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jdodson

I heart video games so much I created Cheerful Ghost.

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Joined 01/23/2012
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1977 Posts

Netflix is spending a ton of money on original new content and one of the new shows that will be coming to the streaming service this July 7th is Castlevania. The new trailer doesn't pull any punches as it starts with someone putting a Castlevania game into an old Nintendo and then the Netflix logo and 8bit video morph into a few clips of the show. The animation style looks solid and I wasn't sure how i'd feel about a dark adult Castlevania but this looks like it could be pretty interesting.

What do you think of the new Castlevania trailer? Is this something you are going to watch when it drops on Netflix July 7th?

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For $20 this NES Classic bootleg is quite the deal and it comes with 500 games but is it any good? From the video I have serious doubts AND it doesn't even include The Legend of Zelda or at least I didn't see it when he scrolled through all 500 games.

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As i've said before, one of the main reasons I wanted a 3DS was to play Link Between Worlds, the direct sequel to A Link to the Past. I plan on writing on my journey through the game as it's quite good and think it might be interesting to read. Link to the Past isn't a very difficult game but it's fun, engrossing and a very tight and focused gameplay experience which is why it's always topped my list for one of the best games of all time. That said, Link to the Past is pretty easy if you play it in the right way and Link Between Worlds ups the ante some to make for a more interesting game. For instance, in traditional Zelda games death has no real effect on how you play the game. In fact starting with Link to the Past you can collect Fairies in bottles to bring you back to life each time you die. Effectively this means that if you have the maximum number of bottles and play the game reasonably well, death has no negative effect on gameplay. Link Between Worlds tries to change this with item rentals. At a certain early point in the game you meet a purple rabbit named Ravio that takes over the house you start in to rent and later sell you items. If you die in a dungeon Ravio takes you to the house again and removes your item rentals. It's an interesting mechanic where dying actually has some kind of downside and I think it's pretty cool. Even though you can store fairies to restore you back to life if you lost an item you need to complete a dungeon, you still have to go and get it. Later on in the early part of the game Ravio allows you the ability to buy items for 800 gold, which removes some of the negatives of dying but buying out all the items takes along time and I've only purchased a couple of them. Buying items is also different than the traditional Zelda way of finding them in dungeons which is a fresh take on how Zelda games work.

Recently I just gathered all three pendants and collected the Master Sword. This mirrors the original Link to the Past and I wonder what the Link Between Worlds equivalent of the Dark World is? Maybe it's the Dark World again? I'm not sure as I haven't read many spoilers about the game but when I find out i'll let you know.

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I'm really excited to see the new Ridley Scott Alien: Covenant film and I don't think i'm the only one as there seems to be a lot of recent videos looking at the old Alien films and franchise games. In the video James and Mike of Cinemassacre play the old Alien VS Predator arcade game and talk about the Alien VS Predator film and other Alien nerdery. I'm going to watch Alien: Covenant with friends tomorrow and have really been enjoying the gaming commentary about these older franchise games and movie series retrospectives. If you are looking for a good Alien series retrospective before you head to the theater to watch the next Alien film Cinemassacre has a long breakdown of all 7 Alien films including Prometheus you might want to watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8m6Jg9Y7X0

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Aliens Colonial Marines is the Gearbox and Sega 2013 smash failure that many view as one of the worst games of all time. Because of this and the release of the brand new Alien: Covenant film Cygnus Destroyer takes Aliens Colonial Marines to the Innocent Until Proven Guilty court. It's a solid review and I think his take is fair and now that all the hype of this game is over I think people can look at it again with a fresh perspective.

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A month ago after the launch of the latest Hearthstone expansion I decided to stop playing. It seemed like the right thing to do after playing it nearly every day for four years but I wondered if it would be hard to walk away from a game I played for so long? Come to find out it wasn't hard at all. Occasionally I check the Hearthstone community for interesting developments and there are some but for the most part I am just missing out on a new meta card cycle and new bag of community salt that comes from such a high profile game.

