The Entertainer Blogger Award

Entertainer Blogger Award

Hey, look at this! I gots me another one of them blogging award things. This one is titled the “Entertainer Blogger Award.” It may not be a very catchy name, but it will go nicely with my two Liebsters, my WakuWafu award, and my Blogger Recognition Award (yes, I’m keeping track. I’m petty and I love the attention).

Anyway, this award once again comes courtesy of The Well-Red Mage, so let’s all give him a round of applause!

Snapplause

Getting this award is a glorious occasion. As glorious as Bobby Roode’s entrance and theme music.

Glorious

Well, okay… Maybe not quite that glorious. But it’s pretty darn close.

As always, winning this blogging award comes with a few rules, which are as follows.

  • Write a post with the award picture included.
  • Nominate other bloggers for this award (supposedly twelve, but my blogging social circle is incredibly exclusive, so I may have to go with less).
  • Add these rules to the post (ummm… why does listing the rules count as a rule?).
  • Thank the person who nominated you and leave a link to their blog (already done).
  • Answer the questions asked by the nominator.

So with those pesky guidelines out of the way, let’s make way for my answers to the questions that were asked of me

1: What do you hope to gain from blogging?

Unlimited Power

Okay, so what I actually hope to gain from blogging is simply a means to express my opinions, and get some recognition for them. I have a lot to say about video games and movies and stuff, so I hope people find it interesting. I just love to judge stuff.

 

2: What genre of film entertains you the most?

Technically I’m cheating with my answer, because I’m going with animated films. I’m cheating because, in all honesty, animation is not a genre, it’s a medium that can encompass any genre. In fact, it’s probably the one type of movie that is almost guaranteed to be multi-genre’d. After all, if you watch a drama, you can expect it to be dramatic. A comedy is going to be comedic, an action film is going to be action packed, etc. But animated films can (and often do) cover all these bases and more.

Sure, there’s a lot of animated crap out there as well, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s also proven to boast some of the most meaningful stories out there.

 

3: Do you consider yourself a writer, and what inspires you to write?

Well, I write stuff down, so by the uttermost basic definition I guess that would make me a “writer.” But I never really thought about it on any more sophisticated level. I just think stuff, and then I write it.

I do dabble in some creative writing, but it’s more like outlines for various ideas as opposed to full-on stories. Still though, the writing aspect seems to be the way I put my ideas down to better think about them. So I don’t know if that constitutes a “writer.”

 

4: What is your biggest pet peeve?

 

What, I’m supposed to only list one? Well, I’ve made it quite clear a few times that I can’t stand how overly politically correct things have become. It annoys me to hear people demand creators to make their stories and characters a certain way to appease one group or another, and I hate when creators pander to people by forcing certain types of characters and stories to, once again, appease certain people (which really just seems like a means for them to pat themselves on the back). I fear we’ll one day get to the point where media no longer tells stories or creates characters, but instead just fills out quotas. Who needs creativity when you have pandering?

Angry Benson

Also, go ahead and call me pretentious, but I can’t stand when people refer to anything animated as a “cartoon.” The term cartoon, as far as I see it, should apply more to something slapstick-y, silly and nonsensical, like a Bugs Bunny short. If something is animated and better emphasizes story and characters over gags, I think it’s more fitting to refer to it as an animated film, animated movie, or animation. Again, it’s kind of pretentious of me. But I can’t help but feel many people who lump it all together as “cartoons” seem to do so as a means of disregard.

Anger

Another thing I can’t stand is the “everybody gets a trophy” mentality of today. Every time I see a list of Best Video Games of All Time that limits the number of Mario or Zelda games, for example, in order to be “fair,” I find it to be nothing but unfair to games that deserve better. The same goes for list of films that limit the number of a particular director’s movies, and so on and so forth. It’s not even limited to “best of” lists, I just can’t stand this idea that everyone should be celebrated just the same, even when certain people have displayed exceptional accomplishment. It’s just dumb.

 

5: Why did you choose your particular WordPress username?

