Tag Archives: Wizard Dojo

I’m Going to E3!

Don’t worry, I have some more reviews coming soon (though I really should hop to them… my backlog is growing by the day). But I’ve been busy preparing for my trip to E3 2017!

This actually won’t be the first time I’ve attended the event, as I ventured to E3 on six past occasions from 2009 to 2014. Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep up with the increasing ticket prices as the years went on. Thankfully for me, this was the year that E3 opened their doors to a more public audience. Though the tickets still came with a bit of a price tag, it was nothing compared to the past.

Of course, the public pass means that I’ll just be attending the show floor, so I’ll just have to watch the presentations form my computer. But I honestly don’t mind. The show floor is where you get to play the games. That’s the good stuff!

But I’m not writing this post to brag, but just to inform people that the majority of my upcoming blogs for the upcoming week+ will probably be focused on E3 happenings, though I’ll still squeeze in some reviews and such, of course.

Obviously, if you want the big news from E3, there are plenty of major gaming sites to go for that. I’m mostly going to write on my perspective of the event, what games I’m most excited for, which ones I have the most fun playing at the show, things of that nature. Think of it like a personal journal of my E3 adventures, as opposed to news reports (again, why would you go to me for news?). I’ll be posting some of my thoughts and opinions on the games at the event both here and at Miketendo64.

I hope you enjoy whatever I end up writing on the event, and hopefully I’ll get to play a lot of cool games while I’m at the show. And yes, Super Mario Odyssey will be the first game I go to.

What’s the Word on My Favorite Video Games List?

You may recall that I recently brought up my forthcoming list of my favorite video games of all time. It’s certainly not the first time I’ve done it, but hopefully it will be one of the last times. Because I do have something of a window of time that I’d like to make such a list.

As of now, I’m gunning to make my list of favorite video games of all time some time in mid-January, 2018. Yes, that’s a long ways off from now, but that gives me some good time to play through the big games coming out this year, catch up on some great games I may have missed out on through the years, and replay some old favorites to see if they still hold up.

Another reason for this wait is that I’m aiming to hit the 250 video game reviews milestone by the end of this year (I’m currently at 213), and I think having 250+ video game reviews would be a good time to finally make my list.

Of course, I feel like I’ve already set myself up to disappoint anyone who’s at all interested in this. I fear my constant delays in making an “official” list of favorite games might be misconstrued as trying to build hype, at which case anyone would end up disappointed. After all, at the end of the day, this list of my favorite video games will be just that, a list of my favorite video games. Obviously I’m not trying to get people’s’ hopes up that this will be something special. I’m just an opinionated, scatterbrained individual who loves video games.

I must repeat that the reason I’ve continued to procrastinate this list is because I want to make a good, solid list that can be somewhat definitive of my opinions for a good few years, so that I wouldn’t have to revise said list for, well, a good few years. After all, if you make a list of favorite anythings, and then revise that list just a year later, it kind of takes away the whole reason for the list in the first place. Or maybe I’m just way overthinking things…

Once again, the following bloggers are invited to join in on this, and make their own lists of favorite games.

Mike and Jack of Miketendo64.

Matt from NintendoBound.

Alex from After Story Gaming.

Alex from Mr. Panda’s Video Game Reviews.

Red Metal (who is this masked man?) from Extra Life Reviews.

Of course, no one has to join (I do not possess the ability of mind control…yet), but if you choose to do so, I would like it if we can all do our lists around the same time, and link to everyone else’s lists within our own. And you can list however many games you want, with a minimum of 10 (because no one wants to see a top 9 list).

Okay, now I seriously am repeating myself. Point is, I think I’m finally going to make my first-ever edition of my favorite video games of all time list around mid-January 2018. Hopefully, I won’t write any more of these repetitious filler posts between now and then…

Some Scoring Changes (Hopefully for the Last Time)

Being an independent blogger/critic has its ups and downs. On the plus side, you are more freely allowed to tweak your ratings to reflect your changing opinions. On the downside, doing just that risks making your ratings look fickle and wishy-washy.