One of the reasons why I thought it might be hard to step away from a game i've played for almost four years is because of the sunk cost and the thought that my time would have been wasted. I think this is why people have a hard time stepping away from freemium games where they spend well more than the price of a normal triple A game and just as much time. But my view of Hearthstone is that i'm proud of what I collected over that time and since I sunk nearly nothing into playing but my time, walking away wasn't hard. I've read many posts by people in the Hearthstone community that want to stop playing the game but can't seem to due to how much money and time they've spent. Recently I was listening to the Real Time With Bill Maher audio podcast and in his closing segment compared social media to nicotine. I mostly agree with Bill here and this is partly one of the reasons I don't frequent Facebook and also partly why I stepped away from Hearthstone. Even though apps and games might be made to be just as addictive to humans as nicotine I think it's our job to understand this, how it effects us and try and change our habits accordingly so we can live better.

New Rule: Social Media is the New Nicotine | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDqoTDM7tio

http://cheerfulghost.com/jdodson/posts/3318/when-is-it-time-to-take-a-hearthbreak

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In 2013 Nintendo released the follow up to The Legend of Zelda A Link To The Past on the 3DS called The Legend of Zelda Link Between Worlds. It's a direct Zelda sequel, something we don't often get and is set some millennia after the original events of Link to the Past. Like many games in the Zelda timeline, there are new direct descendants of Link and Zelda called... Link and Zelda and some of the original characters from Link to the Past appear that seem to never age, like the Elder Sahasrahla. The game features nearly the exact same overworld map as Link to the Past and goes into pretty good detail to recreate it just as we all remember but change certain details that would change if a couple hundred years passed since the original. Thing is though, it's not entirely clear from playing the game just how long have passed since the original events of the Link to the Past but it's so long that the original LTTP events is a kind of legend they tell each other and it doesn't seem to be on everyones mind until things happen that mirror the events in those legends.

And again, one good part of Link Between Worlds so far is how it ... Links... with the original Link to the Past. The game begins similarly to the original LTTP except this time you work for a Blacksmith and need to deliver a sword to one of the guards of Hyrule. Much like with LTTP you are thrown directly in to the game and need to stop the bad guy that isn't working for Ganon but you know.... more than likely totally working for Ganon. Hell he might BE Ganon but you know... no word on that yet.

Everything from the games top down style to the music and sound effects are directly influenced by the original Link to the Past. And since I consider Link to the Past to be one of the best games of all time, I think they made a good choice here. I'm only about an hour in but so far the games pacing, music and story are really well considered and are a "Nintendo top notch effort."

One of my hopes is that the vast catalog of 3DS, Wii & Wii U games get ported to the Switch so they can be enjoyed by a much larger audience but barring that, Link Between Worlds might be a reason to get a new 2DS or 3DS to play it alone. I mean, if you consider Link to the Past to be one of the best games of all time then why not play it's sequel? So far it's great but even if it doesn't live up to the original game in terms of greatness and I imagine it can't just hanging out in the world in a new way is well worth the time.

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Curious what everyone is playing right now? I'm playing two games starting with Fallout Shelter. I loaded it up on my iPhone for a recent trip and have been super hooked on it after experiencing most of the updates i've only read about. The addition of quests make the game feel like a proper Fallout game plus the addition of Mr Handy and other quest rewards like Bottle and Cappy really kick it up since I first played it when it launched.

I'm Preying right now with Besthesda/Arcane Studios new shooter Prey. So far i'm about 30 minutes in and there is no tie in to the original Prey, which was something they said previously. It seems like a mashup of System Shock, Portal & Half-Life with an incredible amount of polish. It contains on of the most unique and inventive credit sequences i've seen that really punch up the beginning of the game and I hope there are other set pieces just an inventive sprinkled throughout the game.

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If one had to list their top Disney games of now and the past Ducktales & Kingdom Hearts and the like would no doubt come up for most people. Cygnus Destroyer drops his top 10 Disney Games video on us as he celebrates the recent release of the Disney Afternoon Collection. His top Disney game is The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse, something I haven't thought about in quite some time. The Magical Quest is an incredible game and one I rented quite a few times as a kid. It's not something I ever owned back then but it's an incredible Super Nintendo Game that is a best of breed Capcom platformer.

Disney games...they're among the best licensed tie-ins ever produced and they helped create so many happy memories. Whether partnered with Capcom, Sega or other established developers, Disney has dominated the gaming industry into the 2000s and they're back in the spotlight with the recent release of the Disney Afternoon Collection, so I've decided to count down my personal favorite Disney video games In this brand new Cygnus Destroyer Top 10.