My name is Scott. I was originally going to just list my name to make this site more “legitimate,” but simply making my name my username seemed stupid. So I decided to go with TheManCalledScott to make it seem humorously self-aggrandizing. I don’t know, it just seemed more fun than just using my name I guess.

 

Alright, so that’s it for the questions. Now it’s my turn to nominate some people and ask them questions of my own!

NintendoBound

After Story

Very Very Gaming

Extra Life Reviews

Miketendo64

Mr. Panda

Video Games Nebula

Future Pixar

Revaryk

 

Okay, that’s enough nominees. I don’t read too many blogs you see. I tend to tend to my own affairs, away from the outside world. I fear change, and shall keep my bushes.

So let’s wrap this up with five questions to ask these souls.

1: Team Mystic, Team Valor or Team Instinct?

Instinct?! OFF! OFF! OFF! OFF!

2: Favorite video game soundtrack?

3: Three favorite video game characters, and three favorite animated movie characters (two questions in one! Glorious cheating!).

4: Video game character crush and animated character crush (a little immaturity to put you all on the spot. Because I’m a jerk).

5: If you could make your own video game, what genre would it fall under, and what are some of the gameplay features it would include?

I know, I’ve asked some of these questions in previous nominations. But peeps haven’t answered them yet so I’ll keep hammering them until I get the answers I seek!

Anyway, thanks again for the award, Mr. Well-Red Mage! Now I suppose I better get back to writing reviews and whatnot.

 

Ikari Warriors

The Wizard Dojo/Miketendo 64 Alliance!

GNE

Good news, everyone! The Wizard Dojo is now officially an affiliate of fellow great blog Miketendo64!

What does this mean, exactly? Simply put, it means I’ll be sharing much of my content with Miketendo64. Don’t worry, nothing will change here at the Dojo, but expect to see many of my Nintendo-related reviews and Nintendo-related not-reviews over on Miketendo64 as well. If it tickles my fancy, I may even write some original content for them as well!

With this newfound partnership, I will be contributing content to the great Miketendo64, whilst also getting my material a wider readership. So it’s a win/win, really.

Once again, do not fret. For I shall continue to update the Dojo as I always have, with reviews and rants galore. So enjoy my writings here as well as give a looksy to the kind folks over at Miketendo64.

Super Nintendo Turns 25!

SNES

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System was released in the United States twenty-five years ago today.

August 23 1991 was truly a game-changer in the history of video games. Just as Sega was beginning to dominate the gaming market with the Genesis and it’s 16-bit blast processing powers, Nintendo follows-up the NES with its first successor, the Super NES.

In hindsight, the Super Nintendo may seem like the smallest leap forward for a Nintendo console (except maybe the GameCube). Whereas the Nintendo 64 would bring things to the world of three-dimensions, and the Wii and Wii U emphasized innovation over technical power, the Super Nintendo might just seem like a 16-bit update of the NES. But its legacy proves that that couldn’t be further from the truth.

First and foremost, the SNES is best remembered for its games. As a video game console, it would make sense for that to be the key ingredient, and with Nintendo going toe-to-toe with Sega, they pulled out all the stops.

Nintendo’s key franchises from the NES, such as Mario, Zelda and Metroid, made the transition to the Super Nintendo with defining installments. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past proved so influential that it became the blueprint for every Zelda thereafter, while Super Metroid helped create a whole new genre. Mario not only refined the formula he established on the NES with Super Mario World, but now he was properly transitioning to other genres with the likes of Super Mario Kart and Super Mario RPG, the former of which also created a genre of its own, while the latter is still one of the most beloved RPGs of all time.

Yoshi's IslandDonkey Kong, who had been dormant since the arcade days, found a whole new life in the form of Donkey Kong Country, which spawned an entire trilogy of classics on the SNES and were ultimately responsible for the SNES beating the Sega Genesis in sales. The SNES introduced the world to Star Fox and F-Zero, while introducing western audiences to the EarthBound series. And of course the SNES also marked the debut of one of Nintendo’s most beloved characters, Yoshi, who first appeared in Super Mario World and would later star in Yoshi’s Island, one of the system’s finest games.

