, I don't even have words to describe it. It was pretty big sized, was black in color, and it looked like it had been buried under ground for a few years. It's body was degraded. There were pieces of flesh hanging from it's exposed insides. Flies swarmed it, and it's half skeleton legs were bent towards me in the wrong direction. It's face was dried and sunken in, yet somewhat in tact, and it's neck still had the collar I had bought for him many years ago. He was my best friend growing up, and now he was back.

The feeling was unimaginable. All the blood left my body, and all I could get myself to do was scream and thrash about. I felt so helpless. I felt like I wanted to bash someone's face in! I wanted to destroy everything in my sight! I had no idea how to handle this, and I still don't know how to put it into words! I was in complete despair, and there was nothing I could do about it. But then, I saw it. Sticking between what I assumed was a rib cage was a small piece of paper. By this point my stomach was empty, and I had nothing to lose. I reached towards my childhood dog, grabbed it, and slowly unfolded it to see what it was. Written inside were the simple words "You have my game," followed by "Tell no one."

I buried my dog in the back yard that day. I could tell my fever was getting worse, but I had to hide it as soon as possible. Before I had thought this guy was only messing with me online, but if he was able to track down my old home address out of state, find where my dog was, and bring it to my new home... He could do anything. If my parents were to find out, or if I were to call the police, there was no telling what he would do. That's when I realized something even more unsettling -- I had forgotten all about the door. I had checked the door because I heard it closed, but why was that? Why was the door opened if the dog was left outside? Did that mean he had come into the house? Or was he there to begin with...? Thankfully nothing else happened that day. When my parents came home they could tell I was upset, but they just assumed it was because I was sick. They saw the vomit outside as well. (Stupid me had forgotten to clean it up.) I ended up spending the rest of the night trying to sleep in my room, but I couldn't. That image wouldn't leave my mind. It was an image that would haunt me for the rest of my life.

After the dog incident, things only got worse. I was falling behind in my studies, and I turned down every job offer the agency came to me with. I tried my best to hide it from my parents, but I think they knew. Instead of doing homework, each night I'd browser the internet for other stories similar to what I was going through, and that eventually lead me somewhere else -- ghost stories. I never believed in ghosts, and I seriously doubted it was related to the crazy hacker I was dealing with, but I checked it out anyway. Then, I wish I hadn't.

Maybe Jim was behind it somehow, but strange things started happening in that house. At night I could hear the sounds of people talking. Voices I had never heard before. When I'd go to the bath room I'd catch a glimpse of something in the mirror that wasn't there. White lights would flash in the halls, and every once in awhile I'd hear a music box playing in the basement. This I did mention to my parents, but they brushed it all off like I was crazy. "Maybe you're stressing out too much about school, you should relax." That is the only excuse I could remember, but I knew it was wrong. If anything I was worried about Jim, and what he might've done to my home. Even so, that didn't explain the scratch marks I awoke to each day.

Before I knew it, the school year was almost over and I was failing. Teachers gave me extra credit to help boost my score, but it didn't look good and I was recommended for tutoring. I continued to check the emails each day too, scared something might happen if I missed a day, and nothing ever changed. The message was always "You have my game," and I couldn't contact Jim to give it back. So, I decided to get rid of it. I wasn't sure how He would react, but I was hoping he would leave me alone after it was gone. So I went down into my basement to get it.

That day I remember having another one of those funny feelings, like something was telling me to stay out of the basement. I wasn't sure what it was, but I ignored it and went down anyway. I couldn't hear the music box that time, but when I reached the bottom step a loud buzzing sound overtook all my senses. The world went dark, I felt like I was spinning, and before long my body crashed into the basement wall. I leaned against it for what seemed like hours, and eventually it passed, but what my eyes opened to was nothing like I had ever seen before. The basement had changed.

"This is a dream." I told myself this over and over again, but it didn't wake me up. In front of me was a nightmare, and there was no escape. The walls of the room had turned bright red, I could smell what could be described as burning rubber, and intense screams blocked out all other sound. There was a pool of some sort of liquid around my feet, and with each step it felt as if my feet were sinking into the ground. There were... Black things laying on the ground too. They looked human in shape, but they weren't human. What were they? Then the music started. It sounded like a carnival. There was dancing, and singing too. The screams stopped but the singing didn't feel happy either. It was like they were forced to sing. What were they? The world spun, and just as I thought I was about to pass out I heard someone's voice.