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One of the great things about owning a PC is being able to update it without replacing the whole thing. Need more storage? Add a new hard drive. Graphics slowing down? Drop in a new video card. Last year I decided to replace my PC that went through several upgrade cycles with a gaming laptop. Whereas you can only really update the harddrive and RAM on an ASUS ROG laptop I felt it the upgraded cycles of my PC were complete and it was time to go with entirely new hardware. Plus a laptop is portable and the ASUS ROG is quite a speedy machine for the form factor and price. Plus if i'm being honest about the games I play on PC, I really don't play games that push the latest graphical edges and a gaming laptop that can play most games at medium settings is just fine.

But most PC gamers have a full blown gaming tower and for you, when is the right time to replace it?

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Lessons From the Screenplay has a new video out that compares Rogue One to the Force Awakens. Spoiler alert, they think Force Awakens is a better movie with better developed characters and after recently watching them both I agree. In our Roundtable episode of Rogue One I said that my thoughts on Rogue One were mixed and I still stand by that but they have evolved some. Rogue One has one of the most incredibly well executed endings to a Star Wars movie that feels a bit muddled in the first half. It's not a bad movie to watch at all, but the reshoots are felt and I think the first half suffers partly because it seems that Disney may have wanted to change the tone of the film. Just last week I rewatched The Force Awakens and I may have loved it more that time that watching it the first time in theaters. It's such a great film that stands up well to rewatching and I found myself seeing new things that I missed before(like when they talk about FN-2487 they show his baby photo on the terminal, a nice touch as they bring up his history file implying Fin has been with the Empire since birth).

But you know... I could be wrong so take to the comments tonlet me know what you think.

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I watched an interesting video on Kotaku the other day about questioned certain kinds of brand loyalty i've linked above. It's an interesting thing to consider and after watching it caused me to think a bit about how I approach brands and if the biggest ones really need my loyalty at all. I certainly love video games and that passion drove me to create this website and post regularly about them but that doesn't mean I need to have a blind devotion to brands. The modern reality of the Internet allows us to be connected to our favorite things all day long and I think some, perhaps, see this as a stave for actual human relationships. Not to say I haven't made friends by running Cheerful Ghost and those relationships are fake, they aren't, but perhaps our loyalty should be to people and not corporations.

If you have thoughts on the video and this topic i'd love to hear them.

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If you are interested in checking out the new super fast iD Software online shooter Quake Champions I have 3 beta codes to hand out. If you drop a comment on this post i'll give them out first come first served.

I've played a bit of Quake Champions and wereas I can't say much about it due to NDA it seems to live up to all the trailers i've seen of it so far!

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2D sidescrolling MOBA Awesomenauts has had a very long life and looks like it's getting a shot in the arm as it's going entirely free to play this coming May 24th! If you have the base game and all expansions you will get the new "unlock all nauts" pack which gives you access to all current and future Awesomenauts. They are also adding a new currency Awesomepoints you get by gaining experience you can use to unlock new Nauts, customized droppods or portraits.

Nearly every MOBA is free to play and this update makes sense with the kind of game Awesomenauts is and I hope the community is open to the change.

https://www.awesomenauts.com/upcoming-content/

In 2013 we interviewed Robin Meijer from Ronimo games about Awesomenats and I pictued him certain Awesomenauts matchups with other fictional characters that is well worth a read.

http://cheerfulghost.com/jdodson/posts/1548/int-w-robin-meijer-of-ronimo-games-awesomenauts

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The huge revamp to Heroes of the Storm is out and Blizzard is handing out 20 free heroes to everyone for logging in and selecting the pack you want. I went with the brawlers pack as I've enjoyed playing with Stitches and have wanted to try Muradin Bronzebeard for a bit now. Heroes of the Storm 2.0 added loot chests that unlock for you when you level your character so when you log in if you have any levels unlocked you will get some loot chests! Ultimately the Heroes 2.0 update makes unlocking skins, taunts and mounts a bit more accessible to free to play players and adopts an Overwatch and Hearthstone like loot system.

Heroes of the Storm is a free to play Blizzard brawler that is out now on PC and Mac and if you want to unlock the hero pack you should head over and check it out!

http://us.battle.net/heroes/en/heroes20/megabundles/

If you are curious to learn more about what Heroes of the Storm is Blizzard has a nice page dedicated to teaching the games core concepts you might be interested in.

http://us.battle.net/heroes/en/blog/20720242

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