On top of that, the SNES still boasts the finest lineup of third-party titles in Nintendo’s history: Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy, Secret of Mana, Mega Man X, Street Fighter 2, Super Castlevania IV, the list goes on and on.

Perhaps the best part is how well all these games hold up. NES games are fun, but you can tell they’re retro. N64 games look prototypical (as they were treading new territory), and not all of the games hold up so well. But SNES games still look clean and colorful, and still play wonderfully.

SNESSpeaking of how the games play, the SNES still has the best video game controller ever. By adding two more buttons on the front of the controller, as well as shoulder buttons, it is still the standard for video game controller designs! The Playstation controller, the Xbox controllers, and even subsequent Nintendo consoles like the GameCube and Wii U have more or less replicated the SNES’ controller design.

Simply put, the SNES not only built on everything the NES started, but also brought so much more to the world of video games. The timeless games, great hardware, better storytelling, more varied genres, phenomenal soundtracks, it’s easy to see how the influence of the Super Nintendo is still felt in today’s gaming world.

Let’s all take a moment to congratulate the SNES for being the greatest video game console for over twenty-five years. Happy birthday, you wonderful, gray and purple box, you!

Wizard of Oz (SNES) Review

Wizard of Oz

It’s a platformer where you fall through platforms and one of the playable characters can’t jump.

I could end this review right there, as those are such fundamentally broken ideas and mechanics that they, on their own, make this one of the most baffling and all around terrible games I’ve ever played. But I suppose a more thorough review is in order.

Though The Wizard of Oz was originally a series of books, most know it best as the classic 1939 film, which remains one of the most popular movies of all time. In 1993, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System saw the release of a video game based on the Wizard of Oz property. But as fondly remembered as the film is, the video game may be equally disdained.

The Wizard of Oz is a sidescrolling platformer, which was the dominant genre at the time. Players take control of Dorothy at the start, but later unlock the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion as additional characters. The player is, of course, on a mission to get Dorothy to the Emerald City to meet the Wizard of Oz, who can send her back to her home in Kansas.

The gameplay is what obliterates any potential charm the game might have borrowed from the film. The Wizard of Oz is simply a broken mess of a game. As stated previously, the truly game-breaking flaw is that you can fall through platforms in a glitch so glaring it’s a wonder how the game was released.

Beginning in the game’s second stage, when the emphasis on platforming becomes stronger, you will often find yourself falling to your death  even though you should have – for all intents and purposes – made a jump, but instead fell right through the platform you were trying to jump on. In order to prevent this, you have to stop holding whatever direction you’re pressing on the d-pad and land directly centered on the platform. If you continue to hold a direction, as any reasonable game would have you do, you’ll fall straight through. It’s absolutely inexcusable.

Even without that inexplicable glitch, the control would still be awful. All four characters move at the same speed, which is to say they’re all incredibly slow. This becomes a big issue when enemies start flooding the screen, with all of them moving much faster than you. Even the jumping feels slow and awkward, so the platforming would be pretty bad even if the aforementioned glitch weren’t present.

To the game’s credit, it does at least try to differentiate the characters’ abilities, but much of the execution with their abilities is nothing short of dumbfounding. Dorothy can jump, has a kick attack, and can throw projectiles (like gems, bubbles and stars) when collected. The kick is next to useless, as it takes forever to kill most enemies, but the projectiles are pretty handy, though ammo is in annoyingly short supply. The Scarecrow can attack with a pitchfork, which is stronger than the kick, but not by much. The Cowardly Lion has a slap attack and can also throw gems. The Tin Man is a complete waste of a character. Though he has both a kick and an axe to attack with (which do more damage than the other characters’ moves) he can’t jump. This is a platform game, and he can’t jump. It’s one of the stupidest designs I’ve ever seen in a game, and it makes the Tin Man one of the most useless video game characters of all time (if he weren’t based on a beloved movie character, he may outdo Lester the Unlikely as the lamest game character ever).

"Tin Men can't jump."

“Tin Men can’t jump.”