I personally don’t like changing my ratings, but sometimes (more often than I’d like to admit), I find that in order to keep a level of consistency with my definitions of each score, I have to make exceptions and alter a score for better or worse.

Now is another one of those times, as I’ve changed the scores for a handful of games. Though, hopefully, this will be the last time I make such alterations (though I don’t want to make an absolute statement on that, since I still could make an exception or two).

Keep in mind that if I lower the score for a game or movie, that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve grown to dislike the game more (or like it less), but that, upon further evaluation, I think my sentiments and complaints in regards to it are better suited to a different score.

Here are the game’s whose scores I’ve just changed, and my reasons for them.

  • Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble have swapped scores. DKC now ranks at an 8.5, while DKC3 stands at 9.0. When I originally reviewed them, the scores were reversed, but upon thinking more and more about it, DKC3 is the deeper platformer (though my complaints about the music being a massive downgrade for the series still stand). DKC2 still ranks at a perfect 10, however. And that won’t change.
  • Tetris Attack has been lowered from a 9.0 to an 8.5. Again, it’s not that I think any less of it, but I weighed it against another block falling puzzle game that I awarded a 9.0 (Tetris Battle Gaiden), and came to the conclusion that Tetris Attack, while great, is probably better represented as an 8.5 in the falling block puzzle game department.
  • Yooka-Laylee, which I originally gave a score of 8.5, has been slightly lowered to an 8.0. Again, I haven’t suddenly decided that Yooka-Laylee isn’t as good as I initially thought, just that I think – after re-reading my review and assessing my complaints – it fits more into the 8.0 range.
  • Star Fox Zero has been (further) lowered to a 6.5, because of those damn controls.
  • Perhaps most notably of all, Super Mario Maker has gone from a massive 9.5 to a (still fantastic) 9.0. Once again, it’s not that my opinion on the game has changed, I still think Super Mario Maker is, in a lot of ways, one of the best things Nintendo has ever made. If anything, I made this change to further boost what the 9.0 score means. After all, a 9.0 is the third-highest score on my system, and has been represented by such great games as Mega Man 3, Shovel Knight, Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow and Overwatch. That’s a hefty lineup of games right there. Super Mario Maker also perhaps had a few more flaws pointed out in my review than most 9.5s. Though some of these issues have been addressed by Nintendo in patch updates, I still feel changing the score for SMM was the right call. Again, not that I think any less of the game, but if I want to be consistent with my scoring, I felt the change was necessary (I must also repeat that I feel this boosts the prestige of the 9.0 score).
  • I have also changed the scores for two animated films, Finding Dory and Wreck-It Ralph. Both of which were originally given 9.0s, but that I feel are better suited in the 8.5 level (an 8.5 is a great score, so please don’t think that I think any less of these movies).

Well, that’s all the changes I’ve recently made. Now I’m going to try my best to really evaluate if my words and feelings for a game (or movie) are best justified by the score I end up giving it. I don’t like changing my scores, and don’t want to have to change any of them again. So I want to make sure I get it all right the first time. This will be doubly true for games (and movies) rated 9.0 or higher.

In order to help me maintain this consistency, I soon plan to overhaul my Scoring System page, giving more detailed descriptions for each score, and even giving some prime examples of each score for both games and movies (Overwatch and Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, for example, seem to be my measuring sticks for the 9.0 score for games). Since I have actually used every rating in my system for games (including one 0/10), I will probably update the page with the video game examples first, with the movie examples following not far behind.

Anyway, sorry for this rant. Hopefully you don’t think any less of my scoring system for my fluctuating feelings, and hopefully I can be more consistent in the future.

The Return of Bringing Up my Eventual List of Favorite Video Games of All Time

Oh no… Am I doing this again?! Seriously?! Well, okay…

Well, if you’re a long-time follower of the Dojo, you may remember that I often teased that I was planning on writing my list of favorite video games of all time. I always intended to do it, but for one reason or another, it always ended up getting postponed, to the point that it seemingly became a bad recurring joke.

Well, I thought I’d let my dear, sweet readers that I am planning, once again, to make my list of all-time favorite video games, after several months of not bringing the subject up here at the Dojo.