"Did you see the sun?"

I don't remember much after, but as I looked up at the sky I heard sirens, and then felt something pulling me away into the darkness. The next time I woke up I was in a hospital bed, and a bandage had been wrapped around my head. It took awhile for them to explain what had happened to me, but apparently I had fallen and bashed my head against the steps in the basement. When my parents came home they found me standing in my own blood, and leaning against the wall. I was lucky they found me in time.

Although I was awake then, my real nightmare wasn't over. The game still existed, and there was no one home to check my emails. Scared of what Jim might do if I missed one, I asked my parents for a favor. I told them that I had gone to the basement to get a game I wanted to throw out, and then asked them if they could throw it away for me. They both looked confused on why I wanted to get rid of it so badly, but eventually I convinced them. Don't know how. I was still going to miss an email though, so I was scared what was going to happen next. Thinking back on it now... If Jim was in my house, why didn't he just take it back for himself? Unless, was it really a ghost? Ha, yeah right.

When I opened my eyes the fire had already started. The hospital staff was scrambling to get the patients out, and I was being lead out of the room as well. They wanted me to stay in bed and rest for another day, but that wasn't an option. My IVs were pulled out, and I was racing down a hallway as flames shot up all around. The sprinkler system had failed to kick in, and who knew how long it would take the fire department to get there. All that mattered was escaping, and it was every man for himself. Of course, I had a feeling why they weren't working. And why the fire started to begin with. It was my fault. It had to be. I can't remember exactly how I got out of that building, but when I reached the streets it was strangely calm. I had lost track of the nurse who came to get me, but I didn't care. As long as that game existed in my house, things like this would keep happening to me. I had to go home and destroy it myself.

I tried to run home, I really did. I wanted to get there as soon as possible, but my body wouldn't let me. Instead I passed out -- or at least I think I did. I was walking down the street trying to keep my hospital gown closed, but with each step I felt the energy drain from my body. Just as I had done before, when I opened my eyes I found myself in a familiar place, and I instantly wanted to leave. You see, the city had become just like my dream. The sky was dark, and the city buildings of flesh and blood towered above me. The ground was even softer than before, and I almost sank into a hole trying to escape the thing behind me. I could hear my dog barking in the distance, and I wanted to go help him, but I had to cross a pit of lobsters first. They hurt when they pinch you. Hurt bad. Eventually I found the piano man and he played me a song. That tune still haunts me, but it's what helped me go on. Eventually I decided to take a break under the marry-go-round tree, but it only made me dizzy. I also didn't like sleeping in that place. I had to go home, and sleeping wasn't going to get me there faster.

Sometimes I can't move my arms. I wake up and it's like I'm tied to the table. A table like the one in Mr. A's graveyard. Yeah that table was hard. What was Mr. A's name again? I don't remember, so I'll just call him Mr. A. Eventually I found the door keeper, and he asked me to tell him a story. If I did, I could finally go home. So I began: "When I was seventeen me and my family packed up our belongings and moved to a small town in Texas. I wasn't thrilled about leaving everything behind, but as someone still in high school I had no choice. Saying goodbye to all my friends was hard, but knowing I could contact them online at any given time was comforting. "Hey man, see ya later! Get on the group chat when you can! Send a text when you get there!" Maybe these weren't their exact words, but it is close enough. At that time social media was still in it's early days, with websites now long forgotten as the kings, instant messaging programs were popular, and even basic cell phones had the ability to text. Thanks to this, you never really felt alone. I told myself that I would keep in contact with them and everything would stay the same, but I knew deep down that this was a lie. We would eventually grow apart, and I would just have to accept that. Besides, in just a year most of us would be going away to college anyway." Huh, college. Was I really going to go?

As I spoke each word the door man wrote them down. No, wait, that's the sound of keys typing. He typed them. Yeah he typed them down. I can still hear it... Is he still typing this? Is he typing what I'm saying now? Why? Can I go home now? I have to destroy Jim. It's all Jim's fault. It... It's all Jim's fault. Please door keep man. Please, if you find Jim. The old game. That game. You have to destroy it. Save me from this world... Yeah, me... What was my name again?