Each character has their own set of health and lives, so at the very least you have more chances to continue once you unlock the additional characters (though the Lion strangely does not come back when defeated in what is yet another baffling creative decision). This serves as a small placebo to the fact that a game over means you go back to the beginning of the whole game. Sure, the game does provide a password system, but every password is needlessly long, and it’s hard to even tell which letters you’re highlighting. The game can’t even make an on-screen keyboard intuitive.

It’s not like The Wizard of Oz is an easy game either. In fact it’s quite difficult, but for all of the wrong reasons. Not only are the controls and gameplay bad and plagued with glitches, but the levels themselves also feel clunky and broken.

The game’s sense of perspective is random and inconsistent. Objects that are obscured in the background can be jumped on (at least as much as you can jump on objects in this game), while large, prominent objects that look like platforms cannot. Enemies that are in the background – like mice scurrying across fences or the hands of a clock which look like level decoration – can still hurt you despite your character presumably walking in front of them. Rarely are you able to jump over such obstacles, and the only attack you can rely on to hit them are the projectiles, which again are in very short supply.

Visually, the game looks pretty bland. It may be colorful, but the character models are pretty ugly, and the animations dull. Not to mention that many of the enemies use identical shades of colors as the backgrounds, which makes them hard to see and adds even more unnecessary difficulty to the equation.

As bland as the visuals are, however, the music is far worse. The game manages to take a number of iconic songs from the 1939 film, and turn them into cheap and annoying loops (Somewhere Over the Rainbow sounds like it’s emitting from a carnival ride that’s in the process of breaking down). It’s all just very grating.

It is honestly hard to imagine how so many things went so wrong with The Wizard of Oz. The game is flat-out bad in every category. That is, it’s bad when it isn’t outright broken. There is just so much that’s creatively and technically wrong with The Wizard of Oz that it is a serious contender for the title of the worst video game I’ve ever played.

 

1

Injustice: Gods Among Us Review

Injustice

DC crossovers are always a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, the comic book giant has created some of the world’s most iconic superheroes. On the other hand, many of their properties don’t mesh naturally with the others, whereas Marvel’s series feel more properly linked together. While the latter element of DC crossovers has lead to some disastrously muddled movies in recent times, the idea does fit a bit better into the world of video games. A great example of this is 2013’s Injustice: Gods Among Us, a fighting game built around the DC Universe from the creators of Mortal Kombat.

In short, Injustice: Gods Among Us is a really good fighter that uses the DC license to its benefit. It has a wide variety of DC heroes and villains – from the obvious picks like Superman, Batman and the Joker, to relatively obscure choices like Solomon Grundy and Deathstroke (unfortunately my favorite DC villain, The Scarecrow, doesn’t make the playable roster) – as well as some fun, original ideas for the fighting genre.

While it’s true that most of the game’s basics will be nothing new to those familiar with the genre – with the game following the tried-and-true format laid down by Street Fighter 2 – Injustice does have a few new tricks up its sleeve.

For starters, not only does each character play differently from the others, but many of them have gameplay-altering abilities (Flash, for example, can “speed up” so his opponents move in slow-motion until they land a hit, while Wonder Woman can switch from her fists and whip to a sword and shield). The stages also have interactive elements, which can be used to varying effects depending on the character (Superman might throw a car at his opponent, while the Joker would simply blow it up). Perhaps most notably, the character’s extravagant special moves can be countered in quicktime events, with players waging on a set amount of stored-up power, which can result in taking more damage or even healing a bit of health from blocking the move, depending on how much energy was wagered.

These aforementioned special moves are as ridiculous as those from Mortal Kombat, though appropriately less gruesome. Superman takes his opponent into the atmosphere before sending them crashing back down to Earth, The Flash runs around the world to deliver a single, devastating punch, while Aquaman sends a tidal wave crashing down on his enemies and follows it up with vicious sharks. They’re appropriately outlandish, and when combined with the character variety and level features, it makes Injustice a fighter that’s full of surprises.

Injustice also has a pretty strong sense of balance, as I haven’t really noticed any characters to have significant advantages or disadvantages with their play styles. Though I do have to admit certain moves are a little too easy to spam repeatedly (I myself have a little too much fun throwing laughing gas canisters as the Joker).