Now, I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up (because your life totally revolves around me and my lists), because I don’t have a set timeframe for when I will be doing this, but I thought it’d be nice to inform everyone that I am indeed planning this once again.

Why is this such a big deal? Well, to echo some of my past writings, I have never “officially” compiled my list of all-time favorite video games anywhere. And of course, once you do it once, it seems like you should wait a good while before you think about doing it again, otherwise the list may feel like it doesn’t mean anything. I love video games, and like to think I know a thing or two about them.

So basically, I want my first go at making an all-time favorites list one that wouldn’t need to be revised for a good while, and that can accurately reflect my love and (supposed) knowledge of games themselves.

Of course, this brings me to why I have not yet set a deadline for myself: I may want to wait until the end of 2017/beginning of 2018. Why? Because 2017 is proving to be a really great year for video games, with Breath of the Wild already making a big difference in how my list would have otherwise looked.

I will let my readers and fellow bloggers give their two cents on if I should wait that long or not. But again, I want to make sure I get this right the first time so that, when I inevitably do revise it, it’s because I’ve played more fantastic games that deserve placement, and not because I regret anything the first time around (of course, considering this list is entirely based on personal opinion, perhaps I’m just overthinking all of this).

Speaking of my fellow bloggers, I of course invite some of them to join in the festivities and compile their own lists of favorite video games. Preferably around the same time I end up making mine so we can all link to each other’s lists and make it one big, special event. But they can make them whenever, should they choose to partake.

The following bloggers are officially invited to make their own lists along with me.

Mike and Jack from Miketendo64

Matt from NintendoBound

Alex from After Story Gaming

And the other Alex from Mr. Panda’s Video Game Reviews

Also, the door is always open for Red Metal of Extra Life Reviews to join in should he choose, but that’s up to him.

The only real rule I have for your lists – should you choose to accept them – is that they consist of at least ten games. You can list more than ten, but no less. Because a top nine just sounds goofy. Otherwise, list whatever games are your favorites. Staunch exceptionalist that I am, I’m perfectly okay with things like multiple entries from a single franchise (it’s a list of favorites/bests, there’s no place for the “everybody gets a trophy” mentality here). So yeah, a minimum of ten is the only rule.

Again, whether or not I make my list within the next few months or at the dawn of 2018, I’m not sure yet. I’d love for you guys to give a little say-so on that. And should any of my fellow bloggers want to join in on this endeavor (Spoiler alert: some of them do because I talked to them on Twitter), then that’s just swell!

On an unrelated note, I hope to have some news in regards to my personal studies on video game design soon. Because I don’t just want to write about games. I’d like to make them one day, too.

What’s that? This post is entirely arbitrary? And I mostly just recycled aforementioned information and thought I could pass it off as new because I haven’t talked about it in a while? I’m making a complete what of myself? and now I’m making it worse by repeating everything you say over the microphone?

Oh, c’mon, don’t tell me you don’t get the reference! Okay, I’m done writing now. See you later.

The 500th Blog Spectacularsaurus Indominus 2: Turbo Hyper Fighting: Championship Edition

 

 

500 FREAKIN’ BLOGS!

That’s right, dear childrens. The Wizard Dojo has gone from one milestone and dived immediately into another. After writing 200 video game reviews, I have now etched my way to 500 total blogs here at the Dojo. Saints be praised! Credenza’s alive!

Of course, reaching such a milestone means it’s now time to throw dignity out the window and bombard you all with stupid gifs and stuff.

“Still better animation than Mass Effect: Andromeda.”

Yeah, I know it’s considered tacky to brag, but oh well. It took a lot of hard work and spelling errors to get here. So I’m going to brag a little bit. Besides, it beats all the faux self-deprecation all those celebrities do to feign humility. So I shall brag away!

Even Princess Peach has arrived for the occasion!

Surely this most five-hundrediest of blogs is a special occasion! Time to watch Godzilla do a happy dance!

 

In all seriousness, I thank all of you, my dear readers, for keeping me going. But more importantly, I’d like to thank ME for being able to write all these posts.