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This ends the account. No further comments were made.
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Friday, October 27, 2017

Netto's Beginnings: First Horror

As I mentioned earlier this week, I don't do horror. So why would I ever play a horror game to begin with? Really, I'm not sure! I can still picture the day like it was yesterday though.

One day when I got to college, I walked into the math/science building's lunch hall, and sat down at my usual table in the corner by some windows. Since I car pulled with my dad, I would show up about an hour before my classes started, and I'd use that time to either play around online on my laptop (which eventually lead to the creation of Netto's Game Room), or I'd study and do homework before I had to go to class. That's when I suddenly had a strange idea. "I should start a new game series, and that series should be Resident Evil!" Yep, that's just about how it went.

(Same picture that helped me start it all)
Again I'm not really sure why I decided on Resident Evil, but I spent that day looking up information, and talking to friends on MSN about it. I guess a part of me had always wanted to play it, but I was always too scared to give it a try. Considering I was able to deal with the zombies in Dead Rising (which wasn't a horror game), Resident Evil seemed like it was no longer going to be an issue for me. Although, what was an issue was getting the money for it. I didn't make that much at the bakery since I had school most of the time, but as soon as I found the Wii versions of Resident Evil 0, 1, and 4 on sale on Amazon, I jumped on it. Despite buying these games first, they were not the first games I played. Instead as I waited for them I came across Resident Evil 2 on sale on PSN, and I ended up buying it and downloading it to my PSP and PS3. This was my first real experience with a horror game, and what I would play as I waited for the others to make it to my house.

The first thing I noticed about RE2 was the controls. Now I had played RE3 for a whole 30 seconds before, so I knew about the tank controls, but I didn't expect to struggle with them like I did. Escaping the zombies at the start felt like a chore, and I wasn't sure if I could make it through the game because of it. Even so I pushed on, and eventually they did grow on me. That didn't help with the other challenge I faced though, and it was one I wasn't really expecting -- very limited resources. Not only were items limited, but I had to find said items to save the game, and enemies took a lot more to kill than I thought! The game actually didn't freak me out because of the monsters and what not, it scared me because I didn't want to die and lose it all!

While RE2 might've been freakier back when it first came out, it was no big deal compared to today's graphics. There were some jump scares from time to time (but those mostly got to me because I was using headphones), but nothing I saw scared me. For a horror game, it wasn't quite what I imagined it would be like, but I also didn't care. Rather than being scared to progress it made me want to explore, and the fear of death made me be more careful about what I did. Sometimes I would save the game, run around without a care in the world, and then reload when I found the correct path, and other times I would restart if I felt I could handle something better. It made learning the game a lot more fun for me, and before I knew it I was at the end -- of Leon's story that is.

Playing as Claire was a lot of fun. By this point I understood the game much better, and I liked the idea of going back through the world with things being changed up. By this point all fear I had was gone, and instead I was able to fully focus on enjoying the puzzles that waited for me ahead. Then when it was finally all over, I found myself wanting more. More that would come in a box just a few days later.

My history with the RE series really took off from there. I played through 0 next, followed by 1, and finally RE4. This was also the game I was finishing up as I got the idea for Netto's Game Room, and it's the reason one of my first posts was a "mini review" of Resident Evil 4. Shockingly I never did find the series scary though. Sure there were creepy moments, but there was never a time I was too scared to advance. That is, until Resident Evil 7 in VR. That being said, RE did become one of my favorite series of all time, and I still look forward to each new release.
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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Video Game Halloween Costumes

As a kid I was never too big on Halloween. Rather than getting into the whole ghost and monster thing, I was only in it for one reason -- to dress as my favorite characters. Over the years I did have some pretty cool costumes, such as Power Rangers, Super Man, Batman Beyond, and a giant dinosaur that had a built in fan to blow it up, but the one thing I really wanted to be didn't seem to exist... I wanted to be my favorite video game characters! Back then gaming wasn't as huge as it is today, and dressing as a video game character was basically out of the question. Sure you could make your own at home, but that wasn't for me. Instead each year we'd go to the local Walmart or Target and pick a costume out there instead -- which would either be monsters, or TV show characters. Today however, this is a different story. One trip through the Halloween section about a week ago saw my childhood dreams come true, and today I'd like to share some of the things I saw with you all.