The multiplayer modes are what will keep players coming back to Injustice for more, with some additional modes providing some extra fun, but it should be noted that the game features a pretty impressive single player campaign as well. Unlike most fighting games, in which each character has their own campaign and fights a set number of characters with minimal plot, Injustice: Gods Among Us instead has a singular, cinematic story that spans twelve “chapters,” each one starring a different character.

The plot sees a number of Earth’s heroes, such as Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow and Aquaman, as well as the Joker, mysteriously teleported to another dimension. In this alternate world, Joker had managed to temporarily poison Superman’s mind, with the Man of Steel then destroying all of Metropolis and all who lived there during his manipulation, including his own family. Overrun with grief, Superman murdered the Joker and conquered the Earth, to ensure order under his newfound dictatorial delusions. Any heroes who oppose Superman’s new regime are killed, with the exception of Batman, who has created a resistance and brought the heroes from the more traditional timeline to help aide him in bringing down Superman’s rule.

InjusticeIt is a pretty fun story that introduces some good concepts, like an alternate Lex Luthor, who is a law abiding citizen working undercover with Batman to help end Superman’s regime, and even a few quicktime events before certain fights, to determine whether you start the match with an advantage or disadvantage. But the story isn’t without its flaws in both narrative and gameplay.

For starters, each chapter is composed of four fights. That may not sound like much of a problem, but after the first few chapters, it becomes incredibly formulaic, and just feels like a means to pad things out. You may even roll your eyes at how frequently the current character conveniently runs into exactly two opponents to be fought in succession in one segment of their story, and then conveniently bumps into two more soon after. You can’t help but feel that some chapters would have been better with either more or less to them, instead of following its four fights rule to such an obsessive-compulsive extent.

Another downside is that the story can get a little silly, despite presenting itself as dead serious. The number of times the plot rapidly jumps around just to be sure to include specific characters is a bit pandering, and much of the plot’s focus between the different dimensions comes off as fanfictiony gobbledygook. On the bright side, it’s never as muddled as Batman V. Superman, and it’s certainly a lot more fun, but the serious tone often clashes with the rather ridiculous goings-on within the story.

With all that said, Injustice: Gods Among Us is still one of the better fighting games released in recent years. It has a sense of variety and polish that, frankly, the Mortal Kombat games themselves don’t have. And as far as I’m concerned, any excuse to have Batman characters beat Superman to a pulp is a good one.

 

7.5

Finding Dory Review

Finding Dory

Its becoming something of a trend for Pixar to focus its sequels on the sidekick characters of their films. On one hand, this makes sense, as original films often end with a good deal of closure, and the stories of their main character and plot don’t lend themselves for particularly interesting continuation. Then of course there’s the fact that the sidekicks tend to be the most popular characters in any Disney or Pixar movie. From the days of the Seven Dwarfs all the up to the present with Frozen’s Olaf, the “Disney sidekick” has become something of an archetype of its own, and regularly provides a film’s most iconic character.

On the other hand, focusing a story on a character that wasn’t intended to be at the center of things can be a risky move, as was proven with Cars 2, which showed that Mater was a character created solely to provide comic relief, and could not carry a story as its central focus.

Thankfully, Dory is far more of an actual character than Mater ever was, and showed a wider range of actions and emotions within Finding Nemo. And her presence at the heart of its sequel only reveals what a compelling character the regal blue tang really is.

While Finding Dory could have simply been a cash-in sequel banking on the character’s popularity, it is evident from the very first scene that Pixar and director Andrew Stanton brought their A-game when developing the sequel to what is likely the studio’s most beloved film.

Finding DoryThe opening immediately gives Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) a whole new depth. Her short-term memory loss, which was a source of comedic relief in the first film, is now revealed to be a far more serious disability, as the scene depicts a moment from Dory’s childhood where her parents try to teach her different ways to deal with her problem should she be separated from them (to varying degrees of success). As anyone who has seen the first film knows, Dory is eventually separated from her parents, with her memory loss making her forget where they are and, eventually, who they are.