In a more serious note of seriousness, let’s take a moment to celebrate this in some ways other than gifs and dancing Godzillas. First, let’s start with my second batch of answers for my Ask Me Anythings. Continue reading

200 Video Game Reviews!

“Sadly, this isn’t one of the game’s I’ve reviewed…”

Now I’ve done it. I’ve really done it! My review for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is my 200th video game review here at Wizard Dojo!

That’s right, childrens. Wizard Dojo now houses 200 different video game reviews, all written by yours truly. From all-time greats like Super Mario Bros. 3 to atrocious disasters like Dark Castle, I have become a bicentennial man of video game reviewing-blogging things.

I launched Wizard Dojo on Christmas day 2014, with the very first post published on the site being my review of the stellar Mario Kart 8. Within my first year, I managed to crank out my first 100 game reviews, and although the next hundred took me a wee bit longer, they’ve all been well worth the effort.

From Mario Kart 8 to Breath of the Wild, you can find all of my video game reviews in one snug place over on the game reviews page, or you can just skip to the cream of the crop and check out the page that directs to my exclusive list of games I’ve awarded a perfect 10 or a near-perfect 9.5.

There are still plenty of other games I own that I have yet to review, as well as a number of games on the horizon you can be sure I’ll check out. I’m not sure if I can keep up this same pace of video game reviewing – what with life and all that, not to mention my continuing efforts in learning game design, and my hopes to soon begin creating some YouTube stuff or something -but I’ll try to break them out whenever I can.

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed some of what I’ve had to say, even in my most contrarian of times. I love writing (even if my errors are apparent and plentiful), so I hope you’ve had some fun, or maybe gained some interest, with what I’ve had to say about these first 200 games.

My next gaming milestones are 250 and 300, so I guess I’ll be seeing you then… Or, y’know, I’ll be writing another filler post with a gif or two then.

Thank you, my loyal readers, for giving me incentive to keep writing my opinions on the medium we all love. I couldn’t have done it without you. Well… I guess I could have, since I’m writing my own opinions on games, but without you I’d just be writing this for myself to read. And that’d make me look like a weirdo.

Thanks again, good peoples!

“Luigi is so happy about my 200 video game reviews, he’s crying!”

Another Step Forward

Hello again, dear readers! It’s time for another update on some of my goings-on with my dabblings in video game design… which at this point is pretty much just sprite editing/animating. Yeah, you may not be interested, but I’m going to write about it anyway, because I’m a jerk, and this is my site so I can do what I want.

Anyway, here is my latest sprite.

Obviously, his “animation” is nothing to boast about, and there are some obvious inconsistencies/flaws going on here, but I will at least say I think I did a somewhat decent job with the light from his lantern reflecting off of him. At least for this being my first shot at such a thing, I thought it was decent.

Perhaps the aspect of this ghostly lantern fellow that I’m most proud of is simply that this is the first sprite I’ve made based on something I originally drew on paper. Now, I’m certainly no great artist (to put it lightly), but I do love to draw. And taking something I drew on paper and making a sprite out of it has certainly given me an even greater appreciation for everything that goes into game making and art direction. Just finding ways to make this guy work through pixels proved to be a time-consuming challenge.

Once again, I’m not sure if I’ll continue to write about these updates. It really just depends on how much people would want to hear about more, I suppose. But I certainly don’t want to come across like I’m tooting my own horn. Once again, I’m just learning the basics, and I have a long way to go before I officially start making something that’s playable. But I’m really enjoying this process, and hope that it one day leads me to making my very first video game, which would be a dream come true.

So if anyone wants to see more of what I make down the road, or wants an update on my progression in game making, just let me know I suppose. And if you’d actually want to see some of my drawn artwork (I use that term loosely here), you can let me know about that as well (though I’m warning you it’s nothing to brag about…at all). While you’re at it, you can also let me know what you think about my ghost lantern man, and if you might want to see more weird creatures/characters such as him in whatever game I eventually make (I have a few ideas, so deciding on what to do for my first game will be interesting, to say the least).

So yeah. There’s that guy. I don’t know how to wrap this up… I guess I’ll just stop writing now.