Now before I begin, I'd like to mention that nearly all of these costumes came in both kid and adult sizes, and many had both male and female versions that were unique. So even if you're not a kid anymore, don't think you've missed out!

Super Mario:

Man I would've loved this as a kid. In today's world Mario costumes seem to be everywhere! There's Mario (which I actually bought a Halloween party about four or five years ago), Luigi, Toad, Peach, Yoshi, and even characters like Donkey Kong (which are their own series, yet also connected to Mario). Each of the costumes seem to come with everything you need to pull off the basic look (as a good costume should), but there are also some that are a bit more unique. For example, both Mario and Luigi have a female version of themselves, and there's also a Mario riding on Yoshi costume.

Zelda:

Besides Mario, Zelda also seems to have a wide selection of costumes -- which are basically what you'd expect. We have multiple Link costumes in his green tunic, and of course we have Zelda herself; however, it looks like Breath of the Wild has entered the scene as well. Link's blue outfit from the new game is also an option.

Pokemon:

It's really nothing new seeing Pokemon costumes, as I can remember seeing them when I was younger as well, but it's still nice to see either way. This year not only did I see classics such as Pikachu, but I came across a full Ash costume as well -- something I would've loved to had as a kid, but never got. With Pokemon becoming even more popular as the years go on, it's no wonder these costumes are still in demand. (Maybe some will even wear these while doing the Pokemon Go event?)

Halo:

Although you may not hear as much about Halo now days, it's still a very popular series, and it continues to receive novel after novel -- although I doubt many kids care about that. Instead what many kids, (but mostly adults) will see is this line of Halloween costumes. Not only does it have our favorite Spartan-II John-117 (Master Chief) decked out in his Mjolnir armor, but Spartan Locke as well. If being a specific character isn't your thing though, there's also a red team spartan and blue team spartan costume as well. And yes, there's Cortana too, and no, it's not body paint.

Assassin's Creed:

I should've seen this one coming (especially after finding an Ezio Christmas ornament last year). The Assassin's Creed line features different assassins across the ages, and comes in both a kids and adult sizes. While some characters have multiple outfit options (such as Ezio), most seem to use their "normal" iconic assassin robe. These costumes also come in a slimmed down female form, so there's that option as well. Of course, don't expect all the fancy weapons, and you'll need one of the role play hidden blades they sell if you want the full effect. Just keep in mind they're for adults, and not kids.

Sonic:

Yep, that's right! Sonic costumes are out there as well! Although, it really makes you look more like the "Sonic Man" guy from Sonic 2006. It's a hedgehog head hat thing, with a blue body suit. Still fun for those who want to dress as Sonic. (Although, you could just get a full on mascot suit like you see at the Summer of Sonic events. And in those SEGA YouTube videos.)

Mega Man (Classic):

Mega Man may be "dead," but his Halloween costume isn't! Shockingly, a classic Mega Man costume exists for both kids and adults. This costume contains the full classic blue suit, a mega buster arm, and of course the original Mega Man's helmet. This is yet another costume I would've LOVED (in fact I even used to dream of it...) to have as a kid, and a part of wants to buy it to run around just like Frank West... Or not. Still cool either way!

And More:

The above costumes are just the ones I've come across. In reality there exists hundreds (if not thousand) of possible costumes out there for you to buy, or you could always make your own. Considering how popular cosplaying is, you actually aren't limited to what the stores sell on Halloween. Nearly every popular character has a costume you can buy, so if you're willing to pay the sky is the limits.