It’s an effectively emotional opener that is especially notable for how it turns two comedic aspects of the first film into great backdrops for its own story. Along with Dory’s recurring memory loss, her passing reference to not knowing the whereabouts of her parents was little more than a punchline in Finding Nemo. Yet that small reference and Dory’s forgetful nature have been turned into something deeper, and successfully manage to carry this long-awaited follow-up.

After the first scene, the film picks up one year after the events of the first film, with Dory living among Marlin the clownfish (Albert Brooks), his son Nemo (Hayden Rolence) and many other fish. One day, while spending the day with Nemo and his friends as they visit a stingray migration for a field trip, Dory is reminded of a past event in her life, brining back memories of her parents in the process. She then remembers that she was searching for her parents before she ran into Marlin during the first film, and begins missing her parents all over again, and thus continues her search for them.

Admittedly, the events that lead into Dory’s continued journey to find her parents feels a little rushed, but it is a small price to pay for when said journey pays off. Marlin and Nemo accompany Dory on her adventure, which at first almost seems to be a retread of the events of the original film as they begin their search across the ocean. But it is soon revealed that Dory was not always from the ocean, and that her parents still live in a marine life institute in California, where she was born. It’s in this marine life institute where most of the film’s action takes place.

Finding Dory manages to greatly differentiate itself from Finding Nemo largely due to the change in setting. While the ocean certainly provides plenty of room for multiple adventures, this sequel is wise to change things up. While Finding Nemo was more akin to an on-the-road adventure, with a new character around every corner, Finding Dory is more focused on the main characters and their stories than it is on the scope of the adventure.

Finding DoryThat’s not to say that no new characters come into play. Joining Dory, Marlin and Nemo are a new set of characters who prove to be every bit as memorable. A near-sighted whale shark named Destiny (Kaitlin Olson) and a worrying beluga whale named Bailey (Ty Burrell) are old pals of Dory (explaining her ability to “speak whale”), while a trio of sea lions provide some great comic relief, as they obsess over sleeping on a rock. The main new addition, however, is an octopus named Hank (Ed O’Neill), whose bitter and curmudgeonly nature make him a perfect new foil for Dory, as Marlin’s role in the film is reduced.

As you might expect from a Pixar film, Finding Dory is beautifully animated. The characters and environments are all wonderfully constructed, with the ocean segments capturing a similar realism to that of the first film, while the events of the marine life institute give a whole new visual life to the franchise. Hank alone is one of the most detailed animated characters in recent memory, as his squishyness and tentacles give him unique movements, and his ability to camouflage providing some great visual gags.

Finding Dory also boasts an almost-surprisingly terrific musical score. Finding Nemo similarly had a beautiful soundtrack, but what stands out about Finding Dory’s score is how rarely it falls back on old tunes, instead building an identity of its own with its music, which is no less beautiful than it was in the first film.

Finding DorySome may lament that many characters from the Finding Nemo – such as the sharks – are absent, but in the end it works for the best. Finding Dory manages to tell a story of its own instead of simply pandering to our memories of the original, as so many sequels do.

Finding Dory has a heart, and a lot of it, which is certainly more than you can say for most sequels. It not only builds on its leading character beautifully, but it also has something of its own to say. While Finding Nemo was all about a parent’s love and devotion to his son, Finding Dory is a story bout living with, and dealing with, disability. This makes Dory thematically unique to Nemo, and furthers Pixar’s ability to tell a wide range of stories.

Perhaps Finding Dory’s greatest accomplishment, however, is how it takes such little details from its predecessor and turns them into not only a compelling and worthwhile sequel, but one of the best sequels in recent memory. It takes a number of cues from its predecessor, but its best bits are those that are its own, or the small things from the original that it turns into something more. This speaks truest for its heroine herself. Dory was always the most remembered character from Finding Nemo, but with the newfound depth this sequel gives her, she’s downright unforgettable.

 

9.0

Blogger Recognition Award

Blogger Recognition

Hey looky looky! I’ve got another one of these blogging awards. This one is un-creatively titled the Blogger Recognition Award, and joins my dueling Liebsters and WakuWafu award on my imaginary trophy shelf.