Hopefully these costumes gave some of you an idea on what you can be this year (if you want to dress up), or at least provided you with some interesting information.
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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Non-Horror Games That Scared Me

Confession time! I've never been very good with dealing with horror... In anything... I won't watch horror films, there are some specific things that freak me out enough to make me physically sick, and when I was younger, I was terrified of nearly everything. The thing is though, despite struggling to deal with it, a part of me also likes horror, and that's been true my entire life. Yes, there are times where I simply cannot watch/play/read something, but other times it has no effect on me what so ever. Courage was actually one of my favorite shows on Cartoon Network growing up, and I'm a huge fan of quite a few "horror" games (as this week will show). With that being said though, growing up there were also games that freaked me out that weren't even horror titles. These were "normal" everyday games that a kid like myself was able to adventure into, and never once think of the nightmares they may cause. Looking back now it's kinda funny, but back then I was flat out terrified. So for today's Halloween special, I want to tell you guys about some of those! These are four games from my childhood I feared, but maybe some of you did as well.

Mario 64:

Bet you saw this one coming! Like many kids in the 90s, Mario 64 was a big part of my life. Mario had made the jump to 3D, and massive worlds were awaiting me, and many others, as we got our first taste of the new generation. It was amazing, to say the least. It was a feeling that many today will never experience because 3D has become normal, and it was something I will never forget. I really can't stress enough how much I loved this game, and how much time I put into it -- which is also why the game is on this list. As much as I liked Mario 64, there were parts of it that haunted me for a very long time. In this bright cartoony world there were horrors hidden away, and when the younger me came across them, I had no idea how to react... Which is why I'd quit playing.

The first thing that scared me about Mario 64 was none other than our friend Mr. Eel. This red monster, with his razor sharp teeth, could be found deep under water in the first "water" stage of the game, and it was something completely unexpected. The stage itself was dark, and the moment you see this creature look at you, you felt terror. Things only got worse when it snapped at you, and left it's home... At this point the monster would swim around the map, allowing you to see just how massive it was, and eventually make the ship it's new home after it sank.

While I'm sure I've mentioned the eel before in the past (how many posts have I made by now?), it actually wasn't the only thing to scare me in Mario 64 -- it was only the start. When the ghost house appeared in front of me, and the creepy music started to play, I knew I was in for a fright.

Although the ghost house is one of my favorite areas in Mario 64, it did scare me. You never knew what was around each corner, and ghosts and floating eye balls made sure to keep you from turning your back. Then there's the whole carnival music area of the stage, and the creepy basement. It all helped set the mood of it being a ghost house, but what really got me in the end was the piano... The piano that would suddenly spring to life and try to eat you!

The first time I saw this I'm sure I jumped, but return visits to this area happened because the Mario 64 guide book lied to me. That book had me convinced I could fight it (spoilers: YOU CAN'T!!!!!!!!!), and because of that I constantly faced my fears and attacked it... Which resulted in Mario dying. I have no idea how many times I went up against it, but eventually it was enough to help kill my fear of the ghost house. By then I was used to it, and was sure I had seen everything it had to offer. So off I went to little big world!

After facing the threat of Mario being eaten by the piano, I realized that it would simply not happen. The eel didn't eat him and turn him into a bloody mess (thanks guide book, that bit about taking a bite out of Mario was a lie too), the piano just jumped around on top of his dead body, and nothing else in the game hinted that it would be any different. So imagine my surprise when I jumped into the water and swam over to a cute little fish...

Mario... Was... DEAD!!!!!!! That fish instantly opened his mouth, and that was that. The kid me ran from the TV in horror, and was unable to play that stage for a long time. In fact, it scared me so much that my dad had to play it for me, and he'd often make a game out of slapping the fish's tail and trying to run away from it. It freaked me out, but I also sat on the edge of my seat to see if he could get away. Maybe this is what helped me build up to finally playing the level myself, but I never did get over the fear of instant death. After all, who wants to lose all their progress?

One of the final things to freak me out about Mario 64 was the dino swimming around in the underground lake. Once again the guide book told me that I shouldn't make it mad, so I was scared to see what it would do to me... As I pounded on it's back and used it's head to get to where I needed to be. Normally I wouldn't have cared and it harming me wouldn't have crossed my mind, but because the guide said so, it must have been true. (Despite it being wrong every other time... Yeah, kid logic...) Of course, the dino never hurt me, and it stopped creeping me out. Although other parts of the game, such as inside the pyramid, bugged me a bit as well, this was the last true "horror" I faced in Mario 64.

Star Fox Series:

And onto Star Fox 64 I went. Next to Mario 64, this was the other N64 game that really stood out to me in my childhood. I've explained before my experiences with the game, and how me and friends at school would role play Star Fox during lunch break, but this list wouldn't be complete without bringing it up.