This award, as its name implies, gives recognition to bloggers from other bloggers who recognize their blogging. I would like to thank The Well-Red Mage for giving me said recognition with this award. So let’s all give him a round of applause!

George

Like all of these blogging award things, the Blogger Recognition Award comes with a few guidelines…or rules or whatever. [insert Pirates of the Caribbean “Pirate Code” reference here]

The rules are as follows.

  1. thank the person who nominated you (already done!).
  2. Attach the award in the post (well look at that, that’s already done, too!).
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give a piece of advice for new bloggers.
  5. Select five other bloggers you want to give the award to.

So let’s get started with numbers three through five now!


 

Magical Beginnings…

A Long Time Ago

Honestly, I could just say “I like video games and movies and wanted to write about them” and it wouldn’t be an inaccurate account of the origins of the Dojo. But I guess I should go into a little more detail…

In truth, I’ve actually been blogging since I was eighteen years of age. I had a different website in the past, which I actually updated pretty frequently until I opened the Dojo. I also had a profile on Gamespot which I used to blog (which is also how I became acquainted with the excellent blogger NintendoBound, and we’ve been blogging buddies ever since). But in truth, I was never really satisfied with my old blogs, and I often just came across like another angry fan on the internet (again, I was just a kid). So in 2014 I felt it was time to start things fresh and new, with a newfound sense of relative professionalism and more earnest and thoughtful writing.

On Christmas day, 2014, Wizard Dojo was launched as a means to give me this fresh start. And though I’m far from a great writer, I do have to say I’ve been a lot happier with my writings here than I ever was before. I’ve been able to write more thorough reviews (and yet, I’ve also been able to write a lot more of them), and have had a lot of fun writing opinion pieces and best lists and whatnot.

Though if you want to know why I started blogging at all, well, that goes back some time. I’ve always been a bit of a – shall we say – opinionated individual. I always wanted a greater means to get my thoughts out there. One day, after reading Roger Ebert’s review of Spirited Away, I realized I wanted to write reviews, and the world of the interwebs gave me the means to do so.

I am also a lifelong fan of Nintendo Power (please bring it back!), and while that may not exactly be the go-to source of thoughtful video game critiquing, it did establish something of a love of reviewing and other such things within me at a pretty early age. I also credit the magazine with (unknowingly at the time) teaching me that reviews and discussions can be as fun as the games the magazine featured themselves.

So in short, I was a weird kid who liked critiquing stuff. I like movies and video games. Blogging gave me a means to critique movies and video games. So here I am.

Oh… Were you expecting me to write something more fanciful that fits better with this site’s name? Like a story about me being a wizard who embarked on some epic quest, and something happened or another and now I’ve opened a dojo for wizards, and these writings on movies and games are like some kind of magic tome or something? Eh, I’ll save that nugget for another day.


My Advice for the Childrens

Digimon

My advice is to let the hate flow through you. I can feel your anger. It gives you focus. It makes you stronger!

Oh, wait. That’s my advice for my Sith apprentice. You folks just ignore that.

My real advice is simply to write what you want to write, and write out of love of writing and of your subject matter. If you simply want to write just to get attention or likes or whatever, it will get really old really fast. But if you write out of a personal desire to write, are passionate with what you’re writing about, and dedicate some time and work to your writing, you’ll find yourself getting better and better at it. If you keep at it, your writings will get the attention and likes they deserve. Your dedication will be rewarded.

Olaf


And the nominees are…

I nominate the following blogs to receive this award, which I think should be presented as a trophy in my image.

NintendoBound: My longest-standing affiliate and all-around great guy.

After Story Gaming: Another great writer who has been good chums with yours truly for well over a year now.

Mr. Panda: One of the fastest-rising blogs I’ve ever seen, and a great video game reviewer.

Very Very Gaming: Two great video game talky people who write and talk about video games.

Miketendo64: They’re making their own empire with this video game website thing. They may prove to be a threat in my eventual worldwide takeover…

That’s all folks! See you next time! And hopefully I can finally get to writing all that Pixar stuff that I’ve been meaning to for way too long now… Bye!

Sans