Although SF64 wasn't a scary game (neither was Mario), there were things that disturbed me about it. Some of the bio weapons and alien monsters you fought gave me the creeps, Star Wolf coming back with android parts sorta bugged me, and the threat of characters dying got to me as well. Even so, SF64 was a game I loved, and one I spent a lot of time playing every time I rented it from the local movie store. I even eventually bought the thing when the store decided to sell it (which I've also mentioned before). But even though I really liked the game, it was one I couldn't finish for a LONG time.

To put it simply, the game's final boss Andross terrified me! The first time I heard his voice freaked me out, his threats to kill me freaked me out, and the moment I saw he was a giant floating head I rushed over and shut my game off and lost all progress. After that, every playthrough I'd make of the game had me turning the TV's volume down to 0, as I tried to face my fears and fight him without hearing his voice. As I got older I would eventually get myself to fight him without turning off the game's sound, but my fear of Star Fox would continue on into the future.

Star Fox Adventures -- another game I loved! Finally Fox was on foot, you could beat dinos with a staff, pull of special moves, and explore a pretty cool world Legend of Zelda style. Too bad this was when I realized giant dinos scared me (and so did spirits). Really it's hard to put a finger on what exactly bothered me about this game, but a lot of the giant monsters and other Rare developed characters just disturbed me. The main "big bad" scared me, the friendly warp stone guy scared me, the giant T-Rex like monsters scared me, the game's first boss scared me, the spirits fusing with Fox scared me, and... I guess just everything scared me? Didn't help any when I got the guide book free from Nintendo Power, and once again the upcoming game events put me off from continuing. Eventually I did beat the game, but there were moments where I had to force myself onward.

Assault wasn't much better. By this point I was much older, and was sure I could take on anything, but once again SF proved me wrong. Seeing one character being infected by the new enemies and splattered on a piece of metal in space was all it took to make me lose it. While the rest of the game was fine, that one moment of nightmare fuel kept me watching those series of scenes for many years. At least command didn't freak me out.

The Legend of Zelda OoT:

Another game I'm sure I'm not alone in fearing. When Zelda jumped into 3D, it was nothing I had experienced before. This was a "true" adventure game I thought, and I was instantly hooked. Now I didn't get to play the game until Master Quest on the GCN (which my cousin gave me), but by that point I still hadn't played a game like it. I was already blown away by it's story and world, and the way you solved puzzles had me completely shocked. Lighting a stick on fire and using it to burn webs? Wow! It was impressive, and once again, it scared the heck out of me!

The entire game has a darker tone about it, and it uses a lot of darker colors. Skeletons busting out of the ground and giant man eating plants bugged me also, but it wasn't until I started seeing things like giant spiders that I was really freaked out. The skulls on their backs gave me nightmares, and the look on some deformed character's faces (including the guy turned into a spider!) didn't help ease those fears! Then you had who knows what jumping out of the lake, a giant fish filled with worms and other disturbing creatures, and bloody boss battles that made me question the game's age rating. Of course there were also the like likes that tried to eat you... To make matters worse, I WAS playing Master Quest, and I had no idea what I was doing.

While other players of OoT went through the game normally when it came out, here I was playing through a harder version that also scared me. I struggled through dungeons for months, which my friends had seemingly beat easily in a day. I faced countless monsters, and killed myself many times without even realizing basic mechanics. (YOU COULD BREAK BOXES BY ROLLING!? I DIDN'T NEED BOMBS!?) I was constantly facing my fears, but eventually I made it to my goal. I became an adult.

Becoming adult Link was so exciting. I had worked so hard to reach that point, and I couldn't wait to see what was waiting for me. Yeah, a black sky and town filled with zombies, that's what was waiting for me! Like with SF64, I shut this game off and didn't come back for awhile. Even when I did come back I avoided the town as much as possible, and continued on my way with the main story -- which also didn't get any less scary for me. Ghosts, more spiders, horrifying bosses, the spirit temple, hands that pulled you into the great beyond, the deep dark well, the grave yard, etc. Why did I even keep going?

Now days I'm fine with OoT, but I'll admit some things still get to me (like likes). Majora's Mask is actually much darker in tone (and also my favorite game in the series), but OoT will always be the one that truly scared me.

Rayman 2:

Another favorite game of mine growing up was Rayman 2, or more specifically the PS1 version of Rayman 2. I liked the original game before it as well, but the 3D world and special power ups found in 2 is what really drew me to it. I got the game as a Christmas present from my aunt (we opened presents on Christmas eve), and I can still remember rushing home to my house to play it. I was extremely excited, but as soon as I saw the opening cutscene I became scared.

You see, while Rayman 1 was a bright colorful adventure, Rayman 2 was dark and set in a world of despair. The intro alone shows Rayman's friend being thrown in a jail cell as dying prisoners around him weakly called out for help, and things do not get better from there. Of course Rayman was in the same prison, and the two manage to escape, but the outside world is a cruel hard place with Rayman being their last hope. So off Rayman goes to fight against robot pirates and monsters, and hopefully save the day.

As a kid, I was scared to advance in this game. The threat of monsters scared me (the opening informs us of these horrors before we even get to play), the pirate robots looked creepy, man eating fish jumped out of the water, and the stages themselves often had low lighting and unsettling looking areas to go through. It didn't really get bad though until Rayman had to go to the land of the dead...

This part of the game was a nightmare for me. In order to save a friend, Rayman must adventure into the "Cave of Bad Dreams" and find a special elixir. Of course, this cave has it's name for a reason. Here we face a hellish landscape filled with ghosts, monsters, piles of bones that make up platforms, and a creepy hand that reaches through the wall to grab Rayman and take him away. Then, by the end of it all, you must face off against a man eating boss that includes a horror game style chase scene. If you get caught, you're eaten. Honestly I'm still a bit shocked this made it into a kid's game, but ever since Rayman 2 the series has been somewhat crude and disturbing with it's designs...

The rest of Rayman 2 also had me venturing into areas I would've rather avoided, but it wasn't nearly as bad as the cave. There was a section with a spider as well, and the game's ending scene really freaked me out back then. In fact, it freaked me out so much that I shut off my PS1, and went on believing Rayman had died. That is until I saw Rayman 2 Revolution in Walmart. Although I never did play that game, seeing it did make me want to go back and see the full ending of Rayman 2, which is when I finally learned the truth of Rayman's fate. Spoilers: He doesn't die. (Although all the sequels since should've tipped you off on that.)

Even though Rayman 2 became a favorite of mine, I never did fully get over the strange feeling it gave me as I played it. Even after nearly memorizing the entire game, there were still moments that scared me. This strange feeling of dread would continue when playing follow up games as well, such as Rayman Arena, but none of those games ever got to me quite as much as 2. Maybe it was because I was older?

Others:

The above games weren't the only ones to get to me, but they were the major ones that stood out. Honestly I could keep this list going for awhile longer, but I'm going to stop it there. Although I would like to give a shout out to games such as Pokemon Red, Jet Force Gemini, Banjo Kazooie, Oddworld, Spyro, Diddy Kong Racing (yes... the big bad scared me), and many MANY more. Maybe one day I'll come back to share these stories as well (although I'm sure you can guess some of the reasons), but for today let's just leave it at the four above. They were the ones that stood out to me the most, and I'll continue to laugh at myself because of them. Although, Mega Man X5 got to be pretty bad as well... Ah well, that's also a story for another time.
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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp - Announced

The newest Animal Crossing is apparently coming sooner than one might think. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp will be coming to a smart phone near you this November, and once again it will be providing us with a brand new Animal Crossing experience.

Rather than building homes, such as the previously released 3DS game, this time around we are managing a camp ground! While the game will feature Animal Crossing standards, such as becoming friends with the animals and completing requests, this game has a much larger focus on crafting items, and placing them within the world to create the best camp sight possible. Materials can be earned by completing different tasks, and can then be used to create new items, and furniture. Of course other staples, such as fishing and bug catching, make their return as well, and there will be multiple locations for you to visit outside of your camp grounds. Other features also include customizing your camper (which you use to travel), visiting friend's camp sites, and taking part in seasonal events throughout the year.

For more information, check out the full Nintendo Direct below:

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